Thursday, 28 August 2014

WATCH: Hong Kong teenagers click the ‘World's scariest selfie’

Hong Kong: Three teenagers decided to take their search for a thrilling selfie to new heights.

World's scariest selfie. Source: YouTube/Frank Wu

Perched on the top of The Centre (at 1,135 foot high) —Hong Kong’s fifth tallest skyscraper — Daniel Lau, joined by his two friends, stands up without any safety harnesses and stretches out his smartphone on a selfie stick to take a video that’ll make you weak at the knees with vertigo.

Lau, and friends Andrew Tso and a girl identified as A.S, are seen snacking on bananas the start of the video while perched dangerously on the spire of Hong Kong's fifth-tallest skyscraper.

As the camera extends the height the friends have scaled becomes terrifyingly clear, with incredible views of Hong Kong's streets below.

Tso is no stanger to heights having spent three years travelling the world in a bid to find new and exciting views from atop giant buildings.

Many viewers of the video, which is being called the “world’s scariest selfie,” have commented the footage made them sweat or made them feel sick.

While selfies have become part of our daily lexicon, they’ve also become increasingly dangerous as people try to capture themselves in memorable moments.

In April, a Regina man was kicked in the head by a train conductor in Peru while taking one too close to a moving train.

A man was also attacked by a squirrel in April after taking one with the furry creature, who appeared friendly before turning on him.

And at the Tour de France in July many fans put themselves in danger trying to get selfies in front of the riders on the course.
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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Red Cross responds to Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Ebola Virus
[PHOTO: NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Washington: The American Red Cross is supporting efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, thanks to the generous donation of $2.8 million from the Paul G. Allen Foundation.

The money will be used to strengthen the capacities of the affected local Red Cross societies to manage the outbreak, assist with the epidemiological investigation and increase public awareness about virus prevention.

The West Africa Ebola outbreak, which began in March 2014, is the worst outbreak of the virus in recorded history and affects Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The virus has caused more than 1,000 deaths, and new cases continue to be reported. The rapid spread of this disease has weakened already fragile health infrastructures.

The Red Cross previously contributed $100,000 and also has deployed two IT/telecom specialists to Sierra Leone and a satellite system to provide telecommunications and internet support to the relief operations.  

In addition, the Red Cross is working with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team to provide accurate maps to relief agencies working on the ground. These base maps are then used by different organizations like the global Red Cross network and Doctors Without Borders to create maps specific to their specialty in preventing the spread of Ebola.

The Red Cross national societies in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are leading disease prevention educational and awareness efforts, providing psychosocial support and assisting in the management of dead bodies with more than 1,500 volunteers working in the affected areas.

Supported by the global Red Cross movement, including the American Red Cross, these national societies aim to deliver education and assistance to nearly 19 million people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
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Ferguson protests: Ban Ki-moon calls for protection of rights

Stephane Dujarric, Spokeperson for Ban Ki-moon, briefing reporters at UN Headquarters in New York
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: A UN spokesperson said that the Secretary-General is aware that United States' federal authorities have announced an investigation into the killing of Michael Brown.

In a statement read by Stephane Dujarric, Ban Ki-moon said he hopes local and federal investigations will shed full light on the killing and that justice will be done.

The Secretary-General called on the authorities to ensure that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected.

He also called on all to exercise restraint and for law enforcement officials to abide by US and international standards in dealing with demonstrations.

Michel Brown, 18, the unarmed black teenager, died Aug. 9 in a confrontation with a police officer in Ferguson –a suburb of St. Louis-. The police department has come under harsh criticism for refusing to clarify the circumstances of the shooting and for responding to protests with military-style operational gear.
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In pics: Aldridge introduces Victoria Secret’s minimal collections

[PHOTO: Special Arrangements] 
San Francisco: Inspired by the 2014 What Is Sexy? List, Supermodel Lily Aldridge recently introduced Victoria Secret’s newest, most minimal collections. VC is going for a #LESSISMORE kind of thing…
[PHOTO: Special Arrangements] 
THE T-SHIRT BRA: It's everything you love about Victoria’s Secret: perfect lift, smooth support and (of course!) always sexy. Available in Demi, Unlined Demi & Perfect Shape.
[PHOTO: Special Arrangements] 
FABULOUS BY VICTORIA'S SECRET: Sleek perfection and always fabulous… without all the bells and whistles. Available in Demi, Unlined Demi & Push-Up.
[PHOTO: Special Arrangements] 
INCREDIBLE BY VICTORIA’S SECRET: New and improved Incredible by Victoria's Secret: now with padded underwire for total comfort, smoothing sides for a seamless fit and new adjustable straps. Available in Demi & Push-Up.
[PHOTO: Special Arrangements] 
LIMITED EDITION: Unlined and unbelievably sexy. Available in Unlined Demi.
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UN marks 500 days of action until deadline to reach MDG

Moderator Amy Robach, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Malala Yousafzai
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, alongside with Pakistani student and education advocate Malala Yousafzai, marked 500 days of action until the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UN Chief encouraged the 500 young attendants – one for each day remaining to reach the deadline to achieve the MDGS – to the event to become leaders and to stand up to make a difference.

"You have a prerogative and a legitimate right to raise your voice to your teachers, to your parents, to your Senators and Congressmen, and President, and Prime Ministers and Ministers. If they do not listen to you, then to whom should they listen?"

Turning to female education and women empowerment, Ban pointed out that among the most "unutilized" human resources is "women power." He recalled that
"more than half of our global population are women" and noted that "it is only natural that, if not more, at least equal opportunity should be given to women and girls, particularly to young girls."

He emphasizes the "moral responsibility" of the international community to cultivate the potential of girls and boys as a way to invest in the future.

Ban noted that the MDGs – agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000 – have helped unite, inspire and transform. He underscored that poverty has been cut in half, that more girls are attending school worldwide, especially in developing countries, and fewer people are dying from malaria, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases.
The eight MDGs have become a 15-year road map to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment, expand education and basic health and to achieve gender equality.

Yousafzai, the Pakistani student who was shot in the head by the Taliban on board of a school bus in October 2012, pointed out the importance of education as a tool to empower women.

"I think this is education that can let women know, that can let girls know that, yes, they are as equal as boys are."

She noted that gender parity can be achieved if education is made a "top priority."

Yousafzai underscored the importance of education worldwide, especially in developing countries.

"If they [developing countries] want to succeed, if they want to become like the so-called developed countries, then they need to invest in education."

The Pakistani student encouraged governments of poorer countries to invest in building schools and in providing "quality education – not just sending children to schools and to empty buildings." She highlighted the importance of having "good, well-qualified teachers" as well as equipping schools with laboratories, libraries, computer labs and "facilities children would need."

Yousafzai has become a renowned education advocate through her campaigns to fight illiteracy, poverty and terrorism.
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ADB approves $15mn project to assist Solomons with rebuild

Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands, hit by flash floods in April this year.
[PHOTO: ADB / Special Arrangements] 
Honiara, Solomon Islands: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $15.58 million project to help the Solomon Islands rebuild transport infrastructure damaged by recent flash floods.

The assistance, drawn from ADB’s Disaster Response Facility, will help fund construction of new infrastructure designed to be more resilient against future disasters and other climate threats. ADB’s financing is $13.22 million (half loan, half grant), while the Solomon Islands Government is contributing $2.36 million equivalent.

“Through the reconstruction and upgrading of vital infrastructure, the Transport Sector Flood Recovery Project will restore and significantly reduce travel times to markets, schools and health care facilities,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney.

Prolonged heavy rain in early April associated with Tropical Cyclone Ita caused severe flooding in the nation’s capital, Honiara, and across Guadalcanal province. There were 23 deaths, and 52,000 people were reportedly affected. Major infrastructure including sewerage systems, water supplies, and major roads and bridges were badly damaged or destroyed.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development will be the executing agency for the project which aims to build more resilient communities by ensuring restored bridges, stream crossings, culverts, and bridge approach roads can better withstand more frequent natural disasters and other challenges expected from climate change.

Since 2000, ADB has supported the Solomon Islands’ efforts to improve and develop its transport sector through six major projects.
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