Bernie Sanders announces 2020 presidential bid


Published time: 19 Feb, 2019 11:36 Edited time: 19 Feb, 2019 11:48

Bernie Sanders announces 2020 presidential bid

FILE PHOTO U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019 ©  REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, says he will run again in 2020. The 77-year-old Vermont senator enjoys great popularity among millennials for his progressive ideas.

Sanders confirmed his plans in an interview aired on Vermont Public Radio on Monday. “I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” he said.

His official announcement video is expected to be streamed on Tuesday.


Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld has died – reports


Iconic Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died aged 85, according to reports in French media. He had reportedly been ill for weeks.

German-born Lagerfeld, one of the most renowned and prolific modern fashion designers, was creative director at the French luxury brand Chanel at the time of his death. He had also worked with a number of other companies over the years, including the Italian Fendi and his own eponymous label.

There has been no official statement Lagerfeld’s death so far, though a source close to Chanel, cited by Reuters, has confirmed his death. He had skipped Chanel fashion shows in late January, though back then the company simply said he was tired.


‘F*** Sarri-Ball’: Fans turn on Maurizio Sarri as pressure mounts on under-fire Chelsea boss


The Stamford Bridge fans made no secret of their feelings towards beleaguered boss Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea crashed out of the FA Cup at home against Manchester United on Monday night.

Goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba ended Chelsea’s FA Cup hopes as the pressure continued to mount on the 60-year-old Blues boss.

Fans chanted “F*** Sarri-Ball” as Chelsea exited the competition at the Last 16 stage as the Stamford Bridge faithful showed their discontent at the club’s current situation under the former Napoli boss.

Sarri’s tactics and team selection have come under criticism in recent weeks as the team has struggled to keep pace with the Premier League’s front runners.

They were thrashed 4-0 at Bournemouth, then hammered 6-0 at Manchester City – their biggest defeat in 28 years.

READ MORE: Man City apologize for ‘trolling’ Chelsea by playing Madness anthem after 6-0 hammering

Fans were hoping a return to the home comforts of Stamford Bridge for an FA Cup clash with United would prove to be a welcome distraction from some worrying displays in the league, but a 2-0 reverse to the Red Devils in a game where United held the Blues at arm’s length throughout the contest only served to make matters worse.

And now it seems only a matter of time before the former Napoli boss is handed his exit papers and shown the Stamford Bridge door.

After a turbulent end to the Antonio Conte era at Chelsea, hopes were high that Sarri’s arrival – and his high-pace, high-pressure ‘Sarri-Ball’ playing style – would be a good fit for the Premier League giants.

But Chelsea sit in sixth place in the Premier League table, outside the European qualification places and some 15 points off Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the division.

And fans and pundits alike are now queueing up to sound the death knell to the Italian’s tenure at the club.

And if the camera shots of chairman Bruce Buck during the United game are anything to go by, Sarri’s time at the club may soon be coming to an end.

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SeaWorld ride malfunction sees passengers trapped 80 feet in the air for 4 hours (VIDEOS)


A trip to SeaWorld in San Diego reached terrifying heights for 16 people who became trapped 80 feet in the air when a ride malfunctioned, leaving them suspended for almost four hours as rescue crews scrambled to free them.

The Bayside Skyride stopped working after a massive gust of wind tripped its circuit breaker on Monday night, leaving between 15 and 30 people trapped in five gondolas, with some suspended up in the sky.

The Bayside Skyride is a gondola ride that takes passengers from one side of Mission Bay to the other suspended 80 feet (24m) above the water.

READ MORE: PETA leads outrage after killer whale at SeaWorld dies in ‘prime of life’ from mysterious illness

The passengers were trapped for almost four hours after the device malfunctioned at about 7:20pm. Sixteen people had to be rescued, San Diego police said. One of those trapped was an infant and at least seven were juveniles. There was also a partially paralyzed passenger who had suffered a stroke last year.

Stranded at #SeaWorld:

Emergency crews working to get multiple people down who are stranded in gondolas. SDPD says they got a call a huge gust of wind tripped a circuit breaker. A father stranded with his son says wind gust hit, cable shook violently & gondola stopped

— Omari Fleming (@OmariNBCSD) February 19, 2019

Rescue workers managed to get the passengers down with harnesses and they were put in lifeguard boats and then examined by medical crews. SDFRD reported everyone was rescued safely by about 11pm.

SeaWorld for its part announced it would “conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening,” and apologized for the inconvenience caused.

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Merkel blames ‘outside influence’ for kids’ climate change protest… but could it just be a protest?


Talking almost in one breath about Russia, “hybrid warfare” and widespread environmental protests among schoolchildren across Europe is not bizarre paranoia, but a deliberate tactic, RT has been told.

Centrist forces in Europe as well as in the US “have been trying to deflect attention to Russia whenever there are key issues that are coming up on the streets and in their communities,” British peace campaigner and academic George Barda told RT.

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ICYMI: Russian stooges – why are there so many, and how do you become one?

“These are the same issues that the Gilets Jaunes [Yellow Vests] are responding to, that the Occupy Movement was responding to, that the anti-austerity movements around the world have been protesting against ever since the financial crisis of 2008.”

During a Q&A session at the Munich Security Conference at the weekend, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been talking about the alleged Russian “hybrid warfare,” while just a bit later casually touching upon the repeated environmental protests among schoolchildren that spread from Scandinavia to the rest of Europe.

“That all children suddenly think of climate change without foreign interference is difficult to imagine,” said Merkel. Later, Merkel eventually had to backpedal and claim that she actually backs the demonstrations.

But having seen a minister in Belgium make similar claims, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron’s persistent attempts to highlight shadowy forces behind the Yellow Vest movement which has mobilized millions of citizens, this appears to be the go-to response from an establishment unable to tackle fundamental issues of globalization, inequality and security.

“This about is the failure of the establishment to respond to the fundamental issues of that crisis. And it is also the anger of normal taxpayers who have faced massive constraints just living normal lives, struggling desperately to pay for bills and food,” said Barda.

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‘I don’t have to put success over happiness’: Naomi Osaka on sudden split with ex-Serena coach


Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has opened up about her unexpected split with coach Sascha Bajin, which came soon after her 2019 Australian Open win, saying she was not prepared to “sacrifice” her happiness.

Last month, the 21-year old grabbed her second Grand Slam title in a row by defeating Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the final at Melbourne.

READ MORE: World No. 1 Naomi Osaka splits with ex-Serena coach despite winning last two Grand Slams

Following Osaka’s success, Bajin was honored with the inaugural WTA Coach of the Year Award 2018 for his contribution to the youngster’s impressive run to the top of the world rankings.

Banjin, who has formerly worked as a hitting partner with US great Serena Williams, had helped the Japanese talent to climb from 68th position to a career-high number one following her sensational victories at the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open.

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Despite the sensational fruits of their cooperation, Osaka decided to part ways with the German, and has now stressed that the issue was not connected with money, but rather her personal happiness.

“Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue, but it wasn’t. For me, that’s one of the most hurtful things I’ve ever heard. I travel with everyone on my team, I see them more than my family. I would never do that to them,” the world number one told reporters on Sunday.

I’m not going to say anything bad about him because, of course, I’m really grateful for all the things that he’s done. I wouldn’t come here and say anything bad.

The biggest thing is I don’t want myself to think to be successful I have to put success over happiness, because if I’m not happy being around certain people I’m not going to torture myself,” she added.

If I’m not waking up every day happy to practice and happy to be around the people I’m around, this is my life.

I’m not going to sacrifice that just to keep a person around. I have to be happy with where I am at my life. I feel like I worked really hard – maybe not for 21 years, but for 17 years – to be No.1 and to win Grand Slams.”

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Despite not revealing specific reasons behind the alleged conflict with the former coach, Osaka hinted that she had taken issue with some of Bajin’s comments.

[The most important thing for me is] just to have a positive mindset,” Osaka said. “I don’t want someone that’s in the box saying negative stuff. That would be the worst.”

“Yeah, someone that’s kind of direct, not afraid to say things to my face,” she added when describing the kind of a person she would like to work with.

READ MORE: ‘I’m tan. It’s pretty obvious’: Naomi Osaka on ‘whitewash’ noodle ad row

I’d rather someone say it directly to me than go around my back. That’s one of the biggest things.”

This week Osaka competes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which is her first tournament since the Australian Open. She will also be playing as the top seed at a WTA tournament for the first time in her career.

11yo arrested after refusing to stand for Pledge of Allegiance to ‘racist’ flag in Florida


An 11-year-old boy was arrested in Florida after his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance escalated into an argument with his teacher, who called in security because she “did not want to continue dealing with him.”

The sixth-grade student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland reportedly explained that he wasn’t standing for the pledge because he deemed the flag racist and the national anthem offensive to black people.

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According to a statement substitute teacher Ana Alvarez gave to the Polk School District, she then asked the boy, “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live?” After an exchange ensued with the boy, the teacher said she called the office because she “did not want to continue dealing with him,” Bay News 9 reports.

When the school resource officer arrived and asked the boy to leave, he initially refused and then “created another disturbance and made threats while he was escorted to the office,” the Lakeland Police Department said.

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The child was arrested for refusing to follow multiple commands and being disruptive, allegedly threatening to beat the teacher and get the principal fired. However, his mother, Dhakira Talbot, disputes these claims, telling Bay News 9 the situation should have been “handled differently.”

“If any disciplinary action should’ve been taken, it should’ve been with the school. He shouldn’t have been arrested.”

Polk County Public Schools spokesman Kyle Kennedy said the student was not arrested for not participating in the pledge. The boy was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center and charged with disrupting a school function and resisting an officer without violence. Meanwhile, the teacher was removed from the school district and an investigation is underway.

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Iran’s supreme leader warns govt about ‘deception’ by European states


Published time: 18 Feb, 2019 10:16 Edited time: 18 Feb, 2019 10:46

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday warned his country’s government not to be deceived by European signatories of the nuclear deal with major powers, Reuters said. The agreement is now under threat after the US withdrawal. “America’s enmity towards Iran is obvious. Our enemies’ heart is full of enmity towards the Islamic Republic,” Khamenei said. “Our officials should not be deceived by the Europeans… don’t be fooled by Europeans,” state TV quoted him as saying. Washington’s major European allies have opposed President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the deal and have been trying to salvage the pact.

Labour MPs announce their resignations from the party (WATCH LIVE)


A group of Labour MPs have announced that they are quitting and will sit as Independent MPs in the house of commons, in protest over Brexit and anti-Semitism.

The seven Labour MPs quitting the party are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey. 

Announcing their resignations in Westminster, Luciana Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree took to the stage first, to claim that she could not stay in the party any more because it had become “institutionally anti-Semitic.”

Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East, insisted that it had not been an easy decision to make but that he believed that the Labour Party had been hijacked by the “machine politics of the hard left.” 

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, revealed that it had been a very painful decision to resign her membership but suggested the current Labour party were guilty of patronizing the electorate.

Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, in perhaps a dig at Corbyn’s foreign policy, says the new independent group “does not think every problem in the world has been created by the west.”

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has reacted to the news by saying he is saddened by the decision of MPs to leave the party.

In a statement Corbyn said: “I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”

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China says US ‘trying to block development’ after Pence’s Huawei comments


Published time: 18 Feb, 2019 09:56 Edited time: 18 Feb, 2019 10:35

China’s government has accused the US of trying to block its industrial development after Vice President Mike Pence said Chinese tech giant Huawei and other telecom equipment suppliers are a security threat. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday that Beijing would not use its companies to gather information about foreign companies, AP reports. Washington is trying to “fabricate an excuse for suppressing the legitimate development” of Chinese companies, according to the spokesman. Pence, speaking on Saturday in Germany, urged European governments to take seriously “the threat” posed by Huawei as they look for partners to build next-generation wireless infrastructure. Huawei denies accusations that it facilitates Chinese spying.