Watch! George W Bush spotted passing candy to Michelle Obama at John McCain’s funeral and internet is loving it
A sweet moment between US’ first families is going viral on social media as former President George W Bush is caught on camera passing few pieces of candy to former First lady Michelle Obama. This happened during the memorial service for the late Senator John McCain on Saturday at Washington National Cathedral and the internet is obsessed with it. After former Sen Joe Lieberman paid tribute to his friend and colleague, the camera turned to the audience as Lieberman made a joke about McCain, catching the brief moment between the former president and former first lady.
Meanwhile, people on social didn’t miss the light-hearted moment and the video, since then, went viral. While some are applauding their friendship, others are proposing their own show. Check out some Twitter reactions below:
Ray [REDACTED] ⚡️
Seeing George Bush smuggle a piece of candy from his wife Laura to Michelle Obama while trying to be discreet gives me faith in the future of our Republic.
8:51 PM - Sep 1, 2018
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George Bush sneaking Michelle Obama some candy during John McCain's funeral might be the video that saves the Republic
5:59 AM - Sep 2, 2018
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Barstool News Network
GEORGE BUSH IS THE CANDY MAN
6:35 AM - Sep 2, 2018
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Peter Douche's Liaison
If George Bush passing candy to Michelle Obama doesn't give you warm fuzzies for the oligarchy you're dead inside.#OwnedTogether#StillWithering????
George W. Bush sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama is warming my heart .
11:49 PM - Sep 1, 2018
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I'd totally watch a travel show where George Bush and Michelle Obama go abroad and get up to wacky adventures.
George W. Bush sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama is warming my heart .
8:32 PM - Sep 1, 2018
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Late United States Senator, John McCain was on Sunday laid to rest in a private ceremony at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis which was attended by McCain’s family, friends, former classmates and other military leaders, reported the Wall Street Journal. John McCain passed away on August 25 at the age of 81 due to brain cancer.
With Agency inputs.
Brazil: Massive fire tears through Rio’s 200-year-old National Museum
Brasilia: A huge fire has broken out at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, the oldest scientific institution in the country. Firefighters were tackling the blaze at the building, which contains more than 20 million items in its collection, the BBC reported on Monday.
Brazil’s President Michel Temer tweeted that it was a “sad day for all Brazilians”, adding: “The value of our history cannot be measured by the damage to the building.” It is not yet clear if anyone has been injured in Sunday’s fire. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Incalculável para o Brasil a perda do acervo do Museu Nacional. Foram perdidos 200 anos de trabalho, pesquisa e conhecimento. O valor p/ nossa história não se pode mensurar, pelos danos ao prédio que abrigou a família real durante o Império. É um dia triste para todos brasileiros
6:29 AM - Sep 3, 2018
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The museum, which once served as the residence for the Portuguese royal family, celebrated its 200-year anniversary earlier in 2018. Images broadcast on Brazilian television showed how the fire, which is believed to have started after the facility had closed for the day, had spread throughout the building, the BBC said.
People reported on social media that the museum was completely consumed by the blaze. It housed mummies, meteorites, insects, and fossils amongst other things. “So sad to see history in flames”. In an interview with Brazil’s TV Globo, the museum’s director said it was a “cultural tragedy”.
The museum houses thousands of items related to the history of Brazil and other countries including Egyptian artefacts, according to its website.
Its natural history collection includes important dinosaur bones and a 12,000-year-old human skeleton of a woman — the oldest ever found in the Americas. Employees had reportedly previously expressed concern about funding cuts and the dilapidated state of the building.
Thailand: With rising sea levels, Bangkok struggles to stay afloat
Bangkok: As Bangkok prepares to host climate-change talks, the sprawling city of more than 10 million is itself under siege from the environment, with dire forecasts warning it could be partially submerged in just over a decade. A preparatory meeting begins Tuesday in Thailand’s capital for the next UN climate conference, a crunch summit in Poland at the end of 2018 to set rules on reducing greenhouse emissions and providing aid to vulnerable countries.
As temperatures rise, abnormal weather patterns — like more powerful cyclones, erratic rainfall, and intense droughts and floods — are predicted to worsen over time, adding pressure on governments tasked with bringing the 2015 Paris climate treaty to life. Bangkok, built on once-marshy land about 1.5 metres (five feet) above sea level, is projected to be one of the world’s hardest hit urban areas, alongside fellow Southeast Asian behemoths Jakarta and Manila. “Nearly 40 per cent” of Bangkok will be inundated by as early as 2030 due to extreme rainfall and changes in weather patterns, according to a World Bank report.
Currently, the capital “is sinking one to two centimetres a year and there is a risk of massive flooding in the near future,” said Tara Buakamsri of Greenpeace. Seas in the nearby Gulf of Thailand are rising by four millimetres a year, above the global average.
The city “is already largely under sea level”, said Buakamsri.
— By PTI
In 2011, when the monsoon season brought the worst floods in decades, a fifth of the city was under water. The business district was spared thanks to hastily constructed dikes. But the rest of Thailand was not so fortunate and the death toll passed 500 by the end of the season. Experts say unchecked urbanisation and eroding shorelines will leave Bangkok and its residents in a critical situation. With the weight of skyscrapers contributing to the city’s gradual descent into water, Bangkok has become a victim of its own frenetic development.
Making things worse, the canals which used to traverse the city have now been replaced by intricate road networks, said Suppakorn Chinvanno, a climate expert at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. “They had contributed to a natural drainage system,” he said, adding that the water pathways earned the city the nickname ‘Venice of the East’. Shrimp farms and other aquacultural development — sometimes replacing mangrove forests that protected against storm surges — have also caused significant erosion to the coastline nearest the capital.
This means that Bangkok could be penned in by flooding from the sea in the south and monsoon floods from the north, said Chinvanno. “Specialists anticipate more intense storms in this region in the years to come.” Narong Raungsri, director of Bangkok’s Department of Drainage and Sewage, admitted that the city’s “weaknesses” stem from its small tunnels and the hyper-development of neighbourhoods. “What used to act as water basins are now no more,” Raungsri said. “Our system can only handle so much — we need to enlarge it.” Today, the government is scrambling to mitigate the effects of climate change, constructing a municipal canal network of up to 2,600 kilometres with pumping stations and eight underground tunnels to evacuate water if disaster strikes.
Chulalongkorn University in 2017 also built in central Bangkok an 11-acre park specially designed to drain several million litres of rain and redirect it so surrounding neighbourhoods are not flooded. But these ad-hoc fixes may not be enough. “We need a clear policy of land management,” said Greenpeace’s Buakamsri, adding that the need for increased green spaces is outweighed by developers’ interests. “The high price of land in Bangkok makes economic interests a priority.”
Trump criticises media after off-the-record comment leaked
Washington : US President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out at media for “dishonest reporting” after off-the-record comments concerning North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were leaked.
Trump took to Twitter to say, “Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!”
According to a Fox News report, “The Toronto Star reports that it obtained comments from an off-the-record portion of an Oval Office interview between Trump and Bloomberg News. In those remarks, Trump said he isn’t making compromises with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government but isn’t going to say so publicly because ‘it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal”.”
Fox News further quoted Trump citing the Toronto Star as saying, “Here’s the problem. If I say no, the answer’s no. If I say no, then you’re going to put that, and it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal … I can’t kill these people.”
Meanwhile, the fate of the Nafta became uncertain when the US and Canada failed to come to a consensus on rewriting the three-nation trade pact. “We know a win-win-win agreement is within reach and that’s what we’re working towards,” Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland told media on Friday.
President of Congress Party of India Rahul Gandhi arrived Kathmandu
President of Congress Party of India Rahul Gandhi arrived Kathmandu today. It's not a coincidence that PM of India Narendra Modi and Leader of opposition Party of India Gandhi both are in Kathmandu today. Modi is leaving Kathmandu today evening after concluding BIMSTEC Summit but Gandhi will move to Kailash Mansarovar of Tibet tomorrow. Gandhi is staying in Raddission Hotel of Kathmandu and he will fly for Nepalgunj tomorrow from where he will go to Kailash Mansarovar of Tibet.
Man in court over ‘plot’ to assassinate Dutch populist Wilders
The Hague: A man briefly appeared in a Dutch court Thursday on suspicion of wanting to assassinate far-right politician Geert Wilders after he said he planned to stage a Prophet Mohammed cartoon competition.
The 26-year-old man “is being suspected of committing a terrorist act, planning to commit murder and incitement,” Dutch prosecutors said in a statement.
Police on Tuesday arrested the man at one of The Hague’s main railway stations after he posted a film on Youtube saying he planned an attack on Wilders or the Dutch parliament.
The man, believed to be from Pakistan, also called on other Muslims for support.
“Authorities are taking the threat very seriously,” the Dutch public prosecution service said in the statement.
“The investigation is ongoing” and the man is in custody “with maximum restrictions” meaning that he is only allowed to consult his lawyer.
Prosecutors did not release the suspect’s name, saying at this stage they were reluctant to release further information.
He will remain in custody for another two weeks before a next appearance.
Plans by Wilders, an avowed anti-Islamist, to hold a cartoon competition at his PVV party’s offices in parliament have stirred anger among Muslims, particularly in Pakistan.
The Netherlands on Wednesday updated its travel advice to Pakistan urging its citizens “to avoid demonstrations in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi”.
“Stay alert and keep a low profile,” the travel advice added.
A planned trade mission organised by the Dutch government and private companies in early November has also been postponed “until a later date”, the government-run Netherlands Enterprise Agency said in a separate statement.
Wilders in June announced plans to stage a cartoon competition in parliament later this year to draw the Prophet Mohammed. He claims he has received 200 entries so far.
The Dutch competition’s winner is set to receive a cash prize, Wilders said adding that the competition is not to “provoke or insult”.
“We are organising the competition because the freedom of speech is the most important freedom we have,” he said.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte however has distanced his government from the cartoon competition, saying it was not a government initiative.
Rutte last week said he supported free speech in the Netherlands but believed the cartoon competition “not respectful” and aimed only to provoke.
“The aim is to provoke, rather than stimulate a debate about Islam,” Rutte said — but he added Wilders was free to air his opinions.
The Turkish lira tumbled on Wednesday to its lowest value against the US dollar
Ankara: The Turkish lira tumbled on Wednesday to its lowest value against the US dollar in two weeks, despite Ankara’s attempts to reassure investors after Moody’s downgraded its credit ratings on 20 Turkish financial institutions.
The currency had already been hit by concerns over monetary policy under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but plunged further this month after a public spat with the United States.
The lira lost nearly a quarter of its value against the dollar in the past month and over 40 percent since January.
The lira was trading at 6.4 to the dollar around 1430 GMT on Wednesday, a loss of around two percent. The lira lost a similar percentage against the euro, trading at 7.5.
After last week’s long public holiday, the lira fell further on Monday, with economists warning the fears over the health of the Turkish economy remain.
Ratings agency Moody’s on Tuesday downgraded 14 banks by one notch and four others — including major lenders Denizbank and Is Bank — by two notches.
The Turkish central bank earlier Wednesday reiterated that it would provide banks with “all the liquidity that they needed” as it doubled their borrowing limits for overnight transactions from levels before August 13, effective from Wednesday.
The Turkish statistics office also announced that the economic confidence index fell to 83.9 in August, down from 92.2 in July and 104.9 in January. The reading is the lowest since March 2009.
New data also showed imports decreased by 9.4 percent compared with July 2017.
With inflation running at close to 16 percent and the current account deficit widening but the central bank refusing to tighten monetary policy, investors have yet to be persuaded by Ankara’s helmsmanship of the economy.
– ‘Strong’ fight against inflation –
And the spat with the United States over a detained American pastor prompted Washington to slap sanctions on two Turkish ministers and double tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey, leading to further misery for the lira.
Earlier in August, the lira topped seven to the dollar for the first time ever.
Washington has threatened to hit Ankara with further sanctions if pastor Andrew Brunson is not released from house arrest, with President Donald Trump insisting Brunson is innocent.
Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak accused the US of “launching a campaign against the Turkish economy” during a televised press conference in Ankara.
Albayrak — also Erdogan’s son-in-law — has sought to assuage investors’ concerns by insisting that his medium term plan to be announced early next month will tackle the issues bedevilling the Turkish economy.
He insisted that Turkey was committed to budgetary discipline as well as reducing the current account deficit.
“God willing, 2019 will be a very strong year for Turkey’s fight against inflation,” he said. The latest inflation data for August will be published on Monday.
Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at London-based Capital Economics said the latest signs showed that higher inflation coupled with the severe tightening of financial conditions is “filtering through into an abrupt slowdown in economic growth”.
Indus Water Treaty provided framework for resolving disputes on water use: UN Dy Secretary-General
United Nations: The 1960 Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan has survived disputes between the two countries and provided a framework for resolving disagreements over water use, a top UN official has said.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, addressing the High-Level Panel on Water Diplomacy in Stockholm yesterday, said that water can represent a source of cooperation, shared growth and mutual support. She, however, warned that getting caught up in “water-war” rhetoric will be a mistake for the international community. “When we examine history, we see that cooperation over water can prevail over conflict over water. Through water diplomacy, sometimes known as ‘hydrodiplomacy’, neighbouring states can be reminded of the benefits of cooperating around water resources,” she said, adding that water, if fairly shared, can become a confidence-building measure.
Such confidence-building measures are urgently needed in many of the current conflict areas, Mohammed said. “The 1960 Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan has survived disputes between the two countries, providing a framework for resolving disagreements over water use. “In the Middle East, water use has been an area where cooperation has been possible between some countries. In Central Asia, the United Nations is collaborating closely with the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea,” she said.
Mohammed said that by 2050, the world population is projected to rise to 9 billion, who will be sharing a finite resource – water. “One third of the world’s population already lives in countries with water stress. As the impacts of climate change grows, so too will the prospects of further stress,” she said. She stressed that water security encapsulates complex and interconnected challenges and highlights water’s centrality for achieving a larger sense of security, sustainability, development and human well-being.
Many factors contribute to water security, ranging from biophysical to infrastructural, institutional, political, social and financial – many of which lie outside the water realm, the UN official added. India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed arch rivals in south Asia, signed the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, with the World Bank also being a signatory. The Treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers. However, there have been disagreements and differences between India and Pakistan over the treaty.
While the World Bank has said India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, Pakistan opposes the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India.
Try Myanmar military chiefs for genocide: UN
Report condemns violation of Rohingya Muslims’ rights
Geneva : Investigators working for the UN’s top human rights body said on Monday top Myanmar military leaders should be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
The call, accompanying a first report by the investigators, amounts to some of the strongest language yet from UN officials who have denounced alleged human rights violations in Myanmar since a bloody crackdown began last August.
The 3-member “fact-finding mission” working under a mandate from the UN-backed Human Rights Council meticulously assembled hundreds of accounts by expatriate Rohingya, satellite footage and other information to assemble the report.
The UN-backed Human Rights Council created the mission six months before a rebel attack on security posts set off the crackdown that drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Through hundreds of interviews with expatriate Rohingya and use of satellite footage, the team compiled accounts of crimes including gang rape, the torching of hundreds of villages, enslavement, and killings of children. The team was not granted access to Myanmar and has decried a lack of cooperation or even response from the government.
The team cited a “conservative” estimate that some 10,000 people were killed in the violence, but outside investigators have had no access to the affected regions — making a precise accounting elusive, if not impossible. Above all, the investigators said the situation in Myanmar should be referred to the International Criminal Court, and if not, to a special tribunal.
Human rights watchers say determining “genocidal intent” is perhaps the most difficult criteria to meet: In essence, it’s the task of assessing the mindsets of perpetrators to determine if ethnicity, race, religion or another attribute had motivated them. “The crimes in Rakhine state, and the manner in which they were perpetrated, are similar in nature, gravity and scope to those that have allowed genocidal intent to be established in other contexts,” the report said.
The investigators cited six Myanmar military leaders by name as “priority subjects” for possible prosecution, led by the commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing. A longer list of names is to be kept in the office of the UN human rights chief for possible use in future judicial proceedings.
FB blocks A/Cs
Yangon: Facebook announced on Monday it has blocked the accounts of the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Min Aung Hlaing, and others to prevent the spread of hate speech and fake news.
“Today, we are taking more action in Myanmar, removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by almost 12 million people. We are preserving data, including content, on the accounts and pages we have removed,” FB said.
“We want to prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions,” added FB.
In addition to General Hlaing, the Myanmar military television network, Myawady, has also been blocked.
UNICEF warns of Rohingya children facing danger of becoming ‘lost generation’
Geneva: The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) has warned that the children from the Rohingya Muslim minority are facing the danger of becoming a “lost generation”. “We’re talking about risking the loss or potential loss of a generation of Rohingya children,” Unicef spokesperson Simon Ingram told the media here on Wednesday.
“If we don’t make the investment in education now, we face the very real danger of seeing a lost generation of Rohingya children,” UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Edouard Beigbeder said, adding “who lack the skills they need to deal with their current situation, and who will be incapable of contributing to their society whenever they are able to return to Myanmar”, reports Efe news. Since August 25, 2017, around 700,000 Rohingya people have had to escape from what the UN described as “ethnic cleansing” unleashed by the Myanmar security forces, fleeing to neighbouring countries, especially to Bangladesh.
Long-time victims of religious segregation in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, the Rohingya people have been considered illegal immigrants by the government and were denied citizenship, and have lived for decades as stateless persons. Having spent several weeks in the rudimentary camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar where the refugees currently live, Ingram said that despite improvements that have been made to the camps, the Rohingya now “are starting to look forward, they’re starting to wonder, ‘What next?'”
“They are starting to think, you know, what sort of future that they really have, and this is where a new level of anxiety and fear starts to come in,” he added. Unicef is currently negotiating with the Bangladeshi government for new programmes for the Rohingya children, with the aim of improving the quality of education, increasing the number of hours spent in class and hiring teachers with the appropriate training. The agency has also called on Myanmar allow the half a million of Rohingya children in its territory to have equal access to compulsory education as the rest of the communities.