World News

World News

World News

IS hits back as army moves into Falluja

Militants from the so-called Islamic State launch a dawn counter-attack as Iraqi government troops push into the city of Falluja.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 4:02 pm

Euro 2016 'could be terrorist target'

The US warns that the Euro 2016 football championships being held in France next month could be a target of militant attacks.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:55 pm

EU work headscarf ban 'may be justified'

Employers in the EU may be able to stop Muslim staff wearing headscarves to work as long as it is part of a general ban on all religious symbols, a senior EU court adviser has said.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:46 pm

VIDEO: Rain brings flooding to northern France

Parts of northern France have been hit by flooding after sustained heavy rain swept the region.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:16 pm

Malaysia passport systems 'sabotaged'

Fifteen Malaysian immigration officers are fired, after being accused of sabotaging computer passport systems to let in certain travellers undetected.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:12 pm

Shameful distinction moves from Africa to Asia, report says

Mauritania, the West African country long thought to be home to the world's highest percentage of enslaved people, no longer holds that lamentable title, according to a report released late Monday.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:00 pm

Paris to create camp for migrants

A camp for migrants is to be set up in the north of Paris within the next six weeks, the mayor of the French capital announces.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:59 pm

Polaroids put personal touch on refugee crisis

Charlotte Schmitz took Polaroids of migrants who had just arrived in Europe, and she had them write on the photos to say whatever they felt at the time.

Popular: Radical Islam in America | Graham Opposes Republican Leader | Guns in America

Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:57 pm

Belgium shows off Russian plane intercepts

New photos released by Belgium give a close-up look at some interesting Russian aircraft that Belgian F-16 fighters encountered during a four-month stint as part of NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Read This
Do NOT pay your next car insurance bill until you try this.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:57 pm

Poland seeks to revive Polanski extradition

Poland's government will appeal a court's decision to block Roman Polanski's extradition to the United States, an official said Tuesday, reviving prospects the aging filmmaker could face justice over a decades-old child sex conviction.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:56 pm

N. Korean missile launch attempt apparently failed

North Korea attempted a missile launch Tuesday at 5:20 a.m., but it is assumed to have failed, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:56 pm

Opinion: How slaves are destroying our forests

Modern slavery is causing environmental devastation and driving CO2 emissions, argues slavery expert Kevin Bales.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:55 pm

Kidnapped soccer star alerts police for own rescue

A professional soccer player who was kidnapped in Mexico Saturday night has been rescued by authorities, according to state officials -- largely thanks to his own heroics.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:53 pm

Why Pikachu is making Hong Kong angry

Nintendo's upcoming Pokemon games are causing controversy in Hong Kong because of plans to give Pikachu and his friends Mandarin names.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:11 pm

Tbilisi vegans denounce meat-throwers

A vegan cafe in Tbilisi appeals for public solidarity after being invaded by alleged ultra-nationalists wielding grilled meat and sausages.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:05 pm

French leader digs in as strike looms

President Francois Hollande of France insists that a controversial labour reform will not be withdrawn as strike action looms on the railways.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:59 pm

Ex-Miss Turkey guilty of Erdogan insult

A Turkish court convicts a former Miss Turkey of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, giving her a 14-month suspended prison sentence.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:55 pm

VIDEO: Protests in Belgium over labour reforms

Thousands of public sector workers in Belgium are taking part in a 24-hour national strike against labour reforms, as protests in France over reforms there continue.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:42 pm

What does modern slavery look like? - BBC News

BBC News

What does modern slavery look like?
BBC News
More than 45 million people are living in modern slavery, with Asia accounting for two thirds of the victims, a new report says. The 2016 Global Slavery Index, from the Walk Free Foundation in Australia, defines slavery as "situations of exploitation ...
Almost 46 mln people trapped in slavery with North Korea, India key offenders - global indexDaily Mail
45.8 Million People Are Enslaved Across The WorldCanada NewsWire (press release)
India Has The Highest Number Of Slaves Globally: ReportForbes
CNN -Zee News -Voice of America
all 71 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:20 pm

Cincinnati Zoo safe despite shooting of gorilla to save boy, director says - CTV News

CTV News

Cincinnati Zoo safe despite shooting of gorilla to save boy, director says
CTV News
CINCINNATI -- The director of the Cincinnati Zoo says it remains safe for its 1.6 million annual visitors despite a weekend tragedy in which a gorilla was fatally shot to protect a 4-year-old boy who had entered its exhibit. Thane Maynard, however ...
The Latest: Watchdog group blames Cincinnati ZooDaily Mail
'King Kong' Gorilla Dragged 4-Year-Old 'Like a Raggedy Ann Doll' Before Zookeepers Killed It, Witness SaysPeople Magazine
Cincinnati Zoo Faces Backlash for Shooting Endangered GorillaABC News
all 68 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:13 pm

VIDEO: Iraqi forces meet fierce resistance

Iraqi forces are meeting fierce resistance as efforts to retake the city of Falluja from the so-called Islamic State group continue.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:12 pm

Fear for civilians as IS halts Iraqi army at gates of Falluja - Daily Mail


Fear for civilians as IS halts Iraqi army at gates of Falluja
Daily Mail
CAMP TARIQ, Iraq, May 31 (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters halted an Iraqi army assault on the city of Falluja with a counter-attack at its southern gates on Tuesday, while the United Nations warned of peril for civilians trapped in the city and used ...
UN Says ISIS May Be Using Human Shields in Fallujah as Aid Groups Warn of 'Catastrophe'
Isis fighting back as Iraqi forces try to take centre of FallujaThe Guardian
Iraqi forces push into FallujahPolitico
Voice of America -Irish Times -UNHCR (press release) -BBC News
all 698 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:11 pm

What does modern slavery look like?

What does modern slavery look like?
Posted: May 31, 2016, 1:06 pm

Model gets 15 1/2 years for killing millionaire ex-boyfriend - Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun

Model gets 15 1/2 years for killing millionaire ex-boyfriend
Toronto Sun
MADRID -- A Spanish court sentenced a Slovakian model to 15 1/2 years in prison after she was found guilty of murder for shooting her British millionaire ex-boyfriend at his home near Marbella two years ago. In a ruling made public Tuesday, the Malaga ...
Mayka Kukucova sentenced to 15 years in prison for Andrew Bush's murderDaily Mail
Millionaire's ex-model girlfriend jailed for murderBBC News
Swimwear Model Gets 15 Years For Shooting ExSky News -ITV News -WalesOnline
all 14 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 12:52 pm

North Korean missile test probably a dud says South Korea - Toronto Star

Toronto Star

North Korean missile test probably a dud says South Korea
Toronto Star
A man in Seoul, South Korea, watches a TV news program reporting a North Korean missile launch May 3. A North Korean missile launch likely failed on May 31, according to South Korea's military, the latest in a string of high-profile failures. (Lee Jin ...
North Korean missile launch unsuccessful, according to the
Attempted North Korea missile launch fails: South KoreaReuters
North Korea missile launch failed, says South Korean militaryDaily Mail
Washington Post -The Atlantic -BBC News -The Guardian
all 185 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 12:43 pm

At least 17 killed in fire at Indian army ammunitions depot - CTV News

CTV News

At least 17 killed in fire at Indian army ammunitions depot
CTV News
NEW DELHI -- A fire broke out at a major ammunition depot in western India on Tuesday, killing at least 17 army personnel, the Defence Ministry said. At least 19 other people were injured in the blaze, said ministry spokesman Nitin Wakanker. The fire ...
Indian army depot fire kills 16, raises safety fearsDaily Mail
17 killed in fire at Indian army ammunitions depotThe Daily Courier (subscription)
Fire, blast at Indian arms depot kills at least 16Reuters
Times LIVE -South China Morning Post
all 187 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 12:39 pm

Three Palestinians executed in Gaza

Three people convicted of murder have been executed in the Gaza Strip, in a move condemned by Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 12:39 pm

Military exercise mistaken for invasion

Finnish man flees island home after spotting military's arrival - but it was just an exercise.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 11:59 am

Future of Asia Security experts on China's rise, shifting US political tides - Nikkei Asian Review

Future of Asia Security experts on China's rise, shifting US political tides
Nikkei Asian Review
TOKYO -- Beijing is likely to see few benefits from its maritime assertiveness, a Japanese academic argued at an international conference on Tuesday. A professor from China, meanwhile, stressed his country's growing might is not the only reason for the ...

and more »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 11:54 am

More than a million Afghans internally displaced by war, Amnesty International says


Amnesty International said Tuesday that more than 1.2 million Afghans have been forced to flee their homes due to violence in the past three years and urged the Kabul government and the international community to tackle the country's growing crisis of refugees internally displaced by war.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 11:27 am

India transfusions infect many with HIV

At least 2,234 people in India contracted the deadly HIV virus while getting blood transfusions in hospitals in the past 17 months.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 11:27 am

Thai Officials Remove Tigers From Famed 'Tiger Temple' Amid Abuse Allegations -

Thai Officials Remove Tigers From Famed 'Tiger Temple' Amid Abuse Allegations
SAI YOK, Thailand — Thailand's world-famous "Tiger Temple" was in disarray on Tuesday after hundreds of officials descended on the sanctuary amid allegations monks who ran the outfit were abusing their charges. The Tiger Temple in Kachanburi province ...
Thailand's Infamous Tiger Temple Raided And Big Cats SeizedHuffington Post
Thai wildlife officials begin removing 137 tigers from templeCTV News
'Mayhem' as authorities try to capture 137 tigers at Thai templeCNN -TIME -Business Insider -BBC News
all 79 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 11:15 am

What a shot! 29 amazing sports photos

Posted: May 31, 2016, 11:05 am

Air strikes 'kill 23' in Syria's Idlib

At least 23 people have been killed by air strikes overnight on the rebel-held city of Idlib, in north-western Syria, activists say.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 10:54 am

Kraftwerk loses German copyright case

Germany's top court rules in favour of a hip-hop artist in a copyright dispute with the pioneering electro-pop band Kraftwerk.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 10:14 am

How Donald Trump could win - CNN


How Donald Trump could win
(CNN) Donald Trump's transition from primary flame-thrower to general-election standard bearer has been marked by controversy. In just the past week, he's caused an uproar by blasting the Republican governor of New Mexico -- one of the party's most ...
First Read: Why Hillary Clinton Needs to Win
The Note: Talk of a Third Party RunABC News
Yes, Trump Can WinRealClearPolitics
Daily Beast -Irish Times -Huffington Post -Wall Street Journal (blog)
all 664 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 10:01 am

Fire kills 17 at India army depot

India Ammunitions Depot Fire

A fire broke out at a major ammunitions depot in western India early Tuesday, causing fatalities, officials said. Local news reports said at least 17 army personnel were killed in the blaze.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 9:13 am

VIDEO: Tigers rescued from Thailand temple

Wildlife authorities in Thailand have begun removing tigers from a Buddhist temple after accusations of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 8:51 am

Russian airstrikes kill 23 in Syria, including 7 children: monitoring group

Idlib, Syria

At least 23 people were killed in Russian airstrikes overnight in the Syrian rebel-held city of Idlib, the heaviest bombardment there since a cessation of hostilities was agreed in February, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 8:27 am

VIDEO: Attempted North Korea missile test 'fails'

South Korea defence officials say an attempted North Korea missile launch test appears to have failed.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 7:40 am

Holder concedes Snowden performed 'public service,' but should still go to prison

Snowden video link

Edward Snowden performed a "public service" in stoking a national debate about secret domestic surveillance programs, but he should still return to the U.S. to stand trial, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a podcast released on Monday.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 7:23 am

Protesters try to crash the stage at Bernie Sanders rally in Oakland


A group of animal rights activists briefly interrupted a Bernie Sanders rally in Northern California when they jumped barricades and tried to rush the podium.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 5:42 am

VIDEO: Building the world's smallest airport

Leading architects from across the globe are showcasing their ideas in Venice this week.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 5:27 am

Cindy Waldron missing after she was taken by crocodile on Daintree holiday - Daily Mail

Daily Mail

Cindy Waldron missing after she was taken by crocodile on Daintree holiday
Daily Mail
A woman who went missing after she was taken by a crocodile during a late-night swim was on holiday to celebrate the end of her childhood friend's cancer battle. Cindy Waldron, 46, was swimming with her friend, Leeann Mitchell, at Daintree, north of ...
Fatal crocodile attack on woman in Queensland revives calls to allow huntThe Guardian
Tributes flow for photographer Cindy Waldron presumed dead in crocodile attackThe Sydney Morning Herald
Traps laid to snare a monster
ABC Online -Sky News Australia
all 255 news articles »
Posted: May 31, 2016, 4:41 am

The world’s most awkward toilet

A STRANGE looking toilet hidden in a stairwell of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs takes the meaning of ‘communal’ to a whole new level.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 4:00 am

North Korea missile launch failed

NORTH Korea has likely launched another failed missile — make it the fourth failed attempt by the North — according to South Korea’s military.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:45 am

Warriors pull off another comeback, headed back to NBA Finals


The Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 in Game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals, where they will play the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 3:36 am

North Korean missile launch unsuccessful, according to the South

South Korea Koreas Tensions

A North Korean missile launch likely failed on Tuesday, according to South Korea's military, the latest in a string of high-profile failures that tempers somewhat recent worries that Pyongyang was pushing quickly toward its goal of a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach America's mainland.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:35 am

‘A gorilla saved me, but zoo had to shoot Harambe’

A BRITISH man fell into a gorilla pen 30 years ago in scenes that shocked the world. Now he has spoken out about what he thinks of the shooting of Harambe.
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:34 am

The Bible has been translated into emoji for millennials

Emoji Bible

At long last, people between the ages of 16 and 35 can now understand the "bestselling book of all time" thanks to an emoji translation of the Bible.

Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:27 am

Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning

Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning

Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning

The government is expected to confirm that so called, ‘driverless’ trucks will be trialed in the UK.  Generally met with shock and condemnation, what is actually being proposed?

The correct term for the proposed system to be trialled is not ‘driverless trucks’, but ‘platooning’. This is where a series of vehicles use technology to enable drivers to move more closely to each other in convoy than would be safe if he or she were not using them. The UK government has agreed to a limited trial of platooning on a stretch of the M6 in Cumbria, a portion of UK motorway that is relatively quiet with larger sections between junctions.

There is clearly plenty of concern from road safety campaigners and industry bodies concerned for the long term future of lorry driver jobs.

The RAC’s chief engineer, David Bizley said, “One of the main questions is really whether lorry platoons are appropriate for our motorway network, which is why the choice of the M6 in Cumbria for the trials is a good one because the junctions are few and far between and the traffic density is low compared with most stretches of motorway. So while this is a potentially welcome extension to the driverless technology we are seeing trialled in cars, it’s not clear yet whether it is something that would work in practice on the UK’s motorway network.”


Platooning is nothing new – research into these systems started back in 2009 with EU funding – with the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project. The project tested combinations of cars, coaches and trucks and resulted in some significant fuel savings across the board between ten and twenty percent.

The first public road test took place back in 2012 in Spain involving three cars and a truck with a gap of 18 feet between each vehicle at a speed of 85 km/h, covering some 200 kilometres.

Since this time, platooning has been trialled in Sweden, Germany and in the United States. Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett commented: “At the outset, it is important to note that these trucks will not be ‘driverless’. Each cab will be manned. As far as we are concerned, this is an issue where the devil lies in the detail.”

Fuel Saving not Driver Saving

There has been plenty of scaremongering in the press that this will be the end of the long-distance lorry driver as we know it.   The platooning system very much needs the driver to be in control, he needs to be able to join and exit the system to continue the journey and deliver the load.  Platooning saves Fuel

The most likely outcome of the test is a significant improvement in fuel consumption or not only vehicles following in the platoon, but also of the lead vehicle.  Additionally, traffic flow should be smoother when sufficient numbers of vehicles are included.

Tests by Scania have shown that convoy driving using truck “platoons” can reduce fuel consumption by up to 12%.  This could mean a fuel saving per vehicle of some 4,000 litres annually.  This would be able to power a typical family car some 35,000 miles.

“On the test track we’ve driven with a distance of about 10 metres between the vehicles, and we were able to achieve a 12% fuel saving for the trailing vehicle,” says Magnus Adolfson, Scania’s Manager for Intelligent Transport Systems. “If you want to get as close as a couple of metres, then you need several automatic systems that also take control of the steering from the driver during the time that the vehicle is in the truck platoon. That’s also something we’re focusing our research on.”

How Does it Work?

The platooning system uses a combination of existing technologies that have been tweaked to make the system as safe and effective as possible.

Sophisticated Cruise Control

Effectively, the system uses an improved ‘advanced adaptive cruise control’ (ACC), a system that we have enjoyed using on cars for many years now.  Rather than setting a desired speed, the driver selects a desired distance from the vehicle in front which is maintained through the use of radar and cameras.

Driver Aids – Autonomous Braking

Legislation that came into force as recently as November 2015 compels all new trucks over 8 tonnes GVW to be fitted with ‘Autonomous Emergency Braking’ systems – AEB for short.  This means that the driver is taken out of the equation if an accident is likely.

These systems have been fitted to trucks (as an option) for a number of years.  They have clearly proven themselves so effective in stopping the vehicle that they have made their way into legislation.

So we have been able to automatically keep our distance from the moving truck in front and automatically come to an emergency stop for some years.  So what’s new?

Steering by Wire

Volvo Truck (well) controlled by a small hamster

Truck steering systems have become more sophisticated with steering columns becoming a thing of the past with ‘drive by wire’ control. These systems have been wonderfully demonstrated by Volvo Trucks in a series of YouTube videos – one involving a hamster steering a truck by running around a wheel attached to the steering wheel and the second showing a small girl controlling a 32 tonne truck using a remote controller.

Volvo (badly) controlled remotely by 4-year old

Technology that steers trucks using electrical inputs is therefore mainstream and used on our roads every day.

Making it Work

Even if platooning can be made to work technically – safely and reliably – it is of no use unless a system is developed to ‘book a vehicle’ into the convoy.  Simply stumbling across a platoon and tagging along cannot be an option. RHA’s Richard Burnett agrees, “In addition to the concerns of the motorist, is platooning practical for the haulier? Does it make operational sense?” The truck makers are already looking at this. To develop a system to coordinate platoons, Sweden’s Scania is focusing on its COMPANION joint research project with KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The next stage of development involves coordinating truck convoys, thereby making the whole logistics system more efficient. Scania’s researchers are designing a system that allows transport managers to input the routes their vehicles will take, with the system then finding joint routes with other operators who can ‘platoon up’.

An additional issue is related to the length of these platoons and how it might affect other road users.  The maximum length of a tractor unit and trailer combination is currently 16.5 metres in the UK.  Add an extra ten metre gap between a platoon of ten vehicles and you get something that is more than a quarter of a kilometre long.  Would the average UK motorist be able to contend with this moving obstruction when turning off a motorway junction? We have all seen most drivers leaving it to the last minute to turn off after accelerating past slower traffic.  This may therefore lead to platooning in the centre lane or lane three.  Not a popular alternative with car drivers.

UK Leading The Way?

The Department for Transport claims that it would like the UK to ‘lead the way’ in testing platoons.  It is difficult to see this happening when all the manufacturers are based in Sweden, (Volvo, Scania), Germany, (Daimler, MAN), Italy, (Iveco) and France (Renault). However, eight new projects have recently been awarded £20 million in funding from the UK Government to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new ‘talking car technologies’. Some of this has been awarded to a consortium looking at tyre pressures and safety concerns – an area ignored in the projects to date.

Is the UK a suitable test bed? Our road network is amongst the world’s most congested with the greatest number of junctions.  It is more likely that the UK would be used in the final instance as a ‘stress test’ rather than involved in the fundamental testing process.  It is unlikely that the R&D departments will be upping sticks from Sweden and Germany to spend time in Cumbria.


The UK has the reputation in Europe for being ‘Tail-End Charlie’ in accepting and promoting environmental improvements in commercial vehicle technology.  Germany and others were offering significant financial incentives for truck operators to become early adopters of Euro 6 technologies (and the emissions standards that came before them), whilst the UK government offered a few hundred pounds incentive to invest in new technology, the cost of which ran into the tens of thousands.

Consider also, the levels of support from the relevant governments.  Historically, the UK government has been less than supportive of the UK road haulage industry and we see no reason why this approach should suddenly change.  The level of support from the Netherlands is already far greater than the UK – they have also authorised the testing of platooning on their roads and are actively promoting the system with impressive glossy brochures.

During its Presidency of the European Union in 2016, the Netherlands will put together a European Truck Platooning Challenge. This will involve various brands of automated trucks driving in platoons. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Mrs. drs. M.H. Schultz van Haegen said, “The Netherlands now offers an international testing ground for innovative mobility. Applications for cars and trucks will be warmly welcomed.”

Time will tell if the UK truly gets behind this initiative or is simply paying lip service to a high-tech scheme that is bound to grab headlines.

What Next?

Daimler already have a truck that can actually drive itself.  Sven Ennerst, Head of Truck Product Engineering at Daimler is the man behind the Future Truck 2025 Mercedes-Benz program which takes platooning one step further.


In May last year, their Highway Pilot autonomous truck control system won approval for trials on public highways in a (Daimler) Freightliner truck in the US state of Nevada. Then in October 2015, the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg approved trials of Mercedes-Benz trucks with the Highway Pilot system on its autobahns.

Ennerst says, “We expect a change in the organisation of the freight forwarding industry. The driver will take over many of the traffic planner’s functions. He will become more of a transport manager than a driver, from our point of view.” “One thing is for sure – the Highway Pilot system is steering the vehicle by itself. It builds a picture around the truck, looking up to 250 metres ahead, so basically it can react and drive by itself.”

Ennerst is equally concerned about the fuel efficiency of the trucks, “We are fighting like hell for every tenth of one per cent in truck efficiency gains at present,” he says. “We expect a fuel economy improvement of up to five per cent with trucks like this, as a result of less acceleration and braking and less waiting in traffic.”

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