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World News

India to ratify Paris climate deal


India's prime minister said Sunday that his country will ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change early next month.

Posted: September 25, 2016, 11:39 am

Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar killed outside court before trial over cartoon


Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was fatally shot Sunday outside the court in Amman where he was due to stand trial, accused to contempt of religion after sharing on social media a cartoon caricature that was seen as insulting Islam.

Posted: September 25, 2016, 10:39 am

Suspect in Seattle-area mall shooting 'zombie-like' when arrested

Arcan Cetin

Police in Washington state have arrested a 20-year-old man following a shooting at a department store on Friday that left five people dead.

Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:47 am

'I keep hoping to see them': Tamma Joyce, 19, separated from family fleeing South Sudan bloodshed

Tamma Joyce

Tamma Joyce, 19, lost contact with her parents when she escaped South Sudan. Thousands continue to flee the troubled country as conflict rages on despite a ceasefire declared in July.

Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:00 am

Trump's jabs, Clinton's upraised palms could reveal who has the upper hand in debates

Trump Clinton composite

It's not what you say; it's how you say it. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be well advised to remember that adage when taking the stage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday night for the first U.S. presidential debate. We break down what their gestures tell us about the two candidates.

Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:00 am

Amateur sleuth shows up MH370 investigators

BLAINE Gibson is the first person searching for missing plane MH370 to find any trace of it, but he’s not part of the official investigation.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 7:31 am

Trump invites ‘love rival’ to debate

WHEN Hillary Clinton takes the podium at the first presidential debate, she could be staring down an old romantic rival sitting in the front row.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 5:03 am

Suspect arrested over mall killings

POLICE have arrested the suspected gunman who opened fire with a rifle in a shopping mall in Washington State, killing five people.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 4:35 am

Inside America’s crazy gun culture

THESE men want peace but they have an extensive arsenal to “protect” themselves, while police leave fingerprints on every car they stop — in case they are shot.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 2:00 am

Charlotte shooting video released

BOWING to public pressure, police have released a video of what they say happened in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 1:37 am

San Fran standoff ends peacefully

A STANDOFF between a gunman and police in San Francisco that lasted for six hours has ended, after the man was arrested.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 1:29 am

Obama’s secret email bombshell

PRESIDENT Obama used a fake name to communicate with Hillary Clinton on her private email server, FBI documents reveal.
Posted: September 25, 2016, 12:45 am

Explosion rocks downtown Budapest

HUNGARY’S disaster management agency says that two people have been injured in an explosion at a ground-floor shop in downtown Budapest.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:25 pm

2 injured in Budapest blast


Hungary's disaster management agency says that two people have been injured in an explosion at a ground-floor shop in downtown Budapest and have been taken to a hospital.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 10:23 pm

Syria believes it's on the way to military victory

UN General Assembly Syria

Syria's top diplomat told the world's nations Saturday that his country's belief in military victory is greater now, because the army "is making great strides in its war against terrorism" with support from Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 8:55 pm

Charlotte police release videos of black man's fatal shooting


Charlotte, N.C., police have released body and dashboard camera footage of the shooting of a black man after several days of demonstrations that have coalesced around demands that the public see the videos. The footage did not show whether Keith Lamont Scott was holding a gun.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 8:41 pm

Pictures enough to make you weep

THEY’RE hard to look at, but these pictures reveal the tragic life-and-death reality facing Syrian residents every day. WARNING: GRAPHIC
Posted: September 24, 2016, 8:28 pm

Protesters: ‘No tapes, no peace’

PROTESTERS in Charlotte have again taken to the streets, demanding police release footage of Keith Scott’s death after his wife posts it online.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 7:47 pm

Thousands of photos stolen from Pippa Middleton after iCloud account hacked

Britain People Middleton Phone Hacked

London police say they are investigating the reported hacking of the iCloud account of Pippa Middleton, younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, and the alleged theft of 3,000 photographs.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 6:01 pm

Washington state attack: Manhunt after Burlington shootings

Police in the north-western US state of Washington hunt for a gunman who opened fire in a shopping mall north of Seattle, killing five people.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 4:42 pm

Obama opens African-American museum in Washington DC

US President Barack Obama opens a new museum about the African-American experience and culture in Washington DC.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 3:51 pm

5 unforgettable moments in U.S. presidential debate history

5 key moments from U.S election history

From Lloyd Bentson's "You're no Jack Kennedy" to Gerald Ford's misreading of Cold War geopolitics, quips and missteps from U.S. election debates have been going viral long before the age of social media. In the lead-up to the first U.S. presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, we look at five memorable moments from debates past.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 3:00 pm

The secret costs of Islamophobia

Islamophobia didn't start on 9/11. It's rooted in one of America's oldest prejudices -- and it's more dangerous than you think.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 2:33 pm

Calais migrants: Hollande sets out plan to close Jungle camp

French President Francois Hollande says he intends to close the "Jungle" camp in Calais and move 9,000 migrants to reception centres across France.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 2:10 pm

Ugandan police block gay pride parade

Ugandan police stop gay pride celebrations in two resorts outside the capital Kampala.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 1:59 pm

Jeremy Corbyn wins the UK Labour Party's leadership battle

Britain's opposition Labour party has today confirmed Jeremy Corbyn as leader after the left-winger saw off a challenge from fellow Labour MP Owen Smith.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 1:35 pm

Jeremy Corbyn re-elected leader of divided U.K. Labour Party


Veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn, who faced a no-confidence vote from his MPs earlier this year, was re-elected head of Britain's Labour Party on Saturday.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 1:17 pm

Nearly 2M people without running water as fighting escalates in Aleppo


Syrian government forces captured a rebel-held area on the edge of Aleppo on Saturday, and nearly two million people were without running water following an escalation in fighting over the past few days.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 12:31 pm

Syria conflict: Air strikes leave Aleppo 'without water'

Intensified attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo have left nearly two million people without water and at risk of disease, the UN says.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:56 am

Manhunt underway for Cascade Mall shooter who killed 5 -

Manhunt underway for Cascade Mall shooter who killed 5
WATCH: Four people are confirmed dead after a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash. on Friday night. At least one suspect was seen leaving the scene before police arrived. What is this? Sponsored content is written by Global News' editorial ...
Washington mall shooting: Gunman kills 5 people, disappearsCNN
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5 dead in mall shooting outside Seattle; gunman at largeUSA TODAY
Wall Street Journal -Daily Mail -International Business Times -New York Daily News
all 476 news articles »
Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:29 am

Video emerges of N Carolina shooting

Video emerges of the moment North Carolina police shot a black man, captured by his wife, who is heard pleading: "Don't shoot him!"
Posted: September 24, 2016, 10:54 am

Aleppo strikes leave children trapped beneath rubble - CNN


Aleppo strikes leave children trapped beneath rubble
(CNN) Bloodied toddlers wail on a hospital bed. Rescuers pull a baby from rubble, unsure whether the child will survive. The latest videos from rebel-held eastern Aleppo purportedly show scenes from a nightmare that a joint US-Russian peace plan was ...
Syrian war: Dozens of civilians killed as almost 2 million left without water by 'relentless' air strikes in AleppoThe Independent
Lavrov: Syrian ceasefire hinges on all sides involvedAl-Arabiya
How this week brought Russia-US relations to a new lowCNN International
Irish Times -Daily Mail -Sky News -Deutsche Welle
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 10:34 am

Deep divisions over elephants to dominate key species meeting

The world's biggest conference on species protection has opened in South Africa amid differing views on the survival of elephants.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 10:34 am

Italy court orders man to buy feminist books for underage victim

An Italian judge orders a man convicted of using an underage prostitute to buy her feminist literature.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 9:55 am

Nirvana nostalgia

The album which catapulted Nirvana, Kurt Cobain and grunge on to the global stage is a quarter-century old, but what does it mean to the youth of the 90s?
Posted: September 24, 2016, 9:15 am

For the Record's week in review: Clinton wants a fact-check - USA TODAY


For the Record's week in review: Clinton wants a fact-check
We are so close to watching Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battle it out on stage in their first debate. This could be the most the two of them have talked since Clinton attended Trump's wedding to Melania more than a decade ago. USA TODAY will have ...
WHY IT MATTERS: Issues at Stake in ElectionNew York Times
Clinton and Trump on the issues: the US economyBusiness Insider
CEO Daily: Trump needs a big moment at Monday's debateFortune
CTV News -Politico (blog) -News1130 -BBC News
all 3,925 news articles »
Posted: September 24, 2016, 9:02 am

Building peace in Colombia may be more challenging than 50 years of war -

Building peace in Colombia may be more challenging than 50 years of war
It was a week-long farewell to arms by Colombian guerrillas, a kind of Marxist-Leninist jamboree that included emotional speeches, music concerts and plenty of beer. Now comes the hard part. The event, which ended Friday in the savannas of southern ...
Peace deal puts Colombia at heart of Year of MercyCrux: Covering all things Catholic
Colombia to sign historic peace ...Rappler
Wounds heal slowly in Colombian town engulfed by rebelsBusiness Insider
Daily Mail -Bend Bulletin -The Independent -Miami Herald
all 69 news articles »
Posted: September 24, 2016, 9:02 am

100 years in the making: Inside Washington's museum of African-American history

joe louis

On Washington's National Mall, the dark bronze edifice stands in stark contrast with its white-marble neighbours. Appropriately so, given the distinct story that the new National Museum of African American History and Culture seeks to tell about what it means to be American.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 9:00 am

Pippa Middleton iCloud hack claims investigated by police - BBC News

BBC News

Pippa Middleton iCloud hack claims investigated by police
BBC News
Police are investigating claims an iCloud account reportedly belonging to the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton has been hacked and private photographs stolen. The Sun reported that it was offered the images, which it said included shots of ...
Images of Kate, George and Charlotte 'stolen' from Pippa Middleton by hackersBelfast Telegraph
Cops hunt cyber thief 'Crafty Cockney' who attempted to flog 'intimate' pics of Pippa Middleton including NUDE snaps ...The Sun

all 61 news articles »
Posted: September 24, 2016, 8:55 am

US mall shooting: 'Stay indoors, stay secure'

US police searching for a gunman who shot four women dead at a mall in Burlington, Washington State, warn people to stay indoors until he is caught.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 8:37 am

Michelin star fails to save Shanghai restaurant

A Shanghai restaurant closes a day after being awarded a Michelin star, reportedly because it lacked the necessary licences to operate.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 8:15 am

24 passengers killed in Pakistan after bus plunges into river, police say - CTV News

CTV News

24 passengers killed in Pakistan after bus plunges into river, police say
CTV News
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani police say a speeding bus has plunged into a fast-flowing river in Pakistan's part of Kashmir, killing at least 24 passengers. Local police official Aslam Khan said the bus fell into the Neelum river Friday night and ...
24 feared killed after bus plunges into river in
Dozens feared dead after bus plunges into river in PakistanSTV News
Muzaffarabad bus accident: 23 dead in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after vehicle plunges into riverInternational Business Times UK
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 7:36 am

New law may complicate release of Charlotte police video - CTV News

CTV News

New law may complicate release of Charlotte police video
CTV News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Protesters who have filled the streets to push for the release of video of a fatal police shooting could see their task get much harder if Charlotte authorities do not share the footage within a week. A North Carolina law that takes ...
Charlotte has 4th night of protests after police shootingUSA TODAY
Fourth night of Charlotte protests is largely peacefulFox News
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 5:25 am

Pleitgen: Syrian people do not deserve what is happening in their country

Ceasefires come and go, the violence gets worse, the only thing that rises is the death toll writes CNN's Fred Pleitgen, who has reported extensively on Syria.
Posted: September 24, 2016, 5:08 am

Ted Cruz's flip-flop on supporting Donald Trump alienated his conservative supporters - National Post

National Post

Ted Cruz's flip-flop on supporting Donald Trump alienated his conservative supporters
National Post
AUSTIN – Mike Lee wasn't going to let Ted Cruz down. The Utah senator was the first of Cruz's 53 Republican colleagues to endorse him. In June, at the end of a book tour waylaid by questions about Donald Trump, Lee spoke with unusual passion about why ...
Cruz finally throws support behind Trump's campaignCTV News
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all 677 news articles »
Posted: September 24, 2016, 4:10 am

Whose rights?

There were opposing protests outside Poland's parliament on Friday as it debated a motion to completely ban abortion.
Posted: September 23, 2016, 11:54 pm

Fragile state

A Bosnian Serb referendum rekindles ethnic tensions and concerns about Russian involvement, Guy Delauney reports from Belgrade.
Posted: September 23, 2016, 11:53 pm

Danger ahead

A mother-of-three inspires thousands by walking 250km across Somalia to prove the country finally has peace.
Posted: September 23, 2016, 11:47 pm

N. Korea: US faces 'consequences beyond imagination'

North Korea went on the offensive Friday, blasting the US for "aggression" in Asia, blaming Washington for its pursuit of nuclear weapons and threatening the US with "tremendous consequences beyond imagination."
Posted: September 23, 2016, 11:45 pm

Drought nightmare

The majority of villages on India's Cauvery river in Karnataka state are seeing a drought-like situation, triggering the war over water sharing with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, reports Prabhu Mallikarjunan.
Posted: September 23, 2016, 11:38 pm

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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