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Chinese embassy blast: Car bomb attack in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A car driven by a suicide bomber explodes after ramming the gates of the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, officials say.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 6:28 am

Apple facing record bill for Irish tax

Apple could be ordered to pay billions of euros in back taxes in the Republic of Ireland under a European Union ruling expected on Tuesday.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 6:12 am

Thousands of migrants rescued off Libya

About 6,500 migrants are rescued in a series of 40 co-ordinated operations off the coast of Libya, the Italian coast guard says.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 6:11 am

'I didn't know drinking would harm my child'

South Africa has the highest reported rate of babies born with foetal alcohol syndrome - Nomsa Maseko reports from the Western Cape.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 5:19 am

India tourist advice: Don't wear skirts

India's tourism minister is furiously backpedaling after suggesting that women who visit India shouldn't wear skirts for their own safety.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 4:02 am

Kim Dotcom wins right to livestream extradition appeal

A New Zealand judge allows internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom to livestream his appeal against extradition to the US on YouTube.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 3:38 am

Brazil's Dilma Rousseff defends record at impeachment trial

Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff defends her record at her Senate impeachment trial and says accusations are "pretexts" for a "coup".
Posted: August 30, 2016, 2:59 am

Aboriginal mum posts daughter's 'whiteface' photos

An Aboriginal mother has posted photos of her daughter dressed in 'whiteface' to highlight the "double standards" inflaming racial debates in Australia.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 2:21 am

Libyan forces corner IS fighters in Sirte - Yahoo News UK

Yahoo News UK

Libyan forces corner IS fighters in Sirte
Yahoo News UK
Libya's pro-government forces on Monday cornered Islamic State group jihadists in their last holdouts in the city of Sirte, after heavy fighting that left dozens dead and wounded. The battle for IS's North African stronghold was launched more than ...
Libyan forces tighten noose on IS in SirteDaily Mail
Libyan forces say Islamic State beaten back in SirteReuters
Libyans take heavy casualties in final push on IS bastionMetroNews Canada
Business Insider -The Japan Times -International Business Times UK -Al-Arabiya
all 98 news articles »
Posted: August 30, 2016, 1:56 am

Yemen hit by suicide bombing 'carnage' in Aden

At least 60 people are now known to have been killed in Yemen by a suicide bomber, who drove a car into a military building in the city of Aden.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 1:23 am

Gene Wilder death: Star of Willy Wonka dies aged 83

US actor Gene Wilder, remembered by many for his lead role in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, dies aged 83, his family confirms.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 1:21 am

Longtime aide Huma Abedin like 'second daughter' to Hillary Clinton - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Longtime aide Huma Abedin like 'second daughter' to Hillary Clinton
The Globe and Mail
Often called Hillary Clinton's second daughter, Huma Abedin is a deeply trusted aide who is rarely far apart from the Democratic presidential nominee. She's also a confidante subjected to a similar level of attention and scrutiny as her longtime boss ...
Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin to Separate After His Latest Sexting ScandalNew York Times
Donald Trump launches attack on Huma Abedin and her
Huma Abedin is Hillary Clinton's closest aide, and now she might be a liabilityLos Angeles Times -Mashable -Washington Post
all 600 news articles »
Posted: August 30, 2016, 12:45 am

Chinese Jack the Ripper's bizarre fetish -

Chinese Jack the Ripper's bizarre fetish
THE Ganzu 'Ripper' invaded the nightmares of young Chinese women for decades. Many were too scared to leave their homes, terrified they could be the next victim of a serial killer described by authorities as “reclusive”, “patient” and with a deep ...
China's 'Jack the Ripper' has been
China's 'Jack the Ripper' targeted women who wore redToronto Sun
Chinese 'Jack the Ripper' serial killer caughtBBC News -New York Times -Jezebel
all 50 news articles »
Posted: August 30, 2016, 12:26 am

Mexico federal police chief Galindo fired over Michoacan ranch killings

Mexico's federal police chief, Enrique Galindo, has been sacked following allegations police killed at least 22 suspected members of a drugs cartel.
Posted: August 30, 2016, 12:13 am

Official: Mafia a risk after earthquake

Italy's anti-mafia chief is adamant that the country's notorious crime syndicate must be kept from infiltrating reconstruction efforts, as an investigation opened into why so many buildings collapsed in a devastating earthquake last week.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 10:53 pm

Massive mission to rescue migrants near Libya

About 6,500 migrants have been rescued off Libya in 40 co-ordinated missions, the Italian coastguard has said.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 10:49 pm

45 dead in attack claimed by ISIS

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing Monday that killed dozens of recruits at a military training camp in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, according to the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 10:47 pm

IS Gaining Foothold in Yemen - Voice of America

Voice of America

IS Gaining Foothold in Yemen
Voice of America
Fighters loyal to the government gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in Yemen's southern city of Aden, Yemen, Aug. 29, 2016. The bombing claimed by the Islamic State group in Aden has killed over 50 pro-government troops. Share. Share on ...
IS suicide attack in Yemen kills 54 government fightersToronto Star
Suicide bomber in Yemen kills 54 government
Islamic State bombing latest blow to beleaguered YemenUSA TODAY
The Boston Globe -Yahoo News -Tribune-Review -The Guardian
all 144 news articles »
Posted: August 29, 2016, 9:30 pm

A look back at actor Gene Wilder's life

The BBC's Nick Higham looks back at the career of actor Gene Wilder, who has died at the age of 83.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 9:16 pm

Banning Religious Attire Will Only Create More Division In Society - Huffington Post Canada

Huffington Post Canada

Banning Religious Attire Will Only Create More Division In Society
Huffington Post Canada
If you're a non-Muslim woman going scuba diving you're best to avoid the beaches of France where you may be fined or arrested for wearing a full body swimsuit. You may be identified as a Muslim women sporting a burkini in which case you risk being ...
Here's why the 'burkini ban' is important, even though French secularists are bungling it so badlyLifesite
'Get out': France investigates restaurateur after tirade against Muslims caught on videoNational Post
The Real Stakes in the Burkini MessHuffington Post
The Guardian -Irish Examiner -Yahoo News -The Tidings
all 148 news articles »
Posted: August 29, 2016, 8:40 pm

US rapper Rhymefest invites Donald Trump to Chicago

US rapper and activist Che "Rhymefest" Smith invites Donald Trump to Chicago to counter the Republican presidential nominee's bleak picture of the city.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 8:32 pm

Juan Gabriel: 5 things to know

The death of Latin American music legend Juan Gabriel is heartbreaking news for throngs of fans who've followed his music career for decades.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 7:56 pm

Legendary comic actor Gene Wilder dead at 83

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Mel Brooks comedies such as The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Silent Movie, is dead at 83, his family says.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 7:45 pm

Syria war: US warns over Turkish-Kurdish violence

The US says fighting between Turkey, pro-Turkish rebels and Kurdish-aligned forces in northern Syria is "unacceptable" and must stop.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 7:35 pm

Zika outbreak: Disney World, Orlando theme parks offer free bug spray

Zika Florida

Orlando's major theme parks are now offering free bug repellent to visitors as concerns about mosquito-transmitted Zika virus mount in Florida.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 7:13 pm

Homes rocked by Italy earthquake 'impossible' to return to

williams cbc italy home

CBC's Megan Williams joins a man picking up the pieces at his parents' home, which he says will be “impossible” to return to.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 6:55 pm

2 arrested in Italy for looting quake-hit homes - CTV News

CTV News

2 arrested in Italy for looting quake-hit homes
CTV News
Italian police have arrested two people for allegedly looting quake-damaged homes. Police say officers riding motorcycles Monday to navigate rubble-strewn streets arrested a Romanian man and woman. The suspects were driving a car with German plates ...
Quake survivors erupt in anger at funeral plan; govt relentsMontreal Gazette
The Latest: Romania to repatriate 7 bodies of quake victimsBusiness Insider
Homes rocked by Italy earthquake 'impossible' to return
The Hindu -The Guardian -The Catholic Register -Irish Examiner
all 143 news articles »
Posted: August 29, 2016, 6:21 pm

China's 'Jack the Ripper' caught

Police in China say they have captured a man that raped and killed 11 women since the late 1980's.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 6:17 pm

Kelowna Italian club plans fundraiser for Italy earthquake victims -

Kelowna Italian club plans fundraiser for Italy earthquake victims
Firefighters search through debris in Arquata, central Italy, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 where a 6.1 earthquake struck just after 3:30 a.m., Wednesday. Rescue crews raced against time Thursday looking for survivors from the earthquake that leveled three ...
Marconi Club Aims To Raise $50000 For Italy Earthquake Relief640 Toronto News
Eat pasta for
Prayers and collection in Glasgow for those affected by Italian earthquakeThe National -Kelowna Capital News -Glasgow Evening Times -BBC News
all 28 news articles »
Posted: August 29, 2016, 6:05 pm

John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman denied parole again

John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman is denied parole for a ninth time because of the "premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime".
Posted: August 29, 2016, 5:49 pm

New Apple iPhone unveiling expected next week


Apple is expected to show off a new iPhone next week when the company holds its fall product launch event in San Francisco.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 5:44 pm

Ice Road Truckers driver Darrell Ward killed in plane crash

Darrell Ward

A plane crash in western Montana has killed a star of the History channel reality show Ice Road Truckers and another man.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 5:43 pm

Dubai ruler's spot check finds empty desks

Red faces in the Dubai civil service as Sheikh Mohammed's early-morning tour finds nobody at work.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 5:27 pm

Anthony Weiner scandal: Huma Abedin splits from sexting husband

Hillary Clinton's personal aide, Huma Abedin, says she is separating from her husband, disgraced former politician Anthony Weiner, amid a new sexting scandal.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 5:04 pm

A 3-million-year-old cold case solved

When Lucy, the world's most well-known fossil, was discovered sticking out of a shallow Ethiopian stream bed in 1974, she provided new insight about life for early human ancestors 3.18 million years ago. The image of her skeleton -- which is estimated to be 40% complete and considered the best representation of her species, Australopithecus afarensis -- became iconic.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:59 pm

‘We want our rights under the law’

EAST Timor’s former president Xanana Gusmao said his nation will not rest until it gains full maritime rights in a landmark case underway in The Hague.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:58 pm

Olympic refugee team returns as heroes

A homecoming for any athlete who has appeared at an Olympics is special -- but for five who competed at the Rio Olympics, the place they formerly called home was the vast refugee camp at Kakuma in Kenya.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:54 pm

Opinion: Juan Gabriel's gift to me

Cynthia Hudson writes that his music helped a fair-haired American Latina define herself and embrace every part of who she is.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:51 pm

IS-claimed attack kills 18 in Iraq oasis town - Daily Mail

Daily Mail

IS-claimed attack kills 18 in Iraq oasis town
Daily Mail
Attackers armed with suicide vests, rifles and grenades killed 18 people in the Iraqi oasis town of Ain al-Tamer, many of them guests at a wedding party, officials said Monday. The attack, a rare occurrence in this region southwest of Baghdad, was ...
ISIS claims responsibility for deadly wedding blast in IraqCNN
UPDATED: ISIS claims responsibility for Karbala suicide attackRudaw
Islamic State claims suicide bombing at Iraqi weddingReuters Canada
Xinhua -Daily Nation -NRT
all 59 news articles »
Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:39 pm

Weiner dumped amid new sex scandal

ANTHONY Weiner’s wife is finally leaving the scandal-prone ex-​US ​congressman after he was caught sexting while in bed with his son.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:12 pm

Zika outbreak: Singapore steps up prevention as cases rise to 56

Zika mosquito

Singapore, a major regional financial centre and busy transit hub, maintains a constant vigil against the mosquito-borne dengue virus

Posted: August 29, 2016, 4:00 pm

Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin to separate after sexting revelation


​Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin says she is separating from husband Anthony Weiner after another sexting revelation involving the former U.S. congressman.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 3:47 pm

Mark Zuckerberg meets with Pope Francis

Mark Zuckerberg has added a very special event to his tour of Italy: a meeting with the Pope.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 3:41 pm

Brazil President: I did no crime

President Dilma Rousseff insisted Monday she had committed no crime and said she was proud that she'd been "faithful to my commitment to the nation."
Posted: August 29, 2016, 3:40 pm

Bacteria with worrisome superbug genes found in U.S.


New Jersey researchers said they had identified perhaps the first strain of E. Coli bacteria in the United States with mobile genes that make it resistant to two types of antibiotics now considered last-line defenses against superbugs.

Posted: August 29, 2016, 3:23 pm

ISIS claims responsibility for wedding blast

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 15 people and injured 16 others at a wedding Sunday in the Iraqi city of Karbala.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 3:09 pm

Freak lightning kills 300 reindeer

MORE than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lighting at a nature park in central Norway. WARNING: Distressing pictures.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 3:03 pm

Guilty man dead right after sentencing

THIS is Jason Binkiewicz moments before he was sentenced to 13 years. It’s also the last picture taken of him alive.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 2:59 pm

‘Vampire’ had sex with girl in church

A 22-YEAR-OLD man has avoided jail after having sex with a girl, 14, and drinking her blood in a church stairwell in a sick vampire role-playing game.
Posted: August 29, 2016, 2:50 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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