North Korean propaganda gets makeover

North Korean propaganda gets makeover

North Korean propaganda gets makeover

North Korea’s propaganda machine is getting a makeover, with the “pink lady” who leads the state-run newscasts going into partial retirement to make way for younger TV presenters. CNN’s Brian Todd reports.

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Virat Kohli represents a ‘new India’

Virat Kohli represents a ‘new India’

Virat Kohli represents a ‘new India’

“You are one among the billion people,” former India captain Kris Srikkanth gushes, with the unequivocal passion that comes with having held a role for which an entire nation applies.

“You are literally an ambassador for the country. You can’t forget that you are representing a nation. You are not just a cricketer. You are captaining on behalf of India.”

Srikkanth only led India for a single tour and, by his own admission, it is not a portfolio that places him alongside the great cricketing leaders of a country that, if not the sport’s original ‘home,’ is certainly its spiritual abode. Yet, Srikkanth’s short tenure was time enough to understand the prestige of the position and the responsibility he held.

Vinoo Mankad. Sunil Gavaskar. Bishan Bedi. Kapil Dev. Sachin Tendulkar. Sourav Ganguly. Rahul Dravid. MS Dhoni. It is a lineage fit for the cricketing gods.

And now the current incumbent; Virat Kohli. He’s a man — statistically at least — living in a league of his own. With 41 one-day international (ODI) centuries in just 227 games, Kohli has rewritten the rulebook.

Only Tendulkar has made more hundreds in the format, though his 49 came in more than twice the number of innings. Ricky Ponting sits third on the list — 11 behind the India captain; quite simply, Kohli represents a dominance never before seen in white-ball cricket.

"If you bowl at the stumps, I think he'll just keep making hundred after hundred - he's that good," Warne said as he explained the conundrum that comes with bowling to the world's most dominant batsman.

So is Kohli the best one-day batsman of all time? For now the great Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne is hedging his bets.

“The greatest one-day player I ever saw was Viv Richards,” Warne says of the West Indian legend. “The best player I bowled to was (Brian) Lara or Tendulkar. I’m not sure who’s better — they were both very very good. But Virat Kohli and watching him play now, his numbers …

“But when you are comparing era to era, it’s so hard. You have to compare how much better they are than the other players playing at the same time.

“He has made 25 hundreds chasing. No-one has done anywhere near what he has done in one-day cricket right now.

“So, I’m debating whether Viv Richards or Virat Kohli is the greatest one-day player of all-time. It is so hard to split them.”

Kane Williamson (right) has often been spoken of alongside England's Joe Root and Australia's Steve Smith as Kohli's closest rivals.

‘Beyond talent’

Kohli is responsible for what Rakesh Patel, the founder of the Bharat Army — Indian cricket’s global supporters’ group, describes as “new India.”

“What I mean by that is an India that goes beyond talent,” he explains. “Just the way he conducts himself and his preparation is beyond what anyone has ever done in the past. He has brought a different level of standard and professionalism to Indian cricket.”

Kohli has even been known to head for the gym to prepare his body for coach journeys. It is a level of self-improvement that has rubbed off on his teammates. No Indian side has ever looked so fit, so full of athletes, so mentally engaged.

“Indian teams almost used to lose a match in the mind before they even got onto the pitch,” Patel adds. “But now, they are going into matches and tournaments thinking that other teams should fear us.

“It is more than him as an individual, but what he has managed to bring as a collective to a squad of players — a belief, a sense of pride, a tremendous patriotism.

“He really does take a lot of pride in his country and the fact that he represents them. I don’t think players in the past were as vocal in the way they expressed the emotion attached to their country.”

Patriotism, on some level, is a given for any international athlete, let alone one presiding over one of the world’s most globally supported sports teams.

Yet, there is a mesmerizing, sometimes even unhinged fervor to the way Kohli plays the game. His eyes bulging, this is a man aware of his responsibility to a nation, his insatiable desire hauling with him his teammates and supporters.

When Kohli has a haircut, others follow. Where Indian cricketers never used to be adorned in tattoos, there are now few without body ink. Once again, it was Kohli who first blazed that particular trail.

When Sachin Tendulkar finally won the World Cup in 2011 on home soil, he was hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates, as they paraded a national icon to the crowd.

The world’s most marketable athlete?

“He has a very good quality as a captain; he’s able to take the team along with him,” Srikkanth says. “When the team does well, he gives the credit to the players. He doesn’t take any credit for himself. He makes sure that everybody feels comfortable, which is so important for a leader.

“He looks like a fighter. He is almost the king of cricket today. Even though he has achieved so much already in the game, his passion is amazing.”

Kohli’s star appeal hasn’t got unnoticed by the money men. Puma, Tissot, Audi, MRF Tyres, Uber and Philips — six major brands, all are aligned to Kohli.

“People treat him as somebody who is an icon, somebody who they can relate to because of where he comes from,” Patel explains. “That is why he has become such a huge brand.”

Sports business publication SportsPro featured Kohli as its highest-ranked cricketer in its annual list of the world’s most marketable athletes; it positions him four places ahead of Neymar, 20 ahead of Lewis Hamilton and 22 ahead of Mo Salah.

A Twitter following of 29.3 million to go with an army of Instagram followers counting 32.4 million merely highlights the eyeballs obsessed by India’s inspirational skipper.

“Everyone is looking up to you, everyone sees you as a hero,” Srikkanth says of the daily pressure on Kohli and those to have come before him.

“Everyone is watching you, asking: ‘Can I emulate X, can I emulate Y?’

“When people are looking at you, it also fine-tunes your personality. It gives you the opportunity to teach people and learn with people. You have to be very skillful in the way that you conduct yourself in public.”

The pressure is on Kohli to replicate his predecessor, MS Dhoni, in winning the World Cup.

Thrilling intensity

Beyond his obvious talents with bat in hand, it is, perhaps, here where Kohli has been most significant. What was once a who’s who of individual greats, India has become a team in Kohli’s image, molded around a thrilling intensity that has set him apart from his peers.

Patel, who spent four years living in India, has seen a country change both with its captain and its team. What was viewed as a developing country lacking aspiration, is now a forward-thinking land of opportunity.

“Twenty years ago, you had Indian people leaving the country to go to the UK or the US,” he reflects. “Now, you have got Indians flooding back to India.” It seems a tenuous link — Indian prosperity and an exuberant cricketing figurehead, but that is to underestimate the sport’s role in society.

The idea of a “new India” can be seen during the six-week extravaganza of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Bollywood — a multi-billion-dollar industry itself — does not release a single film during the period, such is the competition’s stranglehold of a population.

“Kohli has played a big part in being proud of where we have come from,” Patel says. “It’s that sense of patriotism he has and, therefore, how he represents us on the field of play.

“It is important that you have a captain that represents where the country is at, and Virat Kohli is a representation of that. His aggression to take the game to the opposition is very much representative of where the country is as a whole.

“We are not going to be a country that can be dictated to. We are going to take it to you. He does that. He takes the game to the opposition. He will not take a backward step.”

There are few fanbases more passionate and colorful than that of India's cricket team.

It is a theory that was challenged during India’s most recent Test series away from home against Australia.

It was a spiky month of cricket, with Kohli and Australia captain Tim Paine engaging in a series of verbal battles; neither man backed down. It was a fiestiness that, perhaps, might not have occurred in eras gone by. But that is Kohli.

That tour saw India’s first ever Test series victory over Australia — another accomplishment ticked off for a serial record-breaker.

However, captaining India to World Cup glory — on English soil, no less, where India lost a Test series in 2018 — remains outstanding on any Indian captain’s bucket list.

Dhoni was the last man to lead India to global domination in 2011 — doing so with the added burden of home advantage. It was a victory that cemented his legend.

Eight years on, Dhoni’s longevity lives on; he will be a key member of Kohli’s charges when India’s tournament gets underway at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl — a beacon of calm amid Kohli’s impassioned storm.

Any doubt over the former skipper’s place in this India side has been extinguished by his own recent form. More than any weight of runs, Srikkanth — a former chairman of the national selection committee — views Dhoni as an “essential team mentor.”

“There is a good camaraderie between Dhoni and Kohli,” he adds. “Exuberance, passion and calmness together can only get you victory.”

India will hope so. A cricketing nation expects. Having failed to retain their world crown in 2015, the pressure is on a captain and his highly-regarded team.

Yet, where there is Kohli, there is hope. It is his ability to consistently back up words with something more tangible that makes him so unique.

With a World Cup on the horizon, his is a legend that will only increase.

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Indonesia riots: Six dead, 200 injured in protests over election result

Indonesia riots: Six dead, 200 injured in protests over election result

Indonesia riots: Six dead, 200 injured in protests over election result

On Tuesday, the General Elections Commission confirmed that incumbent President Joko Widodo — known as Jokowi — had won 55.5% of the vote, securing a second term as leader of the world’s third largest democracy.

His longtime rival, Prabowo Subianto, has claimed widespread ballot-rigging, and his camp said he plans to challenge the election results by filing a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court.

Hundreds took to the streets of Jakarta on Tuesday night, throwing stones and firecrackers at police as smoke billowed from cars that had been set alight. Police in riot gear fired teargas and water at protestors.

Six people died and another 200 were injured in the protests that erupted overnight, according to Jakarta’s Governor Anies Baswedan.

On Wednesday, Jakarta woke to streets littered with rubble and the burnt-out shells of cars. Dozens of shops in central Jakarta were closed on Wednesday morning as hundreds of protestors again took to the streets, monitored by by riot police carrying shields and wearing protective gear.

Authorities had been preparing for risk of civil unrest — there was already heavy security and barbed-wire barricades up in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Indonesian anti-riot police take a position to disperse the mob during an overnight violent demonstration near by the Elections Oversight Body in Jakarta on May 22, 2019.

A long rivalry

This year’s election was the second time Jokowi and Prabowo have faced off.

Joko Widodo secures second term as Indonesia's president
The pair went head-to-head in the 2014 general election, when there was a feeling that democracy itself was at stake. At the time, Prabowo indicated that he would roll back democratic reform, while Jokowi, a self-styled man-of-the-people with no links to the military or the country’s traditional elite, promised to protect hard-won gains.
After losing that vote, Prabowo slammed the election commission, citing “massive, structural and systematic cheating,” but the Constitutional Court upheld Widodo’s victory.

Indonesia’s 2019 election was billed as one of the most complicated single-day ballots ever undertaken. For the first time, the country held its presidential and legislative elections on the same day, with more than 245,000 candidates running for over 20,000 seats.

Some 193 million people were eligible to vote across the archipelago’s 17,000 islands, and more than 800,000 polling stations and six million election workers were involved.

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Man hangt aan kraan en speelt piano

Man hangt aan kraan en speelt piano

Man hangt aan kraan en speelt piano

Een indrukwekkend concert van een man uit Zwitserland. Hij speelt piano terwijl hij aan een hijskraan hangt! De kraan gaat heen en weer, maar de man speelt gewoon door.

Ongeveer 200 mensen kwamen luisteren naar zijn muziek.

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Poging om May ten val te brengen voor nieuwe brexitstemming

Poging om May ten val te brengen voor nieuwe brexitstemming

Poging om May ten val te brengen voor nieuwe brexitstemming

Partijgenoten van de Britse premier May doen een nieuwe poging om haar zo snel mogelijk aan de kant te zetten, nog voordat het Lagerhuis over een nieuwe variant van haar brexitakkoord met de EU zal stemmen.

May maakt de inhoud van het brexitakkoord en bijbehorende afspraken vandaag bekend. “De komende dagen kijken we wat de bevolking ervan vindt”, zei minister Gove tegen de BBC. Naar verwachting wordt het voorstel begin juni in stemming gebracht.

In december overleefde May een vertrouwensstemming van haar eigen fractie met 200 tegen 117 stemmen. Dat betekende dat ze nog zeker een jaar kon aanblijven als partijleider en premier. Tegenstanders binnen de fractie willen nu de regels aanpassen, zodat voor de tweede keer binnen een jaar een vertrouwensstemming kan plaatsvinden.

Desastreuze uitslag dreigt

Een van samenzweerders vertelde aan BBC-verslaggever Laura Kuenssberg dat May zondag al ten val moet worden gebracht. Dat is de dag waarop de uitslag van de Europese verkiezingen bekend wordt.

Die uitslag is naar alle waarschijnlijkheid desastreus voor May’s partij. In een peiling vorige maand kwamen de Conservatieven op 15 procent van de stemmen uit, maar in recentere peilingen doen ze het nog slechter.

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Vincent Lambert: French man put back on life support after eleventh-hour court ruling

Vincent Lambert: French man put back on life support after eleventh-hour court ruling

Vincent Lambert: French man put back on life support after eleventh-hour court ruling

Vincent Lambert, 42, sustained severe brain damage in a car accident in 2008 and has been on life support at Sebastopol Hospital in Reims, northeast France, where medical experts have determined that his situation is irreversible.

But for more than five years, legal battles have raged between his family members over whether he should be kept alive, igniting a watershed debate in the country and drawing in international bodies, the French President and even the Pope. On Monday, that fight appeared to have finally reached its end, with a judicial ruling that allowed doctors to take Lambert off life support.

That decision, in line with the wishes of his wife and siblings, followed a similar conclusion from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It prompted doctors to begin the process of “passive” euthanasia, which is legal in France.

But a last-ditch effort from Lambert’s devout Catholic parents, who have been campaigning to keep him alive, halted the move hours later. An appeals court ruled in their favor, concluding that support cannot be withdrawn until an ongoing report by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is completed.

“They were starting to eliminate Vincent,” his mother, Viviane, told AFP after the ruling. “This is a very big victory. They are going to restore nutrition and give him drink. For once I am proud of the courts.”

Lambert’s nephew, by contrast, said that restoring his treatment would be “pure sadism by the medical-judicial system.”

The deep divisions within Lambert’s family are reflected throughout French society, and Monday’s about-turn was just the latest twist in a case that has prompted people on both sides to pour onto the streets.

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected calls from the parents to intervene in a long Facebook post on Monday, before the appeals verdict was announced. “Like all of you, I am deeply moved by the situation of Vincent Lambert,” he wrote.

“It is not up to me to suspend a decision which is the judgment of his doctors (and) in accordance with our laws,” Macron said, adding that he had followed the case for over a decade, first as a citizen and then as President.

Protesters hold a sign reading "the quality of a civilization is measured by the respect it gives to the weakest" on Monday.

He was responding to a march on Monday, organized with the help of Lambert’s parents, urging a presidential decree to keep Lambert on life support.

The Pope also intervened, tweeting after the initial court decision, “We pray for those who live with severe illness. Let us always safeguard life, God’s gift, from its beginning until its natural end. Let us not give in to a throwaway culture.”

But Lambert’s wife, Rachel, pleading for privacy, told RTL radio that “to see him go is to see him as a freed man.” She has said that Vincent told her before his accident that he would not want to be kept alive in a vegetative state.

And the European Court of Human Rights reaffirmed on Monday its decisions that Lambert’s treatment be withdrawn. His parents had submitted “no new evidence” in their latest appeal attempt that would prompt a reversal, it wrote.

A years-long saga

The ruling prompted celebrations among those demonstrating in support of Lambert’s parents.

“France has an obligation to respect the UN’s dispositions,” the parents’ lawyer Jean Paillot said as the crowd chanted “we have won.”

“It is a great victory, but it is only the first of many victories,” he added.

The Vatican, following up on Pope Francis’ tweet, released a statement saying that removing a patient’s food and water supply was “a type of abandonment of the sick person, based on a merciless judgment on the quality of life.”

“We hope, therefore, that efficient measures to safeguard the life of Mr Lambert be found,” they added.

But others condemned the appeals court for a decision that, they argued, would needlessly extend Lambert’s poor quality of life rather than allowing him to die humanely and providing his relatives with closure.

Describing the protesters’ celebrations as a “horrible scene,” French group Association for the Right to Die in Dignity said, “In which country do we live? To rejoice and shout ‘we won’ while we only lengthening the suffering of Vincent Lambert.”

Lambert had worked as a nurse until his near-fatal car crash in 2008. Attention on him intensified in 2013 when doctors and his wife agreed to take him off life support. France’s Leonetti Law allows doctors to stop medical treatments for end-of-life patients after the case has crossed a threshold of “irrational obstinacy.”

Jerome Triomphe, one of the two lawyers representing Lambert's parents, recieves the news that he will be put back on life support late on Monday.

His parents objected, however, once doctors informed the rest of Lambert’s family about their plans.

The United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, whose review prompted the hold-up of the original decision on Monday, has positioned itself against the European court by siding with Lambert’s parents. The body first asked France to suspend any decision to stop the treatments on May 3. It will now have the opportunity to study the case in greater depth.

CNN’s Benjamin Berteau contributed to this report.

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Nep-telefoons populair om criminelen dwars te zitten

Nep-telefoons populair om criminelen dwars te zitten

Nep-telefoons populair om criminelen dwars te zitten

In Mexico kopen steeds meer mensen een neppe telefoon. Dat doen ze om criminelen te slim af te zijn.

Het gebeurt regelmatig dat dieven een bus overvallen. Iedereen die in de bus zit moet dan zijn of haar mobieltje afgeven. Als je hem niet geeft, gebruiken ze geweld.

Nét echt

In plaats van hun echte telefoon, geven veel mensen nu zo’n nep-mobieltje aan de overvallers. Zij hebben vaak niet gelijk door dat hij nep is, omdat de mobieltjes heel echt lijken. Sommige hebben zelfs een startscherm dat je aan kunt zetten.

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Vanaf komend seizoen degraderen twee clubs rechtstreeks uit eredivisie

Vanaf komend seizoen degraderen twee clubs rechtstreeks uit eredivisie

Vanaf komend seizoen degraderen twee clubs rechtstreeks uit eredivisie

Komend seizoen degradeert niet alleen de nummer 18 uit de eredivisie, maar ook de nummer 17, zo hebben de clubs na overleg met de KNVB besloten.

Het was de bedoeling dat deze regeling in zou gaan vanaf het seizoen 2020/2021, maar de veranderingen gaan dus al eerder in. Naast de kampioen promoveert ook de nummer 2 uit de Keuken Kampioen Divisie naar de eredivisie.

En er zijn meer wijzigingen. Clubs die zich hebben geplaatst voor de groepsfase van een Europees toernooi mogen de eerste ronde van het KNVB-bekertoernooi overslaan, zodat ze zich optimaal kunnen voorbereiden op een Europees duel.

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A ‘fool of low IQ’: North Korea derides US presidential candidate Joe Biden

A ‘fool of low IQ’: North Korea derides US presidential candidate Joe Biden

A ‘fool of low IQ’: North Korea derides US presidential candidate Joe Biden

The comments, published Wednesday, appear to closely mirror remarks made by US President Donald Trump and his supporters against the former vice president. In March, Trump called Biden “another low IQ individual,” while his attorney Rudy Giuliani described him as a “mentally deficient idiot.”

North Korea’s criticism of Biden comes in response to comments made by the former vice president in which he referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “dictator” and a “tyrant” during a campaign rally in Philadelphia on Saturday.

North Korean state media, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), accused Biden of “slandering rhetoric,” and described him as “reckless and senseless, seized by ambition for power.”

“What he uttered is just sophism of an imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being, let alone a politician,” the KCNA article said.

Rudy Giuliani tries to clarify his remarks on Biden: 'I meant he's dumb'

It proceeded to list off a range of embarrassing moments for Biden, and recommended that he “think back (on) the reason for his past two failures in presidential elections.”

“Yet, he is self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate. This is enough to make a cat laugh,” the statement said.

The comments are in sharp contrast to North Korea’s seemingly positive view of the relationship between Kim and Trump.

In April, state media described Kim as being pleased with Trump, despite the apparent failure of their last meeting in Vietnam in February.

North Korea is known to change its tone depending on the state of relations.

In 2017, Trump was famously labeled a “dotard.” The US President responded in kind, calling the North Korean leader “fat and short.”

Biden is yet to respond to the North Korean comments.

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‘NCIS’ season finale featured a huge surprise guest star

‘NCIS’ season finale featured a huge surprise guest star

‘NCIS’ season finale featured a huge surprise guest star

Bet you didn’t see that coming.

In the season finale of “NCIS,” the show welcomed back Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), a character who hadn’t been seen on the show since her 2013 departure.

Ziva’s guest appearance came at the end of an episode in which Gibbs (Mark Harmon) helped Fornell (Joe Spano) crack a case involving his daughter, who was struggling with opioid addiction.

Throughout the episode, Gibbs is haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife Diane. So in the final minutes of the finale, when he hears noise while in his beloved basement, he expects to see her once again. Instead, it’s Ziva who descends down the stairs.

Cote de Pablo, seen here in a 2013 episode of "NCIS," made a big return to the show in the season finale.

“Hello, Gibbs,” she says. “No time for pleasantries. You’re in danger.”

He is speechless.

“Well, aren’t you going to say something?” she asks.

“Ziver,” he replies, a reference to his nickname for her.

“NCIS” producers confirmed Tuesday night that de Pablo will guest star in the season 17 premiere of “NCIS” in the fall.

Though Ziva was last seen on the show six years ago, her legacy has loomed large over it.

When agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Ziva’s love interest, left the series in 2016, it was because his character learned that he had fathered a daughter with Ziva, who died in a mortar attack while living overseas. It was mentioned at the time that Ziva’s body was never found, leading loyal viewers to speculate she was alive.

Then earlier this year, “NCIS” fanned the flames of that theory with an episode in which Bishop (Emily Wickersham) worked a case that had ties to Ziva. At the end of that episode, a note was left for her that read, “Eleanor Bishop, for the safety of my family, please keep my secret.”

The producers of “NCIS” worked hard to keep their season finale secret.

According to CBS, the scene involving Ziva’s return was never included in any script or call sheet, which are distributed to crew members.

Only “NCIS” showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder had copies of the scene pages.

In addition, de Pablo’s scene was filmed at midnight with a skeleton screw after the regular crew had been wrapped for more than an hour, the network said. Her arrival to the stages where “NCIS” films was also coordinated for ultimate secrecy, with her arriving via a back entrance.

“This surprise moment is just the beginning,” Cardea and Binder said in a joint statement.

“NCIS” will return in the fall, which is great because we’re willing to bet viewers have questions for her.

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