Monday, September 28, 2015

'Supermoon' coincides with lunar eclipse

People around the world have observed a rare celestial event, as a lunar eclipse coincided with a so-called "supermoon".
A supermoon occurs when the Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth, meaning it appears larger in the sky.
The eclipse - which made the Moon appear red - has been visible in North America, South America, West Africa and Western Europe.
This phenomenon was last observed in 1982 and will not be back before 2033.
But the definition of a supermoon is debated among astronomers.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The supermoon from Belgium
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The view at Glastonbury in western England
Image copyright AP
Image caption A plane flies in front of the supermoon over Geneva, Switzerland
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The partially eclipsed supermoon over the US city of Las Vegas
Skywatchers in the western half of North America, the rest of Europe and Africa, the Middle East and South Asia saw a partial eclipse.
From the UK, observers watched the Moon pass through the Earth's shadow in the early hours of Monday morning. In North and South America the eclipse was seen on Sunday evening.

Image copyright NASA

Eclipse facts

  • The supermoon, where Earth's satellite is near its minimum distance from our planet, means that the Moon appears 7-8% larger in the sky.
  • The moon looks rust-coloured during a total lunar eclipse - giving rise to its nickname Blood Moon. This is because the Earth's atmosphere scatters blue light more strongly than red light, and it is this red light that reaches the lunar surface
  • During the eclipse, the Moon lies in front of the stars of the constellation Pisces

Eclipse contact points (see map) Time (UTC)
P1 00:11:47
U1 01:07:11
U2 02:11:10
Greatest 02:47:07
U3 03:23:05
U4 04:27:03
P4 05:22:27
In a total lunar eclipse, the Earth, Sun and Moon are almost exactly in line and the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.
As the full Moon moves into our planet's shadow, it dims dramatically but usually remains visible, lit by sunlight that passes through the Earth's atmosphere.
As this light travels through our planet's gaseous envelope, the green to violet portions get filtered out more than the red portion, with the result that light reaching the lunar surface is predominantly red in colour.
Observers on Earth may see a Moon that is brick-coloured, rusty, blood red or sometimes dark grey, depending on terrestrial conditions.
Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the UK's Royal Astronomical Society, told BBC News that the eclipse is an "incredibly beautiful event".
A supermoon occurs when a full or new moon coincides with a Moon that is nearing its minimum distance (perigee) to Earth.
Media caption Astronomer Martin Griffiths explains why the moon has turned red
The Moon takes an elliptical orbit around Earth, which means that its average distance changes from as far as 405,000km (its apogee) to as close as 363,000km at the perigee.
The coincidence between a supermoon and an eclipse means that Earth's lone companion is expected to look 7-8% bigger. But Dr Massey added: "The definition of 'supermoon' is slightly problematic.
"Is a supermoon taking place at the perigee, the day before, the day after? Does a supermoon have to be a particularly close perigee, or can it be a bit further out? It's not very well defined."
He said a supermoon was to some extent a moveable feast compared with an eclipse, where the timing can be measured precisely.
As a result, Dr Massey explained, claims of the extreme rarity of a supermoon coinciding with an eclipse were overstated.
The supermoon should also not be confused with the Moon Illusion, which causes the Moon to appear larger near the horizon than it does higher up in the sky.
The eclipse began at 00:11 GMT, when the Moon entered the lightest part of the Earth's shadow, known as the penumbra, and adopted a yellowish colour. At 02:11 GMT the Moon completely entered the umbra - the inner dark corpus of our planet's shadow.
The point of greatest eclipse occurred at 02:47 GMT, when the Moon was closest to the centre of the umbra, with the eclipse ending at 05:22 GMT.
The Royal Astronomical Society says that unlike the solar equivalent, a total lunar eclipse event is safe to watch and needs no special equipment.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thousands march to remember Mexico's missing students

The parents of 43 students missing in Mexico are leading a march of thousands of people in the capital to mark one year since their disappearance.
Many are carrying photos of their loved ones in Mexico City, demanding justice.
The parents want the government to hand over the investigation to a special unit under international supervision.
They dispute the government's account that the students were handed over by police in the city of Iguala to a criminal gang, which killed them.
A group of independent experts has suggested the students were killed because they unknowingly took control of a bus carrying illegal drugs, and the government did nothing to protect them.
Meanwhile, President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced the creation of a special team to look into the case.

'No impunity'

The marchers are moving along Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma towards the city's historic Zocalo Square.
"We came with a thirst for justice," student Sofia Rojas told the AFP news agency.
"There can be no impunity. Behind the 43 are thousands of disappeared."

At the scene: BBC's Katy Watson, Mexico City

The protestors on the streets in Mexico City called the march "a day of indignation" - it allowed people to show their anger towards the government over the handling of the students disappearance.
Lots of people were carrying posters, saying "Out with Pena Nieto" and "No more disappearances and no more deaths".
There is a lot of anger and blame placed on the state for the student's abduction.
Earlier this week though, the president met the families and said he was on their side, that he too wanted to get to the bottom of what happened.
But speaking to the relatives of the missing ahead of the march, it is clear that there is a great deal of distrust and they do not think the government is supporting them.

The families are also demanding that the government look into the possible role of the army in the disappearance of the students.
The students disappeared on 26 September 2014, in Iguala in the southern Guerrero state.
They had gone there to gather for a commemoration in Mexico City.
The federal government has said local police from Iguala and the nearby town of Cocula had detained the students and turned them over to the local drug gang, which then allegedly killed them and burnt the remains.
But a team of international experts sent by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights spent six months reviewing the government's investigation and found a number of flaws.
It concluded the bodies of 43 students could not have been burned at the rubbish dump in Cocula as the government maintained.
The government says forensic experts have identified two of the students from the burnt remains recovered from the rubbish dump.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Primark breastfeeding woman lied about security guard

  • Caroline Starmer outside court

  • A mother has admitted falsely claiming a Primark security guard took her baby from her while she was breastfeeding and ordered her out of the store.
    Caroline Starmer, 28, appeared at Leicester Crown Court, where she pleaded guilty to a charge of intent to pervert the course of justice.
    Starmer, of Marshall Street, Leicester, had claimed her nine-month-old daughter was grabbed from her breast.
    She was warned she could be jailed when sentenced in December.
    In a Facebook post, she claimed the guard took hold of her daughter and marched off towards the exit of the Humberstone Gate store in Leicester on 13 July.
    The story was widely reported in the media and in interviews she claimed a male security guard grabbed the child from her breast.
    In the post, she said she picked a quiet spot in Primark to feed her daughter but was then challenged by a security guard who asked her to leave.
    "I stood my ground and stated my rights, that I can legally feed where I want," she wrote.
    "Just for the security officer to physically remove my daughter from my breast and walk down the store with her, saying if I wanted my daughter, then I was to come and get her."
    Leicestershire Police investigated her claims but she was charged with intent to pervert he course of justice.
    Primark initially said it would investigate the allegation but after viewing in-store CCTV footage denied the incident had taken place.
    The case was adjourned until 3 December for reports to be prepared.

    Russia to build 2nd major military base near Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) attends a military drill with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and Russian Army Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov at the Donguzsky firing range in the Orenburg region, on September 19, 2015. ©AFP
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) attends a military drill with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and Russian Army Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov at the Donguzsky firing range in the Orenburg region, on September 19, 2015. ©AFP
     Russia is planning to build its second major military base near the border with Ukraine, public documents show.
    The new base, which will have the capacity to house 5,000 soldiers and heavy arms, is to be built in the town of Boguchar, in Voronezh region, near the border with Ukraine's eastern Lugansk region, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
    According to the documents, the Russian Defense Ministry seeks to turn an old military depot in the area into a major base that would contain dozens of buildings and special facilities for over 1,300 armored vehicles and ammunition.
    The new base is due to have a dozen barracks that could house 5,210 troops, warehouses for rockets, an infirmary, a swimming pool and large training complex. It will be 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
    A Russian armored personnel carrier takes part in the International army games in Alabino outside Moscow on August 8, 2015. ©AFP
    Tender documents released on the Russian government website also show that the ministry will send a motorized rifle brigade from Nizhny Novgorod, in northwest Russia, to Boguchar while troops who know how to respond to nuclear, biological and chemical attacks will also be transferred there.
    The initial construction and installation works at the Boguchar base are reportedly planned to be completed by April 29, 2016.
    Moscow wants to use the base to train soldiers in using artillery and man-portable air defense system.
    Russia is also said to be constructing another base in Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border.
    The development comes amid NATO’s growing ties with Ukraine, which has been the scene of a deadly conflict since March 2014 following a referendum in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, in which people voted overwhelmingly for re-unification with Russia.
    The situation degenerated into a major armed conflict after Kiev dispatched troops to Lugansk and Donetsk near the Russian border in April 2014 in an attempt to suppress pro-Russia forces there.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the conflict in Ukraine was deliberately manufactured by “unprofessional actions” of the West.

    Bomb blasts kill 29 in Yemen mosque during Eid al-Adha prayers

     Twin bomb explosions have killed at least 29 people in a mosque during Eid al-Adha prayers in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, reports say.
     According to the Yemeni al-Masirah TV network on Thursday, two terrorists blew themselves up at the al-Balili Mosque in al-Safia neighborhood in Sana’a, leaving the 29 worshipers dead and many others injured.
    Reports said that the assailants managed to enter the mosque wearing women’s clothes.
    No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, yet.
    A man stands inside the al-Balili Mosque in Sana’a, September 24, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)

    Over the past months, the Takfiri Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group has conducted several bomb attacks against mosques in Sana’a.
    A car bomb went off near Qubat al-Mahdi Mosque in the Old City of Sana’a on June 20, killing three people and injuring seven others. The bombing also inflicted damage on the Shia mosque and nearby buildings. On July 17, several blasts targeted three mosques as well as the political office of the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Sana’a, killing at least 31 people.
    (This item is being updated.)

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Egypt 'demolishes thousands of homes' for Sinai buffer zone

    Egypt has demolished more than 3,255 homes and other buildings in the Sinai peninsula in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch says.
    Troops began razing homes along the Gaza border in 2013 to create a "buffer zone" and eliminate smuggling tunnels, after a surge in attacks by militants.
    But those evicted are given little or no warning, no temporary housing and inadequate compensation, HRW alleges.
    The Egyptian government insisted that residents supported the demolitions.
    Jihadist groups based in North Sinai, including an affiliate of so-called Islamic State (IS), stepped up their attacks after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
    More than 3,600 civilians, security personnel and militants have been killed in the ensuing violence - more than two-thirds of them since the government announced plans for the buffer zone in October 2014 - HRW cited media reports and official statements as saying.

    Forced evictions

    So far, the military has destroyed nearly all buildings and farmland within about 1km (0.6 miles) of the Gaza border using uncontrolled explosives and earth-moving equipment, according to analysis of satellite imagery, videos and interviews with residents by HRW detailed in a report released on Tuesday.

    Image copyright CNES 2015/Distribution Airbus DS
    Image caption This satellite image shows dozens of buildings in central Rafah before their demolition
    Image copyright CNES 2015/Distribution Airbus DS
    Image caption Less than a year later, only one building remains
    The military aims to eventually clear an area of about 79 sq km (30 sq miles) along the Gaza border, including all of the town of Rafah, which has a population of about 78,000 people, HRW says.
    The government says the operation will allow the military to close smuggling tunnels it alleges are used by jihadists to receive weapons, fighters and logistical help from Palestinian militants in Gaza.
    But HRW said little or no evidence had been offered to support this justification, citing statements from Egyptian and Israeli officials that suggested weapons were more likely to have been obtained from Libya or captured from the Egyptian military.

    Image copyright AFP
    Image caption The government says the operation will allow the military to eliminate smuggling tunnels
    HRW also said the authorities had provided residents with little or no warning of the evictions, no temporary housing, mostly inadequate compensation for their destroyed homes - none at all for their farmland - and no effective way to challenge official decisions.
    It concluded that such actions violated protections for forcibly evicted residents laid out in UN and African conventions to which Egypt is a party, and might also have violated the laws of war.
    HRW said the government had also failed to explain why troops had not used sophisticated tunnel-detecting equipment, for which they have reportedly received training from the US, to find and eliminate tunnels without destroying people's homes.

    Image copyright EPA
    Image caption Egyptian troops have reportedly begun flooding tunnels under the border with Gaza
    "Destroying homes, neighbourhoods, and livelihoods is a textbook example of how to lose a counterinsurgency campaign," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East and North Africa director.
    The Egyptian government said it had complied with "recognised international human rights laws and standards to guarantee the protection of the lives and property of citizens and to limit their suffering from adverse living conditions".
    "All measures were taken in consultation and co-ordination with the local residents, who are aware and convinced of the importance of their participation in the protection of Egypt's national security and contribution to eliminating transnational terrorism," it added.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    Dubai ruler's son Sheikh Rashid dies at 33

    This undated photo made available by Emirates News Agency, WAM, shows late Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a son of Dubai's ruler and elder brother to the emirate's heir apparent. The United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM said Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, that Sheikh Rashid died of a heart attack at age 33.© WAM via AP This undated photo made available by Emirates News Agency, WAM, shows late Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a son of Dubai's ruler and elder brother to the emirate's heir apparent. The United Arab Emirates state news agency.
    Dubai has announced a three-day mourning period after the 33-year old son of the Gulf emirate's ruler passed away, the UAE's official state news agency WAM said on Saturday.
    Sheikh Rashid, son of the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, suffered a heart attack on Saturday morning, the agency said.
    Mourners gathered for the funeral at the Za'beel Mosque in Dubai.
    Sheikh Rashid was the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed. Rashid's brother Sheikh Hamdan is the Crown Prince of Dubai.

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    Willing to Spend $100 Million, Donald Trump Has So Far Reveled in Free Publicity

    Donald J. Trump, campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, spoke at an event in Rochester, N.H., on Thursday.© Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times Donald J. Trump, campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, spoke at an event in Rochester, N.H., on Thursday. ROCHESTER, N.H. — Expressing confidence that American voters do not care if he lacks specifics, Donald J. Trump says he has yet to fully exploit his personal advantages over his Republican presidential rivals — chiefly his enormous wealth and celebrity — and that both will matter more to his political fate than debate performances like his shaky one this week.
    Mr. Trump said in an interview that he was prepared to spend $100 million or more to become the Republican nominee and that most of it would go to galvanizing voter support in states with early nominating contests. While he boasted last month that he would spend $1 billion if need be, he said that a realistic amount would be far less and that he would count on the national Republican Party for financial help if he became the nominee.
    He also predicted that the extensive media coverage of his campaign would help him win caucuses and primaries in every region of the country, saying that he had planned to spend $15 million on campaign commercials this summer but did not because of the “free nationwide publicity” that the cable news networks provided.
    After three months surging in Republican polls and putting rivals like Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on the defensive, Mr. Trump faced increasingly combative opponents in Wednesday’s debate — particularly the business executive Carly Fiorina, who confronted him repeatedly. He drew some harsh notices for his vague and blustery answers — as well as for his decision, at a rally here on Thursday night, to breeze past an audience member’s false statement that President Obama was a Muslim.
    A Republican opponent, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, and the leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, both sharply criticized Mr. Trump on Friday for not stating that Mr. Obama is a Christian.
    “He’s got to decide how serious a candidate he wants to be,” Mr. Christie said on NBC’s “Today” show, “and how he handles different problems like this are going to determine that in the eyes of the American people.”
    Mr. Trump has so far glided through controversy and criticism that might derail other candidates. Yet the attacks from rivals and outside conservative groups are only beginning — a development he appeared to acknowledge as he highlighted his own advantages in the months to come.
    Mr. Trump sidestepped a question about not correcting the remark that Mr. Obama is a Muslim — “The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country,” he said. But he also said that Americans liked the fact that he did not react to things like voter anger and debate questions with the ordinary language of politicians.
    He said he did not give many specific answers at the debate because he believed that most people cared more about seeing his pugnacious leadership style than hearing detailed policy plans. He denied that he was unprepared for foreign policy questions, saying that he had received briefings from national security officials (whom he would not name), but that he preferred to speak in “broad strokes” about his views.
    “One of the greats who believed in broad strokes was Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Trump said in the interview late Thursday night after a rally here, which drew about 3,000 people. He said he was “very detail-oriented,” had issued an immigration plan and would offer a tax plan in three weeks. “But I am a person who does not necessarily believe in plans that have 14 steps. Because when the second step gets out of whack, you’re screwed. I don’t think the voters care about specifics. I think the press cares, but I’ve never had a voter ask for my policy papers.”
    Yet some New Hampshire voters said they came to Thursday’s rally in hopes of hearing more details from Mr. Trump.
    “I’m open to Trump but I want him to calm down a little and start delivering some real meat about how he would solve problems as president,” said Nancy Carroll, a retired teacher from Rochester.
    Maggie Moore of Durham, N.H., said she was frustrated that Mr. Trump “doesn’t offer support for his arguments, but just says what he believes and hopes it catches on.”
    “I’m more impressed with Marco Rubio because he seems more substantive,” Ms. Moore said, referring to the Florida senator.
    Mr. Trump countered that many voters are satisfied with his candidacy, citing a New York Times/CBS News poll this week that found that 39 percent of Republican primary voters viewed him as their best chance at winning the presidency, compared with 26 percent in a CBS survey last month. He acknowledged that polls are often wrong this early, but said he believed — based on his crowds and feedback from his ground organizers, as well as his ability to spend heavily — that his candidacy would remain durable.
    A $100 million campaign, which Mr. Trump said was at the lower end of what he was willing to commit to winning the Republican nomination, would be a record for self-financing in a presidential contest. Ross Perot spent more than $63 million on his third-party bid in 1992, according to the Open Secrets website. But former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Meg Whitman, who lost her bid to become California’s governor, each spent more than $100 million on their campaigns.
    Still, Mr. Trump added that if he were the nominee, “the Republican Party will kick in money, the whole party thing will get involved, but still I will spend whatever is necessary.”
    Spending is not a preoccupation, Mr. Trump said, in part because he has spent so little this summer. Advisers say he has spent $1.9 million of his own money so far, mostly on about 40 paid campaign staff members and standard expenses to travel and hold events. (Additional money for campaign costs has also come from unsolicited donations and online sales of his trademark campaign baseball hats; advisers did not have a total estimate for that revenue.) When Mr. Trump joined the race in mid-June, he said he expected to spend $15 million in television commercials over the first three months, but he has yet to run any.
    “I’ve gotten so much free advertising, it’s like nothing I’d have expected,” he said. “When you look at cable television, a lot of the programs are 100 percent Trump, so why would you need more Trump during the commercial breaks?”

    Nigeria's Boko Haram crisis: Half a million children 'flee in five months'


    Displaced Nigerians who have fled Boko Haram fill water containers at a camp in Niger                           
    Image caption Many displaced people remain reluctant to return home for fear of further attacks                
    Half a million children have fled attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram over the past five months, the UN children's agency says.
    Unicef says this brings the total number of displaced children in Nigeria and neighbouring countries to 1.4m.
    Tens of thousands are suffering from acute malnutrition and some of their camps have been affected by cholera.
    Boko Haram attacks have spiked after it was driven out of territory it held by a regional military offensive.
    "In northern Nigeria alone, nearly 1.2m children - over half of them under five years old - have been forced to flee their homes,"
    Another 265,000 children have been uprooted in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, it said.
    • BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says getting help to these remote, insecure areas is extremely difficult.
    And although the army has freed the last few towns still under some form of Boko Haram control, many internally-displaced people remain reluctant to return home.
    Since being pushed out of territory, militants have reverted to guerrilla tactics, raiding villages for supplies and bombing targets such as places of worship, markets and bus stations.
    Unicef is treating malnourished children and providing clean water. It is also helping tens of thousands of children continue their education.
    But the organisation says it has received only a third of the $50m (£32m) it needs for its work in the Lake Chad region, creating a shortfall in measles vaccinations and other aid.

    Boko Haram at a glance

    Boko Haram fighters                           
    • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language
    • Launched military operations in 2009
    • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
    • Joined Islamic State, now calls itself "West African province"
    • Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
    • Regional force has retaken most territory this year

    Abia poly lecturers insist on no salary, no exam


    By Ugochukwu Alaribe
    Aba—The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, has said it will not allow the 2014/15 second semester examination to hold in the Polytechnic, until the five months’ salary arrears owed its members are paid.
    we gathered that the examinations scheduled to hold on Monday, could not take place as ASUP members refused to shield d ground to press home their demand for the payment of their arrears of salary and 14 months check off dues.
    In a chat with  Vanguard  in Aba, Chairman of the ASUP, Abia Poly, Uma God’swill, insisted that there would be no examination in the institution until the arrears of salaries and check off dues were paid.
    According to him, “We had a meeting with management today, but it ended in a deadlock. The Acting Rector is pleading with the Union to call of the strike, but the truth is that the examinations won’t take place without our salaries being paid. We are not quarrelling with anybody. Let them pay us our salaries; we will go back to classes. If the salaries are not paid, nobody will write examination in Abia Polytechnic. I assure you about that.”
    Vanguard  gathered that the Union had in a memo notified the management that members were going to ensure that the second semester examination of the institution did not hold as planned, if the salary arrears owed them were not paid.
    But the Acting rector of the institution, Professor Uche  Ikonne, in a meeting, pleaded with the Union to exercise patience with the state government and the management, stressing “what they told you that they are being owed five months salary is true. They have also written to the management that before they take examination, that they would want the five months arrears to be cleared. We just received the letter on Wednesday and the management is still discussing with them.

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

    George W. Bush was suddenly a pretty popular guy at Wednesday’s GOP debate

    Republican presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump, left, and Scott Walker, right, both speak as Jeb Bush, listens during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif.© AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill Republican presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump, left, and Scott Walker, right, both speak as Jeb Bush, listens during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and…Ronald Reagan, whose Air Force One towered over the Republican presidential candidates during Wednesday's debate, is always a hit at a GOP debate. Every candidate wants people to look at him or her and see the next Reagan. Sometimes, the Reagan-ing borders on overkill.
    But on Wednesday, Reagan wasn't the only former president to receive praise on-stage. Somewhat surprisingly, George W. Bush got a lot of love, too.
    Witness this (condensed) exchange between Dubya's younger brother, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and front-runner Donald Trump, who was talking about the banking crisis that escalated toward the end of Bush's term:
    TRUMP: Your brother and your brother's administration gave us Barack Obama, because it was such a disaster, those last three months, that Abraham Lincoln couldn't have been elected.
    BUSH: You know what? As it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure: He kept us safe.
    Trump then countered by saying, "I don't know. You feel safe right now? I don't feel so safe."
    At which point Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker jumped in to defend both Bushes.
    "That's because of Barack Obama," Walker said to Trump. "We've had a president who called ISIS the J.V. squad, Yemen a success story, Iran a place we can do business with. It's not because of George W. Bush; it's because of Barack Obama."
    Update 12:20 p.m. Thursday: Bush is now doubling down on his brother-praise, tweeting this shortly ago:

    And Walker wasn't the only candidate on stage to defend, praise or even brag about a relationship with America's once-Kryptonite 43rd president.
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who made sure to note President Bush named him a U.S. attorney, said he supported Bush's actions after Sept. 11, 2001 -- going into Afghanistan (Christie notably didn't say Iraq), hunting al-Qaeda and proactively going after terrorism at its source.
    "I am proud to have been one of the people on the stage who was part of making sure that what Gov. Bush said before was the truth," Christie said. "America was safe for those seven years, and Barack Obama has taken that safety away from us."
    There's more. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said Bush "is a great friend of ours."
    But Carson made sure to add later that he advised Bush not to go to war in Iraq in 2003.
    That last point is more of what we expected to hear at Wednesday's debate. While Bush's approval ratings have climbed steadily after leaving office -- a common thing for most ex-presidents -- his Iraq war is still so unpopular that even his own brother has distanced himself (however awkwardly) from it.
    © Provided by Washington PostIn addition, four years after Bush left office, a 2013 Gallup poll showed that more Americans (69 percent) blamed Bush for the 2008 financial crisis than President Obama (53 percent).
    In fact, up until this point in the 2016 campaign, almost no one in the Republican race had made a concerted effort to align themselves with the party's most recent president. (There are some obvious exceptions when it comes to Jeb Bush, who has said his brother is one of his top advisers on Israel and who gave a foreign policy speech in August at the Ronald Reagan Library that tried to recast his brother's role in Iraq.)
    So, what gives? Do the Republican candidates know something we don't? That maybe George W. Bush's foreign policy legacy in the Middle East is somehow popular again, or at least not something to run away from?
    The Republican Party is, after all, having an increasingly hawkish discussion about putting boots on the ground in Syria to fight the Islamic State. It's a proposal polls indicate could be popular with Republican primary voters (although less so with the general public).
    [Republicans reclaim their status as the party of hawks]
    There could also be a simpler answer. Perhaps being in the low-single-digits in the polls will make you try just about anything. And perhaps people are more apt to praise Bush now that his brother doesn't look like much of a front-runner anymore.

    Or perhaps enough time has passed since Bush's White House that Republicans feel they can compliment him without any political repercussions. Time heals wounds and makes us forget why Bush's approval rating was once 25 percent.
    If that's the case, who knows. Maybe one day they'll even hold a Republican debate in front of George W. Bush's Air Force One.

    Fifa suspect Eugenio Figueredo faces extradition to US

    Fifa suspect Eugenio Figueredo faces extradition to US

    The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) acting president, Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo, speaks during a press conference on April 30, 2013, in Luque, ParaguayImage copyright AFP
    Image caption Eugenio Figueredo is also accused of fraudulently obtaining US citizenship            
    Switzerland says it has approved the extradition of a Uruguayan football official accused of taking bribes.
    Eugenio Figueredo was one of seven officials with Fifa, world football's governing body, who were arrested in Zurich on 27 May.
    He is accused of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars relating to Copa America tournaments,

    Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice said.

    He has 30 days to appeal against his extradition to the US.
    Mr Figueredo is a former vice-president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) and was a vice-president of Fifa.
    The Swiss statement said he is accused of:
    • Taking bribes from a Uruguayan sports marketing company over the sale of marketing rights to the Copa America tournaments in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023
    • Gaining US citizenship "fraudulently by submitting forged medical reports in 2005 and 2006"
    Mr Figueredo had earlier contested attempts to extradite him.
    Fans of Chile react while watching a broadcast of the Copa America semi-final soccer match between Chile and Peru at the Fan Fest in Santiago, Chile June 29, 2015.Image copyright Reuters
    Image caption Part of the charge relates to marketing rights to the 2015 Copa America, won by Chile
    So far, only one arrested official - former Fifa Vice-President Jeffrey Webb, from the Cayman Islands - has agreed to be moved from Switzerland.
    At a hearing in June, Mr Webb pleaded not guilty to accepting bribes worth millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights.
    He was placed under house arrest on $10m (£6.4m) bail by a New York judge.
    Eugenio Figueredo was born in Uruguay in 1932.
    He played for the Uruguayan club Huracan Buceo and served as its president between 1971 and 1972.
    In 1997 he was named president of the Uruguayan Football Association.

    Nigeria's new World Trade Center poised to send its economy sky high

    (CNN)Nigeria's capital city of Abuja is about to get a new heart: a brand new World Trade Center complex.
    The development is expected to open to the public early next year after the completion of the first phase of construction. It will join a network of 323 locations in 89 countries, started in 1970 with the inauguration of the first World Trade Center in New York City.
    Funded by local and foreign financial institutions, as well as private investors, to the tune of 200 billion Nigerian Naira, or just over $1 billion, the WTC Abuja will be the largest mixed-use development in West Africa.

    Well connected

      WTC Abuja has been under development since 2010, on a lot spanning over six million square feet in the Central Business Area of the capital.
      The location offers easy access to the city center and the airport, with a dual-carriage highway surrounding the site and a new light rail system currently under construction.
      World Trade Center Association Timeline
      • 1939: The World's Fair in Queens, NY, names its grounds "World Trade Center"
      • 1961: The NY Port Authority approves the WTC project
      • 1969: the non-profit, non-political organization is founded in New York
      • 1970: The first 15 members meet in Tokyo
      • 1973: The WTCA moves to the 77th floor of the WTC in New York
      • 2015: the network reaches 323 members in 89 countries and connects 750,000 companies and entrepreneurs

      For business tenants, though, the most important connections will be those with the global network of 750,000 entrepreneurs that make up the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA).
      "One of the missions of WTC Abuja is to improve trade relations between Nigeria and the rest of the world," Vinay Mahtani, CEO of the site's developer, Lagos-based Churchgate Group, told CNN.
      "For example, it will enable international businesses to make investments in our community. Ties will be forged between government agencies, non-governmental organizations and international corporations, and the additional business that is captured within the walls of the World Trade Center will provide tax revenues to government which can be used to improve the welfare of the people."

      A city made to be capital

      Abuja is Nigeria's capital city, a role for which it was purposely built starting in 1976, much in the same way as Brasilia for Brazil and Canberra for Australia.
      Its physical location in the middle of the country is a good metaphor for its neutral role of unity.
      It is now the fourth largest urban area in Nigeria, with impressive growth rates.
      Abuja replaced Lagos as the capital on 12 December 1991, although the coastal city remains the largest in the whole of Africa, when considering its massive metropolitan population of 21 million.
      After a recent revision in the way it measures its GDP, Nigeria now boasts Africa's biggest economy, having surpassed South Africa with a 2014 estimate of $568 billion.
      With strong growth rates in recent years, Nigerian economy is flourishing, even though its reliance on oil exports -- the country is Africa's largest producer and the sixth in the world -- makes it susceptible to the volatile nature of that market.

      Construction challenges

      The two towers nearing completion.
      Initially projected to open in 2013, the WTC Abuja has gone through various design phases, and construction itself hasn't been free of challenges.
      "For example certain areas of the project have had to be redesigned as we repositioned ourselves in order meet the ever-changing consumer and market needs. We have also faced logistical issues such as congestion in the ports, which has meant our building materials arrived at site behind schedule," said Mahtani.
      Construction is now nearing the end of the first phase, which comprises the residential and commercial towers. The former will offer luxury apartments with modern amenities, while the latter will accommodate businesses of various sizes, with offices ranging from 100 to 1,440 square meters.
      The buildings, at 24-storeys each, are set to define the capital's skyline: the Commercial Tower is the tallest office building in Abuja, while the Residential Tower is the tallest residential building in Nigeria.
      Future phases include the construction of a shopping mall and a 37-storey hotel, which will be among the tallest skyscrapers in the continent.

      Upsides and downsides

      Nigeria, which has attracted the largest amount of foreign investment capital in sub-Saharan Africa since 2007, is set to gain international prestige from the development: "There is no doubt that Abuja and Lagos will benefit tremendously from high end ‎commercial and residential real estates," Adekunle Salau, Ernst & Young Advisory Leader ‎for West Africa, told CNN.
      "My expectation is that if this is executed to plan, Abuja will be able to host world class conferences and compete favorably with Johannesburg and Cape town for international events.
      "It may also moderate the cost of hotels and rents in Abuja, but more importantly it should add significantly to the economic development of the capital, creating employment in the service and retail sectors.
      "The downside is that it can also be artificially priced,thereby continuing heat up the already high cost of Abuja properties and secondly, the amenities ‎may not be developed to the quality expected from the WTA brand," said Salau.

      Infamous Chinese social media celebrity Guo Meimei sentenced

      Beijing (CNN)One of China's most high-profile social media celebrities was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of 50,000 yuan ($7,800) on Thursday for running an illegal gambling den.
      Guo Meimei, 24, gained notoriety in 2011 after flaunting a extravagant lifestyle online -- complete with luxury cars and flashy boyfriends -- all while claiming to work for a company affiliated with the Red Cross.
      In reality, Guo was illicitly operating casinos out of private apartments in Beijing, a court said.
      Guo pleaded not guilty to that charge at the trial, although she admitted to participating in gambling, according to China's state news agency Xinhua.
        "I shouldn't have participated in gambling, but I don't think my actions constituted (a) crime," she said in her final statement.
        "I know I have made mistakes, and I'm truly regretful," she added, while arguing she deserved leniency because she lacked "legal knowledge" when the crimes occurred.
        Zhao Xiaolai, another suspect involved in the case received a two-year sentence and a fine of 20,000 yuan ($3,125).
        Guo's attorney Wu Junqiang told state media Beijing Morning Post that Guo has not yet decided whether to appeal.

        Fall of Guo Meimei

        Last August, after her arrest, Guo made a dramatic televised confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex that was splashed across Chinese front pages.
        By then, her Weibo microblog account -- which featured pictures of her riding a jet ski in a bikini, and another posing behind the wheel of a Lamborghini -- had nearly two million followers.
        It was her careless posts to followers that tipped off police about her illicit activities.
        Her ostentatious photos had sparked widespread outrage about how a supposed charity worker could sustain such a lavish lifestyle, leading to a drop off in donations to China's Red Cross the following year, even though the organization denied any connection with Guo.

        Champions League: Roma wonder goal leaves Lionel Messi in the shade


        (CNN)You might have expected Lionel Messi to take the headlines -- but the Barcelona star found himself well and truly overshadowed as his team were held to a Champions League draw at Roma on Wednesday.
        Although the holders took the lead when Luis Suarez headed home an Ivan Rakitic cross from close range early on, the moment of the night -- and surely of the season so far -- was yet to come.
        With 31 minutes on the clock at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, home defender Allesandro Florenzi won the ball back inside his own half and embarked on a run down the right.
        The 24-year-old, almost 60 yards from goal just inside the visitors' half, looked up and saw Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen off his line.
        With stunning skill, Florenzi fired an amazing effort high over the bewildered Germany international and into the net -- and ensured that honors ended even in the Group E clash.
          Messi, making his 100th appearance in the Champions League, later hit the crossbar as Barcelona went in search of a winner.
          Arsenal made a disappointing start to their Group F campaign, slumping to a 2-1 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in a game that saw striker Olivier Giroud sent off.
          The Londoners went behind in unfortunate circumstances when a Josip Pivaric shot was saved by David Ospina, only for the ball to cannon in off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with 24 minutes played.
          Giroud was then dismissed for a second booking after fouling Ivo Pinto -- he had earlier been cautioned for dissent -- and Junior Fernandes deepened Arsenal's misery when he headed home a second goal.
          Before his dismissal, the France international had missed chances, seeing a header stopped by Dinamo goalkeeper Eduardo and another effort deflecting against a post.
          A beautifully-taken effort by Theo Walcott gave the Gunners some hope with a little over 10 minutes remaining, but the home side held on.
          There were no such problems for Chelsea, who put a difficult start to their Premier League season to one side to brush aside Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge.
          Although they blew an early chance to take the lead when Eden Hazard fired a penalty wildly over the crossbar, Jose Mourinho's side dominated possession and went in front when Willian's indirect free-kick bounced in.
          Another penalty was taken and converted by Oscar just before half-time, with goals in the second period from Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas rounding off a thoroughly comfortable evening.
          Two late goals steered Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to a 3-0 win at Olympiakos.
          They had been frustrated in the first half but broke through minutes into the second, when Thomas Muller's cross-shot went in.
          The Greek side failed to create much of note, but a narrow defeat became a heavy one when Germany World Cup final goalscorer Mario Gotze slid an effort into the corner and Muller converted a penalty for his second goal of the night.
          Elsewhere, Dynamo Kiev scored a last-minute leveler against Porto through Vitaly Buyalsky.
          The Ukrainian team had opened the scoring through Oleg Gusev, but a pair of goals from Vincent Aboubaker turned things around before Buyalsky headed home a deflected ball into the area to make it 2-2.
          Former Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez scored for Bayer Leverkusen as they easily saw off Belarusian champions BATE Borisov 4-1 at home.
          Hernandez headed in his first goal for the Bundesliga club to give them a 3-1 lead.
          Admir Mehmedi gave the Germans an early advantage but Nemanja Milunovic equalized before Hakan Calhanoglu, Hernandez and Calhanoglu, this time from the penalty spot, wrapped up the contest.
          Gent claimed a point with a 1-1 draw against Lyon in their first appearance in post-qualifying rounds after the visitors' Alexandre Lacazette saw his late penalty saved by Matz Sels.
          Lyon led through Christophe Jallet, who headed the visitors in front against opponents reduced to ten men following the sending off of Brecht Dejaegere for a clattering challenge on Maxime Gonalons.
          But Danijel Milicevic levelled, and then Sels took a starring role after Thomas Foket was also sent off for bringing down substitute Aldo Kalulu in the area.

          Chelsea: Jose Mourinho had forgotten the winning 'feeling'


          Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said he had forgotten the winning "feeling" after they reacted to their worst start to a Premier League season with a 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

          The Blues entered the Champions League opener with one win from five matches.

          "I forgot the feeling. For so long we don't win a game, so good, a good feeling," Mourinho said.

          "I am a fantastic manager when I win matches and I am a fantastic manager when I lose matches."

          Despite an early missed penalty by Eden Hazard, goals from Willian, Oscar, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas ensured Chelsea had no problems in seeing off their Israeli opponents.

          "The penalty we missed was a big test for us," Mourinho added. "When you start a game you have to win and after five minutes you miss a penalty, it is an extra negative episode and our reaction was very good."

          'I am not in heaven or hell'

          Mourinho was the centre of attention building up to the match after his side's worst start to a season since 1986.

          'Don't ask me stupid questions'

          He was involved in a spiky exchange with a BBC reporter on Tuesday and burst into laughter when asked if his short haircut was to reflect his mood.

          "The same way I was not in hell with bad results, I am not in heaven we won a game," he told BT Sport on Wednesday.

          The Stamford Bridge crowd still sung Mourinho's name before kick-off and were audible in their support of the Portuguese throughout.

          "I prefer that than they say 'Mourinho out' and they boo me and so on," he added.

          "It shows they don't read papers or they don't have short memories. If they don't read papers they support me. If they don't have short memories, they support me.

          "We won four Premier Leagues, three with him and one with his team. This guy is not bad. Let's support the guy. We have a chance to win the fifth."

          'I have a lot of thinking ahead'

          Having won only one match so far this season in the Premier League, Chelsea know the importance of returning to winning ways domestically against fourth-placed Arsenal on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

          The Gunners lost their Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday after striker Olivier Giroud was sent off, but are six points ahead of the Blues in the league.

          Mourinho's side will have to do without Brazil midfielder Willian, who suffered a hamstring injury on Wednesday, while Spain forward Pedro will still be missing with a muscle injury.

          "For all of us to wake up after a defeat, to go to Cobham again, to train again after a defeat, two days before a derby against Arsenal, I could imagine how difficult it would be for everyone," said the 52-year-old manager.

          "I have a lot of thinking always. I try to read the game before it starts and I have a lot of thinking before Arsenal."

          Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 live

          "Have Chelsea drawn a line in the sand and put their troubles behind them? Tel Aviv were not a good enough team to make that kind of decision about them.
          "I would say 4-0 was the absolute minimum of winning this game by. You could see seeds coming through but is it all fixed? No, not yet."

          Bad news for English football

          Despite all Chelsea's domestic troubles, they were the only English team to begin the Champions League with a win after Arsenal joined Manchester United and Manchester City in making a losing start.

          "It's bad news for English football," the Portuguese said.

          "I'm not happy with that. I want Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal to lose in the Premier League - not in the Champions League."

          Baba Rahman: Ghanaian targets Chelsea starting role


           Baba Rahman

          Ghanaian defender Baba Rahman wants to secure a regular place in the Chelsea first team after making his debut in the Champions League on Wednesday.

          The full-back helped the English champions keep a clean sheet in a 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

          The 21-year-old was expected to play only a bit-part role following his transfer from German side Ausburg.

          "I'm hoping to play very, very often - my main aim is to play as many games as I can here," Rahman told BBC Sport.

          Rahman revealed that compatriots Michael Essien and Christian Atsu have encouraged him to make an impact at the club.

          "They gave me some top lines of advice and told me that I if push hard I can make it through," he said.

          "I'm really working hard to keep the momentum going."

          The former Asante Kotoko star from Tamale is already a regular for his national side after making his Black Stars bow last year.

          Ghana manager Avram Grant was working as a pundit at Stamford Bridge for the Champions League tie.

          Rahman said he was only "a little" happy with own performance against the Israeli title holders, but said he would leave it to his two watching coaches to write their own reviews.

          "If the people in Ghana keep supporting me I can make them proud," he added.

          Having won a place in the team and helped Chelsea return to winning ways, Rahman is now looking ahead to winning silverware with his new club.

          "Last year we won the Premier League and Carling Cup and this year we want to win them again, we want to win them again and the Champions League. We want to win as many cups as we can."

          Burkina Faso coup: Compaore ally named new leader


          • General Gilbert Diendere speaks during a press conference in Ouagadougou, on July 25, 2014Image copyright AFP                            
          Image caption Gen Gilbert Diendere was chief of staff to former President Blaise Compaore
          Presidential guard officers in Burkina Faso have seized power in a coup, with shooting reported in the capital, Ouagadougou.
          A close ally of former President Blaise Compaore has been named the country's new leader, state television reports.
          French President Francois Hollande condemned what he called a coup in the former French colony.
          Presidential forces opened fire to disperse protesters in the capital, and some were arrested, reports say.
          The coup leaders have imposed a night-time curfew across the West African state, and have ordered the closure of land and air borders, AFP news agency reports.
          The headquarters of Mr Compaore's Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party were ransacked in Ouagadougou as news of the coup spread, it adds.
          Mr Hollande called for the immediate release of interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida, who were detained at a cabinet meeting in the president palace on Wednesday.
          Their transitional government were due to hand power to a new government after elections on 11 October.

          'Resist coup'

          Mr Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last year after 27 years in power, and is currently in exile.
          Some of his key allies had been barred from contesting the election.

          Seven things to know about Burkina Faso

          Images of Thomas Samkara and Che GuevaraImage copyright AFP
          • It is renowned for its film festival, Fespaco, held every two years in Ouagadougou
          • A former French colony, it gained independence as Upper Volta in 1960
          • Capt Thomas Sankara seized power in 1983 and adopted radical left-wing policies - he is often referred to as "Africa's Che Guevara"
          • The anti-imperialist revolutionary renamed the country Burkina Faso, which translates as "land of honest men"
          • People in Burkina Faso, known as Burkinabes, love riding motor scooters
          • Blaise Compaore took power in the coup that killed Sankara, and ruled for 27 years, until he was ousted last year following street protests
          • It is one of the world's poorest countries - its main export is cotton
          The 'heroes' of Burkina Faso's revolution
          The rise and fall of Blaise Compaore
          Guide to Burkina Faso

          A statement issued by the coup leaders said the West African state would be led by Gen Gilbert Diendere, Mr Compaore's former chief-of-staff.
          An earlier announcement on state television said wide-ranging talks would be held to form a new interim government that would organise "peaceful and inclusive elections".
          Transitional parliamentary speaker Cheriff Sy said the move was "clearly a coup".
          He said the presidential guard had "sequestrated" the interim government, and he urged people to protest on the streets.
          "We are in a resistance situation against adversity," My Sy added.
          Earlier, there was heavy shooting by presidential forces at the capital's Revolution Square, where protesters had gathered to demand the release of the interim leaders.

          Analysis: Thomas Fessy, BBC West Africa correspondent

          Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso is pictured during a press conference after his meeting with President Heinz Fischer of Austria on June14, 2013 in ViennaImage copyright AFP
          Image caption Mr Compaore was accused of committing widespread atrocities
          The elite presidential guard has been trained, in part, by the US. It is the most powerful armed group in Burkina Faso and often disrupted the activities of the transitional government as it tried to cling to the privileges it enjoyed under Mr Compaore's rule.
          It is seen to be close to him, and is not popular on the streets. So its seizure of power could be a recipe for serious violence.
          The transitional government might have made two mistakes - preventing politicians loyal to Mr Compaore from running in next month's elections and allowing the Reconciliation Commission, formed to heal wounds after the end of his authoritarian rule, to release a report calling for the presidential guard to be disbanded.
          Some argue that a newly elected president would have had greater legitimacy to take such action.

          "mungo park" by Coredo Bello