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‘KFC couple’ gets dream wedding after viral proposal video



The internet provides.

The couple who got engaged at a South African KFC in November got hitched on Tuesday — in a luxurious ceremony sponsored by companies who found their proposal finger-lickin’ romantic.

Hector Mkansi, 37, and Nonhlanhla Soldaat, 28, went viral after a video of their engagement was caught on camera and widely circulated in hopes of identifying the couple. After the pair were found, one of Mkansi’s friends put in a request to the world wide web: His buddy’s budget was tight, but he hoped to hold a small ceremony and needed help to fund the venue, dress, suit, cake and food.

Quickly, corporations from Coca-Cola to Audi South Africa stepped in to help.

Just over a month later, the pair said their vows on New Year’s Eve. A video from the ceremony tweeted by KFC South Africa shows the happy newlyweds walking hand-in-hand as guests shower them with flowers. Another video shows the bride and groom after an outfit change, dancing with guests to joyous cheers. A South African news organization even livestreamed the entire wedding on YouTube, referring to the newlyweds as “South Africa’s favorite couple.”

The wedding was actually the couple’s second set of nuptials. Two years after meeting at a funeral in 2010, they held a small ceremony in 2012, but Mkansi felt his wife deserved better.

“We are still in disbelief,” Mkansi tells CNN. “We couldn’t be more grateful to God and every single person that has shared in our little love story.”





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B.C. notaries say first-time home buyers relying on bank of mom and dad


However, only eight per cent of first-time-buyer clients got more than half of their down payments from parents, compared with 19 per cent in 2015.

“While more first-time buyers are getting financial help, they appear to be getting a lower proportion of their down payment over the last four years,” the report states.

Fifty-nine per cent of notaries said their clients typically get less than 25 per cent of the down payment, while a third said their clients typically got between 25-50 per cent of their down payment.

The survey, released Monday, found 74 per cent of notaries thought house prices were an issue in their communities. Only notaries in northern B.C. and the Okanagan indicated “house prices were not an issue in their community.”

Notaries also reported increased mortgage restrictions and lack of supply were making it harder for first-time buyers than in previous years.

In the Fraser Valley, notaries reported more first-timers were buying strata units compared with other years.

Northern B.C. was the standout in the report, with 40 per cent of notaries saying there had been an increase in first-time-owner activity — provincially it was reported to be flat. This was attributed to resource sector growth. The multibillion-dollar Site C dam and LNG Canada projects are underway in northern B.C.

Northern B.C. is also expected to be one of the few areas in the province that will see climbs in assessed values when the 2020 assessment roll is released Jan. 1, 2020.

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Nissan’s ex-head Carlos Ghosn flees Japan to Lebanon


Carlos Ghosn photographed in October 2018Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Official sources have not yet confirmed that Mr Ghosn has left Japan, where he was awaiting trial

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has travelled to Lebanon after leaving Japan, where he faces a trial over allegations of financial misconduct.

In a statement, Mr Ghosn said he had not fled justice but “escaped injustice and political persecution”.

It is unclear how he managed to leave Japan, where he was arrested in 2018.

The former CEO was awaiting trial in the country and was barred from travelling abroad under strict bail conditions.

Mr Ghosn denies any wrongdoing.

The 65-year-old was born in Brazil to parents of Lebanese descent and was raised in Beirut, before travelling to France for further education. He holds French and Lebanese passports.

What did Carlo Ghosn’s statement say?

Mr Ghosn released a short statement after multiple news agencies reported he had travelled to Lebanon.

Confirming he had gone to the Middle East country, Mr Ghosn said he would “no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied.

“I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.”

Mr Ghosn has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing since he was first detained. His lawyers have accused the Japanese government of conspiring against him, calling the prosecution’s case “politically motivated”.

His wife Carole Ghosn told the BBC in June that authorities sought to “intimidate and humiliate” the couple.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCarole Ghosn is calling for President Trump’s support over her husband’s legal battle

How he could have left Japan remains unclear. Mr Ghosn was under strict bail conditions as he awaited trial in Japan, such as video surveillance of his home and restricted phone and computer usage.

He had to surrender his passports to his lawyer, and had to ask for court permission to travel away from home for more than two nights.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News agency, the terms of his bail remain unchanged.

Red faces and questions in Japan

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, BBC’s Tokyo correspondent

Confirmation has now come that Carlos Ghosn is in Beirut and it came in dramatic fashion.

In a statement released to the media the former head of Nissan said he would no longer be held hostage by what he called a “rigged Japanese justice system where, he said, guilt is presumed, discrimination rampant and human rights denied”.

In Tokyo there are now many questions and red faces. How did such a well-known figure, who had surrendered his passport, manage to leave a country which has no land borders?

Japanese media is speculating that Mr Ghosn may have used a different passport with a different name.

Prosecutors had warned that Mr Ghosn was a flight risk, due to his great personal wealth and multiple citizenships, including that of Lebanon, with which Japan has no extradition agreement.

What charges does Carlos Ghosn face?

Once considered a hero in Japan for turning around Nissan – even becoming the subject of a Japanese comic book – Mr Ghosn spent 108 days in custody after his arrest in Tokyo in November 2018.

Nissan sacked him three days after his arrest.

Prosecutors allege that he made a multi-million-dollar payment to a Nissan distributor in Oman. Nissan meanwhile has filed its own criminal complaint against Mr Ghosn, accusing him of diverting money from the company for his own personal enrichment.

He is also accused of under-reporting his own salary.

Mr Ghosn denies all the charges.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCarlos Ghosn said in April he had been the victim of “backstabbing”



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Russian New Year attack suspects remanded in custody


Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russia on Monday remanded in custody two men suspected of planning an attack in Saint Petersburg during New Year’s festivities and pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The FSB security service announced on its website that the two men had been detained Friday based on information provided from “American partners”, and that both have confessed to preparing attacks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday thanked US President Donald Trump for intelligence that helped foil the attack.

The men are 22-year-old Nikita Semyonov and 23-year-old Georgiy Chernyshov, the local court service said in a statement following a closed hearing Monday in Saint-Petersburg, after a judge ruled that they be held pending the investigation.

The local Fontanka news website reported, citing an FSB source, that the duo planned attacks in a central shopping centre and a cathedral that is a major tourist attraction, and had sent photos to IS to confirm the targets.

A video released by the FSB showed the arrest of two Slavic-looking men and a raid on their apartment, which contained munitions, knives, electrical cables and black clothing.

One of the men in court Monday seemed to have bruises on his face, an AFP photographer said.

A video released by the FSB to Russian news agencies showed one of the suspects, his face masked, pledging allegiance to IS in Arabic.

Although Moscow and Washington are at odds on many issues both regularly stress their mutual determination to fight terrorism.



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Sharon Stone Kicked Off Bumble After Guys Report Profile As Fake



Sharon Stone’s basic instinct drove her to Bumble for romance, but the dating app temporarily rejected her.

The actor tweeted Sunday night that Bumble had closed her account after “some users reported that it couldn’t possibly be me!” She also posted the official notice she received.

“Hey @bumble, is being me exclusionary?” she wrote. “Don’t shut me out of the hive.”

Hours later, a Bumble rep informed Stone that her account had been unblocked and promised her it wouldn’t happen again. “Thanks for bearing with us and hope you find your honey,” Bumble editorial director Clare O’Connor quipped.

But in the hours that Stone was excluded from the dating platform, Twitter users had some humorous takes on her Bumble struggle.

Stone, a 61-year-old mother of three, was linked to real estate mogul Angelo Boffa in 2018 but told People in October of that year that she didn’t mind not having a partner. 

“I think somewhere in the back of your mind you think maybe one day you won’t be a single parent,” she said at the time. “Then, eventually you realize, I think it’s better. I’m no longer hoping for someone.”





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Using Technology in Small Group Teaching


Throughout my six years of small group teaching experience I have regularly used power point and you-tube as visual aids and the basis of learning activities. However, last semester, following the lead of colleagues working on active learning in the Dept. of Politics at the University of Sheffield, I adopted Turning Point and Padlet in my Second Year Undergraduate Contemporary US Foreign Policy seminars. Turning Point is a form of audience response software that enables you to poll students through an interactive power point presentation. Students respond using the free smart phone app, and the results are displayed on screen. Padlet is a virtual bulletin board – easily embedded in your online learning environment – to which your students can post content. Think of it like them jotting down their responses on post it notes, and you collecting these in to display for the class. Both Turning Point and Padlet are free for students to access, and they don’t have to create an account of their own, although you as the instructor will need one. My institution has a Turning Point licence, and I made use of the free version of Padlet which allows for 12 padlets.

Firstly, when employing technology or any learning activity it is important to ensure that it serves your learning objectives. Do not get distracted by the bells and whistles or possibilities of the technology, remember instead that it is a means to an end. In the context of my seminars they were a means to facilitate focused peer reflection and discussion. Secondly, you need to carefully think through the structure of your lesson plan and whereabouts you will use the technology and for how long. I tended to use Turning Point to ask 2-3 multiple choice questions at the start of each seminar as a warm up activity, before putting students into pairs to discuss their responses and the results of the room. Including discussion this took 10-15 mins of a 50-minute session. Padlet was used for students to record and present their responses to the group task, and so unlike Turning Point, was bolted onto an existing activity.

I had initially considered Turning Point only worthwhile in a large group lecture setting or for running a revision quiz. However, it has proved both popular and effective for engaging in students in small group settings of 12-20 students. Firstly, it enables students – particularly those lacking confidence – to genuinely express themselves. Polling is anonymous at the click of a button, so they aren’t put on the spot in front of their peers, and until the results are displayed nobody knows which way the room will vote which mitigates against group think. As such, Turning Point can provide a “safe” way to gauge all knowledge and opinions and can help the more reticent contribute. Secondly, it provides a structured moment of reflection in response to a direct question – they must respond and pick a position or response. The outcome be that their own individual response and the results of the room, then serves as guide to future discussion. I tended to follow up with discussion of the results in pairs, but it could also be used to identify what students want or need to discuss more about a seminar topic.

The benefits of Padlet are in my view the same irrespective of whether it is a seminar of 20 students of a workshop with 90. It focuses student group discussions because they must first agree and then type up a concise response to the exercise – they can’t just “talk”, they have to “do”. Each group’s output can then be drawn on with ease in a plenary discussion, because everyone can see them onscreen and learn from what each other have “done”. Indeed, the padlet page of responses is a ready-made revision resource for students to look back on – you can export the produced padlet as a pdf or image, thus saving the students work before you reset (wipe) the padlet for the next session.

Be sure to practice before rolling out in the classroom, I had my fair share of technical missteps. Experiment! Turning Point can run true/false or multiple-choice questions and be used to generate word-clouds; you can repoll students and then compare results to see if their views have changed; for padlet you can ask them to input text or images. When using any new technology with students, remember that it’s important to give clear instructions as to how to use it and take a moment to explain why you are using it. Time management is an important factor here, don’t rush students through questions and ensure there is enough time in the session to discuss the results of polling and padlet work and so realise its full potential. Finally, consider equity – do enough students have a smartphone for you to use this technology as standard and if not if your dept can provide tablets for the session?





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Texas shooting: Two people killed by armed gunman at church near Forth Worth | World | News


One person died at the scene of the shooting and one en route to the hospital, the Dallas Morning News said, citing a spokeswoman for local emergency services. Authorities were rushing to the scene at White Settlement, a suburb northwest of Fort Worth, where the West Freeway Church of Christ is located, local media said. The Fort Worth Fire Department issued an “active threat” assignment at around 11.30am (17.30pm GMT) local time and was assisting operations at the scene, according to reports.

A witness told a local CBS affiliate that a man armed with a shotgun walked up to a server during communion and opened fire, before being shot by a person attending the service.

“You feel like your life is flashing before you.

“I was so worried about my little one,” witness Isabel Arreola told the network.

Authorities believe the attacker was among the three people shot but it was not known whether he had been killed or injured, CBS 11 reported.

Mike Drivdahl, spokesman for the Fort Worth Fire Department, said the shootings took place at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, about 10 miles west of Fort Worth.

He said he had no information on the motive for the attack.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokeswoman Macara Trusty said one person died at the scene of the shooting and one person died en route to a hospital.

She said all the victims are male and Mr Drivdahl said that one of those shot was the gunman.

It was not immediately clear whether he was killed.

A witness told CBS11 News the gunman walked up to a server during Communion with a shotgun and began firing until another church member shot the suspect.

“It was the most scariest thing,” Isabel Arreola told the TV station.

“You feel like your life is flashing before you.

“I was so worried about my little one.”

Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement of condemnation for the “evil act of violence” at a “sacred” place of worship.

“I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” Mr Abbott said.

“I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the White Settlement community and for all those affected by this horrible tragedy.”

White settlement is a city of about 17,000 people in Tarrant County.

Mr Drivdahl said his fire department was assisting city and county authorities in the investigation.

Bomb sniffing dogs were on the scene as a precaution, Mr Drivdahl said.

He added that he did not know how many people were attending the service when the shooting started.

“It’s a very tragic day whenever anyone in our community suffers,” Mr Drivdahl said.

“It not only affects people who were here today, it affects first responders as well.”



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Death toll rises after Typhoon Phanfone hits Philippines



Typhoon Phanfone has killed at least 28 people in central Philippines on Christmas Day and left 12 missing, while thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

The locally known as Typhoon Ursula ravaged three provinces, as it fist made landfall on Eastern Samar province on Tuesday and continued to sweep west across the Eastern Visayas region, southern Luzon and Western Visayas the next day.

The typhoon tore roofs off houses and destroyed water and power lines, and led to severe floodings and landslides in many cities, according to the government’s office of civil defence.

Flights and ferries were canceled, leaving behind thousands travelling on their way home, while many major roads remain impassable and internet and mobile networks are cut in badly damaged areas.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 58,400 people were pre-emptively evacuated ahead of the typhoon, forced to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in temporary evacuation shelters at school gymnasiums and bus terminals.

“Ursula”, that touched gusts of 95 kilometres per hour, was reported to be easing in strength on Thursday, as it moved over the western Philippines toward the South China Sea .

“I join in the pain that affected the dear people of the Philippines because of the Typhoon Phanfone. I pray for the numerous victims, for the injured and for their families,” said Pope Francis.

Rescue operations in flooded communities are still taking place, while the death toll is constantly rising.

Philippines are struck by more than 20 typhoons annually with Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 being the deadliest, leaving more than 6,000 victims behind. Typhoon Kammuri hit Philippines just three weeks ago, killing at least 17 people, as it ripped the capital Manila and neighbour areas.



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Australia v New Zealand: Boxing Day Test, day four – live! | Sport










Tea: New Zealand 131-4 (chasing 488)





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WICKET! Nicholls st Paine b Lyon 33 (New Zealand 89-4)

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Thank you very much Adam. My condolences on Peter Siddle robbing you of endless material. If you get nostalgic for the venomous vegan he has a series of instructional videos on YouTube. My favourite is the bouncer edition where he terrorises some patsy on a net wicket that should be roped off with crime scene tape.

Look at the state of that strip. And Siddle’s wearing dark colours. That is an accident waiting to happen.




26th over: New Zealand 77-3 (Blundell 35, Nicholls 24) The Australian fielders are talking loudly around the bat. Simon Katich, also on SEN radio, reckons they are discussing their respective Australian Rules football careers. As my OBO colleague Sam Perry rightly says, cricket is just footy in the summer these days. Lyon concedes four singles this time around, the final of those very, very close to a run out. Indeed, had Cummins hit from mid-on, Nicholls was gone by a long way. And after that moment of chaos, drinks are on the field. New Zealand have made it through the third hour without loss, which isn’t for nothing with both of these players trying to make a something of a statement before this Test is over. I’ll take this moment to hand over to JP Howcroft. Thanks for your company. Bye for now!

























































LUNCH: New Zealand 38-3





WICKET! Taylor b Pattinson 2 (New Zealand 35-3)





WICKET! Williamson lbw b Pattinson 0 (New Zealand 33-2)

















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Fallen hero in UNC Charlotte shooting is honoured in new ‘Star Wars’ book


Tucked away among the colourful pages that detail Sith troopers, Resistance supporters and moons in a galaxy far, far away is a short paragraph, not even 100 words long, telling the story of a Jedi Master and historian named Ri-Lee Howell who collected “many of the earliest accounts of exploration and codifications of The Force.”

But read between the lines of that blurb in the new book, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary,” and the words whisper the story of Riley Howell, the 21-year-old college student who died in April after tackling a gunman who opened fire on his classroom at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Howell was hailed as a hero in the aftermath of the shooting, and he received military awards for his brave final moments.

Now, he is memorialized in the “Star Wars” canon.

The Jedi Master title appears to be an appropriate tribute for Howell, whose friends and family described him as a franchise fanatic and scholar.

“So so SO much excitement to have my sweet Ri immortalized forever in the Star Wars universe that he loves so much,” Lauren Westmoreland, Howell’s girlfriend, wrote on Instagram.

The post accompanied a photo of Howell as a child posing with a lightsaber, a picture of the book excerpt featuring him, and a screenshot of his entry in Wookieepedia, the “Star Wars” wiki.

Howell’s mother, Natalie Henry-Howell, told The Charlotte Observer that she liked “the way they actually left his last name.”

“I think he would really be appreciative of that,” she said. “Because, you know, they could have just said Ri-Lee — Jedi Ri-Lee — and we’d be guessing the whole time about whether or not” it was really her son.

They put his last name in there just to really honour him

“But they put his last name in there just to really honour him,” she said, adding that she cried when she heard the news.

Howell’s father, Thomas Howell, said the family received a letter from Lucasfilm at the end of May telling them that Riley’s name would be reimagined in a book later in the “Star Wars” realm.

The company, unbeknown to the family, had been contacted by someone who heard about Howell’s story and passion for “Star Wars,” asking if anything could be done to honor him, he said.

He said he forgot about it until the book was published and someone pointed out the Ri-Lee Howell entry to Westmoreland.

“Lucasfilms didn’t have to do any of this,” Thomas Howell said. “It’s a huge, wonderful gesture on their part.”

Released on Dec. 20, the new book dovetails the latest franchise film, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which hit movie theatres that same day.

Riley Howell’s family went on opening night to see the new movie, The Observer reported. They took Howell’s ashes with them and left an open seat, the newspaper said.

Credited with saving many lives, Howell was shot at least three times as he body-slammed the gunman, giving others time to escape, and ending the deadly rampage.

The April 30 shooting left four students wounded and another student, 19-year-old Ellis Reed Parlier, dead.

In September, the gunman, Trystan Andrew Terrell, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and other charges, according to The Associated Press.

He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the deaths of Howell and Parlier, The Observer reported.





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