Europe Urged To Impose Stringent Diesel Limits

The Volkswagen scandal that involved almost 11 million manufactured vehicles worldwide shamed Europe and its emissions limits. The EU had pledged to enforce stricter limits and to toughen its emissions testing.

Many view the move to be too little too late even if diesel car manufacturers only have until 2020 to comply.

Public negativity looms around Volkswagen as it appeared to have cheated the EU system and its customers.

Environmental campaign groups had pressed the European Commission and its 28 governments for stricter laws and implementation of emissions testing and limitation.

The Diesel Difficulty

Environmental groups view Volkswagen’s ‘cheating’ of the emissions test the reason why existing emission levels are still very high in the last 15 years. The Netherlands called on the EU for stricter enforcement of road test emission targets. France and Spain urged restraint and have a lenient approach.

The decision to implement a weaker testing framework and allowing manufacturers exceed legal levels of nitrous oxide by 110 per cent by September 2017 and the start of 2020 was a weak but uneasy decision.

Europe’s car manufacturers focus heavily on diesel vehicles.

Analysts said Europe must not remain lenient to diesel manufacturers and must penalise them as the governments are punishing companies who adopted Greener technologies for less pollution on the road with their non-strict laws.

Apple TV Could Cost A Measly $200

The amount of $200 could get you a new version of the Apple TV. About to announce it at a September 9 press event in San Francisco, the new Apple TV appears to have powerful hardwre and a revamped remote control. Tech observers expect it to come with a full-blown app store similar to iPhone and iPad allowing publishers to bring more services to Apple TV.

According to reports, Apple TV is gaming ready. The device will have a Wii-like remote control that uses a gyroscope to enable complex interactions in video games.

Siri, Apple devices’ helpful voice-controlled assistant, will allow users to control the TV directly with voice.

However, these new features will definitely drive the prices higher. The existing Apple TV only costs about $69. However, it would have no access to the new app store or any new features and updates from Apple.

Meanwhile, Apple’s TV streaming service would be available. Apple slated to launch a competitor cable bundle but postponed the launch for a number of reasons.

All these reports are speculations. However, the sources of these news articles are highly reliable, making it possible that all speculations may likely be true.

Southeast Asian Stocks Fall As Greek Exit Becomes Highly Likely

Southeast Asian Countries show evidence of a Greek exit’s economical consequence for the region. Investors unload risky assets amid a worsening Greek crisis where the country and its EU lenders fail to find a solution for the crisis.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down by 1.4 per cent, the lowest since January 7, About 20 out of 30 stocks were lower this morning.

Malaysia’s key Bourse index saw broad-based selling from investors spooked from the aftermath of a possible Greek exit. As many as 28 out of 30 stocks were down by 1.2 per cent, it’s lowest since December 18 2014.

Bangkok’s SET index traded 0.9 per cent lower.

According to Maybank Kim Eng Securities said the Greek situation will pressure worldwide markets.

Indonesian, Philippine and Vietnamese Indexes reversed its gains. Vietnam, however, reversed its losses as it rebounded 0.8 per cent from its fourth straight loss on Friday.

Boy Pulled From Kathmandu Rubble After Surviving For Five Days Under Rubble

Surviving on Ghee, a 15-years-old boy was rescued from underneath the heavy rubble of collapsed buildings following the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that had killed 5,500 Nepalese.

The boy had survived from underneath the rubble by drinking water from his wet clothes and eating Ghee or clarified butter

Crowds of people cheered after the boy was removed from the rubble and placed on a stretcher. The boy is on his way to a field hospital.

Rescue efforts by the Nepalese Armed Police Force and international rescue teams continue despite the coming of rain and bad terrain. Aerial support was virtually unavailable for the rescue teams.

Another 11-year-old girl had also been rescued from earthquake rubble in a damaged building in the town’s Dattatreya Square.

Criticised for Slow Response

Nepal’s eight million affected citizens blame their slow-moving government for distributing humanitarian aid that had flooded the country since Saturday’s disaster.

Nepal Home Ministry Spokesperson Laxmi Dhakal said that helicopters with rescue workers carried relief materials with them. However, bad weather and heavy rainfall had held them back.

Most villagers in rural Nepal are enraged with the slow delivery of relief efforts. They were angry that no food or medicine had reached their areas.

The UN estimates that Nepal will need $415m to provide emergency relief for Nepal to last for three months. About 70,000 houses had been destroyed.

Jihadi John Is Mohammed Emwazi from London

The infamous ‘Jihadi John’ who had stood alongside Western hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, is named as Mohammed Emwazi, a Londoner under the watch of the British M15 for five years before he slipped into Syria.

Emwazi was a British computer programming student from a middle-class London family known to security services. At 26-years-old in 2014, he appeared, taunting the United States and other Western countries and Arab nations while threatening to kill the hostage in his charge in the videos.

US government sources had also confirmed that Jihadi John was Emwazi

ISIS-released hostages described Mohammed Emwazi as one of the three British jihadists guarding the Western hostages.

Emwazi first arrived in Britain at the age of 6. He was born in Kuwait and migrated early in 1994. He attended the University of Westminster and finished with a degree in computer programming. The M15 put him under the radar when he was in Amsterdam.

According to Emwazi’s interview transcription with Cage Research Director Asim Qureshi, the M15 had tried to recruit him and stopped him from travelling abroad. This had forced him to flee abroad without telling his family.

His family reported him as missing and British officials confirmed that their son had slipped into Syria during the civil war.

Think Twice Before You Decide To Buy A Weather-Forecasting Almanac

According to founder Thomas Kostigen, despite the reliability of traditional knowledge in predicting the weather, one should never consider buying into the lure. These almanacs that house these traditional knowledge claim to predict weather for the rest of 2015. However, he said that no new scientific formula or technology could predict weather further than 16 days.

Kostigen said that The Global Forecast System used by the United States National Weather Service could only produce 16 days of weather predictions. The further it goes, the less accuracy it has.

Europe’s own Integrated Forecast System or the European Model could only predict the weather as far as 10 days.

According to him, the Old Farmer’s Almanac and the Farmers’ Almanac do not rely on satellites and technology, which is already evidence of their unreliability. However, these two books, which began in 1792 and 1818 respectively, say that they have secret formulas. The Farmers’ Almanac says that it uses mathematical and astronomical formulas that take note of sunspot activities, tidal action and the position of the planets into consideration.

Kostigen said that he has nothing against the almanacs, but he has something against steering people in the wrong direction.


Oil Giant CEO Killed During Private Jet Accident

According to Russian media, Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie from France had died shortly after his private jet hit a snowplough during their take-off in the Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.

According to Vnukovo Airport Spokeswoman Elena Kyrlova “Tonight a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearign machine.” Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total’s head De Margerie.”

A source from Total confirmed that De Margerie had boarded the plane shortly before the midnight accident. The aircraft was a Paris-bound Dassault Falcon business jet.

De Margerie was to attend a Russian Government meeting on Foreign Investment in Gorki, near Moscow, on Monday.

Christophe de Margerie took over total on February 2007 and became its chairman on May 2010 after he ran the exploration and production division. Philippe Boisseau, Total’s Energy Division Head and Patrick Pouyanne,  a risk and expense reduction head, are seen as potential successors of the late de Margerie.

Total is one of the major oil companies in the world. Its output represents more than a tenth of its global portfolio by 2020. Despite the sanctions placed against Russia, Total said it wouldn’t stop working on the Yamal project, worth $27bn (£20bn), which would invest into tapping Russia’s vast natural gas reserves in Siberia.


Hong Kong Democratic Protests Gains International Support

The Hong Kong Protests gained support from local protests against embassies and government offices in London, Taipei, Stockholm and Melbourne with many protesters holding up the famed umbrella symbol of the Hong Kongers and held up their brightly-lit smartphones, as did the Hong Kong protesters.

Around 4,000 people had gathered in Taipei and 2,000 in London in front of the Chinese Embassy at Portland Place.

Slogans such as “Hong Kong – the world supports you” and “You can’t kill us all” were found held by many protesters. Some called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to help uphold democracy in China.

In other parts of the UK, Northern England had gathered 200 people at the city’s Piccadilly Gardens, using their smartphones to create a light show in protest of Beijing’s decision for the 2017 Hong Kong elections.

According to most protesters, Hong Kong is in a “life-or-death” moment.

Students in the United States have been gathering in New York Times Square to show their support for the Hong Kongers.

The Hong Kong protests began when the Chinese Central Government issued a decree that a pro-Beijing panel will screen candidates for the 2017 Hong Kong elections, effectively jeopardising Beijing’s freedoms to choose their leaders. The nearly week-long protests have frozen all business activities in Hong Kong.


IS-Linked Militants Poised to Kill French Hostage to Stop French Air Attacks

The Algerian Jund al-Khilifa, a terrorist group linked to the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, had threatened to kill a kidnapped French national and will kill their hostages within 24 hours unless France recalls its support for the US-led air strikes against the IS in Iraq.

The French hostage, Herve Pierre Gourdel, was shown in a video the group had released on September 22 in the middle of two hooded men armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The French government had confirmed the authenticity of the footage.

The IS had called on other Muslims to kill Westerners in their countries whose nations have joined the campaign to fight against the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the United States had gained 50 nations who would fight against the Islamic State in its coalition. Despite increased air attacks, the IS advances towards a border town in Syria, which had sent 130,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees to Turkey.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that France is not afraid and is ready to respond to the threat presented by the IS.

According to the Jund al-Khilifa, they have kidnapped Gourdel in a mountainous region of eastern Algeria where al-Qaeda is active. It is their response to the IS call for aid.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the threats made by ISIS is extremely grave and had demonstrated the extreme cruelty of the terrorist group.


Russia Urges Ukraine Cease-Fire Talks With Separatists

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Ukraine must continue to pursue a cease-fire between the Ukrainian Government and the Pro-Russian rebels and that Russia will not involve itself in a military intervention.

Speaking at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Monday during Russia’s first day of classes for schools and universities, Lavrov said “there will be no military intervention. We call for an exclusively peaceful settlement of this severe crisis, this tragedy.” He then urged that the groups involved in the Minsk meetings reach an agreement for an unconditional cease fire.

In the last weeks of July, representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held talks with Andrei Purgin, a separatist leader, for a ceasefire breakthrough. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko were present.

Putin said that Russia was not involved in the conflict in any manner as it is Ukraine’s internal affair. Meanwhile, the US and European countries continue to suspect Russia as the prime culprit behind the military support of the Pro-Russian Rebels.

Fighting between the Ukrainian Government and the Pro-Russian Rebels began mid-April, after Russia had annexed Crimea. More than 2,500 have died, excluding those from the shot-down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which had 298 passengers.