OUR HIGH-TECH FUTURE: 5 technologies that will shape our tomorrow

Have you ever wondered what kind of technologies will become established in our world in the next 20, 30 or 50 years? Super-thin mobile phones with holographic screens, robot servants, perhaps those flying cars from the Back to the Future films we are still waiting on?. Well I do not keep a crystal ball in my bedroom, but in August 2017, Spanish-language online magazine TecNovedosos played soothsayer and predicted what technologies we might be using and experiencing in our daily lives in the future, perhaps as early as the next decade.

Technology has made leaps and bounds in the past few years. Just remember that only ten years ago, smartphones were just getting on the market, and you can realise the rapid strides we have made in innovation. Here are the five technological developments that could be coming to a house, high street or hospital (maybe) near you.

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and clones

In 1996, the world witnessed the birth of the world’s first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep. Today we have robo-lawyers that can help fill out asylum applications, virtual holographic assistant on the London ‘Tube’ and every other website seems to have a chatbot. Virtual assistants like Siri and Google Assistant are now a standard feature on many phones. In the future, these ‘e-ssistants’ could become more human-like, perhaps crossing into physical technology as cyborgs, which could talk like us and be almost indistinguishable from flesh-and-blood humans.

Super processors

British scientists are said to be working on a ‘quantum computer’ the size of a sports stadium. This super-comp will have processing power far greater than any current system we have in place currently. It is hoped that this massive hunk of circuitry may unlock cures for diseases that now cannot be treated, solve complex scientific problems and even the enigmas of life.

Smart objects

The ‘internet of things’ is a interconnected setup where electronics like your refrigerator, microwave and heating systems, for example, are linked up via the internet to enable you to run your house and life better. For example, your fridge could tip you off if your milk is about to go off, or if you need to stock up on carrots. An IoT fridge could even place the shopping order for you based on what it detects inside it. In the future, advances in nanotechnology could see microscopic computing systems incorporated into everyday objects such as clothing and hygiene devices, that could even be controlled by your voice. Imagine telling your mop to jump out and start cleaning your kitchen.

Surgical nano-robots

We already have robots that can perform surgery and tiny endoscope cameras that can be swallowed as a pill. Future developments in nano-technology could point the way for microscopic robots that can be delivered into the bloodstream via a simple injection and identify or even obliterate harmful viruses or cells, such as that found with cancer.

A longer life

Some scientists think that within the next century, humans will not find it strange if they make it past their 150th birthday. Researchers in the US working with genetics have found ways to switch off the genes associated with ageing in human bodies. By deactivating them, they could extend the lifespans of certain cells. By 2030, it is hoped that doctors will be able to make their patients live longer just by doing a bit of genetic tinkering, without harming the patient’s health.

What other technological developments do you think will revolutionise our future in the next ten years? Please leave your ideas in the comments section below this post.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Alexander Ochoa, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AlexanderOchoaQ

“Las 5 tecnologías que cambiarán el mundo en los próximos años” – ANews via TecNovedosos (14 August 2017) https://www.tecnovedosos.com/tecnologias-cambiaran-mundo/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Future Connected City: 2086” – JCT 600, Flickr (12 August 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/143789194@N03/28650310590

 

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MEETINGS & TAXES: tax legal conference in London later this month

London – VIJAY SHAH

 

The International Bar Association (IBA), a worldwide club for legal professionals and bar societies is hosting its Annual IBA Finance & Capital Markets Tax Conference later this month here in London, at the etc.venues conference centre in Fenchurch Street, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

The IBA’s conference, now in its seventh year, will bring together the best minds in tax and legal subjects. The event will attract a significant number of lawyers in the fields of tax, corporate, finance and banking law, as well as bankers, economists and accountants to central London to explore all the latest news and advances in corporate finance, tax and capital markets today.

Running over just two days on the 29-30th January 2018, the 7th Annual IBA Finance & Capital Markets Tax Conference will cover topics such as updates on European and US global developments; financing issues and trends; M&A; tax administration and debt workouts, among many others.

Managed by conference chairperson Jack Bernstein of Toronto-based law firm Aird & Berlis, the summit will feature speakers from across the globe, with the majority flying in from the Continent and North America. The event is also being promoted by a team of big name sponsors from the legal world, including Maisto e Associati, Bloomberg Tax, Linklaters, CMS and Duff & Phelps, with firm support from the International Law Office.

SOURCES:

International Bar Association, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/internationalbarassociation/

“7th Annual IBA Finance & Capital Markets Tax Conference” – International Bar Association https://www.ibanet.org/Conferences/conf856.aspx

“About the IBA” – International Bar Association https://www.ibanet.org/About_the_IBA/About_the_IBA.aspx

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Logo of the International Bar Association.jpg” – Timlicence, Wikimedia Commons (16 March 2011) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Logo_of_the_International_Bar_Association.jpg

SAINTE-CROIX RESTO: Burglar allegedly beaten to death in Mauritius restaurant

Port Louis – VIJAY SHAH via NICOLAS ATHIANE and Inside News

 

The concept of ‘standing your own ground’ has taken on a new meaning in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, after an elderly couple were arrested for allegedly beating to death a burglar who targeted their restaurant business in the Sainte-Croix district of the capital Port Louis, Inside News reports.

To Chun Marlene Leung, aged 68, and her brother, named only as Alex and aged 65, were arrested after the death of a local and notorious criminal, 50-year-old Gaëtan Patrick Suave, who was said to have climbed into the restaurant via a window above a door. Suave then threatened the Leung siblings with a tool. A struggle ensued as the restaurant owners tried to disarm the crook, and Suave was left in what local police officers described as a ‘bloodbath’.

Police were called to the restaurant yesterday morning around 2.00 am, and found Suave unconscious. He was ferried to the city’s Dr AG Jeetoo Hospital but died five hours later. The Leungs were also taken to the same hospital after sustaining injuries in the fight to protect their business. Alex is still undergoing treatment and has not yet submitted a statement to police. Marlene Leung appeared at Port Louis Court yesterday afternoon on a possible charge of murder, after being taken into custody by the city’s police.

SOURCES:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/

“Un cambrioleur battu à mort dans un restaurant –Le propriétaire : « Mo ti defann mwa…»” – Nicolas Athiane, Inside News/Inside.news (12 January 2018) http://inside.news/2018/01/12/un-cambrioleur-battu-mort-dans-un-restaurant-le-proprietaire-mo-ti-defann-mwa/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free photo: Thief, Burglary, Break Into – Free Image on Pixabay – 1562699” – TheDigitalWay, Pixabay (4 August 2016) https://pixabay.com/en/thief-burglary-break-into-balaclava-1562699/

SULLEE J: Special appearance with Eminem & Beyonce

 

2018 could well be the year that goes places for Baltimore rapper and musician Sullee J (Sullee Justice). The artist, well known for his many collaborations with other artists from the northern United States involved in the hip-hop and rap genres, has had many of these linkups covered here on HEM News Agency. But, just as 2018 is only a week old, Sullee J has ramped up things to another level, making a special brief cameo in the new Eminem single “Walk on Water”. Veteran rapper Eminem, behind many early hits such as ‘Stan’, ‘Lose Yourself’ and ‘The Way I Am’, has recently returned with a vengeance to the music scene, and for Walk on Water, the blond fast-talking one has teamed up with the original Queen Bey of R&B, Beyoncé.

To celebrate the recent collab with Eminem, he has released a special remix of the latter’s new hit ‘River’, itself a collaboration with British pop singer Ed Sheeran. River comes off of the album Revival, which was released under Eminem’s own labels in December 2017. Alongside the remix, Sullee has also put out a funky lyrics-only video on YouTube, which you can check out below. A free MP3 download of the River remix has also been made available on Soundcloud.

 

officialsulleej.com

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:

Sullee J.

MAURITIAN FUEL PRICES: In Mauritius, visiting the forecourt just got more expensive

Port Louis – VIJAY SHAH via lexpress.mu

 

Mauritian drivers will now find their wallets a little lighter after the board in charge of fuel prices on the Indian Ocean island authorised an increase in prices for petrol (gasoline) and diesel, the national newspaper L’Express reported last week.

The Petroleum Pricing Committee announced after a meeting of its senior management on Wednesday 20 December, 2017, that fuel prices will be hiked. Following their decision, the recommended price per litre for petrol will increase from MUR Rs. 44.90 (GBP £0.99; USD $1.33) to MUR Rs. 47.30 (GBP £1.05; USD $1.40), an increase of Rs. 2.40. For diesel, the price goes up by Rs. 2.75 from MUR Rs. 35.35 (GBP £0.78; USD $1.04) to Rs. 38.10 (GBP £0.84; USD $1.12) with the price hikes going into effect from midnight following the announcement.

While even after the increase, Mauritians still enjoy cheaper fuel than many countries in Europe for example, the high cost of living there has caused many motorists to vent their frustration at the PPC’s new rates for fuels.

A number of comments from social media were studied by this article’s author. Commentators stated the news as ‘criminal’ and the Mauritian government’s idea of a Christmas gift for the nation. Others laid into the government itself, calling them ‘buffoons’ and saying that in other countries, such news would have heralded riots or a change in government.

SOURCES:

L’express Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/lexpress.mu/

Dabedeen Pravesh.

“Carburants: l’essence passe à Rs 47,30, le diesel à Rs 38,10 le litre” – lexpress.mu/L’Express (20 December 2017) https://www.lexpress.mu/article/323318/carburants-lessence-passe-rs-4730-diesel-rs-3810-litre

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:ShellPetrolStn A4174 Bristol.jpg” – Lord Shnozzington, Wikipedia (3 January 2009) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ShellPetrolStn_A4174_Bristol.jpg

MADE IN ITALY: 2017 a bumper year for Italian exports

Rome – VIJAY SHAH via askanews, Dukascopy and Yahoo! Notizie

The year 2017 has been a great one for ‘Made in Italy’, as the European country saw a historical world beater for its exports abroad, Yahoo Italia and askanews reports today. With Italy’s exports achieving a healthy growth of six per cent this year, the nation brought in €40 million (GBP 35.4 mill./USD 4.7 mill.) in revenues. The figure was based off an analysis presented to Italy’s National Assembly in preparation for International Italian Food Year 2018.

 

Two thirds of Italy’s food exports in 2017 were to members of the European Union, with a sizeable portion fuelled by importers from the United States, which has a large historical Italian population.

Published figures based on ISTAT foreign trade tables pointed to a seven per cent increase in exports to France, six per cent to the US, and a small two per cent increase in trade with Great Britain. But by far the biggest recipient of goods ‘made in Italy’ was China, with a booming seventeen per cent increase in Italian exports, buoyed by a greater presence of Italian firms in the Far East and Chinese middle-class consumers developing a taste for Italian cars and cuisine.

But even the Chinese powerhouse was eclipsed by Japan and Russia, who increased their exports from Italy by thirty-nine and thirty-one per cent respectively. This was despite an Russian embargo slapped on the importation of a list of products, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meat and sausages, as well as fish, from the European Union, which was enacted after the EU imposed sanctions on Russia.

Italian salami were the most popular export this year, with a growth of eight per cent. Producers of wines and artisan cheeses also enjoyed modest trade increases, but surprisingly, sales of pasta abroad declined by three per cent, partly blamed on new EU transparency rules concerning the origins of wheat production.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Dukascopy Signals IT‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/FXS_Signals_IT

“Notizie online fornite da Dukascopy” – Online News powered by Dukascopy https://www.dukascopy.com/news/?languages=it&tags=source_code%3Ayahoo_italia_notizie

“Coldiretti: 2017 record storico made in Italy su tavole estero” – askanews, Red and Apa via Yahoo! Notizie/Yahoo (20 December 2017) https://it.notizie.yahoo.com/coldiretti-2017-record-storico-made-italy-su-tavole-095659649.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Italian exports imports” – Stefano Chiarelli, Stefano Chiarelli Photography via Flickr (27 June 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/stefanochiarelli/5052569618

 

 

ONLINE AND BORED?: Some fun sites to pass the time

Right now, I am off work for three weeks because of annual leave and the Christmas and New Year break, so I spend some time on the Internet. Every once in a while, the dark brooding spectre of boredom casts its long shadow upon me, and I found myself in front of the laptop, fingers twitching. I literally cannot think of anything to do. When boredom strikes, and I do not want to leave the laptop’s side, I fill up the dead time by Googling something, binge-watching YouTube videos, browsing the Facebook newsfeed or checking out some graphic design.

Until today that is… a journalist with the website Citispotter has been kind enough to dig up some impressive sites that are the perfect medicine for when boredom strikes. Give the cat videos a rest and have a look at these fun websites which will change your outlook on life, keep your fingers occupied and make boredom yesterday’s news.

 

Silk – Interactive Generative Art weavesilk.com

This is a website where you can generate your own art of fiery wisps of smoke like something out of a progressive rock video or something. Release your inner punk artist and make pretty thangs!. You can also save and share your designs. Silk is also available for download on iPads and iPhones.

Simon Game freesimon.org

The online version of the cult 1980s memory game invented by Baer, Morrison and Cope. You have a round device with buttons that plays a sequence which you have to repeat. Good brain exercise!

Online Eye Test – PersonalEYES personaleyes.com.au/online-eye-test

It is always important to have regular eye tests at the opticians, but what if you are stuck at home, you are not going out and the opticians are closed. Well’ you can try an online eye test like the one linked above and see if your peepers are up to scratch. Ideally it’s best to use a desktop computer so you can keep the approved distance from the screen.

FamilySearch familysearch.org

Run by the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) from their headquarters in Utah, USA. FamilySearch is the world’s largest genealogical portal, where you might be able to find details of your ancestors and long-lost relatives. Who knows, you may have royal blood?

Prey preyproject.com

This is very handy if you want to keep a close eye on your electronic goods. Oriented towards safeguarding our iPhones/iPads/Mac Airbooks, Prey lets you track and find your devices with a single account, should they get stolen or lost. Around 8.5 million devices are protected by Prey. The tracker can even take a secret picture of the thief if they start using your device as well as gathering data useful for the police or the courts.

Documentary Heaven documentaryheaven.com

Do you love to sit back with a hot chocolate and David Attenborough or Bear Grylls on the box. Now you can watch documentaries on your PC for free with Documentary Heaven. Current must-watch highlights include docs on the Cassini spacecraft, former EastEnders actor Ross Kemp exploring the Libyan migrant crisis and a report on torture in American prisons.

Codecademy codecademy.com

A personal favourite of this article’s author, Codecademy is a free online coding school where you can learn HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and other computing doohickeys at your own pace. The courses are broken down into easy to digest lessons with lots of interactivity and guidance. There are also fun side projects and quizzes to test your new skills. Coding has been described as the literacy of the future, so this could be a game-changer for your future career.

Rainy Mood rainymood.com

If you are not only bored but unable to sleep, then this might be right down your street, or bedroom. Rainy Mood plays different kinds of sounds associated with rain, making it also ideal for people relaxing and studying. Just don’t fall asleep on your device and wreck it by drooling over it.

calibre – E-book management calibre-ebook.com

This is a handy utility for people who love to read but are crap at organising. Download Calibre and it will organise your e-books into virtual libraries. Not only that, but apparently you can use it to create your own books and sync your collection with your other devices.

Duolingo duolingo.com

A renowned website where you can learn major world languages for free with assessments to reinforce your learning. The lessons are fun and gamified and you can learn at your own pace and even in your lunch breaks.

Freerice freerice.com

Not only do you get to end your boredom, but you can also help end world hunger with Freerice. Play its multiple-choice quizzes and every time you win a quiz, 10 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme. Created by John Breen in 2007, Freerice makes altruism fun.

SOURCES:

HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind

“17 Interesting Things You Can Do On Internet When You Are Getting Bored” – Samia Subhan Qureshi, Citispotter (19 November 2016) http://citispotter.com/17-interesting-things-you-can-do-on-internet-when-you-are-getting-bored/?utm_source=0fbf7af4023e137b83d442372117db9c

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free stock photo of computer, desk, electronics” – Burst, Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/computer-desk-electronics-indoors-374074/

 

WINDY CITY BITCOINS: Crypto-currency futures soar on first ever exchange listing

Chicago – VIJAY SHAH via Daily Sabah

In a parallel with the surging value of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin recently as well as public interest in the subject, the first ever listing of Bitcoin futures on a physical currency exchange saw a rapid rise in value, Turkey’s English language newspaper The Daily Sabah reported via wire agencies recently.

Yesterday saw the introduction of futures valued in Bitcoin put up on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), set for expiry in January 2018. Its initial value was set at 5 pm local time at USD $15,000 (GBP £11215.50). By 1:30 am the value of the futures had risen comfortably to $18,590 (GBP £13901), according to figures quoted in the Daily Sabah from trading firm CBOE Global Markets.

 

Bitcoin has enjoyed a bumper 2017, with ceiling-shattering rises in value. While starting off the year on a record low of USD $1,000 (GBP £748) per coin, the value rocketed to $16,858 (£12612) on online trading exchange Coindesk. The currency is currently around the $16,612 mark.

Bitcoin futures are a type of speculative financial instrument that allows investors to bet on whether the currency’s price in physical money will rise or fall.

According to Bob Fitzsimmons, a futures manager at Wedbush Securities, the initial offering of the CBOE Bitcoin futures was quiet and steady before interest, much like the currency itself, began to accelerate. Eventually a thousand trades were made in the first two hours after opening. Chicago may well soon become a hub for Bitcoin futures trading, as CBOE’s rival, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, also plans its own crypto-currency listing later this week, The Daily Sabah mentions.

The growing publicity of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum is enticing traders looking for something a little different, while still productive, despite many in the world of economics avoiding virtual currencies due to their lack of central authority, their fluidity in transactional spaces and their volatility in real-world prices.

“It gives it legitimacy. It recognizes that it’s an asset you can trade,” said Nick Colas, of Data Trek research.

The CBOE listing was given the go-ahead by the United States Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on the first day of this month. The CTFC did however warn would-be traders of Bitcoin’s ‘potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts (BTC futures)’. Others have expressed concerns that listing the futures on physical exchanges could see investors fall victim to the effects of ‘short sellers’, who bet on downward moves in assets.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Bitcoin Sportsbook, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SportsbookBTC

“Bitcoin futures soar in first hours of its debut on major exchange” – Daily Sabah Finance/Turkuvaz Haberleşme ve Yayincilik Anoni̇m Şi̇rketi̇ (10 December 2017) https://www.dailysabah.com/finance/2017/12/11/bitcoin-futures-soar-in-first-hours-of-its-debut-on-major-exchange

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free photo: Bitcoin, Stock Exchange, Profit – Free Image on Pixabay – 2643188” – geralt, Pixabay (11 September 2017) https://pixabay.com/en/bitcoin-stock-exchange-profit-share-2643188/

NORTHERN IRELAND AFTER BREXIT: Residents to be able to keep EU membership

Belfast – VIJAY SHAH via JON STONE and Independent

As both the Brexit talks in Brussels and the situation over the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic dominates political news in the U.K., the negotiation teams of the two sides have made a concession for residents of Northern Ireland, whereby they can still be EU citizens after Brexit is finalised in two years’ time, the Independent reported recently.

 

UK citizens born in the province will be able to continue their EU membership thanks to a deal struck by British prime minister Theresa May on Friday morning. The deal is a further continuation of an older agreement between the UK and EU whereby Northern Irish residents can apply for a Irish Republic passport. Even after the UK’s withdrawal, this agreement will be allowed to continue, meaning a Northern Ireland-born person can adopt Irish citizenship and therefore take advantage of border-free travel with the EU, as the southern part of Ireland is remaining within the union.

“Both Parties acknowledge that the 1998 Agreement recognises the birth right of all the people of Northern Ireland to choose to be Irish or British or both and be accepted as such,” the joint text agreed by the two sides stated in quotes published by the Independent.

“The people of Northern Ireland who are Irish citizens will continue to enjoy rights as EU citizens, including where they reside in Northern Ireland.”

The EU Commission have also suggested that Irish citizens from both sides of the border resident in the province should also be able to continue enjoying their rights as EU citizens post-Brexit. The deal is part of a breakthrough in recent talks, which hit a stumbling block over the question of the Irish border. The UK and EU will now move on to discussing future trade agreements.

SOURCES:

Cindy Chak.

I LOVE MY ‘FOREIGN’ SPOUSE: defend the rights of cross-border couples., Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/139807999382936/

“Brexit: Northern Irish will be able to remain EU citizens under deal” – Jon Stone, Independent (8 December 2017) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-northern-ireland-keep-eu-citizenship-irish-border-a8099176.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Tuesday: my Irish passport arrived” – Sarah-Rose, Flickr (20 March 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/oh_darling/6999195061

CHEMICAL ‘COWARDS’ – Pair of robbers who attacked women with ammonia jailed

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALEX SHAW and Newham Recorder

Two vicious criminals who laughed as they launched attacks on people have been sentenced by a judge who described their attacks as ‘horrifying, cruel and barbaric’ have been sentenced, the Newham Recorder reports.

Joshua Jordan and Sadik Kamara launched attacks on women using ammonia liquid, which thy sprayed on their victims in order to rob them. After spraying the ‘high strength corrosive liquid’ in the violent robberies on two victims, they were reported as leaving the scenes laughing by witnesses. Kamara, aged 24, of Booth Road, Silvertown, and his accomplice Jordan, 20 years and living in Ruscoe Road, Canning Town, both in south Newham, were jailed for 14 years each by a judge at the Old Bailey court in London.

 

The trial, the culmination of proceedings that took place in early October, was presided over by Judge Dodd QC, who described the men’s attacks as “horrifying, cruel and barbaric” and said that the duo posed a significant risk to the public of further harm. It took the jury less than an hour to convict Jordan and Kamara.

The robbers would travel from their homes in Newham to the neighbouring borough of Hackney, where they were casing a convenience store in Mare Street, Central Hackney. Then on March 10, they launched their attack, targeting the 50-year-old storekeeper, who was working the tills alone at the time. Four men, believed to include Jordan and Kamara, entered the store. Without warning, the masked intruders walked straight to the storekeeper, with Kamara squirted the ammonia directly into her face. He did not make any demands for cash or even give the victim any warning.

Despite being sprayed from close range, CCTV footage from inside the store showed the storekeeper gallantly trying to fight off and kick out the gang, who are seen milling around the front of the shop. The scuffle sends store displays crashing to the floor as the woman tries to protect the shop from being plundered.

After fleeing the supermarket in a getaway car, the gang chanced upon their next victim, also a woman in her fifties, in Hackney’s Hassett Road. Two robbers got out of the car and bundled the woman to the ground, where they repeatedly sprayed the liquid into her face and stole her handbag. Police found discarded bottles of the substance at both crime scenes, the labels clearly stating that the ammonia could cause severe skin burns and blindness.

Both the shopkeeper and pedestrian who were assaulted were rushed to hospital with burns, one of which sustained chemical burns to her mouth also. While neither suffered permanent harm, the storekeeper was traumatised to the point she has now given up working at the shop.

CCTV cameras caught the gang, including Kamara and Jordan, who were subsequently arrested at their homes after police raids in May this year. Medical paperwork was found in Kamara’s home suggesting he had sought treatment, possibly for chemical burns, a day after the robberies. At the hospital, Kamara lied to doctors, claiming he had squirted ammonia in his eye while cleaning. He had since recovered from the burns.

The two robbers, who were described by investigators as little more than ‘cowards’, were convicted of two counts of applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable or to do some grievous bodily harm; one count of robbery; and one count of attempted robbery. Kamara was also told to make restitution of £2,000 (USD $2,678) to the victims.

Investigation lead Det Con Ben Kahane called the pair’s actions “cowardly in the extreme”.

“Five physically strong males preying on lone slightly built women to attack and rob,” he said, adding: “I hope they use the 14 years’ imprisonment that they have received to reflect on this.”

The report does not mention the fate of the other members of Kamara’s and Jordan’s gang. Acid attacks and assaults with corrosive chemicals such as ammonia and bleach are the rise in London, with many such attacks carried out for the purposes of robbing the victim.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Jailed: “Cowardly” Newham robbers who burnt women’s faces with ammonia” – Alex Shaw, Newham Recorder/Archant (8 December 2017) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/jailed-cowardly-newham-robbers-who-burnt-women-s-faces-with-ammonia-1-5314590

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Liquid ammonia bottle.jpg” – Nadina Wiórkiewicz, Fotoedukacja/Wikimedia Commons (23 January 2011) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Liquid_ammonia_bottle.jpg