SCOOTER HATERS: Electric scooters attacked by angry Californians

Santa Monica – VIJAY SHAH via FOX News and other sources

The U.S. state of California is well known for being at the vanguard of revolutionary new technologies, especially if they are environmentally friendly. Its also the birthplace of many a technological trend that has spread across the world. According to Fox News, however, there is one new eco-transport trend that has not only irritated some locals in the Golden State, it’s pushed them to commit vandalism against the objects fuelling that same trend.

Electric two-wheeled scooters, usually popular with youngsters, have become the latest must-have kind to the environment mode of transport. A firm called Bird even has public banks of scooters you can pay to borrow for the day, just like the bicycle docks found in many world cities. But some Californians in the south of the state, sick to death of the new vehicles appearing in random locations and getting in their way, have taken to setting them on fire or throwing them into the Pacific Ocean, Fox News reports.

 

Another report from local paper the Los Angeles Times claims that city hygiene workers in Santa Monica have found several scooters left for dead amidst the spray of the sea and abandoned in public bins. A policeman in the city of Venice even claimed to have seen dumped scooters stacked up high in piles of ten, but the dumping has not been reported to authorities.

Most of the scooters found dumped are branded ones issued by Bird. Marked with the company logo in simple black and white livery, the company rents out the scooters to the public for as little as US $1 a day and the firm currently operates across the United States and in Paris, France. The problem of scooters being dumped and vandalised has become so commonplace that one wit opened up a Instagram account, Birdgraveyard (@birdgraveyard), that chronicles and celebrates the various unfortunate final resting places of the two-wheelers across California.

A spokesperson with the scooter firm told Fox: “We do not support the vandalism or destruction of any property and are disappointed when it takes place,’

‘Nor do we support the encouragement, celebration or normalization of this behavior.”

Bird appealed for people who spot damaged vehicles to report the sightings to the company directly.

Opponents of scooter rental schemes like Bird’s say the vehicles are often carelessly left in public places and they are an eyesore. Some cities in the US originally opposed Bird expanding into their streets but relented and allowed them in, due to their enviro-credentials. The Californian town of Beverly Hills, however voted to ban scooters for six months, citing safety concerns. The town’s council member, Lili Bosse, said last month: “If you imagine just walking on the sidewalk and somebody on a scooter at 15 miles an hour hits you, it can be fatal…”

SOURCES:

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

Chris, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Chris_1791

“Southern Californians are tossing electric scooters into ocean, burning them: report” – Fox News, Greg Norman and Associated Press, Fox News channel/FOX News Network, LLC. (13 August 2018) http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/08/13/southern-californians-are-tossing-electric-scooters-into-ocean-burning-them-report.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“Bird” – Bird https://www.bird.co/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Bird scooters on the sidewalk in San Jose.jpg” – Grendelkhan, Wikimedia Commons (30 May 2018) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bird_scooters_on_the_sidewalk_in_San_Jose.jpg

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SOCAL PLANE CRASH: Five reported killed

Santa Ana – VIJAY SHAH via ARTEMIS MOSHTAGHIAN and CNN

Five people have been reported killed after a small plane crashed into a car park in southern California state, USA yesterday according to a report published by news network CNN.

The Orange County Fire Authority told CNN that a Cessna 414 twin-engine craft en route to the John Wayne Airport in the same county lost control and crashed into the car park in the city of Santa Ana, according to the Fire Authority’s report source, Capt. Tony Bommarito, a public information officer.

 

The five who perished were all believed to have been on the Cessna, which came down around 12.30 pm local time. The plane was reported to have struck a parked and unoccupied car in the park, whose owner was out buying groceries. The crash occurred just a block from the South Coast Plaza, a popular local shopping centre. No deaths and injuries were reported among people on the ground, according to Bommarito.

The plane put out a mayday message before crashing, CNN said. The victims have not yet been identified. The American Federal Aviation Administration is to run an investigation into yesterday’s crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

SOURCES:

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

#AceBreakingNews, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AceBreakingNews

“#Breaking144 – A small plane crashed into a parking lot, killing five people in Southern California, authorities say – @AceBreakingNews” – #Breaking144 @Breaking144/Ace Worldwide News Group/Sterling Publishing & Media News/WordPress (6 August 2018) https://acebreakingnews.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/breaking144-a-small-plane-crashed-into-a-parking-lot-killing-five-people-in-southern-california-authorities-say-acebreakingnews/

“Small plane crashes into parking lot, killing 5 in Southern California” – Artemis Moshtaghian, Amanda Jackson and Madison Park, Cable News Network (CNN)/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (6 August 2018) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/05/us/orange-county-plane-crash/index.html

TWEET CREDIT:

CNN Breaking News, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/cnnbrk/status/1026235766513524737/photo/1

NEW ORLEANS SHOOTING: Three killed, several injured in attack

New Orleans – VIJAY SHAH via Sunday Herald

 

Three people have reportedly been shot dead in an incident in the United States city of New Orleans, according to an article published in a Scottish newspaper today.

Seven people have also been injured in the shootout in New Orleans, around three miles from the city’s tourist hotspot, the French Quarter, the Sunday Herald newspaper reports. The shooting occurred on Saturday (yesterday) night at the 3400 block area of Claiborne Avenue, a main road which runs the length of the city, according to a local police source, Aaron Looney.

The injured were taken to local hospitals, although their condition was not known. There is no information as yet of the perpetrators or the possible motive or motives and circumstances of the atrocity. Local police are now investigating.

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell, released a statement via her mayoral office condemning the violence. The statement said: “There is no place in New Orleans for this kind of violence. I speak for everyone in our City when I say we are disgusted, we are infuriated, & we have had more than enough. Three more lives — gone. It has to end… It’s unacceptable anywhere.”

“We are grateful to those on the scene tonight: the NOPD (New Orleans Police Department), EMS (ambulance service), the chaplains and the social workers. We will dedicate any resource necessary to ending this horror and seeing justice done”.

SOURCES:

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

HeraldScotland, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/heraldscotland

“Three killed in New Orleans shooting” – The Herald/Sunday Herald/Herald & Times Group/Newsquest Media Group (29 July 2018) http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16384626.three-killed-in-new-orleans-shooting/

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mayorcantrell

 

SULLEE J: Steady ft. Chino XL, Tabesh and Sayras

If you are a keen listener of authentic, straight-from-the-source Baltimore rap, then you have probably heard of Sullee J, a.k.a. Sullee Justice. Here at HEM News Agency, I have covered many of this rising music star’s releases, and now he has come out with a brand-new collaboration to tantalise your eardrums.

Released this past Saturday (21st July 2018), the latest single, “Steady”, is the product of a jam with New York’s Chino XL (Derek Keith Barbosa), who has been well-received in hip-hop circles for his technically accomplished style consisting of self-consciously over-the-top punchlines, which has led some to dub him the ‘Lyrical Messiah’.

Featuring alongside Sullee and Chino is Tabesh and Sayras, two underground Persian rappers, bringing the conscious Farsi lyricism to a worldwide audience. The track was produced by Sayrus productions with artwork by Reza Aghaei.

Steady is hip-hop at its rawest with powerful and intense Farsi and English lyrics, true East meets West unified on a style from the projects of America’s cities. Dark and steady, this one takes the genre back to its roots.

You can listen to the new single on YouTube and Spotify and download it at iTunes.

 

 

officialsulleej.com

SOURCE:

Sullee Justice.

DENVER POST NEWSPAPER: Three senior staff walk out over staff and budget cuts

Denver – VIJAY SHAH via AP

In a sign of the decline of print journalism in the face of the digital age, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports that three senior executives of an American paper, the Denver Post, have left their positions in protest at recent cuts in staff and finances at the struggling local outlet. One is reported to have been a former owner of the newspaper, AP reports.

The trimming of operational costs, along with the controversial reduction in staff numbers, was ordered by the Post’s New York-based owners, a hedge fund named Alden Global Capital. As part of the cost-cutting measures, thirty members of staff were let go, substantially reducing the newspaper’s workforce and causing tension among the remaining employees.

 

Reporters still working at the paper tweeted this past Friday that chairman and member of the editorial board, Dean Singleton, had renounced both positions that day. Singleton owned the Denver Post, which has been publishing since 1892 and has a weekly circulation of more than 134,000, from 1987 to 2013, helping steer the paper through difficult economic periods and an intense rivalry with another local news outlet. The Post is run by a media company named Digital First Media, of which the hedge fund has a controlling stake.

Singleton was joined in resigning by the Post’s senior editors, named by AP as Dana Coffield and Larry Ryckman.

“I’m sad to leave, but it was time to go. I will be rooting for those still fighting the good fight,” Ryckman tweeted.

The advent of digital news and the internet has seen advertising and revenue figures for print newspapers in a steady decline, forcing many papers, whether local, regional or national to shed staff and departments, merge with other titles, or in some cases, go online only and cease distributing their printed versions, as British newspaper The Independent did in 2016.

SOURCES:

HEM Journalism Portal, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-journalism-portal

WAN-IFRA, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/NewspaperWorld

“3 top figures at Denver Post, including former owner, quit” – AP/Associated Press (5 May 2018) https://www.apnews.com/cae12ecbd3cf4a3185edad7171d600ce

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Coffee cups and a Denver Post newspaper” – George Kelly, Flickr (22 July 2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/allaboutgeorge/5975059129

CAR CRASH IN CHULA VISTA: Illegal U-turn injures four

Chula Vista – VIJAY SHAH via KAREN KUCHER and San Diego Union-Tribune

 

Four people are now recovering in hospital after a three-car pile-up in the U.S. city of Chula Vista began when a driver executed an illegal U-turn on a highway there, The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported yesterday.

The accident occurred on Friday morning when the driver of a white Honda vehicle was going westbound on Telegraph Canyon Road in the Californian city. The male driver then made a prohibited turn at the junction with Apache Drive, causing a fellow road user in a Camaro to crash into him, according to local police lieutenant Christopher Kelley. The Camaro was found to have been unlicensed and surprisingly, was been driven by a fifteen-year-old boy.

Police said the Honda was then pushed back by the impact into an oncoming car, also said to be a Honda vehicle, grey in colour. That crashed into the first car, causing serious injuries to the driver of the second Honda. The U-turn driver, who was travelling with his two children, also suffered injuries, though much less severe, and all three, plus the second Honda driver were taken to local hospitals, the Union-Tribune said.

Chula Vista lies just south of the San Diego metropolitan area in southern California and is popular with tourists and families.

SOURCES:

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

Twistools, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/twistools_en

“Illegal U-turn causes 3-car crash in Chula Vista that sends 4 to hospital” – OverNewser http://route.overnewser.com/twistools_en/?url=http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-chula-crash-20180504-story.html&utm_source=OverNewser&utm_medium=twistools_en&utm_campaign=article

“Illegal U-turn causes 3-car crash in Chula Vista that sends 4 to hospital” – Karen Kucher, The San Diego Union-Tribune (4 May 2018) http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-chula-crash-20180504-story.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Chula Vista, CA, USA – panoramio (1).jpg” – Roman Eugeniusz, Panoramio via Wikimedia Commons (5 September 2015) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chula_Vista,_CA,_USA_-_panoramio_(1).jpg

DARKSOULES: New book club launched for fantasy fans

London – VIJAY SHAH

Fans of indie author fantasy books are in for a treat as a new book club dedicated to the works of small-time author Leslie D. Soule has been launched online.

The book group, named DarkSoules, has been unveiled on the social media network Facebook, and aims to bring together fans and new authors of fantasy literature, as well as being a forum for discussing the books of Soule, who has written fiction stories such as the Fallen Wood series, Hybrid Space, Birds of a Feather, and The Feast of Rule.

 

Soule, who lives in Sacramento, California, United States, has had a long love affair with the English language, having studied the subject as a postgraduate student at the National University.  She likes to experiment with different genres and has also a varied career in her young life, working as an artist and citizen journalist. She has been an established writer for a decade, and her collections of novels and short stories have been published in both e-book and print format.

DarkSoules will enable fans of Soule’s work to interact with her, receive the latest news exclusively about her new projects, chat with her directly and take a peek at her art works too. The group on Facebook is being promoted in the UK by fellow author and book promoter The Sassy Brit.

Interested fantasy fans keen to know more about Leslie Soule and her new online book group can find all the links below the article.

SOURCES:

HEM Bloggers List, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-bloggers-list

@Sassy_Brit 🇬🇧 Publicist & PA/VA #AltRead, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/sassy_brit

“About this group” – DarkSoules, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/541471792896263/about/

“Leslie D. Soule” – Melange Books/Melange Books, LLC http://www.melange-books.com/authors/lesliedsoule/index.html

Leslie Soule, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Falcondraco

“About Me” – Leslie Soule, LESLIE D. SOULE (16 February 2012) http://authors.coffeetimeromance.com/lesliesoule/about-me/

 

GHOUTA CHEMICAL STRIKE: Dozens of innocent Syrians feared dead

Douma – VIJAY SHAH via TOM ACRES and Sky News

In an escalation of the Syrian crisis where government troops allied with the country’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, are fighting rebels in the Ghouta area east of Damascus, a report has come in stating that around 70 people have been killed in a chemical bomb attack blamed on the Syrian army.

In what UK media firm Sky News has dubbed ‘one of (the) worst chemical strikes in Syrian history’, dozens of people, many believed to be women and children, were said to have died in Ghouta, a rebel-controlled district on the outskirts of capital Damascus, where a months-long siege between rebel and government forces has caused immense hardship for thousands of residents. Around five hundred people have been reported injured, according to Sky.

 

The United States has called on Russia, which is supporting President Al-Assad, to cease its support after the Ghouta chemical atrocity. The U.S. State Department said it was keeping tabs on the ‘grossly disturbing’ situation, which occurred in a city named Douma, around 10 km (6 miles) north-east of Damascus city centre. Babies and small children were among those caught up in the attack, according to video footage provided by Sky News. Children were seen in great distress, some clutching gas masks. A volunteer rescue service, called White Helmets in English, an opponent of the government, said it found dead children with frothing saliva around their mouths

The Syrian government has denied carrying out a chemical attack in Douma, but has been accused of using chemical weapons on civilian populations in previous skirmishes with the numerous rebel groups active in the Middle Eastern country. In April 2017, more than 80 people were killed in another suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was also said to have been carried out by the Syrian government army. According to US intelligence, Al-Assad’s army is said to have stockpiles of the highly lethal gas agent, sarin, and possibly mustard gas.

“The United States continues to use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable,” the State Department said in a statement, which referenced the alleged sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun last year.

“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately.

“Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless civilians, and the suffocation of Syria’s most vulnerable communities with chemical weapons.”

Britain called for an “urgent investigation” into the alleged use of illegal weapons and an immediate end to the bloodshed.

“These are very concerning reports of a chemical weapons attack with significant number of casualties, which if correct, are further proof of Assad’s brutality against innocent civilians and his backers’ callous disregard for international norms,” the country’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“An urgent investigation is needed and the international community must respond. We call on the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, to stop the violence against innocent civilians.”

In addition to the denial of responsibility by the official Syrian government, state-owned media outlets there have claimed that reports of the chemical attacks were propaganda, fabricated by rebels who they claim are close to defeat. Most of the Ghouta area is now back under government control, with only Douma city itself still under the control of the rebel group called  Jaish al Islam.

SOURCES:

Shere Singh via Facebook.

“Dozens dead in ‘one of worst chemical strikes in Syrian history’ ” – Tom Acres, Sky News/Sky UK (8 April 2018) https://news.sky.com/story/at-least-70-dead-in-chemical-attack-by-syrian-regime-in-eastern-ghouta-says-rescue-group-11322143

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Syria – Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack.jpg” – whitehouse.gov and Elissa Rubria Honoria, Wikimedia Commons (3 September 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syria_-_Damascus_Areas_of_Influence_and_Areas_Reportedly_Affected_by_21_August_Chemical_Attack.jpg

GOOGLE, SPEAK TO ME!: Google Assistant now has a voice in smart speakers

Washington – VIJAY SHAH via HEATHER KELLY and CNN

Google Assistant, the voice-activated virtual personal assistant technology widely used on home devices and mobile phones, is destined to make an appearance on new ‘smart speakers’ fitted with screens, reported CNNtech magazine, an imprint of U.S. news network CNN, recently.

The devices, known at Google HQ as ‘smart displays’, are a step up from the current wave of internet connected home speakers such as Alexa/Amazon Echo devices. Instead of just a round box with a speaker and lights, the new technology incorporates a screen for greater user-friendliness and accessibility.

Image credit: www.nextdayblinds.com/

 

Google announced the technology officially at the renowned CES technology show which was held in Las Vegas, USA from the 9th to the 12th of January this year, and the first smart displays packaged together with the Google Assistant are planned to made available in stores and online later in 2018. Not only will the displays be an improvement on current assistant devices, but also remove the need for people to rely on using mobile phones in having to stand them up in, say, the kitchen.

Google has partnered with hardware manufacturers such as Lenovo of China, and has shown some prototypes. According to CNNtech, the smart displays are sleek rectangular devices, much like a tablet, which can be stood up on counters and tables like a picture frame.

The smart displays are expected to have compatibility with other Google products, such as Photos, Duo and searches using the eponymous search engine. There is also the possibility of being able to watch YouTube videos. The company also announced it has grand plans for its Assistant, hinting that it is planning to bring the voice to more smart televisions, headphones and Android Auto, an app that links Android devices with systems in vehicles.

SOURCES:

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

Bangladesh News 24, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/bdnews24

“Google’s assistant now works on smart speakers with screens” – Heather Kelly, CNNtech/Cable News Network/Time Warner (8 January 2018) http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/08/technology/google-assistant-smart-speakers-screens/index.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Google Assistant with notepad and glasses” – NDB Photos, Flickr (16 March 2017) https://www.flickr.com/photos/142305740@N05/33433114166

SULLEE J: “Who Am I” with Don Streat

 

After the successful release of his hit single “Slangin Knowledge” in February of this year, acclaimed Baltimore rapper Sullee J has once again linked up with fellow musician Don Streat to release a brand new track in the past week. Their latest collaboration, “Who Am I” also features the talents of Vietnam & Alyson Blaire. The music video was produced by Profitt Productions Films. It features the rappers in a tough and gritty urban scene of dereliction, interspersed with footage of children labouring in a Congolese mine and news footage of the recent riots in the US and disturbances in Italy. The song talks about the harsh realities of life and of those who went to make it big, only to get dragged deep under in a world of crime, drugs and destitution. Each of the artists comes forward to tell a story in powerful words to make you think about life’s struggles and blessings, while getting you to be awake and conscious, while Alyson Blaire provided the backing chorus, asking the inevitable question that every individual facing the struggle asks…. who am I?

Sullee J (a.k.a Sullee Justice) has announced that he and Don Streat are also commencing work on a new project called The Reprogram, and have been actively recruiting other musicians from the Baltimore hip-hop/rap scene to produce music with a greater purpose. Who Am I is one of the first fruits of the new project’s labour, and has given a platform for upcoming artists like Vietnam and Alyson Blaire to show the world about themselves in their respective verses while  displaying several realities across the globe that cover famine, police brutality, corruption and more. The Reprogram is now opening more opportunities for local artists to become involved with Sullee J and Don Streat and bring out meaningful messages in their bars.

 

officialsulleej.com

SOURCE/IMAGE CREDITS:

Sullee J Management.