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Norwegian Cruise Line Passengers Mutiny Over Changed Plans and Poor Conditions

Norwegian Cruise Line Passengers Mutiny Over Changed Plans and Poor ConditionsIt is not clear if the rebellion was sparked by the clogged toilets or the canceled visit to Scotland, but passengers on the Norwegian Cruise Line ship had had enough. In recent days, travelers on the "mystical fjords" voyage in Europe have staged (and live tweeted) a veritable mutiny after inclement weather forced repeated changes to their itinerary and trapped them at sea.The ship, called Norwegian Spirit, departed from Southampton, England, recently for a 14-day voyage with planned stops in the Netherlands, Norway and Iceland. But those plans were scuttled by bad weather, forcing the ship to plan new stops — some of which were then also canceled because of the weather. Passengers said they were stuck at sea for three days.By Monday, a fed-up — and social media-savvy — group of passengers rallied in the ship's atrium to vent their outrage at the crew, demand a refund from the company and post images and video of their revolt on newly created Twitter and YouTube accounts. They described the scene as a "riot" and "open rebellion.""Buddy, you're not a manager, we want the head — who is driving the boat?" a passenger in one video asked a uniformed crew member, who stood flanked by security personnel in a crowd of angry vacationers. Nearby, a woman screamed."What you're doing right now is you're not helping the situation, you're getting people amped up," the passenger said to the crew member. Later, looking into the camera, the passenger said: "Nothing on this itinerary is the same. Nothing is the same. Not one thing."Passengers shared grim images of their trip on Twitter, including video and pictures of toilets that did not flush, a picture of a uniformed crew member in a scrum of angry passengers grabbing one of them by the wrist, and a receipt for a $ 79 tour of the ship that included a visit to the laundry room."After three days floating around the Atlantic the bathrooms are backing up, not flushing, and out of order today on Norwegian Spirit," one protester, Cody McNutt, wrote on a Twitter account he started to share updates from the protests. He said it "smelled like sewage in public areas on the ship."McNutt wrote that the ship was scheduled to dock in Southampton on Friday but that he had gotten off at an earlier port."Many passengers got off the ship when it stopped after 3 days stuck floating the ocean, fearing for their safety and health," he wrote.Another video showed crew members retreating up a staircase to escape dozens of angry passengers in the ship's atrium, many of whom could be seen holding their phones over their heads to record the mayhem. The man being booed was the captain, the passengers said."We don't want to be on this ship!" one man yelled, as the crew members clambered up the stairs. Another man agreed, yelling, "We want off the ship!"In another video, passengers at a reception desk can be seen angrily reacting to staff members who advised them to call the cruise line's Miami headquarters for information.Again, many of the passengers can be seen recording the scene with their phones. "It's a good thing we got this fancy new phone here for our trip," a woman quipped.A representative for Norwegian Cruise Line declined on Thursday to provide a day-by-day breakdown of events on the ship or to provide its original and modified itineraries. In a statement, the company pleaded for calm."We understand that it is disheartening when we are unable to call on ports that our guests have been looking forward to visiting," the company said. "However, we do ask for our guests' patience, cooperation and understanding that severe weather conditions are an act of God and cannot be controlled, influenced or remediated by the cruise line."A spokesman said that the itinerary was changed because of "severe weather conditions" and that the company had offered its passengers 25% off the cost of a future cruise.But on social media, the protesters said that offer was not enough.They held up signs in the ship's atrium and chanted: "Refund! Refund! Refund!"This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Ford announces plans to display 6 Ford Ranger concepts at SEMA 2019

Ford announces plans to display 6 Ford Ranger concepts at SEMA 2019To show off all the customization possibilities available for the Ford Ranger, Ford is bringing 6 unique concept models of the pick-up to this year’s SEMA show, taking place next month. What better place to display the breadth of customization possibilities available for the Ford Ranger than at one of the biggest automotive specialty products trade shows in the US? Ford is using SEMA 2019 as an opportunity to exhibit six concepts of the pickup with six distinct looks and purposes.



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Uganda plans bill imposing death penalty for gay sex

Uganda plans bill imposing death penalty for gay sexUganda announced plans on Thursday for a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, saying the legislation would curb a rise in unnatural sex in the east African nation. The bill – colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda – was nullified five years ago on a technicality and the government said it plans to resurrect it within weeks. “Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,” Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.



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Lights out? PG&E plans to shut off power for more than 800K customers in California to reduce wildfire risk

Lights out? PG&E plans to shut off power for more than 800K customers in California to reduce wildfire riskPacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison may shut off power for nearly a million customers in an effort to prevent wildfires.



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White House denies report China's Liu He plans to leave Washington on Thursday: CNBC

White House denies report China's Liu He plans to leave Washington on Thursday: CNBC“We are not aware of a change in the Vice Premier’s travel plans at this time,” a White House spokesman told CNBC. When asked if a breakthrough can be expected in the China talks this week, the official told CNBC that U.S. President Donald Trump has not yet made up his mind.



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Ukraine says plans second major prisoner swap with Russia

Ukraine says plans second major prisoner swap with RussiaUkraine plans to carry out a major prisoner swap with Russia and hopes it will take place next week, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said late on Thursday. The Kremlin did not immediately confirm such plans, but said work on a swap was underway and that it favored an all-for-all prisoner exchange. The comments come after a breakthrough at talks between Moscow and Kiev this week that open the way for an international summit aimed at ending the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s east.



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North Korea Plans to Wage War from Secret Underground Air Bases

North Korea Plans to Wage War from Secret Underground Air BasesHow would they pull it off?



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Brexit latest news: Boris Johnson set to unveil his plans to the EU

Brexit latest news: Boris Johnson set to unveil his plans to the EUBoris Johnson poised to reveal his final Brexit plan to EU leaders William Hague: The rule of law is integral to conservatism. The Tories should not fight it Michael Deacon: Francois is breakout star of Brexit. And on Monday he showed why No-deal Brexit odds: Latest predictions on leaving EU without deal Sign up: Brexit Whatsapp updates and the Brexit Bulletin  ​Reported plans by the British Government to create customs posts along both sides of the Irish border to replace the backstop, have been dismissed by Simon Coveney. Irish State broadcaster RTE reported the suggestion sent to the European Union by the UK would lead to the posts being built between five and 10 miles back from the current border. The idea for the customs posts are contained in the so-called 'non-papers' submitted by UK officials during recent technical discussions. The deputy Irish premier poured cold water on the plans, saying Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland "deserves better." He tweeted: "Non-Paper Non-Starter. Time the EU had a serious proposal from the UK Govt if a £Brexit deal is to be achievable in October. NI and IRE deserves better!" Brexit | The best comment and analysis Mr Johnson will finally unveil his detailed plan for Brexit to EU leaders within the next 24 hours, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Downing Street will set out the Prime Minister’s preferred alternative to the Irish backstop in a series of calls to EU capitals ahead of a formal text being delivered to Brussels after his speech to the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday. The UK plan, which could be delivered as early as Tuesday, is expected to be based on the creation of an all-Ireland “economic zone” which would allow agricultural and food products to move between Ulster and the republic without checks at the border. A proposal to align regulations on industrial goods is expected to be included. Q&A; | The Brexit backstop The proposal will also suggest ways for Northern Ireland’s political parties to have a say in the application of any EU rules and regulations in order to build democratic legitimacy for the replacement to the backstop. But on the critical question of customs – which the EU side says is a potential deal-breaker – the Johnson plan is still expected to rely on technology and so-called “alternative arrangements”, such as trusted-trader schemes and exemptions for small businesses.   7:43AM Good morning from Manchester Boris Johnson’s plans for Brexit are set to be revealed in the next few days. Legal text for a deal has been drawn up and will be given to the EU after the Prime Minister delivers his conference speech tomorrow. His plans for customs checks have, however, already been attacked by Ireland. He’ll be doing the media rounds so we’ll report any worthy nuggets. Priti Patel will today unveil a £10 million investment in stun guns to arm police in the battle against knife crime as well as a major offensive against “county lines” drug gangs. We will keep you posted with all the latest developments. 7:30AM Front pages today It's a mixed bag from today's national newspapers, but the Prime Minister featured in one way or another on the majority of them.  7:23AM What's coming up today?  Well, it's all about Boris Johnson this morning.  He is scheduled to appear on BBC Breakfast at 7.45am after news filtered through about the imminent release of his Brexit plans.  The Prime Minister is also down to appear on BBC Radio 4's Today programme in its coveted 8.10am interview slot.  And it's not just Brexit on the news agenda – there is the allegations that the Conservative leader squeezed a woman's thigh in the 1990s, a claim he has denied.



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Iranian official denies plans to interfere with US election

Iranian official denies plans to interfere with US electionIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is denying his country would interfere with the upcoming U.S. presidential election and says his government doesn’t have a preference in the race. The interview took place in New York, which Zarif visited this past week to attend meetings at the United Nations. “We don’t interfere in the internal affairs of another country,” Zarif said later.



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Robert Mugabe to be buried in home village as Zimbabwe government abandons mausoleum plans

Robert Mugabe to be buried in home village as Zimbabwe government abandons mausoleum plansThe tussle over Robert Mugabe's burial took a new twist on Thursday when the government of Zimbabwe abandoned plans to inter him at a national cemetery following pressure from his family.  Mugabe will now be buried at his home village of Zvimba in accordance with his family's wishes, the government of Zimbabwe has said. "The family of the late former president R G Mugabe has expressed its desire to proceed wit his burial in Zwimba. In line with Government policy to respect the wishes of families of deceased heroes, Government is cooperating with the Mugabe family in their new position," President Emmerson Mnanagwa's office said in a statement.  The family was not immediately reachable for comment, but local media said the burial would take place at a private ceremony on Saturday. Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 until he was overthrown in a coup in 2017, died in a Singapore hospital at the age of 95 on September 6.  His state funeral on September 14 was overshadowed by a tug of war between his widow, Grace Mugabe, and Mr Mnangagwa, the former right-hand man who overthrew him two years ago.   Mr Mnangagwa had insisted on burying him at Heroes' Acre, a cemetery Mugabe founded for veterans of Zimbabwe's independence war and where a plot has long been set aside for hims alongside the grave of his first wife, Sally Mugabe.  But Mrs Mugabe and other members of the family  said the former president had changed his mind about being buried at Heroes' Acre after the 2017 coup.     They wanted to bury him alongside his mother and brothers in Zvimba, the rural district about 50 miles from Harare where he grew up.   Two weeks ago the government appeared to have won when a deal was announced to build a new mausoleum for Mugabe at the highest point in Heroes Acre, rather than lay him to rest in the plot next to Sally.  Mr Mnangagwa, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, is under increasing pressure at home over a spiraling economic crisis.



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