Tag Archives: service

Subway service in Chile's capital suspended as protest grows

Subway service in Chile's capital suspended as protest growsSubway service in Chile’s capital was suspended Friday, trapping hundreds of thousands of commuters on their way home from work, after high school students flooded subway stations, jumping turnstiles, dodging fares and vandalizing stations as part of protests against a fare hike. Police who had been trying to break up the protests with tear gas withdrew from some subway stations. As midnight passed, President Sebastián Piñera announced a state of emergency in affected areas, allowing authorities to restrict rights to assembly and movement.



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Google Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in Danger

Google Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in DangerGettyROME—Salvatore Corrias, the mayor of the Sardinian hamlet of Baunei, is fed up. Emergency services in his island town have been called out 144 times over the last 18 months to rescue tourists who nearly followed Google map directions to their deaths. The last straw was last week when the owners of a Porsche were trying to reach a secluded white sand beach but ended up being directed to a steep cliff several hundred feet above it. “There was no way down to the beach on foot for them,” Corrias told The Daily Beast. “There wasn’t even a way to turn their expensive car around. But even worse, if they had followed the directions at night, Google would have sent them right off the cliff.”In the end, Baunei first responders had to turn the car around by physically lifting it up and pointing it back down the mountain range after rescuers reached them on foot (knowing they could not actually drive on the road they were called to). Now Corrias has put up signage all over the island to warn visitors “no Google maps.” The rescues are depleting the tiny town’s coffers so Corrias has filed a complaint to the ministry that oversees internet matters to try to block the Google Map signal on the island. “We wrote to Google hundreds of times, so we have no choice but to file a legal complaint to block it,” he says. In the meantime, he’s asked managers of hotels, museums, and restaurants on the island to warn tourists in cars and hikers exploring the island on foot not to rely on the popular service, urging them to use paper maps instead.Baunei is not the only town that has a problem thanks to bad directions by GPS navigation services. Several hamlets in the Alps have also signed petitions to try to block the signals because of the number of skiers trying to reach remote mountain areas who end up on service roads traversable only with heavy equipment. Last year alone, four parties had to be airlifted out of remote areas they reached entirely by bad directions. Google Maps also notoriously sends drivers into Venice despite the fact that the city is car-free.Comune di BauneiIt should be noted that Google is not the only provider with a GPS app that leads people astray. Waze, which is widely used in Europe, bills itself as a real-time traffic-beating app, but there have been plenty of complaints that the app sends people to road construction sites, which is why they seem like less congested routes. Near-death by GPS is not just about sending drivers off cliffs or into rivers. In 2016, 52-year-old Italian tourist Roberto Bardella died in Brazil when he and a friend were on motorcycles touring the city. They followed Google Map directions to the beach from the Christ the Redeemer statue, which sent them into the dangerous Rio de Janeiro favela of Morro dos Prazeres where they were accosted and killed. Bardella was wearing a helmet cam, which the thugs thought was a police camera, authorities said at a time. Had they asked directions from a real person, they would have never been sent through the dangerous area. Google does know it has a problem. When asked for a comment, Google public affairs sent a blanket statement that has been printed widely since the news of the ban broke. “We’re aware of an issue in Sardinia where Google Maps is routing some drivers down roads that can be difficult to navigate due to their terrain,” the statement reads. “We’re currently investigating ways that we can better alert drivers about these types of roads.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Marianne Williamson wants a national mandatory service for people ages 18-26 to combat climate change

Marianne Williamson wants a national mandatory service for people ages 18-26 to combat climate changeAt a presidential climate forum hosted by MSNBC, Marianne Williamson said Americans need a "World War II" level of mobilization against climate change.



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Man who lost mother on 9/11 blasts Rep. Ilhan Omar during memorial service

Man who lost mother on 9/11 blasts Rep. Ilhan Omar during memorial serviceA man whose mother died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar during a memorial service held at Ground Zero.



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'They hold our nation hostage and pay lip service to peace': Afghans respond to the collapse of US-Taliban talks

'They hold our nation hostage and pay lip service to peace': Afghans respond to the collapse of US-Taliban talksAfghans awoke on Sunday to find that months of negotiations that had electrified the country had been ended with a tweet. Over the course of three messages, the United States president halted talks between America and the Taliban after more than a year of meetings in the Gulf. Those talks, which had excluded the Afghan government, had been pored over and analysed for months by those at their mercy, but without a say. “The game is not played by Afghans,” said Ahmad Eqbal, 25-year-old medical graduate working in a Kabul private hospital. “The peace negotiation was symbolic, in which Afghan people were not involved. And now they have stopped talking.” “I feel that they play with our fates, and I feel being humiliated. But there is nothing we can do. We just watch.” The body of Sgt Elis Barreto Ortiz is repatriated to the US after he was killed in Kabul on September 5 Credit:  Cliff Owen/AP The negotiations in opulent Doha hotels had lent the Taliban credibility and legitimacy, when they were no more than a criminal group, the 25-year-old said. Ejas Ahmad Malikzada, a social activist based in Kabul, said the negotiations had been badly flawed and undermined the Afghan government, which has been cut out of talks. “[The Taliban] perceived that they were winning the war and the peace talks.” “It was the worst ever peace negotiation.” “I have mixed feelings. I am worried about the escalation of violence.” But he said he was also optimistic that presidential elections scheduled for the end of this month would now proceed, lending legitimacy to the Afghan government and strengthening its hand against the insurgents. As bombs tore through Kabul last week, it seemed difficult for many residents to believe that negotiations between American and Taliban envoys were making good progress. US military personnel in the Middle East Even as Donald Trump's lead negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, was last Monday telling an Afghan television channel an agreement had been finalised in principle, a truck bomb shook the capital's living rooms. That blast outside a compound housing foreign workers killed up to 30. Three days later at least 10 died when a van full of explosives detonated at a checkpoint close to Nato headquarters. Taliban fighters assaulted three provincial capitals last week and according to the New York Times, which keeps a tally of the conflict's dead, at least 179 pro-government forces and 110 civilians died over seven days. Afghan forces and civilians were being killed to strengthen the Taliban's negotiating hand said Hussain Sharifi, aged 25. “The peace process is very complicated, but Trump’s tweet raised hope for Afghans. We were the victims. It gave us hope that we enter direct talks with the Taliban with more leverage.” “We are in the worst situation. We face a dark future and everything changes so dramatically.” “They use as a political tool. When they talk, they target us.” “Like me, many people are worried about what happens next.” A market in Kabul's old city; many residents are desperate for an end to the violence Credit:  Ebrahim Noroozi/AP For Pashtana Barakzai, a 20-year-old politics student at the prestigious American University of Afghanistan, the talks had appeared to reward Taliban violence. “It's like they are holding a country hostage by gun and then they are negotiating peace,” she said. “It's basically not peace, it's the share of power that they want.” In the Afghan capital, before Mr Trump's announcement, the secrecy around talks, the fact Afghans were not present to discuss their own future, and the Taliban refusal to call a truce had fed a mixture of anxiety, anger and frustrated craving for peace. Many Kabul residents the Telegraph spoke to last week were desperate to end the violence which United Nations estimates say killed or wounded more than 11,000 civilians in 2018. They were not opposed to negotiations with the Taliban, but doubted whether the Taliban were talking in good faith. After Mr Trump's halting of talks, America's predicament remains grim however. Diplomats in Kabul said there was no prospect of a military solution to America's longest conflict. The Taliban's influence extends more widely in Afghanistan than at any time since 2001 and year-by-year the Afghan government gets weaker. Only a little over half the country's administrative districts are “controlled or influenced” by the Kabul government according to US estimates, with the rest either under the sway of the Taliban, or a contested no man's land. Under this scenario, America and Kabul's negotiating position gets weaker as time goes on. At some point the talks will have to be held again, said Graeme Smith, a consultant at International Crisis Group. “When do we get back to the negotiating table? Both sides are considering their options. It’s when, not if.”



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Alabamans are relieved Trump's Sharpie was wrong about Dorian, just like the National Weather Service said he was

Alabamans are relieved Trump's Sharpie was wrong about Dorian, just like the National Weather Service said he wasAlabamans have largely ignored Trump's storm claims.  "Dorian never had plans on visiting us or the Gulf Coast," noted one resident.



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National Weather Service appears to correct Trump on Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama

National Weather Service appears to correct Trump on Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama"Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian.," wrote the NWS. "We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama."



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US service member killed in Afghanistan: NATO

US service member killed in Afghanistan: NATOAn American service member was killed in Afghanistan, the US-led NATO mission said Friday, the latest US fatality as talks between the US and the Taliban continue. “A US service member died during combat operations in Afghanistan, August 29, 2019,” NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement. The death brings to at least 15 the number of members of the US military to be killed in action in Afghanistan this year, just as Washington is seeking a way out of its longest war.



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Bat poo no longer blights church and interrupts service, as worshippers rejoice over new scheme

Bat poo no longer blights church and interrupts service, as worshippers rejoice over new schemeEnticing the next generation through their ancient doors, keeping donations topped up and ensuring that the organ is tuned usually rank high among any church’s list of priorities. For one congregation in Leicester, however, their problems have been somewhat more ungodly. For years, members of All Saints Church in Braunston-in-Rutland have been plagued by faeces dropping from the ceiling where a 500-strong colony of bats now reside.  This has meant that instead of praying or enjoying the 1,000-year-old church building, parishioners have been slipping on its floors, art and furniture has been covered in sheeting and volunteer wardens have spent hours scouring pews and floors of bat excrement. Now, however, the congregation remains clean and dry. Following a pioneering new scheme, entitled the Bats in Churches project, work has been done to fill the gaps in the ceiling to prevent faeces and urine soaking through without harming the animals. It is illegal to stop bats – which are a protected species – from reaching their roost, leaving many churches unable to patch up holes in their walls and doors which bats use for access. As a result, many congregations across the country have often found themselves at the receiving end of their sporadic, plunging excrement.  Gail Rudge at All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, where bats have roosted and caused damage  Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  All Saints Church was one of the first to benefit from £3.8million of Heritage Lottery Funds to reduce the impact of bats on the buildings across the UK. It is one of around 100 churches, which hosts a large bat roost, which is now reaping the rewards of clean floors and clean congregants.  Sue Willetts, church warden, told the BBC: "Before, we had covers down on the floors to collect the droppings. "We had to clean the pews every time, it took an hour before every single service. Now we use the church how its meant to be." Mrs Willetts said that the bat problem “snowballed” five years ago when an old chimney in the village collapsed, prompting its residents to move into the church instead. She added that after signing up to the scheme, ecologists found gaps between the roof and the church and it was possible to block these gaps without harming the bats. She estimated that the church has received £100,000 worth of scaffolding, building, and ecological study works since applying for funding from the project. Rosemary Riddell, from the Bat in Churches project, said work at All Saints Church "has enabled us to sort of roll out solutions to other churches similar to Braunstone and it's really helped us to learn from their experiences". "[The church] was one of our guinea pigs and we're grateful for their engagement and involvement," she added. More than 100 churches have applied for the Bats and Churches Partnership, which monitors bats to see whether church managers could be allowed to take action to protect their historic buildings. It is funded by a multi-million-pound National Lottery grant.  All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  During the General Synod earlier this summer, The Telegraph reported that bats in the belfry were being mooted as a potential “tool for mission”.  Bishops visiting York were asked to answer more than 100 questions involving an array of controversial topics such as reporting abuse during confession, non-disclosure agreements and ethical investments in large technology companies; and one was on bats.  The Archdeacon of Lincoln, the Venerable Gavin Kirk, asked for an update on the progress of the Bats in Churches project, and “how those afflicted by bats may find out more about it?”  Sir Tony Baldry, chair of the Church Buildings Council, responded: “A number of projects involve volunteers from the community in managing and even exploiting the presence of bats, for school projects and the like. Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave politely.” Asked how bats may prove to be tools for mission, Sir Tony told the media: “We have to work out how to encourage them out of the belfry to roost in bat boxes in churchyards. “They could then be of interest for projects for schools and A-level students studying the life cycles of bats and so on. They are part of God's creation and are interesting mammals. “There are serious challenges. They poo and urinate over large parts of the church, it is very distressing for parishioners on a Sunday to have to clear a whole load of bat poo off the altar and pews and so for some churches that bats have made almost unusable.”



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US military says service member dead in Iraq mission

US military says service member dead in Iraq missionThe US military said Saturday that an American service member died during an operation alongside Iraqi security personnel in Nineveh province. “One US service member died today during an Iraqi Security Force mission in… Iraq, while advising and accompanying the ISF during a planned operation,” US Central Command said in a statement. Iraq’s government in late 2017 declared victory against IS, which seized vast swathes of the country including the key northern city of Mosul in a lightning 2014 offensive.



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