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Ferrari slip helps Bottas win Japanese GP and give Mercedes the constructors’ title
13 October 2019, 3:44 PM

Valtteri Bottas roared to victory in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix as Mercedes clinched the Formula One constructors’ championship and guaranteed themselves an unprecedented sixth consecutive title double.

The Finn crossed the line 11.3 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, whose pole-sitting Ferrari proved no match for Mercedes in race trim, leaving the German to fend off a charging Lewis Hamilton in third.

The result moved Mercedes 177 points clear of Ferrari, allowing them to wrap up a record-equalling sixth consecutive constructors’ crown, with a maximum 176 points from four races still left up for grabs.

It also assures Mercedes of the drivers’ title, with only Bottas capable of challenging Hamilton, who saw his lead narrow to 64 points, in the overall standings.

Mercedes have now equalled Ferrari, who won six constructors’ titles between 1999-2004.

Ferrari looked like they might delay Mercedes’ title celebrations after locking out the front row earlier in Sunday’s morning’s qualifying session.

But both pole-sitter Vettel and team mate Charles Leclerc ran into trouble at the start.

Vettel, launched off the line a fraction too soon, slammed on the brakes and got going again.

He was investigated for a false start but let off without sanction.

The momentary hesitation, however, was enough to allow Bottas to sweep around the outside and vault into the lead.

Leclerc collided with Max Verstappen at the first corner as the Dutchman tried to pass around the outside, pushing the Red Bull into a spin and damaging his Ferrari.

He nevertheless carried on, crucially holding up Hamilton, as his car shed bodywork in shower of debris before eventually pitting for repairs at the end of the third lap.

After the race, the 22-year-old Dutch driver, who failed to finish the race, questioned the stewards’ response with an initial announcement that they were taking no further action against Leclerc before they then decided to summon both drivers afterwards.

The stewards eventually handed Leclerc post-race time penalties totalling 15 seconds for two incidents, dropping him to seventh place from sixth at the chequered flag.

The stewards found Leclerc to be predominantly at fault for the collision, imposing a five-second penalty and two penalty points.

The other 10 seconds were for continuing to drive with a car in an unsafe condition.

Ferrari were also fined 25,000 euros ($27,600.00).

Rivers swell, drains overflow in Tokyo as typhoon nears
12 October 2019, 3:56 PM

Water levels in small rivers around Tokyo rose and drains overflowed in Tokyo on Saturday (October 12) as a powerful typhoon churned towards the Japanese capital, bringing with it the heaviest rain and winds in 60 years.

Typhoon Hagibis, which means “speed” in Philippine language Tagalog, has caused suspension of train services and people told to remain inside.

The storm, which the government warned could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, has already brought record-breaking rainfall in Kanagawa prefecture south of Tokyo with a whopping 700 mm (27.6 inches) of rain over 24 hours.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the highest level of warning for some areas in Tokyo, Kanagawa and five other surrounding prefectures, warning of amounts of rain that occur only once in decades.

The storm has played havoc with the sporting events currently happening in the country. Rugby World Cup matches have had to be cancelled and the Formula one qualifying session moved to Sunday due to torrential downpours.

Tropical Storm Humberto lashes Bahamas, seen becoming hurricane
14 September 2019, 7:41 PM

Tropical Storm Humberto lashed already devastated parts of the Bahamas with heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday, and forecasters said it was likely to become a hurricane before the end of the weekend.

The storm is expected to leave the northwestern Bahamas later on Saturday and then will move well offshore of the east coast of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean through early next week, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

Humberto had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 km per hour) with higher gusts, and was expected to become a hurricane by Sunday night, the Miami-based NHC said on Saturday.

It barely moved during Saturday morning, the NHC said, and was located about 30 miles (45 km) east-northeast of Great Abaco Island.

It was forecast to resume a slow motion toward the northwest and north later in the day.

Forecasters said the storm could drop up to six inches (15.24 cm) of rain in some areas but that it was not expected to produce significant storm surge in the northwestern Bahamas, which were hammered earlier this month by Hurricane Dorian.

Humberto could, however, hamper relief efforts in the area where thousands of structures were flattened and 70,000 people were left needing shelter, food and water and medical aid.

Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on September 1 as a Category 5 storm, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever to hit land, packing top sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (298 km per hour).

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has said the official death toll from Dorian stands at 50 but that hundreds of people are missing and it is expected to rise.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Nassau on Friday in a show of international support.

He met with evacuees at a shelter and told reporters Dorian should be awake-up call for the world about the dangers of climate change.

“If we don’t reverse the situation we’ll see tragedies like this one multiplying and becoming more and more intense, more frequent,” Guterres said. “Climate change is running faster than what we are. We need to reverse this trend.”

Boxing star, Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels laid to rest
14 September 2019, 6:22 PM
Twenty five year-old slain boxing star, Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels has been laid to rest in East London.
She was allegedly gunned down by her ex-boyfriend who shot her several times while she was on her way to the gym.
Jegels has been remembered as a multi-talented athlete who excelled in boxing and karate.
Speaking at Leighandre’s funeral, her father, Ensil Jegels says his family won’t rest until someone is held to account.
Watch the full report below:

 

Microsoft’s Brad Smith: Tech companies won’t wait for US to act on social media laws
14 September 2019, 3:41 PM

Microsoft Corp President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said on Friday that US tech companies will change how they moderate online platforms in response to new laws from foreign governments, regardless of whether US lawmakers take action.

In an interview with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J.Adler at a Reuters News maker event in New York, Smith said that other countries such as New Zealand were passing laws in the wake of events like the mass murder in Christchurch earlier this year.

The murder of 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand was streamed on major online platforms including Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube.

The companies raced to take down the videos, but they were still available for more than a day.

“The laws around the world are going to change, and because technology is so global, American companies will adopt a new approach even if the United States Congress does nothing,” he said.

Smith spoke to Reuters as part of a tour to promote his recently released book, “Tools and Weapons.”

Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996, protects tech companies from being sued for what users of their online platforms upload. But Smith said the law, critical to enabling the expansion of internet services and social media,should now be revisited.

Technology companies, he said, should have a “new level of responsibility” for what is said on their sites.

Smith, who was promoted to Microsoft president in 2015, the first time the company had filled the role in more than a decade, has since become the company’s public face on controversial intersections between technology and society.

He also said tech companies have a responsibility to work together to help bridge the so-called digital divide, where rural Americans often lack broadband internet access, calling it”the technological underpinning for many of the major social, economic and political issues of the day.”

FACIAL RECOGNITION

The technology industry’s responsibility to society was a theme in the discussion and in his new book. Smith said the industry should not enable governments to engage in cyber attacks.

He said Microsoft has turned down government requests for facial recognition software in cases where it fears misuse and will never sell the technology for surveillance.

“We won’t sell facial recognition services for the purposes of mass surveillance anywhere in the world,” he said.

Microsoft has called for stronger regulation of facial recognition technology, which has been used in China to track ethnic minorities.

Smith stopped short for calling for an outright ban on the technology, saying that Microsoft believes it has valid uses and has argued that governments should move faster to regulate it.

“It’s hard to innovate if you can’t use something, and it’shard to learn if you can’t innovate,” Smith said.

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