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  • Fidel Castro turns 90: Cuba rolls 90m cigar to mark birthday of 'Historic Leader'

    A veteran-cigar maker has celebrated Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday by rolling what is believed to be the world’s longest cigar.

    At 90m long, it took Cuban cigar roller, Jose Castelar, 10 days to make and he hopes to gain his sixth Guinness record from the feat.

    “I haven’t smoked in many years,” Mr Castelar told USA Today. “But our present to him is our joint effort to commemorate his birthday, because we know that he does not smoke anymore.”

    Cuba has put on a number of events this month to honour the retired "El Comandante" who spearheaded its 1959 revolution and built a Communist-run state on the doorstep of the United States. 

    Thousands celebrated the birthday in a giant street party along Havana’s Malecon boulevard by dancing to Latin beats through the night from Friday to Saturday, with a live band bursting into “Happy Birthday” at midnight.

    Saturday in a long column carried by state-run media in which the iconic leftist revolutionary also lambasted the US.

    "I want to express my most profound gratitude for the shows of respect, the greetings and gifts I have received the days, which give me the strength to reciprocate through ideas," Mr Castro wrote in the opinion piece.

    Mr Castro, who handed power to his younger brother Raul in 2008 due to poor health also wrote about his youth in the eastern village of Biran and about his father who died before the revolution.

    Castro went on to lambast Barack Obama, over his speech in May when he visited Hiroshima - the site of the world's first atomic bombing at the end of World War Two.

    Source: The Independent

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  • August horoscopes

    The final month of summer of 2016 will be a bright, exceptionally positive and at the same time incredibly harmonious period for practically all zodiac signs. The dynamics of solar emanations will be especially high now, resulting in overall constructive energy levels, which will easily neutralize the lion's share of potentially negative impacts, so to say, in the automatic mode. Despite the fact that we are talking about the so-called "vacation season", in August of 2016 you're unlikely to have much time for relaxing, because the position of Mercury and Mars, our main protagonists in the given period, call for the most vigorous actions, especially in your working direction. So it is better not to plan any vacations and other "breaks" during this month. Although, of course, nobody can forbid you from doing this, right? But then you'll strongly regret your decision when you see how many opportunities you've missed (and how much your colleagues have gained). Let's not dwell on bad news! Because now everything is in bloom! You're full of energy and ready for battle! That is why, with the support from the Red Warrior and the "main celestial trader " you should boldly march towards conquering your financial plans, career heights and all other materialistic aspirations. Of course, you shouldn't forget about your sensual and spiritual development, but now, frankly speaking, all this will move to the sidelines and give way to more pragmatic goals.

    It's fair to say that despite the overall exceptionally positive mood of the month, August of 2016 will not be deprived of some pitfalls (otherwise, life would be boring!). First and foremost, it's worth mentioning the influence of Venus, this rather strong and, let's say, opinionated planet. It's very bizarre that the priestess of heaven will focus its energy impulses not on the field of your personal relationships, as it should, but somewhere in the vicinity of your working sphere. This situation is startling and ambiguous, and that's what makes it potentially dangerous. Be vigilant and careful when signing any major contracts. Do not "procrastinate," but at the same time, proceed carefully and consistently. No one will punish you for the delay, but any error could cost you a lot. Also, don't let your guard down in the sensory-emotional sphere, although here everything should be much calmer and safer. Pluto won't be strong enough to cause you real problems, so you'll end up with some routine concerns, minor quarrels and fairly standard anxieties. It goes without saying that you'll need to attend to these issues, otherwise something irreparable may happen. After all, all these minor problems have one incredibly nasty habit of accumulating. And what is easier to deal with: individual fingers or a fist?

    As far as the "heavenly leaders" are concerned, in August of 2016 the water elements (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) will have the Moon on their side, and it would be an incredibly huge bonus second to none. The second place goes to the fire trine (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), which will acquire Uranus as an additional patron, the planet that is rather ambiguous, but sometimes able "to come up" with real "pearls." The air trine (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) may show off by having Mercury on its side, yes, the same Mercury that will now help all the inhabitants of the earth without exception. It turns out the lord of heaven and earth trade routes has picked its favorites. But we're not in the fifth grade, so there's no need to be jealous, is there?... The "heavenly leader" of the earth trine (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) will be Saturn, the mighty and unshakeable. It is difficult to predict the benefits that this object of the solar system will shower humankind with at the current stage, but it will clearly bring about some positive aspects. To sum it all up, August, in general, will prove to be a rather positive and successful time for all of us.
    Source: gotohoroscope

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  • Corbyn joins seatless commuters on floor for three-hour train journey

    Labour leader is filmed during trip from London to Newcastle, on his way to meet Owen Smith for leadership hustings

    Spending a busy train journey without a seat, crushed up against other commuters in the aisle, or crouched uncomfortably in the luggage compartment is an all-too-common experience for many. But you don’t expect to spot the leader of the opposition on the floor of a train on your way to work.

    Jeremy Corbyn, famed for standing up for his principles, sat down for them last week, along with 20 other seatless commuters on a three-hour train journey from London to Newcastle.

    In a video shot as he was on his way to debate with Owen Smith in the Labour leadership hustings in Gateshead, Corbyn is seen sitting on the floor of the train, a coffee and brown paper bag at his feet, reading Private Eye. The freelance filmmaker Yannis Mendez, who has been following Corbyn and volunteers for his campaign, filmed the footage.

    From his spot on the floor, which he chose rather than upgrading to first class, Corbyn turns to the camera and says: “This is a problem that many passengers face every day, commuters and long-distance travellers. Today this train is completely ram-packed. The staff are absolutely brilliant, working really hard to help everybody.

    “The reality is there are not enough trains, we need more of them – and they’re also incredibly expensive.” He said the whole experience was a good case for public ownership.

    Later, Corbyn said: “Is it fair that I should upgrade my ticket whilst others who might not be able to afford such a luxury should have to sit on the floor? It’s their money I would be spending after all.”

    Ellen, a mother-of-two who travelled on the same train and and also had no seat, said: “It was a surprise to see him there, but it was refreshing. It made me realise that it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a politician travelling alongside average commuters. They should be on the same level as the general public.”

    It is not the first time Corbyn has experienced the reality of Britain’s transport woes. During the 2015 leadership campaign he was spotted on a night bus after a day’s campaigning:

    Source: The Guardian

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  • Former Fifa president and IOC member dies aged 100

    Former Fifa president Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100.

    The Brazilian was predecessor to Sepp Blatter at world football's governing body, serving from 1974 to 1998.

    He resigned as Fifa's honorary president in April 2013 following an investigation into bribery allegations and was admitted to hospital the following year with a lung infection.

    He was an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from 1963 until 2011, resigning because of ill health.

    Havelange represented Brazil in swimming at the 1936 Olympics - the year he qualified as a lawyer - before his election to the IOC.

    As Fifa president he led the World Cup's expansion from 16 to 32 teams, with six competitions held under his tenure.

    Source: BBC

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  • Joseph Schooling, the boy who beat Michael Phelps eight years after meeting his Olympic hero

    Joseph Schooling rocked the swimming world when he defeated the most successful Olympic athlete of all time in Michael Phelps, eight years after he met the 22-time gold medallist as a young boy.

    21-year-old Schooling triumph in the thrilling 100m butterfly final that saw Singapore claim its first ever Olympic gold medal and three men share second place, with Phelps standing alongside rival Chad le Clos on the podium as well as Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh.

    Having already won four gold medals at the Rio Olympic Games, a fifth appeared to be a formality for 31-year-old Phelps, only for Schooling to upset the odds and turn the swimming world on its head.

    Schooling shot out into a lead that he would not relinquish as he recorded a new Olympic record of 50.39 seconds, with Phelps, Le Clos and Cseh all clocking 51.14 to share the silver medal.

    "I'm just ecstatic. I need it to sink in," Schooling told reporters afterwards.

    "It feels great - kind of feels surreal right now, it's crazy," he said.

    "I really can't describe how this moment feels. All the adrenaline is running through my veins right now. It's a dream come true."

    A picture of Schooling meeting Phelps back in 2008 was widely shared on social media that not only provided a heart-warming moment between the pair but also displayed Phelps’s incredible longevity in the pool, having dominated the sport for the past 16 years.

    Schooling was also hailed as a hero from his countrymen back home in Singapore, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong taking to Facebook to congratulate the nation’s maiden Olympic gold medallist.

    "This is Singapore's first Olympic gold medal ever and also our first medal for ‪the Rio Olympics," he wrote.

    "My heartiest congratulations to Joseph Isaac Schooling for his historic gold medal win. It is an incredible feat to compete among the world's best - stay focused and emerge victorious.

    "You made us very proud today."

    Phelps confirmed after the race that will finally retire following the Rio Games, four years after he initially decided to call it a day having dominated the pool at London 2012. With Phelps set to compete in the United States’ 4x100m medley relay team on Saturday night in his final Olympic race, he could bring the curtain down on his career with an astonishing 23 gold medals and 28 overall, should the US team claim a victory as expected.

    However, Schooling wants Phelps to continue so that they can face-off once again in the hope that the Singaporean can get the better of his idol.

    "I hope that Michael can stay around long enough for me to race him again. I'd love that."

    Source: The Independent

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