Brazil: What’s next for President Dilma Rousseff?

Posted by João Marques Lima | Monday, 18 April 2016 | Posted in , , , , , , , , ,

The Brazilian congress has voted to impeach the president, experts say removal from office is irreversible.

Brazil's first female president Dilma Rousseff has this weekend faced the biggest backlash in her political career after the lower house of congress voted to impeach her over corruption allegations.

In a turbulent session and amid passionate speeches, 367 of the 513 deputies came forward one by one and say ‘yes’ to impeach the president. Only 342 in favour votes were needed for the outcome.

137 voted against, seven abstained from voting, and two others failed to show up for the voting session.

Following Sunday’s vote, the dismissal process has now been passed over to the Senate (the upper house of Brazil’s government).

The president of the lower-house, Eduardo Cunha, has now sent the case of impeachment to the Senate’s president Renan Calheiros.

The Senate will now look at the case and decide the final outcome for Rousseff: continue as president or dismissed from office.

In case the house decides the process should be investigated further, Rousseff will be kept away from her presidential role up to 180 days. Vice-president Michel Temer would assume the presidency.

José Guimarães, leader of the Workers Party, also Rousseff’s party, acknowledge defeat and said:  “The fight is now in the courts, the street and the senate."

Roussef is Brazil’s 36th president and she is currently in her second mandate, after 54m Brazilians voted for her in 2014.

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

Fancy a 1610 Km/h educational spin?

Posted by João Marques Lima | Sunday, 17 April 2016 | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Car with 135,000 horse power wants to get children looking at STEMs.

A supersonic car that can reach up to 1610 Km/h is set to be trialled later this year in South Africa.

Built in the UK by a team of formula 1 and airspace experts, the Bloodhound SSC can cover 1.6Km in 3.6 seconds.

However, the car is much more than just a speed craze project. The team behind it wants to use human’s need for speed to inspire children about technology, science, engineering and maths.

Bloodhound SSC’s creators, claim the car is the most complex vehicle ever designed.

Watch a video of the project bellow:

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

Avatar fans prepare for sequels deluge as James Cameron promises four films

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Director drops plans for three more sequels adding a fourth due by 2023.

The world’s highest-grossing film ever, Avatar, will have not one, not two but four sequels to the 2009 original.

The announcement was made by the film’s director James Cameron at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

"We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” he said. “We are making four epic [Avatar] films that stand alone but together form a saga. These movies were designed to be seen in theaters first.

"I have been working the last couple of years with a team of four top screenwriters to design the world of Avatar going forward: the characters, the creatures, the environment, the new cultures.

"So far, the art I am seeing, is in pure imagination, really far beyond the first film. It is going to be a true epic saga."

The Oscar winning director said fans can expect the second movie to be in cinemas worldwide by Christmas 2018, with further sequels due in December 2020, 2022 and 2023.

Avatar, the sci-fi film portrayed in the 22nd century, is based on the human colonisation of another planet, Pandora, where other living forms like the blue Na’vi inhabit.

The first film released seven years ago received mostly positive reviews worldwide, with revenues topping $2.8bn.

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

Powerful earthquakes kill over 270 in last 48h in Asia, Americas

Posted by João Marques Lima | | Posted in , , , , , , , , , ,

First in Japan, then in Ecuador, the earth has shaken and cities have been brought down to their knees.

Powerful earthquakes have stroke Japan and Ecuador, killing at least 274 people, with the death toll expected to rise even further.

In Japan, a first foreshock of magnitude-6.2 hit the south-western area of Kumamoto on April 14 leaving a trail of destruction and nine dead.

A second earthquake of 6.0 hit on the same day and a third powerful 7.3 shake occurred on April 16.

All together, the earthquakes resulted in at least 41 casualties. Eleven people are still missing and around 180,000 are still being advised not to return to their homes as further earthquakes are possible and infrastructures are weak.

According to local authorities, hundreds of thousands of homes have no water and 62,000 have no electricity.

Rescue teams are now in a “race against the clock,” according to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to save as many people locked under the rubble as possible.

Weather forecasts also predict heavy rain in the region, which could cause landslides and make a “dire situation worse”.

The country has deployed 25,000 self-defence forces on the streets to help with rescue operations.

Across the Pacific Ocean, in Central America’s Ecuador, at least 233 people have died after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in the Esmeraldas Province early on Saturday evening (early morning CET).

More than 600 people are reported injured, according to Quito’s emergency management office, and several are still missing. Experts admit the death toll could rise even further in the next hours.

The earthquake was one of the strongest to hit the country in four decades and was also felt in neighbouring nations.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has called on Ecuadorians to remain “calm and united” as the state of emergency was declared.

Over 10,000 troops and 3,500 police members are being sent to the hard-hit areas in search for survivors.

In the Vatican, Pope Francis has called upon those in Saint Peter’s Square to pray for the victim of both earthquakes.

He said: “Last night a violent earthquake hit Ecuador, causing numerous victims and great damages.

"Let's pray for those populations, and for those of Japan, where as well there has been some earthquakes in the last days. The help of God and of the brothers give them strength and support."

Both earthquakes occurred on what is called “the ring of fire”, located in the basin of the Pacific Ocean and known for its intensive earthquake and volcanic activity.

In the late hours of Sunday (around 12pm CET), a third powerful earthquake of 6.1 hit the southeast part of Tonga. There have been no reports of damage or causalities form the isle-nation.

There has been no official indication that all earthquakes are related.

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

Pope plays down hype on Syrian refugees taken to Rome

Posted by João Marques Lima | | Posted in , , , , , , , , , ,

Symbolic gesture comes after the Vatican’s head of state visited the Greek isle of Lesbos where thousands of refugees are stranded.

In no more than five hours, Pope Francis sent out a clear message to the world’s elite from refugee-packed Lesbos.

The leader of the Catholic Church chose 12 Syrian Muslim refugees and took them with him, on his private plane back to Rome and the Vatican.

“They are guests of the Vatican,” Francis said. “This is purely a humanitarian gesture, not a political one.”

The group of 12 is made of three families and a total of six children. All families have had their houses bombed in Syria as conflict in the country continues to escalate.

Using a Mother Teresa’s quote, the Pope said: “[This 12 refugees are] a drop of water in the sea. But after this drop, the sea will never be the same.”

Aboard the Papal airplane, Francis told journalists that “all had been done according to the rules” in reference to the process of taking the Syrian families from the Greek isle to the Holy See.

He said: “They have documents; the three governments, the Vatican, Italy and the Greek government, examined everything and gave them visas.

“They will be welcomed by the Vatican with the help of the Italian Community of Sant’Egidio, who will help them find a job, if possible.”

Lesbos has become one of the main entry gates to Europe for those fleeing from different conflicts in the Middle East, and especially in Syria.

Thousands are stranded in the island and around 3,000 could face deportation back to Turkey under the EU’s new tactic to reduce the number of migrants entering central Europe.

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

EU data protection regulation Digital Single Market milestone, says EuroISPA

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Rise of online dictates need for new policies which will help Europe become one digital space, according to the world's largest association of ISPs.

The European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA) has welcomed the EU’s approval of a package of regulation on the continent’s citizens’ data.

This week, the EU gave green light to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which “provides future-proof flexibility to ensure development of data-focused technologies and consumer services”.

The association said that while the new regulation mainstreams data protection rules across sectors, it is essential that the legislation is implemented across the EU in a harmonised manner.

“The GDPR was inspired by the need to harmonise fragmented data protection rules across the EU,” it said in a statement.

“This ambition needs to be maintained in the crucial implementation phase. EuroISPA will continue to engage with both the European Commission and national data protection authorities, to ensure that GDPR implementation allows the European Single Market to thrive.”

Oliver Süme, EuroISPA’s President, said: "With the adoption of the GDPR, Europe is laying down an important milestone in terms of creating trust in the digital economy.

“After engaging in the three year process leading up to this day, EuroISPA will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the ambition and momentum of the Digital Single Market is maintained in important upcoming policy discussions".

The EuroISPA is the world's largest association of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) representing the interests of more than 2500 ISPs across the EU and the EFTA countries.

On Tuesday, the EU’s commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Günther H. Oettinger, will build up on the new regulations to present the first steps on how to achieve his vision of a Gigabit Society by 2025 in Europe.

The project aims to address poor bandwidth in rural communities, boost ubiquitous connectivity to support all forms of mobility, and improve overall internet coverage across industries and services.

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

Could Pure Gym’s LA Fitness acquisition pump revenues up?

Posted by João Marques Lima | | Posted in , , , , , , , , ,

Fitness chain’s portfolio is on a race to reach 200 locations by the end of the year.

UK gym operator Pure Gym has bulked is offering adding 43 fitness clubs to its portfolio of over 130 across Britain with the acquisition of rival LA Fitness.

The country’s largest gym operator is now awaiting for regulatory approval in order to convert all LA Fitness’ centres into Pure Gym ones.

The low-cost gym membership company said all 123,000 LA Fitness members will be transferred to its data base and will be able to use the company’s existing gyms in addition to the rival’s sites.

Pure Gym is also planning to open 30 new sites in 2016, bringing the company’s total fitness hubs to more than 200.

The company is also said to be planning to conduct a stock market float that could value the chain at nearly £500m, according to The Telegraph.

With the acquisition of LA Fitness, a potential IPO could help the business revenues grow above last year’s £125m.

Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of Pure Gym, said: “This transaction represents a good deal for members of both Pure Gym and LA Fitness as well as other consumers that are hungry for more affordable fitness options.

“Overall demand for affordable, high quality, and no-contract fitness centres is continuing to grow, served by a range of providers in a highly competitive market-place. With the addition of the LA Fitness sites, Pure Gym will continue to innovate with new facilities, technologies and services for our existing and prospective members.”

Also commenting, Martin Long, CEO of LA Fitness, said that following a successful restructuring and CVA last year, the business is trading well, with strong customer loyalty and momentum.

“This is the result of exceptionally hard work by all of our teams, during a period of uncertainty and we are pleased to have secured a new-long term owner in Pure Gym,” he said.

“This transaction, will give users of LA Fitness access to high quality fitness centres through a network of existing and new gyms. I am confident that our facilities and members will benefit from Pure Gym’s investment and attractive proposition.”

by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

'Hail, Caesar!' The comedy that will make you stick to the screen

Posted by Sofia Parro | Sunday, 14 February 2016 | Posted in , , , , , ,

An emperor, a Hollywood production and a production nightmare, Sofia Parro looks at the comedy of the year.

Produced by four time Oscar winners Cohen brothers, Hail,Ceaser!, follows the daily life of a studio fixer (Ralph Fiennes), who tries to sort every problem that comes across during the shooting of a 1950's all-star comedy (Hollywood's Golden Age).

With Hollywood's famous stars such as Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, George Clooney and Ralph Fiennes Hail,Caeser! tells the story of a film set where everything seems to go wrong.

From difficult scripts, the kidnap of the main actor - Caeser (Clooney) to a corrupt romance, this film promises to be one of the biggest comedies launching this year.


by Sofia Parro
Arts and Entertainment Reporter
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Email: sofiaparro.cnt@gmail.com

[Live] 127 killed in Paris in 6 terrorist attacks organised by ISIS

Posted by João Marques Lima | Saturday, 14 November 2015 | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday 13th brought terror to the busy streets of Paris as eight terrorists carried out a series of attacks killing 127 people (as of 14:20 GMT).

French police have confirmed all eight attackers have been killed, but authorities are on the look out for more people related to the events.

Nationalities confirmed to be amongst the dead include French, Portuguese (1), Swedish (1), Romanians (2) and Belgians (2) so far. 

Schools, universities, concerts, museums, amusement parks and other public attractions have been closed. Paris is a city in lock down 24 hours from G20 leaders descending to Turkey for 2015's G20 Summit. The French president, François Hollande has cancelled his participation in the meeting.

Paris Attacks: World painted with the Tricolour as Paris goes dark

Posted by João Marques Lima | | Posted in , , , , , , , , ,

In the wake of Paris attacks, which killed at least 127 people last Friday night, world cities have lighted up their monuments with the colours of the French flag.

Blue, white and red have feature in New York's Freedom Tower, Sidney's Opera House, London's Trafalgar Square and several other monuments worldwide.

Meanwhile, Paris has decided to turn off all the lighting at Eiffel Tower for a second night. 

Here are some pictures from around the world.  

New York City

San Francisco

Rio de Janeiro


by João Marques Lima
CEO, News Editor, Founder

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