The operator of the au mobile brand, one of Japan’s top three carriers, said Saturday its customers are facing difficulties making calls and connecting to the internet as a result of nationwide network trouble. KDDI Corp. with some 60 million au customers, said the disruption started at around 1:35 a.m. and work is underway to restore services. The cause is being investigated.
The idea of extra-long term mortgages on family homes is being considered within Government in a bid to help ease…
Published3 hours agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingWhile the world focuses on US abortion rights after the overturning of the Roe v Wade ruling, women in Northern Ireland are still finding it difficult to access services. Those who do visit abortion clinics face protesters emboldened by what they view as success across the Atlantic. The placards held resolutely by men standing at the hospital's entrance are uncompromising."Abortion is murder," they state, in large red lettering. "Global Holocausts," says another, held by a protester from a group called Against Abortion NI.On the opposite side of the road outside Newry's Daisy Hill Hospital a different group, also mostly male, are holding rosary beads and praying, displaying pictures of the Virgin Mary. They recite verses in unison, repetitively, without pause. What happens now Roe v Wade has been overturned?What is Roe v Wade ruling?These anti-abortion demonstrations by groups from both the Catholic and Protestant communities have become a regular sight outside some of Northern Ireland's hospitals."What women have told us is it's really intimidating coming up to these gates. It's misogyny," says Fiona, who volunteers as a chaperone to support women. She helped set up Supporting Women Newry in response to the regular protests which began after abortion was decriminalised in 2019.The protesters feel they are doing an important job. "We're informing the public," one man, who didn't want to give his name, says. "Doctors aren't gods, they don't get the right to decide who lives and who dies." They describe how one clinic closed down after their protest, which they consider a success. More than 3,000 abortions have been carried out in Northern Ireland since the law changed. Despite this, last year 161 women flew to England to access abortions as there have not yet been sufficient services established to serve the demand. This is a significant decrease from 2018, the year before decriminalisation, when more than 1,000 women travelled for the procedure.The delays to increasing provision have dragged on due to disagreements between the political parties. The DUP has blocked efforts to move services forward.To try and resolve the stalemate, the UK government has given Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis new powers to compel the health service to set up wider services, which he plans to use within weeks.The women who do manage to access the clinics often encounter anti-abortion protest groups. Cara, another chaperone, says the group has been contacted by a wide variety of people who visit the hospital and object to the often very graphic protests."People are going in for counselling after having miscarriages and still births," she says. "If you're going in there to access any treatment, and this is a multi-use site, it's intimidating and harassing." Efforts to address activity outside abortion services differ across the UK. Concerns over welfare led to the UK's first so-called buffer zone being set up outside an abortion clinic in the London borough of Ealing in 2018. Pro-choice campaigners had hoped these would become the norm, but only two more have been created since then. The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted to pass a law which would ban groups from demonstrating directly outside a heath facility. But it has been referred to the Supreme Court by the attorney general of Northern Ireland, to decide whether it conflicts with the right to protest.The UK government says it is reviewing the issue in England and Wales. Meanwhile, earlier this week, Scotland's first minister said legislation would be passed to enforce the zones. The protests also take place at Craigavon Hospital, which Ashleigh Topley visited regularly during her first pregnancy. At one appointment she received the news her baby had a fatal foetal abnormality. She asked for an abortion but as it was prior to the law change, it was denied."Those appointments, some of them were very, very, difficult. Had I had to run the gauntlet of protesters, it would have made them even worse," she said.Having to continue her pregnancy to 35 weeks was extremely traumatic, she said, and it was very obvious she was pregnant. "People would ask, 'are you excited? What are you having?' Sometimes I would tell the truth, that she was going to die. Other times I would just lie and pretend everything was OK," she says.Ashleigh says if she had been allowed an abortion, she could have had more control. "Waiting and waiting and waiting, that was just hardship, unnecessary hardship on top of one of the most awful periods of our lives." Now, she feels deeply for the women who have to pass protesters."The grief and the experience they're going through is so current and so recent, it's just so cruel."Last week, the US Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v Wade decision, transforming abortion rights in America and allowing individual states to ban the procedure. This has re-energised abortion campaigns on both sides of the argument in Northern Ireland, with anti-abortion groups feeling encouraged by what is happening there."When a woman comes in they have a decision to make… some women in two years or 10 years' time will be thanking us," says a man outside the clinic.He's asked whether they are adding to the woman's pain. "This is compassion," he says. "Compassion for the baby". Northern Ireland's health service is set to be compelled to provide more abortion services in future. What will now be decided by British Supreme Court judges is what kind of experience women will face when they come through the hospital gates. More on this storySome 161 women from NI travel to GB for abortions21 JuneTimeline: Abortion in Northern Ireland8 JuneSturgeon: Abortion clinic buffer zones will happen4 days agoThe bitter fight over abortion clinic protests18 MayWhat happens now Roe v Wade has been overturned?2 days ago
Published1 hour agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingWith cryptomarkets in turmoil, files seen by the BBC suggest an unlikely Bitcoin investor may have also lost a fortune - "the missing cryptoqueen", Dr Ruja Ignatova. The scammer disappeared in 2017 as her cryptocurrency OneCoin was at its height - attracting billions from investors. Fraud and money-laundering charges in the US have led to her becoming one of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives.The Oxford-educated entrepreneur told investors she had created the "Bitcoin killer", but the files suggest she secretly amassed billions in her rival currency before she disappeared.Details first surfaced in 2021 in leaked documents from Dubai's courts, posted online by a lawyer who crowned Dr Ruja - as she's known - the "most successful criminal in history".Cryptoqueen: How Ruja Ignatova scammed the world, then ran'Cryptoqueen' brother admits role in OneCoin fraudWhy did the FCA drop its Cryptoqueen scam warning?A new book and upcoming episodes of BBC podcast The Missing Cryptoqueen investigate how Dr Ruja has stayed hidden - and whether this alleged crypto-hoard might help explain it.Image source, FBIThe Dubai filesWe have been able to independently verify some - but not all - of the information in the Dubai files. At the very least, the leak suggests Dubai was an important financial route for Dr Ruja, something the FBI alluded to in naming the United Arab Emirates as one of five countries she has known connections to."You've got hundreds of millions of dollars at stake here," said Dr Jonathan Levy, the lawyer who first posted the files online, and who is relying on information from them in a compensation claim for OneCoin victims.The claim was lodged with the Supreme Court of the British Indian Ocean Territory, chosen because it hosted a web domain allegedly used by OneCoin. Dr Levy received thousands of documents, mostly in Arabic, from a whistleblower who he said thought it was wrong that people were being "unjustly enriched" in Dubai.Image source, OneCoin/YoutubeThe 'Bitcoin deal'The most tantalising claim made in Dr Levy's legal case is that a massive Bitcoin deal was struck with an Emirati royal, Sheikh Saoud bin Faisal Al Qassimi, the son of a wealthy business tycoon.The files further suggest that in 2015, Sheikh Saoud gave Dr Ruja four USB memory sticks containing 230,000 bitcoin - worth €48.5m at the time. In return, Dr Ruja handed over three cheques to Sheikh Saoud from Mashreq Bank, totalling around 210m Emirati dirhams, roughly €50m.Prior to the alleged deal, Dubai's Mashreq Bank had begun closing Dr Ruja's accounts amid money-laundering concerns, so the cheques were unable to be cashed. In 2020, the Dubai authorities unfroze Dr Ruja's funds, despite the fact that more than a year earlier the US Department of Justice had published an indictment for her, labelling OneCoin a "fraudulent cryptocurrency". Months before the decision, Dr Ruja's former fund manager Mark Scott was also found guilty in New York of laundering $400m in OneCoin proceeds. Asked by the BBC about the decision, Dubai's Public Prosecutor did not respond.According to Dubai Court of Appeal records, on 28 April 2022, Sheikh Saoud was seeking to have Dr Ruja's funds handed to him - suggesting a deal of some kind did originally take place between the pair. Dr Ruja herself is named as a respondent, despite not being seen in public for nearly five years. Dr Ruja and the sheikhLittle is known about Sheikh Saoud, but sources tell us the stocky body-building enthusiast is rarely seen in public.He features in a 2017 YouTube video for an organisation called the Intergovernmental Collaborative Action Fund for Excellence (ICAFE) which claims to support education initiatives, but after the Dubai files were released, references to Sheikh Al Qassimi as ICAFE's "Secretary-General" disappeared from its website. A recently launched cryptocurrency also lists the sheikh as its chairman. The Dubai files appear to show a once close relationship between the Al Qassimi family and Dr Ruja.Image source, WFDP/Youtube On 3 September 2015, Dubai's Mashreq Bank wrote to Dr Ruja to explain that it would be closing her personal accounts.Eleven days later, an email admitted to a US court shows Dr Ruja writing to a OneCoin colleague about moving €50m out of Mashreq Bank. She mentions a meeting the following week with "one of the Sheiks [sic] in Dubai" where she would "try to get something done for us".It is not known who Dr Ruja intended to meet or even if a meeting took place, but the files hint at one possible explanation. A photo from the files seemingly dated 8 October 2015 but taken at an unknown place, pictures Dr Ruja standing next to Sheikh Faisal, the father of Sheikh Saoud. The Al Qassimi family rules Sharjah, which borders Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the northernmost emirate. Sheikh Faisal did not respond to us about his family's relationship with Dr Ruja.Image source, UnknownThe files also include a diplomatic ID, issued to Ruja as a "special adviser" to ICAFE - the organisation with which Sheikh Saoud once held a senior role.The organisation appears to be connected to the United Nations, but a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General could not find any records of it being affiliated through normal routes. Co-founder Shariar Rahimi said ICAFE was "registered" with the UN, but failed to provide evidence of this. On Dr Ruja, he said any ICAFE documents provided to her came from Sheikh Saoud.Some time after Dr Ruja's alleged Bitcoin deal, their relationship appears to have soured - one letter among the leaked files shows Sheikh Saoud dismissing Dr Ruja from a role as an ICAFE ambassador, before later becoming involved in a legal dispute over her assets.The case between the pair concluded in Dubai's Court of Appeal on 28 June.Image source, unknownAsked about the alleged Bitcoin deal, his relationship with Dr Ruja, and his role at ICAFE, Sheikh Saoud's lawyer did not directly respond, but wrote: "All the information you have is baseless".The alleged Bitcoin transaction is said to have taken place using what's called cold-storage wallets, making it very difficult to ascertain if it actually happened. Bitcoin transactions can often be traced because all transfers of the virtual currency between wallets are recorded on a publicly viewable database. However, the court documents do not include any details about which - or how many - wallets these bitcoins were stored on. If she does still have them, Dr Ruja might find it difficult to move such a large amount of bitcoin. Crypto-author David Birch thinks Bitcoin's reputation as an "anonymous" currency is inaccurate because law enforcement agencies are increasingly using clever algorithms to track coins as they flow through the system."Getting rid of a few billion dollars' worth is much harder than you think," he said.If Dr Ruja still has the 230,000 bitcoins, she would be one of the currency's largest holders. In November 2021, her stake would have peaked at nearly $15bn, but at the time of writing it has dropped to around $5bn, still more than enough to help her stay hidden.Follow Jamie Bartlett and Rob Byrne on TwitterCatch up on The Missing Cryptoqueen podcast on BBC Sounds - the search for Dr Ruja Ignatova continues in September 2022More on this storyRevealed: The Cryptoqueen's £13.5m London penthouse3 November 2021What's happening to Bitcoin?14 JuneOneCoin lawyer found guilty in 'crypto-scam'21 November 2019
Two Mayflowers sit side by side in Plymouth Harbor — one is a reproduction of the original, the other a version for the 21st century. "I think it's really cool," said Plymouth resident Deanne Smith. "I wanted to swing by just to see it." The high-tech vessel is called the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, and it set sail in April from Plymouth, England, attempting to retrace the path of the original Mayflower from 400 years ago. But this one had nobody on board. "It's a trimaran," said Michele Pecoraro. "It weighs 5 tons, and that little guy made it all the way across the Atlantic Ocean." The solar-powered ship is driven by artificial intelligence and created by IBM and Promare, a marine research nonprofit. Its purpose is to collect data for research projects on numerous topics like marine life and pollution caused by plastics, and for scientists to learn more about AI. "It's definitely a step forward for AI," said Pecoraro, business development manager for Promare. "The technology in this is cutting edge." The unmanned vessel is on its own at sea, but hundreds of people on land are watching every move. "The AI captain makes the decisions," said Pecoraro. "There's always the human backup of the command center." It's believed to be the largest autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic, and it's already an attraction drawing people on the water and on land to take pictures. "It's just amazing from 400 years to today what's happened with technology," said Plymouth resident Marianne Geuss. It took longer than expected for the ship to arrive. There were weather issues and mechanical problems, so the ship had to make pit stops in Portugal and Canada before pulling into Plymouth Harbor on Thursday.
Published1 hour agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingA selection of powerful news photographs taken around the world this week.Image source, JASON CONNOLLY / AFPImage source, Rodrigo Freitas / Getty ImagesImage source, Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFPImage source, Prakash Mathema / AFPImage source, Odd Andersen / AFPImage source, Guerchom Ndebo / AFPImage source, Tang Ke / Getty ImagesImage source, Sergey Bobok / AFPImage source, Amir Cohen / ReutersImage source, Raul Arboleda / AFPAll pictures are subject to copyright.
July 4 US flag optical illusion has left viewers scratching their heads – which way do you see the stripes going?
A FOURTH of July optical illusion has left viewers a little confused and sparked debate among social media users.The illusion, which was shared on Reddit, shows a variation of an American flag. 1Reddit user FoxyJnr987 explained that this flag photo is a 'Cafe Wall Illusion'Credit: Reddit However, something appears unusual with the flag as the vertical lines look to be slanted. Additionally the red and white boxes, which make up the flag's stripes, are scattered in a way that could make someone's eyes feel confused. Reddit user FoxyJnr987 titled the thread: "Flag of United States but it's that weird optical illusion." The Redditor simply shared the illusion, a digital image of the American flag, but didn't offer more details until another user questioned: "What's the illusion." FoxyJnr987 then explained that the flag photo was a "Cafe Wall Illusion." "I rotated it so it looks like stripes and made the black squares red instead," FoxyJnr987 said. "The grey lines that are running vertically look sloped when they are actually straight. It looks better when horizontal." According to Brain Connection, a Cafe Wall Illusion teases the brain to think the lines in the image are not parallel, when in fact they are. Most read in The Scottish Sun "It is thought that the café wall illusion functions due to the high contrast in the two different 'bricks.' "When interpreting images, our brains tend to 'spread' dark zones into light zones, a function known as irradiation; this 'movement' is probably what causes a false warping effect." Meanwhile, other users didn't see anything wrong with the image. One person commented: "All the lines in the flag are standing straight, they aren't diagonal." "Thank you for worsening my eyesight," another wrote. A third user wrote: "They dont look diagonal to me, is my brain broken?" Meanwhile, you could be in the top 0.1 percent if you manage to spot all seven differences in this brain-frazzling puzzle in less than one minute. And if you can’t find the odd sofa in this brainteaser within 30 seconds then you’re not alone – but three in five people can beat you.
F1 British Grand Prix LIVE RESULTS: Lewis Hamilton SECOND-FASTEST, Sainz quickest in practice – stream, TV channel
Nose betterLewis Hamilton had originally been given a medical exemption for two races - Miami and Barcelona - where he was allowed to wear piercings. But last month the FIA demanded Hamilton remove all items to comply with new safety regulations by June 30. The Brit first responded by turning up to a press conference decorated in bling. Hamilton then removed his earrings before the Monaco Grand Prix rolled around. However, the nose stud remained an issue as Hamilton claimed it could not be removed easily. He said last month: "This whole safety thing, man. When they [the FIA] told me about the jewellery, they said safety is everything. "And I said, 'Well, what's happened over the last 16 years? I've had jewellery for the last 16 years, so was safety not an issue back then?'" Asked whether he was satisfied with the resolution and then taking his nose stud out, he continued: "No. No. I got an exemption here, I'll get an exemption for the rest of the year. "Wedding rings are allowed. I'll wear four watches next time [in Monaco]."
British drivers were handed a record 8.6 million parking tickets by private companies in just 12 months. The rate of…
NOW that Casa Amor is officially open for business, bookies have already started taking bets on who will stray from their partners.Love Island gave us the first look at the girls who are coming to turn the boys' heads at Casa Amor, while the lads have already made an impression on the girls. 5Ekin-Su is revealed to be the girl most likely to have her head turning in Casa AmorCredit: Eroteme The girls have moved out of the main house into the notorious love nest and tonight got their first glimpse at the boys who are going to tempt them. Gemma Owen, Paige Thorne, Indiyah Polack, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, Tash Ghouri and Danica Tayor all headed to Love Island's second villa. The boys stayed in the main villa thinking the girls were having a night out, completely unaware of the Casa Amor bombshell coming their way. Given the notorious nature of Casa Amor and its many brutal dumpings and recouplings, betting agencies have come up with odds of who they think is most likely have their heads turned. On the boys' side, Betfair has given Jacques O'Neill the shortest odds at 4/7, which probably would come as no surprise to Love Island fans. They've often accused him of showing signs of 'red flags' towards paramedic Paige, including on tonight's show where he asked her if she was "worried he'd find a prettier girl than her." But Paige is on the opposite end of the spectrum and the least likely to have her head turn at 16/1 odds. Next on the boys' list is Italian stallion, Davide, 28, who has recoupled with Ekin-Su after she cheated on him. Davide has short odds of 4/9 with fans speculating he'll likely have his head turned because "he's playing the long game" of seeking revenge for Ekin-Su's betrayal. Speaking of Ekin-Su, she's currently sitting at the top of the table of girls who are most likely to have their heads turned in the other villa at 1/2 odds. Most read in TV Her new-found loyalty in on the line in Casa Amor after losing Davide when she snogged Jay twice behind his back. As the girls settled in to Casa Amor Ekin-Su said to the group: "This will prove to everyone of us that we have strong connection back there and if it's not meant to be and we find something in here, but got with it." Gemma who is paired up with Luca added: "Everything happens for a reason." Bookies think Luca is one of the least likely to cheat, but Michael Owen's daughter is at 7/1 of moving on from her current beau. This follows a body language expert revealing that Gemma feels 'pressured' by Luca who is keen to move things forward in their relationship and he's getting frustrated that Gemma is playing it more cool. Tasha is second most likely of the girls to have her head turned and seemed very excited to spot the Casa Amor boys. But she has promised that she was "not faking" her feelings for Andrew. Rounding out the boys table is Dami Hope on 10/1 and Andrew Le Page on 12/1. Dami's partner Indiyah seems like she'll remain faithful at 12/1. 5Some fans think Davide will seek revenge on Ekin-Su in Casa AmorCredit: Eroteme 5Bookies have Gemma and Luca split on the likelihood of having their heads turneCredit: Eroteme 5Probably to no one's surprise, Jacques is the most likely to have his head turnedCredit: Eroteme 5Tasha is also high up on the list as potentially straying from AndrewCredit: Eroteme