US police release boy shooting tapes

Tamir Rice was shot by police on Saturday afternoon and died in hospital early on Sunday morning

Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba presented audio and video evidence at a news briefing

The 12-year-old boy shot by police in the US was told to show his hands three times by officers before they opened fire, a senior officer says.

Tamir Rice, whom the officers appeared to believe was much older, was shot twice and later died in hospital.

Cleveland police has released audio recordings and video of the incident.

His family has released a statement appealing for calm and thanked the police for releasing CCTV footage of events leading up to the shooting.

The CCTV video shows Tamir Rice pointing the toy gun at a passer-by from the playground where he was shot, which prompted a 911 emergency call.

Recordings of radio communications reveal a police officer at the scene describing Tamir Rice as aged “maybe 20” after the shooting.

A separate recording appears to confirm the officers were not told the gun might be fake.

The family of Tamir Rice said that they believed that their son’s death could have been avoided.

In a statement, the family said: “The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly.”

They called for a thorough investigation of events and asked people in their community to remain calm and “protest peacefully and responsibly”.

Cleveland police said on Wednesday that the family had given permission for CCTV recordings of the shooting to be released.

The footage shows Tamir Rice walking around a playground with a replica gun clearly in his hand

Minutes later, a police car drives up and stops immediately next to him

Chief officer Edward Tomba said that the car door was open when the officers arrived, and that they had ordered the 12-year-old to show his hands three times as the car pulled up alongside.

The boy was then shot and fatally wounded

In a recording immediately after the incident, a police officer is heard saying: “Shots fired, male down, black male, maybe 20

A recording of the call from the operator to police officers as they were dispatched to the scene appears to confirm that there was no mention of a replica gun

The operator describes the incident as a black male sitting on the swings, keeps pulling a gun out of his pants and pointing it at people

An audio recording of the 911 emergency call had previously revealed that the caller had said the gun was “probably a fake on two occasions, before adding he was not sure whether it was real or not

Why do so many people die shovelling snow?

Residents shovel their sidewalks along Coit Avenue in the wind and snow in Grand Rapids, Mich.

At least two people have died from heart attacks while shovelling snow in Buffalo, New York. Every winter, about 100 people in the US die doing this. Why?

A study looking at data from 1990 to 2006 by researchers at the US Nationwide Children’s Hospital recorded 1,647 fatalities from cardiac-related injuries associated with shovelling snow. In Canada, these deaths make the news every winter.

Cardiologist Barry Franklin, an expert in the hazardous effects of snow removal, believes the number of deaths could be double that. “I believe we lose hundreds of people each year because of this activity,” says Dr Franklin, director of preventative cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Hospital, Michigan.

His team found that when healthy young men shovelled snow, their heart rate and blood pressure increased more than when they exercised on a treadmill. “Combine this with cold air, which causes arteries to constrict and decrease blood supply, you have a perfect storm for a heart attack,” he says.

Snow shovelling is particularly strenuous because it uses arm work, which is more taxing than leg work.

Many people hold their breath during the hard work, which also puts a strain on the body. In addition, the prime time for snow clearance is between 6am and 10am which is when circadian fluctuations make us more vulnerable to heart attacks.

Dr Franklin considers snow shovelling to be so dangerous that he advises anyone over the age of 55 not to do it.

“People at greatest risk are those who are habitually sedentary with known or suspected coronary disease, who go out once a year to clear snow,” he says, adding that smoking and being overweight drastically increase the risk. If you must do it, push rather than lift the snow, dress in layers, take regular breaks indoors and don’t eat or smoke before shovelling, he advises.

Using a snow blower is a better option, but there have also been heart attacks recorded in men using blowers, including one fatality in Buffalo on Wednesday. “People don’t have any idea how taxing it is on the heart,” says Dr Franklin.

Reporting by Jo Jolly

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Mudslides hit Switzerland and Italy

An aerial view of the flooded area around Lake Maggiore near the village of Magadino in Ticino, Switzerland, on 16 November 2014

Forecasts suggest more heavy rain for another 36 hours

At least four people have been killed in landslides in southern Switzerland and northern Italy following days of torrential rain.

Two women died when a wall of mud destroyed a house near the Swiss town of Lugano on Sunday.

Over the border, a pensioner and his granddaughter were killed when a mudslide engulfed their home.

The heavy rain is expected to continue across the region, and both countries have issued major flood alerts.

The levels of lakes Lugano and Maggiore, seen below, are already dangerously high.

Homes and businesses, such as this farm near Italy’s Lake Maggiore, have been cut off by rising waters.

The region has had more rain in a few days than it would normally expect in a year.

The Ticino river burst its banks near Vigevano in northern Italy.

Further north, in the Ticino region of Switzerland, rescue workers were searching for survivors on Sunday after mud swept down a hillside and destroyed an apartment building.

Swiss authorities said two women, aged 34 and 38, had died when the mudslide hit the building in the village of Davesco-Soragno.

A third person, a 44-year-old Italian, was rescued from the rubble and taken to hospital.

Relatives were also mourning the deaths of a 70-year old man and his 16-year-old girl in Cerro di Laveno in Italy.

Their house, near Lake Maggiore, was hit by a landslide late on Saturday night.

A neighbour told AFP news agency he had been awoken during the night by a huge bang “like fireworks”.

The weekend’s landslides are the latest of many to have hit northern Italy and southern Switzerland amid incessant rainfall over recent weeks.

High volumes of water gushed down the Ticino river, seen here in the town of Giornico in southern Switzerland, last week.

At least 11 people have been in killed Italy because of extreme weather over the last month.

Activists beheaded in eastern Libya

(Bursa Eskort Bayan) There appear to be three main militant groups competing for control of Derna

Three young activists have been found beheaded in Derna, in eastern Libya.

The three, who had relayed information about the city through social media, had been kidnapped earlier this month.

Several Islamist groups are competing for control of the city, with some militants recently declaring allegiance to Islamic State.

Libya has been in a state of flux since Col Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, with disparate tribes, militias and political factions fighting for power.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad, in the capital, Tripoli, says that in the immediate aftermath of the revolution that ousted Gaddafi, many rebel fighters left to fight with militant groups opposing the rule of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Many of the fighters are believed to have returned home, settling in the east of the country, she says.

Beheadings are rare in Libya, our correspondent says, even in areas controlled by militant Islamists, and no group has so far said it carried out the latest killings.

The activists have been named as Siraj Ghatish, Mohamed Battu and Mohamed al Mesmari

Our correspondent says they remained low profile, mostly passing on information via social media pages

Another activist in the city who cannot be named for reasons of safety, said We reject IS being here We can’t come out in public about it

Our correspondent says there appear to be three main militant groups in Derna, with varying degrees of extremism.

They are the Islamic Youth Shura Council, a branch of Ansar al-Sharia, and the more moderate Martyrs of Abuslim Brigade.

The group that declared allegiance to IS is unclear, although the activist who spoke to the BBC said it appeared to be a group that broke away from the Shura Council

Derna has been out of government control since 2012.

Last month, pictures from Derna showed public institutions renamed as Islamic courts and Islamic police.

In August, a video emerged on social media showing a man being shot dead by an unknown group in the football stadium

The elected government has lost Libya’s three main cities amid the political crisis:

Adriano drug charges thrown out

(escort kızlar bursa) — The judge dismissed the charges of drug trafficking over lack of evidence

A judge in Rio de Janeiro has rejected charges of drug trafficking against Brazilian footballer Adriano.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday he had allegedly bought a motorbike and given it as a gift to a known drug dealer in the Rio shanty town where he grew up.

But the judge, Maria Tereza Donatti, said the case was dismissed because there was not enough evidence to uphold the accusations.

Adriano, 32, could have faced a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

He had denied the allegations, which first emerged in 2010.

Brazilian police said he had bought the motorbike in 2007 and registered it in the name of the mother of drug dealer Paulo Rogerio de Souza Paz, known as Mica.

The bike was used for drug trafficking in one of Rio’s shanty towns, or favelas, then controlled by Comando Vermelho (Red Command), a powerful criminal gang.

But the judge said “there was not enough evidence as to the authorship of this crime”.

The Brazilian striker had a successful career in Italy, winning titles with Inter Milan. But off-field problems and injuries cut his career short.

He has reportedly been negotiating a comeback with second division French club Le Havre.

Uruguay leader gets $1m Beetle offer

Jose Mujica with his wife Lucia Topolansky. His lifestyle differs sharply from that of most world leaders

(bursa eskort) —  Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica says he has been offered $1m (£630,000) for his vintage Volkswagen Beetle.

The BBC’s Ben Bland says Mr Mujica seems to be sitting on a treasure trove

Busqueda reported that the offer for the car was made at an international summit earlier this year in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

“They made me an offer,” Mr Mujica, 79, told the magazine.

“I was a bit surprised, and at first I really didn’t pay too much attention to it. But later, another offer came in, and I began to take it a little more seriously.”

The president said he had “no commitment to cars” and would happily auction it.

He joked that he had not sold it so far because he needed it for his dog Manuela, famous for only having three legs.

Mr Mujica said that if he got $1m for the car, he would donate it to a programme he supports that provides housing for the homeless.

President Mujica is barred by the constitution from running for a second consecutive term and a presidential election held last month is to go to a second round.

A recent survey gave Mr Mujica an approval rating of nearly 60%.

China officials in ivory spree

(bursa eskort) — Campaigners say rising demand in Asia is fuelling the poaching of elephants in Africa and the smuggling of ivory

Officials travelling to Tanzania with Chinese President Xi Jinping went on a buying spree for illegal ivory, an environmental activist group has said.

In a report, the Environmental Investigation Agency cited two ivory merchants who said the arrival of the delegation in 2013 fuelled demand.

The amount of ivory purchased by them sent local prices soaring, it added.

Conservationists say demand for ivory, where China is seen as the biggest market, is fuelling poaching in Africa.

The Chinese use ivory in traditional crafts and carvings are prized as status symbols, correspondents say.

In recent years poaching has increased across sub-Saharan Africa with criminal gangs slaughtering elephants for ivory.

China’s government has not yet made any public comment on the allegations in the report.

The EIA report cited a trader in Tanzania’s main port city, Dar es Salaam, named as Suleiman Mochiwa, who met undercover investigators.

He said that when the Chinese government and business delegation arrived ivory prices in the local market doubled to $700 (£438) per kilo during the visit.

“The [delegation]… used the opportunity to procure such a large amount of ivory that local prices increased,” the report says.

Investigators alleged that the Chinese could take advantage of a lack of security checks for those in the country on a diplomatic visit

The two traders claimed that a fortnight before the state visit, Chinese buyers began purchasing thousands of kilos of ivory, later sent to China in diplomatic bags on the presidential plane the report added

It was Xi Jinping’s first foreign tour as head of state

Traders told the group that similar ivory sales took place on an earlier trip by China’s former President Hu Jintao

The ivory trade was banned in 1989 by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites). Both China and Tanzania are signatories

China does have around 150 legal, government-licensed ivory shops, which sells ivory collected prior to this. They are the only places allowed to sell ivory to individual buyers

Earlier this year China for the first time destroyed a large quantity of confiscated ivory, in a public event described by conservation groups as a landmark move

Just over six tonnes of carvings, ornaments and tusks amassed over the years were fed into crushing machines.

Nevertheless officials warn that demand for ivory across Asia has led to thousand of elephants being killed in Africa.

UK travellers warned of terror threat

Passengers at Heathrow

(escort16) — British travellers have been warned they could be targeted by terrorists seeking revenge for UK air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants

The Foreign Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for all destinations.

It urges Britons living or travelling overseas to be vigilant because of the threat from those motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria

The FCO said it was responding to the generalised threat rather than warnings of a specific attack

Parliament backed British participation in air strikes against IS extremists in Iraq in September, at the invitation of the Iraqi government

RAF aircraft are conducting flights almost daily, it is believed.

IS has seized large parts of both Iraq and Syria, up to the Turkish border

The new advice comes after the UK national terror threat level was raised from substantial to severe in August, meaning an attack was highly likely

The updated information, being added to all travel advice pages on the FCO website states There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

You should be vigilant at this time

The FCO has advised against all travel to Syria and warned Britons already there to leave

It has also advised against all travel to most of northern and western Iraq, and against all but essential travel to the rest of the country