France’s security fears take wind out of Macron’s presidential sails

France’s security fears take wind out of Macron’s presidential sails

When French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told supporters in a rousing speech in Paris on July 12 that he would carry them to victory in next year’s elections, he left them in little doubt that he wanted to run for president. Two days later, a 19-tonne truck mowed down a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 85 people and destroying the momentum built over months by the youthful minister, as security issues eclipsed all others in the media. “On such tragic events, it’s normal to let speak those who…

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Student unions sign global accord on HE values

Student unions sign global accord on HE values

The Bergen Declaration, led by the European Students’ Union and the Norwegian students’ union, Norsk studentorganisasjon, lays out a set of joint principles for what education and student rights should look like. “The Bergen Declaration sets the foundations from which a global student movement can be shaped” “We believe that quality education should be free and inclusive for all, and our education systems should be democratic, built on the principles of academic freedom, and where all students have the right to representation and to self organise,” it reads. It sets out a…

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Rio 2016: ‘Hands off Caster’ trends in South Africa

Rio 2016: ‘Hands off Caster’ trends in South Africa

More than 17,000 tweets made the hashtag #HandsOffCaster South Africa’s top trend over the past weekend. It sent a clear message – South Africans were ready to defend their middle-distance runner Caster Semenya from persistent questions over whether she should be excluded from racing in Rio. Semenya was made to undergo gender testing after winning gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. She was cleared to compete in 2010 after being sidelined for 11 months while the tests were carried out. The tag #HandsOffCaster appears to date back to…

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Russian Regulators Scoop Apple Into Price-Fixing Probe

Russian Regulators Scoop Apple Into Price-Fixing Probe

A Russian regulatory authority earlier this week named Apple, along with more than a dozen Russian retailers, as a target for an investigation into price-fixing activities. The Federal Antimonopoly Service, or FAS, has seen signs of price-setting coordination among iPhone resellers in Russia, according to a notice published on the agency’s website. A preliminary investigation revealed that since last fall, when Apple introduced the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in Russia, a majority of resellers have maintained the same prices for the phones for “a certain period of time,” the…

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Turkey set to release 38,000 prisoners, makes space in jails after coup

Turkey set to release 38,000 prisoners, makes space in jails after coup

Turkey will release some 38,000 prisoners under a penal reform announced on Wednesday as the arrests of tens of thousands of people suspected of links to last month’s attempted coup burden overstretched jails. The reform, extending an existing probation scheme, was one of a series of measures outlined on Wednesday in two new decrees under a state of emergency declared after the July 15 failed putsch during which 240 people were killed. The government gave no reason for the reform. Turkey’s Western allies worry President Tayyip Erdogan is using the…

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UK: gov to underwrite EU research funding

UK: gov to underwrite EU research funding

In a statement of reassurance from the UK’s chancellor, Philip Hammond, universities and businesses were told they will “have certainty” over future funding and should continue to bid while the UK remains a member of the EU. For initiatives where the UK organisation bids directly to the European Commission for EU funding, such as Horizon 2020 research funding, the treasury will “underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU”. “It’s business as usual for Horizon 2020 projects” Hammond said that the UK will…

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Rio 2016: India’s PV Sindhu in Olympic upset

Rio 2016: India’s PV Sindhu in Olympic upset

A 21-year-old badminton player has become India’s latest hope for an Olympic medal at the Rio 2016 games, after a shock win against the world number two. PV Sindhu upset China’s Wang Yihan in the women’s singles quarter final on Tuesday. Wang, 28, was favoured to win having won silver at the 2012 London Olympics. Many on social media praised her achievement and voiced their hope for her to win a medal. Sindhu beat Wang 22-20, 21-19 in a 54-minute match. The Indian athlete will go up against Japanese player…

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Gadget Ogling: Levitating Smart Things, Making WiFi-Perfect Wine, and Staying Safe While Solo

Gadget Ogling: Levitating Smart Things, Making WiFi-Perfect Wine, and Staying Safe While Solo

Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that is ready to take a breather, after finally upgrading to Windows 10, to peruse the latest announcements in the world of gadgets. On our Start menu this time around are levitating smartwatch and smartphone chargers, a connected wine and cider maker, and a wearable with a safety focus. As always, these are not reviews, and the ratings reflect only how much I’d like to actually try each item. Walking in the Air A pair of Kickstarter projects plan to place your…

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Militants ambush Indian army convoy in Kashmir, 3 dead

Militants ambush Indian army convoy in Kashmir, 3 dead

Militants ambushed an Indian military convoy in Kashmir on Wednesday, killing three personnel, in an escalation of violence that officials have blamed on separatist protests that have tied down security forces for more than a month. Indian Kashmir is in the midst of the worst unrest in six years that began early last month when security forces killed a young separatist commander who was idolised by some youth, provoking an outpouring of anger. Police superintendent Imtiaz Hussain said militants were taking advantage of the unrest to attack security forces after…

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NZ: new airline route connects Wellington to Asia

NZ: new airline route connects Wellington to Asia

The route, which will begin in September this year, will be the first flight without transfers from Wellington to Asia, cutting the current travelling time, as well as providing a route to Australia’s capital. In addition to opening up the region for more trade and tourism, this new route also carries benefits for international education in the region, according to Chris Whelan, chief executive of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. “We believe Wellington is currently underperforming in international education attraction” “We’ve made no secret of the fact that we believe Wellington…

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