Minecraft paedophile Adam Isaac groomed boys online

A man who groomed young boys through the online game Minecraft has been jailed for two years and eight months. Adam Isaac, 23, from Merthyr Tydfil, previously admitted eight sexual offences against children. Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard he targeted two boys, aged 12 and 14, and asked them to send intimate photos of themselves. Judge Richard Twomlow QC said: “This predatory behaviour is a worry and a concern to parents.” Isaac admitted causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography, performing sexual acts in the presence of a child, encouraging…

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Asian growth pushes global tourism beyond 1.2bn arrivals

The world’s destinations welcomed a combined total of 1.235 billion international overnight visitors in 2016, driven by the strength of the Asian market. According to the full-year data released this week by the UNWTO, global tourist arrivals increased by 3.9% in 2016, as an additional 46 million travelled overseas compared to 2015. And this growth was led by destinations in the Asia Pacific region, which increased 8% year-on-year, with an additional 24m arrivals taking the region’s total to 303m. This means that Asian destinations now handle approximately a quarter of…

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Isis destroys tetrapylon monument in Palmyra

Islamic State militants have destroyed a tetrapylon and part of a Roman theatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in the group’s latest attack on Syria’s heritage. “This is a horror film and we will see more of it, as long as the city is under their control it will remain a hostage,” said Maamoun Abdulkarim, the country’s director of antiquities. “This is a scandal. Palmyra is occupied and there is no outrage from the international community. We are trying to protect a civilisation. It’s beyond political considerations. There needs…

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US PE firm invests £120m in UK student housing

The deal, Starwood’s first in the UK, totals 1,595 beds in England and Scotland, adding to the 6,855 student beds under Starwood management in the US. “We look forward to building on this transaction to establish a sizeable student housing platform in the UK” The “six modern, purpose-built, premium student accommodation assets” are in The Haymarket in Edinburgh, Chestnut House in Cambridge, The Walls in Southampton, St James House in Glasgow and Union Square and Stepney Yard, both in Newcastle. The ‘forward funded’ Newcastle development is slated be ready for the 2018/19 academic…

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Minecraft link to net’s biggest botnet

Malware that launched the net’s largest ever cyber-attack last year had links to Minecraft servers, according to those investigating it. Security blogger Brian Krebs has spent months investigating the attack which knocked his blog offline. He claims that the origins of the Mirai botnet can be traced back to rivalries in the Minecraft community. His claims are backed up by a security expert who provided net security for Minecraft servers. Robert Coelho, vice president of security firm ProxyPipe, told the BBC that his suspicions about who was behind the Mirai…

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New Nepalese airline flies to Southeast Asia

Himalaya Airlines, the new Nepalese airline, will launch its first flights to Southeast Asia next month. Commencing on 10 February 2017, the Kathmandu-based carrier will operate five weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur. And then on 24 February it will start operating twice weekly flights to Yangon. These new routes will be enabled by the delivery of Himalaya Airlines’ second aircraft, a 158-seat, two-class Airbus A320, which is due to arrive on 20 January. The airline currently operates flights from Kathmandu to Doha and Colombo. Himalaya Airlines is a joint venture…

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The Gambia: Jammeh ignores two more deadlines to quit

The Gambia’s longtime leader, Yahya Jammeh, has ignored two more deadlines to quit, as he continued to argue over the terms under which he would cede power to his democratically elected successor, Adama Barrow. As midday and 4pm deadlines to go passed on Friday, two regional leaders arrived in the capital, Banjul, in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to persuade him to step down. A regional military force that crossed the border in support of Barrow was awaiting orders on Friday. Marcel Alain de Souza, chair of the west African union…

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China eases post-study work for foreign graduates

The move is the latest in China’s strategy to position itself as a study destination and attract talent to help globalise its labour force. Under the new regulations announced on January 6 by the Ministries of Human Resources and Social Security, Foreign Affairs, and Education, foreign graduates with a master’s degree or above from a university in China are immediately eligible to apply for work visas within one year of graduation. Similarly, Chinese nationals with a master’s degree or above from “well-known universities overseas” can return to China to seek graduate…

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Nintendo signals end for Wii U

Nintendo has signalled the “end of life” for its Wii U games console, which was first released in 2012. Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo America, told Polygon that Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be the company’s final game for the device. “We really are at the end of life for Wii U,” he said. The Wii U struggled to match the success of the original Wii device. It will be succeeded by the Nintendo Switch console in March. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – the…

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Carlson breaks new ground with first Sri Lankan hotel

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has broken ground on its first ever property in Sri Lanka. The company held a ceremony recently to mark the start of construction work on the Park Inn by Radisson Colombo. The event was attended by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Tourism Development, John Amaratunga, and Thorsten Kirschke, Carlson Rezidor’s president for Asia Pacific. Located on Galle Road, in the centre of the Sri Lankan capital, the new midscale hotel will offer 199 rooms, a swimming pool, fitness centre, F&B outlets and function space. It is expected…

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