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Inter Milan coach Conte under police protection

Inter Milan coach Conte under police protection

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte is receiving police protection after a threatening letter containing a bullet was sent to him through the post, Italian media reported on Saturday.
According to Corriere Della Sera, former Italy and Chelsea manager received the anonymous threatening letter containing a bullet in recent days.
Serie A club Inter Milan later said in a statement to Italian news agency Ansa that “the letter arrived at the club and not personally to the coach”.
“In relation to the news published today, Inter Milan states that Antonio Conte did not personally receive any threatening letters and, consequently, he did not go in person to file a complaint,” the club statement said.
“It was the club that received a letter and, as is the practice in this kind of situation, it contacted the competent authorities.”
An investigation has now been launched while Conte is receiving police surveillance outside his home and at Inter’s training ground, Gazzetta Dello Sport reported.
Meanwhile, Conte’s wife Elisabetta Muscarello wrote on social media: “For the record: the story of the bullet is a hoax!”
Conte joined Inter in the summer and the Italian outfit are currently one point behind his former club Juventus at the top of Serie A.
The 50-year-old led Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2014 before taking over as Italy national coach.
He also spent two seasons at Chelsea, winning both the Premier League and the FA Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Conte took over from Luciano Spalletti, who led Inter to a fourth-place finish last season.
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Revolutionary pride: Iraq protesters bring in trained pet lions to fight riot police dogs

Revolutionary pride: Iraq protesters bring in trained pet lions to fight riot police dogs

In response to reports that security forces would be using dogs to contain protesters, the unnamed Iraqi unleased a more fearsome animal with him while walking the streets of his hometown, in Iraq’s Babel province, south of Baghdad.
Photos and video emerged online showing the man walking his lion - conveniently draped in an Iraqi flag – who reportedly roared and lunged at passers-by. Fortunately, the lion was contained using a heavy chain for the entirety of the incident.
Iraqi lions were of the Asiatic variety which today are an endangered species and can only be found in India’s Gujarat state. Lions are no longer native to Iraq, and the last known native Iraqi lion was killed in 1918 in the south of the country.

Protests against the Iraqi government began on October 1 in response to rampant corruption, high levels of poverty and youth unemployment, poor public services, and sectarianism.

The protests have been described as the greatest threat to the Iraqi government since the defeat of the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq in 2017.
More than 330 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured since the protests began and human rights groups have condemned security forces for using live fire and deadly military-grade tear gas grenades which have inflicted horrific injuries on protesters.

Iraqi protesters were out in force in Baghdad on Saturday, despite overnight violence against them, retaking four bridges in the capital from security forces.
Iraq’s foremost Shia Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani on Friday called on the government to enact “real reforms” without “stalling and procrastination”.
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We are tired, we do not like this South Africa anymore, says asylum seeker

We are tired, we do not like this South Africa anymore, says asylum seeker

Therese Walu's eyes welled up as she recalled the last time she shared dinner with her whole family, 19 years ago, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The next morning, soldiers raided her village of Mukakira, in the country's north-east - where a civil war that killed millions raged between 1998 and 2003.

She grabbed her youngest daughters and fled into the surrounding forest, not knowing whether the rest of the family survived.
With nothing but the clothes on her back, Walu started a perilous 10-year journey that would eventually take her more than 3 000km to South Africa's capital, Pretoria.
But like millions of displaced Africans, she reached a country boasting one of the world's most progressive refugee policies only to find herself knocking on closed doors.
"The only thing they ever gave us were [temporary] asylum papers," said Walu who has been battling for refugee status since 2010.

Fed up, she joined hundreds of asylum seekers on October 8 for a long-running sit-in in front of the offices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) offices in Pretoria.
On Thursday, the protesters forced their way onto the UNHCR's premises after being served a court order evicting them from the street in front of the offices.
A similar protest was broken up in Cape Town after demonstrators were forcefully evicted from the building last month.

High hopes
"We are tired, we don't like this South Africa anymore," said Walu, 41, who wants the UNHCR to help relocate her family.
She told AFP the sit-in - sparked by a wave of xenophobic violence in September - was "the only chance" to protest against her situation.
South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that allows asylum seekers to work, have access to health care and study while their applications are being processed.
That reputation helped attract more than a million asylum seekers between 2007 and 2015, one of the world's highest, according to the government.
With high hopes to begin with, most have faced a lengthy, confusing and increasingly backlogged process.

"When I first arrived in South Africa I thought 'finally'," said another Congolese asylum seeker Esther Kabinga, 46.
After losing her husband in a plane crash and being gang-raped by soldiers, Kabinga left her home in the south-eastern Katanga Province in 2011, and walked into neighbouring Zambia with her three small children.
Kabinga then paid truck drivers to smuggle them into South Africa.
Stuck in limbo

She recalled having to leave home at 03:30 to queue for the processing of her application at the Department of Home Affairs.
"They give you a number and you wait. At the end of the day they tell you to come back tomorrow, come back next week."
Like most asylum seekers, both Kabinga and Walu's initial applications were rejected, marking the start of a lengthy appeal process.
"Currently there is a 99% [initial] rejection rate," human rights lawyer Jessica Lawrence told AFP, adding that thousands were stuck in limbo.
The UNHCR has also voiced concern about the number of "pending cases".
Despite the backlog, South Africa has reduced the capacity of some of its refugee application offices.
Human rights lawyer Sharon Elkambaram lamented the lack of "political will" to process applications.
"The quality of the decision-making is shocking," she added.
South Africa processed more than 630 000 applications over the past decade, less than 10% of which were granted refugee status.
Home Affairs spokesman Siya Qoza told AFP the majority were "not genuine cases" that were "clogging the system" by lodging appeals.
"Why would we need to increase the capacity when most of the world is stable?" he asked. "You would do that if the entire world was at war."
'Just a loser'

Walu and Kabinga have been living with temporary asylum permits for almost a decade.
That paper needs to be renewed every three to six months - a process that can take up to three weeks.
Asylum seekers also said the document branded them as foreigners, making them vulnerable to police bribes and discrimination.

Walu claimed her daughters were given a different high school diploma from a normal refugee because of their asylum-seeking status, and have since been refused access to university.
"Schools are instructed not to register foreign nationals or anyone who doesn't have a [South African] bar-coded ID," said Elkambaram.

"Same with hospitals," she added.
Last month, Johannesburg's High Court granted a public hospital the right to deny dialysis treatment to an Ethiopian asylum seeker on the basis that she was not a South African citizen.
Alem Ereselo, 36, feared persecution in Ethiopia after being involved with a once-banned political group as a student.

She fled to South Africa in 2010 and developed kidney failure in January.
"I feel shame for South Africa," said Ereselo, almost too frail to speak after spending 14 consecutive days without treatment.
"After 10 years, being sick shows me that [as an asylum seeker] you are just a loser."
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Saudi officials 'disappointed' by level of foreign interest in Ar

Saudi officials 'disappointed' by level of foreign interest in Ar

Two sources who spoke to the Financial Times said those behind the much-delayed public offering said that domestic demand was not matched by that of foreign investors.
“The issuer expressed high levels of dissatisfaction with what they were hearing,” said one of the FT sources familiar with the matter.

“The issuer expressed high levels of dissatisfaction with what they were hearing,” said one of the FT sources familiar with the matter.
Aramco's long-awaited public offering will begin on Sunday and will close for individual investors on November 28 and for institutional investors on December 4. The company's shares will be priced on December 5, according to the prospectus, and trading could begin as soon as December 11 according to state-linked media.

Aramco has not yet unveiled plans to list more of the company on an international exchange, although there have been talks with major world exchanges in recent years.

The company has stated its plans to pay out an annual dividened of at least $75 billion starting in 2020, but questions linger over Aramco's real worth.
While the kingdom's controversial de-facto leader and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has priced the company's value at $2 trillion, analysts estimate the value is closer to $1.5 trillion.

“Two or three weeks ago there was still hope of [a valuation] above $1.5tn, now I don’t know,” said one banker who spoke to FT.

Based on a $1.5 trillion valuation, a two percent stake sale would help Aramco raise $30 billion.
In the run-up to the long-awaited IPO, reports suggest Saudi Arabia is pressuring its wealthy citizens to invest in the upcoming Aramco IPO
Among those approached by the kingdom's government to buy stock in Aramco are the wealthy Olayan family and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Prince Alwaleed, who was ranked by Forbes as the world's 45th richest person in 2017, was the most high-profile detainee among 350 suspects rounded up by Saudi authorities in a 2017 anti-corruption drive and held in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel.
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Jump Rope for Fast Fat Loss

Jump Rope for Fast Fat Loss

Sure, you’re grown and haven’t been on the playground for years. But jumping rope is not just for the playground. This high-intensity exercise builds aerobic and anaerobic capacity just as well as sprinting does. Plus, it’s an incredibly versatile form of exercise that you can do almost anywhere— in the gym, at home or on the field— and the equipment costs are minimal. For about $10, you can buy a championship quality jump rope that will build shapely legs and cut fat at the same time!

Some Benefits of Jumping Rope

• It’s the best plyometric exercise. Plyometric exercises involve the loading and stretching of the muscles, followed by a sudden muscle contraction. Plyometrics makes the muscles strong and fast and prepares them for other sports, such as tennis, skiing, snowboarding or walking up stairs with more power.

• Builds strong bones. Research shows that there are few forms of exercise better for building and preserving bone than jumping rope. Women achieve peak bone mass when they reach 20-25 years of age. After that, they lose a little bone each year. Rope jumping strengthens bones in the spine and lower leg that are easily fractured when you get older, and regularly develops strong bones that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

• Gets you in shape faster. If you go slower while jumping rope, you will still push yourself harder than when you jog with a friend. Scientists have found that you push yourself harder jumping rope than you do jumping in place or jogging because you’re concentrating on a skill— you don’t notice the pain. So you will get into shape faster than you ever could running, swimming or cycling.
• It’s a potent fat burner. Canadian studies showed that exercising intensely helps people cut fat better than exercising slowly.

• Burns extra calories throughout the day. Rope skipping turns on your sympathetic nervous system— the fight or flight system— which makes you burn extra calories during the day.
• It’s a well-rounded form of exercise. Jump roping results in improved coordination, better timing and rhythm, and improved balance and agility.

• It’s a leg-shaping exercise. Jump roping will make your legs strong, powerful and shapely.
• Elevated heart rate. You can easily push your heart rate to its maximum if you turn the rope as fast as you can.
• It’s a simple, low-maintenance activity!

Jump into quick fat loss

Getting Started

All you need is a good pair of shoes, a rope and a place to jump. Choose shoes that absorb shock, such as cross-trainers or aerobic shoes that provide stability and cushioning under the balls of your feet. Running shoes are not appropriate because they have poor lateral support.

Buy a rope that fits you— one that can move easily around your head and body. A rope that’s too long or too short will prevent fluid movements. The rope is the right length when you can stand in the middle of it and lift both ends up to your armpits. The rope should turn easily in your hands and not bunch up around the handles.

You can jump rope almost anywhere. Choose a well-lit area and a flat surface that isn’t too hard. Avoid hard concrete surfaces. Instead, choose a springy wooden floor (gymnasium), artificial turf, or carpeted surface. Do not jump on a mat that can slip or you might get hurt badly.


• Maintain good posture. Jumping rope is a high-impact activity, so you must maintain a good posture to protect your knees, hips, back and neck.
• Look straight ahead and keep your waist and back straight.
• Hold your elbows low and bent at 90-degree angles.
• Swing the rope using your wrists and skip on the balls of your feet rhythmically.
• Keep your knees bent so that you don’t shock your knee joints when you jump.

Warm up before jumping rope: The best way to warm up is to do whole-body movements at low-intensities, such as running in place, jumping jacks and hopping. Most experts do not recommend using stretching as a pre-exercise warm-up because it decreases muscle strength and makes the muscle oversensitive.

Beginners: Start with a single side swing. Hold both handles in your right hand and swing the rope around. Jump off the ground slightly as the rope hits the ground at your side during each swing. After you get the rhythm— or get your muscle memory back from when you were a girl on the playground— grasp a handle in each hand and swing the rope over your head and jump as the rope strikes the ground. Keep your feet close together and practice this basic technique until you can do at least 30-50 turns without a miss.

More Advanced Techniques: Cross the rope in front of you just before you jump. Make sure to cross your arms enough so that you have plenty of room to jump between the ropes. A more difficult technique is to cross the rope in back of you. The next basic technique is the double spin— turn the rope twice for one jump.

After you master the basics, work on your footwork: First, move your feet so that they open and close. Then, jump using one foot and then the other. More advanced foot movements involve twisting to the right and then to the left. High-stepping is an excellent technique that will develop the muscles in your thighs and hips. Use a running motion while jumping rope— lifting your knees as high as possible in between turns of the rope.

If you have rope jumping friends, you can skip rope like you did on the playground— two or three at a time. For double jumping, hold one handle with your right hand while your partner holds the rope with her left hand. Start off slowly and then progress to more advanced techniques.

Interval Training for Rope Jumping

Interval training involves short bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by rest. Turn on some music with a good rhythm that inspires you.

• Begin by jumping rope for 15-30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.
• Turn the rope slowly at first— about 120 turns per minute. As you become more skilled and fit, build up to 140-160 turns per minute and extend the time of each interval.

• A good workout to shoot for is 20 sets of one-minute rope jumping with one-minute rest between sets. Start off slowly and build up.

• You can also use a heart rate monitor to gauge exercise intensity. Try to push your heart rate to about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can get a rough estimate of your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

So, go back to your youth and resurrect an exercise you should never have stopped doing. It will improve fitness, give you more shapely legs, cut fat and build bone.


1. Andrews K. We’re jumping rope for heart…from the American Heart Association. Health Educ 13: 23, 1982.
2. Arnett MG and Lutz B. Effects of rope-jump training on the os calcis stiffness index of postpubescent girls. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34: 1913-1919, 2002.
3. Baker JA. Comparison of rope skipping and jogging as methods of improving cardiovascular efficiency of college men. Res Q 39: 240-243, 1968.
4. Bloch MW, Smith DA and Nelson DL. Heart rate, activity, duration, and affect in added-purpose versus single-purpose jumping activities. Am J Occup Ther 43: 25-30, 1989.
5. Myles WS, Dick MR and Jantti R. Heart rate and rope skipping intensity. Res Q Exerc Sport 52: 76-79, 1981.
6. Pettersson U, Nordstrom P, Alfredson H, Henriksson-Larsen K and Lorentzon R. Effect of high impact activity on bone mass and size in adolescent females: A comparative study between two different types of sports. Calcif Tissue Int 67: 207-214, 2000.
7. Quirk JE and Sinning WE. Anaerobic and aerobic responses of males and females to rope skipping. Med Sci Sports Exerc 14: 26-29, 1982.
8. Reece WW. Cardiovascular effects of jumping rope. Am J Sports Med 7: 303, 1979.
9. Tremblay A and Doucet E. Influence of intense physical activity on energy balance and body fatness. Proc Nutr Soc 58: 99-105, 1999.
10. Tremblay A, Simoneau JA and Bouchard C. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism 43: 814-818, 1994.
11. Weaver CM, Teegarden D, Lyle RM, McCabe GP, McCabe LD, Proulx W, Kern M, Sedlock D, Anderson DD, Hillberry BM, Peacock M and Johnston CC. Impact of exercise on bone health and contraindication of oral contraceptive use in young women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33: 873-880, 2001.
12. Yoshioka M, Doucet E, St-Pierre S, Almeras N, Richard D, Labrie A, Despres JP, Bouchard C and Tremblay A. Impact of high-intensity exercise on energy expenditure, lipid oxidation and body fatness. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 25: 332-339, 2001.

Facebook is watching you through your phone and computer cameras without your permission

Yes, Facebook is watching you through your phone and computer cameras without your permission

Image: Yes, Facebook is watching you through your phone and computer cameras without your permission

(Natural News) Mark Zuckerberg is hilariously blaming a “bug” for secretly provisioning his Facebook platform to record users’ faces from their smartphone and laptop cameras, without their permission, every time they browse the social media site.

Reports indicate that multiple users were shocked to discover that their device cameras were secretly recording them “in the background” as they scrolled through their newsfeeds, even though they had never given the Facebook app permission to do this.

Many of these individuals took to Twitter to report the disturbing news, which quickly sent a shockwave across the social mediasphere reminding people that personal privacy is now a thing of the past, at least if you own electronic devices that have access to the internet.

According to CNET, which successfully replicated the “bug” using its own tests, the issue is easily identifiable when a user switches out of full-screen mode after looking at a photo or video. A bug in Facebook’s mobile layout shifts the screen slightly to the right upon minimization, and in the open space to the left it becomes apparent that the user’s camera was mysteriously activated.

As news about this “bug” started to circulate, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s “Vice President of Integrity,” took to Twitter to announce that his company is now looking into the matter.

“We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape,” Rosen wrote in his tweet.
“In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this.”
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In a later statement, Rosen flat-out declared that Facebook had not captured any photos or videos as a result of this “bug.”

Every Apple “upgrade” these days is just another bug-ridden scam to further erode users’ privacy protections

But not everyone is convinced, including Daryl Lasafin, Creative Director at the marketing agency Dame Digital in the Philippines.
After initially dismissing the issue as the mere “glitch” that Facebook claims it was, Lasafin noticed that all throughout the day as he was using Facebook on his mobile phone, the camera kept being activated in the background.

“I thought it was just my phone or the app acting up,” Lasafin is quoted as saying. “Then I observed it became more persistent that evening.”
Lasafin tried to troubleshoot the problem on his own by uninstalling and reinstalling the Facebook app, as well as removing all permissions for Facebook to access his phone’s camera. But none of this fixed a thing, as the Facebook app continued to turn on his camera without his permission.
Interestingly, after Lasafin revoked all permissions for the Facebook app on his phone, the only thing that popped up was a black screen.

Not at all surprising is the fact that this “bug” is only occurring on Apple iPhones that have the latest iOS version installed on them. According to Next Web, the “bug” did not appear in iOS 12, suggesting that Apple’s latest “upgrade” is nothing more than a scam – as is Apple’s latest “upgrade” for MacOS, known as “Catalina,” which is similarly ridden with “bugs.”

Android users are reportedly not affected in any way by this Facebook camera “bug.”
This latest violation by Facebook only adds insult to injury when it comes to the company’s total disregard for people’s personal privacy. As you may recall, Facebook had no choice but to fork out $5 billion in fines back in the summer for various other privacy violations, which has made the company one of the least-trusted tech giants in Silicon Valley.

“Facebook’s reputation on privacy is so worrying that many people still believe the social network is secretly recording people through their microphones,” notes Alfred Ng from CNET.
For more related news about corruption at Facebook, be sure to check out

The One Cleanse You Should Try To Lose Belly Fat Fast

The One Cleanse You Should Try To Lose Belly Fat Fast

A cleanse is a great way to jump start a diet or reset your body after a period of poor habits or unhealthy eating. Also known as a detox diet, a cleanse is a short-term dietary intervention designed to remove toxins from your body. While there are many different types of cleanses out there, they each follow a similar format.

Most cleanses involve a brief period of fasting followed by a diet that instructs you to only drink certain types of juices and eliminated a list of foods.

Before starting any cleanse, it is important to read up on it. Familiarize yourself with every step to make sure that it is not going to be harmful to your specific health and look into reviews of people who have tried the cleanse before to ensure that you understand what to expect during the cleanse and after.

Many people have been trying out an apple cider vinegar cleanse because it helps you to lose belly fat fast. Apple cider vinegar has been known to aid in weight loss because it helps to curb hunger and help you feel satiated. It is also low in calories but high in amino acids and antioxidants, plus it is believed to lower blood sugar and cholesterol cider vinegar cleanse lose belly fat

An apple cider vinegar cleanse is less risky than other types of detoxes because it doesn’t require any fasting or eliminating any types of foods. Instead, the cleanse simply requires you to have a drink made with the vinegar three times a day for a week.
The recipe is:
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 8 ounces of purified or distilled water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener (organic honey, maple syrup, or 4 drops of Stevia)apple cider vinegar cleanse lose belly fat
Some research has supported that an apple cider vinegar detox can help you lose weight, regulate blood sugar. Other believed benefits are lowered cholesterol, improved heart health and immune benefits, though these benefits are not backed up by hard evidence.

How to Roast Sweet Potatoes That Are Charred on the Outside and Pudding-y in the Middle

How to Roast Sweet Potatoes That Are Charred on the Outside and Pudding-y in the Middle

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something's so easy to make that you don't even need one. Welcome to It's That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

I want to shout my love for sweet potatoes from every corner of this here internet. I don't save them for fall, or for "sweater season," or for Thanksgiving. I eat them on the hottest days of summer and the rainiest days of spring. I don't discriminate between the varieties (though Japanese are the best TBH). I like them steamed, fried, braised, sautéed, and—on most nights of the week—roasted.

It couldn't be much simpler to do and—since my friends regularly text me to ask me my "secrets"—I'm going to lay it all out now. (This one's for you, Mackenzie.) But first, a disclaimer. People seem to be clamoring for "crispy" roasted sweet potatoes, to which I respond, "They don't exist!" I've made plenty of charred, deeply browned roasted sweet potatoes in my life, but none have been crispy or crunchy—you'd need to fry or dehydrate for that.

The best you're going to get is a burnished exterior and a custardy middle, and once you've accepted that reality, you're ready to roast.
Start by heating your oven—I aim for somewhere in the 400° to 450° range regardless of whether I'm roasting the sweet potato whole, halved, or sliced. While the oven comes to temperature, scrub your sweet potato with a vegetable brush or designated sponge (or, worst case scenario, a paper towel). Remember, these tubers were ripped from the ground, after which they spent a fair amount of time hanging out in transit and in your grocery store. They're dirty! Washing the sweet potatoes not only eliminates actual particles of dirt, but it also introduces some moisture to the skin, which prevents it from turning tough or leathery in the high heat of the oven.

How to roast whole sweet potatoes:
If you're going to roast the sweet potato whole—say you're planning split it open and dress it liked a baked potato—coat it in a little olive oil and sprinkle it with salt. This is for taste purposes only, so if you're going to peel the skin off and mash the flesh, don't bother. Stick the potato on a baking sheet in the oven—no need to wrap it or prick it—and cook until it's totally tender: A cake tester should pierce the skin and slide through the soft center. Depending on the size of your potato and the heat of your oven, this can take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes.


Oven Temperature, Timing, Glazing

Oven Temperature, Timing, Glazing

Whether you’re hosting a gaggle of relatives for the holiday or planning a special night for you and your sweetie: Go ahead and bake a ham. As the late Marion Cunningham put it, “Baked ham is an ideal main dish for beginning cooks and the best answer for the harried cook.” Any leftovers freeze beautifully (hi, hello sandwiches, sautéed greens, fried rice). And what’s more festive than a honking roast? Today, we’re covering ham 101 and answering FAQ.

What is a ham, anyway?

Just like steak (ribeye! flank! bone-in! dry-aged!), the world of ham is full of terms. Let’s break down the important ones:
  • Ham is a pork cut from the animal’s hind leg that is often cured and/or smoked.
  • Cured can refer to either dry-curing or wet-curing. The former means the meat gets covered in salt, sugar, sodium nitrate/nitrite, and other spices. The latter means the meat is soaked in a water-based solution (seasoned with those same ingredients); this solution might be injected into the ham for speedier curing.
  • Spiral ham refers to the way a ham is processed and pre-sliced. The overall shape stays the same, but you have a head-start on carving. (Now, who is going to invent a spiral turkey?)

How big is a whole ham?

Big! Figure 10 to 15 pounds—note, this could serve 30 people or then some. (Estimate ⅓ to ⅔ pound per person.) If you’re a smaller group and don’t want to freeze that many leftovers, consider buying a partial ham.

Does ham always contain a bone?

Nope. You can find most hams—whether whole or partial—without a bone. That said, these boneless cuts are preferable for eating immediately (compared to glazing then baking), so they may be more processed. Be wary of added ingredients, such as water, on the label.

How long should I cook a ham in the oven?

First things first, ask your ham. As The Joy of Cooking notes, “Hams are usually labeled ‘partially cooked’ or ‘fully cooked.’ Whichever you buy, follow the instructions scrupulously.”
For partially cooked ham, you should cook it until the center reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. For fully cooked ham, which may be marked as ready to eat or something similar, you just want to warm it up to about 145°F.
Heat the oven anywhere from 300°F to 350°F. The ham will be very happy on a rack set in a roasting pan (but if you don’t have a rack, that’s okay too). There’s no need to cover it with foil, but you could if you want (some sources argue that this avoids any drying out). Just make sure you uncover before glazing.

Can I cook my ham in a slow cooker?

Yes! This method is fuss-free and hands-off. According to The Kitchn, you can cook an 8- to 10-pound fully-cooked ham in a slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours. On the other hand, AllRecipes recommends that the same size ham cook for 8 hours. Which is to say, you do you! Since you’re starting with something that’s already cooked, it’s hard to go wrong.
With the oven at 325°F, The Joy of Cooking recommends the following cook times:
  • Whole (10- to 15-pound) ham: 18 to 20 minutes per pound
  • Half (5- to 7-pound) ham: 20 minutes per pound
  • Shank or butt portion: 35 minutes per pound

How do I make a glaze for ham?

A glaze is a great way to make your ham your own. Maple-chipotle? Ginger-clove? Paprika-honey? You tell me! It’s also makes the roast super glossy and beautiful. Just keep these tips in mind:
  • Add the glaze at the right time. Figure 30 minutes to 1 hour before the ham has reached its goal internal temperature. Score if you want (more on that below), then paint on your glaze (a pastry brush works well here).
  • Increase the temperature, or don’t. Some recipes will tell you to bump up the temperature to 375°F, 400°F, or higher. Some don’t. It all depends on how caramelized you want your glaze. Just be mindful that the higher the temperature, the quicker it will burn.
  • Score the ham for drama. While a crosshatch pattern isn’t necessary, it’s utterly classic, and it really lets your glaze shine (pun intended). Do this step right before you glaze the ham and use a super-sharp knife.
  • Don’t make the glaze too salty (or too sweet). Remember, the ham itself is already quite salty. The glaze is a great place to add contrast and intrigue (yes, intrigue!). Think sweeteners (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey), spices (cayenne, hot sauce, ground mustard, Old Bay), tang (cider vinegar, malt vinegar, rice vinegar), and even booze (bourbon, rum).
  • Try this easy formula. Equal parts jam and Dijon mustard. That’s it! Use your favorite jam, from apricot to blueberry.
  • Steal glazes from not-ham recipes. Just because the glaze wasn’t created for a ham doesn’t mean it won’t get along with a ham. Check these out for some inspiration:
What are your best tips for cooking a ham? Share your oven strategy and glaze ideas in the comments ON THIS LINK

Meatballs! Squash! Pasta!

Meatballs! Squash! Pasta!

Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. So, as you may know, my day job is being a food editor, and one thing food editors love is a sexy ingredient: lots of chiles, turmeric, torn herbs. And yet lately I’m drawn to distinctly unsexy ingredients: lots of beans, egg noodles, celery. I’ve been eating even more jarred tuna than usual, and I had some very creamy chicken liver out at dinner one night last week. (Have I lost you?)
But, but! Those ingredients are great. (Have you even had buttered egg noodles lately? They transcend.) Beans, in particular, have really captured my attention: I’ve been cooking so many pots of dried beans at home. This means I’m actually planning my schedule for and around beans. Who am I?
That’s the real report from my kitchen. But Five Weeknight Dishes can’t just be beans. There must be chicken! There must be squash! There must be meatballs! It’s all here for you below, and you can send me thoughts or requests at

The Shortcut to Crisp, Tender Pie Crust

The Shortcut to Crisp, Tender Pie Crust

When I first started to grate and press out short-crust pastry, rather than roll it, I’d show up to any breakfast or birthday with a pie in hand. I’d lurk near my dessert so I could read lips after people took their bites. “She’s a chef,” they’d say, to explain my dangerously tender, crisp crust.

I discovered the technique in the first professional kitchen I worked in, where I was charged with making the restaurant’s classic lemon tart. Terror that mine would be more “bake sale” than “Michelin star” was replaced by confidence and a baking obsession when I learned the simple secret behind their perfect pie. It’s rare that a shortcut actually makes food better, and this one does.
I’ve subsequently renounced flakiness, crimped edges and latticed lids in favor of grated crusts just thick enough to cradle wobbly curds, and tender enough that they crumble when I try to eat a slice like a piece of pizza, without a plate.

And I still feel the glow when my pie crust is praised — no longer at the suggestion that I’ve mastered the advanced skill of rolling out pastry perfectly , but rather, because I haven’t. For this reason I consider a box grater to be the great pie equalizer. Anyone can trade in the stress of “forming a disk,” of searching for a wine bottle to use as a rolling pin, of transferring torn pastry to its dish for this easy route to perfection.

How French Is French Onion Dip?

How French Is French Onion Dip?

Last year, Lipton sold 58 million individual packets of its onion-flavored soup and dip mix. Even when you factor its usage in the occasional meat or side dish, that’s a lot of dip. Makes you wonder if this onion dip—whose quality may be more reliant on nostalgia than, say, its own merit—were invented today, would it still be as popular? Or is it the beneficiary of a set of Gladwellian circumstances that are arguably impossible to replicate today?

It’s hard to imagine a series of events as fortuitous as those afforded to Lipton and its onion dip.
In 1954, two years after Lipton's dehydrated soup mix was introduced, someone (their identity remains unknown) created the onion soup and sour cream combo. “Because it was called California Dip very frequently in its early days, we believe it was a homemaker in California, but that's as much as we know,” said Brian Critz, a marketing director at Unilever, the parent company of Lipton.

Lipton’s wasn’t the first California Dip, however. Earlier recipes combined cream cheese and Roquefort with California Sauterne wine, mayonnaise, salt, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and garlic salt. But with just two ingredients, the 1954 recipe was four times easier than its cheesy counterpart. And in the postwar glow of the 1950s, convenience trumped identity theft.

The new California dip was a crowd pleaser, a party staple, and a status symbol served on a silver platter. As Jean Anderson recounts in The American Century Cookbook, “Word of the new dip spread through Los Angeles faster than a canyon fire, newspapers printed the recipe, onion soup mix sales soared, and Lipton executives, a continent away in New Jersey, were ecstatic.”

What happened next should surprise no one.

Lipton mounted a massive promotional campaign starring California Dip. They sponsored Arthur Godfrey’s popular Talent Scouts radio and television program, a showcase for new stars like Tony Bennett and Patsy Cline. (Elvis Presley was famously passed over to appear on the broadcast.) Godfrey, the show’s host, participated in the commercials, delivering his own memorable performances.

 It was so effective, news outlets referred to the product as “the Arthur Godfrey Dip,” or the unofficial Americone Dream. (Archives of AGTS are extremely rare. Neither CBS nor Lipton could find a dip clip, but please enjoy his four-minute soup soliloquy in its place.)
Beyond TV and radio, the company ran colorful spreads in newspapers and magazines, distributed handing cards to retailers, created cookbooks, and, beginning in 1958—after tracking down the recipe and perfecting it—they printed it on every box, where it remains alongside the second and third most popular recipes.

It was the first time Lipton had used its product as an ingredient, and the success fueled spinoffs. Recipes for Shrimp California Dip, Vegetable California Dip, California Dip Deviled Eggs and, in an entirely 60s interpretation of “some foreign intrigue,” Lipton California Dip Hindustani, Lipton California Dip à la Grecque, Lipton California Dip Mexicano, and Lipton California Dip à la Russe flooded the party scene. More dip-inspired recipes fit for a jetsetting crowd included Acapulco Quesadillas, Spaghetti Bravissimo, Pago Pago Tidbits, and Delish-Kebabs.

Surprisingly, references to the “French” faction of onion dip by Lipton were rare. In the December 1959 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, an advert for the brand’s soup mix ran with the headline: “Only from LIPTON ... a classic French onion soup that makes gala party dips too!” The most French-related dishes I could find were a recipe for Lipton Fondue America, which—for those who are curious—combines Lipton Onion Soup Mix with four cups of tomato juice, four teaspoons lemon juice, and one pound of American cheese, shredded, as well as a French-Style Pot Roast, which is very similar to the Old-Fashioned Pot Roast, just with wine.

When I asked Critz about the “French” part of the dip, he reaffirmed that Lipton calls the dip by two names. Neither one has French in it.

California Dip copycats and co-conspirators multiplied. But they astutely went with the more descriptive and, arguably fancier sounding, “French Onion Dip” for their respective products. Sour cream, which is said to have been popularized by Lipton California Dip, also got in on the action. But, according to Critz, “there are not a lot around anymore,” which is a result of consolidation as much as competition.

Still, if there were such a thing as a (French) Onion Dip Renaissance, we would be in it. Restaurants across the country and in N.Y.C. are balancing nostalgia with vision. “We wanted to bring back dishes that people have fond memories of and showcase them with the highest quality ingredients and impeccable execution,” said Jarrod Huth, chef de cuisine at TAK Room.
Further downtown, Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court serves their version of carmelized onion dip—a delightful combination of caramelized onions, garlic confit, crème fraiche, hot sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, garnished with espelette pepper, chives, and fried shallots. According to Director of Culinary Operations Bryan Hunt, it’s the most popular item on the menu. (Also, Tom loves potato chips.)

Still, it’s a long way off from what Critz called “the number one brand in that space and America's favorite by far.” In fact, Lipton’s Classic Onion Dip doesn’t need to do much, if any, marketing.
“I think the main arguments about why this rose to popularity would be political and social,” explains Adrienne Bitar, postdoctoral associate in history at Cornell University and author of Diet and the Disease of Civilization.

 Following WWII, in an effort to expand civilian consumption of dehydrated foods (an industry that ballooned during the war), the government discovered a real winner. Consumers “were much more eager to embrace dehydrated soups than they were other dehydrated products.”
Coincidingly, as Bitar points out, the rise of the middle class and “the idea that you would have an elite dip that you would show off to your friends at nice dinner parties in Levittown just kind of fits in with the larger story.”


Russia frees Norwegian and two Lithuanians in swap for pair of its spies

Russia frees Norwegian and two Lithuanians in swap for pair of its spies

Russia frees Norwegian and two Lithuanians in swap for pair of its spies
Russia has freed two Lithuanians and a Norwegian in return for two Russian spies held in Lithuania, in a cold war-style spy swap that brought several high-profile espionage cases to a close.
The Norwegian, Frode Berg, a retired border guard, was arrested in Moscow in 2017 and convicted of gathering intelligence on behalf of Norway. He pleaded not guilty.

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg told a news conference on Friday she had spoken to Berg by phone and he would come home as soon as “practically possible”.
“We are happy that Frode Berg is coming back home to Norway as a free man,” she added. Norwegian PM Erna Solberg welcomed Berg’s release.

Berg’s lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, told Norwegian newspaper VG that Berg, 64, was undergoing a medical examination, and needed some peace before travelling back to Norway.
It was not immediately clear when Berg could fly back from Lithuania, which helped to arrange the spy swap that took place at midday on Friday at a Lithuanian border post with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

Solberg said the actions of Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda and his country’s parliament showed “a spirit of a great ally and true friend, and we will remain grateful”.
Norway has not promised any rewards to Lithuania in exchange, she added.
Both Norway and Lithuania are Nato member states, and Norway has its soldiers taking part in Nato’s rotating exercises in the Baltic state, concerned about Russia’s aggressiveness.
Moscow says it has no intention of invading the Baltics or Poland and accuses Nato of destabilising Europe by moving troops closer to Russia’s borders.

News about Berg’s release prompted celebrations in his hometown Kirkenes, in Arctic Norway. Lithuania’s president, Gitanas Nausėda, won praise from Norway.
“We have been waiting for this for two years now,” Øystein Hansen, a member of a support group, told Reuters. “It is very good for all the parties, the local community, the family, the Norwegian nation.”
Berg’s daughter, Christina Berg, who was waiting for her father’s return in Oslo, told Reuters: “We are so happy right now.”

One of the two freed Russians, Nikolai Filipchenko, was sentenced in Lithuania in 2017 to 10 years in jail for spying.
Lithuanian media reported that Filipchenko held the rank of lieutenant colonel in Russia’s federal security service (FSB) and tried to recruit the Lithuanian president’s bodyguards to bug his office.
Another freed Russian, Sergej Moisejenko, was sentenced in 2017 to 10-and-a-half years for spying and illegal possession of weapons, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to Lithuanian media, he tried to gather information about the nation’s armed forces and Nato’s air police mission in Lithuania.

Russia freed two Lithuanians, Jevgenij Mataitis and Aristidas Tamosaitis, who were sentenced in Russia in 2016 to 13 and 12 years in prison respectively for spying.
Mataitis, who also holds Russian citizenship, was passing secret military information while he served as a captain in the Russian armed forces, Russian news agency Tass has said.

Both freed Lithuanians were to be reunited with their families on Friday, Lithuanian officials said.

Roger Stone: Jurors deliver verdict in Trump ally trial over WikiLeaks

Roger Stone: Jurors deliver verdict in Trump ally trial over WikiLeaks

Roger Stone found guilty of lying to Congress to protect Trump and his campaign

WASHINGTON – Roger Stone, an ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of lying to Congress and obstructing an investigation into Russia to protect Trump and his presidential campaign.
The jury's verdict came after about eight hours of deliberation. Stone, a fixture in GOP politics who worked on campaigns stretching back to Richard Nixon's, now faces the possibility of prison.
He's the latest Trump ally to be found guilty in cases sprouting from a special counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

The verdict, reached by a jury of nine women and three men, comes amid an impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump sought to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political rival.
Witnesses testified in closed-door sessions on Capitol Hill that the White House dangled critical military aid and an official visit in orderto get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Those hearings went public this week, when witnesses testified Wednesday and Friday.

Impeachment hearing: Ambassador Yovanovitch says Trump's attacks on her 'intimidating'
As the verdicts were read, Stone stood expressionless with his hands in his pockets.
Shortly after, a petition started to circulate calling for Trump to pardon Stone.

Trump took to Twitter, decrying a "double standard" and said law enforcement officials lied, including Robert Mueller, the special counsel who headed the Russia investigation.
Stone's trial ends after a week marked with Nixon quotes, references to the Mafia movie "The Godfather" and a colorful witness who offered to do a Bernie Sanders impression before an unamused federal judge. The proceedings attracted the attendance of controversial figures, including alt-right firebrands Milo Yiannopoulos and Jacob Wohl.

Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign adviser who attended the trial, said he was escorted out of the courtroom by a federal marshal for turning his back on the jurors as they walked out.
"Normal Americans don’t stand a chance with an Obama judge and a Washington jury," he tweeted.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson allowed Stone to go home as he awaits his sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 6. A gag order preventing him from talking about the case remains in effect. He and his attorneys did not comment as they left the courthouse.

The proceedings revealed information about the Trump campaign's efforts to seek advance knowledge of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, which hurt Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when Trump was trailing in the polls. Testimony indicated these efforts involved the candidate himself.

Analysis: As public impeachment hearings open, the surprise was that there was a surprise
Stone, 67, stood trial on accusations that he repeatedly lied to Congress about his back-channel efforts to push for the release of those emails. He was accused of urging a possible congressional witness to either lie or scuttle his testimony.
"Roger Stone lied … because the truth looked bad for the Trump campaign and the truth looked bad for Donald Trump," Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky told jurors.
Defense attorneys urged jurors to focus on Stone's state of mind, arguing he did not willfully mislead Congress. The claim that Stone lied to protect the Trump campaign was "absolutely false," Bruce Rogow told jurors.

"It makes no sense," Rogow said, adding that the campaign was long over and Trump was already president when Stone testified before Congress in 2017. "Why would Stone lie, why would he make stuff up? ... There is no purpose, there is no reason, there is no motive."
Stone was found guilty of seven charges: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. The maximum penalty for all counts totals 50 years in prison, though first-time offenders generally receive significantly lower sentences.
Jurors heard from five government witnesses and saw dozens of emails and text messages that prosecutors said proved Stone lied. His defense attorneys did not call any witnesses, and Stone, known for his flamboyance and combativeness, did not testify.

Roger Stone:Prosecution says he lied to Congress to protect Trump; defense says there was no motive
Defense attorneys sought to poke holes in the government's case by casting the emails and text messages as statements that, while at times crude, lacked any "malignant" context.
The charges stemmed from Stone's interactions with the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, around the time that WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy group, began publishing troves of damaging emails about the Democratic National Committee and Clinton.

Prosecutors said Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to push for the release of those emails. They said he lied about the identity of the person who tipped him off about WikiLeaks' plans – his so-called intermediary. They said he falsely denied talking to the Trump campaign about what he learned and falsely told Congress he did not have text messages and emails in which he talked about WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors said Stone sought to silence a witness who could expose these lies by using threatening references from "The Godfather" movie. Stone urged the witness in multiple emails to follow the steps of Frank Pentangeli, a character in "The Godfather II" who lied to Congress to avoid incriminating Mafia boss Michael Corleone.

Defense attorneys sought to discredit that witness, a comedian and radio host who Stone told the House committee was his intermediary to WikiLeaks. They said Randy Credico, who said he was never the conduit to the group, "played" Stone and made him believe he had back-channel capabilities with WikiLeaks.

Movie nights, baseball, phone calls: How Trump is uniting the GOP to fight impeachment
Rick Gates, another former campaign official, testified that he overheard then-candidate Trump talking to Stone on the phone in July 2016, shortly after WikiLeaks began publishing the DNC emails. "More information is coming," Trump told Gates after hanging up, according to testimony. In written responses to Mueller, Trump said he did not recall being told about discussions of the hacked emails.

Steve Bannon, the campaign's former chief executive, testified that he and other members of the campaign saw Stone as their "access point" to WikiLeaks.
Defense attorneys said testimony didn't point to a crime. Seeking information that would hurt the opposing party is a staple in political campaigns, they argued. Rogow pointed out that Gates, who was  charged in the Mueller probe, cooperated with prosecutors to avoid prison time.
In all, six Trump allies and former campaign aides have been indicted or convicted since 2017 as part of Mueller's Russia investigation.

Gates, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, awaits sentencing.
Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, is serving more than seven years in prison after he was convicted of several charges, including defrauding banks and taxpayers out of millions of dollars amassed through illicit lobbying.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. He has yet to be sentenced.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, is serving three years in prison after admitting he lied to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia. Cohen admitted he was involved in schemes to buy the silence of two women who claimed to have had sexual relationships with Trump.
Former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who is running for Congress, served a two-week prison sentence after admitting he lied to investigators about his contacts with Russians.

Trump: Impeachment 'has been very hard on my family'

Trump: Impeachment 'has been very hard on my family'

President Trump said Thursday that the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats has been “very hard” on his family.

“Impeachment to me is a dirty word,” Trump said while campaigning in Bossier City, La., for Republican Eddie Rispone, who is running against incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, adding, “It has been very hard on my family.”
Trump said Democrats were “ripping our country apart” by seeking his impeachment and “trying to overthrow American democracy.”

In his second rally in Louisiana in as many weeks, but his first since the impeachment inquiry against him entered a public phase, the president assured his audience that his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect.”

“We did nothing wrong and they’re doing nothing,” he said of Democrats.
Democrats say that Trump, who withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine, abused his power by asking Zelensky to launch investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Rispone and Edwards will face off in a runoff election on Saturday.
Despite Trump’s campaigning for Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin last week, Democrat Andy Beshear defeated Bevin by more than 5,000 votes.

Just as Trump framed Bevin’s reelection as a referendum on his presidency, he called on his Bossier City crowd to send a message to the country.

“You’ve got to give me a big win, OK?” Trump said.

Android Developers Blog: 3 things to know about Android Studio from Android Dev Summit 2019

Android Developers Blog: 3 things to know about Android Studio from Android Dev Summit 2019

Posted by Deepanshu Madan, Product Manager
Last month’s #AndroidDevSummit was jam-packed with announcements and technical much that we wouldn’t be surprised if you missed something. So all this month, we’ll be diving into key areas from throughout the summit so you don’t miss anything. Earlier this week, we spotlighted Kotlin and Jetpack Compose, and today, we’re highlighting Android Studio, with the top three things you should know:
#1: Support for Jetpack Compose
For the best experience developing with Jetpack Compose, you can now use the latest version of Android Studio 4.0 in the canary channel, and benefit from smart editor features, such as New Project templates, code completion and the ability to immediately preview your Jetpack Compose UI.

#2: What’s new in Android Studio session
We covered both new features and successes of our quality initiative called Project Marble. On the quality aspect, we discuss improvements around hangs and latency, memory leak detection, automatic IDE heap sizing and build speed.

Also during the session you will find demos on new developments & features in Android Studio such as Build Attribution tool which helps you understand and diagnose problems with your build system, Java 8 library desugaring, View binding, Kotlin Android live templates, an updated live Layout inspector which allows you to drill into resources right from the view to find where a property value originates in the source code with a 3D visualization of your view hierarchy.
#3: Android Studio Design tools
We introduced new features of Layout & Navigation editor including a new split view, new tools such as Multi-preview which allows you to visualize your layout in different configurations and MotionEditor, visual design editor for the MotionLayout layout type, making it easier to create and preview animations.

The Motion Editor provides a simple interface for manipulating elements from the MotionLayout library that serves as the foundation for animation in Android apps. In previous releases, creating and altering these elements required manually editing constraints in XML resource files. Now, the Motion Editor can generate this XML for you, with support for start and end states, keyframes, transitions, and timelines.

You can find the entire playlist of Android Dev Summit sessions and videos here. We’ll continue to spotlight other areas later this month, so keep an eye out and follow AndroidDevelopers on Twitter. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

These Sony Xperia phones are getting Android 10, starting in December

These Sony Xperia phones are getting Android 10, starting in December

Sony has confirmed its Android 10 roadmap for a number of its leading smartphones, and the good news is the rollout will begin before the end of the year.
If you’re the proud owner of a Sony Xperia 1 or the recently-announced Xperia 5 smartphones, those handsets will be the first to receive the latest version of Google’s operating system.
Sony isn’t committing to any specific release dates at present, so the launch could come in just two weeks, or it could be on the last day of the year. Even then, it’s probably unlikely to be a straightforward rollout.

What about the other Sony Xperia devices in the portfolio, you ask? Well Sony is now confirming the Xperia 10, 10 Plus, XZ2, XZ2 Compact, XZ2 Premium and XZ3 will also get Android 10. Sony says owners of those devices can access the upgrade from early 2020 onwards, so even less clarity there.
In a blog post Sony also points out that: “Software rollouts are a phased process – timing and availability will vary by market and/or operator. Most models supported but some operator/market exceptions will apply.”

The Sony Xperia 5, the latest in the range, which we called “smaller, cheaper Xperia with a large, super-wide display,” earned 4/5 stars in our review last month.
We praised the phone for having the best camera we’d ever used on a Sony handset, the attractive OLED display and the distinctive Sony design. It lost points for its 21:9 aspect ratio and questionable value compared to rival devices.

Our reviewer wrote: “Hot on the heels of the Xperia 1, the Xperia 5 is another strong flagship-level phone from Sony, this time offering a slightly better balance between top-end specifications and everyday practicality. The Xperia 5 sacrifices a little of the wow factor for a little more usability – but we’re quite happy with the trade-off.”

The Play Store's auto-playing videos will have a toggle to turn them off

The Play Store's auto-playing videos will have a toggle to turn them off

Google's making a change to the Play Store that most of us will probably not like. It's been testing autoplay videos for its app store since August, though it's thankfully now added a toggle to turn the feature off in its latest builds.

 The news comes courtesy of a tip to Android Police, though as the publication notes, the change is not live for everyone, meaning it's still in the A/B testing phase.
It's definitely an interesting move for the company, which has previously made a big deal of its support for the Better Ads Standards on Chrome. The Google-made browser even started blocking auto-playing video ads with sounds. Hopefully, that means the auto-playing videos in the Play Store will be muted if you don't interact with them. Either way, even if your phone doesn't suddenly start blaring a loud, musical app promo while you're just trying to download Uber on your phone, the change will mean you'll be eating through your monthly data cap at a faster rate than usual, perhaps without your knowledge or permission.

That's precisely why Google's addition of a toggle to turn it off is so important. As I'm sure many of you will want to do as soon as Google makes the change official, you will be able to stop auto-playing videos by heading to the app's settings and opening the 'Auto-play videos' prompt.

There, you'll be met with three options: disabling the feature entirely, auto-playing videos only over Wi-Fi, or doing so at all times — that is, over both mobile data and Wi-Fi connections. As the company points out in the prompt itself, the last option may result in data charges, and for that very reason, we really hope it'll not be the default option when Google ships the feature to all users.

Huawei Cloud: Kunpeng Cloud Services usher in Africa’s multi-architecture computing era

Huawei Cloud: Kunpeng Cloud Services usher in Africa’s multi-architecture computing era

Huawei Cloud has released Kunpeng ECS (Elastic Cloud Server) cloud services and Partner Program 2.0 at AfricaCom, the continent’s largest annual telecom event.

The Kunpeng-powered cloud services will be made available to African customers by the end of December and will offer 15% faster multi-core computing power and a 30% higher performance/price ratio than the industry average.

These cloud services offer an unprecedented capability to meet the ever-shifting requirements of a diverse range of public and private institutions.
Speaking at the Huawei Cloud, AI Forum, Rui Houwei, President of HUAWEI CLOUD Africa, noted the significance of recent technological breakthroughs.

“The computing industry has gone through the mainframe computer, minicomputer, and x86 server stages and will move to the multi-architecture computing stage,” he said.
“The computing power previously available only in the x86 architecture, is now available in different architectures, allowing for the use of appropriate computing power for each specific application. “
This January, Huawei launched Kunpeng 920, the industry’s highest-performing 7nm server processor in the Kunpeng architecture. The HUAWEI CLOUD ECS is powered by the Kunpeng servers and supports multi-architecture computing. ”

Rui also expressed optimism at Kunpeng’s capabilities for the local market, “Huawei is able to innovate across the entire stack ranging from chips and servers to cloud platforms. In-depth collaboration between chips, hardware, and software enable Kunpeng cloud services to deliver unparalleled performance. We are deeply committed to providing diversified cloud services and solutions, to help public institutions and private companies take intelligence and mobility to even greater heights. ”

At the forum, Huawei also outlined its Partner Program 2.0 initiative, which offers crucial support for partners, with regard to online and onsite training, market expansion, marketing activities, and technical understanding.
In Africa alone, HUAWEI CLOUD has established partnerships with over 65 partners spanning diverse industries, including telecom, finance, manufacturing, education, retail, and logistics, as well as the public sector. “Such wide-ranging collaboration is likely to result in unique, and broadly-shared benefits across the ecosystem,” said Rui.

According to an IDC report, South Africa’s spending in public cloud services will reach R11.5 billion in 2022, a three-fold increase from 2017. This expansion is projected to create 112,000 jobs. By 2020, cloud services will account for 67% of enterprises’ total spending in IT infrastructure and software.
More than 85% of enterprises are expected to use the hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud architecture.
Huawei has been operating in Africa for over 20 years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the requirements, opportunities, and challenges faced by African customers.

 Its local teams are fully equipped to provide premium services for customers spanning 54different African countries.

HUAWEI CLOUD has leveraged its 30 years of accumulated technological development and expertise in the ICT field, to deliver high-quality full-stack cloud services at the best possible value.
HUAWEI CLOUD services were officially launched in South Africa this February, making it the first cloud service provider to utilize local data centres in that country. Over the past eight months, HUAWEI CLOUD has experienced rapid growth in the African market, notably in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.

Three life sentences for Uyinene Mrwetyana's killer

 Three life sentences for Uyinene Mrwetyana's killer

Post office worker Luyanda Botha was found guilty on four counts including rape, murder and obstructing the administration of justice and sentenced to three life sentences and five years for obstruction of justice. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Cape Town - The family of Uyinene Mrwetyana, 19, were in the court on Friday when the man accused of the UCT student's murder was handed three life sentences.
Luyanda Botha was charged with two counts of rape in addition to a murder charge, as well as one count of defeating the ends of justice.

The Post Office worker was accused of raping and murdering the UCT student at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont in August.

The indictment that senior counsel for the State, Rodney de Kock, handed in revealed that the deceased purchased clothes online and the parcel was due for collection at Clareinch Post Office. She had made inquiries on August 8 and was assisted by the accused who allegedly told Mrwetyana that the parcel was not ready for collection and that he would contact her when the parcel arrived.
According to the indictment:

“The parcel arrived on August 16, 2019 and on Saturday, August 24, she arrived at the post office after it was closed for business. The accused was alone inside the post office and let her in. The deceased was not seen alive again."
copyright source

Google Ads Certification How to Get it

How to Get a Google Ads Certification

In 2019, Google Ads is one of the most effective advertising tools to get more traffic to your website, and generate more leads. In fact, most businesses see an average of 200% ROI on their Google Ad spend.

How to Get a Google Ads Certification

To create better, more powerful ads on Google, it can be helpful to receive a Google Ads certificate. Additionally, it's a great resume booster.
If you're looking to get a Google Ads certificate, you've come to the right place. Here, we've created a guide that will explain why a Google Ads certification is helpful, and how you can prepare and get certified.

Why get a Google Ads certification?

Years ago when I was applying for work, I interviewed a couple dozen people who worked in the digital marketing industry to learn about their jobs and the application process. Many emphasized the importance of getting a Google Ads certification.

The truth is that many employers search for people with this certification on LinkedIn to find employees for their marketing team. LinkedIn generally offers a talent pool of higher-quality than standard job boards like Indeed. Plus, the demand for marketers skilled in Google Ads is high, while the supply of qualifying candidates is relatively low.

Thanks to the internet, it's easier than ever before to apply for a job with little effort, so employers are swimming in low-quality choices.
To find qualified employees, then, many hiring managers use LinkedIn's search engine to find anyone with a Google Ads certification because it's one of the few defining qualifications that can show proven knowledge and skill. The certification shows the hiring manager that you're somewhat savvy about the industry.

How to Get a Google Ads Certification

The good news is that a lot of fresh talent don't have a certification on their LinkedIn profile or resume since they don't know the value of it. In other words, you can easily stand out if you get certified.
Even if you don't want a role in PPC, the certification is still helpful for any marketer. PPC advertising, especially through Google Ads, makes up the bulk of online advertising.
 If you understand the principles of Google Ads, you can translate those principles to other marketing efforts.
Additionally, having an understanding of neighboring areas of marketing helps with your communication among team members, and empathy. Ultimately, having that certification under your tool belt will only make you look better to employers.

How Applicable is the Certification in the Marketing Industry?

To be fair and objective, let's acknowledge the case against getting certified.
First, in terms of actual skill and practice, a certification isn't entirely applicable in a real marketing role. It's possible to score well or even perfectly on this exam without having actual experience with the platform, especially when there are exam answers online.
The exam can, at times, teach you the best answer in theory, which isn't close to the best answer in practice.
Having been in the Google Ads platform myself, I know that a few questions are unnecessarily complicated, not applicable, or biased toward a response focused on spending as much money as possible on Google's platform. Google makes money when you spend money on ads, regardless of whether the ad leads to a sale, so their intentions make sense.
With all that said, most of the questions are still valuable because they help you learn how to navigate the platform and make accurate calculations. You can grow a lot through preparing for this exam even if you initially have little to no knowledge of Google Ads.

You should take the test without cheating, learn from your incorrect answers, and retake it to improve. Otherwise, you may have a tough time with the platform later on, which can seem detailed and intimidating to beginners.
Here's another huge reason why you should get certified and make sure you learn a lot during the preparation process, rather than speed through it -- any decent marketing agency or department that you'd like to work for is going to test you on your understanding of terminology and pay-per-click reasoning during the application process. They're going to find out whether you really know what you're talking about.

Therefore, the knowledge that the exams offer does have some real-world value. That doesn't mean you have to be a total whiz. But you should understand most of the concepts tested.
Treat the Google Ads exam as an opportunity to learn rather than a task to check-off a list. Your mindset shift will make all the difference because you'll be learning from every question asked, while others rush through the exam just to finish it.

Topics and Exam Duration of the Google Ads Certifications

There are Google Ads certifications for different topics, including video, mobile, display, and shopping advertising. The most important version is the search advertising exam since that's the area marketers use most often on the platform. The second most applicable Google Ads test for marketers is likely Google Ads display certification.

Each exam has a different time limit, but it's usually between 60 minutes and two hours. I've got a good sense for how long it actually takes since I've sat in a classroom with a dozen people taking the exam and have seen how quickly people finish. It usually takes 50–75% of the allotted time. A small percentage of people will use up to all the time if they're new or focused on learning from each question.

Once you've passed the exam, you get a certification badge that you can show off on your LinkedIn profile. Adding this badge to your profile adds credibility and makes your profile more search-engine friendly. As mentioned, recruiters look for this certification and care about it, so you'll be showing up more often when they search.

Google AdWords Certification Cost

The Google AdWords certification, now known as the Google Ads certification, is completely free to take. In the past it cost money, so if you're a marketer, it's a good idea to take it now, while it remains free. You never know when Google might change its pricing. You also get multiple attempts to take the exam.

Google Ads Certification Training

The training resources that Google offers are a handy starting point. You can learn a lot about the testing format, style of questions, and concepts that'll show up on the exam.
Additionally, one of the best ways to prepare for the exams is through YouTube tutorials, demonstrations, and tutorial articles. Most people are visual learners, and they will learn better when they see the platform itself with a video, rather than reading about it. That said, some blog posts have great screenshots throughout to help you better understand their tutorial.

It's important to note -- many of the resources online are overkill. It's easy for beginners to feel overwhelmed by the details. However, try to focus on learning the fundamental principles -- like what to tweak to make a big impact on performance.
If a tutorial article is 5,000 words long, then it's covering every detail of the platform, which is too much for the certification exam.

Additionally, the exams themselves can be training tools. If you don't pass the first time, you can learn from your incorrect answers and retake it. You can use your first attempt to get familiar with the format and duration. Reflect on why you got a question wrong so that you can remember the right answer for next time.
Some of the questions asked are recycled and randomized with different numbers. You can gain a lot of applicable math skills by learning the principles behind calculations. Unfortunately, many marketers skip learning from the exam itself and miss out on the bulk of where they can grow.
Take the exam with an attitude of learning, rather than completing.

Tips for When You're Taking the Exam

Have printed notes on hand that you can consult quickly whenever you forget minor details here and there (don't expect to rely on these for the entire exam, though). These notes are useful in case Google decides to implement restrictive browsing limits for exam takers in the future.
Make sure your computer is plugged in so it doesn't run out of battery life while you're taking the exam. This tip may seem obvious, but you don't want to find yourself in that painful situation.
Take your time with each question. Most people end up with extra time. Remember -- it's a marathon, not a sprint. You'll be answering multiple-choice questions for at least an hour.

Hydrate. Get enough sleep. Some people overlook simple things, like making sure you have enough water and food before the exam, which can affect brain performance. Foods high in omega-3 are great for brain power.
Ultimately, getting a Google Ads certification is a worthwhile investment for your career growth. Digital marketing employers look for any valid evidence that you're above entry-level applicants.
While it's possible to pass the exam without understanding many of the principles, you'll be doing yourself a disservice in the long run. Treat the exam as a learning process and an opportunity to shore up your knowledge and application of PPC terms and methodology because it'll help you during the job interview, and in your career.
You don't have to know everything about Google Ads since real-world experience can help you learn. But the knowledge you gain in preparing for this exam will give you a head start.
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