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A warlord responsible for mass murder, rape and abduction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been convicted of war crimes by the international criminal court. Bosco Ntaganda, 45, was a key militia leader who ordered the massacre of civilians in DRC’s restive Ituri province in 2002 and 2003, judges in The Hague said.

The atrocities included a mass killing at a village where people – including children and babies – were “disembowelled or had their heads smashed in”, it added. Ntaganda was also responsible for the rape and sexual slavery of underage girls and for recruiting troops under the age of 15, and personally killed a Roman Catholic priest, the court said. Read more HERE.

Published on 09/07/2019 @ 10:03 AM  | Top

Deutsche Bank staff in London are learning how restructuring plan will affect them - some staff in Asia have already been sent home. Deutsche Bank’s restructuring plan is the latest twist in its “desperate struggle for survival”, say the analyst team at foreign exchange platform FxPro.

But although its shares have recovered from a record low below €6 last month to around €7.40 this morning, the future looks challenging. By tempering ambitions and reducing staff – including the exit from the U.S. market – Deutsche Bank abandons the ambitions of further development. Looking ahead, it calls into question its ability to gain a foothold above the level of €20 per share, not to mention the historical highs near €95.” My colleague Julia Kollewe is stationed outside Deutche Bank’s offices in London.

There are several taxis waiting outside 1 Great Winchester Street office, perhaps for those who have been told to clear their desks this morning. One banker who was carrying a laptop bag declined to comment as he got into a pre-booked black cab. You can read more HERE.

Published on 08/07/2019 @ 11:51 AM  | Top

First-time buyers now need an average income of £54,000 to purchase a typical property in a UK city, but the priciest locations have become a little more affordable, according to the latest data. This average income required has risen by 9% since 2016, when it was £49,900, largely down to higher house prices, said the property website Zoopla.

Earlier this week, official data showed average UK house prices increased by 1.4% in the year to April, down from a 1.6% rise in Zoopla looked at 20 cities that account for more than one-third of the UK’s housing stock and found Liverpool had the lowest gross household income required for first-time buyers at £26,000.

In London, meanwhile, those who have never owned before need an average household income of £84,000 to purchase a property. While this may seem unattainably high for many would-be purchasers, Zoopla said it was the lowest figure for four years and £3,250 less than the amount required in 2016. Read more HERE.

Published on 27/06/2019 @ 0:44 PM  | Top

Homebuyers in a town where properties typically cost almost 12 times local salaries may soon have a low-cost option from Ikea after a UK council agreed to work with an affordable housing developer co-owned by the retailer. Worthing council has signed up with BoKlok, a company jointly owned by the Swedish retailer and construction firm Skanska which specialises in factory-built housing that can be constructed at a low cost.

The firm sets property prices so that buyers have money left to live on after they have paid their housing costs, and its website says “a single parent can afford to buy and live in a newly built two-bedroom BoKlok apartment”. It has built 11,000 homes across Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, and is keen to break into the UK after a false start more than a decade ago. Read more HERE.

Published on 26/06/2019 @ 10:52 AM  | Top

All-female astronaut crews could reproduce in space without the help of accompanying men, new research suggests.

The study found that frozen samples of sperm exposed to microgravity retained similar characteristics to sperm samples kept on the ground, raising hopes that a sperm bank could one day be set up in space to help populate new worlds.

This could prove interesting for female astronauts, amid reports that future missions to Mars may involve women-only space crews.

Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, said at a conference in 2017 that there had been an unreleased Nasa report exploring sexual desires of space crew members during potential missions to Mars. Sharman said the report had recommended space crews of the same gender – “all men or all women” – because they have better team cohesion. Read more HERE

Published on 24/06/2019 @ 1:18 PM  | Top

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