Afghan conflict: At least 7 killed in powerful explosion in Kabul

AP Photo

A Taliban suicide bomber driving a car has targeted a Nato troop convoy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, reportedly killing one civilian and injuring 22.

The blast took place on the main road to the airport, close to the US embassy and the diplomatic quarter.

Two Nato troops suffered light injuries, an alliance statement said.

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Afghan security forces have taken on much of the task of battling Taliban militants since Nato ended major combat operations last December.

A smaller contingent of foreign troops remains in the country to provide training and support to local security forces.

More than 4,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting this year, prompting fears that the toll for 2015 could exceed that recorded last year.

Nato forces at scene of blast in Kabul

A massive plume of smoke was seen rising above the scene of the blast. A man named Ahmad Farhad told the Associated Press news agency that he seen a car attack the Nato convoy.

“I saw two to three damaged vehicles and wounded victims were everywhere and there was no one to help them,” he said.

One person was killed in the blast, the Afghan interior ministry said. The injured reportedly include women and children.

The blast struck a busy shopping area in Kabul (AP)

Casualty figures have fluctuated throughout the day, with earlier reports saying more people had died.

The latest attack will raise fresh questions over a peace process between the government and the Taliban that has just begun to take shape, says the BBC’s David Loyn in Kabul.

Last week, Taliban militants launched a high-profile assault on the parliament building, as legislators were preparing to select a new defence minister.

Earlier on Tuesday, militants carried out a suicide on a police building in Helmand province, reportedly killing two people and wounding more than 50.

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Carlos Slim scraps project with Donald Trump after Mexico insults

Carlos Slim, Lifetime Honorary Chairman, Telefonos de Mexico, speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Carlos Slim, Lifetime Honorary Chairman, Telefonos de Mexico, speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 29, 2014.

A television company controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has canceled a project with real estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump after his comments insulting Mexicans, Slim’s spokesman said on Monday.

This is the third company to cut ties with Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.

NBC said earlier on Monday that it would no longer air the “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants due to his comments. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision [UVN.UL] also said on Thursday it would not air the “Miss USA” pageant.

Ora TV, a production company co-founded by Slim and TV personality Larry King and funded by America Movil , canceled a program it was working on with some of Trump’s companies, Slim’s spokesman and son-in-law Arturo Elias said.

“His statement was totally out of line…working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work,” Elias said, adding that the comments were racist.

Trump, earlier this month, described migrants from Mexico to the United States as drug-runners and rapists.

Telecoms magnate Slim is the world’s second-richest man, with a net worth of around $71.1 billion, according to Forbes. Trump is at number 405 on the list, worth $4.1 billion.

The Financial Times first reported the cancellation of the project earlier on Monday.

Government reconsidering Juncker’s last-minute proposal, sources say

Előkerülhetnek a drachmák. AFP PHOTO / DENIS CHARLET

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is reconsidering the last-ditch offer made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, sources have told Kathimerini.

Kathimerini understands that the pressure caused by the closure of banks as well as the expiration of the Greek bailout program on Tuesday has caused some members of the government to urge Tsipras to accept Juncker’s offer.

Sources said the prime minister’s office has already informed the Commission that it is examining the proposal.

According to what is known of the proposal Tsipras would have to send a written acceptance of the version of proposals from the lenders published on Sunday, with a pledge to campaign for them to be accepted in the planned July 5 referendum.

The offer published on Sunday incorporated a proposal from Greece that would set value-added tax rates on hotels at 13 percent, rather than at 23 percent as originally planned in the lenders’ proposals. It was not immediately clear whether there would be any additional changes.

If the offer were accepted, the euro zone finance ministers could adopt a statement saying that a 2012 pledge to consider stretching out loan maturities, lowering interest rates and extending an interest payment moratorium on euro zone loans to Greece would be implemented in October.

The offer would be conditional on a letter to Juncker, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arriving in time to arrange an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup on Tuesday.

Bosco verticale by stefano boeri greens milan’s skyline

bosco verticale by stefano boeri greens milan's skyline

stefano boeri‘s ‘bosco verticale’ has opened its door to residents, five years after construction started in milan’s emerging porta nuova district.

the project, which translates in english as ‘vertical forest’, comprises two landscaped towers that between them contain 113 apartments offering expansive views across the city.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom

the design is characterized by its integrated vegetation comprising 1,000 different species of trees, shrubs and plants.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom

in total, the scheme contains 780 planted trees, seeking to increase the site’s biodiversity, which may have been adversely affected during the project’s construction.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
the tower’s are located in close proximity to cesar pelli’s ‘unicredit tower’

the taller of the two towers climbs to a total height of 112 meters, with staggered concrete balconies protruding from each of the scheme’s façades.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom

each individual dwelling features a private garden which protects interior living space from acoustic pollution,

dust particles, harsh winds and direct sunlight. at roof level, photovoltaic panels contribute to the self-sufficiency of the complex, while greywater from the building is filtered and reused to irrigate the site’s extensive flora.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
staggered concrete balconies protrude from each of the scheme’s façades

I think this is a prototype of a possible way to extend the natural sphere in a hyperdense urban context‘, stefanoboeritold designboom at the project’s opening.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom

‘this is a not a unique way to implement biodiversity in an urban environment, but it is for sure one of the most environmental ways. so let’s see together what will happen.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom

we are continuously asked by research centers from all over the world to follow what will happen. I think that every year we could have a moment of thought and discussion about the results – month by month, year by year.

see designboom‘s previous coverage of the project here.

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
each individual dwelling features a private garden which protects interior living space

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
the vegetation protects against acoustic pollution, dust particles, harsh winds and direct sunlight

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
greywater from the building is filtered and reused to irrigate the site’s extensive flora

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
living accommodation offers expansive views across the italian city

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
at roof level, photovoltaic panels contribute to the self-sufficiency of the complex

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
the scheme is envisioned as an extension of the surrounding parkland

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
the twin landscaped towers can be seen from across the district

project info:

location: milan, italy
architects: boeri studio (stefano boeri, gianandrea barreca, geovanni la varra)

bosco verticale vertical forest stefano boeri studio milan designboom
landscape design: emanuela borio and laura gatti
developer: hines italia and coima
artistic direction: francesco de felice, davor popovic
final project: gianni bertoldi (coordinator), alessandro agosti, andrea casetto, matteo colognese, angela parrozzani, stafano onnis

Snapchat Hack: 200,000 ‘Self-Destruct’ Nude Images Set to Leak in ‘The Snappening’

Jennifer Lawrence
‘The Snappening’ could see thousands of Snapchat users have their private photo messages leaked online.(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Hackers have warned that thousands of nude images sent via the mobile-messaging service Snapchat, many of which users believed self-destructed after being sent, are to be released online in a searchable database.

Messaging boards on the notorious website 4chan have been filling up with news of the imminent leak, already being referred to as “The Snappening”.

It comes just weeks after hundreds of celebrity nudes were leaked online through the same site, following a hack of Apple’s iCloud that has come to be referred to as the Fappening.

Continue reading Snapchat Hack: 200,000 ‘Self-Destruct’ Nude Images Set to Leak in ‘The Snappening’

The Big Lebowski Soundtrack To Appear On Vinyl For The First Time

The Big Lebowski soundtrack to appear on vinyl for the first time

Henry Mancini, Yma Sumac and more on this ace OST. The soundtrack to the Coen brothers’ classic (dare we say… best?) film The Big Lebowski is coming out on vinyl for the very first time.

The OST will be pressed on cream-coloured vinyl and released by Island/Mercury in a limited edition as part of Record Store Day’s Black Friday bonanza on November 28.

A browse of the tracklist reminded us that there’s more to the Dude’s record collection than Kenny Rogers (though that tune, used in that dream sequence, remains wonderful) – you’ll also find more off-the-wall material from Captain Beefheart,Meredith Monk and Moondog.

big-lebowski-soundtrack

Tracklist:

01 Bob Dylan – “The Man In Me”
02 Captain Beefheart – “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles”
03 Elvis Costello – “My Mood Swings”
04 Yma Sumac – “Ataypura”
05 Piero Piccioni – “Traffic Boom”
06 Nina Simone – “I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good”
07 Moondog with Orchestra – “Stamping Ground”
08 Kenny Rogers and The First Edition – “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”
09 Meredith Monk – “Walking Song”
10 Gluck Das Mir Verblieb – “Die Tote Standt”
11 Henry Mancini – Lujon
12 Gipsy Kings – Hotel California
13 Carter Burwell – “Technopop”
14 Townes Van Zandt – “Dead Flowers”

Lindsay Lohan Snaps (Another) Topless Selfie!

Always happy to titillate her fans, Lindsay Lohan ditched her shirt and posed for a sexy selfie earlier this week.

The “Mean Girls” actress was apparently in her dressing room at her “Speed-The-Plow” stage gig in London on Wednesday (October 22) when the mood struck her to disrobe and grab her iPhone.

In order to keep things PG-13, LiLo covered her lady pillows with her long red tresses, though it’s still pretty steamy.

Lohan captioned the image, “Another matinee. Another night. Another day. #speedtheplow. Grateful for my job.life.supporters.friends&family.”