25 Jun 2017

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Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in years

Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in yearsBy Alaa Marjani MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - People in the Iraqi city of Mosul celebrated their first Muslim Eid holiday without Islamic State in years on Sunday after the militants were ejected from much of the city, and hoped the battle to recapture the remaining area would soon be over. Some played on old swings and others with toy guns and rifles, which were among the toys allowed by Islamic State militants after they took over the city in June 2014. Eid prayers were allowed under Islamic State but festivities were not.

25 Jun 2017 7:10pm GMT

AT&T promises massive broadband investment if Trump gives it tax breaks

AT&T promises massive broadband investment if Trump gives it tax breaks

There's a tired old trick for internet service providers that want a tax break to continue gouging customers. The ISP will make some vague promise of future broadband investment, in return for immediate tax breaks or approval of an industry deal. On the surface, it sounds good: delivering broadband to rural areas is often uneconomic, so government often wants to cut a deal with private industry to deliver it.

But the problem is that internet providers seem to have a really tricky time keeping to their promises, and unexpected roadblocks just happen to always spring up right around the time the investment is meant to happen.

That's why AT&T's promise to President Trump that it ill invest $22 billion in new infrastructure -- in return for immediate tax cuts -- is so terribly worrying.

The promise came during a meeting yesterday at the White House. Executives from the telecoms industry made the pilgrimage to kiss the ring, and just like Trump's cabinet, they all had good things to say. Verizon president john Stratton lauded Trump's "focus on U.S. job creation and U.S. leadership in these industries," while AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that "It's been dizzying the pace that the regulatory playing field has been cleared and been made more clear for companies that invest like ours."

In a CNBC interview after the meeting, Stephenson laid out the terms under which his for-profit company would consider investing money in private infrastructure:

"We're on pace to invest around $22 billion in capital in the United States this year...if we have some kind of tax reform, see that rate move down, we'll consider stepping up our capital investment."

It's a kind offer, but it's exactly the kind of vague, details-lacking announcement that AT&T may well never follow through on. DSLReports noted back in 2014 that AT&T has been making the same promise to bring broadband to 100% of people in its regions for the last decade, and has used it as the carrot in a number of mergers and acquisitions.

Coincidentally, Charter has just been fined $13 million for failing to meet the terms laid out by New York State to approve a merger. Those terms -- surprise surprise! -- included deploying broadband to 35,000 new homes and upgrading internet speeds to 100Mbps. Neither of those things have been completed.

Unfortunately, vague promises of future investment is exactly the kind of thing that President Trump falls for. Two of his most high-profile deals -- keeping Ford and Carrier manufacturing plants in the US -- have quietly fallen apart in the last couple months. It's easy to tout AT&T's promised investment now as the reason to decrease taxes, but unless something changes dramatically, expect to hear these same promises as the reason for further tax cuts four years from now.

25 Jun 2017 4:01pm GMT

How To Make the Best Iced Coffee Of Your Life

How To Make the Best Iced Coffee Of Your LifeIf your idea of "iced coffee" is "letting my hot coffee get cold" then, honey, we need to talk-you deserve better. There are myriad ways to make iced coffee, but if you want to do anything well, you've got to pare down your options and really focus: Hone your skills at one or two techniques rather than dabbling with a dozen different brewers. Think of them as the poached egg and the scrambled egg of iced coffee.

25 Jun 2017 3:00pm GMT

Vegan Recipes for the 4th of July Grill

Vegan Recipes for the 4th of July GrillThis article, Vegan Recipes for the 4th of July Grill, originally appeared on Chowhound.

25 Jun 2017 2:00pm GMT

Milky Way nightscapes

Milky Way nightscapesThousands of glittering stars lighting up beautiful Indonesian and Malaysian nightscapes will take your breath away.

25 Jun 2017 1:24pm GMT

Which is the best Haribo candy?

Which is the best Haribo candy?It's not just the bears. Friends, let us repeat: it's not just the bears. The (wonderful) world of Haribo is rife with unimaginably delicious, squishy, delightful candies ... and a few duds. Such is the world of the sweet treat. So we grabbed a bunch of Haribo candies available in the U.S. - FYI, some of the labels are in German because that was the deal at Economy Candy - tasted each, then judged away. SEE ALSO: Dogs, ranked You may disagree with these rankings. That's okay! It's subjective. But if you catch yourself feeling angry, please promise us you'll get yourself a packet of Haribo to make yourself feel better. And now: The embarrassing Berries: Berries are aesthetically pleasing, but they do not taste good. In fact, they taste bad - far too sugary with no flavor payoff - and leave a sweater-y film on your teeth. Just put them in a clear jar and leave them there. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Gummi Frogs: Taste like plastic. Impossible to chew. And the frog speaking German on our bag reminded us of Pepe, which is frankly a real bummer. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Mini Rainbow Frogs: Unfortunately, the white marshmallow-y section has ruined what was otherwise a perfectly good gummy. Also, Rainbow Frogs are so small that popping one in your mouth isn't super satisfying. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Tropifruitti: Oh my god, these suck so much! They taste like a hospital smells. Bad! Give these to your enemies. Image: Mashable/Lili SamsThe fine Dinosaurs: Cool shapes, but the flavors are not particularly distinguishable. Said one staffer, "I would never want to eat more than three of these." Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Smurfs: Smurfs are strawberry and raspberry flavored, which are generally great flavors anyway, so it works out fine. They do get stuck in your teeth easily and are maybe too chewy. Smurfs are fine. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Fizzy Cola: Sadly, Fizzy Cola is inferior to Happy Cola because of whatever lemon-lime business it is attempting. Verdict: fine. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Alphabet Letters: Fun to spell with, but it's hard to remember anything else about them. Fine. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams The good Rattle-Snakes: Here, some flavors are clearly better than others. Take it from us: the white and red gummies are bright and fruity without being overly saccharine - a delightful experience. The other ones are a little more ... whatever. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Happy Cherries: A classic fave in a lovely shape. Highly Instagrammable. However, it must be said: Happy Cherries are polarizing. Said one staffer, "They taste like bad breath to me." Surprising! Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Fruit Salad: The way these candies rattle around in the bag is unnerving. The grapefruit ones are the best. Image: Mashable/Lili SamsThe *chef's kiss* Sour S'ghetti: This tart, delicate masterpiece is the perfect candy to eat when you're watching TV alone in bed. Just shovel it into your mouth by the palmful. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Happy Cola: A cola flavored gummy sounds weird, but the flavor here is surprisingly subtle and nice. Good for people who like Coke Icees. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Gold-Bears: These little friends are classic, and the red ones are objectively the best. FYI, Gold-Bears taste even better when they're a little old and a little chewy - or after they've been in the fridge for a while. (You should also try this with Australian-style licorice, by the way.) Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Sour Gold-Bears: The green apple Sour Gold-Bear alone is enough to catapult these guys over their classic counterparts. If you'd like to exfoliate the inside of your mouth, eat a whole bag. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Ginger-Lemon: Very refreshing and not super sweet - like if cough drops tasted good. Gift these to your favorite adult. Image: Mashable/Lili Sams Twin Snakes: Two snakes diverge in a distant wood. Just kidding! They stay together forever and become delicious Twin Snakes: one sour, one sweet. The sour doesn't involve a coating of sugar, either - those sneks are tangy and fruity all on their own. Image: Mashable/Martha TesemaThe #1 best Peaches: Peaches are as close as a gummy can get to an actual slice of peach (which is not very close, but still). Friends, they are so good - sugary on the outside and delightfully gooey on the inside. You will exclaim when you eat them. Image: Mashable/Lili SamsIn conclusion,  . WATCH: Introducing the sushi donut

25 Jun 2017 1:00pm GMT

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staffA independent Bahraini newspaper has sacked its staff three weeks after Sunni-dominated authorities banned it on accusations that it "sows division" in the Shiite-majority Gulf kingdom. "We regret to inform you that the board of directors... has decided to terminate the employment contracts with the employees," board chairman Adel al-Maskati wrote in English in a message addressed to "all staff" on Saturday. The information ministry banned Al-Wasat in early June "until further notice" for its "violation of the law and repeatedly publishing information that sows division in society and affects Bahrain's relations with other states," said BNA state news agency.

25 Jun 2017 10:56am GMT

Not Just Coal: Retail Jobs Fall Despite Lower Unemployment

Not Just Coal: Retail Jobs Fall Despite Lower UnemploymentA close look at labor statistics shows that retail jobs are falling, even as the national unemployment figure stays low.

25 Jun 2017 7:38am GMT

AirAsia plane 'shaking like washing machine' returns to Australia

AirAsia plane 'shaking like washing machine' returns to AustraliaAn AirAsia flight to Malaysia was forced back to Australia Sunday due to a technical problem, with one passenger saying the plane was "shaking like a washing machine". The Airbus A330 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur experienced problems about 90 minutes into the journey. It landed safely, with Perth Airport reporting a "technical issue".

25 Jun 2017 7:13am GMT

Sanders: 'Massive Amount of Demoralization' Among Voters

Sanders: 'Massive Amount of Demoralization' Among VotersIn an exclusive interview on Meet the Press, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tells Chuck Todd that widespread Democratic loses are a sign that voters are pessimistic about both parties.

25 Jun 2017 6:18am GMT

India's Modi heads to Washington for 'no frills' Trump meet

India's Modi heads to Washington for 'no frills' Trump meetIndia's leader heads to the US this weekend for his first meeting with President Donald Trump, seeking to build on growing ties between the world's two largest democracies and move beyond disagreements over climate change. Relations between New Delhi and Washington warmed under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama as India sought greater foreign investment and trade ties with Western nations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to work closely with the Trump administration, but obstacles soon emerged on issues such as trade and visas for Indians wanting to work in the United States.

25 Jun 2017 6:08am GMT

Strong earthquake injures 2, knocks off roof tiles in Japan

Strong earthquake injures 2, knocks off roof tiles in JapanTOKYO (AP) - A strong earthquake shook residents Sunday in a mountainous region of central Japan, injuring at least two people and knocking roof tiles off homes.

25 Jun 2017 6:07am GMT

China's Xi to attend Hong Kong handover anniversary

China's Xi to attend Hong Kong handover anniversaryPresident Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong this week to celebrate 20 years since the former British colony's return to China, state media confirmed Sunday, a trip that will stoke resentment among pro-democracy activists. It will be Xi's first visit to Hong Kong since the head of the Communist Party became president in 2013. The Chinese leader will also take part in the inauguration of the fifth administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the semi-autonomous city's government.

25 Jun 2017 3:43am GMT

Families separated by US-Mexico border have fleeting reunion

Families separated by US-Mexico border have fleeting reunionCiudad Juárez (Mexico) (AFP) - After more than a decade apart, the Pastrana family on Saturday finally got to embrace during a special event allowing nearly 200 families separated by the US-Mexico border to spend three minutes together. The meeting took place in the middle of the murky Rio Grande -- which divides the Mexican city Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas and is crossable this time of year -- under the watchful eye of Border Patrol agents.

25 Jun 2017 2:33am GMT

Animal Hope And Wellness Saves 5,000 Dogs From Yulin

Animal Hope And Wellness Saves 5,000 Dogs From Yulin"I never knew what a hero was. Never met one, until the day I first walked into a slaughterhouse," Ching wrote on Instagram.

25 Jun 2017 1:58am GMT

Colombian police arrest eight in mall bombing probe

Colombian police arrest eight in mall bombing probeBy Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - Eight people from a little-known urban guerrilla group have been arrested in connection with a bombing last week at an upscale mall in the Colombian capital Bogota, the police said on Saturday. Four men and four women, members of The People's Revolutionary Movement (MRP) rebel group, were captured - half in Bogota and half in El Espinal in Tolima province, national police director Jorge Nieto told journalists.

25 Jun 2017 1:33am GMT