Jul 132017

Venus Williams delivered a harsh upset to Britain’s pride Johanna Konta to qualify in the final match at Wimbledon 2017.

In the semifinals, Venus Williams, seed no. 10, defeated Konta in two straight sets 6-4, 6-2, after an hour and 13 minutes.

37-year-old Williams reached for the ninth time a Wimbledon final and is now set to play against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, the 14th seed of the competition.

Muguruza progressed to the final stage after winning 6-1, 6-1 over Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova.

Jul 072017

The music streaming platform SoundCloud announced that it would lay off 173 employees, that’s about 40% of the entire team, and shut down their offices in San Francisco and possibly London in a quest for profit. The company has revealed its financial problems since January this year.


Soundcloud is confronted with financial issues

“Since entering the music streaming industry, we focussed on the growth of our business only in the last 12 months which saw a two-fold increase in our revenue. However, we need to ensure that this growth trend continues. In order to do that, we have to cut costs, promote our brand and increase subscription revenues,” said Alexander Ljung, co-founder and CEO of SoundCloud, quoted By CNBC.

Rumors have circulated recently that several companies want to buy SoundCloud, with Deezer being one of them.

According to SoundCloud’s co-founder, the service will remain available in 190 countries.
The online service “SoundCloud” emerged as a DJ platform and has become popular amongst musicians for its simple interface and ease of use.

Soundcloud has about 175 million listeners and a vast array of music. The company is based in Berlin, Germany, and its online audio distribution platform enables users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created sounds. SoundCloud’s content is evenly split between music and other audio.

Jul 072017

Actress and Youtube personality Stevie Ryan was found dead at her own property in Los Angeles on July 1. According to preliminary informations delivered by the US news outlets, Ryan would have committed suicide by hanging herself.

Stevie Ryan

Stevie Ryan (pic: Youtube)

Known as the “Queen of YouTube“, she became famous after editing, directing and starring in her own videos that became viral on Internet.

Just a week before her death, Ryan had announced that she felt very sad because her grandfather had died.

The forensic doctor’s office confirmed that Stevie Ryan died on Saturday, July 1, but did not respond to PEOPLE’s request to provide additional comments on the suicide and how it happened.

Ryan wrote, edited and performed in her productions that generated millions of reactions following their media broadcast.

The actress played various characters such as Little Loca and Sceney Sceneable, but impersonated also famed musicians such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse.

Video: Stevie Kathleen Ryan (June 2, 1984 – July 1, 2017)

Jul 062017

A video footage shows the awkward moment when Poland’s first lady left the White House leader with an extended hand, as she preferred to shake hands with his wife at the Warsaw Summit.

Donald Trump left hanging after Polish first lady snubs his handshake (capture: youtube)

Although the American president had extended his hand, Polish President Andrzej Duda’s wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, accidentally ignored his handshake and walked past to salute Donald Trump’s partner, Melania. Trump appeared to be stunned by the snub, and let out a slight smirk as the ladies talked.

The incident is reminiscent of a similar situation earlier this year, when Trump refused to shake hands with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, during her visit at the White House.

Donald Trump was specially invited to the east-European summit called “Initiative of the Three Seas” (Baltic – Adriatic – Black), which has been held in Warsaw just a day before the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, which officially begins on Friday.

Video: First Lady of Poland accidentally snubs Donald Trump’s handshake

Jul 052017

A huge iceberg, one of the largest ever seen, clings to Antarctica by only a 5-kilometer icy expanse, said researchers at the European Space Agency, who have been studying for a while the ice block that is expected to break away soon.


Large iceberg floating

Icebergs are discharged continuously from Antarctica, but this one, with an area of ​​6,000 square kilometers, is particularly large and needs to be monitored to avoid endangering maritime traffic, explains ESA.

This ice chunk is part of “Larsen C” – the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica -, which holds icebergs that could make water levels rise 10 cm if they reach the ocean.

Using information from the CryoSat satellite, “we determined the height of the ice above the ocean and we calculated that the final iceberg would be about 190 meters thick and will contain about 1,155 cubic meters of ice,” said Noel Gourmelen of the University of Edinburgh. It is believed that the depth below sea level could reach 210 meters.

Jul 052017

A Romanian company is ready to invest $100 million in the United States according to the Minister of Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Ilan Laufer, who refused to disclose the name of the firm and its operational sector.

Ilan Laufer

Ilan Laufer (photo: Facebook)

“We have already announced an investment of about $ 100 million from a Romanian company in the United States. I think this is a big step forward for us,” said Laufer.

Despite requests from journalists, the Romanian Minister said he can not reveal the activity field of the company or its investment sector on the US market.

Laufer’s Ministry is currently working on the development of a funding mechanisms that aims at stimulating the small companies to further grow their businnes.

The Minister reminded that the Government approved a program on the internationalization of Romanian companies.

“Submission to the internationalization program of the Romanian companies will begin in about three weeks from now,” said Laufer.

Jul 052017

During the inauguration of a new bridge over Somes river, the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Emil Boc, asked the constructors to stay under the landmark as the first vehicles crossed above.

emil boc

Emil Boc (photo credit: wikimedia)

It meant to be an original way of checking the quality of the works that had been performed on the Traian bridge and this “tradition” is set be used in the future to verify the strength of similar infrastructure works.

“The constructor assumed the quality of the works and sat under the bridge when the first cars set into motion, and the bridge passed the test. Let’s hope that this bridge will last for 100 years, as the old one did for 85 years,” said the mayor.

The first driver who crossed the new bridge was awarded a diploma, a tie and a city album handed over by Mr. Boc.

The construction works on the new Traian bridge cost 6.5 million lei and started in August 2016. The bridge has four lanes, bicycle tracks and pedestrian walkways. “As of Saturday, the traffic will be open also for the public transport,” said the Mayor.

The old Traian Bridge over the Somes River was built between 1928 and 1931 and its costs amounted to 6.6 million lei at that time.

In 2013, due to its poor condition, a woman was about to fall into Somes through a hole that opened in the sidewalk.
Photo credit: By Razvan Socol [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

May 242017

A Boeing 737-800 NG (Next Generation), one of the two passenger planes acquired this month by Romanian national airline TAROM, officially entered company’s fleet with a lavish landing at Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest on Wednesday (May 24, 2017). Baptized “Sarmizegetusa,” the plane made an airfield flyover escorted by two RoAF F-16 military aircraft, while a broad array of politicians, diplomats and other senior officials were waiting on the ground.

tarom boeing 737-800 NG

Boeing 737-800 Next Generation joins TAROM fleet in Bucharest (screengrab youtube)

The plane, which is leased for a 10 year period, is brand new, has 189 seats, a range of about 6,000 kilometers and bears the registration number YR-BGJ. The second plane is set to enter service in the coming weeks. As for the price Tarom has to pay for the jets, the authorities say “is confidential, but at the market level”. Unofficially, however, institutional sources speak of about 350,000 euros per month for each aircraft.

Tarom agreed a deal with Air Lease Corporation for the operating lease of two 737NG, taking advantage of the fact that the two aircraft had originally been ordered by Pegasus Airlines, an order that was canceled in the meantime. This is why the two aircraft have got into possession of Tarom in record time.

According to Boeing website, “the Next Generation 737 delivers the superior reliability, fuel efficiency and high-value returns operators require in today’s competitive market. Its exceptional versatility and lower maintenance and operating costs provide a competitive edge regardless of business model or market. A competitive edge that enables profitable growth. All this plus the newest passenger cabin design in its class to ensure a flying experience that exceeds expectations.”

TAROM’s fleet now numbers 21 aircraft, of which only 19 operate simultaneously due to maintenance operations. The acquisition of the 737NGs aims at replacing the two Airbus A310s whose withdrawal from service last year forced Tarom to stop operating several routes.

Warm welcome to Otopeni for Tarom Boeing 737-800 NG
“Sarmizegetusa” touched down at Otopeni after flying over the airport flanked by two F-16 of the Romanian Air Force RoAF.

A whole range of local political figures including Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, Transport Minister Razvan Cuc, Interior Minister Carmen Dan, Tarom Director Eugen Davidoiu, were waiting on the tarmac for the “festive” moment.

Video: TAROM Boeing 737-800NG “Sarmizegetusa” arrives in Romania

May 242017

Spain’s Supreme Court confirmed on Wednesday that Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi received prison sentences of 21 and 15 months respectively in relation to a tax fraud case.

lionel messi prison sentence

Lionel Messi lost appeal against 21-month jail sentence

The magistrates unveiled their decision on May 24 after Barcelona’s star and his father appealed against last year’s initial sentence. The two convicts – Lionel and Jorge Messi – have demanded the annulment of the 21-month jail term pronounced in July 2016, while the prosecution has demanded the Supreme Court to uphold it.

Both men were convicted of three counts of fraud, for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009, and were also given heavy fines.

They were found guilty of resorting to fictitious companies to evade Spanish taxes on income from companies using Lionel Messi’s image rights, writes BBC.

Despite paying the € 4.1 million damages, the Messi family did not escape punishment after recognizing the tax fraud charges.

In the end, footballer’s sentence was maintained at 21 months, while Jorge Messi’s was reduced to 15 months.

The Supreme Court has also confirmed the € 2.1 million fine that the player has to pay. As for his father, the financial sanction was reduced from € 1.6 million to €1.3 million.

Despite this convictions, Lionel Messi’s freedom is not jeopardized as sentences less than 24 months do not lead to imprisonment in Spain, therefore the Angentine star will serve it under probation.

May 232017

Salman Abedi is the author of the suicide bombing in Manchester!
The alleged suicide attacker who detonated an improvised bomb at a pop concert by American singer Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena Monday night was identified as Salman Abedi, US official officials said on Tuesday.

salman abedi manchester arena

Machester Arena shaken by dramatic concert suicide attack

Two of the officials, who were in close contact with the British authorities, reported that the suspect was named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi or Salman Ramadan Abedi and is believed to have traveled from London to Manchester by train before the terror incident.

Also British police confirmed the identity of the lone wolf terrorist who killed 22 people and injured 59 others, many of them teenagers.

“We can confirm that the person suspected of committing last night’s atrocities is 22-year-old Salman Abedi,” Ian Hopkins, head of the Manchester Police, told the media, adding that he would not provide further detailed information about Abedi at this time.

What is known so far about Salman Abedi?

Who was Manchester terror attack suicide bomber Salman Abedi?
Salman Abedi was a British citizen born in December 1994 in Manchester from a family of Libyan origin, writes BBC. The identity of the 22-year-old was revealed after teams of armed cops stormed his Elsmore Road home in Fallowfield, Manchester.

According to eyewitnesses, bomb disposal law enforcement units were spotted entering the house before a controlled explosion took place. Armed police have also arrested a 23-year-old man in Chorlton, south Manchester, in connection with the attack.

Abedi, who had at least three siblings, had lived at several addresses in Manchester, including also the Fallowfield property.

MI5 spooks and anti-terror cops are now racing against the clock to uncover Abedi’s links to any possible terror cell.

He was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated while in the foyer area moments after the popstar’s concert ended.

Witnesses told how nuts and bolts were sent flying in the blast at the foyer area as fans made their way to Manchester Victoria train station next door.