Iran tests superfast Hoot torpedo in Strait of Hormuz – reports

Iran has allegedly carried out a test launch of the supercavitating Hoot torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz, multiple Pentagon officials have told NBC and Fox. This is the first test of the experimental underwater technology since February 2…

Preview Iran has allegedly carried out a test launch of the supercavitating Hoot torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz, multiple Pentagon officials have told NBC and Fox. This is the first test of the experimental underwater technology since February 2015.
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Australia’s Crown completes Macau gaming exit

Australian casino operator Crown Resorts agreed on Tuesday to sell the remaining stake in its Macau venture for US$1.16 billion as the firm pursues a restructure amid a Chinese gambling crackdown.Mogul James Packer’s company will exit its holding in Me…

Australian casino operator Crown Resorts agreed on Tuesday to sell the remaining stake in its Macau venture for US$1.16 billion as the firm pursues a restructure amid a Chinese gambling crackdown.

Mogul James Packer's company will exit its holding in Melco Resorts by offloading a final 11.2 percent holding to joint-venture partner Melco International on May 15, the Australian-listed firm announced.

"Crown Resorts will no longer hold an interest in Melco Resorts," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The sell-down will complete a Macau exit for Crown, which late last year also shelved plans for a Las Vegas casino to concentrate on its Australian luxury hotel and casino business.

Crown has suffered from weakening demand in Macau following a Chinese corruption crackdown.

The casino operator had 18 staff members detained in China last year accused of organising banned gambling activities overseas for wealthy Chinese.

It has embarked on a management shake-up to energise local operations amid ailing turnover from high rollers visiting Australia.

The sale late last year of 13.4 percent of Melco Resorts for $1.6 billion helped boost second-half profits after the firm reported a large fall in turnover from foreign VIPs.

The proceeds from the remaining Macau stake, which after a swap agreement amounts to $987 million, will be used to reduce debt, the gaming firm said.

Investors Tuesday warmed to the announcement with Crown Resorts up 0.18 cents, or 1.44 percent to Aus$12.68 (US$9.34) in late morning trading on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Burakovsky at the double as Caps down Penguins to tie series

Andre Burakovsky scored twice as the Washington Capitals thrashed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 to level their Eastern Conference semi-final series. T.J. Oshie opened the scoring in the first period before Burakovsky grabbed his first of the night in the…

Andre Burakovsky scored twice as the Washington Capitals thrashed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 to level their Eastern Conference semi-final series.

T.J. Oshie opened the scoring in the first period before Burakovsky grabbed his first of the night in the second period to give the Caps a deserved 2-0 lead at Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena.

Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Burakovsky all struck in quick succession to fire Washington into a commanding 5-0 lead in the third period to all but guarantee victory.

Two late goals from Jake Guentzel and Evegeni Malkin were mere consolation for the Penguins, who at one stage had led the best-of-seven series 3-1.

The series will now be settled in a decisive Game 7 in Washington on Wednesday.

Police evacuate Paris’s Gare du Nord train station

Police poured into Paris’ Gare du Nord station late Monday, evacuating passengers from platforms and sealing off the area for several hours in a new security scare to hit the French capital.

Police poured into Paris' Gare du Nord station late Monday, evacuating passengers from platforms and sealing off the area for several hours in a new security scare to hit the French capital.

Honduras looks to lower age of criminal responsibility to under 18

Faced with one of the worst levels of crime in the world, Honduras is looking to lower the age of criminal responsibility to under 18.The review, announced by President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Monday, is because of the high proportion of crimes carri…

Faced with one of the worst levels of crime in the world, Honduras is looking to lower the age of criminal responsibility to under 18.

The review, announced by President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Monday, is because of the high proportion of crimes carried out by minors.

"Nearly 40 percent of high-impact crimes have minors involved," Hernandez told a news conference. "This is alarming."

Currently in Honduras, only persons aged over 18 can be charged with a felony. Those younger risk only "infractions," or misdemeanors, with punishment served in juvenile detention centers rather than prisons.

The government review will call on a panel of lawyers and sociologists to see whether minors should be treated the same as adults for serious crimes, as happens in other countries.

The panel will also examine whether existing detention centers should be reformed to create some better suited to rehabilitation and social reinsertion.

The president did not suggest an age at which a minor could be considered responsible as an adult for a crime.

Honduras is one of the countries with the worst crime rates in the world. It has around 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, far higher than the global average of 8.9 given by the World Health Organization.

Indian man in US for nearly two decades ordered deported

An Indian man who fled persecution in his country and has been in the US for nearly two decades was detained in California after losing his latest appeal over a deportation order.Gurmukh Singh, who is married to an American citizen and has two US-born …

An Indian man who fled persecution in his country and has been in the US for nearly two decades was detained in California after losing his latest appeal over a deportation order.

Gurmukh Singh, who is married to an American citizen and has two US-born daughters, was taken into custody by federal agents after failing to get a stay in his case, his attorney and family said.

The 46-year-old Sikh taxi driver from India's Punjab state sneaked into the United States without a visa through the border with Mexico in 1998.

He later applied for asylum, citing religious persecution. But his family and lawyer say he failed to properly pursue the case and was ordered deported.

Singh married a US citizen in 2010 but his deportation case resurfaced when he applied for a residency visa in 2012 given his new status.

He was subsequently jailed for about five months but after rights activists posted his bail, he was released and his case has since been going through the appeals process.

His family said in the past several years, he had been checking in with the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on a regular basis pending the outcome of his appeals against the deportation order.

Alexis Perez Nava, with Resilience Orange County, a group helping with his case, said Singh was detained on Monday after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to quash the deportation order.

"We are completely devastated. This has completely broken us apart, emotionally and physically," Singh's 18-year-old daughter Manpreet told AFP.

She said her father has no criminal record, had always paid his taxes and just sought to "live a normal life and feed his family."

"Watching him emotionally break down is probably the last thing any daughter wants to see," Manpreet said, her voice breaking.

"He just looked at us this morning and said 'I don't know what is going to happen to us any more. Please forgive me and take care,'" she added.

Lori Haley, an ICE spokeswoman, said Singh was ordered detained after his case had "undergone exhaustive review at all levels of our nation's legal system."

She added that while the priority for federal authorities was to focus on criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety, those like Singh who violate immigration laws were not exempt from action.

"All those in violation of our nation's immigration laws may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removed from the United States," she said in an email.

Singh's detention comes amid a clampdown by the administration of President Donald Trump against undocumented immigrants.

‘Tear Down this Wall:’ border concert to defy Trump

Musicians from both sides of the US-Mexican border, and from around the world, will come together next month in a symphonic protest over President Donald Trump’s plan for a wall to restrict immigration.The crowd-funded June 3 show, announced Monday by …

Musicians from both sides of the US-Mexican border, and from around the world, will come together next month in a symphonic protest over President Donald Trump's plan for a wall to restrict immigration.

The crowd-funded June 3 show, announced Monday by the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, will take place in Friendship Park, which straddles the border between the Mexican city of Tijuana and San Diego in California.

"It's not the only wall in the world. The list of walls around the world is really long," said Markus Rindt, organizer of the project dubbed "Tear Down This Wall!"

But "nationalism is on the rise. And the (US-Mexico) wall is on people's minds."

Rindt, 50, was just a young man when Ronald Reagan in 1987 urged the then Soviet Union to "Tear Down this Wall" in Berlin -- the quote that inspired his project.

This time, Rindt will try to move minds with a combo featuring four Germans, a Swede, and two Latin Americans. Representing Mexico will be performers from Tijuana. US singer Coral MacFarland from San Diego is expected, he said.

Trump made a border wall with Mexico one of his leading campaign themes, claiming criminals and drug traffickers were flooding over the southern US border, and that Mexico should pay for the new wall.

Mexico has so far steadfastly refused, and Trump has yet to secure any of the billions of dollars in congressional funding needed to start his flagship project.

South Korea votes for new president to replaces ousted Park

South Koreans went to the polls Tuesday to choose a new president after Park Geun-Hye was ousted and indicted for corruption, and against a backdrop of high tensions with the nuclear-armed North.

South Koreans went to the polls Tuesday to choose a new president after Park Geun-Hye was ousted and indicted for corruption, and against a backdrop of high tensions with the nuclear-armed North.

Chelsea one ‘little step’ from Premier League title – Conte

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his side were “another little step” from the Premier League title after they crushed Middlesbrough 3-0 to move to within touching distance of glory.Tottenham Hotspur’s surprise defeat at West Ham United last week hand…

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his side were "another little step" from the Premier League title after they crushed Middlesbrough 3-0 to move to within touching distance of glory.

Tottenham Hotspur's surprise defeat at West Ham United last week handed Chelsea the initiative and they can now seal a second title triumph in three years if they win at West Bromwich Albion on Friday.

"We're very close. We must be honest. But we need to do another little step and win another game," Conte told reporters after Monday's match, which condemned Middlesbrough to relegation.

"For sure now I'm a bit relaxed. This step was big for us, a big win.

"Now we need to do another step. We have the possibility to do this on Friday against West Brom.

"For sure it won't be easy, because West Brom is a really good team, a physical team, and we must pay great attention.

"We are very close, but we need another step to become champions of the Premier League, which would be a fantastic achievement for us."

While victory at West Brom will deliver the title, Chelsea also have home games against Watford and Sunderland in which to snare the three points they need to make it across the finish line.

Cesc Fabregas was Chelsea's match-winner, inventively creating goals for Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic either side of half-time at a festive Stamford Bridge.

Marcos Alonso also found the net in the first half.

Fabregas began the season on the bench after new signing N'Golo Kante took his place, but he has played an increasingly prominent role in recent weeks.

"Cesc is one of the best examples of our season," Conte said.

"Because in this season, Cesc at the start didn't play a lot. And then through hard work, he improved a lot. And then he's playing in every game.

"This development of Cesc is our development, because we started the season with a lot of problems. But through hard work, together we found the right way.

"Cesc is showing (himself) to be a fantastic player and I'm pleased for him. Because I saw in this season that he put himself in this team in every moment, if he played or didn't play. Now he's deserving this."

- Boro 'devastated' -

Needing victory to stand a realistic chance of preserving their top-flight status, Boro succumbed to a defeat that sent them into the Championship alongside northeast rivals Sunderland.

Conte made a point of saluting Boro's travelling fans after the game.

"It's great to see a team that got relegated and to see the fans clapping the players and the players staying there to receive the applause and to clap the fans," said the Italian.

"It's important to celebrate your win, but also to have great respect and clap this type of situation.

"Because I think this situation happens only in England. In Italy it's very, very difficult to see a team getting relegated and the players receive (applause)."

Boro manager Steve Agnew said his dressing room was "devastated".

"We've worked so hard for a number of years to get back into the Premier League and we know how tough the Premier League is," he said. "Obviously we've come up short."

Agnew, who took over in a caretaker capacity after Aitor Karanka was sacked in March, would not be drawn on whether he would like the role on a permanent basis.

"I don't think it's about my situation. It's about the football club," he said.

"We all know it's a Premier League football club in terms of everything about it ?- the supporters, the stadium, the training ground. The infrastructure is all there.

"So we have to finish the season strong. We have two games to go. We need to gain more points.

"And then everything moving forward will be towards getting Middlesbrough Football Club back into the Premier League as soon as possible."

Russia celebrates Victory Day

Russia is celebrating Victory Day with festivities all across the nation marking the 72nd anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945. Dozens of Russian cities are staging military parades, concerts, firework displays and othe…

Preview Russia is celebrating Victory Day with festivities all across the nation marking the 72nd anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945. Dozens of Russian cities are staging military parades, concerts, firework displays and other festive events.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Trump ‘was warned aid Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia’

The White House was warned in January that Donald Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail, a top former official told lawmakers Monday.

The White House was warned in January that Donald Trump's national security advisor Michael Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail, a top former official told lawmakers Monday.

Who will Lady Luck favour at rugby World Cup draw?

Rugby’s leading nations will be hoping for a big slice of luck at Wednesday’s 2019 World Cup draw, where seedings stacked with dangerous teams could throw up more than one ‘Pool of Death’.More than two years before the tournament in Japan, the draw cer…

Rugby's leading nations will be hoping for a big slice of luck at Wednesday's 2019 World Cup draw, where seedings stacked with dangerous teams could throw up more than one 'Pool of Death'.

More than two years before the tournament in Japan, the draw ceremony in historic Kyoto could go a long way to deciding who will lift the trophy in Yokohama on November 2, 2019.

England fell victim to a nightmare scenario at the last World Cup, where the hosts failed to reach the knock-out stages after being drawn against Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

This time around, for the tournament's first edition in Asia, New Zealand, England, Australia and Ireland make up the top seeds to be divided among the four pools of five.

The second band of seeds is Scotland, Wales, South Africa and France, while the third contains dangerous floaters in Argentina, the 2015 semi-finalists, Georgia, Italy and hosts Japan.

Another eight teams from Oceania, Europe, the Americas and Africa will be added after qualifying, with 10th-ranked Fiji, Tonga and Samoa among the leading contenders.

It raises the possibility of New Zealand, the two-time defending champions, South Africa, Argentina and Samoa all landing in the same pool, along with a host of other treacherous combinations.

A strong showing by Japan is considered crucial for attendances and atmosphere as the World Cup arrives, for the first time, in a country where rugby isn't a mainstream sport.

But the Brave Blossoms, who stunned South Africa at the last World Cup, are bullish, with winger Akihito Yamada saying he hoped to draw England and their ex-Japan coach Eddie Jones.

- 'First game will be key' -

"I'd like to get Eddie's team, England. I want him to see Japan's new style of rugby after four years," insisted Yamada.

Captain Shota Horie said: "All the teams will be strong so I don't have any real preferred opposition. The first game will be key so we will prepare for that as if our lives depend on it."

Steve Hansen's New Zealand are striving to complete a hat-trick of World Cup victories, while England, up to second in the rankings under Jones, are dreaming of ending the All Blacks' dominance.

South Africa, Australia, Wales and France are likely to be revamped and revitalised by 2019, while Argentina and Japan will look to build on their successes of 2015.

Rugby is striving to make inroads into Asia, including China, where World Rugby announced a $100 million investment from Alisports, an offshoot of e-commerce giant Alibaba, last year.

Participation in Asia has almost doubled since 2009 to more than 500,000 players, according to the governing body, which hopes to have one million new players in the region by 2019.

The World Cup will be played in 12 stadiums across Japan, with 75 percent of the population living within an hour's drive from a match venue, organisers say.

Seedings for Wednesday's draw

Band One: New Zealand, England, Australia, Ireland

Band Two: Scotland, Wales, South Africa, France

Band Three: Argentina, Japan, Georgia, Italy

Band Four: Oceania 1, Americas 1, Europe 1, Africa 1

Band Five: Oceania 2, Americas 2, Winner of play-off between Europe 2 and Oceania 3, Repechage Winner

Germany grants asylum to ‘several’ NATO troops wanted by Ankara over failed coup attempt – reports

Preview Germany has granted refugee status to Turkish nationals who were stationed at NATO bases and applied for asylum amid Ankara’s wide scale crackdown on disloyal officials after a failed coup in Turkey last July, according to local media reports.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Preview Germany has granted refugee status to Turkish nationals who were stationed at NATO bases and applied for asylum amid Ankara’s wide scale crackdown on disloyal officials after a failed coup in Turkey last July, according to local media reports.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Pandora explores sale after securing $150 million

Pandora, which dominates internet radio but has seen its model eclipsed by music streaming companies such as Spotify, said Monday it was open to buyers after securing a fresh $150 million.Jim Feuille, the chairman of Pandora’s board who a decade earlie…

Pandora, which dominates internet radio but has seen its model eclipsed by music streaming companies such as Spotify, said Monday it was open to buyers after securing a fresh $150 million.

Jim Feuille, the chairman of Pandora's board who a decade earlier pushed the model of free access, stepped down with the announcement that private equity firm KKR was injecting $150 million.

"Having secured a significant financial commitment from KKR to strengthen the company's balance sheet, we have positioned the company to evaluate any potential strategic alternatives, including a sale, in the 30 days before the financing is set to close," Feuille said in a statement.

The company appointed Tim Leiweke, the former CEO of entertainment and sporting event giant AEG, to seek out new directors for the board and evaluate options.

"The board is squarely focused on maximizing stockholder value as we move ahead," he said. Pandora's shares tumbled more than two percent Monday even as Wall Street struck a new record.

The recorded music industry has seen two years of solid growth thanks to the boom in streaming but Pandora has struggled to gain traction.

Listeners have flocked to on-demand services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, while Pandora's model has been online radio stations, some of them automatically tailored to fit users' tastes, with money coming through advertisements.

Pandora, announcing its first-quarter results on Monday, said its number of active listeners slumped to 76.7 million from 79.4 million a year earlier.

But consolidated revenue went up six percent year-on-year in part due to the launch of Pandora Premium, which combines the platform's signature stations with an on-demand service.

Pandora said its subscriber base jumped to 4.71 million -- a year-on-year rise of 20 percent, but well below Spotify's 50 million paying users.

"Although it remains early days, we are enthusiastic about the recent launch of Pandora Premium," Pandora's founder and CEO Tim Westergren said in the earnings statement.

Unlike the globe-spanning on-demand services, Pandora is available only in the United States, Australia and New Zealand in part due to the complex rules governing radio around the world.

Simeone rabble-rouses beaten down Atletico Madrid to believe

For all coach Diego Simeone has changed at Atletico Madrid, one thing remains the same — an inferiority complex when faced with their richer, more successful cross-city rivals Real Madrid.Atletico have a huge task to overturn a 3-0 semi-final first-le…

For all coach Diego Simeone has changed at Atletico Madrid, one thing remains the same -- an inferiority complex when faced with their richer, more successful cross-city rivals Real Madrid.

Atletico have a huge task to overturn a 3-0 semi-final first-leg deficit if they are to avoid elimination at the hands of Real in the Champions League for a fourth consecutive season in the last ever European game at Atletico's Vicente Calderon stadium on Wednesday.

Simeone has been in charge for what he described this weekend as "nearly six marvellous years."

In that time he has led Atletico to their first league title in 18 years, ended a 14-year winless streak against Real and put the club back on the map in Europe.

But the defeats in the past three seasons have been all the more heartbreaking as they have come by the slimmest of margins.

Real equalised in the 93rd minute of the 2014 final en route to winning their long-awaited 10th European Cup. Another late goal edged a quarter-final tie 1-0 in 2015 and last year it took a penalty shootout to separate the two when they met in the final again.

For the first time last week's first leg truly showed the gulf that still exists between the sides in terms of resources.

Real's financial muscle even threatens to break up this Atletico side.

Theo Hernandez looks set to become the first player to cross the Madrid divide since 2000 this summer.

A move for the 19-year-old is seen as Real's first step to breaking a gentleman's agreement not to poach Atletico's best players ahead of a bid to snatch their top scorer Antoine Griezmann in 2018.

"Tell me how does it feel," said a huge banner released from the Real fans before kick-off at the Bernabeu last Tuesday alongside signs for Lisbon and Milan, the two cities where Atletico lost to Real in the final in the past three years.

- "Proud of our players" -

And yet as the stadium emptied nearly two hours later, it was the Atletico fans, beaten but unbowed, who sang the club's anthem into the night.

That scene was repeated as the Atletico fans stayed behind after Saturday's 1-0 win over Eibar, demanding the team return to the pitch from the dressing room to serenade them with chants of "proud of our players."

That loyalty in the face of adversity is in contrast to the demands put upon Real's players.

Even after scoring hat-tricks against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals and Atletico last week, Real's all-time top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo said "all he wanted" from the home fans was not to be jeered.

"Know how to win, know how to lose, #theycannotunderstand" Atletico posted pointedly on the club's Twitter feed on Sunday.

"Don't stop believing," has also been a consistent emblem of Simeone's time in charge of Atletico.

And the Argentine has been relentlessly positive over the past week in the midst of Atletico's despair.

"We have to do something impossible and being Atletico Madrid we might be capable of it," he said immediately after the first leg.

"I am convinced of it," he repeated on Saturday. "If I wasn't I wouldn't say it. If we are united and understand that it is a semi-final at home we have a chance."

Atletico's home record in the Champions League under Simeone does give some small cause for optimism.

Los Rojiblancos have won 17 and drawn four of their 21 Champions League home games in the past four years, keeping 17 clean sheets.

Of those results, though, only those gained against modest opponents like Austria Vienna, Olympiakos, Malmo and Astana would be enough for Atletico to go through.

Most Atletico fans would settle just for finally beating Real on a famous last European night at the Calderon, even if it doesn't stop their bitterest rivals from making the final once more.