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Haiti police hunt down Moise’s killers as fears of chaos grow

Security forces in Haiti have shot dead four suspected killers of President Jovenel Moise and captured two others, the country’s police chief said on Wednesday, as the brazen assassination threatened to plunge the already impoverished, crisis-hit Caribbean nation deeper into chaos.

Police General Director Leon Charles described the four people killed as “mercenaries” and said that security forces were locked in a fierce gun battle with the men who assassinated the president at his home overnight.

“We blocked them en route as they left the scene of the crime,” Charles said in televised comments. “Since then, we have been battling with them.”

“They will be killed or apprehended.”

Moise, a 53-year-old former businessman who took office in 2017, was shot dead and his wife, Martine Moise, was seriously wounded when heavily armed assassins stormed the couple’s home in the hills above Port-au-Prince at around 1am local time on Wednesday (05:00 GMT).

Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to the United States, said the gunmen were well-trained “foreign mercenaries” and said they had masqueraded as US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents as they entered Moise’s guarded home under cover of darkness.

The DEA has an office in the Haitian capital to assist the government in counternarcotics programs, according to the US Embassy.

Moise’s wife, Martine, was in a stable but critical condition and had been evacuated to Miami for treatment, the ambassador added.

‘Barbaric act’

The assassination, which drew condemnation from Washington and neighbouring Latin American countries, came amid political unrest, a surge in gang violence, and a growing humanitarian crisis in the poorest nation in the Americas.

Joseph Claude, the interim prime minister who has assumed leadership of the country, said the assassins spoke English and Spanish – the majority in Haiti either speak French and Haitian Creole.

“I am calling for calm. Everything is under control,” Joseph said on television alongside Charles. “This barbaric act will not remain unpunished.”

The Haitian government has declared a two-week state of emergency to help it find the assassins.

In an earlier interview with The Associated Press news agency, Joseph called for an international investigation into the assassination and said elections scheduled for later this year should be held. He also pledged to work with Moise’s allies and opponents alike.

“We need every single one to move the country forward,” Joseph said. He described the president as “a man of courage” who had opposed “some oligarchs in the country” and said, “We believe those things are not without consequences.”

Haiti, a country of about 11 million people, has struggled to achieve stability since the fall of the Duvalier dynastic dictatorship in 1986, and has grappled with a series of coups and foreign interventions. During the past year, Moise had been governing by decree after failing to hold elections, and in recent months, the opposition demanded he step down, saying he was leading it toward yet another grim period of authoritarianism.

Ever since he took over in 2017, Moise has faced calls to resign and mass protests – first for corruption allegations and his management of the economy, then for his increasing grip on power.

Lately, he presided over a worsening state of gang violence that rights activists said is linked to politics and business leaders using armed groups for their own ends.

Global concern

In the US, President Joe Biden condemned Moise’s killing as “heinous” and called the situation in Haiti – which lies some 700 miles (1,125km) off the Florida coast – worrisome. “We stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti,” he said.

The Dominican Republic said it was closing the border and reinforcing security in the area, but described the frontier as ″completely calm”.

“This crime is an attack against the democratic order of Haiti and the region,” Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader said.

Members of the Dominican Republic’s National Army guard the bridge between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, after the shared border in Dajabon was closed [Ricardo Rojas/Reuters]

Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, also condemned the assassination and stressed that “the perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice,” according to a spokesman. The UN Security Council meanwhile expressed deep shock and sympathy over Moise’s death before a closed-door meeting on Thursday, requested by the US and Mexico, to evaluate the situation.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) expressed concern on Wednesday that the violence could deal a setback to efforts to fight COVID-19 in Haiti – one of only a handful of countries worldwide that has yet to administer a single shot of coronavirus vaccine.

Power vacuum

In Port-au-Prince, the usually bustling streets were mostly deserted on Wednesday and the airport was closed although gunshots rang through the air.

A caravan of vehicles including the ambulance carrying Moise’s corpse to the morgue had to change route because of gunfire and roadblocks, according to local reports.

With Haiti politically polarised and facing growing hunger, fears of a breakdown in order are spreading – particularly as Moise’s murder took place amid a power vacuum.

Just this week, he nominated a prime minister to replace Joseph – who was only meant to be an interim leader – but the official, Ariel Henry, has yet to be sworn in. And the Supreme Court’s chief justice, who might be expected to help provide stability in a crisis, died recently of COVID-19.

Children walk on an empty street in front of the cathedral that was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, July 7, 2021 [Joseph Odelyn/AP]

In the AP interview, Joseph said he had spoken three times with Henry and that there was agreement that he was in charge for now.

“He was actually designated but never took office,” Joseph said of Henry. “I was the one who was a prime minister, who was in office. This is what the law and the constitution says.”

However, in a separate AP interview, Henry appeared to contradict Joseph. “It’s an exceptional situation. There is a bit of confusion,” he said. “I am the prime minister in office.”

Late on Wednesday, an extraordinary issue of the official gazette said the prime minister and his cabinet – meaning Joseph’s government – would assume executive powers until a new president could be elected, as per Haiti’s constitution.

Presidential, legislative and local elections are due to be held in September, alongside a controversial referendum on a new constitution that Moise had said would help finally bring political stability to the country.

Alex Dupuy, a Haiti-born sociologist at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, said the best scenario would be for the acting prime minister and opposition parties to come together and hold elections.

“But, in Haiti, nothing can be taken for granted. It depends how the current balance of forces in Haiti plays out,” he said, describing the situation as dangerous and volatile.

The main opposition parties said they were greatly dismayed about the killing.

“In this painful circumstance, the political forces of the opposition condemn with utmost rigor this heinous crime that is at odds with democratic principles,” their statement said.

The parties added that they hope the National Police will take all necessary measures to protect lives and property, and they called on Haitians to be “extremely vigilant.”

Read more here >>> Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

Dr Mosley on how he does 40 press ups a day to cut risk from one of UK’s biggest killers

On his BBC Radio 4 podcast Just One Thing, Dr Mosley revealed his more health-conscious decision behind the exercise regime. After learning press-ups can cut your risk of heart disease, he’s all for it. “Not bragging, but I try to do 40 press-ups most days,” he said on the show. Dr Mosley said press-ups “do seem to be a good predicator of heart health”.
He continued to talk about a recent study in the US that involved firefighters.

“Those who could do 40 press-ups or more in one go when they were in their late 30s were far less likely to have a heart attack in the next 10 years than those who could manage less than 10,” Dr Moseley revealed.

“Like any exercise, it’s vital to start gradually, because you don’t want to pull a muscle,” he added.

For beginners, Dr Mosley recommends doing press-ups against the wall or while kneeling.

READ MORE: Diabetes type 2: Out of control blood sugars could cause the Somogyi effect – what is it?

“It’s really important you do them correctly, so check out the NHS website,” said Dr Mosley.

Heart disease

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) certified that heart disease is the “single biggest killer worldwide”.

To specify, coronary heart disease is when the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle is narrowed by a build-up of fatty material.

This reduces the amount of oxygen-rich blood reaching the heart muscle, which can lead to symptoms of angina.

The best preventative tool for heart disease is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

As Dr Mosley says, exercise is vital – so, yes, doing push-ups will help, as long as you work out consistently.

The free NHS health check assess a person’s risk of heart disease; this overall examination is available to people aged over 40 in England and Scotland.

This health check usually takes place at the GP’s surgery, and you must take on board the GP’s practical advice about keeping healthy.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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OnePlus just made its Android-powered flagship killers even more affordable

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Speaking about the event, Kate Parkyn, Associate Marketing Director, OnePlus Europe, said, “Community has been the cornerstone of OnePlus’ success ever since our first device OnePlus One went live on sale in April 2014. OnePlus One was one of the most special launches in the history of smartphones only available through a personalized invitation and sold exclusively through oneplus.com.

“We sold more than 1.5 million units of OnePlus One globally, exclusively through oneplus.com with almost no advertising budget. As we continue our journey, One For All campaign celebrates our community which has now grown to over 10 million members globally with 3 million users from Europe registered on oneplus.com.”

Galaxy A72 and A52 5G release and UK price: meet Samsung's new flagship killers

Samsung is back with its second Galaxy Unpacked hardware event of 2021 and this time it was all about the firm’s next mid-range devices. The new Galaxy A52, A52 5G and Galaxy A72 were revealed during the showcase, which didn’t take place in-person due to covid guidelines, and these new handsets certainly pack an impressive punch considering that you can pop one in your pocket for around £400.
Samsung says these new Galaxy smartphones have been created to include the features that consumers want the most – with a good camera, long battery, impressive screen and affordable price all a top priority.

In recent years, Samsung has moved away from piling all of its features into its priciest smartphones. The South Korean firm is increasingly focusing on the mid-range to fend off competition from the likes of Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Motorola and Googe. And looking at the spec sheet of the latest Galaxy A series, it certainly seems that Samsung has ticked all of the right boxes.

All three new smartphones offer an edge-to-edge Super AMOLED screen with small bezels to squeeze the most screen into the body. Those buying the A72 and A52 will be treated to a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, while the A52 5G going one step further with a 120Hz screen. This means it will offer an experience that’s as good as the much more expensive Galaxy S21.

For comparison, a few years ago, most phones only sported a 60Hz screen, so the higher refresh rate makes animations appear smoother, scrolling seem zippier, and fast-paced gameplay feel more responsive.

All three phones also offer a much brighter experience too, which should make them easier to view when outside. Samsung says it has boosted things from 600nits on its previous mid-range phones to 800nits on the A52 and A72.

If you do spend hours surfing the web and checking Instagram there’s “Eye Comfort Sheild” technology, which is designed to adjust the colour temperature and also helps reduce blue light emissions for less fatigue on the eyes. An embedded fingerprint is tucked under these screens as well for an easy way to access your files.

Spin the phones around and you’ll find a quad rear camera that features a main 64-megapixel lens alongside an ultra-wide, portrait and macro option. Samsung wants this snapper to be super simple to use and has included a scene optimiser that can work out where you are and adjust the settings accordingly. In fact, there’s a total of 30 scenes available so you should find the perfect look no matter what you happen to be shooting. These include people, places, food and even your pet.

As well as snapping some impressive images there’s also the ability to film footage on full 4K and the new Video Snap function lets you grab high-quality images straight from the video footage.

Another bonus of this camera system is that it features a full Night Mode which should boost the quality even when taking images in very low light.

Those opting for the A72 also get an improved zoom lens with 3X optical shots available from this device.

Head under the hood and you’ll find a two-day battery life which is helped by Adaptive Power Saving which adjusts to your usage with it even able to shut down apps that haven’t been used after a few days. Fast charging can also boost things back to full in under an hour.

The new A-Series feature 128 or 256GB of storage which is fully upgradable via an SD card and there’s also a fast Octa-Core processor, which should cope with most of your daily digits tasks.

Other features worth mentioning include dual Dolby Atmos speakers and the devices ship with One UI 3.0 out of the box with Samsung also confirming that these phones will get four years of security updates.

As the name suggests, the A52 5G also gets full access to the latest network speeds which allow you to download files at over 300Mbps. The A52 5G is priced at £399 with the A72 costing £429. The standard A52 isn’t launching in the UK

“At Samsung, we strive to provide our customers with innovative, industry-leading products at all price points, which is why we are delighted to launch the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G and Samsung Galaxy A72 as stellar additions to our smartphone portfolio” said Conor Pierce, Corporate Vice President for Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.

“The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G offers cutting-edge features, including a vivid and smoother display, long-lasting battery and cameras designed to keep up with the demands of content creators. All this is powered by 5G, putting innovation in the hands of the next generation”.