TIME russia

Canada Trolls Russia on Twitter With Sardonic Geography Lesson

So what is and isn’t Russia? Canada aims to set the record straight

“Geography can be tough.”

Canada’s NATO delegation posted a cheeky lesson on what is — and isn’t — Russian land in a tweet on Wednesday.

The snide post, which includes labels of “Russia” and “Not Russia,” was aimed at the Kremlin’s soldiers who “keep getting lost & ‘accidentally’ entering #Ukraine” — a clear reference to the recent capture of Russian soldiers in Ukrainian territory. Exactly why the Russian soldiers wandered across the border remains murky, though Moscow maintains it was an accident.

The Canadian tweet had been retweeted more than 30,000 times as of early Friday morning, including by NATO delegations from the U.S., U.K. and Sweden on their official Twitter accounts. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also retweeted the map.

Russia, however, came back with its own snarky rebuttal.

On Thursday, the Russian NATO delegation’s official account wrote, “Helping our Canadian colleagues to catch up with contemporary geography of #Europe.” The tweet included its own map, which noticeably labels the Crimean Peninsula as belonging to Russia.

The map also shaded in a separate color for Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two states whose 2008 unilateral independence is recognized by Russia — but internationally condemned.

The Canada-Russia tweet battle came prior to an emergency NATO session with E.U. leaders on Friday. They plan to discuss Kiev’s accusations that Russia invaded eastern Ukraine as well as the West’s contention that Moscow is directly involved in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists.

TIME Music

Chuck Berry Honored at Polar Music Prize Ceremony in Stockholm

Chuck Berry In Concert - January 1, 2011
Chuck Berry performs at the Congress Theater on January 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Barry Brecheisen/FilmMagic

Think of it as the Nobel of the music world

Polar Music Prize laureate Chuck Berry has been honored at an awards ceremony in Sweden.

Poor health prevented the rock ‘n’ roll legend, now 87, from leaving his home outside of St. Louis to attend the event in Stockholm. But the ‘Johnny B. Goode’ singer had Welsh musician Dave Edmunds read his acceptance speech at the ceremony.

“My heart is in Sweden,” he said. “I understand what a great honor it is to be a recipient. I am sorry that I am unable to travel and receive this personally.”

The Polar Music Prize is the so-called “Nobel of the music world,” awarded annually to one recipient each from the fields of modern and classical music. The award was established 25 years ago by the manager of ABBA, Stig Anderson. Previous laureates include Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.

Keith Richards paid tribute to Berry in a video that was played at the award ceremony. “Chuck Berry, he just leaped out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him,” he said. “If I listened to Chuck Berry, I was full for the day.”

In a statement made when announcing Berry’s award in May, the Polar Music Prize Foundation said: “Chuck Berry was the rock ’n’ roll pioneer who turned the electric guitar into the main instrument of rock music. Every riff and solo played by rock guitarists over the last 60 years contains DNA that can be traced right back to Chuck Berry.”

Berry was recognized alongside theatre and opera director Peter Sellars, who is known for bringing controversial flair to the stage. Sellars received Tuesday’s prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

TIME celebrities

LMFAO Singer Redfoo Had a Glass Thrown at Him in Sydney

Sony Showcase Girl Band G.R.L. In Sydney
Redfoo poses just prior to international pop sensation G.R.L. performing for the first time in Australia at Marquee Nightclub in Sydney on Aug. 12, 2014 Don Arnold/WireImage

"All of a sudden I was just talking to some girls and ... bam, something hit me in the head"

Singer Redfoo of the rock duo LMFAO was attacked at a Sydney pub on early Thursday morning, the Guardian reports. The 39-year-old, who is also a judge on reality music show The X Factor (Australia), suffered a cut above his right eye when a man allegedly threw a glass at his head.

Redfoo received medical attention at the scene by paramedics. A 21-year-old man allegedly tried to flee the bar but was caught by security. He was detained by police and charged with malicious wounding, the Guardian said.

“All of a sudden I was just talking to some girls and … bam, something hit me in the head,” Redfoo told Australian morning TV show Sunrise.

The singer added that the alleged attacker taunted him after the incident.

“He looked at me and taunted me and blew a kiss at me and winked his eye, as if to say ‘I got you’ or something.”

“It’s not my fault that everybody’s dancing to [my] single,” the singer joked.

Redfoo also addressed the incident on Twitter, telling a sympathetic witness that “jealousy is a hell of a drug!”

TIME Soccer

Landon Donovan to Play for the U.S. Soccer Team One Last Time

Vancouver Whitecaps v Los Angeles Galaxy
Landon Donovan of Los Angeles Galaxy acknowledges the fans by blowing them a kiss following the game against Vancouver FC at StubHub Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2014 Jeff Gross—Getty Images

America's most accomplished men’s soccer player is set to bow out in October

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that Landon Donovan will make his final appearance for the men’s national team in the upcoming international friendly against Ecuador. The game will be an opportunity for fans to thank him for “all the memories he’s provided over the years,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati.

Donovan, 32, is the most accomplished American currently playing the men’s form of the game. He holds his team’s record for most goals scored (57) and assists (58) and fans overwhelmingly see him as their nation’s greatest player to have graced the beautiful game.

But his valedictory encounter, scheduled for Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Conn., is seen by some as an attempt by coach Jürgen Klinsmann and the country’s soccer governing body to make amends after a public fallout in May.

Just a day before the World Cup tournament kicked off, Donovan was kept off the roster by Klinsmann. The decision was met by fierce criticism from U.S. soccer fans — and particularly Donovan.

“I firmly believe that not only should I be going, but I feel like I really deserved it,” he told reporters at the time. He added that not only should he be in the 23-man squad, but that he should start as well.

Klinsmann, however, held his ground, saying that his former captain was cut because, “I just see some other players slightly ahead of him.”

The Germany legend evidently wasn’t fond of the striker’s showing in the lead up to the tournament. Klinsmann told the New York Times in a June article that he was unimpressed with Donovan’s performance in 2013, when the Los Angeles Galaxy player returned from a controversial four-month sabbatical earlier that year. “I watched the games. What was I supposed to say? That he was good? He was not good. Not then. No way,” said Klinsmann.

Donovan entered the international soccer stage in 2000, and his next and final match for the national team will mark his 157 cap. He’s also set to retire from club soccer at the end of this year’s Major League Soccer season.

TIME Infectious Disease

Ebola Forces the WHO to Shut Down Its Lab in Sierra Leone

Relatives of an Ebola victim mourn in Lango village, Kenema, Sierra Leone on Aug. 25, 2014.
Relatives of an Ebola victim mourn in Lango village, Kenema, Sierra Leone on Aug. 25, 2014. Mohammed Elshamy—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Medical workers are in retreat as the deadly virus continues to ravage West Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that it had shut down an Ebola-testing laboratory in Sierra Leone and pulled its staff, after a health worker contracted the lethal virus, Reuters reports.

“It’s a temporary measure to take care of the welfare of our remaining workers,” WHO spokesperson Christy Feig told the news agency. She did not specify how long the closure would last, but said staff would return “after our assessment.”

The lab is located in Kailahun, an area near the Guinean border that is severely affected by the outbreak, but it is unclear precisely how the infected worker, an epidemiologist from Senegal, contracted the virus. The WHO said he would be evacuated out of the country for treatment.

“The field team has been through a traumatic time through this incident,” said Dr. Daniel Kertesz, the WHO representative in Sierra Leone, in a statement. “They are exhausted from many weeks of heroic work, helping patients infected with Ebola. When you add a stressor like this, the risk of accidents increases.”

The shuttered lab is one of only two in the country, Reuters says, and its closure is likely to impede efforts to contain the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus, which has infected at least 2,615 people and killed at least 1,427.

Reuters also reports that Canada has pulled its three-person mobile laboratory team from Kailahun. Sean Upton, a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said on Tuesday that the workers were brought home because three people staying at their hotel had contracted Ebola. He added that the Canadian medics did not have contact with the infected individuals and did not display any symptoms of the virus.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders told the New York Times that it would continue to operate an 80-bed treatment center in Kailahun.

Health workers have paid a heavy price in their efforts to contain the outbreak, which has killed at least 120 medical workers and infected more than 240 as of Monday.

TIME legal

Airbnb Hands Over Data on 124 Hosts in New York City to the Authorities

Airbnb'S Value Estimated At $10 Billion After New Round Of Investments
The Airbnb app is displayed on a smartphone on April 21, 2014 in San Anselmo, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The New York attorney general is seeking those who “flagrantly" misused the online platform

Airbnb has announced that it is handing over the personal information of 124 past and present hosts to the New York attorney general.

The online accommodation company said on Friday that the vast majority of the hosts were no longer on its site and the total is “far less than 1%” of its hosting community in the Big Apple.

“Nothing about these hosting profiles suggests [the attorney general] is after anyone but individuals who may be flagrantly misusing our platform,” said David Hantman, head of global policy for Airbnb, in a blog post on Friday.

The New York City battle for user information began last year. Attorney general Eric Schneiderman sent the first subpoena in October, requesting data on Airbnb’s hosts for the previous three years. Airbnb resisted but also reiterated its commitment to cooperate with authorities and eliminate illegal hotels and guesthouses. The San Francisco–based company then wiped out more than 2,000 listings in April.

The recent release of personal data followed the New York attorney general’s second subpoena for hosts’ information in May. Airbnb agreed to hand over “anonymized data” for about 16,000 hosts in New York. The office of the attorney general would then have a year to review the information and draft a list of individuals who are subject to further investigation. This means it’s possible that additional requests for user information are made in the months to come.

Airbnb says it has already contacted the 124 hosts concerned about the matter.

TIME Video Games

Sony Says User Information Safe After Hackers Targeted PlayStation Network

Inside The 2014 E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo
Attendees walk past the Sony Corp. PlayStation booth during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The tech company just had a really rough weekend

Hackers hit the Sony Corp.’s huge Playstation network this weekend, before a bomb threat was made against a flight carrying a top Sony executive in the U.S.

The tech company said on its Playstation blog Monday that the network was taken down by a denial of service attack, but added that none of the personal data of its 53 million users was compromised.

“We have seen no evidence of any intrusion to the network and no evidence of any unauthorized access to users’ personal information,” said the blog post by Sid Shuman, senior manager of social media.

Somebody with the Twitter handle @LizardSquad claimed responsibility for the data breach on Sunday, Reuters said. The purported hacker said the attack was carried out to warn the Japan-based firm that more profits needed to be spent on data security.

“Sony, yet another large company, but they aren’t spending the waves of cash they obtain on their customers’ [PlayStation Network] service. End the greed,” said one @LizardSquad post on Sunday.

In other unsubstantiated claims, the user said that Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of World of Warcraft, had been targeted and also threatened Microsoft’s Xbox Live network.

The posts took an alarming turn when @LizardSquad tweeted at American Airlines on Sunday, claiming to know that explosives were aboard a flight being taken by Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503595025301635073

The San Diego-bound flight from Dallas was later diverted to Phoenix, and its passengers have since made their way to San Diego.

Reuters reports that American Airlines said in a tweet that it was “aware of threats” made over Twitter and had alerted security.

American Airlines spokeswoman Michelle Mohr told AP that she couldn’t discuss security matters and referred questions to the FBI. The FBI declined Reuters’ request for comment.

[Reuters]

TIME New York

Man Arrested for Climbing Brooklyn Bridge Amid New Security Lapse

People walk and ride bikes across the Brooklyn Bridge in April 2014.
People walk and ride bikes across the Brooklyn Bridge in April 2014. Michael Trueblood—Flickr Vision/Getty Images

And he took photos while at the top

A 24-year-old man was arrested Sunday after scaling the Brooklyn Bridge, where he took the opportunity to snap some photos with his iPhone, said officials in New York City.

Yaroslav Kolchin, wearing a backward green cap, a grey T-shirt and jean shorts, was spotted climbing over a security fence by a uniformed officer who was stationed at the bridge. He then radioed the suspect’s description and location to the NYPD, says CNN.

A helicopter was soon deployed and additional units were dispatched before Kolchin climbed back down and was taken into custody. He faces charges of reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. No one was injured.

But there is some confusion regarding Kolchin’s nationality; Reuters reports that he hails from New York City, but CNN says he is visiting from Moscow.

The stunt comes a month after two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced with white flags. Two German artists claim they carried out the act.

[CNN]

TIME Environment

Juvenile Coral and Fish Know When a Reef Has Gone Bad

World Without Corals
In this June 5, 2008 photo, fish gather on a coral reef in the Dry Tortugas National Park in Dry Tortugas, Fla. Numerous studies predict corals are headed toward extinction worldwide, some 50 percent of the Caribbean's corals are already dead, largely because of climate change, overfishing and pollution. Wilfredo Lee—ASSOCIATED PRESS

Too much seaweed and they're out of there

Baby coral and fish in the Pacific are able to detect both good and bad reefs, according to a Fiji-based study reported by the BBC. The study found that sea animals avoid reefs that do not give off the right chemical signals, because the failure to do so indicates that a reef is degraded.

According to the research, published in Science, when young coral and fish are presented with water samples taken from healthy reefs, and from reefs in overfished areas that are choked with seaweed, the sea creatures overwhelmingly choose the former.

Scientists say this could be a sign that simply designating a marine area as a protected zone may not be enough to help damaged reefs recover. The seaweed that has sprung up there may have to be removed as well.

“If you’re setting up a marine protected area to seed recruitment into a degraded habitat, that recruitment may not happen if young fish and coral are not recognizing the degraded area as habitat,” said Danielle Dixson of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the study’s prime author.

Once seaweed is removed, then damaged areas may start to see improvements, the BBC reports.

[BBC]

TIME celebrities

Jackie Chan’s Son Has Been Turned Into Viral Online Game After His Arrest

FILE - Jackie Chan's Son Detained In Beijing On Drugs Charges
Jackie Chan and his son Jaycee Chan attend a press conference on April 1, 2009 in Beijing, China. ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

The game got 60 million hits in a day

Forget Where’s Waldo. Have you played Where’s Jaycee Chan?

The South China Morning Post reports that game developers have capitalized on the recent arrest in Beijing, on alleged drug-related offenses, of Jaycee Chan — son of actor Jackie Chan — by creating an online game. All the People Search for Jaycee Chan, as the game is called, has quickly gone viral, the Post says.

It’s simple enough, consisting of a mass of tiles — most of them belonging to the face of fellow-actor and friend Ko Chen-tung, who was detained alongside Chan, also on alleged drug violations. Amid identical headshots of Ko, players must find the lone tile of the younger Chan’s face. The goal is to get through as many levels as possible within a minute.

The game premiered on Tuesday in mainland China and received 60 million visits by Wednesday, according to China Youth Daily.

Chinese microbloggers joked about “turning blind” after playing the game for so long, reports the Post.

Jaycee Chan and Ko, who is also known as Kai Ko, were detained on Aug. 14. Chan is in criminal detention for “providing shelter for others to abuse drugs” and Ko is in “administrative detention” for 14 days.

[SCMP]

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