Demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy during a Black Lives Matter protest in London, following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis, London, Britain, June 7, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKayLONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London on Sunday to condemn police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, some wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19 bearing the slogan “racism is a virus”. On Saturday, thousands of protesters had gathered in central London in a demonstration that was peaceful but that ended with small numbers of people clashing with mounted police near Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence. London Police chief Cressida Dick said 27 officers had been injured in “shocking and completely unacceptable” assaults during anti-racism protests in central London this week, including 14 on Saturday. Both Dick and health minister Matt Hancock urged protesters not to gather in London again on Sunday due to the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. But thousands ignored this to pack the road outside the embassy on the south bank of the River Thames. “It just needs to stop now,” said 17-year-old student Chaniya La Rose who was at the protest with her family. “It shouldn’t have to be this hard to be equal.” There have been demonstrations around the world over police treatment of ethnic minorities, sparked by the death of Floyd, a black American, on May 25 in Minneapolis. A white police officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The London protest was peaceful, with people clapping, taking to one knee, waving placards and chanting “George Floyd” and “the UK is not innocent”. Pauline Nandoo, 60, said she had been protesting about the issue of racism since the 1970s and the images of violence at the end of Saturday’s protest had not deterred her. “There’s children of all ages and older adults here,” said Nandoo, who was with her brother and 13-year-old daughter. “They are going to experience what we have experienced and we have to try to make that not happen.” Writing by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Frances Kerry
Looming threats could pile more on Army’s already full plate
The Army’s next challenges span the globe and they could compound rapidly in a crisis, but the service will likely have to meet those hurdles with the same number of soldiers it had before 9/11. While the Army might find a slight reprieve in the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, that’s not guaranteed, acting Secretary…
The Army’s next challenges span the globe and they could compound rapidly in a crisis, but the service will likely have to meet those hurdles with the same number of soldiers it had before 9/11. While the Army might find a slight reprieve in the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, that’s not guaranteed, acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley said at an event Monday. How the exit from Afghanistan evolves will determine the service’s force commitment to that country, Whitley said at the Atlantic Council discussion also attended by Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville. Without divulging detailed plans, McConville deferred to the Defense Department regarding what an Army contribution would look like should the situation in Afghanistan deteriorate to the point that U.S. ground forces would need to re-enter the country. President Joe Biden has set a September withdrawal deadline and military leaders have already developed commitments beyond Afghanistan. The Army, for instance, has been sending rotational armored and aviation units to Europe since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Whitley noted that the service is keeping a close eye on Russian actions along the Ukrainian border, be that in the southern area near Crimea or the northern regions. “We’re constantly thinking about those things and what might happen elsewhere in Europe,” Whitley said. 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And the Indo-Pacific region doesn’t allow for much breathing room either, he added. Whitley rattled off ongoing island disputes in the South China Sea, ever-present tensions with North Korea, friction along the India-China border and recent unrest in Hong Kong. “The list of what could happen in the next year is quite long,” Whitley said. If one of those scenarios escalates or an unforeseen challenge emerges and necessitates U.S. soldiers, the Army will likely have to respond with the same force size it had two decades ago. At the height of the post-9/11 period, Army rolls topped out at 570,000 soldiers on active duty, McConville said. Right now, the force has an active-duty end strength of just 485,000 soldiers — totaling nearly 1 million troops when the Army National Guard and Army Reserves are factored in. Those lagging numbers have been touted by Army leaders for months as the service heads into budget season. “We are not going to grow the Army above the 485,000 number with the resources we have now,” McConville said. And the current force is already flush with ongoing responsibilities, both men explained. “The U.S. Army is fully committed today between [planning] demands in the event of war and current operations,” Whitley said. Commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria in recent years have taxed the force. But the Army has also been the go-to service at home this past year. Army Guardsmen were dispatched regularly in 2020 and early 2021 to handle the U.S.-Mexico border mission, COVID-19 pandemic response, security in Washington, D.C., following the Capitol riot and annual natural disaster relief such as floods, fires and hurricanes. “It becomes a conversation of what requirements are going to be relieved on us” should multiple scenarios unfold, Whitley said. And he has no doubt they could. The secretary said that were something to go wrong in the Pacific, he could see “optimistic behavior” elsewhere in the world, hinting at maligned moves by Russia. And the reverse would be likely, too. McConville also discussed balancing end strength numbers with modernization priorities at a Heritage Foundation event in February, Army Times reported previously. “We’d like a much bigger Army, but what I have to do at my level is say, you know, what can we actually afford,” McConville said at the February event. “That’s what we’re taking a hard look at.”
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates divorce: Everything about the family foundation and billions at stake – CNET
Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced after 27 years and three children. Getty Images Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, two of the world’s most powerful and well-funded philanthropists, said in early May that they’re ending their marriage. For the past two decades, the pair has funded education, global health and other causes through their namesake…
Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced after 27 years and three children.
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, two of the world’s most powerful and well-funded philanthropists, said in early May that they’re ending their marriage. For the past two decades, the pair has funded education, global health and other causes through their namesake foundation. The couple, along with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, also founded The Giving Pledge, a campaign encouraging wealthy people to give away the bulk of their money.”After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the Microsoft co-founder shared May 3 on Twitter. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”
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The divorce came as a surprise to many in the tech and giving worlds, where the Gates name is well known. The two won’t just be splitting their vast fortune, last estimated at around $124 billion. The divorce also potentially throws the future of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation into question, despite its roughly $50 billion endowment.Here’s everything we know so far:Melinda and Bill Gates in Washington, DC, in 2002. Bill was Microsoft’s chairman at the time, helping fight an antitrust case that threatened the future of his company.
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have been married for 27 yearsThey met at Microsoft, where Bill Gates was a co-founder and CEO and where he made his fortune. Melinda Gates started at Microsoft as a marketing manager for multimedia products, like the Encarta multimedia encyclopedia and the famously failed Microsoft Bob software. She began dating Bill in 1987 and they married in 1994. They have three children and live in a mansion overlooking Lake Washington in the Seattle suburbs.The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began in 2000, and has since become the world’s largest private charitable organization. Melinda Gates also began Pivotal Ventures, an investment firm outside the foundation, in 2015. It’s focused on supporting women and families in the US.They haven’t shared why they’re divorcingWhen the pair announced their divorce, they said, “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives.” That’s certainly vague. The petition for divorce filed by Melinda Gates, posted by Yahoo Finance, said, “This marriage is irretrievably broken.”Jennifer Gates, the couple’s oldest daughter, shared a statement via Instagram Stories that reads, in part: “It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time.”The Wall Street Journal reported May 9 that Melinda Gates had been meeting with lawyers since 2019 as she planned for the divorce. The paper reported that earlier revelations that Bill Gates had spent time with Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex trafficker, were at least partly behind her decision. Apparently, Melinda Gates had worried about Epstein’s relationship with Bill. The New York Times reported in October 2019 that Bill Gates had met with Epstein “many times” since 2011. Bill Gates has denied any business relationship or friendship with Epstein.Bill Gates in 2000, shortly after establishing the foundation.
There was no prenupPerhaps more shocking than the divorce itself was that the billionaire couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement. By the time they were married in 1994, Gates was already the richest person in the US, with more than $9 billion in assets according to Forbes at the time. Melinda Gates’ divorce petition reportedly said the couple has a “separation contract,” and she’s asked the court “to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract.”Money is already movingThe same day the pair announced their divorce, Bill Gates transferred $1.8 billion in stock to Melinda Gates. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from May 3, an investment firm controlled by Bill Gates, called Cascade Investment, transferred more than $1.8 billion in stock to Melinda Gates. The transfer includes more than 14 million shares of Canadian National Railway, which are worth around $1.5 billion, and approximately 2.9 million shares of AutoNation, which are worth about $309 million, Bloomberg reported. Bill and Melinda Gates say they’ll still work at the foundationIn their announcement, Bill and Melinda Gates said they “will continue our work together at the foundation.” In a statement, the foundation said the pair will continue to shape the organization’s strategies, champion its causes and set its direction. Bill Gates is 65. Melinda Gates is 56.The pair had been working hard during the pandemicQueen Elizabeth II presented Bill Gates with an honorary knighthood in 2005, but he can’t use the title sir since he’s not a British citizen.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a strong focus on public health, something Melinda Gates discussed in her book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World. It’s committed $1.75 billion so far to support the global response to COVID-19, according to a public report on its site. More than $680 million is to help slow transmission and support responses in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.Unfortunately, Bill Gates’ already high profile and the money he’s brought with him to fight COVID-19 have led to a series of bogus conspiracy theories, falsely claiming he’s attempting to use vaccines to control the population. Last year, surveys found that conspiracy theories about Gates were the most widespread about coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic. In a column published March 31, 2020, he criticized then-President Donald Trump’s administration, saying “there’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus.”
2021 Ford F-150 review: Setting a higher bar – Roadshow
It might not look different than its predecessor, but the F-150 is new and improved where it matters most. Steven Ewing/Roadshow The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup in America for a reason: It just works. Whether on the job or at play, the F-150 has long been the reliable stalwart in this segment, even…
It might not look different than its predecessor, but the F-150 is new and improved where it matters most.
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup in America for a reason: It just works. Whether on the job or at play, the F-150 has long been the reliable stalwart in this segment, even in the face of tough competition like the Ram 1500. This year marks the introduction of the 14th-gen F-150, bringing with it some innovative features and new technologies that should keep it at the head of its class for years to come.
LikeLots of work-friendly featuresExcellent cabin techPunchy turbocharged engine
Don’t LikeOccasionally rough ridePoor fuel economyBland interior design
Important new featuresArguably the biggest news this year is the availability of an onboard generator, something that came in handy earlier this year when a good chunk of Texas was without power. My test truck has a 2-kilowatt generator with two 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, which is perfect for tailgating or running smaller tools on a job site. A 2.4-kW generator is standard on F-150 PowerBoost hybrid models, and a larger 7.2-kW generator is optional, with four 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, and one 240-volt, 30-amp plug. Ford says you could set up a mobile welding shop with this much juice.More innovative tricks are found inside the F-150. The gear selector can fold flat into the center console, making way for a fold-down surface that provides 15 inches of flat work space. I love the new Max Recline seats, too — as someone who routinely puts in 12-hour days behind the wheel, being able to lay down at nearly 180 degrees to have a quick snooze is delightful. The reclining seats are super comfortable too, with the cushions rearranging themselves to make a flat surface with no dip between the seat back and bottom cushions.
Lots of configurabilityThe F-150’s shape and size doesn’t really change this year, even though all the sheet metal is new. Drivers will mostly notice the newly designed stacked headlamps bisected by a horizontal line running across the fascia. Those are set off by LED fog lights and daytime running lights. Higher-level trims like the King Ranch pictured here get lots of exterior chrome and include 20-inch polished wheels and metallic trim across the tailgate, proudly proclaiming that you are indeed the king of the ranch. Overall, the F-150 is a nice-looking truck, and a little more buttoned-up and tidy than its predecessor.You really can’t beat the Ford F-150 as far as configurability is concerned. Available with six powertrains, three cab options and three bed lengths, there’s a wealth of customization to be had. And that’s before you dig into the six different trim levels and two- and four-wheel drive options.
The F-150 is available with three cabs and three bed lengths.
Powerful engine optionsRegardless of which options you select, the F-150’s powertrains don’t disappoint. New for this year, Ford offers the PowerBoost hybrid, which we’ve already tested. This time around, I have the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 gas engine, but you can also get the F-150 with a 3.3-liter V6, 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6, 5.0-liter V8 and 3.0-liter diesel V6.
The gas-only 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 has 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque which is plenty of power for everyday driving, and the truck has plenty of gutsy midrange punch for highway passing. The 10-speed automatic transmission is a dream, with smooth, imperceptible upshifts and easy downshifts that can jump three or four gears at a time when power is needed.The PowerBoost hybrid adds $2,500 to the F-150’s bottom line, but it’s definitely the engine I’d get, especially when you consider it’s rated to return 24 mph with four-wheel drive. The normal 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is EPA-estimated to return 20 mpg, though during a week of testing, I only saw 17.5 mpg.As for ride quality, well, the F-150 drives like a truck. That is to say it can be a little bouncy and floaty, especially with my tester’s FX4 package with off-road tuned front shocks. It’s par for the course here, but if you want a nice-riding truck, the Ram 1500 with its coil-spring setup or optional air suspension is the one to buy. Nice as the Ford is, Ram’s truck is much more comfortable over the long haul.The Pro Power Onboard generator is one of the F-150’s best features.
Truck stuffThe F-150’s towing and payload specs depend on configuration. A longer-wheelbase truck with rear-wheel drive will tow more than a shorter-wheelbase pickup with four-wheel drive. My truck with the tow package, short bed and four-wheel drive can handle 11,000 pounds, but depending on your spec you can tow anywhere from a paltry 5,000 pounds to a whopping 14,000 pounds. However, if you’re going to tow that much on the regular, it’s usually better to upgrade to a heavy-duty truck which will have the bigger brakes and sturdier frame to make towing 14,000 pounds easier. Sure, the F-150 will do it, but you’ll enjoy the experience more in a bigger truck.As for payload, my tester can handle 2,100 pounds in the bed, but again, you can haul more or less depending on configuration, anywhere from 1,705 pounds to 3,325 pounds. As for the competition, the Ram 1500 can tow a maximum of 11,650 pounds and haul 2,320 pounds in the bed. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can tow 13,300 pounds and carry 2,280 pounds of payload. Ford upped its trailer technology game for 2021, as well. There’s a new reverse guide with five cameras and a little graphic that tells you which way to turn the steering wheel, since that can often be confusing. (Remember, backing up a trailer means turning the wheel to the left to move the trailer to the right.) You can also just use the Pro Trailer Back-Up Assist, where you turn a dial in the direction you want the trailer to go and the truck handles the guesswork for you. The Ram 1500 has a similar feature.However, Chevrolet has cameras available all over the Silverado, including one that allows drivers to sort of see through their trailer and know what’s behind them. There are four available hitch views, six available driving views and five available parking views. If you even get this close to hitting something in the Silverado, you’ll know about it — or at least be able to see if happening.A 12-inch infotainment screen runs Ford’s Sync 4 tech.
Tons of tech and nice cabin amenitiesThe F-150 got a major tech upgrade, including a 12-inch display. Running Ford’s new Sync 4 infotainment system, this infotainment system is faster and more powerful than the outgoing tech and drivers can use a split-screen feature to control multiple functions at the same time. Sync has always been pretty easy to use, and it just gets better with this upgrade. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are here and they’re a breeze to set up.My tester also has a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with some cool graphics and more information than you could ever need. I choose to keep it simple with my speed front and center but I could include drive mode graphics and navigation information, to name a few.Most F-150 trims get Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 2.0 suite of driver’s aids standard, including front and rear emergency braking, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. My tester goes big with adaptive cruise control, lane centering and a new intersection assist that can mitigate an imminent crash when turning left into oncoming traffic.A fold-down table gives you plenty of room to work — or eat.
Ford is also getting into the hands-free driving game with a late-availability Super Cruise-like system called Active Drive Assist. On certain mapped and divided highways the F-150 will allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel, although a driver-facing camera makes sure your eyes remain on the road. Expect it to come to the F-150 later this year through an over-the-air update.The F-150’s cabin gets a nice upgrade, though the Ram 1500 still takes the cake in terms of overall comfort and refinement. Loaded F-150s can be had with open-pore wood, as well as heated, cooled and massaging front seats. There are also plenty of storage places including a center console that can hold Roadshow’s favorite snacks: a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper and a Costco-sized box of Cheez-Its with plenty of room left over.The power-deploying running boards and handles on the A-pillars make hauling my butt up into the truck easier, and adjustable pedals help both short and tall people find a good driving position. Having found mine, however, it is a bit difficult to reach the center touchscreen without leaning forward quite a bit. This is a big truck, y’all.America’s best-selling truck keeps going strong.
Something for everyoneThe F-150 range covers a huge swath of prices. A base XL starts at $30,635 (including $1,695 for destination), but a fully loaded Limited can reach above $80,000. Personally, I’d stick with a midrange Lariat. It’s no fancy-pants model, but it’s also much less expensive and still well equipped. I’d add the extra driver’s aids but I would most like skip the package needed for the Active Drive Assist as it ends up adding nearly $7,000 to the bottom line. I’d add the trailer tow package and the hybrid powertrain which gives me the 2.4-kW generator. And of course, the Max Recline seats. I’m all in at $58,8155 including $1,695 for destination. Meanwhile, the King Ranch you see here comes in around $76,000.With new features, lots of powertrains, great tech and tons of capability, the F-150 continues to offer tons of choice for a wide variety of truck customers. All things considered, the F-150 is definitely positioned to keep its best-selling truck crown for years to come.