Area 51: Storming of secretive Nevada base

Area 51: Storming of secretive Nevada base

Fears that thousands of people could storm Area 51 on Friday were unfounded, with just several dozen arriving at the secretive US military base.

Millions had responded to a Facebook post in June calling for people to raid the facility in Nevada on 20 September to “see them aliens”.

But nobody attempted to enter the site and only one person was arrested – for urinating near the gate.

Area 51 has long been rumoured to house secrets about extraterrestrial life.
Why are people talking about Area 51?
In June, Matty Roberts, a student from California, posted a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event inviting people to charge at the base in large enough numbers to bypass security.

Within days of its launch, the event became a viral sensation, making headlines across the world. More than three million people expressed an interest in taking part.
The US Air Force warned that Area 51 was “an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces”.

What happened on Friday?
Not a lot.

Despite much anticipation surrounding the event, only around 75 people turned up at the front gate and nobody attempted to enter.

The only person to be arrested was a man caught urinating near the entrance and a woman was detained for an undisclosed reason, Associated Press reported.
The “raid” was more of a small-scale celebration, with enthusiasts dressing up and holding placards. Full Story

 

Saudi Arabia oil attacks: US to send troops to Saudi Arabia

The US has announced plans to send forces to Saudi Arabia in the wake of attacks against the country’s oil infrastructure.

Secretary of Defence Mark Esper told reporters the deployment would be “defensive in nature”. Total troop numbers have not yet been decided.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have said they were behind the attacks against two oil facilities last week. Full Story

 

Climate protests: Marches worldwide against global warming

Millions of people around the world held a global climate strike on Friday, inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

Protesters across continents waved placards and chanted slogans in what could be the biggest ever demonstration over global warming caused by humans.

“Our house is on fire”, Ms Thunberg said at a rally. “We will not just stand aside and watch.”

The day began in the Pacific and Asia and culminated in a massive demonstration in New York. Full Story

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Politics and Technology

politics and technology

China speeds ahead of U.S. as quantum race escalates, worrying scientists

U.S. and other Western scientists voice awe, and even alarm, at China’s quickening advances and spending on quantum communications and computing, revolutionary technologies that could give a huge military and commercial advantage to the nation that conquers them. The concerns echo — although to a lesser degree — the shock in the West six decades ago when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, sparking a space race. In quick succession, China, in recent months, has utilized a quantum satellite to transmit ultra-secure data, inaugurated a 1,243-mile quantum link between Shanghai and Beijing, and announced a $10 billion quantum computing center. “To me, what is alarming is the level of coordination of what they’ve done,” said Christopher Monroe, a physicist and pioneer in quantum communication at the University of Maryland. Full Story

Another confirmation that China is destined to be new the powerhouse and will probably hold this title for over 100 years after it moves to the top spot. China has focussed on developing trade; their second focus has been their military as they are primarily merchants at heart. They are going to win this battle for one reason; at the end of the day, they are going to have the biggest purse. As the saying goes “money talks and BS walks.

 

Xi Tells Zuckerberg and Cook China’s Set for ‘Unprecedented’ Reform

Chinese President Xi Jinping used a meeting with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook to announce that his nation is embarking on reform with “unprecedented determination and vigor.”

Less than a week into his second five-year term at the helm of the world’s second-largest economy, Xi’s remarks may underscore a shift toward loosening of restrictions on doing business in China. The nation is “willing to work with the U.S.,” Xi said, according to an official Xinhua report, adding that he’s looking forward to President Donald Trump’s visit next week.

Though use of Facebook’s social networking platform is blocked in China, the leadership from Xi down have increased pledges to open up to foreign companies across the economy. Xi was speaking at an event with overseas members of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management advisory board on Monday.

“China is willing to work with the US, to take a long-term perspective, care for each other’s mutual interests, and appropriately handle disagreements and contradictions,” Xi said. “We have an optimistic attitude toward the prospects for China-U.S. relations.” Full Story

This is the trend we have been speaking off for a while and which we just addressed in the last interim update. Asia led by China will move and more towards the direction of free markets and freedom, while the US will and the West will seek to restrain the populace.

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over. Full Story

Read this story in Detail for it provides some of the reasons of why America has lost its place in the Middle East and why Syria was Russia’s red line in the sand.  Most importantly, it reveals how strong the relationship between China and Russia is and why these two nations are set to dominate the world stage for decades to come.

 

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Elizabeth Warren nabs 2020 backing of Iowa’s state treasurer

Elizabeth Warren

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has announced the endorsement of one of Iowa’s last two uncommitted Democratic elected officials, state Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

“She’s the one I think can address the biggest problems we have, and that is the hollowing out of the middle class,” Fitzgerald said in an interview with The Associated Press. “She’s clear, you understand her message, and I want her fighting for me and all of us.”

Fitzgerald was an early supporter of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who went on to win the presidency. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller also supported Obama but is endorsing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock for 2020. Iowa’s last remaining uncommitted statewide elected Democrat is Auditor Rob Sand.

Asked what stood out about Warren in a field of Democrats often aligned on key issues, Fitzgerald declared that Warren “is a Democrat, she is a capitalist, and she wants to make our system work.” He said he’d do whatever the Warren campaign needed to help her win the caucuses.

Warren’s organization is seen as one of the strongest in Iowa, but compared with the other top-tier contenders in the field Warren has been relatively slow to roll out endorsements in the state. After a trickle of endorsement announcements, her first major haul of supporters in Iowa came out just last week, after her strong performance in the primary debate in Houston.

Fitzgerald marks Warren’s 25th Iowa endorsement and her sixth endorsement from an Iowa elected official. Full Story

 

Jimmy Carter says he couldn’t have managed presidency at 80

ATLANTA (AP) — Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.

Carter, who earlier this year became the longest-lived chief executive in American history, didn’t tie his comments to any of his fellow Democrats running for president in 2020, but two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, would turn 80 during their terms if elected. Full Story

 

Sri Lankan doctors strike over salary ‘injustice’

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Doctors at state-run hospitals across Sri Lanka began a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, demanding that the government resolve what they say is a salary “injustice.”

Two years ago, the government gave an unusually high salary increase to legal officers in the government sector, creating what Dr. Haritha Aluthge, secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association, called “a severe injustice to doctors and other professionals.” Full Story

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Huawei ban emerging as stronger tech competitor

Facing US ban, Huawei emerging as stronger tech competitor

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Long before President Donald Trump threatened to cut off Huawei’s access to U.S. technology, the Chinese telecom equipment maker was pouring money into research that reduces its need for American suppliers.

Huawei’s founder says instead of crippling the company, the export curbs are making it a tougher competitor by forcing managers to focus resources on their most important products.

Little-known to Americans, Huawei Technologies Ltd. is the No. 2 smartphone brand worldwide and the biggest maker of switching gear at the heart of phone networks. Its equipment is used by 45 of the 50 biggest global phone carriers.

Huawei is a pioneer in the emerging field of next-generation, or 5G, telecoms. It promises not just faster internet but support for self-driving cars and other futuristic applications. That fuels Western security concerns and makes 5G politically sensitive. The U.S. claims the company might aid Chinese spying, though Huawei denies that and American officials have provided no evidence.

Huawei needs some American innovations, especially Google services used on Android phones, but industry experts say the company is increasingly self-sufficient after spending 485 billion yuan ($65 billion) on research and development over the past decade.
“They have a strategy to become completely independent from U.S. technology. And in many areas they have become independent,” said Bengt Nordstrom of North Stream, a research firm in Stockholm. Full Story

 

Protest likely to greet Trump fundraising trip in California

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — President Donald Trump is making a rare visit to California, a Democratic stronghold where he is expected to rake in millions of dollars during a series of fundraisers for his reelection effort that are almost certain to be met with jeering protests.

Trump has routinely mocked California over its liberal culture, policies and politics. His visit Tuesday and Wednesday signals that despite the state’s decidedly leftward swing in recent years there are still plenty of wealthy Republicans who support him. Full Story

 

Iran’s supreme leader: No talks with the US at any level

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader announced on Tuesday that “there will be no talks with the U.S. at any level” — remarks apparently meant to end all speculation about a possible U.S.-Iran meeting between the two countries’ presidents at the U.N. later this month.

Iranian state TV quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying this is the position of the entire leadership of the country and that “all officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe” this.

“There will be no talks with the U.S. at any level,” he said. Full Story

 

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Trudeau news: Liberals win in Canada election, but…

Canada election: Trudeau's Liberals win but lose majority

Trudeau news: Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has retained power in a narrow Canadian election win but he will now be prime minister of a minority government.

The Liberals are projected to win 157 seats, 13 short of a majority, and will find it harder to pass legislation in Mr Trudeau’s second term.

The opposition Conservatives are expected to win the popular vote but have not translated that into seats.

They are projected to take 121, up from the 95 they held before.
Although Monday night’s results saw a sharp decline in seats for the country’s left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP), its leader, Jagmeet Singh, could become the kingmaker.

The NDP is projected to take 24 seats in the 338-seat parliament.

Quebec’s separatist party, the Bloc Québécois, which competes only in that province, fared much better. It is expected to take 32 seats, compared to the 10 it won in 2015.

Turnout is currently listed at 66%.

The federal election was seen as a referendum on Mr Trudeau, who had a bumpy first term, tainted by scandal.

Mr Trudeau told cheering supporters in Montreal that voters had “rejected division and negativity… and they rejected cuts and austerity and voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change”.

He said: “Thank you for having faith in us to move our country in the right direction.”

And to those who did not back him, he promised his party would govern for everyone. Full Story

 

The Kenyan ghost writers doing ‘lazy’ Western students’ work

University students in Europe and the US are paying Kenyans to do their academic work for them.

The global market for academic writing is estimated to be worth $1bn (£770m) annually.

For some, ghost-writing university essays for students who don’t have the time or desire to do them can be lucrative, especially in countries with high unemployment among young graduates. Full Story

 

The race to build a flying electric taxi

For any commuter the prospect of being whisked to and from work in a fraction of the time it usually takes is pretty irresistible.

No traffic jams, no train delays and no cold platforms – what’s not to love?

This is the promise of more than a hundred companies developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Full Story

 

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Boris Johnson: says he’ll pull Brexit bill if lawmakers force delay

Boris Johnson: says he’ll pull Brexit bill if lawmakers force delay

Boris Johnson: LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was headed for a showdown Tuesday with lawmakers who want to put the brakes on his drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in just three days and take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31.

Johnson said that if Parliament imposes a longer timetable and “decides to delay everything until January or possibly longer,” he will withdraw the bill and call a vote on holding a snap general election.

“I will in no way allow months more of this,” said Johnson, who took power in July vowing that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31, come what may. His only hope of doing that is to pass the Brexit-implementing bill through Britain’s fractious Parliament before then.

Johnson’s announcement piles pressure on lawmakers as they consider whether to approve the government’s legislation, which would finally take Britain out of the EU — more than three years after voters opted to leave the bloc.

The bill faces two votes Tuesday, with lawmakers first being asked to approve it in principle, followed by a vote on the government’s schedule for debate and possible amendments.

Johnson said backing the bill would allow lawmakers to “turn the page and allow this Parliament and this country to begin to heal and unite.” Full Story

 

Iraq: American troops leaving Syria cannot stay in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. troops leaving Syria and heading to neighboring Iraq do not have permission to stay in the country, Iraq’s military said Tuesday as American forces continued to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey’s invasion of the border region. Full Story

 

Russia, Turkey leaders hold talks on fate of Syria border

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The presidents of Turkey and Russia met in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Tuesday, hours before a five-day cease-fire between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria was set to expire. Full Story

 

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Ric Ocasek, frontman of The Cars, dead at 75

Ric Ocasek, frontman of The Cars, dead at 75

NEW YORK (AP) — Ric Ocasek, The Cars frontman whose deadpan vocal delivery and lanky, sunglassed look defined a rock era with chart-topping hits like “Just What I Needed,” was discovered dead Sunday afternoon in his Manhattan apartment.

The New York Police Department said that officers found the 75-year-old Ocasek at about 4 p.m. after responding to a 911 call. They said there were no signs of foul play and that the medical examiner was to determine a cause of death.

The death comes a year after The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by an announcement by model Paulina Porizkova on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage. The pair first met while filming the music video for “Drive,” another Cars hit.

Ocasek, who sang, played guitar and wrote most of the band’s songs, and Benjamin Orr, who played bass and also sang, were ex-hippie buddies who formed The Cars in Boston in 1976. They were a decade older than many of their modern-rock compatriots but became one of the most essential American bands of the late 1970s and 1980s with their fusion of new wave, 1960s pop and 1970s glam.

Ocasek’s minimalist, half-spoken deadpan vocals set made the band’s sound, and his long, lanky appearance formed their lasting image.

The first three songs on their 1978 self-titled first album were all hit singles and remain widely known classics and oldies radio airplay: “Good Times Roll,” ″My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Just What I Needed.” Full Story

 

Trump says US locked and loaded in response to drone attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tensions are flaring in the Persian Gulf after President Donald Trump said the U.S. is “locked and loaded” to respond to a weekend drone assault on Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure that his aides blamed on Iran.

The attack, which halved the kingdom’s oil production and sent crude prices spiking , led Trump to authorize the release of U.S. strategic reserves should they be necessary to stabilize markets. Full Story

 

As shock wears off, mental health concerns grow in Bahamas

HIGH ROCK, Bahamas (AP) — One woman and her husband huddled on top of a bedroom dresser for two days, surrounded by floodwaters.

Another man sat in his wheelchair for nearly 48 hours in water up to his chest, alone in his home.

A third rescued a friend who sat in shock when part of a building where they sought shelter blew away.

Stories of survival are trickling out across northern Bahamas as the initial shock wears off from Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history. Full Story

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Big hit for oil prices – US blames Iran for Saudi strike

Big hit for oil prices - US blames Iran for Saudi strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. tried to build its case Monday that Iran was behind the fiery weekend attack on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities that raised new war worries and sent energy prices spiraling worldwide. Iran denied responsibility, while President Donald Trump said the United States was “locked and loaded” to respond if necessary.

American officials released satellite images of the damage at the heart of the kingdom’s crucial Abqaiq oil processing plant and a key oil field, and two U.S. officials said the attacker used multiple cruise missiles and drone aircraft.

The Americans alleged the pattern of destruction suggested Saturday’s attack did not come from neighboring Yemen, as claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels there. A Saudi military spokesman later made a similar accusation, alleging “Iranian weapons” had been used in the assault.

Iran rejected the allegations, and a government spokesman said there now was “absolutely no chance” of a hoped-for meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Trump at the U.N. General Assembly next week.
For his part, Trump sent mixed signals, saying his “locked and loaded” government waited for Saudi confirmation of Iran being behind the attack while later tweeting that the U.S. didn’t need Mideast oil “but will help our Allies!”

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said the U.S. was considering dispatching additional military resources to the Gulf but that no decisions had been made. Full Story

 

Warren offers anti-corruption plan central to her campaign

NEW YORK (AP) — Elizabeth Warren has released a proposal aimed at government corruption, providing a detailed policy roadmap for a fight she says is at the core of her presidential campaign.

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts is announcing the plan Monday in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park, near the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Co., which caught fire in 1911, killing 140-plus workers. Many of those deaths later were attributed to neglected safety features, such as doors that were locked inside the factory. Full Story

 

Auto strike idles more than 50 GM factories and warehouses

DETROIT (AP) — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers went on strike Monday against General Motors, bringing more than 50 factories and parts warehouses to a standstill in the union’s first walkout against the No. 1 U.S. automaker in over a decade.

Workers left factories and formed picket lines shortly after midnight in the dispute over a new four-year contract. The union’s top negotiator said in a letter to the company that the strike could have been averted had the company made its latest offer sooner. Full Story

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Boeing 737

Boeing 737 800

Boeing (BA) CEO Dennis Muilenburg has once again reiterated his expectations about the 737 MAX resuming services in the fourth quarter. Muilenburg made the comments during an investor conference in California on September 11, according to CNBC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVQz3RKrUfwHowever, he warned that the timetable of the jet’s return could be different in every country, given the disparity among regulators, reports CNBC. Muilenburg said, “I think the phased ungrounding of the airplane amongst regulators around the world is a possibility.”

Boeing is awaiting safety approval for the 737 MAX, which has been under a global flying ban since mid-March after a software problem caused two deadly accidents within five months. Once Boeing updates the software, world regulators will scrutinize it before approving the model to fly again.

The quick return of the MAX is critical for Southwest Airlines (LUV), American Airlines (AAL), and United Airlines (UAL). Together, the three airlines own 72 Boeing 737 MAX planes. They have suffered over 35,000 flight cancellations since the MAX’s grounding, costing them millions of dollars in foregone revenue and operating profit.

Why could the 737 MAX’s return be in phases?
Muilenburg’s concerns look realistic given the changing circumstances. On September 3, The Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing “failed to provide technical details and answer specific questions about modifications in the operation of MAX flight-control computers.” It added that regulators from the US, Europe, Brazil, and many other countries cut short Boeing’s August briefing. Full Story

Indonesia blames Malaysian companies for some forest fires

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia on Friday blamed four Malaysian companies, including the world’s biggest producer of sustainable palm oil, for causing some of the forest fires within its borders, in an escalating row between neighbours over regional haze.

Malaysia has said Indonesian forest fires are responsible for the smoky haze that has caused air quality to drop to unhealthy levels in certain parts of the country. Indonesia has dismissed those claims, saying fires within Malaysia are causing the pollution. Full Story

 

2020 Dem Debates: Round Three

Round three of the Democratic debates is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT Thursday at Texas Southern University in Houston. It’s the first debate to be contained to one night, and is expected to take three hours. 10 candidates will be on stage; former Vice President Joe Biden (DE), Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (IN), former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (TX), businessman Andrew Yang (NY), Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro (TX), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN). Full Story

 

Asian markets move higher on hopes for a cooling trade war

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Asian stocks rallied Friday on continued hopes for a break in the US-China trade war.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) was up 0.3% at market open, gaining ground after posting losses Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei (N225) jumped nearly 1%.
Markets in mainland China and South Korea were closed for holidays. Full Story

Syria Turkey: offensive: Syrian army heads north after Kurdish deal

Syria Turkey

Syria Turkey: Syrian government forces have started to reach the north of the country, hours after the government agreed to help Kurdish forces facing Turkey.

Syrian state media say government forces entered Ain Issa on Monday, 30km (19 miles) south of the Turkish border.

The deal came after the US, the Kurds’ main ally, said it would withdraw its remaining troops from northern Syria.

Turkey began an offensive in the region last week, aiming to push Kurdish forces from the border region.

Areas under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) came under heavy bombardment over the weekend, with Turkey making gains in two key border towns.

Dozens of civilians and fighters have been killed on both sides.

The US announced on Sunday it was preparing to evacuate its 1,000 remaining soldiers from northern Syria.The Turkish offensive and US withdrawal have drawn an international outcry, as the SDF were the main allies of the West in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

There have been fears about a possible resurgence of the group amid the instability. On Sunday Kurdish officials said nearly 800 relatives of foreign IS members had escaped from a camp in Ain Issa, where the Syrian army reportedly has now reached.

Turkey views elements of the Kurdish groups as terrorists and says it wants to drive them away from a “safe zone” reaching 32km into Syria. Full Story

 

The K-pop star Sulli has died aged 25

Police told the BBC the singer’s manager found her dead at her home near Seoul, South Korea.

They say they are investigating the cause of her death and are working on the ‎assumption that she may have taken her own life.‎

The star, who had more than five million followers on Instagram, was a former member of the band f(x) until she left in 2015 to focus on her acting career. Full Story

 

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