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Source: BBC News - Business
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A brief history of the old pound coin as it drops out of circulation on Monday.
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The BBC's Aaron Heslehurst explains how Blu Tack became a million dollar idea.
Darjeeling tea may become more difficult to get hold of. Political unrest halted production for three month this year and this has hit India's entire tea industry.

Source: PRI.org Latest from The World and the GlobalPost
Iraqi forces took control of the contested city of Kirkuk from Kurdish authorities on Monday, as tensions over last month’s independence referendum in the Kurdistan region erupted into violence between two key US allies. Thousands of civilians fled in panic from the city, which lies in the heart of a major oil-producing region and which both the Kurds and Iraq claim as their own. After some initial clashes, troops led by Iraq’s elite, US-trained counterterrorism force moved into the city largely unopposed, seizing key military installations and oil fields, and hoisting the Iraqi flag in the center of the city. One Kurdish health official told Agence France-Presse that at least 10 peshmerga fighters were killed and 27 wounded in battles Sunday night. But official numbers have yet to be released. The scene in Kirkuk, Iraq, as Iraqi troops arrive to retake the city from Kurdish forces. Credit: Reuters The fighting is the worst violence between Iraq and the Kurds since the reign of dictator Saddam Hussein and threatens to severely disrupt the coalition built by the US to defeat ISIS. President Donald Trump addressed the crisis from the White House on Monday afternoon, saying the US is “not taking sides” in the fight.  “We’ve had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds as you know, and we’ve also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been there in the first place. We should never have been there. But we’re not taking sides in that battle,” he said. As the US scrambled to de-escalate the fighting between two allies, the US-led, anti-ISIS coalition played down the clashes as a “misunderstanding” and said shooting began “as two elements attempted to link up under limited visibility conditions.” But the Kurdistan regional government called it an “unprovoked attack ... using US military equipment, including Abrams tanks and Humvees.” A statement from Kurdistan’s peshmerga general command described the operation as a “war against the Kurds,” and expressed resentment toward the US. “The same weaponry was never supplied to peshmerga to fight ISIS when peshmerga was in dire need. Now, it’s turned against our people and forces,” it said. ‘The Jerusalem of Kurdistan’ Iraqi security forces and the peshmerga have fought alongside each other for two years against ISIS, backed with weapons and support from the US — weapons that were subsequently turned on each other. So, how did two US-trained and equipped allies come to blows? The status of Kirkuk has been a flashpoint between the Kurds and Iraq’s central government in Baghdad for decades. Tensions have risen dramatically since the semi-autonomous Kurdish region held a referendum on declaring independence from Iraq last month. Related: Should Kurdistan break off from Iraq? We asked young voters. Although the results were nonbinding, voters delivered a resounding victory in favor of secession, with more than 90 percent casting their ballots for “yes.” The US, Turkey and Iran opposed the vote, while Baghdad declared it illegal and unconstitutional. The Iraqi army controlled Kirkuk until 2014 when its soldiers fled from an ISIS advance toward the city. The peshmerga subsequently moved in and had held it since. For many Kurds, taking control of Kirkuk was necessary for security and the righting of a historic wrong. Kirkuk is about 60 miles south of Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital of Erbil. It’s home to a multiethnic population of roughly 1 million people — including Arab Muslims, Christians, Kurds and Turkmen. Kirkuk is historically a Kurdish majority city. It later became a target of Saddam Hussein’s “Arabization” policy of moving Arab families into areas inhabited by Kurds and other minorities to tip the ethnic balance toward the Arabs. But since Hussein was ousted, the Kurdish share of the population has grown larger as families have moved back to the areas where they once lived. A sign of the importance Kurds attach to Kirkuk can be measured by its nickname: “the Jerusalem of Kurdistan.” Kirkuk would also be crucial to the economy of an independent Kurdistan. The province provides about 340,000 barrels of oil per day — more than half the total output of the Kurdish region. As far as Baghdad is concerned, the peshmerga taking control of the city was an opportunistic land grab and recapturing it was the federal government’s right to protect its sovereignty. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraq “acted to fulfill our constitutional duty and extend the federal authority and impose security and protect the national wealth in this city.” After three years of fighting ISIS, Iraq’s economy is in desperate need of the oil Kirkuk provides. Abadi also has his eye on elections next year — losing Kirkuk would have damaged his standing immeasurably. All ISIS, all the time The speed with which the situation deteriorated appears to have taken the US by surprise. Some have speculated that a more active US role, earlier on, might have averted confrontation. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a last-minute effort to avert the Kurdish referendum that set the crisis in motion, but according to Bloomberg, the offer to the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani came too late.  Analysts say the US had a singular focus on defeating ISIS and didn’t plan for what came next. “From 2003 to 2011, the US actively mediated in Kirkuk to prevent tensions between the different groups boiling over,” Emma Sky, who was the governorate coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq from 2003-04, told The World. “In recent years, the US focus has been largely limited to the tactical fight against ISIS — and not on the governance of Iraq.” Sky added that “the US did not believe that Barzani would go ahead with the referendum.” When fighting did break out, however, the US moved quickly to stop it from spreading. “The lights have been burning in the State Department and the National Security Council all the way through the last week,” said Michael Knights, an analyst with The Washington Institute who has researched Iraq since the 1990s. “Basically, the US position is quite tough on the Kurds. It’s supportive of the federal government bringing their forces back into the Kirkuk area, as long as they do not use force, and as long as they don’t take areas that were not in federal government hands in 2014. The idea is to turn the clock back to the way things were then.” Related: How a Rex Tillerson oil deal nearly sparked an Iraqi-Kurdish war Knights said when it became clear that Iraq would move to recapture Kirkuk, a deal was being discussed between Baghdad and Kurdish leaders to allow Iraqi forces to enter the city. “No one was pulling the trigger on the deal. So, last night’s military action was quite a blunt Iraqi government effort to speed it along. The fighting was pretty limited, and that’s indicative of the fact that people understood that they were not there to fully resist this action,” he said on Monday. But the apparent ease with which Iraqi forces entered the city has already driven a wedge between the two largest political parties in Kurdistan — which share control of the peshmerga. In a statement issued by the peshmerga, the Kurdistan Democratic Party accused its rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, of “treason” for apparently withdrawing from its positions in the city and cooperating with Iraqi troops. In just 24 hours, the unity on display during last month’s referendum has evaporated and the Kurdish government finds itself with few friends to call on for help. President Barzani gambled that the goodwill his forces had built up by battling ISIS, and the fatigue of Iraqi forces due to that fight, would endure the rocky referendum process. But, Sky said, “No Iraqi prime minister can afford to lose Kirkuk.”
When Jibril Afyare arrived in Mogadishu from Minnesota, just two weeks ago, the atmosphere was one of hope. “I saw a Somalia [that] had made a lot of tremendous progress in terms of security, the economy, education,” Afyare said. “Everywhere you go, people were jubilant and optimistic.” Afyare was in the car, on the way to meet his relatives, when Saturday’s explosion happened. “I was at a place called kilometer 4,” he said. “Where the attack had taken place was kilometer 5.” The family he was to meet — his uncle, aunt and cousins — did not survive. Another Minnesota man, Ahmed Abdikarin Eyow, was also killed in the attack. Eyow, 50, lived in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, but was in Mogadishu for a job interview with the UN. They are only a few of the victims of Somalia’s worst terrorist attack in history, which has now claimed at least 276 lives and injured at least 300. On Saturday, a truck bomb exploded at a junction in Hodan, a busy commercial district in northwestern Mogadishu, crowded with shops, hotels and other businesses. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but al-Shabab, a militant group aligned with al-Qaeda, carries out regular suicide bombings in Mogadishu in its bid to overthrow Somalia's internationally-backed government. Al-Shabab is the country’s most active terrorist group and experts say the only one equipped to carry out an attack of this size. The bomb used was estimated to be between 1,100 pounds and 2 tons, or 4,000 pounds, experts told AFP. An outlier attack According to data collected by the Global Terrorism Database, al-Shabab conducted more than 2,000 terrorist attacks between 2012 and 2016. Numbers for 2017 are not yet available. But Saturday’s attack was the country’s deadliest ever. The Mogadishu truck attack claimed at least 276 lives. The second deadliest terrorist incident in recent years was a Jan. 15, 2016, attack at an African Union Mission in Ceel Cadde in the Gedo Region. Suicide bombers in vehicles killed at least 141 people. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility and also abducted 12 soldiers. By comparison, Saturday’s attack occurred in a busy commercial area, without a clear government or military target. ‘It feels like there is a hole … ’ Mohamed Omar, the executive director of Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, which Eyow attended, said he saw Eyow every morning at prayers. “He would greet me with a big smile on his face.”  Omar said the immigrant community in Bloomington is tight-knit, so Eyow’s death has impacted all of those around him. “As a community, we are like blocks holding each other,” Omar said. “So when we lose one member of the community, it feels like there is a hole in the blocks.” Eyow came to the US in 1998. He was a welder but recently received a bachelor's degree in human services at Metropolitan State University, and was working towards a master’s degree. The Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center has started a GoFundMe to raise money for Eyow’s family. Eyow was the father of three young children, and often sent money back to relatives in Somalia, Omar said. Omar said the Mogadishu bombing deserves more media coverage and he’s willing to talk about what happened to anybody willing to listen.  “We need to speak up as a community,” Omar said. “We need to make noise that our community needs attention.” ‘There is a lot to be done’ Afyare, who traveled to Somalia for a government conference, chose to stay in the wake of the attack. “My family wants me to come home,” Afyare said. “I just couldn’t leave my fellow citizens like this.” Over the weekend, he tweeted a photo of himself donating blood at Madina Hospital and urged others to do the same. If you’re in Mogadishu please donate blood 2 save lives. @HarunMaruf @SomaliPM @TheVillaSomalia @voasomali @BBCSomali @MPRnews pic.twitter.com/TLkQXVuBr5 — Eng. Jibril Afyare (@JibrilAfyare) 15 October 2017 Afyare called on everyone to help.   “There’s a lot that needs to be done,” he said. “If you’re in Mogadishu, if you’re in the diaspora, or even non-Somalis, please go to the hospitals, help the injured. You’re needed. This is the time for all humanity to come together — Somalis and non-Somalis.” Lidia Jean Kott, Sarah Birnbaum, Alex Newman and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.
A few weeks ago, while mowing the lawn, Clifton Daniel began to recite a monologue in character as Harry S. Truman. “Which is weird,” he admitted recently, in between bites of a Whole Foods wrap. Truman hated mowing the lawn. “My neighbors probably think I’ve lost my mind.” Daniel, who lives in a suburb north of Chicago, is the eldest grandson of the 33rd president. (His middle name is Truman.) For the past several months, he has spent each morning practicing lines from a dog-eared photocopy of “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!,” the 1975 play by Samuel Gallu. On Oct. 12, wearing clear plastic glasses and a Panama hat, Daniel took the stage in Wilmington, North Carolina, as President Truman. Clifton Daniel used to dislike living in his grandfather’s shadow. In October, he will get on stage to play President Harry S. Truman.  Credit: Daniel A. Gross He first thought about playing Truman after a friend told him that he was starting to look like his grandfather. Daniel, who is 60, has a history at Thalian Hall: In the 1980s, he joined its community-theatre company and performed such roles as Mozart, in “Amadeus,” and “the guy in the back, holding a mop,” in a play whose title he couldn’t recall. Fatherhood weaned him off acting, but a few years ago Daniel told the executive director of his old theatre that he wanted to try “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” “The next thing I know, he’s started arranging it,” Daniel said. Soon a producer was talking about taking the show on the road. Daniel brought a photograph of Truman to a local barbershop and left with his hair swept neatly to the side, beneath a thick coating of wax and hairspray. “I had a helmet,” he said. “It wouldn’t budge.” Read the rest of Daniel A. Gross' piece in The New Yorker.  Related: Harry S. Truman’s grandson speaks out against nuclear weapons
As some Puerto Ricans fill flights to Miami, we asked a handful of people in San Juan their thoughts about leaving their homes for the mainland US. About 3.4 million people live in Puerto Rico, and some will choose to leave the island behind and move permanently. The House passed a $36.5 billion aid package last week and on Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricard Rosselló said he expected power to be restored to 95 percent of the island’s electric grid by Dec. 15. Currently, 85 percent of the island is still without electricity. Most of the people we spoke to responded that they would not leave their families behind but planned to stay and rebuild. Yolanda Prosper, teacher, San Juan resident Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI   Gabriel Rodriguez, production and creative director at an advertising agency, San Juan resident Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI   Maria Olivero, acting public affairs officer at VA Caribbean Healthcare System Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI   César Gutiérrez, Marine Corps veteran, San Juan resident Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI    
As some Puerto Ricans fill flights to Miami, we asked a handful of people in San Juan their thoughts about leaving their homes for the mainland US. About 3.4 million people live in Puerto Rico, and some will choose to leave the island behind and move permanently. The House passed a $36.5 billion aid package last week and on Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricard Rosselló said he expected power to be restored to 95 percent of the island’s electric grid by Dec. 15. Currently, 85 percent of the island is still without electricity. Most of the people we spoke to responded that they would not leave their families behind but planned to stay and rebuild. Yolanda Prosper, teacher, San Juan resident Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI   Gabriel Rodriguez, production and creative director at an advertising agency, San Juan resident Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI   Maria Olivero, acting public affairs officer at VA Caribbean Healthcare System Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI   César Gutiérrez, Marine Corps veteran, San Juan resident Credit: Jasmine Garsd/PRI    
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