British consulate worker who was detained in China has been freed

A member of staff at the British Consulate in Hong Kong who was detained in China has been released.

Simon Cheng had been reported missing after he was stopped in China's border city of Shenzhen and failed to return to work on August 8.

Cheng was detained for 15 days for 'violating public security management regulations', police in Shenzhen's Luohu district said this morning on their Twitter-like Weibo account.

Police said Cheng was released as scheduled on Saturday and that his legal rights and interests had been observed.

They also said Cheng had confessed to the accusations against him.

Officials from the UK government said earlier this week they were "extremely concerned" for Mr Cheng's wellbeing.

In a social media post this morning, his family issued a brief statement confirming he was back home.

They said: "Simon has returned to Hong Kong; thank you everyone for your support!

"Simon and his family wish to have some time to rest and recover, and will not take any interview for the moment.

"We would ask media and friends to give them some time and space, and we will explain more later."

Mr Cheng told his girlfriend on August 8 that he had deleted messages on his phone before reaching the border from the mainland.


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‘The Muppets’ Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus.

A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event.

The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel arguing over how many details about the series they were allowed to divulge.

“You are not authorized to offer a peak, sneak or otherwise,” said the stubborn weasel in the brief clip. “I know how you frogs are, you’re always looking to leap into the next big thing.”

 

“I’d love to tell you more, but Joe The Legal Weasel is right behind me. Gulp,” wrote Kermit on his Twitter page.

The series will feature plenty of everyone’s favorite Muppets alongside celebrity guests. “Muppets Now” represents the latest entry to the “Muppets” franchise, which was started by Jim Henson. The most recent previous entry was “The Muppets” movie in 2012 and its sequel  “Muppets Most Wanted.” The furry characters’ previous foray into the Disney-owned TV world didn’t last long, after their ABC series “The Muppets” was canceled after only one season back in 2016.

“Muppets Now” will be produced by Muppets Studios.

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North Korea fired 2 projectiles off east coast, South Korea says

North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, South Korea‘s military said, a day after the North threatened to remain America’s biggest threat in protest of U.S.-led sanctions on the country.

It was the first such launch by North Korea in about a week. North Korea said last Saturday it had test-fired an unspecified new weapon in its sixth round of missile and other weapons tests in a response to regular U.S.-South Korean military drills.

The North had been expected to halt weapons tests because the 10-day U.S.-South Korean drills, which it views as an invasion rehearsal, ended earlier this week.

Saturday’s launches were made from the North’s northeastern South Hamgyong province, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It said South Korea’s military is monitoring possible additional launches by North Korea, but gave no further details such as exactly what type of projectiles North Korea launched.

The Japanese government said North Korea appears to have fired missiles, but they caused no damage and did not land in Japanese territorial waters.

South Korea’s presidential office said it’ll hold an unscheduled meeting to discuss the North Korean launches.

North Korea’s foreign minister said Friday his country will try to remain “America’s biggest threat” if the United States continues to confront the North with sanctions. Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho also called U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy” and vowed to “shutter the absurd dream” that sanctions will force a change in Pyongyang.

Ri’s blistering rhetoric and the projectile launches may dim the prospect for an early resumption of nuclear negotiations between the countries. The top U.S. envoy on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said Wednesday that Washington was ready to restart the talks.

North Korea’s latest rhetoric over the U.S.-South Korean military drills had focused on South Korea, not the United States. The North Korean weapons tested during the drills were mostly short-range missiles and rockets. Some of the weapons revealed developments of a new rocket artillery system and two different short-range mobile ballistic missile systems that experts say would expand its ability to strike targets throughout South Korea.

U.S.-led diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear weapons collapsed after President Donald Trump rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s demand for widespread sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament steps during their second summit in Vietnam in February. Trump and Kim met again at the Korean border in late June and agreed to resume the talks, but there has been no public meeting between the countries.

 

 

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Woman killed in highway crash involving semi truck near Rocky Mountain House

A woman was killed on Friday when the pickup truck she was driving collided with a semi-truck in central Alberta, RCMP say.

Police were called to Highway 11 west of Rocky Mountain House, about halfway to Nordegg, at about 6:30 a.m. for reports of a collision.

Investigators believe the pickup truck, which was travelling east, collided into the semi, which was travelling west.

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The 42-year-old woman was the lone occupant of the truck. She was declared dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the semi wasn’t injured.

Traffic was reduced to one-lane for several hours as investigators examined the scene, but the RCMP said it was reopened as of 6:10 p.m.

RCMP said the cause of the crash is still under investigation and a collision analyst would be conducting a scene examination.


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The Latest: Wounded Illinois trooper dies from injuries

The Latest on the shooting of an Illinois State Police trooper in East St. Louis (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

An Illinois State Police trooper has died from gunshot wounds suffered while executing a search warrant in East St. Louis.

Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly says 33-year-old Trooper Nicholas Hopkins, a 10-year veteran, died in St. Louis University Hospital.

Hopkins of Waterloo was wounded early Friday during an exchange of gunfire while serving the warrant at an East St. Louis home. After the shooting, police surrounded the home and arrested at least two people. Authorities say efforts to apprehend another suspect continues.

Police didn’t say if anyone else was shot, nor have they revealed the issues addressed in the search warrant.

Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith says Hopkins was married and the father of four-year-old twins and an infant daughter.

In a statement following the shooting, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker noted state troopers display unbelievable courage and “put their lives on the line for us every single day.”

———

6:45 p.m.

Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly is asking for prayers for a trooper who suffered life-threatening injuries while executing a search warrant.

Kelly says the 33-year-old trooper, who is a 10-year veteran, was wounded early Friday during an exchange of gunfire while serving the warrant at an East St. Louis home. After the shooting, police surrounded the home and arrested at least two people. Authorities haven’s said if anyone else was shot, nor have they revealed the issues addressed in the search warrant.

The trooper, who wasn’t identified, is being treated at St. Louis University Hospital. The extent of the trooper’s injuries hasn’t been disclosed.

Kelly asks that the public be respectful of the trooper’s family “in this trying time” and pray for all involved in the incident.

3:30 p.m.

An Illinois State Police trooper is hospitalized in a St. Louis hospital after suffering life-threatening injuries while executing a search warrant.

Authorities say the 33-year-old trooper, who is a 10-year veteran, was wounded early Friday during an exchange of gunfire while serving the warrant at an East St. Louis home. After the shooting, police surrounded the home and arrested two people.

Police didn’t say if anyone else was shot, nor have they revealed the issues addressed in the search warrant.

The trooper, who wasn’t identified, is being treated at St. Louis University Hospital. The extent of the trooper’s injuries hasn’t been disclosed.

In a statement following the shooting, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker noted state troopers display unbelievable courage and “put their lives on the line for us every single day.”

———

11:54 a.m.

Illinois State Police say a trooper has received life-threatening injuries after being shot while executing a search warrant at a home in East St. Louis.

Police say there was an exchange of gunfire at the home at 5:26 a.m. Friday and the trooper was struck. It says the trooper, who was transported to a hospital, is 33 years old and a 10-year state police veteran.

They released no further information.

TV stations showed a large police presence in the area.

The Bellville News-Democrat reports several suspects were taken into custody but one remained inside the home and police were communicating with him with a bullhorn.

———

9:07 a.m.

Illinois State Police say a trooper has been shot while executing a search warrant in East St. Louis.

State police reported the shooting on Twitter Friday morning but didn’t immediately disclose the trooper’s condition. TV stations showed a large police presence in the area.

The Bellville News-Democrat reports the trooper was transported to a hospital. It says several suspects have been taken into custody but one suspect remained inside a home and police were communicating with him with a bullhorn.

Terrence Hargrove Sr., who resides with his family about six houses down from where the trooper was shot, told the News-Democrat he heard police detonating stun grenades about 5:30 a.m. When he stepped outside to investigate, he saw his street lined with police vehicles.

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Kat Dennings and Randall Park’s MCU Characters Join Disney+’s ‘WandaVision’

Marvel/Disney

“WandaVision,” the Disney+ series about (who else?) MCU characters Wanda and Vision, just revealed more of its cast, all of whom have a way with one-liners.
Joining Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are wisecracking Darcy (Kat Dennings) from the “Thor” movies and perpetually flustered FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) from “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”
Joining the MCU for the first time is Emmy-nominated star Kathryn Hahn of ‘Transparent,” “Bad Moms” and “Private Life” fame.
“WandaVision” will show “what an ideal life with vision looks like.”  It’s being billed as “half sitcom, half epic MCU adventure.”
So, superheroes + nosy, chatty neighbors?
Marvel previously announced that “WandaVision” will be “unlike anything we’ve done before.” Olsen added, “It’s gonna get weird.”For more coverage from the D23 Expo 2019, click here!
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North Korea ‘fires two unidentified projectiles into Sea of Japan’

North Korea has reportedly fired two unidentified projectiles into the Sea of Japan.

Japan's coastguard said it had detected ballistic missile launches from North Korea on Saturday and warned shipping to stay to stay clear of any debris.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC) said the projectiles were fired from around Sondok, the site of a North Korean military airfield.

The South's presidential office is holding a National Security Council meeting about the launch, the office said in a statement.

Leader Kim Jong Un has fired a number of missiles into the sea in recent weeks amid stalled talks with the US.

Kim has been on a quest to build a warhead small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile capable of flying across the Pacific and hitting the US mainland.

The dictator has met three times with US President Donald Trump – at summits in Singapore and Vietnam, and at the North Korea-South Korea border after talks stalled.

After the second meeting collapsed without an agreement on denuclearisation or sanctions, North Korea resumed missile tests and has issued threats against the US.

It comes as new satellite photos emerged suggesting North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme is leaking highly toxic water into the sea.


Almost half a million North Koreans could be consuming the poisoned water straight from a polluted river or through crops which are irrigated by it.


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'Cannon Busters,' 'The Witcher,' 'The Irishman,' and More Projects We're Excited About (Podcast)

And we can’t forget “The Mandelorian,” “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Harriet”

Usually on the “Low Key” podcast, we talk about pop culture moments we think others may have missed, often through a racial lens. This week, we just talked about some projects we’re excited about, from “Cannon Busters” to “The Witcher” to “The Irishman” to “The Mandelorian,” “Dolemite is My Name” and “Harriet.”

Of all those films and TV shows, only one — the Netflix anime series “Cannon Busters,” has been released. “Low Key” co-host Aaron Lanton, a hardcore anime fan, was intrigued to see anime with black characters in key roles, as he explains in the podcast.

Co-host “Keith Dennie,” meanwhile, wonders if “The Witcher,” starring Henry Cavill, can overcome the curse of many video-game adaptations.

And I’m very eager to see if “The Irishman” — from the super team of Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci — can win its big CGI gamble to become the instant gangster classic I hope it will be.

We also talk about Kasi Lemmons’ upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet,” Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name,” and Jon Favreau’s mysterious “The Mandalorian.”

Netflix is very well-represented on the list of projects we’re excited about — “Cannon Busters,” “The Witcher,” “The Irishman” and “Dolemite” are all Netflix projects. But we also talk about how Netflix may change in response to Disney+, future home of “The Mandalorian” and many more “Star Wars” and Marvel Cinematic Universe stories.

Here are some highlights of the episode and timestamps:

00:40: A quick recap of the great Tennessee Wing-Off (Congratulations, Sarah!)

2:15: The majesty of “Cannon Busters”

4:56: Why we think “The Witcher” looks good, and the risks of video game adaptations. We also try to name as many video game adaptations as we can, off the top of our heads.

7:59: How bad movies get made (featuring some advice by William Goldman)

10:44: Let’s nerd out about “The Irishman” and digital de-aging

14:40: Speaking of de-aging… “Gemini Man”!

18:40: What would it take go get Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to play Goro?

22:00: Why it’s hard to be the movie trailer before the one for “Harriet”

25:10: “Who’s asking for this?”

37:30: Dolemite!

40:16: Don’t forget to please subscribe and review us on Apple, please.

If you like this episode, please subscribe:

Apple

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Vincent Kompany injured in Anderlecht’s defeat by Genk

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany suffered an injury in Anderlecht’s 1-0 defeat by Genk.

The centre-back could be a doubt to play in his testimonial which takes place at Etihad Stadium in three weeks.

Kompany, who joined Anderlecht as player-manager this summer, was treated on the sidelines before strapping an ice pack to his right leg.

He is due to return to Manchester on 11 September to celebrate 11 successful years at City.

On Thursday, Kompany relinquished his managerial duties on match days in order to concentrate on playing and instead took over the captaincy.

But the Belgian side have picked up just two points out of a possible 15 in their first five games – extending their worst start for 21 years.

Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta’s 55th-minute goal was enough to give Belgian champions Genk their third victory of the season.

Anderlecht’s starting XI included Kompany’s former Man City teammate Samir Nasri and on-loan centre-back Philippe Sandler.

Line-ups

KRC Genk

Substitutes

Anderlecht

Substitutes

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Boris Kodjoe's Here to Pump You Up, Get Fit at the Office

Boris Kodjoe brought his new fitness app to life at the TMZ office to show how simple it can be to improve your health, but we proved to be tough customers.

The “Station 19” star dropped in Friday with his brother, Patrick, on “TMZ Live” to promote KOFIT, the health and wellness app he launched this summer with his wife, Nicole Ari Parker, along with his bro and his wife.

Boris lays it all out — this app’s perfect for both busy folks on the go or people who feel intimidated going to the gym … and it only takes 5 minutes a day to get in good shape.

Launch Gallery

Celeb Workout Selfies — Guess Who! Launch Gallery

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