• Carl Court/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Three large billboards pulled by vans snaked through the British capital Thursday afternoon. The words on the stark red backdrops read:“71 dead.”“And still no arrests?”“How come?”The banners were inspired by the 2017 film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," about a woman campaigning for police to find the culprit responsible for her daughter’s rape and murder.Last June, at least 71 people were killed as a devastating fire ravaged a tower block in West London. A block of public housing flats entrenched in Britain’s wealthiest neighborhood of Kensington and Chelsea, the burning tower became an iconic symbol of inequality in London.In the initial days following the tragedy, the council responsible for the area was harshly criticized for its slow response and for having possibly neglected safety standards that could have prevented the fire from taking place.After several initial reviews into fire safety and building materials, the Metropolitan Police -- the force responsible for Greater London –- announced a criminal investigation into the fire. In a public notice the police said that they had “reasonable grounds” to suspect that both the council and the building management company may have committed corporate manslaughter.In January 2018 the Metropolitan Police requested more than $50 million from the UK Home Office to cover the costs of the investigation, one of the most expansive and complex inquiries in the force’s history, involving around 250 officers and staff. More than 30 million documents and more than 1,000 statements have been taken from witnesses so far.Given the scale of the inquiry, reaction to the "Three Billboards" campaign through London was mixed online.Film director Ken Loach, known for his work exploring social issues through his films, praised and promoted the campaign as a way to refocus public attention on the issue in order to push for accountability.The Secret Barrister –- an anonymous legal commentator who has cautioned against prosecution to satisfy public anger -- replied to Loach's tweet, calling the three-billboard display "antagonism" that would help no one.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- Samba drums and hypnotic percussions, nonstop flow of positive lyrics about love and "Saudade" in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Women, men and children wearing sparkly red shirts, fun headpieces dancing tirelessly."Blocos de Rua" -- or street bands -- could be found across the country, mobilizing locals and tourists alike. One of the thousands of organized street festivals is the "Bloco de Carmelitas" -- originated in 1990 in the St. Teresa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.As it plays out every year, Rio Carnival 2018, which began earlier this month, gave Brazilians a chance to unwind and party in the streets.Monica Araujo, 59, a nurse at a public hospital, never misses the "Bloco de Carmelitas.""That's a necessity for Brazilians to celebrate carnival," Araujo said.Amid all the fun, though, Brazilians had an anxious eye toward October, when voters will elect another president after years of political turmoil. Araujo, for her part, sent a message by dressing as a doctor -- to highlight the lack of funding for her hospital, which suffered major cuts."My hospital lost 10 percent of jobs last year. We cannot work," Araujo told ABC News. "The university of my eldest child has stopped her class because of a lack of money."Once elected, the future president will have to deal with the worst economic recession in decades, violent crimes and a recrudescence of gang activity. Above all, he or she will have to reverse a general political mistrust after the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff and the nomination of unpopular Michel Temer as her interim successor."I never voted for Michel Temer," Araujo said.She added that, because of the political uncertainty, Carnival, which ends Sunday, is that much more important for a healthy distraction and a rejuvenation leading up to October."Of course, we need to celebrate even more," she said.Not only will Brazilians elect a new president in October, but they will also vote for a new Congress in the wake of a political corruption scandal.Renato Silva 31, a law student who traveled from Sao Paulo to celebrate Carnival, tried to keep his excitement for the election despite the recent political scandals."There was a lot of disappointment in Brazil the past four years," Silva said."If we don't hope the future will be better, then we die. Carnival is good for both hope and despair," Renato added.In some ways, the election mirrors the presidential election in the United States in 2016, with candidates being compared to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.Geraldo Alckmin of the centrist Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB) has been compared to Clinton, while Jair Bolsonaro of the far-right Partido Social Cristao (PSC) has been dubbed the "Donald Trump of Brazil."Bolsonaro, a former military officer during the dictatorship who wants to combat crime by putting an end to gun control laws, said he is a threat to the establishment."I am a threat to oligarchies, I am a threat to the stubbornly corrupt, I'm a threat to those who want to destroy family values," Bolsonaro told ABC News. "That's the threat I represent."The person to beat, however -- if he is allowed to run -- is Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But the charismatic candidate of Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), who simply goes by Lula, may be in jail by October, following a questionable money laundering trial.But the left-leaning PT, who compared Lula to the late South African activist and president Nelson Mandela, said it is standing by its candidate."We won't give up in the face of this injustice," it said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It's officially the Year of the Dog, and we’ve fetched a doggone delicious recipe to help you celebrate.In honor of China’s largest and most celebrated holiday, we teamed up with a New York City restaurateur to learn how to make Peking duck jianbing. These “Chinese crepes” are sold from street carts back in China and are a cultural staple.Brian Goldberg, the owner of Mr. Bing in New York City, lived in China for 14 years and speaks fluent Mandarin.  Goldberg shared his technique for making the perfect jianbing:IngredientsFor the batter:2/3 cup all-purpose flour2/3 cup mung bean flour1 teaspoon kosher salt1½ cups waterFor the crispy wontons:1 cup vegetable oil16 wonton wrappersFor the crepes:5 teaspoons vegetable oil5 eggsCrepe batter½ cup of roast duck1¼ cups scallions, thinly sliced5 teaspoons black sesame seeds5 tablespoons hoisin5 tablespoons chili paste1 cup crispy wontons1¼ cups cilantro leavesDirectionsMake the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and mung bean flours and salt. Whisk in the water, and once a smooth batter forms, set aside.Make the crispy wontons: In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Fry the wonton wrappers in four batches of four until golden brown, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove and cool completely on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. When cool, crush the wontons into 1-inch chips with your hands.Make the crepes: In a crepe pan or a large nonstick skillet, heat one teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Using a whisk, scramble one egg in a small bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into the pan and, using a bench scraper, work quickly to spread the crepe along the entire surface of the pan.Once the crepe begins to curl at the edges -- about 1 to 2 minutes -- pour the scrambled egg mixture on top and spread into an even layer over the entire surface. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the scallions and one teaspoon of sesame seeds over the egg. Cook for one minute more until the egg begins to set. Carefully flip the crepe, and brush with one tablespoon of the hoisin and one tablespoon of the chili paste, then scatter 1/4 cup of the crushed wonton chips, 1/4 cup of the cilantro leaves and roast duck on top.Fold the crepe like a letter -- horizontally and vertically -- to form a squared pancake. Cut in half and serve immediately.
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  • USGS(MEXICO CITY) -- A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, south of Mexico City, on Friday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.Video on social media showed buildings shaking in Mexico City. People in the city gathered on the streets as sirens blared.Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the National Civil Protection system protocols have been activated. Mexico City's Civil Protection said no damage was reported thus far.The Mexico City Government wrote on Twitter, "Before returning to your homes, it is important to check if there are any damages, turn off gas lines and disconnect energy sources."The quake was 15 miles deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The National Seismological Service said 59 aftershocks had been detected before 6:30 p.m. local time.Over 300 people, including schoolchildren, died from a powerful earthquake in central Mexico last September.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.
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  • Murat Kaynak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday struck an optimistic chord as they downplayed tensions between the NATO allies while announcing unspecified “mechanisms” for the countries to work through their recent disaffection.Speaking through an interpreter, Cavusoglu said the U.S. and Turkey had "taken an important turn in terms of normalizing our relations," adding, “We will work like two allies, establishing trust once again.”Tillerson sounded the same notes: "We’re not going to act alone any longer... We’re going to lock arms, we’re going to work through the issues that are causing difficulties for us, and we’re going to resolve them."The cheery tone of Friday’s announcement had an entirely different timbre from Tillerson’s curt dismissal of the press corps Thursday evening, declining to take questions after more than three hours of meetings with Cavusoglu and his firebrand president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan."Not tonight," Tillerson said in the lobby of his hotel in Ankara, Turkey's capital. "We're still working."But on Friday Cavusoglu and Tillerson touted the new "mechanisms" for the countries to work through their differences -- everything from U.S. support for Turkey's enemy, the Kurds; Turkey harassing and arresting American citizens and embassy employees; the possible extradition of a Turkish cleric legally residing in the U.S.; and more. The mechanism is an expansion of an already existing working group that sorted out the recent spat over visa services, where the U.S. stopped issuing visas in Turkey and Turkey responded in kind."We want to overcome all of these by working together, and I am sure that all of these will bring important results for us," Cavusoglu told reporters, denying that it was "kicking the ball off to the corner," or the can down the road: "They are not delaying the process. To the contrary, these are important aspects to get results."Among those cooperative efforts, according to Reuters, could be a joint deployment of American and Turkish forces in Manbij -- a Syrian city not far from the Turkish border where the two countries' forces have had tense encounters.U.S. forces have been deployed in the city to train -- and in effect, protect -- America's Kurdish ally known as the YPG. The group's formidable fighters made up the bulk of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which the U.S. trained, armed, and assisted as a local ground force to defeat ISIS. The SDF swept ISIS out of its major strongholds in eastern Syria, including its self-declared capital Raqqa.But Turkey considers the YPG terrorists and enemies of the state because of their ties to other Kurdish groups within their borders, and after attacking Kurds in the nearby Syrian city Afrin, they've threatened to move onto Manbij -- leading to a stand-off and a war of words with U.S. commanders.The State Department would not confirm that the U.S. is considering a joint deployment to cool tensions or what one would look like. But officials pointed to Tillerson's comments Friday that made clear the U.S. seeks cooperation and Manbij is the first step."We’re going to address Manbij first... through the working group," Tillerson said. A State Department official told ABC News that process will begin no later than mid-March, but deferred further questions to the Pentagon.Still, most of the issues that have divided the two countries remained, and despite the positive spin, neither side seemed to change their actual position on them.The extradition of that Turkish cleric, for example, has been a major sticking point. Fetullah Gulen is a legal permanent resident in the U.S., but Erdogan has blamed him for leading a failed coup against him in July 2016 and demanded the U.S. turn him over. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim went so far as to tell reporters in November that it was tantamount to
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The "Black Panther" movie is winning attention for breaking Hollywood norms through its almost entirely black cast and crew, powerful black leading ladies and a superhero who is not, for once, white.But the movie’s cultural significance goes beyond the race of its characters to the language they speak.Xhosa, known affectionately as the ‘click click language,’ takes its name from a people in mostly southern Africa who speak it.One of the official languages of South Africa and the native tongue of the late Nelson Mandela, Xhosa is now spoken by around 8 million people.One of them is South African singer and actress Zolani Mahola, lead singer of Freshlyground.Zolani sang in Xhosa alongside Shakira for the country’s official World Cup song, ‘Waka Waka, This Time For Africa,' and continues to use the language in her music.She is thrilled Xhosa is featured in the new movie."I’m very pleased," Zolani said. "I think people here will only watch that part of the movie. Just cut and paste it on repeat," she added, laughing.The singer said she believes Xhosa's inclusion in "Black Panther" may help to build cultural bridges and appreciation.“We are all realizing how much we have in common," she said. "I think that it’s wonderful to open up people’s windows of experience. I mean, how many people living in Ohio have heard Xhosa? I think it’s awesome.”In South Africa, mention of the Xhosa language often brings up one of its most famous speakers.“One of the most influential leaders of our time was a Xhosa man, Nelson Mandela," Zolani noted. "It was his only language growing up. So I mean it’s high time we had a major Hollywood production using it."Stars of the movie are also proud of its use of Xhosa, saying it lends the film authenticity.Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, told ABC News, “It was very important that when you're telling a story from the African perspective it is very authentic and also very accessible -- which kind of breaks that concept that you can't tell stories from the African perspective on a global scale.”The actress also talked of the excitement around "speaking a true African language on a global screen.”Zolani agreed that it's important for artists to speak authentically.“I think it’s hugely important to sound like yourself, to sound like all the parts that have informed who you are," she said. "For all artists, across all genres, it’s very important to bring that essence in.”Both Marvel Studios and ABC News are owned by Disney.
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