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  • ABCNews.com(LONDON) -- It's never a good idea to take a nap at work.On Tuesday, Sir Desmond Swayne, a British lawmaker, was caught red-handed for all the world to see. Desmond, 62, fell asleep during a debate on Brexit in the House of Commons. And this was not just a quick shutting of the eyes; Swayne was sprawled out almost horizontally. Swayne eventually opened his eyes, realizing he might be in full view on the House of Commons cameras. He quickly adjusted his position, looking ever so slightly embarrassed.Swayne is not the first British lawmaker caught sleeping on the job, and undoubtedly he won’t be the last. In fact, some people have become so outraged by the phenomenon that an online petition was started two years ago to fire MPs who fall asleep."It is an insult to us the people. How dare they show such disregard for their position and the things that matter in our lives," the petition says.In 2012 lawmaker Stephen Pound, after seemingly to fall asleep during a rather sensitive debate on Afghanistan, initially insisted he was checking his cellphone -- a line of defense that might be a little difficult for Swayne to use.Swayne did apologize later, blaming an early morning swim.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) -- One of the world’s favorite tourism designations, South Africa’s iconic city of Cape Town, has less than a 100 days of water supply left if a drought is not relieved soon.The city’s mayor, Patricia de Lille, has again urged Capetonians to conserve water in order to avoid “day zero,” now forecast for April 21.The debilitating water shortage has forced city government to implement an online water consumption map, which will allow residents to check up on their neighbors’ water habits based on households’ municipal bills.The website‚ formally launched this week‚ has already prompted a wave of social media comment, most of it negative. But the city council defended the initiative‚ which it says is aimed at increasing residents’ awareness of water consumption.“The potential water-saving benefit for all of Cape Town of making water consumption indicators publicly available outweighs any privacy issues at this stage of the crisis‚” mayoral spokeswoman Zara Nicholson said.After three consecutive years of drought, the city’s dams, sourced by rainfall, are sitting at just over 36 percent, with the last 10 percent of water unsuitable for drinking.Apart from asking neighbors to keep an eye on each other’s consumption, the city has also been preparing how to deal with what looks like an inevitable shut down of the taps.Using water driven in from other provinces, residents would rely on 200 distribution points across the city.Residents would be able to collect and 6.5 gallons of drinking water per person per day, which is in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations of the minimum amount of water for people to maintain health and hygiene.The distribution points would operate 24 hours a day and a public health communications campaign will be mounted in advance to ensure that all sanitation systems continue to function and limit the risk of disease. Prior to filling their vessels, each person would be given a dose of hand sanitizer.Cape Town has seven projects lined up to supplement water supplies, including desalination plants, water recycling and drilling into the earth’s natural underground reservoir. But it’s unclear whether such projects would be completed in time to prevent taps from running dry.Renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is famous for its harbor, its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region and for such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(PYEONGCHANG, North Korea) -- North and South Korea held their second working-level talks this week on Wednesday two days after the two Koreas exchanged opinions on the North’s performance teams coming to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month.Among the agreements made on Wednesday, according to Korean news outlet Yonhap, were for North Korea to send a team to the Paralympics, being held in Pyeongchang from March 9 to 18.The talks were held in a building on the southern side of Panmunjom, the border town along the demilitarized zone, beginning at 10 a.m. Korean time. The first session of talks lasted 45 minutes.Speculation from Yonhap prior to Wednesday's talks was that discussions would center around North and South athletes marching together in the Opening Ceremony, travel expenses and a joint female ice hockey team. The two Koreas also shared thoughts on the performance team’s travel routes and accommodations.The delegation list was also to be settled in Wednesday's talks.South Korean media outlet News1 said government officials are paying attention to the North's possible inclusion of Choe ryong hae in the delegation. Choe is the second-most powerful man in Pyeongyang, and blacklisted according to Seoul's unilateral punitive actions.The two Koreas will also discuss the results of Wednesday's talks at an International Olympic Committee meeting on Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland.The South’s delegation is led by Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung. The North's chief delegate is Jon Jong-su, the vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC), and North Korea's state agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs. Won Kil-u, the vice sports minister for North Korea, will also be there. Kim Kang-kuk, the third delegate on the North side, whose title was not verified until Wednesday morning, turned out to be a journalist from the country's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).A senior State Department official told reporters on the sidelines of Tuesday's Vancouver Group summit -- a set to talks on the Koreas, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Canadian counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland -- that the they are "pleased" about the talks between North and South Korea regarding the Olympics, but have seen no change in North Korea's posture with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs."We are pleased that the there were talks around the Olympics and cultural exchanges. We think that's entirely appropriate given the Olympic Games coming up," the official said. "We have not seen any induction that North Korea has changed its posture on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs."At the opening of Tuesday's summit, the Japanese foreign minister warned top diplomats to not be "naive" about North Korea's intent in their dialogue with their southern neighbors.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Giuseppe Ciccia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(BUENOS AIRES, Chile) -- On his first full day in Chile today, Pope Francis immediately confronted the issue of sex abuse by the clergy in Chile and apologized and said he felt ashamed."Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church," Francis said while addressing Chilean government officials, including President Michelle Bachelet, other officials, representatives and the diplomatic corps in the capitol city of Santiago. "I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again."Thousands of Chileans have reportedly left the church recently, which many believe is a a result of both the country's increasing secular beliefs and scandals involving sex abuse by the clergy that were finally made public.In 2010, information came to light that a well-known and powerful priest known as a father figure for the Chilean elite had been sexually abusing minors in his high-class Santiago parish for decades and the church hierarchy allegedly protected him.After many complaints, the church carried out an internal investigation and found the priest, Father Karadima, guilty of sexual abuse of minors and psychological abuse. In 2011, he was ordered to live a "life of prayer and penitence" that banned him for life from public duties as a priest, especially giving confession and spiritual guidance to parishoners.In 2015, many of the country's Catholics were angered by the Pope’s decision to appoint a bishop to the southern city of Oserno who had been one of Karadima’s followers. Bishop Juan Barros has denied knowledge of Karadima’s behavior as a sexual predator.Tensions have flared ahead of the Pope’s arrival in Chile; his trip has already been marred by attacks on churches carried out by political groups and campaigners for indigenous rights. Nine churches were attacked in recent days, with three attacked on Monday night, including two in Araucania, an economically disadvantaged region the pope is scheduled to visit on Wednesday.After his speech this morning, Francis went to O’Higgins Park where he celebrated his first open-air mass in Chile. An estimated 400,000 people attended, according to Chilean authorities; thousands of Argentines came from the pope's native Argentina to see him. A colorful, pious crowd, many dressed in traditional costumes, sang and clapped at the sight of the pope.The pope arrived in Santiago on a flight from Rome Monday and was scheduled to stay in Chile for three days before moving on to Peru for another three days.On Wednesday, he is scheduled to travel south to Temuco to meet the Mapuche native people, listen to their grievances and celebrate mass there. The following day, he will travel north to Iquigue where he plans to celebrate mass again and speak about immigration.
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  • Richard Polden - Pool/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- A Texas-based oceanic exploration company will launch a high tech search in the southern Indian Ocean on Wednesday as part of a new international effort to find Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.Almost four years after the Boeing 777's disappearance with 239 people on board, Ocean Infinity has agreed to a 90-day contract with the Malaysian government that only rewards the company if they find the aircraft.A 378-foot vessel named Seabed Constructor departed Durban, South Africa last week with 65 crew members from Ocean Infinity, two Malaysian Navy officials and 8 autonomous underwater vehicles armed with cameras and sensors.Officials said that on Wednesday, exactly a year after the last search was called off, the ship will reach the new 25,000-square-km search area. The plan is to launch multiple drones at a time that will search the seafloor in a grid, using cameras and sensors to detect aircraft debris.A previous Australian-led search covered more than 120,000 square kilometers of seabed, but officials came up empty before deciding they were likely looking in the wrong place the whole time.Ocean Infinity and the Seabed Constructor will remain at sea for two to three weeks at a time before returning the Perth to refuel and refresh the crew. They believe they can cover more than the entire search area in the agreed upon 90 day period with the underwater drones.These untethered vehicles have the ability to dive to nearly 20,000 feet and bring back HD images and troves of data to the scientists onboard the vessel.According to Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, Ocean Infinity's potential reward is on a sliding scale between $20 million and $70 million, depending on what is found and how long it takes to find it.The only search comparable to the one for MH370 was the search and eventual recovery of 2009's Air France Flight 447 that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on its way to Paris, killing all 228 people on board. According to the CEO Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity has two staff members who were involved in that investigation."What I can say is we have as much experience as is possible to have," Plunkett said at a news conference in Malaysia.It's unclear how much investigators could learn in the event Ocean Infinity finds the jet. Even if the black box is retrievable and functional after years on some the ocean's deepest floors, the cockpit voice recorder operates on a loop and the mysterious early moments of the flight likely would have been erased.One key question however may be answered upon discovery of the cockpit: who was in control during the plane's final moments? Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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