Men matters...

This is all about the ramblings from a set of friends on how the world is seen from a man's perspective.

Anyone can contribute blogs to this page by mailing the article to menmatters (at) maheshwaran (dot) net. Your posts will be published almost instantly but not later than 24 hours.

Battle for Mosul: Destruction of al-Nuri mosque 'shows IS defeated'

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe BBC filmed these pictures of the mosque from across the front line just hours before it was destroyedIraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is "an official declaration of defeat" by so-called Islamic State (IS).Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops.IS said American aircraft had destroyed the complex, a claim denied by the US.Aerial photographs show the complex largely destroyed.The mosque, which was more than 800 years old, was where in July 2014 IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi commanded allegiance in his first and only public appearance following IS' declaration days earlier of a "caliphate".The mosque's destruction has brought widespread condemnation.A senior US commander in Iraq said IS had destroyed "one of Mosul and...image
Continue reading
61 Hits
0 Comments

Syria conflict: Australia resumes anti-IS air raids

Image copyright Australian Defence Force Image caption An RAAF crew prepare to take-off in F/A-18E Super Hornets Australia has said it will resume its military air operations over Syria.A temporary suspension was declared on Tuesday after Russia warned it would treat aircraft from the US-led coalition as potential targets.That warning came after the US shot down a Syrian military plane.The Australian Defence Force said it had been "a precautionary measure to allow the coalition to assess the operational risk".The statement did not say how long the suspension had been in place. Australia has deployed about 780 military personnel as part of the US-led coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State (IS) in both Iraq and Syria.The temporary halt in operations came as the coalition and the fighters it is supporting on the ground attempt to oust IS militants from Raqqa, the de facto capital of the "caliphate" they proclaimed in 2014.Australia...Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornets at an air base
Continue reading
58 Hits
0 Comments

China cracks down on toothpick crossbow toys

Image copyright 1688.com If you think fidget spinners can be dangerous toys, wait until you come across a kid playing with a toothpick crossbow - and then take cover. The new gadget toy appears to be selling like hotcakes in China - much to the horror of concerned parents across the country. The tiny crossbows fire toothpicks powerful enough to break cardboard, apples or even soda cans. Some cities worried the toys can cause serious injury have now banned them.According to Chinese media, cities like Chengdu, Kunming and Harbin have already banned sales of the toy, while parents in Hong Kong are also raising concerns. Image copyright 1688.com Image caption This bow sold on 1688.com costs as little as five yuan if bought in bulk The small crossbows come as a cheap plastic version for about four yuan (£0.5; $0.6) while the metal versions of the mini weapon cost around...Toothpick crossbow
Continue reading
73 Hits
0 Comments

Trump talks up solar panel plan for Mexico wall

Image copyright AFP Image caption Donald Trump's proposed wall on the US-Mexico border was a campaign rallying cry US President Donald Trump has told supporters that his proposed wall along the border with Mexico could have solar panels fixed to it.Addressing a rally in Iowa, he said the panels would provide cheap energy and help to pay for the controversial wall.He suggested the plan was his own, saying: "Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea."However, solar panels have been included in designs for the wall submitted by companies.During his campaign, Mr Trump pledged to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking.He insisted he would make Mexico foot the bill, but President Enrique Peña Nieto has dismissed the idea.Mr Trump told cheering supporters at a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday that he would "give you an idea that nobody has heard about...A Mexican family stands next to the border wall between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on May 23, 2017
Continue reading
50 Hits
0 Comments

Remains of Menem Jr exhumed amid murder claims in Argentina

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This picture shows Carlos Menem and his son in 1993, two years before the helicopter crash The remains of the son of the former Argentine President, Carlos Menem, have been exhumed, 22 years after he died in a helicopter crash. A judge ordered the exhumation as part of a new investigation into the cause of his death. Carlos Saúl Facundo Menem, known in Argentina as Carlitos or Menem Jr, died when the helicopter he was flying crashed into high-voltage cables. His mother Zulema Yoma said he was the victim of a terrorist attack. She believes he was shot in the head and the body in his grave may have been swapped to hide evidence of a bullet wound. He was 26 when he died on 15 March 1995.Forensic experts will carry out new DNA tests in the remains exhumed on Wednesday morning from the...Argentine President Carlos Menem (L) with his son Carlos Facundo (1993 file photo)
Continue reading
44 Hits
0 Comments

Brexit and security loom large at EU summit

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLeaders of the 28 member states have plenty to discuss during the two-day summit, Elaine Jung explainsEU leaders are heading to a Brussels summit amid heightened security after a foiled terror attack at the Belgian capital's main railway station.A Moroccan man, found to have Islamist links, was shot dead by a soldier on Tuesday after detonating a bomb. Security will be high on the summit agenda, not least because London and Paris were shaken by more jihadist terror attacks recently.But the leaders will also be focused on Brexit.UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to offer a quick agreement on residency for EU nationals and employment rights.She will brief the other 27 nations on Thursday night. But the EU will leave detailed discussions to the Brexit delegations which finally began talks on Monday. Image copyright Reuters Image caption The UK election on...image
Continue reading
37 Hits
0 Comments

Rich heritage

Image caption Sea Face Park has rounded and box balconies Atul Kumar pointed to the pictures on the screen in front of him. "Look," he said, his excitement rising, "Look at the grill work, look at the brass lamps!" Swiping one image after the next on his ipad, Kumar rummaged through a series of shots of art deco buildings in the western city of Mumbai; buildings he has known and loved for years. Now he is trying to bring them to the wider attention of the public, and put the city's art deco heritage in a definitive way on the global map. In December last year, a small team assembled by Mr Kumar began working on documenting exactly how many art deco buildings there are in the city. Urban legend has it that there are at least 200, and anecdotally, Mumbai is believed to have the second highest number of...Sea Face Park
Continue reading
39 Hits
0 Comments

Sea of troubles

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'We wasted the last 24 years'A generation after Canada declared a moratorium on northern cod fishing off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, the species is making a comeback. But can the province's troubled fishery survive to take advantage of cod's resurgence? The wharf in Petty Harbour is quiet, and Todd Chafe, a 46-year-old fisherman, is slicing up cod for a nearby family restaurant in a shack near the water."Some fellas like to point fingers: 'Ah, this done it, foreigners done it'," he says.Chafe is talking about the collapse of northern cod off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador 25 years ago. "We all done it, every single person that went fishing done it. Everybody fished for it so everybody had a hand in destroying it." Image caption Todd Chafe has been fishing since his early teens On 2 July 1992, after...image
Continue reading
43 Hits
0 Comments

Battle for Mosul: IS 'blows up' al-Nuri mosque

Image copyright Iraqi Joint Operation Command Image caption The Iraqi military provided this image showing the destruction at the mosque compound So-called Islamic State (IS) has blown up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, Iraqi forces say.The ancient landmark with its famous leaning minaret was where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" in 2014.However, IS claims that US aircraft destroyed the complex, in a statement issued by its news outlet Amaq.Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said blowing up the mosque was "an official declaration of defeat" by IS.Aerial photos show that the mosque and minaret has been largely destroyed.The Iraqi commander in charge of the offensive to retake Mosul said troops were within 50 metres of the mosque when IS "committed another historical crime".A senior US commander in Iraq said IS had destroyed "one of Mosul and Iraq's great treasures"."This is a crime against the people of...This aerial view taken on June 21, 2017 and provided by Iraq's Joint Operation Command reportedly shows destruction inside Mosul's al-Nuri mosque compound
Continue reading
42 Hits
0 Comments

Michigan airport knife attacker shouted 'Allahu Akbar', says FBI

Image copyright LinkedIn Image caption Lieutenant Jeff Neville has worked for more than 20 years as a law enforcement officer Authorities are treating the stabbing of a police officer at an airport in Michigan as an act of terrorism.The suspect, Amor Ftouhi, 50, shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) before knifing the officer in the back and neck, said officials. Lieutenant Jeff Neville is in a stable condition in hospital after Wednesday morning's attack at Bishop International Airport in Flint.Lt Neville helped take the suspect, a Canadian, into custody at the scene. Security camera footage showed Mr Ftouhi loitering at the airport with baggage before pulling out a 12in (30cm) blade and carrying out the attack in a non-secured, public area.Lt Neville was standing at the top of the escalators when he was approached from behind and knifed at shortly after 09:00 local time (13:00 GMT). Image copyright...the officer
Continue reading
41 Hits
0 Comments

Race to the bottom

Image copyright Science Photo Library Around the world, countries are claiming obscure and difficult-to-reach tracts of the deep-sea floor, far from the surface and further still from land. Why?There is a long history of claiming newly discovered territories, of planting the flag at far outposts of the known world. In the early 20th Century, explorers raced to the South Pole, their sponsors keen to benefit from future exploitation of these unknown areas.In 1945, President Harry S Truman broke with convention to claim the entire continental shelf off the US.And, in 2007, Russia used a submersible to plant a flag at the North Pole.All shared a common motivation - the hunt for new resources - and there is now a new frontier: the deep-sea floor. Exploration offers the prospect of finding huge amounts of previously untapped resources, but serious environmental concerns remain.Abysses to mountainsOnly 5% of the deep-sea floor, which covers...The sea, looking up from underneath the water
Continue reading
53 Hits
0 Comments

North America prepares for August solar eclipse

North America prepares for August solar eclipse - BBC News ]]> ]]> More On: Crashed lander was ill-prepared for Mars Juno peers below Jupiter's clouds Experiment ideas sought for Europa lander Before and after the damage of a war India teenager builds 'lightest satellite'
Continue reading
73 Hits
0 Comments

Jailed and ransomed

Image caption Back home in Nigeria, Seun says he regrets ever setting out for Europe It was called "Morning Tea" - a brutal flogging with a hosepipe. Every morning for four months, Seun Femi's captors beat him at a makeshift prison in Libya."They would flog my head, my hands, my bum," says the 34-year-old. "The guard would beat me until he got tired."Two of Seun's fingers were broken during one of the brutal sessions. But the Nigerian says it could have been far worse. One man was beaten to death in front of him."I thought I was going to die in that prison," he says.Seun was one of the tens of thousands of West Africans who cross the Sahara Desert into Libya every year, from where they hope to be trafficked by boat to Europe. Desperate journeyThe International Organisation of Migration (IOM) estimates there are between 700,000 and one million...Seun pictured near his home in the slums of Lagos, Nigeria
Continue reading
40 Hits
0 Comments

Peace at last

Fifteen years ago there was no such thing as palliative care - care for the dying - in Mongolia. Now there is, thanks to the efforts of one woman, who persuaded the country's medical establishment that it was possible and worthwhile to prevent people dying in agony.Odontuya Davaasuren was 17 years old, studying paediatrics far from home in Leningrad, Russia when her father died of lung cancer in Mongolia. "I didn't have the opportunity to care for my father or say goodbye," she recalls. "When I returned to Mongolia, my sister told me that our father had been in constant pain."Several years later, as a practising doctor, she shared her apartment with her mother-in-law, who was dying of liver cancer, and she saw first-hand how pain could deprive people of peace at the end their life."I cared for her. I fed, washed and changed her, but I could not relieve...Davaasuren with Renchin, a patient at Mongolia's National Cancer Hospital
Continue reading
40 Hits
0 Comments

Exploding cream dispenser kills French fitness blogger

Image copyright Rebecca Burger Image caption Ms Burger described herself as a fitness, travel, and fashion enthusiast A well-known lifestyle blogger in France has been killed by an exploding whipped cream dispenser.Rebecca Burger's death was announced on Facebook in what her family called a "domestic accident".A warning against the faulty dispensers was also posted to her Instagram account, saying it "exploded and struck Rebecca's chest, causing her death".French media reported she died of cardiac arrest after the incident, despite medical attention.The popular fitness and travel figure was well-known in France, with some 55,000 Facebook fans and 154,000 followers on Instagram.One of Ms Burger's family members took to Instagram, warning readers not to use the dispenser, saying that tens of thousands of "defective devices" remain in circulation. Image copyright Instagram Image caption "An example of a whipped cream siphon that exploded" A whipped cream dispenser works by injecting gas into a...A photo of Rebecca Burger looking over her shoulder to the camera in front of some greenery
Continue reading
41 Hits
0 Comments

Florida car burglar caught with his pants down

Florida car burglar caught with his pants down - BBC News ]]> ]]> More On: Panama's former president arrested in US Sacked US employee shoots five in head Woods 'found by police asleep at wheel'
Continue reading
44 Hits
0 Comments

Driving gloves, closed zoos

Image copyright Getty Images Summer has only just begun but a record-breaking heatwave in the southwest corner of the US has sparked wildfires and triggered power outages.There were 15 large blazes burning in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Utah on Wednesday.And intermittent blackouts were reported in a number of southwest cities and towns as the spike in demand for electricity to run air-conditioning units overloads power systems.But what are the more unlikely ways the blistering conditions are affecting the region?Driving with oven gloves Medics warn that touching normally innocuous items like steering wheels and doorknobs may leave second- and third-degree burns.So motorists have been spotted driving with oven mittens in the triple-digit temperatures.And some businesses have been covering their door handles with materials that alleviate the heat.As well as burns, public health and emergency room personnel are prepared for extra cases of heat-related illnesses, including cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke....Man drinking water in Arizona
Continue reading
43 Hits
0 Comments

When handshakes go wrong...

When handshakes go wrong... - BBC News ]]> ]]> More On: Japan passes anti-terror conspiracy law Japan's growth rate revised down Putin calls for talks over N Korea School funding row grows for Japan's PM A scandal over schools, land and nationalism in Japan Reality Check: Has North Korea become a greater threat?
Continue reading
47 Hits
0 Comments

Russian defence minister's plane 'buzzed' by Nato jet

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionNato jet 'approaches' Russian minister's planeA Nato fighter jet has approached a Russian plane carrying the defence minister but was chased away by a Russian escort jet, Russian media say. They say the incident happened in international airspace over the Baltic when Sergei Shoigu was flying to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.Nato says it tracked three Russian jets as they did not identify themselves. It says the Nato jet was not chased away.Dozens of similar incidents have been reported in the past few years.Nato and Russia have blamed each other for aggressive intercepts in the strategically important region.The US said a Russian jet had flown within 5ft (1.5m) of a US spy plane earlier this week. American officials blamed Russia for the "unsafe" encounter on Monday - again over the Baltic. But Moscow responded by saying that the reconnaissance plane had made...image
Continue reading
40 Hits
0 Comments

Venezuelan baseball season should be cancelled, manager says

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Baseball is Venezuela's most popular sport Venezuela's baseball season should be cancelled due to the country's ongoing crisis, a leading coach has said."There should be no baseball season this year," Alfredo Pedrique, a former Major League Baseball player, said during a radio interview.He said he had seen people eating out of rubbish bins, and cited the "number of children who are dying because of the lack of food and medicine".Pedrique said it was a humanitarian issue, not a political one.The baseball coach appealed to the team owners in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) to support his call "out of respect for the Venezuelans who are sacrificing their lives for the freedom of this country, for the benefit of all".Baseball is Venezuela's most popular sport - outdoing football, unlike many of its neighbours in South America.The call comes days after Venezuela lost the right...Alcides Escobar #2 of Venezuela throws to first after tagging out Rob Segedin #21 of Italy in the bottom of the eighth inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool D Game 7 between Venezuela and Italy at Panamericano Stadium on March 12, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico.
Continue reading
56 Hits
0 Comments