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Another WWDC has come and gone, and even though Tim Cook and company showed off the future of Apple software, the company's Mac hardware has been left untouched. The Mac faithful, those devoted members of the community that kept the company afloat in the dark days, cling to every shred of hope that Apple throws their favorite Mac a little love.

Unfortunately, many Macs have been left behind by cheaper, better options on the Windows PC side of the fence. Consider for a moment that Apple still sells the 2013-era Mac Pro for $3,000—highway robbery from a pure performance perspective. Would you buy a car at its original MSRP even though it's been sitting on the lot for five years? I don't think so.

With that in mind, I've put together a list of excellent Windows alternatives to the most popular Mac models. Especially if you rely on your computers for your livelihood, there's no reason to wait on Apple to finally cater to your needs. From the low-end to beastly 32-core prosumer rigs, the PC world is getting really exciting again.

Sure, macOS has its advantages, but Windows 10 is a mature, stable platform that's updated and improved on the regular. Switching to PCs means you'll be able to grab the latest and greatest computers at a wide array of prices from any number of PC manufacturers, without having to light prayer candles at a shrine dedicated to Steve Wozniak.

MacBook/MacBook Air

Apple's most portable notebooks are in an awkward spot. While the MacBook has seen recent spec bumps, its small screen and single USB-C port feel limiting. The MacBook Air soldiers on with the same screen, processor, and chassis it's had for three years. If you prefer a cushier keyboard, USB-A, and magnetic charging connection, you'll be paying top dollar for a dowdy display and crusty Intel processors from generations long past in the MacBook Air.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is a solid substitute for these slimmer Macs. You get newer chips, a brilliant 13-inch display, a wonderful keyboard, and an eye-catching design. Starting at only $799, it's a premium notebook without the performance drawbacks of what Apple's offering right now.

MacBook Pro

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is arguably the only MacBook worthy of the professional branding, since it has the biggest screen, fastest graphics, and hottest processor of Apple's laptop lineup. Plus, you get Apple's Touch Bar, which, is of dubious value, but is a nice bonus.

But it's put to shame by Razer's latest flagship Razer Blade laptop. With a six-core Intel processor and Nvidia 10-series graphics as the standard configuration, it's positioned to make the mightiest Mac notebook look downright antique. Peep that slim display bezel … gaze lovingly upon its traditional style RGB-backlit keyboard and humongous glass trackpad. It even has USB-A ports, Thunderbolt 3, and RAM that you can—gasp—upgrade!

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is one of my all-time favorite computers. Unfortunately, the last update this model received from Apple was all the way back in 2014, and the refresh made the poor Mini slower in some configurations and nigh impossible to upgrade in all of them. It's still sold at outrageous prices all these years later, starting at $500 for a wimpy fourth-generation Intel i5 processor.

If you love tiny-yet-powerful mini computers, might I recommend the Intel NUC? These computers are mini-er than Apple's Mini and feature newer seventh and eighth-generation chips that run rings around the li'lest Mac. You can buy them either as complete models running Windows 10, or as barebones kits where you add your own RAM, storage, and OS of choice.

If you're a gamer or want to get into VR, there's even the Hades Canyon model, with powerful AMD Radeon Vega graphics under the hood. And, whereas Apple charges you beaucoup bucks for a three-year AppleCare warranty, you'll get that standard with each NUC.

I'll be the first to admit that the iMac is a super-nice desktop computer. While many other PC makers try to ape this stylish, slim all-in-one, few truly match its appeal. It's also one of the models Apple's been the most consistent about keeping fresh; the current lineup runs on Intel's seventh generation chips, and many include AMD graphics to boot.

The machine I'd recommend checking out is HP's epic desktop, the HP Envy Curved All-in-One. With a wide 34-inch curved display, you get the real estate of two separate monitors in one contiguous LCD panel. But whether you're popping full apps next to one another with room to spare, or just blowing up a widescreen movie to take up this entire screen, HP's Envy stands apart.

Apple has promised its demanding users an update to the long-in-the-tooth, 2013-vintage Mac Pro. It said the new system was in the works last year, but it's looking unlikely a new Mac Pro will hit store shelves before 2019. Until then, the five-year-old, thermally constrained, expansion-averse cylinder can be had ... at 2013 prices. The iMac Pro is a good pick for professional needs, but it's seemingly not built to last, cramming its storage, RAM, and display into a hermetically sealed, non-upgradeable chassis. If you're tired of waiting for Apple to offer a true pro desktop, why not check out what Dell's dishing out?

The Dell Precision 7820 starts at $1,700 for a six-core Xeon-powered workstation—roughly half the price of Apple's competing model. These modular, upgradeable towers offer plenty of possibilities to make this machine last for a decade or longer. Unlike Apple's old-ass trash can, Dell's workstations can be upgraded with ridiculously powerful processors with dozens of cores, modern graphics, and up to 384 GB of RAM. You don't even have to open the case up to add more storage thanks to an externally accessible caddy solution.

For users clinging to their trusty cheesegrater Mac Pro towers, Dell's traditional, functional, buttoned-down tower should feel like coming home. Plus, Dell's pro machines all come with a three-year on-site repair agreement, so you'll never be caught waiting around for someone to pay attention to you at the crowded Apple Store (and you'll save hundreds over buying AppleCare).

By Brendan Nystedt
wired.com

Donald Trump agreed to lift sanctions against North Korea along with providing it with security guarantees, the nation’s state news agency has claimed.The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which also reported Kim Jong-un had accepted an invitation to visit the White House, said Mr Trump had indicated he would lift sanctions along with ending military exercises with South Korea.

There was no independent confirmation of the claim and no immediate comment from the White House. On Tuesday, while Mr Trump had indicated he wanted to end “very provocative” war games, he said that sanctions would remain in place to exert “tremendous pressure”.

The Wall Street Journal said the North Korean report quoted Mr Trump as crediting Mr Kim’s “proactive peace-loving measures” for having created the atmosphere of peace this year. It also suggested Mr Trump had adopted North Korea’s preferred phased approach towards any denuclearisation process, saying the two men had agreed to the “principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action”.

The White House did not immediately respond to queries about the report on Wednesday. Mr Trump did not make any mention of sanctions as he posted a series of tweets as he flew back to Washington via Hawaii, praising the talks and scoffing at those who had said such a meeting could not take place.

“The world has taken a big step back from potential nuclear catastrophe! No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic,” he said in one tweet.

In another, he added: “A year ago the pundits & talking heads, people that couldn’t do the job before, were begging for conciliation and peace – “please meet, don’t go to war.” Now that we meet and have a great relationship with Kim Jong Un, the same haters shout out, “you shouldn’t meet, do not meet!”

KCNA said Mr Trump also expressed his intention to offer security guarantees to North Korea and lift sanctions “over a period of good-will dialogue” between the two countries. It said Mr Kim had said the North could take unspecified “additional good-will measures of next stage commensurate with them” if the US takes genuine measures to build trust.

It quoted Mr Kim as saying: “It’s urgent to make a bold decision on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other.”

On Tuesday, Mr Trump had been asked about whether he planned to lift sanctions against Pyongyang. 

“The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor. Sanctions played a big role, but they’ll come off at that point,” he said. “I hope it’s going to be soon, but they’ll come off.  As you know, and as I’ve said, the sanctions right now remain. But at a certain point, I actually look forward to taking them off.”

Mr Trump said he had decided not to press ahead to impose 300 new proposed sanctions as it would be “disrespectful” to do so while preparing for the summit. Yet he said he would not lift sanctions that existed unless there was a significant improvement in regard to North Korea’s notorious human rights record.

“No. I want significant improvement. I want to know that it won’t be happening. And again, once you start that process, there will be a point at which, even though you won’t be finished for a while because it can’t happen scientifically or mechanically, but you’re not going to be able to go back. You know, once we reach that point, I’ll start to give that very serious thought,” he said.

He said he believed that 34-year-old Mr Kim, whom he described as a “strong” leader, said he would live up to the agreement they signed to work towards denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. He said the summit marked a “great moment in the history of the world”.  

The agreement with North Korea did not currently envision removing the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea. However, Mr Trump said he favoured a long-term plan to reduce US troop numbers from South Korea and said the US “will be stopping the war games”, a major concession that was seized on by critics of the president.

Mr Trump was also criticised for failing to make human rights in North Korea a central part of his negotiations. Mr Trump had said they had been raised, but not in great detail. 

“While we welcome news that President Trump raised human rights at the summit, Amnesty International urges the US government to continue to push for urgent reforms in North Korea,” said Francisco Bencosme of Amnesty International USA. “Human rights should not be a footnote in any engagement with Kim Jong-un, but rather a crucial component in negotiations between the two countries.

He added: “There are no “great winners” when North Korea continues to commit systemic, widespread, and grave violations of human rights, some of which may amount to crimes against humanity. It must close its prison camps, where up to 120,000 people continue to be held, protect freedom of expression, and reunite families separated through displacement during the war, forced disappearances, or abductions.”

Campaigners working for denuclearisation said Mr Trump’s meeting with Mr Kim had been a start, but that more work needed to be done.

Christine Ahn, the founder of Women Cross DMZ, who was in South Korea recently to lead a women’s peace delegation, said: “Although the document signed by Trump and Kim is thin, it is bold in its direction of re-orienting relations between historic adversaries.”

She added: “The fact that the first two points start with a commitment to establish new relations and to build a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula demonstrates Trump’s pragmatism and understanding that peace and security assurances are paramount to North Korea’s concerns and pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
Source: The Independenct

Not many people were offered the opportunity to shake Vladimir Putin's hand at his swearing-in ceremony. The leader of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, was there to congratulate the Russian President. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also waited to offer his boss his hand. But he had to wait in turn behind the former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder.

In a sign of the closeness between Schröder and Putin, the former Chancellor was placed in the first row at the ceremony, which was attended by some 5,000 people. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had to make do with a seat behind him.

Putin won the Russian election with 77 percent of the vote in the election in March. The OSCE criticized the overly controlled legal and political environment that the vote took pace in. He will not be allowed to run for office again at the next elections in 2024, according to Russian law as it currently stands. 

Putin has now been leader of the world’s largest country for 19 years and political scientists describe the political system he has built as a “one man network” in which people only have the president to thank for their positions of authority.

And right in among the handful of Russians at the top of Moscow's power table is Schröder, who led Germany from 1998 to 2005 as head of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

Schröder built up a close friendship with Putin while he was still in power and took up a job at a subsidiary of Russian state-owned gas company, Gazprom, almost as soon as he was voted out of office. Since 2017 he has been head of the executive board at Rosneft, the state oil company, showing his growing influence in Moscow.

Schröder wasn’t the only prominent German at the swearing-in ceremony, though. Matthias Warnig, a former officer in the feared East German Stasi, waited behind him for the chance to shake Putin by the hand.

Despite his dubious past, Warnig is CEO of Nord Stream AG, the company that is building gas pipelines from Russia to Germany. The first of those pipelines has already been built. But construction on Nord Stream 2 faces stiff resistance from the EU and states in Eastern Europe. East European countries fear the pipeline will make Germany too dependent on Russian gas.

In a further signal on Monday that Moscow sees Germany as its key interlocutor in the west, the Kremlin announced within minutes of the end of the ceremony that Chancellor Angela Merkel would be coming to Moscow on an official visit.

Merkel’s visit comes at a time of high tension between Nato and Russia. Key Nato powers accuse Russia of breaches of international law, including supporting chemicals weapons use in Syria and using a nerve agent to attempt to kill a former spy in the UK.

Putin for his part has charged the US with following an ever more aggressive foreign policy which is aimed at toppling his regime.

The prominent positioning of German guests at Monday's ceremony and Merkel's visit both seem to indicate that Putin sees Germany as the key to breaking the ice on the Siberian frost which has crept over East-West relations.

Germany is after all the only foreign country Russia's strongman knows well as he was stationed near Dresden as a Cold War intelligence agent and speaks excellent German.

But that doesn’t always make relations with Berlin straightforward. While the German public are often more reluctant to follow a hawkish line towards Moscow than the British or US electorates, Schröder has been heavily criticized back home for his cosiness with the Kremlin.

And although Merkel has put more time and patience into maintaining a dialogue with Moscow than any other western leader, she was also the main architect of EU sanctions after Putin annexed the Crimea in 2014.

Moreover, Germany’s new Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has taken a considerably tougher line on Moscow than his predecessors. “Russia is unfortunately acting ever more aggressively,” he said in an interview with Spiegel, before directly blaming Moscow for “the first chemical weapon attack on European soil since the end of the Second World War."

Like Schröder, Mass is a member of the SPD, the party that invented the concept of Ostpolitik (normalization of relations with the USSR) in the 1960s. Putin might have the ear of some in the older SPD generation, but he still has much to do to convince those in power in Germany to follow suit.
The Local

Some 300 African refugees currently living behind Hamburg’s Bismarck monument reportedly received €500 from the Italian government to leave for Germany. Officials are unsure what to do next, as they have no shelter and no money.

Swathes of refugees turned up in Italy after war broke out in Libya and, according to a letter from Germany’s Interior Ministry seen by Die Welt newspaper, thousands of them recently received €500 each from the Italian government to leave the country.
“Refugees were slipped the money under the advice that they would go to Germany,” the letter, addressed to refugee advisors, said. In Italy they were offered temporary accommodation, the EU funding for which has since dried up.

Around 300 of these refugees have set up home behind the Bismarck monument in Hamburg, where there is no shelter and, according to refugee rights activists Karawane, cold, wet weather has left lots of them ill.

“They have no legal right to accommodation or state support and it would be irresponsible to give them false hope,” Hamburg Social Affairs Minister Detlef Scheele, told Die Welt. “There is no alternative other than for them to go where they can work and have the legal right to reside, be it Italy or their home country” he added.

The city has offered its new residents free train tickets back to Italy, but to little success.

It seems, the newspaper said, that Italy gave many of the refugees – who despite coming from Libya are largely migrant workers from Togo, Nigeria and Ghana – a temporary pass allowing them to move freely within the Schengen zone.

This pass granted them three months stay somewhere in the Schengen areas of the EU, but many have already been in Germany longer and, according to the letter, those who have not do not appear to be making plans to leave.

Karawane are reportedly looking into whether charges can be filed against Hamburg city for bodily harm through neglect or failure to offer help.

Outside of the bureaucratic world, Hamburg’s churches and charities have been gathering tents for them, as well as offering basic healthcare and advice sessions.

The Local/jcw

The annual award, which pays tribute to and raises the visibility of entrepreneurs with a foreign background, aims to increase interest in entrepreneurship and inspire the next generation of foreign-born business owners. The Local spoke to two previous winners about their experience.

Starting your own business is a challenge few people will attempt in their lifetime. That challenge is doubled when you’ve also moved halfway around the world and opened a company in a new country. Despite that, one in five businesses in Sweden is founded by ‘new Swedes’, a wave of immigrant entrepreneurs who are reshaping Sweden’s business landscape. Yet their contribution often goes unnoticed.

It's what led the Internationella Företagare i Sverige (IFS) Foundation to establish H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf's prize Årets Nybyggare in 1999. The prize is awarded by His Majesty each October at Stockholm Castle.

Nominate a foreign entrepreneur who deserves to win a prize from the King of Sweden. Entries accepted until June 30th.

Palestinian-born, Malmö-based cheesemaker, Mohamad Godeh won the award in 2017 after starting his own cheesemaking company, Nablus Mejeri. Their company is named after the Godeh family’s home city of Nablus, famous for its traditional cheese. Mohamad, his wife Samar and their children, migrated to Sweden in 2004, following years of unrest in their homeland.

After a trip back to Palestine in 2008 they began to think about how they could make their generations-old family recipe in their newfound homeland, Sweden. The plan was originally just for home consumption. Little by little, as both Swedish and Palestinian friends and family began to get their hands on the coveted cheese, suggestions came rolling in that they start to produce it commercially. In 2010 they officially launched the company and began operations.

"My wife and I did not realise how much work and effort we were going to invest in this family business, but looking at where we are now and what we have created makes every hour we spent on the dairy worth it," Mohamad says.

Last year, after being nominated and winning the Årets Nybyggare award, the business expanded from its largely Skåne-based activities to a national level with large supermarket chains around the country, as well as local restaurants and shops stocking Nablus Mejeri products.

"I feel really proud of what my family has achieved. We moved to Malmö, Sweden hoping for a bright future. The award is a huge acknowledgement reflecting the high quality we produce and also a great help for our success on the Swedish market," he concludes.

In 2016, a similarly inspiring story emerged. Moa Gurbuzer, who emigrated with her family from Turkey to Sweden as a teenager, was a family therapist and social worker before founding her company, MRG Wines, making non-alcoholic still and sparkling wine in 2013. “I had seen many families and parents mostly, that can’t handle the drinking and where the children are suffering or neglected because of the parents drinking,” she says.

The recognition Moa has received from Swedes has been extremely positive because they understand the importance of MRG Wines’ mission. “Our interest is to make things for society. So for me this was a social movement that I wanted to do. It’s another form of social work,” she explains.

Her experience of navigating the process of starting her own business in Sweden was an easy one, she says. “To start a business is just to go to the tax services and they will help you and give you information”. As easy as the process was, she still has some advice for anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps.

“One of the things that is very important in Sweden is that you have to have a strong network behind you”.

Since winning, Moa says her life has changed astronomically, in part due to the fact that the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf presented her with the award. “It changed a lot of things. Having the award from the King was something special,” she says.

It also boosted the public’s confidence in her business. “To be seen in photos with the King also gives the status for international markets, which was really very good to have,” she adds. MRG Wines currently exports to between 10-15 countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands.

Nominations are now open for the 2018 award. If you know somebody who you think deserves this very special prize, visit the IFS website and nominate them for Årets Nybyggare 2018.

A UK-based Ghanaian woman with three different names, has been listed in Britain's top 10 tax dodgers. Christine Ago, also known as Khristine Frimpong and Jennifer Christine Koranteng (left), was sentenced to three years for money laundering offences in 2008.

The new alleged tax-dodgers have been added to the British Government’s most-wanted list but only one of the original 20 has been caught in the past year. All the 10 people listed are said to have cost the British taxpayer between £120,000 and £10 million.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) last year published the names and pictures of 20 people accused of fleeing while owing hundreds of thousands of pounds - and in many instances millions.

The appeal helped provide intelligence on 15 of the alleged offenders, no update on four and one was captured, according to HMRC.

A second man not included in the original list of 20 but later said to be on it has also been caught in the last 12 months, the department says.

HMRC has now renewed its appeals on 19 of the suspects while adding 10 new names wanted in connection with offences including VAT fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.

Chancellor George Osborne said the new list will help bring more 'tax fraudsters' to justice. But Labour insisted the most-wanted list had been a 'huge failure' with so many suspects yet to be caught. The new list includes Michael George Voudouri, who pleaded guilty at Glasgow High Court in relation to money laundering linked to VAT fraud but failed to appear for sentencing.

HMRC said the man, aged between 40 and 50, is believed to be residing in northern Cyprus and is estimated to have cost taxpayers £10 million. Anish Anand, aged between 25 and 35, is also included after failing to appear at Croydon Crown Court in April 2013 in relation to £6 million VAT and film tax credit fraud.

Anand was convicted in his absence last month and is thought to be in the UK. Another on the list is Michael 'Arthur' Fearon, aged between 18 and 25, who was charged in connection with evasion of excise duty on nearly 8.4 million Benson & Hedges cigarettes, according to HMRC.

He is also wanted by the UK Border Agency in connection with money laundering offences and also by Republic of Ireland police for driving offences. HMRC said he crossed over the border into Northern Ireland driving a Black Mercedes C200 CDI Sport.

The department estimates the Northern Irish man has cost taxpayers £2million and believes he is in the Republic of Ireland. Mr Osborne said: 'The Government has stepped up HMRC’s enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats relentlessly around the world.

'The publication of HMRC’s Most Wanted has already helped catch two people wanted for tax fraud. 'This new list will help put more tax fraudsters in the spotlight and bring them to justice.'

But shadow Treasury minister Catherine McKinnell said: 'One year on, it’s a huge failure that 18 of the 20 most wanted tax fraudsters have still not been caught.

'At a time when families are facing a cost of living crisis, it’s even more important that everyone pays their fair share of tax. The Government needs to do better.'

The two men caught since the most-wanted list first emerged are John Nugent, 53, and Anthony Judge, aged between 35 and 45.

HMRC said Nugent fraudulently claimed more than £22million in duty and VAT reclaims. The Crown Prosecution Service announced on May 31 that Nugent had been jailed for four and a half years for an £11 million fraud.

Judge was wanted for his role in arranging financial crimes totaling more than £350,000, HMRC said. He failed to appear at Canterbury Crown Court in 2003 to answer charges relating to money laundering and had not been seen since.

HMRC said Judge was caught at Heathrow Airport on July 4 while travelling on a false passport and has since pleaded guilty.

Ghanaweb

 

The evil that people perpetrate on others is just unbelievable. A woman was getting off the bus in East London, when an unknown attacker dressed in all black approached her and poured acid on her face.

The 20yr old victim, Naomi Oni, said she didn’t see who the attacker was and doesn’t know why someone would pour acid on her.

She received burns to her face, eyes, ears, lips, and tongue.  When she saw her injuries, she said she didn’t want to live any more.  But after going thru so much operations and getting some of her features back, she is now determined to live.

She is a survivor and she says her attacker failed.  May God bless and her and grant her a speedy recovery.  The attacker is still at large. Any information about the attack should be reported to the East London Police