Thousands of tractors plow through Berlin streets in protest at new green regulations (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Up to 5,000 tractors descended upon the German capital on Tuesday to protest the government’s latest agricultural policies and environmental protection regulations which farmers claim are too restrictive.

German authorities estimate somewhere in the region of 5,000 tractors and 10,000 farmers entered Berlin in a slow-moving convoy, bringing the capital to a relative standstill at certain points. The protesters eventually gathered at Berlin’s iconic landmark Brandenburg Gate.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government made the proposals back in September to curb the use of pesticides and herbicides to better protect the country’s insect populations, while also placing limits on the use of fertilizers to protect Germany’s groundwater.

© REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Disgruntled farmers feel there should be consultation and cooperation between conservationists, environmentalists, farmers and the government to create policies that are effective at protecting the environment while maintaining German agricultural competitiveness.

© REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

While Merkel agreed in principle and talks are scheduled to begin at the start of December, these are not the first such protests by farmers in recent weeks. 

© REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Hamburg witnessed a similar demonstration of slow-moving outrage earlier this month.

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‘No farm, no food, no future!’: Farmers clog traffic in Hamburg with 4,000 tractors, reject ‘scapegoating’ by govt (VIDEO)

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MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 26 #Romanovs100 AR Family Photo Album, an augmented reality book created by RT’s #Romanovs100 multimedia project, has taken home a Shorty Social Good Award, which recognizes works with a socially positive impact, and an Epica Award, for achievements in marketing and advertising. 

The #Romanovs100 book marks the centennial of the Russian royal family’s execution. It combines the photos taken in the beginning of the 20th century with the augmented reality technology. Through the Romanovs100 app readers can access over 60 AR elements of the book, including interactive galleries, colorized photos, and VR animations. 

The #Romanovs100 book won in the Best use of Images category of Shorty Social Good Awards. RT’s AR photo album also took second place in the Virtual/Augmented Reality category of Epica Awards. 

The #Romanovs100 project, produced in collaboration with the State Archive of Russia, was launched across four social media platforms — YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thousands of photographs from the Romanov family archive were published, making this the most complete photo collection of the royal family to ever be created. 

Earlier, the team behind #Romanovs100 undertook a year-long social media-based historical reenactment in the #1917LIVE project, which recreated the events of the February Revolution in real time by publishing a series of tweets from the accounts of notable historical figures of the time, including Tsar Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin. The project also included contributions of university professors from the US and UK, along with the world-renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. 

Between them, RT’s #Romanovs100 and #1917LIVE hold over 50 international awards, including the Drum, Clio Entertainment, Promax, Shorty, Webby, Red Dot, ADC, Epica and New York Festivals. RT’s projects are also four-time finalists of one of the most prestigious competitions in marketing and advertising, the Cannes Lions.

Amazon’s chatbot hilariously weighs in on debate over Indian state’s political crisis

The Indian state of Maharashtra has been embroiled in a political crisis for weeks and citizens are venting frustration online which, for some bizarre but hilarious reason, didn’t escape the ever-watchful eye of Amazon’s chatbot.

Just as Maharashtra’s leadership crisis appeared to be resolved, with a snap coalition being formed on Saturday, alas it was too good to be true; opposition parties called for a floor test to determine whether the BJP and the NCP political parties had enough of a majority to appoint a chief and deputy chief minister. So where does e-tail giant Amazon come into the equation you may ask?

Maharashtra BJP’s representative Mukul Rohtagi asked why it would take seven days for a floor test to be carried out, to which one bemused Twitter user wryly remarked, “Orders placed on Amazon but delivery not happening.”

Enter Amazon’s AI-powered machine learning algorithm, always on the lookout for a dissatisfied customer online (reputation management is key in the 21st century after all).

“Apologies for any unpleasant experience you had with regard to the delivery of your orders. Could you please elaborate on your concern? We would be glad to assist you. ^JS” the Amazon Help Twitter account interjected in the conversation. 

The company deleted the tweet, but weren’t quick enough to beat the ever-vigilant Twitterati, who were bemused by the bot’s interjection.

“I want to get democracy from Amazon. Is delivery possible in 7 days or not? Please tell me Amazon? @AmazonHelp” another user quipped. 

Many seized the opportunity to highlight several alleged governmental scandals currently doing the rounds in the media amid the month-long Maharashtra political crisis.

On Tuesday, Ajit Pawar announced his resignation as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra just 72 hours after he was sworn in, while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis awaits his fate in Wednesday’s floor test, which will determine whether his second term will continue unabated.

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Ranjeet Singh directs traffic while "moonwalking" at an intersection in Indore. © AFP / Indranil Mukherjee
Oh how the mighty have fallen? India’s ‘dancing cop’ filmed slapping and kicking auto-rickshaw (VIDEO)

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‘5th time’s a charm’: UFC boss Dana White targets April for long-awaited showdown between Khabib & Ferguson

After four previous attempts to schedule a fight between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top contender Tony Ferguson, UFC president Dana White is attempting to secure an April date for their much-hyped fight.

Speaking with ESPN, White revealed that the organization is targeting April 18 for the fight which is intended to take place in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center – the scene of the now infamous ‘bus attack’ conducted by Conor McGregor on Nurmagomedov and members of his entourage in April last year.

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UFC chief Dana White gives update on Khabib v Ferguson fight as lightweight champ ‘prepares for war’

Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, announced on social media that his client had signed the bout agreement while ESPN reports that Ferguson has not yet signed, but is expected to do so after negotiations with the UFC continue.

If and when the fight becomes official it will mark the fifth time that the UFC have attempted to book a fight between the two top lightweights. The previous four fight have all fallen apart for a variety of reasons related to injury and weigh cut mishaps.

Fifth time is the charm,” Abdelaziz said. “Tony has been asking for this ass-whipping for a long time, and he deserves it. He’s earned it. Khabib wanted this fight, Tony wanted it, the UFC wanted it and the fans wanted it. This fight is for the fans.”

Khabib has previously commented that he believes a fight with Tony Ferguson is the “most important fight in UFC“, a statement which can be judged as true when you look at both fighters’ list of achievements, as well as the almost supernatural number of times in which previous fights between the pair have failed to come to fruition.

The undefeated Dagestan native is a perfect 12-0 in the UFC (28-0 overall) while Ferguson has also won 12 straight at 155lbs and 25 of his 28 fights overall. 

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© Getty Images
‘Lazy, one-dimensional’: Tony Ferguson unimpressed by Khabib’s UFC 242 domination

Most MMA analysts will say that it is this fight – and not a sequel with Conor McGregor – which is the most competitive fight for Nurmagomedov in his weight division. Whereas McGregor represents a much linear challenge on the feet, Ferguson is a fighter with many weapons to his arsenal and perhaps one of the few fighters who won’t be averse to Nurmagomedov taking the fight to the canvas.

A student at Eddie Bravo’s Tenth Planet Jiu Jitsu, Ferguson is known for his extremely aggressive range of ground attacks and has iterated in the past that he has the necessary skills to submit the UFC champion, even in the area of the fight game in which Khabib is most comfortable.

Khabib will enter the fight having last defeated Dustin Poirier by third-round submission to retain his title in September while Ferguson was last seen in June where he beat Donald Cerrone by doctor stoppage.

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#Stopviolenceagainstchildren: Pakistani celebrities demand justice for toddler girl in alleged kidnapping, rape and murder case

A little girl in northern Pakistan died after spending four days in deep well, having allegedly been abducted and raped. Pakistani celebrities are joining protest by the family, demanding justice in the high-profile case.

The horrific tragedy happened last week in Pakistan’s northern Mansehra District. A young girl name Jannat Bibi went missing when playing outside her family home in a village. Four days later she was found in an 80 feet (24 meter) deep dry well, still alive but in critical condition. The toddler died shortly afterwards, triggering a wave of outrage among locals, who went on a protest last Friday to demand justice.

There are conflicting versions of what exactly happened. The gravest one is that Jannat had been abducted, raped and left to die inside the well. Adding insult to injury is that the dying child was denied proper medical treatment, according to her family. This horrifying tale is what prompted some national celebrities in Pakistan to raise their voices for Jannat and other alleged minor victims of brutality.

Popular actress and model Armeena Khan posted a photo of the little girl on her Instagram page, saying Pakistanis need justice for this little kid NOW.”

Celebrity actor Naveed Raza posted a gut-wrenching account of Jannat’s demise, as well as of a different recent sexual assault against a seven-year-old girl in Pakistan. He lashed out at the Pakistani authorities for not doing enough to stop sexual predators.

As of Sunday, the local police said they have detained a number of people in connection with the alleged murder, but didn’t mention pressing any charges against one of them. There have been some difficulties with conducting a post mortem at a local hospital, but they have been resolved.

A police spokesman said the medical report they received “didn’t mention any assault and torture”

Some sceptics say that, while the case seems quite murky and foul play is highly suspected, people should not rush to conclusions before all relevant facts are established.

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Indian stocks rally to historic highs amid bullish investor sentiment

New milestones have been hit by India’s stocks this week which were cheered up by foreign investors pumping the highest amount of funds into the market since March.

Foreign funds have invested net $2.27 billion in Indian equities so far this month, Bloomberg statistics show.The S&P BSE Sensex grew 0.5 percent on Tuesday, hitting a record high of 41,120. The NSE Nifty 50 Index scaled a lifetime peak of 12,132. All Nifty sectoral indices were trading in the green, led by the Nifty Metal Index, which was up 0.8 percent.The Indian currency rupee has also gained, rising to 71.59 against the US dollar.

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FILE PHOTO: India Gate in New Delhi © Reuters / Anushree Fadnavis
India heading for ‘tremendous’ growth & Moody’s downgrade is wrong, says legendary investor Mark Mobius

“When the liquidity flow from foreign investors is there, it’s a tsunami and we need to enjoy it,” A. K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market Services in Mumbai told Bloomberg. “The bullish sentiment may continue till the end of the year.”

Investors are likely to reallocate capital back to the stock market if global growth revives, Dhiraj Relli, CEO of HDFC Securities, said.“Companies have started enquiring about fresh loans and there are initial signs of the economy starting to recover. October and November were better than August,” he said, as quoted by the Economic Times. “Real recovery may start from January, 2020,” he added.

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FILE PHOTO: The Taj Mahal © AFP / Ludovic Marin
India set to eclipse US with global economic growth share by 2024

India’s third-quarter economic numbers are to be released on Friday. Rating agency Moody’s has cut its India outlook to negative this month. Veteran investor Mark Mobius has called the move a mistake, pointing out that the country is enjoying “incredible” growth in contrast to many other states.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

US calls back ambassador from S. Sudan as rival leaders fail to form govt

The United States, a key supporter of South Sudan, is calling back its ambassador in Juba, Thomas Hushek, for consultations as it shows frustration with dueling leaders’ failure to form a government, AFP reported on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter that he called back the ambassador “as we re-evaluate our relationship with the government of South Sudan.” The US “will work with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan,” he said.

The US contributes about $1 billion a year in mostly humanitarian aid for the young country. South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar fell out in 2013 – two years after the largely Christian nation won independence from Sudan with strong US support – sparking a conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead.

The two leaders missed a November 12 deadline to form a unity government. African mediators gave them another 100 days, the second extension.

5.4-magnitude earthquake strikes Bosnia, hours after devastating Albania quake

Bosnia and Herzegovina has been hit by a magnitude 5.4 earthquake just hours after a 6.4 magnitude temblor struck its neighbor Albania. The quake hit at 09:19 UTC at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

The quake struck about 6km (3.8 miles) outside of the village of Blagaj, with the epicenter calculated as roughly 75km (47 miles) south of the nation’s capital Sarajevo. There has been no immediate reports of structural damage or injuries.

At least seven people were killed and dozens injured when Albania’s capital Tirana was struck by an earthquake just hours earlier. Multiple buildings collapsed and there are reports of people trapped beneath the rubble.

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Emergency personnel work near a damaged building in Thumane. © REUTERS/Florian Goga
6.4-magnitude earthquake hits Albania, injuring dozens and causing buildings to collapse (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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Turkish authorities order 168 detained over suspected Gulen links

Istanbul prosecutor’s office on Tuesday ordered the detention of 168 people, including military personnel, with suspected links to the network that Ankara says orchestrated a 2016 coup attempt.

Turkey has cracked down on suspected followers of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric, and operations against the network are still routine.

The prosecutor’s office said it ordered the detention of two civilians and 52 military personnel, including two retired colonels, a lieutenant colonel on active duty and two former majors who had already been expelled from the military. More than half of them were detained by early Tuesday, Reuters reports.

Istanbul police said they had detained 15 of the 27 people for whom the prosecutors issued warrants in a separate investigation, over the suspects’ use of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app allegedly used by Gulen’s network.

‘They died protecting their motherland’: India pays tribute to heroes and victims of 2008 Mumbai attacks

Indian President praised police and soldiers for their “supreme sacrifice” in fending off terrorists during horrific Mumbai attacks, which shook the nation eleven years ago.

“We remember everyone who lost their lives and mourn with their families,” India’s president Ram Nath Kovind said. “A grateful nation salutes the security personnel who made the supreme sacrifice.”

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu joined him in remembering civilians killed in the attacks, as well as everyone “who laid down their lives to protect the motherland” 11 years ago.

Other state officials and ordinary Indians have brought flowers to the memorial in Mumbai. Many took to social media to praise the heroic actions of regular people, including many hotel workers who lost their lives while evacuating the guests as armed terrorists stormed the lobbies.  

The army, meanwhile, has paid tribute to soldiers who posthumously received medals for bravery for fighting the attackers.

Ten terrorists from the Pakistani-based jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) arrived in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. Armed with AK-47s and hand grenades, they split up to simultaneously attack several locations, including packed cafes and pubs, a railway station and a hospital. The militants also overran the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a popular tourist destination, which was then besieged by police and security forces for three days.

A total of 166 people were killed in the attacks and over 300 were injured. The lone-surviving terrorist, Amjal Kasab, was convicted of multiple crimes, including murder and waging war against India and hanged in 2012.

© AFP / Pedro Ugarte

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