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American among six tortured, shot and burned in massacre at Costa Rica cattle and coffee farm

An American cattle and coffee farmer found dead with his five farm hands at a ranch in Costa Rica had been trying to sell his property to return to the United States and be closer to family. Stephen Paul Sandusky, 61, was a United States citizen and Costa Rica resident, according to the US Embassy in the Central American country. The former Florida resident retired to a farm in Llano Bonito de Buenos Aires de Puntarenas, about 200km south east of San Jose. He listed the property for $1.8m in 2019 to return to the US, but the Covid pandemic hit and left it on the market for the past two years without a buyer, listing agent Diego Quesada told The Independent. “He wanted to go back to his family and he wanted to go back to the States,” Mr Quesada said. Mr Sandusky first bought the property 25 years ago before expanding it in 2005 and deciding to sell in 2019, Mr Quesada said. The divorced father of two had been in the country since the late 1990s, according to Q Costa Rica. “Since then and after the pandemic started he didn’t lower the price of the property, and so far the listing was active and still looking to sell,” Mr Quesada said. “He was a very nice guy.” He moved to Costa Rica to begin farming because he “wanted to live in peace”, his lawyer Jorge Enrique Infante told Q Costa Rica. “He was a very noble, kind, and generous person. He told me that he wanted to learn agriculture and that is why he bought the farm. He started with cattle and then he realized that he had a small profit,” Mr Infante told the outlet. “Years ago we stopped having a professional relationship but about a year ago I ran into him in a supermarket and we were talking. Yes, he told me that they robbed him a lot”. Authorities suspect robbery was the motive behind the massacre, which left all six victims either doused in gas, burned or shot. The Costa Ricans killed were Daniel Quesada Cascante, 44, his wife Alina Villarevia, 41, and their son, Daniel Quesada, 20. Susan Zúñiga Rodriguez, 40, and Borbón Muñoz, 38, were also killed, according to TV Sur. Mr Sandusky hired Mr Quesada for maintenance on a vehicle, and Mr Quesada’s family along with their friends joined for the trip, according to ACHR Noticias. Police suspect several gunmen went to the farm to rob the property as several tools and items missing from the house were presumed to be stolen, the outlet reported. The house was also heavily damaged with broken windows and a burned truck, where some of the bodies were found. Don Eladio Quesada told ACHR Noticias that he found the bodies on Sunday. "We walked in and found my son’s body fully burned, the scene with the women around the car, it was hard to find all the bodies burned and wrapped in tires and some with shots," he said. He had travelled to the property after his family failed to return home, Mr Quesada’s sister told TV Sur. "Daniel always went with (his father) César because he was also a mechanic and they worked together; Alina was going to accompany them because they say it is a very beautiful place," she told the broadcaster. Mr Sandusky’s farm had been for sale since 2019, and locals claimed he had been attacked on previous occasions but was loved among the local community, according to Le Teja. Mr Sandusky’s farm was listed for US$1.8 million on Chirripo Real Estate. It is on 70 hectares of pasture with 20 hectares of coffee plantation, and rolling hills for livestock pasture and a variety of fruit trees surrounding the single-storey home. The US Embassy would not release further details on Mr Sandusky due to privacy concerns, according to the Associated Press. Costa Rica is considered the least violent nation in Central America with a homicide rate of 11 per 100,000 people each year. By comparison, the US homicide rate in 2019 was 5 per 100,000 people, according to the most recent figures from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Read More Plane carrying 21 people smashes into field outside Houston Trump ‘abused’ presidency and ‘tried to subvert’ transfer of power, Psaki says ‘The tragedy of the treadmill undelivered’ Psaki plays down supply chain chaos Trump says Donald Jr ‘couldn’t be beaten’ if he runs for office ‘in certain places’ Judge refuses to suppress video evidence in Josh Duggar case Hezbollah brag of 100,000-strong force aimed at foes at home

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Cemeteries closed on Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 for Undas 2021

MANILA, Philippines — All cemeteries in the country will be closed from October 29 to November 2, 2021, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission during “Undas,” (All Souls' Day) Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday.In a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte aired on Wednesday early morning, Año said the government’s pandemic task force has passed a resolution that issued guidelines for the celebration of this year’s “Undas” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.He said the public may visit cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria before October 29 or after November 2.Visitors must be limited to 10 persons per group, and the venue must only

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Video shows Canadian couple floating their 100-year-old dream house to new spot across the bay

A couple in Newfoundland, Canada, were able to float their century-old home across a bay after buying the beloved property from it’s former owners. Kirk Lovell and Daniele Penney, of McIvers, brought the home from a retired couple who wanted to tear down the 100-year-old building and rebuild on the plot. When Mr Lovell and Ms Penney heard about that plan, according to local news outlet SaltWire , they approached the building’s owners and purchased it. For Ms Penney, who is originally from western Newfoundland, said the property was a “dream” home but it would have been almost impossible to move the home by road. Overhead power lines in McIvers meant floating the home across the bay, in the fashion of resettlement-era Canadians, was the way forward. “I wanted to see if it could float,” Mr Lovell told SaltWire. “They did it back in the 60s, and they never had much to work with.” After two months of research into how to float a home, the building was lifted-up onto rollers and onto 28 plastic barrels and some Styrofoam insulation. On 11 October it was moved from its plot of land to the waters-edge and floated across the bay from McIvers to Lower Cove, a distance of almost 90km (56 miles). Members of the local community in McIvers assisted Mr Lovell and Ms Penney with their own small boats to stop the home from taking on too much water. According to Keith Goodyear, who was involved in the move, it took a total of five hours and the home was dried out by using a wood stove and commercial blowers. “At the end of the day, a historic home was saved, a family will have a renovated home to live in with a spectacular view and everyone got to share an amazing story that will be talked out for years,” wrote Mr Goodyear on Facebook. “Congrats to all involved.” Mr Lovell told SaltWire that “it’s something I’m sure I’ll never experience again”. The couple hope their renovation work will be completed before the end of the year. Read More US formally removes Colorado River fish's endangered status Anti-vaxxer takes microphone on plane to rant against Covid shots to fellow passengers China lashes out at US and Canada for sending warships to Taiwan Strait as regional tensions rise One dead and two injured after separate balcony falls at Phish concert Plane carrying 21 people smashes into field outside Houston Trump ‘abused’ presidency and ‘tried to subvert’ transfer of power, Psaki says ‘The tragedy of the treadmill undelivered’ Psaki plays down supply chain chaos

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Who is Nick Rolovich? Washington state football coach fired for refusing Covid vaccine

Washington State University (WSU) has announced that it is firing football coach Nick Rolovich after he refused to get vaccinated against Covid. The firing disappointed many players and fans of the Washington State Cougars college football team, whose employees are classed as state employees. Vaccines are mandated by Washington state and Democratic governor Jay Inslee, and the deadline for state employees to get vaccinated against Covid was on Monday, 18 October. Ahead of that deadline, WSU said that “Due to the requirements set forth in Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, Nick Rolovich is no longer able to fulfil the duties as the football head coach at Washington State University.” Four assistants at WSU also had their employment terminated for not getting vaccinated, and were identified as Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber. Mr Rolovich had tried to get a religious exemption, but it remains unclear what happened to the application at the time he was fired. An Inslee spokesperson told NW News Network that for an exemption, an employee would generally have to be reassigned to a “back office” job that was not public facing – suggesting that it was not possible for Mr Rolovich to remain as head coach. The New York Times reported that he was among the highest paid Washington state employees, and was two years into his five-year contract with WSU, worth $15.6m (£11.2m). WSU’S athletic director, Pat Chun, said in a statement: .“This is a disheartening day for our football programme. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team.” WSU said itsefensive coordinator Jake Dickert will be acting head coach. Mr Inslee’s procolomation is among the strictest in the US, and among many issued by governors and private firms to ensure workplace safety amid Covid. Republican governors including Texas’s Greg Abbott have meanwhile rallied against mandates for vaccines in recent weeks and even tried to ban firms from doing so. Read More US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots School cancels Halloween parade because event ‘marginalises people of colour’ Biden's dilemma: Satisfying Manchin risks losing other Dems MAGA fan says Trump is still flying on Air Force One in bizarre Daily Show interview Capitol riot suspect accused of swiping attacked officer's hat and wearing it on Youtube Plane carrying 21 people smashes into field outside Houston Trump ‘abused’ presidency and ‘tried to subvert’ transfer of power, Psaki says ‘The tragedy of the treadmill undelivered’ Psaki plays down supply chain chaos

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The battle for British supermarket group Morrisons

(Reuters) - Shareholders in Morrisons, Britain's fourth-largest supermarket group, on Tuesday approved a 7 billion pound ($9.7 billion) agreed takeover

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Facebook to pay $14 mn in US worker discrimination suit

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14 million to settle a US government lawsuit accusing the tech giant of

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Colin Powell's death sparks misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines

Social media posts claim that Colin Powell's death from complications caused by Covid-19 means vaccines against the disease are ineffective.

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Duterte threatens to bring Gordon to Ombudsman if ‘disallowed’ SBMA funds are not returned

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday took another jab against Sen. Richard Gordon, threatening to call on the Ombudsman if Sen. Richard Gordon will not return the P86 million he allegedly pocketed when he was still chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).This came during Duterte’s new tirade against the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in a taped briefing.“Lahat naman talaga dapat magbayad ng buwis at kung kailangan magbayad, singilan para magbayad ‘yung mga may atraso sa gobyerno,” said Duterte.(Everyone really has to pay taxes and charge those who have arrears to the government.)“Kagaya ni (like) Sen. Gordon, y

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Punjab speaker accepts Khaira’s resignation as MLA

Rebel AAP MLA Khaira said his resignation had been accepted, adding that he had put in his papers on June 3 before joining the Congress.

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Noida: Farmers end protest after meeting with authority officials

The meeting that went on till late evening was held at the Noida authority’s main administrative building in Sector 6

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‘Doing politics over religious issues will make India like Afghanistan, Pak’: Punjab minister

Punjab agriculture minister ‘Kaka’ Randeep Singh Nabha said that religious politics create a “feeling of mistrust and insecurity” among the people of the country.

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Telangana to buy 125kg gold from RBI for temple tower at Yadadri; chief minister to donate the first 1.16kg

Yadadri is considered to be Telangana chief minister's dream of building a temple that matches the opulence of Tirumala in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh

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Why does the UK have a higher Covid rate than Europe?

Cases of Covid-19 in the UK are currently among the highest in Europe and are higher than they were this time last year, when parts of England were under local lockdowns. The vaccine has meant that although case numbers are elevated, there are fewer cases of people with serious illness having to be treated in hospital. However, the more that the virus is able to spread, the more chance there is of it finding a way to break through vaccine defences. Figures show that the number of people testing positive for coronavirus currently stands at more than 40,000 per day. Hospital admission numbers are still below levels seen last autumn, although they are rising gradually. According to Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) from Imperial College London, there are “a number of reasons” why the UK currently has higher infection levels than many other European countries. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the professor suggested that the UK has “lower functional immunity in our population than most other western European countries” for a number of reasons. According to Professor Ferguson these reasons include the vaccine rollout starting earlier in the UK than elsewhere and the fact that “we relied more on the AstraZeneca vaccine”. There are other suggestions that less mask wearing, more relaxed rules around mixing and a slowing vaccine rollout could also be behind the surge in figures. But why exactly are cases of Covid rising in the UK? Waning immunity? The UK was one of the fastest countries in the world to rollout the Covid-19 vaccine, meaning that immunity of some of those who were first vaccinated may be lower now. A study of Covid test results of vaccinated people who logged their symptoms in an app, suggested that after about five or six months, the protection against catching the virus wanes significantly. In Israel, which was one of the fastest countries in the world to vaccinate its population, a spike in case numbers was seen as immunity began to wane, according to scientists. Cases did however level off once enough older people had been given a booster dose. Boosters are now also being given to older people in the UK, with 3.7 million doses administered in England by 17 October. Reliance on AstraZeneca? When the UK started its vaccine rollout, it relied more on the AstraZeneca vaccine than the Pfizer jab. AstraZeneca is slightly less effective against the Delta variant of the virus which could be in part to blame for the increased case numbers. According to Professor Ferguson, this could be partly behind the rise in Covid cases. He said: “We relied more on the AstraZeneca vaccine and, while that protects very well against very severe outcomes of Covid, it protects slightly less well than Pfizer against infection and transmission, particularly in the face of the Delta variant.” Less mask-wearing? A study carried out by Imperial College London indicated that UK residents were significantly more likely than people in Germany, France, Spain and Italy to say that they no longer wear a face mask or covering. A number of studies have shown that face masks can help stop the virus from being passed between people. However it is not possible to say whether or not the lack of interest in wearing facemasks in the UK is directly responsible for the surge in case numbers. Indeed, people in Sweden and the Netherlands were more likely than those in the UK to say that they never wore a mask, according to a survey, and these countries have fewer confirmed Covid cases than the UK. More relaxed rules and increased mixing? The UK was one of the fastest western European countries to relax restrictions meaning that those living in England, Wales and Scotland have been able to go out to nightclubs and attend mass gatherings since the summer. This was several months before many other countries. Data from the Imperial College survey also suggests people in the UK are somewhat more likely than their European neighbours to use public transport. Those living in the UK are also less likely to avoid going out. A further survey of contacts and mixing in the UK indicated that there had been relatively little change in mixing in recent weeks. Although more and more people are going to work in person, numbers of people in the office remain quite low, with only around half of employees going into their workplace if it is open. Slowing vaccine rollout? The UK’s vaccination rollout has stalled in recent months and its rate of fully-vaccinated people is no longer in the top 10 countries with a population of at least 1 million. Indeed, in the first two weeks of October, the numbers of UK residents aged 12 and over who had received at least one dose of the vaccine hardly changed. These figures are slightly skewed by the low uptake of doses in children. As it stands, only 15 per cent of 12 to 15 year olds in England have received one shot of the jab. What about the new Delta descendant? A new descendant of the Delta variant, called AY.4.2, has been discovered in the UK and already accounts for nearly 10 per cent of cases in the country. Scientists have suggested that it appears to be 10 to 15 per cent more transmissible than the original Delta coronavirus, but it cannot be entirely blamed for the rise in UK Covid cases.

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Why some say the worst of the supply chain woes are near an end

Forget about The Grinch: It looks like supply chain disruptions may steal Christmas this year. But will these problems be resolved by early 2022?

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What will happen in Congress today as the January 6 committee moves forward to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt

The House committee investigating the January 6 US Capitol attack is expected to formally kick off holding Steve Bannon, one of former President Donald Trump's closest allies, in contempt of Congress on Tuesday night with a crucial meeting to set up a House vote.

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Beirut port investigator renews summonses of ex-ministers

A judicial official says the judge leading Lebanon’s probe into last year’s massive port explosion has renewed his summonses of two former ministers for questioning

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IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath Plans to Rejoin Harvard Early Next Year

(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for the New Economy Daily newsletter, follow us @economics and subscribe to our podcast. International Monetary

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Maharashtra sees 4th straight day of fewer than 2,000 Covid-19 cases

In view of the decline in Covid-19 cases, the Maharashtra government has extended the timings of restaurants and eateries till 12am, while shops have been allowed to function till 11pm from Tuesday onwards. In addition, all preparations are being made for colleges, which are slated to open from Wednesday

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Navi Mumbai becomes first city in MMR with 100% first vaccination dose against Covid

Navi Mumbai has become the first city in the MMR region to have all its citizens over 18 years of age vaccinated with the first dose of Covid vaccine. The city is racing towards full vaccination against Covid with NMMC reporting that more than half the population has also taken the second dose

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3 of family die after water tanker rams into scooter in Virar

Three persons, including a 10-year-old girl, were killed after a water tanker collided against their scooter at Bhatpada in Virar (East), on Tuesday early morning. The unidentified tanker driver is absconding.

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CNN's John King discloses he is immunocompromised

"CNN anchor and Chief National Correspondent John King told viewers on Tuesday that he has multiple sclerosis and is immunocompromised."

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Washington sheriff charged over confrontation with Black man

The Washington state attorney general has filed two misdemeanor criminal charges against a county sheriff stemming from his confrontation with a Black newspaper carrier in January

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Stocks rise broadly; J&J leads gains for health care sector

Stocks are moving higher on Wall Street in afternoon trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing

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Facebook paying fine to settle US suit on discrimination

Facebook is paying a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million to eligible victims to resolve the Justice Department’s allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill high-paying jobs

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FBI searches home of Russian oligarch in Washington

US Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were conducting a search on Tuesday at a luxury Washington home owned by Russian

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