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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir: The endless ‘will they, won’t they’

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the Canadian ice dancing pair people (we) love to ship, took gold in Pyeongchang on Tuesday. This might also be their last Olympics together, which has led people (us) to speculate: are they gonna date now or what?

The two certainly seem to have feelings for each other. There’s the on-ice kissing, the way they look at each other, the steamy Moulin Rouge program that is somehow sexier than anything in Moulin Rouge. (There’s also this one to “Stay” by Rihanna, which will destroy you.)

SEE ALSO: How to calm your nerves while watching the Olympics

And there is, of course, this moment. Read more…

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8 life-changing portable washers, dryers and other laundry gadgets

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Laundry stuff is taking over the Internet, and no, we’re not talking about Tide Pods. 

If you paid attention to any CES coverage last month, you’ll remember how one of the most popular inventions was a laundry-folding robot called FoldiMate — that costs near $1,000 and doesn’t really work. While laundry tech is becoming an increasingly attractive category to consumers, the truth is that most of us aren’t about to drop a grand on a robot to do a small task that we can do ourselves. Read more…

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Former Save The Children Boss Justin Forsyth Admits ‘Inappropriate’ Behaviour

Former Save The Children boss Justin Forsyth” alt=”Former Save The Children boss Justin Forsyth” data-credit=”Pacific Press via Getty Images” data-portal-copyright=”Pacific Press via Getty Images” data-provider=”getty” data-provider-asset-id=”605845014″ data-has-syndication-rights=”true”>

Former Save The Children boss Justin Forsyth has admitted he had “unsuitable and thoughtless conversations” with female staff during his time at the charity.

The former Downing Street comms chief has been under scrutiny following sexual assault allegations made against Brendan Cox, widower of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, who he worked with at the time.

Forsyth himself, now a deputy executive director at Unicef, faced three complaints of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff himself before he quit as chief executive in 2015, according to the BBC.

He was accused of sending texts to young female staff about how they looked and what they were wearing.

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He told Radio 4′s PM programme he had “apologised unreservedly” to those involved, admitting he had had“unsuitable and thoughtless conversations” with workers.

But he added he thought the issue had been dealt with “many years ago” through a mediation process, with no formal complaints made.

Save the Children has commissioned a review of its organisation culture, in which it promises to address “any behavioural challenges among senior leadership”.

Cox, who quit the two charities he set up in his late wife’s name when the historic claims against him resurfaced, admitted he “made mistakes and behaved in a way that caused some women hurt and offence”.

Jo’s family have pledged to stand by him as they continue to help raise the couple’s two young children.

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Northern Ireland: UK Government Drawing Up Emergency Stormont Budget

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley in the House of Commons” alt=”Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley in the House of Commons” data-credit=”Bradley” data-portal-copyright=”Bradley” data-provider=”Other” data-provider-asset-id=”206143942″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

The Government remains “steadfastly” committed to the Good Friday Agreement, Karen Bradley has said, despite Brexiteer claims power-sharing in Northern Ireland is “unsustainable”. 

The Northern Ireland Secretary told MPs the Government will “provide budget clarity” for civil servants in Belfast but declined to impose direct rule. 

Stormont has now been without a devolved Government for 13 months after talks between Sinn Fein and the Arlene Foster’s party to restore power-sharing broke down again last week.

Bradley has come under pressure from the DUP to appoint ministers to take decisions on schools and hospitals and pass a budget before they run out of cash.

But Sinn Fein strongly opposes the return of direct rule and has called for an intergovernmental council involving the Irish Government.

Bradley said ministers remained “absolutely steadfastly” committed to power-sharing in Northern Ireland, and added: “I intend to take steps to provide clarity on the budget and will update the House (of Commons) as soon as possible.

“This is clearly not where I want to be but in the absence of an Executive I have no other choice.”

Senior Democratic Unionist Nigel Dodds said it was a “dereliction of duty” to continue without a spending plan or ministers to make decisions.

Bradley said she was working to ensure budget certainty for civil servants and she would return to the House of Commons.

Fresh Stormont elections were also an option, said Bradley. 

“Things in Northern Ireland cannot simply remain in a state of limbo,” she said. “Challenging decisions will have to be taken.”

Prominent Brexit backers have called for a “cold, rational look” at the historic Belfast agreement, which in 1998 ended decades of turmoil in the region, but they were accused of “recklessness” and furthering the cause of hard Brexit by Remainers. 

Irish Deputy PM also called their interventions “irresponsible and reckless”. 

Asked whether a mediator could be appointed to get talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein, the Secretary of State said she would not rule it out. 

Following her statement in the Commons, Bradley also faced calls to hold a free vote at Westminster on extending equal marriage to Northern Ireland.  

Labour MP Ged Killen urged Bradley to “get off the fence” and use UK powers to legislation for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. 

“We simply would not tolerate this discrimination against any other group of UK citizens,” he said. 

Bradley said same sex marriage legislation was a devolved matter, adding “it is for the people of Northern Ireland and their politicians to make this decision”. 

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, Tory MEP Dan Hannan and Labour MP – three hardline Brexiteers – have all gone on record questioning whether the Good Friday Agreement would stand this week. 

Paterson tweeted an article saying the GFA had “outlived its usefulness”. 

Hoey told HuffPost: “I think there is a need for a cold rational look at the Belfast agreement.

“Even if a settlement had been agreed a few days ago there is nothing to stop Sinn Fein or the DUP finding something else to walk out about in a few months. Mandatory coalition is not sustainable in the long term.” 

Writing in the Daily Telegraph,  Hannan, said the stalling talks were proof the GFA had “failed”.

He said: “Northern Ireland has had no government for 13 months. Direct rule seems inevitable – and that is no bad thing.” 

Dublin has said it wants to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the British Government has echoed that stance and said it believes in devolution.

Prime Minister Theresa May is due to meet the leaders of the DUP and Sinn Fein at the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, Downing Street said.

May’s official spokesman said: “The focus is on restoring devolved government to Northern Ireland.”

Asked about suggestions by Tory backbencher Owen Paterson that the Good Friday Agreement may have “outlived its usefulness”, the spokesman said: “The Government remains absolutely steadfastly committed to the Belfast Agreement and is currently working with partners in order to get the devolved administration up and running as soon as possible.

“That’s what the Prime Minister is going to be talking about when she meets with the DUP and Sinn Fein tomorrow.”

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Jeremy Corbyn Video Hits Back At Newspaper Owners Over Communist Spy Claims, Warns ‘Billionaire Tax Exiles’ Change Is Coming

Jeremy Corbyn has lambasted newspapers over claims he helped Communist spies in the 1980s, attacking their owners as “billionaire tax exiles” and warning them “change is coming”.

In a personal video message, the Labour leader hit out at The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Express for printing allegations that he had worked with a Czechoslovakian agent to hand over British secrets.

His angry riposte follows claims by former Czech agent Jan Sarkocy that he was on the country’s payroll during the Cold War.

Corbyn, who earlier on Tuesday made his first public comment on the claims, used the video to hit back at newspaper proprietors who “dodge paying their fair share for our vital public services”.

He said that “we’ve got news for them – change is coming”.

Labour insiders told HuffPost that the party in government would take action on tax dodging, higher taxes on the richest, implement ‘Leveson Two’ on media regulation and review the plurality of newspaper ownership.

The Labour leader ridiculed the allegations against him, saying: “In the last few days, The Sun, The Mail, The Telegraph and The Express have all gone a little bit James Bond.

“They’ve found a former Czechoslovakian spy whose claims are increasingly wild and entirely false.

“He seems to believe I kept him informed about what Margaret Thatcher had for breakfast and says he was responsible for either Live Aid or the Mandela Concert – or maybe both.”

But he warned that the allegations were so serious that it was time he and Labour hit back.

“It’s easy to laugh, but something more serious is happening. Publishing these ridiculous smears that have been refuted by Czech officials shows just how worried the media bosses are by the prospect of a Labour government.

“They’re right to be. Labour will stand up to the powerful and corrupt – and take the side of the many, not the few.

“A free press is essential for democracy and we don’t want to close it down, we want to open it up.”

Corbyn served notice that he intended to tighten up media regulation.

“At the moment, much of our press isn’t very free at all. In fact it’s controlled by billionaire tax exiles, who are determined to dodge paying their fair share for our vital public services.

“The General Election showed the media barons are losing their influence and social media means their bad old habits are becoming less and less relevant.

“But instead of learning these lessons they’re continuing to resort to lies and smears. Their readers – you, all of us – deserve so much better. Well, we’ve got news for them: change is coming.”

Earlier, Corbyn was cheered by businessmen as he hit back at a Daily Mail reporter for asking him to publish any secret file held on him by the Stasi, the East German secret police.

BBC Economics presenter Steph McGovern, who was chairing the event, jokingly asked at the end of the session: “Are you a Czech spy?”

Corbyn replied: “No.”

Sarkocy, who was a member of Czechoslovakia’s Communist secret service Statni Bezpecnost (StB) last week told the Sun that Corbyn was named ‘Agent Cob’ and that he met him in the House of Commons.

The Sun reported that a newly-released archive in the StB’s HQ in Prague included a Sarkocy report that read: “Jeremy CORBYN, Labour MP of the House of Commons of the British Parliament, contact initiated 25.11.1986.

“Followed up to the degree of RS (person of interest) ‘COB’. He has an active supply of information on British intelligence services.”

On Monday night, Corbyn threatened legal action against a Tory MP who had claimed he had “sold British secrets” to spies in Eastern Bloc states.

Tory vice chairman Ben Bradley deleted the tweet after the Labour leader instructed lawyers to purse a libel claim.

However, Security Minister Ben Wallace had not deleted a similar Twitter message that suggested Corbyn had acted like the British spy Kim Philby.

The Labour leader has not denied meeting the agent for tea – but insists he had no idea Sarkocy wasn’t a normal diplomat as he claimed.

BBC Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban revealed on Tuesday that he had talked to former UK intelligence agents who also dismissed the spying claims as ‘nonsense’.

“These claims are a ridiculous smear and entirely false,” his office said on Monday.

“The former Czechoslovak agent Jan Sarkocy’s account of his meetings with Jeremy was false 30 years ago, is false now and has no credibility whatsoever.”

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WhiteSmoke Premium: Lifetime Subscription, Save 82%

We have an excellent deal on the WhiteSmoke Premium: Lifetime Subscription in the Geeky Gadgets Deals store today, you can save 82% off the normal price. The WhiteSmoke Premium: Lifetime Subscription is available in our deals store for $69.99 it normally retails for $399.95. Even the best writers make errors. Whether you fit that mold […]

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Google launches Google Pay, its answer to Apple Pay

Google has combined its two payment services, Google Wallet and Android Pay, into a new app: Google Pay. 

SEE ALSO: Google Pay makes online payments even easier on Android

With Google Pay, you can digitally store your credit and debit cards, as well as gift cards and rewards cards. You can use the app to pay for purchases online and in stores, just as you could with its predecessor, Android Pay. 

Image: google

Google announced it would be combining both of its payment apps to make Google Pay in January. Now, finally, the app is rolling out to everyone, but it’s still a work in progress. Google Pay isn’t yet empowered with one of its most useful features: the ability to send and request money from friends and family. You’ll get that functionality in “the next few months” according to Google’s blog post.  Read more…

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Temperature rises above freezing near North Pole, as frigid air slinks toward Europe

The temperature at a weather station at the very top of Greenland, at one of the closest points of any land mass to the North Pole, has risen above the freezing mark of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius, during the past two days. 

This is an unusual, though not unheard of, occurrence, and it illustrates the extreme weather pattern currently unfolding in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Right now, unusually high temperatures are flooding the Arctic from the Pacific side to the North Atlantic side. Sea ice extent is at record low levels, with the likelihood that another record low winter peak in sea ice extent could be set by the end of March.  Read more…

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Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency is officially up for sale

The bleeding Venezuelan economy is pinning its hopes on cryptocurrency.

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan government launched a pre-sale of “Petro,” a new cryptocurrency backed by the country’s oil reserves. The aim of Petro is to raise foreign investment in the socioeconomically struggling Venezuelan economy, which has resulted in rampant inflation, food and medicine shortage, dried up cash reserves, billions in debt, and mass protest. Venezuela is calling the Petro the world’s “first state-issued cryptoasset.”

SEE ALSO: Venezuela to launch ‘petro’, a cryptocurrency backed by oil and other reserves Read more…

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