Electronic Arts Might Have a Woman on the Cover of FIFA 16 This Year

Electronic Arts is working on the latest FIFA 16 title, as it is every year, but this year should be different. EA has looked into adding female players in the FIFA titles, but this year the company will finally do it. But this comes with another question, which is who will be featured on the regional covers of FIFA 16?

The timing for the big change couldn’t be perfect too. The recent success of the World Cup in Canada and the US team’s victory has fans hyped up for the title. Also, to choose the regional top players, EA has devised a voting system. We see a lot of candidates being proposed in France, Latin America, Mexico and the UK. However, surprisingly, we see only women candidates being proposed for the Australian cover. The only options chosen for Australian are Kyah Simon, Steph Catley and Katrina Gorry.

Last year, FIFA’s cover consisted of two players from the specific region, alongside all-star Lionel Messi. However, this year might be extremely different, given that women’s teams will also be featured. Will we see regional covers consisting of top male and female players appearing alongside? That would be the best option to consider, however EA is said to reveal their plans in the near future. Until then, what do you think? How should EA display this year’s cover?

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Costa Rica Has Been Fully Powered by Renewable Energy for 75 Days Straight

Costa Rica has achieved a major milestone in clean energy, having the country be fully powered by renewable energy for 75 straight days.

“The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE) said.

The milestone has been achieved with the help of heavy rainfall at four of its hydroelectric power facilities during the first quarter of 2015. What this means is that no fossil fuel was used during the months of January, February and March so far, having the country being powered by hydro power primarily, in conjunction with a mixture of geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy.

To be noted is that the country is fairly small, having an area of 51,100 square km and a population of around 4.8 million. Another thing to take into account is that the country focuses more on tourism and agriculture, rather than heavy industry such as mining or manufacturing.

Still, Costa Rica has done an excellent job in developing its electricity sector, having the World Economic Forum ranking it as the second in Latin American countries behind only Uruguay with regards to electricity and telecommunications infrastructure.

Back in mid-2014, the Costa Rica government approved a $958 million geothermal energy project, having the first plants expected to generate about 55 MW and cost approximately $333 million to build, while two other are expected to output 50 MW.

Thank you Science Alert for providing us with this information

Moto X Will Be Made Available On Play Store, No Google Edition

Motorola’s new Moto X smartphone will be made available through Google’s official Play Store according to Twit.tv. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One X there will not be a special “Google Edition handset” variant of the Moto X. That said, with Motorola already being owned by Google the Moto X is more or less a native Google product coming with totally stock Android and all the relevant Google programs and apps such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Chrome and the Play Store.

Users of the Moto X will thus still be able to enjoy the software enhancements that the smartphone launched with such as active Display notifications UI, Moto Assist, and Moto Connect. The Moto X will cost $199.99 on a two year contract from major carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint while the non-carrier/non-contract version will cost $699.99. The Moto X will be available only in North America and Latin America starting from late August and Early September. As of current there are no plans to sell the device anywhere else.

Image courtesy of Motorola

Tablet Sales Will Hit 381 Million By 2017 Says Analysts

Forrester Analysts predict that by 2017 we could see 381 million tablets per year sold. They suggest that by 2017 one in eight people on earth will be a table user as existing sales of tablets will mean there will be about 905 million tablets in use.

By 2017 they claim that 60% of “online” Americans will own a tablet, 42% of European “online” consumers will have one and in the developing world figures will be much lower. In the developing world penetration rates are expected to be below 25% aggregate. In wealthier markets like Singapore and South Korea they are expected to still do well.

Of the total sales only 18% will be enterprise purchases meaning 82% of total sales will be made up from consumer purchases.

Image courtesy of ASUS

Spain Offers Apology For Bolivia/Snowden Flight Blocking Incident

It has now been about two weeks since the Bolivian jet incident occurred. To cut a long story short, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy blocked their airspace to the Bolivian Presidential Jet amid suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. As a result the jet was forced to land in Austria and officials conducted a search of the jet to see if Edward Snowden was onboard. According to El Nuevo Empresario Spain have now issued an officially apology for the incident. This comes after several Latin American nations withdrew their diplomatic ambassadors from Spain in protest.

The government of Spain officially contacted Bolivian diplomats to apologise for the incident and offer explanations as to why airspace access was denied. The reason why Spain was so important in the incident is because the presidential jet was due to land and refuel on the Spanish owned Canary Islands.

“Spain deeply regrets what happened and we’re sorry for how things happened. We presented our apologies. We consider this situation settled” said a Spanish diplomat.

This is certainly a step in the right direction for repairing the damage but Portugal, France and Italy have still yet to resolve the issue with Bolivia and Latin America. Until that happens we could see the diplomatic rift continue.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo/Patrick Domingo

USA Applying Diplomatic Pressure To Latin America To Reject Snowden

 

In an attempt to prevent Edward Snowden from seeking asylum in Latin America the USA is applying diplomatic pressure to Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others. Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have already made formal offers of asylum to Edward Snowden and the USA is trying to ensure that no other sympathisers get on board with the NSA whistleblower.

A NY Times report suggests that the USA has been threatening Latin American countries. They have stated that letting Edward Snowden in would “have lasting consequences” and “would put relations in a very bad place for a long time to come”. Furthermore they state that all state governments understand their position right now and should do their best to support the USA in bring Snowden back to the USA for trial.

Despite these threats it seems unlikely that Latin America will give way to American pressure any time soon as Ecuador and Venezuela have already publicly condemned the USA, Cuba have backed the actions of Latin America and at the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) meeting last week the overwhelming consensus was anti-USA.

We wonder what options the USA has left before it has to resort to dirty-tactics like anti-competitive trade practices or military expeditions.

Image courtesy of brlatina.com

Argentinian President Wants Explanations From The USA Over Spying Scandal

Argentinian president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is well known for her rather vocal stance against big Western nations like the UK and the USA. On the back of recent revelations that the NSA actively spied on all Latin American nations the Argentinian president is demanding full clarification from the USA over the reports.

The reports stated that the USA was using telephone and internet espionage against Latin American countries, including Argentina. Brazilian authorities have recently made similar statements and are stepping up to find the root sources of NSA spying and shut them down. The Argentinian president called for other Latin American and South American partners to unite in their request for a full clarification from the USA.

Peru, Ecuador, Columbia and Mexico have already responded and stated that the NSA spying situation is unacceptable. At the Mercosur summit on July 12th the Argentinian president and other heads of states will join together to make a joint statement.

With much more information still to be published by Edward Snowden we are wondering just how much more political turmoil there still is left to run. The NSA has already single-handedly cheesed off just about every nation in the world as well as its own people.

Image courtesy of AFB/GETTY IMAGES

NSA Spied On Countries In Latin America

The NSA has been spying on the whole world, that’s not news to anyone. However, on the back of the USA trying to exert pressure on Latin America to not accept Edward Snowden’s asylum these latest revelations could deal a fatal blow to the USA. O Globo reports that the USA has been spying extensively on Latin America. Countries like Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador (and probably the rest of Latin America) have all been regular spying targets of the NSA.

Apparently the NSA hasn’t limited its spying operations to just military affairs and has also been stealing trade secrets from the Latin American oil industry, notably Venezuela. Latin America was targeted by “PRISM” and “Boundless Informant”. PRISM enables access to emails, chat logs and voice calls through American-based internet companies and Boundless Informant is capable of cataloguing phone calls and internet access.

The USA reportedly used PRISM to collect data regarding oil and military purchases fropm Venezuela and energy and narcotics from Mexico. Other victims of “lower level” spying were Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. No doubt this latest revelation will spur more Latin American countries into offering Edward Snowden asylum. Investigations are already taking in Brazil over the reported intelligence breaches.

Image courtesy of Gringos.com

 

Cuba Backs Latin American Asylum Offers

With Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia all offering the infamous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum, Cuba’s president Raul Castro has said that he supports the decisions of the Latin American government. Cuba also received an asylum request from Edward Snowden but Cuba have yet to speak about it at all.

“We support the sovereign right of Venezuela and all states in the region to grant asylum to those persecuted for their ideals or struggles for democratic rights,” Raul Castro said.

In any case the quickest route to South American countries from Russia’s Sheremetyevo airport is via Cuba. This is a pretty safe option since Cuba is highly unlikely to extradite Snowden to the USA, in fact he might not even need to travel any further after landing in Cuba because many are saying Cuba will almost-definitely grant Snowden asylum.

Most Western-European nations have already stated that if Snowden’s plane has to land to refuel on their territory then they will arrest him for a U.S extradition after receiving arrest warrants. What’s more we could European nations force the plane to land if it flies through their airspace. Edward Snowden certainly doesn’t have an easy route to safety , wherever that may be.

Image courtesy of Biography.com

Latin American Countries Host Emergency Meeting, Condemn The USA

The Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the incident in which Bolivia’s President Evo Morales had his plane forcibly grounded amid suspicions NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. The incident triggered outrage from many Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador while other nations attended to show their support for the conclusion of the UNASUR meeting. Colombia, Chile and Peru all have very strong ties with the USA and thus did not attend but expressed their solidarity with Bolivia.

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro stated that “Violation of international law against Evo Morales is against all of us” while Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa said “We are here to support Bolivia”. Bolivia had much strong words to say calling the incident a “flagrant violation of international treaties” and demanded an apology from all involved parties. Furthermore, Evo Morales of Bolivia threatened to shut down the U.S embassy in his country. 

Of the denounced nations (The USA, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal) only Spain have responded stating “Spain doesn’t have to ask pardon in anyway because its airspace was never closed“. Some big rhetoric is now going down in Latin American with the USA and who knowes we might see Edward Snowden granted asylum as a political weapon against the USA.

Image courtesy of UNASUR

Bolivian Jet Grounded Over Claims Snowden Is Onboard, UN Complaint Ensues

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales was flying back from Russia where he was attending an energy summit when his plane was forced to land in Austria. The reason? Italy, France, Spain and Portugal had all refused to allow his jet to pass through their airspace on the justification that they believed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. After being forced to land in Vienna Austria the plane was searched by Austrian officials and it was revealed that Edward Snowden was not on the plane. Furthermore Evo Morales strongly refuted such claims stating that these were rumours made up by the U.S government. Additionally other Latin American leaders are furious over the whole situation stating Evo Morales was “kidnapped by imperalism”.

Bolivia’s UN Envoy is now stepping in to file complaints against the USA, Austria, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain describing the event as “An act of aggression and violation of international law” as the USA desperately tries to bring Edward Snowden into their custody. Bolivia’s UN Envoy member Sacha Llorrentty Soliz told press in New York that the decision to search the plane almost definitely originated in the USA. With Bolivia and Venezuela both pledging their support to Edward Snowden in recent times it is likely the U.S government will try and do anything against them to stop Edward Snowden reaching their territories.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo/Patrick Domingo