Simpler On-the-Go Publishing: Background Media Uploading for Android

Version 8.1 of the WordPress for Android app is now available, with some great enhancements to publishing: background media uploading.

Adding images to a post or page? Now, you can publish — and move on to other things — while your media uploads. No more waiting inside the editor while images gradually upload! Tap the Publish button and the app takes care of finishing the uploads and publishing, leaving you free to leave the post editor and get on with other things.

You can do the same thing while saving drafts. And yes, you can have multiple posts uploading media in the background at once.

We’ve also spruced up the interface, adding notifications so you always know the status of your posts and uploads. Visit your post list at any time for a progress report on all your uploads.

These features work best with the new Beta editor, codenamed “Aztec,” so be sure to enable it in your app for the full experience — check out the details and get instructions on enabling it.

If you haven’t already, download WordPress for Android from the Play Store, give it a try and let us know what you think!

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CNN reporter dramatically rescues man caught in Harvey's floodwaters

A CNN reporter rescued a Texas man when the truck he was driving started sinking in floodwater in a treacherous moment caught on camera.

CNN’s Drew Griffin was preparing for a live shot Wednesday in Beaumont, Texas, where the man drove into a ravine, mistaking it for a road flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey. The man’s truck started sinking, and Griffin pulled him out using a rope, assisted by producer Brian Rokus and photographer Scott Pisczek, CNN said.

The man, Jerry Sumrall, from Winnie, Texas, said he was staying in a motel in Beaumont. Sumrall gave an impromptu, out-of-breath interview directly after the rescue and thanked Griffin for “saving my life.”

Read more from Yahoo News:

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When Rescues In This Texas City Stopped, Residents Cried Out For Help On Social Media

Floodwaters in Texas continue to rise, creating conditions so severe that people trapped in their homes had no chance of being rescued overnight. 

Authorities said 911 lines in Port Arthur ― about 91 miles east of Houston ― were still overloaded as of early Wednesday, and that rescues had to be stopped overnight due to the conditions.

“There’s nothing we can do,” Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens told local news channel KDFM. “We can’t take the boats out right now. The water is rising and it’s coming there and [there’s] no way to get to them.”

People began begging on social media to be rescued. One woman made her first plea on Twitter at 1 a.m. local time:

She tweeted again about three hours later, having been told that rescues wouldn’t resume until daylight. “Water is now waist level & I still have not found any help this is crazy,” she wrote. “My phone is on 9% I’m 35 Wks pregnant ! Please keep calling for me water is waist deep.”

Many others tweeted out addresses of friends and loved ones:

The Jefferson County emergency management team said it had to wait until daylight to resume rescues.

Even people who were removed from their homes continued to fight the elements. Photos on Twitter show floodwaters invading Port Arthur’s Bob Bower Civic Center, where hundreds of evacuees were seeking shelter. People were eventually moved on Wednesday to the Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center, even though police said the facility contained zero supplies.

Marcus McLellan, a public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, told HuffPost that rescue operations were underway Wednesday morning.

Police weren’t able to reach people trapped in their homes because of the rising waters, but law enforcement officials were coordinating with volunteers to locate and transport people to shelter.

“We’re using the volunteers and their boats to get to those individuals,” McLellan said. “To do this on our own, we would have to have a fleet of several hundred boats. … That’s just not feasible for a city or county to constantly have.”

McLellan said hundreds of people in the county have been rescued from their flooded homes in the last couple of days, thanks in large part to the “very, very valuable” efforts of the volunteers.

“There are just so many people, hundreds up into the thousands, that need assistance,” he said. “No matter how many boats we have, it’s going to take some time.”

This article has been updated with comments from McLellan. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Police find van of family of 6 believed to have been swept away by Hurricane Harvey

Officials announced on Twitter they have located a van they believe may have belonged to a family of six who was swept away by raging flood waters brought by Hurricane Harvey on Monday.

Manuel Saldivar, 84, and his wife Belia, 81, along with their grandchildren Daisy Saldivar, 6, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Dominic Saldivar, 14, and Devy Saldivar, 16, were allegedly driving across a bridge in Greens Bayou, Texas, in order to escape rising waters when they encountered even more severe flooding.

Photo: GoFundMe

Sammy Saldivar, the vehicle’s driver and great-uncle to the young passengers, was able to escape the vehicle but tragically could not evacuate any of the van’s other occupants successfully.

On Wednesday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out a photo of what it believes was the family’s van.

“We are sad to report we have found a van inundated by Greens Bayou flooding while purportedly carrying 6 family members Sunday,” it wrote.

Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Ed Gonzalez said officials located the white van in an embankment near Ley Road in Greens Bayou on Wednesday.

Gonzalez said that while the van was originally under about 4 feet of water, it had recently emerged and was now able to be examined further.

“At least two bodies that we can see in the front seat, but based on the angle and the type of van with no windows in the back, it is hard to look inside,” he told reporters, according to BuzzFeed News.

The department is working with a local medical examiner’s office and a police dive team to identify the bodies.

SEE: Before and after photos from Hurricane Harvey: 

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Trump Makes Devastating Hurricane All About Trump

Crises like major weather disasters offer presidents the chance to unify the country and rise above partisan politics. Although a significant amount of aid work is done at the state and local levels, the president still has a major role in coordinating the response and setting the tone for the country. 

But for Donald Trump, Hurricane Harvey has been a golden opportunity to promote himself. 

“We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it,” the president said on Tuesday. “We want to do it better than ever before.” 

Right now, however, Trump wants to be looked at in a way that makes people say, “I would really like to wear that hat, and I’d be willing to pay that man $40 for it.”

The president has repeatedly worn his own campaign merchandise, which is on sale at his website, to Hurricane Harvey events. 

Nearly every chance he gets, Trump brags about the size of his hurricane. He doesn’t have to deal with just any old storm like his predecessors did ― he is confronting a huge storm. The biggest storm you’ve ever seen. A storm that only he could handle. And of course, he wants everyone to know that he and his administration are doing a heckuva job

Trump also continued to tout how many supporters he has, and the size of his crowds, which he also does at nearly every campaign rally. On Tuesday, he remarked on the crowd size while visiting Corpus Christi, saying, “What a crowd, what a turnout.”

He was at a fire station to meet with local officials about the disaster response. It was not a rally. 

Reporters at the event heard no mention from the president of the dead, suffering or displaced Texans, nor did they hear Trump express any sympathy for them, according to a Dallas Morning News reporter. 

For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available on iOS and Android.

Trump seems to be taking a certain amount of satisfaction from the attention he and the hurricane are getting on TV, where cable news has nearly non-stop coverage.

On Tuesday, Trump boasted that Federal Emergency Management Director Brock Long “has really become very famous on television over the last couple of days.” And he defended his decision to pardon controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio during Harvey, saying he did so because of how many people were tuning in: “I assumed the ratings would be far higher.”

On the same day that Trump was tweeting about the size of the hurricane, his great rescue operation, NAFTA and his insistence that Mexico will pay for the border wall, former President Barack Obama tweeted a donation link to the Red Cross.  

Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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The Pentagon Admits There Are a Lot More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Than We Thought

The Pentagon is poised to have roughly 15,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in the coming months, as defense officials on Wednesday finally acknowledged the actual number of American forces in the country.

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Re: 15 Gazans die after Israel denies them treatment

Some 15 Gaza residents have died since the start of 2017 after Israel denied terminally ill patients the necessary permits to travel outside the besieged Strip for medical treatment.

Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights revealed the figures in a statement yesterday, condemning the Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave that has resulted in its healthcare service being brought “to its knees”, in the words of the World Health Organisation.

Al-Mezan cited the cases of two women who were refused travel documentation on numerous occasions: Kaenat Jarour, a 42-year-old uterine cancer patient, and Faten Ahmed, a 26-year-old woman who died as a result of a brain tumour due to Israel’s refusal to allow her to re-enter Jerusalem where she had initially received treatment.

Four patients whose travel applications were approved attempted to make the journey to Israel, only to be arrested alongside their family members at the Beit Hanoun crossing. Others who make the journey are often beaten and interrogated at checkpoints by Israeli occupying authorities.

The Israeli government shirks its international legal obligations by denying residents of Gaza the flow of necessary medical relief and supplies into Gaza, while simultaneously denying and delaying the movement that residents require to seek the care outside of Gaza

the statement added.

As Gaza’s two million residents struggle to survive with a maximum of only four hours of electricity a day, an estimated 40 per cent of necessary drugs are also unavailable or will be depleted within a month. Medical funding to the Strip has also been cut by Israel at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as they attempt to pressure Gaza’s de-facto government Hamas into relinquishing control.

Read: PA reduces medical referrals for Gaza patients by 80%

The figures come as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres makes a visit to Gaza as part of his trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories. In a statement last night, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on Guterres to pressure Israeli occupation authorities to lift the siege on the Strip and end the humanitarian crisis.

Last month, Palestinians protested at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) condemning the international organisation’s failure to stem the crisis. Many described the UN’s inaction as tacit approval of the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

A report released by the UN last month raised concerns that the Strip is “de-developing” faster than anticipated, such that the 2020 deadline by which it was said that Gaza would be “unliveable” may have already arrived.

Read: UN gives $2.5m in aid to Gaza

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Re: Iran: UAE must end ‘destructive’ policies in Yemen and Libya

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi expressed his belief yesterday that the remarks made by the UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed about Tehran’s intervention in Syrian internal affairs and its efforts to weaken Syria’s sovereignty are false and delusional.

In a statement broadcasted on his Telegram channel, Qassemi said:

Unfortunately, Abu Dhabi in recent years has created many problems in the region by adopting adventurous policies beyond its capacities.

“The UAE’s participation in Yemen war and the cruel bloodshed there, its efforts to occupy parts of Yemen’s territories, its intervention in Libya, and its effort to provoke regional governments to blockade and boycott other countries are a few examples of such policies.”

“The UAE is required to end such destructive, inefficient and provocative policies,” Qassemi added.

Read: The UAE has supported the spread of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, alleges UN report

This statement came after the UAE foreign minister accused Iran and Turkey of having “colonial” motives in Syria, stating their departure from the country would contribute to the restoration of stability.

“If Iran and Turkey continue the same historical, colonial and competitive behaviour and perspectives between them in Arab affairs, we will continue in this situation not just in Syria today but tomorrow in some other country,” Bin Zayed said.

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Re: Turkey refutes UAE’s comments on its ‘colonial’ plans in Syria

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu rebutted statements made by the Emirati foreign minister regarding Ankara’s position on the Syrian crisis.

Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan referred to Turkey’s “colonial” actions in Syria, he urged “the exit of those parties trying to reduce the sovereignty of the Syrian state”, in reference to Iran and Turkey.

In response, Muftuoglu said: “Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has pursued to find a political solution to unity and territorial integrity of Syria and meet the rightful demands of its people.”

“Turkey is one of the top countries most affected by the Syrian conflict. Our desire is to end the crisis as soon as possible,” he said, adding:

Turkey believes real culprits responsible for the destruction of Syria must be sought and that no compromise should be made to efforts required to resolve the conflict.

Read: Who’s in control in Syria?

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Re: Manchester University must reveal its relations with Israeli institutions

A British university has been accused of breaching the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by refusing to share details concerning its relation with Israeli institutions.

The body regulating data protection in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found the University of Manchester (UoM) in violation of the government act issued in 2000 by not disclosing information requested by a student activist over its relations with controversial Israeli institutions.

The complaint against UoM was made by one of its students who had tried unsuccessfully to obtain details about the nature of the university’s relation with Israeli organisations. In its decision seen by MEMO, ICO instructed Manchester University to provide a response to the request within 35 days, in accordance with its obligations under the FOIA.

ICO’s sharp criticism of the University comes on the back of a long standoff between UoM and pro-Palestinian student activists. In March, UoM sparked anger by deciding to discipline students supporting the BDS campaign. The University claimed that the students were punished for “trespassing on a roof during Israeli Apartheid Week” but the students said their protest was meant to put pressure on UoM to “divest from firms that abet the apartheid regime of Israel”.

The students had requested more transparency from the university over its dealing with Israeli organisations. Complainant British-Palestinian student Huda Ammori told MEMO that her suspicion was raised in 2013 when she said she noticed Technion, a leader in the field of research and development within the Israeli arms trade, advertised “proudly” on the University’s website.

Read: BDS campaign more anti-Semitic than alt-right says Iraeli minister

Ammori said that she was equally surprised by the University’s decision to honour the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann. She later discovered that the University has a shrine of Israel’s first President, Weizmann, in its chemistry building. Describing it as a “mockery of the suffering of the Palestinian people, who suffer under the regime he plotted”.

Ammori confirmed that the University also partnered with all three institutions he founded: Technion, Weizmann Institute and Hebrew University. Techinon was founded before 1948 to develop the Zionist regime, and remains a leader in the field of arms research for the Israeli occupation forces.

MEMO learnt that several FOI requests were made by students involved in the BDS campaign. Manchester University confirmed this saying: “The Freedom of Information requests are both being processed in the normal way, and would be responded to in line with [our] obligations.”


ICO’s decision suggests that the University has failed in its promise to fulfil its obligations under FOIA and instead decided to adopt an uncompromising position against students demanding information about the extent of its relation with Israeli organisations.

The decision by the ICO is seen as an important step in the campaign against unethical university investment. Activists are hoping that the ICO will take the University to the high court for contempt if it fails to answer to the students’ requests. “It is unacceptable,” said Huda, “that they [UoM] are withholding such information, especially from paying students at the university.”

The UoM told MEMO: “We can confirm that we have received a letter from the ICO and we are considering our response.”

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