Amazon Teases ‘Middle-earth Map’ for Its New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series’Tolkien’ Tells Epic Story of ‘Lord of the Rings’ Creator J.R.R. Tolkien Stay on target While fun in its own right, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was an average open-world game. What made it exceptional was its unique Nemesis System. Because of this mechanic, enemies would remember encounters with you and adjust their behavior accordingly. This system returns for Shadow of War, but it has been built upon to make it even more expansive and immersive.This latest Shadow of War gameplay trailer shows how the new Nemesis System functions. With Nemesis Fortresses, players can use different strategies to take over Orc strongholds. When they do, they will have their own personal Orc army to use against the forces of the Dark Lord, Sauron. In the video, Talion and Celebrimbor, who are now known as the “Bright Lord,” lead an assault on a fortress and use the New Ring to recruit followers. This new power will help players establish their own stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge.Shadow of War is taking the mantra of “Go Big or Go Home” to heart as nearly every aspect of the game is larger than before. Middle-Earth is a giant place, and there will be more of it to see than ever before. Players can expect to travel across different types of landscapes, each with their own distinct geography and wildlife. There will be new enemy types with distinct behavior patterns. And of course, there will be new weapons for users to lob Orc heads off with.The game has to reign itself in somewhat since it can’t disrupt Middle-Earth canon too much. It doesn’t appear that this restriction will keep Shadow of War from adding something fresh to J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, however. The game’s developers promise a story worthy of the world it takes place in.Middle-Earth: Shadow of War will be released on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on August 22. It will also be released for Project Scorpio this fall. It can be pre-ordered from Amazon.
<p>9 November 2009The United Nations crime tsar today blamed shady trading for the financial crisis that rocked most of the world last year, urging governments to use an international anti-corruption treaty to outline measures to restore trust in the financial system. The head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) criticized governments for allowing the financial system lose control, as well as financiers and corporate tycoons for turning their transactions into a free-for-all game.Speaking at the opening of a week-long meeting in Qatar of the UN Convention against Corruption, UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa urged all States to recognize a silver lining to the crisis by using the UN anti-corruption treaty as “a blueprint for restoring confidence in markets, businesses, and governments.”The 2005 Convention, which has 141 States Parties and is overseen by UNODC, contains protective measures that apply to dealings in the public and private sectors. “Corruption is preventable, not a fact of life, or part of business,” said Mr. Costa.One of the main issues under discussion at the Third Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention in Doha is the creation of a mechanism to review implementation of the treaty. “At the moment, corruption is in the eye of the beholder – there is no way to measure it,” said Mr. Costa. A review mechanism would enable States to analyze the effectiveness of its fight against corruption and identify where more progress is needed. “It must be a technical inter-governmental review to measure progress, not a game of name and shame,” said Mr. Costa, calling on States to “seal the deal” on the review mechanism by the end of the meeting on Friday.The Conference of States Parties is being attended by over 1,000 delegates from 125 countries, as well as representatives of civil society, international organizations, parliaments, the media and the private sector.</p>
<p>The Government said that it will not agree to an international war crimes investigation on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the position of the Government is that a domestic mechanism will be setup to investigate allegations over the war on the LTTE. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is scheduled to release a report in September at the UN Human Rights Council on the war. Some International human rights groups have been calling for a UN backed international probe on the war and for those accused to be taken before an international war crimes tribunal.The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights compiled a report on the war based on statements collected from the families of victims and eyewitnesses and Senaratne said a copy of the report is expected to be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena next month. The report will look at allegations that civilians were killed during the last stages of the conflict before the rebels were defeated in 2009. However he said even if the report suggests an international investigation or for those accused to be taken to an international court, the Sri Lankan Government will not agree.He said the Government position has been that only an internationally accepted local process will be used to ensure accountability over the war. (Colombo Gazette)</p>
<p>Wickremesinghe said the mood in Sri Lanka had changed dramatically over the past few years. Ranil Wickremesinghe is currently visiting New Zealand for the first time and spoke to media at the weekend.He said his Government had set up an agency to try to locate the estimated 65,000 people who went missing during the war. “It’s a very very relaxed atmosphere there, it’s a quite open society today and fear is no longer a factor. We hope by next March that we’ll have all this behind us.”Prime Minister John Key said the two leaders discussed human rights in Sri Lanka in great detail when they met and he believed the country was on the right track.“I could experience that first hand when I went there earlier in the year and we are very confident about what we see in terms of what has been a very difficult period for Sri Lanka prior to the Prime Minister’s administration about the reforms.” Hundreds of members of Auckland’s Sri Lankan community packed out the Mt Albert Memorial Hall to see Ranil Wickremesinghe when he visited on Saturday.He spoke briefly and answered questions from community members who seemed happy with the changes he was making in Sri Lanka.Labour’s David Shearer, who was at the event at Mt Albert Hall, worked in Sri Lanka for Save the Children from 1989 to 1991.He said it did seem like the new Government was turning over a new leaf.“It’s changing the constitution, it’s looking at the way it governs itself and trying to bring people together, so I’m cautiously optimistic.“Obviously you can get a change in Government back again but if the reforms can be dug in and take hold, then I think we’ll have a very different Sri Lanka.”Ranil Wickremesinghe has events in Wellington today, before flying out later this evening. (Colombo Gazette) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says there is no longer a climate of fear in Sri Lanka, Radio New Zealand reported today.After decades of brutal civil war and reports of torture and extra-judicial killings, the Sri Lankan Government is trying to put the past behind it and present the country as progressive and prosperous. A report prepared by the United Nations last year found extensive and endemic patterns of extra-judicial killings, abductions, unlawful arrests, torture and sexual violence committed by Government forces and paramilitary organisations over many years. More than 100,000 people are believed to have died between 1983 and 2009, in the fighting between Tamil separatists and Government forces. And he said he was dealing with the controversial anti-terrorism legislation, which critics said allowed the Government to indefinitely detain people without charge.“I think by next week the first draft of the counter terrorism law, which will replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act will available for discussion.“A number of detainees have been released, even some who have been charged we have released.”</p>
<p>Two more groups have been added to the United Nations Security Council’s list of entities subject to sanctions against Al-Qaida and Taliban operatives.A Council committee set up to monitor the sanctions – which were originally adopted, and later tightened, in response to the indictment of Usama bin Laden for the 1998 terrorist bombings of United States embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam – announced yesterday that it has added the Tunisian Combatant Group and the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group to its consolidated list.The measures require States to freeze financial resources, including funds derived or generated by any undertaking owned or controlled by the Taliban, and to ensure that they are not used by the group. Countries are also obliged to freeze funds and other financial assets of Usama bin Laden and his associates in the Al-Qaida organization, and to prevent their entry or transit through the State’s territory. In addition, nations must prevent the supply, sale and transfer of all arms and materiel – along with any form of military training – to the named individuals and entities.</p>