sábado, 31 de marzo de 2012

Belfast hopes Titanic proves big tourist draw - CBS News

One hundred years ago next week, work was completed on what may be the most famous ship ever built -- the Titanic.

The great liner was doomed, sinking in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, never completing her maiden voyage.

But the Titanic's memory is being celebrated in the city where she was built -- Belfast, Northern Ireland.

When the Titanic departed the shipyard, she was already a big story. She still is, 100 years later.

Now, images of the Titanic resting on the Atlantic seabed form a central part of a new exhibition center Belfast residents hope will spur a tourism bonanza.

Gallery: Rare Titanic photos, letters auctioned off

The center, on the site where the ship was built, is supposed to be a symbol of the new Belfast, celebrating the crafts and history of shipbuilding the city was once known for.

The Titanic Belfast's Tim Husbands says, "It's a recognition that what happened to the Titanic was a disaster, but actually, the Titanic wasn't, so we're very much celebrating the workmanship and the craftsmanship that built the ship and the people and the individuals that were both on board and also that built it."

The anniversary has launched a thousand commemorations - or so it seems - the biggest of which is the re-release of the movie, in 3D. Some have called the re-launch a cynical commercial ploy.

But its director, James Cameron, insists his motivation was more than profit.

"There's always going to be people that can piss in the soup of anything good," he remarked. "But frankly, I think remembering Titanic, remembering the history - that's what the film was there for. That's why I made it, you know. I was fascinated by the story, I was fascinated by the history."

A hundred years later and Titanic is still a great tragedy - and still a great story.

Sonisphere cancellation nixes Lambert/Queen gig - USA TODAY

The cancellation of the Sonisphere Knebworth Festival due to "unforeseen circumstances" means that Adam Lambert won't be taking the stage with Queen on the site of Freddie Mercury's last performance with the band. "While I'm sad that the Sonisphere festival has been canceled, I'm hopeful that Queen and I will share a stage again someday in the future," Adam tweeted Thursday.

Queen issued a statement on its website: "We are disappointed to hear of the cancellation of the Sonisphere Festivals as we were very much looking forward to performing with Adam Lambert and particularly as the venue was Knebworth, our last stand with Freddie. We apologise for the disappointment to all those who were looking forward to seeing us. We are working to see if we can redress the situation at some other venue."

• Want the biggest piece of David Cook memorabilia ever? The Season 7 American Idol has put his three-bedroom, 3,100-square-foot house, located in Los Angeles' Beachwood Canyon area, on the market for $1.495 million.

• Now that the Idols have moved into their Hollywood Hills mansion, Joshua Ledet and Hollie Cavanagh say Colton Dixon's the one who spends the most time in front of the mirror. "He gets up at 6 o'clock in the morning, goes in the bathroom and sings for hours," Joshua tells The Hollywood Reporter's Shirley Halperin. "Then I only get like five minutes to get ready because he's in the bathroom for like an hour."

• Though he said in an interview that producers warned contestants that making political or religious comments via social media might cost them fans, Colton Dixon says nobody from the show has discouraged him from talking about his faith. "They respect my faith and have actually helped me push it in many ways," he told The Hollywood Reporter after Wednesday's show. "I'm very thankful for that. The media twists things."

• Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox tweets that she'll be playing a few dates this summer but she plans to spend most of 2012 working on her second album. Also, she hopes to relaunch her website soon.

• Have you heard Diana DeGarmo's Good Goodbye? The piano-based ballad that the Season 3 Idol released last week has gotten some attention on iTunes -- at one point this week, it ranked among the store's 50 best-selling Pop tunes.

Spain unveils $36 bn austerity package to tackle debt crisis - Firstpost

[fivefilters.org: unable to retrieve full-text content]


Spain unveils $36 bn austerity package to tackle debt crisis
Madrid: Spain's new conservative government unveiled a $36 billion deficit-reduction package for this year, that it hopes will convince its partners in Europe and wary international investors that it won't need a bailout.
Eurozone nations to increase bailoutChicago Tribune
Cleaning up after the strikeSan Francisco Chronicle
Spain Wields $36 Billion Budget AxWall Street Journal
Irish Times -The Independent -ABC Online -Reuters
all 1,794 news articles »

"Massive" Credit Card Breach of Estimated 10 Million Accounts: Where Are Those ... - Forbes


Mastercard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brian Krebs reported yesterday in his Krebs on Security blog that there has been a security breach at Global Payments that "may involve more than 10 million compromised card numbers." In terms of allaying consumer concerns about mobile and internet commerce, this is not the kind of headline the industry needs.

According to CNN/Money, "Global Payments (GPN) processed $167.3 billion worth of transactions in its last fiscal year, which ended May 31, 2011. Global Payments specializing in serving small merchants, like mom-and-pop businesses and local retailers." Global Payments say that it discovered the breach in early March, but, according to Krebs, "VISA and MasterCard began warning banks about specific cards that may have been compromised. The card associations stated that the breached credit card processor was compromised between Jan. 21, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2012. The alerts also said that full Track 1 and Track 2 data was taken – meaning that the information could be used to counterfeit new cards."

Visa and MC have not directly confirmed that GPN was the source of the breach, but that fact was confirmed by The Wall Street Journal later in the day. As the story progressed, estimates of the damage went from hundreds of thousands to the present 10 million+. It was a great piece of tag team journalism that brought all of the pieces together so quickly once the initial announcement was made.

Again, according to Krebs, "Global Payments will hold a conference call Monday, April 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT.  Callers may access the conference call via the investor relations page of the Company's Web site atwww.globalpaymentsinc.com by clicking the 'Webcast' button; or callers in North America may dial 1-888-895-3550 and callers outside North America may dial 1-706-758-8809.  The pass code is 'GPN.'" The little-known Atlanta-based company will spend the weekend trying to assess the damage, but the real question is can't more be done to prevent these breaches?

Clearly the current Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are inadequate and need to be revised, but better credit cards themselves would vastly increase security. Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan told CNN/MONEY that she is "skeptical about whether the credit card industry will invest the money and time required to switch to a more secure system, like 'smart cards' embedded with chips, which are used in some foreign countries. 'It's cheaper for them to deal with these breaches than to make all those chip cards.'"

This gets to the heart of consumers' fears about data security of all kinds—that their interests have been triaged to the greater cause of efficient data flow. Even if they are not actually liable for any fraudulent charges, their lives can be disrupted significantly at any moment—and nobody gets reimbursed for that.

Petrol farce turns to tragedy - The Independent

Diane Hill, 46, suffered 40 per cent burns when she apparently tried to pour petrol from a can into a jug to refuel her daughter's car. Ms Hill's gas cooker was on at the time and the petrol caught fire.

David Cameron described the incident as "desperately sad" but Labour rounded on Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, and suggested that his advice for motorists to keep a stock of fuel in jerry cans – in breach of fire guidelines – may have inadvertently led to the accident.

The mass panic-buying of petrol instigated by the Government went on yesterday – despite no strike having been called by tanker drivers. People were paying a "very, very heavy price" for ministers' "political intervention", the shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, claimed.

"I do think that political games were played. I think the Prime Minister woke up on Monday morning and thought, 'I've got the worst weekend I've had in government, [so] why don't I try to divert attention?'

"So suddenly, out of the blue, we had government ministers talking up a strike which wasn't even called.

"When he should have been responsible, he decided to wind this up. He sent out his cabinet minister to say, 'Fill up your jerry cans'. "It was a political invention, the panic of the last couple of days, and the nation and some people are paying a very, very heavy price for that."

Last night the Department of Health had to address fears that ambulances were running short of fuel. It said in a statement that ambulances had "well-stocked alternative fuel supplies and there is no problem with ambulances getting fuel". The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) urged ministers to make a public safety announcement on the dangers of petrol in the home.

Labour MP John Mann went further and called for Mr Maude to quit.

"This is precisely what the fire brigade warned against and [it] is a direct result of Francis Maude's rash and foolish reaction," Mr Mann said. "[He] should now be considering the consequences of his actions and do the decent thing and resign."

The Cabinet Office and No 10 ruled out Mr Maude's resignation but a Downing Street official privately admitted its message on the shortage threat got "out of control".

"The message we were trying to get across was that people ought to take sensible precautions," the official said. "We wanted them to be aware of the strike but not be panicked.

"That got confused with the political messaging about the irresponsibility of Unite.

"Things got out of control and it became a feeding frenzy."

Mr Cameron yesterday chaired his second Cobra crisis meeting in three days, also attended by Mr Maude.

In a leaked letter to the Department of Energy, the UK Petroleum Industry Association described the fuel rush as "self-inflicted insanity".

It also emerged that EU rules limiting the number of hours that fuel hauliers can work has been extended from nine to 11 hours in an attempt to restock besieged petrol stations.

The new rules will apply until Thursday and were introduced after requests from the fuel supply industry.

After the meeting, Mr Cameron said that he welcomed the announcement by Unite not to call strikes of petrol tanker drivers before Easter.

He urged Unite to engage constructively in talks at conciliation service Acas on Monday and withdraw the threat of action. "The most constructive thing they could do would be to call off the strike entirely," he said.

"That would ease pressure in the system further. The Government will continue with its contingency plans. It is absolutely vital we take the necessary steps to keep the country safe in case there is a strike.

"I can tell people the fuel companies are working flat out to resupply petrol stations. It is frustrating, I know, when petrol stations have queues.

"Everything that can be done is being done, but it will take some time."

Asked about Ms Hill's accident in York, he said: "This was absolutely a desperate incident and a terrible thing that has happened to this woman. My heart goes out to her and her family."

FBU leader Matt Wrack said: "What this incident shows are the dangers of handling petrol, especially in the home.

"It is highly flammable, highly explosive, easily ignited and toxic and that message needs to be sent out loud and clear.

"The public do not understand the extreme dangers posed by petrol ... it is critical at this time when we are entering a period when kids are off school."

Howard Jacobson: When did we stop seeing modesty as a virtue? - The Independent

A bit fat, that style of writing, for our lean times. Here's why we should be thankful for the Conservative Party: whatever our squeamishness in the matter of caricature, we can always rely on Tories to caricature themselves. They actually do take money from the poor to line the pockets of the rich; they actually do gallop through the centre of Chipping Norton on horses lent by friends any wise man would run a mile from; they actually do punish pensioners improvident enough not to have something stashed away in Bermuda or Liechenstein; they actually do think it behoves them to inhibit the drinking of the working classes (that's when they're not too drunk themselves to think anything) and they actually do (or did) employ as party treasurer a "Monaco boy" with an Essex accent by the name of Cruddas.

Though we castigate the Tory party for being a place where old Etonians can nod off in one another's company, in fact it's their hankering for the common touch that gets them into trouble. Was there not something embarrassingly costermonger about the Chancellor's slogan that the country was "open for business"? Touch and go, was it, between that and "open all hours"? As for the rumour that Osborne wanted to hang a sign from the front door of No 11 saying "Lovely to look at/ Delightful to hold/ But if you should break me/ Consider me sold", I can neither confirm nor deny it.

Then, just days after a budget so transparently unjust that Ed Miliband had only to run his hand through his hair to win the debate, along came "Mother" Theresa May showing she was au fait with "preloading" – that ancient proletarian ritual, still prevalent in the most deprived areas of the country, of getting pissed at home before you go out to get pissed on the street. An insider knowledge of the ways of ordinary folk that was on display again when the Tories suggested they hoard Cornish pasties – Cameron's takeaway of choice – in jerrycans stored in their groundsmen's sheds.

But with Cruddas we encounter a quality which, in fairness to its traditions, we don't normally associate with Conservatism at all. Boasting. If there's one thing a gentleman knows he has no need to do, it's boast. And if there's one thing a parvenu has to do – otherwise what's he risen from nowhere to somewhere for? – it's boast. Of the fools, animal or human, who enliven the pages of Aesop, the most common is the boaster. "Pretend this is Rhodes and jump then," say bystanders when a traveller boasts that in Rhodes he had jumped further than anyone had ever seen. Of the fools we encounter in the fables of our own lives the boaster is the easiest to confute. "Jump, then," we say, and there's an end of it. If Cruddas's boast, that a few shillings could buy you the Prime Minister's ear, wasn't empty, it's a serious matter for the Tory party. But if it was all bluster, how did he suppose he would not be rumbled?

That's a question we are forced to ask just about every time we turn on our television sets and hear competitors on some reality show or other singing their own praises. I long ago decided The Apprentice was not for adults on account of the inane boasting at its heart; not just the boasting implicit in the replete self-satisfaction of its host (if you've done so well, how come you're reduced to this, Lord Sugar?), but the feeble bragging of the contestants whose self-proclaimed marketing genius is given the lie three minutes into programme one when they can't give away an umbrella in the rain.

Yes, these are self-selecting shows; you have to be a dickhead to go on, so it stands to reason you'll say dickheaded things. But the culture of idiotic boasting is now so widespread that it must originate with the producers of these programmes, desperate to confer grandeur on what's vapid, to suggest drama where there is none, to make heroes of buffoons and, of course, when it comes to talent shows, to make buffoons of sad sacks.

Take a look at what they've done to Four Rooms, a sort of competitive Antiques Roadshow, in which sellers choose between rival bids from dealers said to be "masters of the dark arts of valuation". It had a laconic charm first time round, but it's returned as another excuse for gross posturing, with the dealers compelled to pose like The Avengers, vamping and camping and pluming and snorting and otherwise trying to look dangerous, telling us how they never fail to get what they want and then failing to get it at the first opportunity.

Almost everything that now happens on British television is crass, by turns timid and indecorous, but the boasting mania is the last scrape of the barrel. Modesty was once a virtue. Bring it back says I, or I will do such things – what they are yet, I know not; but they shall be the terrors of the earth.

Petrov's agent distances player from quit reports after emotional visit to ... - Daily Mail

By Sportsmail Reporter


The agent of Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov has distanced his client from reports that surfaced in Bulgaria, claiming the Aston Villa skipper will retire from football.

The 32-year-old international was at Villa Park to watch his side take on Chelsea and will start treatment for the illness in a London hospital on Monday.

But the midfielder, who has been at Villa for six years, revealed he is taking inspiration from Fabrice Muamba.

Brave: Stiliyan Petrov watches as Aston Villa take on Chelsea

Brave: Stiliyan Petrov watches as Aston Villa take on Chelsea

Petrov released a statement shortly after arriving at the ground, thanking the football community for their support.

Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during a FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham a fortnight ago, but has defied expectation in his recovery at the London Chest Hospital.

Petrov revealed a picture of Muamba sitting up in bed released had inspired him, along with numerous well-wishes, to get back to health.

'I would like to thank all of the people who have left messages of support. The response has been overwhelming and I appreciate it very much,' Petrov said.

'This is a difficult time for my family and myself and I ask people to respect my privacy.

Support: Aston Villa fans made their feelings clear at their game against Chelsea

Support: Aston Villa fans made their feelings clear at their game against Chelsea

Petrov, who had been capped 105 times by Bulgaria, said he had felt a strange headache during the first half of Villa's 3-0 defeat by Arsenal last Saturday and the team doctor had even suggested a half-time substitution.   

'I lost my energy early in the second half and it was very unusual for me,' he said.   

'But this is life, you see we drank a coffee in London a week ago and now we're talking about things like this.   

'I'll fight, it's clear and I also would like to thank everyone for the support from all around the world.'

United: Chelsea players wore t-shirts in support of Petrov

United: Chelsea players wore t-shirts in support of Petrov.

'With the help and love of my family, my team-mates, all of my friends in football, Aston Villa and all of the fans, I am sure I will beat this illness and I am determined to do this.

'I saw the picture released yesterday by Fabrice Muamba, my fellow player, and it has inspired me as has all of the support in the past 24 hours.

'For me, football will have to take a back seat for a while, but I'm here to support my team-mates today and I will continue to support them as I know they will support me. Thank you to everyone.'

An avalanche of support poured in from all parts of the world.  

'Let's all pray and believe that Stiliyan Petrov, one of the best football players Bulgaria have ever produced, one of my best and closest friends, will win this battle,' Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov said on his Facebook account.   

'He deserves all your support. Believe,' his compatriot added.

'But of course, wishes from Bulgaria encourage me most,' said former CSKA Sofia and Celtic midfielder Petrov. 'They give me strength to believe that one day I will recover.'

In our thoughts: Petrov's Aston Villa's team-mates showed their support before their game with Chelsea

In our thoughts: Petrov's Aston Villa's team-mates showed their support before their game with Chelsea

Both sets of players wore shirts to show their support in the warm-up. Villa's players wore shirts reading 'Support Stan' while the message on the Chelsea shirts read, 'Our thoughts are with you'.

Villa fans stood and applauded during the 19th minute of the match, in reference to the fact Petrov wears the number 19 shirt.

The Villa skipper had made a trip to London yesterday after his diagnosis was revealed but made the return journey late last evening to attend today's fixture in an executive box.

The illness was diagnosed after Petrov had complained of suffering with a fever following last week's 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Jessie J's stalker fan 'broke her own leg' to be like singer - Daily Mail

By Alanah Eriksen


Jessie J was left terrified after a crazed fan broke her own leg to look like the singer.

The teenage stalker targeted the 24-year-old after she broke her foot last year, tracking down her private details and sending her a picture of the injured limb.

The fan reportedly bombarded Jessie with text messages, including one saying: 'I will do anything to be just like you.'

I wanna be like you: Jessie J, seen last night, was targeted by a crazed fan who broke her own leg to be like the star

I wanna be like you: Jessie J, seen last night, was targeted by a crazed fan who broke her own leg to be like the star

A source told The Sun: 'She's horrified this happened. Jessie's a really, really sensitive and kind girl who loves keeping in touch with her fans.

'But this incident was just too much for her and she ended up getting really frightened and upset.

'She was sad that a fan hurt herself to look like her — but she was also scared for her own safety.'

Jessie suffered the injury in June after she fell off a podium while rehearsing for London's Summertime Ball.

Hurt: Jessie suffered the injury in June after she fell off a podium while rehearsing for London's Summertime Ball

The star has apparently now stepped up security since the incident.

It is not known how the fan - who cannot be named for legal reasons - broke her leg and Jessie's management have not commented.

A source told the newspaper: 'Now Jessie's on The Voice and getting bigger and bigger, she knows it is time to review security and the risks to her.

Busy: Jessie is now a judge on BBC's The Voice, alongside Will.i.am, Danny O'Donoghue and Tom Jones

Busy: Jessie is now a judge on BBC's The Voice, alongside Will.i.am, Danny O'Donoghue and Tom Jones

'She loves her fans but these things are unavoidable in this day and age. It happens to all pop stars as they become bigger. It's one of the downfalls of fame. Jessie would prefer it wasn't this way.'

Jessie suffered the injury in June after she fell off a podium while rehearsing for London's Summertime Ball.

But as she didn't realise the severity of the injury, spent two weeks walking on it and making it worse before discovering it was in fact broken.  She will now suffer arthritis for life.

Jessie continued performing in skimpy outfits on stage for months afterwards.

She finally had the cast removed last October, but said she would never be able to wear high heels without pain again.

Here's what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Doesn't she look like thingy from Emmerdale?


Im a massive Jessie fan, but this is too far. This person is a weirdo. Clearly obsessed.

What an absolute freak!

dont believe a word of it!! PR hype!

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Manchester City's hopes hit despite late Sunderland draw - Reuters UK

LONDON | Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:37pm BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City salvaged a point with two late goals to draw 3-3 with Sunderland on Saturday but the result helped tip the balance in the Premier League title race in Manchester United's favour.

With seven matches to play, City, chasing their first title since 1968, moved on to 71 points, two behind United who could go five clear at the top if they beat lowly Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on Monday.

Arsenal's seven-match winning league run came to an end when they suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at strugglers Queens Park Rangers, while Chelsea maintained their push for a top four spot with a 4-2 win at Aston Villa.

Wolverhampton Wanderers are beginning to look doomed following their seventh successive home league loss as they went down 3-2 against Bolton Wanderers.

That result left Wolves on 22 points, six adrift of Blackburn, QPR and Wigan Athletic, who continued their revival with a 2-0 win over Stoke City.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports: "It was a crazy game" and said he had no real explanation why his team's form had dipped after they led the table for almost five months until their defeat at Swansea City three weeks ago.

"We didn't play a good game today. They had a lot of chances, we made some mistakes and that's it - we can do nothing at the moment."

Asked what was going wrong, he replied: "I don't know - we have been really unlucky. We lost two or three important players and we didn't play well, but at least at the end we scored twice and got a point."

Although Sunderland did not win, they ended City's perfect home record following 15 straight league wins this season, after taking the lead through Sebastian Larsson after 31 minutes with a shot from the edge of the box.

City replied with a Mario Balotelli penalty after 43 minutes following a foul on Edin Dzeko but a Nicklas Bendtner header put Sunderland 2-1 ahead before halftime and Larsson made it 3-1 10 minutes into the second period.

Sunderland still led with five minutes to play before Balotelli pulled one back and Aleksandar Kolarov, who had an angry exchange with Balotelli over a free-kick earlier in the second half, scored to save a point a minute later.


Lowly QPR, battling against an immediate return to the Championship, were too good for Arsenal at Loftus Road, going ahead through Adel Taarabt's first Premier League goal with a drilled shot after 22 minutes.

In-form Theo Walcott equalised for the visitors in the 37th but Arsenal, who have been in superb form in recent weeks, lost their way in the second half.

Samba Diakite scored QPR's winner with a first time shot - his first goal for the club -- leaving Arsenal third in the table on 58 points, three ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs can move level on points with their arch-rivals if they beat Swansea City at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

"We had an apparent superiority but it was only apparent because I felt we lacked a lot today," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"We made mistakes and our performance was not good enough. We lacked the extra gear, and when you lack that you don't win games."

QPR boss Mark Hughes told Sky Sports: "I'm very proud of the players who have beaten a very accomplished Arsenal side who in recent weeks have been the in-form team in the Premier League.

"We showed a lot of discipline and resilience to see the game out. We had a fantastic night here recently when we beat Liverpool but today was even better."


Chelsea won on an emotional day at Villa Park, after allowing Aston Villa back into the game in the closing stages before taking all three points with two late goals.

Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, watched the game with his family from the directors box and was given a minute's applause by fans in the 19th minute - which matches his shirt number.

Petrov, who begins treatment for his illness on Monday, looked on as Chelsea went 2-0 ahead through Daniel Sturridge and Branislav Ivanovic, then recovered from a Villa fightback to win 4-2 which took them within two points of Spurs.

Villa, fielding a young, inexperienced team, equalised with goals from James Collins and Eric Lichaj but Chelsea pushed on to take all three points with a second for Ivanovic and one from Fernando Torres, who got his first league goal since September 24.

Villa manager Alex McLeish, whose side are only five points above the relegation zone, told Sky Sports he was not surprised by the show of emotion for his 32-year-old skipper Petrov.

"It's a measure of how popular the guy is," he said, "Not only at this club but at his former club Celtic, while the Bulgarian nation will be rooting for him.

"He is a determined guy and he says he will fight it and beat it. It was a good moment when he came in the dressing room."

(Editing by Ken Ferris and Alison Wildey)

'I was held as a Falklands war spy in the Argentinian Alcatraz' - The Guardian

When I arrived in Argentina in 1982 after the invasion of the Falklands, the mood was euphoric. "The recovery of our islands has been very easy," said the slogan on Argentinian TV, as the screen filled with a map of the "Malvinas".

Few people in Argentina thought there would be a war. Even when Margaret Thatcher dispatched a task force, the six weeks it would take for British troops to reach the Falklands seemed plenty of time for diplomacy to do its work and find a compromise.

Argentinian officials were in ebullient mood at a reception I attended in the presidential palace. The press secretary of Leopoldo Galtieri, head of the ruling junta, waved his arms expansively and replied, "Anywhere you like," when I asked him where I was allowed to travel in the country.

So as defence correspondent of the Observer, and with no need to file daily reports, I set off with two colleagues towards the military bases in southern Argentina in the hope of finding an amenable pilot who would fly us over to the islands. At Rio Grande airport in Tierra del Fuego, the bright red Tierra del Fuegan government Lear jet sat tantalisingly close on the tarmac and its pilot was almost persuaded to take us "for a spin". Ten minutes on the ground in the Falklands would have been enough for a global scoop.

But it was not to be. In the end, having reached Ushuaia, the most southerly town in the world, we gave up. In the south, closer to the Falklands, the mood was darker. As we were about to return to Buenos Aires, an Argentinian naval officer accompanied by armed marines marched up and arrested us. "For you the war is over," he said sneeringly in English.

At first I felt pleased. I had no doubt that I would soon be released, as journalists invariably were, and would have a ready-made story of "My night in an Argentinian jail". It was only when a judge announced that the three of us would be charged with espionage that I realised the seriousness of the situation. The "dirty war" in Argentina in which thousands had disappeared had not yet ended and the country's naval intelligence, in whose hands I now was, was guilty of many of the atrocities.

My mistake had been to fail to realise that, unlike in other wars that I had covered, I was a citizen of the enemy state this time. My notes of the military aircraft and troop movements I had seen were deemed to be not journalistic but espionage material.

Ushuaia prison was "locked down" for our arrival. Prisoners were confined to their cells, and total silence imposed. The first evening we were allowed to exercise along the prison corridor. A cell door opened and shut again almost immediately and three apples came rolling towards us. It was the first sign that, while we might have been dangerous international spies in the eyes of the Argentinian authorities, as far as the other prisoners were concerned we were fellow victims of the system. Later I discovered that our benefactor was Humbert, a Chilean businessman in prison for stealing whisky.

The three of us were questioned at length separately and afterwards put into one cell and allowed to mix with the other prisoners. There were around 26 of them in cells along a single corridor. They were a mixed bunch, ranging from local criminals to cattle smugglers and one former Tupamaro guerrilla from Uruguay called Castro, who was in prison for grievous bodily harm. Some were pathetic characters. One named Moreno, who attached himself to me, was a conscript serving two years for hitting an officer. He confided that he had had sex only once and that was with the wife of a lion-tamer while he was working in a circus.

Another prisoner, who had forged his identity, asked me to write to his English girlfriend in Chile to inform her that he was "in obscurity", so she would not know he was in prison.

There were two women in the prison, in a separate section. One was a young prostitute from a nightclub serving two years for taking out the eye of another woman with a broken bottle. The other female prisoner had killed her 13th baby.

The war was ever present. The prison was in line with the runway of Ushuaia's air base and we saw Argentinian Skyhawk jets taking off to attack the British fleet. The worst day was 2 May, when a British submarine sank the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano with the loss of 323 lives. The Belgrano was based in Ushuaia and had sailed from there to patrol the south-west approaches to the Falklands, as there were fears that the Chilean navy would intervene on the side of Britain.

Our cell was invaded by furious prison guards, who took everything except basic necessities. We lost the shortwave radio through which we had been following the conflict on the BBC without having to rely on Argentinian propaganda on a TV set in the prison. Feelings ran high in the town when the bodies were brought back. Commander Juan Carlos Grieco, the senior naval intelligence officer dealing with my case, was at the dockside. He told me that one lifeboat had contained bodies frozen to their seats, including that of an Argentinian sailor still holding a lamp aloft. Officers from the Belgrano had been at his house the night before the cruiser sailed, and made final calls to their families, some their last.

My greatest fear was of being torn to pieces by a mob. There was yelling in the street, death threats were sent to the court and in the nearby Argentinian naval base there was talk of an attack on the prison to seize us.

Escape was out of the question because of the harsh Antarctic winter and the fact that Tierra del Fuego had originally been chosen as the site of Argentina's Alcatraz because of its remoteness. There was a glacier behind the prison. But at the front, by standing on a chair, I had a beautiful view through the barred window towards the Beagle Channel and the snow-capped mountains of Navarino Island in Chile, sometimes rose-tinted in the wintry sunlight.

One small blessing was that the original prison, in which prisoners had to wear full-length yellow and black striped tunics and looked like human wasps, was defunct. But conditions were harsh and the food poor – chicken necks being my least favourite dish. The prison was the most patriotic place in town, being the first to "volunteer" to forego electricity for the sake of the war, although this self-denial did not extend to the prison officers' club. There was nowhere to exercise and the air was blue with tobacco smoke as there were no open windows.

The rattle of chains on an outer gate near my cell during the night always woke me. Usually it was just a new prisoner being brought in. At weekends it was drunks from a nightclub called the Igloo. They were put in a cell that always smelt of urine and released with a small fine on Monday. I came to recognise some of the "regulars".

I was not tortured. A highly effective international campaign was organised on our behalf. The judge received more than 600 telegrams of protest and prison guards realised that we were too "important" to be harmed.

When the war ended the Argentinian mood changed to one of resignation. Eventually, when I had spent nearly three months in prison, the judge granted bail with freedom to leave Argentina. Seven years later through a statute of limitations the case expired. Officially, I was neither guilty nor innocent.

I returned to Tierra del Fuego to make a BBC documentary for the 10th anniversary of the Falklands invasion. I met again many of the leading characters, including the prison governor, José Barrozo, a civilian, who had prospered, and Grieco, who had fallen on hard times. Both were honourable men. I felt no animosity towards them, nor did they towards me. I like to think that we ended up friends.

Tulisa dons racy red dress for romantic date with new man Jack O'Connell - Daily Mail

By Alanah Eriksen


She had covered up slightly earlier in a pretty summer dress as she tries to quash gossip following her leaked sex tape.

But it was back to her racy best for Tulisa Contostavlos last night.

The X Factor judge donned the tightest and shortest dress possible during a date with her new man, Skins actor Jack O'Connell.

Racy: Tulisa wore a very skimpy red dress for a night out with her new man, Skins star Jack O'Connell in London last night

Racy: Tulisa wore a very skimpy red dress for a night out with her new man, Skins star Jack O'Connell in London last night

The 23-year-old walked two paces behind her boyfriend as they left Hakkasan restaurant in Mayfair.

She was obviously not worried about courting attention in the red strapless number which showed off her cleavage and her bronzed legs.

The singer paired the dress with black, peep-toe Christina Louboutin heels, silver hoop earrings and a black leather jacket, with her long brunette locks pulled back in a ponytail.

Not worried about attracting attention then? The N-Dubz star went for maximum exposure with her cleavage and bronzed legs on display

Dressing up: The star paired the dress with silver hoop earrings and a black leather jacket, and looked considerably more done up than Jack

Jack was more dressed down in a long-sleeved shirt and dark jeans.

The pair left in a taxi together about 12.30am after the late-night dinner date.

Jack seems unfazed by Tulisa's current escapades and is remaining by her side.

It seems unlikely he is using her for notoriety though, with his own career about to take off due to his own merits.

While the former Skins star isn't quite a household name yet, he has an ever-growing list of future projects in the pipeline.

O'Connell will soon be seen in Tower Block alongside Sheridan Smith and Rusell Tovey, as well as supernatural drama Beautiful Creatures with Viola Davis and Jeremy Irons.

Sticking by her: Jack is obviously unfazed about Tulisa's new-found notoriety following her leaked sex tape

Sticking by her: Jack is obviously unfazed about Tulisa's new-found notoriety following her leaked sex tape

Home bound! The couple left in a taxi together about 12.30am after the late dinner

Home bound! The couple left in a taxi together about 12.30am after the late dinner

Yesterday, Tulisa did her best Disney star impression as she joined Jack on a shopping trip..

Looking every inch the squeaky clean pop princess, she stepped out in white sneakers and a cutesy multi-coloured dress that looked more Selena Gomez than N-Dubber.

However, the reality is starkly different for the Camden-born singer who hit the headlines this month for all the wrong reasons.

Tulisa is currently embroiled in a rather embarrassing court case after she accused her former flame Justin Edwards - otherwise known as MC Ultra - releasing an old sex tape of them.

Girl next door: Tulisa Contostavlos steps out in girly dress as she goes shopping in Shoreditch with Jack O'Connell

Girl next door: Earlier, Tulisa stepped out in girly dress while shopping in Shoreditch with Jack

Follow my lead: Jack seems well trained as he carries the shopping bags

Follow my lead: Jack seems well trained as he carries the shopping bags

To add insult to injury, a shop in Soho is now claiming to sell copies of the footage for a mere 5, despite her lawyers seeking an injunction to prohibit anyone from publishing or disclosing the video.

But never one to shy away from controversy, Tulisa has been carrying on with business as usual.

This week, the Young singer joined the likes of Rihanna and JLS as she attended the Drake concert at the O2 Arena.

Energy fix: Tulisa stopped off at a local shop to buy a bottle of Lucozade

Here's what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

What a stroke of luck, a sex tape released in advance of her debut solo single.................

Wonder what was on the menu?.....

For a new couple they look utterly miserable together.

Looking like the kind of girl whom I would give a wide berth on a night out.

Unfortunately no matter what this stunning girl wears she never manages to pull off classy

He looks about 14!


It will be pretty awful for her kids, if she chooses to have them, when they or their classmates find her se x tape on the internet.

This paper is vile

I don't think he's going to like all this attention

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

GPs' shares in private firms raise alarm - The Independent

Could the mind play a bigger role in healthcare?

As warnings of antibiotics losing their effectiveness are circulated, Tony Lobl argues the power of ...

New Laws Pushed by Nicolas Sarkozy After Toulouse Massacre Go Too Far - Daily Beast

He showed up voluntarily. His trips, he maintained, were innocent, just tourism—he displayed photos to prove his case. In any case, the beardless young man, who enjoyed fast cars, women, alcohol, and hashish, with no known links to any terrorist cell—was not at all the profile of a rabid jihadist. After questioning, they let him go, though keeping his name on a local "watch list."

Photos of the Day: March 27, 2012 - The Seattle Times

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photos of the Day: March 27, 2012

Wellcome Trust employee Zoe Middleton poses for the media by a work entitled 'My Soul' by artist Katherine Dawson, that is a laser etched in lead crystal glass of the artist's own MRI scan, at an exhibition call 'Brains -The Mind as Matter' at the Wellcome Collection in London, Tuesday, March, 27, 2012. The free exhibition is open to the public from March 29- June 17.

Cameron Dive Breaks Record - Christian Science Monitor

Eric Maddox, founder of the Virtual Dinner Guest Project, sits at a table at the Epazote Restaurant in Santa Fe, N.M. Mr. Maddox hosted a virtual dinner here with diners in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in the fall via Skype. He and others have also held a dinner/breakfast meeting with a group in Karachi, Pakistan.

Adobe releases public beta of Photoshop CS6 - ZDNet (blog)

... "the beta requires online registration activation"
I have an AdobeID which might be in a cookie somewhere from a recent Lightroom 4 trial ... but I wasn't asked to supply it. I chose 'try' instead of 'install' and wasn't asked for a serial ... or to activate.

"dont miss Lori Grunins post" ... or Scott Kelby's.

I only had one problem: the splendid new graphics speed-up via the Mercury engine didn't work with my (nVidia) graphics card: all attempts to open an image caused a program crash, followed by a reference to an AMD fault report suggesting registry edits to keys which didn't exist.

Approach with caution!

Montreal-born princess gives birth to baby girl - CBC.ca

Buckingham Palace says Peter Phillips and his wife, Autumn, have had a baby girl — giving Queen Elizabeth II her second great-grandchild.

Isla Elizabeth Phillips, born Thursday, weighed in at 7 pounds and 4 ounces.

She will be 13th in line to the British throne, after her older sister Savannah.

The palace said Friday that the 85-year-old queen, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Autumn's family are delighted by the news.

Peter Phillips is the son of Princess Anne. He married Montreal-born Autumn in May 2008.

Bus driver held over death crash - Belfast Telegraph

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A bus driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a crash in thick fog on the M5 left one man dead and two others critically ill.

Dozens of passengers on the bus carrying a party of fruit pickers were treated for less serious injuries after a lorry crashed into the rear of the vehicle near Frankley Services early on Saturday.

West Midlands Police said a 49-year-old bus driver from Birmingham had been arrested in connection with the incident and had since been bailed pending further inquiries.

Apple to offer refund to all Australian buyers of new iPad - Calgary Herald

MELBOURNE — Apple Inc. will email all Australian buyers of its new iPad to offer them a refund, a lawyer for the company said on Wednesday, after the nation's consumer watchdog accused it of misleading advertising over one key aspect of the product.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken legal action to ensure Apple makes consumers aware its third-generation iPad cannot connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia due to technical incompatibility.

Apple barrister Paul Anastassiou told the Federal Court in Melbourne that the company would send emails to all Australian buyers to date, offering the refund. The new iPad was launched in stores only this month.

Men due in court over Oxfordshire child sex trafficking - ITN

A group of men are due in court on Saturday charged with child exploitation offences following a series of police raids in Oxfordshire.

A total of 13 people were arrested on Thursday March 22 by officers who were investigating reports that 24 underage girls had been groomed.

Of those, six men, aged between 26 and 37, have been charged with offences including rape, conspiracy to rape a child, arranging child prostitution and child trafficking.

Between them, they face 33 charges.

Seven men have been released on bail until April.

The operation, involving more than 100 officers, followed an investigation into the disappearance of several young girls.

Falkland Islands 'will belong to Argentina one day' says minister - Telegraph.co.uk

"And this is something that concerns the sovereignty not just of Argentina but the whole of Latin America."

On Thursday, the governor of the islands said there is little point negotiating with Argentina over the fate of the Falklands, arguing the residents all want to be British and have self-determination.

"The difficulty is even down to the word dispute, we don't recognise it is a dispute," Governor Nigel Haywood told AFP, as the remote South Atlantic archipelago marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.

"The islands are British, we have full rights on the islands, the islanders themselves want to be British. The only dispute is Argentina challenging that right. It therefore follows that negotiations make no sense."

Key players in the health-care challenge before the Supreme Court - Washington Post

Lawyer Paul Clement

Solicitor General Paul Clement, representing the 26 states challenging the health-care law, has argued more than 55 cases at the Supreme Court. He is a longtime favorite of conservatives and is often mentioned on the short list of potential Supreme Court nominees should a Republican win the White House. He attended Georgetown University and Harvard Law School and later clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia. Clement, 45, served as solicitor general under President George W. Bush, is a partner at Bancroft PLLC and teaches law at Georgetown University.

Toulouse gunman's father plans to sue France over son's death - Ynetnews

The Islamist gunman whose murder spree shocked France will be buried in his ancestral homeland Algeria, his father told AFP Monday, adding that he planned to sue France over his son's death.


"(God willing), I have decided to bury my son in Algeria," Mohamed Benalel Merah said, referring to his son Mohamed Merah, 23, who was shot dead by French police on Thursday in Toulouse at the end of a stand-off after his shooting attacks that killed seven. (AFP)


viernes, 30 de marzo de 2012

UK taxi driver may have seen assassination - Sky News Australia

Updated: 15:10, Monday March 26, 2012

Detectives say they are seeking a taxi driver who drove a Russian ex-banker to his London home shortly before an attempted assassination in east London.

German Gorbuntsov is in a critical but stable condition in hospital after he suffered several gunshot wounds on Tuesday night outside an apartment block close to London's Canary Wharf financial district.

Gorbuntsov's lawyer Vadim Vedenin was quoted as telling Russia's Kommersant newspaper that the ex-banker had recently supplied information to an inquiry into an attempted 2009 slaying of another Russian banker.

Police have declined to speculate on whether the attempted killing is linked to the Russian case.

Officers said on Sunday in a statement that the taxi driver may have been nearby when the attack happened.

Aston Villa's Petrov diagnosed with cancer - IBNLive.com

London: Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia. The 32-year-old developed a fever after the club's 3-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium and the initial diagnosis was confirmed on Friday.

The Bulgarian joined Aston Villa in 2006 from Celtic and has been club captain for over two and a half years.

A club statement read: "Stiliyan developed a fever following the Arsenal game last Saturday and subsequently underwent tests conducted by Dr Ian McGuinness. Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis on Friday."

"We expect to learn more about Stiliyan's situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family.

"During this time we ask that Stiliyan's privacy is placed ahead of all inquiries and trust that we will share information as we receive it. Stiliyan is cherished by many and he will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion."

Robbie Williams to be a dad - Seattle Post Intelligencer (blog)

British pop star Robbie Williams is set to become a father.

The singer took to his official blog on Friday to announce he's expecting his first child with wife Ayda Field.

He writes, "I've been keeping a secret from you all. … Me and Ayda are going to be mommy and daddy this year. We had sex! It works!"

And the "Angels" hit maker admits he and his actress partner have turned into emotional wrecks while preparing for the arrival of their firstborn.

He adds, "We've seen scans and cried. … Looked at babies in commercials and teared up. The nursery is already planned. Basically I'm in love with a little person growing in mummy's belly and can't wait to be a daddy. … Crying now. Much love much joy. Roberto, mom and little bump. XXXXXX."

UK fuel-tanker drivers won't strike over Easter - The Seattle Times


A union representing British fuel tanker drivers on Friday ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter which had led to some panic-buying in parts of the country.

Unite, which represents around 2,000 tanker drivers, said it retains the right to call a strike if talks due to start next week break down.

The move came after the government had warned consumers to stock up at the pump ahead of any threatened strike, sending gasoline sales soaring as lines formed at gas stations.

In some parts of England the lines were so long that police ordered stations to close to ease congestion.

Britain's Petrol Retailers Association said that gasoline sales were up more than 170 percent on Thursday, while diesel sales were up almost 80 percent.

The government has come under attack from opposition politicians, who accused the ruling Conservative Party of inflaming the situation by encouraging consumers to stock up on fuel after days of negative headlines over party donors and controversy over the government's deficit-reduction plans.

Fuel delivery strikes have the potential to cause serious political damage in Britain, where gasoline prices are already among the highest in Europe.

Imogen Thomas celebrates National Cleavage Day - The Sun

The glamour girl posted the photo of her boobs in a red lacy bra on Twitter with the message: "Happy cleavage day! Mwah :-) xxx."

The former Big Brother star is known for her voluptuous figure and is a lads' mag favourite and it's easy to see why.

Get more on National Cleavage Day including The Sun's cleavage Hall of Fame

But she wasn't the only celeb getting in on the action today.

Presenter Lisa Snowdon also posted a sexy photo of her cleavage online.

And she added: "Happy national cleavage day everyone!! From mine at the gym!"

Xtra Factor host and singer Olly Murs tweeted his delight at hearing what day it was.

He told fans: "Just heard NATIONAL CLEAVAGE DAY!!! Excited about getting out of this studio.... #schwing."

Even ex Strictly star Robbie Savage was celebrating, posting a photo of his days on the show with the message: "Heh #nationalcleavegeday what you reckon."

He added: "Happy cleavage day everyone lol lol !!"

And former Dancing On Ice starLaura Hamilton, who is is engaged to insurance broker Alex Goward, wrote: "Alex informs me it's national cleavage day today? Did he make that up? He he."

Imogen recently moaned that she'd wolfed down too many snacks while on holiday in Thailand earlier this month, and booked herself into a bootcamp.

Well she's got a point, she's busting out of her clothes.

Video: National Cleavage Day

WATCH sexy montage of busty babes showing off their breast assets

Fabrice Muamba Twitter photo shows him smiling - Newsday

Photo credit: AP | Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba is stretchered off after collapsing during the English FA Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane stadium in London. (March 17, 2012)

LONDON -- A photo of Fabrice Muamba has appeared on the Bolton midfielder's Twitter account showing him sitting up and smiling, nearly two weeks after his heart stopped beating and he collapsed during an FA Cup match.

The first photo of Muamba since his cardiac arrest shows the bearded 23-year-old dressed and seated with a pillow for support. An accompanying message says, "Fab wanted me to post this pic for you all and to also say thank you for such overwhelming support."

The former England under-21 international has been in the London Chest Hospital since collapsing on March 17 in the game against Tottenham. Doctors worked on Muamba for 78 minutes to get his heart beating on its own.

Two days later, he was talking to doctors. This week, he began eating again on his own.

Vote on nano-SIM technology gets delayed - CNET

A standard sized SIM (left) and a smaller micro-SIM (right). The nano-SIM promises to be even smaller.

A standard size SIM (left) and a smaller micro-SIM (right). The nano-SIM promises to be even smaller.

(Credit: Donald Bell/CNET)

A decision on what will be the next SIM card technology for smartphones and other portable devices has been delayed following a spat between competing hardware makers.

In a statement today, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) said that it is postponing its decision on what's come to be known as nano-SIM until the end of May.

"The committee decided to delay any vote on the subject in the interest of trying to achieve a broad industry consensus, which is in keeping with the preferred decision making process at ETSI," the group said in a statement.

The move follows claims by Research In Motion that rival Apple was trying to skew the results by having company representatives change their company affiliation when they cast their proxy votes. Both companies, along with Motorola Mobility and Nokia, hope to have their own version of the technology picked as the new standard, which will then be used in new handsets.

SIM cards store the device user's phone number and mobile identity on the network. A smaller version of the micro-SIM, which contains the nano-SIM new technology features additional storage for increased functionality. It's the latest in a series of updates to shrink the size of the hardware to help make more room inside mobile devices.

Apple has reportedly offered to provide the technology's patents to fellow mobile device makers at no cost. However, in exchange, those firms would have to adopt Apple's technology as an industry standard and offer the "same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity."

French outlet Les Echos first reported the delay last night.

CNET editor Steven Musil contributed to this report.

Austerity bites deeper in Spain - euronews

Spain's government has announced further deep budget cuts for this year in its increasingly unpopular austerity drive, one day after an anti-austerity general strike paralysed Spain.

All ministries will have their spending slashed by just under 17 percent.

Civil servants' salaries will also be frozen this year and electricity prices will rise by seven percent.

The tough austerity measures were demanded by Brussels to slash Madrid deficit to manageable levels.

Deputy Prime Minister Sáenz de Santamaría said: "The government is trying to put in place all the measures necessary to change the situation – to end Spain's complicated public deficit and unemployment situation, so that we can return to growth and hire workers. "

"This government will not raise value added tax but is calling for an extra effort within corporate taxes," she added.

The austerity measures – including some announced last December – add up to 27 billion euros.

Changes in taxes on personal income and company profits should increase revenues — particularly the elimination of corporate tax deductions.

Madrid hopes to cut the deficit this year to 5.3 percent of GDP, the level the European Union says is needed to avoid a Greek style bailout. Last year it was 8.5 percent.

There will be no changes to jobless benefits, a major expense in a country which has the highest unemployment rate in Europe with almost 24 percent of the workforce is on the dole and half of all Spaniards of working age under 25 without a job.

The cuts come despite popular resistance – a general strike on Thursday disrupted transport, halted industry and on occasion erupted into violence – and against a grim economic backdrop; Spain is thought to have fallen back into recession in the first quarter of 2012.

Some economists are concerned that deep austerity measures could hurt already weakened growth and further endanger the deficit targets.

Total cuts of over 42 billion euros between the central administrations and the regional authorities could be tough for an economy struggling to grow, economists warn.

Power shock

Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said the seven percent increase in electricity prices would help contain an accumulated 24 billion euro deficit caused by utility companies selling electricity below what it cost to produce.

He said the increase would have been 30 percent if consumers alone had been required to pay to keep the "tariff deficit" within legal limits for this year, and to eliminate it next year.

However utilities would also contribute by cutting costs and some extra contribution would come from the government, he said.

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Copyright © 2012 euronews

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RIM shares higher after revised business plan - CTV.ca

Research In Motion could become a specialized company that doesn't compete head-on with Apple or Android devices in the consumer market now that the struggling BlackBerry maker has announced plans to rebuild itself, analysts said Friday.

"Ultimately, what I think RIM ends up doing is becoming a smaller company," said Evercore Partners analyst Alkesh Shah.

"It will be more software and services-focused," Shah said from New York.

New CEO Thorstein Heins told analysts late Thursday that RIM (TSX:RIM) will shift more attention to its business users, and stop pursuing the consumer market as aggressively as it has in recent quarters.

"They're going to be a smaller company, than say Apple or Samsung, but they could potentially be an incredibly profitable company as they become a part of many of the devices and smartphone tablets that are sold around the world," Shah said of RIM's technology.

RIM could license its popular texting service, BlackBerry Messenger and its encryption technology that gives its BlackBerrys security, he said.

"Who do you think of when you think of secure communication? You think of BlackBerrys and RIM."

RIM could also help companies manage their networks to allow employees to use iPhones and Android smartphones in the workplace without security fears, Shah added.

Shares of Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) rose more than three per cent in early trading Friday, as investors reacted to the BlackBerry maker's revised business plan.

Stock of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company was up 44 cents, or 3.2 per cent, to $14.11 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

William Blair & Co. analyst Anil Doradla also said RIM is now going to focus more on its business customers after not being totally successful in the consumer market.

"They're saying, 'Let's focus on our core strength. Let's focus on enterprise. Once we get that stability on that front, then we will start looking at the consumer side,"' said Doradla, who's based in Chicago.

The change of direction came as the company posted a loss of US$125-million in the most recent quarter. RIM, which had been expected to show a profit when it reported after the markets closed on Thursday, attributed the weaker results primarily to a $355-million asset writedown, reflecting the reduced value of its business.

The loss equalled 24 cents US per share compared with a profit of US$934 million, or $1.78 per diluted share, a year ago. Excluding one-time charges, RIM reported an adjusted profit of $418 million, or 80 cents per share.

Revenue fell to $4.2 billion, from $5.6 billion a year earlier.

The average analyst estimate had been for a profit of 81 cents per share and revenue of $4.54 billion, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Analysts had expected the company to ship 11.5 million BlackBerrys in the quarter but it reported only about 11.1 million were sold.

New CEO Heins said Research In Motion will focus more on its core business users: "We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on our leading position in this segment."

National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson said RIM is going back to its roots, but that it could be a risky move.

"Our view is that RIM is once again focusing on its enterprise roots, which is not the fastest growing market," Thompson wrote in a research note.

Also on Thursday, RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie, 52, announced his retirement. Balsillie had remained a director since losing his job as co-chief executive and co-chairman of the company in January.

Balsillie was, for many years, the main spokesman for the company as it grew from a small niche technology maker into a global smartphone leader. He had shared the CEO and chairman roles with RIM co-founder Mike Lazaridis.

Activist shareholder Vic Alboini and chief executive of Jaguar Financial, who had been pushing for Balsillie to leave the company, said the departure of the former co-CEO was expected.

He also said the decision to pursue a strategic review has been a long time coming and could help push up the company's value.

Mega Millions jackpot increases to $640 million - The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Lottery ticket lines swelled Friday as the record Mega Millions jackpot grew to $640 million, thanks to players who cast aside concerns about long odds and opened their wallets for a chance at becoming an overnight millionaire.

A café worker in Arizona reported selling $2,600 worth of tickets to one buyer, while a retired soldier in Wisconsin doubled his regular weekly ticket spending to $55. But each would have to put down millions more to guarantee a win.

"I feel like a fool throwing that kind of money away," said Jesse Carter, whose two tickets purchased Friday at a Milwaukee grocery store brought him to the $55 mark. "But it's a chance you take in life, with anything you do."

The $640 million jackpot, if taken as a $462 million lump sum and after federal tax withholding, works out to about $347 million. With the jackpot odds at 1 in 176 million, it would cost $176 million to buy up every combination. Under that scenario, the strategy would win $171 million — less if your state also withholds taxes.

Laura Horsley, who does communications and marketing for a trade association, bought $20 worth of Quick Pick tickets at a downtown Washington liquor store Friday. But Horsley, who said she won't buy a lottery ticket unless the jackpot tops $100 million, said she remained realistic.

"I don't actually think I'm going to win, and I don't believe in superstitions or numbers or anything like that," she said. "I just figured it's right around the corner. I'd be crazy not at least to give it a shot."

Thousands of players — who converged on convenience stores in 42 states and Washington, D.C., where Mega Millions tickets are sold — agreed.

Many in Indiana were further encouraged by the promise of freebies: Hoosier Lottery officials gave away one free Mega Millions ticket to each of the first 540 players at several outlets around the state Friday — a plan announced before the jackpot grew by $100 million.

In Indianapolis, college student Chris Stewart said he showed up at the lottery's headquarters at 6:30 a.m., two hours before doors opened, to be first in a line of about 60 people who wanted to claim a free ticket.

"I've never seen a jackpot like this before," said Stewart, who bought five additional tickets for the drawing. "If I won — I mean wow! I just don't know what I'd do. I'd really have to think what I could do with it."

The lines were out the door at Rosie's Den cafe in the rural northwestern Arizona community of White Hills, 72 miles southeast of Las Vegas and one of the closest points to Nevada — which doesn't offer Mega Millions — for buyers to get in the game.

Rosie's worker Christine Millim said it's been nonstop for four days.

"In one step I sold $2,600 worth so, that was one person," she said.

Mike Catalano, chairman of the mathematics department at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., concedes the math is clear: The more tickets you buy, the better chances you have of winning.

But even buying 10 tickets filled out 10 different ways only increasing odds of winning the jackpot to 10 in 176 million.

"You are about 50 times as likely to get struck by lightning as to win the lottery, based on the 90 people a year getting struck by lightning," Catalano said. "Of course, if you buy 50 tickets, you've equalized your chances of winning the jackpot with getting struck by lightning."

Based on other U.S. averages, you're about 8,000 times more likely to be murdered than to win the lottery, and about 20,000 times more likely to die in a car crash than hit the lucky numbers, Catalano said.

"You might get some psychological enjoyment from playing the lottery, but from a financial standpoint ... you'd be much better off going to Las Vegas and playing blackjack or the slot machines," he said.

For David Kramer, a lawyer in Lincoln, Neb., buying his Mega Millions ticket Thursday wasn't about "the realistic opportunity to win."

"It's the fact that for three days, the daydreaming time about what I would do if I won is great entertainment and, frankly, a very nice release from a normal day," he said.

Everett Eahmer, 80, of St. Paul, Minn., said he's been playing the lottery "since the beginning."

"If I win, the first thing I'm going to do is buy a (Tim) Tebow football shirt, and I'm going to do the Tebow pose," said Eahmer, who bought five tickets Thursday. "I'm with him in honoring a higher power."

Lottery officials are happy to have Friday's record Mega Millions jackpot fueling ticket sales, but even they caution against spending large amounts per person.

"When people ask me, I just tell them that the odds of a lottery game make it a game of fate," said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association that oversees the Mega Millions, Powerball and other lotteries. "Just buy a ticket, sit back and see if fate points a finger at you for that day."

Associated Press writers Carrie Antlfinger and Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee, Rick Callahan and Carrie Schedler in Indianapolis, Mark Carlson in Phoenix, Jessica Gresko in Washington and Alexandra Tempus in St. Paul, Minn., contributed to this report.

Fatima Whitbread: I could probably have knocked out an ostrich - The Guardian

Hello Fatima! Hello Small Talk.

You're appearing at the Gold Challenge event in the new Olympic stadium on Sunday - what's the best stadium you've ever seen? Well I've not been in the Olympic Stadium in London yet, so I'm not sure until Sunday but I have travelled extensively and I've competed in many events. Stadiums vary, atmosphere is really important for athletes it's not just about the facilities it's about how close the crowd are to the track - and it creates more of an ambience, an atmosphere from the people that are there. For me, the best stadium was in Oslo for the Bislett Games because the crowds are right on to the track and they can slap the side of the perimeter boards and make this sort of noise [Smacks something repeatedly, making a dumph-dumph-dumph sound down the line]. Imagine that going all round the track and everybody getting excited and cheering on their athletes. That was a great stadium for me.

Which gave you more satisfaction – your world record in the Euros in 1986, your gold medal at the worlds in Rome 1987 or your Olympic silver in Seoul 1988?

Erm ... If I've gotta be honest those three championships were really different for me and represented different emotions. The World Championships was Britain's sole gold medal in '87 so I was enormously proud to be the one that brought that back. Of course '87 was a great year anyway because I got the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award and won world athlete of the year and other athletics writers' and sports writers' awards.

Did it mean a lot to you to win the BBC Sports Personality? Yeah definitely, because that era, the 80s, were the golden years of sport. Every sport had heroes, you had Eric Bristow in darts, Nick Faldo and Woosie in golf, you had Nigel Mansell in motorsport, Steve Davis in snooker - it was a great era to live through. And to be voted by the people themselves to be sports personality of the year, that year, was something quite spectacular for me. So it was a particularly good year. But going back to the original question, '86 represented a coming of age for me with regards to winning major championships because having broken the world record in the qualifying rounds and then going back the very next day with people saying, "it's never been done, do you think you'll do it?" Having gone back the next day and won the gold medal was something quite euphoric. So yeah, that was very special. And '88, after having a breakdown in '87 in the winter wasn't ideal, so it called on all my reserves and competitive experience to pull me through. And with the adrenaline flowing I managed to throw far enough to win the silver, so that was a really proud moment.

And what will you be doing during London 2012? Keeping off the roads for one. And like everybody else, I'll have the radio on if I'm in the car probably; saturation it'll be with TV as well. My son's 14 and he's very much involved in sport so he'll be following it avidly and so will I.

Which Britons do you think are most likely to win gold? Well, I hope Rebecca Addlington will do really well in the swimming with her colleagues. Also Chris Hoy and his team in the cycling ... and Jessica Ennis ... and Mo in the distance running so that'll be great. And the little boy in the diving, Tom. Hopefully it'll all go well for them and they'll come up with the goods.

I think we can all echo that. Who is your non-sporting hero? [Mulls over the question several times ] It's really difficult because there have been many influential people over the years that have inspired me at different times in my life. Maggie Thatcher was one of them. Mary Peters was another, but she was sporting. And, I guess, Auntie Peat from my first children's home who taught me an awful lot in life. These people are instrumental to me, they're my heroes and heroines.

Great. You've also been on lots of TV programmes including Total Wipeout, Come Dine With Me, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and more famously the celebrity jungle one - but which programme would you most like to go on? I've already been on it, the jungle one, because that's the one I always wanted to do. For me it was fitting with the challenges, the learning curve, learning about yourself and discovering what it's like living with others in close proximity. The whole package is something unique and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. So I guess that's the one I wanted to do. If you asked me what I wanted to do from here on out, I couldn't answer that question. There's nothing in particular that screams at me and says yeah, that's what I wanna do. What I would like to do is make a programme on extreme challenges.

Sporting extremes or are we talking about mountain climbing and things like that? Yeah, lion walking, elephant polo, kabaddi - you know the Indian game where they play tag. I'd like to go around the world, talk a little about that place and take on a challenge. I'd like to do a programme of that nature. Then later on throw it over to the public to be challenged, there are a lot of nutters out there like me [laughs wildly].

Do you believe in fate? Yeah, definitely.

Which animal do you most feel an affinity with? Dog. I've got a really lovely Jack Russell and I've always had dogs. I've got more affinity with a dog than any other animal.

And what's your Jack Russell called? Bertie, he's a black and tan, Irish jack Russell and he's lovely.

And what is the biggest animal you reckon you could knock out with one punch? In my heyday I would have probably been able to knock out most animals [chuckles] including the human type as well!

OK, humans aside, in your heyday - what's the biggest? Erm, obviously with predators like tigers and lions you've got no chance anyway. I would have given them a good thumping that's for sure but I can't say I'd have knocked 'em out. Big animals … because I was quite strong then, I was a big strong girl, so … I don't know. It's difficult to say because animals work off the fear factor and would increase their strength like humans do. But if I caught them unaware... maybe an ostrich. I'd probably swing it round my head a few times and chuck it a huge distance.

Let's say the Guardian gave you £1million for this interview on the proviso that you had to spend it today, what would you do with it? I would sit down, write a list of friends and family and divide it amongst them. I'd also give some to the charity that I run: The 21st Century Youth, which helps children realise their dreams and keeps them off the streets.

If you could trade places with anyone for a week - famous or not famous, alive or dead, real or fictional - who would it be and why? Willy Wonka, cos I like chocolate [she giggles]. I'd make a lot of money selling my chocolate but I'd eat plenty too.

And which is your favourite chocolate bar then? Currently, a Bounty.

Is it a cycle? does it change every so often? Yeah, I like all chocolate really. I don't eat masses of it cos otherwise you just bloat out terribly, become a big heifer and that's no good.

Which politician would you most like to throw a pie at? Tony Blair. I don't think the country will recover from his term in parliament.

OK, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband: snog, marry, kill. Ed Miliband, David Cameron and who was the other one sorry?

Nick Clegg. I'd marry Cameron.. [ponders the other options] I'd snog Clegg and kill Ed Miliband?

Why would you kill poor little Ed Miliband? Cos he's irritating.

Is it a good idea for atheists to have their own temples? Providing they don't overrun in areas where they have very strong links to Christianity in Britain, yeah.

What music would you like to be played at your funeral? [Laughs] I don't know really, I haven't really thought about it. I've got a wicked sense of humour so it'd probably be some sort of stupid song. I haven't really thought about.

So you'd go for something uplifting rather than sombre? Yeah, it's definitely a celebration of one's life. The only time I'd feel it was a sombre occasion is if you lose somebody suddenly when they're unexpectedly young, and taken away from you so soon. But if they've lived a full and enjoyed then of course it should be a celebration.

So no songs that leap to mind that you'd like to have? We'll come back to that one. Is that the last question?

Nope, there's a few more. What was the last song you listened to on your iPod? It was Coldplay ... the recent one … Paradise. It's a lovely song.

What's your best characteristic? That I make a nuisance of myself and get jobs done [cackles loudly]

And your worst? I suppose I can talk all the way through programmes when you're watching them. [Giggles again] That comes from my childhood days sitting in front of the TV and nobody told us to shut up, I still do it now. Irritatingly, to my friends and family.

Coffee or tea? I love tea. Tea and biscuits.

And how do you take it? I can take with sugar or with milk or during hard training I would have sugar. But I try not to do that so often because I would mentally stack up how many sugars went in the cup over the period of a day. You gotta be careful, I'm conscious of healthy lifestyle and healthy eating.

Late nights or early mornings? I like early mornings. I'm regular when it comes to going to bed. I do like going to bed early, when you've got children you do. I like to go to bed at ten or half ten. But I'm up normally about six.

So you need your seven or eight hours. Having said that I don't sleep solidly. I'll cat nap, maybe an hour or two here and there, I'll wake. But as long as I'm in bed and laying down that's fine, I'm chilled. I'll read a book or run a checklist through my mind of what needs to be done the following day.

And what's your favourite citrus fruit? I like lemons. But not to eat, I like to use them in drinks, like tea or just water. To eat, I love cherries but that's not a citrus fruit.

No but they are good. They are good! [Laughs gleefully] Grapefruits! I like those, Pink grapefruit.

Do you put sugar on them? No I like them as they are. That's the thing about citrus fruit, if you cover it with sugar it no longer has that citrusy, tart taste.

Good point. Finally, you've had a long day, what do you order at the bar? Pimm's.

Going back to the funeral song choice question, any ideas? Maybe Bay City Rollers' 'Bye Bye Baby', something like that.

Thanks Fatima, you've been a great sport. OK Small Talk, thank you. Bye!