martes, 31 de julio de 2012

Pictured for first time: Rupert Sanders STILL wearing wedding ring while ... -

Rupert Sanders – the film director Kristen Stewart had a "momentary indiscretion" with – has been spotted out for the first time wearing his a ring on his wedding finger, which using our powers of deduction, we're assuming is the one his wife Liberty Ross gave him when they said, 'I do' 10 years ago.

Normally this wouldn't be surprising – seeing a betrothed man with a symbol of nuptial bliss on his finger – but then hitched men aren't supposed to be seen kissing and cuddling other women that aren't their wives (we're looking at you Ms Stewart, with one raised brow).

Rupert was seen out in Hollywood walking down the street alone (perhaps he should get used to that) and aside from looking very thin, seemed quite relaxed.

He also stopped a real estate window, yeah OK, we're British, it's an estate agent's, and had a look at the properties for sale.

This could either mean he's looking for a new pad because wife Liberty has chucked him out of the family home, he might be looking for a new pad because he's threatened to chuck him out, or he simply enjoys being nosy and staring inside other people's houses, like us (he might want to have a gander at Jay Z and Beyonce's in this case).

There's been no public announcement yet from Liberty or Rupert on what is happening in their relationship, although her brother has said the family believes his affair was going on long before it was discovered.

Rupert is desperate to save his marriage to the stunning model though. His official statement read: "I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family.

"My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying we can get through this together."

Liberty hasn't said an awful lot in public, except, "Wow" in a Twitter post just after following US Weekly, who broke the story on Kristen's cheating behind R-Pattz's back.

But we're sure she's barked a whole lot more at Rupert's face.

Looks like Robert Pattinson will be looking for a new Des Res though. A removal van has been spotted outside the mansio he shared with Kristen.

According to Kristen's film producer mate, none of this is relevant though, because she didn't even have sex with Rupert.



British diving fans shed tears for 'adorable 'Daley - Vancouver Sun

LONDON . Heartbreak, oh heartbreak. It is something that the crowd at the aquatics centre Monday knew only too much about, the majority of them being teenage girls. British favourite Tom Daley may not have won a medal - not yet, anyway - but by the end of a tense synchronized diving final, he at least hadn't lost the affections of the legions of adolescent fans who had turned out to see him compete.

If anything, it made them love him only more. They wanted to cuddle him, to console him, to smother him in kisses. Even the thirty something journalist from Los Angeles sitting next to The Daily Telegraph was in love. "Who is this guy?" she gushed. "He is totally adorable!"

Earlier, Daley had walked out to a reaction that was Bieber-like in its proportions. It was not just the epic tan and the tiny shorts and his habit of flitting between the jacuzzi and the shower and drying himself down with a small towel in between - though obviously these things helped.

It was also the fact that at just 18, this man-child has been through more than many people twice his age. Last year, his father, Robert, died of a brain tumour, at the age of 40. Anyone doubting the poignancy of Thomas Robert Daley's second Olympics had only to read the message he tweeted early Monday: "After the toughest year of my life, today is the day! I just want to thank everyone for all their support no matter what the outcome x."

And what support he received. Daley was taking part in the synchronized 10-metre final with his partner, Pete Waterfield, but outside the Aquatics Centre, Waterfield was mostly referred to as "the other one." Emily Fairweather, 15, and her sister Tash, 17, had come with "TOM" written across their foreheads.

On one of their arms, they had written the question most of the women here wanted to ask: "WILL YOU MARRY ME?" What was it that they liked about him? "He's just so char-ismatic and talented," Emily said. "And he is very brave," Tash said.

Rebecca Crummett, 15, had come from Warwickshire with her brother and her mother. She said she loved Daley's "face, and his hair, and his six pack."

Francesca Clarke, 17, was quick to sum up just why she loved Daley. "He is beautiful," she sighed, "and sun-kissed. But he's also a role model. He trains hard and does his schoolwork - he got all A grades in his exams, and I could never do that on top of preparing for the Olympics. He's got the looks, the brains, and hopefully the medal."

Sadly, it wasn't to be. A mistake on their fourth dive saw the duo slip to fourth.

After the final, won by the Chinese, he spoke with the kind of maturity that belied his years. "It started really well and we got personal bests on the first two dives, and the third dive was really good, but the fourth was not good enough. You miss one dive and you are gone. It's annoying but what can you do?"

Daley will get another chance when he takes part in the individual diving. Talking on Twitter, he gave fans something to help with the heartbreak: "so sorry everyone but we tried our best and you can't afford to miss a dive at this standard - bring on individual!"

Five essential facts about NASA's Mars Curiosity rover - Christian Science Monitor

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is the most sophisticated robot ever sent to another world. Here are five facts about NASA's most audacious robotic mission yet.

By Alicia ChangAssociated Press / July 31, 2012

This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life.



Pasadena, Calif.

Why Mars again?

The big unknown remains. Scientists want to know if any form of life ever existed there, and that means microscopic organisms. Since the 1960s, spacecraft have zipped past, orbited or landed on Mars in this quest. Two small NASA rovers that arrived in 2004 explored different craters and one is still functioning today.

Curiosity is the most ambitious effort ever, but it's not the be-all and end-all. During its two-year exploration, it will try to answer whether the giant crater where it lands had the right conditions to support microbes. But future missions would still be needed for more answers.

What will Curiosity do?

Curiosity carries a toolbox of 10 instruments, including a rock-zapping laser and a mobile organic chemistry lab. It also has a long robotic arm that can jackhammer into rocks and soil. It will hunt for basic ingredients of life including carbon-based compounds, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and oxygen, as well as minerals that might provide clues about possible energy sources.

How did Curiosity get its name?

The spacecraft is formally called the Mars Science Laboratory. In 2008, NASA held a naming contest open to students and selected Curiosity, proposed by a sixth-grader from Lenexa, Kan.

What does this mission cost?

$2.5 billion. That's $1 billion over its original budget. Curiosity was supposed to launch in 2009 and land in 2010, but development took longer than expected. The delay gave engineers more time to debug problems and test the spacecraft, but also put the project over budget.

When will we send astronauts to Mars?

President Barack Obama has set a goal for astronauts to orbit Mars by the mid-2030s followed by a landing. Before that can happen, the plan is to send astronauts to an asteroid first.


Follow Alicia Chang on Twitter!

GB equestrian team take Olympic silver - BBC News

Great Britain's equestrian team have won silver in the eventing competition at the London 2012 Olympics.

Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Zara Phillips and Nicola Wilson finished runners-up to Germany to take GB's fourth medal.

But there was disappointment for GB when swimmer Ellen Gandy was a surprise casualty in the 200m butterfly heats.

Meanwhile organisers defended the drug testing programme and dismissed doubts over Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen.

A US coach labelled Ye Shiwen' world record-breaking swim in the women's 400 metres individual medley on Saturday as "unbelievable" and "disturbing".

But at a news conference, British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan said Ye had passed drugs tests and deserved "recognition for her talent".

GB last won eventing silver at Athens in 2004 and they took bronze in 2008.

Zara Phillips's mother, Princess Anne, presented the medals to the equestrian teams in Greenwich Park.

The Princess Royal is President of the British Olympic Association and herself competed in the eventing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompanied by Prince Harry have met Team GB competitors at the Athletes village at the Olympic Park.

They spent time looking around athlete apartments and spoke to key British medal hopes including Victoria Pendleton, Rebecca Adlington and Jessica Ennis.

Ahead of the start of athletics at the Olympic Stadium on Friday, GB's track and field team flew into London City Airport from a training camp in Portugal.

Team GB are also competing in rowing, sailing, gymnastics and women's football later.

Meanwhile, amid an ongoing row over empty seats at venues, Olympics organisers Locog said more than two million spectators had turned out to watch the first three days of the Games.

In other developments:

'Skyfall' Trailer: Five Key Scenes -

James Bond may be turning 50 this year, but he shows no signs of slowing down in the newest trailer for his 23rd adventure, "Skyfall." The preview finally clues us in on the story and reveals some of the new faces to the series, including Ben Whishaw as Q and Javier Bardem as the frightening villain, Silva.

Here are our five key scenes for the new "Skyfall" trailer.

In Memory of James Bond
Until now, all we knew about the plot for "Skyfall" was that it had something to do with M's past. The new trailers have helped fill in some of the blanks. It appears that M lost the hard drive containing the identities of all of MI6's agents embedded in foreign terrorist organizations. She lost them so spectacularly, in fact, that the list even gets posted on YouTube, the last place you'd want government secrets to show up. As a result of this mistake, Bond officially dies, and M is shown penning his obituary. Bond, being no stranger to faked deaths, reemerges after taking a few shots with a scorpion on his hand.

The New Quarter Master
When Bond does return from the dead, he finds a new MI6 and a new Q, played by Whishaw, who brings some new firepower along with him. 007's usual PPK gets upgraded to the 21st century, adding a palm-reading feature that only allows Bond to fire it. "Less of a random killing machine," Q says, "and more of a personal statement."

Deakins, Roger Deakins
In addition to the firepower on screen, "Skyfall" packs some serious hit behind the camera. With Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes directing and perpetual Best Cinematography bridesmaid Roger Deakins as director of photography, Bond has never looked better. Even if you're unfamiliar with his name, you most certainly know Deakin's work. The nine-time Oscar nominees shot some of the most visually impressive movies of the last 20 years, including "The Shawshank Redemption," "No Country for Old Men," and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

When Bond Met Chigurh
Above all, the new trailer for "Skyfall" serves as good reminder of just how scary Javier Bardem can be. This is the man who won an Oscar for terrifying people while sporting a 1970s porn haircut in "No Country for Old Men," and here he continues his streak of intimidation with ironic haircuts as Silva. Aside from seeing the full Silva for the first time, we also get some insight to what his beef is with M. "The two survivors," he says. "This is what she made us." This seems to be a reference to the leak at the heart of the story. Is Silva ex-MI6?

The Unflappable Mr. Bond
Despite an art house director, Bond is still Bond, and no moment in the trailer crystalizes that better than when he skillfully lands on the back of a train caboose as it falls apart. Does he scramble away from the backhoe trying to tear him apart? No, he fixes his cufflinks.

We're watching every James Bond movie for something we call the Bond-a-Thond. Follow along on MTV Movies Blog.

Check out everything we've got on "Skyfall."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit

Syria: Rebels 'overrun Aleppo police stations' - live updates - The Guardian (blog)


Government troops have been shelling several neighbourhoods of Aleppo, including the rebel stronghold of Salaheddin, according to activists. The Independent's Kim Sengupta, who has been in Salaheddin, said state TV claims that the government had "complete control" of the district were "obviously false". He said: "The Independent travelled through parts of eastern and south-eastern parts with the rebels seemingly firmly in control."

Damascus and its suburbs, Deir el-Zour, Dera, Homs, Idlib and, Latakia, have also been shelled, according to the Local Coordination Committees activist group. It says eight people have been killed by regime forces so far today, including two rebel commanders in Aleppo.

Fierce clashes have been reported at police stations in Aleppo. The head of the Aleppo military council was quoted as saying 60 government soldiers were killed at a police station. A Twitter account claiming affiliation with the Free Syrian Army claimed that at least 40 police officers were killed after the FSA overran two police stations. The claims cannot be independently verified by the Guardian.

Government forces destroyed nine four-wheel drive vehicles with mounted machine guns, killing all of their occupants, state media reported. Sana said the "terrorists" were "perpetrating killing and sabotage acts in Daret Azzeh and Qibtan al-Jabal".

Scores of foreign jihadists have crossed into Syria from Turkey in the past two weeks, some of them telling Syrians that they are planning to travel to Aleppo to join a decisive battle against regime troops. Syrian residents and a Turkish smuggler interviewed by the Guardian say many of the men have come from the Caucasus, while others had arrived from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gulf Arab states.

The Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has met men in Deir el-Zour fighting for al-Qaida alongside the Free Syrian Army.

"Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags," said Abu Khuder. "They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?" But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.

According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. "We meet almost every day," he said. "We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations." Abu Khuder's men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.


The Islamic Human Rights Commission has called for a ban on a Bahraini Prince visiting the Olympic Games. It says that during the disturbances in Bahrain, Prince Sheikh Nasser rang up a live broadcast on state TV and commenting on demonstrators said, "Anyone who called for the fall of the regime, may a wall fall on his head. Whether he is an athlete, socialite or politician — whatever he is — he will be held accountable . . . Bahrain is an island and there is nowhere to escape". Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said:

It seems like Britain is a safe haven for human rights violators who happen to be friends with the UK government.


Eight people were killed in clashes between Yemeni government forces and armed tribesmen loyal to former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who were trying to storm the interior ministry in the capital Sanaa today, Reuters reports citing a medical source. The source said a "large number" of people were also wounded in the fighting. It was not clear whether those killed were soldiers or tribesmen.

Twitter refuse to speak to The Independent's Guy Adams after suspending his ... - The Independent

I'd like to ask, for example, how exactly I am supposed to have broken their "privacy policy." Not least because that policy states that: "If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation."

The email address of Mr Gary Zenkel, the NBC executive at the heart of this bizarre affair, was posted on a blog established in 2011, by a campaigning organisation urging supporters to "boycott NBC." I found it there, prior to sending out Friday's supposedly-offending Tweet, in roughly 30 seconds via a website Twitter ought to have heard of. It's called Google.

I'd also like to ask how Twitter responds to widespread allegations that its decision to suspend my account was improperly influenced by its relationship with a commercial partner. The firm has, after all, been running a cross-promotion with NBC throughout the Summer Olympics.

Suggestions of a conspiracy have been lent weight by a media statement written late on Monday by Christopher McCloskey, an NBC spokesman. He claims his company's social media department only decided to complain about my Tweet: "after they had been alerted to it by Twitter."

If true (and McCloskey's statement has yet to be withdrawn or denied) it would seem that Twitter may have betrayed almost all of its supposed values in order to foster a commercial relationship. What could be more at odds with Twitter, and everything it stands for, than for the company to have engaged in censorship in the hopeful pursuit of a quick buck?

There's an easy way to end this charade. Once Twitter has clarified what really happened, and un-suspended my account, I can go back to doing my job on behalf of The Independent. They can meanwhile start to put this nonsense behind them. A fundamental truth of the internet era is, after all, that people have short attention spans. It will be soon forgotten.

Sadly, this can't happen. Not unless Twitter speaks with me. Until they do that, my suspension is currently in a sort of Kafka-esque limbo: the one, automated email I have received from the company's "trust and safety" department says that they won't consider re-instating my account until I agree that I broke their rules and promise not to do it again.

I don't agree that I did break their rules. And it seems Twitter won't talk about it.

At risk of sounding pompous, the very last thing I'm now willing to is to cave in to the company. Aside from being the wrong thing to do, it would set a dangerous precedent. One which might, in future, be used by Twitter to censor journalists or members of the public attempting to use their service to comment on something more important than the daily failings of an incompetent broadcaster.

That is why Twitter needs to, at the very least, now clarify their position.

The wall of silence emanating from the company is almost completely at odds with that in The Independent's Los Angeles bureau. In the 90 minutes has taken to write this article, I have received almost 200 emails, from either supportive members of the public, or media organisations wanting to discuss the case with me. The telephone has barely stopped ringing.

Unlike Twitter, or NBC, I welcome the conversation and have attempted to reply to every message. This policy of course has its drawbacks: for portions of the past 24 hours, including the small hours of the night, I have been forced to disconnect my landline and switch off all mobile devices in order to get a few hours of sleep. When you're in the eye of a new-media storm, it's difficult to disappear, even for a short time.

As for Mr Zenkel, he is no doubt also now aware of the inconveniences that come with being involved in a viral controversy. It's difficult to see how his email inbox will ever again be fit-for-purpose now that has become the subject of a rolling news story. He is, if you like, a victim of that old rule of public relations whereby a ham-fisted effort to suppress information ends up resulting in it becoming more widely available.

Romney's Israel gaffe adds to list of insults - New Zealand Herald

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outraged Palestinians yesterday, stirring fresh controversy on his visit to Israel just days after insulting the British on what was intended as a feel-good visit to the London Olympics.

It's not clear if Romney's remarks in either country will affect his prospects for defeating President Barack Obama in the November United States presidential election. The economy, not foreign affairs, has been the dominant issue in what polls show to be a tight race.

But the offence taken at Romney's remarks has undermined his attempt to avoid political risk as he made his first steps on to the world stage as the presumptive Republican nominee.

Romney has visited countries that are staunch US allies, limited questions from the media and arranged made-for-TV appearances at symbolic venues in London and Jerusalem, all intended to demonstrate he was ready to handle foreign affairs smoothly and lead in dangerous times.

Instead, as he made his final stop of a three-nation tour in Poland yesterday where he was expected to deliver a speech hostile to Russia, Republicans and Democrats alike were shaking their heads, wondering about Romney's ability to handle delicate topics with sensitivity on foreign soil, even under the friendliest conditions.

Romney's latest trouble stemmed from a speech he gave to Jewish donors in which he suggested their culture was part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians. Kind words for Israel are standard for many American politicians, but Palestinian leaders suggested his specific comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East.

Romney's campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterised.

Predictably, Obama's campaign was critical, senior strategist David Axelrod saying on Twitter: "Is there anything about Romney's Rolling Ruckus to inspire confidence in his ability to lead US foreign policy?"

It's unclear whether voters in the US are paying attention to Romney's stumbles, especially as worries about the economy dominate most Americans' concerns. Debra Hayes, a Republican-leaning independent from Denver, said Romney's overseas comments had no impact on her vote.

"I'm interested only in the economy - jobs, and the prices of things," said Hayes, who is undecided. "We need to stand with Israel. And our president needs to show leadership overseas. But things are going downhill at home, and that's what matters."

And Romney drew his share of favourable coverage back home. A speech on Israel policy, delivered at dusk against the backdrop of Jerusalem's Old City, drew praise for its setting and delivery. He and his wife, Ann, appeared relaxed and engaged in an interview on CNN, where Ann Romney described her husband as loving.

Still, missteps in the past week have fuelled opponents' contentions that the former businessman and Massachusetts governor is out of touch with the nation and the world he hopes to lead.

As the trip got under way, Romney caused a stir in Britain by questioning whether officials there were fully prepared to host the Olympic Games. The dispute overshadowed his efforts to highlight his personal experience leading the Salt Lake City Winter Games a decade ago. Instead, Romney was widely assailed by the London media and criticised by British leaders. He was also suspected of either forgetting, or not knowing, Labour's Ed Miliband when he referred to him as "Mr Leader" at a joint press conference.

Then on his first day in Israel, Romney distanced himself from an adviser's suggestion that he would "respect" a decision by Israel to launch military action to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.

Later at a fundraiser, Romney shared a sentiment he sometimes talks about on the campaign trail in the United States and repeats in his book, No Apology. But his decision to highlight cultural differences in a region where such differences have helped fuel violence for generations prompted new questions about his diplomatic skills and enraged Palestinian leaders.

Comparing economic output per capita in Israel and "across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority", he declared "you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality", citing innovative business and the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances, and adding that similar disparities exist between other neighbours such as the US and Mexico .AP

By Kasie Hunt

Hit-and-run tragedy: Heartbroken girlfriend pays tribute to 14-year-old killed ... -

The heartbroken girlfriend of a teenage hit-and-run victim killed as he cycled to meet her has paid tribute to the "best boyfriend you could have".

Tearful Donna Clarke, 14, laid flowers at the scene where Kyle Coen died at around 9.15pm last night.

The teenager also revealed that she believes she saw the car which went on to kill her 14-year-old beau on the A2 London Road, near Sittingbourne in Kent, as she waited for his shortly after 9pm.

Kyle Coen
Heartbroken: Girlfriend Donna Clarke, 14, paid tribute to Kyle Coen, who was killed in a hit-and-run last night


The pretty brunette was joined by relatives, including her mother, as she laid floral tributes to the tragic schoolboy near to the Bapchild Cricket Club.

She said: "Kyle was going to meet us at 9pm. We waited outside until about 9.30pm and we heard police cars rushing up.

"The next minute the police came up by my mate's house and we heard that there had been an accident and that a bicycle was involved.

"I then heard that Kyle was involved. I tried to rush up and the police stopped me. We heard it was really bad. We were worrying and then we heard that he had died.

"Kyle was really lovely. He was the best boyfriend you could have. I don't want anyone to forget about him. He was always caring. Hopefully he will look down on us."

Kyle is believed to have been hit from behind by a grey Fiat Bravo as he rode his silver bike along the A2 towards Faversham, Kent Police said.

He suffered serious injuries and was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene, a force spokesman said.

The Fiat Bravo was recovered near the scene earlier today and a 27-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man are helping police with their inquiries.

Alex Stock
Best friend: Alex Stock, 14, had spent the day with Kyle before the tragedy


Kyle's 14-year-old best friend, Alex Stock, also laid flowers outside the cricket club with his mother Linda and said he could not believe what had happened.

He said: "I'm really upset. I can't believe it. We had plans to go out today but obviously it can't happen now. I've just been crying since it happened."

His mother said Alex and Kyle were "inseparable" and had spent yesterday together before parting.

Mrs Stock said it was only by "sheer luck" that her son was not with Kyle when he died.

She said that Kyle - who attended Sittingbourne Community College - was cycling to his girlfriend's house when he was struck.

Speaking at the scene, she said: "Alex and Kyle were inseparable. Alex was with Kyle all day yesterday. He was at our house and he went to Alex's grandfather's and did the pond with him.

"They had so many plans together. I was going out last night so Alex came home early, otherwise they would have still been together.

"Kyle left Alex and was going to see his girlfriend. On his way to his girlfriend, this happened. I really don't understand it.

"I know this isn't the first accident on this road. It goes from 30mph to 60mph and back to 30mph very quickly.

"Kyle was a good lad, never in trouble. It just isn't fair and I feel so sorry for his family and friends.

"They are such a close-knit group and it has devastated them. They are young and they think that things like this isn't going to happen."

She said she had been up all night with her son comforting him over his best friend's death.

"He's inconsolable," she said.

"There is just no sense to it. I can't take it in and I'm so sorry for his family.

"I spoke to Kyle's mum last night. What can you say to them? My heart goes out to them. There are no words to describe how they must be feeling."

Linda, the mother of 14-year-old Alex Stock
Sympathy: Kyle's best friend's mum Linda said her heart goes out to the teenager's family


Mrs Stock said Kyle was keen on BMX-ing and his girlfriend was best friends with Alex's girlfriend. She added: "The four of them were inseparable."

A steady stream of flowers were left outside the cricket club in memory of the teenager.

One read: "RIP Kyle. Your smile lit up the darkest of rooms. Love always, tutor Mrs H."

Another read: "Kyle, such a wonderful young man to be around. You will be truly missed. Rest in peace."

Messages were also left on social networking sites in tribute to Kyle.

One post on Twitter said: "R.I.P Kyle Coen. Died earlier today. Thoughts and prayers go out him and his family!"

A second read: "We want justice for Kyle Coen."

A Kent Police spokesman said: "A 27-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man are helping police with their inquiries after a fatal hit-and-run collision near Sittingbourne at about 9.15pm on Monday July 30."

Witnesses or anyone with information should call the serious collision investigation unit on 01622 798538.

IOC, FINA and others defend China's teen swimmer - Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Associated Press

LONDON — Olympic organizers and swimming's governing body leapt to the defense of China's world record-breaking teen sensation Ye Shiwen on Tuesday, with the sport's president saying suspicions that she doped were "crazy" and motivated by jealousy and the IOC stressing its confidence in the drug-testing program.

"We need to get real here," said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams. "These are the world's best athletes competing at the very highest level. We've seen all sorts of records broken already all over the place."

Adams said the top five athletes in each event, plus two others, are tested as part of "a very, very strong drug-testing program, and we are very confident if there are cheats we will catch them."

"We can't stop speculation. It is inevitably a sad result of the fact that there are people who dope and who cheat," Adams said. "It's very sad we can't applaud a great performance. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to the athletes."

Ye won the 400-meter individual medley on the opening day of the Olympic swimming competition, and was the favorite to win the 200 IM on Tuesday evening, too.

The 16-year-old Ye sliced through the last lap of the 400 in 28.93 seconds — faster than the 29.10 American winner Ryan Lochte posted in the last 50 of the men's race. Ye's time was 4:28.43, more than a second faster than the previous world record set by Australia's Stephanie Rice at the 2008 Beijing Games in a now-banned bodysuit.

John Leonard, head of the American Swimming Coaches Association but not a member of the U.S. Olympic staff, was among those openly questioning Ye's legitimacy. The Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying the last 100 of her race "was reminiscent of some old East German swimmers."

"History in our sport will tell you that every time we see something, and I put quotation marks around this, 'unbelievable,' history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved," Leonard was quoted as saying.

Asked about Leonard's comments, FINA president Julio Maglione told The Associated Press that people are free to say "stupid things" if they want.

"It's a big mistake," Maglione said of Ye's doubters. "The people that said this is crazy."

He said FINA spends $1 million to drug-test the top 30 swimmers in the world two or three times a year and "swimming is absolutely clean."

He said that he has absolutely no suspicions about Ye and that her critics are jealous because China is becoming a swimming power.

"It's best for the swimming," Maglione said. "Not only two or three countries. We have now 15 countries that take medals, 20 countries. That is important that many countries in the world take medals."

The anti-doping chief for China's General Administration of Sport, Jiang Zhixue, said Chinese athletes, including swimmers, have passed nearly 100 drug tests since they arrived in London. FINA's website shows Ye also underwent three out-of-competition drug tests from June 2011 to February this year.

"Some people are just biased," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Jiang as saying. "We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing."

Australian coach Ken Wood, who has a contract with the Chinese Swimming Association and has trained 20 of China's swimmers in London, accused Ye's doubters of double standards.

"They are just laying it on, especially the Americans because they are losing the whole damn meet," Wood told the AP by phone from Australia. "They are creating double standards."

He said China is extremely strict about adhering to its anti-doping rules. He said a group of about a dozen Chinese swimmers — including some now in London — who came to his academy to train a few years ago were temporarily suspended from competing after drug testers couldn't find them where they had said they would be. The swimmers mistakenly listed the pool, instead of their nearby rented accommodation, as the place to find them for drug tests, he said.

"What happened was the drug testers came around and said, 'Where are the Chinese?' I said they are not training now," Wood said. "They couldn't find them when they wanted to."

"So the Chinese Swimming Association immediately banned them and said, 'Right. Oh, they can't swim anymore,'" he told the AP. "That's how stringent they are."

He wrote to the CSA explaining that the mistake was a language issue and that the swimmers had given the wrong address. Chinese authorities later wrote back saying they accepted his explanation, and the swimmers were reinstated, he said. "They did suspend them and I had to write a letter," he said.

"They reinstated them and sent me a letter and said, 'Thank you very much. We have no reason to doubt the veracity of your statement.'"

He said the Chinese swimmers are subjected to frequent doping tests.

"They hit them all the time," he said. "Some of the swimmers got tested three times in one week."

Sebastian Coe, head of the London organizing committee, said it would "very unfair to judge an athlete by a sudden breakthrough."

"What you tend to forget is probably the 10 years of work that's already gone in to get to that point," he said on ITV News. "You need to look back through her career. I think you've got to be very careful when you make judgments like that, but, yes, it is an extraordinary breakthrough."

John Brewer, a board member of UK Anti-Doping and director of sport at the University of Bedfordshire, also talked down doubts about Ye.

"Drug testing procedures in place at the London 2012 Olympics are extremely rigorous, and the storage of samples for eight years after the games makes doping a very high-risk strategy," he said. "We should not be surprised by exceptional performances since gold-medal winning athletes are inevitably different to the rest of us due to their talent, training and lifestyles."

China, with 1.3 billion people, "has a vast pool of talent to choose from ... so we should not be too surprised when an individual with exceptional talent emerges," he added.

Ye is known for her large hands and feet, but otherwise she's smaller than other swimmers at 5-foot-7 (1.72 meters) and 141 pounds (64 kilograms).

"One of the interesting things about swimming is people don't swim the same way," said Bob Bowman, Phelps' coach. "They have to swim the way their body is made, so that's what she's doing. She's taking advantage of her size."

"I don't think that 4:28 is an impossible time in the 400 IM, I think it's a perfectly logical time for someone to go," he said of her world-record swim. "The girl has good technique. She had an amazing last 100 but people do amazing things sometimes."

"I trust the testing service and I know that Michael was tested nonstop and we're very careful about what goes into his body, and I assume that other competitors are, too," Bowman added.


AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson in London contributed.


July 31, 2012 01:56 PM EDT

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

London 2012 day three: how does Team GB's Olympic medal ranking compare to ... - The Guardian (blog)

Are we really panicking about medals already? See the Sun's front page today

the clamour for Olympic GOLD reached fever pitch across the nation

It may seem ridiculously early, three days in, but how does it compare to the Beijing 2008 Olympics so far? Team GB is placed 20th in the league table, compared to seventh at the same stage last time, although that doesn't take account of difference in events timings (ie, that just reflects the numbers of days that have passed).

And this is the answer:

Day three at London 2012, we actually have one more medal than we did in Beijing at the same stage - problem is that it's not a gold. The Guardian predicted that Mark Cavendish would win one by this stage at the cycling road race, which failed to materialise.

Interactive guide to medal predictions Interactive guide to Olympic medal predictions

We will be returning to this analysis as the games progress and it becomes more meaningful. The data is below

Data summary

Day three compared

Click heading to sort table. Download this data

1 China 9 3 2 9 5 3
2 South Korea 4 4 0 2 2 2
3 US 3 4 5 5 7 5
4 Italy 3 3 2 2 4 2
5 Australia 2 0 3 1 2 1
6 Japan 2 0 2 1 4 6
7 Great Britain 1 0 1 0 1 2
8 Czech Republic 2 0 0 0 0 0
9 Netherlands 1 1 1 1 1 0
10 Finland 1 0 1 0 0 0

Download the data

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Romney remarks in Israel slammed as 'racist' by Palestinians - Al-Arabiya

Respected international bodies including the World Bank and the IMF say that a major factor behind Palestinian economic woes is the Israeli restrictions on movement of goods and people, and other measures that choke growth.

But Romney made no mention of such issues.

"Culture makes all the difference," he told the Jerusalem audience before leaving for Poland.

"As I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things."

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the remark was racist.

"Romney's statements are racist and this guy needs to learn a lot, as he lacks knowledge of this region, its culture and history," he told AFP. "Clearly he does not know that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its expected level if the occupation continues."

On Sunday, Romney outraged the Palestinians by hailing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel," he said, in an apparent endorsement of a position held by the Jewish state but never accepted by the international community.

The Palestinians, who claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state were infuriated.

Most of the world, including the U.S., does not recognize the annexation. The U.S. and others keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Romney strongly suggested he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem if he were president, supporting two key Israeli demands.

"Hamas considers the statement made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, racist and extremist," the Islamic militant group's spokesman Sami Abu Zukhri said on Monday.

Erakat noted that Romney's positions on Jerusalem go against long-standing U.S. policy.

Stars paid $1.60 to perform at Olympics opening ceremony - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)

British rockers Paul McCartney and the Arctic Monkeys were among the stars paid a token fee of $1.60 (£1) for their performances at the London Olympics opening ceremony on Friday.

Scottish soul sensation Emeli Sande and British rapper Dizzee Rascal also accepted the nominal payment for their services at the grand event, which took place at the new Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

Sande, who performed song "Abide With Me" during the spectacle, tells Britain's Evening Standard newspaper, "I got paid £1 for my work. It's there in print and I know because I signed the contract myself. Mind you, I haven't received anything yet! When I do, though, that £1 will be truly special. Part of what made the whole event so special was the volunteers who were paid nothing and even paid for their own accommodation. It shows how important art is."

And fellow performer Dizzee Rascal insists it was an honor to take part in the big show.

He adds, "I feel honored and humbled to have been asked to be involved. The energy in the stadium was unreal. These opportunities only come by once in a lifetime and to be part of it was an unforgettable experience."

The ceremony, directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle, was watched by around 27 million TV viewers in the U.K. and an estimated four billion people worldwide, giving the artists' profiles a huge boost around the globe.

electric scooter - CNET

Honda unveils all-electric scooter, China in sights


WAKO-SHI, Japan--Honda Motor unveiled on Tuesday an all-electric scooter that will mark its first attempt at mass-marketing zero-emission motorbikes, with an eye to eventually taking on rivals in the massive Chinese market.

The EV-neo, similar in size to a 50cc scooter, will be aimed at commercial users in Japan, with a range of more than 30 kilometers on a full charge. Lease sales will begin in December in Japan, the world's top motorcycle maker said.

Toshiyuki Inuma, general manager of Honda's motorcycle operations, said the automaker had no immediate plans for a launch outside Japan but that China was in its sights, with annual demand for electric bikes in that market estimated at 17 million units.

"We'll need to work on the cost and performance further to make it commercially viable," Inuma told reporters at a test-ride event for the prototype model. … Read more

London Olympics: Hannah Miley reaches final of 200m individual medley - Scottish Daily Record

Olympic ticker: NBC critic's Twitter account is suspended - Detroit Free Press

Ever hear of Guy Adams? Or his tweets criticizing NBC's Olympic broadcasts? No?

Well, now you will, because NBC went to the trouble to get him this extra coverage.

Adams is an L.A.-based correspondent for London's The Independent. He was carping about all the usual stuff -- delayed telecasts, dumb stuff he heard Matt Lauer say, etc. -- when he suggested his followers complain about it to NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel and gave his e-mail address.

NBC reported to Twitter and Adams' account was suspended, because you're not supposed to tweet personal data like that.

But Adams said it was Zenkel's corporate address, which he found in a simple online search.

"If this Gary Zenkel doesn't want to hear from the many tens of thousands of customers he upset with his network's coverage, I think he's in the wrong job," Adams told the Associated Press.

Not all are complaining

Mr. Adams' complaints aside, NBC reports record audiences for the first three nights of the London Games, an average of 35.8 million viewers. It was 30.6 million for the first three nights in Beijing in 2008 and 24 million for Athens in 2004.

At the games, however, there have been an embarrassing number of empty seats. Organizers blamed it on countries not using the tickets they've been provided.

They're working on getting some tickets back for the public, and have tried filling seats with soldiers and schoolchildren.

Quick hits

London Organizing Committee spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle, tired of questions on the keys to Wembley Stadium getting lost: "They got lost. I don't know. The police lost them. The locks were changed. I don't know what more you'd like me to say."

U.S. sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, on the Jacksonville Jaguars giving her husband, cornerback Aaron Ross, time off from training camp so he can watch her compete in the 400 meters (but not the 200): "The 200 would be icing on the cake. The 400 is the cake."

Hey, are any Packers getting time off to compete in Olympic skeet shooting?

If you think water polo is just hockey in a pool -- NBC did assign Doc Emrick and Pierre McGuire to it -- here was a teachable moment Monday from expert analyst Julie Swail: "One of the main differences between men's water polo and women's water polo is the women have a lot more suit to grab, so you'll see a lot more suit-grabbing going on."

Compiled from staff reports and news services by STEVE SCHRADER, who can be reached at 313-222-6710 or

Railways Minister Mukul Roy under attack after Tamil Nadu Express fire - NDTV

New Delhi/Kolkata: Railway Minister Mukul Roy is under fire after this year's fourth major train accident yesterday. The Tamil Nadu Express fire that left 28 people charred beyond recognition, has raised big questions on railway safety. And on the whereabouts of the Railways Minister.

Mr Roy has been accused by ally, the Congress, of abandoning his ministry and spending too much time in Kolkata. "Look at the Railways Minister, he has only one job - to stay in Kolkata, roam around Didi and keep taking down things that she says. He has abandoned his rail office. If he doesn't like the post assigned to him, then he should leave it and permanently stay here. If he will continue to stay in Kolkata, roam around Didi, then these incidents will be repeated," said West Bengal Congress leader Adhir Chaudhury, while demanding better safety on trains.

A sleeper coach of the Tamil Nadu Express caught fire near Nellore in Andhra Pradesh at about 4.30 am yesterday. It took five minutes for the train to be brought to a halt, by which time many of the passengers, who had been asleep, were trapped in the fire and smoke. Bodies were found near a door, leading to questions on whether people  could not escape because the door was blocked or jammed. Trains do not have adequate fire fighting equipment or fire alarm system; the Tamil Nadu Express tragedy highlighted that big safety loophole.    

There are now many questions on whether the Railways is adequately equipped with manpower, infrastructure and technology to stop such incidents from happening again. Mr Chaudhury said, "We hear tall talk and assurances on railway and other projects in West Bengal by the leaders of the ruling party but nothing is being implemented... all major railway projects are pending due to the callous attitude of the railway minister." The Congress is an ally of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, but the relationship has been at breakpoint for many months now.

Mr Roy pleads that his task is huge - India operates 20,000 trains everyday with two million passengers - and that he is doing everything he can. "We are taking safety as a first priority, we have already met the Prime Minister and the Planning Commission. And we are shortly coming out with a detailed budget to ensure the safety and security of the passengers." Mr Roy said yesterday.

There have been four major train accidents this year. In February, a passenger train derailed after striking a construction vehicle in Assam, killing three and injuring 50. On May 22, a major accident involving the Hampi Express and a goods train in Andhra Pradesh killed 25 people. Within 10 days, the Howrah-Dehradun Express derailed in Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh on May 31.

Devastated Anthea Turner won't speak to Grant Bovey after his alleged fling - Scottish Daily Record

grant bovey anthea turner Image 2

GRANT BOVEY has pleaded with wife Anthea Turner for a second chance – after he allegedly had a fling with an interior designer less than half her age.

He is desperate to sit down and talk to the devastated TV presenter, who has kicked him out of their £5million home.

But Anthea was yesterday said to be digging in her heels and refusing to be rushed by her husband.

An insider said: "Grant is doing everything he possibly can to win back Anthea's trust – but just getting her to speak to him at the moment is proving incredibly difficult.

"She feels humiliated and let down by him and doesn't know what to believe any more.

"The trust that has taken more than a decade to build has been totally shattered."

Anthea, 52, yesterday broke her silence on her marriage crisis.

In a statement, she said she was "heartbroken and devastated".

She threw Grant, 50, out of their house in Esher, Surrey, on Friday after being told he had been seen with millionaire's daughter Zoe de Mallet Morgan, 24, at a bar in London.

Anthea told him to leave after apparently gaining the support of her three stepdaughters, Lily, 20, Amelia, 19, and Claudia, 16.

Lily yesterday posted a cryptic message on her Twitter page, quoting Disney film The Lion King.

She wrote: "Hakuna Matata, it's a wonderful phrase, it means no worries for the rest of your days – it's a problem-free philosophy."

Our source added: "The girls are very close to Anthea and have promised to support her through this crisis, whatever she decides to do."

The young woman who allegedly had a secret tryst with Grant is believed to be the daughter of a longtime family friend.

Her dad Tommy de Mallet Morgan is a millionaire property magnate whose career portfolio includes the sale of The Dorchester hotel in London. Grant built the UK's biggest buy-to-let property company before going bankrupt with £50million of debts.

De Mallet Morgan's wife Louise is a health consultant, who was featured on the cover of Country Life magazine in 1976 when the couple's engagement was announced.

Their daughter has worked for interior design firm Roozels, where she has helped to fit out luxury properties in London's Mayfair and Kensington since 2008.

Anthea, who found fame on Blue Peter before presenting breakfast programme GMTV, was once married to former Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell.

But her golden girl image was shattered when it was disclosed she was having an affair with Grant, who was a family friend.

Their wedding in 2000 further damaged her image when it emerged she had been paid £450,000 to eat a Cadbury's chocolate bar in her wedding photos – an incident now jokingly referred to as "Flakegate".

Once the second best paid star on British TV, Anthea's career struggled to recover from the negative publicity.

She has since taken work on Canadian television in order to keep going.

Her last appearance of note on British screens was a surprise appearance on Celebrity Big Brother two years ago.

EYES ON LONDON: Big night approaches for Phelps -

Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:



After missing the medal podium in his first swim in London and taking a surprising silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay, Michael Phelps is back for two more shots at another gold medal on Tuesday. He will try to defend his title in the 200-meter butterfly and also swim in the 4x200 freestyle final.

Phelps had the fifth-fastest time in the 200 fly preliminaries on Monday, and he feels ready to go again.

"I'm pretty happy with that swim," Phelps said. "That's all I needed it to be."

- Beth Harris - Twitter



"In this system it's a shame that the all-around champion doesn't get to compete in the finals at the Olympics because of a stupid rule." - John Geddert, coach of reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber, who will miss a shot at Olympic gold in Thursday's Olympic gymnastics all-around finals because international rules allow only two competitors per country.

- Will Graves - Twitter



Marti Malloy earned the second-ever Olympic judo medal for an American woman, and she was ready.

She proudly displayed the bronze prize for photographers and offered to strike the traditional pose.

"I've been working on my bite," she said Monday night. "I'm not sure if it should be mean or happy."

The 26-year-old Malloy got into judo when her parents enrolled her in a free class on a military base when she was growing up in Oak Harbor, Wash. She went on to compete at San Jose State University, and 92-year-old coach Yoshihiro Uchida made the trip to London to see her big win.

Malloy's three brothers also learned judo when they were kids, and she said she felt fortunate to be involved with the sport.

"Judo is one of those sports that in the U.S. obviously isn't very well known but is the thing that will teach you the most about discipline, respect, hard work, dedication," she said. "I know all sports are like that but judo especially, those are the ideals that the sport is built around."

- Jay Cohen - Twitter



The Nielsen company says 36 million people watched NBC's Olympic coverage Sunday night, the biggest audience for the second night of a non-U.S. summer Olympics competition since TV began covering them in 1960.

Counting the opening ceremonies on Friday, an average of 35.8 million people have tuned in for the three nights. That's well above the 30.6 million who watched the first three nights in Beijing in 2008 and considerably more than the 24 million who saw the first three nights of the Athens games of 2004.

- David Bauder - Twitter



Talk about strict parenting.

New Zealand kayaker Mike Dawson made the semifinals of the kayak slalom at the Olympics despite being given a two-second penalty by his mother Kay - who is a judge at the games.

Dawson touched gate five when going down the 18-gate Olympic course on Sunday, and his mother didn't hesitate to penalize her son. It was one of two two-second penalties Dawson received, but he still advanced to Wednesday's semis.

Dawson joked in an email to The Associated Press on Monday that he was tempted to get his coach to put in a protest "about that particular judge."

Jury selected in trial over iPhone, iPad patents - Economic Times

SAN FRANCISCO: A jury was selected on Monday to decide the merits of Apple Inc.'s claims that Samsung Electronics Co.'s smartphones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs of the iPhone and iPad.

Lawyers for both sides were expected to deliver their opening arguments Tuesday morning in a San Jose federal courtroom, followed by Apple calling its first witness, a company designer. The witness lists of both sides are long on experts, engineers and designers and short on familiar names. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, is not scheduled to testify.

Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last year alleging smartphones and computer tablets made by the world's largest technology company are illegal knockoffs of Apple's popular iPhone and iPad products.

Cupertino, California-based Apple is demanding $2.5 billion in damages, an award that would dwarf the largest patent-related verdict to date.

The South Korean company countered that Apple is doing the stealing and that some of the technology at issue _ such as the rounded rectangular designs of smartphones and tablets _ has been industry standards for years.

A jury of seven men and three women was selected to hear the case, which is just the latest skirmish between the two companies over product designs. A similar trial began last week, and the two companies have been fighting in courts in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Industrywide, some 50 lawsuits have been filed by myriad telecommunications companies jockeying for position in the burgeoning $219 billion market for smartphones and computer tablets.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose last month ordered Samsung to pull its Galaxy 10.1 computer tablet from the U.S. market pending the outcome of the upcoming trial, though she barred Apple attorneys from telling the jurors about the ban.

``That's a pretty strong statement from the judge and shows you what she thinks about some of Apple's claims,'' said Brian Love, a Santa Clara University law professor and patent expert. He said that even though the case will be decided by 10 jurors, the judge has the authority to overrule their decision if she thinks they got it wrong.

``In some sense the big part of the case is not Apple's demands for damages but whether Samsung gets to sell its products,'' said Mark A. Lemley, a Stanford Law School professor and director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science, and Technology.

Lemley said a verdict in Apple's favor could send a message to consumers that Android-based products such as Samsung's are in legal jeopardy. A verdict in Samsung's favor, especially if it prevails on its demands that Apple pay its asking price for certain transmission technology it controls, could lead to higher-priced Apple products.

Lemley and other legal observers say it's rare that a patent battle with so much at stake doesn't get settled short of a trial. Court-ordered mediation sessions attended by Cook and high-ranking Samsung officials failed to resolve the legal squabble, leading to a highly technical trial of mostly expert witnesses opining on patent laws and technology.

Lemley, Love and others say it also appears Apple was motivated to file the lawsuit, at least in part, by its late founder's public avowals that companies using Android to create smartphones and other products were brazenly stealing from Apple. To that end, Samsung's attorneys made an unsuccessful pitch to have the jury hear excerpts from Steve Jobs' authorized biography.

``I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,'' Jobs is quoted as saying in Walter Isaacson's book ``Steve Jobs'' published in November.

But the judge barred those statements in a ruling earlier this month.

In court papers filed last week, each company laid out its legal strategy in so-called trial briefs.

Apple lawyers argue there is almost no difference between Samsung's products and Apple's and that the South Korean company's internal documents show it copied Apple's iconic designs and its interface.

Samsung denies the allegation and counter-claims that Apple copied its iconic iPhone from Sony. Samsung lawyers noted the company has been developing mobile phones since 1991 and that Apple jumped into the market in 2007.

``One thing that is notable is that this trial is happening at all,'' said Love, the law professor and patent expert. He said that in an industry such as this where so many companies hold so many vital patents needed by all players, lawsuits are viewed as toying with ``mutually assured destruction'' and that most disputes are solved through ``horse trading'' and agreements to share intellectual property and royalties.

John Grainger murder: Brothers who decapitated a man, shot him and set his ... - Daily Mail

  • John Grainger's skull had 'essentially fallen to pieces'
  • Police found hammer, butterfly knife, bread knife, Stanley knife, razor and motorised saw in bathroom
  • Brothers Anthony and Joseph Jenkins jailed for 'impossibly macabre' attack in their shared flat

By Helen Lawson


Two brothers have been jailed for life for decapitating a man after beating, stabbing and shooting him, then setting his corpse on fire.

Anthony and Joseph Jenkins killed John Grainger in January this year after the three had been drinking in various pubs in Stockport town centre.

A pathologist who later examined Mr Grainger's body said the injuries were so severe his skull had 'largely distintegrated' and had 'essentially fallen to pieces.'

Joseph, left, claimed brother Anthony Jenkins had carried out the attack alone

Joseph, left, claimed brother Anthony Jenkins had carried out the attack alone

Mr Grainger, described by his family as 'very sociable and friendly', died in the frenzied attack at the brothers' flat after Anthony Jenkins was kicked out of a nightclub for spraying beer around the dancefloor.

Anthony Jenkins, 31, had pleaded guilty earlier in the trial, while his 30-year-old brother was today convicted of murder at Manchester Crown Court.

The pair were sentenced to life in prison and must serve a minimum of 30 years and 32 years respectively before they can be considered for parole.

Murder victim John Grainger was described as 'very sociable and friendly'

Murder victim John Grainger was described as 'very sociable and friendly'

Tests showed that the pair had tried to saw Mr Grainger's head off with a bread knife before turning to a motorised saw during the attack in the early hours of January 26.

The court heard how Mr Grainger was severely beaten, hit on the head with a hammer, stabbed in the legs and was then shot in the knee and point blank in the head.

The brothers took his body to the bathroom where he was decapitated.

Earlier in the trial prosecuter Graham Reeds, QC told the court: 'Once dead his body was taken into a bathroom where it was decapitated. His head was put into a plastic shopping bag and his body into a plastic or canvas wheeled holdall.

'His body was then taken along with the head, a can of petrol and the gun, down two flights of stairs through the communal hallway and to a wooded area.

'This was a task for which two people were needed. John Grainger weighed around 12 stone 11 pounds. Once in the wood his body was set alight using petrol to accelerate the fire.'

The blaze was spotted by a casino worker on his way home and firefighters alerted police when they realised a body was on fire.

The Jenkins brothers were spotted acting suspiciously a kilometre away from their flat, having changed their clothes.

Police found six live shotgun cartridges in Anthony Jenkins' pocket and saw blood on his shoe.

They then received a radio message about the burning corpse and arrested the pair.

Police found large blood stains on the walls and furniture when they searched the flat on Wellington Street, Stockport.

The power saw the brothers used to decapitate Mr Grainger was covered in blood and still plugged into an extension lead.

The gun was found under a parked car nearby, while a hammer, butterfly knife, bread knife, Stanley knife and razor were found in the bath.

The Jenkins brothers had attempted to clean up with a mop and bucket of bleach. Their clothes were in the washing machine.

Joseph Jenkins had previously claimed that he went off with a woman after leaving the XXL nightclub, leaving the two other men.

Forensic officers and coroners take Mr Grainger's body away from the scene

Forensic officers and coroners take Mr Grainger's body away from the scene

When he returned to the flat, he told the court he found bloodstained clothes in the hallway and was shocked to be told by his brother: 'That lad John, I've done him.'

Senior Investigating Officer Andy Tattersall from the Major Incident Team said: 'The Jenkins brothers put Mr Grainger through a horrifically violent and cruel attack before shooting him. What followed was nothing short of macabre.'

Chief Superintendent Chris Sykes from Greater Manchester Police's Stockport Division said: 'The gap left by Mr Grainger's untimely death has proved impossible to fill but I hope this sentence goes a little way in helping his loved ones get on with their lives.'

UC climate-change skeptic changes views - San Francisco Chronicle

The hot issue of global warming got hotter Monday when a UC Berkeley physicist, once a loud skeptic of human-caused climate change, agreed that the Earth is not only heating up but that people are the cause of it all.

Richard Muller converted only a year ago to the idea that the world has been warming for decades. Before then he had argued that global warming data - even figures compiled by U.N. experts - were badly flawed.

Now Muller is going further, blaming the warming almost entirely on human emission of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide - a conclusion that almost all climate scientists reached long ago.

Muller argued that the evidence from more than 36,000 temperature stations worldwide shows that the global thermometer has risen by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years. The warm-up began with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, Muller said, and has accelerated in recent years.

Fierce debate

Muller released five scientific papers Monday supporting conclusions reached by his organization Berkeley Earth with detailed evidence. They immediately set the blogosphere afire, with experts and not-so experts jousting over the conclusions.

Scientists who entered the fray criticized Muller on two fronts:

-- Of the five papers, only one has been submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and that one hasn't been published yet.

-- His organization has been heavily financed by the Charles Koch Foundation, best known for supporting the most prominent "deniers" of global warming as well as conservative political organizations. That indictment came from climate scientists when Muller was among the deniers, but some bloggers remained suspicious of him even now.

Koch and his brother, David Koch, made their fortune in the oil refining and chemical business. Charles Koch's foundation has given Muller a $150,000 grant to conduct his research, the Berkeley physicist said.

"All he wants is the science, and we have unfettered use of his money," Muller said.

Started in 1700s

Muller said detailed analysis by Robert Rhode, a physicist and statistical analyst on his team, shows that global land surface temperatures have been rising along with emissions of carbon dioxide ever since the mid-18th century.

"That carbon dioxide evidence just hit me like a brick wall," Muller said. "To me it was a shocker."

The greenhouse gas evidence, he said, came from analyzing air samples trapped in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, where the cores hold air bubbles and particles going back tens of thousands of years.

His group's records show that "global cooling periods" during the century before 1850 were caused by ash clouds from three tremendous volcanic eruptions - but that even by then, global warming had begun.

Invitation to critics

Muller said he has released most of his group's findings without going through peer review so scientific opponents could air their criticisms without waiting a year or more for the papers to be published.

Climate scientist Richard Lindzen of Harvard, one of the most influential critics of global warming adherents, promptly took Muller up on the offer.

"There has never been much argument that the global mean temperature anomaly has increased a small amount since the Little Ice Age," Lindzen said in an e-mail, referring to a global period of colder weather that some theorists say may have ended roughly 450 years ago. "There is no reason to believe that Muller's estimate is any better than anyone else's."

And asked about Muller's carbon dioxide evidence, Lindzen said, "Muller's argument is naive and even silly. Given the triviality of his results and their lack of importance, it is hard to understand what he is doing."

Source of conversion

Muller is a professor of physics at UC Berkeley and a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the popular author of "Physics for Future Presidents," and his newest book is called "Energy for Future Presidents."

Asked what prompted him to change his mind on global warming, Muller said Rhode's analyses of temperature data covering hundreds of years and from thousands of newfound climate stations - including records by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin - were too powerful to ignore.

"I didn't expect to get such clear data," Muller said. "It has cleared up a lot of Augean Stables, and I hope it opens up the discussion rationally."

Read up

The scientific papers and data from UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller and his group can be read at

David Perlman is The San Francisco Chronicle's science editor. E-mail: