domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2012

Brixton Stabbing: Second Teen Charged - Sky News

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of a promising teenage footballer described as a "role model" for his community.

Junior Nkwelle, 15, was stabbed to death outside a block of flats on the Loughborough Estate in Brixton, south London, on Thursday evening.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, with police saying the killing was not believed to be gang-related.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear at Camberwell Green Youth Court on Monday, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said.

A 14-year-old girl who was charged with Junior's murder on Saturday is also due to appear at the court on Monday.

Junior's mother, who wished to be known only as Stella, issued a short statement through the police on Saturday pleading for anyone with information to tell officers.

She said: "I would like all of the kids who saw what happened to my son to come forward and speak to the police.

"I am pleading with the parents to let their children do that, and to support their children in telling the truth. If they do not it could lead to this happening again one day."

Floral tributes
Floral tributes left for the promising teenager

Neanderthals, humans lived peacefully in N. Israel - Hindu Business Line

Neanderthals and early humans co-existed peacefully and possibly even interbred, according to a new research.

Researchers have discovered stone axes and sharp flint arrowheads of both branches of the human race in limestone caves in northern Israel.

Archaeologists working on the site of Nahal Me'arot or the Stream Cave, believe that 80,000 years ago this may have been the only place in the world where Neanderthals and early humans lived side by side, possibly even interbreeding, The Times reported.

While the cave dwellers did not share accommodation, they switched between communities, indicating that small populations of both inhabited the area over time, researchers said.

None of the bones so far found indicate lethal wounds, leading scientists to believe they may have lived in peace.

Recent genetic research indicates that modern Europeans take between 1 per cent and 4 per cent of their genes from Neanderthals, which dominated Europe and Eurasia for 3,00,000 years before dying out about 28,000 years ago, in Gibraltar.

There has long been speculation that the cross-breeding may have been the result of rape. But Daniel Kaufman, one of the archaeologists working here, said that, given its relatively frequent occurrence and its scattering across Europe, a more peaceful and sustained interbreeding was more likely.

"If that interbreeding did take place, it must have been here," he said.

British archaeologist Dorothy Garrot first explored the caves in 1928.

Reasons To Talk About Ed Miliband - Sky News

Labour are putting Ed Miliband even more front and centre at this year's conference than usual.

There are a number of reasons why this makes sense.

1. Mr Miliband's leadership is completely secure. This is the man Labour will present to the electorate in 2015 barring something extraordinary happening.

If they believe that the main problem with Mr Miliband is that people do not know him well enough, they must act to remedy that.

2. People already know the bad stuff about Mr Miliband. He pleads guilty as charged to geekiness; and everyone has their own opinion on his "fratricide", though this is receding into distant memory now.

One has to presume that other things one might learn about the Labour leader are on the positive side of the ledger. No-one, not even his opponents, seem to believe in Mr Miliband's "dark side".

3. Compared with earlier hyperactivity, the Tories and Lib Dems are in a temporary holding pattern - big policy decisions have to wait until the autumn statement is out of the way and the spending review is underway.

In a midterm lull, Mr Miliband might have space to make a case that would otherwise be drowned out by the governing parties.

4. If Labour does not talk about Mr Miliband, they might have to about... er... policy. This is not invariably a great idea. Already they have got themselves in a muddle over health, and Harriet Harman held her hands up to "timing" difficulties over the party's economic positioning.

Defending their leader against the charge of being un-prime ministerial is an easier job than explaining the finer points of policies that have not been fully worked through yet. 

Aleppo's Silk Road souk burns to ashes in battle for Syrian city - The Guardian

Large parts of Aleppo's covered market, the largest of its kind in the world and a Unesco world heritage site that traces its history back to the 14th century, have been reduced to ashes as government forces and rebels fight for control of the city.

Shops caught fire during clashes on Saturday and the flames spread rapidly, destroying at least 1,500 shops, partly because many of the small retail units tucked beneath the market's ancient arches were full of fabric, activists said.

"It is not only the souk (market) that is burning, my heart is burning as well," said an activist called Hashem, who learned the craft of jewellery making in the market.

The devastation is a reminder of how the 18-month-old conflict – in which activists estimate 30,000 people have been killed – is destroying Syria's rich cultural and historical legacy as well as the lives of its 22.5m people.

Aleppo's old city is one of several places that Unesco, the United Nations cultural agency, has designated world heritage sites and which are now at risk.

Activists accused government forces of using incendiary bullets to attack rebels who had taken up positions in the market after launching a new offensive in the city on Thursday.

"The fighters tried to put out the fire but failed to do so because snipers were shooting at them," another activist said. "The fire is still raging and at least 1,500 shops have now been burnt down."

The market – Souk al-Madina – comprises a network of vaulted stone alleyways and carved wooden facades and was once a tourist attraction and a busy cosmopolitan trading hub on the ancient Silk Road from China. Its many narrow alleys have a combined length of 13km (eight miles).

The market sold everything from soap to jewellery to clothing.

George Michael cancels tour dates to seek treatment for anxiety - The Sun

GEORGE Michael has cancelled a series of shows in Australia to seek treament for "major anxiety" following his battle with pneumonia at the end of last year.

The Symphonica tour resumed this autumn after it was pulled when he suddenly became ill in November last year.

After a performance at London's Royal Albert Hall last night, the British singer has announced he is axing dates in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Hunter Valley.

However he confirmed he would still fulfil his UK dates in October.

In a statment, the ex-Wham star writes: "I have today announced the cancellation of the shows in Australia which breaks my heart.

"By way of explanation all I can say at this time is that since last year's illness I have tried in vain to work my way through the trauma that the doctors who saved my life warned me I would experience.

"They recommended complete rest and the type of post traumatic counselling which is available in cases like mine but I'm afraid I believed (wrongly) that making music and getting out there to perform for the audiences that bring me such joy would be therapy enough in itself.

"Unfortunately I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be... I was wrong to think I could work my way through the major anxiety that has plagued me since I left Austria last December."

Michael reveals he will be seeking professional help after finishing his current British gigs and hopes to be back on the road soon.

He adds: "All that's left for me to do is apologise to my wonderful Australian fan base and to promise faithfully that as soon as I completed these shows here in the U.K. I will receive the treatment which is so long overdue."

Earlier this year George appeared to be in good health as he performed at the closing ceremony of the Olympics.

He had completed 46 of the original 65 dates when he contracted pneumonia.

Two Americans killed in confused Afghan shootout - Toronto Sun

KABUL - A member of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan and a civilian contractor have been killed in the latest "insider" attack by a member of the Afghan security forces, the coalition said on Sunday.

The attack, which took place in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, came after the United States said joint operations with Afghan forces were returning to normal.

Joint operations were halted two weeks ago after a surge of attacks on the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) by its Afghan allies. At least 52 ISAF service members have been killed this year in "green-on-blue" attacks.

It was too early to say what impact the latest incident would have on plans to restore joint operations with Afghan troops to normal, a spokesman for ISAF said.

The attack took place in the Sayed Abad district of the Wardak province, according to local police sources, who said a gun battle broke out between coalition soldiers and Afghans when an Afghan National Army member opened fire on American troops.

Three members of the Afghan National Army were also killed in the firefight, while three other U.S. citizens and one Afghan were wounded, police spokesman Wali Mohammad said on Sunday.

If the U.S. deaths are confirmed by Department of Defense, Saturday's insider killing would take U.S. civilian and military deaths in Afghanistan to over 2,000.

"We appreciate the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, every death is tragic and important - none more than any other," ISAF said in a statement after Saturday's attack.

"We are a very happy little family": X Factor hopeful Jade Ellis raises young ... -

X Factor sensation Jade Ellis has told of her pride at bringing up her six-year-old daughter with her gay lover, saying: "We are a very happy little family."

The bike-shop assistant, 25 – who wowed Tulisa and Tinie Tempah with her rendition of Stand By Me last night – lives with little Caiden and her long-term partner Heba Elgamel, also 25.

Click here to read more stories from The People

The beaming youngster is so happy with the unconventional set up that she even boasts to pals in the playground about having "two mummies".

And far from ignoring Caiden's biological father, Jade also revealed how they ALL go on their holidays together. "He's been there for us 100 per cent," she says.

Jade fell pregnant with Caiden by a close pal called Jonni after one of her only sexual experiences with a man.

Speaking about her unusual family life, she told The People: "We are a very happy little family. Heba was my first true love but she isn't the only girl I've been out with. Me and Heba have been together for about six years, but before I met her I got pregnant.

"The pregnancy was a little bit unexpected. Nobody plans to have a kid at 19. The guy was one of my best friends, we were close and it just happened.

"When I got pregnant I felt I was ready but I didn't want to be pushing him." She quickly goes on to say that he is an "amazing bloke" and calls him her No.1 X Factor fan.

"We both appreciate what we do for our daughter and that is the best way to get through this kind of relationship," she adds, defying her critics.

"Heba and I both get on really well with Caiden's dad and we have great relationships. He lives up North but we go up there every other month. We have all gone on holidays together but when Caiden is with her dad we let her have daddy time."

Jade Ellis
Shop girl to singer: Jade belts out classic on last night's show


She adds: "Heba loves Caiden like her own and we all get on well.

"My daughter is completely accepting of the family situation. One parent came up to me and said, 'I only knew you two were together when my daughter said Caiden's got two mummies'. It was a normal comment." She grins and laughs: "It's the children telling the parents how it is."

Jade also told of the moment she revealed to her own mum Stacey, 48, that she was a lesbian.

"I first came out to my mum when I was 18," she begins.

"There was a girl staying in my room for a couple of nights and when they left my mum was like, 'Jade, is that girl a lesbian?'

"And in the middle of breakfast I just said, 'Yes... so am I'. My mum took a mouthful of tea, didn't bat an eyelid and went, 'Oh, okay'."

'Our fairy tale is over': Runaway teacher Jeremy Forrest tells lawyer of "disappointment" after arrest

Sheridan smitten: Mrs Biggs star is dating Amy Winehouse's ex Reg Traviss

Megan's backstreet bolt-hole: The £40-a-night hotel in France where runaway schoolgirl and teacher stayed

Now Jade is using her time on the X Factor to hopefully build a better life for her daughter – and girlfriend.

But the budding singer admits living on a tough London estate has left her worrying for their safety.

Drug pushers and junkies roam the network of dimly lit streets near their flat, meaning they have to be indoors by 9pm every night to keep safe.

"There are a few areas or roads that we won't go down. If it gets late you'll avoid that bit," she explains.

"I have a local park that is great during the day but in the evening it is a known fact that there are a lot of drug abusers who use the park to camp out in over night.

"When you go up there the next day you have to be cautious.

"To have to look for needles or discarded drug paraphernalia is a bit daunting.

"We were playing in the park and we found a syringe which was a bit of a shock. To have to look around you and see if there are dirty needles lying around is horrible," Jade admits.

She also revealed how she was left in fear for her life last year after getting caught up in the London riots when hooded yobs turned on her bus.

"I was coming home from work on the bus and the driver got us all in and then he just closed the doors and wouldn't let anybody off. People were pushing the bus and throwing things. It was scary," she admits. "I sat at home with my daughter and didn't know what the world was coming to."

Two of her pals were arrested for looting during the week of trouble.

Jade, who hopes her incredible voice will be her ticket out of the crime-­riddled area, adds: "It's sad because I wish I could take some of my friends on my journey to the X Factor."

Jimmy Savile accused of sexual abuse - BBC News

Sir Jimmy Savile has been accused of sexual abuse against underage teenage girls in an ITV1 documentary to be shown on Wednesday.

Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile will include several interviews with alleged victims of the DJ and TV presenter, who died last year.

Sir Jimmy was never charged with any abuse offences during his lifetime.

One complaint was made to Surrey Police in 2007 but following an investigation, no further action was taken.

Sir Jimmy, who presented shows including Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It, died in 2011 at the age of 84.

The abuse is alleged to have taken place in a number of places including hospitals, schools and BBC buildings.

In a statement, the BBC said no evidence of allegations on its premises had been found.

'Expected to pay'

"The BBC has conducted extensive searches of its files to establish whether there is any record of misconduct or allegations of misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile during his time at the BBC. No such evidence has been found.

"Whilst the BBC condemns any behaviour of the type alleged in the strongest terms, in the absence of evidence of any kind found at the BBC that corroborates the allegations that have been made it is simply not possible for the corporation to take any further action."

In the ITV1 programme, to be broadcast on Wednesday at 2310 BST, former detective Mark Williams-Thomas conducts his own investigation into the allegations.

ITV said it had taken into full account the fact Sir Jimmy was not alive to defend the claims.

One woman named Fiona, who was 14 at the time, said she was one of several girls from her school who were invited to ride in the presenter's Rolls Royce.

"I knew the moment he asked me to stay in the car with him, I knew what was expected of me. Because I was having this wonderful day out and I was expected to pay for it. And that's what I did.

'Too frightened'

"I now know it was wrong and I can still get very angry about it, but nobody believed me then, so I don't expect anybody to believe me now if I'm honest."

Another woman, who remains anonymous, said she met Sir Jimmy at the BBC in 1969, when she was 15.

She claims he indecently assaulted her "probably dozens of times".

"Start Quote

What upsets me so much is that not one of these children could ask for help"

End Quote Esther Rantzen

"I think when he was alive I would have been too frightened to have spoken out... there was always that air that he had power and that he had contacts and you wouldn't want to mess with him. So I would never have come out openly about it before."

Sue Thompson was a newsroom assistant at BBC Leeds at the time Jimmy Savile was presenting the regional Speakeasy programme in 1978.

When asked to help out on the show, she walked into the star's dressing room after a recording and says she was shocked when she saw Sir Jimmy with a young teenager.

"I would have said something before if I'd had the courage or conviction that perhaps something would have been done about it. But it has been difficult to speak about it, just because of who Jimmy Savile was," she told the documentary.

Esther Rantzen, who worked as a television presenter at the BBC at the same time Savile was at the height of his fame in the 1970s, said there were rumours about the star.

After watching the alleged victims' evidence as part of the documentary, Rantzen said she believed the testimonies and now thinks the rumours were true.

Concern over 'legacy'

"Before I watched these I had absolutely decided I would not make up my mind because he's not here to defend himself - it seems utterly unfair," she said.

"I must say that what these women say is so matter-of-fact, they corroborate each other. The style of the abuse and the attack on them was consistent one with each other. I'm afraid the jury isn't out any more and what upsets me so much is that not one of these children could ask for help.

"The abuse of power was as great as the sexual abuse."

But Sir Jimmy's niece Amanda McKenna, of Kirkstall, Leeds, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "The documentary-makers should be ashamed of themselves cashing in on a man who is dead and cannot defend himself."

And his nephew, Roger Foster, from Goole in East Yorkshire, said he was concerned the allegations could damage the reputation of charities Sir Jimmy raised funds for.

"The guy hasn't been dead for a year yet and they're bringing these stories out," he said.

'Care and consideration'

"It could affect his legacy, his charity work, everything. I'm very sad and disgusted."

An ITV spokesman said: "This documentary is the result of an in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile.

"Because of the very serious nature of the claims made by several interviewees in relation to this, particular care and consideration was of course given to the decision to produce and broadcast this programme."

For more than six decades, Sir Jimmy was one of Britain's most established showbusiness figures and a leading charity worker.

The country's first pop disc jockey, Sir Jimmy was also a seasoned television presenter, marathon runner, Mensa member, wrestler and fundraiser.

He was instantly recognisable in his trademark tracksuit and chunky jewellery.

Sheridan Smith and Reg Traviss go public with their romance as they kiss in the ... - Daily Mail

By Daily Mail Reporter and Fay Strang


They raised a few eyebrows earlier in the week when they were seen enjoying drinks together at infamous West End watering hole the Groucho Club.

And now it seems that the unlikely duo Sheridan Smith and former boyfriend of tragic singer Amy Winehouse, Reg Traviss, are in fact dating.

Sheridan, 31, and Reg, 35, were spotted leaving his central London flat on Saturday, just a few hours before she was due on stage in the West End play Hedda Gabler.

The odd couple? Sheridan and Amy's ex hit the town at the Groucho Club last night

The odd couple? Sheridan and Amy's ex hit the town at the Groucho Club last night

The new couple openly kissed and cuddled in the street before Sheridan headed to her car, which unfortunately had manged to get a ticket during her stay at Reg's house.

The Mrs Biggs star, appeared to be wearing a similar outfit to the one she was seen in during her night out with Reg on Wednesday.

She wore a pair of blue jeans, a faux fur coat and once again had her hair scraped off her face, showing off her large hooped earrings.

They don't look Grouchy: Sheridan and Reg leave showbiz club

They don't look Grouchy: Sheridan and Reg leave showbiz club

The actress has just made her debut in Hedda Gabler, one of the most grueling roles in theatre - and has won some less than enthusiastic reviews for her performance.

Following her performance on Wednesday evening she shrugged off any criticism as she enjoyed a night out with her new man, Reg.

Sheridan, who previously dated her Gavin and Stacey on-screen brother James Corden, and Reg continued their night on the town at Gerry's after leaving the Groucho Club at 5am.

Film director Traviss was Amy's boyfriend when the singer was found dead, aged just 27, at her home in Camden, north London, last July.

He told how they planned to marry, saying: 'Yes, absolutely, we had talked about getting married. It wasn't planned as in this date or that date, but it was a topic of conversation and had been for some time.'

Amy Winehouse and Reg Traviss at a party in 2010

Amy Winehouse and Reg Traviss at a party in June 2010

Reg gazes at the flowers left by well-wishers outside Amy's Camden home following her death

Reg gazes at the flowers left by well-wishers outside Amy's Camden home following her death

And he admitted that he was struggling to come to terms with the fact that Amy had gone.

He told The Sunday Times: 'What felt surreal was not the cameras and the craziness but losing somebody, just like that. One minute I was speaking to her, the next she was gone.'

However, less than a year after Amy's death, Traviss was arrested on suspicion of rape in April.

He was formerly charged in June and earlier this month pleaded not guilty to raping a woman on New Year's Eve.

Traviss, from Marylebone, London, denied two counts of rape on December 31.

Southwark Crown Court heard the victim alleged that she had been drinking on a night out and remembered Traviss having sex with her.

He was released on bail and will face a trial on December 10.

Sheridan's role in Ibsen's 19th century classic is the latest step in a remarkable career that has combined stage work with TV fame.

The star of such sitcoms like Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Gavin and Stacey won Olivier awards for her roles in West End musical Legally Blonde and Terence Rattigan's Flare Path.

Her recent TV appearances include ITV1 dramas Mrs Biggs and The Scapegoat and Accused on the BBC. She also has roles in three upcoming films - Tower Block, Hysteria and Quartet.

Yet the 31-year-old says her role as Hedda Gabler has been her most challenging to date.

Sheridan as Hedda Gabler

Sheridan as Hedda Gabler

Brian Friel's adaptation of Ibsen's masterpiece sees the newly married Hedda stifled by the reality of her life in a comfortable home with a husband she does not love.

'I was nervous when I did Legally Blonde and Flare Path but never [have I had] a role like this that's so way out of my comfort zone,' Sheridan said.

'I'm honoured to be on the Old Vic stage. I've dreamt of it since I was a little girl.'

But, the star admitted she had never heard of the play when she was offered the role while filming Mrs Biggs in Australia.

Sheridan and former flame James Corden in 2009

Sheridan and former flame James Corden in 2009

'I Googled it and saw 'female Hamlet' and I was petrified,' she said, 'It's not a role I'd choose to play, but since it came along I would have been a fool to say no.'

However, following the premiere last week, the Mail reviewed the play, saying: 'So, is Smith up to it? Not yet. Her voice is tight and locked on to one thin note, and she swallows the ends of her sentences: a gabbler more than a Gabler. For the first half she wears a fixed and oddly unreadable smile.'

The Independent reported: 'So Smith, with her down-to-earth openness and warmth, has been cast against type in a role that has been described as the Hamlet of the female repertoire in its demands. It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that this calculated, potentially refreshing gamble has not paid off...'

Although the Daily Telegraph was more enthusiastic, saying: 'We already knew that she could be both funny and deeply poignant, and she is sometimes both of those things here. But what's thrilling is seeing this usually wonderfully sympathetic actress in an entirely new light...the great thrill of the night is Sheridan Smith, revealing herself as an actress of truly tremendous talent and range.'

Europe is wasting British taxpayers' money on foreign aid and we can't stop them ... - Daily Mail

By Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor


Alan Duncan said the UK is forced to hand over money to Brussels but has no say in how it is spent

Alan Duncan said the UK is forced to hand over money to Brussels but has no say in how it is spent

The European Union is taking millions of pounds in aid from the British taxpayer with no promise it will spend it on tackling poverty, a senior Conservative minister claimed today.

Alan Duncan, the minister of state at the Department for International Development, said the UK is forced to hand over money to Brussels but has no say in how it is spent.

The explosive remarks are likely to trigger renewed calls for David Cameron to reconsider his promise to commit to increasing overseas aid spending to 0.7 per cent of GDP when other areas of public spending face deep cuts.

And in a two-pronged challenge to the Prime Minister, it will fuel demands for Britain to renegotiate its relationship with the EU.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary appointed in last month's reshuffle, has ordered an audit of all aid spending to ensure taxpayers' money is not being wasted.

The comments from Mr Duncan, her deputy minister, are likely to face calls for tougher controls on help for poorer countries at the Tory party conference next week.

Mr Duncan said the EU's aid programme needed an overhaul.

'We share the people's anger on this. We are forced to give money to the European Union,' he told the Sunday Telegraph.

'We ask them to focus aid on poverty but they don't, and we have no choice in the matter.'

His remarks come as the newspaper reported 1.4billion, one sixth of his department's budget, is diverted to EU schemes.

Justine Greening has ordered an audit of all aid spending to ensure taxpayers' money is not being wasted

Justine Greening has ordered an audit of all aid spending to ensure taxpayers' money is not being wasted

An EU spokesman said it was 'simply untrue' to say that 'Brussels is taking decisions on where funding goes and then imposing them on the UK'.

But a senior Tory quoted in the newspaper claimed the idea this was a 'lie'.

The source said: 'If you want an EU lie, this is a classic one. It is a 100 per cent lie. We have been arguing with the EU whenever we can that the money should have a poverty focus.'

Projects the EU's EuropeAid scheme has supported include an 800,000 water park in Morocco, 223,683 on a consultant to fight corruption in Jamaica and 20million to the Icelandic government prepare to join the EU.

The L'Oasis de Noria near Marrakech in Morocco is receiving more than €1million from EuropeAid as part of a 60million development which includes a spa, water lagoon, tennis courts and 480 apartments.

Another hotel in northern Morocco is receiving a further 650,000 for an energy efficiency scheme.

Iceland, which is technically wealthier than Britain, has also received EU funding to promote tourism around the volcano Eyjafjallajkull which caused global air travel chaos when it erupted in 2010.

Steingerdur Hreinsdottir, who administers the geopark grant on behalf of the Development Centre of South Iceland, defended the funding, telling the newspaper: 'If it's available anyway, I don't see why we shouldn't take it to help a region that's in decline.'


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Yes we can! Let us vote to pull out!!!

Of course we can stop them - resign from the EU today...

oh you can stop it,pull out of eu,whimp or man your call.

Sure you can stop them. At least from wasting the UK taxpayers money. Don't hand any over until you are satisfied it is being spent properly. Grow a pair and stop talking like a wimp.

Simple answer and all Politicians know it leave the EU in fact why did we ever join.

YES WE CAN STOP THEM, VOTE UKIP get rid of these Eton posh boys once and for all

Well we could save a fortune on international development...starting off by sacking the minister of overseas development


I bet the French would refuse to pay it, gutless British politicians can only pick on the weak & defenceless.

Until we can say that our own country is on an even keel. ALL aid should immediately cease. For this country to pay out to foreigners when so many of our own are struggling is an obscenity.

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

Apple iOS 6 moves towards a Google-free future - The Age

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Digital Life

Confused ... Apple Maps replaces Google Maps in iOS 6.

Confused ... Apple Maps replaces Google Maps in iOS 6.

The new version of iOS, the software that runs Apple's iPhones and iPads, may be more important for what was taken away than for any of the things added.

Gone from iOS 6 are two formerly built-in Google apps that were integral to previous versions of the operating system: Google Maps and YouTube. (The latter, at least, can be reinstalled from the App Store.) Google's search capability is still there, but Apple's improvements to Siri, its voice-based personal assistant, provide an alternative way of finding more information.

And a new Apple app called Passbook represents a "toe in the water" towards mobile payments, something Google has aggressively been pursuing with its Google Wallet software.

Intriguing addition ... Passbook stores tickets in iOS 6.

Intriguing addition ... Passbook stores tickets in iOS 6.

In short, while iOS 6 introduces some neat tricks into the iUniverse, it feels less like a major enhancement and more like another front in Apple's increasingly bitter war over Google's Android operating system.

The new software comes pre-installed on the iPhone 5 and is available as a free download for iPads, iPod touches and previous iPhones. I tested it on a variety of devices, ranging from a current-model iPad to a three-generations-old iPhone 3GS, and found it smooth, stable and responsive.

I also appreciated several of its new features, including bringing Siri to the iPad for the first time and allowing the iPhone 4S to take the same kind of panoramic photographs as the iPhone 5.

But the change that's grabbed the most public attention is the new Apple navigation app that has supplanted Google Maps. As I wrote in my iPhone 5 review last week, while the new app is gorgeous and the spoken turn-by-turn directions are a welcome addition, the software is too easily confused. In addition, it displays many fewer nearby points of interest.

In light of the furor over the app's flaws, it's worth noting that Google Maps suffered from similar problems when it launched on Android phones in 2009. Most memorably, while I was standing outside New York's Penn Station, it located me in Cheapside in London, even helpfully pointing out nearby Tube stations.

Still, it's obvious by now that the new application is inferior to the one it replaced, and I expect Apple to devote considerable resources to remedy it.

It's a path similar to the one the company is already following with Siri, which was introduced last year on the iPhone 4S. The voice assistant has proven to be a polarising feature — some users enjoy the convenience of just talking to their devices and others dislike it for its miscues.

In general, I'm in the first camp, and like Siri's new tricks. She — it? — now provides sports scores (and even sometimes point spreads), can make dinner reservations via Open Table, passes fewer queries to Google web searches and generally understands me better.

For instance, when I asked the first version of Siri for directions to San Francisco's 9 Lombard Street, she interpreted the "to" as "two," and sent me to 29 Lombard Street, but the software now interprets the question accurately. And the query "Do I need a jacket?" now yields weather information, rather than a list of nearby Men's Wearhouse stores.

The most intriguing new app in iOS 6 may be Passbook — not necessarily for what it does now but for what it may do someday.

Passbook is basically a single place for keeping tickets, boarding passes, loyalty and prepaid cards. But it has some wrinkles, like location and time awareness, that hint at more to come.

I used Passbook to store a ticket to a San Francisco Giants baseball game by clicking on an emailed link. When I arrived at AT&T Park, my iPhone recognised where I was and displayed a message on the lock screen prompting me to display the ticket. At the turnstile, the electronic ticket was scanned, and I was in. Easy.

Beyond the colourful look and slick animation — you'll have fun virtually shredding used tickets — there's nothing very revolutionary about an emailed bar or QR code. But the idea of presenting you with relevant information and offers, based on your device's awareness of where you are and what you're doing, is a critical step towards getting consumers to reach for their phones rather than their wallets to pay for stuff.

A number of iOS 6's 200-or-so other changes amount to simple pleasures.

For instance, a handy new "Do Not Disturb" setting lets you silence your device between specified hours, while allowing you to note who should be allowed through, and under what terms.

If you receive a call when you're in a meeting or otherwise engaged? A finger-flick sends an automatic can't-talk-now text. And if your data plan allows it, you can now conduct a FaceTime video chat over the cellular network.

Along similar lines, Mail lets you designate messages from VIPs in your life for special attention. You can post to Facebook as well as Twitter from the Notification Centre and from within many apps. And you can also now share access to your iCloud-stored photos — perhaps one less reason you'd need to use You-Know-Who-owned Picasa.

Indeed, given Apple's war with Google, it isn't that far-fetched to imagine a day when even core search functions are handled by some Apple-designed replacement. But if the company wants to retain its reputation for putting the user experience ahead of all else, it had better be sure that anything it introduces is better than whatever it's replacing.


iPhone 5: Record Demand As Gadget Goes On Sale - Sky News

The latest iPhone goes on sale on Friday and is already guaranteed to be a best-seller.

Apple has reported pre-orders for the new iPhone 5 around the world of two million in just 24 hours.

The phone, which is thinner and lighter than previous models and can use the newly-announced 4G network, will cost from £529 with the 32GB model selling for £599 and the 64GB version costing £699.

It goes on sale at 34 Apple stores from 8am.

The phone, which weighs in at 112g, has a 4in screen - half an inch bigger than previous models and has a new, more powerful A6 chip.

Its voice control software Siri, first unveiled in the iPhone 4S, has been updated so users can ask it to recommend films and restaurants and update their Facebook accounts verbally.

The battle for domination of the mobile and tablet market has become increasingly heated recently with Apple's competitors taking it on with a series of new products.

Nokia and Microsoft recently joined forces to launch two new phones which will run on the Windows operating system and online retailer Amazon unveiled new models of its Kindle Fire tablets, which were previously not for sale in the UK, and are seen as rivals to Apple's best-selling iPad.

England royal officials drop complaint to UK press watchdog over naked Prince ... - New York Daily News

LONDON -- Royal officials say they won't complain to Britain's press watchdog about naked pictures of Prince Harry partying in Las Vegas that appeared in a British tabloid.

The Sun newspaper ran the snapshots last month after they had appeared online and were reproduced around the world.


Harry's St. James's Palace office said Friday it had decided not to pursue a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

The palace said a complaint would be a distraction from Harry's deployment in Afghanistan, where he is serving as a helicopter pilot, and it "would not be prudent to pursue the matter further."

The decision stands in contrast to the lawsuit and criminal complaint the palace has filed in France against a magazine that ran topless pictures of Prince William's wife, Kate.

See the video report

Scottish wildcats may become extinct, only 35 left - Zee News

Scottish wildcats may become extinct, only 35 left London: Scottish wildcats may be the next species to be wiped out from the earth, as conservationists say the numbers of pure-bred cats may have fallen to about 35 individuals.

Scottish wildcats may become extinct, only 35 left

According to the Daily Mail, a team from the Scottish Wildcat Association (SWA) reviewed 2,000 records of camera trap sightings, eyewitness reports and road kills.

The analysis suggested there could be just 35 wildcats - also known as the Highland Tiger.

Other research also estimated there could be less than 400 pure-bred cats.

A report funded by the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) estimated there were 150 breeding pairs left.

Disease and inter-breeding with domestic and feral cats are said to be among the main threats to pure-bred wildcats.

Scottish wildcats may become extinct, only 35 left

The SWA said licensed trapping of the mammals should be allowed so blood samples could be taken in an effort to better understand the state of the population. It has also suggested relocating pure wildcats to areas where there are fewer risks.


Body found in cruise woman search - The Press Association

The search for a British woman who fell overboard from a cruise ship in the Mediterranean was called off after rescuers recovered a body.

The passenger was reported missing on the Aurora as it sailed from the Portuguese city of Oporto to Barcelona on Friday, P&O Cruises said.

The ship's crew were alerted and ordered an immediate search for the woman, who has not yet been named.

Authorities and P&O Cruises' care team are now providing assistance for the woman's family, the cruise operator said.

It is understood that passengers were informed of the discovery of the body through an announcement from the ship's captain, Ian Hutley.

The Aurora left Southampton for a 14-night western Mediterranean cruise on Wednesday. P&O Cruises confirmed that all passengers on board were British.

Pat Rodgers, who is on board the Aurora with her husband, Joseph, said the woman was believed to be in her 70s and on holiday with her daughter.

Mrs Rodgers, 70, from Sheffield, said the water had been "very choppy" and fellow passengers were "sad and subdued".

She said that planes an helicopters circled overhead to assist lifeboats in the search.

Mrs Rodgers said: "The captain made an announcement over the loudspeaker at 8.10am this morning and asked everyone to help keep a lookout. We heard that the woman is 72 and was on holiday with her daughter but we don't know how she fell in."

Nook GlowLight e-reader price drops to $119 - CNET

This weekend's Target circular shows the new pricing for the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

(Credit: David Carnoy/CNET )

As Amazon gets set to ship out the Kindle Paperwhite, its new e-ink e-reader that features an integrated light, its chief rival appears to be getting a price cut. At least two major retailers -- Target (shown above) and Walmart -- are now advertising the Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight for $119. That's $20 less than the original $139 price, and the exact cost of the entry-level Paperwhite (which, unlike the Nook, includes "Special Offers" ads).

When Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook GlowLight earlier this year, it had problems keeping up with demand (it later admitted it simply had trouble producing the GlowLight in adequate quantities at launch). Now Amazon apparently can't make its highly anticipated e-reader fast enough to keep up with orders. On the Paperwhite's product page, a message reads, "Due to popular demand, orders placed today are expected to ship the week of October 22nd. Limit five per customer."

We'll have a full review of the Kindle Paperwhite shortly, but for now you can look at our early hands-on of the product. We awarded an Editors' Choice to the Nook GlowLight last April. Aside from the price drop, Barnes & Noble has not changed anything else.

It's Robopop: Dad has the first bionic hand on the NHS - The Sun

A DAD has become Britain's first person to be fitted with a bionic robot-style hand on the NHS.

Delighted Mike Swainger, 33, was given the chance to try out the amazing technology after offering to act as a guinea pig for the firm that made it.

Mike — who lost his right lower arm and leg when he was hit by a train aged only 13 — said: "It's been a complete life-changer."

The father of three was given the robot hand, which opens and closes just like a real one, after doing research and approaching the manufacturer. It is operated by electrodes attached to the muscles in his upper arm.

It has allowed Mike to do everyday tasks he previously struggled with such as tying laces — and take up new pursuits like fishing.

And he said the best thing about it was holding hands with youngest daughter Jodie, six.

Mike, from Hull, who also has an artificial leg but uses a wheelchair too, said: "It encourages you to take on new things.

"And it's a great ice-breaker. I've heard little kids in the street saying, 'Look, it's a robot'.

"The best thing was when Jodie held the hand outside without batting an eyelid."

Mike, whose family includes Billy, 17, Ellie, 15, and fiancée Clare Palmer, 33, added: "Being an amputee can be daunting but it has had an incredible impact."

The hand was supplied by prosthetics firm RSLSteeper, which more usually works through the private sector or abroad.

It was funded through the NHS after discussions with the Hull Artificial Limbs Unit. RSLSteeper products division boss Paul Steeper said: "Thanks to people like Mike we are able to make constant improvements to designs."

Julia Mizon of the NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group said: "Helping people enjoy the best quality of life is a priority for us."

Tributes As Labour MP Malcolm Wicks Dies - Sky News

Former prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have led tributes to former energy minister Malcolm Wicks, who has died aged 65.

Mr Brown called the Croydon North MP, who had been fighting cancer, a "great thinker, writer, campaigner and parliamentarian", while Mr Blair said he had "complete integrity in all he did".

Mr Wicks was praised by Labour leader Ed Miliband as a "thoroughly decent, intelligent and compassionate man" whose death left a "huge hole" in the party.

"He was a brilliant energy minister, he was a deep thinker about welfare and pensions, and Labour to his core," Mr Miliband said.

"Malcolm was also a dedicated constituency MP, always putting the needs of his Croydon constituents first. He was a brilliant campaigner.

"The way he handled his illness tells you everything about the man. He showed huge dignity and also kept on thinking, writing and advising right to the end.

"I have lost a wise confidant and most importantly a dear friend and the Labour Party has lost one of its sharpest thinkers. Our thoughts go to Malcolm's wife, Margaret, and his family."

Mr Wicks represented Croydon in Parliament for two decades, and held a variety of ministerial briefs under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - including pensions, science and energy.

The married father and grandfather stepped down from the government in 2008 and spent two years as the prime minister's special representative on international energy issues. He was also made a member of the Privy Council.

Mr Wicks was re-elected with an increased majority of nearly 16,500 at the 2010 general election.

Politicians from other parties added their voices to the tributes.

Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: "This is very sad news, and my thoughts are with Malcolm's family at this time. As well as being a respected parliamentarian, Malcolm's knowledge and passion on energy issues commanded huge respect, and we are all the poorer for his passing."

Tory Communities Secretary Eric Pickles tweeted: "Very sad to learn of the death of Malcolm Wicks, he was a man of great wit and humanity."

Cameron leads British hunt for business in Brazil - Business Recorder (blog)

British Prime Minister David Cameron had oil and sports on his mind when he visited Brazil this week seeking business opportunities in the South American nation that overtook Britain last year to become the world's No 6 economy. With the European Union in a slump, Cameron has turned to emerging BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as alternative markets for British exports and investments, with little to show so far.

With executives from 45 leading British companies in tow, Cameron met on Friday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who invited British businesses to invest in Brazil oil and gas, defence, mining and financial services industries. "I think we can do a lot better," Rousseff said of growing but still negligible trade and investment flows between the two countries.

Rousseff said British interest in Brazil had come at the right time after her government announced last month a $66 billion investment in road and railway building as part of a massive plan to upgrade her country's dilapidated infrastructure, which includes modernising ports and airports. Following the success of the London Olympics this summer, Rousseff said Brazil was seeking British co-operation to prepare for the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics Games.

Cameron said British companies had signed more than $161 million in deals during his two-day visit, with another $400 million in potential contracts for companies that can help Brazil get ready for the two global sporting events it will host. Earlier on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, accompanied by British companies hoping for a slice of Brazil's enormous energy potential, Cameron met with Maria das Gracas Foster, the president of Brazil's largest company, the state-led Petrobras. Foster laid out the oil company's $236 billion investment plan for the next five years to develop Brazil's sub-salt off-shore oil reserves and become one of the world's top producers.

"We have an enormous potential in the oil and gas field, an enormous challenge, and we are open for business for the British industry in oil equipment and services," Foster told them. Cameron visited the industrial state Sao Paulo on Thursday to open a new $100 million factory by Britain's JCB to make backhoes and excavating equipment. "If you can't beat them, join them," he said in a speech to businessmen, urging a greater British partnership with Brazil.

Copyright Reuters, 2012

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AVB thinks big as Spurs end jinx - SuperSport

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas predicted "big things" from his side after a stunning 3-2 victory against Manchester United in the Premier League.

Goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey saw Spurs to their first victory at Old Trafford in 23 years and their first win over Sir Alex Ferguson's team in 27 attempts; a run dating back to May 2001.

After a slow start to Villas-Boas' reign at White Hart Lane, three straight league wins have taken Spurs into fifth place and seem to have turned the tide for their Portuguese manager.

"We were tremendous today," said Villas-Boas after Saturday's thrilling success. "The players really put in the effort, the desire, the intensity from the beginning.

"When you see a team with so much desire to hold onto a historic result, you can count on each other to do big things this year. That's the most important thing, the most important lesson we take out of tonight.

"The players really felt they could nick a win here and the first and second half is an expression of that desire and ambition, though in different ways.

"In the first half, we attacked and kept the ball. In the second, we defended," added Villas-Boas, still only 34.

"This is a very very special night for us," added Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea before Spurs' London rivals won the Champions League last season.

"It must serve as an example to us for what we want to achieve in the future. In the end it is just an important three points that will hopefully serve as an inspiration for the future."

Villas-Boas reserved special praise for man-of-the-match Bale, after revealing the Wales winger had only managed to train for one day in the week leading up to Saturday's clash due to illness.

"He trained only one day during the week and is still with a sore throat and fever," said Villas-Boas.

"We had problems with (Gylfi) Sigurdsson as well, who had diarrhoea and vomiting."

The defeat, United's first home reverse of the new campaign, left them four points behind leaders Chelsea and would have caught the eye of those clubs competing to wrest the league title from Manchester City's grasp.

But the Tottenham manager does not believe his side is one of them.

"Our quest is to qualify for the Champions League. It is very difficult to go for the title," said Villas-Boas.

"We understand it is a place where the great teams of this country belong. We want to win a trophy this season. We want Champions League qualification."

United manager Ferguson was left to rue at least two rejected penalty claims, with the best a clear two-handed grab by Vertonghen on Nani in the first half.

However, referee Chris Foy decided the winger had made a meal of the foul – and for once Ferguson agreed with an official.

"I think there were quite a few penalties," he said. "The one in the first half was a clear penalty kick, but maybe Nani made a meal of it. He didn't need to do that."

Ferguson brought fit-gain Wayne Rooney off the bench at halftime him and the England striker responded by setting up Nani for United's first goal.

Shinji Kagawa pulled back a second for the Red Devils, after Dempsey had made it 3-1, and Ferguson hinted strongly it had taken a blast of his infamous 'hairdryer' during the interval to get the desired change.

"I think the attitude changed and that's the most important thing," said Ferguson.

"Wayne's ability does help too, but the attitude of the players was absolutely brilliant, everywhere on the pitch.

"Their attitude to winning was great. They got stuck in. They started going to win the ball rather than standing off as they had in the first half. That was the main difference.

"We should have dealt with it better after scoring, but there are a 100 ways to look at losing a goal.

"You analyse it, but it was a bad break after getting one back. If we had kept it that way for a few minutes, I think we'd have won the match."