sexta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2010
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Zsa Zsa Gabor's publicist says the Hungarian-born actress and socialite has been taken by ambulance from her home to a Los Angeles hospital.
CNN said Gabor, 93, was hospitalized Friday because of "complications" relating to her recent hip-replacement surgery. No other details about her condition were reported.
The star of "Moulin Rouge", "The Story of Three Loves", "The Girl in the Kremlin" and "Touch of Evil" had only returned to her Bel Air, Calif., home Wednesday from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing hip-replacement surgery to treat injuries sustained in a fall four weeks ago. UPI
Two people were killed and three injured after a car crashed into a minivan on a highway in the Veliky Novgorod Region in northwest Russia, a local police spokesman said on Saturday.
He said the car crashed into a Gazel minivan that was parked on the sideway of the highway killing immediately a woman and fatally injuring a 79-year-old man. Among the three injured, he added, is a three-year-old boy.
According to statistics, 30,000 people lose their lives in traffic accidents every year in Russia due to the poor state of highway networks and reckless driving.
The Russian government adopted a law last week completely banning alcohol for drivers to increase safety on the country's roads. RIA Novosti
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. radio personality Laura Schlessinger has apologized for repeatedly using the N-word while speaking to a black caller on her talk show this week.
"I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing," CNN reported the author said about the remarks she made on her Sirius/XM satellite show Tuesday.
Schlessinger's views have sparked controversy in the past. She lost her syndicated television series after she called homosexuality "a biological error" in 1998, CNN noted. UPI
NEW DELHI: Widening its probe into alleged financial irregularities in the Commonwealth Games, the Enforcement Directorate is looking at the source and gateways through which payment was made for the Queens Baton Relay in London last October.
The ED has scrutinised the bid documents that led to the awarding of the work of arranging display services to A M Films, a little-known London-based company, to which a huge sum of money was transferred through the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The agency's initial probe, including leads from the RBI, has led the ED sleuths to gather more information about the source and various channels used to transfer money to the firm.
The ED is also likely to summon other Organising Committee members like Joint Director General (F&A) M Jaychandran and Deputy Director General (Ceremonies) Sudheer Verma who are said to be the signatories to the work related to the QBR.
The directorate, probing the CWG case for alleged violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has already quizzed sacked Organising Committee JDG T S Darbari and suspended DDG Sanjay Mohindroo few days back.
The probe will also focus on a noting in the minutes of the meeting of the committee for evaluation of bids relating to the work of arranging display services as a part of crowd control measure during the QBR in London. The Times of India
BEIJING - China's nuclear weapons are for self-defense purposes, a top commander in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China strategic missile corps said.
"If no power presses for nuclear war with China, the Second Artillery Force will always keep silent," General Jing Zhiyuan, commander of the PLA Second Artillery Force that controls China's nuclear weapons stockpile, said in an article published in the latest issue of China Armed Forces.
China's development of a nuclear arms capacity is limited to that of the lowest level necessary to safeguard national security, Jing said in the article in the quarterly magazine affiliated to the Xinhua News Agency.
"We will firmly pursue a defensive nuclear strategy and resolutely implement the 'no first use' policy," he said.
China has long insisted its military nuclear drive is purely defensive in nature.
At the Nuclear Security Summit in April this year, Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward a five-point proposal calling on all nuclear-armed countries to keep their nuclear weapons facilities safe.
Jing said China's nuclear military forces will carry out Hu's five proposals and actively support international efforts to enhance nuclear security.
"We, the Second Artillery Force, will always stick to the principle of limited development of nuclear weapons and we will not engage in a nuclear arms race," Jing wrote.
China began building its own nuclear arsenal after the country exploded its first atomic bomb in the deserts Northwest China in 1964.
In 1971, the country became the fifth country in the world to launch a nuclear submarine. China Daily
LONDON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- An anonymous buyer set a record for the world's priciest dwelling by shelling out $220 million for a six-bedroom London penthouse.
The Daily Telegraph said Friday the buyer, who some speculate is an oil magnate from the Middle East or Nigeria, will have tunnel access to the Mandarin Oriental hotel from the penthouse at high-end development One Hyde Park.
The Daily Mail said the penthouse also comes with bulletproof windows, a panic room and specially trained guards. UPI
NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Lindsay Lohan's mother told interviewer Matt Lauer the media and justice system are largely to blame for the U.S. actress' problems.
The 24-year-old star of "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls" has served two stints in jail and taken four trips to rehab, due to her addictions to alcohol and drugs.Talking to Lauer on Friday's edition of the "Today" show, Dina Lohan blamed her daughter's problems on the tabloids, the Internet, Lindsay's father Michael and Marsha Revel, the judge who recently recused herself from handling Lindsay's parole violation in her 2007 driving under the influence case, E! News said.
Lindsay spent nearly two weeks behind bars this summer for missing her court-ordered alcohol education classes.
"I think (Revel) went overboard and played serious hardball with Lindsay," Dina Lohan said, adding she didn't think her daughter deserved any jail time at all "for this particular offense". UPI
BERKELEY, Calif., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The University of California at Berkeley has stepped back from its controversial plan for voluntary genetics testing of incoming students, school officials say.
In a response to a state ruling on how DNA samples are to be handled, school scientists reluctantly abandoned the idea to have freshmen and transfer students individually and confidentially learn about three of their own genetic traits in a program called "Bring Your Genes to Cal," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Instead, only collective results for all the 1,000 or so participants will be available at the school's incoming orientation seminars next month.
The state Department of Public Health ruled genetic testing required advance approval from physicians and could only be done by licensed clinical labs, not by university technicians.
Mark Schlissel, dean of biological sciences and a proponent of the DNA program, said the project deserved an exemption from the rules because it was an educational exercise. UPI
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- In ocean waters off Florida, scientists and volunteers are raising plots of rare corals to repopulate depleted Florida and Caribbean reefs, experts say.
Hit hard by disease, global warming and other stresses in the past 30 years, staghorn and elkhorn corals that create reef structures supporting vast varieties of fish, sponges, lobsters and other marine creatures have declined to a few isolated patches in the waters that run from southern Florida's Palm Beach County to the islands of the Caribbean, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.
Volunteers working with former tropical fish collector Ken Nedimyer on a reef off Key Largo use epoxy putty to give tiny bits of staghorn coral a toehold.
"These are my little children," Nedimyer, 54, says of the threatened coral he cultivates on rows of concrete blocks in an underwater offshore nursery.
After a chance discovery of staghorn coral found growing in an undersea farm for commercial aquarium rock, scientists have started raising these corals in offshore nurseries with the goal of transplanting them into the wild. UPI
NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A New York designer said if demand is high he may market the dock he created for his iPad, a retro TV design made from a wooden fruit box.
Jonas Damon, creative director at Frog Design, said he was partially inspired to create the iPad dock, which is designed to look like a TV from the 1970s, by other docks he had seen based on arcade consoles and other items, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
"Every day, we see ordinary people adapting products like the iPad to suit their particular needs, lifestyles and desires," Damon said. UPI
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Health officials in Florida's Broward County say tests have confirmed the first known case of mosquito-borne dengue fever being contracted in the county.
An adult patient who had not been out of the county for weeks came down with the tropical disease this month, officials said Thursday, meaning Broward County is the second place in the continental United States, after Key West, where the disease exists, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
In Key West, at least 53 cases have been reported since an outbreak there began in September.
But the new Broward case is the first time a person was infected by mosquitoes living in the county, authorities say. The viral disease causes severe headaches, fever, rashes, swollen glands and severe muscle and joint pain, and in some variations of the disease bleeding in the nose and gums, blood in feces and easy bruising, says medicinenet.com.
Health Department officials said the county would step up mosquito spraying and step up its message campaign to prevent bug bites, especially since Florida has already logged a few cases of other mosquito diseases such as West Nile virus. UPI
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Former Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka may get a dishonorable discharge for meddling in politics while serving in uniform, a military court said.
A statement from the office of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Fonseka may be relieved of duty for trying to land a role in an opposition party last fall prior to his resignation as chief of staff, al-Jazeera reports.
Sri Lankan intelligence reports accuse the former chief of plotting a military coup. He denies the charges.
The military leader was a presidential ally and played a decisive role in the government's victory over Tamil Tiger rebels last year. The fallout between Fonseka and Rajapaksa in the wake of the battle that ended a 25-year civil war became "personal and bitter," al-Jazeera adds.
The United Nations said thousands of civilians were killed during the final stages of the 2009 conflict that saw Sri Lankan forces defeat Tamil rebels. UPI
WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. forces in Afghanistan can expect high casualties as more forces roll in to help prop up the government and end the insurgency, U.S. defense officials said.
U.S. President Barack Obama called for another 30,000 troops for Afghanistan in December when he unveiled his revised war strategy. The last of those troops should be on the ground by the end of August.
A top U.S. military official speaking on background at the Pentagon said U.S. forces should be braced for a hard fight, the Defense Department said.
"It will be a tough fall," the senior official warned. "But what we're gaining is, we're clearing these areas that never have been cleared".
July was the deadliest month for U.S. combat forces in Afghanistan with 65 reported fatalities. More than 1,000 U.S. soldiers were killed during combat operations in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001. UPI
WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Friday said the just-signed law that shores up the U.S.-Mexican border demonstrates the border is not political.
President Barack Obama signed the Southwest Border Security bill Friday.
Napolitano joined White House press secretary Robert Gibbs during the regular press briefing and told reporters the law not only adds new resources to the border, but also makes permanent many of the resources that have been added to the area in the last 18 months.
"What's significant about this bill, in addition to its contents, is that it (Congress) passed something with bipartisan support that gives us the resources to continue efforts that were well under way and demonstrates that the border is not and should not be a political issue," Napolitano said. "It is a matter of national security in which we all, both parties, have a stake".
Napolitano said the measure adds 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents and provides $68 million for Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry, in addition to 200 special agents, investigators and intelligence analysts for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, two more unmanned aircraft systems, $14 million to deploy improved tactical communications technology and $196 million for the Justice Department to add prosecutors, immigration judges and support for detention and incarceration of criminal aliens. UPI
Early one recent Friday evening, a man in a white shirt and jeans takes a seat in the shade on the terrace of the Espejo café on Madrid's main Castellana avenue, a stone's throw from the Interior Ministry. The pensioners eating ice-cream at neighboring tables immediately begin whispering to one another. Couples who have come to start their weekend with a refreshing glass of beer crane their necks to get a better view.
"Is that him?"
"Sure, it's him. But where are his bodyguards?"
Risking His Life
When the 50-year-old lehendakari (president) of the autonomous Basque country is in the Spanish capital, his presence doesn't go unnoticed. Francisco Javier "Patxi" López Álvarez wants to bring peace to Spain's terror-plagued northeast -- and thus rid the entire Iberian peninsula of the scourge of ETA-sponsored terrorism. Everyone knows that the man in the white shirt is risking his life. After all, ETA separatists have assassinated plenty of well-meaning Socialists in the past.
But in Madrid, López embodies the hope for a more peaceful future for the country as a whole. He may well succeed. In the nearby ministries along the Castellana, the unassuming Basque leader is already being talked about as a possible successor to fellow Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the country's prime minister, who is currently over fallout from the global financial crisis.
Summer is the busiest time of year for the Espejo café. It's also the busiest time of year for ETA. This is when the organization likes to show tourists that the Basque separatists have not ceased their campaign of terror, simultaneously putting pressure on the government by spreading fear among the people wandering along the boulevard.
The inhabitants of Madrid have grown accustomed to seeing police officers with sniffer dogs out on the streets checking one parked vehicle after another. Sometimes a police van will even block off one lane of the Castellana to better monitor the cars, which are forced to slow down to a crawl.
Customers in the café nod to the man from the Basque country, who smiles and lifts his beer glass to say cheers. A woman stands up and says, "Congratulations, Lehendakari! You're doing an excellent job".
A Basque lehendakari who is also a member of Spain's ruling Socialist Party is something of a novelty in the Basque capital Vitoria, which the locals themselves call Gasteiz. In fact, it's an open challenge to the separatists. The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) had been in charge in the autonomous province ever since the death of the Spanish dictator Franco in 1975. The PNV shares the terrorists' aim of full independence from Spain. And yet for just over a year now, Patxi López has dictated policy in this key Spanish region between the Atlantic coast and the border with France.
In March 2009 López's socialists broke the PNV's stranglehold on power by entering into a precarious anti-extremist alliance: Despite getting fewer seats than the PNV in regional elections, López formed a minority government with the support of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), a party hell-bent on removing Zapatero from the prime minister's office as soon as possible.
With his brown eyes behind rimless glasses, his inquiring though friendly manner, and his seemingly carefree smile, López appears as down-to-earth and relaxed as his nickname "Patxi." In the space of just one year he has met his objective to bring about "gentle change" in his home state. López has a small, unadorned office in the Vitoria parliament building. From there it's just a short walk down a spiral staircase to the main chamber, which he can quickly reach whenever a bell warns him about an impending vote.
Instead of being in constant confrontation with the opposition and the government in Madrid, as his predecessor was, López is a man who seeks dialog and consensus. "We have a plenary session every Thursday when we vote on legislation," he says. "Because we don't have a majority, we have to negotiate". His is the politics of debate rather than blind governance. It's an approach he appears to cherish. And although the terrorists have threatened to kill him, he really does speak to all sides.
Coffee and Politics
Every morning he leaves his art nouveau official residence, the Ajuria Enea, and walks over to a bar for breakfast. Standing at the counter, he chats with fellow customers about the stories in the morning's newspapers between sips of milky coffee and bites of pintxo de tortilla, a small piece of potato omelet.
López is the opposite of the Spanish political macho. During the election campaign he unabashedly kissed his wife Begoña Gil -- a socialist who's already spent 15 years on the Bilbao municipal council -- thus providing the photographers with material for their papers. In a break with tradition in the strictly Catholic Basque region, López took the oath of office not on the Bible but on the Spanish constitution that the nationalists so vehemently oppose. This was such a novelty in the Basque country that he first had to have a suitably lavish deluxe edition of the 1978 constitution printed for his swearing-in ceremony.
With small gestures like this, and without grandiose statements, the affable López has given his region the kind of civil normality that is taken for granted in most of Europe, but which had been denied to the Basque country for decades due to a permanent state of emergency fuelled by bitterness, delusion, and fear. Spiegel Internacional