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Twilight finale holds firm at number one

 

The long awaited Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the final instalment of the vampire fantasy films, has topped the US box office for the second week in a row. Early estimates suggest it took $43.1m (£26.9m) between Friday and Sunday.

Source: BBC.

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Egypt protesters torch Muslim Brotherhood offices

 

Protesters in Egypt have set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in several cities, according to state TV. They were demonstrating against President Mohammed Mursi’s decision to grant himself sweeping new powers. His decree states, among other things, that the president’s decisions cannot be revoked by any authority – including the judiciary.

Rival rallies have been held across the country today by supporters and opponents of Mr Mursi. In the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia opponents of the Islamist president reportedly set fire to the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood. Clashes have also been reported between opposing demonstrations in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Source: BBC.

 

Sleep position gives personality clue

Scientists believe the position in which a person goes to sleep provides an important clue about the kind of person they are. Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, has analysed six common sleeping positions – and found that each is linked to a particular personality type. “We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us. “What’s interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect.”

  • The Foetus (41%):Those who curl up in the foetus position are described as tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41% of the 1,000 people who took part in the survey. More than twice as many women as men tend to adopt this position.

 

  • Log (15%):Lying on your side with both arms down by your side. These sleepers are easy going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and who are trusting of strangers. However, they may be gullible.

 

  • The yearner (13%):People who sleep on their side with both arms out in front are said to have an open nature, but can be suspicious, cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely ever to change it. 
  • Soldier (8%): Lying on your back with both arms pinned to your sides. People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don’t like a fuss, but set themselves and others high standards. 
  • Freefall (7%):Lying on your front with your hands around the pillow, and your head turned to one side. Often gregarious and brash people, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don’t like criticism, or extreme situations. 
  • Starfish (5%): Lying on your back with both arms up around the pillow. These sleepers make good friends because they are always ready to listen to others, and offer help when needed. They generally don’t like to be the centre of attention.

Health effect

    Professor Idzikowski also examined the effect of various sleeping positions on health. He concluded that the freefall position was good for digestion, while the starfish and soldier positions were more likely to lead to snoring and a bad night’s sleep. Professor Idzikowski said: “Lying down flat means that stomach contents can more readily be worked back up into the mouth, while those who lie on their back may end up snoring and breathing less well during the night. “Both these postures may not necessarily awaken the sleeper but could cause a less refreshing night’s sleep.” The research also found that most people are unlikely to change their sleeping position. Just 5% said they sleep in a different position every night.

Duvet position

    Professor Idzikowski also found that one arm or leg sticking out of the duvet is a common position, followed by both feet poking out the end. One in ten people like to cover themselves entirely with the duvet.

Source: BBC.

Google Unveils Project Glass Augmented Reality Eyewear

The eyewear appears to have a streamlined design despite all the functionality it is suggested to include

Google has revealed details of its research into augmented reality glasses.

It posted a brief introduction to Project Glass, photos and a concept video at its Google+ social network.

The images show a minimalist design with a microphone and partly-transparent video screen that places information over the view from the users’ right eye.

The product’s developers said they wanted feedback on the idea.

They did not give any indication about when the device might go on sale or what it would cost.

“A group of us… started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment,” said a statement from Google X – the firm’s experimental lab.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input.”

Guided walks

The video suggests icons offering 14 different services will be offered to the user when the glasses are first put on, including information about the weather, their location and diary appointments.

It appears that several of these services are either triggered by an action taken by the user or the situation they are in.

The film shows one user being reminded he has a date that evening when he looks up at a blank wall, and then warns him that there is a 10% chance it will rain when he looks out of the window.

The device would involve a GPS chip to help deliver location specific alerts (Google glasses warn the subway service is suspended)

An alert pops up when a friend sends a text asking if he wants to meet up later in the day. When the user dictates a reply a microphone symbol is superimposed over much of his view.

Other functions include Google Maps showing a route to the wearer’s destination with small arrows keeping him on track, the ability to take a photo of what he is looking at with an option to share it with friends, and a video conference service.

The glasses are also shown to allow music and other audio to be heard, although they do not appear to include earphones.

Shrink to fit

There had been lots of speculation about the project with some reports describing it as an “open secret”, but this is the first time Google has confirmed details of what it was working on.

The New York Times had previously suggested that the first set of glasses would go on sale before the end of the year for somewhere between $250-$600 (£157-£378) – but experts say that the technology shown in the video may still be some way off being ready for market.

Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe, told the BBC that other tech firms such as Brother had attempted to pioneer the concept – but became unstuck because their versions had required users to carry separate processing and battery equipment that plugged into their glasses.

“There are huge opportunities for tailored advertising with augmented reality systems – especially if they have in-built GPS location tracking,” he said.

“The monetisation opportunities would be enormous – but there are still big issues involved with shrinking the technology and making the computer that receives and processes the data truly portable.”

Rival eyewear

Google may have competition if it works out how to shrink the electronics involved.

Google suggests the glasses could help users find where products are located in shops

In 2008, Apple patented a laser-based “head mounted display system” that it suggested could stream video from its iPod among other features.

More recently, Patent Bolt revealed that Sony and Microsoft have patented ideas to create miniture displays to go over users’ eyes.

They were described as being suitable for “gaming and beyond”.

Google has previously revealed details of futuristic concepts years before they are ready for market.

The firm announced in 2010 that it had tested a self-driving car on the streets of California – but has not said when it might start selling such vehicles.

source: BBC

Whitney Houston dies aged 48

I Have Nothing

Image via Wikipedia

American singer and actress Whitney Houston has died in Los Angeles at the age of 48.

Police said she died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she had been staying as a guest.

Houston was one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, with hits including I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love For You.

But her later career was overshadowed by substance abuse and her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

Ms Houston died on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. She had been due to attend a pre-awards party in the Beverly Hilton Hotel organised by her long-time mentor and record industry executive Clive Davis on Saturday evening.

He went ahead with the party, holding a minute’s silence and telling the audience he was “personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years”.

The hotel was already teeming with reporters and celebrities when police received an emergency call from hotel security at 15.43 local time (23:43 GMT), Beverly Hills police spokesman Mark Rosen told the BBC.

Police were despatched, but paramedics who were already at the hotel because of the party attempted to resuscitate her, without success. She was pronounced dead at 15:55.

Mr Rosen said Ms Houston’s entourage – comprising family members, friends and co-workers – had taken over much of the fourth floor of the hotel.

“There were a number of people on scene who were able to positively identify Ms Houston for us,” he said, adding that her next of kin have been informed of her death.

Police investigators inspected the scene before Ms Houston’s body was moved from the hotel to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.

While the cause of death is unclear, Mr Rosen said there were “no obvious signs of criminal intent”.

The US celebrity website TMZ.com reported that Ms Houston had been partying heavily on both Thursday and Friday nights.

She briefly took the microphone and performed a song while out in Hollywood on Thursday, and was seen drinking and chatting loudly with friends in the hotel bar on Friday, according to TMZ.

‘Finest voice’

Houston’s background was steeped in soul and gospel music.

Her mother was gospel singer Cissy Houston, she was cousin to singer Dionne Warwick and goddaughter to Aretha Franklin.

“I just can’t talk about it now,” Ms Franklin said in a short statement. “It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen.”

Having grown up in New Jersey, Houston began singing in church and then in the night clubs of New York, and was a model before being signed by Arista Records.

At the height of her career in the 1980s and 90s she won many awards and enjoyed several number one singles and albums.

Artists from Mariah Carey to Christina Aguilera have tried to emulate her bravura performances, but none of them were as good as the original, music critic Paul Gambaccini told the BBC.

Houston also enjoyed success acting in blockbuster films such as The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.

In recent years drug use took its toll on the star and her voice – once acknowledged as one of the finest in pop music – was badly damaged.

“She did have it all, but the record is there of the decline into drug use and the damage done from drug use,” said Gambaccini.

Her marriage to Brown, with whom she had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, ended in divorce in 2007. The marriage had been a tempestuous one, with allegations of domestic abuse as well as drug addiction.

“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a 2002 interview.

Ms Houston was strongly linked to the Grammys – having won six awards herself over the years. Organisers of Sunday’s ceremony said she would be remembered in a special tribute by singer Jennifer Hudson.

Civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton said that on the morning of the Grammys, “the world should pause and pray for the memory of a gifted songbird”.

Country singer Dolly Parton – who wrote one one of her most memorable hits, I Will Always Love You – said in a statement: “Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston.”

“I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed’.”

source:bbc

Egypt football violence leaves many dead in Port Said

At least 74 people have been killed in clashes between rival fans following a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said.

Scores were injured as fans – reportedly armed with knives – invaded the pitch after a match between top-tier clubs al-Masry and al-Ahly.

Officials fear the death toll could rise further.

It is the biggest disaster in the country’s football history, said the Egyptian deputy health minister.

“This is unfortunate and deeply saddening,” Hesham Sheiha told state television.

Some of the dead were security officers, the Associated Press news agency quoted a morgue official as saying.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo says it appears some fans had taken knives into the stadium.

Our correspondent says the lack of the usual level of security in the stadium might have contributed to the clashes.

Police in Egypt have been keeping a much lower profile since last year’s popular protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Egyptian fans are notoriously violent, says our correspondent, particularly supporters of al-Ahly known as the Ultras.

They have been heavily implicated in confronting the police during recent political protests, our correspondent adds. There is speculation that the security forces may have had an interest in taking on al-Ahly supporters.

‘Black day’

Wednesday’s violence broke out at the end of the match, which, unusually, Port Said side al-Masry won 3-1.

Witnesses said the atmosphere had been tense throughout the match – since an al-Ahly fan raised a banner insulting supporters of the home team.

As the match ended, their fans flooded onto the pitch attacking Ahly players and fans.

A small group of riot police tried to protect the players, but were overwhelmed.

Part of the stadium was set on fire.

Officials say most of the deaths were caused by concussions, deep cuts to the heads and suffocation from the stampede.

“This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us,” al-Ahly player Mohamed Abo Treika said.

Hani Seddik, who played for al-Ahly as a teenager, told the BBC: “I don’t think this is about football. These trouble-makers were not football fans.”

“How were they allowed to carry knives into the ground? To me, this is the actions of people who do not want the country to be stable and want to put off tourists from coming here,” said Mr Seddik, who was watching the match on TV in Cairo.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood – which has emerged as Egypt’s biggest party in recent elections – blamed supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak for the violence.

“The events in Port Said are planned and are a message from the remnants of the former regime,” Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker Essam al-Erian said.

He went on by saying that the army and police wanted to silence critics demanding an end to state of emergency in the country.

In Cairo, another match was halted by the referee after news of the Port Said violence. It prompted fans to set parts of the stadium on fire.

Egyptian journalist Ashraf Khalil: “Where was the security”

All premier-league matches have been cancelled and the newly-elected Egyptian parliament is to hold an emergency session on Thursday.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter later issued a statement, expressing his shock over the incident.

“This is a black day for football. Such a catastrophic situation is unimaginable and should not happen,” he said.

source:bbc

Italy mafia boss Zagaria found in bunker – police

Mug shot of Michele Zagaria

Mr Zagaria had been living in hiding since the 1990s

Italian police say they have discovered the notorious chief of a Naples mafia clan, Michele Zagaria, who has been on the run for 16 years.

Police said they had found him after digging through a secret bunker in his home town of Casapesenna near Naples.

Described as head of the powerful Casalesi clan, he was sentenced to multiple life sentences in absentia.

The Casalesi clan has been involved in drug trafficking and corruption in the construction industry.

There was jubilation among the security forces who finally managed to detain Mr Zagaria, the BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome reports.

“You won. The state has won,” Mr Zagaria told anti-mafia investigators as he was being arrested, according to the AFP news agency.

Italian Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri hailed the arrest as “a huge success by the state”, adding that it would be a blow “not only against the Casalesi clan, but against the entire Camorra organisation.”

‘Near home’

Map of Italy

The Casalesi clan is one of a number of groups within the Camorra criminal network, which dominates the underworld in the Naples area.

Mr Zagaria had probably spent his years as a fugitive near home because mafia bosses “can only exercise their power if they’re in an environment that protects them,” anti-mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso told the AP news agency.

Mr Zagaria is thought to be the most senior figure in the Camorra who was still at large.

source:www.bbc.com

Egypt: Military apologises for protest deaths

Ramy Yaacoub, Free Egyptian Party: “We are deeply concerned about the security situation

Egypt‘s ruling military has apologised for the deaths of protesters in clashes with police, as unrest in Cairo and other cities enters its sixth day.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it regretted “the deaths of martyrs from among Egypt’s loyal sons”.

The unrest, which began on Friday, come days before the first elections since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted. At least 35 people have been killed.

Protesters have rejected a pledge to speed up transition to civilian rule.

They have vowed to continue their protest until the country’s military rulers stand down.

The military council issued its apology in a statement, in which it vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the death of protesters.

Senior generals also appeared on state TV on Wednesday to offer condolences to the Egyptian people.

They urged Egyptians not to compare them to the former regime of Mr Mubarak, insisting they were not seeking to cling to power.

The council is due to announce shortly how it plans to go ahead with parliamentary elections, which are due to begin on Monday.

Defiant protesters

On Wednesday street battles continued late into the night, and were heaviest around the fortified interior ministry off Tahrir Square in Cairo.

The clashes were followed by a lull. But the protesters vowed to continue occupying the square until their demands are met.

“He goes, we won’t,” one banner read in a reference to the head of the military council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

In Alexandria protests have been smaller than in Cairo, but one protester said clashes were continuing early on Thursday outside the security headquarters.

The clashes are the longest outbreak of violence since the 18-day uprising that toppled Mr Mubarak in February.

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen in Cairo says the violence threatens to overshadow next week’s parliamentary elections.

He says public opinion on the protests is divided. Some Egyptians want elections to go ahead unhindered while others believe the military must be swept from power first.

The main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is not supporting the protests and expects to do well in the elections.

Rising casualties

On Wednesday the UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the “clearly excessive use of force” by Egypt’s security forces during the clashes.

She called for an independent inquiry into deaths.

Groups of stone-throwing demonstrators have battled riot police in the streets between Tahrir Square and the interior ministry since the weekend.

Protesters have spoken of gunshots and injuries or deaths from live bullets but Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawy said security forces were only firing tear gas.

The protests have continued despite an attempt by Field Marshal Tantawi to defuse the situation by promising presidential elections by the end of June, six months sooner than planned.

He also accepted the resignation of military-appointed civilian cabinet. But in his address on Tuesday, Field Marshal Tantawi offered no apologies for the violence.

source:www.bbc.com