Haitian amputees inspire U.S. service members

AmputeeSoccer Cheers erupted on the sidelines of a practice field outside RFK Stadium as Sandy Jean Louis Louiseme, the youngest member of a Haitian soccer team composed entirely of amputees, dribbled toward the goal.

Amputee soccer has rhythms, and risks, all its own, which became clear when Louiseme collided with the goalie of the U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team, crutches flying in every direction. Only after Louiseme sat up with a smile on his face did the crowd exhale.

Louiseme’s squad, Team Zaryen, scrimmaged with the U.S. national team Tuesday as part of a five-day “Haitian Inspiration Tour,” in which the amputees, victims of last year’s earthquake, held clinics in amputee soccer for U.S. service members who have lost legs while stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The clinics, held at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda on Monday and the RFK practice field Tuesday, were the team’s way of thanking the U.S. military for its work evacuating and caring for victims of the disaster.

Amputee soccer was founded 30 years ago in Seattle by Don Bennett, a sportsman who lost his leg in a boating accident at age 42. Now, people who have lost a limb play the sport around the world, on crutches. All prosthetics are left on the sidelines to level the playing field.

Renault Fluence EV prices revealed

Renault-Fluence-EV The all-electric Renault Fluence will cost £22,850 – reduced to £17,850 with the Government's maximum £5000 electric car grant – the car maker has confirmed.

That will make the four-door saloon cheaper than its key rival – and a car with which it shares much of its technology – the Nissan Leaf.

However, unlike Nissan Leaf customers who buy the car outright, Fluence owners will buy the car but lease the batteries. Renault says this will ensure stronger resale values, because there'll be no worries over the state of the battery.

The exact price of that lease will vary depending on the length of the contract and the owner's annual mileage. For instance; a 12-month, 6000-mile contract will cost £86 a month, but if the buyer signs up for 60 months, the monthly cost drops to £70; if the annual mileage is increased to 9000 on that 60-month contact, the cost goes up to £81.

It is possible to terminate the contract if owners sell the car, but Renault will then calculate the amount they should have paid over the shorter term. Similarly, excess mileage will be charged at 4p per mile, but the contract does include the security of having a full recovery service in the event of breakdown, which includes running out of battery power.

Renault's other electric vehicles
The Fluence is expected to reach British showrooms in May or June next year, and will be the third all-electric Renault to arrive here.

iOS 5: Users report failed updates and delays

iOS 5: Users report failed updates and delays The launch of the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 5, was marred by users experiencing problems with their devices.

Apple launched iOS 5, the new version of its mobile operating system, last night, but the launch was not without problems.

The sheer number of people trying to download the new Apple software appears to have caused problems with the company's servers. Many users reported long waiting times to download the operating system as well as failed updates.

Business Insider, the American news website, reported that several of its staff had been unable to update and received error messages.

Other users have reported problems such as music collections that were not transferred after the update and apps that disappeared during the update. In some instances, users reported contacts and settings being removed too. It's not clear, however, to what extent such problems were caused by iOS 5.

Libya's Gadhafi Loyalists Fight to Hold Sirte

Libya's Gadhafi Loyalists Fight to Hold Sirte Well-armed loyalists of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have slowed an advance by provisional government fighters who have been trying to gain control of the coastal town of Sirte.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters say they had to retreat in part of the town on Thursday under heavy artillery fire.

NTC officials also backtracked on reports that one of Gadhafi's sons was arrested in Sirte.

On Wednesday, some NTC officials said the former leader's son, Mutassim, had been detained and taken to the eastern city of Benghazi for questioning. But provisional government officials later said the reports could not be confirmed.

NTC officials say revolutionary forces did capture some fighters believed to be with Mutassim in Sirte. Mutassim was Libya's national security adviser and had a strong role in the military and security forces under his father's government.

There have been false reports regarding the capture of senior Gadhafi figures in the past, including that of another son, Saif al-Islam, who is still on the run.

Apple wins temporary ban on sale of Samsung tablet in Australia

ipad_1999372c US technology giant Apple has secured a temporary ban on Samsung selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia after launching legal action on the grounds that the device's design was copied from the top-selling iPad.

In the New South Wales Federal Court, Justice Annabelle Bennett granted the injunction banning the sale of the tablet until the lengthy patent battle was resolved.

Apple had claimed that Samsung had infringed its patent by "slavishly" copying the touchscreen technology used in the iPad and that the release of the Galaxy Tab would severely damage sales of the iPad 2.

"I am satisfied that it is appropriate to grant an interim injunction," Justice Bennett said adding that Apple established a prima facie case that patents about its touchscreen technology had been breached.

The dispute will now head to a full hearing, likely to take place next year.

Samsung Electronics said it was considering its legal options in the wake of the decision.

"Samsung will take all necessary measures including legal action in order to ensure our innovative products are available to consumers," the company said it a statement.

Falls Church mom wins $100K burger contest

Falls Church mom wins $100K burger contest Jennifer Beckman’s having one heck of a year. The 37-year-old former lawyer and current stay-at-home Falls Church mom stepped down from the stage at this afternoon’s Sutter Home Winery’s 2011 Build a Better Burger competition and shared the news with All We Can Eat about the $100,000 prize she had just earned for her Screen Porch Burger.

“My goodness, it has been a good year!” she said, surrounded by family members at the event held in Chicago, at the World of Whirlpool Conference Center downtown. Beckman describes her creation as “New South with a twist.” The burger itself is ground chuck (“straight from Whole Foods”) mixed with salt, pepper and scallions, topped with a mixture of sweet corn, basil, shredded cheddar cheese and mayonnaise (“salty and savory”), lettuce and tomato, some of her own bread-and-butter pickles and seated between the sweetness of a King’s Hawaiian bun.

Beckman says she “caught a break” in what she perceived to be the judges’ preference for nostalgia this year. “I liked my burger last year. I think a big part of this was luck; if your idea isn’t right for the judges, your recipe won’t play through.”

This was only the second time she’d entered this particular burger cook-off. Last year, she served up a chorizo burger with Salvadoran slaw that didn’t even make the finals.

Pay with credit and score much more than a free ride

Pay with credit and score much more than a free ride When David Ciccarelli books flights for business, he checks whether he has earned enough points to score a free ride. The president and chief executive officer of Voices.com, a voiceover company based in London, Ont., travels for work at least once a month and says that racking up points using his travel credit card is a must.

“Every dollar I save on airfare, I can invest in the company,” he says.

Unlike corporate employees who consider their business credit-card travel points a company perk, entrepreneurs are less likely to use travel reward programs to spring for a Disneyland vacation with the kids or a last-minute Paris splurge. Instead, they’re putting their points to work, says Patrick Sojka, the Calgary-based founder of Rewards Canada, a company that provides information on travel rewards programs.

“When you’re a one-person company and watching the bottom line, it makes sense to use those points and miles for business trips,” says Mr. Sojka.

So what exactly should an entrepreneur carry around in his or her wallet to score flights, hotel rooms, rental cars and even airport parking for free or on the cheap? Although there are dozens of travel credit cards in Canada today, Mr. Sojka says they’re not all created equal. In fact, a good choice for one person isn’t always the most appropriate for another.

Still, there are some cards that tend to stand out from the pack. Take the American Express Gold Rewards card. For the first year, users avoid the annual $150 fee, they earn double points on eligible purchases from cruises to groceries and they earn 15,000 bonus points just for signing up. On the points-o-meter, that’s enough for a free short-haul flight.

Audioboo launches audiobooks service

Audioboo launches audiobooks service Audioboo, the audio sharing service, has teamed up with Unbound, a new online book publishing platform, to offer free access to excerpts from the latest audiobooks.

Audioboo and Unbound have teamed up to allow online readers to listen for free to the first few chapters of an audiobook created by the crowd-funded publisher on the sound-sharing site. They then have the option to download the entire book for free at a “competitive price decided by the author”.

Launched at this year’s Hay Festival by the Co-founder of QI John Mitchinson and two other writers, Unbound, allows members of the public to fund and influence authors’ works at the point of creation. Each Unbound author publishes an extract from their book and a video pitch of their idea on the site in a bid to get financial support from enthusiastic readers.

Shalit parents end protest as son's freedom promised

Shalit parents end protest as son's freedom promised The parents of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for more than five years, left their protest tent outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office Wednesday, thanking their supporters before heading home.

"Our happiness will be filled with concern until Gilad returns," his mother Aviva said, a day after Netanyahu said a deal had been made to free him in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

"It is clear that we won't be getting back the same boy. But the best professional people in Israel will be made available to help us," she said after she and her husband Noam met President Shimon Peres.

They did not take down the protest tent they erected more than a year ago to draw attention to their son's plight.

Shalit is expected to return to Israel within a few days, Netanyahu said Tuesday night, before the Cabinet voted in emergency session 26-3 in support of the swap.

All Israelis feel powerful emotions about Shalit, said Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Taub.

"He really is the child of us all," Taub said, noting that almost all Israelis do military service.

Vitamin-E supplements linked to prostate cancer

Vitamin-E supplements linked to prostate cancer If you’re a male taking vitamin E, consider tossing your supplements: According to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the antioxidant supplement increases the risk of prostate cancer.

The study, called SELECT (the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial), found that men who took 400 IU (international units) of vitamin E each day were 17 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer than non-vitamin-E users.

Findings from earlier studies investigating supplements and the risk for other types of cancer had suggested that supplemental vitamin E and selenium guarded against prostate cancer. In 1998, a Finnish study of male smokers who took 50 IU of vitamin E daily in hopes of preventing lung cancer surprisingly found 32 per cent fewer prostate cancers among vitamin-E users.

In 2001, SELECT set out to substantiate these observations. The trial assigned 35,533 healthy men aged 50 and older to four treatment groups: 400 IU of vitamin E daily, 200 micrograms of selenium daily, both supplements daily, and placebo.

An earlier analysis, published in 2008, found no benefit – vitamin E and selenium, taken alone or in combination, did not prevent prostate cancer. And there were two worrisome trends: a small increase in the number of prostate cancers among vitamin-E users and a small rise in Type 2 diabetes among men taking selenium. Neither finding was statistically significant, meaning it may have been a coincidence.

US Issues Worldwide Travel Warning

US Issues Worldwide Travel Warning The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide alert for American citizens about possible "anti-U.S. actions" following charges against two Iranians accused of conspiring with Tehran to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

The State Department said late Tuesday that the alleged Iranian-backed assassination attempt may indicate the Iranian government could be taking a "more aggressive focus" on terrorist activity.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department charged Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen with an Iranian passport, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of the Iranian Quds force, with conspiring to kill Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the plot was "conceived, sponsored and directed" from Iran.  He promised Washington will hold the Iranian government accountable.

The Mideast - WORLD Colombian Soccer Player Reportedly Detained in Saudi Arabia Over Jesus Tattoo

The Mideast - WORLD Colombian Soccer Player Reportedly Detained in Saudi Arabia Over Jesus Tattoo A soccer player from Colombia reportedly was detained in Saudi Arabia for walking through a mall wearing a sleeveless shirt that revealed his religious tattoos, including one of Jesus.

Juan Pablo Pino, 24, a member of Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr soccer club, was taken into custody in Riyadh on Friday by Saudi moral police after mall customers complained about the tattoos. Pino was visiting the mall with his pregnant wife, the Catholic News Agency reports.

Nayimi Sheik Mohammed, a Saudi cleric, told Colombia Reports that the country respects Shariah law and that tattoos must be covered at all times.

ISP anger over Downing Street pornography control claims

ISP anger over Downing Street pornography control claims David Cameron’s initiative to help parents stop their children viewing sexually explicit websites was mired in confusion yesterday after internet providers accused Downing Street of giving misleading briefings.

The top four broadband providers – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – have agreed to give new subscribers the opportunity to block access to pornography at the point of subscription.

The measures were due to be announced on Tuesday by the Department of Education, to coincide with a meeting between David Cameron and anti-pornography campaigners.

However, Downing Street officials inaccurately briefed journalists on Monday that all customers would be required to “opt in” to access pornography.

Apple iOS 5 review

Apple-iOS-5-review The latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 5, is such a significant overhaul that users who install it today will feel like they have a new device, says Shane Richmond.

Among the 200 or so new features are some big changes, none bigger than the overhauled notifications system. The iPhone and its cousins the iPod touch and iPad have handled notifications poorly for a long time.

If a text message arrived while you were playing a game, for example, then it would interrupt everything and place a message in the middle of the screen. The game would not resume until you had dealt with the message. Alerts that arrived when your device was inactive caused a different problem: unlock the screen without thinking and the notifications would disappear, leaving you wondering which app required your attention.

iOS 5 sweeps all of that away with Notification Centre. Swipe down from the top of your screen and you'll see all of the notifications that require your attention. Weather reports, stock prices, calendar entries and more can all be stored there. Android users will rightly point out that Apple's implementation here is very similar to the way notifications work on Android.

However, as ever with Apple the important bits are the details, the 'fit and finish' of the feature, and it is these that make notifications a triumph. Whether it's the ability to 'unlock' a notification itself and go straight to the relevant app (instead of unlocking the screen and then opening the app) or the way that notifications subtly roll in at the top of the screen while you're doing something else, the implementation is excellent.

U.N. peacekeepers killed in Darfur

U.N. peacekeepers killed in Darfur Three United Nations peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in a camp for displaced people in Sudan's Darfur region, the global body said Tuesday.

Two of the dead were soldiers; the third was a police adviser for the joint U.N. and African Union mission in the troubled region. Another six peacekeepers were injured in the incident.

They came under attack at 10:15 Monday night in the Zam Zam camp in North Darfur while the security unit was on patrol. One of the assailants was also killed, a statement from the joint mission said.

It was unclear why the attack occurred.

Tymoshenko Conviction Puts Ukraine at Crossroads with Russia, Europe

Tymoshenko Conviction Puts Ukraine at Crossroads with Russia, Europe A Kyiv court has sentenced former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in jail for abusing her power in a 2009 gas deal with Russia. The conviction and jail sentence comes just as Ukraine hopes to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union.

Protesters jostled with riot police on the main street of Ukraine's capital as news came that Yulia Tymoshenko had been sentenced to prison and to repay $190 million lost in a gas deal with Russia.

But Tymoshenko, with her trademark blond peasant braid, also has supporters in Brussels, the seat of the European Union.  Last week, with Tymoshenko already in jail for two months, European officials warned Ukraine's government that her conviction would threaten a free trade pact with the European Union.

"The European Union has warned [Viktor] Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president, that his attempts to finalize a free trade agreement with the bloc would be put in jeopardy if the case went forward, and [it] ended in a sentence for Yulia Tymoshenko," said Yevgeny Kiselyov who runs a political talk show in Kyiv.

Sweden's Prime Minister Carl Bildt warned recently, as the trial ground through its third month, that "political show trials have no place in our Europe." On Tuesday, after the court decision, Catherine Ashton, the EU's top foreign affairs official, said from Brussels that the EU is "deeply disappointed" with the verdict.

DC Protesters Continue to Occupy After Permit Expires

Anti-war and anti-Wall Street demonstrations are springing up in major cities across the United States, nearly a month after they started in the heart of New York's financial district. Our correspondent reports from one protest in Washington, where demonstrators say they plan to stay even if they risk arrest.

What was supposed to be a four-day demonstration in Washington against U.S. wars abroad and corporate greed showed no sign of ending on its fifth day Monday. People continued to protest a few blocks from the White House.

The occupation of Washington's Freedom Plaza by the October 2011 movement is one of two ongoing demonstrations in the capital alongside protests in major cities across the United States.

The group's permit to gather in the square expired late Sunday. National Park Police had given the group until Monday afternoon to leave. 

On Monday, police officers came to meet with the protestors, but the officers left after leaders of the movement refused to speak with them in private.

Even though protesters no longer have permission to remain here in downtown D.C., more and more tents are popping up, with many protesters saying they have no intention of leaving.

Pay funeral costs of organ donors, says think-tank

Pay-funeral-costs-organ-donors People who donate organs on their death beds should have their funeral expenses paid for by the NHS, a leading medical ethics think-tank has suggested.

Doing so could markedly increase the number of donations made every year without compromising the altruisitic motivation behind the act, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has concluded in a report published last night (MON).

Hugh Whittall, director of the centre, said there was a need to think radically because demand for organs far outstripped supply.

"8,000 people are currently on a list for transplant and three people die every day while waiting for an organ," he said.

Even though 29 per cent of the population is on the Organ Donor Register, the number who actually donate organs upon death is remarkably small: only 1,010 did so last year.