Belfast unveils birth-to-death story of Titanic

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) -- One minute you're being whisked through the busy Belfast shipyard where the Titanic is being built. The next you're contemplating, amid a chilly piped-in breeze and lights mimicking darkened waters, the horror of freezing to death in the North Atlantic.

In between, Belfast's impressive new tourist attraction - the 100-million pound ($160 million, (EURO)120 million) Titanic Belfast visitor center - offers a loving portrait of the excitement, ambition and opulence surrounding the doomed trans-Atlantic liner.

The Associated Press received a sneak preview of Titanic Belfast before its Saturday opening.

With 100,000 tickets already sold, Belfast is betting it will deliver a lasting tonic of tourism to the conflict-scarred city. A three-week festival featuring talks, walks and seven Titanic-themed stage shows - including "Titanic The Musical" - also begins Saturday to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship's launching.

Any visitor's first impression will be of center's stunning exterior: four jutting prows of the ship, lined in silver steel paneling, six stories high.

Judge in Los Angeles ends Lindsay Lohan's supervised probation, gives back her freedom

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lindsay Lohan's days as a criminal defendant could be over - if she can behave herself.

A judge on Thursday ended the long-running probation of the problem-prone actress in a 2007 drunken driving case after a string of violations, jail sentences and rehab stints.

The 25-year-old actress will remain on informal probation for taking a necklace without permission last year, but will no longer have a probation officer or face travel restrictions and weekly shifts cleaning up at the morgue.

Lohan, wearing a powder blue suit and black blouse, let out a sigh of relief as she left Judge Stephanie Sautner's courtroom, possibly for the last time.

"I just want to say thank you for being fair," Lohan told the judge. "It's really opened a lot of doors for me."

The judge said she wasn't going to lecture the actress, but gave her some parting advice.

Haitian grapevine rattles nation amid climate of political uncertainty

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- One senator warned of a panic. Another said things were going to be hot. Neither gave any details, but that didn't matter: Within minutes of their comments on the radio, hundreds of shops closed, schools canceled classes and seemingly everyone rushed home.

Port-au-Prince, a city of 3 million people, abruptly shut down. There were radio reports of injuries in the scurry home and even a few shootings.

This month's scare was another example of how Haiti's national grapevine, the "teledjol" - Creole for "telemouth" - can quickly add yet more chaos to this already messy country.

It's also a reminder of just how fragile Haiti remains a year after presidential elections marred by violent protests paralyzed the capital and halted reconstruction efforts following the 2010 earthquake.

Kenya Strikes Oil in 'Major Breakthrough'

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki announced Monday that oil has been discovered in northwestern Kenya, but he cautioned that it will take years before the country begins production.

Kibaki called the discovery of oil in the Turkana region a “major breakthrough in oil exploration.” He added that this is the “beginning of a long journey” to make the country an oil producer.

The company behind the find, Britain's Tullow Oil, said it discovered a 20-meter-deep deposit of oil more than a kilometer below the surface of the earth.

Key find, early stage

Company spokesman George Cazenove said the discovery is significant, but cautioned that it is only an intermediate step in a much larger process.

Congressional leaders kick off planning to inaugurate someone in January 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The presidential election may be seven months off, but congressional leaders have already begun planning for the winner's inauguration. The first item of concern? Preventing another "purple tunnel of doom."

Inauguration watchers may recall the 2009 mishap when thousands of ticketholders ended up trapped in a tunnel underneath the National Mall and were shut out of Barack Obama's swearing-in.

HEALTHBEAT: Helping doctors keep human touch

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Medical student Gregory Shumer studied the electronic health record and scooted his laptop closer to the diabetic grandfather sitting on his exam table. "You can see," he pointed at the screen - weight, blood sugar and cholesterol are too high and rising.

The man didn't reveal he was too nearsighted to see those numbers, but he'd quietly volunteered that he'd been ignoring his own health after his wife's death. The future-Dr. Shumer looked away from the computer for a sympathetic conversation - exactly the point of Georgetown University's novel training program.

As the nation moves to paperless medicine, doctors are grappling with an awkward challenge: How do they tap the promise of computers, smartphones and iPads in the exam room without losing the human connection with their patients? Are the gadgets a boon, or a distraction?

Cuban-American in emotional return to family home

HAVANA (AP) -- Cecilia Dalmau's mother made only one request before her daughter flew to Cuba for Pope Benedict XVI's visit: "I would love to see pictures from my childhood home."

When Dalmau and her Cuban-exile father, Sergio, located the address in an upscale part of Havana on Tuesday they found a decaying, two-story building with a priest of Cuba's Afro-Cuban Yoruba faith living inside - and a wellspring of powerful emotions.

"It looks like it could fall down at any minute," Dalmau said. "But I can imagine them living here, my grandmother upstairs. The life they once had. This is so surreal."

Dalmau's mother fled Cuba in 1959 as a young girl, days after Fidel Castro and his fellow revolutionaries marched victoriously into Havana. They never returned. The family remade their life in Miami, and Dalmau grew up hearing little from her mother about the island. Still she yearned to see it.

Court takes health care case behind closed doors

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The survival of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul rests with a Supreme Court seemingly split over ideology and, more particularly, in the hands of two Republican-appointed justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy put tough questions to administration lawyers defending the health care law during three days of arguments that suggested they have strong reservations about the individual insurance requirement at the heart of the overhaul and, indeed, whether the rest of the massive law can survive if that linchpin fails.

But Roberts and Kennedy also asked enough pointed questions of the law's challengers to give the overhaul's supporters some hope. In any event, justices' questions at arguments do not always foretell their positions.

The court's decision, due in June, will affect the way virtually every American receives and pays for health care and surely will reverberate in this year's campaigns for president and Congress. The political effects could be even larger if the court votes 5-4 with all its Republican-appointed justices prevailing over all the Democratic appointees to strike down the entire law, or several important parts of it.

High court arguments suggest justices could produce partisan split familiar in health debate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The survival of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul rests with a Supreme Court seemingly split over ideology and, more particularly, in the hands of two Republican-appointed justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy put tough questions to administration lawyers defending the health care law during three days of arguments that suggested they have strong reservations about the individual insurance requirement at the heart of the overhaul and, indeed, whether the rest of the massive law can survive if that linchpin fails.

But Roberts and Kennedy also asked enough pointed questions of the law's challengers to give the overhaul's supporters some hope. In any event, justices' questions at arguments do not always foretell their positions.

The court's decision, due in June, will affect the way virtually every American receives and pays for health care and surely will reverberate in this year's campaigns for president and Congress. The political effects could be even larger if the court votes 5-4 with all its Republican-appointed justices prevailing over all the Democratic appointees to strike down the entire law, or several important parts of it.

New claims cast Trayvon Martin as the aggressor

A slain Florida teenager and the neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed him exchanged words before the teen punched him in the nose and began banging the man's head on the ground, according to the watch captain's account of the confrontation that led to the shooting.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that George Zimmerman told police he lost 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in the neighborhood he regularly patrolled and was walking back to his vehicle last month when the youth approached him from behind.

The two exchanged words, Zimmerman said, and Martin then punched him, jumped on top of him and began banging his head on a sidewalk. Zimmerman said he began crying for help; Martin's family thinks it was their son who was crying out. Witness accounts differ and 911 tapes in which the voices are heard are not clear.

FBI says AWOL soldier got debit card by stealing Microsoft co-founder's identity

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Even the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft isn't immune to identity theft, it seems.

A simple scheme to defraud Paul Allen, one of the richest men in the world, has landed an AWOL soldier in federal custody, authorities said this week. The case raises basic questions about how safe anyone's information can really be.

Federal investigators allege in a complaint unsealed Monday that Brandon Lee Price, 28, changed the address on a bank account held by Allen, then had a debit card sent to his Pittsburgh home to use for payments on a delinquent Armed Forces Bank account and personal expenses.

"Clearly, it's a reminder that anyone can be a victim of this," said David Postman, a spokesman for Allen. "It certainly is a surprise and reason for everyone to make sure that all that stuff is properly cared for and monitored."

So, how would someone go about stealing the identity of the man who helped start a company that itself was a pioneer in digital security?

NFL owners approve salary cap reductions of $36 million for Redskins, $10 million for Cowboys

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- NFL owners ratified the agreement between the league and players' union that takes away $36 million in salary cap space from the Redskins and $10 million from the Cowboys.

Other than Dallas and Washington, no club voted Tuesday to oppose the agreement, which raised the salary cap for 2012 from about $113 million to $120.6 million. The Cowboys and Redskins have sought arbitration, which will be conducted by University of Pennsylvania professor Stephen Burbank.

Both teams were penalized for overloading contracts in the 2010 uncapped season despite league warnings not to do so. Each must take at least half the reduction this year.

Governors to tour plant where 'pink slime' is made

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- The leaders of at least four states plan a visit to the only place where a beef product known as "pink slime" is still made, an effort aimed to support its embattled manufacturer, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit the one Beef Products Inc. plant that's still in operation to combat misconceptions and misinformation about the company and its "lean, finely textured beef" product, company spokesman Rich Jochum said.

Perry will be joined at the South Sioux City, Neb., plant on Thursday by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy and South Dakota Lt. Governor Matt Michels.

Weinstein Co. to release `Bully' without rating

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Weinstein Co. is moving past the R rating earned by its documentary "Bully" and plans to release the film unrated.

The company announced Monday that "Bully" will hit theaters March 30 without a rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, meaning some theater may choose not to show it.

The MPAA gave the film an R rating for language and declined to change it when the Weinstein Co. appealed. That inspired teen activist Katy Butler to start an online petition seeking a lower rating so more young people could see the movie.

Amnesty: Mideast executions boost 2011 global toll

NEW YORK (AP) -- A surge of executions last year in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen pushed the worldwide total higher than the year before, the global anti-death penalty group Amnesty International announced Monday.

The United States remains near the top of the global list of nations carrying out executions, ranked fifth.

Although the global rate of executions has declined by about a third in the past decade, to 676 documented worldwide in 2011, some 18,750 people remained on death row at the end of the year in 20 nations, Amnesty International said in its annual review of worldwide trends.

"We do not believe that governments should be in the business of executing citizens. That's an inappropriate role for the government to play, regardless of the circumstances," Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press.

High court throws out human gene patents

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court ruling allowing human genes to be patented, a topic of enormous interest to cancer researchers, patients and drug makers.

The court overturned patents belonging to Myriad Genetics Inc. of Salt Lake City on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Myriad's BRACAnalysis test looks for mutations on the breast cancer predisposition gene, or BRCA. Those mutations are associated with much greater risks of breast and ovarian cancer.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been arguing that genes couldn't be patented, a position taken by a district court judge but overturned on appeal.

Cameron: Earth's deepest spot desolate, foreboding

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In James Cameron's fantasy films, like "Avatar" and "The Abyss," the unexplored is splashed in color and fraught with alien danger. But on his dive to the deepest place on Earth, reality proved far different: white, barren and bland.

Yet otherworldly - and amazing.

"I felt like I literally, in the space of one day, had gone to another planet and come back," Cameron said Monday after returning from the cold, dark place in the western Pacific Ocean, seven miles below the surface. "It was a very surreal day."

Cameron is the first person to explore the deepest valley in the ocean since two men made a 20-minute foray there more than half a century ago. He spent about three hours gliding through the icy darkness, illuminated only by special lights on the one-man sub he helped design. That was only about half as long as planned because his battery ran low.

Cameron: Earth's deepest spot desolate, foreboding

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In James Cameron's fantasy films, like "Avatar" and "The Abyss," the unexplored is splashed in color and fraught with alien danger. But on his dive to the deepest place on Earth, reality proved far different: white, barren and bland.

Yet otherworldly - and amazing.

"I felt like I literally, in the space of one day, had gone to another planet and come back," Cameron said Monday after returning from the cold, dark place in the western Pacific Ocean, seven miles below the surface. "It was a very surreal day."

Cameron is the first person to explore the deepest valley in the ocean since two men made a 20-minute foray there more than half a century ago. He spent about three hours gliding through the icy darkness, illuminated only by special lights on the one-man sub he helped design. That was only about half as long as planned because his battery ran low.

Sarkozy: Shooter apparently not part of network

PARIS (AP) -- President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday that a radical Frenchman who claimed to have gunned down Jewish children and paratroopers apparently was not part of a terrorist network, painting the violence as an isolated attack by an unhinged "monster."

Mohamed Merah said to police before being killed last week that he had links to al-Qaida, traveled to Afghanistan and received weapons training in the militant-riddled Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan. But authorities have questioned some of Merah's claims.

"There is no (terror) cell," Sarkozy, who is campaigning for a second term, said on France-Bleu radio Monday. "To our knowledge, there is no network."

He described Merah as a "lone wolf" and expressed concern about "the processes of self-radicalization of lone individuals."

Sarkozy suggested France shouldn't draw too many conclusions from the killings, which took the lives of three children, a rabbi and three paratroopers in southwestern France in just over a week. Police say Merah claimed responsibility for the killings.

French investigators are looking into whether Mohamed's brother, Abdelkader, was an accomplice to the killings, and whether anyone else might have been involved. Preliminary charges for complicity in murder and terrorism have been filed against Abdelkader, though no evidence has emerged that he took part directly in the shooting.

Tax breaks exceed $1 trillion, Report says

A congressional report detailing the value of major tax breaks shows they amount to more than $1 trillion a year—roughly the size of the annual federal budget deficit—and benefit wide swaths of the population.

The figures could be useful to lawmakers of both parties and President Obama, who are looking for ways to shrink future deficits and offset the anticipated cost of overhauling the much-criticized U.S. tax code, an effort likely to include tax-rate cuts. Both parties are looking to trim or eliminate tax breaks to achieve those goals.

Obama has suggested eliminating breaks for corporate jets and oil and gas companies to reduce deficits. He also has raised the possibility of reducing tax breaks for U.S. multinationals that ship jobs overseas, as a way to offset the cost of lowering the corporate tax rate to 28% from the current 35%.

2 students found dead in dorms on Illinois State University campus

NORMAL, Ill. –  A double tragedy occurred on Illinois State University's campus Friday, with a young man and a young woman being found dead in dorm rooms just hours apart, reported.

The university tried to reassure students Friday night that there was no foul play involved and that the Normal, Ill., campus was safe.

The McLean County coroner said the female student's death may be related to an undiagnosed seizure disorder. The young man's death remains somewhat of a mystery, with the coroner only saying it was a non-natural death and toxicology tests have been ordered.

Zynga founder, other insiders to sell 43M shares

NEW YORK (AP) -- Zynga's CEO and other insiders at the online games company plan to sell 43 million shares of stock in a public offering that will boost the amount of stock available for general trading by 35 percent.

Class B stock owned by Mark Pincus and others will be converted to regular, Class A shares. All shares have the same ownership value, but Class B stock has seven times the voting power.

Pincus, who founded Zynga Inc. in 2007, will control about 35 percent of the company once the offering is complete. That's down only slightly from 36.5 percent because he will retain his Class C shares, which have 70 times the voting power of Class A stock.

Zynga, which had its initial public offering of stock in December, disclosed the latest plans in a regulatory filing Friday and said proceeds from the sale will go to the individuals, not the company.

Oil price jumps on report of lower Iran exports

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices on Friday briefly spiked to the highest level in three weeks following a report that Iranian oil exports dropped significantly this month.

Iran, the world's third-largest oil exporter, has been locked in a high-stakes standoff with the West over its nuclear program. The U.S. and Europe think Iran may be working on a nuclear bomb and are applying pressure on Iran to open its facilities to inspection. European Union countries and Japan have scaled back purchases of Iranian crude. And a banking services firm also has made it tougher for Iran to sell its oil by blocking financial transactions with major Iranian banks.

Judges: Ex-Irish leader Ahern took secret payments

DUBLIN (AP) -- Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern received at least (EURO)209,779 ($276,000) in secret payments while in office and repeatedly lied about this under oath, a mammoth fact-finding judicial investigation ruled Thursday in a long-awaited verdict.

The three judges led by Justice Alan Mahon stopped short of finding Ahern guilty of corruption, because they couldn't prove that Ahern gave favors to any of his cash donors when he was finance minister in the 1990s.

The judges did find two other former lawmakers in Ahern's Fianna Fail party, including former Cabinet minister and European Union commissioner Padraig Flynn, guilty of corruption for soliciting payments from property developers for personal use. They also found 11 past and present 11 members of local councils guilty of the same offense.

Swaziland Trade Union Demands Democratic Reforms

The newly formed Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) has demanded the registration and participation of political parties in next year’s parliamentary election, despite strong government opposition.

“Now is the time for the country to allow political parties in terms of the elections,” said TUCOSWA president Barnes Dlamini.  “There should be democratic processes in terms of electing parliamentarians and allowing political parties, first, to register and, secondly, to be given enough time to garner support from the various citizens of the country, in terms of their political ideology.”

Swaziland’s constitution bars the formation and participation of all political parties in the tiny, southern African kingdom.

The Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) and the Swaziland Federation of Labor (SFL) merged with the independent Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) to form what is now known as TUCOSWA.

French police press besieged gunman to surrender

TOULOUSE, France (AP) -- Riot police set off explosions outside an apartment building early Thursday in an effort to force the surrender of a gunman who boasted of bringing France "to its knees" with an al-Qaida-linked terror spree that killed seven people.

Hundreds of heavily armed police, some in body armor, surrounded the five-story building in Toulouse where the 24-year-old suspect, Mohamed Merah, had been holed up since the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday.

As midnight approached, three explosions were heard and orange flashes lit up the night sky near the building. An Interior Ministry official said the suspect had gone back on a previous pledge to turn himself in - and that police blew up the shutters outside the apartment window to pressure him to surrender.

Sporadic blasts and bursts of gunfire rang out throughout the night, though officials insisted no full-out assault was under way. "It's not as simple as that. We are waiting," the Toulouse prosecutor, Michel Valet, told The Associated Press.

Authorities said the shooter, a French citizen of Algerian descent, had been to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he claimed to have received training from al-Qaida.

Zuiker to debut 'Cybergeddon' movie on Yahoo

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker is making a movie destined for the small screen.

The creator of the hit CBS television show plans to debut the as-yet-unfinished feature, "Cybergeddon," on Yahoo in installments this fall. His latest foray into online storytelling follows his partnership on a horror series for YouTube.

It also marks Yahoo's second stab at tapping Hollywood talent to create original online video. In January, Yahoo said a series of 20 animated webisodes developed by Tom Hanks called "Electric City" would debut on the site this spring.

Many Web video companies, including Hulu, YouTube and Netflix, are pushing to put more original video content online as they compete for people's attention with traditional outlets like TV channels.

Bernanke revisits college as guest lecturer at GW

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Students began trickling in early. Some dressed up in button-down shirts. Nervous chatter and fidgeting arose around the room.

And then in walked Professor Ben Bernanke, also known as the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The 30 undergraduates at George Washington University sent up a round of applause. It was, they'd been told beforehand, "appropriate, even encouraged, to politely applaud" Tuesday's guest lecturer.

Few needed prompting. They were about to hear from perhaps the world's best-qualified person to lecture their class, titled "Reflections on the Federal Reserve and Its Place in Today's Economy."

"We have a chance to speak one-on-one with a guy who's arguably one of the most important people in the world," said Sameer Iqbal, a junior finance major from Potomac, Md.

Syrian rebels outgunned, struggling for supplies

GORENTAS, Turkey (AP) -- Syrian rebel commander Ahmad Mihbzt and his ragtag fighters grabbed their aging rifles to fight Syrian troops advancing on their village, but soon fled under a rain of exploding artillery shells.

"We will fight until our last drop of blood," Mihbzt declared a week later in this village across the Turkish border. "We just withdrew because we ran out of ammunition."

Like Mihbzt's men, rebels across Syria fighting to topple President Bashar Assad lack the weapons that can pose a serious challenge to the regime's large, professional army. Some rebel units have more fighters than guns, forcing them to take turns fighting. Because of ammunition shortages, some fire automatic rifles one shot at a time, counting each bullet.

Rebel leaders and anti-regime activists say rising gun prices and more tightly controlled borders are making it harder for them to acquire arms and smuggle them into Syria. This could tip the already unbalanced military equation of Syria's year-old uprising further in the regime's favor.

Florida teen killed by neighborhood watch captain talked to girlfriend before shooting, lawyer says

The attorney for the family of a black teenager fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain said Tuesday that the boy was talking to his girlfriend on his cellphone when the confrontation began. She did not hear the shooting.

Their phone call was discussed at a news conference that followed announcements that the U.S. Justice Department would probe the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and that a local grand jury will also consider evidence in the case.

George Zimmerman, 28, claims he shot Martin in self-defense during a confrontation last month in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman spotted Martin as he was patrolling his neighborhood on a rainy evening and called 911 to report a suspicious person. Against the advice of the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman then followed Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store with a bag of Skittles in his pocket.

Tiger Woods' former coach paints golfer as a cheap, porn-loving, cold man in new tell-all

Tiger Woods' former swing coach Hank Haney paints the golfer as a porn-loving, cheap, rude superstar who was upset when his own wife would smile on the golf course, according to a new tell-all.

Woods referred to his hired help as "friends," but he hardly treated them like it, Haney writes in "The Big Miss."

For example, once Woods would finish his dinner at a restaurant -- even when he was with his wife, Elin -- he'd get up, leave without a word and expect everyone to follow, even if they were still eating.

"When he was done -- and he habitually ate fast -- you were done," Haney recalls.

And whenever they got takeout, Haney would have to pick up the food -- and the tab. "He seemed to think it was funny to be cheap."

Venezuelan experts probe police shooting

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan prosecutors have appointed a group of experts to assist in an investigation into the killing of a Chilean diplomat's 19-year-old daughter by police.

The commission includes nine experts with specialties in ballistics analysis and other techniques, the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement on Monday.

Karen Berendique died after being shot by police on Friday night at an unmarked checkpoint in the western city of Maracaibo, the authorities said.

Her father, Chilean honorary consul Fernando Berendique, called for better police training on Monday. He told the Venezuelan radio station Union Radio that at 9 p.m. on Friday, his son left home together with his daughter to drive her to a party several blocks from their home.

Avalanche kills 5 foreign tourists in Norway

OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Five people were killed and one person was dug out alive after Swiss and French skiers were buried by an avalanche Monday on Norway's Arctic fringe.

Rescuers located the victims through beacons from their radio transceivers, but only the first person they found survived, a Swiss man who was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

A 1-kilometer (3,000-foot) wall of snow came crashing down on the skiers on Sorbmegaisa mountain, 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of the northern city of Tromsoe, police spokesman Morten Pettersen said. The last victim was found buried under 6 meters (20 feet) of snow.

Four Swiss and one French skier died in the avalanche, which started at a height of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) and was 600 meters (2,000 feet) long.

Australia says troops could soon leave East Timor

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith says parliamentary elections planned in East Timor could allow international troops to begin withdrawing after six years of restoring stability to the fledgling Southeast Asian nation.

Smith on Monday welcomed the success of weekend presidential elections. The official results won't be known until Tuesday, but the incumbent, Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, had nowhere near the support needed to advance to an April 21 run-off between the two front-runners.

Belarus executes 2 men convicted of subway bombing

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- Two men convicted of carrying out a deadly subway bombing last year in Belarus' capital have been executed, drawing strong condemnation from activists and the European Union.

The mother of one of the two 26 year olds said that she had received official notification of the execution of her son, Vladislav Kovalyov. State television reported late Saturday that both Kovalyov and Dmitry Konovalov had been put to death, which in Belarus is done with a shot to the back of the head.

Human rights activists condemned the hasty executions, saying they deprived society of the opportunity to learn the truth.

"The government was in a rush to throw a white shroud over all the contradictions and discrepancies in the case," activist Lyudmila Gryaznova said Sunday. "The execution of the so-called terrorists, whose guilt remains under suspicion, gives the appearance that the government is concealing the traces of the crime."

Crowds create Wikipedia-style maps of the world

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- When Benjamin Gleitzman moved from New York to the San Francisco Bay area, he used a talking turn-by-turn driving app to guide him across the country. In the middle of Wyoming, the voice told him to turn left where there was no road.

Rather than complain to the maker of the app, called Waze, he logged in and made a note for anyone else who happened to drive that way that the road wasn't there. It was a small gesture of consideration to his fellow travelers.

But such niceties have started to add up. Taking a page from Wikipedia, services like Waze have marshaled armies of unpaid contributors and their GPS-equipped smartphones to map wide swaths of the world from scratch. Consumers, companies and even disaster relief organizations have come to rely increasingly on such "crowdsourced" maps and their key advantage: When the landscape changes, so can the map.

Former Mr. Universe turns 100 in India

KOLKATA, India (AP) -- A former Mr. Universe who has just turned 100 said Sunday that happiness and a life without tensions are the key to his longevity.

Manohar Aich, who is 4 foot 11 inches (150 centimeters) tall, overcame many hurdles, including grinding poverty and a stint in prison, to achieve body building glory.

His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered Sunday in the eastern city of Kolkata to celebrate his birthday the day before.

Hindu priests chanted prayers while a feast was laid out to honor Aich, winner of the 1952 Mr. Universe body building title.

Rippling his muscles and flashing a toothless grin, Aich says his ability to take his troubles lightly and remain happy during difficult times are the secrets to his long life.

Judge in California OKs Honda mileage settlement

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A judge approved a settlement Friday to give owners of Honda Civic hybrids up to $200 each over claims that the fuel economy of the cars was inflated, casting aside arguments that a motorist's victory in small claims court entitled other owners to a larger award.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor said the essence of a settlement is compromise.

"No doubt plaintiffs would have loved to have gotten more. Certainly their counsel had every incentive to get as much as possible," he said. "Honda undoubtedly has many arrows left in its quiver, and certainly would have preferred to pay nothing."

Taylor listened to nearly two hours of arguments before ruling.

State Department: Food aid unlikely if North Korea launches rocket

The United States said Friday it is "very hard to imagine" that it can go ahead with its offer of food aid if North Korea carries out its planned rocket launch.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. now has "grave concerns" about the Feb. 29 agreement under which the North agreed with the U.S. to nuclear concessions and a moratorium on missile tests in return for 240,000 tons of food aid.

In a surprise announcement Friday, North Korea said it plans to launch a satellite into space on the back of a long-range rocket in April.

The U.S., South Korea and other critics say the rocket technology overlaps with belligerent uses and condemn the satellite program as a disguised way of testing military missiles in defiance of a U.N. ban.

Ted Nugent defends Donald Trump Jr. as sponsor bags 'Apprentice' over Jr.'s hunting trip

Donald Trump is famous for saying “You’re fired!” on “Celebrity Apprentice,” but this time it is a sponsor that has fired him.

Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, denounced Donald Trump Jr., who serves as a judge on the current season, for posing for photos with an array of dead animals he killed on a big game safari hunt in Zimbabwe.

In one, he holds up a severed elephant tail, while holding a knife in his other hand.

Even though Donald the Elder was quick to distance himself from the controversy when photos first surfaced – stating plainly that he does not believe in the sport – Lemonis pulled his company's ads from the popular NBC reality show.

"I am totally disgusted by the [hunting] pics I have seen and was surprised to see them," Lemonis told TMZ.

But not everybody is outraged. Trump Jr. is getting plenty of support for his involvement with the Hunting Legends safari, which claims it is an “ethical” organization consisting of “professional hunters, and not opportunist killers.”

Chinese state TV targets McDonald's, Carrefour

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese state television has accused McDonald's and French retailer Carrefour of selling expired chicken products in separate incidents amid public anxiety in China over food safety.

McDonald's Corp. and Carrefour Inc. issued public apologies Friday and said they were investigating the report by China Central Television.

The report Thursday said a McDonald's restaurant in Beijing sold chicken wings 90 minutes after they were cooked while the company's rules set a 30-minute limit. It said employees at a Carrefour store in the central city of Zhengzhou changed expiration dates on some chicken and sold regular chickens as more expensive free-range birds.

Food safety is a sensitive issue in China, which has been rocked by scandals ranging from deadly infant formula to chemical-laced pork and recycled restaurant oil.

"McDonald's China attaches great importance to this. We will immediately investigate this isolated incident, resolutely deal with it earnestly and take concrete actions to apologize to consumers," said a statement by the U.S.-based restaurant chain on its website.

Meskipun murah tapi Notebook ini tidak Murahan

Sekarang ini sudah berada di bulan ke 3 di tahun 2012, ini berarti kamu tentu telah mengetahui jika di tahun ini konsep notebook Ultrabook akan menjelma jadi trend dan siap menggeser model-model pendahulunya. Ultrabook Notebook Tipis Harga Murah Terbaik ialah produk Acer pertama yang ditawarkan ke pasar Indonesia, kehebatan dari Ultrabook ini ialah menampilkan Desain yang tipis dan ringan sama dengan konsep yang dulu akan tetapi yang berbeda dari Acer Aspire S3 ataupun Ultrabook lainnya yaitu kemampuannya yang mumpuni tidak kalah oleh notebook-notebok model biasa.

Sekarang notebook sudah berkembang sedemikian pesat hingga ada banyak fitur dan spesifikasi notebook yang wah dan mewah tertanam didalamnya. Hal ini tidak lain karena para produsen saling bersaing untuk bisa menarik hati para konsumen notebook. Apabila kita perhatikan Ultrabook Notebook Tipis Harga Murah Terbaik maka notebook ini telah sangat sesuai untuk kamu yang tidak mau tertinggal trend sekaligus bisa mendapatkan kegunaan berupa kinerja yang mumpuni guna menunjang aktifitas sehari-hari.

2nd African YouTube video stars Clooney in Sudan

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- In the second YouTube video in a week to highlight an African conflict, George Clooney makes an illegal and dangerous trip to the southern reaches of Sudan, where the actor witnesses what an American activist said Thursday was likely a Chinese-made missile sail overhead.

Clooney's four-minute video highlights attacks on civilians in Sudan's Nuba Mountains, a region that U.S. officials say could soon suffer a severe hunger crisis. The video comes about a week after a YouTube sensation about Joseph Kony, the leader of the brutal Central Africa militia the Lord's Resistance Army.

In the Clooney video, which he wrote and directed, a man from the Nuba community is seen pushing Clooney to take cover after a rocket sails overhead. Mothers carrying children and young children lugging water jugs can be seen moving toward the rock caves.

Ryan Boyette, an American who lives in the Nuba Mountains, said Sudan's military has been launching large, Chinese-made rockets against civilians - not military forces with the rebel group known as the SPLM-N. Boyette said most of the rocket victims are caught off guard because they don't know the rocket is approaching.

Claims in Goldman Sachs resignation manifesto echo past questions about bank's conduct

The young banker whose dramatic public resignation stung Goldman Sachs this week joins officials from every corner of the government in questioning whether the august investment house deals honestly with all its clients.

In separate cases, judges, lawmakers and regulators have suggested the bank ignores conflicts of interest and sells to its clients investments it knows are weak, all in the pursuit of profit.

The resignation Wednesday by Greg Smith, a 33-year-old banker for Goldman in London, was a shot from within Goldman's ranks. In an Op-Ed article for The New York Times, Smith said the bank sells financial products "that we are trying to get rid of."

"It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off," Smith wrote.

Top Iran official calls for cooperation from West in return for 'transparency'

Iran says it wants more clarity from the IAEA before it allows inspectors into the Parchin military complex south of Tehran, one of Iran's most influential officials said Wednesday.

Iran denies it conducted any nuclear experiments there, even though it is suspected of having tested explosives for a nuclear device in the early 2000s. High-level diplomats told CNN's Christiane Amanpour it's believed Iran abruptly stopped any work toward weaponizing its nuclear program after 2003. But weapons inspectors want to make sure.

"If the Western community is asking us for more transparency, then we should expect more cooperation," said Mohammad Javad Larijani, a member of a powerful political clan in Iran and an adviser to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

International powers have agreed to resume nuclear talks with Tehran in the pursuit of a diplomatic solution to the tensions over Iran's controversial nuclear program amid saber rattling in Israel about the possible need for a pre-emptive strike.

MySpace predator convicted of 79 felonies

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A California man who used the social networking site MySpace to exploit and abuse young girls across the country was convicted Wednesday of dozens of felony charges.

A jury found Joshua David Threlkeld, 34, guilty of 79 felonies and one misdemeanor charge after deliberating a little more than two days in Riverside County Superior Court.

Between 2007 and early 2009, Threlkeld created a fake modeling agency and created an online identity as a 13-year-old model named Sara to lure young girls into sending him nude pictures, prosecutors alleged.

The victims were between the ages of 11 and 17 and jurors heard from 41 of them during the trial, according to the district attorney's office.

Erotic novel '50 Shades of Grey' unites gals, unnerves some guys

The hugely popular erotic novel “50 Shades of Grey” is quickly becoming universal water cooler conversation for women from all walks of life.

Everyone from so-called “mommy bloggers” to hardcore feminists is hailing the tome as a triumph for women, in spite of the book’s strong themes of female submission at the hands of a high-powered man.

They also say men who feel differently should butt out.

If you haven’t heard about “50 Shades of Grey” yet, you likely will soon. The independently published erotic novel is plunging into the mainstream this week after being acquired by Vintage Books for a seven-figure sum. Written by a little-known London author named E.L. James, it relies heavily on “BDSM” -- bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.

Vintage Books, part of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, just released a new e-edition of the book and plans to do a 750,000-copy print run as soon as possible.

2nd, smaller earthquake rattles Japan

TOKYO — A second earthquake rattled the Tokyo area hours after a stronger tremor caused a small tsunami on the northern Japanese coast.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the second earthquake was magnitude 6.1. It was just off the coast of Chiba, east of Tokyo, at a rather shallow 10 kilometers (6 miles) below the sea surface.

There was no immediate report of damage or injury from the second quake.

A strong, 6.8 earthquake shook northern Japan earlier in the evening on Wednesday, causing small tidal changes on its Pacific coastline but no damage or injury was reported.

India Partially Reverses Cotton Exports Ban

India has partially reversed a ban on cotton exports that was imposed to protect domestic supplies.

The ban triggered protests from local farmers and led to an outcry in cotton importing countries such as China as global prices spiked.

The government now says traders can ship cotton for which exporters had already made commitments before the ban was imposed.

India, the world’s second largest cotton producer, abruptly cut off cotton supplies to global buyers on March 4 following a surge in exports that took almost 40 percent of local production. Indian officials said they wanted to ensure sufficient supplies for the local textile industry, which is concerned about shortages and high prices due to strong demand from China.

A cotton-industry group in China called the export ban “irresponsible” and said it would disrupt international trade in cotton. The group had urged a review of the decision.

Eurozone Finance Chiefs Discuss Spain's Deficit, Greece's New Bailout

Finance ministers in the 17-nation eurozone met in Brussels Monday to discuss Spain's growing budget deficit and  Greece's new $172 billion bailout.

The ministers sought explanations from Spain, the eurozone's fourth largest economy, about why its deficit is expected to reach 5.8 percent of the country's economic output this year - far above the 4.4 percent agreed upon with European leaders.

Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said the finance ministers told Spain to bring its 2012 deficit down to 5.3 percent.  Delegates stressed Madrid must get back on target with its deficit in 2013 - below 3 percent of gross domestic product.

ICC finds Congolese warlord guilty in its first verdict

The International Criminal Court on Wednesday found a Congolese warlord guilty of turning children into killers, marking the war crimes tribunal's first verdict in its decade of operation.

Judges convicted Thomas Lubanga of conscripting and enlisting children under age 15 and using them to participate in "hostilities" during a civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He will remain in custody pending sentencing.

The verdict marks a milestone for the international court that targets war crimes worldwide. It is the first verdict issued by the Netherlands-based court, which has 14 other cases, three of which are in trial stage.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the verdict.

Post office front for gun ring, police say

Australian police have smashed an illegal gun trafficking ring which they claim supplied Sydney's organized crime gangs with handguns from Europe via a suburban post office.

In a series of co-ordinated raids in Remscheid, Germany and Sydney on Tuesday, officers seized 140 Glock magazines, seven firearms, ammunition, drugs, mail items, documents and computer equipment, police said.

One of the 12 addresses raided in Sydney was a post office in the residential suburb of Sylvania Waters, south of the city.

Three men were arrested, including a 30-year-old post office owner. He and two other men in their 20s have been charged with a number of offenses including supplying firearms and fraud. A 28-year-old woman was also arrested and is helping police with their inquiries, they said.

Amnesty: Syria detainees face systematic torture

People arrested amid unrest in Syria are being subjected to systematic torture, including electric shocks, beatings and sexual violence, a report by rights group Amnesty International said Wednesday.

Based on interviews in Jordan with dozens of Syrians who have fled the country, the report details "31 methods of torture or other ill treatment" at the hands of the security forces, army and pro-government armed gangs.

This Thursday marks a year since unrest first broke out, prompting a bloody crackdown and massive wave of arrests by the Syrian authorities.

The government says it is battling "armed terrorist groups" but international leaders and rights groups dispute that.

The torture meted out to those arrested on suspicion of opposing the government has generally followed a set pattern, says the Amnesty International report, titled "'I wanted to die': Syria's torture survivors speak out."

Marketing firm behind ‘Homeless Hotspots’ program considering launching it in New York

As controversy swirls around an initiative to have homeless people serve as roving digital hotspots, the marketing minds behind the program are considering a New York launch.

“It’s still up in the air,” Saneel Radia, head of innovation at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Manhattan-based branding firm that debuted “Homeless Hotspots” at the South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Tex. last week.

The program made news on Sunday, forcing the company to defend its concept from a firestorm of criticism that the idea was dystopian and devalued human intelligence and dignity.

Working along with a homeless shelter, the program armed participants with a WiFi device and an ad-like T-shirt, turning them into human technology hubs offering high-speed Internet connectivity for a suggested price — $2 for 15 minutes.

Radia stressed that his firm is focused on bringing awareness to “the idea that homeless people are this invisible population among us.”

British doctors urge against metal hip joints

British experts at the world's biggest artificial joint registry said doctors should stop using metal-on-metal hip replacements, citing an analysis showing they have to be fixed or replaced more often than other implants.

All metal hip joints were already under scrutiny over questions about how long they last, and one major manufacturer recalled its product over a year ago. Last year, regulators in the U.S. asked makers to conduct safety studies on them. Most artificial hip joints are plastic or ceramic.

Earlier this month, the British agency that regulates medical devices warned that patients with these joints should have yearly blood tests to make sure no dangerous metals are seeping into their bodies. It also advised patients with symptoms such as pain, swelling or reduced movement to get MRI scans to check for muscle damage in case the joints need to be removed.

In the new study, experts analyzed data for more than 400,000 hip replacements from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. More than 31,000 of those were metal-on-metal devices.

Police say reports of nationwide spike in Tide thefts doesn't wash

Police and retailers are pushing back against a report claiming that theft of Tide laundry detergent is on the rise nationwide and that some cities are devising special task forces to crack down on the alleged phenomenon.

The Daily, an iPad publication, reported Monday that authorities from New York to Oregon are combating a new wave of Tide theft at popular retail stores, like CVS and Walmart. The story quickly spread virally across the Internet, and was even the subject of a segment Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

While police acknowledge that name-brand household items are commonly swiped from store shelves, authorities in at least two states referenced by the publication say they have not seen a specific rise in stolen Tide detergent.

Magic mirror to take stress out of shopping

The virtual changing room allows shoppers to sample outfits without putting them on - with the help of a 58-inch plasma screen and a depth-sensing camera.

The new device, which goes on display at Manchester's Trafford Centre tomorrow, allows shoppers to sample clothes from a number of retailers all in one place.

Using 3D technology, the mirror can superimpose dresses, skirts and tops over a live picture of a shopper's body as they move in front of a camera placed on top of the screen, the Daily Mail reported.

Movement sensors and technology similar to that used on an XBox games console are used to judge the consumer's size and distance from the camera.

Republican candidates court Southern support before primaries

The Republican presidential primary candidates are preparing to add to their delegate totals Tuesday with two big-ticket states in the South, where Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich need to excel to stay competitive.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, acknowledged he doesn't need to win Alabama or Mississippi to stay in the nomination hunt even as he expressed confidence -- backed by late polling -- that evangelical and socially conservative voters in the South think he's the one to win the White House back from President Obama.

"John McCain didn't win either of these states, Alabama or Mississippi," he told Fox News. "We are delighted that we are doing so well there. The polls are suggesting it is kind of a three-way tie. It is an away game for me."

Invisible Children answers critics with new Internet video

The nonprofit activists behind the largest viral video campaign ever to hit the Internet answered their critics the best way they know how. They made another film.

San Diego-based Invisible Children released on Monday an eight-and-a-half-minute video entitled, “Thank you, KONY 2012 Supporters” in which charity officials attempted to answer questions regarding the group's development model, spending and the intent behind Invisible Children's campaign to bring reputed Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony to justice.

“When we launched Kony 2012, our intention was to share the story of Joseph Kony with new people around the world, but in the process, there have been a lot questions about us, so we want to be as transparent as possible and answer some of those questions right now, the organization CEO Ben Keesey says at the start of the video.

Member details stolen in pornography website 'breach'

The group calls itself “The Consortium” and shares characteristics with LulzSec, the notorious hacking group whose alleged members were arrested last week after their leader turned FBI informant.

The Consortium said it had breached the security the Digital Playground website, which is run by a company called Manwin.

“This company has security, that if we didn't know it was a real business, we would have thought to be a joke - a joke that we found much more amusing than they will,” the group said in a message posted on the Digital Playground website and archived online.

“We did not set out to destroy them but they made it too enticing to resist. So now our humble crew leave lulz and mayhem in our path.”

Locked-in sufferer Tony Nicklinson was once 'very active and outgoing'

Mr Justice Charles said evidence he had heard about Mr Nicklinson described the predicament faced by he and wife Jane, and two daughters, in "moving and vivid terms".

In a statement to the High Court, Mr Nicklinson, who suffers from locked-in syndrome described what happened after his stroke and how he feels about his life now.

Mr Nicklinson said: "It left me paralysed below the neck and unable to speak. I need help in almost every aspect of my life.

"I cannot scratch if I itch, I cannot pick my nose if it is blocked and I can only eat if I am fed like a baby - only I won't grow out of it, unlike the baby.

"I have no privacy or dignity left. I am washed, dressed and put to bed by carers who are, after all, still strangers. You try defecating to order whilst suspended in a sling over a commode and see how you get on.

Nokia Windows 8 tablet ‘coming soon'

The 10” device would be among the first to use Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system, and would follow from Nokia’s pioneering use of the Windows Phone OS.

Tablet manufacturers have been struggling to find a product to take on Apple's iPad, which has just been updated. New Microsoft software, however, will provide a new platform, and analysts have already been enthusiastic about the prospects for Windows 8 tablets.

Forrester’s Sarah Rotman Epps has suggested that the new platform could allow manufacturers to differentiate their products in a crowded market dominated by devices using Google’s Android platform.

Last week Windows 8 received a further boost when Mozilla announced that it would make a version of its Firefox web browser for the new platform.

Mark Rice-Oxley: How I survived a nervous breakdown

The warning signs were there earlier, but it was on his 40th birthday that Mark Rice-Oxley’s nervous breakdown began in earnest. He was on a boat on the Thames, wearing a Jimi Hendrix wig, in keeping with his party’s Woodstock vibe. He should have been celebrating with friends and family. Instead, he was having the most frightening time of his life. He felt panicky, tearful, restless, unable to eat, drink or perform with his jazz trio. His heart was racing like a hamster on a wheel.

It was the start of what he later described as his journey to the edge of madness – a serious depressive illness that left him unable to work or look after his young family. He spent six months marooned at home, shuffling about, staring at walls, wondering how to get through each minute; and if he would ever recover. In his worst moments, he contemplated suicide.

Georgia charter school decision could set national precedent

The Georgia Legislature is hotly debating a bill that would allow the state to cover the costs of charter schools even if local school boards reject them, setting up a case that could set national precedent on educational reform.

The legislation to amend the state constitution would allow the Peach State to create its own parallel K-12 system to local boards, drawing on the same limited pool of Georgia's taxpayer funds -- a decision that the Georgia Supreme Court said was illegal just one year ago.

"In the education reform battle often times things boil down to a turf battle, and that's what we have here. We have some local school systems that are worried that by virtue of having state charter schools that some of their turf is getting interfered. But it's about the children and the choice," said state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta. "It's a control issue, and it always has been."

U.S. offers condolences as U.S. service member investigated for alleged killing of Afghan civilians

President Obama and U.S. officials offered their condolences for the alleged shooting of civilians by a U.S. service member in Afghanistan amid fears the incident could trigger another wave of anti-American violence in the region and fuel a push to abandon the war-worn country.

Tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan had appeared to be easing after Americans burning Korans last month sparked deadly protests across the country.

"This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Koran is now gone," said David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an advocate for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Demam Ultrabook di Tahun 2012

Tahun 2012 diprediksi akan menjadi tahunnya Ultrabook, sebuah konsep baru dari komputer jinjing. Intel sebagai perusahaan yang memperkenalkan Ultrabook, menargetkan Ultrabook bakal memperoleh 40% pangsa pasar komputer jinjing di akhir tahun ini. Ultrabook Notebook Tipis Harga Murah Terbaik merupakan contoh produk Ultrabook yang akan ikut memeriahkan pasaran Ultrabbok tahun 2012.

Scores dead as Ethiopian forces clash with militants in Somalia

Islamic militants ambushed Ethiopian forces in southern Somalia Saturday and hours-long fighting left scores of people dead.

The fierce firefights killed 86 Al-Shabaab fighters, said Diyad Abdi Kalil, a commander of the transitional government in Somalia's Gedo province. The militants ambushed the soldiers in the town of Yurkut, still under Somali control.

In recent weeks, Somali government forces, backed by their Ethiopian allies, have retaken southern towns controlled by Al-Shabaab, including strategically important Baidoa.

The gun battles lasted almost five hours, Kalil said, and erupted a day after the African Union announced that Ethiopia planned to withdraw its troops from Somalia by the end of April.

Nyaman Bekerja Dengan Notebook Murah

Semua masyarakat menghendaki kenyamanan pada waktu melakukan pekerjaan, kenyamanan itu diantaranya bisa diciptakan dengan tersedianya notebook yang senantiasa bisa membantu semua aktifitas saat menggarap pekerjaan. Betul, seperangkat notebook mampu mendatangkan jaminan kepuasan disebabkan sekarang ini semakin banyak orang yang mengandalkan sebuah notebook ketika bekerja. Dan kenyaman itu akan didapat dari sebuah Ultrabook Notebook Tipis Harga Murah Terbaik yaitu Acer Aspire S3.

Russians Rally Against Putin, But in Smaller Numbers

Thousands of Russian demonstrators converged on central Moscow Saturday, protesting President-elect Vladimir Putin's third term in office amid allegations of election fraud.

Russia’s opposition had everything: brilliant sunshine, a permit for a public protest rally, and a central location in the heart of Moscow’s entertainment district.

What they lacked were protesters.  About 20,000 came to protest on Saturday - only one-fifth as many demonstrators as there were at the last democracy rally before last Sunday's election.  At least 100,000 people turned out for that protest, in 20 degrees below zero (celsius) weather.

White ribbons and balloons fluttered in the wind, but the spirit of Moscow’s fifth big democracy demonstration seemed deflated by Vladimir Putin’s victory at the polls.

Hope for Progress Dims in Sudan Border Talks

A senior Sudanese negotiator said he sees little hope for progress in talks with South Sudan on contentious issues left over from the two countries' separation last July. Mediators in Addis Ababa are measuring progress in millimeters.

Former Sudanese Central Bank governor Sabir Mohamed al Hassan was blunt Friday when asked whether he thinks the current session of African Union-mediated talks might yield forward movement. "Personally, no. I don't think so. I'm not really optimistic," he said.

One track of the talks focuses on oil. The landlocked south must use the north's pipelines to send its oil abroad. But a dispute over transit fees prompted the south to shut down production, costing both sides hundreds of million dollars per month in income. 

Hassan, Khartoum's lead negotiator in the oil talks, said it would be a victory if the two sides could simply agree to talk in a spirit of compromise.

Texas children found living in school bus, while parents imprisoned for embezzlement

The imprisoned father of two Texas children found living in an abandoned school bus is claiming the home was only meant to be temporary.

Mark Shorten said he planned to build a house on a wooded lot near Houston before he and his wife were arrested for embezzlement in 2010. Child welfare officials took custody of his children earlier this week after the siblings -- a 5-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl -- were found living in the dilapidated bus at the end of a muddy, one-lane road in Splendora, home to one of the poorest school districts in the state.

Fox affiliate KRIV-TV reported Thursday that no charges have been filed yet in the case. The children's parents are in federal prison for stealing money from victims of Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008, according to the station.

The postal carrier saw the kids Wednesday near Houston, and the two were swiftly placed in foster care while authorities investigate.

Rosie O'Donnell's show on Oprah Winfrey's network in chaos, report says

Rosie O’Donnell’s TV history is repeating itself — and, as in the past, it’s getting ugly.

O’Donnell’s talk show, “The Rosie Show,” is imploding just five months after launching on Oprah Winfrey’s little-watched OWN cable network.

Not only is “The Rosie Show” a ratings disaster — it averaged just 150,000 viewers last week — but O’Donnell is selling her $2.5 million mansion in Chicago, where the show tapes, and reportedly wants to move the production to New York. That would leave producer Harpo with empty, expensive, unused studio space it might not want to surrender so easily.

“She’s doing a show in Chicago,” O’Donnell’s rep told The Chicago Tribune when asked about the sale of Rosie’s house.

Adding fuel to the fire are reports in the Chicago media that “The Rosie Show” is plagued by a lack of focus, a cranky, erratic, disinterested host and a backstage power struggle between Team Rosie and Winfrey loyalists who worked on the now-defunct “Oprah” and are at odds with O’Donnell.

Boris Johnson to host UK’s biggest ever conference call

The conference call will be the largest ever hosted in the UK. Approximately 90,000 supporters have been emailed asking them to register for the call by Friday evening.

The mayor is expected to speak for a few minutes at the start of the call on Monday evening at 7.00pm, but the bulk of the hour-long conversation is expected to be taken up with questions from other participants.

Richard Murphy, the managing director of Broadnet Europe, said his company’s US arm had been used by American politicians including Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Can the president kill you?

Can the president kill an American simply because the person is dangerous and his arrest would be impractical? Can the president be judge, jury and executioner of an American in a foreign country because he believes that would keep America safe? Can Congress authorize the president to do this?

Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to justify presidential killing in a speech at Northwestern University law school. In it, he recognized the requirement of the Fifth Amendment for due process. He argued that the president may substitute the traditionally understood due process — a public jury trial — with the president's own novel version of it; that would be a secret deliberation about killing.

Without mentioning the name of the American the president recently ordered killed, Holder suggested that the president's careful consideration of the case of New Mexico-born Anwar Al-Awlaki constituted a substituted form of due process.

Holder argued that the act of reviewing Al-Awlaki's alleged crimes, what he was doing in Yemen and the imminent danger he posed provided Al-Awlaki with a substituted form of due process.

School closes after E.coli outbreak

Three children at Friarswood Primary School in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs., are confirmed to have been infected with the 0157 strain of the bacteria, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

However, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said another six probably cases and seven more suspected cases were being investigated.

None of the children has been hospitalised and all three confirmed cases are now recovering, said an HPA spokesman. E.coli 0157 can occasionally causes serious kidney complications.

Hackers beat Google Chrome security

At the Pwn2own competition in Canada, a group of French hackers were able to bypass Google’s vaunted security features to take control of a Windows PC in less than five minutes.

The result is a reversal of last year’s Pwn2own, when Chrome stood undefeated at the end of the competition.

This year it was beaten by Vupen, a French firm controversial in security circles for selling the software vulnerabilities it discovers to government spy agencies.

“We wanted to show that Chrome was not unbreakable,” the firm’s head of research Chaouki Bekrar told ZDNet.

“Last year, we saw a lot of headlines that no one could hack Chrome. We wanted to make sure it was the first to fall this year.”

The hack wins the firm 32 points in the overall Pwn2own competition.

NHS managers 'must support whistleblowers' under constitution

They must "ensure their concerns are fully investigated and that there is someone independent, outside the team, to speak to", according to the Department of Health.

The changes, being announced today by Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, will also "add clarity around the existing legal right for staff to raise concerns about safety, malpractice or whistleblowing in the NHS", said a spokesman.

They follow repeated concerns over staff being given 'gagging orders' to stop them raising concerns outside their trusts - in some cases stopping them from doing so with official regulators like the Care Quality Commission and the General Medical Council.

Mr Lansley said: "Today we have made it easier for staff to raise concerns about poor patient care.

"Whistleblowing will play an important part in creating a culture of patient safety, and this is why it has been added to the NHS Constitution."

Michigan woman who won $1M lottery but kept using food stamps loses benefits

A Michigan woman won a $1 million lottery and continued to collect $200 a month in food stamps -- until she boasted about her situation to a local TV station and officials swooped in.

Amanda Clayton hit the jackpot in the "Make Me Rich!" lottery game show in October and, after electing to take a lump sum of $700,000 and allowing for taxes, was left with about $500,000, she told WDIV-TV.

The 24-year-old, who is unemployed, said she continued to receive public assistance.

"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought, maybe, it was OK because I'm not working," Clayton said. "It's hard. I am struggling."

Apple unveils new iPad with 'Retina' display

The new device, named "new iPad", has what Apple calls a "Retina" display, which offers 3.1 million pixels, which is a higher screen resolution than a HDTV.

It also has a 5-megapixel rear camera, which features the same lens technology as Apple's iPhone 4S, and is capable of recording full 1080p HD video.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, announced the new iPad at an Apple event in San Francisco. He described the device as the flagship among the company's "post-PC" products.

The new iPad will be released in the UK on Friday, March 16, with prices starting at £399 for the 16GB, WiFi-only version, and rising to £659 for the 64GB, WiFi and 3G model. The 16GB iPad will remain on sale at £329.

Tense Sudan, South Sudan Talks Enter 2nd Day

Talks to resolve tension between Sudan and South Sudan have entered a second day, after negotiations Tuesday ended in shouting.

A VOA correspondent at the scene, in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, reports the talks are in a delicate stage as the sides try to resolve simmering disputes over oil, borders, and citizenship issues.

Talks on the status of southerners living in the north turned into a shouting match Tuesday. A participant said those particular negotiations are probably over for now, though the sides continue to discuss the oil and boundary disputes.

U.S. and North Korean officials meet to seal food aid deal

U.S. and North Korean officials are meeting Wednesday in Beijing to settle the details of a plan to allow the resumption of food aid to the North.

The talks take place against a backdrop of bellicose images and rhetoric from Pyongyang. North Korean television this week aired footage of a military unit carrying out live-fire drills in sight of a South Korean island.

Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, is holding talks with representatives from Pyongyang on Wednesday to "finalize all of the technical arrangements so that the nutritional assistance can begin to move," according to the U.S. State Department.

North Korea last week announced an agreement to freeze its nuclear and missile tests, along with uranium enrichment programs, and allow the return of U.N. nuclear inspectors. The United States said it would provide 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance to the impoverished country.

FBI charges alleged Anonymous hackers after supergrass claims

The FBI has brought charges against six young men suspected of being leading lights in the loose network known as Anonymous, who are accused of having “waged a deliberate campaign of online destruction, intimidation and criminality”.

As alleged members of smaller hacking groups called LulzSec, Internet Feds and AntiSec, they are said to have been behind cyber attacks on the websites of major companies and world governments and the theft of confidential data.

Among the accused named in New York federal court documents as taking part in "computer hacking conspiarcy" are a 19 year-old from the Shetland islands, Jake Davis, and a 25 year-old from Doncaster, Ryan Ackroyd. They have already been arrested by British police but now face possible extradition to the US.

Utah on verge of passing bill demanding Feds relinquish public land

Lawmakers who want to seize control of federal lands are pushing a legal battle they insist is winnable despite multiple warnings their effort is highly unconstitutional and almost sure to fail in court.

Utah is poised to become the first state to pass a package of bills that demand the federal government relinquish claims to huge sections of public land. A proposal that advanced Wednesday demands that by 2014 the federal government cede control of nearly 30 million acres -- nearly 50 percent of the entire state.

A bill setting an identical deadline is also moving in the Arizona Legislature.

Rep. Ken Ivory, who is leading the effort in Utah and helped draft model legislation for use in other states, said the federal government doesn't treat states like equal partners in land management.

India’s Ruling Congress Party Suffers Election Blow

apIndiaElections6mar2012-resizedpx480q100dpi96shp8 India’s ruling Congress Party has suffered a political blow, faring poorly in a round of regional elections. The party won only one out of five states. The elections also dealt a severe blow to Congress Party's Rahul Gandhi, the latest member of the powerful Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty expected to take the center stage of Indian politics.

In India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, the Congress Party had hoped to make substantial gains following months of intensive campaigning by key leader Rahul Gandhi.
But the Congress Party trailed behind regional parties to emerge in distant fourth place in what is seen as the country’s most crucial state politically.  The Congress has not been in power in Uttar Pradesh for more than 20 years.

Royal College of Physicians should say it opposes Bill, say fellows

If the college issues a statement after March 19, when debate on the Health and Social Care Bill in the House of Commons ends, efforts to survey members "will have been wasted", according to 121 fellows.

They have outlined their concerns in a letter to The Lancet.

Two weeks ago in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, 35 fellows and members accused their president, Sir Richard Thompson, of allowing the college to be used as "a political pawn", after he agreed to attend a Number 10 'health summit' about the Bill. Attending, they said, was "a political act".

Sudan-South Sudan Restart Oil Talks Amid Bitter Rhetoric

south_sudan_amum_480_27jan2012 Sudan and South Sudan have opened another round of talks on oil revenues and other contentious issues with harsh words and dampened expectations. Both sides appear to be holding to hard-line positions.

South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum went into the opening session Tuesday of 10 days of African Union-mediated talks accusing  Khartoum of hostile acts on the ground even as it negotiates in Addis Ababa.

"We are concerned the government of Sudan is beating the drums of war. They are mobilizing, according to them, to wage war against South Sudan. That is what the leadership of the government of Sudan are engaged in today as we speak," said Amum.

Seemingly intractable positions

81-year-old Rhode Island woman wins $336.4M Powerball jackpot

LouiseWhite An 81-year-old Rhode Island woman won last month's $336.4 million Powerball jackpot, sleeping with the winning ticket in her Bible until coming forward to claim the sixth-largest U.S. prize on Tuesday, a family representative said.

"I wanted to say that I am very happy and I’m very proud and this will make my family very happy," Louise White reportedly said during a news conference Tuesday at state lottery headquarters in Cranston. "We are truly blessed. Thank you."

Attorneys for White, who is from Newport, said she was a regular lottery player who bought the winning ticket at a Newport Stop & Shop supermarket where she had stopped for rainbow sherbet. The ticket is being claimed in the name of the Rainbow Sherbet Trust.

Zanzibar Falls Victim to the International Heroin Trade

voa_heuler_zanzibar_sober_house_06mar12_480 The Tanzanian island of Zanzibar is popular among tourists seeking an exotic tropical vacation destination. But beyond the idyllic locales, the island is being ravaged by heroin from Asia.  Drug usage is causing rifts within Zanzibari society, but the fight against it has also led to some creative local solutions.


Every year, thousands of foreign tourists are drawn to the white sand beaches and elegant old buildings of Zanzibar - a picturesque tropical island off the Tanzanian coast. But most are blissfully unaware of a problem ravaging the island’s local population that is caused by a different type of foreign import: heroin.

Dear Esther is a beautiful and thought-provoking piece of work.

DE1_2154961b Much has been made of the very nature of Portsmouth University lecturer Dan Pinchbeck's experimental work, Dear Esther. Questions over whether its haunting, ethereal ghost-walk even qualifies as a game. There's no action button, no list of objectives, just you, a wind-ravaged Hebridean island and the impassioned narration of a man struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife. Trying to pigeonhole it is pointless; Dear Esther will be many things to many people and not all will agree. It is oil painting, poetry, eulogy and video game all at once. And it's never less than fascinating.

Obama pledges to stop an Iranian nuclear weapon

120304041537-obama-aipac-story-top Preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is a national security interest of both Israel and the United States, President Barack Obama said Sunday in calling for continued diplomatic efforts but also pledging that all options -- including a military effort -- remain viable.

"All elements of American power" remain an option to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, including "a military effort to be prepared for any contingency," Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobby group.

At the same time, Obama made clear that he preferred diplomacy over war both as a principle and in the case of Iran, and he warned that "too much loose talk of war" with Iran only benefits the Iranian government by driving up the price of oil.

The remarks came against a backdrop of growing international concern that Israel may attack an Iranian nuclear facility. Israel and the United States accuse Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons despite the Iranian regime's insistence that its program is for peaceful purposes.

Libya condemns Commonwealth grave damage

Britain urged Libya's new leadership Sunday to investigate the desecration of more than 200 Commonwealth war graves in Benghazi, acts filmed and posted on YouTube that left World War II-era headstones broken and disfigured.

Libya's National Transitional Council said Sunday it expressed its deep regrets over what happened, calling it "unethical, irresponsible and criminal," and promised to prosecute those responsible.

"We strongly reject these acts that are rejected by the Islamic faith," the NTC said in a statement. "Such practices do not represent at all the local public opinion and they contradict the Islamic principles that emphasize and urge the respect of religions and beliefs."

Hundreds mourn slain Ohio student

120303102510-ohio-shooting-funeral-story-top Family and friends of 16-year-old Daniel Parmertor, one of three students killed in an Ohio school shooting, said their final goodbyes Saturday as he was laid to rest.

"I just can't believe what happened. He was honestly the sweetest person I've ever met. He's such a good person and I can't believe he's gone," said Parmertor's friend, Gabby Cveljo, CNN affiliate WEWS reported.

Funeral services for the slain student were held at the Church of St. Mary in Chardon, Ohio, the network said. Mourners marched silently to the church, carrying the American flag. Others had signs with hearts and stood outside, wrapped in blankets against the cold.

Florida father found guilty in YouTube brawl

A jury on Friday found a Florida father guilty of battery and child abuse after he was caught on tape punching and kicking a teenager, MyFox Orlando reported.

Gary Johnson, 35, was also found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and disorderly conduct in relation to the attack on the 16-year-old boy.

Johnson could face as many as 57 years in prison, although attorneys for the prosecution and defense said they see a minimum 10-year sentence as a more likely outcome.

Johnson fainted within moments after the verdict was read in court.

Russians Expect Putin to Win, No Change in Government

Russia Elections 4801 Russians are expected to elect Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to a historic third term as president on Sunday.  Many Muscovites doubt the country will change after Putin returns to the presidency.

Voting has already begun in some regions of Russia as Muscovites contemplate for whom they will cast their ballots in Sunday's presidential election.  There are four opposition candidates running against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, although many believe they don’t stand a chance against the authoritarian leader who was president from 2000 to 2008.

And, according to the last independent poll before the elections, conducted by the Levada Center,  Putin is expected to win with 62 to 66 percent of the vote, avoiding an embarrassing runoff.

BP, plaintiffs reach billion dollar deal in Gulf oil spill

111006114741-gulf-coast-oil-spill-cleanup-story-top BP and plaintiffs involved in the legal battle over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill -- the largest in U.S. history -- have reached an agreement, both sides said late Friday.

BP estimated that it would have to pay about $7.8 billion in the Deepwater Horizon disaster settlement.

"The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast," said Bob Dudley, the CEO of BP.

A group representing the plaintiffs in the case said the settlement "will fully compensate hundreds of thousands of victims of the tragedy."

Navy reassigns 3 submariners in financial fraud probe

The U.S. Navy has reassigned three female submarine officers as the military investigates allegations they were involved in financial misconduct before reporting to their vessels, a spokeswoman said Friday.

The investigation into alleged travel claim fraud, which also involves other personnel not assigned to submarines, is led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, according to Navy Cmdr. Monica Rousselow, a spokeswoman for the submarine force.

The officers are among the first women assigned to U.S. submarines in a high-profile initiative for the Navy, which reversed a ban on women serving aboard the cramped vessels in 2010. The initial class of 24 female submarines officers completed training at sites including Groton, Conn., last year before joining the undersea force in recent months.

Mobile payments tool Square, launches in New York taxis

Jack-Dorsey_1724012b The small white plastic square, which can be plugged into the bottom of people’s smartphones and via an app, allow users to take payments by their mobiles, is being trialled in 30 taxis in the ‘Big Apple’.

According to technology site AllThingsD, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has given the trial the green light.

It is still unknown if payments processed by drivers using Square will result in lower credit card transaction fees, but that was one of the main selling points Dorsey was keen to promote when launching Square in San Francisco two years ago.

Dorsey, who returned to Twitter to head up product development as executive chairman last March, has remained chief executive of Square at the same time.

Oil increases to highest level since 2008

111207095728-gas-hose-thinkstock-story-top Oil prices spiked to their highest levels since 2008 on fears that tensions with Iran have the potential to disrupt supplies through the Strait of Hormuz.

The price of a barrel of brent crude hit $128.40 a barrel and eclipsed $110 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a disputed report Thursday on Iran's Press TV and other Middle East outlets of a pipeline explosion in Saudi Arabia.

Prices for brent crude dropped to $125.45 and $108.50 on the NYMEX early Friday.

"I think the main problems are coming from some supply disruptions, or some fear to supply disruptions, particularly Iran," U.S. Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke told a U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. "So I'm not sure what could provide relief in the very short term."

Occupy Movement Turns Anger Towards Individual Corporations

Occupy_Wall_Street_Corporations480 The Occupy Wall Street movement is taking its allegations of corporate corruption to the corporations themselves, accusing them of using a special lobbying group to buy off American lawmakers.

Pfizer, the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company, is among the activists' targets.  Protesters rallied at Pfizer world headquarters in New York this week, alleging it sometimes charges $50 for medications that cost five cents to produce. Pediatrician Steve Auerbach says consumers in Canada and New Zealand pay far less.

“Americans are paying from anywhere between two to four times the price for the same drug from the same drug companies as [in] other industrialized countries," Auerbach said.

Google privacy changes: what you can do

google_1890691b The changes do not mean Google will collect more data on your online activities, but the data it already collects via more than 60 services icluding search, Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps will be pooled for the first time to provide advertisers with a more detailed profile of your interests.

The most important thing privacy-conscious users can do, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is to delete Google's Web History.

"This protection was especially important because search data can reveal particularly sensitive information about you, including facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and more," the EFF says.

"If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future."

Elderly care should be better regulated, says nursing leader

A12TC2_2153727b Dr Peter Carter called for an overhaul of care services in which older people are looked after by health care assistants who have not had specialist training.

He said elderly patients were as dependent as children but their needs were not reflected in the ratio of nurses to patients.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Dr Carter said: "In children's nursing, the ratio of registered nurses to children is one to four. In elderly nursing, it is one to 10.

"When we are caring for older people, we somehow think this can just be done with a bit of common sense."

His comments come after a report on dignity for older people concluded the patronising treatment of older people in hospitals and care homes should be taken as seriously as racism or sexism.