Palin calls Koran-burning proposed protest insensitive, unnecessary

New York, Sept.9 (ANI): Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has called a proposed 9/11 anniversary burning of the Koran by a Florida pastor as insensitive and unnecessary.

Criticizing Pastor Terry Jones in a Facebook noting, the New York Post quoted Palin as saying that his step would be “antithetical to American ideals.”

“Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero,” Palin said on the social networking site.

“It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive,” she added.

Reverend Terry Jones, the pastor at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. has said he plans to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center with a mass Koran burning.

On Wednesday, Jones held a press conference where he stated that despite mounting pressure and opposition, he has “no intention of canceling” Saturday”s event.

Palin and many other prominent Republican leaders have said that while they believe in developers” rights to build a mosque and cultural center two blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center, it should be moved to another location out of respect for the victims” families. (ANI)

Jolie ‘encouraged Pitt to have plastic surgery’

Melbourne, Sept 9 (ANI): Hollywood beauty Angelina Jolie reportedly encouraged partner Brad Pitt to have plastic surgery.

It has been claimed that the actress persuaded Pitt to visit his plastic surgeon and get some work done.

The Hollywood hunk has been getting injections of the wrinkle filler Radiesse to make his face look younger and smoother, reports the National Enquirer, an American tabloid.

“Brad hasn’t looked this good in years — and Angelina is definitely pleased about his makeover,” News.com.au quoted a source as saying.

“Let’s hope it ignites a new spark in their bedroom. Their troubled relationship could use a boost!” the source added. (ANI)

Tom Cruise showers Katie Holmes with red roses wherever they go

Washington, Sep 8 (ANI): Tom Cruise showers red roses in abundance on wife Katie Holmes ever since their whirlwind romance started.

The couple’s marriage has been going strong for 5 years and Cruise leaves no chance to keep the fire burning.

“My husband has red roses for me everywhere I go and whenever we travel,” People Magazine quoted Holmes as telling at the New York press conference of her new film ‘The Romantics’.

Katie, who believes in love, is equally romantic as her husband and is very affectionate and caring especially with her 4-year-old daughter Suri.

“Being a mother is so dreamy. You have to keep the activities up but she”s so comfortable and she loves to sing and dance,” she said when asked about her daughter. (ANI)

Tom Cruise showers Katie Holmes with red roses wherever they go

Washington, Sep 8 (ANI): Tom Cruise showers red roses in abundance on wife Katie Holmes ever since their whirlwind romance started.

The couple’s marriage has been going strong for 5 years and Cruise leaves no chance to keep the fire burning.

“My husband has red roses for me everywhere I go and whenever we travel,” People Magazine quoted Holmes as telling at the New York press conference of her new film ‘The Romantics’.

Katie, who believes in love, is equally romantic as her husband and is very affectionate and caring especially with her 4-year-old daughter Suri.

“Being a mother is so dreamy. You have to keep the activities up but she”s so comfortable and she loves to sing and dance,” she said when asked about her daughter. (ANI)

Chinese county commission warns of big fine for having babies outside marriage

Beijing, Sept 8 (ANI): A new regulation announced by the Chongqing Family Planning Commission says married people having babies outside marriage will be treated as serious offenders.

People giving birth out of wedlock will face a possible fine of up to 250,000 Yuan (36,725 dollars), the China Daily quoted a report in Chongqing Economic Times, as saying.

The social compensation fee, which is the lowest level of the fine for this wrongdoing, is
six times the city”s disposable personal income of the previous year, while the highest is nine times that of the earlier year.

For example, if a couple gave birth in 2009 outside marriage, each of them would be required to pay 86,160 Yuan (the 2008 disposable personal income of the city was 14,360 Yuan) if their disposable income was lower than the previous year, 129,240 Yuan each if it was higher, the paper reports.

An unmarried couple having a baby would be charged 6,000 Yuan (882 dollars) in social compensation fees.

The price for extra births of married couples would be two to six times the disposable personal income of the preceding year. (ANI)

WikiLeaks’ organisers want founder Assange to resign over rape, molestation charges

Sydney, Sept 7 (ANI): WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is reportedly being pressurised by the management of his own website to step down after Swedish prosecutors reopened a rape investigation against him.

Moves are already afoot to oust Assange if he chooses not to step down voluntarily. Several WikiLeaks organisers, including Birgitta Jonsdottir who is also a parliamentarian in Iceland, are now finding it difficult to handle the situation.

“I am not angry with Julian, but this is a situation that has clearly gotten out of hand. These personal matters should have nothing to do with WikiLeaks. I have strongly urged him to focus on the legalities that he’s dealing with and let some other people carry the torch,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Jonsdottir, as saying.

He further stated that Assange is a chauvinist and does not have good social skills.

“I really care very much for WikiLeaks and I do consider myself to be Julian’s friend. But good friends are the people who tell you if your face is dirty,” he added.

Swedish prosecutors dismissed a rape case against Assange within days of the claims being made by two Swedish women, but reopened their investigation after interviewing Assange over lesser molestation claims.

Sweden’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said that on the basis of the new information, Assange would be investigated on suspicion of “sexual coercion and sexual molestation”.

“There is reason to believe that a crime has been committed,” she added.

Another anonymous WikiLeaks organizer said that Assange’s insistence on remaining the public face of the website was creating “a mess for everyone” as it prepares to release an additional cache of classified US military reports. (ANI)

Brit inventor sets world record after driving dining table at 113mph

London, Sept 7 (ANI): A British inventor is believed to have set a world record for the fastest piece of furniture after he drove his dining table down a racetrack at more than 113mph.

Perry Watkins, 47, from Buckinghamshire, drove the Queen Anne table, named ”Fast Food”, twice down a 500m track at Santa Pod, Nottinghamshire.

It reached a top speed of 130mph and averaged 113.8mph, easily beating the 92mph set by a sofa in 2007.

“It was actually worse than I thought it would be. It felt like 200mph,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The makeshift vehicle has a 1994 Reliant Scimitar Sabre underneath, boosted by a nitrous oxide kit, which provides the thrust.

Watkins is now waiting for Guinness to declare him as the official world record holder for the fastest piece of furniture. (ANI)

World”s shortest man faces challenge from world”s shortest teenager

London, Sept 7 (ANI): The world”s shortest man at the moment is facing fierce competition from the world”s shortest teenager.

Edward Nino Hernandez, 24, from Bogota, Colombia, who stands at just 27-inches, won the title of World”s Shortest Man on September 6.

But Hernandez does not have long to hold on to his title, as hot on his heels is the World”s Shortest Teenager, Khagendra Thapa Magar, from Nepal, who stands at 26-inches and is an inch shorter than him.

Magar, 17, went to Rome in February where he was measured by Guinness World Records and given the title World”s Shortest Teenage Boy.

He is expected to take the title from Hernandez, who weighs just 22lb, when he turns 18 on October 14.

Hernandez on the other hand is hoping that his title will help him find fame.

“I want to travel, go to places like New York, Argentina and meet famous people and go to Hollywood,” the Sun quoted him as saying.

“With the title I also hope to work on movies as an actor. With this record I will become more famous,” he stated.

Magar”s parents are also keen to see their son take the glory, and profit, of being the world”s shortest, and the tiny teen is already a household name on the Indian subcontinent.

His family first filed a claim to the title when he was 14 but it was rejected because there was a chance he might grow before turning adult at 18.

A charitable foundation has even been set up in Nepal to lobby local celebrities and political figures to support Magar”s record attempt.

“What”s remarkable is that this little dancer is a whole two inches shorter than Pingping,” GWR editor in chief Craig Glenday said.

“The question is, will Nino still have the record by Christmas? With Khagendra in the wings, there”s a good chance Nino will only hold the title for a few more weeks,” Glenday added. (ANI)

Cure for peanut allergy may lie in peanuts

Washington, Sep 7 (ANI): People who have peanut allergies panic at the mere sight of it. But, new research at Duke University Medical Center is showing the culprit may also be the cure.

Allergic people tend to avoid peanut even in trace amounts.

“It takes as little as 1/100th of a peanut to cause a life threatening reaction,” CBS News quoted Dr. Wesley Burks of Duke University Medical Center as saying.

But the Duke researchers’ experimental treatment, called “oral immunotherapy,” uses peanuts to build up tolerance.

Starting out with a minute dose of peanut powder — the equivalent of 1/1000th of a peanut — study participants eat it with food on a daily basis.

“They build up to a higher dose and that goes on for about 6 to 8 months and then at a certain point their immune system begins to change so that they”re no longer having reactions,” said Burks.

In one study, 75 percent of children with peanut allergies who ate increasing amounts of peanut protein daily for 3 to 5 years can now eat unlimited amounts of peanuts.

In a separate year-long study,16 children on treatment could tolerate 15 peanuts before developing symptoms – providing a potentially lifesaving buffer of protection.

While the results are encouraging, there are no guarantees the allergy is gone for good.

“We don”t know long term if it really will make it go away. And that”s where the studies are really concentrated on right now,” said Burks.

While the concept sounds simple enough, experts warn it should not be tried at home.

Researchers say this type of therapy goes beyond peanuts: the same approach currently being tested for allergies to milk and, eggs. (ANI)

Climate change not linked to African civil wars, claims expert

London, Sep 7 (ANI): An expert has dismissed claims that global warming can drive civil war in crisis-ridden parts of Africa.

In his popular 2008 book Climate Wars, the US journalist and military historian Gwynne Dyer, said that climate change would put growing pressure on fresh water and food over the coming century, triggering social disorder, mass migration and violent conflict.

But, Halvard Buhaug, a political scientist with the Peace Research Institute Oslo in Norway has denied any such scenarios, reports Nature.

In a new research, he found virtually no correlation between climate-change indicators such as temperature and rainfall variability and the frequency of civil wars over the past 50 years in sub-Saharan Africa — arguably the part of the world that is socially and environmentally most vulnerable to climate change.

“The primary causes of civil war are political, not environmental,” says Buhaug.

The analysis challenges a study published last year that claimed to have found a causal connection between climate warming and civil violence in Africa.

Marshall Burke, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues, reported a strong historical relationship between temperature and the incidence of civil war.

disputing the validity of the study’s findings, Buhaug said that Burke”s study may have been skewed by the choice of climate data sets, and by their narrow definition of ”civil war” as any year that saw more than 1,000 fatalities from intra-national conflict.

The definition is at odds with conventional measures of civil war in the academic literature.

“If a conflict lasts for 10 years, but in only 3 of them the death toll exceeds 1,000, [Burke et al] may code it as three different wars,” said Buhaug.

“You”d really like to apply as many complementary definitions as possible before proclaiming a robust correlation with climate change,” he added.

Burke maintains that his findings are robust, and counters that Buhaug has cherry-picked his data sets to support his hypothesis.

Buhaug disagrees vigorously. “If they accuse me of highlighting data sets in favour of my hypothesis, then this applies tenfold more to their own paper.”

The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

1 2 3 4 5 34