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Lady Gaga releases new duet with Tony Bennett

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 29 Juli 2014 | 20.49

Lady Gaga releases new duet with Tony Bennett | New York Post
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July 29, 2014 | 9:18am

She bemused her fans with last year's "ARTPOP" and now, Lady Gaga is set to confuse her "Little Monsters" even more thanks to a new jazz duet with veteran crooner Tony Bennett.

The two New York icons have been friends for years and previously sang together on 2011's "The Lady Is A Tramp." This time, they've recorded a spritely, swinging version of the Cole Porter song "Anything Goes" which is the first taste of a full-length duets album between Gaga and Bennett (due later this year). Check out the song below.

It might not be to everyone's taste, but Gaga sounds as if she's having more fun in these two minutes than almost any part of "ARTPOP."

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OkCupid deliberately messes with their customers’ love lives

OkCupid, a top matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on Monday, weeks after Facebook Inc admitted to misleading users in a psychological study.

"When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are," co-founder Christian Rudder wrote in a blog post. "Even when they should be wrong for each other."

Conversely, couples told they were bad matches, even when OkCupid's algorithm showed the opposite, were less likely to exchange four messages. Exchanging four messages is an OkCupid measure for gauging romantic interest.

In the post, titled "We Experiment on Human Beings!" Rudder explained the tests helped the company refine its product. He did not respond to an email asking how many users were tested.

"Most ideas are bad," he wrote. "Even good ideas could be better. Experiments are how you sort all this out."

An IAC spokeswoman said OkCupid planned to continue with the experiments, which are known in the business as A/B testing.

But experimenting on users without their consent could cost the company credibility, said Irina Raicu, director of the Internet ethics program at Santa Clara University.

"They are messing with emotions and with communications," she said. "That's different than other things we are A/B tested about."

The experiment drew heavy criticism online. In a tweet, University of Pennsylvania computer scientist Matt Blaze suggested a few new clauses for online user licensing agreements:"We reserve the right to induce despair" and "You agree that there will be no love, except the love of Big Brother."

In June, Facebook users were outraged when a study showed that the world's largest social networking site had manipulated news feeds to see how viewing more positive or negative posts affected users' posting habits. The researcher who led the study apologized for the anxiety the experiments caused but stopped short of saying the company would halt the practice.

OkCupid is one of the top U.S. dating services, behind Match.com, eHarmony, and Plenty of Fish, according to the Pew Research Center.

"We use math to get you dates," the site's "About Us" section reads. "It's extremely accurate, as long as (a) you're honest, and (b) you know what you want."

Other experiments OkCupid has tried include a "Love Is Blind Day" in January 2013, when the company removed all photographs from the service for seven hours. Fewer people used the service, but a greater percentage of user messages drew responses.


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Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj collaborate on new track

Time to rewrite those "song of the summer" lists, because Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj have just released "Bang, Bang" and it's as explosive as it sounds.

The brand new three-way duet (released on iTunes late on Monday) is a brilliant burst of pop, sung with sass by Jessie J and Ariana Grande, and boosted by a cheeky rap from Minaj. Hear the track below but beware, one listen will not be enough.

The track was co-produced by Max Martin, the Swedish producer who had a hand in "Problem" – Grande's recent duet with Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea. He's evidently on quite a roll.


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Grover Norquist set to cross ‘Burning Man’ off bucket list

Famed anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is loosening his tie and headed to Burning Man.

The suit-wearing, tax-hating zealot tweeted Monday night that he and his wife plan to make the annual hedonistic bash in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

"Its official," Norquist tweeted, using the wrong "it's."

"Samah and I are off to `Burning Man' this year. Scratch one from the Bucket List."

Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, is considered the single most important figure in driving the GOP's opposition to virtually any tax increases.

Even though he's devoted his life to the less-than-thrilling crusade against taxes, Norquist has a well-documented sense of humor.

He's a regular entrant in the annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington contest.

So if anyone wants to share a joke or talk tax reform Norquist, you'll know where to find him between Aug. 25 and Sept. 1.


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‘Well-dressed’ assassin kills Afghan president’s cousin in suicide attack

President Hamid Karzai's powerful cousin, a close ally of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani, was killed on Tuesday in a suicide bomb attack at his home, the governor's office in the southern province of Kandahar said.

Hashmat Karzai was hosting an event for the Eid al-Fitr holiday at his home in the province when a man posing as a guest set off hidden explosives as Karzai greeted him, the governor's office said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai.Photo: EPA

The attack comes as the country is caught in a political deadlock over a disputed election to replace Hamid Karzai as president.

A spokesman for the provincial governor said the bomber had been well dressed.

"His style was very modern, everything was new, and when he came to talk with Hashmat Khalil and wish him a happy Eid, he blew himself up," the spokesman said.

There was no claim of responsibility.

Ghani, a former finance minister, and his rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, say the vote was marred by fraud, and the United Nations has sent a team of observers to oversee an audit of the ballot.

The new president had been due to be sworn in next month.

Major delays could complicate plans for an agreement to keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in the country after most troops leave at the end of 2014.

Ghani, a former World Bank official, condemned the killing of his adviser.

"(We) condemn this act, of the enemies of AFG, in the strongest terms," Ghani wrote on Twitter.

No one else was killed and security agents were investigating, the governor's office said.

The two candidates agreed to an audit of all the vote's cast in a second round run-off after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brokered a deal, but the process is moving slowly, bogged down by frequent disagreements.


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Few New York commercial flights use improved navigation system

Almost no planes fly into the New York City area using a high-tech navigational system the FAA developed for the airports nine years ago, although it makes planes less noisy, arrive on time more often and burn less fuel, according to a federal report.

The system, called performance-based navigation, uses GPS, software and new Federal Aviation Administration procedures to fly much more precise routes.

Planes that use it can descend more steeply, so they don't have to fly as low over residential neighborhoods.

But only 1 percent of flights at JFK and La Guardia are using it, and less than that for Newark, although the congested airports have the worst delays in the country, the Department of Transportation inspector general has found.

"Where the technology is in place, it defies common sense for the FAA to be using it less than 1 percent of the time in New York airspace," said Joe Sitt, chairman of the airport advocacy group, Global Gateway Alliance.

Most major airports have been slow to adopt the system, but Washington's Reagan National Airport uses it to direct planes to fly less over neighborhoods and more over the Potomac River.

It's been difficult to adapt the procedure at New York City airports because not all airlines have the equipment to use it, sources said.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Thousands of Defense personnel owe $730M in taxes

WASHINGTON — Thousands of Defense Department employees and contractors trusted with the nation's top secrets can't be relied upon to pay Uncle Sam.

A new audit of defense workers and vendors with high security clearances found 83,000 owe $730 million in back taxes.

What's more, the Defense Department probably doesn't know who they are because the IRS doesn't share tax information freely over legal concerns, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO warned the debt burden could be a dangerous "vulnerability" to the US because strapped workers might be tempted to sell secrets to foreign governments.

"You only want to give a clearance to someone who is trustworthy. But if they are financially extended, they are at risk," said GAO spokesman Steve Lord.


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Israeli tank shells take out Gaza Strip’s only power plant

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far.

Flares turned the sky over Gaza City orange overnight and by daybreak, as the conflict entered its fourth week, heavy clouds of dust hovered over the territory. A thick column of black smoke rose from a burning fuel tank at the power plant.

The pounding came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned of a "prolonged" campaign against Hamas. It was not clear if this meant Israel has decided to go beyond the initial objectives of decimating Hamas' ability to fire rockets and demolishing the group's military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.

Already, the intensity and the scope of the current Gaza operation is on par with an invasion five years ago, which ended with a unilateral Israeli withdrawal after hitting Hamas hard.

In Tuesday's strikes, Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of attacks, leveling the home of the top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, and damaging the offices of the movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station, a central mosque in Gaza City and government offices.

Haniyeh, whose house was turned into a mountain of rubble by a pre-dawn airstrike, said in a statement Tuesday that "destroying stones will not break our determination."

No one was hurt in Haniyeh's home. Since the start of the war, Israel has targeted several homes of Hamas leaders but none was killed presumably as they appear to have gone into hiding.

Gaza's power plant was forced to shut down after two tank shells hit one of three fuel tanks, said Jamal Dardasawi, a spokesman for Gaza's electricity distribution company. The shelling sparked a large fire and a huge column of smoke was seen rising from the site. Dardasawi said 15 workers were trapped inside by the fire and that the damage would take months to repair. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Even before the shutdown, Gaza residents only had electricity for about three hours a day because fighting had damaged power lines.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, did not comment on the explosion at the plant, but told The Associated Press that Israel's latest strikes signal "a gradual increase in the pressure" on Hamas.

"Israel is "determined to strike this organization and relieve us of this threat," Lerner said.

International calls for an unconditional cease-fire have been mounting in recent days, as the extent of the destruction in Gaza became more apparent.

More than 1,110 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6,500 wounded since July 8, according to Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health official. The U.N. has estimated that 75 percent of those killed are civilians.

At least 26 Palestinians were killed early Tuesday in the airstrikes and tank shelling on four homes, according to the Red Crescent.

The house of the mayor of the Bureij in central Gaza was hit in an airstrike, and five bodies were pulled from the rubble, the Red Crescent said. Those killed included the mayor, 50-year-old Anas Abu Shamaleh, his 70-year-old father and three relatives.

In the southern town of Rafah, seven members of one family were killed in an airstrike and seven members of a second family were killed when tank shells hit their home, according to the Rafah office of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which keeps a casualty count.

In central Gaza, seven people, including five members of one family, where killed by tank shelling on a home, the Red Crescent said.

Israel has lost 53 soldiers, along with two civilians and a Thai worker.

Tens of thousands of Gazans have been displaced by fighting in the border areas, which have come under heavy tank fire. Late Monday, Israel urged residents of three large neighborhoods in northeastern Gaza to leave their homes and immediate head to Gaza City.

Despite appeals for a cease-fire, both sides have been holding out for bigger gains.

Hamas has said it will not stop fighting until it wins international guarantees that a crippling border blockade of Gaza will be lifted. Israel and Egypt had imposed the closure after Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, defeating forces loyal to their political rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Over the past year, Egypt has further tightened restrictions, shutting down hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border that had provide crucial tax income to Hamas. The closure of the tunnels drove Hamas into a severe financial crisis.

Israel has said it is defending its citizens against attack from Gaza by hitting Hamas rocket launchers, weapons storage sites and military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.

Israel said its troops will not leave Gaza until they have demolished the tunnels which have been used by Hamas to sneak into Israel to try to carry out attacks. On Monday, Gaza militants infiltrated through one of the tunnels and killed five soldiers in a firefight. One of the assailants was also killed. Separately, four Israeli soldiers were killed by mortar shells from Gaza that hit southern Israel.

Israel media have said the army has destroyed close to 20 of 31 identified tunnels, but that 10 more tunnels are believed to be in areas of Gaza still outside Israeli control.

After the deaths of the soldiers, Netanyahu signaled that Israel is intensifying its air- and ground campaign. "We will continue to act aggressively and responsibly until the mission is completed to protect our citizens, soldiers and children."

Overnight, Israel carried out about 70 airstrikes, the military said.

Haniyeh's house, located in a narrow alley of the Shati refugee camp, was reduced to rubble. Residents placed a large framed portrait of Haniyeh atop the rubble, and draped Hamas flags and Palestinian national banners over the debris.

Neighbor Imhane Abu Ghaliyeh, 60, who lives 50 meters (yards) from Haniyeh's home, said area residents fled after apparent warning missiles were fired.


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US: Russia violated 1987 nuclear missile treaty

WASHINGTON — In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on Monday of conducting tests in violation of a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach "a very serious matter" and going public with allegations that have simmered for some time.

The treaty confrontation comes at a highly strained time between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia's intervention in Ukraine and Putin's grant of asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

An administration official said Obama notified Putin of the U.S. determination in a letter Monday. The finding will be included in a State Department annual report on compliance with arms control treaties that will be released Tuesday.

The U.S. says Russia tested a new ground-launched cruise missile, breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that President Ronald Reagan signed with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Russian officials say they have looked into the allegations and consider the matter closed.

The Obama administration has expressed its concern over possible violations before, but this is the first time that the administration has formally accused Russia of violating the treaty. It comes in the wake of the downed Malaysian airliner in Ukraine and as the U.S. and the European Union seek to ramp up sanctions against Russia, offering the administration a convenient time to release the report which had been due to come out in April.

Two officials said the U.S. is prepared to hold high-level discussions on the issue immediately and want assurances that Russia will comply with the treaty requirements going forward. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive issue publicly by name ahead of Tuesday's report.

The New York Times first reported the U.S. move Monday evening

In raising the issue now, the U.S. appears to be placing increased pressure on Russia and trying to further isolate it from the international community. The European Union and the United States plan to announce new sanctions against Russia this week in the face of U.S. evidence that Russia has continued to assist separatist forces in Ukraine.

The formal finding comes in the wake of congressional pressure on the White House to confront Russia over the allegations of cheating on the treaty. The treaty banned all U.S. and Russian land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 300 miles and 3,400 miles.

The officials said the Obama administration has informed Congress and U.S. allies of its decision to seek Russian compliance.

Indeed Obama, who has made nuclear disarmament a key foreign policy aim, has little interest in having Russia pull out of the treaty altogether.

Obama won Senate ratification of a New START treaty, which took effect in February 2011 and requires the U.S. and Russia to reduce the number of their strategic nuclear weapons to no more than 1,550 by February 2018.

Obama last year announced that he wants to cut the number of U.S. nuclear arms by another third and that he would "seek negotiated cuts" with Russia, a goal now complicated by the accusation of a missile treaty violation.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Civilians reported killed in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine — Local authorities in eastern Ukraine say at least 22 civilians have been killed in one day by shelling.

City hall in Luhansk, which is under the control of separatist rebels, said Tuesday that five people were killed when an old people's home was struck by artillery fire. Russian television showed images of bodies in wheelchairs covered with blankets.

In Horlivka, a city besieged by government troops, the mayor's office reported 17 people, including three children, dying as a result of shelling.

The use of unguided rockets in fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatist rebels has been taking a noticeably heavier toll in recent weeks and been criticized by rights groups.

The U.N. says at least 1,129 people were killed between mid-April, when fighting began, and July 26.


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