Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.

Popular Posts Today

Millions missing as Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange files for bankruptcy

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 28 Februari 2014 | 20.50

TOKYO — The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and its chief executive said 850,000 bitcoins, worth several hundred million dollars, are unaccounted for.

The exchange's CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras, bowing deeply for several minutes.

He said a weakness in the exchange's systems was behind a massive loss of the virtual currency involving 750,000 bitcoins from users and 100,000 of the company's own bitcoins. That would amount to about $425 million at recent prices.

The online exchange's unplugging earlier this week and accusations it had suffered a catastrophic theft have drawn renewed regulatory attention to a currency created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.

It remains unclear if the missing bitcoins were stolen, voided by technological flaws or both.

"I am sorry for the troubles I have caused all the people," Karpeles said in Japanese at a Tokyo court.

Karpeles had not made a public appearance since rumors of the exchange's insolvency surfaced last month. He said in a web post Wednesday that he was working to resolve Mt. Gox's problems.

The loss is a giant setback to the currency's image because its boosters have promoted bitcoin's cryptography as protecting it from counterfeiting and theft.

Bitcoin proponents have insisted that Mt. Gox is an isolated case, caused by the company's technological failures, and the potential of virtual currencies remains great.

Debts at Mt. Gox totaled more than 6.5 billion yen ($65 million), surpassing its assets, according to Teikoku Databank, which monitors bankruptcies.

Just hours before the bankruptcy filing, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso had scoffed that a collapse was only inevitable.

"No one recognizes them as a real currency," he told reporters. "I expected such a thing to collapse."

Japan's financial regulators have been reluctant to intervene in the Mt. Gox situation, saying they don't have jurisdiction over something that's not a real currency.

They pointed to the Consumer Affairs Agency, which deals with product safety, as one possible place where disgruntled users may go for help.

The agency's minister Masako Mori urged extreme caution about using or investing in bitcoins. The agency has been deluged with calls about bitcoins since earlier this year.

"We're at a loss for how to help them," said Yuko Otsuki, who works in the agency's counseling department.

It's hard to know how many people around the world own bitcoins, but the currency has attracted outsize media attention and the fascination of millions as an increasing number of large retailers such as Overstock.com begin to accept it.

Speculative investors have jumped into the bitcoin fray, too, sending the currency's value fluctuating wildly in recent months. In December, the value of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of $1,200. One bitcoin has cost about $500 lately.

Roger Ver, a Tokyo resident who has provided seed capital for bitcoin ventures such as Blockchain.info, a registry of bitcoin transactions, said he believes bitcoin will survive, possibly emerging with better technology that's safer for users.

He said Mt. Gox people were likely sincere but had failed to run their business properly.

"Mt. Gox is a horrible tragedy. A lot of people lost a lot of money there, myself included," he said ahead of the bankruptcy filing. "I hope we can use this as a learning experience."

Some countries have reacted sternly to bitcoin's emergence, but many people remain fans of its potential.

Vietnam's communist government said Thursday that trading in bitcoin and other electronic currencies is illegal, and warned its citizens not to use or invest in them.

Late last year, China banned its banks and payment systems from handling bitcoin, although people still use them online. Thailand earlier put a blanket prohibition on using bitcoins and Russia has effectively banned them.

There was still considerable appetite for bitcoin in China, where it has become attractive as an investment since tightly-regulated state banks offer very low interest rates on deposits.

Even some with money tied up in Mt. Gox were undaunted.

Huang Zhaobin, a 21-year-old student in Chengdu, said he had lost 50,000 to 60,000 yuan ($8,125 to $9,750) from the Mt. Gox closure.

"Actually this money itself is the benefit from bitcoin investment," said Huang, who plowed 10,000 yuan into bitcoins about three months ago.

"If it is legal, I will continue to invest for sure as it is the trend in the world."

In Singapore, Tembusu Terminals, a joint venture specializing in crypto-currencies, announced Friday its first bitcoin ATM in the city-state and plans for many more. In Hong Kong, a group opened what it said was the world's first bitcoin retail store.

Yang Weizhou, analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo, said laws to regulate virtual currencies may have to be created by countries including Japan.

She said lawsuits from those who lost money were likely, and any court rulings would chart unexplored territory and help define the reach of virtual money.

The trend toward such technology for peer-to-peer payments wouldn't replace traditional money but was here to stay because of its convenience, she said.

"It is undeniable," she said. "One must separate the Mt. Gox problem from the overall concept."

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Fugitive Ukraine president hit with corruption probe

GENEVA — Authorities in Switzerland announced Friday they have launched a corruption probe against Ukraine's fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych and his son Aleksander, and blocked all the potential assets that might be hidden in the Alpine nation.

The Geneva prosecutors' office said in a statement that the criminal investigation concerned "aggravated money laundering."

"Chief prosecutor Yves Bertossa and members of the financial police conducted a search in the morning of Feb. 27 at the premises of a company owned by Aleksander Yanukovych," prosecutors said. Documents were seized, but the prosecutor said no further details of the investigation would be provided.

Separately, the nation's governing Federal Council, which includes the president and six other ministers, said Friday it has decided to block all assets Yanukovych and his entourage might have in Switzerland, effective immediately.

Through the action, the Council said in a statement that it "wishes to avoid any risk of misappropriation of Ukrainian state assets."

Switzerland has been at pains to prevent foreign leaders from using the country's secretive banks as places to hide and launder ill-gotten funds.

In recent years the Alpine nation has frozen accounts linked to former members of the deposed governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Oscar Pistorius seen shooting in gun range video

JOHANNESBURG — Newly released video shows Oscar Pistorius, who faces a murder trial next week, firing weapons at a gun range before the double-amputee athlete fatally shot his girlfriend last year.

Sky News on Friday broadcast footage of Pistorius firing a shotgun and using a pistol to shoot a watermelon, which bursts on impact. Delighted screams and laughter from unidentified people are heard in the background.

Sky News also broadcast audio of a man it says "sounds very much" like Pistorius who comments on the shattered watermelon.

"It's a lot softer than brain but… it's like a zombie stopper," the man said.

The video of Pistorius shows him wearing sunglasses and gun range headphones. Francois Hougaard, a South African international rugby player, is also seen shooting alongside Pistorius in the video. Sky News did not say exactly when the video was taken, or where.

Pistorius' murder trial starts Monday. The prosecution says Pistorius had a fight with Steenkamp before killing her by firing shots through a door in the bathroom of his home on Feb. 14 last year. He says he shot the model and reality TV star after mistaking her for a dangerous intruder in the night.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Pistorius should he be convicted of murder in Steenkamp's killing, meaning the Olympic runner would have to serve at least 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bratton to appoint highest-ranking Hispanic officer to Chief of Housing

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Friday will appoint Carlos M. Gomez — the highest ranking Hispanic officer in the NYPD– to the top spot in the Housing Bureau, The Post has learned.

Gomez — an Assistant Chief who started his career in 1984 as a patrol cop in the 103 Precinct in Jamaica, Queens — was the Commanding Officer of Patrol Bureau Borough Bronx.

He replaces Three Star Chief Joanne Jaffe, who was recently tapped to head the Community Affairs Bureau.

In The Bronx, Gomez is credited with driving down crime to record levels with murders and shootings plummeting over the past to years.

"Chief Carlos Gomez is an outstanding leader who has excelled in a series of commands," said Dennis Gonzalez, the President of the NYPD Hispanic Society.

"We are confident Chief Gomez will continue to raise the standards of excellence and professionalism in his capacity as Chief of Housing. He's a well respected Chief in the department and has an exemplary record of accomplishments in his 30 year career," Gonzalez added.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Fugitive Ukraine president speaks: I will keep fighting

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Fugitive Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych on Friday pledged to fight for his country's future, in his first public appearance since disappearing from Ukraine.

"I intend to keep fighting for the future of Ukraine against those who are using fear and terror to seize the country," he told a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. Ukraine's president was last seen on Saturday.

Yanukovych also insisted he "did not flee anywhere" but left for Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine.

Yanukovych lambasted the West for allegedly betraying a Feb. 21 agreement between the government and the opposition, saying that recent actions by the opposition run counter to the EU-brokered agreement.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Game of Thrones’ promo hints at future doom

Death to all men! This latest promo image for the new season of "Game of Thrones" may make it look like the HBO hit will be dabbling in misandry — but it's actually a hint of a portentous doom for all humans of the realm.

It's a reference to the phrase "Valar Morghulis," a saying in the language high Valyrian translating to "All men must die." Astute "Thrones" fans will remember that Jaqen H'gha gave Arya Stark a coin in Season 2, and told her to use the phrase "Valar Morghulis" if she ever needed to find him.

With Arya's mounting ruthlessness, it seems to mean she's about to get into some heavy character development this season, premiering April 6.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

How Dave, Jimmy, Craig et al. are faring in late-night competition

With all the attention heaped on the launches of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night with Seth Meyers," it's easy to forget that the rest of the late-night landscape has kept churning along.

And while the talkers across the dial on ABC and CBS have taken an expected dip — as viewers sample the new offerings — their ratings are off just slightly from when Jay Leno was still the reigning late-night champ.

It's no surprise that Fallon is leading his competition by a large margin, averaging 7.5 million viewers since his premiere — which was boosted by initial sampling and an Olympics lead-in his first week (meaning that ABC and CBS were running repeats in prime time).

Against the new competition, CBS' David Letterman — by far now the oldest host in late night at 66 — has held up best.

Since the 39-year-old Fallon's debut, "Late Show" is averaging 2.6 million viewers through Feb. 26, down 10 percent compared to its 2.9 million season average.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live," hosted by the 46-year-old Kimmel, is down slightly more. Through Wednesday, "JKL" was averaging 2.3 million viewers since Fallon's premiere — down 12 percent from its season-to-date average.

Among younger viewers (adults 18-49), Kimmel is down more significantly — 24 percent — since Fallon's debut, with "JKL" averaging a 0.54 (Feb. 17-26) in that demo, compared to a 0.71 for the season.

Fallon, meanwhile, is averaging a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 in his second week — though he's declined each night. Still, that's up 90 percent from Leno's average (1.0).

In three nights going head-to-head against Meyers at 12:35 a.m., "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" was down 12 percent in total viewers from its season average (1.3 million vs. 1.5 million). NBC, for now, is still basking in the post-premiere glow: After averaging 8.5 million viewers in his first week, Fallon's second week is drawing 5.8 million viewers through three nights at 11:35 p.m. — still tracking 45 percent above what "Tonight" averaged with Leno.

Meanwhile, Meyers' viewership is up 45 percent for his first three nights (2.9 million viewers) over Fallon's "Late Night" average.

It's still early, of course, for NBC's new late-night duo. In total viewers, Fallon is down 29 percent from his first week to his second week-to-date, while Meyers slipped 21 percent from his first-to-third night.

Expect that settling trend to continue in the coming weeks, with a much closer margin separating the competition months from now.

"I'm not Nostradamus, but probably we'll open up, follow the Olympics, have crazy-awesome ratings. Then the Olympics will go away, our ratings will drop down [and] that will be a story," Fallon told The Post last November. "But Seth will start, so maybe it could be the same. And then at the end it will all be fine, we'll figure it all out and in the end it's either you watch me, Kimmel or Dave."

At a glance

Late Show With David Letterman: 2.6 million viewers (-10%)

Jimmy Kimmel Live: 2.3 million viewers (-12%)

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: 1.3 million viewers (-12%)

Late Night With Seth Meyers: 2.9 million viewers (+45%)

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Cops take down international auto theft ring

TOTOWA, N.J. — Nearly three dozen people were arrested or charged in what authorities said Thursday was a takedown of an auto theft ring that used tactics including carjackings in New York and New Jersey to help feed a demand for luxury sport utility vehicles in West Africa.

Of twenty-nine people charged, 23 were arrested Thursday, acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said at a news conference. Three more people who weren't the subject of arrest warrants also were picked up Thursday, an attorney general's office spokesman said, bringing the total to 32. Six of those charged are fugitives.

Unlike sweeps in the region in recent years that have focused on carjacking perpetrators, the 10-month investigation sought to poke holes in several levels of the operation. Seven of those named Thursday face charges including racketeering, money laundering, fencing and leading an auto theft trafficking network.

Twenty-seven of more than 160 cars recovered in the investigation were carjacked, according to the attorney general's office. The rest were stolen off car carriers, at airports or at car washes or by thieves targeting wealthy neighborhoods where people left cars unlocked, sometimes with keys inside.

The thefts occurred primarily in Essex, Union, Bergen, Middlesex, Monmouth and Morris counties, most of them in the New York City metropolitan area.

Hoffman described one carjacking in Newark in which a woman's car was stolen when she left it running to go into a store — with her 15-year-old daughter inside. The carjackers let the girl go unharmed, he said.

The operation allegedly trafficked mainly in luxury SUVs — particularly those made by Land Rover, BMW and Mercedes Benz — that were stolen and then taken to underground garages or other locations to "cool off" so members of the ring could determine whether they contained tracking devices. "Wheel men" would then move the vehicles to different locations while deals were made with people acting as fences who would pay $4,000 to $8,000 apiece.

The cars would then be given to "shippers," who would load them in shipping containers for shipment out of ports in New Jersey and New York to Africa, where some would fetch prices as high as $100,000 in countries including Togo and Sierra Leone. Hoffman said the scheme wasn't believed to have involved anyone at the ports, since the vehicles were loaded and provided with false documents off site before they were brought in.

Kids who used to steal cars for joyriding "have been replaced by a group of heartless, hardened bandits," Hoffman said. "We will not allow this threat to go unanswered and un-dealt with. We will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. They will get what they deserve."

Authorities are hoping that the prospect of long prison sentences will act as a deterrent to anyone considering car theft as a career option. Racketeering and money laundering carry maximum prison sentences of 10 to 20 years, with some portions of money laundering sentences running consecutively to sentences for other crimes.

Carjackings have risen dramatically in recent years in northern New Jersey, particularly in Newark and Essex County, leading to the formation of a task force of local, state and federal agencies in late 2010. A series of arrests put a dent in the crime wave, but the respite was temporary: In 2012, Essex County reported more than 400 carjackings, a 44 percent increase from 2010.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Gunmen block Ukrainian airports; Russia is blamed

KIEV, Ukraine — Russian military were blocking a Ukrainian military airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea near the Russian naval base while unidentified armed men were patrolling another airport serving the regional capital, Ukraine's new Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Friday.

No violence was reported, and flights continued to operate at the airport serving Simferopol, the regional capital. It was not immediately clear whether the airport in Sevastopol, owned by the Ukrainian defense ministry, was open but there are no scheduled services to the facility.

The Russian foreign ministry refused to comment while a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry also had no comment.

Avakov wrote in a Facebook post that the Belbek international airport in Sevastopol was blocked by military units of the Russian navy.

"I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation," Avakov said.

Ukraine's Parliament, meanwhile, adopted a resolution calling for a U.N. Security Council meeting on the nation's crisis and demanding that Russia halt steps which it says are aimed against Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Early on Friday, dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were seen patrolling the airport in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea.

At Simferopol airport, an Associated Press photographer saw military men armed with assault rifles Friday morning patrolling the airport. The men were wearing uniforms without any insignia. Most refused to talk to journalists. One of them, who identified himself only as Vladimir, said they were part of a "self-defense unit" that was making sure that no "fascists" would arrive from Kiev or elsewhere.

On Thursday, masked gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles seized the parliament and government offices in Simferopol and raised the Russian flag over the parliament building.

Ukrainian officials sharply denounced the move. Ukrainian police cordoned off the area, but didn't confront the gunmen.

The events in the Crimea region have heightened tensions with neighboring Russia. Moscow scrambled fighter jets on Thursday to patrol borders in the first stirrings of a potentially dangerous confrontation reminiscent of Cold War brinksmanship.

Russia also has granted shelter to Ukraine's fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovych, state media reported, after recent deadly protests in Kiev swept in a new government.

Yanukovych has a news conference scheduled Friday in Russia's south near the Ukrainian border. He has not been seen publicly since Saturday, and he declared Thursday in a statement that he remains Ukraine's legitimate president.

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday elected a new government led by a pro-Western technocrat who promptly pledged to prevent any national break-up.

Moscow has been sending mixed signals about Ukraine but pledged to respect its territorial integrity. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long dreamed of pulling Ukraine, a country of 46 million people considered the cradle of Russian civilization, closer into Moscow's orbit.

Ukraine's population is divided in loyalties between Russia and the West. Crimea, which was seized by Russian forces in the 18th century under Catherine the Great, was once the crown jewel in Russian and then Soviet empires.

It became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was a mere formality until the 1991 Soviet collapse meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.

In a bid to shore up Ukraine's fledgling administration, the International Monetary Fund has said it is "ready to respond" to Ukraine's bid for financial assistance. The European Union is also considering emergency loans for a country that is the chief conduit of Russian natural gas to western Europe.

Ukraine's finance ministry has said it needs $35 billion over the next two years to avoid default.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bratton bucking St. Patrick’s Day parade boycott

Police Commissioner William Bratton says he will march in the nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parade.

That will make him one of the few high-profile city officials to walk along Fifth Ave. on March 17.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Public Advocate Letitia James are among the city's elected officials who are boycotting.

They are refusing to march because of a parade rule prohibiting gay groups from carrying identifying signs. Other groups, such as colleges and civic organizations, can carry such signs.

Bratton, who's Irish-American, was asked if he was planning to march during an unrelated press conference in Manhattan on Thursday. He simply said "yes" and did not elaborate.

More than two million people are expected to attend the parade.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

North Korea fires missiles into South Korean waters

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 27 Februari 2014 | 20.49

North Korea fires missiles into South Korean waters | New York Post
  • Sign in / Register
  • or email tips@nypost.com

By Associated Press

February 27, 2014 | 8:11am

Modal Trigger

North Koreans attend a March, 2013 rally in support of Kim Jong-un's order to place missile units on standby in a possible war against the US and South Korea. Photo: Reuters

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea says North Korea has fired four suspected short-range missiles into its eastern waters.

A Defense Ministry official said North Korea fired four projectiles believed to be short-range missiles with a range of more than about 125 miles into the waters off its east coast. The official spoke anonymously citing department rules.

North Korea routinely conducts short-range missile tests but Thursday's launch came three days after South Korea and the US began their annual military drills which Pyongyang calls a rehearsal for invasion.

North Korea has recently eased tension by taking a series of conciliatory gestures toward South Korea.

With your existing account from...

{* loginWidget *}

With a traditional account...

{* #userInformationForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}{* traditionalSignIn_createButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

Welcome Back, {* welcomeName *}

{* loginWidget *}

Welcome back!

{* welcomeName *}

{* #userInformationForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

{* #registrationForm *} {* traditionalRegistration_emailAddress *} {* traditionalRegistration_password *} {* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirm *} {* traditionalRegistration_displayName *} {* traditionalRegistration_captcha *} {* traditionalRegistration_ageVerification *} By clicking "Create Account", you confirm that you accept our

terms of service

and have read and understand

privacy policy


{* /registrationForm *}

Don't worry, it happens. We'll send you a link to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}

{* /forgotPasswordForm *}

We've sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.

{* mergeAccounts *}

{* #tradAuthenticateMergeForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* mergePassword *}

{* /tradAuthenticateMergeForm *}

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Syrians pack streets for handouts as army reportedly kills 175 rebels

A photo of the desperate multitudes in Syria seeking food from UN workers emerged Wednesday, capturing the plight of refugees in the war-torn nation — even as government army troops reportedly killed 175 rebels in an ambush south of Damascus.

The dawn attack Wednesday by President Bashar al-Assad's forces targeted mostly al Qaeda-linked fighters in the opposition-held area of eastern Ghouta and likely will push rebel groups farther away from Damascus, Assad's seat of power.

The capital's suburbs have been opposition strongholds since March 2011, when the revolt against the ruling family began.

If the SANA news agency report is confirmed, it would be one of the deadliest attacks by government forces against rebels in the area.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Fleeing Ukrainian president under ‘protection’ in Russia

MOSCOW — Moscow on Wednesday granted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych protection "on the territory of Russia," shortly after the fugitive leader sought help from the Kremlin, according to an official quoted by Russian news agencies.

Meanwhile, a respected Russian news organization reported that Yanukovych was seen in a Moscow hotel and was now staying in a Kremlin sanatorium just outside the city.

"I have to ask Russia to ensure my personal safety from extremists," Yanukovych said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies on Thursday.

Shortly after, the same three Russian news agencies quoted an unnamed Russian official saying that Yanukovych's request for protection "was satisfied on the territory of Russia."

Yanukovych, who fled from Ukraine's capital Kiev last week, said in the Thursday statement that he still considers himself to be the legitimate leader.

"I, Viktor Fedorovich Yanukovich appeal to the people of Ukraine. As before I still consider myself to be the lawful head of the Ukrainian state, chosen freely by the will of the Ukrainian people.

"Now it is becoming clear that the people in southeastern Ukraine and in Crimea do not accept the power vacuum and complete lawlessness in the country, when the heads of ministries are appointed by the mob."

"I officially declare my intention to fight to the end for the implementation of important compromise agreements to bring Ukraine out of its deep political crisis."

RBK reported Wednesday evening that Yanukovych was staying at the Barvikha sanatorium, which is run by the presidential administration's property department. The spokesman for this department, Viktor Khrekov, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he has no information about this.

The RBK report was impossible to confirm, but security at the Ukraina Hotel was unusually heavy late Wednesday, with police watching from parked vehicles outside and guards posted throughout the lobby. Some of Yanukovych's allies, also reported to have been at the hotel, may have still been there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman also said he had no information about Yanukovych's reported arrival in Moscow.

RBK said the information came from one of Russia's wealthiest businessmen and was confirmed by a government official, neither of whom was identified. The article was under the byline of respected journalists, including RBK's editor in chief Elizaveta Osetinskaya, who has high-level contacts in Russian business circles.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Icahn wrangles support in eBay beef

It's still early, but Carl Icahn is already scoring points with governance pros in his battle with online retailer eBay, which he blasted again on Wednesday for its "dysfunctional" ways.

Governance experts told The Post that the billionaire investor has raised serious enough concerns regarding eBay directors Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook to warrant additional shareholder questions.

"Shareholders need to think really seriously about whether they should re-elect these directors to the board," said governance expert Paul Hodgson after reviewing this week's back-and-forth between eBay and Icahn.

Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is not up for re-election until next year. Still, Icahn is kicking up dirt as part of a push for new blood on the board.

Specifically, Icahn said Andreessen didn't do right by shareholders when eBay sold online voice company Skype in 2009.

Skype was sold to an investment group Andreessen had a stake in, and the group turned around and sold it to Microsoft 18 months later for $8.5 billion — or more than double the $3.3 billion eBay got in the deal.

The sheer magnitude of the proceeds "smells fishy" and should prompt eBay shareholders to demand more information on the deal process, Hodgson said.

For its part, eBay said Andreessen recused himself from the sale process, and that the offer by his investment group was the highest at the time.

Icahn also attacked fellow billionaire Cook, founder and director of Intuit, as conflicted because Intuit's payment-processing business is in competition with PayPal, which the activist is trying to get eBay to spin off.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ukraine government buildings seized by armed men

Armed men seized regional government headquarters and parliament in Ukraine's Crimea on Thursday and raised the Russian flag, alarming Kiev's new rulers, who urged Moscow not to abuse its navy base rights on the peninsula by moving troops around.

"I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet," said Olexander Turchinov, acting president since the removal of Viktor Yanukovich last weekend.

"Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be seen by us as military aggression," he said.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry also summoned Russia's acting envoy in Kiev for immediate consultations.

Crimea, the only Ukrainian region with an ethnic Russian majority, is the last big bastion of opposition to the new leadership in Kiev following Yanukovich's ouster and provides a base there for the Russian Black Sea fleet.

In Kiev, Ukraine's new rulers though pressed ahead with efforts to restore stability to the divided country, approving formation of a national coalition government with former economy minister Arseny Yatseniuk as its proposed head.

Yatseniuk told parliament that Yanukovich had driven the country to the brink of economic and political collapse.

And he warned of growing threats to the territorial integrity of Ukraine. "We must preserve the integrity of the Ukrainian state which will one day become a member of the European Union," he said.

Yanukovich said on Thursday he was still president of Ukraine and warned its "illegitimate" rulers that people in the southeastern and southern regions would never accept mob rule.

In a statement sent to Russian news agencies from an unknown location, Yanukovich railed against the "extremists" who had stolen power in Ukraine, threatened violence against himself and his closest aides and passed "illegal" laws.

Fears of escalation

As the drama unfolded in Crimea, there were mixed signals from Moscow, which put warplanes along its western borders on combat alert. Earlier it said it would take part in discussions on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial package for Ukraine.

Ukraine has said it needs $35 billion over the next two years to stave off bankruptcy. The fear of military escalation prompted expressions of concern from the West, with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urging Russia not to do anything that would "escalate tension or create misunderstanding".

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski called the seizure of government buildings in the Crimea a "very dangerous game".

"This is a drastic step, and I'm warning those who did this and those who allowed them to do this, because this is how regional conflicts begin," he told a news conference.

It was not immediately known who was occupying the buildings in the regional capital Simferopol and they issued no demands, but witnesses said they spoke Russian and appeared to be ethnic Russian separatists.

Interfax news agency quoted a witness as saying there were about 60 people inside and they had many weapons. It said no one had been hurt when the buildings were seized in the early hours by Russian speakers in uniforms that did not carry identification markings.

"We were building barricades in the night to protect parliament. Then this young Russian guy came up with a pistol … we all lay down, some more ran up, there was some shooting and around 50 went in through the window," Leonid Khazanov, an ethnic Russian, told Reuters.

"They're still there … Then the police came, they seemed scared. I asked them (the armed men) what they wanted, and they said 'To make our own decisions, not to have Kiev telling us what to do'," said Khazanov.

About 100 police were gathered in front of the parliament building, and a similar number of people carrying Russian flags later marched up to the building chanting "Russia, Russia" and holding a sign calling for a Crimean referendum.

One of them, Alexei, 30, said: "We have our own constitution, Crimea is autonomous. The government in Kiev are fascists, and what they're doing is illegal … We need to show our support for the guys inside (parliament). Power should be ours."

About 50 pro-Russia supporters who came in from the port of Sevastopol, where part of Russia's Black Sea navy is based, lined up shoulder-to-shoulder facing police lines in front of parliament in Simferopol.

Gennady Basov, their leader, said: "We need to organize ourselves like this to maintain order while this illegal and unconstitutional government operates in Kiev.

"I can't comment on the people in control of the parliament here. I don't know who they are."

Ukraine's new leaders have been voicing alarm over signs of separatism there. The seizure of the building was confirmed by acting interior minister Arsen Avakov, who said the attackers had automatic weapons and machine guns.

"Provocateurs are on the march. It is the time for cool heads," he said on Facebook.

Turchinov, speaking in Kiev to parliament which had been called to name the new government, described the attackers as "criminals in military fatigues with automatic weapons".

He called on Moscow not to violate the terms of the agreement that gives them naval basing rights at Sevastopol until 2042.

The regional prime minister said he had spoken to the people inside the building by telephone, but they had not made any demands or said why they were inside. They had promised to call him back but had not done so, he said.

Russian warnings

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ignored calls by some ethnic Russians in Crimea to reclaim the territory handed to then Soviet Ukraine by Soviet Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.

The United States says any Russian military action would be a grave mistake.

But Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement that Moscow would defend the rights of its compatriots and react without compromise to any violation of those rights.

It expressed concern about "large-scale human rights violations", attacks and vandalism in the former Soviet republic.

Ethnic Tatars who support Ukraine's new leaders and pro-Russia separatists had confronted each other outside the regional parliament on Wednesday.

Yanukovich was toppled after three months of unrest led by protesters in Kiev. He is now on the run and being sought by the new authorities for murder in connection with the deaths of around 100 people during the conflict.

Crimea is the only region of Ukraine where ethnic Russians are the majority, though many ethnic Ukrainians in other eastern areas speak Russian as their first language.

The Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group, were victimized by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in World War Two and deported en masse to Soviet Central Asia in 1944 on suspicion of collaborating with Nazi Germany.

Tens of thousands of them returned to their homeland after Ukraine gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

HBO’s ‘Looking’ to return for second season

HBO has renewed "Looking" for a second season.

The half-hour series, about a trio of gay friends living in San Francisco, stars Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett.

"Looking" premiered to soft ratings in January, but grew to a series-high 519,000 viewers for its most recent episode, which aired Sunday at 10:30 p.m.

With the pick-up, three cast members — Lauren Weedman, Raul Castillo and Russell Tovey— will be bumped up to series regulars in Season Two.

Production begins later this year in San Francisco.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Fargo’ adds comedy-duo Key & Peele

FX's upcoming "Fargo" adaptation is set to get a bit funnier with the addition of comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.

The stars of Comedy Central's "Key & Peele" have been cast as FBI agents Webb Pepper and Bill Budge, obsessed with tracking down drifter Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton). The duo will appear in the final four episodes of the 10-episode limited series, which premieres April 15 on FX and is based on the Coen Brothers' Oscar-winning film (but tells a new true-crime story with new characters).

In addition to Thornton, the series stars Martin Freeman ("Sherlock"), Bob Odenkirk ("Breaking Bad") and Kate Walsh ("Private Practice").

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Actress Taraji P. Henson joins Fox drama ‘Empire’

'Person of Interest" alum Taraji P. Henson has found her next TV role.

Henson has been cast as the female lead in the Fox drama pilot "Empire" from "The Butler" director/writer team of Lee Daniels and Danny Strong.

The role reunites her with her "Hustle & Flow" co-star Terrence Howard, who stars as record label head Lucious Lyon in the family drama set in the hip-hop world.

She will play Cookie Lyon, his ex-wife and former business partner who has just been released from jail after serving 17 years for dealing drugs and is out to get what's hers for helping build her husband's music empire.

Henson's "Person of Interest" character was shockingly killed off earlier this season. She was an Oscar nominee for her role in 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Non-Stop’ is one thriller that never takes off

All the tedium of an endless trans-Atlantic flight gets packed into the 105 minutes of "Non-Stop,'' a preposterous "thriller'' providing Oscar winner-turned action star Liam Neeson with his latest paycheck job.

Roughly 80 percent of this snoozer consists of Neeson, as alcoholic federal air marshal Bill Marks, trading less-than-scintillating text messages ("WHO ARE YOU?'' "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?'') with an unknown culprit — who threatens to start killing passengers unless $150 million is transferred into an offshore account.

Among the many nonsensical twists are that the account turns out to be in Marks' name, and our hero is tricked into killing another sky marshal traveling onboard for no seemingly plausible reason except that the screenwriters needed this to happen.

So at the same time Marks is madly texting and checking passengers' cellphones for the other end of his conversation, he's being relieved of duty by a superior on the ground who believes Marks has hijacked the JFK-to-London flight — even though the idea of Marks knowingly providing an incriminating bank account in his own name beggars the imagination.

A crew member, who's foaming at the mouth, dies while Marks is roughing up a number of passengers who serve as red herrings, including a somewhat bored-looking Julianne Moore, the film's female lead, as well as the burly Corey Stoll from "House of Cards.''

Liam Neeson and Michelle Dockery in "Non-Stop."Photo: Myles Aronowitz/Universal Pictures

But the framed Marks, who has an on-and-off alliance with the chief flight attendant (Michelle Dockery of "Downtown Abbey,'' looking sharp in a thankless role) still manages to take control, even when he isn't waving a service revolver around the cabin (not recommended behavior).

At one especially hilarious point, Marks commands rebellious passengers to sit down by promising them a year's worth of free trans-Atlantic flights.

After all, this is an airline where they somehow can watch Pat Kiernan's breathless live report from NY1 on Marks' seemingly criminal behavior in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

And this is the kind of movie where, when the villain is finally unmasked, the culprit's motives make no sense whatsoever. At least to me. Feel free to text if you manage to figure this out.

Heck, the writers can't even decide whether air marshals need to go through TSA screening or not at the airport. But they haven't miss a cliché, including the little girl flying unaccompanied on her first flight and the Arab-looking gentleman who turns out to be heroic.

Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in "Non-Stop."Photo: Myles Aronowitz/Universal Pictures

Oh, and the concerned-looking black flight attendant — played by Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave''), who has maybe half a dozen lines of dialogue altogether.

There is relatively little action — at least until the endless text messages finally give way to an equally hoary plot device beloved by hack writers of contemporary thrillers, the bomb with a digital readout.

I'm not giving away anything that isn't in a trailer that reveals a whole lot more — including just how cheesy the special effects are in the laughable climactic sequence, which defies the laws of logic as well as physics.

Even Neeson's acting chops can't make a silk purse out of this sow's ear, whose particulars make little sense even in a fantasy context. And his character's back story, which includes a dead child and being fired from the NYPD at an age when he should be retired, doesn't help.

Neeson receives little help from Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, who did better by the star in the plausibility-challenged but far more exciting "Unknown.''

"Non-Stop'' could be dismissed off as just another witless aerial thriller if there weren't numerous tasteless references to 9/11 — including threats to shoot the jetliner down over Iceland and a runaway beverage cart straight out of "United 93.''

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Russian warship in Cuban port while troops train near Ukraine border

In a pair of brazen moves that resembled 1960s Cold War tactics, a Russian warship cruised into a Cuban port Wednesday as President Vladimir Putin massed troops near his country's border with Ukraine.

The Viktor Leonov, an armed Vishnya-class intelligence-gathering ship, was mysteriously docked at the Port of Havana's cruise-ship area.

The warcraft, which has a crew of around 200, is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
Neither Cuban authorities nor state media were speaking about the ship's sudden visit.

The former Soviet Union was Cuba's sponsor state through three decades of Cold War, and the warship's visit comes as Havana's political patron, Venezuela, is facing protests against its socialist government.

Meanwhile, Putin ordered an urgent drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces across western Russia, bordering Ukraine.

Putin has made no public comment on Ukraine since President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power over the weekend after months of political turmoil sparked by his decision to spurn deals with the European Union and improve ties with Russia.

The United States and European nations have warned Russia against military intervention in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that Putin has called a "brother nation."

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pre-school obesity rates are dropping: study

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 26 Februari 2014 | 20.49

ATLANTA — Toddler obesity shrank sharply in the past decade, a new study suggests. While promising, it's not proof that the nation has turned a corner in the battle against childhood obesity, some experts say.

The finding comes from a government study considered a gold-standard gauge of trends in the public's health. The researchers found that obesity among children ages 2 to 5 decreased — to 8 percent, from 14 percent a decade ago. That would represent a 43 percent drop.

But the only decline was seen in preschoolers, not in older children. And some experts note that even the improvement in toddlers wasn't a steady decline, and say it's hard to know yet whether preschooler weight figures are permanently curving down or merely jumping around.

It is enough of a decline to be optimistic, said Cynthia Ogden, one of the study's authors.

"There's a glimmer of hope," said Ogden, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report was published online Tuesday in the Journal of thecs American Medical Association.

Health officials have long been hoping for more substantial evidence that they've turned a corner in the fight against childhood obesity.

Obesity is seen as one of the nation's leading public health problems — health officials call it a longstanding epidemic. A third of U.S. children and teens and more than two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.

Officials are particularly worried about the problem in young children. Preschoolers who are overweight or obese are five times more likely than other children to be heavy as adults, which means greater risks of high cholesterol, high blood sugar, asthma and even mental health problems.

After decades on the rise, childhood obesity rates recently have been flat. But a few places — including New York City and Mississippi — reported improvements in the last couple of years. Seattle joined that list last week, with a report of recently declining obesity in older school children in low-income school districts.

More broadly, health officials last year reported at least slight drops in obesity for low-income preschoolers in 18 states. But they mainly were children enrolled in the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides food vouchers and other services. Experts attributed the improvement to WIC policy changes in 2009 that eliminated juice from infant food packages, provided less saturated fat, and made it easier to buy fruits and vegetables.

The new study is a national survey of about 9,100 people — including nearly 600 infants and toddlers — in 2011-2012, in which participants were not only interviewed but weighed and measured. The results were compared to four similar surveys that stretched back to 2003.

"I think it's fair to say that (this study) is probably the best source of data we have on whether the prevalence of obesity is increasing with time," said Dr. Robert C. Whitaker, a Temple University expert of childhood obesity.

The main finding was that, overall, both adult and childhood obesity rates have held flat in the past decade. And there were no significant changes in most age groups.

But there were two exceptions: For some reason experts aren't sure about, the obesity rate in women age 60 and older rose from 31.5 percent to more than 38 percent. And the preschool obesity rate dropped.

Some health leaders in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta celebrated the latter finding. They say it's an early sign of a pay-off from campaigns to increase breastfeeding rates and cut consumption of sodas and other sugary beverages. First lady Michelle Obama issued a statement that her 'Let's Move!' initiative — which promotes youth exercise and good nutrition — is causing healthier habits "to become the new norm."

Some experts were more cautious about the results.

The preschooler obesity numbers fell from 14 percent in 2003-2004 to 10 percent in 2007-2008, then jumped to 12 in 2009-2010, then slipped to 8 in the most recent survey.

So it seems to have been jumping around a little. "We're going to need more" years of data to see if the apparent trend is really nosing downward, said John Jakicic, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center.

Some wondered whether it makes sense that preschoolers would be the ones leading a downward trend in childhood obesity. For years, most childhood anti-obesity initiatives were older-kid efforts removing soda vending machines from schools and increasing physical education.

Apart from the WIC policy change, there's been less of a push regarding preschoolers. "Relative to older children, less has been done" to fight obesity in toddlers, Whitaker said.

Lingering questions aside, Jakicic said he was still glad to see the numbers. "I think we should be excited it's not getting worse," he said.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bieber’s guard, driver stole photog’s camera: cops

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A security guard and driver for pop singer Justin Bieber have been arrested near Atlanta and charged with stealing a photographer's camera.

Sandy Springs, Ga., Police Capt. Steve Rose said in a statement that Bieber was at an entertainment complex north of the Georgia capital Tuesday evening when 32-year-old bodyguard Hugo Hesny got into a confrontation with a photographer who he said had gotten too close to the singer.

Rose said Hesny and 49-year-old driver Terrance Johnson followed the photographer to a parking lot and took his camera.

He said the two were caught as they were pulling up to a house Bieber is renting in the area. Rose said Bieber was not involved and the camera has been recovered.

It was not known if Hesny and Johnson had attorneys.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

New Yorkers favor letting cities boost local minimum wage

ALBANY — A new statewide poll shows a large majority of New Yorkers support giving municipalities authority to raise the minimum wage locally, something Gov. Cuomo opposes.

The Siena College poll, released Tuesday, showed 85 percent support among Democrats, 48 percent among Republicans and 74 percent among independents.

Mayor de Blasio has requested state permission to set New York City's wage "consistent with the needs of working people in the five boroughs."

The statewide minimum rises to $8 starting this year, which is 75 cents above the federal minimum. It will increase to $8.75 an hour at the end of 2014 and to $9 an hour at the end of 2015.

In a radio interview hours after the poll was released, Cuomo said that letting municipalities raise their base wage could lead to destructive competition "to lure the employees or the employers right from the other side of the border."

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Is this Beyonce’s sexiest video? (Hint: Yes it is)

Is this Beyonce's sexiest video? (Hint: Yes it is) | New York Post
  • Sign in / Register
  • or email tips@nypost.com

By Shoba Rao, News.com.au

February 26, 2014 | 8:20am

If you thought Beyonce and Jay-Z's opening number at the Grammy's was hot — think again.

The bootylicious global superstar has taken sexy to a whole new level with her music video for her song "Partition," which was released on YouTube Tuesday.

The video features her wearing a white robe before she strips down and her husband Jay-Z also features in the video.

Queen Bey is first seen trying to get Jay-Z interested in her at the breakfast table before appearing in red stilettos and a trench coat that conveniently reveals her lacy-lingerie and suspender belt.

We won't spoil the rest, but be warned – the video is not for the faint-hearted.

This article originally appeared on News.com.au.

With your existing account from...

{* loginWidget *}

With a traditional account...

{* #userInformationForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}{* traditionalSignIn_createButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

Welcome Back, {* welcomeName *}

{* loginWidget *}

Welcome back!

{* welcomeName *}

{* #userInformationForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

{* #registrationForm *} {* traditionalRegistration_emailAddress *} {* traditionalRegistration_password *} {* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirm *} {* traditionalRegistration_displayName *} {* traditionalRegistration_captcha *} {* traditionalRegistration_ageVerification *} By clicking "Create Account", you confirm that you accept our

terms of service

and have read and understand

privacy policy


{* /registrationForm *}

Don't worry, it happens. We'll send you a link to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}

{* /forgotPasswordForm *}

We've sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.

{* mergeAccounts *}

{* #tradAuthenticateMergeForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* mergePassword *}

{* /tradAuthenticateMergeForm *}

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

Target’s profits down 46% after data-breach

Target Corp says the massive data breach over the holidays helped push its profit down 46 percent.

The discount retailer said Wednesday that sales fell 5.3 percent as the breach scared off customers.

Target says it earned $520 million, or 81 cents per share, for the three months that ended Feb. 1. That compares with a profit of $961 million, or $1.47 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $21.5 billion from $22.7 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 2.5 percent.

Analysts had expected a profit of 80 cents on revenue of $21.5 billion, according to FactSet.

The company also offered a profit outlook for the current quarter that is below Wall Street estimates.

20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

All that jazz and good food meet at Minton’s Harlem revival

A surprised look stole over my guest at Minton's when the house jazz sextet launched into the opening chords of the night's closing number.

" 'Rikki Don't Lose That Number'?" she puzzled. In the ancestral house of bebop? Before I could alert her not to expect Steely Dan, the crew had proceeded to the rest of Horace Silver's earlier "Song for My Father," from which Donald Fagen borrowed the bass riffs.

It's a famous tangent point between jazz and rock. Saucy new supper club Minton's marks a tangent point in the perception of Harlem's history — a lone spot on the map where 2014 peers wistfully back on a distant golden age. It's a triumph for its owner, media and banking mogul Richard Parsons, who made an impossible dream real.

While Parsons' less expensive, next-door restaurant The Cecil has been widely praised, Minton's might turn off those who resent Harlem's "Disneyfication" or regard Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane as quaintly as techno fans look upon doo-wop.

To those who think Harlem is "edgy," or should be, the new Minton's can seem almost square. It occupies the site of Minton's Playhouse, which in its 1940s and '50s heyday was a seminal birthplace of bop and hard bop. It closed in the early '70s and mostly stayed that way until now.

Music that once was revolutionary can today seem no more cutting-edge than old Broadway — and nitpickers might find a ­Lowcountry-inspired menu too suavely comforting. But even they should be enchanted by the long, pretty, narrow room graced by white tablecloths and nightclub-style golden chairs and banquettes. Customers cheerfully dress up, thanks to a jackets-required rule for men.

Walls are hung with fabrics and vintage jazz-artist photos. In the rear behind the bandstand reposes the only surviving part of the old Minton's: a radiantly restored, 1948 mural by Charles Graham of jazzmen playing astride a slumped-over Billie Holiday.

The wonderful live musicians, several of whom played here 50 years ago, go all night except for a break or two. Acoustics are so finely balanced, you hear every note even over conversation that well-drilled waiters know when, and when not, to interrupt.

Amazingly, there's no cover charge. A la carte prices (apps $18 to $26, soups/salads $14 to $18, and entrees $25 to $46) are peanuts for a meal serenaded (if that's the word for the occasional prolonged drum solo) by a sound increasingly rare in Manhattan.

The menu by executive chef Alexander Smalls and chef de cuisine Banks White is just as well calibrated — a well-executed romp through "Southern revival." Not quite three-star, it merges with the music into a three-star night.

One night, a smiling Ivanka Trump popped up from her seat to photograph the raging sextet. I was tempted myself, but my culinary responsibilities glued me to the table — as did starters like North African-spiced grilled shrimp and sherry-tinted she-crab soup given a ­skillet-cornbread crackle. (Pass up an oddly uninspired sampler plate.)

Dreamy cheese grits rivaled Charleston's finest. Hoppin' John pilau blissfully marries Carolina brown rice to tasso ham, mascarpone cheese and black-eyed peas.

Mildly African-inflected Southern riffs work especially well with fish. Among them: crisp-skinned brook trout fortified with cured bacon and lilted with gullah peanut sauce. Soon, soft-shell crabs, please!

On an early visit, deconstructed vanilla pound cake tasted like a burnt cigar after a waiter failed to ignite rum sauce with a lighter.

But pastry chef Mame Sow's confections, like pineapple upside-down cake, now make a proper closing note to this seductively sweet, 21st-century Harlem nocturne.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Warren: Terrorism Risk Insurance Act program a ‘giveaway’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) startled fellow lawmakers on Tuesday by describing a commercial real estate terrorism risk insurance program as a "giveaway."

The program, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA, enacted a year after 9/11, has American taxpayers back-stopping private insurance companies in the event of terrorist attacks.

To make a claim under TRIA after such an attack, the insurer would first pay a deductible.

Warren wondered why the insurers, under TRIA's public/private partnership, didn't pay a modest fee up front.

Many in New York's commercial real estate market rely on terrorism insurance.

The legislation expires Dec. 31 and Tuesday's hearing was about extending TRIA.

"In other forms of insurance, you pay a fee up front," Warren said. "Under TRIA, the government doesn't get any fee up front."

Douglas Elliott, president of The Hartford, speaking on behalf of an industry group, said policies would have to be repriced if an up-front payment was required.

"So in other words, this is just a giveaway program from [taxpayers] that you are not pricing for now," Warren said, explaining that insurers held nothing in reserves for possible TRIA payments to the Government. "[This] raises for me some serious questions about TRIA."

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Aaron Hernandez beat up inmate: report

Disgraced former NFL star Aaron Hernandez beat up a fellow inmate who had been harassing him, according to a report.

The former Patriots tight end pummeled the man in a hallway Tuesday after being briefly let out of solitary confinement, according to TMZ.

The one-time Pro Bowler is secluded from the general population at the Bristol County Jail for his own safety.

The dustup left Hernandez's rival badly beaten, the Web site said.

Hernandez has been charged with murder for allegedly gunning down his semipro football-player buddy, Odin Lloyd, last June.

The alleged jail beatdown came days after it was revealed that Hernandez was caught on surveillance video dancing and apparently high on drugs the night that Lloyd was killed.

Hernandez is seen on the tape at a North Attleborough gas station just minutes before he picked up Lloyd in a rented SUV, according to the Daily Mail.

The increasingly paranoid Hernandez was a heavy user of marijuana and angel dust, the paper said.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the case.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

World Trade Center’s PATH station reopens

World Trade Center's PATH station reopens | New York Post
  • Sign in / Register
  • or email tips@nypost.com

By Post Staff Report

February 26, 2014 | 5:59am

Modal Trigger

A PATH train passes the slurry wall as it enters the newly-opened section of the World Trade Center PATH station, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in New York. Photo: AP

A vestige of the original World Trade Center still graces the brand-new PATH train platform that opened Tuesday.

The original slurry wall continues to be used to keep water out of the tunnel and station.

Platform A is the first element of the new PATH station, which will be opened in stages through 2015 and features new lighting, speakers, illuminated signs, escalators and elevators.

Modal Trigger

People walk through a hallway that gives access to a new platform for the New Jersey PATH Train at the World Trade Center, on February 25, 2014

Getty Images

People walk to a new platform for the New Jersey PATH Train during its unveiling at the World Trade Center, on February 25, 2014

Getty Images

A rider on the PATH train looks out the door at the newly-opened platform at the PATH station at the World Trade Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014


The first PATH train arrives at the opening of a new platform for the New Jersey PATH Train at the World Trade Center, on February 25, 2014

Getty Images

A new platform for the New Jersey PATH Train is seen during its unveiling at the World Trade Center, on February 25, 2014

Getty Images

A woman rides an escalator down to a new platform for the New Jersey PATH Train at the World Trade Center, on February 25, 2014

Getty Images

Steve Plate, World Trade Center construction director, speaks at the opening of a new platform for the New Jersey PATH Train at the World Trade Center, on February 25, 2014

Getty Images

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony 29 Photos

Russia celebrated 17 days of sport-driven global unity on Sunday...

The day in photos 16 Photos

Parades in Spain, the Sochi closing ceremony and the aftermath...

Celebrities flaunt hot bikini bods 13 Photos

Leave winter behind and get ready to suit up for...

Protesters take over Ukrainian president's vacation palace 20 Photos

Protesters took over  Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya....

Roberto Cavalli sets runway on fire 23 Photos

Roberto Cavalli turned up the temperature on Milan Fashion Week...

The day in photos 19 Photos

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, NASCAR crash, Indonesian Fashion Week, Carnival...

Doctor horses around house 24 Photos

Nasar, an Arabian horse, has been living in and out...

The day in photos 21 Photos

The 2014 Winter Olympics, Ukrainian and Thai protests, Pope Francis,...

'Sharknado 2' films in New York 9 Photos

The sequel to the Internet's favorite B-movie of last year...

The day in photos 18 Photos

Protests in the Ukraine, Venezuela and Thailand; the 2014 Winter Olympics;...

Bitter weather leaves majestic ice caves 15 Photos

Frozen rock faces and ice caves have formed along the...

Violent protests erupt in Kiev 107 Photos

Defiant protesters faced off against riot police in the Ukrainian...

With your existing account from...

{* loginWidget *}

With a traditional account...

{* #userInformationForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}{* traditionalSignIn_createButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

Welcome Back, {* welcomeName *}

{* loginWidget *}

Welcome back!

{* welcomeName *}

{* #userInformationForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* traditionalSignIn_password *}

{* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *}

{* /userInformationForm *}

{* #registrationForm *} {* traditionalRegistration_emailAddress *} {* traditionalRegistration_password *} {* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirm *} {* traditionalRegistration_displayName *} {* traditionalRegistration_captcha *} {* traditionalRegistration_ageVerification *} By clicking "Create Account", you confirm that you accept our

terms of service

and have read and understand

privacy policy


{* /registrationForm *}

Don't worry, it happens. We'll send you a link to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *}

{* /forgotPasswordForm *}

We've sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.

{* mergeAccounts *}

{* #tradAuthenticateMergeForm *} {* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *} {* mergePassword *}

{* /tradAuthenticateMergeForm *}

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

State might give $500K to program accused of misusing $200K

The state is preparing to award a half-million-dollar grant to an after-school program that government auditors accused of misusing nearly $200,000 in public funds.

SCO Family of Services, an extended school day provider, collected $194,320 in expenses from the Education Department that were unrelated to its programs, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Auditors said the Long Island-based provider misspent $90,348 to pay staff who worked when the program was not running, $3,173 for an adult aerobics class, and $2,670 on disc-jockey services.

DiNapoli faulted SCO for not adequately monitoring two contracts.

An SCO spokeswoman said the organization is taking the audit "very seriously."

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Teen planned to sell Guy Fieri’s stolen Lamborghini

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 01 Februari 2014 | 20.50

A Northern California teenager convicted of stealing celebrity chef Guy Fieri's Lamborghini planned to sell the car and also commit a jewelry heist, according to court documents.

Investigators found a sales contract for the Lamborghini in a locker Max Wade kept, according to a Marin County probation report released this week. Wade told probation officers he stole the car after rappelling from the roof of a San Francisco car dealership in March 2011.

The contract indicated that the 19-year-old planned to sell the car for $201,500 by shipping it to a dealership in the Dominican Republic.

In addition, the contract carried the signature of Wade's alias, "Carmine Leone Colombo," an apparent reference to the New York mob family, said a probation report prepared before Wade was sentenced to life in prison Jan. 23.

A Marin County jury convicted Wade in October of attempted murder for a 2012 drive-by shooting targeting a man who was dating a girl he liked, the auto theft and other crimes. Wade was charged as an adult, though he was under 18 when he committed the crimes.

Wade's probation report said he had a detailed plan to rob a popular San Francisco jewelry store. He recorded the values of certain jewelry, along with names, titles and photographs of store employees, and details about alarms and cameras, the report said.

He also specified what equipment might be needed in the apparent heist, including police uniforms, body armor, an Uzi firearm and a helicopter.

The probation report includes Wade's criminal history dating back to age 13. His string of crimes included breaking into a house to throw a party and an assault against his mother.

"The defendant appeared to be a very sophisticated young man," the report said. "It is unfortunate that he spent his intelligence and time on plotting criminal activities."

Wade was transferred to San Quentin State Prison on Thursday. Authorities were still deciding where he will serve the bulk of his sentence.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Your cheat sheet to the Super Bowl’s biggest talking points


Owner — Paul Allen of Microsoft fame

Russell WilsonPhoto: Getty Images

Russell Wilson — Quarterback

He may be the QB for the Seattle Seahawks, but he was drafted to play baseball for the Colorado Rockies in 2010. The gorgeous gunslinger stuck with football. And Seattle, where the 25-year-old is a weekly visitor to the Children's Hospital, is happy to have him. Aw.

Richard ShermanPhoto: AP

Richard Sherman — Cornerback

After cementing his team's Super Bowl spot with a game-saving play against San Francisco, Sherman went ballistic during a post-game interview with Erin Andrews. "I'm the best corner in the game," the 25-year-old yelled while talking trash about the 49ers' Michael Crabtree. The Stanford grad's tirade sparked a fury on Twitter. And he has been the object of intrigue ever since.

Marshawn Lynch — Running back

Some athletes eat Wheaties, but Lynch, 27, eats Skittles on the sideline. The candy munching became such a craze that Lynch, who is nicknamed "Beast Mode," signed a deal with Skittles on Tuesday. His nickname has also inspired a very strong variety of legal marijuana.

Pete Carroll — Head coach

Coming to the Meadowlands will be a homecoming for Carroll, who coached the Jets in 1994. The 62-year-old is also a prolific chewer of gum on the sideline.

Seahawks mascot Blitz

Mascots — Blitz is the cuddly mascot who enjoys "reading, fitness and birdwatching."

Taima the hawk is the not-so-cuddly real hawk with a wingspan of 4½ feet. Ironically, Taima means "thunder," which is the name of the Broncos mascot.

Fans — The 12th Man

Seattle's home-field advantage at CenturyLink Field is legendary because of the roar from the crowd. The noise is so effective it's known as the 12th Man (there are 11 players on the field).


Owner — Pat Bowlen

Patron saint — Legendary Denver quarterback and current team executive John Elway

Peyton ManningPhoto: AP

Peyton Manning — Quarterback

One of greatest quarterbacks of all time, as well as brother to Giants QB Eli and son of Saints QB Archie, the 37-year-old also starred in one of the greatest "SNL" digital shorts ever and had his hip-hop debut in this year's fantastic "Football on Your Phone" DirecTV commercial.

Knowshon Moreno — Running back

Knowshon MorenoPhoto: AP

Both teams are in different time zones, but Moreno is all local time: The 26-year-old hails from Belford, near the Jersey Shore. His unusual name is a portmanteau of his father's nickname, Knowledge, and his mother's name, Varashon. During the playoff game against Kansas City, Moreno was caught crying during the national anthem, which led to Twitter accounts for, and YouTube montages of, his waterworks.

Wes Welker — Wide receiver

Welker, 32, is easy on the eyes, but his wife, former Hooters model Anna Burns Welker, is also worth watching. She took to Facebook to trash-talk now-retired Ray Lewis after her hubby's former team, the Patriots, lost to Lewis' Ravens. "Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis' Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!" She later apologized.

Eric Decker — Wide receiver

Welker isn't the only Bronco with a Wag to brag about. Decker, 26, another handsome wide receiver, is married to country crooner Jessie James, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.

John Fox — Head coach

No one has triumphed over adversity more than Denver's coach. This November, Fox had a health scare while on a Charlotte golf course. The 58-year-old father of four was suffering from an aortic stenosis, which he described as being like suffocating. Fox had successful surgery and was back after four games.

Miles, the Broncos mascotPhoto: Getty Images

Mascots — Miles is the cuddly mascot.

Thunder is the white Arabian gelding, who will be leading the team onto the field Sunday. Every time the Broncos score, he'll run across the end zone.

Fans — Denver's superfan is Andrew Young, a k a rapper TheMadFanatic, whose music dedicated to the Broncos includes songs like "Orange Crush" and "Mile High Magic."

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Heart attack causes fatal crash in Brooklyn

Modal Trigger

A man died after he suffered a heart attack behind the wheel of this van, which slammed into a delivery truck in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Friday. Photo: Paul Martinka

A livery cab driver was killed when he had a heart attack and crashed into a double-parked truck Friday in Brooklyn, cops said.

Elin Medar, 37, was driving down East 100th Street near Foster Avenue in Canarsie at about 1:40 p.m. when he suffered the attack, lost control of the cab, and slammed into the unoccupied delivery truck, cops said.

Medar was rushed to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

No criminality is suspected and the investigation is ongoing, cops said.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

No immunity for ‘visa lie’ Indian diplomat

The feds said Friday an Indian diplomat who was strip-searched when she was busted on charges that she lied to get a work visa for her housekeeper isn't covered by diplomatic immunity.

Prosecutors said in papers filed in Manhattan federal court that since Devyani Khobragade is no longer in the US she's not immune from prosecution.

The court papers also argue the immunity she would have enjoyed at the consular level wouldn't protect her from the charges in this case.

Khobragade — the deputy consul general in New York — complied with a State Department order to leave the country earlier this month following her indictment.

Her lawyer has filed court papers asking that all charges and arrest warrants be dismissed

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Foul play: Woman tries to ‘poison husband’ with feces IV drip

A woman has been charged with attempting to murder her husband by putting feces into his IV drip as he recovered from surgery.

Rosemary Vogel's husband, 66, was in a critical condition after heart surgery when she allegedly injected the feces into his IV line at Chandler Regional Medical Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Police told KTVK-TV that hospital staff were alerted when a warning alarm went off and allegedly saw Vogel, 65, fiddling with her husband's IV.

A nurse saw that the IV line contained a brown matter and immediately removed it from her husband's arm.

Chandler Police Sergeant Joe Favazzo said that Vogel then attempted to drain the fluid from the line into a wastebasket and a nurse intervened.

Vogel's purse was searched and three syringes were found inside. Two filled with fluid and a third filled with human waste, Sgt Favazzo said.

Tests on the substance in her husband's IV line determined it was feces.

"This is the first that I've heard where fecal matter has been injected into an IV system," Sgt. Favazzo told KTVK.

Vogel's husband was expected to survive the alleged murder attempt.

"He's in his recovery process not only from his medical procedure, but from this attempt on his life," Sgt Favazzo said.

Vogel was arrested and is in custody pending a $100,000 bond. She is charged with attempted murder and vulnerable adult abuse.

This story appeared on News.com.au.

20.50 | 0 komentar | Read More

Not on board: Nets snag record-low 17 rebounds

There were plenty of lows for the Nets in Friday night's 120-95 drubbing to the Thunder inside Barclays Center, but none were lower than their rebound total.

The Nets finished with just 17 rebounds — a new NBA record low — in Friday's loss, after allowing Oklahoma City to shoot 63.6 percent (49-for-77) from the field, as well as letting the Thunder corral 10 offensive rebounds.

"A lot of makes on their end," Shaun Livingston said with a sheepish smile when asked about the rebounding woes. "When the ball's going through the basket a lot … that's a lot of possessions to give to a team that's playing the way they're playing and shooting the way they're shooting. They're playing at a high level. Guys are making shots, guys are feeling good all the way down to the fifth, sixth, seventh options."

When the Nets were struggling earlier in the season, they often would fall victim to letting their struggles on offense bring their defense down.

That's exactly what happened Friday night, as the combination of the Thunder pouring shots in from everywhere in the first quarter — Oklahoma City finished the quarter 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) from the field — and the Nets having several wide-open looks rim out helped the Thunder close the quarter on a 13-0 run to take a 30-16 lead.

The game never was close after that.

"The offense can't dictate defense, but sometimes it does," Kevin Garnett said. "But whatever we do, we have to get back on the horse we were once on, get back to being consistent, playing with each other, and sharing the ball."

Andrei Kirilenko sat out with a sore right calf, and Nets coach Jason Kidd said he would be re-evaluated before Saturday's game against the Pacers in Indianapolis.

Andray Blatche, meanwhile, left the game with a bruised left hip after scoring seven points in 15 minutes.

Kidd said he didn't have an update on Blatche's condition after the game, while Blatche — who was limping in the locker room — told reporters he was going to travel with the team to Indianapolis for Saturday night's game against the Pacers, but didn't know if he would be able to play.

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

This Super Bowl party the ultimate in good taste

The list of parties and galas associated with Super Bowl week is endless. Most of them are who's-who events of almost wasteful excess. But none is more important than the annual "Taste of the NFL'' event that, in the 22 years since its inception, has raised more than $14 million for food banks at each of the Super Bowl cities.

This is why it is called "the party with a purpose.''

It is the brainchild of a former Minneapolis restaurant owner named Wayne Kostroski, who was trying to figure out what people were going to do with their spare time the year the Super Bowl was in Minnesota in 1992, with no outdoor recreation options such as golf.

So he reached out to his fellow restaurant owners and chefs around the country and came up with the idea to have one chef from each NFL city represent a team and serve one of their signature dishes. With each restaurant chef is a current or former player from each corresponding team.

The restaurant owners and chefs donated their time and food. Tickets for the original event went for $75 and all money raised went to local food banks. The first event had 1,000 attendees and was sold out in a week. The event now hosts about 3,000 people at $750 per ticket.

This year's event, which is taking place Saturday at Brooklyn Terminal, is expected to bring in $1 million, which is enough to provide 8 million meals for those in need. Proceeds from this year's event will benefit the Food Bank for New York City, Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger.

"The hip scene in Brooklyn is exactly what we need,'' Kostroski said. "To make this work, we've got to bring the kind of fresh and youthfulness into this event after 22 years. And I can't think of a better place to do it than Brooklyn, but, I mean, you ask anybody on the street and they'll tell you for 20 minutes why they're proud to be there.''

Drew Nieporent, the owner of Nobu and Tribeca Grill in Manhattan among others, has been one of Kostroski's chefs for more than a decade. He called the 22 years of Taste of the NFL "a great ride.''

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Johnnies on the spot as calendar turns to February

The calendar has turned once more.

It is February. It is the month Steve Lavin has pointed to all season, the time when the St. John's coach always believed all of the potential and promise and possibility of his talented team would come together in the form of one of the Big East's best, a team no opponent would want to face in March.

He didn't expect he would enter this month in eighth place in the Big East. No one did. But the fourth-year coach still believes the best is ahead.

"We're definitely playing better basketball," Lavin said after practice on Friday. "We've definitely made progress and we just have to keep building."

The tools have been there. The tools have always been there. In breaking a five-game losing streak with wins in three of their past four games, St. John's (12-9, 2-6) won its first road game of the season — at Butler — and looked its most impressive in an 18-point comeback against Creighton, eventually snuffed by a last-second 3-pointer from Doug McDermott.

In Tuesday's game against Creighton, the top team in the conference, the Red Storm made their comeback behind the strength of a full-court press, which utilized their strengths — speed, length and athleticism — and kick-started their electric transition offense.

In an attempt to recreate play as good as they have had all season and avoid the seemingly never-ending string of slow starts this season, they'll face Marquette (12-9, 4-4) at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, when JaKarr Sampson said he wants — and expects — the Red Storm to press from the start of the game, noting how different they play when the game is fast-paced.

"[Other times] we're thinking too much, but when we press, we're just playing the game we know how to play, we're just reacting," Sampson said. "We're more amped, we're more on the edge. I feel like we play more free.

"That's when we're at our best. … We're not like the average Big East team. We're athletic, our bigs can move, are mobile, we can run. … We all came to an agreement that we should start the game pressing no matter who we play."

And that up-tempo game has looked better thanks to the improved play of freshman Rysheed Jordan, whose confidence has caught up with his instincts. Over the past four games, he has averaged 10.3 points, three assists and 1.3 steals.

"He was upset about his slow start, but you're a freshman, you're going to have slow starts and growing pains," Sampson said. "His last three or four games, he's been a key for us and that's why we feel like we went on that little run because of him. He stepped up as a leader and a point guard and that's what we need him to do. I feel like he's going to grow every game and get better every game."

But will the team? Guard Max Hooper summed it up nicely:

"We know that we have to have a sense of urgency and have to perform better down the stretch of league, or else all the hype will be for nothing basically."

18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More
techieblogger.com Techie Blogger Techie Blogger