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80-year-old woman killed after plane crashes into parking lot

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 31 Juli 2014 | 20.50

SAN DIEGO — A small plane clipped the top of a store before it crashed in the parking lot of a San Diego shopping center, killing an 80-year-old passenger and seriously injuring the 52-year-old pilot, authorities said.

Several witnesses rushed to douse the plane's flames and pull out the two women, the only people aboard. A man who helped was treated for minor cuts and burns, but no one on the ground was hurt by the crash itself.

The single-engine 1988 Mooney M-20L went down Wednesday in a parking lot that serves a Costco and a Target store in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.

The wreckage of the crashed small plane sits in the Costco parking lot on Wednesday.Photo: AP

The plane bounced while landing at nearby Montgomery Field, continued westbound and went down, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

However, helicopter pilot Vince Carter said he had taken off from the field when he heard the pilot tell the control tower in a radio transmission that she had lost power on takeoff.

"She said she lost power and she was going down and that was it," he told KFMB-TV.

There was no immediate way to resolve the two reports.

The plane clipped the top of the Target store and knocked down a light pole, police Lt. Steve Behrendt said.

It spun around and finally landed in the parking lot in a loading dock area away from the main entrances, and no cars were there, city fire spokesman Lee Swanson said.

The plane caught fire, but the flames were quickly doused. He said the passenger had serious burns and died at a hospital.

An aviation safety inspector looks inside the crashed plane.Photo: AP

The pilot also had major injuries, he said. However, Behrendt said she was expected to survive.

Gregg Smith was working in a nearby office building and saw the plane in trouble. It nearly hit his building, he said.

"I knew they didn't have enough power to do the things they needed to do," he told KNSD-TV. "I knew it was going down."

Smith said the plane left his view at that point, but he heard a loud thud and then the crash.

"The next thing I saw was a bunch of black smoke," he said.

Smith said he ran outside as he called 911.

He said 15 to 20 people were standing around the plane, some with fire extinguishers, and they managed to get the fire out before it reached the plane's fuel tank and pull the women out.

Television news reports showed the white plane appeared to be mostly intact, but its nose and one wing were torn up.

Photo: AP

"The front of the passenger compartment, the engine is essentially broken off," Swanson said. "The landing gear is off, it's lying flat on its belly. There's some debris for several yards in each direction."

Helicopter pilot Vince Carter, who was in the air at the time and heard the pilot's last radio transmissions saying she was going down, said things could have been much worse.

"This is a miracle and testament to her skill as a pilot," he told KNSD-TV. "This could have very easily killed a lot of people. You could imagine, just shopping at Target, and a plane comes through the roof full of fuel."

"She stalled it out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have," he said.


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Fitness enthusiast sues Cristiano Ronaldo over CR7, underwear

Global soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is also known to fans by the shorthand CR7, prompting the company behind his line of sleek underwear to target a Rhode Island man who has trademarked the letter-number combination, according to a new lawsuit.

In a complaint filed Monday in Rhode Island federal court, 43-year-old fitness enthusiast Christopher Renzi said he had received letters from lawyers for the Danish company JBS Textile Group demanding he give up the trademark because it had "imminent plans" to enter the U.S. market with Ronaldo's CR7 underwear.

JBS has also asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Renzi's trademark, according to court documents. Renzi is seeking the court's declaration that he owns the trademark.

"We just want them to leave us alone," said Renzi's attorney Michael Feldhuhn.

Attorneys for JBS could not be reached for comment.

Renzi registered the moniker in 2009 and has put it on jeans and T-shirts, Feldhuhn said. He also has a website advertising a seven-minute fitness workout, also under the CR7 name.

According to the complaint, Renzi adopted the mark based on his initials and the day he was born, Oct. 7.

Court materials showed that JBS, which said it holds the "exclusive, worldwide license" to market Ronaldo's CR7 underwear, believed Renzi trademarked CR7 specifically to profit from Ronaldo's soaring fame.

Photo: Getty Images

CR7 was "so closely tied to the fame and reputation of Cristiano Ronaldo, that a connection with the soccer player would immediately be presumed by the general public when encountering" Renzi's branded clothes, said JBS's filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

The 29-year-old Ronaldo, who plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid, is one of the most highly paid and recognizable athletes in the world. He has marketing deals with numerous major companies. His Facebook page has more than 93 million "likes."

One of his latest postings shows a behind-the-scenes underwear photo shoot for a CR7 campaign launching "next week."

Besides underwear, his brand is already expanding into shirts and shoes.

Ronaldo is a more famous user of CR7, Feldhuhn said, "but it's really based on who's using it first. We can show we were the first use of the CR7 name in commerce in America."

Feldhuhn added, "They don't really have the trademark rights because they haven't used it."


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Obama tells Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’

President Barack Obama took his criticism of congressional Republicans to a higher pitch on Wednesday, imploring them to "stop just hatin' all the time" as they voted to sue him over charges he has overstepped the bounds of his office.

In a party-line, 225-201 vote, the House of Representatives authorized the Republican-drafted lawsuit, which will focus on unilateral changes Obama has made to the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law. All Democrats and five Republicans opposed the measure.

On the House floor, Republican lawmakers reverently invoked America's founders in accusing Obama of bypassing Congress.

"This isn't about Republicans and Democrats, it's about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold," said House Speaker John Boehner.

But Obama, in a campaign-style speech, made fun of his political adversaries, laughing as he accused them of wasting time instead of addressing more pressing issues.

"Stop being mad all the time. Stop, stop, stop just hatin' all the time," he said of Republicans, drawing loud cheers from a raucous crowd of about 1,500 in an ornate theater in Kansas City.

Wednesday's vote cemented the Republican lawsuit's status as a lightning rod for months of bitter campaign rhetoric from both parties ahead of elections in November that will determine control of Congress next year.

Republicans have complained loudly that Obama has exercised "king-like" authority in taking executive actions ranging from raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to extending benefits to same-sex partners. But they have narrowed the focus of their suit, to be filed later this summer, to Obamacare because they believe this has the best chance of succeeding in the federal court system.

Obama disparaged the lawsuit effort as nothing but election-year political theater and a distraction from issues such as highway construction or the southwestern border crisis.

"There's a bunch of stuff that needs to get done," he said. "Unfortunately, I think the main vote … that they've scheduled for today is whether or not they decide to sue me for doing my job."

House Democrats said the suit would consume millions of dollars of taxpayer funds but would ultimately fail to undermine the president's discretion in implementing laws.

"This a veiled attempt to impeach the president," said Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat.

Boehner this week tamped down talk that the lawsuit was a prelude to impeachment proceedings aimed at removing Obama from office. He accused Democrats of trying to promote the idea to whip up anti-Republican sentiment and raise campaign funds.

Another influential Republican, Representative Paul Ryan, told reporters on Wednesday that he backed the lawsuit because he believed it would show clear violations of law by Obama.

"The lawsuit has intellectual merit because we want to show that we're not going to take this lying down," Ryan said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

With Republicans in control of the House, Obama's agenda has been thwarted by congressional gridlock, leaving him to take executive actions to make changes where he has the power to do so.

The president has been delivering variations of the fiery stump speech all summer as he tours the country trying to motivate Democrats – and wealthy donors – to get involved in November's congressional elections in the hopes of thwarting a Republican takeover of the Senate.


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Meredith Vieira on ‘Today’ fiasco: ‘S—t happens’

Meredith Vieira wasn't around for the "Today" show anchor debacle in 2012, but she says it was a "bad time" for the network.

"I really felt for Matt [Lauer] a lot," explained Vieira in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter. "And I felt for Ann, too. It turned so nasty, really nasty. Every day you're reading this stuff that is just beyond cruel from angry, angry people who felt that Ann had been slighted and embarrassed and humiliated. And they basically pointed to one person on whom to take out all of their anger. I don't know if I would have survived that."

The 60-year-old television veteran, who's launching her own daytime venture on Sept. 8, detailed her thoughts on her replacement Ann Curry being ultimately ousted by Savannah Guthrie in 2012.

In the midst of the drama and plunging ratings, Vieira says she never offered advice to Lauer. Instead, she comforted him during the troubling time.

"I just told him I loved him and I was there for him," recalled the mother of three. "But I never sugarcoated what had happened. I thought it had not been handled smartly from the very beginning, because I don't think they ever felt that was the right fit for Ann so they should never have put her in that position to begin with. And the ending was so mishandled."

But according to her, that's the way life goes sometimes. "But you know what, s—t happens," she said. "People make mistakes. We all do."


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‘Islamic militant’ mob armed with knives, axes kills dozens in China

BEIJING — A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed on Islamic militants, state media reported Tuesday.

Many other people were injured in the violence Monday in Shache county near the city of Kashgar, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

However, that official account was disputed by a U.S.-based organization representing the Uighur ethnic group, many of whom live in Xinjiang.

The Uyghur American Association said Wednesday that according to "local sources," police killed protesters condemning "Chinese security forces' heavy-handed Ramadan crackdown since the beginning of the Holy Month and extrajudicial use of lethal force in recent weeks."

Neither version could be independently confirmed.

The government account said a mob first attacked a police station and government offices in the township of Elixku before moving on to a neighboring township, attacking civilians and smashing and setting on fire vehicles along the way.

Chinese soldiers march in front of the Id Kah Mosque.Photo: Getty Images

Xinhua said dozens of people were killed or injured in the attacks but gave no precise figures. It also said that police shot and killed dozens of the attackers.

"Initial investigation showed that it was a premeditated terror attack. Further investigation is underway," Xinhua said.

Calls to more than a half-dozen police stations and government offices in the area either rang unanswered Tuesday evening or were answered by people who confirmed the attack but said they were not permitted to release any information about it.

The Uighur association said police had already killed several in the region before Monday's incident after a July 18 protest also denouncing police repression during Ramadan.

Obtaining details of violence in the remote region is usually impossible and authorities routinely prevent foreign journalists from working freely in the area.

There has been increasing violence in Xinjiang in recent months blamed on pro-independence militants from the region's native Turkic Uighur Muslim ethnic group. While some of the attacks have shown an increased level of sophistication and planning, most have relied on crude weaponry such as swords, bombs and homemade explosives.

Knife wielding men also attacked a railway station in Kunming, in southwest China, in March.Photo: Getty Images

China's government says the attackers have ties to overseas Islamic terror groups, although it has provided little evidence to back up its claim.

Uighur activists say repressive Chinese cultural and religious policies are fueling resentment among Uighurs, along with a sense that the benefits of economic growth in the resource-rich region are flowing disproportionately to migrants from the country's Han Chinese majority.

Also known as Yarkant, Shache is near the border with the unstable Central Asian states, about 2,175 miles west of Beijing.


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James Brown biopic ‘Get On Up’ is one of the year’s best

Supercharged by Chadwick Boseman's tour de force as the iconic Godfather of Soul James Brown — and pitch-perfect music supervision by producer and longtime devotee Mick Jagger — "Get On Up'' is one funk-tastic musical biopic.

Vigorously directed by Tate Taylor ("The Help''), the film largely avoids standard rise-and-fall clichés and strained attempts to explain a messy and colorful life filled with contradictions that doesn't easily fit inside a 2 ¹/₂ hour narrative with a PG-13 rating.

Instead, the screenplay by British brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth ("Edge of Tomorrow'') jumps back and forth between significant incidents — opening in 1988 with a high-on-PCP, middle-aged Brown using a rifle to terrorize a roomful of insurance agents, one of whom accidentally used Brown's private bathroom in the same building.

That's immediately followed by a flashback to 20 years earlier — one of the film's rare missteps — of Brown flying into Vietnam under heavy enemy fire to entertain American troops. That's fortunately followed by the first of several sequences depicting Brown's troubled childhood in Georgia, where he was abandoned by his parents and sent to live in a brothel operated by an aunt (Octavia Spencer).

Jailed for theft for three years — Boseman plays Brown from ages 17 through 63 — he was paroled to the family of singer Bobby Byrd (the excellent Nelsan Ellis), who becomes Brown's long-suffering best friend and musical collaborator until he finally walks out following Brown' s famous 1971 concert in Paris.

Dan Aykroyd and Chadwick Boseman star in "Get On Up."Photo: AP/Universal Pictures

Along the way, Taylor and his writers point up the contradictions: Brown was both a black nationalist and an integrationist who embraced President Lyndon Johnson; a devoted family man and wife-beater; a man who constantly reinvented himself but wasn't averse to self-parody; and a pioneering entrepreneur who ended up in hot water with the IRS (and ultimately back in jail for that 1988 incident, which we see climax with a high-speed police chase).

All of that is less important, though, than the music and the loving way it's staged, including Brown's 1962 shows at the Apollo Theater, where he recorded his groundbreaking "Live At the Apollo" album; an all-star variety show at which he upstaged the Rolling Stones; and even Brown's guest appearance amid a lily-white crowd in the film "Ski Party'' — which the film shifts into slow motion to suggest Brown's awareness that he may be trying too hard for a crossover audience.

The film's high point is a remarkable re-creation of Brown's 1968 Boston concert, hours after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, where the dynamic performer single-handedly defuses a potential riot. The film also takes pains to point out Brown's enormous contributions to developing funk and pointing the way toward rap.

"Get On Up'' avoids sentimentality, even when an uncomfortable Brown is visited backstage by his elderly mother (Viola Davis). Dan Aykroyd, who appeared in two movies with the real-life Brown, portrays his manager.

But the film belongs, heart and soul, to Boseman, who expertly lip-syncs to Brown's original tracks after playing a very different kind of black superstar in last year's Jackie Robinson bio-pic "42.'' This time, I think, he's going to get an Oscar nomination.


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‘Hoffa’ producer busted in mob-linked sports gambling ring

A producer of the 1992 flick "Hoffa" and former defendant in a 1980s radio payola scheme was hauled into Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday for allegedly helping run a mob-linked gambling operation.

Reputed Gambino associate Joseph Isgro, 66, was arrested in Los Angeles on Saturday and extradited to New York.

The normally clean-cut ex-Marine looked scruffy in an oversized T-shirt and flip-flops as he pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and gambling.

The Hollywood figure, who has posed for photos with many noted stars, including Kim Kardashian, was among seven people indicted in a Mafia-linked sports-betting ring that raked in $1 billion a year, authorities allege.


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Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels — cease-fire or not

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign in the densely-populated territory.

Netanyahu's vow came as international efforts to end the 23-day-old conflict seemed to sputter despite concern over the mounting death toll, with more than 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 50 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, killed since July 8.

"We have neutralized dozens of terror tunnels and we are committed to complete this mission, with or without a cease-fire," Netanyahu said. "Therefore I will not agree to any offer that does not allow the military to complete this important mission for the security of the people of Israel."

An initial Israeli aerial campaign against Hamas was widened into a ground offensive on July 17. Since then the campaign has concentrated on destroying more than 30 cross-border tunnels that militants have constructed to carry out attacks on Israeli territory.

Israel says that most of the 32 tunnels it has uncovered have now been demolished and that getting rid of the remainder will take no more than a few days.

The new reserve call-up follows another day of heavy fighting, in which tank shells struck a U.N. school where Palestinians were sheltering and an airstrike tore through a crowded Gaza shopping area. At least 116 Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were killed Wednesday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter with the press, an Israeli defense official said the purpose of the latest call-up was to provide relief for troops currently on the Gaza firing line. However, Israeli officials have also said they do not rule out broadening operations in the coming days.

Fifty-six Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side have been killed since the offensive began, as Palestinians have fired hundreds of rockets at Israel — some reaching major cities — and carried out attacks through tunnels beneath the heavily guarded frontier.

Israel has called up a total of 86,000 reserves during the Gaza war, which it launched to try to end rocket fire from Hamas and other armed groups.

Israeli attacks in the strip continued Thursday, with witnesses saying that munitions struck the Omar Ibn al-Khatab mosque next to a U.N. school in the northern town of Beit Lahiya. Israeli fire near another U.N. school in Gaza killed more than a dozen people the day before, drawing international condemnation.

The strike in Beit Lahiya early Thursday damaged water tanks on the roof of a building near the mosque, sending shrapnel flying into the adjacent school compound, where dozens of Palestinians displaced by the fighting had taken shelter.

"The shrapnel from the strike on the mosque hit people who were in the street and at the entrance of the school," said Sami Salebi, an area resident.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said at least 15 people were wounded, with three of them in critical condition.

Kifah Rafati, 40, was being treated for shrapnel injuries at the nearby Kamal Adwan Hospital. She said she and her six children had been sleeping in a classroom facing the mosque when the explosion went off. "There is no safety anywhere," she said.

On Wednesday Israeli tank shells struck a U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp where some 3,300 Gazans had crammed in to seek refuge from the fighting, killing at least 17 people. The military said it was responding to mortar fire coming from the area of the school.

But Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the deadly school shelling "outrageous" and "unjustifiable," and demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

"Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children," the U.N. chief said.

The White House also criticized the shelling of the U.N. school in Jebaliya.

"We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in U.N. designated shelters in Gaza," said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council.

Later on Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike hit a crowded shopping area in the Shijaiyah district in Gaza City, killing at least 16 people, including Palestinian video journalist Rami Rayan, who was wearing a press vest at the time, and wounding more than 200 people, al-Kidra said.

Thursday marked a third day of particularly heavy Israeli air and artillery attacks, at a time when Egyptian cease-fire efforts appeared to have stalled. Israeli media said late Wednesday that Israel's Security Cabinet decided to press forward with the operation.

Egyptian officials, meanwhile, met with an Israeli envoy about Israel's conditions for a cease-fire, including disarming Hamas, according to a high-ranking Egyptian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the delicate diplomatic efforts.

Hamas has said it will only halt fire once it receives guarantees that a Gaza border blockade by Israel and Egypt — tightened after the Islamic militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007 — will be lifted.

Israel says it wants to decimate Hamas' rocket-launching capability, diminish its weapons arsenal and demolish the tunnels. It has launched more than 4,000 strikes against Hamas-linked targets, including rocket launchers and mosques where it says weapons were being stored.

Israeli strikes have also hit dozens of homes. Mahmoud Abu Rahma of the Palestinian human rights group Al Mezan said nearly half of the Palestinians killed so far died in their homes.

Israeli officials have said Hamas uses Gaza's civilians as human shields by firing rockets from crowded neighborhoods. Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,600 rockets at Israel over the past three weeks.

However, Pierre Kraehenbuehl, chief of the U.N. aid agency for Palestinian refugees, said Israel must try harder to ensure that civilians are not hurt, especially in Gaza, where 1.7 million people are squeezed into a small coastal territory. His agency has opened 80 of its schools to more than 200,000 Palestinians fleeing the violence.

"What maybe the world forgets … is that the people of Gaza have nowhere to go," he said. "So when the fighting starts and they move, it is not as if they can cross a border to somewhere."


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Saint’s remains return home to Hawaii

HONOLULU — The remains of a saint known for caring for exiled leprosy patients have been returned to Hawaii.

St. Marianne Cope's remains will arrive in a hearse Thursday at Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu for a ceremony and Mass.

She was 80 when died of natural causes in 1918 at the remote Kalaupapa peninsula on the island of Molokai, where the Hawaiian kingdom exiled leprosy patients to control the disease. Her remains were exhumed from Kalaupapa in 2005 during her canonization process and taken to Syracuse, New York, where her religious congregation is based.

She gained sainthood in 2012.

Relocation from New York was necessary because the buildings of the campus where her remains were housed are no longer structurally sound, requiring the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities to move to another part of Syracuse.

It makes sense to keep her remains in Honolulu, as opposed to Kalaupapa, which can be accessed only via plane or mule, said Bishop Larry Silva of the Honolulu diocese.

The remains — a full collection of her bones — arrived Sunday in a casket aboard a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, said diocese spokesman Patrick Downes. He said the remains have been kept at the St. Francis Convent in Manoa.

A sealed zinc-coated metal box containing the bones will be placed upright in a koa wood and glass cabinet in the cathedral. The display cabinet already contained her relic, a small box of bone fragments that a nun traveling from Syracuse carried to Honolulu in 2011. The relic was taken on a tour of the Hawaiian islands.


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Bharara weighs tampering & obstruction probe of Cuomo administration

US Attorney Preet Bharara, investigating Gov. Cuomo's suspicious closing of his own anti-corruption panel, is now threatening to probe the administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering, according to a report on Thursday.

The threat of the new investigation came in a letter from the US Attorney's Office after members of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption came out this week to defend the governor with strong public statements.

"We have reason to believe a number of commissioners recently have been contacted about the commission's work," the letter said, according to The New York Times.

"And some commissioners have been asked to issue public statements characterizing events and facts regarding the commission's operation."

Cuomo on Wednesday continued to defend the commission, citing a memo written by one of its co-chairs, Republican Onondaga County DA William J. Fitzpatrick, backing the governor's claim that the administration didn't interfere in its operations.

"Few people, if any, knew the inner workings of the Moreland Commission to a greater extent than I did," Fitzpatrick said.

"The Governor had repeatedly warned legislators that their failure to pass comprehensive ethical reforms would result in the creation of a Moreland Commission.

"The bottom line is that nobody 'interfered' with me or my co-chairs," he said.

Cuomo said other co-chairs, including Nassau DA and congressional candidate Kathleen Rice, must agree, because they haven't contacted Fitzpatrick.

But Bharara believes that some of these statements were made after phone calls from the governor and his cronies, The Times said.

One commissioner even told the paper that he was contacted by an "intermediary" of the governor and found the phone call "upsetting."

Bharara's office is taking the allegations very seriously.

"To the extent anyone attempts to influence or tamper with a witness' recollection of events relevant to our investigation, including the recollection of a commissioner or one of the commission's employees, we request that you advise our office immediately, as we must consider whether such actions constitute obstruction of justice or tampering with witnesses that violate federal law," said the letter to a lawyer for the panel.

The development came after Bharara dined with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a key potential witness in the investigation.

Neither camp is saying whether Cuomo or his panel was on the menu.

But sources said it's more than a coincidence that the two were spotted having lunch at the City Hall-area restaurant Tuesday — a very public place where pols and government insiders dine to be seen.

"It's hard to believe they went there by accident. It's a reasonable guess that they're sending a message they're working together — whether it's tackling corruption on Wall Street or State Street in Albany," said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

It was Schneiderman, in his capacity as AG, who "deputized" members of the commission and gave them legal authority to issue subpoenas to targets of their probes.

Bharara has taken control of the commission's files and is investigating its operations. Cuomo shut down the panel in April, allegedly as it was subpoenaing allies.


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Kim Kardashian blasts Adrienne Bailon for dissing Rob

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 30 Juli 2014 | 20.50

Kim Kardashian defended her kid brother, Rob, early Wednesday after his ex-girlfriend Adrienne Bailon called the troubled reality TV star "disloyal."

"It's common knowledge that he cheated on me," Bailon, 30, explained in the September issue of Latina magazine. "It always bothered me that people were like, 'Pero, why wouldn't you forgive him?'"

"Why are women always the ones who have to forgive?" she continued.

But the Kardashian bashing doesn't end there — Bailon also revealed that she considers her appearances on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" career suicide.

"To be stuck with that Kardashian label, that was so hurtful to me and to my career," she explained. "I probably realized that too late – not that it would've affected my decisions in terms of who I dated, but it would've affected my decision to appear on the show."

Bailon, who broke up with Rob six years ago and recently had a tattoo of his name removed from her backside, said she's still being criticize about their relationship. "To this day, people will still say, 'You ruined Rob's life!' and I'll think, 'Damn, I was still playing with Barbie dolls when I met him.'"

Kim didn't take the comments about her troubled younger brother lightly — she unleashed a series of tweets scolding Bailon. "Funny how she says being with a Kardashian hurt her career yet the only reason she has this article is bc she is talking about a Kardashian," she lashed out.

Rob's has yet to tweet about the inflammatory comments.


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English soccer titans meet at MetLife Stadium

The World Cup is over, but the best the English Premier League has to offer is here — right in our backyard.

Manchester City will face the Liverpool Football Club in a Guinness International Champions Cup friendly Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. The tournament, in its second year after replacing the World Football Challenge, played a doubleheader last summer at MetLife Stadium.

The two teams finished first and second in the EPL a year ago. Manchester City, the defending champion, is coming off a 5-1 rout of Italian club AC Milan in its Guinness International Champions Cup opener at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Liverpool defeated Greek club Olympiakos, 1-0, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

World Cup stars such as midfielders David Silva (Spain) and Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), goaltender Joe Hart (England) and forward Edin Dzeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) will join the B-level Manchester City side against loaded Liverpool, which brings a stacked 33-man roster that will include goaltender Pepe Reina (Spain) and midfielder Steven Gerrard (England).

In May, the MLS announced Man City was teaming with the Yankees to bring New York City FC as an MLS expansion team in 2015, with the Premier League club having majority ownership.


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New York Times probing drama critic over alleged plagiarism

The New York Times is investigating claims that drama critic Carol Vogel lifted a paragraph from Wikipedia on Italian artist Piero di Cosimo.

A Times spokesman said that the paper "is looking in to it." Vogel did not return a call to her work number seeking comment on the accusation, which was first reported by Mediabistro's FishBowl.

Vogel is accused of lifting a Wikipedia passage — with a few minor word changes — on the artist's eccentricities for her lede on a July 24 item, "A Renaissance Master Finally Gets a Showcase."

It remains to be seen if this was part of a larger pattern or a one-off lapse along the lines of former Time editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria, who was temporarily suspended for an instance of plagiarism.

The news comes only days after BuzzMedia fired political editor Benny Johnson for what it found to be dozens of examples of plagiarism from Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers, among other sources.

BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith said the company found 41 instances of plagiarism, which he said began to come to light in a series of postings on Twitter.

"After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny's posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites. Benny is a friend, colleague, and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go.

"We owe you, our readers, an apology. This plagiarism is a breach of our fundamental responsibility to be honest with you — in this case, about who wrote the words on our site."


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The buzz from a busy month on basketball recruiting circuit

The July live recruiting period came to a close Sunday, which means the hard part is only beginning for college basketball coaches: evaluating and landing high school prospects. It was a busy month, and it created several interesting storylines for the Class of 2015 and beyond as the season slowly nears.

St. John's positioned to land monster class

St. John's recruiting target Isaiah Briscoe in action the US under-18 teamPhoto: AP

Steve Lavin and Co. have earmarked 2015 as a big year, with several open scholarships to be filled. The Johnnies are in the mix with several elite prospects, most notably New Jersey point guard Isaiah Briscoe, a consensus top-20 recruit who would replace Rysheed Jordan – expected to enter the draft after his sophomore year – and Long Island big man Cheick Diallo.

Odds of landing both five-star recruits are long. Diallo also has Kansas, Iowa State and Kentucky on his list. But Briscoe is said to be intrigued by St. John's and the possibility of playing his home games at MSG, and has St. John's among his final seven, a list that also includes Louisville and Arizona.

Lavin has also made inroads with Louisiana shooting guard Brandon Sampson, Georgia combo guard Malik Beasley, California point guard Tyler Dorsey and Donovan Mitchell, a native of Elmsford, NY, who attends prep powerhouse Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. The St. John's coach is known as a closer – and we're getting into the late innings.

National landscape wide open

While Kentucky has virtually owned the top spot in recruiting since John Calipari arrived in Lexington (aside from 2014 when Duke nudged the 'Cats to No. 2), this year appears to be wide open. Just four of Scout.com's top 21 have picked schools – second-ranked player Ben Simmons surprisingly is headed to LSU — and many of the top players haven't even begun to cut down their lists.

One duo to watch is Diamond Stone and Malik Newman, top-10 prospects who have talked about going to school together, much the way Duke freshmen Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones did. The 6-foot-10 Stone, from Milwaukee, has narrowed his list to Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Newman, a skilled 6-foot-3 combo guard from Mississippi, has a long list that also includes Kansas, UConn and Kentucky. At the moment, Syracuse is in fine shape, with commitments from talented New Jersey duo Malachi Richardson and Moustapha Diagne.

Locals stock rising

Several players from New York and New Jersey had mammoth months in July, from Briscoe leading the New Jersey Playaz to the prestigious Peach Jam title to Gill St. Bernard's Tyus Battle, a rising junior from New Jersey, scoring scholarship offers from Kentucky, Arizona and Louisville, to Mitchell emerging from underrated to highly rated. Christ the King's Rawle Alkins, a rising junior and the Big Apple's jewel, was offered by Kansas and Louisville after a mammoth month.

Then are the two New Heights standouts, point guard Ty Jerome of Iona Prep and forward Nakye Sanders of Tottenville, hauling in a number of scholarship offers. Jerome picked up Virginia, George Washington, St. Joseph and Temple; Sanders landed Seton Hall, St. John's and Duquesne. They led New Heights 16U team to a big month, including the Under Armour Finals crown in Atlanta.


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Turkey’s Deputy PM says women shouldn’t laugh in public

Hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter on Wednesday to protest against comments by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who had urged women not to laugh in public to "protect moral values".

Melda Onur, a lawmaker from the main opposition party CHP said on Twitter Arinc's comments portrayed laughing as a dishonourable act and left women exposed to violence.

Opponents accuse Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner and meddling in people's private lives, which has long been a source of conflict between the country's secularists and Erdogan's conservative supporters.

Erdogan is running to become the first directly elected president of predominantly Muslim Turkey.

Arinc, one of the co-founders of Erdogan's AK Party, said this week at a celebration of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan: "The woman should have chastity … She should not laugh in front of everyone and not be inviting in her behavior. She should protect her honor."

One women's organization said it would file a criminal complaint against the deputy PM.

Arinc's comments, in which he also criticized television soap operas for promoting decadence, also drew criticism from opposition presidential candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu who tweeted: "Our country needs our women to laugh and to hear everyone's joyful laughter more than ever."


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Pakistani troops kill 6 militants near Afghanistan border

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani security forces in a troubled northwestern tribal region foiled an overnight cross-border attack from Afghanistan, killing six militants, two military officials said Wednesday.

The foreign ministry lodged a protest over the attack on a Pakistani border post and urged Kabul to take steps to eliminate "terrorist sanctuaries" on Afghan soil. It was a telling reversal for Pakistan, which for years has been accused by both Afghanistan and the United States of harboring insurgents that carry out such attacks from its side of the border.

Many militants are thought to have fled across the frontier after the Pakistani military on June 15 launched a major operation against insurgent safe havens in the North Waziristan region, which borders Afghanistan. Washington has for years urged Islamabad to launch such an operation against local and foreign militants using North Waziristan as a base for attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried to start peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, but approved the military operations after militants attacked the country's busiest airport in the port city of Karachi.

Since then, the military said it has killed 570 militants and lost 34 soldiers. Authorities say over 800,000 people have also fled North Waziristan.

The overnight attack took place in Pakistan's troubled northwestern Dir tribal region when a group of about 70 militants attacked a border post on Tuesday night. The troops returned fire, killing six attackers and wounding nine others, the officials said. They said the rest fled back to Afghanistan.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media.

A foreign ministry statement said a "strong protest" was lodged over the attack and that Afghan authorities were urged "to take effective steps to stop the use of Afghan territory for repeated cross border fire and physical attacks by terrorists".

It added that Pakistan urged Kabul to take measures "to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries on Afghan territory."

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a 2,250-kilometer (1,400-mile) border.


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City drags its feet on teacher discipline cases: union

Nearly a quarter of teacher disciplinary cases have not been resolved within two years, and union officials claim the city is to blame for the delays.

The Department of Education has sought to remove 637 teachers with tenure over the past two years, but 153 of the cases are still pending, leaving many of the educators stuck in "rubber rooms," according to the United Federation of Teachers' own figures.

The median length of the proceedings is 105 days. Six cases have lasted more than 500 days, the UFT said.

Union officials said some minor cases could have been decided in a matter of hours if school officials hadn't pressed for outrageous penalties.

"The DOE has sought termination in nearly all [disciplinary] proceedings," said a UFT statement. Schools spokeswoman Devora Kaye said the agency will work with the union to ensure cases are heard in a "fair, appropriate and efficient manner."


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Accused cop shooter’s sister says ‘f—k off’ to judge

The sister of a Brooklyn man accused of shooting four cops had to be handcuffed in court Tuesday after she bellowed. "F–k you!" at the judge presiding over her brother's case.

Tyona Foxworth, 39, squabbled with court officers Tuesday as NYPD cops testified in a pretrial hearing about how her brother, Nakwon Foxworth, 35, allegedly blasted away at four officers who were trying to arrest him April 8, 2012.

"Ma'am, please sit down," a court officer said after Foxworth stood up and adjusted her pants.

"What's the situation? Why can't I fix my pants?" she yelled.

When Judge Neil Firetog told her to be quiet. she hollered, "F–k you and your courtroom!"


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FBI sex trafficking bust recovers 168 kids, some never reported missing

WASHINGTON — When FBI agents and police officers fanned out across the country last month in a weeklong effort to rescue child sex trafficking victims, they pulled minors as young as 11 from hotel rooms, truck stops and homes.

Among the 168 juveniles recovered was a population that child welfare advocates say especially concerns them: children who were never reported missing in the first place.

Advocates say the roundup reinforces the need for a standardized, nationwide approach to report children as missing, especially those absent from state foster care systems who are seen as most vulnerable to abuse. Concerns over unaccounted-for children aren't new, but they're receiving fresh attention amid heightened awareness of child sex trafficking. State and federal efforts are underway to streamline how police are alerted when kids go missing.

"This has been a movement that I would say over the last year has really galvanized," said John Ryan, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Legislation pending in Congress would require child welfare agencies to alert police and the center, which has specialized response teams and other resources, within 24 hours of a child's disappearance.

The current patchwork of state and federal policies has yielded what advocates describe as a fractured safety net with little accountability.

Though states may have policies encouraging child welfare agencies to report missing children to law enforcement, most don't have laws requiring that notification, according to the missing children center. That means children can disappear without police knowing they're missing or being directed to look for them.

A federal law does require law enforcement agencies to enter missing children into the FBI's National Crime Information Center — a database available to law enforcement nationwide — but that presumes police are provided the names or have specific enough details about a child. A 2011 Government Accountability Office report said law enforcement agencies are having trouble getting timely information from state agencies.

Some children who are feared missing turn up after just a few hours. In some cases, children involved in sex trafficking leave their homes to meet their pimps for work and then return before their absence is noticed. The center worries about them as well.

The missing children center says it received more than 57,000 missing-child reports between 2009 and 2013. The organization says two-thirds of the children reported missing last year who likely were sex trafficking victims were in the care of child welfare systems when they ran away.

The difficulties aren't limited to foster care. In the most recent action, called Operation Cross Country, far more children came from single-family homes than from families under state supervision, the FBI said. But experts say they're concerned that children in foster care, who often come from more troubled backgrounds, are particularly vulnerable to being targeted by sex traffickers.

"These pimps really know how to appeal to these kids. A lot of these pimps come from similar backgrounds as well. They can lure them in by providing them care, feeding, attention," Joseph Campbell, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, said in an interview.

In a transient child welfare system, it's a challenge for states to keep perfect track of children under their care. Many run away repeatedly but return on their own, giving guardians little incentive to report them missing each time. The Internet enables children to be prostituted through online advertisements instead of street corners, making it easier than ever for trafficking to cross state lines.

"When you come across a child and you have no information on who they are, it becomes difficult to, first of all, ID them — you don't know if there are warrants for them or if there are medical needs for this child," or if they're supposed to be under state care, said Michael Osborn, chief of the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children unit.

About one-third of the kids rescued in the most recent Operation Cross Country had been reported missing, Osborn said. Some of the others hadn't been gone for long enough to raise concerns from their guardians.

State policies vary.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is issuing a bulletin to county agencies with instructions on reporting missing foster children to local law enforcement and the missing children center. It plans to propose legislation to that effect next year. Nebraska urges foster guardians, instead of the state agency, to directly file missing children reports with police. The state says it monitors the situation and contacts police if the foster parent doesn't.

A new Georgia law expands who can report a child as missing to include any caretaker or government entity responsible for the child, not just the parent or guardian.

Florida developed new policies following the 2000 disappearance of foster child Rilya Wilson, whose caseworker lied about visiting her while filing false reports and telling judges the girl was fine.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a sponsor of legislation that would require child welfare agencies to provide notification of missing children, said failure to do so is a "moral blot on our country."

Wyden has previously introduced similar versions of the bill, but this year those provisions were folded into broader legislation that, among other things, would increase incentives for adoption and give money to states to encourage youth sports participation. Aides say the measure, which last week passed the House, has bipartisan support.


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Israeli tank strikes UN school, killing 15: UN

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school Wednesday sheltering Gazans displaced by fighting, killing 15 and wounding 90 after tearing through the walls of two classrooms, a spokesman for a U.N. aid agency and a health official said.

The relentless bombardment also killed 27 Palestinians elsewhere in the coastal territory Wednesday, further dimming hopes of a sustainable cease-fire.

The strike at the U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp came amid Israel's heaviest air and artillery assault in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting.

The Israeli military said it is looking into the incident. Its campaign escalated on Tuesday, with airstrikes destroying key symbols of Hamas power, including the home of the top Hamas leader. Gaza's only power plant was shut down after shells set its fuel tank on fire.

On Wednesday, Israeli aircraft struck dozens of Gaza sites, including five mosques it said were being used by militants, while several other areas came under tank fire.

In Jebaliya, tank shells hit the U.N. school before dawn, said Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. The agency is sheltering more than 200,000 people displaced by the fighting at dozens of U.N. schools across the coastal strip.

Assad Sabah said he and his five children were huddling under desks in one of the classrooms because of the constant sound of tank fire throughout the night.

"We were scared to death," he said. "After 4:30 a.m., tanks started firing more. Three explosions shook the school."

"One classroom collapsed over the head of the people who were inside," he said.

In one classroom, the front wall was blown out, leaving debris and bloodied clothing. Another strike tore a large round hole into the ceiling of a second floor classroom. The wall of the lavatories was also damaged.

About two hours after the strike, hundreds of people still crowded the school courtyard, some dazed, others wailing.

Aishe Abu Darabeh, 56, sat on the ground with her relatives, just a few meters (yards) away.

"Where will we go?" she asked. "Where will we go next? We fled and they (the Israelis) are following us."

Four of the dead were killed just outside the school compound, two in their home nearby and two in the street, after returning from pre-dawn prayers, their relatives said.

The bodies of two members of the al-Najar family, 56-year-old Shaher and his 41-year-old brother, Bassem, were laid out in one of the rooms of their small home, surrounded by wailing relatives. Outside the gate, another relative held on to his crying son, hugging him tight and saying: "I'm here, I'm not going anywhere."

Abu Hasna, the U.N. agency spokesman, said the international community must step in.

"It's the responsibility of the world to tell us what we shall do with more than 200,000 people who are inside our schools, thinking that the U.N. flag will protect them," he said. "This incident today proves that no place is safe in Gaza."

Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health official, said at least 15 people were killed and about 90 wounded in the school strike.

In all, 42 Palestinians were killed by airstrikes and tank shelling in different areas of Gaza on Wednesday, al-Kidra said.

In the southern town of Khan Younis, 10 members of one family were killed when an airstrike hit a relative's home where they had sought refuge from the fighting, al-Kidra said.

In the Gaza City neighborhood of Tufah, shelling killed at last seven members of another family, including four children, said Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at Gaza's Shifa Hospital.

The total number of Palestinians killed since the start of fighting July 8 rose to 1,269, al-Kidra said. In addition, more than 7,100 Palestinians have been wounded.

Israel has lost 53 soldiers and three civilians.

Israel has said its Gaza operation is meant to stop Hamas rocket and mortar fire that has reached increasingly deeper into its territory and to destroy a sophisticated network of Hamas military tunnels used for attacks in Israel.

Gaza militants have fired more than 2,600 rockets toward Israel over the past three weeks, according to the Israeli army.

The Israeli military has said it is hitting targets linked to militants, such as rocket launching sites, weapon depots and Hamas military tunnels. Over the past 23 days, Israeli forces have hit 4,100 targets in Gaza, about one-third connected to the militants' ability to launch rockets at Israel, a statement said.

The military has not provided details on strikes in which multiple members of one family were killed. There have been several dozen such strikes, according to the Palestinian human rights group Al- Mezan.

The military says Hamas militants often launch rockets from crowded residential areas, thus endangering nearby civilians. The army says it has also given civilians a chance to leave dangerous areas by sending warnings in phone calls and leaflets.

On Wednesday, aircraft dropped leaflets over Gaza City's Rimal neighborhood. The leaflets urged residents to stay away from Hamas militants and to report possible rocket launches. The leaflet gave a contact phone number and email.

"The Israeli Defense Forces are going into a new phase in the coming operation and does not want to harm civilians," the leaflet said. "The army is warning residents in the areas where the operation will take place that for your safety, you have to keep away from terrorists and the locations from which they operate."

Separately, Israeli troops in Gaza's border areas are searching for Hamas military tunnels used for carrying out attacks in Israel. Israeli leaders have said troops would not leave until all the tunnels have been demolished.

The army said 32 tunnels have so far been located but did not say how many remain. Since Tuesday morning, troops have demolished three more tunnels, a statement said.


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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.


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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.


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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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Freak lightning strike on California beach kills 1, injures 12

Written By kom nampuldu on Senin, 28 Juli 2014 | 20.49

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A man is treated by paramedics while a woman is comforted after after the freak thunderstorm in Venice, California on July 27.

Reuters

Pedestrians watch from a pier as lifeguards search for victims of the lightning strike that hit the water at around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Reuters

A freak lightning strike killed one person and injured a dozen others, causing pandemonium on Los Angeles' famed Venice Beach on Sunday, officials said.

Thousands of happy beach-goers, cooling themselves on an uncharacteristically muggy Southern California day, suddenly collapsed by their blankets and volleyball nets after a bolt of light struck waters a little after 2:30 p.m.

Pedestrians and beachgoers watch as lifeguards rescue a swimmer from the water off Venice Beach.Photo: AP

Rescuers rushed a 20-year-old man to the hospital where he died, LA County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said.

A 20-something man was found floating face down following the deadly jolt is likely the strike's one fatality, according to witnesses.

Steve Christensen said his body-surfing friend joined lifeguards looking for the missing swimmer who was found in the surf.

"He (Christensen's friend) went out to the water to find him and walked right into him," Christensen said. "He was face down on the bottom."

That swimmer was pulled from water and lifeguards performed CPR before he was loaded into an ambulance.

"The guy wasn't moving. He wasn't responding at all," Jesus Zamudio told the Los Angeles Times.

"This tragedy reminds us that we can take nothing for granted or underestimate the power of nature."

One of the dozen injured was listed in critical condition.

Lifeguards search for injured victims.Photo: Reuters

The sudden boom of thunder and flash of lightning stunned beach-goers, unaccustomed to this kind of wild weather in Southern California.

"It was all blue skies, except there were some dark clouds coming from the south," witness Gabe Anderson, 28, told the newspaper. "Then just one big crack of lightning — pretty unexpected."

Stuart Acher said he was playing volleyball when lightning struck him like a punch "in the back of my head."

"We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head," Acher told KABC-TV.

"It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over."


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Pope makes unscripted plea for peace between Israel and Hamas

Pope makes unscripted plea for peace between Israel and Hamas | New York Post
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July 28, 2014 | 9:34am

Pope Francis made an unscripted and emotional plea for peace Sunday as combat between Israel and Hamas flared again following a brief cease-fire in the war that began July 8.

"Please stop! I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please!" the pope said during his weekly address in Rome's St. Peter's Square.

The pope's voice cracked with emotion during the impromptu remarks, which followed a speech in which he discussed the upcoming 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

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1,100 killed in Ukraine since mid-April: UN

1,100 killed in Ukraine since mid-April: UN | New York Post
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July 28, 2014 | 9:36am

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U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 (above) may amount to a war crime. Photo: Reuters

At least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the Ukraine conflict since mid-April, U.N. monitors in the country said in their fourth monthly report on Monday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was extremely alarming and the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 may amount to a war crime.

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