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Monday, March 28, 2011

Khloe Kardashian And Lamar Odom's New Show, 'Khloe & Lamar,' Premieres April 10 at 10pm on E! (Trailer)

Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian

When Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom said "I do" in 2009, it was front-page celebrity news throughout the world. Now, the power couple is putting their life together at the center of a new television series, when the cameras begin rolling on "Khloé & Lamar" (working title) in early 2011. In the new series, the outspoken Kardashian sister and the Los Angeles Lakers star will invite cameras into their home, where Khloé’s brother Robert Kardashian has become a semi-permanent houseguest. "Khloé & Lamar" (working title) was announced today by Lisa Berger, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Programming for E!

"Khloé and Lamar are such a dynamic couple that we just knew we had to give them their own series," said Berger. "They are fascinating individuals in their own right, and together the duo are a powerhouse. They are funny, dramatic, opinionated, and we intend to capture all this, along with the unvarnished reality of their lives together and apart, since each is constantly followed by their own celebrity spotlight."

The most vocal and opinionated of the three sisters, Khloé was a viewer favorite in E!'s mega-successful "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" from the very beginning. In "Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami," she hosted her own call-in radio show, and then in 2009 Khloé sent shockwaves through the family when she announced just one month after they began dating that she would marry superstar L.A. Laker Lamar Odom. With just nine days to plan it, mom and manager Kris Kardashian Jenner pulled together a lavish wedding fit for a queen, which was attended by Los Angeles’ elite and which, like the bride herself, made headlines throughout the world.

Now that they have their first year of marriage behind them, Khloé and Lamar are blowing the lid off their home life and allowing the E! cameras to capture the private world they used to call their own. Sharing space under the Odom roof is Khloé’s brother, Robert, who is embarking on his own career in the music industry now that he is no longer living with mom Kris and step-dad Bruce Jenner.

We’ll also follow Lamar both in Los Angeles and as he hits the road to fulfill his professional duties as a member of the world-famous L.A. Lakers. Born and raised in South Jamaica, Queens, New York, Odom's background is a world apart from the privileged upbringing Khloé enjoyed in Los Angeles. With all the drama and laughter that is certain to be a part of this new series, could Lamar's expressed desire to "start having children right away" come into play? If so, viewers will likely be the first to find out.

The eight-episode series will be produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Bunim-Murray Productions. Ryan Seacrest serves as Executive Producer for RSP, while Jon Murray, Jeff Jenkins, Gil Goldschein and Farnaz Farjam are Executive Producers for BMP. Kris Jenner is also an Executive Producer on the series.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Buzzy Viral Video Actually a Promotion for 'Limitless'

Some of the most popular viral videos are the ones that make you ask yourself, "Did that really happen?" This week, a buzzy clip on YouTube showed a guy apparently hacking into video screens in Times Square with just an iPhone and a piece of hardware the man calls a "video repeater." It's unbelievable, but the video looks thoroughly convincing. And so far the clip has been seen nearly 1.5 million times. Take a look for yourself:

So it is real? In a word: nope. What it is, in actuality, is a surprisingly effective bit of marketing for a movie. The video was created by a company called ThinkModo to promote this weekend's new release, "Limitless."

The original video was posted to YouTube on March 13, and there is barely anything in it to suggest that it's promoting a movie. The only clue is on the big video screen towards the end of the clip. As the unidentified man in orange jacket raises his "video repeater" up on a balloon, before he takes over the screen it is showing the trailer for "Limitless."

In a follow-up video posted by the same YouTube user, BITcrash44, there is an expanded introduction where the person operating the camera asks the man how he was able to create his device. He credits NZT, the fictional drug in the movie that gives the character played by Bradley Cooper supercharged brain power. The expanded video then ends with a full commercial for "Limitless."

So how did they pull off the stunt? Michael Krivicka of ThinkModo told The Village Voice, "Instead of some crazy CGI, we actually went to the screens and paid to play our own stuff on them." They choreographed the timing just right so that the video playing on the iPhone in front of the camera would pop up at just the right time on the big screens when the man held up his fake device. The screens were rented to run the footage over and over for an hour while they did takes of the clip to get the timing just right. The creators even made an effort to shake the camera around, giving it the look of an actual viral video.

The clip doesn't tell you much about "Limitless" as a movie, but that is the point. ThinkModo's James Percelay told The New York Times they are trying to promote "a whole new mind-set where you don't have to wrap everything up in a bow and if you don't, people are going to be a lot more interested in you and what you're selling." They believe that you can get the public more interested in a product by starting a conversation than with a traditional advertisement. Does it work? Well, you're reading this, aren't you?

However, if you'd actually like to know something about "Limitless", you can watch the trailer for the movie below. And no one in an orange jacket will interrupt.

Why you should tip your waiter with cash

Want to give the most generous gratuities for hardworking waitstaff or servers? Bypass the tip line on a credit card receipt -- and leave cash instead.

Even when you tip well on a credit card, it's difficult to know whether your entire gratuity will end up in your server's bank account. That's mainly because policies can differ among various restaurants, hotels and other establishments where employees earn tip income. Those policies may reduce tip amounts or slow their payout. For example, servers' credit card gratuities may be reduced to offset the cost of interchange fees the restaurant pays to process credit transactions. So what's a concerned patron to do? When it comes to choosing whether to tip via cash or card, service industry professionals say that you'll make you waiter or waitress happy by leaving your tips in paper bills.

"The benefit to a server who gets paid in cash is they know what they're walking home with," says Brian Connors, an instructor with The Hospitality College at the Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Fla.

Cash vs. Credit

Some servers acknowledge they are happy to be tipped with either cash or credit. "For the most part, it doesn't matter," says David Herron, a waiter in Dallas. "Generally, I still leave work that night with the cash no matter how guests leave their tip." But tipping in cash still offers certain advantages:

Saves time: Receiving cash gratuities simplifies things for your server. "Cash tips do make your shift a bit easier by providing you with your own personal bank to make change from during your shift," says Herron. "This saves you valuable time when there isn't a manager, bartender or other server with cash on hand to give you change that a guest needs for whatever reason."

Gets them home earlier: Waiters who get paid in cash during their shift may hang onto the money -- which includes the cost of food and beverages, as well as their tips -- until the end of the night. Then they turn over the restaurant's portion, keep the tips for themselves and leave whenever they're ready. "With credit card tips, you have to wait for a manager to pay you before you can leave. Sometimes this happens immediately. A lot of times, you have to wait," Herron says.

"Saves" taxes: Getting paid in cash can also help workers avoid the watchful eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, which requires restaurant workers to claim all tip income -- both from credit cards and cash. "In essence, receiving tips in cash increases the waitstaff's opportunity for unreported income," says Robert Ricketts, who holds an endowed chair in taxation at Texas Tech University. "Tips received on credit cards are documented and presumably compiled by management," he says.

This is a difficult subject for many experts and industry insiders, however. "Long ago, I used to always leave cash tips out of that same sense of sisterly love -- not so much to hide the tips from the restaurant as from the IRS," says personal finance expert Liz Weston, herself a former restaurant employee.

Weston now takes a different view of this approach. "A lot of things changed, including the IRS rules on tip income (which got tougher) and my own attitude, which became: 'I really shouldn't help people evade taxes,'" she says via e-mail.

Of course, tipping on plastic does offer benefits to diners. First, there's the ease of use. "I think the main advantage of including the tip on the card is simple convenience. Some of us don't carry much cash anymore," says Weston. Tipping with a card helps when tracking spending, which can be especially beneficial for business travelers who need to submit expense reports. Meanwhile, should any disputes arise -- like an "over-entertained" (read: intoxicated) diner mistakenly leaving an overly generous tip -- credit card receipts can help to resolve any problems. "Some restaurants have rooms and rooms of guest receipts. In case there is a discrepancy, they have it on file for legal purposes," says Connors.

When in Doubt, Just Tip Well

In the end, experts say that rather than worrying about whether gratuities should always be left in cash or on a credit card, simply resolve to tip generously. "The servers aren't paid a living wage without tips," says Dan Post Senning of etiquette expertise company the Emily Post Institute. Even cash gratuities may not mean the server is going home with that money in their wallet. A waiter's tip may be divvied up among other restaurant workers -- such as busboys, food runners and sommeliers -- who make the waiter's job easier. At other establishments, all tips may be pooled for the entire staff before being divided among all the employees.

There are plenty of reasons to tip well, but what about when your experience isn't so good? Regardless, Senning says that diners shouldn't leave a tip that's less than 15 percent of the total bill. If a poor experience has you considering a tip below that amount, "you really should be talking to the manager," he says. Rather than penalizing your server, an off night for the restaurant may be to blame.

To make sure interchange fees aren't reducing your credit card gratuities to below 15 percent -- since restaurant and hotel policies vary -- Senning recommends leaving a tip that's no lower than 17 or 18 percent. You can also calculate your tip based on the total bill including tax, rather than the pre-tax amount. "That's another way you can indicate the service has been good, and you appreciate it by bumping up the tip," he says.

Just remember that when it comes to servers, they rely on your tips to earn a living. "The mainstay of income is all that gratuity," says Johnson & Wales instructor Connors.

Cable-Laying Boom, Boost Internet

Dozens of new undersea internet cables are set to be laid over the next couple of years, providing a huge boost to worldwide capacity.

The huge boom in internet video has led to Domesday scenarios of the internet running out of capacity.

Yet, most of the bandwidth bottlenecks are found in the "last mile" of connections to the home, and not the undersea cables that underpin the worldwide internet infrastructure. Indeed, many experts believe that there is abundant amounts of "dark fibre" that remains unused in oceans across the world.

Nevertheless, the Financial Times reports that major telcos are pushing ahead with projects that will see dozens of new cables laid before the end of the decade.

At least 25 new cables will be laid by 2010, at a cost of $6.4bn, according to TeleGeography Research, a Washington-based telecoms consultancy.

"In light of the tremendous untapped potential capacity on many submarine cables, it may seem surprising that a new cable-building boom is underway," TeleGeography claims.

"The reasons for cable construction are often a combination of several factors; including dwindling available capacity on some cables, a desire for wider restoration options, the need for physically diverse routes, competition, and high capacity prices in some regions of the world."

The cables are predominantly set to be laid in areas such as Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East, which are currently underserved.

Google, for example, announced plans to build a 10,000km fibre-optic cable linking the US and Japan in February.

Mercedes To Phase Out Petrol By 2015

In less than 7 years, Mercedes-Benz plans to ditch petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. Focusing on electric, fuel cell, and biofuels, the company is revving up research in alternative fuel sources and efficiency.

The German car company has a few new power-trains in the line-up that European journalists have had the opportunity to test out in the Mercedes facility in Spain. One vehicle includes the F700, powered by a DiesOtto engine that combines HCCI and spark ignition to get nearly the same efficiency as diesel, but minus the expensive after-treatment systems.

The engine can run on biofuels, and we may have a purchasable vehicle by 2010 -- a year that seems to bepopular for the debut of a lot of new alternative fuel car models, making ’08 and ’09 simply thumb-twiddling years for consumers. I don’t know, maybe car makers just like the roundness of “2010.” The company’s next big step will be to launch a Smart electric car which is fuel and emission-free.

Anyway, Mercedes is looking into electric vehicles, both battery-powered and fuel-cell powered. Not only are models in development, but we’ve also seen the company making steps towards its zero-petroleum goal right now, from better cabs in London to li-ion battery improvements. The company also has about 100 Smart electric cars undergoing testing in London, with that favorite 2010 year as the projected market release date.

Mercedes is making serious investments, already putting nearly $4 million into the pot of its long-term Sustainable Mobility plan, with another nearly $1.4 billion going in before 2014.

While car models may be able to run on fuels other than gasoline or diesel, we have yet to find a method of both running and producing vehicles entirely free of fossil fuels. I’m waiting for a mainstream car line that creates renewable fuel, clean-running vehicles out of 100% recycled materials in plants run on 100% renewable, clean power … Will I even be alive when that finally happens? I have hope

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The 10 Highest-Paid Government Jobs in the USA

Working for the government is often referred to as public service. The term implies sacrifice or taking less than what could be earned in the private sector or in an entrepreneurial position. Many government workers seem overpaid but are probably underpaid when you consider the scope of their responsibilities. Indeed, many in the private sector would not want to stand up to the scrutiny required of a top public service job or to get elected to public office.

The salary of the President of the United States is actually a token sum considering the responsibilities of the office. Still, officials in other public service jobs seem egregiously overpaid. People who hold these jobs are "set for life" after their public service ends because they are in demand for paid speaking gigs, memoirs and consulting roles in private industry.

24/7 Wall Street has gathered data from many public sources to ferret out how much these top government officials earn. Salaries of some jobs are shielded from public scrutiny because of national security reasons. We did not consider the healthcare and retirement packages, security and transportation benefits and more. In some cases, our public service executives have actually taken considerable pay cuts to serve.

One thing also needs to be considered here. Some government salaries are actually shielded under executive order. Some of the shielded pay grades may be well into the hundreds of thousands or even more. Some information, intelligence, and cloak and dagger positions are shielded and above our pay grade when it comes to identifying how much they are.

10. Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton

Annual Base Salary: $186,600
Maximum Job Length: Generally 8 Years
Previous Job: Senator From New York

Job Description: The Secretary of State is appointed by the president to serve as chief diplomatic representative of the U.S. Besides overseeing all State Department operations, including the operations of the U.S. embassies and representation in the UN, Secretary of State Clinton is responsible for the foreign operations of the CIA, the Defense Department, and the Department of Homeland Security. Clinton is also fourth in the chain of succession for presidency.

9. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner

Annual Base Salary: $191,300
Maximum Job Length: Generally 8 years
Previous Job: President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Job Description: Appointed by the President, the Secretary of the Treasury serves as the principal economic advisor for the President. According to the Department of the Treasury: "The Secretary is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, and managing the public debt." Geithner is a proxy for many other presidential cabinet members, who make the same amount, including Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

8. Senate Majority Leader: Harry Reid

Annual Base Salary: $193,400
Maximum Job Length: Indefinite, usually 4-8 years, or until Senate changes hands
Previous Job: Governor of Nevada

Job Description: The Senate Majority Leader did not exist until the beginning of the 20th century. According to the U.S. Senate website: "The leader must keep himself briefed and informed on national and international problems in addition to pending legislative matters. On the floor of the senate he is charged by his party members to deal with all procedural questions in consultation with them and his party's policy-making bodies." Additionally, Reid must be in contact with all of the various committees and maintain a line of communication between them and the senate. This position stands as proxy for the minority and majority leaders in both the Senate and House, who all make the same amount.

7. Chairman of the Federal Reserve: Benjamin Bernanke

Annual Base Salary: $199,700
Maximum Job Length: 14-28 years
Previous Job: Professor of Economics at Princeton

Job Description: The Chairman of the Federal Reserve is in charge of the Federal banking system of the U.S. As head of the fed, Bernanke dictates and explains the direction of U.S. fiscal policy and works with the Department of the Treasury.

6. Chief Justice of Supreme Court John G. Roberts

Annual Base Salary: $217,400
Maximum Job Length: Life
Previous Job: Judge on the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals

Job Description: As the Chief Justice of the nine-member Supreme Court, Roberts is the head of the U.S. Federal court system, and is effectively the Leader of the Judicial branch of the government. The Chief Justice is the spokesperson for the court, deciding who writes its opinions. Roberts is also responsible for setting the court's agenda.

5. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Admiral Michael Mullen

Annual Base Salary: $220,734.36
Maximum Job Length: 8 Years
Previous Job: Chief of Naval Operations

Job Description: While the president is technically the commander of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — the combined panel of the Army, Air Force, and Navy — is the functional leader of the military. The Chairman is appointed by the President.

4. Speaker of the House: John Boehner

Annual Base Salary: $223,500
Maximum Job Length: Potentially Unlimited, Generally 4-8 Years
Previous Job: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives From Ohio

Job Description: The Speaker of the House does not legally need to be a member of the House of Representatives, but there has never been a speaker appointed from outside the legislative branch. The speaker is third in line for the presidency. The speaker's role includes presiding over the house and setting his party's agenda. This position stands as proxy for the House Minority Leader, who makes the same amount.

3. Vice President: Joseph Biden

Annual Base Salary: $227,300
Maximum Job Length: 8 Years
Previous Job: Senator from Delaware

Job Description: While the Vice President of the United States is the second-in-command of the executive branch, and aids the president in all of his bureaucratic and diplomatic efforts. The VP is also officially the President of the Senate, and presides over all meetings, although his only important role is to serve as the tiebreaker in the event of a voting deadlock. Vice President Biden is also next in line for the presidency should Obama die or become incapacitated.

2. Postmaster General: Patrick R. Donahoe

Annual Base Salary: $245,000
Maximum Tenure: 8 years
Previous Job: A number of executive positions in the U.S. Postal Service

Job Description: Donahoe is the leader of the U.S. postal service, a position which is older than the U.S. Constitution. Once a presidential cabinet position, appointments for the position now come from within the service. Donahoe helps set postal rates and services, and oversees all major regulation changes.

1. President: Barack Obama

Annual Base Salary: $400,000
Maximum Job Length: 8 Years
Previous Job: Senator from Illinois

Job Description: The President is the head executive branch, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, and the nation's leader and figurehead. Obama is responsible for a great number of bureaucratic appointments and nominations, and many of the people on this list are put in place by the president.

Premier League referee gets away with an invisible yellow card

You know that feeling of bottomless horror when you were in school and the teacher would come around to collect the homework you just remembered you forgot to do? Referee Peter Walton had that same feeling in the 40th minute of Wednesday's Premier League match between Everton and Birmingham when he reached in his pocket for his trusty yellow card and it wasn't there.

With Birmingham's Jordan Mutch awaiting his punishment for a bookable offense, Walton found a handful of nothing and realized he left his cards back in the dressing room. But he didn't show his panic. Instead, he coolly held his hand over Mutch like he was actually displaying a card that really exists and moved on. And it worked.

Though the incident is now making the rounds as a bit of comedy, it seems no one in an official capacity is asking many questions about whether the invisible yellow should stand or whether Walton should face any consequences for his forgetfulness. Perhaps because he did such a good job in selling it that they all think they're going insane for not seeing a card in his hand.

Luckily for Walton, the other three yellow cards he had to show in the 1-1 draw all came after halftime when he had a chance to retrieve his missing equipment. But to avoid this ever happening again, I say referees should just color one hand yellow and one hand red so they don't have to worry about filling their pockets.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jobs For People Who Want To Make An Impact

See great-paying career options for ambitious people who want to make a difference.

By Chris Kyle

Want a career that lets you make an impact...without going broke?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to get paid to make a difference.

Having a career that lets you help others is one way to have an impact. Being in a position to make significant changes is yet another possibility. So is working in management.

As you can see, there are many ways to channel your ambition and make a difference, so finding the right career may depend on what suits you and your personality best.

[Want to make an impact? Find schools now.]

With that in mind, check out our list of careers that pay you to make a difference...then see how you can get the job.

Career #1 - Marketing Manager

Want to make an impact in the business world? Marketing managers promote their product to the public and the results have a profound effect on a company's bottom line, making them critical, game-changing players.

Education: Studying marketing or business administration is the best way to get started, but often a bachelor's degree isn't enough. To break into management, many people earn an MBA as well.

Salary: $120,070

[Search for Marketing and Business degree programs]

Career #2 - Paralegal

In the legal world, the difference between winning and losing usually happens long before a case goes to trial and more often than not there's a paralegal who is a pivotal player in that process. Working alongside lawyers, paralegals have a huge behind-the-scenes role, analyzing cases and researching and interviewing witnesses.

Education: An associate's degree in paralegal studies can prepare you to become a paralegal. If you already have a degree, you can earn a certificate in paralegal studies in as little as six months.

Salary: $50,080

[Find Paralegal schools near you]

Career #3 - Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

CPAs are among the very few people who actually understand the tax code, let alone the new federal banking regulations that Congress just passed. And unlike unlicensed accountants, CPAs can file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), making them an influential ally of public companies registered with the SEC.

Education: The road to becoming a CPA varies, depending upon the state in which you practice, but the minimum requirement is generally a bachelor's degree in an area like accounting or finance.

Salary: $48,468 - $73,440

[Search for Accounting degree programs now]

Career #4 - HR Manager

HR managers are the gatekeepers to companies large and small. Not only do HR managers actively work to recruit and retain the best workers, their efforts have a huge impact in shaping a company's culture.

Education: Going to business school is a good investment for aspiring HR managers. A bachelor's degree is required and many managers also have an MBA.

Salary: $105,510

[Find Business schools now]

Career #5 - Computer Programmer

As a computer programmer, your co-workers might not fully understand what you do for a living, but they do understand that you're an invaluable part of today's digital world. Using computer languages like C++ and Python, programmers write the code that powers ideas to life.

Education: To attract employers, you'll want to demonstrate your expertise with a technology-related degree, whether it's an associate's or bachelor's. Certificate programs are another great resumé builder.

Salary: $74,690

[Find Technology degree programs]

Career #6 - K-12 Teacher

When talking about making an impact, it's impossible to overstate the difference teachers make in the lives of their students. By simply doing your job, you'll be reaching the next generation and helping map their futures.

Education: You'll need a bachelor's degree and your teacher certification. Earning a master's degree can also help.

Elementary School Teachers: $53,150
Middle School Teachers: $53,550
Secondary School Teachers: $55,150

[Search for Teaching programs]

Career #7 - Database Administrator

Unlike in the past, finding information isn't the problem these days. The tough part is figuring out how to sort and make sense of it all. Enter database administrators, who are often charged with safeguarding data from hackers and computer meltdowns.

Education: Employers want to hire database administrators who have a bachelor's degree in an area like information systems or database technology. Earning a master's degree can increase your opportunities.

Salary: $74,290

[Find IT training programs]

*Average salaries come from the U.S. Department of Labor, using 2009 median salary information, except CPA, which comes from January 2011 salary data from

Young Mexican police chief fired after reportedly fleeing to U.S.

The AP reports that 21-year-old Marisol Valles has been fired from her post as police chief of the violent town of Praxedis G. Guerrero when she didn't show up for work this morning. She is reportedly seeking asylum in the United States after receiving death threats from drug cartels. She may have difficulty making an asylum case, though, since U.S. immigration officials typically approve such request on the basis of political threats to an applicant's life or well-being, and Mexican drug violence is obviously not state-sanctioned.

Valles was hailed as the bravest woman in Mexico for agreeing to head up the town's police force when no one else applied for the job in October. Warring local drug gangs had beheaded other city officials--but Valles, a criminology student, said she overcame her fear for the good of her community. Valles said she would focus on administrative tasks and community-building, and would not take on the drug cartels.

Even so, she reportedly became the target of a campaign of intimidation. Mexican papers reported Friday that Valles fled the town and was seeking asylum in the United States after receiving death threats, but city officials released a statement claiming Valles was only traveling across the border for a brief stay to get her young son medical attention. They said she would be back on the job by this morning. When she didn't show up, they fired her.

A Chihuahua state human rights official named Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson told El Pais that Valles received death threats over the phone before fleeing. He said a local government employee accompanied her to the international bridge that crosses into Fort Hancock, Texas on Thursday. Her plan, according to the official, was to seek asylum.

The United States doesn't often deviate from the political criteria for granting asylum. In addition to proving a government-based threat, successful asylum applicants must show that the persecution stems from their race, religion, nationality, political views or membership in a particular social group.

Women officials have not been spared in the country's brutal drug violence. In Bravos, Mexico 28-year-old Érika Gándara was given the chief of police job by her uncle, the mayor, after no one applied. According to a report in the New York Times, she was taken from her home in December by armed gunmen and hasn't been seen since. Hermila García, appointed police chief of Meoqui, was killed in November after only a month on the job.

(Valles: AP)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bieber raises thousands for water charity to mark 17th birthday

Justin Bieber is appealing to his fans to donate money to charity to mark his 17th birthday on Tuesday.

The Baby hitmaker is forgoing gifts from his devoted fanbase in a bid to raise cash for Charity: Water, a non-profit organisation bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

In a post on his fundraising page, he writes, "I have had an incredible year and it is all due to the fans helping me live my dream. So this year, I really want my birthday to be all about helping others. Instead of asking for gifts, I'm asking friends, family and fans to consider donating $17 for my 17th birthday to help make a change.

"Did you know that about 4,500 kids die each day from waterborne disease? By building clean water projects for villages that need them, we can prevent this! 100% of all donations go directly to building clean water projects in developing countries with charity: water, and we'll be able to see photos and GPS of the projects we helped build! I want to make my birthday matter this year - let's make it so more kids can grow up to have a 17th birthday like me. Join me to make a change.

"I'm really so grateful for my family, friends and fans - and I believe we can do something big to help bring clean water to people in need. Even if you don't have $17 to give I just ask you to go out in your community and try and make a positive difference. Even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way."

Bieber set his fundraising target at £11,333 - and had already smashed his aim by Monday night.

Hollywood Sex Symbol Jane Russell Dies At 89

Jane Russell, a Hollywood sex symbol of the 1940's, has died at the aged of 89.

She was discovered by the wealthy industrialist Howard Hughes who in 1940 cast her in the movie The Outlaw.

Her best known role came 10 years later when she starred alongside another Hollywood legend, Marilyn Monroe, in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The promotional photos for The Outlaw, her first film, were so racy that voters in one poll had named her as their favourite actress before the movie had been released.

In fact, the images caused so much controversy the film was delayed by censors for three years.

It was eventually allowed a limited released in 1943 after a court battle.

She also starred in films alongside Clark Cable, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope.

Her famous figure was used when she was 60 in television adverts promoting bras for "full figured" women.

Russell adopted three children with her first husband, American football player Bob Waterfield, and in the 1950s founded the World Adoption International Fund.

Their tempestuous marriage ended in divorce after 25 years. She married twice more.

In her autobiography she talked about the conflict between her religious faith and her image.

She also expressed regret over her extra-marital affairs, her divorce and her alcoholism.

She continued to perform and carry out work for charities up until a few weeks ago when her health began to decline.

Her family said she died from respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, California.

Her son Buck Waterfield said she passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside.

Britain poised to axe foreign aid

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has rejected claims that the Government is putting Britain's security concerns ahead of aid priorities by trimming the number of countries which will receive assistance from the UK.

A review of international aid is expected to remove 16 countries - including Angola, Vietnam and Cambodia - from the list of those which receive direct help from Britain.

Aid charities have raised concerns that the countries which will continue to get support, such as Afghanistan and Somalia, have been chosen because they are considered vital to maintaining UK security.

World Development Movement head of policy Julian Oram told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "What we are concerned about is the focus on a smaller number of countries, which actually takes money away from some of the world's poorest countries, like Niger, Angola and Cambodia and channels it into countries where there is deemed to be a higher security risk to the UK."

But Mr Mitchell responded: "In terms of the suggestion that we are securitising aid, we are dealing with parts of the world where people are doubly cursed - not only because they live in extreme poverty but also because they live in very conflicted societies."

The Government has committed the UK to meeting the United Nations target of spending 0.7% of GDP on aid by 2013. Total assistance is due to rise from £7 billion to £11 billion by 2015.

But ministers face criticism for merely freezing funding for India - which can afford its own space programme - at £280 million a year for the next four years.

Asked about the extent of overseas aid at a time of spending cuts at home, Mr Mitchell told BBC Breakfast: "We are dealing with a scale of poverty here around the world of a completely different order.

"And we do it because it's morally right, it's about our values as a country and as a Government, and also because it's in our national interest."

On India, he added: "We are walking the last mile with India in terms of its development programme."

Couple Admit Kidnapping Jaycee Dugard

A couple charged with kidnapping a child and holding her captive for 18 years have confessed to the crime.

Jaycee Dugard was snatched aged 11 in 1991, in South Lake Tahoe, California, by Phillip Garrido, a convicted rapist who was out on parole.

Ms Dugard was found in August 2009, hidden in the back garden of Garrido's house, in Antioch near San Francisco.

She had two daughters by Garrido, who kidnapped her along with help from his wife.

Defence lawyers for Nancy Garrido said the couple admitted kidnap after being re-interviewed by detectives.

Lawyer Stephen Tapson said Ms Dugard attended one of the interviews with Nancy Garrido.

It was the first time the pair had met since the wife's arrest in 2009.

Prosecutors have proposed a 440-year jail term for Phillip Garrido and more than 241 years for his wife - but no deal has been reached on a plea bargain.

Ms Dugard was awarded more than £13m in compensation for the ordeal in July 2010.

Libya: Exodus As World Plans Military Action

Fears of a humanitarian crisis are mounting as violence in Libya forces thousands of refugees to flee - and world leaders step up military plans for the country.

The concerns over the increasing numbers crossing the country's borders came as the US announced it had frozen $30bn in Libyan assets.

The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have left Libya in the past week and the Red Cross estimates around 1,000 refugees are arriving on Tunisia's border every hour.

Red Cross spokesman Joe Lowry, at the scene, told Sky News the situation was becoming increasingly chaotic.

"For past 12 hours, there has been a severe crush on the border, in the no-man's land between the two countries," he said.

Mr Lowry added: "There are around 2,500 people clamouring to get through.

"They are mainly Egyptian workers, but we have also spoken to people from Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Ghana, Mali and Mauritania.

"It's a very tense situation and we have been working flat out to try to get aid to people."

Sky News' foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall, also at the border, added: "The Red Cross puts the number of people at around 2,500, but I think it has now swelled to 4,000.

"Thousands of people are stuck between the two borders and thousands more are coming in behind them.

"They are pretty angry because when they get here they are getting very little help."

Anyone wishing to help can go to, a charity through which money can be donated to help with medical supplies.

Meanwhile, Colonel David Lapan said the US military was repositioning naval and air forces around Libya, as international demands intensified for an end to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year rule.

"We have planners working and various contingency plans and I think it's safe to say as part of that we're repositioning forces to be able to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made ... to be able to provide options and flexibility," he said.

"We're still in that planning and preparing mode should we be called upon to do any of those types of missions, whether humanitarian and otherwise."

Lapan declined to give details about the types of ships or units being repositioned or how US commanders plan to use them.

He said the US now had two aircraft carriers in its naval command region that includes the Arabian Sea and Gulf, but does not have any carriers in the Mediterranean.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has also been discussing possible military intervention and revealed plans for a no-fly zone over Libya.

Despite increasing pressure on Col Gaddafi, in an interview with America's ABC network, he laughed while refusing to acknowlege the protests against his regime.

He said: "All my people love me. They would die to protect me."

US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice labelled Col Gadaffi "delusional".

"When he can laugh while he is slaughtering his own people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how disconnected he is with reality."

In Libya, witnesses say the town of Misratah and its airport are under the control of Col Gaddafi's opponents, according to reports.

The rebels apparently held off an attack by pro-government forces near the town, which is 125 miles (200 km) east of the capital Tripoli, and shot down a military aircraft.

Two people are thought to have died in the clashes.

"An aircraft was shot down while it was firing on the local radio station. Protesters captured its crew," one witness told Reuters.

"Fighting to control the military air base (near Misratah) started on Sunday night and is still going on.

"Gaddafi's forces control only a small part of the base. Protesters control a large part of this base where there is ammunition. Misratah is still under the control of the protesters."

It comes after anti-Gaddafi forces at the weekend seized the key city of Zawiyah, just 30 miles from Tripoli.

The rebels claim around 2,000 troops loyal to the Libyan leader are surrounding the city and expect a counter-attack at any moment.

There are also reports of around 300 people protesting in eastern Tripoli.

Security forces are said to be heading to the scene of the march in the district of Tajoura, raising the possibility of a new confrontation, according to Reuters.

Also, a video of one of Col Gaddafi's sons, Saif al Islam, has appeared on the internet, where he apparently rallies security forces in Tripoli and promises them more weapons.

Marshall said the regime has to "crumble from within" in order for Col Gaddafi to go.

"It will take cracks from the inside to appear before Col Gaddafi leaves, which is why Zawiyah, which fell on Sunday, is important.

"Symbolically it is only 30 miles from where Col Gaddafi is and it could be a staging post if the protesters can hold it.

"However, Col Gaddafi's regime is finished."

Marshall added: "When David Cameron and diplomats talk about sanctions and travel bans they are not sending a message to the Gaddafis but the people around them.

"What they're saying is 'look, the game's up, so let's do something do about it' and although they're not calling for Gaddafi to be killed, in these situations sometimes someone 'puts a bullet' in the leader's head and they try to move on."

The country's former justice minister, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, who is leading the newly-formed National Council, told Sky News rebel forces will take Tripoli by force if necessary.

He said: "Tripoli is fighting against oppression and when it falls the regime will follow. Now the support around (Col Gaddafi) is collapsing."

In Brussels, European Union governments have approved a package of sanctions against Col Gaddafi, his family and closest advisers, including an arms embargo, asset freeze and visa ban.

The International Criminal Court has formed a team to collect information about civilian deaths during the uprising and will decide within days whether to open a formal investigation.

Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said: "Information suggests that forces loyal to President Muammar Gaddafi are attacking civilians in Libya. This could constitute crimes against humanity and must stop."

Hundreds of Britons are now back home after being evacuated from Libya.

Many were rescued over the weekend in a series of operations by special forces.

RAF aircraft picked up 150 civilians - a large number of them British.

Also, new video footage has emerged of one of the missions.

Copyright of Yahoo! UK

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Premieres Exclusively on Vevo

Lady Gaga fans, prepare to have the misty veil of mundanity ripped off of your Monday: The video for Gaga's hit single, "Born This Way," will be premiering exclusively on Vevo at 11 a.m. EST today.

The video will be available at, Vevo Mobile (apps for Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) and Vevo on YouTube.

Gaga has already been crowned the queen of iTunes, as “Born This Way” is the fastest-selling single ever to grace Apple’s iTunes store worldwide.

The song pulled in more than 1 million downloads in five days and hit the number one spot on iTunes in 23 countries, according to Apple.

Judging by those numbers, the premiere of the accompanying video could produce comparable results, perhaps even helping Gaga wrest away the crown from the pop princeling himself, Justin Bieber, when it comes to YouTube and Vevo views.

Gaga still sits at number two on the most-viewed videos of all time list on YouTube and Vevo.

Experts: 'Abortion safer than pregnancy'

Abortions safer than pregnancy, say experts
© Brian Jackson -

Pregnant women should be told that having an abortion is safer than continuing a pregnancy, health experts have said.

Guidelines drawn up by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) for doctors, nurses and counsellors involved in terminations, state that "women should be advised that abortion is generally safer than continuing a pregnancy to term."

Perhaps controversially, the draft guidelines also say that women should also be informed that "most women who have abortions do not experience adverse psychological sequelae" as a result of the procedure itself, but are related to pre-existing mental health conditions.

The guidelines have been drawn up by a working group made up of members from the RCOG, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International.

Titled "The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion", the document contains a number of recommendations which are likely to be come under fire from pro-life organisations.

In the section, "Side effects, complications and sequelae of abortion - what women need to know," the document recommends that women should be informed that abortion is not associated with ectopic pregnancy, infertility or an increased risk of breast cancer.

It also says that women should be informed that terminations are linked to a small increase in the risk of women giving birth to a premature baby in future pregnancies, a risk which increases with the number of terminations.

Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: "The RCOG has been heavily criticised in the past for underplaying the physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women and this new document appears to continue in that vein.

"There are, as before, no psychiatrists on the panel, which is rather odd given that the Royal College of Psychiatrists has recently changed its position on the link between abortion and mental illness (it now acknowledges one) and is presently in the process of reviewing the scientific literature again.

"Asking this group to comment objectively and honestly about the physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women is like asking Philip Morris or British American Tobacco to review the health consequences of smoking or Macdonald’s to outline the adverse effects of fast food consumption."