الأربعاء، 16 سبتمبر 2015

Corbyn Tackles PM With Crowdsourced Questions

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has used his first Prime Minister's Questions to tackle David Cameron with some of the 40,000 questions sent to him by members of the public.
Mr Corbyn was greeted with cheers as he rose to his feet at the despatch box, where he pressed the PM over housing, welfare cuts and mental health services.
He also called for a new approach at the weekly session, which is traditionally known for its rowdy atmosphere, and told the PM many voters had told him PMQs and Westminster as a whole was "out of touch and too theatrical".
Sky's Deputy Political Editor Joey Jones said Mr Corbyn's approach proved effective, allowing him to set a measured low-key tone.
The veteran left-wingers performance will be welcomed by the Corbyn camp, following a rocky start to his leadership.
After struggling to put together a frontbench team and facing criticism over the top jobs all going to men, disagreements have already emerged with members of his own shadow cabinet.
Of the many responses he received from the public for PMQs, Mr Corbyn had just six to put to Mr Cameron, which included questions from Marie on housing, Steven on rents, Paul on tax credits, Claire on benefits, and Gail and Angela on mental health.
Responding, Mr Cameron said he welcomed Mr Corbyn's approach and said he would be "delighted" if the session could become a "genuine exercise in asking questions and answering questions".
Congratulating Mr Corbyn on his election as party leader Mr Cameron said: "I know we will have many strong disagreements, I'm sure, between us at these exchanges but where we can work together in the national interest we should do so and I wish him well in his job."

However, in answering the opposition leader's questions, the PM repeatedly stressed the need for a strong economy to provide public services.
And when Mr Cameron was jeered from the opposition benches over welfare cuts, he said: "I thought this was the new question time".
When pressed by Mr Corbyn over concerns around mental health services, Mr Cameron admitted more needed to be done in this area, but argued improvements had been made.
Mr Cameron warned: "We will not have a strong NHS unless we have a strong economy, and if the Labour Party is going to go down the route of unlimited spending, unlimited borrowing, unlimited tax rates, printing money, they will wreck the economic security of our country and the family security of every family in our country."
Responding to a question from a Tory MP, the PM also appeared to take a sideswipe at Mr Corbyn's remark during the leadership campaign that he could not think of a good case for sending British troops abroad.
Highlighting the role played by UK service personnel in tackling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Mr Cameron said: "For those who wonder sometimes what are the uses of British troops, I would say get a map out and have a look at Sierra Leone."
In a question on Northern Ireland, DUP MP Nigel Dodds referred to controversial comments previously made by Mr Corbyn's shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, in which he called for IRA terrorists to be "honoured".
Read more »

الثلاثاء، 15 سبتمبر 2015

First Syrian Refugees To Arrive In UK 'In Days'

The first Syrian refugees to be resettled in the UK under an expanded Government programme will arrive in the next few days.
They will be coming from camps bordering war-ravaged Syria and will be among a total of 20,000 that Britain has agreed to take over the next five years.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government was "working at speed" to plan for even more arrivals in the coming weeks.
She said the public response to the migrant crisis has been one of "overwhelming generosity" and many have made "kind offers of assistance".
Mrs May said Minister for Syrian refugees Richard Harrington will meet non-governmental organisations (NGOs) over the next week to discuss how best to "harness the public's strong desire to welcome refugees".
People across the UK have come together to sign petitions, collect food and clothing, donate money, and offer up their homes to people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

A Government website and a Red Cross helpline will advise people on how they can help Syrian refugees in the UK, Mrs May said.
The Government has chosen not to take in refugees who have already made the journey to Europe because David Cameron does not want migrants risking their lives by land and sea trying to get to the continent.
Hundreds have already died this year making the perilous trip.
The Europe Commission wants EU countries to sign up to a quota system where they each take in a certain number of refugees out of a total of 160,000 but the UK is not taking part in the proposed scheme.
Read more »

Salmond: Second Independence Vote May Be Sooner

Alex Salmond has told Sky News a second referendum on Scottish independence will happen sooner "if the Labour Party looks unelectable" under new leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The former head of the SNP said "the prospect of 10 years more of Tory rule" means another vote on splitting from the UK will be held "on a much, much shorter timescale".
He also warned "the Labour Party is now divided" and "divided parties don't win elections".
Scotland voted to reject independence by a margin of 55% to 45% in a referendum held last September.
However, the Scottish National Party won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland at the last general election, fuelling speculation there will be a second referendum at a later date.
Mr Salmond told Sky News: "If the Labour Party looks unelectable there's the prospect of 10 years more of Tory rule and 50 years of nuclear weapons in Scotland.
"Those are all factors that are pushing Scotland towards a referendum on a much, much shorter timescale than I envisaged."
Speaking after Mr Corbyn's first Prime Minister's Questions as Labour leader, he added: "I've known Jeremy Corbyn for 30 years and I've liked him for 30 years.
"The great problem he's got isn't what he's facing from the Tories or the mainstream press.
"The great problem is what's hiding underneath and behind him in the Labour Party, and there's an immutable law of politics: divided parties don't win elections."

His comments echo SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who has previously said: "If Labour cannot quickly demonstrate that they have a credible chance of winning the next UK general election, many more people in Scotland are likely to conclude that independence is the only alternative to continued Tory government."
At the weekend, the ruling party revealed it will set out the timescale for such a referendum in its manifesto ahead of the Scottish Parliament election in 2016.
Read more »

الاثنين، 14 سبتمبر 2015

Missing Child Alerts To Appear In Facebook Feed

Facebook is to start alerting members of the public when a child goes missing nearby.
The social network has teamed up with the National Crime Agency to place Child Rescue Alerts in people's News Feed.
A Facebook spokeswoman said: "When a child disappears and their life is at risk, every minute after the child's disappearance is crucial to bringing them home safely.
"For the police, getting information out to the public as quickly as possible, increasing eyes and ears on the streets, is vital."
When a high-profile alert is issued by the authorities, a Facebook post will be sent to the second position in News Feed to people who are near the location of where the child has gone missing.
The alert will allow police to give out important details about the child such as a photo, description, location of the abduction, and any other available information that can be provided to the public to aid in the search.
Those receiving it on Facebook or the community in the local area can then share it with friends to spread the word.
If someone believes they have seen the missing child - or have information to share - they will be able to call a number directly from the posting.
An alert will only be issued if the missing child is believed to be at risk of serious harm or their life is in danger so those receiving one are urged to take it seriously.
Emily Vacher, Trust and Safety Manager for Facebook told Sky News: "More than half of the people in the UK use Facebook.
"All over the world, we've seen communities rallying together in times of need, using Facebook to spread the word – and these alerts will make that quicker and help to reach more people than ever before during these exceptionally stressful and worrying times.
"Working in partnership with several of the UK's most critical support organisations, we hope we can enlist even more people to help reunite children with their families."
Read more »

Boris Johnson Heckled By Protesting Cabbies

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been forced out of the London Assembly chamber after being heckled by protesting taxi drivers.
The cabbies were protesting over a range of issues, including the introduction of electric vehicles and increasing competition from Uber.
Boris Johnson had to leave the chamber and suspend Mayor's Question Time due to the protest, tweeting later: "Vital Londoners see democratic process in action but behaviour of some cabbies at MQTs today undermines that.
"Also shocked that 3 City Hall security staff hurt following suspension of Mayor's Question Time - no excuse for violence."
Footage of the meeting showed Mr Johnson attempting to answer a question but being shouted down by protesters in the public gallery.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been forced out of the London Assembly chamber after being heckled by protesting taxi drivers.
The cabbies were protesting over a range of issues, including the introduction of electric vehicles and increasing competition from Uber.
Boris Johnson had to leave the chamber and suspend Mayor's Question Time due to the protest, tweeting later: "Vital Londoners see democratic process in action but behaviour of some cabbies at MQTs today undermines that.
"Also shocked that 3 City Hall security staff hurt following suspension of Mayor's Question Time - no excuse for violence."
Footage of the meeting showed Mr Johnson attempting to answer a question but being shouted down by protesters in the public gallery.
Read more »

National Anthem Row: Corbyn Changes Tune

Labour has said Jeremy Corbyn will sing the national anthem at ceremonial events after he was criticised for staying silent during a rendition on Tuesday.
The newly-elected leader came under fire, including from within his shadow cabinet, over his decision not to sing God Save The Queen at a Battle of Britain commemoration service.
Mr Corbyn told Sky News he had "stood in respect" throughout the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle, as he thought about his parents who were air raid wardens during the Blitz.
When asked if he would sing the national anthem in the future, Mr Corbyn said: "I'm going to be at many events and I'll take part fully in those events.
"I don't see a problem like this."
He also said: "The issue surely is we had a memorial for the Battle of Britain. I was there, I showed respect for it and I'll show respect in the proper way at all future events. That is what I will be doing.
"The proper way is to take a full part in them and I will take a full part in them."
But later a Labour Party spokesman said: "What he meant was that 'taking part fully' would include singing the anthem.
"That is what he was saying in the interview this morning."

The veteran left-winger was speaking before facing David Cameron at the despatch box in his first Prime Minister's Questions.
His first outing at the traditional weekly session follows a rocky start to his party leadership.
After struggling to put together a frontbench team and facing criticism over the top jobs all going to men, disagreements have already emerged with members of his own shadow cabinet.
Following the anthem row, shadow minister for women Kate Green told Sky News it would have been a "really good gesture" towards military families and those who had lost loved ones, had he sung it.
Ms Green told Sky News: "I think if I had been there I would have sung it. I would have advised him to sing it.
"Not because of the content of the national anthem but because of what it symbolises for many people, in the way that it honours our country and also of course the people who have died fighting to protect our freedoms.
Read more »

Has Corbyn Taken The Punch Out Of PMQs?

Something very strange happened at Prime Minister's Questions as new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took on David Cameron at the despatch box for the first time.
It was easy to hear in the House of Commons what MPs said. Nobody shouted.
The naughty MPs - who sit on the steps of the aisle so they can distract the opposition without being seen - were well behaved.
The Speaker John Bercow didn't interrupt once (he'll be out of a job soon).
Sitting in the press gallery, it was almost eerie.
Mr Corbyn said he would change PMQs and he's succeeded, thanks to questions from members of the public including "Angela who works in mental health" and "Marie from Putney" who is worried about housing.
Labour MPs, still wearing the scars from a bruising campaign, sat quietly.
Chris Leslie, who refused to serve under Mr Corbyn, was as still as a statue throughout.
Mary Creagh, who also resigned from the shadow cabinet, was emotionless as she clutched her phone.
Afterwards, though, even MPs who are not their new leader's biggest cheerleaders said he had done a good job.
Wes Streeting and Jonathan Reynolds said it was a more mature session than usual and tackled issues that mattered to people.
But can it last?
The Labour MP John Mann said MPs had expected the Tom and Jerry show, but got Jeremy Vine instead.
The SNP's Alex Salmond questioned whether it was an effective way of causing damage on Mr Cameron, who wasn't challenged on his answers.
Mr Corbyn might have taken the Punch and Judy show out of PMQs.... But has he taken out the punch as well?
Read more »

الأحد، 13 سبتمبر 2015

Hewlett-Packard To Cut Up To 30,000 Jobs

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has embarked on a new round of job cuts as it prepares to be split in to two units.
The technology firm said between 25,000-30,000 roles would go at HP Enterprise, a business it is creating to bundle together its data analysis and software divisions - separating them from the personal computer and printer operation.
The move is due to be completed by the end of October and HP said the job losses, which follow 55,000 cut over the past three years, were part of efforts to reduce costs by $2bn per year.
It was unclear at this stage whether any of its staff, numbering around 15,000 in the UK and Ireland, would be affected.
HP announced the spin-off a year ago amid the market shift from PCs to mobile devices that has reduced demand for many of the company's key products.
Chief executive Meg Whitman, who will lead HP Enterprise, told investors she expected it to rake in more than $50bn in annual revenue.
""HP Enterprise will be smaller and more focused than HP is today, and we will have a broad and deep portfolio of businesses that will help enterprises transition to the new style of business.
"As a separate company, we are better positioned than ever to meet the evolving needs of our customers around the world."
Its share price has lost 33% of its value in the year to date on the New York Stock Exchange.
Read more »

السبت، 12 سبتمبر 2015

Porsche Unveils Battery-Only Sports Car

Porsche has unveiled its attempt to target the market for battery-powered sports cars.
The Mission E concept car is capable of 0-60mph in under 3.5 seconds - still short against its rival the Tesla Model S, which claims a 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds.
Porsche has said it could be its first all-electrically powered four-seat sports car.
Parent company Volkswagen said it will be available to buy by early 2018.
Porsche, which revealed the car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is a little bit behind the curve given that the prototype of the Model S was launched at the same event six years ago.
However, potential customers may be impressed by the charging speed - Porsche says the Mission E will reach 80% charge in around 15 minutes.
They also say it could travel more than 300 miles on one battery charge.
According to Porsche, the Mission E will also share your mood with others while driving - a camera mounted in the rear-view mirror recognises when the driver is happy and displays an emoticon.
This can be saved by the car's computer with information such as the route or speed before being shared with friends on social media.
Price details have not been revealed, but it has been suggested the cost could start at £100,000.
Car makers are coming under increasing pressure from Brussels not just to limit carbon emissions but also address the health problems linked to diesel fumes.
Japanese car maker Toyota has used the Frankfurt show to announce its intention of doubling its European hybrid sales to around 400,000 by the end of the decade.
Last month, the British Government announced that the £5,000 grant for plug-in vehicles has been extended for an extra three months.
Chancellor George Osborne's summer budget in July revealed that by 2017 low CO2 emitting cars worth more than £40,000 will be hit with an extra £310 'surcharge'.
A quarter of all cars are currently exempt from vehicle excise duty because of their low CO2 emissions.
Read more »

US Twitter Users Can Tweet Campaign Donations

Twitter has launched a new feature that allows users in the US to make donations to presidential candidates with a simple tweet.
The social media company is working with financial services firm Square Inc to help White House hopefuls collect campaign cash.
At least a dozen candidates will begin using the fundraising service right away, said Jenna Golden, Twitter's director of political ad sales.
"We think about donating to a campaign as an old-fashioned, traditional process, a cumbersome process," Ms Golden said.
"This was an incredible opportunity for us to simplify and streamline."
Twitter has already become the go-to tool for candidates looking to aggressively spread their campaign message, as well as link to web-based online donation forms.
But the new @SquareCash feature allows users to give to their candidate of choice quickly and from any device.
With 2016 campaign costs expected to surpass the $2bn spent in 2012, candidates will likely welcome any new conduit for cash.
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Republicans Scott Walker and Rick Santorum were among the first to use the new feature on Tuesday.

Mr Walker's campaign wrote on Twitter: "Just launched our @SquareCash account. Show Scott Walker some support going into the second debate by donating $2."
Anyone looking to donate is required to submit their identifying details under the guidelines of the Federal Election Commission.
Users can then choose to "share" the news of their donation to their Twitter followers.
Candidates also can pay Twitter to promote their fundraising-linked tweets, the company said.
Ms Golden said the feature is also available to local and state-level candidates.
Read more »

الجمعة، 11 سبتمبر 2015

Duo Claim Putin Prank Call To Sir Elton John

Two Russians say they were behind a call to Elton John where they pretended to be Vladimir Putin ringing to discuss gay rights.
Pranksters Vovan and Lexus claim they will air the conversation on Russian television on Wednesday night.
Lexus, real name Alexei Stolyarov, told Sky News that Sir Elton had described the call as the "most wonderful call he'd ever received" and that it was a "privilege" to speak to Mr Putin.
"My friend Vladimir was the Russian president. I was like the translator – his press secretary," said Stolyarov
"Elton told that he always loved Russia … he thinks only good about Russia and he wants to meet with the Russian president – not like (politicians) but like humans."
The call is said to have lasted 11 minutes.
Sir Elton posted on Instagram on Monday thanking the Russian president for "reaching out" to him and said he looked forward to a face-to-face meeting "to discuss LGBT equality".

The Russian leader's spokesman denied the call had taken place, but said Mr Putin could still respond positively to Sir Elton's offer.
"The president has always been open to discuss human rights issues," said Dmitry Peskov.
Speaking on Wednesday - after receiving an apology from the pranksters who impersonated him - Mr Peskov said the pair should instead say sorry to Sir Elton.
"I would recommend to apologise (to) Elton John, he is a respected and favoured singer here. It was not good to trick him like that."
The singer first raised the prospect of meeting Mr Putin last week, during a visit to Ukraine.
The singer met the country's leader, Petro Poroshenko, to lobby him about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
Sir Elton criticised Mr Putin's "ridiculous" stance on gay rights and accused him of saying "stupid things" about gay people's attitude to children.
Read more »

Scientists Blown Away By New Images Of Pluto

NASA has released new photos which show mountains, possible dunes and multiple layers of haze on the dwarf planet Pluto.
The images were taken by the New Horizons spacecraft as it swept past the distant body in July.
Scientists say they reveal an even more diverse landscape than they had previously imagined.
"If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top - but that's what is actually there," said Alan Stern, New Horizons' principal scientist from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
In one picture, dark ancient craters border much younger icy plains. Dark ridges also are visible that some scientists believe might be dunes.
One outer solar system geologist, William McKinnon of Washington University in St Louis, said it would be "completely wild" if the ridges are dunes given Pluto's thin atmosphere.
"Either Pluto had a thicker atmosphere in the past, or some process we haven't figured out is at work. It's a head-scratcher," he said.
It is thought the jumble of mountains, on the other hand, may be huge blocks of ice floating in a softer, vast deposit of frozen nitrogen.
As well as geologic features, the images show the atmospheric haze surrounding Pluto has multiple layers.
In addition the haze creates a twilight effect that enabled New Horizons to study places on the night side that scientists never expected to see.
It is almost two months since the probe's close encounter with Pluto on 14 July, nine and a half years after it was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Read more »

Oscars Academy Loses Cybersquatting Battle

A five-year legal battle by the organisers of The Oscars over alleged cybersquatting has ended in defeat.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accused domain registrar GoDaddy of illegally profiting from its trademarks by selling domain names including academyawards.net and oscarsredcarpet.com.
It demanded $100,000 (£64,000) per infringement, equal to more than $29m (£18m).
But GoDaddy resisted repeated attempts by the Academy to settle the case, and eventually won after a four-day trial.
The Academy had claimed GoDaddy profited from the sites - thanks to Google-powered adverts which appear on parked domain names.
However GoDaddy pointed out that the income from the adverts amounted to mere hundreds of dollars.
The judge also found there was "no evidence of injury" to the Academy, saying it had not lost any profits and not seen any traffic diverted.
In court, GoDaddy's lawyer Robert Galvin asked why the Academy had gone after GoDaddy rather than Google which ran the ads on the sites.
"Why are you going after GoDaddy?" he asked. "Is it because we have kind of a funny name, and we're not the world's largest search provider?"
A 129-page judgement comprehensively pulled apart the case against GoDaddy.
The judge pointed out that some of the Oscar-themed domains were legitimately owned and operated by people called Oscar.
Read more »

Prosthetic Hand Lets Paralysed Man 'Feel'

A prosthetic hand wired directly to the brain has allowed a paralysed man to "feel".
It is the first time a person has been able to feel physical sensations through a prosthetic device.
The technology is so advanced the 28-year-old man could even identify which mechanical finger was being gently touched.
The system was designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is part of the US Department of Defense.
Programme manager Justin Sanchez said: "We've completed the circuit.
"Prosthetic limbs that can be controlled by thoughts are showing great promise, but without feedback from signals travelling back to the brain it can be difficult to achieve the level of control needed to perform precise movements.
"By wiring a sense of touch from a mechanical hand directly into the brain, this work shows the potential for seamless bio-technological restoration of near-natural function."
Wires were run from the anonymous volunteer's motor cortex to the mechanical hand, which allowed him to control it with his thoughts.

But because the hand contains "sophisticated" torque sensors, physical touch sensations were also transmitted to the participant's brain.
The volunteer was blindfolded and the researchers gently touched his finger intermittently.
He reported their touch with close to 100% accuracy.
He added that it felt like his own hand was being touched.
Read more »

الخميس، 10 سبتمبر 2015

Actor Admits His 9/11 Escape Tale Was A Lie

A US television comedian and actor who claimed he narrowly escaped the World Trade Center on 9/11 has admitted fabricating the entire story.
Steve Rannazzisi, who stars in the FX fantasy football sitcom The League, said his lie about fleeing the South Tower before the second plane hit was "inexcusable".
The 37-year-old stand-up, who has a one-hour special due to air this Saturday on Comedy Central, confessed after being challenged about inconsistencies in his story.
Rannazzisi claimed to have been working at Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the doomed skyscraper, but the bank says it had no offices in the building, nor any record of employing him.
He has told the story a number of times, claiming his bogus brush with death inspired him to quit his desk job and chase his dream of being an entertainer.
"I was there and then the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place," he told an interviewer in 2009.
"I still have dreams of like, you know, those falling dreams."
In a 2011 interview, Rannazzisi said he had received a good severance package from Merrill Lynch.
"I've spoken about it (9/11) before," he said. "I just don't ever want to feel like, anyone, I am cashing in or anything like that."

He said on Twitter on Wednesday that he began telling people he was in the World Trade Center on 9/11 shortly after moving with his wife from New York to Los Angeles, following the terrorist attacks.
"It wasn't true," he tweeted. "I was in Manhattan but working in a building in midtown and I was not at the Trade Center on that day".
"I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.
"For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man."
"It only made me more ashamed," the father-of-three continued. "How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn't come clean about this?
"it is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them - and the people that love me - that I ask for forgiveness.
"It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones.
"The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake."
Rannazzisi is also the face of an ad campaign by sports bar franchise Buffalo Wild Wings.
The company said on Tuesday night in a statement to the New York Times: "We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts."
Read more »

الأربعاء، 9 سبتمبر 2015

Cara Delevingne Hits Back At Prince Charming

Cara Delevingne has responded angrily to comments made by Game Of Thrones star Richard Madden where he called her "unprofessional".
The actor, who recently played Prince Charming in Disney's Cinderella remake, told Style magazine the model-turned-actress "showed her age" in an awkward interview with an American TV show where she appeared bored.
"It was unprofessional. It made her seem ungrateful. She showed her age," he said.
"For Cinderella, I did six weeks of those interviews, where you get asked the same eight questions. If you’re not capable of doing that gracefully then don’t do it."
But Delevingne, who is apparently not a Game Of Thrones fan, has hit back at the remarks.

She tweeted Madden saying: "I have no idea who you are but I think it's little desperate for a grown man to be bad mouthing someone they don't know.
"If you really want attention that badly, try focusing on your own work and not other people's," she continued.
Delevingne was promoting her film Paper Towns when the interview with Good Day Sacramento hit the headlines in July.
The 23-year-old gave clipped, sarcastic answers and was told by the hosts to "take a nap" or have a Red Bull.
The interview was eventually cut short.
Delevingne tweeted afterwards: "Some people just don't understand sarcasm or the British sense of humour."
Read more »