December 28, 2009

Excuse Me, There's A Knife Stuck In My Chest!

Just fancy that. Cool Hand Dude walks into a metro Detroit diners with a 5-inch knife stuck in his chest.

And he ordered a coffee, saying he was waiting for an ambulance to come.

According to a Detroit Free Press report, the 52-year-old man called 911 in Warren and said he was stabbed after a man tried to rob him.

Startled employees and customers at the diners were almost freaked out by what they were witnessing.

Police later said the man was treated and had recovered.

December 7, 2009

New Nude of French First Lady Up For Auction

A nude photograph of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy taken by Michel Comte during her modelling days goes under the hammer last Friday at a Paris auction house. A similar nude shot of the wife of the French president went for 91,000 US dollars -- three times more than its estimated bidding price -- in a New York sale last year. Still images.

November 29, 2009

Twitter Faster On Tiger Woods Accident News

The news that Tiger Woods had a minor car accident outside his home and that his wife Elin Nordegren, 29, pullled him to safety after smashing a golf club through the car window made the early rounds on Twitter, more than 45 minutes before the major news networks such as CNN and USA Today picked up the story.

At a time when media mogul Rupert Murdoch wanted to shut out Google from indexing news content from his news networks and to establish paywalls for readers, it seems sites like Twitter could be faster on the trigger.

The golf superstar was released from a Florida hospital following the car accident early Friday.

"Tiger Woods was in a minor car accident outside his home last night. He was admitted, treated and released today in good condition," said a statement from Woods' office and the Florida Health Central Hospital posted on the golfer's website.

Media reports, citing the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), said Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and then drove into a tree after leaving his property in the Isleworth community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando.

November 16, 2009

Thousands Pay Last Respects To German Keeper Enke

Five days after his suicide shocked Germany and soccer fans across the world, goalkeeper Robert Enke was laid to rest next to his daughter's grave at a cemetery near Hanover.

Reuters reported that tens of thousands of fans joined family, friends and teammates to pay their last respects the Germany goalkeeper on Sunday (Nov 15).

The memorial service for Enke took place in Hannover's Niersachsen Stadion.

Enke took his own life at the age of 32, throwing himself in front of a train on Tuesday after battling depression for years.

Enke played his club football for Hanover 96 and was a key member of the German national team. He had earned eight caps in recent years and was facing the prospect of a successful World Cup in South Africa next summer.

Enke, who had been suffering from depression since 2003, made his breakthrough at Borussia Moenchengladbach and went on to captain Benfica in Portugal before having an unsuccessful spell at Barcelona.

He moved to Fenerbahce in Turkey before a transfer to Tenerife back in Spain helped him rebuild his career. He returned to the Bundesliga with Hanover and finally made his Germany debut in 2007.

He went on to win eight caps and was on his way to establishing himself as the number one German keeper after a decade in the shadows of Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann.

> The Sad Death of Robert Enke

November 8, 2009

Woman Soldier Describes Fort Hood Tragedy

U.S. soldier Keara Bono, who was injured, was one of those to survive the shooting rampage at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas.

In an interview, she described what happened on Thursday when a suspected gunman, identified as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, opened fire at the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood.

Thirteen people died in the shooting horror, 12 soldiers and one civilian, and 28 more were wounded.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who was trained to treat war wounded, was shot four times by police, a base spokesman said. He was unconscious but in stable condition in the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he was transferred.

Update Nov 12, 2009:

US Army major Nidal Malik Hasan, suspected of shooting colleagues at the Fort Hood military base in Texas last week will face13 initial murder charges.

The 39-year-old was shot by police and remains in hospital. He has refused to speak to investigators.

BBC News reported that President Obama has ordered a review after US intelligence authorities said they knew Maj Hasan had been in contact with a cleric sympathetic to al-Qaeda.

Read more..

October 29, 2009

Deadliest Car Bomb Attack As Pakistani Troops Capture Taliban Town

Even as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her visit to Islamabad on Wednesday, Pakistan was rocked by the deadliest car bomb attack this year in Peshawar where at least 91 people were reported killed in the blast.

According to BBC News, at least 200 others were injured. The Peshawar market place where the blast occurred was a scene of carnage. Click here to see BBC video.

Similar attacks have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks as the Pakistani army launches an operation against Taliban militants in South Waziristan.

The Taliban have denied being behind this bombing, but the government blames them for a wave of attacks apparently launched in response to the army operation against their strongholds on the Afghan border.

Meanwhile, the BBC also reported that security officials said Pakistani troops have captured the key Taliban town of Kotkai in South Waziristan.

Troops took the town after days of bombardments, officials said.   

October 9, 2009

Surprise! Obama Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to US President Barack Obama on Friday came out of the blue, taking many by surprise.

Was it too early for President Obama, who is just nine months in office, to receive this award? That was the question raised.

Obama, 48, took office on Jan 20 this year.

The Nobel Committee's chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, said:

“We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future but for what he has done in the previous year.

"We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.

“Obama has, as president, created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”

According to reports by Reuters, it was a surprised world that greeted the award, with a mixture of praise and scepticism.

Obama and his administration are grappling with global crises - from the Middle East to Iran to southwest Asia, while American military forces are still deployed in large numbers in Iraq. The White House is also considering whether to increase troop levels in Afghanistan.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Nobel jury said in making the stunning announcement.

Obama is the third US president to win the coveted award while in office. Theodore Roosevelt won it 1906 and Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919. Jimmy Carter won the award in 2002, 20 years after he left office.

Former US Vice President Al Gore won it in 2007 along with the United Nations climate panel.

Last year, the prize was won by the former president of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari for peace efforts in Africa and the Balkans.

The prestigious Nobel Prize is worth the equivalent of US$1.4 million and is to be awarded to Obama in Oslo on Dec 10.

Related topics:

NYT report

October 3, 2009

Rio de Janeiro Wins 2016 Olympics Bid

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be going to Samba-land for the first time. And it will be a first, too, for South America.

The IOC vote went to Rio de Janeiro and came as a blow to Chicago which was thought to be the front-runner to host the Games.

Despite a personal pitch by President Barack Obama, Chicago was knocked out in an earlier vote.

Members of the Rio delegation were ecstatic on learning the result during the 121st IOC session in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday.

Rio de Janeiro received 66 votes compared to Madrid’s 32 in the final round of voting. The other competing city was Tokyo.

Crowds in Rio de Janeiro started to party as soon as the annoucement was made by IOC president Jacques Rogge in Copenhagen.

The IOC session was shown live on Rio's famed Copacabana beach where  thousands of Brazilians were waiting to hear the result.

It looks like Brazil is on a roll. The national team has qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The most populous and biggest nation in South America, that has won the World Cup soccer tournament more than any other nations, will also host the 2014 World Cup.

And tonight, it's party time again for Brazilians.

October 2, 2009

China Shows Off Its Rising Might

Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan reports from Beijing, China's capital.

It was a grand show reminiscent of the Beijing Olympics. China celebrated its 60 years of rising economic and military power in Beijing with a grand display on Wednesday.

Goose-stepping troops, colourful floats and nuclear-capable missiles showcased the celebration in Tiananmen Square, marking 60 years after Mao Zedong proclaimed the country's embrace of communism.

The People's Republic of China was proclaimed on October 1, 1949.

The Communist Party leadership, led by President Hu Jintao, and guests watched the meticulously disciplined show of national confidence and pride.

"Today a socialist China embracing modernisation, embracing the world and embracing the future stands lofty and firm," President Hu told guests and troops at the ceremony.

October 1, 2009

Deadly Tsunami Sweeps South Pacific Islands, Quake Rocks Sumatra

A series of tsunamis slammed the Pacific island nations of American and Western Samoa on Wednesday following a major earthquake that struck near the Solomon Islands.

Reuters reported that more than 100 people are believed killed, some washed out to sea. Villages were destroyed with hundreds injured.

Almost the same day, an earthquake struck off the Indonesian city of Padang on the coast of Sumatra island, damaging houses, bringing down bridges and starting fires, according to witnesses.

In Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, thousands of people were evacuated from high-rise buildings after tremors hit, following the Indonesia quake measuring a magnitude of 7.6.

September 24, 2009

A Perfect Australian Dust Storm

It could be a scene from a Hollywood disaster movie. But this is for real as Australians witnessed this unprecedented event.

Sydney residents woke up Wednesday to see the city blanketed by a colossal dust storm. The city was just a red glow.

According to one Australian weather commentator, it was like seeing "earth, wind and fire" all wrap up together to make a perfect dust storm.

Reports said the outback mining town of Broken Hill was completely blacked out.

The dust storm swept across eastern Australia, disrupting transport. International flights were diverted from Sydney.

Reuters reported that ferries on Sydney Harbour were suspended and commuter motorists warned to be careful on roads as visibility was dramatically reduced.

Health authorities urged people with asthma or breathing difficulties to stay indoors. The dust set off smoke alarms in some buildings in Sydney's central business district.

Weathermen said a major cold front in New South Wales state caused severe thunderstorms and gale-force winds, which whipped up the dust from the drought-stricken inland and spread it across Australia's most populous state.

The 100 kilometre per hour plus winds also fanned bushfires in the state.

Reuters reported that the blanket of dust stretched hundreds of kilometres along the coast from Sydney, from the coal port of Newcastle in the north to the steel city of Wollongong in the south, and hundreds of kilometres inland to farming towns like Dubbo and Tamworth.

September 15, 2009

Dirty Dancing Star Patrick Swayze Dies At 57

Actor Patrick Swayze died Tuesday following a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

Patrick Swayze's wife Lisa told ABC News' Barbara Walters that she and his brother Donny Swayze, were by his side when he died at his ranch on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Swayze, best known for starring in the blockbuster films "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," was diagnosed with cancer in January 2008.

The actor achieved true stardom, starring as the gyrating dance instructor Johnny Castle in 1987's "Dirty Dancing" opposite co-star Jennifer Gray.

For that, Swayze earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role, along with a cult-like following of fans.

He received another nomination for his 1990 blockbuster "Ghost," in which he starred alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.

He was named by People magazine as the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.

September 11, 2009

Afghan War Faces Growing Scepticism

Approximately 800 civilians have been killed in the Afghan war in the first five months of the year, a 24 percent jump from the same period in 2008.

US envoy to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, defending the objective of the Afghan war, told the BBC that western troops were needed to fight the war there because of the "direct threat" by the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was alarmed by growing scepticism about the fighting in Afghanistan, according to the BBC.

Mounting allied casualties, a rising Afghan civilian death toll and claims of widespread electoral fraud have led to growing opposition to the campaign in Western countries.

September 7, 2009

Could It Be Bye, Bye Maradona?

Brazil have every reason to be jubilant. A convincing 3-1 victory over Latin arch-rivals Argentina on Saturday means that the Brazilians are assured of a place in the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Pity Diego Maradona, the Argentine coach. Now he's left with the fear that Argentina will not make it to the World Cup finals next year.

It will be a shame if their Barcelona whizzkid Lionel Messi will not strut the stage in South Africa.

Brazil's win in Rosario caps another feather for their coach Dunga who led the Samba boys to win the Copa America in 2007  and the Confederations Cup this year.

It was thought that Dunga would be sacked after a poor showing in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Dunga survived. He has led Brazil to 10 wins in a row since.

Despite the debacle on Saturday, it was reported that Maradona would not quit.

Argentina cannot afford to lose again in their World Cup qualifier match. This Wednesday they will face Paraquay who are expected to qualify even if they lose to Argentina.

Another defeat could leave the Argentines out of the World Cup, a nightmare for a football-crazy nation that once regarded Maradona as the greatest player in the world.

But as a football coach, the legendary Maradona has yet to prove his mettle and management skills.

September 6, 2009

Chelsea Banned From Buying New Players Until 2011

English soccer club Chelsea have been banned from signing new players until 2011 after they were found guilty of inducing a player to break his contract with another club.

FIFA ruled that the Chelsea freeze was because the club had induced French teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with French club Lens in 2007.

The London club will likely appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and have its transfer ban reduced.

As for Chelsea fans, they will probably feel that the club was unfairly singled out and penalized.

August 21, 2009

Teenage Runner Caster Semenya Raises Gender Questions

Is she a boy? Or is he a girl? Whichever way you look at it, South African teenager Caster Semenya is facing a gender controversy.

Semenya won gold in the women's 800 metres on Thursday night at the World Championships in Berlin, crossing the line in a personal best of 1 minute 55.45 seconds.

It was easy street for the 18-year-old but it wasn't easy for her to convince the IAAF who will verify her gender. Her sudden rise has raised many questions.

Her muscular development, the narrowness of her figure, a deep voice and a masculine look all demanded answers.

The verification process will involve a gynaecologist, psychologist, geneticist and endocrinologist. They will verify whether her birth certificate is right in declaring her female.

Semenya's mother has no doubt over her child's gender and claims she is not worried despite an official IAAF investigation being launched to look into the matter, the Daily Mail reported.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) have already issued a statement confirming they are 'completely sure' Semenya is female.

BOLT UPDATE: The Lightning Bolt Has Struck Twice - In Berlin

Oh dear, he has done it again. Another world record smashed to rubbles. Usain Bolt, who celebrates his 23rd birthday today, becomes the first sprinter to hold the 100 and 200m world and Olympic titles at the same time.

Bolt created athletics history last night winning the 200 metres final at the World Championships in Berlin in sensational fashion by smashing his own world record.

It came only days after he broke his 100 metres world record.

Bolt stormed to victory in the Olympic Stadium in 19.19 seconds, slashing 0.11secs off the time set at the Beijing Olympics last year, with Panama's Alonso Edward claiming silver in 19.81s and American Wallace Spearmon the bronze in 19.85s.

"I never expected a world record tonight," he told the BBC. "I was really tired but I told myself I had to just try and do my best - now I am tired."

August 18, 2009

Another Bolt Of Lightning Shatters The World Record!

Some say Usain Bolt is not from this planet. This guy is out of this world. He is da man to beat. Yet again, like a bolt of lightning, he strikes again.

His astounding 100 metres dash in just 9.58 seconds took the breath out of everyone in Berlin on Sunday, smashing his own world record to smithereens.

Bolt, the fastest man on earth, shaved 0.11 seconds off his 9.69 mark he set when he won gold at the Beijing Olympics a year ago.

It was simply astonishing that Bolt has gone where no man has ever gone before - into the time zone undreamed of before he appeared on the international track scene.

The last time a single performance that completely changed perceptions of human capabilities was when American Bob Beamon smashed the world long jump record at the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

And by the way, where was American Tyson Gay who promised he would "shock the world" by upstaging the Jamaican?

Oh yes, Gay, the 2007 world champion, did run the race of his life to finish second in 9.71, the third fastest time ever. Bolt's countryman, Asafa Powell came in third in 9.84.

And how did the 22-year-old Bolt feel about his astonishing run?

"I got a pretty good start, I was there at 20 metres and that was it," the triple Olympic gold sprint medalist told Reuters.

Now the big question everyone will be asking is: Will Bolt be able to crack his new world record in some future race?

Take it from the man who had said before the race that victory would move him one step nearer to "legend" status: "Now I plan to do even better in the future."

Wow, this guy is awesome! His favourite drink must be rocket fuel!

Of related interest:
Great Bolt Of Lightning

August 11, 2009

Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs Released From Jail

The Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds, on Aug 7 2009, is severely ill in hospital.

Biggs, who turns 80 on Aug 8, was moved to Norfolk and Norwich hospital, suffering from severe pneumonia. After a series of strokes, he is bedridden, fed through a tube and communicates by pointing at letters on a card.

Biggs was a member of a 15-strong gang which attacked the Glasgow to London mail train at Ledburn, Buckinghamshire, in August 1963, and made off with £2.6m in used banknotes.

He was given a 30-year sentence but after 15 months he escaped from Wandsworth prison, in south-west London, by climbing a 30ft wall and fleeing in a furniture van.

Biggs was on the run for more than 30 years, living in Australia and Brazil before returning to the UK voluntarily in 2001, in search of medical treatment.

He was locked up in Belmarsh high-security prison on his return, before being moved to a specialist medical unit at Norwich prison.

August 5, 2009

Clinton Secures Release of Two US Reporters

Former US President Bill Clinton's "private mission" to Pyongyang has ended on a happy note with the release of two American reporters - Laura Ling and Euna Lee - who had been found guilty of entering North Korea illegally in March.

According to the BBC, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed to the release with a special pardon to the journalists after his meeting with Clinton.

Clinton's visit was the highest-profile visit by an American to the reclusive Communist state since ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000.

In a statement posted on a website, the two journalists thanked Mr Clinton and also former Vice-President Al Gore for their efforts to secure their release. The families of the journalists said they were "overjoyed" by the news.


March 17: Euna Lee and Laura Ling seized by North Korean border guards while reporting for California-based Current TV

June 8: Both sentenced to 12 years in jail for "hostile acts" and illegal entry into North Korea

June 16: Pyongyang says journalists have "admitted and accepted" their guilt

July 10: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeals for an amnesty for the two

August 4: Former US President Bill Clinton arrives in Pyongyang and North Korea later announces the journalists will be pardoned

Clinton visits but will Pyongyang change?

August 2, 2009

Huge Protest Against ISA In Malaysia

Malaysian police broke up the country's biggest street protest in nearly two years, firing tear gas and chemical-laced water at thousands of opposition supporters demanding an end to a law that allows detention without trial on Saturday (Aug. 1).

According to news portal, The Malaysian Insider, the anti-ISA rally turned the capital, Kuala Lumpur, into a battlezone with tear gas and water cannon.

The BBC reported that more than 200 arrests were made during the unauthorised march, attended by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who heads the party Pakatan Rakyat.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has promised to review the security law which was passed 49 years ago when the country faced threat from the communists during the Emergency.

Corazon Aquino dies at 76

Former Philippines President Corazon Aquino, who swept away a dictator and then sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years, died on Saturday (July 31) after a 16-month battle against colon cancer. She was 76-years-old.

She was known as Cory to millions of Filipinos and was president from 1986 to 1992. A devout Catholic, she will be best remembered as the slim woman in yellow who deposed Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Marcos and his wife Imelda fled the country.

Her "People's Power" revolution set a precedent for dissidents from South Africa to South America and Pakistan. Aquino was hailed by many as a modern-day Joan of Arc.

A reluctant leader, Aquino shed the housewife's apron only after her politician husband, opposition leader Benigno, was assassinated at Manila's international airport in 1983 on his return from exile in the United States.

Born on January 25, 1933, into one of the country's richest families, the Cojuangcos, Aquino grew up in a world of wealth and politics. The daughter of a congressman, she married Benigno, a politician with promise, and they had four daughters and a son before he was thrown into prison by Marcos and then forced into exile.

August 1, 2009

Sir Bobby Robson - Farewell To A Football Legend

Sir Bobby Robson 1933-2009

Sir Bobby Robson, son of a miner and a British football legend, has lost his long battle with cancer. He died on Friday at the age of 76.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, in paying tribute to the former England manager, said:

"In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend; a wonderful individual; a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed".

Nobody can deny that Robson, with his great passion for football, is a true legend of the beautiful game.
In his long association with football, he has inspired different generations of footballers. He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2002.

He was England's most successful national team manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. In the 1990 World Cup final in Italy, Robson took England to just a whisker away from the final.

England lost on penalties against West Germany in the semi-final. Gary Lineker had forced extra-time with a late equaliser, but Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed from the spot as England bowed out.

Robson played for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion during the 1950s and 1960s and won 20 international caps for England as a mid-field player.

He began his managerial career with Fulham in 1968. He went on to manage Ipswich Town and turned the unfashionable East Anglian club into a European force. Robson moved on to the continent and had spells as manager of PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Sporting Lisbon and Porto (Portugal) and Spanish giants Barcelona.

His final stop as a club manager was with Newcastle United, the Yorkshire club he supported as a boy.

RIP, Sir Bobby Robson.

Video: Sir Bobby Honoured

July 8, 2009

Ronaldo Unveiled As New Real 'Galactico'


Fifa World Footballer of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo was the man on centrestage at Bernabeu Stadium as he was presented to more 80,000 Real Madrid supporters who turned up to witness their new 'Galactico' on Monday.

After three long years of courting the Manchester United star, Real Madrid, with Florentino Perez back as club president, finally paid a world record fee of 80 million pound for the Portuguese golden boy.

It was Ronaldomania as the new Real kid presented himself to the Bernabeu crowd with Perez, Real Madrid's former legendary forward Alfredo Di Stefano and former Portugal star Eusebio keeping him company on stage.

It was a "dream come true" for Ronaldo who had dreamt of joining Spanish football aristocrats Real Madrid and play in the Primera Liga, as a boy. Now he has achieved his dream. According to the Real Madrid president, the capture of Ronaldo will "make millions of dreams come true." 

The adulation was close to hysteria and Ronaldo who likes to be worshipped by fans knew he had the adoring crowd in the palm of his hands.

"Hala Madrid!"

Michael Jackson Memorial

Thousands  gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to take part in the Michael Jackson memorial where the service started with a message from former South African president Nelson Mandela who said the King of Pop was "able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life". Smokey Robinson read out Mandela's condolences who said Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry.

Jackson's millions of fans around the world are following the public memorial which began shortly after a private service for the Jackson family and friends in a cemetery hall in the Hollywood Hills.

According to reports, Jackson's flower-draped 14-carat gold casket was brought to Staples Center in a motorcade under police escort.

Mariah Carey did a rendition of the Jackson 5 ballad "I'll Be There" to mark the opening performance of tributes to Michael.

June 26, 2009

'Charlie's Angel' Farrah Fawcett Loses Battle With Cancer

Goodbye Angel.  Actress Farrah Fawcett, of TV series 'Charlie's Angels' fame and whose feathered blonde mane made her one of the reigning sex symbols of the 1970s, died at 62 after a long battle with cancer.

Fawcett, born February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, started guest-starring on TV in the late 1960s and appeared on the television hit "The Six Million Dollar Man" after marrying the show's star, Lee Majors, in 1974. The couple divorced in the early 1980s.

She rose to fame in the 1970s, thanks to a best-selling poster showing off her famous mane and the hit show "Charlie's Angels."

Her death in a Los Angeles hospital came just six weeks after the TV broadcast in May of a video diary she made chronicling her battle with cancer and her final months.

The documentary, called "Farrah's Story,"  was a self-penned obituary by the actress, who was bedridden and had lost her famous hair by the time it was shown.

King of Pop Michael Jackson Is Dead at 50, 1958-2009

Death of a Pop Legend.  Michael Joseph Jackson, who died on Thursday (June 26, 2009) at a Los Angeles hospital after a cardiac arrest, was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 13 of his songs hit No. 1 and he won 13 Grammy Awards.

In a 40-year musical career, Jackson endeared himself to millions of adoring fans all over the world with his electrifying stage presence that has made him one of the most popular artists of all time.

Jackson, born on August 29, 1958, started his singing career as a child in the family group, The Jackson 5, that broke a colour barrier and won them international fame as one of the best teenybopper acts.

Later, as a solo act, Jackson went on to achieve world fame with smash hits such as 'Billie Jean' and 'Bad'. His album 'Thriller' which was released in 1982, established the singing phenomenon as one of the most influential solo artists in the modern era. 'Thriller' was the biggest-selling album of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

'Wacko Jacko' dead at 50? That must have come as a great shock to many of his millions of fans. Many will remember their childhood crush, the Michael Jackson 'moonwalk' and the image of a beloved child star whose adult life was mixed with adulation and a professional eccentricity that turned him into a fascinating but strange troubled freak show.

For Jackson, his queasy Neverland bubble, his self-professed devotion to children, his self-indulgent shopping habits, the cosmetic surgery experience and the whole mask thing is an ironic testament of a child star turned adult whose fame in later years was all for the wrong reasons. He was like a Peter Pan who could not accept the reality of age catching up on him.

Quincy Jones, who produced Jackson's top-selling albums, 'Thriller', 'Bad' and 'Off The Wall', said: "For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words."

 Reactions from Michael Jackson fans

June 3, 2009

Asia, Europe Condemn North Korea's Nuke Test

Asian and European foreign ministers have condemned North Korea's nuclear test, while Japan sends surveillance planes to test fallout from the action.  US President Barack Obama on Monday also condemned North Korea's nuclear test, calling for a global response to what he said was a "threat to international peace". 

April 28, 2009

World News: Mexico Swine Flu Raises Fears Of A Global Pandemic

Mexico's deadly swine flu outbreak is raising fears that the virulent disease could spread and create a global pandemic.

Spain became the first country outside North America to report its first case and was soon followed by two confirmed cases in Scotland on Monday. Canada and certain states in the U.S are the other areas where cases of the disease have been confirmed.

The suspected death toll from swine flu in Mexico had increased to 149 since Monday. The Mexican Health Ministry had reported that 20 cases are confirmed as swine flu, according to the BBC News .

The swine flu scare has disrupted travel plans to Mexico by people around the world. In Asia, health authorities have taken steps to screen in-coming passengers at airports.

The BBC News website reported that Mexico's Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said nearly 2,000 people had been hospitalised since the first case of swine flu was reported on April 13.

What is swine flu?

Swine flu is a respiratory disease which could be spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms mimic those of normal influenza.

April 19, 2009

Susan Boyle - An Unlikely Singing Sensation

A Star Is Born  She's the woman who made the world stop and listen. Yes, Susan Boyle is an unlikely singing sensation. The 47-year-old singer from Scotland has gained millions of admirers since she wowed judges on Britain's Got Talent. She wooed millions of broadcast and online viewers with her rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" from the musical Les Miserables.

Boyle has gone from karaoke and her church choir to global fame and an invitation to the Oprah Winfrey show. Her performance – which surprised the show’s live audience, judges, and subsequently the world – has led to appearances by Boyle on other American television programs like Good Morning America and The Early Show.

The YouTube video of Boyle's performance hit an all-time high. It just went viral. It is estimated that Boyle's performance was witnessed more than 47 million times by viewers around the world, according to Visible Measures, which tracks online video usage.

If you go to YouTube you will be disappointed because they have disabled the embedded code of the video that shows her performing on Britain's Got Talent.

People were ecstatic over her singing, describing her as a singing angel who has a "God-given gift". One viewer commented: "We just heard Susan for the first time - we are just blown away by your angelic voice!"

Despite her new-found fame, Boyle told CNN's American Morning on Friday: "I wouldn't want to change myself too much because that would really make things a bit false. I want to receive people as the real me, a real person."

Eddie Anderson on the Five Thirty Show (STV) on the Susan Boyle Sensation:

Video: The Susan Boyle Story

January 20, 2009

Obamamania: A Dream Come True & Other World News

Man of Destiny   The American people and the world see history in the making as Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009.

The inauguration of the Democrat Senator as the first African-American president marks a significant and profound milestone for the American people. It has turned into reality what many considered the politically impossible.

People remembered watching on TV as civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 of his dream for America. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964.

Hours before his historic swearing-in as president, Obama has called on Americans to evoke the spirit of Dr King who was assassinated in his march for civil rights. Obama was attending a community project in Washington on the anniversary of the birth of Dr King. He told reporters:

"Given the crisis that we're in and the hardships that so many people are going through, we can't allow any idle hands."

On Monday, at a dinner honouring his presidential rival, John McCain, Obama hailed him as a "courageous public servant" with a long list of bipartisan accomplishments.

The inauguration in Washington is expected to see a record turnout for such an event with at least two million people to witness it.

As he takes his oath of office, the world will watch the televised event with great interest. It is all about a man of destiny who has promised CHANGE for the American people and a superpower nation that is bogged down in two wars - Iraq and Afghanistan.

January 18, 2009

Hudson River 'Miracle' Crash

The recent crash of a US Airways jetliner into the frigid waters of  the Hudson River with all 155 passengers and crew surviving last Thursday was a 'miracle'. The cause of the crash was attributed to a flock of birds that collided with the plane over New York.

According to the FAA, planes have hit birds nearly 80,000 times from 1990 to 2007. In more than 9,000 cases, the damage was serious and eleven people have died. Armen Keteyian reports.

January 11, 2009

World News: Israel's Gaza Offensive

Israel-Gaza Conflict
 Speculation is rife that Israel will be adopting new tactics in its push against the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The Israelis have attacked Hamas targets by air, land and sea. The militants had fired more than 30 rockets across the border, according to Israel.

Gaza medical staff say more than 800 Palestinians have died in the two-week Israeli offensive. Israel suffered 13 dead, mostly troops.

There have been more protests in the Middle East and around the world about the continuing conflict in Gaza.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. The conflict erupted as a six-month truce between Israel and Hamas was called off by the militant group who started launching rockets across the border into Israel.


Royalty Free Images