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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Belfast man cleared of rioting during 1971 Ballymurphy unrest

Terry Laverty, 61, cleared of conviction for riotous behaviour during unrest in which his brother was killed


A west Belfast man has been cleared of a rioting conviction 44 years after the Ballymurphy massacre in which his brother was among 11 people shot dead by the Parachute Regiment.


Terry Laverty, 61, says he was tortured by British soldiers in 1971 during the unrest before he was found guilty of riotous behaviour and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, based only on evidence from a private in the regiment.


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Rockets hit residential area in Kramatorsk, Ukraine - video

Amateur footage purports to show a rocket strike on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. The video, shot from the window of a nearby house, shows a series of explosions in the distance. Rocket strikes hit Ukraine's military headquarters and a nearby residential area in Kramatorsk on Tuesday, according to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Regional police said at least three civilians were killed in the strike Continue reading...





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Nasa captures moment Northern Lights merges into sunrise - video

Nasa footage shot from the International Space Station shows the moment the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, merges into a sunrise. The footage was captured while the space station was passing over North America's eastern seaboard, and shows the green hue of the Northern Lights chased away by the sun's rays Continue reading...





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HSBC files: Swiss bank aggressively pushed way for clients to avoid new tax

Far from acting as passive party to clients’ tax schemes, HSBC Suisse marketed device to effectively sabotage European savings directive


HSBC’s Swiss bankers aggressively marketed a device that would allow its clients to avoid a new tax introduced under a treaty Switzerland signed with the European Union, the HSBC files reveal.


The documents show for the first time that rather than acting as a passive party to the tax schemes of its clients, HSBC Suisse proactively contacted clients to market techniques that would have effectively sabotaged the tax treaty deal.


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Leaders set for Minsk talks on Ukraine ceasefire

Fighting continues in Kramatorsk and Mariupol before summit billed as last chance to prevent conflict from spiralling out of control


Russian, Ukrainian, German and French officials as well as separatist leaders and officials from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are locked in talks in Minsk trying to smooth the way for a summit deal leading to the demilitarisation of eastern Ukraine.


The leaders of the four countries are expected to meet in the Belarusian capital on Wednesday in an attempt to secure a ceasefire in the region, where pro-Russia separatists have been expanding the territory under their control in recent weeks.


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Kayla Mueller’s Death: Focusing on Names, Not Numbers

As war evolves, U.S. attention shifts to individual losses



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Climate Hacking Is Barking Mad

Some years ago, in the question-and-answer session after a lecture at the American Geophysical Union, I described certain geoengineering proposals as “barking mad.” The remark went rather viral in the geoengineering community. The climate-hacking proposals I was referring to were schemes that attempt to cancel out some of the effects of human-caused global warming by squirting various substances into the atmosphere that would reflect more sunlight back to space. Schemes that were lovingly called “solar radiation management” by geoengineering boosters. Earlier I had referred to the perilous state such schemes would put our Earth into as being analogous to the fate of poor Damocles, cowering under a sword precariously suspended by a single thread.






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Jeb Bush Shares 300,000 Old Emails

"There were never enough hours in the day."



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Oklahoma considers gas chambers to execute death row inmates

Republican lawmakers searching for alternative to lethal injection – on hold after botched procedure in April – suggest execution via nitrogen hypoxia


Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma are considering two separate bills that would allow the state’s department of corrections to use gas chambers as an alternative to lethal injection for execution, as dwindling stocks of drugs and scandals over botched procedures fuel a search for alternatives.


Mike Christian, the Oklahoma representative who proposed the bill, told the Associated Press that execution by nitrogen hypoxia would be “a lot more practical,” painless, and would not require the presence of a medical doctor.


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Happier ever after? JK Rowling’s Casual Vacancy joins league of rewritten stories

As the BBC gives Rowling’s adult novel an upbeat ending, we look at other rewrites, from The Little Mermaid to A Clockwork Orange

The BBC has injected a small slice of redemption into the bleak ending of JK Rowling’s first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, for its miniseries adaptation, produced with HBO. Screenwriter Sarah Phelps told the Radio Times: “It’s still heartbreaking, but I had to find some kind of redemptive moment at the end, that sense that after the tragedy, someone gets to stand with a slightly straighter back.”


Rowling’s story of the dark underbelly of an English town is not the first to be given a good shakedown by screenwriters. We won’t know how Phelps’s version matches up to the novel until 15 February, when its first episode airs, but here’s our selection of five screen versions that failed to stick to the original story.


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UK treasures endangered by museum cuts

As a newly discovered hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins goes on display at the British Museum, the system of recording Britain’s treasure is under threat


A heap of Anglo-Saxon coins glittering as if newly minted, and a small gold cross still containing a fragment of a relic that was literally kept close to the heart of somebody who clung to the outlawed Roman Catholic faith, are among the treasures found by metal detectors and unveiled this week at the British Museum.


The most recent year covered by the Treasure report, 2012, was another bumper year for precious objects – including 3,000-year-old golden bracelets belonging to a child, a Viking hoard of ingots and chopped up arm rings from Cumbria – and for the more modest but historically priceless archaeological objects voluntarily reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).


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Florence and the Machine's How Big How Blue How Beautiful – watch the album trailer

The singer has released an ambiguous album trailer to whet fans’ appetites. But what does it all mean? Let us know in the comments


Florence and her Machine have been creaking back into gear slowly since the release of 2011’s Ceremonials. But despite forthcoming performances at Coachella and Bonaroo this summer, not much has been hinted at regarding her third album. Until now, however, as Florence Welch unveils what appears to be an album trailer entitled How Big How Blue How Beautiful.


Shot in a sun-dappled, bucolic garden, the video features Florence and a similarly red-headed, suit-wearing but faceless being, and was directed by Tabitha Denholm (of Queenz of Noize fame, 2003 fact fans) and Vincent Haycock. It includes an excerpt of typically swooping and celestial sounds.


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Rotherham and the very real Ukip threat

Rotherham is one of Ukip’s top target seats for May’s general election. But a poll suggests neighbouring Rother Valley, held by Sir Kevin Barron for 32 years, is within the grasp of Nigel Farage’s party. Barron should be worried, says the Guardian’s northern editor, Helen Pidd


Tuesday’s G2 carries an interview I did with Rotherham’s badger-striped MP, Sarah Champion. Space constraints meant I couldn’t dwell on the challenge she faces in her constituency from Ukip, who came a decent second in the 2012 byelection. But she admitted she is at risk from Jane Collins, a Yorkshire MEP and Ukip’s cancer-surviving contender.


“I’m concerned that she could win. I’m taking it very seriously,” said Champion, insisting that she would fight tooth and nail to continue her work with victims of child sexual exploitation in the town. She is defending a majority of 5,318, a misleadingly low figure given the inevitably poor turnout that comes with a miserable November byelection.


I don’t think it’s healthy to be there for too long. Because the longer you’re there, the more distant you get from reality.”


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Six ways your tech is spying on you – and how to turn it off

Compared with what’s already happening, Samsung’s warning not to discuss sensitive issues in front of its TVs seems pretty tame. But you can fight back

So, your TV might be spying on you. It probably just wanted to join in with the rest of the technology in your life, because let’s face it: if you live in the 21st century you’re probably monitored by half a dozen companies from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. (And if you wear a sleep tracker, it doesn’t even stop then.)


Compared with some of the technology that keeps a beady eye fixed on you, the news that Samsung’s privacy policy warns customers not to discuss sensitive information in front of their smart TVs is actually fairly tame. The warning relates to a voice-recognition feature that has to be explicitly invoked, and which only begins transmitting data when you say the activation phrase “hi, TV”.


The uncomfortable fact is that your personal data is just another way to pay for products and services


How to turn it off: the best way is not to use Uber


Built-in GPS – great for building maps of your holidays. Not so good if you're trading snaps with strangers


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Fifty shades of grey: the fashion gallery – in pictures

No, not spanking paddles or blindfolds. For some respite from the hype around the movie, here is a selection of lovely grey clothing – from cashmere hoodies to slouchy jogging bottoms – for those who get their kicks in a rather more understated way


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British gold mining firm agrees settlement over deaths of Tanzanian villagers

Acacia Mining – formerly African Barrick Gold – has agreed an undisclosed payout over claims that hired police and security guards killed and injured villagers at its North Mara mine in Tanzania


A British gold mining firm whose hired police officers​ were involved in an incident that saw ​Tanzanian villagers killed and injured has settled claims brought against it in the London high court.


Twelve villagers, including relatives of people who died in incidents near the North Mara mine, sued African Barrick Gold, now renamed Acacia Mining, in Britain’s High Court in 2013. They had claimed the company’s subsidiary, North Mara Gold Mine Ltd (Nmgml) had failed to prevent the use of excessive force by police and security which had led to six deaths and other injuries in 2008.


Related: Killings at UK-owned Tanzanian gold mine alarm MPs


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Parents of Kayla Mueller, ISIS Hostage, Confirm She Is Dead

The parents of Ms. Mueller, the last known American hostage of the Islamic State, said in a statement that they had received confirmation that she was dead.

















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How does BeagleBone Black compare to Raspberry Pi 2? #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @BeagleBoardOrg

BeagleBoard.org co-founder Jason Kridner wrote an article comparing the BeagleBone Black to the Raspberry Pi 2. As many of you might have heard, Raspberry Pi launched their next board, the Raspberry Pi 2. There has been noticeable differences in the primary processor performance from the original Pi to Pi 2. This has cause a lot […]



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John Singer Sargent at the National Portrait Gallery review – scintillating

Easily mistaken for a conservative throwback, Sargent’s portraits in fact are daring, haunting and astonishing


In 1906 the celebrated society portraitist John Singer Sargent painted his own august image in starched white collar and silver tie for the venerable collection of self-portraits in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. That same year in Montmartre, Pablo Picasso finished a portrait of Gertrude Stein by giving her a stone mask for a face. Picasso’s attack on the idea of the painted likeness led in a very few years to faces becoming constellations of Cubist shards or abstract ovals. The Mona Lisa got a moustache. In the lifetime of Sargent – who made it to 1925 – this avant garde assault left the traditional portrait, at which he so excelled, looking lost and archaic.


Little wonder, then, if Sargent has been widely misunderstood. This artist who painted glamorous high society portraits in the manner of Van Dyck at the dawn of the modernist age is easily mistaken for a conservative throwback.


Related: How John Singer Sargent made a scene


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Prince Harry comrade 'was paid over £16,000' for NoW and Sun tips

Lance corporal allegedly received payments for stories on deployment of prince to Iraq and Afghanistan, court told


A soldier in Prince Harry’s regiment was paid more than £16,000 to provide information and pictures about him to two newspapers, a court heard.


Paul Brunt, 32, then a lance corporal in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry, provided details about Harry and other soldiers in the unit to the News of the World and the Sun over an 18-month period in 2006 and 2007, the Old Bailey was told.


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Ukraine: draft dodgers face jail as Kiev struggles to find new fighters

Journalist Ruslan Kotsaba, arrested after refusing to fight in video addressed to Petro Poroshenko, is among many weary of conflict that has killed 5,000


Ruslan Kotsaba posted a video addressed to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko last week in which he said he would rather go to prison for five years for draft dodging than fight pro-Russia rebels in the country’s east. Now he faces 15 years in jail after being arrested for treason and obstructing the military.


His case is symptomatic of Kiev’s difficulties in mobilising a war-weary society to continue the fight against the rebels, who appear to have an unlimited supply of weapons and training from Russia. As the country nears bankruptcy and the reform programme demanded by the Maidan revolution last year is sidelined by the war effort, the drive to call up new recruits is floundering.


Why are ordinary people being called up to fight against terrorists?


Related: Obama sidesteps Ukraine military option but backs German diplomatic effort


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Teenager told police he would harm PM if he got chance, court told

Brusthom Ziamani, 19, is on trial at the Old Baily accused of planning to behead a British soldier


A teenage Muslim convert accused of planning to behead a British soldier told police he would harm the prime minister, David Cameron, if he got the chance, a court heard.


Brusthom Ziamani, 19, was arrested in east London in August and found to be carrying a hammer and a knife wrapped in an Islamic flag, with prosecutors alleging he was on his way to a military base.


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Stephen Fry’s Baftas swearing: BBC defends coverage after complaints

Corporation says it considered its coverage ‘very carefully’, with bad language only broadcast after 9pm watershed


The BBC said it considered its Bafta coverage “very carefully” after viewers complained about bad language used by host Stephen Fry.


The comic and actor, who is the regular host of the film awards, made a series of risqué remarks including telling the audience it was “pissing down with stars” inside the ceremony.


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ICC promises strict regulation on sledging at Cricket World Cup – video

The International Cricket Council says it will have a zero-tolerance policy on 'sledging' – the practice of insulting or intimidating an opponent – during the Cricket World Cup. The ICC chief executive, David Richardson, says players who engage in an aggressive manner during the tournament will be heavily fined and may face suspension. The tournament kicks off on 13 February Continue reading...





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Jay Z's Got 99 Problems; One of Them Is Brunch With Taylor Swift 

There are three things Man knows to be true about the world:


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U.S. Confirms Death of American Held By ISIS

Kayla Jean Mueller had been held hostage since 2013



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SparkFun Live: Valentine's Day Crafts is today!





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David Cameron: why not drop in for a ‘chaterama’ while you 'chillax'?

From the prime minister who likes to take things easy comes a new word to cover his preferred kind of meeting – one without documents, details, facts or figures


Name: Chaterama.


Age: Newish.


Related: David Cameron's 'chillaxing' hobbies revealed in new biography


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Italian police order seizure of 'Leonardo' portrait in Switzerland

Italian authorities believe portrait of Isabella d’Este, attributed to Da Vinci and valued at €95m, was illegally exported


Italian authorities have ordered the seizure from a Swiss bank vault of a portrait attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that they say was illegally taken from Italy.


Italian financial police said on Tuesday that Swiss authorities had seized the portrait of a noblewoman, Isabella d’Este, valued at €95m (£70m).


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Government ministers need proper training, say MPs

Former Conservative and Labour frontbenchers to propose Whitehall reforms that include allowing outsiders to serve as ministers


Ministers need training and mentoring to raise the overall performance of government, according to two former frontbenchers from opposing sides of the House of Commons.


A “sneering” attitude towards change needs to be challenged with the introduction of major reforms that would also allow experts from outside parliament to serve as ministers, the MPs Nick Herbert and John Healey have told the Guardian in a joint interview. By convention, ministers have to sit in the House of Commons or the House of Lords, but there is no technical bar to recruitment from outside parliament because ministers are appointed by the Queen.


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Tube drivers vote to strike over sacking of colleague

London Underground says it dismissed driver for failing two random breath alcohol tests


London Underground drivers have voted to strike over the sacking of a colleague.


Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union backed industrial action by 299 votes to 221. The union’s general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “Our members have voted for industrial action and the union will now consult extensively with our representatives before deciding on our next moves in this dispute.


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Police shoot gunman after high-speed chase east of Los Angeles


  • Suspect stole a car at gunpoint and smashed into other vehicles

  • Eight-patrol-car chase ended in Montebello with wounding of suspect


A gunman driving a suspected stolen car led police on a wild chase on roads and freeways east of Los Angeles, smashing into other cars and veering through oncoming traffic before he stole a second car at gunpoint and ran down a crowded street. Los Angeles police then opened fire, wounded him and finally arrested him.


Officers shot the man as he ran on a roadway and appeared to be trying to steal yet another car before he was handcuffed and taken to a hospital in an ambulance, a police spokeswoman, Rosario Herrera, said.


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