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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Five ways to improve your brainpower

It’s possible to radically improve mental agility. Norman Doige, psychiatrist and author of The Brain’s Way of Healing, suggests strategies to sharpen your mind


It used to be thought that the brain was hardwired and that, unlike other organs, it could not repair itself or restore lost functions once damaged or diseased. Now we know that, in fact, the brain is neuroplastic – that activity and mental experience can be used to change the structure of the connections within it. These new principles are being used to radically improve, and even sometimes cure, some brain problems that were previously seen as irreversible – and some of them can also be used in everyday life to improve our brain’s health and performance. Here are five things to try.


Related: The Brain’s Way of Healing: Stories of Remarkable Recoveries and Discoveries by Norman Doidge – review


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Police investigate three west London deaths

After discovery of man’s body in Paddington, police find two more bodies nearby


A murder investigation has been launched after three people were found dead at two different houses over the weekend.


Police found a 30-year-old man dead on the roof at an address on Westbourne Park Road, Paddington, in west London on Friday afternoon. When they went to inform his next of kin the following day, they found the bodies of a man and a woman, who were both pronounced dead at the scene.


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Bali Nine judges ‘asked for bribes’

LAWYERS for the two Bali Nine on death row have made alleged sensational new claims about the six judges who sentenced two Australians to death.

















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Massacre inspired gunman to kill

A GUNMAN who shot dead two people in separate ‘cold-blooded’ attacks was inspired by a deadly massacre, police said.

















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Teacher’s outrageous taunt to boy

A SPECIAL needs teen bullied for being overweight filmed the troubling moment his teacher helped his attackers.





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Media Identifies Copenhagen Gunman as 22-Year-Old Omar el-Hussein

Authorities in Copenhagen say the dead man believed to be responsible for yesterday's shootings was a 22-year-old born in Denmark. Unconfirmed reports from Danish media have named him as Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein.


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Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Jailed in Jordan for Facebook Post

The deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Zaki Bani Rushaid, sentenced on Sunday to 18 months in prison for "acts harmful to the country's relations with a friendly nation," the New York Times reports. In November, Bani Rushaid had posted a message critical of the United Arab Emirates, one of Jordan's regional allies, to his personal Facebook page.


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Victoria Beckham unveils sexier collection in New York

Designer plays with twists, volume and asymmetry to bring a much less uptight look to the catwalk


Victoria Beckham’s autumn 2015 New York fashion week collection officially began at 10am on Sunday morning inside Cipriani’s in downtown Manhattan. Mint teas on silver trays greeted guests escaping the frigidly cold minus nine degree celsius outside, and family Beckham – coiffed and in monochrome – snapped selfies on the front row.


But, in reality, the show started a few days earlier when the designer was photographed by paparazzi at JFK airport slinking through the arrivals lounge wearing camel trousers with a belted side detail and a leopard holdall. A dog whistle to those looking for early clues as to her collection.


The collection was more of a return to sexy-Victoria-Beckham-who-knows-about-fashion


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London’s tax-dodge tour: visit the companies who don’t pay their dues

ActionAid’s guided walks take people around the capital to learn more about the businesses that bend the rules

I’m in Piccadilly Circus, the worst meeting point in Britain. But even the throngs of tourists armed with selfie sticks aren’t enough to obscure tour guides Natasha Adams and Tom Barns: they’re sporting bowler hats and huge red-and-white umbrellas, and handing out badges that read “I support the tax-dodging bill”.


The pair are my guides for one of ActionAid’s monthly “tax justice walking tours” of Mayfair, set up as a fun way to highlight how big businesses sidestep tax. I’m here to find out more, because, if we’ve learned anything from last week’s revelations about HSBC in Switzerland, it’s that nothing is more certain than death and tax avoidance.


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Lionel Messi equals La Liga hat-trick record as Barcelona thrash Levante

• Messi moves level with Cristiano Ronaldo on 23 La Liga hat-tricks

• Neymar and Luis Suárez also on target

• Barcelona move to within one point of leaders Real Madrid

Lionel Messi marked his 300th La Liga appearance with a record-equalling hat-trick and an assist for Neymar as Barcelona stayed hard on the heels of the leaders, Real Madrid, with a 5-0 romp at home to Levante on Sunday.


Messi has been in electric form in recent weeks and his pinpoint cross set up Neymar to put Barça 1-0 ahead in the 17th minute at the Nou Camp. The Brazil forward skewed his close-range volley, but the ball looped up over the Levante goalkeeper, Diego Marino, and into the net.


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Brian Williams has gone, but false news is bigger business than ever

The web has simultaneously enabled an accelerated cycle of untrue stories and rumour, and the ability to debunk them

Every journalist is familiar with the type of story that is “too good to check”. It is a warning label on tales that beg to be true but probably aren’t. In the pre-social-media era, an incorrect story, and sometimes an outright lie, might have sat hidden in plain sight for months or even years. Spectacular fabrications such as those of the New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, who was discovered in 2003 to have fabricated or plagiarised elements of dozens of stories, rocked venerable institutions to their core. Last week the US news establishment took another torpedo to its hull.


Brian Williams, the host of NBC’s Nightly News, was suspended last week for six months with no pay, after a military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, published a story where Williams admitted he had exaggerated a story about flying in a helicopter that came under fire in Iraq. The incident in 2003 happened when Williams was, in fact, following a helicopter that was struck by missile fire, but in retellings he shifted to a position where not only had his helicopter had been hit, but the US crew “figured out how to land safely”. It just wasn’t true. To make matters worse for NBC news executives, Williams posted a rather mealy-mouthed apology on Facebook without any of them knowing.


Related: Is NBC firing Brian Williams, or just humiliating him?


The conflation of information and entertainment has grown the business but diminished the reputation of journalism


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James Webster inspires Wakefield to scintillating win over Hull KR

• Wakefield Wildcats 44-24 Hull KR

• Wakefield coach has eight wins from 14 games in charge

In certain parts of Australia, the legendary NRL coach, Wayne Bennett, is often referred to as “super coach”. And while that may be true given his incredible success in rugby league, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ coach, James Webster, is fast developing his own reputation as a miracle worker in Super League.


When he took over in charge last June, the Wildcats were entrenched firmly in the battle to avoid relegation from Super League. Wins against the likes of Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos ensured they survived with relative ease, and after being tipped to be favourites to finish bottom again this year, Webster and his wonderful Wildcats are again starting to defy the odds.


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Fossil fuel industry must take stranded assets seriously, says Tim Yeo

Tory MP counters position of Shell’s boss, Ben van Beurden, that those who say fossil fuels should be left in the ground are misguided


The chairman of parliament’s energy and climate change committee has joined those warning the fossil fuel industry to take the threat of stranded assets seriously, and believes Shell is wrong to write off critics as naive.


Tim Yeo, a veteran Conservative MP and nuclear enthusiast, also expressed alarm at the latest delays at the new Hinkley Point building project in Somerset, saying he hoped they would not lead to eventual cancellation.


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Stan Wawrinka battles back to beat Tomas Berdych and claim Rotterdam title

• Swiss wins 4-6 6-3 6-4 against defending champion

• Wawrinka picks up his ninth ATP World Tour title

Stan Wawrinka battled back from a set down to see off defending champion Tomas Berdych and win the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.


The fourth-seeded Swiss was making his first appearance in the event for 10 years but dug deep to claim a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win and his ninth ATP World Tour title.


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New York City’s Murderless Streak Ends at 12 Days

On Saturday, a 28-year-old Queens man became the city’s first homicide victim since Feb. 1.

















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