• Author Vendela Vida and the art of pretending

    Answering questions in a Casablanca police station, hoping to retrieve a missing backpack, author Vendela Vida was overcome by her feelings of good fortune. "Halfway through the interview it just occurred to me that this was the entree into the novel," says Vida, whose new book, "The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty," begins with a stolen backpack in Casablanca.

    Associated Press
  • Airbus says three of four engines failed in Spain A400M crash

    An analysis of the black boxes of the A400M plane which crashed in Spain has revealed that three of the aircraft's four engines failed before it ploughed into a field killing four in May, Airbus said Wednesday. Company officials had earlier warned of a technical bug in the units which control the engines, which were believed to have been poorly installed during final assembly. Investigators "confirmed that engines one, two and three experienced power frozen after lift-off and did not respond to the crew's attempts to control the power setting in the normal way," the company said in a statement.

    AFP News
  • LeBron James, Stephen Curry collide in dream NBA finals showdown

    Cleveland's LeBron James and Golden State's Stephen Curry have powered their teams into an NBA Finals showdown, but only one club can complete a fairy-tale run to a long-awaited crown. James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, is on the brink of realizing the dream that pushed him to leave the Miami Heat last July and return to the Cavaliers, who could become Cleveland's first major team sports champion since the 1964 NFL Browns won a crown in the pre-Super Bowl era -- the longest title drought of any US city. "I'm a guy who believes in unfinished business," James said.

    AFP News
  • Philippine leader likens China to Nazi Germany

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino likened present-day China to Nazi Germany on Wednesday during a speech in Japan, hinting the world cannot continue to appease Beijing as it claims ever-more territory in the South China Sea. The comments come as disquiet grows over the quickening pace of China's land reclamation programme in international waters, including its construction of a runway long enough for large military planes. "I'm an amateur student of history and I'm reminded of... how Germany was testing the waters and what the response was by various other European powers," he said, referring to the Nazis' territorial conquests in the months before the outbreak of World War II. "They tested the waters and they were ready to back down if, for instance, in that aspect, France said (to back down).

    AFP News
  • Jailed Israeli soldier freed after pork sandwich scandal

    An Israeli soldier who was jailed earlier this week for eating a non-kosher sandwich has been freed after the army agreed to release him following a wave of public pressure. The soldier, who recently immigrated to Israel from America, was initially jailed for 11 days after eating a sandwich containing pork, which is forbidden by Jewish dietary law, public radio reported. "On the one hand, the IDF (army) will continue to keep kosher but we not poke our noses into soldiers' sandwiches," he wrote acknowledging there were tensions within Israeli society but saying the army had a "place for everyone." Public radio said the offending sandwich was given to him by his grandmother who lives on a kibbutz and who had offered to take his place in jail.

    AFP News
  • Caitlyn Jenner’s emotional speech

    Caitlyn Jenner “got teary” as she thanked everyone on her Vanity Fair shoot according to Buzz Bissinger. The 60-year-old is Contributing Editor at the magazine and carried out the first interview with Caitlyn since her transition from being Bruce. “Caitlyn was on a couch, looked like a starlet, the only thing missing was a cigarette holder -beautiful patrician face, almost Katharine Hepburn-ish -and she gave a little speech thanking people, and got teary,” he told Entertainment Tonight.

    Cover Media
  • Maggi noodles ordered off India's shelves due to lead level

    India's states have either ordered the withdrawal of Maggi noodles from shops or are carrying out further tests on noodle samples before taking action in conjunction with the federal government. Maggi sales have plunged in India since laboratory tests showed the noodles contained lead at levels far higher than the legal maximum. On Tuesday, the Delhi city government said it had conducted tests on 13 samples of Maggi noodles and 10 were found to be unsafe with lead exceeding the allowable level.

    Associated Press
  • S. Korea tests missiles that can hit 'any target' in N. Korea

    South Korea on Wednesday test-fired two ballistic missiles capable of hitting any part of North Korea, in an apparent response to recent bellicose boasts from Pyongyang about its nuclear and missile capabilities. In an unusual move, President Park Geun-Hye personally observed the test exercise, a defence ministry official said. "The military tested two home-developed, long-range missiles that could hit any target in North Korea," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    AFP News
  • 2,000-year-old natural pearl found at remote Australian site

    Australian scientists said Wednesday they have uncovered a "very rare" 2,000-year-old natural sea pearl -- the first found on the vast island continent -- while excavating a remote coastal Aboriginal site. Archaeologists were working the site on the north Kimberley coast of Western Australia when they came across the unique gem below the surface, said Kat Szabo, an associate professor at the University of Wollongong. "Natural pearls are very rare in nature and we certainly -- despite many, many (oyster) shell middens being found in Australia -- we've never found a natural pearl before," Szabo, who specialises in studying shells at archaeological sites, told AFP.

    AFP News
  • What Happens When a Harvard Engineer Gets Robbed?

    He designs a smarter home security system—without contracts, installation fees or sneaky salesmen. Discover a smarter way to protect your home today.

  • Juve ready for Barca's 'fearsome' trio: Allegri

    Coach Massimiliano Allegri insists Juventus will be ready for the "fearsome" trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi when the Turin giants face Barcelona in the Champions League final. Juventus's season has gone almost to perfection under Allegri, who in his first season in charge has led the Bianconeri to a fourth consecutive scudetto and their first league and Cup double in 20 years.

    AFP News
  • Enrique Iglesias concert injuries worse than feared

    Pop star Enrique Iglesias will need weeks to recover after injuries suffered from a drone during a concert turned out to be worse than feared. "He suffered a fracture that needed to be corrected in addition to the reconstructive surgery. Iglesias, who turned 40 last month, was injured Saturday at a concert in Tijuana, Mexico, as he grabbed a camera-equipped drone on stage.

    AFP News
  • 4 Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom

    You might think that the bathroom design hasn’t changed in the last ten years. You can easily replace your toilet bowl with a WC that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Gone are the huge, space-hogging plumbing behind the toilet bowl.

    LookBox Living
  • Rohingya migrants raped at Thai-Malaysia border camps: report

    Muslim Rohingya women who were held at human-trafficking camps in Thailand and Malaysia were subjected to gang rapes by their captors, assaults that left at least two of them pregnant, a Malaysian media report said. Malaysia's state-run Bernama news agency quoted a Rohingya survivor of the camps, Nur Khaidha Abdul Shukur, as saying young women would be taken away nightly from the jungle post where she was held near Padang Besar in Thailand. Two young women at the camp became pregnant after the gang rape." The report also quoted her husband Nurul Amin Nobi Hussein saying he witnessed similar crimes taking place at nearby camps on the Malaysian side of the border.

    AFP News
  • No homes too luxurious for Manhattan super-rich

    A perfect example is the duplex at the top of a 43-story tower near the United Nations -- nearly 10,000 square feet (more than 900 square meters) with an infinity pool on the terrace, a private elevator and spectacular views. It has a state-of-the-art gym, sauna, a shared indoor pool and a rare luxury in Manhattan -- a "private motor court" where cars can drop passengers. "As the buyers become more sophisticated and savvy, they are like, ok, what amenities do really improve my life on a daily basis?" Over the years, 24-hour doormen, laundry services, gyms, basketball courts and swimming pools have become commonplace in New York.

    AFP News
  • Indonesia: Vesak Day or Buddha's Birthday at Borobudur, the world's biggest Buddhist temple

    Buddhists around the world have celebrated Vesak, one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar. Informally known as Buddha's Birthday, it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. In Indonesia, celebrations were focused on the ancient Borobudur temple.

    IB Times
  • Kim K ‘expecting twins’

    Kim Kardashian is pregnant with twins, it has been claimed.The 34-year-old reality star revealed the happy news that she was expecting her second child with husband Kanye West on Monday. But according to a source, the couple are still keeping a secret

    Cover Media
  • US justices rule for Muslim denied job over headscarf

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday for a Muslim woman who did not get hired after she showed up to a job interview with clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wearing a black headscarf. The justices said that employers generally have to accommodate job applicants and employees with religious needs if the employer at least has an idea that such accommodation is necessary. Job applicant Samantha Elauf did not tell her interviewer she was Muslim.

    Associated Press
  • MH370 search will not be expanded further: Australia

    The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will not be expanded beyond its current area without specific new leads, Australian officials said Wednesday, dousing relatives' hopes the search could last beyond early next year. In April, more than a year after the plane vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, Malaysia, Australia and China announced that the search zone would double in size. This boosted the area of the remote southern Indian Ocean being scoured by three specialist vessels to 120,000 square kilometres (46,300 square miles), with officials saying the wider search could take another year due to the difficult conditions.

    AFP News
  • Capsized Yangtze ship cited over safety problems 2 years ago

    Eastern Star, the cruise ship that capsized in the Yangtze river with more than 450 people aboard, was cited for safety violations two years ago, records from a Chinese maritime agency show. Authorities in Nanjing, where the Eastern Star began its unfortunate voyage, held the ship and five other Yangtze cruise vessels after it found them violating standards during a safety inspection campaign in 2013, according to a report on the city's Maritime Safety website. Authorities are bound to scrutinize the Eastern Star's safety record and that of its owner, Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corp., as they investigate why the ship capsized late Monday, leaving more 420 people unaccounted for.

    Associated Press
  • Thai army officer surrenders in human trafficking probe

    A senior Thai army officer turned himself in Wednesday to face charges over his alleged involvement in a human trafficking scandal that included people from Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia, marking the first arrest of a military official since authorities launched a widening probe last month. More than 50 people, including several local politicians and officials, were arrested after the discovery of 36 bodies believed to be those of Myanmar's Rohingya migrants at abandoned trafficking camps near the Thai-Malaysian border. Police are searching for more than 30 others of suspected involvement in the trafficking networks.

    Associated Press