Friday, February 11, 2011

(Reuters) - The United States is confident it can replace decades of distrust over missile defense with "genuine cooperation" on an issue Russia casts as crucial to ties, a top U.S. diplomat said in remarks published Friday.

William Burns, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, spoke during a Moscow visit aimed to build on the improvements the past two years have brought in ties with Russia.

President Barack Obama's administration is eager to keep up the momentum after the former Cold War foes capped a "reset" in relations by putting the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty into force last week.

"We firmly believe that it's not in the interest of either of our countries for there to be a pause," Burns told the Interfax news agency and the newspaper Kommersant in an interview. "We need to redouble our efforts."

Moscow has warned it could withdraw from the New START treaty, which lowers limits on strategic offensive weapons, if the United States or NATO develops missile defenses that compromise Russia's security by weakening its nuclear arsenal.

Burns said he did not believe that would happen.
(CNN) -- Here is the text of a statement that British Prime Minister David Cameron made Friday about events in Egypt:

Today has been a remarkable day, particularly for those people in Tahrir Square and elsewhere, who have spoken out so bravely and so peacefully for change in their country.


Egypt now has a really precious moment of opportunity to have a government that can bring the country together, and as a friend of Egypt and the Egyptian people, we stand ready to help in any way that we can.

We believe it must be a government that starts to put in place the building blocks of a truly open, free and democratic society, and, of course, what has happened today should only be the first step.

Those who now run Egypt have a duty to reflect the wishes of the Egyptian people, and in particular, there really must be a move to civilian and democratic rule as part of this important transition to an open, democratic and free Egypt.
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) -- A top U.S. diplomat in Pakistan is calling for the immediate release of an American held in the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis.

Carmela Conroy, the U.S. consul general in the eastern city of Lahore, insisted in a public statement Friday night that the American has diplomatic immunity and was acting in self-defense against robbers.

Earlier Friday, Pakistani police said the American, identified as Raymond Allen Davis, carried out a "cold-blooded murder" and said their investigation indicated no self-defense was involved.

The dispute over Davis' fate has become a major point of confrontation between the two countries, whose partnership is considered key to ending the war in Afghanistan.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistani police alleged Friday that an American held in a pair of shootings committed "cold-blooded murder," while a judge ordered the man's detention extended for 14 days in a local jail and told the Pakistani government to clarify if he has diplomatic immunity.

(Coastal Living) -- Whether you're looking for the perfect honeymoon spot, or just a romantic weekend for two, these ten Caribbean resorts are prime places to relax and indulge with each other. 

Island resorts in the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Antigua, Aruba, Tobago, Jamaica, Dominica, St. Barts, Grenada, and the British Virgin Islands have all the essentials for an exotic adventure together.

The Bahamas: Kamalame Cay

This private island is just a 15-minute flight from Nassau and offers an isolated sanctuary. No distractions, just you and your loved one. Surrounded by crystal-clear water and shaded with rustling palms, the 96-acre island can be navigated in your personal golf cart. Or just loll on the private stretch of beach outside your villa.

Go Ahead, Indulge: You'll get as much (or as little) attention as you want from the staff. If privacy is your priority, stay in your room for meals. Enjoy a homemade breakfast served in a wicker basket placed at your door.

Make A Date: Wake up early to catch the sunrise in a double kayak, navigating placid waters under a pink-and-orange sky.

Best Sunset: Grab a cocktail at the resort's Great House and stroll across the sandy path to the dock.

Rates: From $395; 876/632-3213 or kamalame.com
Groupon founder Andrew Mason has pulled a series of controversial ads that began running during the Super Bowl, saying "one thing is clear -- our ads offended a lot of people."

The announcement was on the company's official blog Thursday.

"We hate that we offended people, and we're very sorry that we did -- it's the last thing we wanted," Mason said. "We've listened to your feedback, and since we don't see the point in continuing to anger people, we're pulling the ads."

Mason said some of the ads may run again on Friday before the advertising schedule is fully rescinded.

In three spots that ran before, during and after Sunday's game, commercials that appeared to promote humanitarian and environmental causes -- most notably Chinese government oppression in Tibet -- swerved to become tongue-in-cheek pitches for Groupon deals.

Critics, many of whom took to Facebook and Twitter to complain, said the ads, directed by actor-director Christopher Guest of "This is Spinal Tap" and "Best In Show" fame, made light of serious situations.
A Chinese company issued the CC footage of Chinese who returned after 3-days spring vacation. The number of passengers travelling by train was 6 million.

A Chinese company issued the CC footage of Chinese who returned after 3-days spring vacation. The number of passengers travelling by train was 6 million.
Transport Network Company sources said that 6 million passengers were recorded who returned by train after a three-day spring vacation. They said that the CC footage of the passengers has been issued.
On Thursday, 6.4 million people returned back from their homes after vacations, the company sources conclude.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After seven years in the California governor's mansion, Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to his old day job: acting.

Schwarzenegger wrote on Twitter that he's ready to start considering film roles again.


The former governor tweeted Thursday night: "Exciting news. My friends at CAA have been asking me for 7 years when they can take offers seriously. Gave them the green light today."

Schwarzenegger's personal aide, Daniel Ketchell, confirmed the tweet Friday morning.

Before leading the state of California from 2003 to 2010, the former body builder was the star of such blockbusters as the "Terminator" franchise and "True Lies" and comedies like "Kindergarten Cop" and "Twins."
GENEVA (AP) -- FIFA has come under further criticism by European clubs, who are upset by the way the governing body runs international soccer.

The European Professional Football Leagues says FIFA takes unilateral decisions and appears to interfere in the business of its members.

The 30-league group's "dissatisfaction" echoes the European Club Association's warning Tuesday that it is losing patience with FIFA President Sepp Blatter's organization.

They are unhappy that FIFA has suggested a winter switch for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and "overburdened" players with extra international games.

The EPFL says it "invites FIFA to reconsider its decision-making process and enhance participative democracy."
CAIRO (AP) -- The announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned offered new hope for a rebound in waning investor confidence in the country, with the cost of insuring Egypt's sovereign debt retreating sharply. But analysts and economists cautioned that other question remained, such as the pace of reform and what role the military would play.

Friday's announcement by Vice President Omar Suleiman came a day after Mubarak appeared on state television refusing to resign and saying that instead he was transferring powers to his deputy. Those remarks had stunned and outraged the masses who had been demanding his ouster for almost three weeks. Mubarak's exit Friday signaled an apparent end to the impasse that many had feared would descend into violence and cripple the country politically and economically.

"It's a move definitely toward the right direction," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist with the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Banque Saudi Fransi. "But what we still don't know is exactly the direction that we're taking or the steps to get there."

In an indication of the easing of investor angst, the country's five-year credit default swaps dropped 24 basis points to 313 basis points, according to CMA data. Meanwhile, the Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF - which allows investors to invest in Egyptian stocks - gained almost 6.7 percent to almost $19.

NEW YORK (AP) -- So it's Valentine's Day - time to celebrate your wonderful relationship. Unless, of course, it isn't so wonderful right now, or it doesn't even exist. Wouldn't it be better, women out there, to celebrate a love that's so much less complicated: the teen idol crush?

Think about it. Was there ever a love so pure, so ardent, so idyllic and yet so painfully real as the love of a teenage girl for Paul McCartney, Davy Jones or Bobby Sherman in the '60s, or Justin Bieber or Robert Pattinson today?

Take British novelist Allison Pearson, whose devotion at age 13 for David Cassidy, aka Keith Partridge (of the feathered mullet and "The Partridge Family") was so intense, she wore the color brown for 18 months because she'd read it was his favorite.

"Almost my entire wardrobe was brown - brown bell-bottoms, brown platform shoes," says Pearson. "I actually look malarial in brown. But somehow, I thought it would give me some competitive advantage over the other fans."

Like most lovestruck teens, Pearson, now 50, eventually recovered from the shock that she would never be Mrs. Cassidy. She reached adulthood, got married, had kids, became a prominent newspaper columnist in Britain and then a best-selling novelist with the 2002 "I Don't Know How She Does It," now being made into a movie with Sarah Jessica Parker as her working-mom heroine, Kate Reddy.

But she never forgot her David - and she reckons many of us haven't forgotten our teen idol crushes, either. Her new book, "I Think I Love You," which hit stores this week, is not only a paean to Cassidy but an exploration of the fragile emotions and fraught relationships of the teenage years.

"People may think it's silly, but the teen idol crush is really, really powerful," said Pearson, sipping a cappuccino Thursday afternoon in Manhattan. "It's a dress rehearsal for love. You're in love with the IDEA of being in love."

If the author seemed to be glowing a bit, the reason may have been her experience earlier that morning. Appearing on NBC's "Today," she'd been surprised on set by none other than Cassidy himself, now 60 and still performing. Luckily, she'd dressed right - she was wearing a ribbon-trimmed David Cassidy photo on her lapel, close to her heart.

Afterward, the two talked, and Cassidy even agreed to appear in the jukebox musical she's writing based on the book - as long as it makes it to Broadway, Pearson says. (She's collaborating with her husband, New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane, on the script.)

Who knows if it will actually happen, but imagine growing up to write a musical about your teen idol that your teen idol actually appears in? Talk about your full-circle moment.

Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year and governments must do more to prevent it, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Some 4 per cent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol, the U.N. body said. The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred when drunk, cancer, liver cirrhosis, heart disease and strokes.


"It's a killer and it's not good from a public health point of view," Melvin Freeman of South Africa's Ministry of Health and a contributor to the report, told reporters in Geneva.

Worldwide, over 6 per cent of male deaths are related to alcohol, but only just over 1 per cent of deaths in women. Almost one in 10 deaths among young people aged 15-to-29 is from alcohol-related causes — about 320,000 each year — WHO said.

The global body's first report on the subject in seven years recommended that governments raise alcohol taxes, restrict sales, promote alcoholism prevention and treatment programs, and ban some alcohol advertising.

WHO declined to provide a specific recommendation on the acceptable limit of alcohol consumption, saying setting such a level was up to member states.

Shekhar Saxena, the director of WHO's mental health and substance abuse department, said the effects of alcohol use also differ in ethnic groups. Populations in Asia, for example, are more susceptible to throat cancer from alcohol abuse.

But he added "in WHO's perspective, no drinking is entirely safe."
(ISLAMABAD) PIA MD Aijaz Haroon has resigned from the post on Friday night after 4 days of protests by PIA employees. This was happened after successful dialogues between PIA Joint Action Committee and government committee. On this occasion, Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said that Haroon's resignation has been accepted. He said that no agreement was made with Turkish Airline by the PIA. PALPA president Suhail Warraich thanked the PM, President and Interior Minister to meet their demands. He said that all flights will resume operations tonight.


Earlier, police baton-charged and arrested several protesting PIA employees at the Karachi Airport. Police also tortured passengers on this occasion. Rally of Peoples Unity reached Karachi Airport this evening and participants shouted slogans against the administration.

Police baton-charged the PIA protestors to disperse them due to which several employees got injured. Police also arrested several protestors. As the protests of PIA employees continue, for the first time in history of Pakistan, not a single flight of PIA could take off from any airport today and passengers are facing problems; where as other private airlines increased their fares tremendously. Many pilots, flight crew and ground staff of Pakistan International Airlines went on a strike on Tuesday to protest against a proposed codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines.

National flag carrier, PIA has so far suffered a loss of Rs 2 billion due to cancellation of over 200 flights as protest of PIA employees entered into fourth consecutive day across the country.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -- Employees of Pakistan's state airline have called off a four-day strike that crippled air travel in the country after the resignation of the top company official.

The leader of the employee union for Pakistan International Airlines says their major demand was the resignation of the company's managing director. The official submitted his resignation Friday evening, prompting celebration among the strikers.


Union leader Sohail Baloch says they hope to have flights running again after midnight. The strike lasted four days and grounded more than 200 flights.
We know how you feel about the apparent death of Symbian, and you had to figure that those most affected by it wouldn't be feeling too good either. Those people are, of course, the 1,500-odd workers at Nokia's Tampere office who have crafted the OS through the years, over a thousand of whom apparently walked away from their jobs today as a sort of non-violent protest -- or maybe just to get a preview of what their Friday afternoons will look like once Elop starts dropping the axe. It should be noted that they used their flexible work schedules to enable this, so this is one orderly bit of social dissonance that shouldn't result in any accelerations of whatever layoffs are to come.

Diet Pepsi has introduced a new "skinny" can for Fashion Week, but some critics are giving it a big, fat "no."

The can is a "taller, sassier" version of the traditional can that the company says was made in "celebration of beautiful, confident women." Pepsi's equating of "skinny" and "beautiful" and "confident" is drawing criticism.

PepsiCo Inc. presented the new can at New York's Fashion Week, which began Thursday. It will be available to consumers nationwide in March.


The company, a Fashion Week sponsor, is hosting a series of events to launch the new can, include collaborations with popular designers such as Charlotte Ronson and Betsey Johnson.

Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo said in a statement that "our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks, and we're excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world."

Critics say that sales pitch is nothing to celebrate.

The company's push may offend some consumers who don't back the "skinny is better" ethos. Brand critics praised the new design but say the company may be a bit off on its sales pitch.

The National Eating Disorders Association said it takes offense to the can and said the company's comments are both "thoughtless and irresponsible".

Libby Copeland summed up many of the criticisms in as article for Slate.

"Same old story - aspirational, looks-oriented advertising with a thin layer of faux-empowerment on top," Copeland wrote. "If you're confident on the inside, you'll be skinny on the outside, or something. Huh?"

The skinny can won't replace the traditional can.
(The Frisky) -- By T-minus 18 days until the Oscars and, of course, we are all starting to place bets on who we think will walk away with little golden men this year. Luckily, the Academy has proven itself to be pretty darn predictable over the years. If you're America's Sweetheart, you'll probably win Best Actress. If you sing in a flick, you are almost guaranteed Oscar gold. But there's another trend we've been noticing lately: the winners for Best Actress and Best Actor tend to be the person who's taken on the based-on-a-true-story role. In fact, 10 of the 20 top honors given in the 2000s went to actors who portrayed real people. Let's take a look, shall we?

Last year, Sandra Bullock won Best Actress -- just days after taking home a Razzie -- for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, the Southern mom who took in Michael Oher and helped coach him toward football greatness. The real Leigh Anne was in the theater to see Sandra accept her award. 


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The trade deficit widened in December as rising oil prices pushed the value of imports up faster than U.S. exports.

The deficit increased 5.9 percent in December to $40.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

U.S. exports of goods and services rose to $163 billion, a 1.8 percent gain and the best showing since July 2008. Sales of industrial machinery, civilian aircraft and autos and auto parts led the export gain.

But imports rose even faster. A 2.6 percent gain pushed total U.S. imports to $203.5 billion, the highest level since October 2008. The increase was led by a 16.8 percent rise in imported oil. The average price for a barrel of imported crude oil climbed to $79.78 in December, the highest point since crude imports averaged $91.73 per barrel in October 2008.

A widening deficit is bad for the U.S. economy. When imports outpace exports, more jobs go to overseas workers than to U.S. workers.

For all of 2010, the U.S. trade deficit rose to $497.8 billion, a 32.8 percent surge. It was the biggest annual percentage gain since 2000. In 2009, the deficit had fallen to the lowest point in eight years as demand for imports plunged.
Below is a full translation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's speech Thursday night:

In the name of God the most gracious, the most compassionate.

Dear citizens, my sons, the youths of Egypt, today I am directing my speech to the youth of Egypt, those who are in there in Tahrir Square and the vast areas of the country

I'm addressing you today out of a true and an honest heart from a father to his sons and daughters, and I'm telling you that I really cherish you as a symbol for a new generation for Egypt who are calling for change for the better, and are adamant to achieve this change for a better future.

I'm telling you here before anything else, that the blood of the victims will not go unpunished. And at the same time, as I said here, that I will follow all those perpetrators who have afflicted those crimes with full sense of decisiveness. Those who had committed those crimes are going to be punished severely. And families of those victims, that I really felt the pain, I felt that I was in your boots, and my heart really felt for what really happened.

I tell you that I'm actually opting to satisfy your demands and I am fully determined to fulfill my promise with a full sense of perseverance and honesty and out of a sense of keenness of carrying out the demands without taking any steps backwards. This sense of abiding comes from a sense of convincing from your honest demands and your honest movement, and that those demands are legitimate demands.

Mistakes can happen in any political system and in any country, but at the same time, the most important is to recognize them and trying to put things on the right track as quick as possible, and to punish those who commit crimes. And I tell you here, as a head of state, I do not find any embarrassment at all in listening to the youth of my country, and to satisfying their demands. But the embarrassment would only lie in the fact -- and I would never permit -- is that I would listen to any sort of intervention that would come from outside, from the outside world, whatever the source is, whatever the intention behind them are.

Dear youth of Egypt, dear citizens, I had already announced before that I am not going to run in the upcoming presidential elections. I have already given a lot to this country for more than 60 years of my effort, whether during the years of war or years of peace, and I am going to adhere to this decision, and at the same time adhere to the decision of shouldering the responsibility in defending the constitution and the national interest of the people until the transfer of power and the transfer of responsibility, which is going to be to the one that the people will choose as their leader in transparent and free elections where guarantees are going to be there for full transparency and for freedom.

This is the offer that I undertook before Allah almighty and the people and I'm going to keep my promise so that we would put Egypt on a path of security and stability, and would already out a perspective for coming out of this crisis and to satisfy the demands of the youth and the people in a way that respects the constitutional legitimacy and would not restrict it in any way. And at the same time put a framework for a peaceful transition of power through respectful dialogue between the different political parties of Egypt and with a sense of honesty and transparency.

I have put all those perspectives on the table and out of a sense of commitment of carrying the nation out of this critical juncture and I'm following up on the steps held day by day, hour by hour, if I can say, looking forward to the full support of all those who are really keen on Egypt and the Egyptian people so that we would succeed in translating it to action on solid ground, according to a national reconciliation that has strong bases, and that the armed forces with full due respect, can stop and initiate a national dialogue that includes the youth of Egypt and all of the different political parties. And this national dialogue can result in a near sense of consensus that is going to put our feet on a way out of this crisis. We need to continue this sense of dialogue, so that we would go further from the main guidelines into a roadmap that is quite crystal clear and that has a timetable to achieve those issues.

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. "The people ousted the president," chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo's central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, cheering and waving Egyptian flags. Fireworks, car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

It was the biggest day of protests yet in the upheaval that began Jan. 25, growing from youth activists working on the Internet into a mass movement that tapped into widespread discontent with Mubarak's authoritarian lock on power, corruption, economic woes and widespread disparities between rich and poor.

Hundreds of thousands turned out in Tehran on Friday to mark the 32nd anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in a rally the clerical establishment billed as a chance to show solidarity with “Islamic” protesters in Egypt. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that a new Middle East is being created which would be free of the United States and Israel, as he backed the Arab uprisings but warned Egyptians to be watchful of America’s “friendly face.”

People march around a truck bearing a large poster with pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. – Photo by Reuters


BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- Fireworks have erupted in the Lebanese capital after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president.

Moments after Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement, the fireworks lit up the sky Friday night. Celebratory gunfire could be heard in the Shiite dominated areas in south Lebanon and in southern Beirut.


On al-Manar TV, the station run by the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah faction, Egyptian anchor Amr Nassef cried emotionally on the air and said: "Allahu Akbar, the Pharaoh is dead. Am I dreaming? I'm afraid to be dreaming."
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday administered oath to 22-member new Federal Cabinet and one state minister here on Friday in line with the PPP decision to cut down its size as part of the austerity drive.

The new cabinet included 18 old and four new ministers. It also included one minister of state, Hina Rabbani Khar.

The ministers, who took oath at Aiwan-i-Sadr, included Mian Changez Jamali, Dr. Firdous Aishaq Awan, Syed Khurshid Shah, Sardar Alhaj Muhammad Umar Goreja, Hina Rabbani Khar, Mir Israr Ullah Zehri, Arbab Alamgir Khan, Mian Raza Rabbani, Syed Naveed Qamar, Rehman Malik, Amin Fahim, Shahbaz Bhatti, Engineer Shaukat Ullah, Samina Khalid Gurki, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Haji Khuda Baksh Rajar, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Babar Awan, Haji Gulam Ahmed Balour, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and Mir Hazar Khan Bajrani.

Prominent members of the previous federal cabinet, who had not been included in the cabinet, are Qamar Zaman Kaira, Raja Parvez Ahsraf and Nazar Muhammad Gondal.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama learned of President Hosni Mubarak's decision to resign during an Oval Office meeting. And then, like people all over the world, Obama watched television coverage of history unfolding.

Obama was planning to make a statement at 1:30 p.m. EST about the developments.

The White House said Obama watched news coverage of the hoopla in Cairo for several minutes on a television set just outside the Oval Office. The stunning announcement came one day after Mubarak has surprised the people of his country and the White House by refusing to resign.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Showing deepening dismay, President Barack Obama is questioning whether Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's promised transfer of power has any credibility or meaning. As a defiant Mubarak stayed in office, Obama challenged the autocratic Egyptian government to explain its path toward democracy to its people and the world.

Without naming Mubarak directly, Obama issued a written statement on Thursday night in which he criticized the leader for a lack of clarity and direction. That assessment came after Mubarak surprised those protesting in Egypt's streets by saying, in a broadly watched speech, that he would shift powers to his vice president but remain in charge of the country.

He had been widely expected to step down on Thursday, as even the CIA chief had suggested was in the offing.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A Kodiak Island bald eagle survived 25 years of Alaska hazards but met an unfortunate fate last month on the crossbar of a utility pole: electrocution.

A band attached to its leg showed the bird to be the second-oldest bald eagle documented in Alaska and one of the oldest in the country.

"It would be, based on the bird-banding record that I've seen, one of the top 10 oldest birds ever recorded," said Robin Corcoran, a wildlife biologist from the Kodiak Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The eagle's death was first reported by the Kodiak Daily Mirror.

The death was of high interest to raptor biologists, who have no other way besides recovered bands to confirm the age of mature wild eagles.

"Once they reach that full adult stage - white head, brown body, white tail - you don't have any idea how old they are," said Steve Lewis, coordinator of raptor management for the Alaska region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The oldest eagle documented in the country was a 32-year-old bird from Maine. Alaska's oldest recorded eagle was a 28-year-old from the Chilkat Valley outside Haines. Lewis suspects most eagles don't approach three decades but proving that with leg bands can be haphazard.

"Banding is one of these things, you put a lot of effort into it and you get little return, but the returns you get are really interesting," he said.

The odds of recovering a band go up around communities such as Kodiak. The city is on the island of the same name, the second largest in the U.S. The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge covers one-third of the island and has a resident population of 2,500 birds, but the city is a drawing card for other eagles.

Hundreds from mainland Alaska gather there each winter when lakes and streams freeze up. Eagles are opportunistic eaters, grabbing fish and small mammals, but America's national bird is not above Dumpster-diving or feasting on other tidbits from humans.

"The canneries and fish process plants, the commercial fishing, it's a real magnet," Corcoran said.

 First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on the "Today" show yesterday to talk to Matt Lauer about a number of issues, including President Obama's job performance and the fact that he now has quit smoking. She also dispelled rumors that her husband dyes his grey hair and spoke about not letting her daughters on the social network site Facebook.

But, in the fashion world, the big news from Mrs. Obama's interview was her choice of dress. The first lady wore a breezy, feminine, polka-dot piece, not from some fancy big-name designer, but off-the-rack and available for $34.95 from Swedish company H&M.
The navy frock is part of the retail chain's current collection, which is in stores across the country now. Mrs. Obama's office said her stylist customized the look by adding three-quarter-length sleeves and pairing the dress with a bold orange belt (in lieu of its original red cloth sash) and bright yellow heels.

Though lately she's been making a splash in higher-end designs, like the Alexander McQueen gown she wore to a recent state dinner, Mrs. Obama is no stranger to bargain fashion. In the past, she's donned $10 t-shirts from the Gap, sundresses from Target and is known to favor mid-range chain stores like J.Crew.

It's also not the first time she's chosen a design by H&M. On the 2008
campaign trail, she famously pulled off a striped shift dress from the chain and paired it with a thick black belt, part of a signature look which was said to make her seem more accessible to many American women.
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's vice president says Hosni Mubarak has resigned as president and handed control to the military.

Car horns were heard around Cairo in celebration after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV on Friday.

"In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency," Suleiman said. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and handed power to the military.
He states that he's from Microsoft Information Protection and that he noticed that one of our laptops crashed from a large virus package. He asked my mom over the phone to start accessing Internet Explorer's settings and change some things around, at which point my mum calls me and asks for my help because I know more about that stuff than she does. As soon as I pick up the phone my bullshit detector goes off and I ask how he can see our computer ('Every computer goes through our International Router Service') and how he got our phone number ('We have a very large database of customers') at which point I tell him to take his shit elsewhere and hang up. What the fuck? How did they crash the laptop and simultaneously call our house phone? What precautions should I take?
Army Sgt. Michael P. Bartley

An only child growing up in rural southern Illinois, Michael Bartley seemed like a perfect fit for the Army.

"He enlisted in the Army, and I thought, how appropriate," David Savage, Bartley's elementary school principal and the superintendent of Fairfield Schools, told WSIL-TV. "Their motto is to be all you can be. Michael lived that."

A basketball player, Bartley graduated from Fairfield Community High School in 2007. His coach told the TV station he remembers his former player for his optimism and strong work ethic.

The 23-year-old from Barnhill, Ill., and another soldier were killed Jan. 15 in Mosul, Iraq, when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on them during a training exercise.

Rebecca Isles, Bartley's mother, told the Evansville Courier-Press that her son joined the Army shortly after high school and later re-enlisted. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Bartley also was a member of Orchardville Community Church and returned to his hometown to visit friends and family.

"He was in his uniform and he looked so sharp," Savage told the TV station. "We were so proud of him. And I told him, I said, you know Michael, this is a great accomplishment. And he said, 'You know Mr. Savage. I'm really excited about this.'"

In addition to his mother, Bartley is survived by his father and grandmothers. He was assigned to Fort Hood.
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HELSINKI (AP) -- Technology titans Nokia and Microsoft are combining forces to make smart phones that might challenge rivals like Apple and Google and revive their own fortunes in a market they have struggled to keep up with.

Nokia Corp., the world's largest maker of mobile phones, said Friday it plans to use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone software as the main platform for its smart phones in an effort to pull market share away from Apple's iPhone and Android, Google's software for phones and tablets.

The move marks a major strategy shift for Nokia, which has previously equipped devices with its own software. Analysts said the deal was a bigger win for Microsoft than Nokia, whose CEO Stephen Elop in a leaked memo this week compared his company to a burning oil platform with "more than one explosion ... fueling a blazing fire around us."

Nokia said the partnership would "deliver an ecosystem with unrivaled global reach and scale." However, it warned that the new strategy would also bring "significant uncertainties," and said it expects profit margins to be hit by strong competition from rivals.

Nokia's share price plunged 9 percent to euro7.43 ($10.11) in afternoon trading in Helsinki.

Elop, a Canadian national, joined Nokia from a senior executive position at Microsoft last year. The first non-Finn to lead Nokia, he is under intense pressure to reverse the company's market share losses to North American and Asian competitors.

"Nokia is at a critical juncture, where significant change is necessary and inevitable in our journey forward," Elop said. He added the company was aiming at "regaining our smart phone leadership, reinforcing our mobile device platform and realizing our investments in the future."

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesian police say 10 suspects have been arrested after Islamic hard-liners set churches on fire and killed three members of a minority Islamic sect.

Twenty-four others have been taken in for questioning.

The attacks were carried out this week. They raised concerns about escalating religious intolerance in Indonesia - a secular but predominantly Muslim nation.

Police spokesman Col. Boy Rafli Amar said Friday that two people have been arrested for the killing of Ahmadiyah Muslim sect members in Banten province.

Eight suspects were arrested in the Central Java town of Tamanggung, where a mob stormed a courthouse and set two churches on fire because of what they called a "lenient" prison sentence given to a Christian convicted of blaspheming Islam.
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military has thrown its weight behind President Hosni Mubarak's decision not to resign but to transfer most of his powers to his vice president.

Friday's statement is likely to further enrage protesters who have marched to Mubarak's Cairo palace and other key symbols of the hated regime in a new push to force the president out.

The statement - the second in two days - comes after a meeting of the military's Supreme Council, led by the defense minister.

The military says it endorses Mubarak's plan for a peaceful transfer of power and free and fair presidential elections later this year.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAIRO (AP) - Several hundred protesters have gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo, calling on Egypt's longtime authoritarian ruler to step down.

The protesters are separated from the al-Ouruba palace gate by four army tanks and barbed wire. Army troops at the scene Friday are not preventing more protesters from joining the crowd.

It's not immediately known whether Mubarak was at the palace in the Heliopolis area.

Protesters are enraged by Mubarak's latest refusal to step down and have promised mass protests to drive him out.

One demonstrator near the palace, teacher Mahmoud Abdel-Wahid, says Mubarak "got the message but he is ignoring it."
AMSTERDAM -- A South African photographer's portrait of an Afghan woman whose husband sliced off her nose and ears in a case of Taliban-administered justice has won the World Press Photo award for 2010, one of photojournalism's most coveted prizes.

Jodi Beiber's posed picture, which contrasts the woman's arresting beauty against the results of the violence done to her after she fled an abusive marriage, was published on the cover of Time magazine Aug. 1.

Beiber is affiliated with the Institute for Artist Management/Goodman Gallery.

Jury members said Friday that the photo, though shocking, was chosen because it addresses violence against women with a dignified image.

The woman, 18-year-old Bibi Aisha, was rescued by the U.S. military and now lives in America.
(CNN) -- A Pakistani court has ordered a jailed American diplomat to remain in custody for 14 more days, authorities said Friday. The man's lawyer then filed a petition calling for his immediate release, saying he is covered under diplomatic immunity.

Raymond Davis, who allegedly shot and killed two men, was transferred from police custody to "judicial remand," said Munir Ahmed Khan, a member of the police investigative team.

Pakistani law says police can only keep a suspect in custody for 14 days. After that, a judge can either release the suspect -- on bail or for lack of evidence -- or transfer him to judicial custody, which is usually a prison instead of a police station lock-up.

Davis said he was attacked by the two men on January 27 who tried to rob him as he drove through a busy Lahore neighborhood, according to the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.

The U.S. State Department has demanded that Davis be freed.

Under international agreements, people carrying diplomatic passports are granted diplomatic immunity, the department said.

Davis' lawyer filed a petition Friday, challenging the court's jurisdiction over the case. A judge will hear arguments on February 25.

The United States says Davis was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad but was working at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore at the time of the shootings.

Lahore Police Chief Aslam Tareen rejected Davis' claim that he shot the men in self-defense.

"It was clear cut murder," Tareen told reporters.

Witnesses told police that Davis kept firing even when one of the men was running away, Tareen said.

"It means he wanted to ensure that that they were killed," he said.

He acknowledged the two men shot were armed, and that one of them pointed his gun at Davis -- but didn't shoot.

"All the bullets were in their chamber," he said.

The detention has strained relations between the United States and Pakistan.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to the State Department, has raised the issue with Pakistani officials. And the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, has met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on the issue.

Members of Congress told senior Pakistani leaders that billions of dollars of U.S. aid are in jeopardy unless Davis is released.

"We indicated it could very well be" that the United States might consider withholding funding, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-California, said Tuesday after returning to Washington from meetings in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

McKeon said he and two other congressmen on the trip had frank conversations with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and other senior officials about Davis.

"It is entirely possible that a member of Congress would come down and offer an amendment to cut funding for Pakistan, based on their detaining Mr. Davis, and my guess is there would be a lot support for such an amendment, frankly because of the outrage of detaining an American with diplomatic immunity," said Rep. John Klein, R-Minnesota.

The U.S. spent more than $1.5 billion in non-military aid to Pakistan in fiscal year 2010.

The case has sparked some protest and fueled anti-American feelings in Pakistan.

During several protests last week, hard-line clerics condemned the shootings and demanded the government not release Davis to the U.S. government.

Local television showed a rally in Karachi where protesters re-enacted their version of the shooting. Men wearing smiling masks and holding toy guns played the part of Davis and gleefully danced around several protesters, who pretended to be the shooting victims.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, right, speaks to the media as he is flanked
by his lawyer Mark Stephens outside Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London,
Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.
LONDON (AP) -- Lawyers fighting over the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are returning to court for final arguments in a high-profile case that has threatened to overshadow the organization's secret-spilling work.

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden on sex crimes allegations stemming from a visit he paid to the Scandinavian country last summer. He denies wrongdoing.

The 39-year-old Australian is fighting the extradition, saying he would not get a fair trial in Sweden.

Both sides are expected on Friday to recap the arguments made earlier in the week, with Assange's side arguing that Swedish prosecutors acted improperly. The Swedish government says it is seeking Assange's arrest only after repeatedly failing to pin him down for questioning.
(CNN) -- A Colombian rebel group is expected to release two hostages Friday, according to a former senator who helped coordinate the humanitarian mission to free them.

"A very productive night, everything is ready for the liberations tomorrow, nobody said that it would be easy, we are not losing hope that together we can weave peace," former Sen. Piedad Cordoba said on her Twitter account late Thursday night.

Marine Henry Lopez Martinez and politician Armando Acuna were scheduled to be released Friday, she said.

They are among a group of five hostages that the FARC leftist guerrilla organization has pledged to release.

Red Cross rescuers are participating in the mission.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysian prosecutors filed charges that carry the death penalty Friday against seven Somali pirate suspects in an attack on a Malaysian-operated ship, in the first such charges in Asia against the African sea bandits.

The Somalis - some as young as 15 years old - took 23 Filipino crew members captive aboard a chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Jan. 20. Malaysian naval commandos responsible for protecting the vessel stormed it less than two hours later and freed the crew. The pirates shot at the commandos, but no injuries were reported.

Malaysian government lawyers on Friday charged the men with using firearms against Malaysian armed forces personnel with the intention of causing death or hurt.

The charge carries a penalty of death by hanging, but prosecutors said that if convicted, three of the Somalis are expected to have their sentence commuted to prison terms because they were 15-year-old minors.

The Somalis looked grim while handcuffed behind their backs and wearing bright orange overalls at the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court. They did not immediately enter any plea. The court scheduled a preliminary hearing March 15.

"The fact that we charged them (means) we have a good case," prosecutor Mohamad Abazafree Abbas said.