Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One night boat full of sleeping tourists, including Americans, Australians and British, sank early Thursday in picturesque Ha Long Bay Vietnam, killing 11 foreigners and their Vietnamese guide, officials said.

Nine foreign tourists and six people were rescued from the cold water by other tour boats anchored nearby. They were rushed to a hospital as teams scoured the area for more survivors.

The rescued reported a shelf of seeing the wooden board-live ship rip off, followed by the flowing water from overflowing the boat and quickly pulling it down about five hours near Titov Island, said Vu Van Dun, the chief administrator of Quang Ninh province.

"Crew members tried to stop water from coming in and warned the tourists who were sleeping, but the water came and the boat sank quickly," he said. "All of the 12 deceased people who were in the cabins."

There were 27 people on the boat, including six crew members, Thin said. It was anchored alongside dozens of other cruise ships, and the weather conditions were calm at the time of the incident.

Twelve bodies were found, including that of tourists from the U.S., Australia and Britain, said Ngo Van Hung, Director of Ha Long Bay Management Board. The body of a Vietnamese guide was also recovered and all of the dead are sent to Bai Chay hospital for identification.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that a Japanese was among the dead.

Wrapping up a three-day run on the Jeopardy game show, IBM's Watson computer has beaten two former champions in a historic match of man versus machine.

The run has successfully demonstrated not only that a computer can beat humans in a trivia question quiz, but, more importantly, it shows how computers can answer questions much like people do, opening up a potentially new form of human/computer interaction.

In the final episode of the pre-recorded two-game, three-night match, Watson had trounced the competition, amassing US$77,147 in winnings over the two Jeopardy champions it played, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. Rutter scored $21,600 and Jennings scored $24,000. Watson also took the $1 million champion prize, which IBM will donate to charity.

Run by Sony Pictures Television, Jeopardy is a long-running U.S. TV game show in which three contestants compete to answer trivia questions, arranged into multiple categories and ordered by increasing difficulty. Contestants are given an average of about 5 seconds to answer a question.

THE share market closed at a two-and-a-half-year high today, driven by signs of recovery in the U.S. economy and positive business performance reports.

The benchmark S & P/ASX200 index 8.2 points, or 0.17 percent, rose to 4938.4 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index had added 7.4 points, or 0.15 percent, at 5026.0 points, its highest close since late August 2008.

On the ASX in 1924, the March share price index futures contract was up two points in 4914, with 22,200 contracts traded.

IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said investors seemed reluctant to sell the stock, believing that too much more upside in the market today.

"For the last 12 months you always respect the European debt rises, China fall from a cliff, and questions about whether the U.S. will raise tariffs was. All these issues are relatively dormant at the moment," Mr. Peacock said.

"There's nothing really on investors right now.

"People are focused on a global growth story. You really had strong corporate earnings and you'll see continued improvement in the economic data from the U.S., from Europe, from the United Kingdom.

"The glass is half full as opposed to half empty."

National carrier Qantas was one of the best performing stocks. The 13 cents, or 5.44 percent, jumped $ 2.52, after identifying a double-digit growth in capacity and placing a four-fold lift in first half net profit.

Airline Virgin Blue Holdings nudged up one cent to 40 cents as it said it would raise fuel surcharge for flights to the United States and lift luggage.

Coles owner Wesfarmers nine cents to $ 34.25, despite a first half profit up 33 percent.

A woman Wisconsin said she agreed to cook and a man she on the internet met in exchange for a free place to stay reportedly ended up being his sex slave, prosecutors said Wednesday clean it.
The 27-year-old woman met in New York-based John Hopkins on the website Craigslist before spending nine days trapped in his apartment, where she claims she was repeatedly raped, according to a prosecutor's statement.
The woman - whose name was not released - was treated for injuries at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The details of her condition are unclear.
Authorities charged Hopkins with rape, assault, unlawful imprisonment and forced to touch, to arrest him in his Brooklyn apartment on Saturday. He is being held on $ 350,000 bail.
The woman claims she was seeking work in New York and found an ad that Hopkins Posted on Craigslist, where a room for rent, depending on the complaint.
The couple agreed that the woman could stay rent free if she cooked and cleaned for Hopkins, who then paid her plane ticket to New York on February 4, 2011.
Upon arriving at his apartment, the woman said to Hopkins that she was his slave be told, the complaint said.
The woman claims she was repeatedly raped between February 4 and February 12 and was tied with a rope, gagged and handcuffed to a radiator, he said.
On the ninth day, she said she managed to call her mother and to warn her of the alleged abuse.
Police found the woman bruised and bound in an apartment Hopkins, "said the prosecutor statement.
Authorities said the victim was shaking and had spots on her body, according to the complaint.
Hopkins is expected to appear in court Friday for a first hearing. If he is convicted, he could head to 25 years in prison.
A Pakistani court has postponed a hearing on whether an American held for fatally shooting two Pakistani men diplomatic immunity.

Assistant Attorney General Naveed Inayat Malik said that the judge will wait until March 14 that the government more time to prepare its opinion on whether the U.S. embassy employee is eligible for diplomatic protection.

The decision was made during a brief hearing Thursday.

The government had sought a postponement of the opinion conclusion.

The U.S. says Raymond Davis of the armed men fired in self defense when they tried to rob him on January 27, and that his detention is illegal under international agreements relating to diplomats. Pakistani leaders have said the case to the court to decide.

What were days of peaceful demonstrations took a dramatic turn in Bahrain early Thursday morning when police swarmed into the capital and forcibly removed protesters from the Pearl Roundabout.

The police arrived with dozens of vehicles, surrounded the roundabout and started shooting "pellet bullets, rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators, witnesses said.

At least two people were slain early Thursday morning during the incident, hospital emergency services said.

The police were able to the roundabout of thousands of protesters and clear after that half hour convoy of about 42 military armored vehicles each armed with machine guns drove into the area.

An article Thursday in Bahrain state media quoted an official of the Ministry of Interior of the country talking about the crackdown.

"Public security forces carried out this morning the evacuation of the crowd and the protesters of Pearl Square after exhausting all possibilities for a dialogue with them, some of them have responded and left quietly, while others refused to comply with the law, calling for to intervene to distribute them, "Bahrain News Agency reported.

Someone a poisonous knife into the hearts of the Auburn University football fans who learned Wednesday that the landmark live oak at Toomer's Corner deliberately poisoned and can not survive. The university in eastern Alabama confirmed a herbicide used to trees and brush were deliberately used in lethal quantities in the soil around the two 130-year-old oak on the edge of the campus to kill, next to the center of Auburn. 

"There is little chance of saving the trees," the university said in a statement.

Auburn University said it learned that a caller January 27 "The Paul Finebaum Show" in Birmingham claimed to have applied the herbicide. 

As a precaution, 33 soil samples taken the next day and were sent on January 29. The accelerated, final results came back Feb. 11 levels as a "very lethal dose," the school.
Crews quickly ordered activated carbon for the herbicide to record and to block its progress, university spokesman Mike Clardy told CNN Wednesday.

The caller claimed he poisoned the trees in late November or early December.
For generations of fans have flocked to the blue and orange trees (named after a historic drugstore on the opposite corner of the intersection) after football victories, throwing toilet paper rolls in the limbs of the tree. The last celebration was after the Tigers beat Oregon for the national championship on Jan. 10.

"It is the heartbeat of the place on weekends," said Clardy.
Within 90 minutes of the press release going out, involved about 200 students gathered at the oak trees, throwing toilet paper and singing school cheers. 

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Tuesday’s Dallas County Commissioner’s Court meeting erupted into an argument between Commissioner John Wiley Price and a citizen, ending with Price repeatedly telling several citizens to “go to hell.”

The exchange started during the public speaking portion of the meeting, which happens after the commissioners have gone through their weekly agenda.

Six citizens addressed the court. All of them talked about the recent controversial departure of county Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet. Sherbet, who was the Elections Administrator for 24 years, said he felt Price and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins forced him out.

The last public speaker at Tuesday’s meeting, Jeff Turner, began by stating that he would refer to “a certain member of the court” — Price — as “the Chief Mulllah of Dallas County.”

Court rules state that public speakers may not address individual commissioners by name.

As Turner spoke, he continued to call Price “Chief Mulllah.” Price interrupted Turner several times, yelling at him, “don’t call me Chief Mulllah” and “call me by my name.”

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “mullah” as “a Muslim learned in Islamic theology and sacred law.”

Turner continued speaking, ignoring Price’s ongoing interruptions.

Oprah Winfrey is only able to land his exclusive interview with Michael Vick (notes) after he agreed to drop in betting on the CNN host Piers Morgan. The two television personalities are wagered on who was the first to sit on the reforms star football since his return to the field, but says Morgan Vick's people are asking for bets to be canceled because they did not want the quarterback Philadelphia Eagles in relation to gambling .
Winfrey and Morgan was wagered 200 pounds (about $ 320 U.S.) in its race book Vick. Oprah is set to win the bet earlier this week when he announced that Vick would appear on his show on February 24. He dropped a friendly bet as determined by Vick's employer. Morgan explains:

"Here's what happened: I Bet Oprah £ 200 for interviews, and then a magical thing happened at the end of last week, where Michael Vick's agent rang us both up and said, 'He can not gambling party so he 'will only do an interview with either you if you withdraw the bet.' And at this point, Oprah, lightning fast, gets straight to twitter and says, 'Dear Piers, I'm withdrawing the weather, I do not know why I let you talk me into it, I still love you, Oprah. "

"The moment I saw that, I know what that means is, if he is on Twitter, he was clear and she had him in the bag! You should never pick a fight with Oprah Winfrey, right? "
Morgan is a bit of a blowhard and I'm not entirely sure I believe this story, but if it is true that it shows how the image rehabilitation tours are nothing but a sham. Vick can lend his name to the party in the clubs but would not be the subject of a tongue-in-cheek bet between two stars? What, he was almost afraid to Oprah's female viewership make the connection between this silly and disgusting bet Vick did during his days dogfighting? Censoring currently does not erase the past.
If Vick does not want to be associated with gambling, playing quarterback in the NFL is probably the wrong job. Millions of dollars are wagered every week based on Vick's play and he did not seem to have a problem with that. I assume the moral high ground is easier to take when it's convenient.