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Updated: 3 days 18 hours ago

White House reveals name of CIA chief in Kabul

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 08:50

White House reveals name of CIA chief in KabulWashington, May 27 - The White House inadvertently revealed the name of the Central Intelligence Agency's top officer in Kabul during President Barack Obama's weekend trip to the Afghan capital.

A list of 15 senior US officials, first provided to journalists traveling with Obama and then forwarded to other reporters on the White House mailing list, included the "Chief of Station" in Kabul for joining a military briefing with the president at Bagram air base north of the city, Xinhua reported.

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New gurdwara faces opposition in US

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 17:51

New gurdwara faces opposition in USNew York, May 26 : A Sikh temple in the US is facing local opposition because of plans to replace its existing prayer hall with a 12,000-sq-ft building with gold domes in a rural neighbourhood, media reported Monday.

The construction of a new building has been opposed by the people in Sacramento County in California. Gurdwara authorities are questioning the residents whether race has played a role in the opposition, since building a church does not face any such opposition, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The Community Planning Advisory Council is scheduled to hear the Sri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara's proposal Wednesday.

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Which is your favourite moon picture? Vote for it

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 16:49

Which is your favourite moon picture? Vote for itWashington, May 26 : You have a chance to choose the cover picture of “Moon As Art”, a collection of images created using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) data by voting for your favourite picture.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the LRO mission will present the collection of images, NASA said in a statement.

NASA has presented the top five images to the public to vote for the best picture.

The best picture will feature as the cover of “Moon As Art” collection and people can vote for their favourite picture at the LRO website.

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US State Dept promotes Muslim cleric who supported fatwa on killing of US soldiers

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 16:43

US State Dept promotes Muslim cleric who supported fatwa on killing of US soldiersWashington, May 26 : The US State Department's Counter Terrorism Bureau reportedly promoted a Muslim scholar, whose organization endorsed a 'fatwa' authorizing the killing of US soldiers in Iraq.

The CT bureau, on its Twitter account, posted link to the official website of Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah who happens to be the vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).

According to the Washington Times, the CT Bureau tweet linked to a press release on Bin Bayyah's site condemning the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls by the Boko Haram group.

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End of road for NASA's Spitzer space telescope

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 14:48

End of road for NASA's Spitzer space telescopeWashington, May 26 - Faced with a budget crunch, NASA is likely to shutter its Spitzer space telescope, an infrared space observatory, the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories.

The decision may help the US space agency to pump in the saved money to fund the functioning of Hubble, Kepler, Chandra and other orbiting observatories, the US space agency said in a statement.

NASA took stock of its fleet of orbiting astrophysics telescopes and decided which to save and which to shutter based on the findings of an independent review panel and turned down the Spitzer space telescope’s request for an extension.

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Social pressure influences personal judgments for just 3 days

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 14:04

Social pressure influences personal judgments for just 3 daysWashington, May 26 - A new research has revealed that people do change their personal opinions depending upon other people's state of mind but the change lasts only for three days.

Rongjun Yu of South China Normal University said that exposure to others' opinions does indeed change our own private opinions but just like working memory can hold about 7 items and a drug can be effective for certain amount of time, this change also is not forever.

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Apple continues 'Your Verse' campaign with 2 new iPad ads

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:39

Apple continues 'Your Verse' campaign with 2 new iPad adsWashington, May 26 - Apple launched two new ads for the iPad Air as part of its 'Your Verse' campaign.

According to CNET, the new ads don't feature any talking and subjects go through their daily life routine while classical music plays in the background.

One of the two ads features Cherie King, a travel writer who also happens to be deaf, jetting across the world taking pictures, making FaceTime calls and managing her blogs on her iPad Air.

King wrote on Apple's website that iPad has made her a more adventurous and spontaneous traveler.

The other one shows a classical music composer, Pekka Salonen, composing music using his iPad Air.

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Car chassis, home walls to turn into batteries soon

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:32

New York, May 26 - The days when you have to look around for a functioning plug point to charge your phone or laptop may be numbered. Researchers have now developed a material that turn can your phone casings, car chassis or even walls into batteries!

With the new material, you can soon have electric cars or even aircraft powered by energy stored in their chassis or even home where the walls can light up your house.

Called supercapacitor, the small dull grey wafer-shaped materials that the researchers created can store electricity by assembling electrically charged ions on the surface of a porous material, instead of storing it in chemical reactions the way batteries do.

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What if your smart phone can bounce water off

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:14

What if your smart phone can bounce water offNew York, May 26 - How about a smart phone or a shoe that repels water so strongly that it causes liquid droplets to “bounce off” its surface!

Possible. Researchers have created a super-hydrophobic surface to make any surface super waterproof.

“To create a super-hydrophobic surface, you cannot just do that with a coating like Teflon or wax you have to actually put a structure on it,” explained professor Julie Crockett from Brigham Young University in Utah.

Existing waterproofing involves spraying surfaces with a coating.

By adding tiny structures to the surface instead, droplets bounce rather than roll off, she added.

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'Gadgets' and 'food' represent social status for teens, not clothes: Research

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:14

 ResearchWashington, May 26 - Research shows that youngster s consider food and gadgets as status symbol and spend more money on them, than clothes.

According to CNET, gadgets and food represent social status for teens and they spend 21 percent of their money dining out.

Though it is not clear whether teens go to elite restaurants or other hangout places, but they certainly spend more money on food.

Gadgets, including expensive phones such as iPhone, are also hot favorite when it comes to 'showing off'.

Researchers insist that expensive phones are where teen preening is at, the report added. (ANI)

White House accidentally leaks CIA Kabul station chief's identity

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 12:18

White House accidentally leaks CIA Kabul station chief's identityWashington, May 26 - The identity of a top CIA officer in Kabul was mistakenly leaked by the White House during US president Barack Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan.

According to the Washington Times, the name of the spy agency's station chief in Kabul was included on a list provided to news organizations of senior US officials participating in Obama's visit with US troops.

The list was first sent by the White House to reporters travelling to Afghanistan with Obama, followed by a pool report that was distributed among the US and foreign media organizations.

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Forget anaconda, this monster snake had crocs for dinner!

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 12:08

Forget anaconda, this monster snake had crocs for dinner!New York, May 26 - Move over anaconda. At nearly 50-feet long and weighing in at 1,124 kgs, titanoboa is by far the biggest snake that ever lived on earth.

Sixty million years ago in the swampy waters of what is now Colombia, the monster snake - 10 times as heavy as the average green anaconda - hunted lungfish, huge turtles and giant crocodiles, media reports said.

“It was so outsized that almost certainly it would have spent a large part of its time in water,” David Polly, a vertebrate paleontologist at Indiana University, was quoted as saying.

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Pope Francis invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Vatican for peace talks

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 11:58

Pope FrancisWashington, May 26 - Pope Francis has invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the Vatican for a 'peace initiative'.

Pope extended the invitation after earlier calling for a two-state solution to the intractable conflict.

According to CNN, the pontiff's remarks came at the end of an outdoor Mass in Bethlehem's Manger Square on the second day of his three-day trip to the Middle East.

Francis said that he was inviting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas along with Israeli President Shimon Peres to the Vatican for peace talks.

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Is Instagram biased against fatter 'belfies'?

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 11:47

New York, May 26 - Forget selfies as the war has now moved to “belfies”. The online photo-video sharing website Instagram has recently been accused of censoring plump, underwear-clad bottom while continuing to allow skinnier, skimpier clothed bodies to appear.

A Californian musician and video blogger Meghan Tonjes who posted pictures of her body on Instagram as part of her story of her weight loss, accused Instagram of double standards.

She posted her “belfie” in black underwear but Instagram told her the picture breached community guidelines including its nudity and “mature content” clause and removed her photo.

The company later restored the photo following criticism on social media and apologised to Tonjes, Daily Life reported.

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How bats fine-tune their flight revealed

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 10:57

How bats fine-tune their flight revealedWashington, May 26 - Researchers have said that a new study of bats reveals a capability within their wondrous wings that may help them fine-tune their flight.

Bats employ a network of nearly hair-thin muscles embedded in the membrane of their inherently floppy wing skin to adjust the wings' stiffness and curvature while they fly, Brown University researchers report.

Birds and insects have stiff wings, but the new evidence suggests bats have evolved this muscular means of preserving or adjusting wing shape.

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US ready to work with Ukraine's new president: Obama

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 08:23

 ObamaWashington, May 26 - The US looks forward to working with the next president and the new parliament of Ukraine to support the country's efforts to enact important reforms, US President Barack Obama said Sunday.

"This election is another important step forward in the efforts of the Ukrainian government to unify the country and reach out to all of its citizens to ensure their concerns are addressed and aspirations met," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying in a statement.

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World's fastest robot can reach up to 45 mph

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 15:23

World's fastest robot can reach up to 45 mphWashington, May 25 : Florida-based Robotics Unlimited has built OutRunner, a six-legged robot that can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour on a treadmill and 25 miles per hour outdoors.

That beats previous records, by a lot: the legged robotics experts at Boston Dynamics have only gotten 16 miles an hour outdoors and 28.3 miles an hour on a treadmill.

The team behind Robotics Unlimited is raising 150,000 dollars on Kickstarter in order to produce a small version of the OutRunner, which can reach up to 20 miles per hour, the Verge reported.

If they hit their goal, the creators say they want to host a global robot race in which anyone can enter.

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British Army Gurkhas refuse to fight alongside women recruits

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 14:55

British Army Gurkhas refuse to fight alongside women recruitsWashington, May 25 : Gurkha soldiers, serving the British Army, have reportedly warned army chiefs against recruiting women to fight among the ranks of the brigade.

According to Daily Star, Nepalese women can already join the British Army but they cannot serve with the Gurkhas who say the presence of females in the regiment would destroy the comradeship.

The opposition came to light after British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond speeded up a review into whether women should be given combat roles.

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Meet the living dragon at NY zoo

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 13:30

Meet the living dragon at NY zooNew York, May 25 : Having a date with the world's largest lizard on earth has just become a possibility.

Komodo dragons, known for their size and deadly bite, are now on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York after more than 50 years. The last Komodo dragon at the Bronx Zoo died in 1959.

At five-foot long and about 13.6 kg each, the three Komodos are still relatively small but will grow much bigger.

Male Komodos can grow to nine-foot long and 136 kg, the New York Times reported.

The dragons eat large animals, including deer, pigs and even water buffaloes. They are, however, fed rats and mice at the zoo.

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Anonymous apps lets users be 'themselves' again

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 12:49

Anonymous apps lets users be 'themselves' againWashington, May 25 - Whisper and Secret are mysterious apps that let the users be themselves by concealing their identity, creating a new atmosphere in the realm of social networking.

Anonymous apps such as these not only let the user be unspecified but it gives them the fascination of being mystifying and untraceable.

According to CNET, anonymous apps give its users the kind of experience they expect from modern social networks without any of the social baggage. They let people voice their opinions on something controversial and let them talk about their emotions and feelings without being judged by their real identity.

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