Monday, March 31, 2008

Facebook website is a 'door to lust'

A woman was beaten up and shot dead by her father for talking online with a man she met on the website Facebook.
The case was reported on a Saudi Arabian news site as an example of the "strife" the social networking site is causing in the Islamic nation.

It said the man shot his daugther after discovering she had been chatting online to a young man she had met on Facebook.

“Security sources assured that the father beat up his daughter and then shot her dead,” it said.

A leading Saudi preacher told that Facebook was a "door to lust" for women and called for it to be blocked to prevent social "strife".

Sheikh Ali al-Maliki said women were posting "revealing pictures" and "behaving badly" on the site, which has become popular with young Saudis.

Internet engineers said that young Saudis were using Facebook to flirt and make "web-cam calls".

Saudi Arabia imposes an austere form of Sunni Islam which prevents unrelated men and women from mixing, bans women from driving and demands that women wear a headscarf and cloak in public.

FacebookOne female Saudi Facebook fan told The Mail that blocking the site would be pointless because people would simply switch to similar sites.

The 27-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, admitted many young Saudis used Facebook to get in touch with members of the opposite sex.

“In Saudi Arabia, we live more of a virtual life than a real life. I know people who are involved in on-line romances with people they have never met in real life,” the woman said.

“And many of us use Facebook for other things, like talking about human rights and women's rights.

"We can protest on Facebook about the jailing of a blogger which is something we couldn't do on the streets."

Engineers also told that there were Facebook pages for homosexual and lesbian relations. Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and is punished by flogging, jail or even death.

The Saudi authorities block access to websites they deem sexual, pornographic, politically offensive, "un-Islamic" or disruptive because of controversial religious and political content.

But Syria is the only Arab country so far to have blocked Facebook.

When the ban was enforced in December, Syrian media said it was to prevent Israeli users from infiltrating Syrian social networks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Suicide as a struggling single mother

Best-selling children's author JK Rowling has revealed that she considered committing suicide when she was a single mother struggling to survive and succeed as a writer.
SuicideThe Harry Potter writer has admitted she thought of taking her own life when she was in her mid-20s after separating from her first husband Jorge Arantes, a Portuguese journalist.

She received cognitive behavioural therapy after seeking medical help following the break-up.

The Edinburgh-based writer - who has amassed a personal fortune estimated at £545million - has previously discussed her experiences with depression during her twenties but never mentioned any suicidal urges.

The 42 year-old said it was the thought of her young daughter, Jessica, that spurred her to seek help.

Speaking to a student newspaper in Edinburgh Miss Rowling said: "Mid-twenties, my life circumstances were poor and I really plummeted. the thing that made me go for help was probably my daughter.

"She was something that earthed me, grounded me, and I thought, this isn't right, she cannot grow up with me in this state."

The writer claimed that she was "dismissed" by a stand-in doctor who was temporarily replacing her Edinburgh GP.

She recalled: "The doctor] said: 'If you ever feel a bit low, come back and speak to the practice nurse' and dismissed me.

"We're talking suicidal thoughts here; we're not talking 'I'm a bit miserable'."

It was the dedication of her usual GP that saved her, Miss Rowling said.

She added: "Two weeks later I had a call from my regular GP who looked back over the notes. She called me back in . She saved me because I don't think I would have had the guts to go twice."

After returning to her GP Miss Rowling attended therapy sessions with a counsellor for nine months.

She said: "I definitely had leanings towards depression from a quite an early age but it's an extremely hard condition to recognise in yourself."

She added: "The funny thing is I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. I think I'm abnormally shameless on that account, because what's to be ashamed of?"

Miss Rowling is now one of the world's most successful authors who has had her seven Harry Potter novels translated into 65 languages.

She is now a mother of three after marrying Dr Neil Murray, 36, in 2001. The couple have a son, David, 5, and a daughter, Mackenzie, 2.

SuicideA spokesman for mental health charity Mind said: "It's great that JK Rowling is discussing this.

"Speaking about counselling and other talking treatments is also important. Medication should not be the first port of call in most cases."

Monday, March 24, 2008

School girls chance to beat ban on nail varnish

A nail varnish that "vanishes" has been developed by a group of school pupils - offering girls the chance to beat bans on makeup.

The nail colour is a vivid red outdoors - but inside it transforms to a much paler shade which can hardly be seen.

The dramatic change is caused by a chemical reaction between the varnish and the ultraviolet light in natural sunlight.

girlsThe polish was devised by pupils from Albion High School, Salford, who thought the "vanishing" colour may help them beat the school's ban on nail polish.

They came up with the idea while working on an enterprise project with Paul Haywood and Sam Ingleson from Salford University's school of art and design.

The academics were so impressed with their work that they have continued to develop it.

Mr Ingleson, a special projects officer, said: "We asked the students to think about products that would have a relevance to them and to research it.

"This led them to thinking about nail varnish - because of the high number of nail salons in the area, they thought it made good business sense.

girls"Part of the appeal was that the varnish would go clear indoors, so they could wear it in school. But back outside, it would react with the sun and change colour again.

"I think it's a really good idea and a good product. I'm proud of what the young people achieved."

The polish has already been manufactured in China and the two teachers say the remaining task is to find outlets to stock it.

But they hope it could be on sale within weeks, in 32 colours inspired by Salford brickwork.

The varnish was officially launched at the opening of the Salford Innovation Forum.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dubai high way road accident

ABU DHABI,March 2008 — Around 200 cars were involved in one of the worst pileups that the UAE has witnessed.
Abu Dhabi Police said that 277 people were injured in the accident of which 15 were still in critical condition. According to the police, thick fog and poor visibility caused the accident.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing chaotic scenes as vehicles slammed into each other before going up in flames. Ambulances and police cars battled to reach the injured as wrecked vehicles obstructed the way.
Abu Dhabi Police said that 277 people were injured in the accident of which 15 were still in critical condition. According to the police, thick fog and poor visibility caused the accident.

high way
high way

Indian call centre problems

Indian call centre problems!
When you call your Internet Service Provider for Tech Help, your calls are often directed to Call Centres in India . Sometimes the person you are connected to is difficult to understand. Maybe it's the fault of the wiring ---

call centre
call centre

Friday, March 21, 2008

Energy-saving light bulbs

Energy-saving light bulbs are so dangerous that everyone must leave the room for at least 15 minutes if one falls to the floor and breaks, a Government department warned yesterday.
The startling alert came as health experts also warned that toxic mercury inside the bulbs can aggravate a range of problems including migraines and dizziness.

And a leading dermatologist said tens of thousands of people with skin complaints will find it hard to tolerate being near the bulbs as they cause conditions such as eczema to flare up.

The Department for Environment warned shards of glass from broken bulbs should not be vacuumed up but instead swept away by someone wearing rubber gloves to protect them from the bulb's mercury content.

In addition, it said care should be taken not to inhale any dust and the broken pieces should be put in a sealed plastic bag for disposal at a council dump – not a normal household bin.

None of this advice, however, is printed on the packaging the new-style bulbs are sold in. There are also worries over how the bulbs will be disposed of.

lightUnder new regulations for hazardous waste, councils are obliged to recycle them.

At present, they should be placed in special bins also used for batteries at a council dump. But in future, councils will have to provide a collection service or install special recycling banks for the bulbs.

There are fears that without a proper disposal system, the mercury content could contaminate water supplies.

But disposing of one municipal recycling bin full of bulbs costs about £650 each time, adding to fears of higher council tax bills.

The warnings cast a shadow over Government plans to begin phasing out traditional tungsten lights this month.

Ministers hope that using the more environmentally friendly bulbs will save at least five million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

The bulbs are due to become compulsory in homes in four years. Campaigners are calling for an opt-out so that people with health problems can still use old-style bulbs.

Others are thinking of hoarding the familiar pear-shaped bulbs so that they can keep on using them even after they have disappeared from the shops.

Independent environmental scientist Dr David Spurgeon warned yesterday: "Because these light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, they could cause a problem if disposed of in a normal bin.

"It is possible that the mercury could be released into the air or from land-fill when they are released into the wider environment. That is a concern, because mercury is a well-known toxic substance."

And dermatologist Dr John Hawk, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that some people already find it difficult to tolerate the fluorescent-strip lighting that is widely used in schools and offices, which works in the same way as the eco-friendly bulbs.

He said: "Fluorescent lights seem to have some sort of ionising characteristic where they affect the air around them.

"This does affect a certain number of people, probably tens of thousands, in Britain, whose ailments flare up just by being close to them.

"Certain forms of eczema – some of which are very common – do flare up badly anywhere near fluorescent lights, so these people have to just be around incandescent (old-style) lighting."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Six-core Intel processors

Advancing its architecture at what most independent observers would now agree is a breakneck pace, Intel offered further details today on how soon it would begin phasing out the Core Microarchitecture it introduced in the summer of 2006.

With the second phase of its 45 nm generation microprocessors -- what it calls "tock," using a metaphor that drives rival AMD mad -- Intel will move to a processor design that utilizes scalable cores, from two all the way to eight, it will introduce another new microarchitecture for processing instructions, and it will phase out the front-side bus as a component of its architecture. We've known these facts based on bits and pieces of information compiled from Intel hints over the past six months. Now we know this as absolute fact, confirmed by senior vice president Pat Gelsinger during a special presentation this morning.

Now we know when it will all happen for certain. The six-core Dunnington server CPU platform using Penryn architecture (the "tick" generation of 45 nm), with 16 MB of L3 cache, goes into production as soon as this summer. The 45 nm Nehalem architecture ("tock") enters production in the fourth quarter of this year. That will be the beginning of the end of the era of Intel x86 computers with a front-side bus (a separate circuit linking the CPU to memory, with a dedicated clock).

And Itanium lives on, as the company's new Tukwila architecture will carry the intrinsically multi-threaded instruction set into datacenters and mainframe replacements, with six cores sharing 30 MB of cache.

But it will be Nehalem that is expected to provide one very thunderous "tock." One key feature that literally creates an entirely new dimension to parallelism will be simultaneous multithreading (SMT): the ability for each core to process two threads at a time, not alternately like hyperthreading but truthfully at the same time.

An updated Nehalem white paper today (PDF available here) describes SMT as "a more energy efficient means of increasing performance for multi-threaded workloads. The next generation microarchitecture's SMT capability enables running two simultaneous threads per core -- an amazing eight simultaneous threads per quad-core processor and 16 simultaneous threads for dual-processor quad-core designs."

CoreSo a four-way quad-core Nehalem system may have to be quantified as "4 x 4 x 2," in a designation that is sure to give a new source of headaches for AMD. A few weeks ago, that company began gathering support for its first 45 nm generation, even though it won't yet feature AMD's version of the high-k-plus-metal-gate manufacturing technology it developed with IBM; that's being reserved for a future generation.

Meanwhile, one of AMD's remaining design "edges" against Intel -- its Direct Connect memory bus -- will no longer be an edge once Intel inaugurates its QuickConnect architecture. Replacing the front-side bus will be a more direct link that Intel now calls its "QuickPath Interconnect."

Core"A big advantage of the Intel QuickPath Interconnect is that it is point-to-point," reads a new white paper on the subject (PDF available here). "There is no single bus that all the processors must use and contend with each other to reach memory and I/O. It also improves scalability, eliminating the competition between processors for bus bandwidth. Coupled with Intel's great cache memory, this technological achievement will enable the performance of servers and workstations to take another leap forward."

The first TPC benchmarks for the "tick" generation of Penryn architecture actually delivered a bit more performance than even independent observers were expecting. No explicit performance data or projections for Nehalem were released today, though the early word on the street is to plan not to use the word "astounding" too many times in one paragraph.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The child marriage is probably banned

childMohammed al-Rashidi, 11, Marries 10-year-old Cousin in Saubi Arab.The child marriage is probably banned by most of countries on the plantet, but apparently not in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mohammed al-Rashidi, an 11-year-old Saudi boy, has just married 10-year-old cousin!

Mohammed al-Rashidi and his unidentified cousin will seal the marriage they contracted under the sharia laws of Islam and move in together after a ceremony to take place in the summer, Al-Shams newspaper said.

"I am ready for this marriage. It will help me study better," Mohammed, who goes to primary school in the northern province of Hail, was quoted as saying by Al-Shams.

"I invite all my classmates to do like me," the boy said, adding that he wanted to "crown a love story through marriage".

The schoolboy's father, Muraizak al-Rashidi, told the newspaper he was busy sending out invitations for a summer celebration to seal the marriage.

Dahim al-Jaber, the headmaster at Mohammed's school, said marriage at such a young age was "inappropriate" but wished the couple a happy life together.

Not to blame the little couple as they are so young and illerate, their parents should definitely know what the INBREEDING is!

Inbreeding is breeding between close relatives, whether plant or animal. If practiced repeatedly, it often leads to a reduction in genetic diversity. A concomitant increase in homozygousity of recessive traits can, over time, result in inbreeding depression.This may result in inbred individuals exhibiting reduced health and fitness and lower levels of fertility.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

American Airlines Over Masturbating Passenger

AirlinesA woman has filed a $200,000 lawsuit against American Airlines alleging the flight crew failed to protect her from a passenger who moved into the seat next to hers while she was sleeping, then "masturbated to her" and—well, you've seen "There's Something About Mary"? Yeah, that.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The woman slept most of the flight, but awoke about 20 minutes before landing when the pilot announced the plane was on descent into Los Angeles. When the woman opened her eyes, she saw that an unknown man had moved into the seat next to her and was staring at her as he masturbated, the suit states.

The woman turned toward the window in embarrassment and in an act of nervousness began to run her fingers through her hair where she noticed "a substantial amount of an extremely sticky substance in her hair," the suit states.

The woman began to cry and tried to get the attention of a flight attendant, but was unsuccessful, the suit states. Finally a passenger in the row in front of the woman comforted her and verified the semen in her hair, the suit states.

When the plane landed, employee called airport police and the man was arrested.

The suit claims that during the police investigation, the flight crew acknowledged they saw the man move from his assigned seat to the seat next to the woman while she slept.

Friday, March 07, 2008

British teacher was attacked by a 400lb lion

This was the horrific moment a British teacher was savaged by a lion - coming within inches of death.

The big cat pounced on Kate Drew from behind and dragged her to the ground, sinking its teeth into the back of her neck.

As wardens on a Zimbabwe game reserve rushed to help, the 400lb lion kept the 28-year-old tourist firmly in its grip - but, mercifully, its jaws just missed her brain stem.

lionSeconds later, she was rescued, dripping with blood. The bite wounds left her needing 13 stitches.

Recalling the attack just over a month ago, Miss Drew, from Hornchurch, Essex, said she assumed she was a "goner" after the lion pounced.

As it held her down, she was even more terrified to glance up and see two more lions coming her way.

She was saved only when the wardens rushed in with sticks and wrestled the animal away.

lionIt is thought the lion intended only to "play" with her after being attracted by her mane-like long blonde hair.

The closeness of her brush with death sank in only after Miss Drew saw these photographs of the attack, taken by a fellow traveller.

"It brings back just what a crazy experience it was," she said.

"It's quite shocking to see a picture of it."

lionThe primary school headmistress had been working as a volunteer teacher in Tanzania since last September and was spending a few weeks travelling across Africa on a bus with other backpackers.

As part of the trip, they visited a project where lions are bred to be released back into the wild.

Tourists can pay £24 to walk with several of the big cats, which are considered tame enough to be allowed contact with humans.

lionMiss Drew, who is now helping at an orphanage in Peru, said: "I was a bit apprehensive, but we were just leaving and everything seemed to have gone well - until this one lion jumped at me from behind.

"I was scared enough when he pinned me to the ground, but when I looked up and saw the other two, I really thought I'd had it. I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm a goner'."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Britney Spears may be pregnant again

For weeks, Hollywood has been abuzz with rumours that Britney Spears may be pregnant again.

And the speculation reached a peak of intensity yesterday when she unveiled a conspicuous bump.

The troubled singer, 26, was seen in Hollywood with a burgeoning belly on full display.
Britney SpearsIt followed news that she was seen at a medical centre in LA earlier in the week for an undisclosed visit.

A friend told Mail Online: "Everyone's buzzing about a possible pregnancy. Britney's denying she's expecting but with her, anything's possible."

Last month, numerous U.S. magazines speculated that Britney was expecting a baby with on-off British lover Adnan Ghalib.

Britney SpearsHowever some cynics are dismissing the buzz as tabloid gossip, claiming she is bloated due to a junk food diet and side effects from prescribed medication.

Meanwhile in the never ending roller coaster of Britney's life, Birmingham-raised Ghalib was seen at Spears' property yesterday, sparking speculation that the couple are back together.

It followed a court ruling earlier on Wednesday that Britney's father will remain in charge of the singer's financial and personal affairs for the next four months.

Adnan GhalibJamie Spears will continue to have legal control of the singer's estimated $100 million fortune, as well as oversee the singer's well-being, until the end of July.

"I can confirm that the order was issued", said LA Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini.

LA Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz yesterday named Britney's father and Andrew Wallet temporary co-conservators, giving them the right to employ bodyguards, restrict Britney's visitors and approve her contracts.

singerThe temporary conservatorship order - a order established by the court that property or a person be subject to the legal control of another person - had been scheduled to expire on March 10, but a surprise hearing was called to extend it before that date.

Britney SpearsMeanwhile Britney was seen out shopping with a new bodyguard, and as usual, was followed by a pack of paparazzi as she went about her daily trawl around the shops.

Earlier this week the singer continued her rehabilitation at the Millennium Dance Studios in Hollywood where she has also been teaching children's dance classes, as well as practicing her own routines.

On February 23, she was allowed to spend time with her sons Preston, 2, and Jayden, 17 months, for the first time since her January standoff with the police, and she has had regular visits since

Britney SpearsAnd since Britney's father took over her affairs, the troubled pop princess has been keeping a slightly lower profile and toning down her nights out.

Jamie Spears has been looking after his daughter's assets since February 4 this year, when she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the second time.

Britney was discharged herself from the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles on February 6.

The decision by doctors to let Britney leave the mental health facility infuriated the star's parents.

At the time they said: "As parents of an adult child in the throws of a mental health crisis, we were extremely disappointed this morning to learn that over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist, our daughter Britney was released from the hospital that could best care for her and keep her safe.

"We are deeply concerned about our daughter's safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Boeing 777 with just five passengers on board

Furious environmental campaigners have hit out at an airline that sent a plane on a 4,000-mile journey with just five passengers on board.

With enough room to fit 245 passengers, the American Airlines flight made the nine-hour trip on 22,000 gallons of fuel - a total of 4,400 gallons per passenger.

However, the lucky five passengers were treated to a luxury flight from Chicago to Heathrow when they were upgraded to business class and were waited on by two cabin staff each.

Boeing 777But each passenger on the plane had a massive carbon footprint of 43.2 tonnes of CO2 and it has been branded one of the worst "environmental crimes".

The flight had been fully-booked, but an 11-hour delay due to a mechanical failure meant most passengers made other travel arrangements.

Richard Dyer, of Friends of the Earth, said: "Flying a virtually empty plane is an obscene waste of fuel.

"Through no fault of their own, each passenger's carbon footprint for this flight is about 45 times what it would have been if the plane had been full."

The average car would have to drive 123,000 miles to clock up the same carbon footprint or a British household would five years to use up the same amount in gas and electricity.

Environmentalists have reacted angrily to the airline's decision.

Campaigners said it was an obscene environmental crime and was the worst case of its kind they had come across.

Rather than cancel the near-empty flight AA90, American Airlines decided to go ahead with the controversial trip went ahead as more passengers were waiting at Heathrow for the plane to arrive.

Norman Baker MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for transport, said: "I have heard of planes flying at two thirds full before but this is the worst example I have come across.

"It is a climate change crime. It shows the ludicrous nature of the aviation industry.

"For an airline to think it sensible to fly aeroplanes which are virtually empty and where the crew outnumber the passengers is madness.

"I hate to think of the size of each passenger's carbon footprint on that flight.

"I understand the airline has a timetable to stick to and you can't leave people stranded but I can't believe there wasn't an alternative rather than fly a near-empty plane across the Atlantic."

Anita Goldsmith, for Greenpeace, accused the US airline of putting profit before the environment.

She said: "Aviation is the fastest growing source of climate changing emissions, yet here we have another example of the reckless approach the industry takes when it comes to a choice between profit and convenience over the environment and all our futures."

Environmentalists have been campaigning for the government to force airlines to pay for carbon offsetting rather than passing it on to passengers.

Mr Baker said: "This case shows the need for the aviation industry to pay its own tax on fuel rather than the passenger which would give companies the incentive to fill their planes."

Mr Dyer, of Friends of the Earth, added: "Governments must stop granting the aviation industry the unfair privileges that allow this to happen by taxing aviation fuel and including emissions from aviation in international agreements to tackle climate change."

Flight AA90 had been due to take off from Chicago's O'Hare International airport at 3.10pm on Friday, February 8.

It did not leave until after 5am the next day and arrived in London at 5pm.

Anneliese Morris, spokeswoman for American Airlines, said they thought long and hard about cancelling the flight but did not due to the number of passengers waiting in London.

She said: "This situation is very rare. Exceptional operational circumstances meant that we had to operate this flight from Chicago to London with just five passengers on board.

"The flight operated with a full complement of crew as they had to position in London to operate one of the flights back to the US.

"The decision to do so is never taken lightly, but we had to consider the knock-on impact cancelling this flight would have had on our schedule out of London on a weekend when all of the flights were extremely busy.

"Our goal is to operate our fleet as efficiently as possible to provide our customers with excellent service while being a responsible environmental citizen."

David Learmount, of Flight International magazine, said that had American Airlines cancelled flight AA90 it would have taken days to transfer the Heathrow passengers onto other planes.

He said: "The average load factor across the Atlantic is 88 per cent, that is every plane flying between the US and the UK is 88 per cent full.

"To transfer 250 passengers onto other planes would take days to clear the flight, because there will be five passengers on one plane here and 10 on another there.

"The bulk of the passengers will spend two or three days stuck in a hotel being paid for by the airline."

Lingerie in London

Katie Price has been noticeably demure in recent times, but today she let her alter ego Jordan out to play.

The model stripped down to her underwear to promote her new lingerie range for George at Asda at The Worx in London.

LingerieDespite her skimpy attire, she managed to avoid any embarrassing slip-ups - last month she had a wardrobe malfunction which saw her spill out of her top while copies of her third autobiography Jordan: Pushed To The Limit.

Today she was later joined by some of her biggest admirers after putting the call out for everyday women to join help join her the event.

ModelShe said: "I decided that I wanted girls from my fan club to model [the range] with me in front of the press so I got them to write in and then I chose six girls."

While the 29-year-old's cleavage appeared more than generous in her black lace trimmed bra, she recently underwent a breast reduction during a visit to LA in December.

Still, Katie, who has three children, Harvey, 5, Junior, two, and Princess Tiaamii, nine months, plans to go back for yet another cosmetic procedure on her breasts to have them made even smaller.

GlamourMeanwhile, the star last week helped husband Peter Andre ring in his 35th birthday.

She told OK! magazine: "I had planned to go to Paris for the night. Well, what a nightmare - the M25 was blocked so we missed the Eurostar."

But she still spoilt the former pop idol, revealing: "I bought him a white baby grand piano among other things, which he loved!"


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard has accused America

MarionActress Marion Cotillard sparked a political row yesterday after accusing America of fabricating the 9/11 attacks.

The 32-year-old French actress, who received an Oscar last month for her performance as singer Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, openly questioned the truth behind the terrorist atrocity in an interview broadcast on a French website.

"I think we're lied to about a number of things," Cotillard said, singling out the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center as an example of the US making up horror stories for political ends.

Referring to the two passenger jets being flown into the Twin Towers, Cotillard said:

"We see other towers of the same kind being hit by planes. Are they burned? They [sic] was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burnt for 24 hours. It never collapsed. None of these towers collapsed. And there [in New York], in a few minutes, the whole thing collapsed."

She added that the towers, planned in the early Sixties, were an outdated "money-sucker" that would have cost more to modernise than to rebuild altogether, which is why they were destroyed.

She said: "It was a money-sucker because they were finished, it seems to me, by 1973, and to re-cable all that, to bring up-to-date all the technology and everything, it was a lot more expensive, that work, than destroying them."

Cotillard's stardom and increased earning power looked assured following her Oscar win.

But after her outburst, in which she also queried the 1969 Moon landings, a successful future in Hollywood appears to be in jeopardy.

She said: "Did a man really walk on the Moon? I saw plenty of documentaries on it, and I really wondered. And in any case I don't believe all they tell me, that's for sure."

Cotillard, who was born and brought up in Paris, made the comments on Paris Première - Paris Dernière, a programme broadcast a year ago.

At the time her remarks were largely ignored, but their appearance yesterday on the French magazine website Marianne2 comes at a time when Cotillard's profile is sky-high.

She is shortly due to fly to Chicago to star alongside Johnny Depp in Public Enemies, a gangster movie expected to be her first big money-spinner.

Cotillard's film career began in Luc Besson's 1998 film Taxi - a huge hit in France but less so around the world.

She is slowly becoming a household name in France, in a list most recently topped by her close friend Audrey Tautou and previously by women such as Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot.

World Trade Center
But Cotillard, who lives with actor and director Guillaume Canet, frequently tells interviewers she has no interest in money or prestige.

Denying that she had any kind of "Anglo-Saxon ambition", she said she prefers to "choose roles which suit me".

Despite her low-key image, Cotillard is an environmental activist who once worked as a spokesman for Greenpeace.

News of her anti-Americanism comes as Franco-American relations appear to be thawing, following Paris's refusal to show support for the invasion of Iraq.

President Nicolas Sarkozy insists he is pro-American, even supporting so-called "Anglo-Saxon" economic reforms.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Billy and Lilly have formed a close bond

A paternal dog has adopted an abandoned baby goat as his surrogate child.

Billy the boxer has become the constant companion of the 12-day old kid called Lilly. He sleeps with the goat, licks her clean, and protects her from any dangers at Pennywell Farm wildlife centre at Buckfastleigh, near Totnes, Devon.
The kid was abandoned by her mother when she was only a few hours old and adopted by paternal Billy when his owner Elizabeth Tozer began hand rearing the goat.

The unusual bond has developed over the last month and the pair are now inseparable.

Elizabeth said: "Lilly follows Billy around which is really quite amusing to watch and Billy sleeps with the goat and cleans her mouth after she feeds."

Lilly was the smallest of a litter of three kids and her mother abandoned her because she could only care for the two stronger ones. The pair have attracted quite a crowd at the animal centre and the staff are keen to see how their relationship will develop.
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