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Monday
Sep272010

Talking Newspapers Startle Readers in India

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(INDIA) -- The Times of India and The Hindu, two of the largest papers in the world, created quite a stir on Tuesday when they released a special advertisement in their daily papers. When readers opened the paper to the back page, a light-sensitive, voice-activated chip began reading out why you should buy Volkswagen's new sedan, the Vento. The "talking" advertisement was an audio rendering of the print commercial, similar to a radio ad.

Unsuspecting readers bolted upright when the advertisement voice activation began. In many parts of the country, there were unintended consequences from startled readers.  The police in Delhi received numerous calls, particularly from elderly Indians, who were frightened and suspicious of the talking newspaper.  In Mumbai, the bomb squad was called out when passersby became suspicious of noises coming from discarded newspapers in trash bins.  Some readers thought they were hearing the voice of a ghost.  The police commissioner of Mumbai, Sanjeev Dayal, released a statement asking people not to be fearful of the new technology.

The 2.2 million copies soon became a sought-after collector's item. The executive president of the Times Group, Bhaskar Das, called the advertisement an innovation that could change the way print media is viewed.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Segway Owner Dies In Segway Accident

Photo Courtesy - Segway, Inc.(WEST YORKSHIRE, England) -- The owner of Segway, the company that manufactures two-wheeled personal transportation devices, died Sunday in an accident involving the company's trademark product. Jimi Heselden, 62, was apparently riding an all-terrain Segway model when he and the machine plunged from a cliff and into a river. Heselden, a former miner, bought the company last December and, according to local reports, was using the machine to survey his estate. The company confirmed Heselden’s death on its website.

A study released Monday evaluated the records of injuries obtained while riding the Segway from 44 different Washington, D.C. patients between 2005 and 2008. A quarter of those patients were admitted to the hospital, while almost half were placed in intensive care due to traumatic brain injury. Records show that only seven percent of all patients had worn helmets, which are not required by law in Washington. The number of Segway-related injuries is on the rise, records show, with three in 2006 and at least 25 in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

U.S. Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans

Image Courtesy - ABC News(FORT LEWIS, Wash.) -- Dressed in a T-shirt and Army shorts, a 22-year-old corporal from Wasilla, Alaska casually describes on a videotape made by military investigators how his unit's "crazy" sergeant randomly chose three unarmed, innocent victims to be murdered in Afghanistan.

Corporal Jeremy N. Morlock is one of five GI's charged with pre-meditated murder in a case that includes allegations of widespread drug use, a collection of body parts and photos of the U.S. soldiers holding the Afghan bodies like hunter's trophies.

All five soldiers were part of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, of the 2nd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Lewis-McChord, Washington. In charging documents released by the Army, the military alleges that the five -- Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs, Spec Adam C. Winfield, Spec. Michael S. Wagnon II, Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes and Morlock -- were involved in one or more of three murders that took place between January and May of this year.

Lawyers and family members of the soldiers say they all intend to fight the charges.

An Article 32 hearing for Morlock, the military equivalent of a grand jury, is scheduled Monday at Fort Lewis-McChord, Washington.

On the tape, obtained by ABC News, Morlock admits his role in the deaths of three Afghans, but claims the plan was organized by his unit's sergeant, Calvin Gibbs, who is also charged with pre-meditated murder.

"He just really doesn't have any problems with [bleeping] killing these people," Morlock said on tape as he laid out the scenario he said the sergeant used to make it seem the civilians were killed in action.

"And so we identify a guy. Gibbs makes a comment, like, you know, you guys wanna wax this guy or what?" Morlock told military investigators during an interview videotaped in May at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

The corporal said Gibbs gave orders to open fire on the civilian at the same time Gibbs threw a hand grenade at the victim.

"He pulled out one of his grenades, an American grenade, you know, popped it, throws it, tells me where to go to whack this guy, kill this guy, kill this guy," Morlock told the investigators.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep242010

Rare Video Shows Taliban Allegedly Stoning Woman to Death

Photo Courtesy - Al Aan/ABC News(UNITED ARAB EMIRATES) -- A rare video, reportedly smuggled out of northwest Pakistan, allegedly shows a woman being stoned to death by Taliban militants in the upper region of Orakzai.

Al Aan, a Dubai-based pan-Arab television channel that focuses on women's issues, claims it had obtained cell phone footage that it says shows a woman being executed because she was seen out with a man. The killing reportedly took place two months ago and was smuggled out by a Taliban member who attended the stoning, according to Al Aan. ABC News could not independently confirm the cellphone video's authenticity.

The video seems to show a woman tethered to the ground as a group of men throw stones at her.

"It's difficult to know where and when it was shot," says Gayle Lemmon, deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations, in an interview with Brian Ross. "It is consistent with videos that have been coming from Taliban-controlled areas since the '90s," he added.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep242010

Jordanian King Warns of War if Israel Resumes Building Settlements

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As the end of this United Nations week approaches, the world seems closer to a war in the Middle East, not farther away.

As previously reported, Israel’s 10-month moratorium on housing settlements in disputed territories is set to expire next week. If Israel resumes development, it seems likely that the Palestinians will leave the direct talks.

"If we fail on the 30th [of September], expect another war by the end of the year,” Jordan’s King Abdullah warned on Comedy Central's The Daily Show Thursday night. “And more wars that I foresee in the region over the coming years.”  That’s because, Abdullah said, “if the issue of settlements are still at the table on [the] 30th, then everybody walks away. And if they do, how are we going to get people back to the table? I don't see that happening in the near future.”

This, combined with President Obama’s plea at the U.N. for Arab countries to step up to the plate and help the process move forward, and his new language that the talks should continue regardless of what happens to the housing freeze, all seems to spell bad news for peace in the region.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep242010

Singers From Around the World Compete for Record Deal

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MOSCOW) -- The eighth annual Karaoke World Championships kicked off Thursday in Moscow.  The first night of the competition featured 31 talented singers, stemming from Kazakhstan to the Faroe Islands, vying for two record deals, a shot at stardom and one million Russian dumplings, courtesy of the event's sponsor.

"You have to be like the artist, but you have to put your two cents in," said 30 year-old Edward Pimentel of Albuquerque, New Mexico, trying to explain how the competition is like the karaoke most of us know. Except here, if you look at the lyrics on the stage monitor, you get points deducted.

"This is more like the Olympics of Karaoke," said Team USA's self-described mentor Brian Scott when asked how the competition differs from other amateur singing contests like American Idol. "It's a lot different, karaoke, than those types of reality shows. This is more like an Olympic event for all the countries of the world."

The contestants have one more night to impress the judges before the finalists are chosen for Saturday night's final round.  One man and one woman will be awarded a record contract in Finland, the home of the Championships, and, of course, a million dumplings. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep242010

Tropical Storm Matthew Takes Aim at Central America

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Tropical Storm Matthew is forecast to come ashore in the sparsely populated border of Nicaragua and Honduras later Friday.  It will continue affecting the region throughout the weekend, and is projected to make a second landfall in Belize early Sunday before weakening over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula thereafter.  Matthew threatens to bring heavy rain, which could exceed a foot in some areas, as well as flooding and mudslides as it slows and passes through the mountain ranges in Central America.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

Strangers Connect Online to Commit Suicide

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images.(LONDON) -- A woman and a man found each other through an online posting looking for a partner -- to end their lives together. Shortly after meeting in person, Joanne Lee and Stephen Lumb got into Lee's car and committed suicide.  The double suicide of two strangers has stunned Great Britain where it occurred and surprised suicide experts.  "It's very, very unusual," said Essex Police press officer Heather Watts who said she's never seen anything like this in her 20 years on the police force. "We have had double suicides, but not under the circumstance where they'd never met in person....I saw it as a sign of the times when people meet and do things on the Internet."  Lee, 34, and Lumb, 35, are believed to have met on an Internet forum that discusses suicide when she put up a notice seeking a partner to help her die.  "I haven't the strength to do this alone. I have all the ingredients and want to do it ASAP," Lee wrote, according to London's "Daily Mail." Britain has about 6,000 suicides per year, low compared to many other countries like Japan. It also does not have a culture of suicide with strangers that has grown rapidly in Japan in recent years. The suicide rate in the U.S. is 11.5 per 100,000, about 35,000 people per year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

Thursday
Sep232010

'Lady Qaeda' Gets 86 Years For Shooting at U.S. Soldiers

Image Courtesy - ABC News Radio(NEW YORK) -- Aafia Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in federal prison Thursday, following her February conviction for attempted murder of U.S. government officials. Siddiqui was allegedly caught in Afghanistan with cyanide, documents indicating attacks on the U.S., including landmarks in New York City, but the MIT-trained neuroscientist was tried and convicted in a simple criminal case for firing a rifle at FBI agents and U.S. soldiers.

Before Judge Richard Berman announced the sentence, Siddiqui gave a meandering 30-minute speech. "I didn't take any notes," she said. "I wasn't planning on speaking. I was planning on sleeping." She also asked the Muslims in the courtroom to forgive the court. "I don't want any bloodshed.  I don't want any violence in my name."

Though Siddiqui was not charged with terrorism, terrorism enhancements were applied to her sentence. As Judge Berman was about to announce the sentence of 86 years, Siddiqui supporter Sara Flounders, an activist with the International Action Center, yelled, "Shame! Shame! Shame on this court!"

Siddiqui, 38, was convicted earlier this year after an often raucous trial that ended the way it began, with Siddiqui yelling at jurors and shouting to spectators.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

Thursday
Sep232010

U.N. Kicks off 65th General Assembly in New York

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(UNITED NATIONS) -- Heads of state from around the world, including the U.S., Iran, China, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Palestine, gathered in New York Thursday morning for the 65th United Nations General Assembly. The debate began with remarks from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“In Afghanistan, we carry on our work despite exceptionally difficult security and humanitarian conditions," Ban said. "We will seek to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula." The Secretary General's speech highlighted what he called diplomatic victories of the United Nations in the midst of some of the world’s most pressing conflicts. "On Iran, we continue to urge the government to engage constructively with the international community," Ban told the assembly. "In the Middle East, we see encouraging movement toward a comprehensive peace.”

President Obama addressed the assembly Thursday. Absent from the room during Obama's speech was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israeli President Shimon Peres. The Israeli delegation was not at the U.N. Thursday in observance of the Jewish holiday Sukkot.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.







ABC News Radio