Thursday, 12 January 2012

Breaking News

Breaking News

Coke says it found fungicide in orange juice

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:51 AM PST

Cola-Cola Co. said Wednesday it found an unapproved fungicide in orange juice made by Coke and its competitors, and alerted federal regulators that some Brazilian growers had sprayed trees with the substance.

The beverage giant, which makes Simply Orange and Minute Maid, would not say which brands had shown the fungicide. Both brands contain juice from Brazil.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday an unnamed juice company had detected low levels of the fungicide in "its and competitors' currently marketed finished products." Those products include some that were on store shelves, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Coca-Cola's disclosure came after the FDA gave more details about how it is testing to block or remove any potentially contaminated orange juice from the US market.

The agency said it is testing orange juice sold in supermarkets for the potentially harmful fungicide. Concern that the fungicide could damp demand for orange juice sent futures prices for the commodity plunging on Wednesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency said consumption of orange juice with the fungicide at the low levels that have been reported does not raise safety concerns.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc., which makes Tropicana and Dole, combined held almost a two-thirds share of the US orange-juice market in the past year, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. PepsiCo initially said it wasn't the company that alerted federal regulators, but didn't immediately provide comment after Coke came forward.

Imported shipments of orange juice are being stopped at ports while the FDA conducts tests for the fungicide, known as carbendazim. In their inspections at supermarkets, FDA inspectors are focusing on US brands agency officials believe contain a high percentage of Brazilian juice.

If any retail orange juice tests positive for what amounts to a trace level of the fungicide—80 parts per billion or higher—FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey said the agency "will take steps for its removal from the market."

Judge blocks release of 21 inmates pardoned by Gov. Barbour

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:46 AM PST

Michael Moore is most well-known filmmaker in Iran, director claims

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:42 AM PST

Michael Moore is the most famous filmmaker in Iran, according to one of that nation's most acclaimed directors.

At a screening of Asghar Farhadi's critically lauded "A Separation" at Sony's screening room in New York, the Iranian director spotted the "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker in the audience.

Farhadi quipped, "Michael Moore is the most famous director in Iran," and said everyone knows his movies because they are shown on national TV there.

"[Farhadi] then joked how difficult it was for his own films to be seen in Iran," a source said.

Farhadi has been the toast of New York this week, winning Best Foreign Film awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review.

Provocative photo too sexy for yearbook?

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:38 AM PST

Judge blocks release of 21 inmates pardoned by Gov. Barbour

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:34 AM PST

Mississippi judge blocks release of 21 inmates given pardons by Gov. Barbour

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:27 AM PST

A Mississippi judge is blocking the release of 21 inmates given pardons by former Gov. Haley Barbour, supporting the state attorney general's contention that Barbour's actions weren't in compliance with the state's constitutional requirements.

Circuit Judge Tomie Green issued an injunction late Wednesday at the request of Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood after Hood argued that the inmates given get-out-of-jail free cards didn't give sufficient public notice that they were seeking to have their records cleared.

According to Section 124 of the Mississippi Constitution, any inmate seeking a pardon must publish notice of the request in a newspaper covering the area where he was convicted 30 days before the governor can grant it.

Hood said he doesn't think the inmates held back from release had met the publication requirement.

"It's unfortunate Gov. Barbour didn't read the constitution," Hood said.

Barbour issued more than 200 acts of leniency -- pardons or suspended sentences -- as one of his last acts before leaving office on Tuesday.

Click here to read the list of pardons and suspended sentences.

On Wednesday, he issued a statement saying that "some people have misunderstood the clemency process" since 189 of the inmates had already completed their incarceration and had been out of prison, a majority of them for years.

Barbour said they were given pardons so they could move on with their lives.

"Approximately 90 percent of these individuals were no longer in custody," he said. "The pardons were intended to allow them to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote.

He added that 26 people given clemency while still in custody is slightly more than one-tenth of 1 percent of those incarcerated.

"My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases," he said.

But Hood said a vast majority of those earning a pardon may not be eligible because of the paperwork requirement.

"The estimate is there maybe as many as 175 that we would have to look at. It appears from my preliminary review that the vast majority of them would probably be illegal pardons," he said.

So far, five of the pardoned prisoners have been released, four of whom are convicted murderers. All worked in the governor's mansion while Barbour was in office, a job they qualified for because they lived in minimum security prisons.. 

They are David Gatlin, convicted of killing his estranged wife in 1993; Joseph Ozment, convicted in 1994 of killing a man during a robbery; Anthony McCray, convicted in 2001 of killing his wife; Charles Hooker, sentenced to life in 1992 for murder; and Nathan Kern, sentenced to life in 1982 for burglary after at least two prior convictions.

Randy Walker, who was shot and left for dead by Gatlin after he fled his wife's murder scene, said Barbour's decision gives the state "a black eye."

"I think the governor himself ought to look me in the eye and say, 'Hey, I let this guy go.' But there wasn't any of that. That's the coward's way out if you ask me," he said.

Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Suzanne Singletary said each of the five men released had issued paperwork to the newspapers within the last month. The 21 still in custody hadn't been let out yet because processing paperwork -- including a 48-hour advance notice to victims -- generally requires several days.

Before they can be released, however, Hood is having his staff call newspapers around the state to determine whether they had published notices of the request for pardons.

Hood said the judge also agreed to his request to require each of the five who've been released to appear in court to prove they met the publication requirement though a time and place for that hadn't been arranged yet.

Barbour spokeswoman Laura Hipp was not immediately available for comment about Green's decision to temporarily block release of the 21 inmates. It was not clear how many of the 21 are convicted killers.

Neither Hipp nor Barbour's lead staff attorney, Amanda Jones Tollison, responded to questions about whether Barbour's staff verified that pardoned inmates had met the 30 days' publication requirement.

The pardons angered even some of Barbour's most ardent supporters in Mississippi, including some conservatives who say the actions tarnished his legacy. But Barbour is unlikely to face political repercussions from the decisions.

A former Republican National Committee chairman who was widely hailed for his shepherding the state through several disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, Barbour had been named as a potential presidential candidate last year, before announcing last April that he didn't have the "fire in the belly" for a presidential bid.

The 64-year-old is now on the paid speakers' circuit and is also working for a Jackson-area law firm and for BGR, the Washington lobbying firm he founded two decades ago.

Magazine editorial reveals shocking disparity between sizes of models and real women

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:23 AM PST

A size 6 is now plus size in the fashion world, and most runway models meet the physical criteria for anorexia, according to a report that offers shocking insight into the disparity between models and the real-life women they are purporting to represent.

In the January issue of PLUS Model Magazine, plus size model Katya Zharkova and a straight size model are seen in the nude in an attempt to "open the minds of the fashion industry," which is stepping further away from reality, according to PLUS founder and editor-in-chief, Madeline Figueroa Jones.


    Photo courtesy of PLUS Model Magazine.

The magazine reveals that some of today's plus size models are wearing the same size as models Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova and Cindy Crawford at the height of their fame in the 1990s. Zharkova, 28, wears a size 14.

The photos appear alongside statistics about today's sometimes dangerously thin straight size models and the continuously shrinking frames of plus size models. Among the revelations: "Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23 percent less" and "most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia."

Click here for the NSFW images.

When Jones first saw the images, shot by photographer Victoria Janashvili, her reaction was immediate and emotional.

"I nearly cried," she told "The images were submitted to other mainstream magazines and while they loved what they were seeing, they would not publish them. When they came to me, there was no hesitation on my part. I knew this would be amazing for people to see and that if we added the correct statistics, the impact would be powerful."

Click here to see the full editorial from PLUS Model magazine.

And powerful it was. When PLUS model magazine published a blog post, boldly titled "Plus Size Bodies, What Is Wrong With Them Anyway,"  it spread like wildfire.

The post asks why the fashion world is afraid to cater to plus size women in advertising, but is willing to accept their dollars.

"This is not about healthy vs. non-healthy women," Jones tells Fox411. "Because if that was so, most of the models on the runway in New York and Paris would not be walking. Not eating for days at a time can't be healthy. But I don't see anyone proclaiming how unhealthy it is and yanking them off the runway and denying them fashion."

Jones added that the feature is simply about "those plus size women who do embrace their size and want to be treated, marketed to and accepted as equals."

The response to the blog post blew Jones and her team away. It received more than 300,000 hits within the first days of being published, as well as more than 7,000 Facebook shares and more than 1,000 on Twitter.

"The statistics and photos in this article have had a global impact," Tulin Reid, Executive Marketing and Creative Director of PLUS said in a statement. "As a plus size fashion magazine, we are thrilled with the results as it expands the conversation that we have monthly between advertisers, designers, readers and the modeling industry.

"We are not advocating an unhealthy lifestyle, but the right to have as many fashion options as the next size 2, 6 or 8 woman," Jones said. "There are all sorts of epidemics right now besides obesity, which include cancer, auto immune diseases and a myriad of eating disorders."

Most of the comments on the post have offered support of the message and include shared accounts of painful shopping experiences.

Still, the response hasn't been all positive and Jones admitted that the experience was an eye-opener for her.

"I knew that we would get some backlash but I did not expect for plus size women to be compared to drug addicts," Jones said. "Some of the feedback was so bad, we couldn't even approve it for the public to see. But we want the conversation to happen because it gives us the opportunity to help them see that this is not a health issue. It's an equal rights issue."

Pentagon chief 'deplores' US Marines 'urination' video

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:17 AM PST

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta says a video which appears to show US Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghans is "utterly deplorable".

Those who had taken part in the incident would be held accountable "to the fullest extent", he said.

The video, which was posted online, purports to show four US Marines standing over the bodies of several Taliban fighters, at least one of whom is covered in blood.

The origin of the video is not known.

Mr Panetta has ordered the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, to investigate the incident.

In a statement, Mr Panetta said he had seen the footage.

"I find the behaviour depicted in it utterly deplorable. This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military."

The Pentagon says it is checking the authenticity of the video, but there is nothing to indicate that the film is not genuine.

Mr Panetta did not dispute the authenticity.
Taliban negotiations

The BBC's Steve Kingstone, in Washington, says senior officials have wasted no time in going into damage-limitation mode.

Our correspondent says the alleged incident is deeply embarrassing for a US administration that had promised to project a more sensitive image of American military power.
Continue reading the main story
War zone controversies

    Abu Ghraib: Several US soldiers imprisoned after photos of abuse of detainees at Iraqi prison emerge in 2004
    Stryker case: US military imprisons several soldiers and is prosecuting others from 5th Stryker Brigade on charges of murdering civilians. The so-called "kill team" took photos of their victims in Kandahar province in 2010
    Daily Mirror hoaxed: UK paper publishes photos in 2004, later found to be faked, allegedly showing UK soldiers urinating on and otherwise abusing Iraqi prisoners

It also comes at a time when tentative moves are being made towards peace, ahead of the planned withdrawal of international combat forces by the end of 2014.

The US has about 20,000 Marines deployed in Afghanistan, based mostly in Kandahar and Helmand provinces. In total, about 90,000 US troops are on the ground in Afghanistan.

The Taliban said last week that they were working to set up a political office, possibly in Qatar, that would help to facilitate negotiations with the Afghan government and Nato countries.

The video has not yet been circulated widely in Afghanistan, but there are fears that it could provoke further violence against international forces.
'Deeply disturbed'

A Pentagon spokesman said Mr Panetta had spoken to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the phone to condemn the acts.

In an earlier statement, President Karzai's office said: "The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans.
Continue reading the main story
"Start Quote

    It's a matter of a human being, respect to a human being"

Fawzia Kofi Afghan MP

"This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms. We expressly ask the US government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime."

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told the BBC that this was not the first time Americans had carried out such a "wild action" and that Taliban attacks on the Americans would continue.

But a different Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the video "is not a political process, so the video will not harm our talks and prisoner exchange because they are at the preliminary stage".

Afghan Member of Parliament Fawzia Kofi said ordinary Afghans, no matter how they felt about the Taliban, would be upset by the video.

"It's a matter of a human being, respect to a human being," she told the BBC.

"I believe that the brutal acts that the Taliban did here during their government and even now is condemned by Afghans. So is watching a brutal act by international forces. We condemn that as well," she added.

The Taliban are known for applying a ruthless brand of Islamic Sharia law in areas they control and have carried out many suicide bombings and attacks which have killed civilians.

Secrets men don't want women to know

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:13 AM PST

Their habits might be surprising but then they are fun to get to know about. In an age like ours, when everything is available on just a click, you might think that you know everything about men. But hold on people, because there is a lot you need to and would want to know...

1. Guys masturbate a lot:
Men do think about sex, if not the whole day, but surely for the major part of it. Reports say that it is a way for men to relax and stay calm. It might be as early as they wake up or while watching TV. This is not because of a low sex life but is just a part of their routine.

2. Guys (surprisingly) google you:
If you are thinking who on earth does that? Men do that for sure! They love to know what you like and dislike and want to plan things accordingly. They go on to social sites to find out everything about you. While some might call this a bout of insecurity, men always want to be in control of the situation. It is surely not that they will have a psychological advantage over you, but snooping a little does pay off!

3. Guys have bad body days:
Just like women have their 'bad hair days', men do have their share of 'bad days'. Someday, when they are all ready to go out, they might just feel that whatever they wear just does not look good on them. They feel their beer belly is too prominent or their hair is just not the way they want it to be. Admitting this infront of anyone is surely not what they are comfortable with.