Archive for the 苏州美甲 Category

Iraq PM warns of ‘war of genocide’

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has warned that the country is facing a “war of genocide” after officials said militants had killed 48 people in two days of attacks.

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Violence has reached a level unseen since 2008, as Iraq emerged from brutal conflict between minority Sunni Muslims and majority Shi’ites.

Militants, including those linked to Al-Qaeda, a Sunni organisation, frequently target security forces and other government employees.

“It has become clear… that Iraq is subjected to a war of genocide targeting all of its components,” Maliki, a Shi’ite, said on Wednesday in his weekly address.

Al-Qaeda is once again “destroying the houses of citizens and killing them, and blowing up government departments,” Maliki said.

But a front opposing the militant group “has begun to form in Iraq from different components… the security services and tribes and Sons of Iraq,” he said, referring to anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen.

On Wednesday, gunmen killed six people in the northern city of Mosul, while five people were shot dead in and near the city the day before.

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb in the Ghazaliyah area killed at least three people and wounded 11 on Wednesday, and another killed four people and wounded at least nine in Madain, south of the capital.

Two Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda fighters were also kidnapped and killed in the northern province of Kirkuk.

Anbar province, west of Baghdad, was hit by a series of attacks late on Tuesday that killed 28 people.

Four of them struck targets in and around the town of Rutba, about 110 kilometres from the border with Syria.

A suicide bomber detonated a tanker truck loaded with explosives at a police checkpoint east of the town, militants armed with heavy weapons struck the police station in Rutba itself and another bomber detonated a vehicle at a police checkpoint to its west.

Those attacks killed 18 police and wounded 25, while three civilians died when another suicide bomber blew up a tanker truck on a bridge west of Rutba.

Gunmen also attacked a police checkpoint on Tuesday night at an entrance to Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, and another inside the city, killing seven policemen and wounding an eighth.

Analysts say the Shi’ite-led government’s failure to address the grievances of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority — which complains of political exclusion and abuses by security forces — has driven the surge in unrest.

A study released this month by academics based in the United States, Canada and Iraq said nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the US-led invasion of 2003.


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Argentine mums reunited with babies

Two babies mistakenly switched at birth in Argentina have been reunited with their mothers after a weeks-long battle with the clinic where they were delivered, one of the women says.

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“I spent three weeks with a baby that was not my daughter, but I gave her all my love and knew that the other mom would do the same,” Lorena Gerbeno told broadcaster C5N.

Gerbeno, a lawyer who suspected something was wrong from the start, sought out authorities who subsequently ordered genetic testing and seized documents from the private clinic in San Juan.

“Luckily, I’m suspicious,” said Gerbeno, who currently does not intend to pursue further legal action.

However, she wants everyone to know about the mix-up and how it was handled.

She says the clinic dismissed not only her concerns, but also those of the other mother, Veronica Tejada. Both women gave birth on September 30.

“When my baby was born by C-section, they told me straight away it was a beautiful girl weighing 3.1 kilos, but when they gave her to me they said she weighed 3.8 kilos and was a breech birth,” Gerbeno said.

“I told them that could not be, but they said I must have misunderstood. I never got any answers.”

Suspicion turned to near certainty for Gerbeno when, by mere chance, she and Tejada found themselves at the clinic for a pediatric checkup and started chatting.

Before long, they realised that the birth weights of their respective infants matched up.

With the help of therapists, the two prepared themselves for the truth, which DNA tests confirmed.

“We talked on the phone and exchanged photos online,” Gerbeno said.

Once it was clear a mistake had been made, the two mothers met to swap infants and finally hug their own.

“Thank God this nightmare is over,” Gerbeno added.


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Laos recovers crashed plane cabin from Mek

Search teams have retrieved the main cabin of a Lao Airlines plane which plunged into the Mekong River killing all 49 people on board, officials say.

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The recovery operation involved a large crane that lifted the midsection of the turboprop ATR-72 from the fast-flowing waters, said Yakua Lopankao, director general of Laos’ Department of Civil Aviation on Wednesday.

“It was tough because the current was strong,” he told AFP of the operation that was carried out on Tuesday, nearly a week after the nation’s worst known air disaster.

So far, bodies of at least 43 of the victims have been recovered from the swollen river in Laos, some many kilometres downstream from the crash site.

More than half of the 49 passengers and crew were foreigners from some 10 countries, including six from Australia.

Search teams from neighbouring Thailand have been scouring the river for bodies, along with experts from the airline and the French-Italian aircraft maker.

On Saturday, the airline said it had identified 14 of the 32 bodies hauled from the river by that point.

Two Australian passengers, the Cambodian captain and several members of the crew were among those named so far.

Lao Airlines said the aircraft hit “extreme” bad weather, while witnesses described seeing the plane buffeted by strong winds before plummeting into the Mekong and sinking to the bottom on October 16.

Experts from the French aviation safety agency BEA, who are helping the search operation, said Monday they had detected the aircraft’s two “black boxes” in the tail, which may hold crucial evidence as to the cause of the crash.

But efforts to reach them were hampered by poor visibility and strong river currents.

Yakua said the devices had yet to be retrieved.

“We could not see the plane’s head or tail,” he told AFP, adding that the wreckage was winched from about nine metres under water.

According to an updated passenger list released late Saturday by the airline, there were 16 Laotians, seven French travellers, six Australians, five Thais, three South Koreans, two Vietnamese, and one national each from the United States, Canada, Malaysia, China and Taiwan.

There were also five crew, including the Cambodian captain.

Founded in 1976, Lao Airlines serves domestic airports and destinations in China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Impoverished Laos, a one-party communist state, has seen 29 fatal air accidents since the 1950s, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

In 2010 the United Nations’ air safety arm, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, found Laos was just above the world average for all factors except airworthiness and operations, which were recorded as marginally below global norms.

Previously the country’s worst air disaster was in 1954, when 47 people died in an Air Vietnam crash near Pakse, the organisation said.


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UK Super League dispute rumbles on

An attempt to resolve the dispute over the re-structuring of domestic rugby league was thwarted on Wednesday when representatives of six European Super League clubs walked out of a meeting in Leeds.

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The league meeting to discuss a proposal to cut the number of top-flight clubs from 14 to 12 was suspended without resolution after officials from Catalan Dragons, Huddersfield, Hull, Hull KR, Warrington and Wigan walked out, preventing a vote from being taken.

It followed a decision to postpone an extraordinary general meeting of the Rugby Football League council a fortnight ago after a majority of Super League clubs, led by Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan, forced a re-think on the governing body’s re-organisation plans.

At Wednesday’s routine end-of-season meeting, eight clubs indicated their support for a 12-team Super League from 2015 but the six ‘rebels’ blocked a decision, arguing that any debate on change should only take place alongside a review of the competition’s commercial management and governance.

Lenagan has made it clear that he would like to see Super League clubs have a greater say in both the running of the game and the distribution of television income.

The actions of Lenagan and company were condemned by Super League chairman Brian Barwick, the former Football Association chief executive, who is also chairman of the RFL.

“It is very disappointing that we were unable to take a vote on such important issues because some clubs chose to leave the room and refuse to participate further,” Barwick said.

“In many ways this form of action is unprecedented. These proposals would have had a positive impact on the whole sport but they were halted by a minority of clubs.

“Clearly some of the clubs have deep-rooted issues and between us we have to find a way of resolving our differences for the benefit of both Super League and the wider game.

“It is my view that this was a very unsatisfactory way for the six clubs to demonstrate their frustration.”


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Upbeat England Australia-bound for Ashes

The chance to make history by winning a fourth straight Ashes series ensured England’s cricketers departed for Australia high on excitement and free of complacency on Wednesday.

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Alastair Cook’s squad flew out of London’s Heathrow airport to commence preparations for the coming five-match series, starting in Brisbane on November 21.

The captain played down talk of another possible whitewash, insisting he’d happily take a series whatever the scoreline.

But Cook admitted the chance to become the first side since 1890 to win four straight series had ensured there would be no complacency on the back of three straight victories.

“You can ask any of those guys what it means to them getting on that plane to play for England in Australia,” Cook said shortly before the side left the UK.

“As a side we have a chance to win four Ashes series in a row, the first time since 1890 that’s been done.

“That to me and speaking to the lads over this last week, everyone is excited about that.

“We have an opportunity to do that and we are desperate to take that so complacency won’t be a factor.”

Cook said top-order runs would hold the key to both sides’ hopes of success in Australia and most of the totals in the recent 3-0 series win on English soil wouldn’t cut it.

“Sometimes in England, 240, 250 can be a good (innings) score with the overhead conditions,” Cook said.

“But the majority of the time in Australia 400 is the bare minimum.

“In that first innings you want to get into the game. That’s the job of the top order.”

Cook said England had picked a bowling attack capable of producing plenty of the pace and bounce needed on true Australian wickets.

He also suggested England would again look to exploit Australian captain Michael Clarke’s weakness against the short ball.

“I think you can cause him problems if you can get that in the right area. I think everyone’s got plans for every guy,” Cook said.

England came in for some criticism during their recent series win for the style of play but Cook said nothing but the end result mattered to him.

He’s also not willing to buy into suggestions England could again keep Australia winless in the series.

“The numbers for me are pretty irrelevant,” he said.

“You saw how close the cricket was at times this summer and a lot of people say it could have gone either way.

“The one thing we did really well, was winning those crucial moments and crucial times and winning them very well.

“We’ve kind of had a habit of doing that in the past and we’ll have to do it this coming (series) if we want to bring home those Ashes.”

England play the first of three warm-up games on October 31 against Western Australia.

Tim Bresnan flew out with the squad and England will monitor his recovery from a back injury before deciding whether he is involved in the series.

Kevin Pietersen joins up with the squad on Sunday after being granted compassionate leave following the death of a friend.


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N Korean defectors tell UN of horrors

UN investigators probing human rights abuses in North Korea have heard harrowing evidence in London from people who have managed to flee the secretive Stalinist regime.

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Led by retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, the team is the first UN expert panel to officially investigate human rights abuses in North Korea.

The landmark UN rights commission heard from a handful of defectors who have reached Europe after similar hearings were held in Seoul and Tokyo.

Jihyuan Park, aged in her thirties, wept as she told how she managed to cross the border into China in 1998, only to be sold as a “wife” to a Chinese gambler and his family.

“The first thing they told me was that, since they’d bought me, they could do anything to me,” she told the panel through a translator.

Park, who fled North Korea after her soldier brother got in trouble for his business activities, gave birth to a son in China, but was then arrested and told she would be sent home without him.

Soon after, she heard her “husband” haggling with a trafficker over a price for the boy.

Park was sent back and, like other would-be defectors, placed in a detention camp and made to perform hard labour, but she eventually managed to return to China and find her son, who had not been sold to traffickers.

From there, she finally made her way to Britain, where she is now seeking citizenship.

Another defector, Song Ju Kim, told of his four attempts to flee North Korea because he “didn’t have any food”.

Famine killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans during the 1990s, and millions still depend on food aid.

Kim told of how he was caught almost immediately by the Chinese army on his first attempt to cross the icy Tumen river in March 2006 and received a severe beating by the North Koreans, which he described as “below human”.

Kim described a detention centre where he witnessed terrible beatings, was ordered to search through prisoners’ excrement for money they were believed to have swallowed, and where inmates were not allowed to stand up.

Pyongyang has refused to grant the UN commission access to the country and has described the dozens of defectors who have given evidence as “human scum”.

Two days of further hearings are due to be held in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday next week.


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Haas’ ATP London hopes dented by loss

German veteran Tommy Haas’ hopes of making the ATP World Tour Finals in London next month took a huge blow as he was beaten by Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round of the Valencia Open on Wednesday.

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The No.2 seed got off to the perfect start as he took the opening set.

However, fellow German Kohlschreiber responded well to break serve early in the final two sets and serve out for a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Haas lies 12th in the race to London standings, but his chances of making it to the English capital had been raised by winning in Vienna last Sunday and an early exit for Richard Gasquet at the Swiss Indoors in Basel also on Wednesday.

However, he now faces a huge task at the Paris Masters next week to claim one of the remaining three places on offer.

Earlier, world No.3 David Ferrer booked his place in the second round with a confident 6-3 6-2 win over Gael Monfils.

The first seed was expected to be stretched by the mercurial Monfils having lost three of the previous four meetings between the pair.

However, he edged a tight first set, saving two break points to serve it out in the ninth game before breaking twice early in the second to cruise to victory.

“Games against Gael are never easy, he has great physical power and it was a hard fought match,” said the Spaniard.

Next up for the three-time champion in Valencia is another Frenchman, Julien Benneteau, on Thursday.

Fourth-seeded American John Isner also sealed his place in the second round as he edged past Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2).

And seventh seed Fabio Fognini became the first man to book his place in the quarter-finals as he eased past Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-2.


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Williams taking ‘swagger’ into World Cup

Sonny Bill Williams has put his controversial late selection for the rugby league World Cup behind him and says he will take a “swagger” into his performances for the Kiwis at the tournament.

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Dual international Williams faced more questions about his availability backflip when New Zealand’s training session finished in bitterly cold conditions at Cowley International College in St Helens.

“Obviously there are regrets there, but I’ve moved forward,” Williams said.

“I’m not worrying about that, I’m just worrying about hopefully getting picked this week and doing a job on Samoa.”

The 28-year-old ousted Melbourne Storm second-rower Tohu Harris from the Kiwis squad when he had a change of heart and made himself available after the Kiwis squad had been announced.

It isn’t the first time Williams has polarised opinions but he says he is becoming used to the attention – negative and positive – that follows his career.

“I think I’ve become a better person for it and now I’m very content with the man I see in the mirror. You know the way I carry myself I’m a lot more confident.

“I don’t know if it shows, but I definitely walk around with a bit of a swagger because I’m happy as a man.”

Williams is a likely starter in Sunday’s game against the Samoans in Warrington.

There had been suggestions Williams may play at centre in the tournament but the absence of enforcer Jeremy Smith in the forwards and the good form of the outside backs means coach Stephen Kearney is unlikely to shuffle his deck.

Williams remains a key player for Kearney, wherever he plays, but says he is ready for the scrutiny of critics and extra attention from opposition teams.

“At the start of this season (NRL), you know there was a lot of pressure,” he said.

“I guess I kind of thrive on that, I know it gets the best out of me and I seem to just be able to push that to one side.”


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Kangaroos jersey a ‘massive gift’: Fifita

Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita says making his debut for Australia at the rugby league World Cup feels like a fitting reward for his stellar NRL season.

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Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has announced his team for the tournament-opening clash with England in Cardiff on Saturday, with Fifita named on an extended bench and set to earn his first international cap.

Sheens’ team featured a couple of minor surprises with St George Illawarra’s Brett Morris named on the wing ahead of Jarryd Hayne, who is on the six-man bench.

Veteran Brent Tate caps a remarkable comeback from countless injuries after beating out Michael Jennings and Josh Morris to line up in the centres alongside Greg Inglis.

Rising prop Fifita, who was outstanding for his NRL club Cronulla this season and earned a State of Origin call up for NSW, says he’s “stoked, surprised and very happy”.

“It just tops off the year that I’ve had to represent my country,” he told AAP.

“Like they say you do your job at club footy, and you do your job at Origin level, and I’ve been rewarded with this massive gift to represent my country.

“I can’t wait to get out there.”

Two years ago then-Wests Tigers mentor Sheens deemed Fifita surplus to requirements at the NRL club.

The youngster joined the Sharks and has since developed into one of the most feared forwards in the game.

Fifita insisted there’s no hard feelings between himself and the Kangaroos coach, however.

“There was no `get out of my club you’ve got to go’, it was more on good terms,” he said before the Kangaroos’ first training session at Cardiff.

“It was just that they couldn’t fit me in their salary cap.”

He said to be coached by Sheens again was “awesome”.

“I know what he’s like, what he wants and what he expects.”

Tate made his international debut against Great Britain back in 2002 but ever since has been plagued by injuries.

In 2010 he feared his representative days were over when struck down by the third serious knee injury of his career in the Four Nations final.

“Obviously I’m stoked to be here,” Tate told AAP on Wednesday.

“It has been a long, tough journey. But I’m back here now … and I also understand that the challenge now is to keep that jersey and stay in this team.”

England have suffered a series of setbacks ahead of Saturday’s clash.

The co-hosts lost a practice match to Italy and this week dispatched forward Gareth Hock after he reportedly failed to turn up for the squad’s camp in Loughborough.

Australian team:

Billy Slater, Brett Morris, Brent Tate, Greg Inglis, Darius Boyd, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matthew Scott, Cameron Smith (capt), James Tamou, Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday, Paul Gallen (vc). Interchange: Robbie Farah, Andrew Fifita, Luke Lewis, Corey Parker, Jarryd Hayne, Nate Myles. (two to be omitted)


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Finance News Update, what you need to know

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

The Australian dollar is lower following falls on Wall Street and commodity prices overnight.

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At 0630 AEDT on Thursday, the local unit was trading at 96.24 US cents, down from 96.53 cents on Wednesday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open flat following falls on international markets overnight.

At 0645 AEDT on Thursday, the December share price index futures contract was up four points at 5,350.

ELSEWHERE:

FRANKFURT – The European Central Bank has geared up for a year-long audit of the strength of big eurozone banks to withstand crisis, wielding new policing powers which hit bank shares hard.

BERLIN – Germany says its robust economy will fuel record employment this year and next, as well as boost consumer spending and industrial investment.

MADRID – Spain inched out of its two-year recession with timid growth in the third quarter, the country’s central bank says, fuelling fragile hopes of a broader eurozone recovery.

LONDON – GlaxoSmithKline says its sales of drugs and vaccines in China have tumbled in the third quarter as it was hit by bribery investigations there.

AMSTERDAM – Dutch brewer Heineken NV has issued a profit warning, saying business was worse than expected in developing markets and the economic recovery in industrial nations was weak.

WASHINGTON – US aerospace and defence giant Boeing says third-quarter profits have soared 12 per cent from a year ago and it’s raised its 2013 earnings outlook on a pick-up in commercial aircraft deliveries.

DALLAS – Higher taxes are reducing US Airways’ profit, but the airline’s results beat expectations.

MUMBAI – Indian carrier Jet Airways, in which Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is buying a stake, on Wednesday posted one of its worst ever quarterly results, hit by the economic slowdown, rising fuel costs and a depreciating rupee.

NEW YORK – Slumping industrial giant Caterpillar has reported a 44 per cent drop in profits and again slashed its 2013 full-year forecast due to weakness in the mining sector.


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