• Why J.K. Rowling is the best celebrity on Twitter

    Some celebrities are much better Twitter value than others. The Harry Potter novelist is one of the few who actually takes the time to read (and often reply) to her fans’ messages. Follower Andrea Brutto...
  • First tree seeds for Doomsday vault

    First tree seeds for Doomsday vault

    2 March 2015 Last updated at 01:39 By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News Since opening its doors in 2008, the vault now stores 840,000 varieties of food crops The Svalbard “doomsday” vault – widely...
  • Huawei’s watch is stylish as well as smart

    Huawei’s watch is stylish as well as smart

    Another tech conference, another new smartwatch. The latest offering comes from China’s Huawei, which released the conventionally named “Huawei Watch” at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company’s first smartwatch features a 1.4-inch touch-sensitive...
  • From the vault: Space, the final frontier

    Credit: iStock Mankind has always been drawn to the wonders beyond our world. So this week Cosmos chose some far-out favourites from the vault. Weird data suggests something big beyond the edge of the universe...

Headline News

  • U.S. approves exports of BAE’s anti-missile system for aircraft


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Britain’s BAE Systems Plc on Monday said the U.S. government had approved exports to U.S. allies of the company’s laser-based missile protection system for helicopters and other aircraft that has been used on U.S. Army helicopters since 2009. Tom Kirkpatrick, who runs the program for BAE’s U.S. unit, said the company was already in talks with several countries in the Middle East and other areas about potential orders for BAE’s Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system. He said some of those discussions had been under way for several years, and BAE could finalize an initial foreign deal before year’s end. Ideally, he said, BAE would bundle several different orders to drive prices lower, but gave no details about the potential price of the system. BAE’s ATIRCM system uses a separate missile warning system that is installed on the aircraft to detect incoming missiles and then emits a high-energy laser beam to blind …

    March 2, 2015 6:04 am
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Politics

  • Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu arrived in the United States on Sunday afternoon for a speech to Congress, which has imperiled ties between the two allies. Israel fears that U.S. President Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy, with an end-of-March deadline for a framework accord, will allow its archfoe to develop atomic weapons, something Tehran denies seeking. By accepting an invitation from the Republican Party to address Congress on Tuesday, the Israeli leader infuriated the Obama administration, which said it was not told of the speech before plans were made public in an apparent breach of protocol. A senior Israeli official told reporters on Netanyahu’s flight that Congress could be …

    March 2, 2015 5:45 am
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Stocks

  • Huawei’s watch is stylish as well as smart


    Another tech conference, another new smartwatch. The latest offering comes from China’s Huawei, which released the conventionally named “Huawei Watch” at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company’s first smartwatch features a 1.4-inch touch-sensitive display, scratch-proof lens, steel frame and heart rate monitor with motion sensor. The device runs on Android Wear software. That’s all pretty standard. But two things make the Chinese product stand out from much of the competition: personalization and style. Huawei says the watch will come with more than 40 different faces and a slew of band options. Colors include gold, silver and black. The style of the face — from what we’ve seen so far — takes its design cues from an authentic luxury timepiece. It joins the new LG (LPL) Watch Urbane as one of the few smartwatches on the market with classic styling. Related: LG’s new smartwatch is more Patek Philippe, less Pebble Huawei is a telecoms …

    March 2, 2015 6:04 am
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Sports

  • Nishikori breaks into world’s top four, Murray out


    LONDON (Reuters) – Japan’s Kei Nishikori broke into the top four of the ATP world rankings on Monday as the Asian trailblazer continued to shake up the top echelon of men’s tennis. His run to the final in Acapulco, where he was beaten by Spain’s David Ferrer, elevated him to a new career-high ranking of four, taking him above Britain’s Andy Murray. Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Murray have long been regarded as the “big four” in the men’s game. Nishikori, who became the first Asian male to reach a grand slam singles final at the U.S. Open last year, has equaled the highest ranking for a Japanese player, matching the feat of Kimiko Date-Krumm in the women’s list 20 years ago. “What’s important is where you are at the end of the year,” the 25-year-old Nishikori told local media. “I hope I can produce some big results.” He will be in action …

    March 2, 2015 6:04 am
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World News

  • First tree seeds for Doomsday vault


    2 March 2015 Last updated at 01:39 By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News Since opening its doors in 2008, the vault now stores 840,000 varieties of food crops The Svalbard “doomsday” vault – widely known for protecting global food crop seeds – has accepted its first delivery of forest tree species seeds. Norway spruce and Scots pine samples have entered the vault inside a mountain on the Arctic archipelago. The frozen depository opened in 2008 and is designed to withstand all natural and human disasters. Researchers hope the tree seed samples will help monitor long-term genetic changes in natural forests. Frozen forests The Norway spruce seeds were the first of many to enter the Svalbard Global Seed Vault “The possibility to have seed samples stored in the vault is a great opportunity to complement our forest tree gene conservation, which is based on in situ gene reserve forests,” explained Mari Rusanen, a researcher for …

    March 2, 2015 6:04 am
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Technology

  • Silent Circle unveils Blackphone 2 smartphone and Blackphone+ tablet


    Encryption and privacy firm Silent Circle has unveiled a successor to its Blackphone security-focused smartphone, as well as the first Blackphone-branded tablet. The Blackphone 2 handset and Blackphone+ tablet will both go on sale later in 2015, running the company’s new PrivatOS Android-based operating system and its suite of communications apps and services. The announcements at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona followed Silent Circle raising $50m in funding and buying out partner Geeksphone to take full control of the Blackphone business, which was previously a joint venture. The Blackphone 2 will have a faster processor, more memory, a larger display and longer battery life than its predecessor, which launched in 2014. For now, Silent Circle is keeping the features of the Blackphone+ tablet under wraps. The devices will run an updated version of PrivatOS – tagline: “no software, no hooks to carriers, and no leaky data” – including a new feature called Spaces …

    March 2, 2015 5:44 am
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Science

  • From the vault: Space, the final frontier


    Credit: iStock Mankind has always been drawn to the wonders beyond our world. So this week Cosmos chose some far-out favourites from the vault. Weird data suggests something big beyond the edge of the universe Are parallel realities exerting a strange force on our own, causing galaxy clusters to stream across space towards the edge of the known universe? Click here Astronomers solve supernova mystery Scientists thought they had lost one of their most reliable indicators of interstellar distance. Phil Dooley explains how order was restored. Click here NASA engages in warp-drive Inspired by Star Trek, NASA scientists believe they can bend space-time and allow us to travel at many times the speed of light. Seriously. Cathal O’Connell reports on the most ambitious experiment ever. Click here

    March 2, 2015 5:44 am
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Health

  • Africa’s medicine men key to halting Ebola spread in Guinea


    MACENTA, Guinea (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In a land where witchcraft is sought after more than science for curing illness, medicine men in Guinea say the Ebola epidemic would be over by now if they had been properly included in the outbreak response. From broken bones to impotence to madness, these traditional healers say they have a potion, spell or touch for many ailments Western doctors can’t treat. But there’s only one cure for Ebola they say: knowledge. In the forest region of southeastern Guinea, where the virus was detected last March, disseminating information using modern technology has proved challenging, resulting in the disease outstaying its welcome. Karamoko Ibrahima Fofana, president of the association of traditional healers in the town of Macenta, said guérisseurs, as they are known, have unique access to remote villages. “Guérisseurs are often the first port of call for the sick,” said Fofana, 69, who is also an imam at the …

    March 2, 2015 5:45 am
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Entertainment

  • Why J.K. Rowling is the best celebrity on Twitter


    Some celebrities are much better Twitter value than others. The Harry Potter novelist is one of the few who actually takes the time to read (and often reply) to her fans’ messages. Follower Andrea Brutto caught her attention over the weekend, when he replied to Rowling’s tweet ahead of the Scotland vs. Italy Six Nations clash at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium on Saturday. More: J.K. Rowling shuts down Dumbledore gay basher with the most perfect tweet Avid rugby fan Rowling promised to send Brutto a signed book if Scotland won “to ease the pain” and if Italy won she was promised a jar of Nutella. @jk_rowling I’m italian and I can’t wait this match… Watch what we can do! ❤️❤️ @jk_rowling I don’t know what to write you cause I don’t understand xP oh my god! Thank you Jo❤️❤️ but yes #jkrowling — andrea brutto (@andrewbrutto) February 28, 2015 @jk_rowling I cannot compare a signed book …

    March 2, 2015 6:24 am
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Editorial

  • The Internet Gone Mad: Stop talking about white and gold dress. Now.


    I’m color blind. There’s not much good that comes from being color blind. Traffic lights are a challenge. I can never be a pilot. My wife frequently sends me back into the closet to change the frightful mélange of colors in which I’ve adorned myself, and I’m useless as a sounding board for her when she’s shopping (there’s also the fact that she looks stunningly beautiful in any color). But finally I’ve found the silver (or is it blue?) lining to being color blind. The gold/white, black/blue dress debate doesn’t matter to me. To me it’s green, blue, yellow, white, red, turquoise, magenta, grey, green and every other color on this great earth. And I don’t care.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT I love Facebook, I tweet a lot, I’ve been known to Instagram on occasion. But this? This national debate over what color a dress may or may not be? What has happened to us? If you …

    February 28, 2015 2:05 pm
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Odd News

  • Circus acrobat reported missing in Atlanta has been found


    (Reuters) – An acrobat reported missing in Atlanta by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey circus has been found, a production company said on Friday. Police issued a missing person bulletin on Thursday for Wei Cao, a 25-year-old Chinese citizen who performs a bicycle and juggling act for the circus, after she missed a scheduled performance this week. Feld Entertainment, which produces the circus, said in a statement that Cao had been located and no additional information was available. A spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department said the agency had not been notified of the performer’s return. (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Lisa Lambert)

    February 28, 2015 1:19 am
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