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Diane A. Wade

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.

Arch West, the creator of US most popular snacks, the corn chips Doritos, has died on September 20 of natural causes at the age of 97.

Arch West’s family is to bury dozens of Doritos chips next to his ashes, relatives have revealed.

Relatives of Arch West said that they would scatter Doritos in the grave before placing the urn containing his remains inside and covering it over with dirt.

It is not clear if the family is following Arch West’s last requests or if they took it upon themselves to make the “tribute”.

But the intent appears to be to honor the man who created Doritos, which became almost overnight one of the most popular snacks in the U.S.

 

Arch West, creator of the Doritos corn chip, died on September 20 at 97

Arch West, creator of the Doritos corn chip, died on September 20 at 97

 

It was back in 1961 that Arch West was on a family holiday in San Diego when he was struck by the tasty fried tortilla chips he tried at a food truck.


Arch West came up with the idea for a new snack which he called “Dorito” as it sounded like “doradito”, or “little golden” in Spanish.

The marketing executive at Frito-Lay, the U.S. snack food giant where he worked, was initially unsure but the product was an immediate success following its launch in 1964.

Now Arch West’s family are turning to the thing that he created in an attempt to honor his life.

Arch West’s daughter Jana Hacker said:

“We are tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn.

“He’ll love it.”

Born in Indianapolis, Arch West was put in a Masonic home after his father died and his mother was unable to cope.

Arch West first career job was as a cheese salesman but he gave that up to join the Navy in 1943 and serve as a gunnery officer.

After World War II ended Arch West returned to marketing and while at Frito-Lay came up with the idea for Doritos.

The company’s first television commercial for Doritos showed teenagers playing guitars as the announcer said:

 “What’s the biggest news since the Big Beat? Doritos are a swinging, Latin sort of snack.”

Doritos, the Arch West’s creation was the first national tortilla chip brand in the U.S. and is now amongst the most well-known brands in the world.

But the Doritos story has not always been a success – in 2003 the company was sued by American Charles Grady who said the shape of the chip cut his throat, although the lawsuit did not succeed.

The year before Frito-Lay had removed all the trans- fat from Doritos in an attempt to bat off criticism they are unhealthy.

Arch West’s funeral will take place on October 1 in Dallas, Texas.

Arch West’s wife died last year but he is survived by three sons, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Doritos, the Arch West's creation was the first national tortilla chip brand in the U.S. and is now amongst the most well-known brands in the world

Doritos, the Arch West's creation was the first national tortilla chip brand in the U.S. and is now amongst the most well-known brands in the world

 

History of Doritos, the first tortilla chip:

• Arch West was on holiday in San Diego in 1961 when he was struck by the tasty fried tortilla chips he tried at a food truck

• He came up with the idea for a new snack which he called ‘Dorito’ as it sounded like ‘doradito’, or ‘little golden’ in Spanish

• The first national tortilla chip brand in the U.S. was an instant hit when it launched in 1964 by Frito-Lay

• The company’s first television commercial for Doritos showed teenagers playing guitars as the announcer said: ‘What’s the biggest news since the Big Beat? Doritos are a swinging, Latin sort of snack.’

• In 2002, Frito-Lay removed all the trans fat from Doritos in an attempt to bat off criticism they are unhealthy

• In 2003 the company was sued by American Charles Grady who said the shape of the chip cut his throat, although the lawsuit did not succeed

The new British Airways campaign cost £20 million ($30 million) and was supposed to usher in a new, mistake-free era.

But British Airways found a rival Virgin Atlantic plane in the company’s new TV advert, “Aviators”.

Luckily an eagle-eyed BA engineer spotted the error during a screening of the film to thousands of staff just a day before its official launch.

British Airways’ advertising agency, BBH, were then called upon to make an emergency edit to ensure the 90-second ad, which charts the history of the company, was corrected.

British Airways found a rival Virgin Atlantic plane in the company's new TV advert, “Aviators”

British Airways found a rival Virgin Atlantic plane in the company's new TV advert, “Aviators”

The offending clip showed a row of three British Airways Boeing 747s sitting on the tarmac. The closest displays the serial code G-VGAL, the marking for a Virgin Atlantic plane based in Manchester.

According to Sunday Mirror, the film’s CGI experts had put British Airways’ livery on the Virgin plane, but had forgotten to remove it.

By the time the ad was unveiled to the media and screened on television the Virgin code had been replaced with the correct British Airways markings.

A British Airways source told Sunday Mirror:

“The mistake was highly embarrassing – especially as Virgin Atlantic is BA’s prime competitor.

“Great pride had been taken in the detail of the advert, and the fact that so much money had been spent on it.

“Thanks to the quick thinking of one of the engineers they saved the blushes of all the senior management at BA, as well the advertising company.”

Before the blunder was spotted British Airways officials had lavished praise on the advert’s director Frederic Planchon on the company’s Facebook page.

Ironically the BA offcials wrote: “His (Planchon’s) attention to detail is second to none.”

A British Airways spokesman told the Sunday Mirror:

“The ad is complex and richly detailed, and its production involved an extensive editing process.

“This process had not been ¬completed by the time we needed to send preview DVDs to our workforce.”

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“Occupy Wall Street”, the anti-capitalist protest demonstrators clashed with police in New York yesterday after beginning an impromptu march up Wall Street.

New York police officers were accused of using overly-aggressive tactics as they battled to control the quick-moving protesters who left their camp near Wall Street to march up Broadway.

Scores of “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators were arrested, cuffed with plastic tags and dragged on to sidewalks. One video showing a protester thrown to the floor by an officer with little provocation.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were arrested, cuffed with plastic tags and dragged on to sidewalks

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were arrested, cuffed with plastic tags and dragged on to sidewalks

Some protesters were calling: “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and calling shoppers to join them. At least 80 people connected with the protest were held near Union Square in Manhattan.

Demonstrators have been camped in Wall Street since last Saturday – sleeping on cardboard boxes, eating pizza and takeaway dinners that were paid for by donations to their cause.

There are around 200 left in the makeshift camp, down from their peak of 1,500.

“They’re angry at what’s going on in the world,” said Rich Marini, a 37 year-old software writer from Great Kills who has been taking part in the protest.

“But it’s a good atmosphere. They have a sense of love with each other.”

Rich Marini said the protest is driven by the fact that college kids are graduating only to find there are no jobs. “They’re putting the pieces together,” he added. “And Wall Street is the main focus of that.”

The “Occupy Wall Street” protest is entering its second week. Demonstrators said they are protesting bank bailouts, the mortgage crisis and now the U.S. state of Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis.

At Union Square, police tried to corral the demonstrators using orange plastic netting. Some of the arrests were filmed and activists posted the videos online.

At least 80 people connected with the protest were held near Union Square in Manhattan

At least 80 people connected with the protest were held near Union Square in Manhattan

Police said the arrests were mostly for blocking traffic, charges including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

One demonstrator was charged with assaulting a police officer, who suffered a shoulder injury.

Protest spokesman Patrick Bruner criticized the police response as “exceedingly violent’ and said the protesters sought to remain peaceful.

Occupy Wall Street march

Occupy Wall Street march

West Brighton resident Richard Reichard, who works just above Wall Street, said it’s important to remind Americans that it was the financial services industry that plunged the U.S. into recession.

“And government was asleep at the switch,” Reichard said.

A barricade was set up to protect the NYSE building as protesters marched past it. Police watched proceedings carefully after a scuffle on Tuesday that led to seven arrests and an injured protester.

Other four protesters were arrested Wednesday for disorderly conduct and released.

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Sarah Palin has been offered $1million if she passes a lie detector test over claims made a Joe McGinniss’s book about her.

In Joe McGinniss’s book Sarah Palin is accused of cheating on her husband Todd Palin, with his ex-business partner and using drugs.

The former Alaska Governor has vehemently denied everything.

The adult website AshleyMadison.com has offered Todd and Sarah Palin $1 million to prove their innocence.

Todd Palin, Sarah Palin’s husband has said of the book, “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin”:

“His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo and smears.”

Todd and Sarah Palin have been offered $1 million if they pass lie detector test over Joe McGinniss' book claims.

Todd and Sarah Palin have been offered $1 million if they pass lie detector test over Joe McGinniss' book claims.

The letter to Todd and Sarah Palin from AshleyMadison.com said:

“We will hire a certified polygraph examiner to administer a lie detector test to both yourself and Todd.

“He will be restricted to asking you questions solely related to the allegations.”

“If both of you complete and pass the polygraph test, Ashleymadison.com will issue you a check in The amount of $1,000,000.”

The $1 million offer comes just days after the National Enquirer claimed that friends close to Sarah Palin and her husband Todd say he is “fed up” with the constant scandals that have plagued their marriage ever since she ran for vice president and is ready to file for a divorce.

It has also been alleged that Sarah Palin advisers have told her to kiss goodbye to the White House fearing a bid would be “political suicide”.

The explosive book is said to have put the final nail in the coffin of Sarah Palin marriage, after her brother Chuckie was quoted saying she and Todd's marriage was over

The explosive book is said to have put the final nail in the coffin of Sarah Palin marriage, after her brother Chuckie was quoted saying she and Todd's marriage was over

In Joe McGinniss’ book, Sarah Palin, 47, is accused of having a night of passion with basketball star Glen Rice and snorting cocaine.

Another source close to the former vice presidential candidate said:

“Sarah Palin has been destroyed by Joe McGinniss’ no-holds-barred biography. It exposed all her lies, cover-ups and secrets.

“As a result she has been told by her advisers that it would be political suicide to announce a White House candidacy.

“The press and her opponents would have a field day digging into the dirty details of her background.”

The explosive book is said to have put the final nail in the coffin of her marriage, after Sarah Palin’s brother Chuckie was quoted saying his sister and Todd’s marriage was over.

Sarah Palin is currently travelling the country and is still deciding whether or not she will run for presidential race in 2012.

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister has developed a close personal friendship with one of the richest and most controversial women in Israel, Ofra Strauss.

Ofra Strauss is a 51 year-old businesswoman, who divorced her second husband last year and she is the head of a $2 billion food company whose high prices triggered the biggest social protests in Israel’s history.

Ofra Strauss has been seen so often in Tony Blair’s company that the Israeli press has even speculated openly that they are having an affair.

It is an allegation Ofra Strauss’s spokesman yesterday angrily denied, while the former PM too is adamant there is “nothing improper” in the pair’s relationship.

Tony Blair is a frequent visitor to Israel through his role as the international Middle East peace envoy representing the so-called “Quartet” – the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

Ofra Strauss has been seen so often in Tony Blair’s company that the Israeli press has even speculated openly that they are having an affair

Ofra Strauss has been seen so often in Tony Blair’s company that the Israeli press has even speculated openly that they are having an affair

The apparent closeness between Tony Blair and Ofra Strauss is such that earlier this year a columnist for Maariv, a highly respected daily Hebrew newspaper, went so far as to write an ‘open letter’ to Cherie Blair, the former PM’s wife, suggesting she might like to clarify the nature of the relationship.

“For the information of Mrs Blair,” wrote the article.

“Very, very quietly this weekend, the official car allocated to Tony Blair by the Quartet glided through the gates of Ofra’s house, which is protected by tight security measures… all kinds of bad people have called me trying to suggest this visit had the character of a sexy conspiracy, so I’m handing the matter over to you to handle personally.”

The newspaper also reminded Cherie Blair that the house where her husband visited Ofra Strauss had been the subject of a furious row between the divorcee and the local council, because she had built an open-air Jacuzzi in the garden without planning permission.

Cherie Blair, Tony Blair’s wife has been warned by the Israeli press about husband's relationship with the controversial Ofra Strauss (left)

Cherie Blair, Tony Blair’s wife has been warned by the Israeli press about husband's relationship with the controversial Ofra Strauss (left)

Ofra Strauss’s spokesman, Rani Rahav, said it was “ridiculous” for anyone to suggest there was any romantic element to her dealings with Tony Blair.

“There was never any skin between them, never. I have never been asked such an ugly question before.”

The spokesman also said Ofra Strauss was a close friend of both Tony and Cherie Blair.

Rani Rahav said Ofra Strauss had just returned from New York, where Tony Blair was also present in his official role, attending the debates on the future of Palestine at the UN General Assembly.

Tony Blair’s friends also say Ofra Strauss is a friend to both the former premier and his wife, with whom she has worked on women’s issues.

The open letter to Cherie Blair was not the only speculation to appear in Maariv.

Another article stated: “Ofra Strauss is grooming her friendship with Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and Quartet representative. Ofra’s neighbours tell me that she wants to know whenever there’s some special event in Tony’s honour – and that happens a lot.”

In the wake of such pieces, others have written of Tony Blair’s sex appeal to Israelis.

Dining in Tel Aviv with Ofra Strauss, Tony Blair seemed to enjoy his food with gusto, making sure he always “cleaned his plate”.

It is certainly evident that Ofra Strauss and Tony Blair enjoy each other’s company.

They have dined together among a group of friends in one of Tel Aviv’s finest restaurants, Montefiore Yavne, which is owned by Ofra Strauss’s brother and sister. The meal lasted more than two hours.

Restaurant staff said the group sat in the balcony section, a secluded area with discreet lighting. Having checked the place before their arrival, Tony Blair’s security remained outside. Tony Blair and Ofra Strauss have also dined together at another high-end establishment across the street, the Montefiore Hotel. A senior staff member there declined to say whether there were others in their party but sources close to Tony Blair insisted that the pair have never dined alone as a couple.

Ofra Strauss’s first husband, Dan Lahat, to whom she was married for 18 years, was a son of a former mayor of Tel Aviv. Her second husband, Adi Keizman, is a property developer ten years her junior and known for his taste in expensive tailoring and sports cars. Before he married Ofra Strauss, Adi Keizman had dated an Israeli former Miss Universe. He is now engaged to model Esti Ginzburg.

In Israel, being friends with Ofra Strauss is seen as politically controversial.

Ofra Strauss is the chairman and former chief executive of the Strauss Group, a food conglomerate she inherited from her father, Michael, which makes dairy products, snacks and confectionery.

Because it has so little competition, Strauss Group is officially designated a monopoly under Israeli law, meaning its prices are supposed to be regulated by the government.

In July, however, the prices charged by Ofra Strauss firm for yoghurt and cottage cheese reached such a level that tens of thousands of protesters began living in a ‘tent city” in central Tel Aviv, and for three months mounted weekly demonstrations that attracted up to half a million people at a time.

Other monopoly firms were also the targets of the protest, dubbed the Israeli Arab Spring. One group of protesters set up an encampment on the grass verge opposite Ms Strauss’s house in the affluent suburb of Tzahala.

The camp’s leader, Itzhak Elrov, said they were there because “tycoons” like Ofra Strauss were “milking huge profits at the expense of the common people”.

Ofra Strauss is by no means the only multi-millionaire Tony Blair has cultivated since leaving Downing St in 2007. The former British PM has been widely criticized for blurring his official duties as a diplomat with lucrative business opportunities for his private consulting firm, Tony Blair Associates, whose clients include the rulers of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.

Ofra Strauss is not the only wealthy Israeli woman Tony Blair has tried to cultivate. According to press reports in Israel, he also tried to persuade Shari Arison, a billionaire heiress who owns Israel’s Bank Hap-oalim, to invest in the Palestinian territories.

Shari Arison, who is also author of a book of “new age” philosophy, declined, saying she was not sure whether her money would be safe.

Arison spokesman declined to say whether she and Tony Blair had stayed in touch.

Elizabeth Taylor Collection of gems, gowns and art is unveiled at Christie’s in London today.

Elizabeth Taylor was renowned for her impeccable taste in jewellery, and over her lifetime amassed a dazzling collection worth a staggering $30 million (£20million). Many of the pieces were designed by Elizabeth Taylor herself in partnership with her favoured jewellery house, Cartier, and many bestowed upon her by her generous husbands.

Elizabeth Taylor Collection of gems, gowns and art is unveiled at Christie's in London today

Elizabeth Taylor Collection of gems, gowns and art is unveiled at Christie's in London today

After Elizabeth Taylor death in March 2011, at aged 79, the entire collection of 300 glorious pieces is to go on display at London auction house Christie’s, ahead of a sale of the hoard in New York this December.

Marc Porter, the chairman and president of Christie’s America said the sale promised to “captivate the auction world”. Marc Porter added: “This is without a doubt the greatest private collection of jewellery assembled in one place.”

The emerald suite was one of Elizabeth Taylor's favourite set of gems, and she wore them often

The emerald suite was one of Elizabeth Taylor's favourite set of gems, and she wore them often

Many of the Elizabeth Taylor’ stunning gems have great historic value.

One, La Pérégrina pearl, is widely considered to be one of the most important pearls in the world. The pear-shaped piece dates from the 16th century, and once belonged to King Phillip II of Spain, and later to his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret.

Elizabeth Taylor’s fifth husband Richard Burton won it in an auction and gave it to her as a gift, he worked with Cartier to have it hung on a diamond and ruby necklace.

La Peregrina pearl, won by Richard Burton at auction and made into necklace by Elizabeth Taylor with Cartier is set to fetch up to $3 million (£2 million)

La Peregrina pearl, won by Richard Burton at auction and made into necklace by Elizabeth Taylor with Cartier is set to fetch up to $3 million (£2 million)

The necklace will be unveiled today at Christie’s with dozens more of Elizabeth Taylor’s gems. Along with the impressive hoard of treasures amassed by the Hollywood legend will be lavish gowns and art by greats such as Van Gogh and Degas.

The Bulgari Emerald necklace is part of a suite that is expected to raise up to $1.5 million (£1 million)

The Bulgari Emerald necklace is part of a suite that is expected to raise up to $1.5 million (£1 million)

The total Elizabeth Collection, which is given an estimated total value of close to £100 million ($150 million) is going on display in the UK for the first time tomorrow in a three-day exhibition opening at Christie’s London.

The Cartier ruby and diamond suite was given to Elizabeth Taylor by her third husband Mike Todd

The Cartier ruby and diamond suite was given to Elizabeth Taylor by her third husband Mike Todd

The event, which is part of a three-month global tour, attracted 6,000 visitors when Elizabeth Taylor Collection was previewed in Moscow earlier this month. The collection is being unveiled in the run-up to a much-anticipated December auction held in New York, where all the pieces will be sold.

Fans of Elizabeth Taylor will have the opportunity to view the vast array of items taken from her Bel Air estate.

Top pieces of her collection include the Elizabeth Taylor diamond, La Peregrina pearl once owned by England’s Queen Mary I, dresses from leading designers including Versace and Chanel and rare works of art by the likes of Van Gogh and Renoir.

A total of 269 pieces from her jewellery collection will be auctioned while 400 fashion items spanning over 50 years of Elizabeth Taylor’s life will also be sold off.

Highlights from Elizabeth Taylor’s art collection, include the 1889 Vincent Van Gogh painting Vue De L’Asile Et De La Chapelle De Saint-Remy, which is expected to fetch up to $11 million (£7 million) and a rare self-portrait by Edgar Degas, with a pre-sale estimate of $700,000 ( £450,000).

Fashion collectors will have the opportunity to purchase unique designs such as a Versace beaded evening jacket adorned with portraits of Elizabeth Taylor in some of her famous movie roles, estimated to sell for up to £13,000 ($20,000) and the sunflower yellow dress by Hollywood designer Irene Sharaff that Taylor wore to her 1964 wedding to Burton, boasting a pre-sale estimate of £26,000 to £39,000 ($40,000-60,000).

For lower priced items there will be an online auction featuring moderately valued pieces with registration and bidding starting on December 3.

After London the Elizabeth Taylor Collection tour will move to Los Angeles, Dubai, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong before finally closing at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

The UK exhibition, which runs until Monday at the auctioneers on King Street, opens today and in keeping with elizabeth Taylor’s humanitarian work, a portion of the £10 admission price will go to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, founded in 1991.

Marc Porter, chairman of Christie’s Americas, said: “This is without a doubt the greatest private collection of jewellery ever assembled in one place, and Christie’s is honoured to have been entrusted with the global tour of the collection this fall, and the sale of the collection in its entirety this December.”

Elizabeth Taylor’s famous jewellery and fashion items will go under the hammer over a four-day sale in New York this December, while her art will be auctioned in London next February.

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Lawrence Brewer’s over-the-top meal, who was executed on Wednesday night for the dragging death of James Byrd, meant the end of the death row intimates last meal requests.

Houston State Senator John Whitmire wrote to the executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Division saying that he had long opposed the practice, and that “enough is enough.”

Senator Whitmire said the last meal request is an “extremely inappropriate privilege”, one which “the perpetrator did not provide to their victim.”

Before he was executed, the white supremacist Lawrence Brewer ordered an enormous meal containing 3,500 calories.

His last meal consisted of two chicken fried steaks, a triple bacon cheeseburger, a bowl of fried okra, a cheese omelette, barbeque, fajitas, pizza and peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts.

Lawrence Russell Brewer arriving at court in a bulletproof vest in 1999

Lawrence Russell Brewer arriving at court in a bulletproof vest in 1999

According to Houstonpress.com, executive director Brad Livingston agreed with Senator Whitmire.

“I believe Senator Whitmire’s concerns regarding the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their last meal are valid.

“Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made. They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit.”

The 44 year-old Lawrence Brewer, was put to death by lethal injection for his part in the 1998 killing of James Byrd in Jasper, East Texas.

Lawrence Brewer was one of three men convicted of killing James Byrd after they offered him a lift along a remote country road.

James Byrd, 49, was beaten unconscious and urinated upon before being bound to the vehicle by his ankles with a heavy logging chain and driven for three miles.

James Byrd Jr died after being chained to the bumper of a pick-up truck by Lawrence Brewer and two other white supremacists

James Byrd Jr died after being chained to the bumper of a pick-up truck by Lawrence Brewer and two other white supremacists

According to forensic evidence, James Byrd was alive for much of the ordeal but was killed when the vehicle hit a concrete drainage channel causing his head and arm to be ripped from his body.

John William King, 36, was also convicted of capital murder and sent to death row. His case remains under appeal. The third man, Shawn Berry, 36, received a life prison term.

After dumping his remains in an African-American cemetery his killers drove off to a barbeque.

Lawrence Brewer told KFDM in an interview that he participated in the assault on James Byrd but had “nothing to do with the killing as far as dragging him or driving the truck or anything”.

Brewer told also his execution would be a “good out” and he’s “glad it’s about to come to an end”.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Lawrence Brewer‘s family was allowed to see him one last time yesterday morning.

Lawrence Brewer was then taken from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston to an isolation cell in Huntsville where the sentence was carried out.

James Byrd’s death led to the “Federal October 22, 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act”, commonly known as the “Matthew Shepard Act”.

US President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on October 28, 2009.

The brutal death put Jasper, a typical East Texas town with a Dairy Queen, Walmart and a handful of fast-food places some 60 miles from the nearest interstate highway, under a national spotlight.

“Everywhere you went, anywhere in the country, once people found out you were from Jasper, Texas, they wanted to ask you about it,” said Mike Lout, mayor and the Jasper radio station owner.

“Everybody first was shocked and appalled and not proud of it. They talked about it so much in the days past it, I think most people wanted to put it out of their minds.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Billy Rowles, who was sheriff at the time of James Byrd’s murder.

“A lot of effort and hard work and soul-searching went into trying to live down the stereotype. It’s so easy to get back into that mode.”

Lawrence Brewer’s huge last meal had echoes of that enjoyed by Robert Harris in 1992, who killed two teenage boys. Harris had a chicken bucket, two large pizzas, a Pepsi six-pack, jelly beans and Camel cigarettes.

The subject of last meals before execution has thrown up some interesting results over the last few decades, with James Smith being refused a request of dirt in 1990 and instead eating yoghurt.

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Medusa, the world’s largest snake weighs more than 300 lbs (135 kg), is 25ft (7.5 meters) long and it takes 15 people to hold her.

Medusa, a massive python is set to slither into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest snake living in captivity.

The giant snake, which will be on display at the Edge of Hell haunted house attraction in Kansas City, eats a 40lb animal about once a week but could easily eat something weighing more than 100lbs.

Medusa, the world’s largest snake weighs more than 300 lbs (135 kg), is 25ft (7.5 meters) long and it takes 15 people to hold her

Medusa, the world’s largest snake weighs more than 300 lbs (135 kg), is 25ft (7.5 meters) long and it takes 15 people to hold her

 

Medusa will soon be visited by representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records, who are coming to verify her new title.

Larry Elgar, Medusa‘s trainer told NBC Action News he isn’t intimidated by the massive python.

“They’ve actually cut people out of them, they are man eaters.

“Fear is just a lack of understanding. I have no fear. I understand that she can kill me. I’ve been wrapped up and put unconscious by a reticulated python that was only 18 feet long.

“I understand the repercussions, but that’s no reason to fear. That car you drove in has killed more people than anything else in the world. But you’re not scared when you put your keys in it, are you?”

Medusa, the giant python is set to slither into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest snake living in captivity

Medusa, the giant python is set to slither into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest snake living in captivity

Larry Edgar said he bought Medusa, who is now seven-year-old, as a baby and she is still growing.

“Seven years ago, this snake was 24 inches long, as big as my finger,” Larry Edgar said.

Medusa is set to bump Fluffy, a reticulated python, off the top spot.

At 24 feet long, Fluffy held the record for longest snake living in captivity until she died at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, last October.

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Sleepbox is the first temporary bedroom which can be rented out for half-hour periods and was just introduced into Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow.

Sleepbox will allow travellers to get a light kip if their planes are delayed.

The specially equipped boxes, which work as mobile bedrooms have been created by Russian architecture company the Arch Group.

Sleepbox is the first temporary bedroom which can be rented out for half-hour periods and was just introduced into Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow

Sleepbox is the first temporary bedroom which can be rented out for half-hour periods and was just introduced into Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow

 

The first Sleepbox, which can be rented out for half-hour periods, have been installed at the Aeroexpress terminal of Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow.

Sleepbox represents the basic version made of MDF with a natural ash-wood veneer.

The mobile bedroom measures 2.5m by 1.6m with a height of between 2.5m and 3m.

In addition to general lighting, Sleepbox has built-in LED reading lamps while windows are equipped with electric-drive blinds for privacy

In addition to general lighting, Sleepbox has built-in LED reading lamps while windows are equipped with electric-drive blinds for privacy

Sleepbox standard features include ventilation and sockets for notebook and mobile phone chargers.

The special container has also space for luggage under the beds which each come with a nightstand.

In addition to general lighting, Sleepbox has built-in LED reading lamps while windows are equipped with electric-drive blinds for privacy.

Sleepbox options include matted film on windows; mood lighting LED lamps with changing light colours; built-in TV and touch-screen monitor; wi-fi router; alarm; intercom and safe deposit box.

One of Sleepbox main advantages is its ability to be installed in the airport passenger areas where travellers have to spend hours waiting for their delayed flights or a transfer.

Sleepbox standard features include ventilation and sockets for notebook and mobile phone chargers

Sleepbox standard features include ventilation and sockets for notebook and mobile phone chargers

A spokesman for the architecture company Arch Group said:

“Imagine the situation where you are in a modern city, you are not a local resident, and you have not booked a hotel.

“It is not a comfortable situation because modern aggressive cities give you no opportunity to rest and relax. If you want to sleep while waiting for your plane or train, you face many security and hygiene problems.

“We believe that urban infrastructure should be more comfortable. For this purpose we have developed Sleepbox.

“It provides moments of quiet sleep and rest without wasting time in search for a hotel.”

Referring to the first Sleepbox installed in Moscow, the spokesman added:

“This Sleepbox has attracted such a great deal of interest from passengers and big companies that the chances are first commercially-operated boxes will be installed at airports and in the city by the end of this year.”

Other possible locations for Sleepbox would include railway stations, exhibition centres and shopping centres.

In countries with a warm climate, Sleepbox can be used outdoors.

Arch Group spokesman continued:

“It allows everybody in unforeseen circumstances to spend a night safely and inexpensively or simply to kill a few hours without leaving the luggage.

“Currently we offer one, two, or three-bed Sleepboxes, which can be made of MDF, metal, and glass-reinforced plastic.

“The price varies depending on the number of hours in use: the more the user pays for, the less it costs per hour.”

Rhonda Cook from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, JoAnn Merrigan of WSAV News in Savannah and Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press, who all have covered more than 20 executions between them in the past, were three of five reporters allowed to watch the controversial death of Troy Davis at Georgia State Prison last night.

Troy Davis, who murdered an off-duty police officer, was executed by lethal injection after a tense four-hour delay. Here is what the reporters witnessed:

Rhonda Cook, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Just after 10:30 Wednesday night two words stopped the conversation among reporters instantly.

“Y’all ready?” a correctional officer asked.

We were moments away from witnessing an execution. Media witnesses are as much a part of the execution process as the officers who escort the inmate to the death chamber or the officers who strap the condemned to a gurney.

Troy Davis was put to death in Jackson, Georgia, last night

Troy Davis was put to death in Jackson, Georgia, last night

Wednesday, we were there as unbiased witnesses, sitting on the back row. Our seats were behind those there on behalf of the condemned and those who prosecuted or arrested Troy Davis for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. The dead officer’s son and namesake, Mark MacPhail Jr., and his brother, William MacPhail, were there for the family.

We spoke little from that moment on, the five reporters selected to witness the execution.

As the officer called our names, we lined up and left the room where we had waited for so long, oblivious to the last-ditch effort to spare Davis and the police presence and protests beyond the prison’s walls.

In the death chamber, we took our seats on the last of three pews.

Warden Carl Humphrey began the process by reading the execution order signed by Chatham County Judge Penny Haas Freesmann. “The court having sentenced defendant Troy Anthony Davis on the third day of September, 1991, to be executed….”

Then he asked Davis if he has any final words.

Yes, the condemned man said and he raised his head so he could look at Mark MacPhail Jr., who was an infant when his father was murdered, and William MacPhail, the dead officer’s brother.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Davis said.

Mark MacPhail, who was leaning forward, and his uncle did not move. They stared at the man who killed their loved one.

“I did not personally kill your son, father and brother,” Davis said. “I am innocent.”

He asked his family and friends to continue to search for the truth.

And to the prison officials he said: “May God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls.”

He then lowered his head. He turned down an offer for a prayer.

Within minutes, Troy Anthony Davis slipped out of consciousness and in 14 minutes he was dead.

A three-drug cocktail ended his life. First pentobarbital put Davis in a drug-induced coma. The paralytic pancuronium bromide was second. Potassium chloride stopped Davis’ heart.

“The court ordered execution of Troy Anthony Davis was carried out in accordance with the laws of the state of Georgia,” the warden announced.

Curtains in the death chamber were closed and we were quickly ushered out.

Waiting for us at the media staging area was a line of correctional officers, deputy sheriffs and state troopers blocking protesters from crossing Georgia Highway 36 onto prison property and hoards of local, national and international reporters waiting for the reporters who witnessed the execution to describe what happened.

He went peacefully, one of the reporters said

Greg Bluestein, Associated Press:

It didn’t take long to notice Troy Davis’ execution was different from the others I’ve covered. As I drove up to the prison, I could see the crowds of protesters and a group of at least 50 reporters.

I’ve covered about 10 executions in Georgia. None of them are easy. This was by far the most unusual.

There were four reporters besides me there to witness the execution.

We ended up waiting for more than four hours in a sombre prison break room. We made small talk and speculated about whether the U.S. Supreme Court could intervene. At times, it was silent.

Around 10:30 p.m., a guard walked in and said: “You ready?”

Execution chamber at Georgia State Prison in Jackson, where Troy Davis was sedated, strapped to a gurney and given a lethal injection

Execution chamber at Georgia State Prison in Jackson, where Troy Davis was sedated, strapped to a gurney and given a lethal injection

We were led into a white van and, after passing through several security checkpoints, we were delivered to the squat white building on the edge of the prison that serves as the death chamber. We watched the slain officer’s son, Mark MacPhail Jr., enter the building. Behind him, Jason Ewart, the condemned man’s attorney, walked in. A county coroner’s van rolled up.

By the time we were inside, officials had already strapped Davis to the gurney. There was a glass window with a curtain separating Davis from the witnesses, who sat in three rows of seats. There were about 20 of us.

Davis searched for Ewart, who nodded slightly when they locked eyes. MacPhail Jr., sitting in the front row, focused on Davis.

When it was time to deliver his last words, Davis’ seized the moment, speaking quickly and confidently.

He told the MacPhail family he was not responsible for the death. “I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault,” he said.

Davis urged his supporters to “continue to fight the fight.” And just before the lethal drugs coursed through his veins, he offered a message to his executioners: “God have mercy on your souls.”

Davis blinked his eyes rapidly. He squeezed them tight. The curtain closed.

 

JoAnn Merrigan, WSAV News:

Prison officials arrived to take me to the prison at 5:45pm. I arrived at the State Prison in Jackson, Georgia at 5:50pm.

At 6:02, I was taken into a waiting room where I stayed for around four hours with no knowledge of what was going on. Every so often, someone would come in and say the execution had been delayed.

Around 9:00pm, I went to the bathroom and heard some people talking.

Around 10:20pm, an official came and brought me out into a hallway where I was told to stop. Three men, including the warden, were walking around. Attorney General Sam Olens was also there. He walked quickly one way, then the other. Then the prison official said it was time to go around 10:25pm.

I got into a car with three attorneys from the Attorney General’s office, and rode along with a caravan of cars to a building. The drive took around two minutes, and we arrived at 10:27pm.

I walked into the room and sat in the front row, about a dozen people were also in the room. The room had a window showing the execution chamber.

Two men came in, the warden and another man.

Then five guards escorted in Troy Davis and laid him down on the gurney. He appeared calm at this time.

The five guards began methodically strapping in Davis. They started with each foot first, then each knee, then each arm.

A fifth strap was laid across Davis’s shoulders.

At this point, Davis picked up his head to look around the room. I was about four to five feet from the window.

Two women then came in with heart monitoring equipment and strapped it to his chest. No one in the room spoke.

The two women then put a syringe into each arm, the left first then the right. Long tubes connected the needles through two holes in the cement wall. I understand that tubes were connected to two intravenous drips containing the chemicals.

At this point, Davis raised his head for a second time to look at the room beyond the window.

Two guards then placed surgical tape around Davis’s fingertips, strapping them to the gurney.

The bed was then raised to an upright angle, facing the crowd. I could see him clearly, being only four to five feet from the window.

I then moved to the back of the room. At this point, the family of Officer Mark MacPhail, including Billy MacPhail the brother, and Mark MacPhail Jr, the son, entered the room and sat in the front row.

There were also other witnesses, totalling eight people, who also sat in the front row.

Defence attorneys Jason Ewart and Thomas Ruffin came in and sat in the second row with others.

At this point, other media witnesses were brought in and they sat in the back row with me. A total of around 30 people were in the room.

About 15 minutes had passed since I first entered the room.

A microphone was turned on and the warden said, ‘We are here for the execution of Troy Anthony Davis with all witnesses present.’ He also asked that the witnesses remain silent. He then asked Davis if he had anything he wanted to say. Davis replied: “Yes.”

Davis said: “I want to address the members of the MacPhail family. Despite the situation we are all in, you think I’ve killed your father, your brother, your husband, I’m not the person, I’m innocent, what happened was not my fault, I did not have a gun that night, I did not shoot your family member. I’m so sorry for your loss, I really am. I hope you will finally see the truth and others will, too. To my family and supporters, thank you for your prayers and continue to pray. For those about to take my life, I forgive you. God bless you all.”

The warden then read the death warrant. Davis looked out at the crowd, and though he seemed calm, it did appear he was somewhat scared.

The room was very quiet when the injections began.

First, Davis received an injection of pentobarbital, a sedative. Second, he received an injection of pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxer. Lastly, he was injected with potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest.

After a short amount of time, Davis yawned then closed his eyes.

The room was quiet and all I heard was my pencil moving over paper.

A woman then came in and checked his eyes, then there was a ‘beep.’ Mark MacPhail Jr was leaning towards the window.

The microphone was turned on again, and two doctors entered the room wearing long white coats.

One doctor checked his pulse and placed a stethoscope on his chest. Then the second doctor performed the same procedure. At the end, the second doctor looked at the first and nodded his head.

The warden then said: “At 11:08 September 21st, the court ordered execution of Troy Davis was carried out in accordance with the laws of Georgia.”

I was escorted out of the room and saw a black Butts County coroner’s van of outside the building.

About 30 to 35 minutes had passed by the time I entered the room, until the time Davis was pronounced.

1

Cardiff After Dark portfolio presents the images of the British night life with young women and men vomiting and sleeping on the streets after weekend parties.

The images look like those you might find in some depressing police dossier.

Here, in vivid detail, is a squalid portrait of binge-drinking Britain. Some of the more incapacitated specimens are in mid-vomit. A few have simply passed out.

Cardiff After Dark portfolio presents the images of the British night life with young women and men vomiting and sleeping on the streets after weekend parties

Cardiff After Dark portfolio presents the images of the British night life with young women and men vomiting and sleeping on the streets after weekend parties

Tequila-fuelled young women strike crude poses that will (or should) mortify them in the sober light of day. More worryingly, one or two are unconscious on the pavement, dangerously vulnerable in their pathetic state.

Cardiff After Dark portfolio, a squalid portrait of binge-drinking Britain.

Cardiff After Dark portfolio, a squalid portrait of binge-drinking Britain.

One image even shows one triumphal inebriate male advancing on a group of sozzled young woman exposing himself.

The scenes were all captured in Cardiff, in the area around St Mary Street and neighbouring “chip alley”. But similar scenes are being played out in town centres all over Britain every weekend.

This collage of shame was unveiled before an audience of 1,000 people. They leapt to their feet, applauding, roaring with laughter and crying “Bravo!”

The scenes were all captured in Cardiff, in the area around St Mary Street and neighbouring “chip alley”, but similar scenes are being played out in town centres all over Britain every weekend

The scenes were all captured in Cardiff, in the area around St Mary Street and neighbouring “chip alley”, but similar scenes are being played out in town centres all over Britain every weekend

Cardiff After Dark portfolio, which was presented at the International Festival of Photojournalism in the French city of Perpignan, was considered a beautifully crafted and realistic portrait of life in modern Britain in the eyes of the experts and professionals.

Polish photographer Maciej Dakowicz, 34, has been capturing nocturnal scenes in Cardiff, where he was previously a student, for the past five years.

Maciej Dakowicz admits that he would be unable to produce images like this in his home town of Bialystok in Poland.

People there just don’t demean themselves like that. But, in Cardiff, he was spoiled for choice. For all that, he remains fond of the Welsh capital.

Cardiff After Dark portfolio was presented at the International Festival of Photojournalism in the French city of Perpignan

Cardiff After Dark portfolio was presented at the International Festival of Photojournalism in the French city of Perpignan

“Welsh people are very friendly and open,” Maciej Dakowicz said.

“The atmosphere is very cheerful and everyone is having a good time.”

And so they are — if your idea of having a good time is passing out in a pool of vomit.

“The pictures tell stories of drinking, of love, of violence, of lots of things,” Dakowicz insisted.

Around 50 of these photographs were presented at the prestigious festival on a giant screen. The critics lapped them up.

“The reaction was very positive,” said Maciej Dakowicz.

“The audience was laughing. They were making fun of British people.”

No doubt they were.

Britain, the nation which was once regarded as a buttoned-up bunch of repressives in bowler hats is now a land of incontinent alcoholics.

Cardiff After Dark

Cardiff After Dark

Jesse Coombs became the first person to kayak successfully down Abiqua Falls in Oregon, USA.

Lucas Gilman, Jesse Coombs’ friend and extreme sports photographer captured the jaw-dropping three-second plunge on camera.

Jesse Coombs and Lucas Gilman hiked to the remote 96 feet (30 meters) waterfall armed with five cameras to film the stunt.

Before Jesse Coombs, only athlete Tim Goss had attempted to kayak down this waterfall.

Jesse Coombs became the first person to kayak successfully down the 96 ft (30 m) Abiqua Falls in Oregon

Jesse Coombs became the first person to kayak successfully down the 96 ft (30 m) Abiqua Falls in Oregon

But Tim Goss landed badly and dislocated both knees.

Despite the risks, 40-year-old Jesse Coombs was not put off.

Jesse Coombs positioned himself in his kayak at the summit of the near vertical waterfall and dropped into the pool below while Lucas Gilman looked on nervously.

Lucas Gilman said: “Jesse is a good friend of mine and you never want a friend to get hurt so there was a lot of pressure to make sure nothing went wrong.

“It took us two days to prepare for the shoot. We had to set up a zip line to capture the fall at the right angle and there were certain safety procedures we needed to put in place, which included positioning two kayakers in the pool below which was tricky.

“Abiqua Falls isn’t the highest waterfall but it is considered the hardest.

“The lip of Abiqua Falls is very tricky, it goes from flat to vertical very quickly. So getting the right angle to hit the water is really hard.

“If you hit the fall at the wrong angle you risk serious injury.

“There were definitely some nerves there but you just have to remember you’re there to document it and hope for the best.”

Although the jump was a success, Jesse Coombs suffered a fractured shoulder socket and a collapsed lung. And just a week later kayak world record holder Tyler Bradt broke his back in the same stunt.

Although the jump was a success, Jesse Coombs suffered a fractured shoulder socket and a collapsed lung

Although the jump was a success, Jesse Coombs suffered a fractured shoulder socket and a collapsed lung

Jesse Coombs said: “This waterfall comes with heavy consequences so not many people have attempted it.

“Three world class kayakers have attempted Abiqua Falls and all three of us have been injured to some degree.

“It’s not the tallest waterfall but it’s definitely considered one of the most dangerous.

“To fall 96ft takes around three seconds, so there is not much room for error.

“But knowing I’d nailed it gave me a huge feeling of elation.”

[youtube sOhb1m7FpeU]

Just before his execution Troy Davis told the family of murdered policeman Mark MacPhail, “I’m innocent. I didn’t kill your son.”

Strapped to a gurney, awaiting lethal injection, Troy Davis lifted his head and looked at Mark MacPhail’s family, to repeat his claim that he was not responsible for the police officer’s 1989 murder.

Troy Davis last words were: “I’d like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I’m not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent.

“The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask … is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.”

Troy Davis, the convicted murderer of  police officer Mark MacPhail was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday

Troy Davis, the convicted murderer of police officer Mark MacPhail was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday

 

Troy Davis then asked his family and friends “to continue to fight this fight.”

At the end he said: “For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.”

The execution went ahead despite a dramatic intervention minutes before Troy Davis was due to be put to death.

Defense lawyers had made a last ditch appeal to the US Supreme Court,but after four hours deliberation, the nine justices unanimously decided to uphold the execution.

Few minutes later Troy Davis was strapped to the chair and he was declared dead at 11:08 p.m.

The chamber at Jackson prison, Georgia, where Troy Davis was executed

The chamber at Jackson prison, Georgia, where Troy Davis was executed

Troy Davis’ lawyer Thomas Ruffin denounced the execution as “a legalized lynching”.

Troy Davis’ case was riddled with doubt, the lawyer maintained.

Thomas Ruffin described the process of execution as “sickening”.

“I saw the tube inserted into his arm, and then fluid, then jerking.

“It’s sickening. It’s worse than any film adaptation. It’s more macabre and horrible than anything on film and television.”

The last minute appeal by defense lawyers challenged ballistics linking the death row inmate to the 1989 murder of off-duty policeman Mark MacPhail and eyewitness testimony identifying Troy Davis as the killer.

After more than four hours the appeal was denied by all nine Supreme Court judges, five of them being needed to stay the execution.

The statement issued by the Supreme Court read:

“The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice (Clarence) Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied”

Hundreds of protesters and Troy Davis supporters on the scene at Jackson prison had initially celebrated at word that the death by lethal injection had been temporarily halted.

Until the moment when it seemed almost certain that Troy Davis would be executed.

Georgia’ Supreme Court had earlier on Wednesday rejected a last-chance appeal by defense lawyers.

A Butts County superior court judge had also declined to stop the execution.

Troy Davis’ lawyers went to the US Supreme Court at around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday. From 7:00 p.m. state of Georgia was within its rights to execute Troy Davis but instead chose to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision.

Police officer Mark MacPhail was shot dead in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989

Police officer Mark MacPhail was shot dead in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989

Anneliese MacPhail, the mother of murdered police officer Mark MacPhail, told CNN she was hoped to find peace now.

“I just feel relieved that it’s over.”

“It took a long time to get here.”

Earlier speaking after the Supreme Court decision Anneliese MacPhail said:

“I’d like to have some peace now that it is over… I’d like it to come to an end now.

“We have been through hell. He [Davis] did this. Nobody made him do it. It was his choice.

“I have lost my son and the father of my grandchildren. He has made his own bed and he’s got to sleep in it.”

Mark MacPhail's family spoke of their relief Wednesday after Supreme Court upholds the execution

Mark MacPhail's family spoke of their relief Wednesday after Supreme Court upholds the execution

The new four hours delay had caused the MacPhail family extra anguish she said.

“I’m absolutely devastated because I want it over with. … They’ve been through the courts four times there in Georgia. They’ve been to the Supreme Court three times.

“This delay, again, is very upsetting and I think very unfair to us.”

“I’d like to close this book. We feel [Troy Davis is] guilty. The evidence and everything that we have seen – that I have seen, because I’ve been to all the trials – he is guilty, and I believe in that. And so does the rest of my family.”

Outside the prison in Jackson, a vigil was held on Wednesday night. Amnesty International also targeted U.S. embassies across the world.

Last night event was heavily policed, with more than 100 Georgia state troopers in riot gear gathering at the scene, as prison officials, family members and protestors reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision.

They had resorted to increasingly desperate measures such as urging prison workers to strike and posting a judge’s phone number online.

Before his death Troy Davis was sad to be “upbeat and prayerful” and turned down the opportunity to have a last meal of his choice – as protesters gathered as far afield as Paris and London.

Defense lawyer Stephen Marsh had hoped the lie detector test would convince the state pardons board to reconsider a decision against clemency, but the request was rejected yesterday.

Wednesday night was the fourth time and final time that Troy Davis’ execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.

Troy Davis always claimed he was innocent of killing Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard in Savannah, Georgia in 1989. But state and federal courts repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Prosecutors and Mark MacPhail’s relatives said they have no doubt the right man is being punished.

Just one day before execution, Georgia’s pardons board rejected a last-ditch clemency plea despite high-profile support from figures including Pope Benedict XVI and a former FBI director for the claim that Troy Davis was wrongly convicted.

Troy Davis’ last days:

September 17: Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles receives 600,000-signature petition asking for clemency.

September 19: The board holds a clemency hearing.

September 20: Board denies clemency for Davis, reportedly by a majority of three to two.

Yesterday a.m.: Defense attorneys’ last ditch request for a polyghraph test is denied by the board.

Yesterday 5:00 p.m.: Georgia Supreme Court judge denies a final appeal

6:00 p.m.: Troy Davis’ lawyers “hit send” on an application to US Supreme Court

6:50 p.m.: Dramatic last minute intervention halts proceedings.

7:00 p.m.: Georgia is within its rights to execute Troy Davis but awaits Supreme Court decision

10:18 p.m.: Lawyers say the Supreme Court have denied Troy Davis’ appeal

10:53 p.m.: Execution begins

11:08 p.m.: Troy Davis is declared dead

0

Troy Davis’s request for a polygraph test to try to prove his innocence ahead of tonight’s planned execution has been denied by Georgia Department of Corrections.

Defense lawyer Stephen Marsh said he had hoped the lie detector test would convince the state pardons board to reconsider a decision against clemency, which was rejected yesterday.

Troy Davis’ execution is scheduled for 7pm tonight. It is the fourth time in four years that Troy Davis‘ execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.

Troy Davis's request for a polygraph test to try to prove his innocence ahead of tonight's planned execution has been denied by Georgia Department of Corrections

Troy Davis's request for a polygraph test to try to prove his innocence ahead of tonight's planned execution has been denied by Georgia Department of Corrections

 

Troy Davis, 42, has long claimed he is innocent of killing Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard in Savannah, Georgia in 1989. But state and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Prosecutors and Mark MacPhail’s relatives say they have no doubt the right man is being punished.

Yesterday, Georgia’s pardons board rejected the clemency plea despite high-profile support from figures including Pope Benedict XVI and a former FBI director for the claim that he was wrongly convicted.

The board did not elaborate on the decision in its written official response to the clemency application.

The decision appeared to leave Troy Davis with little chance of avoiding the execution date.

Troy Davis will be executed by injection at 7pm tonight for the August 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, a 27-year-old off-duty police officer who was working as a security guard in Savannah when he was shot dead rushing to help a homeless man who had been attacked.

Troy Davis didn’t want a special last meal, but he planned to spend his final hours meeting with friends, family and supporters. According to an advocate who met with him late Tuesday, Davis was upbeat, prayerful and expected last-minute wrangling by attorneys.

“He doesn’t want to spend three hours away from his family on what could be the last day of his life if it won’t make any difference,” advocate said.

Troy Davis’ lawyers have long argued he was a victim of mistaken identity. But prosecutors say they have no doubt that they charged the right person with the crime.

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Troy Davis’ conviction in 1991, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system that the execution has taken so long.

“What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair,” said Spencer Lawton, who retired as Chatham County’s head prosecutor in 2008.

“The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners.”

Troy Davis case has captured worldwide attention because of the doubt his supporters have raised over whether he killed Mark MacPhail, who was shot to death after coming to the aid of Larry Young, a homeless man who was pistol-whipped in a Burger King parking lot.

Prosecutors say Troy Davis was with another man who was demanding that Larry Young give him a beer when Davis pulled out a handgun and bashed Young with it. When Mark MacPhail arrived to help, they say Troy Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death.

Witnesses placed Troy Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter. Shell casings were linked to an earlier shooting that Troy Davis was convicted of. There was no other physical evidence. No blood or DNA tied Troy Davis to the crime and the weapon was never found.

Troy Davis’ attorneys say seven of nine key witnesses who testified at his trial have disputed all or parts of their testimony.

The state initially planned to execute him in July 2007 but the pardons board granted him a stay less than 24 hours before he was to die. The U.S. Supreme Court stepped in a year later and halted the lethal injection two hours before he was to be executed. And a federal appeals court halted another planned execution a few months later.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted Troy Davis a hearing to prove his innocence, the first time it had done so for a death row inmate in at least 50 years.

At the June 2010 hearing, two witnesses testified that they falsely incriminated Troy Davis at his trial when they said Davis confessed to the killing. Two others told the judge the man with Troy Davis that night later said he shot Mark MacPhail.

Prosecutors, though, argued that Troy Davis’ lawyers were simply rehashing old testimony that had already been rejected by a jury. And they said no trial court could ever consider the hearsay from the other witnesses who blamed the other man for the crime.

U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. sided with them. He said the evidence presented at the hearing wasn’t nearly enough to prove Troy Davis is innocent and validate his request for a new trial. He said while Davis’ “new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors.”

0

Troy Davis’ execution will go ahead as planned.

 

Troy Davis was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail, who was working as a security guard at a Burger King when he intervened in an argument between several men in a nearby parking lot.

Mark MacPhail was shot in the heart and face without having drawn his gun.

One of the men, Sylvester Coles, went to police and implicated Troy Davis in the killing, and he was arrested four days later.

During Troy Davis’ 1991 trial, many witnesses testified they had seen him shooting MacPhail. Two other witnesses testified that Troy Davis had confessed the murder to them.

Troy Davis was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail

Troy Davis was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail

The murder weapon was never found, and no physical evidence linked Troy Davis to the crime.

Throughout his trial and subsequent appeals, Troy Davis has maintained his innocence but was sentenced to death in August 1991.

Seven of nine witnesses to the murder changed or recanted their testimony in recent years. Several stated they had felt pressure by police to implicate Troy Davis.

New witnesses implicated Sylvester Coles in the crime.

Many appeals in state and federal courts followed, Troy Davis and his lawyers arguing that the racial composition of the jury and poor advocacy from his lawyers had affected his right to a fair trial.

In an August 2010 decision, the conviction was upheld, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia declaring that the new evidence cast only ‘minimal doubt on his conviction’. Subsequent appeals, including to the Supreme Court, were rejected.

Police officer Mark MacPhail was shot dead in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989

Police officer Mark MacPhail was shot dead in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989

 

In July 2007, September 2008, and October 2008, Troy Davis execution dates were scheduled but stayed shortly before the events took place.

Troy Davis is set to be executed by lethal injection on September 21, 2011, at 7:00 pm, as he has lost a bid for clemency launched by his defense lawyers.

In the last day of his life, he declined to order a special last meal. Troy Davis will be served what’s on the menu at the Georgia state prison in Jackson before his execution – grilled cheeseburger, oven-browned potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, cookies and a grape beverage.

Troy Davis case story. Last day before execution.

 

Troy Davis, the convicted murderer of a police officer, who is set to be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday, has lost a bid for clemency launched by his defense lawyers.

Georgia’s board of pardons rejected the last-minute plea even after it attracted high-profile support, and Troy Davis execution will go ahead as planned.

It was the last hope for Troy Davis, 42, who was convicted of killing police officer Mark MacPhail, in Savannah, Georgia, in 1989.

Troy Davis, the convicted murderer of a police officer is set to be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday

Troy Davis, the convicted murderer of a police officer is set to be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday

 

Anti-death penalty activists, who claim Troy Davis was wrongly convicted, chanted and held banners through Atlanta last week.

It is the fourth time in four years Troy Davis execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.

Anti-death penalty activists, who claim Troy Davis was wrongly convicted, chanted and held banners through Atlanta last week

Anti-death penalty activists, who claim Troy Davis was wrongly convicted, chanted and held banners through Atlanta last week

According to Steve Hayes, spokesman for the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the panel decided to rejected Troy Davis’ request for clemency after hearing hours of testimony from his supporters and prosecutors.

The board decision appeared to leave him with little chance of avoiding the execution date. Defence attorney Jason Ewart has said that the pardons board was likely Troy Davis’ last option.

The defense lawyers have long argued Troy Davis was a victim of mistaken identity, but prosecutors say they have no doubt that they charged the right person with the crime.

Officer Mark MacPhail’s relatives said they were relieved by the decision.

“That’s what we wanted, and that’s what we got,” said Anneliese MacPhail, the victim’s mother.

“We wanted to get it over with, and for him to get his punishment.”

“Justice was finally served for my father,” said Mark MacPhail Jr, victim’ son, who was an infant when his father was gunned down.

“The truth was finally heard.”

Police officer Mark MacPhail was shot dead in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989

Police officer Mark MacPhail was shot dead in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989

Troy Davis’ sister, Kim Davis declined immediate comment on the decision.

Amnesty International USA director Larry Cox said in a statement that the decision was “unconscionable”.

“Should Troy Davis be executed, Georgia may well have executed an innocent man and in so doing discredited the justice system,” Larry Cox said.

The case has captured international attention because of concerns about the quality of evidence involved in Troy Davis’s conviction.

Troy Davis’s supporters said there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime and that key witnesses in his trial have since recanted their testimony.

Martin Luther King III, son of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, joined the last week march. Reverend Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and television show host, also attended.

In August 2009, in a rare move, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a new hearing for Troy Davis to assess what he said was new evidence showing his innocence.

The justices transferred the case to a U.S. District Court in Georgia for a hearing and determination of Troy Davis claims that new witnesses will clearly establish his innocence.

In 2010, the judge, William T. Moore Jr, rejected Troy Davis’ claims of innocence. But last week, supporters of Troy Davis delivered petitions with more than 600,000 names to the parole board.

In a column last week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, former FBI Director William Sessions called for Troy Davis’s sentence to be commuted to life in prison, saying the case was “permeated in doubt”.

However, in an opposing column written in late 2008 and republished on last Thursday, Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who prosecuted Davis, said the convicted man had a fair trial.

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The powerful typhoon Roke has struck disaster-ravaged Japan, bringing heavy rains and floods that have killed four people.

Typhoon Roke is in progress to hit Fukushima, where engineers are still struggling to bring a nuclear plant under control after the March tsunami, with strong concerns that rain could force radioactive water into the sea.

More than a million people were urged to evacuate their homes across Japan; an advisory was later lifted in one area but 330,000 people remain at risk.

More than a million people were urged to evacuate their homes after typhoon Roke hit Japan

More than a million people were urged to evacuate their homes after typhoon Roke hit Japan

Typhoon Roke made landfall on Wednesday afternoon (05:00 GMT), scouring its way up the main island of Honshu, bringing high winds and torrential rain.

Typhoon is tracking a path across Tokyo towards Fukushima prefecture and is then expected to travel up along the north-east coast, which was battered by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

Four people have been found dead after heavy rain and flooding in central and western Japan due to the storm’s approach and another two are missing in the central prefecture of Gifu, including a nine-year-old boy.

Hundreds of flights are cancelled and several motorways have been closed.

Toyota, the car maker is suspending production at 11 of its 15 factories.

According to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, “the highest level of caution be used because of the heavy rain, strong wind, and high waves.”

The meteorological agency has also warned of downpours over a wide area of the country on Wednesday, saying some places could be deluged by as much as 50 mm of rain in an hour.

It is the second time in less than a month that Japan is being hit by a typhoon. Typhoon Talas ripped through the west of the country, leaving about 90 people dead or missing.

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Modern Family dominated comedy and Downton Abbey took miniseries, directing, supporting actor and writing gongs.

Best drama series: Mad Men

Actor in a drama series: Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights

Actress in a drama series: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Supporting actor in a drama series: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Supporting actress in a drama series: Margo Martindale, Justified

Modern Family won Best Comedy Series Emmy Award 2011, writers Jeffrey Richman and Steven Levitan and director Michael Spiller

Modern Family won Best Comedy Series Emmy Award 2011; writers Jeffrey Richman and Steven Levitan and director Michael Spiller

Best comedy series: Modern Family

Actor in a comedy series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Actress in a comedy series: Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly

Supporting actor in a comedy series: Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Supporting actress in a comedy series: Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Best miniseries or TV movie: Downton Abbey

Actor in a miniseries or movie: Barry Pepper, The Kennedys

Actress in a miniseries or movie: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Supporting actor in a miniseries or movie: Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce

Supporting actress in a miniseries or movie: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Best reality competition program: The Amazing Race

Best variety, music or comedy series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Directing for a comedy series: Michael Spiller, Modern Family

Writing for a comedy series: Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, Modern Family

Directing for a drama series: Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire

Writing for a drama series: Jason Katims, Friday Night Lights

Directing for a variety, music or comedy series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live

Writing for a variety, music or comedy series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Wyatt Cenac, Hallie Haglund, JR Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Josh Lieb, Sam Means, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart

Directing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special: Brian Percival, Downton Abbey

Writing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special: Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey

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A major security breach at Sydney Airport has caused long delays for about 2000 Qantas airlines passengers.

Two persons walked through an exit door at the Qantas-owned T3 domestic terminal on Sydney Airport, in Australia, this morning, bypassing security checks.

The incident forced the evacuation of the terminal and rescreening of about 2000 passengers who had already been checked in and, in some cases, boarded aircraft. This is the second major security breach at Sydney Airport in the last five months.

A major security breach at Sydney Airport has caused long delays for about 2000 Qantas airlines passengers

A major security breach at Sydney Airport has caused long delays for about 2000 Qantas airlines passengers

“It’s our terminal so we’re sticking our hands up on this one,” a Qantas airline spokesman told Fairfax Radio Network.

“It was obviously very frustrating for the passengers and we’re extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused.

“Our hands were tied once those two passengers got through.

“We had to get every single passenger out of that area and back through the gates.”

Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said 12 flights were delayed and 2000 passenges affected by the security breach.

Olivia Wirth said they had notified the Australian Federal Police and a full investigation would be carried out.

The security breach caused delays of several hours for some flights leaving Sydney Airport and some minor delays for inbound aircraft.

According to Qantas airlines, by 3:00 pm (AEST) flight schedules were returning to normal.

Australian Federal Police officers carried out a sweep on post-security check areas of T3 domestic terminal using bomb and firearm detection dogs.

A similar incident happened at Sydney Airport T2 exactly five months ago, on April, when a power failure caused a security screening checkpoint to fail, leading to 16 passengers walking through without screening and Sydney Airport ordered the rescreening of the entire terminal.

Another similar security breach happened at Melbourne Airport on April 7.

Earlier in the day, paramedics from Sydney Airport were called to treat people on an incoming international flight who suffered burns when a hot drink was spilled. The accident happened when the plane dropped suddenly as it hit the turbulence, sending a coffee cart flying into the air.

According to ambulance spokeswoman, paramedics assessed five passengers and three crew on their arrival.

Three persons suffered minor burns but no one needed to be taken to hospital.

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Two victims of the vintage World War II airplane crashed at the Reno-Stead Airport on Friday have been identified by their families as Michael Wogan, 22, from Arizona, and Greg Morcom, 47 from Washington.

The two people lives intersected in the most tragic of ways Friday, when the airplane careened into the VIP box seats at the National Championship Air Races in Reno.

Michael Wogan and Greg Morcom were among the nine people killed in the accident.

The 74-year-old pilot of the P-51 Mustang, Jimmy Leeward, died as well.

The Reno air crash aftermaths

The Reno air crash aftermaths

 

Both identified victims were making their first trip to the air races, where souped-up planes blast around an air track marked by pylons.

Since 1972, 19 pilots have died at the NASCAR races in the sky, but Friday was the first time when spectators have been killed.

Greg Morcom’s brother, Ron, who owns an aviation facility, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that his brother died instantly.

Specialists are investigating why Jimmy Leeward’s Galloping Ghost suddenly pitched upward and then nosedived during a high-speed race, digging out a 3-foot-deep crater in the tarmac and sending 69 people to the hospital.

Jimmy Leeward holding a scale model of his P-51 Mustang at his Florida home in 2010

Jimmy Leeward holding a scale model of his P-51 Mustang at his Florida home in 2010

As the death toll rose and suspicion fell on a missing piece from the plane’s tail, survivors grappled with opposing emotions. Many people have been worried about the future of a beloved aviation event, even as they were haunted by images of graphic horror they likened to a battlefield or a terrorist attack.

Eight people remained in critical condition Saturday night, including Michael Wogan’s father, Bill, who lost his right eye and some fingers.

Michael Wogan had congenital muscular dystrophy, as did two of his three brothers. Michael had recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in business and finance and started a social media marketing company, according to the Arizona Republic.

Alexander Lebedev, the Russian mogul unleashed a flurry of punches on oligarch Sergei Polonsky during a TV debate on the global economic crisis.

Alexander Lebedev is a Russian billionaire who owns two British newspapers, The Independent and London Evening Standard, and also his empire includes a third of airline Aeroflot and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

In front of an astonished studio audience, Alexander Lebedev landed a series of blows on businessman Sergei Polonsky’s head, knocking him off his chair.

Alexander Lebedev claimed that he’d had to “neutralize” Sergei Polonsky because he feared he was going to be hit first

Alexander Lebedev claimed that he’d had to “neutralize” Sergei Polonsky because he feared he was going to be hit first

Afterwards Alexander Lebedev claimed that he’d had to “neutralize” Sergei Polonsky because he feared he was going to be hit first.

The incredible incident happened during the filming of a NTV debate, due to be aired today.

Few minutes before the attack, Sergei Polonsky had announced that he wanted to “stick one in the mouth”.

Alexander Lebedev, who used to be a KGB agent and now is a media mogul, took to his blog to defend his use of violence, claiming that Sergei Polonsky had been overly aggressive during the discussion.

Lebedev wrote on his blog:

“In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralised him.”

Images of the dramatic scene, which have been posted on YouTube, show Alexander Lebedev suddenly losing control and standing over Sergei Polonsky in a threatening manner.

Sergei Polonsky, the real-estate baron appears to attempt to calm him down and Alexander Lebedev takes his seat once more.

After few seconds, without warning, as Sergei Polonsky gently pats him on the arm, Alexander Lebedev decides it’s time to let his fists do the talking.

Lebedev suddenly hits Polonsky several times on the side of the head, sending him sprawling to the floor.

Polonsky stands back up, seemingly unharmed, then the two men stare hard at each other as others in the studio rush to calm the situation down.

Alexander Lebedev is one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune that’s estimated to be in the region of $3.1 billion.

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According to Reno police a total of nine people were killed and other 69 were injured on Friday when a World War II aircraft crashed during the Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport in Nevada.

The airplane crash happened at around 4:30 pm local time on Friday when a P-51D Mustang known as The Galloping Ghost, being flown by 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward from Florida, crashed into a box seat area in front of the main grandstand after a steep nose-dive.

Nine people were killed and other 69 were injured when the World War II aircraft crashed at the Reno Air Races

Nine people were killed and other 69 were injured when the World War II aircraft crashed at the Reno Air Races

The death and injury toll rose from early reports of three deaths, including the pilot. Two of the victims died at a local hospital and the other seven, including the pilot, died on the tarmac at the airfield, officials said.

In addition to the nine deaths, 69 people injured have been reported, some of whom were already released on early Saturday morning. More than ten people remain in a critical condition.

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Renown Regional Medical Center said it received a total of 30 patients, including a male and female who were pronounced dead, six other people remain in a critical condition while two people are in a serious condition, five in fair condition, and one in good condition. Fourteen patients were discharged by Saturday morning.

According to Renown Regional Medical Center spokesman, Dan Davis, Renown South Meadows Medical Center also received five patients who were in a fair condition and were discharged on Saturday morning.

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and its affiliated medical facilities received a total of 28 patients, of whom 12 were treated and released within hours of the accident. Two people remained in a critical condition on Saturday while seven are in serious condition and five are in fair condition.

“Given the nature of the accident, Saint Mary’s is treating injuries due to both blunt force and penetrating trauma,” said Jamii Uboldi, a spokesperson for the medical center.

“Common injuries being treated at the hospital include fractures of the legs, arms, ribs and fingers, head injuries, amputations, abrasions, lacerations, and chemical burns.”

Northern Nevada Medical Center received a total of eight injured people, six of them were in serious condition, while two others were in good condition.

A memorial for the victims which had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon by the family of Jimmy Leeward was canceled.

“The Reno Air Racing Association is planning a public vigil to be held in the near future,” the Association said in a Saturday statement.

“We are working to release details by the end of today.”

Both the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) are investigating the cause of the accident.

Investigators for the NTSB had on Saturday taken control of operations at the local airport north of Reno where the air races were held.

 “The NTSB has this entire airfield locked down,” said Roy Burgess, a spokesman for the National Championship Air Races, which puts on the event.

In a press conference Saturday afternoon, NTSB board member Mark Rosekind said that during a low-altitude pass in a qualifying heat, the plane suddenly pitched up and “climbed briefly,” suggesting that its single engine may have been putting out power. But then the aircraft “nosed over quickly” and bored almost vertically into the spectators.

Mark Rosekind also said investigators had recovered an aircraft component close to where a bystander’s photo showed a piece seemingly breaking off the plane while it was still flying. Investigators haven’t verified the accuracy of the photo, which early bystander reports suggested could have meant some type of structural problem near the tail. But the safety board is pursuing the lead, intends to interview bystanders and “is very clearly going to focus” on the issue.

The accident took place under partly cloudy skies as spectators were watching the last race of the day, called “the Gold Race” pitting Jimmy Leeward’s P-51 Mustang – the “Galloping Ghost,” a sleek silver machine with a red-tipped black propeller – against about six other vintage planes.

Just two hours prior to the race, Jimmy Leeward was in the pit area for his plane signing autographs on spectator race shirts – a custom at air shows.

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The Dog With The Longest Ears On The Planet.

 

One Ton Crocodile Captured In Philippines. Largest Crocodile In The World.

 

A woman with a four-inch tongue and another one with 10-foot fingernails are among entries in the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Aevin Dugas, 36, from New Orleans, US, is also gets an entry for having grown the world’s largest natural afro.

She is the proud owner of the largest natural afro in the world – her massive head of hair has a circumference of 4ft 4in (1.32m).

Craig Lenday, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief said the book celebrates “the weirdest and wackiest” with this edition.

Rob Hull from Doncaster, UK, is also in the book for having 571 Daleks – despite not being a Doctor Who fan.

 

Rob Hull from Doncaster, UK, is in the 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for having 571 Daleks

Rob Hull from Doncaster, UK, is in the 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for having 571 Daleks

 

The 49 year-old Dalek collector, Rob Hull bought his first replica at the age of 29, and while he may not love the BBC sci-fi series, he says he became “enchanted” with them after seeing one in a toy shop.

The 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of world Records also has a new entry, the woman claiming the prestigious title of longest fingernails in the world.

Christine Walton from Las Vegas, US, has 10ft 2in (3.1m) fingernails on her left hand and a 9ft 7in (2.92m) on her right hand.

“I hate all the cleaning, but I do it. And the makeup, I only wear so much,” said Christine Walton, 45, who has also been working on a singing career while raising a family.

Christine Walton from Las Vegas, US, has 10ft 2in (3.1m) fingernails on her left hand and a 9ft 7in (2.92m) on her right hand

Christine Walton from Las Vegas, US, has 10ft 2in (3.1m) fingernails on her left hand and a 9ft 7in (2.92m) on her right hand

The previous record-holder, Lee Redmond from Salt Lake City, US, lost her nails in a car crash in 2009.

Reverend Darrell Best from Illinois, US, is a newcomer to the famous records book, having taken the title for the fastest wedding chapel after converting his 1940s fire truck into a wedding chapel on wheels.

The wedding chapel, which is entitled The Best Man, allows lovers to tie the knot while they are on the road and is capable of reaching speeds of 62 mph (about 100 km/h).

Chanel Taper in the 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for the longest tongue , measuring 4 inches (about 10.16 cm)

Chanel Taper in the 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for the longest tongue , measuring 4 inches (about 10.16 cm)

Chanel Taper, a student from California entered the 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest tongue in the world, measuring 4 inches (about 10.16 cm).

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A crowd of bystanders lifted a burning car off a motorcyclist trapped underneath in a dramatic rescue near Utah State University on Monday. The good Samaritans action was captured on video.

Chris Garff , who captured the event on video, said he was doing what any good videographer would do when he grabbed his camera and went to investigate the black smoke billowing outside the Logan, Utah, business building where he was preparing to videotape a lecture for a business professor.

Motorcyclist saved by the crowd of good Samaritans

Motorcyclist saved by the crowd of good Samaritans

Then he realized he was capturing something extraordinary.

“I knew there was some pretty remarkable footage,” he told The Times.

“Then it really starts to set in, that this is going to be a big deal.”

Moments earlier, a motorcycle and a BMW had collided, leaving the motorcyclist trapped underneath the car; the motorcycle quickly went up in flames that spread to the front of the BMW.

By the time Chris Garff started shooting from his perch on the ninth floor, a few bystanders had rushed over and frantically tried to lift the vehicle – but it wouldn’t budge. Then they tried again, including some nearby construction workers still wearing their hard hats.

The crowd hoisted up the side of the car so that it was resting on just two wheels. That created just enough space for one of the construction workers to dart underneath and pull the man’s seemingly lifeless body to safety.

Chris Garff said he continued to roll and tried to figure out what to do next and then he realized the man was moving.

“I was just freaking out, you can hear my voice on the video, I thought that guy was a goner,” Chris Garff, 31, said.

 “I couldn’t believe it when I saw him move.”

The man, later identified as Brandon Wright, 21, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and treated for broken bones and other injuries. He faces a long recovery, and his family released a statement thanking the strangers who saved him.

“Brandon and our entire family would like to express our deep gratitude to all of the people who stopped at the crash scene on Monday to help rescue Brandon,” the statement said.

“The fact that so many people would risk their own lives to save Brandon is a testament to the spirit of the community, and we will forever be thankful for these angels saving our son.”

Chris Garff said he had to get back to work after the rescue – the media production specialist still had a lecture to shoot. But when class was over, he prepped the video and contacted local media to see if they might be interested.

In less than 24 hours, the video has had more than 42,000 views on YouTube, and Chris Garff’s phone is ringing off the hook with interview requests from CNN and other media outlets.

Chris Garff said he’s pleased with the attention, but he’s more pleased to know he lives in a world where strangers will put their lives in danger to help others.

“The guy survived, thankfully he did. Those people didn’t stop to think… they acted. Strangers stopped and lifted a car and saved a man’s life. It tells you that there’s hope.”

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Serena Williams fined for verbal abuse at US Open.

 

Serena Williams’ verbal attack on an umpire during US Open final.

 

Novak Djokovic won the US Open title after a more than four hours match against Rafael Nadal.

After it appeared the Serbian player Novak Djokovic, 24, was down and out, when he had lost the third set and was groaning on the sidelines while a trainer stretched and pulled and pounded on his aching back, he came out for more.

Novak Djokovic won the US Open title after a more than four hours match against Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic won the US Open title after a more than four hours match against Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic played the final games as if pain didn’t matter and, after making a sign of the cross, he bounced the ball 10 times, hit a serve and then a forehand winner, a massive thing that left Rafael Nadal almost immobile.

For the sixth time in a row Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1, in 4 hours 10 minutes.

The win made Novak Djokovic 64-2 this year, gave him his first U.S. Open title and also placed him among the all-time greats.

Novak Djokovic became the sixth man to win three of the four major titles in the same year since tennis’ open era began in 1968.

Djokovic also won the Australian Open over Andy Murray in the final and beat Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final.

Overall, this was Novak Djokovic’s fourth major title. He won his first major title at the Australian Open in 2008.

Novak Djokovic kissing the court after his victory

Novak Djokovic kissing the court after his victory

“It’s been an incredible year,” said Novak Djokovic after the match, while he was wearing a blue baseball cap with FD/NY on it in honor of New York City firefighters, a day after the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, said:

“Obviously I am disappointed now. This guy is doing unbelievable things.”

Then Nadal looked toward Novak Djokovic and said:

“What you did this year is probably impossible to repeat, so well done.”