Monthly archives: January 2014

State of the Union: Obama calls for action, with or without Congress

STORY HIGHLIGHTS President Barack Obama calls on the GOP to stop fighting his health care plan “America must move off a permanent war footing,” Obama says He asks Congress not to refight Obamacare battles The year of action. That’s what 2014 is all about for President Barack Obama, and it was the underlying theme of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. “Let’s make this a year of action,” Obama […]

A vegetable farmer to head dairy-heavy NY agriculture

The people who run New York’s department of agriculture and markets tend to have close ties with the state’s huge dairy industry. The last commissioner, Cape Vincent’s Darrel Aubertine, was a dairy farmer himself. Governor Cuomo broke that mold when he nominated Schoharie county vegetable farmer, Richard Ball, to be the next agriculture commissioner. Ball is a poster child for the “locally grown” movement. His roadside stand, the Carrot Barn, […]

Global smartphone shipments top one billion 'milestone'

More than one billion smartphones were shipped last year, with Samsung extending its lead as the world’s biggest vendor, a new survey has showed. According to market research firm IDC, 1.004 billion smartphones were shipped last year, marking a 38.4% increase from the previous year. South Korea’s Samsung accounted for the bulk of that figure, followed by Apple and China’s Huawei. Smartphones made up more than half of the 1.8 […]

The Bravery of a Soldier’s Mother

After her son was killed in Kashmir, Anuradha Gore made it her life’s mission to have other youngsters join the Army   It had been a quiet day at their home in Mumbai when Anuradha Gore had a difficult promise to make. Her son, Vinayak, a Captain in the 31st Medium Artillery Regiment, had learnt that he had been posted near the border, and that too, at the height of […]

'Eating grass to survive' in besieged Homs

Syrians in the besieged Old City of Homs are now so desperate for food that they are eating “anything that comes out of the ground, plants, even grass”, resident Baibars Altalawy has told the BBC. Mr Altalawy, 24, described life in parts of Homs under government siege for over a year-and-a-half. He said those under siege had had to rely on supplies of food, medicines and fuel left over from […]

Crocodile attack in Australia: Boy, 12, feared dead

STORY HIGHLIGHTS A 12-year-old has been taken by a crocodile in northern Australia A second boy, 15, was bitten but escaped The crocodile is believed to measure 2.5 to three meters (eight to nine feet) long Police are also looking for larger creatures that may have attacked the crocodile A 12-year-old boy is missing after being snatched by a crocodile in a remote part of the Australian Outback, authorities said […]

Incredible moment seven ton bull elephant creeps up and PHOTOBOMBS group of oblivious tourists taking farewell pictures of their friends

Jane Burnett, Nicky Walker and Sarah Daly sat for photo at Imire: Rhino and Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe Suddenly the seven-tonne bull elephant crept up behind them as they posed for pictures, waving its trunk There’s nothing more annoying than returning home to find an idiotic photo-bomber has ruined your favourite holiday snaps. But for these five women, it was a rather more welcome intrusion when a seven-tonne bull elephant […]

Official: U.S. airstrike in Somalia targets suspected militant leader

STORY HIGHLIGHTS The U.S. hasn’t determined whether the strike’s target was killed The target is described as a “senior leader” affiliated with al Qaeda and Al-Shabaab An October U.S. raid to capture an Al-Shabaab leader was aborted The U.S. military conducted an airstrike in southern Somalia on Sunday against a suspected militant leader, a U.S. military official told CNN. The target was described by the official as a “senior leader” […]

Tourist boat capsizes in Andaman Sea, 'killing 21'

A tourist boat has sunk off India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, with the loss of 21 lives, officials say. The boat, Aqua Marine, capsized on Sunday afternoon off Port Blair, the capital of the islands. The Indian air force and the coast guard have rescued 29 people, authorities say. One person is still missing. Most of those on board are believed to be Indians from […]

The village where half the people are at risk of blindness

In the village school of Kuyu, in the heartland of Ethiopia’s Oromia region, more than 20 children put up their hands when asked if anyone in their family has eye problems. “My mother has lost vision in one eye and the other is causing her big problems,” says one boy. “She can’t see where she’s going.” Another child says her grandmother is blind in both eyes and is forever pulling […]