World’s Oldest Woman In Texas Dies At 114

A Texas woman believed to be the world's oldest person died yesterday at the official age of 114, although she had maintained she was in fact 115.

Eunice Sanborn died at 6 a.m. at her home in Jacksonville, her close pal and caretaker, David French, told the Jacksonville Daily Progress.

"The Lord just called her home," French said. "He has been using her as influential witness for 115 years."

Census records show Sanborn was born on July 20, 1896, in Lake Charles, La., according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which titled Sanborn as the world's oldest person.

But French said Sanborn always maintained the Census Bureau had made a mistake and she was actually born in 1895. She celebrated what she supposed was her 115th birthday on July 20, Agence France-Presse reported.

"It was a very calm death. She was not uncomfortable," French said.

Sanborn became known as the world's oldest person on Nov. 4, when French nun Eugenie Blanchard died at age 114 on the French Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy, The Associated Press said.

The title now goes to 114-year-old Besse Cooper, who was born on Aug. 26, 1896, and lives in Georgia, the Gerontology Research Group said.

Walter Breuning, of Montana, also 114, now becomes the world's second-oldest person. He was born Sept. 21, 1896.

Sanborn was marital and widowed three times, according to a 2008 profile in the Houston Chronicle. Her third spouse died in 1979. She also outlived her only child, a daughter.

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Rare Sumatran Tiger Gives Birth To Three Cubs In Indonesia

A rare Sumatran tiger has given birth to three cubs at an Indonesian zoo in a welcome boost for the endangered species, an official said.

The big cat gave birth to four cubs at Taman Rimba zoo in Jambi province but one died at once, according to provincial tourism and cultural agency head Didi Wuryanto.

"I'm overjoyed. This is a extraordinary achievement," Wuryanto told AFP.

He said the parents of the cubs, male and female tigers called Peter and Uni, had been shifted to Jambi on Sumatra island from Ragunan zoo in Jakarta.

"It's hard to take care of tigers. Thanks to the effort of the people in the zoo, there is hope now that we can assist in saving the tiger population," he said.

Human-animal conflicts are a increasing problem as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.

There are hardly 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild in Indonesia, conservation group WWF said.
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Deborah Crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2011

Model and TV host Deborah Henry has been crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2011, the second time she has won a national beauty contest.

“I am honored and lucky to be representing Malaysia on the world stage,” said Deborah, who is of Indian-Irish descent. “I’m in it to win. If I never take part, I will never know how far I will go for the rest of my life.”

The 26-year-old at present runs the Save the Kids Education Fund, an education centre for Somali refugee children. Deborah, who won the Miss World Malaysia title in 2007, was chosen by popular vote via the pageant’s official Facebook page combined with the views of a panel of judges.

The board comprised Miss Universe Malaysia Pageant national director Andrea Fonseka, local actor Hans Isaac and Russian beauty expert Julia Dolmatova.

Deborah will symbolize Malaysia at the Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in September.

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 will also be crowned in September this year as part of the pageant’s new format that aims to offer more training for future contestants.

Miss Universe Malaysia is part of the international Miss Universe franchise owned and managed by the Trump Organisation in a combined venture with NBC Universal.
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China To Construct World's Biggest Mega City

Chinese planners are apparently proposing to merge nine cities around the Pearl River Delta in the southern parts of the country, to build the world's biggest mega city, twice the size of Wales with a population of 42 million.

According to The Telegraph, the "Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One" method will produce a 16,000 square mile urban area that is 26 times larger geographically than Greater London, or twice the size of Wales.

The new mega-city will cover a large part of China's manufacturing heartland, stretching from Guangzhou to Shenzhen and with Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, Huizhou and Zhaoqing, which accounts for nearly a tenth of the Chinese economy, the paper said.

Around 150 major infrastructure projects would reportedly link the transport, energy, water, and telecommunications networks of the nine cities jointly at a cost of some two trillion Yuan (190 billion pounds) over the next ten years.

The paper quoted Ma Xiangming, the chief planner at the Guangdong Rural and Urban Planning Institute and a senior consultant on the project, as saying that an express rail line will also join the hub with nearby Hong Kong.

"The idea is that when the cities are integrated, the residents can travel around liberally and use the health care and other facilities in the different areas," Ma added.

He said that it will help increase industry and jobs more evenly across the region and public services will also be distributed more fairly, adding that 29 rail lines, totaling 3,100 miles, will be included, cutting rail journeys around the urban area to an utmost of one hour between different city centers.

The planners consider that the project would help in reduction of phone bills by 85 per cent and improve conditions of hospitals and schools. Besides, the major crisis of pollution around the Pearl River Delta caused because of its industrialization would also be apparently addressed.

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Scientists Discover First One-Fingered Bug Eating Dinosaur

Scientists have unearthed a formerly unknown one-fingered dinosaur species in northeastern China.

The two-legged dinosaur was alike in size to a parrot, but had only one claw on each hand.

Scientist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences say the species belongs to a family of theropods, which generally had three fingers on each hand. They say this is the first dinosaur found in that group with a single large claw. Some scientists supposed the claw was used to dig into insect nests.

Scientist Xu Xing says the newly discovered species, called Linhenykus, likely grew to 1 m in height and weighed no more than a huge parrot. Scientists say it highlights an intricate pattern of evolution in this dinosaur group.

The remnants of the Chinese dinosaur were found in rocks formed 75 to 84 million years ago in the city of Linhe, near the Yellow River in Inner Mongolia.

Theropods are mainly a meat-eating group that includes the well-known tyrannosaurus and velociraptor, which were predecessors of modern birds.
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World’s Tallest Building Launches World's Highest Restaurant

Dubai opened a restaurant on Sunday which is 422 meters high on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, its developers said.

At.Mosphere in Dubai's 828 meters building is "one of the deluxe luxury dining and lounge experiences in the world", said Emaar Hospitality Group, an arm of enormous property developer Emaar.

At two levels below the tower's observation deck, the "world's highest restaurant" can host "over 210 guests and features a spacious entrance hall, a main dining floor, private dining rooms and exhibit cooking stations".

In addition to apartments, offices and Italian designer Giorgio Armani's signature hotel, the construction has an observation deck on the 124th floor, open to visitors at an entry fee of at least 100 dirhams ($27) per adult.

Emaar spent $US1.5 billion ($1.52 billion) on the tower, named after Abu Dhabi's President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan who came to the help of Dubai, hit by the global financial crisis.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi extended a lifeline of $US10 billion ($10.14 billion), on top of the same amount from the UAE central bank, to bond out Dubai's heavily-indebted state firms in 2009.

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Year of the Rabbit Approaches In China Making Them Popular

Panda rabbits are becoming popular in China as the New Year approaches. Panda rabbits originated in France and are called Blanc de hotot. They are white with black eye rings which gives them a similarity to the giant panda's coloring.

The Chinese New Year fall on February 3 western calendars. Each New Year is connected with an animal and this coming year will be the Year of the Rabbit. Vendors in markets are selling a great many rabbits as pets. Some people are reported to be buying dozens to give away as gifts. One online search showed more than 600 vendors selling rabbits at prices from 15 to 2,000 yuan.

But, the paper said, the rabbits can spend five days in consignment and many have suffocated or frozen to death in the small boxes in which they are sent. At least one vendor had stopped shipments because of the deaths, the paper reported.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement from its Shanghai office on Friday urging people not to carry a rabbit into their home for the Chinese New Year.

"Rabbits aren't just cute and fluffy - they're high-maintenance animals who require important resources, equipment, attention and veterinary care," PETA’s Maggie Chen said in a statement.
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Australian Scientist Discover Vampire Flying Frog

An Australian scientist has discovered a strange species of frog in southern Vietnam.

The vampire flying frog uses its webbed toes to glide between treetops. But it earned its nickname because the frogs' tadpoles have odd black fangs.

Australian Museum scientist Dr Jodi Rowley, who found the frog, says it is the first time fangs have been discovered in a tadpole. "We don't know of anything quite like this that's for certain, so we're taking a lot of time to work out why on Earth they have these fangs," Dr Rowley said.

"Maybe it's got something to do with what they consume.

"They breed in very minute pools of water that are found in the holes in the trunks of trees, so maybe they eat something mainly strange up there."
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Jackie Driscoll Crowned Miss Illinois Country Fair Queen

The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) crowned Jackie Driscoll, Miss Henry County Fair, and the 2011 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen.

The Miss Illinois County Fair Queen show was held at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield as part of the 101st annual convention of the IAAF.

Jackie of Cambridge is the daughter of Mike and Laurie Driscoll and Jamie and Gene Lang. The twenty-year-old attends Monmouth College where she is majoring in history for secondary education.

As Illinois County Fair Queen, Jackie will manage over the 2011 Illinois State Fair, Aug. 12-21, and the DuQuoin State Fair, Aug. 26-Sept. 5.

A total of 66 contestants participated in the 52nd annual IAAF contest. Bookmark and Share

World's Most Expensive Apartments Opens In London

London has shot to the top of world’s most luxurious property list with the launch yesterday of One Hyde Park, a series of glass apartment blocks in Knightsbridge, where the average unit costs £6,000 a square foot and a penthouse will set you back a shocking £140 million.

Over 300 celebrity guests were invited to an extravagant launch party yesterday for the expansion which has Hyde Park as its back garden and Harrods Food Hall for its local supermarket.

Built by developers the Candy Brothers, backed by a group owned by the Qatari prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani.

Populace of One Hyde Park will be able to call on butlers and valets to make their life easier, while meals can be troll eyed in from next door Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s two restaurants, one of which is overseen by Heston Blumenthal. The apartments are slanting so that most of them have a view of the park, while those at the very front will look across the road to Harvey Nichols department store.

Facilities comprise a cinema, a swimming pool, a gym, a golf simulator and a wine cellar. Bookmark and Share

Heavy Snow Delays Japan's Bullet Trains

As much as 8 feet of snow has fallen in parts of Japan since Sunday, slowing train travel and forcing automaker Toyota to close down 12 industries.

The heavy snow disrupted the bullet train, or Shinkansen, system in central Japan on Sunday and Monday, upsetting 67,000 passengers, according to Central Japan Railway.

Snow totals on the ground Monday ranged from nearly 3 feet in Shimane Prefecture to 8 feet in Tottori Prefecture, according to meteorologist Brandon Miller.

Passengers on the bullet train network also suffered delays Monday due to a difficulty with a computer control system. The failure disrupted traffic for 75 minutes Monday morning, disrupting bullet trains countrywide for most of Monday morning, according to East Japan Railway.

Toyota also had to close 12 industrial units Monday in Aichi Prefecture as heavy snowfall caused troubles getting car parts to the facilities.
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Ding Wins Masters Snooker Crown

China's Ding Junhui has beaten Hong Kong's Marco Fu 10-4 in the 2011 Masters final at Wembley Arena in London.

The previous two-time winner of the UK Championship never looked in difficulty throughout the match setting the tone with a masterly break of 120 in the opening frame of the match.

Additional breaks of 74, 66 and 60 helped him open up a 6-2 lead at the end of the afternoon conference.

But he didn't have it all his way in the evening as Fu battled back captivating the opening two frames to halve his arrears.

Then came the essential 11th frame of the match. After both players had scrapped around, Fu looked to have conserved the frame with just pink and black remaining on the table and Ding requiring one snooker.

But the 23-year-old from China played an astonishing shot sending the cue ball around the angles before nestling it behind the black.

Fu then failed to escape from the snooker, parting Ding to clear up to lead 7-4.

Ding didn't look back recording breaks of 94, 83 and 85 in the final three frames to take the title.

Snooker's first major all-Asian final is expected to have gained an audience of over 100 million worldwide.

Ding becomes only the third person from outside the UK and Ireland to win the important tournament.

Perrie Mans of South Africa won in 1979 and Canada's Cliff Thorburn achieved the achievement in 1986.
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Miss Slovakia 2011 Contestants Visit Pattaya

Twelve contestants in the Miss Slovakia 2011 beauty contest are visiting Bangkok, Phuket and Phi Phi Island between 7-21 January 2011, as part of the efforts by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to make publicity and draw more visitors from Slovakia and other countries of Eastern Europe.

The Miss Slovakia 2011 pageant is extensively watched in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. It will generate wide exposure for Thailand, particularly Bangkok, Phuket and Phi Phi Island.

TAT will host lodging, transfers, and domestic air tickets for contestants, event organizers, and media members during their stay in Thailand.

TAT Frankfurt Director, Ms Suwalai Pinpradab said, “The event will improve Thailand’s good image and attract more visitors from these rapidly growing countries of Eastern Europe. It will exclusively help us target the key market segments of women and youth, the jet-set group, honeymooners, and family travellers.”

TAT has been working with European beauty pageant organizers to showcase all the key exclusive selling propositions of Thai tourism – marine tourism, excellent products, shopping, fashion and cooking classes, amongst others.

The contestants, event organizers, and associated members of the Belgian media were so intimidated by the warmth of the Thai hospitality, tourist attractions, and professionalism of the Thai support staff that the management team again chose Thailand as a backdrop destination for the Miss Belgium 2011 contest.

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Heidi The Cross-Eyed Opossum Becomes Star In Germany

Cross-eyed and overweight, Heidi the opossum is, possibly, the unlikeliest of stars, but that is precisely what she has become – an internet sensation.

She shot to celebrity after a report was published on her home, Leipzig zoo in Germany. She has since stimulated a YouTube song and attracted nearly 180,000 Facebook fans, making her more popular than the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, who has a mere 65,000.

Heidi's poor vision – thanks to her bulging eyes – has struck a harmony with the public, but zookeepers say it does not cause many problems. As opossums are nocturnal they rely deeply on their sense of smell to find their way around. She experiences no uneasiness and has no problem interacting with other opossums.

Heidi is at present on a high-fibre, low-calorie diet, as her weight problem could be behind her condition.

Heidi and her sister Naira, who arrived at the zoo last May after being abandoned in North Carolina, are acclimatizing before appearing in public in the zoo's tropical experience appeal in July.

Peter Walschburger, a biological psychologist at the Free University of Berlin, has analyzed the unprecedented notice the opossum has attracted.

He said: "It triggers a reaction in our oblivion when we see these creatures that make us think of children."
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Miss North Carolina Crowned As Miss America Talent Winner 2011

Miss North Carolina Adrienne Core was named preliminary talent winner for her clogging show to "Soul Man" during the first night of competition of the 2011 Miss America Pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Core, a 2010 N.C. State University graduate and a native of Erwin, will collect a $2,000 scholarship. She hopes to earn her master's degree in mathematics education.

Core is the daughter of Beverly Core and the late Charles Core, who died of cancer. To honor him, Core supports the V Foundation, educating people about the significance of cancer research.

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Scientist Discover 'World's Ancient Winery' In Armenia

The world's first known winery has been discovered in a cave in a mountainous area of Armenia.

A 6,000-year-old stone vat in which they press the grapes, jars for fermentation and drinking bowls in the cave system in the south-east of the Caucasus country, was found by a group of archaeologists.

The primitive winery, found near the Armenian village of Areni, is surrounded by ancient graves, leading experts to wonder that the red wine was produced for use in ritualistic funeral ceremonies and as an offering to the dead.

Archaeologists consider that the Copper Age inhabitants of the area crushed wine grapes with their feet in a three-foot wide clay basin.

The grape juice was then channeled into a two foot deep stone vat, where it fermented before being exhausted into jars.

The team found the remnants of pressed grape skins as well as grape seeds, which were from the same type of grapes – Vitis vinifera that are still used to make wine today.

It is the world's earliest example of wine production, according to Gregory Areshian of the University of California, Los Angeles, the co-director of the project.

"This is the earliest, most consistent evidence of wine production," he said.

"For the first time, we have a entire archaeological picture of wine production dating back 6,100 years."

The find was announced on Tuesday by the National Geographic Society, which partially sponsored the excavation. It was discovered in the same cave complex where archaeologists last year unearthed the world's oldest leather shoe – a 5,500 year-old moccasin.

Patrick McGovern, an expert on ancient winemaking techniques and a bimolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, described the find as "significant and unique."

The discovery appears to substantiate the theory that present-day Armenia, Georgia and nearby countries were the birthplace of viticulture.
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LaRoche Chosen For Quality of Life Award

The scene at the mezzanine level of Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood resort was hectic one on Monday.

Organizers were busy as they worked to put the finishing touches on before Tuesday's opening press conference of the 2011 Miss America Pageant. But for the pageant's contestants, the events have previously started.

"They're putting in 12- to 14-hour days," said Shelly Taylor, state executive director of the Miss Michigan Pageant who has accompanied Bay City native Miss Michigan Katie LaRoche to the Miss America Pageant.

LaRoche and the pageant's 52 other contestants have been spending a large bulk of their time rehearsing for the show, Taylor said, which airs Saturday night at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Miss Michigan Katie LaRoche has been named one of the eight finalists for 90th Miss America Pageant's Quality of Life Award.

The award, which was introduced in 1988, recognizes contestants who shine in their commitment to community service.

The winner of the Quality of Life Award receives a $6,000 scholarship with $4,000 and $2,000 scholarships going to first and second runners-up, correspondingly.

The winner will be declared on Jan. 14, the day before the Miss America Pageant airs live on national TV.
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Hyundai Introduces Veloster Three-Door Coupe

Hyundai introduced its cutting-edge Veloster three-door coupe in a world unveiling at the North American International Auto Show. The 2012 Veloster features a exclusive third door for easy rear-seat access, a standard seven-inch touch-screen display, and a new 1.6-litre Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine mated to Hyundai’s first six-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT).

The Veloster’s unique design takes motivation from a high-performance sport bike. The Veloster has distinctive black A-pillars that give the glass the appearance of a motorcycle helmet visor. The hostile front end features Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and LED position lights along with hood scoop detailing. Optional packages add a chrome grille surround, piano black highlights, fog lights, and a huge panoramic sunroof.

Its new 1.6-litre GDI “Gamma” four-cylinder engine is corresponding with a six-speed manual transmission or Hyundai’s first six-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission. Highway fuel economy is expected at up to 4.9 L/100 km, better than the Honda CR-Z Hybrid.

The Veloster features standard multi-function seven-inch touch-screen display, Gracenote display technology with voice recognition, virtual CD downloading, video playback (.avi and .mpeg) and image display (.jpeg) via USB, video game console connectivity with accessible 115-volt power outlet, Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition.
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Singer Rihanna Crowned Queen Of The Charts

Rihanna is queen of the pop charts this week, with the number one album, number one single and two other songs in the top ten.

The 22-year-old is also re-writing the record books, as her fifth number one makes her the first female solo artist in chart history to achieve five number one singles in successive years, according to the Official Charts Company. The only other solo artist to equal the success was Elvis Presley in the 1950s.

Her Album "Loud" held on to its number one slot thrashing off competition from British rapper Plan B's "The Defamation of Strickland Banks" which had been ahead in the race for pole position last week.
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The Latest Self Driving Car Unveiled In Las Vegas

Its conventional wisdom in the auto industry, but the rest of us may be a bit shocked to find out that cars of the future probable will drive themselves.

The latest edition in this fashion comes from General Motors, which showed off a self-driving car last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The EN-V (pronounced "envy" and short for "Electric Networked Vehicle") combines two ideas about how to teach cars to drive -- using sensors like cameras and sonar to keep the car from hitting pedestrians; and network skill that lets cars talk to each other.

This "car internet" lets the cars connect up wirelessly and follow one another in a sort of wirelessly linked train. If one EN-V needed to pull out of the line, it could.

The pod-like cars, which are just prototypes for now, look a bit like large scuba-diver helmets, or smushed dust busters. They roll on two wheels, which are associated like the front two wheels of a car, not like a bicycle. GM partnered with Segway, maker of those futuristic-looking transporters, to make technology that allows the car to balance.

"It's essentially a dynamically balanced skateboard," said Chris Borroni-Bird, GM's director of advanced technology vehicle concepts.

The EN-V runs on battery power and plugs into a wall -- giving it a max speed of about 30 miles per hour and a range of about 30 miles. That's not far or fast, but it's sufficient to make the EN-V useful for cutting down congestion in urban settings, particularly high-density cities in China and India, Borroni-Bird said.

The car also aims to advance safety, since human drivers don't have a sterling record on that front. An estimated 1.3 million people die in traffic-related accidents each year, according to the World Health Organization.

The EN-Vs are just as spacious as they are tall, measuring 5 feet cubed. Two people fit inside comfortably, but there's not much room for anything else. A bubble of glass sits close in front of the driver's face. "You can possibly pack 5 or 6 times as many of these EN-Vs in a parking lot as you could conventional cars," Borroni-Bird said.

Drivers use a joystick of sorts to steer and strangle the vehicle, which can spin in place and accelerates rather quickly.

Still, Borroni-Bird says, there are a number of obstacles that need to be hurdled before amazing like the EN-V hits the market.

The wireless signals that let the vehicles converse are problematic because hackers, in theory, could access them and send cars off track; and because a lost wireless connection could cause the mechanized system to lose control of the car.
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Miss West Virginia And Miss Kansas To Contest For Miss America 2011

Miss West Virginia Cali Young has arrived in Las Vegas to get ready for next Saturday’s 2011 Miss America pageant. Lauren Werhan, Miss Kansas 2010 and former Miss Augusta 2009, also left Thursday for Las Vegas, to participate in the 2011 Miss American Pageant.

Young, of Glen Dale, has been a performer for 21 of her 24 years. Dancing was her talent in Miss West Virginia and will be again in Miss America. Her passion and platform is regarding the elderly and creating a connection in this country between the youth and age. Cali will dance a jazz number to the song "I Got Ya."

She says she has never been anxious about dancing but this year presents a special challenge.

Miss Kansas is the daughter of Rodney and Linda Werhan, rural Augusta. Prior to winning the Miss Kansas title, Werhan was a student at Wichita State University functioning towards a degree in Strategic Communications. As Miss Kansas 2010, Lauren has partnered with "Do The Deed and Volunteer Kansas" to endorse her platform of “Do the Deed: Deeds of Service.”

Miss America is set for Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. on ABC Ohio Valley live from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
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Scientists Make Advancement On Cocaine Vaccine For Addicts

Cocaine addiction is hard to treat. Doctors have no exact therapies for the addiction. However, an experiment in mice has produced promising results on a vaccine approach.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical Center found a vaccine by using elements of a common cold virus that elicit an immune response and linking it to a chemical that is similar in structure to cocaine. They injected the vaccine into normal mice and found a strong immune response was generated by the vaccine. They also found that mice who received the vaccine were less hyperactive after ingesting cocaine -- even large, recurring doses -- compared with those that didn't get the vaccine.

The vaccine could be obliging for people who are already addicted to cocaine and are trying to stop using because it may wipe out much of the drug before it reaches key centers of the brain that respond with pleasure, said the lead author of the study, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, a lecturer of genetic medicine, in a news release.

"Our very dramatic data shows that we can defend mice against the effects of cocaine, and we think this advance could be very promising in fighting addiction in humans," Crystal said. "While other attempts at producing immunity against cocaine have been tried, this is the first that will likely not want multiple, expensive infusions, and that can move quickly into human trials."
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Miss Delaware Kayla Martell Competes For Miss America crown

Miss Delaware, Kayla Martell, is set for the final step in her journey to compete for the Miss America crown.

An enthusiastic crowd was on hand at Dover Downs and Casino for her final public appearance before heading to Las Vegas and the Miss America pageant on January 15th.

Martell says her message to the pageant will be the same as it has been since she was first crowned Miss Delaware this past spring. She wants people to know that she has alopecia areata. The disease causes people to lose their hair. Martell first lost hers at age 11.

Martell will participate in a blonde wig. She talked about her choice to compete in a wig and displayed her willingness to take the wig off on a June broadcast of First.

As more and more events follow the formats inspirited by "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Star" Miss Delaware officials have been pitching the thought of getting state residents to vote for Kayla. They ask people to go to the Miss America: Votes website and vote for Kayla.
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Unexpected Drop In Temperature Kills 2 Million Fishes

The death of two million fish that washed up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland appears to have been caused by an unexpected drop in temperature, the state's Environment Department told Reuters.

The mass kill is the newest in a string of bird and fish deaths around the world. Around 5,000 birds fell out of the Arkansas sky over the New Year's weekend and many dead fish were also found in a diverse part of the state.

Since then, reports of smaller-scale die-offs have been reported in Europe, Brazil, and Asia, causing many to wonder about the cause of the kills.

There is a completely sensible explanation for the Chesapeake deaths, the Maryland Department of Environment said.

"The cause of this appears to be the fast temperature drop combined with the large population of the juvenile spot fish," spokesman Jay Apperson told Reuters on Thursday.

The coldest December in 25 years caused cold water stress to the previously overpopulated species, the department said in a statement.

There have been many such incidents in the past with 2,900 kills afflicting all fish species between 1984 and 2009 according to the department. The main ever die-off was around 15 million in January, 1976. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America.
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Chaser Becomes The Smartest Dog In The World

Chaser the border collie has the largest human vocabulary of any dog, recognizing the names of more than 1,000 items. Chaser leaps in advance of the earlier record holder, another border collie named Rico, who knew 200 human words. The dog's vocabulary almost puts her on intellectual par with three-year-old human children.

As part of a three year training course at Wofford College, trained by psychologists Alliston Reid and John Pilley. Chaser was introduced to the names of 1,022 toys.

The dog still has a ways to go before he can contend with Guinness World Records breaking bird, a budgerigar named Puck, who in 1995 knew 1,728 words.
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Saudi Arabia To Build World's Biggest Gold Factory

Saudi Arabia the top oil exporter will have the world’s largest gold factory at the end of 2011, a Saudi Arabian newspaper reported.

"The factory will become a reality by the end of this year," Essam A. Aziz Sultani al-Ashrafi, chief executive officer of Taiba for Gold & Jewels Co. Ltd., told Arab News.

The factory is probable to employ around 500-800 workers, and will help young Saudis to find jobs, al-Ashrafi said, adding that the project is his company’s brainchild.

The factory is at present under construction in Jeddah’s Industrial Estate-II, and covers an area of 22,000 square meters.

"Factories here are able to produce high-quality products because of the high excellence of technology that they employ," Al-Ashrafi said. "Gold is part of local culture and customs, particularly at weddings. It's revered as being majestic, having timeless value, and is worthy of respect and saving."

Saudi Arabia, the top Arab holder of gold reserves, is now the 16th largest gold holder. The oil-rich country is also the world's fourth largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and has doubled its gold reserves to 323 tons.
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Milly Louch Enters Teen Queen UK 2011

A Teenager from Adstock is going up against 40 other hopefuls in the Teen Queen UK 2011 beauty contest.

Milly Louch, 15, who goes to a boarding school in Derbyshire, was selected to enter the competition while she was at a teenage disco at Milton Keynes nightclub, Oceana.

Whoever wins the competition will get the chance to take part in donations work with children in Ghana.

People have until 11.30pm on January 15 to vote in the second heat, with the two entrants with the most votes going through to the finals in August.

Proud mother, Kay, said: “She has never done something like this before. Now she had got this far, she is quite keen and a trip to Africa sounds fantastic.”

Teen Queen UK is open to teenagers aged between 13 and 19.
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Bumblebees Decline In US

Within the past 20 years abundances of the bee species Bombus occidentalis, B. affinis, B. pensylvanicus, and B. terricola have come down by up to 96 percent.

The finding is based on a new study of more than 73,000 museum collections of bumblebees, which showed where bees had been found over the last century, as well as collections of wild bees across the United States. The study looked at 8 of the 50 known bumblebee species in North America.

The discovery makes it harder to pinpoint pesticides or climate change as a cause for the bug die-off, because those factors wouldn't clarify why other bumblebee species in the same areas have survived.

One possibility is that the four species in crisis may all be infected with the invasive Nosema bombi fungus, which was found in larger quantities on the dying bumblebees than on relatively healthy species studied by Cameron's team.

And bees reared in Europe, where the fungus is more dangerous, were imported to California in the early 1990s—right before the bees began to die off. But the link isn't sure yet.

"We're at this frustrating stage where there's a lot of circumstantial evidence to say that these species are declining because of this pathogen," Cameron said. "But we don't have undeviating evidence. We have no cause and effect."
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Al-Attiyah Wins On Dakar Rally

Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah held off teammate and race leader Carlos Sainz by just 25 seconds to declare victory in the third stage of the Dakar Rally.

It was the ninth victory on the Dakar for the Volkswagen driver, who took command early on the leg from Tucuman to Jujuy in Argentina, which enclosed a special stage of over 500km.

Former world rally champion Sainz won the first two stages of the annual classic and contentedly holds on to his overall lead.

He has a three minute 34 second advantage over Al-Attiyah, with Stephane Peterhansel (BMW) slipping to third spot, a further 45 seconds back. Peterhansel finished third on the stage, just behind the Volkswagens.

Despres finished two minutes 21 seconds back in second place, having claimed the opening two stages.

Paulo Goncalves of Portugal on a BMW completed third at three minutes 36 seconds to move up to fourth overall.
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Sugena Shakya Crowned Miss Newa 2010

Everyone who had gathered at the Nepal Academy waited tolerantly for the announcement of new Miss Newa 2010. As the seven finalists of the last round stood there crossing their fingers, Sugena Shakya was declared the winner. Her answer, “I believe in equal rights for men and women. And the idea of ‘lady’s first’ should be discarded because it demotivates women” to the question do you consider in the equal rights or ‘lady’s first’ won her the title and the crown.

Sugena Shakya was awarded Rs 25,000 in cash and gift voucher worth Rs 10,000. Lasta Shrestha was the first runner-up, while Nisha Shakya was crowned the second runner-up. Twelve other titles were also given out at the event.

Organised by the Nepal Fashion Home, the sixth Miss Newa contest had 36 girls from the Newar community participating in the pageant.

After the introduction round, top 16 participants were chosen out of which the top seven participants faced the final question.

The event that started off with an influential piece also had cultural dance performances.
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World First Dengue Trial To Wipe Out Dengue Fever

Researchers at Cairns in far north Queensland are introducing a biological assault on dengue fever with the release of thousands of specially-bred mosquitoes.

The world-first field trial is being staged in Cairns and aims to wash out dengue fever.

Thousands of mosquitos bred in a laboratory have been contaminated with the wolbachia bacteria and will be released at Yorkeys Knob today, and later this month at Gordonvale, south of Cairns.

The naturally-occurring bacteria are thought to stop mosquitoes from transmitting dengue fever as well as reducing its life span.

Scientists are hoping the infected mosquitoes will breed with the normal mosquito population.

Researchers from the Eliminate Dengue project, led by the University of Queensland and James Cook University, say the bacteria is safe. There is no vaccine for dengue.

Professor Scott O'Neill from the University of Queensland says community support has been very important to the project.

"We've actually been controlling all the mosquitoes for the last two months with the thought of knocking down the mosquito population," he said.

"So when we release our mosquitoes, the total population doesn't boost.

"I think people in north Queensland are sick and tired of dengue and are looking for substitute ways to try and control it."
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China Claims Latest Nuclear Technology

State media in China say Chinese scientists have developed a technology for reprocessing nuclear fuel that could radically increase the efficiency of existing nuclear-fuel reserves.

China Central Television said the technology, developed after 24 years of research, will facilitate the country to reuse irradiated fuel.

The report said the technology would help extend uranium reserves to 3,000 years, up from current estimates of 50 to 70 years.

China's total 2009 consumption, with energy sources ranging from oil and coal to wind and solar power, was equal to 2.265 billion tons of oil, compared with 2.169 billion tons used by the US, the IEA said.

The consumption boom reflects China's transformation from a nation of survival farmers to one of workers increasingly trading bicycles for cars and buying air conditioners and other energy-hungry home electronics.
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New Prehistoric Crocodile Discovered

Fossils of a new species of earliest crocodile cousin have been found in limestone once destined for Italian kitchen countertops, a new study says.

The fossils were initially discovered in a limestone quarry in Ferrara, Italy, in 1955 after workers sliced a huge block into four slabs and found the bones trapped inside.

"When the owner noticed the bones, he decided to save" the slabs, said study co-author Federico Fanti, a geologist at the Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini in Italy.

Scientists performed only a superficial examination of the fossils—enough to determine that they belonged to an ancient crocodile—before the slabs were transferred to two museums in Italy.

The fossils sat unaffected until 2009, when scientists decided to examine them again in more detail.

Analysis of the embedded bones exposed a skull and a few vertebrae that belonged to a formerly unknown species of 165-million-year-old prehistoric reptile now named Neptunidraco ammoniticus.

The newfound creature turned out to be the oldest known member of Metriorhynchidae, a family of ancient marine crocodiles that roamed Earth's oceans for about 30 million years before dying out.
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Baby Girl To Be The First Infant In Chicago In 2011

A baby girl was the first child to be born in 2011 in the Chicago area, according to the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Alejandra Maya Arroyo was born at 12:00:01 a.m., one second into the New Year, according to a news release from the hospital. She weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces and was 18 inches big.

She was the fourth child for parents Rosalinda Arroyo, 35, and Alejandro Arroyo, 40, of Cicero. The couple has been married for 19 years, the release said.
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Dakar Rally Racers Start Exhausting Trek

Thousands of spectators turned out to applaud on competitors in the 2011 Dakar Rally as the historic race got underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday.

The 15-day race will see 407 vehicles (of 430 original entries) board on a grueling 13 stages and attempt to cover a distance of 9,500 kilometers (5,900 miles), before crossing the finish line back in the Argentine capital on January 15.

A total of 140 cars, 170 motorbikes, 67 lorries and 30 quadbikes started stage one of the race from the Buenos Aires' Avenue of July 9. All competitors are heading northwest to Victoria, in the Argentine province of Entre Rios, 377 kilometer (234 miles) away.

The race will begin in earnest on Sunday with the second stage to Cordoba.

Racers will cross the border into Chile heading north towards the border with Peru previous to heading back south through the Andes mountains and on to the Atacama Desert.

From there, they will head east and back into Argentina for the closing stages of the race. Bookmark and Share