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    29 July 2009

    NBC O&O sites clean up layout, mess up header

    The NBC O&O stations have rolled out a redesign for their sites.


    For the most part, the new design is a significant improvement over the old layout and takes a big step in cleaning up the clutter. Also gone is the annoying iTunes-style showcase area that always seemed to be a bit slow to load and had so many items crammed into it that it become impractical.

    More commentary and a poll after the jump.

    However, the new look uses, quite unexplainedly, a bizzare, geometric font for the header. Not only does the font seem completely out of place among the clean typography found elsewhere, it’s not a very well rendered typeface and seems like something that came from a free font site (we couldn’t identify the font using MyFont’s What the Font? tool).

    That said, the new site has a Facebook-style status line directly under the logo that seems to be fed by a poll on an individual story. For example, this morning it read “New York is furious about letting kids drive trains.” It seems the feature is meant to reflect the overall feeling of the entire city.

    It’s a nice human touch with a social networking flair, but it will be interesting to see how much opinion and attitude finds its way into the feature.

    China Protests to Japan Over Uighur Tour

    China has protested over claims that nearly ten thousand people are missing after ethnic rioting earlier this month.

    It has called in Japan’s ambassador in Beijing to complain about the Tokyo visit of exiled leader of the Uighur community Rebiya Kadeer.

    Violence broke out between native Uighurs
    and Han Chinese on July 5. Rebiya Kadeer is demanding an international team looks into the trouble and claims close to 10,000 people disappeared in one night in the city of Urumqi.

    Beijing has accused Ms Kadeer, who now lives in the US, of inciting the vioelnce, an allegation she denies.

    The trouble began after police tried to break up a protest against fatal attacks on Uighur factory workers in south China. Ethnic tension remains high in Xinjiang province after the violence.

    Shining some light on sunbed risks

    Many of us want to look bronzed and healthy all year round, but the latest warnings should give pause for thought. Experts now believe that the risks of sunbeds may be as high as those of asbestos and smoking. The World Health Organisation has ranked sunbeds at Level Two risk since 1992, but has now raised that to Level One – a danger to human health.

    “UV rays are radiation which penetrate the skin, and can cause lesions within the skin,” said cancer researcher Beatrice Secretan. “These lesions can cause the development of cancer.”

    According to the research, exposure to artificial UV rays by people under the age of 30 raises the risk of melanoma, or skin cancer, by about 75 percent.
    With UV rays being acknowledged as posing a risk, it is perhaps surprising that so many people still want to get brown no matter what.

    “I can’t stop myself!” said one woman. “It is like sweets: you can tell people they are going to get fat, but they keep on eating. For me, it is not sweets, it is getting a tan.”

    Sun-lovers defend artificial tanning by pointing out that the sun itself has been classed as a cause of cancer since 1992.

    “The dangers of the sun are everywhere, on the beach, anywhere where we expose ourselves to the rays without taking precautions like suncreams,” said Dominique Baumier, from the French sunbed association. “Natural sunshine is far more harmful than the rays we find in sunbeds.”

    For the time being there is no question of banning sunbeds. It is more important to find out about the risks, and to train people better in sunbed operation to warn their clients of possible dangers.

    “Banning sunbeds outright would not work,” said
    Georges Reuter, from the French association of dermatologists. “There are ways of getting around such a thing. It is more important to have proper information and training for sunbed operators, which is not always the case at the moment.”

    Skin experts say ten sunbed sessions a year should be the maximum. But they prefer the use of bronzing lotions, in cream or shower form.
    However, as always, the advice must be: “Everything in moderation!”

    ETA aimed to kill with barracks bomb, says minister

    Seeing the devastation of the Burgos barracks bombing for himself, Spain’s Interior Minister said ETA undoubtedly intended to kill.

    Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba stressed that the car bomb had been left to go off next to family quarters. He told reporters that 120 people had been sleeping in the barracks and 41 children could have died.

    “We, Spanish democrats, know that when we are dealing with ETA, we are faced with a gang of murderers,” said Rubalcaba. “We have always known that. As we have always known that they are murderers and savages. From the beginning. But from today onwards we know that they are crazed murderers and savages, which does not make them stronger but which, nevertheless, makes them more dangerous.”

    Dozens hurt in Spanish barracks bomb blast

    An amateur cameraman captured the moment that a powerful car bomb blamed on ETA exploded outside a paramilitary police force barracks in Spain.

    More than 60 people were hurt, not only Civil Guards but also their partners and children.

    The bomb, 200kg according to reports, miraculously caused only slight injuries, with glass flying from broken windows. And all those needing medical treatment have now been released from hospital.

    There was no warning but for Spanish authorities there is no doubt. Armed Basque separatists ETA were behind the early-morning attack in the historic city of Burgos.

    The Civil Guard is a favourite target of the group which is blamed for killing more than 800 people in a long-running campaign to carve out an independent Basque homeland.

    ETA is seen as under pressure to show it can still strike despite its ranks being decimated by arrests.
    The Burgos bombing comes just ahead of the 50th anniversary of ETA’s creation.

    Indian queen Gayatri Devi dies

    One of the last queens of India, Gayatri Devi, once described as one of the most beautiful women in the world, has died at the age of 90.

    She was hospitalised about 10 days ago with stomach and respiratory problems in Jaipur before dying on Wednesday.

    Born in to a royal family, she became the third wife of Sawai Man Singh, the Maharajah of Jaipur, in 1939.

    The fashion icon broke with tradition by winning election to parliament in 1962. She was re-elected twice.

    Dad, 23, Leaves Baby Unattended In Hot Car

    (HARTFORD,CT |WPIX-TV) A Connecticut man was arrested Tuesday after leaving a baby alone in a car with the engine off and the windows rolled up for almost an hour.

    Clayton Green, 23, was arrested after leaving the baby unattended in a parked car outside an apartment complex in Hartford, police said.

    The air temperature was 88 degrees outside of the vehicle, when Hartford

    Police arrived to the scene. Shortly afterwards the child was removed from the hot car and taken to the hospital.

    Police took Green into custody when he returned to vehicle 30 minutes after the baby was removed. He was charged with risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment.

    Police say the baby was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center where the child is listed in good condition.

    Reports: North Korea seizes South Korean vessel

    SEOUL (BNO NEWS) -- A South Korean fishing vessel was towed into North Korea on Thursday morning after accidentally crossing the border, a defense official told the Yonhap news agency.

    The incident took place around 6 a.m. local time in the East Sea, the official said. He said four people were on board the ship when it was taken by North Korean authorities.

    YTN-TV broadcasted a similar report but had no additional information.

    Further details were not immediately available.

    Severe T-Storm Warning Issued For Most Of NYC

    The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for all of New York City except Staten Island, and Hudson and Bergen counties in New Jersey until 7:30 p.m. A Flash Flood Watch continues for portions of northeast New Jersey and southeast New York until 6 a.m. Thursday.

    Flash Flood Warnings Issued In NJ


    Flash flood warnings are in effect for Hunterdon, Mercer, Sussex, and Warren County until 8:00 p.m. This alert signifies a dangerous situation where rapid flooding of small rivers, streams, creaks, or urban areas are imminent or already occurring.

    Poll Shows Obama's Clout on Health Care Is Eroding

    President Obama's ability to shape the debate on health care
    appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray the
    effort as a government-takeover that could limit Americans'
    ability to chose their doctor and course of treatment,
    according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    Americans are concerned that overhauling the health care
    system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their
    out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills and limit their
    options in choosing doctors, treatment and tests, the poll

    Boston police officer used racial slur when referring to Harvard professor

    A Boston police officer has been put on administrative leave after using racist slurs when referring to Harvard professor Henry Gates, who has been at the center of a controversial arrest last week and even drew president Obama to comment on the event.

    The officer is 36-year-old Justin Barrett. He was stripped of his gun and badge on Tuesday afternoon when Boston Police Commissioner Edward David learned that Barrett was the author of an e-mail which included racist remarks towards Henry Gates.

    "Commissioner Edward Davis has placed Officer Justin Barrett on administrative leave pending outcome of a termination hearing," said Elaine Driscoll, who is a spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department. "Commissioner Davis was made aware that this officer admitted to being the author of correspondence which included racist remarks," she added. Driscoll did not know how many people received the e-mail or at what date it was sent.

    According to BNO News sources with direct knowledge to the contents of the e-mail, Barrett called Gates, among other racists remarks, a "jungle monkey." The e-mail was described as a "mass e-mail."

    Boston Mayor Tom Menino called Barrett a "cancer in the department" and said he should be fired immediately, his office said.

    Barrett was assigned to Boston's Mattapan district and has been on the job for about two years and has no prior history. An investigation has been launched.

    Severe T-Storm Warning Issued For N.J. Counties

    Source: CBS

    The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Middlesex and Monmouth counties in New Jersey until 8:30 p.m. A flash flood watch continues for portions of northeast New Jersey and southeast New York until 6 a.m. Thursday.

    FOX Pundit : Obama Is A Racist

    alg_obama-glenn Fox News Channel commentator Glenn Beck said he believes President Barack Obama is a racist.

    Beck made the statement during a guest appearance Tuesday on the "Fox & Friends" morning show. He said Obama has exposed himself as a person with "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."

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    His remarks came during a discussion of Obama's reaction to the arrest of Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. Gates is black and was arrested for disorderly conduct by a white policeman over a misunderstanding about a break-in at Gates' home.

    An Obama spokesman, William Burton, said the White House had no comment on Beck.

    Beck's statement was challenged on the air by Fox host Brian Kilmeade, who noted that most of the people who work for the nation's first black president are white.

    "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people," Beck said. "He has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."

    Beck wondered, during the discussion, what other president would immediately jump on the police for their actions in the case. Obama said in a news conference that he believed the police acted stupidly in the case, but later backtracked from the statement and invited Gates and the police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, to the White House for a conciliatory meeting later this week.

    Bill Shine, Fox News senior vice president of programming, told the TVNewswer Web site that Beck had "expressed a personal opinion which represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel. And as with all commentators in the cable news arena, he is given the freedom to express his opinions."

    Racial controversies are hardly new to presidents. In 2005, entertainer Kanye West said during a telethon after Hurricane Katrina that President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people."

    Beck, also a radio host and best-selling author, was an immediate hit with Fox News Channel viewers, starting in January when he made the jump from HLN (formerly CNN Headline News).

    Beck didn't speak about the racial comments on his own Tuesday Fox show

    Microsoft, Yahoo Agree On Long-Sought Search Deal

    Combo pictures show the Microsoft office in Herndon, Virginia, December 27, 2005 and Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. 

    Microsoft has reached a deal with Yahoo for an Internet search partnership, ending years of back and forth negotiations. The agreement announced Wednesday gives Microsoft access to the Internet's second-largest search engine audience. It adds a potentially potent weapon to Microsoft's Internet arsenal as the software maker girds for an online assault against Google.

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