• Tropical storm plus oil slick equals more fear and uncertainty

    The disaster thousands of feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico may be exacerbated by a different type of calamity in the coming week -- a tropical storm -- that could push the oil farther along Florida's pristine Panhandle beaches.

    Tropical Storm Alex -- the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season -- formed in the Caribbean on Saturday. Alex had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was about 250 miles away from Chetumal, Mexico. It was moving toward Belize and over the Yucatan Peninsula.

  • Obama (again) touts Wall Street package

    President Obama again promoted a new package of Wall Street regulations in his Saturday radio address, telling listeners that "we are on the cusp of enacting the toughest financial reforms since the Great Depression."

    Taping the address Friday just hours after House and Senate negotiators put together a final bill, Obama said the new plan would "empower our people with consumer protections" and prevent the kind of financial meltdown that gutted the economy in 2008.

  • Computers Learn to Listen, and Some Talk Back

    “Hi, thanks for coming,” the medical assistant says, greeting a mother with her 5-year-old son. “Are you here for your child or yourself?”

    The boy, the mother replies. He has diarrhea.

    “Oh no, sorry to hear that,” she says, looking down at the boy.

    The assistant asks the mother about other symptoms, including fever (“slight”) and abdominal pain (“He hasn’t been complaining”).

    She turns again to the boy. “Has your tummy been hurting?” Yes, he replies.

    After a few more questions, the assistant declares herself “not that concerned at this point.” She schedules an appointment with a doctor in a couple of days. The mother leads her son from the room, holding his hand. But he keeps looking back at the assistant, fascinated, as if reluctant to leave.

  • BlackBerry's Retreat Leaves A Sour Taste For RIM

    Research In Motion delivered a quarter that showed buckling market share and disappointing sales as the smart phone marker feels the heat from Apple and Google.

    Investors didn't take the news well, with shares of Research In Motion ( RIMM - news - people ) tumbling 9.5%, or $5.59, to $52.97, in afternoon trading on Friday.

    "RIM is losing market share," says Andy Hargreaves, analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "Their devices lack an effective browser, especially compared to what Apple ( AAPL - news - people ) and Google ( GOOG - news - people ) have, and they lack an attractive app environment, and that's what people want now. Email is still a valuable piece, but it's only one piece and if you don't have the whole pie you won't be able to capture any of that high-end share."

  • Toyota Stops Selling Lexus HS250h for Fuel Leak Risk

    Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, halted sales of a hybrid Lexus model because too much fuel spilled in crash tests conducted by the government safety agency, the company said today.

    Toyota, which paid a record $16.4 million U.S. fine this year for not complying with auto-safety regulations, said in a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today that about 17,000 of the HS250h sedans for the 2010 model year are being recalled.

    “We’re working intently to duplicate the noncompliance that NHTSA identified,” Brian Lyons, a spokesman for Toyota’s U.S. unit based in Torrance, California, said in an interview.

  • Tail Troubles Keep The Dreamliner Down

    Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program is again on hold due to a quality problem found in a portion of the tail. The company has already built five of the jetliners, and the problem appears to be found in a portion of the horizontal stabilizer built by Italian manufacturer Alenia.

    Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program, already plagued by numerous delays, has been again put on hold due to a quality problem found in a portion of the tail.

    The company has already built five of the jetliners, and the problem appears to be found in a portion of the horizontal stabilizer built by Italian manufacturer Alenia. Boeing ( BA - news - people ) stated that the planes "have issues with improperly installed shims and the torque of associated fasteners."

  • China to Create More Channels for Yuan Use, Central Bankers Say

    China must create more channels for investors and companies to use the yuan if it wants to internationalize the currency and put it on a par with the yen and the euro, central bank officials and economists told a forum in Shanghai yesterday.

    The world’s biggest holder of foreign-exchange reserves also needs to loosen controls on the use of the yuan for investment and trade outside China, Xie Duo, director of the financial market department of the People’s Bank of China, and Li Daokui, an adviser to the central bank, said.

    China, the world’s third-largest economy, is seeking to reduce its reliance on the U.S. dollar and promote the yuan as a global currency. The central bank this week expanded the use of the yuan for cross-border trade settlement to 18 more provinces, allowing companies based in areas including Beijing and the export hubs of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to use the currency to pay for goods and services.

  • Forecaster: Storm Likely To Cause Threat To BP Oil Collection Efforts

    A cluster of thunderstorms in the south Caribbean will likely become the first named tropical storm of the Atlantic basin hurricane season and could pose a danger to BP PLC's (BP, BP.LN) efforts to collect oil spewing from the Macondo well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a forecaster said Friday.

    "I cannot emphasize enough that this storm will pose a serious threat," to BP's operations at the Macondo well, said Jim Rouiller, a senior energy meteorologist with Planalytics.

    The National Hurricane Center gives the low pressure area centered between the northeast coast of Honduras and Grand Cayman a high chance, 70%, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

    The system is likely to become a tropical depression before it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula in a couple of days. An Air Force reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate this disturbance later Friday to determine if a tropical cyclone has formed.

  • Ivory Coast 3, Korea DPR 0 - Brazil tied Portugal, 0-0

    Nelspruit, South Africa- Yaya Toure and Romaric scored in the first half and Ivory Coast defeated North Korea, 3-0, on Friday at Mbombela Stadium in Group G, but was still eliminated from the FIFA World Cup.

    Toure and Romaric scored in the first 20 minutes and Salomon Kalou added Ivory Coast's third goal in the 82nd minute, but the African side ended third in the "Group of Death" behind Brazil and Portugal.

    Brazil tied Portugal, 0-0, in Friday's other Group G match. Brazil finished atop the group with seven points, Portugal was second with five and Ivory Coast had four. North Korea was also eliminated.

    Ivory Coast entered the match needing a win, a Portugal loss and to overturn a huge gap in goal differential, but failed to build on its early start and also failed to get help from Brazil.

  • Obama stresses no discord with Petraeus on board

    No more discord in the Afghanistan war command, President Barack Obama vows. With Gen. David Petraeus in charge, the president said Thursday he's assembled the team that will take the U.S. through the months ahead — by all expectations the make-or-break stage of the conflict.

    "I am going to be insisting on a unity of purpose on the part of all branches of the U.S. government," the president said. "Our team is going to be moving forward in synch."

    Obama said he does not anticipate further firings beyond Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top war commander hired a year ago to turn around a war then sliding into quagmire. He was fired Wednesday for sniping at civilian war bosses in a magazine article.

  • The long run is over: Isner wins marathon

    Elizabeth Windsor decided to take in some tennis at Wimbledon yesterday. Although tickets are scarcer than elephants cavorting at Piccadilly Circus, she managed to cop a couple, and in the front row of Centre Court, no less.

    * Tweet
    * 0diggsdigg
    * Yahoo! Buzz ShareThis

    When she walked in, people began to cheer and clap and point cameras at her. She looked a sprightly, likable 84, and she is used to this kind of attention because in her day job, she is Queen Elizabeth II.

    Her Majesty last had an urge to see tennis at Wimbledon in 1977, 33 years ago. Her father, King George VI-to-be, actually played Wimbledon. It was doubles in 1926, an embarrassing hackerly performance prompting his wife to veto any repeats.

    As far as tennis goes these days, Her Majesty’s domain is down to one body. It belongs to a prickly Scotsman, Andy Murray. Last year, the queen sent Murray a good-luck note, and yesterday wished him well in person in a chat that followed his batting-practice victory over Jarkko Nieminen, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

  • G-20 Protesters Expand Rallies as Toronto Braces for Summit

    Protesters and community groups aim to intensify their demonstrations in Toronto today as businesses in the downtown of Canada’s largest city start to close ahead of this weekend’s Group of 20 summit.

    “There’s going to be a rally, a march, a block party and a tent city that’s going to go overnight,” Syed Hussan, spokesman for the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, said in an interview.

    The network, which has been behind protests for the past week including yesterday’s downtown march of 1,200 people in support of indigenous groups’ rights, is planning a “feminist picnic” and a “Free the Streets” march this afternoon, a day before the start of the G-20 gathering.

  • G-20 leaders facing worries about rising deficits

    World leaders who addressed a severe economic crisis with an unprecedented show of strength last year are finding it harder to maintain their solidarity in the face of new challenges.

    Despite U.S. appeals to refrain from removing stimulus measures too quickly, country after country is rushing to slash spending and raise taxes to avoid suffering the same fate as Greece, which found itself on the brink of bankruptcy last month.

    After maintaining remarkable unity at three previous summits, the leaders of the world's major economies will come to Canada facing a good deal of tension over the best approaches to take to make sure that the global economy continues to emerge from the worst recession in decades.

  • Robot nudge foils Gulf oil collection for a day

    One nudge by a deep-sea robot, and BP had to back off its most effective method so far for containing the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

    After being removed for much of the day Wednesday, engineers using remote-controlled submarines repositioned a cap that had captured 700,000 gallons of oil in 24 hours before one of the robots bumped into it late in the morning.

    Bob Dudley, BP's new point man for the oil response, said crews had done the right thing to remove the cap because fluid seemed to be leaking and could have been a safety hazard. The logistics coordinator onboard the ship that has been siphoning the oil told The Associated Press that the system was working again but it would take a little time before for the system to "get ramped back up." He asked not to be identified by name because he was not authorized to provide the information.

  • Google's YouTube wins Viacom copyright case

    Google has won a landmark ruling as a judge threw out a $1bn lawsuit brought by Viacom accusing the internet giant of allowing copyrighted material on its YouTube service without permission.

    Viacom had accused Google of "massive intentional copyright infringement".

    But the Manhattan judge said Google and YouTube could not be held liable merely for having a "general awareness" that videos might be posted illegally.

    Media conglomerate Viacom said it planned to appeal against the decision.

    Google called the ruling "an important victory".
    'Safe harbour'

  • Michael Jackson tribute programs to air on TV, radio on one-year anniversary of pop star's death

    Just about everyone who ever met Michael Jackson will be on television tomorrow, as the anniversary of his death brings a blizzard of reports on either how it happened or what it has meant.

    Those who prefer to remember Jackson primarily for his music can turn on the radio, where several stations will go all-Michael.

    Jackson died a year ago tomorrow, at age 50, on the eve of a comeback tour. Those who will talk about him include his mother, Katherine, in a paid interview for "Dateline NBC."

    His brothers Jermaine and Tito will talk with Don Lemon on CNN, while ABC's "2-0/20" will look at unanswered questions about his death.

    The CBS "Early Show" will have artists like Marc Anthony and LL Cool J talk about Jackson, and TV Guide will show a new documentary, "Gone Too Soon."

    Here are some TV programs, all tomorrow unless noted:

  • U.S. Predator Drones to Surveil Mexican Border

    The Homeland Security Department will use unmanned surveillance aircraft and other technological upgrades in its ongoing effort to protect the southern border of the United States.

    The department said Wednesday it has obtained Federal Aviation Administration permission to operate unmanned planes along the Texas border and throughout the Gulf Coast region. Customs and Border Protection will base a surveillance drone at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas.

  • At least 12 dead in train accident outside Barcelona

    At least 12 people were killed and several others injured when they were run over by a train in a town south of Barcelona, Spain, a spokesman for Catalonia Emergency Center said Thursday.

    At least 14 more were hurt, and three remained in critical condition, the spokesman said.

    The accident occurred Wednesday between 11:30 p.m. and midnight local time as a group tried to cross the tracks after getting off a local train that had stopped at the town of Castelldefels, authorities said.

    Many were headed to the Fiesta de San Juan, which celebrates the year's shortest night, on the beach at Castelldefels.

    Castelldefels mayor, Joan Sau, said about 30 people were crossing the tracks when a Barcelona-bound express train hit them.

  • Prince Albert of Monaco Found His Couple

    Prince Albert of Monaco is finally tying the knot - and an old classmate from Amherst College couldn’t be happier.

    “Thank God,” said former state Sen. Warren Tolman, who has known the former playboy prince - and father of two illegitimate children - since their frat-boy days on the western Mass. campus.

    The palace in the tiny French principality announced yesterday that the 52-year-old royal is engaged to stunning South African former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, 32, whom he’s dated for several years.

    “Not only is Charlene beautiful and smart, she’s unflappable,” said Toland, an attorney at Holland & Knight. “But what really struck me is that she truly cares for him and has his best interests at heart. It’s about time.”

  • James Mangold wrestles 'Knight and Day' to the screen

    Call it the wildest cross-genre experiment in the history of summer movies .

    The new Tom Cruise- Cameron Diaz film — perhaps the world's first screwball- comedy, action-romance, Hitchcock-homage, family- drama paranoid- thriller — went through so many script versions that even the writers who worked on earlier drafts may not recognize much about the final film. It has changed names (it was originally titled "Wichita," then "Trouble Man," then "Knight and Day"), stars ( Eva Mendes and Chris Tucker were supposed to play the leads before Cruise and Diaz signed on) and directors ("Shanghai Noon" director Tom Dey before James Mangold took over the reins).

    Hollywood development is typically a complicated equation. This looked like Fermat's Last Theorem.

  • Apple iPhone 4 is the biggest upgrade

    With a revamped design, a sparkling new display, a speedy processor, and additional features, Apple iPhone 4 is the biggest upgrade to Apple's smartphone since the iPhone 3G. It's also the showcase handset for Apple's newest operating system, iOS 4, which adds a selection of long-overdue features, plus a selection of smaller tweaks that we weren't expecting.

    If they existed independently, iPhone 4 and iOS 4 wouldn't be much more than blips on the smartphone radar screen. When combined into one handset, however, the result is a sleek, satisfying, and compelling device that keeps Apple strongly competitive in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Indeed, the iPhone 4 is fast, the new hardware is a looker, and some of the new features blew us away. On other points, however, we have some concerns. Call reception still has its problems, and though we welcome multitasking with open arms, it has its drawbacks. Also, though the FaceTime video calling is more than noteworthy, we wonder if our interest will last more than a week.

  • Australia PM Rudd ousted by deputy

    Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female prime minister after the ruling Labor party dumped Kevin Rudd as leader.

    Rudd won a landslide election victory less than three years ago but support for his government has plummeted in opinion polls since April over a series of unpopular policy moves, and his erstwhile deputy Gillard challenged him to hold a leadership ballot on Wednesday.

    On Thursday, Rudd acknowledged that the party's factional power brokers had lost faith in him and did not contest the leadership at a party meeting, leaving Gillard to be elected unopposed.

  • Al Gore Accused of "Unwanted Sexual Contact" in 2006, Authorities Say

    Former Vice President Al Gore was accused of "unwanted sexual contact" by an unidentified woman in Portland, Ore., in 2006, according to local law-enforcement officials, although no criminal charges were filed.

    A lawyer representing the woman contacted Portland police in late 2006, according to the office of Multnomah County District Attorney Michael D. Schrunk. However, the woman refused to be interviewed by authorities and said she did not want to pursue a criminal case against Gore.

    The woman declined to participate in a criminal investigation because she planned to pursue a civil case at the time, Portland Detective Cheryl Waddell told The Oregonian. There is no evidence a civil suit has ever been opened, according to the newspaper.

    Al and Tipper Gore separate after 40 years of marriage

    The district attorney's office did not specify the woman's accusations again Gore. However, she reported to the police in 2009 that she was repeatedly subjected to unwanted sexual touching while in his presence, according to The Oregonian.

  • BP CEO May be Trying to Get Fired, Really

    Commentary: Hayward's compensation pales against those of American oil execs

    Is BP PLC's Tony Hayward actually trying to get fired?

    You might think so after his latest stunt. The hapless honcho, already slammed as "the most hated man in America," skipped out on the Gulf gusher over the weekend to participate a yacht race in England.

    A yacht race? Are you kidding? Paging Thurston Howell III!

    OK, maybe Hayward's critics are being hypocritical. After all, if his hour-by-hour presence in the Gulf of Mexico is absolutely essential, why was it appropriate to drag him away for that ridiculous circus up on Capitol Hill last week?

    Nonetheless, from the point of view of spin — and we live now in the age of spin, to the point where almost nothing else seems to matter — the move seems crass, even for "Tone-Deaf Tony," the gaffe-prone chief executive.

  • As Russian president visits Silicon Valley, Cisco announces $1B investment

    Cisco Systems today announced a $1 billion initiative to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Russia at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

    "Simply put, we're all in," Cisco CEO John Chambers told Medvedev.

    Medvedev was joined by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at a demonstration of Cisco's video conferencing, business social networking and sports casting technology.

  • Analysis: Obama couldn't give McChrystal a pass

    President Barack Obama had little choice. Already weakened by the seemingly insolvable Gulf oil spill and his party's dicey prospects in the coming congressional election, Obama could not afford to give his Afghanistan commander a pass for his inflammatory public words.

    In essence, Gen. Stanley McChrystal fired himself. It fell to Obama to make the announcement.

    The real surprise Wednesday was that Obama persuaded four-star Gen. David Petraeus, who steered U.S. military fortunes in Iraq out of a dark place, to take over from McChrystal. Petraeus was instrumental in the naming of McChrystal 13 months ago to shoulder the burden of the lagging U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

  • First Asian carp found in waterway near Great Lakes

    It was the first time the voracious invader has been found beyond the electric barriers in the waterways that connect Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, with the Mississippi River basin, where the carp have proliferated.

    "It's important evidence, and the more information we know about where the carp are, the better ... that's the reason we're intensifying the effort" to find any Asian carp beyond the barriers, said Chris McCloud, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    The live Bighead carp was fished out on Tuesday by a fisherman contracted by the government in Lake Calumet, 6 miles (10 km) from Lake Michigan. It could have been dumped there or could have found its way past the electric barriers meant to block all fish species, McCloud said.

  • UPDATE 1-Oil firms want ruling lifting drill ban enforced

    Hornbeck Offshore Services (HOS.N) and other companies that won an injunction blocking a six-month U.S. moratorium on deepwater drilling have asked thejudge to enforce his ruling after an Obama administration official said he would try to keep the ban in place.

    In a federal court in New Orleans on Tuesday, Judge Martin Feldman granted an injunction blocking the moratorium on the grounds that it was too broad, arbitrary and not sufficiently justified despite the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Obama officials said they would quickly appeal but have yet to do so, or request a stay of the ruling pending the appeal.

    Additionally, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Wednesday he would try to reformulate the moratorium and would include criteria for ending it, prompting the request by Hornbeck and the other companies.

  • U.S. defeats Algeria, 1-0

    Landon Donovan's goal in extra time lifted the U.S. to a dramatic 1-0 win over Algeria on Wednesday, sending the U.S. on to the second round of the World Cup for just the third time in history.

    The options were clear for the U.S. entering the game: Win and go on, or lose and go home. And that's not a scenario the U.S. has had success with, never having won a third game in a World Cup, going 0-7 while being outscored 20-6.

    For more than 90 minutes Wednesday, it appeared as though that wasn't going to change. But in the first minute of extra time, after a clutch save by U.S. goalie Tim Howard, Donovan pushed the ball up the right wing on a counterattack. He fed Jozy Altidore deep in the Algerian side, but Altidore's cross to Clint Dempsey hit Dempsey's foot at about the same time Algerian goalkeeper Rais M. Bolhi did.

  • England defeats Slovenia, 1-0

    Fabio Capello believes England can put a traumatic group stage behind them and approach the rest of their World Cup campaign "without fear" following a 1-0 victory over Slovenia.

    Jermain Defoe's first-half goal ensured England's progress to the knockout stages but with Landon Donovan scoring in the dying seconds of USA's game against Algeria, Capello's side will finish second in the group. That means old rivals Germany could await in the second round if they top Group D.

    The win over Slovenia draws a line under a traumatic few days for England. Following a disappointing 0-0 draw against Algeria, Capello said his side were crippled by fear, and the unity of the camp was called into question when John Terry said in a press conference he would be challenging the manager's authority at a team inquest into the Algeria result.

  • 10 Ways to Score an iPhone 4 on Launch Day

    With the iPhone 4 launching on Friday, Consumers and even some enterprise customers are undoubtedly excited to finally get their hands on Apple's new smartphone. Such excitement is understandable. The device is arguably the best iPhone, at least on paper, that Apple has ever released.

    Not only does it run the company's new iOS 4, which boasts multitasking, it includes a new feature called Face Time, which allows users to place video calls over Wi-Fi. Further, thanks to a new and improved display, the fidelity of the iPhone 4's touch screen should be second to none.

    But most folks already know that. Now, they want to know how they can get their hands on an iPhone 4 on June 24. For some, pre-ordering was the way to go. Those that were lucky enough to get through the trials of pre-ordering an iPhone 4 on June 15 should have their smartphones in-hand that day.

  • China resource demand to falter if yuan fails to jump

    One factor, a top HSBC analyst says, is that the yuan's rise will likely be much slower than when China first loosened its currency in July 2005. At that time, a virtuous cycle of rising real-estate prices and inflows of speculative capital put upward pressure on the yuan.

    But this time, HSBC's Hong Kong-based co-head of Asian economics research Qu Hongbin said in a research note: "We believe the pace of appreciation against the U.S. dollar will be much slower than the pre-crisis rate."

    A key difference between the current environment and that of the previous revaluation is the state of China's property market.

    In 2005, property values were just beginning their long march upwards, but today's bubble-like valuations make it more likely that real-estate prices -- in major cities at least -- will decline in coming months, as tighter policy and other administrative measures to curb speculation take effect, Qu said.

  • Anti-homelessness strategy expands programs to assist veterans, families

    The Obama administration released a strategy Tuesday to end homelessness that would expand programs to secure housing for veterans and families with young children, and build on efforts to help chronically homeless Americans.

    With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq highlighting the needs of veterans and the economic crisis straining more families, the administration's plan widens the role envisioned for the federal government in curbing -- and ending -- homelessness. But it does not provide a significant infusion of federal money to combat the problem.

  • Maradona wants an apology

    Diego Maradona said his Argentina team's easy progression to the knockout stages has silenced the critics, who he insisted should apologise for the way they dismissed his side.

    Argentina's 2-0 victory over Greece - thanks to late goals from Martin Demichelis and veteran striker Martin Palermo - saw them top Group B with maximum points.

    That contrasted sharply with their performances in the qualifying campaign - when they had to win their last two matches to reach South Africa.

    "They (the critics) should apologise to the players, who are 100% professional,'' said Maradona. "We are doing our duty, which is to defend the Argentina shirt. Sometimes they are wrong, but those who have also criticised are wrong and should apologise.''

  • Bin Laden hunter to be released by Pakistan

    A relative of an American on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden says the Colorado man is being released by the Pakistani government without charges.

    Gary Faulkner, of Greeley, was detained June 13 in the woods of northern Pakistan after being found with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment. The 50-year-old told officials he was out to kill the al-Qaida leader. Faulkner was then moved to Islamabad, and a relative told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was being released to American authorities there and would return to the U.S. "very soon."

    The relative didn't want to be identified because a family-designated spokesman hadn't yet confirmed the release. The spokesman didn't immediately return calls from The Associated Press. Faulkner's brother, Scott Faulkner, told AP he'd heard the news of the release plans but wasn't ready to comment.

    Gary Faulkner is an out-of-work construction worker who sold his tools to finance six trips on what relatives have called a Rambo-type mission to kill or capture bin Laden. He grew his hair and beard long to fit in better.

  • White House releases health law details

    Most insurance plans will soon be prohibited from rejecting coverage of children because of pre-existing medical problems, under rules governing enforcement of the 'patients bill of rights' in the new health care law.

    The White House later Tuesday will release details of how the patients' provision will be implemented.

    The language involving coverage of children with pre-existing conditions will be enforced for most insurance plans renewing on or after Sept. 23.

    Under the new federal rules, patients also can still pick their primary doctors or pediatricians, and prior approval requirements for emergency care will be prohibited.

  • Lady Gaga says has finished new album

    The 24-year-old, known for her flamboyant costumes as much as her records, plans to release the album early next year, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

    "I think I'm gonna get the album title tattooed on me and put out the photo," she told the publication.

    "I've been working on it for months now, and I feel very strongly that it's finished right now. It came so quickly. Some artists take years; I don't. I write music every day."

    The "Poker Face" singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, hinted that her new music was likely to be more serious than her hit debut, which turned her into one of the pop world's biggest stars.

    "I have been for three years baking cakes -- and now I'm going to bake a cake that has a bitter jelly," she said.

  • Peter Orszag to resign as White House budget director

    White House budget director Peter Orszag has decided to leave the Obama administration, likely in the next few weeks, a Democrat familiar with his plans said Monday night. His departure would make him the first member of President Obama's Cabinet to leave the White House.

    As head of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag has been one of Obama's top lieutenants on two of the president's signature legislative efforts: the stimulus bill, passed early in the administration, and the health care overhaul passed this year.

    He also generated some headlines of his own, with the news that he had fathered a child with ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas, a Greek shipping heiress, and that he had become engaged to ABC News reporter Bianna Golodryga. Their wedding is planned for September.

  • South Korea: resolve ship, then consider nuclear talks

    The March 26 sinking of the corvette Cheonan near the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas has raised tension in the region and further complicated already hamstrung diplomatic efforts to revive six-nation talks on the denuclearisation of North Korea.

    "As North Korea was found to have sunk the warship Cheonan, the government will concentrate on the Cheonan incident at this stage," the South's Yonhap news quoted Yu as saying during a meeting of parliament.

    The government "will consult related countries on resuming six-party talks after completing its response", he said.

    Six-party talks involving the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia have been stalled for more than a year.

  • US, England face decisive matches

    JOHANNESBURG — Group C was supposed to be a romp through the first round of the World Cup for the English and Americans.

    That romp has turned into an obstacle course, and both teams have stumbled. Although each can advance to the second round Wednesday with wins, such victories hardly are givens considering how they have played.

    The U.S. team fell behind to both England and Slovenia before rallying for two draws. England also has two ties, the second with Algeria causing all kinds of angst back home.

    Not since 1958 in Sweden has England failed to advance past the group stage once it's qualified for the tournament. The Americans have not been so successful, but their hopes were high when they came to South Africa after finishing second to Brazil at the Confederations Cup a year ago.

  • Michael Jackson has 'made $1bn' since his death

    The magazine says Jackson's album sales have generated about $383m (£259m), while revenue from the film This Is It has hit nearly $400m (£271m).

    Profits from publishing rights, licensing and touring are also included in the total.

    A new recording contract is estimated to have made $31m (£21m) so far.

    The Sony Music Entertainment deal will see 10 albums of the late singer's music released over the next seven years, including one of previously unreleased material.

    The estate is guaranteed between $200m (£135m) and $250m (£169.5m) for the deal but Billboard believes approximately $31m (£21m) of this will have been paid in the last 12 months.
    Publishing profits

  • Slipknot bassist died of morphine overdose

    Autopsy results show the bassist for heavy metal band Slipknot died of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute, police said Monday.

    Paul Gray, 38, was found dead in a suburban Des Moines hotel room on May 25. A hotel worker told a 911 dispatcher that a hypodermic needle was found near Gray's body and that pills also were found in the room.

    The autopsy shows he died of an overdose, Urbandale police said in a news release. They also said the autopsy revealed signs of significant heart disease.

    No evidence has been found showing Gray had a prescription for the drugs, police spokesman Sgt. Dave Disney said. Police are trying to find out how Gray got them.

    "There is no evidence that a doctor prescribed either one of those substances," Disney said.

  • Why Skin Cancer Is on the Rise??

    For years and years now, millions of sun worshippers across the country would hit the beaches during summer to work on the perfect, golden tan. However, the advent of indoor tanning salons now allows Americans to sport a sun-kissed look year-round. And as more and more people pursue a perpetual summer-style tan, dermatologists have begun noticing a significant rise in skin cancer incidents, especially among young women.

    Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, still makes up just 3 percent of all skin cancers, and results in about 8,000 deaths a year, according to the National Cancer Institute. But three factors have doctors alarmed: The rates of this cancer are rising; it has become the most common cancer for young people; and many of the cases result from the preventable, but addictive, behavior of indoor suntanning.

    "In the last few decades, it's certainly been on the rise. And some people think that may be a result of behavior, and UV exposure," said Jennifer Stein, an assistant professor of dermatology at New York University's Langone Medical Center. "This is a very serious cancer, and this is a behavior that's preventable."

  • Bus carrying Turkish military bombed in Istanbul, kills 4

    A remote-controlled roadside bomb ripped through a bus transporting Turkish military personnel and their families to a gendarmerie paramilitary base in Istanbul.

    Turkish authorities say three gendarmerie sergeants and the 17-year-old daughter of a member of the security forces were killed in the attack.

    "It was a remote-controlled, fragmentation bomb that was left on the side of the road," said Huseyin Avni Mutlu, the governor of Istanbul, in a televised appearance broadcast live from the scene of the explosion. "This is a terrorist act."

  • Remorseless Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad warns: 'We will be attacking the U.S.'

    A self-proclaimed "Muslim soldier" who bungled a plot to bomb Times Square promised Monday that others will succeed where he failed.

    A remorseless Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to the frightening scheme to blow up the Crossroads of the World on a busy Saturday night, when it was packed with New Yorkers and tourists.

    "It's a war," Shahzad, 30, said in a hateful screed to Manhattan Federal Judge Miriam Cedarbaum.

    "I'm going to plead guilty a hundred times over because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes ... we will be attacking the U.S.," he said. "And I plead guilty to that."

  • Times Square car bomb suspect pleads guilty in NYC

    NEW YORK – Calling himself a "Muslim soldier," a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing, saying his attack was the answer to "the U.S. terrorizing ... Muslim people."

    Wearing a white skull cap, Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

    "One has to understand where I'm coming from," Shahzad calmly told U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who challenged him repeatedly with questions such as whether he worried about killing children in Times Square. "I consider myself ... a Muslim soldier."

  • Spain vs. Honduras: At World Cup, Spanish get back on track with win

    JOHANNESBURG -- Spain couldn't afford any more missteps in this World Cup, not after dropping its debut match in spectacularly disappointing fashion. On Monday night at Ellis Park, a team desperate to remain in the Group H race and resurrect its championship aspirations performed with style and grace against badly overmatched Honduras.

    David Villa scored twice in the 2-0 victory, but Spain squandered numerous other opportunities. Villa, brilliant on the left side of the attack, should have had four goals. The misses could prove costly if the round-of-16 berths are decided by goal differential.

    With the satisfactory result, Spain (1-1) moved into second place, three points behind group front-runner Chile (2-0), the Spaniards' opponent Friday in Pretoria. A victory in the finale by the reigning European champions would leave the teams even on points. Chile has a plus-two goal differential, Spain plus-one.

  • Apple's iOS 4 Benchmarked: Is It Faster?

    The new iOS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch promises 100 new features, but we weren't sure if one of them would be speed. We're still not sure. After running some preliminary benchmarks on an iPhone 3GS and an iPod touch (3rd generation), we found mixed results with iOS 4, which made some tests run slightly faster and others slightly slower.

    Part of the ambiguity may be because the two native benchmarking apps we use, BenchTest and Benchmark, haven't yet been updated for iOS 4. So they aren't using the latest features. Along with those two native apps, we also tried two tests of Web browser processing power and checked how long it took to launch a complex game.

  • Chile Vs. Switzerland on World Cup 2010

    The second scheduled football match today, June 21, 2010 in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa will about to start at 4PM at Nelson Mandela Bay. The game is between Chile vs. Switzerland.

    Looking back at their previous World Cup 2010 football matches, Chile faced Honduras at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit last Wednesday and Chile won with a final score of 1-0. In contrast, Switzerland faced Spain on the same day at Durban Stadium and Switzerland won with a final score of 1-0 against Spain. With that said, which team is likely to win in this World Cup 2010 football match? Is it Chile or Switzerland?

  • Obama steps up fatherhood advocacy with new mentoring initiative

    In what is becoming a Father's Day ritual for the Obama administration, the president on Monday will bring together children, famous dads and nonprofit groups that promote fatherhood to highlight the importance of fathers.

    The center of President Obama's day-long celebration will be a speech at the ARC, an arts and recreation campus in Southeast Washington, where he is set to announce the creation of the President's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. It will build on a theme that has been central to his family policy and a core part of the White House's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    The new initiative, which is enlisting a network of organizations, will expand on a six-city listening tour the administration held last year to bring attention to the issue of fatherlessness. "The tour was a national conversation on responsible fatherhood that was rooted in the president's personal experiences growing up and his realization that father absence is a real challenge facing many communities," said Joshua DuBois, director of the partnerships office.