• Apple begins shipping early iPhone 4 orders

    Last friday, Apple began marking orders as "prepared for shipment," but now a variety of readers have reported getting iPhone 4 shipment notifications from Apple.

    Most of the reports indicate a "delivers by" date of June 24, the same day retail store sales begin, although some have said their shipment notifications state a ship by date of June 23.

    FedEx estimates an arrival time on the delivery date "by 4:30 PM." Apple may request shippers to send items in advance but then hold them for delivery until the launch date, but some readers were shipped iPads a day or two ahead of the planned ship date.

  • Suicide bombs kill 33 in Iraq, officials say

    BAGHDAD — Suicide bombers in a crowded Baghdad commercial district and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit killed at least 33 people Sunday as insurgents tried to turn a monthslong deadlock over forming a new Iraqi government to their advantage.

    The latest violence began when bombers drove two cars packed with nearly 180 pounds (82 kilograms) of ammonium nitrate toward the gates of the Trade Bank of Iraq building in Baghdad and detonated the explosives after striking the surrounding blast walls, said Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi.

    Al-Moussawi said at least 18 people were killed and 42 wounded. But three Iraqi police officials and a doctor at the Yarmouk hospital where many victims were taken put the toll at 28 killed and 57 wounded. Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the chaotic aftermath of bombings in Iraq.

  • BP estimated 4.2M gallon in worst case

    Newly released internal documents show BP PLC estimated 4.2 million gallons of oil a day could gush from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico if all equipment restricting the flow was removed and company models were wrong.

    Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey released the documents Sunday showing BP said in a worst-case scenario the leak could gush between 2.3 million and 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.

    The current worst-case estimate of what's leaking is 2.5 million gallons a day.

    The documents anticipate a scenario where the blowout preventer and other equipment on the sea floor were removed, which was never done.

    BP provided the documents to federal officials in May, and company officials say they have no plans to remove the blowout preventer.

  • Brazil coasts into World Cup second round with 3-1 win

    A World Cup match involving Brazil bears a different vibe than the other in the tournament. It's not just a game; it's an event. Everything is magnified.

    You see the difference in the rush of activity on the access roads seven hours before kickoff, in the burst of camera flashes and in the balloons floating from the upper deck. You hear it in the waves of drums and song, a rhythm rudely interrupted by the vuvuzela scourge.

    After making its 2010 debut in a side theater last week, the green-and-yellow ensemble took center stage Sunday evening at Soccer City Stadium, the mammoth showcase of this South African World Cup.

    With Kaka orchestrating the attack before his late ejection and Luis Fabiano scoring twice, Brazil rolled to a 3-1 victory over Ivory Coast in front of 84,455 spectators.

    While Germany, England, Italy and France -- holders of nine World Cup titles among them -- are in danger of missing the elimination stage and European champion Spain slipped in its opener, the five-time champion Selecao needed just its first two matches in Group G to secure passage to the round of 16.

    "The Brazilian team can go the whole way," Ivory Coast Coach Sven Goran Eriksson said. "To beat Brazil, you have to be almost perfect."

    Brazil (2-0) has not played with the grace and artistry of past campaigns, but with Dunga, the team's coach, preaching substance, discipline and power, that method wasn't necessarily in the script.

    With the latest triumph, Brazil continued South America's unbeaten stroll through the tournament, a 7-0-2 record produced by its five participants. Brazil also further exposed the shortcomings of Africa, which is 1-7-4 and facing the embarrassing prospect of losing all six teams in the first round.

    Ivory Coast (0-1-1) was the continent's best hope for long-term success with a lineup that boasted five players from English Premier League clubs, including Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. His right forearm in a cast that was hidden by a green sleeve, Drogba made his first start since suffering a fracture in the Elephants' final tune-up.

    He had played the final 24 minutes of the scoreless draw with Portugal, and posed the greatest threat to Brazil, which labored to a 2-1 victory over group lightweight North Korea in its opener.

    The Elephants showed promise at the start, using pace in midfield to create mild chances and clinical tackling to interrupt Kaka's runs. But in the 25th minute, the Real Madrid star combined with Robinho and Fabiano to produce the first goal.

    Capping an eight-touch possession, Robinho pushed the ball to Fabiano, who back-heeled to Kaka. In tight space, Kaka broke away from one defender and beat Didier Zokora before slotting a pass past Kolo Toure to Fabiano for a ferocious eight-yard shot from an acute angle. The ball streaked over goalkeeper Boubacar Barry and hit the roof of the net.

    There was more to come five minutes into the second half, when Fabiano beat Siaka Tiene to a header, chipped the ball over Zokora and then did the same to Toure. In settling the ball, however, Fabiano appeared to use his right arm before striking a low shot into the right corner for his 27th goal in 40 international matches. When the Elephants protested, French referee Stephane Lannoy tapped his chest to indicate a fair play.

    When asked if he had handled the ball, Fabiano started laughing before saying, "It hit my shoulder but it was a beautiful goal, like a painting."

    Brazil added another goal in the 62nd minute as Kaka beat Toure to the end line and crossed back to Elano, who had gotten a step on Siaka Tiene and tapped in from eight yards for his second goal in two matches.

    Drogba scored in the 79th on a 10-yard header, and although the outcome had long been decided, the Elephants had some fight left in them. The match unraveled, however, with unnecessary challenges, theatric falls and several confrontations.

    Kaka received a yellow card in the 85th minute, and with the tone becoming nastier, he elbowed Kader Keita in the chest. For dramatic effect, Keita reached for his face and crumbled to the ground. When the commotion died down, Lannoy sought out Kaka and showed him a second yellow and a red card, which will prevent him from playing in the group finale against Portugal.

  • Israel security cabinet votes to ease Gaza blockade

    Senior cabinet ministers on Sunday approved steps toward easing Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip, days after Jerusalem had issued a non-binding declaration supporting such a move.

    The Prime Minister's Office announced late last week that the security cabinet had agreed in principle to relax Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip. However, no binding decision was made during the cabinet meeting.

    The ministers held a long discussion on Wednesday afternoon and another onThursday morning on the topic of altering Israel's policy ,following the three-year siege on the Hamas ruled territory. The siege was imposed after Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

  • Italy Vs. New Zealand 1-1 after first half

    NELSPRUIT, South Africa — Vincenzo Iaquinta equalized with a 29th-minute penalty kick as Italy pulled into a 1-1 tie against New Zealand after the first half of the World Cup Group F match.

    Shane Smeltz gave New Zealand a stunning lead in the seventh minute, tapping into the net after Simon Elliott's free kick to the back post deflected off Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro's hip as Cannavaro fell.

  • Fabio Capello will have a clear message for his England players

    Fabio Capello will have a clear message for his England players during a crisis meeting on Sunday night: "Just play".

    Former England captain John Terry confirmed during a press conference that Capello would hold a meeting with the players to allow grievances to be aired after the failure to beat USA and Algeria left England needing a victory in their final game to progress.

    However, Capello is not planning a dressing down within the dressing room but instead wants to explain to the players that they need to play without fear in the final group match against Slovenia.

    A source close to Capello told Soccernet: "Fabio wants to tell the players to 'play', to play their natural game, to forget about all the criticism, to forget about what people think, to focus purely on their own game and that of the team.

  • Paraguay beat Slovakia 2-0

    BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa — Enrique Vera and Cristian Riveros scored and Paraguay beat Slovakia 2-0 on Sunday to move closer to advancing at the World Cup.

    Playing with a three-man front line spearheaded by Roque Santa Cruz, Paraguay controlled the tempo from the start at Free State Stadium.

  • iPad coming to church altars with daily missal app

    An Italian priest has developed an application that will let priests celebrate Mass with an iPad on the altar instead of the regular Roman missal.

    The Rev. Paolo Padrini, a consultant with the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said Friday the free application will be launched in July in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Latin.

    Two years ago, Padrini developed the iBreviary, an application that brought the book of daily prayers used by priests onto iPhones. To date, some 200,000 people have downloaded the application, he said.

  • Kinect for Xbox 360 vs. Playstation Move. Which Will be a Leader

    The more time I spent with Playstation Move and Kinect for Xbox 360, the more I'm convinced that they're both hitting the market about six months too early.

    Not that there's anything wrong with the hardware. Kinect, a special camera that tracks motion, worked fine -- if not a tad laggy -- in the games I played on the show floor. Same goes for the Move, which behaves a lot like a Wii remote, but also with a camera that traces the positioning of the controller in 3D space, and of course the benefit of better graphics. But before the show, I , and neither the Move nor Kinect have it -- yet.

    I played two of Microsoft's Kinect games developed in-house -- a suite of mini-games called Kinect Sports and yet another suite of mini-games called Kinect Adventures -- plus Dance Central, essentially a full-body Dance Dance Revolution by Harmonix, makers of Rock Band. The Microsoft games felt like tech demos. While it was definitely neat to grab a virtual bowling ball out of thin air and see it move in my hands on the screen, it's still Wii Sports all over again, and the hurdle-jumping game I played was eerily similar to the Nintendo Power Pad from the late 1980s. Dance Central had more substance, but if the novelty of music games can wear off, the same will be said for aerobic dancing games.

  • Paraguay leads Slovakia 1-0 after 75 minutes

    BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa — Paraguay leads Slovakia 1-0 with 15 minutes to play in their Group F match at the World Cup on Sunday.

    The Paraguayans broke through in the 27th minute when midfielder Enrique Vera ran onto Lucas Barrios' pass and angled a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

    Slovakia had struggled to contain Paraguay's three-man forward line of Barrios, Nelson Valdez and the recalled Roque Santa Cruz in the first half at Free State Stadium. Getting the start, Santa Cruz was twice denied by busy goalkeeper Jan Mucha.

    Slovakia improved in the second half but couldn't provide forwards Robert Vittek and substitute Filip Holosko with any clear openings.

    Paraguay nearly doubled its lead in the 72nd minute but Vera headed wide off Santa Cruz's cross.

  • Suicide blasts kill 26 at Iraqi state-sector bank

    The blasts wounded 53 people at one of the public sector's most active financial institutions, which is at the forefront of efforts to encourage foreign investment in Iraq as the sectarian violence that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion fades.

    They underscored fears of increasing violence as militants try to exploit the political vacuum that followed the March 7 election which produced no outright winner.

    A week earlier, gunmen and suicide bombers laid siege to Iraq's central bank in Baghdad, killing 18 people.

    Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said two cars packed with around 80 kilograms of explosives each were driven at the main gates of the Trade Bank of Iraq and detonated on striking blastwalls protecting the building.

  • Yuan Move Has Mixed Impact on Japan

    Tokyo joined Washington and others in welcoming China's decision to increase the flexibility in its currency policy over the weekend. But the uniquely close and complex interdependence between Asia's two largest economies suggests the impact could hurt, as well as help, Japan.

    Unlike the U.S. and some European economies with huge trade deficits with China, Japan enjoys a relatively balanced trade with the nation. This rules out Japan as an instant beneficiary of the currency move.

    Many Japanese companies, both big and small, have shifted their production to China during the past decades, and now manufacture a range of products there both for local consumption and for exports to the rest of the world.

  • Kyrgyzstan investigating whether troops involved in ethnic violence

    Kyrgyzstan will investigate allegations that government troops were involved in ethnic violence, an official said Sunday.

    Col. Kursan Asanov, appointed by the Kyrgyz interim government to run the reconciliation operation in the southern city of Osh, did not say whether the investigation would include independent investigators.

    Asanov said that a government-imposed curfew in Osh that was due to expire Sunday had been extended to Friday. The curfew stretches from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET).

  • Israel Navy's Gaza flotilla probe 'finds planning, intel flaws'

    Israel's May 31st raid on the Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara suffered from serious defects, a new investigation into the raid led by Israel's naval commando unit concluded, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

    The internal Israel Navy probe concluded that the commando unit was inadequately prepared, lacked sufficient intelligence, and was ill-used in its approach to the Turkish-flagged ship.

    The probe concluded that due to the fact that a mass offensive against Israel's commando officers was not taken into account, the officers acted accordingly under the circumstances.

  • Tiger Woods surges at US Open but Dustin Johnson

    Saturday, Woods truly returned. He did so at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where 10 years ago this week he recorded one of his most historic victories. He did so in the third round of the U.S. Open, which he entered -- if this is even possible -- as something of an afterthought. He did so after bogeying two of his first three holes, somehow turning around his day -- and the entire tournament -- with an oh-no-here-he-comes 66.

    And he did so as Dustin Johnson -- a 25-year-old South Carolinian who hits the ball, as Woods said, "for miles" -- matched him shot for shot.

    "I played better," Woods said, and he smiled. Johnson, though, was able to duplicate those pearly whites, because his own 66 thrust him into the lead at 6-under-par 207. He is three strokes ahead of Irishman Graeme McDowell, who played icily until bogeys at 16 and 17, but still managed 71. They are the only men ahead of Woods, whose 15th major championship -- an unlikely notion after his first three holes -- is within reach.

    "It does feel good to play this well going into a final round," Woods said, "and I put myself back in the tournament."

  • Jamel Turner shot; 17-year-old girl dead

    Police say an Ohio State football recruit Jamel Turner is in critical condition and a 17-year-old girl is dead after both were shot multiple times early Saturday morning in Youngstown.

    Turner, a defensive end who played high school ball at Ursuline High School in his native Youngstown, signed with the Buckeyes in February.