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International News on November 18, 2010

'Shanghai high-rise apartment building fire could have been completely avoided'
Investigators probing the fire that ravaged a Shanghai high-rise apartment building, killing at least 53 people, have said that the fire was completely avoidable. ANI

Japan drops plans to make 'aggressive' China key part of its new foreign policy
Taken a back by China's aggressive behaviour during a recent territorial dispute over the Senkaku islands, Japan has reportedly dropped its earlier plans to develop ties with Beijing as a key part of its new foreign policy. ANI

'Reality that US forces are in for long haul in Afghanistan starting to set in'
US President Barack Obama is likely to make his clearest acknowledgement so far at a summit in Lisbon this weekend, that lasting gains in Afghanistan may take years to accomplish. ANI

Troops-withdrawal debate by West giving Afghan radicals 'smell of victory'
As Western nations look for a way out of Afghanistan, the chairman of the country's largest media group has said that the debates over withdrawal of troops are "giving confidence to radicals" who are beginning to "smell victory." ANI

UK to remain US' closest ally despite defence budget cuts: Hague
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that his country would remain the United States' most important military ally despite the cuts to the defence budget. ANI

Controversial pat down at US airport leaves 3-yr-old girl sobbing
The national outcry over intrusive body searches at American airports has intensified after security staff are caught on camera searching a crying three-year-old girl. ANI

Mumbai-style attacks on European countries 'not a case of if- but when'
The nightmare scenario of a Mumbai-style massacre in Europe has loomed closer to reality, with the German Interior Minister having issued a warning that there were "concrete indications of a series of attacks planned for the end of November," and French and British security services having been put on a higher state of alert after getting similar warnings from agents. ANI

'Kool Mints' can help drinkers 'sober up quickly'
Former Australian politician Jeff Kennett has claimed that Kool Mints can help sober him up when he is driving after a couple of drinks. ANI

Quick marriages among young Muslim couples up divorce rate in Malaysia
The divorce rate in Malaysia is increasing, and one of the contributing factors has been put down to quickie marriages among young Muslim couples. ANI

Women spend 300 hours preparing for Christmas: UK study
A UK study has suggested that women spend an average of 300 hours, or 38 working days, preparing for Christmas. ANI

Florida Gov asks clemency board to pardon Jim Morrison of 1969 charges
Florida Governor Charlie Crist has asked the state's clemency board to pardon late rock star Jim Morrison of charges stemming from a 1969 concert. ANI

Nicola McLean's fake boobs look like "bowling balls" after losing weight
English model Nicola McLean was spotted looking extremely thin, except for her surgically enhanced br**ts , which appeared to look like "bowling balls". ANI

Muslim pupils suspended over online threats to kill 'UK troop supporter' classmate
A white girl and five Muslim students have been suspended from the Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry after they threatened to kill one of their classmates for his facebook comments in which he paid tribute to the UK soldiers who lost their lives while defending Britain. ANI

Reformed GST must for Pak economy's survival, growth: UK
The United Kingdom has declared that the imposition of the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) in Pakistan is indispensable for the survival and growth of the country's economy. ANI

William 'vowed to protect Kate from pressures of royal life'
Prince William reportedly promised to Kate Middleton's dad that he would protect her from the pressures of royal life while asking him for her hand in marriage. ANI

Racial profiling to limit terriorism is fundamentally flawed: Expert
Racial profiling does no better in helping law enforcement officials in their task of catching terrorists than standard uniform random sampling techniques, says Professor William Press from the University of Texas at Austin. ANI

Workshop to rejuvenate elderly couples' s*x lives organized in Malaysia
A workshop is being organised in Terengganu, Malaysia, with the purpose of rejuvenating the s*x lives of elderly couples. ANI

Lighting throws Oz woman across the room
Amid the storm that hit Darwin yesterday, a woman was thrown across the room by lightning. ANI

Outrage over 'halal meat' served in British parliament
British parliamentarians are furious after they discovered that halal meat was served to them in the House of Commons canteens, restaurants and bars without being told. ANI

Westminster Abbey 'likely to be Prince William's wedding venue'
Prince William's fiancee Kate Middleton has paid a brief visit to Westminster Abbey - leading to speculation the couple has chosen the historic church to tie the knot. ANI

Afghanistan could face 'eye-watering violence' after foreign troops leave: Mark Sedwill
Afghanistan could experience "eye-watering" levels of violence following the withdrawal of foreign combat troops in four years' time, as a "residual insurgency" is likely to continue in many parts of the country, the NATO representative in Kabul has warned. ANI

Oz men pumped-up by 'bulge-boosting underwear!'
Gone are the days when only women looked for padded bras to enhance their credentials - now it's men's turn to do the same. ANI

California district attorney warns against inappropriate pat-downs
A California district attorney has vowed to prosecute airport security screeners who touch travellers inappropriately, following the public outcry over the government's new pat-down policy. ANI

Vicar in UK sparks fury after dressing up as tart for party
A vicar in Britain has sparked fury among his congregation after he went to a "vicars and tarts" party dressed as a tart. ANI

Woman traveller sues after US airport staff 'expose her boobs and laugh'
A woman has filed a lawsuit against the US Government after airport staff allegedly pulled down her top and joked about her br**ts in public view. ANI

Super Bowl 'a huge magnet for s*x traffickers'
The Super Bowl attracts more than just fans to whichever city it is held in, with figures showing that it is also a huge magnet for s*x traffickers. ANI

UFO resembling tortilla chip spotted in the skies over UK for third time
A UFO, dubbed as the "Dudley Dorito" for its resemblance to the tortilla chip, has been spotted in the skies over Britain for the third time. ANI

Mum sparks bomb scare to stop daughter's wedding
A 56-year-old Russian mother told airport officials in Russia that her daughter was a suicide bomber intent on blowing up a passenger jet because the latter was flying away to marry against mum's wish. ANI

Fearless cat sends alligator packing with one strike of its paw
A brave cat stunned onlookers at a park in Louisiana when he decided to square up to a ferocious, snapping alligator. ANI

Yemen beach volleyballers blame sexy bikini-clad cheerleaders for Asian Games defeat!
The Yemeni volleyball team has blamed their defeat in the Asian Games on the bikini-clad cheerleaders performing on the sidelines. ANI

Pak not making enough progress in war on terror: Gates
Pakistan is not making enough progress in the war against terrorism, even though its commitment to eradicate extremism has significantly increased in the last one year, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said. ANI

Mid-term polls non-voters split over Barack Obama: Poll
As US President Barack Obama prepares to contest the 2012 presidential elections for a second term, he is getting conflicting signals from some of the voters who helped him win in 2008, according to a poll by moderate think tank Third Way. ANI

NY jury acquits Tanzanian man of 284 counts of Qaeda-linked terrorism
A New York jury has acquitted a Tanzanian man of 284 counts related to his alleged involvement in Al Qaeda terrorism, delivering a major setback to Obama administration plans to try terror suspects in US civilian courts. ANI

Tamil version of award-winning Malay film 'Papadom' to hit the screens
'Appalam', a Tamil version of director Afdlin Shauki's Malay hit movie 'Papadom', is all set to hit the big screen. ANI

Brit teacher sheds 15st by swapping takeaways for home-cooked meals
A school teacher from Southampton has been crowned Slimming World's Woman of the Year 2010 after she shed a whopping 15 stone in 18 months and dropped from a dress size 30 to 10 through healthy eating. ANI

Pope wants Pak-Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy released
Pope Benedict XVI has called for the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan facing the death sentence awarded by a court in the Nankana Sahib under the Blasphemy Law. ANI

Bush's new book 'Decision Points' sells like hotcakes
Former US President, George W. Bush's new book, 'Decision Points', seems to have become a big hit. ANI

Sarah Palin slams 'American Idol' in soon to be released book
Sarah Palin has slammed popular talent show in her soon to be released book 'America by Heart'. ANI

Glenn McGrath 'weds' Sara Leonardi in secret Sydney ceremony
Former cricketer Glenn McGrath has reportedly tied the knot with Sara Leonardi in a private ceremony in Sydney. ANI

Pak's arms purchases from China go into overdrive
Pakistan is interested in buying more defense systems and equipment from China, and hopes to deepen cooperation to upgrade its armed forces, a top Pakistan Air Force officer said on Wednesday. ANI

Obama to award Bush 'Presidential Medal of Freedom'
US President Barack Obama has announced that he would award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honour, to George W Bush next year. ANI

Hekmatyar willing for cease-fire if coalition forces stay within main bases
Hezb-e-Islami, Afghanisan's most important rebel group after the Taliban, has said that it would agree to a ceasefire if US-led coalition forces stayed in their main bases. ANI

Indian-origin bride killed in South Africa was not sexually assaulted: Police
The Indian-origin bride, who was murdered in South Africa after the car she and her husband were in was hijacked, was not sexually assaulted, according to the police. ANI

US to offer Afghanistan wider role in Special Operations missions: WSJ
In a bid to ease tensions with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the White House has promised to gradually give greater control to Afghans over Special Operations missions that the Afghan president has sharply criticized. ANI

Tom Jones will sing at the Royal Wedding - if invited
If invited, Sir Tom Jones is ready to sing at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. ANI

Bristol Palin apologizes for sister Willow's homophobic slurs on Facebook
Bristol Palin has apologized for her sister Willow's behaviour, amid reports that the Palins had used homophobic and foul slurs on Facebook this week to bash their mother's critics. ANI

Winston Churchill's last ever cigar to go under the hammer
A cigar that once belonged to late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is to be auctioned off along with the crocodile-skin case it was found in after he died. ANI

Asma Jahangir awarded UN Bilbao prize for promoting human rights
Pakistan's noted human rights activist, Asma Jahangir, has been named as this year's winner of the Bilbao Prize- a UN award that recognizes "outstanding individual contribution to promoting the culture of human rights around the world". ANI

Who will pick the Royal wedding tab - Prince William or Brit taxpayers?
It is being said that Prince Charles will pick the tab for Prince Williams and Kate Middleton's wedding, but the ceremony will still leave the taxpayer with a security tab of tens of millions of pounds as the rest of recession-hit Britain tightens its belt. ANI

Taliban IEDs still a major threat in Kandahar: NATO commanders
Soldiers from the US Army's Charlie Company recently spotted a D-cell battery hidden under a pile of rocks, a telltale sign of an improvised explosive device, or IED. ANI

'World's oldest champagne' tastes just as bubbly after 200 years
After nearly 200 years under the Baltic Sea, the 'world's oldest champagne' has kept its sparkle, wine experts have pronounced. ANI

Fed up US man blasts TV with shotgun over Bristol Palin's dance
A 67-year-old man from US blasted his television with a shotgun after watching Bristol Palin's on 'Dancing with the stars' show. ANI

White Britons will be a minority by 2066 if immigration continues in UK
White Britons would be 'a minority' in their own country by 2066 if immigration continues at the current rate, according to research. ANI

Forensic expert tells court that pregnant Canadian Sikh woman was strangled, burned
The Supreme Court in the Canadian province of British Columbia has been told that by a forensic pathologist that a pregnant Canadian Sikh woman was strangled and burned before her body was deposited on a beach. ANI

Former minister confirms unholy France-Pak arms sale kickbacks deal
Former French Defence Minister Charles Millon has confirmed the existence of kickbacks in arms deals with Pakistan, whose cancellation allegedly resulted in a deadly 2002 Karachi bombing. ANI

Musharraf has "very slim chances" of winning democratic elections in Pak: Holbrooke
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has "very slim" chances of regaining power in the 2013 elections, and any return to military rule in the country would be a disaster, a senior US official said on Wednesday. ANI

Half of Rolls-Royce engines on world's A380 fleet need replacing: Qantas boss
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce has said that about 40 Rolls-Royce engines on the world's A380 fleet would need to be replaced following an engine explosion on a Qantas plane earlier this month. ANI

Bobby Jindal 'not interested' in running for president in 2012.
Bobby Jindal, the Indian origin Governor of Louisiana, has claimed that he is not interested in running for president in 2012. ANI

Tacky souvenirs to go on sale in UK after Will and Kate's engagement!
Shop owners in the UK are geared up for what could be a Royal wedding-inspired boom just days after Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement. ANI

Did Hitler's 'secret UFOs' plan to attack London and New York?
It may sound unbelievable at first, but according to a new claim, Hitler's scientists built him a 'flying saucer' which was to be used to attack New York and London. ANI

I gave Kate the chance to back out of engagement, says Prince William
Prince William has revealed that he kept his engagement news under wraps to give his longtime-girlfriend Kate Middleton a chance to back out of becoming a member of the royal family. ANI

Prince William's wedding to boost Britain's hard-pressed economy?
Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding will apparently give Britain's hard-pressed economy a 1-billion-pound boost. ANI

'TVNZ breakfast show ratings remain steady after 'India-race-slur' hosts' resignation'
Television New Zealand (TVNZ) has reportedly turned down reports that viewership of its TV1 morning show Breakfast has dropped since the resignation of its popular host Paul Henry following his 'racist' comments against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. ANI

Taliban neither Islamic nor Pakistani, but mercenary killers: Malik
The Taliban are neither Islamic nor Pakistani, and the entire nation stands united against terrorism, and will ultimately uproot the menace from the country, Federal Interior Minister Rehman A Malik has said. ANI

Palin says she can beat Obama in 2012 Prez polls
Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has said that she is seriously considering a run for the White House, and believes she could beat President Obama in 2012. ANI

Medsynaptic Selected as a 2010 Red Herring Asia Top 100 Tech Startup
Red Herring announced its Top 100 Asia Award in recognition of the leading private companies from Asia, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries. Red Herring’s Top 100 Asia list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs Business Wire India

Gemalto Honored with Homeland Security Award
Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, received an honor at the Government Security News Homeland Security Awards gala in Washington DC. The company’s government-certified Personal Identity Verification credential won the Best Smart Card Solution award. Business Wire India

Medion Enters into MPEG LA’s MPEG-2 License
MPEG LA announced today that Medion AG has entered into the MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License offered by MPEG LA. Business Wire India

Solar Gard® Window Film Calls for Increased Transparency as it Publishes Largest Environmental Product Declaration
Today Solar Gard is making available the results of its environmental product declaration (EPD), which scientifically substantiates that Solar Gard architectural solar control window films have a net positive environmental impact across the globe. An EPD is a complete assessment of the environmental impact of a product Business Wire India

Education for Health and Other Leading Experts Call for National Strategies to Tackle COPD - An Emerging Epidemic in the Workforce
COPD Uncovered 2010, a new report issued on November 17, 2010, exposes the devastating economic, social and personal impact of COPD in the 40–65 years age group – the mainstay of the global workforce[1,2] Business Wire India

ArcSoft Presents TotalMedia Theatre 5, the Next Generation of All-In-One Playback Software, and More
ArcSoft, Inc., the world-leading multimedia software provider, announced the new release of ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre® 5 with an all-new user interface, industry-leading playback technology, and exciting new features. Business Wire India

Vitesse to Offer Fully Compliant 8G-26G Energy Efficient Ethernet Solutions
Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Pink Sheets: VTSS), a leading provider of advanced IC solutions for Carrier and Enterprise networks, today announced that it is the only vendor providing pre-production silicon devices that fully support the newly ratified IEEE 802 Business Wire India

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