Big Ben, one of the UK's most iconic landmarks, is 150 years old on Sunday 31st May 2009. It is the world's largest four-faced chiming clock.

The nick name Big Ben is usually used to describe the clock, the tower which houses it (designed by Pugin) as well as the large bell lodged inside. Purists prefer to reserve the term for the large or great bell though there is some uncertainly as to the 'Ben' the nick name derives from.

There are two contenders the commissioner of the works Sir Benjamin Hall and a heavyweight boxer of the time of its casting Benjamin Caunt.

During the second world war there was heavy bombing on London including on the Palace of Westminster. The chamber of the House of Commons was destroyed and whilst the clock face of Big Ben was damaged the clock never stopped working or chiming the quarter hours as it still does today.

  • The bell – or Great Bell, nicknamed Big Ben – weighs 13.5 tonnes (30,000lbs)

  • The clock was first started on May 31, 1859. Big Ben first struck the hour on July 11 that year

  • The BBC first broadcast the chimes on December 31, 1923

  • The chimes are based on Handel’s Messiah, a phrase from the aria I Know that My Redeemer Liveth. They were set to verse and the words inscribed on a plaque in the clock room: All through this hour Lord be my Guide That by Thy Power No foot shall slide

  • When a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber in 1941, glass was blown out of the south dial but the clock kept going

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Both clubs caught their stride at the end of their respective conference finals. Each snowballing with momentum, we're bound to have a colossal collision between these two giants.

After dismantling the Nuggets, the Lakers are back in the championship round, but staring into the eyes of new adversaries. Though questioned and criticized by critics in their series against Houston and Denver, Phil Jackson and Kobe pulled out victories, telling everyone in the basketball world, "we know we're doing".

Dwight Howard, sick of the media hyping the Kobe/Lebron NBA finals showdown, took it upon himself to erase the Cavaliers from the playoff picture in game six. 40 points and 14 rebounds later, he and the Magic find themselves somewhere the team hasn't been in over a decade. Here in new territory, Superman and crew get to prove to the world just how hungry they are.

Many people out there won't give Orlando much of a chance at winning this series, and for good reason; the Lakers are battle tested, more experienced, and have pieces that the Cavs didn't have to take down the Magic.

Bynum and Pau Gasol are very capable on both ends of the court. While on defense, Stan Van Gundy won't be able to cheat off of them to focus on Kobe without paying a price. The Cavaliers did not make the Magic pay for doubling Lebron, but if SVG implements a similar strategy for Kobe, don't expect the same outcome. One glaring problem for the Magic is the Lakers' size down on the block. With Pau and Bynum are on the floor at the same time, I doubt Lewis playing power forward will suffice defensively speaking. Additionally, if Phil runs plays for his big men early and often, Howard is in danger of getting into early foul trouble. It'll be interesting to see whether or not SVG decides to play Gortat and Howard together more often for matchup purposes.

That being said, the Magic can also impose their will on offense if they take the initiative. Playing Rashard at PF allows them to stretch the floor (with Turkoglu, Howard, Lee, and Alston filling the other four spots), drawing Gasol out of the paint. This gives Dwight some room in the middle to execute some post moves, and get Bynum in foul trouble. When the double team comes, Howard knows the kick out to one of his open shooters. If the Magic can consistently hit from behind the arc, then they've got a shot at winning this thing.

For this reason, I think Phil Jackson will choose not to play Gasol and Bynum at the same time, instead opting to have Odom play big minutes at the 4. Kobe, Ariza, and Odom are going to give Orlando's wing-men lots of trouble on defense, and have more than enough offense ability between the three of them keep Orlando defenders honest while the Lakers have the ball.

Much of this battle will be dependent on the coaches. Both teams have multiple options, and it really comes down to how the coaches choose to adjust based on what's happening.


In series 3, Britain’s Got Talent become more popular than ever, with an especially large international audience thanks in large part to one of the most overrated reality TV contestants in recent memory, singer Susan Boyle.

As much hype as there was surrounding Boyle, mounting speculation during the semi-final rounds was that she was no sure thing to win, as there was a lot of talent (in addition to some acts that slipped through merely because they were desperate to fill 40 slots).
The top ten who competed in the final were:

2 Grand: grandfather and granddaughter singing duo (on her own, the granddaughter had potential, though either way Callum Francis should have advanced instead)
Aidan Davis: 12 year old dancer (who many said was better than last year’s winner George Sampson)
Diversity: male dance group
Flawless: male dance group
Hollie Steel: 10 year old singer (who many felt was put through with a pity vote after she broke down crying during her semi-final performance)
Julian Smith: saxophonist
Shaheen Jafargholi: 12 year old singer (arguably the best singer in the competition)
Shaun Smith: singer
Stavros Flatly: Greek dancing father and son seriously needing to start wearing shirts
Susan Boyle: singer

The top three acts as voted for by the public are: Susan Boyle, Julian Smith, and Diversity.

In third place is Julian Smith. The Britain’s Got Talent 2009 winner is Diversity. The group dance acts normally get lost in the shuffle, but their creativity made them stand out, which can be attributed largely to choreographer and lead dancer Ashley Banjo. With their win, they are now £100,000 richer and will be performing for the queen at the Royal Variety. As for the other acts, there are several who can make careers out of their talents, not the least of which is runner up Susan Boyle, who Simon Cowell will no doubt be signing any day now.

A man aged 29 has fathered 21 children with 11 different women, it emerged yesterday.

Desmond Hatchett's brood came to light after authorities in Tennessee in the U.S. took him to court for non-payment of child support.

He has apparently set a U.S. record but said: 'It just happened.'

He added that he would not have any more children. 'I'm done. I'll say I'm done,' he said.

Hatchett, who earns a minimal wage, told TV reporters he knows the names and ages of all his offspring.

Their ages range from newborn to 11 years old.

Authorities in Knoxville said they plan to take half of his monthly salary to pay for the youngsters but officials said that would work out to just over £1 a week for each.

His lawyer Keith Pope said: 'The children can't all be supported by Desmond, so the state of Tennessee has had to step in.'

Many Knoxville residents called for him to be castrated.

He even boasted of fathering four children by different women in the same year.

Hatchett's name appeared on court documents 11 times representing 15 of his 21 children.

U.S. authorities are now braced for more women coming forward to claim Hatchett is the father of their children after he appeared on local TV.

He said the women he was involved with all knew he had other children.

One mother, who has two children with Hatchett, said she should get £44 a month but rarely receives any child support.

'It's frustrating, but usually, when I ask he gives it to me,' she said.

Authorities in Knoxville ordered Hatchett to court to explain how he intends to pay child support.

He arrived for the hearing with just over £300.

A Russian naval ship carrying out target practice off the Russian Baltic Sea coast accidentally rained shell fragments on a village near St. Petersburg, officials said Friday.

Nobody was injured when the fragments from shells fired by an anti-submarine ship in the Gulf of Finland fell on houses in the village of Zelyonaya Roshcha, close to the border with Finland, regional military prosecutor Igor Lebedev said. An investigation has begun, Lebedev said.

Russia's NTV television said that the ship fired its six-barrel anti-aircraft gun near the shore, and the exploding shells rained shards of metal on the village. It showed metal fragments several centimeters (inches) long which were spread all over the area.

"Some people thought that a war started," one villager, Yuri Mikhailov, was quoted as telling the RIA Novosti news agency. "It was like a hail of steel."

A Chinese man who has been suffering from a bleeding nose for years is feeling much better after a 10cm long leech was removed from his nose, which had been living there for five years, reports China Daily.

According to the daily, the 73 year old man named Fu, who is from a village in the south of the country, decided to visit a village doctor after his nose bled for ten days in a row.

Fu thinks that the leech entered his nose five years ago, when the bleeding and blocked nose started, maybe at the moment when he drank water from a spring in the mountains, whilst he was gathering herbs.

A new member of the arenavirus family, Lujo virus, has been identified in patients who died during an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in late 2008. Sequence analysis reveals that Lujo is a new arenavirus, genetically distinct from other members of the family which includes Lassa virus.

A patient with unexplained hemorrhagic fever was identified in Zambia in September 2008. After transfer to Sandton for further care, four health care workers involved with the case also became ill. The first four patients died, and the fifth survived after treatment with ribavirin.

Sequence analysis of total liver and serum RNA from the patients revealed the presence of a new member of the arenavirus family. The virus has been provisionally named Lujo based on its origin in Lusaka, Zambia, and Johannesburg, South Africa. Phylogenetic trees were prepared from the viral genome sequences (example at left). These trees show that Lujo virus branches off the root of the Old World arenaviruses. This analysis suggests that Lujo virus is a member of a novel genetic lineage, and is distinct from previously characterized viruses in this family.

It’s not clear how the index case was infected by Lujo virus. Most arenavirus infections are acquired by contact with infected rodent excreta, by inhalation of dust or aerosolized virus-containing particles, or ingestion of contaminated foods. At least one arenavirus might be transmitted from bats, and this possibility should not be ruled out for Lujo virus. The index patient likely transmitted the infection to the four health care workers via aerosols or infected body fluids.

There are several noteworthy aspects of this emerging story. First, it is clear that pyrosequencing can be used to rapidly identify new pathogens. In this case, sequences were obtained within 72 hours of receipt of clinical specimens. Lujo virus appears to be highly lethal in humans, based on the deaths of 4 out of 5 of the infected patients. However the number of infections identified so far is small, and the lethality ratio might fall as additional infections are studied. Now that the sequence of Lujo virus is known, reagents can be produced which will enable rapid identification of new cases by more conventional diagnostic approaches such as polymerase chain reaction. Lujo is a new member of the arenavirus family and is genetically distinct from both Old and New World arenaviruses. Why it has just appeared in humans is not known, but possible reasons include the more frequent contact between humans and wild animal species, and better and more aggressive detection methods. It is likely that a virus closely related to Lujo is present in either rodents or bats but has not been previously detected. As we have said many times before, the zoonotic pool is very deep.

I am struck by similarities between the events surrounding the discovery of Lujo virua and Lassa virus in 1969. In both outbreaks, Columbia University Medical center was involved, and a nurse who was infected by the index patient survived as a consequence of antiviral therapy.

A woman whose three-year-old son was abducted and taken to live in Hungary has been reunited with him 27 years later after finding his name on Facebook.

Avril Grube last saw Gavin when his father took him on an outing to Blackpool Zoo. That was in 1982.

Instead of going to the zoo, however, Joseph Paros took the boy to Budapest in defiance of a court order.

Despite appeals via the Hungarian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Budapest, and an appeal to Margaret Thatcher, then the Prime Minister, Mrs Grube heard nothing more of her son.

Then last October, her sister, Beryl Wilson, typed the name Gavin Paros into Google and found a link to someone of that name on the social networking site Facebook.

A frustrating wait followed. With more than 200 million users, there was a possibility that the Facebook member merely shared the name with Mrs Grube’s son.

It was several weeks before Mr Paros, now a 30-year-old father of three, checked his Facebook page and found the message from his aunt. Mother and son were reunited at 4am on Thursday after her husband Jeff picked him up from Gatwick and drove him to their home in Poole, Dorset. Mrs Grube, 61, who is partially disabled after a stroke, said: “I couldn’t sleep, I just sat waiting for him to arrive. Even though it has been nearly 30 years, when I first saw him I recognised him. He has my eyes.

“I was so overcome and just said ‘my beautiful son’ over and over again. He was very quiet and overwhelmed. We just hugged each other. It is the happiest day of my life, there are almost no words to describe it.”

The pair managed to communicate, although Mr Paros has forgotten all the English he knew as a boy and Mrs Grube does not speak Hungarian.

Mrs Grube, who has three other children, has yet to meet her daughter-in-law, Sylvia, and three grandchildren Anastasia, 10, Thomas, 7, and Angelina, 6. She hopes they will decide to move to Britain.

Mrs Wilson, 59, had spent the best part of three decades helping her sister trace her son. Because Hungary was a Communist state in 1982 on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain it made the task of tracing a three-year-old boy virtually impossible for a single mother in Liverpool. Appeals for help through official channels fell on deaf ears.

Mrs Wilson, who still lives in Liverpool, said: “Gavin’s father had visitation rights and said he was going to the zoo. Naturally, my sister was devastated. We didn’t have people around us to tell us where to go or who to speak to. We tried our MP and wrote to Margaret Thatcher but nobody was interested or wanted to help.

“Avril endured many sleepless nights, not knowing if Gavin was alive or dead. She didn’t cope very well and had a terrible time. She has a big heart and loves her children very much. As a result her own health has suffered.”

While Mrs Wilson was trying to trace Mr Paros through the internet, he had been trying to find his English family after the death of his father in 2006. Mrs Wilson said: “I tried online electoral rolls to check if Gavin had moved back to Britain, and I tried Friends Reunited, but didn’t get anywhere.

“Then one day last October I put his name into Facebook and found him. I e-mailed him but it took a while for him to respond and when he did he gave me his phone numbers.

“I called my sister when I heard back from Gavin and told her to sit down as I had some news. All I heard after that was screaming.”

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A 2-year-old boy is dead and it appears that his 3-year-old sister accidentally shot him in the chest, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.

The accidental shooting happened around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, in the 4200 block of Parkwood Court.

Ruben Soto III, 2, had a gunshot wound to his chest when BPD officers arrived, Soto was taken to Kern Medical Center, but later died.

According to the BPD, the children's mother was in another area of the apartment when the 3-year-old girl apparently grabbed a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun from under her parents bed and accidentally shot her brother.

The neighborhood was in shock.

"It's pretty shocking, you know, parents having a gun when kids can get to it and it's loaded," said Bobby Ortiz.

"I don't know if there's another word to describe it, it's just a tragedy," said Sgt. Greg Terry of the BPD. "It's so important that if you're going to have firearms in your possession, make sure they're stored safely, so that incidents like this don't occur."

According to Terry, if a firearm is in a home where children can reasonably access the weapon and cause great bodily injury or death, it is a crime.

The BPD is still investigating just how the young girl may have gotten the weapon.

The children's father was at work at the time of the shooting.

Tegucigalpa - A strong quake measuring at least 7.1 points struck offshore from the Central American country of Honduras on Thursday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens, local authorities said. Marcos Burgos, head of the Permanent Contingency Commission (Copeco), the Honduran civil defence agency, told the television channel Televicentro that the number of injured is rising, beyond the four deaths, as is the number of homes destroyed by the quake.

Moreover, he noted that the country's communications infrastructure suffered damages, so that the real magnitude of the quake's effects remained unknown.

The first confirmed quake death was that of a 15-year-old boy, who was killed when his house collapsed in Pineda de La Lima, 265 kilometres north of the capital Tegucigalpa, rescuers said.

Burgos noted that several fires had also been reported.

Dozens of people were injured in several locations, while hundreds of houses were reportedly in ruins.

The quake also damaged churches, a major bridge and caused power cuts.

US seismology officials put the strength of the quake at 7.1 points, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it measured 7.3 points.

Dozens of people were injured in San Pedro Sula in the north, several of them seriously.

A bridge known as La Democracia collapsed in El Progreso, cutting traffic.

Several churches were destroyed in the department of Santa Barbara near the Guatemalan border and in Comayagua in the centre of the country, Carlos Gonzalez of Copeco said.

Several regions were without electricity, drinking water and mobile phone services.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a warning to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and other Caribbean areas except for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

However, only government agencies had the authority to take decisions on official alerts, the centre said.

The 30-second quake was caused by a collision between the Caribbean and North American plates, said seismology expert Gonzalo Cruz from the Honduras National Autonomous University.

US seismology officials said the quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres and some 320 kilometres north-east of Tegucigalpa.

The quake was followed by up to five aftershocks. The extent of the damage in neighbouring countries was not yet known.

Buenos Aires - A Bible stopped a bullet and saved a pastor's life in an attempted mugging in Argentina's Mendoza province, the news agency DyN reported Thursday, citing police sources. When the protestant minister was unable to produce any money - he only had a few pesos on him in addition to his Bible - one of the two muggers lost his cool and shot him from point-blank range.

The pastor held up his Bible to protect himself and the hard cover stopped the bullet.

The victim suffered only minor injuries. The two muggers fled the scene.

Did a UFO deliberately crash into a meteor to save Earth 100 years ago? That's what one Russian scientist is claiming.

Dr. Yuri Labvin, president of the Tunguska Spatial Phenomenon Foundation, insists that an alien spacecraft sacrificed itself to prevent a gigantic meteor from slamming into the planet above Siberia on June 30, 1908.

The result was was the Tunguska event, a massive blast estimated at 15 megatons that downed 80 million trees over nearly 100 square miles. Eyewitnesses reported a bright light and a huge shock wave, but the area was so sparsely populated no one was killed.

Most scientists think the blast was caused by a meteorite exploding several miles above the surface. But Labvin thinks quartz slabs with strange markings found at the site are remnants of an alien control panel, which fell to the ground after the UFO slammed into the giant rock.

"We don't have any technologies that can print such kind of drawings on crystals," Labvin told the Macedonian International News Agency. "We also found ferrum silicate that can not be produced anywhere, except in space."

President Obama is expected to announce late this week that he will create a "cyber czar," a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation's government-run and private computer networks, according to people who have been briefed on the plan.

The adviser will have the most comprehensive mandate granted to such an official to date and will probably be a member of the National Security Council but will report to the national security adviser as well as the senior White House economic adviser, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations are not final.

The announcement will coincide with the long-anticipated release of a 40-page report that evaluates the government's cybersecurity initiatives and policies. The report is intended to outline a "strategic vision" and the range of issues the new adviser must handle, but it will not delve into details, administration officials told reporters last month.

Cybersecurity "is vitally important, and the government needs to be coordinated on this," a White House official said Friday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The report give conclusions and next steps. It's trying to steer us in the right direction."

The document will not resolve the politically charged issue of what role the National Security Agency, the premier electronic surveillance agency, will have in protecting private-sector networks. The issue is a key concern in policy circles, and experts say it requires a full and open debate over legal authorities and the protection of citizens' e-mails and phone calls. The Bush administration's secrecy in handling its Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, most of which was classified, hindered such a debate, privacy advocates have said.

The White House's role will be to oversee the process, formulate policy and coordinate agencies' roles, and will not be operational, administration officials have said.

Obama was briefed a week ago and signed off on the creation of the position, the sources said. But as of Friday, discussions were continuing as to what rank and title the adviser would have. The idea is to name someone who can "pick up the phone and contact the president directly, if need be," an administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Obama pledged during his presidential campaign to elevate the issue of cybersecurity to a "top priority" and to appoint a national cybersecurity adviser "who will report directly to me."

Having the adviser report to both the national security and economic advisers suggests that the White House is seeking to ensure a balance between homeland security and economic concerns, the sources said. It also indicates an effort to quell an internal political battle in which Lawrence H. Summers, the senior White House economic adviser, is pushing for the National Economic Council to have a key role in cybersecurity to ensure that efforts to protect private networks do not unduly threaten economic growth, the sources said.

The report suggests that although it is a key government responsibility to help secure private-sector networks, regulation should be the last resort, the sources said. The report touts the concept of public-private partnerships to protect nongovernmental systems. It discusses the need to provide incentives for greater data sharing and risk management, and to use the procurement process to drive greater security, they said.

The report recommends that members be appointed to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent executive branch agency created by Congress in 2007 to ensure that privacy concerns are considered in the implementation of counterterrorism policies and laws. The report suggests that the board's mandate expressly include cybersecurity, the sources said.

The document is based on a 60-day review of cyber policies, led by Melissa Hathaway, the interim White House cybersecurity adviser and former intelligence official who is a contender for the new position. During that review, Hathaway's team had dozens of meetings with representatives from industry, academia and civil liberties groups, and received more than 100 papers.

PERTH, Australia—An Australian student worried about her parents' money problems rifled through a pile of her lottery tickets Thursday and discovered that she had won 13 million Australian dollars ($10 million) 10 months ago, a state lottery agency said.

The student, living in the west coast city of Perth, received the winning ticket for a draw on July 22 last year as a gift from her father, Western Australia state agency Lotterywest said.

She had been unaware that it would have expired after 12 months, it said in a statement.

"I woke up this morning worried about our finances. Something made me think to check the tickets and I thought that if I win something, then I could help mom and dad out," Lotterywest quoted her as saying. She declined to be identified by name.

"The people close to me will be looked after and I might give some to research or a charity of some kind. It's nice to have this much to fulfill my dreams and the dreams of the people around me," she told the agency.

HUNDREDS of British spies will step out of the shadows later this year when they hold a ball to celebrate MI6’s centenary.

The gala event will take place in October – at a secret location of course.

In theory the celebration is being kept hush-hush by the Secret Intelligence Service. But details are beginning to leak out from its fortress-like headquarters in London.

The event will be a strictly Black Tie affair and wives and girlfriends will be invited to ensure that MI6’s predominantly male staff have someone to dance with.

Whether there will be martinis, roulette tables and a car park full of Aston Martin DB5s remains to be seen.

However, with the British economy straining under the weight of the recession, the organisation is keen to make clear that its agents are paying for tickets to the event from their own pockets.

MI6 has taken various steps in recent years aimed at demystifying the profession and becoming more approachable.

In 2007, two secret agents gave the first “on the record interview” with the media, telling the BBC that they were not like James Bond and dismissing claims that their lives were like the TV drama series Spooks.

MI6’s head of recruitment said: “This is the biggest myth at the service. We do not have a licence to kill, we do not carry Berettas. That’s simply not true.”

A female operational officer also provided an insight into aspects of her work with foreign agents: “We absolutely never threaten or blackmail or coerce people to work with us. That is the most counter-productive tactic you can ever use,” she said.

Last year MI6 broke with tradition by recruiting the next generation of spies through the social networking site Facebook, having already issued a series of newspaper and radio adverts.

The three pop-up adverts appealed to university graduates, young professionals who were bored with their jobs and even those who sought a place in global history.

One read: “A career in world events? Help influence world events, protect the UK. Operational officer roles collecting and analysing global intelligence.”

MI6 was founded in October 1909 in a joint initiative by the Admiralty and the War Office to control secret intelligence operations amid deep concern about Germany’s military expansion.

Today the organisation says it fights “regional instability, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and illegal narcotics”.

Russian child protection officers have taken into care a five-year-old girl who barks and laps up food like a dog, having had more contact with canines than humans.

The girl had been found in a filthy apartment living with her father and grandparents but also cats and several dogs, with whom she appeared more comfortable, police in the Eastern Siberian city of Chita said in a statement.

Never allowed outdoors, the girl had not learnt to speak but instead tried to communicate by barking.

When discovered by child protection officers, "the unwashed girl was dressed in filthy clothes" and "threw herself at people like a little dog."

In a stab at humour, the police statement dubbed the girl "Mowgli" after a fictional character who grew up among wolves in a children's book by the Anglo-Indian writer Rudyard Kipling.

The flat's owners "practically never let anyone into the apartment and themselves only went out to walk their pets, trying to avoid meeting their neighbours.

"In all these years, the girl managed to master the animal language only," the statement said, adding that the girl could understand Russian, while not speaking it.

"For about five years the girl was 'brought up' by several dogs and cats and not once went outside," the statement added.

Currently living in a care facility and receiving medical and psychiatric help, the girl continues "to jump against the door and bark" if her carers leave the room she is occupying, it said.

In a report by the Vesti television channel, the head of the care centre where the girl is now living said she was still exhibiting dog-like behaviour and preferred to lap up her food rather than using cutlery.

The television channel found that the girl's family had practically bariccaded themselves into their apartment in the wake of the attention.

"These neighbours are really unsociable," one neighbour, Nina Novikova, said of the family. "They only go out at night so as to avoid meeting anyone."

Police said they plan to open a criminal investigation for abuse.

In March, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged action on child abuse, saying 760,000 children were living in "socially hazardous conditions".

The death toll from Cyclone Aila in eastern India and Bangladesh rose to at least 168 today, officials said, while heavy rains after the storm caused deadly mudslides and slowed rescue efforts.

The toll was expected to rise in both countries as rescue workers reached cut-off areas.

The cyclone destroyed thousands of homes and stranded tens of thousands of people in flooded villages before it began to ease yesterday.

But mudslides in India's Darjeeling tea district killed at least 20 people overnight, according to a local government official, P Zimba.

The official death toll in India stood at 68 today, said Ashok Mohan Chakraborty, a senior official in the worst-hit state, West Bengal

Bangladesh's food and disaster management ministry said the toll there was 100 after more bodies were found. Most victims drowned or were washed away when storm surges hit coastal areas.

Soldiers have been deployed to take food, water and medicine to tens of thousands of people stranded in flooded villages, a Bangladeshi minister, Abdur Razzak, said today.

Chakraborty said at least 50 people had been rescued from rooftops in the Sundarbans, a tangle of mangrove forests that is home to one of the world's largest tiger populations. Conservationists expressed concern over the tigers' fate.

At least one tiger from the flooded reserve took refuge in a house. Forest guards tranquilised it and were planning to release it once the waters subside, said Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, which assisted in the operation.

It is believed about 250 tigers live on the Indian side of the Sundarbans and another 250 live on the Bangladeshi side.

Conservationists said water levels were too high for ecologists and forest officials to enter the area and assess the damage.

  • London:

Police have questioned an elderly woman who is believed to have stored her mother’s body in a freezer at her home in Sidcup, Kent, for more than 20 years.

Daulaut Irani, 83, was interviewed under caution after the body was discovered and identified as that of her mother Gulbai Freedoon Murzan, who was born in 1901.

A police spokesman said: “The death is being treated as unexplained rather than suspicious. There have been no arrests and an 83-year-old woman has been interviewed under caution.”

Post-mortem examination results are expected later this week.

Officers were called to the property in Park Mead on May 20 after being alerted by a neighbor.

A neighbor told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Obviously it was shocking when the police came and told me what happened. They said they believed she had been in the freezer for more than 20 years.

“I think it was an immigration thing because her mum was illegal and they didn’t want anyone to know.”

The neighbor described Irani as a “very private person” who kept her garden in pristine condition.

Another neighbor believed Irani had confided in a friend, who had passed on the information to police.

Ray Dyson, 77, who lives nearby, said Irani was a “nice old lady” who went quietly about her business.

He told the Daily Mirror: “This has all come as a bit of a shock. The first we knew was when two police cars and an officer in a full forensic bodysuit turned up.

“They taped off the garage and have now put a padlock on it.”

We’re closing out the night with a story that can only be described as tragic…..

The 4-year-old daughter of boxing legend Mike Tyson has died one day after she accidentially hung herself with a treadmill cord while playing at home.

Phoenix Police spokesman Andy Hill says Exodus Tyson was removed from life support and pronounced dead just before noon on Tuesday.

“I was just advised by investigators that Exodus Tyson was pronounced deceased at 11:45 AM today at the hospital. Our sympathies go out to the family,” a rep for the Phoenix Police Department said in statement released this afternoon.

Police believe the little girl had been playing on the treadmill when her head slipped inside a cord hanging under the console. Exodus’ 7-year-old brother found her unresponsive and alerted their mother, who immediately contacted paramedics.

Tyson — a former heavyweight boxing champion — was in Las Vegas at the time of the accident and flew to Phoenix after learning his daughter had been hospitalized.

Authorities have ruled the child’s death a “tragic accident.”

Things like this are not supposed to happen to kids. Very sad…Rest In Peace, Exodus….

North Korea said on Wednesday it is abandoning a truce ending its war with South Korea and has warned it could launch a military attack against its southern neighbour.The announcement comes two days after Pyongyang conducted a second nuclear test in the northwest of the country and amid rumours it is restarting nuclear fuel work which could make plutonium for an atomic weapon.

North Korea's anger follows South Korea's decision to join a US-led international security initiative, established after the 11 September attacks to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"It's hard to say it's a genuine menace," said correspondent Eban Ramstad, referring to whether Pyongyang's threats of a military attack were seen as genuine.

However, the fact that North Korea did issue a warning "is a sign that their anger is relatively higher now," Ramstad said on the line from Seoul, South Korea.

The possibility of an attack is being taken seriously as British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called on the United Nations Security Council to hold firm against North Korea's defiant nuclear and missile tests.

"There is an absolute premium on maintaining unity in the face of this provocation from North Korea," said Miliband at a news conference in Ankara, Turkey on Wednesday.

Barcelona (Eto’o 10′, Messi 70′) 2-0 Manchester United
Stadium: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Competition: UEFA Champions League Final

Date: 27 May 2009

Kickoff: 18:45 GMT

Barcelona clinched the Treble as they humbled Manchester United in the Finals of the UEFA Champions League!
It’s a dream match in every sense of the word. Two of the most storied and successful franchises in the world, each led by a claimant to the mantle of “World’s Best Player,” and each on the verge of historical seasons, will battle it out for supremacy with the most coveted title in Europe on the line. Both teams will come into this match having secured their respective domestic league championship, which marks the first time that two domestic champions met in the Champions League Final since 1999. The winner that year was Manchester United. The place was the Nou Camp at Barcelona.

Quite simply the better side won on the night...
Barcelona out-thought and out-passed Manchester United. It sounds obvious but the first goal completely changed the game. Until then United were playing with aggression and verve and the tone was changed by the concession. This Barca side know how to play a team chasing the game and while United worked hard to get back into it, the second seemed inevitable. Man of the match? Xavi without question. He was outstanding.

Manchester United were outclassed in the Stadio Olimpico as Barcelona wrapped up the first ever La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League treble.

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