Man falls from air ambulance in Australia, dies

An Australian backpacker Saturday fell to his death from an air ambulance while he was being rescued after hurting his ankle near Mansfield town in Australia’s Victoria state, Sky News reported.

“I understand he was at the door of the helicopter and they were attempting to get him into the helicopter when it happened,” said Ambulance Victoria chief executive Greg Sassella.

“The flight crew and the paramedic winched back down to the scene to attempt to resuscitate the patient but unfortunately he was beyond help,” Sassella added.

Will quit if PDP can solve Kashmir issue in an year: Omar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday said he would step down and offer support of his 28 National Conference legislators to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) if its patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed would solve the Kashmir problem in one year.

In a dig at Sayeed who said some time back if his party had 40 seats in the 87-member state legislative assembly, he would resolve the Kashmir problem in one year, Abdullah said: “You have 21 assembly members. I will provide you the support of my 28 assembly members.”

‘Black Jesus’ Stephen Tari hacked to death in PNG

A convicted Papua New Guinea preacher, who called himself “Black Jesus” and led a cannibal cult with some 6,000 members, has been hacked to death, a leading Australian daily reported Saturday.

Stephen Tari, 40, was killed by a mob in his village Thursday for murdering a local woman and attempting to kill another, the Sydney Morning Herald reported citing a senior police officer.

Provincial police chief Sylvester Kalaut said Friday that Tari had been attacked and killed with one of his followers at Gal, his home village near Madang province.

Meet the chimpanzee who won 10,000 dollars as prize for abstract painting

A chimpanzee named Brent has reportedly won 10,000 dollars at an art contest in the US, with the prize money going towards his home sanctuary Chimp Haven in north-west Louisiana.

The 37-year-old former lab animal Brent got the most votes in the chimpanzee art contest organized by the Humane Society of the United States for his painting, which he made by using his tongue to apply delicate smears of blue, violet, yellow and turquoise instead of a brush, the Guardian reported.

India’s forex reserves down $1.08 bn

India’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves decreased by $1.08 billion to $277.72 billion for the week ended Aug 23, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The reserves had increased by $205.8 million to $278.80 billion for the week ended Aug 16.

The foreign currency assets (FCA) – the biggest component of the forex reserves – fell by $1.07 billion to $250.48 billion, the weekly statistical supplement of the central bank showed.

The FCA had grown by $211.7 million at $251.56 billion in the previous week.

Majority of French oppose military intervention in Syria

Nearly two-thirds of the French people do not want France to participate in a military operation in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack that left hundreds of civilians dead, a poll showed Saturday.

According to a survey conducted by BVA, a French marketing and opinion research company, 64 percent of respondents oppose military action in Syria, with 58 percent of them expressing doubts about French President Francois Hollande’s ability to conduct an intervention, reports Xinhua.

Arab foreign ministers to discuss Syria

Arab foreign ministers will meet Sunday in Cairo to discuss the recent developments of the Syrian crisis, an Arab League spokesman said Saturday.

The meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday, but it was advanced at the request of Saudi Arabia after consultations with other Arab countries, said spokesman Seif Hatti, reports Xinhua.

In light of the recent developments in Syria and the US readiness to strike it, the Pan-Arab organisation should consider steps to resolve the crisis without harming civilians, he said.

Microsoft, Google to sue US government

Technology firms Microsoft and Google are set to sue the US government to win the right to reveal more information about official requests for user data in the wake of revelations by Edward Snowden, the Guardian reported Saturday.

The companies announced the lawsuit Friday after talks with the justice department stalled.

This is expected to escalate a legal battle over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa), which is used by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other US government agencies to gather data about foreign internet users.

India to grow at 5.5 percent this year; export outlook optimistic: Anand Sharma

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Saturday expressed hope that India’s GDP would grow by 5.5 percent during the current fiscal and export performance will be better despite global slow-down.

“Regardless of the GDP numbers released yesterday, I am confident that India’s GDP growth will not be less than 5.5 per cent this year,” he said,” while addressing the leading exporters here after inaugurating the brand new office of the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) in Andheri, Mumbai.

Meet the man who can run 3 days-3 nights straight without stopping!

American ultra-marathon runner Dean Karnazes has revealed that he can run for three days and three nights without stopping or even getting a blister.

The 51-year old, who is the author of ‘Ultramarathon man: Confessions of an All Night Runner’, has participated in some of the toughest marathons including running to the South Pole in -25 degrees Celsius temperature and claims that he”s never ever experienced any form of cramp or muscle fatigue, the Courier Mail reported.

Meet the chimpanzee who won 10,000 dollars as prize for abstract painting

A chimpanzee named Brent has reportedly won 10,000 dollars at an art contest in the US, with the prize money going towards his home sanctuary Chimp Haven in north-west Louisiana.

The 37-year-old former lab animal Brent got the most votes in the chimpanzee art contest organized by the Humane Society of the United States for his painting, which he made by using his tongue to apply delicate smears of blue, violet, yellow and turquoise instead of a brush, the Guardian reported.

Beckham’s London restaurant becomes ‘sell-out’ even before launch

David Beckham’s new London restaurant with Gordon Ramsay, which opens in September, has reportedly received 2,500 bookings within 4 hours of the reservation line going live.

According to sources, staff at Union Street Café in Southwark had taken 2,500 bookings and it has been revealed that there are no tables available until November, the Independent reported.

It is believed that the pull of the Beckham name goes some way to accounting for the scramble for tables. (ANI)

Pak says preliminary talks with Taliban ‘paying off’

The Pakistan government has confirmed that preliminary talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group to negotiate a peace pact has started to ’pay-off’.

A senior government official, on condition of anonymity, said that the government had done a lot of homework before reestablishing contacts with the TTP for negotiations on the peace process, and their damage control efforts had started showing results, the Express Tribune reports.

Oz opposition leader Tony Abbott terms burqa as ‘confronting attire’

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott has said that the Muslim attire ‘burqa’ is very confronting and should not be very widespread on the streets of the nation.

Abbott said that although burqa was not the sort of attire that he would like to see much on the streets of Australia, everyone was entitled to make their choice in what they wear as it’s a free country, the Courier Mail reports.

The statement came in response to earlier comments made by McMahon Liberal candidate Ray King that burqas are a “sign of oppression” and can be linked to criminality.

Co-founder’s mistress becomes 5th most Googled subject on own site!

Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s new girlfriend, Amanda Rosenberg is reportedly the 5th most searched subject on the Google site for bedding the firm’s two bosses.

Rosenberg, 26, Google Glass marketing manager is currently dating married boss Brin and was earlier going around with ex-Google Android executive Hugo Barra and is apparently the reason for Brin and wife of six years Annie Wojcicki’s divorce.

NSA cracked Qaeda communication network to hunt down bin-Laden

The classified data leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the alleged US ‘snoop-ops’ show that the agency’s methods helped in exploiting the al Qaeda communication network and locate Osama bin Laden’s hideout.

The documents which also reveal the agency’s ‘black budget’ state that an arm of the NSA known as the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group provided data from mobile phones used by al Qaeda operatives and other persons of interest for the Abbottabad operation.

China, Pakistan pledge to boost military cooperation

China”s Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang met with Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan, in Beijing on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two generals pledged to further boost military cooperation between the two countries, Xinhua reports.

Xu said China and Pakistan are good neighbours, good friends, good partners and good brothers, and the practical military-to-military cooperation will not only benefit the two countries, but also help to safeguard peace and stability in the region.

Al Assad’s son pokes America with ”I want them to attack soooo much” jibe

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s 11-year-old son has reportedly dared the United States to strike at Syria on his Facebook post.

Hafez al-Assad allegedly wrote: “I just want them to attack soooo much, because I want them to begin something that they don”t know the end of,” News.com.au reports.

Although it has not been confirmed yet whether the profile is real or not, The New York Times has put forward evidence backing its authenticity.

Australia backs U.S. strike against ”thug and murderer” Assad

Australia has justified the United States decision to launch military strike against the Syrian regime, calling President Bashar al-Assad a “thug and a murderer.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr said the Syrian regime “deserves a response” for using chemical weapons to kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children, the Age reports.

Carr was upset after looking at a footage displaying neuro-toxic symptoms of a gas attack on youngsters and said: “What leader other than a thug and a murderer can approve that sort of assault on children?”

U.S. drone strikes in Yemen kill senior Al Qaeda leaders

The recent drone strike by the United States in Yemen has resulted in the deaths of six alleged militants, including two senior leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

A CNN report said that eight missiles were launched by two unmanned drone planes.

According to the report, a top AQAP leader of Baitha province, Qaed al-Thahab, was among those who got killed.

Earlier, 19 U.S. embassies, including in Yemen and other Middle Eastern and African countries, were closed down, amid AQAP threat to launch an attack targeting foreigners.

50% Americans don’t want U.S. to strike Syria: Poll

A recent poll has revealed that 50 percent Americans surveyed don’t want their country to strike Syria, as it could risk the lives of U.S. soldiers, but they were ready to support limited action.

According to a NBC survey, 50 percent of 700 Americans said the U.S. should not take military action against Syria, while 42 percent agreed to it, ABC News reports.

UN chief consults with member states on Syria amid escalating tension

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Friday started a series of consultations with the United Nations member states on Syria amid escalating tension about the war-torn country.

Ban, who returned to New York on Thursday night from his shortened European tour, first gave the permanent members of the UN Security Council an overview of work by UN inspectors who arrived in Syria on Aug. 18 to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons there, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporter here, adding that Ban will reach out to other member states.

Pakistan to lodge protest against U.S. drones at UN

Pakistan will formally lodge its protest on U.S. drone attacks in the UN General Assembly session next month, the country”s top official said Friday.

Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in a policy statement in National Assembly said the U.S. attacks violate Pakistan”s sovereignty and international laws.

“A breakthrough is expected on the issue of U.S. drone strikes in the coming months,” he said, without elaborating.