Terror group ISIS posts video reply after Obama vows to degrade and destroy it

Latest ISIS video shows plenty of slow-motion explosions and flames are shown engulfing American troops.

At first glance, the trailer plays like an action film.

Tanks and troops come under fire. The imagery is ominous.

Then the logo reads: "Flames of War -- fighting has just begun."

It is the latest video that terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) posted - in reply to President Barack Obama's declaration that the U.S. objective in expanded air strikes would be to "degrade, and ultimately destroy" it.

The video, released on Tuesday, ends with the text “coming soon”.

Beheadings

It appears to have been released hours after General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said to the Senate Armed Services Committee that if current Iraq strategy is not sufficient he could recommend deploying US soldiers, The Independent newspaper reported.

The film is one of a series released by Isis, including footage showing the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker.

The group has also released propaganda videos aimed at persuading people from the West to join fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Sources: CNN, Independent, YouTube/ New York Times

Tags: ISIS, terror and video

GALLERY: Hundreds forced to flee as raging wildfires continue in California

A firefighter monitors a backfire as he battles the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California.
A firefighter monitors a backfire as he battles the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California.

On Monday, a wildfire some 140 miles northeast of San Francisco more than doubled in size, to 8,600 acres, forcing the evacuation of some 250 homes, firefighters said.

More than 1,000 firefighters were battling the 8,600-acre blaze in dense forest and steep terrain in El Dorado County.

By that same evening, the fire was threatening some 500 homes, according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

Temperatures in central California rose to nearly 104 degree Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) over the weekend, as part of a heatwave.

California often faces powerful fires in the summer and fall.

The extreme drought in recent months has increased the risk of more blazes breaking out this year.


Photos: AFP, Reuters

Sources: AFP, Reuters, Sacramento Bee

 

Tags: fire, california and drought

WATCH research team find forgotten reservoir in S'pore

Research team stumbled on 'forgotten reservoir" while studying old maps of Singapore.

They were simply researching the island's history.

While studying old maps, a group of National Heritage Board (NHB) researchers stumbled upon a "forgotten reservoir" tucked off Telok Blangah Road.

And here's more details, for the history buffs:

 But it was later abandoned, the NHB website said, and vanished from contemporary maps of Singapore in the 1980s — until now.

Subsequently, maps dating to the Japanese Occupation marked the water body as a swimming pool, Today reported.

Check it out!

Sources: YouTube, NHB website

GALLERY: Taylor Swift leads People Magazine's best-dressed list

Pop star Taylor Swift, who has adopted a sexier look on red carpets, was named People magazine's best-dressed celebrity of the year on Wednesday.
Pop star Taylor Swift, who has adopted a sexier look on red carpets, was named People magazine's best-dressed celebrity of the year on Wednesday.

Pop star Taylor Swift, who has adopted a sexier look on red carpets, was named People magazine's best-dressed celebrity of the year on Wednesday.

Swift led the annual unranked list of the top 10 best-dressed celebrity style icons that also included Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o, singers Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna and actresses Emma Stone and Emma Watson.

Rising starlets Chloe Grace Moretz and Mad Men actress Kiernan Shipka tied for a spot on the list, rounding out the 11 honourees.

Swift, 24, opted for figure-hugging ball gowns, cropped tops with skirts, sequined mini dresses and most recently at the MTV Video Music Awards, a derriere-skimming Mary Katrantzou alphabet romper that she told the magazine "was a risk."

The singer described her own style as "feminine, leggy and ever-changing."

Scandal actress Kerry Washington was named world's best dressed woman last year, but she did not feature in this year's list.

People also named its best-dressed celebrity couples, which include singer John Legend and model wife Chrissy Teigen, country music couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, and late night talk show host Seth Meyers and his wife Alexi Ashe.

Here's the full list of the top 11 best-dressed of the year:

Taylor Swift

Blake Lively

Diane Kruger

Jennifer Lopez

Emma Stone

Lupita Nyong'o

Jessica Alba

Rihanna

Emma Watson

Chloe Grace Moretz

Kiernan Shipka


Photos: Reuters. AFP, Facebook

Sources: Reuters, People's Magazine

MAS: Block website, spoof report on 'emergency landing' not funny

This picture taken on September 9, 2014 shows an advertising banner for Malaysia Airlines at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has urged authorities to block a parody website.

The reason: The website www.worldnewsdailyreport.com had published a satirical article on Monday (Sept 15) that one of the carrier’s planes was forced to make an emergency landing after flying over an Icelandic volcano.

The Malay Mail reported that the national carrier, which suffered two plane crashes this year, derided the article as “irresponsible”.

“Given recent tragedies, and despite the suffering of all, we believe that such stories only serve one purpose, that is to fuel conjecture, misunderstanding and instill fear amongst the travelling public,” MAS said in a statement.

The airline said it did not fly to New York or any US destinations from Europe - the article  titled “Malaysia Airline flight forced into emergency landing after flying over Icelandic volcano” claimed that Flight MH131 was flying from Paris to New York with 171 passengers and 11 crew members on board.

World News Daily Report is a political satire web publication.

It states on its website that all its news articles are “fiction” and “presumably fake news”.

The website carries satirical articles like “Scotland: Nessie sighting brings surge of enthusiasm in favor of Scottish independence” and “Husband tricks mother-in-law into pool full of piranhas".

Sources: Malay Mail, World News Daily Report

Tags: MAS, spoof, emergency and ban

Watch Pique's goal which sees Barca sneak past APOEL in Champions League tie

Barcelona's Gerard Pique (L) celebrates a goal next to Neymar against Apoel Nicosia during their Champions league soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona September 17, 2014.
Barcelona's Gerard Pique (L) celebrates a goal next to Neymar against Apoel Nicosia during their Champions League soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona September 17, 2014.

A goal by Gerard Pique gave Barcelona a winning start to their Champions League campaign, but they were far from convincing 1-0 victors at home to Cypriots APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.

Pique headed home the only goal of the game from Lionel Messi’s free-kick midway through the first-half, but APOEL managed to subdue a much changed Barca side despite the presence of Messi and Neymar up front.

 

And Luis Enrique’s men had debutant Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for a fourth consecutive victory to start the season as the German ‘keeper made a flying save in stoppage time to deny Gustavo Manduca.

Barca do though go to the top of Group F as Ajax held French champions Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 in Amsterdam with Barca set to travel to Paris on matchday two.

Luis Enrique made nine changes from the side that started Saturday’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao with Messi and Munir El Haddadi the only players to retain their place.

The former Celta Vigo boss defended that decision, but admitted his side had struggled to breakdown the mass ranks of the APOEL defence.

“We had problems in attack and we will evaluate and analyse them.”

The number of changes appeared to affect Barca’s rhythm in the first half as they dominated without creating many clear-cut chances from open play.

Messi was first to threaten with a curling free-kick that Urko Pardo in the APOEL goal did well to turn to safety.

 

 

Barca then went in front from another Messi free-kick as this time the Argentine’s in-swinging delivery was headed home at the near post by Pique.

Messi and Neymar were continuing to link-up well after the former provided the Brazilian with two assists at the weekend and the roles were reversed five minutes before the break as Messi fired Neymar’s cutback towards goal and Pardo made another impressive save.

A similar pattern ensued after the break, but the visitors also provided more of a threat and wasted two half chances as Tomas De Vincenti saw a goalbound effort deflected wide by Marc Bartra before Mario Sergio’s cross was cut out by Dani Alves with two unmarked team-mates waiting for a better delivery.

Barca should have put the game to bed when Alves picked out Neymar at the back post, but his header was heading off target before Munir turned the ball home and was rightly flagged for offside.

Neymar and Messi were foiled again as the game entered stoppage time – Neymar’s deflected shot was well saved by Pardo and Messi’s follow up brilliantly blocked by Sergio.

And the hosts could have been made to pay for a lacklustre display when ter Stegen was forced into the first serious save of his Barca career when he tipped Manduca’s well-struck effort behind for a corner.

Other match reports

Watch Brahimi score a hat-trick as Porto stroll to Champions League win over BATE

Watch: Chelsea frustrated as Huntelaar earns a Champions League point for Schalke

Watch Gervinho, Totti destroy Moscow CSKA in their Champions League opener

Other results

Bayern Mun   1-0 Man City
Roma            5-1 CSKA Moscow
Ajax              1-1 Paris St G
​​Chelsea         1-1 FC Schalke 04
NK Maribor    1-1 Sporting
​​Ath Bilbao     0-0 Shakt Donsk
FC Porto       6-0 BATE Bor

Sources: AFP, YouTube

Ethan Hawke on lessons from Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society

It has been more than 25 years since a young Hawke stepped on his desk to salute his teacher, portrayed by Robin Williams, in "Dead Poets Society." Hawke spoke about how Williams helped him find his "barbaric yawp."
It has been more than 25 years since a young Hawke stepped on his desk to salute his teacher, portrayed by Robin Williams, in "Dead Poets Society." Hawke spoke about how Williams helped him find his "barbaric yawp."

It has been more than 25 years since a young Ethan Hawke stepped on his desk to salute his teacher, portrayed by Robin Williams, in Dead Poets Society.

Hawke, 43, has taken on some 50 roles since. This year, he received his third Oscar nod for best adapted screenplay for Before Midnight, shared with Richard Linklater and Julie Delpy.

Hawke spoke with Reuters about how Williams helped him find his "barbaric yawp" in that scene.


Dead Poets Society movie stills. Photos: YouTube

You played Todd Anderson in Dead Poets Society opposite Robin Williams. What was that experience like?

"I think the sadness with Robin is this person that brought the world so much joy, and to have it be revealed that we didn't do the same for him.

When we're young, it's easier to find mentors and teachers and Dead Poets Society is about that. It's about young people with a great mentor who's telling them to hear their own voice: "What will your verse be?"

Something happened to me with Robin.

It's the scene where he writes on the chalkboard, "I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world," which is a Walt Whitman quote. And he wants me to sound my barbaric yawp.

It's a very difficult scene to play and the director wanted to do it in one take.

He wanted it to have an authenticity and it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

And when it was over, Robin just held my hand, and whispered, "Remember this." Very, very beautiful moment for me, you know?

And I've hunted, sought that moment out again, all the time.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts about his passing were extremely sad, but it was clear to me in 1988 that this is a person who was in serious pain, that he carried with him for decades." - Reuters

Watch Gervinho, Totti destroy Moscow CSKA in their Champions League opener

 AS Roma's forward of Ivory Coast Gervinho celebrates after scoring one of his two goals against Moscow CSKA.
Roma forward Gervinho celebrates after scoring one of his two goals against Moscow CSKA.

Forward Gervinho and 37-year-old captain Francesco Totti produced virtuoso performances to help AS Roma maul a shambolic CSKA Moscow 5-1 against an ugly backdrop of crowd violence in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Gervinho scored twice and set up another goal for new signing Juan Iturbe as Roma raced to a four-goal lead in just over half an hour against the Russians, who were well out of their depth at the Stadio Olimpico.

Totti, starting his 23rd season at his only professional club, orchestrated the win, spraying passes around effortlessly from midfield in the Group E match.

 AS Roma's Francesco Totti (L) challenges CSKA Moscow's Sergey Ignashevich during their Champions League Group E soccer match at the Olympic Stadium in Rome September 17, 2014.

Roma captain Francesco Totti shows that he still has it at 37.

There were ugly scenes in the second half as CSKA fans let off flares in the stands and fought with stewards, before riot police were called in to stop the trouble.

Italian media also reported problems outside the stadium, showing photographs of smashed car windows and unconfirmed reports said that two people were taken to hospital with stab wounds.

Roma, back in the Champions League for the first time since 2010/11, got off to a flying start when Gervinho created an opening for Iturbe and the 20 million euro (S$32 million) signing from Verona slotted past Igor Akinfeev in the sixth minute.

Iturbe returned the compliment four minutes later as he picked out Gervinho and the Ivorian produced some nifty footwork to fire home the second.

Ten minutes later, Maicon got behind the CSKA defence on the right and scored with a shot which slipped through the demoralised Akinfeev’s hands.

Totti set Gervinho (below) free with an exquisite first-time pass and the Ivorian cut inside his marker, leaving him sprawling on the pitch, before firing the fourth after only 31 minutes.

 

CSKA suffered another defensive disaster when Sergei Ignashevich headed past Akinfeev five minutes after halftime, although the Russians pulled themselves together after that.

Ahmed Musa pulled one back with eight minutes left, the first goal Roma have conceded this season.

The only dampener for Roma was when Iturbe limped off with an injury midway through the first half. 
 

Other match reports

Watch Brahimi score a hat-trick as Porto stroll to Champions League win over BATE

Watch: Chelsea frustrated as Huntelaar earns a Champions League point for Schalke

Other results

Bayern Mun   1-0 Man City
Ajax               1-1 Paris St G
Barcelona     1-0 Apoel Nic
​​Chelsea        1-1 FC Schalke 04
NK Maribor   1-1 Sporting
​​Ath Bilbao     0-0 Shakt Donsk
FC Porto      6-0 BATE Bor

Sources: Reuters, YouTube

 

 

Thigh gap peekaboo: Did Beyonce doctor photos to look slimmer?

A question of suspicious thigh gap? Hmm...

Queen Bey's at the centre of a Photoshopping storm. Again.

She has already faced accusations of altering her Tumblr pictures in the past few months.

Now, snapshots of her in a bikini are getting fans hot and bothered once more.

The singer posed on a private super yacht as she celebrated her 33rd birthday earlier this month:

But eagle-eyed fans spotted a questionable distortion in another image. 

The picture in question sees the star smiling as she struts down the stairs, proudly showing off her bikini body.

However, the stairs between her thighs tilt at a diagonal angle. Proof there's a touch-up before uploading?

Distortions such as this are pretty commonplace when photo-altering apps are used, online reports noted.

Fans flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts.

Another less-than-impressed person tweeted:

 

Blogger Perez Hilton wondered: "Why oh why? She's so gorgeous, she shouldn't have to change anything about her body."

Some fans stood up for her: ‘Beyonce looks like...well, Beyonce, and all people can do is suggest she Photoshopped a thigh gap. Give me strength."

Another said: "Really people, if we could all Photoshop our photos we would. Let's just calm down about Beyonce."

In April, an image of the star playing golf during a family holiday - in which her inner thighs seemed uneven - sparked Photoshop suspicion.

Sources: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr

Ariana Grande says she wishes her fans would 'die'

Have you met this rude US diva Ariana Grande who wished her fans would "die" ?

She's turning into a nasty diva! 

Ariana Grande sure had a grand choice of words while talking about her own fans.

It all happened after a recent radio show visit in Manhattan where the 21-year-old Break Free singer blabbered a bit too much behind closed doors.

"She did autographs and pics and was all smiles until she got into the elevator," a stunned industry insider told New York Daily News.

"And as soon as the doors shut she said, 'I hope they all ****ing die'."


PHOTO: Reuters

This isn't the first incident though.

Remember when the singer-songwriter got her the diva label in Australia?

Well, here's a recap. Grande left a meet-and-greet session, after making reporters and photographers wait for almost an hour, before walking out because she "didn’t like what she was wearing."

And remember when she was a diva at a TV charity fundraiser? 

Three reports suggest the rumours may be true ...

Source: New York Daily News

Tags: ariana grande, diva and die

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