New York, Jan. 23 : Armed opposition groups appeared to have deliberately destroyed religious sites in mixed areas of Northern Syria, in November and December 2012, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has claimed following investigations in the Latakia and Idlib governorates.
An armed opposition group destroyed a Shia place of worship in Idlib governorate, and two Christian churches in Latakia governorate were looted. In all three cases evidence examined by Human Rights Watch suggests, and witnesses stated, that the attacks took place after the area fell to opposition control and government forces had left the area.
New York, Jan 23 - Rajat Gupta, a former Indian-American director of Goldman Sachs Group, has asked a US court to reverse his insider trading conviction, objecting to prosecution's use of wiretaps supposedly implicating him.
In a brief filed Friday at the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, Gupta's lawyers argued wiretaps of now-imprisoned Sri-Lankan American hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam amounted to "hearsay statements" and should not have been presented to the jury.
New York, Jan 22 : A man from California is trying to break the Guinness World Record for the most hugs given by a single person in a 24-hour period.
David Parsons is on a quest to shatter a world record, by one embrace at a time, the New York Daily reported.
The 25-year-old set out on the affectionate adventure after losing a close friend to cancer two years ago.
"The last time I hugged Sharon, I had no idea it was going to be the last time I saw her," he explained.
He spent nearly all of Jan. 21 trying to break the Guinness World Record for the most hugs given in a 24-hour period by one person.
New York, January 19 : Looking at the new official portrait of President Obama released by the White House on Friday, which is markedly different from the one taken four years ago after he won his first historic election, it seems that happy days are back again.
The new colour photo shows the current US President standing tall, flashing a big smile, his arms folded, flanked by flags and standing in front of his desk in the Oval Office, The New York Daily News reported.
In the 2008 photo the President looked somewhat somber, the setting was bland and unrecognizable, with flags over his right shoulder.
New York, Jan. 19 : Two Dutch TV hosts, who were not content simply sympathizing with women over labour pains, received shocks to their abdomens in a controlled experiment to simulate the agony of giving birth on their program `Proefkonijnen' (Guinea Pigs).
According to Belgian based news outlet RTL. be, electrodes sent charges into Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno's bodies, which were intended to cause cramps as excruciating as the contractions of childbirth, the New York Daily News reported.
The hosts reportedly received the shocks for two hours as they groaned and yelled, coiling up into a foetal position and clutching their pillows.
New York, Jan 18 - American cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of a bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), hours before the airing of his interview with Oprah Winfrey in a talk show.
The IOC said Thursday it had asked Armstrong to return his time-trial medal he won at Sydney as he failed to appeal against the sanctions imposed by the International Cycling Union (ICU) before the deadline of three weeks, reports Xinhua.
New York, Jan 17 : Human Rights Watch has asked Bangladesh to explain what steps have been taken to trace a witness abducted from near the war crimes courthouse in Dhaka in November last year.
Shukho Ranjan Bali was, according to lawyers and witnesses, abducted from the gates of the courthouse Nov 5.
More than two months after his disappearance, there is no news about Bali's whereabouts or condition. Witnesses say he was last seen in police custody.
Bali, originally a prosecution witness, had agreed to testify for the defence, the defence said, in the case of Delwar Hossain Sayedee at the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT).
New York, Jan. 17 : The Bangladeshi authorities should immediately explain what actions they have taken to locate Shukho Ranjan Bali, a witness who defense lawyers and witnesses say was abducted from the gates of the war crimes courthouse in Dhaka on November 5, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today.
More than two months after his disappearance, there is no news about Bali's whereabouts or condition. The witnesses say he was last seen in police custody.
New York, Jan 15 : Female students struggling with the cost of tuition and books are turning to a new source of income - sugar daddies.
And nowhere are there more coeds looking for rich benefactors than New York University, where last year, nearly 300 young women signed up for memberships at an online relationship site that promises a "mutually beneficial" arrangement, the New York Post reported.
The site, SeekingArrangement. com, has also signed up hundreds of young women from Columbia, Cornell and Syracuse.
New York, Jan 14 : A Washington, DC-based dermatologist claims that the popular injectable toxin could actually make you less depressed and appear less angry - keys to a happier marriage.
In his new book `The Face of Emotion,' Eric Finzi, who often prescribes Botox to depressed patients, writes about Jane, who visited the doctor to remove her frown lines and received an unexpected bonus - her husband no longer could tell when she was angry, the New York Post reported.
"Now he asks, `Are you mad, Babe?' And I'll say no, and he believes me!" Finzi quotes Jane in his book. "We get along so much better now."
New York, Jan 12 : The national aviation authority of the United States will launch a comprehensive review of the critical systems of Boeing's 787s, after a fire and a fuel leak earlier this week.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the review would include the design, manufacture and assembly of those systems.
The FAA statement gave no indication that the agency intends to limit or prohibit the 787 from flying during the review, the New York Daily News reports.
New York, January 12 : Keeping an affair secret can be a lot of work, but philanderers in Japan have an advantage thanks to a stealthy flip phone only sold in that country.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Fujitsu "F-Series" phone has a band of loyal users who have refused to upgrade to smart phones for fear that their infidelity may be exposed, the New York Daily News reported.
The Fujitsu is different than other phones because it hides calls, text messages and voicemail under a layer of privacy features only recognized, or accessed, by the phone's owner.
New York, Jan 12 : Now, another US Republican has come under fire for suggesting that GOP lawmaker Todd Akin was "partially right" in saying that a woman would not conceive after a "legitimate rape."
Akin's Missouri Senate campaign fell apart last year after he claimed that "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, an ob-gyn who represents Georgia, argued at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday that Akin wasn't entirely wrong, the New York Daily News reports.
New York, Jan 11 : Beyonce announced Destiny's Child's reunion when she broke the news that the American R n B girl group is set to release its first new material in nearly a decade.
The 31-year-old singer has revealed in her website that she is proud to announce the first original Destiny's Child music in eight years, the New York Daily reported.
According to ET, `Love Songs' will be a collection of Destiny's Child's most romantic tracks along with at least one new song called "Nuclear."
New York, January 11 : A Dutch design firm aiming to make roads safer and more energy efficient has created a smart highway that uses green technology to illuminate the road and alert of treacherous conditions.
According to Wired UK, Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde said that it was time road technology started catching up with automobile technology.
The road features solar-powered markings that charge during the day to stay illuminated for up to 10 hours at night, the New York Daily News reported.
Wind-powered pinwheel lights turn on using energy taken from the draft of passing cars.