The 60 second News today

July 20, 2007

Rothschild banking group unifies

The French and English branches of the fabled Rothschild banking family announced their unification overnight, ending a separation that dates from the 19th century.

Under an agreement announced overnight the two will unify their shareholdings under a single holding company, the French group Paris-Orleans.

Read more …

Torrential rain sweeps across UK


20 July 2007, 12:00:48Go to full article

Severe weather warnings are in place as torrential rain sweeps across the UK, with flash flooding in some areas.

F1: Hamilton sets pace


20 July 2007, 10:35:14Go to full article

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton is fastest in Friday’s first practice for the European Grand Prix in Germany.

Russia blames new UK PM for row


20 July 2007, 01:31:59Go to full article

Russia’s foreign minister blames Gordon Brown’s takeover as UK prime minister for the two countries’ row.



July 19, 2007

Transformers (film) The film will be released in Ireland & UK on July 27.

Transformers is a 2007 live action film based on the Transformers franchise, directed by Michael Bay and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. It stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, who has the map to the Allspark, the center of the war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. The film also stars Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, John Turturro, and Hugo Weaving as the voice of Megatron. Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime in the 1980s cartoon, reprised the role for the film.

Britain became separated from mainland Europe after a catastrophic flood some time before 200,000 years ago, a sonar study of the English Channel confirms.


Satellite tracking software freely available on the Internet and some textbook physics could be used by any organization that can get hold of an intermediate range rocket to mount an unsophisticated attack on military or civilian satellites. Such an attack would require modest engineering capability and only a limited budget. That is according to researchers writing in Inderscience Publishers’ International Journal of Critical Infrastructures.

A terrorist organization or rogue state could threaten essential satellite systems, according to Adrian Gheorghe of Old Dominion University Norfolk, in Virginia, USA and Dan Vamanu of “Horia Hulubei” National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, in Bucharest, Romania. Military satellites, global positioning systems, weather satellites and even satellite TV systems could all become victims of such an attack. Gheorghe and Vamanu have carried out an analysis of just how easy it could be to knock out strategic satellites, their findings suggest that dozens of systems on which military and civilian activities depend make near-space a vulnerable environment. The team used a so-called “mathematical game” and textbook physics equations for ballistics to help them build a computer model to demonstrate that anti-satellite weaponry is a real possibility.Accuracy and elegance are not issues in carrying out a satellite attack, the researchers say, as long as the projectile hits the satellite. In fact, all it would take to succeed with an amateurish, yet effective anti-satellite attack would be the control of an intermediate range missile, which is well within the reach of many nations and organizations with sufficient funds, and a college-level team dedicated to the cause. “Any country in possession of intermediate range rockets may mount a grotesquely unsophisticated attack on another’s satellites given the political short-sightedness that would be blind to a potentially devastating retaliation,” the researchers say.

On January 11, 2007, China deliberately destroyed one of its own weather satellites in a test, which some analysts suggested as having the potential to revive a techno-political race believed to be defunct since the 1980s. According to Gheorghe and Vamanu that was the cool analytical view, but some hot diplomats are quoted as saying this demonstration is “inconsistent with international efforts to avert an arms race in outer space and undermining the security in outer space”.

“While it may be true that, when it comes to nuts and bolts, things may not be quite as simple as they sound here, the bare fact remains – it can be done.” Their conclusions suggest that the risk of deliberate satellite sabotage should be placed higher on the security agenda.

world news Today

July 16, 2007

Iraq oil city blasts kill dozens

At least 85 people are killed and scores are wounded in bomb attacks in the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk.

Prince Album set free on internet

Copies of Prince’s latest album have flooded the internet after being given away with a newspaper in the UK.Planet Earth is easily accessible to fans around the world – despite plans for a full commercial release in countries including the US.

The album is freely available to download after an estimated three million copies of the CD were distributed with the Mail on Sunday.

Hundreds of the CDs have also been put up for sale on auction site eBay.

Planet Earth is not being sold in record shops in the UK because of the Mail on Sunday promotion.

Since he wants to get his music out to as many people as possible, I ripped the CD and uploaded it


But it is still due to be sold as normal elsewhere, including a release in the US and Canada on 24 July.

One blogger who posted the full album on the web wrote: “Seeing as it was free anyway… we decided to stick it up here for anyone who didn’t get it.

“This seems to be the way forward. With the music being free, the artists make their money from merchandising and touring, and the digital revolution may yet be the downfall of major labels. No harm in our book!”

Another person who put the album online wrote: “Since he wants to get his music out to as many people as possible, I ripped the CD and uploaded it.”

It comes amid the music industry’s efforts to persuade fans not to download music from unlicensed, unofficial sources.

Music ‘devalued’

The newspaper giveaway has already angered record shops, who say music should not be regarded as a cheap, disposable commodity.

Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers’ Association, said the move devalued music.

“The losers will be new artists who are trying to come through who won’t have any support from recording companies because established artists are chucking out their music for free,” she said.


Prince is also giving away the album at his concerts

“Consumers only have so much listening time in the week and if they receive the new album from Prince then they don’t need to buy new music and will spend their money on something else.”

The promotion was believed to have been worth about £250,000 to the musician.

Planet Earth has had largely positive reviews, with The Times saying it was “too good to be so lightly sold”.

But The Guardian’s critic wrote: “While Prince will never entirely be written off, his 46th album will mostly be remembered for the hype surrounding the means of release.”

The US pop star also plans to give away copies to fans attending one of his 21 concerts at London’s O2 arena next month.

‘Direct marketing’

That means it will reach many more listeners than the artist’s last album, 3121, which sold 80,000 copies in the UK.

“It’s direct marketing and I don’t have to be in the speculation business of the record industry, which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now,” said the Minneapolis musician when asked why he was giving the CD away.

The Mail on Sunday’s editor, Peter Wright, told BBC Five Live: “Prince has done this because he makes most of his money these days as a performing artist.”

Mr Wright confirmed that the newspaper had paid Prince for the licence to produce the CD, and had paid to press and distribute it, but hoped to make money by selling extra copies of the paper and extra advertising.

Boris Johnson standing for mayor

Boris Johnson

Mr Johnson is one of the best known figures in UK politics

Boris Johnson is to enter the race to be the Conservative candidate for London mayor in next year’s election.

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July 12, 2007

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