Crouch completes Stoke switch

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Crouch: Has a hefty price tag to live up to

Sky Bet

Stoke have splashed out a club record �10million to sign England international Peter Crouch from Tottenham.

The 30-year-old striker has penned a four-year contract with the Potters, on the same day that Wilson Palacios and Cameron Jerome also completed moves to the Britannia Stadium.

The agreement to take Crouch to Stoke includes a possible �2million in add-ons, meaning it could end up costing Tony Pulis �12million.

The Potters will have no complaints about the fee if the much-travelled forward delivers on the pitch, and they believe they have pulled off quite a coup.

Chief executive Tony Scholes told the club's official website: "These fantastic deals are a statement of this football club's intent.

"The club has made incredible strides forward over the past five years and to attract players of this calibre shows our ambitions as we look to continue that progress this season and beyond that."


Pulis added: "There has been a real buzz of excitement around the city about where the club is going since we reached the FA Cup final and then started our Europa League adventure. These signings certainly add to that great sense of anticipation.

"We now have good options in midfield and up front with these captures, added to the experienced additions we also made at the back by bringing in two England defenders in Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson earlier in the transfer window.

"Peter has an excellent goalscoring record at the highest level. His goals-per-games ratio for England is remarkable and he scored seven goals in 10 Champions League games for Tottenham last season which gives you an idea of his pedigree."


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Apple 'loses' unreleased iPhone in a bar


Technology giant Apple was left red faced after an employee lost what is thought to be a prototype for the unreleased iPhone 5. Picture: Bloomberg Source: Bloomberg

  • Staffer leaves device in "tequila lounge"
  • Fears device will be publicly revealed
  • iPhone 4 lost in beer garden before release

FOR the second time in little over a year, an Apple employee has lost an advanced and unreleased iPhone model in a public place, CNET said today.

The most recent incident came after an Apple employee misplaced his iPhone in San Francisco's Mission District in July. Apple security scoured for the device over the following days and determined that the phone had been taken from a Mexican restaurant.

Apple officials believe the iPhone may have been sold on Craigslist for as little as $200.

While Apple has not announced any plans to release a new iPhone, there have been numerous unconfirmed reports that the company was planning an October launch date for the iPhone 5.

CNET reported that no details about the phone - such as its operating system and design - have been revealed in the latest blunder by an Apple employee.

In April 2010, the gadget blog Gizmodo paid $5000 in cash for a then-unreleased iPhone 4 that a 28-year-old Apple engineer had left in a German beer garden in Redwood City, California.

Two men were charged on misdemeanour theft charges for selling the iPhone 4 to the blog. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday (tomorrow AEST).

The already secretive company reportedly took even more extreme measures to protect itself from information leaks after the 2010 incident, including transporting iPhones in locked and sealed containers to carriers such as AT&T for compatibility testing.

Apple and Craigslist declined to comment on the latest iPhone-gone-missing episode, and the San Francisco Police Department said Apple did not file a police report related to the matter, CNET reported.



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Deus Ex's future world inspired by history

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

A screenshot from new sci-fi video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Picture: Square Enix Source: Supplied

IN the future, being crippled will be cool.

That's one of the assumptions behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a video game in which characters who are rich enough have parts of their bodies surgically removed and replaced with prosthetic limbs.

The world of Human Revolution is pure science-fiction, but ? like all the best sci-fi ? it isn't complete fantasy.

"It's really starting, it really is starting and it's just a matter of a handful of years 'til all these things really truly begin," says Jonathan Jacques-Belletete, the game's art director, in an interview with

"What's interesting is the way that soldiers that are coming back from Afghanistan or Iraq that have stepped on mines or had their legs blown away.

"Back in other wars in the 20th century, the thing was you'd get this peg leg, basically, or arm, and then you'd try to hide it.

"I saw this picture on the internet recently, like a totally candid picture... it was taken by a guy who's on the subway, right, and he's sitting on a seat. Imagine you're sitting on a bench and you're just looking at someone who's standing in front of the doors, just waiting for the doors to open and leave the train.

"You see him from the back, and he's dressed up in like, a pretty cool street style, he's got a sports jersey, basketball shorts...

"And then bang, these two robot legs are sticking out. And he's got super cool Nike shoes on, and it's just like: 'Is that for real?'

"So, for the first time ever, I see someone who?s obviously disabled, as opposed to me, and he's so much cooler than I am.

"I think we're going to be very surprised by the stuff that's going to happen in the next 15, 20, 30 years."

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third instalment in the Deus Ex series, and the first made by Eidos Montreal.

The game follows Adam Jensen, the Clint Eastwood-style security chief of Sarif Industries ? one of the future world's leading augmentation corporations ? who becomes entangled in a terrorist conspiracy.

But visually, Human Revolution is more than your average sci-fi game. It's awash in a palette of muted browns, deep blacks and glowing oranges, and draws inspiration from places as unexpected as the paintings of Vermeer.

"I think that it's very, very important for a video game to have its own kind of visual language and its own aesthetic and its own kind of style," says Jacques-Belletete.

"It's really the attention to details in the game, there are over 1300 props, all concept-arted and designed and created in the game, they give so much credibility to all of it.

"The corporations and all the companies and logos that we invented, and we created the fonts for each of them, and things like that."

"I didn't want to just reproduce Blade Runner."

Jacques-Belletete says that while creating the world of Human Revolution, he tried to move past the genre's most obvious influences.

"When you do any cyber-punk work, there's some things you can't not think about ? the obvious stuff like Blade Runner and Akira and Ghost in The Shell, and the William Gibson books.

"(But) I didn't want to just reproduce Blade Runner, even though it's pretty much the epitome of it all.

"I really wanted to bring my own kind of flavour and vision to the game, and it was the same for cyber-punk ? I wanted to bring something new, and that's that whole cyber-Renaissance thing that we kind of invented."

Instead of the future, Jacques-Belletete and the rest of the design team turned to the past ? specifically, to the Renaissance, a period known for revolutionary advances in intellectual, artistic and scientific fields and notable figures including Leonardo da Vinci and Johannes Vermeer.

"(I watched) movies like The Girl With Pearl Earring, which was really important because the whole movie is about the early Baroque painter Vermeer. The whole movie just looks like his paintings, so it was very cool to see how those images were treated and to be inspired by that.

"And lots of fashion stuff. Fashion is really important in a game, so fashion designers like Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen and Vivian Westwood, they're all geniuses that often tap into the Baroque and the Renaissance to put into their modern clothing."

Jacques-Belletete says that when it comes to visuals, most Western game developers are too focused on photo-realistic graphics ? something that he believe stems from an innate human desire.

"There's almost like, this quest that we have as human beings, there's a really deep urge that's ingrained in ourselves to produce perfect replicas of ourselves," he says.

"Before photography was invented, that was almost like the main goal of the classic arts. If you look at art history it had always been about reproducing the human form and it was very crude at first, and then it reached a Renaissance, and the Baroque and all those artists came very, very close.

"And if you think about it, back then, for the longest time we didn't even have mirrors, if you wanted to see yourself it was in a puddle or something, and then crude mirrors arrived, and then better mirrors, but there were no movies, no pictures.

"Then photography arrived in the mid 1800s, and it stopped the train, because there was no point in that quest anymore, because all you had to do was point the camera somewhere, click a button and there's a perfect replica of yourself or somebody else.

"I don't look all that much at other video games, I like to look at games last."

"Because of that change, people didn't have to try to be photorealistic anymore, so that's when you started getting the Impressionist movement and all of these things.

"(But now) this whole thing restarted a bit with digital imaging, this whole kind of goal, this quest, it started anew. And it's very cool and all, but it?s something that we're really, really into in North America, and then in Japan it seems to be entirely different."

While there are a few video games that have influenced Jacques-Belletete, he says that when finding inspiration, games tend to be low on his list of influences.

"I don't look all that much at other video games, I like to look at games last," he says.

"I think that we look too much at other games when we make games, I think it's better to look at all sorts of other stuff that are unrelated but still very creative, other industries or other design stuff or art stuff.

"Because our game is also very light and dark, because it's cyber-punk, if you look at stuff like Dead Space, how they did their lighting and all these things, those kinds of games were all great references for us in terms of how to pull it off.

"I'm a huge Metal Gear Solid fan, and it's very obvious in the game, I'm not even trying to hide it in the slightest. I'm very honest with these things."

So is Human Revolution a herald of times to come, or will it one day look as dated as a 1950's B-movie? Jacques-Belletete says that when predicting the future, it can be hard to tell just what's going to come true.

"Sometimes we thought we were pushing it a little too much for 2027," he says.

"But now that we see where things are going... one of the things we say is that in 2027 we'll have a dinner and we'll boot up the game and we'll probably have a good laugh at how low-tech our vision of 2027 was."


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Free entry offered to virgins at China park

chinese woman

A tourism official said the park would be using the honour system to determine guests...'experience'. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

A NATURE park in China's Hunan province is offering free admission and prizes to virgin females aged 22 or older, according to the state-run Global Times.

The park, you see, is displaying flowers that are "pure and simple".

Just like a woman who is born before Sept 17, 1989, and has never had sex. (Those are the rules, so says the Shanghai Daily in an article reprinted by the Shanhaiist blog.)

The Zhoulou Scenic Resort boasts waterfall views and lovely, fragrant flowers. The genus seen here, a tea olive flower, is the highlight of an upcoming botanical exhibition.

How will the ticket booth know if its female guests are, um, experienced?

According to a tourism official quoted by Global Times, they're going with the honour system.

"We are simply trusting in their honesty," the official said.


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Facebook friction hits web-savvy couples

Katrina and Alan Higman

Katrina Higham and partner Alan regularly talk on Twitter, but admit social networking has its downfalls. Picture: Jon Hargest Source: Herald Sun

FACEBOOK friction is increasingly being diagnosed in internet-savvy couples.

Lovers on the rocks are now airing issues in counselling sessions that have arisen from social media, chat rooms and dating websites, Relationships Australia says.

The internet is being turned into a battleground, with social networking sites such as Facebook becoming breeding grounds for jealousy, cheating, snooping and the playing out of nasty break-ups.

Too much tweeting is nothing to "LOL" about either.

Preliminary results from an online Relationships Australia Victoria survey show 95 per cent of respondents are worried about privacy, 87 per cent about the time their partner spends on the net, and 85 per cent by less personal communication.

The social media/technology survey, provided exclusively to the Herald Sun, found concerns about conflicting priorities and trust also ranked highly.

Relationships Australia spokeswoman Sue Yorston said couples needed to be more mindful of each other in cyberspace.

"It can be a double-edged sword," she said.

"Trust and privacy are the two top concerns in relationships, as well as the amount of time people spend on those social media pages.

"There can often be a sense of rejection that the other party would sooner talk to someone on Facebook than talk to them."

But don't hit the deactivate button too soon.

Most of the 200 respondents said social media and technology was positive, with 78 per cent finding it helped maintain relationships with friends or family.

Just over half found it aided in their communication with each other.

Katrina Higham, 30, and partner Alan, 31, regularly keep in contact on Twitter, but admit social networking has its downfalls.

"We find it an essential tool to communicate during the day. We run a business together and it's easier than a phone call," Mrs Higham said.

"But I am a chronic tweeter, and Al sometimes gets annoyed."


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Farah to bid for 5,000 gold

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Farah (r) will bid to go one better in the 5,000m

Sky Bet

Great Britain's Mo Farah has been given the go-ahead to take part in the 5,000m at the World Championships.

The Somalia-born athlete narrowly missed out on an anticipated gold medal when he was caught by Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia in Sunday's 10,000m.

Farah always had the 5,000 to fall back on although he was never going to commit to 'doubling-up' until after Sunday's race.

And despite suffering from blisters, the medical team has given the 28-year-old the go-ahead to take his place in Thursday's heats, with the final coming on the final day of competition on Sunday.


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US: 9/11 anniversary 'not just about us'

World Trade Center

In this Tuesday, September 11, 2001 file photo, smoke billows from the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Picture: AP / Gulnara Samoilova Source: AP

  • This year marks 10th anniversary of attacks
  • US�is thinking positive, looking forward
  • Al-Qaeda threat diminished; fresh attacks possible

THE White House has issued detailed guidelines to government officials on how to honour the 10th anniversary of September 11, instructing them to "present a positive, forward-looking narrative" to foreign audiences.

According to The New York Times, the White House has distributed two sets of documents - one directed to American embassies and consulates and aimed at foreign audiences, with the other directed to federal agencies and focused on US citizens.

The guidelines targeted to Americans directs officials to stress the importance of national service and highlight steps the government has taken to prevent another terrorist attack in the US, The Times reported.

The guidelines aimed overseas also instruct officials to praise international partners in the fight against violent extremism and remember victims of terrorism around the world, the newspaper said.

"A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative," the foreign guidelines said, according to The Times.

One official, speaking anonymously, told The Times that another goal is to show the world that the US understands the September 11 attacks were not "just about us".

Both sets of documents also instruct officials to warn that Americans must be prepared for another terrorist attack, The Times said.

Al-Qaeda, however, is downplayed as a major threat following the death of Osama bin Laden.

The guidelines say al-Qaeda terrorists "still have the ability to inflict harm," but that the network has become "increasingly irrelevant," The Times reported.

The New York Times said it received copies of the internal documents from officials in several agencies involved in September 11 anniversary planning.

Read more at The New York Times.


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Are you nuts? Kerr belts mag's oil claim

Miranda Kerr

Model Miranda Kerr speaks at the relaunch of her KORA Organics range at David Jones. Picture: Scott Barbour Source: Getty Images

AUSSIE supermodel Miranda Kerr left Australia yesterday, but not before hitting back at magazine reports on her use of coconut oil.

The David Jones ambassador slammed Cosmopolitan magazine for misquoting her and misrepresenting her, after US experts warned against people consuming large amounts of the oil, the Herald Sun reported.

The magazine ran a cover story quoting Kerr saying she had been using the product for years.

"I've been drinking it since I was 14 and it's the one thing I can't live without. I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea."

But the new mother, who left for Los Angeles yesterday before meeting husband Orlando Bloom and son Flynn in New Zealand this week, told the Herald Sun she was misquoted.

"I never did an interview with Australian Cosmopolitan magazine and unfortunately they have misquoted and misrepresented comments posted on my blog," Kerr said yesterday.

"When it comes to coconut oil, I personally find it beneficial and use approximately four teaspoons of coconut oil a day (in my salads and meals), not tablespoons.

"Everyone is different, but that is what works for me and I prefer it as a substitute to other oils more readily used in day-to-day food preparation and cooking. I suggest people consult with their health practitioner for what is right for them."


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What really happened to Tupac's ashes

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur...back in 1993. (AP Photo/FILE) Source: The Daily Telegraph

TUPAC Shakur's rap group The Outlawz have revealed what they did with the hip-hop star after his death.

The rapper was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996. The Outlawz members Young Noble and EDI Mean confirmed longstanding rumors to Vlad TV that they smoked Shakur's ashes at a memorial beach party.

Noble said: "Yes, it's definitely true... Had a little memorial for him with his mum and his family. We had hit the beach, threw [in] a lot of s**t he liked at the beach. Some weed, some chicken wings, he loved orange soda... Pac loved that kind of s**t, so we were giving him our own farewell."

EDI Mean suggested that the decision to smoke Shakur's ashes was what the late star would have wanted: "I came up with that s**t. If you listen to 'Black Jesus', he (Shakur) said, 'Last wishes, n**gas smoke my ashes'. That was a request that he had. Now, how serious he was about it? We took it serious (sic)."

Earlier this year, Dexter Isaac came forward saying he shot and robbed Tupac Shakur. A biopic about the rapper's life is currently being planned.


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Muntari expects Inter stay

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Muntari: Could he end up in the Premier League before the transfer window closes?

Sky Bet

Sulley Muntari has admitted it is unlikely he will leave Inter Milan before the transfer window closes.

The Ghana international has been linked with moves to Tottenham and Fulham but no concrete bids were forthcoming.

Muntari played under Harry Redknapp for one season at Portsmouth and later joined Inter in the summer of 2008.

Last season he joined Sunderland on loan in the January window but the Black Cats opted against signing him on a permanent deal.

Transfer window

But with just over a day left in the transfer window, the combative midfielder insists it would have to be something dramatic now to prise him from Inter.

"I am an Inter Milan player and I expect to still play with this club this season unless something dramatic happens for me to move in the next 48 hours," he told

Muntari's representative Claudio Mossio has confirmed that there is interest from Premier League clubs, but is urging them to move swiftly if they want to conclude any deals.


"Tottenham and Fulham are several of the Premier League teams that are interested in Muntari," he told the Press Association.

"But right now his destination is not unclear. The situation must be resolved as soon as possible because the transfer market ends tomorrow.

"Muntari wants to play in the Premier League. He really likes the tournament and his family would be very happy in London."


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It's a Lively reunion with DiCaprio

DiCaprio Lively

The celeb couple have been sampling some of Sydney's best food. Picture: File Source: The Daily Telegraph

THERE may be an ocean between them but it wasn't enough to keep Hollywood's hottest couple apart, with Gossip Girl star Blake Lively flying into Sydney at the weekend for a belated 24th birthday celebration with her boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio.

The leggy blonde starlet, who swooped on The Great Gatsby hunk soon after his split from Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli, hit town over the weekend with the pair spotted enjoying a romantic dinner at celebrity Sydney hotspot Aria on Sunday night.

Despite diners confirming the couple were ushered in through a back entrance to Matt Moran's famed eatery to keep the booking a secret, the pair took up the best table in the house - the window table which gazes out over Sydney Harbour - and were clearly visible to passers-by below.

"She looked gorgeous and they looked very much like a couple," a spy said.

"They seemed to be having a really nice time and were definitely enjoying the view."

As well as Aria, the world's highest paid actor has also dined at French bistro Felix and Otto at Woolloomooloo Wharf.

DiCaprio has also reportedly been spotted cycling around Centennial Park as well as working out on set with a personal trainer.

Meanwhile Lively - who reportedly auditioned for the role of Daisy in Gatsby but missed out - took some time out from filming the Oliver Stone blockbuster Savages to head Down Under.

DiCaprio, too, will take on a similarly gritty role post-Gatsby, with the actor reportedly to star in the Martin Scorsese-directed The Gambler - a remake of the 1974 drama which starred James Caan.


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Tiger heads to California

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Woods: has had just two top 10 finishes in eight starts in an injury-hit 2011

Sky Bet

Tiger Woods has confirmed he will play at the Open in California on October 6-9.

The American failed to qualify for the season-ending FedEx Cup play-offs on the PGA Tour after missing the cut at the USPGA Championship.

He had returned after three months out with knee and Achilles tendon injuries to finish 37th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods has just two top 10 finishes in eight starts in 2011 and has dropped from top of the world rankings last October to his current position of 38th.


However, Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples has promised Woods a wild card and wanting to see him in action before then, an appearance in the end-of-season Fall Series in the United States was the obvious solution.

"I always enjoy competing in my home state and this tournament fits my schedule perfectly," the former world number one said on his website.

"One of my goals this year was to participate in a tournament I hadn't played before and now I will."

The Open is staged at the CordeValle Golf Club near San Jose.

Woods had already announced that he would play in the Australian Open in Sydney from November 10th to 13th - the Presidents Cup then takes place shortly after in Melbourne.


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Gaddafi wife, children flee to Algeria


Libya's Gaddafi is rumoured to still be in Libya while members of his family have fled to Algeria. Source: The Daily Telegraph

  • Gaddafi, two sons still in Libya
  • UN informed of Algerian escape
  • Another son "almost certainly" killed

MUAMMAR Gaddafi's wife and three children fled to Algeria overnight as rebels closed in on his hometown of Sirte and said the strongman still posed a danger to Libya and the world.

MUAMMAR Gaddafi's wife and three children fled to Algeria overnight as rebels closed in on his hometown of Sirte and said the strongman still posed a danger to Libya and the world.

Gaddafi himself and two other children - sons Saadi and Seif al-Islam - were in the town of Bani Walid, south of the capital Tripoli, Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing "authoritative Libyan diplomatic sources".

Algiers announced that Gaddafi's wife Safiya, two sons, a daughter and their children had crossed the border into Algeria.

"The wife of Muammar Gaddafi, Safiya, his daughter Aisha, and sons Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, entered Algeria at 8.45am (5.45pm AEST) through the Algeria-Libyan border," the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the state APS news agency, giving no information on the whereabouts of Gaddafi himself.

The ministry said that UN chief Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council and senior Libyan rebel leader Mahmud Jibril had been informed.

So far Algeria has not recognised the rebels' administration and has adopted a stance of strict neutrality on the conflict in its neighbour, leading some among the rebels to accuse it of supporting the Gaddafi regime.

The rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) immediately said they wanted the Gaddafi family members back.

"We will ask Algeria to give them back," said Mohammed al-Allagy, who handles judicial affairs.

Italy's ANSA news agency said that another Gaddafi son, Khamis, had "almost certainly" been killed as he tried to make the 100 km journey from Tripoli to Bani Walid to join his father and brothers Saadi and Seif al-Islam.

The rebels had said previously that they had captured Seif al-Islam as they overran Tripoli but that claim was dismissed when he surfaced in the capital and met journalists.

Rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil called for no let-up in international action against the embattled strongman.

"Gaddafi's defiance of the coalition forces still poses a danger, not only for Libya but for the world. That is why we are calling for the coalition to continue its support," Abdel Jalil said at a meeting in Doha of chiefs of staff of countries taking part in military action in Libya.

The international coalition launched Operation Unified Protector on March 19 under a UN mandate which authorised airstrikes to protect civilians.

Since March 31, the airstrikes have been carried out under NATO command.

The coalition military chiefs said in a joint statement that the war in Libya "is yet to end" and that "there is a need to continue the joint action until the Libyan people achieve their goal by eliminating the remnants of Gaddafi."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to visit Paris on Thursday for an international Contact Group meeting on Libya in a bid to boost financial and economic support for the rebels, the State Department said.

"Libya's transition to democracy is and should be Libyan-led, with close coordination and support between the (NTC) and its international partners," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"The United States stands with the Libyan people as they continue their journey toward genuine democracy," she added.

There had been speculation that Gaddafi was holed up among tribal supporters in his hometown Sirte, 360 kms east of Tripoli.

Rebels moved to within 30 kms of Sirte from the west and captured Bin Jawad 100 kms to the east, the rebel commander in Misrata, Mohammed al-Fortiya, told AFP on Sunday.

"We are negotiating with the tribes for Sirte's peaceful surrender," Mr Fortiya said, adding only tribal leaders were involved, and that to his knowledge no direct contact had been made with Gaddafi.

General Suleyman Mahmud, deputy commander in chief of the rebel forces, confirmed that talks were being held for a peaceful solution.

"There are still negotiations with elders and representatives of the city of Sirte. We are trying not to engage anyone in fighting except with those who are with the tyrant Gaddafi. But the outcome of the negotiations is still not clear," he told reporters in Tripoli.

The rebels have offered a $US1.7 million ($1.61 million) reward for Gaddafi's capture, dead or alive.

Fierce fighting also raged in the west as rebels trying to wrest control of the region from Gaddafi's forces said they were ambushed southwest of Zuwarah.

Some 70 per cent of homes in central Tripoli still have no running water because of damage to the mains supply, but portable water is being distributed from mosques, giving priority to the elderly and medical facilities, NTC officials said.

Faysal Gargab, a member of the capital's stabilisation team, said engineers who travelled to a "remote area" to connect wells back to the water grid were prevented from doing so by Gaddafi's forces.

"The security of the area deteriorated ... The engineers had to flee because Gaddafi forces were disturbing the (sites)," he said.

Rubbish trucks returned to work in the capital for the first time since it fell to the rebels.

Advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said evidence indicated that retreating Gaddafi forces had massacred dozens of detainees, after AFP counted at least 50 human skulls in a makeshift jail.

HRW said it had inspected about 45 skeletons and two other bodies at the detention centre in Tripoli's Salaheddin neighbourhood.

"Sadly this is not the first gruesome report of what appears to be the summary execution of detainees in the final days of the Gaddafi government's control of Tripoli," HRW's Middle East and North Africa director, Sarah Leah Whitson, said.


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Tropical storm Alex returns to kill 10

THE first major storm of the Atlantic season was entering the Gulf of Mexico today after unleashing landslides and floods that killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Overnight, Alex, which had been downgraded earlier to a tropical depression, strengthened and regained its tropical storm status.

At� noon (AEST), Alex, which packed sustained winds of 75km/h, was entering the Gulf of Mexico some 100km west southwest of Campeche, Mexico, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

"Additional strengthening is forecast - and Alex could become a hurricane within the next 48 hours," the NHC said.

Although it was not due to directly hit the massive BP oil spill off the southern US state of Louisiana, the storm could still generate waves that would hamper clean-up and containment efforts.

Officials in Nicaragua told AFP the bodies of six people had been found in or around the northern city of Esteli, swept to their deaths by torrents from the swollen San Lucas river.

In eastern El Salvador, on Central America's Pacific coast, two people drowned when they were carried away by strong currents near San Miguel, while more than 500 people were evacuated to shelters from high-risk areas.

In western Guatemala, two farmers working on a road improvement project were buried and killed by a rain-triggered landslide, the national emergency agency Conred reported.

Forecasters said the storm was expected to dump a total of 10-20cm of rain over the Yucatan Peninsula, southern Mexico and Guatemala by�this afternoon.

Up to 38cm of rain were possible in mountainous areas and forecasters warned of "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides".

Central America was slammed last month by Tropical Storm Agatha, which roared ashore into Guatemala from the Pacific, unleashing heavy rains and floods that left some 275 people dead or missing.

The NHC's long-term forecast has the storm heading over the Gulf of Mexico in the direction of the US-Mexico border, but with a possibility of waves and winds generated by the storm affecting the site of the huge oil slick unleashed by the April 20 explosion of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig.

But a forecaster at the NHC downplayed a direct hit on the oil cleanup area.

"The storm is not an issue for the spill," said NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen.


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Indonesia visit will happen, says Obama

UNITED States President Barack Obama says his twice delayed trip to Indonesia is going to happen.

His trip to the most populous Muslim nation is tied with a trip to Australia but he made no specific mention of Australia.

Domestic emergencies including the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill have kept Mr Obama from visiting previously.

Mr Obama held a bilateral meeting with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of Toronto's G20 meeting.

"Because of the crisis that we've had in the Gulf, I've had to delay the trip," Mr Obama told reporters at G20.

"But graciously, for a second time now, the president has re-extended the invitation, and I am confident that we are going to get there."


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Touchscreen? Pfft! Can iPhone 5 do this?

A YOUTUBE video showing what a fantasy version of the iPhone could do has captured the imagination of millions.

The video shows a finger-nail thin handset with futuristic features including a laser keyboard and holographic projection like something out of Iron Man.

In fact, the clip has more in common with the 2008 superhero flick than you may think -- both are pure science-fiction.

The video was created by visual effects company Aatma Studios and shows what Apple fans would love to see in a new handset, rather than what they'll actually get.

In reality, the iPhone 5 ? which is expected to be released this October ? may be button-less and have a larger screen area than its predecessor, but it's unlikely to break too many rules.

i_related.gif (12�12)Rumour overload! Read some of the best here

Still, Aatma's video has racked up more than 4 million views on YouTube since being posted last week.

One YouTuber, named "Fuz", said he was waiting for the iPhone to include his own favourite features before buying it.

"I'll wait for iPhone 6, I'm told that will have a fully functional and playable version of 'snake'," he said.


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Bruce eyes extra firepower

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Bruce: Determined to bring in another striker before 11pm on Wednesday

Sky Bet

Steve Bruce has admitted he is lacking a striker and has vowed to work as hard as possible to strengthen Sunderland's squad before the transfer window slams shut.

The Black Cats have only scored one goal so far this season, having been held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea on Saturday and lost 1-0 to Newcastle last weekend.

Bruce had bolstered his attacking options before the start of the campaign with the signings of Ji Dong-won and Connor Wickham, but he admits they are more long-term prospects.

With Asamoah Gyan failing to fire at the moment, Bruce plans to venture back into the market while he still has the chance.

The Sunderland manager accepts that Darren Bent has still not been adequately replaced following his move to Aston Villa in January, but hopes to remedy that before Wednesday night's deadline.


"We've brought in Ji and Wickham as players for the future - we were delighted to have the opportunity to get players of their potential in - but we won't see the best of them for a year to 18 months," Bruce told the Sunderland Echo.

"In the meantime, we need a bit extra up front.

"If we're honest, we've been lacking a bit in that department since Darren Bent left in January and we know that.

"So we'll be doing all we can to bring someone in in the next few days - we just have to wait and see what happens and whether anything can be done."


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