'Bird man' faces court for sitting in tree


A MAN in southwestern China who lived in a eucalyptus tree for more than three months to protest the planned demolition of his home is being tried for disturbing public order.

Chen Maoguo was dubbed the "bird man" for his tree-top sit-in last year in the Chongqing region, staged to protest what he considered inadequate compensation for the razing of his home, the Yunnan Information News said.

His home was one of many to be knocked down to make way for a shopping mall in Fengjie county.

However, his unusual protest beginning last August attracted crowds and media attention, leading to his arrest in November for disturbing public order, said the report, posted on the popular Chinese web portal

During his demonstration, Mr Chen pulled all of his food, water, clothing and other needs up by rope into the small makeshift shelter he constructed in a eucalyptus tree, it said.

The report said Mr Chen was to appear in a local court today. It did not say how old Mr Chen was, or what penalties he could face.

Land seizures, often involving corrupt officials and businesses eyeing real estate profits, have been a growing source of unrest in China.

The problem stirred an uproar last year as a property boom and resulting rash of mass evictions caused a number of violent clashes, protests and even suicides by stubborn homeowners.


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Justin Bieber Knocked Out Cold in Paris


Justin Bieber
was knocked out cold after running into a wall of glass during a concert in Paris.

We just spoke with Justin, who said he was performing on stage, and in between songs he walked backstage and hit the glass.� He says he was disoriented, but went back on stage and finished his set.

As he walked to his dressing room he passed out cold, for around 15 seconds.� Doctors say Justin suffered a concussion but he'll be ok.

This is not the first time Justin has had a run-in with blocks of glass.� Check out the video.

Justin told us, "I guess me and glass windows just don't work."


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TV host asks Martin Short how his wife's doing

Martin Short

Martin Short awkwardly answers questions about his wife on the Today show in the US. Picture: NBC Source: Supplied

TV host Kathie Lee Gifford has publicly apologised for asking comedian Martin Short about his love life with his dead wife live on TV.

Short was on the the Today show in the US promoting Madagascar 3, when Gifford praised his marriage.

"He and Nancy have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in show business. How many years now for you guys?" she asked, oblivious to the fact that Short's wife died�two years ago of ovarian cancer.

"We, ah, married 36 years," Short awkwardly replied.

"But you're still, like, in love" Gifford continued.

"Madly in love," Short said.

"Why?" she asked.

"Because I'm cute," he said, leading Gifford to add, "And you make each other laugh."

Short did not mention his wife's death on the show and was clearly perplexed by Gifford's questioning.

After a commercial break, Gifford came back on air and explained how Short had told her of his wife's passing off-air. "My apologies for not realising," she told viewers.

She later tweeted her sincere regret for the gaffe.

"I send my sincerest apologies to Martin Short and his family," she wrote. "He handled situation w/enormous grace and kindness and I'm so grateful."

Short and his wife were married for 30 years.


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SpaceX Dragon craft due to splash down


SpaceX Dragon

The Dragon being preparing for intergration with the Falcon spacecraft. Picture: Courtesy of SpaceX Source: NASA

THE Dragon spacecraft has left its parking spot at the International Space Station. It's the first step in coming back to Earth.

Early this morning, astronauts unbolted the world's first commercial supply ship, the SpaceX Dragon, from the orbiting outpost. Then they used a robot arm to move it away. Next up will be its actual release.

The Dragon - bearing old equipment and some science samples - is due to splash down in the Pacific at 1.44am tomorrow (AEST).

It will aim for an area 900km southwest of Los Angeles.

Last week, the California-based SpaceX became the first private company to send a cargo ship to the space station.

If all goes well today, it will become the only supplier capable of returning major items.


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Bali bombmaker pleads for leniency


Suspected Indonesian bombmaker Umar Patek waves his hand to journalists as he arrives at the West Jakarta court. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

UMAR Patek, accused of playing a key role in the Bali bombings, insists the attacks that killed 202 people were "against my conscience" and has begged for a light sentence.

In emotionally charged testimony today, Patek, 45, maintained he played only a minor role in the 2002 bombings and had shown remorse by apologising to the victims' families.

Prosecutors have recommended a life sentence for Patek, claiming he was a main bombmaker in attacks on two nightclubs on the Indonesian resort island which killed many tourists.

"I only helped to mix less than 50kg of chemicals," Patek said, reading from a lengthy statement that included Koranic verses in Arabic. He added that others mixed the remaining 950kg for the explosives.

"I did it half-heartedly, only because the person who was mixing looked tired and tense. It's not my soul's calling and it's against my conscience.

"I will turn 46 in 50 days, which is considered old, and a long term behind bars will be too severe. I am yet to have children," he told the West Jakarta District Court.

"I hope the judges will consider my plea and give the lightest possible verdict that is true and fair."

He also urged the panel of five judges not to be influenced by "stigma surrounding my identity, theories, opinions and speculation in the mass media in making a final decision".

He criticised prosecutors for not considering the points raised by witnesses in drafting their recommendation.

"All the facts uncovered in the trial specifically from witnesses and my statements were thrown aside," Patek said, raising his voice.

"Their recommendation was simply made by copying and pasting from the indictment."

Patek, part of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorism network, was arrested last year in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, four months before US commandos killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden there.

Indonesian prosecutors stopped short of recommending the maximum death penalty last week, arguing that Patek's remorse should spare him from the firing squad. Three of the Bali bombers have already been executed.

At the trial which started in February, Patek has repeatedly denied any major involvement. He claimed he had a change of heart and tried to stop the attacks at the last minute.

The court is expected to announce its verdict in June.

Patek was once the most-wanted terrorist suspect in Indonesia and spent nearly a decade on the run with the US offering a $1 million bounty for him under its rewards for justice program.


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Wowser scientists say cut the booze even more



We used to be told a couple of glasses a day is okay and good for the heart, but now scientists say just half a unit a day is safe. Picture: ThinkStock Source: Supplied

  • Scientists recommend new guidelines for safer drinking
  • Recommend cutting back to just couple of sips a day
  • That's right - you're now no longer allowed to finish your beer

WINE lovers thinking of reaching for another glass better think again before taking another swig.

Experts are recommending we forget the couple of glasses a day rule and cut back our alcohol consumption even further - to no more than three small glasses of wine a week.

Or in other words, they reckon half a unit a day, the equivalent of just a couple of swigs of beer, is now a safer level to prevent chronic health problems and death.

Australian government guidelines currently recommend healthy men and women drink no more than two standard drinks on any day.

But now researchers from Britain?s Oxford University say the ideal intake to prevent chronic disease is five grams a day, or around half a unit.

The study, published in online journal BMJ Open, led by Dr Melanie Nichols, of the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University, looked at the death toll of 11 conditions linked to long-term alcohol consumption.

They included heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, and cancer.

Using data from large-scale studies on drinking and chronic disease risk, scientists combined the findings with estimates of weekly alcohol consumption among 15,000 adults in England.

They found by cutting back on the booze would save 4500 lives a year, or three in 100 of all deaths from the 11 conditions studied.


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Johnny Tapia Death -- Wife Suspects Illegal Drug Use


Former boxing champ�Johnny Tapia's wife believes her husband used illegal narcotics in the week before his death -- this according to law enforcement.

TMZ has obtained a copy of the police report taken after Johnny's body was found in his New Mexico home this weekend -- and according to the document, Teresa's suspicions stem from Johnny's longstanding drug problems. Teresa said she had no evidence to back it up.

Police found no proof of illegal drugs in the home, but did come across a locked safe filled with prescription meds -- including Hydrocodone (generic Vicodin) and Quetiapine (a drug used to treat schizophrenia).

Cops say they also found a Hydrocodone pill by Johnny's body.

Family members told police Johnny had been complaining of stomach problems in the hours before his death -- which might explain the Pepto Bismol cops also found on the scene.

Johnny's autopsy was completed yesterday. Results are expected in a couple weeks.


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First picture of Jessica Simpson and her baby

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson, pictured here before the birth of her daughter Maxwell Drew, has described the newborn as "insanely beautiful". Picture: Snappermedia Source:

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson with baby Maxwell on the cover of WHO. Picture: WHO magazine Source: Supplied

  • Jess shows off newborn daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson
  • Simpson described her baby as "insanely beautiful"
  • For more on Simpson's baby daughter, visit�WHO

THE wait is over. The first picture of Jessica Simpson with her baby girl, Maxwell Drew Johnson.

Simpson introduced month-old Maxwell to the world on the covers of WHO and People magazines with her fiance, former NRL player Eric Johnson.

?Seeing everything happen through Eric?s face was a moment I?ll never forget,? says Simpson, who gave
birth to 4.45kg Maxwell via caesarean section.

?He was holding her hand and mine, so immediately we wanted that family bond.?

Revealing she has settled into motherhood with ease and confidence, Simpson opens the doors to Maxwell?s interior-designed nursery and shows off her daughter in a series of intimate family portraits.

?Eric said it best: when Maxwell was born, it felt like we were born again,? the star tells WHO. ?Seeing Eric with Maxwell is everything I?ve ever dreamed of: a daughter and the man of my dreams. It?s the most beautiful picture, and I?m in the best place.?

While Simpson says she?s doesn?t care about her appearance at the moment (?I?m less concerned about how my hair looks and if my gut is showing?), she admits to eventually wanting to get back to her pre-baby weight.

?After you have a baby it?s like, ?Oh my God, what happened to my body??? she says. ?This is not me! It would be nice to feel comfortable in a bikini, but that?s not my goal,? she says. ?I just want to fit into jeans.?

Simpson described her baby as "insanely beautiful" soon after giving birth to her.

"I am so in love with baby Maxwell. I want to cry every time I look at her" she told her five million Twitter followers. "Motherhood is by far the best thing I've ever experienced.

"I'm addicted to buying headbands w(ith) massive flowers for Maxwell on etsy! She is insanely beautiful I can't help but play dress up!"

Simpson shared intimate details of her pregnancy with her fans: they got to find out about her weight gain and her over-active sex life.

?I am definitely feeling ?intimate'. I?m kind of unstoppable at the moment! ... Like the big ?O? is like the biggest ?O? ever," she said

She also told Jimmy Kimmel six weeks before giving birth: ?I feel like I have a bowling ball sitting on my hoo ha! Apparently I have a lot of amniotic fluid, so whenever my water breaks it will be like a fire hydrant!?

Despite her public struggles with excess fluid, Simpson was heavily criticised for putting on too much weight during the pregnancy.

She has since been announced as the new face of Weight Watchers, for a rumoured $3 million, but the bucks don't stop there.

People magazine reportedly paid $800,000 ($817,295) for the exclusive baby photos, a far cry from the $6 million Jennifer Lopez received for pictures of her twins and $14 million for Brangelina's youngest siblings Knox and Vivienne.

But while Jessica Simpson has been a risky covergirl in the past, the magazines are willing to gamble on her with a baby tucked under her arm.

"She hasn't sold magazine covers in a long time, which is why she has been offered less than a million for the pictures," an editor told The Huffington Post. "Although, when it comes to celebrity babies, the risk is minimal."

Jessica Simpson is on the cover of WHO magazine on sale this Friday -�find out�the meaning behind Maxwell?s name. For more on the couple's newborn daughter, visit WHO.


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'Blood diamond' Taylor gets 50 years' jail


Charles Taylor

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor at the judgement hearing of his trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone's rebels who paid him in "blood diamonds''. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

A UN-backed war crimes court has sentenced former Liberian president Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for arming Sierra Leone rebels in return for "blood diamonds".

"The trial chamber unanimously sentences you to a single term of imprisonment for 50 years on all counts," said Special Court for Sierra Leone judge Richard Lussick at the court based just outside The Hague today.

"The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting some of the most heinous crimes in human history."

Taylor, 64, dressed in a smart dark suit, white shirt and golden tie, listened with his eyes closed and a drawn face as the judge handed down the sentence, which Taylor can appeal.

The former president was convicted on April 26 on all 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) during the country's 1991-2001 civil war.

In return, the court said, Taylor was paid in diamonds mined by slave labour in areas under control of rebels who murdered, raped and kept sex slaves while hacking off limbs and forcing children under 15 to fight.


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Assange to fight extradition after court ruling

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his appeal against his extradition to Sweden.

Julian Assange's supporters are holding a vigil in Qld before a British court's decision on his deportation.

Assange extradition

The extradition of Julian Assange. Source: News Limited

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fears he will be extradited to the US for prosecution over charges associated with his WikiLeaks website. Picture: AP Source: AAP

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THE UK Supreme Court has ruled to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the UK to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, but his legal team have asked for 14 days to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The London court announced its judgement in a hearing at 6:15pm (AEST).

The 40-year-old Australian is wanted in Sweden to face questioning over alleged sex crimes against two women.

He has now exhausted all his legal options in Britain, but could still make a last-ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Assange lodged his appeal against extradition with the Supreme Court in February, with his lawyers arguing the European arrest warrant used to seek his extradition was not valid as the Swedish prosecutor did not have sufficient authority to order the extradition.

This was rejected by a majority of five to two by the Supreme Court justices.

Lawyers for Assange secured a two-week stay however, arguing the decision by the judges was based on a point of law that was not discussed in court.�

Court: Assange supporters scared for his safety

The Punch: Lack of transparency makes Assange case smell

Dinah Rose QC said the majority of members of the Supreme Court panel had made their decision based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties - which was never brought up at the time. She may decide to challenge the validity of today's ruling on that basis.

Assange will not be extradited until that two-week period is completed.

Once in Sweden, he would then be tried behind closed doors as rape trials in the country are held in "secret".

Assange fears that if he is sent to Sweden he will then be extradited to the US for prosecution over charges associated with his WikiLeaks website, which released hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables that revealed a mass of US secrets.

Court to revisit Assange appeal: lawyer

Lawyers for Assange argued that the prosecutor was not a judicial authority, the title necessary to order an extradition.

Five justices at the UK Supreme Court disagreed with Assange, while two decided in his favour.

"The majority has concluded that the Swedish Public Prosecutor was a judicial authority ... it follows that the request for Mr Assange's extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is dismissed," Lord Phillips said.

Assange's barrister, Dinah Rose, QC, pounced on the judgment, suggesting that the majority of justices based their decision on an interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a point of law which had not been argued during the appeal hearing.

Subsequently, Ms Rose was granted 14 days to submit an application to the court which could lead to the appeal being reopened.

"The minority of judges considered that the words 'judicial authority' mean what they say: a court and a law," Assange's solicitor Gareth Peirce said outside court after the judgment.

"Lady Hale in her dissenting judgment considered that the basis on which the majority decided was putting the cart before the horse: that you cannot say that practice determines what the law means."

Ms Pierce said the matter must be given further consideration by the court.

"We will be informing the Supreme Court that the basis on which the majority decided the Vienna Convention point, the practice, trumping the law, was not argued before the court at all and we therefore didn't have an opportunity to argue it and that in itself would be a breach of ... a fair hearing," she said.

Assange has previously indicated that if his Supreme Court appeal was unsuccessful he would consider taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, QC, said the British Supreme Court decision was "inevitable" but not unanimous.

"There are technical possibilities and of course the main issue is the European Court of Human Rights because that is the final court in Europe, and certainly he has a reasonable prospect there, but it is unlikely that they would halt the extradition," he told the ABC.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australia would provide consular services to Mr Assange.

Assange work could be targeted: union

The head of the journalists' union in Australia fears a UK Supreme Court decision allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault could open the door for the WikiLeaks founder to be charged over his journalism.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) federal secretary Chris Warren told AAP the Queensland man could now be a step closer to extradition to the US.

"Our concern is not so much the possibility of him facing charges in Sweden," he said today.

"Our concern has always been that he could (ultimately) face serious charges for the journalistic work that he has done through WikiLeaks."

He said Assange had been a member of the MEAA for 10 years and that the organisation he founded should be treated as a media outlet.

"This is an organisation that has really changed the way we think about journalism," he said.

In 2011, the union's Walkley Foundation awarded WikiLeaks the prize for most outstanding contribution to journalism.

Swedish prosecutors have sought Assange's extradition from the UK so he can be questioned about claims by two women that he sexually assaulted them in Stockholm in August 2010.

Legal options:

  • Assange can apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the French city of Strasbourg to lodge a final appeal against the European Arrest Warrant issued by Sweden. The ECHR has 14 days to decide whether it will hear the appeal.
  • Assange would also have to apply to the ECHR to issue a separate interim order that Britain cannot extradite him to Sweden during that 14-day period.
  • "If what he wants to achieve is stop himself going to Sweden, then he needs his interim relief. Because, without it, he will have an appeal which will simply be heard in a number of years' time when he will be back in Sweden," Anand Doobay, a consultant at London law firm Peters & Peters, told AFP.
  • If the ECHR does not issue an interim order, Assange can still apply for an injunction from the British courts against his extradition while he awaits the ECHR's decision on whether it will hear the appeal, a Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman told AFP.
  • If neither the ECHR nor the British courts make such an injunction, Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency can proceed with moves to extradite Assange within that 14-day period. Under the European Arrest Warrant rules, SOCA must hand over Assange to Sweden within 10 days after his last appeal is exhausted, a spokesman for the agency said.
  • Should Britain be successful in extraditing him to Sweden, and the ECHR agrees to hear the case, it would then deal with the case while Assange is in Sweden. If it eventually grants his appeal the ECHR can order him sent back to Britain.
  • If Assange is still in Britain and the ECHR decides to hear the appeal, his current strict bail conditions remain in force and he can remain in Britain until the ECHR proceedings have concluded.

- with Agence-France Presse and AAP


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Guess who? Star dares to bare make-up free look

katy perry

Katy Perry as she appears in her new documentary, Part of Me, and made-up and stage ready in July 2011. Picture: Supplied, AP Source:

part of me

Katy Perry in a scene for her new documentary, Part of Me. Picture: Supplied Source:

  • Katy Perry dares to bare make-up free face in new film
  • Says she wanted her fans to realise she isn't perfect
  • Film offers an "access-all-areas" pass to her life

SHE'S heading for her big screen close-up, she's doing it without make-up and she's almost unrecognisable.

The lollipop dress may just give it away, but if there?s one thing Katy Perry?s new documentary reveals, it?s how much the singer?s war paint is part of her show.

The 27-year-old has decided to bare a make-up free face in a scene from the 3D film Part of Me, which offers viewers an all-access-pass to her "crazy, fairytale life".

Perry told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres she included the revealing look because she wanted her fans to realise she wasn't without her flaws.

?When you see the film, it?s a bit scary because there?s a lot of shots of me bloated with zits and normal," Perry said.

"I think it?s important to start breaking down the idea that to achieve your dream you always have to be perfect or flawless or live in some kind of fantasy world? so that?s why I decided to put everything into the film.

"I think sometimes people think that we?re perfect and we know we?re not perfect at all."

Perry has been applauded for her fresh-faced candour and confidence, but it's not the first time we've seen the star without her immaculate make-up.

She was said to be "livid" in December 2010 when her ex-husband Russell Brand tweeted a picture of her with greasy hair and blemished skin.

The picture was reportedly taken in the middle of the night while she was still half-asleep ? and the unflattering photo was quickly deleted when Perry got wind of its existence.

Part of Me, is released in US cinemas on July 5.


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'Bird man' faces court for sitting in tree


A MAN in southwestern China who lived in a eucalyptus tree for more than three months to protest the planned demolition of his home is being tried for disturbing public order.

Chen Maoguo was dubbed the "bird man" for his tree-top sit-in last year in the Chongqing region, staged to protest what he considered inadequate compensation for the razing of his home, the Yunnan Information News said.

His home was one of many to be knocked down to make way for a shopping mall in Fengjie county.

However, his unusual protest beginning last August attracted crowds and media attention, leading to his arrest in November for disturbing public order, said the report, posted on the popular Chinese web portal

During his demonstration, Mr Chen pulled all of his food, water, clothing and other needs up by rope into the small makeshift shelter he constructed in a eucalyptus tree, it said.

The report said Mr Chen was to appear in a local court today. It did not say how old Mr Chen was, or what penalties he could face.

Land seizures, often involving corrupt officials and businesses eyeing real estate profits, have been a growing source of unrest in China.

The problem stirred an uproar last year as a property boom and resulting rash of mass evictions caused a number of violent clashes, protests and even suicides by stubborn homeowners.


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Terrell Owens -- DROPPED from IFL's Allen Wranglers

Breaking News


Terrell Owens -- once considered a lock for the NFL Hall of Fame -- has been released from the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League ... and his infamous prima donna ways are to blame.

Team president Tommy Benizio tells TMZ the decision was "performance based" -- and added the final straw came when T.O. skipped a recent team visit to a children's hospital in Allen, TX.

This was T.O.'s first season with the Wranglers ... and when he announced the move to the IFL in January it was considered a huge fall from grace for a former NFL superstar.

T.O. put up 10 touchdowns in 8 games for the Wranglers, and had hoped his performance would get him back into the NFL. T.O.'s been trying to impress teams for years ... back in 2010, he flaunted his athleticism for a TMZ camera guy.

By the way, Benizio says T.O.'s also been cut from the Wranglers' ownership group.



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Italy quake: Bodies still being pulled from rubble


There are reports a magnitude 5.8 earthquake has hit northern Italy killing at least 15 people.

Italy Quake

Italian firefighters search the debris of a collapsed factory in Mirandola, Italy after a 5.8 magnitude quake. Picture: AP Source: AP

  • Deadly earthquake hits northern italy
  • Measures 5.8 in on richter scale
  • At least 17 people are dead so far

RESCUE workers combing through the rubble of Italy's latest deadly quake say they have found the bodies of two workers in a collapsed factory, raising the death toll to at least 16.

The rescuers in the northern town of Mendolla told an Associated Press photographer at the scene that the two lifeless bodies have not been removed yet.

Earlier today, the body of another worker was found in the factory's wreckage and rescuers are still searching for a missing person.

Some 350 people were injured and thousands left homeless in Italy's second fatal quake in nine days in the agricultural and industrial area north of Bologna.

Rescuers pulled a woman alive from the rubble of her apartment building, 12 hours after a killer quake hit northern Italy.

Firefighters told Sky TG24 that the woman yelled out to rescuers as they were about to reach her today in the rubble of her kitchen.

She had gone into the building, which had been damaged by the region's May 20 quake, reportedly to retrieve some clothes, when the 5.8 magnitude temblor struck, collapsing the apartment building of several stories.


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Want to buy the first iPad? That will be $10,000

iPad prototype side

The original iPad protoype contained a docking port on the left side, as well as on the bottom. Picture: eBay Source: Supplied

iPad prototype front

The prototype's "home" screen was filled with Transformers, Star Wars and "Skank" jokes. Classy. Picture: eBay Source: Supplied

iPad prototype 1

The picture of the "first generation iPad" on eBay shows the tablet had two ports. Picture: eBay Source: Supplied

iPad prototype back

The iPad looks authentic enough, but the word "iPad" was missing from its shell on the back. Picture: eBay Source: Supplied

  • First generation iPad prototype goes on sale on eBay
  • The bids are so far up to $10,000 and counting
  • Device shows original tablet had two docking ports

A DEVICE advertised as the �First Generation Prototype� of the original iPad has gone on sale on eBay, attracting bids of at least $10,000 so far.

The original 2010 16GB iPad looks authentic enough, although it does not have the word ?iPad? printed on its outer shell.

And unlike the device which was unveiled to the world two years ago, this model, trademarked 2009, has the long-rumoured two dock connectors on the bottom and left side of the tablet.

?This is one of a VERY small amount of Apple prototype devices and you rarely see these on ebay,? the ad says.

?This iPad has 16GBs of capacity, and is incredibly unique. For starters, It has 2 dock connectors. Apple prototyped these iPads to have this connector late in the process and at the last minute decided to remove them.

?There are patent drawings and leaked casings that show the indents for both dock connector holes, but this unit has both dock connectors, and both are full functional for charging this iPad and connecting it to your computer.?

The device is also running Apple?s software testing suite, called "SwitchBoard" ? refurbished by the seller after being intentionally disabled by Apple.

?It comes with no warranty, and is intended as a cool collectors item or if you're interested in the hardware or software on it,? the seller says.

The bids for this Apple ?antique? started at $4800 but has gone to $10,000 with just hours left.

One problem identified by the seller is that the touchscreen doesn?t work very well, and it looks a little worse for wear.

So what would you pay to own a piece of Apple history?

GADGET GIRL: Check out the hottest and fastest 4G phones in Australia.


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Commission inquiry into Qatar fire ordered

Qatar fire

Smoke rises above the Villaggio Mall, in Doha's west end, as a fire took hold of the upscale mall in Qatar's capital. Source: AP

THE Crown Prince of Qatar wants a special commission to investigate the fatal shopping mall blaze in the Qatari capital of Doha that left 19 people dead, including two-year-old Kiwi triplets.

Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes were at the Gympanzee childcare centre on the first floor of the Villaggio mall when the fire broke out rlier today.

At least 12 people remain in hospital following the fire which claimed the lives of 13 expatriate children: seven girls, six boys, along with four women teachers and two firefighters.

Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has ordered a special commission be set up to look into the fire, Al Jazeera reports.

Many of the fire's victims died from smoke inhalation, according to media reports.

The mall remains closed today.

Fatalities also include children from Spain, France, and others from Japan and South Africa.

The dead teachers include three Filipinas and one from South Africa.

Abdullah bin Nasser Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar's minister of state for interior affairs, said a combination of heavy smoke, heat and narrow corridors in the shopping complex forced emergency services to seek an alternative point of entry.

The Weekes children had been attending the centre for two or three months.

Their father, Martin Weekes, was chief executive of Eden Park from 1996-2000 and moved to Qatar with wife Jane in 2007.

He is a senior adviser at Qatar government agency

When she was pregnant, Mrs Weekes came back to New Zealand and had the triplets in Wellington.

Former New Zealand journalist Tarek Bazley was in the mall when the fire broke out, saying he heard a benign alarm which sounded like a repeating doorbell, but he was told by an attendant that "it's usually a false alarm".

"About 10 minutes later someone else, a member of the public, raced through this area and said 'everybody out, you've got to get out now, the other half of the mall is on fire'."

Television footage shows those that were rescued escaped through a hole in the roof cut by firefighters.

Unconfirmed reports said two managers were arrested and may face charges.

The fire is the second deadliest tragedy to strike the wealthy, oil-rich Gulf state.

In 2009, 30 people died when an accommodation barge sank off the coast of Doha.

Qatar, with a population of just under two million, including a significant expatriate population, was a former British protectorate and gained independence in 1971.


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'Red Shirt' to run for Thai government

A THAI protest leader accused of terrorism was released from prison briefly to apply to run in a by-election seen as a key test of the opposition's prospects of success in nationwide polls.

Kokaew Pikulthong, a senior "Red Shirt" involved in the mass rally in Bangkok that ended last month, will stand against incumbent Panich Vikitsreth of the ruling Democrat Party in the July 25 vote in the capital.

A Thai court last week granted permission for Kokaew, the candidate of the main opposition Puea Thai Party, to be released temporarily from Bangkok Remand Prison to register to challenge Panich, a vice foreign minister.

Mr Kokaew, who has not been convicted of any crimes relating to his role in the two-month-long street protest, was later returned to detention, but is expected to seek permission to be released again to campaign for votes.

The Red Shirts' rally, which at its peak attracted up to about 100,000 people demanding immediate elections, sparked outbreaks of violence that left 90 people dead, mostly civilians, and nearly 1900 injured.

Enraged protesters set fire to dozens of major buildings after the army crushed the demonstration by the mostly poor and working class Reds with an assault on their vast fortified encampment in central Bangkok on May 19.

The Red Shirts were campaigning for elections they hoped would oust the government, which they view as undemocratic because it came to power with the backing of the army after a court ruling threw out the previous administration.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva proposed November polls in a bid to end the crippling protests, but shelved the plan because the Reds -- many of whom seek the return of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra -- refused to disperse.

Mr Abhisit, whose government was elected by parliamentary vote in 2008 and enjoys support among the Bangkok-based elite, must call nationwide elections by the end of next year at the latest.

Many of the Red Shirt leaders are in jail facing terrorism charges for their roles in the unrest. The government has rejected the opposition's call for a state of emergency to be lifted in the capital for the by-election.


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Lara Bingle to be booted from her plush pad

First look at Channel 10's new reality show Being Lara Bingle. See what Lara thinks of those nude photos.

Lara Bingle

Soon to be ousted ... Lara Bingle is said to leave her $4500-a-week "home" in Bondi currently being used for filming. Picture: Nic Gibson Source: The Daily Telegraph


Lara Bingle and her actual apartment (left) and the luxurious TV version (right). Picture: Daily Telegraph Source: The Daily Telegraph

Lara Bingle

Bingle's temporary luxury abode at Sydney's iconic Bondi beach was a ploy to attract an overseas audience. Picture: Big Australia. Source: The Sunday Telegraph

SHE may currently be holed up in the sort of multi-million dollar Bondi luxury she has previously been accustomed to but for Lara Bingle, star of Ten's upcoming self-titled reality show, the party is soon set to end.

The former fiancee of Michael Clarke is currently living in an $8 million beachfront, four-bedroom mega-pad on posh Knotts Ave but will soon hand back the keys to the luxury abode being rented by the program's production company Eye Works for about $4500 per week, say real estate sources.

A rep for Network Ten yesterday defended the decision to present the plush pad as Bingle's regular digs in the upcoming series Being Lara Bingle, saying it was simply easier to shoot in. Previously the former swimwear model resided in a pokey, one-bedroom Darling Point flat worth one-tenth the value of the Bondi penthouse.

"The (penthouse) makes for a better backing. It's easier to film in and the views are stunning," said a network source. It's also understood the producer opted for a Bondi location "to make the show more appealing to overseas TV buyers".

Asked if it will be disclosed in the reality series that the property is purely for show, the rep said: "It's brushed over".

And in a classic case of going from the penthouse to the dog house, Bingle - who is living with her brother Josh and manager Hermione Underwood in Bondi - is likely to return to her old Darling Point flat.

Confidential hears much of the buzz on Being Lara Bingle surrounds not herself but her brother Josh whom, we hear, is setting hearts aflutter.


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Police say face eater may have been high on LSD

Miami police shot dead a naked man as he ate the face of another man police believe was homeless and lying down on the side of the road when he was attacked. The incident happened around 2:00pm local time Saturday near Miami's busy Biscayne Boulevard, just south of The Miami Herald building, the newspaper reported.

  • Man shot dead after he was found eating man's face
  • Police say he may have been high on new LSD
  • "Inside their body their organs are burning up alive"

A MAN whose face and eyes were savagely bitten by a naked attacker in Miami remained in critical condition overnight, as police suggested that his assailant might have been on LSD.

Questions about what led to the grisly, mid-afternoon attack continued to swirl, but new details were emerging about the attacker, who was shot dead by police when he refused to move away from his victim.

Larry Vega told WSVN-TV he was riding his bicyce near the off-ramp of the MacArthur Causeway when he saw the naked man leaning over and taking bites of the man's face.

"And the guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'" he said. "You know it's like the guy just kept eating the other guy away like ripping his skin."

Mr Vega said he managed to flag down a Miami Police officer.

"Police officer came over, told him several times to get off and a police officer climbed over the divider and got in front of him and said, 'Get off!' And told him several times and the guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled," Mr Vega said.

Miami Herald screen grabs

A naked man was shot dead by police after eating another man's face off in Miami. Picture: Courtesy of Miami Herald CCTV

Source: HWT Image Library

Police believe the attacker was likely overdosing on a new potent form of LSD, the television station reported.

"What's happening is whenever we see that a person has taken all of his clothes off and has become violent, it's indicative of this excited delirium that's caused by overdose of drugs," said Armando Aguilar of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. "What's happening is inside their body their organs are burning up alive."

The victim, who might have been homeless, remained in critical condition overnight, according to WSVN-TV.� Up to 75 percent of his face was missing and sources say they were "some of the worst injuries" they had ever seen.

The Miami Herald reported that the area where the victim was attacked is known to be frequented by homeless people, some of whom sleep there.� The incident happened across the street from the Herald's office building, and police have asked for the newspaper's surveillance video.

Police had also suggested the�victim may have been asleep when the attacker pounced.


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