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Molly Huscroft

Apple launches new products

Apple reveals new iPod Nano and iPhone 4S

Apple revealed a series of new clock faces for people who wear their iPod Nanos as watches at the company’s launch event Tuesday.

Along with several other new products, Apple revealed the 2011 iPod Nano, which has been made smaller (only 1.54 inches diagonally) and with a touch screen. iWatchZ, Lunatik and other vendors have created special bands in order to wear the new Nano as a watch.

Apple is offering 16 new faces for a total of 18 choices for watch wearers. The new faces available include Kermit the Frog and Mickey Mouse, as well as several more modern digital styles. All of the new watch faces are included with the new iPod Nanos so owners may change from one to another.

Another product released at the launch was Apple’s latest phone, the iPhone 4S. This latest model of the iPhone features a more powerful processor, an upgraded eight-megapixel camera and a voice-enable assistant application, among other new features. Its price will start at $199 for a 16GB model on contract and will go on sale Oct. 14.

For more information, go here.

Detroit Lions defeat Dallas Cowboys for fourth straight win

Lions stunning viewers with undefeated season

Calvin Johnson led the Detroit Lions to their fourth consecutive win Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, 34-30. The last game the Lions played at the Cowboys’ Arlington stadium was their NFL-record 26th straight road defeat. Coming back after a third quarter 24-point deficit, Detroit is turning heads with their outstanding play and undefeated 4-0 record.

The defense started the turnaround with two interceptions returned for touchdowns and a final interception with 4:13 remaining in the game.

Most of the attention is on Johnson, currently the NFL’s most productive receiver this season. The wide receiver scored two touchdowns in each of the Lions’ games this season and has stacked up a total of 321 yards on 24 receptions.

“The kid knows he’s the best receiver in the league,” Coach Jefferson told the Detroit Free Press. “He does. He knows it. But he’s just as humble as humble can get.”

Just last week the Lions returned from a 20-point halftime deficit to win against the Minnesota Vikings, 26-23. “We still have a lot of stuff to clean up,” Johnson said. “The way we’ve started the last two weeks, that’s really unacceptable.”

For more information, go here.

Tesla Announces New Environmentally Friendly Car

Tesla announces new car with no gas tank

Tesla Model S, a new type of high-end, environmentally-friendly car, is set to go on sale next year. Car creator Elon Musk, inventor of PayPal and SpaceX, has announced that this new model can do zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. According to ABC News, that’s faster than some versions of the Porsche 911.

While this new high-end vehicle is pricey, sales starting at $57,000, Musk promises it pays off. The cost of gasoline is zero. The car is plugged in when it’s parked. Musk also promises that it will be plugged in less often. The Tesla Model S should have enough battery capacity to go more than 300 miles on a charge. It contains several Lithium-Ion batteries, mostly in a rack on the bottom of the car.

Tesla models are significantly different from the gas-electric hybrids such as Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt. Hybrids have both electric motors and gasoline engines that share the work. Tesla does not do tanks. By some estimates, the lack of gas tanks could reduce carbon emissions per mile by 70 percent.

Tesla Model S is a new and improved version of the Model S Sedan. Tesla has already been selling a small volume of the Roadsters for $109,000 each. In January, the company will start to phase them out to focus on the Model S.

For more information, go here.

Al-Qaida’s Yemen chiefs still focused on U.S.

Yemen al-Qaida branch focused on U.S., gaining major enemies

A new report by a top Army counterterrorism center stated that the only way to eliminate the Yemen branch of al-Qaida is to take out its Yemen leaders.

Despite the recent killing of American-born al-Qaida preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, the Wall Street Journal reports that terror chief Nasir al-Wahayshi and other key figures are equally determined to complete attacks on the U.S. homeland. Al-Wahayshi was in charge of the Yemen al-Qaida branch when the group launched its first official attack, the double suicide bombing of U.S. oil facilities in Yemen in 2006.

Another key figure still at large is military leader Abdullah al-Rimi, who is wanted for questioning in connection to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, in which 17 American sailors were killed.

Al-Qaida’s most recent plans in Yemen have gained the group significant opponents. Al-Qaida has taken advantage of the unrest and revolts in Yemen and has attempted to seize and hold territory inside the country. This military campaign has created at least one major enemy – the Yemeni government.

The report released Monday by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center suggests that if the Yemeni government cut deals with its opponents, they would form a majority that could overwhelm al-Qaida. This would also undermine al-Qaida’s message that change only comes through jihad – a religious struggle. Instead, as in the revolutions in other countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, it would exemplify that change can come through a more worldly form of revolution.

For more information, go here.

Amazon introduces Kindle Fire

New Amazon tablet to take on iPad

Amazon introduced it’s much anticipated Kindle Fire tablet on Wednesday. The tablet features a seven inch touch screen and will run on a unique version of Google Android developed by Amazon. It will sell for $199 and is set to ship on Nov. 15.

The first tablet from the world’s largest online retailer has been eagerly anticipated as the first device that might be able to compete with Apple’s iPad. Not only is it sold at a more affordable price, but the Kindle Fire offers a full suite of downloadable music, movies, TV shows, eBooks and apps.

Many have tried to copy the iPad’s success, but so far none have come close. Apple sold 28.7 million iPads from April 2010 to June 2011.

The tablet has a dual-core processor and eight gigabytes of storage, but no camera or 3G connection. Buyers of the Kindle Fire will receive a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, the Seattle online retailer’s $79 yearly service that provides free video streaming and free shipping for items purchased from Amazon.com. 

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, announced the Kindle Fire in New York on Wednesday.

Amazon began taking pre-orders for the Kindle Fire on Wednesday.

For more information, go here

Andy Rooney Retiring from "60 Minutes"

Rooney to announce retirement in 1097th essay

Andy Rooney will announce on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” that it will be his last regular appearance on the broadcast.

He will make the announcement in his regular essay after a segment in which Rooney looks backs on his career in an interview with Morley Safer. It will be his 1097th original essay for “60 Minutes.” Rooney wrote the first of these essays, a piece entitled, “An Essay on Doors,” in 1964.

Rooney, 92, began his run on “60 Minutes” in July 1978. His first essay for the broadcast was about the reporting of automobile fatalities during Independence Day weekend. He became a regular on the show that fall. In his first full season as the “60 Minutes” commentator, the broadcast was the number one program for the first time.

Rooney joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.” He also wrote for CBS News public-affairs broadcasts such as “The Twentieth Century,” “News of America,” “Adventure,” and “The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.” 

Rooney lives in New York. He has three daughters and a son.

For more information, go here.

Conrad Murray trial begins

Murray attorneys claim Michael Jackson caused his own death

As the trial into the death of Michael Jackson began Tuesday, a lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray said the superstar caused his own death.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff told jurors in his opening statement that Jackson, of his own choice, swallowed several lorazepam pills on the morning of his death, enough to put a person to sleep. Chernoff then claimed that Jackson also took the anesthetic propofol. The combination created what he called a “perfect storm in his body” that killed Jackson instantly.

Chernoff’s opening statement followed over an hour of arguments from the prosecution, whose multimedia presentation included an image of Jackson’s body lying on a gurney after he died from an overdose on June 25, 2009.

Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, appeared to be crying at several points during Chernoff’s opening statement. If convicted, Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license. Murray’s attorneys have denied that he gave Jackson anything that should have killed him.

Several members of Jackson’s family were present in the courthouse, including his parents, Joseph and Katherine, sisters LaToya and Janet and brothers Jermaine, Randy and Tito.

LaToya Jackson arrived carrying a sunflower, Michael’s favorite flower.

For trial coverage, go here.