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The NFC's Seahawks will face the AFC's Patriots in the title game at Glendale. Photo: bran.dan/Flickr
The NFC's Seahawks will face the AFC's Patriots in the title game at Glendale. Photo: bran.dan/Flickr
The NFC’s Seahawks will face the AFC’s Patriots in the title game at Glendale. Photo: bran.dan/Flickr

A breathtaking matchup will put together the defending champions who will stay against the dominant NFL franchise of the 2000s.

Seahawks (14-4) will play with Patriots (14-4) in the title game at Glendale, Arizona, in two weeks.

“New England reached its eighth Super Bowl, equaling the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for most in league history. It’s the sixth time quarterback Brady and coach Bill Belichickmade it in the past 14 years; they won trophies after the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons,” The Huffington Post reports.

“But they lost in their past two appearances, after the 2007 and 2011 seasons, both times against Eli Manning and the New York Giants,” the publication explains.

Some Las Vegas sports books reported the NFL’s team — hoping for its third Super Bowl — as 1-point favorites, while others made the game a pick them.

Last year, Seattle eclipsed Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the big game. In nearly a half-century of Super Bowls there’s never been so long a stretch without a repeat champion.

But with coach Pete Carroll, Belichick’s predecessor with the Patriots, and general manager John Schneider in charge, Seattle has the makings of a dynasty, thanks to cool-as-can-be Wilson, cornerback Richard Sherman and the first defense since the 1985-86 Chicago Bears to give up the fewest points and fewest yards two seasons in a row.

“A week ago, the Patriots became the first team to erase two holes of at least 14 points in a postseason game, but they needed no such comeback Sunday night, completely outclassing the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 for the AFC title,” writes Yahoo!.

“Brady threw a trio of TD passes – including one to left tackle Nate Solder, in the latest bit of trickery from Belichick – and burly running back LeGarrette Blount gained 148 yards on 30 carries and scored three times.”

Brady and Belichick are the first quaterbacks and first coach with six Super Bowl; Belichick’s 21 postseason victories are the most for a coach.

”It’s hard to compare, year to year. I think every situation’s different. We’ve had a lot of good teams in the past,” Brady said. ”This one is going to have to win a very important game to kind of leave our legacy.”

“I have tons of respect for Tom Brady,” Russell Wilson noted when asked about the possibility of facing Brady and his team. “He’s done it for so many years and all the amazing things he’s done, to have the opportunity to play against him would be special, just because it’s arguably the best quarterback of all time.”

“Like I said, it’s not about me,” Wilson added. “It’s about the Seattle Seahawks trying to win back-to-back Super Bowls, Super Bowl XLIX.”

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Alejandro González Iñárritu's picture "Birdman" will probably steal the show. Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
 Alejandro González Iñárritu's picture "Birdman" will probably steal the show. Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s picture “Birdman” will probably steal the show. Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

If Oscar 2015 nominations are any indication, the best Hollywood movies appear to be made not in Hollywood anymore. Following the lead of many major industries, the movie business has in effect outsourced what used to be its bread and butter.

“For if the Academy Awards have traditionally represented anything, it’s what the industry values: what the thousands of professionals, the insiders who make up the academy membership, think is the best cinematic work of the year,” writes The New York Times.

“But if you look at the nominations for the year 2014, both across the board and category by category, what is striking is how many of the big winners came from either the independent world, overseas or both. This is not a new development, but this year’s results spelled it out in big, bold letters,” the journal adds.

Thursday’s two big winners, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman” earned as many as nine nominations each, were independent films released by Fox’s specialty division, Fox Searchlight.

“Grand Budapest’s” director, Wes Anderson, is a true stalwart of the independent world, and the man who stands behind “Birdman” is Mexico’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

When you go further down the list of nominees, that trend can also be observed. “The Imitation Game,” released by the Weinstein Co. and directed by Norway’s Morten Tyldum, was nominated for eight categories, including a well deserved one for Tyldum himself.

Next came “Boyhood” with six nominations. The group that got five included “The Theory of Everything,” directed by the British James Marsh, and Sundance winner “Whiplash,” a film whose five nominations perhaps reflect the fact that its plot is easy to imagine as a 1930s or 1940s feature, maybe with John Garfield in the Miles Teller role.

“Sniper” is also the only thorough-going studio film to land one of the eight best picture nominations. Missing from that list were the likely candidates “Interstellar” (which got five mostly below-the-line nods), “Unbroken” and “Gone Girl,” the last of which managed only a nomination for star Rosamund Pike. It’s almost as if voters fled from anything with a big-studio imprimatur on it,” informs The Los Angeles Times.

Last year  “Gravity” appeared to be the biggest winner as its crew took home seven Oscars at the 86th annual Academy Awards, but it was adorable host Ellen DeGeneres that won over the A-list audience who constantly joked and even passed out pizza to the pretty people in attendance.

“12 Years a Slave” won the night’s biggest prize as it was title the best picture, howeverm, it was “Gravity” that got the most awards, grabbing all the technical awards, including best visual effects and sound editing.

Talented actor andsinger Jared Leto was also honoured as he won the title of best supporting actor for his perfect performance in “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The best supporting actress award was given to Lupita Nyong’o for her play in “12 Years a Slave,” and the actress, who won her first Oscar ever,  thanked her family and friends in an emotional speech.

Australian ntive-born Cate Blanchett was named the best actress for her role as the socialite unhinged by her husband’s financial crimes in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” “Thank you so much Woody for casting me,” Blanchett said in her acceptance speech.

The tale of Nordic princesses, “Frozen,” took home best animated film award, a first one for Disney Animation Studios since the category was introduced twelve years ago.

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Photo: Cristina Guggeri

Cristina Guggeri proved that sometimes it’s easy to forget that heads of state are people too. Even the most important people on earth visit the bathroom, no matter what they do and how they act the rest of the time.

A digitally edited series from Italian artist Cristina Guggeri showed to everyone the world’s most powerful politicians and religious leaders taking a free moment to perform what she jokingly calls “The Daily Duty,” which also happens to be the name of the series (“Il Dovere Quotidiano”).

“Although the images could be construed as disrespectful to these intelligent, driven people, look at it this way: Guggeri’s taking the time to remind us all that even those who’re famous need to spend undignified time on the toilet,” writes Elite Daily.

When the title is stripped away, we’re all just humans. Last year illustrator Amit Shimoni transformed world leaders into modern day trendsetters in Hipstory. Shimoni’s vision of dignitaries such as John F. Kennedy, Margaret Thatcher, and Ghandi gave new meaning to nose-rings and Ray Bans.

“His lighthearted link to the past, just another reminder of our voracious appetite for turning the old, cool again. Even in jest, his subject’s hairstyles remain constant. Who knew JFK’s windswept wave would be in style 50 years later, or that Ghandi’s baldness would be a current fashion statement for both male and female? A few inside jokes include Kennedy rockin’ a Marilyn tee and a tropical patterned baseball jacket on Nelson Mandela,” writes Beautiful Decay.

“Great war leader and Nobel Prize-winner Winston Churchill is given a sartorial sailor look, with a Breton-striped T-shirt with a plunging neckline, braces, pork pie hat and cigarette behind one ear,” described the pictures The Daily Mail. “Even if the leader depicted has died, the pictures in Hipstory aim to include elements that echo something about its subject.”

“John F Kennedy dons a nose ring, chains and a T-shirt bearing, what appears to be, a black and white image of Marilyn Monroe. Mahatma Gandhi, meanwhile, wears a tie-dye top and Sixties-style shades to reflect his peaceful politics,” the publication added.

The illustrator later explained that with his new set of unlikely artworks he hoped to ‘encourage us to reflect upon our leaders, our society, and ourselves’.

“I often find myself thinking about the differences between these world’s greatest leaders, their beliefs and motivations, and our self-centered generation,” Shimoni said.

“The Y Generation is constantly looking at fashion and style as their way of self-expression while steering away from the big ideologies. Hipstory wishes to reimagine the great leaders of modern history and place them in a different time and culture – ours.”

“It was not easy to illustrate all these leaders; it took me a few months to complete the project, but the effort was worth it. It is my hope that this series will encourage us to reflect: upon our leaders, our society, and ourselves.”

He went on, adding: “Hipstory wishes not to criticise, but to shed new light on the way we think of ourselves and the figures who inspire us.”

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Photo: omgliterallydead/Instagram

Meet Skellie, a typical Instagram girl looking for a boo and a good glass of red wine. She may sound like some ordinary girl who likes to share her pics on the Internet, except for the fact that Skellie is a skeleton!

What started as a joke between colleagues has soon turned out to be one of the funniest Instagram accounts ever. Social Media Manager Dana Herlihey couldn’t resist creating an Instagram profile for the Halloween skeleton she and her coworkers used to have some fun. Several months after her first post she’s still posing and photographing Skellie and crafting her personality.

“In early October, a pose-able, plastic skeleton arrived at our office,” Dana said. “My coworkers took to it; someone taped a Starbucks cup to the skeleton’s hand and I took a photo for my personal Instagram.”

Herlihey even accompanies Skellie on many of her #basic outings. “Some people love it, laugh, ask to take a photo, or make a witty pun as they pass by,” Herlihey said. “Others will pretend there is no skeleton sitting beside me or give me frequent disapproving side glances.”

Herlihey’s favourite adventure with Skellie has so far been her trip to see Santa. While waiting for an hour in line kids laughed at the skeleton, and played hide and seek.

Skellie’s Instagram made her an instant celebrity. With 125,000 followers the number of which climbs more and more every day, she’ll soon rival her idols Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. Vocativ scored the first exclusive interview with the rising star.

Meanwhile, the cheerful Instagram user gushes on her ideal date: “He sets up a surprise picnic with a whole spread of #Organic #GlutenFree #Vegan food. We spend hours talking about everything from my favorite movies, my childhood, my hopes, my dreams, my hobbies, etc. Then he walks me home—gushing about me the entire time—and we have literally THE BEST make-out.”

When asked about the best way to de-stress and detox she replied: “A juice cleanse is the BEST way to detox, and if you don’t have a juicer, then you can just buy a bunch of orange juice from the corner store and start there. To de-stress, I’m very into long, warm baths or hot tub soaks, the kind of stuff that warms you straight to your bones, y’know?”

Skellie also claimed that when posting her pictures on the popular networking site she used no filters.

“Photoshop. For real, though, I don’t Photoshop any of my photos, and it’s really too bad Bieber is, like, in the spotlight for digitally stuffing his briefs. Pretty sure all the Biebler’s would have creamed themselves over his photos without the Photoshopped package and biceps.”

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The magazine's first issue after terrible attack last week is published across the world. Photo: Charlie Hebdo

The first edition of the popular Paris satirical weekly published several days after the deadly attacks by two Islamists was sold out within minutes at newspaper kiosks around France on Wednesday, with people creating numerous qeues to buy copies to support the publication.

“I’ve never bought it before, it’s not quite my political stripes, but it’s important for me to buy it today and support freedom of expression,” confessed David Sullo who was standing at the end of a queue of two dozen people at a kiosk in central Paris.

A print run of up to three million copies has been set for what has been called “the survivors’ edition”, dwarfing the usual 60,000 run. But still, many outlets were selling out fast.

“It’s important for me to buy it and show solidarity by doing so, and not only by marching,” said 42-year old Laurent who was also standing for the new issue, adding that he had no guarantee he would get a copy as he had not reserved one the day before.

A few blocks away, by Jules Joffrin metro station in northern Paris, one newspaper seller said people were already waiting outside her shop when she opened at 6:00 am. “I had 10 copies – they were sold immediately,” she said.

The front page of the publication’s Jan. 14 edition features a cartoon of a tearful Mohammad with a sign “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) below the headline: “Tout est pardonné” (All is forgiven).

“I wrote ‘all is forgiven’ and I cried,” Renald “Luz” Luzier, who created the image, told reporters on Tuesday at the weekly’s temporary office at left-wing daily Liberation.

“This is our front page … it’s not the one the terrorists wanted us to draw,” he said. “I’m not worried at all … I trust people’s intelligence, the intelligence of humor.”

Inside the edition, the weekly’s usual irreverent humor was on display. One cartoon shows jihadists saying: “We shouldn’t touch Charlie people … otherwise they will look like martyrs and, once in heaven, these bastards will steal our virgins.”

“What makes us laugh most is that the bells of Notre-Dame rang in our honor,” the newspaper, which emerged from the 1968 freedom movement and has long mocked all religions and pillars of the establishment, wrote in an editorial.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, called for respect in the aftermath of the Prophet Mohammed Charlie Hebdo front cover. Earlier, a spokesman for the foreign ministry condemned the cover as “provocative”.

“We believe that sanctities need to be respected and unless we learn to respect one another it will be very difficult in a world of different views and different cultures and civilisations,” Mr Zarif said.

Marco, 43, a heating technician, was looking for two copies for his sister in Portugal but was told to come back tomorrow.

“To buy Charlie this morning is the best response to what’s happened,” he told the local news station. “It symoblises resistance, the desire for it to continue and develop. Everyone must buy it. They touched something fundamental in the French and in the whole of Europe regarding freedom of expression, freedom. The front page is pretty mild. It is more touching than provocative.”

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"Boyhood" and "Transparent" made the Golden Globes Show 2015. Photo: onlybd/Flickr
"Boyhood" and "Transparent" made the Golden Globes Show 2015. Photo: onlybd/Flickr
“Boyhood” and “Transparent” made the Golden Globes Show 2015. Photo: onlybd/Flickr

The first major awards for the Hollywood film industry this year were shared by many pictures, potentially setting up a complex race towards the top honors, the Oscars, on Feb. 22.

“The night took on a more somber tone from the beginning when stars like George Clooney and Helen Mirren showed their support for free expression and the victims of a deadly attack on a satirical French newspaper last week,” Reuters reports.

The president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organizer of the show, brought the room to a standing ovation by noting: “Together we will stand united against anyone who would repress free speech anywhere from North Korea to Paris.”

“Boyhood” won three Globes from five nominations, including the top drama film honor, a reward for the unprecedented cinematic venture of making a film over 12 years with the same actors. The man behind the low-budget experiment, Richard Linklater and Patricia Arquette were  awardedwith best supporting actor and actress.

If “Boyhood” goes on to win the Academy Award for best picture, it will constitute an extraordinary run for a film from the small studio IFC Films.

“When he came to us with this project 14 years ago, we said yes, the man has such humanity. He’s so humble. He put so much of his own life into this movie,” “Boyhood” producer Jonathan Sehring said of Linklater.

“It means so much that so many people responded to it,” added Linklater while accepting the award for Best Director. “Bottom line is, we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect. I just want to dedicate this to my parents who gave so much love and support … and to families who are just passing through this world and doing their best.”

Top acting awards in the movie drama categories went to Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), while in the musical or comedy categories, Amy Adams (“Big Eyes) and Michael Keaton (“Birdman) went home with trophies.

As the Oscar does not have separate categories for comedy and drama all four could be considered serious contenders in their respective categories.

“Transparent”, the Amazon Studios newcomer, won the Golden Globe for Best TV Comedy or Musical, a huge coup for the fledgling television studio that picked up the show last year. Creator and writer Jill Soloway accepted the award, with her cast and crew by her side: “Maybe we’re going to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love,” she said. “To love.”

Soon after that, Tambor picked up the award for Best Actor in a TV comedy, giving an emotional speech in which he thanked Amazon, “my new best friend.”

“Oh this is big,” Tambor said. “This is much bigger than me. Jill Soloway, you have changed my life. for the better, by the way. Thank you for giving me the gift of Maura Pfefferman from the Pacific Palisades. … I would like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your courage, your inspiration, your patience, and for letting us be a part of the change.”

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People across the globe ditch their pants to celebrate the event. Photo: Improv Everything

The No Pants Subway Ride is an annual event which is staged by comedy group Improv Everywhere every January in Big Apple.

The mission of the No Pants Subway Ride initially looked like a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with numerous cities around the world participating each year.

What are the rules? According to Improv Everywhere, “Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.”

The idea behind this event is quite simple: volunteers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants behave as if they do not know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.

This year’s No Pants Subway Ride took place on January, 11 and people weren’t shy to join in despite chilly 32 degree weather.

Over 4,000 volunteers met at previously arranged meeting points spread out all over the city and converged on Union Square. The event also was held in 60 cities in over 25 countries around the world.

The parade of bare thighs took place in Mexico City, Sydney, Paris and other major cities. Thus, in Chicago nearly 200 participants braved low temperatures for a pants-free event. In the capital of Great Britain, the celebration is known as No Trousers On The Tube Day and often unveils unusual underpants. Travelers boarded the subway at different stops to further confuse the unaware.

In Boston, during the 2015 No Pants Subway Ride festivities, citizens celebrated eighth year of train riding with temperatures hovering around 28 degrees.

“It’s to cause a little bit of a scene but not to offend,” Justin Hardesty, 35, who has been participating in the Chicago no-pants ride for eight years and has organized the event for six years, told the Redeye edition of the Chicago Tribune. “Everyone has underwear. Everyone is legally appropriately dressed. We’re not out to offend. We’re out to give people something to talk about.”

Costumes were not encouraged. Organizers urged participants to wear proper attire. Thongs are discouraged. Hardesty said he typically wears two pairs of underwear. “I don’t know if I want just one layer of fabric between me and the CTA [Chicago Transit Authority] seat,” Hardesty said.

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Hacker group Anonymous who stood behind major revealations that took place last year declared war angainst jihadists. Photo: Anonymous
Hacker group Anonymous who stood behind major revealations that took place last year declared war angainst jihadists. Photo: Anonymous
Hacker group Anonymous who stood behind major revealations that took place last year declared war angainst jihadists. Photo: Anonymous

The hackers have released a video and a statement via Twitter condemning the deadly attacks on French publication Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people, including eight journalists, were killed earlier this week.

The clip description says that it is “a message for al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and other terrorists”, and was uploaded to the group’s Belgian account.

In the released short video, a figure wearing the group’s symbolic Guy Fawkes mask is holding a desk with the hashtag #OpCharlieHebdo – which stands for Operation Charlie Hebdo – featured on screen.

The figure, whose voice is changed says: “We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.”

The group also warned that it will track down and close all accounts on social networks related to terrorists in order to avenge those who have been killed.

This is backed up with a statement entitled “a message to the enemies of freedom of expression” posted to Pastebin, the hacker collective offered their condolences to “the families of the victims of this cowardly and despicable act”.

They write “freedom of expression has suffered inhuman assault … and it is our duty to react”.

Wednesday the three men attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, leaving 10 journalists and two police officers dead.

Two Al-Qaeda-linked siblings suspected in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were killed by security forces after they emerged, firing automatic assault rifles, from a printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele where they had been cornered earlier on January 9.

“The raid on the Paris market killed 32-year-old Amedy Coulibaly moments after the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo suspects,” informs Radio Free Europe. “Coulibaly had threatened to kill his hostages if authorities attacked the besieged Charlie Hebdo suspects.”

The yonger sibling, Hamyd Mourad, 18, turned himself in to police after authorities identified the three men wanted in connection with the attack.

French police spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre revealed to reporters that Mourad walked into a police station about 145 miles northeast of Paris and surrendered. “He introduced himself and was put in custody,” Thibault-Lecuivre told the newspaper.

With one of the gunmen revealing shortly before his death that he was sponsored by the famous terrorist organisation, President Hollande warned that the danger to France – home to the European Union’s biggest communities of both Muslims and Jews – was not over yet.

“These madmen, fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion,” Hollande said in a televised address. “France has not seen the end of the threats it faces.”

An audio recording posted on YouTube attributed to a leader of the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP) said the attack in France was prompted by insults to prophets but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the assault on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

Sheikh Hareth al-Nadhari said in the recording, “Some in France have misbehaved with the prophets of God and a group of God’s faithful soldiers taught them how to behave and the limits of freedom of speech.”

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French forces have stormed two hostage sites in Paris and its surburbs, killing three hostage takers, including two suspects in the January 7 Charlie Hebdo massacre. Photo: Bernard Bujold -/Flickr
French forces have stormed two hostage sites in Paris and its surburbs, killing three hostage takers, including two suspects in the January 7 Charlie Hebdo massacre. Photo: Bernard Bujold -/Flickr
French forces have stormed two hostage sites in Paris and its surburbs, killing three hostage takers, including two suspects in the January 7 Charlie Hebdo massacre. Photo: Bernard Bujold -/Flickr

The French police killed the alleged terrorists in course of Friday raids, putting an end to three days of terrible bloodshed that shook a nation struggling with Islamic extremists.

French President Francois Hollande confirmed to reporters that four other people also were killed in a kosher market in eastern Paris where a gunman seized hostages.

The politician declared their deaths an act of anti-Semitism.

Two Al-Qaeda-linked siblings suspected in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were killed by security forces after they emerged, firing automatic assault rifles, from a printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele where they had been cornered earlier on January 9.

“The raid on the Paris market killed 32-year-old Amedy Coulibaly moments after the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo suspects,” informs Radio Free Europe. “Coulibaly had threatened to kill his hostages if authorities attacked the besieged Charlie Hebdo suspects.”

With one of the gunmen revealing shortly before his death that he was sponsored by the famous terrorist organisation, President Hollande warned that the danger to France – home to the European Union’s biggest communities of both Muslims and Jews – was not over yet.

“These madmen, fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion,” Hollande said in a televised address. “France has not seen the end of the threats it faces.”

An audio recording posted on YouTube attributed to a leader of the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP) said the attack in France was prompted by insults to prophets but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the assault on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

Sheikh Hareth al-Nadhari said in the recording, “Some in France have misbehaved with the prophets of God and a group of God’s faithful soldiers taught them how to behave and the limits of freedom of speech.”

“Soldiers who love God and his prophet and who are in love with martyrdom for the sake of God had come to you,” he said in the recording, the authenticity of which could not immediately be verified.

“I was sent, me, Cherif Kouachi, by Al Qaeda of Yemen. I went over there and it was Anwar al Awlaki who financed me,” one of the gunmen told the local TV station by telephone, according to a recording aired by the channel after the siege was over.

Cherif Kouachi, 32, the younger brother of 34-year-old Said Kouachi, back in 2008 was convicted for criminal association with a terrorist enterprise. He spent 18 months in jail for his involvement in a Paris-based cell that trafficked French Muslims to fight in Iraq.

The yonger sibling, Hamyd Mourad, 18, turned himself in to police after authorities identified the three men wanted in connection with the attack.

French police spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre revealed to reporters that Mourad walked into a police station about 145 miles northeast of Paris and surrendered. “He introduced himself and was put in custody,” Thibault-Lecuivre told the newspaper.

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The Cupertino based company is rumored to unveiled its Apple Watch in March. Photo: hokorpeter/Flickr
The Cupertino based company is rumored to unveiled its Apple Watch in March. Photo: hokorpeter/Flickr
The Cupertino based company is rumored to unveiled its Apple Watch in March. Photo: hokorpeter/Flickr

The Californian tech giant is finishing up work on its Watch’s software, and sources familiar with the matter claim that the device is currently on track to ship in the United States by the end of March.

Apple has previously kept silent about a release date for the higly expected Apple Watch, saying simply ‘early 2015′ upon its unveiling at the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in September last year.

The device will start shipping by the end of March, while retail staff will receive training in how to use and sell the product from mid-February, sources told reporters.

“The wearable will come in three versions; the Apple Watch Sport in silver or space grey aluminium, the standard Apple Watch in stainless steel, and the luxury Watch Edition, available in rose or yellow 18 carat gold developed to be up to twice as hard as standard gold. Each model will be available in two sizes – 38 mm and 42 mm,” The Telegraph discloses.

“Users will navigate the interface using a traditional looking side-winder, called a Digital Crown, instead of Apple’s favoured pinch-to-display technology made famous by the iPhone. Rotating the Crown allows the wearer to zoom in and out, as well as scroll and navigate. It will also serve as a form of home button, and point of activation for digital assistant Siri,” the publication adds.

The Californian company believes that it will change the way we communicate by sending and receiving messages, answering calls made to your iPhone, and sharing personalised health information.

During the announcement, company chief executive Tim Cook said the AppleWatch, designed by Sir Jony Ive, was the “most personal device we’ve ever created”.

“It’s amazing what you can do from your wrist,” he quipped. “We are so excited about Apple Watch, and I hope you are as well.”

Apple’s market share expanded globally in many countries, except Japan, over the past three months ending in November. U.S. sales increased by 4.3% with the laters Apple’s product – the iPhone 6 – became the best-selling phone domestically. Android sales, however, slackened over the same period.

“While remaining the dominant global OS, Android’s market share dropped in most European markets and in the U.S.,” said Kantar Worldpanel’s chief of research Carolina Milanesi.

In China, however, Android continued to dominate with 80.4% market share.

“The wide variety of products offered by local manufacturers continues to push Android’s share”, said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “Xiaomi remains the biggest contributor to Android’s success as it averaged 30.2% of sales in the three months ending in November, an astonishing 18 percentage point rise over 2013”, added Timpson.

“While die-hard featurephone owners state they are not planning to buy a smartphone in the next 12 months, they might not have a choice as vendors continue to transition their portfolio away from featurephones to smartphones”, concluded Milanesi.

Forty-seven percent of featurephones owners are willing to change their current device in the next 6 months in the US and 35% across Europe top 5 are not planning to upgrade to a smartphone.

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French police launched a massive hunt for two suspects in the deadly attack on offices of the French satirical publication Charlie Hedbo. Photo: Newsagram/Flickr

Details began to surface on Wednesday when it became clear that the three men suspected of the terrible attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, which left 10 journalists and two police officers dead.

Two officials familiar with the matter identified the suspects as the brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, and a third man, Hamyd Mourad. French authorities soon confirmed the names.

However, it’s still little known about the backgrounds of the attackers.

Cherif Kouachi, 32, the younger brother of 34-year-old Said Kouachi, back in 2008 was convicted for criminal association with a terrorist enterprise. He spent 18 months in jail for his involvement in a Paris-based cell that trafficked French Muslims to fight in Iraq.

The yonger sibling, Hamyd Mourad, 18, turned himself in to police after authorities identified the three men wanted in connection with the attack.

French police spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre revealed to reporters that Mourad walked into a police station about 145 miles northeast of Paris and surrendered. “He introduced himself and was put in custody,” Thibault-Lecuivre told the newspaper.

Several gunmen intruded into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris on Wednesday and opened fire during an editorial meeting. The attack claimed lives of Charlie Hebdo’s publisher, Stéphane Charbonnier, and his police bodyguard. Economist and journalist Bernard Maris, who was a contributor to the weekly, and cartoonists Cabu, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac were also killed in the attack.

Witnesses told police that one of the gunmen shouted “we have avenged the prophet.” Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Corinne Rey assured that the killers spoke in fluent French and claimed to represent al Qaeda.

Police union spokesman Christophe Crepin, the gunmen knew exactly whom they wanted to target. They “went straight for Charb and his police bodyguard, killing both immediately with automatic weapons, then firing on others.”

French President Francois Hollande declared the killings “a terrorist attack without a doubt,” and announced a day of national mourning on Thursday. The French leader vowed that the attack would not silence freedom of the press in the country.

Heavy crowds gathered in the French capital that evening to condemn the attack and pay tribute to the killed people. Demonstrators were seen holding up pens as a symbol of support for the slain journalists. According to French newspaper Le Monde, the number of people in the streets topped 15,000.

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attack in a statement on Wednesday as “cowardly” and “evil” and said the American government would “provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the assault “an attack on freedom of speech and the press.” She added, “This abominable act is not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and their security.” Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the victims’ loved ones and all Parisians.

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Indonesian rescue teams have found bodies and luggage off the coast of Borneo Island as officials this morning confirmed they had discovered debris from the missing AirAsia flight. Photo: headlinesview/Flickr
Indonesian rescue teams have found bodies and luggage off the coast of Borneo Island as officials this morning confirmed they had discovered debris from the missing AirAsia flight. Photo: headlinesview/Flickr
Indonesian rescue teams have found bodies and luggage off the coast of Borneo Island as officials this morning confirmed they had discovered debris from the missing AirAsia flight. Photo: headlinesview/Flickr

Local rescuers who were searching for a missing AirAsia jet carrying 162 people started to pull bodies and wreckage from the sea off the coast of Borneo on Tuesday as relatives of the dead passangers broke down in tears when hearing the terrible news.

“You have to be strong,” the mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, said as she comforted relatives. “They are not ours, they belong to God.”

Indonesia AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, wenr off the radars early on Sunday during bad weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Indonesia’s search and rescue agency confirmed the debris was from the plane. The agency’s chief, Soelistyo, said “more than one” body had been recovered.

“For the time being it can be confirmed that it’s the AirAsia plane and the transport minister will depart soon to Pangkalan Bun,” Indonesia’s director general of civil aviation, Djoko Murjatmodjo, announced.

“Based on the observation by search and rescue personnel, significant things have been found such as a passenger door and cargo door. It’s in the sea, 100 miles (160 kilometres) southwest of Pangkalan Bun,” he said, referring to the town in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.

Indonesian officials who were searching for the lost plane off a helicopter in Pangkalan Bun said they spotted several bodies floating in waters near where the missing AirAsia flight was last seen.

The bodies of those on board, swollen but intact, were delivered to an Indonesian navy ship, National Search and Rescue Director SB Supriyadi told reporters. The corpses did not have emergency jackets on.

An air force plane also spotted a “shadow” on the seabed believed to be the missing AirAsia jet, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief said.

“God blessed us today,” Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference.

“At 12:50 the air force Hercules found an object described as a shadow at the bottom of the sea in the form of a plane.”

Indonesian air force official Agus Dwi Putranto said that his team of rescuers spotted about 10 big objects and many more small white-coloured objects.

“The position is 10 kilometres (six miles) from the location the plane was last captured by radar,” he said.

The Java Sea is relatively shallow, making it easier to spot wreckage in the water, say oceanographers.

“The lesson that should be learned from MH370 is that you need to move quickly,” said Charitha Pattiaratchi, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, referring to the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing on March 8 during a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew, and which has not been found.

Mr Fernandes, the AirAsia chief executive, said: “My heart is filled with sadness. Words cannot express how sorry I am. On behalf of AirAsia, my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”

In a further tweet, Mr Fernandes said: “I am rushing to Surabaya. Whatever we can do at AirAsia we will be doing.”