"You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there."
— Edwin Louis Cole
Assad controls only 30 pct of Syria -former PM
Former Syrian prime minister Riyad Hijab said on Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad's government is falling apart and controls only 30 percent of the country.
In his first public appearance since defecting to the opposition, Hijab told a news conference in Jordan that the government's spirits were low after struggling for 17 months to crush the revolt against Assad's rule.
"I tell you out of my experience and the position I occupied that the regime is collapsing, morally, materially and economically. Militarily it is crumbling as it no longer occupies more than 30 percent of Syrian territory," he said.
Egypt president's firing of generals seen as 'soft coup'
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's firing of the nation's top generals was interpreted by analysts Monday as a politically engineered strategy to significantly broaden his powers as economic and political pressures mount in a country that still lacks a new constitution.
The purge of the nation's military commanders on Sunday sharpened Morsi's authority as leader of the Arab world's most populous nation while proving him a better political tactician than many had believed. The generals, including Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, in effect acquiesced to their forced retirements.
The president's decision to appoint Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi to replace Tantawi as defense minister and chief of the military was regarded as a "soft coup" against Egypt's old-guard establishment. It was also the latest move by Morsi, a conservative Islamist, to put his stamp on the fledgling government.
Japan, North Korea to hold first official talks in 4 years in latest sign of thaw
Japan will hold government-level talks with North Korea for the first time in four years, Japanese officials said Tuesday, in the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the two sides.
Chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura announced that the talks will be held in Beijing on Aug. 29 and cover “various pending issues.”
Skydivers land on submarine base near Ga. coast
The military is investigating after two skydivers missed an airport and landed on a high-security submarine base along Georgia's coast.
St. Marys Airport officials say they were told Sunday that the U.S. Navy had two skydivers in custody after they landed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The base is the East Coast hub for the Navy's nuclear-missile armed submarines.
Senior discounts? With some checking accounts, it's a senior penalty
Senior citizens are used to getting good deals. Tell the truth: if you're aren't of AARP age, there have been times you wish you were -- when buying mass transit tickets, for example, or visiting America's national parks (one $10 fee gets you into any park, all year). Plenty of restaurants and other retailers offer "senior days" and other deals.
But take checking accounts off the senior discount list. A new report by the Pew Center on the States warns(.pdf) that so-called senior checking accounts may not be a good deal at all. In fact, in some cases, senior accounts cost much more than a basic checking account.
At Bank of America, for instance, a senior account is far more expensive than a basic account. Here are the facts, from Bank of America's website. The bank's “Advantage for Seniors” account costs $25 per month vs. a basic checking account fee of $14 per month. In both cases, consumers can earn a fee waiver, but here again, the senior account comes up short. Direct deposit of paychecks is one way, but that's often not available to seniors, Pew points out in its report. Basic checking users can also avoid fees by maintaining a $1,500 balance in their account; but seniors have to keep at least $5,000 in their account. Fall below $5,000 for even one day, and that's a $25 fee.
Humans didn't breed with Neanderthals
Just as we were all getting used to being part-Neanderthal, Cambridge University scientists say we might not be, after all.
Research over the last two years has appeared to indicate that humans interbred with Neanderthals deep in the past, leaving traces of their DNA within us.
But a new study indicates that it's common ancestry, not hybridisation, that best explains the average one-to-four per cent DNA that those of European and Asian descent share with Neanderthals.
Exercising later in life can ward off heart problems
Leisurely exercise for two and a half hours a week could help those approaching their 50s avoid heart disease by controlling inflammation.
Researchers found those who carry out physical activities such as brisk walking, cycling or home maintenance for a decade had healthier hearts.