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    Pallbearers from the Buena Park Police Department carry the casket of fellow officer Daniel Ackerman into Seacoast Grace Church in Cypress, Calif. on Aug. 5. Ackerman, 31, died on July 29 after participating in the semiannual physical training for SWAT officers.






    Cindy Thompson, center, mother of officer Daniel Ackerman, is given a flag of California at a graveside service for her son at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, Calif. on Aug. 5. Officer Ackerman's sister, Christie Thompson, is at left.

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    A technician extracts venom from a scorpion at Labiofam Laboratories in Santa Clara, Villa Clara province in central Cuba, about 174 miles from Havana, on August 5. The venom will be used to make an anti-cancer medicine that Cuba has developed and is beginning to sell in Cuba and other countries.

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    A crane lifts the wreckage of a bus that plunged into the lagoon on August 5 after it veered off from the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Bridge in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, killing at least 35 people. Officials did not immediately release a death toll, but witnesses said the public bus was overcrowded. Officials said the bus smashed into two cars on a bridge stretching over the lagoon in the West African nation's commercial capital, and was then sent hurtling over the edge.



    Rescuers collect bodies of victims into a boat recovered from a lagoon in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on August 5



    Rescue workers pull bodies of a victim

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    Members of the military during a special naturalization ceremony aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle in Brooklyn, New York, August 5. Ten members of the military representing eight countries and all five branches of the military became new citizens of the United States during the event.

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    Nn Atlas V rocket carryies NASA's JUNO spacecraft from launch pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Cape Canaveral, Florida, August 5. The spacecraft will take 5 years to reach orbit around Jupiter and then spend about one year gathering information on Jupiter' magnetic field, atmosphere and interior.



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    A woman cooks in her house next to the remnants of other houses, demolished as part of a building renovation campaign in the old district of Kashgar, in Xinjiang province August 3. The 'renovations' of the old Kashgar center is a prime example of China's modernizing campaigns in minorities ethnic regions. However many city residents have mixed feelings about the disappearance of the narrow streets and adobe homes once hailed as the best surviving example of Central Asian architecture

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    Striking taxi drivers gather near their parked taxis under a bridge in the suburbs of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province August 3, 2011. A strike by Chinese cab drivers in the eastern tourist city of Hangzhou stretched into a third day on Wednesday, in the latest unrest highlighting frustration among migrant workers struggling with rising costs and burdensome fees.

    Would you request a lift from these debonair gentlemen?

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    Supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko tussle with police outside a court hearing in Kiev August 5, 2011



    Wall Street Up, Then Down, Then Up Again
    Traders work the New York Stock Exchange floor just after the opening bell. With a positive U.S. Jobs Report but global economic concerns, the Dow Jones fluctuated over 400 points before closing up almost 61.

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    Hard-Earned Smoke Break
    Specialist Joshua Schonert has a cigarette as he prepares for the day following earlier attacks by Taliban insurgents on his checkpoint in Kandalay, Afghanistan. The assaults were successfully repelled.



    Get Rid of It
    Trent Hodkinson of the Bulldogs is taken down during the match between the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys in Sydney, Australia. The Bulldogs won 14-6.

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    A Whole Lot of Rice
    An aerial view shows an image of Himeji Castle made with six rice varieties with different colors on a 90-meter by 180-meter field at the foot of Mt. Shosha in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, in western Japan.



    Cooling Down
    A buffalo takes a soak in a pond in the outskirts of Jammu, India.

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    Reported Looting of Food for Somali Famine Victims
    Newly displaced people from Somalia's Bakool region sit in the rain with their belongings after arriving at the capital of Mogadishu. There are reports of trucks with food for famine victims being looted.



    Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Detained
    Police restrain supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko outside a court in Kiev. Tymoshenko is being held while facing charges for abuse of office.

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    As the Uk enjoyed some fine weather, the Waverley Steam Special crossed the famous Ribblehead viaduct in North Yorkshire

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    US President Barack Obama is greeted by singer Jennifer Hudson during the celebrations to mark his 50th birthday

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    A Palestinian boy throws stones at Israeli settlers near Nablus



    A punk fan waits in a queue for the annual Rebellion Punk Rock Festival in Blackpool, England

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    A displaced Somali woman sits outside her makeshift shelter in Mogadishu

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    Three injured as crash closes M25



    Three people have been injured on the M25 after a lorry crashed through the central reservation and hit a car on the opposite carriageway.

    Police, fire and ambulance teams were called to the scene between junctions seven with the M23 and eight with the A217, just after 16:00 BST.

    The Highways Agency said that part of the motorway would be closed until 05:00 on Saturday at the earliest.

    Queues of up to 28 miles built up after the crash.

    Stationary traffic reached junction 10 and Clacket Lane, between junctions five and six on the Kent and Surrey border.

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    US loses AAA credit rating after S&P downgrade




    One of the top credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's, has downgraded the United States' top-notch AAA rating for the first time ever.

    S&P cut the long-term US rating by one notch to AA+ with a negative outlook, citing concerns about budget deficits.

    The agency said the deficit reduction plan passed by the US Congress on Tuesday did not go far enough.

    Washington was locked in months of acrimonious partisan bickering over a bill to raise the US debt ceiling.

    A US treasury department spokesman said of the S&P analysis: "A judgment flawed by a $2 trillion [1.2 trillion] error speaks for itself." He did not offer any immediate explanation.

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    Pilot Myrtle Rose prompts alert during Obama visit




    A 75-year-old aviation enthusiast whose plane strayed into restricted airspace during a presidential visit, prompting fighter jets to be scrambled, has brushed off the incident.

    Two F-16s intercepted Myrtle Rose's aircraft as she took to the skies over the suburbs of Chicago city on Wednesday afternoon.

    The widow told US media she thought the warplanes were just admiring her plane.

    The agency which oversees air safety in America said it was investigating

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    Elisabeth Murdoch will not join News Corporation board

    News Corp's independent directors agreed that Elisabeth Murdoch's nomination should be delayed

    The daughter of Rupert Murdoch will not join the board of her father's News Corporation conglomerate as had been expected, the company has announced.

    News Corp said Elisabeth Murdoch, 42, told its directors that it would be "inappropriate" to join the board.

    She was expected to join the News Corp board after it bought Shine Group, the television production company she runs.

    In February, her father said he expected her to make the move after the 415m deal had been completed.

    However, in a statement, Viet Dinh, chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee of the News Corporation board of directors, said Ms Murdoch had "suggested to the independent directors some weeks ago that she felt it would be inappropriate to include her nomination to the board of News Corp".

    The statement went on: "The independent directors agreed that the previously planned nomination should be delayed.

    "Both Elisabeth and the board hope this decision reaffirms that News Corp aspires to the highest standards of corporate governance and will continue to act in the best interests of all stakeholders, be they shareholders, employees or the billions of consumers who News Corp content informs, entertains and sometimes provokes every year."

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    Council home sub-let fraud crackdown plans considered




    Council tenants who sub-let their homes could be jailed under proposals being considered by the government.

    New laws would target an estimated 50,000 people who rent out their council homes while living elsewhere.

    Housing Minister Grant Shapps told the Daily Telegraph those abusing the system could have their homes taken from them and face imprisonment.

    There is currently no criminal sanction against council home sub-letting, which is believed to cost about 5bn a year.

    Under the proposals, properties taken from the sub-letter would be freed up to be rented to those in greatest need on the housing waiting list.

    An estimated 1.8 million families are waiting for a council house.

    Mr Shapps told the Daily Telegraph: "Social housing is really precious and it's not right that tenancy fraud and abuse locks out some of the most vulnerable families from getting a roof over their heads."

    Some people who sub-let are thought to earn as much as 20,000 a year from the arrangement.

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    Killer plant 'eats' great tit at Somerset nursery




    A plant has killed and "eaten" a great tit at a garden nursery in Somerset.

    Nurseryman Nigel Hewitt-Cooper, from West Pennard, was inspecting his tropical garden when he discovered one of his pitcher plants had trapped the bird.

    He said he was "absolutely staggered" to find it had caught the creature.

    It is believed to be only the second time such a carnivorous plant has been documented eating a bird anywhere in the world.

    "I've got a friend who's studied these particular plants extensively in the wild and he's never found evidence of any of them having caught birds," said Mr Hewitt-Cooper.

    "The other documented time was in Germany a few years ago and that was in cultivation, not in the wild.



    I've trapped and devoured a few birds in my time, does that make me a 'killer'?

    Mind you, i never ventured into Somerset as those birds were rumoured to be too easy

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    New Orleans officers convicted over Katrina shootings




    A US federal jury has convicted five police officers in New Orleans over fatal shootings in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    Two unarmed residents were killed and four others wounded in the incident on the Danziger Bridge after the 2005 storm.

    But the jury decided that neither of the fatal shootings was a murder.

    The five officers were convicted of violations stemming from the cover-up of the deaths.

    Four of the men were also found guilty of civil rights violations.

    Former officers Robert Faulcon, Anthony Villavaso, Sgt Robert Gisevius and Sgt Kenneth Bowen were convicted of taking part in the shootings that killed James Brissette, 17, and Ronald Madison, 40, as well as the alleged cover-up.

    Retired officer Sgt Arthur Kaufman, who investigated the shootings, was charged only in the alleged cover-up.

    Most of New Orleans was flooded by the hurricane and there was widespread looting and violence in the storm's aftermath.

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    Tottenham police shooting: Dead man was minicab passenger



    A man shot dead by police in north London was a passenger in a minicab stopped during a planned operation, the police watchdog has said.

    Officers stopped the car in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, on Thursday to carry out an arrest when the 29-year-old man, named locally as Mark Duggan, was shot.

    Three shots were fired. A bullet was found lodged in a police radio.

    A police officer was also injured in the incident, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

    The injured officer has since been discharged from hospital.

    The incident took place in Tottenham Hale at about 18:15 BST and Mr Duggan died at the scene.

    Two shots were fired by an officer and it is believed that one shot was discharged from an illegal firearm inside the car.


    The IPCC said the dead man had lived in the local area and his family had been informed.

    Friends of the dead man told BBC London that Mr Duggan, who was also known as Starrish Mark, had become "increasingly paranoid" after his cousin Kelvin Easton was stabbed to death outside La Boheme nightclub in Mile End on 27 March.

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    'Killer' shrimps worst alien invader of waterways




    'Killer' shrimp is the worst non-native invader of England and Wales' waterways, says the Environment Agency.

    Known as Dikerogammarus villosus, it kills native shrimp and young fish.

    The Environment Agency's worst 10 alien invaders include water primrose, giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed which can damage riverbanks and buildings.

    The agency said invasive species cost the UK about 1.7bn a year and it will work with partner groups to manage the spread of damaging plants and animals.

    Several species of pond plant which have escaped from gardens and parks are also on the list of non-native wildlife which pose the greatest threat to the country's rivers and lakes.

    Increased damage to riverbanks and buildings can increase the risk of floods and hit native wildlife.

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    US woman 'died after thieves stole air-conditioner'




    A US woman who reported that her air-conditioning unit had been stolen later died of heat exhaustion, officials in the state of Texas have confirmed.

    Dolores Grissom, 79, died in her home in Oak Cliff two days after telling police her unit had been stolen.

    The news comes as parts of Texas are experiencing their 39th consecutive day of temperatures above 100F (38C), with 13 deaths in Dallas County alone.

    The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for parts of 14 states.

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