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Ferguson road block protest stopped

Police outnumbered protesters at the Interstate 70 highway, preventing them from blocking the road


Police in Ferguson have stopped protesters angry over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager last month from trying to block a nearby highway.

Police said 35 people were arrested as they tried to reach the Interstate 70 highway, but added that the protest was largely peaceful.

Many in Ferguson have demanded the arrest of the white police officer who shot Michael Brown, 18, on 9 August.

Officer Darren Wilson has been on administrative leave since last month.

Police said 32 people were arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, with four people arrested on assault charges.

Organisers said the protest was specifically held in the same location as a similar demonstration in 1999.

On Tuesday, city leaders, mostly white, were heckled by the largely black crowd of residents at Ferguson’s first city council meeting since the shooting.

You’ve lost your authority to govern this community said St Louis activist John Chasnoff. You’re going to have to step aside peacefully if this community is going to heal

Many of the audience held up their hands in a gesture that has been used to protest at Brown’s killing

His supporters say the teenager was trying to surrender when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson after being stopped for walking in the middle of the street.

Ferguson, which has a population of 21,000, is a majority black city. Many residents questioned why the mayor, James Knowles, and five of the six city council members were white.

I heard the mayor say Ferguson doesn’t have a race problem said resident Taurean Russell. There must be two Fergusons.

Before the meeting, council officials announced proposals to reduce the revenue collected from court fines.

Critics have said this discriminates against low-income defendants who cannot afford private attorneys and who are often jailed for not paying the fines quickly enough.

But the proposals were drowned out by anger from the audience who said nothing had changed since Brown’s shooting.

There were demands for the arrest of Mr Wilson who is currently on administrative leave from the Ferguson Police Department while a grand jury determines whether charges should be filed against him.

Last week, the US Justice Department announced it was launching a broad investigation into whether there was racial discrimination in the department.

This is separate from a federal inquiry and the grand jury investigation into Brown’s killing.

US must get even for fans Watson

Dates: 26-28 September Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC Two and live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website each day via desktop, mobile, tablet and app.

United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson says the American team must get even at Gleneagles later this month.

The US have lost five of the last six contests, including the most recent match at Medinah in 2012 after Europe’s thrilling final-day comeback.

The American team has to get back on track Watson said. The loss at Medinah should stick in their craw

Ex-Europe captain Bernard Gallacher has called the appointment of eight-time major winner Watson a masterstroke

2002, The Belfry

Lost 15.5-12.5

2004, Oakland Hills

Lost 18.5-9.5

2006, The K Club

Lost 18.5-9.5

2008, Valhalla

Won 16.5-11.5

2010, Celtic Manor

Lost 14.5-13.5

2012, Medinah

Lost 14.5-13.5

Watson has captained the US once before, winning at the Belfry in 1993, and the 65-year-old told BBC Sport he was desperate to be given a second chance.

I wanted to be captain, in the worst way Watson said

When I got the call a couple of years ago, I said to myself, ‘I’ve been waiting for this call for almost 20 years

And Gallacher, who lost as captain to Watson’s American team in 1993, believes it was an inspired decision by the PGA of America to approach Watson again

I thought it was absolutely a masterstroke said Gallacher, whose nephew Stephen will compete for Europe at Gleneagles.

If anybody can keep the interest going on the American side

It’s not just about the players, because the players obviously want to play in the Ryder Cup, but you’re really thinking about the American public keeping them

Yes vote means big Scots EU boost

Alex Salmond outlined the benefits of an independent Scotland in Europe, while on the campaign trail


Scottish independence would give the nation’s profile its biggest ever boost in Europe, First Minister Alex Salmond has said.

Ahead of the 18 September referendum, Mr Salmond said a “Westminster elite” was jeopardising Scotland’s EU future.

SNP ministers said an independent Scotland could negotiate EU membership within an 18-month timescale.

However, campaigners for the Union said nobody could trust a word Mr Salmond had to say on Europe.

Mr Salmond, who was campaigning in Edinburgh’s Parliament Square – home to the old Scottish Parliament – hit out at Prime Minister David Cameron’s offer of an in-out EU referendum, if the Conservatives won the next election.

“At a time when Scotland’s European future is being placed in jeopardy by a Westminster elite obsessed by UKIP, it is becoming ever clearer that Scotland’s European policy is best decided by people in Scotland,” said the first minister.

“An independent Scotland will be an enthusiastic member of the EU, in line with our long-held international and outward-looking focus and values.

“We’ll be able to argue directly for Scotland’s interests and win a better deal for our farmers, fishermen and others.”

Scottish ministers, who previously argued the nation’s EU membership would be “automatic” under independence, said Scotland’s terms of entry would be negotiated “from within”, given its current status as a UK member.

But Deputy Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “No-one can trust a word Alex Salmond says on Europe – he has already been caught out lying on Scotland’s place in the European Union and, today, he has tried again to trick Scots about their future.

“The truth is it is Alex Salmond who is causing uncertainty about Scotland’s future in the European Union after separation, and his lies to the people of Scotland won’t do.”

If Scotland chooses independence I would argue on precedent that Europe would enable that choice”

Another intervention into the debate on Scotland’s future EU membership came from former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox.

He said: “The EU and its history and questions of enlargement or withdrawal is that the European Union, its institutions and its member states have always and only ever been enablers of the democratic will of people.

“Europe enables democracy. If Scotland chooses independence, I would argue on precedent that Europe would enable that choice.”

He also dismissed former European Commission President Jose Manuel Borosso’s suggestion that an independent Scotland would find it “extremely difficult, if not impossible to join the EU.

Calling Barosso’s argument simply not sustainable, Mr Cox also warned against the suggestion that Spain would seek to block Scottish membership.

He added: The Scottish case is a case apart

In Spain the constitution does not provide for territorial votes for separation, here under the Edinburgh Agreement, consistent with the unwritten constitution of the United Kingdom, signed by the prime minister of the United Kingdom and the first minister of Scotland, is an international agreement that constitutionally underwrites the referendum.”

But pro-union campaign Better Together have cited comments made by the President of the European Council and the future and current European Commission presidents, to support their view that Scotland’s accession to the EU would be far from straightforward

A spokesperson for Better Together told the BBC The experts, including Jean Claude Juncker, Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy have made it clear. If we vote to leave the UK, we vote to leave the EU

The nationalists have not answered how we would get back into the EU, how long it would take, and crucially, what terms and conditions we would join on.

Today we have special deals like our UK rebate, which is worth £135 a year to families in Scotland. Separation would put that at risk

Earlier this year a spokesperson for Jean-Claude Juncker said that he had not been referring to Scotland when he said the EU would not be admit any new members in the next five years

Speaking in July the source said Mr Juncker has made his position on this clear on many an occasion. This is an internal matter of the UK and he will respect the result of the Scottish referendum

Does limiting the power of appliances save energy?

Woman and hairdryer


The European Commission has banned the sale of powerful vacuum cleaners. Now it might do the same for other domestic appliances, but would this actually cut energy consumption?

It started with vacuum cleaners. Then there were howls of outrage when it emerged the European Commission has set up a working group to look at whether other common household appliances – kettles, toasters, bread makers and hairdryers among them – should also be regulated.

The working group is at an early stage and may rule out many of the products. But is the premise correct – does the power of an appliance determine energy consumption? Or by halving the wattage do you simply mean that someone uses it for twice as long?

Take hairdryers. You could use a 1,000-watt hairdryer for a minute or a 500-watt one for two minutes and it would in theory use the same energy. But, says Henry Lau, outreach officer at the Institute of Physics, it’s not that simple. You have to look at how efficient hairdryers actually are. “Part of the power is being used to power a heating element, you’ll get some energy wasted heating other parts of the hairdryer, not just the air.” Design matters – is it better to have faster-blown air, or hotter air?

For vacuum cleaners, better nozzle and filter design means that you can suck up more dust without increasing the power of the motor, says Chrissy McManus, technical manager at the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances. Which? Magazine has made the same point, while noting many of its Best Buys have motor sizes that exceed the new limit of 1,600 watts.

There’s no simple relationship between motor power and energy use, says Prof Will Stewart, fellow at the Institute of Engineering and Technology. And a big motor used at low power will use about the same energy as a smaller one doing the same job. But the EU is right to expect better efficiency. He estimates it should take about 2,000 watts of power applied for less than a minute to dry wet hair. Yet most hairdryers take far longer with similar or more powerful motors. The hope must be that manufacturers will do more with less power. But he wonders if regulation is necessary. “The hairdryer is a very small potato in terms of energy use.”

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UK pledges 1,000 troops to Nato

David Cameron said Nato must be able to act more swiftly


The UK will contribute 1,000 troops to a new multi-national rapid reaction force, Prime Minister David Cameron has told the Nato summit.

He said the Nato multinational spearhead force could be deployed anywhere in two to five days

The PM said leaders were united in condemnation of the barbaric acts of militant group Islamic State (IS)

He also confirmed a second new Royal Navy aircraft carrier the Prince of Wales  would be brought into service

Speaking on the second day of the Nato summit in the Welsh city of Newport, Mr Cameron said the carrier would be used rather than sold off or mothballed

This would be in addition to the brand new HMS Queen Elizabeth, which Mr Cameron said would be “the mightiest ship that the Royal Navy has ever put to sea

This will ensure that we will always have one carrier available, 100% of the time he said.

They are an investment in British security, British prosperity and our place in the world, transforming our ability to project power globally, whether independently or with our allies

This came as Nato members sealed a pledge to reverse declining trends for defence budgets with a commitment for nations to meet targets of spending 2% of GDP over the next 10 years.

Earlier at the summit, Mr Cameron said the world faced new and evolving dangers

To the east, Russia is ripping up the rulebook with its annexation of Crimea and its troops on the sovereign soil of Ukraine he said.

To the south, an arc of instability bends from North Africa to the Middle East.

He said Nato must be able to act more swiftly

The new rapid reaction spearhead force” will comprise 4,000 troops overall. It will be led by a British general and should be ready to be deployed by the end of 2015.

This would be part of a reformed Nato response force with headquarters in Poland, forward units in the eastern allies and pre-positioned equipment and infrastructure to allow more exercises and, if necessary, rapid reinforcement Mr Cameron said of the force.

In addition, the UK will also contribute 3,500 personnel to Nato exercises in eastern Europe over the next two years.

Speaking about IS, which has threatened to kill British aid worker David Haines, Mr Cameron ruled out talking to Syria’s President Assad as part of attempts to tackle the threat posed by the militants.

He said Mr Assad was part of the problem and not the solution

President Assad is part of the cause of the problem because it has been the brutality with which he has attacked his own people which has led some of them to seek solace in an extremist movement he said.

Mr Cameron also warned that threats from IS would only harden the UK’s resolve to stand up and defeat them.

IS made its threat against Mr Haines – who was kidnapped in Syria in March 2013  in a video of the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff.

We will not be diverted from doing what is right by the threats that this organisation is making

The extremist group, which has seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a new caliphate or Islamic state  has killed two US hostages in recent weeks

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the British government would not be diverted from doing what is right by the threats that this organisation is making

He spoke after it was reported that the family of hostage Mr Haines were worried British airstrikes in Iraq would put his life at greater risk

On Thursday, Mr Cameron refused to rule out air strikes against IS, the militant group formerly known as ISIL

Iraq strikes kill top IS members

Iraqi forces supported by Kurdish and Shia fighters have managed to push IS out of several towns in Iraq


A senior Islamic State military commander in Iraq has been killed in an air strike on the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi state media report

Iraq’s defence ministry also said a top aide to IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had been killed in a strike on Mosul, but neither death has been confirmed

Separately, IS fighters were reported to have kidnapped 40 men from a town in northern Iraq on Thursday

The group has taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months

Iraqiya TV quoted defence officials as saying Abu Alaa al-Iraqi, head of the IS military council in the city of Tal Afar, had died in an air strike.

Earlier reports on social media had suggested that al-Baghdadi himself had been killed in a separate strike on Mosul.

But the defence ministry said intelligence suggested the strike had killed one of the leader’s senior aides instead.

US forces began carrying out air strikes on IS positions in August after they took over several cities in northern Iraq. It is unclear whether the latest strikes were by US or Iraqi forces.

Residents in the northern province of Kirkuk said IS fighters had kidnapped dozens of men on Thursday, dragging them into cars in the town of Hawija before driving off

Locals said it was unclear why the men had been taken, saying IS had taken over the Sunni town without encountering any resistance last month

IS militants were said to have retreated from the village on Wednesday and residents were reported to have set fire to a flag left behind by the group

Amnesty International has accused IS of systematic ethnic cleansing including mass killings of ethnic and religious minorities

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said said it had uncovered new sites of mass killings in the Iraqi city of Tikrit

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama vowed to destroy the group after it released a video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff

The group has carried out several more beheadings, including that of another US journalist, James Foley, and several Kurdish fighters

Iraqi security forces, fighting alongside Kurdish and Shia fighters, recently launched an offensive against IS-controlled towns

They have pushed IS out of several towns but the group remains in control of large areas

Naked photos of celebrities leaked

Nude photos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence have been leaked online after an apparent hack.

While some stars have claimed the pictures are fake, others seem to have confirmed that it is them in the images.

The list of mostly female stars targeted also features names including Rihanna, Kate Upton, Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian.

Lawrence’s agent said her team would be taking legal action.

This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence, her spokesperson told Newsbeat.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has starred in films including A Good Day to Die Hard, also acknowledged the pictures were of her.

To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves she tweeted.

Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked

She later announced that she was going on an internet break because of the trolling she had received.

Great day for the block button, she added.

Former Nickelodeon star and singer Victoria Justice said the images claiming to show her naked were not real.

A spokesperson for musician Ariana Grande told BuzzFeed that the images said to be of her, were “completely fake.”

The list of celebrities who have supposedly been hacked is extensive and features other names including Avril Lavigne, Cara Delevingne, Jenny McCarthy and Kaley Cuoco.

Glee star, Becca Tobin also acknowledged her inclusion on the list with a jokey tweet saying Merry XXXmas

Hilary Duff, Amber Heard, Hayden Panettiere and Kate Bosworth also appear

A number of the stars on the list have trended on Twitter after the photos were shared online. Newsbeat is waiting for confirmation from the social media site about whether accounts found to be sharing the images are being suspended

Apple has yet to comment about claims that the person who stole the images obtained them by hacking into iCloud, the remote storage service

Heineken sells Mexico packaging unit

Heineken is the world’s third-largest beer producer


Heineken has sold its Mexican packaging business to US firm Crown Holdings in a deal worth $1.23bn (£740m).

The Dutch brewing company said that the sale of Empaque would generate a one-off gain of $300m.

Empaque, which made revenues of $660m last year, will continue to supply Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, Heineken’s subsidiary in Mexico.

The deal will be completed by the end of this year if it is approved by regulators.

Heineken said in a statement that the divestment would allow it “to focus its resources fully on brewing, marketing and selling its world-class portfolio of beer brands”.

Last month, Heineken reported a better-than-expected profit of 1.45bn euros, compared with 1.33bn euros a year earlier.

Empaque was bought by Heineken in 2010 and produces metal beverage cans, crown corks, aluminium closures and glass bottles.

Roman toilet seat found at dig site

Experts believe the toilet seat is the only find of its kind


Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old, perfectly preserved wooden toilet seat at a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.

Experts at Vindolanda believe it is the only find of its kind and dates from the 2nd Century.

The site, near Hexham, has previously revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army.

The seat was discovered in a muddy trench, which was previously filled with rubbish.

Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda, said: “We know a lot about Roman toilets from previous excavations at the site and from the wider Roman world, which have included many fabulous Roman latrines.

But never before have we had the pleasure of seeing a surviving and perfectly preserved wooden seat.

As soon as we started to uncover it there was no doubt at all on what we had found.

It is made from a very well worked piece of wood and looks pretty comfortable.

Now we need to find the toilet that went with it as Roman loos are fascinating places to excavate their drains often contain astonishing artefacts

Let’s face it, if you drop something down a Roman latrine you are unlikely to attempt to fish it out unless you are pretty brave or foolhardy

Dr Birley said many examples of stone and marble toilet benches existed from across the Roman Empire, but this is believed to be the only surviving wooden seat.

He said it was probably preferred to a cold stone seat given the chilly northern location

Australia ups anti terror efforts

Mr Abbott said the two counter-terror units began operations last week


New counter-terrorism units have been set up at two Australian airports, PM Tony Abbott says, amid concern over Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Abbott told parliament units in Sydney and Melbourne began operating last week.

They had already intercepted at least one person of interest, he said.

Meanwhile Australia’s top spy says that 15 Australians are believed to have died fighting for Middle East-based extremist groups like Islamic State.

Mr Abbott did not give further details about how the person was intercepted or their intended destination.

He said the move would be extended to all Australia’s international airports, with an additional 80 border force officers to monitor the movements of people on security watch lists.

Biometric screening would also be introduced to all international airports, according to Fairfax Media.

At least 60 Australians were known to be fighting with jihadist groups in Syria and northern Iraq, the prime minister said.

Separately, the director general of Australia’s spy agency, David Irvine, told reporters that 15 Australians fighting with militant groups were believed to have been killed in the current conflicts in Iraq and Syria, including two young suicide bombers.

Dozens of Australian fighters had already returned home and “a good number of these” remained a concern to the authorities, he said.

Mr Irvine said 100 or more people in Australia were “actively supporting” militant groups by recruiting new fighters, grooming suicide-bombing candidates, and providing funds and equipment.

Australia and the United States signed an agreement on Wednesday to share information that would confirm identities of foreign travellers at airports.

Australia is also spending an extra A$630 million (£354m, $587m) over the next four years to tackle the threat of home-grown terrorism. This week the government announced that as part of that package, it would spend A$64 million to help prevent young people from becoming radicalised.

Mr Abbott had earlier announced Australia would restrict citizens from travelling to certain areas to join militant groups.

The moves follow a series of disturbing reports. An image of a young boy, reportedly the son of an Australian terror convict, holding a Syrian’s severed head shocked Australia earlier this month.

In July, an 18-year-old suicide bomber from Melbourne killed several people in a market near a Baghdad mosque.

In the same month authorities in Canberra issued arrest warrants for two Australian Islamic State fighters, after one was pictured brandishing the severed heads of what appeared to be Syrian government soldiers.