US Retailers Eye Robust Sales Figures in September

Aggressive Back-to-School Shopping Promotions May Fuel Stronger Revenues for Retailers

Following aggressive promotions and discount offers, many retail stores in the United States is now eyeing higher sales gains for September as the back-to-school shopping season comes to a close.

Many retail stores in the United States are expecting higher sales gains in September following massive and aggressive promotion strategies urging back-to-school shoppers to spend more before the start of this year’s holiday season.
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US Home Sector Stabilizes, Manufacturing Orders Spikes up

Housing Market Slowly Going Back to Normal, New Orders for Factory Made Goods Increase

The National Association of Realtors released a new data showing that the US housing sector is now making a slow come back in August while new orders in the manufacturing sector increased following a massive drop in the previous month.
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NoKor Hails Kim Jong Un as New Leader

A high-ranking official of North Korea’s ruling party, confirmed that Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of dictator Kim Jong Il, will be the successor to the country’s leadership, APTN reported on Friday.

Yang Hyong Sop, in an exclusive interview with APTN, said that the “young general” is now being groomed to take over his ailing father’s reign following his promotion to four-star general. He added that the whole North Korean nation “is honored to serve him as their new leader.”

“The whole North Korean is honored to serve the great President Kim Il Sung and the great leader Kim Jong Il. Now, we also have the honor of serving young Gen. Kim Jong Un,” said Yang, who is a member of the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and vice president of the country’s parliament, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

“Our people take pride in the fact that they are blessed with great leaders from generation to generation,” the official stressed.

Despite being a socialist state, which bans political dynasty, North Korea was ruled successively by three generations of the Kim family since the end of the Korean War.

A nation of 24 million single-minded workers, North Korea was founded by Kim Il Sung in 1948.

Virtually unknown to the outside world, the young general made his public debut last week during his promotion ceremonies.  Aside from being promoted to four-star general, the young Kim was also appointed as the vice-chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea’s central military commission.

On Friday, North Korea has started with the three-day celebration of the 65th founding anniversary of the country’s ruling party.

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Leadership Row Could Split Somalia’s Top Militant Group

A new report by the Associated Press (AP) on Friday told that Somalia’s most powerful armed group is now facing the brink of a major divided among its members following a political rift between the top two leaders of the group – an armed militia backed up by terrorist group Al-Qaida.

According to the report, Al-Shabab has been under constant pressure from inside the group itself due to conflicting political strategy and rivalries among clans. Now, the clash of the group’s top two leaders is fueling the rift, which could potentially trim down its power.

Sheik Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, a hardline Ismalist from the northern region of Somalia, was in favor of taking into the group foreign fighters with experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also favors harsh punishments like public stoning and amputations to instill fear in the mind of the people.

Meanwhile, Sheik Mukhtar Robow, the group’s deputy and a nationalist from the southern region of Somalia, was against Abu Zubayr’s decision to forcibly drive away United Nations humanitarian workers from the country.

Robow was also against harsh punishments being inflicted against people, saying that such actions turn average Somalis against Al-Shabab.

Intelligence reports showed that the feud between the two leaders can now be felt among its members, with Robow supporters, which consists majority of the Al-Shabab, moving out of the surrounding areas of the capital Mogadishu and southern port city of Kismayo.

Al-Shabab was formed in 2007 as warlords from different areas of Somalia tried to unite warring clans.

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Israel to Amend Controversial non-Jews Citizenship Oath

In what appears to be a plan to garner more support in the slowdown of West Bank settlement extension, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed willingness to hold a vote on the controversial citizenship law.

Netanyahu, who has been under heavy international pressure over proposed building restrictions in the West Bank, has been sounding off Cabinet ministers to hold a vote on Sunday over the proposed citizenship law, which seeks loyalty oath from non-Jewish people living in Israel.

Many of the opposition in the Cabinet, led by foreigner minister Avigdor Lieberman, were against extending the building restriction.

However, many critics view Netanyahu’s move for a vote in the citizenship bill sponsored by Lieberman, could help him achieve his goals, softening the stand of opposition hardliners in the process.

Lieberman, who was the sponsor of the new citizenship bill, seeks amendment on the loyalty oath for new immigrants. One of the provisions of the new bill would require non-Jewish immigrants to describe Israel as “Jewish and Democratic.”

Though symbolic in nature, the amendment is likely to anger Israel’s own Arab minority and its rival Palestine.

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GM to Recall 4,000 Cadillac over Steering Problem

General Motors (GM) has announced the recall of some 4, 000 Cadillac SRX following investigations showing that the fluid in the vehicles’ power steering mechanism caused fires inside the engine compartment,

In a statement, GM said that the models being recalled were Cadillac crossover from its 2010 model. The carmaker noted that the fluid used to provide easier steering for drivers were also the cause of fire in the cars’ engines.

Based on reports, at least one SRX were reportedly burned down to ashes after being left unattended by its owner. No crashes or injuries connected to the power steering were reported.

GM spokesperson said that they were aware of the reports, saying that they would be replacing the steering mechanism immediately as soon as the owners turnover their vehicles, at no charge.

The recalled units were built in December 2009.

General Motors said that majority of the vehicles are sold in the US while at least 300 units were exported to China.

Meanwhile, the car company expressed confidence that the recall will not affect its operations, saying that it was just a small number of vehicles sold during that period.

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“Ultrathin Carbon” Discoverers Wins Nobel Prize in Physics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday has award the Nobel Prize in Physics to two Russian-born scientists for their groundbreaking experiments on carbon and research studies on its uses in creating faster computers and transparent touchscreen
displays.

Andre Geim, 51; and Konstantin Novoselov, 36, were awarded the most prestigious award in science for their experiments using Scotch tape to isolate graphene – a form of carbon material that is about one atom think.

Despite being relatively thinner, carbon is the strongest material known to mankind. Graphene, a form of carbon, is one hundred times stronger than steel.

Geim and Novoselov, professors at the University of Manchester, said that graphene’s flexibility will revolutionize the world – much like plastic did after it was discovered.

Novoselov, the youngest Nobel Prize winner Novoselov is the youngest since 1973, said their experiments on the uses of graphene showed that the carbon material can be used for the development of other super strong materials for satellites, cars, aircrafts, and communications equipment.

“It is really exciting to showcase graphene’s ability. It has all the potential same ways that plastics did and it could change our lives,” he said.

Based on their study, the two scientists said that computers will become more efficient and faster if it used graphene transistors – rather than the traditional silicon transistors – because of its conductibility.

Because it is also a transparent material, graphene is suitable to be used as touchscreen panels or even solar cells.

The two scientists were also awarded$1.5 million.

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Sludge-torn Hungary Villages Demand Compensation

Furious villagers, clad with red mud in the clothes and shoes, blamed the government and the company operating the platinum processing plant for red sludge that has flooded four villages killing at least four people and seriously injuring 120 others.

Hundreds of villagers on Wednesday surrounded an official of the MAL Rt., the Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trade Company that owns the Ajkai Timfoldgyar plant, blaming him for the disaster and demanded for immediate compensation for the loss of their homes, fields, and source of livelihoods.

On Monday, a reservoir holding waster product of aluminum production burst and flooded three villages with toxic red sludge that contains heavy metal elements. Many of the people suffered unusual kind of burns in the skin.

Meanwhile, the sludge ended up in the Marcal River, a tributary system leading to the Danube, which one of the major waterways in Europe.

Hungary’s crisis management committee said that they are now conducting chemical analysis of the sludge to see if there are potential hazards to the river system and look into the possible cause of burns to people’s skin.

Earlier, Kolontar Mayor Karoyl Tili maintained that the material is now radioactive.

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Samsung to Launch Galaxy Tab Globally This Year

Samsung Sets Apple Inc. as its Next Target

Samsung Electronic is now eyeing to launch the new Galaxy Tab tablet computer globally by the end of this, in an effort to compete directly against the market dominant Apple iPad. Dubbed as the “iPad Killer,” the new Galaxy Tab was believed to have all the necessary requirements to replace the Apple flagship device in the tablet PC throne.

Samsung Electronics on Monday announced its plans to launch its new Galaxy Tab tablet computer worldwide this year, as the electronics giants takes aim at Apple Inc’s throne.

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