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US watchdog to propose new net neutrality rules. 24 April 2014Last updated at 08:59 ET FCC chairman Tom Wheeler denies the body is doing a U-turn The US government may be about to propose new rules which would allow net providers to charge more for some services to be carried on its networks. According to US reports, the Federal Communications Commission will allow a fast lane for data-heavy services when new rules are published in May. If true it would undermine the net neutrality principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. The Federal Communications Commission said the reports were "flat out wrong". Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources saying that the FCC is planning to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to offer a fast lane into people's homes for content providers willing to pay for it. It would mean that ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon would be able to charge companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Disney or Google different amount for priority services.

Unnecessary tolls. FCC chairman regrets that AT&T and Verizon control the best spectrum. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today provided an update on next year’s auction of broadcast TV spectrum to wireless carriers and said that having two national carriers control the best spectrum is harmful to competition. “Spectrum below 1 GHz—such as the Incentive Auction spectrum—has physical properties that increase the reach of mobile networks over long distances,” Wheeler wrote in a blog post. “The effect of such properties is that fewer base stations and other infrastructure are required to build out a mobile network. This makes low-band particularly important in rural areas.

A legacy of earlier spectrum assignments, however, is that two national carriers control the vast majority of low-band spectrum. As a result, rural consumers are denied the competition and choice that would be available if more wireless competitors also had access to low-band spectrum.” Wheeler didn’t mention the two national carriers by name, but it's pretty clear he was referring to AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Medical twits

Krokodil In Nogales: Mexican Officials Report Flesh-Eating Drug In City Near Arizona Border. Mexican public health officials in the northern state of Sonora have confirmed the first case of krokodil in the city of Nogales, which borders Arizona. In January, Leticia Amparano Gamez, the state's director of mental health, said that an adult male who sought medical attention at a public clinic came in with skin lesions associated with intravenous use of krokodil, Mexican magazine Proceso reported. Krokodil, which was first used in Russia, is made by cooking crushed codeine pills with household chemicals like paint thinner. The homemade drug contains impurities that damage the user's circulatory system, leaving scaly green scabs and causing flesh to rot off the bone. Some experts believe the widely-reported spread of krokodil in the United States is overstated. They claim that injuries associated with the drug are actually caused by dirty needles.

Gamez said that the patient in question also used crystal meth, cocaine and heroin, according to Mexican news website Aristegui Noticias. Physicists Search The Internet For Time-Travellers. Scientists have revealed that they are searching the internet for evidence of time travellers. The bad news? They haven't found any - yet. Physicists Robert Nemiroff and Teresa Wilson from Michigan Tech university said in a paper released last month that their experiments were designed to root out anyone visiting our world from another age. The aim was specifically to find "a prescient mention of information not previously available" - in other words, an accurate prediction which was verifiably not just a good guess.

Three methods were used to look for evidence of time travel, all involving looking for predictions or mentions of the arrival of Comet Ison and the election of Pope Francis before both events occurred. The first method scoured traditional social media sites, including Twitter. "Were a time traveler from the future to access the Internet of the past few years, they might have left once-prescient content that persists today," they said. "No time travelers were discovered. What happens if authorities seize your laptop? 3 January 2014Last updated at 02:51 GMT By Tara McKelvey BBC News Magazine David Miranda (left) had his laptop seized by UK authorities - presumably because he is the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald A federal judge in New York has ruled authorities can seize travellers' laptops at the border without citing a legal reason, suspecting the traveller of a crime, or explaining themselves in any way.

What happens if they take yours? The news over the past year has been filled with stories of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its surveillance operations and the risks to online privacy. The release of documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sheds new light on its global electronic spying programme. Yet authorities can also find out about you in a more traditional manner - by seizing your possessions at the border. Long ago the authorities could read your diary. Continue reading the main story What will they do to my laptop? Other nations have similar practices.

Let's get the bastard!

Michigan 'Rape Insurance' Bill Passes Into Law. Michigan lawmakers passed a controversial measure on Wednesday that will ban all insurance plans in the state from covering abortion unless the woman's life is in danger. The law, which takes effect in March, will force women and employers to purchase a separate abortion rider if they would like the procedure covered, even in cases of rape and incest. Supporters of the "Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act" argue that it allows people who are opposed to abortion to avoid paying into a plan that covers it. Opponents have nicknamed it the "rape insurance" initiative, because it would force some women to anticipate the possibility of being raped by purchasing the extra abortion insurance ahead of time. “This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it,” said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) during debates.

“Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens' initiative. It’s a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.” How far can privatisation go? Perhaps the government itself could be outsourced | Ian Jack. The phrase "selling the family silver" became the most celebrated if not the deepest criticism of Mrs Thatcher's privatisation programme, though Harold Macmillan never used those exact words. At a dinner of the Tory Reform Group – wets, moderates, Europhiles, none of them "one of us" – the former prime minister devised a more extended metaphor that drew on an aristocratic lifestyle that had been failing since its heyday in his Edwardian childhood.

When individuals or estates ran into financial trouble, he said, they would commonly sell a few of their assets. "First the Georgian silver goes [laughter, applause]. Then all that nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go [laughter, applause]. " He began to wander a bit. When Macmillan made the speech, on 8 November 1985, he was 91 and had just over a year left to live. He disavowed the speech only a few days afterwards, telling the House of Lords that he'd been misunderstood. Mexico radiation scare: six suspects released from hospital | World news. Six people tested for possible radiation exposure in Mexico have been released from hospital but remain under detention as suspects in the theft of a truck carrying highly radioactive cobalt-60, officials said on Friday.

Of the detained men, aged 16 to 38, only the 16-year-old showed signs of radiation exposure and he was in good health, a spokeswoman for Hidalgo's health department said, speaking on condition of anonymity because she wasn't allowed to discuss the case. The six were detained on Thursday as part of the investigation and taken to the general hospital in Pachuca for testing. After being cleared by health authorities on Friday, the men were turned over to federal authorities in connection with the case of the cargo truck stolen on Monday at gunpoint outside Mexico City. The cobalt-60 it was carrying was from obsolete radiation therapy equipment. Officials have not said what roles the six allegedly had in the theft.

Are they on dope?

Roger Casement: How did a hero come to be considered a traitor? 25 November 2013Last updated at 09:00 ET By Peter Crutchley BBC Knowledge & Learning In 1911, Roger Casement knelt before King George V and was knighted for his humanitarian work. Five years later, he was hanged for treason at London's Pentonville prison and his naked body thrown into an open grave. The knight who had served the British Empire with distinction had become a fervent Irish nationalist. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote Casement was not perfect. End QuoteMario Vargas LlosaPeruvian Nobel laureate His activity in that cause, during a time of war, was deemed to be treason and a diary that held a dark secret would seal his fate at the gallows.

A life full of contradictions has inevitably left a legacy just as mixed and is still being debated. Early years Casement was born on 1 September, 1864, in Kingstown, County Dublin, to a Protestant father and a Catholic mother. He was secretly baptised into the Catholic faith by his mother at the age of four. Humanitarian Nobel laureate. The country where exorcisms are on the rise. 25 November 2013Last updated at 19:10 ET By Vladimir Hernandez BBC Mundo Does God exist? Does the Devil exist? The Catholic church believes they both do - and some priests say they are currently having an immense battle in Mexico. To some it may seem extraordinary, but priests say the country is under attack by Satan, and that more exorcists are needed to fight him. This attack, they say, is showing itself in the gruesome drug-related violence, including human sacrifice, that has engulfed the country since 2006. According to the latest official figures available, at least 70,000 people have died in this period, including gunmen, members of the security forces, and many innocent civilians.

But, the priests say, it's not just the numbers. In recent years it has not been uncommon in many parts of Mexico for children to find dismembered bodies on the streets on their way to school. A mass exorcism at a church in Veracruz in Mexico Continue reading the main story Vatican view on Saint Death. Chinese Site Sells 'Child-Sized' Sex Doll: Protest Group Launched. Sex dolls look a bit creepy at the best of times, but this is just plain wrong. A Chinese website is under fire for selling disturbingly life-like child-size, sex dolls. The disturbing advert, spotted by an advocacy group on Facebook called Dining for Dignity, shows the model of a girl, who does not look much older than 9 or 10. Described as a “beautiful young girl sex doll for men,” the item costs $178 and is available to ship worldwide. Worryingly 57 of them have been sold so far to customers in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, and more, the advert shows.

The product listing boasts that it is highly flexible, and that "all three holes can be used. " Dining for Dignity has now set up a protest page to pressure DHgate – one of China’s top global merchants platforms – into removing the item or banning the seller. It’s petition reads, ”This negligence is fueling human sex trafficking, pedophilia, violent rape, and more.” Ming the clam was not the only really ancient living thing on Earth | World news. Ming the clam, more than 500 years old at time of death. Photograph: Bangor University Ming the clam had seen things that you or I could only ever dream of.

As possibly the oldest living creature on the planet, Ming had seen empires rise and fall. He saw wars and revolutions and societal rebirths. He saw man shake free of its home and voyage into the unforgiving darkness of space. Well, obviously he didn't actually see any of that. He was a clam. And what killed Ming the clam? Pando: 80,000+ years old Pando, clonal colony of quaking aspen trees Photograph: Tom Beansome/Alamy This 106-acre colony of quaking aspen trees in Utah is clonal, which means it's formed of a single, impossibly huge underground root system that could be anywhere between 80,000 and a million years old, making it the oldest-known living organism on the planet. The Sisters Olive Trees of Noah: 5,000-6,000 years old The Sisters olive trees of Noah.

The immortal jellyfish: theoretically they can live for ever.