Tuesday, 31 December 2013

PHOTOS: It's already a Happy New Year somewhere! Midnight strikes across the globe as millions start 2014 with dazzling celebrations

New Year
The world’s biggest party is underway as bursts of fireworks erupt over cities across the globe as midnight strikes and nations hail the start of 2014. In Malaysia, firework displays exploded near Kuala Lumpur's most famous landmark, the Petronas Towers (top left), while in Indonesia, thousands of people gathered to watch a display in the main business district in Jakarta (top right). In North Korea (bottom right), all eyes were on the Juche Tower and the Taedong River in Pyongyang to celebrate the New Year. In Beijing, performers dressed in colourful costumes to mark the start of 2014 in China.

Up Helly Aa Vikings at the start the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations with a torchlight procession through Edinburgh city centre

Around 80,000 people are expected in the city for the traditional New Year celebrations, which run over three days. Tickets have been bought for the event by people from over sixty different countries

A general view of the torchlight procession as it makes its way through Edinburgh for the start of the Hogmanay celebrations

The New Year's Eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre saw performers parading through the city to the Civic Centre for a spectacular fireworks display

While organizers in cities like Chicago and New York were just starting to block off streets in preparation for the evening's events, festivities were well under way in Newcastle

Hundreds of people gathered at the Great Wall, a landmark place in Beijing, to celebrate the New Year

Badaling Great Wall is illuminated during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 held at the Badaling Great Wall

Performers gather for a group photo after the end of a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 in Beijing, China

Packed in like sardines! Fireworks light up the sky as thousands of people gather to watch, in the main business district on New Year's Eve in Jakarta, Indonesia

Fireworks explode over Juche Tower and the Taedong River in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the New Year

Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

While many were happy to welcome the new year, thousands of Malaysian people marched on the street to protest against price hikes by the Malaysian government

Soaring into the air: The fireworks near Malaysia's iconic Petronas Towers heralded a new start and a new year for many

An anti-Thai government protester waves national flag as dancers perform on stage during a New Year's Eve rally at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand

With fireworks erupting from the water and bursting high in the skies, Hong Kong's harbour was showered in sprays of red and white as midnight struck

The bright lights of the city's skyline merged with the colourful spray of fire across the harbour

Thousands release balloons into the sky as the Tokyo is illuminated during the countdown to midnight in Japan's capital

Tokyo tower in Japan as 12am strikes and the crowds celebrate the start of the Year of the Horse

Midnight strikes in South Korea as thousands celebrating with the 'moon house' burning and fireworks during the 21st Sungsan sunrise festival of New Year in Sungsan, on Jeju island

More than one million people packed the water and shoreline of Sydney's harbour to watch the annual fireworks spectacular

New Zealand is among the first nations to see in the New Year

Shinto priests walk under a 'torii' (Japanese gate located at the entrance of a Shinto shrine) after they participated to a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan



Tomorrow is a fresh NEW start. Another chance to get it right.  DO IT BETTER. Here's a little help --->>

Michael Schumacher operated on for a second time and shows signs of 'slight improvement'

Doctors at Grenoble Hospital have given an update on the German F1 legend's condition following his second night in intensive care

Slight improvement: Doctors have confirmed Schumacher has undergone a second procedure

Michael Schumacher has shown a "slight improvement" following a second surgical procedure as his continues his fight for life following his skiiing accident.

Doctors at Grenoble Hospital, where the Formula 1 legend is being treated gave an update on the 44-year-old's condition on Tuesday morning.

The medical team revealed that Schumacher underwent a "surgical intervention" during the night, which took two hours.

"It was a difficult decision to make [to operate], but we decided to eliminate a hematoma," said Schumacher's surgeon, Professor Payen.

"The level of inter-cranial pressure have improved. The scan does show there are other legions.

"The situation is better controlled than it was yesterday. We are unable to say he's out of danger, however we have gained a bit of time with regard to developments," the surgeon added.

"But once again the coming hours are still critical hours when it comes to strategy."

The medical team added that Schumacher's condition is improving.

"We have a few signs to feel that the situation is better controlled than it was yesterday," said the director general of the hospital.

"A new scan was carried out this morning and it shows slight improvement."

"We were able to carry out a scan without any unnecessary risk - and it showed a few signs that he is relatively stable," said another doctor.

9 Year old boy, youngest to reach the summit of Argentina's Aconcagua mountain

A nine-year-old boy has become the youngest person in recorded history to reach the summit of Argentina's Aconcagua mountain, which at 22,841 feet is the tallest peak in the Western and Southern hemispheres.

Tyler Armstrong - of Yorba Linda in Southern California in the US - reached the summit on Christmas Eve with his father Kevin and a Tibetan sherpa, Lhawang Dhondup, his team says.

When they climbed back down to the base camp, Tyler was much less tired than his father and their guide, said Nicolas Garcia, who handled the expedition's logistics from the city of Mendoza.

"It's a record. Never before has a child as young as nine reached the summit of Aconcagua," he said.

There was a younger boy who climbed the lower slopes of Aconcagua, Mr Garcia added. He said an Inca boy was sacrificed around 500 years ago at 16,400 feet on Piramide, one of the mountain's lower peaks. Scientific tests on the mummy, recovered in 1985, put his age at about seven.

Only 30% of the 7,000 people who obtain permits to climb Aconcagua each year make the summit, Mr Garcia said, and no one under 14 is usually allowed to attempt it.

The Armstrongs hired a lawyer to argue before an Argentine judge that Tyler could safely accomplish the feat. He had already climbed the 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at the age of eight.

With Aconcagua conquered, he is determined to reach all "seven summits", the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Last year, three climbers died on Aconcagua, although no one died the year before that and no one has been killed so far this summer climbing season, Mr Garcia said.

Since the first climbers reached the top of Aconcagua in 1897, more than 110 people have died trying, he said.

"Tyler is a really happy kid, very open. And he's prepared for these climbs very carefully," Mr Garcia said.

"Neither he nor his father are in for 'adventure.' Their project is pretty conservative, with a guide who is very experienced, so from my perspective, their climb wasn't imprudent."

Describing the summit, Tyler said: "You can really see the world's atmosphere up there. All the clouds are under you, and it's really cold. It doesn't look anything like a kid's drawing of a mountain. It's probably as big as a house at the summit, and then it's a sheer drop."


Bad Santa Claus robs a bank in Florida


On Monday, Santa was spotted on a cctv(above) inside the Volusia County SunTrust bank, where the bearded 6-footer made a bomb threat in exchange for cash from a teller.

According to Orlando Sentinel, the unidentified suspect approached the bank teller window around 3:15 in the afternoon and placed a gift-wrapped package on the counter.

A police spokesperson said Santa then made a gesture to imply the present contained explosive, and demanded for money.

The amount of cash that bad Santa made off with is unknown to us, only that he was wearing sunglasses and appeared to be in his 30s or 40s.

When the bomb squad arrived at the scene, they discovered the gift-wrapped package to be harmless.
No one was harmed during the incident.

Police pursuit continues...

Monday, 30 December 2013

Scientists discover potential drug to block AIDS

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have identified the precise chain of molecular events in the human body that drives the death of most of the immune system’s CD4 T cells as an HIV infection leads to AIDS.

A typical scene at an emergency ward of a Lagos State government hospital before the protracted doctors strike.

Further, they have identified an existing anti-inflammatory drug that in laboratory tests blocks the death of these cells — and now are planning a Phase 2 clinical trial to determine if this drug or a similar drug can prevent HIV-infected people from developing AIDS.

Two separate journal articles, published simultaneously in Nature and Science, detail the research from the laboratory of Dr. Warner C. Greene, who directs virology and immunology research at Gladstone, an independent biomedical-research nonprofit.

His lab’s Science paper reveals how, during an HIV infection, a protein known as IFI16 senses fragments of HIV DNA in abortively infected immune cells.

This triggers the activation of the human enzyme caspase-1 and leads to pyroptosis, a fiery and highly inflammatory form of cell death.As revealed in Nature, this repetitive cycle of abortive infection, cell death, inflammation and recruitment of additional CD4 T cells to the infection “hot zone” ultimately destroys the immune system and causes AIDS.

“Gladstone has showed how the body’s own immune response to HIV causes CD4 T cell death via a pathway triggering inflammation, and secondly by identifying the host DNA sensor that detects the viral DNA and triggers this death response,” said Dr. Robert F.Siliciano, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
“This one-two punch of discoveries underscores the critical value of basic science — by uncovering the major cause of CD4 T cell depletion in AIDS, Dr. Greene’s lab has been able to identify a potential new therapy for blocking the disease’s progression and improving on current antiretroviral medications.”


Update: Michael Schumacher in coma after brain operation as surgeons battle to save his life

Schumacher is still fighting for his life in an induced coma.
The seven-time F1 world champion has had one operation, which removed clots on the brain.
Doctors say they are working hour-by-hour and are unwilling to give any more information.
They did say, however, he wouldn't have survived without a helmet.

Let's put him in prayers and hope for the best!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Racing legend Michael Schumacher fighting for his life in intensive care following a horrific skiing accident

Former F1 Driver Michael Schumacher Hurt In Skiing Accident

Formula I motor racing legend Michael Schumacher was fighting for his life in intensive care tonight following a horrific skiing accident.

The 44-year-old's head hit a rock following an off-piste fall in the French Alpine resort of Meribel on Sunday morning.

An emergency evacuation airlifted Schumacher off the slopes by helicopter while still conscious.

Tonight, respected local newspaper Dauphine Libere reported that the German's life was in danger.

A report filed at 7.20pm read: 'The state of health of the veteran driver has worsened and his condition is considered life-threatening, according to our information'.

The Dauphine is one of the most respected papers in the Alps, and has outstanding medical contacts.

An hour before, a surgeon specialising in brain and spinal injuries arrived at the hospital where Schumacher was being treated for a 'very serious' head injury.

Gerard Saillant, one of the leading neurologists in Paris and a friend of the star, was accompanied by police as he was rushed to the hospital in eastern France.

Olivier Panis, the former French F1 driver who lives in Grenoble, tried to visit his friend this evening but was turned away by the hospital authorities.

Schumacher fell while out skiing with his 14-year-old son, Mick, and other friends.

The driver's agent, Sabine Kehm, said: 'Michael fell on his head during a private ski trip in the French Alps.

'He was hospitalised and is receiving medical care. We ask for your understanding that we cannot give a running commentary on his state of health.

He was wearing a helmet and was not alone.' Schumacher, who was FI world champion seven times, was originally airlifted to nearby Moutiers following the accident, which happened just after 11am.

Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte, director of tourism in Meribel, said that two rescuers reached the sports star 'within six minutes and called a helicopter'.

The sports star was not unconscious, but clearly in a 'bad way', said Mr Gernigon-Lecomte. He said Schumacher's condition was 'not life threatening'.

He said Schumacher had been skiing 'just off piste', close to the Dent de Burgin (Tooth of Burgin) chairlift, between the Biche and Mauduit pistes.

Nobody else was involved in the accident, which is being investigated by gendarmes.

At around 1.30pm, Schumacher arrived at Grenoble hospital, which has better facilities for dealing with serious head injuries than Moutiers.

Professor Saillant is a close friend of both Schumacher and his former Ferrari team boss, Jean Todt.

Professor Saillant, an expert in brain and spinal injuries, oversaw Schumacher's medical care when the German broke his leg in the 1999 British Grand Prix.

Schumacher won the most championships race victories, fastest laps, pole positions and races in a single season.

He officially retired at the end of the 2012 season after a four-year break from the sport. He turned down the chance to drive for Lotus in the final two races of this year.

Schumacher, who turns 45 in January, has one son, and a daughter, Gina-Marie, with his wife, Corinna. The family own a chalet in Meribel.

Schumacher is a passionate and highly experienced skier. He has a piste named after him in the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio.

Conditions have been particularly dangerous in the Alps over the Christmas holidays, with a number of skiers dying in avalanches.

Mr Gernigon-Lecomte said: 'This accident is the proof that you can't do whatever you want. It's necessary to stay on the pistes, even when weather conditions are good.'

It was bright and sunny in Meribel this morning.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Why i ditched R&B for gospel music - Obiwon


Punch - The ‘Obi mu o’ crooner is known as Obiwon. His real name is Obiora Nwokolobia-Agu. In this interview, he opens up on why he ditched R&B for gospel music
Why did you transit from R&B to gospel?
After recording some successes on my first album, I found myself right in the thick of a celebrity/ fame lifestyle. I wasn’t yet a practising Christian but I found myself often pondering if I could possibly end up well or ever lead a good life with the way things were going. Secondly, studying the personal lives of a couple of music icons, who were my role models at the time, was scary because they all had terrible endings.  Also, things hadn’t exactly gone as planned in my career despite some successes. All these drove me to seek God and answers. Eventually, I gave my life to Christ and became born again. For me, it was first, a step of faith, as the answer to the kind of life I desired while pursuing an entertainment career.
Initially, I intended to carry on as a pop/R&B artiste, who is guided along by his faith. However, the closer I walked in the faith, the more I encountered Christ, and the clearer it was to me that He particularly desired to use my career and talent for the propagation of His gospel. I struggled a little because I had already made some gains as a secular artiste, but I did give in and I’m very glad I did.
How has the journey been since then?
It’s been a little more than five years ago. My second album, “The Rebirth”, was gospel although the success of the love song in it, “Obi Mu O”, almost eclipsed that fact. It was also the album that basically carried my transition and its effects, the process of trying to gain acceptance within the Christian community. I even had to leave my management team then and basically go at it by myself. However, like I always say, this wasn’t a business decision. It was about answering a call, and I’m glad I’ve received grace and inner strength to pull through.
It was not something you were prepared for?
I was totally not prepared for it. Due to my background, I initially used to imagine I will get to do one thing or the other sometime for my faith along the line of my career, but totally not like this. I discovered my passion for music through the pop songs I heard around me as a child. If I started early enough I would have been serving and preparing from years back…
Were you not scared of witnessing a drop in your fan base and do you think they have coped well with this change?
Yes, I was and that was exactly at the heart of my initial struggle. Surely, everyone will not understand it. I still get snide remarks about what informed my decision, but it’s all funny to me. It’s been more than five years now and I know where I’m going. Its part of my mission to let old followers know what happened to me and how real it is, as well as anyone else who will come across the music. I’m trusting God to do the convincing with the music.
Do you miss the kind of music you used to do?
Honestly, I think I sound better and make better music now than then. I think there’s been a whole lot of change in my musical skills, understanding and overall presentation. I believe that very little of it is by personal efforts. In addition to the ease that comes by inspiration, I’m also more conscious of the quality of music I put out now. Its part of my mission to change the stereotypes associated especially with Nigerian gospel music, within the resources available to me and God being my helper.
What’s the most fulfilling aspect of this new genre of music you have chosen?
Seeing lives changed, souls blessed and saved, certainly is most fulfilling. There’s no greater pleasure than being in God’s presence. This genre is all about the true essence of life and reaching out through it, is like saying, ‘look what I found, come experience it too. Take a step of faith and you too can discover the true essence of life and begin to walk in it.’
Your sophomore but first gospel album ‘the rebirth’ was released in 2009, why did it take you this long to come out with your latest effort?
It takes a process to grow fully into what I’ve been called to do; it does take a process to be able to answer boldly to some things. I would be half baked and wouldn’t be able to last long if I didn’t go through some faith experiences. For a season, it wasn’t about releasing albums, it was about learning and growing into my role.
What does the title of your latest effort, ‘Gold Water’ symbolise?
Water is symbolic for cleansing and restoration while Gold symbolises glory and elevation. A combination of both is the idea.
You are rarely seen in the social space, does this have anything to do with you new calling?
I only attend events invited to. My circles surely did change, so the events I attend mightn’t be all up in your face in the media like that. Definitely, I also only attend events now that I can either impact with my presence or that can impact me positively. It can be any type of event as long as it meets those criteria.
Will you do R&B once in a while if called upon and the pay is right?
R&B is a style of music; you can choose to sing either gospel with it or some other theme or message. If you are referring to ballads and love songs or other themes in my music, yes once in a while, it’s important for all to hear the faith perspective of issues in the world around us. Undoubtedly, however, the bulk of my music is God. I do have one love song in the new album dedicated to my wife, and like I already told you, pay is no longer a motivation for me.
Can you talk about the ‘Rebirth Band’ which you are the pioneer?
It is a bunch of dedicated young boys and girls and men who believe in my mission and principles and have come along with me to make live music as we journey on. The band first started in 2011, the name is inspired by the title of my sophomore album and I cherish their love and support.
Who are those you have modelled your career after in the gospel music ministry?
I do find myself in a unique position especially with how I plan to express myself in gospel music. My stronger role models aren’t musicians. However, I’ve listened a lot to Michael W.Smith, Christian Hip Hop artiste, Lecrae, Deitrick Haddon, Donnie McClurkin and Don Moen. I find their styles somewhat combining with styles of secular artistes that I used to model after while growing up in the music I make.
Is it possible you will surpass your hit singles like Obi Mu O and Onyinye?
Yes, but I don’t know when. They are just the beginning.
How is life as a husband and father?
Amazing and intriguing. I’m grateful for my home.

Human Heads in Onitsha Hotel Room: My story — Citizen Mokwe


Commercial activities at Old Market Road, Odoakp, Onitsha, Anambra State commenced like every other day on August 1, 2013 when, all of a sudden, some stern looking policemen arrived.

The policemen, in a commando-like manner, stormed Upper Class Hotel, located on number eight. The question on the lips of curious persons around was later answered, following the news of alleged discovery of human skulls and arms in one of the hotel rooms.

The alleged discovery led to the arrest of the owner of the hotel, Mr Bonaventure Mokwe, and some of his staff , who were whisked into the operatives waiting van which zoomed off , leaving a haze of confusion in the air.
Controversy trailed the arrest and detention of Mokwe and his staff at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, an action that allegedly did not only violate the suspects rights but also described as not following due process. Anambra State government later joined the fray, directing the demolition of the hotel.

However, Mokwe was later granted bail by the court, but not after spending 88 days in police custody.
Describing his arrest and demolition of his hotel as a set up, the business man in the eye of the storm , during an interview with Sunday Vanguard, alleged that his ordeal could not have been unconnected with a motor park dispute between him and some Onitsha natives.

Recalling the incident of August 1, 2013, Mokwe said, “ Prior to the day I was arrested and my hotel demolished on the directive of Anambra State governor , I was involved in a motor park dispute with some Onitsha natives.

“Within the period , I wrote the Obi of Onitsha three times asking him to intervene and call the natives to order but he remained understandably silent. When that failed, I wrote a petition to the Anambra State Commissioner of Police which he minuted to the Onitsha Area Commander who in turn assigned an Inspector to investigate. But these efforts ended as soon as they started”.

He narrated further: “When that failed again, I went to court and obtained an order which was served on the palace of Obi of Onitsha, the police and leaders of the Onitsha natives antagonising me. Soon after some bus drivers started loading in my park and all hell broke loose, as threats of all dimension started coming from the Onitsha natives which culminated in the planting of the exhibits in my hotel. The human skulls and magazines were parked in a sac and planted in the wardrobe at my hotel lodging room number 102.

“ I drove into my office around 7am that fateful day because I had a land transaction. Before I could settle down, my hotel was surrounded by the police numbering over 100. As I made my way towards my office entrance, some of them were already in the passage. I was taken into my office and shown a search warrant.

“ In the process, one police officer betrayed the whole adventure when he shouted at one of my staff to be shown room 102. It did not make sense to me then. The first thing I saw when the door of the room was opened was an unsealed traveling bag on the floor. Some polythene bags were inside the bag and two on the bed. Nothing was found in the toilet and under the bed. The police then opened the wardrobe of the room and brought out one single Bagco sac, in which were two rotten skulls, two A.K 47 riffles that looked unserviceable and two loaded magazines.

“The mock search exercise started and ended after five minutes or thereabouts at the door of room 102 . Incidentally the lodger locked the room and left with the key around 6.30am, following which the police showed up.
“The manager informed the police that the room was sold to one Mr John Obi, in the evening of 31st of July, 2013.

The receptionist brought the duplicate of the lodging receipt in addition to the hotel guest manifest and both reflected John Obi as the occupant at room 102. It is important to point out that the hotel guest manifest had earlier been submitted at the police station before the arrival of the policemen to the hotel. This has been the routine for some time now.

I was immediately handcuffed and taken outside the corridor of the hotel, where I was told to sit next to the exhibits while they took pictures. Soon after that, I, alongside my staff, was taken to the police Area Command Onitsha and paraded before the public and journalists.

“We were subsequently taken to SARS Awkuzu, along with my wife who is a lawyer, and detained. At SARS, the identity of the person that lodged in my hotel room number 102 on the very day the police came searching was unmasked. Though he gave his name as John Obi, his true identity was that of a native of Umudie village. His picture was smuggled and shown to the receptionist who identified him as the person he gave the receipt of room 102 that fateful day. It was him who planted the exhibits in the hotel room wardrobe.

“I almost died in the first two to three days at SARS. Any confessional statement emanating from SARS Awkuzu is a function of an individual’s pain threshold. In effect, an innocent person can be a casualty of any sort. While informants are very important in police work, being able to know when a particular informant collects money to set-up another person’s rival as in this case of mine is also critical.

“When the identity of the people that orchestrated my hotel set-up became known even by the general public, a petition was written by my lawyer to the Inspector-General of Police, listing their names. But the police sat on it because arresting them would have meant releasing me and that would have meant a state financial liability and embarrassment for the state government.

With the police under pressure from the media , most especially by NIPPRON, I, along with three of my staff, was arraigned in court on the 17th of October 2013 and a murder charge along with possession of human skulls and fire arms were heaped on us and we were subsequently remanded in prison till 4th of November 2014 when we were granted bail. I spent a total of two months and seventeen days at SARS Awkuzu.

“A week after I arrived from SARs, it became increasingly clear that the incident was a set-up. Matters were not helped by what occurred when the police first took me to the grave of one Mr Nwonye Akas, a native of Nkwuele Ezinaka Itite village, who died in 1972 when I was still running around naked, only for them to say I killed and buried the man at the place.

“What is my business with rotten skulls? The police has some questions to answer; why did they not make attempt to arrest the person that lodged in the room, despite the fact that guests manifesto was sent to them? If it was real, the person who stayed in the hotel room should have been apprehended. It would then be for him to reveal who gave him the thing because there is no way he could have slept in that room with all those things without knowing.

“Again, the true reason my hotel was speedily demolished within hours of my arrest by the state government without informing the police command is also in custody of my lawyers. All these will be made public when the need arises .

My hotel demolition had nothing to do with fighting crime, as it was sold to the general public. Till date, there is no complaint irrespective of police efforts in manufacturing one in their bid to cover up for the Anambra State government from its self-inflicted liability.

Details of how the murder charged was framed was blown in the prison including a tape recording of it.
“When I was bailed, a legal officer with Anambra State government begged my cousin to tell me to lie low until after the elections. I obeyed. So you can see that it’s not all about justice, it’s about what they can gain from it. They told me to lie low that after electioneering campaign, something would be done to address the issue, but till date nothing has been done.

The state government should sit with my lawyer or appoint someone to sit with my lawyer and agree on how to pay for the damages. You don’t beat somebody and tell him not to cry. Secondly, this matter is impossible to wish away. No amount of prayer will wish it away. I must be paid everything. Everything I had was destroyed, including my Green Card, in that hotel building.

Those fabricated charges should be cancelled because they are mere damage control charges intended to fill in the blanks, they have no bearing on me because they were manufactured. You don’t charge one for possession when you didn’t see anything on him. Also , you don’t charge someone for murder when investigation has not been done.”


New diet drink which claims to help people lose up to a stone in 6 weeks

  • Full & Slim is a new health drink containing amino acid l-caratine
  • The acid makes the stomach expand so the drinker feel full
  • Makers claim that 70 per cent of women drinking it before every meal lost a stone or more in six weeks
The makers of Full & Slim claim that of 500 women who drank it before every meal, 70 per cent lost a stone or more in six weeks (file picture)
It sounds too good to be true. A diet drink which claims to help people lose up to a stone in weight by mimicking the actions of a gastric band is to go on sale in Britain.
The makers of Full & Slim say it works by expanding in the stomach to convince the drinker that he or she is full.
They claim it can help overweight people lower their cholesterol, absorb fats more efficiently and reduce their chance of developing diabetes.
The drink contains l-carnitine, an amino acid which helps burn fat in the body and turn it into energy, and glucomannan, a natural ‘super-fibre’ derived from the tuberous roots of the konjac plant.
When glucomannan comes into contact with water in the intestine it increases in volume, becoming almost gel-like, causing food to move more slowly through the digestive system.
This, in turn, helps control levels of sugar in the bloodstream.
The makers say that of 500 women who drank the supplement before each meal, around 70 per cent lost a stone or more in weight within six weeks.
Even women who simply took the drink, without dieting or completing any exercise, lost up to 3lbs a week.

Full & Slim director James Harrington said: ‘The combination of ingredients suppresses appetite and mimics the effects of a gastric band, without undergoing the trauma of invasive surgery.’

Friday, 27 December 2013

Chinese man undergoes surgery on Christmas Day to remove the 17.5kg tumour which has grown across his face

Huang Chuncai had a 17.5kg tumour from the right-side of his face cut off in two operations in 2007 and 2008, and another 1.5kg cut away this Christmas Day

Growth: Doctors have cut off a lot already but say he will need more operations
Barcroft Media

A chinese man has undergone a third operation to remove a giant tumour from his face.

Huang Chuncai had more surgery on Christmas Day to remove the 17.5kg tumour which has grown across his face.

Chuncai, who turns 36 on Sunday, has suffered with these shocking facial tumours since he was a child, and doctors are finally hopeful they can all be removed.

The farmer, from central China's Hunan province, suffers from neurofibroma, a genetic disorder in the nerves causing disfiguration.

His is said to be the most severe case of the condition ever recorded.

He had two operations in 2007 and 2008 to shrink the growth, with doctors cutting away a staggering 17.5kg from the right-side of his face.

But it grew rapidly on the left side over the last six years, so he had to have another operation this week to remove another 1.5kg in a hospital in Guangzhou.

Unlucky: The left side grew quickly over six years
Barcroft Media

But his troubles are far from over, as doctors have said he will need to have at least two more operations in the future.

A lump first began to grow near his left eye when he was just four-years-old, and he was eventually made blind in that eye when he reached his teens.

The weight of the tumour meant he had to stoop when he walked, and his backbone is now deformed.

He is also only 1.35 metres tall as a result.

The year of the 'selfie': From pop stars to politicians...Checkout the top selfies of 2013!

Some would call it vanity. Others would say it shows a healthy degree of self-confidence. But whatever the reason, there is no denying that 2013 was the year of the selfie.

  • Selfie was named by Oxford Dictionaries as word of the year
  • One of the most famous was the Pope posing with teenagers at the Vatican
  • Among the most controversial was that Nelson Mandela memorial selfie
  • Other famous selfies include Kim Kardashian's bottom and the PM asleep

Strike a pose: U.S. President Barack Obama (right) and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (centre) at Nelson Mandela's memorial

Who's the dummy? Peaches Geldof and son Phaedra pose for a selfie


Actor Hugh Jackman (left) posts a picture of himself after he is treated for skin cancer and Joey Essex (right) saying in these social network pictures 'Safe though' and 'SELFIE with my mate Ed'

One of the most famous selfies of the past 12 months was the Pope posing with teenagers at the Vatican. The picture went viral on social media and was widely speculated as being the first ever 'Papal selfie'

Instagram fodder: The Kardashian family are now synonymous with selfies - one of the most famous selfies of the year was Kim Kardashian's post-pregnancy bum shot, gaining nearly a million likes on Instagram

Chillaxing: An eye-brow raising selfie was taken by Samantha Cameron's sister on the morning of her wedding day, revealing David Cameron napping on a four-poster bed in the background

A schoolboy took this selfie with Prince Charles when they Royal visited a church centre earlier this month

One of the most famous selfies of the past 12 months was the Pope posing with teenagers at the Vatican.

The picture went viral on social media and was widely speculated as being the first ever 'Papal selfie'.

Among the most controversial of the year was earlier this month when U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron posed for a selfie at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Johannesburg.

Kylie Minogue posting a 'belfie' - that's a bottom selfie

Tasteless: A news photographer captured this shot of a tourist gettign a selfie in front of a Brooklyn Bridge jumper (seen top right)

Strange: Florida student Malik Whiter saw that his teacher went into labour during class and pulled out his phone, positioned himself just so in front of the pain-stricken woman and smiled for the camera

Close shave: Reporter Kelly Nash captures the moment a baseball flew narrowly past her head at Fenway Park stadium in Boston

An eye-brow raising selfie was taken by Samantha Cameron’s sister on the morning of her wedding day, revealing David Cameron napping on a four-poster bed in the background.

Not to be outdone Labour leader Ed Miliband later posed for a selfie with popstar Lily Allen which she posted on her Twitter page.


Cara Delevingne's lion tattoo (left) and Madonna with a gold teeth brace (right)

Harry Styles wearing a blonde wig and having fun taking a selfie with Sienna Miller

While the world watches: Tom Hanks and Steve Martin take an onstage selfie at the 2013 Governors Awards


Mustachioed Fox host Geraldo Rivera, 70, left, tweeted a very revealing nude self-portrait, which he later deleted... but it was too late. Right: Actress and reality star, Helen Flanagan seemed to spent most of 2013 pouting at any given opportunity in her long list of selfies

One small step for man, one big step for selfies: Astronaut Luca Parmitano uses a digital still camera to take a photo in space


Video selfie: Juistin Bieber was caught out yet again this year, this time on a grainy video 'selfie' that has been posted online by a girl who had partied with the star. The video shows Bieber sleeping peacefully, wrapped in a brown blanket on a large striped day bed in Brazil

One of the strangest was when Florida student Malik Whiter saw that his teacher went into labor during class and pulled out his phone, positioned himself just so in front of the pain-stricken woman and smiled for the camera.

'Selfie with my teacher while she having contractions,' Whiter tweeted in October.

Supermodel Gisele posts a photo on her Instagram page being pampered as she was breastfeeding

Memento: Sasha, left, and Malia Obama, daughters of US President Barack Obama, take a photo of themselves during the Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington in January

Brave selfie: Kayleigh Hill taking a selfie mid-tackle. She posted a Vine of herself running on to the field during the College World Series as a dare

She caused outrage at this year’s MTV VMAs so it’s not surprising that Miley Cyrus chose a memorable outfit from the same event for Halloween. The controversial star tweeted a picture of herself dressed up in Lil' Kim’s daring outfit from the 1999 awards show, with just a nipple pastie protecting her modesty

Pop singer by day, unintentional animal activist by night: Thai police arrested two men for selling photo ops with protected-species the slow loris after Rihanna posted a picture of herself with one on Instagram

Rosy cheeks: Cheryl Cole unveils her utterly astonishing tattoo

Mask shot: The Star Wars Instagram account was kicked off with a selfie from Darth Vader, which amassed over 23,000 likes in the past 24 hours

Lilliband: Lily Allen tweets a picture of herself and Labour leader Ed Miliband

One would-be Romeo's unusual attempt to woo a woman he met in Starbucks has spectacularly backfired after his selfie video went viral . It begins with 'StarbucksDrakeHands guy' staring intently into the camera

One to treasure! Beyonce photobombed a fan's selfie midway during her concert in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park in October

The moment Beyonce joined a fan in a selfie

Rihanna poses with two huge roll-ups in Amsterdam. She posted the snap on Istagram with the words: 'I'm just a girl... #Amsterdam'

Bizarre: Victoria Beckham tweets picture of herself as she gets ready for New York Fashion Week

Dog tired: Tulisa shares a picture on her Instagram page of her and her pet