Oscars Will Include Tribute to James Bond

James Bond and his license to kill and skirt-chase will be honored at this year's Academy Awards ceremony, the telecast's producers said.

The tribute to 007 comes as the venerable spy franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary. The popularity of Ian Fleming's devilish secret agent shows no signs of flagging. The latest entry, "Skyfall," starring Daniel Craig, became the first Bond movie to pass $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Some Oscar-prognosticators believe that the film's theme song from British chanteuse Adele and the performance of Javier Bardem as a sociopathic villain could find themselves with Oscar nominations.

"We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday," Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a statement. "Starting with 'Dr. No' back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon."

Zadan and Meron didn't tip their hand about what the sequence will involve and whether Craig and past Bonds like Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan would participate.

The Oscar show will air Sunday, Feb. 24.


Mexican pack of stray dogs 'kills four' in park

Authorities say there are about 120,000 stray dogs in Mexico City

Authorities in Mexico are investigating the deaths of four people reportedly killed by a pack of dogs in a park.

The bodies of the victims, including a mother and her baby, were covered in what appeared to be bite marks, and police found their belongings nearby.

At least 25 dogs living in Cerro de la Estrella, a hilly woodland in eastern Mexico City, have been rounded up by investigators,according to BBC.

The number of stray dogs in the Mexican capital is estimated at about 120,000.

Experts said the bite marks suggest that at least 10 dogs were involved in the attack.

The detained dogs will undergo tests to verify the presence of human tissues in their mouths and intestines, authorities said.

The deaths are believed to have happened between 29 December and 5 January.

The large population of stray dogs has long been a problem in Mexico City, correspondents say.

A 2008 study said that there were more than three million of them living on the streets, but a more recent estimate by the capital's authorities suggested the 120,000 figure.

This is roughly equivalent to the number of dogs collected from the streets of the UK in 2011.



Chinese couple rushed to marry on 'Love You Forever' Day on 4th Jan

Thousands of Chinese couples have queued at registry offices across China, in the hope that marrying on that date would bring them lasting romance.

At least 10,000 couples were due to tie the knot in Beijing, with many more coming without an appointment, the BBC reports.

A similar wedding rush took place on 12 December 2012, which was the century's final repeating date.

Extra government staff had to be deployed to cope with the number of people coming to get married.

According to the report, couples in the southern island province of Hainan even braced bad weather and lined up in the rain, waiting for their chance to say 'I do'.

Source: Bejing Bulletin



Mariah Carey's First Husband Tommy Mottola Says He's The Reason For Her Success

Mariah Carey's ex-husband, record executive Tommy Mottola -- who she says was a "controlling" man who "mentally and emotionally" abused her during their four-year-marriage -- is speaking out.

Mottola, who is 20 years Carey's senior and married her when she was just 23, is clearing the air in his new memoir "Hitmaker," saying he might have been demanding, but he's the reason for her worldwide success.

"If it seemed like I was controlling, I apologize," he writes in his book, available on Jan. 15. "Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success."

According to the New York Post, Mottola, who divorced the mother of his two children to be with the singer in 1993, explains that because he didn't let Carey take a break early on in her career, she became a superstar.

"My feeling was that there’d be plenty of time for Mariah to celebrate just a little ways down the road," the 63-year-old, now married to singer Thalia, writes. “I’m not talking 10 years, just a few."

But the music mogul is not taking full responsibility, adding that Carey's talent is untouched.

"An unbelievable energy was running though me, screaming, ‘Turn the car around! That may be the best voice you’ve ever heard in your life," he reportedly writes of when he first listened to Carey's demo.

Still, the "American Idol" judge has persistently dismissed Mottola's claims, calling their marriage a "private hell" and saying in an interview, "I came to him with the voice that I have. I came to him with the songs that went on to be Number One records."



New discoveries-Giant panda blood may hold the secret to curing superbug illnesses in humans as well as other diseases, according to new research.

The teddy bear-like animals would hardly seem to be associated with industrial strength cleanser and potent antibiotics, but their link with these possible cure alls now appears to have been forged.

The primary component in giant panda blood is called cathelicidin-AM. It was found after analyzing the panda's DNA.

This compound kills bacteria in less than an hour. Other well known antibiotics take more than six hours to tackle the same job.

Xiuwen Yan, who led the research at the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, told theLondon Telegraph: "It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains."

Yan continued, "Under the pressure of increasing microorganisms with drug resistance against conventional antibiotics, there is urgent need to develop new type of antimicrobial agents. Gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides play an important role in innate immunity against noxious microorganisms. They cause much less drug resistance of microbes than conventional antibiotics."

Giant pandas are highly endangered, with only about 1,600 left in the wild. The new discovery shows how important it is to save all species -- plants, insects, birds and animals -- as they could, like the giant panda, hold keys to solving many pressing human health issues.

Thankfully, the scientists don't have to raise a bunch of pandas in order to keep up the supply of cathelicidin-AM. Yan and colleagues have figured out a way to synthesize the compound artificially in a lab. They did this by decoding giant panda genes to produce a small molecule known as a peptide.

Yan explained, "Antimicrobial peptides are important components in innate immunity -- they can provide an effective and fast acting defence against harmful microorganisms. More than 1000 antimicrobial peptides have been found from animals, plants, and microorganisms. Analysis revealed that the panda cathelicidin had the nearest evolution relationship with dog cathelicidin."

As for why giant pandas have such a powerful antibacterial agent in their blood, the researchers suspect that it boosts the big furry animal's immune system. This probably protects them from infections when they are living in the wild.

The same scientific team has found other powerful antimicrobial compounds in the mucus produced by snails and in some amphibians.