Teenager arranges his own murder on net

first_imgA 14-year-old boy has appeared in court, charged with plotting his own murder. John, 14, used multiple personalities on the internet to convince Mark, 16, to stab him when they met up in Greater Manchester last June. The boys’ real names have not been disclosed to the press. John used a number of different characters on the internet and became friends with Mark after meeting him in chat rooms. One of John’s false personas – a 42 year-old woman claiming to work for MI5 – told Mark he had to murder his friend. He was told to say, “I love you bro” as he carried out the attack and was promised sexual favours and money if he was successful. After the stabbing John was left critically ill in hospital, although he has now recovered. He is said to have been having difficulties in school and was unsure about his sexuality. Both boys have been put under supervision orders.ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004last_img read more

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Asda’s Andy Clarke: food costs will rise in an independent Scotland

first_imgAsda chief executive and president Andy Clarke has stirred up the Scottish referendum debate by advising a ‘yes’ vote next week (18 September) would force up food costs. In a statement he claimed failing to provide an “honest” assessment of the knock on effects would be “ducking his responsibility”.“It will be no surprise to voters that, if Scotland votes for independence, it would be imperative to establish a separate Scottish business. Currently, our systems are set up for one single UK market, we use the same currency and we operate under the same rates of VAT. By operating in a market serving 63 million customers we achieve major efficiencies and economies of scale.“If we were no longer to operate in one state with one market and – broadly – one set of rules, our business model would inevitably become more complex. We would have to reflect our cost to operate here.”Clarke was careful to hammer home Asda’s impartiality to which way the referendum goes next week, stating that this was “simply an honest recognition of the costs that change could bring” and said it is a decision for the people of Scotland.The statement continued: “Already it costs more money to get groceries to people in Scotland, our taxes are higher and our margins are lower.“I am not saying that prices have to rise in an independent Scotland. I am saying that politicians of all sides need to work with business if they want to reduce the cost of doing business and in turn, the cost of living.”The Scottish National Party has repeatedly denied that independence would mean rising food costs. However, a number of companies including Tesco Bank, Lloyds and RBS have indicated they would move their headquarters south of the border over fears around the economic consequences of independence.last_img read more

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Top stories A supertree of life the human smell of death and

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) First comprehensive tree of life shows how related you are to millions of speciesMany people today are trying to track down their own family history and genealogy, but this endeavor has bloomed to a new level with the first comprehensive Open Tree of Life that knits together more than 500 family trees of various groups of organisms, revealing a supertree with 2.3 million species. With some crowdsourcing help from scientists around the globe, the hope is that users can one day zoom in on certain branches to further explore their relationship to millions of other species.Researchers isolate the ‘human smell of death’ After analyzing the tissue samples and organs from corpses in a jar, researchers have found a singular chemical cocktail that separates the smell of death of humans from all other species. This new human decomposition cocktail may help train cadaver dogs to find human victims.Here’s what Ridley Scott has to say about the science in The MartianGet your tickets and popcorn ready for the upcoming newest sci-fi blockbuster film, The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. Science gets an insider Q&A with Ridley himself; Andy Weir, whose debut novel provided the tale; and Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science, on the level of scientific plausibility throughout the movie.Dutch sexism study comes under fireA new study finds that women have a lower chance than men at winning early career grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the country’s main grant distributing agency. The results have garnered controversy, with some scientists claiming that the study’s data fell into a statistical trap known as Simpson’s Paradox. Regardless of the controversy, NWO plans to move forward with its efforts to integrate additional gender awareness training for its grant reviewers.You’re surrounded by your own personal cloud of microbesYou might not want to tell your OCD friends, but scientists have found that physical contact isn’t the only way we spread germs. Last week they revealed that humans are surrounded by their own microbial clouds, which differ from person to person. These germy “fingerprints” hover around our heads in a 90-centimeter (or 3-foot) radius, meaning there’s a high chance our microbes are mingling at the office, in the locker room, and even on the subway. Scientists think that when microbes mix, we may pick up bacterial souvenirs from one another, transforming our own microbiomes in the process.Light-based memory chip is first to permanently store dataToday’s electronic computer chips work at blazing speeds. But an alternate version that stores, manipulates, and moves data with photons of light instead of electrons would make today’s chips look like proverbial horses and buggies. Now, one team of researchers reports that it has created the first permanent optical memory on a chip, a critical step in that direction.How societies learn to count to 10In some traditional cultures, counting is as easy as one, two, three—because it stops there: Their languages have no words for higher numerals, and instead simply use varieties of words like “many.” But over time some societies acquired higher numbers, as the major languages spoken on the planet today must have done long ago. Now, a new study of an Australian language family reveals how languages add, and sometimes lose, higher numbers—and how some languages lasted for thousands of years without them.Now that you’ve got the scoop on this week’s hottest science news, come back on Monday to test your smarts on our new weekly quiz!center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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