Turkey court issues warrant for Erdogan foe Gulen

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Istanbul (AFP) – An Istanbul court issued an arrest warrant for US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen who President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regards as his top enemy, in a controversial case that has strained ties with the EU.

The court agreed an earlier request by prosecutors for the arrest notice but it remains to be seen if the United States will show any interest in extraditing him to face trial on terrorism charges in Turkey.

The warrant was issued after the court earlier remanded in custody the head of a national TV network and three former police officers — all of whom are deemed linked to Gulen — on terrorism charges.

Samanyolu TV chief Hidayet Karaca was placed under arrest on charges of forming a terrorist group, after being detained with over two dozen others in weekend raids on journalists, scriptwriters and police accused of plotting to overthrow Erdogan.

The court however ordered the release of Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily, which has repeatedly accused Erdogan of running a corrupt regime and who was arrested in the same raids last Sunday.

Both the Zaman newspaper and the STV channel are linked to Gulen, a one-time ally of Erdogan whom the Turkish strongman has now vowed to crush without mercy.

Dumanli defiantly told hundreds of supporters outside the court after his release that “the press cannot be silenced, media will never succumb to intimidations”.

Seven other suspects in the case were ordered released by the court in Istanbul while three more — all ex-police officers — were also remanded in custody.

- ‘Forming a terror group’ -

Erdogan accuses Gulen of running a “parallel state” and being behind sensational corruption allegations against his inner circle that broke on December 17 last year.

Gulen, who is believed to have millions of followers in Turkey and runs private crammer schools around the world through his Hizmet (Service) group, has vehemently denied all the allegations against him. 

Prosecutors asked the court for the warrant to arrest Gulen for leading a “criminal” group acting against the “rules and laws in media, economy and bureaucracy”, the state Anatolia news agency reported.

According to a copy of the request published in Turkish media, Gulen is charged with setting up and directing an “armed terrorist organisation” as well as using intimidation to deprive a person of their freedom.

The court later in the evening issued the warrant, saying Gulen was suspected of creating an “illegal organisation with a hierarchical structure that is separate from the state’s own structure”, Anatolia reported.

The United States has so far paid little attention to repeated requests from Turkey for Gulen’s extradition from his secluded compound in the state of Pennsylvania.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Pskai said Washington has seen the reports of the arrest warrant but as a matter of policy it does not “comment on pending extradition requests or confirm or deny that an extradition request has been made”.

- ‘Fictional ruling’ -

Turkish television said that Karaca had also been charged with “forming and running a terrorist organisation”. 

The three former senior Istanbul police officers arrested — Tufan Erguder, Ertan Ercikti and Mustafa Kilcaslan — had been charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation”.

Dumanli has been slapped with an exit ban from Turkey, indicating he is still set to face trial. It was not immediately clear what charges he might face.

According to Zaman’s website, Karaca raised his hands after the decision was announced and said: “No need to be worried, God helps.”

“Just as this is an arrest order for a fictional scenario, this is a fictional ruling.

“Those who made this decision will appear before the court one day,” he said.

His arrest is believed to be linked to a popular drama series on STV, “Tek Turkiye” (One Turkey), which tells the story of a doctor who goes to work in the Kurdish-majority southeast amid the armed rebellion by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels.

The European Union had condemned the arrests as running contrary to European values but Erdogan has struck back, telling the bloc to “mind their own business” in a row that risks badly damaging relations.

The arrests have also amplified concerns about media freedoms in Turkey under Erdogan, who has dominated the country for 12 years and in August moved from the post of prime minister to president. 

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Obama Downplayed Sony Hack In Exclusive CNN Interview

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President Barack Obama told CNN’s Candy Crowley Friday that the unprecedented attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment was a mere act of “cybervandalism” rather than cyberterrorism or even an act of war.

Crowley landed an interview with Obama on Friday after a press conference that addressed a number of issues, including North Korean hackers’ cyberattack of Sony. That hack was an aggressive effort to get Sony to stop the release of the satire “The Interview,” which depicted the assassination of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un.

Obama’s comments to Crowley appeared to downplay the seriousness of the Sony hack, which released troves of sensitive and sometimes embarrassing internal documents onto the internet. During his press conference, Obama criticized Sony for canceling the theatrical release of “The Interview,” which was supposed to come out Christmas Day. 

Crowley’s interview with Obama will air in full this weekend, and she described the interview (and Obama’s “cybervandalism” description) in a teaser on the air Friday night.

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Google's Android Had A Monster Year And It's Time To Stop Underestimating It As A Commercial Platform

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Android is underappreciated as a commercial platform — as a revenue driver for the e-commerce, advertising, and software industries. 

Too many analysts remain attached to an outdated idea of Google’s mobile operating system as fragmented, malware-ridden, and low-end. They believe Android users don’t spend money on mobile and lack lifetime value. This is no longer true.

In a new BI Intelligence report, we show how Android has translated its massive audience — an estimated 1.2 billion active users globally by the end of this year — into a solid platform for mobile-based businesses. 

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Here are the report’s main takeaways: 

Mobile business models that neglect or ignore Android risk severely limiting their market potential. Android is roughly twice the size of iOS in terms of its user base and is comparable in size to the world’s two other major platforms: Facebook and Windows. Android is rising faster than competitors as a driver of mobile revenue, including ad revenue. In this year’s second quarter, Android’s share of mobile ad traffic passed the share controlled by Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. Android at 39% still lags iOS in ad revenue share, but it is gaining share twice as fast. Android is exploding as a mobile commerce driver. Android’s share of mobile commerce orders is up 26% year-over-year. Android devices now account for just over one-fifth of all mobile e-commerce orders in the US.  The fragmentation problem is extremely overblown, from all perspectives: screen size, operating system version, and device proliferation. Globally, 80% of Android devices are running the two latest available versions of the platform. In the U.S, it’s over 90%. Android Lollipop will roll out beginning this month. Google has also made strides in addressing the quality of apps in the Google Play app store, and that has translated to revenue growth. The percentage of spam apps is falling. Meanwhile, global  revenue on Google Play more than doubled year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014. That’s faster growth than iOS, according to App Annie. Some analysts believe Google Play will overtake the Apple App Store in revenue within five years.  Android’s Achilles Heel remains the feature-creep and bloatware perpetrated on the platform by partner carriers and manufacturers. But Google is exerting more and more control over Android and pushing partners to adopt its preferred version of Android, which has a full suite of Google apps, including  Search and Google Play.  Google has made progress in “recapturing” Android. In the second quarter of 2014, 65% of global smartphone shipments were running Google’s preferred version of Android, rather than variants. That was a 3-percentage-point improvement over the previous quarter.  

The report is full of charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use. 

In full, the report: 

Explains how Android has essentially solved the fragmentation problem  Delivers all the key stats in a dozen charts for Android-based e-commerce, advertising, and app sales Shows how Android is growing much faster across most key mobile business categories than rival platforms Lists all the milestones Android has achieved in 2014, including surpassing iOS in web traffic share Delves into why Android still has significant vulnerabilities, and how Google is addressing them

For full access to the report on Android As A Mobile Business Platform and all our downloadable charts and data on mobile computing strategy and trends sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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The Most Popular Times To Have Sex And Other Fun Facts About Making Whoopee

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These days women have a new choice when it comes to birth control: their smartphones.

Using a fertility-tracking app like Kindara can help a couple get pregnant or avoid pregnancy. Kindara has helped more than 30,000 women get pregnant so far. CEO William Sacks says the company recently got curious about the thing that makes them pregnant: sex.

So he and his team analyzed 1.5 million bits of data that app users collected about their sexual activity over the last 22 months and discovered some surprising insights.

The most popular time of the year for sex is right now. The winter holidays.

This also explains why Sept. 16 is the most common day for babies to be born, Kindara says.

The weeks around Christmas and the New Year are by far the most popular time of year to have sex…

See the rest of the story at Business Insider



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Israeli air planes strike in Gaza Strip after rocket: witnesses

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Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Israeli air planes struck targets in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses said early Saturday, hours after a rocket from the Palestinian enclave hit the Jewish state.

A spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry said there were no casualties in the attack, the first air strike by Israel on the Palestinian enclave since the August truce that ended the deadly 50-day war  between the sides.

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There Are 3 Overwhelming Favorites To Win The Super Bowl

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With just two weeks left in the regular season, the New England Patriots remain the favorite to win this year’s Super Bowl. But the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are close behind according to the latest model by Nate Silver.

Using a rating system that accounts for margin of victory, home-field advantage, strength of schedule, and prior performance, and then simulating the rest of the season thousands of times, Silver determined the probability each team had of making the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl.

The Patriots have a 26% chance to win the Super Bowl, unchanged from last week. The Seahawks now have a 19% chance to win it all and are the favorite in the NFC after winning four games in a row. The Broncos are a close third at 17%.

In all, just six teams still have a realistic chance (at least 5%) of winning this year’s Super Bowl, including only two in the AFC:

New England Patriots, 26% Seattle Seahawks, 19% Denver Broncos, 17% Arizona Cardinals, 11% Green Bay Packers, 6% Dallas Cowboys, 5%

The biggest loser this past week was the Green Bay Packers, dropping from 13% to just 6% after their ugly loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Philadelphia Eagles, losers of two in a row, are down to just 1% after being at 10% just two weeks ago.

The Patriots, Cardinals, Broncos, and Indianapolis Colts are the only teams to clinch playoff spots so far.

At the other end, 12 teams have either been eliminated from playoff contention or have less than a 1% chance of making the postseason. These teams are the Jets, Dolphins, Browns, Titans, Jaguars, Raiders, Redskins, Giants, Bears, Vikings, Buccaneers, 49ers, and Rams.

That leaves 16 teams still battling for the final eight playoff spots.

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Report: Fitbit Plans To IPO Next Year

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Fitbit, the company that makes wearable fitness trackers, plans to IPO in 2015, Serena Saitto of Bloomberg News reports. 

The company will reportedly have Morgan Stanley lead the offering. 

The company was founded in 2007, and has raised $66 million total, most recently through a $43 Series D round in August 2013. 

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11 Tiny Design Features That Show Apple's Insane Attention To Detail (AAPL)

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Apple products have always been known for their quality design and attention to detail.

Many of these details go unnoticed by the average Apple user, or are only useful to a relative handful of people using the product.

Some features are handy while others are purely cosmetic, but Apple included them anyway.

Here are the best of these little design flourishes.

A smart fan that listens:

When engaging the voice dictation feature on new Mac laptops, Apple automatically slows the internal fan speed to better hear your voice.

Source: (Reddit, Johnbonbobon)

A “breathing” sleep light:

Apple has a patent dating back to 2002 for a “Breathing Status LED Indicator.” The patent describes a “blinking effect of the sleep-mode indicator [that] mimics the rhythm of breathing which is psychologically appealing.”

Source: (FloodMagazine, Via: Nua-667)

Smart caps:

On every MacBook Air (and all newer MacBook Pros), if you hit the “Caps Lock” key, nothing will happen. In order to prevent accidental keystrokes, Apple only turns on Caps Lock if you hold the key for a bit longer.

Source: (Reddit, dakboy)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider



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The Creator Of Minecraft Outbid Beyonce And Jay-Z For This Bonkers $70 Million LA Mansion

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Swedish video game programmer Markus Persson, best known as the creator of Minecraft, is the proud new owner of an incredible home in Beverly Hills.

According to Curbed LA, Persson purchased the 23,000-square-foot mansion for a jawdropping $70 million. That price may seem steep, but it’s a full $15 million less than the original $85 million asking price.

Beyonce and Jay-Z had previously been interested in buying the home, and the couple had reportedly visited the property six times.

Persson’s $70 million purchase was a record for Beverly Hills.

“Marcus fell in love with the house, its sleek contemporary design and its spectacular panoramic views that sweep from downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean,” Katia De Los Reyes, who represented Persson, said to Curbed. “The fact that the house also was completely furnished in such great style was another major selling point for him.”

The over-the-top house was listed by Ben Bacal Realty as well as Branden Williams and Rayni Romito Williams of Williams & Williams.

With a 16-car garage, home gym, and giant infinity pool, this home must be seen to be believed.

Welcome to 1181 North Hillcrest. The home was listed in September for $85 million.

It’s located in the elite Beverly Hills neighborhood of Trousdale Estates.

The home received a complete overhaul after being purchased back in 2012. The new design is stunning.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider



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