Miracle baby plucked from the rubble after three days
The sound of a baby’s cry amid the rubble seemed so impossible that soldiers searching a tsunami-smashed village dismissed it as a mistake.
But it came again. And they realised they had not been hearing things.
They pulled away wood and slate, dug back thick oozing mud – and there was the child they were to describe as a ‘tiny miracle’.
The four-month-old girl had been swept from her parents’ arms in the shattered village of Ishinomaki when the deadly wave crashed into the family home.
For three days, the child’s frantic family had believed she was lost to them for ever.
But yesterday, for a brief moment, the horrors of the disaster were brightened by one helpless baby’s story of survival.
Soldiers from the Japanese Defence Force had been going from door to door pulling bodies from the devastated homes in Ishinomaki, a coastal town northeast of Sendai.
Most of the victims were elderly, unable to escape the destructive black tide.
But for this precious moment, at least, it was only the child who mattered to the team of civil defence troops who found her.
Kate family sell Royal game card
BRITAIN: Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton's family firm has launched a scratchcard game featuring CROWNS.
The game, called Britannia Scratch Trivia, encourages players to "impress friends" with their UK knowledge.
Players scratch away crowns to reveal answers to questions about Britain on the cards, which have a Union Flag-themed border.
They are the latest item marketed by 29-year-old Kate's family company Party Pieces, run by her mum Carole and dad Michael.
The cards cost £3.99 for a pack of ten, but offer no cash prize.
They leave the family open to accusations of trying to cash in on the Royal Wedding of Kate and Prince William, 28, on April 29 - and risk angering Buckingham Palace.
The cards are part of a Best of British range produced by the company.
The range also includes accessories needed for a street party such as bunting, hats, cups and plates.
Party Pieces stands to do brisk business in the run-up to the wedding. Last week Kate's biography - prepared with help from her family - was launched on the official Royal Wedding website.
It mentioned twice that she worked for the Berkshire-based firm.
An extract stated her duties included "catalogue design and production, marketing and photography".
Ex-air hostess Carole, 56, set up Party Pieces in 1987. Her husband, a former British Airways flight dispatcher, helps to run it.
The firm is thought to have made millions of pounds for the family.
Its online magazine, Party Times, is run by Kate's sister Pippa.
Cat can predict epileptic fits
BOURNEMOUTH: After suffering an unusually severe epileptic fit, Nathan Cooper came within a whisker of death - but was saved by his cat Lilly.
For Lilly is also a highly sensitive medical early warning system, the Daily Mail reports.
She can detect the fits her 19-year-old owner suffers on a weekly basis before they happen, and alert the college student’s parents.
"Normally she’s a quiet little thing, but when Nathan has a fit she starts running up and down the stairs, miaowing at the top of her voice,’ said the teenager’s mother Tracey yesterday.
"She definitely has some sort of sense that means she knows about them before they happen, and it means we can stop Nathan hurting himself by falling on something or knocking furniture over."
The family, who live in Bournemouth, have had 14-month-old Lilly for barely a year, but Mrs Cooper, 38, believes the pet has already saved her son’s life at least once, saying: "After one fit, Nathan stopped breathing, and Lilly was really worried. Then she started licking his mouth, and somehow it kickstarted his breathing. Now she won’t leave his side."
Could Facebook have met its match?
US: Google will launch its own social network in May, it has been claimed.
The search engine giant will unveil Google Circles at its Google I/O conference in San Francisco, according to technology blog The Next Web.
It is thought the network will allow users to selectively share content with people who are members of different social circles in their lives.
Users will be able to filter what content is shown to which group.
Reports that Google Circles is to launch at the South by Southwest technology event, currently taking place in Austin, Texas, were yesterday denied by Google.
The company also refused to confirm or deny any plans for a social network.
A spokesman said: 'We do not comment on rumour and speculation.'
Some industry analysts believe it is unlikely that Google would put itself directly in competition with Facebook.
'Whatever Google comes up with, it almost certainly won't be a competitive social network that mimics Facebook,' Matt Rosoff wrote on SFGate.com.
'That ship has sailed - Facebook has 600million users, and nobody's going to join yet another social network to share photos and status updates with friends.'