Apple reveals biggest, most expensive iPhone yet

Apple unveiled three new iPhones on today, including its biggest and most expensive model yet, as the company seeks to widen the product's appeal amid slowing sales.

CEO Tim Cook showed off the Apple XS, which has a bigger screen than the one on last year's dramatically designed model, the iPhone X. A bigger version will be called the iPhone XS Max, which looks to be about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, though the screen size is much bigger, and has an asking price in the US of about NZ$1700.

As with the iPhone X, the new phone has a screen that runs from edge to edge, an effort to maximize the display without making the phone too awkward to hold. The screen needs no backlight, so black would appear as truly black rather than simply dark.

This even-bigger iPhone represents Apple's attempt to feed consumers' appetite for increasingly larger screens as they rely on smartphones to watch and record video, as well as take photos wherever they are.

The iPhone X also got rid of the home button to make room for more screen and introduced facial-recognition technology to unlock the device.

By making more expensive iPhones, Apple has been able to boost its profits despite waning demand as people upgrade phones less frequently. IPhones fetched an average price of NZ$1100 during the April-June period, a nearly 20 per cent increase from a year earlier.

Worldwide smartphone sales grew just 2 per cent during that period, according to the research firm Gartner Inc. During the second quarter, which is typically slow for Apple, China's Huawei Technologies surpassed Apple as the second-largest seller of smartphones, based on Gartner's calculations. Samsung remained in the lead.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks about the Apple iPhone XS and Apple iPhone XS Max at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new Apple products Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks about the Apple iPhone XS and Apple iPhone XS Max during an event to announce new Apple products. Source: Associated Press



NZ researchers help find key 'villain' in causing migraines

Researchers have found a key "villain" in causing migraines.

Scientists at Victoria's Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand and around the world, discovered the molecular details of one of the key initiators of migraines, with the findings published in the Nature science journal on Thursday.

A neuropeptide called calcitonin gene-related peptide has been found to be a main offender of initiating migraines and causing pain, the research reveals.

The peptide interacts with a receptor in the brain which causes the pain response.

But this receptor doesn't respond to the neuropeptide unless there's another partner protein.

This study reveals the first high-resolution structure of the activated receptor, together with the neuropeptide and its main signal-transmitting partner.

"Our work, solving the structure of activated receptor complex, allows design of novel drugs that can activate the receptor," one of the researchers Dr Denise Wootten said.

"Excitingly, the CGRP receptor is not just a villain, but can also be activated for beneficial outcomes. For example, there is accumulating evidence that activation of the receptor could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, or resistant hypertension".

About two million Australians experience migraines with symptoms including pain, nausea and poor sleep, Monash University states.

"This research could pave the way for novel drug development in areas of ongoing therapeutic need," institute director Professor Christopher Porter said.

The research was a multi-disciplinary effort with collaborators also in Germany, the UK, New Zealand, China, and the Mayo Clinic in the US.

Cropped shot of a stressed businessman sitting at his deskhttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pi/shoots/783721.jpg
Source: istock.com


'Don't play games with it' - Donald Trump issues grim warning as Hurricane Florence takes aim at southeast of the US

People who thought they were safe from the onslaught of Hurricane Florence began boarding up and Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency as uncertainty over the path of the monster storm spread worry along the South-eastern coast.

Closing in with terrifying winds of 215kmp/h and potentially catastrophic rain and storm surge, Florence is expected to blow ashore Saturday morning (US time) along the North Carolina-South Carolina line, the National Hurricane Centre said.

While some of the computer forecasting models conflicted, the latest projections more or less showed the storm shifting southward and westward in a way that suddenly put more of South Carolina in danger and imperilled Georgia, too.

At the White House, President Donald Trump urged people to "get out of its way."

"Don't play games with it. It's a big one," he said.

With the change in the forecast, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies, and asked people to pray for those in Florence's path. North and South Carolina and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

The shift in the projected track had areas that once thought they were out of range worried. In South Carolina, Beaufort County Emergency Management Division Commander Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case.

"We've had our lessons. Now it might be time for the exam," Baxley said late in the morning.

Early Thursday morning (NZT), the Category 4 storm was centred 785 kilometres southeast of Wilmington, moving at 24kmp/h with the potential for 1 to 3 feet of rain in places — enough to touch off catastrophic flooding and an environmental disaster, too, if the water inundates the region's many industrial waste sites and hog manure ponds.

The National Hurricane Centre's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast starting  Friday before finally blowing ashore. That could punish a longer stretch of coastline, and for a longer period of time, than previously thought.

The trend is "exceptionally bad news," said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge."

If some of the computer projections hold, "it's going to come roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say, 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland,'" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground forecasting service.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and South Carolina and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow," warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast."

Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference won't make it any less dangerous, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Centre discussion.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, Ohio vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Most other beachgoers were long done.

"It's been really nice," Nicole Roland said. "Also, a little creepy. You feel like you should have already left."

For many of those under evacuation orders, getting out of harm's way has proved difficult, as airlines cancelled flights and motorists had a hard time finding gas.

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.

"This morning I drove around for an hour looking for gas in Cary. Everyone was sold out," she said.

Described as a monster, the eye of Hurricane Florence continues to grow. Source: 1 NEWS

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Aboriginal boys who drowned in Perth river while evading police attacked on social media - 'Colonial racism'

The memory of two Aboriginal boys who drowned in Perth's Swan River after diving in to evade police has been attacked on social media.

Chris Drage, 16, and Jack Simpson, 17, were among five boys police chased on foot following reports of teenagers jumping fences after a house had been ransacked and burgled in suburban Maylands on Monday afternoon.

Four of them jumped into the water and two were captured but Jack and Chris were seen struggling in the middle of the river and did not resurface.

Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Dennis Eggington said some of the social media posts about the tragedy were vile and constituted racial vilification.

"It proves to me there is this underlying current of extremism - what I call entrenched colonial racism," Mr Eggington told AAP today.

"It's worse than discrimination, it's something much more evil."

Mr Eggington said the posts were a repeat of offensive social media comments that followed the death of Aboriginal boy Elijah Doughty in 2016.

The 14-year-old was riding a stolen motorcycle near Kalgoorlie when a man, who cannot be named, chased him in a ute and ran him down.

Mr Eggington said social media had provided a platform for people to air and cultivate hatred, and should be better moderated to keep offensive views "around their BBQs".

"It propagates, it perpetuates this type of thinking," he said

"Young kids in particular are all across Facebook so they're being influenced by another generation of Australia that denigrates Aboriginal people."

A coroner will hold an inquest into Chris and Jack's deaths, which will be treated with the same seriousness as a death in custody because police were present.

Mr Eggington urged the state government to fast-track the inquest so as to not prolong the suffering of the families, who need answers soon.

"They need some closure. They deserve the truth and nothing but the truth," he said.

He said positive steps by WA Police, including an apology to Aboriginal people who had been mistreated by the force and a push for more indigenous officers, would be diminished if there was a long wait for the inquest and the void was filled with social media commentary.

"By allowing this to fester and go on, those positive steps get eroded."

Skyline in Perth, Western Australia, in 2013. In front Swan River, seen from Sir James Mitchell Park. XXL size image.
Perth's Swan River. Source: istock.com


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Trump orders sanctions for foreigners who meddle in elections

President Donald Trump is signing an executive order authorising sanctions against foreigners who meddle in U.S. elections.

Barack Obama calling the current president "the symptom, not the cause" of division and polarization in the US during a speech.

Trump has drawn widespread criticism for not taking threats to the U.S. electoral system seriously enough, particularly Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told reporters Wednesday that the executive order is evidence the president is making election security a priority.

Bolton says the executive order will work to stem disinformation campaigns or any attempt to manipulate the outcome of ballots.

Coats says the U.S. is not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but didn't rule it out. He said the U.S. is also worried about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.


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