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THE REAL OBAMA TURNED UP

Photo and video messages that disappear after a few seconds have been popularized by Snapchat, the mobile messaging app that reportedly spurned multibillion takeover offers from Facebook and Google last year.

 

This ephemeral format has been especially popular with teens and young adults who like to exchange silly or racy messages without fear they'll be haunted by them later.

 

Now Apple is getting into the game. Audio and video messages within iOS 8 will automatically vanish within a few minutes (Apple didn't say how many) unless you adjust your settings.

 

"You don't want to have to clean these up. Audio and video messages can take up space," said Greg Joswiak, head of iOS product marketing. "So they're set to self-destruct unless you choose to keep them."

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JOHN KERRY, the US secretary of state, has issued a blunt warning to Russia over separatist violence in eastern Ukraine, accusing Moscow of "distraction, deception and destabilisation" in the region, says the BBC.

 

He warned that Russia would face further sanctions if it did not seize the "window to change course" - which he warned was "closing" - and help defuse the situation in its neighbour's eastern towns where pro-Russian separatists, some alleged to be Russian troops in disguise, are occupying government buildings.

 

In his most direct condemnation of Russia yet, Kerry said US intelligence is sure Russia is "playing an active role in destabilising eastern Ukraine", supplying "personnel, weapons, money and operational planning".

 

Yesterday, Russia accused the US of being behind Kiev's raids on the separatists - but Kerry said today this was Vladimir Putin's "fantasy". He insisted that  Moscow continues to "fund, co-ordinate and fuel a heavily-armed separatist movement in Donetsk".

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