Monday, 24 August 2009 London Lite World at a glance USforceschiefadmitswarin AfghanistanisgettingharderAMERICAS most senior military chief has admitted the Afghan war is getting tougher and warned it could take up to 18 months to turn the situation around. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there may be a new surge of troops to combat the growing Taliban threat. A record 44 US troops were killed in Afghanistan last month and a new poll reveals most Americans believe the war is not worth fighting. Admiral Mullen said: I think this is serious and it is deteriorating, and Ive said that over the past couple of years -- that the Taliban insurgency has got better. In Britain, a secret Ministry of Defence report found that the departments systems for acquiring new equipment are so inefficient they should be privatised. It said the MoDs equipment programme was 35bn over budget and five years behind schedule. Warning: Admiral Mullen on TV in America yesterday Thousandsfleehomesasfiresrage WIlDfIRES continued to rage out of control in Greece today after tens of thousands of Athens residents were forced to flee. A drop in gale- force winds gave 2,000 firefighters a brief respite but the strength is forecast to pick up again. Regional governor Yiannis Sgouros called the fires an ecological disaster. To the north the town of Marathon, with its historic sites, was encircled by flames. The mayor said he begged the government to send water- dropping planes and helicopters but in vain. Aircraft from other nations are due to join the effort. Claim to flame: stunt rider Lizzy Traband, 11, who was born with only one arm, leaps over a burning fence in Pennsylvania. Despite her disability Lizzy tours the US performing daring stunts. Dentist pulled out 13 teeth in error A WOMAN who had 13 teeth mistakenly removed by a US dentist has been awarded 1.2m by a jury. Elizabeth Smith, 28, was left with no upper teeth after the dentist in South Carolina pulled them all out. She was expecting to have three teeth removed at the Sexton Dental Clinic in 2006. Staff then allegedly tried to cover up the error by altering her charts. The clinic denied malpractice and may appeal. Ms Smith will have to spend about 48,000 on reconstructive surgery. Li-Loburgledasecondtime lINDSAY lOHANS home has been targeted by burglars for the second time in four months. The 23-year-old actress arrived at the Hollywood Hills property at 3am yesterday to find a safe had been ripped out of a wall. Her father Michael called police, who discovered a door off its hinges and bags, shoes and jewellery taken. Mr lohan claimed employees failed to turn on the burglar alarm. Copstrytoflushoutglueseatyobs POlICE in Australia are searching for cruel pranksters who superglued an elderly man to a loo seat in a Queensland shopping centre. The man, 70, from Cairns, was stuck so fast he had to be taken from the toilet block with the seat still attached to his backside, in view of a gathering crowd. He was taken to hospital where industrial-strength solvents were used to dissolve the glue. Police said it was the second case of glue being smeared on a seat in the same toilets that day. New-look X Factors ratings fall 400,000 By kevin widdop Targeted: Lindsay Picture of the day... Changes: X Factor creator Simon Cowell AUDIENCE ratings for The X Factor have slumped by 400,000, despite a new format designed to inject more drama. A peak of 11.7m people tuned in to the ITV1 show on Saturday, down from last years peak of 12.1m. For the first time, auditions were pre-recorded in front of a live theatre audience instead of just the judging panel, as in previous series. It is still the shows second most successful launch, which X Factor creator Simon Cowell put down to interest in Susan Boyle on his other hit ITV show, Britains Got Talent. He said: Susan Boyle changed auditions forever. If she had walked on to The X Factor like it used to be, it would not have been as dramatic. Giving people a crowd to perform in front of makes it harder and more exciting. An X Factor spokeswoman put the ratings drop down to the lovely weather on the night of the broadcast. One fan of the old format said, however: You cant hear for the audience making such a racket. It was more intimate, better TV having people just standing in front of four judges and singing. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html