Headline News

  • Reality hits North Dakota’s pricey apartment market; rents drop

    WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – It is getting cheaper to rent an apartment in North Dakota’s oil patch. Prices, which only last year rivaled levels in New York City and Geneva, have slipped about 15 to 20 percent in the past two months as dozens of new apartment buildings opened in Williston, Watford City and other oil hub cities. Growth in demand has slipped because the plunge in crude oil prices has led to cuts in capital spending by energy producers.     There are still about 1,800 energy-related jobs unfilled in the No. 2 U.S. oil-producing state, and there is still demand for apartments. But the accommodation shortage is nothing like it was when the state’s oil boom began six years ago. As new developments start leasing, tenants are able to negotiate lower rents. “You’re starting to see prices fall this year as more units come online,” said Terry Metzler of Granite Peak Development, which has …

    March 2, 2015 5:04 am


  • How Jeb Bush’s big bet on Florida economy may come back to haunt him

    JUPITER, Florida (Reuters) – In October 2003, Jeb Bush unveiled one of the largest economic projects in Florida history: a $500 million plan to bring Scripps Research Institute to the state and build a biomedical hub he said would generate nearly 50,000 jobs in 15 years. As governor, he described it as a “seminal moment,” comparable to Walt Disney World’s arrival in Florida in 1971, which brought billions of dollars in tourism, spawned tens of thousands of jobs, transformed the economy and created the world’s most-visited vacation resort. Today, as Bush leads possible Republican candidates in the 2016 race for the U.S. presidency, the missed projections and mixed results of his signature economic policy as governor — a biotechnology gamble that has yet to pay off — illustrate problems he could face in explaining his own record while promoting a vision of “real conservative success.” By nearly all measures, the plan to transform bedroom communities …

    March 2, 2015 1:42 am


  • Malaysia hopes revamp will revive airline

    In an industry renowned for its brutal business cycles, nothing could have prepared Malaysia Airlines for last year. Two tragedies — one of which continues to play out as the world’s greatest aviation mystery — and the resulting avalanche of negative publicity has left the airline battered and bruised. But not broken. Those who predicted the imminent demise of Malaysian Airlines in the wake of the disappearance of MH370 last March, and the shooting down of MH17 a little more than three months later, have been proved wrong. One year on, the airline’s immediate financial crisis is drawing to a close, and the company has developed a turnaround plan. In fact, the controlling shareholder now talks of a return to profit by 2017. Aviation experts say the key now is to follow through on reforms. Khazanah Nasional, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, in November unveiled a five-year, $1.8 billion restructure. Key reforms included cutting unprofitable …

    March 2, 2015 4:03 am


  • Former European champion Welp dead at 51

    BERLIN (Reuters) – German center Christian Welp, who won the European championship with Germany and also played in the NBA, has died of heart failure aged 51, the University of Washington said on Monday. Welp, who holds the university’s all-time scoring record, was the number 16 draft pick by the Philadelphia 76rs in 1987 and went on to play two seasons there. He also played for the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs before returning to Europe to play in Greece, Germany and Italy, winning nine championships in as many seasons. Welp became a household name in Germany when he scored the last three points in their 71-70 European Championship win over Russia in the 1993 final, “This is an extremely sad loss,” Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said on the Huskies website. “Christian is one of the most outstanding student-athletes to have ever played at Washington. He was not only a great guy …

    March 2, 2015 5:04 am

World News

  • Bangladesh arrest over writer murder

    2 March 2015 Last updated at 10:26 Avijit Roy was well known for his blog celebrating free thinkers and humanists Police in Bangladesh have arrested a man in connection with the murder of atheist writer Avijit Roy. Farabi Shafiur Rahman, a “fundamentalist blogger”, was detained by special police forces early on Monday at a bus stop in Dhaka. He is accused of making a recent threat to kill Mr Roy on social media. Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was hacked to death by men with machetes last Thursday while visiting Bangladesh. His wife was badly wounded. Colonel Ziaul Ahsan, from Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), told local media bdnews24.com that Mr Farabi was leaving the city when he was arrested in Dhaka’s Jatrabarhi area on Monday morning. RAB spokesman Major Maksudul Alam said he was “the main suspect” in the attack on Avijit Roy, who was a critic of religious intolerance. Mr …

    March 2, 2015 5:04 am


  • Super Stardust Ultra review – visually splendid sci-fi shooter

    Genre convention asserts that the best 2D shooters are made in Japan, not Europe, and as a consequence, the Euro shoot-’em-up (or “Euroshmup” to the cognoscenti) is applied as a broad derogatory term to lacklustre contributions to the field, often regardless of country of origin. The Stardust series, however, proves Euroshmups can triumph and now it has arrived on the PlayStation 4. As with its predecessors, Super Stardust Ultra is a visually splendid sci-fi shooter in which each stage plays out as if the Asteroids template were stretched over a sphere. The rule set is a familiar one. Shoot everything; don’t get hit. Action is intense and difficulty ramps relatively high, yet it remains simple and accessible. But while a wealth of modes encourage a rewarding variety of play styles, Ultra is very similar to the 2007 PS3 instalment, with only a scattering of new features. Nonetheless, with gameplay that’s so gratifying, this is a minor quibble, and …

    March 2, 2015 1:41 am


  • Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tests Inch Forward, but Treatments Are Still Lacking

    Kathy Stack’s memory loss began with the little things: losing her wallet, taking a wrong turn, forgetting someone’s name. In 2013 at the age of 68, she visited her neurologist, who sent her to a memory loss specialist. He told her she had a 50–50 chance of developing full-blown Alzheimer’s disease within five years. Two years later, Stack, who was the first female department director of community services for Saint Paul, Minn., has made lifestyle changes such as working out regularly and doing daily brain exercises to stave off the disease. She is prepared for what the next stages of Alzheimer’s may bring, but says she has noticed her symptoms worsening. More than five million people in the U.S. currently have Alzheimer’s, and that number is increasing with the aging population. Clinical diagnoses from specialists can be accurate up to 90 percent of the time but currently the only way to confirm that an individual …

    March 1, 2015 9:39 pm


  • Companies’ tests used in ‘superbug’ scope cleaning flawed: FDA

    (Reuters) – Manufacturers’ tests of procedures to clean medical scopes linked with “superbug” outbreaks contained flaws that render their cleaning instructions unreliable, according to a senior official with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The scopes were linked to the exposure of 179 patients to drug-resistant bacteria at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles and may have contributed to two deaths. Those incidents were announced last month. In early 2014, following a superbug outbreak at a hospital in Illinois, the FDA asked Fujifilm Holdings Corp, Olympus Corp and Pentax, which make the devices, to submit their test results for review, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the agency’s chief scientist, said in an interview.     In some cases the tests were poorly carried out. In others, they were properly conducted but the cleaning and disinfecting protocol failed, said Ostroff, who will become the FDA’s acting commissioner when Dr. Margaret Hamburg leaves at the end of March. …

    March 2, 2015 1:42 am


  • Kanye West apologizes to Bruno Mars for totally selfish reasons

    More: Kim Kardashian insists that she and Kanye West are happier than ever The rapper has thrown shade at Taylor Swift, Amber Rose, Tupac, Jimmy Kimmel, Bruno Mars, Beck and more. And while he and Swift have apparently patched things up since his infamous VMAs interruption — the two were seen hugging it out at this year’s Grammys — West still has plenty of work to do before he’s back in the music world’s good graces. More: Kanye West lost a ton of friends when he began dating Kim Kardashian Apparently, West thinks Twitter is the appropriate place to make amends and Kim Kardashian’s husband started with Beck. I would like to publicly apologize to Beck, I’m sorry Beck. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 26, 2015 This tweet was most likely trying to make up for West’s behavior at the 2015 Grammys where the rapper almost grabbed the mic from the Album of the Year winner. At first, …

    March 1, 2015 4:16 pm


  • The Internet Gone Mad: Stop talking about white and gold dress. Now.

    I’m color blind. There’s not much good that comes from being color blind. Traffic lights are a challenge. I can never be a pilot. My wife frequently sends me back into the closet to change the frightful mélange of colors in which I’ve adorned myself, and I’m useless as a sounding board for her when she’s shopping (there’s also the fact that she looks stunningly beautiful in any color). But finally I’ve found the silver (or is it blue?) lining to being color blind. The gold/white, black/blue dress debate doesn’t matter to me. To me it’s green, blue, yellow, white, red, turquoise, magenta, grey, green and every other color on this great earth. And I don’t care.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT I love Facebook, I tweet a lot, I’ve been known to Instagram on occasion. But this? This national debate over what color a dress may or may not be? What has happened to us? If you …

    February 28, 2015 2:05 pm

Odd News

  • Circus acrobat reported missing in Atlanta has been found

    (Reuters) – An acrobat reported missing in Atlanta by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey circus has been found, a production company said on Friday. Police issued a missing person bulletin on Thursday for Wei Cao, a 25-year-old Chinese citizen who performs a bicycle and juggling act for the circus, after she missed a scheduled performance this week. Feld Entertainment, which produces the circus, said in a statement that Cao had been located and no additional information was available. A spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department said the agency had not been notified of the performer’s return. (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Lisa Lambert)

    February 28, 2015 1:19 am