Headline News

  • PG&E charged with obstruction of justice over deadly 2010 gas pipeline explosion


    File-In this Sept.10, 2010 file photo firefighters and rescue crews work amongst damage caused by a pipeline explosion and an ensuing massive fire in a residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu,File)The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO –  Pacific Gas Electric was charged Tuesday with lying to regulators in connection with a fatal pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled a suburban Northern California neighborhood in 2010. The U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced the obstruction of justice charge and 27 related counts, which are in a new indictment charging the utility with felonies. It replaces a previous indictment that contained 12 counts related to PGE’s safety practices, but not obstruction. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Prosecutors say PGE hampered the investigation by lying to regulators soon after the blast. In particular, PGE officials are accused of telling National Transportation Safety Board investigators that the safety procedures being followed were correct and approved. The other charges …

    July 29, 2014 11:10 pm
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Politics

  • U.S. lawmaker takes soda tax battle to Capitol Hill


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Connecticut lawmaker on Wednesday will launch the first national effort in years to tax soda drinks, the latest bid by regulators and politicians to stem rising obesity and diabetes rates by curbing the consumption of sugary drinks. While former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial effort to limit cola size was struck down by a court earlier this year, other cities such as San Francisco have taken up the cause, emboldening critics and causing growing concern among beverage makers. Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut is under no illusion about the chances that her Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act will become law. She does not even expect the measure to come to a vote. But she wants to bring the debate to Washington for the first time in years, hoping it might help galvanize local efforts to levy taxes on sweetened beverages. “We have a serious health problem. It is …

    July 29, 2014 11:32 pm
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Stocks

  • Sick leave policies pick up steam


    Biviana Lagunas must skip class or her own job when brother Derik is sick, because her mother can’t take time off from her hotel job. That could change, since San Diego’s city council just required sick leave. Biviana Lagunas must skip class or her part-time job when her 4-year-old germ-magnet brother Derik is running a fever, because their mother has no paid time off. That could change, because the San Diego city council was one of two cities — the other being Eugene, Ore. — to pass new laws mandating paid sick leave on Monday. “Sometimes I have four exams to study for, and yet I put that aside to take my brother to the doctor, because my mother can’t take off work,” said Lagunas, a University of San Diego student who works part-time as a cashier on campus. Neither she nor her mother, a hotel worker, get paid sick leave. The move to give …

    July 29, 2014 10:07 pm
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Sports

  • Legendary announcer Scully to return for 66th season


    Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return to the booth for his 66th baseball season in 2015. Scully will call all nine innings of the Dodgers’ television broadcasts on Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA, with the first three innings of each of his contests also simulcast on the radio. The announcement of Scully’s extension into 2015 came by several Dodgers players on the videoboard during Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves. “It is very difficult to say goodbye,” Scully said in a statement. “God willing I will be back next year. Over the years I have been blessed to have so many friends including those that sit in the stands and listen as well as those at home, who listen and watch. It is just too hard to say goodbye to all these friends. Naturally there will come a time, when I will have to say goodbye, but I’ve …

    July 29, 2014 11:10 pm
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World News

  • Libya militias seize Benghazi base


    30 July 2014 Last updated at 02:53 A government warplane crashed during Tuesday’s fighting in Benghazi A special forces base in the Libyan city of Benghazi has been seized by militias, fighters and officials say. The site was captured by Islamist-led militias after days of fighting in the eastern city, officials said. Meanwhile, Italy has offered to help extinguish a huge blaze that has engulfed the biggest fuel depot in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Libya has been gripped by instability since the 2011 uprising, with swathes of the country controlled by militias. “We have withdrawn from the [Benghazi] army base after heavy shelling,” Special Forces officer Fadel al-Hassi told reporters on Tuesday. The fighters also confirmed in a statement that they had taken control of the base. ‘Worst violence’ On Monday, officials said that at least 38 people had been killed in clashes between troops loyal to the Libyan government and Islamist fighters in Benghazi. …

    July 29, 2014 11:10 pm
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Technology

  • Adaptive Material Could Cut the Cost of Solar in Half


    Sun tracker: Small lenses focus sunlight onto an adaptive material that helps track the movement of the sun. A material with optical properties that change to help it capture more incoming sunlight could cut the cost of solar power in half, according to Glint Photonics, a startup recently funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). Glint’s adaptive material greatly reduces the cost of a tracking system used in some types of solar power. It changes its reflectivity in response to heat from concentrated sunlight in a way that makes it possible capture light coming in at different angles throughout the day. It’s well known that focusing sunlight makes it possible to use smaller, cheaper solar cells. But this is usually done with lenses or mirrors, which must be moved precisely as the sun advances across the sky to ensure that concentrated sunlight remains focused on the cells. The equipment required for that and …

    July 29, 2014 11:32 pm
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Science

  • Self-assembly and plasmonics could join forces to boost solar energy


    Tiny points of light: self-assembly joins forces with plasmonics Researchers in the US have used a self-assembly method based on viruses and DNA to position almost 200 fluorescent molecules to within a few nanometres of a tiny gold nanoparticle. This accurate positioning of the molecules boosts their fluorescence output and the method could have applications in information processing, sensing and energy technologies. Electrons in a metallic nanoparticle undergo collective oscillations known as a surface plasmon resonance when exposed to certain frequencies of light. The nanoparticle then behaves as a tiny antenna, concentrating light within a few nanometres of the nanoparticle surface. If a fluorescent molecule – or fluorophore – is placed within this region, the amount of light captured by the molecule can be boosted significantly. “This provides a means of creating an intense electromagnetic field near a light-absorbing centre, thus allowing us to greatly increase the capture of light,” explains James De Yoreo of the …

    July 29, 2014 11:52 pm
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Health

  • FDA Oks expanded use of Regeneron’s eye drug


    (Reuters) – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the expanded use of its eye drug Eylea for the treatment of diabetic macular edema. The condition causes swelling of an oval spot within the retina in the eyes of patients with diabetes, and can lead to severe vision loss or blindness. Eylea is already approved in the United States to treat wet age-related macular edema — the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and for treatment of macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion. The injectable drug has been steadily grabbing market share from Roche AG’s Lucentis since its launch in late 2011. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Bernard Orr)

    July 29, 2014 11:32 pm
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Entertainment

  • Susan Sarandon admits to affair with rock legend David Bowie


    INTERVIEW: Tammy’s Mia Rose Frampton on how Susan Sarandon plays drunk so well  The actress, who split from Tim Robbins in 2009 after 23 years together, says that while she didn’t hook up with many famous men in her heyday, the ones that she did get involved with were worth it, according to Us Weekly. “Yeah, he’s worth idolizing,” she said. “He’s extraordinary. Bowie’s just a really interesting person, and so bright. He’s a talent, and a painter, and… he’s great.” Sarandon says the reason why she didn’t get the chance to dabble in the Hollywood dating pool was because she married her college sweetheart, Chris Sarandon, in 1979. “In terms of hooking up with movie stars, I got married really young, which knocked out most of my 20s to be f***ing around,” she told The Daily Beast via Us last week. “There have been a couple famous, pretty interesting ones. One rock star (Bowie) …

    July 29, 2014 10:07 pm
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Editorial

  • False claims may allow illegal immigrants to stay in the US


      Why are tens of thousands of unaccompanied children traveling thousands of miles to the U.S.? Is it to avoid violence? Or is it for a chance to live in a much wealthier country? The answer will likely determine whether they can stay. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Last week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge cited a government report showing that 219 of 230 illegal immigrants who were interviewed said they came to the U.S. because they thought they could get a free pass to American citizenship.  Another study, by the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security, acknowledged that many “are probably seeking economic opportunities in the U.S.” But it also noted that others “come from extremely violent regions where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the U.S. preferable to remaining at home.” Those who claim violence is driving children to the U.S. ignore that the violence isn’t new. . . Yet, despite the reverence the …

    July 29, 2014 11:32 pm
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Odd News

  • Sniffer dog warning sends Australian jet passengers on a rush to flush


    SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian budget airline Jetstar apologized on Wednesday after a crew member told passengers on a flight from the Gold Coast tourist strip, including some returning from a popular music festival, to flush away “anything you shouldn’t have”. The warning from the flight attendant that sniffer dogs and quarantine officers were on standby in Sydney prompted a rush to the plane’s toilets, News Ltd reported. Jetstar, owned by Qantas Airways Ltd, said it discussed the matter with the crew member involved, who made the announcement over the plane’s PA system. The airline said the flight attendant had taken a routine announcement about Australia’s strict quarantine regulations, which prevent some plant and fruit materials being transported between states, too far. “Our procedures allow cabin crew to deliver the quarantine message through a public announcement and on this occasion the crew member elected to do so,” Jetstar said. “The crew member’s words were poorly chosen …

    July 29, 2014 11:52 pm
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