Headline News

  • Why don’t Americans mark their Civil War like the British do WW2?

    The 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War passed with fairly low-key commemorations, says historian David Cannadine. Why are similar events in the UK such a big deal? Earlier this month, the United States marked the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the American Civil War. It had lasted for four years, and had claimed the lives of more than 700,000 troops, but in the end, the north triumphed over the south, the Union was saved, and the slaves were freed. By early 1865, it had become clear that the south couldn’t win, because it lacked the military and material resources that it needed to keep on fighting, and on 9 April, the Confederate Gen Robert E Lee surrendered his army to the Union Gen and future President Ulysses S Grant at Appomattox Court House in the state of Virginia. In fact, this dramatic encounter between the two pre-eminent military commanders in …

    April 25, 2015 9:25 pm


  • Obama puts hospital funds to work for Medicaid

    The Obama administration is dialing up the pressure on a handful of states that have resisted expanding Medicaid coverage for their low-income residents under the federal health care overhaul. The leverage comes from a little-known federal fund that helps states and hospitals recoup some of the cost of caring for uninsured patients. The administration says states can just expand Medicaid, as the health care law provides, and then they wouldn’t need as much extra help with costs for the uninsured. Two top targets so far are Florida and Texas, with large numbers of uninsured residents. Both have received several billion dollars in recent years from Washington under the so-called low income pool, also known as LIP. Florida’s hospital funding is the first of the nine states — which include Tennessee, California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas and New Mexico — to expire on June 30. But the hospital funds are an optional program, not entitlement programs …

    April 25, 2015 8:23 pm


  • GM’s Mary Barra makes way more than the last guy in the job

    GM is turning gender pay inequality on its head. Mary Barra, first female CEO of GM, got paid $16.2 million for 2014, which is 78% more than her male predecessor Dan Akerson. Akerson’s pay had been limited by the fact that GM (GM) executive pay was subject to government oversight during his tenure due to the 2009 government bailout of the automaker. The Treasury Department sold its remaining shares of GM stock on Dec. 9, 2013, which removed the limits on pay at that time. Akerson was paid $9.1 million for 2013, though he received an additional $2.1 million for his limited role with the company in 2014. Barra’s pay trails that of Mark Fields, who also was named CEO during 2014 at rival Ford Motor Co. (F) Fields received $18.6 million. He took the top job at Ford on May 1, succeeding Alan Mulally, who Ford paid $22 million during 2014. Related: These CEO’s …

    April 25, 2015 8:43 pm


  • Rays rally, beat Jays on Beckham’s hit in 8th

    St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Tim Beckham’s two-run double capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning that lifted the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. The Rays rallied with two outs in the eighth, tying the score on James Loney’s pinch-hit RBI double. They have won four in a row, including a 12-3 victory in Friday’s series opener. Russell Martin hit a leadoff homer in the seventh inning that gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. He drove a 3-1 fastball the other way over the right-center field wall for the first run scored by either team since the first inning. But the Rays took the lead after Roberto Osuna, who replaced Toronto starter Daniel Norris, struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth. Evan Longoria singled — the last of his four hits — to chase Osuna and David DeJesus followed …

    April 25, 2015 9:24 pm

World News

  • Kazakh leader seeks five more years

    Electoral success would give Nazarbayev the prospect of three decades in power Kazakhstan is voting in presidential elections, which are likely to extend the 26-year rule of President Nursultan Nazarbayev for another five years. His two opponents are both seen as pro-government. President Nazarbayev has been campaigning on a promise of economic and social stability in the oil-rich Central Asian state. Human rights groups accuse the authorities of systematically repressing the opposition. Elections had been due in 2016, but President Nazarbayev, 74, announced they would be held a year early in what some see as a move intended to halt speculation any possible successor. A former Communist politburo member, Mr Nazarbayev has been president of Kazakhstan since before it became independent in 1991 following the break-up of the former Soviet Union. Some 9.5 million people are eligible to vote in the vast country, which has extensive borders with both Russia and China. Nearly 10 million …

    April 25, 2015 9:25 pm


  • Russian hackers read unclassified Obama emails – report

    Unclassified emails to and from President Barack Obama were read last year by Russian hackers, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The White House confirmed the breach earlier this month, saying it took place last year and that it did not affect classified information. The newspaper, however, said the hack “was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged”. The president’s closely guarded BlackBerry email account was not hacked, the Times said, but communications with other users were swept up. Quoting “senior American officials briefed on the investigation”, the Times said the hackers penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system, as well as the State Department. The hackers are presumed to be linked to the Russian government, if not necessarily working for it. “It’s the Russian angle to this that’s particularly worrisome,” the Times quoted a senior official as saying. In February, Sony was the subject of an extensive and …

    April 25, 2015 7:43 pm


  • Ultra-sensitive sensor detects individual electrons

    Related images(click to enlarge) A Spanish-led team of European researchers at the University of Cambridge has created an electronic device so accurate that it can detect the charge of a single electron in less than one microsecond. It has been dubbed the ‘gate sensor’ and could be applied in quantum computers of the future to read information stored in the charge or spin of a single electron. In the same Cambridge laboratory in the United Kingdom where the British physicist J.J. Thomson discovered the electron in 1897, European scientists have just developed a new ultra-sensitive electrical-charge sensor capable of detecting the movement of individual electrons. “The device is much more compact and accurate than previous versions and can detect the electrical charge of a single electron in less than one microsecond,” M. Fernando González Zalba, leader of this research from the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and the Cavendish Laboratory,said. Details of the breakthrough have been published …

    April 25, 2015 8:05 pm


  • New avian flu viruses send U.S. scientists scrambling

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three highly pathogenic avian flu viruses that have infected poultry and wild birds in the U.S. Midwest appear unlikely to present a significant risk to humans. But the presence of the viruses in North America has scientists scrambling to understand their potential long-term threat. One of the viruses, H5N2, has already led to the slaughter of millions of turkeys and chickens, as commercial farms try to control the spread of the virus. No humans have yet become infected, but scientists say it is possible that someone in direct contact with sick birds might catch the virus, though it is extremely unlikely that an infected human could pass the disease on to another human. “Most of the time, these viruses don’t have human disease potential, but obviously you need to be very careful,” said Dr. Stephen Morse, an expert in emerging infections at Columbia University. “Nowadays, you can’t say anything about flu with …

    April 25, 2015 8:23 pm


  • Taylor Swift Admits The "Public Humiliation" Over Mocked Love Life Hurts Her Feelings

    Posted on Fri Apr 24th, 2015 11:10am PDT       By X17 Staff Poor little T-Swiz! Taylor Swift covers this month’s issue of Glamour UK and talks all about her highly publicized dating life, and it sounds like she’s pretty resentful of having to date in the public eye. “There is no easy way for me to engage with romance. I’m really busy, so I can’t. And it’s a good thing that I feel really independent and I feel that my friends are all I need. It’s kind of a sad way I got there though, being shamed into it. What else is it when you have two boyfriends in one year and everyone’s calling you boy crazy, making jokes about you at awards shows? That’s public humiliation. And I don’t think its fair,” she vented. Tay Tay is newly dating DJ Calvin Harris, but her last public relationship was with Harry Styles back in 2013. The singer …

    April 25, 2015 9:04 pm


  • Bakers face $135,000 fine for refusing to make cake for gay wedding

    The owners of an Oregon bakery learned Friday that there is a severe price to pay for following their Christian faith. A judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recommended a lesbian couple should receive $135,000 in damages for their emotional suffering after Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to make them a wedding cake.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT As a result – Aaron and Melissa Klein could lose everything they own — including their home. The Oregonian reports the recommended penalty is not final and could be raised or lowered by State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. The controversy started in 2013 when Aaron Klein declined to provide a cake for a lesbian wedding. Later that year, the women filed a complaint against Klein and his wife, Melissa. “The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that the Kleins unlawfully discriminated against the Complainants,” read a statement by the BOLI to the Oregonian. “Under Oregon law, …

    April 25, 2015 8:24 pm

Odd News

  • Argentine side train with dust masks as volcano spews ash

    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – An amateur side set to meet league champions Racing Club in the last 64 of the Argentine Cup are wearing dust marks to train near an Andean volcano spewing ash. “We’re playing against the Argentine champions, we’re taking it very seriously and anxiously await the match,” coach Gustavo Coronel of regional side Independiente of Neuquen, a province in the southwest of Argentina, told TyC Sports on Friday. Across the nearby Andes mountains in neighboring Chile, the 2,000-metre Cabulco volcano erupted on Wednesday and has been spewing clouds of ash since Thursday. The venue and date of the match have not been confirmed. The ash has reached Buenos Aires in the east with flights into and out of Ezeiza international airport suspended or rerouted while those at Neuquen and the Andean ski resorts of Bariloche and Chapelco have been closed. (Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Ken Ferris)

    April 24, 2015 11:57 pm