Headline News

  • Judge pauses Detroit’s bankruptcy trial again


    DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ordered a week-long break in Detroit’s bankruptcy trial on Wednesday, giving the last major objector to the city’s restructuring plan time to rework its case. The hearing will be adjourned from Friday and reconvene on Monday, Sept. 29. It was also placed on hiatus last week for three days while the city applied the finishing touches to a settlement with another holdout creditor, Syncora Guarantee Inc [SYCRFS.UL]. Syncora formally withdrew its objections to the plan in light of the settlement on Tuesday, leaving Financial Guaranty Insurance Co (FGIC), which has $1.1 billion on the line, to lead the fight against the plan and the questioning of witnesses. The insurer said it needed time to organize its case. The hearing to determine if the plan is fair and feasible began on Sept. 2 and was expected to stretch through the middle of October. Even with the recess, the …

    September 17, 2014 11:13 am
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Politics

  • Top U.S. general urges Congress to think again on defense cuts


    WIESBADEN Germany (Reuters) – Congress should look hard at whether to continue automatic budget cuts that weaken the U.S. military at a time when security around the world is deteriorating, a top U.S. general said on Wednesday. The rapid advance of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region has fueled calls by current and former military chiefs and the U.S. defense industry for a rethink of the hundreds of billions of dollars in automatic cuts, known as “sequestration”. “With a deteriorating security situation around the world, I think it’s time to … really take a hard look at whether we should continue with sequestration,” Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno told a small group of reporters at the Conference of European Armies in Wiesbaden, Germany. “I think that is a debate that it is absolutely essential to have over the next year,” he said. “If sequestration occurs …

    September 17, 2014 11:12 am
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Stocks

  • Judging by inflation, it’s good to be American


    Inflation in the U.S. has fallen below the target level of 2%. Here’s one thing Americans can cross off their worry list: inflation. While the prices of some things — notably beef — are rising, the situation overall is very tame for Americans. It doesn’t cost that much more to buy fruits or vegetables than it did a year ago, and filling up at the pump is actually cheaper. Inflation in August only increased 1.7% from the same time last year, according to the latest government data released Wednesday. That’s below the Federal Reserve’s 2% annual target. In fact, the August rate was the first decline in inflation since the spring of 2013. This slight dip isn’t huge cause for concern yet. If anything, it’s a reminder of how much better off the U.S. economy is right now than many other places in the world. Related: Big day for the economy. Keep an eye on …

    September 17, 2014 12:12 pm
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Sports

  • Jaguars shuffling O-line, sticking with QB Chad Henne over rookie Blake Bortles


    Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) is sacked by Washington Redskins defensive end Chris Baker (92) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 41-10. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (The Associated Press) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  The Jacksonville Jaguars are making changes — just not the one many outsiders want to see. The Jaguars announced Wednesday that rookie Luke Bowanko will start at center against Indianapolis on Sunday and veteran Sam Young will start at right tackle. Chad Henne, however, remains the starting quarterback ahead of rookie Blake Bortles. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Coach Gus Bradley made the moves after one of the worst offensive performances in team history. Jacksonville allowed a franchise-record 10 sacks and managed just 148 yards — including a 63-yard, busted-coverage touchdown pass from Henne to tight end Marcedes Lewis — in a 41-10 loss at Washington. Bowanko replaces journeyman Jacques McClendon. Young replaces Cam …

    September 17, 2014 11:13 am
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World News

  • Fiji awaits election results, with Voreqe Bainimarama frontrunner


    Thousands of Fijians got their first chance to vote in eight years on Wednesday in an election that promises to finally restore democracy to the South Pacific nation of 900,000. Military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama, who has ruled Fiji since he seized control in a 2006 coup, is the frontrunner. He is popular, thanks in part to his focus on social programmes, increased infrastructure spending and a crackdown on the media. In early counting, Bainimarama’s Fiji First party had 59.2% of the vote with 804 of the 2,025 polling stations processed, according to official results reported by the Fiji Times newspaper. Its closest rival, the Sodelpa Party, had 28.1%. After casting his ballot, Bainimarama was asked whether he would accept the outcome if he lost. “I’m not going to lose. I will win. You ask that question to the other party,” he said. Then he added, “Of course we will accept the election results. That is …

    September 17, 2014 11:33 am
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Technology

  • IBM’s Watson rolled out to business


    17 September 2014 Last updated at 15:59 The supercomputer aims to help solve business problems IBM’s supercomputer Watson is being made available to businesses to answer tricky questions such as: “Which deals are most likely to close?” The cognitive platform can understand questions posed in natural language and crunch vast amounts of data. Watson Analytics is the latest step in IBM’s $1bn (£610m) investment in the platform, which is already available for medical research. But one expert questioned whether it could live up to past successes. Watson is a computer system capable of artificial intelligence. In 2011 it was tailored to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy and won. It had access to 200 million pages of content but was not connected to the internet. Since then IBM has worked to find more practical uses for the machine, such as helping to make decisions about cancer treatment at a US hospital. This latest move …

    September 17, 2014 11:12 am
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Science

  • Wanted by NASA: Space Telescope Director with Spy Credentials


    Conspiracy theorists may wonder, why does NASA’s next major telescope director need top secret clearance? The space agency recently posted a want ad for a person to lead its James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program, and in addition to aerospace engineering credentials and management experience, the candidate must have the highest possible level of security credentials.   NASA says the requirement is standard, although the ad raised some eyebrows in the security community. “It seems quite unusual,” says former CIA analyst Allen Thomson, who speculates that the clearance might allow the JWST director to coordinate using NASA telescope technology for National Reconnaissance Office satellites. Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy noted the requirement on his Secrecy News blog. “My first reaction was surprise that this was among the key requirements for the position,” Aftergood says. “And it’s a sign of just how closely the civilian space program is intertwined …

    September 17, 2014 7:27 am
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Health

  • Major U.S. Food Makers Cut 6.4 Trillion Calories From Products: Report


    WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Sixteen major food and beverage companies have made good on their pledge to cut calories in their U.S. products, a new report finds. The companies, acting together through the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the market between 2007 and 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015. They’ve actually reduced far more: 6.4 trillion calories. “The 16 companies collectively met their pledge and exceeded their pledge,” said lead researcher Shu Wen Ng, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The reduction translated to about 78 fewer calories per person daily, she said. Together, these 16 businesses represent about one-third of all calories in the U.S. food supply, the study showed. Calorie counts are in the spotlight because more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese, putting them at risk for serious health conditions. The …

    September 17, 2014 11:12 am
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Entertainment

  • Kylie Jenner Wants To Steal Katy Perry’s Career … And Hair!


    Posted on Wed Sep 17th, 2014 7:59am PDT       By X17 Staff Kylie Jenner stopped by the Andy Lecompte hair salon in West Hollywood on Tuesday, and the 17-year-old reality TV star emerged with flat-ironed locks that had been tinted blue on the edges! How very Katy Perry of her… And speaking of the pop star, according to recent reports, Kylie wants to steal her career. What?! A source tells Radar: “Kylie has found her calling in life — to be a singer! She is in training right now with vocal coach and producer, Tim Carter. Kylie is now working on her first single! She is telling everyone that she knows she is going to be the next Katy Perry.” Carter produced Willow Smith’s hit track “Whip My Hair,” and while he’s worked with Jay Z and Beyonce, it sounds like Kylie still needs some help. “She realized that she can’t compete with Kendall when it comes …

    September 17, 2014 10:51 am
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Editorial

  • Independence for Scotland? It’s my heart vs. my head


    I admit it. I’m not a Scot, but like so many Americans, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Scotland. My husband is Scottish-American, two of our children went to Scottish universities and we take annual vacations in Scotland.  My husband collects Scotch whisky, we wear McFarland tartan kilts and we celebrate Hogmanay. Even the golf course we play on was copied from one in Scotland. So, while I can’t vote in this week’s referendum, I feel entitled to an opinion on Scottish independence. In fact, I have two opinions: one from my heart, and one from my head. My heart dreams of an independent Scotland with all the values that once made the Scots great: hard work, integrity, thriftiness and personal accountability.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT I can almost smell the peat fires and warming single malt. But then my head takes over. Much that I find best about America came from Scotland.  Our Founding Fathers …

    September 17, 2014 11:12 am
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Odd News

  • Swiss keeper shocked after fans urinate in his water bottle


    (Reuters) – A Swiss goalkeeper has threatened legal action after fans of a rival lower league team urinated in his water bottle and then taunted him when, unawares, he took a sip during a match at the weekend. FC Muri goalkeeper Reto Felder said he had felt sick after tasting the warm contents of the bottle, which he had left near the goalpost during the 1. Liga (third tier) game at FC Baden near Zurich. “The idea of drinking piss is simply intolerable,” the Aargauer Zeitung website (www.aargauerzeitung.ch) quoted the 34-year-old player as saying, adding that he was waiting for an analysis of video evidence before further action. “What if next time it is something that knocks you out?,” added Felder. Swiss tabloid Blick reported that the unidentified fans had persuaded a ball boy behind the goal to pass them the bottle during the second half of the match. The paper said the fans shouted …

    September 16, 2014 7:17 pm
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