Headline News

  • F-22 fighters intercept Russian military planes 55 miles off Alaska


    FILE: An F-22 Raptor aircraft deploys flares over Kadena Air Base, Japan. (Air Force/Reuters) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –  Two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes that neared the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday. Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The Russian planes were identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers. They looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled. At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea. In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 …

    September 20, 2014 6:35 am
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Politics

  • Texas gubernatorial candidates court Hispanic vote in debate


    (Reuters) – Heading into the final weeks of the campaign, Texas gubernatorial candidates Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis held their first debate in a Rio Grande Valley border town as they targeted support from Hispanic voters.     Friday’s televised debate in Edinburg, Texas, gave both a chance to appeal to Hispanics, an increasingly important voting bloc in a solidly Republican state that has not elected a Democrat to statewide office in two decades.     Abbott, the state attorney general, holds a commanding lead in polling and fundraising over Davis, a state senator who drew national attention with an ultimately unsuccessful filibuster which sought to stop legislation restricting abortion.     Edinburg is in Hildago County, which is 91 percent Hispanic and where about one in three people live in poverty.     Among the contentious issues covered in the debate were voter ID laws, and the management of a border crisis that in recent months …

    September 20, 2014 4:30 am
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Stocks

  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma: My hero is Forrest Gump


    Jack Ma explains why Forrest Gump is his hero. With a record-setting IPO, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma’s life really is a box of chocolates. Just like his hero, Forrest Gump. “Well, I got my story, my dream from America,” Ma told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Friday morning. “A full 15 years ago when I came to America, when I visited Silicon Valley. I saw in the evening the road was full of cars, all the buildings with lights. That’s the passion… The hero I had is Forrest Gump.” Related: Alibaba surges in huge IPO debut “Box of chocolates?!” Jim Cramer asked referring to the famous line from the film. Yes, the same Forrest Gump played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 Academy Award winning classic. “You know he is a fictional character, though? You did know?” CNBC’s David Faber responded with a bit of a laugh.   Yet, Ma’s hero worship of Greenbow Alabama’s …

    September 20, 2014 5:34 am
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Sports

  • Ferrari’s Alonso fastest in final practice at Singapore GP, ahead of Ricciardo, Rosberg


    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, left, walks with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France, right, after the second practice session for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) (The Associated Press) Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany arrives for the third practice session of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) (The Associated Press) Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain waves to fans after the second practice session for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (The Associated Press) Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany arrives for the third practice session of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Aaron …

    September 20, 2014 6:35 am
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World News

  • NZ governing party wins elections


    20 September 2014 Last updated at 12:34 Prime Minister John Key remains popular despite allegations of dirty politics and domestic surveillance New Zealand’s governing National Party has won an emphatic victory in general elections, near-complete results show. With nearly 100% of the votes counted, PM John Key’s party held 48%, with the opposition Labour Party lagging behind on 25%. The Greens had 10%. Mr Key has recently been forced to defend his party against claims of dirty politics and mass spying. But he has now won his third term in office, with Labour leader David Cunliffe admitting defeat. “I have called John Key and congratulated him and acknowledged he will continue to be prime minister of New Zealand,” Mr Cunliffe was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. Meanwhile, Mr Key said: “I’m ecstatic, it’s a great night.” Nearly 3.5 million people were eligible to cast their vote. Under New Zealand’s proportional representation electoral …

    September 20, 2014 6:35 am
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Technology

  • Darwins Day to Yuris Night: some science dates to remember


    Darwin Day 12 February Darwin’s work continues to inspire scientists worldwide. And what’s not to celebrate about the man who worked out the wonders of evolution via natural selection? A day of celebrations since the 1990s held on Darwin’s birthday. Pi Day 14 March Marked in honour of the infinitely interesting mathematical number pi (π): the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Since this is, when rounded, 3.14, the 14th day of the third month was chosen for festivities – a decision rubber-stamped in the US House of Representatives in 2009. Yuri’s Night 12 April An annual bash saluting Yuri Gagarin, who became the first man in space on 12 April, 1961. Also known as the World’s Space party, it was launched in 2000 and has the backing of numerous organisations including the US National Space Society. Today, enthusiasts throw parties in more than 70 locations worldwide. Tau Day 28 June …

    September 20, 2014 4:31 am
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Science

  • Penn research helps uncover mechanism behind solid-solid phase transitions


    Related images(click to enlarge) Two solids made of the same elements but with different geometric arrangements of the atoms, or crystal phases, can produce materials with different properties. Coal and diamond offer a spectacular example of this effect. While it is well known that one crystal phase can transform into another under the right circumstances, the mechanisms that facilitate solid-to-solid transitions are still not well understood. Atoms can rearrange themselves to transform from a “parent” phase into a “daughter” phase by two major routes, but it is difficult to predict which route a material will take or why it took one route versus the other. To this end, researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, Soochow University in Suzhou, China, and Solvay, have studied colloidal solid-solid transitions with single-particle resolution, and they have discovered a surprising mechanism that facilitates one of these routes. They found that some crystals …

    September 20, 2014 4:52 am
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Health

  • Allowing blood donations from gay men could help save over a million lives: U.S. study


    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Lifting a ban on blood donations from gay men would increase the amount of available blood by hundreds of thousands of pints (liters) each year and save more than a million lives a year, a California study showed on Friday. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration has banned gay men from donating blood since 1983, when it was discovered that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was being transmitted through transfusions. Eliminating the ban could bring in roughly 615,300 pints (291,145 liters) of blood annually, while allowing donations from gay men who had not had a sexual partner in a year could yield 317,000 pints (150,000 liters), the study estimated. With a five-year policy, nearly 300,000 pints (142,000 liters) could be collected, according to the study by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The American Red Cross suggests that each blood …

    September 20, 2014 4:31 am
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Entertainment

  • Julianne Moore gets frank about juice cleanses


    Julianne Moore is raising her kids to be charitable “I did a juice cleanse for the Golden Globes one year,” she tells New Beauty in the latest issue. “I think I did it for three days. To be honest, the only weight I lost was in my brain!” The gorgeous Hunger Games actress is rocking the cover of the mag, and inside, she gets candid about all things beauty. Take her hair color, for example. When the stunning, ivory-skinned redhead went blonde last summer, we mourned the loss of her bright crimson locks. It turns out, so did she. “My grandmother always said my red hair was my calling card! And I never realized how much I identified with it until I had to dye it blond years ago for a role,” she says. “It felt so weird, and I couldn’t wait to go back to my regular shade.” We’ve seen these celebrities naked MORE …

    September 20, 2014 6:15 am
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Editorial

  • You aren’t just surrounded by miracles, you are one


    FILE — Aug. 20, 2014: A horse grazes on a pasture near Sehnde, northern Germany, at sunrise. (AP Photo/dpa,Julian Stratenschulte) I know people who say they have never experienced a miracle. Maybe you’re one of them.  But I would argue that you have never not experienced one.  It may seem like you’re sitting still right now, but it’s an illusion of miraculous proportions. Planet Earth is spinning around its axis at an equatorial speed of 1,040 miles per hour.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Simultaneously, we’re also speeding through space at an average velocity of 67,108 miles per hour. That’s not just faster than a speeding bullet. It’s 87 times faster than the speed of sound. So even on a day when you feel like you didn’t get much done, you did travel 1,599,793 miles through space! And to top things off, the Milky Way Galaxy is spinning like a top at the mind-boggling rate of 483,000 mph. Even …

    September 20, 2014 4:31 am
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Odd News

  • Armed with banana, man robs Philadelphia store, slips away on bike


    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – A man armed with a banana robbed a convenience store in Philadelphia and rode away on a bicycle with cash and cigarettes, a security surveillance tape showed. The suspect strolled into Tejada Grocery and got in line behind another customer at the counter, where individual bananas were available for sale, according to the tape of Tuesday’s robbery, which was released by police on Wednesday. As his turn at the cash register approached, the man stuffed a banana into the pocket of his hoodie and used it to simulate a gun. Police said the man demanded cash and cigarettes. The robber rode then away on a bicycle, surveillance video showed. Authorities, who did not say how much cash was taken, said the suspect was still being sought on Thursday. (Editing by Barbara Goldberg)

    September 20, 2014 12:46 am
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