Headline News

  • U.S. corporations pressure two states accused of curbing gay rights


    (Reuters) – Arkansas lawmakers passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Tuesday that critics said would allow businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians, drawing a swift demand from Wal-Mart Stores Inc for the governor to veto the bill. Arkansas followed Indiana, which passed a similar act last week. They are the first to do so since same-sex marriage became legal in many states last year. Corporations have criticized the measures. At present 37 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia permit gay marriage. The world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart (WMT.N), based in Bentonville, Ark., issued a statement saying the Arkansas bill threatened to undermine “the spirit of inclusion” in the state and “does not reflect the values we proudly uphold.” Signed by Doug McMillon, chief executive officer, the statement asked Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto the legislation. Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence, responding to national outrage over his signing of his …

    March 31, 2015 9:16 pm
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Politics

  • Special Election Dates Set to Replace Aaron Schock


    By Emily Cahn Posted at 7:26 p.m. on March 31 0 Tweet Tuesday was Schock’s last day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Voters in Illinois’ 18th District will select a replacement for Rep. Aaron Schock this summer, but exactly when remains unclear. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner set the dates for the special elections Tuesday night, just a few hours before Schock’s resignation was official. He chose June 8 for the primary and July 24 for the general. But a release from Rauner’s office said the dates are likely to change to comply with the federal timeline mandated for military absentee ballots. Illinois special election law stipulates it should be held no longer than 115 days after a seat becomes vacant. But that timeline does not provide enough time to comply with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, designed to allow military serving overseas enough time to mail in ballots. In order to comply with that mandate, the primary is expected to …

    March 31, 2015 7:35 pm
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Stocks

  • Walmart to Arkansas gov.: Veto religious freedom law


    Walmart’s CEO is standing up against a religious freedom law that just landed on the governor’s desk in Arkansas, home to the company’s headquarters. It’s similar to the law Indiana adopted last week, which sparked outrage from those who say it opens the door for discrimination against gays and lesbians. Walmart (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto the bill, which was approved by the Arkansas House on Tuesday. The company is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. “Today’s passage of HB1228 threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold,” McMillon said in a statement. Related: Arkansas poised to adopt religious freedom law It’s not the only other state currently considering a religious freedom law. There are 14 other states looking at similar proposals this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A number of big companies have …

    March 31, 2015 9:55 pm
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Sports

  • The Inside Line: Who has a shot of making the Chase?


    (SportsNetwork.com) – Six races down and 20 to go before the regular season ends in the Sprint Cup Series. It’s still a long way to go before the 16-driver field is determined for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, There are five drivers — Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano — virtually guaranteed of making this year’s playoffs in NASCAR’s top series after each one of them has won a race this season. With 11 positions still up for grabs in the Chase field, who has a good chance of making it in and who doesn’t based on performances early in the season? Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, has two wins, while Hamlin and Johnson as well as Team Penske drivers Keselowski and Logano have one victory each. Hamlin became the most recent one to join the Chase party with his win this past Sunday at Martinsville. It …

    March 31, 2015 9:15 pm
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World News

  • US lifts Egypt weapons freeze


    The aid includes F-16 jets like the one seen to the far-right above President Barack Obama has told his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, that the US will resume full military aid to Egypt. In a phone call on Tuesday, Mr Obama informed Mr al-Sisi that F-16 fighter jets, missiles and M1A1 tank kits would be delivered. The aid was put on hold in the wake of a military coup in 2013. Egypt is part of an Arab offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen, and also fighting Islamic State in Libya. In October 2013, the Obama Administration said it would halt the delivery of some large military systems to the Egyptian government until it saw advances towards democracy. But on Tuesday, the president said the jets, missiles and tank kits will resume. Apache helicopter deliveries restarted in December. He also assured the Egyptian leader that he would continue to support the $1.3b (£876.8m) in …

    March 31, 2015 9:15 pm
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Technology

  • Tweets by new ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah come back to haunt him


    Trevor Noah steps into Jon Stewart’s shoes. Comedy Central Fans of “The Daily Show,” the humorous news program run by longtime host Jon Stewart, found out who would step into their departing hero’s shoes this weekend. South African comedian Trevor Noah, who has logged a few appearances on the show, is taking over the reins on Comedy Central. The gig is high-profile, and with that comes a considerable amount of scrutiny. Noah’s Twitter history has now been raked through, with some people calling into question the taste of certain jokes posted on the social-media site, particularly ones referencing Jewish people and women. Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car! — Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 18, 2009 “Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk think that I’m sexy!” – fat chicks everywhere. — Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) …

    March 31, 2015 3:11 pm
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Science

  • Glimpses of the future: Drought damage leads to widespread forest death


    Related images(click to enlarge) The 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest triggered a widespread die-off of forests around the region. A Carnegie-led team of scientists developed a new modeling tool to explain how and where trembling aspen forests died as a result of this drought. It is based on damage to the individual trees’ ability to transport water under water-stressed conditions. If the same processes and threshold govern the future, their results suggest that more widespread die-offs of aspen forests triggered by climate change are likely by the 2050s. Tree mortality can radically transform ecosystems, affect biodiversity, harm local economies, and pose fire risks, as well as further increase global warming. Their work aimed to address a longstanding disagreement over how climate change caused by the emission of greenhouse gasses will affect forest ecosystems. On one hand, rising concentrations of carbon dioxide can benefit trees and help them use water more efficiently. On the other …

    March 31, 2015 7:35 pm
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Health

  • California getting ‘second-hand smog’ from Asia, researchers say


    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – California is suffering from “second-hand smog” drifting in from Asia and other places, researchers said on Tuesday, even as the state’s prolonged drought has made air quality worse. About 10 percent of ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog, in the state’s San Joaquin Valley farm region comes from other countries, mostly in Asia, said Ian Faloona, an atmospheric scientist with the University of California, Davis. “What’s happening upwind strongly affects what’s happening downwind,” Faloona said. If California were a human body, the area around the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be the mouth, “breathing in air from across the Pacific Ocean,” he said. Faloona’s conclusions, which are still preliminary, come during an increase in air pollution in the most populous U.S. state, as drought and warmer temperatures have triggered a spike in the number of winter days thick with soot and dirt. Faloona presented his findings at a …

    March 31, 2015 7:35 pm
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Entertainment

  • The Kardashians are actually related to royalty — sorry, Kanye


    More: Kim Kardashian reveals embarrassing Spanx secret, and we’re right with her While he admitted he doesn’t watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the Prime Minister responded to Heat magazine’s question about the show with a surprise tidbit, “but I’m related to them.” According to the Prime Minister himself, he’s a 13th cousin of The Kardashian clan. They share mutual ancestor Sir William Spencer, who was born in 1555, according to E! News. We want to know the poor intern who had to go digging for that connection! More importantly, how the heck did the Prime Minister discover this information? Prime Minister Cameron is also a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II — a 5th cousin, twice removed, to be exact. But according to a British royal history website, Brit Royals, the Prime Minister comes from an illegitimate line and, therefore, has no claim to the throne. Which means we can all breathe a sigh of relief …

    March 31, 2015 9:56 pm
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Editorial

  • How do you solve a problem like the Clintons?


    Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Monday, March 23, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) This being the 50th anniversary of the film “The Sound of Music,” please permit me a poor adaptation of a few of its song lyrics, which fit in nicely with our current political climate. How do you solve a problem like the Clintons? Their incessant vacuuming of cash and skirting (no pun intended) of laws and regulations would place lesser mortals in danger of prison, yet the Clintons walk free, their money-making careers booming. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “Dough, we fear, we need more, dear ‘Ray,’ the name of a Clinton foe Me, a name that fits myself Fah, as far from law I run So, I say when bending laws La, a shrug to follow so …

    March 31, 2015 7:35 pm
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Odd News

  • Painting in Dutch royal collection was Nazi loot: official report


    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch Royal Family owns a painting by a Dutch master that was looted during by the Nazis during Germany’s occupation of the Netherlands in World War Two, according to a report published on Tuesday. “One painting was found where there were indications of involuntary loss of possession during the German occupation,” the government said in a statement after an inquiry commissioned by the Royal Family that examined tens of thousands of paintings in the Royal Collection. Officials had contacted the heirs of the original owner, who was not named, to arrange the return of “The Hague Forest with a View of Huis ten Bosch Palace”, by the 17th century painter Joris van der Haagen. The work was bought for the Royal Collection by Queen Juliana, grandmother of reigning King Willem-Alexander. The inquiry found that another painting in the collection, “Landscape with St. Hubert”, whose provenance had been regarded as doubtful, was …

    March 31, 2015 11:29 am
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