Headline News

  • Unable to gain an extension, McConnell sets up last-minute vote on provisions of Patriot Act

    WASHINGTON –  Unable to end a struggle over how to deal with government surveillance programs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a last-minute session to consider retaining the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of domestic phone records. McConnell, R-Ky., warned against allowing the controversial NSA program and other key surveillance activities under the USA Patriot Act to expire at midnight May 31. He said he would call the Senate into session that day, a Sunday, and seek action before the deadline. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky’s other senator and a Republican presidential candidate, called the Senate’s failure to allow an extension of the surveillance programs during a late-night session Friday into Saturday a victory for privacy rights. “We should never give up our rights for a false sense of security,” Paul said in a statement. “This is only the beginning — the first step of many. I will continue to do all I can until this …

    May 23, 2015 6:01 am


  • White moving back into Detroit

    Eugene Gualtieri, a 41-year-old lab technician at the Detroit Medical Center, prepares to ride his motorcycle in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Whites are moving back to the American city that came to epitomize white flight, even as blacks continue to leave for the suburbs and the city’s overall population shrinks. Detroit is the latest major city to see an influx of whites who may not find the suburbs as alluring as their parents and grandparents did in the last half of the 20th century. Unlike New York, San Francisco and many other cities that have seen the demographic shift, though, it’s cheap housing and incentive programs that are partly fueling the regrowth of the Motor City’s white population. “For any individual who wants to build a company or contribute to the city, Detroit is the perfect place to be,” said Bruce Katz, co-director of the Global Cities Initiative at the Washington-based Brookings Institution. “You can …

    May 23, 2015 4:20 am


  • TrackingPoint no longer selling its $27,500 sniper rifles

    TrackingPoint, maker of the $27,500 smartscope rifle, is no longer taking orders because of “financial difficulty.” TrackingPoint has fallen on hard times and is no longer selling its $27,500 sniper rifles with digital smartscopes. “Due to financial difficulty TrackingPoint will no longer be accepting orders,” said the Texas-based gunmaker on its web site. “Thank you to our customers and loyal followers for sharing in our vision.” A spokesman for TrackingPoint did not immediately return a message from CNNMoney. The Austin-based startup made rifles that allowed even novices to hit stationary targets at 1,000 yards. That’s because the gun worked by allowing the shooter to pull the trigger only when the target was locked by its in-built smartscope. Related: $27,500 rifle hits targets at 1,000 yards The expensive gun was marketed to high-end customers like big game hunters in Africa. Related: Does a shotgun silencer really work?

    May 23, 2015 5:21 am


  • Vettel fastest in final Monaco practice

    MONACO Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel broke the Mercedes stranglehold on the Monaco timesheets with the fastest lap in Saturday’s final practice for the showcase race. The German, four times a world champion with Red Bull and Monaco winner in 2011, lapped the metal-fenced streets with a best time of one minute 16.143 seconds in a session red-flagged after team mate Kimi Raikkonen hit the barriers. Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg, winner of the last two Monaco races from pole position, and world champion Lewis Hamilton were close behind with qualifying to follow later. A Ferrari has not been on pole position in Formula One since July 2012. Rosberg was 0.218 slower than his compatriot while Hamilton, fastest in both of Thursday’s sessions but unhappy with the handling of his on Saturday, was 0.562 off the pace. Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest for Red Bull, ahead of Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz in a Toro Rosso and Raikkonen, …

    May 23, 2015 6:01 am

World News

  • Iraq forces start Ramadi fightback

    Iraqi forces and Shia militias have begun moving against Islamic State militants after the fall of the city of Ramadi last week, officials say. The action was concentrating on the town of Husayba, east of Ramadi. Shia militias began gathering for a counter-offensive after Ramadi’s fall. IS militants moved out to face them. Ramadi – the capital of Anbar province – is only 110km (70 miles) west of Baghdad. Its fall was seen as a major embarrassment for the government. About 500 people died in the city, and more than 40,000 – a third of the population – have fled in the past week. “Military operations to liberate Husaybah, 7km (4.5 miles) east of Ramadi, have begun,” a police colonel told AFP news agency. Witnesses also said they had seen troops move out of their base at Habbaniya, about 20 miles (30km) from Ramadi. About 3,000 Shia fighters had arrived in Habbaniya to prepare the …

    May 23, 2015 6:01 am


  • Screen time v play time: what tech leaders won’t let their own kids do

    When a technology journalist suggested to Steve Jobs, in 2010, that his children must have loved the just-released iPad, he replied flatly: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” His former righthand man, Jonathan Ive, whose design for the iPad is so simple that toddlers can operate it, recently revealed that he sets strict limits for his 10-year-old twin boys. Steiner Waldorf schools, which exclude screen time before the age of 12 in favour of physical activity, art and experiential learning, are particularly popular with Silicon Valley executives and their UK counterparts. Kevin Avison, executive officer of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship in the UK, says that when he was teaching near Reading, “nearly 50% of parents of children in the class worked at Oracle or other hi-tech computer companies”. This approach is much more stringent than official guidelines recommend. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any screen …

    May 23, 2015 3:40 am


  • Thunder god vine used in traditional Chinese medicine is a potential obesity treatment

    Related images(click to enlarge) An extract from the thunder god vine, which has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, reduces food intake and causes up to a 45% decrease in body weight in obese mice. The weight-loss compound, called Celastrol, produces its potent effects by enhancing the action of an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin. The findings, published May 21 in Cell, are an early indicator that Celastrol could be developed into a drug for the treatment of obesity. “During the last two decades, there has been an enormous amount of effort to treat obesity by breaking down leptin resistance, but these efforts have failed,” says senior study author Umut Ozcan, an endocrinologist atBoston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “The message from this study is that there is still hope for making leptin work, and there is still hope for treating obesity. If Celastrol works in humans as it does in mice, …

    May 23, 2015 4:00 am


  • Exercise may cut risk of death among elderly men

    (Reuters Health) – Elderly men who exercise regularly – even by doing light activities like walking – may be less likely to die than those who are sedentary, a large Norwegian study suggests. Researchers followed about 5,700 men for about five decades, starting in the 1970s when they were 45 years old on average, to see how their exercise habits influenced longevity. Men who got about 30 minutes of exercise six days a week appeared to reduce their risk of death by 40 percent. The findings add to a growing body of evidence showing that exercise can help people live longer, Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard University, said by email. “We have clear data showing that the more energy is expended, the greater the reduction in mortality rates,” said Lee, who wasn’t involved in the study.” Exercise has many benefits, including weight reduction and improved cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease …

    May 23, 2015 4:20 am


  • Kim Zolciak addresses her haters in epic Instagram rant (PHOTO)

    More: Kim Zolciak and her daughter pose for selfies, proving they’re real-life Barbies (PHOTOS) Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star posted a picture that read, “WE ALL HAVE THE SAME 24hrs So: If You don’t like being over weight [sic] go on a diet. If you don’t like your small boobs buy some. If you don’t make enough money get another job or a NEW one. If you don’t like me GET THE F*** OFF MY PAGE!” Credit: Kim Zolciak Instagram And if that message was not enough to deter her haters, Zolciak left them another message in the caption, telling all those who don’t like her to simply unfollow her. More: Kim Zolciak is fed up with all of the negative comments on her photos “Haters this is for you! If I don’t like something in my life I fix it! Where there’s a WILL there is a …

    May 23, 2015 6:41 am


  • The day President Bush’s tears spilled onto a Marine’s face at Walter Reed

    Editor’s note: The following column is excerpted from Fox News anchor and political analyst Dana Perino’s new book, “And the Good News Is… Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” (Twelve, April 21, 2015). News of America’s military men and women [who] were wounded and killed in Iraq and Afghanistan almost overwhelmed me on some days. I may have sounded strong when I was talking to the press, but sometimes I had to push my feelings way down in order to get any words out of my mouth to make statements and answer questions. The hardest days were when President Bush went to visit the wounded or families of the fallen. If it was tough for me, you can only imagine what it was like for the families and for a president who knew that his decisions led his troops into battles where they fought valiantly but were severely injured or lost their lives. He …

    May 23, 2015 4:40 am

Odd News

  • Milwaukee man pronounced dead, then moves and breathes

    First responders preparing to take the body of a Milwaukee man pronounced dead to the morgue got a jolt when the man suddenly began moving and noticeably breathing, authorities said on Friday. They had gone to the 46-year-old man’s high-rise building on Tuesday after his worried girlfriend called for assistance, saying she had not heard from him for two days, according to a medical examiner’s report. When they arrived at his apartment, they found him cold, pale and rigid at the foot of his bed, the report said. They did not try to resuscitate him. About 50 minutes later, the medical examiner arrived and notified the man’s family of his death. As the examiner readied the body to be taken to the morgue, the man began to move his left arm and right leg, the report said. Paramedics took the man, who has not been identified, to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted to …

    May 22, 2015 11:52 am