Headline News

  • Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70


    22 December 2014 Last updated at 18:31 Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of the Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70. The singer song-writer from Sheffield had a career lasting more than 40 years with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong. His agent Barrie Marshall confirmed that he had died of an undisclosed illness. He said he was “simply unique” and “it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts.” Known for his gritty voice, Cocker began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield in the 1960s before hitting the big time. He was propelled to pop stardom when his version of The Beatles’ With A Little Help from My Friends reached number one. His duet with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong – from An Officer And A Gentleman – hit number one and …

    December 22, 2014 1:01 pm
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Politics

  • U.S. sees Cuban thaw boosting odds of returned fugitives


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Renewed ties between the United States and Cuba make it more likely the Cuban government will extradite fugitives sought by U.S. officials, a top U.S. law enforcement official said on Monday. “Certainly, we’re working with that country and every country to get back fugitives who we have charges against,” U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said. “I think the fact that we’re going to be having better relationships with Cuba will increase our likelihood of being successful in getting those people back,” he told reporters at a Department of Justice press briefing. Cole’s comments came in response to a question about the chances of Cuba returning a U.S. fugitive who fled there after being convicted of killing a police officer. Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a major policy shift to renew diplomatic ties with the communist-led nation after a 53-year freeze. In one of the most prominent fugitive cases involving …

    December 22, 2014 12:21 pm
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Stocks

  • Why Russia made Google take down a ‘got chocolate?’ blog post


    Google gets a lot of requests from the world’s governments to remove allegedly illegal items from its website. For the first time, Google has detailed specifics: what governments are asking for and how it has responded. In its latest Transparency Report, Google explained how governments asked for the removal of everything from links to defamatory sites to subtle drug references. Many of the deletion requests involved corruption allegations or content that is critical of officials. Russia wanted a blog post that contained the text “got chocolate” removed, claiming it violated a federal law. Google (GOOGL, Tech30) complied because in Russian, “chocolate” can also reference a recreational drug, and the country has a law that requires the removal of drug-related content. Google also complied with a Russian request that a YouTube video documentary about suicide removed because it violated a federal law — even though Google said the video had encouraged people to get help. Kosovo’s …

    December 22, 2014 1:21 pm
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Sports

  • Kentucky remains unanimous choice in men’s poll


    New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Kentucky is still the undisputed top-ranked team in men’s college basketball, while a few changes toward the bottom included Michigan State’s complete omission after a stunning overtime loss to Texas Southern on Saturday. The Spartans were ranked 25th last week, but didn’t even receive a vote this week after a 71-64 setback to a Texas Southern team that had just a 1-8 record entering the Breslin Center. As for Kentucky, the nation’s No. 1 team kept rolling along Saturday, scoring the first 24 points in an 83-44 annihilation of UCLA in Chicago. The Wildcats have been the top-ranked team all season and are a unanimous selection for the third straight week, receiving all 65 first-place votes and a total of 1,625 points from a nationwide media panel. Duke, Arizona and Louisville kept their places from 2-4, while Virginia swapped places with Wisconsin and is now fifth after Sunday’s thorough 76-27 …

    December 22, 2014 1:01 pm
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World News

  • Pakistan ready to ramp up executions


    22 December 2014 Last updated at 17:51 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The government and the military are under pressure to prove that they can stand up to militancy, as Shaimaa Khalil reports More than 50 people convicted of terrorist offences in Pakistan are facing imminent execution after President Mamnoon Hussain rejected their mercy petitions, officials say. The president’s move means that some executions can take place across the country at any time. Six people executed have been executed since a moratorium was lifted in the wake of a Taliban school massacre. Hundreds more executions could follow in the next few months, reports say. The Taliban attack in Peshawar killed 141 people and caused outrage across the country, with renewed calls for convicted terrorists to face capital punishment. Human rights groups say that Pakistan has the world’s largest number of death row inmates, with more than 8,000 people awaiting execution. Amnesty …

    December 22, 2014 1:01 pm
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Technology

  • Android One set to roll out to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal


    Android One smartphones will start showing up in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh soon. Google Android One, the Google-developed platform designed to bring its mobile operating system to developing countries around the world, is expanding outside of India, the company announced Monday. At some point in the next several weeks — Google didn’t provide an exact date — Android One smartphones will start popping up in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. The launch will bring Android One to potentially over 200 million more people in the world. Launched in India in September, Android One is Google’s initiative to bring affordable smartphones to emerging markets. The smartphones run an unmodified, or “stock,” version of Google’s mobile operating system. Android One is aimed at people who have so far been left out of the smartphone market due to issues with connectivity, cost or government regulation. Google, along with Facebook, Qualcomm and many others, believe the next step …

    December 22, 2014 12:41 pm
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Science

  • NASA Commercial Crew Partners Complete 23 Milestones in 2014, Look Ahead to 2015


    [image-50]NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and the agency’s industry partners completed 23 agreement and contract milestones in 2014 and participated in thousands of hours of technical review sessions. The sessions focused on creating a new generation of safe, reliable and cost-effective crew space transportation systems to low-Earth orbit destinations. “To say we’ve been busy would truly be an understatement,” said Kathy Lueders, manager of the Commercial Crew Program. “Our partners at Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX have made tremendous strides in their respective systems throughout the year and we’re happy to have supported them along their way. My team and I are excited to continue to work with our partners in the coming year.” Blue Origin continued the development of its Space Vehicle spacecraft designed to carry people into low-Earth orbit. The company also continued work on its subscale propellant tank assembly through an unfunded Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with …

    December 22, 2014 12:41 pm
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Health

  • Myths may put off some women from post-cancer breast reconstruction


    (Reuters Health) – Misconceptions may be keeping many women from getting breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, even though the procedure can help improve quality of life for cancer survivors, according to a new review. “Anything we can do to increase awareness of reconstruction and the relative risks and benefits will empower more women to make an informed decision,” said lead author Dr. Lisa Schneider, a surgeon at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction at the Plastic Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Schneider and her coauthor, Dr. Babak J. Mehrara, a plastic surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York, reviewed previous studies of breast reconstruction to understand what influences women to opt out of the procedure. In the U.S., less than 40 percent of women who have a mastectomy for cancer treatment undergo immediate breast reconstruction, the authors point out in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. One myth the authors address …

    December 22, 2014 12:41 pm
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Entertainment

  • Dirty Dancing Duo! Harry Styles Sweeps Kristen Wiig Off Her Feet


    Posted on Mon Dec 22nd, 2014 9:50am PDT       By X17 Staff @was_vegas on Instagram Harry Styles and Kirsten Wiig went all out at the Saturday Night Live afterparty at Buddakan in New York City, and lucky for us some fellow party goers posted a few Instagram videos of the duo busting out the moves to Dirty Dancing‘s (“I’ve Had) The Time of My Life!” One Direction performed “Night Changes” on SNL, and we’re not sure where the rest of the boys were, but we have a hard time believing Zayn or Niall could have topped this. Huff Po writer Nick Simmons posted the video above and wrote, “So the kid from @onedirection and Kristen Wiig got on a table and danced tonight at the SNL after party. So that’s a thing.” Styles and Wiig boogied on the floor, but at one point they stood on top of a table and got quite close. We’re not starting …

    December 22, 2014 12:21 pm
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Editorial

  • As relations with Cuba thaw, US must check Russia, China military interests


    President Obama’s decision to open relations with Cuba was the right thing to do — but not for the reasons he gave.  As usual, the president couldn’t resist the temptation rise above petty criticisms of his predecessors’  “failed policies” to justify his unilateral action. But he’s missing the point. It’s not about correcting past mistakes, it’s about avoiding future ones. The United States cannot allow our adversaries to once again dominate Cuba. We keep hearing that Cuba is woefully stuck in the 1950s, and needs massive infusions of cash, investment and infrastructure to enter the modern world.  Whichever big power steps up first to offer that will become Cuba’s major sponsor for a generation, and it will confer on that sponsor certain rights and privileges.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Neither China nor Russia currently have a major military presence in North America. Cuba could give it to them. We must take steps now to ensure that Cuba …

    December 22, 2014 12:41 pm
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Odd News

  • Among the year’s oddest stories, animal tales were top dogs


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – It was the year of the family pet behaving badly: A dog got sick from eating dozens of socks and a puppy took the rap for driving the family car into a pond. Angry cats held their owners hostage on at least two occasions. A review of the oddest Reuters stories of 2014 also offers numerous examples of less-than-virtuous human behavior. There was the hapless burglar whose criminal career came to a crashing halt when he left his Facebook page open in a house he was accused of robbing. And don’t forget the Texas man went to jail for urinating on the Alamo. To be sure, many tales from the animal kingdom this year were by turns heart-warming and hilarious, and more than a few came out of the Golden State or the Sunshine State. A parrot that spoke English with a British accent went missing for four years, only to …

    December 22, 2014 8:40 am
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