Headline News

  • Family sues over southern California college hazing death

    LOS ANGELES The family of a southern California university student who died on a grueling hike during an initiation rite for a fraternity sued officials from the college and the fraternity on Wednesday, accusing them of negligence. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on the one-year anniversary of the death of 19-year-old Armando Villa, a student at California State University, Northridge. “It’s been a year since Armando’s death and we still have no answers,” Villa’s mother, Betty Serrato, said in a statement. “No one has stepped forward to tell us what happened to my son. I am angry and terribly sad.” The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate the death. Villa’s death followed a number of high-profile hazing fatalities in the United States due to physical abuse and forced alcohol consumption, which placed fraternities under heightened scrutiny. When he died, Villa was “pledging” or joining a chapter of the Pi …

    July 1, 2015 10:06 pm


  • Wisconsin Governor Walker signs bill banning microbeads

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday signed a bill into law that bans the manufacturing and sale of personal care products containing tiny plastic beads that are known to pollute waterways. The law makes Wisconsin one of seven states including Illinois and New Jersey to ban the tiny pieces of non-biodegradable plastic known as microbeads, often used as an exfoliant in soaps and toothpaste. It bans manufacturing of microbead products at the beginning of 2018 and their sale at the beginning of 2019. Walker, a Republican, has said he will announce in mid-July whether he will seek the party’s nomination for the 2016 presidential election. “We’re elated to finally have the microbeads bill signed into law,” said Amber Meyer Smith, director of government relations of Clean Wisconsin. Microbeads are so small they often slip through wastewater treatment systems and end up in nearby waterways, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. In 2014, Illinois …

    July 1, 2015 9:06 pm


  • The Donald Trump flap: What we know

    In the short time since he launched his presidential campaign Donald Trump has put on a display of dramatics worthy of a reality show. His trademark “You’re fired!” has been appropriated by headline writers over and over in recent days as business deals have collapsed in the wake of his derogatory remarks about Mexicans just over two weeks ago. He got “fired” again Wednesday when Macy’s department store said it would no longer sell the Trump brand. While Trump’s staunch defense of his comments about Mexicans are costing him valuable business deals, they are also bringing him political benefits. His national poll numbers surged from 3% to 12% among Republicans on Wednesday, ranking him just behind the GOP leader Jeb Bush. In case you’ve lost track of the dump-Trump-a-thon, here’s a recap: The storm began gathering when he announced his presidential campaign last month. While calling for better immigration controls, he said Mexicans illegally crossing …

    July 1, 2015 9:46 pm


  • Japan defeats England 2-1 in World Cup semi, advances to final against US

    EDMONTON, Alberta –  Laura Bassett scored into her own net during second-half stoppage time, giving Japan a 2-1 victory over England in a Women’s World Cup semifinal. The decisive goal Wednesday came when Japan’s Nahomi Kawasumi drove up the right side and sent a cross into the middle for Yuki Ogimi. Bassett reached out with her right foot and caught the ball flush, inadvertently sending it toward her net. The ball struck the crossbar and bounced in just before goalkeeper Karen Bardsley could get across. The defending champions advanced to play the United States in the championship game at Vancouver on Sunday. It’s a rematch of the 2011 championship game in Germany, when Japan won on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw. Bassett was inconsolable at the end of the match, lying flat on the ground, her face in the turf. She then needed assistance from teammates and her coach before leaving the field. It …

    July 1, 2015 10:06 pm

World News

  • Greece talks before vote ‘ruled out’

    Supporters of the “No” campaign in Sunday’s referendum marched in Thessaloniki as divisions sharpen over the vote Eurozone finance ministers have ruled out any further talks on a fresh bailout for Greece until the country holds its referendum on Sunday. Greeks will be asked to accept or reject proposals made by creditors last week, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urging a “No” vote. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accused the creditors of blackmail. But he pledged a deal would be reached soon after the vote and that current limits on bank withdrawals would ease. Earlier on Wednesday Mr Tsipras put new proposals to eurozone partners, accepting most of what was on the table before talks with creditors collapsed last week, but with conditions. His latest offer is tied explicitly to agreement on a request for a third bailout from the eurozone’s bailout fund lasting two years and amounting to €29.1bn. However, later Mr Tsipras made a …

    July 1, 2015 10:07 pm


  • Google apologizes for algorithm mistakenly calling black people gorillas

    Google’s is under fire after its Photos algorithm mistakenly labeled a picture of black people as “gorillas.” James Martin/CNET Google became one of the most powerful companies on Earth because it has developed some of the best algorithms in the world for organizing information. But a gaffe this week shows the shortcomings of technology, particularly when it doesn’t work just quite right. Jacky Alcine, a Web developer who is black, took to Twitter to say Google’s Photo app, released in May, labeled a picture of him and a friend as gorillas. The label showed up in a feature that automatically categorizes photos, like cars or beaches, so they are more easily searchable. “My friend’s not a gorilla,” Alcine tweeted. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The incident points to the problem tech companies face as computers get smarter and are expected to take on more more tasks a human normally would do. …

    July 1, 2015 8:46 pm


  • Creating a stopwatch for volcanic eruptions

    Related images(click to enlarge) We’ve long known that beneath the scenic landscapes of Yellowstone National Park sleeps a supervolcano with a giant chamber of hot, partly molten rock below it. Though it hasn’t risen from slumber in nearly 70,000 years, many wonder when Yellowstone volcano will awaken and erupt again. According to new research at Arizona State University, there may be a way to predict when that happens. While geological processes don’t follow a schedule, petrologist Christy Till, a professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, has produced one way to estimate when Yellowstone might erupt again. “We find that the last time Yellowstone erupted after sitting dormant for a long time, the eruption was triggered within 10 months of new magma moving into the base of the volcano, while other times it erupted closer to the 10 year mark,” says Till. The new study, published Wednesday in the journal Geology, is based …

    July 1, 2015 8:47 pm


  • Obama pushes state Medicaid expansion in healthcare hub Nashville

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. Fresh from another Supreme Court validation of his landmark healthcare law, President Barack Obama visited healthcare hub Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday to push state governments to expand the Medicaid health program for the poor. Obamacare, as the president’s law is known, envisions a major expansion of the program, but nearly half of all U.S. states, mostly Republican-controlled, have rejected that part of the law. The Tennessee legislature voted against an expansion in February, joining 21 other states in doing so. Without expansion, 6.9 million low-income Americans, including 292,000 in Tennessee, will not get Medicaid assistance, said the Kaiser Family Foundation. Taking questions at an elementary school, Obama urged Republicans state legislators to “open your hearts and think about the people here in Tennessee who are working hard and struggling and just need a little bit of help.” In total, states that have opted out of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion turned down $472.1 billion in …

    July 1, 2015 9:06 pm


  • Teresa Giudice’s new book reveals the two things she does most in jail

    Us Weekly shared the first look at her journal-turned-memoir on Wednesday, and it reveals mostly that Giudice cries a lot. And when she’s not crying, she works out. More: Teresa Giudice’s new show would be bad — especially for her daughters She said she watched the movie Jersey Boys in prison and the ending really hit a nerve for her. “I was crying and have been very emotional for the rest of the night,” she wrote in the January entry when she first arrived at prison. She later adds, “I called Joe and he told me he was brushing Milania’s hair and Gia was videotaping him! I loved to hear that and I wish I was just there with them.” She confessed plenty of other moments with her daughters also made her cry. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star said she broke down when Audriana asked if Giudice was coming home soon or if …

    July 1, 2015 10:26 pm


  • Three keys to getting your kids into the Ivy League

    At 7:00am, bleary-eyed and with a granola bar in hand, you race your 17-year-old Lacey to her crew practice. Once you’ve dropped her off, you swing by Whole Foods to grab something to cook for dinner, before speeding back to the Potomac by 9:00am to pick Lacey up and get her to her flute lesson. After meeting with her music teacher for an hour, Lacey complains the entire care ride home about how she hates playing the flute, and she can’t wait to quit once she gets into Princeton. In fact, she claims she will quit the debate team, the literary magazine, the feminist club (she never went anyway), her work at the local soup kitchen, and French club. She was only doing these activities to look good to colleges. Once home, you stand over Lacey to make sure she gets a few hours of homework in, before her math tutor arrives at 3:30pm. Then at 6:00pm, you shuttle Lacey …

    July 1, 2015 9:06 pm

Odd News

  • California cancer patient with amnesia faces identity crisis

    SAN DIEGO A woman with amnesia who has been undergoing cancer treatments since she was found semiconscious in Southern California has turned to social media and law enforcement as she struggles to rekindle memory of her own identity and any family she may have. Sam, as she is known, is white, about 50 years of age and speaks French and English with a British or Australian accent, according to police reports. She was hospitalized after being found on a street near the beach in Carlsbad, California, about 30 miles north of San Diego, on Feb. 1. “The amnesia I have is called retro amnesia, and doctors have said they have seen this before with the kind of antibodies from the volleyball-sized tumor that was on my ovary,” she wrote on her Facebook page.    “I have been getting chemotherapy treatments, and have lost all of my hair … My prognosis is not good, and I pray …

    July 1, 2015 4:46 pm