Headline News

  • Lawyers demand outside probe of two-hour Arizona execution


    PHOENIX (Reuters) – Lawyers for a convicted double-murderer whose lethal injection in Arizona dragged on for two hours, while witnesses watched him gasping for breath and attorneys scrambled to halt the process, have called for an outside review of the “horrifically botched execution.” The ordeal in putting Joseph Wood to death on Wednesday at a prison facility southeast of Phoenix marked the third instance this year of a lethal injection gone awry, after mishaps in Ohio and Oklahoma that renewed the U.S. debate over capital punishment. “He gasped and struggled to breathe for about an hour and 40 minutes,” said Dale Baich, one of Wood’s lawyers, who watched the execution and tried in vain to stop it. He called for an independent inquiry. An Arizona Republic journalist who witnessed the event said he counted Wood gasping for air about 660 times before the 55-year-old inmate fell silent. During that time, defense attorneys took the extraordinary …

    July 24, 2014 6:22 am
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Politics

  • Obama presses to close corporate tax loophole ‘inversions’


    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Thursday for an end to a corporate loophole that allows companies to avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as “inversions,” White House officials said. Obama will make the comments during remarks about the economy at Los Angeles Technical College. The president is in California on a three-day fundraising swing for Democrats. So-called inversion deals occur when a U.S. company acquires or sets up a foreign company, then moves its U.S. tax domicile to the foreign company and its lower-tax home country. Nine inversion deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are under consideration. The transactions are setting a record pace since the first inversion was done 32 years ago. Several Democrats have offered bills to curb inversions, which let companies cut their …

    July 24, 2014 5:42 am
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Stocks

  • ECB hacked: 20,000 e-mail addresses stolen


    The European Central Bank is a little embarrassed after hackers stole 20,000 e-mail addresses and other contact information. The ECB said no financial information or market data had been stolen, and the database affected was separate from all its internal systems. The database serves parts of the ECB website that gather registrations for events such as conferences and visits. While most of the data were encrypted, e-mail addresses, some street addresses and phone numbers were not. Related: Russian hackers placed ‘digital bomb’ in Nasdaq – report The database also contains data on downloads from the ECB website in encrypted form. All passwords have been changed as a precaution, and the ECB is contacting people whose e-mail addresses or other data might have been compromised.   A spokesperson for the ECB, which oversees the financial system across 18 eurozone member states, said the bank was alerted to the hack by an anonymous e-mail late Monday, seeking …

    July 24, 2014 6:22 am
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Sports

  • Japan Football Association names Mexican Javier Aguirre as new coach


    TOKYO –  Japan has appointed Mexican Javier Aguirre as the new head coach of the national team. The Japan Football Association made the appointment on Thursday, with the 55-year-old Aguirre replacing Alberto Zaccheroni, who coached the team to a disappointing group-stage exit at the World Cup. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Aguirre guided Mexico to the round of 16 at the World Cup in 2002 and 2010, and most recently was coach of Spanish club Espanyol last season, with the Barcelona club finishing 14th. Aguirre’s first task will be to prepare Japan for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia in January, and then qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

    July 24, 2014 7:23 am
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World News

  • UN warns of ‘dire’ Gaza situation


    24 July 2014 Last updated at 10:36 The UN says people are running out of food and water in Gaza UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has expressed extreme concern at the situation in Gaza, describing a ceasefire as “vital”. She said the conflict meant 44% of Gaza was a no-go area for Palestinians, and residents were running out of food. More than 710 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed in the past 16 days of fighting, officials say. Israel’s ground operations and air strikes have continued, and more Hamas rockets have been fired into Israel. Israel launched its military offensive on 8 July with the declared objective of stopping rocket fire from Gaza. ‘Terrible’ Speaking on Thursday, Valerie Amos said: “We have over 118,000 people now who are sheltering in UN schools… people are running out of food. Water is also a serious concern.” Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Baroness …

    July 24, 2014 7:23 am
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Technology

  • Drone aids search for missing US man


    24 July 2014 Last updated at 11:24 The FAA has ruled out commercial use of drones in US airspace A model drone has helped locate an elderly man in Wisconsin who had been missing for three days. Search teams using dogs, helicopters and volunteers had combed the countryside around Fitchburg seeking Guillermo DeVenecia. The drone found Mr DeVenecia, who has Alzheimer’s, about 20 minutes after its operator joined the search effort. The success may put pressure on US rules limiting the use of drones in search and rescue operations. Court challenge Mr DeVenecia was spotted stumbling around in a bean field by a drone flown by David Lesh who usually uses the craft to make videos for his skiing and snowboarding business in Colorado. Mr Lesh was in Fitchburg to visit his girlfriend’s family. When he heard about the community-wide effort to locate Mr DeVenecia he decided to join in and used the drone to …

    July 24, 2014 5:42 am
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Science

  • Greater odds of adverse childhood experiences in those with military service


    Men and women who have served in the military have a higher prevalence of adverse childhood events (ACEs), suggesting that enlistment may be a way to escape adversity for some. The prevalence of ACEs among U.S. military members and veterans is largely unknown. ACEs can result in severe adult health consequences such as posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use and attempted suicide. Authors compared the prevalence of ACEs among individuals with and without a history of military service using data from a behavioral risk surveillance system, along with telephone interviews, for an analytic sample of more than 60,000 people. ACEs in 11 categories were examined, including living with someone who is mentally ill, alcoholic or incarcerated, as well as witnessing partner violence, being physically abused, touched sexually or forced to have sex. Authors considered military service during the all-volunteer era (since 1973) vs. the draft era. In the sample, 12.7 percent of the individuals reported military …

    July 24, 2014 6:02 am
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Health

  • U.S. paves way for Novartis to copy Amgen biotech drug


    (Reuters) – U.S. regulators have accepted an application by Sandoz – the generics arm of Novartis – seeking approval for a copycat version of Amgen’s drug Neupogen, or filgrastim, for patients with low white blood cell counts. The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to accept the filing under a new pathway for so-called biosimilar drugs marks a milestone in the rollout of cheaper copies of injectable biotech medicines in the United States. Sandoz said on Thursday that overcoming the first hurdle in the approval process was an important step in increasing U.S. patient access to such treatments. The generics company already sells a biosimilar version of Amgen’s drug in more than 40 other countries, but the United States has been slower than other markets to establish a regulatory framework for biosimilars. Because biotech drugs are made from living cells it is impossible to manufacture exact copies, as happens with simple chemical medicines, so regulators have …

    July 24, 2014 5:42 am
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Entertainment

  • Stephen Colbert plans to keep the Late Show in NYC


    David Letterman welcomes Stephen Colbert on the Late Show Colbert is taking over the show in 2015 and the state of New York was apparently worried that the change in hosts meant a change in locations. But according to Reuters, tax credits offered by the state to CBS solidified their commitment to keep the show in the only place it has ever been — Manhattan’s Ed Sullivan Theater. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on Wednesday, pledging tax credits for job commitments from CBS Corp. Those tax commitments mean at least $11 million in state tax credits over five years. They will also be receiving $5 million in grants to renovate the Ed Sullivan Theater. The show employs around 200 people in the New York area. Colbert was first announced as the new host back in April, just days after Letterman announced he was retiring. Although there was plenty of speculation on who …

    July 24, 2014 6:22 am
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Editorial

  • Yes, Virginia, you really can reinvent yourself. Here’s how


    Author Kate WhiteCourtesy Harper July 8, 2014: Scott Kane, managing director of Gray Hair Management, leads a breakfast networking session at a restaurant in Elk Grove Village, Ill.AP Photo/Matt Marton I didn’t see it at first, though it was staring me in the face. I was writing a psychological suspense novel about a TV host named Robin Trainer (it’s called “Eyes on You” and was published this summer) who has to reinvent herself professionally, and it didn’t occur to me until I reached the final chapters that the main character’s situation echoed my own in certain respects. Maybe, I thought, creating Robin’s dilemma was my way of working out some of the issues I’d faced. My situation wasn’t totally like Robin’s. While her career is in TV, mine was in magazines – I spent 14 years running Cosmopolitan – and unlike her, I made a deliberate choice to change things up. I left the magazine …

    July 24, 2014 5:42 am
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Odd News

  • Giant ketchup bottle up for sale in southern Illinois


    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Want a giant historic order of fries with that? A water tower shaped like a 170-foot-tall ketchup bottle is for sale in southern Illinois, along with an adjacent warehouse, an owner said on Wednesday. Fans fear the 65-year-old landmark, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, might be in peril if a sympathetic buyer isn’t found. Bethel-Eckert Enterprises used the Collinsville warehouse for a food distribution business but is now selling the property along Route 159 for $500,000, said co-owner Larry Eckert. The red-and-white tower was built in 1949 for the bottlers of Brooks ketchup, according to catsupbottle.com, the website of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle fan club. The red-and-white tower was restored in 1995 with funds from volunteers, Eckert said. Eckert, who has not had any offers yet, hopes a buyer will preserve the bottle. But not every Illinois historic landmark has been saved, said Mike Gassmann, who calls …

    July 23, 2014 5:56 pm
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