• Pakistan denounces Valentine’s Day

    Pakistan denounces Valentine’s Day

    Image copyright AFP Image caption Valentine’s Day is popular in much of Pakistan Pakistan’s president has denounced St Valentine’s Day, saying the festival has no connection with Pakistani culture and should be avoided. President Mamnoon...
  • ‘Grumpy’ Scots will respond

    ‘Grumpy’ Scots will respond

    Media playback is not supported on this device Soft moments cost Scots – Laidlaw Head coach Vern Cotter insists Scotland will use the disappointment of a ninth straight Six Nations defeat to break their losing...
  • Several die in Pennsylvania pile-up

    Several die in Pennsylvania pile-up

    Image copyright AP Image caption Drivers have been urged to use caution amid cold weather and drifting snow A number of people have died in a motorway pile-up involving more than 50 vehicles in Pennsylvania,...
  • Earth’s rarest minerals catalogued

    Earth’s rarest minerals catalogued

    Image copyright zx Image caption Fingerite from El Salvador is “a perfect storm of rarity” Scientists have categorised the Earth’s rarest minerals. None of 2,500 species described is known from more than five locations, and...
  • Worcester 14-16 Bath

    Worcester 14-16 Bath

    Tom Homer kicked three penalties and a conversion to edge Bath to victory Tom Homer’s goal-kicking and a much-improved second half earned Bath a narrow win against Worcester, ending their six-game losing streak. Jonathan Evans’...

Headline News

  • Several die in Pennsylvania pile-up


    Image copyright AP Image caption Drivers have been urged to use caution amid cold weather and drifting snow A number of people have died in a motorway pile-up involving more than 50 vehicles in Pennsylvania, authorities say. The crash, 120km (75miles) north-west of Philadelphia, left trucks and cars strewn across three lanes of traffic and the central reservation. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said 40 people had been taken to hospital and 70 to a temporary shelter. Drivers have been urged to use caution amid cold weather and drifting snow. A spokeswoman for Penn State Hershey Medical Center said three patients had been brought in in a critical condition, three more with moderate to severe injuries and four with minor injuries. Agency spokesman Cory Angell said drifting snow had been reported in the area of the crash, which took place on the eastern carriageway of Interstate 78 near the town of Bethel Township. Officials have …

    February 13, 2016 2:23 pm
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Politics

  • Does Sanders support Obama?


    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the Humphrey-Mondale dinner at the St. Paul River Centre in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign enlisted the support of black Democrats on Friday to undermine Bernie Sanders’ push to claim a piece of President Barack Obama’s legacy, arguing she is the rightful heir to the nation’s first black president. Clinton sought solidarity with Obama at every turn during Thursday’s debate in Milwaukee, referring to herself as a “staunch supporter” of his health care law and praising him as a role model on race relations. Clinton ended the debate by criticizing Sanders for saying in an interview with MSNBC that Obama had failed the “presidential leadership test.” By Friday, as Clinton traveled between South Carolina and Minnesota, her African-American allies in Congress seized upon comments the Vermont senator made at the debate insinuating that race relations would “absolutely” be better under a …

    February 13, 2016 1:03 pm
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Stocks

  • ‘Zoolander No. 2’ hopes to have a pretty box office despite ugly reviews


    One of cinema’s most famous male models has returned after 15 years away from the catwalk. “Zoolander No. 2,” Ben Stiller’s sequel to the cult comedy about the legendary male model Derek Zoolander, hit theaters this weekend. The Paramount comedy brought in $4.2 million on its opening day Friday and is projected to bring in a 3-day total of around $13 million in North America. The comedy follows its 2001 predecessor by bringing back characters like Owen Wilson’s Hansel and Will Ferrell’s evil Mugatu. While the numbers don’t seem big for “Zoolander No. 2,” it could find a niche audience. “‘Zoolander No. 2’ is, much like the Entourage movie, a cool and ‘inside baseball’ look at two very inaccessible yet glamorous worlds that have appeal to very specific audiences,” wrote Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore (SCOR). “As such, to expect massive blockbuster numbers out of movies like this is misguided and perhaps unrealistic …

    February 13, 2016 1:43 pm
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Sports

  • ‘Grumpy’ Scots will respond


    Media playback is not supported on this device Soft moments cost Scots – Laidlaw Head coach Vern Cotter insists Scotland will use the disappointment of a ninth straight Six Nations defeat to break their losing run against Italy. The Scots led 13-10 at half-time and saw a 16-13 lead overturned in a five-minute second-half spell to lose 27-23. “I don’t like losing,” Cotter told BBC Sport. “There will be information to be taken from that game that will just make us a little bit grumpier. “We will use that to push for our win. We need to keep improving.” Scotland will travel to Rome, scene of their last Six Nations victory two years ago, to face Italy in a fortnight on 27 February. Their first win in Cardiff since 2002 looked a distinct possibility for an hour, Tommy Seymour’s excellent early try and three Greig Laidlaw penalties helping them into a 16-13 lead. Tommy Seymour’s …

    February 13, 2016 2:23 pm
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World News

  • Pakistan denounces Valentine’s Day


    Image copyright AFP Image caption Valentine’s Day is popular in much of Pakistan Pakistan’s president has denounced St Valentine’s Day, saying the festival has no connection with Pakistani culture and should be avoided. President Mamnoon Hussain told students that it was a Western tradition and conflicted with Muslim culture. His remarks came after a district in north-western Pakistan banned Valentine’s Day celebrations. Valentine’s Day is popular in many cities in Pakistan, but religious groups have denounced it as decadent. Image copyright Kohat District Government Earlier this week, the local government in Kohat, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told police officers to stop shops from selling Valentine’s Day cards and items. Kohat district is run by a religious political party and borders Pakistan’s conservative tribal areas. Meanwhile, the Peshawar local council also passed a resolution to ban celebrations of what it called a “useless” day. Kohat district administrator Maulana Niaz Muhammad told the BBC Urdu: “Valentine’s Day has …

    February 13, 2016 2:23 pm
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Technology

  • Would you bet against sex robots? AI ‘could leave half of world unemployed’


    Machines could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy should not be understated. Expert Moshe Vardi told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task. “I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: if machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?” Physicist Stephen Hawking and the tech billionaires Bill Gates and Elon Musk issued a similar warning last year. Hawking warned that AI “could spell the end of the human race” and Musk said it represents “our biggest existential threat”. Related: ‘Mini-brains’ could revolutionise drug research and reduce animal use The fear of artificial intelligence has even reached …

    February 13, 2016 1:23 pm
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Science

  • Why Studying Fertility in Sea Urchins Makes Sense [Excerpt]


    Excerpted with permission from Sex in the Sex: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep, by Marah J. Hardt. Available from St. Martin’s Press. Copyright © 2016. (Scientific American and St. Martin’s Press are part of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.) Admittedly, spontaneous sex on the subway is a bit of a stretch (and probably nauseating for anyone who rides the G train on a regular basis). But the idea that sex depends upon a crowd is no exaggeration—especially for the less-than-agile lot. Take sea urchins. A few leaky males can cause an entire nearby cluster of sea urchins to unleash clouds of sperm, which they pump out through holes in the tops of their heads. As is so often the case, males tend to let loose their loads first, followed by the females. It’s a familiar pattern, occurring in sea cucumbers and abalone, among others. With sea cucumbers—squishy, sausage-shaped cousins …

    February 13, 2016 12:02 pm
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Health

  • Brazil enlists army, cabinet in campaign against Zika


    BRASILIA Brazil’s government launched a nationwide campaign on Saturday to fight the Zika virus, with President Dilma Rousseff and cabinet ministers personally visiting homes and handing out leaflets along with 220,000 troops. Under a scorching sun in the neighborhood of Zepellin in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympic Games in August, Rousseff said everyone needed to take part in the battle against the mosquito carrying Zika, suspected of causing the birth defect microcephaly. There are currently no vaccines or treatment for the virus, though research institutes and pharmaceutical companies are working on several possibilities. “Brazil and the world have lost the battle against dengue, but we won the war against yellow fever, which is carried by the same mosquito. We will win the war against Zika,” Rousseff said as she launched the campaign, which also targets other mosquito-borne diseases. Twenty-seven cabinet ministers including central bank chief Alexandre Tombini participated in …

    February 13, 2016 12:43 pm
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Entertainment

  • Bernie Sanders’ Record On Gun Control Is ‘Very Troubling,” CBC Leader Says


    Sen. Bernie Sanders’ record on gun control is found to be “very troubling” by the Congressional Black Caucus’ political action committee. On Thursday, it endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York, the chairman of the CBC, called out Sanders for his stand on gun control. The Observer reports that Meeks said the Vermont independent’s view on the matter is “very troubling.” “You go through her record, time and time again, you see she’s been right on the issues important to the African-American community,” Meeks said. “His record on guns is very troubling. Bernie Sanders voted to protect the gun manufacturers. That’s a problem.” Meeks pointed out that Clinton is working at “getting guns off the street.” He accused Sanders for not being a partner with the CBC. Sanders voted against significant gun control measures in the 1990s and for a 2005 bill that protected gun manufacturers by giving them immunity from …

    February 13, 2016 1:23 pm
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Editorial

  • Does Bernie Sanders really want to win? Three Democratic debate takeaways


    To understand what ails Hillary Clinton, let’s rewind past Iowa and New Hampshire – two years back, in fact, to a speech in New Orleans before the National Auto Dealers Association and these words: “The last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996. I remember it very well. Unfortunately, so does the Secret Service, which is why I haven’t driven since then.” That one passage underscores three of Clinton’s present-day woes: she’s lived in a cocoon for well over two decades; she’s not all that entertaining; there may be no limit to what she and her husband will do for a quick buck (that one appearance earned Hillary a $325,000 honorarium). Speaking of Clinton’s motoring skills, there’s a fourth problem: rather than turn into the skid caused by alarming droves of young and women voters jilting her for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, she’s overcorrected – trying too hard to pawn herself off as …

    February 13, 2016 11:23 am
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Odd News

  • Racy night with handcuffs lands Arkansas man in handcuffs, again


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. An Arkansas couple’s evening of “kinky” entertainment ended with one pair of handcuffs used for fun being replaced by another used for real in an arrest, police said on Friday. Dustin Taylor, 21, summoned police this week to his home in Fort Smith to remove a pair of handcuffs he told officers he and his wife had been using the previous night while “doing some ‘kinky’ things,” the official report stated. The couple had lost the key, Taylor explained. The responding patrolman removed the handcuffs and did a routine search of Taylor’s name in a police database. When the computer reported an outstanding warrant for Taylor on criminal mischief, handcuffs went back on. But this time they belonged to the officer. Sergeant Daniel Grubbs, spokesman for the Fort Smith police, expressed a measure of sympathy for Taylor. “I sort of wish the guy had invested in an extra handcuff key,” Grubbs said. …

    February 12, 2016 8:20 pm
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