Headline News

  • U.S. mother pleads to Islamic State leader for her son’s release


    BOSTON (Reuters) – The mother of an American journalist held captive by militant group Islamic State released a video on Wednesday appealing directly to the group’s leader for his release. “I am sending this message to you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Quraishi al-Hussaini, the caliph of the Islamic State. I am Shirley Sotloff. My son Steven is in your hands,” Sotloff said in the video, obtained by the New York Times. “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Mohammed, who protected people of The Book (Christians and Jews),” she said. She added that her son is an “honorable man and has always tried to help the weak.” Sotloff, 31, went missing in Syria last year while covering the conflict there. Islamic State released of video last week in which he could be seen kneeling following the filmed decapitation of fellow journalist James Foley. …

    August 27, 2014 1:46 pm
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Politics

  • Bill Clinton to stump for Maine governor hopeful


    PORTLAND Maine (Reuters) – Former President Bill Clinton will come to Maine on Tuesday to campaign for the Democratic candidate for governor, Mike Michaud, party officials announced this week, shining a national spotlight on one of the most closely contended gubernatorial races of 2014. Recent polls show Michaud, a five-term U.S. representative and former paper mill worker who would be the country’s first governor to declare he is gay before taking office, in a statistical dead heat with Tea Party-backed incumbent Paul Lepage. An independent candidate, Eliot Cutler, trails by a wider margin. The Michaud/Clinton rally, which will take place along the Portland, Maine waterfront on Tuesday night, sold out in just three hours, campaign officials said. “I’ve always admired President Clinton for his ability to work across the aisle to get things done, which is something we’ve been missing here in Maine under Gov. LePage,” Michaud said in a statement. Lepage is often at …

    August 27, 2014 10:41 am
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Stocks

  • Airplane scuffle helps entrepreneur’s sales take off


      A passenger scuffle at 35,000 feet is keeping a Washington, D.C., entrepreneur busy. Ira Goldman, the inventor of a pair of clips called “Knee Defender,” says the website that sells the product has been overwhelmed since reports of the fight on the Newark-Denver flight surfaced. The Knee Defender clips block passengers from reclining an airline seat. “We had 500 times the normal traffic,” said Ira Goldman, the inventor of the clips. “Maybe Amazon can handle that, but I can’t.” The site is back up, and Goldman believes he has enough of the clips in inventory to handle the surge in orders. The Knee Defenders sell for $21.95 a pair, plus shipping and handling. “We’ll be placing a new order with the factory in China,” he said. He declined to say his typical sales or give an estimate as to Tuesday’s surge. The fight on the United flight began when a female passenger complained to …

    August 27, 2014 1:46 pm
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Sports

  • After early setbacks, several former top SEC recruits hope to finally have breakout seasons


    OXFORD, Miss. –  Robert Nkemdiche was the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country in 2013, and the defensive lineman arrived at Mississippi with lofty aspirations of dominating the Southeastern Conference. Then, as the transition to high-level college football often does to young players, Nkemdiche was humbled. He struggled to learn a new position while also trying to get a handle on the playbook. Then came a hamstring injury. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT For many highly recruited SEC players, early hype can lead to unrealistic expectations. Now, Nkemdiche is part of group of young but experienced players around the league hoping to have breakout seasons. While Nkemdiche had a productive season with 34 tackles, including eight for a loss, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound sophomore said in retrospect, he often tried too hard. “That’s where I was mixed up,” Nkemdiche said. “I felt like I had to do everything.” Alabama running back Derrick Henry is another former marquee recruit …

    August 27, 2014 1:46 pm
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World News

  • France’s jobless total rises again


    27 August 2014 Last updated at 19:11 The number of people looking for a job in France has climbed to more than 3.4 million The number of people looking for work in France rose 0.8% in July to a new record. The sharp rise confirms a longer term trend with the number of jobless rising 4.3% over the last year. President Francois Hollande has promised to kick start growth and create jobs. But the economy has floundered, prompting a revolt against austerity by three left-wing ministers. Mr Hollande replaced them and named a new cabinet. In mainland France 3,424,400 people were looking for a job in July, 26,100 more than the previous month. Jobs pledge Prime Minister Manuel Valls had already warned that the latest figures for jobseekers would not look good. However, he reached out to French business on Wednesday with a promise to speed up reform. Manuel Valls was given a standing ovation …

    August 27, 2014 1:46 pm
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Technology

  • LG G3 review: the best phablet to date


    LG’s latest smartphone is a 5.5in powerhouse with a quad-HD screen and seems to be a hit with customers. From its release at the end of May, the G3 outpaced its Korean rival the Samsung Galaxy S5 three-to-one in its home market, and contributed to LG’s 14.5m smartphone sales in the second quarter – ending three consecutive loss-making quarters for that division. Analysts are predicting sales of more than 10m. It might not sound much compared with Samsung’s 40m-plus sales for its latest Galaxy S flagships, but is a significant boost over last year’s LG’s G2, which sold around 3m to 4m. Samsung is due to release the new Galaxy Note 4 phablet next week at the IFA electronics tradeshow in Berlin, but has the G3 given Samsung something to worry about? Verdict – big, powerful and almost manageable LG’s G3 is the best big-screened phone to date: the very small bezels around the screen …

    August 27, 2014 10:41 am
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Science

  • Sorting cells with sound waves


    Researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny channel. Their device, about the size of a dime, could be used to detect the extremely rare tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood, helping doctors predict whether a tumor is going to spread. Separating cells with sound offers a gentler alternative to existing cell-sorting technologies, which require tagging the cells with chemicals or exposing them to stronger mechanical forces that may damage them. “Acoustic pressure is very mild and much smaller in terms of forces and disturbance to the cell. This is a most gentle way to separate cells, and there’s no artificial labeling necessary,” says Ming Dao, a principal research scientist in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and one of the senior authors of the paper, which appears this week …

    August 27, 2014 7:00 am
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Health

  • WHO employee infected by Ebola to be flown to Hamburg for treatment


    BERLIN (Reuters) – An employee of the World Health Organization (WHO) who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone will be flown to the German city of Hamburg for treatment, a spokesman for the city said. Rico Schmidt, spokesman for the Hamburg Health Senate, said the patient would arrive later on Wednesday and be treated at Hamburg university clinic’s tropical medicine institute. The WHO in Geneva said the patient was a Senegalese epidemiologist. One of the deadliest diseases known to man, Ebola is transmitted by contact with body fluids and the current outbreak has killed at least 120 healthcare workers. The WHO has deployed nearly 400 of its own staff and partner organizations to fight the epidemic of the highly contagious hemorrhagic fever, which has struck Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. On Tuesday, it said it had shut a laboratory in Sierra Leone after a Senegalese medic there became infected. At least 1,427 people have died …

    August 27, 2014 6:39 am
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Entertainment

  • Courtney Love Looks Rockin’ In Leather As She Hits The Town With Mystery Man


    Posted on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 9:41am PDT       By X17 Staff Who’s that boy?! Courtney Love left Chateau Marmont last night with a mystery man — and we wanna know if these two are an item! While Court was decked out in her usual rock ‘n’ roller look — a leather dress — her male companion donned a navy sweater, ripped jeans and running shoes. This is definitely not the kind of man we’d expect to see the former Hole singer out on the town with — he’s just so preppy! But don’t expect the 50-year-old to be tamed any time soon. Performing at the University of Canberra in Sydney, Australia over the weekend, Kurt Cobain’s widow certainly entertained the audience with her wild ways. At one point, the blonde pointed to an unsuspecting dude in the crowd and said, “Hey, that geeky guy with the glasses. If I were at uni with you 20 years …

    August 27, 2014 12:23 pm
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Editorial

  • Take control of your child’s school lunch


      In a few weeks, lazy summer days will be replaced by the rude awakening of early morning alarm clocks for millions of children. For parents, this means a new routine.  Something traditionally part of that routine for parents is packing a school lunch. And while school cafeterias have improved lunch options over the last decade, kids will still gravitate towards chicken nuggets and soft drinks, if given the option. Parents – you can take charge of your child’s lunch by following a few easy steps. The first step is to limit your child’s options and pack them a lunch. Steer clear of packaged, processed meals. These products are high in sodium and contain little nutrition. A small amount of potato chips and cookies is fine to pack in your kid’s lunch. Just be sure that the lunch includes more than that. Remember the old dietary guideline: “Everything in moderation.” Lunches serve two purposes for …

    August 27, 2014 10:41 am
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Odd News

  • Shaun the sheep, when shorn, may turn out to be world’s woolliest


    SYDNEY (Reuters) – Two Australian farmers say that they may have found the world’s woolliest sheep, whose estimated 25 kg (55 lb) coat, if confirmed, could shatter the world record currently held by neighboring New Zealand. Shaun the sheep was found on Sunday wandering in a country area near the town of Oatlands, 84 km (52 miles) from Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the largely rural island state off Australia’s southeastern coast. “He couldn’t see very well because of the wool over his face, so I snuck up behind him and grabbed ahold of him,” farmer Peter Hazell told reporters. The six-year-old merino sheep had likely never been shorn in his life, the farmers said, but he was due to have a date with the clippers in the next few days. The Australian farmers say they anticipate Shaun will overtake the current world record, held by a New Zealand sheep called Shrek. (Reporting by Samantha …

    August 27, 2014 2:55 am
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