• Sessions yields to Enzi as U.S. Senate Budget chairman

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Mike Enzi said on Wednesday he will take over as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee next year after the panel’s current top Republican, Jeff Sessions, agreed to step aside....
  • Eriksson’s OT winner lifts Bruins over Wild

    St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) – Loui Eriksson scored the game-winning goal 1:30 into overtime to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. Zdeno Chara flung the puck around...
  • Chinese passenger opens plane door for fresh air

    A Chinese airline passenger pulled open an emergency exit as his plane was about to take off because he “just wanted fresh air”, Chinese media have reported. The man had not realised that opening the...
  • Uber vows larger focus on safety

    Uber vows larger focus on safety

    Dec. 8, 2014: Supporters of Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP) hold placards during a protest after a woman was allegedly raped by a driver from ride-booking service Uber in New Delhi, India. (AP) Uber promises...
  • Jazz top Heat despite Wade’s 42

    Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Gordon Hayward tallied 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Utah Jazz went into AmericanAirlines Arena and topped the short-handed Miami Heat, 105-87, to snap a six-game road losing...
  • German road toll plan gets go-ahead

    German road toll plan gets go-ahead

    17 December 2014 Last updated at 18:29 Germany wants the new charges to help pay for road maintenance The German government has approved plans for a controversial road toll which will include charging foreigners for...

Headline News

  • Uber vows larger focus on safety


    Dec. 8, 2014: Supporters of Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP) hold placards during a protest after a woman was allegedly raped by a driver from ride-booking service Uber in New Delhi, India. (AP) Uber promises to focus on rider safety amid increasing concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions. In a blog post Wednesday, Uber’s head of global safety defended the company’s safety record but also wrote that “as we look to 2015, we will build new safety programs and intensify others.” ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The taxi alternative, valued at $40 billion, lets passengers summon cars through an app in more than 250 cities around the world. It faces multiples legal and regulatory challenges as it expands in the United States and abroad. Last week, prosecutors in California, where Uber is based, filed a lawsuit alleging that the company exaggerates how comprehensive its driver background checks are. They do not, for …

    December 17, 2014 11:10 pm
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Politics

  • Sessions yields to Enzi as U.S. Senate Budget chairman


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Mike Enzi said on Wednesday he will take over as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee next year after the panel’s current top Republican, Jeff Sessions, agreed to step aside. The two senators had contested the chairmanship of the committee that will provide a key blueprint for Republican policy priorities as the party takes control of the Senate in January. Enzi, who had previously served as the top Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, had decided to exert his seniority to become the Budget Committee chairman instead. That seniority literally came from the luck of a draw. When Sessions, an outspoken conservative from Louisiana, and Enzi, a more moderate senator who shuns the media limelight, both joined the Senate in 1997, they drew straws to determine who had greater seniority. Enzi, who is from Wyoming, won. But Enzi said that their agreement calls for Sessions to play …

    December 17, 2014 11:30 pm
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Stocks

  • Judge denies request to release Steve Jobs trial video


      A California judge has denied a request by media companies to release a videotaped deposition of Apple’s Steve Jobs, taken six months before his death in 2011. Jobs’s taped deposition was used in a class-action lawsuit, which had been in court for a decade, that argued Apple abused its monopoly power in the music industry. Apple won the suit earlier this week, and won’t have to pay damages in the antitrust trial. The request to make the tape public was filed by the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and CNN. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found that because the video was used in lieu of live testimony, it should be considered as such — cameras are prohibited in federal district courtrooms, and any other live testimony wouldn’t have been taped. The transcript of the video, and not the tape itself, will serve as the official court record, according to the decision. “As is typical of all live …

    December 17, 2014 10:30 pm
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Sports

  • Eriksson’s OT winner lifts Bruins over Wild


    St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) – Loui Eriksson scored the game-winning goal 1:30 into overtime to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. Zdeno Chara flung the puck around the boards off a faceoff win, Carl Soderberg tracked it down and Eriksson deposited Soderberg’s cross-crease pass into a wide-open net for the deciding marker. Soderberg finished with a goal and an assist, Patrice Bergeron also lit the lamp and Niklas Svedberg made 35 saves for the Bruins, who ended a three-game skid. Bruins forward David Krejci made his return to the lineup after missing 11 straight games and 17 of the last 19 with a groin injury. He registered one shot in 18:22 of ice time. Kyle Brodziak and Jason Pominville both supplied offense for the Wild, who have lost consecutive games for the first time in over a month. Niklas Backstrom stopped 22 pucks in defeat. Two players …

    December 17, 2014 11:10 pm
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World News

  • Chinese passenger opens plane door for fresh air


    A Chinese airline passenger pulled open an emergency exit as his plane was about to take off because he “just wanted fresh air”, Chinese media have reported. The man had not realised that opening the door was dangerous, staff members said. The safety scare on Sunday came days after a passenger on another domestic flight opened the emergency exit moments after his plane landed – deploying the chute – saying that he was in a hurry to get off. There is growing concern in China that the behaviour of travellers, particularly those venturing overseas, is damaging the image of the country. An AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Nanjing had to return to Thailand last week after an angry Chinese passenger allegedly threw hot water at a flight attendant. But Sunday’s incident, on a Xiamen Air flight from Hangzhou to Chengdu, seems to have been an innocent mistake by a first-time flier. Startled fellow passengers took …

    December 17, 2014 11:10 pm
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Technology

  • Terrorist Threats May Blow Up ‘The Interview’s’ Box Office


    The now-notoriously controversial action comedy The Interview, which was expected to deliver profits of US$90-$95 million for Sony, may have become a financial black hole. The movie’s Thursday premiere in New York has been cancelled, and several movie theater chains have scrapped plans to screen it, following a hacker message referencing 9/11 and threatening physical attacks on theaters. Sony executives tacitly agreed to the cancellations, according to reports, but it’s not clear whether Sony has axed the movie’s Christmas debut. Sony Pictures Entertainment did not respond to our request for further details. The Short Arm of the Law Sony requested help from law enforcement agencies including the United States Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to track down the cybercriminals who breached its networks in November. The FBI on Tuesday said it was “aware of recent threats” in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by spokesperson Jenny Shearer. The agency is continuing “to work collaboratively …

    December 17, 2014 7:49 pm
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Science

  • Switching to spintronics


    Related images(click to enlarge) In a development that holds promise for future magnetic memory and logic devices, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Cornell University successfully used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature. This demonstration, which runs counter to conventional scientific wisdom, points a new way towards spintronics and smaller, faster and cheaper ways of storing and processing data. “Our work shows that 180-degree magnetization switching in the multiferroic bismuth ferrite can be achieved at room temperature with an external electric field when the kinetics of the switching involves a two-step process,” says Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Berkeley Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Technologies, who led this research. “We exploited this multi-step switching process to demonstrate energy-efficient control of a spintronic device.” Ramesh, who also holds the Purnendu Chatterjee Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies at the University …

    December 17, 2014 7:49 pm
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Health

  • Pharnext drug shows promise in neurological disease with no treatment


    (Reuters) – Using technology gleaned from the mapping of the human genome, privately held French drug developer Pharnext SAS is a step closer to providing a treatment for a rare neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, for which no pharmaceutical therapy exists. The company on Wednesday said its three-drug combination, currently known as PXT-3003, led to a 14.4 percent improvement compared with placebo on a scale used to evaluate disability of the upper and lower limbs in an 80-patient mid-stage study. The inherited nerve disorder, caused by over expression of a gene, is characterized by a progressive muscle atrophy of the extremities, leading to problems in walking, running and balance, as well as abnormal hand function. CMT patients currently receive only supportive care for the disease including orthotics, leg braces, physical therapy or surgery. About 5 percent of CMT patients with the most common 1A form of the disease end up in a wheelchair. There …

    December 17, 2014 7:48 pm
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Entertainment

  • Sir Elton John to marry David Furnish in intimate ceremony this weekend


    More: Rewatch BBC’s mind-blowing ‘God Only Knows’ video, but this time with GIFs Unfortunately for us (and all other lovers of glamorous, over-the-top nutpials), John’s upcoming wedding is going to be a quiet, intimate affair. According to Expose Entertainment, John is set to tie the not with David Furnish, his longtime partner, as soon as this weekend. 67-year-old John has been with Furnish, a former advertising exec, since 1993 — an impressive 21 years. The couple has two children. John and Furnish have been in a civil union since 2005, but now that gay marriage is legal in England, they plan to make it official. More: Elton John: Jesus would have supported gay marriage “We’ll do it very quietly. But we will do it and it will be a joyous occasion and we will have our children [there],” John said in an interview with Matt Lauer in March. “For this legislation to come through is …

    December 17, 2014 11:30 pm
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Editorial

  • Pope Francis’ Vatican just gave Democrats a big boost for 2016


    Sept. 17, 2014: Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a Catholic nun during the kickoff of the Nuns on the Bus at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP) A bombshell Vatican report released Monday that gives a green light to the social activism of left-wing U.S. nuns is the latest example of how the more liberal papacy of Pope Francis could affect the outcome of the 2016 US elections. The report forms the conclusion of an investigation, known as an “Apostolic Visitation,” into the practices and beliefs of sisters across the U.S. that was launched in 2008 under the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI amid long-standing concerns that many orders had lost their way. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Although there are a significant number of vibrant orthodox orders, such as the pro-life Sisters of Life, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and the Little Sisters of the Poor (who are currently fighting the ObamaCare contraception mandate), …

    December 17, 2014 7:49 pm
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Odd News

  • Canadian picks stranger with ex-girlfriend’s name for world trip


    TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian man will travel the world with Elizabeth Gallagher. Just not the same Elizabeth Gallagher he used to date. Jordan Axani, 28, and his former girlfriend booked the three-week trip in May, including stops in Italy, France, India and Thailand. But the pair broke up, leaving Axani with plane tickets booked in her name. Wary of the hassle of changing names on tickets booked with several airlines, Axani put out a call on social media website Reddit in November for someone with the same name as his ex-girlfriend and a valid Canadian passport. After worldwide media attention, Axani received thousands of responses, including from Nova Scotia student Elizabeth “Quinn” Gallagher, 23. Axani picked Gallagher, a homeless shelter volunteer, after talking with her on the phone and becoming impressed with her social conscience. “It’s totally platonic,” Axani said from New York where the trip starts on Sunday. “Do I think we’ll become …

    December 17, 2014 7:49 pm
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