Headline News

  • Supermarket operator Kroger to fill 10,000 permanent posts

    U.S. supermarket operator Kroger Co (KR.N) said on Monday it would fill 10,000 permanent positions in its supermarket divisions. Kroger, which had about 431,000 full- and part-time employees as of Jan. 30, 2016, also said its total active workforce grew by more than 12,000 in 2016. The world’s No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said last week it would create about 10,000 jobs in the United States this year, as President Donald Trump puts pressure on companies to hire more U.S. workers. Companies such as General Motors Co (GM.N) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) have also announced plans to add jobs in the United States. German drug and chemical maker Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE), which is awaiting approval to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto Co (MON.N) for $66 billion, said last week it would maintain more than 9,000 jobs in the United States and add 3,000 new U.S.-based high-tech positions. (Reporting by Aravind K in Bengaluru; …

    January 23, 2017 7:47 am


  • Today’s Toons 1/23/17

    Click for related video: Click for related video: Click below for related story: Click below for precursor: This Thread Brought To You By The Letters C & L: In Case You Missed It Dept.: Steve Harvey appeared with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, where he enlisted his help in Trump’s plan to help rebuild America’s inner cities. On the same day that Steve Harvey backed Trump, Nicole Kidman vowed to support Trump. They’re the first two celebrity deaths of 2017. Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to Chicago Friday to announce a probe finding that the Chicago police are racist. It’s difficult to be politically correct while you are dodging bullets all the time. The Chicago police are the only cops who get rotated to Syria every six months for a little R&R. Bob Woodward ripped the CIA for spreading false salacious stories about Trump while Rep. John Lewis called Trump’s election illegitimate. …

    January 23, 2017 5:09 am


  • What We Can Expect From TI's Q4'16 Earnings

    Leading analog chip maker, Texas Instruments ( TXN ) is set to report its Q4 2016 earnings on January 24th. Going by the company’s guidance for the quarter, its revenue and EPS figures have likely declined sequentially and moderately increased on a year-over-year basis. It should be noted that Q3 is usually a seasonally strong quarter for TI, due to which there is a sequential decline in its revenues and net income in Q4. In the table below, we note the key metrics as expected for the company in Q4. Going ahead, we can expect TI to see improvements in its gross margins. The company’s effective manufacturing strategy has helped it improve its gross margins by approximately 10 percentage points in the last five years. At 62%, the company’s gross margins were at its highest levels in Q3’16.  Margin improvements for TI are as a result of an increasing proportion of its revenues coming from the 300mm production facilities. …

    January 23, 2017 7:27 am


  • Super Bowl 51: Matt Ryan’s Falcons vs. Tom Brady’s Pats

    The MMQB’s Albert Breer heads to Boston to find out why New England fans still harbor such harsh feeling toward the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. ATLANTA — To appreciate the magnitude of what we saw Sunday in the last football game ever at the Georgia Dome, we must consider what was happening in this city the April day Matt Ryan was drafted in 2008. I was there that weekend. Michael Vick was not. He was in federal prison in Kansas, serving nearly two years for animal cruelty. But the city not only hadn’t forgotten him; many in the city were keeping his seat warm and wanted him as their quarterback when he finished doing his time. I remember the day before the draft walking through a mall and thinking, “All these people with Vick jerseys or T-shirts supporting him … amazing.” So when Ryan got picked third overall by new GM Thomas Dimitroff, it was …

    January 23, 2017 5:06 am

World News

  • China’s birth rate up after one-child policy abandoned

    Jan. 23 (UPI) — China’s birth rate increased 11.5 percent last year when compared to the year prior after the country’s one-child policy was abandoned, officials said. The National Health and Family Planning Commission said 18.46 million births occurred in 2016. The birth rate was the highest since 2000 despite a decrease in the number of women of childbearing age. The commission said the higher birth rate was directly connected to the Chinese government last year changing its one-child policy rule to a two-child rule. More than 45 percent of children born last year had one or more older siblings. “While the total number of women of childbearing age fell by 5 million, the number of births increased significantly, showing that the family planning policy adjustments were extremely timely and extremely effective,” NHFPC official Yang Wenzhuang said. Yang said the NHFPC estimates up to 20 million births every year by 2020, adding that by changing …

    January 23, 2017 8:08 am


  • Samsung blames two separate battery faults for Galaxy Note 7 fires

    Samsung has blamed lithium-ion batteries for causing its Galaxy Note 7 mobile phones to overheat and catch fire, a fault that led to the global recall of millions of devices and damaged consumer confidence in the world’s biggest maker of smartphones. At a press conference on Monday, Samsung officials said exhaustive tests on tens of thousands of devices and batteries had ruled out any problems with the device’s hardware or software. But, it added, internal and independent investigations had “concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents”. In the case of the original battery, the casing was too small, causing it to short-circuit and ignite. It was replaced with a battery that had a different manufacturing defect but led to the same result. Samsung infographic showing the problems with the first type of battery in Galaxy Note 7 phone. Photograph: Samsung Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung’s mobile business, …

    January 23, 2017 12:44 am


  • Polar Bear Cubs at High Risk from Toxic Industrial Chemicals, Despite Bans

    Polar bears are facing trouble inside and out. The animals are losing habitat as global warming melts sea ice. Now a study shows bears’ bodies hold toxic chemicals originally made in distant factories, substances that threaten adult bears’ health at a level 100 times greater than the acceptable threshold of risk for humans. For cubs, the risk is more than 1,000 times that threshold. These risks have remained high, particularly in cubs, despite restrictions or bans on many of these chemicals more than a decade ago. Whereas the restrictions have reduced overall pollutant levels in cubs, the pace of reduction is being slowed by more recently produced chemicals that are not yet banned, says the study, which was published online in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry on January 5. “There is definitely a cause for concern,” says Melissa McKinney, a polar bear researcher at the University of Connecticut who was not involved in the study. She …

    January 23, 2017 8:27 am


  • UK scientists give cancer risk warning on overdone chips, toast

    LONDON Potatoes and bread cooked at high temperatures for a long time could increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them regularly, British government scientists said on Monday. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a substance called acrylamide, produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures, has been found in animal studies to increase the risk of cancer. In a statement that drew criticism from some independent experts, the FSA said that, to reduce the danger, consumers should cook these foods at lower temperatures and eat them when they are cooked to a golden color rather than browned. “The scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans,” it said. “As a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow color or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread.” But some experts …

    January 23, 2017 4:06 am


  • Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump’s right to ‘be a kid’ on social media

    Jan. 23 (UPI) — Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton defended new first son Barron Trump on social media following the inauguration. “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid,” the 36-year-old daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids,” she continued. Chelsea’s comments are seemingly in response to social media users who continually poked fun at Barron over the week as his father Donald Trump was sworn into office. In a series of posts on Instagram, Modern Family star Julie Bowen joked about Barron’s demeanor and facial expressions during the inauguration alongside screenshots of the 10-year-old at the event. “I think Barron is on his Gameboy. Can’t say I blame him,” the actress wrote alongside a photo of Barron looking down. “Barron, a voting majority shares your horror #barronforpresident,” she …

    January 23, 2017 7:47 am


  • Why Jeff Sessions as our next attorney general should reassure, not alarm, all Americans

    “There was one moment in Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing,” writes Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, “that revealed why so many are so terrified of him.”  Lithwick deemed this moment so inflammatory that she called it “reprehensible” and “gobsmacking.”  Somewhat more restrained, Politico’s Seung Min Kim and Josh Gerstein said it was “head-scratching.” What was this extraordinary occurrence?  Had Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general of the United States embraced the notion of a terrorist state like, say, Iran having nukes? Was he in favor of packing the electorate with illegal immigrants and thus changing the electoral landscape forever? Had he admitted to using a private server for thousands of classified documents? Perhaps he voiced his support for abortion-on-demand, thereby adding to the more than 50 million children that have been terminated since Roe v. Wade? Of course, not. Senate Democrats and their media allies see none of these things as “reprehensible” (as they certainly are).  No, the …

    January 22, 2017 4:43 pm

Odd News

  • Canadian father builds hidden playroom for son

    Jan. 20 (UPI) — A handy father in Canada surprised his son 7-year-old by building him a secret playroom underneath the family computer. Isaac Bartley detailed the construction of the hidden playroom connecting the computer room to his son’s closet on his Imgur page while his son was away. “We have our computer set up beneath the stairs in our house,” he said. “The actual space under the stair landing has never been used.” Bartley decided to cut a holes in the closet and the wall beneath the computer while also modifying a portion of the desk to slide over and reveal the hidden passage. He then painted the walls of the crawl space white, placed hardboard on the ceiling and fitted the space with LED lights to add to the secretive ambience. When the project was completed Bartley shared a brief video providing a tour of the secret play space.

    January 23, 2017 4:46 am