Headline News

  • Exclusive: Exxon weighs expansion of Beaumont, Texas, refinery


    HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N is weighing a possible multibillion-dollar expansion of its 344,600 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont, Texas, refinery that could make it the nation’s largest by 2020, according to sources familiar with the company’s deliberations. The deliberations at Exxon are focused on the possible addition of a third crude distillation unit (CDU), the sources said, and its size would determine how much capacity would increase. Exxon has also made plans to replace four coking unit drums in 2015 and add two new coker drums in 2017 at the Beaumont refinery, the sources said. The drums turn residual crude oil into petroleum coke, a coal substitute. An Exxon spokesman, while declining to discuss possible plans for the Beaumont refinery, said the company is always evaluating growth opportunities. Though many U.S. refiners have been incrementally adding capacity, Exxon’s move could be the first major U.S. refinery investment since the sudden rise of shale production …

    July 25, 2014 7:13 am
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Politics

  • Alaska Republican Super PAC Launches Another Ad


    By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 5:30 a.m. today 0 Tweet Dan Sullivan is getting some outside help. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) A super PAC supporting Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan is launching a radio ad Friday taking aim at his two leading Senate race opponents. The 60-second ad from Alaska’s Energy/America’s Values, backed by an $80,000 buy and running statewide, mentions Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Sullivan’s top opponent in the Aug. 19 primary, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. The ad lands on the airwaves on the heels of an accompanying TV ad from the group. Both label Sullivan a true Alaskan — one of the leading attacks against the native Ohioan — and state he is the only Republican who can defeat Begich. “I’m an Alaskan, and I’m really tired of Mark Begich and Mead Treadwell attacking Dan Sullivan,” says Athena Fulton, who also appears in the TV ad. “Treadwell supported Democrats in the …

    July 25, 2014 5:52 am
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Stocks

  • Target sent victims to Experian, which has sold your data to criminals


    Target hack victims were directed to Experian for protection. But that company has leaked your data too. Companies can’t keep your data safe. It’s that simple. When Target lost data on some 110 million customers, it sent them to credit bureau Experian for “identity theft protection.” Think you’re in better hands? Think again. Sometime before the Target (TGT) hack, Experian had its own data leak — via a subsidiary. It unknowingly sold the personal data of millions of Americans — including Social Security numbers — to a fraudster in Vietnam. That guy then sold the personal information to identity thieves around the globe. It wasn’t until U.S. Secret Service agents alerted Experian that the company stopped. That data leak got plugged before Target sent victims to Experian. But it shows that even those entrusted with our most sensitive data don’t know how to protect it. Related story: Why retailers aren’t protecting you from hackers Hieu …

    July 25, 2014 6:32 am
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Sports

  • FIFA committed to 2018 World Cup in Russia


    ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA remains committed to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and says a boycott would not be an effective way of reducing tensions in the region, soccer’s world governing body said on Friday. The ongoing conflict between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukraine government came to a head last week with the downing of a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane, leading to the deaths of 298 people. Moscow denies supporting the separatists, but following the disaster senior German lawmakers raised the possibility of stripping Russia of the hosting rights to the World Cup. The Dutch football association said it wanted to postpone discussion over participation in the next World Cup until after a national day of mourning to remember the victims, two-thirds of whom were from the Netherlands. “As a world governing body of football FIFA takes its responsibility in governing football seriously and we support any peaceful and democratic debate,” the Zurich-based organization …

    July 25, 2014 7:13 am
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World News

  • Dutch and Australians in MH17 talks


    25 July 2014 Last updated at 10:38 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The BBC’s Fergal Keane at the crash site on Thursday morning: “When we arrived, there were no guards” The Netherlands and Australia are seeking access to the crash site of MH17 in eastern Ukraine, as more planes with victims’ bodies are flown out. Foreign ministers from both countries are attending a ceremony marking the departure in the city of Kharkiv. They are negotiating with Ukrainian officials in Kiev to send police to the site which is controlled by pro-Russia rebels amid continuing fighting. Rebels have been accused of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines plane. All 298 people on board the flight died in the crash on 17 July, including 193 Dutch citizens, 43 Malaysians and 27 Australians. About 200 bodies were recovered and transported to Kharkiv, which is outside rebel territory. ‘Bring them home’ The first coffins carrying victims …

    July 25, 2014 7:12 am
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Technology

  • Vibrating smartshoes put Google Maps at your feet


    Smartshoes could be the next big thing in wearable technology, an Indian startup claims, revealing a pair of internet-connected shoes that connect to Google Maps and guide the wearer with small vibrations. The shoes from Ducere Technologies connect to a smartphone using Bluetooth. “The shoes are a natural extension of the human body,” Krispian Lawrence co-founder and chief executive of Ducere Technologies told the Wall Street Journal. “You will leave your house without your watch or wristband, but you will never leave your house without your shoes.” Blending in with existing apparel The challenge faced by Google Glass and other wearable technologies is that they rely on the user being prepared face is that they are an extra item of apparel that must be worn and may not fit with everyone’s self image. Smartglasses are particularly noticeable, and have caused much debate over whether they could ever become a mainstream piece of technology. Ducere believes …

    July 25, 2014 5:52 am
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Science

  • ORNL study reveals new characteristics of complex oxide surfaces


    Related images(click to enlarge) A novel combination of microscopy and data processing has given researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory an unprecedented look at the surface of a material known for its unusual physical and electrochemical properties. The research team led by ORNL’s Zheng Gai examined how oxygen affects the surface of a perovskite manganite, a complex material that exhibits dramatic magnetic and electronic behavior. The new avenue to understand surface behavior could benefit researchers who are interested in using a wide range of correlated oxide materials for applications such as solid fuel cells or oxygen sensors. “Surface properties are key for any sensitive application, because the surface controls the interaction with the outside world,” said coauthor Art Baddorf. The team’s results, published in Nature Communications, underscore why the materials are called “strongly correlated:” Because the chemical and physical functionalities are coupled, any minor change can influence the entire system. “It’s …

    July 25, 2014 6:12 am
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Health

  • In China meat scandal, McDonald’s Japan switches to Thai chicken, no nuggets in Hong Kong


    HONG KONG (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp has suspended sales of chicken nuggets and other items in Hong Kong after it said it imported products from Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned Chinese company at the center of a food safety scare in China. McDonald’s said it imported certain products from Shanghai Husi between July last year and June this year, although no food items from the Shanghai supplier remained in stock. In Japan, McDonald’s Holdings Co (Japan) said on Friday it would halt all imports of chicken products from China and shift that business to Thailand, boosting purchases from existing suppliers McKey Foods Services (Thailand) Ltd, a unit of Keystone Foods, and Cargill Thailand. Last year, Thailand supplied 62 percent of McDonald’s Japan’s chicken product imports, with China supplying the remainder. McDonald’s Japan said earlier this week that it sourced about a fifth of its Chicken McNuggets from Shanghai Husi and had halted sales of the …

    July 25, 2014 5:52 am
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Entertainment

  • This is what the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer would have looked like with Charlie Hunnam


    Listen up, Fifty Shades of Grey fans: The trailer is now live  Though we are loving the featured Beyoncé track, we still can’t shake the gut-wrenching feeling that Charlie Hunnam should be playing the role of Christian Grey, and catching a glimpse of Jamie Dornan attempting to bring the character to life kinda took the wind out of our sails. It’s not that Dornan isn’t good looking, it’s just that in the trailer, he lacks the certain rugged quality of Hunnam’s that would make watching him man-handle Dakota Johnson a little more believable. So, just for fun, we are going to live in a fantasy world for a bit and pretend that Charlie Hunnam will still be gracing the screen as Mr. Grey and heating up our winter in 2015. First of all, we love Hunnam as the flannel-wearing biker dude, Jax Teller, in Sons of Anarchy, but just take a gander at how slick …

    July 25, 2014 6:32 am
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Editorial

  • NFL is ready for its first openly-gay player


    ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 19-20 – FILE – In this May 16, 2014, file phot, St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam takes part in a drill during the team’s NFL football rookie camp in St. Louis. Whether or not Sam makes the Rams final roster, becoming the first openly gay player in the NFL, will remain a hot topic throughout the preseason. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) This week Michael Sam arrived at training camp with the St. Louis Rams. Emotions are running high. As the first openly-gay player on an NFL team, will his sexual orientation cause distractions? If my experience playing high school football is any indication, the answer is, “No.” Three years ago, when I showed up to football practice as a freshman at a new school, the first person I noticed was Colton — everyone did. A 6-foot, 4-inch 300-pound defensive tackle with a voice and personality to match, …

    July 25, 2014 5:52 am
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Odd News

  • Bare burger burglars caught on security camera in Florida


    ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) – Three bare burglars burgle beef. Only in Florida is that not a tongue twister but the latest true crime. The break-in occurred at Doc’s Beach House in Bonita Springs in the middle of the night on Sunday, according to Lee County sheriff spokesman Tony Schall. The three young men are seen on video roaming around the kitchen in their underwear and taking a case of hamburgers and some red bell peppers from the refrigerator, according to the report. Then they stripped off their underwear and walked around the kitchen nude awhile longer before leaving. Although photos from the security camera are being posted widely on the Internet, only two tips have come in, Schall said, with no one apparently recognizing the faces. Investigators might never uncover the culprits, Schall said. Schall said officers suspect the three might have been tourists. (Editing by David Adams and Lisa Shumaker)

    July 25, 2014 6:12 am
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