• This Is One Seriously Big Wels Catfish

    This Is One Seriously Big Wels Catfish

    One Big Fish Sportex Italia Via Facebook Fishermen are known for their tall tales of big catches. Turns out, this one has a lot of truth to it: Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari caught this monstrous...
  • Mugabe admits land reform flaws

    Mugabe admits land reform flaws

    27 February 2015 Last updated at 14:29 Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has admitted failures in the country’s controversial land reform programme. “I think the farms we...
  • Alonso says he is fine after crash

    BARCELONA (Reuters) – McLaren’s Fernando Alonso assured his fans that he was fine on Friday in his first public comments since crashing heavily in Formula One testing last weekend. “As you can see, I am...

Headline News

  • Florida police officer accused of using stolen tags to avoid tolls


    A police detective faces felony charges for using stolen license plates to avoid tolls on Florida’s Turnpike. Sweetwater police detective Octavio Oliu surrendered Thursday, more than a year after he was suspended from the tiny, scandal-ridden department in Miami-Dade County. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Oliu’s attorney C. Michael Cornerly told the Miami Herald his client will fight the allegations. Sweetwater Mayor Jose Diaz said 42-year-old Oliu had been on unpaid leave. He says he won’t tolerate officers who betray the badge. The investigation began in August 2013 when a highway patrol trooper stopped Oliu’s SUV. The trooper ran a computer check of the Michigan license plate and found it had been reported stolen. Oliu is accused of racking up over 500 SunPass toll violations and red-light camera citations. He’s charged with official misconduct and organized scheme to defraud.

    February 27, 2015 8:30 am
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Politics

  • U.S., Cuba meet for second round of normalization talks


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cuban and U.S. officials met in Washington on Friday for a second round of talks aimed at restoring diplomatic relations amid friction over Cuba’s place on a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. The one-day talks stem from the decision announced by the two Cold War era foes on Dec. 17 to work to normalize relations, including opening embassies in each other’s countries, and to exchange prisoners. Washington severed diplomatic relations with Cuba 54 years ago. The talks began on Friday morning, with the delegations headed by Roberta Jacobson, U.S. assistant secretary of state, and Josefina Vidal, chief of the Cuban foreign ministry’s U.S. division. Communist-run Cuba is pressing the United States to remove it from its terrorism list before official restoration of diplomatic ties. It says U.S. sanctions on banks that do business with designated countries impede it from conducting diplomatic affairs in the United States. The Obama administration is …

    February 27, 2015 9:11 am
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Stocks

  • Fashion firm flirts with fame as #TheDress goes viral


    A small British fashion company was basking in the limelight Friday after a debate about the color of one of its dresses went viral. Social media was overrun Thursday with comments about #TheDress — some people were convinced it was black and blue; others saw white and gold. “I can officially confirm the color is royal blue with black trimming,” said Michelle Bastock, fashion director for the clothing company Roman, during a television interview with CNN’s Nina dos Santos. Bastock, who wore the dress during her CNN interview, said she planned to start offering a white and gold version. It would take about six months to make it available. Roman’s website was quickly changed to feature the hotly debated dress on the front of its homepage. “We were really surprised and really happy… It’s just amazing,” Bastock said. “We’re really busy. All the team on the website are going crazy.” Bastock said the website had …

    February 27, 2015 7:29 am
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Sports

  • Alonso says he is fine after crash


    BARCELONA (Reuters) – McLaren’s Fernando Alonso assured his fans that he was fine on Friday in his first public comments since crashing heavily in Formula One testing last weekend. “As you can see, I am completely fine,” the Spaniard, recovering at his home, said in a video message posted on YouTube. “I would like to be at the test this week in Barcelona but the doctors’ recommendations are to wait a little bit, a couple of days,” added the double world champion and former Ferrari driver. “I will rest this weekend and keep you updated next week with progress.” Alonso spent three nights in hospital after the crash before being released on Wednesday. Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen has replaced him for the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya. McLaren, who have had a difficult pre-season with new engine partners Honda, blamed gusting winds for the accident but have not given exact details about the …

    February 27, 2015 8:31 am
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World News

  • Mugabe admits land reform flaws


    27 February 2015 Last updated at 14:29 Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has admitted failures in the country’s controversial land reform programme. “I think the farms we gave to people are too large. They can’t manage them,” the 91-year-old leader said in unusually candid comments. In the past he has tended to blame poor agricultural productivity on the weather and Western sanctions. The seizure of land from white farmers is seen as a key factor in Zimbabwe’s economic collapse since 2000. The BBC’s Brian Hungwe in the capital, Harare, says it is not the first time President Mugabe has criticised new black farmers – but his comments are surprisingly frank. They point to continuous problems in accounting for low production levels and the under-utilisation of farms, which reflect badly thought-out land policies, he says. The president denied that Grace Mugabe was the “power behind my throne” Mr …

    February 27, 2015 8:31 am
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Technology

  • What color is the dress? Question of perception captivates the internet


    Is it black and blue, or white and gold? Related: The Guardian view on ‘the dress’ This question, about the color of a dress, is unifying the internet in debate. On every platform available – blogging sites, comment threads and social media – users are asking what others see and marveling at the answers. The question, and subsequent riffs, appears to have started on Tumblr. By Thursday evening, it had been picked up by Buzzfeed, where 25 million people have seen the resulting article. By Friday, four of Twitter’s top trends were related to the controversy: #TheDress, #whiteandgold, #blackandblue and (skipping to fifth) #dressgate. On Friday morning, #thedress was top in Facebook’s trending box, and people had commented an untold number of times on the question. “At one point tonight (ET) more than 670,000 people were on BuzzFeed.com, half of whom were viewing ‘the dress’ post,” tweeted Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith. — Noah Veltman (@veltman) …

    February 27, 2015 9:10 am
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Science

  • This Is One Seriously Big Wels Catfish


    One Big Fish Sportex Italia Via Facebook Fishermen are known for their tall tales of big catches. Turns out, this one has a lot of truth to it: Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari caught this monstrous 280-pound catfish on the Po River. Catfishes range in size from a few inches to a few feet. The one Ferrari caught is reportedly a wels catfish, which can get up to 15 feet long, making this 8.75-foot long catfish barely above average. We’re seeing reports that the biggest wels could be anywhere from more than 300 pounds up to 660. Still, it’s not every week you see such big creatures or hear a cool fish tale. CNN reports that (after a flurry of photos to prove it was real) Ferrari released the fish back into the water. The wels catfish can live for decades, though, so maybe we’ll see the same one resurface at a record-breaking size. From Tip …

    February 27, 2015 9:11 am
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Health

  • Study Links Recession to Spike in Suicides Among Middle-Aged


    FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The financial stress of the last recession likely contributed to a recent increase in suicides among middle-aged Americans, researchers report. Job, financial or legal problems played a role in 37.5 percent of all completed middle-age suicides in 2010, up from just under 33 percent of suicides in 2005, according to findings published in the Feb. 27 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Mental health problems remained the leading factor in middle-aged suicides, and were involved in four out of five suicide deaths, the study noted. But financial pressures probably played a key role in triggering suicidal action in someone who might have only been contemplating suicide, the study authors added. However, the study could only find an association between tough economic times and suicide rates, it couldn’t prove cause and effect. “The middle-aged bear the brunt of economic stress associated with a downturn,” said study author …

    February 27, 2015 9:11 am
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Entertainment

  • Is Emma Thompson really willing to go to prison over tax?


    The U.K. financial sector has been rocked by the HSBC tax evasion scandal over the last few weeks and it is this that has prompted the Walking on Sunshine actor to threaten a boycott. “I want to stop paying tax, until everyone pays tax,” Wise told the London Evening Standard. “I have actively loved paying tax, because I am a profound f**king socialist and I believe we are all in it together. “But I am disgusted with HMRC,” he went on. “I am disgusted with HSBC. And I’m not paying a penny more until those evil bastards go to prison.” More: Did Emma Thompson just end the working mother debate for good? “Em’s on board. She agrees,” he added. “We’re going to get a load of us together. A movement. “They can’t send everyone to prison. But we’ll go to prison if necessary. I mean it. It’s going to be like 1848 all over again,” …

    February 27, 2015 7:50 am
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Editorial

  • What if Obama keeps us safe but unfree: Does our government fear freedom?


    Feb. 25, 2015: President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force base, Md., for a trip to Miami. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.? What if Reagan knew and respected the history of the Fourth Amendment? What if the essence of that history is the colonial revulsion at the British use of general warrants? What if general warrants were issued by a secret court in London and authorized British agents in America to search wherever they wished and to seize whatever they found? What if the revulsion at this British government practice was so overwhelming that it led to the Revolutionary War against the king? ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT What if the whole purpose of the Fourth …

    February 27, 2015 5:49 am
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Odd News

  • Today’s dialectic: Is that dress white or is it blue?


    (Reuters) – Cyberspace was being consumed by an acute philosophical debate on Friday over a picture of a dress many claim is obviously white and gold but others argue just as trenchantly is black and blue. The hashtag #TheDress led trends on Twitter worldwide, boosted by a stream of tweets from celebrities voicing support for either of the opposing camps. “From this day on, the world will be divided into two people. Blue black, or white gold,” U.S. comedian Ellen DeGeneres tweeted. The picture of the dress was uploaded on image-sharing website Tumblr by a user named “swiked” on Wednesday. But it wasn’t until Internet news company Buzzfeed asked for reader opinions on Thursday that the dialectic got going. Musician Taylor Swift was gripped by ontological uncertainty. “I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow. I’m confused and scared. PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK,” she tweeted. Swift …

    February 27, 2015 9:10 am
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