Headline News

  • Deal reached on US veterans’ health


    28 July 2014 Last updated at 20:30 Congressman Jeff Miller, a Republican (left), and Senator Bernie Sanders, a left-wing independent, negotiated the compromise Veterans affairs leaders in Congress have announced a compromise to help address the problems overwhelming the US veterans healthcare system. Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Jeff Miller announced a $17bn (£10bn) deal that reconciles Senate and House bills passed in June. The veterans agency has been hit by a scandal involving falsified records and months-long waits for appointments. It provides healthcare to about nine million veterans. The agency has been overwhelmed in recent years by the surge of aging Vietnam veterans seeking care and by young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. A recent VA audit revealed more than 57,000 veterans had to wait three months or longer for initial healthcare appointments. An additional 64,000 veterans who requested appointments over the last 10 years never received them. The agreement announced on Monday includes …

    July 28, 2014 2:34 pm
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Politics

  • Obama briefed on Ebola outbreak as U.S. agencies provide support: U.S. official


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is getting updates on the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, an administration official said on Monday, noting U.S. agencies had increased their assistance in the past several weeks. The outbreak of the highly infectious disease has killed 672 people. The United States has been providing supplies including personal protective equipment, the administration official said. “We have been engaged on this outbreak since April, when the first cases were reported and have increased response significantly over the last several weeks as the outbreak deepened,” the official said. Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, said in a televised interview on Monday that the outbreak was of “grave concern.” “We are very much present and active in trying to help the countries of the region and the international authorities like the World Health Organization address and contain this threat. But it is indeed a …

    July 28, 2014 2:54 pm
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Stocks

  • Latest Silicon Valley darling promises a good night’s sleep


      I’m a horrible sleeper, and I’ve always had a couple of theories why: I’m a journalist with an unfortunate habit of checking (and sometimes answering) emails in my sleep. In my downtown New York City neighborhood, it’s not uncommon for a bar goer to belt Adele songs outside my window at 3am. Those are no doubt factors, but now a new technology is promising to a more clear assessment of my sleeping issues. Still in development, the product is called Sense, and includes a device that sits by your bed with multiple sensors measuring everything from humidity to temperature and ambient light. It’s paired with a sensor that attaches to your pillow to measure how you’re sleeping — whether your restful or you’re tossing and turning, for example. “Maybe on the nights where it’s a few degrees lower, you sleep ten or twenty minutes better — that should be able to be shown to …

    July 28, 2014 1:33 pm
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Sports

  • Without Blackmon, Sanders, Shorts, rookies Lee, Robinson getting more opportunities


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  Justin Blackmon is probably gone for good. Ace Sanders is suspended the first four games of the season. And Cecil Shorts III is hurt once again. Good thing the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted fellow receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, two second-round picks who could be opening-day starters. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Lee and Robinson have stood out during the first few days of Jacksonville’s training camp — and not just because they’re running with the first-team offense. Lee’s speed and athleticism have provided several highlights, and Robinson’s size and sure hands have been equally impressive. “Both of them are coming along and making big plays out there,” quarterback Chad Henne said. The Jaguars drafted the duo to play behind Shorts and Sanders and eventually step into starting roles. But Sanders’ suspension last week for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy provided more work for the rookies. And Shorts’ latest injury meant even more chances. “You …

    July 28, 2014 3:15 pm
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World News

  • Tripoli fuel fire ‘out of control’


    28 July 2014 Last updated at 17:12 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Footage shows rescuers attempting to quell the huge flames at the fuel depot – Rana Jawad reports A huge blaze engulfing Libya’s biggest fuel storage facility in the capital, Tripoli, has spread to a second tank. Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) has described the fire as “out of control”. It comes hours after the authorities appealed for international assistance to try to contain the blaze. The government blames clashes between rival militias for starting the fire, which it says may cause a humanitarian and environmental disaster. At least 97 people have been killed in fighting between rival militia groups battling for control of Tripoli’s main airport in the past week. Evacuation Firefighters almost managed to put out the blaze when it took hold of a first tank but had to withdraw after fighting resumed in the area, Libyan oil …

    July 28, 2014 3:15 pm
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Technology

  • Are Uber’s passenger ratings big data for good or discrimination 2.0?


    For a short period on Monday morning, users of taxi firm 2.0 Uber were able to see their passenger rating, the company’s internal ranking of how good a customer you are. The coder Aaron Landy discovered that by pasting a short chunk of code into their browser, any Uber customer could find out the rating they had been assigned. Landy himself scored 4.6 out of 5. Uber rapidly fixed the hole, but not before the ability to check passenger ratings had gone viral on social media. For some, that meant sharing their their passenger ratings, commiserating over low scores and congratulating each other on high ones. For others, it was the first introduction to the fact that their drivers were reviewing them. The concept seems at first like a novelty, an shining example of our data-driven times. The same arguments that Uber makes for letting passengers rate drivers apply in reverse, after all: more information …

    July 28, 2014 10:52 am
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Science

  • NASA’s Long-Lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record


    [image-36] NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod 2 rover. “Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world,” said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance.” A drive of 157 feet (48 meters) on July 27 put Opportunity’s total odometry at 25.01 miles (40.25 kilometers).This month’s driving brought the rover southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover had driven more than 20 miles …

    July 28, 2014 3:15 pm
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Health

  • Drugs to increase ‘good’ cholesterol may not cut deaths


    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Drugs that have been investigated to increase so-called “good” cholesterol may not prevent deaths, heart attacks or strokes as many hoped, according to a new analysis. Due to limitations in existing studies and ongoing experiments involving these and other drugs, researchers not involved with the analysis caution that it’s too early to give up on medications that increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, however. “In the time before statins were available, there were several pieces of evidence that HDL-raising drugs reduce cardiovascular events, but since the time statins have been used there is now evidence that HDL-targeted therapies don’t do anything to decrease mortality,” said Dr. Darrel Francis, the study’s senior author from Imperial College London. Unlike low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the so-called “bad” cholesterol that piles up in blood vessels, HDL is considered good because it’s thought to chip away LDL cholesterol. People with low HDL levels and high …

    July 28, 2014 2:54 pm
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Entertainment

  • One Direction’s Liam Payne Whips Fans Into A Tizzy With Naked Prank


    Posted on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 10:50am PDT Did One Direction’s Liam Payne just get naked?! Not so much — but he definitely tricked fans into thinking that! On Sunday, the 20-year-old boy bander whipped fans into a heated frenzy when he posted a photo of himself on a boat — and a pixilated bathing-suit area. Along with the potentially racy pic, Liam wrote, “Damn that was my last pair!” 1D fans went wild, thinking that the music man had gone commando for the snap and demanded he post an unpixilated snap. But alas — not all is what it seemed. Seven hours posting the original pic, the vacationing heartthrob gave into his followers demands and shared the picture — pre-pixilation. Looks like he actually had his bathing suit on the whole time! Oh those cheeky Brits!   Stories from around the Web

    July 28, 2014 1:33 pm
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Editorial

  • Meet the people Obama doesn’t want to come to America


    Earlier this month President Obama called the tsunami of illegal immigrants crossing the border “the best and the brightest.”   “We shouldn’t be making it harder for the best and the brightest to come here, create jobs here, grow our economy here,” the president told new U.S. citizens at a White House ceremony. “We should make it easier.” In the shadow of the illegal immigrant crisis at America’s southern border, the Obama administration continues to hold highly skilled and educated workers wishing to come to the U.S. and work for American companies to the strict regulations of its H-1B visa program, while moving toward a policy that grants work visas to the American-born children of immigrants who come here illegally. One of those individuals is Waghmare Vishal, a computer programmer from India. Vishal is a senior engineer for Maxxton USA, a software company based in Dallas. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT JOIN TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR CONSERVATIVE CONVERSATION! …

    July 28, 2014 2:54 pm
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Odd News

  • Arial, Times New Roman … and now the ‘Hugo Chavez’ font


    CARACAS (Reuters) – Supporters of Venezuela’s late socialist leader Hugo Chavez on Monday unveiled yet another novel way of keeping his memory alive – a font for typing in “El Comandante’s” handwriting style. The distinctive ‘ChavezPro’ font was launched by a group of young “anti-imperialists” to coincide with nationwide commemorations of the 60th anniversary of his birth. Chavez’s bold scrawl became famous to Venezuelans as he used to spend hours on national TV writing and drawing on boards and papers to explain policies, develop ideas and sign deals. His signature, in red for socialist, adorns T-shirts, baseball caps and the walls of buildings around the nation. The new font can be downloaded for free from the “Creative Trench” group’s web site (www.trincheracreativa.com). They used letters written by Chavez while he was in jail for a failed 1992 coup attempt to digitalize his handwriting. “The best present!” enthused one ‘Chavista’ via Twitter. “The typography of the …

    July 28, 2014 3:15 pm
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