Headline News

  • California court rejects city’s tiered water rates


    (Reuters) – A state appeals court ruled on Monday that a southern California city’s tiered water rates, developed in an effort to combat overuse during the state’s ongoing drought, violated the state’s Constitution. The three-judge panel for the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal sided with taxpayers of the Los Angeles-area city of San Juan Capistrano, who filed a lawsuit against the city’s plan to charge differing rates based on water usage. The judges said in the 29-page opinion that the cost schedule was unconstitutional because it made some consumers pay more for water than it cost the government to provide it, violating a voter-approved proposition. “We do hold that above-cost-of-service pricing for tiers of water service is not allowed by Proposition 218 and in this case, [the city] did not carry its burden of proving its higher tiers reflected its costs of service,” they wrote. The panel sent the case back to a lower …

    April 21, 2015 3:54 am
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Politics

  • Struggling to remember the name of Jeb Bush’s super PAC? Here’s why


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – It’s hard to remember whether Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s super PAC is called America Rising or Right to Rise. The independent political group will likely raise hundreds of millions of dollars to back the former Florida governor’s bid for the White House, but it’s not meant to attract attention. The Bush super PAC is in fact Right to Rise. America Rising is another political action committee, unconnected to Bush, that plans to raise and spend unlimited sums of money, although it does share one goal in common with Right to Rise: to defeat Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016. They also share some thematic similarity with the group supporting another Republican presidential hopeful, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Our American Revival), which isn’t too different from groups advocating for potential candidates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (America Leads) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (Pursuing America’s Greatness). (Graphic: …

    April 21, 2015 3:33 am
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Stocks

  • Cirque du Soleil is taking its act to China


    Cirque du Soleil is taking its acrobatic, high-flying acts all the way to China. A group of private equity investors led by TPG — including Chinese firm Fosun — have bought Cirque du Soleil in a deal designed to fuel the company’s expansion in China. TPG will become the majority stakeholder, while Fosun and La Caisse, a Canadian institutional investor, will be minority partners. Founder Guy Laliberté will maintain an unspecified stake in the company, and stay on as a creative adviser, according to a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Cirque du Soleil deal is the latest example of investors and companies betting big on the growing spending power of China’s middle class — especially when it comes to leisure, travel and entertainment. Fosun, for example, is heavily invested in the travel and entertainment sectors, and recently purchased Club Med. “We have an objective to become one of the global leaders in businesses …

    April 21, 2015 3:53 am
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Sports

  • Red Wings expect Justin Abdelkader back from hand injury for Game 3 against Tampa Bay


    Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40), of Sweden, is stopped by Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30), defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) and right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), of Russia, during the third period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning won the game 5-1. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) (The Associated Press) DETROIT –  Even though they managed a split in the first two games at Tampa Bay, the Detroit Red Wings are trying to turn this playoff series around. The Lightning have outshot Detroit handily so far, so it’s the Red Wings who look like the team that needs to adjust before Tuesday night’s Game 3 in Motown. Detroit expects to have left wing Justin Abdelkader back from a hand injury — he hasn’t played since April 4. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “I think my game is really suited for the playoffs …

    April 21, 2015 4:14 am
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World News

  • Egypt’s Morsi jailed for 20 years


    The verdict is one of many awaiting the former Egyptian president An Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in jail for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his rule. It is the first verdict he has received since his ousting and is one of several trials he faces. Morsi was deposed by the army in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule. Since then, the authorities have banned his Muslim Brotherhood movement and arrested thousands of his supporters. Morsi and 14 other Brotherhood figures escaped a more serious charge of inciting the killing of protesters, which could have carried the death sentence. Most of the other defendants were also given 20-year prison sentences. Morsi’s trials This court case is one of several trials Mr Morsi faces. They include: Colluding with foreign militants in a plot to free Islamists in mass prison breaks during the 2011 uprising …

    April 21, 2015 4:14 am
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Technology

  • Kink app hopes iPhone owners will co-create the next Fifty Shades of Grey


    E.L. James famously wrote the first version of her Fifty Shades of Grey book as Twilight fan-fiction and published it online. Now an app called Kink is aiming to unearth a new wave of romance and adult-fiction authors – by getting them to write stories together on their smartphones. Released for Apple’s iPhone, the app encourages people to choose a pen name, then invite other users to collaborate with them on short stories by taking turns to write new paragraphs of up to 280 characters. People can also promote themselves and their stories within the app and chat to other users, with its developer seemingly pitching it partly as a literary dating app judging by the “seduce someone with your writing” tagline in its app store listing. Like much of its potential content, Kink isn’t one size fits all. Up to four people can collaborate on stories of micro (four turns), standard (eight turns) or …

    April 21, 2015 2:53 am
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Science

  • Clemson, international team crack genetic code of Upland cotton


    In a groundbreaking achievement led by an international team that includes Clemson scientist Chris Saski, the intricately woven genetic makeup of Upland cotton has been decoded for the first time in the ancient plant’s history. Saski participated in sequencing the genome, which is a crucial stepping-stone toward further advancements of understanding the inner workings of one of the most complex and treasured plants on the planet. The future implications of Saski’s research in the short and long terms are both financial and holistic. Upland cotton, which accounts for more than 90 percent of cultivated cotton worldwide and has a global economic impact of $500 billion, is the main source of renewable textile fibers. The genome sequence, unveiled in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology, will provide the know-how to engineer superior lines that will clothe, feed and fuel the ever-expanding human population. “From the discovery standpoint — having a solid foundation to begin measuring genetic diversity …

    April 21, 2015 3:13 am
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Health

  • Texas ice cream maker recalls all products over Listeria


    DALLAS (Reuters) – Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries announced on Monday a voluntary recall of all its ice cream and frozen treat products from store shelves due to continuing problems with the Listeria bacteria. The move is the most recent in a string of recall announcements by the 108-year-old company, based in Brenham, after health officials said last month three people made ill by Listeria between January 2014 and January 2015 had died in a Kansas hospital where Blue Bell frozen treats were served. Monday’s decision came after the bacteria was detected in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream samples that were tested last month. The products being recalled are distributed in grocery and conveniences stores and other retail outlets in 23 states and some international locations. “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers,” Blue Bell CEO Paul Kruse said. “We’re committed to doing the …

    April 21, 2015 3:33 am
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Entertainment

  • Harper Beckham Is The Cutest Celebrity Kid EVER!


    Posted on Mon Apr 20th, 2015 10:59am PDT       By X17 Staff Seriously — we can’t even handle it! On Sunday night David Beckham jetted out of Los Angeles International Airport with his four kids, and as much as we love Cruz, Romeo and Brooklyn, little miss Harper totally stole the show! The group will be meeting up with mom Victoria in London, and even though they’re all over the map these days, they still manage to make it work. Last Friday the whole family got together and went on a hike in Malibu for Victoria’s 41st birthday, and after that Posh and Becks left the kids at home and went out for a romantic dinner. But back to Harper — we can’t get over what a little cutie she is!   SEE THE GALLERY David Beckham Has His Hands Full At LAX Stories from around the Web

    April 21, 2015 4:14 am
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Editorial

  • Patriots Day 2015: Boston does not stand alone


    April 20, 2015: Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, crosses the finish line to win the Boston Marathon in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) In the two years since the horrific marathon bombing, Boston has been nothing less than resilient. The city has stood defiant and proud even as it painfully relived those grim events during a trial and persevered through a winter of record blizzards. But now, spring has come again, and we remember on this Patriots’ Day that if history is any guide, it holds not only the promise of Boston’s continued steadfastness, but also an affirmation from across America that Boston does not stand alone, and never has. As far back as 1775 and predating our nation’s independence, Boston stood strong against those who would do the city harm. Punished for the singular act of dumping tea into Boston Harbor and the far broader initiatives of Massachusetts toward representative government, Boston chafed under the onerous provisions …

    April 21, 2015 3:34 am
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Odd News

  • Goats, llama and shepherdess help clear plants at Oregon airport


    PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – As planes took off and landed behind a fence one unusually warm April day at Portland International airport, a herd of goats lay basking in the sun, taking a nap break from their 24-hour job of chowing down on invasive plants. Soon afterwards though, the 40 Spanish and Kiko breed goats were back at work, using their hoofs to hold down blackberry brambles and their nimble lips and sharp back teeth to cut away unwanted foliage. The airport took on the goats, watched over by a shepherdess and a protective brown llama named Monty, to clear a large patch of overgrown land just outside the airfield that is inaccessible to mowers. The goats, owned by Portland company Goat Power LLC, are accustomed to traveling all over Oregon to clear weeds from vineyards, schools and private yards. “This is our first airport,” shepherdess Briana Murphy told Reuters as some of the goats, …

    April 21, 2015 3:13 am
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