Headline News

  • Man charged with arson in Northern California wildfire


    (Reuters) – Authorities in Northern California have charged a man with arson in the so-called King Fire, the largest and most dangerous of nearly a dozen major wildfires raging across the state, court documents showed on Thursday. In a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors in El Dorado County, Wayne Allen Huntsman is accused of “willfully and maliciously” setting fire to forest land on or about Sept. 13 in the area of Pollock Pines. The complaint said the crime was a serious felony and that “a firefighter, peace officer, or other emergency personnel suffered great bodily injury as a result of the offense.” (Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Bill Trott)

    September 18, 2014 2:30 pm
    0 Comments

Politics

  • U.S. wasted $6.5 million on Afghan broadcast towers: inquiry


    LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Six communications towers built in Afghanistan were never used and were a waste of more than $6.5 million in U.S. taxpayer funds, an inquiry into U.S. State Department spending on Afghan reconstruction said on Thursday. The inquiry by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) tried to find out whether officials responsible for the project ignored a number of apparent warning signals before building the towers. “We have seen this problem time and time again, the red flags are ignored and the money is pushed out the door without proper planning and oversight,” John F. Sopko of SIGAR told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. State Department records provided to SIGAR showed that both senior State Department officials and flag officers from the Defense Department had expressed concern about the viability of the project. The aim of the scheme, when it was proposed in 2010, was to give Afghan civilians expanded …

    September 18, 2014 11:43 am
    0 Comments

Stocks

  • Wal-Mart holiday hiring lags rivals


    Wal-Mart is hiring 10% more seasonal workers than it did last year. But Kohl’s is hiring more. Wal-Mart is planning to ramp up its holiday hiring, but not at the same pace as other companies with big seasonal needs. Wal-Mart said Thursday that it will add 60,000 seasonal workers. That’s a 10% hike compared to last year, but rival Kohl’s is hiring 34% more this year. Kohl’s (KSS)said Wednesday that it will hire at least 67,000 temporary workers. Delivery companies, used by online merchants to get packages to customers, also have Wal-Mart’s hiring expectations beat. UPS (UPS) said earlier this week that it will nearly double its holiday workforce to as many as 95,000 jobs. And FedEx (FDX) is adding 25% more workers than it did last year, expecting to hire about 50,000 in total. Wal-Mart (WMT)said that its current employees who are interested in working additional hours will be given priority for holiday jobs. …

    September 18, 2014 12:44 pm
    0 Comments

Sports

  • Bills WR Woods misses practice with ankle injury; tells AP he expects to play against Chargers


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. –  Buffalo Bills starting receiver Robert Woods was held out of practice, a day after hurting his ankle. Woods told The Associated Press he spent Thursday having the injury treated. Woods is confident he will play Sunday, when the Bills (2-0) host the San Diego Chargers (1-1). ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The second-year player walked with only a slight limp. Coach Doug Marrone provided no details on the nature or seriousness of the injury except to say Woods was hurt near the end of practice Wednesday. Marrone wouldn’t speculate on whether Woods will be able to play on Sunday. Sammy Watkins was listed as practicing fully despite a nagging rib injury. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

    September 18, 2014 2:29 pm
    0 Comments

World News

  • New York man pleads not guilty to charges of providing aid to Isis militants


    A man accused of plotting to kill members of the US military and others pleaded not guilty Thursday to new federal charges that he tried to aid Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria and Iraq. Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, entered the plea in Rochester to three counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to the group, designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US. According to an indictment Tuesday, the Rochester food store owner tried to arrange for three individuals to travel to Syria to join the extremist group in 2013 and early 2014. Authorities said two of those people were actually FBI informants. Elfgeeh was arrested in May after federal authorities said he bought two handguns and two silencers as part of a plan to kill members of the US armed forces returning from war and Shiites in the Rochester area. The investigation included linking Elfgeeh’s home computer to tweets from alias Twitter …

    September 18, 2014 2:30 pm
    0 Comments

Technology

  • Yo! may be a source of ridicule but theres a reason it has millions of users


    At first they ridicule you. Then they start using your app for certain things. Then you raise VC funding. That’s the cycle of birth for new communication apps like Yo! and Snapchat and new content formats like emoji and internet memes. I remember when people would make fun of Snapchat as a “sexting app”. I did too, before I understood it. Before that, people made fun of Facebook. Before that, SMS. But as we’ve seen over and over again, dismissing new communication platforms comes with an opportunity cost for brands, businesses, and consumers. What used to be a simpler world of emails, phone calls, and SMS has led to dozens of new ways to communicate with each other. The iPhone and iPad have kicked off a Cambrian explosion of communication methods that divide and sub-divide the human need to express ourselves in ever more nuanced ways. So what can be said in an emoji that …

    September 18, 2014 11:43 am
    0 Comments

Science

  • “I Will Listen”: How Social Media Can Diminish the Stigma of Mental Illness


    One in four people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetimes, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Yet often these individuals conceal their difficulties from friends, co-workers, family health professionals and others who could offer help.   When the New York City chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI–NYC) decided to investigate this phenomenon, they found that fear of being stigmatized—resulting in part from beliefs that individuals with mental illness are unpredictable or dangerous—was keeping many people silent. Teaming up with marketing company JWT New York, they designed the “I Will Listen” campaign in an effort to help break through these misconceptions.   The idea is simple: people pledge on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Vimeo to listen to and support individuals struggling with mental illness. “This can let people know ahead of time that you are there for them,” says NAMI–NYC development and communications director Colleen Kane. …

    September 18, 2014 12:04 pm
    0 Comments

Health

  • One Dose of Antidepressant Changes Brain Connections, Study Says


    THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Just a single dose of a common antidepressant can quickly alter the way brain cells communicate with one another, early research suggests. The findings, reported online Sept. 18 in Current Biology, are a step toward better understanding the brain’s response to widely prescribed antidepressants. Experts said the hope is to eventually be able to predict which people with depression are likely to benefit from a drug — and which people would fare better with a different option. In a small study of healthy volunteers, researchers found that a single dose of the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) seemed to temporarily reduce “connectivity” among clusters of brain cells in most regions of the brain. The exceptions were two brain areas — the cerebellum and thalamus — where the drug boosted connectivity. In simple terms, connectivity refers to how brain cells “talk” to one another. The cerebellum coordinates the body’s voluntary movement, …

    September 18, 2014 11:43 am
    0 Comments

Entertainment

  • Kendall Jenner "Bullied" By Fellow Models At New York Fashion Week


    Posted on Thu Sep 18th, 2014 11:00am PDT       By X17 Staff Poor little pretty rich girl! Kendall Jenner has worked hard to be taken seriously in the fashion world, but some of her fellow models still look at her as a joke and treat her that way! In fact, the 18-year-old was bullied some catty cat walkers recently at New York Fashion Week. “The other models worked so hard to get a spot on the runway and didn’t think it was fair that she was there. They started acting b****y. Some even put out their cigarettes in Kendall’s drink!” an insider told In Touch. The reality star has openly discussed overcoming the stereotypes that come with being part of the Kardashian clan. “People didn’t take me seriously as a model…I went on castings and some people weren’t feeling me because of my name. But it was great when people didn’t recognise me. I was like, ‘Thank …

    September 18, 2014 1:25 pm
    0 Comments

Editorial

  • On Constitution Day, a reminder that political, economic chaos are a good thing


    “I’m not a Constitutional scholar, I just play one on television.” That might be a fitting disclaimer for recent article by David Wheeler, an Asbury University journalism professor, calling on the United States to rejoin the United Kingdom, were Scotland to go its own way.     ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Wheeler begins: “In the past few years, as America has degenerated into political and economic chaos, it has become increasingly clear that we would be far better off if we apologized for our revolt against the Crown and requested to rejoin the United Kingdom.”  Yes, my jaw also hit the floor.    It’s Constitution Day. Let me unswervingly uphold the ideal of political and economic chaos, because it’s enshrined in that noble document.   Yet, Wheeler has his reasons: The Brits live longer, enjoy a better health care system, experience less inequality, and exude better manners and a “higher” culture. I don’t even know where to start. …

    September 18, 2014 11:43 am
    0 Comments

Odd News

  • Factory gives model fighter jet to head of Russian Orthodox Church


    (This version of the story has been corrected to make clear gift was a model jet) MOSCOW (Reuters) – Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, was presented with an unlikely gift for a religious leader this week as he toured a factory in Russia’s far-east – a model of a single-seater fighter jet SU-35. Kirill was presented with the model after giving workers at the civilian and military aircraft plant icons blessed by himself, the church said in a statement on its official website on Tuesday. The patriarch, with whom President Vladimir Putin has fostered increasingly close ties in recent years, addressed the workers on the importance of protecting Russia. “Russia cannot be a vassal. Because Russia is not only a country, it is a whole civilization, it is a thousand-year story, a cultural melting-pot, of enormous power,” RIA news agency quoted him as saying. “In order for us to be able …

    September 18, 2014 12:04 pm
    0 Comments