Headline News

  • U.S. judge rules Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that an Arkansas constitutional amendment that defines legal marriage as being only the union of one man and one woman was unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker said the Arkansas amendment enacted about a decade ago denied U.S. constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law for same-sex couples. “These laws impose unconstitutional classifications on the basis of gender in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” she wrote in her decision. The suit in Arkansas was filed by two, same-sex couples seeking what they said are the same rights of opposite-sex couples. The decision in Arkansas comes after the U.S. Supreme Court last week cleared the way for South Carolina to become the 35th U.S. state where gay marriage is legal, denying a request to block same-same weddings from proceeding. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz …

    November 26, 2014 3:07 pm


  • Mac and Cheese beak-to-beak in contest for Obama turkey pardon

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is set to announce Wednesday afternoon whether Mac or Cheese will be America’s top turkey, then both birds will travel to their new home: a farm in Virginia. U.S. presidents have been pardoning turkeys since the 1800s as part of the country’s national Thanksgiving holiday, when roasted turkey is the traditional main course. Though only one of the birds will be the official National Thanksgiving Turkey, both Mac and Cheese have been resting easy at the posh Willard InterContinental Hotel knowing they will both eventually end up not on a dinner plate, but at Morven Park’s Turkey Hill, the former home of a Virginia governor. The White House said Mac and Cheese are “beak-to-beak” on Twitter as users weigh in on which bird should receive the official pardon. Mac and Cheese are both males born in July who hail from Cooper Farms in Oakwood, Ohio. Mac is a …

    November 26, 2014 1:45 pm


  • Frozen’s Elsa and Anna teach girls to code

      Here’s one way to get girls excited about coding: use a couple of Disney’s wildly popular princesses. Frozen’s Elsa and Anna should do the trick. Code.org has partnered with Disney to create a 1-hour tutorial where kids can learn to write code that will get the princesses to ice skate around their computer screens. The kids can use computer code to carve snowflakes and patterns in the ice and create their own winter wonderland. The nonprofit group aims to increase the number of girls interested in computer science by starting them young, and getting its coding courses into schools. Since 2012, its intro course has been used in 62,000 classrooms. Related: Google hosts all-girl coding party As part of the collaboration, Disney gave $100,000 to Code.org. It’s no secret that there is a diversity problem in the tech industry. At both Google (GOOGL GOOGLE) and Twitter, only 30% of all employees are female. But …

    November 26, 2014 2:47 pm


  • McLaren make troubled start to new Honda era

    (Reuters) – McLaren’s first proper test with new engine partner Honda ended on Wednesday with the Formula One team completing only a handful of laps over two days in Abu Dhabi due to electrical problems. The car spent all of Tuesday morning in the garage before then completing three laps in the afternoon. On Wednesday, it managed only two laps. “Although this looked like another difficult day, this is just part of the learning experience we expected when we took on the interim car program,” said McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier. “To be honest, I’d rather be ironing out these problems here in Abu Dhabi, than discovering them in Jerez next February,” added the Frenchman. McLaren ended a long partnership with Mercedes after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season-ender. Honda, who partnered McLaren to championships in the late 1980s and 1990s, are returning to the sport after pulling out as a works team in 2008. …

    November 26, 2014 2:27 pm

World News

  • Cameroon frees 16 held by CAR rebels

    26 November 2014 Last updated at 17:28 Cameroon’s military has freed 16 hostages, including a Polish priest, captured by rebels from the Central African Republic (CAR), the president says. Fifteen of the hostages were Cameroonians abducted on 20 September and 24 October in eastern Cameroon. The sixteenth was Polish priest Mateusz Dziedzic, who was kidnapped on 12 October in Baboua, CAR. Cameroon’s government did not name the group responsible. However, Mr Dziedzic is said to have been captured by Democratic Front of the Central African Republic (FDPC), which had been demanding the release of their leader, Abdoulaye Miskine. The group had hoped to exchange Mr Dzjedzic for Mr Miskine, according to Poland’s Pontifical Mission Societies. A spokesperson for Poland’s foreign ministry said that Mr Dziedzic’s “condition isn’t perfect but he’s feeling fine and there is no threat to his life”. Marcin Wojciechowski added that the priest was freed following negotiations with other countries and international …

    November 26, 2014 2:26 pm


  • Tomorrow Daily 092: Mistletoe drones, Europa in HD, real-life bacon meme and more

    One more show before our Thanksgiving holiday! We’re excited to show you the new Europa image NASA remastered for us to marvel at, and we’re also thrilled to see hackers bringing bacon memes to life…but the real question is in our third news story today. Would you eat at a restaurant that deploys mistletoe-equipped drones? It seems awfully loud and silly to us. Plus there’s so much wind blowing around, we don’t think you’d be able to get a word in edgewise while you chow down on potato skins and decide if you’re going to kiss your date. Here are some links and notes for all the things on the show today: NASA remasters Europa photos into one stunning image “Push button, get bacon” meme brought to life by hackers TGI Friday’s in the UK incorporating mistletoe-carrying drones in its restaurants New Releases: Persona Q, The Imitation Game, Star Wars (teaser), and Jurassic World (trailer) …

    November 26, 2014 1:45 pm


  • DNA Can Survive Reentry from Space

    If a cascade of meteors struck Earth billions of years ago, could they have deposited genetic blueprints and forged an indelible link between Earth and another planet?   Perhaps. Although that puzzling question remains unanswered, scientists have uncovered a new clue that suggests it is possible for DNA to withstand the extreme heat and pressure it would encounter when entering our atmosphere from space.   In a new study published today in PLOS ONE, a team of Swiss and German scientists report that they dotted the exterior grooves of a rocket with fragments of DNA to test the genetic material’s stability in space. Surprisingly, they discovered that some of those building blocks of life remained intact during the hostile conditions of the flight and could pass on genetic information even after exiting and reentering the atmosphere during a roughly 13-minute round trip into space.   The findings suggest that if DNA traveled through space on …

    November 26, 2014 2:06 pm


  • Cigarette smoking by U.S. adults reaches record low: CDC

    ATLANTA (Reuters) – Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults last year touched its lowest on record, a drop spurred by higher prices, smoke-free policies and anti-smoking campaigns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. About 17.8 percent of American adults smoked cigarettes in 2013, down from 20.9 percent in 2005 and 42.4 percent in 1965, when the U.S. government began keeping records on smoking, the federal health agency said. While the continuing decline is encouraging, Brian King, a senior scientific advisor with the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said the rate is not on track to meet the federal goal of cutting adult cigarette smoking to 12 percent by 2020. “We need to accelerate the magnitude of the decline,” he said. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease in the United States, causing 480,000 premature deaths annually, according to the CDC. In addition to the overall decline in adult smokers, …

    November 26, 2014 1:45 pm


  • LeAnn Rimes Slams 11-Year-Old Stepson Mason For Not Being As "Driven" As Her

    Posted on Wed Nov 26th, 2014 11:00am PDT       By X17 Staff LeAnn Rimes sat down with The Daily Mail to chat about her family life and her career, and while she’s quite honest about a number of things, she went a little too far when she compared herself to her stepson. LeLe tells the publication: “I was super-driven as a kid. Even though I was on the road a lot, the teachers would give me homework and I would get it all done. I look at my 11-year-old stepson Mason, and I’m like, ‘I signed a record deal when I was your age. You’re still fumbling with tying your shoelaces.‘” On her childhood, she added: “I always say, ‘Smart, pretty…unpopular,’ because girls can be really jealous. I was terrified of school and I was bullied. When I was 11, a girl brought a knife to school and wrote me a note saying she was going to …

    November 26, 2014 1:25 pm


  • Ferguson fury: What we could learn from London’s 2011 race riots

    In August 2011, Police in London shot and killed an armed criminal, Mark Duggan. Playing off assumptions that Duggan, a black man, had been killed by a trigger happy white police officer, five days of rioting followed. How London’s police dealt with those riots carries four lessons for Ferguson. 1. Rioters shouldn’t be treated as protesters.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT When you burn a businesses, or loot a store, or throw rocks at police officers, you’re not a protester, you’re a criminal. Period. End of story. It’s simple delusion to regard what’s happening in Ferguson as political expression. Here, the London riots offer their first lesson. For the first few days of the London riots, the Police treated the spreading disorder as political expression. They believed that a conciliatory policing response would encourage the rioters to dissipate. In fact, the opposite occurred. The riots grew in size and scale and the violence spread.  Facing riots, it’s not enough …

    November 26, 2014 1:45 pm

Odd News

  • Swiss group wants sausage dogs to be petted, not eaten

    ZURICH (Reuters) – An animal rights group has petitioned the Swiss government to ban a traditional, if rare, practice of eating cats for dinner and turning dogs into sausages. Tomi Tomek, president of the animal rights group SOS CHATS Noiraigue, which campaigned successfully last year to ban the sale of cat fur, said 3 percent of the population still eat cat and dog, mainly in the regions of Appenzell, Lucerne, Jura and Berne. “You can’t report it to the police because there’s no law against it,” she said. Dog meat is traditionally used to make sausages and a fatty remedy for rheumatism, while cat can be served for Christmas dinner. The activists handed in a petition with 17,900 signatures calling for the consumption of family pets to be outlawed. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

    November 26, 2014 10:02 am