• ‘Progress’ in US-Cuba diplomatic talks

    ‘Progress’ in US-Cuba diplomatic talks

    27 February 2015 Last updated at 23:19 Representatives from Cuba hope to see the country removed from a US terror list Cuban and US diplomats say they have made progress in talks in Washington to...
  • US homeland security nears shutdown

    US homeland security nears shutdown

    27 February 2015 Last updated at 23:27 It is unclear what House Speaker John Boehner, centre, and other Republican leaders will propose next US lawmakers have rejected a short-term funding bill for homeland security, increasing...
  • Reese Witherspoon Has A Picture Perfect Life

    Reese Witherspoon Has A Picture Perfect Life

    Posted on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 1:40pm PDT       By X17 Staff What a happy bunch! Reese Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth took son Tennessee along on their morning coffee run today, and the little guy was...
  • Iran hacked an American casino, U.S. says

    Iran hacked an American casino, U.S. says

    It’s been a year since American billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s casino company was hacked. Now the blame is officially being placed on Iran. For the first time, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the Iranian...
  • Doctors with bad news seen as less compassionate

    (Reuters) – Regardless of how they frame the discussion, doctors who deliver bad news may be seen as less compassionate by their patients, a new study suggests. Patients who watched videos of fictional interactions between...

Headline News

  • US homeland security nears shutdown


    27 February 2015 Last updated at 23:27 It is unclear what House Speaker John Boehner, centre, and other Republican leaders will propose next US lawmakers have rejected a short-term funding bill for homeland security, increasing the threat of a partial agency shutdown at midnight on Friday. The House of Representatives voted 224-203 against the measure, with dozens of Republicans defying party leaders. They rejected the bill after provisions to block parts of President Barack Obama’s immigration plan were dropped. The agency, which employs about 250,000 people, faces partial closure unless a deal is agreed in the coming hours. About 200,000 department employees, including border and airport security agents, will continue to work without pay if the agency does not have funding. Several Democrats, who want a longer-term spending bill passed without changes to the immigration policy, joined Republican rebels in voting against the measure. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called for full funding of the …

    February 27, 2015 5:56 pm
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Politics

  • Pentagon pulls order relocating military judges to Guantanamo


    FORT MEADE, Md. (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department said on Friday it had rescinded an order relocating military judges to Guantanamo Bay that was intended to speed up trials of al Qaeda suspects but drew allegations of Pentagon meddling in the judicial process. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s about-face on his Jan. 7 order clears a hurdle for the slow-running trials at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The judge presiding over the trial of five suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States halted proceedings on Wednesday until the order was lifted. He cited “unlawful command influence,” or Pentagon meddling in the judicial process. Work reversed course late on Thursday in a one-paragraph order. In a statement, Work’s office said he “believes it is important to preserve the independence of the Military Commission (court) in appearance, as well as in fact.” Work’s order had stripped three military judges of other …

    February 27, 2015 5:15 pm
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Stocks

  • Iran hacked an American casino, U.S. says


    It’s been a year since American billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s casino company was hacked. Now the blame is officially being placed on Iran. For the first time, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the Iranian government was behind a damaging cyberattack on the Sands Las Vegas Corporation (LVS) in 2014. He mentioned it while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. Sands owns several well-known properties, including The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and two other resorts in Macao and Singapore. The attack made headlines, because Las Vegas Sands is a large publicly-traded company. In February 2014, it said unidentified hackers broke into its computer network and stole customer data: credit card data, Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses numbers. The U.S. government accuses Iran of hacking the Las Vegas Sands Casino Corporation, which owns The Palazzo and several other resort-hotel-casinos around the world. At the time, it sounded like just another …

    February 27, 2015 5:34 pm
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Sports

  • Stacy Lewis shoots 64 to lead LPGA Thailand by 3 after round 2


    CHONBURI, Thailand –  Stacy Lewis shot an unblemished round of 8-under-par 64 for a three-shot advantage over Amy Yang after the second round of the LPGA Thailand on Friday. Lewis, the world No. 3, enjoyed four straight birdies from hole Nos. 4-7, plus four more on the back nine, to produce a two-day total of 14-under 130. She also led at Siam Country Club at the halfway stage in 2013, and finished third. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “It really was a pretty easy day,” Lewis said. “I didn’t cause myself too much stress.” Yang shot five birdies and eagled the par-5 10th in a 66 to lie at 11 under overall. She has three top-five finishes in her last four tournaments. Four players were another three shots back at 8 under: Germany’s Caroline Masson, South Koreans Jenny Shin and Mirim Lee, and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn. Former world No. 1 and two-time champion Yani Tseng of Taiwan, an …

    February 27, 2015 5:56 pm
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World News

  • ‘Progress’ in US-Cuba diplomatic talks


    27 February 2015 Last updated at 23:19 Representatives from Cuba hope to see the country removed from a US terror list Cuban and US diplomats say they have made progress in talks in Washington to restore full relations between the two countries. At issue is the opening of embassies in the two capitals and Cuba’s hope it will be removed from a US terror list. The Cuban delegation was optimistic that problems could be overcome. Likewise the head of the US delegation said she hoped that the embassies issue could be resolved before a regional summit in Panama on 10 April. It is hoped that Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro will shake hands in a symbolic sign of improved relations at the summit. US delegation head Roberta Jacobson expressed optimism that the embassies issue could be resolved before the April regional summit This is the second round of talks between the two countries since …

    February 27, 2015 5:56 pm
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Technology

  • The dress quandary: ‘It’s an illusion. But everything is an illusion’


    It’s a rare feat for a meme to crawl out of the muck of internet culture and into the consciousness of everyday folks. Especially when it happens as quickly as “the dress” did. Between Thursday evening and Friday morning, the dress grew from a Tumblr post by an Irish musician to an international phenomenon and subject of debate across the globe. The crux of the dress question, and perhaps its appeal, is simple: is the frock white and gold, or blue and black? The phenomenon could be the result of a simple optical illusion, an ambiguity, or it could be a more complex. Whatever the cause, it’s a photo that not even perception researchers can agree on. “So much of our vision and hearing is really accurate,” said Howard C Hughes, who investigates the mechanisms of perception at Dartmouth College’s department of psychological and brain sciences. “If that weren’t so, we couldn’t walk through the …

    February 27, 2015 5:14 pm
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Science

  • Scientific American and Nature Editors Remember Leonard Nimoy


    I was saddened to hear Leonard Nimoy died. It was even more sorrowful to find that years of smoking had caught up with him. I caught myself thinking: Spock smoked? Why would someone as fastidious about his health and logical about evidence-based science ever take up smoking? And that mental jump from the actor to the character was what made Leonard Nimoy’s professional life a burden and a blessing—a hazard for many actors who play an iconic character.   About 20 years ago I was working at a photo magazine and attended an event in the Hayden Planetarium where Nimoy was a spokesman. It was for a photography product launch, although memory of what escapes me. There was a lunch and as the tables quickly filled a colleague and I picked one that had a few seats left. There was one empty seat, and Nimoy walked over, asked if the chair was taken and sat …

    February 27, 2015 5:14 pm
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Health

  • Doctors with bad news seen as less compassionate


    (Reuters) – Regardless of how they frame the discussion, doctors who deliver bad news may be seen as less compassionate by their patients, a new study suggests. Patients who watched videos of fictional interactions between doctors and patients felt the doctors delivering bad news were less compassionate than those giving good news, researchers found. Until recently, doctors and researchers believed that doctors who delivered bad news in an empathetic tone would be seen as sincere, said Dr. Eduardo Bruera, the study’s lead author from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. But it seems the news itself has an impact on the way patients see doctors. The researchers showed 100 cancer patients two videos. In one, an actor playing a patient with advanced cancer was told by a doctor that treatment options had been exhausted. The other video showed the same scenario with a similar-looking doctor saying there may be some treatment …

    February 27, 2015 5:15 pm
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Entertainment

  • Reese Witherspoon Has A Picture Perfect Life


    Posted on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 1:40pm PDT       By X17 Staff What a happy bunch! Reese Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth took son Tennessee along on their morning coffee run today, and the little guy was in such a good mood he decided to give us a wave! His Oscar winner mom and agent dad had huge smiles on their faces too, so it seems the whole brood woke in great spirits! The actress and her hubby looked so in love as they strolled down the street hand-in-hand that it makes us wonder if they will add another baby to the mix? If their first turned out this cute, it would a shame to not have at least one more!   SEE THE GALLERY Reese Witherspoon Grabs Coffee With Her Family Stories from around the Web

    February 27, 2015 5:56 pm
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Editorial

  • What we can all learn from Internet’s white and gold dress feeding frenzy


    In the pantheon of scene-stealers, The Dress was hardly a shoo-in; no Kim Kardashian (barely) inside it, no swan wrapped around it, full coverage of all conventionally-accepted erogenous zones. On an Internet increasingly aware of its own viral cues (cuddly mammals, outlandish foodstuffs, passionate but illiterate sorority rush documents) every indicator would have suggested it was bound for obscurity.  Nevertheless, The Dress is trending on Facebook, #1 on Buzzfeed, and has achieved what most Internet memes can only dream of (better luck next time, llamas on the lam!); a backlash to the backlash.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT By now, the basics are well-established: something about science, and light, and other 9th grade science concepts that remain as confounding to this writer now as they were then. Whatever the cause, the consequences are shattering: homes divided, couples torn asunder, and office-workers forming opposing packs to amass and hoard all the good office snacks, even the ones with people’s names on them …

    February 27, 2015 5:56 pm
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Odd News

  • Dude, where’s my race car?


    (Reuters) – NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil was left without a ride for this weekend’s race after his orange stock car was stolen from a motel parking lot early Friday, forcing him to drop out of the event. Kvapil and other Team Xtreme members were staying at the Drury Inn in suburban Atlanta when they discovered that their truck, 26-foot trailer and the most valuable contents inside – their primary car and a backup engine – had vanished from the parking lot. The car was Team Xtreme’s only vehicle and it was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, said owner John Cohen. “Wow. Anyone near Atlanta find my stolen Cup car let me know! Unreal,” Kvapil said on Twitter. The theft of the items was valued at nearly $375,000, Morrow, Georgia, police said. Surveillance tapes show the thieves struck at about 5:30 a.m. Cohen said the team would enter …

    February 27, 2015 5:14 pm
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