Headline News

  • Wrongfully convicted Connecticut man describes prison ‘nightmare’


    HARTFORD Conn. (Reuters) – A Connecticut man whose wrongful conviction on rape and murder charges was reversed after 21 years in prison described his ordeal as a “nightmare” in a hearing on Tuesday before a state commissioner who can award him up to $8 million in compensation. Kenneth Ireland was 18 years old in 1989 when he was found guilty of raping and murdering a 30-year-old woman. He was released from prison in 2009 after DNA tests exonerated him. Now 44, Ireland testified before the first hearing of a state commission established in 2008 to review claims of wrongful conviction. He said he had been subjected to daily physical and psychological abuse in prisons in Connecticut and Virginia and was “scared every minute I would die in prison.” The hearing before Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance also featured a video of a 17-year-old Ireland repeatedly proclaiming his innocence in an interview with police detectives. Ireland …

    July 29, 2014 5:01 pm
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Politics

  • U.S. Senate unanimously confirms McDonald to head veterans agency


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Bob McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, pinning Washington’s hopes on the former Procter Gamble Co chief executive to launch a massive turnaround effort at the troubled agency. McDonald, 61, replaces former Army general Eric Shinseki, who resigned in late May amid a scandal over cover-ups of long waiting times for health care appointments at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. The 97-0 vote to confirm McDonald comes a week after he pledged to bring corporate-style discipline and accountability to the agency, refocusing its 341,000 employees on serving veterans. McDonald, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served as PG CEO from 2009 to 2013, is widely expected to start his new job with an extra $17 billion at his disposal to reduce months-long health care wait times in new legislation slated for passage by Congress this week. The …

    July 29, 2014 3:18 pm
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Stocks

  • Red Lobster bets on fancier-looking plates to turn things around


    A new upscale plating scheme could help Red Lobster turn around. Let’s get this out of the way: Lobsterfest is here to stay. But Red Lobster is making some big changes, pulling back from deep discounting and presenting food on the plate in a more vertical fashion, in the manner of upscale restaurants, rather than with fish, rice and vegetables positioned separately on the plate. The casual seafood chain, which changed owners on Monday, will keep popular, buffet-esque promotions — like Endless Shrimp and Lobsterfest — but will nix deals like two entrees for $25. The restaurant revealed its plans after its former owner, Darden Restaurants (DARD), completed the $2.1 billion sale of the casual seafood chain to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital on Monday. Related video: Endless shrimp (and problems) for Red Lobster Red Lobster’s sales dipped 8.8% in the U.S. for the first three months of 2014. One hedge fund CEO called …

    July 29, 2014 4:00 pm
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Sports

  • PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ’14: The field for the final major of the year


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. –  The 154 players who have qualified for the 96th PGA Championship, to be played at Valhalla Golf Club. Two spots are being held for the winners of the Bridgestone Invitational and Barracuda Championship if they are not already eligible. Otherwise, those spots to the alternates: PGA CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS: Jason Dufner, Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, David Toms, Davis Love III, Mark Brooks. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT MASTERS CHAMPIONS (5 years): Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel. U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS (5 years): Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell. BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONS (5 years): Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen. 2012 SENIOR PGA CHAMPION: Colin Montgomerie. TOP 15 AND TIES FROM 2013 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Jim Furyk, Henrik Stenson, Jonas Blixt, Scott Piercy, Jason Day, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Boo Weekley, Marc Leishman, Marc Warren, Robert Castro, Kevin Streelman, Steve Stricker. TOP …

    July 29, 2014 5:01 pm
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World News

  • Last Hiroshima bomb crew member dies


    29 July 2014 Last updated at 22:40 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk was the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew The last surviving member of the US air crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima has died in Georgia aged 93. Theodore Van Kirk, also known as “Dutch”, was 24 when he became the navigator of the Enola Gay, the aircraft which dropped the bomb. The attack killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Van Kirk said he had “no regrets” about the mission and defended its morality, saying it helped to end the Second World War. His son, Tom Van Kirk, paid tribute to his father, who he said remained active until the end of his life. “I know he was recognized as a war hero, but we just knew him as a great father”, he told AP.

    July 29, 2014 5:01 pm
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Technology

  • Bubblews Will Give You a Penny for Your Thoughts


    Bubblews, a social media platform that offers to pay users for their posts, last week moved out of its testing phase, which began in 2012. It emerged with a new look designed to attract users who might be dissatisfied with other social media offerings. Bubblews is attempting to build a self-sustaining ecosystem in which users who create engaging posts are paid for their work. It prides itself on being different from Facebook and Twitter, both of which compensate only their relatively small groups of company employees. Bubblews users can create, like and comment on “bubbles” — that is, posts. Users are allowed to publish as many as 10 posts in 24 hours. They receive compensation through an advertisement revenue-share system, based on the interactions — views, likes, coments — their posts spark. Users are prompted to enter their PayPal information when their earnings reach the US$50 mark. They can expect to receive payment within 30 …

    July 29, 2014 3:18 pm
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Science

  • Astronaut Mike Massimino Departs NASA for University Position


    [image-36] After almost two decades with NASA, including two space shuttle missions, astronaut Mike Massimino left the space agency Monday for a full-time position with Columbia University in New York. Massimino’s experience at NASA includes two shuttle missions to service the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope. During the final servicing mission, STS-125 in 2009, Massimino became the first astronaut to tweet from space, which led to a significant social media following. “Mike has played a significant role within the astronaut office in his time here,” said Bob Behnken, Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “His technical expertise was extremely helpful in the many roles he fulfilled, not the least of which was his part in the successful Hubble servicing missions.” “Mike embraced the opportunity to engage with the public in new ways and set the stage for more space explorers to be able to share their mission experience directly with …

    July 29, 2014 3:40 pm
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Health

  • Hungarian competition watchdog probes Sanofi subsidiary


    BUDAPEST/PARIS (Reuters) – Hungary’s competition watchdog GVH has raided the Hungarian headquarters of French drug maker Sanofi as the first step of proceedings against the firm for suspected abuse of its dominant market position. A Sanofi spokeswoman confirmed that the Hungarian watchdog had searched the company’s offices on July 22. She said the group is “fully cooperating” with the regulator’s procedure, which concerns the conclusion of wholesale trade contracts. “The company is confident that it has at all times complied with all applicable laws and regulations,” she said. The watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday it had launched the probe after Sanofi, which sells several drugs in Hungary, refused to sign a contract with a drug wholesale company. “The suspicion arose that Sanofi-Aventis… applies a practice in choosing its drug wholesale partners in which the selection is not based on the expected real economic efficiency of the link, while putting certain groups of market …

    July 29, 2014 3:18 pm
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Entertainment

  • Kendall and Kylie Jenner party with new BFF Chris Brown


    Kendall and Kylie Jenner may be taking a page from their older sisters Kim and Khloé Kardashian’s books, and they may have a little crush when it comes to bad-boy rappers. The Jenner sisters decided to party with new BFFs and notorious bad boys Chris Brown and Trey Songz on Saturday, July 26. No love lost: Kim K doesn’t have sympathy for brother Rob The Keeping Up With the Kardashian sisters attended a rather raucous-looking house party and appeared to be getting close with the bad-boy rapper stars, even posing for a photo together, which Songz shared via his Instagram account on Sunday. There were also several other pictures from the night, which show Brown charmingly giving the finger and pulling faces. Uh-oh, was Selena Gomez right? The Biebs Kylie Jenner get cozy 16-year-old Kylie was previously rumored to be getting cozy with another bad boy, Justin Bieber. Jenner was apparently flirting with the Biebs …

    July 29, 2014 4:00 pm
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Editorial

  • Troops told to refrain from eating, drinking in front of Muslims


    Ammar al-Hakim, right, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, take part in the Eid al-Fitr prayer in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr holiday marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) Do not eat or drink in front of Muslims, and learn more about their religion. That’s the directive that has gone out to active duty military personnel at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a Department of Defense medical and graduate school in Bethesda, Md. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The brigade commander sent an email to military personnel at the facility last month – just before the start of Ramadan – advising them to show respect to Muslim colleagues. “This is a period of great personal restraint and commitment in addition to renewed focus on worship,” Brigade Commander Col. Kevin Glasz wrote. “I’d like to encourage you to learn just a little …

    July 29, 2014 3:18 pm
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Odd News

  • More mysterious craters found in Russia’s remote Siberia region


    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two more craters of unknown origin have been spotted in Russia’s Siberia region, weeks after a similar-looking hole was found in the isolated northernmost area, a local paper reported. The Siberian Times, an English-language newspaper, published pictures of two new giant holes discovered by reindeer herders, one located in the Yamal and the other in the Taymyr peninsula, both above the Arctic circle. The paper said that theories of their origin range from meteorites or stray missiles to aliens or an underground gas explosion. The report could not be confirmed independently. Russian state TV reported earlier this month that a giant hole had appeared in the gas-rich Yamal peninsula where temperatures plummet below -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun barely rises in winter. A Russian scientific expedition arrived at the site to inspect the first crater, nicknamed the “Yamal black hole”, earlier this month, according to a recent report …

    July 29, 2014 3:39 pm
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