Headline News

  • Fighter ‘War Machine’ sent to Nevada to face assault charges

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – The professional fighter known as “War Machine” was in custody in a Las Vegas jail on Saturday after being transferred from Southern California, where he was arrested for assault stemming from an ex-girlfriend’s accusation that he beat her in Nevada. Jonathan Koppenhaver, an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, was released from jail in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, on Wednesday to be transported to Nevada, said Captain Don Aguilar, a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Koppenhaver, 32, was in custody on charges including battery resulting in substantial harm, battery by strangulation and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the website for the Clark County detention center in Las Vegas. His ex-girlfriend, adult film actress Christy Mack, said on Twitter earlier this month she had suffered 18 broken facial bones, a broken nose and rib and a ruptured liver when “War Machine” attacked her and a man at her …

    August 30, 2014 10:38 pm


  • Captives held by Islamic State prove tough quandary for Obama

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After Islamic State’s beheading of journalist James Foley, President Barack Obama’s administration is making little headway in efforts to secure the release of three other Americans held by the insurgent group in Syria, officials said. Journalist Steven Sotloff and two others whom Reuters is not naming are among fewer than 10 Westerners that Islamic State (IS) is holding in kidnappings that until recently were aimed at simply raising ransoms, they said. The U.S. government has said it does not pay ransoms or negotiate with IS. Washington has contacted about two dozen countries for help in freeing the three, but no foreign government appears to have influence over or even significant contact with IS, which has declared an Islamic caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria. “What we’ve found is that ISIS isn’t responsive” to outreach, said a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity and using an alternate acronym for the …

    August 30, 2014 7:55 pm


  • Struggling Angry Birds maker dumping CEO

    The maker of the Angry Birds video game is replacing its CEO. The maker of the Angry Birds mobile video game is dumping its CEO as the company struggles with increased competition and difficulties in changing its business model. Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish video game maker, announced that CEO Mikael Hed will “pass the hoodie” in January to former Nokia (NOK) executive Pekka Rantala, a reference to the typical clothing worn in the company’s offices. The company is shifting its business from a pay-to-play, in which players buy the video game, to a free-to-play model. It now gets about half its revenue from licensing Angry Birds images for toys, clothing and other novelty items. But while revenue has held up, profit in 2013 fell by more than 50%. Rovio has had trouble with its plans to charge users for purchases made in the games. Competitors such as King Digital Entertainment (KING), maker of the Candy …

    August 30, 2014 8:49 am


  • Battling Bouchard moves into fourth round at U.S. Open

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Eugenie Bouchard battled to a 6-2 7-6(2) 6-4 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova to move into the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Saturday, continuing to build momentum after a lackluster buildup to the year’s final grand slam. A semi-finalist in the previous three slams, including a runner-up finish at Wimbledon, the 20-year-old won just one match in three tournaments leading up to Flushing Meadows but has slowly found her groove on the New York hardcourts. However, if the seventh-seeded Canadian is to make her grand slam breakthrough in New York she will have to lift her game after converting just seven of 17 break chances against her 30th seeded Czech opponent. Just when it seemed as if the match might be slipping away from her, Bouchard delivered when it mattered most, breaking Strycova to go up 5-4 in the third set then holding serve to clinch a spot in …

    August 30, 2014 10:39 pm

World News

  • US planes drop aid to Iraq’s Amerli

    31 August 2014 Last updated at 03:09 Shia Turkmen in Amerli have been under siege for two months US planes have made humanitarian aid drops to the besieged Iraqi town of Amerli, the Pentagon has said. Some 15,000 minority Shia Turkmen in Amerli have been surrounded by Islamic State (IS) militants for two months. The US also carried out air strikes on IS positions. The Iraqi army, Shia militias and Kurdish fighters have been struggling to break the siege. Aircraft from the UK, Australia, France joined the US in the humanitarian aid drops, said Rear Admiral John Kirby. Food, water, and medical supplies were delivered. Rear Adm Kirby said operations would limited in scope and duration, as required to protect civilians trapped in Amerli. The UN has expressed fears there could be a massacre if IS breaks through defences in the town, which lies in Kurdish-controlled Iraq. Earlier, the US launched new air strikes on …

    August 30, 2014 10:38 pm


  • Forget Orwell and Huxley Dave Eggers has seen the future

    Fifteen months have passed since Edward Snowden began to explain to us how our networked world works. During that time there has been much outrage, shock, horror, etc expressed by the media and the tech industry. So far, so predictable. What is much more puzzling is how relatively relaxed the general public appears to be about all this. In Britain, for example, opinion polling suggests that nearly two thirds of the population think that the kind of surveillance revealed by Snowden is basically OK. To some extent, the level of public complacency/concern is culturally determined. Citizens of Germany, for example, appear to be significantly more concerned about the Snowden revelations – and were so even before it was discovered that the NSA was bugging Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Germany was the European country where Google’s Streetview project ran into most opposition, for example. But German wariness about comprehensive surveillance is easy to understand: after all, …

    August 30, 2014 7:56 pm


  • Prions can trigger ‘stuck’ wine fermentations, researchers find

    A chronic problem in winemaking is “stuck fermentation,” when yeast that should be busily converting grape sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide prematurely shuts down, leaving the remaining sugar to instead be consumed by bacteria that can spoil the wine. A team of researchers including UC Davis yeast geneticist Linda Bisson has discovered a biochemical communication system behind this problem. Working through a prion — an abnormally shaped protein that can reproduce itself — the system enables bacteria in fermenting wine to switch yeast from sugar to other food sources without altering the yeast’s DNA. “The discovery of this process really gives us a clue to how stuck fermentations can be avoided,” said Bisson, a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology. “Our goal now is to find yeast strains that essentially ignore the signal initiated by the bacteria and do not form the prion, but instead power on through the fermentation.” She suggests …

    August 30, 2014 8:16 pm


  • New Novartis drug may upend heart failure treatment

    BARCELONA (Reuters) – A new medicine from Novartis could replace drugs that have been central to treating heart failure for a quarter of century, after proving remarkably effective in reducing deaths in a keenly awaited study. The experimental treatment, known at LCZ696, cut the risk of both cardiovascular death and admissions to hospital by a fifth, boosting hopes for a product seen as a multibillion-dollar seller – thanks, in part, to its expected premium price. “Given the survival advantage of LCZ696 over currently available drugs, once this drug becomes available, it would be difficult to understand why physicians would continue to use traditional (drugs) … for the treatment of heart failure,” said Milton Packer of the University of Texas. Packer was joint-principal investigator on the study with John McMurray of the University of Glasgow, who called the result “astonishing”. There has been little progress for more than a decade in treating chronic heart failure, in …

    August 30, 2014 7:55 pm


  • Jason Segel’s love of puppets is borderline terrifying

    Opening up about how his Los Angeles home is filled with the glass-eyed creations, Segel explained to The Guardian, “I have the ones I started out with as a kid and used to make films with. But now I have new ones, too. When I did The Muppets, there was a Jason Segel Muppet, which I eventually got to keep. That’s really the height of arrogance. To have a puppet of yourself in your own house.” Recognizing it’s a wee bit weird, he added, “Thank God there’s a context. Otherwise I’d be an unemployed man with a house of full of puppets. That would be terrifying.” Sorry, Jason Segel: 5 Reasons Sex Tape tanked Segel’s love for Kermit and the gang appears to be entirely genuine. “It’s very easy to look at The Muppets as pure entertainment,” he explained. “But even as a child, it taught me so many lessons. One in particular is that …

    August 30, 2014 9:36 pm


  • David Cameron stands up to Islamists: A lesson for Barack Obama

      The contrast between Friday’s press conference in London by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Thursday’s White House remarks by President Obama could not have been starker. Mr. Cameron delivered a robust assessment of the scale of the Islamist threat to Great Britain and to the free world.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT He told journalists assembled at Downing Street that “what we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL (Islamic State) is a greater threat to our security than we have seen before.”  While David Cameron appeared self-assured and determined in his approach, Barack Obama came across as a deer in the headlights, unable to outline a coherent U.S. response to a rapidly growing crisis in the Middle East. He made it clear that ISIS must not be allowed to establish an Islamist caliphate in Iraq. If they succeeded, “we would be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO …

    August 30, 2014 3:41 am

Odd News

  • Arizona man arrested for burning, urinating on Bible

    PHOENIX (Reuters) – A 22-year-old Arizona man calling himself “Dark Lord” has been arrested for allegedly burning a Bible and urinating on it outside a Christian-oriented homeless shelter in northern Arizona, police said on Friday. Eric Minerault was booked into the Yavapai County Detention Center late on Thursday on suspicion of one count of unlawful symbol burning stemming from the incident at the Gospel Rescue Mission, Prescott police spokesman Lieutenant Ken Morley said in a written statement. Police were called to the scene at about 9 p.m. by a mission representative reporting that someone was burning something on the mission’s front steps, Morley said. Officers found Minerault standing on the steps, with a burned and wet Bible on the ground near him. He quickly admitted to the act.  He told officers the mission was selected because he believed it was a place of Christian worship and he was “cursing the Christians,” police said. Asked why, …

    August 29, 2014 7:53 pm