Headline News

  • Donations save iconic American ship from the scrapyard

    The SS United States, pictured here in 2001, sailed its maiden voyage from New York to the United Kingdom in 1952. (AP) An iconic American ship that holds the record for being the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic has been given a reprieve from the scrapyard. The SS United States Conservancy announced Tuesday that it has received more than $600,000 in donations to keep the ship from being sold for scrap metal, after the nonprofit revealed in early October that it was running out of funding to maintain it and was exploring its sale. The ship, bought by the conservancy for $3 million from cruise operator NCL Group in 2011, is currently docked in Philadelphia. Resting at 990 feet long, the ship is of particular interest to scrap metal dealers since it was built mainly with light-weight aluminum so it could reach speeds of up to 44 mph in the water. For years, …

    November 25, 2015 1:27 am


  • Obama meets with national security advisers on Islamic State threat: White House

    WASHINGTON President Barack Obama met with his National Security Council on Tuesday to discuss the response to recent attacks by Islamic State militants, and told his team to “continue to intensify ongoing efforts” against the group, the White House said. “The president was briefed that there is currently no specific, credible threat to the homeland” from Islamic State, the White House said in a statement. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    November 25, 2015 2:06 am


  • Working while brown: What discrimination looks like now

    When Monica Harwell began a program that trained women to work at Con Edison, the energy utility provider for New York, she thought her dreams of having a job working outdoors would finally be realized. She learned to climb utility poles, received electrical training and assisted other workers in the field. Harwell was one of the first women on her team and one of the sole black employees working with crews that were almost all male and white. But the experience came at a price. “People had bets on me,” Harwell said in an interview with CNNMoney. “They didn’t think I would make it.” The insults turned into even bigger issues that she said kept her from advancing. Eventually, she filed a harassment and discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to a CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll on race in America, 69% of blacks and 57% of Hispanics say past and present discrimination …

    November 25, 2015 12:46 am


  • Unbeaten Warriors set NBA record

    Stephen Curry was the Warriors’ star performer with 24 points and nine assists The Golden State Warriors have set a record for the longest unbeaten start to an NBA season with a convincing victory over the LA Lakers. The Warriors’ 111-77 victory on Tuesday extended their perfect start to 16 consecutive wins. It means the Warriors have broken the record they previously shared with the 1993-94 Houston Rockets and 1948-49 Washington Capitals. Reigning Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry starred in scoring 24 points. The Warriors will now seek to surpass the record of 33 consecutive victories during a regular NBA season, set by the 1972 Lakers.

    November 25, 2015 2:06 am

World News

  • Ramayana: Indian children playing god with royal patronage

    Image copyright Saibal Das For two months every year, five children in Ramnagar town in the northern Indian city of Varanasi don greasepaint and are dressed in silken robes to perform in the Ramlila festival, based on the Hindu religious epic Ramayana. The dramatic folk re-enactment of Hindu god Ram’s victory over the 10-headed demon king Ravana celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The head of the former royal family of Varanasi selects the children to play Ram, his wife Sita and his three brothers, and the actors are handed over to a teacher to be trained for their performances. Photographer Saibal Das went backstage to meet the children who play god. Image copyright Saibal Das Image caption The Ramnagar Ramlila has a history of more than 500 years and it is still celebrated in the traditional way – without electric lights or a microphone to reach the audience. Image copyright Saibal Das Image …

    November 25, 2015 1:26 am


  • ‘Too quiet’ electric and hybrid cars create headache for US regulators

    US regulators are grappling with new rules for electric and hybrid cars that are too quiet, leading to fears of collisions with cyclists and sight-impaired pedestrians unless the vehicles are fitted with artificial noise-making systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the odds of a hybrid vehicle being involved in a pedestrian crash are 19% higher compared with a gasoline-powered vehicle. Related: Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: car review | Martin Love The car safety regulator has said that if the proposal were implemented there would be 2,800 fewer pedestrian and bicyclist injuries annually. There are about 125,000 such accidents each year. But the regulators have been forced to delay until at least March 2016 a government plan, in the works since 2013, to require “quiet cars” – vehicles that operate at low speeds without a gasoline engine running – to add new audio alerts at low speeds. The proposed rules would require automakers like …

    November 24, 2015 10:25 pm


  • Physicists entangle qubits in a semiconductor at room temperature

    Entanglement engineer: Paul Klimov in the lab The quantum entanglement of a large ensemble of spins in a semiconductor has been carried out at room temperature for the first time, by researchers in the US. The team entangled more than 10,000 copies of two-qubit entangled states in a commercial silicon-carbide (SiC) wafer at ambient conditions. SiC is widely used in electronics, so this latest achievement could be an important step towards the creation of sophisticated quantum devices that harness entanglement. Entanglement is a purely quantum-mechanical phenomenon that allows two or more particles to have a much closer relationship than is allowed by classical physics, no matter how far apart they may be. The states of entangled particles are inextricably linked such that any change made to one particle instantly influences the state of the other. Entangled particles are seen as a key component of quantum computers, but for entanglement to be truly utilized in practical applications, …

    November 25, 2015 1:06 am


  • Five charged in $600 million California health care fraud scheme

    LOS ANGELES The former chief financial officer of a California hospital and four other people have been charged in a series of health care kickback schemes that generated nearly $600 million in fraudulent billings for spinal surgeries, prosecutors said on Tuesday. All five defendants have agreed to cooperate in a wide-ranging federal investigation into the fraud, dubbed “Operation Spinal Cap”, U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said, and two have already pleaded guilty to federal charges. The remaining three defendants were expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks, Mrozek said. Under the terms of their plea agreements, all five will face prison terms and be ordered to pay restitution, he said. Prosecutors say one of the schemes involved kickbacks and fraudulent claims submitted in thousands of spinal surgery cases referred to Pacific Hospital in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach. The hospital’s former owner, Michael Drobot, pleaded guilty last year to taking part in …

    November 25, 2015 1:46 am


  • Nick Carter Says Bindi Irwin Deserved To Win ‘DWTS’ Mirrorball Trophy: ‘She Kicked Butt’

    Nick Carter lost out on the Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball trophy on Monday night, but he took the news like a true champion. Calling his time on the show “a bonding experience,” the Backstreet Boys singer gave kudos to Season 21 winner Bindi Irwin. “This experience was a bonding experience, it was something I will always remember,” Carter told co-host Erin Andrew. “Bindi deserved it, she kicked butt.” .@nickcarter‘s response to coming in 2nd. We ADORE #TeamSharNick https://t.co/4yqBRNZpMD — WhatHappensOnTheBSB (@WHOTheBckstreet) November 25, 2015 Minutes before Tuesday night’s show ended, the final three couples gathered on stage to find out who would take home the trophy. Alek Skarlatos, partnered with Lindsay Arnold, came in third place. Hovering around the bottom of the leaderboard all season, Alek seemed pleased that he even made it into the final three. Earlier in the day, People magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and Buddy TV all predicted Bindi would win, but there …

    November 25, 2015 12:46 am


  • ISIS threat: Obama offers Hollande plenty of platitudes but no substance

    Francois Hollande’s trip to Washington Tuesday is probably the most important visit by a French president to the United States in decades. It comes against a backdrop of the biggest act of terror on French soil since the Nazi occupation in the 1940s. As Mr. Hollande has declared, France is “at war” with the Islamic State, responsible for massacring more than 130 people on the streets of Paris on Nov. 13. This is a moment when the free world must be united in the face of a tremendous evil advanced by Islamic terrorists who seek our destruction. It is also a time when American leadership is badly needed on the world stage, with the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and the Islamic State spreading its tentacles via terror networks throughout Europe, from Brussels to Berlin.   There was little sign, however, of President Obama shifting away from his “leading from behind” approach when …

    November 25, 2015 12:26 am

Odd News

  • Baby in swaddling clothes found in manger at New York church

    NEW YORK A newborn with his umbilical cord still attached was found lying in a manger at a New York church, police said on Tuesday. At Holy Child Jesus Church in the borough of Queens on Monday, the custodian found the crying infant wrapped in towels in the indoor nativity scene he had set up just before his lunch break, a New York police spokesman said. Father Christopher Ryan Heanue, one of the priests at the church, said he and others placed a clean towel around the baby while waiting for paramedics to show up. “The beautiful thing is that this woman found in this church – which is supposed to be a home for those in need –  this home for her child,” Heanue said, referring to the person he assumes left the baby there. “A young couple in our parish would love to adopt this child and keep this gift in our community. …

    November 24, 2015 9:25 pm