Headline News

  • US targets those suspected of supporting terrorism, helping Iran expand nuclear program

    WASHINGTON –  The United States on Friday sanctioned more than 25 businesses, banks and individuals suspected of working to expand Iran’s nuclear program, supporting terrorism and helping Iran evade U.S. and international sanctions. The action is part of the Obama administration’s effort to show it will enforce existing sanctions even as it works with other world powers to negotiate a deal that will curtail Iran’s nuclear program. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “Treasury’s action against over 25 entities and individuals, who are involved in expanding Iran’s proliferation program, supporting terrorism in the region and helping Iran evade U.S. and international sanctions, reflects our continuing determination to take action against anyone, anywhere, who violates our sanctions,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement. As a result of the action, Americans are banned from engaging in transactions with any of the designated parties and blocks all their property or interests in property under U.S. …

    August 29, 2014 10:39 am


  • Obama urges caution on using force in Mideast

    President Barack Obama(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict. While that stance is in keeping with Obama’s long-standing aversion to military entanglements, it comes at a time when the effectiveness of his preferred options is being challenged and there are indications that some in the administration are ready to take more robust actions. In the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Obama has relied largely on coordinated U.S. and European Union sanctions to try to shift Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calculus. While the White House can claim credit for inflicting some pain on Russia’s economy, Putin appears to be only getting more aggressive, with Ukrainian officials accusing Russia of sending two military columns across the border Thursday. During a news conference at the White House, Obama warned that Russia likely will face …

    August 29, 2014 7:17 am


  • A dozen McDonald’s outlets closed in Russia

    12 McDonald’s outlets are closed in Russia McDonald’s can’t seem to catch a break in Russia these days. Russia’s consumer watchdog agency is forcing the American fast-food chain to temporarily close eight more outlets across the country over accusations of sanitary violations, bringing the total closure count to 12. All are owned by the company. Earlier in the month, the regulator made McDonald’s (MCD) close four restaurants, including its flagship outlet in Moscow that first opened to the public in 1990. It’s widely suspected that the closures are politically motivated. Many American and European companies are under pressure in Russia as Cold War-style tensions make it increasingly difficult for Western brands to operate.   McDonald’s said it would be appealing the court decision to keep the first four restaurants closed, and was reviewing all the regulator’s concerns as it tries to re-open its outlets. “Our main priority is to serve our customers with top-quality menu …

    August 29, 2014 10:19 am


  • Putin hopeful Russia won’t lose right to host 2018 World Cup

    LAKE SELIGER Russia (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he hoped Russia would not lose the right to host the 2018 soccer World Cup following Western calls to stop the country staging the tournament. Asked whether there was any risk that Russia could lose its right to hold the tournament due to the complicated political situation, Putin said: “I hope not. (World soccer’s governing body) FIFA has already said soccer and sport are outside politics and I think that is the right approach.” Senior FIFA members attending meetings in Monaco were unaware of Putin’s remarks when approached by Reuters, and could not comment. FIFA’s media department was not immediately contactable. Moscow has faced calls for the finals to be moved elsewhere because of its role in the Ukraine crisis and its occupation of Crimea. Republican U.S. senators Dan Coates and Mark Kirk cited Yugoslavia’s exclusion from the 1992 European Championship and 1994 World …

    August 29, 2014 10:39 am

World News

  • Brazil’s economy enters recession

    29 August 2014 Last updated at 14:54 Brazil has fallen into recession, just a month before the general election, latest figures show. Economic output, GDP, fell by 0.6% in the three months to June, worse than analysts had predicted, and revised figures for the first quarter of the year also showed a fall of 0.2%. A recession is usually defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The news will be damaging for the government of President Dilma Rousseff. According to the most recent poll, Ms Rousseff would lose to a rival candidate, environmentalist Marina Silva, if October’s election went to a second round. The World Cup, held in June and July, was not regarded as generally good for business, says the BBC’s Wyre Davies in Rio de Janeiro. “There were more days off for employees and many traditional tourists stayed away,” he says. “The problem is that, with elections due in early October, the economy …

    August 29, 2014 10:39 am


  • Toshiba pushes TransferJet in the West, wants it embedded in smartphones

    Toshiba’s TransferJet adaptors could make moving data to and from your phone very speedy indeed, although we didn’t have much luck. Luke Westaway/CNET With Wi-Fi, 4G, Bluetooth and NFC, you might think you’ve got enough methods of getting data to and from your smartphone or tablet. Toshiba however thinks there’s room for one more data transfer technology, and is betting big on TransferJet. International Jet set TransferJet isn’t a new technology — in fact, it was developed by Sony and formally established as far back as 2008 by the loftily-named TransferJet Consortium, which includes big names such as Sony, Olympus and Toshiba. The technology sees two electronic devices communicating by being held close together, a bit like NFC, but whereas NFC merely conducts a sort of digital handshake between devices, TransferJet can actually funnel data from one thing to another. It can do it very fast, as well — the tech has a maximum speed …

    August 29, 2014 7:18 am


  • NASA’s Spitzer Telescope Witnesses Asteroid Smashup

    [image-36][image-51] NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets. Scientists had been regularly tracking the star, called NGC 2547-ID8, when it surged with a huge amount of fresh dust between August 2012 and January 2013. “We think two big asteroids crashed into each other, creating a huge cloud of grains the size of very fine sand, which are now smashing themselves into smithereens and slowly leaking away from the star,” said lead author and graduate student Huan Meng of the University of Arizona, Tucson. While dusty aftermaths of suspected asteroid collisions have been observed by Spitzer before, this is the first time scientists have collected data before and after a planetary system smashup. The viewing offers a glimpse into the violent process of making rocky planets like ours. …

    August 28, 2014 11:31 pm


  • BioCryst expects to begin Ebola study in weeks

    (Reuters) – BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said it expects to initiate a study within weeks to test its antiviral in primates for use against Ebola infections The biotechnology company’s stock was up about 5.4 percent in premarket trading after it also said it had received an additional $2.4 million in U.S. government funding. Companies with potential Ebola therapies have captured the spotlight as developers face mounting pressure to expedite research on new medical interventions to combat the deadly outbreak that could infect over 20,000 people. The World Health Organization has allowed for people infected in the West African epidemic to be given untested drugs, ushering in an opportunity for makers of potential therapies. This $2.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funding is in addition to the $22 million contract awarded to BioCryst by the agency last September. The company received $4.1 million from NIAID earlier this month to advance development of an …

    August 29, 2014 7:17 am


  • Miley Cyrus’ Homeless VMA Date Jesse Helt Turns Himself In To Police

    Posted on Fri Aug 29th, 2014 8:59am PDT       By X17 Staff Miley Cyrus may have thought she was raising awareness for homeless youth at the MTV Video Music Awards when she let her friend Jesse Helt take the stage after she won Video of the Year, but it seems like it had the opposite effect. You see, Helt has had an outstanding arrest warrant since November 2011 for criminal trespass, and with his face all over the TV and web, he was forced head home (yes, he has one) and turn himself in to the police in Dallas, Oregon. Helt posted $2,500 bail, and according to Martin Silbernagel, director of Polk County Community Corrections, Helt is expected to appear before a judge in approximately two weeks. Court records indicate that Helt previously plead guilty to charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief and criminal trespass after he broke into a man’s apartment. Apparently Helt thought the man was …

    August 29, 2014 11:00 am


  • "Mary Poppins" 50th anniversary: Why "Mary" is my favorite movie

    Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert in a scene from Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins.’ The film has been selected for preservation at the Library of CongressAP Photo A couple of interesting things happened 50 years ago this month. On Aug. 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Then, 20 days later, Walt Disney Studios released “Mary Poppins.” The resolution, by allowing the Vietnam War to begin in earnest, fueled the growth of a counterculture of protest that characterized The Sixties. The movie, by celebrating those who challenge the traditions and rules of the established order, provided an early parable in support of that emerging counterculture. The “Mary Poppins” books by P.L. Travers are about a magical English nanny and the little scamps in her charge. This is true of the movie, as well, but the movie is more about how this nanny and these kids subtly convince the kids’ …

    August 29, 2014 3:15 am

Odd News

  • Singaporeans go barking mad over bid to silence dogs

    SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A suggestion by Singapore’s public housing authority that owners of noisy dogs consider “debarking” their pets to avoid inconveniencing neighbors, has raised animal lovers’ hackles in the city-state and prompted much ridicule on social media. The authority, the Housing and Development Board (HDB), recommended in a notice posted in a residential block that one option for dogs that will not keep quiet is to “debark” them. Debarking involves removing a section of a dog’s vocal cord to reduce the volume of its bark and is recommended as a solution of “last resort” to control noisy pets, according to Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority’s website. Animal welfare groups say the practice is cruel and unfair. “A dog also barks when it is in a stressed or anxious mode, and not hearing the dog does not mean the dog is in a stable state of mind,” said Action for Singapore Dogs in a Facebook …

    August 28, 2014 7:18 am