Headline News

  • Kerry welcomes North Korea’s release of American, restates terms for resuming talks


    BERLIN/SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the release of one of three Americans held in North Korea and said Washington is willing to resume talks with Pyongyang if it takes steps towards de-nuclearization. Jeffrey Fowle, 56, was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a sailor’s club in the North Korean city of Chongjin. He was freed on Tuesday and flown from Pyongyang on a U.S. government plane, without, Kerry said, any quid pro quo. North Korea’s KCNA state news agency said Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, released Fowle taking into consideration “repeated requests” of U.S. President Barack Obama. “The criminal was handed over to the U.S. side according to a relevant legal procedure,” KCNA said. Kerry, speaking in Berlin, expressed hope that denuclearization talks with Pyongyang could start again soon, again holding out the prospect that the United States could eventually begin reducing its regional military presence. “We’ve …

    October 22, 2014 9:50 am
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Politics

  • Senate Races 2014: Why Michigan Never Became Iowa


    Earlier this cycle, Republicans viewed the Michigan Senate race as a potential pick-up opportunity, much like the seat in Iowa. But it didn’t turn out that way — not even close. Both Iowa and Michigan featured open-seat races. In these states, Democrats had cleared the field to nominate a House member with partisan voting records. Meanwhile, the GOP’s top candidate picks took a pass on these Senate races, forcing the party to settle for second-tier recruits. To be sure, Michigan was a slightly more favorable battleground for Democrats — but Republicans were bullish about it. Now, with two weeks until Election Day, the Iowa race is a dead heat with both parties spending massively to win the seat. Nearly 500 miles away, Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., solidly leads former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in every public poll. Earlier this month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled more than $850,000 out of the state, canceling its final …

    October 22, 2014 7:48 am
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Stocks

  • 6-figure oil jobs lead to massive shortage of home builders


      In the oil boom towns of North Dakota, Texas and Colorado there’s a big demand for new homes — but there’s no one to build them. That’s because construction companies keep losing skilled workers to the oil companies, which are offering big bonuses and six-figure salaries. Even when a new construction worker is hired for a job, it’s often not be long before he’s poached by an oil company, said Granger MacDonald, owner of The MacDonald Companies, a home builder in Kerrville, Texas. Recruiters even loiter at truck stops and offer drivers $10,000 signing bonuses to take jobs driving for the oil companies, he said. Some drivers will abandon their loads on the spot, leaving others to finish delivering the goods. “If you can pass a drug test and have a truck license, you can earn $100,000 a year driving an oil truck,” said MacDonald. With so many carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other trade …

    October 22, 2014 6:47 am
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Sports

  • Halep whips Serena at WTA Finals


    Singapore (SportsNetwork.com) – French Open runner-up Simona Halep drilled world No. 1 and reigning two-time champion Serena Williams in Wednesday’s round-robin action at the season-ending $6.5 million WTA Finals. The fourth-seeded Halep stunned the U.S. Open champion Williams 6-0, 6-2 in 65 minutes on the hardcourts at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Williams has captured this prestigious eight-player tournament four times, including last year and in 2012, in Istanbul. The American great, who beat Li Na in last year’s finale, is also a two-time runner-up at this event. A milder Day 3 upset occurred when seventh-seeded former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic spanked fifth-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard 6-1, 6-3 in 83 minutes. Williams (1-1) leads this week’s four-player Red Group, which also features Halep (2-0), Bouchard (0-2) and Ivanovic (1-1). French Open titlist Maria Sharapova (0-1) heads up the four-woman White Group, which also features Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova (0-1), Agnieszka Radwanska (1-0) and U.S. Open runner-up …

    October 22, 2014 9:50 am
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World News

  • Ethiopia, 30 years after the famine


    With an Einsteinian shock of hair and a wise man’s beard, Mulugeta Tesfakiros, just off a flight from Washington, settled into an office of glass walls and vibrant artworks in Addis Ababa. The millionaire magnate, who has gone into the local wine business with Bob Geldof, mused on the new Ethiopia: “Most of the people need first security, second food … and democracy after that.” An hour’s drive away stand the corrugated iron watchtowers of a prison. The inmates include nine bloggers and journalists charged with terrorism. Standing in a bleak courtyard on a family visit day, they talked about how they had been tortured. “I feel like I don’t know Ethiopia,” one said. “It’s a totally different country for me.” This is the Janus-faced society that is the second most populous country in Africa. A generation after the famine that pierced the conscience of the world, Ethiopia is both a darling of the international …

    October 22, 2014 10:10 am
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Technology

  • YouTube games channels continue their rise: PewDiePie, Stampy, KSI and more


    YouTube games channels have become one of the most popular categories on Google’s online video site, with the 100 biggest notching up nearly 4.4bn video views in September alone. That’s up from 3.5bn views in May, according to a chart published by industry site Tubefilter based on data from analytics firm OpenSlate. The chart, which ranks YouTube gaming channels based on their monthly views, reveals that seven had more than 100m views in September, led by YouTube’s biggest star PewDiePie with 392.1m views that month. He was followed by child-friendly Minecraft channel Stampy (189.6m views), Spanish channel Vegetta777 (164m) and another Minecraft channel, The Diamond Minecart (161.8m). All four channels belong to multi-channel network (MCN) Maker Studios, which was acquired by Disney earlier this year in a deal that could eventually be worth up to $950m. The company has become one of the new powerhouses of games media, with 22 of the top 100 YouTube …

    October 22, 2014 3:44 am
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Science

  • BOFFFFs (big, old, fat, fertile, female fish) sustain fisheries


    Related images(click to enlarge) Recreational fishermen prize large trophy fish. Commercial fishing gear targets big fish. After all, larger fish feed the egos of humans as well as their bellies. A new compilation of research from around the world now shows that big, old, fat, fertile, female fish — known as BOFFFFs to scientists — are essential for ensuring that fishery stocks remain sustainable. “Information on many different kinds of freshwater and marine fish tell the same story,” says lead author Dr. Mark Hixon of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. “The loss of big fish decreases the productivity and stability of fishery stocks.” This loss, known as “size and age truncation,” typically occurs in all fisheries. Methods of saving big fish include slot limits, where regulations allow only the capture of medium-sized fish, as well as marine reserves, where some fish are allowed to spawn over their entire life spans. There are multiple ways …

    October 22, 2014 8:08 am
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Health

  • French developer of ‘peanut allergy patch’ makes U.S. debut


    PARIS (Reuters) – French biotech firm DBV Technologies – developer of what it says is a breakthrough treatment for peanut allergy sufferers – makes its U.S. market debut on Wednesday, with a Nasdaq listing set to raise funds for further research. The Paris-listed company, which develops immunotherapy patches for patients with potentially fatal food allergies, is issuing 2.67 million new shares worldwide via a U.S. listing and a private placement which together will raise at least 90 million euros ($114 million). “This fundraising will enable us to significantly strengthen our structures in France, notably in research and development,” Chief Executive Pierre-Henri Benhamou told Reuters in an interview earlier this week. DBV also develops patches for milk and dust mite allergies, but its “Viaskin Peanut” product is the most advanced and represents up to 75 percent of the company’s potential value, according to some analysts. Benhamou believes the product could be a blockbuster with over $1 …

    October 22, 2014 3:44 am
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Entertainment

  • Family And Friends Support Nicky Hilton At Launch Party For Her New Book


    Posted on Wed Oct 22nd, 2014 6:30am PDT       By X17 Staff Check out EJ Johnson’s weight loss, y’all! Oh, sorry — back to your regularly-scheduled story … Nicky Hilton launched her fashion tome 365 Style with a party at aunt Kyle Richards’ Beverly Hills boutique Tuesday night. Family and friends got in on the celebration — with mom Kathy showing off designs from her dress line, sis Paris providing the glam, and aunts Kim and Kyle lending support and inviting their Real Housewives of Beverly Hills co-stars Camille Grammer and Lisa VanderPump to join. Nicky herself, stunned in thigh-heigh boots and a flirty silk dress. Perhaps the most popular guest of the evening was EJ Johnson of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills as he strutted his much-lighter weight stuff with his co-stars Morgan Stewart and Dorothy Chang. The reality star and fashion blogger wore his usual black-and-white look with his Chanel padlock necklace, patent leather oxfords …

    October 22, 2014 9:30 am
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Editorial

  • Sayreville football saga: In praise of victims who spoke up about abuse


    Imagine what it was like when they turned off the locker room lights. A young football player, just a freshman in high school, is suddenly grabbed by upperclassmen. The gang pins him to the ground, immobilizing his arms and legs. Horrified, he pleads for mercy and help. To no avail. He can hear others cheering on the bullies. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Then, the boy is sexually assaulted. The details are too wretched and disgusting to recount here. But, according to police, there was force. And penetration. And abject terror. It is not enough for the defendants to claim that the same thing had been done to them by upperclassmen when they were freshmen, as has been reported. That may help explain their actions as “learned behavior,” but it cannot excuse them in a court of law. Other players stood by and watched. Some laughed. They did nothing. No one had the decency or strength of character …

    October 22, 2014 7:48 am
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Odd News

  • San Francisco stations banish ‘Royals’ song ahead of World Series


    (Reuters) – At least two Northern California radio stations have pledged not to play New Zealand artist Lorde’s song “Royals,” in solidarity with the San Francisco Giants during their World Series matchup with the Kansas City Royals. The decision by San Francisco stations KOIT and KFOG to drop the song, which has nothing to do with the baseball team, comes as the Giants and Royals prepare to play Game One of the championship series on Tuesday. In response, Kansas City station KZPT said it would play the song every hour on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. KZPT said it was a sister station of KOIT. “They’re our sister station, and as the old saying goes: ‘You can pick your friends but you can’t necessarily pick your family,’ and if they don’t play it, then we will,” KZPT programming director Tony Lorino said in a phone interview. Last week, KOIT posted a small image …

    October 20, 2014 7:16 pm
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