Headline News

  • More Californians dreaming of a country without Trump: poll


    SACRAMENTO, Calif. The election of Republican businessman Donald Trump as president of the United States has some Californians dreaming – of their own country. One in every three California residents supports the most populous U.S. state’s peaceful withdrawal from the union, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, many of them Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s ascension to the country’s highest office. The 32 percent support rate is sharply higher than the last time the poll asked Californians about secession, in 2014, when one-in-five or 20 percent favored it around the time Scotland held its independence referendum and voted to remain in the United Kingdom. California also far surpasses the national average favoring secession, which stood at 22 percent, down from 24 percent in 2014. The poll surveyed 500 Californians among more than 14,000 adults nationwide from Dec. 6 to Jan. 19 and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of one percentage point …

    January 23, 2017 2:23 pm
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Politics

  • Democratic state officials rush to defend U.S. consumer agency


    WASHINGTON Democratic state officials took a step on Monday to try to defend the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a court battle that could defang it, worried that Republican President Donald Trump’s administration will not safeguard the agency. Attorneys general from 16 states plus the District of Columbia filed papers with a federal appeals court seeking to intervene in the case. That court last October ruled that the structure of the agency charged with guarding consumer finances was unconstitutional. The state officials said in the court filing that they are concerned that the Trump administration will fire the independent director of the agency, Richard Cordray, who was appointed by Democratic former President Barack Obama. The agency was set up during Obama’s presidency as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. The court filing noted that Trump “has expressed strong opposition to the Dodd-Frank reforms.” As such, “it is urgent that the state …

    January 23, 2017 1:22 pm
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Stocks

  • Can Costco Be Threatened By Amazon’s New Prime Visa Card?


    Costco’s ( COST ) membership based warehouse model has been going strong despite e-commerce companies offering several conveniences for grocery shopping. Its loyal customers still prefer to visit its warehouse-like stores with their shopping lists and buy groceries and other home supplies in bulk. Costco has been slow in its e-commerce initiatives but the company does not seem to be overly concerned about this. Costco prefers its customers to visit its warehouses, since they are likely to spend more in a physical visit than online. However, Amazon now appears to be taking Costco head on by launching a new credit card which gives its Prime customers an additional 5% discount on all purchases on its platform. This is a Visa card that can be used by customers everywhere and earn discounts in both restaurants and gas stations as well. Amazon has more than 60 million Prime members and it is luring them through these discounts to shop more …

    January 23, 2017 11:28 am
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Sports

  • FIFA takes the 2018 World Cup draw to Russia’s Kremlin


    ZURICH (AP) — The 2018 World Cup draw will be staged on Dec. 1 at a Kremlin concert hall in Moscow. The draw will take place at the 6,000-capacity State Kremlin Palace, a grand structure built inside the Kremlin walls in the Soviet era to hold Communist Party conferences. Nowadays, the venue usually plays host to veteran Russian pop stars, ballerinas and awards shows. In what is billed by Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko as “a serious event” during a government meeting on Monday, the draw at State Kremlin Palace is expected to attract the coaches of the 32 teams which qualify. Those teams will then be sorted into eight groups for the World Cup. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been allowing FIFA to use high-profile venues for World Cup ceremonies. In July 2015, the qualifying program draw was made on the grounds of one of Putin’s official residences, Konstantin Palace near St. Petersburg. The …

    January 23, 2017 1:22 pm
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World News

  • Kim Jong Un mourns death of North Korea aviation chief


    Kim Jong Un struck a somber tone during a visit to a funeral ceremony held for Kang Ki Sop, the director-general of North Korea‘s aviation agency, according to state media. Pyongyang’s news agency KCNA reported Monday that Kim made a personal visit on Sunday to the funeral altar of Kang, about whom little is known. According to the report, Kang was a delegate to the Supreme People’s Assembly. The report did not state the cause of his death. “On Jan. 22, Comrade Kim Jong Un visited the open casket of the deceased, and expressed his deep condolences,” KCNA stated. The North Korean leader reportedly stroked Kang’s face and said, “Comrade Kang Ki Sop had such a thirst for his work, exhibited deep responsibility and proved himself a revolutionary warrior who is infinitely loyal to our party.” Top North Korean officials Hwang Pyong So, Choe Ryong Hae and Ri Myong Su accompanied Kim, according to the …

    January 23, 2017 2:23 pm
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Technology

  • Why Poker Is a Big Deal for Artificial Intelligence


    Libratus is playing thousands of games of heads-up, or two-player, no-limit Texas hold’em against several expert professional poker players. Now a little more than halfway through the 20-day contest, Libratus is up by almost $800,000 against its human opponents. So victory, while far from guaranteed, may well be in the cards. A win for Libratus would be a huge achievement in artificial intelligence. Poker requires reasoning and intelligence that has proven difficult for machines to imitate. It is fundamentally different from checkers, chess, or Go, because an opponent’s hand remains hidden from view during play. In games of “imperfect information,” it is enormously complicated to figure out the ideal strategy given every possible approach your opponent may be taking. And no-limit Texas hold’em is especially challenging because an opponent could essentially bet any amount. “Poker has been one of the hardest games for AI to crack,” says Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu. “There is …

    January 23, 2017 1:02 pm
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Science

  • Signs of Alien Air Herald a New Era of Exoplanet Discoveries


    For astronomers seeking Earth twins around other stars, the exoplanet GJ 1132 b probably isn’t an identical sibling—but it may be the closest cousin yet found. It weighs in at just over one Earth mass, but circles its star in a warm orbit that could make it more like Venus than our own world. Moreover, its diameter is nearly 50 percent larger than that of Earth, suggesting it possesses a thick atmosphere. Now, after taking the closest-ever look at GJ 1132 b, a European collaboration has confirmed the presence of its atmosphere and found hints it might contain water and methane. The results are currently under review for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. As mere discoveries of exoplanets become routine, efforts to learn more about them—their compositions, climates and histories—are moving to the fore, with studies of their atmospheres occupying center stage. Although astronomers detected the first exoplanet atmosphere more than 15 years ago, they …

    January 23, 2017 12:28 pm
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Health

  • UK scientists give cancer risk warning on overdone chips, toast


    LONDON Potatoes and bread cooked at high temperatures for a long time could increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them regularly, British government scientists said on Monday. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a substance called acrylamide, produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures, has been found in animal studies to increase the risk of cancer. In a statement that drew criticism from some independent experts, the FSA said that, to reduce the danger, consumers should cook these foods at lower temperatures and eat them when they are cooked to a golden color rather than browned. “The scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans,” it said. “As a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow color or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread.” But some experts …

    January 23, 2017 4:06 am
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Entertainment

  • Chelsea Clinton Says Barron Trump “Deserves To Be A Kid,” Takes A Dig At The President


    Posted on Mon Jan 23rd, 2017 12:00pm PDT       By X17 Staff She knows how it feels! Chelsea Clinton is coming to President Trump’s son Barron’s defense after cruel bullies started in on the 10-year-old, including one SNL writer who called him a “homeschool shooter.” Hillary Clinton’s daughter couldn’t, however, resist at taking a jab at our new POTUS is in the process, though. “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does – to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids,” she wrote on Twitter. She knows just how hard it is to grow up in the White House, as she lived in the spotlight from 1993 to 2001. In one particularly cruel taunt, Rush Limbaugh compared her to a dog when she was just 13-years-old. “Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is also a White House dog?” he said on his show …

    January 23, 2017 2:03 pm
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Editorial

  • Rep. Black: ObamaCare has failed you, America. We’re going to stop the bleeding and get you something that works


    As the 115th Congress begins, I am honored to assume a new role as Interim Chair of the House Budget Committee. It is an exciting opportunity, particularly as the first woman to fill the position, but more than any title before my name, I’m still most proud of the two letters that follow: “R.N.” I graduated from nursing school in 1971 and still keep my license today. Those years on the front lines of patient care, primarily in emergency room settings, inform much of the work I do in Congress – especially when it comes to ObamaCare. It’s no secret that Congressional Republicans aren’t keen on former President Obama’s health care law (of course, recent polling shows that a majority of Americans still aren’t either) but, for me, the debate has never been about politics. It’s personal. As a nurse, I saw the impact of health care decisions in Washington play out every day on …

    January 23, 2017 1:02 pm
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Odd News

  • Elk walks into Colorado store, hangs out for nearly an hour


    Jan. 23 (UPI) — An elk wandered into a Colorado store and stood calmly with the owner for several minutes before being lured out by police bearing apples. Prateek Shakya, owner of the Water Wheel Gift Corner store in Estes Park, said he was filling his water bottle Saturday when he spotted the elk hanging out near the front door to the store, Shakya said he watched as the elk, which was being pursued by police, walked through the door and stood just inside the store. “He was calm and gentle, but I was nervous,” Shakya told KUSA-TV. Shakya, who posted video of the elk’s visit to YouTube, said the elk left after about 45 minutes, but he soon walked right back in through the same door. A video posted to Facebook by witness Patti Koger shows the elk being finally lured out of the store for good by police offering apples. Shakya said there …

    January 23, 2017 1:02 pm
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