Headline News

  • Parades, relay races, picnics mark soggy U.S. July Fourth

    NEW YORK Millions of Americans on Saturday gathered for Independence Day parades, picnics and hotdog eating competitions, defying worries over possible security threats and the danger of wildfires in the West. Rainy weather on the East Coast didn’t dampen the spirits of celebrants decked out in red, white and blue from their headbands to their shoelaces for traditional July Fourth events from three-legged races to fireworks shows. “It’s important to show American spirit on America’s birthday,” said Meskie Hyman, 11, who wore a star-spangled shirt and a hairband with two American flags fluttering after she ran a holiday 50-yard dash under cloudy skies in Maplewood, New Jersey. “I love that it’s a free country and we have the right to speak. It lets us see everyone’s potential and find our heroes,” said Hyman, who listed her champions as singer Taylor Swift, founding father George Washington and her parents. The Department of Homeland Security and the …

    July 4, 2015 11:06 am


  • Backlash against Walker’s open meeting law changes

    President Barack Obama is greeted by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as he arrives on Air Force One at La Crosse Regional Airport, Thursday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Opposition mounted Friday to a surprise Republican budget measure that would exempt from Wisconsin open records laws nearly everything created by state and local government officials, including drafts of legislation and communications with staff. The 24-page measure passed late Thursday night in the state’s budget committee on a 12-4 vote with only Republicans voting for it. Democrats on the committee decried the sudden insertion of changes that hadn’t been publicly discussed. The full Legislature, and GOP Gov. Scott Walker, still must sign off before they become law. A day later, a backlash began with civil liberties advocates and lawmakers from both parties expressing opposition to the provisions. “Gov. Walker and his office are trying to muzzle all the watchdogs in this state,” said Brendan Fischer, General Counsel for the …

    July 4, 2015 9:45 am


  • Windows 10 upgrade: You’ll have to wait

    Are you counting down the days until you can upgrade your Windows 7 or 8 PC to Windows 10? You might need to exercise a little bit more patience. Though Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) said a month ago that Windows 10 would become available on July 29, Microsoft clarified on Thursday that everyone won’t be able to upgrade on that day Microsoft will roll-out upgrades slowly, in waves. In a blog post, Windows Chief Terry Myerson said that Windows 10 upgrades will first go to “Windows Insiders,” a group of 5 million people who have been testing out a preview version of Windows 10. After the “Insiders,” Microsoft will begin notifying people who reserved copies of Windows 10 that they can upgrade, “slowly scaling up after July 29,” Myerson said. If you already reserved a copy, your PC has been confirmed as compatible. The slow roll-out is in part because Windows 10 is in very high …

    July 4, 2015 8:44 am


  • Dennis wins opening stage of Tour de France

    UTRECHT, Netherlands Australian Rohan Dennis proved too hot to handle as the Tour de France began with a 13.8-kilometre individual time trial through the sweltering streets of Utrecht on Saturday. One of the early starters in the 198-strong field, the BMC Racing Team rider averaged 55.446 kmh to stop the clock in 14 minutes 56 seconds to take the yellow jersey. Germany’s Tony Martin was second quickest, five seconds behind, with stage favorite Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland one second further back. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Mark Meadows)

    July 4, 2015 11:06 am

World News

  • Dealers to prop up China shares

    Shares have fallen 30% since mid-June China’s main share brokerages have agreed to spend 120 billion yuan ($19.3bn, £12bn) to prop up the ailing stock market. The main Shanghai Composite index has fallen 30% since the middle of June, nullifying most of this year’s gains. The authorities are worried about the possible economic effects and have already tried preventative measures. Twenty-one brokerages agreed the move at a meeting in Beijing on Saturday, Xinhua news agency said. The brokerages “will jointly invest 15% of net assets as of the end of June, or no less than 120bn yuan, in blue chip exchange traded funds”, the Securities Association of China said in a statement. Chinese property prices have been under pressure The brokerages have also committed themselves not to sell off holdings while the Shanghai Composite is below 4,500. The statement also expressed “full confidence” in the development of China’s capital markets and urged all brokerages “to …

    July 4, 2015 11:06 am


  • Minecon 2015: day one of the annual Minecraft conference

    “We have a whole slew of people who are making their entire living just off making videos about Minecraft. Just the economics of that – how many people are making a living off this one IP – is pretty awesome,” says Bui. “That doesn’t take anything away from us, and I would say it actually adds value to Minecraft, to have people who are extremely talented and creative doing things. We’ve essentially outsourced YouTube videos to a community of millions of people, and what they come up with is more creative than anything we could make ourselves.” There are limits: Mojang’s rule is that uploading videos to YouTube is fine, but selling them on iTunes or other video-on-demand services is not – the key being whether creators are charging fans. “There’s no damage to us from YouTube. We might have some people who make content we might not agree with, but this is how the …

    July 4, 2015 9:24 am


  • Spectrometer made from quantum dots is compact and low cost

    Colour coding: quantum dots being deposited on a digital camera The first-ever spectrometer made from quantum dots has been unveiled by Jie Bao of Tsinghua University in China and Moungi Bawendi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. According to its inventors, the instrument could be produced commercially to be as small, inexpensive and simple as a mobile-phone camera. Such compact spectrometers could find a wide range of applications, from gathering scientific data on space missions to sensors integrated within household appliances. Spectrometry measures the intensity of light as a function of wavelength and is used to study various properties of light-emitting and light-absorbing substances. This makes it an invaluable analytical technique that is used in a broad range of scientific and technological disciplines. Most spectroscopic techniques involve dispersing light in terms of its wavelength. A prism, for example, can be used to bend light into its constituent wavelengths (colours) and a spectrum …

    July 4, 2015 9:26 am


  • Childhood Trauma Tied to Migraine Risk as Adult

    FRIDAY, July 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests. “We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release. “For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said. The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18. “The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” …

    July 4, 2015 9:45 am


  • Rihanna Shows Off Her Sexy Thighs At Dinner

    Posted on Sat Jul 4th, 2015 8:50am PDT       By X17 Staff On Friday evening Rihanna went to dinner at — where else — Giorgio Baldi, and she showed off her figure in a pair of daisy dukes and a white top. We’ve certainly seen her in more casual ensembles, but she never seems to have an off day when it comes to her fashion! In other news, Bad Gal RiRi debuted her totally NSFW video for “B*tch Better Have My Money” earlier this week, and in it we see the singer kidnapping and torturing a woman, who appears to be the wife of Rihanna’s former accountant. Funny, because back in 2012 Rihanna famously sued financial firm Berdon LLP for a reported $35 million, claiming she had been made “effectively bankrupt” in 2009 due to mismanagement. RiRi claimed that two of the firm’s former employees, Peter Gounis and Michael Mitnick, mismanaged her milions and gave her bad …

    July 4, 2015 11:05 am


  • Billy Graham’s daughter: My father’s spiritual leadership after the 9/11 attacks

    My grandfather, Frank Graham, was a simple dairy farmer who never went past the eighth grade in school.  But in May, 1934, he met with some other businessmen in Charlotte, N.C., and together they prayed that God would raise up a man in America who would proclaim the Good News of peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. His own son and my father became God’s answer to his prayer. Billy Graham has become a true national treasure frequently referred to as America’s pastor.  He has been beloved by Liberal and Conservative.  Republican and Democrat. Catholic and Protestant. Secular and religious.  The consistency of his faith, the humility of his character, and the simplicity of his lifestyle convey his authenticity as a man of God. But the value of his spiritual leadership has never been as evident as it was on September 14, 2001.  Three days after America was attacked, the nation was still …

    July 4, 2015 9:46 am

Odd News

  • Mexican firm sorry for royally selling president short

    MEXICO CITY It could have been the height of diplomatic embarrassment for Mexico’s president. When Enrique Pena Nieto hosted towering King Felipe of Spain this week, it was a tongue-in-cheek paint ad ridiculing his 10- inch height deficit that grabbed the headlines. On Wednesday, Mexican paint company Comex posted on Twitter a digitally-altered photograph of the president standing on one of its paint pots, giving him a leg up over the monarch under the banner “una pintura de altura,” or “a paint of stature.” Comex apologized on Thursday for the photograph, deleting the post after it had been heavily retweeted. It said the Tweet was published “without the appropriate approvals”. (Reporting by Max de Haldevang; Editing by Dave Graham and Simon Gardner)

    July 2, 2015 8:54 pm