Headline News

  • Massive wildfire raging north of San Francisco spreads, threatens thousands of homes

    LOWER LAKE, Calif. –  Fire officials say a massive blaze raging in the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco spread overnight covering more drought-stricken ground. Cal Fire says the fast-moving has charred 71 square miles by Sunday morning and is threatening 5,000 homes. It is only 5 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings. The wildfire has been raging in an area of hills covered in dense brush and oak trees since Wednesday. Cal Fire says an evacuation advisory has been issued affecting 12,000 people and several roads have been closed. The blaze is the biggest of several burning in Northern California.

    August 2, 2015 12:06 pm


  • U.S. Democrats see ‘fire wall’ holding to preserve Iran deal

    WASHINGTON U.S. backers of the Iran nuclear deal are increasingly confident of enough Democratic support to ensure it survives review by Congress, despite fierce opposition by majority Republicans and a massive lobbying drive.     By the time the House of Representatives recessed for the summer last week, no senior Democrat in the chamber had come out formally against the agreement and several central figures, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were strongly in favor.     Pelosi said she was confident that if, as expected, Republicans pass a “resolution of disapproval” to try to sink the deal, a promised veto of that measure by President Barack Obama would be sustained.     At least 44 Democrats in the House and 13 Democrats in the Senate would have to defy Obama and join Republicans in opposing the deal to get the two-thirds majorities in both chambers needed to override a veto.     “More and more of them (House Democrats) have …

    August 2, 2015 12:06 pm


  • America’s Act II: Will the economy come back?

    America’s economy and stocks took some punches earlier this year. Now the stage is set for a comeback. “The second half is going to be better for the economy and the market than the first half,” says Art Hogan, managing director at Wunderlich Securities in New York. Hogan and other experts see the economy and stocks picking up momentum, despite a slew of headwinds. The SP 500 has only risen 2.2% so far this year. Hogan forecasts the SP 500 gaining 8% by the end of the year. What’s driving this optimism? There are already some encouraging signs. The economy grew 2.3% between April and June compared to a year ago. While everyone from Wall Street to Main Street would prefer to see growth closer to 3%, it’s still a solid number. The Commerce Department also revised up growth between January and March, which was previously thought to be in the red. Those two positive …

    August 2, 2015 12:26 pm


  • Pitt: Conner, Boyd headline five players to watch in 2015

    Nov 22, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Tyler Boyd (23) runs on a forty-nine yard touchdown reception against the Syracuse Orange during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Pat Narduzzi brings a celebrated defensive resume to Pitt, but there’s little star power on that side of the ball for the Panthers in his first season. If the program’s fifth coach in five years is going to give the Panthers their second winning season since 2010, it’s going to hinge heavily on two dynamic offensive players. FIVE TO WATCH IN 2015 1. James Conner, RB, Jr. Seventh in the nation in rushing last season with 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns, Conner is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. The problem, though, is that he shares a conference and a voting region with two of the early season favorites in Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who’s healthy …

    August 2, 2015 12:26 pm

World News

  • Mexican photojournalist found dead

    Ruben Espinosa had fled from the eastern state of Veracruz A Mexican photojournalist has been found dead along with four other people in a flat in Mexico City. Ruben Espinosa, who worked for the investigative magazine Proceso, had recently moved to the city from the eastern state of Veracruz where he said he had been threatened and harassed. Veracruz is considered one of the most dangerous Mexican states for journalists to work in. They are often the targets of organised crime linked to drugs gangs. Proceso said the killings were discovered in the Narvarte neighbourhood of Mexico City a day after Mr Espinosa’s family lost contact with him. The other four victims were all women. Three of them had lived in the apartment and the fourth was a domestic employee, the city prosecutor’s office said. Officials said identifications and cause of death were still being verified. However, Proceso said Mr Espinosa had suffered two gunshot …

    August 2, 2015 12:27 pm


  • Vietnam’s refugees find second chance in Silicon Valley

    Click here for more Road Trip 2015 stories. CNET SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tri Tran’s parents shook him awake at 3 a.m. on a warm April morning. They silently led the 11-year-old, his older brother and his grandmother out of their home in the rural outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and toward the sea. The trio eventually boarded a 30-foot fishing boat with more than 100 others, packing in below deck with only a cup for water and no food. Five days later, they arrived at a refugee camp in Indonesia. Six months later, they headed to California to live with relatives. Tran’s parents didn’t give any explanation that early morning, but he knew what was happening. After all, they had tried leaving Ho Chi Minh City four times before and failed each time. It was 1986 and Tran’s parents were sending him to a better life in the US — even if …

    August 2, 2015 12:26 pm


  • Robotic insect mimics Nature’s extreme moves

    The concept of walking on water might sound supernatural, but in fact it is a quite natural phenomenon. Many small living creatures leverage water’s surface tension to maneuver themselves around. One of the most complex maneuvers, jumping on water, is achieved by a species of semi-aquatic insects called water striders that not only skim along water’s surface but also generate enough upward thrust with their legs to launch themselves airborne from it. Now, emulating this natural form of water-based locomotion, an international team of scientists from Seoul National University, Korea (SNU), Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has unveiled a novel robotic insect that can jump off of water’s surface. In doing so, they have revealed new insights into the natural mechanics that allow water striders to jump from rigid ground or fluid water with the same amount of power and height. …

    August 2, 2015 11:26 am


  • Obese Kids a Universal Target for Bullies

    SUNDAY, Aug. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) — “Being fat” is seen as the most common reason why children are bullied, a new study reveals. Researchers who surveyed more than 2,800 adults in the United States, Canada, Iceland and Australia said at least 70 percent of respondents believed that weight was a common reason for bullying. A similar number regarded weight-related bullying as a serious or very serious problem. Weight-related bullying was considered to be more common than bullying for reasons such as race/ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. “Given high rates of childhood obesity in these and many other countries, both school-level and policy-level remedies may be needed to address weight-based bullying on a broad level to improve quality of life for youth with obesity,” said study author Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Schools should raise awareness about, and take more action to reduce, …

    August 2, 2015 11:46 am


  • Bobby Brown’s Wife Alicia Etheredge Hospitalized After Bobbi Kristina’s Funeral

    Posted on Sun Aug 2nd, 2015 10:56am PDT       By X17 Staff After attending the funeral of his daughter Bobbi Kristina, Bobby Brown had to rush his wife Alicia Etheredge to the hospital on Saturday afternoon. Etheredge gave birth to the couple’s daughter Bodhi Jameson Rein Brown less than a month ago, and according to TMZ she was suffering from seizures in the family’s hotel room. Etheredge was taken to the hospital via ambulance, but the site notes that she was well enough to walk into a local medical center on her own. Bobbi Kristina passed away on July 26 at the Peachtree Christian Hospice near Atlanta, Georgia, and her memorial service took place yesterday at St. James United Methodist Church. Most of the Houston and Brown family members were in attendance, along with friends like Tyler Perry, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, singer Monica and actor Michael Jai White. Bobbi Kristin’s aunt Leolah Brown was escorted out …

    August 2, 2015 1:06 pm


  • Did the atomic bomb save my father’s life?

    The upcoming 70th anniversary of V-J Day, August 14, brings to mind the challenge my father, Lt. Col. Wilber E. Bradt, faced in the days preceding that date in 1945. He was the acting commander — and later the commander — of the 172nd Infantry Regiment, a Vermont National Guard unit. The unit had just finished five months of combat subduing the Japanese on Luzon, in the Philippines. On July 28, the 43rd Infantry Division, of which the 172nd Infantry was a part, received alert plans for the invasion of Kyushu, the southernmost island of the Japanese homeland. The landings would take place on November 1, a scant three months away. An intense period of planning, training, re-equipping, and personnel transfers began. The 43rd Division was to land with two other divisions in Shibushi Bay on the southeastern coast of Kyushu. The 43rd would land on the southern end of the beach, which was overlooked by …

    July 31, 2015 6:38 pm

Odd News

  • China investigating liquor suppliers for Viagra in alcohol

    BEIJING Chinese police are investigating if two distillers in the southwestern region of Guangxi added impotence treatment drug Viagra to their liquor in the latest food-safety scare in China. The Liuzhou Food and Drug Administration said that it found the Guikun Alcohol Plant and the Deshun Alcohol Plant in Guangxi’s Liuzhou city were putting Sildenafil, more commonly known as Viagra, into three of their baijiu products. Baijiu is a fiery grain liquor that commands high prices in China. Law enforcement officers have confiscated 5,357 bottles of the suspect products, 1,124 kg of raw alcohol and a batch of white powder labeled Sildenafil, in a case worth more than 700,000 yuan ($112,726), according to a statement posted by the Liuzhou Food and Drug Administration on its website on Saturday. The case has been transferred to the police, the statement said. The products were all marketed as having health-preserving qualities, it said. Food safety is a chronic …

    August 2, 2015 7:45 am