Headline News

  • Volkswagen to offer crash avoidance systems on most U.S. models

    BELMONT, Calif. Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), the world’s No. 1 automaker, will offer automatic braking and other crash avoidance systems as standard or optional features on most 2016 models sold in the United States beginning later this year, the company said on Wednesday. Volkswagen said it will offer systems that can bring a car to a full stop from about 18 miles (29 km) per hour when the vehicle’s sensors detect an imminent crash. At higher speeds, the automatic braking system will slow the vehicle but may not bring it to a full stop, VW senior engineer Michael Rohlfs said in a presentation to journalists. VW will offer other automated features to help drivers stay in a lane and automatically maintain a safe distance behind another vehicle in traffic. Several VW brand models will also get new technology to automate the process of steering into a parallel parking space or backing into a perpendicular parking space. …

    July 29, 2015 2:44 pm


  • Lawmakers want State briefing on trafficking report

    WASHINGTON The chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday for a briefing on the trafficking in persons report that was released on Monday. In their letter, Senator Bob Corker, the committee’s Republican chairman, and Senator Ben Cardin, the panel’s top Democrat, asked for the briefing “to better understand” the basis for the 2015 report’s upgrade of several countries, including Malaysia and Cuba. “We recognize that U.S. policy and engagement on trafficking does not exist in a vacuum, and we appreciate the many varied and nuanced trade-offs that are necessary between competing policy issues,” they wrote in the letter, which was released by their offices. “We also believe that it is critical that the impartial reliability of the TIP Report be safeguarded and maintained if it is to have utility on this critical issue in the future,” they said. The United States took Malaysia off …

    July 29, 2015 11:43 am


  • Lion killer’s dental practice target of outrage

    Walter Palmer’s dental practice still has the tagline, “A great smile says it all.” But the business has effectively been frozen by an avalanche of public outrage. On Tuesday, Palmer admitted to killing Cecil the lion, a protected lion in a Zimbabwe reserve. Palmer is a general and cosmetic dentist at River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, Minn. His website has been sporadically down since Tuesday and the business appears to be closed. People have left stuffed lions outside of the business’ front door. Calls to the practice are routed to a voicemail box, which offers only: “No space for recording on this mailbox.” Related: American dentist regrets role in Cecil’s death Palmer said in a statement Tuesday that he had “no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt.” He said he “relied on the expertise of my local …

    July 29, 2015 2:44 pm


  • Luck still ranks atop QB class that entered NFL in 2012

    MIAMI (AP) The pontificating and prognosticating that have always swirled around the quarterback class of 2012 can transform even a punter into a pundit. Take comparisons between Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, two of the five current starting QBs drafted in 2012. This spring, Tannehill became the first of the group to sign a contract extension, and punter Pat McAfee was quick to suggest his Colts teammate was worth a lot more. ”Today’s market showed that a 25-25 record gets you 96 million American dollars,” McAfee tweeted. ”Andrew’s about to own a team I think.” Tannehill is actually 23-25 with the Dolphins. McAfee made a typo in his rush to offer an opinion on how the quarterbacks of 2012 stack up, an ongoing debate that began even before that year’s draft. They’ve collectively thrown more than 6,600 passes in three seasons. Luck is the best so far. Seattle’s Russell Wilson has exceeded expectations, Robert Griffin …

    July 29, 2015 2:24 pm

World News

  • Audit finds Kenya accounts ‘disturbing’

    The auditor-general called government account “disturbing” Only 26% of money spent and collected by the Kenyan government has been fully approved in an audit for 2013-2014. The auditor-general, whose report covered an annual budget of about $16bn (£10bn), said there were “disturbing problems” in government’s accounting. It comes just days after US President Barack Obama warned on his visit to Africa that “the cancer of corruption” was holding the continent back. Kenya is ranked amongst the world’s most corrupt countries. It came 145 out of 174 nations on the Transparency International’s global corruption perceptions index. BBC Africa Live: News updates The East African nation’s accounts are better than they were the year before, when the auditor-general said that only 12% of them were “true and fair”. The report released on Wednesday said that it was apparent that there were “still persistent and disturbing problems in collection and accounting for revenue”. Auditor-general Edward Ouko said that …

    July 29, 2015 2:24 pm


  • Smash it, shred it, wipe it: the Tom Brady guide to destroying text messages

    Related: Tom Brady denies Deflategate ‘smoking gun’ exists after suspension upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension has angered many Patriots fans, who’ve since questioned the decision. The 20-page ruling by the NFL revealed that the quarterback had his cellphone destroyed, the very cellphone NFL investigators wanted to look at to see if Brady had ordered the footballs deflated. Which raises the question: what are the best ways to destroy text messages forever? Ben Levitan, an engineer who specializes in the design of cellphone networks, said: “Tom Brady should have come to me first.” Levitan outlined some tips on the best ways to delete text messages for good, should you ever need to. Use a magnet It’s simple, quick and could potentially be claimed as an accident. Just like how a credit card can be wiped when you put a magnet to it, a phone has a similar reaction. Put a strong magnet on your phone and …

    July 29, 2015 12:03 pm


  • Search for Alien Life Ignites Battle over Giant Telescope

    There is a gaping hole in the latest effort to reinvigorate the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), one so big it could hold an estimated 357 million boxes of cornflakes. The hole opened last week when tech billionaire Yuri Milner announced the Breakthrough Listen initiative, a 10-year, $100-million shot in the arm for SETI, operated through Milner’s Breakthrough Prize Foundation. The initiative includes funding for unprecedented amounts of SETI time at three world-class observatories: the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the Automated Planet Finder telescope in California and the Parkes Observatory in Australia. What’s missing from the partnership is the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which at 305 meters wide is the biggest and most sensitive single-dish radio telescope in the world. SETI godfather and former Arecibo director, astronomer Frank Drake, once calculated that the instrument could not only hold all those cornflakes, but also receive (or send) radio messages throughout much of the …

    July 29, 2015 7:01 am


  • Express Scripts says costly new cholesterol drugs could wreak havoc

    Express Scripts Holding Co, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, on Wednesday said the cost of potent new cholesterol drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors could “wreak financial havoc” among its clients. U.S. regulators on Friday approved the first of the new medicines, Praluent from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Sanofi SA. Given every other week by injection, Regeneron said it will have a wholesale price of $1,120 for a 28-day supply. That equates to about $14,560 per year. By contrast, standard cholesterol fighters called statins, including generic forms of Pfizer Inc’s Lipitor and Merck Co’s Zocor, can cost less than $50 a month. A rival PCSK9 inhibitor from Amgen Inc, called Repatha, is expected to gain U.S. approval next month and was approved on July 21 in Europe. The new drugs work by blocking the protein PCSK9, whose natural function is to prevent “bad” LDL cholesterol from being removed from the bloodstream. Express Scripts …

    July 29, 2015 11:23 am


  • Cara Delevingne Slammed By Morning News Anchors During Bizarre Interview

    Posted on Wed Jul 29th, 2015 12:00pm PDT       By X17 Staff We are actually on #TeamCara for this one! Cara Delevingne appeared on Good Day Sacramento to promote her new movie Paper Towns, and the news anchors seemed intent on picking a fight with the actress by asking some pretty rude questions! They started out by introducing her as “Carla,” and then the TV personalities started insulting her in a very passive aggressive, backhanded manner. The model has been criticized for her bad attitude once this clip hit the Internet, but we actually think she handled herself pretty well considering the circumstances! The presenters asked the starlet if she had ever read the novel the movie was based on, and she attempted to brush it off and give a cheeky response. “‘Uh, no I never read the book, or the script. I kind of winged it,” she quipped. It proceed to go from bad to worse, …

    July 29, 2015 2:43 pm


  • Obama’s history lesson

    Mike Huckabee is mixed up. The GOP presidential candidate got carried away denouncing the Iranian nuke deal and charged President Obama “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” The Holocaust reference equates Obama with Hitler, and the president was right to call the remark “ridiculous.” Huckabee’s mistake was to conflate evil with appeasement. He should have compared Obama to Neville Chamberlain, the British leader who convinced himself that “Herr Hitler” wanted to avoid war as much as he did. After signing the Munich agreement with Hitler in September 1938, Chamberlain boasted that he had achieved “peace for our time.” He advised his countrymen to “go home and get a nice quiet sleep.” That’s exactly what Obama is doing by trusting Iran, and that’s what Huckabee should have said. When the Brits finally woke, they dumped Chamberlain and made Winston Churchill prime minister. Does America have a Churchill waiting in …

    July 29, 2015 2:23 pm

Odd News

  • Fugitive-turned-actor arrested after U.S. Marshals read film write-up

    SEATTLE A fugitive bank-robber-turned-actor has been arrested in Washington state after U.S. agents spotted his picture in a newspaper article about a low-budget horror film in which he plays an evil doctor, an official said on Monday. Officers on a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force saw Jason Stange’s picture in the Olympian newspaper’s feature last week on horror movie “Marla Mae,” said Jack Williams, chief deputy for the agency’s western district of Washington state. The officers, who had been tracking his disappearance for several months, identified him by the photo and a unique forearm tattoo, Williams said. Marshals tracked him from a filming location to a store in Olympia, where he was arrested without incident on Friday, he said. Stange was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison and five years supervised release in 2006 after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery, Williams said. He was freed on supervised release in 2014, but had …

    July 27, 2015 7:10 pm