Headline News

  • Despite flood control projects, Houston remains vulnerable to floods like this week’s

    Flood waters overrun the banks of the bayou in downtown Houston, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Floodwaters kept rising Tuesday across much of Texas as storms dumped almost another foot of rain on the Houston area, stranding hundreds of motorists and inundating the famously congested highways that serve the nation’s fourth-largest city. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) (The Associated Press) A highway entrance is covered in water and debris after flood waters overran the banks of the bayou in downtown Houston, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Floodwaters kept rising Tuesday across much of Texas as storms dumped almost another foot of rain on the Houston area, stranding hundreds of motorists and inundating the famously congested highways that serve the nation’s fourth-largest city. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) (The Associated Press) Houston Mayor Annise Parker she speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Houston about three people still missing after the rescue boat they were in capsized. Heavy rain overnight caused …

    May 28, 2015 2:15 am


  • Chief U.S. negotiator in Iran talks to leave State Department: NYT

    WASHINGTON The chief U.S. negotiator in Iran nuclear talks, Wendy Sherman, will leave the State Department shortly after the June 30 deadline for the talks between Tehran and six major powers to reach agreement, the New York Times said on Wednesday. Sherman made her intentions known before leaving for Vienna and Geneva for a last round of talks aimed at securing curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy, the newspaper said. “It’s been two long years,” the Times quoted Sherman as saying, referring to the protracted and intensely complex discussions with the Iranians that began with secret talks between the two long-time foes. Sherman, who is under secretary of state for political affairs at the State Department and who has white, close-cropped hair, has stood out as one of the few women in a sea of men in dark suits at most of the negotiating sessions. …

    May 28, 2015 1:11 am


  • ’19 Kids and Counting’ sees sponsor exodus amid scandal

    TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” has lost more than a dozen sponsors since one of the show’s stars, Josh Duggar, admitted last week that he had molested several girls when he was a teenager. Companies including Ace Hardware, ConAgra foods, Party City, BEHR Paint, Pure Leaf Ice Tea, Ricola, Firehouse Subs, Pizza Hut, Sherwin-Williams paint, Crayola, Allstate Insurance, and King’s Hawaiian have pulled their sponsorship from the reality TV show, which has run on the network since 2008. Those companies join Walgreens, General Mills, Payless ShoeSource, and Choice Hotels who have previously said they were yanking their ads from the show. Each of these companies took to social media to explain to fans and consumers that they were ending sponsorship of the show. “We share your concern for the safety of children and have no plans to air Crayola commercials during future episodes,” Crayola tweeted Wednesday. Duggar, who is now 27, apologized last week following …

    May 28, 2015 2:14 am


  • Blackhawks force Game Seven with three quick goals

    The Chicago Blackhawks scored three goals during a four-minute stretch in the second period to power to a 5-2 victory over Anaheim on Wednesday that forced a Game Seven in their Western Conference Final series. After seeing their 3-0 lead cut to one goal in the third, Andrew Sharp added two goals in the final period to seal the game and tie the series 3-3. Shaw had scored just twice during the playoffs but caught a timely surge to set up the pivotal series decider on Saturday in Anaheim. Patrick Maroon and Clayton Stoner scored for the Ducks as they tried to rally back, but fell short. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford stopped 30 of Anaheim’s 32 shots while Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen made just 18 saves. The Ducks are looking for their first trip to the Stanley Cup since 2007, while the Blackhawks won titles in 2013 and 2010. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los …

    May 28, 2015 2:15 am

World News

  • Burnt China care home ‘poorly built’

    Relatives of the 38 victims have been mourning their deaths in Henan province A Chinese nursing home destroyed by a deadly fire was poorly constructed and top-level prosecutors have been sent to investigate, authorities say. The Kangleyuan home in Henan province was built with flammable material and had poorly designed fire escape routes, said the national work safety agency. The fire on Monday night killed 38 and injured another six people. The case has revived public concern in China about building safety and construction standards. ‘Irregularities’ Local reports said that the home was totally engulfed in flames within 10 minutes The State Administration for Work Safety said that initial investigations showed that the home “did not meet standards” in multiple areas. It said it was constructed with steel boards stuffed with flammable material, fire escape routes were narrow, and fire and electrical safety management had “irregularities”. It added that the incident showed that local authorities’ …

    May 28, 2015 2:15 am


  • Pebble Time review: the simple but effective answer to Apple Watch

    Pebble Time is the latest smartwatch crowdfunding success story, having broken records by hitting $2m in 58 minutes and ultimately raising over $20m. But is the watch that works with both Android and iPhone – making it a direct Apple Watch competitor – worth the hype? This is the second time on the merry-go-round for Pebble. Its first cross-platform smartwatch, simply called the Pebble, broke Kickstarter records in 2012 and reignited the smartwatch industry. Two models on and after 1m units sold, the Time is a more modern smartwatch that concentrates on doing a few things very well and doesn’t try to do too much. The Pebble Time, unlike most smartwatches, can be used with either the iPhone or Android. For this review we will concentrate on its use with an iPhone. A later review will look at the differences working with Android. Wearing it The Time is quite small and subtle for a smartwatch, …

    May 28, 2015 12:31 am


  • Molecule designed to treat lung cancer shows promising results in mice

    A multidisciplinary team led by Johns Hopkins researcher Venu Raman, Ph.D., with notable contributions from Guus Bol, Farhad Vesuna and Phuoc Tran of Johns Hopkins, has identified a new therapy for lung cancer, the most common cancer worldwide. The therapy has been in development for six years and involves a first-in-class molecule designed by the team. The molecule, RK-33, interrupts the cell cycle of lung cancer cells without harming normal cells, and it is effective both on its own and in combination with radiation therapy. The team designed the molecule to bind to DDX3, an enzyme that normally helps in RNA unwinding and translating RNA into proteins. In addition, the team identified that DDX3 is involved in DNA repair. Normal cells have many such enzymes, but some cancers, including over 90 percent of the lung cancer samples studied by the team, overexpress DDX3. Binding DDX3 with RK-33 reduces the amount of DDX3 available, thus causing …

    May 28, 2015 12:51 am


  • Leave cancelled for India’s doctors as heat wave kills 1,300

    NEW DELHI A heat wave in India has killed at least 1,371 people this week as temperatures soar above 47 Celsius (116.6 Fahrenheit), and doctors’ leave has been cancelled to help cope with the sick. May and June are India’s hottest months, with temperatures regularly pushing above 40 Celsius. But meteorologists say the number of days when temperatures approach 45 Celsius has increased in the past 15 years. The death toll in the worst affected states of Andhra Pradesh in the southeast and nearby Telangana is more than double the toll from a shorter hot spell there last year, officials said, with most of those killed elderly or labourers suffering sunstroke or dehydration. The toll in Andhra Pradesh alone has reached 1,020, officials said, and deaths have been reported in at least four Indian states. Authorities have cancelled doctors’ leave and advised people not to head outside in the middle of the day to avoid …

    May 28, 2015 1:11 am


  • Bristol Palin apologizes to fans in open letter after canceling her wedding

    More: Bristol Palin’s wedding called off after shocking scandal Palin expressed her gratitude for supportive fans on her blog Tuesday, where she posted a picture of herself and her 6-year-old son, Tripp, along with her first public statement about the called-off wedding. “I feel like I need to address the elephant-in-the-room on this blog, since you guys have been with me through thick and thin. When I first got engaged, you were the first ones I wanted to tell,” Palin wrote. “I guess you have seen by now that the wedding — that was supposed to happen last weekend — was called off. I’m sure you’ve seen this has been all over the media, but this is a painful time for family and friends and I would just really appreciate your prayers.” More: Bristol Palin’s chaotic parenting style horrifies Melissa Rivers She continued, “I know God’s plan is greater than anything else, and Tripp and …

    May 28, 2015 1:35 am


  • The Foxhole: Andrea Mays on Shakespeare, Henry Folger and the mania of collecting things

    When William Shakespeare died, in 1616, it’s not as if he were Shakespeare or anything. After all, the Bard had been retired for a few years, with his works seldom performed and eighteen of the plays he had written – including some that would later be recognized as major works, like “Twelfth Night,” “Julius Caesar,” “Macbeth” and “The Tempest” – sitting around collecting dust, unpublished and unheralded. Still more of Shakespeare’s works had disappeared altogether, never to be recovered or enjoyed by anyone. In 1623, two fellow actors from the Globe Theatre, John Heminges and Henry Condell, reckoned a tribute was in order and gathered together three dozen of their deceased friend’s plays and manuscripts. These they published in a massive collection known as the First Folio. It was the earliest testament to Shakespeare’s enduring triumph as the greatest English-language writer in history, and copies of the First Folio would, over time, become exceedingly scarce …

    May 28, 2015 1:34 am

Odd News

  • Washington gumbo lover leaves $2,000 tip on $93 restaurant bill

    WASHINGTON A Washington man shocked the staff of a neighborhood restaurant earlier this week by leaving a $2,000 for a meal of beer and gumbo he shared with a friend, the proprietor said Wednesday. The man, described by Blue 44’s owner Chris Nardelli as a gumbo-loving regular who lives nearby, left the tip on a $93 bill on Monday night. “Thank you for the gumbo!” he wrote on the bill after indulging his taste for the Louisiana Creole dish, a specialty of the house. “It was pretty shocking to say the least,” said Nardelli, who also is a chef and bartender at the four-year-old restaurant in the Chevy Chase neighborhood. “It made everybody do a triple take.” The customer, who was not identified, asked on the bill that $1,000 go to chef James Turner and $500 each for Nardelli and waitress Laura Dally. (Reporting by John Clarke; Editing by Lisa Lambert)

    May 27, 2015 8:49 pm