• Americans send $2 billion a year to Cuba

    Americans send $2 billion a year to Cuba

      Trade with Cuba has been blocked for decades, but nearly $2 billion was sent to Cubans last year from within the United States. Most of it came from Cuban-Americans sending money home to their...
  • Deep Mavericks lighten load on Nowitzki

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dirk Nowitzki can still fill up the basket in his 17th season with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, but it has become time to lighten the load on the 7-foot German sharpshooter....
  • Death penalty for Nigerian soldiers

    Death penalty for Nigerian soldiers

    17 December 2014 Last updated at 23:59 The soldiers appeared before a court martial in Abuja A Nigerian court martial has sentenced 54 soldiers to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram Islamist militants. The...
  • U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

    HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic...
  • PSV edges Feyenoord in seven-goal classic

    Eindhoven, Netherlands (SportsNetwork.com) – A stoppage-time goal from Memphis Depay lifted PSV Eindhoven to a 4-3 home win over Feyenoord in a classic battle of top-four teams. Luuk de Jong netted a hat trick for...
  • Sony cancels The Interview release

    Sony cancels The Interview release

    17 December 2014 Last updated at 22:40 Some stars of The Interview have pulled out of media appearances Sony Pictures has cancelled the planned release on 25 December of the film The Interview, after major...
  • Florida judge grants a landmark same-sex divorce

    TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) – A south Florida judge on Wednesday granted what is believed to be the state’s first official same-sex divorce to a woman who entered into a civil union in Vermont, her attorney...

Headline News

  • U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years


    HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other’s countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce. The two leaders made the announcement in simultaneous televised speeches. The Vatican and Canada facilitated the deal. Obama’s call for an end to the economic embargo drew resistance from Republicans who will control both houses of Congress from January and who oppose normal relations with the communist-run island. Obama said he was ending what he called a rigid and outdated policy of isolating Cuba that had failed to achieve change on the island. …

    December 17, 2014 6:08 pm
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Politics

  • Republican ousts ex-Gabby Giffords aide in recount for U.S. House seat


    TUCSON, Ariz. (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Ron Barber, an Arizona Democrat and former aide to Gabrielle Giffords, has officially lost his re-election bid to the Republican challenger in November’s congressional elections, a judge certified on Wednesday. A superior court judge declared Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and a pioneer of women’s combat aviation in the 1990s, the winner after a state-mandated recount showed she won by 167 votes in the Nov. 4 election. “There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race. After what’s been a long campaign season, it’s time to come together and heal our community,” McSally said in a statement. This was the last seat still being contested following the mid-term elections and gives the Republicans a 247-188 majority in the next House of Representatives. Barber, who has served in Congress since a 2012 special election to replace Giffords, congratulated McSally in a statement and thanked …

    December 17, 2014 3:26 pm
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Stocks

  • Americans send $2 billion a year to Cuba


      Trade with Cuba has been blocked for decades, but nearly $2 billion was sent to Cubans last year from within the United States. Most of it came from Cuban-Americans sending money home to their families. But now, anyone in the U.S. can send up to $8,000 a year to just about anybody in Cuba, as the Obama Administration eases restrictions with the Communist country. “You can really see the impact this money is having on the island,” said Alana Tummino, director at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas. The money is often going to small, private businesses. Yes, even though Cuba is a Communist country, it has moved towards a more private economy in recent years. Related: Why I changed my mind about Cuba There are now close to 500,000 people with state-issued private business licenses for everything from restaurants, to nail salons, to coffee shops and mechanics, Tummino said. It remains …

    December 17, 2014 6:28 pm
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Sports

  • Deep Mavericks lighten load on Nowitzki


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dirk Nowitzki can still fill up the basket in his 17th season with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, but it has become time to lighten the load on the 7-foot German sharpshooter. “Our roster is built on a lot of guys that can make plays. A lot of guys that can contribute, not just one guy to lead every night,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters before Tuesday’s road game against the New York Knicks. “Dirk used to be that guy. We’ve tried to segue him out of that responsibility to carry the team on his back.” Actions backed up the coach’s words as the Mavs mauled the Knicks 107-87 to improve their mark to 18-8. Nowitzki led their scoring parade with 16 points while the eight-man bench supplied an eye-popping 50 points against the overmatched New Yorkers. “Our bench guys did a great job closing it out,” said Nowitzki, 36, who …

    December 17, 2014 6:08 pm
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World News

  • Death penalty for Nigerian soldiers


    17 December 2014 Last updated at 23:59 The soldiers appeared before a court martial in Abuja A Nigerian court martial has sentenced 54 soldiers to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram Islamist militants. The soldiers, who were found guilty of mutiny, were accused of refusing to help recapture three towns that had been seized by Boko Haram in August. A lawyer for the soldiers said the 54 would face a firing squad while five others were acquitted. Troops have complained that they are not being given enough weapons and ammunition to fight Boko Haram. The group has been waging an insurgency since 2009 and is seeking to create an Islamist state in north-eastern Nigeria. More than 2,000 people have died in attacks blamed on Boko Haram so far this year and thousands more have been displaced by the fighting. The court martial began in October and was conducted behind closed doors. Military officials were …

    December 17, 2014 6:08 pm
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Technology

  • Monosyllabic Yo app gets more talkative for the holidays


    The Yo messaging app is getting festive for the holidays. Anthony Domanico/CNET The social-messaging app Yo is getting a festive update for the holidays that lets users send friends a ho ho ho for the ho ho holidays. Instead of hearing the traditional “yo” sound, Yo users who receive Yos from their Yo friends on December 24 and 25 will hear a high-pitched ” ho ho ho.” Sure, it doesn’t really add any features to Yo, but it’s a fun update from a company trying to do messaging differently. Now that Yo has opened the doors to holiday-themed Yos, we can only imagine what Yo might have up its sleeve next. Maybe “auld lang syne” for New Year’s Eve; “Boo” for Halloween; R2-D2 beeping for Star Wars Day; or my personal favorite, “Yo ho ho” for Talk Like a Pirate Day (hat tip to CNET’s Jeff Sparkman on that last one).

    December 17, 2014 3:47 pm
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Science

  • For Sale: “Your Name Here” in a Prestigious Science Journal


    Klaus Kayser has been publishing electronic journals for so long he can remember mailing them to subscribers on floppy disks. His 19 years of experience have made him keenly aware of the problem of scientific fraud. In his view, he takes extraordinary measures to protect the journal he currently edits, Diagnostic Pathology. For instance, to prevent authors from trying to pass off microscope images from the Internet as their own, he requires them to send along the original glass slides. Despite his vigilance, however, signs of possible research misconduct have crept into some articles published in Diagnostic Pathology. Six of the 14 articles in the May 2014 issue, for instance, contain suspicious repetitions of phrases and other irregularities. When Scientific American informed Kayser, he was apparently unaware of the problem. “Nobody told this to me,” he says. “I’m very grateful to you.” Diagnostic Pathology, which is owned by Springer, is considered to be a reputable …

    December 17, 2014 3:47 pm
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Health

  • Prop plane pilots exposed to tanning-bed radiation levels


    Reuters Health – Flying for an hour at 30,000 feet exposes pilots to as much ultraviolet radiation as they would get from 20 minutes in a tanning bed, according to a new study. “We performed UV measurement at the pilot seats inside a general aviation plane,” measuring the cosmic radiation coming through the windshield, said Dr. Martina Sanlorenzo who coauthored the new research letter. Sanlorenzo, of the dermatology department at Mount Zion Cancer Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco, and her team recently published an analysis of past research concluding that pilots and cabin crew have approximately twice the incidence of melanoma compared to the general population (see Reuters Health article of September 14, 2014 here: reut.rs/1qtoT5a). “Our meta-analysis showed an increased risk of melanoma in cabin crew too,” including flight attendants, Sanlorenzo said. “However, the role of UV radiation in melanoma risk could be more important for pilots, who are seated …

    December 17, 2014 3:46 pm
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Entertainment

  • Kanye West Is The Culprit Behind The Kardashian’s New Overcoat Obsession


    Posted on Wed Dec 17th, 2014 2:50pm PDT       By X17 Staff Now we know who started this trend! Kanye West left the recording studio in Hollywood today, and the rapper was rocking a long tweed overcoat with jeans as she sashayed out of the building. Kim Kardashian has been pairing a coat with almost all her ensembles in recent weeks, and it’s obvious from this picture that Yeezy is the mastermind behind her fashion choices! We think the Louis Vuitton Don has great style, but can he please retire those ugly brown booties? They ruin every outfit he wears!   SEE THE GALLERY Kanye West Wears Tweed Overcoat At The Studio Stories from around the Web

    December 17, 2014 5:27 pm
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Editorial

  • Taxation and Income Inequality: How Ferris Bueller’s pals grew up to run the government


    Dec. 9, 2014: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP) “Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone… anyone? Anyone seen this before?” In the classic teen film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the dorky economics teacher played exquisitely by Ben Stein answers his own question posed to his comatose high school class. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point.” You hear the excruciating screech of chalk on the blackboard, but never actually see the bell curve being drawn. Instead, the camera focuses on a passed out kid drooling all over his desk. Too bad. Apparently, those somnolent slackers — “pals” of Ferris– grew up to run the government. The Tax Curve According to legend, 40 years ago economist Arthur Laffer sketched out …

    December 17, 2014 11:44 am
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Odd News

  • Over 20,000 bras recalled in Japan due to injury fears


    TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese lingerie maker is recalling more than 20,000 brassieres after complaints that underwires suddenly poked out, sometimes while women were wearing them. The Japanese division of lingerie maker Triumph International, which has made a name for itself with concept lingerie such as a solar-powered bra and an “Abenomics” bra that honored Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival plan, said they took the move due to fears of injury. “We are sorry for the bother, but we ask customers to stop using the bras immediately,” the company said in a statement, adding that it deeply apologized and would take steps to prevent a recurrence. The recall applies to roughly 22,000 bras ranging in cost from 5,600 to 6,200 yen($48 to $53)and sold only in Japan, a company spokeswoman said. There have been no reports of injuries from the defect, which caused the tips of the underwires to protrude from holes in the …

    December 16, 2014 11:38 pm
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