Headline News

  • Obama to propose protecting U.S. Arctic wildlife refuge from drilling

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will propose expanding the protected area of Alaska’s Arctic refuge by 12.28 million acres (4.97 million hectares), including the state’s Coastal Plain where oil and gas are drilled, the Interior Department said on Sunday. The proposal to expand the part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge designated as wilderness faces an uphill battle in Congress, where Republicans in control of both chambers oppose curbs to oil production, and drew immediate criticism. The wilderness designation, the highest level of federal protection under which oil and gas drilling is banned, would be extended to 19.8 million acres under the proposal, the Interior Department said. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska called the Obama administration’s move a politically motivated attack on Alaska. On Friday, she had introduced a bill that would have permitted oil production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “It’s clear this administration does not care about us, and …

    January 25, 2015 11:43 am


  • Netanyahu defends planned Congress speech as anti-Iran strategy

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended on Sunday a planned speech to the U.S. Congress about Iran, saying he had a moral obligation to take every opportunity to speak out on an issue that poses a mortal threat to his country. His visit to Washington in March has opened up a political rift in the United States and has drawn accusations in Israel that Netanyahu is undermining a strategic alliance to win an election due two weeks after the trip. Briefing his cabinet on the speech to be made on March 3 to a joint meeting of Congress, Netanyahu said his priority was to urge the United States and other powers not to negotiate an Iranian nuclear deal that might endanger Israel. “In coming weeks, the powers are liable to reach a framework agreement with Iran, an agreement liable to leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state,” he said in remarks carried …

    January 25, 2015 9:01 am


  • Bob Dylan has a ‘gift’ for AARP members: Free copy of his new album

    Bob Dylan performing in 2012. Attention, Bono: Here’s an old-school way to give away a free album. Bob Dylan is sending seniors free copies of his latest album, tucking 50,000 copies into the next edition of “AARP The Magazine,” according to the retirement group. It’s likely to go over much better than U2’s attempt at passing out free music. Last year, Bono’s band gave every iTunes customer a free download of its “Songs of Innocence,” but drew backlash because the download started automatically. Dylan’s “Shadows in the Night” is a “gift” arriving by mail to recipients randomly selected from AARP’s 35 million subscribers, the group said. “A lot of those readers are going to like this record,” the 73-year-old Dylan told AARP. “If it was up to me, I’d give you the records for nothing and you give them to every [reader of your] magazine.” The giveaway is part of a PR push for the …

    January 25, 2015 11:22 am


  • Masterful Murray pays back dangerous Dimitrov

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray avenged his shock loss at last year’s Wimbledon and battled his way into his 16th successive grand slam quarter-final with a 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5 victory over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open on Sunday. Murray was upset by Dimitrov in the quarter-finals of his Wimbledon title defense and Sunday’s late night thriller helped dim those memories while setting up a last eight clash with Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios. The Scot saved a set point while serving at 5-2 down in the fourth, roared back to 5-5 and broke Dimitrov to love, prompting the Bulgarian to destroy his racquet under the lights at Rod Laver Arena. From there, Murray knew he had his man and ran Dimitrov ragged in the final games before also getting lucky with a net cord on match point. Though the match ebbed and flowed with countless momentum shifts, Murray had the edge in most …

    January 25, 2015 11:44 am

World News

  • Ukraine vows to ‘calm’ fighting

    25 January 2015 Last updated at 15:45 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The BBC’s David Stern: Bodies on the streets of Mariupol Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has vowed to “calm” fighting with pro-Russia rebels in east Ukraine after 30 people were killed there on Saturday. Speaking after an emergency meeting of Ukraine’s security council, Mr Poroshenko said that a peace deal signed in September in Minsk was the only solution to the conflict. Russia’s foreign minister also urged “comprehensive political dialogue”. Both sides blame each other for the continuing fighting. Unexploded missiles remained on the streets of Mariupol on Sunday More than 5,000 people have been killed in fighting since the rebels seized a large swathe of Donetsk and Luhansk regions last April, UN officials say. More than a million people have been displaced. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of arming the rebels and sending its troops into Ukrainian …

    January 25, 2015 11:44 am


  • Can new tech boost safety in Uber cars, taxis?

    AsterRide is a smartphone app that pairs passengers with taxis or black-car services. AsterRide When you tap open the AsterRide app to hail a taxi, you’ll see something a bit different from other ride-hailing apps: a feature called InstaAlert. It’s designed to help passengers notify friends or family that they’re in a taxi and to send an update once the rider arrives at their destination in one piece. AsterRide is marketing itself as a safe alternative in the ride-hailing industry. Its timing is auspicious — Uber, taxis and other ride-for-hire rivals have made headlines around the world over some of their drivers allegedly engaging in sexual assaults, kidnappings and beatings. Ride-hailing apps — like Uber, Lyft and Flywheel — let passengers use a smartphone to hail a taxi, black-car service or a personal driver using their own car. The companies behind these apps are aiming to convince passengers that the rides they hail are safe. …

    January 25, 2015 9:01 am


  • Exotic, gigantic molecules fit inside each other like Russian nesting dolls

    Related images(click to enlarge) University of Chicago scientists have experimentally observed for the first time a phenomenon in ultracold, three-atom molecules predicted by Russian theoretical physicsist Vitaly Efimov in 1970. In this quantum phenomenon, called geometric scaling, the triatomic molecules fit inside one another like an infinitely large set of Russian nesting dolls. “This is a new rule in chemistry that molecular sizes can follow a geometric series, like 1, 2, 4, 8…,” said Cheng Chin, professor in physics at UChicago. “In our case, we find three molecular states in this sequence where one molecular state is always 4.88 times larger than the previous one.” Chin and four members of his research group published their findings Dec. 9, 2014, in Physical Review Letters. “Quantum theory makes the existence of these gigantic molecules inevitiable, provided proper — and quite challenging — conditions are created,” said Efimov, now at the University of Washington. The UChicago team observed …

    January 25, 2015 4:56 am


  • Watch Out for Falling Icicles

    SUNDAY, Jan. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Icicles may be beautiful, but they can also be dangerous, an emergency medicine doctor warns. “An icicle is like a sharp, stiletto-shoe heel-like dagger. Coupled with the forceful dynamics of impact from falling a sizeable distance, a person can sustain serious injury,” Dr. Mark Cichon, chair of emergency medicine at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., said in a university news release. When walking outside during winter, you need to be “mindful of ice above your head and below your feet. Avoid walking under hanging ice and walk carefully on ice-coated sidewalks,” Cichon advised. You should heed signs warning of falling ice and stay away from closed-off sidewalks and other locations, he noted. “It may be annoying to have to walk around a roped-off area but it is better to take extra safety precautions than to wind up injured and in the emergency department,” Cichon said. If …

    January 25, 2015 9:01 am


  • Justin Bieber Makes His Bodyguards Carry Palm Fronds To Hide His Pimples

    Posted on Sun Jan 25th, 2015 9:15am PDT       By X17 Staff Justin Bieber went for a hike at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles on Saturday, and if he wanted to hide his acne flare up, this was really the wrong place to do. Seeing as Runyon is one of the most popular trails in town, he should have gone to Griffith Park instead — it’s not such a social scene! After going for a walk, the pop star made his beefy bodyguards carry a handful of palm fronds to shield him from photographers, but we still got a peek. Yikes! At least he didn’t pull a Zac Efron and wear foundation to cover it up, so kudos to him on that front. Breakouts happen to the best of us, so now we wonder if the Biebs might get approached by Proactiv. Hey, Adam Levine did it, and seeing as he’s married to a supermodel, he’s way …

    January 25, 2015 11:23 am


  • When will Obama stop making false claims about Citizens United?

    FILE — Jan. 22, 2015: President Obama speaks during a visit to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) At almost the same time that protesters mad about the Citizens United decision were disrupting the start of the Supreme Court’s session on Wednesday, the White House issued a “Statement from the President” condemning the decision on its fifth anniversary. And once again, President Obama repeated the same false claim about “foreign corporations” that he made in his State of the Union speech back in 2010. This White House seems to believe that if you think up a good political attack theme, stick with it no matter what the truth is. One can certainly debate the effect of Citizens United, which lifted the ban on independent political expenditures (i.e., independent political speech), and whether it has been beneficial to our democratic system. As a former member of the Federal Election Commission that enforces our …

    January 24, 2015 8:47 pm

Odd News

  • Iowa billboard mannequin startles motorists, loses job

    (Reuters) – A car dealer is taking down an oversized mannequin that had been placed atop a roadside billboard advertisement in rural Iowa after a number of alarmed drivers called the 911 emergency number to report a man who looked like he was going to jump. “I hate to take it down, but in the interest of public safety I decided to,” Brad Deery, owner of 10 car dealerships in Iowa, told Reuters by telephone on Friday. Deery said the sheriff in Des Moines County asked him to remove the mannequin because drivers were becoming distracted and that some could be tempted to try to climb the sign and take a selfie. The billboard on U.S. Route 61 advertises Deery’s West Burlington dealership. The sign reads “I can see Deery Toyota, Nissan, Mazda from here,” Deery said. The mannequin is posed as though it is looking off at distant car lots. The Hawk Eye, a …

    January 23, 2015 4:24 pm