• US-led Syria strikes ‘kill hundreds’

    US-led Syria strikes ‘kill hundreds’

    23 October 2014 Last updated at 15:12 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The BBC’s Kasra Naji reports from the Turkey-Syria border US-led air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria...
  • Canada parliament sits after attacks

    Canada parliament sits after attacks

    23 October 2014 Last updated at 15:10 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Canadian PM addresses parliament Canada’s parliament has returned to work, a day after a gunman rampaged through its corridors...
  • Olympics: IOC has no concerns over Kosovo recognition

    BERLIN (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee’s provisional recognition of Kosovo will not have political consequences despite Serbia lodging an official protest, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Thursday. The IOC on Wednesday surprisingly announced...
  • Refinancing your mortgage? Opportunity knocks

    Refinancing your mortgage? Opportunity knocks

    Mortgage borrowers are getting the lowest rate mortgages of the year right now. Homeowners seeking to save some on mortgage payments can celebrate: The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, one of the most popular...
  • No sex please, you’re students: Zimbabwe university

    The Zimbabwe students’ union is making war, not love, on a new code of conduct banning students from kissing on campus at the country’s top university. In a circular displayed at halls of residence, authorities...

Headline News

  • Justice Dept. ‘exasperated’ by local probe of Missouri teen shooting


    (Reuters) – U.S. Justice Department officials on Thursday criticized local authorities’ investigation of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, saying the case had been handled in a “selective” and “inappropriate” manner. The department’s criticism comes after the official St. Louis County autopsy of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, was leaked to media on Wednesday. The autopsy report, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and published on its website, suggested Brown sustained a gunshot wound to the hand from close range and came as a grand jury considered whether Wilson should face charges. “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling,” Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said. “Since the release of the convenience store footage there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case,” Iverson added, referring …

    October 23, 2014 10:25 am
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Politics

  • ‘American Idol’ singer Clay Aiken seeks win in first political bid


    ASHEBORO N.C. (Reuters) – “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is back on tour. This time he is trying to win over North Carolina voters with his political chops rather than his voice, and he has less than two weeks left to do it. Polls and pundits suggest Aiken, a Democrat running in a solidly Republican congressional district, could be headed for another second-place finish. Undeterred, he is spending the final stretch of the campaign traveling and living on a bus emblazoned with a “Clay for North Carolina” slogan to tell voters in his native state why he would be an effective advocate for them in Congress. “I can get people to pay attention,” Aiken, 35, said at a town hall campaign event in Asheboro last week. “It’s a benefit of where I came from and how I got here.” About 30 people showed up at an historic courthouse in central North Carolina to hear Aiken …

    October 23, 2014 8:22 am
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Stocks

  • Refinancing your mortgage? Opportunity knocks


    Mortgage borrowers are getting the lowest rate mortgages of the year right now. Homeowners seeking to save some on mortgage payments can celebrate: The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, one of the most popular refinance products, has dipped to its lowest level since June 2013. The 15-year fixed hit 3.08% according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, a tenth of a percentage point lower than last week and down sharply from 3.36% early in the month. Rates for 30-year loans dipped 0.05 percentage point to 3.92%. “For borrowers hoping to pull the trigger on a refinance, this spate of the lowest mortgage rates since June 2013 is a pretty good opportunity,” said Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage information company. With equity markets on a roller coaster and bad economic news roiling Europe, investors have fled to safe havens in bonds and mortgage-backed securities, depressing interest rates.   It’s a boon for existing homeowners with …

    October 23, 2014 9:23 am
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Sports

  • Sharapova falls to Kvitova as Williams bounces back


    SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova’s bid to end the year ranked number one was left hanging by a thread after she suffered a second straight defeat at the WTA Finals on Thursday. The only woman capable of leapfrogging Serena Williams for the top spot, Sharapova was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova at Singapore’s Indoor Stadium. Sharapova still has a slim mathematical chance of finishing number one but has to go on and win the title — and has to rely on other results to go her way just to reach the semis. “It’s easy to sit here and say, yeah, I’m tired. I lost two matches,” said Sharapova. “But that’s not the way I feel or the way that I choose to speak. I still have a match ahead of me, and I will do my best to finish it on a good note.” One day after suffering her heaviest defeat since …

    October 23, 2014 10:25 am
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World News

  • US-led Syria strikes ‘kill hundreds’


    23 October 2014 Last updated at 15:12 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The BBC’s Kasra Naji reports from the Turkey-Syria border US-led air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have killed 553 people since September, UK-based activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 464 IS fighters, 57 other militants and 32 civilians have died. Meanwhile, the US has carried out more air strikes against IS positions near the besieged town of Kobane. Kurdish sources told BBC Arabic that IS had retaken a strategically important hilltop 4km west of the town. Kurdish forces fighting IS in Kobane took Tal Shair nine days ago. Reports also suggest IS fighters have been shelling Kurdish positions and attacking the town centre. Syrian Kurdish sources told the BBC that IS fighters launched intensive attacks on Wednesday night from the southern and eastern parts of the town, in an apparent attempt to get …

    October 23, 2014 10:03 am
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Technology

  • Mark Zuckerberg addresses Chinese university in fluent mandarin


    Mark Zuckerberg impressed audiences in Tsinghua University, Beijing, on Wednesday by talking and answering questions in Mandarin, which the entrepreneur has been learning for the past four years. Zuckerberg enjoys immense popularity in China, despite the inability of the country’s internet users to access Facebook. The country is in the middle of an entrepreneurship boom – home-grown internet giants like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have convinced a generation of young professionals that passion, focus and risk-taking can yield massive rewards. Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurship is relatively new to China, historically speaking, and many Chinese citizens regard Zuckerberg as its paragon. While Zuckerberg’s Mandarin was far from fluent, his performance during the 30-minute session was coherent and, at times, charmingly idiomatic – at the talk’s start, he called his Mandarin level “really terrible”, to laughter and applause. The talk was available to mainland viewers on Tsinghua University’s website, and circulated widely on domestic social media sites. Many …

    October 23, 2014 8:23 am
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Science

  • Can General Anesthesia Trigger Dementia?


    Sanfra Anastine had surgery at age 42 and couldn’t speak for about 12 hours afterward. The next time she was operated on she was 56 and it took three months for her speech to return. Now 61, Anastine says that she doesn’t have difficulty forming words anymore but is still more forgetful than before her second surgery. She’s afraid of what will happen if she has to go under anesthesia again. It is common to hear that an elderly patient “just isn’t the same” after surgery, says Robert Eckenhoff, an anesthesiologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Many people wonder if anesthesia—which is designed to make people groggy and temporarily rob them of their mental faculties—is to blame. Elderly patients often exhibit a condition called postoperative cognitive decline in which they experience lapses in memory and attention, but it usually does not last for more than a few weeks. Most evidence suggests that receiving general anesthesia …

    October 23, 2014 8:43 am
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Health

  • Teen Conflicts Spill Over to Other Areas of Their Lives


    THURSDAY, Oct. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Teens’ conflicts at home increase the risk of problems at school for up to two days, according to a new study. The research also found that the reverse is true: school problems can create issues at home. Additionally, the study found that bad mood and mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety are important factors in what’s referred to as “spillover effect.” Problems that can spill over between home and school include arguments between teens and their parents, skipping class, not completing assignments, difficulty understanding school work, and doing poorly on a quiz or test, the University of Southern California researchers explained. For example, failing a test could cause a teen to be irritable, which in turn could lead to an argument with parents. The researchers also found that teens with more symptoms of anxiety and depression were more likely to be in a bad mood after …

    October 23, 2014 8:22 am
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Entertainment

  • Kristen Stewart To Take Time Off Acting, Plans To "Buy Live-Work Space And Make Stuff"


    Posted on Thu Oct 23rd, 2014 7:55am PDT       By X17 Staff K-Stew is ready to try her hand at another craft! Kristen Stewart has been acting nonstop since she was 14-years-old, but the Twilight star recently revealed to USA Today that she plans to take a hiatus from making movies in order to pursue other artsy endeavors. “I’m taking some time off because I’ve been working for two years. I’m an actor and that’s my art form, and because I started that so young, I’ve always felt intimidated and insufficient when I think about other forms of art I want to create,” she explained. “I’m going to take so much time off. I’m going to buy a live-work space in downtown L.A. and I’m going to make some [stuff] with my hands. Literally, I made that decision a few weeks ago. I’m making a short film. I’m making a bunch of stuff. I don’t know how …

    October 23, 2014 10:03 am
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Editorial

  • Chilling free speech: Fed’s passion to monitor us has become insatiable


    Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media.  The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.” ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears. All presidents push the envelope when it comes to exercising their constitutional powers. But we never before have seen in modern times a president like the present one. …

    October 23, 2014 8:22 am
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Odd News

  • Woman who gouged her eyes in California sues over viral photo


    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A nurse at a Los Angeles hospital took a photo of a woman who gouged out her own eyes with pencils, and the patient sued the hospital and its administrators after the picture went viral on the Internet, her attorney said on Wednesday. The plaintiff, who is not named in the lawsuit, was treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 2012 after she tried to commit suicide by jamming the pencils through her eyes at another facility and was rushed to the hospital, her lawyer, Douglas Johnson, said. The injury left the woman blind, according to the lawsuit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The as-yet unidentified nurse took the photograph of the patient with the “intact pencils sticking out of her eyes,” then shared the unauthorized picture with another person, who passed the image to Joshua Shivers, the lawsuit said. Shivers, in turn, used his mother’s computer …

    October 22, 2014 8:26 pm
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