• Tunisia veteran claims election win

    Tunisia veteran claims election win

    22 December 2014 Last updated at 01:02 Supporters of Mr Essebsi took to the streets to celebrate Tunisia’s Beji Caid Essebsi has claimed victory in the country’s first free presidential election, with exit polls suggesting...
  • NHS to start era of DNA-medicine

    NHS to start era of DNA-medicine

    22 December 2014 Last updated at 00:00 By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website The NHS will set up 11 centres to unlock the secrets of DNA and usher in a new era of...
  • In wake of police killings, New York officers on edge

    (Reuters) – On December 13, as thousands of protesters mobbed the New York streets, Yuseff Hamm, an NYPD police officer, was monitoring the demonstrations from a mobile command unit near the Brooklyn Bridge. As the...
  • Argentine court grants rights to ape

    Argentine court grants rights to ape

    21 December 2014 Last updated at 23:05 Sandra covers her head with a cloth to protect herself from the public gaze at the Buenos Aires Zoo A court in Argentina has ruled that a shy...

Headline News

  • Florida police officer dies on duty after getting shot, run over

    TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) – A veteran Florida police officer died on Sunday after being gunned down and run over with a car by a felon who said he “felt like a caged rat” because he faced likely arrest and more prison time, a law enforcement official said. Officer Charles Kondek, a 45-year-old married father of six, was killed in Tarpon Springs, about 30 miles northwest of Tampa, after responding to a noise complaint around 2 a.m. EST, the local police department said. Authorities charged Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., a 23-year-old released from prison in March and wanted for an alleged probation violation, with the first-degree murder of the officer. “A tragedy caused by a coward,” said Tarpon Springs Police Chief Robert Kochen. “It’s devastating.” Kondek’s death followed a Saturday afternoon shooting in New York City, where a gunman shot dead two police officers and then killed himself. Authorities said that shooter had indicated on social …

    December 21, 2014 7:54 pm


  • Young Cuban-American groups emerge as Obama allies

    MIAMI (Reuters) – For a handful of Cuban-Americans, President Barack Obama’s new Cuba policy wasn’t much of a shocker. For months, they quietly advised the White House in hopes of shaping a new policy towards the communist-run nation. “A lot of what the president announced is what we, and others in Miami, have been doing for a long time,” said Felice Gorordo, co-founder of Roots of Hope, a non-partisan group of Cuban-American university students and young professionals. Their mission: closer contact with the island to build mutual understanding – a point of view that’s often at odds with their parents and grandparents. But they offer much more than policy advice. Obama is counting on this organization, and others like them, to help pave the way for his new policy that includes measures from promoting private sector entrepreneurship, to modernizing the island’s telecommunications infrastructure and restoring access to U.S. banking services. “There is a clear understanding …

    December 21, 2014 4:12 pm


  • Meet the world’s No. 1 dealer in Guinness art

      Robert Lloyd, a New York antique dealer, holds an unusual distinction: He is the world’s largest dealer of Guinness advertising art. He has bought hundreds of paintings, once lost to obscurity in a London archive, that were original renderings of iconic Guinness posters displayed in pubs and college dorm rooms. The paintings are by the English artist John Gilroy, who died in 1985. Gilroy worked for S.H. Benson, an advertising agency that held the Guinness account from 1929 until the late 1960s. Gilroy designed thousands of posters for the beer giant’s ad campaigns. Lloyd, the antique dealer, came upon his Guinness obsession somewhat accidentally. Nearly five years ago, he was at an antique show in Florida when he stumbled on a few of the original Guinness paintings. Lloyd bought what the dealer had on hand but was thirsty for more. He went to London to see the rest of the paintings — and wasted …

    December 21, 2014 5:13 pm


  • Cowboys roll into playoffs with big win over Colts

    (Reuters) – The Dallas Cowboys made it back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season when they crushed the Indianapolis Colts 42-7 on Sunday to claim the NFC East title. Tony Romo passed for three touchdowns in the first half — and four for the game — as he completed 18 of 20 throws for 218 yards to become the Cowboys’ all-time passing leader. Dallas won their third straight to improve to 11-4. Indianapolis, already playoff bound as the AFC South champions, had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Colts (10-5) did not score until less than six minutes were left in the game. The Cowboys, five-time Super Bowl winners, have not advanced to the title game since the 1995 season when they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers for the championship. (Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

    December 21, 2014 7:14 pm

World News

  • Tunisia veteran claims election win

    22 December 2014 Last updated at 01:02 Supporters of Mr Essebsi took to the streets to celebrate Tunisia’s Beji Caid Essebsi has claimed victory in the country’s first free presidential election, with exit polls suggesting he won 55.5% of the vote. Supporters of the 88-year-old celebrated in the capital Tunis. Campaigners for his rival, caretaker President Moncef Marzouki, say the results are too close to call. Critics say his success marks the return of a discredited establishment but Mr Essebsi says he is a technocrat who will bring stability. Tunisia was the first country to depose its leader in the Arab Spring and inspired other uprisings in the region. Official results are still to be announced from the run-off election but one exit poll gave Mr Essebsi 55.5%, with several others showing similar figures. Tunisia boosted security for the elections and closed border posts with Libya, which has been plagued by unrest. A group of …

    December 21, 2014 7:55 pm


  • Madonna: I did not say, ‘Hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft

    Madonna has defended her description of the leak of 13 unfinished demos from her forthcoming album as “a form of terrorism” and “artistic rape”. Speaking to The Guardian on Sunday, the singer said she was “living in a state of terror” following the leak, adding that there was “a big possibility” they were the result of her personal computer being hacked. “Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorising me. I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall: that’s also a violation, but, your work, as an artist, that’s devastating. I’m an artistic person, I’m very expressive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say ‘hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It …

    December 21, 2014 4:33 pm


  • In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain

    For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists has found that one of the latest generation of these so-called “deep neural networks” matches the primate brain. Because these networks are based on neuroscientists’ current understanding of how the brain performs object recognition, the success of the latest networks suggest that neuroscientists have a fairly accurate grasp of how object recognition works, says James DiCarlo, a professor of neuroscience and head of MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the senior author of a paper describing the study in the Dec. 11 issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology. “The fact that the models predict the neural …

    December 21, 2014 4:34 pm


  • U.S. FDA approves AbbVie all-oral hepatitis C treatment

    (Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Friday approved AbbVie’s all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, providing the first competition for Gilead Sciences huge selling and expensive medicine for the liver-destroying virus. The AbbVie regimen consists of four different anti-viral drugs to be taken as three pills in the morning and one in the evening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the regimen, which will be sold under the brand name Viekira Pak, for patients with genotype 1 form of the virus, the most common type of hepatitis C and the most difficult to treat. Gilead’s Sovaldi, which was approved a year ago, had been selling at the rate of about $3 billion per quarter due to huge pent up demand. Sovaldi is now combined with another Gilead drug and sold as Harvoni, which is taken as one pill once a day for 12 weeks at a cost of about $94,500. Some patients can take it …

    December 21, 2014 4:32 pm


  • Jessica Simpson Shows Off Her Skinny Legs In A Sexy Black Dress

    Posted on Sun Dec 21st, 2014 3:41pm PDT       By X17 Staff Jessica Simpson was paid a whopping $4 million for her Weight Watchers spokesmodel gig, and we have to say, she’s earned every penny! Not only has she shed the 60 pounds she gained from her first pregnancy, but she looks even slimmer now after two kids than she did before she had her first child! #hotmama… Jess posted the pics above on Instagram last night, and we’re thinking this was after a holiday party. I mean, why else would Jess get all glammed up and ask hubby Eric Johnson to take pics of her striking sexy poses while sitting on her knees? But she looks great, so good for her!   Stories from around the Web

    December 21, 2014 6:13 pm


  • Last minute Christmas shopping: Five things to avoid

    FILE — Nov. 28, 2014: A man dressed as Santa Claus greets shoppers outside the J.C. Penney store at the Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) This weekend millions of Americans will take to the mall to get last-minute gifts for their loved ones. They will pour through the already-picked-over selections to try and find “the gift.” For those of you who are forced into the mall this weekend: I’m sorry. Here are five things to avoid as we enter the final shopping days before Christmas.   1. Believe the best bargains are found if you wait until the last minute. While it’s true, retailers are starting their after-Christmas sales earlier than ever – just as the Christmas shopping season starts before you get to Thanksgiving dessert – seasoned shoppers know (1) value and (2) bargain do not mean the same thing.  We all know just because something is cheap doesn’t mean …

    December 20, 2014 4:21 pm

Odd News

  • Captive orangutan has human right to freedom, Argentine court rules

    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a “non-human person” unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday. Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition – a document more typically used to challenge the legality of a person’s detention or imprisonment – in November on behalf of Sandra, a 29-year-old Sumatran orangutan at the Buenos Aires zoo. In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object. The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a “non-human person.” “This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other …

    December 21, 2014 4:33 pm