Headline News

  • Lock of Lincoln’s hair sold in Dallas auction

    Jan. 24, 2015: This images provided by Heritage Auctions shows a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair, removed by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot. (AP) A lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair was among the items auctioned Saturday in Dallas. The lock of hair sold for $25,000. It was taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes shortly after Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The Donald P. Dow collection brought top bids totaling more than $800,000, doubling expectations.  An 1861 letter written by Booth to a friend boasting about his career and value as an actor sold for $30,000. “The public was so disgusted by Booth’s atrocity that most all letters, signatures and documents mentioning him were destroyed after Lincoln’s death, making any that survive 150 years later exceedingly rare and valuable,” said Don Ackerman, Consignment Director for Historical Americana at Heritage Auctions. “The Dow Collection gave us a unique …

    January 25, 2015 3:54 am


  • Renee Ellmers May Face Primary Challenge

    By Emily Cahn Posted at 3:02 p.m. on Jan. 23 0 Tweet Ellmers is a Republican from North Carolina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Rep. Renee Ellmers, the North Carolina Republican who led the charge to pull the House GOP’s 20-week abortion ban bill this week, could have a bruising primary from the conservative wing of her party in 2016. Jim Duncan, the chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party, is mulling a bid against Ellmers, according to multiple GOP sources in the Tar Heel State. Duncan could not immediately be reached for comment. But GOP operatives say Duncan was looking at a primary challenge against Ellmers before this week. Operatives say Thursday’s events — in which a group of anti-abortion protesters in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life demonstrated outside her Longworth office — could push Duncan toward entering a primary race. Ellmers already started the 2016 cycle with a couple cracks in …

    January 25, 2015 12:53 am


  • France: Our economy is gonna get real

    Francois Hollande says he is focused on improving the French economy. France has promised to accelerate efforts to revive its economy, taking advantage of a window of opportunity provided by the European Central Bank’s massive stimulus program. ECB President Mario Draghi unveiled a program of quantitative easing worth at least $1.3 trillion on Thursday, hoping to prevent the eurozone getting stuck in a spiral of deflation and stagnation. But he said the stimulus would only succeed if EU countries made their economies more competitive and efficient. Experts say France and Italy have the most work to do. “The decision taken by the ECB compels us to be more daring, to remove brakes on growth and job creation,” French President Francois Hollande said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has already made a start on reforming his economy. Hollande said his government was trying to reduce burdens on business and …

    January 24, 2015 11:10 pm


  • Friends, rivals, countrywomen: Players tend to get along but not everyone wants to be friends

    FILE – In this Sept. 7, 2014 file photo, Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, left, talks with Serena Williams, of the U.S., after Williams won the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. In their latest public display of friendship, Williams and Wozniacki posted a photo of getting their nails done before the Australian Open. The camaraderie, in a sport better known for its rivalries, has prompted discussion among players on what it’s like in the locker room and behind-the-scenes with top tennis stars. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File) (The Associated Press) FILE – In this Sept. 7, 2014 file photo, Serena Williams, right, hugs Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, after winning the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. In their latest public display of friendship, Williams and Wozniacki posted a photo of getting their nails done before the Australian Open. The camaraderie, in a sport better known …

    January 25, 2015 3:54 am

World News

  • US condolences over Japan ‘IS death’

    25 January 2015 Last updated at 08:30 There are still questions about whether the video was released by Islamic State US President Barack Obama has telephoned Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to offer his condolences after the apparent murder of a Japanese hostage by Islamic State. Mr Obama said the US stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Japan. Mr Abe said he accepted that a video claiming Haruna Yukawa had been killed by IS was likely to be authentic. The prime minister has demanded the release of a second Japanese hostage in the video, said to be Kenji Goto. On Tuesday, Islamic State (IS) had said it would kill the two men unless Japan paid $200m (£130m) within 72 hours. ‘Petrified’ The White House said Mr Obama had called Mr Abe to “offer condolences for the murder by IS of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa and to convey solidarity with the Japanese people”. It added: “He also …

    January 25, 2015 3:54 am


  • Internet filters block websites of sex abuse charities

    The adult content filters being rolled out by some internet providers under a scheme championed by David Cameron are blocking the websites of businesses and charities and are a “distraction” for parents seeking to protect children from online pornography, claim campaigners. TalkTalk announced this weekend that it would follow Sky and become the second of the UK’s four major internet providers to roll out automatic filters for all its customers unless they specifically ask for them to be turned off. It plans to begin applying the blocks to all users’ accounts next month. New customers will have the filter set on by default and will have to ask TalkTalk to allow pornographic and other adult content websites, including gambling, to be visited through their internet connection. Existing users can head to the company’s website to opt out. TalkTalk’s HomeSafe, provided as a free option, can already stop internet connections from being used to access violent …

    January 25, 2015 12:54 am


  • Super-Gifted Boys Choose Higher-Powered, Higher-Paying Careers Than Female Peers

    At first glance—and numerous subsequent ones—the folks in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) certainly seem extraordinary. Researchers chose study participants by giving junior high schoolers the SAT, a test designed for college-bound high-school students. For the vast majority of the kids, the math section would have included disciplines they had never even heard of: algebra, geometry, trigonometry. Researchers recruited only kids who scored among the top 1 percent in the U.S. in math. And as graphically illustrated in this February’s Scientific American,those former whiz kids, the oldest of whom are now in their 50s, are doing great. They earn more money, garner more patents and are up to 20 times more likely to have a doctorate than the general U.S. population. On average, they report being highly satisfied with their lives. Yet in one major way they seem much like everyone else—there’s a gender divide when it comes to jobs and attitudes toward …

    January 25, 2015 12:55 am


  • Pediatrician group urges measles vaccinations amid Disneyland outbreak

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The leading U.S. pediatrician group on Friday urged parents, schools and communities to vaccinate children against measles in the face of an outbreak that began at Disneyland in California in December and has spread to more than 50 people. The American Academy of Pediatrics said all children should get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella between the ages of 12 and 15 months old and again between 4 and 6 years old. “A family vacation to an amusement park – or a trip to the grocery store, a football game or school – should not result in children becoming sickened by an almost 100 percent preventable disease,” Errol Alden, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have an incredibly effective tool that can prevent our children from suffering. That is so rare in medicine,” Alden said. The California Department of Public Health has reported 59 …

    January 25, 2015 12:53 am


  • Seth Rogen is very, very sorry for his American Sniper comments

    More: Sony hackers issue terrifying threat to theaters showing The Interview So, what did the The Interview actor say about the Clint Eastwood film, which tells the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, that made fans so upset? Well, he essentially compared it to a Nazi propaganda film with his tweet, which read, “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds [sic].” Now, five days after the tweet that caused so much anger, Rogen is taking to Twitter once again, but this time with a very different message. On Thursday, the comedian wrote, “I truly hope this clears things up,” alongside a lengthy message about how very sorry he is if his comments offended anyone — which they clearly did — and that he, in fact, enjoyed the film. More: Seth Rogen, Michael Moore slam American Sniper, Twitter freaks out “My grandfather was a veteran. My …

    January 25, 2015 3:14 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