Headline News

  • Washington state’s prison chief resigns over botched inmate release

    SEATTLE The head of Washington state’s prison system resigned on Saturday six weeks after his agency said thousands of inmates may have been mistakenly freed early from state custody since 2002, including two men blamed for deaths when they should have been behind bars. In a resignation letter to Governor Jay Inslee on Saturday, Dan Pacholke defended his three-month tenure as Department of Corrections Secretary and praised his staff’s efforts to fix errors that have been blamed on recent deaths. Pacholke, who had served as deputy secretary since 2014, began his career with the agency some thirty years ago as a corrections officer, Inslee’s office said. “It is my hope that with this resignation, the politicians who would use this tragic event for their political purposes will have satisfied their need for blood,” Pacholke wrote in a letter provided by Inslee’s office. In December, state officials said as many as 3,200 inmates may have been …

    February 6, 2016 9:26 pm


  • Clinton slams student loan servicer Navient as misleading

    HENNIKER, N.H. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said during a student town hall on Saturday that student loan servicer Navient Corp has been “misleading people” and “doing some really terrible things.” “Their behavior is outrageous,” Clinton said at New England College, where she was campaigning ahead of the state’s nominating contest on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Clinton’s criticism of the student loan servicer comes after she lost badly among young voters to Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders in last week’s Iowa caucus. She received 11 percent of the vote among 17 to 24 year olds who caucused in Iowa versus 86 percent who supported Sanders, according to a NBC News exit poll. Clinton’s statements came in the response to a question from the audience related to student debt. Navient is being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over late fees and other matters, the company revealed in an August regulatory filing. “We understand the politicization …

    February 6, 2016 8:26 pm


  • Zika virus won’t ruin Brazil’s Carnival

    The Zika virus isn’t scaring away Brazil’s Carnival revelers and the country’s hotels are reporting higher bookings than last year. Over 1 million tourists are expected to come to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival, bringing in close to 3 billion Brazilian reals ($764 million) to Rio’s economy. The hotel occupancy rate is set to hit 85% in the city, up significantly compared to last year. Beachfront hotels are expected to have more than 90% of their rooms booked up. The Zika virus has also failed to put a dent in the annual Carnival celebrations in Recife, the northeastern city at the center of the Zika health crisis. Hotels in the area have hit 93% occupancy. Up to 910,000 visitors are expected in Recife — up 12% from last year — and about one in five visitors will come from outside Brazil. “That doesn’t mean we aren’t taking all the precautions,” said Recife’s tourism secretary Camilo …

    February 6, 2016 8:47 pm


  • Spurs starting to believe

    Spurs have not won the league since 1961, when they also won the FA Cup, beating Leicester in the final Tottenham’s players are starting to believe they can win the Premier League title this season, says manager Mauricio Pochettino. Spurs’ 1-0 home win over Watford moved them up to second, five points behind surprise leaders Leicester City, who beat Manchester City 3-1 away. “You can see in their eyes, the feeling, the energy, that they believe,” Pochettino said. “Belief is the most important word. If we believe, anything can happen.” Spurs have not been so high up in the table after 25 games played since 2012, when they finished fourth, and they have not won the league title since 1961. “It’s real, we are in a very good position but we need to keep working and not think too much about the future,” Pochettino added. “For me, historically Tottenham is one of the biggest clubs …

    February 6, 2016 9:07 pm

World News

  • India cancer survivor brings joy to destitute children

    Media captionMark Rego explains why he helps out with childnre’s charities Mark Rego is a popular pub quiz master in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Glass in hand – and indeed sometimes an entire bottle – he is the life of the party, dancing and joking with patrons as he takes them through his questions. But he is more than an energetic quiz master. Mr Rego was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago, an incident that, according to him, changed his entire outlook on life. “I made a bargain with God,” he told the BBC. Wanting to make a difference in people’s lives, he now helps raise funds for a number of charities that work with underprivileged children, orphans and cancer patients. Unsung Indians This is the second article in a BBC series Unsung Indians, profiling people who are working to improve the lives of others. More from the series: The doctor who delivers …

    February 6, 2016 9:26 pm


  • Memorial to man who made the Mallard runs into row over a duck

    It seemed such a good idea at the time – a dignified event to mark the life of one of Britain’s greatest engineers, designer of a much-loved transport icon. But now the event is threatening to unleash an undignified battle involving superglue and rubber ducks. A statue of Sir Nigel Gresley is due to be unveiled in April, marking the 75th anniversary of the death of the designer of the Mallard steam engine. But there is a risk that his achievements will be eclipsed by an arcane dispute that started in the letters pages of local and national newspapers and quickly escalated on social media. At the heart of the row is the decision by the Gresley Society to drop its commitment for the statue’s original design to include a mallard at Sir Nigel’s feet. Campaigners are plotting to make their own avian additions when the 7ft-high bronze of Gresley, commissioned from sculptor Hazel Reeves, …

    February 6, 2016 8:46 pm


  • Kaiser Permanente study finds effectiveness of routine Tdap booster wanes in adolescents

    A new study from Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Study Center found that the Tdap booster vaccine provides moderate protection against whooping cough during the first year after vaccination, but its effectiveness wanes to less than 9 percent after four years among teenagers who have received only a newer form of the whooping cough vaccine (acellular pertussis vaccine) as infants and children. These findings were published today in Pediatrics. The United States switched the type of vaccine it offered to children from whole cell pertussis (DTwP) to acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccines during the 1990s and now uses DTaP vaccines for all five childhood doses at ages 2, 4, 6, 12 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years. Babies and young children often get the new vaccine to protect against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Despite high levels of vaccine coverage, the U.S. and other countries have experienced an increase in whooping cough cases in the …

    February 6, 2016 7:26 pm


  • Surviving Spouse Still Influenced By the Other

    FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The influence of a husband or wife on their spouse’s quality of life remains strong even after death, a new study says. Couples who have been married a long time develop a high level of interdependence, and one partner’s quality of life at death continues to influence the survivor, the University of Arizona researchers said. “If your partner has higher quality of life before they pass away, you’re more likely to have higher quality of life even after they’re gone. If he or she has lower quality of life before they pass away, you’re then more likely to have lower quality of life,” lead author Kyle Bourassa, a psychology doctoral student, said in a university news release. The researchers examined data from thousands of older couples in 18 European countries and Israel taking part in an ongoing study of health, aging and retirement. Specifically, the researchers compared 546 …

    February 6, 2016 8:06 pm


  • Vin Diesel Fires Back At “Dad Bod” Shamers With Sexy, Shirtless Selfie

    Posted on Sat Feb 6th, 2016 12:08pm PDT       By X17 Staff Beefcake alert! Vin Diesel showed off his hot bod in an Instagram selfie on Friday, and we love that this is his response to people slamming his “dad bod.” The actor snapped the photo in the bathroom and captioned it, “I even shower in character. What’s good … Xander.” Vin is of course referencing his role as Xander Cage in the hotly anticipated sequel to the 2002 action flick, XXX. Back in October Vin received some flack from critics for his lack of six pack, and he said in an interview at the time, “It’s like, dad bod goes viral. Like, really? I get it, you know? I mean, a) I don’t have to be in front of the camera for a couple months and b) I really am a dad.” Haha, this is why we love him!   Stories from around the Web

    February 6, 2016 9:06 pm


  • Clinton vs. Sanders: Hillary shows weakness but Bernie is no Barack Obama

    Imagine Hillary Clinton’s relief, come Wednesday morning, when she no longer has to grovel before New Hampshire’s famously prickly primary electorate. It means no credibility leapfrogging as in 2008 when, following a third-place humiliation in Iowa, she told a New Hampshire debate audience: “I’m running on 35 years of change.” Or, on Thursday night in Durham, New Hampshire, with Clinton repeatedly invoking the Bin Laden raid – be it her hard work on behalf of President Obama — or her hard work, post-Obama, on the speech circuit. About Thursday night’s Democratic debate – the only time Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will meet before Tuesday’s Granite State primary, some observations: A Damsel. In Distress? Eight years ago in New Hampshire, Hillary’s back was against the wall: another decisive loss to Barack Obama and her campaign would come to an abrupt end. We remember it now as the week in which Hillary departed from …

    February 6, 2016 2:45 pm

Odd News

  • Turkish army seizes parrots, budgies on Syria border

    ISTANBUL The Turkish army has confiscated 700 parrots and 294 budgerigars on the border with Syria, it said on Friday, as its tighter security measures ensnare what was once a thriving trade in domesticated birds. NATO member Turkey has stepped up security along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria as it tries to prevent foreign fighters joining Islamic State militants and defend itself against spillover from the country’s civil war. But the measures, including more frequent border patrols and reinforced fencing, have also shut off what was long a thriving illicit trade in goods including fuel, cigarettes, sugar and, it seems, birds. “They were generally bringing Sultan, Love and Paradise parrots. Here in Turkey a Paradise parrot goes for 1,000 lira, but they were bringing them over for 500,” said Mehmet Turan, a bird breeder in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli. “It’s the same for lovebirds. We were selling them at 25 lira retail, …

    February 5, 2016 11:43 pm