Headline News

  • Police officers’ slaying raises pressure on New York mayor


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio faced the biggest crisis of his time in office on Sunday following the fatal shooting of two police officers, in an attack intended as retribution for recent U.S. police killings of unarmed black men. Police said the daylight Saturday shooting was the work of a 28-year-old black man who traveled from Baltimore that day after shooting and wounding his girlfriend, having warned on social media that he planned to be “putting wings on pigs,” using an anti-police slur. The gunman’s posts on Instagram indicated he had been motivated by the deaths of 18-year-old Michael Brown and Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, at the hands of police officers. Grand juries reviewed both cases but found that the officers involved broke no laws, decisions that sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests across the United States, particularly in New York, the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, …

    December 21, 2014 1:52 pm
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Politics

  • Obama says Sony hack not an act of war


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism. Washington’s longstanding dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the accusation that Pyongyang carried out an assault on a major Hollywood entertainment company. Obama and his advisers are weighing how to punish North Korea after the FBI concluded on Friday that Pyongyang was responsible. North Korea has denied it was to blame. The U.S. president put the hack in the context of a crime. “No, I don’t think it was an act of war,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union” show that aired on Sunday. “I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take …

    December 21, 2014 12:11 pm
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Stocks

  • Tom Brokaw says his cancer is in remission


    Tom Brokaw was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November. NBC great Tom Brokaw is ending the year with good news: His cancer is in remission. “A year ago my future was more uncertain than I cared to acknowledge but now I face the New Year with very encouraging news,” he wrote in a letter NBC News said was distributed to staff. “The cancer is in remission and I will shortly go on a drug maintenance regimen to keep it there.” Brokaw, 74, said in February he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which involves cancer cells overtaking healthy, disease-fighting cells in bone marrow. NBC said at the time doctors were “optimistic about the outcome of the treatment he is receiving.” He is now retired from anchoring “NBC Nightly News,” his primary role at the network from 1982 to 2004. He is now a special correspondent at NBC and his work includes chronicling the “greatest …

    December 21, 2014 1:11 pm
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Sports

  • FIFA official says England had best bid for 2018 World Cup


    LONDON (Reuters) – England’s failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup “was by far the strongest contender”, FIFA official Harold Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying on Sunday. “How could England have only got two votes? It was a big surprise,” Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times. The 53-year-old, a former Chilean football federation president, was chairman of a FIFA group tasked with assessing the strength and feasibility of the various bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals. Having visited all 11 countries bidding, Mayne-Nicholls concluded that England had the best infrastructure and public involvement, crucial facets of any successful bid. The bid, however, received just two votes from a possible 22 with Russia winning the right to host the 2018 tournament. Qatar secured the 2022 Cup. “England were on the top. They had the best concept, the best infrastructure and the people were very much involved,” said Mayne-Nicholls. “I …

    December 21, 2014 1:11 pm
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World News

  • FBI talks over Lockerbie bombing


    21 December 2014 Last updated at 18:11 Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988 Scotland’s top law officer has met the director of the FBI to discuss progress in the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC described Friday’s talks with James Comey as “very useful”. Mr Mulholland also revealed he recently met the Libyan ambassador to the UK. Relatives of the 270 people who died have attended a memorial service in Washington to mark the 26th anniversary of the atrocity. The Lord Advocate was among a delegation of Scottish law officers who also travelled to the Arlington cemetery for Sunday’s service. Intelligence officer On Saturday, Mr Mulholland said he continued to believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty of carrying out the bombing, and pledged to continue tracking down his accomplices. Megrahi who was said to have been a Libyan intelligence officer, is the only person to have been …

    December 21, 2014 1:52 pm
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Technology

  • Gamer pleads guilty to making emergency call to report Grand Theft Auto shooting


    This is not the sort of shooting you should call 911 about. Rockstar Games/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET Here’s a general rule worth sticking to. When you call the emergency services, it’s best to tell them about something that has actually occurred or is actually occurring. In real life, that is. I only offer this menial reminder because of the tale of David Helens. Helens is a 25-year-old Englishman who seems to enjoy playing Grand Theft Auto. This is understandable. A lot of 25-year-old Englishmen are like that. What is less understandable, however, is why he called 999 (the British equivalent of 911) and reported a shooting. This shooting, you see, was only happening inside the Grand Theft Auto world, rather than outside in the big wide one. As the Mirror reports it, Helens told the 999 dispatcher that his friend Max had been shot in the chest and was bleeding badly. This was nonsense …

    December 21, 2014 12:31 pm
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Science

  • Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity


    Related images(click to enlarge) Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a University of Oregon spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity. The work, which potentially could inspire devices with improved efficiency in solar energy conversion, was performed on photocells that used lead-sulfide quantum dots as photoactive semiconductor material. The research is detailed in a paper placed online by the journal Nature Communications. In the process studied, each single photon, or particle of sunlight, that is absorbed potentially creates multiple packets of energy called excitons. These packets can subsequently generate multiple free electrons that generate electricity in a process known as multiple exciton generation (MEG). In most solar cells, each absorbed photon creates just one potential free electron. Multiple exciton generation is of interests because it can lead to solar cells that generate more electrical current and make them more efficient. The UO work shines …

    December 21, 2014 12:32 pm
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Health

  • Ebola response in rural Sierra Leone not yet rapid enough


    KOIDU, Sierra Leone (Reuters) – The rapid response team has arrived and the chaos is easing, but medics in a remote Sierra Leonean district are struggling to control a local Ebola outbreak when it’s too late to nip it in the bud. A deployment of medical workers and equipment to Kono District has been the fastest so far in Sierra Leone, a country with nearly half the total Ebola cases,- under a strategy of tackling epidemic hotspots before they get too big. But officials say responses need to be yet faster to fight the fever that has killed more than 7,000 people across West Africa. In Koidu, the capital of Kono district, people continue to die of what is thought to be Ebola while others seem unaware of the risks. A Reuters reporter saw a young man lying on a city street, vomiting. He died there before an ambulance could come. An almost hysterical soldier …

    December 21, 2014 12:31 pm
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Entertainment

  • Kourtney Kardashian Reveals Newborn Son’s Name!


    Posted on Sun Dec 21st, 2014 9:50am PDT       By X17 Staff Did she put baby daddy Scott Disick in charge of this one? Because both the first and middle name of Kourtney Kardashian’s newborn son sound an awful lot like something Lord Disick himself would find entertaining! Kourtney Kardashian posted an Instagram photo of the newest member of her family on Sunday and wrote, “Madly in love with my little Reign Aston Disick.” Kardashian welcomed her third child on December 14, which is also her son Mason’s 5th birthday.   Stories from around the Web

    December 21, 2014 12:11 pm
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Editorial

  • 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
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Odd News

  • Canadian driver jailed for deaths caused by stopping for ducks


    OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Canadian woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Thursday for causing two deaths in 2010 when she stopped her car on a Quebec highway to help a group of ducklings crossing the road. Emma Czornobaj had been convicted in June of two counts each of criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death. According to media reports on Thursday, Czornobaj stopped her car abruptly in the passing lane of a highway south of Montreal when she saw the ducklings. The motorcycle behind Czornobaj’s car then crashed into her vehicle, killing the 50-year-old man driving the motorcycle and his 16-year-old daughter. “I just wanted to pick all these ducklings up and put them in my car,” Czornobaj had testified during her trial. “I know it was a mistake.” The jail time will be served on the weekends. Czornobaj was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service, probation and banned from …

    December 18, 2014 3:58 pm
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