Headline News

  • Miami commissioners approve billion-dollar downtown complex

    MIAMI (Reuters) – The city of Miami has given the nod to a $1.5 billion mixed-use project boosters said will transform downtown Miami, adding retail and public spaces to a destitute neighborhood squeezed between condominium towers and the home of the Miami Heat basketball team. City commissioners late Monday voted unanimously to allow Miami developers Miami Worldcenter Associates, together with Michigan-based shopping center developers Taubman Centers and The Forbes Company, to move forward with plans for a sprawling complex that will span several city blocks. The development will comprise nearly 1 million square feet of retail space (93,000 square meters), a 1,800-room hotel, and an attached 600,000-square-foot (56,000-square-meter) convention center. Dozens of real estate investors and agents along with labor unions turned out on Monday in support of the project and its purported economic windfall. Local businesses also came out in support, saying the project would help revive the downtown area currently a refuge for …

    September 30, 2014 12:28 pm


  • Marathon bomber suspect’s sister goes before judge

    Ailina Tsarnaeva, sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, makes her appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court(AP Photo/New York Post, Steven Hirsch) A sister of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was led away in handcuffs Tuesday after a brief court appearance on aggravated harassment charges, which her lawyer said were based on “an uncorroborated claim.” Ailina Tsarnaeva, 24, who lives in North Bergen, New Jersey, is accused of threatening to bomb a woman who previously had a romantic relationship with her husband. “Leave my man alone,” she said in a phone call on Aug. 25, according to the criminal complaint. “Stop looking for him. I have people. I know people that can put a bomb where you live.” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Abreu said Tsarnaeva was apparently referencing her brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who had been the subjects of an intense manhunt in the Boston area in the days after the deadly April …

    September 30, 2014 11:47 am


  • Olive Garden food flunks CNNMoney taste test

      When a big hedge fund released its scathing takedown of Olive Garden’s food, we couldn’t resist weighing in. Is the food that bad? We are not food critics, but we’re both passionate about Italian food, which stems from our personal backgrounds. Cristina’s grandmother who comes from Rome had her rolling homemade gnocchi before she could ride a bike. She still picks the crispiest pieces of pancetta out of the pan while making carbonara. Paul learned how to cook Sicilian food from his dad … and urges Cristina to embrace the awesome culinary combination of pignoli and raisins. Activist investor Starboard Value has accused Olive Garden owner Darden (DRI) of wasteful practices, bad management and raising prices to make up for declining sales at Olive Garden. Related: Olive Garden’s big problem? Cold breadsticks Starboard dispenses advice on how Darden should cook pasta and urges it to use extra virgin olive oil — even pulling a …

    September 30, 2014 12:48 pm


  • U.S. FCC votes to do away with sports TV blackout rule

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to eliminate a decades-old rule that has prohibited pay-TV providers from airing some home sports games, such as NFL football, if tickets to those games did not sell out. In a bipartisan 5-0 vote, the FCC did away with a 1975 sports blackout rule that has been backed by the broadcasters and the National Football League but in recent years has faced mounting criticism that it was outdated. Originally meant to ensure that television broadcasts of sports games did not hurt local ticket sales, the policy has banned cable and satellite providers from carrying sports games in their home markets if a league or a team requires that all or most of the tickets be sold before the game can be shown on TV. Sports leagues such as the NFL, broadcasters and cable and satellite companies can still privately negotiate blackout agreements. The …

    September 30, 2014 12:28 pm

World News

  • North Korean foreign minister begins 10-day Russia visit

    North Korea’s foreign minister has arrived in Moscow at the start of a 10-day visit, with a bilateral agenda that includes “fighting the heroisation of Nazism”, road safety and Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. Ri Su-yong will meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Wednesday before embarking on an odyssey around Russia’s far-eastern regions aimed at boosting economic cooperation between the two countries. Since relations with the west have become ever more strained over events in Ukraine this year, Russia has increasingly looked eastwards, including signing a hugely important gas deal with China. Ri’s trip to Russia could herald closer cooperation with North Korea. According to Russian agencies, the visit is the first by a North Korean minister since Kim Jong-un assumed power in Pyongyang more than two years ago. There have been a number of lower-level visits between the two countries over the past year, with a number of parliamentary delegations making trips in both directions …

    September 30, 2014 12:28 pm


  • Ed Sheeran talks Spotify royalties: ‘I’m in the music industry to play live…’

    Artists including Thom Yorke, David Byrne and The Black Keys have criticised streaming music services like Spotify over the size of the royalties that musicians are paid for streams of their songs. Ed Sheeran isn’t joining their ranks, despite having been on the end of a single-figure Spotify royalty cheque earlier in his career. Sheeran played a short set and answered questions from fans at Amazon’s London office earlier today, and fielded a question about his views on digital music, and his policy of making his songs available to stream as soon as they go on sale. “I’m in the music industry to play live. That’s why I make records, that’s why i do radio interviews, that’s why i do Amazon events, that’s why I put things on Spotify. having recorded music is fantastic, but playing live is where I buzz the most,” he said. Sheeran is on the promotional trail for his latest album …

    September 30, 2014 11:47 am


  • NASA TV Previews, Broadcasts U.S. Space Station Spacewalks

    [image-36] Three astronauts of the International Space Station Expedition 41 crew will conduct two spacewalks outside the orbiting laboratory Tuesday, Oct. 7 and Wednesday, Oct. 15 to replace a failed power regulator and relocate a failed cooling pump. NASA Television will provide comprehensive coverage, beginning with a preview briefing Friday, Oct. 3. The preview briefing will be broadcast at 2 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Reporters may take part in the briefing at participating NASA centers. Media who wish to ask questions by phone must call Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 1:45 p.m. Friday. Briefing participants are: — Kenny Todd, space station integration operations manager — Scott Stover, NASA space station flight director — Jaclyn Kagey, U.S. spacewalk 27 officer — Kieth Johnson, U.S. spacewalk 28 officer NASA Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency will exit the station’s Quest airlock for …

    September 30, 2014 12:07 pm


  • France uses tax to put pressure on hepatitis C drug prices

    PARIS (Reuters) – France will tax drugmakers whose costly hepatitis C drugs threaten to throw off course its healthcare budget, the government has said, heaping pressure on pharmaceutical companies like Gilead Sciences to cut their prices. The Socialist government said it had designed a “progressive contribution scheme” ensuring all patients can access new and more effective treatments against the liver-destroying virus, while limiting the burden of these drugs on state finances. The government will selectively tax drugmakers when the total cost to the state from their hepatitis C drugs exceeds a certain amount each year, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said, as she unveiled the country’s 2015 social security budget bill on Monday. If social security spending on hepatitis C drugs exceeds 450 million euros ($567 million) in 2014, the makers of those drugs will be taxed based on the revenue they had reaped in excess of that cap, the ministry said in a presentation. In …

    September 30, 2014 7:43 am


  • Chris Brown’s mama anxious to save him from gangs

    Chris Brown porked out in prison The “Turn Up the Music” hit maker has gang affiliations, and apparently his mother, Joyce Hawkins, and his girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, are so worried about his safety that they have secretly contacted his therapist for help, TMZ reports. Given the company Brown keeps and the recent shoot-up at his pre-VMAs party, it’s not surprising his family would be worried that his seedy connections may get him killed. According to the site, the police have already gotten involved. LAPD officers are reportedly going to Los Angeles, California, clubs to try and persuade bar owners to ban Brown and his entourage from entering to avoid the violence that is sure to follow. Chris Brown finally speaks out about pre-VMAs shooting So, why is the singer so keen on having gang ties? According to TMZ, his family doesn’t think he understands the implications of associating himself with the Bloods, and they think …

    September 30, 2014 9:25 am


  • Emma Watson’s new feminism: Count me in

    Sept. 20, 2014: UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson attends the HeForShe United Nations campaign launch party at the The Peninsula Hotel in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini Invision/AP) Intelligence and inspiration are rare commodities these days at the United Nations. But a 24-year-old British actress awakened the sleepy diplomatic community at Turtle Bay on September 20 with a stirring, impassioned speech about gender equality and feminism. Emma Watson’s eloquence and courage were rewarded with a standing ovation. It was richly deserved. “Fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating,” said the newly named U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. “If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.” She is right. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT But how did we come to conflate feminism with man-hating? Why are women, asked Watson, choosing not to identify as feminists? Turns out, there is blame enough to go around. Let’s begin with …

    September 30, 2014 3:41 am

Odd News

  • Belgian police waive traffic fines in protest over pensions

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgians who drive a bit over the speed limit, forget to buckle their seat belts or park illegally can breathe easier this week as police turn a blind eye in protest against plans to raise their retirement age. The country’s police are up in arms over plans by the incoming government to raise their pension age to 62 from 58 as part of its efforts to cut the federal budget. Some 40,000 officers demonstrated against it in Brussels two weeks ago. They began the next step in their protest on Tuesday by going easy on minor infractions for the next week. “Clearly this wouldn’t cover major offences, such as reckless or drunken driving,” said Vincent Houssin, deputy chairman of the 18,000-member VSOA police union. Police unions say the officers will continue to uphold traffic safety, but for a week at least the state budget will not get the benefit of their work. …

    September 30, 2014 8:03 am