Headline News

  • Report blames VA’s handling of contract, change orders for Denver hospital’s huge cost overrun

    AURORA, Colo. –  An investigation into massive cost overruns at a new veterans hospital outside Denver found VA officials didn’t understand the complicated contract process they adopted and says they mismanaged change orders. The half-finished hospital in suburban Aurora is expected to cost up to $1.73 billion, nearly triple the earlier estimates. An Army Corps of Engineers report released Thursday blames the VA’s management of the project. The report also cites repeated changes in the size and scope of the project for the cost overruns and delays. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said his department accepts the findings and is making changes. The Corps of Engineers warned that the VA needs to make fundamental changes in the way it handles construction projects or it will incur delays and overruns on future projects.

    September 3, 2015 5:44 pm


  • Two more Senate Democrats back Iran nuclear deal

    WASHINGTON Support for the Iran nuclear deal rose in the U.S. Senate on Thursday when two more Democratic senators, Cory Booker and Mark Warner, came out in favor of the agreement. Both, however, expressed reservations about the pact and said they would support efforts to keep a hard line on Iran. “While I choose to support the deal, I am not satisfied with it as a final measure and will support efforts to shore up its weaker points,” Warner said in a statement, issued shortly after White House spokesman Josh Earnest surprised reporters at his daily press briefing by announcing the Virginia lawmaker’s support. Booker announced his support in a lengthy statement that called the accord between world powers and Tehran “the better of two flawed options.” “Make no mistake, this deal, while falling short of permanently eliminating Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, succeeds in either delaying it or giving us the credible ability …

    September 3, 2015 3:23 pm


  • Walmart will reopen five stores it closed to fix plumbing issues

    Walmart is starting to hire workers for five stores it closed last April to fix ongoing plumbing problems. The stores will reopen by late October or early November, the company said Thursday. Walmart surprised 2,200 workers when it temporarily closed their stores with little notice on April 13. Two of the locations are in Texas and the others are in California, Florida and Oklahoma. Workers were given two months of pay (which is required under federal law) and the option to transfer to a nearby Walmart (WMT), if a similar position was available. If they didn’t get a job at another store by mid-June full-time and some part-time workers were eligible for additional severance pay. The company said it expects to hire back the same number of employees that were working at the stores when they closed. It is currently notifying all of those who lost their jobs or were transferred that they can now …

    September 3, 2015 4:24 pm


  • Phil Mickelson, eliminated from making Presidents Cup team on his own, down to last impression

    NORTON, Mass. –  Phil Mickelson only realized a few days ago that he mathematically is eliminated from qualifying for the Presidents Cup team. Now he has one last chance to make an impression as a captain’s pick and keep alive the longest streak in American team golf. Mickelson has played on every Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup team for 20 consecutive years. Mickelson says he wants to be on the team for the Oct. 8-11 matches in South Korea. He says he will have to have a great week at the Deutsche Bank Championship to give U.S. captain Jay Haas a reason to pick him. Mickelson is on the verge of going two straight years without a win for the first time in his career.

    September 3, 2015 5:44 pm

World News

  • Zimbabwe minister on corruption charges

    Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Zimbabwe’s government has seized white-owned farms as part of a land reform programme since 2000 (file picture) A Zimbabwean minister is facing corruption charges over allegations he extorted a white farmer in order to protect him from eviction. Martin Dinha, the minister of state for Mashonaland Central province, allegedly received US$60,000 (£39,000) from tobacco farmer Guy Frank Dollar. Mr Dinha denies the allegations and was released on a $1,000 bail. The Zimbabwean government has seized about 4,000 white-owned farms as part of a land reform programme since 2000. The minister appeared in court on Wednesday. The court ordered him to report each week to the police and surrender his passport as part of his bail conditions. His lawyer Tapson Dzvetero told Reuters that the charged were politically motivated but that Mr Dinha has not yet made a plea in court. In 2014 anti-bribery watchdog Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe 156th …

    September 3, 2015 5:44 pm


  • AOL’s Millennial Media deal underlines rise in automated ad buying

    AOL’s acquisition of mobile ad firm Millennial Media underlines the rapid rise of programmatic advertising, as new research shows that automated buying will grow massively this year and account for more than half of the UK’s £3bn digital display market. AOL, which was acquired by telecoms giant Verizon for $4.4bn in May, has paid $238m for the publicly listed Millennial Media. For AOL, which boosted its programmatic ad technology buying video platform adap.TV for $405m in 2013, the deal marks a major move into computerised ad buying on mobile devices. Millennial Media operates a mobile ad network with more than 65,000 apps, and in-app ads have the added benefit of avoiding content-blocking software. AOL said that the deal means it now has access to about 1 billion global active unique users, scale critical in its battle against rivals including Facebook and Google. Bob Lord, president of AOL, said: “AOL is well positioned as consumers spend …

    September 3, 2015 11:42 am


  • WSU scientists discover mechanism for air pollution-induced liver disease

    Related images(click to enlarge) A research team led by Kezhong Zhang, Ph.D., at the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, has discovered that exposure to air pollution has a direct adverse health effect on the liver and causes liver fibrosis, an illness associated with metabolic disease and liver cancer. Dr. Zhang, assistant professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Immunology and Microbiology, and his group have been studying the adverse health effects of air pollution from a unique perspective. While the major research efforts in the field were focused on the effects of air pollution on lung tissues and cardiovascular system, the Zhang lab studied the pathological effects and stress mechanisms of air pollution on the liver, the major organ of detoxification and metabolism. Their work demonstrated that inhalation exposure to high-concentration airborne particulate matter PM2.5 has direct effects on the liver, triggering liver fibrosis, a pathological condition …

    September 3, 2015 2:43 pm


  • Research on health effects of fracking faces multiple challenges

    (Reuters Health) – Several years into the modern “fracking” era in the U.S., there still isn’t enough rigorous research to determine whether or how the practice may threaten human health, according to a recent commentary. Investigators have begun trying to tease out the long-term effects of this natural gas extraction technology, but answers on whether people who live near fracking sites are at increased risk of disease are likely several more years away, given the complexity of this research – and the fact that many people who have allowed companies to lease their land for fracking have signed confidentiality agreements, says the lead author. “For the most part, they’re not allowed to talk about any ill effects to themselves, to their water, to their land, even to their animals,” Dr. Madelon Finkel, an epidemiologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, told Reuters Health in an interview. “That in a sense is hampering …

    September 3, 2015 3:03 pm


  • EJ Johnson Is One Skinny B*tch Now

    Posted on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 12:50pm PDT       By X17 Staff Werk! EJ Johnson has lost so much weight that we barely recognized him as he left lunch at The Ivy with Rich Kids co-star Dorothy Wang yesterday, and we can’t decide what’s more fabulous – his new physique or that Chanel necklace! The reality star resorted to gastric bypass surgery after his weight ballooned, but he’s kept it off and feels better than ever! “It was a tool, and I think that it was something that really helped me jumpstart the life I definitely wanted to lead…I mean like literally I’m almost half my size. I’m not dating anyone right now but, trust me, there are a lot of offers on the table,” he told Wendy Williams about the procedure. Fellas, he’s single and ready to mingle!   Stories from around the Web

    September 3, 2015 3:23 pm


  • Trump’s shrewd move: Signing RNC loyalty oath was right thing to do

    Trump made the right decision Thursday in signing the Republican loyalty oath. Given the pressure being exerted by the GOP leadership, Trump did what he had to do to capitalize on the success he has shown in the polls, both nationally and in early primary states where he is the clear frontrunner. This show of party loyalty saves him from, at least to some degree, attacks within the party as a Democrat turncoat and marginalization by the other candidates. In this way, Trump surely made the shrewd choice and is removed from the levels of attack that the Republicans have levied against him lately. They’ll have to find something else and in the process he earned himself some favor within the party leadership, which can only help him. Still, the strength of the Trump brand is that he is a fresh thinker with his own ideas who tells the truth as he knows it. He …

    September 3, 2015 6:04 pm

Odd News

  • Spanish pensioner offers cash to find job for ‘desperate’ son

    MADRID A Spanish pensioner has placed a newspaper advertisement offering 5,000 euros ($5,600) to any employer who would hire his 39-year-old son, a “desperate” unemployed father of one. “Pensioner offers 5,000 euros to company who hires his unemployed son, qualified, responsible and hard-working with good references, pay negotiable according to contract, absolute discretion,” the advertisement in El Heraldo de Aragon newspaper said. Concerns about Spanish unemployment, the second-highest in Europe at 22.4 percent, are at the center of the campaign for a general election to be held in December. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, ahead in polls but expected to fall short of a majority, is seeking to overcome scepticism that an economic recovery is truly filtering down. The pensioner, a retired lawyer, told the newspaper he could not watch his son suffer without doing anything. “The advert might look undignified, but I lost my sense of shame a long time ago,” said the pensioner, who …

    September 3, 2015 11:02 am