Headline News

  • South Carolina boy, 14, should not have been executed in 1944, judge says


    This undated file photo provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History shows George Stinney Jr., the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina, in 1944. (AP Photo/South Carolina Department of Archives and History, File) More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice. George Stinney was arrested, convicted of murder in a one-day trial and executed in 1944 – all in the span of about three months and without an appeal. The speed in which the state meted out justice against the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century was shocking and extremely unfair, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen wrote in her ruling Wednesday. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “I can think of no greater injustice,” Mullen wrote. The girls, ages …

    December 18, 2014 8:15 am
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Politics

  • Will Russ Feingold Be Haunted by Campaign Problems Past?


    By Nathan L. Gonzales Posted at 5 a.m. Dec. 18 0 Tweet Can Feingold put together a credible challenge? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., isn’t ruling out trying to get his former seat back this cycle. But it’s unclear how good of a campaign he will run. Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore told Roll Call’s Alexis Levinson last week she expects Feingold to wage a rematch against GOP Sen. Ron Johnson in 2016 and to clear the primary along the way. But in the wake of his loss in 2010, it became clear Feingold’s campaign suffered from some internal campaign strife, which factored into his failure to re-create the maverick magic of his previous victories. His long-time media consultant was extraordinarily candid in an in-depth, post-mortem story for CQ Roll Call. “The decision-making process was far different,” Feingold’s longtime media consultant, Steve Eichenbaum, told Roll Call in a recent interview. …

    December 18, 2014 7:34 am
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Stocks

  • The rock star manager who reinvents himself


    Jeff Vinik, left, as fund manager for Fidelity. Now he owns the Tampa Bay Lightning and is working on a big real estate project. Jeff Vinik is a hard person to describe in one line. For much of his 20s and 30s, he was a rock star stock picker who ultimately ran Fidelity’s flagship Magellan fund, the biggest mutual fund in the world in the 1990s. At age 37, he said enough is enough and walked away from his job after a tough year for the fund. But the lure of finance was still too strong and he ended up starting a hedge fund that amassed roughly $6 billion in assets. Then he said enough of that and returned the money to investors. Related: Meet the new ‘bond king’ He and his family left the Northeast for Florida where, at age 51, he bought the Tampa Bay Lightning ice hockey team. “I used to always …

    December 18, 2014 6:34 am
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Sports

  • Report: Volquez heading to Kansas City


    (SportsNetwork.com) – The Kansas City Royals and pitcher Edinson Volquez have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract. According to CBSSports.com and MLB.com, the deal is worth $20 million. Volquez spent 2014 in Pittsburgh and had one of the best seasons of his 10- year career with a record of 13-7 and a 3.04 ERA in 32 games, all but one as a starter. The 31-year-old right-hander was 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA for the Padres and Dodgers in 2013. He owns a career mark of 66-59 with a 4.44 ERA in 191 games, including 185 starts with Texas, Cincinnati, San Diego, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Volquez had his best season with the Reds in 2008, posting a mark of 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA. The American League champion Royals have been in need of another starting pitcher with the loss of James Shields to free agency. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT

    December 18, 2014 8:15 am
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World News

  • Police arrest man after shots allegedly fired at Dorset school ground staff


    Police have arrested a man after shots were reportedly fired at ground staff near a school in Dorset. Staff and children at Highcliffe school, Christchurch, were kept inside the building briefly on Thursday afternoon after the alarm was raised. Nobody was injured in the incident. The spokesman said: “Police were called at 12.06pm to reports that an air weapon had been fired at groundsmen working on fencing surrounding Highcliffe school in Christchurch.” Officers, including armed response units, conducted a search of the area and the 26-year-old man was arrested on firearms offences at an address near the school and taken into police custody. A number of airgun pellets were also recovered from the address. Earlier, Dorset police sought to reassure parents that there was no risk to the children at the school, who were kept inside. A receptionist at the school said at 1.30pm that the school was not in lockdown and that police had …

    December 18, 2014 8:15 am
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Technology

  • Valve limits sales of Russian games


    18 December 2014 Last updated at 13:21 The falling value of the rouble means games on Steam are cheap if bought via Russia The plunging value of the Russian rouble has led game maker Valve to impose limits on its online store. It has started putting “region-locks” on games bought via its Steam service in Russia so only people in that country can play them. The move is an attempt to stop people outside the country buying games that are far cheaper from the Russian store. Many games costing $40 (£25) on the US Steam store cost only a few dollars in Russia. The Steam Prices website, which logs price differences across the regional Steam game networks, reveals many games are currently up to 10 times more expensive in the US and UK than they are in Russia. Falling oil prices and economic sanctions have conspired to cause the value of the rouble to lose …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Science

  • Ultrafast imaging of complex systems in 3-D at near atomic resolution nears


    It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses. One important step toward ultrafast imaging of samples with a single X-ray shot is understanding the interaction of extremely brilliant and intense X-ray pulses with the sample, including ionization rates. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory developed an extended Monte Carlo computational scheme that for the first time includes bound-bound resonant excitations that dramatically enhance ionization rates and can lead to an unexpectedly high degree of electron stripping. The extended computation scheme addresses a daunting challenge for the standard rate equation approach — managing the exponentially large number of electron configurations that can occur when one or more excitations occur. The scheme computes atomic data only on demand, that is, when a specific electronic configuration is accessed. “This strategy allows for a …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Health

  • Smog Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk


    THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Children born to moms who were exposed to high levels of air pollution late in pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing autism, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 1,800 U.S. women who gave birth between 1990 and 2002, those exposed to the most air pollution during pregnancy were twice as likely to have a baby who later developed autism. And exposure during the third trimester, specifically, showed the strongest correlation to autism risk. Experts said the findings, reported in the Dec. 18 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, add to evidence that air pollution may contribute to autism. “This reinforces our confidence that air pollution is a risk factor,” said Michael Rosanoff, director of public health research for the advocacy group Autism Speaks. Rosanoff, who was not involved in the study, stressed that people should keep the odds in perspective: A twofold increase …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Entertainment

  • How Seth Rogen and James Franco must feel about The Interview, Sony mess


    Between the budget and marketing costs, experts are estimating that Sony Pictures sunk at least $100 million into Rogen and Franco’s latest project, The Interview, in which the main characters are sent by the CIA to interview and assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. But it looks like the movie might not ever reach mainstream audiences. North Korea expressed their grievances with the movie early on and were not happy when they learned that production was moving forward. Since then, Sony has been the victim of a vicious hack and a subsequent leak of sensitive internal information. Now there’s been a threat of terroristic violence towards any theater that premieres the flick on Christmas Day. North Korea hasn’t copped to the threats or attacks, but has said they think the behavior is a “righteous deed.” More: The Interview — things the real Kim Jong-un will hate and things he’ll love On Wednesday, the five largest …

    December 18, 2014 7:35 am
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Editorial

  • CIA Report, Funding the Government: How can Obama, Congress defy the Constitution?


    When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government’s left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened. Last week was dominated by two huge news stories. One was the revelation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of torture committed by CIA agents and contractors on 119 detainees in the post-9/11 era — 26 of whom were tortured for months by mistake. In that revelation of anguish and error were the conclusions by CIA agents themselves that their torture had not produced helpful information. President Obama acknowledged that the CIA had tortured, yet he directed the Department of Justice not to prosecute those who tortured and those who authorized …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Odd News

  • NY City council votes to ban sale of bunnies by pet shops


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – What do bunny rabbits have in common with hyenas, wolverines and polar bears? The adorable little creatures are about to join a menagerie of wildlife prohibited for sale by New York City pet shops. The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to outlaw the bunny trade to help curb a glut of unwanted rabbits at city shelters by people who had second thoughts about caring for the cuddly creatures. “Rabbits are sometimes disappointing especially when you buy them for your child,” said Margo DeMello, president of the House Rabbit Society, in Richmond, California, which she described as the world’s largest rabbit shelter. “They’re ground-dwelling and they do not want to be held and carried around by a kid.” Elizabeth S. Crowley, the New York councilwoman who is lead co-sponsor of the bill, said she expected Mayor Bill de Blasio to sign the legislation into law because of the strong support …

    December 17, 2014 11:51 pm
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