Headline News

  • Storms swamp Plains, Midwest, killing 3 and forcing thousands of Texans from their homes

    Jeremy Steele, left, Ric Jaime, center, and Keith McNabb salvage belongings at their friend Mike Cook’s house near Wimberley, Texas, Sunday, May 24, 2015. About 350 homes in the town of Wimberley were washed away by flash floods along the Blanco River, which rose 26 feet in just one hour and left piles of wreckage 20 feet high, Texas authorities said. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM, MAGS OUT (The Associated Press) People look at the Hwy 12 bridge over the Blanco River in Wimberley, Texas, which was blocked by several large trees after a flood on Sunday May 24, 2015. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM, MAGS OUT (The Associated Press) A large tree rests on the Hwy 12 bridge over the Blanco River in Wimberley, Texas, Sunday May 24, …

    May 25, 2015 1:58 am


  • No automatic shut-off for leaking oil pipeline

    Staff members and volunteers work to clean oil off a brown pelican at the International Bird Rescue office in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three decades ago, a county official said. The original owner of the pipeline skirted the Santa Barbara County requirement by successfully arguing in court in the late 1980s that it should be subject to federal oversight because the pipeline is part of an interstate network, said Kevin Drude, deputy director of the county’s Energy and Minerals Division. Auto shut-off valves are not required by federal regulators. “It’s the only major pipeline that doesn’t have auto shut-off,” Drude said. “For us, it’s routine.” Federal regulators are investigating the cause of …

    May 25, 2015 12:38 am


  • Smart money is buying energy stocks. Should you?

    Forget politics and religion. One of the biggest debates on Wall Street these days is whether oil and energy stocks are toxic or terrific. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) put out a note last week telling clients now is the time to buy. Hedge funds have already pounced. The 50 largest hedge funds bought a lot of energy stocks (e.g. Williams Partners (WPZ), Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Kinder Morgan (KMI)) in the first quarter, according to their latest stock disclosures. In some ways, it looks like a smart move. Oil plunged below $45 a barrel in January. Back then, people couldn’t seem to sell energy stocks fast enough. In recent weeks, oil has staged a mini-rally. Now it’s trading around $60 a barrel. That’s still far from the glory days of over $100 a barrel that the industry saw as recently as last summer, but for drillers, it’s a lot easier to make …

    May 24, 2015 9:31 am


  • Montoya wins his 2nd Indianapolis 500, Gordon finally gets to lead a lap

    Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia, celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Baker) (The Associated Press) INDIANAPOLIS –  There were surely some parties in Colombia this weekend. Juan Pablo Montoya roared back from some early damage sustained under caution to win his second Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, while fellow Colombian driver Gabby Chaves overcame some issues of his own late in the race to finish 16th in his debut. “I remember being 6 years old,” Chaves said. “I woke up really early in the morning to watch (Montoya) in CART, Formula One. Congratulations to him. I’m sure the whole country is very proud and happy. Hopefully one day we can join him up there.” Montoya needed to have his rear wing replaced early in the race after getting bumped from behind by Simona …

    May 25, 2015 1:58 am

World News

  • IS threat to rare bird near Palmyra

    A small breeding colony of the northern bald ibis was found near Palmyra in 2002 A rare bird may become extinct in Syria because of the capture of Palmyra by Islamic State, experts say. A tiny breeding colony of the northern bald ibis was found near the city in 2002. Three birds held in captivity were abandoned last week after their guards fled the fighting. Their fate is unknown. Officials have offered a reward of $1,000 (£646) for information about the whereabouts of a fourth bird. ‘Extinction’ The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon told the BBC that finding the missing female, called Zenobia, is crucial. She is the only bird who knows the migration routes to wintering grounds in Ethiopia and without her other captive birds cannot be released. Then the species could go extinct in the wild in Syria, said ornithologists. “Culture and nature they go hand in hand, and war …

    May 25, 2015 1:58 am


  • Ford sells sustainability to China with MyEnergi Lifestyle pilot

    Ford has been promoting its MyEnergi Lifestyle program at CES Asia in Shanghai this week. CNET Ford has announced a massive push in its sustainability agenda with the launch of the MyEnergi Lifestyle pilot program for China, aiming to increase take-up of renewable energy sources and efficient vehicles while reducing power bills by as much as 60 percent for Chinese families. The automotive company has joined forces with Chinese-owned appliance manufacturer Haier — as well as local solar power company Trina Solar and electric vehicle charging company Delta Electronics — to roll out the initiative in Beijing and Shanghai. While the MyEnergi program has been in pilot stages in the United States since 2013, the move marks a major shift into the mainstream for Ford’s energy-efficiency program. Ford made the announcement at the CES Asia event currently running in Shanghai, China — the first time the Consumer Electronics Association has brought an offshoot of the …

    May 24, 2015 11:57 pm


  • The June–July 2015 issue of Cosmos Magazine

    The June–July issue contains features on brain stimulators TMS and tDCS, stopping HIV-AIDS in its tracks, mysterious and elusive Pluto, Moore’s Law at 50, a profile of Wade Davis, new science fiction and much more. Read this issue online herePurchase issue 63 here

    May 25, 2015 12:18 am


  • Low-Income Southerners at Highest Risk for Vision Loss

    FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) — New U.S. government research connects eyesight problems with poverty, and reveals that people in the southern part of the country have the highest prevalence of both poverty and severe vision loss. In fact, most of the counties that rank in the top 25 percent for severe vision loss and poverty are in the South, according to Dr. Jinan Saaddine, team leader of the Vision Health Initiative in the Division of Diabetes Translation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Severe vision loss is listed in the top 10 disabilities — it affects activities of daily living, leads to depression and social isolation,” Saaddine said. “Regular eye examinations and awareness of risk factors associated with vision loss need to be promoted, especially among local communities in the South.” Interventions are available for many eye conditions that can lead to vision loss, according to the researchers. But poverty …

    May 25, 2015 12:38 am


  • Mickey Rourke Has Another Fashion Fail

    Posted on Sun May 24th, 2015 7:00am PDT       By X17 Staff Mickey Rourke made Canon Drive in Beverly Hills his own personal catwalk, on Saturday, as he pranced down the sidewalk in a daring ensemble. The aging actor wore plaid-on-plaid with a buttoned-up vest over a red plaid shirt, with baggy jeans a some amazing white boots with silver and red detailing. Where does this guy shop?! Adding to Rourke’s unique look were blue-tinted glasses and his usual floppy grey hair. Passersby literally craned their necks to catch a look at The Wrestler star’s interesting get-up. Can someone please start a blog about Mickey’s unique looks already? We need some fashion ID’s on these pieces, people! Check out what Rourke has to say when asked if he’d fight Floyd Mayweather for a cool million dollars …   SEE THE GALLERY Mickey Rourke Gets It Wrong … Again Stories from around the Web

    May 24, 2015 12:54 pm


  • Remembering the meaning of Memorial Day

    It is Memorial Day 2015. In cemeteries across the country flags flutter, flowers grace the graves of the departed, and bugles sound the mournful notes of Taps. The crowds paying tribute, however, have grown sparse. Begun as a way to honor Civil War dead, the commemoration was long called Decoration Day from the practice of decorating graves. The observance was held on May 30 no matter the day of the week. Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday in May as the end of a federally mandated three-day weekend. Now firmly ingrained as the traditional start of the summer season, the solemn reasons behind the day have faded despite the continuing sacrifices of so many. Seventy years ago, it was very different. Memorial Day 1945 marked an uneasy time of mixed emotions. There was celebration, remembrance, and dread. World War II in Europe was over by three weeks and no more …

    May 25, 2015 12:58 am

Odd News

  • German grandmother gives birth to quadruplets at age 65

    BERLIN A 65-year-old German grandmother gave birth to quadruplets at a Berlin hospital this week, with the three boys and a girl born prematurely at 26 weeks being in good health and having a good chance of survival, German TV network RTL reported on Saturday. The network, which had covered the pregnancy, said Annegret Raunigk already had 13 children and seven grandchildren. The announcement of her pregnancy last month had sparked a public debate in Germany about its merits. Raunigk, an English and Russian teacher in Berlin, had received fertility treatment in Ukraine and is the oldest woman in the world to have had quadruplets, RTL said, although other women of her age and older have given birth. The four babies, born by Caesarean section on May 19, weighed between 655 grams an 960 grams. (Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by David Holmes)

    May 23, 2015 12:03 pm