Headline News

  • Arizona governor orders review of execution after inmate takes 2 hours to die


    This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood.AP/Arizona Department of Correction Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ordered a review of the state’s execution process after a convicted double murderer gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half before his death Wednesday.  Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m. local time, one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Wood’s lawyers had filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour.” In ordering the review, Brewer said she was concerned by the length of time the administered drug protocol took to kill Wood.  “One thing is certain, however,” Brewer’s statement continued, “Wood died in a lawful manner and by eyewitness and …

    July 24, 2014 12:18 am
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Politics

  • Republican Paul Ryan to renew U.S. poverty debate with grant plan


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Representative Paul Ryan will probably spark a new round of arguments over how to fight poverty in America on Thursday as he introduces a sweeping plan to replace long-standing social safety net programs with new block grants for states and communities. Ryan, his party’s vice presidential candidate in 2012, is best known for his budget blueprints marked by deep domestic spending cuts. This time, the chairman of the House Budget Committee will unveil his plan to keep social safety net funding at the same levels but change the way it is used in a speech on Thursday to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. Instead of distributing money to the poor via food stamps, welfare checks and housing subsidies, Ryan would leave it up to states and local groups to apply for block grants aimed at encouraging people to take entry-level jobs instead of staying home and …

    July 23, 2014 9:37 pm
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Stocks

  • McDonald’s stands by rotten meat supplier


      McDonald’s is standing by a troubled supplier, even after allegations the company processed tainted and expired meat in China. Chinese authorities this week suspended operations at a Shanghai Husi food plant, a subsidiary of Illinois-based OSI Group. The government intervened after a Chinese broadcaster aired footage of workers using their bare hands at a Husi factory to process expired meat, and even food that had fallen on the floor. Five people have been detained as part of an investigation into the matter, according to state media. While many of its fast food rivals have rushed to cut ties with OSI, McDonald’s said Thursday that it will continue to do business with the supplier. The American fast food chain will shift its sourcing to a Husi plant in Hebei, before fully transitioning to a new facility in Henan. McDonald’s (MCD) shares have fallen 3.7% this week. Local regulators have inspected OSI’s other factories in China, …

    July 24, 2014 12:18 am
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Sports

  • Charles scores 31 to lift Liberty over Sparks 66-64, spoiling Toler’s debut as coach


    LOS ANGELES –  Tina Charles had 31 points and 15 rebounds to lead the New York Liberty to a 66-64 win against the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday night, spoiling the coach debut of Penny Toler. Cappie Pondexter scored 16 points as the Liberty (9-13) snapped an eight-game road losing streak. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Charles scored on a jumper to give the Liberty a 66-62 lead and blocked Jantel Lavender on the Sparks’ next possession. The Sparks pulled to 66-64 when Nneka Ogwumike scored on a baseline jumper. Plenette Pierson missed two free throws to give the Sparks a chance to win or tie, but Kristi Toliver missed a 3-point attempt and Lavender missed the putback. Ogwumike led the Sparks (10-13) with 23 points and eight rebounds and Lavender had 16 points and eight rebounds. Toler was named interim coach in addition to her general manager duties Sunday after former coach Carol Ross was fired.

    July 24, 2014 12:18 am
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World News

  • Maybe not your average Joe, but going for tough budget cuts is nothing special


    If you believe the commentary of recent days it is apparently a truly extraordinary thing for a treasurer to have suggested tougher spending cuts than the ones ultimately unveiled in his budget. In fact I cannot remember a single treasurer, or a single budget, for which that statement would not have been true. Treasurers and finance ministers go into the expenditure review committee (ERC) process with a wish list of cuts, which are then pared back as cabinet ministers argue their case and the ERC as a whole considers the political consequences. The fact that this tried and true process also occurred in the lead-up to the 2014 budget is revealed in an authorised biography of Joe Hockey; Hockey: Not Your Average Joe, by Madonna King, launched today. The desire for a tougher budget was not made by way of a direct complaint by Hockey himself, but asserted by King. ”In reality, the budget was …

    July 24, 2014 12:18 am
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Technology

  • Skype for Linux Redesign Is Ugly but Functional


    If you do not mind having a free non-open source Microsoft product on your Linux computer, the latest Skype for Linux release catches up to the Windows and Mac versions, providing most of the features they’ve had for some time. Microsoft rolled out Skype version 4.3.0.37 in mid June. The catch-up release has an updated user interface, some additional features, and lots of bug fixes. The latest Skype for Linux version also got rid of Alsa audio API (application programming interface) support. Instead, it supports only Pulse Audio. So if you do not already have Pulse 3.0 or 4.0 on your system, you will have to switch to that audio system. Skype is one of the more popular free voice and video-calling applications that spans Linux, Windows and Mac OS X platforms. Microsoft released version 4.0 in June of 2012, after purchasing Skype for US$8.56 billion in late 2011. Since then, Microsoft has maintained Skype …

    July 23, 2014 9:37 pm
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Science

  • How honey bees stay cool


    Related images(click to enlarge) Honey bees, especially the young, are highly sensitive to temperature and to protect developing bees, adults work together to maintain temperatures within a narrow range. Recently published research led by Philip T. Starks, a biologist at Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences, is the first to show that worker bees dissipate excess heat within a hive in process similar to how humans and other mammals cool themselves through their blood vessels and skin. “This study shows how workers effectively dissipate the heat absorbed via heat-shielding, a mechanism used to thwart localized heat stressors,” says Starks. The research is published in the June 10 edition of the journal Naturwissenschaften, which appeared online April 24. This discovery also supports the theoretical construct of the bee hive as a superorganism — an entity in which its many members carry out specialized and vital functions to keep the whole functioning as a unit. Young …

    July 23, 2014 9:57 pm
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Health

  • South Korea confirms foot-and-mouth outbreak at hog farm


    SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has confirmed a case of foot-and-mouth disease at a hog farm, the country’s first outbreak in more than three years, a provincial government said on Thursday. The case comes as Asia’s fourth-largest economy strives to contain a six-month long outbreak of bird flu, which has pushed pork prices to multi-year highs due to demand for an alternative meat supplies. Testing had confirmed a suspected foot-and-mouth case at a hog farm in Uiseong county, more than 250 km (155 miles) southeast of Seoul, the Gyeonsangbuk-do provincial government said in a statement. Further test results by the country’s quarantine office will be unveiled later in the day, it said. The Agriculture Ministry said late on Wednesday that hogs at the affected farm would be slaughtered if foot-and-mouth was confirmed. The outbreak could lead to a rise in pork and beef imports. Pork prices are at three-year highs following the country’s worst outbreak …

    July 23, 2014 9:37 pm
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Entertainment

  • RHONYC Aviva Drescher gets legless at reunion, literally


    Instead of throwing around insults, Aviva Drescher decided she’d throw her prosthetic leg across the room during an argument with the other housewives, and she certainly got their attention! RHONYC star Ramona Singer cheating hubby: Back on? The incident happened when Carole Radziwill, Kristen Taekman and Heather Thomson called Drescher fake. “The only thing that is artificial or fake about me is this,” she said at the time, before she hurled her leg at the women. “There were three shrews attacking me, and I really just wanted them to zip it,” she revealed to People magazine. Bethenny Frankel split: The Real Housewives curse strikes again “Some people throw down their glasses when they get angry and I just threw down my prosthesis. And you know what? It worked. They fled.” Photo credit: JD/WENN.com However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is normal behavior for the mom of four, but she may be tempted to …

    July 24, 2014 12:18 am
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Editorial

  • Memo to Obama White House: The new normal isn’t ‘tranquility,’ it’s terror


      Last week, before a Russian-made surface to air missile shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine and before Israel began ground combat operations against Hamas in Gaza, Fox News correspondent Ed Henry asked White House spokesman Josh Ernest for his reaction to “the notion that the president is a bystander” to a cascade of crises at home and abroad. The response was stunning: “…there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way that has… substantially improved, you know, the tranquility of the global community.” “Tranquility?” What are the people at this White House thinking? Do they think we’re stupid? The new normal isn’t tranquility. It’s terror. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The surface-to-air missile that brought down a Boeing 777 with 298 souls aboard last week was not only made in Russia – it is all but certain to have been fired by Russian military personnel. The …

    July 23, 2014 9:37 pm
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Odd News

  • Giant ketchup bottle up for sale in southern Illinois


    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Want a giant historic order of fries with that? A water tower shaped like a 170-foot-tall ketchup bottle is for sale in southern Illinois, along with an adjacent warehouse, an owner said on Wednesday. Fans fear the 65-year-old landmark, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, might be in peril if a sympathetic buyer isn’t found. Bethel-Eckert Enterprises used the Collinsville warehouse for a food distribution business but is now selling the property along Route 159 for $500,000, said co-owner Larry Eckert. The red-and-white tower was built in 1949 for the bottlers of Brooks ketchup, according to catsupbottle.com, the website of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle fan club. The red-and-white tower was restored in 1995 with funds from volunteers, Eckert said. Eckert, who has not had any offers yet, hopes a buyer will preserve the bottle. But not every Illinois historic landmark has been saved, said Mike Gassmann, who calls …

    July 23, 2014 5:56 pm
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