Headline News

  • Musical shares stage with gay rights debate at South Carolina college

    CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – Students at a South Carolina public university are snapping up tickets to the musical “Fun Home” after state lawmakers approved a proposed cut in school funding over the critically acclaimed lesbian memoir on which the musical is based. Outraged over the proposed budget cut for the College of Charleston, which was triggered by a freshman reading assignment, the cast of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated show volunteered to put on two performances of selected songs from the musical at the college without pay. Little more than a day after the box office for both Monday performances opened, 900 of the 1,500 available tickets had been sold for $10 or $15 apiece, a spokeswoman for the liberal arts college with 11,000 undergraduate students said on Friday. “The legislature’s punishment of the college for teaching ‘Fun Home’ just feels ridiculous,” said Alison Bechdel, whose 2006 memoir recalls growing up a lesbian with a closeted …

    April 20, 2014 7:39 am


  • Militias in America: Be afraid, be very afraid

    Militia member and protestor Eric Parker takes aim at Bureau of Land Management agents at Nevada standoff. (Reuters) Flat on his belly in a sniper position, wearing a baseball cap and a flak jacket, a protester aimed his semi-automatic rifle from the edge of an overpass and waited as a crowd below stood its ground against U.S. federal agents in the Nevada desert. He was part of a 1,000-strong coalition of armed militiamen, cowboys on horseback, gun rights activists and others who rallied to Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch, about 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Las Vegas, in a standoff with about a dozen agents from the federal Bureau of Land Management. The rangers had rounded up hundreds of Bundy’s cattle, which had been grazing illegally on federal lands for two decades. Bundy had refused to pay grazing fees, saying he did not recognize the government’s authority over the land, a view that attracted vocal …

    April 20, 2014 6:38 am


  • China’s spending crackdown hits drinks giants

    Remy Cointreau said the Chinese government’s “anti-extravagance policy” is hurting sales of premium spirits. China’s crackdown on extravagant spending by officials is creating a headache for some of the world’s biggest drinks companies. Diageo (DEO) and Remy Cointreau — the companies behind brands such as Smirnoff vodka and Cointreau liqueur — said Thursday that China sales were down sharply over the first three months of the year. Since taking office a year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered an end to excessive spending by officials on everything from luxury hotels to lavish funerals, and made tackling corruption a priority. Luxury auto makers, catering firms and pharmaceuticals groups have already felt the pinch, and the push for moderation is now affecting sales of drinks — in particular premium spirits. Related: Five global liquors about to go big Sales of specialty cognac Remy Martin fell by more than 20% in the first three months of 2014. …

    April 19, 2014 12:31 am


  • Lee Westwood cruises to 7-shot victory at Malaysian Open to end 2-year victory drought

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia –  Lee Westwood ended a two-year winless drought with a seven-shot victory at the Malaysian Open on Sunday. After a four-hour delay due to the threat of lightning in the middle of the final round, Westwood went on to shoot a 4-under par 68 to complete an 18 under 270 at the Kuala Lumpur Country Club course for his 36th career victory. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Westwood led from start to finish in the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event that he also won in 1997. South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (68), the 2012 champion, along with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts (70) and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (67) shared second place on 11-under par.

    April 20, 2014 7:39 am

World News

  • Anger over ‘slow’ Korea ferry rescue

    20 April 2014 Last updated at 11:43 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Scuffles broke out as police prevented families from crossing a bridge Families of passengers on a sunken South Korean ferry have protested angrily over the rescue operation. Police stopped up to 100 people trying to leave Jindo island intending to march to the country’s capital, Seoul. After more than three days, divers have now finally entered the ferry, retrieving 26 bodies and bringing the death toll to 58. However, another 244 people are still missing from the Sewol ferry, which sank on Wednesday. Some 174 passengers were rescued. ‘Lying’ Continue reading the main story At the scene Martin Patience BBC News, Jindo island There was grief, anger and desperation as dozens of relatives tried to push through a massive police cordon. They said they wanted to march to the capital and occupy the presidential house. It was a purely …

    April 20, 2014 7:39 am


  • Nintendo Pocket Football Club review Football Manager without the fuss

    Football management Sims are typically hard, complicated and visually unappealing games, so of course, Nintendo‘s version is none of the above. It is a stripped-down title that has all the addictiveness of a Sim without the density. There are limited tactical options, from picking positions to selecting “players to watch”. But there are no team talks, press briefings or lengthy transfer battles. It’s Football Manager without the fuss. The matches last eight minutes and cannot be skipped but they’re (usually) engaging – tactical changes have a genuine and satisfying impact on proceedings – and playing them allows training cards to be awarded that can be combined to boost players’ stats. More cards can be won by facing tougher opponents, but losing will bring down that all-important approval rating. It may not be a title that will suit the football management connoisseur, but there’s plenty to enjoy here for anyone seeking an entertaining, lighter take on the …

    April 20, 2014 6:19 am


  • Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

    Related images(click to enlarge) Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found. The team successfully took thermal images of a person through a piece of the new plastic. By contrast, taking a picture taken through the plastic often used for ordinary lenses does not show a person’s body heat. “We have for the first time a polymer material that can be used for quality thermal imaging — and that’s a big deal,” said senior co-author Jeffrey Pyun, whose lab at the UA developed the plastic. “The industry has wanted this for decades.” These lenses and their next-generation prototypes could be used for anything involving heat detection and infrared light, such as handheld cameras for home energy audits, night-vision goggles, perimeter surveillance systems and other remote-sensing applications, said senior co-author Robert A. Norwood, a UA …

    April 20, 2014 6:19 am


  • Saudi Arabia announces jump in new cases of deadly MERS virus

    RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has confirmed seven new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), adding up to 36 infections in five days, a sudden increase of a disease that kills about a third of the people infected and has no cure. MERS, a SARS-like novel coronavirus that emerged in Saudi Arabia two years ago, has infected 231 people in the kingdom, of whom 76 have died, the Health Ministry said on its website. Meanwhile, another cluster of cases has been detected in the United Arab Emirates, and a Malaysian who was recently in the Gulf has been confirmed as infected, his country said. MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say the disease, which originated in camels, does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out. Health experts have warned, however, that MERS has the potential to mutate eventually. The number of officially confirmed Saudi …

    April 20, 2014 6:39 am


  • Brutal assault by Justin Bieber’s dad revealed

    Justin Bieber’s father kicked a woman in the face so hard she was left with pieces of teeth in her throat, she says. Canadian Alicia Wadden claims that in November 2002, Jeremy Bieber attacked her with a roundhouse kick to the face, leaving her with a jaw broken in two places and several broken teeth. Wadden told the Daily Mail that Jeremy was making rude, sexually charged comments to her at a house party so she slapped him across the face — and that’s when he went Chuck Norris on her. Her accusations were detailed in a police report filed at the time. VIDEO: Justin Bieber skips court for Coachella performance “Jamie took me in the living room and I heard a big bang, so I ran out to see what it was and my door was smashed in. I put on my sneakers and followed Jeremy outside to the cab and I was pointing …

    April 20, 2014 6:59 am


  • Easter 2014: A celebration of hope

    AP Over 2 billion people are celebrating Easter today, April 20, as the calendars of Western and Eastern churches coincide this year, and these billions of faithful people are celebrating HOPE.   The Easter message begins with the hopeful news that death has been overcome by life, that hatred has been overcome by love, and that sorrow has been overcome by joy.   ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The elements of the story involve women arriving at a garden tomb and finding it empty, but even better, meeting the risen Lord, the embodiment of life and love. Their lives are changed forever and so are the lives of many, many others who hear this remarkable news. The meaning of Easter is HOPE, and we, all of us, need and deserve hope. The resurrection narrative and message are vital for Christian people on this day to be sure.  Easter is celebrated in countless languages and myriad cultures by Jesus’ followers throughout the …

    April 20, 2014 2:34 am

Odd News

  • Fly me to Sochi, demands Cathay passenger armed with chocolate bar, court hears

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – A passenger on board a Hong Kong-bound Cathay Pacific flight, armed only with a Toblerone chocolate bar, demanded the plane fly to Sochi so he could watch the Winter Olympics, a court heard. Antti Oskari Manselius, 23, from Finland, also made a false bomb threat on the February 14 flight from Amsterdam and said he was robbing the plane, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday. Manselius pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and giving false information about a bomb when he appeared in court on Thursday, the Post said. He said he was trying to entertain the other passengers and was making “fun and jokes”. Two flight attendants told the court that they saw Manselius walking towards the cockpit. He had two economy-class blankets wrapped around his head and was wearing another like a cape. He held the Toblerone chocolate bar “like a sword”, the newspaper said, quoting one …

    April 18, 2014 9:42 am