Headline News

  • Federal authorities to launch second search for debris from sunken cargo ship

    MIAMI –  Federal investigators are launching a second search of the wreckage of a freighter that sank Oct. 1 near the Bahamas, officials said Thursday. The two-week expedition organized by the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to begin in April, according to a news release. Investigators hope to locate the data recorder or “black box” and develop a more extensive and detailed survey of the shipwreck. “The voyage data recorder may hold vital information about the challenges encountered by the crew in trying to save the ship,” NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart said in the release. “Getting that information could be very helpful to our investigation.” The 790-foot freighter El Faro sank after losing engine power and getting caught in a Category 4 hurricane from Jacksonville to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thirty-three mariners were aboard. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told The Associated Press that it’s uncommon for investigators to launch a second investigation, because …

    February 11, 2016 11:32 pm


  • Louisiana governor says state’s finances in dire situation

    Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards presented a dire picture of the state’s fiscal situation on Thursday, urging lawmakers to consider a set of budget cuts and revenue-raising measures, including tax increases. Edwards made his remarks before state legislators convene for a special session on Sunday to hash out how to fix the budget woes. The state is contending with a $940 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year and a $2 billion projected deficit for the next fiscal year starting in July. “This is a historic fiscal crisis, the likes of which our state has never seen,” Edwards said during Thursday’s televised address. He warned that the state’s public colleges and universities will face “catastrophic cuts over the next four months.” Louisiana is at risk of not being able to pay student scholarships that have already been awarded, and some campuses will be forced to cancel classes, even file for bankruptcy. “If you are …

    February 11, 2016 8:51 pm


  • Who does a better Bernie Sanders: Jimmy Fallon or Larry David?

    Larry David has competition. Jimmy Fallon debuted his Bernie Sanders impression on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” Wednesday night. “Good evening, I’m Bernie Sanders, and this microphone isn’t even on,” Fallon said in a blaring voice. Fallon, who wore rimmed glasses and a white haired baldy wig, nailed Sanders’ New York accent while standing in front a crowd of supporters. “I’m speaking tonight to claim victory in the New Hampshire primary over She Who Must Not Be Named,” Fallon’s Sanders said of rival Hillary Clinton. The host’s impression garnered laughs and cheers which would lead Fallon as Sanders to scold the audience, “Enough! It’s too loud!” “You have spoken and your message is loud and clear,” Fallon as Sanders said. “You want the candidate that looks like a Scooby-Doo villain before his mask is removed.” While this was Fallon’s first attempt at poking fun at the Democratic presidential candidate, it was not the first time Sanders …

    February 11, 2016 11:31 pm


  • French clubs ‘have not improved stars’

    During his last season in charge of Clermont Auvergne – 2013-14 – current Scotland coach Vern Cotter coached Jonathan Davies Wales coach Warren Gatland says none of his France-based players have become better players by crossing the Channel. He says it is “great” that Jonathan Davies is returning to the Scarlets after two years at Clermont Auvergne. Centre Davies will win his 50th cap when he lines up alongside Harlequins’ Jamie Roberts, formerly of Racing 92, against Scotland on Saturday. “I don’t believe that any of our players have improved going to France,” said Gatland. “So the fact Jonathan has decided to come back home and we can have more hands-on with him and work with him… hopefully we will see him getting back to where he was and improving his game.” Gatland is looking forward to seeing Davies continue his “pretty special” midfield partnership with Roberts when Wales play their first home game of …

    February 11, 2016 10:31 pm

World News

  • Kimunji emoji take on Kimoji emoji

    Image copyright Ben Gillin Kim Kardashian’s chart-topping Kimoji web icons are facing new competition from a set of emojis mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The “Kimunji” series features Mr Kim and his father and grandfather, as well as missiles and atomic blasts. US-based web designer Ben Gillin said his main aim in creating the Kimunji was to mock the “terrible” Kimoji, which he said were damaging to society. But he told the BBC he also hoped it got people talking about North Korea. “Kim Jong-un is obviously a terrible person, but in some respects what the Kimoji app is doing to society is also terrible,” he said. ‘Terrible content’ Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji app – which has more than 500 icons of her, her products and possessions as well as sketches of her more famous body parts, for people to use online – became the top-selling app on iTunes when it went on sale late …

    February 11, 2016 11:11 pm


  • Top Uber executives on trial in France over ‘illegal taxi’ charges

    Two top Uber executives appeared Thursday in court in charges that could send them to prison, and hand the ride-hailing company one of its most serious legal challenges to date in France. Related: Uber backlash: taxi drivers’ protests in Paris part of global revolt The San Francisco-based company has shut down UberPop, its lowest-cost service which connected users to non-professional drivers, and prompted the criminal charges, in places such as Spain and Italy. But it continues to operate in France despite repeated strikes and sometimes violent tensions with taxi drivers. Charges against Thibaud Simphal, general manager for France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, chief for western Europe, include running an illegal taxi operation, commercial deception and violation of French privacy law by illegally stocking, processing and recording personal information. They face up to five years in prison and a €300,000 euro ($339,000) fine each if convicted. Uber France is also charged and faces a €1.5m ($1.7m) fine. …

    February 11, 2016 9:11 pm


  • “Einstein Would Be Beaming”: Scientists React to Gravitational Waves

    The biggest news in physics in quite a while—the discovery of gravitational waves rippling through space-time—has scientists overjoyed around the world. Researchers with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced on Thursday that they had detected waves created when two black holes smashed into each other some 1.3 billion light-years away. The finding is the first direct confirmation of gravitational waves, as well as the strongest evidence to date that black holes exist, and the start of an age where scientists can use gravitational waves to study cosmic objects that otherwise cannot be seen. “This is the first time the universe has spoken to us through gravitational waves,” LIGO executive director David Reitze told a packed house at a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “Before now, we were deaf.” The crowd erupted into applause when he confirmed the rumors that LIGO had found gravitational waves. “My reaction was, ‘Wow!’” he …

    February 11, 2016 7:50 pm


  • Weight-loss surgery after age 35 linked to survival benefit

    (Reuters Health) – Obese people who undergo a certain kind of weight-loss operation after age 35 may live longer than obese people of the same age who don’t have the surgery, a study suggests. The findings, reported in JAMA Surgery, show that the so-called gastric bypass operation is associated with a mortality benefit along with its better-known “metabolic” benefits, said lead author Lance Davidson, of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He told Reuters Health the benefit is “pretty significant and pretty convincing.” In a gastric bypass procedure – formally known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – surgeons reduce the size of the stomach and also reconstruct the gastrointestinal tract so that food will bypass part of the intestines as it’s being digested. Past research has found weight loss surgeries are tied to reduced deaths from any cause, cancer and heart disease. Those studies left several unanswered questions, however. Specifically, why are deaths from so-called external …

    February 11, 2016 8:30 pm


  • Democratic Debate Start Time: Watch Live Stream Online, PBS TV, CNN Simulcast, Mobile Apps

    What time does the PBS Democratic primary debate on Thursday, February 11 and how can you watch the two-hour event live online or on your iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile device? Here’s what you need to know so you don’t miss a minute of the Clinton – Sanders showdown. Can’t wait for tonight’s #DemDebate? Check in with the @NewsHour team at they prepare for tonight via @Snapchat. pic.twitter.com/GGnDuFzHDa — PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) February 11, 2016 PBS NewsHour is hosting Thursday night’s Democratic debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. CNN will simulcast the debate giving viewers a variety of options to watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off for the first time since the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries. Best part? No cable subscription is necessary to watch online or on your mobile phone or tablet. Start Time: Thursday’s debate begins at 9 p.m. ET on your local PBS or CNN TV station. Live Stream Online: Both …

    February 11, 2016 10:51 pm


  • Janet Yellen and ‘negative interest rates’: America, this is the last nail in a saver’s coffin

    Most Americans have some money in a bank account. And if you’re one of them, you’re losing money. As low as inflation is, it’s higher than the pitiful interest you get from your savings account. So a savings account is a bad bet right now. But it could get worse…a lot worse. Imagine having to pay your bank to take your money! It sounds crazy, but that’s what Fed Chief Janet Yellen says could happen here. It’s called a negative interest rate. Many central banks around the world have begun to use negative interest rates, and Janet Yellen told Congress this week that she “wouldn’t take them off the table” as a potential “tool” if the economy slips into a recession. Wall Street loves this. Corporations are addicted to cheap money. They can borrow money for a pittance to cover their payrolls and a lot of other expenses. And they’ve recently got in the habit …

    February 11, 2016 11:11 pm

Odd News

  • Indian scientists express doubt over meteorite death attribution

    NEW DELHI Indian scientists have expressed doubt that a man in Tamil Nadu was the first person to have been confirmed killed by a meteorite strike, as the state’s top official has declared. The experts said the small crater, the absence of a sonic boom before impact, a lack of debris and the green and blue colour of rock recovered from the scene suggest some other cause. “It is highly improbable, but we will only be absolutely sure after a chemical analysis,” said V. Adimurthy, a senior scientist at India’s space agency. The mysterious event has triggered an international debate about whether a meteorite, space debris, leftover explosives or even frozen waste from a plane passing overhead may have killed the man. The meteorite attribution was announced this week by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram, a former film star who is known for her authoritarian style. A bus driver was killed by the meteorite at an engineering …

    February 10, 2016 8:04 am