Headline News

  • Five dead, dozens ill from bacteria linked to caramel apples


    (Reuters) – Five people have died and 21 others have been hospitalized in recent weeks in a listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples, federal health officials said on Friday. A total of 28 people infected with listeria have been reported from 10 states, according to a statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC warned consumers not to eat any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples, including those with other toppings such as nuts, chocolate or sprinkles, until more information is available. Of the 28 victims, 26 were hospitalized and five of those people died, the CDC said, adding that listeriosis contributed to at least four of the deaths. Nine of the cases involved a pregnant woman or her newborn infant, it said. Listeriosis is an infection that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune symptoms. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, confusion and convulsions. No illnesses related to the …

    December 19, 2014 11:27 am
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Politics

  • Hagel could be briefed Friday on Bergdahl investigation: Pentagon


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to be briefed as early as Friday on an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the capture of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl by Taliban militants in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said. Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby said it would be up to the Army to decide on the timing of the release of details of the investigation and any steps to be taken. “It is an Army investigation, and it is Army’s decision to determine what, if anything, they will do,” Kirby told a regular news briefing. Bergdahl was released in May in a prisoner swap after five years in captivity. Some of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan have said that Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after he deserted his post. The administration of President Barack Obama was initially praised for securing his release, but there was a backlash from critics on Capitol Hill who charged …

    December 19, 2014 11:47 am
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Stocks

  • U.S. ends TARP with $15.3 billion profit


    Treasury sold its remaining shares Friday in Ally Financial, it’s last remaining major stake from the $426 billion bailout of banks and the U.S. auto industry. The U.S. government essentially closed the books on TARP with a $15.3 billion profit. Treasury sold its remaining shares Friday in Ally Financial, its last remaining major stake from the $426 billion bailout of banks and the U.S. auto industry. The Troubled Asset Relief Program was passed in 2008, in the wake of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, as the nation’s financial system was on the verge of collapse and economists feared another Great Depression. At the height of the bailout, Treasury owned a significant stake in all of the major U.S. banks, such as Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC), two of the nation’s Big Three automakers — General Motors (GM) and Chrysler Group (FCAM) — as well as one of its largest insurers, AIG (AIG). But with the …

    December 19, 2014 10:46 am
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Sports

  • U.S. swimmer Phelps sentenced to 18 months probation for drunken driving


    BALTIMORE (Reuters) – American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months probation and a year suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to drunken driving. The 18-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested for drunken driving early on Sept. 30 after speeding and then crossing the double-lane lines inside a Baltimore tunnel, police said. The sentence was handed down by Baltimore City District Court Judge Nathan Braverman. Phelps, 29, was clocked by radar around 1:40 a.m. traveling 84 miles per hour (135 kph) in a 45-mph (72-kph) zone, police said. Phelps, who has won 22 Olympic medals and appears to be eyeing a spot on the U.S. team for the 2016 Olympics, blew a .14 on a Breathalyzer, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 in Maryland. Police said an officer followed Phelps’s 2014 Land Rover onto northbound Interstate 95, through the Fort McHenry Tunnel under Baltimore …

    December 19, 2014 11:27 am
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World News

  • US spy Roland Trujillo missing after reportedly being freed in Cuba deal


    When convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo failed to call home from prison, his parents went to see if their son had fallen ill. Officials told the elderly couple not to worry, saying only that he was better off. A former intelligence official in the United States has now identified Sarraff as the unnamed spy traded for three Cuban intelligence agents jailed in the United States, who US President Barack Obama hailed as one of Washington’s most valuable assets. US spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo has reportedly been released from jail as part of a US deal with Cuba, yet his family say they have not heard from him. Photograph: Sarraff family/AP But neither Cuban nor American officials have confirmed that Sarraff was spirited off the island, and his parents have not heard from their son since he was supposedly freed. “They are saying his name out there,” his mother, Odesa Trujillo, told the Associated Press on …

    December 19, 2014 11:27 am
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Technology

  • Ebay joins Google and others in dumping Alec over climate stance


    Ebay announced on Thursday it’s severing ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council because of the lobbying group’s views on climate change. The online marketplace is the latest technology firm to part ways with the right-wing organization over environmental concerns. “After our annual review of eBay Inc’s memberships in trade associations and third-party organizations, we’ve decided not to renew our membership with Alec,” an eBay spokesperson said. In September, Eric Schmidt announced Google would be leaving Alec because “they’re just literally lying” about climate change. This prompted a wave of departures from other tech companies, including Facebook and Yelp, over similar concerns. Microsoft had previously left Alec in July. The current mass exodus from Alec marks a change from a previous round of departures, in which companies left Alec over concerns about its stance on “stand your ground” legislation. Environmental activists welcomed eBay’s move. “This is a major victory for those of us who have …

    December 19, 2014 12:07 pm
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Science

  • Monkey See, Monkey Speak


    There is a mystery on Tiwai Island. A large wildlife sanctuary in Sierra Leone, the island is home to pygmy hippopotamuses, hundreds of bird species and several species of primates, including Campbell’s monkeys. These monkeys communicate via an advanced language that primatologists and linguists have been studying for decades. Over time, experts nearly cracked the code behind monkey vocabulary.   And then came krak. In the Ivory Coast’s Tai Forest Campbell’s monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli) use the term krak to indicate that a leopard is nearby and the term hok to warn of an eagle circling overheard. Primatologists indexed their monkey lexicon accordingly. But on Tiwai Island they found that those same monkeys used krak as a general alarm call—one that, occasionally, even referred to eagles.   “Why on Earth were they producing krak when they heard an eagle,” asks co-author Philippe Schlenker, a linguist at France’s National Center for Scientific Research and professor at New …

    December 19, 2014 8:06 am
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Health

  • FDA grants accelerated approval to AstraZeneca’s ovary cancer drug


    (Reuters) – AstraZeneca Plc’s ovarian cancer drug has been granted an accelerated approval by the U.S. health regulator, a day after it was approved by the European Commission. An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had voted in June against granting an accelerated approval to the drug, Lynparza, citing inadequate data. Lynparza aims to treat ovarian cancer in patients with certain hereditary gene mutations. (1.usa.gov/1sGvFTe) (Reporting by Anjali Rao Koppala in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

    December 19, 2014 12:07 pm
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Entertainment

  • Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Richie, Kate Hudson And More Glam Up For The First-Ever People Awards Magazine Awards


    Posted on Fri Dec 19th, 2014 9:14am PDT       By X17 Staff Getty Images for DCP While we didn’t think another awards show was necessary — let alone a People magazine awards show — it seems as though A-listers disagreed. Some of Hollywood’s biggest names flocked to last night’s People Magazine Awards, hosted by Nick Cannon at the Beverly Hilton. The two-hour show featured performances by 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. Some of night’s big winners were Kate Upton, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Lopez. The presenters included famous faces like Jeff Bridges, Kaley Cuoco, Josh Gad, Josh Groban, Sean Hayes, John Krasinski, Elisabeth Moss, Ryan Phillippe, Nicole Richie and Melissa Rivers. Click thru to see the full list of winners … The first ever People Magazine Award winners are: Movie Performance of the Year – Actress: Jennifer Aniston Breakout Star of the Year: Billy Eichner Television Performance of the …

    December 19, 2014 11:47 am
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Editorial

  • Immigration: Fight against Obama’s lawlessness just beginning


    When it comes to confronting President Obama’s lawless immigration actions, we’ve only just begun to fight. Earlier this month, I testified before the House Judiciary Committee, spelling out exactly how President Obama’s immigration actions violated the Constitution. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Public testimony plays a critical role in educating members of Congress and educating the public, but testimony alone can’t stop President Obama. Stopping the president requires legal and legislative action. Let’s reform our immigration system, but let’s do it according to a constitutional process. President Obama claims he’s acting because Congress has “failed” to act. But what he really means is that he’s acting because Congress has failed to give him exactly what he wants. That’s why my colleagues and I at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Tuesday joined with 27 members of Congress and more than 60,000 Americans to file an amicus brief in the leading lawsuit against President Obama’s immigration actions. …

    December 19, 2014 12:07 pm
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Odd News

  • Canadian driver jailed for deaths caused by stopping for ducks


    OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Canadian woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Thursday for causing two deaths in 2010 when she stopped her car on a Quebec highway to help a group of ducklings crossing the road. Emma Czornobaj had been convicted in June of two counts each of criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death. According to media reports on Thursday, Czornobaj stopped her car abruptly in the passing lane of a highway south of Montreal when she saw the ducklings. The motorcycle behind Czornobaj’s car then crashed into her vehicle, killing the 50-year-old man driving the motorcycle and his 16-year-old daughter. “I just wanted to pick all these ducklings up and put them in my car,” Czornobaj had testified during her trial. “I know it was a mistake.” The jail time will be served on the weekends. Czornobaj was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service, probation and banned from …

    December 18, 2014 3:58 pm
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