Headline News

  • 66 riders evacuated after 400-foot Florida Ferris wheel stops

    July 3, 2015: In this photo provided by Makayla Bell, the Ferris wheel known as the Orlando Eye is stopped in Orlando, Fla. (Makayla Bell via AP) A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the East Coast’s largest Ferris wheel Friday, an incident that caused the 400-foot attraction to shut down, authorities said. Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy told The Associated Press no one was hurt following the incident and all were taken off the ride in about three hours with help from numerous firefighters. Kennedy said the attraction, billed as the largest observation wheel on the East Coast, had initially stopped for more than 45 minutes. Power was restored via a backup generator and a technical team at the attraction, backed by firefighters, carried out the task of removing riders from the enclosed capsules after each was brought down to the platform, officials said. “All guests …

    July 4, 2015 4:43 am


  • In Supreme Court term, Obama wins big and loses small

    WASHINGTON President Barack Obama’s administration was unexpectedly on the winning side in nearly all the close, politically significant Supreme Court cases decided in the term that ended this week, including blockbuster rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage. The run of victories ran counter to the administration’s recent mixed record. It lost major cases at the hands of the conservative-leaning court in the two previous terms. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the Democratic administration’s top Supreme Court advocate, and his team of Justice Department lawyers successfully defended Obama’s signature healthcare law from a conservative legal challenge and argued on the winning side of the court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide. They also successfully represented a Muslim woman who said she was denied a clothing retail sales job on religious grounds, and prevailed in a potentially fraught foreign policy question concerning the status of Jerusalem. The Obama administration had 28 wins and 20 losses out of 66 cases …

    July 4, 2015 1:24 am


  • Visa, MasterCard drop Backpage.com after sex trafficking claims

    It just got tougher to post an ad for “adult services” on Backpage.com. Visa (V) and MasterCard said this week that they will no longer let cardholders make any purchase on the classified advertising website, which is best known for its mature content. The move was prompted by a campaign waged by Sheriff Tom Dart, of Cook County, Illinois. Dart sent letters to both companies alleging that the classified ad website is used for sex trafficking and prostitution. He estimates Backpage.com generates over $100 million in revenue annually from adult advertising. “It has become increasingly indefensible for any corporation to willfully play a central role in an industry that reaps its cash from the victimization of women and girls across the world,” he wrote. Related: Silicon Valley’s other entrepreneurs: Sex workers Dart said his department has made over 800 arrests related to the site, including more than 50 sex-trafficking and prostitution busts and a juvenile …

    July 4, 2015 4:43 am


  • Boom to start Tour de France despite low cortisol levels

    UTRECHT, Netherlands Dutchman Lars Boom will start Saturday’s first stage of the Tour de France despite showing low levels of cortisol in a test on the eve of the race, his Astana team manager said. Low levels of the hormone can be explained by the use of corticoids, anti-inflammatory drugs that are allowed out of competition but forbidden while racing unless a rider is granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). “Boom will take the start,” Alexander Vinokourov told reporters. Astana, the team of defending Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali, are members of the MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling) that applies stricter rules than the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Under MPCC rules, Boom should be rested for eight days, meaning he should not start Saturday’s 13.8-km time trial. UCI rules, however, do not forbid Boom from racing. Astana’s bid to replace Boom with Italian Alessandro Vanotti was denied by the UCI, …

    July 4, 2015 4:43 am

World News

  • Solar Impulse completes epic flight

    Solar Impulse, the aeroplane that is powered only by the sun, has landed in Hawaii after making a historic 7,200km flight across the Pacific from Japan. Pilot Andre Borschberg brought the vehicle gently down on to the runway of Kalaeloa Airport at 05:55 local time (15:55 GMT; 16:55 BST). The distance covered and the time spent in the air – 118 hours – are records for manned, solar-powered flight. The duration is also an absolute record for a solo, un-refuelled journey. Mr Borschberg’s time betters that of the American adventurer Steve Fossett who spent 76 hours aloft in a single-seater jet in 2006. Despite being in the cockpit for so long, the Swiss pilot told the BBC that he did not feel that tired: “Interestingly, not really. “I am also astonished. We got so much support during the flight from so many people; it gave me so much energy.” He said he looked forward to …

    July 4, 2015 4:44 am


  • On the road: Subaru Outback

    The new Subaru Outback is unaccountably large – 4.8 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, 1.6 metres high – but low-slung; it looks much more estate than SUV. This, paradoxically, makes it seem even larger. One makes allowances in an SUV and expects to feel ridiculous. In a supersized estate, I was never prepared for how much I would always be sticking out, everywhere. Given its outlandish size, the Outback was strangely characterless. I drove to Bristol and parked in a hurry on some floor or other of a multistorey. When I returned, I couldn’t remember anything about it, not even its colour, which occupied some indeterminate, Welsh-weather-ish space between brown and grey. Luckily, I had parked in a way that nobody else would, which is how I was able to find it without having to wait until all the other cars had gone home. Going fast was a pleasure; the 2.0 turbo-diesel automatic features Subaru’s “lineartronic continuously …

    July 4, 2015 1:04 am


  • ‘Spectacular discovery’ of how memories are formed and learning takes place

    Related images(click to enlarge) Observations based on human brain studies Study reveals that the same brain neuron that fires for one image (Jennifer Aniston) would also fire instantly for another image (Eiffel Tower) if the volunteer had been shown an image of Jennifer Aniston at the Eiffel Tower This remarkable result shows that the neurons changed their firing properties at the exact moment the subjects formed the new memories It demonstrates that the neuron encodes the memory of the person as well as the place if they are both shown together. Therefore a memory has been formed of that person at that place ‘The discovery that individual neurons in the Medial Temporal Lobe, the brain’s main engine for memory formation, changed their firing to encode new associations even after one single presentation provides a plausible mechanism underlying the creation of new memories. The study suggests that the experience of learning can be traced back to …

    July 4, 2015 1:05 am


  • Overweight U.S. women need better pre-pregnancy counseling: study

    (Reuters Health) – Better care and counseling is needed to teach overweight women hoping to become pregnant about the health dangers of their excess weight and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, a new U.S. study concludes. “Overweight women trying to conceive largely misperceive their weight, which is concerning because they may not try to adopt healthier behaviors,” said study author Mahbubur Rahman of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. Those excess pounds can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure, which increase the chances of pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure and high protein in the urine), cesarean section, stillbirth or congenital abnormalities, lead author Dr. Abbey Berenson and her team write in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Recent research indicates that half of U.S. women of childbearing age are overweight, the researchers note. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in …

    July 4, 2015 1:24 am


  • Bethenny Frankel’s crazy yoga pose has fans freaking out (PHOTO)

    More: Bethenny Frankel blames Andy Cohen for her failed marriage — but why? On Thursday evening, Frankel took to Instagram to share a picture of herself in a tiny pink bikini as she partook in some Jeep gymnastics. “How’s my ride? #ridindirty,” she captioned the pic. But fans have a lot more to say about her yoga skills than her cool car. How’s my ride? #ridindirty A photo posted by Bethenny Frankel (@bethennyfrankel) on Jul 2, 2015 at 11:17am PDT More: RHONY‘s Kristen Taekman on her feelings about the Bethenny Frankel drama One fan wrote, “That looks scary to get into that position! [heart] my tricked out Jeep too!” Others are just confused over how Frankel even got up there, with comments including, “That’s great but how did you get up…” and “How do u get out of that position?” One commenter simply wrote, “Ouch!” There are even those who now have a total girl …

    July 4, 2015 5:03 am


  • What makes me proud to be an American: Thoughts on the Fourth of July

    Editor’s note: The following commentary adapted is from Fox News co-host Dana Perino’s  Proud American/Independence Day speech at Patriots Point Naval Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina on July 4. My fellow Americans – welcome to the best Fourth of July celebration in the United States of America. There is no place I’d rather be than with you here at Patriots Point as we remember that on this day in 1776 our nation adopted the Declaration of Independence. Upon their signatures began the great experiment to create the most wonderful and free country the world has ever known.  As a nation and as individuals, we are not perfect – in both our distant and most recent past, we have been humbled…we have been brought to our knees in grief…we have marveled at the healing power of forgiveness…and so, we keep trying to improve, to be better, and to meet the challenge of protecting the …

    July 4, 2015 1:25 am

Odd News

  • Mexican firm sorry for royally selling president short

    MEXICO CITY It could have been the height of diplomatic embarrassment for Mexico’s president. When Enrique Pena Nieto hosted towering King Felipe of Spain this week, it was a tongue-in-cheek paint ad ridiculing his 10- inch height deficit that grabbed the headlines. On Wednesday, Mexican paint company Comex posted on Twitter a digitally-altered photograph of the president standing on one of its paint pots, giving him a leg up over the monarch under the banner “una pintura de altura,” or “a paint of stature.” Comex apologized on Thursday for the photograph, deleting the post after it had been heavily retweeted. It said the Tweet was published “without the appropriate approvals”. (Reporting by Max de Haldevang; Editing by Dave Graham and Simon Gardner)

    July 2, 2015 8:54 pm