Headline News

  • As U.S. lawmakers vote on arming Syrian rebels, big questions remain


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives votes on Wednesday on legislation to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but questions remain over whether it will give them the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants. The vote is a test of support within President Barack Obama’s own party for his stepped-up campaign to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State fighters who have seized a third of both Iraq and Syria, declared war on the West and seek to establish a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. The spending-bill amendment is widely expected to pass, backed by both Democrats and Republicans later on Wednesday. It is also expected to pass the Senate later this week. Facing resistance by war-weary lawmakers in Obama’s Democratic party, the administration has reached across the aisle to Republicans for crucial support, a rare bipartisan moment in an otherwise polarized Congress. Ohio Representative John Boehner, …

    September 17, 2014 4:36 pm
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Politics

  • U.S. airstrikes boost Islamic State, more hostages possible: FBI


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Support for Islamic State increased after U.S. airstrikes began in Iraq and the militant group may take more hostages to try to force concessions from Washington, the FBI director told Congress on Wednesday. Islamic State is “committed to instilling fear and attracting recruits” and to drawing public attention, as shown through its use of social media and in videos it released of the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, said FBI Director James Comey. “ISIL’s widespread use of social media and growing online support intensified following the commencement of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq,” Comey, using an acronym for the group, said in prepared testimony for a congressional hearing on threats to the U.S. homeland. Islamic State and other outfits “may continue to try to capture American hostages in an attempt to force the U.S. government and people into making concessions that would only strengthen ISIL and further its terrorist …

    September 17, 2014 3:15 pm
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Stocks

  • Apple’s iOS 8 HealthKit launch derailed by bug


      Apple’s HealthKit needs a doctor. The new health- and fitness-tracking platform has been stalled by a software bug. HealthKit was supposed to be a key component of the iOS 8 mobile software update Apple released Wednesday. Third-party apps built to work with the platform have been pulled temporarily from Apple’s App Store as a result. “We’re working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month,” an Apple (AAPL, Tech30) spokeswoman said. HealthKit works with Apple’s new Health app along with third-party apps like WebMD and MyFitnessPal. It lets users monitor things like heart rate, sleep, weight and blood pressure, and you can also choose to share the information with your doctor. Related: IOS 8 is here, but should you get it? Along with the HomeKit connected device platform, HealthKit was one of the most highly touted new features in iOS 8. …

    September 17, 2014 4:16 pm
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Sports

  • Adam Scott in search of caddie after parting with Steve Williams


    Adam Scott, of Austraila, hits from the tee on the second hole during the third round of play in the Tour Championship golf tournament Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (The Associated Press)

    September 17, 2014 4:36 pm
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World News

  • Ukraine to vet one million officials


    17 September 2014 Last updated at 15:32 Mr Yatseniuk said the government, police and judiciary would be “cleansed” Ukraine will screen about one million civil servants to root out corrupt practices from the past, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said. The parliament passed a law on Tuesday, allowing the removal of government officials from their posts. All those who worked under ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and also former senior Communist and KGB members will be affected. Ukraine has had months of unrest since Mr Yanukovych was ousted in February. Government troops had been fighting pro-Russia separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions for months, until a truce was signed on 5 September. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of sending its troops and heavy weaponry to help the rebels – a claim denied by the Kremlin. Politician attacked “About one million civil servants of different kinds will come under this law, including the whole …

    September 17, 2014 3:35 pm
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Technology

  • Live: Apple releases iOS 8 software as developers update their apps


    Once iOS 8 hits, one of the first things many users will do is rush to replace the default keyboard. Swappable keyboards have been available on Android for years, and for many users they have been one of the key demonstrations of the advantages of the open nature of the platform. But with Apple’s new-found commitment to “extensions”, iOS users can now install third-party input devices for themselves. Both the leading firms in the Android world, Seattle’s Swype and London’s SwiftKey, have been busting a gut to get their replacement keyboards out for the release of iOS 8. (Although whereas Swype was given the heads-up by Apple to develop a keyboard that could be used to demonstrate the functionality in August, SwiftKey only found out that they would be able to ship an iOS keyboard the same time everyone else did). Both offer similar feature lists: a swipe-to-type mechanism speeds up text entry (once you …

    September 17, 2014 3:15 pm
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Science

  • New plasmonic nanolaser is cavity-free


    Slowing light to a stop: nanolaser has no cavity A new design for a cavity-free nanolaser has been proposed by physicists at Imperial College London. The design builds on a proposal from the same team earlier this year to reduce the group velocity of light of a particular frequency to exactly zero in a metal–dielectric–metal waveguide. The laser, which has yet to be built, makes use of two such zero-velocity regions, and would achieve population inversion and create a laser beam without the need for an optical cavity. The researchers suggest that the design could have important applications in optical telecommunications and computing, as well as theoretical implications in reconciling the physics of lasers with plasmonics. The traditional design for a laser involves encasing a gain medium such as a gas in a cavity containing two opposing mirrors. The gain medium contains two electronic energy levels, and, in the natural state, the lower energy level …

    September 17, 2014 3:35 pm
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Health

  • Salt and smoking may interact to raise rheumatoid arthritis risk


    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Eating a diet high in salt may increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis among smokers, according to a large study from Sweden. Researchers set out to see if a salty diet might be linked to the onset of RA, but found a connection only among smokers – who were more than twice as likely as anyone with a low-salt diet to develop the condition. “Although we could not confirm our original hypothesis, we were surprised by the large influence of sodium intake on smoking as a risk factor,” Björn Sundström told Reuters Health in an email. “Smoking is a strong risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis, and this risk is further amplified by less than ideal food habits with high sodium intake,” said Sundström, a researcher in the departments of public health and clinical medicine at Umea University who led the new study. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that …

    September 17, 2014 3:15 pm
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Entertainment

  • Lindsay Lohan Smoulders In Thigh High Boots For Sexy Photoshoot


    Posted on Wed Sep 17th, 2014 12:25pm PDT       By X17 Staff Oh la la Lilo! Lindsay Lohan sizzles in a photoshoot for the new issue of Wonderland magazine, and the actress insists her healthier look is the result of sleeping, drinking water, and meditating! The rehabbed redhead strikes some sexy poses in black thigh high boots and a see-thru sweater, and we’ve honestly never seen her look better!   Stories from around the Web

    September 17, 2014 2:54 pm
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Editorial

  • School tells kids to remove American flags on 9/11


    FILE — Sept. 10, 2014: Members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity place American flags in the yard in front of their house on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, Miss. The fraternity placed about 3,000 flags for the people killed in the 9/11 attacks. (AP Photo/The Daily Mississippian, Thomas Graning)  (AP) Sometimes good intentions have unintended consequences. Just ask the principal of Woodruff High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Principal Aaron Fulmer made national headlines this week after he directed students to remove American flags from their pickup trucks on September 11. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The patriotic teenagers had mounted large American flags in their truck beds – in violation of a longstanding school policy. American flag bumper stickers are fine. So are American flag T-shirts. But students simply cannot fly American flags in their pickup trucks. The policy, which has been in place for more than 20 years, bans anything that creates a disturbance …

    September 17, 2014 3:15 pm
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Odd News

  • Florida city reverses ban on saggy pants that threatened jail time


    ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) – Saggy pants are a fashion choice and not a police concern, a Florida city has decided, rescinding a two-month-old ban that threatened jail time for styles intentionally exposing underwear or buttocks. Responding to criticism of a law seen as targeting young black males, the Ocala city council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to rescind the ban it had approved in July. “Putting someone in jail for 60 days and fining them $500 for wearing their pants two inches below their natural waistline, wherever that is, that’s not smart justice,” said Kent Guinn, mayor of Ocala, which is 80 miles northwest of Orlando in central Florida. No one was fined or jailed for wearing saggy pants in Ocala, which had joined several U.S. cities prohibiting or campaigning against what many defend as a fashion statement. The saggy pants style has been embraced by popular music culture and spread among young people. The Ocala …

    September 17, 2014 3:35 pm
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