Headline News

  • Residents evacuated as large wildfire threatens homes in Northern California

    VACAVILLE, Calif. –  A wildfire that has burned more than 320 acres is threatening homes in a Northern California city. KCRA-TV reports (http://apne.ws/1fd1gw5 ) that about 100 people have been evacuated in Vacaville. The grass fire started around 10 p.m. Saturday, and winds of 30 mph are fanning the flames. The fire is near California State Prison, Solano. Several fire crews are battling the fire. Vacaville is between San Francisco and Sacramento. ___ Information from: KCRA-TV, http://www.kcra.com

    July 5, 2015 3:55 am


  • Ohio official who blocked gay marriage attends one

    Ohio Health Director Rick Hodges Ohio’s health director, whose refusal to list a gay man as the surviving spouse on a death certificate led to last week’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, has delivered a Bible reading at a gay wedding. Thursday’s nuptials in Columbus came less than a week after the court legalized gay marriage in a case stemming from a lawsuit against health director Rick Hodges. The litigation began in Ohio but ultimately combined six lawsuits filed by 32 couples, widowers and children in four states that didn’t recognize gay marriage. Hodges told the Northeast Ohio Media Group (http://bit.ly/1RUunA7 ) he’s been friends with one of the grooms, Steve George, for 25 years. George worked in Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration and represented the governor on the panel that oversees Ohio Statehouse operations. The governor and first lady Karen Waldbillig Kasich also attended George’s wedding to Jeff Gatwood, as did several other top …

    July 5, 2015 1:54 am


  • China spends billions to prevent stock market crash

    China’s stock market is in trouble. It’s down over 20% since mid-June. But Chinese stock brokers are trying to tell scared investors: Stop selling. Help is on the way. On Saturday, China’s 21 largest brokerage firms said they would spend a whopping 120 billion yuan (about $19.3 billion) to try to stabilize the market, according to Chinese state media. The firms will actually buy stock funds themselves. The goal is to show regular mom and pop investors that the big players still think buying stocks is a good idea. It’s a similar strategy to companies buying back their stock when they think it’s undervalued. Related: Why China’s stock market is getting scary Big stock slide: The Shanghai Composite — the world’s third largest stock exchange if you add up the value of its companies — has lost 24% since June 12, putting it officially in bear market territory. The bears are growling even louder on …

    July 4, 2015 6:49 pm


  • FIFA president: French, German presidents tried influence World Cup vote

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter is shown. (AP) FIFA president Sepp Blatter says in a newspaper interview that French and German presidents applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively. Blatter tells German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag that “there were two political interventions” from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German counterpart Christian Wulff before the decision was taken to award the tournaments on Dec. 2, 2010. Blatter says, “Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That’s why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided it should take responsibility for it.” Blatter suggests that the German football federation (DFB) received a recommendation from Wulff “to vote for Qatar out of economic interests.” Blatter says the decision “wasn’t my priority.”

    July 5, 2015 3:55 am

World News

  • Spall lined up for Ian Paisley film

    The actor Timothy Spall is being tipped for one of the lead roles in The Journey English actor Timothy Spall is in “advanced talks” to star as the late Northern Ireland first minister, Ian Paisley, in a new film. The Journey will tell the story of the former Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader’s unlikely friendship with Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness. The film is being written by the County Down-born novelist and screenwriter Colin Bateman. Filming is expected to start in Northern Ireland in late September. The plot of the film centres on a journey Mr Paisley and Mr McGuinness take together that leads them to forge a friendship. ‘International appeal’ There had previously been speculation that Liam Neeson and Sir Kenneth Branagh were being lined up to play the former first minister and current deputy first minister of Northern Ireland. Instead, Timothy Spall – whose films include Mr Turner, The King’s Speech, Sweeney Todd, The …

    July 5, 2015 3:56 am


  • Tesla S: car review | Martin Love

    Price £50,000MPG 152 (equivalent)Top speed 140mph The future doesn’t arrive gently: it comes at a leap – a great galumphing jump that leaves you laughing with disbelief. I drove the Tesla S last week and it offers such revolutionary solutions to so many of the oily problems that bog most manufacturers down that you wonder what on earth they’ve all been doing. While they’ve been dozing, Elon Musk, the polymath gigabillionaire who invented PayPal, has set about changing the cars we drive – and the way we drive them. From the outside, the Tesla S is fairly unremarkable. It looks like a posh Jag or maybe a nice Lexus. In a corporate car park a Tesla is just another anonymous fatcat motor. It’s under that boring skin that the fun begins. First up, ask your kids where they think the engine is. They’ll point at that long bonnet. Pop it open by squeezing the fob …

    July 5, 2015 1:34 am


  • UT Arlington team develops new storage cell for solar energy storage, nighttime conversion

    Related images(click to enlarge) A University of Texas at Arlington materials science and engineering team has developed a new energy cell that can store large-scale solar energy even when it’s dark. The innovation is an advancement over the most common solar energy systems that rely on using sunlight immediately as a power source. Those systems are hindered by not being able to use that solar energy at night or when cloudy conditions exist. The UT Arlington team developed an all-vanadium photo-electrochemical flow cell that allows for efficient and large-scale solar energy storage even at nighttime. The team is now working on a larger prototype. “This research has a chance to rewrite how we store and use solar power,” said Fuqiang Liu, an assistant professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department who led the research team. “As renewable energy becomes more prevalent, the ability to store solar energy and use it as a renewable alternative …

    July 5, 2015 1:37 am


  • Liberia investigating animal link after Ebola re-emerges

    MONROVIA Liberia confirmed a third Ebola case on Thursday, nearly two months after it was declared Ebola free, and officials said they were investigating whether the disease had spread through animals before resurfacing. Dr Moses Massaquoi, case management team leader for Liberia’s Ebola task force, said the three villagers who had tested positive for the disease “have a history of having had dog meat together.” Dog meat is commonly eaten in Liberia. The first new Liberian sufferer, 17-year-old Abraham Memaigar, died on Sunday in the village of Nedowein, about 50 km (30 miles) from the capital Monrovia. Two others have since tested positive in the village. Some locals said Memaigar and others in the village had recently dug up and eaten a dead dog. It has not been proved that dogs can carry the virus, although humans have been infected by eating monkey flesh in past outbreaks. A number of West African nations have banned …

    July 5, 2015 1:55 am


  • Jessa Duggar shows off her growing baby bump on Twitter (PHOTO)

    More: Jessa Duggar shares closer look at Baby Seewald with sonogram video Taking to Twitter, Jessa shared a picture of her growing baby bump, as she is nearing the end of her second trimester. “At #22Weeks, #BabySeewald now weighs just over a pound!” she tweeted, along with a picture of her wearing a tight-fitting navy T-shirt and pink and white striped pants. At #22Weeks, #BabySeewald now weighs just over a pound! pic.twitter.com/d5TyRcWW97 — Jessa Seewald (@JessaSeewald) July 1, 2015 More: Josh Duggar molestation victim reportedly filing lawsuit Fans of the couple are completely thrilled with the post. Fans have commented on it, congratulating her, saying she looks radiant and amazing and also expressing just how much they miss the show. @JessaSeewald you look radiant. I can’t wait to hear the name you Ben have chosen! — Beth Krauch (@EMcG3624) July 1, 2015 @JessaSeewald I miss you all on TV!! Thank you for your tweets to …

    July 5, 2015 3:15 am


  • Time for the Obama administration to respond to Syrian chemical attacks

    The Obama Administration puts a lot of stock into negotiating with hostile regimes.  Consider its seemingly endless negotiations with Iran over that nation’s illicit nuclear weapons program. But even as those negotiations drag on, Iran’s ally Syria has systematically violated the 2013 agreement it negotiated with the administration. In that agreement, codified in a U.N. Security Council resolution, Syria promised to give up its chemical weapons. Yet last Friday, Reuters reported that international inspectors have found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Agency, a government facility that western intelligence agencies assess was involved in developing chemical and biological weapons. The inspectors, from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, also are investigating numerous reports of the use of chlorine gas in “barrel bombs” delivered by the Assad regime’s helicopters.  Damascus has denied all the charges. It also continues to block inspectors from accessing some of the attacked …

    July 4, 2015 9:51 pm

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