Headline News

  • Six charged with bribery in grant U.S. National Guard contracts


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Six people have been charged in a bribery scheme to grant National Guard contracts improperly, prosecutors said on Wednesday, and three of them have pleaded guilty in federal court in Virginia. Executives from two businesses bribed National Guard officials with thousands of dollars to award them marketing and advertising contracts worth a total of $14.6 million, according to the federal indictments. “As captured by its motto, the Army National Guard is ‘always ready, always there’ for the American people,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said in a Justice Department statement. “Unfortunately, today’s charges expose National Guard officials who were ‘always ready’ to pocket bribes and ‘always there’ to take kickbacks.” The Arlington, Virginia-based National Guard Bureau distributes federal funding to the Army National Guard and its state units. Normally, contracts require competitive bidding, but the bureau can avoid the requirement by giving the contracts to minority-owned businesses. Wesley Russell, 48, a …

    October 1, 2014 6:53 pm
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Politics

  • Bill Clinton Appears in Kentucky Senate Race Ad


    By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 5:04 p.m. today 0 Tweet Former President Bill Clinton stars in a new ad for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spot marks the former president’s first foray into the 2014 airwaves in a Senate race, the Grimes campaign told WHAS-TV in Louisville, which first reported on the spot. The Kentucky Senate race is rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. “One candidate believes it’s about getting new jobs, getting good jobs, giving middle class people a chance to give their kids a decent life … nobody can tell me it’s not a senator’s job to create jobs,” said Clinton in the commercial with footage from a campaign event last month in Hazard, Ky. Clinton was alluding to a McConnell quote often repeated by Democrats pertaining to economic development efforts at the state level that has faced criticism from fact-checkers for being a rather selective …

    October 1, 2014 4:11 pm
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Stocks

  • Federal workers lose big by pulling out of low-cost retirement plans


      Soldiers. Park rangers. IRS agents. They all have access to one of the cheapest retirement savings plans available. Yet some are giving up their low-fee plan — and they are paying thousands of dollars more in fees as a result. The Thrift Savings Plan, used by millions of federal workers, is like a 401(k), except it’s a lot cheaper. Last year it charged an average expense ratio of a mere 0.03%. That means just $3 in fees for $10,000 in savings, or $30 for a $100,000 portfolio. IRAs or employer-sponsored 401(k)s typically charge more than 10 times that amount. Nevertheless, federal workers are rolling billions in savings out of the low-fee plan when they leave their jobs, even though they don’t have to. Last year nearly half (45%) of participants who left federal service in 2012 had withdrawn all of their savings — nearly $10 billion collectively. Workers on government message boards cite a …

    October 1, 2014 7:13 pm
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Sports

  • NHL Eastern Conference Preview Capsules


    METROPOLITAN DIVISION CAROLINA HURRICANES ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT LAST SEASON: 36-35-11, 83 points. Missed the playoffs by finishing 13th in the Eastern Conference. COACH: Bill Peters, 1st season with Hurricanes; 1st overall in NHL. ADDED: C Brad Malone, D Tim Gleason. LOST: C Manny Malhotra, G Justin Peters, C Brett Sutter. PLAYER TO WATCH: Eric Staal. The captain is coming off the most disappointing season of his career, with his 21 goals his fewest in an 82-game season since he was a rookie a decade ago. With a salary of $9.25 million, he’s one of the highest-paid players in the game but he managed just one power-play goal last season. He had sports hernia surgery during the offseason, and a fresh start with the detail-driven Peters could be just what Staal needs. OUTLOOK: No team in the current alignment of the Eastern Conference has a longer playoff drought than the Hurricanes, who haven’t made the postseason since …

    October 1, 2014 6:53 pm
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World News

  • Ebola: ‘Five S Leone cases per hour’


    1 October 2014 Last updated at 22:58 Save the Children says that as soon as authorities get on top of the virus in one area, it emerges in another A leading charity has warned that a rate of five new Ebola cases an hour in Sierra Leone means healthcare demands are far outstripping supply. Save the Children said there were 765 new cases of Ebola reported in the West African state last week, while there are only 327 beds in the country. Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) said two experimental vaccines were being fast tracked for use. It is the world’s worst outbreak of the virus, killing 3,338 people so far. There have been 7,178 confirmed cases, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea suffering the most. ‘Massively unreported’ Save the Children says Ebola is spreading across Sierra Leone at a “terrifying rate”, with the number of new cases being recorded doubling every few weeks. …

    October 1, 2014 6:53 pm
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Technology

  • Facebook apologizes to gay community, alters identity policy


    The move changes a core feature of Facebook, its focus on true identify for the Web. Facebook Facebook is working on a way to verify the identities of people who prefer to go by pseudonyms rather than their birth names following pressure from gay rights activists. In a post on Facebook on Wednesday, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox apologized to “the community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender” and the members of the LGBT community after the company mistakenly cracked down on their use of fake names. “Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name,” Cox said. “The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life.” Facebook is building better tools to authenticate “the Sister Romas of the world while not opening up Facebook to bad actors,” Cox said. The social network is also working to improve its …

    October 1, 2014 4:11 pm
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Science

  • How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings


    Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went from straight to bent and hyperflexible, allowing birds to fold their wings neatly against their bodies when not flying. How this happened has been the subject of much debate, with substantial disagreement between developmental biologists, who study how the wings of modern birds develop in the growing embryo, and palaeontologists who study the bones of dinosaurs and early birds. A resolution to this impasse is now provided by an exciting new study publishing on September 30 in PLOS Biology. Underlying this striking evolutionary transformation change is a halving in the number of wrist bones, but developmental biologists and palaeontologists have different names for most of them, and seldom agree on the correspondence between specific dinosaur bones and those of their …

    October 1, 2014 8:25 am
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Health

  • Rhode Island child with Enterovirus dies after infection: officials


    BOSTON (Reuters) – A Rhode Island child hospitalized with Enterovirus D68 has died of a bacterial infection, in what state public health officials described on Wednesday as an unusual and dangerous combination. The child, a 10-year-old girl who was not named, died last week as a result of a staphylococcus aureus sepsis alongside the respiratory virus, the Rhode Island Department of Health said in a statement, calling it a “very rare combination that can cause very severe illness in children and adults.” An outbreak of Enterovirus D68 has swept the country, with 500 confirmed cases, mostly children, in 42 states plus the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Rhode Island girl was the fourth person infected with EV-D68 in the United States to die this year, according to the CDC, though the agency noted that the role the infection played in their deaths was “unclear.” The girl had …

    October 1, 2014 4:11 pm
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Entertainment

  • Is Kendall Jenner Crushing On Chris Brown And Is Kylie Hooking Up With Tyga?


    Posted on Wed Oct 1st, 2014 2:50pm PDT       By X17 Staff What is with the Kardashian girls’ obsession with bad boy rappers?! Kendall and Kylie Jenner have been known to run with some of hip hop’s biggest names, and now we know why! Apparently, Kendall is crushing hard on Chris Brown, even though he’s back on with girlfriend Karrueche Tran, and is holding out hope that something will happen between them! Meanwhile, Kylie is rumored to be dating Tyga, who recently called it quits with Kim K’s bestie Blac Chyna. Scandalous! The 18-year-old model has been hard at work walking in Paris and New York Fashion Week, so she’s had no time for dating, but sparks flew with Breezy when they both attended an MTV Video Music Awards after party in late August. “She’s obsessed with Chris!” a source dished to Us Weekly. CB also “thinks she’s really cute”, according to the source. Her 17-year-old sister …

    October 1, 2014 5:52 pm
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Editorial

  • Obama White House and Al Qaeda’s ‘Khorasan Group': This is what JV looks like


    James Clapper’s disclosure about the Khorasan group in no way furthers our national interests. In fact it hurts the security of the United States. Before classified information like this is shared with the public, officials need to weigh what is in the best interest of the citizens of America. They also need to consider whether making information public could endanger the safety of those who are gathering the details. The one thing that shouldn’t be part of the decision to share classified information with the public is a consideration of what is politically expedient on the home front. With Clapper’s latest revelation about the Khorasan Group, I can’t help but make a conclusion. It’s one I regret I’ve made too many times during the last six years of the Obama administration. Clapper’s disclosure about this group in no way furthers our national interests. In fact it hurts the security of the United States. I know …

    October 1, 2014 4:11 pm
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Odd News

  • France’s Le Pen loses driving license, but says not her fault


    PARIS (Reuters) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday police had confiscated her driving license for a string of road offences – but insisted they had been committed by someone else. The National Front party leader, who recently called speed detection radars “another tax disguised as a life-saving campaign”, said she had taken the punishment in 2012 to prevent the real culprits from getting into trouble. “Not wishing to denounce those who were responsible, I saw my license go up in smoke,” Le Pen said, after the satirical Le Canard Enchaine newspaper ran a story headlined: “Marine wants to steer France but she no longer has a license”. She said the newspaper should have checked the photos of the traffic offences in question and that they would have shown she was not behind the wheel. Under the French system, a driver loses a number of points for every recorded traffic offence such …

    October 1, 2014 4:31 pm
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