Headline News

  • Massive New York march aims to focus world’s eyes on climate change

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – World leaders including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were set to join farmers, fishermen, children and others in a massive demonstration on Sunday to demand action on climate change. Organizers are expecting 100,000 to join the People’s Climate March in midtown Manhattan ahead of this week’s U.N. General Assembly, which brings together 120 world leaders to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment. The gathering will include celebrities such as musician Sting, scientists in lab coats, labor groups, 20 marching bands and floats powered by biodiesel vehicles or pulled by hand, said Jamie Henn, spokesman for 350.org, which organized the event with more than a dozen other environmental, labor and social justice groups. “You can’t fight climate change sitting on your couch and holding your breath,” Henn said. Participants from as far away as Kansas and Texas were headed to New York on 500 buses, he said. “This is the best …

    September 21, 2014 6:27 am


  • Wisconsin governor candidate cuts ties with consultant over jobs plan

    MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke severed ties with a political consultant after he used similar language in her jobs plan as he did in economic plans he drafted for other clients, Burke’s campaign said on Friday. Burke’s spokesman, Joe Zepecki, said the campaign ended its relationship on Thursday with Eric Schnurer of Public Works, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm, after he used about 10 passages from the past plans he drafted for former clients in Burke’s “Invest for Success,” a 40-page jobs plan. “He fell short of the expectations that Mary laid out and, as a result, he no longer has any involvement in the campaign,” Zepecki said. Schnurer was a subcontractor for the campaign, Zepecki said. Schnurer could not be reached immediately for comment. Schnurer used passages from economic plans he drafted for previous governor’s races in Delaware, Tennessee and Indiana, Buzzfeed.com reported. “In a few, isolated instances similar language from …

    September 21, 2014 5:04 am


  • VA hikes top pay for doctors by $20,000 to $35,000

    Bob McDonald, the new VA secretary, spoke on Capitol Hill this week. Doctors who passed on a career at the Department of Veterans Affairs because of pay will soon have a reason to give the agency a second look. The maximum pay for new physicians and dentists will be bumped by between $20,000 and $35,000, the scandal-plagued agency announced this week. That’s a significant boost for new hires, who may look at the rigid government pay scales and see less room for growth than in private practice. Many doctors, like primary care physicians, hired into the VA will still start at $98,967 per year. But their new ceiling will be $215,000, instead of $195,000. Many anesthesiology positions, among the higher-paid of the 40-plus specialties on the VA payroll, are currently capped at $295,000, but will be eligible for up to $325,000. The changes do not apply to the department’s current doctors and dentists, nor to …

    September 21, 2014 2:02 am


  • Retiring Li Na says she has "no regrets" in calling time on pioneering tennis career

    Chinese tennis player Li Na wipes her tears during a press conference to announce her retirement in Beijing, China, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. The two-time Grand Slam champion from China who took tennis in Asia to a new level, has retired due to recurring knee injuries. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) (The Associated Press) Chinese tennis player Li Na arrives for a press conference to announce her retirement in Beijing, China, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. The two-time Grand Slam champion from China who took tennis in Asia to a new level, has retired due to recurring knee injuries. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) (The Associated Press) Chinese tennis player Li Na speaks to media during a press conference to announce her retirement in Beijing, China, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. The two-time Grand Slam champion from China who took tennis in Asia to a new level, has retired due to recurring knee injuries. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) (The Associated Press) Chinese tennis player Li …

    September 21, 2014 6:27 am

World News

  • Coalition may expand control orders for suspected terrorists, Brandis says

    The attorney general, George Brandis, has signalled the government may widen the scope of control orders to make it easier for police and intelligence agencies to ban people from being in certain areas or speaking with certain people if they are suspected of engaging in terrorist activities but there is not enough evidence to charge them. Three people were detained under preventative detention orders, in what may be the first time the counter-terrorism laws have been used, after the raids in Sydney last week in which 15 people were arrested and two charged. The preventative detention orders allows police to hold suspects without charge for a fortnight and George Brandis said that while no application had been made for control orders on any of the people detained in the raids, he is open to expanding them. “I do think that the discussion about control orders is an important discussion because there is a gap in …

    September 21, 2014 6:27 am


  • How to take this strange protest over Apples giveaway of the U2 album

    U2 have a new album – and it’s all over the web. There are 14 downloads points. It’s all over BitTorrent, available for free. People are exchanging notes about how to download it for free. There’s a certain element of glee that the album, which wasn’t going to be available, has suddenly leaked out. No, I’m not talking about the release the other week on iTunes, for free, of U2’s Songs Of Innocence. This is a rewind to February 2009, when the band’s previous album, No Line On The Horizon, leaked out on to the web nearly two weeks ahead of its official release date. The same had happened before that, with How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in 2004: leaks, and peer-to-peer delight at getting something for nothing. Yet to judge by the howls when Apple made the latest album free to download to all of the 800m or so iTunes account holders (by …

    September 21, 2014 5:05 am


  • NASA Cargo Launches to Space Station aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

    [image-36]About 5,000 pounds of NASA science investigations and cargo are on their way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The cargo ship launched on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21. The mission is the company’s fourth cargo delivery flight to the space station through a $1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon’s cargo will support experiments to be conducted by the crews of space station Expeditions 41 and 42. One of the new Earth science investigations heading to the orbital laboratory is the International Space Station-Rapid Scatterometer. ISS-RapidScat monitors ocean winds from the vantage point of the space station. This space-based scatterometer is a remote sensing instrument that uses radar pulses reflected from the ocean’s surface from different angles to calculate surface wind speed and direction. This information will be useful for weather …

    September 21, 2014 5:26 am


  • New Ebola clinics useless without more trained staff

    WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A shortage of volunteers to staff the new Ebola clinics and hospitals the international community is building in West Africa threatens efforts to bring the deadly virus rapidly under control, aid agencies have warned. “The missing link is staff,” Athalia Christie, deputy for global health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has just returned from Liberia, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The United States this week announced it will send in its military to build 17 Ebola treatment centers in Liberia. Army engineers from Britain are building a 200-bed hospital in Sierra Leone, while the United Nations has formed a special mission to lead efforts. This marks a dramatic scaling up of the global response to the Ebola crisis, which has claimed over 2,500 lives this year – mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where infections are spiraling out of control as healthcare systems collapse. When …

    September 21, 2014 5:05 am


  • Rosie O’Donnell slams Mayim Bialik for hating on Frozen

    No one is safe from Mayim Bialik: This time, she attacks Frozen O’Donnell let her thoughts be known during an episode of The View on Thursday, Sept. 18, where she went on a rant to defend her favorite fairy-tale fantasy. “There’s been a very depressing and distressing thing that’s happened in the news,” O’Donnell began. “I’m sure you’ve read about it. Mayim Bialik from Blossom and The Big Bang Theory has come out against the movie Frozen. “I just want to say that I feel that Frozen is the best Disney movie ever made — full disclosure — Disney is the parent company of the show, but I’m just saying it because it’s true. I’ve seen it 250 times. I can say it, every word of it, memorized. I love it like the rest of America, but Blossom apparently doesn’t.” Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace join The View as cohosts O’Donnell makes a good point …

    September 21, 2014 6:48 am


Odd News

  • Armed with banana, man robs Philadelphia store, slips away on bike

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – A man armed with a banana robbed a convenience store in Philadelphia and rode away on a bicycle with cash and cigarettes, a security surveillance tape showed. The suspect strolled into Tejada Grocery and got in line behind another customer at the counter, where individual bananas were available for sale, according to the tape of Tuesday’s robbery, which was released by police on Wednesday. As his turn at the cash register approached, the man stuffed a banana into the pocket of his hoodie and used it to simulate a gun. Police said the man demanded cash and cigarettes. The robber rode then away on a bicycle, surveillance video showed. Authorities, who did not say how much cash was taken, said the suspect was still being sought on Thursday. (Editing by Barbara Goldberg)

    September 20, 2014 12:46 am