• Giant caiman packed fierce bite

    Giant caiman packed fierce bite

    26 February 2015 Last updated at 16:24 The Purussaurus brasilienses could measure up to 12.5m in length A prehistoric caiman that lived in the Amazon region about eight million years ago had a bite twice...
  • Robredo advances in Buenos Aires

    Buenos Aires, Argentina (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champion Tommy Robredo cruised into the quarterfinals during Thursday’s play at the Argentina Open tennis tournament. The second-seeded Robredo, who captured this clay-court event in 2009, needed just over...
  • Union, Shell discuss meeting in U.S. refinery strike: sources

    HOUSTON (Reuters) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) and representatives for several U.S. refineries discussed on Thursday a possible resumption of face-to-face negotiations to settle a 26-day strike, two people familiar with the discussions told...
  • Netflix hails net neutrality vote as ‘win’ for consumers

    Netflix hails net neutrality vote as ‘win’ for consumers

    “Consumers win.” That’s how Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) is portraying Thursday’s historic vote in favor of “net neutrality” by the Federal Communications Commission. Netflix has been one of the most visible proponents of the Title II...
  • UnitedHealth places tighter controls on hysterectomies

    (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest health insurer in the United States, is placing tighter controls on its coverage of hysterectomies after a device called a morcellator was linked to the spread of undiagnosed...

Headline News

  • Union, Shell discuss meeting in U.S. refinery strike: sources


    HOUSTON (Reuters) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) and representatives for several U.S. refineries discussed on Thursday a possible resumption of face-to-face negotiations to settle a 26-day strike, two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters. No date had been set as of Thursday for resuming direct meetings with Shell Oil Co, which is representing the refiners, the sources said. About 6,550 USW members were on strike at 15 plants, including 12 refineries that account for one-fifth of national capacity. “The USW continues to be ready and willing to resume negotiations with Shell at any time,” said union spokeswoman Lynne Hancock. “Other than that, I don’t have any information on when talks will resume.” Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, was not immediately available for comment Thursday night. Direct meetings between negotiators for the USW and Shell broke off on Friday, after refinery owners balked at a possible settlement and …

    February 26, 2015 9:25 pm
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Politics

  • Guantanamo court holds closed session over U.S. military influence


    FORT MEADE, Md. (Reuters) – A U.S. military court at Guantanamo Bay met in closed session on Thursday as the judge assesses whether the head of the Guantanamo trials is exerting so much influence that a fair trial for accused al Qaeda extremists cannot be ensured. Thursday’s administrative scheduling session was part of pretrial proceedings for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi charged with plotting the 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole at Aden, Yemen. The attack killed 17 American sailors. Defense attorneys for Nashiri have said that efforts by the Pentagon convening authority overseeing the trials to reduce costs by speeding up the years-long proceedings is exerting “undue influence” over the trials. Their main complaint is about a Jan. 7 order from Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work telling judges overseeing the trials to drop their other duties and relocate to Guantanamo Bay. The dispute interrupted pretrial hearings for five accused conspirators in the Sept. 11, …

    February 26, 2015 9:05 pm
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Stocks

  • Netflix hails net neutrality vote as ‘win’ for consumers


    “Consumers win.” That’s how Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) is portraying Thursday’s historic vote in favor of “net neutrality” by the Federal Communications Commission. Netflix has been one of the most visible proponents of the Title II regulatory approach, which — if upheld by the courts — will treat wired and wireless Internet access more like a utility and regulate it accordingly. In a statement shortly after the regulatory proposal passed by a vote of 3-2, Netflix said “the net neutrality debate is about who picks winners and losers online: Internet service providers or consumers. Today, the FCC settled it: Consumers win.” One day earlier, in an unusually aggressive step for a corporation its size, Netflix used its main social media accounts to rally support for the vote. Related: FCC adopts historic Internet rules “What if the Internet was so slow it loaded one word at a time?” a tweet from Netflix said, spaced out line by …

    February 26, 2015 9:25 pm
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Sports

  • Robredo advances in Buenos Aires


    Buenos Aires, Argentina (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champion Tommy Robredo cruised into the quarterfinals during Thursday’s play at the Argentina Open tennis tournament. The second-seeded Robredo, who captured this clay-court event in 2009, needed just over an hour to dispose of wild card Renzo Olivo by a 6-1, 6-2 score in his second-round match. No. 4 seed Fabio Fognini was an upset victim on Thursday, however, as Buenos Aires resident Carlos Berlocq foiled the fiery Italian 6-3, 6-0 at the famed Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. Fognini was last year’s runner-up to three-time champion David Ferrer, who decided to play in Acapulco this week. Berlocq’s quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be rising Slovenian Blaz Rola, who drilled Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-1 on Day 4. Former top-10 star Nicolas Almagro will next take on Robredo after dousing fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4. Almagro won this event in 2011 and was the runner-up to Ferrer …

    February 26, 2015 9:25 pm
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World News

  • Giant caiman packed fierce bite


    26 February 2015 Last updated at 16:24 The Purussaurus brasilienses could measure up to 12.5m in length A prehistoric caiman that lived in the Amazon region about eight million years ago had a bite twice as powerful as that of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brazilian scientists say. A team of Brazilian paleontologists calculated the strength of a bite by the Purussaurus brasiliensis, a reptile that lived in the Late Miocene period. They said it could exert a pressure up to 11.5 tonnes. That is 20 times the strength of a white shark’s bite. Tito Aureliano, one of the co-authors of the study, said the animal’s head was better structured for biting than that of the T-Rex. The Purussaurus’s stout and robust skull with conical teeth were made for gripping large prey. The findings by the team drawn from a number of research and academic institutions were published in the online Plos One journal. Purussaurus brasiliensis could …

    February 26, 2015 9:25 pm
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Technology

  • These 3D-printed snacks grow their own fillings


    Chloé Rutzerveld 3D-printed food has some pretty hefty limitations at the moment — the biggest of which is that it can only create dishes out of anything that can be reduced to a paste — which effectively rules out anything freshly grown. Edible Growth, by food and concept designer Chloé Rutzerveld, seeks to find a way to circumvent that problem to create 3D printed snacks that are both healthy and delicious — compared to the 3D printed sugar and chocolate confections we’ve seen to date. “I want to show that high-tech food or lab-produced food does not have to be unhealthy, unnatural, and not tasteful,” she wrote on her website. “Edible Growth is an example of high-tech but fully natural, healthy, and sustainable food made possible by combining aspects of nature, science, technology and design.” The snack is a sort of pastry shell — Rutzerfeld made a paste out of insect flour for her prototypes, …

    February 26, 2015 9:05 pm
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Science

  • Fighting the Colorado potato beetle with RNA interference


    Related images(click to enlarge) Colorado potato beetles are a dreaded pest of potatoes all over the world. Since they do not have natural enemies in most potato producing regions, farmers try to control them with pesticides. However, this strategy is often ineffective because the pest has developed resistances against nearly all insecticides. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institutes of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam-Golm and Chemical Ecology in Jena have shown that potato plants can be protected from herbivory using RNA interference (RNAi). They genetically modified plants to enable their chloroplasts to accumulate double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeted against essential beetle genes. (Science, February 2015). RNA interference (RNAi) is a type of gene regulation that naturally occurs in eukaryotes. In plants, fungi and insects it also is used for protection against certain viruses. During infection, many viral pathogens transfer their genetic information into the host cells as double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Replication of viral RNA leads …

    February 26, 2015 9:05 pm
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Health

  • UnitedHealth places tighter controls on hysterectomies


    (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest health insurer in the United States, is placing tighter controls on its coverage of hysterectomies after a device called a morcellator was linked to the spread of undiagnosed cancer cells. In an update to its reimbursement guidelines, UnitedHealth said that, starting April 6, it will require physicians to obtain authorization before carrying out certain types of hysterectomies, a procedure in which a woman’s uterus is removed for reasons ranging from fibroids or endometriosis to chronic pelvic pain. UnitedHealth said it will not require prior authorization for vaginal hysterectomies, in which the uterus is removed through the vagina, when done on an outpatient basis. In its update, the insurer cites the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as identifying vaginal hysterectomies as the preferred method. The Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory nearly a year ago recommending that surgeons avoid the use of surgical morcellators in performing hysterectomies …

    February 26, 2015 9:05 pm
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Entertainment

  • Tracy Morgan’s recovery update breaks our hearts


    According to an update from Us Weekly, the comedian is desperate to get back to work, but just isn’t there yet. More: Driver in Tracy Morgan crash was 20 miles per hour over speed limit A source told the magazine, “If Tracy could be out, acting and doing what he loves, he would be — 100 percent. But sadly, he just can’t yet.” The accident occurred last June. Morgan’s limo was struck by a Walmart truck while on the New Jersey turnpike. Morgan was spotted on the streets just yesterday on his way to a rehab facility in New Jersey. He was using a cane to help him walk. Though his condition continues to improve, the injuries he sustained definitely took their toll. Morgan broke his leg, femur, nose and ribs and suffered from a brain injury in the accident, which claimed the life of his friend, James McNair. More: Tracy Morgan welcomes first daughter after having …

    February 26, 2015 9:45 pm
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Editorial

  • Save the Internet: FCC Net Neutrality rules worst example of government intervention… ever


    Of all the government interventions by the Obama administration, the plan released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet is the worst. Yes, ObamaCare is massive and is clogging one-sixth of the economy. But even before ObamaCare, government had a huge imprint on the health care industry with Medicaid and Medicare. Also, regulations on pharmaceutical and insurance industries led to their energies being focused as much on pleasing government bureaucracies as curing illnesses. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT But the Internet is young, fresh, alive and untainted. The FCC’s plan to muddy the pure waters of the Internet pollutes the one free flow of information on the planet. And what hurts as much as witnessing the pollution of the Internet with bureaucratic interference? With the exception of the Republican FCC commissioners, most are being blasé about the whole thing. Make no mistake. The greatest tool for freedom of expression to come along in our lifetime …

    February 26, 2015 9:45 pm
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Odd News

  • Stone Age Britons imported wheat in shock sign of sophistication


    OSLO (Reuters) – Stone Age Britons imported wheat about 8,000 years ago in a surprising sign of sophistication for primitive hunter-gatherers long viewed as isolated from European agriculture, a study showed on Thursday. British scientists found traces of wheat DNA in a Stone Age site off the south coast of England near the Isle of Wight, giving an unexpected sign of contact between ancient hunter-gatherers and farmers who eventually replaced them. The wheat DNA was dated to 8,000 years ago, 2,000 years before Stone Age people in mainland Britain started growing cereals and 400 years before farming reached what is now northern Germany or France, they wrote in the journal Science. “We were surprised to find wheat,” co-author Robin Allaby of the University of Warwick told Reuters of finds at Bouldnor Cliff. “This is a smoking gun of cultural interaction,” between primitive hunter-gatherers in Britain and farmers in Europe, he said of the findings in …

    February 26, 2015 9:05 pm
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