Headline News

  • California regulators mandate low-water lawns on lawns at new, renovated buildings

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. –  California regulators are limiting how much water can be used to irrigate lawns on new buildings. The state Building Standards Commission voted unanimously Friday to reduce the amount of water that can be used on such landscapes. The standards came in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order to save water during the four-year drought. The standards include limits on how much water can be used on landscapes over certain sizes. Water can be saved by planting shrubs and bushes instead of grass and installing slow-trickling valves instead of sprinklers. New and renovated developments proposed after June must follow these rules. It’s up to local governments to enforce the rules.

    May 29, 2015 6:27 pm


  • Ex-U.S. lawmaker Hastert aimed to hide sexual misconduct with male: L.A. Times

    WASHINGTON Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert, indicted on Thursday on federal criminal charges, was paying a male from his past to try to conceal sexual misconduct, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday, citing two unnamed federal law enforcement officials. One of the officials cited by the newspaper said the alleged misconduct involved a male and occurred during Hastert’s time as a high school wrestling coach and teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, before becoming a lawmaker. Hastert could not immediately be reached for comment. The New York Times also reported that Hastert was paying a man to not say publicly that Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, citing two people briefed on evidence uncovered in an FBI investigation. Announcing the charges on Thursday, prosecutors said they related to Hastert’s alleged effort to hide $3.5 million in payments he was making to a person to conceal past misconduct, but did not detail the …

    May 29, 2015 5:26 pm


  • Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life

    Ross Ulbricht, creator of the underground website Silk Road, which let users anonymously buy and sell anything from drugs to hacking tutorials, was sentenced Friday to life in prison after he made a tearful plea for leniency. Ulbricht, who is 31, was convicted in February on seven counts ranging from money laundering to drug trafficking. He could have been sentenced to only 20 years. U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest was clear that she was making an example of Ulbricht in part to deter others from committing similar crimes. “There must be no doubt that no one is above the law,” Forrest said. “You, as the defendant, have to pay the price.” She said anyone considering following in Ulbricht’s footsteps needs “to understand there will be very serious consequences.” Rejecting Ulbricht’s request for mercy during the nearly three-hour hearing in Manhattan federal court, Forrest said of Silk Road, “It was carefully planned life’s work. It …

    May 29, 2015 6:27 pm


  • Atlanta NFL team waives player after alleged dog killing

    ATLANTA The Atlanta Falcons released Prince Shembo on Friday after the football player was charged with aggravated animal cruelty in the killing of his girlfriend’s dog, the team said. The Yorkie died after Shembo, 23, an outside linebacker drafted by the Falcons in 2014, told the girlfriend he kicked her dog while alone with the pet at his suburban Atlanta apartment on April 15, according to Gwinnett County Police. “We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this,” the Falcons said in a statement on Friday after learning of the charges against Shembo. It said the National Football League team had decided to waive Shembo. The girlfriend found the dog unresponsive at Shembo’s apartment and rushed the pet to an animal hospital where it died, police said. Tests showed the dog had died of significant internal injuries caused by blunt force, police said, and Shembo was charged with aggravated …

    May 29, 2015 6:28 pm

World News

  • Silk Road drug site founder jailed

    Ulbricht was given two life sentences The founder of online illegal drug marketplace “The Silk Road”, Ross Ulbricht, has been sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors say that his dark web site sold more than $200m (£131m) worth of drugs anonymously. He was found guilty of charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking. The site was shut down in 2013 after police arrested Ulbricht. In February he was was convicted by a federal court in New York of operating the site for nearly three years from 2011. Users used the online currency Bitcoin to purchase drugs such as heroin, cocaine and LSD. The untraceable deals earned him at least $18m. Prosecutors say that six people who died from overdoses bought drugs via the site. Ulbricht’s supporters maintained his innocence The dark web The Silk Road was only accessible on the dark web, a part of the internet that requires the …

    May 29, 2015 6:27 pm


  • Convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in prison

    Ross Ulbricht, who went by the online handle “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was charged by the FBI for operating the online illegal-drug marketplace Silk Road. Ross Ulbricht/LinkedIn Ross Ulbricht, the convicted founder of online illegal-drug marketplace Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison. The sentencing of the 31-year-old from San Francisco was handed down by US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest in a New York City courtroom after nearly three hours of testimony by Ulbricht’s family and friends, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In a letter filed to the court earlier this week, Ulbricht pleaded with the judge not to send him away for life. “I’ve had my youth, and I know you must take away my middle years, but please leave me my old age,” Ulbricht wrote. “Please leave a small light at the end of the tunnel, an excuse to stay healthy, an excuse …

    May 29, 2015 4:46 pm


  • Ethiopian and Egyptian genomes help map early humans’ route out of Africa

    Related images(click to enlarge) Although scientists are confident that all modern human populations can trace their ancestry back to Africa, the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. New genomic analyses of people currently living in Ethiopia and Egypt indicate that Egypt was the major gateway out of Africa and that migration followed a northern rather than a southern route. The findings, which appear online on May 28 in the American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG), add a crucial piece of information to help investigators reconstruct humans’ evolutionary past. To uncover the migratory path that the ancestors of present-day Europeans and Asians (Eurasians) took when moving out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, Dr. Luca Pagani, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge in the UK, and his colleagues analyzed the genetic information from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 people). …

    May 29, 2015 5:07 pm


  • Genetic glitch can predict response to new class of cancer drugs

    CHICAGO Patients with colon and other cancers who have a specific defect in genes needed for DNA repair are far more likely to respond to a new class of drugs such as Merck Co’s Keytruda, which enlist the immune system to attack tumors, a new study has shown. The small study, financed not by Big Pharma but by swimmers who raised charitable donations, tested Keytruda in patients with advanced colon and rectal cancers and found 92 percent of patients with the genetic defect had their disease controlled compared with 16 percent who did not carry the defect. The findings, announced on Friday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, point to a new way to predict who will respond to the treatments, which are known as PD-1 inhibitors and can cost $150,000 a year. “Conservatively speaking, we think this would help 2 to 3 percent of all cancer patients,” said Dr. …

    May 29, 2015 5:26 pm


  • Reese Witherspoon is over this Selma Blair, Sarah Michelle Gellar kiss (PHOTO)

    The trio attended The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions at Rockwell: Table Stage in LA, and in honor of old times, Blair and Gellar smooched — just like in the original movie’s most famous scene. ‘I Kissed A Girl, Again, And I Liked It!!’ @SarahMGellar @TheRealSelmaBlair rekindled that #CruleIntentions Big Screen Magic tonight w/ @ReeseWitherspoon when they attended the Sold Out performance of @CruelIntentionsMusical at the @LA_Rockwell! Such an amazing fun night w/ these phenomenal ladies! / Photograph By @Bradley206 #BradEverettYoung #DreamLoudOfficial / #SarahMichelleGellar #Katherine #SelmaBlair #Cecile #ReeseWitherspoon #Annette #CruelIntentionsMusical #LARockwell #Kiss #Cruel #Intentions #Brad #Everett #Young #Photography #Sony / Photo taken w/ the @Sony #A3000 A photo posted by Brad Everett Young (@bradley206) on May 29, 2015 at 1:27am PDT More: 5 Hot on-screen kisses that deserve an MTV Movie Award Poor Witherspoon is like, “Really? Again?” and also maybe a little drunk. The star posted about the outing on her own Facebook …

    May 29, 2015 5:47 pm


  • Former Homeland Security Secretary: It’s time for Congress to update the Patriot Act

    The United States is better protected from terrorism in our homeland because of the decisive, joint efforts taken by President Bush and Congress shortly after the September 11th attacks. A cornerstone of that urgent response was passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, which has helped improve coordination between our intelligence agencies, fortified the security of our borders, and enhanced the ability of law enforcement to conduct investigations around terrorist activities. Yet, as the law has aged and technology has advanced, the time for Congress to update the PATRIOT Act has come. One area of the PATRIOT Act that is in need of major reform is Section 215, which the government has used as its authority to conduct bulk collection of Americans’ communications records. For many, the call to end the bulk collection program is about restoring a balance between privacy and national security interests. There are unquestionably legitimate privacy and Constitutional concerns with the program, …

    May 29, 2015 5:46 pm

Odd News

  • Atlanta NFL player charged in killing of girlfriend’s dog: police

    ATLANTA An Atlanta Falcons football player faces charges of aggravated animal cruelty after being accused of killing his girlfriend’s dog, police said on Friday. Prince Shembo, 23, an outside linebacker drafted by the Falcons in 2014, told the girlfriend he kicked her Yorkie while alone with the dog at his suburban Atlanta apartment on April 15, Gwinnett County Police said in a statement. She found the dog unresponsive at Shembo’s apartment and rushed the pet to an animal hospital where it died, police said. After Shembo told the girlfriend he had kicked the dog, she “ended their relationship,” police said. Tests showed the dog had died of significant internal injuries caused by blunt force, according to police. The 6-foot-2, 254-pound Shembo played college football at the University of Notre Dame, and was chosen by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, according to the team’s website. The Atlanta Falcons did not immediately …

    May 29, 2015 5:06 pm