Headline News

  • District Attorney says it may be illegal for mayor to give ‘Undercover Boss’ money to city employees

    PITTSBURGH –  The district attorney says it may have been illegal for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to give money to city employees as part of his appearance on the CBS show “Undercover Boss.” Peduto pledged to give $155,000 to four needy city employees during his appearance on the show last month. Peduto has said the money will come from private donors, though at least one agency — VisitPittsburgh — gets some of its money from taxpayers. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT But Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala tells KDKA-TV — the local CBS affiliate — that if any of the money came from tax dollars, the gifts could be illegal. He says the salaries of public employees are negotiated and the mayor cannot just give them a bonus. The mayor insists the gifts are legal, but Zappala says the state Ethics Commission is also investigating.

    January 30, 2015 9:06 am


  • Romney to provide update to supporters on potential 2016 run

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Mitt Romney is to give an update to his supporters on Friday on whether he should run for president a third time in 2016 amid signs he has yet to convince some financial backers as to why he should take the plunge again. A former staffer, who asked to remain unidentified, said a conference call with Romney was expected to be held at mid-morning on Friday, and that he might give a signal as to which way he was leaning. Romney for the past three weeks has been seeking traction for another presidential run after he was defeated by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012. On Wednesday, he visited Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, and in a closely watched speech, he emphasized a commitment to tackle poverty in America, a correction from his 2012 candidacy when he was dragged down by his wealthy image. Some of the people who raised …

    January 30, 2015 6:23 am


  • US economy misses its mark at end of 2014

    The U.S. economy gained steam last year, but it closed out the year with a big disappointment, raising more questions about 2015. America’s economy grew only 2.6% in the final three months of the year, much lower than the estimate of 3.3%. Overall for 2014, U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity rose 2.4%. That’s the highest mark in four years, according to the Commerce Department, but economist and policymakers want to see growth this year of a lot closer to 3%. Related: We’re on the verge of a crisis, bears warn There are many signs the economic recovery is stronger. The U.S. had its best year of job growth since 1999 last year. The Federal Reserve ended its stimulus program in October, which is like taking off the training wheels. Consumer confidence levels hit their highest mark in 2014 since the recession began. The disappointing growth at the end of the …

    January 30, 2015 8:45 am


  • McIlroy’s 64 gives him lead in Dubai

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) – Rory McIlroy fired a second-round, 8-under 64 on Friday and that vaulted him into the outright lead heading into the weekend at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. McIlroy, who earned his first professional victory here back in 2009, finished 36 holes at 14-under-par 130 and he leads Marc Warren by one stroke. The No. 1 player in the world has nine career victories on the European Tour, including four last year, two of which were major championship wins at the British Open and PGA Championship. Warren also used a big day on Friday to move into sole possession of second place. Warren carded a 7-under 65 on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club and he is right behind McIlroy at 13-under. Graeme McDowell (65) and Seve Benson (66) are one shot further back at 12-under. First-round leader Bernd Wiesberger shot a 3-under 69 in his second round and …

    January 30, 2015 9:06 am

World News

  • Battle rages for key Ukraine town

    30 January 2015 Last updated at 14:02 The rebels (pictured here) are trying to cut off a large Ukrainian force in Debaltseve Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels are exchanging heavy tank and artillery fire in and around Debaltseve, a strategic town in eastern Ukraine. There are reports – not independently confirmed – that the rebels have seized the nearby town of Vuhlehirsk. Many civilians remain trapped in Debaltseve, while others – including people with shrapnel wounds – have managed to reach the town of Artemivsk. Russian media say shellfire has killed seven people in the city of Donetsk. Quoting rebel sources, the reports said shells hit a bus and a cultural centre, known as a House of Culture, where civilians were receiving humanitarian aid. A Reuters cameraman saw six bodies at the scene after the artillery strike in the city’s Kyibishevskiy district. The rebels controlling the city blamed Ukrainian forces for the shelling. The recent …

    January 30, 2015 9:06 am


  • Angry Birds set sights on Candy Crush with new mobile puzzle games

    If you can’t beat them, join them. Angry Birds remains one of the most popular mobile game series in the world, but its financial success has been dwarfed by that of match-three puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga and Puzzle Dragons. Developer Rovio has clearly noticed: it has soft-launched two new Angry Birds games that ditch its familiar bird-slinging gameplay for… match-three puzzling. Angry Birds Stella Pop! has been released in Canada, while Angry Birds Fight! is available in Thailand. Single-country debuts have become the standard way for mobile publishers to test and refine new games before giving them a global release. First reported on by fan-site Angry Birds Nest, the new games are both “freemium” titles: free to download, and making their money from in-app purchases of virtual items. Angry Birds Stella Pop! is a bubble-popping game in the same vein as console classic Bust-a-Move (also known as Puzzle Bobble), or perhaps more relevantly, …

    January 30, 2015 6:24 am


  • In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves

    Related images(click to enlarge) Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors every step of the way. There are separate, specialized enzymatic machines that proofread at each step, ensuring that the instructions encoded in our DNA are faithfully translated into proteins. Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have uncovered a new quality control mechanism along this path, but in a remarkable role reversal, the proofreading isn’t done by an enzyme. Instead, one of the messengers itself has a built-in mechanism to prevent errors along the way. The building blocks for proteins are carried by molecules known as transfer RNAs (tRNAs). tRNAs work with other cellular machinery to ensure that the building blocks — amino acids — are arranged in the proper order. But before a building block can be loaded onto a tRNA molecule, a three-part chemical …

    January 30, 2015 2:21 am


  • CDC urges measles vaccinations amid Disneyland outbreak

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans on Thursday to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland in December, saying that 2014 saw the highest number of cases in two decades. So far more than 90 people have been diagnosed with measles in California and elsewhere, most of them linked to an outbreak that public health officials suspect began when an infected person from outside the United States visited Disneyland in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. On Wednesday, a high school in Palm Desert, California, barred dozens of non-vaccinated students from school over concerns that a classmate may have contracted the highly contagious disease. Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 but Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the disease could still easily be brought in by a traveler from …

    January 30, 2015 2:20 am


  • 7 Times Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson looked miserable together

    Each time we see them it becomes increasingly obvious that the couple has absolutely zero chemistry — and it is never more obvious than in this new Glamour shoot. Here are seven times we’ve noticed Johnson trying really, really hard to fake it — and Dornan unable to conceal his contempt. More: Watch Dakota Johnson get super kinky for the Fifty Shades soundtrack 1. “Can they see the panic in my eyes?” Johnson displays her acting chops in the new issue of Glamour by pretending she is really, really into it (seriously, this is some Meryl Streep-level skill here), but Dornan can barely contain his disgust and boredom. MmMmm, yes. More @FiftyShades goodness on @glamourmag‘s newest issue! http://t.co/ObNvnJ9MSr pic.twitter.com/YTpExvsxcw — POPSUGAR Fashion (@POPSUGARFashion) January 29, 2015 From Glamour magazine (USA)… Those glasses look hot!! Just me? Thx to @_GreyHouse #FiftyShades #JamieDornan #JDNI pic.twitter.com/PagBIiDsQw — Jamie Dornan NI (@JamieDornanNI) January 28, 2015 I’m not sure I …

    January 30, 2015 6:43 am


  • Data Privacy Day: Keep ICANN free of political, national agendas

    FILE — October 9, 2013: Fadi Chehade, president and CEO of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), attends a meeting with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff (not seen) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia. (Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino) It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate Data Privacy Day. You may think it is odd to celebrate such as day but whenever the focus is on keeping your privacy, private, we relish the opportunity. We applaud the discussion. It also brings to mind a critical issue that is percolating on the forefront of the international scene: control of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Since ICANN began, it has evolved into a multinational body that has consistently performed critical functions to ensure the Internet we have come to rely on always works. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Despite its name, ICANN does more than just assign and/or approve your website’s domain. It also upholds the security …

    January 29, 2015 10:17 pm

Odd News

  • Canadian man loses appeal on missing lotto jackpot by 7 seconds

    TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian man who was denied part of a C$27 million jackpot because he missed the deadline to buy the ticket by seven seconds has lost his appeal to get the money. The Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Thursday ended a seven-year legal battle by Joel Ifergan, an accountant, to claim his share of the prize. Ifergan went to a local convenience store just before 9 p.m. on May 23, 2008, to purchase tickets for that night’s “Lotto Super 7″ drawing. The store clerk told him to hurry before the 9 p.m. deadline, according to a court summary. While the clock on the lottery terminal read 8:59 p.m., only one of the two tickets was registered in time. The second ticket, the winning one, was printed and registered on the Loto-Quebec computer at seven seconds after 9 p.m., eligible for the following week’s drawing. The store clerk told Ifergan that only …

    January 29, 2015 2:08 pm