Headline News

  • Climate activist killed in Florida while on barefoot U.S. walk


    TAMPA, Fla. Florida authorities were investigating on Monday the death of an activist who was struck by a car and killed over the weekend while on a campaign to walk barefoot across the United States to draw attention to climate change concerns. Mark Baumer, 33, was walking on the shoulder of a road in Walton County in north Florida on Saturday afternoon when the driver of a Buick SUV swerved out of her lane and struck him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He died at the scene. Charges were pending, it said in a statement. No further information was available on Monday, and the crash remains under investigation, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lieutenant Eddie Elmore said in an email. Baumer was raising funds for the FANG Collective, which has opposed the natural gas industry, the group said on Facebook. “Mark was struck by a car while on his long journey walking across the country barefoot,” …

    January 23, 2017 4:23 pm
    0 Comments

Politics

  • Democratic state officials rush to defend U.S. consumer agency


    WASHINGTON Democratic state officials took a step on Monday to try to defend the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a court battle that could defang it, worried that Republican President Donald Trump’s administration will not safeguard the agency. Attorneys general from 16 states plus the District of Columbia filed papers with a federal appeals court seeking to intervene in the case. That court last October ruled that the structure of the agency charged with guarding consumer finances was unconstitutional. The state officials said in the court filing that they are concerned that the Trump administration will fire the independent director of the agency, Richard Cordray, who was appointed by Democratic former President Barack Obama. The agency was set up during Obama’s presidency as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. The court filing noted that Trump “has expressed strong opposition to the Dodd-Frank reforms.” As such, “it is urgent that the state …

    January 23, 2017 1:22 pm
    0 Comments

Stocks

  • Can Costco Be Threatened By Amazon’s New Prime Visa Card?


    Costco’s ( COST ) membership based warehouse model has been going strong despite e-commerce companies offering several conveniences for grocery shopping. Its loyal customers still prefer to visit its warehouse-like stores with their shopping lists and buy groceries and other home supplies in bulk. Costco has been slow in its e-commerce initiatives but the company does not seem to be overly concerned about this. Costco prefers its customers to visit its warehouses, since they are likely to spend more in a physical visit than online. However, Amazon now appears to be taking Costco head on by launching a new credit card which gives its Prime customers an additional 5% discount on all purchases on its platform. This is a Visa card that can be used by customers everywhere and earn discounts in both restaurants and gas stations as well. Amazon has more than 60 million Prime members and it is luring them through these discounts to shop more …

    January 23, 2017 11:28 am
    0 Comments

Sports

  • FIFA takes the 2018 World Cup draw to Russia’s Kremlin


    ZURICH (AP) — The 2018 World Cup draw will be staged on Dec. 1 at a Kremlin concert hall in Moscow. The draw will take place at the 6,000-capacity State Kremlin Palace, a grand structure built inside the Kremlin walls in the Soviet era to hold Communist Party conferences. Nowadays, the venue usually plays host to veteran Russian pop stars, ballerinas and awards shows. In what is billed by Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko as “a serious event” during a government meeting on Monday, the draw at State Kremlin Palace is expected to attract the coaches of the 32 teams which qualify. Those teams will then be sorted into eight groups for the World Cup. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been allowing FIFA to use high-profile venues for World Cup ceremonies. In July 2015, the qualifying program draw was made on the grounds of one of Putin’s official residences, Konstantin Palace near St. Petersburg. The …

    January 23, 2017 1:22 pm
    0 Comments

World News

  • North Korea touts workers toiling at dangerous dam


    A North Korean newspaper is using stories of construction workers, toiling away without safety gear, to encourage loyalty to the Kim Jong Un regime. Korean Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated on Monday the workers’ “indomitable mental power [on display] was the outpouring of deeply held sentiment” for the North Korean leadership. The article focused on workers at the Wonsan power plant, where a temporary dam structure was being removed. The North Korean report included details of dangerous underwater operations. “Traversing water that came over their shoulders, across a distance of 1,000 meters, the workers turned on a valve on a drainpipe, and out poured 10 meters of a spout of water,” the article read. The newspaper described the work as “dangerous” and that the workers narrowly escaped an area that was increasingly becoming submerged in more water. The Rodong article also made a rare acknowledgement about the work site, stating the Wonsan power plant …

    January 23, 2017 3:23 pm
    0 Comments

Technology

  • Why Poker Is a Big Deal for Artificial Intelligence


    Libratus is playing thousands of games of heads-up, or two-player, no-limit Texas hold’em against several expert professional poker players. Now a little more than halfway through the 20-day contest, Libratus is up by almost $800,000 against its human opponents. So victory, while far from guaranteed, may well be in the cards. A win for Libratus would be a huge achievement in artificial intelligence. Poker requires reasoning and intelligence that has proven difficult for machines to imitate. It is fundamentally different from checkers, chess, or Go, because an opponent’s hand remains hidden from view during play. In games of “imperfect information,” it is enormously complicated to figure out the ideal strategy given every possible approach your opponent may be taking. And no-limit Texas hold’em is especially challenging because an opponent could essentially bet any amount. “Poker has been one of the hardest games for AI to crack,” says Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu. “There is …

    January 23, 2017 1:02 pm
    0 Comments

Science

  • Signs of Alien Air Herald a New Era of Exoplanet Discoveries


    For astronomers seeking Earth twins around other stars, the exoplanet GJ 1132 b probably isn’t an identical sibling—but it may be the closest cousin yet found. It weighs in at just over one Earth mass, but circles its star in a warm orbit that could make it more like Venus than our own world. Moreover, its diameter is nearly 50 percent larger than that of Earth, suggesting it possesses a thick atmosphere. Now, after taking the closest-ever look at GJ 1132 b, a European collaboration has confirmed the presence of its atmosphere and found hints it might contain water and methane. The results are currently under review for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. As mere discoveries of exoplanets become routine, efforts to learn more about them—their compositions, climates and histories—are moving to the fore, with studies of their atmospheres occupying center stage. Although astronomers detected the first exoplanet atmosphere more than 15 years ago, they …

    January 23, 2017 12:28 pm
    0 Comments

Health

  • Tattoo artists may miss chance to help with skin cancer detection


    (Reuters Health) – Many tattoo artists may ink skin with moles or blemishes even though this can make cancer harder to detect, a recent study suggests. Just 43 percent of tattoo artists surveyed for the study said they had received training on how to handle skin with moles, spots or other skin lesions. About 55 percent of the tattoo artists said they had declined to ink skin with any of these visible abnormalities, but they were more apt to refuse for aesthetic reasons than out of concern for skin cancer, the study found. “The tattoo artists’ approach may vary with how large or raised the mole is, but we know that skin cancer can occur even in relatively small and flat lesions, which should not be inked over,” said lead study author Westley Mori, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. At least one in five U.S. adults have one or more tattoos, …

    January 23, 2017 4:23 pm
    0 Comments

Entertainment

  • Kim Makes Sure Everyone Knows She Has A Philanthropic Side By Sharing Pic Of Her Pediatric Hospital Visit In Dubai


    Posted on Mon Jan 23rd, 2017 1:50pm PDT       By X17 Staff My favorite part of the trip was visiting Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre. These beautiful children showed me a performance of a lifetime! My hat goes off to the amazing teachers and caregivers who dedicate their time for the future of these children! A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Jan 22, 2017 at 10:30pm PST Last year was all about butts and diamonds, but 2017 is apparently for family and charity! Kim Kardashian just declared that the most meaningful moment of her recent trip to Dubai was not teaching a makeup masterclass, but rather a visit she made to a children’s hospital in the country. “My favorite part of the trip was visiting Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre. These beautiful children showed me a performance of a lifetime! My hat goes off to the amazing teachers and caregivers who dedicate their time for the …

    January 23, 2017 4:03 pm
    0 Comments

Editorial

  • Rep. Black: ObamaCare has failed you, America. We’re going to stop the bleeding and get you something that works


    As the 115th Congress begins, I am honored to assume a new role as Interim Chair of the House Budget Committee. It is an exciting opportunity, particularly as the first woman to fill the position, but more than any title before my name, I’m still most proud of the two letters that follow: “R.N.” I graduated from nursing school in 1971 and still keep my license today. Those years on the front lines of patient care, primarily in emergency room settings, inform much of the work I do in Congress – especially when it comes to ObamaCare. It’s no secret that Congressional Republicans aren’t keen on former President Obama’s health care law (of course, recent polling shows that a majority of Americans still aren’t either) but, for me, the debate has never been about politics. It’s personal. As a nurse, I saw the impact of health care decisions in Washington play out every day on …

    January 23, 2017 1:02 pm
    0 Comments

Odd News

  • Elk walks into Colorado store, hangs out for nearly an hour


    Jan. 23 (UPI) — An elk wandered into a Colorado store and stood calmly with the owner for several minutes before being lured out by police bearing apples. Prateek Shakya, owner of the Water Wheel Gift Corner store in Estes Park, said he was filling his water bottle Saturday when he spotted the elk hanging out near the front door to the store, Shakya said he watched as the elk, which was being pursued by police, walked through the door and stood just inside the store. “He was calm and gentle, but I was nervous,” Shakya told KUSA-TV. Shakya, who posted video of the elk’s visit to YouTube, said the elk left after about 45 minutes, but he soon walked right back in through the same door. A video posted to Facebook by witness Patti Koger shows the elk being finally lured out of the store for good by police offering apples. Shakya said there …

    January 23, 2017 1:02 pm
    0 Comments