Headline News

  • Man under evaluation for alleged gun threat at L.A. Times building

    (Reuters) – A man who allegedly threatened to open fire in the building that houses the Los Angeles Times’ headquarters was being held in custody for a mental evaluation, police said on Saturday. The man, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody early Friday evening after he allegedly told witnesses he was depressed and did not mind killing, according to the newspaper. The man, who worked for a business that rents space in the building, also handed a person a bag of bullets, the Times said. Police responded to the incident and put parts of the building on lockdown after he allegedly threatened to open fire on the third floor. No gun was recovered from the scene and there were no reports of injuries or shots fired, police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said on Saturday. The department’s mental evaluation unit is in charge of the case and will not release information on the …

    April 19, 2014 2:20 pm


  • The right to believe, or not believe, in a god

    Personalized license plates available or already taken in Virginia A woman in New Jersey, who says she is an atheist, is suing that state’s department of motor vehicles because it turned down her request for a license plate that reads “8THEIST.” New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission said the plate “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.” Two hypocrisies at work here. One, New Jersey did issue a personalized plate — “ATHE1ST” — to the president of an atheist group in the state. Two, the woman entered the word “BAPTIST” online and it was instantly approved. On one hand, it could be argued that allowing the use of “Baptist” on a personalized license plate violates the concept of separation of church and state. Or, if New Jersey allowed a person who believes in a god to register a plate recognizing that person’s religion, it could also be argued that someone who does not believe …

    April 19, 2014 2:19 pm


  • China’s spending crackdown hits drinks giants

    Remy Cointreau said the Chinese government’s “anti-extravagance policy” is hurting sales of premium spirits. China’s crackdown on extravagant spending by officials is creating a headache for some of the world’s biggest drinks companies. Diageo (DEO) and Remy Cointreau — the companies behind brands such as Smirnoff vodka and Cointreau liqueur — said Thursday that China sales were down sharply over the first three months of the year. Since taking office a year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered an end to excessive spending by officials on everything from luxury hotels to lavish funerals, and made tackling corruption a priority. Luxury auto makers, catering firms and pharmaceuticals groups have already felt the pinch, and the push for moderation is now affecting sales of drinks — in particular premium spirits. Related: Five global liquors about to go big Sales of specialty cognac Remy Martin fell by more than 20% in the first three months of 2014. …

    April 19, 2014 12:31 am


  • Maldonado hits cover off baseball in Brewers win over Pirates

    April 18, 2014: Milwaukee Brewers’ Martin Maldonado drives in Scooter Gennett with a single off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh.AP PITTSBURGH –  Though it wasn’t a clean effort, it was a win for the Milwaukee Brewers, and they’ll take it. Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days. “It wasn’t pretty, but they all count the same,” said Lohse, who was charged with three runs — two unearned — and four hits with three walks with five strikeouts. “Sometimes, you get a win that’s ugly, sometimes you’ve got to catch some breaks and sometimes you’ve got to grind it out in …

    April 19, 2014 1:18 pm

World News

  • Novice ‘steered South Korea ferry’

    19 April 2014 Last updated at 20:07 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Victim’s father Kim Byung Kwon: “I should have told her to jump off the boat” The South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday was steered by an inexperienced third mate who had never navigated the challenging waters where the accident occurred, prosecutors say. The third mate is in custody along with the captain and another crew member. Divers are battling strong currents in poor visibility to reach 269 missing passengers – 33 are confirmed dead. Some 174 passengers have been rescued. Recovery operations may take two months, officials say. The Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized during a journey from the port of Incheon in the north-west to the southern holiday island of Jeju. Ferry captain Lee Joon-seok, 69 – who was not initially on the bridge – faces charges including negligence of duty and violation of maritime …

    April 19, 2014 2:20 pm


  • Police’s search for missing boy finds he existed only on Facebook

    Look carefully. The Belvietv/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET There’s been quite a merging of our virtual lives with our real ones. Sometimes, we’re even confused ourselves as to which is which or whether one matters more than the other. Still, when police in France were told that a 2-year-old boy was missing, they believed this must be real. Chayson Basinio was reported missing by his great aunt. Or someone who said she was. As the Guardian reports, the woman insisted that the boy hadn’t been seen for a week and she believed he’d been kidnapped from a supermarket parking lot. She allegedly said that the boy and his mother had become separated. Police in Yzeure in central France then went to a judge and began searching. They even sent divers to see if they could find his body in a lake. However, as the inquiry went along, police began to realize that the supposed great …

    April 19, 2014 1:58 pm


  • Gecko-like adhesives now useful for real world surfaces

    Related images(click to enlarge) The ability to stick objects to a wide range of surfaces such as drywall, wood, metal and glass with a single adhesive has been the elusive goal of many research teams across the world, but now a team of University of Massachusetts Amherst inventors describe a new, more versatile version of their invention, Geckskin, that can adhere strongly to a wider range of surfaces, yet releases easily, like a gecko’s feet. “Imagine sticking your tablet on a wall to watch your favorite movie and then moving it to a new location when you want, without the need for pesky holes in your painted wall,” says polymer science and engineering professor Al Crosby. Geckskin is a ‘gecko-like,’ reusable adhesive device that they had previously demonstrated can hold heavy loads on smooth surfaces such as glass. Crosby and polymer science researcher Dan King, with other UMass Amherst researchers including biology professor Duncan Irschick, …

    April 19, 2014 1:59 pm


  • If Kids Think Someone’s Watching, They’re More Likely to Wash Their Hands

    SATURDAY, April 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent infectious diseases, and placing cameras over sinks might boost youngsters’ hand hygiene, new research suggests. The study included students at four public schools in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Video cameras were installed in hand cleaning areas outside the schools’ latrines. Teachers were told about the cameras and informed their students. The Stanford University researchers also had in-person observers take notes about the students’ hand hygiene habits. The video surveillance found that girls cleaned their hands 4 percent more often than boys, while the in-person observation found that girls were 3 percent more likely to do so. Both methods also found that students cleaned their hands longer when using soap and water than when using sanitizer. Students at schools with soap and water were 1.3 times more likely to wash their hands when under video and in-person observation, …

    April 19, 2014 2:19 pm


  • Bruce And Kris Jenner Mind Their Business On Separate Sides Of Town

    This divorce was supposed to be best for everyone, but seeing as Bruce Jenner is still wearing his wedding ring and a total grump these days, we have to wonder! On Friday Bruce grabbed a cup of Starbucks near the family compound in Calabasas, and around the same time we spotted a very cheerful Kris Jenner shopping at Dementia in Sherman Oaks. Still, there’s no bad blood between these two! On Wednesday Kris went to the hospital for internal pains, and according to E! News Bruce was by her side as she had X-rays taken and the doctors ran tests. Though X17 photographed the couple holding hands when they returned from Thailand earlier this month, apparently the two are staying separated. But maybe they’re saving a reconciliation for the final season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians? We wouldn’t put it past Kris!

    April 19, 2014 2:39 pm


  • Will EPA water grab tip US back into recession?

    AP Quietly last month — in the midst of Ukraine, the search for flight MH 370, David Letterman’s retirement and the final hours of March Madness — Washington witnessed a ruling that will affect all of our lives:  the redefinition of water under the Clean Water Act. The redefinition – formally a Proposed Rule issued by the EPA — is momentous not because water is the essence of life (according to Google, it is), but because of the profound consequences for America’s economic growth, or lack thereof, as a result of the new rule. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT As is so often the case with government powers, large matters turn on small shadings of meaning in phrases written decades ago by legislators long since gone.  Consider the bureaucratic meaning of the term “waters of the United States,” which is the rubric under which the U.S. federal government establishes jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  For more than …

    April 19, 2014 2:12 am

Odd News

  • Fly me to Sochi, demands Cathay passenger armed with chocolate bar, court hears

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – A passenger on board a Hong Kong-bound Cathay Pacific flight, armed only with a Toblerone chocolate bar, demanded the plane fly to Sochi so he could watch the Winter Olympics, a court heard. Antti Oskari Manselius, 23, from Finland, also made a false bomb threat on the February 14 flight from Amsterdam and said he was robbing the plane, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday. Manselius pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and giving false information about a bomb when he appeared in court on Thursday, the Post said. He said he was trying to entertain the other passengers and was making “fun and jokes”. Two flight attendants told the court that they saw Manselius walking towards the cockpit. He had two economy-class blankets wrapped around his head and was wearing another like a cape. He held the Toblerone chocolate bar “like a sword”, the newspaper said, quoting one …

    April 18, 2014 9:42 am