• Hamas executes 11 suspected informers

    Hamas has executed 11 suspected informers a day after three of its senior military commanders were killed in an Israeli air strike that was probably carried out on the basis of intelligence provided by collaborators....
  • Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

    FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) – The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen nearly two weeks ago. Police, who...
  • F1 has no argument with Russia, says Ecclestone

    SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Belgium (Reuters) – Formula One has no argument with Russia and the country’s debut grand prix will go ahead as planned in October despite the crisis in Ukraine, Bernie Ecclestone said on Friday. “We...
  • 50 Cent dares Floyd Mayweather to read for charity

    Tom Cruise readily accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (VIDEO)  50 Cent has issued the ultimate anti-Ice Bucket Challenge to boxer and former business partner, Floyd Mayweather. In a series of Instagram posts, Fiddy has mockingly...
  • Sprint undercuts T-Mobile by $20 a month

    Sprint undercuts T-Mobile by $20 a month

    This way for unlimited data. The price war is on in the U.S. wireless industry. Sprint (S) announced a new unlimited data plan for smartphone users that costs just $60 a month. It’s part of...
  • Russian aid convoy ‘invades’ Ukraine

    Russian aid convoy ‘invades’ Ukraine

    22 August 2014 Last updated at 11:37 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Daniel Sandford: “Around 70 trucks have now physically entered Ukraine” Lorries from a Russian aid convoy are streaming into...

Headline News

  • Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm


    FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) – The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen nearly two weeks ago. Police, who were widely criticized for using heavy-handed tactics to quell earlier protests over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, made only isolated arrests as local clergy and civic leaders worked to keep protests orderly. In an apparent sign of easing tensions, Captain Ron Johnson, a black State Highway Patrol officer placed in command last week after the criticism of the local police, said a drawdown of National Guard troops would begin on Friday. Governor Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard deployment to help quell the looting and vandalism that have accompanied the nightly protest rallies over Brown’s death on Aug. 9, but the troops have largely kept a low profile. Clergy and civic leaders again urged protesters to remain peaceful and …

    August 22, 2014 6:44 am
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Politics

  • Top 5 Races to Watch in the Midwest


    By Nathan L. Gonzales Posted at 5 a.m. Aug. 22 0 Tweet The Midwest continues to be the land of competitive House races. The open-seat Senate race in Michigan and Republicans’ challenge to Sen. Al Franken continue to be third-tier GOP opportunities. But a quartet of House races provide a glimpse into the broader political landscape in 2014. A couple of races dropped off the regional top five watch list since last summer. Democrat Mike Obermueller’s second race against GOP Rep. John Kline just isn’t coming together in Minnesota’s 2nd District. And Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski starts the general-election sprint in surprisingly solid position against Democrat Joe Bock. Here are the top five races to watch in the Midwest this fall: Illinois’ 10th District. Former GOP Rep. Bob Dold and Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider are locked in a tight rematch of 2012. Sen. Mark S. Kirk represented the area in the House for years, but …

    August 22, 2014 5:02 am
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Stocks

  • Sprint undercuts T-Mobile by $20 a month


    This way for unlimited data. The price war is on in the U.S. wireless industry. Sprint (S) announced a new unlimited data plan for smartphone users that costs just $60 a month. It’s part of new CEO Marcelo Claure’s effort to reverse the fortunes of the ailing carrier. Rival T-Mobile (TMUS) offers an unlimited data plan for $80 a month, while industry leaders Verizon (VZ, Tech30) and ATT (T, Tech30) don’t offer unlimited plans at all. “People know Sprint for Unlimited,” Claure said in a statement. “We have long been the leader in offering customers unlimited data and that leadership continues today.” The plan isn’t available with discounted phones, and current Sprint customers can’t switch to the $60/month rate until they’re eligible for an upgrade. Related: Can Sprint do anything but suck? Sprint also overhauled its family pricing earlier this week. Under its new plans, a family with four phone lines would pay $160 per …

    August 22, 2014 6:04 am
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Sports

  • F1 has no argument with Russia, says Ecclestone


    SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Belgium (Reuters) – Formula One has no argument with Russia and the country’s debut grand prix will go ahead as planned in October despite the crisis in Ukraine, Bernie Ecclestone said on Friday. “We have a contract. Our friends there, they are happy with the contract so we’ll be there,” the sport’s 83-year-old commercial supremo told Reuters in the Belgian Grand Prix paddock. “If people have got arguments with Russia, maybe they have (issues). I don’t know. We haven’t got any.” Sochi, the Black Sea resort which hosted the Winter Olympics in February, is due to stage the first Russian Grand Prix on October 12. The governing FIA has already given the circuit its seal of approval but the race, a showcase event for Russian president Vladimir Putin, has been a target for critics since the country’s annexation of Crimea and last month’s downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. Western nations have imposed …

    August 22, 2014 6:44 am
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World News

  • Hamas executes 11 suspected informers


    Hamas has executed 11 suspected informers a day after three of its senior military commanders were killed in an Israeli air strike that was probably carried out on the basis of intelligence provided by collaborators. According to a Hamas official, the men were killed at a Gaza police station following a court trial and sentencing. However, it is unlikely that a fair judicial process was followed. Pictures circulating on the internet showed bodies lying in pools of blood. The Hamas-affiliated website Al Rai said the 11 were killed by firing squad on Friday morning and warned that “the same punishment will be imposed soon on others”. It suggested a link between the killing of the alleged informers and Israel‘s targeting of top Hamas leaders, saying that “the current circumstances forced us to take such decisions”. Three other alleged informers were executed on Thursday. Collaboration with Israel is punishable by death under Palestinian law, although executions …

    August 22, 2014 6:44 am
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Technology

  • Can computers replace historians?


    22 August 2014 Last updated at 10:15 Article written by Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent More from Rory Follow Rory on Twitter All kinds of big claims have been made about the potential of Big Data. It seems it can predict the course of an election, map the spread of flu, even help police to solve crimes. But here is the biggest claim so far – crunching through the big data of history can help us spot patterns and work out where the world is heading next. That is what Kalev Leetaru, a data scientist at Washington’s Georgetown University, believes may be possible. Using a tool called Google Big Query, designed for interrogating vast collections of data, he has been sifting through a database of events stretching back to 1979. This is GDELT, which has collected media reports of events from innumerable sources in more than 100 languages for 35 years. “What we did here,” Leetaru …

    August 22, 2014 5:03 am
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Science

  • Of bees, mites, and viruses


    Honeybee colonies are dying at alarming rates worldwide. A variety of factors have been proposed to explain their decline, but the exact cause — and how bees can be saved — remains unclear. An article published on August 21st in PLOS Pathogens examines the viral landscape in honeybee colonies in New Zealand after the recent arrival of the parasitic Varroa destructor mite. Varroa is thought to be one of the main stressors that reduce bee fitness. As they feed on the blood of pupae and adult bees, the mites can transmit several honeybee viruses with high efficiency. Uncontrolled Varroa infestation can thereby cause an accelerating virus epidemic and so kill a bee colony within two to three years. Interested in the complex interplay between bees, mites, and viruses, Fanny Mondet, from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, and INRA, Avignon, France, and colleagues took advantage of a unique situation in New Zealand: The country …

    August 22, 2014 5:23 am
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Health

  • After food safety scares, China retailer offers baby milk insurance


    HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Chinese retailer is offering insurance to customers who buy infant milk powder, highlighting the lengths to which companies are going to address concerns about food safety in China. Suning Commerce Group Ltd, which owns the Redbaby chain of stores, told Reuters it had launched the policy this week, backed by China’s second largest insurer Ping An Insurance Group. The policy stipulates that if a brand of milk powder is recalled, customers who bought cans from any Redbaby store or its e-commerce website would be paid up to 2,000 yuan ($325) per can, with payments capped at 100,000 yuan. “In recent years, the milk powder market in China has been in a mess,” Suning said in an email. “We realized that parents pay a great deal of attention to their children’s health and safety, and in particular, the safety of their infants’ foods,” it added. Insurer Ping An said Suning’s policy …

    August 22, 2014 5:03 am
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Entertainment

  • 50 Cent dares Floyd Mayweather to read for charity


    Tom Cruise readily accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (VIDEO)  50 Cent has issued the ultimate anti-Ice Bucket Challenge to boxer and former business partner, Floyd Mayweather. In a series of Instagram posts, Fiddy has mockingly asked Mayweather to publicly read a page out of a book. If he’s able to complete the task, Fiddy will donate $750,000 to the charity of Mayweather’s choosing. Turns out, the rapper would rather throw around cold, hard cash than cold, hard ice. 50 Cent has dubbed his call to action the “ALS-ESL Challenge,” implying that Mayweather has difficulty reading. On Thursday morning, he posted a video of himself hurling a bucket of ice off a balcony and included the caption, “Floyd will you except my ALS/ESL CHALLENGE: I will donate $750k to a charity of your choice, if you can read a full page out of a Harry Potter book out loud without starting or stopping and f***ing up. …

    August 22, 2014 6:44 am
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Editorial

  • Iraq’s future: Why the next 22 days are critical


      The coming twenty-two days could make or break Iraq’s medium-term future. With the help of a few moves from Washington, each of them well within current U.S. capabilities, a tolerable outcome to this phase of the crisis is in reach. The Obama administration handled the emergence of Prime Minister-designate Heidar al Abadi well, secretly encouraging him since June to split current Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s Dawa party from within. Tehran considers Abadi is far too Western and independent for their liking, and his designation for the top post has been a clear win for both Iraq and the West. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT For reasons by now all too familiar, Iraq is a fundamentally turbulent place. The Kurds want independence from the Arabs, but no one will let them have it.  The Sunni-Shia split is riven with charges of apostasy, a sin theoretically punishable—for tiny literal-minded minorities on both sides—by death in Islam.  Meanwhile Iraqi …

    August 22, 2014 5:03 am
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Odd News

  • It’s ‘bone-appétit’ for California pooches under new law


    (Reuters) – California diners can now legally enjoy a meal on a restaurant patio with their dogs in tow, under a law signed Thursday by Governor Jerry Brown that eliminates health code regulations banning restaurant owners from allowing pooches on the premises. Starting next year, California canines will be allowed to dine al fresco if they are wearing leashes or are relaxing in a carrier. ““I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit,’” quipped Democratic Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, the law’s author. “Restaurateurs in California will see more businesses catering to their customers and the canine companions they love.” The new law clarifies a section of the state’s health code that banned dogs from restaurants altogether, including on outdoor patios or courtyards. The rule has caused confusion because some local governments choose to enforce the law, while others turned a blind eye. In counties where local officials were more lax about enforcement, restaurant owners who encouraged their guests to bring …

    August 22, 2014 1:19 am
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