Headline News

  • Texas man acquitted of shooting driver who hit, killed sons

    ANGLETON Texas (Reuters) – A Texas jury on Wednesday found a father not guilty of shooting dead a suspected drunk driver who hit and killed his two sons while they pushed a truck down a country road late at night. David Barajas, 32, had been charged with murdering Jose Banda, 20, in December 2012, after he plowed into Barajas’ sons David Jr., 12, and Caleb, 11, in a small town south of Houston after a night of drinking. Samuel Cammack, Barajas’ attorney, told jurors there was no evidence linking his client to the crime and said the father did not leave his dying children by the side of a road to hunt down Banda. Banda was found dead in his car at the accident scene. There were differing accounts of the exact time of shooting, which took place shortly after the accident. After the verdict, Barajas thanked his family and supporters, saying the combination of …

    August 27, 2014 6:50 pm


  • Congressman urges Obama to block Venezuela’s Citgo sale

    MIAMI (Reuters) – A U.S. congressman urged the Obama administration on Wednesday to block the proposed sale by Venezuela’s state oil company of its North American refining unit Citgo, saying it would be against “vital national interests”. Venezuela Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said earlier this month that the country aims to exit Citgo “as soon as we receive a proposal that serves our interests.” Citgo [PDVSAC.UL] has three U.S. refineries in Illinois, Louisiana and Texas with combined capacity of some 750,000 barrels per day, and it also has 48 terminals. Flanked by Venezuelan opposition figures, U.S. Representative Joe Garcia said the proposed sale by Venezuela’s socialist-led government was “a huge concern.” The value of Citgo, he said, was derived from the refiner’s links to Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] and the OPEC nation’s crude oil reserves, which are the biggest in the world. “It is one of the last assets that the Venezuelans have …

    August 27, 2014 6:49 pm


  • U.S. runs out of investor visas as Chinese overwhelm program

    The United States has exhausted its annual supply of EB-5 immigrant investor visas for the first time in the program’s history following a surge of applications from Chinese nationals. The State Department’s chief of visa control, Charles Oppenheimer, told lawyers at an industry conference earlier this week that no more spots will be available to Chinese for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Several attendees confirmed his comments to CNNMoney. Known as EB-5, the immigration program offers a green card to any foreigner willing to invest at least $500,000 and create 10 jobs in America. No more than 10,000 of the visas are allowed every year, and this will mark the first time the quota has been reached since the program’s inception in 1990. “It’s like the movie house is sold out — there are no spare tickets left,” said Bernard Wolfsdorf, founder of immigration law firm Wolfsdorf Rosenthal. “Pretty much …

    August 28, 2014 1:53 am


  • Inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana set for next April 12

    AVONDALE, La. –  The IndyCar series has committed to an April 12 race date for next season’s inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana. Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne joined IndyCar president Mark Miles and other government officials for a formal announcement of the date and other details about the event on Wednesday afternoon at NOLA Motorsports Park, which will host the race. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The IndyCar series confirmed in May that it planned to bring a race to the New Orleans area in 2015, but the race calendar for next season had not been set at that time. The 2015 race will take place on the same weekend as the French Quarter Festival, a popular music festival held in and around the historic neighborhood for which it is named.

    August 27, 2014 11:13 pm

World News

  • Russia pressed over Ukraine fighting

    28 August 2014 Last updated at 03:23 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Pro-Russian rebels enter the strategically-vital port of Novoazovsk, opening a new front in the fighting German Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded an explanation from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin amid reports that Russian troops have launched an incursion into south-east Ukraine. Ukraine said Russian forces had crossed the border and were supporting separatist attacks. The US State Department said it suspected a Russian-directed counter-offensive was under way. Russia has repeatedly denied arming or covertly supporting the rebels. The BBC’s Barbara Plett Usher in Washington says the suspicion is that Moscow is opening a new front to divert Ukrainian forces from the besieged cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, where they have made significant advances against pro-Russian separatists. However, Denis Pushilin, a rebel leader in Donetsk, told a news conference that Russia was not involved in the current offensive. “If Russia entered …

    August 27, 2014 11:12 pm


  • Apple co-founder Woz calls wearables ‘a hard sell,’ wants bigger screen

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says the company has “a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable.” Getty Images Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak has confidence the company can do with wearable devices what the iPhone did to smartphones back in 2007: make them compelling to a mass market. But when it comes to wearables — devices we strap to our wrists (and other body parts) that mimic many of the functions of current generation smartphones — Woz says it may be harder to convince customers to buy these kinds of gadgets. “Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn’t quickly release things like a wearable. So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable,” Woz said Wednesday in an email exchange after a report that Apple may introduce a new wearable device in …

    August 27, 2014 6:49 pm


  • Scientists looking across human, fly and worm genomes find shared biology

    Researchers analyzing human, fly, and worm genomes have found that these species have a number of key genomic processes in common, reflecting their shared ancestry. The findings, appearing Aug. 28, 2014, in the journal Nature, offer insights into embryonic development, gene regulation and other biological processes vital to understanding human biology and disease. The studies highlight the data generated by the modENCODE Project and the ENCODE Project, both supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Integrating data from the three species, the model organism ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (modENCODE) Consortium studied how gene expression patterns and regulatory proteins that help determine cell fate often share common features. Investigators also detailed the similar ways in which the three species use protein packaging to compact DNA into the cell nucleus and to regulate genome function by controlling access to DNA. Launched in 2007, the goal of modENCODE is …

    August 27, 2014 7:10 pm


  • Ebola causing huge damage to West Africa economies: development bank

    FREETOWN (Reuters) – The worst ever Ebola outbreak is causing enormous damage to West African economies as foreign businessmen quit the region, the African Development Bank said, while a leading medical charity branded the international response “entirely inadequate.” As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the epidemic could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s. At least 1,427 people have died of the deadly hemorrhagic virus since it was first detected in the remote jungles of southeast Guinea in March and spread quickly to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Five people have also died in Nigeria. Air France, the French network of Air France-KLM said on Wednesday it had suspended flights to Sierra Leone after advice from the French government. African Development Bank (AfDB) chief Donald Kaberuka said on a visit to Sierra Leone …

    August 27, 2014 6:49 pm


  • Ben Affleck’s Muscles Are So Bulky He Can’t Put His Arms Down

    Posted on Wed Aug 27th, 2014 3:30pm PDT       By X17 Staff Does he mistakenly think he’s preparing for a part in The Incredible Hulk sequel? Ben Affleck stopped by the L’Ermitage hotel in Beverly Hills today, and we couldn’t help but notice that the actor has taken beefing up for his Batman role so seriously that he can barely rest his arms by his side! Not that we’re complaining… The A-lister has gone through many transformations over the years, but we think this is his sexiest yet! Although, he was a pretty big babe magnet back when he was dating J.Lo and wearing Sean John sweatsuits and rocking slicked back hair. The Boston hunk is already hard at work filming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he’s going to be even busier these next couple months with his other film Gone Girl set to be released at the beginning of October. Wife Jennifer Garner better …

    August 27, 2014 6:29 pm


  • Unsung canine heroes: Dogs that deserve our thanks

    Guide Dog Xxon of Bloomfield, Connecticut has given Air Force Sergeant Michael Malarsie the chance to live a normal life after being blinded in a horrific explosion in Kandahar, Afghanistan that killed four of his fellow servicemen.AHA August may bring on thoughts of the dreaded dog days of summer, but we prefer to think of them as the “Hero dog days of summer.” And this week, Americans have an entire day (August 26) dedicated to celebrating the hero dogs in our lives with National Dog Day. It’s estimated that 83 million dogs reside in our country, up from 68 million in 2000. Man’s best friend has enjoyed a role like no other companion animal as now more homes include a furred, four-legged family member than ever before. For thousands of years, dogs have been man’s best friend. They have comforted us, protected us, and given us their unconditional love. It’s time we paid tribute to …

    August 27, 2014 10:52 pm

Odd News

  • Texas parents sue day care center for duct taping child to nap mat

    DALLAS (Reuters) – A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million damages from the facility for duct-taping their 2-year-old son to a mat because he was unruly at nap time, their lawyer said on Wednesday. Kristi and Brad Galbraith are suing for fraud and negligence in the incident that occurred in June at the Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park. “This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Dallas attorney Larry Rasansky said. “Parents take a leap of faith to entrust their children to the care of someone else, and it is extremely upsetting when something like this happens to toddlers, who are too young to speak up for themselves.” The day care center was not immediately available for comment but has said it is cooperating with authorities. “The staff and I have the best interest of the children and parents as our highest priority,” …

    August 27, 2014 7:10 pm