Headline News

  • California mayor resigns after drunk driving arrest

    (Reuters) – A southern California mayor who was arrested last week on suspicion of drunken driving in an accident that injured four teenagers announced his resignation on Monday. Murrieta Mayor Alan Long, who gained national attention in the summer when he led a local backlash against a plan to process illegal Central American immigrants in the town, said he stepped down both as Mayor and as a city council member. “I do not believe under the circumstances it is appropriate for me to remain in these positions,” Long said in a statement sent by his attorney Virginia Blumenthal. “I fear that would only distract from the very important discussions we must all have on the future of our city,” he added. Long, 44, was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of causing injury while driving under the influence after his truck crashed into a car carrying four Murrieta Valley High School students, Murrieta police said in …

    October 21, 2014 6:11 am


  • U.S. Republicans look to gain election ground on Ebola

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ebola has moved to the front of campaign issues before U.S. November elections, as fear and criticism of the government’s response to cases of the virus in the United States opened a new line of Republican attacks against President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats. Republican Senate candidates have bashed Obama’s handling of Ebola, linking it to border security and calling for a travel ban from West African countries hardest hit by the virus. Concerns about Ebola, along with the military campaign against Islamic State, have given Republicans a chance to turn attention to their broader argument about what they call the administration’s incompetence. “Using Ebola is part of an attempt to turn this into a national election and tie it to President Obama’s performance,” said Steven Schier, a politics professor at Carleton College in Minnesota. “If the Republicans can make this a national election, that makes it more dangerous for Democrats …

    October 21, 2014 3:09 am


  • Stepped-up effort to replace exploding airbags

    NHTSA is stepping up its effort to get owners of cars such as the Toyota Corolla to replace problem airbags. Federal safety regulators and Toyota Motor are stepping up efforts to get car owners to bring in cars whose airbags might explode, sending metal fragments into the driver and other passengers. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that police investigating the death of a woman earlier this month discovered that the “stab-like wounds” in her neck were apparently caused by the exploding airbag. The woman, Hien Tran, died a couple of days after the accident, even though she was wearing a seat belt and the crash itself should not have caused her death, according to the report. Tran was driving a Honda (HMC) Accord, one of 7.9 million vehicles that have been recalled because they have the problem airbags, which were all manufactured by Japanese parts maker Takata. NHTSA reports it knows of six incidents involving …

    October 21, 2014 6:11 am


  • Pistorius jailed for five years for killing girlfriend Steenkamp

    PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, ending a trial that has gripped South Africa and the world. As judge Thokozile Masipa read out her decision on Pistorius’ Sept. 12 culpable homicide conviction, the 27-year-old, whose downfall has been likened to that of American football star O.J. Simpson, stood resolutely in the dock. His only reaction was to wipe his eyes before two police officers led him down to the holding cells beneath the High Court in the heart of the South African capital. An armored police vehicle took him from the court building. Masipa — only the second black woman to rise to the bench — stressed the difficulty of arriving at a decision that was “fair and just to society and to the accused”. The 67-year-old also rebuffed suggestions that Pistorius — a wealthy …

    October 21, 2014 6:11 am

World News

  • Pistorius given five years in jail

    21 October 2014 Last updated at 12:03 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Judge Thokozile Masipa hands down the sentence South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been given five years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Judge Thokozile Masipa also gave Pistorius a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge. The parents of Reeva Steenkamp told the BBC they were happy with the sentence and relieved the case was over. The defence said it expected Pistorius to serve about 10 months in prison. Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide but cleared of murder. Prosecutors had called for a minimum 10-year term, and the defence had argued for community service and house arrest. ‘Feeling of unease’ Pistorius showed little reaction to the sentence other than to wipe his eyes before being led away. Defence lawyer Barry Roux said his client was expected to serve 10 months in prison, with the rest …

    October 21, 2014 6:12 am


  • Dish loses 7 channels in contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting

    Dish Network customers are no longer receiving a handful of Turner Broadcasting channels. Dish Network Dish Network customers lost access to CNN, Turner Classic Movies, and a handful of other channels late Monday as the result of a contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting. Turner Broadcasting, which licenses the channels for distribution to subscription services, pulled the channels from Dish’s lineup upon the expiration of its current deal with the satellite service after the two companies were unable to negotiate renewed distribution terms. Other channels removed from Dish include Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN en Espanol, Headline News, and truTV. Dish, which has about 14 million subscribers, said the channels were removed after Turner refused to extend the current agreement. “In the past year, Dish has successfully renewed agreements with many large content providers,” Warren Schlichting, Dish senior vice president of programming, said in a statement. “As a result, we are confident that we have offered a …

    October 21, 2014 3:09 am


  • Penn researchers untangle the biological effects of blue light

    Related images(click to enlarge) Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Their work addresses the properties of melanopsin, a light-sensitive protein in the eye that establishes the rhythm of our day-night cycle and the familiar constriction of the pupil to bright light. They measured the pupil response to stimulation of melanopsin and of short-wave-sensitive (S) cones, the other blue light-sensing cells that operate in daylight. Surprisingly, they found that melanopsin and S-cones have opposite effects and compete for control of the pupil in blue light. Their complete results are published in the current issue of PNAS. Drs. Aguirre and Brainard and graduate student Spitschan found that melanopsin, a protein and short wave-sensitive S-cones, …

    October 21, 2014 3:30 am


  • Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols

    DALLAS (Reuters) – The United States issued stringent new protocols on Monday for health workers treating Ebola victims, directing medical teams to wear protective gear that leaves no skin or hair exposed to prevent medical workers from becoming infected. The new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta come as 43 people who were exposed to the first patient diagnosed in the United States were declared risk free, easing a national sense of crisis that took hold after two Texas nurses who treated him contracted the disease. Under new protocols, Ebola healthcare workers also must undergo special training and demonstrate competency in using protective equipment. Use of the gear, now including coveralls, and single-use, disposable hoods, must be overseen by a supervisor to ensure proper procedures are followed when caring for patients with Ebola, which is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids but is not airborne. (CDC protocols: 1.usa.gov/1vYIwWA) …

    October 20, 2014 11:03 pm


  • Stanley Tucci reveals the best thing about The Devil Wears Prada

    Emily Blunt jokes about breaking Tom Cruise’s spirit Blunt played Cupid, setting up Tucci and her sister, London-based literary agent Felicity Blunt, a couple years ago. The couple were married in 2012, and they are now overjoyed to announce that they are expecting their first child together. “I’m very excited to be a dad. It’s incredible,” Tucci told Us Weekly at a charity event in New York City on Sunday. “I’m most excited to have a baby with Felicity and for the baby to be healthy… The sex is of no concern to me. The sex of the baby, that is,” he added, noting that Emily is sure to be a fantastic aunt to his child. Tucci’s happiness warms our hearts, considering the actor undoubtedly faced some tough times after the death of his first wife, Kate, in 2009. “There’s all the blaming of yourself, which you can’t do, but you kind of do,” Tucci …

    October 21, 2014 4:50 am


  • Sayerville football saga: In praise of victims who spoke up about abuse

    Imagine what it was like when they turned off the locker room lights. A young football player, just a freshman in high school, is suddenly grabbed by upperclassmen. The gang pins him to the ground, immobilizing his arms and legs. Horrified, he pleads for mercy and help. To no avail. He can hear others cheering on the bullies. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Then, the boy is sexually assaulted. The details are too wretched and disgusting to recount here. But, according to police, there was force. And penetration. And abject terror. It is not enough for the defendants to claim that the same thing had been done to them by upperclassmen when they were freshmen, as has been reported. That may help explain their actions as “learned behavior,” but it cannot excuse them in a court of law. Other players stood by and watched. Some laughed. They did nothing. No one had the decency or strength of character …

    October 20, 2014 6:56 pm

Odd News

  • San Francisco stations banish ‘Royals’ song ahead of World Series

    (Reuters) – At least two Northern California radio stations have pledged not to play New Zealand artist Lorde’s song “Royals,” in solidarity with the San Francisco Giants during their World Series matchup with the Kansas City Royals. The decision by San Francisco stations KOIT and KFOG to drop the song, which has nothing to do with the baseball team, comes as the Giants and Royals prepare to play Game One of the championship series on Tuesday. In response, Kansas City station KZPT said it would play the song every hour on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. KZPT said it was a sister station of KOIT. “They’re our sister station, and as the old saying goes: ‘You can pick your friends but you can’t necessarily pick your family,’ and if they don’t play it, then we will,” KZPT programming director Tony Lorino said in a phone interview. Last week, KOIT posted a small image …

    October 20, 2014 7:16 pm