Headline News

  • US senator charged with corruption


    Mr Menendez met Prince Charles last month A top US senator, Bob Menendez, has been charged with corruption. The Democrat from New Jersey is accused of using his influence to illegally benefit a Florida eye doctor, who he admits is a long-time friend. He is charged with 14 counts including bribery and conspiracy, but insists he did nothing wrong. Mr Menendez is the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and an outspoken critic of President Obama’s policies relating to Iran and Cuba. The 14 counts include conspiracy and making false statements, as well as eight counts of bribery. The multi-year investigation first came to light in 2013, when federal authorities raided the office of Dr Salomon Melgan – who was also indicted. Their investigation focused on whether Mr Menendez used his office to advocate in favour of Dr Melgan including by intervening in a Medicare billing dispute. Law enforcement agents raided the office of …

    April 1, 2015 4:04 pm
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Politics

  • New Jersey Senator Menendez indicted on federal corruption charges


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on Wednesday on corruption charges, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said. Menendez, 61, was indicted in New Jersey along with Florida ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen on one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the travel act, seven counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud, the DOJ spokesman said, adding the senator was also charged with one count of making false statements. The agency said Menendez “allegedly accepted gifts from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his Senate office to benefit Melgen’s financial and personal interests.” Menendez, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has denied any wrongdoing. He will hold a news conference at 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) in New Jersey. For some time, federal authorities have been investigating his relationship with Melgen, a Democratic donor accused of overbilling the government’s Medicare program. Menendez, …

    April 1, 2015 3:44 pm
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Stocks

  • McDonalds to give a pay raise to hourly workers


    McDonald’s plans to increase hourly wages by for roughly 90,000 workers — a move that follows in the footsteps of retail giants Walmart (WMT) and T.J. Maxx (TJX) and new state minimum wage laws across the country. Effective July 1st, McDonald’s (MCD) starting wages will be at least $1 an hour more than the minimum wage set by local law, the fast-food chain announced Wednesday. All employees up to restaurant managers will get a pay bump as well. The result: the fast food giant projects that its average hourly wage will reach more than $10 an hour by the end of 2016. That’s $2.75 above the federal minimum wage. There’s a catch — The raise only applies to the 1,500 McDonald’s-owned restaurants in the U.S. It doesn’t apply to workers at the franchise-owned stores, which make up about 90% of the McDonald’s restaurants in the country and the bulk of its workforce. However, there are …

    April 1, 2015 4:04 pm
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Sports

  • Serena reaches Miami SFs with 700th win


    Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Seven-time champion Serena Williams was a hard-fought quarterfinal winner and recorded her 700th career match win in the process Wednesday at the $5.3 million Miami Open tennis event. A celebratory cake was brought onto the court for Williams after the match. “I had no idea,” Williams said of the milestone. “I saw them bringing out a cake and I thought, ‘Whose birthday is it today?’ But I really had no idea about it, so I’m really excited right now!” The world No. 1 superstar was tested mightily in a 7-6 (7-4), 1-6, 6-3 decision against 27th-seeded German Sabine Lisicki on the hardcourts at Crandon Park. Williams needed just over two hours to move on, which she did despite having her powerful serve broken six times. Williams has won her last 19 matches on tour and 16 straight matches in Miami. “I wasn’t playing my best today,” Williams said afterwards. “But some …

    April 1, 2015 4:04 pm
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World News

  • Three dead in French Alps avalanche


    Helicopters and rescue teams were deployed to the scene Three tourists, two Austrians and an Italian, have been killed in an avalanche in the French Alps. The snow slide struck the skiers at around 15:00 local time (13:00 GMT) near the town of Briancon in the Ecrins National Park. Eight others were also swept away but survived. One person was airlifted to a hospital in Grenoble for treatment. The national park is popular with skiers and mountaineers, with peaks of over 3,000m (9,842ft). Officials told the Associated Press that seven members of the group were currently staying in a refuge building near the site until emergency services could rescue them.

    April 1, 2015 4:04 pm
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Technology

  • Surface 3 Targets Windows-Loving Prosumers


    Microsoft on Tuesday raised the curtain on its new Surface 3 tablet, targeting users who want a robust Windows tablet at an iPad price. Up to now, those looking for a full-featured Windows tablet had to spend US$799 for a Surface Pro 3, but some customers will find their needs can be met with the new $499 Surface 3. Windows tablet shoppers now have more options, noted Wes Miller, a research analyst with Directions on Microsoft. “It allows Microsoft to continue to market and promote all of the innovations of the Surface Pro 3 and have a go-to product for those who aspire to get a Pro model, but it’s not in their budget,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They’re giving a pricing and feature alternative to people who like the notion of a two-in-one computer and who got sticker shock at the Surface Pro’s $799 initial price without a keyboard,” added Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal …

    April 1, 2015 3:23 pm
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Science

  • Ancient seashell coloration patterns revealed using ultraviolet light


    Related images(click to enlarge) Nearly 30 ancient seashell species coloration patterns were revealed using ultraviolet (UV) light, according to a study published April 1, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jonathan Hendricks from San Jose State University, CA. Unlike their modern relatives, the 4.8-6.6 million-year-old fossil cone shells often appear white and without a pattern when viewed in regular visible light. By placing these fossils under ultraviolet (UV) light, the organic matter remaining in the shells fluoresces, revealing the original coloration patterns of the once living animals. However, it remains unclear which compounds in the shell matrix are emitting light when exposed to UV rays. Using this technique, the author of this study was able to view and document the coloration patterns of 28 different cone shell species from the northern Dominican Republic, 13 of which appear to be new species. Determining the coloration patterns of the ancient shells may be important for …

    April 1, 2015 3:44 pm
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Health

  • Obese children may have a harder time tasting fats than leaner kids


    (Reuters Health) – – Obese children may have taste buds that are less able to detect fats than those of leaner kids, a factor that could contribute to excessive eating, a small study suggests. “Some people may be more susceptible to dietary fat than others,” said Russell Keast, a nutrition researcher at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, who wasn’t involved in the study. “The data indicates that there may be a genetic component to dietary fat that is highlighted in the obese,” he told Reuters Health in an email. Globally, about 60 million children, or 9 percent of all kids, will be overweight or obese by 2020, according to the World Health Organization. This makes them more likely to grow into obese adults and increases their risk of premature death, breathing difficulties, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, fractures and mental health issues. The study, by Naïm Khan at the Université de Bourgogne in France and colleagues, …

    April 1, 2015 3:44 pm
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Entertainment

  • Miley Cyrus Slams Indiana’s Controversial New Religious Freedom Law, Says Supporters "Are Dinosaurs"


    Posted on Wed Apr 1st, 2015 1:15pm PDT       By X17 Staff Like many other liberals, Miley Cyrus is not a fan of Indiana’s controversial new religious freedom law, which legally allows religious business leaders to discriminate against the gay community. The “Wrecking Ball” singer took to Time to share her thoughts, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the mag.’ Here are some of them: I lived a life where I had to be something every day and had to be a character, and it wasn’t necessarily who I wanted to be. And now I’ve dedicated my life to being whoever it is that I want to be, and also constantly learning and evolving. That’s what’s wrong with [supporters of the Indiana law]—they’re not choosing to live that way. And if you don’t choose to live that way, you’re not going to last in this generation because we are overtaking you. They are dinosaurs, …

    April 1, 2015 4:04 pm
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Editorial

Odd News

  • South African media fall for presidency’s April Fool joke


    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The South African president’s office sent out a press release on Wednesday announcing new cabinet appointments for positions that do not exist, making April Fools of some local media. The new positions included ministers for Public Participation and Interface, and Roads and Traffic Affairs. The local media house EWN initially ran the story, but later updated it with the headline “We fell for it”. President Jacob Zuma is generally given a hard time by the opposition Democratic Alliance but his rivals took the joke in good humor. “I did think it was funny,” DA’s parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane told the local channel News24. “I wish they could be very serious every other day of the year.” (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

    April 1, 2015 3:44 pm
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