Headline News

  • Uber driver in Boston charged with kidnapping and rape


    (Reuters) – A driver for ride-sharing company Uber in Boston was charged with the kidnapping and rape of a woman who used the service earlier this month. The driver, Alejandro Done, pleaded not guilty in Cambridge District Court on Wednesday, the Boston Globe reported. The incident allegedly took place on Dec. 6, according to a statement from the office of Middlesex district attorney. The driver had passed a background check, Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh told Reuters. “Uber has been working closely with law enforcement and will continue to do everything we can to assist their investigation,” she said. Uber has been banned in several cities in India following an alleged rape of a passenger who booked its service in New Delhi. Indian police said the driver was a career criminal who was out on bail for sexually assaulting a woman. (Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

    December 18, 2014 11:17 am
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Politics

  • Will Russ Feingold Be Haunted by Campaign Problems Past?


    By Nathan L. Gonzales Posted at 5 a.m. Dec. 18 0 Tweet Can Feingold put together a credible challenge? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., isn’t ruling out trying to get his former seat back this cycle. But it’s unclear how good of a campaign he will run. Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore told Roll Call’s Alexis Levinson last week she expects Feingold to wage a rematch against GOP Sen. Ron Johnson in 2016 and to clear the primary along the way. But in the wake of his loss in 2010, it became clear Feingold’s campaign suffered from some internal campaign strife, which factored into his failure to re-create the maverick magic of his previous victories. His long-time media consultant was extraordinarily candid in an in-depth, post-mortem story for CQ Roll Call. “The decision-making process was far different,” Feingold’s longtime media consultant, Steve Eichenbaum, told Roll Call in a recent interview. …

    December 18, 2014 7:34 am
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Stocks

  • Amazon unveils one-hour delivery in New York


      Amazon now has a solution for some of its customers who can’t wait a few hours for delivery. The online retail giant on Thursday announced the start of one-hour delivery “on tens of thousands of daily essentials” for members of its subscription Prime service in southern Manhattan. Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) said one-hour delivery will cost $7.99 per order. Two-hour delivery is available to Prime members for free. It said the service, dubbed Prime Now, will be expanded to other cities beyond New York in the new year. Members of Prime, which costs $99 per year, already qualify for free two-day shipping and free streaming from a library of movies, TV shows and music. Earlier this month, the company announced they could buy from a new line of household products — called Amazon Essentials — not available to non-subscribers. Related: Who is winning the price wars? Consumers One-hour delivery is Amazon’s latest attempt to shave …

    December 18, 2014 10:36 am
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Sports

  • Teddy returns to South Beach as Vikings visit Dolphins


    (SportsNetwork.com) – Mike Zimmer is approaching the waning days of what he hopes is the first of many years as the Minnesota Vikings head coach. Joe Philbin is likely in the death throes of his three-year stint in Miami. Such is life in the NFL where 6-8 is considered progress in one city and being a tick better at 7-7 is a disappointment in another. The Dolphins and their lame-duck head coach will try to halt a two-game losing streak on Sunday when they host a Vikings team excited about the development of rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a Miami native. Philbin’s ultimate fate was probably sealed last weekend when Miami faltered in the second half and was doused by AFC East-rival New England, 41-13, in Foxbrorough. Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes during a 24-point third quarter, as the Patriots clinched their sixth straight division title. Ryan Tannehill completed 29-of-47 passes for 346 …

    December 18, 2014 11:17 am
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World News

  • Official aid in line for a makeover as donors announce ‘historic agreement’


    The world’s main donors have hailed what they called a “historic agreement” to modernise the statistical system by which aid flows are calculated, saying this will allow them to better meet global development targets after 2015. After a two-day meeting in Paris, the development arm of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the changes – the first in 40 years – “will create incentives to mobilise more and better financing for development”. The key changes include modifications to the way concessional loans are calculated and reported, a recommitment to target more assistance to least-developed countries (LDCs) and other vulnerable nations, and moves to create a broader definition of aid flows. “This modernisation of official development assistance (ODA) comes at an important time now as the world prepares for post-2015 and a new set of sustainable development goals,” said Erik Solheim, chairman of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). “To eradicate poverty and …

    December 18, 2014 11:17 am
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Technology

  • Valve limits sales of Russian games


    18 December 2014 Last updated at 13:21 The falling value of the rouble means games on Steam are cheap if bought via Russia The plunging value of the Russian rouble has led game maker Valve to impose limits on its online store. It has started putting “region-locks” on games bought via its Steam service in Russia so only people in that country can play them. The move is an attempt to stop people outside the country buying games that are far cheaper from the Russian store. Many games costing $40 (£25) on the US Steam store cost only a few dollars in Russia. The Steam Prices website, which logs price differences across the regional Steam game networks, reveals many games are currently up to 10 times more expensive in the US and UK than they are in Russia. Falling oil prices and economic sanctions have conspired to cause the value of the rouble to lose …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Science

  • Ultrafast imaging of complex systems in 3-D at near atomic resolution nears


    It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses. One important step toward ultrafast imaging of samples with a single X-ray shot is understanding the interaction of extremely brilliant and intense X-ray pulses with the sample, including ionization rates. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory developed an extended Monte Carlo computational scheme that for the first time includes bound-bound resonant excitations that dramatically enhance ionization rates and can lead to an unexpectedly high degree of electron stripping. The extended computation scheme addresses a daunting challenge for the standard rate equation approach — managing the exponentially large number of electron configurations that can occur when one or more excitations occur. The scheme computes atomic data only on demand, that is, when a specific electronic configuration is accessed. “This strategy allows for a …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Health

  • Smog Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk


    THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Children born to moms who were exposed to high levels of air pollution late in pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing autism, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 1,800 U.S. women who gave birth between 1990 and 2002, those exposed to the most air pollution during pregnancy were twice as likely to have a baby who later developed autism. And exposure during the third trimester, specifically, showed the strongest correlation to autism risk. Experts said the findings, reported in the Dec. 18 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, add to evidence that air pollution may contribute to autism. “This reinforces our confidence that air pollution is a risk factor,” said Michael Rosanoff, director of public health research for the advocacy group Autism Speaks. Rosanoff, who was not involved in the study, stressed that people should keep the odds in perspective: A twofold increase …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Entertainment

  • How Seth Rogen and James Franco must feel about The Interview, Sony mess


    Between the budget and marketing costs, experts are estimating that Sony Pictures sunk at least $100 million into Rogen and Franco’s latest project, The Interview, in which the main characters are sent by the CIA to interview and assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. But it looks like the movie might not ever reach mainstream audiences. North Korea expressed their grievances with the movie early on and were not happy when they learned that production was moving forward. Since then, Sony has been the victim of a vicious hack and a subsequent leak of sensitive internal information. Now there’s been a threat of terroristic violence towards any theater that premieres the flick on Christmas Day. North Korea hasn’t copped to the threats or attacks, but has said they think the behavior is a “righteous deed.” More: The Interview — things the real Kim Jong-un will hate and things he’ll love On Wednesday, the five largest …

    December 18, 2014 7:35 am
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Editorial

  • CIA Report, Funding the Government: How can Obama, Congress defy the Constitution?


    When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government’s left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened. Last week was dominated by two huge news stories. One was the revelation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of torture committed by CIA agents and contractors on 119 detainees in the post-9/11 era — 26 of whom were tortured for months by mistake. In that revelation of anguish and error were the conclusions by CIA agents themselves that their torture had not produced helpful information. President Obama acknowledged that the CIA had tortured, yet he directed the Department of Justice not to prosecute those who tortured and those who authorized …

    December 18, 2014 7:55 am
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Odd News

  • NY City council votes to ban sale of bunnies by pet shops


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – What do bunny rabbits have in common with hyenas, wolverines and polar bears? The adorable little creatures are about to join a menagerie of wildlife prohibited for sale by New York City pet shops. The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to outlaw the bunny trade to help curb a glut of unwanted rabbits at city shelters by people who had second thoughts about caring for the cuddly creatures. “Rabbits are sometimes disappointing especially when you buy them for your child,” said Margo DeMello, president of the House Rabbit Society, in Richmond, California, which she described as the world’s largest rabbit shelter. “They’re ground-dwelling and they do not want to be held and carried around by a kid.” Elizabeth S. Crowley, the New York councilwoman who is lead co-sponsor of the bill, said she expected Mayor Bill de Blasio to sign the legislation into law because of the strong support …

    December 17, 2014 11:51 pm
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