Headline News

  • How academic scandal at University of North Carolina worked to help athletes, other students


    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –  The academic scandal at the University of North Carolina unfolded over nearly two decades and involved about 3,100 students, nearly half of them athletes, according to a report released Wednesday by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein. Here are details about the fake classes that students didn’t have to show up for, according to the report. HOW IT WORKED ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The now-retired secretary of the African and Afro-American Studies had a soft spot for athletes and started the independent study classes in 1992. Even though she was not a faculty member, Deborah Crowder registered students in the courses, assigned topics and handed out As and Bs after a quick scan of final papers regardless of work quality. By 1999, Crowder began offering lecture classes that didn’t meet, apparently to get around limits on the number of independent studies courses students could take. Knowing the classes were easy As and …

    October 22, 2014 4:57 pm
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Politics

  • South Dakota Senate Race Returns to Form


    By Stuart Rothenberg Posted at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 22 0 Tweet Attacks on Pressler appear to have worked. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images File Photo) Republican attacks on Democrat Rick Weiland and Independent Larry Pressler appear to have worked, making it more likely that the GOP will pick up the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, as long expected. Republican Mike Rounds, a former two-term GOP governor, found himself in shockingly uncomfortable position earlier this month, but his standing has improved in the eyes of both strong and weak Republican voters, as well as among Independents. Support for Pressler, a one-time GOP senator who has said that he would be a friend of Obama if elected to the Senate and has acknowledged that he voted for Obama, has melted away over the past few weeks. Rounds’s improved position in the race — assuming that the trend holds — means GOP strategists will now have to worry …

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Stocks

  • This Halloween costume costs $1.6 million


    The Million Dollar Morphsuit retails for $1.6 million, and is sure to turn heads at any Halloween party. What does a million-dollar Halloween costume look like? Hint: It gives new meaning to the phrase “dripping with diamonds.” The Million Dollar Morphsuit is encrusted head to toe with 70,000 diamonds. While the costume is currently locked away in a vault in London, it can be purchased by anyone willing to shell out £1 million ($1.6 million). The price tag might be scary, but the costume is pretty glamorous. The company used its signature “morphsuit” as the base — a skin-tight spandex suit that covers the entire body, including the head — and bedazzled the silver suit in diamonds of various carats. The costume is “a bit heavy” and can be hard to see out of given all the bling, said Gregor Lawson, co-founder of MorphCostumes. “It’s probably not the most comfortable of our offerings, but if …

    October 22, 2014 4:57 pm
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Sports

  • Wild agree to 5-year, $16 million contract extension with right wing Charlie Coyle


    The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms on a five-year, $16 million contract extension with right wing Charlie Coyle through the 2019-20 season. The deal was announced Wednesday for the 22-year-old Coyle, who is in third season with the Wild. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound former first-round pick by San Jose was acquired by the Wild in a draft-day deal in 2011, when they sent defenseman Brent Burns to the Sharks. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Coyle has 21 goals and 25 assists in 111 games. Last season, he had 12 goals and 18 assists in 70 games and was third on the team on hits with 108. He’s the second young player locked up for the long term by the Wild this month. Defenseman Jonas Brodin signed a six-year extension Oct. 12.

    October 22, 2014 4:57 pm
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World News

  • Blackwater verdicts seen as watershed for accountability in war zones


    From the moment three dozen unarmed civilians were gunned down in a Baghdad traffic jam by US security guards acting on a misplaced hunch they might be under attack, it was pretty clear the Nisour Square massacre was going to become one of the most controversial moments of a very controversial war. Blackwater, the now notorious private contractor that hired them to guard US diplomats, responded that night by repainting its fleet of armoured vehicles with house paint so they would be less distinguishable to an incensed Iraqi public. Four of its staff reported the incident immediately as one of the worst atrocities of the war and investigators from the FBI compared it to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. Whether the men in convoy Raven 23 would be held accountable for the slaughter was another matter. Although their company was booted out of Iraq and had to pay compensation to the families of 17 …

    October 22, 2014 4:37 pm
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Technology

  • Google releases USB security key for two-factor authentication


    Google has announced a physical USB Security Key that should ensure users keep their accounts safe from hackers, although it is not without its limitations. Anyone who buys a compatible USB from a third-party supplier and adds the Security Key functionality will be able to use it when logging in to Google’s sites, which include Gmail and Google Drive, as it will hold the code required when two-factor authentication has been switched on. Two-factor authentication is a security protection that asks for a password and an additional piece of information that verifies the identity of the person logging in. Previously, Google has only allowed users to receive the second chunk of authentication data as a code sent via text message or the Authenticator app, but the USB can now be used without any input needed on the keyboard. Unless hackers manage to steal the plastic key, accounts with Security Key enabled will almost certainly be …

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Science

  • Rescued ‘abandoned’ penguin chicks survival similar to colony rates


    Abandoned penguin chicks that were hand-reared and returned to the wild showed a similar survival rate to their naturally-reared counterparts, according to a study published October 22, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Richard Sherley from University of Cape Town and colleagues. The Endangered African penguin population has been rapidly decreasing since 2001. In the Western Cape of South Africa, penguins breed from February to September and moult between September and January, once chicks have fledged. If adult penguins begin the moulting process, a 21 day period where they no longer have the waterproofing necessary to dive for food, with chicks in the nest, the chicks may starve. Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) recovers ‘abandoned’ penguin chicks that are no longer being fed and cares for them until they can be reintroduced into breeding colonies. Researchers documented the care, release, and survival of over 840 and 480, in …

    October 22, 2014 4:17 pm
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Health

  • Obama says cautiously more optimistic about Ebola situation in U.S.


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama expressed cautious optimism about the Ebola situation in the United States on Wednesday after the U.S. government imposed new screening measures for travelers from West Africa. Obama sat down for talks with his Ebola response coordinator, Ron Klain, on Klain’s first day on the job since he was appointed last Friday. They were joined by other top officials. Obama, speaking to reporters, said he is confident that hospitals in Texas and Ohio are prepared if cases of Ebola emerged there. A nurse at a Dallas hospital that treated Ebola victim Thomas Duncan had flown to Ohio a day before she had symptoms of the virus. The president said modest signs of progress in the fight against the Ebola virus are being reported in hard-hit Liberia. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Entertainment

  • Report: Jennifer Lopez In Final Talks For $350K-A-Night Vegas Residency


    Posted on Wed Oct 22nd, 2014 12:10pm PDT       By X17 Staff Take that Celine Dion and Britney Spears! Jumping on the Sin City bandwagon, Jennifer Lopez is taking her act to Las Vegas. The 45-year-old just signed a contract to take a residency at The Axis, Planet Hollywood. We can see the dollar signs already! Jenny from the Block is reportedly in talks to make a whopping $350,000 per show at the same venue where BritBrit performs. Interestingly enough — the “Toxic” singer makes $310,000 per performance, but JLo will ultimately make less than Brit since she is doing less concerts. If the Maid in Manhattan actress does go ahead with the rumored contract, she’ll take home $26,383,326 according to TMZ for the year, while Britney pulls in $29,760,000. Cha-ching!   Stories from around the Web

    October 22, 2014 3:37 pm
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Editorial

  • Five compromises Obama should embrace to boost the economy


    If Republicans win the Senate, President Obama risks another bruising recession if he doesn’t embrace compromise and abandon ineffective populist prescriptions. Slower growth in Europe and emerging markets like China and Brazil threaten U.S. exports and demand for American-made products. At home, stock market volatility threatens consumer confidence and sales of autos, new homes and other big ticket items. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Stimulus spending only temporarily boosts growth but permanently increases deficits. Specifically, before the financial crisis, the federal deficit was only $161 billion, but after five years of recovery it stands at $580 billion.   Here are five things Obama could do with Republicans to boost growth. 1. Tax Reform: The 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate encourages business to move jobs and headquarters abroad. Obama and GOP leaders want to close loopholes to lower rates. However, Obama wants to use reform to boost revenues, while Republicans want lower taxes overall. Neither side wants to …

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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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
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