Headline News

  • Missing hiker found dead in Washington state’s Olympic National Park


    SEATTLE (Reuters) – A 60-year-old Washington state hiker reported missing on Christmas Eve has been found dead in steep, densely forested terrain of the Olympic National Park, a park official said on Monday. Search crews backed by dog teams recovered the body of James Thomas Griffin on Sunday about a third of a mile and nearly 1,000 vertical feet above the Boulder Creek hiking trail in the Olympic peninsula’s Elwha Valley. It appeared Griffin had stepped off the trail to prepare a snack but at some point became disoriented and could not find the trail again, a search complicated by heavy rain, cold, and the onset of darkness, Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said. “There is nothing to suggest anything other than someone who lost his location and couldn’t find his backpack again, where he stepped off the trail, and became lost and disoriented,” Maynes said. The Port Angeles man was last seen by …

    January 26, 2015 4:00 pm
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Politics

  • U.S. top court rules for employer in retiree benefits fight


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with a company that amended a collective bargaining agreement to force retirees to pay toward healthcare costs, throwing out a lower-court ruling that favored the former employees who objected to the change. On a unanimous vote, the nine-member court handed a win to MG Polymers USA, a subsidiary of Italy-based chemical company Mossi Ghisolfi International, by sending the case back for further proceedings in the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Nearly 500 plaintiffs from Ohio who had worked at the MG polyester plant in Apple Grove, West Virginia, sued in 2006 when the company said retirees would be required to contribute to their healthcare costs. The plaintiffs, backed by the United Steelworkers union, said the collective bargaining agreement guaranteed them health benefits without requiring them to contribute. The plaintiffs won in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Ohio following a bench …

    January 26, 2015 1:19 pm
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Stocks

  • U.S. deficit to ‘hold steady’ until 2018


    Solid economic growth over the next few years should help keep the annual federal deficit at a very modest level until 2018. But after that, the deficit will start growing again. That’s according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest 10-year budget and economic outlook released Monday. The CBO projects the deficit for this fiscal year will be $468 billion, or 2.6% of GDP. That’s just slightly lower than where it was in fiscal 2014. Going forward, the deficit – which reflects the gap between how much the government spends and how much it takes in – is projected to remain at or below 2.6% as a share of the economy until 2018. Thereafter, the CBO expects it to gradually grow to 4% by 2025. Three reasons were cited for the projected increase in the deficit after 2018. The CBO said it anticipates real growth in the economy will fall below the average growth rate seen …

    January 26, 2015 3:39 pm
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Sports

  • Super Bowl: from humble origin to king of U.S. sports events


    (Reuters) – From modest beginnings of cheap tickets and empty seats to $4.5 million for a 30-second TV ad, the Super Bowl approaches its golden anniversary entrenched as the undisputed king of U.S. sporting events. Super Bowl 49 will pit the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday and figures to join 21 previous Super Bowls atop the list of most watched U.S. TV broadcasts. A far cry from the first Super Bowl clash between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in 1967, according to Jerry Izenberg of the (New Jersey) Star-Ledger, one of only two reporters to have covered ever Super Bowl. “The 10 dollar ticket and it didn’t sell out,” Izenberg, 84, told Reuters about recollections of the first edition at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Izenberg underscored the lack of hoopla by comparing access to then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle at the 1967 showdown to the …

    January 26, 2015 3:59 pm
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World News

  • FBI cracks ‘Russian spy ring’


    26 January 2015 Last updated at 21:43 Holder said the US would use “every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents” The FBI has charged three men it says were spying for Russia and trying to recruit sources in New York City. US prosecutors say Evgeny Buryakov, 39, was part of an alleged spy ring that included two others in the US on official business. The other two named defendants, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, no longer reside in the US. Mr Buryakov, who worked at Russian bank in Manhattan, is scheduled to appear in court later on Monday. He is accused of attempting to gain intelligence about potential United States sanctions against Russian banks and the US efforts to develop alternative energy resources. Mr Buryakov also allegedly recruited Americans to spy for Russia, including several people “employed by major companies” and “several young women with ties to a major university …

    January 26, 2015 4:00 pm
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Technology

  • IBM denies plans to cut 26% of workforce


    IBM has issued a strong rebuke to a report that it is preparing to cut more than a quarter of its global workforce. A US technology blogger claimed on Forbes.com that the US technology giant was about to announce plans to slash 110,000 jobs under a scheme known internally as Project Chrome. “To fix its business problems and speed up its ‘transformation’ … about 26% of IBM’s employees will be getting phone calls from their managers. A few hours later a package will appear on their doorsteps with all the paperwork. Project Chrome will hit many of the worldwide services operations,” wrote Robert Cringely wrote, claiming that the dismissals will take place by the end of next month. IBM said it did not comment on “ridiculous” speculation, but strongly suggested it was inaccurate. “IBM does not comment on rumors, even ridiculous or baseless ones,” the company said. “If anyone had checked information readily available from …

    January 26, 2015 1:19 pm
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Science

  • Researchers identify brain circuit that regulates thirst


    Related images(click to enlarge) Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have identified a circuit in the brains of mice that regulates thirst. When a subset of cells in the circuit is switched on, mice immediately begin drinking water, even if they are fully hydrated. A second set of cells suppresses the urge to drink. The thirst-regulating circuit is located in a region of the brain called the subfornical organ (SFO). “We view the SFO as a dedicated circuit that has two elements that likely interact with each other to maintain the perfect balance, so you drink when you have to and you don’t drink when you don’t need to,” says Charles Zuker, an HHMI investigator at Columbia University who led the research. By doing so, the circuit ensures animals take in the right amount of fluid to maintain blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and cell volume. This work, led by postdoctoral fellow Yuki Oka was published January …

    January 26, 2015 1:20 pm
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Health

  • Single new case can reignite Ebola outbreak if vigilance lost, says MSF


    LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A decline in Ebola cases in West Africa must not result in a loss of vigilance because a single new case is enough to reignite an outbreak, international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Monday. The downward trend of new cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone should be used as an opportunity to focus efforts on addressing weaknesses in the response, otherwise progress made in stemming the deadly virus would be jeopardized, it said. “We are on the right track, but reaching zero cases will be difficult unless significant improvements are made in alerting new cases and tracing those who have been in contact with them,” Brice de la Vingne, MSF head of operations, said in a statement. “A single new case is enough to reignite an outbreak.” In the past week fewer than 150 cases of disease were reported, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). …

    January 26, 2015 1:19 pm
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Entertainment

  • Kris Jenner Tries To Steal Kendall Jenner’s Spotlight During Paris Fashion Week


    Posted on Mon Jan 26th, 2015 12:35pm PDT       By X17 Staff Where Kendall Jenner goes — Mama Jenner will follow! Over the weekend, Kris and Kendall hit Paris for Paris Fashion Week — and we can tell by the size of her outfit, Kris definitely wants to steal her daughter’s spotlight. Look at the 59-year-old — minidress, fur, Pretty Woman-style, thigh-high boots! — she looks like a high-class hooker! If that outfit’s Balmain — we can’t imagine when Olivier Rousteing designed it, that he envisioned Mama J wearing it like that … Kendall is in the City of Lights to walk the runway in several fashion shows. And of course Kris is tagging along with her high-profile daughter — that hoochie mama isn’t going to miss riding on her daughter’s coattails for a split second! It seems that the two are having a busy couple of days together. On Monday, the 19-year-old donned leather skinnies and …

    January 26, 2015 3:39 pm
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Editorial

  • Al Qaeda agent floated in swap for US prisoners? Obama’s legacy takes scary turn


    Over the last several decades, there has been a long tradition of U.S. foreign policy officials making clear to our friends and enemies that we do not negotiate with terrorists. The customary belief from national security experts is that negotiating with the bad guys in any way will encourage more bad guys and more bad behavior. It is a difficult policy, to be sure, if your loved one is taken hostage by Al Qaeda, the Taliban or ISIS or any other group. After all, family members of hostages will do almost anything to see their loved ones returned home. But experts are almost unanimous in their belief that the overall U.S. government policy should stand unequivocally against prisoner swaps for hostages and negotiations with our enemies. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The Obama administration, however, while periodically claiming it doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, has done it. Sadly, the bad guys now know there can be a reward for …

    January 26, 2015 1:19 pm
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Odd News

  • Hoax caller impersonating spy chief put through to UK PM Cameron


    LONDON (Reuters) – The British government said it was reviewing security procedures after a hoax caller claiming to be the director of Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency was put through to Prime Minister David Cameron. The Sun newspaper said the drunk caller had earlier tricked the intelligence agency into handing over a mobile phone number for its director Robert Hannigan, although the government said it was not one used for calls involving classified information. “The Prime Minister ended the call when it became clear it was a hoax,” a spokeswoman for Cameron’s office, 10 Downing Street, said in a statement about the calls on Sunday. “In neither instance was sensitive information disclosed. Both GCHQ and Number 10 take security seriously and both are currently reviewing procedures following these hoax calls to ensure that the government learns any lessons from this incident.” The Sun reported that the unnamed man, who it described as being well-spoken and in …

    January 26, 2015 5:14 am
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