Headline News

  • 3 die when train strikes SUV in southern Illinois


    VANDALIA, Ill. –  Officials say three members of a family were killed when their SUV was struck by a freight train at a crossing in southern Illinois. Fayette County coroner Bruce Bowen says a woman, a boy and a girl, all related, died in the Thursday evening collision in Vandalia, 70 miles northeast of St. Louis. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Bowen didn’t provide names or ages of the victims. Vandalia Police Chief Jeff Ray says two other people in the car were airlifted to a hospital, but has no information on their conditions. Ray says the accident occurred just minutes before the start of the city’s Halloween Parade, which went ahead as planned. He had no information on the cause of the accident. He said he believes the bars and lights at the crossing were functioning properly.

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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Politics

  • U.S. Congress to revisit Islamic State war debate after election


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When lawmakers return to Washington after Tuesday’s congressional elections they will resume a debate they began with some reluctance last month on the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. With the U.S.-led coalition increasing air strikes but no signs the militants have been weakened, Congress appears ready for a broader discussion on the operations than it was prepared to hold during the run-up to the election. The temporary authorization for President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels – one element of the campaign – expires on Dec. 11, so lawmakers will have to take up that issue when they return from recess on Nov. 12.    A handful of lawmakers are also pushing for Congress to consider a broader Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which would set out guidelines for the overall effort to halt the militants. “We should not be asking …

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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Stocks

  • Bank of Japan stuns market with even more stimulus


      The Bank of Japan is going for broke and expanding its already aggressive stimulus plan in an effort to keep the country’s economic revival plan on track. In a surprise announcement, the central bank said Friday that it will increase its purchases of longer-term debt, building on a stimulus plan first announced a year and a half ago. The bank will now make asset purchases at an annual pace of around 80 trillion yen, an increase from the previous 60 to 70 trillion yen target range. The Nikkei jumped by as much as 5%. The bank’s decision was far from unanimous — five board members voted in favor of additional stimulus, while four voted against the proposal. The additional stimulus puts the Bank of Japan at odds with other central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, that are scaling back or ending their stimulus programs. Related: Can anything save Sony? The actions are meant …

    October 31, 2014 2:16 am
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Sports

  • Nicolas Colsaerts overpowers par 5s, builds 1-shot lead over Alexander Levy at BMW Masters


    SHANGHAI –  Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium made nine birdies on a soft course at Lake Malaren for an 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Alexander Levy of France going into the weekend of the BMW Masters. Colsaerts has gone 75 tournaments worldwide since his last victory in 2012 at the Volvo World Match Play Championship. He again took advantage of the par 5s on an overcast day Friday. He made birdie on all four of them Friday, and is 9 under on the par 5s for the week. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Colsaerts was at 14-under 130. Levy tried to keep pace with two birdies in the middle of his back nine. He shot a 66. The BMW Masters is the first of four “Finals Series” events that conclude the European Tour season.

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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World News

  • China upholds death penalty for three who led mass stabbing in Kunming


    A Chinese appeal court has upheld death sentences for three people convicted over a mass stabbing this year in which 31 people were killed, say state media. “The higher people’s court of Yunnan province rejected Hasayn Muhammad’s appeal and upheld the penalty meted out by the Kunming municipal intermediate people’s court last month,” Xinhua said in a dispatch from Kunming. The intermediate court in the south-western Chinese city had convicted and sentenced to death Muhammad and two others, Iskandar Ehet and Turgun Tohtunyaz, for “leading a terrorist group” that planned and carried out the attack at the city’s railway station on 1 March. Though Xinhua only mentioned Muhammad’s appeal, it said the court upheld the sentences of the other two men as well. In a separate report on its website, Xinhua said the court also upheld a term of life in prison for a pregnant woman also convicted for taking part in the attack. The …

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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Technology

  • Google Android 5 Lollipop review


    Google’s new version of its tablet and smartphone operating system “Lollipop” is the fifth version of Android, introducing new features and tweaks that collectively give the user the feeling that quite a lot has been improved. Unveiled as “L” at Google’s developer conference I/O in June to replace Android 4.4 “KitKat, Android 5 Lollipop was revealed alongside Google’s new design ethos called “Material”. Material Design is a new consistent look for Google’s apps, products and services, which stretches beyond Android to Google’s Chrome browser and Chrome OS software for low-cost laptops. The basic premise is a bolder, more colourful and flat look to icons, notifications and other interface elements. This review is based on a very near final version of Lollipop released by Google for testing. Small things may change before release. Smooth sliding For Lollipop that means the use of much brighter, fuller colours than the previous version of Android and a more consistent …

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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Science

  • Scripps Research Institute scientists make enzyme that could help explain origins of life


    Related images(click to enlarge) Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth. Aside from illuminating one possible path for life’s beginnings, the achievement is likely to yield a powerful tool for evolving new and useful molecules. “When I start to tell people about this, they sometimes wonder if we’re merely suggesting the possibility of such an enzyme — but no, we actually made it,” said Gerald F. Joyce, professor in TSRI’s Departments of Chemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology and director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. Joyce was the senior author of the new report, which was published online ahead of print by the journal Nature on October 29, 2014. The Challenge of Making Copies The new enzyme is called a ribozyme because it is …

    October 31, 2014 3:38 am
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Health

  • India considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes


    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes over the risks to public health that they may cause, a senior Health Ministry official told Reuters. The World Health Organization (WHO) in August called for stiff regulation of e-cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, in the latest bid to control the booming $3 billion global market. Such devices use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapor but there is a lack of long-term scientific research that confirms they are safe. Some critics fear they could lead to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking. “We see it as a backdoor entry, it doesn’t have tobacco but it has nicotine,” said the official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Expert panels have recommended regulation or a ban. India cannot regulate easily,” the official added, saying that the government would consider the ban in the next month or …

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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Entertainment

  • Chelsea Handler cries sexism after her nipples are banned by Instagram


    Chelsea Handler loves golden showers (VIDEO) Don’t cross Chelsea Handler’s back. Or front, for that matter. Everybody’s favorite funny lady took aim at notoriously sexist Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and quickly learned that she can get a good dose of sexism right here in the U.S. of A. Chelsea Handler: Conan O’Brien is packin’ and has a great bod The actress posted a picture of herself topless riding a horse, poking fun at a similar picture of Putin, with the caption, “Taking this down is sexist. I have the right to prove that I have a better body than Putin. Anything a man can do, a woman has the right to do better. #kremlin.” Clearly, Handler knew that her photo would be picked off by higher-ups at Instagram and she was right. The photo was quickly banned from the site. We managed to get a screen grab before it was taken down. Photo credit: Chelsea …

    October 31, 2014 2:57 am
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Editorial

  • ‘Lone Wolf’ terror attacks: We’re sitting ducks and Americans with guns are last line of defense


    The recent spate of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks both here and in Canada seem to have come out of nowhere. And it’s clear that they have left Americans and Canadians as sitting ducks. Simply by using the Internet, ISIS has encouraged “lone wolf” individuals. These “wolves” have initiated attacks on their own with no planning or coordination with others and without leaving a trail of clues about their intentions. Law enforcement authorities and our government are not well suited to defend against such individual terror strikes. As Israel has learned about such attacks, there are just too many targets to defend. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT So what can be done to protect public safety? When police and the military can’t be everywhere, the last line of defense is having more citizens carry guns. What can be done to protect public safety? When police and the military can’t be everywhere, the last line of defense is having more …

    October 31, 2014 3:17 am
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Odd News

  • Police led to Alabama drug suspect by his dog


    BIRMINGHAM Ala. (Reuters) – Police in Alabama found a suspected drug dealer who was hiding in tall grass near his home after the man’s dog, tail wagging enthusiastically, led officers to him, police said on Thursday. Edward Melvin Henderson fled his home in Prattville as officers pulled up to the residence with a search warrant on Tuesday, said Paula Barlow, spokeswoman for the Prattville Police Department. Henderson ran, jumped off a ravine and continued running. As officers approached the ravine, a mixed breed pit bull/husky later identified as Bo came running up, she said. Henderson had run into a wooded area and was hiding. Two officers looked at Bo and pointed in the direction Henderson had run and told the dog to go and get him. Investigators trailed Bo, who was wagging his tail after locating his owner lying in high grass, Barlow said. The search warrant resulted in the recovery of methamphetamine and components …

    October 30, 2014 11:36 pm
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