Headline News

  • Parched California sees more wildfires but favorable weather, drought funding aids fight


    FRESNO, Calif. –  California has seen more wildfires so far this year, but the acreage burned is smaller thanks to favorable weather and more firefighters who can quickly be dispatched to corral flames, fire officials say. Since Jan. 1, about 5,200 fires have burned on state and federal lands, according to the U.S. Forest Service. That’s 10 percent more than last year, but the 74,000 acres is 6 percent smaller. Spurts of unseasonably rainy weather combined with the availability of hundreds of additional firefighters paid for with emergency drought funding have made a big difference, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said Monday. “We’ve had more firefighters early,” he said. “That’s allowed us to be more aggressive.” Cal Fire oversees state land and private property between forests and cities, while the Forest Service is responsible for 21 million acres in 18 national forests. So far this year, state firefighters have responded …

    July 28, 2015 3:17 am
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Politics

  • Top Republican rebuffs Senate transport bill with U.S. Ex-Im bank renewal


    WASHINGTON A congressional standoff over U.S. transportation funding deepened on Monday as the No. 2 House Republican said he would reject the Senate’s multi-year road and mass transit bill, leaving the Export-Import Bank’s fate uncertain in the balance. The U.S. Senate voted 64-29 to attach a renewal of the Export Import Bank to the $350 billion spending authorization bill, a move that the trade lender’s backers had hoped for since Congress allowed its charter to expire on June 30. While the transportation bill is considered a “must pass” legislative vehicle, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pushed Congress closer to an August 1 cut-off of federal highway construction money on Monday. He said he would not accept the Senate’s plan, and said it should instead approve a House-passed five-month extension of transportation funding aimed at buying time for a long-term deal in the autumn. “We’re not taking up the Senate bill,” McCarthy told reporters, adding that …

    July 27, 2015 11:31 pm
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Stocks

  • Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warn over ‘killer robots’


    A group of concerned scientists, researchers and academics, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, have warned that a military artificial intelligence arms race could soon develop if preventative measures are not taken. A global arms race is “virtually inevitable” if any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapons development, the group cautioned in an open letter presented at the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires. “The stakes are high,” the letter said. “Autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.” Other notable tech figures, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, are also signatories to the letter. Related: Stephen Hawking hosts his first Reddit AMA Autonomous weapons — think pistol-toting Terminators, smart vehicles with mounted machine guns, and self-piloted bomber drones — aren’t just the stuff of science fiction. As the letter notes, some weapons systems are “feasible within …

    July 28, 2015 2:36 am
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Sports

  • AP source confirms Rockies have traded Troy Tulowitzki to Blue Jays in deal for Jose Reyes


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    July 28, 2015 3:16 am
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World News

  • Malaysia PM sacks deputy over 1MDB


    Najib Razak has vehemently denied wrongdoing over the scandal Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has replaced his deputy amid a continuing financial scandal. Muhyiddin Yassin had criticised Mr Najib’s handling of allegations surrounding a state investment fund. Mr Najib has denied allegations that nearly $700m (£450m) were transferred to his personal bank accounts from the 1MDB fund, which he set up in 2009. Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who led the investigation into the scandal, was also replaced, said state media. The statement carried by the Bernama news agency said his dismissal was on health grounds. ‘Strong team’ Announcing the dismissal of Mr Muhyiddin on television, Mr Najib said that differences in opinion were “not supposed to be expressed in an open forum, which is against the concept of collective responsibility in the government”. He said the decision was “a very difficult one, but I had to do it so a strong team can move …

    July 28, 2015 3:16 am
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Technology

  • Doc or Sorkinization? Which will be the better Steve Jobs movie?


    Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives. The documentary? Or the Sorkinization? Movieclips Film Festivals Indie Films/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET You have to have an opinion about this. Otherwise, how can you possibly claim to be a visionary who’s changing with the world with your brand new app? In the left corner, we have the Aaron Sorkin-penned movie, imaginatively titled “Steve Jobs.” This is to distinguish it from the Ashton Kutcher movie from 2013 titled “Jobs.” In the right corner, we have the Alex Gibney documentary titled: “Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine.” This is to distinguish it from the 2011 documentary titled: “Steve Jobs: One Last Thing.” Yes, there will be a test at the end of this article. The first trailer for Gibney’s opus was released on Friday. It may, to some, seem rather familiar. The hope for originality lies less in its …

    July 27, 2015 11:51 pm
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Science

  • Some stroke treatments proven to reduce health care costs


    Use of mechanical thrombectomy on qualifying stroke patients could result in major savings to the healthcare economy in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and other western countries with a similar healthcare structure, according to a new study presented at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery 12th Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The study, Developing an Interventional Stroke Service: Improving Clinical Outcomes and Reducing Cost and Delivering Great Cost Savings Benefits to Health Economy, conducted at the University Hospital of North Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent, U.K., found that mechanical thrombectomy (the use of a device to retrieve a clot from the vessel) in the treatment of stroke reduced the average stroke patient’s hospital stay to 14 days when compared to previously recorded 90 days. In addition, more than nine in 10 patients were discharged to their home as opposed to a nursing home. Using this data, the study also found the use of mechanical thrombectomy produced a net savings of …

    July 28, 2015 2:56 am
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Health

  • Sanofi links with Regeneron in $2.2 billion cancer drug push


    French drugmaker Sanofi (SASY.PA) said on Tuesday it was committing up to $2.17 billion to a collaboration with its long-time partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN.O) in the hot area of cancer immunotherapy. Sanofi will make an upfront payment of $640 million to Regeneron and the U.S. biotech company will get up to $375 million more if certain sales targets are hit. Sanofi will also invest more than $1 billion in research for the program, which aims to tap the body’s immune system to help fight cancer. As part of the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop a programed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor currently in Phase I clinical testing, and plan to start trials in 2016 with new drug candidates. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Clarke)

    July 28, 2015 3:16 am
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Entertainment

  • Ice T And Wife Coco Expecting First Child


    Posted on Mon Jul 27th, 2015 8:50am PDT       By X17 Staff What exciting news! Ice T and wife Coco Austin revealed they are expecting their first child together during a taping of their new daytime talk show Ice and Coco on July 24, and the busty model followed it up with an announcement tweet. “I’m pregnant! Yah! Ice I are so excited!,” she wrote. The rapper, 57, is already a father to two children and a 20-year-old grandson, but this will be his first with his lady love of 14 years. The couple have been vocal about their desire to expand their family for years, and the blonde beauty’s health struggles were chronicled on their E! reality show. The bombshell had dangerously high blood pressure that made carrying a child too risky, so she set about making a big effort to get her body ready for pregnancy. We wonder what they will name their little bundle? …

    July 28, 2015 2:36 am
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Editorial

  • ‘We the People’ is at risk: Why America needs civics education


    Most are familiar with the “Jaywalking” quizzes Jay Leno regularly did on the streets of Universal Studios. They often included American civics questions. The answers were often laughably pathetic.  Unfortunately, they are representative of the general citizenry’s knowledge. According to studies byAnnenberg Public Policy Center, only about a third (38 percent) of Americans can name the three branches of America’s government (executive, legislative and judicial), much less explain what each does. Also surprisingly, only 32 percent of Americans could correctly identify the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land, according to the Xavier Center for the Study of the American Dream. According to this same study, only 32 percent of Americans knew how many U.S. Senators there were (100), and only 29 percent knew the length of a U.S. Senator’s term in office (six years).   Voter turnout for the 2014 national election was the lowest it has been since World War II …

    July 28, 2015 2:16 am
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Odd News

  • Fugitive-turned-actor arrested after U.S. Marshals read film write-up


    SEATTLE A fugitive bank-robber-turned-actor has been arrested in Washington state after U.S. agents spotted his picture in a newspaper article about a low-budget horror film in which he plays an evil doctor, an official said on Monday. Officers on a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force saw Jason Stange’s picture in the Olympian newspaper’s feature last week on horror movie “Marla Mae,” said Jack Williams, chief deputy for the agency’s western district of Washington state. The officers, who had been tracking his disappearance for several months, identified him by the photo and a unique forearm tattoo, Williams said. Marshals tracked him from a filming location to a store in Olympia, where he was arrested without incident on Friday, he said. Stange was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison and five years supervised release in 2006 after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery, Williams said. He was freed on supervised release in 2014, but had …

    July 27, 2015 7:10 pm
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