Headline News

  • Fraud crackdown sends illegal immigrant licenses plummeting in NM


    New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has tried to repeal the state’s policy of issuing driver’s licenses to illegals, but has had to settle for cracking down on fraud. (AP) A crackdown on document fraud has sent the number of driver’s licenses issued to illegal aliens in New Mexico plunging by 70 percent, while revealing that the state likely issued tens of thousands of bogus licenses after becoming the first state to adopt the controversial policy a dozen years ago. Last year, New Mexico issued 4,577 licenses to foreign nationals, down sharply from the 2010 high of about 15,000. Officials in the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez, who opposes the policy but has been unable to get it repealed, say the huge drop came as soon as new procedures were implemented to identify fraudulent documents that had been submitted to obtain licenses. “While this is encouraging news, Gov. Martinez still sides with an overwhelming majority of …

    July 7, 2015 10:43 pm
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Politics

  • Darin LaHood Wins GOP Primary to Succeed Schock


    By Emily Cahn Posted at 9:38 p.m. on July 7 0 Tweet Schock resigned from Congress in March amid questions around travel spending and redecorating his congressional offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo) State Sen. Darin LaHood easily won a GOP primary in Illinois’ 18th District Tuesday night, making him the odds-on favorite to succeed disgraced ex-Rep. Aaron Schock in this downstate seat. LaHood defeated his Republican opponent, Breitbart Editor Mike Flynn, by about 69 percent to 29 percent with most precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. The primary is analogous to the general election in this deeply conservative district, which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried by 23 points  in 2012. LaHood is the son of former Rep. Ray LaHood, who represented this district for more than a decade before leaving in 2009 to serve as transportation secretary under President Barack Obama. The elder LaHood was known in Washington, D.C., as a moderate icon who …

    July 7, 2015 10:23 pm
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Stocks

  • China stocks hammered as market crash continues


    China’s benchmark stock index plunged 8% at the market open on Wednesday, extending huge losses that have piled up in recent weeks. The vast majority of stocks listed on the Shanghai Composite were down by 10% at the open, the downward daily limit. The smaller Shenzhen Composite shed 4%. Since June 12, the Shanghai Composite has lost an unnerving 32%. The Shenzhen market, which has more tech companies and is often compared to America’s Nasdaq Index, is down 41% over the same period. The government is now doing everything it can to rescue the markets. The People’s Bank of China has cut interest rates to a record low, brokerages have committed to buy billions worth of stocks, and regulators have announced a de-facto suspension of new IPOs. But investors clearly aren’t convinced. China’s stock market has been undergoing wild swings where it will open up as much as 7% and then end the day down …

    July 7, 2015 9:21 pm
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Sports

  • Price putting heart and soul into Presidents tilt: co-captain


    SEOUL International team skipper Nick Price is leaving no stone unturned as he formulates a plan to wrest the Presidents Cup from the United States for the first time in more than a decade, according to co-captain Tony Johnstone. Price, along with assistants Johnstone, Mark McNulty and South Korean KJ Choi, will look to guide their team to victory when the event comes to Asia for the first time in October at Incheon’s Jack Nicklaus Gold Club Korea. The United States have won eight of the 10 Presidents Cups played since the biennial competition was established in 1994 and will be heavy favorites for this year’s contest. The International team, representing the rest of the world minus Europe, have won the event once — in Melbourne in 1998. If they fail to clinch the trophy this year, it will not be for a lack of trying, said Johnstone in a news release. “Nick has put …

    July 7, 2015 10:43 pm
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World News

  • Chile lawmakers pass marijuana bill


    Chilean law already allows medical use of marijuana with government approval A bill which will allow Chileans to grow small amounts of marijuana for medical, recreational or spiritual use has been approved by the country’s lower house of Congress. The measure will allow each Chilean home to grow up to six plants. Up to now, planting, selling and transporting marijuana has been punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The new bill will go before a health commission and then the Senate for approval. Members of the lower house approved the bill by a wide margin, with 68 in favour and 39 against. However, some lawmakers criticised the result, saying it would encourage drug use. Growing trend A Chilean municipality began planting the country’s first medical marijuana in October, as part of a government-approved pilot programme. However this bill, if passed, will also decriminalise recreational use. Several other countries have eased restrictions for medical …

    July 7, 2015 10:44 pm
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Technology

  • Smartphones aren’t selling like they used to (it’s an Android thing)


    The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge hasn’t delivered the sales Samsung hoped. After a strong end to 2014, the smartphone market seems to have taken a turn. Samsung warned on Monday that it would miss Wall Street’s expectations for the second quarter, an indication of a rough start for its flagship Galaxy S6 smartphone. Also on Monday, HTC reported that it swung back into the red. Last week, Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi said its sales pace for the year has slowed significantly. Their results underscore the challenges that all smartphone vendors — with the potential exception of Apple — face as consumers upgrade their smartphones less frequently and are less impressed by newer devices’ incremental improvements. Moreover, the once hot growth market of China appears to be reaching a saturation point with first-time buyers and cooling demand there, too. “Vendors in China will have to win replacement buyers and improve the appeal of their premium offerings …

    July 7, 2015 10:03 pm
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Science

  • Customer commitment has many faces, differs globally


    Companies that want to increase customers’ loyalty and get their repeat business would do well to understand the nuanced ways in which and reasons why a customer is committed to that company, according to a recent study by marketing experts at Rice University and Fordham University. The research provides a strategic blueprint for developing customer commitment. The researchers tested a customer-commitment model that has five dimensions — affective, normative, economic, forced and habitual. They said previous research has used an “insufficient” three-dimensional commitment model that was lifted from employee-commitment studies and applied to customer-commitment research. They tested their commitment model using both a United States and global sample representing industries such as retail, pharmacy, hotel, Internet, game consoles, banking, automotive and mobile-service providers. In total, the researchers used qualitative and quantitative studies with data from 9,000 consumers and 10 countries. Consumers ranged in age from 18 to 55 and older; men and women were almost …

    July 7, 2015 10:03 pm
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Health

  • Indoor tanning rates dropping


    (Reuters Health) – Use of indoor tanning is on the decline, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute. Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of adults using indoor tanning beds fell from 5.5 percent to 4.2 percent, the researchers report. This translates to two million fewer people who are tanning themselves with these devices, they said. “We think the increasing awareness about the dangers of indoor tanning may be partly responsible for the decrease in indoor tanning,” said lead author Gery P. Guy Jr., a health economist at the CDC in Atlanta. “Studies repeatedly show that indoor tanning increases skin cancer risk. And the more you tan, the more the risk goes up.” There still is a perception that tanning beds are safer than sunbathing, but Guy pointed out in an email that there is no evidence to support this idea. “In fact, …

    July 7, 2015 10:23 pm
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Entertainment

  • 7 Stars react to Can’t Buy Me Love actress Amanda Peterson’s death


    Peterson, who had been a professional actress since she was a child and had a role in Annie, was found dead in her Colorado apartment over the weekend after her family couldn’t get in touch with her for several days. More: B.B. King’s daughters make a shocking accusation about their dad’s death While Peterson’s cause of death has yet to be determined, it appears that foul play was not a factor and her father told TMZ that she “had some illness and a sleep apnea problem that may have contributed.” Despite leaving Hollywood in the ’90s, Peterson and her iconic character, Cindy Mancini, in the Patrick Dempsey teen flick, Can’t Buy Me Love, are fondly remembered by legions of fans — and celebs paid tribute to her on Twitter upon the news of her passing. More: Old-school movies to watch for family movie night Cindy Mancini was my first crush. RIP Amanda Peterson. — Donald Faison …

    July 7, 2015 9:42 pm
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Editorial

  • Greece’s future: In the end Germany, not Greece, may be the biggest loser


    Germany is using its size and wealth to compel its Eurozone partners to take a hard line toward Greece but in the end, Germany has much to lose by forcing the Aegean nation to choose between more austerity and dumping the euro. Merkel’s government has cultivated the notions that the Greek government is run by reprobates unwilling to reform Athens’ finances, austerity is the golden path to prosperity, and establishing a new Greek currency is either impossible or guarantees disaster. None of those are true. Entering 2015, Greece had cut spending and raised taxes enough to accomplish a primary budget surplus—revenue exceeds expenses net of interest on debt—by one percent of GDP. Set loose from the euro, Greece at least would have a chance at prosperity, but the rub for Germany is the other Mediterranean nations could follow Greece’s example if it proved successful. Five years of austerity has reduced the Greek economy to a …

    July 7, 2015 10:24 pm
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Odd News

  • ‘Vampires’ keep doctors in the dark for fear of stereotyping: study


    SALMON, Idaho It is not easy being a vampire, and even harder to come out of the coffin to a physician or therapist for fear they will misinterpret the habit of ingesting the blood of willing donors or succumb to stereotyping, a study finds. Research led by D.J. Williams, director of social work at Idaho State University, indicated that people who identify themselves as “real” vampires – that is, needing others’ blood to gain energy – would not disclose their practices to those in the helping professions and risk reactions like ridicule, disgust and possible diagnosis of a mental illness. The paper, published in the latest issue of Critical Social Work, a peer-reviewed journal based in Canada, found that authentic vampires as opposed to “lifestyle” vampires – black-clad figures with phony fangs – might be stereotyped by clinicians whose fields discourage biases. Williams, who has studied self-identified vampires for nearly a decade, finds they come …

    July 7, 2015 10:03 pm
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