• UN call to ‘prevent Iraq massacre’

    UN call to ‘prevent Iraq massacre’

    23 August 2014 Last updated at 11:46 Amerli has been besieged by Islamic State for two months The UN has called for action to prevent what it says may be a possible massacre in the...
  • Bottas fastest in final Spa practice

    SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Belgium (Reuters) – Valtteri Bottas ended Mercedes’ run of fastest laps with the top time for Williams in a damp final Belgian Grand Prix practice on Saturday. The Finn clocked a time of one...
  • Spectacular supernova’s mysteries revealed

    New research by a team of UK and European-based astronomers is helping to solve the mystery of what caused a spectacular supernova in a galaxy 11 million light years away, seen earlier this year. The...
  • Russian convoy leaves Ukraine

    Russian convoy leaves Ukraine

    23 August 2014 Last updated at 11:18 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The BBC’s David Stern in Kiev: There are a lot of questions about this convoy About 100 lorries from...
  • Mario Kart 8 news

    Although the Wii comfortably outsold PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, hasn’t been as successful. That’s left Nintendo open to ideas it might previously have dismissed. For example, next week...

Headline News

  • Sharpen the pencils: Tennessee revives cursive teaching


    NASHVILLE (Reuters) – Children in Tennessee will have to get used to holding a pencil again next year when new cursive handwriting standards go into effect in schools throughout the state. The trend around the United States is to emphasize keyboarding – a skill that is included in the Common Core education standards adopted by most states. But Tennessee lawmakers, concerned that some children do not have a signature and struggle to read their teachers’ handwriting, overwhelmingly passed a bill making cursive a mandatory subject in grades two through four. Schools are expected to start bringing back the declining art of cursive in 2015-2016 under the new rules, signed into law this year by Governor Bill Haslam. Keyboarding and print writing will still have their place, but legible penmanship will be required by third grade. “I am surprised we have stopped teaching it in some places,” said Gary Nixon, executive director of the Tennessee School …

    August 23, 2014 6:22 am
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Politics

  • Hagan Criticizes Obama Ahead of North Carolina Visit


    By Christina Bellantoni Posted at 6:21 p.m. on Aug. 22 0 Tweet Hagan has been campaigning on the VA issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Updated 6:38 p.m. | Sen. Kay Hagan doesn’t sound thrilled President Barack Obama is coming to town. The North Carolina Democrat, one of the most vulnerable senators, issued a terse statement about Obama’s veterans policy ahead of his planned Tuesday visit to her home state. The White House announced late Friday that Obama will deliver remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. The appearance gave Hagan an opportunity to criticize the president in the wake of a scandal that has captured national attention. Hagan’s office blasted her statement just 31 minutes after the White House released the schedule. “The Obama Administration has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA,” Hagan said. She added, “I hope …

    August 23, 2014 5:21 am
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Stocks

  • ‘Secret’ app didn’t actually keep you anonymous


    The Secret app is supposed to keep you anonymous. But until last week, it was possible to trace posts directly to you. Secret is supposed to be the anonymous social network. But until this week, Secret allowed your friends to trace every one of your posts back to you. Hackers at Rhino Security Labs figured out a way to dupe Secret’s system. To join Secret’s community, the app imports your contacts. It then labels which posts are from your friends. To prevent you from tracking a particular person, Secret requires that seven of your contacts post to the network before it labels their posts. But here’s the hack: Fill your phone’s contact list with fake people and only one real contact — your target. If you control posts coming from these dummy Secret accounts, it’s easy to spot when your real “friend” is posting. “Poison the data on the outside, bring it in as trusted …

    August 23, 2014 4:21 am
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Sports

  • Bottas fastest in final Spa practice


    SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Belgium (Reuters) – Valtteri Bottas ended Mercedes’ run of fastest laps with the top time for Williams in a damp final Belgian Grand Prix practice on Saturday. The Finn clocked a time of one minute 49.465 seconds, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo second and 0.268 slower for champions Red Bull. Mercedes had finished one-two in the previous two Spa practice sessions. Formula One leader Nico Rosberg was third fastest for Mercedes, with title rival and team mate Lewis Hamilton fifth and with exactly the same time of 1:49.817 as Ferrari’s four times Spa winner Kimi Raikkonen. Rosberg leads 2008 champion Hamilton by 11 points after 11 of the 19 races. Hamilton, who was fastest on Friday, and Rosberg had led the timesheets until about five minutes to the end with the pair separated by only a thousandth of a second. Rosberg has yet to finish on the podium at Spa, while Hamilton won in 2010, …

    August 23, 2014 6:22 am
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World News

  • UN call to ‘prevent Iraq massacre’


    23 August 2014 Last updated at 11:46 Amerli has been besieged by Islamic State for two months The UN has called for action to prevent what it says may be a possible massacre in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli. Special representative Nickolay Mladenov says he is “seriously alarmed” by reports regarding the conditions in which the town’s residents live. The town, under siege by Islamic State for two months, has no electricity or drinking water, and is running out of food and medical supplies. The majority of its residents are Turkmen Shia, seen as apostates by IS. “The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens,” Mr Mladenov said in a statement. “I urge the Iraqi government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive life-saving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified …

    August 23, 2014 6:22 am
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Technology

  • Mario Kart 8 news


    Although the Wii comfortably outsold PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, hasn’t been as successful. That’s left Nintendo open to ideas it might previously have dismissed. For example, next week sees the launch of free downloadable content for Mario Kart 8 that adds three Mercedes Benz models to the game’s list of wacky cartoon vehicles. Naturally, the sturdily engineered German automobiles have been given cute, bulbous makeovers and are just as susceptible to spinning out when they hit a banana skin as the game’s existing karts, but this still marks a significant departure for the usually highly conservative Japanese game-maker. There will be a special Mercedes Cup online tournament available to players with an internet connection from 27 Aug (the 22nd anniversary of the launch of the very first Mario Kart) to 23 Sep.

    August 23, 2014 5:22 am
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Science

  • Spectacular supernova’s mysteries revealed


    New research by a team of UK and European-based astronomers is helping to solve the mystery of what caused a spectacular supernova in a galaxy 11 million light years away, seen earlier this year. The supernova, a giant explosion of a star and the closest one to Earth in decades, was discovered earlier this year by chance at the University of London Observatory. These phenomena are extremely important to study because they provide key information about our universe, including how it is expanding and how galaxies evolve. The new research into its cause, published in the latest issue of the Astrophysical Journal, used vast networks of radio telescopes in the UK and across Europe including the seven telescopes of e-MERLIN operated from The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory. These enabled them to obtain extremely deep images revealing a lack of radio emission from the supernova. Known as 2014J, this was a Type la supernova …

    August 23, 2014 5:42 am
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Health

  • Philippines recalls peacekeepers from Liberia over Ebola threat


    MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines on Saturday ordered 115 troops to return home from peace-keeping operations in Liberia, spurred by a worsening Ebola epidemic in West Africa that has killed almost 1,500 people. The Philippines has about 800 to 1,000 soldiers and police officers serving under the United Nations flag in conflict and disaster-stricken areas, including Haiti, Sudan, East Timor, Cote d’Ivoire and the Korean peninsula. “The president is getting worried over the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and has ordered all 115 Filipino troops to return home as soon as possible,” a senior defense official told Reuters. The Philippine contingent would cut short its tour of duty, added the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The Philippines has been sending soldiers to Liberia since 2003. A Philippine seaman is being monitored in Togo for signs of the disease but authorities say the country is still …

    August 23, 2014 5:21 am
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Entertainment

  • Nicki Minaj dancer bitten by snake during VMAs rehearsal


    VIDEO: Are Rihanna and Drake the new Beyoncé and Jay Z?  During rehearsals on Sunday night, one of the snakes in the routine apparently bit a backup dancer. According to TMZ, Minaj was, fittingly, performing her new single “Anaconda,” with the snake as part of the act for her upcoming VMAs opening. The dancer, identified only as female, was rushed to the hospital and is receiving treatment, TMZ reports. The snake, which is believed to be an anaconda, is not said to be poisonous but the bite is still dangerous as it easily spreads bacteria. What Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj Kanye West have in common  Though the snake was quickly taken away in a container after biting the performer, it’s unclear whether the same snake will be used in the performance. Of course, the award show this Sunday is expected to be full of crazy surprises, aside from reptiles on stage. The VMAs are known for …

    August 23, 2014 5:01 am
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Editorial

Odd News

  • It’s ‘bone-appétit’ for California pooches under new law


    (Reuters) – California diners can now legally enjoy a meal on a restaurant patio with their dogs in tow, under a law signed Thursday by Governor Jerry Brown that eliminates health code regulations banning restaurant owners from allowing pooches on the premises. Starting next year, California canines will be allowed to dine al fresco if they are wearing leashes or are relaxing in a carrier. ““I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit,’” quipped Democratic Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, the law’s author. “Restaurateurs in California will see more businesses catering to their customers and the canine companions they love.” The new law clarifies a section of the state’s health code that banned dogs from restaurants altogether, including on outdoor patios or courtyards. The rule has caused confusion because some local governments choose to enforce the law, while others turned a blind eye. In counties where local officials were more lax about enforcement, restaurant owners who encouraged their guests to bring …

    August 22, 2014 1:19 am
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