Headline News

  • U.S. Army chief says no human error seen in anthrax mishap


    WASHINGTON U.S. personnel working at an Army facility in Utah appeared to follow correctly all the outlined procedures to inactivate anthrax before they mistakenly shipped off live samples of the deadly bacteria, the Army’s top general said on Thursday. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno said investigators were now reviewing the procedures themselves to determine why the bacteria was not rendered inactive. “The best I can tell there was not human error,” Odierno told reporters, cautioning that his information was based solely on preliminary reports. U.S. officials disclosed on Wednesday that U.S. Army facilities mistakenly shipped live anthrax bacteria to laboratories in nine states and an air base in South Korea. The Pentagon has said there was no known suspected infection or risk to the public. But four U.S. civilians have started taking preventive measures called post-exposure prophylaxis, which usually includes the anthrax vaccine, antibiotics or both. Twenty-two personnel at the base in South …

    May 28, 2015 10:38 am
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Politics

  • U.S. defense aid to Israel to rise over Iran deal fears: sources


    TEL AVIV U.S. defense aid to Israel is likely to increase after 2017, sources on both sides said on Thursday, seeing a possible link to Washington’s efforts to assuage its ally’s fears over nuclear diplomacy with Iran. A current package worth $3 billion a year expires in 2017. A U.S. official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said negotiators were close to a new deal that would bring annual payouts to $3.6-$3.7 billion on average. An Israeli official, who also declined to be named, put the expected aid at between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. “They (the United States) are trying to douse the fires after our flare-up about the Iran deal,” the official added, referring to curbs being negotiated on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program which Israel has condemned as insufficient. In Washington, the Pentagon had no immediate comment. A spokesman for Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, asked about the U.S. aid figures, said: …

    May 28, 2015 9:18 am
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Stocks

  • Skyscraper prices at the World Trade Center


    One World Observatory at the newly-rebuilt One World Trade Center, opens Friday to the general public. At the tallest café in the Western Hemisphere, prices are skyscraper high. That’s because you have to pay up just to get in the door. The elevator ride alone will cost you $32, which is the price to get in to the One World Observatory. The 360-degree viewing platform and eatery located near the top of the newly-rebuilt One World Trade Center, opens Friday to the general public. Tickets are $32 for adults, though seniors pay $30 and children aged 6 to 15 pay $26. Kids 5 and under are free. There are higher priced tickets for those who don’t want to wait in line, considering that queues can be notoriously long at New York’s most popular landmarks. The viewing prices are comparable to the observation deck at the Empire State Building, but if you want the whole One …

    May 28, 2015 10:18 am
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Sports

  • Blatter defies calls to quit as FIFA scandal widens


    ZURICH FIFA President Sepp Blatter rejected an emotional plea to resign from one of the world’s soccer greats on Thursday as the corruption scandal engulfing the game’s governing body drew warnings from sponsors and political leaders. As FIFA faced the worst crisis in its 111-year history, Michel Platini, the former French international who now heads UEFA, Europe’s soccer confederation, said he had told Blatter to go but the 79-year-old had refused. “I said, I’m asking you to leave, FIFA’s image is terrible. He said that he couldn’t leave all of a sudden,” Platini told a news conference. “I’m saying this with sadness and tears in my eyes, but there have been too many scandals, FIFA doesn’t deserve to be treated that way,” Platini said, speaking after an emergency FIFA meeting in Zurich earlier in the day. Platini said 45 or 46 of UEFA’s 53 eligible member associations would vote for Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al …

    May 28, 2015 10:38 am
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World News

  • Blatter ‘cannot be held responsible’


    Fifa president Sepp Blatter has condemned the “action of individuals” for bringing “shame and humiliation” on football’s governing body. But he said that although many held him “ultimately responsible” for Fifa’s actions, he could “not monitor everyone all of the time”. He was speaking at the opening of Fifa’s congress, a day after seven top officials were arrested in a US probe. Mr Blatter is seeking re-election as president on Friday.

    May 28, 2015 10:38 am
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Technology

  • Microsoft Windows 10 free upgrade: five questions answered


    Can you please tell me how to go about obtaining the free Windows 10 for my laptop, which is currently operating on Windows 8.0? Eric Everyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8 should get an invitation to install a free copy of Windows 10. For those running updated versions of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 S14, this will be much the same as the offer to upgrade from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1. In other words, Windows Update will download the code in the background, and you will merely have to accept the offer to install it. The only limitation is that you have to install it within a year of Windows 10’s release. If you want to make sure you get the offer, install Windows update KB3035583. This update was recommended for Windows 8 users and was optional for Windows 7 users. If you are running Windows 7, Windows 8.0 or Windows 8.1 …

    May 28, 2015 4:35 am
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Science

  • Don’t Overthink It, Less Is More When It Comes To Creativity


    Most of us have experienced writer’s block at some point, sitting down to write, paint or compose only to find we can’t get the creative juices flowing. Most frustrating of all, the more effort and thought we put into it, the harder it may become. Now, at least, neuroscientists might have found a clue about why it is so hard to force that creative spark. Researchers at Stanford University recently set out to explore the neural basis of creativity and came up with surprising findings. Their study, published May 28 in Scientific Reports, suggests the cerebellum, the brain region typically associated with movement, is involved in creativity. If so, the discovery could change our understanding of the neurological mechanisms behind some thought processes. (Scientific American and Scientific Reports are both parts of Nature Publishing Group.) There is a scientific belief that the cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that “makes us human,” and …

    May 28, 2015 4:56 am
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Health

  • Tattoos May Pose Health Risks, Researchers Report


    THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Getting a tattoo may put you at risk for long-term skin problems, a new study warns. “We were rather alarmed at the high rate of reported chronic complications tied to getting a tattoo,” said senior investigator Dr. Marie Leger, an assistant professor in the dermatology department at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “Given the growing popularity of tattoos, physicians, public health officials and consumers need to be aware of the risks involved,” Leger said in a Langone news release. For the study, researchers surveyed about 300 New York City adults, aged 18 to 69, with tattoos. Most of them had no more than five tattoos, and the arm was the most popular tattoo site (67 percent). Up to 6 percent of the study participants experienced some form of tattoo-related rash, infection, severe itching or swelling that sometimes lasted longer than four months. In some cases, …

    May 28, 2015 9:18 am
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Entertainment

  • Are Ben Affleck And Jennifer Garner Headed For Divorce?


    Posted on Thu May 28th, 2015 7:11am PDT       By X17 Staff Are Ben and Jen dunzo?! Say it ain’t so! Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston may be headed for divorce. Multiple outlets are reporting that the high-profile couple are separated and are on the brink of a $150 million divorce. Wow! If it’s going to cost them that much — maybe the parents of three should just stay together? If they can’t do it for the kids, at least do it for the money! The National Inquirer is reporting that the duo are going to make an official announcement before their 10th wedding anniversary so that the media hubbub will die down before Ben begins promoting Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Radar Online is reporting that super mom Jen has had enough of Ben’s wild behavior and has finally reached a breaking point after years of problems. An insider told the site, “Often, when Ben …

    May 28, 2015 9:38 am
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Editorial

  • The Patriot Act must go: It assaults our freedoms, doesn’t keep us safe


    The Patriot Act has a bad pedigree and an evil history. In the fearful days immediately following 9/11, the Department of Justice quickly sent draft legislation to Congress that, if enacted, would have permitted federal agents to violate their oaths to uphold the Constitution by writing their own search warrants. The draft subsequently was revealed to have been written before 9/11, but that’s another story. The House Judiciary Committee reviewed the legislation and revised it so that it would meet Fourth Amendment norms. The revised version permitted federal agents to write their own search warrants for business records, but the warrants could be challenged by the custodian of the records or by the person whose records were being sought. Because the records were in the hands of a third party, they were in no danger of destruction. The Fourth Amendment was written largely to assure that the general warrants British soldiers used to search the …

    May 28, 2015 9:38 am
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Odd News

  • Branded golf balls were a mistake, Ireland’s former bank regulator says


    DUBLIN Ireland’s financial regulator, whose “timid” supervision was criticized for not halting the country’s banking crash, produced branded golf balls to promote itself before the office was overhauled, a parliamentary inquiry heard on Thursday. Promotions such as golf balls or umbrellas bearing the logos of banks were commonplace in Ireland during their rapid growth a decade ago. That growth ended in the most expensive bank bailout in the euro zone when a property bubble spectacularly burst. Patrick Neary, who was head of financial regulation from 2006 to 2009, was asked on Thursday what the regulators were thinking when they handed out the golf balls. “Your job was the micro-prudential supervision of the banks. What was going on?” inquiry member Susan O’Keefe asked Neary, in the most anticipated hearing since lawmakers began to question bank executives, regulators and politicians. “It must have been a package of things that were delivered, I really don’t know much about …

    May 28, 2015 8:58 am
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