Headline News

  • Vocabulary test takes away some National Spelling Bee drama


    This May 30, 2012, file photo shows Vanya Shivashankar, of Olathe, Kan., smiling as she answers her question during the third round of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) WASHINGTON –  For viewers of last year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, one of the most surprising results came courtesy of a test nobody saw. Vanya Shivashankar was one of the stars of the show, heavily promoted in ESPN’s coverage. Her older sister, Kavya, won the bee in 2009, and the smiling, telegenic Vanya was participating for the fourth time, coming off a fifth-place finish in 2013. Vanya breezed through the preliminary rounds and spelled both words correctly in the semifinals. But when the finalists were announced — factoring in scores from a computerized spelling and vocabulary test — Vanya was eliminated. ESPN’s cameras cut to her, but she didn’t show much emotion. Two years after vocabulary became part of the bee …

    May 25, 2015 9:42 am
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Politics

  • Eyeing the next frontier, Miami law firms ramp up Cuba strategy


    MIAMI The Florida Bar is sending its first ever delegation of lawyers to Cuba this week to explore emerging new business opportunities as prospects heat up for closer political and commercial relations between the United States and the Communist-run island. Some big law firms with Miami offices, often staffed by Cuban-American exiles, are already beefing up their Cuba-related practices in response to queries from U.S. companies on issues ranging from telecommunications to banking, amid signs the longstanding U.S. trade embargo on Cuba is eroding. Pedro Freyre, a Cuban-born attorney who heads the international practice at Akerman, said his phones started ringing within minutes of the December announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro that they had agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties severed some 54 years ago, and to work toward normalizing relations. “These are exciting times,” said Freyre. “Our U.S. clients, some who are Fortune 100 companies, want to know can …

    May 25, 2015 8:42 am
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Stocks

  • $1.8 billion disappears in Russian space program


    Russia relies on the Soviet-era launch site in Kazakhstan. Russia’s space industry is in crisis caused by funding cuts, corruption and “moral decay,” government officials said. Billions of rubles have been lost in shady transactions. Construction projects are languishing. And important launches are failing. In 2014 alone, federal space agency Roscosmos committed 92 billion rubles ($1.8 billion) worth of financial violations, according to Russia’s public spending watchdog agency. The head of the the audit office, Tatyana Golikova, said the amount of money allegedly misused initially shocked her. “At first I could not believe my inspectors,” Golikova told the Russian parliament during her annual presentation on Friday. At the center of Roscosmos’ problems is the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The new space launch site in the eastern part of the country was originally set to open by the end of this year, and its first manned missions were planned for 2018. But the project has …

    May 25, 2015 9:42 am
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Sports

  • Razzano serves underarm at match point, and misses


    PARIS Virginie Razzano astonished the French Open crowd on Monday when she served underarm on match point, and missed. The French wildcard entry, who had dropped the first set to Paraguayan qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg in the first round match, missed her first serve on match point at 5-2. She then spooned her second attempt over the net underarm style but it landed past the service line for a double fault that brought the score back to deuce. Two points later she completed a 2-6 6-4 6-2 victory in front of a noisy home crowd on the Suzanne Lenglen court. “I wasn’t feeling that great today” said the 32-year-old veteran, who is ranked 182 in the world and whose best Roland Garros performance was reaching the fourth round in 2009 and who also stunned Serena Williams in 2012. “I’m sorry, I spooned the ball over. That’s the baggage that I carry,” she added. It is …

    May 25, 2015 9:42 am
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World News

  • Nepal calls for direct quake funding


    Nepal’s government is asking international donors to give money directly to them for relief efforts One month after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal, the country’s finance minister has called for more direct aid funding. Dr Ram Sharan Mahat told the BBC less than 10% of the money spent on relief by his government came from overseas. His comments comes as Nepal’s government faces growing criticism over its handling of the crisis. Dr Mahat said he hoped future international donations would be managed directly by his government. The earthquake that hit on 25 April, and a second major tremor on 12 May, killed more than 8,600 people and brought down buildings in Kathmandu and the country’s central districts. Shelter materials and food aid have been slow to reach some areas, and many Nepalese have complained that the government is not doing enough to help those affected. As aftershocks continue to be felt, thousands …

    May 25, 2015 9:43 am
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Technology

  • Apple vs. Lenovo: Lenovo’s Coming-Out Party


    If there is one vendor on the planet that has the capability to fight Apple — on paper, it is Lenovo. Lenovo this week will hold its annual Lenovo Tech World event in China, showcasing the company’s new breadth. While it would be easy to position this as the U.S. (Apple) against China (Lenovo ), Lenovo is actually far more of a multinational company, with executives balanced between the U.S. and China, and with strong alliances with both Microsoft and Google. This will not only be a battle between companies, but also between approaches to the market, and it’s worth watching. I’ll go deeper into that and then close with my product of the week: the first MU-MIMO router I’ve got in to test the Linksys EA8500 with performance beyond anything you’ve seen before. Apple vs. Lenovo Apple and Lenovo have some rather distinct differences as well as similarities that make this battle fascinating to …

    May 25, 2015 8:02 am
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Science

  • Oldest stone tools ever found


    A chance find in the Rift Valley of northwest Kenya sheds new light on the history of our species. Archaeologists have discovered stone tools created by our ancestors 3.3 million years ago – considerably older than the 2.6 million year old Oldowan stone tools that were previously the oldest stone tools ever found. The discovery at the Lomekwi 3 site near Lake Turkana was led by Sonia Harmand at Stony Brook University in New York and has been reported in the journal Nature. One of the 3.3 million year old stone tools recently unearthed at the Lomekwi 3 site near Lake Turkana in Kenya, which are advancing our understanding of our early ancestors.Credit: MPK-WTAP Until recently it was generally thought that our ancestors only became sufficiently intelligent to make complex stone tools with the emergence of Homo habilus – a name that translates as ‘the handy man’ – who lived in Africa around the same …

    May 25, 2015 8:23 am
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Health

  • Living at Higher Elevations Linked to SIDS Risk


    MONDAY, May 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Babies who live at very high elevations may have an increased risk of SIDS, a new study suggests. The findings are based on nearly 400,000 Colorado infants born between 2007 and 2012. Babies of families living at an elevation of 8,000 feet or higher had a SIDS risk that was more than doubled compared to babies from families living below 6,000 feet. Although the odds were doubled, SIDS was still rare, even at higher altitudes. There were about 0.8 SIDS deaths for every 1,000 infants who lived at the highest elevations. Researchers said the findings don’t prove that high altitudes actually contribute to infants’ deaths. But they also said it’s plausible that the thinner air at those elevations plays a role. “This is a call for further research,” said lead researcher Dr. David Katz, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, in Aurora. “We wouldn’t …

    May 25, 2015 8:42 am
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Entertainment

  • Katy Perry Hasn’t Spoken To Russell Brand Infamous Divorce Text Over Three Years Ago


    Posted on Mon May 25th, 2015 6:45am PDT       By X17 Staff Friendly exes? Not so much! Former spouses Katy Perry and Russell Brand are anything but friends. Everyone remembers Rusesell Brand’s infamous text telling Katy Perry that he filed for a divorce. But it appears as those the fallen lovebirds havent spoken since that fateful day back in December 2011. In a new interview with the Daily Telegraph, KP revealed that she and the funny man have never patched things up and have never talked again. “He hasn’t spoken to me since he texted me saying he was filing for divorce,” she said. “I don’t want to talk about him — my songs will say what I need to say.” Ouch! While the 30-year-old singer may have lost a husband in the divorce, she did get to keep a cat. The twosome got a cat that they named Rusty (a combo of both of their first …

    May 25, 2015 9:02 am
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Editorial

  • Memorial Day 2015: What it means to be an American Indian veteran


    “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”  These words are ingrained in us. We sing them proudly at ballgames, and BBQ’s, firework displays and ceremonies honoring the many occasions of celebration and remembrance that make us all American. Most likely choruses of our national anthem will be performed many times over this Memorial Day weekend in honor of our veterans. It’s America’s way of paying tribute for their service. This weekend always gives me pause. What is sacrifice, what is service, what does it mean to be an American veteran, what does it mean to be American? I pose these questions because I understand and represent this country the only way I can…as an American Indian. My history and heritage is beautiful and complex. I am a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and call Colorado home. I am also a veteran – I served proudly in the Air Force during Korean …

    May 25, 2015 9:02 am
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Odd News

  • German grandmother gives birth to quadruplets at age 65


    BERLIN A 65-year-old German grandmother gave birth to quadruplets at a Berlin hospital this week, with the three boys and a girl born prematurely at 26 weeks being in good health and having a good chance of survival, German TV network RTL reported on Saturday. The network, which had covered the pregnancy, said Annegret Raunigk already had 13 children and seven grandchildren. The announcement of her pregnancy last month had sparked a public debate in Germany about its merits. Raunigk, an English and Russian teacher in Berlin, had received fertility treatment in Ukraine and is the oldest woman in the world to have had quadruplets, RTL said, although other women of her age and older have given birth. The four babies, born by Caesarean section on May 19, weighed between 655 grams an 960 grams. (Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by David Holmes)

    May 23, 2015 12:03 pm
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