Headline News

  • North Carolina deck likely collapsed due to old nails

    Deteriorated nails likely caused the collapse of a deck at a coastal North Carolina vacation home that injured 24 people gathered for a family photo, officials said on Sunday. The support structures for the wooden deck at the house overlooking the ocean in Emerald Isle, about 60 miles (96 km) from Wilmington, remained intact after the Saturday evening collapse, town manager Frank Rush Jr. said in a statement on Sunday. According to a preliminary review by the building inspector, the deck likely would have met construction standards and that the nails had simply failed, Rush said, adding that a final report on the collapse is expected to be released in the next several days. Two of the five people who remained hospitalized on Sunday were in critical condition, Rush said. Authorities said a family had gathered on the deck to be photographed when it gave way. There have been no documented complaints or deficiencies at …

    July 5, 2015 6:59 pm


  • Republican Christie criticizes high court’s gay marriage ruling

    WASHINGTON U.S. Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on Sunday Supreme Court justices of his liking would not have legalized same-sex marriage and would have struck down a key provision of a national health care law. The two landmark rulings last month angered many conservative Americans and several Republican presidential candidates have condemned the decisions. Christie, who announced last week he was joining the Republican field in the 2016 presidential election, said the Supreme Court’s justices were not conservative enough, and cited his record nominating state judges who oppose “meddling in the business of the executive and legislative branch.” “If the Christie-type justices had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them,” he told “Fox News Sunday” in an interview. Supreme Court decisions play a perennial role in U.S. elections. Justices on the high court are nominated by the president and must …

    July 5, 2015 5:58 pm


  • No! Greek vote shocks Europe

    Greece has voted by a big margin against Europe’s latest bailout offer, raising the prospect that the country could now suffer a worse economic disaster and lose its place in the euro. More than 60% heeded left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras‘ call to vote “no.” He hopes to force Europe to hand over more money with less austerity attached, and cancel some of Greece’s enormous debt. Thousands of Greeks celebrated in the streets of Athens after the vote on Sunday. But the result sets Greece on an uncertain path that could force it to abandon the euro and print its own currency — with huge damage to the economy. Greece urgently needs cash to reopen its banks, which have been shut for a week, and for pensions and wages. How Europe and the International Monetary Fund will respond is unclear. They’ve already rescued Greece twice since 2010, with loans totaling 240 billion euros ($264 billion). …

    July 5, 2015 6:58 pm


  • U.S. captain Lloyd hits hat-trick in 16 minutes into World Cup final

    VANCOUVER, United States captain Carli Lloyd struck a sensational hat-trick inside the opening 16 minutes of the Women’s World Cup final, including a goal from the half-way line, as her team took a shock 4-0 lead against Japan on Sunday. The opener came in the third minute when Megan Rapinoe drove a low diagonal ball across the area and Lloyd timed her run to perfection, meeting the ball with a powerful, first-time drive past Japan keeper Ayumi Kaihori. If Japan were shocked by conceding so early, they were utterly stunned when two minutes later Lloyd doubled the lead – again from a set-piece. Again it was a low ball into the box, this time from a Lauren Holiday free-kick which the Japan defense failed to clear with the ball falling for Lloyd to gleefully slotted home. Japan had barely time to regroup before they found themselves 3-0 down in the 14th minute when an awful …

    July 5, 2015 6:59 pm

World News

  • Pope starts Latin America visit

    Pope Francis has arrived in Ecuador on the first stop of a seven-day tour of South America, his second visit to the region since becoming pontiff in 2013. “Everyone in society should be able to benefit from progress in the world,” he said in a speech on the Quito airport runway. His trip will focus on the issue of poverty, the Vatican said. The pontiff will also travel to Bolivia and Paraguay, but not his home country of Argentina. The Vatican said the decision not to visit the continent’s larger nations reflected the Pope’s interest in the “peripheries”. ‘Unfair and immoral’ Pope Francis was welcomed at Quito airport by left-wing President Rafael Correa, a devout Catholic. Mr Correa praised Ecuador’s multicultural heritage and biodiversity and criticised the immigration policies of wealthy nations. “They are looking for global consumers, not global citizens. The world order is not only unfair, but immoral,” said Mr Correa. The Pope …

    July 5, 2015 6:59 pm


  • Man dies after shooting off firework from top of his head

    Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives. A scene from the graphic government fireworks safety video. US CPSC/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET No amount of warnings is ever enough. Neither is any amount of scare tactics. On Saturday, as Americans were celebrating Independence Day, 22-year-old Devon Staples was in the backyard of a friend’s home in Calais, Maine. As the Associated Press reports, Staples decided to place a fireworks mortar tube on his head. He then set it off. He was instantly killed. This death comes despite a graphic YouTube video released by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission warning of the dangers of fireworks. The video specifically warned of the dangers of placing one’s head anywhere near them. It reminded people never to relight a dud, always to have water handy and always ensure that bottle rockets have a clear path. It explained how putting one’s …

    July 5, 2015 5:38 pm


  • Astroparticle physics funding in the UK is ‘critically low’, says Institute of Physics

    Ongoing investment: the planned Cherenkov Telescope Array The size of the UK’s astroparticle community – and the breadth of science receiving financial support – is “critically low”, according to a report by the UK Institute of Physics, which publishes Physics World. The report – A Review of UK Astroparticle Physics Research – says that limited funding is hampering the ability of the astroparticle physics community to train people and develop new applications. The report was written by a five-member panel that was chaired by Alex Murphy, who is professor of nuclear and particle astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh. It says that the UK hosts a community of “world-class” astroparticle physicists that publishes high-quality papers and makes “major contributions” to several key international projects. The report also points out that the international standing of the community is “exceptional”, with many physicists in the UK holding senior positions in such projects. Leadership roles Recommendations to further …

    July 5, 2015 5:40 pm


  • U.S. Navy triples maternity leave to 18 weeks for women

    WASHINGTON The U.S. Navy is tripling paid maternity leave for women who serve in the Navy and Marine Corps from six to 18 weeks in the first year after birth. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said on Thursday the change was effective immediately and would be retroactive to Jan. 1. A mother does not have to take the leave at once but may use it within a year of her child’s birth. “When the women in our Navy and Marine Corps answer the call to serve, they are making the difficult choice to be away from their children – sometimes for prolonged periods of time – so that they can do the demanding jobs that we ask them to do,” Mabus said in a statement. The 84 days, or 18 weeks, of leave replaces the previously authorized 42 days, or six weeks, the Navy said. The 18 weeks of paid leave is generous by …

    July 5, 2015 5:59 pm


  • Heartbroken Sean Penn Looks To Son Hopper For Support Over The Fourth Of July Weekend

    Posted on Sun Jul 5th, 2015 9:59am PDT       By X17 Staff Sean Penn may have been spotted on a hot date with brunette beauty Minka Kelly last month, but it seems like the Oscar winner is still down in the dumps about his split from longtime love Charlize Theron. Not only does he appear depressed, but he also looks like he hasn’t showered in a few days. Yikes! According to reports, it was Charlize who dumped Sean, and he’s said to be taking the breakup really hard. In an interview with Esquire UK in March, Penn declared, “You say I’ve been married twice before, but I’ve been married under circumstances where I was less informed than I am today. So I wouldn’t even consider it a third marriage, I’d consider it a first marriage on its own terms if I got married again. I mean, I like the tradition. A friend of mine wrote a line, …

    July 5, 2015 7:18 pm


  • Time for the Obama administration to respond to Syrian chemical attacks

    The Obama Administration puts a lot of stock into negotiating with hostile regimes.  Consider its seemingly endless negotiations with Iran over that nation’s illicit nuclear weapons program. But even as those negotiations drag on, Iran’s ally Syria has systematically violated the 2013 agreement it negotiated with the administration. In that agreement, codified in a U.N. Security Council resolution, Syria promised to give up its chemical weapons. Yet last Friday, Reuters reported that international inspectors have found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Agency, a government facility that western intelligence agencies assess was involved in developing chemical and biological weapons. The inspectors, from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, also are investigating numerous reports of the use of chlorine gas in “barrel bombs” delivered by the Assad regime’s helicopters.  Damascus has denied all the charges. It also continues to block inspectors from accessing some of the attacked …

    July 4, 2015 9:51 pm

Odd News

  • Mexican firm sorry for royally selling president short

    MEXICO CITY It could have been the height of diplomatic embarrassment for Mexico’s president. When Enrique Pena Nieto hosted towering King Felipe of Spain this week, it was a tongue-in-cheek paint ad ridiculing his 10- inch height deficit that grabbed the headlines. On Wednesday, Mexican paint company Comex posted on Twitter a digitally-altered photograph of the president standing on one of its paint pots, giving him a leg up over the monarch under the banner “una pintura de altura,” or “a paint of stature.” Comex apologized on Thursday for the photograph, deleting the post after it had been heavily retweeted. It said the Tweet was published “without the appropriate approvals”. (Reporting by Max de Haldevang; Editing by Dave Graham and Simon Gardner)

    July 2, 2015 8:54 pm