Headline News

  • California probes near-death escape of 12 firefighters

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California forestry officials have opened an inquiry into a life-threatening ordeal faced by 12 firefighters who were nearly engulfed by flames in the Sierra Nevada last month before a helicopter pilot flew to the scene and led them to safety. The team had already crawled into foil-lined personal fire shelters – a survival measure of last resort – before they were spotted by the pilot as columns of fire raced up a canyon at them, igniting whole trees along the way. The incident, which came close to becoming the deadliest California firefighting tragedy in nearly five decades and recalled the loss of 19 firemen in Arizona last year, unfolded on the third day of the so-called King Fire near Lake Tahoe. “We had three minutes to get them out of there,” pilot Gary Dahlen said. “A wall of fire was coming up the hill … It was a firestorm. There was …

    October 2, 2014 9:12 am


  • Pierson’s Secret Service tenure: Short and gone

    Secret Service officers detain a man after he reportedly threw firecrackers over the fence of the White House(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas) One lesson from Julia Pierson’s short tenure as director of the agency that protects the first family: The Secret Service can’t keep secrets from the president. Pierson’s undoing was not telling the president about a Sept. 16 incident in Atlanta in which President Barack Obama rode an elevator with an armed security contractor during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two White House officials said. The armed contractor’s proximity to Obama violated the agency’s security protocols. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as well as Obama appeared unaware of the full extent of the Atlanta incident and the Sept. 19 security breach in which a man armed with a knife jumped the White House fence and entered the building. Johnson, whose department oversees the Secret Service, was the driving force behind Pierson’s resignation …

    October 2, 2014 8:31 am


  • Musk teases something new from Tesla: The D

    Elon Musk and his letters are at again. The Tesla Motors CEO who named his current car the Model S, and is close to the rollout of the Model X crossover vehicle, tweeted late Wednesday that it is “About time to unveil the D and something else.” Included was a picture of a garage door with the letter D on it being raised, to show the front of a Tesla car, with the date Oct. 9 on it. But don’t expect the car underneath to be an all new Model D. It’s pretty much impossible for Tesla to have a new car a week from debut without anyone outside the company being aware of its existence. Perhaps the most likely explanation is that “the D” either refers to a driver assist feature or some kind of all-wheel drive for the Model S, which to this point has been rear-wheel drive only. Related: Americans are warming …

    October 2, 2014 7:31 am


  • Bush hosts golf tournament in Texas for wounded veterans

    IRVING, Texas –  Former President George W. Bush is hosting his fourth annual golf tournament for military members who were wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. Bush is set to make comments Thursday morning as the second day of the Warrior Open tees off at the Las Colinas Country Club in the Dallas suburb of Irving. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The tournament opened Wednesday with the 21 selected military members competing in a 36-hole tournament. The Warrior Open on Thursday features the military members playing with PGA Tour professionals in a pro-am. The Warrior Open also highlights several military support organizations that give assistance to service personnel and their families while they are deployed and then when they return home.

    October 2, 2014 8:12 am

World News

  • Isis defies coalition air strikes in battle for town on Syria-Turkey border

    Islamic State (Isis) insurgents have tightened their grip on a Syrian border town, despite a flurry of coalition air strikes, sending thousands more Kurdish refugees into Turkey and dragging Ankara deeper into the conflict. Kurdish militants warned that peace talks with the Turkish state would be halted if Islamist insurgents were allowed to carry out a massacre in the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani. Isis fighters advanced to within a few miles of the town after taking control of hundreds of nearby villages in recent weeks. The extremists beheaded residents in an attempt to terrorise them into submission. In neighbouring Iraq, the insurgents have carried out mass executions, abducted women and girls as sex slaves, and used children as fighters in violations that might amount to war crimes, the UN said. By Thursday morning, the extremists had seized most of the western Iraqi town of Hit in Anbar province – where they control many surrounding …

    October 2, 2014 9:12 am


  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 getting 2.0L Skyactiv engine in US, possible "i-stop" tech

    Mazda announces what engines will power the next MX-5, but leaves us to speculate about the output. Antuan Goodwin/CNET The fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata that debuted in Monterey a few weeks ago was lightweight, but also light on details. The automaker flat out refused to talk numbers or specs. Today, at the 2014 Paris auto show, Mazda finally lets us know what’s beneath the roadster’s hood. The automaker tells us that the next MX-5 will be equipped with a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G, four-cylinder gasoline engine in many global markets, but that all 2016 Miatas sold in the U.S. will be powered by a larger 2.0L Skyactiv-G. Both of these mills will feature gasoline direct injection, high compression, and specific tuning for the new MX-5. However, Mazda has still not shared the specific horsepower and torque numbers for the 2016 model, leaving us all to continue to speculate. One potential reason for Mazda being so cagey …

    October 2, 2014 8:32 am


  • Team advances understanding of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s meltwater channels

    Related images(click to enlarge) An international research team’s field work, drilling and measuring melt rates and ice sheet movement in Greenland is showing that things are, in fact, more complicated than we thought. “Although the Greenland Ice Sheet initially speeds up each summer in its slow-motion race to the sea, the network of meltwater channels beneath the sheet is not necessarily forming the slushy racetrack that had been previously considered,” said Matthew Hoffman, a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist on the project. A high-profile paper appearing in Nature this week notes that observations of moulins (vertical conduits connecting water on top of the glacier down to the bed of the ice sheet) and boreholes in Greenland show that subglacial channels ameliorate the speedup caused by water delivery to the base of the ice sheet in the short term. By mid summer, however, the channels stabilize and are unable to grow any larger. In a previous …

    October 2, 2014 4:47 am


  • Britain calls for international help on Ebola as London conference begins

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain made a plea for international help to deal with the world’s worst Ebola outbreak at the start of a conference in on Thursday, with one charity warning that five people are being infected with the virus every hour in Sierra Leone. Ebola has killed at least 3,338 in West Africa — mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia — out of 7,178 cases as of Sept. 28, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, and cases have been recorded elsewhere, including in the United States. Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, canceled his attendance at the conference just hours before it started. His plane had technical problems, Britain’s Foreign Office said. Speaking on Thursday before the “Defeating Ebola” conference began, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, called for countries to increase financial aid as well as other vital help including medical expertise, transport and supplies. “We need help from the international community to …

    October 2, 2014 4:26 am


  • Selena Gomez Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction As She Returns To L.A. While Justin Bieber Stays Behind To Party In Paris

    Posted on Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 6:00am PDT       By X17 Staff Selena Gomez almost got caught with her pants down! The sexy songstress must have done the ol’ unbutton the jeans and unzip the first inch or two so you can relax and breathe during an international flight … but her plan backfired because as soon as she sees these pix, she’s not going to be so relaxed! After a whirlwind vacation with Justin Bieber in the Caribbean and then a few days in the City of Lights for Paris Fashion Week, Gomez reluctantly returned to the U.S., on Wednesday, while bad boy Bieber stayed behind … to cause trouble, no doubt. The Biebs already lunched with Kendall Jenner — without Selena — the other day in Paris. Last night he was out on the town with Paris Hilton. What’s next? Dinner with Miranda Kerr?   SEE THE GALLERY Selena Gomez Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction Stories from …

    October 2, 2014 8:11 am


  • ISIS threat: If Obama thinks Clapper and his spies are incompetent why doesn’t he fire them?

    When President Obama attributed the rise in Iraq of the Islamic State, or ISIS, to the failures of the U.S. intelligence community earlier this week, naming and blaming directly National Intelligence Director Gen. James Clapper, he was attempting to deflect criticism of his own incompetence.  He was discussing the fact that ISIS, right under his own and the general’s noses, gained control of nearly half of the landmass of Iraq. This is the same Iraq that the United States supposedly liberated from the clutches of a dictator, strengthened as a regional military power and fortified as the Middle East’s newest democracy as a result of our invasion in 2003 and our subsequent 10-year occupation. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Many who supported the war then realize now that we were duped into it by a deceptive and shortsighted Bush administration that was looking to deflect blame for its intelligence failures of 9/11, for which, unlike the Japanese invasion …

    October 2, 2014 8:32 am

Odd News

  • France’s Le Pen loses driving license, but says not her fault

    PARIS (Reuters) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday police had confiscated her driving license for a string of road offences – but insisted they had been committed by someone else. The National Front party leader, who recently called speed detection radars “another tax disguised as a life-saving campaign”, said she had taken the punishment in 2012 to prevent the real culprits from getting into trouble. “Not wishing to denounce those who were responsible, I saw my license go up in smoke,” Le Pen said, after the satirical Le Canard Enchaine newspaper ran a story headlined: “Marine wants to steer France but she no longer has a license”. She said the newspaper should have checked the photos of the traffic offences in question and that they would have shown she was not behind the wheel. Under the French system, a driver loses a number of points for every recorded traffic offence such …

    October 1, 2014 4:31 pm