Headline News

  • California gas pipeline explosion, fire injure up to 15 people

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – A construction crew on Friday accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, four of them critically, officials said. The 12-inch (30-cm) pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas Electric Corp (PCG.N), was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team and a jail inmate crew nearby, Fresno Fire Department spokesman Peter Martinez said. The accident forced closure of the highway in both directions, along with an adjacent railroad line, Martinez said. Rail traffic was halted to check for possible damage to a railway bridge over a river, he said. One worker in critical condition was flown to hospital by helicopter, and 13 or 14 others were taken to hospitals for evaluation and treatment of injuries after the pipeline was ruptured at about 2:30 p.m., Martinez added. Four of the …

    April 18, 2015 2:37 am


  • Republican Huckabee to announce 2016 presidential decision May 5

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, said on Friday that he will make an announcement on May 5 about whether or not he will run for president in 2016. Huckabee said in an interview on Fox News that he will announce his plans in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas. Huckabee, who left office in 2007, first ran for president in 2008. He hosted a Fox News television show but quit early this year to weigh another run at the Republican nomination. Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor, is known as an unabashed culture warrior on issues such as abortion rights and gay marriage. But he could struggle to win support beyond his social conservative base this year. He would join a crowded field if he does decide to run. U.S. Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have all announced their candidacies, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Florida Governor …

    April 17, 2015 10:34 pm


  • Dirty tax secrets: The little lies we tell on our taxes

    So, you’re done filing your 2014 taxes. Just between us: Did you pad anything on your return to lower your tax hit or boost your refund? Or maybe just take your best guess on some numbers because … well, figuring out the right ones is too hard? If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are you’re not alone. To find out the most common ways people stretch the truth on their tax returns — inadvertently or intentionally — CNNMoney talked to three former IRS revenue officers who used to deal with individual audits and now work as tax pros helping clients avoid audits. Here’s what they’ve seen: Work mileage: If you use your car for business purposes, you’re allowed to take a deduction for it based on the miles you’ve driven for work trips only. If you don’t keep a meticulous written log as you go — starting mileage, ending mileage and …

    April 18, 2015 2:55 am


  • Phelps fails to qualify for 400 meters freestyle final

    (Reuters) – Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps suffered his first setback in his return to the pool after he failed to qualify for the 400 meters freestyle final in Mesa, Arizona on Friday. Phelps, competing first time following a six-month ban for a drunk driving conviction, flashed his old form on Thursday when he won the 100 meters butterfly in the Arena Pro Swim Series meet. But on Friday, the 18-times Olympic gold medalist could only manage 17th in the 400 freestyle after a time of 4 minutes, 2.67 seconds kept him out of the main final. Phelps’ time put him in the C final but he elected not to swim it and also pulled out of his scheduled 100 meters backstroke race in the evening. While it was not the result he was looking for, Phelps was swimming the freestyle for the first time since 2009 and said he saw it as a personal …

    April 18, 2015 2:36 am

World News

  • Many dead in Afghanistan blast

    The attack targeted government workers waiting for their salaries At least 33 people have been killed and 100 injured in a suicide bomb attack in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. The blast happened outside a bank where government staff and military personnel were collecting their salaries, the region’s police chief said. No group has said it carried out the attack, and a spokesman for the Taliban said it was not involved. The BBC’s Shahzheb Jillani in Kabul says it is the largest attack in Jalalabad in many months. Children are said to be among the victims. Police say the bomber attacked the bank on a motorcycle No group has yet claimed it carried out the attack on the New Kabul Bank Police said another bomb was discovered nearby, and was destroyed in a controlled explosion. Another blast was also reported outside a shrine in Jalalabad on Saturday morning. There are no reported casualties. Three …

    April 18, 2015 2:36 am


  • On the road: Ford Kuga – car review

    I thought this was called the Ford Cougar. I wanted, no, wait, expected a champagne-coloured convertible that I could lean out of at traffic lights and pick up younger men. In fact, it is a Kuga, and it’s the opposite: the definitive family vehicle, sturdy, high off the ground, broad in the beam, four-wheel drive, solid as a rock. I was never going to pick up anyone in this car, figuratively, but plenty of people wanted a lift. On distances, it was magnificent; it munched up motorways, the engine never happier than giving a burst of effortless speed. The driving posture is upright but cushioned, so that you feel like a grown-up, but one who grew up willingly, wasn’t dragged there kicking and screaming. It’s the first time I’ve crossed the Severn Bridge without the beginnings of a panic attack as I plan my next move after getting blown clean off it (I’ve undone my seat …

    April 18, 2015 2:15 am


  • How oxytocin makes a mom: Hormone teaches maternal brain to respond to offspring’s needs

    Neuroscientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered how the powerful brain hormone oxytocin acts on individual brain cells to prompt specific social behaviors — findings that could lead to a better understanding of how oxytocin and other hormones could be used to treat behavioral problems resulting from disease or trauma to the brain. The findings are to be published in the journal Nature online April 15. Until now, researchers say oxytocin — sometimes called the “pleasure hormone” — has been better known for its role in inducing sexual attraction and orgasm, regulating breast feeding and promoting maternal-infant bonding. But its precise levers for controlling social behaviors were not known. “Our findings redefine oxytocin as something completely different from a ‘love drug,’ but more as an amplifier and suppressor of neural signals in the brain,” says study senior investigator Robert Froemke, PhD, an assistant professor at NYU Langone and its Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. …

    April 18, 2015 2:35 am


  • FDA approves AcuFocus’ corneal implant

    (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AcuFocus Inc’s corneal implant to improve vision in patients with presbyopia, an age-related eye disorder. The device, KAMRA inlay, is the first implantable device to correct vision in patients who have not had cataract surgery, the FDA said in a statement on Friday. Presbyopia is a condition associated with aging in which the eye is unable to focus clearly on near objects. KAMRA inlay, an opaque ring shaped device implanted on the cornea using laser, improves the ability to see near objects more clearly. The results from clinical trials showed that 83.5 pct of 478 patients had a better vision clarity of 20/40 in 12 months. The FDA, however, warned that the device should not to be used in patients who have had cataract surgery or those who have severe dry eye disease. Presbia PLC is also developing a similar corneal implant, which is being tested …

    April 18, 2015 2:36 am


  • Kylie Jenner Strikes A Pose For Teen Vogue And Shares Her Words Of Wisdom

    Posted on Fri Apr 17th, 2015 11:59am PDT       By X17 Staff Kylie Jenner covers the new issue of Teen Vogue, and we’re finally getting a peek at her Mad Max-inspired photo shoot. Kylie posted an Instagram photo from the set a few weeks ago, and commenters went crazy over her cleavage, which, interestingly enough, is not pictured here. Still, we totally dig the dirty hot look! But just as soon as we started girl-crushing on Kylie’s dreadlocks and earth-toned wardrobe, we saw her interview quotes, and we really have a hard time understanding why she’s being touted as a role model to teenage girls. The 17-year-old starlet, who is dating a 25-year-old rapper, comes across as completely out of touch with reality. On her daily struggles, including what to upload to Instagram, Kylie says: “Today I posted my Instagram picture three different times. I kept deleting it and re-posting it because I kept looking at the …

    April 18, 2015 3:35 am


  • Whether Hillary Clinton or a Republican is our next president, national security reform is crucial

    April 15, 2015: Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to small business owners as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Capital City Fruit in Norfolk, Iowa. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking) In most campaigns, it’s a safe bet that bromides and talking points will dominate instead of bold ideas and proposals for real reform.  Let’s hope the 2016 race taking shape is an exception—and includes a serious look at the flawed tools we use to fight our enemies.   The reason that every major foreign threat has grown more acute in recent years is not just the poor choices that comprise President Obama’s foreign policy. Those decisions are the icing on the cake of a national security establishment in Washington that fails the American people and has grown more feckless under presidents of both parties. The reason that every major foreign threat has grown more acute in recent years is not just the poor choices that comprise President Obama’s foreign policy. Those decisions are the icing …

    April 18, 2015 2:55 am

Odd News

  • Former Washington state governor ejects man from car

    SEATTLE (Reuters) – Former Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire used fast thinking and driving to stop a stranger from climbing into her car in a store parking lot, Olympia police said on Thursday. Gregoire, who was governor from 2005 to 2013, packed her purchases into the car’s trunk in a Lowe’s home improvement lot, the police said. As she did she saw a man watching her. Police said that once she was inside the car, the man opened the passenger door and started climbing in just as she began backing out of the space. She hit the gas pedal, the man fell to the ground and the door slammed shut, police said. The man, identified as 47-year-old Mark Snodderly, was not injured. Police said he then caused a disturbance in the store, adding that he was cited for disorderly conduct and taken to a hospital for evaluation. (This story has been refiled to fix spelling …

    April 16, 2015 6:22 pm