Headline News

  • Trade ministers from 12 nations around the Pacific gather on Maui to negotiate deal

    LAHAINA, Hawaii –  Trade ministers from 12 nations around the Pacific Rim are meeting on the Hawaiian island on Maui to negotiate a trade pact. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told his counterparts at the start of the talks at the Westin Resort in Kaanapali (Kah-AH-nah-pah-lee) on Tuesday that tough political issues remain to be resolved. He says as anyone who has ever been involved in trade negotiations knows, those last issues are always the most difficult. The agreement would lower tariffs and other trade barriers while also setting labor and environmental standards for its participants. Other nations negotiating the deal include Australia, Mexico, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam. Together, the countries account for 40 percent of the world’s economic activity. The ministers will be meeting on Maui through Friday.

    July 29, 2015 3:21 am


  • Congress moves to three-month highway extension; trade bank stays idled

    WASHINGTON In a rapidly shifting battle, Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday prepared to pass a three-month highway funding extension while leaving the idled Export-Import Bank’s fate hanging at least into September. With the House of Representatives and Senate rushing toward a five-week summer recess, Republican leaders in both chambers embraced the newest version of a bill to temporarily fund road and mass transit construction projects. Failure by Congress to act by Friday would lead to a cutoff of federal transport funds, disrupting projects nationwide. The lifeline until Oct. 29 is expected to pass the House on Wednesday followed by quick action in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, vowed on Tuesday to also pass a highway trust fund extension with three years of funding in the hope the House would follow suit in coming months. Late on Monday, the Senate demonstrated strong support for renewing the Ex-Im Bank, whose …

    July 29, 2015 3:41 am


  • China has a major bubble problem

    Buy property! No, wait — buy stocks! OK, back to property! China has a problem: Its citizens are among the best savers in the world, but they don’t have enough places to stick their money — a reality that’s contributing to the formation of asset bubbles. For years, the investment of choice in China was property. At one point, this made sense — there was plenty of demand for housing in the world’s most populous country. Entire metropolises were going up overnight. But as more investors piled into property, the market became saturated. Some new developments stood vacant, construction slowed and real estate prices declined. With returns dropping, many investors moved their money out of property and into a newly hot investing vehicle: the stock market. The wave of investment helped push China’s stock market to new highs. Shanghai stocks peaked in mid-June, having increased by an incredible 150% over the previous year. The Shenzhen …

    July 29, 2015 2:41 am


  • Seahawks’ undrafted running back Rawls among underrated NFL rookies

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 21: Running back Thomas Rawls of Central Michigan in action during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) The Seattle Seahawks may have found another diamond in the rough: undrafted free agent running back Thomas Rawls from Central Michigan. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have drafted a number of key contributors on the roster in the later rounds of the NFL Draft, including Kam Chancellor (2010, Round 5), Richard Sherman (2011, Round 5), K.J. Wright (2011, Round 4), Russell Wilson (2012, Round 3). During the Seahawks’ OTAs and minicamp, it was Rawls who received a majority of the first-team reps. As such, Sports Illustrated‘s Doug Farrar listed Rawls as one of 12 rookies who could surprise at NFL training camps. Per Farrar: “The buzz about Rawls started in minicamps, when he impressed with his ability to take …

    July 29, 2015 4:01 am

World News

  • Desmond Tutu returns to hospital

    Nelson Mandela appointed Archbishop Tutu to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the end of apartheid South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu has returned to hospital just a week after being discharged. He has what has only been described as a “persistent infection” which his foundation says is unrelated to the prostate cancer he has had for 15 years. Archbishop Tutu retired from public life in 2011 but continues to travel. The 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate cancelled a planned trip to Rome in December following another infection. BBC Africa Live: News updates Desmond Tutu: Born 1931 1970s: Became prominent as apartheid critic 1984: Awarded Nobel Peace Prize 1986: First black Archbishop of Cape Town 1995: Appointed head of Truth and Reconciliation Commission Become a fierce critic of South Africa’s ANC Supports assisted dying for the terminally ill Profile: Archbishop Desmond Tutu Archbishop Tutu in his own words

    July 29, 2015 4:01 am


  • ‘Happy Birthday!’ is dead, and it’s all Facebook’s fault

    Good news! Birthday wishes are finally meaningless. All the birthday cards you’ve ever posted, all the tender heartfelt messages sent to loved ones, all the dates seared into your memory through years of joy, are now utterly invalidated, so we should all stop bothering and move on with our lives. If you’re wondering who to thank from freeing us of the burden of caring about arbitrary dates, it’s Facebook. Thanks to them, the phrase “Happy Birthday!” is now a hollow shell. Why? This: — Peter Knox (@peterknox) July 28, 2015 Friend shared a text from @Facebook where to say “Happy Birthday!” You just reply “1” – which is nuts. pic.twitter.com/8FrIBufsrY — Peter Knox (@peterknox) July 28, 2015 It gets worse: FB texts him with EVERY birthday, every day with this message… The feature is part of Facebook’s SMS notification functionality, which lets users interact with the site through text messages. By default, Facebook will text …

    July 29, 2015 4:01 am


  • Electron spins cross over in femtoseconds

    Ultrafast and ultraviolet: at the Laboratory of Ultrafast Spectroscopy Electrons in an iron-based molecule have been spotted crossing between four different spin states in less than 50 fs (5 × 10–14 s), which is the fastest ever observation of such a transition. The measurements were made by researchers in Switzerland, who say that the speed of the transition means that the electrons jump directly from the initial low-spin state to the final high-spin state without going through any intermediate states. A new theoretical model is now needed to describe such rapid transitions, and their discovery has implications for future devices based on the spin of the electron. Electrons in atoms, molecules and solids exist in different spin states, and electrons can make transitions between these states. Spintronics makes use of such states to process and store information, and has the potential to deliver devices that are smaller and more energy efficient than conventional electronics. These states are quantum-mechanical in …

    July 29, 2015 3:01 am


  • Sanofi’s combination diabetes drug hits goal in late-stage trial

    PARIS Sanofi said on Wednesday a first late-stage Phase III study of its LixiLan diabetes drug had met its main target, while another would be completed at the end of the third quarter. LixiLan consists of a single-injection combination of Lyxumia, a drug developed with Danish drugmaker Zealand Pharma, and Sanofi’s Lantus. It targets patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. The first study tested the efficacy and safety of LixiLan versus treatment with either Lantus or Lyxumia alone. The new drug proved better at reducing average blood glucose levels than either Lantus or Lyxumia. A second study is investigating LixiLan patients whose type 2 diabetes is not adequately controlled on Lantus alone. “Full results will be communicated in an appropriate scientific forum,” the French drugmaker said in a statement. “Following an analysis of results from both Phase III studies … Sanofi will determine the next steps in the regulatory process,” Sanofi said. “Currently, regulatory submissions …

    July 29, 2015 3:21 am


  • Kim Kardashian Squeezes Her Baby Bump Into A Skintight Dress For A Day At The Studio

    Posted on Tue Jul 28th, 2015 6:00am PDT       By X17 Staff If there was a most improved award for maternity fashion, the prize would definitely go to Kim Kardashian! While she had quite a few misses with her wardrobe when she was preggers with Nori, this time around she’s totally killing it! On Monday afternoon, Kim, who was outfitted in a tan trench and white bodycon dress, went to the studio with little sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner. While she could be dishing on her pregnancy in this week’s round of confessionals, we think it’s more likely that she’s talking about Kourtney Kardashian’s split from Scott Disick — OR the latest drama with stepdad Caitlyn Jenner! Last night, Kimbo posted a snap blowing a kiss to her baby son along with the caption, “Good night baby,” So sweet! Meanwhile not everything is so sweet in the Kardashian’s life. In a teaser for the next episode of …

    July 29, 2015 12:41 am


  • Huckabee Blasts Bush: ‘We Need a Churchill, Not a Chamberlain’

    Former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s passionate defense of Israel has caused a massive puckering among Democrats and Establishment Republicans – including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “This is about whether we want to stand against tyrants and tyranny,” the former Arkansas governor told me. Click here to follow Todd on Facebook  Bush called on Huckabee to “tone down the rhetoric” over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Last weekend, Huckabee called the president’s plan idiotic and said that President Obama will ultimately “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Bush scolded Huckabee at a campaign stop in Florida. “I think we need to tone down the rhetoric, for sure,” Bush said.  “The use of that kind of language is just wrong.” In response, Huckabee defiantly stood his ground – reminding Bush that Iran has vowed to incinerate “all the Jews.” “You don’t tone down the rhetoric when people are threatening a country …

    July 29, 2015 2:21 am

Odd News

  • Fugitive-turned-actor arrested after U.S. Marshals read film write-up

    SEATTLE A fugitive bank-robber-turned-actor has been arrested in Washington state after U.S. agents spotted his picture in a newspaper article about a low-budget horror film in which he plays an evil doctor, an official said on Monday. Officers on a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force saw Jason Stange’s picture in the Olympian newspaper’s feature last week on horror movie “Marla Mae,” said Jack Williams, chief deputy for the agency’s western district of Washington state. The officers, who had been tracking his disappearance for several months, identified him by the photo and a unique forearm tattoo, Williams said. Marshals tracked him from a filming location to a store in Olympia, where he was arrested without incident on Friday, he said. Stange was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison and five years supervised release in 2006 after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery, Williams said. He was freed on supervised release in 2014, but had …

    July 27, 2015 7:10 pm