Headline News

  • ‘Brain-eating amoeba’ in US tapwater

    ‘Brain-eating’ bacteria has been rediscovered in the New Orleans area US health officials have confirmed the presence of a ‘brain-eating’ bacteria in the water supply of several communities near New Orleans. Ascension Parish and St Bernard Parish have each discovered Naegleria fowleri amoeba, a bacteria that enters through the nose and attacks the brain. Officials have begun a 60 day “chlorine burn” to kill off the deadly pathogen. Water from the tap is safe to drink, officials say, but should be prevented from entering the nose. This is the second time in two years that the bacteria has been discovered outside New Orleans. The water system currently serves about 44,000 people, according to ABC News. Before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 the system served 68,000. During a screening of the water supply after the rediscovery of the bacteria, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) found that chlorine levels were not being maintained at the …

    July 30, 2015 7:10 pm


  • Pentagon chief gives nod to arm more troops in U.S. after shooting

    WASHINGTON U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter signaled on Thursday that he would allow more troops to be armed at facilities inside the United States after the July 16 shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and asked top brass to craft plans to increase security. Carter in a two-page memorandum instructed military leaders to develop plans to increase security within existing Defense Department policy guidelines, which, he noted, included “the option of additional armed personnel.” He also asked them to identify gaps in warning notification systems. “The tragic shooting on July 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, illustrates the continuing threat to (Department of Defense) personnel in the U.S. homeland posed by homegrown violent extremists,” he wrote, asking for a consolidated set of plans to review by Aug. 21. Four U.S. Marines and a sailor were killed two weeks ago in Chattanooga when a gunman opened fire on military installations there.. The attack prompted calls, including from within Congress, for …

    July 30, 2015 7:50 pm


  • MSNBC cuts three shows to make way for news coverage

    MSNBC began clearing the decks for news coverage Thursday, jettisoning three afternoon shows and announcing that Chuck Todd will host an hour-long political show each afternoon. “Change can be hard,” MSNBC President Phil Griffin wrote in an email to the staff. “There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead.” Andrew Lack took over as chairman of NBC News in April and has made it clear that MSNBC would revert to covering breaking news as part of a strategy to bolster the cable channel’s anemic ratings. Three shows — “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” — will all appear for the last time on Friday. Wagner will stay with MSNBC for political coverage, but Ed Schultz will leave the network. Also departing will be members of “The Cycle,” Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure, Griffin said in his memo. “Beginning in a few weeks, Chuck Todd …

    July 30, 2015 6:50 pm


  • Steelers’ Cortez Allen, Jarvis Jones looking to bounce back

    LATROBE, Pa. (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping bounce-back years for two key players will help kickstart a defense that fell off sharply in 2014. Cornerback Cortez Allen and linebacker Jarvis Jones struggled to stay healthy last season. Allen ended the season on injured reserve after signing a $25-million contract before the opener. Jones missed nine games with a dislocated wrist and wasn’t near 100 percent when he returned. Both players spent time in the offseason training with linebacker James Harrison. Allen says learning from a veteran such as Harrison helped him learn how to deal with the ups and downs of the league. Jones added he’s eager to move forward after getting just three sacks in his first two seasons. — AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

    July 30, 2015 7:10 pm

World News

  • Did Nepal temple ban animal sacrifice festival?

    News was reported around the world on Tuesday that one of the world’s bloodiest religious ceremonies was being ended. The festival at the Hindu temple in Bariyarpur in Nepal sees tens of thousands of animals sacrificed to the goddess Gadhimai, and always provokes international outrage. The announcement that sacrifices were now banned was greeted with delight by animal activists – but then the temple’s chairman said it was not true. So what happened? What happens at the Gadhimai festival? Every five years, Hindu pilgrims from Nepal and India buy animals ranging from buffalo to rats, and bring them to be sacrificed at the temple in Bara district. Over several days of gore, thousands of buffalo and tens of thousands of smaller animals are killed, either by priests in the temple or by others in the surrounding fields. The tradition dates back to a priest who was told about 250 years ago in a dream that …

    July 30, 2015 7:11 pm


  • Tickets to Earth ‘cousin’ Kepler-452b now on sale

    Enlarge Image Kepler-452b NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle If you didn’t make the cut for a trip to the Red Planet on Mars One (which might be a blessing in disguise), why not make your space dreams even bigger and reserve the right to move to Kepler-452b, the newly discovered distant planet that’s the closest thing yet spotted in the cosmos to another Earth? After NASA announced its landmark discovery of the potentially habitable planet a mere 1,400 light-years away earlier this month, a listing by an individual has popped up on Chinese e-commerce site TaoBao — similar to eBay or Amazon — that offers an “immigration status ticket” for migration to the newly known planet for a mere .2 yuan, or about $.03. The private seller, whose name doesn’t translate in Google Translate, doesn’t mention how any new immigrants to Kepler-452b will travel there in this listing that we have to assume is meant to be …

    July 30, 2015 4:09 pm


  • ‘Golden jackals’ of East Africa are actually ‘golden wolves’

    Related images(click to enlarge) Despite their remarkably similar appearance, the “golden jackals” of East Africa and Eurasia are actually two entirely different species. The discovery, based on DNA evidence and reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on July 30, increases the overall biodiversity of the Canidae–the group including dogs, wolves, foxes, and jackals–from 35 living species to 36. “This represents the first discovery of a ‘new’ canid species in Africa in over 150 years,” says Klaus-Peter Koepfli of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, DC. The new study, led by Koepfli and Robert Wayne of the University of California, Los Angeles, was inspired by recent reports suggesting that the African golden jackal was actually a cryptic subspecies of gray wolf. Those studies were based on an analysis restricted to mitochondrial DNA, which is passed along via the maternal lineage. To expand the DNA evidence in the new study, Wayne retrieved DNA samples …

    July 30, 2015 7:10 pm


  • Mental health suffers most in major nuclear accidents, studies find

    LONDON People caught up in a nuclear disaster are more likely to suffer severe psychological disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder rather than any harm from radiation, scientists said on Friday. Factors such as having to evacuate homes or simply fear contribute to the trauma, the scientists said in studies published in The Lancet to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The studies counter the misconception that nuclear disasters have caused widespread death and physical illness, with the researchers finding that the mental health effects were far more profound. “In most nuclear accidents very few people are exposed to a life-threatening dose of radiation,” wrote Akira Ohtsuru of the Fukushima Medical University (FMU). Nuclear accidents are rare but five rated as “severe” have occurred during the past 60 years – Russia’s Kyshtym in 1957, Windscale in Britain in 1957, Three Mile Island in the United States …

    July 30, 2015 7:31 pm


  • Gigi Hadid Has Bedhead After Sleepover With Boyfriend Joe Jonas

    Posted on Thu Jul 30th, 2015 3:19pm PDT       By X17 Staff Is it just us or does Gigi look like she just had a roll in the hay?! Yeah we thought so too. While they’ve yet to make an official announcement, Gigi Hadid and Joe Jonas definitely seem to be a couple. This morning we spotted the “It” girl leaving Joe’s West Hollywood home. From the top bun to the no makeup and off-duty wear, the model looks like she’s just come from a sleepover with the JoBro. The 20-year-old model has been seen leaving the 25-year-old singer’s bachelor pad before — so it really seems like things are heating up between the two, which just cements their new nickname “G.I. Joe” The pretty twosome have been all about PDAs, partying together and hanging out non stop ever since Gigi’s split from her longterm boyfriend, singer Cody Simpson. Super hunk Nick Jonas recently told E! that …

    July 30, 2015 6:50 pm


  • How to Win the GOP’s 10-Candidate Debate

    On Thursday, Aug. 6, the 2016 presidential race will enter a new and important phase. Ten Republican presidential candidates will step on stage in a prime-time debate in Cleveland sponsored by Fox News and Facebook. The remaining GOP candidates will debate earlier that day. Viewership will be large, giving contenders their best opportunity so far to present their views, values and character to millions of Americans. Although the event is advertised as a two-hour debate, the large number of candidates ensures that it will feel more like 10 simultaneous news conferences. After introductions, questions and commercials, each candidate will get roughly 10 minutes of speaking time, divided into answers of 1 minute and rebuttals of 30 seconds, plus a short closing statement. This translates into around seven questions per candidate. So what to look for? In a debate like this, candidates must convey — in word, tone and demeanor — two or three things they want …

    July 30, 2015 6:30 pm

Odd News

  • Stowaway cat ‘Lucky’ to be alive in sunken boat

    PHOENIX A brown and black shorthair cat now named “Lucky” is one fortunate feline after managing to survive while trapped under water for at least an hour inside a sunken powerboat in Arizona. “It’s really a miracle,” Dive Time Recovery owner Jon Zuccala, who pulled the submerged boat from a sandbar north of Lake Havasu City, told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday. “I would have named her ‘Eight’ because after all this, I’m sure she has used up one of her nine lives.” Zuccala said he was called to the scene by authorities on Saturday afternoon to hoist the boat to the shore from the lake’s bottom. The boat was then towed to his shop where a mechanic went to work the next morning to flush out the engine. “The cat just darted out when he opened up the hatch,” Zuccala said. “She was wet, scared, thirsty, but she was alive.” Lucky’s quick escape proved …

    July 30, 2015 7:27 am