Headline News

  • Judge blocks North Carolina school voucher program


    (Reuters) – A North Carolina judge on Thursday blocked the state’s new school voucher program, saying it unconstitutionally diverted money from public education to private schools, many of them religious. The Opportunity Scholarship program, designed to give poor and middle-class families public funds to help pay private school tuition, was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year and had already begun operating. School vouchers have drawn criticism from those who say they drain money from public schools and subsidize overtly religious education. Supporters say they offer parents more choices on where to educate their children. In his order blocking the program, Judge Robert Hobgood said it diverted money that under the state constitution can only be used for public schools. Some of that money was going to private schools that discriminate based on religious affiliation, he added.    Backers of North Carolina’s $10 million voucher program said they planned to appeal the ruling and …

    August 21, 2014 4:32 pm
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Politics

  • Florida governor vows record education spending in re-election bid


    TALLAHASSEE (Reuters) – Governor Rick Scott, under intense criticism by his main opponent for cuts in school spending, on Thursday promised record spending on education next year if he wins a tough re-election campaign. “My mom taught me that a good education was the way out of poverty and I want all Floridians to have the opportunity to receive a great education and have their shot at the American Dream,” Scott said in announcing his plan. “By increasing per-pupil spending to historic levels next year, school districts will have more resources to provide Florida children the best education possible.”    Scott said he will budget more than $19.6 billion for education in 2015 legislative session, if he is in office. That is about $700 million more than this year’s spending, and would raise per-student spending to $7,176.    The governor’s office said such a funding level would be $232 per student more than this year’s …

    August 21, 2014 4:52 pm
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Stocks

  • Are labor unions on the rise?


    After decades of losing members, legislative defeats and a declining return on labor, American unions have stopped looking within for the answer. Now they’re looking to you. Once focused mostly on the narrow goals of its members, unions of late have sought to spark broader civic movements. Big unions like the SEIU are funding groups like OUR Walmart and Fight for 15, which advocate for workers’ rights — though not many Wal-Mart or fast-food workers seem to show up at their demonstrations. Others are taking workers’ battles up the supply chain — in some cases, all the way to Wall Street, whose banks they accuse of charging employers predatory fees. And some unions have found creative ways to enlist parents and citizens in their battles, so that when contract negotiations roll around, they’re armed with reinforcements and can’t be easily labeled as greedy. Call these methods hacks, call them alt-labor, call them workarounds: They all …

    August 21, 2014 3:51 pm
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Sports

  • Djokovic, Federer favored for grand slam sequel


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Top seed Novak Djokovic and number two Roger Federer are favored to wage another title showdown in the last grand slam of 2014, although some emerging young guns have other ideas for the U.S. Open starting on Monday. Djokovic and Federer’s path to a championship clash could be less troubled than usual with the absence of last year’s winner Rafa Nadal due to a wrist injury, and the sub-par form of 2012 champion Andy Murray since last year’s back surgery. If the leading men star in the Arthur Ashe Stadium final, it would provide a sequel to their five-set thriller at the All England Club in which a teary-eyed Djokovic hoisted the Wimbledon trophy. Both claim to be overdue for another taste of triumph at Flushing Meadows. Djokovic counts just one U.S. title (2011) in his haul of seven grand slams despite reaching the Flushing Meadows final in each of the …

    August 21, 2014 4:32 pm
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World News

  • Davutoglu named as Turkey’s new PM


    21 August 2014 Last updated at 18:42 Turkey’s ruling party has nominated Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to replace Recep Tayyip Erdogan as prime minister. A close ally of Mr Erdogan, Mr Davutoglu has held the job of foreign minister since 2009. Mr Davutoglu will officially take office after his election as the AKP’s new leader is confirmed next week. On 10 August, the long-serving Mr Erdogan won the country’s first direct presidential election. The nomination of Mr Davutoglu, 55, is seen as a move to ensure that the man who has dominated Turkish political life for more than a decade can maintain a tight grip over the government. Presidents were previously voted in by parliament but Mr Erdogan, whose party required him to step down after three terms as PM, decided to make it an elected post. Mr Erdogan has indicated he intends to make use of the largely ceremonial presidency’s rarely used powers such …

    August 21, 2014 4:33 pm
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Technology

  • ​Sprint attacks T-Mobile with $60 unlimited data plan


    Sprint’s unlimited data plan lives on. as the company takes its new pricing assault to rival T-Mobile. On Thursday, Sprint unveiled a $60 Unlimited Plan for individual customers. The new service offers unlimited voice, text messaging, and data for $60 a month. Sprint is marketing the new plan as the cheapest around, beating T-Mobile, its only national competitor offering unlimited data by $20 a month. ATT and Verizon abandoned unlimited data plans more than two years ago. Today, ATT and Verizon only offer new customers their shared plans, which include unlimited talk and text messaging and different tiers of data per month that can be shared among family members or devices. The new unlimited pricing plan along with a new Family Share Pack introduced on Monday are meant to kick-start Sprint’s competitiveness in the market and help right a ship that has been going off course for several quarters. Sprint — which has fallen to …

    August 21, 2014 4:52 pm
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Science

  • Paleolithic ‘escargot’


    Related images(click to enlarge) Paleolithic inhabitants of modern-day Spain may have eaten snails 10,000 years earlier than their Mediterranean neighbors, according to a study published August 20, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Javier Fernández-López de Pablo from Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social and colleagues. Snails were widespread in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, but it is still unknown when and how they were incorporated into human diets. The authors of this study found land snail shell remains from ~30,000 years ago at a recently discovered site in Cova de la Barriada, Spain. To better understand if the inhabitants may have eaten snails, the researchers investigated patterns of land snail selection, consumption, and accumulation at the site, and then analyzed the shells’ decay, fossilization process, composition, and age at death by measuring the shell size. Scientists found groupings of complete shells from a large land snail species at three areas …

    August 21, 2014 9:03 am
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Health

  • U.S. to tighten restrictions on common opioid painkillers


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is tightening restrictions on hydrocodone, an opioid painkiller contained in Vicodin and other addictive drugs. The move comes as health and law enforcement officials try to curb a rising tide of prescription drug abuse. Nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by opioid painkillers, according to federal data. “Almost seven million Americans abuse controlled-substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents,” DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in a statement announcing the move on Thursday. In the future, products such as Vicodin that combine hydrocodone with another substance such as acetaminophen or aspirin, will be classed as Schedule II products, in line with the opioids oxycodone and morphine. Reclassifying the products will make them harder to obtain, both by addicts and legitimate pain patients. Physicians will not be allowed to call in a prescription to a pharmacy. Patients …

    August 21, 2014 4:52 pm
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Entertainment

  • Cara Delevingne The Reason Behind Michelle Rodriguez And Zac Efron Breakup


    Posted on Thu Aug 21st, 2014 2:30pm PDT       By X17 Staff We wonder if the British beauty knows her ex-girlfriend is still hung up on her? Cara Delevingne went for a stroll around New York City with pal Zoe Kravitz today, and the model proved why she gets paid to look pretty in a pair of super short shorts. We can see why former lady love Michelle Rodriguez is unable to get over her! According to reports, the Fast And The Furious star’s brief relationship with Zac Efron fizzled because she couldn’t stop talking about the Vogue cover girl. “Cara was always being mentioned. Cara would spend time on the same boat and Cara and Michelle have all the same friends. It was just a lot. It was always, ‘Cara, Cara, Cara’,” a source told E! News. The High School Musical actor sounds like he was the one that was more into it to begin with, …

    August 21, 2014 4:32 pm
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Editorial

  • Beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge: What’s really shocking about ALS


      By the year 2025, one in every 25 American adults will be diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s. If you think that taking the Ice Bucket Challenge is a shock to the system, please consider the following fact: Soon we will all know someone—or be the person–with one of these devastating brain disorders. Experts agree that unless we declare war on ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, these neurodegenerative diseases, as they are known, will become a global health crisis. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT I know the devastation of brain disease first hand. My sister, Jenifer Estess, was diagnosed with ALS, seemingly out of nowhere, at age 35. We started Project A.L.S. together, as a family, with our friends, because we wanted more results from medical research. My sister, Jenifer Estess, was diagnosed with ALS, seemingly out of nowhere, at age 35. We started Project A.L.S. together, as a family, with our friends, because we wanted more results …

    August 21, 2014 4:52 pm
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Odd News

  • Pimco NYC office tackles bed bug infestation, fumigates


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York offices of Pimco, the massive asset manager run by Bill Gross, are being fumigated this week because of a bed bug infestation. “Our New York office is addressing an isolated issue with insects, and as a precautionary measure the firm is fumigating certain areas of the office space,” a spokesman said on Wednesday. “During this period, our employees are working remotely, and we expect to resume full on-premises staffing over the coming days.” Pimco’s New York offices, located in the Paramount Plaza on 1633 Broadway, are one of a dozen global locations. Pimco, a unit of Allianz SE, has its headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif. “This is an issue that is far from uncommon in New York City,” the spokesman said, regarding New York City’s battle with the epidemic of tiny blood-sucking insects. Two weeks ago, three New York City subway trains had to be fumigated after riders …

    August 20, 2014 4:45 pm
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