Headline News

  • Critics of Dow herbicide ingredient sue U.S. EPA over approval


    (Reuters) – A coalition of U.S. farmer and environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to overturn regulatory approval granted last week for a herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California, argues that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not adequately analyze the impact of one of the new herbicide’s active ingredients, 2,4-D, before granting approval on Oct. 15 to Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide. The groups are asking the court to set aside the EPA’s approval. Widespread use of 2,4-D carries a range of risks to human health, animals, and the environment, the groups allege. They claim the EPA’s approval violated both the Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. “They did not do an adequate job,” said Andrew Kimbrell, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety, a plaintiff in the case. “This was a rubber …

    October 22, 2014 5:58 pm
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Politics

  • South Dakota Senate Race Returns to Form


    By Stuart Rothenberg Posted at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 22 0 Tweet Attacks on Pressler appear to have worked. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images File Photo) Republican attacks on Democrat Rick Weiland and Independent Larry Pressler appear to have worked, making it more likely that the GOP will pick up the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, as long expected. Republican Mike Rounds, a former two-term GOP governor, found himself in shockingly uncomfortable position earlier this month, but his standing has improved in the eyes of both strong and weak Republican voters, as well as among Independents. Support for Pressler, a one-time GOP senator who has said that he would be a friend of Obama if elected to the Senate and has acknowledged that he voted for Obama, has melted away over the past few weeks. Rounds’s improved position in the race — assuming that the trend holds — means GOP strategists will now have to worry …

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Stocks

  • This Halloween costume costs $1.6 million


    The Million Dollar Morphsuit retails for $1.6 million, and is sure to turn heads at any Halloween party. What does a million-dollar Halloween costume look like? Hint: It gives new meaning to the phrase “dripping with diamonds.” The Million Dollar Morphsuit is encrusted head to toe with 70,000 diamonds. While the costume is currently locked away in a vault in London, it can be purchased by anyone willing to shell out £1 million ($1.6 million). The price tag might be scary, but the costume is pretty glamorous. The company used its signature “morphsuit” as the base — a skin-tight spandex suit that covers the entire body, including the head — and bedazzled the silver suit in diamonds of various carats. The costume is “a bit heavy” and can be hard to see out of given all the bling, said Gregor Lawson, co-founder of MorphCostumes. “It’s probably not the most comfortable of our offerings, but if …

    October 22, 2014 4:57 pm
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Sports

  • Probe: Athletes took fake classes at University of North Carolina


    RALEIGH N.C. (Reuters) – More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according to a report released on Wednesday. The investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein is the latest of several attempts to unravel allegations of academic fraud involving student-athletes at a university known for both its academic rigor and athletics. “This is a very complex organization that needed oversight at every step of the way, and it didn’t exist,” Wainstein said at a news conference following the report’s release. “It’s pretty shocking that it didn’t exist.” The report does not incriminate any coaches or athletic administrators in the scheme, which it said was carried out by a former department head and former office administrator within the African and Afro-American Studies department. The “irregular …

    October 22, 2014 5:58 pm
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World News

  • Ottawa thrown into turmoil after shooting claims soldier’s life


    The Canadian capital, Ottawa, was thrown into turmoil on Wednesday when a gunman shot dead a soldier guarding the national war memorial before storming into parliament, making it into the heart of the building before being killed by a ceremonial official. In scenes unlike any Canada has witnessed in its modern history, MPs barricaded themselves in a parliamentary caucus room by piling furniture against the doors, while others fled the building by clambering down scaffolding erected for repair work. Police went from room to room in parliament, breaking down some doors to check if anyone was hiding inside. An air of panic was fuelled by initial, confused suggestions that more than one gunman was at large. But reports of a shooting at a shopping mall turned out to be unfounded. The Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, was hustled away from Parliament Hill and was safe, a spokesperson confirmed. Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at …

    October 22, 2014 5:38 pm
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Technology

  • Google releases USB security key for two-factor authentication


    Google has announced a physical USB Security Key that should ensure users keep their accounts safe from hackers, although it is not without its limitations. Anyone who buys a compatible USB from a third-party supplier and adds the Security Key functionality will be able to use it when logging in to Google’s sites, which include Gmail and Google Drive, as it will hold the code required when two-factor authentication has been switched on. Two-factor authentication is a security protection that asks for a password and an additional piece of information that verifies the identity of the person logging in. Previously, Google has only allowed users to receive the second chunk of authentication data as a code sent via text message or the Authenticator app, but the USB can now be used without any input needed on the keyboard. Unless hackers manage to steal the plastic key, accounts with Security Key enabled will almost certainly be …

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Science

  • Rescued ‘abandoned’ penguin chicks survival similar to colony rates


    Abandoned penguin chicks that were hand-reared and returned to the wild showed a similar survival rate to their naturally-reared counterparts, according to a study published October 22, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Richard Sherley from University of Cape Town and colleagues. The Endangered African penguin population has been rapidly decreasing since 2001. In the Western Cape of South Africa, penguins breed from February to September and moult between September and January, once chicks have fledged. If adult penguins begin the moulting process, a 21 day period where they no longer have the waterproofing necessary to dive for food, with chicks in the nest, the chicks may starve. Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) recovers ‘abandoned’ penguin chicks that are no longer being fed and cares for them until they can be reintroduced into breeding colonies. Researchers documented the care, release, and survival of over 840 and 480, in …

    October 22, 2014 4:17 pm
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Health

  • Obama says cautiously more optimistic about Ebola situation in U.S.


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama expressed cautious optimism about the Ebola situation in the United States on Wednesday after the U.S. government imposed new screening measures for travelers from West Africa. Obama sat down for talks with his Ebola response coordinator, Ron Klain, on Klain’s first day on the job since he was appointed last Friday. They were joined by other top officials. Obama, speaking to reporters, said he is confident that hospitals in Texas and Ohio are prepared if cases of Ebola emerged there. A nurse at a Dallas hospital that treated Ebola victim Thomas Duncan had flown to Ohio a day before she had symptoms of the virus. The president said modest signs of progress in the fight against the Ebola virus are being reported in hard-hit Liberia. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Entertainment

  • Khloe Kardashian Keeps Cool Amid Reports She Can’t Find Lamar Odom To Finalize Divorce


    Posted on Wed Oct 22nd, 2014 1:54pm PDT       By X17 Staff Khloe is one strong lady! Khloe Kardashian kept a stiff upper lip as she headed to the studio in Los Angeles, amid reports that she can’t find soon-to-be ex hubby Lamar Odom to finalize their divorce. Umm … yikes! Can’t Khloe get a break! Despite filing divorce papers over 10 months ago, Khloe and Lamar are still not officially dunzo, in part because the tallest Kardashian can’t get in touch with the former NBA star, reports Us Weekly. “Khloe can’t even get in touch with him right now,” an insider told the mag. Another source said, “He refuses to sign the divorce papers.” Despite the split snafu — Khloe is doing what she does best — rolling along! For her afternoon at the studio, the star wore a tan wrap blouse, white jeans and see-through heels. How very Kimmy K of her! Looks like things …

    October 22, 2014 5:38 pm
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Editorial

  • Five compromises Obama should embrace to boost the economy


    If Republicans win the Senate, President Obama risks another bruising recession if he doesn’t embrace compromise and abandon ineffective populist prescriptions. Slower growth in Europe and emerging markets like China and Brazil threaten U.S. exports and demand for American-made products. At home, stock market volatility threatens consumer confidence and sales of autos, new homes and other big ticket items. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Stimulus spending only temporarily boosts growth but permanently increases deficits. Specifically, before the financial crisis, the federal deficit was only $161 billion, but after five years of recovery it stands at $580 billion.   Here are five things Obama could do with Republicans to boost growth. 1. Tax Reform: The 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate encourages business to move jobs and headquarters abroad. Obama and GOP leaders want to close loopholes to lower rates. However, Obama wants to use reform to boost revenues, while Republicans want lower taxes overall. Neither side wants to …

    October 22, 2014 3:57 pm
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Odd News

  • San Francisco stations banish ‘Royals’ song ahead of World Series


    (Reuters) – At least two Northern California radio stations have pledged not to play New Zealand artist Lorde’s song “Royals,” in solidarity with the San Francisco Giants during their World Series matchup with the Kansas City Royals. The decision by San Francisco stations KOIT and KFOG to drop the song, which has nothing to do with the baseball team, comes as the Giants and Royals prepare to play Game One of the championship series on Tuesday. In response, Kansas City station KZPT said it would play the song every hour on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. KZPT said it was a sister station of KOIT. “They’re our sister station, and as the old saying goes: ‘You can pick your friends but you can’t necessarily pick your family,’ and if they don’t play it, then we will,” KZPT programming director Tony Lorino said in a phone interview. Last week, KOIT posted a small image …

    October 20, 2014 7:16 pm
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