Headline News

  • Western governors tout sage grouse conservation efforts to avoid endangered species listing


    BOISE, Idaho –  A group of Western-state governors has released a report on voluntary efforts in 11 states to conserve the habitat of sage grouse as part of an effort to avoid a federal listing of the bird under the Endangered Species Act. The 32-page “2014 Sage-Grouse Inventory” released Thursday by the Western Governors’ Association identifies conservation work during the year and is accompanied by a 101-page appendix listing efforts since 2011. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a deadline of Sept. 30 to decide whether to propose the greater sage grouse as needing protections that could limit ranching as well as oil and gas drilling. The association says a listing will reduce voluntary conservation work and hurt states’ economies. The chicken-sized bird once numbered in the millions, but the population is now below 500,000.

    April 2, 2015 2:30 am
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Politics

  • Arkansas governor seeks fix of religion bill seen as targeting gays


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers on Wednesday to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses said allowed discrimination against gays, and home-state corporate giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) praised his action. The state’s Senate took up the challenge late on Wednesday, sending to the House of Representatives legislation that would bring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into line with federal statutes. A House panel is due to take up that law on Thursday. Indiana’s governor a day earlier said lawmakers should fix a similar RFRA. After it was enacted last week, the state was hit with protests, threatened boycotts and warnings from powerful U.S. firms of pending economic damage for being seen as standing against U.S. ideals of inclusion. In a news conference at the Capitol in Little Rock, Hutchinson, who previously said he would sign the bill, said he was sending the act back to …

    April 1, 2015 11:48 pm
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Stocks

  • McDonald’s is giving 90,000 workers a raise


    McDonald’s plans to increase hourly wages by more than 10% for roughly 90,000 workers — a move that follows in the footsteps of retail giants Walmart (WMT) and T.J. Maxx (TJX) and new state minimum wage laws across the country. Effective July 1st, McDonald’s (MCD) starting wages will be at least $1 an hour more than the minimum wage set by local law, the fast-food chain announced Wednesday. All employees up to restaurant managers will get a pay bump as well. The result: the fast food giant projects that its average hourly wage will reach more than $10 an hour by the end of 2016 — up from $9.01 currently. The new average will be $2.75 above the federal minimum wage. There’s a catch — The raise only applies to the 1,500 McDonald’s-owned restaurants in the U.S. It doesn’t apply to workers at the franchise-owned stores, which make up about 90% of the McDonald’s restaurants …

    April 2, 2015 2:09 am
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Sports

  • Skirmish ignites Clippers over Blazers


    Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) – Chris Kaman pushed Chris Paul in the back, causing a scuffle. It also ignited the Los Angeles Clippers in a game they trailed by double digits for most of the first three quarters. Paul had 41 points and 17 assists and the Clippers rallied past the Portland Trail Blazers 126-122 on Wednesday night. “I think our bench gave us our life and put us back in the game,” Paul said. Paul appeared to hit Kaman in the groin with his left hand while grabbing a loose ball rebound. Kaman retaliated by pushing him in the back near the baseline and walking away from the ensuing fracas. Clippers forward Glen Davis rushed after Kaman, but was sent flying backward by a LaMarcus Aldridge shove. “I’m not talking about that,” Kaman said of the skirmish. “Nothing out of the ordinary … people pushing each other,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I would definitely …

    April 2, 2015 2:29 am
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World News

  • Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai


    Egypt’s army has repeatedly been targeted in Sinai At least five Egyptian soldiers have been killed in the Sinai peninsula, according to security sources. Gunmen reportedly attacked multiple checkpoints on Thursday, echoing previous attacks by Islamic militants. Egyptian forces have been fighting a faction affiliated to the Islamic State group, known as Sinai Province. Dozens of soldiers and civilians have already been killed this year. The army claimed to have killed at least 70 suspected militants in March. In the latest incident, gunmen fired on soldiers with automatic rifles and rockets, police officials told the AFP news agency. Sinai Province was known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis until it pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in November. It said it was behind most of the major attacks in Sinai, including a series of strikes that left at least 30 people dead on 29 January. Militants based in Sinai have killed hundreds of soldiers …

    April 2, 2015 2:29 am
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Technology

  • We found this old episode of the show in an archive (Tomorrow Daily 154)


    We were minding our business, doing some spring cleaning, when we happened upon a strange VHS tape. We don’t remember making this episode of the show back in 1994, but hey, it’s a hilarious look back, isn’t it? We can’t believe how skeptical we were of Sony’s ability to get into the console market with the original PlayStation, or how silly we thought cell phones were after talking about the IBM Simon Personal Computer. Oh, and that laughable article about how many people were actually using the internet seems so quaint now. Here are some links and notes for all the things on the show today: The IBM Simon Personal Computer thinks it can be an all-in-one device Sony will launch their “PlayStation” gaming console in Japan this year New York Times article in the paper asks how many people are actually on the internet Summer Movie Preview: Speed, The Flintstones, The Mask, The Shadow, …

    April 1, 2015 11:27 pm
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Science

  • Polar bears unlikely to thrive on land-based foods


    A team of scientists led by the U.S. Geological Survey found that polar bears, increasingly forced on shore due to sea ice loss, may be eating terrestrial foods including berries, birds and eggs, but any nutritional gains are limited to a few individuals and likely cannot compensate for lost opportunities to consume their traditional, lipid-rich prey — ice seals. “Although some polar bears may eat terrestrial foods, there is no evidence the behavior is widespread,” said Dr. Karyn Rode, lead author of the study and scientist with the USGS. “In the regions where terrestrial feeding by polar bears has been documented, polar bear body condition and survival rates have declined.” The authors detail their findings in a review article in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The scientists noted that over much of the polar bear’s range, terrestrial habitats are already occupied by grizzly bears. Those grizzly bears occur at low densities and are some …

    April 1, 2015 11:48 pm
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Health

  • Sierra Leone to start laying off Ebola workers as cases fall: president


    FREETOWN (Reuters) – Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma said on Wednesday authorities would soon start laying off staff recruited to fight Ebola as the numbers of cases decline, but these workers would be employed elsewhere, where possible. Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone are battling to stamp out the worst Ebola outbreak on record, which has killed over 10,000 people during the last year. Addressing the country about the outbreak, Koroma said the infection rate was falling “week by week” and the number of treatment facilities and staff would be reduced, despite the need for continued vigilance. “For those who will be laid off because of the scaling down of facilities, let me express my sincere thanks to you for your brave national service to your country,” he said. No details were given on how many people would be laid off. At the peak of the crisis last year, authorities were struggling …

    April 1, 2015 11:48 pm
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Entertainment

  • Patton Oswalt’s recent joke proves we’re all way too sensitive


    A 54-tweet-long joke and explanation became Oswalt’s answer to the Trevor Noah controversy (there were two No. 8s for some reason), and in it he sarcastically showed how out of control the PC police have become in regard to pop culture and comedy. (1/53) Q: Why did the man* throw* butter* out of the window*? A: He wanted to see* butter fly*! — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 1, 2015 (2/53) “Man” in my previous Tweet should not be construed as privileged, misogynist or anti-trans. — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 1, 2015 (3/53) Nor should there be ANY assumption of said man’s race or religion. It could be an African American man, Asian, or any one — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 1, 2015 (4/53) of the vast multi-cultural mosaic which make up the world we live in today. “Man” was simply an archaic placeholder for the — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 1, 2015 (5/53) “subject” of …

    April 2, 2015 2:10 am
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Editorial

  • Government’s reckless lending putting US on track for another housing bubble


    FILE – In this Jan. 8, 2015 photo, a sign with a sold sticker is posted in front of a row of new townhomes in Richmond, Va. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Thursday, March 26, 2015 said the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.69 percent from 3.78 percent a week earlier. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) They’re doing it again! When the last housing bubble burst, politicians blamed “greedy banks.” They said mortgage companies lent money recklessly, making loans to people with dubious credit, for down payments as low as 3 percent. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT “It will work out,” said the optimistic bankers. Regulators didn’t disagree. Everyone said, “Home prices will keep going up.” And home prices did — until they didn’t. The bubble popped in 2007. Lots of people were hurt, and politicians took more of your tax money to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with reckless banks. They …

    April 1, 2015 11:49 pm
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Odd News

  • Colorado man arrested after three hours perched on cliff-top tree


    DENVER (Reuters) – A Colorado man who wrecked his car, fled from police and climbed a tree atop a mountain cliff has been arrested after negotiators spent three hours talking him down from his precarious perch, authorities said on Wednesday. Richard Poula Jr., 32, ultimately surrendered and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and a host of other charges related to the incident, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Commander Heidi Prentup said. According to Prentup, police outside the city of Longmont took a call on Tuesday from a person who reported that a motorist was stopped in the middle of a road and was beating on a car with a pipe wrench, breaking out the windows. “The person reporting this strange behavior decided to follow the vehicle until deputies were able to catch up,” Prentup said, adding that officers followed as Poula entered a canyon about four miles from where he …

    April 1, 2015 7:46 pm
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