Headline News

  • Murder suspect recaptured after mistaken release from Los Angeles jail


    A murder suspect who was mistakenly released from a Los Angeles jail last month was recaptured Monday in Nevada, authorities said. Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives learned earlier in the day that Steven Lawrence Wright might be hiding in a Boulder City hotel and asked for help from the FBI and local police departments. Wright was arrested without incident. The 37-year-old was unarmed and there was no indication that he committed any crimes while he was out, said sheriff’s Cmdr. Keith Swensson. Swensson said a man and a woman also were arrested at the hotel on charges of aiding and abetting, but Swensson did not immediately have details about how they know Wright. He declined to say what led detectives to the hotel where Wright was found, though he did say a $20,000 reward generated a lot of tips from the public. Authorities do not plan to file any additional charges against Wright, who will …

    February 8, 2016 11:19 pm
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Politics

  • Obama to call for increases in budget for SEC, CFTC: White House


    WASHINGTON President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget will call for an 11 percent increase in funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and a 32 percent increase for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a White House official said on Monday. Obama will propose that the SEC be given $1.8 billion and the CFTC $330 million in the budget, economic adviser Jeffrey Zients said in a blog post on the White House website. “Last year the Administration fought hard to keep Congressional Republicans from using must-pass budget legislation to roll back Wall Street Reform,” he wrote, referring to fiscal 2016. “We also fought to increase funding for financial regulators and to maintain their independence. But even these gains aren’t enough.” “And while the Administration is pushing for more funding for these regulators, we’ll also continue to oppose efforts to restrict the funding independence of the other financial regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” he wrote. …

    February 8, 2016 8:38 pm
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Stocks

  • Zenefits CEO steps down over compliance issues


    Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad stepped down Monday . Zenefits is starting over. The HR software startup announced on Monday that CEO and founder Parker Conrad has stepped down. Taking the helm is David Sacks, who was Zenefits’ COO and had previously worked at Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) (which bought his firm Yammer) and PayPal (PYPL, Tech30). Sacks told employees in an email on Monday that “many of our internal processes, controls, and actions around compliance have been inadequate, and some decisions have just been plain wrong. As a result, Parker has resigned.” He said that in December, the firm — which manages everything from payroll to health insurance — hired a Big Four auditing firm to conduct a review of the firm’s licensing procedures. He said the company would turn it over to regulators once complete. In November, a Buzzfeed investigation said that the company’s salespeople were acting as insurance agents without proper licensing in at …

    February 8, 2016 10:59 pm
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Sports

  • Ojo humbled on ’emotional’ Irish day


    Topsy Ojo was denied a second-half try against Worcester by a television match official decision London Irish winger Topsy Ojo admitted his 250th appearance for the club was a “pretty emotional” experience. Ojo, 30, helped Irish to a crucial 20-13 victory against fellow Premiership strugglers Worcester on Sunday that lifted them off the foot of the table. The former England back almost added to his club record try tally only for a second-half effort to be overturned. “It was a really special day for myself and my family and it was nice to share with them,” Ojo told BBC Sport. Ojo, who graduated from the club’s academy before making his senior debut in October 2005, received a standing ovation before kick-off as he took the field with his son Noah. Media playback is not supported on this device Ojo on ’emotional’ 250th Irish game “I knew that was coming and I was looking forward to …

    February 8, 2016 11:19 pm
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World News

  • North Korean satellite ‘is in orbit’


    Image copyright Reuters Image caption North Korea has said the launch was a “complete success” A satellite sent into space by North Korea is in orbit but it is not yet clear whether it is working, South Korea’s defence ministry has said. The North has said the Kwangmyongsong-4 is a communications satellite and that Sunday’s launch was a complete success. But the move was internationally condemned as North Korea is banned under UN sanctions from using any ballistic missile technology. The UN has vowed to impose further sanctions as punishment. The US said on Monday that this could include “a range of economic sanctions that would further isolate North Korea” and send a clear signal “that the resolve of the international community here is firm”. The US has also said it will help South Korea deploy an advanced missile defence system as soon as possible, officials from the Pentagon have said. The South’s defence ministry …

    February 8, 2016 11:19 pm
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Technology

  • ‘Hack’ on DoJ and DHS downplayed


    Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Department of Justice confirmed it was investigating the breach US authorities have acknowledged a data breach affecting the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security – but downplayed its severity. A hacker, or hacking group, published via Twitter what they said were records of 9,000 DHS employees. According to technology news site Motherboard, the hacker has said he will soon share the personal information of 20,000 DoJ employees, including staff at the FBI. The news site said it had verified small portions of the breach, but also noted that some of the details listed appeared to be incorrect or possibly outdated. In a statement, the DHS told journalists: “We take these reports very seriously, however there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information.” The Department of Justice also downplayed the breach’s significance. The hacker is understood to …

    February 8, 2016 8:58 pm
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Science

  • Cockroach inspires robot that squeezes through cracks


    Related images(click to enlarge) Our fear and disgust that cockroaches can quickly squeeze through the tiniest cracks are well justified, say University of California, Berkeley scientists. Not only can they squish themselves to get into one-tenth-of-an-inch crevices, but once inside they can run at high speed even when flattened in half. These are just a couple of the creepy findings from a UC Berkeley study of how American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) penetrate the tightest joints and seams in less than a second. What the researchers found has inspired a robot that can rapidly squeeze through cracks — a new capability for search-and-rescue in rubble resulting from tornados, earthquakes and explosions. “What’s impressive about these cockroaches is that they can run as fast through a quarter-inch gap as a half-inch gap, by reorienting their legs completely out to the side,” said study leader Kaushik Jayaram, who recently obtained his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and is now …

    February 8, 2016 7:38 pm
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Health

  • Novartis sets heart-drug price with two insurers based on health outcome


    NEW YORK U.S.-based health insurers Cigna Corp and Aetna Inc. have struck deals with Novartis AG for a performance-based price for the Swiss drugmaker’s new heart drug, Entresto, the companies said on Monday. The agreements are among the few performance-based deals that have been made public by drugmakers and U.S. managed-care companies, which say they have been having more discussions about linking price to health outcomes in order to cut unneeded drug spending. Drug prices jumped about 13 percent in the United States last year, spurring a public outcry and moving the issue onto the campaign platform of Hillary Clinton and other U.S. presidential candidates for the November 2016 election. Under the agreement, Cigna said its payments to Novartis will be linked to how well the drug improves the relative health of Cigna customers. Entresto is approved for the treatment of chronic heart failure. Specifically, Cigna said payments will be based on a reduction in …

    February 8, 2016 8:18 pm
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Entertainment

  • Text This Number For Free Chipotle: Company Giving Away Burritos To Apologize For Health Scare


    It’s been a rough few months for Mexican restaurant Chipotle. The popular chain’s image was significantly damaged after more than 500 people in 13 different states got sick after eating Chipotle food. But now, the company claims things are back to normal and to prove it, it’s giving away burritos to anybody who wants one. That was the main takeaway today following Chipotle’s nationwide closure for an all-company meeting. The chain’s more than 2,000 locations all shut their doors for a few hours today to give a pep talk to employees and to go over the new food safety procedures. The company announced that due to the closure, America’s next burrito is on the house. Customers can text the word “raincheck” to 888-222 and the company will send you a SMS coupon for a free burrito within the next few days. (We should note that many are reporting on social media that it does seem …

    February 8, 2016 11:19 pm
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Editorial

  • Which Republican candidates can make the flat tax work and help the economy?


    During last week’s Republican debate in Charleston, Senator Marco Rubio attacked Senator Ted Cruz for being in favor of “a VAT tax.” Cruz responded that his flat tax plan of 16 percent has the full endorsement of “Reagan economist Arthur Laffer.” He was referring to a joint statement by the two of us entitled: “The Cruz/Paul Flat Tax is the Best Tax.” (Senators Cruz and Paul have endorsed similar tax reforms.) Yes, we have long loved the flat tax and devoted our last book, “Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status” to explaining how an ideal flat tax with a broad base and the lowest possible tax base would work.  The Cruz and Paul plans are roughly based on that work. This isn’t the only way to go, and we’ve also said we like a lot of the other candidate plans as well. Ben Carson wants a low-rate flat tax too. Mike Huckabee …

    February 8, 2016 10:59 pm
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Odd News

  • Sparrow defies nature and joins Japanese family


    FUKAYA, Japan – – A sparrow has set up home with an elderly couple in Fukaya, in Japan’s Saitama prefecture, becoming the newest member of their family. Resident Yoshiko Fujino said she first saw the bird, named Pee Chan, in mid-November while working as a traffic guide for local school children. It followed her home, resting on her shoulder and not wanting to leave. “He’s like a family member – he’s very comforting. It’s fun, coming home to a sparrow,” she said. “My grandchildren have grown up, and there’s none who are still small, so I don’t know how to say it clearly, but he’s like a family member.” Fujino assumes the sparrow, which appears comfortable in the surroundings, is wild, but also says she does not rule out the possibility the bird was once a household pet.

    February 8, 2016 7:58 pm
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