Headline News

  • Lightning kills man on US beach

    28 July 2014 Last updated at 10:05 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Lightning struck people on Venice Beach, as Wendy Urquhart reports One man has been killed and several people have been hurt after lightning strikes on crowded Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California. The lightning struck amid a rare summer thunderstorm, spreading panic among bathers and visitors. Lifeguards fanned out across the beach and the water to attend to the injured, many of whom were treated at the scene. Elsewhere in California, emergency crews are battling to contain wildfires that are threatening hundreds of homes. At least 14 homes have reportedly been destroyed in the fires, which have blazed across drought-stricken grassland and forest. A fire in the Sacramento region has spread to cover an area of about 4,000 acres, while another blaze has been threatening homes around Yosemite National Park. Lifeguards race to treat the victim of a lightning …

    July 28, 2014 5:08 am


  • Kerry to woo Modi’s India, but quick progress unlikely

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits India this week as Washington tries to revitalize ties it sees as a counterbalance to China’s rising power, but rapid progress is unlikely, despite the reformist reputation of India’s new leader. The visit by Kerry, and a trip by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel next month, follow the resounding election win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and are meant to create a good climate for Modi’s planned visit to Washington in September. Analysts say it is only once Modi meets President Barack Obama that the United States may have a more realistic hope for progress on big defense projects, on removing obstacles to U.S. firms’ participation in India’s nuclear power industry, and for firmer statements of shared interests in Asia. “India will play a much greater role in Asia under the Modi administration, but it will do so for its own reasons and under …

    July 28, 2014 2:47 am


  • Big Mac shortage in China as scandal-ridden supplier issues recall

      There are no Big Macs. There are no Chicken McNuggets. The menu at McDonald’s restaurants in China was much slimmer on Monday after a troubled supplier issued a major recall. At one Beijing location, no burgers or chicken items of any kind were available. Instead, staffers were reduced to offering only pies, hash browns, fries, drinks and ice cream. “Some restaurants across [China] might be out of stock on certain products,” the company said in a statement. “We sincerely apology to customers for the inconvenience and hope to have their understanding.” The Big Mac shortage is the latest twist in a food scare that has tarnished the reputations of fast food giants including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Yum Brands in China. Shanghai Husi, a subsidiary of Illinois-based OSI Group, said Saturday that it would suspend sales and recall all food processed at its Shanghai facility. Husi did not specify how much food it will recall …

    July 28, 2014 3:27 am


  • It’s all over except for final arguments, ruling in trial over $2B Los Angeles Clippers deal

    LOS ANGELES –  Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Lawyers for Sterling plan to argue Monday that Shelly Sterling had no right to make the deal with Ballmer, even though Donald Sterling had given her written authority to pursue a sale. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The attorneys also say she tricked Donald Sterling into taking mental exams that found he had signs of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. That finding was sufficient for him to be removed as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust and allow Shelly Sterling to move forward with the sale of the team. Later in the process, however, Donald Sterling tried to stop the sale by dissolving the trust.

    July 28, 2014 4:48 am

World News

  • MH17 downing ‘may be war crime’

    28 July 2014 Last updated at 10:34 There are fears that some evidence at the crash site may have been compromised as it was not protected The downing of Malaysia Airlines jet MH17 in eastern Ukraine may constitute a “war crime”, the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says. Ukraine and Western governments believe pro-Russian rebels shot down MH17, using a missile system supplied by Russia. All 298 people on board – most of them Dutch – died on 17 July. Moscow and the rebels have blamed Ukrainian forces for the plane crash. Dutch and Australian police are now heading for the crash site. Heavy fighting in the area prevented the police going there earlier. They want to help secure the huge crash site – in rebel-held territory – so that plane wreckage and human remains can be examined by international crash experts. Most of the bodies have been removed, many of them repatriated to …

    July 28, 2014 4:48 am


  • Quiz: What type of Facebook user are you?

    You spend far too much time on there, but what on earth do you actually do? On Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday, take our handy quiz to find out

    July 28, 2014 2:47 am


  • Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed in Penn study

    Related images(click to enlarge) Actin is the most abundant protein in the body, and when you look more closely at its fundamental role in life, it’s easy to see why. It is the basis of most movement in the body, and all cells and components within them have the capacity to move: muscle contracting, heart beating, blood clotting, and nerve cells communicating, among many other functions. And, movement can turn harmful when cancer cells break away from tumors to set up shop in distant tissues. Adding to the growing fundamental understanding of the machinery of muscle cells, a group of biophysicists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania describe in the journal Science this week — in minute detail — how actin filaments are stabilized at one of their ends to form a basic muscle structure called the sarcomere. With the help of many other proteins, actin molecules polymerize to form …

    July 28, 2014 3:08 am


  • AstraZeneca taps Roche, Qiagen for new blood-based cancer drug tests

    LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca has signed up Roche and Qiagen to develop two separate diagnostic tests, both using simple blood samples, to identify patients who will benefit from its lung cancer drugs. Currently testing patients to see if their tumors contain genetic mutations that make them suitable for drug treatment involves collecting a sample of tissue by needle biopsy or during surgery. The new tests are based on smart technology that can detect small fragments of circulating tumor DNA in the plasma taken from patients’ blood. The collaboration with Qiagen involves developing such a test to accompany AstraZeneca’s established lung cancer pill Iressa, while the agreement with Roche is for a companion diagnostic to go with AstraZeneca’s experimental successor to Iressa called AZD9291. AZD9291 targets a genetic mutation that helps tumors evade existing treatments and AstraZeneca believes it could sell as much as $3 billion a year. The mutation, known as T790M, develops in about …

    July 28, 2014 2:47 am


  • Tila Tequila fears pregnancy complications because she’s so petite

    Tila Tequila swears her baby has saved her life  It seems the woman who was born with the name Tila Nguyen has some concerns about how fast her child is growing inside her pint-sized body. In a post to her official Facebook page shared on Thursday, the former A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila star showed off her blossoming baby bump with his photo: Along with the pic, she gave fans a weight-gain update by writing, “24 weeks pregnant here and growing! I’m up to 132 pounds now! Oh my God!! Boobs are starting to get into that DD size too!” In a separate comment, the 4-foot-11-inch star went on to ask, “How come everyone is posting pics of themselves but they’re basically about to be due but I’m barely 24 weeks and my belly is just as big as theirs??? Daaaang I’ve got myself a big girl in there! Or I’m just really …

    July 28, 2014 1:26 am


  • What if democracy is a fraud?

    The U.S. Capitol dome before dawn. (REUTERS) What if you were allowed to vote only because it didn’t make a difference? What if no matter how you voted the elites always got their way? What if the concept of one person/one vote was just a fiction created by the government to induce your compliance? What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if our so-called democracy erodes the people’s understanding of natural rights and the reasons for government and instead turns political campaigns into beauty contests? What if American democracy allows the government to do anything it wants, as long as more people bother to show up at the voting booth to support the government than show up to say no? ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if the purpose of …

    July 26, 2014 2:05 am

Odd News

  • New York Times Square Spider-Man charged with punching police officer

    (Reuters) – A street performer dressed as Spider-Man in New York City’s Times Square was arrested after punching a police officer who scolded him for demanding more money from a couple he had posed with for a picture, police said on Sunday. The Saturday afternoon incident began when Junior Bishop, 25, was overheard by a police officer refusing a $1 bill from a woman with whom he’d taken a picture, insisting instead on a larger denomination, a police spokeswoman said. After the police officer told Bishop he could only accept tips but not demand money, the Brooklyn resident began yelling at him, police say. When the officer told him he was under arrest, Bishop punched him in the face, police said. The incident was not the first involving a costumed street performer running afoul of the law in New York. Last month, a costumed Spider-Man man was fined $370 for a 2013 incident in which …

    July 27, 2014 2:53 pm