Headline News

  • Let them eat pumpkins: Farmer’s request leads to feast for pigs


    SOMERSWORTH, N.H. –  A pilfered pumpkin caper in New Hampshire was just a misunderstanding that put some pounds on a passel of pigs. Foster’s Daily Democrat reports hundreds of pumpkins were reported stolen earlier this week after a festival in Somersworth, in southeast New Hampshire on the Maine border. The pumpkins had been set aside behind a school to be sold this weekend at a craft fair. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT But a farmer, who police didn’t identify, saw the bins of pumpkins and asked a school employee if he could take them for his pigs. Police Capt. Russ Timmons says the employee didn’t know the pumpkins were being saved and gave the farmer the go-ahead. Timmons says no charges will be filed even though “the only ones that are happy in this whole thing are the hogs.”

    October 23, 2014 8:23 am
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Politics

  • ‘American Idol’ singer Clay Aiken seeks win in first political bid


    ASHEBORO N.C. (Reuters) – “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is back on tour. This time he is trying to win over North Carolina voters with his political chops rather than his voice, and he has less than two weeks left to do it. Polls and pundits suggest Aiken, a Democrat running in a solidly Republican congressional district, could be headed for another second-place finish. Undeterred, he is spending the final stretch of the campaign traveling and living on a bus emblazoned with a “Clay for North Carolina” slogan to tell voters in his native state why he would be an effective advocate for them in Congress. “I can get people to pay attention,” Aiken, 35, said at a town hall campaign event in Asheboro last week. “It’s a benefit of where I came from and how I got here.” About 30 people showed up at an historic courthouse in central North Carolina to hear Aiken …

    October 23, 2014 8:22 am
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Stocks

  • Customers up, profit up at Comcast


      As it awaits approval of its merger with Time Warner Cable, Comcast continues to show solid growth, both in profit and in the number of new customers. That’s significant because Comcast (CCV) is the biggest cable provider and one of the biggest entertainment producers in the United States. Its earnings are a reflection of the industry’s stability — or lack thereof. In the third quarter, Comcast posted a 12% uptick in earnings, to 73 cents per share, once one-time tax adjustments and merger-related costs were excluded. Overall revenue increased 4% to $16.8 billion for the quarter. On the distribution side, revenue was up 5.2% to $11 billion; on the production side, NBCUniversal, revenue climbed 1.2% to $5.9 billion. NBC’s broadcast division was the standout in the quarter, gaining ground faster than the division that includes cable channels such as USA, E! and MSNBC. Tellingly, the cable division saw revenue from cable subscriber fees grow …

    October 23, 2014 7:20 am
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Sports

  • How a small football club like Freiburg makes ends meet against bigger rivals


    In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, fans raise their arms in unison in the standing area of Freiburg’s Schwarzwald Stadium during the team’s 2-1 loss at home to Wolfsburg, in Freiburg, Germany. As one of the Bundesliga’s most financially disadvantaged teams, Freiburg deploys an array of coping strategies to stay in Germany’s top division and remain competitive against rivals like Wolfsburg that have richer resources, revenues and budgets. (AP Photo/John Leicester) (The Associated Press) In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, players go through their paces at Freiburg’s football academy in Freiburg, Germany. As one of the Bundesliga’s most financially disadvantaged teams, Freiburg deploys an array of coping strategies to stay in Germany’s top division and remain competitive against rival clubs that have richer resources, revenues and budgets. Because Freiburg cannot afford to buy many players, it “builds” them instead, plowing about 6 million euros (US$7.5 million) per year – roughly 10 percent …

    October 23, 2014 8:23 am
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World News

  • US-led Syria strikes ‘kill 553′


    23 October 2014 Last updated at 12:01 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. The BBC’s Kasra Naji reports from the Turkey-Syria border US-led air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have killed 553 people since September, UK-based activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 464 IS fighters, 57 other militants and 32 civilians have died. Meanwhile, fierce fighting resumed in the town of Kobane, where militants and Kurdish forces battling for control. Kurdish sources told BBC Arabic that IS had retaken a strategically important hilltop 4km west of the town. Kurdish forces fighting IS in Kobane took Tal Shair nine days ago. Reports also suggest IS fighters have been shelling Kurdish positions and attacking the town centre. Syrian Kurdish sources told the BBC that IS fighters launched intensive attacks on Wednesday night from the southern and eastern parts of the town, in an apparent attempt to get access …

    October 23, 2014 8:02 am
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Technology

  • Mark Zuckerberg addresses Chinese university in fluent mandarin


    Mark Zuckerberg impressed audiences in Tsinghua University, Beijing, on Wednesday by talking and answering questions in Mandarin, which the entrepreneur has been learning for the past four years. Zuckerberg enjoys immense popularity in China, despite the inability of the country’s internet users to access Facebook. The country is in the middle of an entrepreneurship boom – home-grown internet giants like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have convinced a generation of young professionals that passion, focus and risk-taking can yield massive rewards. Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurship is relatively new to China, historically speaking, and many Chinese citizens regard Zuckerberg as its paragon. While Zuckerberg’s Mandarin was far from fluent, his performance during the 30-minute session was coherent and, at times, charmingly idiomatic – at the talk’s start, he called his Mandarin level “really terrible”, to laughter and applause. The talk was available to mainland viewers on Tsinghua University’s website, and circulated widely on domestic social media sites. Many …

    October 23, 2014 8:23 am
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Science

  • Can General Anesthesia Trigger Dementia?


    Sanfra Anastine had surgery at age 42 and couldn’t speak for about 12 hours afterward. The next time she was operated on she was 56 and it took three months for her speech to return. Now 61, Anastine says that she doesn’t have difficulty forming words anymore but is still more forgetful than before her second surgery. She’s afraid of what will happen if she has to go under anesthesia again. It is common to hear that an elderly patient “just isn’t the same” after surgery, says Robert Eckenhoff, an anesthesiologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Many people wonder if anesthesia—which is designed to make people groggy and temporarily rob them of their mental faculties—is to blame. Elderly patients often exhibit a condition called postoperative cognitive decline in which they experience lapses in memory and attention, but it usually does not last for more than a few weeks. Most evidence suggests that receiving general anesthesia …

    October 23, 2014 8:43 am
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Health

  • Teen Conflicts Spill Over to Other Areas of Their Lives


    THURSDAY, Oct. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Teens’ conflicts at home increase the risk of problems at school for up to two days, according to a new study. The research also found that the reverse is true: school problems can create issues at home. Additionally, the study found that bad mood and mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety are important factors in what’s referred to as “spillover effect.” Problems that can spill over between home and school include arguments between teens and their parents, skipping class, not completing assignments, difficulty understanding school work, and doing poorly on a quiz or test, the University of Southern California researchers explained. For example, failing a test could cause a teen to be irritable, which in turn could lead to an argument with parents. The researchers also found that teens with more symptoms of anxiety and depression were more likely to be in a bad mood after …

    October 23, 2014 8:22 am
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Entertainment

  • Beverly Johnson on how Down syndrome affects children of color differently


    On the “Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show” On Saturday, the supermodel will lead the catwalk at Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s 6th Annual “Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show” in Denver. The largest single fund-raiser for Down syndrome in the nation, the show has raised nearly $8 million for life-changing research and medical care for those living with the genetic condition. The national spokesperson for Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Johnson tirelessly advocates for the cause — one that is very personal to her. Her first cousin, with whom she is very close, has Down syndrome, as does her niece, Natalie Fuller. It didn’t take much convincing to get Johnson on board as the national spokesperson, she admits. “I’ve always been very supportive, particularly with my sister in her journey to get the best for Natalie, and I was like, ‘This is my time to actively participate in bringing awareness to people that have Down syndrome,’” she …

    October 23, 2014 8:02 am
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Editorial

  • Chilling free speech: Fed’s passion to monitor us has become insatiable


    Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media.  The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.” ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears. All presidents push the envelope when it comes to exercising their constitutional powers. But we never before have seen in modern times a president like the present one. …

    October 23, 2014 8:22 am
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Odd News

  • Woman who gouged her eyes in California sues over viral photo


    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A nurse at a Los Angeles hospital took a photo of a woman who gouged out her own eyes with pencils, and the patient sued the hospital and its administrators after the picture went viral on the Internet, her attorney said on Wednesday. The plaintiff, who is not named in the lawsuit, was treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 2012 after she tried to commit suicide by jamming the pencils through her eyes at another facility and was rushed to the hospital, her lawyer, Douglas Johnson, said. The injury left the woman blind, according to the lawsuit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The as-yet unidentified nurse took the photograph of the patient with the “intact pencils sticking out of her eyes,” then shared the unauthorized picture with another person, who passed the image to Joshua Shivers, the lawsuit said. Shivers, in turn, used his mother’s computer …

    October 22, 2014 8:26 pm
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