Headline News

  • US courts conflict on Obamacare law


    22 July 2014 Last updated at 19:47 Two US appeals courts have given conflicting rulings regarding a federal regulation implementing key subsidies of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. The subsidies provide cash help to low and middle income earners buying health insurance on federal exchanges. The rulings are the latest in a series of legal challenges to key planks of President Obama’s health care law. The decisions are open to appeal, so nothing will change immediately. “Our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly,” Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion ruling against the Obama administration’s position. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on Halbig v Burwell on Tuesday, one of four lawsuits currently challenging the legality of Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-funded subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care …

    July 22, 2014 1:59 pm
    0 Comments

Politics

  • Rating Change: Illinois’ 10th District


    By Nathan L. Gonzales Posted at 12:39 p.m. July 22 0 Tweet Dold is attempting to come back to Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Former Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., nearly survived Democrats’ redistricting efforts and a presidential election year, but he lost re-election in the 10th District in 2012. Dold is running again this year against the man who beat him, Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider. But like the race in California’s 52nd District, the Republican challenger in this Illinois contest is at least as well-known as the Democratic incumbent in the race. Much of the messaging will likely be recycled from last time, but the midterm dynamic could produce a friendlier electorate for Dold. Instead of getting a boost from Obama’s re-election effort, Schneider might be forced to contend with Gov. Pat Quinn’s struggling poll numbers outside of Chicago. The district leans Democratic by the numbers, but given the tight race last time …

    July 22, 2014 1:18 pm
    0 Comments

Stocks

  • Hedge fund manager crying Herbalife wolf?


    Bill Ackman promises to deliver a ‘deathblow’ to Herbalife. It’s not every day that you see a billionaire in tears, but hedge fund manager Bill Ackman got choked up Tuesday as he spoke about Herbalife — the nutritional supplement company that he’s been waging a war against for about two years. Ackman alleges Herbalife (HLF) is a pyramid scheme. He reiterated that again in a lengthy presentation today, berating the company for exploiting immigrants and the poor with “nutrition clubs” and programs such as “success university.” “These people work really hard, and unfortunately they don’t realize that they’ve been defrauded,” he said of the members of Herbalife’s vast distributor network. The company’s products aren’t available in stores, only via direct sales. Fighting back tears, Ackman talked about his own family’s history of immigrating to the U.S. from Russia and working their way up. He said Herbalife is selling a fictitious version of the American dream. …

    July 22, 2014 1:58 pm
    0 Comments

Sports

  • Pinot climbs to third as Bardet, Van Garderen struggle


    BAGNERES DE LUCHON France (Reuters) – Romain Bardet had promised to “blow up the race”, but it was Thibaut Pinot who set off the fireworks on the ascent to the Port de Bales on Tuesday’s 16th stage of the Tour de France. Pinot, who climbed to third in the overall standings, was the strongest of the general classification contenders on the 11.7-km climb as podium rivals Bardet and American Tejay van Garderen cracked. Spain’s Alejandro Valverde, who is second overall, had his Movistar team set a fearsome tempo from the foot of the ascent and Van Garderen was the first of the top guns to drop back. Bardet was struggling at the rear of the group and slipped back when Pinot’s FDJ.fr team mate Arnold Jeannesson upped the pace significantly. “We showed that we are an incredible team,” Pinot, who trails yellow jersey holder Vincenzo Nibali of Italy by 5 minutes and six seconds, told …

    July 22, 2014 1:59 pm
    0 Comments

World News

  • Nigerian leader vows to free girls


    22 July 2014 Last updated at 18:55 President Goodluck Jonathan has been criticised for not meeting parents earlier Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has told parents of the girls abducted by militant Islamist group Boko Haram that the government is doing everything possible to secure their release. He met parents for the first time on Tuesday after being accused of handling the 100-day crisis badly. More than 150 people attended the meeting after the government chartered a plane for them, reports say. The abduction of the more than 200 girls in April sparked global outrage. Parents pulled out of a meeting with Mr Jonathan last week amid accusations they were being used for political reasons. The parents of 11 of the girls have died since their abduction, the Associated Press news agency reports. Some of the girls managed to escape after being abducted from their school A global campaign was launched to secure the release of …

    July 22, 2014 1:59 pm
    0 Comments

Technology

  • Loom bands: 10 digital ways to catch up with your kids crafting skills


    Parenting manuals? Pfft. The internet is now the flustered parent’s first port of call for tricky questions of all kinds. From the earliest years (“Should baby poo really be that colour?”) to the curious years (“Daddy, what’s the most aggressive penguin in the world? Ask Mr Google! Ask Mr Google!”) online sources are preserving millions of parents’ sanity. Not to mention their wafer-thin claims to omniscience. Which brings me neatly on to loom bands. My seven year-old son appears to have quietly put in the regulation 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at weaving tiny coloured rubber bands into intricate designs – this year’s craze among pre-teen children. Judging by the 50p-per-wristband he’s charging family members, he’s also honing his entrepreneurial skills. Meanwhile, I’ve been floundering: my schooldays taught me to flick an elastic band across the room at someone’s nose with decent accuracy, but not how to craft a neatly finished fishtail …

    July 22, 2014 9:18 am
    0 Comments

Science

  • NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary


    [image-36] Fifteen years ago, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Chandra, one of NASA’s current “Great Observatories,” along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions of the universe. With its superb sensitivity and resolution, Chandra has observed objects ranging from the closest planets and comets to the most distant known quasars. It has imaged the remains of exploded stars, or supernova remnants, observed the region around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and discovered black holes across the universe. Chandra also has made a major advance in the study of dark matter by tracing the separation of dark matter from normal matter in collisions between galaxy clusters. It …

    July 22, 2014 1:39 pm
    0 Comments

Health

  • Schizophrenia has many genetic links, study says


    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Over 100 locations on the human genome may play a role in a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia, according to a new study. While the results don’t have an immediate effect on those living with the psychiatric disorder, one of the study’s authors said they open areas of research into a topic that had looked closed. “The exciting thing about having little openings is it gives you a place to dig and make big openings,” said Steve McCarroll, director of genetics for the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. McCarroll is part of the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, which published the study in the journal Nature. About one percent of Americans have schizophrenia, according to the National Institutes of Health. The disorder’s symptoms, which include hallucinations and delusions, often begin between people’s teenage years and their late-20s. Researchers have long …

    July 22, 2014 1:19 pm
    0 Comments

Entertainment

  • Cameron Diaz Abruptly Ends Radio Interview After Host Disses Drew Barrymore


    Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel chatted with Australia’s Kyle Jackie O radio show to promote their new film Sex Tape, and when co-host Kyle Sandilands made a cutting remark about Diaz’s best friend Drew Barrymore’s troubled teen years, the actress fired back at Sandilands and promptly cut the interview short! Co-host Jackie O (you know, the nice one) mentioned that Diaz’s daughter in the movie, Giselle Eisenberg, reminded her of Barrymore’s character in E.T. Sandilands then joked, “Let’s hope she misses out on the Drew Barrymore drug years, because those were a great thing to watch, but not so good to be in, I’d imagine.” Jackie tried to lighten the mood by cutting in and saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” adding that it was good Barrymore came out on top, but Diaz wasn’t having it. “I’m sure, Kyle, you’ve never been through a drug phase, have you? Or alcoholism or anything like …

    July 22, 2014 1:59 pm
    0 Comments

Editorial

  • ObamaCare in death spiral after federal appeals court strikes down some subsidies


    Tuesday, a federal appeals court slapped down the Obama administration in a 2-1 ruling that could kill the president’s signature health care law. If upheld by the Supreme Court, the ruling would force Congress back to the drawing boards to design a health law that is actually affordable, rather than bearing the false title “Affordable Care Act.” The ruling in Halbig v. Burwell bars the federal government from handing out taxpayer-funded subsidies to people who buy ObamaCare plans in nearly two-thirds of the states. Those subsidies took the sting out of being forced to buy pricey ObamaCare plans. If the ruling sticks, buyers in those states will have to pay full price, on average a whopping four times the subsidized price they paid this year. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Quadrupling the price would likely trigger a mass exodus out of the plans,causing what the insurance industry calls a “death spiral.” The ruling by the influential appeals court …

    July 22, 2014 1:19 pm
    0 Comments

Odd News

  • White flag surrender symbols replace U.S. flags on Brooklyn Bridge


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two white flags hung in place of the American flags that traditionally flutter atop the Brooklyn Bridge on Tuesday, baffling New York City officials, police and onlookers. Two U.S. flags usually decorate the towers of the iconic bridge, which opened in 1883, but on Tuesday morning on they had been replaced with the international symbol of surrender, said police spokeswoman Sophia Mason. The white flags have since been taken down but they flew on in a stream of photos posted on Twitter. New York City Councilman Mark Weprin tweeted one shot at about 10 a.m. with the question, “Why are there white flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge?” By 1 p.m., Weprin tweeted another photo that showed the American flags back in their proper place. The incident was under investigation and police planned to release more details later on Tuesday. (Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Bill Trott)

    July 22, 2014 1:38 pm
    0 Comments