Headline News

  • California city evacuated after military ordinance found


    (Reuters) – Residents in 500 to 700 homes and businesses in a California town were told to evacuate on Wednesday after a piece of potentially explosive “military ordinance” was reported in its business district, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said. A sheriff’s department bomb squad and a disposal unit from Vandenberg Air Force Base were investigating the unidentified device, which was reported at around 3:30 p.m. local time in Solvang, a town of about 5,000 residents some 130 miles outside Los Angeles. There were no reports of injury. It was unclear whether any threat remained. The American Red Cross set up a location to assist displaced people, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Larry King)

    April 17, 2014 3:44 am
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Politics

  • California Governor Brown wants rainy-day fund in constitution


    SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday stepped up his efforts to enshrine a rainy day fund in the state’s constitution, stealing some thunder from Republicans backing a similar measure as he seeks an unprecedented fourth term. Brown, a Democrat who has followed a path of fiscal restraint since returning as governor in 2011 from two previous terms of office in the 1970s and ’80s, is widely credited with restoring stability to California’s battered budget after years of multibillion-dollar deficits. “We simply must prevent the massive deficits of the last decade, and we can only do that by paying down our debts and creating a solid rainy day fund,” Brown said. On Wednesday, he called a special session of the Legislature for next week to discuss his plan for requiring the state to set aside money earned from volatile investments such as those in the stock market in flush years for use …

    April 17, 2014 1:43 am
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Stocks

  • Stocks: Caution returns as tech stumbles


    Following three days of stock market gains, investors are feeling cautious again after Google and IBM posted earnings that disappointed Wall Street. U.S. stock futures were edging lower ahead of the opening bell. Shares in IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) were down by about 4% in premarket trading after the firm posted disappointing earnings and revenue numbers late Wednesday. Shares in Google (GOOGL) were also sinking premarket after reporting earnings that missed analysts’ expectations. “[It's] another tough day for tech,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets. Continuing the downbeat tech theme, China’s Weibo was reported to have raised less money than originally planned in its initial public offering. The shares begin trading on the Nasdaq Thursday. Related: CNNMoney’s Tech30 Rising tensions in eastern Ukraine were adding to the unsettled tone. European, U.S., Russian and Ukrainian leaders are meeting in Geneva Thursday to try to find ways to resolve the crisis. President Obama …

    April 17, 2014 4:05 am
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Sports

  • Aiming to end long drought, Westwood takes early lead in 1st round of Malaysian Open


    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia –  Determined to end a two-year title drought, Lee Westwood opened with a 65 Thursday to take an early lead at the Malaysian Open. Westwood had a bogey at the par-five 10th, his first hole, but birdied four of his closing five holes to finish the first round at 7 under. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT No. 36-ranked Westwood is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Masters last weekend — his best finish so far this year. Westwood, who won the Malaysian Open in 1997 and lost in a playoff the following year, was content with his first round. “I played well,” Westwood said. “I didn’t make the best of starts bogeying … the first hole, but fortunately that didn’t set the tone. “I hit it really well and hit it close a lot. I had to be patient because I was hitting good putts and they weren’t going in (until) I holed one …

    April 17, 2014 3:45 am
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World News

  • Weather blights S Korea ferry search


    17 April 2014 Last updated at 09:56 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Rescue teams are frantically trying to find any survivors, as Jon Brain reports Bad weather, murky water and strong currents are hampering the search for survivors of the South Korean ferry disaster. Emergency services are still searching for nearly 300 people missing after a ship carrying more than 470 people sank. Officials say 179 people have been rescued. Most of the passengers were pupils at the same high school. South Korea’s president visited the wreck and urged rescuers to hurry. Bad weather has hampered efforts to search the ship Relatives of the missing are enduring an agonizing wait for information Park Geun-hye said that time was running out and that every minute and every second was critical. At least nine people are confirmed to have died, with dozens more injured. Military divers have been fighting high wind and waves …

    April 17, 2014 4:25 am
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Technology

  • Big Brother really is watching you (It’s your IT manager)


    Be careful what you wish for. ComputerRepairsMiami/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET You know you’re being followed, don’t you? You know that governments, phone companies, and all those sneaker-wearing pups at Google are interested in your every move. Admit it, there’s a part of you that quite likes it. It’s better to have the impersonal and the inanimate care about you than no one at all. However, there’s another occasional snoop from whom your eye shouldn’t often stray. It’s the friendly, occasionally disheveled IT manager at your place of work. They see things, you know. There’s a certain fascination, therefore, in reading the results of a survey of 300 IT Managers performed last month on behalf of TeamViewer. This is a company that, stunningly, seems very focused on “the development and distribution of high-end solutions for online communication, collaboration and remote monitoring of IT systems.” In this survey, 92 percent of IT personnel admitted that they …

    April 17, 2014 1:22 am
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Science

  • Red moon at night; stargazer’s delight


    Related images(click to enlarge) Monday night’s lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation’s National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) near Tucson, Ariz., the skies offered impressive viewing. Nicknamed a “blood moon,” this lunar eclipse’s color was similar to the majority of lunar eclipses. This has to do with Earth’s atmosphere’s propensity for longer-wavelength light (e.g., the reds, oranges and yellows seen in sunrises and sunsets). However, according to NOAO Astronomer Stephen Pompea, the lunar eclipse’s hue means more than just a pretty moon. “The study of the color of lunar eclipses can be used to understand dust in the stratosphere including the amount and particle size of dust injected by volcanic eruptions,” he said. “Understanding the amount of dust can help scientists create better models of climate change.” For those who …

    April 17, 2014 1:22 am
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Health

  • Galapagos, GSK successfully conclude phase 2a study of skin disease drug


    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian biotech group Galapagos NV on Thursday said it has successfully concluded the phase 2a study of a skin disease drug it is developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline PLC. Galapagos tested drug GSK2586184 on 66 patients with chronic psoriasis and observed a 75 percent improvement in significantly more patients than in the placebo group. GSK, which owns the drug’s commercial rights, will decide whether to proceed with clinical trials, Galapagos said in a statement. Galapagos said it could receive a milestone payment of up to 34 million euros ($46.94 million) as well as double-digit royalties as the program proceeds towards commercialization. ($1 = 0.7243 Euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

    April 17, 2014 1:43 am
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Entertainment

  • Valerie Harper’s cancer terminal: "But guess what? Not today!"


    Valerie Harper is not letting cancer get her down. The 74-year-old actress is refuting earlier claims she is “cancer-free,” but she does have positivity when it comes to her diagnosis. Valerie Harper wants you to be “less afraid of death”  “My last scans have been positive, and my doctors are very happy,” she told Closer Weekly (via People). “[The oncologist] looked at the scans and said, ‘Oh my God, Valerie, this is very encouraging.’” Harper had only been given months to live when she first got her diagnosis, but she decided to ignore that and went on to appear on Dancing with the Stars. She said she is not in remission, but her doctor is by her side through the whole fight. “He likes to say, ‘I give you a treatment, and it’s either responsive or nonresponsive, and you are having a phenomenal response,” she said, adding that she still has a big fight ahead …

    April 17, 2014 4:05 am
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Editorial

  • US still Israel’s best friend but no longer its only friend


    Two Israeli Air Force pilots watch the C-130J Super Hercules military aircraft, top, as it lands during an unveiling ceremony upon its arrival in Nevatim Air Force base near Beersheba , Southern Israel, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The U.S. made Lockheed-Martin C-130 line of transport aircraft will join the Israel Air Forces fleet. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS2014 Late last month the United States introduced a U.N. resolution condemning Russia’s de facto seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. As expected, the resolution passed the General Assembly easily. Unexpected, though, was the decision by Israel, long America’s most reliable U.N. vote (and vice versa), to absent itself from the ballot. This shook up the Obama administration. National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and demanded an explanation. Lieberman blandly blamed it on a strike at the foreign ministry. What was he supposed to do, ask Israeli diplomats to cross a picket line? ADVERTISEMENT …

    April 17, 2014 1:43 am
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Odd News

  • Every dog has his day in court, in New Jersey


    (Reuters) – Call him juror K-9. A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty, court officials in New Jersey’s Cumberland County said on Wednesday. Barrett Griner IV, of Bridgeton, said he opened a jury summons on Friday addressed to “IV Griner,” the name of his 5-year-old dog. “It was just funny,” he said. “I got mail for my dog.” The court did not actually request that a dog serve on a jury, said Mark Sprock, the local trial court administrator. He said a computer probably misread Griner’s numerical suffix IV as his first name. “It probably picked up that IV, which is usually after his name, from one of the databases and put it into his first name slot in the jury system,” Sprock said. Typically, someone getting such an erroneous jury summons can call the court offices and the error will be …

    April 17, 2014 1:22 am
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