Headline News

  • America celebrates July 4 with hot dogs and barbecues amid tightened security

    NEW YORK Americans marched in star-spangled parades, ran relay races, gathered for fireworks shows and crowned a new world hot dog eating champion as they celebrated Independence Day in traditional style on Saturday. Possible security threats, wildfires in the West and rainy weather on the East Coast apparently did little to dampen the spirits of celebrants decked out in red, white and blue from their headbands to their shoelaces. Crowds at Boston’s Old State House erupted in applause and cannons shot out tri-color confetti after the annual July Fourth reading of the Declaration of Independence. Later, thousands flocked to the Charles River Esplanade for the annual Boston Pops concert and fireworks. Krystle O’Brien, 27, wore an American flag cowboy hat and passed out glowsticks. “It’s a good day for Boston,” she said. “There’s so much history here, we can celebrate this freedom.” In Maplewood, New Jersey, Meskie Hyman, 11, exuded patriot pride in a star-spangled …

    July 4, 2015 11:11 pm


  • Hillary Clinton: no substitute for ‘constant engagement’ with Putin

    GLEN, N.H. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Saturday the United States has to be “much smarter” about how it deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “That’s why we have to be much smarter in how we deal with Putin and how we deal with his ambitions,” Clinton said at a campaign event. “He’s not an easy man … But I don’t think there is any substitute other than constant engagement.” (Reporting by Amanda Becker; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)

    July 4, 2015 9:50 pm


  • China spends billions to prevent stock market crash

    China’s stock market is in trouble. It’s down over 20% since mid-June. But Chinese stock brokers are trying to tell scared investors: Stop selling. Help is on the way. On Saturday, China’s 21 largest brokerage firms said they would spend a whopping 120 billion yuan (about $19.3 billion) to try to stabilize the market, according to Chinese state media. The firms will actually buy stock funds themselves. The goal is to show regular mom and pop investors that the big players still think buying stocks is a good idea. It’s a similar strategy to companies buying back their stock when they think it’s undervalued. Related: Why China’s stock market is getting scary Big stock slide: The Shanghai Composite — the world’s third largest stock exchange if you add up the value of its companies — has lost 24% since June 12, putting it officially in bear market territory. The bears are growling even louder on …

    July 4, 2015 6:49 pm


  • U.S coach praises Japan for bringing possession into play

    VANCOUVER Japan’s World Cup victory four years ago with a possession style approach was a turning point for the women’s game that will be reflected in Sunday’s final, according to United States head coach Jill Ellis. Japan became the first Asian team to win the World Cup when they defeated the U.S on penalties in the final having despatched traditional European powers Germany and Sweden. “I think 2011, it was a watershed moment with Japan winning,” said Ellis ahead of the 2015 final between the two sides at BC Place. “I think the quarter-final win over Germany, it made everybody in the world realize that having the ball has a big part to do with being successful. “It doesn’t matter how big or strong you are, the technique part is a massive part of the game.” While Ellis’s team beat Japan for the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, she believed the style of …

    July 4, 2015 11:11 pm

World News

  • Greeks prepare for bailout vote

    Preliminary results are expected on Sunday evening Millions of Greeks are preparing to vote in a crucial referendum on whether to accept the terms of an international bailout. Polling stations are due to open at 07:00 local time (04:00 GMT), with the first results expected on Sunday evening. The end of a frenetic week of campaigning saw huge rallies on Friday. The government has urged voters to vote “No”, but opponents warn this could see Greece ejected from the eurozone. ‘Spreading fear’ Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told local media on Saturday that the EU had “no legal grounds” to throw Greece out of the euro. On the eve of the referendum, he accused Athens’ creditors of trying to sow fear around the vote. Speaking to Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, he said: “Why did they force us to close the banks? To instil fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.” Meanwhile, German Finance …

    July 4, 2015 11:12 pm


  • Zombies, creepers and kids all flock to Minecraft’s block party

    As a corporate conference venue, London’s ExCeL Centre is regularly overwhelmed by besuited executives dealing in arcane business jargon. This weekend, however, an altogether different sub-culture was in charge, as Creepers, Zombies, Skeletons and thousands of children congregated to celebrate a common digital passion: Minecraft. Minecraft involves exploring a world made out of digital blocks, which can be broken up and made into new materials and structures, from pickaxes and swords to buildings and carts. Its “creative mode” puts the emphasis on building, while its “survival mode” sees players having to battle monsters which come out at night. Initially a PC game, it has since crossed on to games consoles, smartphones and tablets, finding a huge audience of children along the way. The game’s developer, Mojang, brought its Minecon conference to London for the first time, with 10,000 fans filling the venue – a small sliver of the 70 million people who have bought the …

    July 4, 2015 9:30 pm


  • Newly discovered 48-million-year-old lizard walked on water in Wyoming

    A newly-discovered, 48-million-year-old fossil, known as a “Jesus lizard” for its ability to walk on water, may provide insight into how climate change may affect tropical species, according to a study published July 1 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jack Conrad from American Museum of Natural History. Modern relatives of the Jesus lizard live in an area stretching from central Mexico to northern Colombia, flourishing in the higher temperatures found at the equator. Members of various animal, plant, fungal, and other clades currently confined to the tropics or subtropical areas are often found in fossil records at mid-to-high latitudes from warm periods in Earth history. The 48-million-year-old fossil, recovered from the Bridger Formation in Wyoming, is the first description of a new species, named Babibasiliscus alxi by the author, and may represent the earliest clear member of the Jesus lizard group, Corytophanidae. This group, which includes iguanas and chameleons, remains poorly understood, due …

    July 4, 2015 9:32 pm


  • Exclusive: Hospira wins French biosimilar drug tender at 45 percent discount

    PARIS A major French hospital group has chosen a cheap copycat version of a top-selling drug for treating its patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis in a victory for a new type of medicine known as biosimilars.    In a document seen by Reuters, the central purchasing agency for the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) said on Friday it had decided to buy the biosimilar version of infliximab from Hospira (HSP.N), after the company offered a discount of some 45 percent to branded Remicade. AP-HP caters for nearly a quarter of the country’s population and the tender decision will allow the copycat to make significant inroads in the French market. Hospira, which is being acquired by Pfizer (PFE.N), sells its drug under the brand name Inflectra. The medicine was developed by South Korean firm Celltrion (068270.KQ) as a copy of Remicade, the original branded drug from Merck Co (MRK.N) and Johnson Johnson …

    July 4, 2015 9:50 pm


  • Kristen Stewart Flashes A Rare Smile As She Skips Off To Paris

    Posted on Sat Jul 4th, 2015 9:35am PDT       By X17 Staff Someone’s in a good mood! Kristen Stewart jetted out of Los Angeles International Airport and headed to Paris on Friday, and the notoriously poker-faced actress flashed us a quick smile before making her way through the terminal. We’re not sure where her girlfriend Alicia Cargile was, so it seems like K. Stew will be rolling solo in France… The 25-year-old starlet got a manicure and a pedicure at a nail salon in Beverly Hills the previous day, so clearly she’s ready to make a few red carpet appearances. She’ll be promoting her upcoming film American Ultra, which hits theaters next month. The film is about a pot-smoking sleeper agent named Mike Howell (played by Jesse Eisenberg) who is “marked as a liability and targeted for extermination, but he’s too well-trained and too high for [the government] to handle.” K. Stew plays Howell’s love interest, and …

    July 4, 2015 11:11 pm


  • Time for the Obama administration to respond to Syrian chemical attacks

    The Obama Administration puts a lot of stock into negotiating with hostile regimes.  Consider its seemingly endless negotiations with Iran over that nation’s illicit nuclear weapons program. But even as those negotiations drag on, Iran’s ally Syria has systematically violated the 2013 agreement it negotiated with the administration. In that agreement, codified in a U.N. Security Council resolution, Syria promised to give up its chemical weapons. Yet last Friday, Reuters reported that international inspectors have found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Agency, a government facility that western intelligence agencies assess was involved in developing chemical and biological weapons. The inspectors, from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, also are investigating numerous reports of the use of chlorine gas in “barrel bombs” delivered by the Assad regime’s helicopters.  Damascus has denied all the charges. It also continues to block inspectors from accessing some of the attacked …

    July 4, 2015 9:51 pm

Odd News

  • Mexican firm sorry for royally selling president short

    MEXICO CITY It could have been the height of diplomatic embarrassment for Mexico’s president. When Enrique Pena Nieto hosted towering King Felipe of Spain this week, it was a tongue-in-cheek paint ad ridiculing his 10- inch height deficit that grabbed the headlines. On Wednesday, Mexican paint company Comex posted on Twitter a digitally-altered photograph of the president standing on one of its paint pots, giving him a leg up over the monarch under the banner “una pintura de altura,” or “a paint of stature.” Comex apologized on Thursday for the photograph, deleting the post after it had been heavily retweeted. It said the Tweet was published “without the appropriate approvals”. (Reporting by Max de Haldevang; Editing by Dave Graham and Simon Gardner)

    July 2, 2015 8:54 pm