Headline News

  • Middle school worksheet paints Sharia law in positive light, parents claim

    Parents in southern Indiana have voiced their disapproval over a worksheet assigned to middle school students that they claim paints Sharia or Islamic law in oppressive countries like Saudi Arabia in a positive light. ATHEIST GROUP WINS BATTLE TO PULL CROSS FROM PUBLIC PARK AFTER THREATENING LAWSUIT According to the Courier-Journal, several parents spoke out against the worksheet assigned to seventh graders at Highland Hills Middle School in Georgetown, Indiana, during a recent New Albany-Floyd County school board meeting. The worksheet in question features a passage attributed to a fictional 20-year-old woman from Saudi Arabia named Ahlima. In the passage, Ahlima states that she is “very fortunate” to be living under the rule of Sharia law, which in many Muslim cultures is a strict religious code that governs the way Muslims dress and act. She goes on to explain that she will soon be married and become a man’s second wife. NEARLY 1 MILLION CHRISTIANS REPORTEDLY …

    January 23, 2017 8:47 am


  • Ethics lawyers sue Trump over foreign payments

    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts) A group including former White House ethics attorneys will file a lawsuit on Monday accusing President Donald Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit, brought by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, will allege that the Constitution’s emoluments clause forbids payments to Trump’s businesses. It will seek a court order forbidding Trump from accepting such payments, said Deepak Gupta, one of the lawyers working on the case. Trump does business with countries like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the group noted in a statement. “When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about …

    January 23, 2017 9:07 am


  • What We Can Expect From TI's Q4'16 Earnings

    Leading analog chip maker, Texas Instruments ( TXN ) is set to report its Q4 2016 earnings on January 24th. Going by the company’s guidance for the quarter, its revenue and EPS figures have likely declined sequentially and moderately increased on a year-over-year basis. It should be noted that Q3 is usually a seasonally strong quarter for TI, due to which there is a sequential decline in its revenues and net income in Q4. In the table below, we note the key metrics as expected for the company in Q4. Going ahead, we can expect TI to see improvements in its gross margins. The company’s effective manufacturing strategy has helped it improve its gross margins by approximately 10 percentage points in the last five years. At 62%, the company’s gross margins were at its highest levels in Q3’16.  Margin improvements for TI are as a result of an increasing proportion of its revenues coming from the 300mm production facilities. …

    January 23, 2017 7:27 am


  • Ryan Mason speaking in hospital after fracturing skull vs. Chelsea

    LONDON (AP) — Hull midfielder Ryan Mason has been able to talk about the clash of heads that left him with a fractured skull during a Premier League match at Chelsea. The 25-year-old Englishman underwent surgery after the incident, but Hull said Monday that Mason was in stable condition. “Ryan has been speaking of the incident yesterday and will continue to be monitored at the hospital over the coming days where the club will remain in close contact with Ryan, his family and the staff at St. Mary’s,” Hull said. “Ryan and his family have also been extremely touched by the overwhelming support they have received and would very much like to thank all of those who have posted such positive comments both on social media and in the press over the last 24 hours.” Mason was taken to the neurosurgery unit at a hospital close to Stamford Bridge on Sunday after the collision with …

    January 23, 2017 9:07 am

World News

  • Syrian regime, opposition refuse direct meeting in peace talks

    Jan. 23 (UPI) — Peace talks over the Syrian civil war began on Monday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, but without a direct meeting between President Bashar al-Assad‘s regime and rebels. The Syrian opposition said it refused to hold face-to-face talks with Assad’s representatives, citing continued bombardments and attacks in violation of a cease-fire agreement. The peace negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the nearly six-year civil war are brokered by Russia and Iran, which support Assad, as well as Turkey, which supports rebel forces.

    January 23, 2017 10:09 am


  • Lloyds cyber-attack details emerge

    Image caption At the time, the group attributed the breakdown to “technical problems” Lloyds Bank was the target of a cyber-attack nearly two weeks ago which stopped a substantial number of customers using their online accounts. The breakdown in service from the group, including Halifax and Bank of Scotland, came after the websites were overwhelmed with millions of requests in a denial of service attack. It is particularly worrying for banks that the disruption lasted three days. Lloyds revealed little at the time, despite a flood of Twitter complaints. But it has emerged that the National Cyber Security Centre is working with the bank on the attack. The problems started on Wednesday morning, 11 January, and continued in fits and starts until the following Friday, with some customers still unable to log into their accounts over the weekend. Despite speculation that a number of banks may have been targeted, it appears that the internet gang …

    January 23, 2017 8:47 am


  • Polar Bear Cubs at High Risk from Toxic Industrial Chemicals, Despite Bans

    Polar bears are facing trouble inside and out. The animals are losing habitat as global warming melts sea ice. Now a study shows bears’ bodies hold toxic chemicals originally made in distant factories, substances that threaten adult bears’ health at a level 100 times greater than the acceptable threshold of risk for humans. For cubs, the risk is more than 1,000 times that threshold. These risks have remained high, particularly in cubs, despite restrictions or bans on many of these chemicals more than a decade ago. Whereas the restrictions have reduced overall pollutant levels in cubs, the pace of reduction is being slowed by more recently produced chemicals that are not yet banned, says the study, which was published online in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry on January 5. “There is definitely a cause for concern,” says Melissa McKinney, a polar bear researcher at the University of Connecticut who was not involved in the study. She …

    January 23, 2017 8:27 am


  • UK scientists give cancer risk warning on overdone chips, toast

    LONDON Potatoes and bread cooked at high temperatures for a long time could increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them regularly, British government scientists said on Monday. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a substance called acrylamide, produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures, has been found in animal studies to increase the risk of cancer. In a statement that drew criticism from some independent experts, the FSA said that, to reduce the danger, consumers should cook these foods at lower temperatures and eat them when they are cooked to a golden color rather than browned. “The scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans,” it said. “As a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow color or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread.” But some experts …

    January 23, 2017 4:06 am


  • Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump’s right to ‘be a kid’ on social media

    Jan. 23 (UPI) — Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton defended new first son Barron Trump on social media following the inauguration. “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid,” the 36-year-old daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids,” she continued. Chelsea’s comments are seemingly in response to social media users who continually poked fun at Barron over the week as his father Donald Trump was sworn into office. In a series of posts on Instagram, Modern Family star Julie Bowen joked about Barron’s demeanor and facial expressions during the inauguration alongside screenshots of the 10-year-old at the event. “I think Barron is on his Gameboy. Can’t say I blame him,” the actress wrote alongside a photo of Barron looking down. “Barron, a voting majority shares your horror #barronforpresident,” she …

    January 23, 2017 7:47 am


  • House Armed Serviced Committee Chairman: Here’s how to we will make America’s military great again

    President Trump inherits an increasingly dangerous world and a military that has been severely damaged in recent years.  Funding national security, which used to be a bipartisan priority, has become part of the political gamesmanship that so frustrates the American people.  Now the new president and the new Congress have a pivotal opportunity to turn things around, and there is much to do. President Trump has made rebuilding our military strength one of his top priorities.  More money is certainly required, but so is reform of the Pentagon and how it does business. Over the past two years, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have made defense reform a very high priority.  We have put the military retirement and health care systems on a more sustainable footing. We have enacted the most significant organizational changes to the Pentagon since Goldwater-Nichols and have mandated reductions in overhead, in flag officers, and in the number of …

    January 23, 2017 8:47 am

Odd News

  • Canadian father builds hidden playroom for son

    Jan. 20 (UPI) — A handy father in Canada surprised his son 7-year-old by building him a secret playroom underneath the family computer. Isaac Bartley detailed the construction of the hidden playroom connecting the computer room to his son’s closet on his Imgur page while his son was away. “We have our computer set up beneath the stairs in our house,” he said. “The actual space under the stair landing has never been used.” Bartley decided to cut a holes in the closet and the wall beneath the computer while also modifying a portion of the desk to slide over and reveal the hidden passage. He then painted the walls of the crawl space white, placed hardboard on the ceiling and fitted the space with LED lights to add to the secretive ambience. When the project was completed Bartley shared a brief video providing a tour of the secret play space.

    January 23, 2017 4:46 am