Headline News

  • Embattled Fifa votes on presidency


    The 209 members of Fifa are to vote for their new president at a congress in Zurich, as football’s world governing body faces a huge corruption scandal. Sepp Blatter, the favourite, is seeking a fifth term. He is being challenged by Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. The vote comes two days after seven top officials were held in Zurich in a US fraud inquiry that indicted 14 people. Mr Blatter faces calls to quit but says he is not responsible for the scandal and wants to combat corruption. The voting explained ‘Good victory’ Mr Blatter, 79, and Prince Ali, 39, will each have 15 minutes to address the delegates. The 209 member football associations then vote individually in the ballot, which is secret. In the first round, a candidate must get 140 votes – two-thirds – to win outright. If that is not achieved, there will be a second round requiring a simple majority …

    May 29, 2015 2:21 am
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Politics

  • Former House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges


    CHICAGO Former House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted on Thursday on federal charges, including for lying to the FBI, relating to an alleged effort to hide $3.5 million in payments he was making to a person to conceal past misconduct. The Illinois Republican, who left Congress in 2007, was charged with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000, and lying to the FBI about his withdrawals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said. Each count of the two-count indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Hastert, 73, resigned on Thursday from the Dickstein Shapiro law firm in Washington where he was listed as a senior adviser and from the board of the exchange operator CME Group Inc, representatives of the law firm and CME said. Hastert could not be reached immediately to comment on the …

    May 29, 2015 1:21 am
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Stocks

  • Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht: Drug ‘kingpin’ or ‘idealistic’ Boy Scout?


    A federal judge must decide between two starkly different portrayals of 31-year-old Ross Ulbricht, who is facing sentencing for his role in founding Silk Road. When Ross Ulbricht goes to court Friday, he knows one thing is certain: He’s going to prison. Probably for a long time. The question is for how long. Ulbricht, who is 31, created Silk Road — a website that let users anonymously buy and sell anything from drugs to hacking tutorials. He is expected to serve a minimum of 20 years, but the federal government is pushing for a heavier sentence. After his conviction in February on seven counts ranging from money laundering to drug trafficking, Ulbricht’s fate is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest. In letter to the judge, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara painted Ulbricht as a kingpin of a drug trafficking enterprise who made things easier for drug buyers and sellers. “Ulbricht bears …

    May 29, 2015 2:21 am
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Sports

  • Blatter seeks re-election as scandal engulfs FIFA


    ZURICH The embattled head of world soccer, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, is expected to be re-elected on Friday despite growing calls for his resignation amid a corruption scandal that has engulfed the sport’s governing body. At a meeting in Zurich starting at 0730 GMT, up to 209 FIFA members will choose between Blatter, who is seeking his fifth term as president, and his sole challenger Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan. Anger within Europe’s powerful regional soccer body UEFA and other members over the damage allegations of graft are doing to FIFA is unlikely to be enough to topple the 79-year-old Swiss, who is backed by the Asian and African confederations. The maths appears to be in Blatter’s favor, despite some countries saying they were switching allegiance. On Friday, New Zealand Football said it would vote for 39-year-old Prince Ali despite a previous unanimous commitment from countries in the Oceania Football Confederation in January …

    May 29, 2015 2:22 am
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World News

  • Myanmar hits back on migrant blame


    Myanmar has refused to be singled out for blame for the Asia migrant crisis at a conference of the regional grouping Asean in Bangkok. Delegates said the situation was at an alarming level. Representatives of the US and UN are also at the meeting. Thousands of people have fled Bangladesh and Myanmar by boat, heading south to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. The UN estimates about 2,600 migrants are still stranded out at sea. Most are economic migrants from Bangladesh and Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar – also known as Burma. The crisis began earlier this year when Thailand cracked down on overland migrant routes, forcing people smugglers to use sea routes instead. ‘No finger-pointing’ Myanmar’s foreign ministry chief Htin Lynn said his country would co-operate in dealing with human trafficking. But he also told delegates that on “this issue of illegal migration of boat people, you cannot single out my country. “Finger-pointing will not …

    May 29, 2015 2:21 am
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Technology

  • Path sells its social-networking app to Duam Kakao


    Path has sold its social network to Daum Kakao. Path Path, a social network designed for mobile devices, has agreed to be acquired by Daum Kakao, the South Korean maker of the popular Kakao Talk messaging app. The acquisition of Path and the Path Talk app was announced Thursday in a blog post by Path CEO Dave Morin. The company’s two main apps will continue to operate under the new ownership, with a greater emphasis on Southeast Asian markets, Morin said. “Path and Daum Kakao share an important core value: we both strive to better connect you to the people, places and things that are the most important to you,” Morin said in his post. “We have reached a tipping point on our journey and for Path to truly grow we need more resources and a larger local team that deeply understands Southeast Asian markets. Future product updates will continue to improve connecting, sharing and …

    May 29, 2015 12:41 am
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Science

  • Stanford researchers tie unexpected brain structures to creativity — and to stifling it


    Investigators at Stanford University have found a surprising link between creative problem-solving and heightened activity in the cerebellum, a structure located in the back of the brain and more typically thought of as the body’s movement-coordination center. In designing the study, the researchers drew inspiration from the game Pictionary. The cerebellum, traditionally viewed as the brain’s practice-makes-perfect, movement-control center, hasn’t been previously recognized as critical to creativity. The new study, a collaboration between the School of Medicine and Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, commonly known as the d.school, is the first to find direct evidence that this brain region is involved in the creative process. “Our findings represent an advance in our knowledge of the brain-based physiology of creativity,” said the study’s senior author, Allan Reiss, MD, professor of radiology and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. The study, to be published May 28 in Scientific Reports, also suggests that shifting the brain’s higher-level, executive-control …

    May 29, 2015 1:02 am
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Health

  • Fitness in middle age linked to healthier brain in later years


    (Reuters Health) – – People who have better aerobic fitness in middle age may ward off decreases in brain volume later in life, potentially preserving memory and other functions, a U.S. study suggests. “The current findings suggest that maintaining high fitness in midlife may boost brain health on average 20 years later in adults who have not yet experienced cognitive impairment,” lead study author Qu Tian, a gerontology researcher at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, said by email. Tian and colleagues followed 146 older adults over a decade, using treadmill tests to measure cardiorespiratory fitness. They also used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect changes in brain volume. At the start of the study in 1994, participants were 69 years old on average. To be included, they had to be healthy and free of cognitive impairment, dementia, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological problems and have no history of stroke, heart or lung disease, or …

    May 29, 2015 1:21 am
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Entertainment

  • Selena Gomez And Justin Bieber Caught Hanging Out!


    Posted on Thu May 28th, 2015 12:17pm PDT       By X17 Staff She really does have a terminal case of Bieber fever! Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are the most on-off couple in Hollywood, and all signs point to them being ON again after this Snapchat video surfaced of the pair hanging out together with mutual pal and pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. Although you only see the “Come Get It” singer for a brief second, and if you blink you might miss her, she is seen smiling and laughing in the background as The Biebs does a rap about God. We guess poor Selena thinks JB might be done banging random girls. We give it two weeks before she’s back to crying on Taylor Swift’s shoulder and eating Ben Jerrys. If he was your boyfriend, he’d never let you go…. well, yes he will, until he’s bored and his side chicks are busy!   Stories from around …

    May 29, 2015 1:41 am
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Editorial

  • Climate change: Mr. Obama, 97 percent of experts is a bogus number


    Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: Climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. President Obama tweeted that, and it has been repeated by countless others. It is tempting for a politician to claim that 97 percent of experts agree with you. But do they? The 97 percent claim was taken from a study paper by Australian John Cook, Climate Communications Fellow for the Global change Institute at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in May, 2013. The paper says nothing about the would-be dangers of climate change and it counts the number of publications, rather than the number of scientists, in support of human-made climate change. Never let facts get in the way of a good story. The paper is a treasure trove of how-not-to lessons for a graduate class on survey design and analysis: the sample was not representative, statistical tests were ignored, and the results were …

    May 29, 2015 1:41 am
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Odd News

  • Branded golf balls were a mistake, Ireland’s former bank regulator says


    DUBLIN Ireland’s financial regulator, whose “timid” supervision was criticized for not halting the country’s banking crash, produced branded golf balls to promote itself before the office was overhauled, a parliamentary inquiry heard on Thursday. Promotions such as golf balls or umbrellas bearing the logos of banks were commonplace in Ireland during their rapid growth a decade ago. That growth ended in the most expensive bank bailout in the euro zone when a property bubble spectacularly burst. Patrick Neary, who was head of financial regulation from 2006 to 2009, was asked on Thursday what the regulators were thinking when they handed out the golf balls. “Your job was the micro-prudential supervision of the banks. What was going on?” inquiry member Susan O’Keefe asked Neary, in the most anticipated hearing since lawmakers began to question bank executives, regulators and politicians. “It must have been a package of things that were delivered, I really don’t know much about …

    May 28, 2015 8:58 am
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