Headline News

  • ‘Life-threatening’ blizzard shuts down much of Northeast


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A “life-threatening” blizzard barreled into the U.S. Northeast, affecting up to 20 percent of Americans as it kept workers and students housebound, halted thousands of flights and prompted officials to ban cars from roads and shut down public transport. With memories still fresh of Sandy, a superstorm that ravaged the East Coast in 2012, governors of at least eight East Coast states declared emergencies. The storm could affect up to 60 million people in nearly a dozen states. The National Weather Service (NWS) on Tuesday lowered snowfall forecasts, but still said a “life-threatening blizzard” could dump as many as 24 inches (61 cm) of snow. Sustained winds in the area might hit 40 miles per hour (64 kph), NWS said, though gusts as high as 78 mph (126 kph) were recorded in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Preliminary results from the NWS in Massachusetts showed as many as 13 inches of snow had fallen …

    January 27, 2015 5:48 am
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Politics

  • Sexual abuse at the hands of a Boy Scout leader


    By GILLIAN FLACCUS January 27, 2015 Former Boy Scout leader Al Stein who pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in 2009.(AP Photo/California Department of Justice, Megan’s Law) A California man suing the Boy Scouts of America over sexual abuse suffered at the hands of a volunteer Scout leader was so scarred by the incident that he once threw up outside a Taco Bell when he saw someone who looked like the man, he testified in the opening day of a civil trial. The 20-year-old man, who was 13 when he was molested in 2007, told jurors Monday that shortly after the abuse he secretly taped the Scout leader making a partial confession because it was “a 13-year-old’s word against a Scout leader, an adult.” Then, he dropped out of baseball — which had been his passion for seven years — stopped hanging out with friends and eventually enrolled in a home school program after …

    January 27, 2015 5:28 am
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Stocks

  • Europe is on sale for American travelers


    Many parts of Europe are on sale now that the euro is at an 11-year low against the U.S. dollar. Take it from the experts: Europe is on sale right now. Christopher Vecchio spends his days analyzing the moves of the U.S. dollar, British pound, Swiss franc and other global currencies. At the moment, he’s extremely excited about booking a trip to France because the euro is so weak. “I’m looking forward to spending my dollars over in Europe. Literally, they haven’t been stronger in 11 years,” said Vecchio, an analyst at DailyFX. He and his fiancee want to spend their August honeymoon in Europe. They have a short list of countries they are debating. Vecchio crossed Switzerland off after the Swiss franc spiked 30% earlier this month. But any country that uses the euro looks like a great deal. Related: Sleep Switzerland jolts currency markets The exchange rate dipped as low as $1.10 to …

    January 27, 2015 5:48 am
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Sports

  • Berdych ends Nadal tyranny, Murray charges on


    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Iron-willed Czech Tomas Berdych ended eight years of tyranny under nemesis Rafa Nadal to storm into the Australian Open semi-finals on Tuesday before his next opponent Andy Murray restored British colonial rule to the floodlit center court. Maria Sharapova inflicted another grand slam reality check on Eugenie Bouchard and will play an all-Russian semi-final with plucky lefthander Ekaterina Makaraova, who thrashed third seed Simona Halep on a surprising day at Melbourne Park. In the evening session, Murray struck back for the old guard, slapping down local teenager Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 to deflate home fans pumped up by the traditional sporting rivalry with former colonial masters Britain. But it was Nadal’s 6-2 6-0 7-6(5) humbling on an unseasonably cold summer’s day that rocked Melbourne Park to its core and shook the biggest monkey in the men’s game off the back of Berdych. The big-serving Czech’s 17-match losing streak to the Spaniard …

    January 27, 2015 6:08 am
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World News

  • Militants attack top Libya hotel


    27 January 2015 Last updated at 11:39 A car bomb exploded outside the Corinthia Hotel shortly after gunmen opened fire Militants have attacked a hotel popular with foreigners in Libya’s capital, killing three guards, officials say. At least two gunmen stormed Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel and opened fire in the reception area. A car bomb exploded outside the hotel shortly afterwards. It is not clear whether the gunmen are still inside the hotel, and whether any civilians are trapped there. A Twitter account linked to Islamic State (IS) said it had attacked the hotel. The claim could not be verified. A civilian who witnessed the attack told the BBC: “I suddenly heard shots and saw people running towards me, and we all escaped from the back [of the hotel] through the underground garage. The hotel did a lockdown after that.” A security source told the BBC that one gunman had been arrested, and that another two …

    January 27, 2015 5:48 am
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Technology

  • NFL launches YouTube channel just in time for Super Bowl XLIX


    The NFL is gearing up for Super Bowl XLIX with the launch of an official YouTube channel, through a partnership with Google that will also see the channel appearing when fans search for specific teams on the search engine. “On any screen you watch YouTube, NFL’s YouTube channel will bring you the sights and sounds this week in Arizona, from pre-game analysis to the highlights that everyone will be talking about,” YouTube’s sports partnerships manager Tim Katz said in a blog post. The NFL is playing a long game here, though: the channel will continue to post videos during the league’s off-season, before resuming highlights and other clips once the next season gets underway. The league only set up the channel in mid-December, and has been stocking it with clips from recent playoff matches and season-highlights for individual players ready for the launch this week, ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday. The NFL is …

    January 27, 2015 5:28 am
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Science

  • Climate models disagree on why temperature ‘wiggles’ occur


    A new Duke University-led study finds that most climate models likely underestimate the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth’s atmosphere warms. The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place. These discrepancies may undermine the models’ reliability for projecting the short-term pace as well as the extent of future warming, the study’s authors warn. As such, we shouldn’t over-interpret recent temperature trends. “The inconsistencies we found among the models are a reality check showing we may not know as much as we thought we did,” said lead author Patrick T. Brown, a Ph.D. student in climatology at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “This doesn’t mean greenhouse gases aren’t causing Earth’s atmosphere to warm up in the long run,” Brown emphasized. “It just means the road to a warmer world may be bumpier and less predictable, with more decade-to-decade temperature wiggles than expected. If …

    January 27, 2015 5:29 am
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Health

  • Scientists ask if Ebola immunizes as well as kills


    LONDON/DAKAR (Reuters) – A recent sharp drop in new Ebola infections in West Africa is prompting scientists to wonder whether the virus may be silently immunizing some people at the same time as brutally killing their neighbors. So-called “asymptomatic” Ebola cases – in which someone is exposed to the virus, develops antibodies, but doesn’t get sick or suffer symptoms – are hotly disputed among scientists, with some saying their existence is little more than a pipe dream. Yet if, as some studies suggest, such cases do occur in epidemics of the deadly disease, they may be a key factor in ending outbreaks more swiftly by giving secret protection to those lucky enough to be able to bat the infection away. “We wonder whether ‘herd immunity’ is secretly coming up – when you get a critical mass of people who are protected, because if they are asymptomatic they are then immune,” Philippe Maughan, senior operations administrator …

    January 27, 2015 5:28 am
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Entertainment

  • Emile Hirsch Reportedly Assaults Woman During Sundance Film Festival


    Posted on Mon Jan 26th, 2015 1:39pm PDT       By X17 Staff Emile Hirsch is currently under police investigation for an alleged assault on a woman during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, reports Us Weekly. The woman, who is executive at Paramount Pictures, is flaming that the Into The Wild star, assaulted her at 3:30 AM at TAO nightclub on Sunday. “Last night, Emile Hirsch got into a fight with an executive at Paramount at TAO Sundance … and the executive was looking into pressing charges against Emile this morning,” a source told the mag. The Park City Police Department gave a statement to Us, “We are still investigating the case and cannot provide details at this time.” Page Six first reported the story, which said that the police were first called to the scene at the time of the alleged incident but was not arrested. A source told the New York Post’s gossip …

    January 27, 2015 5:48 am
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Editorial

Odd News

  • San Francisco Zoo offers spurned lovers cockroach, scorpion adoptions


    (Reuters) – The San Francisco Zoo is giving the spurned and broken-hearted a new reason to mark Valentine’s Day – the chance to adopt a giant scorpion or hissing cockroach named after a heart-trampling ex. “When you think about the detritus of your love life this Valentine’s Day, consider adopting a Madagascar hissing cockroach for your ex,” the San Francisco Zoo said on its donation page of Monday’s promotion. For those suffering the sting of rejection, the zoo recommends the giant hairy scorpion. “Just like you-know-who, when a suitable victim wanders by, the scorpion grabs the doomed creature with its pinchers and stings the prey,” the zoo said. For those feeling especially wronged, the zoo also gives the option of having a notification sent to the person behind the heartbreak. Naming rights start at $25, and the spite money goes to a good cause, the zoo said. In both cases, the donations will be used …

    January 27, 2015 1:26 am
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