Headline News

  • Intruder sparks White House alert

    20 September 2014 Last updated at 01:53 Agents sprang into action after a man was spotted jumping the fence Secret Service agents briefly evacuated part of the White House after an intruder was spotted running through the grounds. The intruder was seen shortly after President Barack Obama left the building on Friday night. Witnesses said they saw a man jump the fence and run towards the building’s North Portico. Mr Obama had just taken off on his helicopter for Camp David when the incident happened. Staff and reporters working in the complex were escorted out and taken away from the premises. Much of the West Wing was evacuated. On the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks last week, the Secret Service arrested a man who jumped over a fence.

    September 19, 2014 7:58 pm


  • Spending, war disputes to dog post-election, lame-duck Congress

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress will face a contentious post-election session in November dominated by a longer-term spending bill and more wrenching questions over President Barack Obama’s strategy to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Lawmakers darted home on Thursday after approving stopgap funding to avert a government shutdown and authorizing the arming and training of moderate Syrian rebels. But those measures last only until Dec. 11, so Congress will have to revisit them after the Nov. 4 election. Some lawmakers from both parties said this week’s vote on arming and training Syrian rebels is not enough. They want to revamp the current authorizations to use military force, which date back more than a decade and were focused on hunting down al-Qaeda leaders and ousting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. “The (authorization) that exists is very stale. It doesn’t apply to the circumstance, and I think that’s a widely shared view,” said Representative …

    September 19, 2014 8:18 pm


  • Boom: Alibaba surges 38% in huge IPO debut

      Alibaba, the biggest IPO to ever hit Wall Street, made a huge splash when it started trading Friday. Shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant closed at $93.89, marking a 38% pop from the $68 price of its record-shattering initial public offering. The bounce signals optimism among investors about Alibaba’s (BABA) ability to continue its rapid growth trajectory as China’s middle class grows and and the company expands to other parts of the world. Moments after the stock started trading, the co-founder and CEO of the company, Jack Ma, told CNNMoney he’s “honored” and “humbled.” Ma told CNBC that years from now he wants Alibaba to be compared with American icons like Wal-Mart (WMT), Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) and IBM (IBM, Tech30). People will say Alibaba “changed the world,” he said. Related: Everything you need to know about Alibaba Alibaba opened at $92.70 and then raced to nearly $100 before sinking back below the IPO price …

    September 19, 2014 7:17 pm


  • As NFL tries to reassure women, sponsor Crest is first to retreat

    LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – When NFL players strap on their pink shoes and gloves in October for the league’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign, it will be doing so with one less sponsor, a notable retreat blamed on the league’s handling of domestic violence. Crest, Procter Gamble Co’s dental brand, will no longer be offering pink mouth guards to NFL players, the company said on Friday, the first sponsor to publicly withdraw from the NFL’s signature overture to women. “The brand has decided to cancel on-field activation with NFL teams,” Procter Gamble said in a statement. The company added it will honor its planned $100,000 donation to the American Cancer Society, the NFL’s long-time partner in the October campaign. Procter Gamble’s retreat from the NFL’s game plan to woo women illustrates the risk America’s most popular sports league faces with its female fans while it seeks to correct its acknowledged poor handling of …

    September 19, 2014 7:58 pm

World News

  • Joe Hockey says Russia can attend G20 forum despite anger over Ukraine

    Joe Hockey says the G20 has agreed that the door should be open for Russia to attend November’s forum in Brisbane, despite any differences countries might have. Ahead of the opening of the G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Cairns, the treasurer said while Australia was president and host, it could not make unilateral decisions about who can attend. Questions had been raised about Russia’s attendance at the G20 leaders’ summit in November because of its actions in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Hockey said he had consulted a numbers of countries and the view was Russia should attend. “If one party is to be excluded for various reasons then it requires the agreement of all parties to the G20,” Hockey told reporters. “They are a member of the G20, we expect they will attend the G20 meetings.” On Friday the foreign minister, Julie Bishop, …

    September 19, 2014 7:59 pm


  • ‘True’ Apple fan weeps after being removed from iPhone 6 line

    Apple staff in Sydney applauding the iPhone 6 launch. One Apple fanperson is not applauding. Seamus Byrne/CNET As I stood in line this morning, I was sweating and making extremely strange high-pitched noises. It had been quite a night. I hadn’t slept. I could barely breathe. Then a lovely woman in a corporate polo-shirt uniform finally paid attention to me. I uttered the magic words: “Grande nonfat latte and a chocolate croissant, please.” Sadly, one woman in Sydney, Australia, never got to utter her own passionate request to a corporate polo-shirt uniform. For police removed her from the iPhone 6 line outside an Apple store. Giving her name only as Anna, she told The Sydney Morning Herald that she was upset over what people ahead of her in line were doing. They were, she said, letting their friends push in. This is a deep moral no-no, akin to burping in someone’s face in church or …

    September 19, 2014 8:19 pm


  • World Should Prepare for 11 BIllion or More People

    In the 1970s, the world reached peak child—the highest rate of human population growth. Since then, countries in Asia, the Americas, Australia and Europe have all seen birth rates decline dramatically and in Africa, the number of children in families has dropped from an average of more than six to around four. But that decline in Africa is slower than the birth rate drops in other parts of the world. The persistence of that relatively high birth rate stems from a wide range of factors, including cultural influences, economics, and a lack of access to birth control or family planning. And there are enough children in Africa now that some demographers and statisticians are predicting that human population growth will not actually flatten in the 21st century, as some experts had foretold.   Other recent estimates have forecast a leveling out of human population growth by mid-century, from a current 7.2 billion people to around …

    September 19, 2014 8:39 pm


  • Ebola lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

    FREETOWN (Reuters) – Streets in the capital of Sierra Leone were deserted on Friday as the West African state began a contested, three-day lockdown in a bid to halt the worst Ebola outbreak on record. President Ernest Bai Koroma urged people to heed the emergency measures as health workers, some clad in protective biohazard suits, went house to house, checking on residents and marking each doorway they visited with chalk. Radio stations played Ebola awareness jingles on repeat and encouraged residents to stay indoors. “As they are fighting this Ebola, we pray that it will be eradicated. That’s what we are praying for,” Mariam Bangura told Reuters as she waited at her home in Freetown’s West End neighborhood. Other residents looked out over the normally bustling seaside city from windows and balconies. Nearly 30,000 health workers, volunteers and teachers aim to visit every household in the country of six million people by Sunday to educate …

    September 19, 2014 4:13 pm


  • All the times Taylor Swift made us say, "Go home, Taylor. You’re drunk."

    1. “Speakers put sound out… so they can’t take sound in? Or they can turn this [cell phone] on, right? I’m just saying. We don’t even know.” Swift had a lot to say during her recent Rolling Stone interview, and if we didn’t know better, we might suspect that lavender lemonade she was sipping was spiked. Tay sounded pretty convinced her cell phone might be at the root of some elaborate conspiracy, and drunk people love a good conspiracy. Taylor Swift’s Instagram message gives us hope for celebs 2. “I need lunch like, whoa.” After a few cocktails, concepts move from concrete to abstract. And everything is like, whoa. Taylor Swift saying like, whoa, is, like, whoa. 3. “I swallowed a strand of my hair and now everything is ruined.” Girl, yes. Every. single. time. 4. “We wear them during the day and look like pioneer women, fresh off of the Oregon Trail.” Ha ha, …

    September 19, 2014 7:58 pm


  • Innovation: What American education needs more than anything

    With September upon us, the minds of millions of American – children and parents alike — are thinking back in school. Public education is in crisis. Scores continue to slip and reforms are under attack. Unfortunately much of the current debate over education policy involves little more than tinkering on the fringes of a warehouse-based, nearly compulsory system rooted in what worked in the late 19th century, saddled with outdated work rules and frozen into place by bureaucracies.  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Accordingly it’s shouldn’t surprise that our current system is not able to prepare ou Rather than eschew educational innovation, policymakers, students, administrators, parents, business leaders, and civic activists should embrace it. Rather than tinker we should be encouraging radical experimentation. We should not be reluctant to toss the existing rules to the curb in search for a new way of doing things. “There’s an access problem that exists in higher education, finding what you need …

    September 19, 2014 4:13 pm

Odd News

  • California lawyer faces discipline for phony celebrity photo-ops

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles attorney may have her law license suspended after a state bar investigation found that she had superimposed images of herself into numerous celebrity photographs posted on her website’s “publicity” page. In an 18-page decision, a state bar court judge recommended Svitlana Sangary be suspended for six months and remain on probation for another 2-1/2 years for deceptive advertising and misconduct stemming from an investigation of the photos. The ruling, issued this month, is ultimately subject to review by the State Supreme Court, which imposes such discipline. Each of the photographs in question shows Sangary posing with political figures or celebrities, including President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and actors George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio and Anne Hathaway. “This court finds that many, and perhaps all, of these photos were created by taking original celebrity photos and then overlaying respondent’s image in order to make it appear as though …

    September 19, 2014 8:38 pm