Headline News

  • U.S. couple found guilty of ‘sadistic’ Bali suitcase murder


    DENPASAR (Reuters) – An Indonesian court found a young U.S. couple guilty on Tuesday of murdering the woman’s mother and stuffing her battered body into a suitcase on the resort island of Bali. Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer, both from the Chicago area, were arrested last August after staff at a luxury hotel discovered the body of Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in an abandoned suitcase in a taxi. Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for premeditated murder immediately after the verdict was delivered by a panel of three judges, and Mack to 10 years for being an accessory to murder. The pair were tried separately in Denpasar District Court and it was not immediately clear if they would appeal. Schaefer, 21, who had said in court he had killed Wiese-Mack in self-defense after she attacked him in anger because she objected to the couple’s relationship, apologized to the family of the victim. …

    April 21, 2015 5:54 am
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Politics

  • Struggling to remember the name of Jeb Bush’s super PAC? Here’s why


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – It’s hard to remember whether Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s super PAC is called America Rising or Right to Rise. The independent political group will likely raise hundreds of millions of dollars to back the former Florida governor’s bid for the White House, but it’s not meant to attract attention. The Bush super PAC is in fact Right to Rise. America Rising is another political action committee, unconnected to Bush, that plans to raise and spend unlimited sums of money, although it does share one goal in common with Right to Rise: to defeat Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016. They also share some thematic similarity with the group supporting another Republican presidential hopeful, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Our American Revival), which isn’t too different from groups advocating for potential candidates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (America Leads) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (Pursuing America’s Greatness). (Graphic: …

    April 21, 2015 3:33 am
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Stocks

  • Google takes aim at Apple Watch with Android Wear updates


    Google is updating its Android Wear smartwatch software ahead of the Apple Watch launch. With just four days until the Apple Watch is finally available, Google is reminding the world that it has smart watches too. The company on Monday announced an upgrade to its Android Wear operating system for smart watches. Some features seem to take direct aim at the Apple Watch, including Wi-Fi support, a watch face that always shows the time, and doodles for messaging. With built-in Wi-Fi support, an Android Wear watch will gain a bit of independence from its counterpart, the smartphone. Even if there’s no phone nearby, a watch can connect to any available Wi-Fi network (if it’s been set up using a phone previously) and get notifications, send and receive messages, and use Wi-Fi dependent apps. Apple Watch debuts, backordered until June Android Wear already includes an always-on black-and white display to show the time. Now it will …

    April 21, 2015 5:54 am
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Sports

  • Murray pleased with choice of Queen’s as Davis Cup venue


    LONDON (Reuters) – World number three Andy Murray has welcomed the choice of the Queen’s Club grass courts to host Britain’s Davis Cup quarter-final against France from July 17-19. Britain, who were beaten in the last eight by Italy last year, will take on Australia or Kazakhstan in the semi-finals if they beat the 2014 runners-up. “Queen’s will be a perfect venue,” Murray said on the Lawn Tennis Association’s website (www.lta.org.uk) on Tuesday. “I’ve been playing at Queen’s for 10 years now, so I feel very at home there as do the rest of the British team. Fingers crossed it’s a memorable summer for British tennis.” Murray has a special fondness for the London venue, having won the Wimbledon warm-up tournament there three times in his career. Queen’s will be hosting a Davis Cup tie for the first time since 1990 when Britain were thrashed 5-0 by France. Britain reached the last eight with a …

    April 21, 2015 6:34 am
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World News

  • ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ trial begins


    A 93-year-old former Nazi SS guard, known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, has admitted he is “morally guilty”. Oskar Groening spoke at the beginning of his trial for being an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews at the concentration camp. He described his role of counting money confiscated from new arrivals and said he witnessed mass killings, but denied any direct role in the genocide. If found guilty he could face three to 15 years in prison. It is expected to be one of the final trials for Nazi war crimes. The nonagenarian only came to the attention of prosecutors following a decision to speak out against Holocaust deniers. “I saw the gas chambers. I saw the crematoria,” he told the BBC in the 2005 documentary Auschwitz: the Nazis and the “Final Solution”. “I was on the ramp when the selections [for the gas chambers] took place.” Oskar Groening signed up to …

    April 21, 2015 5:34 am
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Technology

  • Kink app hopes iPhone owners will co-create the next Fifty Shades of Grey


    E.L. James famously wrote the first version of her Fifty Shades of Grey book as Twilight fan-fiction and published it online. Now an app called Kink is aiming to unearth a new wave of romance and adult-fiction authors – by getting them to write stories together on their smartphones. Released for Apple’s iPhone, the app encourages people to choose a pen name, then invite other users to collaborate with them on short stories by taking turns to write new paragraphs of up to 280 characters. People can also promote themselves and their stories within the app and chat to other users, with its developer seemingly pitching it partly as a literary dating app judging by the “seduce someone with your writing” tagline in its app store listing. Like much of its potential content, Kink isn’t one size fits all. Up to four people can collaborate on stories of micro (four turns), standard (eight turns) or …

    April 21, 2015 2:53 am
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Science

  • Clemson, international team crack genetic code of Upland cotton


    In a groundbreaking achievement led by an international team that includes Clemson scientist Chris Saski, the intricately woven genetic makeup of Upland cotton has been decoded for the first time in the ancient plant’s history. Saski participated in sequencing the genome, which is a crucial stepping-stone toward further advancements of understanding the inner workings of one of the most complex and treasured plants on the planet. The future implications of Saski’s research in the short and long terms are both financial and holistic. Upland cotton, which accounts for more than 90 percent of cultivated cotton worldwide and has a global economic impact of $500 billion, is the main source of renewable textile fibers. The genome sequence, unveiled in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology, will provide the know-how to engineer superior lines that will clothe, feed and fuel the ever-expanding human population. “From the discovery standpoint — having a solid foundation to begin measuring genetic diversity …

    April 21, 2015 3:13 am
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Health

  • Texas ice cream maker recalls all products over Listeria


    DALLAS (Reuters) – Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries announced on Monday a voluntary recall of all its ice cream and frozen treat products from store shelves due to continuing problems with the Listeria bacteria. The move is the most recent in a string of recall announcements by the 108-year-old company, based in Brenham, after health officials said last month three people made ill by Listeria between January 2014 and January 2015 had died in a Kansas hospital where Blue Bell frozen treats were served. Monday’s decision came after the bacteria was detected in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream samples that were tested last month. The products being recalled are distributed in grocery and conveniences stores and other retail outlets in 23 states and some international locations. “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers,” Blue Bell CEO Paul Kruse said. “We’re committed to doing the …

    April 21, 2015 3:33 am
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Entertainment

  • Stars Party Hardy In The Desert During Coachella Weekend 2


    Posted on Mon Apr 20th, 2015 10:35am PDT       By X17 Staff Coachella 2015 may finally be over but that doesn’t that celebs didn’t flock to the desert over the weekend. The Kardashian/Jenner clan, Nicki Minaj, Paris Hilton, Beyonce, Jaden Smith, Paris Hilton, Kyle Richards and more were all about having a party weekend in Indio Calif. Celebs checked out Drake, Kanye West and Florence + The Machine. Jaden Smith turned heads when he wore a flower crown around the event. Another day of the fest, he raised some eyebrows when he wore a skirt. People seem to be making a hubbub about Jaden’s style — but we think Will and Jada’s son has always marched to his own drummer so nothing surprises us about his new fashion statements. Beyonce and Nicki Minaj were jamming out to Drake’s set during the music fest. During Drizzy’s performance, he gave a shout out to newly engaged Minaj, who strutted …

    April 21, 2015 6:15 am
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Editorial

  • Patriots Day 2015: Boston does not stand alone


    April 20, 2015: Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, crosses the finish line to win the Boston Marathon in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) In the two years since the horrific marathon bombing, Boston has been nothing less than resilient. The city has stood defiant and proud even as it painfully relived those grim events during a trial and persevered through a winter of record blizzards. But now, spring has come again, and we remember on this Patriots’ Day that if history is any guide, it holds not only the promise of Boston’s continued steadfastness, but also an affirmation from across America that Boston does not stand alone, and never has. As far back as 1775 and predating our nation’s independence, Boston stood strong against those who would do the city harm. Punished for the singular act of dumping tea into Boston Harbor and the far broader initiatives of Massachusetts toward representative government, Boston chafed under the onerous provisions …

    April 21, 2015 3:34 am
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Odd News

  • Goats, llama and shepherdess help clear plants at Oregon airport


    PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – As planes took off and landed behind a fence one unusually warm April day at Portland International airport, a herd of goats lay basking in the sun, taking a nap break from their 24-hour job of chowing down on invasive plants. Soon afterwards though, the 40 Spanish and Kiko breed goats were back at work, using their hoofs to hold down blackberry brambles and their nimble lips and sharp back teeth to cut away unwanted foliage. The airport took on the goats, watched over by a shepherdess and a protective brown llama named Monty, to clear a large patch of overgrown land just outside the airfield that is inaccessible to mowers. The goats, owned by Portland company Goat Power LLC, are accustomed to traveling all over Oregon to clear weeds from vineyards, schools and private yards. “This is our first airport,” shepherdess Briana Murphy told Reuters as some of the goats, …

    April 21, 2015 3:13 am
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