Articles Posted by BenLurkin

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  • Turkish reluctance hurts U.S. plans for coalition against Islamic State

    09/16/2014 3:17:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    reuters. ^ | Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:09pm EDT | Jonny Hogg and Nick Tattersall
    President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, architects of a foreign policy which envisages Sunni Muslim Turkey as a regional power, are reluctant to engage in action they fear could strengthen their enemy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and exacerbate sectarian tensions in Iraq. "It's a very complicated balancing act. Turkey is trying to satisfy its U.S. partner without extending full collaboration...."
  • Power Outages Hit Thousands Of Southern California Homes

    09/16/2014 1:10:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 28 replies ^ | September 16, 2014 11:56 AM
    LOS ANGELES ( — This week’s heat wave just got hotter after power was knocked out to thousands of customers throughout Los Angeles County. Utility crews were working Tuesday to restore power to about 7,000 customers throughout Los Angeles County, including about 3,000 in the city of Los Angeles. Among the communities affected as of mid-morning in the city of Los Angeles was the Los Feliz area, where about 1,100 customers were without electricity, LADWP spokeswoman Jane Galbraith said. Overnight, outages were also reported in Brentwood and Sherman Oaks. In Southern California Edison’s jurisdiction, about 4,000 customers were without electricity...
  • The Lost Forest World of the World’s Largest Cave

    09/16/2014 8:13:52 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies ^ | September 16, 2014 | Brent Swancer
    In 1991, a local farmer by the name of Ho Khanh was walking along a stretch of lush forest within the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province, near the border between Laos and Vietnam....when suddenly the jungle floor opened up beneath him and Mr. Khanh only barely managed to hold on as the ground crumbled beneath him.... By pure chance and blind luck, this man had discovered an entrance that had remained hidden from man for millions of years into what would turn out to be the largest cave in the world, a...
  • Prosecutors: Doctor accused of poisoning lover's coffee had a 'fatal attraction'

    09/15/2014 9:34:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    Associated Press KHOU ^ | 4:58 p.m. CDT September 15, 2014 | MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press ,
    HOUSTON --The trial of an MD Anderson cancer doctor accused of poisoning her lover's coffee got off to an explosive start Monday morning. Prosecutors say Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo had a fatal attraction. "Evidence will show she became totally obsessed with him and wanting him," said prosecutor Justin Keiter. Bombshell revelations were made within the first few minutes of the trial. Prosecutors say Dr. George Blumenschein had a pregnant longtime live-in girlfriend, at the same time he started an affair with Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo. They told jurors that relationship soured, providing a motive for Gonzalez to lace her lover's coffee with...
  • Armored Tank [sic], Grenade Launchers At Disposal Of LAUSD Police Force

    09/15/2014 8:21:54 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 34 replies ^ | September 15, 2014 6:31 PM
    LOS ANGELES ( — Los Angeles Unified School District Police officials are considering whether they need the armored vehicle and grenade launchers they received from the U.S. military. The military hardware at the disposal of LAUSD police officers includes a 20-foot-long, 14-ton armored transport vehicles, much like the ones used to move Marines in Iraqi combat zones. The tank is worth $733,000 and the school district’s police force got it from the government for free. How would LAUSD use such a vehicle? “For us? That vehicle would be used for extraordinary circumstances,” LAUSD Police Chief Steve Zipperman said. The tank,...
  • Dog Hit By Car Gets A Second Chance Hours Before He’s Scheduled To Be Put Down

    09/15/2014 8:12:08 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies ^ | September 15, 2014 6:07 PM
    TUSTIN ( — A stray dog scheduled to be put down after being hit by a car is now getting a second chance at life. Volunteers from the Bichon Rescue Brigade picked up Maverick from an Orange County shelter after a July 3 collision left him with multiple fractures. Dr. Sam Park, a local veterinarian known to discount his services for animals in need, offered to help. He operated on Maverick at Anaheim Animal Care in July, giving him bone plates and pins. It was a three-hour surgery which required more than 50 sutures. The operation came not a moment...
  • Schizophrenia Is Actually Eight Distinct Genetic Disorders

    09/15/2014 7:37:16 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies ^ | 9/15/14 | George Dvorsky
    When it comes to schizophrenia and other complex conditions, individual genes have only a weak and inconsistent association (which is why it's often silly to look for single-gene factors). But groups of interacting gene clusters create an extremely high and consistent risk of illness — in this case, on the order of 70% to 100%. It's nearly impossible for people with these precise genetic variations to avoid the condition. In all, the researchers found no less than 42 clusters of genetic variations that significantly increase the risk of schizophrenia. "In the past, scientists had been looking for associations between individual...
  • MIT Robot Cheetah Has Evolved and Can Now Run Free

    09/15/2014 6:58:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    Design & Trend ^ | Sep, 15, 2014, 09:24 PM | Doug Horn ,
    The cheetah robot created by MIT has evolved and no longer needs a tether. The cheetah has gotten major upgrades and researchers continue to improve its skills. It can now run free, and a new algorithm will allow it to run in an upbeat manner while expertly navigating a grass lawn terrain. ... "Our robot can be silent and as efficient as animals. The only things you hear are the feet hitting the ground," said Sangbae Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. "This is kind of a new paradigm where we're controlling force in a highly dynamic situation....
  • Student forced to change T-shirt that says 'Virginity Rocks'

    09/15/2014 3:14:47 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies ^ | 12:21 PM CDT Sep 15, 2014
    Chloe Rubiano is an 8th grader at Ramey Junior High in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She wore a shirt to school that says 'Virginity Rocks'. She got the shirt at a Christian festival last year. She said, she didn't think anyone would really make a big deal out of it. She wore it at her old school but at Ramay Junior High she was told it would disrupt the classroom.. When she was called to the office Chloe said the administration was worried her shirt would start sexual conversations in class. She said her vice principal told her, 'I love the shirt,...
  • Stalking Uranus: A Complete Guide to the 2014 Opposition Season

    09/15/2014 3:04:56 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies ^ | September 15, 2014 | David Dickinson on
    In 2014, opposition occurs at 21:00 Universal Time (UT)/5:00 PM EDT on October 7th. If this date sounds familiar, it’s because Full Moon and the second total lunar eclipse of 2014 and the ongoing lunar tetrad of eclipses occurs less than 24 hours afterwards. This puts Uranus extremely close to the eclipsed Moon, and a remote slice of the high Arctic will actually see the Moon occult (pass in front of) Uranus during totality. Such a coincidence is extremely rare: the last time the Moon occulted a naked eye planet during totality occurred back during Shakespearian times in 1591, when...
  • NASA releases new tips for finding alien life

    09/15/2014 1:56:01 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies ^ | September 13 | Abby Phillip
    The good news is that, despite trying very hard to come up with false positives, researchers only found a few to look out for: oxygen, ozone and methane. As lone wolves, these molecules were thought to be signs of life all by themselves, but it turns out they can be produced inorganically -- that is, in the absence of anything living as we know it. Your best bet is to look for them together. "Our research strengthens the argument that methane and oxygen together, or methane and ozone together, are still strong signatures of life," said Shawn Domagal-Goldman of NASA's...
  • Samsung SGR-A1 Robot Sentry Is One Cold Machine

    09/15/2014 12:48:03 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies ^ | 09/14/2014 | Edwin Kee on
    Samsung Group subsidiary has worked on a robot sentry that they call the SGR-A1, and this particular robot will carry a fair amount of weapons that ought to make you think twice about crossing the borders of South Korea illegally – as it has been tested out at the demilitarized zone along the border over with its neighbor, North Korea. The SGR-A1 will be able to detect intruders with the help of machine vision (read: cameras), alongside a combination of heat and motion sensors. The whole idea of the Samsung SGR-A1 is to let this military robot sentry do the...
  • New Horizons Sights Tiny Pluto Moon As Spacecraft Races Toward Dwarf Planet

    09/15/2014 12:40:50 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies ^ | September 15, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    Here’s Hydra! The New Horizons team spotted the tiny moon of Pluto in July, about six months ahead of when they expected to. You can check it out in the images below. The find is exciting in itself, but it also bodes well for the spacecraft’s search for orbital debris to prepare for its close encounter with the system in July 2015. Most of Pluto’s moons were discovered while New Horizons was under development, or already on its way. Mission planners are thus concerned that there could be moons out there that aren’t discovered yet — moons that could pose...
  • Comet’s Head Selected as Landing Site for Rosetta’s Historic Philae Lander

    09/15/2014 9:10:55 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies ^ | September 15, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    Site J is an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites, according to ESA. “As we have seen from recent close-up images, the comet is a beautiful but dramatic world – it is scientifically exciting, but its shape makes it operationally challenging,” says Ulamec. “None of the candidate landing sites met all of the operational criteria at the 100% level, but Site J is clearly the best solution.” Philae’s history making landing on comet 67P is currently scheduled for around...
  • The miniature radio that could link the Internet of Things

    09/14/2014 8:33:47 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 36 replies ^ | September 14, 2014 | David Nield —
    It could help another wave of devices connect up to “The Internet of Things” and beam data back to the Web. The smart homes of the future require gadgets that can communicate with the Internet as well as with each other. As technology such as this ant-sized radio gets cheaper and more lightweight, it can be built into more devices — the team behind the new invention is hoping that it can help push innovation in wearables and smart hardware. “The next exponential growth in connectivity will be connecting objects together and giving us remote control through the Web,” says...
  • Islamic State crisis: Kerry to lead talks in Paris

    09/14/2014 8:16:31 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 30 replies ^ | 14 September 2014 Last updated at 21:59 ET
    US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet foreign ministers from around the world in Paris on Monday to discuss how to defeat Islamic State (IS) militants. French President Francois Hollande said the beheading of a British aid worker showed the world must act against IS. About 40 countries, including 10 Arab states, have signed up to a coalition to help fight IS in Iraq and Syria. Several Arab countries have offered to take part in air strikes on IS fighters in Iraq, US officials say. Mr Kerry says he is "extremely encouraged" by promises of military assistance to tackle...
  • U.S. Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in Pacific Ocean crash

    09/14/2014 7:52:48 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies ^ | Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:10pm EDT
    The missing pilot is Lieutenant Nathan Poloski, 26, of Lake Arrowhead, Calif., a 2009 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, the Navy said in a statement. Poloski went missing Friday after two F/A-18 Hornet jets collided west of Wake Island, about 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of Hawaii. The Navy conducted a 36-hour search over 3,000 square miles for the pilot and his aircraft but called off the search on Saturday, saying Poloski was thought to be dead. "Nathan was an outstanding person, naval officer and aviator," said Commander Michael Langbehn.
  • World’s first 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago

    09/14/2014 6:46:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 34 replies ^ | 06:25pm, September 14, 2014 | Jake Reed
    The concept of Strati began just six months ago, before being brought to the showroom floor of the International Manufacturing Technology Show. Attendees got a first-hand look at the body of the car being printed layer by layer over a 44-hour period. Then, the non-printable parts, like the engine, lights and glass windshield were added. The top speed of the Strati is 40 miles per hour and a range of 120 miles on one charge. Rogers says the initial retail cost will start at $18,000 and go upwards of $30,000. However, when it comes time for a change, many of...
  • Woman Finds Owner of Wedding Photo Found At Ground Zero...

    09/14/2014 4:58:12 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies ^ | Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8:29 AM | Barry Paddock , Meg Wagner /
    Elizabeth Stringer Keefe had been trying for 13 years to locate the owner of a tattered wedding photo found among the Ground Zero rubble. Persistence and the power of social media finally paid off on Friday night when Keefe — who had been given the photograph by a friend — found the owner. The snapshot belonged to Fred Mahe, a Colorado man who used to live in New York. “It was my small contribution, trying to do something good in conjunction to 9/11,” Keefe, a Boston professor, told the Daily News. “The purpose for me was to bring some small...
  • Respiratory Virus Enterovirus D68 Spreads to the Northeast

    09/14/2014 3:16:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 43 replies
    abc ^ | Sep 14, 2014, 12:43 PM ET | GEETIKA RUDRA
    Besser warned parents to watch out for symptoms of coughs and wheezing among their children, especially if their children are asthmatic. "The best approach for prevention is what we talk about all the time for respiratory infections, colds, and flus and that's really good hand washing," Besser said. ... Children who contract enterovirus D68 first suffer from what appears to be a common cold, with symptoms including a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, according to Besser. The symptoms then escalate to difficulty breathing. Besser said parents should look out for their children exhibiting signs of wheezing, difficulty eating or speaking,...
  • Liberia president sacks 10 officials told to return to fight Ebola

    09/14/2014 12:16:31 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies ^ | Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:17pm IST | James Harding Giahyue
    Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sacked 10 senior officials because they failed to heed a warning to return from overseas travel to help the government's fight against an Ebola epidemic that has killed at least 1,100 Liberians. The officials, who include six assistant ministers, two deputy ministers and two commissioners, were dismissed with immediate effect for being "out of the country without an excuse," according to a statement from the president's office. They were initially told in August to return to Liberia. "These government officials showed insensitivity to our national tragedy and disregard for authority," said the statement released...
  • Engineering Mosquitoes to Spread Health

    09/14/2014 11:30:18 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies ^ | Sep 13 2014, 9:00 AM ET | Renée Alexander
    U.K.-based company associated with Oxford University that believes it has developed an alternative to pesticides: genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes. Oxitec’s mosquito carries a lethal gene that it then passes along to its offspring. The modified males are bred in a laboratory, then released into the wild, where they mate with local females, who lay eggs that will die before reaching adulthood. "With insecticides, you have to take the product to the insect, which means you have to take your fog or spray into people's houses, and people don't like that. If a fogger machine is coming down the street, people...
  • Body Of Man Found In Trunk Of Car At Walmart In Riverside

    09/14/2014 5:51:26 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies ^ | September 13, 2014 6:38 PM | Adrianna Weingold
    RIVERSIDE ( — The body of a man was found inside a trunk of a car outside a Walmart in Riverside. The body was reportedly found inside a gold Lexus GS 300 around 4:45 p.m. outside the store located in the 5200 block of Van Buren Boulevard. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said the victim was likely killed in Pomona, where the car owner lived. Witnesses told KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold the woman was freaking out about recognizing the dead man as her neighbor. Detectives from the Pomona Police Department have taken over the investigation. They would not confirm how the...
  • Ojai Man Not Showering For 128 Days In Effort To Curb Drought Crisis

    09/13/2014 8:31:59 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 43 replies ^ | September 13, 2014 6:53 PM
    VENTURA COUNTY ( — An Ojai man has come up with a unique challenge to personally attempt to curb the drought crisis in Southern California. CBS2’s Peter Daut reported Cody Creighton is 58 days into his challenge of not showering for 128 days. However, Creighton still manages a form of hygiene by washing his hands and face. According to Creighton, he believes that 30,000 gallons of water is saved for every shower that he doesn’t take during the challenge. To follow Creighton on the rest of his personal challenge, visit his Instagram account where he posts photos and video updates...
  • Mexican president condemns Texas' decision to deploy National Guard along border

    09/13/2014 6:29:34 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 74 replies
    Associated Press ^ | September 12, 2014
    Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says Texas' decision to deploy National Guard troops along the border is "unpleasant" and "reprehensible." Last month's deployment had previously drawn Mexico's ire. It says the border should not be militarized and issues should be solved jointly.
  • Uganda Foils 'Imminent' Al-Shabab Terror Plot

    09/13/2014 10:00:24 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    VOA News ^ | September 13, 2014 11:17 AM
    Ugandan authorities have foiled a planned imminent attack by the Somali militant Islamist terror group al-Shabab, the U.S. Embassy in Uganda said Saturday. In statements on Twitter and its website, the embassy said Ugandan forces had conducted operations against members of the terror group in the capital, Kampala. "We are continuing our engagement with Ugandan authorities as we seek to assess the scope of the disrupted al-Shabab terrorist plot and whether there are members of the cell still at large." The embassy urged all U.S. citizens to continue to "shelter in place" through the evening hours. "At this point we...
  • Military source: ISIS hostages dispersed after revelation of Foley rescue mission

    09/13/2014 9:54:34 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies ^ | September 13, 2014 | Catherine Herridge
    In addition, the source added guard forces around the hostages doubled while widely publicized reporting about the scope of new aerial surveillance in the region caused ISIS to change its pattern of behavior on the ground. "Any time you (disclose) very highly sensitive tactical information, you're giving away your road map if you will, your strategy," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee receives regular intelligence briefings. "It's very highly damaging to the hostages." The details about the rescue mission were released by the Defense Department and National Security Council one day after...
  • Firefighting Helicopters Make For Dramatic Backdrop As Couple Weds In Corona

    09/13/2014 8:38:13 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 3 replies ^ | September 13, 2014 8:15 AM
    Water-dropping helicopters fighting a wildfire in Orange County made for a dramatic and memorable backdrop for a couple who got married in nearby Corona. Behind Ashley and Chris Geraurd’s wedding at Eagle Glen Golf Club, choppers dropped down to soak up water from the lake. The noise drowned out the ceremony on Friday. “Their facial expressions. Their body language told me what they were doing,” Carrie Fairchild, a friend, said. But that wasn’t all. The smoke from the Silverado Canyon fire also served as a backdrop. “I’m not going to let it ruin my day. Actually, let me rephrase that....
  • ‘It doesn’t make sense’: Concerns over enlisting DOD in Ebola response

    09/12/2014 4:54:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 57 replies ^ | September 12, 2014 | Lucas Tomlinson
    ·“We don’t need to be taking planners away from the CT [counterterrorism] mission, and that is what is going on,” a Defense Department source told Fox News. USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already involved, but President Obama said in an interview last weekend that the U.S. military is being brought in to help stanch the deadly epidemic. Obama said the military could help set up isolation units and provide security for health workers, among other tasks. But the decision comes as the military is already engaged in counterterrorism operations in Africa, and as the president...
  • President Obama Returning To Los Angeles For Fundraiser At Gwyneth Paltrow’s Home

    09/12/2014 4:49:45 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies ^ | September 12, 2014 4:00 PM
    LOS ANGELES ( — President Barack Obama will be back in Los Angeles in October for a fundraiser at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Tickets for the Oct. 9 event will cost up to $32,400, and the evening will include an intimate dinner with Obama fielding questions from supporters, according to an invitation sent by the Democratic National Committee. The trip will be Obama’s 20th to Los Angeles or Orange counties since he took office in 2009. All but three of his trips have included political fundraisers. Obama was most recently in Los Angeles July 23-24, when he attended...
  • U.S. to train Liberian armed forces to help tackle Ebola crisis

    09/12/2014 1:21:56 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    Reuters) ^ | Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:42pm EDT | Derick Snyder and Umaru Fofana
    The United States said on Friday it would train Liberia's security forces to assist in isolation operations to tackle an Ebola epidemic ravaging the West African nation, after a boy was killed when soldiers opened fire on a protest last month. The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed more than 2,400 people in West Africa - more than half of them in Liberia. Liberian officials have called the outbreak the greatest threat to national stability since a 1989-2003 civil war. Many in the country, founded by descendants of freed American slaves, have looked to Washington for support, as they...
  • Will Aurora Strike Tonight? Here’s What to Expect

    09/12/2014 1:12:34 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 19 replies ^ | September 12, 2014 | Bob King on
    Activity should begin right at nightfall and peak between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Central Daylight Time. The best place to observe the show is from a location well away from city lights with a good view of the northern sky. Auroras are notoriously fickle, but if the NOAA space forecasting crew is on the money, flickering lights should be visible as far south as Illinois and Kansas. The storm also has the potential to heat and expand the outer limits of Earth’s atmosphere enough to cause additional drag on low-Earth-orbiting (LEO) satellites. High-frequency radio transmissions like shortwave radio may...
  • 'Real risk' Ebola virus will mutate to become an AIRBORNE disease, expert warns

    09/12/2014 10:04:04 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies ^ | 11:12 EST, 12 September 2014 | Lizzie Parry for MailOnline
    As the Ebola outbreak rampages through Africa scientists are privately concerned the virus could mutate to become airborne, one expert has warned. So far 2,300 people have lost their lives to the disease with more than 4,300 cases recorded in West Africa in the last six months - the worst outbreak since the disease was discovered in 1976. The World Health Organisation has warned there may be thousands of new cases each week in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria by early October. Fifteen countries could be hit by the outbreak - putting the lives of 22 million people at risk,...
  • Drug-Planting Irvine Dad [Lawyer] Surrenders To Authorities

    09/11/2014 5:04:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies ^ | September 11, 2014 3:18 PM
    SANTA ANA ( — An Irvine attorney who helped plant drugs in a school volunteer’s car because of a perceived insult to his son surrendered to authorities Thursday. Kent Wycliffe Easter, 40, was taken into custody following his conviction Wednesday of one felony count of false imprisonment by deceit. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison at his sentencing. His wife and co-defendant Jill Bjorkholm Easter, 41, pleaded guilty on Oct. 30, 2013, to one felony count of false imprisonment by deceit and was sentenced to one year in jail and three years of formal probation....
  • Sabahans abuzz over mystery lights in the sky

    09/11/2014 2:56:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies ^ | September 3, 2014 MYT 11:12:06 AM | muguntan vanar
    Mysterious lights streaking across in the night sky here Tuesday had Sabahans abuzz in social media, with no one able to give a clear explanation on the incident. Meteorologists, policemen and firemen were unable to explain the pillar-shaped lights that moved across the sky in the Putatan area, around 9.30pm, for several minutes. Some netizens said the lights came from lanterns or flares from the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal in Kimanis. Others claimed alien spaceships were responsible, among a host of other possibilities. Such lights appearing over the coastal waters of western Sabah are not rare and have been...
  • Man Charged In Florida In Yasiel Puig Smuggling

    09/11/2014 1:20:05 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    AP) ^ | September 11, 2014 10:08 AM
    <p>The indictment against Suarez remained sealed before the hearing, but a civil lawsuit filed in Miami against Puigcontains details about him.</p> <p>Those documents describe Suarez as one of the Miami-based men who financed Puig’s 2012 trip by boat from Cuba to Isla Mujeres, a fishing village near Cancun, Mexico. The initial price for the trip was $250,000, then was raised by the smugglers to $400,000.</p>
  • Oscar Pistorius is found 'negligent' but not guilty of murder

    09/11/2014 1:09:06 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    LA Times ^ | September 11, 2014, 12:15 PM|Reporting from Pretoria, South Africa | Robyn Dixon
    oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympian who shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year, was found "negligent" in the killing Thursday, but was acquitted of murder charges before the court recessed for the day without a full verdict.. Pistorius bent over and sobbed. At the hearing's lunch break, relatives and supporters crowded around him, and his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, one of his closest mentors, hugged him fervently. The rulings stunned many South Africans, including legal analysts, igniting speculation that Judge Thokozile Masipa had made a mistake that could provide a basis for an appeal. “With all due...
  • UCLA Forecast: California Economy ‘Painfully Plodding’ Along

    09/11/2014 1:00:43 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies ^ | September 11, 2014 10:56 AM
    LOS ANGELES ( — California’s economy will continue to show steady but unremarkable growth in the months ahead, according to a UCLA economic forecast released Thursday. The state’s quarterly economic outlook shows that although job numbers are at an all-time high, the state is still performing below its potential in employment and output, UCLA senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg wrote in the Anderson Forecast. “That we are entering the sixth year of expansion just illustrates how painfully plodding this recovery process has been,” Nickelsburg wrote. Personal income in the state is expected to grow by 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent over...
  • ISIS is rolling in cash, but from where?

    09/11/2014 8:01:22 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 29 replies
    CBS News/ ^ | September 11, 2014, 6:49 AM
    Sources tell CBS News that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is now bringing in $1 million every day in oil revenue from one Syrian province alone. CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrew reports that since ISIS -- also known as ISIL and which now calls itself simply the "Islamic State" -- expanded into northern Iraq, its earnings from selling oil and gas on the black market for cash are believed to total roughly $3 million per day. Former U.S. intelligence analyst Lori Plotkin Boghardt says those energy profits give ISIS its edge. "ISIS is worth hundreds of millions...
  • Blood group 'link to memory loss'

    09/10/2014 9:47:27 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    bbc ^ | Helen Briggs
    People with AB blood, found in 4% of the population, appear more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than those with other blood groups. The study, published in Neurology, builds on previous research showing blood type may influence heart risk. A charity said the best way to keep the brain healthy was a balanced diet, regular exercise and not smoking. A US team led by Dr Mary Cushman, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, analysed data from about 30,000 US citizens aged 45 and above ... "Blood type is also related to other vascular conditions like...
  • Queen Mary Gives Shops 30 Days To Vacate, Make Room For Newer Retail Stores

    09/09/2014 10:20:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies ^ | September 9, 2014 8:07 PM
    LONG BEACH ( — The general manager running the legendary luxury-liner-turned-hotel RMS Queen Mary has sent a letter to staff and management of the ship’s numerous shops, telling them they have 30 days to vacate the ship to make room for newer retail shops. The letter, according to an article by the Long Beach Post, is reportedly from Queen Mary General Manager John Jenkins and advises the stunned workers and shop-owners that they have 30 days in which to close and leave, as the ship begins a consolidated retail agreement with a new company. The company, called Event Network, is...
  • Assembly Complete for NASA’s First Orion Crew Module Blasting off Dec. 2014

    09/09/2014 5:12:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies ^ | September 9, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    This past weekend, technicians completed assembly of NASA’s first Orion crew module at the agency’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O & C) Facility at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, signifying a major milestone in the vehicles transition from fabrication to full scale launch operations. Orion is NASA’s next generation human rated vehicle and is scheduled to launch on its maiden uncrewed mission dubbed Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in December 2014. It replaces the now retired space shuttle orbiters. The black Orion crew module (CM) sits atop the white service module (SM) in the O & C high...
  • Santa Monica City Council To Vote On Ending Pony Rides At Farmers’ Market

    09/09/2014 11:39:46 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 29 replies ^ | September 9, 2014 10:35 AM
    SANTA MONICA ( — Pony rides for children at a weekly Santa Monica Farmers’ Market may soon be coming to an end. A proposed measure on the Santa Monica City Council agenda Tuesday night would eliminate all “animal activities” – including Tawni’s Ponies & Petting Farm – at the open-air market held Sundays on Main Street. Under the proposal, the ponies would be replaced with a “non-animal activity” such as painting or cooking after the current contract expires on June 30, 2015. Activist Marcy Winograd, whose online petition to shut down the rides has gained about 1,380 signatures, told KNX...
  • Rosetta Captures Breathtaking Comet Views Advancing Landing Site Selection

    09/08/2014 8:36:25 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies ^ | September 8, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    Jagged cliffs and prominent boulders are clearly visible in unprecedented detail on the head and body of Comet 67P displaying a multitude of different terrains in the new image taken from a distance of 62 kilometers. Meanwhile the Rosetta science team is using the OSIRIS and navcam camera images to create a preliminary map of the comets surface. The map is color coded to divide the comet into several distinct morphological regions. “With various areas dominated by cliffs, depressions, craters, boulders or even parallel grooves, 67P/C-G displays a multitude of different terrains. Some areas even appear to have been shaped...
  • The Nicaragua Crater: The Result of a Meteorite Impact or Not?

    09/08/2014 4:50:35 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    David Dickinson on | September 8, 2014
    Of course, cosmic coincidences can and do happen. Last year, the close passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 was upstaged by the explosion of a 20-metre asteroid over the city of Chelyabinsk on the very same day. And though the two were conclusively proven to be unrelated, they did serve to raise general human awareness that, yes, large threatening rocks do indeed menace the Earth. And ironically, the aforementioned asteroid 2014 RC was about the same size as the Chelyabinsk asteroid, which snuck up on the Earth undetected from a sunward direction. But Ron Baalke, a software engineer at the Jet...
  • Russian military plane circles HMCS Toronto in Black Sea

    09/08/2014 3:48:22 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    CBC News ^ | Sep 08, 2014 5:41 PM ET|
    The ship was circled by one surveillance plane and two fighter jets, according to the defence minister's office. The frigate HMCS Toronto left Halifax in late July to replace HMCS Regina, which has been a part of the Standing NATO Maritime Forces since May. "Canada and its allies are involved in security measures taken by the acts of military aggression perpetrated by the Putin regime and because of the invasion of Ukraine," he said, calling on Russia to stop its "irresponsible actions." This ship has about 250 crew on board and is participating in Operation Reassurance
  • Wanna Trip To Space? To Raise Money, Mars One Is Offering A Lynx Joyride

    09/08/2014 3:22:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 2 replies ^ | September 8, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    Mars One’s latest publicity campaign, which is to offer a chance for a trip upon the (so-far-unflown-in-space) Lynx spacecraft in exchange for donating to the organization, which plans to launch a one-way human trip to Mars in the next decade. “The campaign will provide funding for a 2015 Earth mission, which is a simulation project to replicate the future Mars human settlement here on Earth, as well as the 2018 Mars mission to Mars,” Mars One stated. The campaign, called “Ticket To Rise“, is essentially a fundraising campaign for Mars One. The group is selling memberships, selfies of photographs with...
  • Viking 'ring fortress' discovered in Denmark

    09/08/2014 11:44:18 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies ^ | 12:22PM BST 06 Sep 2014 | Andrew Marszal
    The fortress found on the Danish island of Zealand, around 30 miles south of Copenhagen, is the fifth circular fortress to be unearthed, and the first in over 60 years. “This is great news,” said Lasse Sonne, a Viking historian from the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen. “Although there were Vikings in other countries, these circular fortresses are unique to Denmark. Many have given up hope that there were many of them left.” Like previously discovered ring fortresses, the Vallø Borgring is thought to date back to the late tenth century and the reign of Harald Bluetooth, the...
  • Report: Metrolink Ridership Slipping

    09/08/2014 8:10:26 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies ^ | September 8, 2014 5:20 AM
    LOS ANGELES ( — Metrolink ridership is down nearly 600,000 passengers since 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported. The drop in ridership has caused revenue losses, which have left the rail line debating between cutting back services or boosting fares, the paper said. Metro officials blame the downturn on the worst recession since World War II. The train system serves six counties and more than 20 million people across the Los Angeles metro area. “Ridership should be growing, given the size of the area Metrolink serves,” Richard Katz, a former state legislator and longtime board member for the railroad, told...
  • Antonio Brown jump-kicks punter

    09/07/2014 1:43:29 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 28 replies ^ | September 7, 2014, 4:27 PM ET | Scott Brown |
    Brown jumped-kicked Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning at the end of a 46-yard punt return in the second quarter, drawing a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness Sunday in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 30-27 win. ... It marks the second time since last December that Brown has been a central figure in a play in which an AFC rival's punter took a shot to the face. Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin broke Kevin Huber's jaw near the end of last season when he obliterated the Cincinnati Bengals punter during Brown's 67-yard return for a touchdown.