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Obama ‘heartbroken’ by Foley beheading but vows no letup in U.S. operations
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:28:16 -0400

FILE - This undated file still image from video released April 7, 2011, by GlobalPost, shows James Foley of Rochester, N.H., a freelance contributor for GlobalPost, in Benghazi, Libya. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP Photo/GlobalPost, File)Pres. Obama has defiantly pledged to press on with U.S. military efforts to cut ISIL's “cancer” out of the Middle East.

Calif. patient tested for possible Ebola exposure
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:19:01 -0400

An MSF medical worker wears protective clothing at an Ebola treatment facility in Kailahun, on August 15, 2014, Sierra LeoneBlood samples from a patient at a Northern California hospital, who is suspected of having been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus, will be tested by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said. There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States, though two American relief workers who contracted the disease in Liberia were flown back to America for treatment earlier this month. In the latest case, a patient admitted to South Sacramento Medical Center in California's state capital may have been exposed to the Ebola virus, Kaiser Permanente, the company that operates the hospital, said in a statement Tuesday.

Marine killed in crash on surprise visit to little brother
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:44:53 -0400

Marine FuneralFORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado Marine killed in a crash in Utah last week was on his way home to surprise his little brother on the first day of school.

China, Russia, Egypt scold US on aftermath in Ferguson
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:50:09 -0400

A RELATIVELY CALM NIGHT IN FERGUSONBy Angus MacSwan LONDON (Reuters) - Governments scolded by the United States over their human rights records have seized on racial unrest and a police crackdown in the Missouri town of Ferguson to wag their fingers back in disapproval. Adversaries and uneasy allies from Russia and Iran to China and Egypt have accused the United States of hypocrisy as images of police brandishing lethal weapons and tear-gassing protesters have been shown around the world. Many of the countries draw criticism of their own democratic credentials from independent rights group as well as the U.S. Nonetheless, activists say the events in Ferguson, where the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman has provoked 11 nights of protests, undermine the United States' credibility in criticizing others.

Highest US authorities: ISIS video authentic
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:47:40 -0400

Journalist James Foley reportedly executedAnalysis of video showing journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff indicates it's for real.

Zombie fungus has horrific way of spreading
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:50:41 -0400

Zombie Fungus Makes 'Sniper's Alley' Around Ant ColoniesA fungus that turns worker ants into zombie henchmen has a surprisingly clever strategy to recruit new hosts. The parasitic fungus in question, Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis, is named for the species of carpenter ant that it inhabits, Camponotus rufipes.

Ashamed Jackie Chan apologizes for son's drug bust
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:22:58 -0400

Jackie Chan's son arrested in major drug sweep in ChinaBEIJING (AP) — Jackie Chan apologized to the public Wednesday over his son's detention on drug charges in Beijing, saying he's ashamed and saddened.

Chicago hostage standoff ends, 4 freed
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:17:10 -0400

Chicago hostage standoffTwo suspects captured ending deadlock that lasted more than 20 hours.

Israel steps up air strikes as Gaza buries dead
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:50:03 -0400

Undated file picture shows Mohammed Deif, military leader of the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, at an unknown locationIsraeli warplanes pounded Gaza Wednesday as furious mourners buried the wife and child of Hamas's top military commander, baying for revenge as nine days of calm exploded into bloodshed. Mohammed Deif, who has topped Israel's most wanted list for more than a decade, escaped the strike with Hamas saying he was still alive and calling the shots in the ongoing confrontation. So far, 20 Gazans have been killed since Palestinian militants launched a barrage of rockets on southern Israel on Tuesday and F16 fighter jets carried out retaliatory air strikes, Palestinian medics say. The bloodshed pushed to 2,038 the number of Gazans killed in six weeks of the most violent confrontation between Israel and Hamas militants since the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising (2000-2005).

Macy's settles racial profiling suit to tune of six-figure sum
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:29:15 -0400

Macy's To Pay $650,000 In Shopper-Profiling ProbeThe retailer will also adopt new policies on police access to its security camera monitors.

Big mistake leads wanted man right into cops' hands
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:28:41 -0400

Ferguson memorial Michael BrownSPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a wanted man has been arrested after he rear-ended a Spokane, Washington, detective's car.

More weapons heading for Iraq's kurds, from unlikely source
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:52:51 -0400

A boy looks into a Leopard tank barrel during an army picnic following a military parade marking Polish Armed Forces Day, in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Aug.15, 2014. Poland is holding its biggest military parade in years with tanks and soldiers moving through central Warsaw and military aircraft flying overhead. The parade comes on the August 15 holiday that honors a stunning Polish victory against Russian Bolsheviks in 1920. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is prepared to send arms to Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq fighting Islamic State militants, Germany's foreign and defence ministers said on Wednesday. Military equipment such as helmets and security vests would be sent immediately, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, adding that Berlin had agreed also to send weapons. "We can imagine providing further equipment, including weapons. Great Britain, Italy and France have decided to send such goods and we are prepared to do so too," he told reporters. ...

Massive humanitarian airlift to N. Iraq starts
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:49:11 -0400

C-130 Hercules cargo plane marks 60th anniversaryA humanitarian airlift to northern Iraq began on Wednesday, kicking off a 10-day operation to provide tents and other aid to half a million displaced people who are struggling for survival, the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR said. "This is a massive logistics operation ... to help the hundreds of thousands of desperate people who have fled suddenly with nothing but their lives and are now struggling to survive in harsh conditions," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.  Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes since the militant Islamic State group swept through much of the north and west of Iraq in June, threatening to break up the country. Iraq's escalating crisis means that the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq is now hosting more than 600,000 internally displaced civilians, including more than 200,000 people who fled the Sinjar area since early August, the UNHCR said. In all, an estimated 1.2 million people have been uprooted in Iraq so far this year, including half a million in the western Anbar region, it said.

UK searches for info on Foley's killer
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:33:50 -0400

James FoleyBritish government "urgently investigating" identity of hooded, apparently British executioner.

Fears Ebola has spread to another African country
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:19:11 -0400

Angolans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo wait with bags at the train station in Kinshasa on August 19, 2014 as ten of thousands prepare to return homeDemocratic Republic of Congo has sent its health minister and a team of experts to the remote northern Equateur province after several people died there from a disease with Ebola-like symptoms, a local official and a professor said on Wednesday. "An illness is spreading in Boende but we don't know the origin," said Michel Wangi, a spokesman for the governor's office. "The government has sent a team of experts from the INRB(National Institute of Biomedical Research) this morning led by the health minister (Felix) Kabange Numbi and acting governor Sebastian Impeto." A professor accompanying the delegation in the presidential plane confirmed that they were en route this morning to find out "the exact nature of the illness that caused the Boende deaths". An Equateur resident who asked not to be named said that around ten people had died, including four health care workers, after suffering from fever, diarrhoea and bleeding from the ears and nostrils - all symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus.

What happens when an old, dead oil well gets 're-fracked'?
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:54:02 -0400

Drilling wells are pictured in Los AngelesHydraulic fracturing, which has upended global energy markets by lifting U.S. Canada's Encana Corp invested $2 million to refrack two wells in Louisiana's Haynesville shale formation earlier this year, after seeing its production in the area dip 27 percent from 2012 levels.     "There were a significant number of wells that we considered unstimulated," said David Martinez, Encana's senior manager for Haynesville development.     Using minuscule plastic balls, known as diverting agents, pumped at high speeds with water into the old wells, most of which are three to five years old, Encana blocked some the older fractures, or cracks.     "The thought is that the diverting agent will go to the cracks with the least amount of pressure," bypassing cracks with higher pressure and boosting the pressure of the entire well so output climbs, Martinez said.     He said the process can't be as precisely controlled as an initial round of hydraulic fracturing, in which water, chemicals and sand into are blasted into rock to unlock oil and gas.

North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 03:33:57 -0400

In this Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry points a finger as he arrives in Sydney. In its latest personal attack on a prominent official, North Korea has called Kerry a wild dog with a "hideous lantern jaw." (AP Photo/Peter Parks, Pool)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — In its latest personal attack on a prominent official from a rival country, North Korea on Wednesday called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a "hideous lantern jaw."

Remembering James Foley, killed by ISIS
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:40:08 -0400

In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)Journalist "gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people," says mother.

Disaster hits Hiroshima, 36 dead
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:36:06 -0400

JSDF soldiers and police officers carry the body of a victim in a plastic bag at a site where a landslide swept through a residential area at Asaminami ward in HiroshimaBy Toru Hanai HIROSHIMA (Reuters) - At least 36 people, including several children, were killed in Japan on Wednesday, when landslides triggered by torrential rain slammed into the outskirts of the western city of Hiroshima, and the toll could rise further, police said.

Stunning sight above Moscow angers Kremlin
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:45:08 -0400

A worker repaints a star yellow at the top of a Stalin-era skyscraper in Moscow blue, on August 20, 2014. The star was painted in yellow and blue, the Ukrainian national colors, by unknown peopleA Ukrainian flag was unfurled on the top of a Moscow skyscraper within sight of the Kremlin on Wednesday, officials said, as fighting in eastern Ukraine has frayed bilateral ties. The Soviet star crowning the Stalin-era skyscraper, located just a kilometre (half a mile) from the Kremlin, was also painted in the yellow and blue colours of the national flag. "The flag was attached by unidentified criminals to the top of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment skyscraper," a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry, Roman Kilkeyev, told AFP. Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have soared since Viktor Yanukovich was chased from power in Ukraine and replaced with a pro-Western government in February.

Ferguson protests smaller, more subdued
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:46:34 -0400

A man is arrested as police try to disperse a crowd in Ferguson, Mo. early Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)Despite some clashes, the overall scene was more restrained than the past five nights.

Argentina bonds, peso reel on country's debt swap plan
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:20:13 -0400

Argentina's Economy Minister Kicillof speaks during a news conference in Buenos AiresBy Hugh Bronstein and Alejandro Lifschitz BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's new plan to skirt U.S. The government has sent a bill to Congress that would replace its New York intermediary bank with state-run Banco Nacion, the latest move in a years-old legal chess game between Argentina and its "holdout" creditors who refused to participate in the restructuring. Argentina's black market peso reeled on the news, falling 2.0 percent to an all-time low 13.5 to the U.S. The legal deadlock is squeezing Argentina's foreign reserves and the availability of dollars in the market by preventing the economically ailing country from issuing international bonds.Last month, Argentina defaulted on an estimated $29 billion of its restructured debt after a New York court blocked an interest payment of $539 million.

Springboks recall Smith after long absence
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:19:39 -0400

South Africa's Juan Smith (L) during an international rugby union match at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh on November 20, 2010Juan Smith has been recalled by South Africa after a three-year absence for a Rugby Championship Test in Argentina Saturday. The flanker replaces Marcell Coetzee in one of the three changes to the Springboks starting line-up that laboured to a 13-6 victory over the Pumas in Pretoria last weekend. Eben Etzebeth comes in for Bakkies Botha at lock and loose-head prop Gurthro Steenkamp replaces Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira. Coetzee, Botha and Mtawarira have been named among eight replacements for the second-round southern hemisphere match in north-western city Salta.

Brunchwire: FINALLY! Pubbelly is launching brunch this...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:19:34 -0400

Brunchwire: FINALLY! Pubbelly is launching brunch this...FINALLY! Pubbelly is launching brunch this Sunday, August 24, from noon to 4 p.m. Dishes will range from $9-$18 and the menu will be categorized by sections like "Pubbelly Classics," "Dim Sum," "South Beach Diet," "Hangover Grub" and "Brunch Fare."

Obama: U.S. won't stop confronting Islamic State
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:19:26 -0400

FILE - This undated file still image from video released April 7, 2011, by GlobalPost, shows James Foley of Rochester, N.H., a freelance contributor for GlobalPost, in Benghazi, Libya. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP Photo/GlobalPost, File)President Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to continue to confront Islamic State militants despite the beheading of an American journalist in Iraq, standing firm in the face of the militants' threats to kill another hostage unless the U.S. military changes course.

England bowler Broad to undergo knee surgery
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:18:54 -0400

England's Stuart Broad takes part in a warm up prior to playing against India on the first day of the fifth test cricket match at Oval cricket ground in London, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Broad had his nose broken during that last test against India while batting. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON (AP) — England pace bowler Stuart Broad is to undergo surgery on his right knee.

US warns travelers of canceled Venezuela flights
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:17:45 -0400

US warns travelers of canceled Venezuela flightsCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Come to Venezuela and you might get a longer trip than you bargained for.

APNewsBreak: BofA reaches $17B settlement with US
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:17:38 -0400

FILE - This, Oct. 14, 2012, file photo shows a Bank of America branch in downtown Miami. How much will Bank of America’s expected $17 billion mortgage settlement cost the company? The answer is, almost certainly not $17 billion. In mega-settlements negotiated with the U.S. government, a dollar is rarely worth an actual dollar. Inflated figures make sensational headlines for the Justice Department, and $17 billion would be the largest settlement by far arising from the economic meltdown in which millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. But the true cost to companies is often obscured by opaque accounting techniques. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File )WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials familiar with the deal say Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement with federal and state authorities over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Crotty in as All Blacks change three to face Wallabies
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:16:19 -0400

New Zealand's centre Ryan Crotty scores a try during the international rugby union test match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 24, 2013The All Blacks have made three changes for the return Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Auckland on Saturday including a Test start for centre Ryan Crotty. Bruising stalwarts Ma'a Nonu and Jerome Kaino have failed to recover from injuries picked up in last week's 12-12 battle of attrition in Sydney, while Conrad Smith returns after missing the first match due to the birth of his son. The loss of Nonu produces a new All Blacks centre pairing with the safe Crotty preferred to run on in the 12 jersey ahead of the explosive Malakai Fekitoa who deputised for Smith in the first Test.

Fed divided over improvement of US jobs market: minutes
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:15:34 -0400

The US Federal Reserve is seen on February 12, 2009 in WashingtonWashington (AFP) - Federal Reserve policymakers were sharply divided in their last meeting over how much the US jobs market has improved, a key factor in deciding how soon they should tighten policy.

For jihadists, social media a platform to recruit, spread fear
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:15:34 -0400

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on Youtube on June 17, 2014, allegedly shows militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parading with their weapons in the northern city of Baiji, IraqA chilling video depicting the apparent murder of a US journalist by jihadists is just the latest salvo in an online war being waged by extremists on social media sites. Jihadist groups have long used their own media organisations to distribute messages and videos, but in recent years platforms like Twitter have given them an unprecedented, unfiltered ability to intimidate their opponents and recruit members. Their use of forums like Twitter and video-sharing site YouTube has not gone unchallenged, with jihadist accounts frequently shut down, though many quickly reopen, in a cat-and-mouse chase between administrators and users. The unverified video purporting to show the brutal killing of James Foley by jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group appeared on YouTube on Tuesday night.

Flipping Out: Watch This Anza Vista Edwardian Sacrifice Its Soul for Parking
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:14:54 -0400

Flipping Out: Watch This Anza Vista Edwardian Sacrifice Its Soul for ParkingJust under a year ago, a lovely Edwardian duplex with renovation plans already approved sold for $1.805 million. The building's units were filled with lovely woodwork, stained glass windows, and brick fireplaces. The lower unit had already been updated...

Argentina says will pay all creditors in Buenos Aires
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:14:23 -0400

Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof (L) and Legal and Technical Secretary Carlos Zannini speak at a press conference in Buenos Aires on August 20, 2014Argentina said Wednesday it will pay all its creditors in Buenos Aires, seeking to circumvent a US court order barring it from repaying the debt it restructured after its 2001 default. The move aims to work around US District Court Judge Thomas Griesa's ruling in favor of two hedge funds that refuse to accept a write-down, which has blocked Argentina from servicing its restructured debt and forced it into a new default.

Fed notes labor market progress, but not convinced yet: minutes
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:13:58 -0400

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in WashingtonThe Federal Reserve has been surprised by how quickly the U.S. "Labor market conditions had moved noticeably closer to those viewed as normal in the longer run," according to the minutes of the central bank's July 29-30 meeting, which were released on Wednesday. Policymakers "generally agreed" that improvements in the labor market over the last year had been "greater than expected," according to the minutes. The Fed had said in its policy statement following the meetings that there was "significant" slack in the labor market, but the minutes showed many members of the Fed's policy-setting committee thought this characterization "might have to change before long." They also showed officials had largely agreed on many elements of a framework for raising interest rates, with almost all policymakers agreeing it would be appropriate to retain the overnight federal funds rate as their key target.

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:13:40 -0400

People carry a stretcher with a dead man after shelling by the Ukrainian forces in Makiivka, 25 km (16 miles) from Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Government troops on Tuesday pressed attacks in the two largest cities held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, as Kiev also pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict that has killed more than 2,000. (AP Photo/Antoine E.R. Delaunay)DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — After days of street battles and weeks of shelling, Ukrainian troops made a significant push Wednesday into rebel-held territory, claiming control over a large part of the separatist stronghold of Luhansk and nearly encircling Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city.

Week in Reviews: The French Laundry Edition: Kid critics, they're everywhere: 4-year-old Lyla...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:13:16 -0400

Week in Reviews: The French Laundry Edition: Kid critics, they're everywhere: 4-year-old Lyla...Kid critics, they're everywhere: 4-year-old Lyla Hogan recently put her tastebuds to work at chef Thomas Keller's The French Laundry and the Bold Italic has the story. Hogan doesn't love everything, but did say that the melon soup with toasted...

Manfred, Torre take ice bucket challenge for ALS
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:11:56 -0400

Major League Baseball Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred participates in the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge outside the organization's headquarters in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Manfred participated with more than 160 other MLB employees to raise more than $16,000 for the ALS Association. (AP Photo/Vanessa A. Alvarez)NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball officials are not afraid of getting their feet wet for a good cause. Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, Hall of Famer Joe Torre and more than 160 baseball employees poured ice water over their heads outside the league's Manhattan headquarters Wednesday to raise money for ALS.

Strong Words from Obama on ISIS, but No Promise of Action
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:11:00 -0400

Strong Words from Obama on ISIS, but No Promise of ActionCalling the Islamic State a “cancer” that must be extracted from the Middle East, President Obama on Wednesday strongly condemned the terrorist group’s execution-style murder of American journalist James Foley. Dressed casually in a sports jacket and no tie, Obama continued to refer to the group of terrorists that has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months as “ISIL,” an acronym for the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant. While the group has begun calling itself simply the Islamic State, much of the media refers to it as ISIS, for the Islamic State is Iraq and Syria.

House of the Day: 1965 Gem by Frank Lloyd Wright Associate John Howe Asks $2M
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:09:52 -0400

House of the Day: 1965 Gem by Frank Lloyd Wright Associate John Howe Asks $2MHave a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We'd love to see what you've got. Click here to view the full...

Obama urges joint effort to end jihadist 'cancer'
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:09:33 -0400

US President Barack Obama speaks about the US involvement in Iraq in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on August 18, 2014US President Barack Obama called for a joint effort to eliminate the "cancer" of jihadist terror in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, after Islamic State militants murdered an American journalist. Obama said the entire world was appalled by the beheading of 40-year-old reporter James Foley, which the IS fighters videotaped and published on the Internet. It has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies," Obama said.