Headline News

  • Boom town, flood town: How Houston’s development increases flood risk


    HOUSTON — For the third time in eight years, water gushed into Virginia Hammond’s northwest Houston home. It was 2 a.m. on April 18. Over the next several hours, her two granddaughters — ages 12 and 15 — perched on tables, scared to put their feet in the dark gray floodwater rising below them. It nearly topped 3 feet. “They couldn’t get in the beds because the beds were wet. They couldn’t go to the bathroom because the water was over the toilet bowl,” Hammond recalled. “We were in there, well, trapped.” The storm that pummeled Hammond’s modest brick home — nicknamed the “Tax Day” flood because it fell on the deadline to file federal income taxes — came just 11 months after another, on Memorial Day 2015, that also crippled the city. Together, the floods killed 16 people, inflicted well over $1 billion in damage and provoked an unprecedented uproar from Houstonians, some of …

    December 7, 2016 11:13 am
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Politics

  • Trump defends his comments on Boeing, sees markets going up: NBC interview


    WASHINGTON U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his direct interventions with companies, including making statements on Twitter, saying businesses will benefit from his actions and his upcoming term in office. One day after criticizing one of Boeing Co’s high-profile projects in a tweet, Trump told NBC that he anticipated “tremendous” economic growth under his administration but reiterated his warning that companies shifting U.S. jobs overseas would have to pay. Still, markets and companies should not worry, he said. “I don’t know … how people are unnerved,” Trump told NBC’s “Today” program. “It’s just the opposite. Frankly, I think we’re going to go up.” The New York businessman, who has never held public office, begins his term on Jan. 20. Trump also said he had sold his stocks in June to avoid any conflict-of-interest with the presidency. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be owning stocks when I’m making deals for this country …

    December 7, 2016 8:52 am
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Stocks

  • Toyota, GM and BMW warn against Brexit


    Some of the world’s leading car makers have come out in support of Britain remaining in the European Union. Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota (TM), BMW (BAMXY) and Vauxhall — owned by GM (GM) — said a vote to leave the EU (the so-called Brexit) could damage the U.K.’s booming car industry. The industry depends on exports. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said 80% of vehicles made in the U.K. are exported, with more than half of those sold to the rest of the EU. Dropping out of the EU single market — the biggest in the world — could damage those exports, the society said. The automotive industry supports 800,000 jobs across the U.K. and car manufacturing contributes £15.5 billion ($22.6 billion) annually to the U.K. economy, according to the SMMT. And the industry has just had a bumper year in 2015, producing the highest number of cars since 2005. Demand from China …

    June 20, 2016 5:40 am
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Sports

  • NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: Lions moving their way up as they inch closer to playoffs


    The lowest-ranked team currently holding down a playoff spot lands at 22 in the Power Rankings this week. The highest-ranked team on the outside looking in on the postseason field is at 11. To some extent, that speaks to what’s going on this season—there are weak spots in a couple of the division races, but the wild-card battles are shaping up to be brutal right down to the wire. A little shift at the bottom of this week’s rankings, too. That’s where we start:

    December 7, 2016 8:52 am
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World News

  • Pope compares disinformation in the media to fascination with feces


    VATICAN CITY, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Pope Francis compared the media’s fascination with telling only part of a story to coprophilia, an interest in fecal matter, in an interview Tuesday. Speaking in Rome with representatives of Tertio, a Belgian Catholic publication, he was asked about the responsibility of the media; his response focused on the harmful effects of the spread of disinformation. “A thing that can do great damage to the information media is disinformation: that is, faced with any situation, saying only a part of the truth, and not the rest. This is disinformation. Because you, to the listener or the observer, give only half the truth, and therefore it is not possible to make a serious judgement. “Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth. And then, I believe that the media should be very clear, …

    December 7, 2016 11:13 am
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Technology

  • TalkTalk’s wi-fi hack advice is ‘astonishing’


    Image copyright Getty Images Image caption TalkTalk was fined in October for its handling of an earlier security breach TalkTalk’s handling of a wi-fi password breach is being criticised by several cyber-security experts. The BBC has presented the company with evidence that many of its customers’ router credentials have been hacked, putting them at risk of data theft. The UK broadband provider confirmed that the sample of stolen router IDs it had been shown was real. But it is still advising users that there is “no need” to change their routers’ settings. A cyber-security advisor to Europol said he was astounded by the decision. “If TalkTalk has evidence that significant numbers of passwords are out in the wild, then at the very least they should be advising their customers to change their passwords,” said the University of Surrey’s Prof Alan Woodward. “To say they see no need to do so is, frankly, astonishing.” A spokeswoman …

    December 7, 2016 8:52 am
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Science

  • EPA Begins Evaluating 10 Common Chemicals for Toxicity


    The EPA has started flexing its newfound powers to control chemicals in the U.S. Last week the agency announced the first 10 compounds it will evaluate for safety under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The legislation, amended last June, strengthens the agency’s authority to regulate new and existing chemicals. Its list, which includes substances such as asbestos, is just the beginning of its revamped efforts. In the coming years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to review thousands of chemicals for their potential risk to human health and ecosystems. It could restrict or ban any of them—something the EPA has had little power to do before. “These 10 chemicals are not new, they’ve been in use for decades,” explains Richard Denison, a lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. “But under the old law, there was no mandate for EPA to review those chemicals—that’s part of why this reform was so important.” …

    December 7, 2016 8:32 am
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Health

  • Almost 2 Million U.S. Kids Get Concussions a Year: Study


    MONDAY, June 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Close to 2 million U.S. children and teens may suffer concussions annually, say researchers who add that the prevalence of head injuries among American youth has been underestimated for years. Using data from hospitals, doctor visits and athletic trainers, the investigators estimated between 1 million and 1.9 million concussions occur annually among kids aged 18 and younger due to sports and recreation injuries. But more than half a million of these head injuries aren’t seen in emergency rooms or by physicians, which is why official tallies are usually too low, they noted. “There is a lot of uncertainty in how many concussions from sports and recreation occur each year because many concussions are not reported,” explained lead researcher Dr. Mersine Bryan, a pediatrician at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Better surveillance for concussions due to sports and recreational activities is needed, so we can understand …

    June 20, 2016 10:01 am
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Entertainment

  • Will Ferrell to portray professional eSports star in upcoming comedy


    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Will Ferrell is set to enter into the world of competitive video gaming in a new comedy under development at Legendary. According to Variety, Ferrell is set to portray the star player on a competitive eSports team in a sport that is dominated by younger players due to slowing hand-eye coordination in later ages. Notably, two premiere real-life eSports teams Evil Geniuses and Fnatic are being approached about appearing in the film as well. Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions will be producing the project with a script by Michael Kvamme and Jordan Dunn. Patrick Connelly and John Beach of Gravity Squared have signed on as co-producers. The untitled film will be the latest sports-centric film for the comedian following comedies such as Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and Semi-Pro. Ferrell is also developing a professional wresting-themed comedy series at Fox alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

    December 7, 2016 11:53 am
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Editorial

  • How to stop the craziness of Christmas from outshining the Christ child


    Jingle bells, carolers, the hum of 200 strands of Christmas lights, toy commercials two whole decimals louder than the Christmas movie, your crazy uncle’s tacky sweater that plays “Grandpa Got Run Over By A Reindeer”—Christmas can be noisy, to say the least! By no means is it all bad though.  I mean who doesn’t love to hear the four year old nearly swallow the microphone, in efforts to say her lines at the preschool pageant? Or the ringing jingle from the Salvation Army bucket on our way to pick up milk and eggs? As we sit in a crowded coffee shop to write this article it becomes blatantly clear that we haven’t had a quiet moment yet this season. With the crunch of the grinder, the hiss of the steamer, the ding of the credit card chip reader and Bing Crosby pouring from the speaker directly overhead, this certainly isn’t it. Now, if that’s what …

    December 7, 2016 8:52 am
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Odd News

  • California man startled by bear living under his house


    WOFFORD HEIGHTS, Calif., Dec. 7 (UPI) — A California man had a tense morning encounter with a bear that has chosen the space under his house as its new home. Eric Barnes of Wofford Heights said he was in his front yard filling a fountain Tuesday morning when he heard a grunting noise and turned to look under his porch. “I just heard something and I turned around and looked and there was a bear!” he told KBAK/KBFX. Barnes summoned the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, but they were unable to coax the bear out from under the home. “He seems too comfortable. I used to be comfortable here too, but I’m not now,” Barnes said. Barnes said the bear, nicknamed Ditka by locals, is well known in the area and previously spent a few days under his home on a separate occasion. “When you’re in …

    December 7, 2016 8:52 am
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