Hot News

Donald Trump says he’s open to ‘softening’ immigration law

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:02 | Michael Walsh

Donald Trump says he’s open to ‘softening’ immigration lawThe Republican presidential candidate’s hard-line stance and policy proposals surrounding illegal immigration have been a centerpiece to his campaign. In a Tuesday conversation with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said he would consider changing aspects of immigration law as it relates to people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally but have not otherwise broken the law. Trump described the two-tier policy toward illegal immigration that he touched upon the day before.

France warning as burkini furore heats up

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:35 | AFP

France warning as burkini furore heats upFrench Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned Wednesday against stigmatising Muslims, as a furore over the banning of burkinis grew with the emergence of pictures showing police surrounding a veiled woman on a beach. CFCM president Anouar Kbibech requested an urgent meeting with Cazeneuve after pictures emerged of a veiled woman sitting on a beach in Nice removing her tunic, watched by four policemen. "We have seen images of police officers forcing a woman on a Nice beach to remove her tunic when she wasn't even wearing a burkini," the CFCM said indignantly.

In dry, windy West, crews target flames in several states

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 06:54 | Associated Press

In dry, windy West, crews target flames in several statesYELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Growing wildfires stoked by windy, dry conditions have destroyed buildings and forced evacuations in California, Washington, Montana and elsewhere.

In Prison, Ramen Is the New Cigarettes

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:12 | The Atlantic

In Prison, Ramen Is the New CigarettesIn his 1945 article “The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp,” the British economist R.A. Radford recounted his experiences within the informal system of barter among prisoners at Stalag VII-A, a German camp on the outskirts of Munich during the Second World War. Using supplies delivered by the Red Cross, some prisoners moved between different nationalities’ encampments, buying tea for cheap from the French (who tended to prefer coffee) and then selling it to the British (whose affection for tea is a matter of centuries-old lore). Meanwhile, imprisoned Gurkha soldiers from South Asia sought out tins of vegetables and bartered them for corned beef.

1st Look at World War II-Era Aircraft Carrier Sunk in the Pacific

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:48 |

1st Look at World War II-Era Aircraft Carrier Sunk in the PacificMore than 60 years after a World War II-era aircraft carrier sunk to the bottom of the sea, the word "Independence" could still be made out on its surface. By exploring the wreck with robotic subs, scientists are getting their first look at this decades-old ship, which was a target during atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the 1940s. The exploration is already revealing secrets: Scientists operating the underwater robot discovered a fighter plane within the sunken aircraft carrier that, according to records, should not have been there.

Turkish tanks roll into Syria, pushing Islamic State out of key border town

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:59 | Reuters

Turkish tanks roll into Syria, pushing Islamic State out of key border townBy Humeyra Pamuk and Jeff Mason KARKAMIS, Turkey/ANKARA (Reuters) - Syrian rebels backed by Turkish special forces, tanks and warplanes entered one of Islamic State's last strongholds on the Turkish-Syrian border on Wednesday, in Turkey's first major U.S.-backed incursion into its southern neighbor. A column of at least nine Turkish tanks crossed into Syria with the group of largely Arab and Turkmen rebels to drive Islamic State out of Jarablus and surrounding villages. President Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was targeting both Islamic State and the Kurdish YPG militia, whose gains in northern Syria have alarmed Turkey.

S. Africa finance minister says he won't submit to police probe

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:13 | AFP

S. Africa finance minister says he won't submit to police probeSouth Africa's Finance Minister said Wednesday he would not appear before police as part of their probe into a spy unit formed while he was the country's top tax man. Pravin Gordhan who was commissioner of South African Revenue Service (SARS) from 1999 to 2009 has faced allegations that the "rogue spy unit" spied on politicians, including the current President Jacob Zuma. "I have a job to do in a difficult economic environment and serve South Africa as best I can.

A Democrat backs Republicans on gun control? It just happened

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:31 | Christian Science Monitor

A Democrat backs Republicans on gun control? It just happenedThis week, a leading gun-control group that was founded by a former Democratic member of Congress endorsed two Republican incumbent senators. If that weren't bad enough, the endorsements came in toss-up races that Democrats would dearly love to win. It was a highly unusual crossover on a polarized issue – and in an election year in which control of the Senate is up for grabs.

While France Bans Burkinis, Canada Welcomes Hijabi ‘Mounties’

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:43 | Foreign Policy Magazine

While France Bans Burkinis, Canada Welcomes Hijabi ‘Mounties’Muslim women can now wear headscarves while serving in Canada's famous mounted police force.

State police: No serious injuries after Indiana tornadoes

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:40 | Associated Press

State police: No serious injuries after Indiana tornadoesINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — No serious injuries were reported after multiple tornadoes touched down Wednesday in central Indiana, tearing the roofs off apartment buildings, sending air conditioners falling onto parked cars and cutting power to thousands of people.

'Unprecedented' overdose epidemic from fentanyl in US

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:21 | AFP

'Unprecedented' overdose epidemic from fentanyl in USPainkillers containing illegally made fentanyl, a synthetic drug up to 100 times more potent than morphine, are responsible for a surge in overdose deaths in the United States, health authorities said Thursday. Pop legend Prince, who died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl in April, is the latest high-profile victim of the addictive and often-counterfeit pills that are sweeping the nation. A new report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found "substantial increases in fatal synthetic opioid–involved overdoses, primarily driven by fentanyl-involved overdose deaths" in multiple states since 2013.

U.S. Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian vessel

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:46 | Reuters

U.S. Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian vesselBy Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots toward an Iranian fast-attack craft that approached two U.S. ships, a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday, in the most serious of a number of incidents in the Gulf area this week. "They did feel compelled ultimately to fire three warning shots and the reason for that is... they had taken steps already to try and de-escalate this situation," spokesman Peter Cook told reporters. Tensions have increased in the Gulf in recent days despite an improvement in relations between Iran and the United States.

Obama visits flood-damaged Baton Rouge

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:28 | Yahoo News Photo

Obama visits flood-damaged Baton Rouge“Sometimes when these kinds of things happen, it can seem too much to bear, but what I want the people of Louisiana to know is that you’re not alone on this,” he said. The president praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its efforts coordinating a federal response, which he said has already reached $127 million in assistance.

Potentially Earth-like planet found orbiting our neighboring star

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:02 | Mashable

Potentially Earth-like planet found orbiting our neighboring starThe dim, red light of a small star illuminates the rocky surface of a world just four light-years from Earth.  This newfound alien planet, or exoplanet, may have a life-supporting atmosphere or it could simply be an irradiated rock not far from our solar system. But either way, the planet — known as Proxima b — is the closest world yet discovered outside our solar system. A new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature details the discovery of the rocky, potentially Earth-like planet orbiting the star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun which may be part of the Alpha Centauri system of stars. SEE ALSO: 104 newfound alien planets confirmed in cosmic haul "If further research concludes that the conditions of its atmosphere are suitable to support life, this is arguably one of the most important scientific discoveries we will ever make," co-author of the study John Barnes said in a statement.  Scientists discovered the planet candidate by using telescopes operated by the European Southern Observatory, as well as earlier observations of Proxima Centauri. Those telescopes detected small wobbles of the star, which they concluded was likely due to the small tug of Proxima b's gravity. The study's authors saw that the star seems to wobble in a consistent pattern, which allowed them to effectively measure the planet's approximately 11-day orbit around the star. That may seem like a very close-in orbit, considering that Earth's orbit around the sun takes far longer, at 365 days.  However, because of Proxima Centauri's size, Proxima b, which is thought to have a mass about 1.3 times that of the Earth's, still has a shot at habitability.  The star — known as an M-dwarf — is much cooler and dimmer than the sun, meaning that the star's "habitable zone," the orbit in which a planet could host liquid water on its surface, is quite close to the star. This discovery of an alien world so close to our own solar system certainly sparks the imagination, calling to mind possible interstellar voyages that could deliver us to Proxima b and whatever strange aliens that may await us there. "As a human, I would love this planet to be a planet that has an atmosphere and possibly could have liquid water and possibly could have some kind of life," NASA astronomer Steve Howell, who was not involved in the new research told Mashable in an interview.  "As a scientist, you know, it's one of a number of planets we need to study in great detail." A long way to Earth-like While this finding is exciting, it's not exactly the holy grail for exoplanet hunters.  For years, scientists have been searching for an Earth-like planet orbiting a star like our sun, a world that they might be able to point to and say, "this is our best shot for finding possibly advanced life outside of the solar system." "I am still holding out for the true Earth analog orbiting the sunlike star," exoplanet scientist Sara Seager, an astronomer at MIT who was not involved in the new research, told Mashable via email. This artist’s impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. Image: ESO/M. Kornmesser Although Proxima b is an example of a world that might be habitable, there are still a lot of questions to answer before researchers can say that with a high degree of confidence. For example, scientists still aren't sure exactly what kind of atmosphere, if any, envelops the planet. The planet might be more like Venus, with a thick atmosphere that makes the planet unlivable, or it could have no real atmosphere to speak of. It's possible that the planet might be just right for life to develop, but even then, the world is tidally locked to its star, meaning that the same face of the planet constantly points toward the star.  Instead of rotating while orbiting like Earth does, Proxima b has a constant "day side" and "night side," which is more like the moon. The researchers still aren't sure if the planet has a magnetic field, which would help protect it from Proxima Centauri's violent flares. This image of the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri AB also shows the much fainter red dwarf star, Proxima Centauri. Image: Digitized Sky Survey 2 Acknowled In the coming years, researchers will use ground-based observatories and even spacecraft in space to learn more about the new possible world orbiting Proxima Centauri.  According to Howell, in about 20 years, astronomers may even be able to remotely measure an atmosphere of an alien planet. Because Proxima b is so close to Earth, it's possible that scientists will be able to catch sight of it and learn more about it by snapping photos. "One could ... attempt to detect the reflected or radiated light from the planet directly — this can be done only for nearby planets," astronomer Artie Hatzes, a scientist unaffiliated with the new study, wrote in a Nature analysis about the findings.  "Because Proxima Centauri is relatively close to us, such attempts have a reasonable chance of succeeding. In the distant future, an interstellar space probe might get a close-up look at the planet." The history of the star and its planet The possible habitability of Proxima b really hinges upon the history of the star system and its planet.  Scientists think that at least some stars like Proxima Centauri are known to be somewhat temperamental early in life, shooting off flares that can strip a small world of its atmosphere and leave it as an uninhabitable, orbiting rock.  However, M-dwarfs also live much longer than more massive stars like our sun and they can quiet down after their turbulent adolescent years.  This means that if a planet's prospects for habitability can remain through the turmoil of the star's early days, it's possible that life will have the chance to develop on a world bathed in the cool light of a red star. In many ways, Proxima b's chances for life hinge on whether it was in a safe zone during the potentially more active early days of Proxima Centauri's life, the authors say. M-dwarfs and the future of exoplanet hunting This discovery may spur more astronomers to take a look at other red stars that might play host to planets.  This finding gives scientists the added benefit of gathering more data about these types of stars, helping to characterize these little-studied but numerous objects in the universe. "We'll learn lots more about M-stars, and if you have a close-by M-star like this and you think it has a planet, everybody's going to want to look at it," Howell said.  "So, this particular star will now be the golden child of stars, and everybody will think of some way to observe this star to learn something." This new discovery could mark the start of a sea-change in exoplanet science.  NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler telescope is still searching for planets outside our solar system, but unlike an earlier part of its mission — which was defined by staring deeply at a relatively small part of the sky — the spacecraft is now gazing along a wider patch. "With the pioneering Kepler flood of data nearly behind us, we will see the field return to intense study of individual stars or exoplanets," Seager said.  "The Proxima Centauri discovery heralds this new era."

Today's Horoscope

What's special today for you

Your birth on the 26th day of the month (8 energy) modifies your life path by increasing your capability to function and succeed in the business world. In this environment you have the skills to work very well with others thanks to the 2 and 6 energies combining in this date. There is a marked increase in organizational, managerial, and administrative abilities. You are efficient and handle money very well. Ambitious and energetic, while generally remaining cooperative and adaptable.
You may not be feeling like yourself. Actually, you`re not sure who you feel like, but the main thing is that people are noticing. You realize how difficult it is to maintain your usual focus when your attention glances off in directions that you never previously considered. Relax and reset your standards for the next day or two. This is only a phase and it promises to be educational. The things you learn will be especially useful once you recapture your familiar personality and get down to business again.

Just like everyone else on this planet, you`re an imperfect human being, which makes you just right for so many things. You`re someone`s perfect sweetheart. You`re relaxed enough to roll with any situation that happens out of the blue. Your hodgepodge of skills and knowledge lets you carefully arrange things in completely unique ways. When they ask, you deliver substance and style. You look and feel good to yourself and you`re going to act accordingly.
What you heard isn`t what was said. You might discover your error right away, but you could also operate under a mistaken impression for years to come. Misunderstanding can be funny, especially if they teach you an unexpected lesson along the way. Much of human history seems to be about learning with mistakes. Of course, you`re smart enough to learn from whatever you just did or didn`t do. Watch those endless, slippery details to be sure that it never happens again. Knowing what you know, you already have a plan about this.

You`re big on intuitive thinking. You`d rather not go back and show your work. This might turn you into a performance artist or a Zen trickster. At least no one can fault you for being analytical. Eventually you`ll have to stop for breath and that`s your time to look back. Even you are amazed by your work. Little things make a big difference when they`re added one by one to the stew. Those who finally get your process are duly impressed by it. Others are just surprised with your results. You have to wonder what they were expecting from you anyway.
The glow fades. The laughter falls silent. This seems a little sad, but it`s just a natural stopping place. Shrink out of your overextended stance. Withdraw your feelers. Let the community go its own way as you take care of business for a while. Count your money in private. Take inventory of the valuables that are in your safe deposit box or should go into it. Security is a reasonable concern. You still trust your friends and are willing to give strangers the benefit of the doubt, but things do happen. You recognize this and want to be prepared.

Games of make-believe still suit you, but you can see that they`re not always a sound operating principle. Throw out your old favorite excuses that are finally wearing thin. If anything is standing between you and what you do best, move it aside. Yesterday`s doubts linger between maybe and no. In a few more hours, you`ll forget that you ever had any questions. Events will soon prove all your answers to be the right ones. You know that the Stars are probably making these things happen, but you`ll take as much credit as you reasonably can.
There`s too much information and too many options. You thought you could juggle it all like a circus acrobat, but now you`re not so sure. Put fragile things in safe places before you find yourself overwhelmed and paralyzed. You have enough on your mind without adding the stress of a performance. Your conscience is getting louder, but so are other opinions. Thankfully, you can still tell the difference between panic and your instincts. Some people rebel against difficult circumstances, while others sabotage them by failing to act. The Stars recommend that you stay engaged instead of using either of these methods.

Thinking about yourself can be useful and amusing, but it gets lonely after a while. Thinking about others makes you curious. Satisfy that curiosity by getting involved in their lives with kind, considerate deeds. Give until it helps. Once you get that warm, happy feeling, you recognize it as a missing element showing up at last. Soon you`ll hit your stride in this new mission. Anonymous charity works better than extravagant philanthropy. It would be wrong to have the donor confused with the donation.
Usually you invite others to blast their music, but now it`s too loud for you. Even the songs and instruments that you like to hear are getting on your nerves. If your friends have any sense, they`ll see your grouchy mood coming and decide that their presence would be more welcome elsewhere, at least temporarily. Small problems are already inflating to massive obstacles. Those walls aren`t actually closing in, are they? You need to get out more, even if this particular vacation consists of ten deep breaths in a quiet place. There, doesn`t that feel better?

You like the view from where you stand. Both your feet are planted firmly on the ground, but you have enough elevation to feel as if you`re flying. Thanks to a little extra fire energy in your life, you feel the heat of the sun, no matter what the actual weather is doing. And while your outlook on life may be warm and friendly, your realistic perspective helps you separate fact from fiction. Outside evidence helps. If you don`t hear familiar voices from another state or country, maybe the revelation comes from somewhere deep in your past.
Not all is as it seems. Strong currents sweep through your life in the usual way, but this isn`t a day for you to go with the flow. You might end up in places that you never expected to be or that you`re not equipped to handle. Others might even be channeling these events along a course that is not in your best interest. At least you know something that they don`t know. It`s a holographic universe, with each part representing the whole thing in miniature. Even a raging river is made of little drops of water.

You`re not listening to the people that put you down. You know your own mind. You also have a good idea about who they are and why they`re being so negative. Whatever kind of relationship is shifting or under construction, you`re looking at the abilities and limits of everyone else involved. With the results sitting here in the palm of your hand, you have only yourself to praise or blame. Temper your vigilance with good judgment. Be available for anyone who wants to discuss business in a reasonable fashion. You wouldn`t want to deprive them of what you have to offer.