Category archives for: News From Away

Richmond CA Wants To Raise Minimum Wage So Poor People Can Afford To Hire Illegal Aliens To Mow Their Lawns, Too

agricultural workersRICHMOND, Calif. — A California city in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area postponed a vote on Tuesday to raise its minimum wage to $12.30, which if passed would be among the highest municipal “living wage” rates in the United States. The proposal before the city council in Richmond, an industrial city of about 100,000 people east of San Francisco, comes as Democratic politicians across the United States are raising concerns about the growing gap between the poorest and richest Americans. The wage hike would increase wages gradually from $8 to $9 an hour by the end of 2014 and to $9.60 in 2015. The $12.30 wage would be fully phased in by 2017. The measure got preliminary approval by the city council two weeks ago. It had been scheduled for a final vote on Tuesday, but the council never got to that item on its agenda. The vote was postponed until April 15. The higher wage would apply to most workers in the city, although it would exempt businesses with fewer than 10 employees. It would also exempt the city’s youth summer employment and Welfare-to-Work programs. (keep reading at the Bangor Daily News)

UN Climate Panel Says That According To Their Figures, You Drowned Last Thursday. And Don’t Try To Deny It

United Nations building. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorYOKOHAMA, Japan — Global warming is driving humanity toward a whole new level of many risks, a United Nations scientific panel reports, warning that the wild climate ride has only just begun. Twenty-first century disasters such as killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States, droughts in Australia and deadly flooding in Mozambique, Thailand and Pakistan highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather, says a massive new report from a Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists released early Monday. The dangers are going to worsen as the climate changes even more, the report’s authors say, adding that no one is immune. “We’re all sitting ducks,” Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the main authors of the 32-volume report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said. After several days of late-night wrangling, more than 100 governments unanimously approved the scientist-written 49-page summary – which is aimed at world political leaders. The summary mentions the word “risk” an average of about 51/2 times per page. “Changes are occurring rapidly and they are sort of building up that risk,” said the overall lead author of the report, Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science in California. (keep reading at the Portland Press Herald. glub glub)

Investigators Now Suspect Malaysia Airline Accidentally Sent Entire Plane To Wherever They Usually Send Your Luggage

Malaysia Airline mysteryKUALA LUMPUR — Investigators believe someone aboard a missing Malaysian airliner deliberately shut off its communications and tracking systems, turned the plane around and flew for nearly seven hours after it vanished, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday. Shortly after the prime minister finished speaking, police arrived at the home of the missing aircraft’s pilot to search for evidence, a senior police official told Reuters. As the unprecedented search for Flight MH370 and its 239 passengers and crew entered its second week, Najib told a news conference that the hunt for wreckage around the scheduled flight path to the east of Malaysia was being called off. “Despite media reports the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear, we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate,” Najib said.The fate of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER has been shrouded in mystery since it disappeared off Malaysia’s east coast less than an hour into a March 8 scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Hollywood Decides To Wish That 12 Years A Slave Was A Good Movie

86th Academy AwardsLOS ANGELES — Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards. Steve McQueen’s slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, has been hailed as a landmark corrective to the movie industry’s long omission of slavery stories, following years of whiter tales like 1940 best-picture winner “Gone With the Wind.” The British director dedicated the honor to those past sufferers of slavery and “the 21 million who still endure slavery today.” “Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live,” said McQueen, who promptly bounced into the arms of his cast. “This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup.” (read more at Portland Press Herald)

Troops Wearing Balaklavas Invade Balaklava. Obama Warns England To Look Out For An Invasion Of Ascot By An Army Of Fashion Designers

Balaklava Taken By Men In BalaklavasMOSCOW – Russian troops took control of vital installations across the Crimean Peninsula on Saturday, and Russian President Vladimir Putin secured authorization to send in more as the Kremlin set the stage for a high-stakes international showdown over the future of Ukraine. The interim president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, said, “We consider the behavior of the Russian Federation to be direct aggression against the sovereignty of Ukraine.” The actions came hours after President Barack Obama spoke with Putin by phone and warned him against military intervention in Crimea. During the apparently tense 90-minute exchange, Obama said that a refusal by Russia to send troops back to their bases in Ukraine would “impact Russia’s standing in the international community.” According to the Kremlin, Putin argued that Ukrainian “ultranationalists” were threatening “the lives and health of Russian citizens” in Crimea. (keep reading at Kennebec Journal)

After A Bit Of A Drought, Hitler Finally Wins One

Maria Von TrappSTOWE, Vt. – Maria von Trapp, a member of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for “The Sound of Music,” has died, her brother said Saturday. Von Trapp, 99, died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, Johannes von Trapp said. “She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people,” he said. “There wasn’t a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that.” Maria von Trapp was the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers made famous in “The Sound of Music.” Their story was turned into the film and Broadway musical. (keep reading at the Kennebec Journal)

Facebook Pays $19 Billion For A List Of People Desperately Trying To Avoid Using Facebook

Whats appSAN FRANCISCO — Facebook, the world’s largest social network, agreed to acquire mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for as much as $19 billion in cash and stock, seeking to expand its reach among users on mobile devices. The purchase would be the biggest Internet deal since Time Warner’s $124 billion merger with AOL in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The accord includes $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in restricted shares, Facebook said Wednesday in a statement. WhatsApp has more than 450 million members, with 1 million users being added daily, Facebook said. Facebook, which acquired photo-sharing service Instagram for about $700 million in 2012, is counting on applications beyond its main social network, such as messaging and news, to court more users on smartphones and tablets. WhatsApp competes with Snapchat, which rebuffed a $3 billion offer from Facebook last year, as well as services from Twitter and Kik Interactive. (keep reading at Kennebec Journal)

Kickstarter Donors Fear Their Data Has Fallen Into The Hands Of People 14 Percent Less Honest Than A Kickstarter Creator

Computer userKickstarter, the fundraising platform used by millions of people to raise capital for creative projects and businesses, said on Saturday that hackers had gained access to some of its customers’ data earlier this week but that the breach had been repaired. “No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers. There is no evidence of unauthorized activity of any kind on all but two Kickstarter user accounts,” Kickstarter Chief Executive Officer Yancey Strickler said in a blog post on the website. It noted that it does not store credit card data. Recent data breaches at Target Corp and Neiman Marcus have sparked concern from U.S. lawmakers and consumers over who should bear the cost of consumer losses and how to improve cybersecurity. Kickstarter’s information that was accessed without authority included user names, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers and encrypted passwords, said Kickstarter, which was informed of the breach by law enforcement officials on Wednesday night. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Israeli Scientists Patent Process For Curing Alzheimers, Parkinson’s. Palestinian Scientists Counter With Improved Cell Phone Detonator For Roadside Bombs

Israeli scientistsIsraeli researchers say a new material they are developing that inhibits the aging process could prevent degenerative diseases without affecting lifespan. According to the Hebrew University researchers, who tested the new material on worms, this is the first substance that shows potential to treat or prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. The findings of the study, funded by the British Rosetrees Trust, and published recently in the journal Aging Cell, reinforces the claim that blocking the signaling pathway of insulin and the growth hormone IGF1, a pathway known to be a central controller of the aging process in worms and mammals, can potentially be used as a treatment for degenerative brain diseases, said the researchers, led by Dr. Ehud Cohen of Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine. (read more at Haaretz)

News From Old Blighty: The Duchess Of Cornhole Is Dating The Dave Clark Five Or Something

beatrice and dave clarkPRINCESS Beatrice looked happier than ever as she stepped out with her beau Dave Clark last night.The young royal couldn’t stop smiling as she hit the streets of London hand-in-hand with her 31-year-old boyfriend, for a night on the town. Wearing a chic navy skirt and cosy thick tights, the 25-year-old looked like she was ready for a night of fun and frolics, but keeping the chilly night temperatures at bay, Beatrice wore a dark blue padded jacket over her outfit.The princess finished off her look with a pair of T-bar heels as carried a small box clutch bag in her left hand. Dave looked equally as well put together, opting for a navy blue suit with an unbuttoned light blue shirt underneath as he lead his leading lady to LouLou’s members’ club. Since quitting her job in the finance sector over the summer, Beatrice has been doing her utmost to increase her royal standing and taken on numerous royal duties.(read more at The Express)

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