• Ban on filling swimming pools hits communities in parched California

    By Aaron Mendelson SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The California dream of owning a house with a sparkling swimming pool is drying up for would-be swimmers in communities across the state as some local water districts have banned homeowners from filling empty pools in drought-stricken areas.     The restrictions come as California struggles through its third year of a catastrophic drought that has threatened a half-million acres of farmland, dried up reservoirs and shrunk the mountain snowpack that provides drinking water for millions of people.     “What we’re trying to prohibit is someone who makes a decision to empty their pool and then refill it," said Jonathan Volzke, spokesman for the Santa Margarita Water District, which implemented a ban on filling pools this month in several suburbs south of Los Angeles.

  • Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen': Pentagon
    Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen': Pentagon

    By Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. "They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon. Hagel's assessment of Islamic State, which gained strength during Syria's civil war and swept into northern Iraq earlier this summer, sounded a note of alarm several days after the group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading an American hostage kidnapped in Syria. This is beyond anything we've seen." Hagel spoke as the United States continued attacking Islamic State targets in Iraq.

  • Huge leak shows the 5.5-inch iPhone’s rear shell side-by-side with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6
    Huge leak shows the 5.5-inch iPhone’s rear shell side-by-side with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6

    An image showing the alleged rear shell of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next to the same component for the 5.5-inch version has been leaked from a source “deep within Apple’s supply chain in China,” BestTechInfo reports. In case you’re wondering, the same publication previously published on YouTube a hands-on review of an actual backplate for the 4.7-inch model, and has posted similar YouTube videos last year showing back shells for 2013 iPhones before they became official, so it has a pretty decent track record. FROM EARLIER: This is what the iPhone 6 might look like compared to Samsung’s iPhone 6 ‘killer’ According to the source, only a few such 5.5-inch iPhone 6 shells are available in the factory where the photo

  • Man's Subway Stunt Lands Job Interviews, Internet Fame
    Man's Subway Stunt Lands Job Interviews, Internet Fame

    It can be challenging to get an interview for a new job, especially straight out of college. After applying for 300 jobs and not getting a single favorable response, one young man decided to take a different approach. Alfred Ajani, 22, stood in a London subway station during rush hour with a sign that said he recently graduated with a 2.1 bachelor of honours degree in marketing and offered up his résumé. (embedding subway pic) He posted a picture of himself holding the sign onto his Twitter page, which quickly gained hundreds of retweets, got him trending in London, and also brought in some promising prospects.

  • Japan mulls building its own fighter jets: report
    Japan mulls building its own fighter jets: report

    Japan is considering building its own fighter jets after years of playing second fiddle in a US construction partnership, a report said Thursday, in a move likely to stoke fears of its military resurgence among Asian neighbours. Japan's attempt in the 1980s to build its first purely domestic fighters since World War II faced US resistance and resulted in joint US-Japan development and production of the F-2, the Nikkei newspaper said. The defence ministry plans to seek about 40 billion yen ($387 million) in state funding for the next year starting in April 2015 to test experimental engines and radar-dodging stealth airframe designs for a purely Japanese fighter, the report said. There is a growing need for Japan to develop a long-haul, highly stealthy fighter jets in face of China's increasing assertiveness in the East China Sea, where the two countries are locked in a dispute over a group of Tokyo-controlled islands, the Nikkei said.

  • Hostess closing bakery that created the Twinkie
    Hostess closing bakery that created the Twinkie

    Hostess Brands plans to close the suburban Chicago bakery where the Twinkie was invented in 1930, cutting 400 jobs and shuttering a piece of American baking history. The company said Wednesday it plans ...

  • Pacquiao wins round in bruising Philippine tax fight
    Pacquiao wins round in bruising Philippine tax fight

    Philippine world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has won a Supreme Court reprieve in his battle to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in extra taxes, authorities said Thursday. Pacquiao will not have to post a cash bond of 3.3 billion pesos ($75.2 million) and the government is banned from seizing any of his assets while his income tax case is being heard, according to a Supreme Court ruling. Pacquiao expressed relief at the ruling, which came ahead of a China tour starting next week to promote the Macau defence of his World Boxing Organization welterweight title against unbeaten US challenger Chris Algieri in November. The dispute arose from an initial assessment from the government that Pacquiao, 35, owed 2.2 billion pesos in unpaid taxes for 2008 and 2009.

  • England braced for Balotelli return
    England braced for Balotelli return

    Mario Balotelli was set for a shock move to Liverpool on Thursday as AC Milan acknowledged that the controversial Italy striker was on his way out. The Milanese club have agreed to let the 24-year-old move to Anfield in a transfer worth 20 million euros (16 million pounds, $27 million), according to reports in England and Italy. The move reflects Liverpool's determination to land a top quality replacement for Luis Suarez following the Uruguayan's World Cup biting disgrace and subsequent departure for Barcelona.

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