When Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) defeated a pesky tea party challenger earlier this month, it looked like the longtime senator extinguished the only real threat standing between him and a fourth term.
But with less than ten weeks until the election, Roberts, who endured a bruising primary, finds himself in an unexpectedly competitive race against a Democratic challenger and an independent who has emerged as a wild card. The close contest has presented Democrats with an intriguing, if delicate, opportunity to shift the race in their favor, and help themselves in the battle for the Senate majority.
Roberts’s Democratic challenger is Chad Taylor, a little-known Shawnee County district attorney who has waved off help from national Democrats, despite raising little money on his own. Independent candidate Greg Orman, a former Democrat who says he is open to aligning himself with either party in the Senate, has raised more money and has the potential to tap his personal wealth for further reinforcements. One recent automated survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed Orman leading Roberts in a head to head race. In a two-man race against Taylor, Roberts led.
IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, announced today that the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) will host an Internet of Things Workshop, 18-19 September 2014 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. This two-day event will provide an open, engaging platform to discuss opportunities, impacts and challenges around the convergence of technologies known as Internet of Things (IoT), with a special focus on the need for more interdisciplinary approaches to the design of products and services for IoT markets.
“The IEEE-SA IoT Workshop is a great venue for this collaboration. Here experts will gather to discuss technical and business challenges and opportunities, and how standards development will help shaping the future of IoT.”
Google VP Megan Smith could be about to join the Obama administration as the US chief technology officer.
Smith has been at Google for over 10 years and is currently the VP of special projects facility Google X. She is the favourite to replace outgoing Todd Park, sources have told Bloomberg.
Having joined Google in 2003, Smith helped to boost Google Earth and Google Maps by leading acquisitions of Keyhole and Where2Tech.
The Google VP’s CV lists a variety of roles and accomplishments from working at Apple Japan in Tokyo, to designing an award-winning bike lock and being involved in a space station construction research project.
A suburban St. Louis police officer shown on cellphone video pointing his rifle at demonstrators in Ferguson and threatening them is now out of a job.
St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press that police Lt. Ray Albers resigned Thursday. A phone call seeking comment from Albers was not returned.
The incident happened Aug. 19 during protests that followed the Ferguson police shooting death of Michael Brown.
Astronomers have shown that dead stars known as white dwarfs can re-ignite and explode as supernovas.
The discovery appears to solve a mystery surrounding the nature of a particular category of stellar explosions known as Type Ia supernovas.
Theorists suspected that white dwarfs could explode due to a disruptive interaction with a companion star, but lacked definitive evidence until now.
Details of the research appear in the journal Nature.
The “smoking gun” in this case was the detection of radioactive nuclei being generated by nuclear fusion in the cosmic blast.
Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt “affirmative consent” language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on U.S. campuses.
The measure, passed unanimously by the California State Senate, has been called the “yes-means-yes” bill. It defines sexual consent between people as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity”.
The bill states that silence and a lack of resistance do not signify consent and that drugs or alcohol do not excuse unwanted sexual activity.
The number of refugees from the Syrian civil war has risen above three million, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday, calling the crisis “the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.”
More than a million people have fled in the last 12 months alone, the refugee agency said, counting only those who registered as refugees. The total number is believed to be significantly higher. Countries surrounding Syria that have borne the brunt of the exodus estimate that several hundred thousand more Syrians have escaped across their frontiers seeking safety.
Lebanon, with a population of less than five million, has taken in more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees, while Jordan has 608,000 and Turkey 815,000, according to the agency, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Tens of thousands more fled to Iraq over the past three years only to face new dangers from the onslaught of Islamic militants based in Syria.
The Icelandic Met Office has raised its aviation warning level near the Bardarbunga volcano to red after an eruption began overnight.
Scientists said a fissure eruption 1km (0.6 miles) long started in a lava field north of the Vatnajokull glacier.
Civil protection officials said Icelandic Air Traffic Control had closed the airspace above the eruption up to a height of 5,000ft (1,500m).
The volcano has been hit by several recent tremors.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called today for the parliament in Kiev to begin an immediate debate on possible NATO membership for the country. The United Nations raised its death toll estimate for the conflict to almost 2,600.
“Putin’s decided he can pretty risklessly consolidate the separatists’ territory by openly sending in his own troops,” Jan Techau, director of the Brussels office of the Carnegie Endowment, said in a phone interview. “His goal is creating a statelet he can turn into a frozen conflict.”
Standoff in Ukraine
President Barack Obama said Russia faces “more costs and consequences” because it “has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine. Obama ruled out “a military solution to this problem.” The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the unrest.
Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station has another article worth reading: