Fossils of two new species of horned dinosaurs closely related to the Triceratops have been discovered in southern Utah, scientists revealed Wednesday.
The discovery of the new plant-eating species, which are believed to have areas known today as the western United States during the Late Cretaceous Period, was announced Wednesday in the online open-access journal PLoS ONE, produced by the Public Library of Science.
The bigger of the two new dinosaurs, with a skull about 7 feet long, is Utahceratops gettyi, whose name combines the state of origin with ceratops, Greek for “horned face.” The second part of the name honors Mike Getty, paleontology collections manager at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the discoverer of this animal. FULL POST
The CIA created and controls a paramilitary force of 3,000 Afghans that conducts clandestine missions targeting al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Pakistan, a U.S. official told CNN on Wednesday.
The official described the force as "well-trained" and "effective."
"You're talking about one of the finest Afghan fighting forces, which has made major contributions to security and stability," the official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.
Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday that it has issued a recall of approximately 5 million cans of certain Similac-brand powdered infant formula due to the possibility of the presence a beetle.
Abbott spokeswoman Melissa Brotz said that the presence of a small common beetle was detected in the product produced at a manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan.
The company has since stopped production and shipment of the affected formula, and contacted the Food and Drug Administration to initiate the recall.
The recall includes certain Similac powder product lines that come in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce, and 12.9-ounce cans. Abbott liquid formula is not a part of the recall.
This week, NASA rolled out the space shuttle Discovery ahead of its final launch on November 1. The final shuttle launch is slated for late February, effectively ending the U.S. shuttle program which began in the 1960s.
As the end nears, NASA has relaxed the rules so employees can get an up-close view of the vehicles they have passionately worked on for many years.
A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks slump, gold surges
Stocks slumped Wednesday, with the Dow ending a five-day winning streak, as gold prices hit new highs and investors remained on edge about the recovery.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished 22 points lower, or 0.2 percent, and the S&P 500 lost 6 points, or 0.5 percent.
The Nasdaq declined 15 points, or 0.6 percent, as the tech-heavy index was dragged down by Adobe's 20 percent plunge. Investors were disappointed after the software developer said sales and earnings for its next quarter might fall short of expectations.
An NYPD helicopter made an emergency landing in the water off Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field this afternoon, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said.
The NYPD could not confirm if the chopper was part of the Presidents'
security detail or the United Nations detail.
Three people who were aboard the chopper got out safely; one is being treated for minor injuries, Browne said. The incident happened close to the helicopter's base in Jamaica Bay, he said.
Read the full story on CNN.com.
A Florida appeals court Wednesday struck down a state law barring gay
men and lesbians from adopting.
Read the full story on CNN.com.
A third lawsuit has been filed against Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long, alleging coercion, deception and manipulation that involved a sexual relationship with a young male, CNN has learned.
Through a spokesman earlier on Tuesday, Long denied similar allegations in two other lawsuits filed over the past two days.
"We categorically deny the allegations," he said. "It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action. Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with CNN's Larry King Wednesday, calling the Israeli prime minister a "skilled killer" who "should be put on trial for killing women and children."
The Iranian president denied that international sanctions were hurting his country, and refused to commit to meeting President Barack Obama if the opportunity arose.
Ahmadinejad also deflected questions about Iran's nuclear program, saying Iran has "no interest" in a nuclear bomb and that no one is concerned about Iran's intentions other than "the Zionist regime and some American authorities."
Faced with a divided public over his signature legislative achievement, President Barack Obama on Wednesday hailed the health
care reform bill passed in March as important for helping both the government and the American people deal with rising medical costs.
The measure endured a bitter political fight that saw no Republicans vote for its final approval, and recent polls show it remains controversial as Democrats face congressional elections in November amid a tough climate due to lingering economic woes.
Obama told a carefully orchestrated meeting with people who have benefited from health care reform that their stories are the best way to counter what one participant called "misinformation" spread by opponents of the measure.
A New York film student accused of slashing a cab driver's throat last month after asking if he was Muslim pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
The judge said he would not set bail for Michael Enright until he is medically cleared from Bellvue Hospital Center's psychiatric ward, where he was ordered for mental evaluation earlier this month.
Enright is facing charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, said New York police Detective Mark Nell.
People who know Enright described him after his arrest as someone who worked to build bridges across religious and ethnic boundaries.
As many as 74 pilot whales have beached themselves in northern New Zealand in the second mass stranding in the area in two months.
Rough seas and gusting winds are pushing the whales into rocks causing injuries that may force authorities to euthanize many of those that rescuers can get on the beach, said Patrick Whaley, operations manager for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Others are drowning in the surf along the remote beach in Spirits Bay.
“It’s heart-wrenching to have to see so many whales coming ashore and then drowning in the surf, without being able to reach them in time,” Whaley said.
With Michael Vick starting for the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, it appears the controversial quarterback’s NFL career has been rehabilitated. Another tale of rehabilitation appears in a book out this week about the 51 pit bulls recovered from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.
“The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Recovery and Redemption” is written by Sports Illustrated senior writer Jim Gorant. It chronicles the fate of the 49 remaining dogs. The professional athlete served nearly two years in prison on charges related to the dogfighting ring and mistreatment of the dogs.
Usually animals from illegal dogfighting operations are euthanized, according to Stephen Zawistowski, a psychologist and ASPCA animal behavior specialist who worked on the Vick case. In an interview this week with NPR, he said the $1 million Vick paid in restitution gave the ASPCA a unique opportunity to rehabilitate most of the dogs. In the end, only one was euthanized, while the rest were placed in dog sanctuaries or have been adopted.
Gorant argues that the Vick case may help rehabilitate the reputation of pit bulls as well. "As odd as it may seem, Michael Vick may be the best thing that ever happened to the pit bull,” he told NPR. “He gave the forum to discuss this and make it possible to get the message out there that these dogs are not what they've been made out to be in the headlines, that they really are just sort of dogs."
Michael Vick is sure to be the subject of controversy again, but this time it's not the fleet-footed Eagles quarterback's fault.
On the front cover of Wednesday's Philadelphia Daily News, Vick is featured - rolling out of the pocket, pigskin in hand - alongside the caption, "Top Dog." The story details a "shocking turnabout" in which Eagles coach Andy Reid named Vick the team's starting quarterback.
In case you've been in a sports vacuum on one of Neptune's moons for the last two years, Vick returned to the gridiron last season after serving an NFL suspension and prison time for a felony dogfighting conviction.
The Eagles' decision to sign Vick to a modest contract was met with mixed reaction from animal-rights activists, and this week's announcement was no different. The founder of the animal-welfare organization DogPAC told The Philadelphia Inquirer the move was "disappointing," However, Wayne Pacell, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said Vick was committed to his group's anti-dogfighting initiative and that Vick told him he'd be available Tuesdays to talk to at-risk youth about dogfighting.
A People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals news release said only, "As long as he's throwing a football and not electrocuting a dog, PETA is pleased he is focused on his game."
Parts of Mexico could get drenched with rain in the coming days as Tropical Depression Georgette is projected to make landfall Wednesday.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Georgette was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) south of Guaymas, Mexico and carried maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph (55 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center.
Georgette was headed north-northwest about 14 mph (22 kph). The Mexican government issued a tropical storm watch for the coast of mainland Mexico from Huatabampito north to Bahia Kino.
Football became an afterthought this week following the apparent suicide of Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley.
The 23-year-old took his own life Monday about a month after undergoing knee surgery that shelved him for the 2010 season. Details continue to emerge about the second-year player’s tragic death and hints that the former South Carolina standout might have been suffering from depression.
McKinley is the third Broncos player to die tragically over the last four years and another sobering example of depression’s influence on sports. SI.com’s Jon Wertheim examines the growing trend and what exactly causes this level of anxiety amongst the athletes we idolize.
Here is what’s going on in the sporting world today (all times Eastern):
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05 p.m., SPSO, CSN and MLBN)
The race for first place might be over, but these NL East foes still have something to play for. The Braves own a one-game lead in the wild card and hope to increase their advantage against the Phils in the second of a three-game series.
The terrorism threat against the United States has evolved, with homegrown terrorists and a greater diversity in the scope and methods of attack making it more difficult to prevent them, top security officials told a Senate committee Wednesday.
"It is diversifying in terms of sources; it is diversifying in terms of tactics," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "The results of these changing
tactics are fewer opportunities to detect and disrupt plots."
The hearing focused on the terrorism threat in the nine years since the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda on the United States.
In the 37 years George Steinbrenner owned the New York Yankees he did just about everything in a big way. Spent big money on big stars, made big headlines, got himself in big trouble, and made big money for the team.
So it’s no surprise that when the Yankees unveiled their monument to Steinbrenner, who died in July, at Yankee Stadium on Monday the monument was - well - big, really big.
Look at the picture, that’s Steinbrenner’s monument in the middle of course - the smaller monument he towers over, is that of Joe DiMaggio, a Yankee icon and baseball hall-of-famer.
In fact, Steinbrenner’s plaque is by far the biggest in Yankee Stadium’s hallowed Monument Park. Bigger than Mickey Mantle's, Lou Gehrig’s, Yogi Berra’s, even Babe Ruth’s.
A senior administration official defended President Barack Obama on Wednesday as a decisive commander-in-chief ahead of next week's release of a book that reveals an administration deeply divided over U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
"Obama's Wars," by veteran Washington journalist Bob Woodward, describes a frustrated president who urgently sought an exit plan, only to be provided with options that involved increased U.S. troop levels, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Woodward is associate editor of the newspaper.
Woodward takes readers behind the scenes in the Obama White House through accounts of closed-door strategy sessions, private conversations, internal memos and hours of interviews with key players.