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Nation / World

Americans’ Waistlines Are Still Growing

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Americans may have stopped putting on pounds, but their waistlines are still expanding, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average waist circumference of U.S. adults has increased by about 3 percent since the end of the last century. In 1999 and 2000, the waists of Americans who were at least 20 years old measured 37.6 inches around. By 2011 and 2012, that …

Wildfire Consumes Calif. Town

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weed, Calif. — Despite warnings about the dangers of wildfires and drought-parched forests, the inferno that swirled through the California lumber town of Weed caught the entire community off guard. In just a few hours, wind-driven flames destroyed or damaged 100 homes, the saw mill and a church. At times, the fire moved …

NASA Picks Ferry Service Companies

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cape Canaveral, Fla. — NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. On Tuesday, the space agency picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden named the winners of the competition at Kennedy Space Center, next door to where the launches should occur in a …

PBS Show Aims to Get Shelter Pets Adopted

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Los Angeles — Any animal can end up at a public shelter, but most of them won’t stay long. There, millions of dogs and cats face euthanasia, driving one filmmaker to turn his camera into a lifesaver. Workers …

Garth Brooks Brings It

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rosemont, Ill. — Four songs into Garth Brooks’ opening-night show of his first world tour in 17 years, the country superstar screamed at about 17,500 fans packed into the sold-out Allstate Arena outside Chicago. “You came back!” he …

When Selling Your Home, Give Every Room a Role

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Many of us have one room in the house that doesn’t really have a job. Maybe we set it up with an air bed once in a while for guests, or shove out-of-season clothing boxes in there, or use it as a holding zone for stuff we’re not …

On Fashion: NY Fashion Week: Finding Balance Between Nicki Minaj and Incremental Change

Sunday, September 14, 2014

New York — Beyond the obvious benefits of a strong fashion industry — revenue, jobs, infrastructure — the greatest contribution of fashion is its ability to capture history in a single poetic gesture. A wrinkled and sweaty shirt can speak to a night of debauchery that ends in …

Study: 60% of Millennials Don’t Have a Credit Card

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More than six in 10 millennials don’t have a credit card, and only a minority who do have them pay off the entire balance every month, a new study shows. Bankrate.com, an online publisher of personal finance news, said 63 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 don’t …

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Chess or Golf, What Do You Think?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hint and Explanation: Force Checkmate Take your choice job-seekers: chess or a video game on your job resume. Of course there are the old standbys of bridge and poker. Many employers recognize that skill in either can be beneficial in the workplace. On the other hand, according to …

Miss Manners: Don’t Violate Traffic Rules to Be Polite

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dear Miss Manners: Living in a small town, I often have the occasion to negotiate a four-way stop. The rules are simple: First person stopped has the right of way; if two or more stop at the same time, yield to the person on the right. However, more …

Parents: Be More Realistic About What You’re Saving for College

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Good intentions alone — and maybe cutting out a few restaurant dinners — won’t cover a college tuition bill, of course. But there appears to be a real disconnect between what many parents plan to contribute toward college and how much money they’re saving. Parents on average intend …

Apple Pay May Plug Retail Data Breaches

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A decade ago, a group of Johns Hopkins University graduate students tried to hack one of the first commercially popular Near Field Communication payment systems — the kind of technology at the heart of Apple’s new mobile payment system. It took a few thousand dollars in gear and …

When Contractors Give an Estimate, Do They Charge?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How much should you expect to pay, if anything, for an estimate, inspection or other kind of contractor consultation? The answer depends on the nature of your project and the policies of the companies from which you solicit bids. But a few rules of thumb apply: If you …