National News

A photo of a table tent at the lobby bar of the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte during CIAA week.

A 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton?

A Charlotte news station reported on Monday that the Ritz-Carlton, one of prosperous uptown Charlotte's swankiest hotels, added what looks suspiciously like a black tax to the lobby bar tabs of patrons in town last week for the CIAA, the popular mega-tournament for basketball teams at historically black colleges and universities from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

Sierra's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana (right) is in charge while President Ernest Bai Koroma (center) is in Europe.

Why Is The VP Of Sierra Leone Running The Country By Laptop?

Ebola hasn't been in the news much lately.

That's because the number of new cases has plummeted since the height of the epidemic late last year. In fact, the turnaround has been so dramatic that Liberia, once the hardest-hit country, is now on the brink of declaring itself Ebola-free.

But two headlines from Sierra Leone this week caught our attention.

According to reports, a boat with sick fishermen sparked a new outbreak in the capital. Meanwhile, the vice-president of Sierra Leone was under quarantine after his bodyguard died of Ebola.

A man walks by with a basket of bread during the official presentation ceremony of three new robots that were installed in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Tuesday to help tackle the city's traffic.

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

Perhaps, we will welcome our robot overlords after all.

Etsy's IPO paperwork is full of numbers and facts — plus a few pages like this.

Mass-Market Stocks In Handcrafted Goods: Etsy Preps To Go Public

For sale: lovingly handcrafted shares of Etsy stock, proudly produced in the USA by a team of entrepreneurs, designers and coders. Please note, there may be some variation in size, color and profits.

A decade ago, Etsy launched as a way for crafters and DIY-ers to sell their handmade goods online. Now the New York-based e-commerce site has filed for an initial public offering.

The biggest gaps overall were in the South.

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about TAs and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

When foraging for delicious bites of snow, steer clear of plowed piles and manure, researchers say.

Snow Is Delicious. But Is It Dangerous To Eat?

Many people will see the snow that's currently blanketing much of the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. as a nuisance coating sidewalks and roads. Others are celebrating it as an excuse to spend the day swooshing down a hill.

As for me, I like to think of snow as food.

Fans are celebrating World Book Day Thursday. Here, a man browses through books at the Albertine, a French bookstore and library at the French Embassy in New York.

It's World Book Day: Time For Reading Lists And Dress-Up

Put down that screen: Today's the day to celebrate holding a bound book in your hands. World Book Day celebrations include storytelling and dressing up as favorite characters. We bring you a roundup of stories and reading lists.

Many young (and less-young) readers are using the occasion to dress up as beloved characters from pirates and the doughnut-dispensing Mr. Panda to Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.

Florida Man's Facebook Post Against Employer In Emirates Leads To Jail

Ryan Pate's anger stemmed from Abu Dhabi-based Global Aerospace Logistics refusal to extend his leave so he could recover from a back injury. He took to Facebook in January to express his displeasure, calling his employers "backstabbers" and Arabs "filthy." When he returned to the Emirates, he received a call from the police asking him to come in.

Elephant acts at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be phased out by 2018, the circus' parent company said today. The elephants will retire to a conservation center in Polk City, Fla.

Ringling Bros. Says No More Circus Elephants By 2018

What's the "Greatest Show On Earth" without elephants? Starting in 2018, anyone attending the iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus act will find out.

Citing public concern about the elephants and how they are treated, the circus' parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced today that it would phase out use of the animals in its shows within three years.

Former Massey Energy Company Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship, seen in July 2010, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges associated with the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 men.

U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Gag Order In Mine Disaster Case

A federal appeals court has vacated a sweeping gag order in the criminal case involving former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster.

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