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De Blasio to be sworn in by Bill Clinton
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/28/2013 6:21:28 PM     Post Reply
NEW YORK — Bill de Blasio will be sworn in as mayor of New York City by former President Bill Clinton. The Democrat will be inaugurated as the 109th mayor of the nation’s largest city during a ceremony Wednesday on the City Hall steps. His transition team announced Saturday that he will be sworn in by the former president. De Blasio worked in Clinton’s administration in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Clinton will use a Bible once owned by another former president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The de Blasio transition team says former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Christians Rejoice After ´Duck
Dynasty´ Victory over Cultural Bullies
Breitbart´s Big Journalism, by Robert Wilde    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/28/2013 6:12:46 PM     Post Reply
The President of the Family Research Council (FRC) told Fox News that he was not completely surprised that A&E network made an “about face” and dropped its suspension of Duck Dynasty paterfamilias, Phil Robertson. But Tony Perkins confessed to Shannon Bream on Fox News’s The Kelly File on Friday that the turnaround for A&E did come quicker than he anticipated. Perkins said it is “good news for Christians who feel like they have to suppress their faith and their belief in the Bible.” According to Perkins, it shows that, if you stand up to these “cultural bullies,” eventually they have

Rural bliss... or despairing
desolation? Photographer captures
the beautiful vastness of farmlands
across America´s north-west
Daily Mail, by Kieran Corcoran    Original Article
Posted By: thelmalou- 12/28/2013 4:53:05 PM     Post Reply
These magnificent, undulating hills are reminiscent of a scene from a science fiction programme, but for the one or two traces of human influence. And indeed, the haunting landscapes are not entirely the work of nature, as they have been tweaked and overlaid to emphasise the stark vastness of the almost-uninhabited landscape. These images of the Palouse Grasslands, in rural Washington state, were painstakingly harvested over a period of days, then overlaid on one another to give the sharpest and most stunning quality to the whole area of the image.

  


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´They thought I was easy pickins´:
Mayoral candidate beaten up by
two teenage girls with a billy club
at Mall of America Starbucks
after having iPhone stolen
Daily Mail [UK], by Ashley Collman    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 12/28/2013 4:50:32 PM     Post Reply
A former Minneapolis, Minnesota mayoral candidate was mercilessly beaten up by two teenage girls after having his cellphone stolen at a Mall of America Starbucks. Mark Andrew came in second to Betsy Hodges in the most competitive mayoral race Minneapolis has seen in a generation. The former Hennepin County Commissioner had just hung up the phone and was in the middle of writing his New Year´s resolutions Thursday evening when a young man came up and swiped his iPhone 4S off the cafe table. ´I was targeted because the phone was out and I´m 63 years old, and I´m sure

Father, son die while
cave diving in Hernando
Tampa Tribune, by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 12/28/2013 4:15:56 PM     Post Reply
HERNANDO COUNTY - A sign leading to Eagle Nest Sink compares it with the cave-diving equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. The enormous underground system reaches depths of more than 300 feet and has a main room the size of a football field. Warnings posted near a dock at the side of the sinkhole say the descent is dangerous and should only be attempted by certified and experienced cave divers using a combination of gas and air in their tanks. On Christmas Day, Darrin Spivey and his 15-year-old son Dillon Sanchez made it down 233 feet using air alone. They died on their way back up. Neither was a certified cave diver.

´Military-Style´ Raid on California
Power Station Spooks U.S.
Foreign Policy, by Shane Harris    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 12/28/2013 3:34:24 PM     Post Reply
When U.S. officials warn about "attacks" on electric power facilities these days, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a computer hacker trying to shut the lights off in a city with malware. But a more traditional attack on a power station in California has U.S. officials puzzled and worried about the physical security of the the electrical grid--from attackers who come in with guns blazing. Around 1:00 AM on April 16, at least one individual (possibly two) entered two different manholes at the PG&E Metcalf power substation, southeast of San Jose, and cut fiber cables in the

An Epidemic of
Carjackings Afflicts Newark
New York Times, by Marc Santora & Michael Schwirtz    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/28/2013 2:38:51 PM     Post Reply
The grocery shop in Newark was crowded on Monday, as customers picked up last-minute supplies for Christmas. (Snip) “It is like a diseased town,” said the Newark store owner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the assailants in the Mercedes case, who have not been caught. “There are a lot of predators.” Carjackings are nothing new to Newark, a city that was among the nation’s worst for such crimes in the 1990s. Like other cities, Newark saw the number of carjackings fall in subsequent years. But they have returned to Newark with a vengeance. In 2007, there were 208 reported carjackings in all of New Jersey.

  


  

A Deadly Mix in Benghazi
New York Times, by David D. Kirkpatrick    Original Article
Posted By: LComStaff- 12/28/2013 2:21:59 PM     Post Reply
Benghazi, Libya - A Boyish-Looking American Diplomat was meeting for the first time with the Islamist leaders of eastern Libya’s most formidable militias. It was Sept. 9, 2012. Gathered on folding chairs in a banquet hall by the Mediterranean, the Libyans warned of rising threats against Americans from extremists in Benghazi. One militia leader, with a long beard and mismatched military fatigues, mentioned time in exile in Afghanistan. An American guard discreetly touched his gun. “Since Benghazi isn’t safe, it is better for you to leave now,” Mohamed al-Gharabi, the leader of the Rafallah al-Sehati Brigade, later recalled telling the

‘Duck Dynasty’ Reversal Shows
GLAAD Has an Expiration Date
Time Magazine, by Brandon Ambrosino    Original Article
Posted By: Write2Right- 12/28/2013 12:45:19 PM     Post Reply
Phil v. The Gays. With which will we side? Or rather, against which will we side? This is the question that society demands we answer. Are we anti-Phil or anti-gay or anti-GLAAD or anti-A&E or anti- … ? Perhaps no other word sums up the Duck Dynasty fiasco as aptly as the word “anti.” Whenever I hear that someone is anti-this or that, I immediately think of the old quip about MADD – are there any mothers for drunk driving? – and ask myself if anyone is really in favor of the particular thing being protested. Since GLAAD has recently taken a hard-line stance against Phil Robertson’s “anti-gay” comments, I’ve been asking myself a

Diversity prompts increased
racial isolation
Associated Press, by Martha Mendoza    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/28/2013 12:11:09 PM     Post Reply
WATSONVILLE, Calif. - In a grassy downtown plaza, strolling musicians wearing glitzy cowboy outfits blast a mariachi song, while Spanish-speaking shoppers bustle between farm stands, sampling tart cactus leaves, sniffing roasting chilies and buying bundles of warm pork tamales. The scene is an increasingly typical one in towns across California, where Hispanics are on pace to become the largest ethnic group next year. And Watsonville is but one of dozens of California communities where Hispanics outnumber whites. The town of 52,000 on the picturesque Central Coast, where good soil and pleasant weather enrich crops of strawberries and lettuce, and a

In quest for Obama library,
Hawaii plays underdog
Associated Press, by Josh Lederman    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/28/2013 12:09:49 PM     Post Reply
HONOLULU — On these sun-bathed shores, Barack Obama was born and spent his formative years, soaking in an island sensibility that his wife and friends say is indispensable to understanding who he is as president. Yet in the search for a home for his future presidential library, Hawaii has become the underdog, stuck in Chicago´s perpetual shadow. It´s not for lack of trying. A high-level campaign has been underway here since Obama won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 — before it was even clear he´d win his party´s nomination, much less the presidency. From the governor to the state´s congressional

  


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Merck recalls HPV vaccine Gardasil
because shots may contain broken glass
Star-Ledger [Newark, NJ], by Kathleen O´Brien    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 12/28/2013 11:35:59 AM     Post Reply
The pharmaceutical company Merck is recalling nearly 750,000 doses of its HPV vaccine because a handful may be contaminated with broken glass. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described the origin of the glass breakage as "an isolated problem in the vaccine manufacturing process." Merck notified the CDC on Dec. 16 that it was voluntarily recalling the vials. The suspect vaccines were distributed to 40 states — including New Jersey — and Puerto Rico, according to a Merck spokesman. The company emphasized it isn’t certain the specks of glass would be small enough to fit through any needle injecting the vaccine.

Health law to put calorie info
on vending machines
Associated Press, by Holly Ramer    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/28/2013 11:11:15 AM     Post Reply
CONCORD, N.H.- Office workers in search of snacks will be counting calories along with their change under new labeling regulations for vending machines included in President Barack Obama´s health care overhaul law. Requiring calorie information to be displayed on roughly 5 million vending machines nationwide will help consumers make healthier choices, says the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to release final rules early next year. It estimates the cost to the vending machine industry at $25.8 million initially and $24 million per year after that, but says if just .02 percent of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories

If You’re ’Appy and You Know It
New York Times, by Pamela Druckerman    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/28/2013 11:05:23 AM     Post Reply
PARIS — Recently my daughter’s teacher asked if I would talk about America to her second-grade class, in a French public school. The teacher does an hour of English each week, and I’d be the guest speaker. I readily agreed. Easy peasy! I’ve been on TV. I can tell 7-year-olds about my own country. But the day before the talk, it suddenly doesn’t seem so simple. How do I sum up a country in an hour? What if the children ask questions that go beyond my Wikipedia-level knowledge of American history? My daughter is anxious, too. Speaking English is the

Excedrin headache No. 2013:
2-in-3 call it a ´bad year,´
4-in-10 a disaster for their family
Washington Examiner, by Paul Bedard    Original Article
Posted By: MattMusson- 12/28/2013 11:03:51 AM     Post Reply
Overshadowed by the bungled debut of Obamacare and congressional gridlock, most Americans in a new poll dubbed 2013 a bad year that will be quickly forgotten. For more than four-in-10, the perils of 2013 hit home hard.“Put simply, most Americans are happy to see 2013 go,” said the latest Economist/YouGov Poll.— 54 percent called 2013 a “bad year” for the world. Another 15 percent called it a “very bad year,” with just 3 percent calling it a “very good year” and 29 percent a “good year.”— Only 13 percent of Republicans say 2013 has been a good year for the world. Obamacare is a failure. “There are almost no issues where a majority of Americans have seen improvement.
Staff has added more text.

  


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And the budget winner is ...
the defense sector
Santa Maria Times (CA), by Andrew Cockburn    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/28/2013 10:57:19 AM     Post Reply
Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan,” said Harry Truman, “I know he is going to vote against me.” The hosannas to bipartisanship accompanying the recent budget deal should have served as fair warning to the rest of us that we lost this vote. True, politicians and commentators vied to hail the sacrifices that had been made on both sides of the aisle for the greater cause of “restoring public faith in the budget process” and thereby bolster Congress’ poll ratings. In reality, there was one clear winner: the bipartisan defense lobby, a category that does not apparently include

Son held in brutal stabbing
death of mom said he was ´looking
for a baby´, Connecticut police say
Fox News*, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/28/2013 10:54:16 AM     Post Reply
A Connecticut man held in the brutal stabbing death of his mother has been placed on suicide watch after police said he confessed to the murder and showed no remorse. Prosecutors allege Robert Owen Rankin, 22, used a fire poker, buck knife and his hands to kill his mother, 45-year-old Margaret Rohner. Rankin was arrested Thursday after his father called 911 telling dispatchers “my son killed my ex-wife.” Rank allegedly cut open his mother’s abdomen and began removing organs, saying he was “looking for a baby.” When police arrived Rankin raised his hands and surrendered reportedly telling troopers he had

Oklahoma Bill Would Require
Pledge of Allegiance in Schools
Breitbart Big Government, by William Bigelow    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/28/2013 10:50:06 AM     Post Reply
Oklahoma legislators, fighting against political correctness and initiating a battle for traditional American values, will consider various bills implementing a shift toward those traditional values when they return to the Capitol on Feb. 3. One bill offered by Republican Sen. Rob Standridge of Norman, would require Oklahoma’s public elementary schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. The bill would also allow students opposed to doing so to be exempted. Another requirement of Standridge’s bill would be the requirement that every public school own and display a U.S. flag. Another bill, from Sen. Eddie Fields, (R-Wynona), would allow the

Don´t Let Death Stop your Social Security
American Thinker, by J. Robert Smith    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/28/2013 10:18:43 AM     Post Reply
Uncle Sam, always generous to a fault with taxpayers´ money, doled out about $108 billion in Social Security benefits to the dead in 2012. Give or take a few billion, over a decade that´s about $1 trillion going to folks who crossed the River Styx. Or more likely their kin, who may or may not take portions of the proceeds to decorate their loved ones´ graves. The Washington Times reported on Friday that the Social Security Administration does a spotty job tracking Social Security recipients´ deaths, hence the dollars for the dead. Reports the Times: "Because SSA does not verify death reports from

Why One Twitter Investor Jumped Ship
Wall Street Journal, by Steven Russolillo    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/28/2013 10:14:23 AM     Post Reply
Reuben Kressel lived up to his word. The 66-year-old investor, who bought 500 shares of Twitter Inc.TWTR -13.04% earlier this month when the stock was priced at $52, sold his position Friday morning, just as he said he would. Mr. Kressel, of Rego Park in the New York borough of Queens, told the Journal Thursday that he would dump his Twitter shares when the price dropped by a couple of dollars. At that time, the stock had risen five days in a row and had been up 76% for the month. Sure enough, shares dropped as much as $5.91, or 8%, on Friday,

  



Montgomery VA refuses to let woman
give ´Christmas´ gifts to veterans
WSFA-TV [Montgomery, AL], by Bryan Henry    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 12/28/2013 10:00:51 AM     Post Reply
Montgomery, AL - Jordan McLendon simply wanted to honor her late grandfather who was a Vietnam veteran. "I made over a hundred goodie bags. I put candy in the goodie bags and I wrote out over a hundred Christmas cards," McClendon explained. McLendon spent two days making the gifts which she wanted to deliver to all the veterans at the VA Hospital on Perry Hill Road in Montgomery. She said she did it because many veterans don´t get visits from their family on Christmas. When McLendon arrived on Christmas Eve morning, a VA official told her she couldn´t deliver all of them

Five booze myths busted
News Limited [AU], by Sarah Marinos    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/28/2013 9:40:20 AM     Post Reply
Think you can avoid a hangover this holiday season by using a few old tricks? Think again. While the statistics suggest that we’re drinking a little less than we used to, average out the figures and they still equate to each Australian over the age of 15 drinking more than 10 litres of pure alcohol every year. Beer is our preferred tipple, followed by wine, spirits, pre-mixed drinks and cider, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Christmas and New Year holiday is often a time when we indulge in more booze than usual. But when you’re deciding whether to have one more for the road, keep these myths in mind.

As Obama dithers, North Africa unravels
New York Daily News, by John Bolton    Original Article
Posted By: johngalt1- 12/28/2013 9:36:55 AM     Post Reply
As South Sudan’s conflict escalates rapidly toward outright civil war, President Obama has shown precious little interest. He has rightly dispatched military forces to protect and extract U.S. citizens, but evacuation hardly constitutes a strategy. Isolated troop deployments, however justifiable, merely underline the broader U.S. retreat across North Africa. Indeed, the Benghazi terrorist murders opened a 15-month period in which rising violence threatens to drown the region in blood. The list of armed clashes and terrorist attacks is long and growing, as is the list of failed and failing states. White House expressions of humanitarian concern are

Reports of sexual assaults
in military on rise
Associated Press, by Lolita C. Baldor    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/28/2013 9:18:57 AM     Post Reply
Washington - Heightened attention to the crime of sexual assault in the U.S. military may be causing more people to come forward and report problems. Defense officials cite the increased awareness as a possible reason the number of reported sexual assaults rose by more than 50% this year. More than 5,000 reports of sexual assault were filed during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to the 3,374 in 2012, according to early data obtained by The Associated Press. About 10 percent of the 2013 reports involved incidents that occurred before the victim got into the military, up from just 4 percent only a year ago.

Kleptomaniac cats in
Christmas stocking stash hunt
BBC News, by Helen Burchell    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/28/2013 8:51:19 AM     Post Reply
They may look innocent enough but these two felines are responsible for a mini crime spree in the east of England. Christmas is a gift for Theo, a three-year-old Siamese cross belonging to Rachael Drouet and Paul Edwards from Ipswich. He is a seasoned cat burglar, regularly bringing home "treasures" from neighbours´ houses. But this year, Theo has really got into the spirit of Christmas. He has forsaken his usual diet of clothing, phone chargers and other cats´ toys for a selection of Christmas decorations which his owners believe he is pilfering from their neighbours´ trees. Meanwhile, in Luton, Denis, a three-year-old moggy whose cat

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