PND News

Spain: Catalonia calls off independence vote … for now

October 14, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The Catalan government canceled plans Tuesday to hold a referendum on independence from Spain amid growing pressure from Madrid. Despite the setback, Catalan leader Artur Mas vowed to take a more incremental approach towards independence, one that falls within the boundaries of Spanish law. His commitment reflects a resurgence of secessionist sentiment among Catalans disillusioned by economic stagnation across Spain and Madrid’s refusal to grant them more autonomy. Mr. Mas announced Tuesday that the Nov. 9 vote would be replaced by a looser (and largely symbolic) 'consultation of its citizens' on the same day, Reuters reports. He said that holding such an informal ballot would not violate the Spanish constitution." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ocg4lhs  

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Hackers steal 500 megabytes of Snapchat images

October 14, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Snapsaved.com, a website which allows users to save images sent via Snapchat, claimed on Monday that hackers had breached its servers and made off with some 500 megabytes of photographs. The claim by the little-known website sheds some light on reports in past days that hackers were preparing to unleash some 13 gigabytes of photographs sent via SnapChat, a mobile app popular among teenagers that promises users that any pictures relayed to other users will be deleted in a matter of seconds." [editor's note: And now threats are out, that anyone who then downloaded the file-batch risks prosecution for "child porn" -- because at least some of the images were of teens under 18 sexting with their chums! - SAT] (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nfegvnw  

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Vatican: Catholic bishops show new openness to gays, civil unions

October 14, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Catholic bishops showed unprecedented openness Monday to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays had gifts to offer the church and should be accepted and that there were 'positive' aspects to a couple living together without being married. A two-week meeting of bishops on family issues arrived at its halfway point with a document summarizing the closed-door debate so far. No decisions were announced, but the tone of the report was one of almost-revolutionary acceptance, rather than condemnation, with the aim of guiding Catholics toward the ideal of a lasting marriage." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o8cg5z7  

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Tech jobs: No degree required?

October 14, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Recently, mobile-gaming social network Weeby.com announced it would pay new software engineers roughly $250,000 a year plus equity. Meanwhile, many positions, both in the Valley and in other tech hubs, such as Berlin, remain open and employers are often competing to fill them with the best technical talent. Put this together and it’s no surprise that university students the world over are questioning whether pursuing a four-year degree and/or a graduate degree is really the best way to get a piece of the pie. Could dropping out and enrolling in technical courses be a better way to fast track into a lucrative career?" [editor's note: Heresy to the lockstep educrats; reality to those with half a clue? - SAT] (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p9ddepn  

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IL: Sperm bank’s mistake raises racial, legal questions

October 14, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"What is the price of being forced to raise a brown baby? It’s an unusual question, arising from an unusual lawsuit prompted by an insemination gone wrong. And it has set off an extraordinary discussion touching on sensitive issues of race, motherhood, sexuality and justice, though the debate begins with one basic premise: You should get what you pay for. Jennifer Cramblett and her wife, Amanda Zinkon, wanted a white baby. They went to the Midwest Sperm Bank near Chicago and chose blond, blue-eyed donor No. 380, who looked like he could have been related to Zinkon. When Cramblett was five months pregnant, they found out that she had been inseminated by donor No. 330 -- a black man." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/obytwh8  

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AK: Couples seek marriage licenses after judge dumps ban

October 13, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Alaska officials began accepting marriage license applications from gay couples on Monday, a day after a federal judge ruled the state ban's on such nuptials was unconstitutional in the latest victory for U.S. supporters of same-sex matrimony. U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess ruled on Sunday that a ban on gay marriage approved by the state's voters in 1998 violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. In striking down the ban, Burgess also barred Alaska from refusing to acknowledge lawful same-sex marriages conducted in other U.S. states." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qjszels  

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Are Washington Redskins racist? What do Navajo really think?

October 13, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly was an honored guest of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, sitting next to him during yesterday’s NFL game between the Redskins and Arizona Cardinals. And this viral photo of Native American leader is being hailed as a rebuttal to those who say the team’s name is racist. What do Native Americans, whom the name supposedly offends, actually think? Is Shelly's support representative? Public statements and opinion polls show mixed feelings on the name, and the photo (complete with Mr. Shelly in a Redskins cap) is raising more questions about a team name change." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pkrvhdl  

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OK: Regime delays three scheduled state killings

October 13, 2014
posted by

United Press International    

"Three [state killings] scheduled for the month of November in Oklahoma have been delayed after the state filed a motion for a 60-day stay. The news comes only weeks after Oklahoma officials gave members of the press a tour of their new [killing] facilities and declared the [killings] would resume as planned in early November. But a motion filed Friday by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt requested that the state's appeals court reschedule three [killings] for January, allowing officials with the correction system's [killing] program additional time to train staff and procure reliable [killing] drugs." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p85ettc  

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Core secrets: NSA saboteurs in China and Germany

October 13, 2014
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept    

"The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use 'physical subversion' to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also indicate that the agency has used 'under cover' operatives to gain access to sensitive data and systems in the global communications industry, and that these secret agents may have even dealt with American firms. " (10/10/14)

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/10/core-secrets/  

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AK: Federal judge overturns oldest US marriage apartheid law

October 13, 2014
posted by

CNN    

"In 1998, Alaska became the first of two states to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. On Sunday, a federal judge overturned the 16-year ban, saying the Constitution guarantees equal protection to all. The judge's ruling makes Alaska the latest state where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry. ... [Anti-family public officials say they] will appeal." (10/13/14)

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/13/us/alaska-same-sex-marriage/  

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U2: From rock legends to spam kings?

October 12, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"U2 and Apple planned the gesture for maximum publicity: a concert by the Irish megastars at the tech giant’s latest product launch, with the surprise that their new album had just been released for free to the world’s half-billion iTunes customers. As physical copies of the album, Songs of Innocence, go on sale Monday, the band that earned global critical acclaim three decades ago has faced a backlash with some accusing U2 of turning music into spam. The September 9 free release will still pay off handsomely for the already-wealthy rockers, with several reports saying that Apple has committed $100 million to distribute the album as part of its promotion campaign for the iPhone 6." (10/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mqegep5  

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Check refund gives Secret Service prostitution scandal a new turn

October 12, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"The father of a White House advance team member connected to the Secret Service prostitution scandal was refunded a hefty Obama campaign donation, records show, around the same time additional details about that possible link were made public. The $20,000 donation was made by Leslie Dach -- whose son Jonathan has been linked to the scandal -- on Sept. 19, 2012, to the Obama Victory Fund. One day later, Leslie Dach had a meeting at the White House with a top presidential economic adviser, according to White House visitor logs. One day after that, the lead federal investigator into the Colombia prostitution scandal said for the first time that White House personnel may have been involved in the incident." (10/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/jw2wmsj  

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Derivatives rule changes end “too big to fail” scenario

October 12, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The $700 trillion financial derivatives industry has agreed to a fundamental rule change from January to help regulators to wind down failed banks without destabilising markets. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and 18 major banks that dominate the market will now allow financial watchdogs to apply temporary stays to prevent a rush to close derivatives contracts if a bank runs into trouble, the ISDA said on Saturday. A delay would give regulators time to ensure that critical parts of a bank, such as customer accounts, continue smoothly while the rest is wound down or sold off in an orderly way." (10/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/jvhdvcv  

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UK expects “handful” of Ebola cases

October 12, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"The UK should expect a 'handful' of Ebola cases in the coming months, the chief medical officer has said. Defending a screening programme due to start at key airports and stations, Dame Sally Davies said it was a 'blunt instrument' but would save lives. She rejected criticism in a leaked email circulated to doctors that the screening was a 'political gesture.' The UK held exercises earlier to test its response to an outbreak, as the US began screening some arriving there." (10/11/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29584816  

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Report: As Mexico cracks down, drug money comes to US

October 12, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"For a company that booked $12 million in annual sales importing snacks like chile- and lime-flavored chips from Mexico, Baja Distributors Inc.'s offices were oddly quiet. There were no signs outside. Its small warehouse was almost empty. Phones went unanswered. Investigators say there was a reason for the anonymity: The business was laundering money from Mexican drug traffickers. Baja Distributors, whose executives denied laundering drug money, brought more than $17 million from Mexico in 18 months. U.S. front companies for cartels aren't new, but U.S. officials say they took a more prominent role after Mexico capped dollar deposits in cash at $7,000 a month for businesses in 2010, later raised to $14,000. As a result, they say, cartels sought companies to deposit money in American banks and wire it back in pesos under the guise of international trade." (10/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mhf9p2x  

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Bolivia: Fight to keep “macho men” off election ballots

October 12, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"In the lead-up to Bolivia’s Oct. 12 presidential election, stump-speech favorites like the economy and unemployment are being debated side-by-side with a slightly less conventional topic here: women’s safety. A handful of controversial statements involving male politicians this election season combined with a highly publicized series of murders, rapes, and kidnappings of females across the country have made violence against women a top issue as Bolivians go to the polls. President Evo Morales, who is running for his third consecutive term in office, is expected to retake the presidency with roughly 59 percent of the vote. In the past he has come under fire for making sexist jokes, but has said little on the recent events." (10/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mh87bxp  

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Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

October 10, 2014
posted by

ABC News    

"Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work for children's rights. The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the two 'for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.'" (10/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ld9ug6r  

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Canada: Pastafarian loses driver’s license for headware

October 10, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A Canadian man who practices the Pastafarian religion lost his driver’s license last week, and is being required to take a religious spaghetti strainer off his head before he can get a new one. Surrey, B.C. resident Obi Canuel told the National Post that he became a Pastafarian before obtaining a driver’s license wearing the colander last year. But officials with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia later determined that the photo could not be used for his license. ... Pastafarians say they believe that the world was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The mock religion was created in 2005 to protest the Kansas School Board’s decision to teach intelligent design." (10/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mu5dkq6  

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AK: No charges in Palin family birthday brawl

October 10, 2014
posted by

Alaska Dispatch News    

"Prosecutors won't proceed with charges in a brawl that involved several members of the Palin family, Anchorage police said Thursday. The news comes as Anchorage police released reports Thursday morning outlining witness statements in the fight. Police were called to South Anchorage regarding a brawl involving about 20 people that had broken out at Korey Klingenmeyer's house on the evening of Sept. 6." (10/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kxfhm5b  

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Court block voter suppression laws in Texas, Wisconsin

October 10, 2014
posted by

San Jose Mercury News    

"A federal judge likened Texas' strict voter ID requirement to a poll tax deliberately meant to suppress minority voter turnout and struck it down less than a month before Election Day -- and mere hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a similar measure in Wisconsin. The twin rulings released Thursday evening represent major and somewhat surprising blows to largely Republican-backed voter identification rules sweeping the nation that have generally been upheld in previous rulings." (10/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ldf7zgx  

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Red Bull gives jitters, class action settlement

October 10, 2014
posted by

AOL News    

"The makers of Red Bull owe fans of the energy drink a lot of money. A class action settlement announced Wednesday means that anyone who has bought even one can of the mysterious potion since 2002 is eligible for a payout. The Austrian company has agreed to pay more than $13 million to consumers over claims it misled the public through advertising that 'Red Bull gives you wings.' About half of that sum will be placed into an escrow account within seven days, according to beverage trade publication BevNet. The remainder will be paid at a still-undetermined date." (10/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l59f48s  

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CT: Lawsuit shines new light on sex abuse scandal

October 10, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A federal lawsuit filed this week has reopened a decades-old sex abuse scandal at the exclusive Indian Mountain School in Connecticut. The suit was filed Oct. 6 in U.S. District Court by William Brewster Brownville, who attended the private boarding school in Salisbury in the 1980s. It provides graphic details of what Brownville alleges was routine abuse of students at the hands of staff, including sex assaults by the now-deceased headmaster and gang rapes. The school at the time served students in grades five through nine. 'This was literally a nest of pedophiles operating in a community that allowed them unfettered and constant access to a never-ending stream of prepubescent and pubescent boys for their own sexual gratification,' said Anthony Ponvert, Brownville's attorney." (10/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kwpwa6t  

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What if humans became extinct?

October 10, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Have you ever wondered what would happen to life on earth if a doomsday event killed every human on the planet?" [editor's note: The creepiest part of this might be the barely contained GLEE on the (Australian?) commentator's face while laying out this scenario! - SAT] (10/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kbf5fvp  

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Greenpeace gets LEGO to ditch Shell playsets

October 9, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"LEGO, the popular children's toy company, has announced that it will end a lucrative marketing partnership with fossil-fuel giant Royal Dutch Shell this year, following a months-long campaign by environmental group Greenpeace. The Greenpeace campaign targeted LEGO's partnership with Shell as a means to criticize the fuel company's ongoing plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The focal point of the campaign was a short viral video depicting the Arctic, made from 265 pounds of LEGO, being covered with oil. The video attracted almost 6 million views on YouTube, and riffed on music and animation from "The LEGO Movie," one of the highest grossing films of the year." (10/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mptgbro  

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Icahn urges “undervalued” Apple to buy back more shares

October 9, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) shares could double in value and urged the company's board to buy back more shares using its $133 billion cash pile. 'We believe Apple is dramatically undervalued in today's market, and the more shares repurchased now, the more each remaining shareholder will benefit,' Icahn said in a letter to Apple's board released on Thursday. Icahn, who pledged to keep his own stock out of any repurchase, said Apple stock should be trading at $203." [editor's note: If this makes anyone out there shift investments, please remember where you read it if you profit - SAT] (10/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k875uh3  

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