PND News

Hong Kong: Top pol cancels public meeting, citing danger

October 16, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Hong Kong protesters in their 19th day of civil disobedience have repeatedly called for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign. So far, the city’s Beijing-approved leader has remained largely invisible during a tumultuous sit-in in Asia's financial hub. Now amid clashes between protesters and riot police (and a filmed beating by police of an unarmed protester) Leung has postponed a public question time with Hong Kong lawmakers set for Thursday, saying the atmosphere is 'dangerous.'" (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k6qrwrg  

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TN: Woman gets jail time for overgrown yard

October 16, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A woman in Lenoir City, Tennessee is headed to jail because of her messy, overgrown yard. According to Knoxville’s WVLT, Karen Holloway was cited by the city last summer for her failure to maintain a neat and orderly yard. She received a citation in the mail, but was too consumed with other things to pay it much mind. ... The working mom said that she would be the first to admit that the yard around their house could use some maintenance, but she was utterly shocked on Monday when Judge Terry Vann handed down a five-day jail sentence. 'It’s not right,' Holloway said. 'Why would you put me in jail with child molesters and people who’ve done real crimes, because I haven’t maintained my yard?" (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k4qhks7  

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TX: Houston subpoenas sermons in equal rights case

October 16, 2014
posted by

Springfield News-Leader    

"The dispute over Houston's equal rights ordinance has extended to the pulpit. Houston city attorneys recently subpoenaed sermons by several local pastors who oppose the measure and are tied to conservative Christian activists. The activists have sued Houston, claiming they had enough valid signatures to put a repeal referendum on the ballot. They say a city attorney wrongly determined they didn't. City attorneys issued the subpoenas as part of the case's discovery phase, seeking all speeches, presentations or sermons related to the petition, mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality or gender identity." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lpcs44s  

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FL: Scott throws weird temper tantrum over Crist’s fan at debate

October 16, 2014
posted by

Seattle Times    

"Supporters of Gov. Rick Scott privately fretted the fan incident could be a defining and damaging moment for the incumbent in the final stretch of a close race. In a weird start to a gubernatorial debate ... Scott initially refused to take the stage Wednesday night because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool. The Republican governor finally emerged at least six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled on live TV to figure out what to do with a bemused Crist standing solo on stage at Broward College." (10/16/14)

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2024790686_fandsiputexml.html  

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MA: Contents of Boston time capsule from 1901 revealed

October 16, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A Boston time capsule dating to 1901 contained letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and the book Foreign Relations of the United States, 1896. The capsule was removed last week from the head of lion statue that has long stood guard over the Old State House. The Bostonian Society, which oversees the historic building, released an inventory of the items Wednesday. The red hardcover book had been a mystery when the capsule was opened, because it did not have a visible title. Bostonian Society archivist Elizabeth Roscio said the contents were in remarkably good overall condition." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q27q7e8  

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Lockheed claims breakthrough on fusion energy project

October 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade. Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work. Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o42qhgy  

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CA: Covered California cancels 10,000 over residency

October 16, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"California’s health insurance exchange is canceling Obamacare coverage for 10,474 people who failed to prove their citizenship or legal residency in the U.S. Covered California, the state-run insurance exchange, enrolled more than 1.2 million people during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act this year. For most consumers, the exchange said, it could verify citizenship or immigration status instantly with a federal data hub. But more than 148,000 enrollees were lacking proof of eligibility and needed to submit documentation. People living in the U.S. illegally aren’t eligible for health law coverage." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/odb34u5  

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Study: Why did early humans reshape children’s skulls?

October 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"It doesn't take a degree in human anatomy to realize that there is something unusual about the Cohuna skull. With its flat, sloping forehead and prominent brow ridge, it looks distinctly primitive. For decades, the prehistoric Cohuna skull and others like it have occupied a central and contentious role in answering one of the most important questions in human evolutionary studies: where did our species, Homo sapiens, come from? Most anthropologists now agree that the skulls don't demand a rewrite of the human evolution text books, but this, paradoxically, has made them all the more intriguing. It confirms that they owe their strange appearance not to the blind hand of evolution but to the guiding hand of humanity." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qfpa6mz  

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CA: Atheist wins $2 million settlement versus required religious program

October 15, 2014
posted by

Sacramento Bee    

"A Shasta County atheist whose parole agent required him to participate in a religious-oriented drug treatment program has settled his lawsuit against the state and a rehabilitation contractor for nearly $2 million. Barry A. Hazle Jr. did a year in prison on a narcotics conviction. His release on parole was revoked -- and he was sent back to prison for more than three months -- after he complained about mandated attendance at a drug treatment program where acknowledgment of a higher power is required." (10/15/14)

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article2768782.html  

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NY: Lieutenant convicted in NYPD ticket fixing case

October 15, 2014
posted by

St. Louis Post-Dispatch    

"A police lieutenant was convicted Wednesday of leaking information about a ticket-fixing investigation that embarrassed the New York Police Department. Lt. Jennara Cobb was found guilty of divulging an eavesdropping warrant, official misconduct and obstruction of governmental administration. She faces up to a year in jail when she is sentenced on Dec. 4. ... The case against Cobb and more than a dozen other officers was first announced in October 2011, sparking a debate over the informal practice of police officers squashing tickets as favors for friends and relatives. Prosecutors portrayed it as a pervasive form of corruption. Union leaders contended it was a harmless courtesy that never involved bribery." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lt89f44  

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IA: Libertarian candidate for US Senate dies in plane crash

October 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A Dubuque doctor who was running as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate has died in a plane crash. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Douglas Butzier was the pilot of the plane that crashed around 11 p.m. Monday near Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft. Butzier worked at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. Jennifer Faley, a hospital spokeswoman, confirms Butzier was running for U.S. Senate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n877qsn  

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Hong Kong: Tension rises with police beating of protester

October 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Hong Kong authorities said on Wednesday police involved in the beating of a pro-democracy protester would be removed from their positions after footage of the overnight incident went viral, sparking outrage from some lawmakers and the public. Police said they arrested 45 protesters in the early hours, using pepper spray on those who resisted, as they cleared a main road in the Chinese-controlled city that had been barricaded by pro-democracy demonstrators with concrete slabs. Several officers appeared to beat and kick a handcuffed protester for several minutes after dragging him to a dark corner next to the protest site in footage aired by television broadcaster TVB." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2vgub7  

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Report: Pentagon withheld information about decades-old chemical weapons during Iraq war

October 15, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"American troops were exposed to chemical weapons multiple times in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, while the Pentagon kept their discoveries of the expired or degraded weapons secret from investigators, fellow soldiers, and military doctors, according to a published report. The New York Times reported late Tuesday that American troops reported finding approximately 5,000 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. On at least six occasions, soldiers were wounded by those weapons, which had been manufactured before 1991." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwkvwop  

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TX: Federal court reinstates voter turnout suppression law

October 15, 2014
posted by

ABC News    

"A federal appeals court on Tuesday temporarily reinstated Texas' tough voter ID law, which the U.S. Justice Department had condemned as the state's latest means of suppressing minority voter turnout. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allows the law to be used in the November election, despite a lower judge's ruling that the law is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit did not rule on the law's merits; instead, it determined it's too late to change the rules for the election." (0/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m4cpp6s  

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Netherlands: OK for bikers to fight ISIS jihadists

October 14, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime. 'Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it’s no longer forbidden,' public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP. 'You just can’t join a fight against the Netherlands,' he told AFP after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting IS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mmo4ssq  

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Study: Ibuprofen may make old lungs look young

October 14, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Aging is associated with changes in the human immune system that make us more susceptible to become ill from infections. Recent work form my lab has suggested that a common over-the-counter medication, ibuprofen, can reverse some of the normal aging that is seen in our immune system. Ibuprofen belongs to a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are commonly used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever and inflammation. Research conducted by my team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center using old mice showed that the lungs become more inflamed with age. ... [They then] fed the mice a diet supplemented with ibuprofen, and found that this simple change could lower lung inflammation." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kxvz5vh  

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SCOTUS leaves California foie gras ban intact

October 14, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"In a victory for animal rights activists, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed California to continue to ban foie gras, a delicacy produced from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn. Rejecting a legal challenge to the law, the court declined to hear an appeal filed by restaurants and producers of foie gras. In doing so, the high court left intact an August 2013 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the law. California enacted the law in 2004 but it did not go into effect until 2012." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mb3dz2l  

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Nigeria: Malala Yousafzai pleads for abducted girls

October 14, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Malala Yousafzai has called on Nigeria to intensify efforts to free 219 schoolgirls who were abducted by Islamist militants six months ago. The Nobel Peace Prize winner said campaigners needed to raise their voices 'louder than ever' to demand the freedom of the girls. The Boko Haram group sparked global outrage when it seized the girls. Foreign governments, including the US and China, have sent experts to Nigeria to help track them down." (10/14/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29615162  

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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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