Fwd: Venezuela

‘Anti-government demonstrators set up barricades and started fires, halting traffic Monday in parts of Venezuela's capital, Caracas, and other cities.


Many people stayed home as protesters took to the streets a day after opposition leader Henrique Capriles called for them to keep demonstrations peaceful.


Since February 12, opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have been protesting Venezuela's crime rate and economic troubles. The government says the demonstrations have resulted in at least 11 deaths and more than 130 injuries.’




Harold Ramis dies.


Netflix Said to Agree to Pay Comcast for Faster Web Access



… something seems very wrong about this, like the cable companies are blackmailing content providers to provide the bandwidth that the customers have already paid for.  So much for “Unlimited Internet Access.”


You have to be kidding me: Tornado Spotted in Illinois


Articles: Climate Consensus Con Game

"If the science were as certain as climate activists pretend, then there would be precisely one climate model, and it would be in agreement with measured data.  As it happens, climate modelers have constructed literally dozens of climate models.  What they all have in common is a failure to represent reality, and a failure to agree with the other models.  As the models have increasingly diverged from the data, the climate clique have nevertheless grown increasingly confident -- from cocky in 2001 (66% certainty in IPCC's Third Assessment Report) to downright arrogant in 2013 (95% certainty in the Fifth Assessment Report)."

Climate activists seem to embrace faith and ideology -- and are no longer interested in facts.

VIDEO: Lightning Skies Like You've Never Seen


VIDEO: A Giraffe Walks Into A Bar...


CDC urges flu vaccinations amid mounting H1N1 illnesses and other headlines

Two get prison for beating Giants fan at Dodger Stadium


Health Matters: Your craving may be your addiction - Opinion - WKU Herald

When you first take a bite of sugary cereal, your taste receptors that respond to sweetness, found at the tip of your tongue, send a signal to the portion of your brain called the cerebral cortex. 

This signal activates ‘the reward system’ and causes you to want to take another bite. Excessive activation of this reward system, Dr. Avena suggests, can cause ‘loss of control, craving and intolerance to sugar.’


What is 'lasing' and why is the FBI really worried about it?

Nearly 11 aircraft a day around the country had a laser pointer aimed at them in 2013, an increasingly worrisome trend that has inspired the FBI to offer $10,000 rewards to people who help officials catch laser-shining culprits.




Fwd: Tragic day

‘Some conservatives oppose raising the debt ceiling under any circumstance, while Democrats have made it clear they would vote against any measure that attached other provisions to increasing the borrowing limit.


Boehner needs at least 18 Republicans to join the expected unanimous Democratic support for a "clean" debt ceiling measure in a vote expected as soon as Wednesday. Otherwise, there could be another protracted political impasse despised by voters.


Asked Tuesday if he had the 18 GOP votes, Boehner said: "We're going to have to find them. I'll be one of them."


However, some Republicans immediately balked at the shift by their leader, saying they would oppose a debt ceiling measure that lacked additional provisions they sought.


Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina said she would vote against the clean proposal and that GOP leaders might be forced to go back to their original plan. Boehner ally Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, an influential House Republican, said he was undecided on how to vote on a clean measure.


Republicans facing pressure from conservatives ahead of the November vote are reluctant to back an increase in the borrowing limit, a core issue for the political right because it represents rising federal debt.


Boehner sought to put the blame for a clean debt ceiling bill on Obama, saying the rising federal debt was the President's fault.


"It's the President driving up the debt and the President wanted to do nothing about the debt that's occurring, will not engage in our long-term spending problem," Boehner said. "And so, let his party give him the debt ceiling increase that he wants."


At the same time, Boehner declared himself disappointed at what he called a "lost opportunity" to address unsustainable federal spending.


Asked by CNN about the reported GOP reversal, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said it would be "the smart thing to do."’






Fwd: budget

‘Something strange is happening in Washington. We are slowly dismantling the federal government, even as its spending is growing larger. The paradox is that governmental competence is being systematically degraded while the government's size, as measured by its budget, is increasing. We are spending more and getting less, and -- unless present trends are reversed -- this will continue for years. It threatens the end of government as we know it.



VIDEO: WATCH: Man Gets Buried by Snowplow


Fwd: China

‘in the Chinese television series “The Anti-Japanese Knight,” a recent action drama set during the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s. Like many Chinese television dramas, the “Anti-Japanese Knight” promotes patriotism and praises the Communist Party for defeating the Japanese, while conveniently leaving out mention of the decisive role played by the Chinese Nationalists in that war. The violence and anti-Japanese tone send a clear message that killing is acceptable — as long as the targets are “Japanese devils.”…


When I turn on the television these days, I notice not much has changed. The second Sino-Japanese War may have ended in 1945, but the Chinese people are still haunted by it. Enemy Japanese soldiers run amok on Chinese screens. The state-approved films and TV dramas of today are more colorful and the actors are better-looking than in the films of 1960s and ’70s, but the themes remain the same.


The state prohibits content that “incites ethnic hatred,” yet according to Southern Weekly more than 70 anti-Japanese TV series were screened in China in 2012. And in March 2013 the newspaper reported that 48 anti-Japanese-themed TV series were being shot simultaneously in Hengdian World Studios, a film studio in Zhejiang Province, in eastern China.


The result of this stream of rancor is just what you’d expect. A July 2013 Pew research report found that 90 percent of Chinese people have an unfavorable view of Japan. And the hatred for Japan is intensifying. Pew said that “favorability” for Japan has fallen 17 percentage points since 2006.


The anti-Japan virulence drummed up by the media is in full display online. Websites popular among young Chinese nationalists, like Tiexue (Iron Blood) and April Media, are riddled with slogans such as “Destroy Japanese dogs!” or “Annihilate the Japanese people!”


The flow of hate comes while China is building up its military, leaving its neighbors on edge. Beijing will spend $148 billion on its military this year, up from $139 billion in 2013. It launched its first aircraft carrier in 2012, and is building a fleet of submarines that it hopes will outnumber the American fleet.


A hard-line, anti-Western documentary film produced by the Chinese military called “Silent Contest,” circulated online in October 2013, revealed a troubling war-thirsty mind-set among the military. The video attempted to make the case that the United States is actively working to sabotage the Chinese government. Whoever leaked this video may not represent mainstream military thinking, but there is no doubt that pro-military voices are growing louder.’




Fwd: glass

‘The New York City Police Department is testing Google Glass to see if wearable computers could be useful in law enforcement.


Glass has a built-in camera that can record video and could potentially be useful in gathering evidence. It is also capable of running apps such as NameTag, which entered beta testing this week, that can photograph a person and identify them by scouring social networks for a match. If the device was widely adopted by police it could be set up with an app that allowed officers to search databases of known offenders and outstanding warrants in a similar way.


A ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat: “We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes. We’re looking at them, you know, seeing how they work.”’




Fwd: Predator strike

‘The Obama administration is reportedly wrestling with the idea of unleashing a fatal drone attack against a U.S. citizen believed to be a member of al Qaeda and suspected of actively plotting an attack on Americans who are overseas.


The citizen’s name was not released and neither were the circumstances surrounding the mulled drone kill — including the country he’s reportedly residing in, The Associated Press reported.


But currently, CIA drones have him under surveillance but can’t attack due to his American status, AP said. The Justice Department must first build a legal case, showing the need to kill him — and so far, neither Attorney General Eric Holder nor his aides have done that.


Four officials with the U.S. government said in the AP report that the American suspect is currently in a country that won’t allow America's military to tread its lands. But using a drone to take him out would be especially tricky, given President Obama’s recently released policy that states only the military — not the CIA — can take fatal actions against suspected U.S. terrorists, AP reported.


The American-turned-al Qaeda suspect is described as a facilitator, responsible for committing several deadly attacks against Americans who are overseas. Two of the officials in the AP report also say this citizen continues to plan more attacks using improvised explosive devices, AP reported.’






Fwd: News

‘Ukraine's parliament scraps anti-protest laws, Prime Minister resigns’



‘Obama to sign executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors

President Obama, in the first of potentially many executive actions tied to his State of the Union address, will unilaterally increase the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25’


Fwd: Emergency Broadcast

'The message broadcast in several states last winter was equal parts alarming and absurd: "Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. . . . Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies, as they are considered extremely dangerous."


The reported zombie invasion was not something out of the "The Walking Dead." It was the federal Emergency Alert System under control of hackers — who exploited weaknesses that are disturbingly common in many critical systems throughout government, according to a Senate cybersecurity report set for release Tuesday.'




Fwd: 2 Million less

‘CBO: Health-care law will mean 2 million fewer workers


The Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by more than 2 million in coming years, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday in the most detailed analysis of the law’s impact on jobs.


After obtaining coverage through the health law, some workers may forgo employment, while others may reduce hours, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. Low-wage workers are the most likely to drop out of the workforce as a result of the law, it said. The CBO said the law’s impact on jobs mostly would be felt after 2016.’




Fwd: Target

‘HVAC Firm at Center of Target Data Breach Also Counts Wal-Mart, Costco as Customers


Access was reportedly given to help power savings, but network wasn't properly isolated from consumer data


According to sources of Washington Post security researcher Brian Krebs -- the first member of the media to catch wind of the breach -- the hackers had a little help from an insecure third-party.  They reportedly struck via first compromising servers at an air conditioning business in Sharpsburg, Penn, whom Target used as a contractor.  The firm -- Fazio Mechanical Service -- has a flashy portfolio of high-profile clients which includes not only Target and all of the aforementioned retailers/grocers, but a number of other large firms that Mr. Krebs and other early reports have not mentioned.


This latest news emerged after Reuters and The Wall Street Journal quoted Target executives last week as saying that the breach occurred via a compromised third-party contractor.  Digging around on Fazio's clients page, which remains active following Mr. Krebs' post, I found that the list of high-profile clients doesn't stop with the three other companies Mr. Krebs mentioned.


It turns out that Fazio's blue chip client list is even bigger, including large retail locations belonging to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) (and its subsidiary Sam's Club), Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), and the ALDI Group; gas stations belonging to Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) and Exxon Mobil (XOM); and restaurant locations belonging to Denny's Corp. (DENN) and others.


It is unclear why Mr. Krebs didn't notice these other even bigger clients, but clearly that discovery illustrates his comments are even more important than they sounded based on his shorter list.


These clients helped Fazio to earn the distinction of being the largest heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) commercial sales and repair company in the western Pennsylvania area.  Fazio had service centers in Pennsylvania, as well as outposts in nearby states, including Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.


It appears increasingly likely that Mr. Krebs' sources are correct -- there was a breach at Fazio that led to a breach at its client (Target).  Fazio President Ross Fazio confirmed that he received a recent visit from the Secret Service in connection to the ongoing Target investigation.’




Fwd: Syria

‘Syria has failed to meet another key deadline for turning over its chemical weapons stockpile as part of an internationally brokered agreement.


Under a February 5 deadline set by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Syria was to have given up its complete stockpile.


Syria has so far sent only two shipments of chemicals to be destroyed, amounting to less than five percent of its stockpile.’





VIDEO: Another Snowstorm Coming This Week


Fwd: Korea

‘Cuban weapons found in July aboard a North Korean ship trying to cross the Panama Canal violated United Nations weapons sanctions, Panamanian officials said, citing an unpublished U.N. report on the incident…


But Panamanian officials have said that under 10,000 tons of Cuban sugar, they found operational weaponry, including MiG fighter jets, anti-aircraft systems and explosives.’





‘Social symptoms in autistic children may be caused by hyper-connected neurons


The brains of children with autism show more connections than the brains of typically developing children do. What's more, the brains of individuals with the most severe social symptoms are also the most hyper-connected. The findings reported in two independent studies are challenge the prevailing notion in the field that autistic brains are lacking in neural connections.’




‘Autistic brains create more information at rest, study show


New research finds that the brains of autistic children generate more information at rest -- a 42 percent increase on average. The study offers a scientific explanation for the most typical characteristic of autism -- withdrawal into one's own inner world. The excess production of information may explain a child's detachment from their environment.’








1918 Flu Pandemic That Killed 50 Million Originated in China, Historians Say

Fwd: Stem Cells

Fwd: Fed

‘Citing Growth, Fed Again Cuts Monthly Bond Purchases


The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday another $10 billion cut in its monthly bond purchases in a statement that attributed the decision to “growing underlying strength in the broader economy.”’





Why you may regret not investing in Google right now

If You Didn't Listen to Apple's Entire Conference Call, You Missed This Gem

Intense Solar Flares Headed to Earth

Cantore KNEES Attacker!

Fwd: MyRA

‘President Obama on Tuesday offered up a new kind of "starter" retirement accounts aimed at employees of companies that don't offer such plans.


Obama is calling them the "MyRA" and said he would, by executive order, direct the Treasury Department to create them.’




Driverless trucks get in shape for US Army convoy duty

Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead from apparent overdose

Fwd: Russia

Fwd: China

‘China expels journalists over stories of party's wealth


The latest expulsion of a U.S. reporter in China on Thursday shows how the new regime is far more worried about criticism of top leaders — especially when it comes to the amassing of wealth — than in the past…


China has sentenced to long terms Chinese citizens who called for an accounting of what the Communist Party owns…


Official corruption is one of China's hottest topics. The ruling Communist Party says it can handle the problem internally and refuses to allow public or independent supervision of government and party officials. Sunday, a Beijing court jailed rights activist Xu Zhiyong for four years for encouraging citizens to lobby for officials to disclose their assets.’