OBAMA WARNS AGAINST TYING UP DEBT CEILING WITH 'FISCAL CLIFF': President Obama warned Wednesday (December 5th) against Republicans tying up the extension of the debt ceiling, which will have to be done not all that long into his new term, with the upcoming "fiscal cliff" deadline. Speaking before business leaders at a meeting of the Business Roundtable, Obama said he was aware of reports that Republicans may be willing to agree to let the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest expire as part of avoiding the fiscal cliff, but then try to get spending cuts from the White House in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Obama said yesterday, "That is a bad strategy for
AT LEAST 211 EGYPTIANS WOUNDED AS CRISIS WORSENS: The crisis in Egypt over President Mohammed Morsi's power grab and the controversial constitution hastily drafted by his Islamist allies worsened Wednesday (December 5th), as at least 211 people were wounded when Morsi supporters and opponents fought each other with firebombs, rocks and sticks outside the presidential palace in Cairo. Further, another four presidential aides resigned in protest over Morsi's handling of the crisis, following two others who'd previously left. The opposition, made up of liberals, leftists and Christians, vowed more protests, rejecting any talks unless the constitution is rescinded and Morsi retracts decrees he issued last month giving him near-absolute power. But Morsi is proceeding with plans to have a referendum on the charter on December 15th, backed by his Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Islamists.
SOFTWARE COMPANY FOUNDER MCAFEE ARRESTED IN GUATEMALA: Anti-virus software company founder John McAfee, who's been on the run for weeks as he dodged the authorities in Belize in a bizarre situation, was arrested by police in Guatemala Wednesday (December 5th) for entering the country illegally.
HUNDREDS KILLED, MISSING IN PHILIPPINES TYPHOON: A powerful typhoon that struck the Philippines Tuesday (December 4th) killed nearly 350 people and close to 400 others are still missing, authorities said today (December 6th). A flash flood caused by the storm destroyed a military camp and two emergency shelters where people had sought refuge, with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas saying, "Entire families may have been washed away."
OBAMA TOPS MOST POWERFUL LIST: President Obama tops the annual list of the world's most powerful people that was released yesterday (December 5th) by Forbes. Obama was one of six heads of state in the top 10, while Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was the highest-ranked businessman at Number Four. The people on the list were ranked using four criteria: power over many people; control over financial and other valuable resources; power in multiple spheres or arenas; and active use of power. A couple of notable items on the list were Facebook
The top 10:
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PANEL SAYS NASA SEEMS ADRIFT, DOESN'T HAVE CLEAR GOAL: A stinging report out yesterday (December 5th) by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences says that NASA seems to be adrift, without a clear sense of where it's going. However, the independent panel of science and engineering experts doesn't blame the space agency, but instead faults President Obama, Congress and the nation for not giving NASA better direction. At the same time, the report said NASA, in the wake of the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, is doing little to achieve the goal it was given by Obama of sending astronauts to an asteroid, which is intended as a training ground for an eventual mission to Mars. The panel said there's little support for the asteroid mission within NASA and the international space community, with member Marcia Smith saying, "I hate to use the word credible, but people don't buy it. They don't feel that the asteroid mission is the right one." NASA spokesman David Weaver defended the agency, saying it has clear and challenging goals. He named projects including the continued use of the International Space Station and efforts to develop a heavy-duty rocket and crew capsule capable of taking astronauts into deep space.
STARBUCKS TO OPEN 1,500 MORE OUTLETS IN
'SOCIALISM,' 'CAPITALISM' MOST LOOKED-UP WORDS THIS ELECTION YEAR: Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster announced Wednesday (December 5th) that words tied to the presidential election were among the most looked-up on its website this year, led by "socialism" and "capitalism" in the top spot. Other election-related words in the top 10 were "malarkey," which Vice President Joe Biden used in his debate with Rep. Paul Ryan, and "meme," which Merriam-Webster said spiked in relation to Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment from his second debate with President Obama. The top 10 list of words looked up this year is:
PIZZA HUT DEBUTS LIMITED-EDITION PERFUME: Do you love pizza so much that you'd be happy to go about your day enveloped by the smell of a good pie? Well, Pizza Hut is helping some people do that, debuting a new perfume that's designed to smell like freshly-baked pizza dough with a little bit of spice mixed in. The pizza perfume idea actually started as a joke on Pizza Hut's Facebook page, but the company decided to go ahead and actually create it after enough people signed up as fans. Unfortunately for anyone eager to get their own bottle, the limited-edition run is already gone, and Pizza Hut doesn't have any plans to mass market the untitled scent.
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KOBE BRYANT REACHES 30,000 POINTS: Kobe Bryant became only the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points last night (December 5th), reaching the milestone in
TOOL SINGER ADDRESSES ‘DIFFICULT INTERVIEW’ REPUTATION: Tool singer Maynard James Keenan has addressed his reputation for being a very difficult interview in the latest installment of his bi-weekly online column for the Phoenix New Times. Keenan, who doesn't give a lot of interviews to begin with, has also been known to shut down during q&a sessions depending on the journalist or situation. He explained in his column that it all comes down to the way the journalist presents the questions, saying, "The awesome writers strike up a conversation and my publicist has to cut us off 'cuz we're having too much fun. We call these people journalists. The lazy ones have a list of questions to which they've already anticipated the answers, so they don't bother listening to my responses. We call these people never again."
Keenan added, "There seems to be an epidemic raging out there. A whole lot of people are calling themselves professionals who really have no business doing so . . . Their skill is squeaking and moaning in order to get their way. Which is fine with me. It makes for easier targets."
CHECK IT OUT: Read Keenan's entire column at http://tinyurl.com/cgrxbha
METALLICA POSTS ‘MATER OF PUPPETS’ FROM UPCOMING CONCERT
CHECK IT OUT: Watch Metallica rip through "Master Of Puppets" from the Quebec Magnetic
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MICHAEL RICHARDS CAST ON TV LAND SITCOM: Seinfeld's Michael Richards has scored a co-starring role on TV Land's Giant Baby. The show also stars Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman. Richards will play Alley's limo driver.
VISUAL EFFECTS BIGWIG EILEEN MORAN
R.I.P. SUSAN LUCKEY: Music Man actress Susan Luckey passed away at her
LEONARDO DICAPRIO & MIRANDA KERR
SCOTT EVANS ARRESTED IN UNDERCOVER DRUG BUY: Former soap opera star Scott Evans was busted for trying to buy drugs from an undercover cop in
BRITTANY MURPHY’S LAST FILM FINALLY COMPLETED: Brittany Murphy's tragic and untimely death occurred around the same time she completed shooting for the movie Something Wicked. Three years later, the film is finally out of post-production.
The movie is about a young engaged couple who are being stalked by a man who will stop at nothing to be with the bride-to-be. According to Variety, the film is currently up for sale for distribution.
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AUSTRALIAN RESEARCHERS INVENT COCONUT-FLAVORED PINEAPPLE: Researchers in
EATING TOMATOES COULD WARD OFF DEPRESSION? A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders finds a link between eating tomatoes and lowered risk of depression. For the study a team of researchers from
INSTAGRAM ENDS INTEGRATION WITH TWITTER: Before, when Instagram users tweeted their latest Instagram photo, the image would appear inline with the tweet. Currently the inline images are improperly formatted in mobile apps, and are appearing cropped. Going forward, users will not be able to post Instagram photos through Twitter at all. (CNN) Meanwhile, Facebook made a small change to the its site on Wednesday (December 6th), renaming the "subscribe" feature to "follow." (TechCrunch)
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS"
HOW TO CHOOSE A GIFT FOR A