OBAMA REPORTEDLY TO NOMINATE HAGEL FOR DEFENSE SECRETARY: Reports out Sunday (January 6th) said that President Obama will nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska as early as today to be his next defense secretary, setting up a
potentially contentious confirmation fight. The 66-year-old Hagel, a decorated Vietnam
veteran and GOP moderate who left the Senate in 2009, was an early Republican critic of the Iraq War who built a strong relationship with Obama during their overseas travel as senators, including to Iraq, and has been critical of own his party since leaving office. Since his name was floated for the defense secretary post, several Republican senators have criticized Hagel over his positions on Israel and Iran, including for having opposed discussion of a military strike on Iran and for his critical reference to a, quote, "Jewish lobby" in the U.S. Questions have also been raised about his criticism of the size of the U.S. military, having called the Defense Department "bloated" in a 2011 Financial Times interview, saying it needed, quote, "to be pared down."
SYRIA'S ASSAD GIVES DEFIANT SPEECH, VOWS TO CONTINUE FIGHTING: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad delivered a defiant address on Sunday (January 6th), his first public speech in six months, vowing to continue to fight the nearly two-year-old uprising against his authoritarian rule that has turned into a civil war and left 60,000 Syrians dead. As he spoke to cheering supporters at the Opera House in
that would keep him in power, ignoring international demands that he step down, and dismissed any chance of dialogue with the opposition, which he called "murderous criminals." His offer included a national reconciliation conference, elections and a new constitution, similar to concessions he's offered previously during the uprising that have been rejected as too little, too late. Assad also demanded that regional Arab and Western nations stop funding and
arming the rebels trying to overthrow him, charging the uprising is a foreign-backed plot.
PRELIMINARY HEARING BEGINS TODAY IN AURORA MASSACRE: A week-long preliminary hearing will begin today (January 7th) in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre case, at which prosecutors will outline their case against suspect James
Holmes, who's charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 when he opened fire in a movie theater last July, in the first official public disclosure of their evidence. The judge will then determine whether to send the case to trial. Legal analysts say the evidence appears so strong that Holmes could very likely accept a plea deal and avoid a trial. Holmes' mental health is expected to be a major factor in either a plea agreement or a trial, with
his lawyers already having told the judge that he is mentally ill.
RICHARDSON, GOOGLE'S SCHMIDT HEADING TO NORTH KOREA TODAY: Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will reportedly begin their private trip to North Korea today (January 7th), which they're taking despite the opposition of the U.S. government. The White House has criticized the timing of the trip, which comes as the U.N. Security Council considers how to respond to
Korean-American tour guide Kenneth Bae, who was detained last year.
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport for allegedly being intoxicated. According to local police, William Hilton Paul was intoxicated when he arrived in
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OBAMA FIRST SINCE EISENHOWER TO
then re-elected, and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin Roosevelt. Obama's national tally was boosted on December 31st, when New York submitted its final vote count, which added about 400,000 votes, most of them from provisional ballots in New York City that were counted late, in part because of complications caused by Superstorm Sandy. Nationally, Obama won 51.1 percent of the vote to 47.2 percent for Mitt Romney, a four percentage point
popular vote win. In 2008, Obama won by seven percentage points over Senator
John McCain, 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent.
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end the 113-day lockout, agreeing to the framework of a 10-year labor contract. Three months of the season have already been wiped out, and the deal came just five days before the deadline set by the league for the cancellation of the entire season.
HULK HOGAN REFILES SEX TAPE LAWSUITS: Hulk Hogan has consolidated his lawsuits and refiled in
of his suits under the same roof will mean less paperwork and less attorney fees for the former wrestler.
SCIENTISTS NAME BEE SPECIES AFTER 'BIG BANG THEORY' CATCHPHRASE: Brazilian biologist Andre Nemesio has named a new bee species he discovered after Sheldon Cooper's 'bazinga' catchphrase from The Big Bang Theory. Producers for the show have commented that Sheldon Cooper would be honored to learn that he was the inspiration for the Euglossa Bazinga.
COURT RULES YOU CAN'T BE ARRESTED JUST BECAUSE YOU FLIP OFF A
violation or impending criminal activity." (Huffington Post)
LOOKING AT SKINNY MODELS COULD DERAIL YORU DIET: A new pair of studies from the
neutral logo on the front. In the second study women were given either the neutral image or a photo of the fashion model that was digitally altered to appear of an average weight. Researchers found that participants exposed to the thin model perceived their dieting goals as less attainable, and engaged in behavior that was inconsistent with reaching their goal, such as eating unhealthy snacks. Ultimately those who had the journal with the thin model on
the cover gained weight. (Huffington Post)
STUDY SAYS HEELS MAKE WOMEN MORE ATTRACTIVE: A new study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior finds that women wearing heels are considered more attractive than women wearing flats by both men and women. Researchers from the University of Portsmouth say heels change how the body moves- including the pelvis, hips, legs, knees, feet and shoulders- in a way that exaggerates femininity. Researchers say the
high heel has stood the test of time because of evolution. One researcher says, "If wearing high heels emphasizes some sex-specific aspects of the female form they may make women more attractive, and one motivation....for wearing heels is that it is part of mate selection." (YourTango)
SMARTPHONE APP TO HELP WITH RESTAURANT SEATING: A
it allows the restaurant to track how long people have been waiting, and how long it takes them to get back when they are alerted. Myer says it appeals to costumers who would no longer have to worry about being out of range for a restaurant pager. The app is currently available to restaurants on a monthly subscription, and ZDNet reports more than 1,200-locations already use the service, despite the fact that it only runs on Apple iOS tablets and
LEADED GASOLINE LINKED TO VIOLENT BEHAVIOR? Researchers say that exposure to high levels of lead has been known to cause birth defects and hearing problems, and now they are beginning to find evidence that it may cause aggressive behavior.
Meilke says that in six major cities, including Chicago and San Diego, for every one percent increase in the number of tons of lead released into the atmosphere resulted in a half percentage point increase in the aggravated assault rate 22-years later. (Daily Mail)