OBAMA URGES SHORT-TERM DEAL TO AVOID 'SEQUESTER' CUTS: President Obama urged Congress Tuesday to pass targeted short-term spending cuts and higher taxes as a way to put off looming automatic cuts known in Washington-speak as the "sequester," which would make deep cuts to military and domestic programs starting on March 1st. In his brief statement, Obama didn't specify a time span or dollar amount for a stopgap measure, nor were any detailed spending cuts or tax increases outlined that could be used to postpone the sequester. The president's appeal came as several Republican lawmakers have begun to
signal they might be willing to let the automatic cuts kick in to get deficit reduction, even though some of the cuts would be to programs they support, such as military spending.
CHILD HOSTAGE TAKER WAS KILLED AFTER FIREFIGHT; EXPLOSIVE DEVICES FOUND: The FBI said Tuesday night (February 5th) that the rural Alabama man who held a 5-year-old boy captive for nearly a week was killed after he engaged in a firefight with SWAT agents who'd stormed his underground bunker a day earlier to rescue the boy. Also revealed was that bomb technicians found two explosive devices, one in the bunker and one in a
plastic pipe going into in that negotiators had used to communicate with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes. The bunker raid came six days after Dykes boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and abducted the boy, who was apparently unharmed after being rescued. The decision was made to carry out the raid because authorities said negotiations had been deteriorating and they could see through some undisclosed type of camera that Dykes had a gun and appeared increasingly agitated.
ARMED GANG RAPES SIX TOURISTS IN
woman had rented on a stretch of beach on the outskirts of
held the group at gunpoint, tied up the six men, and raped the six Spanish woman. The other woman wasn't raped, told by the attackers she was spared because she's Mexican.
citizens who've, quote, "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens."
OBAMA TO MAKE FIRST VISIT AS PRESIDENT TO
JUDGE WONT' DELAY ZIMMERMAN TRIAL FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S DEATH: A Florida judge yesterday (February 5th) refused to delay this summer's planned murder trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin, turning down a request from Zimmerman's defense team. Attorney Mark O'Meara claimed that he needed more time to prepare and that the state wasn't being cooperative with key evidence. But prosecutor
Bernie de la Rionda countered that O'Mara didn't deserve more time to prepare and that many of the delays were his own fault. The prosecution has argued that the Zimmerman's legal team is moving slowly because of a dwindling defense fund, and his attorneys have acknowledged that the fund is almost empty. In a decision that came on what would have been Martin's 18th birthday, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson noted that both sides had agreed earlier that they would be ready by June 10th, when the trial is set to start, and that O'Mara's issues can be fixed in time.
CONGRESSMAN FINDS FACTUAL ERROR IN MOVIE '
"How could congressmen from Connecticut -- a state that supported President Lincoln and lost thousands of her sons fighting against slavery on the Union side of the Civil War -- have been on the wrong side of history?" He asked that the movie be corrected before it's released on
STUDY: MIXING DRINKS WITH DIET SODA
mixed with diet soda and with regular soda, in equal percentages. They found that those who drink the diet soda-mixed drinks had breath alcohol concentrations that were 18 percent higher after 40 minutes compared with people who drank the regular soda and vodka. The diet soda and vodka drinkers also reached a breath alcohol level that exceeded the legal limit for driving, while the regular soda drinker didn't, and they also scored more poorly on a
test of reaction time. The researchers theorized that non-diet mixers may slow down the time it takes a person to get drunk because they stomach may treat the sugar as if it were food, slowing down the time it takes to the reach the small intestine, where it's absorbed by the body. Since diet mixers don't have sugar, the process isn't slowed down and the alcohol gets to the small intestine faster.
RAVENS CELEBRATED WITH
with players riding in military Humvees and standing on a float, followed by a celebration at M&T Bank Stadium. An estimated 200,000 people took part, lining the sidewalks and packing into the team's home stadium. Retiring linebacker Ray Lewis, an expected future Hall of Famer and the only current player to have started with the team when it came to
to Oprah Winfrey of doping during his career. That contradicts what was said earlier in the day by the U.S. Attorney for
years investigating Armstrong only to suddenly drop the case a year ago despite agents reportedly having recommended an indictment. Birotte said when questioned about any action now that Armstrong has confessed, "We made a decision on that case, I believe, a little over a year ago. Obviously we've been well-aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong and other media reports. That has not changed my view at this time." But
speak for the federal government as a whole." Investigators aren't concerned with the drug use itself, but for his behavior of allegedly threatening and interfering with potential witnesses to keep his secret.
2011 NL MVP BRAUN SAYS ONLY USED SUSPICIOUS CLINIC OWNER AS CONSULTANT: Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP and 2012 MVP runner-up, said in a statement last night (February 5th) that his only involvement with a Florida clinic being investigated by Major League Baseball was to use Anthony Bosch, the man who ran it, as a consultant on his drug suspension appeal last year.
Yahoo! Sports had reported earlier yesterday that Braun's name appeared three times in the records of Biogenesis of America, but that no specific performance-enhancing drugs were listed next to his name. The Miami New Times recently released Biogenesis documents that purportedly linked other players to doping buys from the clinic, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Braun tested positive during the 2011 postseason for elevated
testosterone levels. However, he maintained his innocence and his 50-game suspension was overturned during spring training last year when an arbitrator ruled in his favor over chain of custody issues with the sample. Braun said he used Bosch as a consultant during that successful appeal.
for three-pointers in their 140-109 win over the Golden State Warriors last night (February 5th) in
COREY TAYLOR SAYS SLIPKNOT ALBUM IS TWO YEARS AWAY: Although
he's still deeply immersed in the promotion and touring cycle for Stone Sour's double album, House Of Gold And Bones, singer Corey Taylor has a rough timeline worked out in his head for the next Slipknot album -- and he told Pulse of Radio it's still quite far off: "Essentially, I want to start looking at putting demos together for Slipknot fall of 2014, to go in the
studio in 2015 and start making an album. So it's gonna be a while."
During a roundtable discussion on the news that the Planet Hollywood casino in
CHECK IT OUT: Watch Grohl's comments on Britney Spears:
NEW METALLICA SHOES ON THE WAY: Metallica has introduced a new line of shoes through the Vans company, with each member of the band getting his own signature footwear and personally choosing the design. Each member of the group has also made a video discussing their shoe and how they created it. Bassist Robert Trujillo's clip is available now, with the rest expected to surface in the weeks ahead. All four shoe designs are currently available at http://tinyurl.com/b9vpnrd.
NEWTOWN-INSPIRED FILM IN THE WORKS: Writer/Director Jonathan Bucari is currently raising funds for a movie inspired by the
'GIRL MEETS WORLD' EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SAYS OLD STARS WILL RETURN: Michael Jacobs, executive producer for Disney's Girl Meets World, is giving fans of Boy Meets
World a reason to tune in. Jacobs told Entertainment Weekly that there is "more than a chance" that former stars like Will Friedle, who played Cory's brother Eric, could appear on his upcoming series.
AIRLINE OFFERS KID-FREE "QUIET ZONES" ON FLIGHTS: Airline AirAsia X passengers will have more options than peanuts or pretzels starting this week. Passengers on flights
the rest of the plane by toilets and bulkheads. Customers can expect an additional fee of either 11-dollars or 35-dollars for the special seats. (CNN)
CHEWING GUM IS GOOD FOR THE BRAIN? Chewing gum might wake you up - a new study finds that chomping on some gum increases alertness by ten-percent. For the study, researchers scanned the brains of people who chewed gum and those that did not. Participants also performed a 30-minute test where they would press a button with their left or right thumb in response to the direction of an arrow. Gum chewers were found to
have a faster response time to the button-test than non-gum-chewers. One study author said, "Our results suggest that chewing induced an increase in the arousal level and alertness in addition to an effect on motor control." (Opposing Views)
AMAZON INTRODUCES "AMAZON COINS": Amazon has announced a new virtual currency it calls Amazon Coins. The company says the coins are "an easy way for Kindle Fire customers to spend money on developers' apps in the Amazon Appstore." The currency will be introduced in May, and Amazon plans to give free coins to Kindle Fire users. Amazon coins are expected to vie with Facebook Credits - another form of virtual currency. (Mashable)