NORTH KOREA CONDUCTS NUKE TEST, U.N. CONDEMNS: North Korea announced that it had conducted a third underground nuclear test on Tuesday (February 11th), after previous tests in 2006 and 2009, leading to condemnation by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the scheduling of an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the possibility of imposing new sanctions. Ban's spokesman said in a statement, "It is deplorable that
POPE STUNS WITH RESIGNATION ANNOUNCEMENT: Pope Benedict the 16th stunned even most in the
secret conclave to elect a new pope, and Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Benedict did not intend to influence their decision. After stepping down, Lombardi said Benedict would first go to the papal summer residence south of
The resignation will end a nearly eight-year papacy that began in April 2005, when
German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was selected to succeed Pope John Paul
the Second. He steered the Church on an even more traditionalist path than his predecessor, cheering conservatives, but leading to accusations from liberal critics that he'd turned back the clock on church reforms by decades. The priest child sex abuse scandal hovered over the entirety of his papacy, despite Benedict's repeated apologies for the Church's failures in covering up the crimes, with critics saying he did too little.
The last pope to resign was Gregory the 12th in 1415, who reluctantly stepped down
to end a church schism caused by a rival claiming the papacy. The last pontiff to resign willingly was Celestine the 5th in 1294, who was overwhelmed by the job and resigned after only five months in what was known as "the great refusal." The only other popes to resign were Marcellinus in 304 and Benedict the 9th in 1045.
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OBAMA TO DELIVER STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS TONIGHT: President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address tonight (February 12th), in which he'll focus on repairing the still recovering economy and helping the middle class, reportedly keeping up the
populist message of his re-election campaign and inaugural address last month as he'll press Congress to approve more tax increases and fewer spending cuts. On other topics, Obama will speak about efforts to reduce gun violence, largely restating the measures he's proposed since the
Ferdowsi, who became famous as "Mohawk Guy" when he was seen at mission control sporting a red-white-and-blue-streaked Mohawk with stars on the side of his head as he helped guide the Curiosity rover to a dramatic landing on Mars last August. The Iranian-American Ferdowsi will be there to highlight the president's call for more visas for skilled immigrants in the fields of math, science and engineering.
TWO CHARGED IN MURDER OF CHICAGO TEEN WHO PERFORMED AT INAUGURATION: Two
summer, according to police. Ward and Williams were taken into custody late Saturday while they were on their way to a strip club, just hours after First Lady Michelle Obama attended Pendleton's funeral.
CRIPPLED CRUISE SHIP IN
another one arrived at the ship yesterday. The original plan was for the Carnival Triumph to be tugged to
take three days for the ship and its more than 4,000 passengers and crew to make it back to land. There is limited food and operational toilet facilities on board, with the ship relaying on a back-up generator for what little power it has.
EX-ARMY STAFF SERGEANT ROMESHA AWARDED MEDAL OF HONOR: President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor on Monday (February 11th) to former Army Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha, the fourth living recipient of the nation's highest military decoration to have served in the wars in
attack on a remote outpost in the mountains of
outnumbered, Obama described how Romesha had decided to retake the outpost,
saying, "Clint gathered up his guys, and they began to fight their way back, storming one building, then another, pushing the enemy back, having to actually shoot up at the enemy in the mountains above. He and his team started charging as enemy fire poured down, and they kept charging, 50 meters, 80 meters, ultimately a hundred-meter run through a hail of bullets. And they reached their fallen friends, and they brought them home." Speaking to
of the eight soldiers who died that day were present for the ceremony, as were
Romesha's wife and three children, and he said of his fallen comrades, "They'll be there [too]. I know it."
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Romesha's young son, Colin, provided some smiles and laughter before the ceremony began:
THOUSANDS, INCLUDING PALINS, ATTEND TOP SNIPER'S MEMORIAL SERVICE: Several thousand people, including former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, were on hand Monday (February 11th) at the memorial service for 38-year-old former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who was killed on February 2nd along with a friend at a Texas gun range, allegedly by a troubled Iraq War veteran they were trying to help. The public memorial was held at Cowboys Stadium in
servicemembers spoke in glowing terms about the man who was the nation's deadliest sniper as well as a dedicated family man. After completing four tours of duty in
employment, and don't have as much time to wait if they want to get pregnant. There was an eight percent drop in teen births between 2010 and 2011, with just over three percent of 15- to 19-year-olds having babies during that time. Even without the economic troubles of the past few years, the teen birth rate has been falling since it's peak in 1991.
GIFFORDS RELEASES NEW AD URGING ACTION ON GUN VIOLENCE: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in a 2011 assassination attempt and mass shooting, appears in an ad out Monday (February 11th) from her new superPAC, Americans
for Responsible Solutions, urging action against gun violence. In the 30-second ad, Giffords, her voice halting as a result of her injuries, calls on her former colleagues to take bold and immediate action against gun violence. Speaking with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, beside her, she says, "There are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us. Take it from me: Congress must act. Let's get this done." Politico says the ad, which as part of its run will air on cable TV in
HELP NAME PLUTO'S TWO NEWLY-DISCOVERED MOONS: http://www.plutorocks.com/
MAKERS MARK TO CARRY A LITTLE SMALLER PUNCH: Maker's Mark bourbon is going to carry a little bit less of a punch than it used to, with its producer saying the amount of alcohol will be lowered from 45 percent to 42 percent, which translates to a reduction from 90
proof to 84 proof. The brand has been struggling to keep up with the demand for Maker's Mark, which has more than doubled in the past seven years, and the move is intended to stretch supply. The recipe and production process will remain the same at the
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE RELEASES NEW ALBUM TODAY: Bullet For My Valentine releases its fourth album, Temper, Temper, on Tuesday (February 12th). The Welsh quartet changed the way they approached making an album this time around, with frontman Matt Tuck and drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas traveling to
just nice being in a studio 24/7 really, you know, with no distractions from home and stuff. So that was kind of the main reason why we went there and it just worked out well, you know, because we didn't have any pressures from having to travel, having to cook your own food -- just all the stuff that is an everyday process obviously takes a lot of time out of the day to be creative. So just being there, being able to write 24/7, was a huge advantage."
NAVY SEAL: METALLICA ASKED US TO STOP USING THEIR MUSIC. The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden has opened up to Esquire magazine about the raid on the Al Qaeda leader's compound and the shots that took his life, as well as the personal aftermath for the SEAL and his family. The SEAL, who is only referred to as "the Shooter" in the article, also mentions that he used the music of Metallica on prisoners before interrogations -- until the band asked them to stop.
The Shooter explained, "When we first started the war in
said, 'Hey, please don't use our music because we don't want to promote violence.' I thought, 'Dude, you have an album called Kill 'Em All.'"
CHECK IT OUT: Read the entire story on "the Shooter" at http://tinyurl.com/bf6mg7e
CHECK IT OUT: Watch the teaser for
Device's debut album:
G4 TO CHANGE TO ESQUIRE NETWORK: NBC Universal is rebranding G4 as Esquire Network as part of a partnership with Hearst Magazines. It will air programs targeting upscale
HBO SETS 'VEEP' SEASON TWO PREMIERE DATE: Season two of HBO's Veep will premiere on April 14th. The Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy was renewed for a second season last year after only two episodes had aired.
'DANCING WITH THE STARS' SEASON 16 CAST TO BE REVEALED ON 'GOOD MORNING
'LOST' ALUM JOINS CBS DRAMA: Josh Holloway, best known for playing Sawyer on
BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN SHOWS OFF
frise; and an old English sheepdog named Swagger. They'll face off against the
winners of the sporting, working and terrier groups in best-in-show.
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VICK TAKES SALARY CUT TO STAY WITH THE EAGLES: Quarterback Michael Vick has taken a big salary cut to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles, agreeing Monday (February 11th) to a restructured three-year contract, just two seasons after signing a $100 million
extension that included $35.5 million in guaranteed money. According to reports, Vick could earn up to $10 million in the 2013-2014 season if he meets all his performance incentives, and the team will void the remaining two years on March 15th. Vick had been set to earn about $16 million next season, including a $3 million roster bonus. Since having a breakout year in 2010, Vick has battled injuries and inconsistency, and lost his starting job to rookie Nick Foles last season. However, new coach Chip Kelly will give him a chance to win
EIGHT DE-STRESSING DATES FOR VALENTINE'S DAY (Huffington Post):
1) Take a tango class. Anyone who has watched Dancing With The Stars knows this
sexy dance can be seriously romantic. But it also boasts some serious stress-busting benefits, according to a small 2012 study published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal. In the course of the study, the researchers split 97 people who reported having depression into three groups -- one completed a six-week tango program, one did a six-week meditation program and one control group was put on a waiting list. At the end of the experiment, both the meditation and the tango group reported decreased depression levels
compared to the control group, but just the tango group reported a significant
reduction in stress levels, according to the researchers. Tango not your style?
Not to worry. Any form of dancing can count as exercise -- and by now we know
moving your body is a powerful way to keep stress under control.
2) Book a couples massage. Getting a rubdown has been linked to a myriad
of health benefits, including better sleep, a boost in immunity, a reduction in
pain and, you guessed it, stress relief. In fact, a small 2012 study published
in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that regular
Swedish massage appointments are linked with a reduction in the stress hormone
3) Go rock climbing. Or rent a tandem bike. Or sign up for a yoga class.
The activity itself doesn't matter -- the idea is to book an active date with
your Valentine. Exercise is a serious antidote to stress: As the Mayo Clinic
reports, it increases production of feel-good endorphins, helps you to forget
about the day's stressors and boosts your mood. And a study published last year
found that the stress-reliving benefits of exercise linger even after the
workout is over.
4) Volunteer. Giving back to others could also be good for you. In fact,
several studies have linked volunteering with decreased levels of depression,
particularly among those over 65, according to the Corporation for National and
Community Service. What's more, iVillage reports, helping someone you don't
know can trigger the body to release oxytocin, often dubbed the "love
hormone," which can help to protect the body from stress. "You are
limiting exposure to stress hormones like cortisol," Stephanie Brown, Ph.D.,
associate professor of preventive medicine at
5) Watch a comedy. Those obligatory V-Day rom coms could actually help
you de-stress. The Mayo Clinic reports: "Laughter can also stimulate
circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the
physical symptoms of stress." On top of that, cracking up could also help
to reduce the effects of stress on the heart.
6) Eat at home. We put so much pressure on ourselves to make Valentine's
Day perfect, especially when it comes to planning dinner. Finding the
"perfect" place, fighting the crowds and ponying up for a
larger-than-usual check can add up to more stress than it's worth. This year,
we give you permission to stay home -- order takeout or cook a special meal for
7) Buy concert tickets. Ever notice how good you feel after enjoying
live music? Listening to your favorite tunes can distract your mind from life's
stressors and cut back on the body's production of stress hormones, according
to the Mayo Clinic. And several studies have pointed to the anxiety-reducing
benefits of music.
8) Get close. If all else fails, cozy up to your Valentine -- cuddling,
kissing and sex can all trigger a release of the hormone oxytocin, which can
help to ease stress. We have a hunch you can make those a part of any
Valentine's Day date.
FIVE VALENTINE'S DAY RECIPES FOR LAZY PEOPLE: http://tinyurl.com/assr8k2
1) Make a slideshow with Lovestagram. Kaitlyn Trigger, girlfriend of Instagram
co-founder Mike Krieger, launched Lovestagram in 2012 as a sort of interactive
Valentine's Day card maker. The app takes all of the Instagram photos you and
your loved one share (via mutual username tags, the same locations within an
hour and exchanged comments) and puts them together in a slideshow, complete
with love-themed frames.
2) Generate a love poem. Love poems aren't easy. Even if you're a
regular Pablo Neruda, they almost always sound too sappy, or otherwise don't
make sense at all (please refrain from using "thou" and
"shall;" you're not a 17th century bard). If your special someone
enjoys a good verse or two, but you don't know where to start, there are online
poem generators that you can personalize with specific names and even hint at
3) Revamp "dinner and a movie." Modernize the classic date night
by searching through the most romantic recipes online. Websites like
AllRecipes.com and TasteofHome.com have specific Valentine's Day selections
sure to make your mouth water and your loved one's heart flutter. As for the
movie aspect, you can customize your Netflix Instant Queue to reflect the mood
of the evening. No lines, no fighting to get the perfect seats -- a feel-good
rom-com is only a click away.
4) Bring the mixtape into the 21st century. Admit it -- you still find
the concept of mixtapes romantic, and for good reason. The thoughtfulness
behind curating a special playlist is evident, which is why you shouldn't
automatically count it out. With Spotify, you can find virtually any song,
including the one that played when you met, the one you danced to on your first
date, and even the one you played when serenading her below her window when she
broke up with you that one time (maybe leave that one out). You can even make a
Pandora playlist based on your special someone's favorite music, and play it in
the background during dinner. You romantic, you.
5) DIY crafts through Pinterest and YouTube. Homemade gifts are the
ultimate way to communicate your love -- because you slaved over a hot glue gun
and sparkly felt for six hours. In all seriousness, making something yourself
really does show you care. But what should you make?
6) Create a custom animated video. This one's sort of goofy, but it can
work for the right person. Free sites like Go!Animate help you put together
animated videos with characters, scripts, dialogue and more. Recreate your
first date, or send a video to your loved one while he or she is at work, and
have the characters hint at what you have planned that night.
7) Name a star. Naming a star after someone is cliché (and
scientifically unfounded), but it can be a sweet gift for the sentimental type
-- or, you know, a space nerd. While you can't officially name a star after
your significant other, sites like Name a Star and International Star Registry
go to the trouble of making it look official, with a fancy certificate and
specific telescope coordinates. This will show your loved one that the sky
isn't the limit for your love, or something equally mawkish.
DOGS MIGHT UNDERSTAND THE HUMAN POINT OF VIEW: Spot might know more than you think he does, according to new research. The study, published in the journal Animal Cognition, consisted of 42 male and 42 female dogs being tested. Each dog was placed in a
room where a human told them they were not allowed to take food. Then the lights were turned off. Researchers found the dogs took more food more quickly when the lights were off than when they were on. Head researcher, Dr. Juliane Kaminski, says, "The results of our tests suggest dogs are deciding it's safer to steal the food when the room is dark because they understand something of the human's perspective." (Daily Mail)
BRAIN SCANS REVEAL IF COUPLES WILL STAY TOGETHER? Researchers say a brain scan could show if new couples will stay together for the long term. To find this, scientists recruited volunteers who believed they were passionately in love, and showed them photographs of their partner. The volunteers were then asked to think of memories of their
partner while their brains were scanned. Researchers found that volunteers whose brains showed more activity in the area that reacts emotionally to visual beauty were more likely to be with their partner for at least three years. Scientists say of the 12 participants studied, half of them remained with their partner at the end of a three-year period after the study. One researcher says, "The brain regions involved suggest that reward functions may be
predictive for relationship stability." (Daily Mail)
THE FOUR RULES OF BUYING HER LINGERIE (Men's Health):
1) Nix the nurse's outfit. The stars of Lifetime Television's Double Divas,
Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Richards, owners of LiviRae Lingerie in Atlanta, Georgia, agree that the number one mistake men make is only thinking about what they want to see their woman wear. Aside from the probability she'll take it back and you'll never see it on her, Hopkins warns you may leave her wondering just who you were picturing when you bought it.
2) Don't freak her out. If she doesn't have a drawer full of lingerie
and this is uncharted territory, skip the garters and thigh highs and start
with something a little simpler. "Buy a chemise or a flirty, fun babydoll
that's not over the top and not too sheer," advises
difference with a babydoll is that the garment is fitted around her chest and
then flares out, instead of falling straight down. She can sleep in both
pieces, so they're not just meant for the occasional use,
3) Stay away from certain colors. Go for rich colors, and maybe
something with black lace, advises
pinks," Richards adds, noting that those colors may reveal more than she's
comfortable showing. If she's a little shy, or lingerie isn't something she
wears often, you might also want to stay away from anything see-through. If
she's more comfortable in lingerie, darker-colored sheer material will be more
flattering than pale.
4) Look in her drawer first. If you have access to her lingerie drawer, simply take a peek at some tags to determine her size. Better yet, dig your favorite item out of her drawer and take it with you to the store,