EGYPT'S MORSI SAYS WON'T STEP DOWN AS ARMY DEADLINE NEARS: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi declared yesterday (July 2nd) that he won't step down from power, despite massive protests and a 48-hour deadline from the military set for today to find a solution before the army imposes its own political plan. The state news agency reported that would involve suspending the constitution, dissolving the legislature and setting up an interim administration headed by the country's chief justice. In an emotional speech aired live yesterday, Morsi, who became president in Egypt's first free elections last year, said he would protect his, quote, "constitutional legitimacy" with his life, and demanded that the military withdraw its ultimatum. Protesters are upset over what they see as Morsi's attempts to impose control through his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and his failures to deal with Egypt's problems. U.S. officials said they are urging Morsi to take immediate steps to address opposition complaints, telling the protesters to remain peaceful and reminding the army that a coup could have consequences for the large U.S. military aid package it receives.
BOLIVIAN PREZ' PLANE REROUTED OVER SUSPICION SNOWDEN ON BOARD: A plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales home from a summit in Russia was rerouted to Austria Tuesday (July 2nd) after France and Portugal refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board. Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said that Snowden wasn't on the plane. Morales had suggested while in Russia that his government would be willing to consider granting asylum to Snowden, who is believed to still be holed up in a Moscow airport. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca angrily said France and Portugal would have to explain their actions, saying it had put Morales' life at risk. Snowden has applied for asylum in Venezuela, Bolivia and 18 other countries, according to anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks.
OBAMA JOINED BY BUSH AS HE ENDS AFRICAN TRIP: President Obama was joined by his predecessor, former President George W. Bush, in Tanzania Tuesday (July 2nd) as Obama wrapped up his week-long African trip. Obama and Bush obsevered a moment of silence together at a monument to victims of al-Qaida's 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in the city of Dar Es Salaam, where Bush coincidentally happened to be. The two didn't say anything publicly, but their wives, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, took part in a joint interview at a summit on African women. Initially the two presidents weren't even planning to meet while in town, but Mrs. Obama joked as she sat next to her predecessor, "They're learning from us." The Bushes were in Africa to host the summit promoting the role of African first ladies in bringing change to their countries.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DELAYS MAJOR REQUIREMENT OF HEALTH CARE LAW: In a major concession to business groups, the Obama administration yesterday (July 2nd) unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until 2105, in a central requirement of the new health care law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines. Treasury Assistant Secretary Mark Mazur said in a blog post, "We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We have listened to your feedback and we are taking action." The requirement was originally supposed to take effect next January 1st. The delay in the employer requirement doesn't affect the law's requirement that individuals carry health insurance starting next year or face fines.
DOCTOR DESCRIBES ZIMMERMAN'S INJURIES AT INSIGNIFICANT: A medical examiner testified in George Zimmerman's trial yesterday (July 2nd) that the injuries he suffered in his fatal confrontation with Trayvon Martin were insignificant, part of the prosecution's efforts Tuesday to undermine Zimmerman's story of what happened on the February 2012 night when he killed the 17-year-old. Dr. Valerie Rao said on the stand about the injuries to the back of Zimmerman's head, "They were so minor that the individual who treated and examined Mr. Zimmerman decided stitches weren't required," bolstering the prosecution's claims that Zimmerman's life wasn't in jeopardy during his fight with Martin. Also yesterday, the judge tossed out the statement from a police detective who interrogated Zimmerman that he found him credible in his description of fighting with Martin. Detective Chris Serino was actually a prosecution witness, but some of what he said had appeared to help the defense. Also quesitoned was Mark Osterman, a friend of Zimmerman who wrote a book about the case. Osterman testifed that Zimmerman told him the unarmed Martin had grabbed his gun during their struggle, but that Zimmerman was able to pull it away, an account that differs from what Zimmerman told investigators, which was only that it appeared Martin was reaching for the gun. A fingerprint examiner testified that none of Martin's prints were found on Zimmerman's gun.
PROSECUTION RESTS IN BRADLEY MANNING'S COURT MARTIAL: The government rested its case Tuesday (July 2nd) in the court martial of Private Bradley Manning, who's charged with aiding the enemy for sending classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Prosecutors presented evidence that the former intelligence analyst used military computers in Iraq to download thousands of classified battlefied documents and video from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden sought and saw some of the material WikiLeaks published. Manning could face a life sentence if convicted.
POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND CLEARED FOR SAINTHOOD: The late Pope John Paul the Second has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, according to the ANSA news agency, which reported Tuesday (July 2nd) that a Vatican commission of cardinals and bishops had signed off on his case. All that remains now is for Pope Francis to give it final approval, and a date to be set for the ceremony, which AP said could be December 8th, the Catholic feast of the Immaculate Conception. John Paul the Second was fast-tracked to sainthood after his 2005 death, beginning with his successor, Pope Benedict the 16th, waiving the usual five-year waititing period for the process to begin.
DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS SOARING AMONG MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday (July 2nd) that drug overdose deaths are soaring among middle-aged women, usually from prescrition painkillers. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said the problem is one of the few health issues they are working on that's clearly getting worse, stating, "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying at rates that we have never seen before." For decades, the overwhelming majority of U.S. overdose deaths were men killed by heroin or cocaine, but by 2010, 40 percent were women, most of them middle-aged and killed by prescription painkillers. The increase is closely tied to the big rise in the overall prescritpion of these drugs, with studies suggesting that women are more likely to have chronic pain, to be prescribed higher doses and to use pain drugs longer than men.
DENNIS RODMAN SAYS HE DESERVES NOBEL PRIZE: Dennis Rodman believes he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, the NBA Hall of Famer saying in a new Sports Illustrated interview that he should get it for his February trip to North Korea with VICE magazine and the Harlem Globetrotters. Rodman and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un got along so well that he plans to go back to North Korea to, quote, "chill," play some basketball, and ask Kim to, quote, "do him a solid" by releasing Korean-American Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for alleged hostile acts against the regime. He told Sports Illustrated, "My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries. Why it's been left to me to smooth things over, I don't know . . . But I'll tell you this: If I don't finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something's seriously wrong."
LONG JOHN SILVER OFFERING NAMED 'WORST RESTAURANT MEAL IN AMERICA': The U.S. nutrition advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest has named Long John Silver's "Big Catch" limited-time-only fish platter as the "Worst Restaurant Meal in America" on Tuesday (July 2nd). CSPI cited the eye-popping figures in the meal of fried fish, hush puppies and onion rings: 1,320 calories, 33 grams of trans fats and 3,700 milligrams of sodium. CSPI wants the chain to stop using cooking oil containing trans fats and is urging the FDA to revoke its approval of trans fat-containing partially hydrogenated cooking oils that raise the risk of heart disease. The organization says it will pursue legal action if Long John Silver's continues to use the unhealthy cooking oil.
HEAD TRANSPLANTS COULD BECOME REALITY: An Italian neurosurgeon believes doctors now have the technology to transplant human heads. Dr. Sergio Canavero, from the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, thinks that the procedure which had previously performed on monkeys could be used to replace a human head. Accoring tot he report the surgery would take 100 surgeons and three days to perform and cost roughly 11 million dollars. During the test surgery, the monkey was able to smell, open its eyes and taste food. (Business Insider)
NUBRELLA IS THE WORLD'S FIRST HANDS-FREE UMBRELLA: Nubrella, which aims to be the first hands free umbrella, is looking for help to grow its business. The product which was featured on Shark Tank is currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. Alan Kaufman, the founder of Nubrella explains, "Simply put, Nubrella solves existing problems but more importantly serves the huge unmet need of viable hands-free weather protection." (Mashable)
SEETHER GIVES FANS FIRST TASTE OF NEW MUSIC: Seether has remained quiet since coming off the road at the end of 2012, but now the band has surfaced on Twitter to share some news with fans. According to Loudwire, the trio are hard at work on their fifth studio album, posting a message on Sunday (June 30th) that said, "Working on some new music in LA. Only three tracks for now. Scheduled for release later this year."
On Tuesday (July 2nd), the band followed that up with a 15-second clip of new music, writing, "New s-t we're working on." Nothing else -- an album title, a release date, a producer -- has been confirmed yet.
CHECK IT OUT: Follow Seether at https://twitter.com/SeetherOfficial and listen to a sample of new Seether music:
PEARL JAM POSTS COUNTDOWN CLOCK AT WEBSITE: Pearl Jam has launched a countdown clock online at the band's official website that is scheduled to hit zero on July 8th at 1:00 p.m. ET. The band is scheduled to make a major announcement at that time, with most of the speculation suggesting that the group will be unveiling details about its 10th studio album. The clock is also part of a revamped look for the site itself, which is now more basic and streamlined.
CHECK IT OUT: The countdown is on http://pearljam.com/countdown
FRED ARMISEN CONFIRMS 'SNL' EXIT: Fred Armisen is leaving Saturday Night Live after 11 years. The actor wants to devote more time to his IFC sketch comedy show, Portlandia.
'FALLING SKIES' RENEWED FOR FOURTH SEASON: TNT has announced that it has renewed Falling Skies for a fourth season. The show ranked as the Number One scripted series among adults ages 18-49 and 25-54.
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY FOURTH OF JULY (ABC News):
1) Bring some earplugs. A new report from Loyola University Health System finds that the sounds of summer - such as fireworks and marching bands - can actually damage your hearing. Experts say that fireworks have a sound decibel of 150, and that ear protection is recommended for deibels above 85.
2) Swim in clear water. Whether you're planning on making a splash at the beach, pool, or even lake, a good rule of thumb is to only dip into clear, good-smelling water.
3) Practice safe eating. If you're manning the grill, designate different plates for raw and cooked meat, and don't leave food out in the sun for more than two hours (one hour if the temps are high).
4) SPF in advance. Applying your sunscreen a few days in advance - a couple times a day - means you can significantly improve your skin's protection from harmful rays.
5) Follow the heat and humidity rule. To keep from dehydrating, implement the 70/70 rule: When the temperature and humidity are both above 70, you enter the dehydration danger zone, says cradiologist Arthur Agatston, MD. Stay safe by sipping frequently from a water bottle, and drinking plenty of water before, during, and after activity.
6) Alternate your alcohol. You'll probably have a cocktail or two, and the safest way to consume them is to: (a) make sure you have plenty of food in your stomach, and (b) alternate each cocktail with a non-acoholic beverage, like water or decaf soda to help stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.
7) Protect your pet. If you're bringing Fido along, remember to apply pet sunblock every 3 to 4 hours to their least hair-covered spots, and use pet-friendly insect repellants.
4TH OF JULY DESSERT IDEAS: http://tinyurl.com/p5obgp6
STUDY FINDS MEN EXAGGERATE ABOUT HOW OFTEN THEY THINK ABOUT SEX: New research from Duke University finds that people often over-estimate how often men think about sex. To find this, researchers had 101 men and 101 women complete an online survey about their sexual health, including interest in sex, level of activity, discomfort or dysfunction and satisfaction. All participants completed daily online assessments of how much they thought about sex during that 24-hour period for a month. Researchers found that participants were able to remember their sexual function and activity with adequate levels of accuracy, but the accuracy varied based on which topic was being reported as well as the person's gender and mood. Most notably, men were found to overestimate their interest in sexual activity more than women. Researchers say this may happen because men simply forgot their sexual interest and instead filled in the gaps with gender stereotyped information. (Daily Mail)
THE FASTEST GROWING CONDIMENT IN THE U.S. IS MUSTARD: Planning on slathering mustard on a hot dog this weekend? You're not alone. Americans love mustard, and most recently it is being embraced by the foodies. Grey Poupon has brought back its beloved "Pardon me, would you have any...?" TV ads and mustard brands are offering more options to consumers such as Dusseldorf-style mustards and fruity mustards. Experts say that while ketchup is still the most often bought condiment in the U.S., raking in 743-million dollars in 2012, mustard is positioned to grow in popularity due the fact that it's healthy. Alice Price Becker, owner of New York eatery Alison 18 says, "Mustard is the new butter, the new mayo. We are finding our guests asking for mustard for their bread and their fries." National Mustard Day is on August 3rd. (Yahoo)
TOP BARBECUE TIPS AND TRICKS (Fox):
1) Balance out the rub. When it comes to rubs, you don't want any one ingredient to stand out. You want to make sure you have a well-balanced flavor profile. Memphis BBQ Company co-owner Melissa Cookston says, "It should taste, a little sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy so you are able to taste it from the tip of your tongue to the back of your throat."
2) Pick your region. Cookston says, "Depending on where you were raised [the style] is probably what you think is great barbecue, and the sauce pretty much reflects that regionality." Whichever you choose, go for one that will be the crowd pleaser.
3) Try tomato as a sauce base. All sauces are going to start with some sort of base. It can be vinegar, tomato or mayonnaise. Cookston's personal favorite is a great tomato base, followed by adding a little vinegar, brown sugar, and some heat to spice it up.
4) Match the sauce with rub. Your sauce's main seasoning agent should parallel the spices you are using in your rubs, as it will tie everything together.
5) Don't jump the gun on the sauce. Sauce should only be applied in the final 15 minutes of cooking so it is not caramelizing or burning.
6) Take it off when it's tender. Barbecuing can be a slow process, but if you want to make the effort worthwhile, you need to take the food off at the right time. "With barbecue you want to check for tenderness," Cookston says.
GAS PRICE FALL JUST AHEAD OF THE FOURTH OF JULY: AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report indicates that the current average price for gas across the U.S. is $3.48, down about seven cents from a week ago. The dip comes just before the fourth of July holiday in which 34.4-million people are expected to travel. The average however is up from this time last year, when the average was just $3.33 per gallon. Gas prices are currently the highest is Hawaii where it's $4.31 per gallon, but drivers in Alaska and Connecticut are also seeing high gas prices. (Fox)
STUDY FINDS MARIJUANA SMOKING MAKES PEOPLE LAZY: Scientists say that smoking week really does make people less motivated. To find this, British researchers scanned the brains of 38 people-- 19 regular marijuana users and 19 non-users. They found less dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain, in the brains of the regular pot-smokers, especially those who had been smoking at younger ages. Researchers say dopamine is responsible for the "get up and go" feeling we experience and may explain why some marijuana smokers seem to lack motivation to work or pursue normal interests. (Daily Mail)
HOW TO KEEP PETS CALM DURING FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS: The Humane Society notes that pets can become overwhelmed by the noises and commotion associated with parades and fireworks. As a result, your pooch may try to flee during the loud noises. KC Theisen with the Humane Society says, "Our pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and smells than we are, so Fourth of July festivities can quickly become frightening. Provide them with a safe, secure place to stay while you enjoy the holiday." Exprets suggest leaving a radio or TV on at a low volume with your pet in order to down out the jarring noises of fireworks. Additonally, experts say you can consult your vet about additional medications or techniques to help alleviate your pet's fear and anxiety. (Humane Society)
SEVEN PATRIOTIC PRODUCTS FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY: http://tinyurl.com/pmstpzt