Articles Posted by Theoria

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  • Affordable Care Act’s Tax Effects Now Loom for Filers

    12/26/2014 8:39:15 AM PST · by Theoria · 35 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 25 Dec 2014 | Tara Siegel Bernard
    If you decided to skip health insurance this year, consider this: Unless you can prove you have a valid excuse, you will be liable for a penalty during the coming tax season — and the time to start making your case is now. That’s not all. People who bought subsidized insurance through one of the marketplaces may have new tax forms to complete, while paying the penalty itself may demand some serious number-crunching. The Internal Revenue Service is gearing up to answer questions, but it warns that only half of the callers may get through — and those who succeed...
  • The Limits of Police Subterfuge

    12/19/2014 10:18:09 AM PST · by Theoria · 3 replies
    Schneier on Security ^ | 17 Dec 2014 | Bruce Schneier
    "The next time you call for assistance because the Internet service in your home is not working, the 'technician' who comes to your door may actually be an undercover government agent. He will have secretly disconnected the service, knowing that you will naturally call for help and -- ­when he shows up at your door, impersonating a technician­ -- let him in. He will walk through each room of your house, claiming to diagnose the problem. Actually, he will be videotaping everything (and everyone) inside. He will have no reason to suspect you have broken the law, much less probable...
  • Landlord's Deathbed Confession Sends Siblings on Hunt for Hidden Silver

    12/17/2014 9:38:04 PM PST · by Theoria · 43 replies
    DNAinfo ^ | 10 Dec 2014 | James Fanelli
    Shortly before his death in 2007, Manhattan landlord and lawyer Edward Giaimo Jr. revealed to his two siblings a secret — he had hidden a stash of silver and gold worth millions. While being treated for cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital, Giaimo allegedly told his brother and sister that he had stowed away a large amount of precious metals and they would need a truck to move it. The lifelong bachelor added that the metals, believed to be silver bullion and South African gold coins known as Krugerrands, were safe, but they needed to be removed from their hiding spot...
  • Idaho A Medical Destination For Canadian Boomers

    12/15/2014 3:12:05 PM PST · by Theoria · 8 replies
    NW News Network ^ | 28 Nov 2014 | Jessica Robinson
    A hospital in North Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists -- medical tourists, that is. Most of the patients who come into Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho, are from the local area -- plus a few from Washington and Montana.But hospital CEO Rick Rasmussen is thinking big -- Canada big. A little Canadian flag was recently added in the upper right of the hospital’s website.Medical tourism boomThe link goes to a list of procedures with some of the longest wait times north of the border. Total knee, total hip, total shoulder, ACL repair -- all with the...
  • G.O.P. Angst Over 2016 Led to Provision on Funding

    12/13/2014 10:55:37 AM PST · by Theoria · 13 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 13 Dec 2014 | NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
    The secret negotiations that led to one of the most significant expansions of campaign contributions in recent years began with what Republican leaders regarded as an urgent problem: How would they pay for their presidential nominating convention in Cleveland in two years? The talks ended with a bipartisan agreement between Senate Democrats, led by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and House Republicans, led by Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, that would allow wealthy donors to begin giving more than $1 million every election cycle to each party’s national committees. The agreement drew intense criticism from both liberal...
  • In a Texas Court, a Fight for Lee Harvey Oswald’s Coffin

    12/12/2014 3:38:32 PM PST · by Theoria · 41 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 11 Dec 2014 | David Montgomery
    Hours after his younger brother Lee Harvey Oswald, the presidential assassin, was gunned down in the basement of the Dallas police station, Robert Oswald wrote a $710 cashier’s check to a Fort Worth funeral home as he made arrangements for his brother’s burial. The purchase included a No. 31 Pine Bluff coffin and vault, a dark suit and flowers. More than five decades later, the simple pine coffin — now badly deteriorating — is at the heart of an unlikely epilogue to the drama that gripped the nation on Nov. 22, 1963. Three days after he assassinated President Kennedy from...
  • Should Homeowners With Solar Panels Pay To Maintain Electrical Grid?

    12/11/2014 5:39:22 PM PST · by Theoria · 85 replies
    NPR ^ | 11 Dec 2014 | Peter Overby
    The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners' rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics. The way rooftop solar typically works, the homeowner leases rooftop panels from a company that owns and installs them. It can be an expensive proposition, but the homeowner saves some money by drawing less power from the utility company's electric plants, and...
  • GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

    12/08/2014 5:13:11 PM PST · by Theoria · 64 replies
    NPR ^ | 08 Dec 2014 | David Schaper
    Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring. So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is trying to sell that state's legislators — especially those in his own Republican party — on raising the state's motor fuel tax to fund long neglected...
  • G.O.P. Donors Seek to Narrow Field of Presidential Candidates to One

    12/08/2014 10:54:30 AM PST · by Theoria · 52 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 08 Dec 2014 | NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
    Dozens of the Republican Party’s leading presidential donors and fund-raisers have begun privately discussing how to clear the field for a single establishment candidate to carry the party’s banner in 2016, fearing that a prolonged primary would bolster Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate. The conversations, described in interviews with a variety of the Republican Party’s most sought-after donors, are centered on the three potential candidates who have the largest existing base of major contributors and overlapping ties to the top tier of those who are uncommitted: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida...
  • Why I’m Giving Up My Passport[US Citizenship]

    12/07/2014 7:58:17 PM PST · by Theoria · 32 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 07 Dec 2014 | JONATHAN TEPPER
    LONDON — The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who was born in New York and holds both American and British passports, recently said that he would not pay a tax bill from the United States on capital gains from the sale of his home in the London borough of Islington. Mr. Johnson pointed out that he hasn’t lived in America since he was 5. He’d like to renounce his citizenship, but said the process was “very difficult.”It is, but I am doing it. My “in-person final loss of citizenship appointment” is scheduled for Jan. 14 at the United States Consulate...
  • Exhausted By a House That Saves Energy

    12/04/2014 7:40:18 AM PST · by Theoria · 25 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 03 Dec 2014 | Sandy Keenan
    Was It Too Soon to Be Sustainable? Warren, Vt. — Dotty Kyle and Eric Brattstrom had an ambitious vision for the home they would build when they sold their bed-and-breakfast here seven years ago and retired. They were environmental and community advocates, so they wanted it to be as sustainable as possible — ideally net-zero, producing as much energy as it used. And because they would be living on a modest fixed income, they needed to make sure it was inexpensive to maintain. But they didn’t want to scrimp on luxury or size, so against their architect’s advice they insisted...
  • Putin, in Defeat, Diverts Pipeline

    12/01/2014 7:35:35 PM PST · by Theoria · 76 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 01 Dec 2014 | ANDREW ROTH
    President Vladimir V. Putin said Monday that he would scrap Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline, a grandiose project that was once intended to establish the country’s dominance in southeastern Europe but instead fell victim to Russia’s increasingly toxic relationship with the West. It was a rare diplomatic defeat for Mr. Putin, who said Russia would redirect the pipeline to Turkey. He painted the failure to build the pipeline as a loss for Europe and blamed Brussels for its intransigence. The decision also seemed to be a rare victory for the European Union and the Obama administration, which have appeared largely...
  • Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests

    12/01/2014 6:08:30 AM PST · by Theoria · 18 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 30 Nov 2014 | ANDREW HIGGINS
    PUNGESTI, Romania — Vlasa Mircia, the mayor of this destitute village in eastern Romania, thought he had struck it rich when the American energy giant Chevron showed up here last year and leased a plot of land he owned for exploratory shale gas drilling. But the encounter between big business and rural Romania quickly turned into a nightmare. The village became a magnet for activists from across the country opposed to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Violent clashes broke out between the police and protesters. The mayor, one of the few locals who sided openly with Chevron, was run out of...
  • Do Online Death Threats Count as Free Speech?

    11/27/2014 6:29:41 PM PST · by Theoria · 19 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 25 Nov 2014 | EMILY BAZELON
    Exhibit 12 in the government’s case against Anthony Elonis is a screenshot of a Facebook post he wrote in October 2010, five months after his wife, Tara, left him. His name appears in the site’s familiar blue, followed by words that made Tara fear for her life: ‘'If I only knew then what I know now . . . I would have smothered your ass with a pillow. Dumped your body in the back seat. Dropped you off in Toad Creek and made it look like a rape and murder.'’Exhibit 13, also pulled from Facebook, is a thread that started...
  • Strange but true: Seals found sexually assaulting penguins

    11/25/2014 4:37:29 PM PST · by Theoria · 90 replies
    CBS ^ | 25 Nov 2014 | Amanda Schupak
    The first time marine biologist William Haddad and his team saw a seal rape a penguin, they were shocked.By the fourth time, they were convinced this bizarre behavior was becoming a trend.For 50 years, researchers from the marine mammal program at the University of Pretoria in South Africa have been taking weekly censuses of the elephant seal population on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, more than a thousand miles south of Cape Town in the Indian Ocean. In 2006, they saw something they'd never seen before. A fur seal (not the species they were studying) mounted and appeared to mate with a...
  • Is Harvard Unfair to Asian-Americans?

    11/25/2014 4:40:42 AM PST · by Theoria · 11 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 24 Nov 2014 | YASCHA MOUNK
    Nearly a century ago, Harvard had a big problem: Too many Jews. By 1922, Jews accounted for 21.5 percent of freshmen, up from 7 percent in 1900 and vastly more than at Yale or Princeton. In the Ivy League, only Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania had a greater proportion of Jews. Harvard’s president, A. Lawrence Lowell, warned that the “Jewish invasion” would “ruin the college.” He wanted a cap: 15 percent. When faculty members balked, he stacked the admissions process to achieve the same result. Bolstered by the nativism of the time, which led to sharp immigration restrictions, Harvard’s...
  • The CIA Wants To Delete Old Email; Critics Say 'Not So Fast'

    11/20/2014 2:55:11 PM PST · by Theoria · 6 replies
    NPR ^ | 20 Nov 2014 | David Welna
    It's a question we've all wrestled with: which emails should be saved and which ones should be deleted?The Central Intelligence Agency thinks it's found the answer, at least as far as its thousands of employees and contractors are concerned. Sooner or later, the spy agency would destroy every email except those in the accounts of its top 22 officials.It's now up to the National Archives — the ultimate repository of all the records preserved by federal agencies — to sign off on the CIA's proposal.The CIA's move to revamp its email retention policy might have gone ahead with little fanfare...
  • Tanzania accused of backtracking over sale of Masai’s ancestral land [Dubai royal hunting reserve]

    11/19/2014 5:57:50 AM PST · by Theoria · 5 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 16 Nov 2014 | The Guardian
    Masai told to leave historic homeland by end of the year so it can become a hunting reserve for the Dubai royal family Tanzania has been accused of reneging on its promise to 40,000 Masai pastoralists by going ahead with plans to evict them and turn their ancestral land into a reserve for the royal family of Dubai to hunt big game.Activists celebrated last year when the government said it had backed down over a proposed 1,500 sq km “wildlife corridor” bordering the Serengeti national park that would serve a commercial hunting and safari company based in the United Arab...
  • Conflicts in New York City Parks as Homeless Population Rises

    11/14/2014 11:41:11 AM PST · by Theoria · 31 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 14 Nov 2014 | LISA W. FODERARO
    In Harlem River Park in Manhattan, homeless men can be seen sleeping on benches around the basketball courts and sprawled out on a soccer field by day, then hunkering under an overpass at night. In Brooklyn, dog owners in Fort Greene Park have had ugly confrontations with homeless people after their dogs woke them up in the early morning when they are allowed off-leash. And in the Bronx, there are so many homeless people in one small park, Devanney Triangle, that the community board and parks department are discussing the removal of all benches. After a decade in which the...
  • Rand Paul's Kentucky Problem

    11/11/2014 8:39:35 AM PST · by Theoria · 16 replies
    NPR ^ | 11 Nov 2014 | S.V. Date
    Everyone knows Sen. Mitch McConnell had a great election night in Kentucky last week. As for the state's other Republican senator, Rand Paul, that's a different matter.That's because while McConnell was cruising to a big re-election win on his way to becoming Senate majority leader, things did not go so well for Paul. He was hoping Republicans, who already control the Kentucky Senate, would also take over the state House — a result that would grease the path for a state law allowing him to run for both re-election and the presidency at the same time.But that failed to happen....
  • The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS

    11/10/2014 4:11:45 PM PST · by Theoria · 18 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 10 Nov 2014 | JODY ROSEN
    The examination to become a London cabbie is possibly the most difficult test in the world — demanding years of study to memorize the labyrinthine city’s 25,000 streets and any business or landmark on them. As GPS and Uber imperil this tradition, is there an argument for learning as an end in itself? At 10 past 6 on a January morning a couple of winters ago, a 35-year-old man named Matt McCabe stepped out of his house in the town of Kenley, England, got on his Piaggio X8 motor scooter, and started driving north. McCabe’s destination was Stour Road, a...
  • Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize

    11/10/2014 10:24:22 AM PST · by Theoria · 54 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 09 Nov 2014 | SHAILA DEWAN
    The seminars offered police officers some useful tips on seizing property from suspected criminals. Don’t bother with jewelry (too hard to dispose of) and computers (“everybody’s got one already”), the experts counseled. Do go after flat screen TVs, cash and cars. Especially nice cars. In one seminar, captured on video in September, Harry S. Connelly Jr., the city attorney of Las Cruces, N.M., called them “little goodies.” And then Mr. Connelly described how officers in his jurisdiction could not wait to seize one man’s “exotic vehicle” outside a local bar. “A guy drives up in a 2008 Mercedes, brand new,”...
  • More Than 600 Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq, Pentagon Acknowledges

    11/06/2014 4:27:58 PM PST · by Theoria · 8 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 06 Nov 2014 | C. J. CHIVERS
    More than 600 American service members since 2003 have reported to military medical staff members that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq, but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the reported cases or offer adequate tracking and treatment to those who may have been injured, defense officials say. The Pentagon’s disclosure abruptly changed the scale and potential costs of the United States’ encounters with abandoned chemical weapons during the occupation of Iraq, episodes the military had for more than a decade kept from view. This previously untold chapter of the occupation became public...
  • New England Electricity Prices Spike As Gas Pipelines Lag

    11/05/2014 8:47:13 AM PST · by Theoria · 32 replies
    NPR ^ | 05 Nov 2014 | Sam Evans-Brown
    When Don Sage of Concord, N.H., learned his electric bill could rise by as much as $40 a month he got flustered. He and his wife make do on a bit less than $30,000 a year in Social Security payments, and they pay close attention to their electric bills. "When the invoice comes in the mail to get paid, I have a target amount that we can fluctuate up or down, based on our fixed budget," Sage says. "They don't need my permission to hike up their rates, but the fact is we're the ones that are paying these increases."...
  • In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

    10/30/2014 9:09:40 AM PDT · by Theoria · 21 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 26 Oct 2014 | Eric Lichtblau
    In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show. At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed...
  • Defense says FBI posed as repairmen to get into Las Vegas hotel villa

    10/29/2014 10:40:11 AM PDT · by Theoria · 13 replies
    AP ^ | 29 Oct 2014 | Alicia A. Caldwell
    Federal agents turned off Internet access to three luxury villas at Caesars Palace then impersonated repair technicians to surreptitiously get inside and collect evidence in an investigation of online sports betting, according to defense lawyers challenging the practice. The FBI employed the ruse against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney, Kimberly Frayn, according to lawyers for four of eight men charged in the case. They filed a motion late Tuesday in federal court in Las Vegas to dismiss evidence in the case. According to a conversation recorded by an investigator for the hotel, the prosecutor told FBI agents "it...
  • Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights?

    10/26/2014 2:34:21 PM PDT · by Theoria · 44 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 25 Oct 2014 | Charles C. W. Cooke
    Conventional wisdom holds that firearms are the preserve of conservative white men. You would never know this at my local shooting range, which happens to be in a majority African-American area, and has a clientele that reflects that fact. There, as a white man, I’m often in the minority; just one more guy who likes to fire weapons — another person to chat to and share stories with. It is, I’d venture, how things should be. By rights, the Second Amendment should serve as a totem of African-Americans’ full citizenship and enfranchisement. For centuries, firearms have been indispensable to black...
  • Robert Downey Jr. reportedly playing Iron Man in 'Captain America 3

    10/18/2014 3:33:46 PM PDT · by Theoria · 29 replies
    The Verge ^ | 14 Oct 2014 | Jacob Kastrenakes
    Film will introduce 'Civil War' plot line It looks like Robert Downey Jr. will be putting the Iron Man suit back on again for some big roles in the Marvel universe. According to Variety, Downey is close to signing on to play Iron Man in Captain America 3, taking up a significant role in the film that will help it introduce a new phase of Marvel movies.The film will reportedly find Iron Man and Captain America feuding over a law called the Superhero Registration Act, which requires heroes to register with the US government to do its bidding. Iron Man is...
  • Did Marco Polo "Discover" America?

    09/27/2014 8:41:05 PM PDT · by Theoria · 29 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | Oct 2014 | Ariel Sabar
    For a guy who claimed to spend 17 years in China as a confidant of Kublai Khan, Marco Polo left a surprisingly skimpy paper trail. No Asian sources mention the footloose Italian. The only record of his 13th-century odyssey through the Far East is the hot air of his own Travels, which was actually an “as told to” penned by a writer of romances. But a set of 14 parchments, now collected and exhaustively studied for the first time, give us a raft of new stories about Polo’s journeys and something notably missing from his own account: maps. If genuine,...
  • The American Middle Class Hasn’t Gotten A Raise In 15 Years

    09/22/2014 8:29:16 PM PDT · by Theoria · 30 replies
    Five Thirty Eight ^ | 22 Sept 2014 | Ben Casselman
    In 1988, the typical American adult was 40 years old, white and married, with a high school diploma. If he was a man, he probably worked full time. If she was a woman, she probably didn’t.Twenty-five years later, Americans are older, more diverse and more educated. We are less likely to be married and more likely to live alone. Work is divided more evenly between the sexes. One thing that hasn’t changed? The income of the median U.S. household is still just under $52,000.The government’s release last week of income and poverty data for 2013 brought renewed attention to the...
  • Jameis Winston Case Said to Be Subject of Florida State Inquiry

    09/04/2014 8:00:48 PM PDT · by Theoria · 10 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 04 Sept 2014 | WALT BOGDANICH
    Nearly 21 months after a female student accused Jameis Winston, Florida State’s marquee quarterback, of sexually assaulting her in his apartment, the university has begun a disciplinary inquiry into the case, the woman’s lawyer said Thursday. Florida State officials interviewed the woman last month, spending a little more than an hour asking questions, said the lawyer, John Clune. “We thought it went very well,” he said. “The school seemed to take it very seriously.” Other people connected to the case were also interviewed, he added, but he declined to identify them. Clune’s client withdrew from Florida State late last year...
  • For Men's Rights Groups, Feminism Has Come At The Expense Of Men

    09/03/2014 9:52:40 AM PDT · by Theoria · 34 replies
    NPR ^ | 02 Sept 2014 | Joel Rose
    This summer, a few hundred men and a handful of women gathered in a VFW hall near Detroit to attend what organizers billed as the first International Conference on Men's Issues. The crowd wasn't huge, but it was enthusiastic. The event was a real-world gathering organized by the website A Voice for Men, part of an informal collection of websites, chat rooms and blogs focused on what's known as the men's rights movement. Speaker after speaker insisted that history would remember this moment. "It's happening here. It's happening now. It's happening with us," Warren Farrell, one of the keynote speakers,...
  • Mysteries set in stone

    09/02/2014 10:25:42 AM PDT · by Theoria · 18 replies
    Capital Journal ^ | 22 Aug 2014 | David Rookhuyzen
    They are mystery stories, written large as life in mineral ink on the pages of the northern plains. A 360-foot snake – reportedly once with a blazing red tongue – slithering along a grassy slope. A long-tailed turtle lying next to woman near an earthen mound. A large grid spread across the spur of a hill. All created from lines of small boulders. Hundreds of these stone effigies or alignments, ranging from animal forms to mosaics can be found across the seven Midwestern states and parts of Canada, including more than a hundred such figures in South Dakota. The mystery...
  • The Assembly of a New World Order

    08/29/2014 10:34:50 AM PDT · by Theoria · 16 replies
    WSJ ^ | 29 Aug 2014 | Henry Kissinger
    The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan's young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis. The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the...
  • Senate Democrats are outperforming expectations

    08/28/2014 9:15:35 PM PDT · by Theoria · 33 replies
    Princeton Election Consortium ^ | 28 Aug 2014 | Sam Wang
    [Note: this  is a work in progress. I'm basically seeking comment as I develop a November predictive model. Please give your feedback... -Sam]I’ve been asked why the PEC Senate poll snapshot is more favorable to Democrats than forecasts you’ll find elsewhere: NYT’s The Upshot, Washington Post’s The Monkey Cage, ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, and Daily Kos. All of these organizations show a higher probability of a Republican takeover than today’s PEC snapshot, which favors the Democrats with a 70% probability.Today I will show that in most cases, added assumptions (i.e. special sauce) have led the media organizations to different win probabilities –...
  • ACLU, U.S. Settle Lawsuit On Deportation Of Immigrants

    08/27/2014 5:05:29 PM PDT · by Theoria · 4 replies
    NPR ^ | 27 Aug 2014 | Krishnadev Calamur
    Marta Mendoza, a 47-year-old Mexican woman, had lived in the Los Angeles area illegally for 32 years. There, she raised six children, all U.S. citizens.In July 2013, Mendoza, who has a history of mental health issues, was arrested for shoplifting at a pharmacy near her home. The American Civil Liberties Union says that while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she was pressured to sign "voluntary return" papers, which led her to be returned to her home country five days later."We didn't know where she was at," her daughter Patricia told NPR's John Burnett. "We had to go...
  • Fantasy football: Legal questions arise as gambling games grow

    08/27/2014 2:20:20 PM PDT · by Theoria · 2 replies
    AP ^ | 27 Aug 2014 | EDDIE PELLS
    Some of the newest incarnations of fantasy football look a lot more like gambling than intricate, outsmart-your-opponent strategy games. Since 2011, the billion-dollar fantasy market has been infused with dozens of daily and weekly games. Those games allow players to win huge prizes quickly, sometimes in one week, sometimes in just one night. With players betting thousands or even tens of thousands a night, legal experts believe it's time to review the section of the 2006 federal law that was written specifically to protect fantasy sports from being banned the way online poker was. "There's importance in clarifying the law,"...
  • US sailors prepare for fresh legal challenge over Fukushima radiation

    08/25/2014 4:28:33 PM PDT · by Theoria · 7 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 20 Aug 2014 | Suzanne Goldenberg
    $1bn lawsuit accuses Tepco of failing to avoid the accident and of lying about radiation levels that have caused health problems to themselves and their families stationed in Japan The first time it occurred to James Jackson that there could be lasting damage from his US Navy service during Japan’s tsunami and nuclear disaster came when his eldest son, Darius, was diagnosed with leukaemia.Darius, now 15, spent a month in hospital in early 2013, soon after his diagnosis. “I thought I was going to have to bury him,” Jackson recalled. The teenager who aspired to play college basketball now has...
  • The Islamic State and the land of lost gods

    08/25/2014 12:02:34 PM PDT · by Theoria · 10 replies
    The Spectator ^ | 23 Aug 2014 | Tom Holland
    From the dawn of civilisation, the Fertile Crescent has been a cradle to strange and fascinating sects. Not any more As the fighters of the Islamic State drive from village to captured village in their looted humvees, they criss-cross what in ancient times was a veritable womb of gods. For millennia, the Fertile Crescent teemed with a bewildering variety of cults and religions. Back in the 3rd Christian century, a philosopher by the name of Bardaisan was so overwhelmed by the sheer array of beliefs to be found in Mesopotamia that he invoked it to disprove the doctrines of astrology....
  • Montana to appeal judge’s immigrant law ruling

    08/24/2014 1:37:38 PM PDT · by Theoria · 14 replies
    AP ^ | 22 Aug 2014 | Matt Volz
    <p>Montana's attorney general plans to appeal a judge's ruling that a voter-approved law requiring immigration checks of anybody applying for state services goes against federal immigration laws.</p> <p>The 2011 Republican-led Legislature wrote the proposal meant to deny government jobs and assistance to people who are in the U.S. illegally. Legislators sent the plan to the 2012 ballot, where the referendum passed with nearly 80 percent of the vote.</p>
  • Sea Lions And Seals Likely Spread Tuberculosis To Ancient Peruvians

    08/21/2014 1:43:29 PM PDT · by Theoria · 15 replies
    NPR ^ | 21 Aug 2014 | Michaeleen Doucleff
    When Europeans came to the Americas, they brought some nasty diseases — smallpox, cholera and typhus, to name a few.But one pathogen was already there. And it likely traveled to the shores of South America in a surprising vessel.By analyzing DNA from 1,000-year-old mummies, scientists have found evidence that sea lions and seals were the first to bring tuberculosis to the New World. The sea animals likely infected people living along the coast of Peru and northern Chile, a team from the University of Tubingen in Germany reported Wednesday in the journal Nature."We weren't expecting to find a connection to...
  • Wreck Of World War II-Era U.S. Ship Dubbed 'Galloping Ghost' Is Found

    08/19/2014 3:21:06 PM PDT · by Theoria · 16 replies
    NPR ^ | 19 Aug 2014 | Krishnadev Calamur
    The USS Houston sank during World War II after being hit by the Japanese, killing 700 sailors and Marines. Now, more than 70 years later, U.S. and Indonesian divers have confirmed that a sunken vessel in the Java Sea was the wreck of the ship dubbed "The Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast."The Houston was carrying 1,068 crewmen when it was hit on Feb. 28, 1942, during the Battle of Sunda Strait. Only 291 sailors and Marines survived the sinking and their later use as slave labor by the Japanese. The vessel's commanding officer, Capt. Albert H. Rooks, was posthumously...
  • Proposed Pipeline Would Cut Across Iowa

    08/13/2014 2:16:13 PM PDT · by Theoria · 22 replies
    Iowa Public Radio ^ | 13 Aug 2014 | Clay Masters
    Business is booming in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oilfields. With that boom comes a need for infrastructure. More than half of the oil out of the Bakken leaves by train or truck. But companies are working on pipelines. One proposed pipeline would cut clear through the state of Iowa. A Texas company wants to build an 1,100 mile crude oil pipeline, from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast. In two years, the pipeline could be carrying up to 320,000 barrels a day, from the Bakken Shale Oil Fields, to Patoka Illinois, and from there, the oil would...
  • World's oldest eel dies in Swedish well[155]

    08/13/2014 11:28:58 AM PDT · by Theoria · 48 replies
    The Local ^ | 08 Aug 2014 | The Local
    The world's oldest European eel just died in its home, a well in a southern Swedish fishing town, aged 155. Some people have ghosts in their attics. Tomas Kjellman, resident in the little fishing town of Brantevik in Skĺne, has always had an eel in his well. "My family bought the cottage in 1962, and we always knew the housepet was included," Kjellman told The Local. Its presence has been well-documented for more than a century. But no more. "Of course it's sad. I have memories of the eel from when I was a child," Kjellman said. The eel featured in...
  • 9 incredible lessons in parenting from around the world

    08/12/2014 2:10:49 PM PDT · by Theoria · 23 replies
    Global Post ^ | 11 Aug 2014 | Emily Lodish
    Every culture has kids. Some just raise them better than others. If there's one thing Tiger Moms have in common with those bringing up Bébé, it's that they both show us just how varied parenting styles can be.Argentinian parents let their kids stay up until all hours, Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the subway by themselves and Danish parents leave their kids sleeping in a stroller on the curb while they go inside to shop or eat.Some global parenting styles might make American parents cringe, but others sure could use a close study. Vietnamese mothers, for instance, get their kids out...
  • Farmer may hold UFO clue to 36-year Valentich plane mystery

    08/12/2014 10:00:55 AM PDT · by Theoria · 33 replies
    Herald Sun ^ | 09 Aug 2014 | Aaron Langmaid
    This photograph was taken off Cape Otway 20 minutes before pilot Frederick Valentich went missing. Picture: Supplied INVESTIGATORS have shed new light on one of ­Australia’s greatest aviation mysteries. Almost 36 years to the month that Victorian pilot Fred Valentich vanished without a trace, an independent researcher says there is evidence suggesting the 20-year-old’s Cessna was spotted in the sky over South Australia — attached to a UFO.The Victorian UFO ­Action group wants help to identify a farmer near Adelaide who reportedly ­witnessed the 30m craft hovering over his property the morning after Mr Valentich went missing.It is claimed...
  • The secret life of food stamps might get less secret

    08/11/2014 1:48:14 PM PDT · by Theoria · 47 replies
    MarketPlace.org ^ | 05 Aug 2014 | Krissy Clark
    Should the public know how much money Wal-Mart, or that convenience store down the street, takes in through the federal food stamp program? Or does that amount to a retail trade secret? Those are the questions at the heart of a request for public comment announced Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the food stamp program. Here’s the background: Last year we spent $76 billion tax payer dollars on the food stamp program (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP). That money goes to about 47 million low-income Americans, who use it to buy...
  • The GMO Fight Ripples Down the Food Chain

    08/08/2014 10:05:59 AM PDT · by Theoria · 11 replies
    WSJ ^ | 07 Aug 2014 | Annie Gasparro
    Facing Consumer Pressure, More Firms Are Jettisoning GMOs From Their Foods Two years ago, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. initiated a plan to eliminate genetically modified ingredients from its ice cream, an effort to address a nascent consumer backlash and to fulfill its own environmental goals.This fall, nearly a year behind schedule, it expects to finish phase one, affecting its flavorful "chunks and swirls" like cookie dough and caramel. The only part left to convert: the milk that makes ice cream itself. Thanks to the complexities of sourcing milk deemed free of genetically modified material, that could take five to...
  • The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program

    08/05/2014 3:02:34 PM PDT · by Theoria · 14 replies
    Fortune Magazine ^ | 24 July 2014 | Peter Elkind and Marty Jones
    Whether you’re a skilled technology worker or a poor laborer, it’s getting harder to become a U.S. citizen. But for those with $500,000 to buy their way in, it’s a different matter. That’s just the beginning of the problem. On Nov. 15, 2012, about 100 people gathered in a parking lot near O’Hare Airport in Chicago for a ceremonial occasion: the demolition of a fleabag motel to make way for what was intended to be a world-changing construction project. Next door to a Hooters restaurant, just off the Kennedy Expressway, was to rise a commercial and environmental wonder—the “World’s First...
  • Trial over Oklahoma City bombing evidence wraps up; FBI accused of threatening witness

    08/04/2014 11:04:22 AM PDT · by Theoria · 32 replies
    KFOR ^ | 01 Aug 2014 | Dallas Franklin and KFOR-TV
    The trial over evidence and conspiracy theories from the Oklahoma City bombing wrapped up in Salt Lake City, with a shocking twist. According to KSTU, the trial is over documents and a videotape the FBI allegedly had from the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people ended on Thursday.Jesse Trentadue, who claims his brother was killed in an interrogation by federal agents when he was mistaken for a bombing co-conspirator, is suing for the records.The Salt Lake City man says his requests under the Freedom of Information Act for surveillance tapes from around the bomb site have not been fulfilled.He claims there is a...