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Last Updated 1/26/2015 7:50:55 PM EST


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Live updates: Northeast braces for 'potentially historic' blizzard

Francisco Mathurine, of the Times Square Alliance, clears snow from the steps in Father Duffy Square in New York, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Officials cautioned Northeast residents to not be misled by a relatively smooth Monday morning commute, and pressed their cautions to prepare for a "crippling and potentially historic" storm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 2 feet of snow starting later in the day. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)More than 50 million are bracing for a potentially historic winter storm.




Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict 'sordid' history of abuse

This undated file photo provided by the California Department of Justice's official Internet web site, Megan's Law, shows former Boy Scout leader Al Stein who pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in 2009. Previously sealed Boy Scouts "perversion" files spanning 16 years could soon be in the public eye as part of a negligence lawsuit set for trial Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in California that was filed against the organization by a victim of Stein's. (AP Photo/California Department of Justice, Megan's Law, File)Opening statements have begun in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America.




Companies try to capitalize on Northeast storm

With a road sign warning of an expected blizzard, morning commuters travel across the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge into downtown Boston., Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The Boston area is expected to get hit with about two feet of snow in the winter storm. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Anticipation of the storm has already spawned a few hashtags, as people turn to social media for updates on what’s predicted to be one historic blizzard. Unsurprisingly, it was only a matter of time before companies seized on the storm hype, using #Snowmageddon2015 as as an advertising tool.




Northeast U.S. braves 'crippling' blizzard, transit systems shut

A woman walks though Central Park as it snows in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Jonathan Allen and Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK/MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (Reuters) - A massive, wind-whipped blizzard slammed into the U.S. Northeast on Monday, creating havoc for more than 60 million people and forcing New York City to shut down on a scale not seen since Superstorm Sandy devastated the region in 2012. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts declared states of emergencies as people were urged to stay home with transit systems, including the New York City subway, suspending services and roadways closed amid white-out conditions. The potentially historic storm poses the latest challenge to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been under fire in recent weeks from police who criticized his support of public protests about white police violence against black men.




Small drone crashes on White House grounds, operator comes forward

The South Lawn of the White House is pictured in WashingtonBy Roberta Rampton and Julia Edwards NEW DELHI/ WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A small drone crashed on the grounds of the White House in the early hours of Monday without endangering anyone and U.S. officials said they had identified the operator. A person has come forward to take responsibility for flying the drone, a Secret Service spokeswoman said, without providing details about the individual. The agency said the drone was being flown for recreational purposes when it breached the secure perimeter of the presidential mansion. A White House spokesman said the device, known as a "quad copter," did not appear to be dangerous.




Judge puts Alabama same-sex marriages on hold after striking down ban

Shanté Wolfe, left and Tori Sisson embrace near the Montgomery County Courthouse, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala., where they plan to stay overnight to be married Monday morning. A federal judge has stayed her order overturning Alabama's gay marriage ban for two weeks. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)Same-sex couples in Alabama will have to put their wedding plans on hold after a federal judge issued a two-week stay on her ruling that struck down the state's laws banning gay marriages, including those performed legally in other states. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange also filed an appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday seeking a longer stay until the U.S. Supreme Court rules later this year whether states can ban gay marriage. U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade said in an order issued Sunday night that she would give the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals until Feb. 9 to decide whether gay marriages should continue to be delayed in the state.




516 'Brotherhood elements' arrested on Egypt anniversary

Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim speaks during a press conference in the capital Cairo on January 26, 2015More than 500 backers of Egypt's blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood were arrested as clashes erupted on the anniversary of its 2011 uprising, a minister said Monday, in the biggest police sweep for months. Twenty people, mostly demonstrators, were killed Sunday when protesters clashed with security forces after Islamists called for rallies against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government as Egypt marked the fourth anniversary of the toppling of ex-strongman Hosni Mubarak. Supporters of Mubarak's successor, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, have regularly clashed with security forces since he was ousted by then army chief Sisi in July 2013.




Rand Paul on Possible Mitt Romney Run: 'No, No, No, No'

Rand Paul on Possible Mitt Romney Run: 'No, No, No, No''I’m with Ann Romney on this one,' the Kentucky senator said.




Church of England consecrates first woman bishop

Libby Lane, a suffragan (Assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Chester, poses for photographers after her forthcoming appointment as the new Bishop of Stockport was announced earlier in the day, in the YMCA in CreweBy Phil Noble YORK, England (Reuters) - The Church of England consecrated its first woman bishop on Monday, the culmination of years of efforts by Church modernizers to overcome opposition from traditionalists - one of whom briefly shouted a protest during the service. More than two decades after the Church allowed women to become priests, 48-year-old mother-of-two the Reverend Libby Lane became Bishop of Stockport in a ceremony at York Minster, a Gothic cathedral in northern England. The protest came as John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, asked the congregation whether Lane should be consecrated as Bishop.




More bad news for Malaysia Airlines

Workers stand behind a computer which shows the hacked website of Malaysia Airlines, at a cafe in Petaling Jaya outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The airline's site was changed on Monday, at first with a message saying "404 - Plane Not Found" and that it was "Hacked by Cyber Caliphate." The browser tab for the website said "ISIS will prevail." (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)HONG KONG (AP) — Hackers defaced the website of Malaysia Airlines on Monday and threatened to dump stolen information online after posting a glimpse of customer data obtained in the attack.





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Live updates: Northeast braces for 'potentially historic' blizzard

Francisco Mathurine, of the Times Square Alliance, clears snow from the steps in Father Duffy Square in New York, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Officials cautioned Northeast residents to not be misled by a relatively smooth Monday morning commute, and pressed their cautions to prepare for a "crippling and potentially historic" storm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 2 feet of snow starting later in the day. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)More than 50 million are bracing for a potentially historic winter storm.




Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict 'sordid' history of abuse

This undated file photo provided by the California Department of Justice's official Internet web site, Megan's Law, shows former Boy Scout leader Al Stein who pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in 2009. Previously sealed Boy Scouts "perversion" files spanning 16 years could soon be in the public eye as part of a negligence lawsuit set for trial Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in California that was filed against the organization by a victim of Stein's. (AP Photo/California Department of Justice, Megan's Law, File)Opening statements have begun in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America.




Companies try to capitalize on Northeast storm

With a road sign warning of an expected blizzard, morning commuters travel across the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge into downtown Boston., Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The Boston area is expected to get hit with about two feet of snow in the winter storm. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Anticipation of the storm has already spawned a few hashtags, as people turn to social media for updates on what’s predicted to be one historic blizzard. Unsurprisingly, it was only a matter of time before companies seized on the storm hype, using #Snowmageddon2015 as as an advertising tool.




Northeast U.S. braves 'crippling' blizzard, transit systems shut

A woman walks though Central Park as it snows in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Jonathan Allen and Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK/MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (Reuters) - A massive, wind-whipped blizzard slammed into the U.S. Northeast on Monday, creating havoc for more than 60 million people and forcing New York City to shut down on a scale not seen since Superstorm Sandy devastated the region in 2012. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts declared states of emergencies as people were urged to stay home with transit systems, including the New York City subway, suspending services and roadways closed amid white-out conditions. The potentially historic storm poses the latest challenge to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been under fire in recent weeks from police who criticized his support of public protests about white police violence against black men.




Small drone crashes on White House grounds, operator comes forward

The South Lawn of the White House is pictured in WashingtonBy Roberta Rampton and Julia Edwards NEW DELHI/ WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A small drone crashed on the grounds of the White House in the early hours of Monday without endangering anyone and U.S. officials said they had identified the operator. A person has come forward to take responsibility for flying the drone, a Secret Service spokeswoman said, without providing details about the individual. The agency said the drone was being flown for recreational purposes when it breached the secure perimeter of the presidential mansion. A White House spokesman said the device, known as a "quad copter," did not appear to be dangerous.




Judge puts Alabama same-sex marriages on hold after striking down ban

Shanté Wolfe, left and Tori Sisson embrace near the Montgomery County Courthouse, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala., where they plan to stay overnight to be married Monday morning. A federal judge has stayed her order overturning Alabama's gay marriage ban for two weeks. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)Same-sex couples in Alabama will have to put their wedding plans on hold after a federal judge issued a two-week stay on her ruling that struck down the state's laws banning gay marriages, including those performed legally in other states. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange also filed an appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday seeking a longer stay until the U.S. Supreme Court rules later this year whether states can ban gay marriage. U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade said in an order issued Sunday night that she would give the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals until Feb. 9 to decide whether gay marriages should continue to be delayed in the state.




516 'Brotherhood elements' arrested on Egypt anniversary

Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim speaks during a press conference in the capital Cairo on January 26, 2015More than 500 backers of Egypt's blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood were arrested as clashes erupted on the anniversary of its 2011 uprising, a minister said Monday, in the biggest police sweep for months. Twenty people, mostly demonstrators, were killed Sunday when protesters clashed with security forces after Islamists called for rallies against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government as Egypt marked the fourth anniversary of the toppling of ex-strongman Hosni Mubarak. Supporters of Mubarak's successor, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, have regularly clashed with security forces since he was ousted by then army chief Sisi in July 2013.




Rand Paul on Possible Mitt Romney Run: 'No, No, No, No'

Rand Paul on Possible Mitt Romney Run: 'No, No, No, No''I’m with Ann Romney on this one,' the Kentucky senator said.




Church of England consecrates first woman bishop

Libby Lane, a suffragan (Assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Chester, poses for photographers after her forthcoming appointment as the new Bishop of Stockport was announced earlier in the day, in the YMCA in CreweBy Phil Noble YORK, England (Reuters) - The Church of England consecrated its first woman bishop on Monday, the culmination of years of efforts by Church modernizers to overcome opposition from traditionalists - one of whom briefly shouted a protest during the service. More than two decades after the Church allowed women to become priests, 48-year-old mother-of-two the Reverend Libby Lane became Bishop of Stockport in a ceremony at York Minster, a Gothic cathedral in northern England. The protest came as John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, asked the congregation whether Lane should be consecrated as Bishop.




More bad news for Malaysia Airlines

Workers stand behind a computer which shows the hacked website of Malaysia Airlines, at a cafe in Petaling Jaya outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The airline's site was changed on Monday, at first with a message saying "404 - Plane Not Found" and that it was "Hacked by Cyber Caliphate." The browser tab for the website said "ISIS will prevail." (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)HONG KONG (AP) — Hackers defaced the website of Malaysia Airlines on Monday and threatened to dump stolen information online after posting a glimpse of customer data obtained in the attack.





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The Economy from CNNMoney.com

Economic news - CNNMoney.com

© 2015 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

U.S. deficit to 'hold steady' until 2018
Solid economic growth over the next few years should help keep the federal deficit at a very modest level until 2018. But after that, the nation's deficit will start growing again, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest 10-year outlook.

Blizzard costs fliers big bucks
Read full story for latest details.

Blizzard blitz: There's a run on toilet paper
As the snow hits the Northeast, shoppers are stocking up on a lot more than bread and milk.

Blizzard of 2015: Winners and losers
A major snowstorm can be a major disruption to the economy, leaving some buried in losses while others see a spike in business.

Syriza won, so what's next for Greece?
Read full story for latest details.

Greece's new anti-austerity government worries markets
Read full story for latest details.

Look out: Big week for the Fed
Investors get to check Corporate America's pulse as over 140 S&P 500 companies report earnings this week.

Europe plays it tough with new Greek leaders
Read full story for latest details.

Bernie Sanders: 7-point plan for saving 'the disappearing middle class'
Senator Bernie Sanders points to seven priorities -- including "a major federal jobs program" and raising taxes on the wealthy -- he says will rebuild "the disappearing middle class."

2015: The global economy's 'sink or swim' moment
Let's be blunt: The central banks have done all they can, and now it's 'sink or swim' time for the global economy.


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Science News Headlines - Yahoo News

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Commercial space rides for U.S. astronauts to save millions: NASA

Astronauts onboard the International Space Station successfully capture the SpaceX Dragon spacecraftBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - The U.S. space program should save more than $12 million a seat flying astronauts to and from the International Space Station on commercial space taxis rather than aboard Russian capsules, the NASA program manager said on Monday. In September, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded contracts worth up to a combined $6.8 billion to Boeing and privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to fly crew to the station, a $100 billion research laboratory about 260 miles above Earth. Since retiring the space shuttles in 2011, the United States has depended on Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, to ferry astronauts to the orbital outpost. NASA expects to pay an average of $58 million a seat when its astronauts begin flying on Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Dragon capsules in 2017, Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, told reporters during a news conference in Houston and via conference call.




University of Wisconsin closes laboratory, ending cat experiments
A University of Wisconsin research laboratory that attracted controversy for using live cats in experiments is closing this year, the school said. The University of Wisconsin at Madison said its Department of Neuroscience will no longer conduct experiments related to "sound localization" because Tom Yin, the department interim chair and chief researcher, is retiring at age 70. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had criticized Yin for experiments the advocacy group said were cruel.

The upper hand: study points to early tool use by human ancestors

Belgian animal sculptor Emmanuel Janssens Casteels works on a replica of an Australopithecus in his workshop in PrayssasScientists said on Thursday an analysis of fossil hand bones of the species Australopithecus africanus that lived in southern Africa about 3 million to 2 million years ago indicated this human forerunner could use its hands in ways very much like modern people. "Forceful precision grips have been linked specifically to stone tool use and tool making, and so it is possible that Australopithecus africanus was using stone tools as well," said Tracy Kivell of Britain's University of Kent, who helped lead the study published in the journal Science with fellow University of Kent paleoanthropologist Matthew Skinner. This species appeared roughly a half million years before the first evidence of stone tools. The traditional view of scientists is that a species called Homo habilis that appeared about 2.4 million years ago was the pioneer in stone tool use in the human lineage.




Giant asteroid set to buzz Earth, poses no threat

Big Asteroid to Zoom by Earth on Jan. 26By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - An asteroid measuring about a third of a mile (half a kilometer) in diameter will make a relatively close, but harmless pass by Earth Monday night, NASA said. The asteroid will pass about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth, roughly three times farther away than the moon. "While it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it's a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more," astronomer Don Yeomans, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said in a statement. The asteroid, which orbits the sun every 1.84 years, was discovered 11 years ago by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research, or LINEAR, telescope in New Mexico.




Rosetta spacecraft raises new questions about comet’s origin

Artist rendering of Rosetta, the European Space Agency's cometary probe with NASA contributionsBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists using Europe’s comet-orbiting Rosetta spacecraft have discovered that the complicated ancient body is coated with surprisingly simple organic molecules and surrounded by a changing cloud of gases, according to new research released on Thursday. In November it released a piggyback-riding spacecraft, which descended to the comet’s surface for a series of independent studies. The Rosetta mission is intended to shed light on the solar system’s early days by studying one of its pristine comet remnants.




Pediatricians Oppose Medical Marijuana, with Some Exceptions
Although a number of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational reasons in recent years, a leading group of U.S. pediatricians says it opposes such legalization, over concerns that these laws could be harmful to children. However, the group says that in some cases, some of the chemical compounds contained in marijuana could be used to treat children with debilitating diseases. Although none of these places allows the drug to be sold to children or teens, making marijuana available to adults could increase the access that teens have to the drug, according to a policy statement released today (Jan. 26) by the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Just the campaigns to legalize marijuana can have the effect of persuading adolescents that marijuana is not dangerous," Dr. Seth D. Ammerman, a member of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse, said in a statement.

Here's What to Eat to Lower Inflammation
Ginger, nuts, fatty fish and whole grains are just some of the many foods that have been touted to have anti-inflammatory properties. It turns out that experts agree that eating a diet rich in such foods may in fact help lower the levels of inflammation in the body. In a new, small study, published this month in the Nutrition Journal, researchers found that men who consumed flaxseed for 42 days experienced a significant decrease in inflammatory markers compared with men who didn't consume flaxseed. In another study, published in October 2011 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, the authors found that taking ginger root extract appeared to reduce markers of colon inflammation.

Surprise, It's SpongeBob! X-Ray Shows What Toddler Swallowed

Surprise, it's SpongeBob! X-Ray shows what toddler swallowedSpongeBob SquarePants was recently spotted in an unusual place. In a recent medical case, doctors saw the image of SpongeBob, the sea-dwelling character of children's cartoons, while looking at an X-ray of a 16-month-old boy. The toddler in Saudi Arabia had been brought to a hospital because he appeared to have swallowed an object. It turned out that the hapless SpongeBob was a pendant that belonged to the toddler's sister, said Dr. Ghofran Ageely, a radiology resident at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.




Private Space Taxis on Track to Fly in 2017

Private Space Taxis on Track to Fly in 2017The private spaceflight companies Boeing and SpaceX are on track to start launching NASA astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017, representatives of both firms said Monday (Jan. 26). In September 2014, SpaceX and Boeing were awarded contracts under NASA's commercial crew program to help them start flying astronauts on missions to the space station from U.S. soil in the next few years. SpaceX and Boeing are planning to launch a series of tests of their spaceships — capsules called Dragon V2 and the CST-100, respectively — from this year through 2017.




Mountain-Size Asteroid Makes Close Flyby of Earth

Mountain-Size Asteroid Makes Close Flyby of EarthA mountain-size asteroid buzzed Earth Monday morning (Jan. 26) in a close encounter that's already revealing new information about the space rock, including an improved measurement of its size and the confirmation of at least one moon. Asteroid 2004 BL86 came within 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) of Earth — or about three times the distance from our planet to the moon — Monday at approximately 11:20 a.m. EST (1620 GMT). On Monday night, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST (0400 to 0600 GMT), scientists at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will observe 2004 BL86 as it recedes from Earth. During the webcast, NASA scientist Lance Benner showed photos of 2004 BL86 taken earlier in the day using a radar signal from the space agency's Deep Space Network facility in Goldstone, California.





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Politics:

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Senate blocks swift passage of Keystone XL pipeline bill

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne North DakotaDemocrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but supporters of the project vowed to push ahead and eventually get a vote on the measure. The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53 to 39 on the measure. The Keystone bill allows Congress to approve TransCanada Corp's project to link Canada's oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Democrats, who lost control of the Senate as a result of November's elections, flexed their muscles to deliver a message to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will have to deal with them even on bills that enjoy some bipartisan support.




Judge puts Alabama same-sex marriages on hold after striking down ban

Shanté Wolfe, left and Tori Sisson embrace near the Montgomery County Courthouse, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala., where they plan to stay overnight to be married Monday morning. A federal judge has stayed her order overturning Alabama's gay marriage ban for two weeks. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)Same-sex couples in Alabama will have to put their wedding plans on hold after a federal judge issued a two-week stay on her ruling that struck down the state's laws banning gay marriages, including those performed legally in other states. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange also filed an appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday seeking a longer stay until the U.S. Supreme Court rules later this year whether states can ban gay marriage. U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade said in an order issued Sunday night that she would give the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals until Feb. 9 to decide whether gay marriages should continue to be delayed in the state.




Hundreds pack Idaho hearing on gay rights
By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A measure before the Idaho legislature that would grant job and housing protections for gay and transgender people drew more than 1,000 residents to the statehouse in Boise on Monday to voice their support or opposition. Gay rights advocates have sought for nine years to persuade the Republican-controlled legislature in the socially conservative state to take up the proposed addition to the Idaho Human Rights Act. The Idaho legislature's Republican leaders pledged to give the measure a hearing this year but were noncommittal about the likelihood of it ultimately being approved. Idaho last year was forced by federal court rulings to legalize gay marriage in decisions Idaho's Republican governor and attorney general have petitioned to appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Jersey governor Christie takes step toward White House bid

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his supporters have formed a political action committee ahead of a likely bid for president, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The political action committee, or PAC, called Leadership Matters for America, is the clearest sign yet that Christie, 52, is running in the Republican Party primary for the 2016 presidential election. Among those serving on the PAC are long-time Christie allies Michael DuHaime and Bill Palatucci, as well as Phil Cox, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, the source said. Paperwork for the leadership PAC was filed on Friday with the Federal Election Commission, the source said.




Jeb Bush speaks up for immigrants as Republicans flock to conservative confab in Iowa

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush“We’re not going to win votes … unless we can lay out a hopeful optimistic message,” paired with specific policy ideas that voters believe “can actually happen,” Bush said. “Hope and a positive agenda wins out over an angry reaction, every day of the week. And the message should be about what the future looks like, not some nostalgic view back.”




Middle East roiled by Yemen chaos and Saudi succession
Ali Soufan, president of the Soufan Group, an international security firm, was for years one of the FBI’s chief experts on al-Qaida and two of its traditional power bases, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. On Thursday, after Houthi rebels forced the resignation of Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, a close U.S. ally, and Saudi King Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz died, Soufan spoke to Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff about the mounting chaos in the region and how it could further strengthen al-Qaida.

Harry Reid speaks out against Obama’s trade plan

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., 75, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, for the first time since he suffered an eye injury and broken ribs on New Year's Day, when a piece of exercise equipment he was using broke and sent him smashing into cabinets at his new home. Reid sais his re-election bid in 2016 is on track even though he's been sidelined by an exercise accident. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada on Thursday threw cold water on President Barack Obama’s plans to pursue trade agreements in 2015, one of the few points of bipartisan interest from his State of the Union address earlier this week.




Obama won't meet with Netanyahu during controversial U.S. visit
President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his controversial March 3 visit to Washington, the White House announced, saying the trip will be too close to the Israeli elections.

Orrin Hatch is the happiest senator in Washington

Hatch and WarrenThe longest-serving Republican senator talks about his role as the Senate's bipartisan mediator and his friendship with Elizabeth Warren.




Turkey Court Bans Facebook Pages Insulting Prophet Muhammad

Turkey Court Bans Facebook Pages Insulting Prophet MuhammadThe state-run Anadolu Agency reported the ruling was handed down late Sunday by a court in Ankara. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.





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Technology:

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Microsoft profit falls on sluggish Windows demand, tax charge

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures during his keynote address at the company's "build" conference in San FranciscoMicrosoft Corp said on Monday fiscal second-quarter profit fell, in line with Wall Street's forecasts, as sluggish personal computer sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with unfavorable currency moves against the strong U.S. dollar. "While currency is a headwind for Microsoft and other large international companies, we would characterize the headline numbers as good enough, although some bulls may have been hoping for a bigger beat," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. Microsoft reported profit of $5.86 billion, or 71 cents per share for the latest quarter, compared with $6.56 billion, or 78 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.




WikiLeaks blasts Google for quietly handing emails to government

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - WikiLeaks criticized Google Inc on Monday, alleging that the company waited 2-1/2 years to notify members of the anti-secrecy group that it had turned over their private emails and other information to the U.S. government. In a letter to Google, lawyers representing WikiLeaks said they were "astonished and disturbed" by Google's actions relating to search warrants it received from federal law enforcement officials and asked for a full accounting of the information Google gave the government. The revelation follows leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden detailing controversial U.S. government surveillance practices and assurances from technology firms like Google that they would do their utmost to safeguard users' personal information.




Telecom network spending seen rising this year amid 4G boom

A commuter uses his mobile phone in New YorkNevertheless, overall spending on mobile and fixed networks is expected to grow for a second consecutive year, as operators worldwide seek to improve coverage and add capacity to keep up with rising data traffic from video and smartphones. While construction of 4G networks is largely complete in the United States, Japan and Korea, the technology is just arriving in much of eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. Investment in fixed networks is set to rise 7.7 percent to $10.33 billion, driven by fiber broadband rollouts, it said. "The 4G story is spreading after the first spurt of rollouts in the U.S., Japan and Korea is behind us," Deborah Kish, an analyst at Garner, said.




Larger-than-usual move for Yahoo shares expected after results

A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in RolleBy Saqib Iqbal Ahmed NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's shares are expected to move nearly twice as much as they have following other recent earnings reports when the company announces fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, options data showed. Yahoo is scheduled to report results after the close of market on Tuesday, and much of investors' focus will be on the company's plans for its 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding . Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been facing pressure from investors to sell Yahoo's stake in Alibaba in a tax-efficient manner and return the money to shareholders. Yahoo's plans for avoiding tax on its Asian assets will have big implications for a post-earnings move in the company’s shares, analysts said.




Texas Instruments' profit rises, helped by auto industry
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Texas Instruments Inc reported higher fourth-quarter results on Monday and gave a revenue outlook for the current quarter in line with expectations, helped by growing demand for chips from the auto industry. The midpoint of TI's revenue guidance is about $3.20 billion.

AT&T to buy NII Holdings' wireless business in Mexico

The signage for an AT&T store is seen in New YorkAT&T Inc said on Monday it would buy bankrupt NII Holdings Inc's wireless business in Mexico for $1.875 billion in a move to create a larger Mexican wireless player that will have a better chance of competing with No. 1 America Movil . It is still exploring options for its larger Brazilian operations.




Coinbase opens first US bitcoin exchange

Coinbase opens first US bitcoin exchangeThe first regulated US bitcoin exchange has been launched by San Francisco-based bitcoin wallet operator Coinbase.




The MythBusters are bringing their expertise to video games

The MythBusters are bringing their expertise to video gamesThe MythBusters have taught us just about everything we’d ever need to know about the real world, so now they’re taking their talents to a fictional one. This Saturday, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will host a special video game-themed episode of their show, during which we’ll finally find out whether or not we could actually perform the same extraordinary feats as our favorite digital heroes. FROM EARLIER: The funniest thing you’ll see today: Watch elders play Grand Theft Auto V We’re still not sure how many myths the crew plans to bust during the special episode, but we do know that they have teamed up with id Software in order to take a look back at Doom, one of the original first-person shooters. Using




NFL kicks off YouTube global game channel

The US National Football League kicks off a YouTube channel for games highlights, recaps and more online to viewers worldwideThe channel at YouTube.com/NFL debuted just days before the championship Super Bowl game expected to draw a massive television audience for the American football league. "Partnering with YouTube and Google provides the NFL unique access to millions of highly engaged fans through the global leader in video and search," league vice president of media strategy Hans Schroeder said in a release. The YouTube channel will not stream the Super Bowl live, but will deliver game highlights shortly after they happen and commentary from analysts. "On any screen you watch YouTube, NFL's YouTube channel will bring you the sights and sounds this week in Arizona, from pre-game analysis to the highlights that everyone will be talking about," Google's Tim Katz said in a blog post.




Samsung to make the Tizen Z1 in India, but can the phone compete with rivals?

Samsung to make the Tizen Z1 in India, but can the phone compete with rivals?Launching the Z1 in India is theoretically a smart play by Samsung to both push its own OS and grab a big share of a population that still hasn't bought a smartphone. But the truth is that the Z1 appears to be easily outgunned by the competition.





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Asia shares rise, euro steadies as Fed meets

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company stands in front of a monitor, showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of the exchange rates between the Japanese yen against the euro, in TokyoBy Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares moved higher on Tuesday and the euro clung to rare gains, relieved that European markets had weathered Greece's election outcome without much disruption. Bad weather in the United States curbed activity on Wall Street in a busy week for earnings, while investors had reason for caution as the Federal Reserve holds its first policy meeting of the year. Japan's Nikkei firmed 1.2 percent in early trade, while Australia main index added 0.4 percent.




Microsoft profit falls on sluggish Windows demand, tax charge

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures during his keynote address at the company's "build" conference in San FranciscoMicrosoft Corp said on Monday fiscal second-quarter profit fell, in line with Wall Street's forecasts, as sluggish personal computer sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with unfavorable currency moves against the strong U.S. dollar. "While currency is a headwind for Microsoft and other large international companies, we would characterize the headline numbers as good enough, although some bulls may have been hoping for a bigger beat," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. Microsoft reported profit of $5.86 billion, or 71 cents per share for the latest quarter, compared with $6.56 billion, or 78 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.




U.S. deficit to dip in 2015 as era of dramatic declines ends: CBO

The U.S. Treasury building is seen in WashingtonThe U.S. budget deficit will decline slightly to $468 billion this fiscal year, the lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, congressional forecasters said on Monday in a report heralding the end of a brief period of dramatically shrinking red ink. The deficit, down from the $1 trillion-plus levels of Obama's first four years and a $483 billion gap in fiscal 2014, will stay largely flat in 2016, then begin to march upward due to rising costs for debt and caring for fast-retiring Baby Boomers. Estimates by the Congressional Budget Office kick off what promises to be a contentious budget debate in Washington. Republicans now in control of Congress seek to eliminate deficits within 10 years with cuts to social safety net programs while lowering tax rates and boosting military spending.




Rock-Tenn, MeadWestvaco to merge, create packaging giant

MeadWestvaco Corporation global headquarters in Richmond, VaPackaging companies Rock-Tenn Co and MeadWestvaco Corp agreed to form a combined $16 billion company to take on market leader International Paper Co in the United States and abroad. Shares of MeadWestvaco and Rock-Tenn rose to record highs. Demand for the corrugated boxes made by both companies has risen sharply as internet shopping has taken off. The merger, announced by both companies on Monday, will create the second-largest U.S. packaging company behind International Paper, which has a market capitalization of nearly $23 billion.




China's Li says to create 10 million jobs in 2015: China Daily

China's Premier Li waves to listeners after his speech during The Global Impact of China's Economic Transformation event in the Swiss mountain resort of DavosChina's Premier Li Keqiang pledged to create at least 10 million new jobs in 2015, the state run China Daily newspaper said on Tuesday, despite economic growth that slowed to its weakest pace in nearly a quarter of a century last year. China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years in 2014 as property prices cooled and companies and local governments struggled under heavy debt burdens, pressuring Beijing to take aggressive steps to avoid a sharper downturn. China targeted a registered urban unemployment rate below 4.6 percent last year, although many economists believe the real number may be higher given the difficulty of tracking the country's army of migrant workers. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts China's economy will grow 6.8 percent in 2015, while a median forecast in a Reuters poll sees an expansion of around 7 percent.




S&P downgrades Russia's sovereign credit rating to 'junk'

People walk past a board showing currency exchange rates in MoscowBy Thomas Grove and Darya Korsunskaya MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ratings agency S&P cut Russia's sovereign credit rating to junk status on Monday, bringing it below investment grade for the first time in a decade. Warning of difficult times ahead for Russia's economy, S&P said it had cut the rating from BBB- to BB+ and that Russia's economic growth prospects, hit by low oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, had worsened. The rouble weakened to 68.65 against the dollar , more than 6 percent lower than the previous close on the Moscow Exchange, and the cost of insuring Russian sovereign debt for five years rose, in a sign of investors' concern.




Mattel removes CEO, warns of fifth straight fall in quarterly sales

Barbie dolls are displayed inside a showroom at a Mattel office in Hong KongMattel Inc removed Chief Executive Brian Stockton after another disappointing holiday shopping season for the maker of the aging Barbie doll. Former PepsiCo Inc executive Christopher Sinclair, 64, was appointed chairman and interim CEO.




Oil slides despite OPEC talk of a floor

A man fills up his car at a petrol station in RomeBy Samantha Sunne and Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil fell in see-saw trade on Monday, with U.S. crude ending at its lowest in nearly six years, as traders discounted comments from OPEC's top official about the market finally finding a bottom. Front-month U.S. gasoline settled down 2.3 percent at $1.3167 a gallon, after hitting a session low of $1.3105.




Ocwen calls investor claims baseless

To match FEATURE USA-HOUSING/Mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Group said on Monday a group of investors had no basis for claiming it failed to live up to its agreements to collect payments on $82 billion worth of home loans. The investors claim that Ocwen performed worse than other servicers each year from 2009 through 2013 and that the trusts suffered losses of more than $1 billion because of the company's deficient performance, according to a copy of the notice reviewed by Reuters. "Ocwen denies that there is any basis for a default under the trust agreements," attorney Richard Jacobsen, who represents Ocwen, wrote in the letter to Kathy Patrick, a lawyer for the investor group. The investors want "to stop servicers from modifying loans and force them to foreclose on and evict as many struggling homeowners as quickly as possible," Jacobsen wrote.




Petrobras may book $20 billion asset write-down: Veja magazine blog

People walk past Brazilian Oil company Petrobras's headquarters in Rio de JaneiroBrazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA could take a charge of about 52 billion reais ($20 billion) in its delayed third-quarter results to reduce the value of some assets, a Veja magazine blog said on Monday. The impairment equals 42 percent of the market value of Petrobras , as the company is known, Veja's Mercados blog said, citing sources close to the company. Petrobras faces limited access to financial markets as a result of the scandal and falling oil prices. Petrobras pledged to invest about $44 billion a year under a five-year, $221 billion investment plan announced last year, but it warned in December that it would cut spending.





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Quotes from the Screen Actors Guild Awards

June Squibb arrives at the Entertainment Weekly Screen Actors Guild Party at the Chateau Marmont on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell Invision/AP)Quotes from Saturday night's 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles:




Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks

FILE - This May 18, 2013 file photo shows Hannah Hooper, left, and Christian Zucconi of Grouplove performing as part of Party in the Park at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Grouplove's, “Ways to Go,” was the most viral track on Spotify, from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify. (Photo by Robb D. Cohen/RobbsPhotos/Invision/AP, file)The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.




Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2012 file photo, musician Robin Thicke performs during Macy's Passport presents Glamorama 2012 at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Thicke's "Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)" was the top streamed tracks on Spotify from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)The following list represents the most streamed tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.




Oscar nominations announced for best picture
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The 86th annual Academy Award nominations for best motion picture have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscar nominations announced for supporting actress
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The 86th annual Academy Award nominations for supporting actress in a motion picture have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscar nominations announced for supporting actor
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The 86th annual Academy Award nominations for supporting actor in a motion picture have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscar nominations announced for lead actress
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The 86th annual Academy Award nominations for lead actress in a motion picture have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The AP's top 10 movies of the year

FILE - This file image released by Fox Searchlight shows Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)In surveying the year at the movies, the topography is rich. From the dusty, dying towns of "Nebraska" to the rooftop Roman parties in "The Great Beauty" to the sleek future Los Angeles of "Her," 2013 has been a trip. But has it been a great year? Negativity reached a fever pitch in the summer when Steven Spielberg lamented Hollywood's risk-adverse, finance-driven blockbusterism. The grim, humorless "Man of Steel" and its careless backdrop of mass destruction was a low point: the epitome of everything bad about movies today. Yet ambitious films gathered in number as the year went on, and many began calling 2013 a historically excellent year for film, after all. Here are one critic's top picks of the year, all of them reasons why 2013 was a good year for the big screen:




Globe nominations for musical or comedy film
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best musical or comedy film have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Golden Globe nominations for TV drama series

In this image released by Showtime, Claire Danes portrays Carrie Mathison in a scene from the Showtime original series, " Homeland." Danes was nominated Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 for a Golden Globe for best actress in a drama series for her role in “ Homeland .“ The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/Showtime, Kent Smith)BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best television drama series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.





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