Arkansas

10 things you need to know today: October 16, 2014

A health care worker who contracted Ebola is rushed to a hospital in Atlanta. 

A health care worker who contracted Ebola is rushed to a hospital in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The Week

Ebola patient’s flight triggers new precautions, Arkansas high court blocks the state’s voter ID law, and more

1. Ebola patient’s flight triggers new precautions
The news that the second Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola had been allowed to board a commercial flight despite a low fever triggered new precautions on Wednesday. Health officials began tracking down all 132 people on Monday’s Cleveland-to-Dallas flight with the patient, Amber Vinson, who was being monitored after treating the first Ebola victim on U.S. soil, Thomas Duncan. Frontier Airlines put the crew on paid leave, and two school districts in Ohio and Texas closed schools Thursday because a teacher and students had been on Vinson’s flight. [The Washington Post]

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2. Arkansas high court blocks the state’s voter ID law
Another voter ID law was struck down on Wednesday — this time in Arkansas. The state’s Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that declared the law unconstitutional because it restricted voting. The law took effect on Jan. 1 after the state’s GOP-controlled legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto. The constitutionality of such laws, passed by Republicans in several states, remains unresolved. The U.S. Supreme Court recently let North Carolina start enforcing its ID law, but blocked a similar rule in Wisconsin. [The Associated Press]

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3. Leung offers to talk with Hong Kong protesters as tensions rise
Hong Kong police used pepper spray against pro-democracy demonstrators who were trying to block a major road near the office of the Chinese-controlled city’s embattled chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, early Thursday. The clash came as public anger was high following the appearance of a viral video showing police beating a protester this week. Leung sought to defuse tensions by renewing an offer to open talks with protesters next week. [Reuters, Australian Broadcasting Corp.]

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4. Stock volatility rises
Disappointing economic news sent U.S. stocks plummeting on Wednesday — with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping as much as 460 points — before regaining some ground. The Dow closed down 173.45 points, or 1.1 percent. The S&P 500 briefly lost the last of its gains for 2014, and U.S. Treasury yields sank to their lowest point in 16 months as investors sought safe investments. “A lot of people, even the most experienced guys, are dazed by this,” said one equities researcher. [Reuters]

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5. Obama orders more aggressive Ebola response after meeting with health officials
President Obama said after a White House meeting with health officials on Wednesday that he had ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send out a rapid-response team within 24 hours of any new Ebola case. Obama likened the responders to a medical “SWAT team,” saying it was part of a “much more aggressive” effort to handle the threat of Ebola after two nurses in Texas contracted the virus. [ABC News]

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6. HBO prepares to offer its video-streaming service as a stand-alone product
HBO plans next year to sell its popular HBO Go video streaming service as a separate product from its cable channels. The change comes as cable channels adapt to changing viewing habits, with more and more consumers ditching satellite and cable TV and watching their favorite shows online or on mobile devices. Industry analysts said the move would “force a change” in the cable industry, although the impact of HBO’s gamble depends on how prices for video streamers compare to those for cable viewers. [The Associated Press]

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7. Himalayas storm kills 20
At least 20 people were killed in a blizzard and avalanche in Nepal’s Himalayas climbing region, officials in the area said Wednesday. Dozens more climbers were missing. The death toll surpassed that of the last major climbing disaster in the storied mountain range — 16 Sherpas were killed six months ago in the deadliest incident ever on Mount Everest. Authorities believe as many as 200 climbers were climbing in the area when it was hit by the blizzard. [The New York Times]

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8. Court lets work resume on California’s high-speed rail project
California’s highest court cleared the way for work to resume on building the nation’s first bullet train on Wednesday, declining to hear an appeal by opponents of the controversial $68-billion project. California High Speed Rail Authority officials said the decision would allow them to move ahead with work on the first 130-mile section of track in the state’s Central Valley, although they face other legal and financial obstacles. [Los Angeles Times]

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9. Neil Patrick Harris reportedly picked to host the Academy Awards
Neil Patrick Harris has been chosen as the host of the next Oscars ceremony, which is scheduled for Feb. 22, Variety reported Wednesday. Harris has received glowing reviews for past hosting jobs, including last year’s Tony Awards and the Emmy awards in 2009 and 2013. He also has performed in past Academy Awards presentations, but this will be his first appearance as host. Harris also has appeared on the shows as a winner, taking home five Emmys and, this year, a Tony for the lead role in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. [Variety]

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10. Kansas City Royals advance to the World Series
The Kansas City Royals capped a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday to win a spot in the World Series for the first time in 29 years. The Royals clinched the American League championship on two runs they scored in the first inning. Then the Royals, who got into the playoffs as a wild card, relied on their bullpen to hold the Orioles to just one run, sealing the sweep with a 2-1 win. The Royals will host the first two games of the World Series next week against the winner of the National League championship between the Giants and the Cardinals. [Fox Sports]

10 things you need to know today: May 13, 2014

Jennifer Rambo and Kristin Seaton tie the knot in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. 

Jennifer Rambo and Kristin Seaton tie the knot in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)

The Week

Gay couples get marriage licenses in Arkansas, scientists say the Antarctic’s ice melt is unstoppable, and more

1. Gay couples marry in Arkansas
More than 200 gay and lesbian couples married in Arkansas on Monday as the state Supreme Court considered an appeal of a Friday ruling overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The conservative state, the first in the South to issue same-sex marriage licenses, is fighting to preserve the 10-year-old ban, which voters approved by a 3-to-1 margin. All but five of Arkansas’ 75 counties held off on issuing licenses pending the appeal. [The Associated Press]

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2. Antarctic ice melt looks unstoppable, scientists say
The West Antarctica ice sheet is breaking up faster than previously believed, and its melting now might be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported Monday. Scientists have concluded that with temperatures rising, the melting ice sheet could cause sea levels to rise 10 feet or more in coming centuries, picking up speed at the end of this one. “This is really happening,” NASA polar ice expert Thomas P. Wagner. “There’s nothing to stop it now.” [The New York Times]

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3. Keystone proposal stalls after Senate deadlock on energy bill
The Senate deadlocked on a popular bipartisan energy-efficiency bill on Monday, scuttling an effort to approve plans for the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had promised to allow a vote on the Keystone bill if Republicans dropped a filibuster on the energy efficiency proposal, but that didn’t happen. The impasse appeared likely to douse the chance of a vote on Keystone in the near future. [The Washington Post]

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4. Ukrainian separatists ask to join Russia
A separatist leader in eastern Ukraine said Monday that the Donetsk region would ask to join Russia following a Sunday autonomy referendum. Organizers claim voters overwhelmingly approved breaking away from the Ukrainian national government. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Kiev Tuesday in the latest international effort to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which erupted after Russia annexed Crimea in March. [CNNThe New Times]

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5. Clay Aiken’s congressional primary opponent Keith Crisco dies
Keith Crisco, who was locked in a tight North Carolina Democratic congressional primary with former American Idol singer Clay Aiken, died Monday after an accidental fall at his home. He was 71. Crisco, a textile manufacturer who was once the state’s top business recruiter, trailed Aiken by 400 votes after last week’s election. A final count is coming this week. If Crisco wins, local Democrats will choose their nominee. [The Associated Press]

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6. U.S. sends surveillance aircraft to search for abducted girls in Nigeria
The United States has started sending “manned surveillance flights” over Nigeria to help find 270 high-school girls abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram last month, Obama administration officials said Monday. “As you know, President Obama has directed his team to do everything it can to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find and free these girls,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. [NBC NewsVoice of America]

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7. Explorer says wreck off Haiti could be Columbus’ flagship
Underwater explorer says he is confident that a sunken ship his team found off Haiti is Christopher Columbus’ long-lost flagship, the Santa Maria. Clifford told CNN late Monday that he found the “smoking gun” — a distinctive 15th century cannon — in the exact spot where Columbus reported that the ship ran aground on a reef off what is now northern Haiti more than 500 years ago. “It is the Mount Everest of shipwrecks for me,” he said. [CNN]

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8. Judge orders search for ailing radio icon Casey Kasem
A California judge on Monday ordered a search for legendary DJ Casey Kasem, who is suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease and has gone missing. Judge Daniel S. Murphy assigned a court investigator to find the former American Top 40 radio host, who is 82 and can no longer speak. A lawyer for Kasem’s wife, Jean Kasem, said the radio icon had “been removed from the country.” [NBC News]

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9. Researchers question whether find red wine really helps you live longer
Red wine might not have miraculous health benefits, after all, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers tracked nearly 800 elderly Italians for 11 years, measuring levels of resveratrol — red wine’s supposed wonder chemical — and found that the levels didn’t tell doctors anything about the patients’ likelihood of suffering cardiovascular disease, cancer, or mortality in general. [JAMA Internal Medicine]

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10. Hotel looks into leaked video of alleged Jay Z scrap
A New York City hotel is investigating the source of a leaked security video that appears to show Jay Z being physically attacked in an elevator by Solange Knowles, the sister of his wife, Beyonce. The Standard Hotel issued a statement saying the management was “shocked and disappointed” over the release of the video, which was posted online by TMZ. In the clip, Solange appears to try to hit and kick Jay Z, with Beyonce at his side, before a security guard stops her. [CBS NewsTMZ]

10 things you need to know today: April 28, 2014

A man surveys the destruction left by a tornado in Arkansas. 

A man surveys the destruction left by a tornado in Arkansas. (AP Photo/Courtesy of James Bryant)

The Week

Obama announces more sanctions on Russia, tornadoes kill 17 in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and more

1. West steps up pressure on Russia over Ukraine’s crisis
President Obama on Monday announced more sanctions against Russia over its threats against Ukraine. The sanctions will target people linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, aiming to “encourage him to walk the walk, not just talk the talk” on deescalating the crisis, Obama said. European Union leaders are meeting Monday to discuss tightening their own sanctions against Russia for backing separatists in Ukraine. [The New York TimesBBC News]

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2. Deadly tornadoes hit central and southern U.S.
Two tornadoes from a powerful storm system killed at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma on Sunday. Authorities in Arkansas said the twister there killed 16. It touched down about 10 miles west of Little Rock, and stretched a half-mile wide. It obliterated buildings, including a $14 million intermediate school due to open in the fall. “There’s just really nothing there anymore,” Vilonia Schools Superintendent Frank Mitchell said. [Fox NewsCNN]

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3. Syria misses the deadline for getting rid of its chemical arsenal
Syria missed a Sunday deadline for dismantling its arsenal of chemical weapons. International experts said, however, that Syria’s embattled government might be able to finish destroying or exporting the 7.5 percent of the arsenal that remains within a few days. Syria was originally supposed to get rid of the roughly 1,200 tons of chemical arms and components by February, but it got an extension after missing that deadline. [The New York Times]

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4. The U.S. strikes a military deal with the Philippines
The U.S. and the Philippines have struck a new defense cooperation agreement that could let a large American military contingent return for the first time since the Philippines evicted U.S. forces in the early 1990s. The framework will permit the U.S. to send troops, warships, and aircraft to Philippine bases, but won’t authorize the U.S. to establish new bases of its own. Protesters have rallied against the deal outside the U.S. embassy. [Los Angeles Times]

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5. Single-engine planes collide over San Francisco Bay
Two small planes collided over northern San Francisco Bay on Sunday. One of the pilots was able to land his plane, a single-engine Hawker Sea Fury TMK 20, safely. The other crashed his single-engine Cessna 210 into the water and went missing. The Coast Guard is still searching for the downed pilot. [The Associated Press]

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6. Egyptian court seeks execution of Muslim Brotherhood leader and supporters
An Egyptian court on Monday recommended the death penalty for Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 682 supporters. The Islamist group has been the target of a brutal crackdown since the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, a former Brotherhood member. The sentences are not yet final, but the threatened executions were considered likely to increase the threat of violence ahead of elections scheduled for next month. [Reuters]

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7. New York congressman faces a federal indictment
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-New York) reportedly plans to turn himself in to the FBI in New York early Monday to face charges connected to a Manhattan health-food restaurant he ran before entering Congress in 2011. The federal indictment stems from a two-year investigation into Grimm’s fundraising. The charges are expected to concern tax and fraud at the restaurant, Healthalicious, which has ties to an Israeli fundraiser. [The Washington Post]

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8. Assad reportedly plans to run in Syrian election
The speaker of Syria’s parliament announced Monday that President Bashar al-Assad has declared his candidacy for the June 3 presidential elections. Opposition groups assailed the upcoming vote as absurd and farcical. There are six other contenders on the ballot, but Assad, who inherited power from his father in 2000, is expected to be declared the winner. [The Associated Press]

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9. Playwright sues Valerie Harper for allegedly concealing her cancer
Broadway playwright Matthew Lombardo is suing actress Valerie Harper for $2 million, accusing her of hiding her terminal cancer diagnosis after she had signed on to star in his play, Looped. Harper, 74, dropped out of last year’s national tour of the show after she revealed that her lung cancer had spread to her brain. The suit was filed to counter one by Harper, demanding that she still be paid because she dropped out due to her health. [Daily News]

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10. Players and politicians protest Clippers owner Sterling’s alleged comments
Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks is drafting a resolution to condemn racist remarks attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The National Basketball Players Association demanded that the league bar Sterling from playoff games. Clippers players wore their warmups inside out, hiding the team logo, in a silent protest ahead of Sunday’s Game 4 of their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. [Los Angeles TimesSporting News]

Meet Butch Matthews, A Republican Who Came To Love Obamacare After Realizing It Will Save Him $13,000

61-year-old Butch Matthews, left, with his wife Debbie

I imagine this scene will play out all over the country with those folks who listened to the right-wing fear mongering machine.

Think Progress

Butch Matthews is a 61-year-old former small business owner from Little Rock, Arkansas who used to wake up every morning at 4 A.M. to deliver canned beverages to retailers before retiring in 2010. A lifelong Republican, he was heavily skeptical of the Affordable Care Act when it first passed. “I did not think that Obamacare was going to be a good plan, I did not think that it was going to help me at all,” he told ThinkProgress over the phone.

But after doing a little research, Matthews eventually realized how much the law could help him. And on Tuesday, his local Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) provider confirmed that he would be able to buy a far better plan than his current policy while saving at least $13,000 per year through Arkansas’ Obamacare marketplace.

quotes-18Matthews was self-employed between 1997 and 2010, meaning he had to purchase his own plan on the individual market. He chose a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for himself and his wife that charged a $250 per month premium and had a $2,000 deductible. But the price of that policy kept rising even as it covered fewer of his costs, eventually devolving into his current rate of $1,069 per month with a $10,000 deductible. At this point, it doesn’t even cover his medication or doctors’ visits — particularly concerning considering he had to have two stents placed in his heart in 2006.

“I do not work now, I’m 61, and we do have assets saved up. But still, to come up with that $1,069 per month….” he said, trailing off. “I went to Blue Cross Blue Shield, and they don’t even sell that plan anymore, but I could not change it to anything else. So I was locked in with it.”

That all changed once Obamacare’s state-level marketplaces opened to the public on Tuesday. Matthews knew that, at his income level, the law would help him pay for insurance. But even he might not have expected just how good of a deal he could get: his new coverage will cost him absolutely nothing in monthly premiums after factoring in federal subsidies, and has a deductible of $750.

“Which is a lot different from $10,000,” he pointed out, laughing.

The mid-level “Silver” policy that he picked out also offers a significantly better benefits package. “It’s a lot better plan,” Matthews said. His old plan was considered to be “Bronze” and had much higher co-pays. Under Obamacare, when Matthews visits a doctor, it will no longer cost him around $150. It will cost $8.

quotes-19So what would Matthews tell other Americans who are skeptical about Obamacare? “I would tell them to learn more about it before they start talking bad about it,” he noted. “Be more informed, get more information, take your time and study and not just go by just what you hear on one side or the other. Actually check the facts on it.”

“I still am a very strong Republican, but this… I’m so happy that this came along,” he continued. “Our home is paid for, vehicle’s paid for, this is our expense that we have. We have more expense on medical care than everything else put together, so this is going to be a great help for us.”

In Just Three Months, States Proposed An Astonishing 694 Provisions About Reproduction

Think about that for a second.  A majority of male politicians across the country have proposed over 690 provisions about reproduction.  It’s amazing and horrifying all at once…

Think Progress

In the first quarter of 2013, states have proposed 694 provisions related to a woman’s body, how she gets pregnant, or how she chooses to end that pregnancy.

A new report released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute takes a comprehensive look at how the War on Women has continued past the election cycle and into 2013. It shows that the new legislatures across the country are still very much dedicated to restricting sex education, availability of medication, and abortion access for women. Indeed, 47 percent of the 694 provisions were directly related to abortion:

During the first three months of 2013, legislators in 14 states introduced provisions seeking to ban abortion prior to viability. These bans fall into three categories: measures that would prohibit all abortions, those that would ban abortions after a specified point during the first trimester of pregnancy and those that would block abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization (the equivalent of 22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period, the conventional method physicians use to measure pregnancy). All of these proposals are in direct violation of U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Legislators in 10 states have introduced proposals that would ban all, or nearly all, abortions. In eight states (AL, IA, MS, ND, OK, SC, VA and WA), legislators have proposed defining “personhood” as beginning at conception; if adopted, these measures would ban most, if not all, abortions.

Seven states are edging closer to achieving full approval for laws that would reduce or essentially eliminate abortion access.

Enforcing unconstitutional abortion laws isn’t just a threat to women’s rights — it’s also costly to the states caught up in legal battles. Last year, Kansas spent $628,000 defending its unconstitutional abortion restrictions. North Dakota is in the middle of spending $400,000 to defend its ban, and Arkansas is set to do the same.

But if the number of proposed abortion restrictions is discouraging, the upside of the Guttmacher report is that states are moving toward the prevention of unintended pregnancy through sex education: It finds that two states — Montana and North Dakota — are pushing for more restrictive, less informative sex education laws, but that both Colorado and Hawaii are pushing for more comprehensive, inclusive, and scientific sex education for students. Colorado’s would even prohibit abstinence-only instruction, which has been proven to be more harmful than effective. ThinkProgress’s own survey of state legislation has found a total of five states that, like Colorado, are pushing for better sex ed. These findings track with popular opinion that increasingly recognizes the value of sex education.

10 things you need to know today: April 11, 2013

An ultra thin Samsung Notebook Series 9 laptop computer, left, running Microsoft Windows 8, sits next to an Apple Macbook Air.

G-8 leaders discuss how to handle North Korea, PC sales plummet, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

The Week

1. JAPAN ASKS G-8 TO SHOW SOLIDARITY ON NORTH KOREA
Top diplomats from the G-8 group of nations are meeting in London on Thursday, and Japan is calling for a show of solidarity against North Korea, following reports that the country’s military has moved a mobile missile launcher into a firing position. South Korean officials say the odds are “very high” that the North, which has been threatening nuclear war, is on the verge of launching a missile test. Despite the ongoing threats, however, North Korea has begun welcoming visitors ahead of Monday’s celebration of the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founding father of the country’s communist dynasty — the first sign of easing tension in weeks. [IndependentBBC News]
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2. GEORGIA MAN KILLED WHEN POLICE STORM HOUSE TO FREE HOSTAGES
Police killed a gunman and freed four suburban Atlanta firefighters he allegedly took hostage when they responded to a 911 call from a man who claimed to be having a heart attack on Wednesday. After a standoff that lasted several hours — during which the man let a fifth firefighter leave — a SWAT team used “flash-bang” grenades to distract the gunman and stormed his house. The suspect was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire, and one officer was wounded. The firefighters sustained cuts and scrapes from the explosions. Police said the gunman had financial troubles, and was demanding that his power, cable TV, and cellphone be turned back on. [CNN]
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3. TORNADOES HIT MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS
Missouri officials declared a state of emergency Wednesday night after tornadoes and violent thunderstorms destroyed homes and businesses outside St. Louis and across the state. In Arkansas, at least three people were injured, three houses were flattened, and dozens more buildings were damaged by the same storm system. The storms popped up along the line where a cold front smashed into warm, humid air, leaving a 40-degree temperature difference in Arkansas on opposite sides of the boundary — Pine Bluff, in southeastern Arkansas, was at 80 degrees, and Fayetteville, in the northwestern corner, was at 40 degrees, according to Weather.com. [NBC News]
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4. CARSON CANCELS COMMENCEMENT SPEECH
Dr. Ben Carson, who’s enjoying sudden popularity as a conservative speaker, said Wednesday that he’s canceling plans to speak at Johns Hopkins University’s graduation ceremony because of a controversy over remarks he made recently against gay marriage. Carson said two weeks ago that traditional marriage is a “well-established, fundamental pillar of society, and no group — be they gays… be they people who believe in bestiality” — should be allowed to change how it’s defined. Students petitioned to have him removed as commencement speaker. Carson said he was stepping aside so the controversy wouldn’t “distract from the true celebratory nature of the day.” [Washington Post]
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5. PC SALES PLUMMET
Sales of personal computers dropped by 14 percent in the first three months of 2013 compared with the same period last year, according to newly released figures from research firm IDC, and some analysts are blaming Microsoft’s Windows 8 for the slump. With the economy improving somewhat, analysts had expected a decline of just 7.7 percent. The October release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 was also expected to boost PC sales. But the software got a lukewarm reception and appears to have actually hurt sales by confusing PC users, IDC says. [Telegraph]
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6. JEWELL CONFIRMED AS NEXT INTERIOR SECRETARY
Sally Jewell sailed to confirmation as President Obama’s new interior secretary on Wednesday, with an 87 to 11 vote in the Senate. All of the senators who opposed her were Republicans. Jewell, chief executive of outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., will replace outgoing Ken Salazar as overseer of the nation’s 500 million acres of national parks and other public lands, as well as more than a billion acres offshore. One of her first challenges will be finalizing a proposed rule requiring companies drilling for oil and gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Energy companies complained that an original draft of the rule placed too many burdens on them. [Boston Globe]
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7. IN CHINA, SCIENTISTS FIND OLDEST DINOSAUR EMBRYOS EVER
Paleontologists in China have discovered the world’s oldest dinosaur embryos, researchers reported in Nature on Wednesday. The fossilized remains were found in a bone bed dating to the Early Jurassic period, making them about 195 million years old. Most known dinosaur embryos date to the Late Cretaceous period, so the find pushes the record back by 100 million years. The researchers believe the newly discovered remains were those of a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur called Lufengosaurus, which grew to 30 feet. “These things were growing faster than anything we’ve ever seen — faster than any living mammal or bird today or any known dinosaur,” said paleontologist Robert Reisz of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, who led the team that analyzed the specimens. [Nature]
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8. JAPANESE AUTOMAKERS ANNOUNCE RECALL OVER AIR BAGS
Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are recalling more than 3.4 million vehicles worldwide to fix a problem with their passenger-side air bags. The cars were manufactured between 2000 and 2004, and were fitted with air bags made by Japan’s Takata Corp. that have an inflator that could burst, sending plastic pieces flying. No injuries have been reported, but Toyota — which is recalling several models, including the Corolla, Tundra, and Lexus SC — said it had received five reports of air-bag malfunctions. The problems stemmed from two human errors — a worker forgot to turn on a system for spotting defects, and some parts were exposed to too much humidity because they were improperly stored. [CBS News]
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9. HERMIT ARRESTED AFTER 27 YEARS IN MAINE WOODS
A hermit who lived in the Maine woods for 27 years has been arrested and charged with the latest in a series of more than 1,000 burglaries he allegedly committed to stay alive since disappearing into the wilderness at age 19. Police say they caught Christopher Knight — known as the North Pond Hermit — last week after he tripped a sophisticated surveillance device while breaking into the Pine Tree Camp in Rome, Maine, to take meat and other provisions. Knight, 47, had a tent in the woods, and allegedly routinely pilfered provisions from other campsites and nearby buildings. Police say he confessed to stealing food, clothing, and propane tanks from the Pine Tree Camp 50 times. “He used us like his local Walmart,” said facilities manager Harvey Chesley. [Columbus Dispatch]
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10. CHINA YANKS DJANGO UNCHAINED
China pulled Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained from movie theaters on Thursday, its opening day. The move was unexpected, as some violent scenes were edited to suit Chinese censors. Authorities gave no explanation for the decision, although workers at two Beijing theaters told The Associated Press the importer, China Film Group, had pulled the film over technical problems. The film was heavily promoted ahead of the scheduled China debut, and no decision has been announced on when it will be cleared to appear in theaters. [New York Times]

Ark. campaign manager’s cat slaughtered

It doesn’t matter about one’s political affiliation, there are just some people (sociopaths) in this world who are simply depraved and despicable in their behavior.

This is one such case…

Politico

The campaign manager for an Arkansas House Democratic candidate found his cat slaughtered with the word “liberal” painted on its corpse.

Ken Aden’s congressional campaign said Monday that Jacob Burris arrived home Sunday evening with his family to discover the gruesome scene and that local police are investigating.

“To kill a child’s pet is just unconscionable.  As a former combat soldier, I’ve seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. Whoever did this is definitely part of the worst of humanity,” Aden said in a release, pointing the finger at a “rogue individual or group” not associated with his opponent.

Aden is challenging freshman Republican Steve Womack in northwest Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District, one of the most Republican districts in the country.

Herman Cain: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Should ‘Go Home And Get A Job And A Life’

I suggest that the very ignorant and narcissistic Mr. Cain do the same…go home.

The Huffington Post

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain shot down the efforts of the Occupy Wall Street protesters Thursday, telling them to “go home and get a job and a life” while speaking to a crowd in Arkansas.

The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza made the comments in response to more than a dozen Occupy protesters who were gathered outside the event, according to the Tolbert Report. “Nobody knows what their cause is,” Cain said before telling the activists to go home.

Cain also had harsh words for the left in general during the campaign stop, saying “the American dream has been hijacked” by liberals, “but we can take it back.”

This isn’t the first time Cain has blasted the Occupy protests. In a Wall Street Journal interview from early October, Cain said the protesters who don’t have jobs have no one to blame but themselves:

“I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! … It is not a person’s fault if they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed.”

Related articles

ARKANSAS HIGH SCHOOL APPOINTS CO-VALEDICTORIAN BECAUSE TOP STUDENT WAS AFRICAN AMERICAN

Little Rock is Arkansas' capital and most popu...

Image via Wikipedia

Think Progress

A high school student in Arkansas was blocked from receiving sole valedictorian honors this summer, despite earning the highest G.P.A. in her class and receiving only a single B in her four years at McGehee Secondary School.

Kymberly Wimberly’s offense? She’s black. School administrators worried that Wimberly’s accomplishment would result in a “big mess” at the majority-white school, so Principal Darrell Thompson told the student’s mother “that he decided to name a white student as co-valedictorian,” even though the white student had a lower G.P.A.

The matter is currently pending in federal court.

Mike Huckabee Responds to Criticism Over Natalie Portman, Obama Comments

Mike Huckabee giving a speech following the So...

Image via Wikipedia

Daily Beast

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pulled back Tuesday a bit from his comments about President Obama’s childhood and Natalie Portman’s pregnancy, and blamed the criticism and backlash on the media’s portrayal of the events.

On his comments regarding the president growing up in Kenya, Huckabee said they “ranged from—this guy is so dumb he doesn’t know that Barack Obama grew up in Indonesia not Kenya—all the way to the other extreme… well I can’t be both. I can’t be the dumbest guy in the room and the smartest guy in the room at the same time.”

As for his comments about Oscar winner Natalie Portman’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy, Huckabee said he did not bring the topic up and was only talking about her to segue into a discussion about “the economic realities of unwed mothers.”