Obama admin / DOJ pens open letter reminding schools' legal obligation to give custom help to non-English speakers. 9-10 earthquakes rock Texas in less than 24 hours, ranging from mag 1.6 to 3.6; given recent increases, fracking could be cause. Poland confirms having received extradition request from US for Roman Polanski, film-maker and fugitive pedophile (1977). NYC mayor de Blasio to end cell-phones-in-school ban enacted by predecessor Michael Bloomberg. Two dead, one doctor and the shooter, at Veteran Affairs Clinic in El Paso, Texas. A look at small business owners just elected to the new Congress (11 R's and 3 D's). President Obama eyes Hawaii community banker for Federal Reserve Board. Rising star Mia Love, UT, becomes first black Republican Congresswoman. Boehner (R-OH) re-elected Speaker of GOP-controlled House in fractious vote; worst endorsement numbers since Civil War. Growing number of students graduate early from college, thanks to Advanced Placement credits, and to lower tuition costs. US gov seizes $18 million from owners of now defunct Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, whose sale of steroids with fungal meningitis killed 64 and sickened ~750. Boston time capsule, embedded 219 years ago in Statehouse's cornerstone, contains newspapers, a medal, silver plaque, and 24 coins - one of which dates back to 1655!
Eurozone inflation turns negative, hopes of government stimulus; December consumer prices dropped for 1st time in 5+ years. Unlike other fast food competitors, Sonic stock up 10% - strategy? menu variety, slick marketing, and stably low prices. Monster audio-equipment sues Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, claiming Beats cheated them from return on large, initial R&D. Hundred of thousands of Indian union coal miners (80% of coal) strikes over gov's plans to privatize the non-competitive industry. US trade deficit at an 11-month low, with increase in private payroll. AP survey of 8 mobile credit card readers and costs involved, including fee schedule. Thanks to T-Mobile-started trend, AT&T will now let you rollover unused data. Ailing teen fashion brand Wet Seal closing 338 stores, nearly 4,000 employees laid off. Boeing: record sales and plane deliveries in 2014, 75 more than 2013, another record. Following 2008 pipeline leak, Shell to pay $83.5m reparation to Nigerian village. Monsento's Q4 numbers show 34% drop in profits due to less corn planted and shift-timing some sales; less than expected. A few facts about Allan Landon, the retired Bank of Hawaii CEO that Obama wants on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Russia's foreign reserves evaporating at unsustainable levels to prevent capital flight and shore up the ruble ($26bn in 2 weeks). Bonds on the up as stocks sink (falling oil prices worry investors that global economy may seriously be slowing down). By the numbers: quick look at Dish Network's new offering, Sling TV. After Safeway, "99 Cents Only" stores fined $2m for improper pharma waste handling. GOP to use "dynamic scoring", whereby tax cuts include growth boost estimates in CBO accounting (vs. just a revenue loss). Sony Entertainment's movie "The Interview" makes $31 million online, becoming the bestselling online movie of all time. Following US appeal to WTO, why did China really scrap own quotas on its rare earth exports (used in most electronics)? JC Penney stocks shoot up 16% after results from Q4 numbers (2-4% up YOY). NYC: city rakes in over half a billion dollars worth of parking tickets last year. Pittsburgh restaurant ditches tips, gives workers higher wages, health benefits, plus increasing stock ownership in the business. To encourage development of hydrogen-fueled vehicle, Toyota opens access to its fuel-cell patents to all its competitors.
Samsung goes the Apple way for its Smart-Home products; within 2 years, all will be internet-enabled, and the software platform powering them will be open to developers. Smartphone slowly replaced landlines / pay phones, camera, Walkman, dictaphone, netbook, portable TV, calculator, watch / alarm clock, sat nav, and some future ones... Fastest growing civilian drone maker is China's DJI Technology Co., founded in 2009, which since grew from 20 to 2,800 worldwide employees; ~5x cheaper. Vietnam internet problems from shark biting fiber-optic cables, possibly confusing electromagnetic waves for bioelectric fields normally associated with shoaling fish! Resurgence of macro malware, e.g., from MS Office documents attached to emails. With bigger iPhones, Apple gains shares at expense of Android-phones and Samsung. Devs+musicians scared by iTunes EU's new policy of 14-days, no-question-asked returns. AP: current drone market resembles the early days of Silicon Valley. Broadcom unveils new chip that will support speeds up to 1 gigabit/sec. for cable modems, thanks to new DOCSIS 3.1 standard. No more cold air out thanks to LG's new fridge that includes a door within a door; launches washing machine with 2 loaders. Apple rumored to release completely redesigned MacBook Air, replacing multiple ports with single, new USB C port. Intel's new Broadwell chip (ever more efficient) might let Apple support Retina on MacBook Airs w/o battery life penalty. Wireless charging closer to reality as multiple companies merge separate approaches into single, compatible effort. World's only person cured of HIV talks about his stem cell transplant (donor's cells are naturally immune to that infection). Following NY Met, Smithsonian releases collection of 40k digitized pieces of art. Unknown Chinese brand ("TLC") to use the Palm name to enter the US market. Recent studies suggest that tea and coffee might help keep your brain healthy. Apple patent describes flexible and "foldable" electronic devices! Google fails in the cloud space, losing market shares as this segment explodes worldwide. South African police impound 33 Uber vehicles for dispute over license needed.
France: in the middle of Paris, masked gunmen force their way into Charlie Hebdo's offices and kill 10 employees / cartoonists, 2 policemen, and flee in stolen car, shouting that they've avenged the Prophet Muhammad; the weekly satirical newspaper had published cartoons depicting Prophet, but always spewing an equal-opportunity irreverence (live updates). Hashtag #JeSuisCharlie now internationally top-trending on Twitter. France: fact sheet about Charlie Hebdo, and threats it faced in the past. In pictures: Charlie Hebdo, soldiers deployed throughout Paris, manhunt for attackers. Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published Prophet Muhammad cartoons in 2005, several times target of unsuccessful terrorist attacks, now on high alert. Yemen: suicide bomber kills 33 at police enrollment center, possibly some civilians. Somalia: al-Shabab kills 4 suspected informants for US, Ethiopia, or gov. France: new book depicting hypothetical France in 2022 under Islamic law causes a stir, viewed as provocative by some. Iraq: justice inside ISIS-occupied towns; video released of amputation (thief), whipping (for watching porn), etc. Booming trade of endangered species as amusement for mega-rich Russians - in this case, baby orangutans at ~$36,000 apiece. China deal with Russia to build the world's longest high-speed train, connecting Beijing to Moscow (48 hours, down from 7 days). Turkey: suicide bomber blows herself up in police station; one dead, one wounded. South Korea: defense ministry claims North doubled its offensive hackers team to 6k. Turkey detains freelance female Dutch reporter on suspicion of "terror". US to possibly start training Syrian rebels (moderate opposition) as early as spring. Sri Lanka presidential elections close high-intensity campaign; fears of possible post-election violence, whoever wins. Cambodia: former Khmer Rouge officers behind "killing fields" still occupying positions of power in country's politics. Bangladesh authorities threaten to bring murder charges against opposition leader, already confined to her Dhaka office by police; her supporters started violent clashes (4 dead, 3 injured).