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Exposed by undercover activist, NM-based Winchester Dairy shuts down; charges will be filed: "The activist says he captured images of workers using chains and metal wires to whip animals on their faces and bodies, using tractors to drag milk cows too weak to walk on their own, and electrically shocking the genitals of many animals to get them to move. Cows were also kicked, punched and stabbed with screwdrivers, the footage showed". In TV interview set for release today, Obama says he considers Sony hacking by North Korea an act of vandalism, not war. Obama approves construction of World War One memorial in DC, commemorating the 116,000 fallen US soldiers. Fevered child monitored after landing at O'Hare (Chicago) tests negative for Ebola. Miami: Cuban exiles march, denounce Obama's rapprochement with the communist dictatorship as solidifying the regime. Obama opens his two-weeks vacation in Hawaii with a traditional round of golf. Washington Post: biggest political bloopers of 2014 - lighthearted bipartisan bashing. Dilley, Texas: DHS opens largest center for illegal immigrants (private facility, but $260 million/year cost borne by tax-payers). Two NYPD officers killed in cold-blooded ambush in their stationed car, by a gunman who then took his own life. Craig Ferguson, 52, retires from "Late Late Show" after 9 years, to be replaced by fellow British import James Corden. C-SPAN: farewell speeches from those leaving Congress, most notably Michele Bachmann, Henry Waxman, Tom Coburn.

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Canadian court orders Adekunle Adetiloye, convicted of massive identity theft and credit card fraud (fake debt-collection scheme), to repay $1.6m to victims, in addition to his 18-year prison sentence. Eager companies do face hurdles trying to start doing business with Cuba, between US-side regulations, country not quite ready for foreign investment, and low indigenous income ($6,200/capita/year). Possibility that Sony might sell its production studio (small division of the company, with a mixed track record), last month's hack being the last straw. Japanese chief exec wasn't too warm to that movie from the start. Context: last quarter, Sony Pictures lost $10m; fixing the hack's damage will cost over $10m. Forbes' 5 critical factors to creating manufacturing jobs: trade laws enforcement, training programs, trade agreements, infrastructure projects, and corporate tax incentives tied to actual job creation. Pain of falling Russian tourism felt world-wide, economic turmoil in the country. Nicaragua's ambition to compete with Panama canal met with increasing resistance by locals, especially to-be displaced farmers. RNC urges movie-theater owners to show Sony's movie "The Interview", deriding North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. UK: Costa Coffee's journey from an unambitious operation in 1971 to a $1.5 billion behemoth - and growing. Haggen grocery chain to buy 146 Albertons and Safeway stores in WA, OR, NV, and AZ - pending the FTC's green light. Volvo unveils XC90 SUV, a limited run of $90k/piece vehicles to take on BMW's X5. UK car maker Lotus twice as profitable, but YOY revenues decrease by 10%.

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Known for quality programmers, Romania wants to become #1 tech startup scene in Europe: international corporations already attracted by highest number of tech workers per capita, and 0% tax rate for IT workers. Sharing economy (massive, worldwide, online barter exchanges) displaces industries and shifts traditional businesses' priorities and tactics. Successful examples of sharing econ: AirBnB (home-based hotel services) and Uber (use someone's car as taxi). Without court order, Russian Facebook agrees to censor page created to organize rally for opposition politician. Industry experts (academics, legislators, people in tech) forecast that privacy will be a luxury by 2025, and that our current notion of the concept will by then seem quaint. NASA unveils Tess, new satellite to search for life on other planets; launch in mid-2017. Following Sony's decision not to release its movie "The Interview", BitTorrent (file-sharing ecosystem) offers to distribute it. As often, regulators take time catching up with tech; California DMV officials struggle regulating self-driving cars (mostly safety concerns, though driverless cars tend to have a better safety records than human drivers - 700,000 accident-free miles in one case). US government asks help China's help in stopping future North Korean cyberattacks (their telecommunications run through Chinese-operated networks). Science tackles the problem of farm animals' farts, aka methane-rich greenhouse gases.

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Official Lybian government battles opposition forces trying to seize country's two largest oil ports. Lebanon antsy to get French weapons and helicopters ahead of time, a Saudi-funded deal to fight ISIS instabilities at its borders. South Korea gets nervous about data leaks at its nuclear power plants, especially after Sony's hack, perpetrated by North Korea. Jordan lifts execution ban and hangs 11 murderers. Return of death penalty requested by some to curb increasing crime. Afghanistan: exposure to western culture makes tattoos cool and ever more popular, though inking parlors are still illegal. Romania elects new president: pro-western, ex-mayor Klaus Iohannis, 55, who vows to fight corruption and propel the country. Uzbekistan: parliamentary elections sure to strengthen pres Islam Karimov's 23-year grip on power, since all parties support him. Spain: thousands protest new public security laws and their ruinous fines for subjectively enforceable rules, like photographing cops in some cases, or demonstrating in some areas. Syria: ISIS reportedly killed over 100 to-be-deserters among its foreign fighters. Iraqi Kurds greeted as liberators after ending ISIS siege of Sinjar, near Syria. Tunisia votes, nearly 4 years since Arab Spring and toppling of autocrat Ben Ali. Turkmenistan's gas helps keep western critics silent about this surveillance state. 13 US-led airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria (near Turkish border). Germany: growing anti-immigrant feelings, especially vs. Islamization; large protests.

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