WP/ABC poll: opinions on police-and-race issues divided by race and politics; common ground? All cops should wear body cams.Ohio zoo: abandoned baby gorilla reared by 16 human surrogates, and slowly introducing it to adult female gorillas.UK refinances nearly 300 years-old debt (pay old debt with new), a reminder that gov debt is passed down generations.Following Europe, US justice system starts to increasingly view obesity as a disability, especially when it causes job loss.Following internet outages from presumably US retaliation over Sony hack, North Korea compares president Obama to a "monkey".Nevada begins new program to dispose of Christmas trees, friendly to the environment and fire-safe: feed them to the goats! Once run by community and religious organizations, hospices now a booming industry, mostly run by for-profits, at -seemingly- the expense of patients.Despite lashing report from Senate Intel Committee, CIA unlikely to lose any power; Congress, White House, and public by and large support its anti-terrorism operations.Thousands attend the wake of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, executed last week in his patrol car by a Mike Brown protester.NYPD: Rafael Ramos & Wenjian Liu, killed on December 20th by Mike Brown supporter, posthumously promoted to rank of Detective.FBI investigating report of US border agent kidnapped by Mexican cartel; none missing, per US Customs and Border Protection.Leaked cables shows Hilary Clinton's harsh or shrewd assessment of Argentina president Cristina Kirchner's mental health.South Carolina: body of missing NY autistic boy found in pond, an apparent accident.Since legalization, marijuana use has risen in Colorado, second only to Rhode Island.Florida: body of missing cruise ship worker found on beach; death ruled accidental.Head-on collision near Sacramento kills four people and seriously injures two.Texas mother's murder-by-omission conviction, after foster child died of salt poisoning, overturned on appeal, after 7 years in prison for a life-without-parole sentence.
Next gen: 17-years-old Canadian investor doubles his money in a year. His trick? obsessive research into stocks and taking the risk to buy some shunned ones (numbers validated by TD Direct & The Telegraph).Ongoing lawsuits against insurers claiming Superstorm Sandy did not cause, but reveal pre-existing property damage. Flip side: insurers can be fined by FEMA if they unduly pay, or overpay, some claims.LA Times top cars ranking by execution quality: Dodge Challenger / Charger Hellcat, VW Golf, Ford Mustang, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mazda 3, Mercedes C-Class, Chevy Colorado, Kia Soul, and Porsche 911 Turbo S. 2014 losers: Fiat 500L & Cadillac ELR.Chinese hackers stealing from Japanese bank accounts in record numbers: a phishing email (looks like a legit' bank email), a link that installs malware, wire transfers between Japanese accounts, and Chinese foot soldiers withdrawing cash from local ATMs.VW's Audi division (40% of sales) ramps up investment in plants, tech, and new models for 2015-2019, trying to dethrone BMW as world's largest luxury car manufacturer.Good economic news, consumer confidence, and falling gas prices (extra cash), translate into profitable holiday season.Falling commodity prices and slowdown in China push value of Australian dollar down 10% against US dollar in 2014.Cuba is a museum of old American cars, a sign of the US trade embargo against the communist nation since the early 1960's.Chinese industrial profits down 4.2%, largest drop 2+ years, due in part to falling prices.Crowds at Disneyland in CA & FL so large, both temporarily closed for overcapacity.After 2013 mishaps by FedEx and UPS, 99+% packages delivered on time in 2014.To boost demand for electric cars (0.8% market share), Germany plans charging stations network across the country.Flip side: 60% of car recalls in the US are ignored (despite being free), raising safety concerns; particularly true for older cars.S&P considers oil prices in their rating: dire outlook for Europe's biggest producers like Shell, Total, BP, Eni and BG Group.
Tactile Astronomy: teaching blind kids about stars, thanks to 3D-printing, which slashes down costs of custom models, previously only affordable by museums.4D-Printing: 3D-printed models made of materials that adapt to light, temperature, and other external stimuli; detailed look at a 4D-printed dress, now already at MOMA.Trending Twitter hashtag #BringHimHome for ISIS' release of captured Jordanian pilot whose plane was shot down in Syria.Cars with wireless networks and internet connections can be hacked, even allowing control over breaking and acceleration.Reflections on the blurring lines between human and machine, thanks to increasingly powerful processors, yet very vulnerable.Swiss scientist eliminate battery issues in pacemakers; create heartbeat-powered version with self-winding clockwork tech.Amazon gets 10 million new Prime members this holiday season (at $99/head); announces new, unspecified cities for the "Prime Now" service (same-day deliveries).NSA, in response to ACLU lawsuit, releases heavily redacted documents outlining its violations of citizens' privacy in 2011-2013.Unwittingly, Sony's The Interview becomes case study for new business ways: releasing new movies both in theaters and online.Overview of Lizard Squad, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network hackers; usually more like pranksters, until Twitter bomb threat.How to recycle old gadgets after Christmas: bring them to Best Buy, sell them on Gazelle, or find a nearby recycling center.Spanish agricultural engineer tries to save diversity and rare grapes; commercialized operations focus only on most popular ones.
Somalia: wanted Islamist with $3 million bounty on his head surrenders to police.Civil-warn torn Libya asks help from Italy to put out fire at its largest oil port.Iran army tests "suicide drone" in war drills held near Strait of Hormuz (Persian Gulf).Syria accepts invitation to Russian-hosted peace talks between gov and opposition.Myanmar (Burma) - hundreds march in front of Chinese embassy over violent crackdown on copper mine protesters.Germany (major lender) reminds Greece of its financial obligations as early election and rise of anti-EU radical left loom.India: timber shop fire outside Mumbai claims 8 lives, all workers asleep.Morocco claims "Exodus" movie represents God, and is therefore forbidden by Islam.Pakistan issues arrest warrant for Red Mosque cleric who refuses to condemn Peshawar school Massacre (Dec. 16).Egypt bans 20th Century Fox movie Exodus; films depicting biblical figures have been previously banned in the Muslim country.Ukraine: first-time prisoner swap between government and pro-Russia separatists.Pakistan: suspected mastermind behind Peshawar school massacre killed.Azerbaijan: offices of US-funded radio station raided, attempt to silence one of the last free and independent media outlet.China increases aid to Nepal fivefold, to compete with India for regional influence, and reward the country that helps control flow of Tibetan refugees fleeing to India.Afghanistan: after US troops departure, Kabul social scene, with its aid workers, security contractors, and diplomats, is but a distant memory; most areas now restricted.Australian entrepreneur Charlotte Chou released from China jail after 6.5 years; one of many Chinese-Australians jailed or in legal quagmire for dubious reasons.Russia: Putin cancels New Year vacation (first 12 days of January) for gov officials.Sweden: hundreds march, protesting arson attack on mosque (5 injured) on Xmas day.Ivory Coast: fmr. first lady Simone Gbagbo on trial for helping her husband steal election, causing civil war and 3,000 deaths.Nicaragua: increasing skepticism over China-backed canal project; secretive operation, unclear finances, delays, etc.Sudan asks UN to respect its sovereignty, after chasing UN officials a month after kicking out African-Union peacekeepers.Germany: finance minister negotiates with parliament on tax reforms; in some cases, a raise, once taxed, becomes a net pay cut.Belgium: former Christian Democrat PM Leo Tindemans, "Mr. Europe", dies at 92.Mexico: priest kidnapped Monday found shot dead, 3rd priest killed this year in state of Guerrero; killing motive currently unclear.Canada: one injured in mall shooting on Boxing Day, country's busiest shopping day; no weapon recovered, two suspects arrested.Brazil: body of Italian tourist, 29-year-old Gaia Molinari, found strangled and left on a beach in northeastern state of Ceara.Italian navy saves 1,300 illegal immigrants sailing to Europe over past few days; from start of 2014 til December 17th, over 167,000 migrants have arrived through Italy.