Fact-check: executive orders basically same as presidential memoranda, but recorded; so, no real way to check Republican critics or Obama's defense on abuse of power.2014 roundup: short-exercise trend, and the conflicting studies behind it; bottom-line, regular exercise is good for you.Mayor de Blasio meets with NYPD union, as second officer shot awaits burial on the 3rd.Apprehended gang member accused of shooting at LAPD officers in their car.Unemployment falling in all states but Louisiana, where it rose in some areas.Two Boston PD officers hospitalized, attacked by six teens related to arrestee.Lawyers for Fort Hood shooting victims request that incident be declared terrorism, which could translate into medals and benefits, aside from other considerations.2014 flu season outpaces previous years, including severe cases; season started earlier, strain makes people sicker, vaccination rates were lower, and a vaccine mismatch.Berkeley, MO: witnesses confirm that 18yo Antonio Martin (shot) pulled gun on cops.17 years old transgender teen commits suicide, leaves note asking to "Fix society".Nice phone call from president Obama to military couple who had to change wedding location away from Hawaii golf course (just a few days notice), for security reasons.
22yo sued by United Airlines & Orbitz for site on cheap airfare layover-trick raises $33k (so far) from 1,600 on GoFundMe.Armenian dram currency falls 15% due mostly to Russian economy troubles; IMF approves $17m aid for the country.Although the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) doesn't work, per pentagon and small businesses (which it was supposed to help get federal contracts), Congress extends it for another 3 years.Exec profile: Volker Kuntzsch, born in Namibia, Masters in Zoology, became first foreign head of Japanese corp, now CEO of NZ's biggest seafood company, Sanford.Vietnam expects to close 2014 with record 5.98% GDP growth; 1.84% inflation, lowest in decades; booming exports; interview with central bank's Deputy Governor (click).Russia pumps ~$673m into Gazprombank, nations third largest lender; ~1.7bn into VTB; ~2.3bn into Trust bank earlier this week.Great roundup of new state laws taking effect in 2015, from elections to selfies.South Korea inflation (0.8%) lowest since 1999; Bank of K so far confident that growth will bring it back up, but could cut rates.Bag makers spend millions lobbying to kill CA law to ban single-use plastic bags, cheaper than paper bags, but not green.Computer Sciences Corp reaches civil settlement with SEC: pay $190m fine and change accounting practices; stock up 1%.Because of emerging markets' decreasing demand, oil price could fall to as little as $20/barrel (vs. current average of $60).Obama admin softens on 40-year-long ban on domestic crude exports; selling overseas brings a $10 premium per barrel.BLS data: West Texas (oil) leads nation in job growth; 6.2% in Midland metro, 4.7% in Odessa; Houston highest number of jobs (125k), followed by DFW (111k). Due to plummeting oil prices, Dallas Fed Reserve forecasts 125k jobs lost by mid-2015.Venezuela officially in recession with 63% inflation; GDP contraction in 2014: -4.8% (Q1), -4.9% (Q2), -2.3% in Q3. Anti-business regulations, squandered revenues, falling crude prices; the country's gov needs at least $85/barrel to break even.
Sensor that can detect vibrations from living cells could be used in alien life search.NASA to hack its own 10-year-old Mars rover to fix its flash memory issues.Study: 83% of dark web traffic goes to child abuse sites, not drugs or government leaks.Android app promising pirated version of "The Interview" also installs malware that steals Citi or Korean banks accounts' info.DARPA seeks drones that can fly up to 45 mph indoors, small and agile enough to enter through open windows, optimized for urban / disaster areas; weaponization not specified.Idaho researchers unveil lightpaper, tiny-LED-infused sheets that can be applied to walls or printed on any object; run current through conductive layer to get light.Future cities to get power from footsteps; 130-year-old idea, only possible to leverage with modern manufacturing techniques.Funny: Aussie police accidentally retweets porn and favorites it; heavy into social media, awarded for marketing efforts.Email is NOT dead: survey shows it at top of "must have" tools for adult workers who use the internet; click for more insights.Let's poke a nuke: South Korean activist to launch balloons with DVDs of Sony's movie "The Interview" above North Korea. Not known if SK government will intervene.
India: cash-strapped government to scrap tax breaks on cars, bikes, and consumer goods.Australia to ban sun-tan beds, out of concern for skin cancer (highest rate in the world).Cyprus: to restart reunification talks, Turkey must respect ethnically divided island's right to exploit its offshore gas reserves. Turkey, which doesn't recognize Cyprus as state, announced gas exploration in areas Cyprus had already contracted companies to drill.Germany: with upcoming Greek elections and rise of the anti-EU, radical left, German lawmaker says that "Greece has lost power to blackmail" - no need to rescue it.Yemen: suicide bomber kills 33, including women and children, at student center celebrating Prophet Mohammad's birthday.Spain: 800 African migrants try for 2nd time to storm fence in Spain's North-African enclave of Melilla from Morocco.Russia: in New Year's speech, Putin calls Crimea annexation a "historic landmark".Syria: Kurdish fighters now control 70% of ISIS-held town of Kobani (Turkish border).Lithuania 19th country to join Eurozone; its economy is devastated by Russia's troubles; switching to euro currency could help.ISIS publishes "interview" of captured Jordanian pilot whose plane was shot during US-led bombings in eastern Syria.Italian coastguards took control of distressed ship containing hundreds of migrants before it crashed into shore; smugglers gone.El Salvador: murder rate increases by 56%, to about 12 per day, as street gangs' truce comes to an end (MS-13 and Barrio 18).China sacks 2 senior officials, will prosecute 18 more, for car parts factory explosion that killed 146, worst industrial accident in 2014.China: record environmental fine ($26m) in water pollution case; 6 companies dumped 25,000 tons of acid waste in rivers.South Korea: arrest warrant for airline exec's daughter who made a plane turn back after her dissatisfaction over snack nuts served.Russia: Putin has been in power (nominally or effectively) for 15 years now, since taking over from Yeltsin in 1999 - a journey.Indonesia: sea sonar imaging seems to show the missing AirAsia flight, which presumably crashed into Java Sea, with 162 on board.Iraq: increasing influence of ISIS and other Sunni jihadists reshapes the country's physical map and its influence.China: parents of wrongfully accused and executed 18-year-old boy in 1996 will receive $330,000 in compensation; this comes just 4 months after former death row prisoner was freed for lack of evidence; mounting local outcry over these and other cases, as gov's ongoing legal reforms now include banning torture to extract confessions.