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Harry Reid, exiting Senate Majority Leader, breaks ribs and facial bones while exercising at home.
Two WV police shot & wounded at traffic stop; two bodies found in trunk when man turns himself in.
Florida 23-year-old decapitates mother over nagging to move boxes to the attic.
New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are top exodus states; top recipient states? Oregon, South Carolina and North Carolina. Top reasons are cost of living and jobs.NYC: man arrested for assaulting officers during protests against police brutality; Wenjian Liu funeral, second slain NYPD officer, is scheduled for tomorrow.Texas father and son on a multistate crime spree kills NC couple, sets their house on fire and steals their truck; both ultimately arrested after fires shot in standoff with police.California lawyer who inherited money from client is accused of using "undue influence", and told to pay non-profits amount originally allotted for charities.Hundreds of new state laws to start the new year, quick overview from USA Today.Former NY Governor Mario Cuomo (1983 to 1994) dies at 82, as son Andrew Cuomo begins second term, also as NY governor.Minnesota judge: Norway violated state's equal-pay law by paying former female employee at Norwegian Consulate $30k less than male counterpart; country's government fined "double her lost wages" ($170,594), plus $100,000 for "emotional distress".Watchdog group: FEMA spends over $177 million covering claims that should have been covered by private insurances; audit confirms, and discovers that the federal agency will be liable for $1 billion in future disaster for failing to review fine prints.Quick news briefs:
Arizona: Cochise County Sheriff's helicopter crashes, killing pilot and mechanic on board.
21 people arrested for making threats to police in NYC since 2 NYPD were killed in their car.
Georgia police chief accidentally shoots and seriously injures wife; placed on admin leave.
Chatham, Massachusetts police cruiser kills student lying on unlit road at dawn.
Federal judge allows gay weddings to proceed in Florida.

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Economy & Business News Economy & Business News

By the numbers: great collection of 14 charts on various aspects of income inequality. Take-aways: get college degree, invest in stocks, don't sell them when market falls.Armenia joins Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus & Kazakhstan), an EU-like free market facilitating free flow of goods and services; no single currency for now.In trying to defeat major oil-producing rivals Russia and the US, Saudi Arabia plays a risky game, likely to alienate ally gulf states (keep pumping, willing to let price fall as low as $20/barrel, which would bankrupt just about every competitor). Influential, domestic opposition is already growing; despite colossal cash reserves, the kingdom is heavily dependent on imports, and 90% of its gov's revenues come from oil. But if strategy pans out, the country will have much greater control over oil prices & production.After banks (3 major ones rescued in past 2 weeks), Russia pumping money into private businesses, cash-starved in large part by western sanctions on Crimea annexation.With complicated new rules, Obamacare (ACA) enrollees don't know what to expect from their federal tax return / penalties.GM recalls 92,000 full-size trucks and SUVs for (minor) ignition lock founder: patents, as currently licensed and enforced, stifle businesses' growth and efficiency, and create logistical nightmares; the number of patents, and their vagueness, makes it hard to know what needs to be licensed, how, and through whom.Timberland, 6-year flat income and losing US market share, increases revenues 15% -an industry exception in 2014- by turning to data science for marketing and new products, after completing the transition from family-run business to VF Corp acquisition.Though most jobs since recovery are full-time, ~7 million are part-time not by choice - much higher than pre-recession.Sales of #5 carmaker Hyundai / Kia's grow at slowest pace in 12 years, but confident company builds two new factories in China.Australia: Qantas and China Eastern airline alliance comes under scrutiny as combined market share grows; China passed UK in 2013 as second largest tourist nationality.Tennessee regulators (one example) struggle with sites like Airbnb that let people rent their home to strangers for a fee; currently, this market isn't regulated - and booming.Quick news briefs:
Despite Libya (multiple oil fields under siege, on fire), oil prices fall to 5.5-year low ($56/barrel).
2014 Russian oil output (2/3 of exports) in post-Soviet high, mostly thanks to small producers.
US manufacturing growth in December falls to 11-month low (same trend in Europe & Asia).
US construction slips 0.3% in November, mostly due to decrease in related gov spending.
Euro at 4-year low after Mario Draghi (EU Central Bank pres.) hints at quantitative easing.

Full Tech News Summary

Science & Tech News Tech News

Study shows that many cancers are caused by bad luck, not bad genes or lifestyle.New EU energy rules require that internet-connected devices turn themselves off when not in use (saving ~$50/household/year).Paris startup called Qwant offers new search engine experience, partly fueled by growing resentment against Google, particularly in Europe where privacy laws are stricter.Woman ordered to pay ~$10k in Facebook defamation case: suggested in post that estranged husband was abusive for years; overview of similar social media cases.Custom deer robot made to catch off-season poachers in Florida; convincing enough that it required repairs from bullet damage.Crowdfunding saves centuries-old north Malian manuscript (area now occupied by Islamists); next, other countries' artefacts.UK government trials driverless cars in 3 cities, in semi-autonomous conditions.A robot can now paint your nails; better still, it can be repurposed for cooking.Potrait of Mari Velonaki: male-dominated robotics welcomes female artist to help with "social robotics", the art and science of making machines interact with humans.Electronic chip as alternative to the pill: sub-dermally implanted, releases on-demand contraceptive hormones, can be turned off at will using remote control; TTM? 2018.Uber prices auto-adjusted based on demand, as Aussie gal discovers, being charged ~$174 for an 8.5 mile ride home on New Year's.Samsung: all its internet-connected TVs this year will use the company's own operating system, Linux-based "Tizen".

Full World News Summary

World News Summary World News

In depth look at China's security and counter-terrorism policies in the Uyghur autonomous region of Xinjiang (where 45% of the population is Turkic Muslims ethnic minority).Quick news briefs:
Harper Collins atlas sold to Middle-East schools omits Israel on world map.
Greece: former PM George Papandreou to form new party.
Yemen: anti-Shi'ite tribesmen seize army tanks.
Gambia: dozens arrested, weapons cache uncovered, after failed coup attempt.
Venezuela economy: president's approval rating down to 22%, lowest since his term started.
North Korea: Kim Jong-un sister marries son of one of the country's most powerful officials.
Turkey: leftist groups take credit for anti-police attack in Istambul.
Spain: Madrid train status evacuated after false bomb threat.
India: Pakistani boat filled with explosives blows up off the coast; the country's long coastline makes it hard to defend.In 2014, Syrian civil war saw 76,000 people killed, half of them civilians; UN estimates place total deaths at 200,000 since 2011.Thousands of Ukraine nationalists march in Kiev, honoring 1940s anti-soviet figure, which Moscow calls Nazi collaborator.French new year: 940 cars set ablaze across the country, compared to 1,067 last year.Italy needs to rescue yet another cargo ship abandoned smugglers, filled with as many as 450 migrants, only days after the first.Syria: video of two Italian women kidnapped last summer; both were volunteers for non-profit health and water-related projects.Japan: 4th year in a row, birth rate drops to record low; at this rate, country's population will fall from 127m to 97m by 2050.Bahrain: US state dept. publicly expresses concern over arrest of opposition leader leading a protest against country's elections.Quick news briefs:
Brazil president Dilma Rousseff sworn into second term.
Kenya: three soldiers injured by -presumably- al Shabaab Islamists at Somalia border.
Libya progresses, trying to extinguish week-long oil storage tanks fire at its biggest port.

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