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Hollywood vs. The Daily Mail

Hollywood vs. The Daily Mail

By Lizzie Crocker, Lloyd Grove

George Clooney and Angelina Jolie Take On The UK's Leanest, Meanest Gossip Machine

George Clooney wouldn't accept The Daily Mail's apology after it published an untruth about his relationship with his future in-laws. Now Angelina Jolie is allegedly suing the British tabloid. Will it ever temper its gossipy intrusiveness?

Its writers moralize freely over sex, dieting, and women’s career and reproductive choices. Its addictive “sidebar of shame” catalogues every celebrity roll of fat, fashion faux pas, and shaky early-morning nightclub exit. Today it’s “the most stylish fat person you’d ever meet,” followed by the shocking story of actress Kristen Stewart disembarking from a transatlantic flight with an “unkempt” pixie cut and “looking a bit worse for the wear.”

For years the Daily Mail has been the British celebrity’s bete noir, printing every rumor—sometimes true, oftentimes false—and documenting every nipple slip for its legion of middle class readers in middle England. In 2010 MailOnline, its wildly successful internet arm, opened bureaus in Los Angeles and New York, bringing a heavy dose of the U.K.’s tabloid culture to the States. Today, MailOnline is the world’s most-read news website. And as its influence and readership expands, the paper is feeling the wrath of Hollywood mega-stars.

 
Germany, Argentina, and What Really Makes a World Cup Team

Germany, Argentina, and What Really Makes a World Cup Team

Allen Barra

If America wants to become a true soccer superpower, its sports landscape will have to change. One place to start: college.

In any case, the composition of the final match perfectly illustrates an oft-forgotten fact about the World Cup: It’s not really the world’s cup. A better title would be “The West European/South American Cup,” since the eight countries who have won the World Cup have been from those two continents.

And soccer, really, is not “the world’s game.” Though it has the highest global participation rate of any sport, there are quite a few countries where it is not the most popular game. Those include eight of the world’s 10 most populous countries. On the whole, people in China, India, the U.S., and Indonesia—the top four in population—play soccer but have other sports they prefer. Only in No. 5 Brazil and No. 7 Nigeria does soccer have a clear edge.

Americans who hope to see the U.S. compete one day at soccer’s highest level would do well to keep all of this in mind. Our talent pool is immense, but to change soccer’s status here would mean changing the entire sports landscape. All the countries who have ever won a World Cup have at least one thing in common: Soccer has no real competitor for athletic talent.

..........................................

America, of course, has the physical talent to compete with anyone. In the most famous test of national athletic ability, the summer Olympics, U.S.A. is supreme. In the 2012 games, we took home 104 medals, 46 gold (the closest competitor was China, 38 gold of 88 medals). So we can produce the athletes; we just very rarely turn the athletes into soccer players.

Think of the possibilities if some of the great talents in American team sports had turned to soccer when they were young. Jim Brown was the greatest running back in NFL history—and so versatile that he was also an All-American at lacrosse. At 6-2 and 230 pounds, he may have been too bulked-up for soccer. But had he chosen soccer instead of American football, he probably would have been a good 20 to 25 pounds lighter.

Most of the top soccer squads weigh in at about 170-175 pounds a man—that’s the average for the Argentine team, German team, and even U.S. team this year. But a soccer team can embrace numerous body types, and surely no one who remembers Jim Brown weaving through enemy defenses would question his ability to keep up with men 30 or 40 pounds lighter.

 
BigTimeFootball: It's getting close......


It's getting close......

BigTimeFootball

 
On Being a Good Mother

On Being a Good Mother

By Sheila Kohler

How to be a good mother?

When my mother died she left her grand fortune which she had inherited from my father, not to her remaining daughter but to her own family, her sisters and brother, a story I have written in “Love child”.

Yet despite all of this I believe my mother was a good mother. She was endlessly loving, generous, paying for splendid holidays in luxurious hotels, all the clothes we could desire, jewelry. She was truly the best grandmother to my children. She would step in when my own mothering faltered, as it did. I was determined to be much more strict.  When I took away the security blanket in my ignorance she secretly provided a new one. She replaced the books I threw out,  considering them trash ( Barbara Cartland!)  with others the children could enjoy and become the readers they are today.

Above all she gave us a sense that our presence delighted her, that we were in ourselves, without any accomplishments, precious, that there was nothing we could do to destroy her love.

 
Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide

** FILE ** A happy face smiles back from the scope of a U.S. Army sniper's rifle, during a mission searching for insurgents in Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 22, 2004. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)

Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide

By Douglas Ernst - The Washington Times

The research arm dedicated to creating breakthrough technology for the Pentagon has shared video of a successful test of self-guided bullets.

The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency conducted a test April 21 with Teledyne Scientific & Imaging. Video posted to YouTube earlier this month shows a round with a ballistic path far from its intended target. As the round makes its way along the errant trajectory it suddenly curves, corrects itself and hits the intended target.

 
This Much Is True About George Clooney: He’s Livid

This Much Is True About George Clooney: He’s Livid

By RAVI SOMAIYA and CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY

Mr. Clooney’s blistering attack on The Daily Mail and its reporting practices comes as the paper’s website continues its aggressive expansion in the United States.

This week, George Clooney condemned The Daily Mail, the British newspaper, after it reported that the Lebanese mother of his fiancée objected to their wedding on religious grounds. Relatives had joked about the death of the bride if she defied her mother’s wishes, the article said.

“We have family members all over the world, and the idea that someone would inflame any part of that world for the sole reason of selling papers should be criminal,” Mr. Clooney wrote in a response published in USA Today, adding, “When they put my family and my friends in harm’s way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.”

The Daily Mail removed the article from its website, but not before other outlets published similar reports. Mr. Clooney refused to accept the paper’s apology and again responded in USA Today. “The Mail knew the story in question was false and printed it anyway,” he wrote.

For The Daily Mail, its dust-up with Mr. Clooney was, in some respects, all in a day’s work. With a gossipy, salacious and celebrity-obsessed approach to news, The Daily Mail’s web publication — Mail Online — has become the most visited English language newspaper site in the world. And its tabloid tactics are part of the cut and thrust of doing business in a British newspaper culture that is generally faster and looser than its American counterpart.

But Mr. Clooney’s blistering attack on The Daily Mail and its reporting practices comes as the paper’s website continues its aggressive expansion in the United States. The Mail Online now has more than 36.4 million unique readers a month in the United States, according to ComScore — up 30 percent in the last year.

“They realized that these kind of stories that seemed like uniquely British tabloid stories were traveling, and they realized they could build something here,” said Ken Doctor, a media analyst.

.....................................

As celebrities have begun to exercise more power over their publicity, the outlets that cover them have had their business fortunes suffer, according to the most recent figures tracked by the Alliance for Audited Media. From 2012 to 2013, newsstand sales for People magazine dropped 14 percent and those for US Weekly fell about 13 percent. Over the last decade, newsstand sales for People have declined 43 percent and those for US Weekly have dropped 34 percent

The Mail Online signaled its arrival on American shores when it started covering celebrities in Los Angeles in early 2011. In 2012, it opened a New York office in SoHo to expand its coverage. It now has 160 employees in the United States. In June, Jon Steinberg, former president of BuzzFeed, was named chief executive of Mail Online’s North American operations. His focus, in part, will be on increasing its advertising revenue and expanding its video unit.

 
Feds Ask Churches To House Migrant Families

You Take 'Em!

Neil Munro

Feds Ask Churches To House Migrant Families

 Unaccompanied Minors In Texas

The Department of Homeland Security has asked Catholic churches in California to temporarily house and feed groups of Central American migrants until 2016, according to an official at the diocese of San Bernardino.

But any unpaid cooperation is legally questionable, because it may be intended to bypass Congress’ authority to fund — or to not fund — federal agencies’ new practice of distributing the flood of migrant families to homes across the country.

The department “has reached out to the diocese and the bishop, and asked us to shelter families in transition,” Maria Christina Mendez, at the Office of Hispanic Affairs, told The Daily Caller. The services would be needed for the next 18 months, “or longer,” she said.

In response, the diocese has offered to let family groups of migrants stay at its buildings for up to three days, while they are being relayed by federal immigration agencies to cities and towns where they want to live, she said.

“Some of them are going to the East Coast, some of them are going all the way up north,” she told The Daily Caller.

The illegal inflow includes at least 100,000 people since October. Many are in so-called “family units” of adults and children.

 
America Fails the 'Rule of Law' Test

America Fails the 'Rule of Law' Test

  By Conor Friedersdorf

The U.S. doesn't even meet the standards articulated by its own army.

The U.S. Army field manual defines "the rule of law" as follows: "The rule of law refers to a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency."

Going by that definition, the U.S. government does not operate according to the rule of law. A panel of former executive-branch employees, many of whom served in the U.S. military or the CIA, made this point bluntly in a recent report on drones. "Despite the undoubted good faith of US decision-makers, it would be difficult to conclude that US targeted strikes are consistent with core rule of law norms," they declared. "From the perspective of many around the world, the U.S. appears to claim, in effect, the legal right to kill any person it determines is a member of al-Qaida or its associated forces, in any state on Earth, at any time, based on secret criteria and secret evidence, evaluated in a secret process by unknown and largely anonymous individuals—with no public disclosure of which organizations are considered 'associated forces,' no means for anyone outside that secret process to raise questions about the criteria or validity of the evidence, and no means for anyone outside that process to identify or remedy mistakes or abuses."

Unfortunately, the U.S. government violates "rule of law" norms in other areas too. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court does not operate with "procedural and legal transparency." The Office of Legal Counsel adopts highly contestable yet totally secret interpretations of statutes that dramatically affect policy outcomes. Citizens and corporations are served with secret court orders and often feel confused about whether they are even permitted to consult with counsel. Laws against revealing classified information are not enforced equally—powerful actors routinely leak official secrets with impunity, while whistleblowers and dissidents are aggressively persecuted for the mere "mishandling" of state secrets. The director of national intelligence committed perjury without consequence. President Obama has blatantly violated a duly ratified, legally binding treaty that requires him to investigate and prosecute acts of torture. He also violated the War Powers Resolution by participating in the military overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi without securing the approval of Congress. And he won't even clarify exactly what groups he considers us to be at war with!

 
Governors livid over border crisis

Detained child migrants are pictured. | AP Photo

Governors livid over border crisis

By KYLE CHENEY

The surge of Latin American children trying to cross the U.S. border threatens to strain states’ resources and is testing their already fragile relationship with Washington, governors from both parties warned Friday.

As they gathered here for a meeting of the National Governors Association, the state leaders seethed at what they said was a lack of support and information from the federal government.

That’s left them groping for solutions to an issue they say combines humanitarian concern for vulnerable children, fears of lax border security and intense election-year politics.

“I found out in the last 48 hours that approximately 200 illegal individuals have been transported to Nebraska [by the federal government],” said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, in an interview. “The federal government is complicit in a secret operation to transfer illegal individuals to my state and they won’t tell us who they are.”

 
Worries About Russian Moles in Berlin

 

One Big Reason The CIA Spied on Germany: Worries About Russian Moles in Berlin

Eli Lake 

U.S. intelligence officials say much of the CIA’s activities inside Germany were not directed at prying secrets from Berlin. They were focused on Russian intelligence activities.

The CIA and their German counterparts have worked closely for years on countering terrorists and thwarting Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But despite the cooperation on these issues, the CIA has also long held the view that Germany’s intelligence and security services have been penetrated by foreign agents.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials who worked on the Germany file tell The Daily Beast that much of the CIA’s activities inside the country were not directed at prying secrets from the German state—at least ordinarily. Instead, they were focused primarily on Russian intelligence activities, foreign terrorist groups and Iranian technology procurement.

“We have had very serious problems with their counter-intelligence over the years,” one senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “In counter-terrorism and in other areas they some times have problems that are bigger than they acknowledge to themselves.”

This official declined to discuss the details of the current espionage case that is roiling the German government today.

“The station chiefs were always told to try to find out what the Germans knew about us, but it was never much. We always worried that they had moles working for the Soviets and later the Russians.”
 
5 Cool Things About LeBron James

5 Cool Things About LeBron James

LeBron James announced he will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But plenty of Cavs fans are still upset with him since he left town in 2010. WSJ's Lee Hawkins cites five things about Lebron that should make them reconsider.

 
LeBron James to Cleveland will have a major financial impact

LeBron James to Cleveland will have a major financial impact

By Ellen Meyers

LeBron James announced Friday that he will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers to play basketball next season. LeBron James' decision has huge financial implications for Cleveland, Miami, and beyond. 

First, the NBA announced Thursday the salary cap for the 2014-15 season will be $63.065 million, up from $58.679 million last year. This means that the players on the team cannot be paid more than $63.065 million combined. However, NBA teams must spend 90 percent of their salary cap, making the minimum $56.759 million.

James announced his 2010 move during a one-hour long TV special on ESPN called ‘The Decision.’ The special reportedly grossed $6 million in ad revenues, according to the Plain Dealer. At the same time, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America received $2.5 million, as the TV special was broadcasted from the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn.

The free agent's decision not only affects the teams, but also the communities. James’ economic impact as a Cavalier was estimated to be $50 million to $80 million a year, says WKYC, an NBA-affiliated television station in Cleveland. When he left for Miami, Cleveland was estimated to lose $48 million from James' absence, according to the Plain Dealer. Why? James was an attraction for the Northeast Ohio region. Without him, there were fewer people attending the Cavaliers' games, and that meant fewer people paying for parking, food, hotel, and travel, let alone tickets and team merchandise. For Miami, it isn't clear what will happen to the city's economy upon James' exit, but Forbes has reported that the Heat would lose $100 million if James does not come back.

 
Pope Francis's Radical Environmentalism

Pope Francis's Radical Environmentalism

Exploiting the earth "is our sin," the pontiff says.

By Tara Isabella Burton

This past weekend, Pope Francis did something that was quietly revolutionary. In a talk at the Italian university of Molise, Francis characterized concerns about the environment as “one of the greatest challenges of our time”—a challenge that is theological, as well as political, in nature. “When I look at ... so many forests, all cut, that have become land … that can [no] longer give life,” he reflected, citing South American forests in particular. “This is our sin, exploiting the Earth. ... This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation.” And the pontiff isn’t stopping there; he’s reportedly planning to issue an encyclical, or papal letter, about man’s relationship with the environment.

It’s easy to be glib about Francis’s remarks—few people see the chopping-down of the Amazonian rainforests as an encouraging development. And a pope championing environmental protection isn’t entirely new; after all, The Guardian dubbed Benedict XVI the “first green pontiff” for his work in this area. But by characterizing the destruction of the environment not merely as a sin, but rather as our sin—the major sin, he suggests, of modern times—the pope is doing more than condemning public inaction on environmental issues. By staking out a fiercely pro-environmentalist position, while limiting his discourse about hot-button issues like homosexuality, Francis is using his pulpit to actively shape public discourse about the nature of creation (indeed, environmental issues were part of his first papal mass). In so doing, he is implicitly endorsing a strikingly positive vision of the individual’s relationship with the created world, and with it a profoundly optimistic vision of what it means to be human—and incarnate—overall, opening the door for a radical shift in emphasis, though not doctrine, when it comes to the Catholic Church’s view of mankind.

The Christian view of the individual’s relationship to nature—“creation,” we might call it in a theological context—has traditionally revolved around interpretations of the exhortation in Genesis 1:28: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Many have cited the idea of dominion to justify an anthropocentric view of the world, in which nature exists solely to provide man with its bounty—a position that is often more prevalent in evangelical Protestant circles, especially within the United States. Legislation such as the Louisiana Science Education Act, which seeks to enact a “balanced” (read: climate-change-denying) curriculum on environmental change in schools, has received support from organizations like the creationist think tank the Discovery Institute and the Christian advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom. The Cornwall Alliance, whose declaration has been signed by luminaries of the religious right, released a 12-part video series in 2010 entitled “Resisting the Green Dragon,” about the dangers of environmentalism. This perspective, however, is hardly limited to Protestants. Consider the Catholic politician Rick Santorum, who at a 2012 energy summit in Colorado rejected the threat of climate change. “We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit,” he said.

 
Killed by drunk illegal immigrant driver

Pain: Mary Ann Mendoza, pictured in May after her son was killed by an illegal immigrant in a car crash, has written a letter to President Obama demanding to know why the man was still in the U.S.

Mother of cop killed by drunk illegal immigrant driver pens furious letter to Obama 

By Lydia Warren

The mother of an off-duty police officer who was killed by a wrong-way illegal immigrant driver has written a furious letter to President Obama demanding to know why the man was not deported after being convicted of a crime.

Mary Ann Mendoza, who lost her son Sgt. Brandon Mendoza in the horror crash in Mesa, Arizona in May, expressed her anger that the driver, Raul Silva-Corona, was not sent back to Mexico two decades ago after he carried out crimes in Colorado.

'The prosecutors were "lenient" on him and several charges were dismissed,' she wrote in the letter.

'When he was convicted of these crimes (in) 1994 and the government knew he was in the country illegally, why wasn't he deported? Why are any of these illegal criminals in this country?

Raul Silva-Corona

Mary Ann Mendoza, who lost her son Brandon in Arizona in May, expressed her anger that the driver was not deported two decades ago after he carried out crimes in Colorado.

 Fatal: Footage shows the massive fire that followed the head-on collision between the two cars on May 12

Officer Carrick Cook, a state Department of Public Safety spokesman, said Mendoza likely only had seconds of warning before the crash. Silva-Corona died at the scene and his body was so badly burned that authorities could not immediately identify him. After he was identified, police said he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.24 per cent. In Arizona, a driver is presumed to be intoxicated at 0.08 per cent.

Police had frantically tried to stop him during a 30-minute chase. One officer had smash into the vehicle to stop it, but the driver drove around him and continued.

 
Bill Gates's Favorite Business Book

[image]

Bill Gates's Favorite Business Book

By Bill Gates

John Brooks's 1960s collection "Business Adventures" still offers many insights into running a strong business, writes Bill Gates.

Not long after I first met Warren Buffett back in 1991, I asked him to recommend his favorite book about business. He didn't miss a beat: "It's 'Business Adventures,' by John Brooks, " he said. "I'll send you my copy." I was intrigued: I had never heard of "Business Adventures" or John Brooks.

Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—"Business Adventures" remains the best business book I've ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer. (And Warren, if you're reading this, I still have your copy.)

One of Brooks's most instructive stories is "Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox." (The headline alone belongs in the Journalism Hall of Fame.) The example of Xerox is one that everyone in the tech industry should study. Starting in the early '70s, Xerox funded a huge amount of R&D that wasn't directly related to copiers, including research that led to Ethernet networks and the first graphical user interface (the look you know today as Windows or OS X).

Download a free copy of "Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox."

But because Xerox executives didn't think these ideas fit their core business, they chose not to turn them into marketable products. Others stepped in and went to market with products based on the research that Xerox had done. Both Apple and Microsoft, for example, drew on Xerox's work on graphical user interfaces.

I know I'm not alone in seeing this decision as a mistake on Xerox's part. I was certainly determined to avoid it at Microsoft. I pushed hard to make sure that we kept thinking big about the opportunities created by our research in areas like computer vision and speech recognition. Many other journalists have written about Xerox, but Brooks's article tells an important part of the company's early story. He shows how it was built on original, outside-the-box thinking, which makes it all the more surprising that as Xerox matured, it would miss out on unconventional ideas developed by its own researchers.

 
Can the French Talk About Race?

42-25632128-580.jpg

Can the French Talk About Race?

by Alexander Stille

Quietly, the French Ministry of Higher Education last month signed off on implementing a law that had been passed nearly a year earlier but had been gathering dust within the bureaucracy. Many in the ministry had hoped that it would die a quiet and unnoticed death. Following a model developed in Texas and California, the French government will now offer places at the top universities—France’s grandes écoles, or great schools—to the top ten per cent of students in every lycée in France. This represents a departure for a country that has always proudly maintained an inflexibly meritocratic entrance system. In American terms, the Texas-California model actually represents a moving away from traditional affirmative action, insuring a measure of diversity by offering help based on socioeconomic and not strictly racial grounds. But, for France, what is ambivalently called discrimination positive—affirmative action—is something radical.

France, with its revolutionary, republican spirit of egalité, likes to think of itself as a color-blind society, steadfastly refusing, for example, to measure race, ethnicity, or religion in its censuses. And yet France is, undeniably, a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multiracial society, and has been at least since the nineteen-fifties, when large waves of immigrants began arriving from its former colonies. It has significant problems of discrimination, and of racial and economic segmentation, but limited tools to measure or correct them. The obvious answer—to many American scholars and to some French ones—is to begin to gather better data.

“No one in France can say how many blacks live in this country,” Louis-Georges Tin, one of the founders of CRAN, the Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires, or the Representative Council of Black Associations, wrote in 2008, when there was a big push to collect racial statistics.

There are divisions, too, about what people hope the numbers will reveal. During periods of economic expansion, France was happy to have inexpensive foreign laborers for its factories and unskilled jobs, housing them in out-of-the way housing projects on the periphery of its major cities. But then the French economy slowed down, unemployment rose, and France woke up to an underclass of people who were physically and culturally isolated from the mainstream. Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Front got twenty-five per cent of the French vote in the 2014 European elections, more than any other party. In recent private surveys, seventy per cent of respondents agreed with the statement “There are too many immigrants.”

 
The New Conservative Purity Test: Impeaching Obama

top-box

The New Conservative Purity Test: Impeaching Obama

David Freedlander

It’s now the extreme dividing line among the GOP’s base: Do you want to impeach the president or not? Why Republicans with long memories are worried about where all this is headed.

There was a time not long ago when leaders in the Republican Party favored a cap-and-trade system to deal with the threat of global warming. And there was a time when the party coalesced around the idea of immigration reform. There was a time when it seemed suicidal to much of the party to not raise the debt ceiling.

But each of those issues shifted quickly at some point to become dividing lines for the base, one in which being on the wrong side meant talk-radio ridicule and threats of a primary challenge.

The latest out-of-left field litmus test? Do you want to impeach President Obama, or not?

This particular line entered the bloodstream this week thanks to Sarah Palin, who on Tuesday authored an op-ed on Breitbart News in which she wrote that “Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president. His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’”

On Wednesday, the influential talk-radio host Mark Levin, who has previously called for the president’s impeachment, endorsed Palin’s comments. “She stands with the Framers. So, what is [House Speaker John] Boehner’s answer? What are the Republicans going to do? They’re going to wait for the next election? That doesn’t fix it.”

The notion of an impeachment has created such a flurry that it has become a question that seemingly all Republicans must now answer questions about, whether in the halls of Congress or on the campaign trail. A cadre of top Republicans has pushed back on the idea, even as audio from last month has surfaced of Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for a hard-fought Senate seat in Iowa, calling for Obama’s impeachment.

 
Differences between organic and non-organic food found

Organic apples and pears

Differences between organic and non-organic food found

Damian Carrington

Study finds organic food has more antioxidants and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides

The researchers say the increased levels of antioxidants are equivalent to "one to two of the five portions of fruits and vegetables recommended to be consumed daily and would therefore be significant and meaningful in terms of human nutrition, if information linking these [compounds] to the health benefits associated with increased fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption is confirmed".

 
How To Tell Someone That They Are Dying

How To Tell Someone That They Are Dying

Physicians now recognize that patients not only have a right to information but also have the right to refuse medical care.

hysicians now recognize that patients not only have a right to information but also have the right to refuse medical care. Physicians, however, are rarely taught how to partner effectively with patients in making important medical decisions that set the proper balance between helping patients make wise choices and respecting the patients’ rights to refuse medical interventions.

This raises a fundamental question about the doctor-patient relationship: Is modern medical practice all about “patient knows best”? Or do physicians still need, on occasion, to cajole their patients into doing the right thing?

 
Was Iraq's Top Terrorist Radicalized at a US-Run Prison?

A former US military compound commander at Camp Bucca suspects ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's extremism was fostered (or bolstered) at the facility.

In early July, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the jihadist terror group now known as the Islamic State—formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS—preached on high in Mosul and declared himself the "Calpih Ibrahim" of a new fundamentalist Sunni state stretching from western and northern Iraq to northern Syria. This announcement came after months of fighting over territory and skirmishes with Iraqi forces, as ISIS invaded and captured dozens of Iraqi cities including Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown.

In short order, Baghdadi has become Iraq's most prominent extremist leader. But for much of his adult life, Baghdadi did not have a reputations as a fiery, jihadist trailblazer. According to the Telegraph, members of his local mosque in Tobchi (a neighborhood in Baghdad) who knew him from around 1989 until 2004 (when he was between the ages of 18 and 33) considered Baghdadi a quiet, studious fellow and a talented soccer player. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Baghdadi was earning a degree in Islamic studies in Baghdad.

But within a couple years of the US invasion, Baghdadi was a prisoner in Camp Bucca, the US-run detainment facility in Umm Qasr, Iraq. And a US compound commander stationed at that prison—and other military officials—have in recent weeks wondered whether Baghdadi's stint there radicalized him and put him on the path to taking over ISIS in 2010 and guiding the movement to its recent military victories.

The details of Baghdadi's time in Camp Bucca are murky. Some media reports note that he was held as a "civilian internee" at the prison for 10 months in 2004. Others report that he was captured by US forces in 2005 and spent four years at Camp Bucca. The reason why he was apprehended is not publicly known; he could have been arrested on a specific charge or as part of a large sweep of insurgents or insurgent supporters. (A confidential Red Cross report leaked in May 2004 suggested than around 90 percent of detainees of Iraqi origin were arrested "by mistake.") Army Colonel Kenneth King, the commanding US officer at Camp Bucca in 2009, recently told the Daily Beast that he distinctly remembered a man resembling Baghdadi: "He was a bad dude, but he wasn't the worst of the worst." King noted he was "not surprised" that such a radical figure emerged from the facility.

 
Nixon appeared to blame homosexuality for the collapse of the Roman empire

Nixon appeared to blame homosexuality for the collapse of the Roman empire

By Jessica Jerreat

Candid: Nixon and Kissinger are heard discussing homosexuality and its impact in history in newly released recordings

In newly released recordings of Richard Nixon, the U.S. President discusses homosexuality and suggests it was behind the downfall of societies such as the Roman Empire.

During a conversation, featured in a book by Vanity Fair's Douglas Brinkley and historian Luke Nichter, the President is heard discussing homosexuality. Describing himself as 'the most tolerant person' on the subject, Nixon went on to say he feared homosexuality sapped the vitality out of a country.

The remarks on homosexuality were made during a discussion with Henry Kissinger and Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman in April 1971. The men had been talking about a youth conference when Nixon seized on the opportunity to 'say something before we get off the gay thing'.

After saying homosexuals 'were born that way' Nixon went on to suggest that history was filled with intelligent - and gay - people, from Oscar Wilde and Aristotle to Nero. 'But the point is, look at that, once a society moves in that direction, the vitality goes out of that society. Now, isn’t that right, Henry?' he is heard saying, as he addresses Kissinger. National security adviser Kissinger answered: 'That’s certainly been the case in antiquity. The Romans were notorious...'

 
Catholics in Business Wrestle With Pope Francis' Attacks on Capitalism

Catholics in Business Wrestle With Pope Francis' Attacks on Capitalism

'If the Pope's Message Is Going to Be Effective, It Has to Be Realistic'

By Gregory J. Millman

Since his election last year, Pope Francis frequently has turned his attention to global business.

"The economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the workforce," he wrote In November.

Such comments, typical of this pope's statements, writings and even tweets, have Catholic executives struggling to remain faithful to their religion and loyal to their stockholders.

"Of course, I think he's right to say that, just so we are conscious of our responsibility," says Robert LeBlanc, who leads French operations for insurer Aon AON -0.02% PLC. But, "When you run a company you have to run it for the long term. If you cannot keep all the people, you have to do something."

The debate matters beyond the church. Catholics constitute about 17% of the world's population and a greater proportion in Latin America and swaths of Europe, so the church's teachings on business can affect commerce world-wide.

"It is a critical moment now for the unity within the church about how to evaluate capitalism," says Luigino Bruni, a professor of economics at Lumsa University in Rome. Prof. Bruni helped organize a church conference for this weekend intended to promote the church's social doctrine.
 
5 Reasons Why Being Different Can Affect Your Self-Esteem

5 Reasons Why Being Different Can Affect Your Self-Esteem

By Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D.

When you stand out from others, it can sometimes be natural to become self-conscious about your body. This can often result in multiple negative outcomes for you and your self-image. It’s important to realize that we are not being watched constantly and that we are each inherently beautiful in some way.

"This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you're too fat or too shallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world." --Oprah Winfrey

 
China Labels iPhone a Security Risk

China Labels iPhone a Security Risk

By Eva Dou

China's state broadcaster called a location-tracking function of Apple's iPhone a "national security concern," in the latest sign of a backlash against U.S. firms.

China's influential state broadcaster on Friday called a location-tracking function offered by Apple's iPhone a "national security concern," in the latest sign of a backlash in the country against U.S. technology firms.

In its national noon broadcast, state-run China Central Television criticized the "frequent locations" function in Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system, which tracks and records the time and location of the owner's movements. The report quoted researchers who said that those with access to that data could gain knowledge of the broader situation in China or "even state secrets."

Apple didn't respond to requests for comment.

The broadcast represents a potential challenge for the Cupertino, Calif., company in an increasingly competitive market. Apple holds a 6% share of China's smartphone market, according to research firm Analysys, while models made by Samsung Electronics Co. and others running Google Inc.'s Android mobile operating system hold a greater share.

Still, Apple dominates the higher end of the market. About 80% of smartphones priced at more than $500 in China are iPhones, research firm Umeng said. IPhone users include Chinese government officials and executives. Last year China's first lady, Peng Liyuan, was photographed using an iPhone, though she has since been seen sporting a smartphone made by China's ZTE Corp.

 
The Deported L.A. Gangs Behind This Border Kid Crisis

top-box

The Deported L.A. Gangs Behind This Border Kid Crisis

Tens of thousands of Honduran thugs have been flown home on Con Air since 2001. Now, what they learned on U.S. streets with the monstrous MS-13 and MS-18 has sent children fleeing north.

Poverty was surely a factor, as no doubt was the mistaken belief that American immigration authorities would not send back unaccompanied children.

But only true terror could have driven kids by the thousands to make the harrowing journey from Honduras to the United States.

“It has to be extreme fear,” says Al Valdez, formerly the supervising investigator of the gang unit at Orange County District Attorney’s Office and presently a professor at the University of California at Irvine.

The terrible irony is that the immediate sources of that terror are fellow Hondurans who once made that same journey only to be deported for having become swept up in two monstrous gangs that rose from the streets of Los Angeles.

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The 18th Street Gang was named after the locus of its birth in the Ramparts section. It is also known as the MS-18 and has been nicknamed The Children’s Army because of its predilection for recruiting even kids still in elementary school.

The Mara Salvatrucha gang was formed by refugees from the civil strife in El Salvador during the 1980s and grew to include thousands members from all of Central America. It is also known as MS-13.

Initially, only those gang members who were convicted of serious crimes and served their sentences were deported. A new law in 1996 then mandated the deportation of anybody busted for a crime that carried a year in prison or more, even if the sentence was suspended. A member of the MS-18 or MS-13 needed only to be caught in a petty drug bust or a minor theft to be deported via the unmarked planes of the real-life Con Air, officially known as the Justice Prisoner Alien Transport System run by the U.S. Marshals.

 
Miami is drowning while the powers that be look away

miami-floods-woman-on-car

Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away

Robin McKie, science editor, in Miami 

Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers

A drive through the sticky Florida heat into Alton Road in Miami Beach can be an unexpectedly awkward business. Most of the boulevard, which runs north through the heart of the resort's most opulent palm-fringed real estate, has been reduced to a single lane that is hemmed in by bollards, road-closed signs, diggers, trucks, workmen, stacks of giant concrete cylinders and mounds of grey, foul-smelling earth.

It is an unedifying experience but an illuminating one – for this once glamorous thoroughfare, a few blocks from Miami Beach's art deco waterfront and its white beaches, has taken on an unexpected role. It now lies on the front line of America's battle against climate change and the rise in sea levels that it has triggered.

"Climate change is no longer viewed as a future threat round here," says atmosphere expert Professor Ben Kirtman, of Miami University. "It is something that we are having to deal with today."

men pushing car miami

Every year, with the coming of high spring and autumn tides, the sea surges up the Florida coast and hits the west side of Miami Beach, which lies on a long, thin island that runs north and south across the water from the city of Miami. The problem is particularly severe in autumn when winds often reach hurricane levels. Tidal surges are turned into walls of seawater that batter Miami Beach's west coast and sweep into the resort's storm drains, reversing the flow of water that normally comes down from the streets above. Instead seawater floods up into the gutters of Alton Road, the first main thoroughfare on the western side of Miami Beach, and pours into the street. Then the water surges across the rest of the island.

Miami and its surroundings are facing a calamity worthy of the Old Testament. It is an astonishing story. Despite its vast wealth, the city might soon be consumed by the waves, for even if all emissions of carbon dioxide were halted tomorrow – a very unlikely event given their consistent rise over the decades – there is probably enough of the gas in the atmosphere to continue to warm our planet, heat and expand our seas, and melt polar ice. In short, there seems there is nothing that can stop the waters washing over Miami completely.

It a devastating scenario. But what really surprises visitors and observers is the city's response, or to be more accurate, its almost total lack of reaction. The local population is steadily increasing; land prices continue to surge; and building is progressing at a generous pace. During my visit last month, signs of construction – new shopping malls, cranes towering over new condominiums and scaffolding enclosing freshly built apartment blocks – could be seen across the city, its backers apparently oblivious of scientists' warnings that the foundations of their buildings may be awash very soon.

 
Rove to GOP: Work with Obama

Rove to GOP: Work with Obama

By SARAH SMITH

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 16:  Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove addresses the executive director's meeting of the Republican National Committee's winter meeting January 16, 2008 in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Rove commented on both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns currently vying for their party's nomination.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Karl Rove

“Republicans have to look at this as an opportunity that they have to work,” the Republican strategist said on the Fox News program “Happening Now.” “It’s an opportunity to get some things done to help secure the border.”

He suggested that in working with President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion request for additional funds to deal with the current immigration crisis, Republicans could make policy gains like increasing the amount of border patrols.
 
Eileen Ford, Creator of Supermodels, Dies

Eileen Ford in front of a picture of successful Ford models in New York in 1977.

Credit Marty Lederhandler/Associated Press

Eileen Ford, Creator of Supermodels, Dies

By ERIC WILSON

Ms. Ford, who with her husband began Ford Models in the 1940s, elevated modeling into a serious business and created an international market for supermodels. She was 92.

Eileen Ford, the grand dame of the modeling industry who influenced standards of beauty for more than four decades while heading one of the most recognizable brands in the trade of gorgeous faces, died on Wednesday in Morristown, N.J. She was 92.

Her daughter Katie Ford announced the death, at a hospital there, on Thursday. Mrs. Ford lived in Califon, N.J.

Ford Models, created by Mrs. Ford and her husband, Jerry, in the late 1940s, became the top agency in the world. It elevated the modeling profession into a serious business with $1 million contracts, represented thousands of beautiful young women, and created a market for “supermodels,” a select handful who could command enormous salaries for their looks.

While Mr. Ford managed the business, Mrs. Ford became the face of the agency and its chief talent scout, sometimes virtually plucking young women out of a crowd and turning them into models.

...............................................................

Mrs. Ford built a reputation for transforming girls into stars with lessons in grooming, etiquette and style while running her agency like a convent. Some in the industry called her the mother of New York modeling, in almost the literal sense. A formidable manager, she was widely known for protecting models from underhanded deals and sexual misconduct and generally cleaning up the sleazy image of the business, insisting that both clients and models observe a code of ethics and decorum.

Indeed, Mrs. Ford allowed some of her charges to live in her Upper East Side townhouse when they were first starting out so she could keep a watchful eye on their careers. On weekends, she would take them to her summer home in Quogue, on Long Island, and have them help in the garden. 

 
The Meaning of Mohamed Abu Khdeir’s Murder

PHOTOGRAPH: PACIFIC PRESS/LIGHTROCKET/GETTY

The Meaning of Mohamed Abu Khdeir’s Murder

by Raja Shehadeh

The murder of Mohamed Abu Khdeir was not like any other. It was intended to communicate a message to Palestinian Arabs.

On July 2nd, a sixteen-year-old boy named Mohamed Abu Khdeir was sitting outside a mosque near his home in East Jerusalem when he was pulled into a car and kidnapped by Israeli Jews. His body was found in the Jerusalem Forest; he had been battered in the head and then, according to autopsy reports, burned alive. (There was soot in his lungs, and burns on ninety per cent of his body.) Six Israeli Jews, some of whom are minors, were arrested; three have confessed to the crime, according to Israeli reports.

Abu Khdeir’s murder came in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens—Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach—who were murdered and buried by their Palestinian abductors in shallow graves. After their abduction, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that Israel’s working assumption was that they were alive, even though the evidence, including a desperate cell-phone call from one of the boys, suggested otherwise. The search for the boys took the form of a brutal, sweeping search and arrest operation conducted by the Israeli Army throughout the West Bank, and helped to aggravate the climate of hatred and revenge. Two months after the nine-month U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations folded, Israel is now mobilizing its forces for a possible ground attack on the Gaza Strip, and Hamas is firing rockets. War, not peace, is the agenda of the day.

The media has been filled with images of the kidnapped Israeli Jews and, later, of Abu Khdeir. If you took away the baseballs cap that Abu Khdeir wore and the kippas worn by Fraenkel and Yifrach, you would not be able to differentiate among their young, fresh faces who was Israeli and who was Palestinian. The Israeli demonstrators who went through the streets in West Jerusalem shouting slogans such as “death to Arabs,” “a Jew is a brother, an Arab is a bastard,” looking to beat any Arab they encountered, had to ask passersby for the time in order to find out from their accents who was Jewish and who wasn’t.

Yet the murder of Abu Khdeir was not quite like any other. This was different. It was intended to communicate a message that I imagine goes like this:

We, Israeli Jews, have the right to a full life and enjoyment of this land that we call Greater Israel. And you, Palestinian Arabs, have no place here. Your fruit trees won’t be safe from uprooting, or your crops from destruction, or your private property from unlawful seizure; you can’t just visit the spring next to your village, or drive to the sea, or embrace relatives or friends, even if their homes are only a few miles away, because you don’t belong here. This land is ours. It is not yours. If you still do not get the message, we will take your children to the forest and burn them, and thus purify our land. Perhaps then you’ll finally understand.
 
Armed militia sets up Texas command center to ‘fight for national sovereignty’

Demonstrators on opposing sides of the immigration debate are separated by police officers Friday outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California. The town was the latest flashpoint for standoffs over the transport of illegal minor immigrants. (Associated Press)

Armed militia sets up Texas command center to ‘fight for national sovereignty’

By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times

A militia has set up a command center south of San Antonio to prepare for what they say is a mission to protect the United States from the influx of illegal immigrants.

The militia, operating via the website PatriotsInformationHotline.com, founded by Barbie Rogers, said members at the command center in Von Ormy will deploy to Laredo first and spread to other parts of the border, a local ABC affiliate reported.

Chris Davis, the 37-year-old commander of the group, would not disclose how many members make up the militia, but said the troops would deploy “in a few weeks.”

“We have patriots all across this country who are willing to sacrifice their time, their monies, even quit their jobs to come down and fight for freedom, liberty and national sovereignty,” Mr. Davis told the station.

 
Democrats introduce bill requiring contraception payment

Democrats introduce bill requiring contraception payment

Wesley Lowery

The effort comes a week after the Supreme Court ruled that private companies may seek exemptions.

Congressional Democrats vowed Wednesday to bypass the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, unveiling new legislation that would require all employers to pay for contraception as part of the health-care mandates included in the Affordable Care Act.

The legislation comes a week after the high court ruled that many private companies — including plaintiff Hobby Lobby craft stores — were within their rights to seek an exemption from the contraception mandate if they could cite a religious objection to providing health plans that include some kinds of birth control.

That ruling outraged Democrats and women’s groups, who vowed to pass legislation that would require all employers to cover contraception.

“Women across the country are outraged, they are demanding a change,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “And today . . . we are here to be their voice.”

 
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