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December 5, 2013
New information has emerged on yesterday’s theft in Mexico
- Yesterday Dozens of nations took notice when a truck carrying radioactive waste was hijacked in Mexico, leading to fears that an unknown party now had the means of creating a so-called “dirty bomb”. Fortunately, local authorities recovered the radioactive materials on Wednesday, after it was ditched in a field by those who stole it.
- Today Authorities released a bit more information about the heist, revealing that the truck was stolen at a gas station where its drivers were passing time until the waste could be delivered to the proper facilities. The thieves have not been found/arrested yet, but were apparently exposed to so much radiation during their time in possession of the truck that authorities say they are either already dead or don’t have long left. source
15:14 // 2 days ago
December 4, 2013
- September 2013 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to hand over his government’s stockpile of chemical weapons and sign the Geneva convention as part of an agreement that would prevent the U.S. military from carrying out airstrikes inside the country.
- January 2014 A team of 36 technicians will begin neutralizing Syria’s recently surrendered chemical agents from all of the confiscated weapons, under supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with hopes of completing the process no longer than 60 days after work begins. source
17:48 // 3 days ago
November 27, 2013
Remember that time we recommended you stock up on Sriracha?
- Last Month The town of Irwindale, CA asked a judge to force Huy Fong Foods to cease operations at a local Sriracha facility where the company processes millions of chiles each fall. Residents say preparation of the peppers led to regular emission of fumes which are now being blamed for headaches, sore throats and more.
- Tuesday Judge Robert H. O’Brien ordered the company to halt any operations that could be producing the odor, despite acknowledging a “lack of credible evidence” proving the facility is at fault, but will not force Huy Fong Foods to completely shutter the plant. The company has yet to respond to the ruling, but many assume prices will soon increase based on previous comments from Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran. source
16:16 // 1 week ago
November 26, 2013
U.S. military ignores no-fly zone in East China Sea
- Last Weekend The Chinese government implemented new restrictions on U.S.-allied military aircraft, requiring them to identify themselves anytime they plan to pass through the new no-fly-zone over the Diaoyutai and Senkaku islands.
- Tuesday a pair of unescorted American B-52 bombers passed through the newly-declared “Air Defense Identification Zone” without ever announcing their presence, as part of a scheduled training exercise. The breach was meant as a direct rebuke of China’s claims to control of air space in the region. source
23:27 // 1 week ago
November 13, 2013
Chevron running out of options in Ecuador pollution ruling
- 2011 A judge in Ecuador ordered Chevron to pay $8.6 billion in damages, for extensive pollution in the Amazon rainforest; a total that later jumped to $18 billion after the company failed to issue a mandated public apology. Chevron representatives have repeatedly denied the charges, and challenged the legitimacy of the original ruling.
- 2013 Ecuador’s National Court of Justice, the country’s highest court, has upheld the original verdict, but halved the total fine being levied against Chevron. A Chevron spokesperson has already called the decision “illegitimate and inapplicable”, and the company continues to pursue nullification of the fine with various international tribunals. The company has also filed suit against the U.S. attorney who represented Ecuador. source
18:19 // 3 weeks ago
November 12, 2013
Fun fact: Starbucks owes Kraft nearly $3 billion dollars
- 1998 Kraft Foods and Starbucks make a fateful deal to bring the then-surging coffee chain’s main product to supermarkets across the country. The deal was to run until 2014.
- 2010 The much-larger coffee chain backs out of the deal, arguing that Kraft broke the terms of the deal by not allowing Starbucks to sell its products in K-Cup form. The situation gets ugly, leading to lawsuits and money fights.
- 2013 In an arbitration deal which was signed through gritted teeth, Starbucks agreed to pay Mondelez, a part of Kraft which was spun off last year, a total of $2.75 billion dollars, which sounds like a lot of money. It’s not all bad for the Bucks, though: Since breaking its deal with Kraft, its profits have risen 62 percent in the grocery space. source
22:27 // 3 weeks ago
October 29, 2013
Legal battle around Texas’ controversial abortion law isn’t over yet
- Monday District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that a controversial provision of a new Texas law, requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, was unconstitutional. The provision was expected to force at least a dozen Texas clinics to close their doors.
- Tuesday Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed papers with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, seeking an emergency appeal of Judge Yeakel’s ruling. Abbott has requested a decision by the end of the day; however, he’s previously said that he fully expects the case to wind up before the United States Supreme Court. source
14:44 // 1 month ago
October 23, 2013
White House denies events described on Senator’s Facebook page
- Sunday Sen. Dick Durbin (D) claimed that a member of the House GOP told President Obama that he “cannot even stand to look at [him],” asking his supporters how Democrats could honestly work with such disrespectful people.
- Wednesday White House spokesman Jay Carney denied Sen. Durbin’s claim, telling a White House reporter that he’d personally spoken with a participant in the meeting referenced by Durbin, and that what the Senator describes “did not happen.” source
17:33 // 1 month ago
October 22, 2013
When realistic-looking video games get creepy: Ellen Page edition
- uncanny In a new video game, Academy Award-nominated actress Ellen “Juno” Page did significant amounts of motion-capture work in an effort to make the 3D-generated animations in “Beyond: Two Souls" seem super-real—helping the game move beyond the "uncanny valley" that separates realistic 3D images of humans from almost-realistic ones. Page is apparently such a good video game motion-capture muse that another recent game seems to have ripped off her likeness nearly wholesale.
- uncannier Apparently the developers were able to take her motion capture work in an unanticipated direction, because there’s a beta version floating around somewhere which allows users to see a virtual Page naked in a shower. Sony, the publisher, recently sent out legal notices to sites hosting the NSFW images of Page’s PS3 doppelgänger, leading to speculation that Page threatened to sue. Obviously, stuff like this happens all the time.
0:48 // 1 month ago
October 15, 2013
New “robocall” restrictions take effect this week
- October 16 New regulations will take effect that could directly impact the number of unwanted “robocalls” coming to your cellphone or landline, particularly for those living in battleground states. Starting Wednesday, companies that take part in automated telemarketing will be forced to receive written permission to contact the people they’re calling, with the only known exception being given to healthcare-related agencies that must make the calls for HIPAA compliance purposes. source
14:12 // 1 month ago