Saturday, December 31, 2011

Herman Cain's camp says he won't endorse GOP candidate in Iowa (Star Tribune)

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How To Make Money From Home With Facebook And Twitter

When we understand, that it is important to market with the social mediums, we are after two benefits, how to reach higher rankings with our Facebook page, for instance, and how the social media posts can increase the rankings of our website. When we have solved this problem, we have far better ways how to make money from home. Lets discuss about this.

1. The Social Media Market is Heavily Growing.

The social media has two benefits. It is a big market and it is growing strongly. The total visitor number is 6,2 billion and unique visitors 213 million. The market is strong, so the question is, how you can turn enough visitors to your social media page or to your website?

The secret is to know, what these visitors are looking for and how they do that. Did you know, that many visitors use the search function, actually 845 million searches were made, up 13,5 %! If SEO is familiar to you, you guess the opportunity.

The searchers search mainly people or brands. Yes, brands. The social media is also called a conversational media, i.e. an interactive one, which gives hints, how to use it to promote or to build a brand.

2. How To Rank Better With Social Media Page?

If you wonder, how to make money from home with the social media, one answer is, that your page must rank well. It is a question about the links. Do you link from your home page? Use also your brand name in the post content.

The search engines give value to the crowd science, i.e. the more people like your page, the higher ranking it will get. Are your likes, follows and +1 in condition? Its about trust building. If Facebook is your only medium, this is even more important.

3. How Social Media Can Improve Your Website Rankings?

As we have seen how Google has changed its algorithms, the criteria which sets the rules how the ranked pages are ordered, it is clear, that the links from the social media have become more important. It is important that the landing page is easy to like, i.e. that the social media buttons are in place. It is crucial to call visitors to action, i.e. to share the thing, they just liked.

4. Define The Role Of The Social Media In The Sales Funnel.

As said, the social media is an interactive and discussing media and the different social media sites have different user profiles. If the social media is the first point in the sales funnel, what you have planned it to do?

Is it a teaser, which persuades readers to get more from the landing page? Does it communicate the same brand identity than the landing page and other sales funnel parts? Does it have a personal and human feeling, like some club has, so that it will encourage to participate?

5. If You Do It, Do It Properly.

The social media is not anymore a discussion forum, but a serious business medium. When you ponder ways how to make money from home, you can even end up to use only one social media and to learn to master it.

Remember, that the brand building is crucial with a planned brand strategy. Without it there is a danger, that all what you get is a content, which does not share any benefits to the visitors.


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UK to investigate French-made breast implants (AP)

LONDON ? The British government says it will investigate whether potentially faulty breast implants fitted by a French company pose a risk to women.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley on Saturday ordered the urgent review of the safety of silicon implants made by the now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese.

The implants were pulled off the market last year in several countries amid fears they could rupture and leak silicone into the body. Around 40,000 women in Britain have such implants.

British health regulators had previously said there was no need for women have the implants removed, but Lansley said the government has since received new data and decided to investigate.

He declined to give details of that new information.


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Friday, December 30, 2011

French Train China Nuclear Experts

PARIS?France has long exported its nuclear power technology. Now, as global demand wavers, the country is pitching its nuclear education too.

In five years, about 100 Chinese nuclear engineers will graduate from the Franco-Chinese Institute for Nuclear Energy in southern China's Guangdong province. Trained by top French professors, the graduates will leave the school fluent in French and with master's degrees in nuclear engineering.

For France, which is financing about half the cost of the recently opened university, the bet is a bold one: that these Chinese students will go on to become top nuclear officials who will practice high ...

PARIS?France has long exported its nuclear power technology. Now, as global demand wavers, the country is pitching its nuclear education too.

In five years, about 100 Chinese nuclear engineers will graduate from the Franco-Chinese Institute for Nuclear Energy in southern China's Guangdong province. Trained by top French professors, the graduates will leave the school fluent in French and with master's degrees in nuclear engineering.

For France, which is financing about half the cost of the recently opened university, the bet is a bold one: that these Chinese students will go on to become top nuclear officials who will practice high ...


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Who's who in Iraq after the US exit? (The Christian Science Monitor)

Who's who in Iraq after the US exit? - Yahoo! News Skip to navigation ? Skip to content ? The Christian Science Monitor By Dan Murphy Dan Murphy ? Wed?Dec?28, 10:32?am?ET Follow Yahoo! News on , become a fan on Facebook
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    Video: The 2012 Bet on Bonds

    Investors are experiencing developing debt worries and interest rate burdens, so how can they play the market? Ira Jersey, Credit Suisse and Donald Coxe, BMO Capital Markets share advice for investors in moving forward.

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    Alzheimer's: Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 29, 2011) ? People with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer's disease than people whose diets are not high in those nutrients, according to a new study published in the December 28, 2011, online issue of Neurology?, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

    Those with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and in vitamins C, D, E and the B vitamins also had higher scores on mental thinking tests than people with diets low in those nutrients. These omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are primarily found in fish. The B vitamins and antioxidants C and E are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.

    In another finding, the study showed that people with diets high in trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats. Trans fats are primarily found in packaged, fast, fried and frozen food, baked goods and margarine spreads.

    The study involved 104 people with an average age of 87 and very few risk factors for memory and thinking problems. Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant. All of the participants also took tests of their memory and thinking skills. A total of 42 of the participants had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.

    Overall, the participants had good nutritional status, but seven percent were deficient in vitamin B12 and 25 percent were deficient in vitamin D.

    Study author Gene Bowman, ND, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said that the nutrient biomarkers in the blood accounted for a significant amount of the variation in both brain volume and thinking and memory scores. For the thinking and memory scores, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 17 percent of the variation in the scores. Other factors such as age, number of years of education and high blood pressure accounted for 46 percent of the variation. For brain volume, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 37 percent of the variation.

    "These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet," Bowman said.

    The study was the first to use nutrient biomarkers in the blood to analyze the effect of diet on memory and thinking skills and brain volume. Previous studies have looked at only one or a few nutrients at a time or have used questionnaires to assess people's diet. But questionnaires rely on people's memory of their diet, and they also do not account for how much of the nutrients are absorbed by the body, which can be an issue in the elderly.

    The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Portland VA Medical Center.

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    The above story is reprinted from materials provided by American Academy of Neurology.

    Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

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    Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Putin says he wants clean presidential vote

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets supporters in Moscow, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011. Putin, who is running to reclaim the presidency, says he wants the vote in March to be absolutely transparent. (AP Photo/RIA novosti, Yana Lapikova, Pool)

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets supporters in Moscow, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011. Putin, who is running to reclaim the presidency, says he wants the vote in March to be absolutely transparent. (AP Photo/RIA novosti, Yana Lapikova, Pool)

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets supporters in Moscow, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011. Putin, who is running to reclaim the presidency, says he wants the vote in March to be absolutely transparent. (AP photo/RIA novosti, Yana Lapikova, Pool)

    MOSCOW (AP) ? Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the March election, in which he will seek to reclaim presidency, should be transparent and fair, but rejected demands from swelling numbers of protesters for a rerun of the fraud-tainted parliamentary election.

    Putin's United Russia party barely retained its majority in the Dec. 4 election despite alleged vote-rigging in its favor. Tens of thousands have protested since, urging an end to Putin's rule, including a Moscow rally last weekend that was the largest show of discontent since the Soviet collapse 20 years ago.

    Putin, who served as president in 2000-2008 and remained the country's most powerful figure after switching to the premier's seat due to a term limit, has responded to the protests by offering to ease his rigid controls over the political field. At the same time, he has sought to cast protesters as Western stooges working to weaken Russia.

    On Tuesday, during a meeting with supporters he dismissed the opposition as lacking a goal beyond fomenting turmoil, accused its leaders of trying to delegitimize elections and said they haven't proven their worth.

    "The problem is they lack a consolidated program, as well as clear and comprensible ways of achieving their goals, which aren't clear either," said Putin, who became prime minister after term limits forced him to leave the presidency. "They also lack people who are capable of doing something concrete."

    Putin again flatly rejected the demands for a rerun of the parliamentary vote, saying that "there can't be any talk about reviewing it."

    At the same time, he urged his supporters to ensure fairness of the presidential vote to prevent any possible criticism, and discussed details of his proposal to put web cameras at all polling stations. He also suggested that all ballot boxes be made transparent.

    "As a candidate, I don't need any vote-rigging," Putin said. "I want the election to be maximally transparent. I want to rely on people's will, on people's trust, and it makes no sense to work if it's missing."

    Putin and his protege Dmitry Medvedev, who succeeded him in the presidency and is expected to switch to the premiership after March, earlier rolled out a set of proposed political reforms intended to assuage public anger.

    They include relaxing registration rules for political parties and restoring direct elections of provincial governors abolished by Putin.

    But opposition leaders have rejected the government proposals as window-dressing, pointing out that they would only affect the next election cycle years away and vowing to continue street protests.

    Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption lawyer and popular blogger who has been a key driving force behind the latest protests, vowed that up to a million demonstrators would take to the streets before the presidential election.

    In a surprise move reflecting the government's search for a strategy to respond to the protests, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who remains close to Putin, attended the weekend opposition rally and joined calls for the ouster of the Central Election Commission chief.

    Kudrin also proposed setting up a discussion panel where protesters and government authorities can exchange views, saying it would pave a path for reforms while lowering the risk of violence. He even suggested holding a repeat parliamentary election next fall.

    Kudrin told the business daily Vedomosti in remarks published Tuesday that he met with Putin prior to the rally to propose serving as a mediator between the protesters and the government. Kudrin insisted his proposals were his own initiative, and that the meeting with Putin showed that a "dialogue is possible."

    Some observers saw Kudrin's speech at the rally as part of Putin's efforts to soothe public anger.

    "The Kremlin isn't going to surrender, it simply has turned from a brutal crackdown to a sly flirting with the active part of the population," said Stanislav Belkovsky, a Moscow-based independent analyst.

    Associated Press


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    Samsung Galaxy Note shipments reach 1 million as it gears for 2012 US release

    1. ivanko34 posted on 1 hour ago 0 0

    I own this phone
    I like it a lot
    It is perfect and it has an incredible quality of antenna so I can connect at places where other phones don't get any signal
    The big screen is a pleasure for internet, photo and videos
    It is very thin and the battery is huge to support hours of browsing

    2. Leodrade posted on 1 hour ago 0 0

    Buy a Note now or wait for the GSIII? I can't get this question out of my mind

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    if you live in the US, just buy a note, if not then wait for the GSIII..

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    Please dont change the beautiful design as you did for S2

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    Smh.... if there is a sgs3? It won't be release any time soon? Maybe next next year... Js. I'm getting this phone. ONLY if it has LTE capabilities .


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    Stressed Chinese fight back - with pillows (Reuters)

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) ? A whirlwind of pillows bearing the names of bosses and teachers filled the air as hundreds of Chinese gathered to blow off stress in Shanghai, staging a massive pillow battle.

    The annual event marked its fifth year with such a surge in interest from stressed young office workers and students that organizers held two nights of pillow fighting before Christmas Day and plan another for Dec 30.

    "Nowadays there are many white collar workers and students that are facing huge pressures at work and at school, so we hope to give them an outlet to release their stress before the end of the year," said Eleven Wang, the founder and mastermind behind the epic pillow fights.

    "Sometimes we have pressure on us by our bosses, teachers and exams, so today we can go crazy. Everyone will get to write onto the pillows the names of their bosses, teachers and exam subjects, and enjoy and vent to the maximum," he added.

    "After releasing the stress, we can once again face our daily life with joy."

    Pillows were handed out at the door as participants entered, then emotion stoked by a rock concert, with many on the floor of the huge event space rocking and waving their pillows in time to the music.

    Then came the fighting.

    Pillows filled the air, with many combatants opting for throwing rather than using them to whack opponents. A few hapless participants shielded their heads with as many pillows as they could hold, but most ventured eagerly in to the fray.

    "I really enjoyed the fight, but my friend was useless. He joined in for two ticks and could not go on, he was afraid of getting beaten by other people," said 24-year-old Chen Yi.

    "I thought it was pretty meaningful. I've just been working so much (at the office) and never get to break out in a sweat, so it felt really good."

    Others gamely said they enjoyed the experience even though they ended up as attackees rather than attackers.

    "I don't know who pushed me, but all of a sudden I was in the pile of pillows, where I became the target of many people, and was beaten by all sorts of people," said university student Zhu Shishan. "Very meaningful."

    (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Elaine Lies)


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    Aretha's Christmas: 'Silent Night' with Four Tops (AP)

    DETROIT ? Detroit's Queen of Soul knows how to throw a Christmas party, and she welcomed in the holiday with glitter, a jazzy musical backdrop and a finale of "Silent Night" with the Four Tops.

    Aretha Franklin held her annual Christmas party on Friday at the Detroit Athletic Club, greeting guests in a teal blue gown accented with a silver sequined bodice.

    The Detroit News reports ( that Franklin exchanged gifts with family and friends as Ursula Walker, Buddy Budson, Marian Hayden and Gayelynn McKinney played jazz in the background.

    During a meal of filet mignon and salmon, guests were entertained by performances by Gwen & Charles Scales and Franklin's son Eddie Franklin, who sang "Some Enchanted Evening."


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    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Cold wave intensifies in N India; death toll mounts to 133

    Like this story, share it with millions of investors on M3

    Like this story, share it with millions of investors on M3

    Cold wave intensifies in N India; death toll mounts to 133

    Cold wave intensifies in N India; death toll mounts to 133

    New Delhi, Dec 26 (PTI) Two more persons today succumbed to the plummeting mercury pushing the country-wide death toll to 133 as biting cold maintained its firm grip on vast swathes of north India. Delhi continued to reel under intense cold though the minimum temperature rose marginally from yesterday's 2.9 deg C to 3.4 degrees, which was four notches below normal. The national capital recorded a maximum of 20.3 deg C, the MeT office said. A woman and an elderly man perished in the cold wave in Punjab and Haryana respectively as temperatures stayed well below normal at many places in the two states. Holy city Amritsar in Punjab shivered as the minimum temperature touched minus 1.2 deg C. In Haryana, Hisar recorded a low of 0.2 deg C, down seven notches while the low at Karnal was two deg C, down six notches. There was no let up in the cold wave sweeping Kashmir Valley with the mercury in Srinagar plummeting to minus 4.9 degrees, the season's lowest. Leh district in Ladakh region also recorded the season's lowest temperature with the minimum dipping to minus 18.2 deg C. Kargil registered a low of minus 14.4 deg C. Elsewhere, Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 8.4 deg C, Pahalgam minus 7.4 deg C and Qazigund minus 5.6 deg C. In the desert state of Rajasthan, Churu remained the coldest zone recording a minimum temperature of minus 0.7 deg C, the weather office said. MORE

    ( Enjoy on iPad and be prepared for a fantastic experience. Get real time stock quotes, interactive charts, market buzz, and watch CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz live on your iPad. Check out the free moneycontrol app. Click here to download now )??


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    El nuevo teclado para iPad y tabletas Android desarrollado por Microsoft

    A pesar que los dise?adores de tabletas buscan mejorar la experiencia t?ctil de sus usuarios, algunas tareas y aplicaciones se han m?s efectivas con la utilizaci?n de elementos como el mouse y el teclado, los cuales brindan mayor precisi?n para desarrollar trabajos profesionales.

    Pensando en ello, Microsoft ha lanzado recientemente los teclados para utilizarse con tabletas, y tiene por nombre Bluetooth m?vil 5000.


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    GG and MacKay spend Christmas with troops in Afghanistan

    By QMI Agency

    Posted 7 hours ago

    Canadian troops and civilians serving overseas got a special Christmas visit from a white-haired man.

    Governor General David Johnston travelled to Italy and Afghanistan over Christmas to personally thank our representatives abroad.

    He was joined by Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk,

    "It was a privilege to extend my heartfelt gratitude and support to the Canadian men and women in uniform, and the many diplomats, aid specialists and police officers deployed abroad, who are committed to making parts of the world a safer and better place," Johnston said. "The sacrifice of troops and civilians who are away from their families and friends at this time of the year is tremendous, and I wish them the best of luck in the completion of their missions."

    In Rome, the GG met with troops on the HMCS Vancouver and acknowledged their efforts in the NATO-led mission in Libya that led to that country's liberation in October.

    After attending the state funeral of Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic, Johnston went on to Kabul, where he met with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

    He later stopped in at the Armed Forces Academy of Medical Sciences, where Canadian Forces medical personnel are mentoring Afghan medical staff. Then he visited with troops at Camp Alamo, Camp Blackhorse and Canada House, where Canadian performers put on a Christmas concert.

    Canada ended its 10-year combat mission in Afghanistan earlier this year, but Canadian troops are still in the country in a training capacity until 2014.

    "And we are continuing to provide essential development programming in the areas of health and education, humanitarian assistance, as well as promoting regional diplomacy," said Rae.

    "All Canadians should be proud of the work they are doing as we continue our efforts to bring peace, stability and hope to a troubled region of the world."

    MacKay, in his message to the troops, lauded their hard work in Afghanistan as well as many other accomplishments of the past year:

    "You supported the Jamaica Defence Force by assisting with their search-and-rescue capability during the hurricane season, contributed to peace in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, and saved hundreds of lives during this year's wildfires and floods that damaged many Canadian communities," he said.

    "Your country knows how very special your work is to Canada's security and prosperity."

    MacKay also met with his counterparts in both countries, Minister Giampaolo Di Paola of Italy and Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak of Afghanistan.


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    Windsor Castle to use green energy

    [unable to retrieve full-text content]

    Source: --- Monday, December 26, 2011
    The Queen's Windsor Castle home is going green, as it is to be powered by a giant 40-tonne turbine Added on Wed, 21 Dec 2011 10:21:30 GMT ...


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    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Some NFL players still hide concussions

    By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP pro football writer | Dec 27, 2011

    Ask Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew whether he would try to play through a concussion or yank himself from a game, and he?ll provide a straightforward answer.

    ?Hide it,? the NFL?s leading rusher said.

    ?The bottom line is: You have to be able to put food on the table. No one?s going to sign or want a guy who can?t stay healthy. I know there will be a day when I?m going to have trouble walking. I realize that,? Jones-Drew said. ?But this is what I signed up for. Injuries are part of the game. If you don?t want to get hit, then you shouldn?t be playing.?

    Other players say they would do the same: Hide it.

    In a series of interviews about head injuries with The Associated Press over the last two weeks, 23 of 44 NFL players ? slightly more than half ? said they would try to conceal a possible concussion rather than pull themselves out of a game. Some acknowledged they already have. Players also said they should be better protected from their own instincts: More than two-thirds of the group the AP talked to wants independent neurologists on sidelines during games.

    The AP spoke to a cross-section of players ? at least one from each of the 32 NFL teams ? to gauge whether concussion safety and attitudes about head injuries have changed in the past two years of close attention devoted to the issue. The group included 33 starters and 11 reserves; 25 players on offense and 19 on defense; all have played at least three seasons in the NFL.

    The players tended to indicate they are more aware of the possible long-term effects of jarring hits to their heads than they once were. In a sign of the sort of progress the league wants, five players said that while they would have tried to conceal a concussion during a game in 2009, now they would seek help.

    ?You look at some of the cases where you see some of the retired players and the issues that they?re having now, even with some of the guys who?ve passed and had their brains examined ? you see what their brains look like now,? said Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, the NFL?s leading tackler. ?That does play a part in how I think now about it.?

    But his teammate, backup fullback Mike Sellers, said he?s hidden concussions in the past and would ?highly doubt? that any player would willingly take himself out of a game.

    ?You want to continue to play. You?re a competitor. You?re not going to tell on yourself. There have been times I?ve been dinged, and they?ve taken my helmet from me, and ... I?d snatch my helmet back and get back on the field,? Sellers said. ?A lot of guys wouldn?t say anything because a lot of guys wouldn?t think anything during the game, until afterward, when they have a headache or they can?t remember certain things.?

    San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith captured a popular sentiment: Players know of the potential problems, yet would risk further damage.

    ?It doesn?t take a rocket scientist to figure out if [you have] a concussion, you?re probably damaging your brain a little bit. Just like if you sprain your wrist a bunch, you?re going to have some wrist problems down the road. Yeah, I?d still play through it. It?s part of it. It?s part of the game,? Smith said. And most guys ? 99 percent of guys in the NFL ? are going to play through it.?


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    Roberto Alomar Baseball Hall of Famer Autographed Upper Deck Buyback Baseball Card LIMITED EDITION!*

    Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.


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    Texas police find 7 dead in Dallas-area apartment

    (AP) ? Texas police have found seven people dead in a Dallas-area apartment after gaining entry to the unit on Christmas Day.

    Grapevine police told the Dallas Morning News ( the four women and three men have all apparently been shot. The ages of the victims are unknown. Police say they were responding to a 911 call when they discovered the bodies.

    Authorities didn't immediately return a call for details.

    Associated Press


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    Monday, December 26, 2011

    A rare white Christmas in the Texas panhandle (Reuters)

    AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) ? A light dusting of snow in north Texas will bring a rare white Christmas to this drought-stricken state, but the majority of the nation was seeing mild weather on Sunday.

    A few snow showers were expected in parts of the Northeast as well, but weather forecasters said 99 percent of Americans would see more green and brown for their Yuletide celebrations - along with plenty of rain, according to

    The wet Christmas in the Texas Panhandle and Permian Basin brought cheer for drought-weary Texans, who were seeing snow in Lubbock and Amarillo on Christmas morning and rain in the eastern part of the state.

    The worst one-year drought in the state's history this year sparked devastating wildfires, killed as many as half a billion trees, and prompted the most serious urban water use restrictions ever.

    Meanwhile, in points north, the lack of snow was welcome news in Minneapolis, where last year's winter storm 12 days before Christmas dumped 17 inches of snow on the city, causing the roof of the Metrodome, the Minnesota Viking's football stadium, to collapse.

    This year, Minneapolis has no snow and will have temperatures in the high 30s over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

    Very little new snow is expected to accumulate anywhere throughout the day on Sunday, according to But a snowstorm in southern Ontario is forecast to move into Quebec on Sunday night and drop snow near the Great Lakes, with some accumulation happening overnight.

    Residents from Watertown, N.Y. to Bangor, Maine - many of whom are off work on Monday in observance of the Christmas holiday - could wake up to an inch of snow on the ground Monday as the storm moves East.

    Most of the Pacific Northwest were seeing mild weather on Christmas Day, while states like Colorado and New Mexico had lingering snow leftover from a pre-Christmas storm. Still, very few areas across the nation were seeing fresh snow on Sunday.

    Even the Texas Panhandle, which was under a winter weather advisory, was not expecting the snow to accumulate - though transportation officials were warning of ice on the roads and cautioning drivers to be careful.

    (Editing by Tim Gaynor)


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    sethacohen33: Instant classic (& funny) Channukah vid from my pal @Btraq in S. #Africa (to entertain u on the way 2 @Limmud!)

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    Instant classic (& funny) Channukah vid from my pal @Btraq in S. #Africa (to entertain u on the way 2 @Limmud!) sethacohen33

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    A look at various consumer spending reports (AP)

    Friday's government data on consumer income and spending came from a monthly report issued by the Commerce Department. That report isn't the only reading on how much Americans are spending. Here are various reports that cover such figures:


    Surveys by private groups capture the most up-to-date retail spending patterns. But they don't include as many companies as the government reports do. The International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index tracks sales at stores open at least a year. The index is a proxy for 24 major national stores, including Target Corp, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Macy's.


    Commerce issues a monthly report on retail sales that covers sales not just at major national chains but at all retailers. It provides a broader look at retail activity. The report includes such categories as specialty clothing stores, hardware stores, furniture stores, sporting goods and hobby stores and electronics and appliance stores. It also covers auto dealerships, restaurants and bars, grocery stores and gasoline stations. The sales figures are seasonally adjusted. That way, the current month can be compared with the previous month. But the figures aren't adjusted for inflation.


    This report is also released monthly by the Commerce Department. It's the most inclusive look at consumer activity. It covers all spending done at retail establishments ? both for durable goods (items such as autos that are expected to last at least three years) and nondurable goods such as food and clothing. What makes this report comprehensive is that it also covers spending on services. Services include items such as doctor's visits, airline and bus tickets, apartment rentals and utility bills. The service category makes up two-thirds of consumer spending and isn't covered in the retail surveys.


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    What was a miracle of the May 22 tornado has become a Christmas blessing. Desire...

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    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Lenovo H330-77801HU

    The Lenovo H330-77801HU ($899 direct and $1,118 with monitor), a small form factor desktop PC, is decked out with a Blu-ray player, fast Core i5 processor, and a huge 1TB hard drive. It bundles in a monitor, making it a reasonably-priced starter PC for those that want more kick than something like the HP Pavilion p7-1167cb ($899.99 list, 4 stars). However, the lack of integrated Wi-Fi edges this system out for users that don't have their router located in the same room as their PC.

    Design and Features
    The H330-77801HU is a thin and tall small form factor PC, measuring 11.5 by 9.9 by 15.75 inches (HWD). We've seen smaller from Apple's Mac mini (Thunderbolt) ($799 list, 4.5 stars). The front of the chassis has a tray-loading Blu-ray player/ DVD+-RW, audio and mic jacks, two USB 2.0 ports, and a couple of media card readers that support CF I/CF II/ MD and SD/ SDHC/ MMC/ MS/ MSPro formats. The back has more audio jacks, two PS/2 ports (one of which will be occupied by the included keyboard), Ethernet jack, and four USB 2.0 port (one of which will be occupied by the included mouse). One major feature missing from the Lenovo H330-77801HU is Wi-Fi. Because it has been left out, users will have to utilize the wired Ethernet jack to connect to the Internet, which may be a problem for consumers that don't have their router setup in a convenient position nearby for a PC.

    The 23.6-inch widescreen LS2421p Wide ($219.99 direct, 4 stars) monitor displays in 1,920-by-1,080. It comes with VGA and HDMI video inputs, corresponding to the included HDMI and VGA outputs on the Lenovo H330-77801HU. The system also comes bundled with VGA and HDMI cables, so you can just plug and play without having to worry about ordering cables ahead of time. Generally, you don't buy a small form factor PC if you're thinking about upgrading; the H330-77801HU is no different. It will require a good chunk of effort, time, and patience to unscrew every screw and separate the entire exterior casing from the internal components by sliding it off?I wouldn't recommend it. Mid-tower chassis, like the Acer AM3470-UC30P ($599.99 list, 4 stars), are easier to tinker with, as all you need to do is unscrew the screws on one of the side panels and slide it off.

    The H330-77801HU has a 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive, much bigger than the Mac mini's 500GB one. There's a little preinstalled software on the system; most of it being Lenovo's proprietary applications.

    Lenovo H330-77801HU The H330-77801HU is outfitted with a 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500 processor, 8GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon HD 6450 (512MB) discrete graphics. These components beat allowed it to beat out the Apple Mac mini (1,936) and Acer AM3470 (2,081) by a significant margin in PCMark 7 (2,606)?a test measuring day-to-day performance. In more media-oriented tests, the Lenovo H330-77801HU was able to quickly encode a video in Handbrake in 1 minute 12 seconds. While the Mac mini (1:42) and Acer AM3470 (2:33) fell behind again.

    The H330-77801HU does come with a discrete graphics processor, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's ready for the gaming grid. In Crysis (DirectX 10), it wasn't able to average a playable frame rate (29.2fps) during its play-through (30fps is considered playable) on Medium quality settings and 1,280-by-720 resolution. Similar results were seen in Lost Planet 2 (DirectX 11), averaging 12.4fps on the same settings. The H330-77801HU's AMD Radeon HD 6450 graphics will be able to get you through Azeroth if you're an avid World of Warcraft player, but anything more complex and the system will stutter. If you want more gaming performance without sacrificing the small form factor, the Apple Mac mini comes with a much more powerful AMD Radeon HD 6630M (256MB) that could easily play Crysis on Medium settings (48 frames per second), but not Lost Planet 2. If a monitor/ PC bundle is more what you're looking for, and you don't mind sacrificing some space, the Acer AM3470's AMD Radeon HD 6550D graphics was able to garner playable frame rates in Crysis (40fps).

    The Lenovo H330-77801HU is a powerful small form factor PC and well-priced monitor/PC bundle unit. However, it comes with a major feature missing?Wi-Fi. For just $20 more Lenovo could have installed a wireless card, and it's beyond me why they omitted it. If you're looking for a great budget PC/monitor bundle, the Editors' Choice Acer AM3470-UC30P is a great option. If you're more concerned about saving space, the Editors' Choice Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) is a powerful small form factor PC, but it doesn't come with a monitor.


    Compare the Lenovo H330-77801HU with several other laptops side by side.

    More laptop reviews:
    ??? Lenovo H330-77801HU
    ??? HP Omni 220-1080qd
    ??? HP TouchSmart 520-1070
    ??? Samsung Series 7 (DP700A3B-A01US)
    ??? HP TouchSmart 520-1030
    ?? more


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    Gingrich out of Virginia primary election (reuters)

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    Eddie_Dour: I swear you have to sign outta twitter to nah get updates.. Eats my battery like a thirsty spic wit his eye on pussy

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    Robert De Niro, wife welcome baby girl

    FILE- In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 file photo, Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, FILE)

    FILE- In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 file photo, Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, FILE)

    (AP) ? Robert De Niro is a father again.

    Stan Rosenfield, the 68-year-old actor's spokesman, says De Niro and his 56-year-old wife, Grace Hightower, welcomed a healthy 7-pound, 2-ounce (3.3 kilogram) baby girl named Helen Grace Hightower through a surrogate mother.

    She is the couple's second child. Their son, Elliot, is 13. No other details were provided.

    The "New Year's Eve" and "Limitless" star has four other children from previous relationships.

    Associated Press


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    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Warriors' Ellis sued for alleged sexual harassment (AP)

    OAKLAND, Calif. ? A former Golden State Warriors employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against star guard Monta Ellis on Wednesday, alleging Ellis sent her unwanted texts that included a photo of his genitals.

    In her lawsuit, which also names the team, Erika Ross Smith alleges Ellis began sending her several dozen explicit messages, sometimes several times a day, starting in November 2010 through January while she worked for the team's community relations department.

    The messages included lines such as, "I want to be with you," and "Hey Sexy," and periodically asked her what she was wearing or doing, according to the lawsuit.

    Smith would often reply with "What do you want?" or "I am sleeping," the lawsuit claims.

    "On a micro level, my client has endured unwanted harassment, has suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress and trauma," her attorney, Burt Boltuch, said at a news conference in his Oakland office. "On a macro level, this type of conduct, especially in the sports world, must stop.

    "She was embarrassed. She was intimidated. She felt scared and helpless."

    The Warriors deny the allegations, saying Ellis and Smith had a "consensual relationship."

    At a charity event in nearby Alameda, Ellis would only say that the team has responded.

    "It's a legal matter, we'll let it play its course," Ellis told KTVU-TV. "Y'know, what happens, happens."

    Boltuch said his client rejected Ellis' advances and feared that no one would believe her.

    "I was treated unfairly. I was let go," Smith said at the news conference. "It wasn't my fault that I was let go."

    Boltuch also showed a photo of what he said was Ellis' genitalia that the guard allegedly sent to Smith's work-issued cellphone on Dec. 17, 2010, a day after he complained to the team about her job performance.

    When questioned if the photo came from Ellis, Boltuch responded, "We know it came from him."

    Rick Welts, the Warriors' president and chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement Wednesday that the organization takes all harassment allegations seriously.

    "When we were made aware of a consensual relationship between Mr. Ellis and the Plaintiff, we did what an organization should do. We told both to stop ? promptly, directly and fairly," Welts said. "The Warriors have never taken any action against the Plaintiff for any inappropriate reason, and we deny the allegations she is making."

    Boltuch rejected the team's claim.

    "It was absolutely, unequivocally 100 percent not consensual," Boltuch said. "And if it was, why was my client's job duties removed and nothing was done to Mr. Ellis? To me that smacks of sexual harassment."

    Ellis' agent, Jeffrey Fried, said Wednesday that he was en route to Oakland and didn't immediately have a comment.

    According to the lawsuit, the Warriors changed Smith's job description and eventually fired her after Ellis' wife, Juanika Ellis, learned of the texts and complained to team executives in January.

    Smith said she told team executives that Monta Ellis told her he was using a "secret cellular phone" that was being kept by the team's equipment manager and was in the name of a third party.

    Smith, who has worked in similar jobs with the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns, said Wednesday that it was tough to go public.

    "It was pretty hard because I knew that essentially my career is over and it would be hard to re-establish myself after working so hard throughout the years," said Smith, who believes she may be blacklisted in NBA circles.

    According to the lawsuit, Smith said she told team officials that Ellis' wife called her on Jan. 7 and said, "I know about the secret phone."

    Shortly after that, Smith said Ellis told her that he met with team officials and general manager Larry Riley told him "not to worry," and that "everything would be swept under the rug."

    The following month, Juanika Ellis apparently used her purse to push Smith into a wall during a Warriors home game, the lawsuit said. Smith said she believes that Ellis' wife believes Smith initiated the texts with the player.

    "She was accusatory towards me," Smith said Wednesday.

    Boltuch said the team in February reduced Smith's responsibilities, including interaction with Ellis and other players after she refused to resign.

    "They offered her what I believe is a bribe," Boltuch said. "They said, `It'd be best if you resign and we'll give you some money.' She rejected it."

    Boltuch said the team eliminated Smith's position in August, more than a week after she notified the team that a reporter contacted her inquiring if Ellis was "stalking" her.

    The lawsuit alleges retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks unspecified damages.

    Ellis was the Warrior's leading scorer last season, averaging 24.1 points per game. His acrobatic layups and ball handling skills have made him a fan favorite though he is known to be reticent and has few endorsement deals and less notoriety than other players of his stature.

    Ellis signed a $66 million, six-year deal with the Warriors in 2008 not long after winning the NBA's Most Improved Player award.

    He then sustained a serious ankle injury that summer on his motorized scooter and missed most of the season, earning a 30-game suspension without pay because he wasn't supposed to be riding such a vehicle.

    Ellis was recently selected as a team captain for this season.


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    josevilla: RT @jessetenorio: I teared up... Congrats @josevilla and @jsfilms #loveislove | Jose + Joel's Wedding Film - Los Olivos, CA on Vimeo! h ...

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    Jesse Tenorio

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