Tuesday, November 25, 2014


18 artists, activists, lawmakers, others receive Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday bestowed America’s highest civilian honour on trailblazers in the arts, sports and politics, along with a couple of entertainers who are among his personal favourites.

France suspends delivery of warship to Russia, citing ‘current situation’ in Ukraine

PARIS — France suspended the planned delivery of a warship to Russia on Tuesday, after months of growing speculation about what would be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to the Kremlin.

Chaotic protests fill Ferguson streets after grand jury declines to indict police officer

FERGUSON, Mo. — Chaos returned to the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the death of Michael Brown — a decision that enraged protesters who set fire to buildings and cars and looted businesses in the area where the unarmed, black 18-year-old was fatally shot.

Afghan official: Death toll in sports tournament attack is at least 50, more than 60 wounded

KABUL, Afghanistan — The death toll in Afghanistan’s deadliest insurgent attack this year has risen to at least 50, with 63 wounded, many of them children, officials said on Monday, as NATO confirmed that two of its service members were killed in an insurgent attack.

Boo hoo for Pooh: Honey-loving Winnie not sweet enough for Polish playground

Winnie the Pooh may be loved by children everywhere, but the willy nilly silly old bear stuffed with fluff has caused quite a huff in a Polish community.
The British newspaper The Independent reports that councillors in the town of Tuszyn have punted Pooh as a possible playground patron because of his “dubious sexuality” and “inappropriate” dress.

No nut too tough: Oregon holiday festival commissions 41-foot, 16,000-pound nutcracker

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Sponsors of the annual holiday festival near Roseburg have commissioned a whopper of a centerpiece — a wooden nutcracker intended to stand 41 feet tall, weigh more than 16,000 pounds and work its jaw with enough force to crush coconuts.
The statue was created by a Willamette Valley woodworker using chain saws, The News-Review (http://bit.ly/1AoMDx3) reported.

Obama spurns Republicans with expansive immigration orders to spare 5 million from deportation

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation, setting off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers.

Mellon estate’s pear-shaped diamond sets auction record for any blue diamond

NEW YORK — A Fancy Vivid Blue pear-shaped diamond from the estate of Rachel “Bunny” Mellon has sold for $32.6 million. It’s an auction record for any blue diamond.
Sotheby’s says seven people bid on the 9.75-carat gem Thursday before it sold to an anonymous Hong Kong collector.
The diamond is mounted in platinum. It carried a $10 million to $15 million pre-sale estimate.

Cuban couple domesticates large Caribbean rodents called hutias

BAINOA, Cuba — Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.
But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.
With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

Keystone XL pipeline down, but not out, after U.S. Senate vote

WASHINGTON — The woman who almost forced U.S. President Barack Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline stood quietly on the Senate floor as her plans went down in flames Tuesday.

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