Business, Politics & Money
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Doomsday Clock moved even closer to nuclear apocalypse

By: Ben Gourlay | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jan 23, 2015 @ 2:53 CST

The doomsday clock, the metaphoric symbol which represents how close the world is to life-ending catastrophe has been upgraded by two minutes, now resting just three minutes to midnight.

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According to CBS News, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists made the adjustment overnight to reflect concerns about the world's huge stockpile of nuclear weapons and concerns regarding climate change. This is the first adjustment to the clock since 2012, when it was set to 11.55PM.

The latest the Doomsday Clock has ever been set was in 1953, at 11.58PM when the United States announced the first test of the destructive hydrogen bomb. The current time is set at a precarious one minute from that.

ISIS rebranded as 'Daesh', as countries adopt name terrorists despise

By: Ben Gourlay | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jan 12, 2015 @ 18:20 CST

In a report from Australian broadcaster SBS, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has decided to take the lead of United States, French and Arabic Governments in refusing to refer to ISIS or 'Islamic State' but 'Daesh'.

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In explaining his decision, the Prime Minister noted that "Daesh hates being referred to by this term and what they don't like has an instinctive ­appeal to me... I absolutely refuse to refer to it by the title that it claims for itself [Islamic State], because I think this is a perversion of religion and a travesty of governance... I would strongly counsel people against ever using the presumptuous title that they have given themselves.'

Mr Abbott's decision follows a the similar adoption of the acronym from the United States and French Governments, which attempts to remove the Islamic religion from the equation, whilst de-legitimising the terrorist organisation who despise the title and have even promised to remove the tongues of those who speak it. At a Pentagon news conference last month, Lieutenant General James Terry explained the meaning further:

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Christmas light recycling is serious business in China

By: Chris Smith | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Dec 28, 2014 @ 20:32 CST

20 million pounds of unwanted Christmas lights end up in the hands of the Christmas tree light capital of the world, Shijao, China, each year.

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Their industry built on old lights follows the age-old saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure," seeing this large quantity of unwanted lighting melted down and separated into brass copper and plastic materials for carious implementations ranging from clothing to electronic goods.

This information was first published by Adam Minter in his book titles "Junkyard Planet," seeing him travel to this utopia of trash and research the process of churning 2200-pound bales of lights into re-usable raw materials. Thanks to China's cheap labor and goods exports, it's claimed that the ships transporting goods to the U.S. and other Western Nations often come back empty-handed, with no cargo on-board. This is where they can utilize their light-load for good, often carrying back waste paper to be churned into toilet paper or in this case - discarded Christmas lights for a new lease on life.

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North Korea threatens the White House with retaliation

By: Chris Smith | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Dec 22, 2014 @ 6:58 CST

If the US sanctions North Korea for an alleged hacking attack, they have been told by the North's National Defense Commission that a retaliation shall be expected on the White House and other high-profile US targets.

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US President Barrack Obama stated on Friday that "we will respond proportionately and we'll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose," once again mentioning that he believes North Korea is at fault for the large-scale Sony hacking controversy that has been happening over the last few weeks.

North Korea's NDC replied that they "are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels," further commenting that "our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole US mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the 'symmetric counteraction' declared by Obama."

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North Korea manufacturing crystal meth on an industrial scale

By: Paul Alcorn | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Dec 18, 2014 @ 15:52 CST

Poor economy got you down? Well, you can always just cook up some crystal meth. Reality is stranger than fiction, and that trend continues with the news that North Korea is manufacturing crystal meth in industrial facilities. This isn't your garden variety crystal meth either, according to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. US officials have verified that the meth, which landed in the US cities of New York and Boston, tests at 96-98% purity. That's a benchmark even the characters on Breaking Bad would consider impressive.

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North Korea is no stranger to resorting to illegal activities to cover budgetary shortfalls. Kim Jong-un inherited this illicit lineage from his forefathers, who began dabbling in international crime in the 1970's. During the 1990's a famine engulfed the reclusive country, and over a million people died. During the famine North Korea turned their attention to growing opium, instead of the staples that might have saved innumerable lives. The rationale was that opium could generate far more money for the beleaguered regime, which at the time had just began a round of tough sanctions.

The transition to crystal meth began as the popularity of the drug increased in the international market in the 2000's . North Korean crystal meth has been found in China, Japan, and the US. The drugs are distributed through organized crime syndicates, but apparently North Korean officials have no issue with delivering the goods themselves. Several of their ambassadors have been expelled from host countries due to smuggling activities.

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EU and US authorities crack down upon and seize 292 domain names

By: Chris Smith | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Dec 1, 2014 @ 21:53 CST

In an effort to diminish counterfeit product sales, United States and European authorities have conducted a large-scale seizure of domain names just in time for the Christmas period.

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Codenamed "Project In Our Sites Transatlantic V", this operation saw 292 domain names seized in total by police across several countries within Europe and including the United States. Based mainly around websites selling counterfeit luxury goods, sportswear, electronics, pharmaceuticals and pirated movies and music, this information has come about by a direct statement thanks to Europol.

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Ferguson Grand Jury reaches decision

By: Paul Alcorn | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Nov 24, 2014 @ 14:06 CST

The grand jury empaneled to decide whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown has reached a decision, which will be released later today. Local, state, and federal law enforcement have been bracing for a spate of renewed protests and violent actions in the wake of the pending announcement. Ferguson law enforcement has been asked by community groups to warn them 48 hours prior to the release of the decision so they could brace for public reaction. Many have also decried that as merely a plan for protesters to get organized and prepared for mass violent protests.

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Ferguson officials are apparently not providing the aforementioned warning, and plan to announce the verdict this afternoon. Businesses have been boarding up storefronts over the weekend in anticipation of the ruling, which is due any hour now. Even if there is a decision to indict Darren Wilson it may not be enough to assuage protesters.

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Scotland says 'no', rejects independence bid

By: Ben Gourlay | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Sep 18, 2014 @ 23:54 CDT

For the last few weeks, the United Kingdom has been hotly debating whether Scotland will vote to cede from the United Kingdom, with the world watching and huge ramifications for the worldwide economy. Today, as votes continue to be counted, it's become clear that the expected knife edge results have come down in favour of the status quo - Scotland has rejected the proposal.

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Many of the UK's celebrities have weighed in on the debate, with Scotland's most famous son; Sean Connery leading the charge for the 'yes' camp, alongside Alan Cumming, whilst Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Coogan, Simon Cowell, Dame Judi Dench, Michael Douglas, Richard Dawkins, David Gilmour, Stephen Hawking, Mick Jagger, Eddie Izzard, Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Susan Boyle, Sting,Gerard Butler, JK Rowling and even Captain Picard himself - Patrick Stewart firmly in the 'no' camp.

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The once in a generation campaign for an independent Scotland, led by former BBC Scotland head Blair Jenkins has been years in the making.

Chevrolet Corvette Valet Mode records the people parking your car

By: Shane McGlaun | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Aug 19, 2014 @ 6:02 CDT

Anyone who has ever handed the keys to their car over to a valet at an event or restaurant has felt the fear at wondering what the valet will do to your car while you are gone. People with nice cars like the new Corvette Stingray may feel a bit more fear than others. Valets are known to be rather hard on some cars.

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GM has announced that the 2015 Corvette fitted with the Performance Data Recorder option will have a slick Valet mode that will record the antics of the Valet while you are inside eating. GM says that the system is rather like a baby monitor for your car.

In addition to turning on the recorder, the valet mode will also lock the storage bin behind the center stack display, lock the glove box, and disable the radio and infotainment system. The Data recorder in the car records video for the front of the car overlaid with speed, engine RPM, gear, and g-force.

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Reports Julian Assange preparing to leave Ecuadorian embassy

By: Ben Gourlay | Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Aug 18, 2014 @ 4:01 CDT

In the last hour, reporters from the UK are sending word that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may be preparing to leave the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been holed up for the last two years under the protection of the country.

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If Assange leaves the safe house, he will be immediately arrested by London police and likely extradited to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual assault. Assange fears that he may be further extradited to the United States with a long outstanding warrant issued regarding his Wikileaks activities.

Assange is said to be suffering worsening health, which has formed his decision to leave the embassy.

More as it breaks.