Fri January 13, 2012

Layoffs Hit Wall Street As Financial Needs Change

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 11:50 am

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in December. In the past year, banks in New York and around the country have announced tens of thousands of job cuts, as there isn't the same need for some financial services as before.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

It's hard to tell if the Occupy Wall Street protests had much impact on banks, but banks are doing some de-Occupying within their own ranks. It wasn't as bad as the massive layoffs following the 2008 meltdown, but last year was painful for Wall Street. Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman, Morgan Stanley — almost all the big banks — announced big layoffs, totaling more than 60,000 employees.

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Thu January 12, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Could It Be? A Snowboarding Bird?

A bird slides down a snowy roof.

There seems to be some discussion as to what exactly is going on this video. But what seems to going on is a crow having some "snowboard" fun on some Russian roofs.

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Thu January 12, 2012

Pro-Pipeline Canada To Americans: Butt Out, Eh?

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 10:28 pm

A screen shot from Ethical Oil's OurDecision.ca campaign, which calls on Canadians to write to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver asking him to ban foreigners and "their local puppet groups" from appearing before ongoing public hearings for a new pipeline project.

Yet another foreign government has accused Americans of meddling in its internal affairs. It says U.S. donors are bankrolling local political activists, and it may be time for a crackdown on the political influence of outsiders.

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Thu January 12, 2012
Around the Nation

Heavy Lobbying Before Keystone Oil Pipeline Decision

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 10:12 pm

The Syncrude tar sands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is seen in November. Alberta's tar sands would supply the oil for the prospective Keystone XL pipeline.
Todd Korol Reuters/Landov

The oil industry and environmentalists are fighting over the Keystone XL pipeline, and in this election year, President Obama is caught in the middle.

The industry says the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, would create jobs. Environmentalists worry it will lead to more pollution. Obama has until next month to make a decision, and that has both sides lobbying heavily.

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Thu January 12, 2012
State Capitol

New House Boundaries

After two hours of heated debate, the Kentucky House of Representatives has approved new district lines. House Bill 1 passed 63-34 with only two representatives not voting.  Many Republicans took to the floor to argue against the plan, calling it ugly politics. There are nine Republican members who will have to run against one another under the new redistricting map, and nearly all of them took to the floor to argue against the bill. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, maintained there aren’t any malicious ideas behind the new plan.

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Thu January 12, 2012
The Two-Way

With New Platform, Putin Presents Himself As A Reformer

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 5:42 pm

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a Government Presidium meeting in Moscow on Jan. 12.
Yana Lapikova AFP/Getty Images

Russia's Vladimir Putin took to the Internet to present the platform he would persue should he be elected president on March 4.

It was a bold platform, considering that it would walk back policies he helped institute. As The Telegraph puts it, it was Putin remaking himself into a "liberal reformer."

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Thu January 12, 2012

Viral Images, The Military's Recurring Nightmare

A still frame taken from a YouTube video purportedly shows Marines who desecrated three dead men thought to be members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military says it's investigating a video that appears to show Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of those findings, the outrage in the Islamic world is likely to be severe, as with other disturbing images that have surfaced during U.S. wars in Muslim countries over the past decade.

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Thu January 12, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

UConn Claims Resveratrol Researcher Falsified Work

The already shaky case for the anti-aging powers of resveratrol, a substance in red wine, is looking a little shakier.

After a three-year investigation, the University of Connecticut Health Center has told 11 scientific journals that studies they published by resveratrol researcher Dipak K. Das may not be trustworthy.

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Thu January 12, 2012
The Salt

Could A Soda Tax Prevent 2,600 Deaths Per Year?

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:33 pm

Researchers say that if the price of soda gets higher, people will drink less of it, which will lead to fewer deaths.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

A new study in the journal Health Affairs estimates that a penny-per-ounce tax on soft drinks and other sugary beverages could prevent about 240,000 cases of diabetes per year, and 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths over a decade (or 2,600 per year).

Yes, death by soda.

So the analysis got me thinking: Our behavior is hard to predict, right? I know mine is.

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Thu January 12, 2012
The Two-Way

How Do Land Birds End Up In A Tiger Shark's Belly?

Scientists are facing a riddle. For two years, researchers at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama have been studying the diets of Tiger Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and they found that the sharks not only eat sea creatures, but also make a habit of eating land birds. Yep that's right woodpeckers, catbirds, kingbirds and swallows have all been found in their bellies.

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