What follows is today’s collection of news from around the world that you won’t want to miss. The articles, from a score of media firms, are curated just for you, news that centers around issues of freedom, Obamacare, the U.S. spy program and more.
Government Is ‘Mining’ Social Media for Information on Health Behavior
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is “mining” Facebook and Twitter to improve its social media footprint and to assess how Tweets can be used as “change-agents” for health behaviors.
More People Needing Food Stamps May Be New Normal
Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has more than doubled in the past decade even during times of economic growth, U.S. researchers say.
Food Bank CEO Suggests Welfare Cuts May Spark Riots
Margarette Purvis, the head of the Food Bank for New York City, told Salon.com that the expiration of stimulus funds, which will see food stamps reduced by $5 billion, will have an “immediate impact” and represent a recipe for civil unrest.
Barneys Case Stirs Talk of ‘Shopping While Black’
When a black teen said he was wrongly jailed after buying a $350 belt at a Manhattan luxury store, it struck a nerve in African-Americans accustomed to finding that their money is not necessarily as good as everyone else’s. Shopping while black, they say, can be a humiliating experience.
‘Iran Two Weeks Away From Weapons-Grade Uranium’
Tehran already reached point of no return, and is installing new centrifuges all the time, yet there is room for optimism about current talks, ex-IAEA deputy chief says.
Terrorist Attacks and Deaths Hit Record High, Report Shows
As terrorism increasingly becomes a tactic of warfare, the number of attacks and fatalities soared to a record high in 2012, according to a new report obtained exclusively by CNN.
Moats: L.A.’s Newest Extreme Real Estate Trend
Forget the guarded gate — nothing says security like a (koi-stocked) wraparound water feature.
Man Shot in Yorba Linda Was ‘Hallucinating,’ Talking About Zombies
A man who allegedly smashed through a sliding glass door and entered a home in Yorba Linda before being fatally shot by the homeowner was said to have been “hallucinating” and talking about “zombies,” authorities said Monday.
Barking Dogs May Have Sparked Arizona Family Slaying
The 70-year-old’s son and three members of his family were shot to death over the weekend by a man neighbors say was incensed over the incessant noise of barking dogs.
White House OK’d Spying on Allies, U.S. Intelligence Officials Say
NSA and other U.S. intelligence agency staff members are said to be angry at Obama for denying knowledge of the spying.
The White House Responds to Spying
The White House response on Monday to the expanding disclosures of American spying on foreign leaders, their governments and millions of their citizens was a pathetic mix of unsatisfying assurances about reviews under way, platitudes about the need for security in an insecure age, and the odd defense that the president didn’t know that American spies had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone for 10 years.
Embassy Espionage: The NSA’s Secret Spy Hub in Berlin
According to SPIEGEL research, United States intelligence agencies have not only targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, but they have also used the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station. The revelations now pose a serious threat to German-American relations.
U.K. May Punish Publication of NSA Leaks
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday his government was likely to act to stop newspapers publishing what he called damaging leaks from former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden unless they began to behave more responsibly.
Saudi Frees Blogger Jailed for Blasphemy
A Saudi journalist accused of posting tweets deemed insulting to Islam’s Prophet Mohammed was on Tuesday freed from detention after 20 months, a human rights activist said.
Vietnam Court Convicts Dissident Facebook User
A Vietnamese court on Tuesday convicted a dissident of using Facebook to spread criticism of the government but suspended the 15-month prison sentence it imposed.
Nearly 1.5 Million Lose Health Insurance due to Obamacare
By merely adding up recent media reports, the National Center for Public Policy Research discovered that 1.5 million insurance cancellations have already gone out. These cancellations are all due to the Obamacare mandate that requires every health insurance policy meet a minimum requirement of a one-size-fits-all Cadillac plan that forces people to pay for coverage they neither want nor need.
More Than 2 Million Americans Cannot Renew Current Health Insurance
According to CBS News, more than 2 million people have learned they cannot renew their current insurance policies because of Obamacare. That is more than triple the number of people who are buying health care through the federal exchanges. This comes despite Obama previously pledging that no Americans would lose their current health care plans under the Affordable Care Act. The White House backtracked that line Monday.
Obama Administration Knew Millions Could Not Keep Their Health Insurance
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the administration has known that for at least three years.
House to Take Up ‘Keep Your Health Plan Act’
Last night, Fred Upton, the Republican chairman of the of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced the “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.” The goal is simple: To allow people who like their health care plans to keep them for the next year under Obamacare.
Amid Obamacare Signup Glitches, Thousands Head to Free Clinic Event
The need for less-expensive cleanings and fillings won’t disappear with health-care reform, organizers said. And despite the high hopes many hold for reform, they added, many people will still need Care Harbor’s medical services.
Doctors Are Resisting Obamacare
“This is so poorly designed that a lot of doctors are afraid to participate,” said Dr. Sam Unterricht, president of the 29,000-member organization. “There’s a lot of resistance. Doctors don’t know what they’re going to get paid.”
Britain’s NHS Pulls the Plug on its £11 Billion IT System
“The department has been unable to demonstrate what benefits have been delivered from the £2.7 billion spent on the project so far,” Margaret Hodge, chair of the PAC, said. “It should now urgently review whether it is worth continuing with the remaining elements of the care-records system.
Neuroscientists Develop Equation for Predicting Future Disasters
A team of neuroscientists has published a paper claiming it has developed a mathematical calculation that could potentially predict the tipping point of any massive event — from a market crash to a brain seizure.
1 in 3 Kids Use a Mobile Phone or Tablet Before They Can Talk
Nearly a third of children now learn to use a mobile phone or a tablet computer before they can talk, a report has revealed. Some 29 percent start using the gadgets as toddlers, with 70 percent mastering them completely by primary school age. The report also found that by the time they reach the age of 9, children have typically sent 116 texts and 85 emails.
Google Nears Smartwatch Launch
Google‘s smartwatch is in late-stage development and the company is in talks with Asian suppliers to begin mass production of the device, people familiar with the matter said.
Did You Smell My Text? Device Sends Scented Alerts
Scentee, a new device you can attach to your smartphone, releases a burst of fragrance of your choice whenever you receive a text, email or other notification, Engadget reports.
Surfer Takes on ‘Biggest Wave Ever Ridden’ After Storm
Brazilian Carlos Burle took on the monster wave — created by the St. Jude storm — at Praia do Norte, near the fishing village of Nazare. Estimated at nearly 100 feet, it is believed to be the biggest wave ever ridden.
The Money and Markets Team