Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ex-CIA Chief: Feinstein Too ‘Emotional’ On Interrogations Report

Ex-CIA Chief: Feinstein Too ‘Emotional’ On Interrogations Report

Ex-CIA Chief: Feinstein Too ‘Emotional’ On Interrogations Report

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Michael Hayden, the former CIA and National Security Agency director, told Fox News Sunday he doubts the objectivity of a Senate report detailing CIA interrogation tactics.

The motivations of Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D—Calif.) for compiling the report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention practices “may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator,” he said, “but I don’t think it leads you to an objective report.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday to declassify key elements of its report this week, which reportedly concludes that the CIA inflated the effectiveness of its "enhanced" interrogation practices, misleading the Justice Department, Congress and the public.

The report was at the center of a rift between the CIA and Senate investigators, after Feinstein accused the agency of spying on Senate computers used to compile the investigation. The CIA, in turn, said investigators illegally accessed internal documents.

Health Fad of the Week: Kids Are Doing Juice Cleanses Now, Too

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 10:59 AM PDT

When it comes to the latest and greatest in health and fitness, there's always something new to try. Some trends are more legit than others, while others can't be backed by any science whatsoever. And then there's everything else in between. After far too many face palms, eye rolls, and serious questions about fads that sound too good to be true, we've decided to start a series that puts these health fads under a microscope.

Not only does it seem like the juice cleanse fad is still going strong–despite its questionable nutritional benefits–kids are now jumping on the trend bandwagon, according to a recent article from the New York Post.

"I have to buy extra because I know she's going to take it," Sandra Davella, a 44-year-old banker, tells the Post about her 6-year-old daughter and “junior juicer” Sofia. "If I'm doing a three-day cleanse and I order for her, she goes [to the bathroom] every day."

While the Post doesn’t offer numbers on how many kids are adopting this adult dieting habit, there are a few cleanse companies that cater specifically to children. California-based company sells a set of four Children's Cleanse liquid extracts for $99. Consumed with a raw diet, they company claims it cleanses the entire body. The package is meant for kids ages 2 to 12, and can be customized for up to 14 days.

"For adults and kids alike who are trying to lose weight, these raw and organic drinks are a great kick-starter," Stephanie Walczak, founder of Rawpothecary, a New York City-based health food company, tells the Post.

So is it better that kids are reaching for these juice cleanses over the sugary stuff? When it comes to juice cleanses and the “juicing” trend, there’s a spectrum for safety. Many of these juices are in fact healthier than sugary beverages, since they’re purely blended vegetables and fruit, with no additional ingredients. The benefits are less so when, as in many juicing methods, the juice is extracted, stripping the fruits and veggies of their natural fiber. Even so, they can provide a nutritional benefit and be part of a well-balanced diet.

The trouble is when people, children especially, use them as meal replacements, for which no juice is adequate. “There’s nothing wrong with a child having these as a beverage,” says registered dietitian Keri Gans. “When they step over the line and use it as a cleanse, that’s when it gets insane.” A growing child won’t get their full nutrition from a juice; not even adults will. There’s also the possibility that a young juicing habit can set the stage early for disordered eating, says Gans.

It’s no secret that cleanses aren’t the best source of nutrition or a weight-loss strategy. People typically lose water weight on a cleanse, but quickly gain it back when they re-introduce solid foods. As for those who argue that cleanses detoxify the body, that job should be left to one’s liver.

Children are, of course, susceptible to mimicking their behavior after the adults around them. But what’s the excuse or adults who continue to adopt, and spend hundreds on, trends that have little evidence to support them?

Let’s turn to some brand and psychology experts. Douglas Van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, points out that we tend to make decisions based on emotional associations rather than logical ones. “In the case of adults, [the decision to cleanse] is often driven by the desire to be thin, and that's so strong it flies in the face of logical analysis,” he says.

“We are very swayed by specific situations,” says Arthur Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. “Your friend may say they did a juice cleanse and felt great after. Even though that's only one person telling an anecdote, it's very specific and we are often driven by specific situations. It doesn't necessarily need to be someone you know,” he says. Think weight-loss ads and celebrity endorsements.

That goes for other health myths people cling to, like anti-vaccination. “There's no compelling evidence that vaccines are causing autism, and yet you find a significant number of people who are making the argument on the basis of anecdotes,” says Markman, who notes that evidence is sometimes just too abstract for many to understand.

Often, those who claim they don’t partake in juice cleanses for weight loss say they just “feel better” and “have more energy.” While it’s hard to argue with someone’s personal experience, Gans says it does need to be put into perspective. “What were they eating before?” she asks. Cleanses typically come after an overindulgent weekend. And don’t forgot the placebo effect. Often, a benign activity can make us feel better simply because we think it should.

But if none of that can convince people of the empty promises of a juice cleanse, maybe the bottom line will: “They're expensive, up to $80 a day," says Davella. And if your children want in on it too, keep multiplying that number and maybe the evidence will finally add up.

Pirates Fan Discovers Popcorn Tub Makes Good Baseball Glove

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 10:53 AM PDT

There’s a unique type of panic reserved for unprepared baseball fans who see foul balls whizzing toward them.

But on Friday, at a Cardinal-Pirates game at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, one Pirates fan decided that he wasn’t going to let his lack of a glove stop him from making an incredible catch when a foul ball went soaring into the stands. He held up his popcorn tub and watched in awe as the ball sank directly into it, sending popcorn flying everywhere.

Here’s a close-up of the action:

Report: Yahoo Wants To Make Cable-Style TV Shows

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 10:41 AM PDT

Yahoo is breaking into television with plans to order four Web series as the company plans to challenge high-end cable networks and streaming services like Netflix for ad dollars, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper cited anonymous sources saying the Internet giant is looking to provide alternatives to Google’s YouTube by reportedly aiming to schedule 10-episode, half hour comedies with per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars. The projects would be led by writers and directors with television experience.

The deals haven’t been finalized, but would be part of Yahoo’s plan to try to shift advertisers’ budgets to online. The company is reportedly looking at the same types of shows Netflix and Amazon are eyeing.

Under CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has worked hard to improve its video content, striking partnerships with TV news journalist Katie Couric and former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue, as well entering talks to acquire online video service News Distribution Network Inc.


About 100 Arrested in Southern California Brawl

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 10:36 AM PDT

(ISLA VISTA, Calif.) — About 100 people were arrested and at least 44 people were taken to the hospital during a weekend college party in Southern California that devolved into a street brawl, authorities said.

The violence broke out in the densely populated beachside community of Isla Vista around 9:30 p.m. Saturday during the annual spring break party known as Deltopia, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Ventura County Star reported ( that things escalated after a University of California, Santa Barbara police officer was hit in the head with a backpack filled with large bottles of alcohol.

Authorities said some members of the crowd of 15,000 then began throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at officers, lighting fires and damaging law enforcement vehicles.

At least five more officers were injured, including one officer who was hit in the face with a brick and two others who were hit in the hand with bottles, sheriff’s deputies said. Authorities reported using tear gas and foam projectiles to disperse the crowd.

The situation had stabilized by Sunday morning after sheriffs received backup support from multiple agencies in neighboring Ventura County.

Isla Vista borders the university and is known for partying. The half-mile area has roughly 23,000 residents, of which 60 percent are students.

France Pulls Out of Event To Mark Rwanda Genocide

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 10:10 AM PDT

The French government has withdrawn from Monday’s 20th anniversary commemorations for the Rwandan genocide, after the country’s president accused France of participating in the 1994 mass killings.

The French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira canceled plans to attend the events in Kigali on Monday following Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s denunciation of the “direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide,” the BBC reports.

President Kagame’s remarks were made to the French-language weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique in an interview on March 27. The French foreign ministry said Kagame’s remarks hurt the reconciliation process between the two nations.

More than 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda—mostly ethnic Tutsi, but also moderate Hutus—after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu, on April 6, 1994. The violence only ended after Kagame’s Tutsi-led group defeated government forces in July, 1994.

Kagame’s faction, which has held the government since, has long blamed France for aiding the genocide. France was an ally of Habyarimana’s government, and a Rwandan commission found France helped train ethnic Hutu militias who prepared in the mass killings, and was aware of preparations for the genocide.

France has acknowledged serious errors it made during the genocide, but has said its forces protected civilians during the violence.


Cops: Speed, Rain May Be Factors in New York Crash

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 09:50 AM PDT

(NEW YORK) — Speed and rain were being investigated as possible factors in the deadly crash of a car into a New York City creek that left four young people dead, police said Sunday.

Investigators were still trying to determine the cause of Friday’s accident, which sent a car with five people inside tumbling into a creek on a dead-end street in Queens.

The only survivor was the 20-year-old driver, who escaped from the submerged car and called 911.

It was too late.

His four friends were trapped at the bottom of Steinway Creek, a trash- and waste-strewn inlet off the East River. The Steinway piano factory is a few hundred yards from the crash site.

Police said the driver had tried to make a quick U-turn as he suddenly faced the dead end late Friday evening, amid rain and fog. Instead, the 2009 Honda Accord slipped on the wet road and he lost control of the vehicle that flipped into the water, police said.

On Saturday, police visited a car service business that had security cameras facing the street in hopes of learning the speed of the Accord in the seconds before it crashed.

Fire department divers pulled the four victims from the car late Friday evening, within a half hour of the accident.

The five friends were returning from a birthday celebration for Crystal Gravely, who died along with Darius Fletcher, 21; Jada Monique Butts, 19; and Jaleel Furtado, who was 20.

They all lived in two square blocks of Queens’ East Elmhurst neighborhood and had gone out to celebrate Gravely’s 20th birthday, which was on Saturday, according to friends and neighbors.

Authorities did not release the name of the driver, who suffered minor injuries.

U.S. Navy Rescues Sick Baby From Sailboat in Pacific

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 09:35 AM PDT

A U.S. Navy warship arrived Sunday at a sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico in order to rescue a sick 1-year-old girl whose parents were attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

On Sunday the frigate USS Vandegrift reached the 36-foot Rebel Heart, where Charlotte and Eric Kaufman had issued a distress call three days before when they found their young daughter sick with a fever and a rash, reports USA Today. A crew from the California Air National Guard parachuted into the water Thursday and stabilized the girl until the Vandegrift arrived.

The 1-year-old girl was taken aboard the Vandegrift along with her parents and 3-year-old sister for medical treatment in San Diego, the Associated Press reports.

The couple and their children were almost 1,000 miles from Cabo San Lucas after setting out from San Diego to circle the globe, and did not have steering or communication abilities. In a post on the couple’s blog eight days after setting out, they called the trip “the stupidest thing we have ever done.”

[USA Today]


Fire Starts as Bride and Groom Are Pronounced Wed

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 09:35 AM PDT

(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) — Authorities say a three-alarm fire broke out at a wedding outside Boston just after the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife.

The Sun Chronicle reports that flames broke through the roof of the historic Lakeview Pavilion in Foxborough on Saturday night, destroying it. The fire was knocked down hours after it started.

Justice of the Peace Jerry Cibley says the fire began at the end of the wedding just as the bride, groom and their wedding party walked down the aisle. He tells the paper he had “just pronounced them husband and wife” and that the couple were devastated about the fire.

Cibley says everyone got out safely, including the 150 or so guests.

The venue’s website says it opened in 1906.

Guinea: Airport Passengers Screened for Ebola

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 09:02 AM PDT

(CONAKRY, Guinea) — Health officials in Guinea say all passengers departing from the capital city’s airport must fill out a health form and have their temperature taken as part of an effort to combat the spread of the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Sakoba Keita, director of prevention at the health ministry, said anyone with a temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) would be tested for the disease, which has killed 86 people in the West African nation since an outbreak began in February.

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said Saturday that French doctors from the Pasteur Institute would be on hand to watch boarding procedures at the airport in Conakry.

Two Ebola deaths have been confirmed in neighboring Liberia, and suspected cases have also been reported in Mali.


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