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Sunday, April 27, 2014

White House: Putin Faces a ‘Hard Choice’

White House: Putin Faces a ‘Hard Choice’


White House: Putin Faces a ‘Hard Choice’

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:59 AM PDT

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken hit the airwaves Sunday morning as part of a move to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as Ukraine nears a breaking point.

“He has to make a very hard choice,” Blinken said on CBS. “He can either continue to do what he’s doing in Ukraine or pull back, engage in a diplomatic process, and take some of that pressure off.”

The European Union and the United States have agreed to ratchet up sanctions on Russia in response to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where Western allies have said the Kremlin is fueling unrest and amassing troops at the border. The sanctions have already begun to hit Russia’s economy, perhaps setting him up for domestic challenges in the future.

“He had a compact with his people, and the compact is this: ‘I’ll deliver economic growth for you if you remain politically compliant.’ Right now he’s not delivering growth,” Blinken said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair endorsed the West’s stance towards Russia, saying Sunday on NBC “we’re absolutely right to take a strong approach.”

White House Adviser: Putin Is Breaking Economic Promise

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:52 AM PDT

While hitting the morning shows to talk about the economic sanctions against Russia, White House National Security Adviser Tony Blinken pointed the finger squarely at Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He had a compact with his people and the compact was this. ‘I’ll deliver economic growth for you if you remain politically compliant.’ Right now he’s not delivering growth,” said Blinkin on CNN’s State of the Union.

The U.S. and other Western powers have placed economic sanctions on Russia in response to continued turmoil in Ukraine they believe is being fueled by Moscow’s support.

Teen’s Arm Severed in Eatery’s Pasta Machine

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:39 AM PDT

(MASSENA, N.Y.) — A teenage employee at an Italian restaurant in northern New York has severed his arm while cleaning a pasta machine.

A spokeswoman for Massachusetts General Hospital tells The Associated Press that 17-year-old Brett Bouchard was listed in serious condition there Sunday morning.

He was flown there after the accident Thursday night at Violi’s Restaurant in Massena on the Canadian border.

Restaurant manager Mia Violi tells The Watertown Daily Times that Bouchard was cleaning the pasta machine when his right arm got caught and severed at the elbow. She says employees are trying to figure out how the machine got activated while he was cleaning it.

It’s not yet clear whether the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident.

The Other Woman Demotes Captain America At the Box Office

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:37 AM PDT

Cameron Diaz’s comedy The Other Woman opened this weekend with an estimated $24.7 million, toppling Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier off the top spot at the box office.

The Other Woman stars Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton as a wife and two mistresses who take revenge on a three-timing spouse, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Despite a strong showing and a decent B+ CinemaScore ranking among audiences, critics were not big fans of The Other Woman: It received a mere 25% positive ranking on Rotten Tomatoes.

Captain America came in at a much weaker second this weekend, grossing $16 million after taking in $645 million globally so far, according to data from Box Office Mojo.

Footwork Music Star DJ Rashad Dies in Chicago

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:34 AM PDT

(CHICAGO) — Rashad Harden, a house music and footwork pioneer who performed as DJ Rashad, was found dead over the weekend in Chicago of an apparent drug overdose, authorities said Sunday. He was 34.

Chicago Police spokeswoman Janel Sedevic said a friend found Harden’s body Saturday afternoon in an apartment on the city’s West Side. She said that there was no sign of injury but that narcotics and drug paraphernalia were found near his body. An autopsy was scheduled for Sunday, but the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office declined to comment further on Sunday morning.

Harden’s death comes just days before his EP was scheduled for release and less than a month after fellow house music house music star Frankie Knuckles also died the city.

Harden, a resident of nearby Calumet City, was poised for a breakout year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His fifth album was his best reviewed, he was scheduled to play clubs all over the world, and on Monday, his latest EP, “We On 1,” was scheduled to be released.

“It’s just a tragic loss of a great musical genius,” said longtime friend and collaborator Morris harper, who performs as DJ Spinn and who was scheduled to appear Saturday night with Rashad in Detroit.

Rashad was considered a pioneer of footwork — an electronic oriented music genre that originated in Chicago. Once known as juke, footwork is named for its quick dance moves and is known for what Rolling Stone calls a “frenzied and hypnotic style of dance music that features heart-racing BPMs and, often, chopped-up loops of popular rap, R&B and pop vocals.”

The Sun-Times reports that Rashad’s fifth LP, “Double Cup,” which came out last year, is credited with attracting a wider audience to footwork music.

“He shared his music with everyone that would listen,” Harden’s father, Anthony Harden, told the Sun-Times. “He’s been all over the world, taking footwork all over the world.”

 

Barry Diller: Supreme Court’s Aereo Decision Could Have ‘Profound Effects’

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

Aereo investor and media mogul Barry Diller said Sunday that a Supreme Court decision to shut down the Internet streaming service would have “profound effects on the development of technology.”

A Supreme Court ruling against Aereo could shut down an incipient technology before it has the chance to fully develop, Diller said in a Sunday interview with CNN, comparing the service to earlier revolutionary advancements.

“It’s almost like saying, ‘what if there was no telephone?,” said Diller. “If [the Supreme Court justices] stop it—which they very well may—I don't think it's the end of any world because we'll not really know, but I think … if it stops, it will have profound effects on the developments of technology.”

Diller’s comments were his first since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case pitting the upstart Aereo against major broadcasters, including CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox. The U.S. Department of Justice has also filed a brief in support of the broadcasters, who argue Aereo is infringing on their copyright by streaming free, over-the-air television and sending it to subscribers over the Internet.

Aereo, which does not pay retransmission fees to broadcasters, maintains that it doesn’t run afoul of copyright law, as it provides each subscriber with access to an individual tiny antenna which captures broadcasters’ streams. That, Aereo says, means it’s providing “private performances,” not “public performances,” the latter of which are subject to copyright law.

Two federal courts sided with Aereo in decisions made last year, but broadcasters won a third court battle. The Supreme Court’s decision regarding Aereo’s legality will have direct implications for the company, but also set an important precedent for television and Internet technology moving forward.

 

Severe Weather Forces Delay of Oklahoma City Marathon

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

(OKLAHOMA CITY) — Marathon runners took shelter early Sunday as hail and high winds delayed a race dedicated to victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and forecasters warned people in the nation’s mid-section to prepare for tornadoes and hurricane-force winds.

Race organizers delayed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon by 105 minutes to let a severe thunderstorm pass through. With skies still gloomy, marathon organizers tweeted a photo from downtown with the caption: “Lined up and ready to run!”

And after 168 seconds of silence to remember bombing victims, the race started at 8:15 a.m.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said the risk of tornadoes will rise throughout the day, centered in an area stretching from Omaha, Neb., south to northern Louisiana. Some twisters could be particularly strong at late afternoon and evening.

“The greatest risk for a few intense tornadoes will exist across much of Arkansas perhaps into western and central Missouri,” an advisory from forecasters said. Storms could also reach the Delta region of northwestern Mississippi late in the day.

Hail and high winds could hit the areas that don’t see tornadoes, the forecasters said. They warned that hail could be the size of baseballs and wind gusts could reach hurricane-force: 75 mph or higher.

Sunday’s marathon had been set to start at 6:30 a.m., but strong storms formed overnight in western Oklahoma and approached the state capital just before sunrise.

Race organizers already had arranged for three shelters to be used along the 26.2-mile route — just in case — but when the storm came early downtown businesses opened their doors to give runners in their shorts, commemorative T-shirts and bibs and place to wait.

Oklahoma City’s marathon is held each year near the anniversary of the bombing. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh loaded a truck with fuel oil and fertilizer and exploded it outside the city’s federal building, killing 168 people. A museum, memorial garden and reflecting pool now fill the site of the blast.

Thousands Gather for Canonization Mass

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 08:32 AM PDT

LeBron James Apparently Stares Down Michael Jordan While Dunking

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 08:12 AM PDT

While the Miami Heat were playing the Charlotte Bobcats Saturday, LeBron James just might have thrown some shade at — gasp! — Michael Jordan.

James got a breakaway dunk, and as you can see in the video above, he casts a stern look to the right as he approaches the net. The ESPN announcers assumed that this stare was directed at Jordan, who owns the Bobcats.

But maybe not. When asked during the post-game press conference about the alleged glare, LeBron said, “Don’t start that. Absolutely not, man, absolutely not.”

Palestinian President Abbas: Holocaust a ‘Heinous Crime’

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 07:58 AM PDT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called the Holocaust “the most heinous crime” of modern history.

“[W]hat happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era,” Abbas said in a meeting with the American rabbi Marc Schneier, the Associated Press reports. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Abbas as expressing his “sympathy with the families of the victims and many other innocent people who were killed.”

Abbas’ comments mark a rare acknowledgement by an Arab leader of Jewish suffering during the Nazi-driven genocide of the 1930s and 1940s. His remarks appeared to in part be an attempt to connect with Israelis even as U.S.-orchestrated peace talks appear to be on the verge of collapse.

Abbas’ remarks also come as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which Abbas leads, arrived at a reconciliation deal last week with its political rival, Hamas. Hamas, which generally refrains from acknowledging the Holocaust, has claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis. The group has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, however, dismissed Abbas’ comments. “President Abbas can’t have it both ways. He can’t say the Holocaust is terrible but at the same time embrace those who deny the Holocaust and seek to perpetrate another destruction of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said in an interview on CNN.

[AP]

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