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Friday, December 26, 2014

We don't know if oil prices near $70 or lower are a short-term phenomenon or a sign of things to come. The OPEC nations met Thursday in Vienna to plot strategy, deciding to keep their production quotas the same.

Oil prices dropped sharply again on world markets. As Reuters reported, "The wealthy Gulf states have made clear they are ready to ride out the weak prices that have hurt the likes of Venezuela and Iran -- OPEC members which face big budget pressures, but cannot afford to make cuts themselves." Read more


Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government on Wednesday to rein in rising vodka prices, as he battles to preserve his popularity amid an aggravating economic crisis.

Putin told a meeting with government officials and regional governors that expensive vodka prices encourage the production of bootleg spirits, which carry greater risks to people's health than legally produced alcohol.

Russia is facing its worst economic crisis since 1998, when the country devalued the ruble and defaulted on its debt. Putin's popularity is partly based on his reputation for providing prosperity and stability. Read more


Congress wants to 'Fix' the Highway Funding problems by raising gasoline and diesel taxes. This is just another way of making 'We the People' pay for their out of control spending. I think this is a mistake and we should make these politicians cut spending and change the way they allocate existing funds.


So how have things been going for our bored, exhausted, and disengaged president? He's been acting pretty enthusiastic, energized, and absorbed with his job, I'd say.

Let us count the things he's done since the November 4th midterm elections: Read more


But Bush's business record, enmeshed in international finance and some troubled former ventures in south Florida, could end up complicating his return to politics and his hopes to follow his father, George H.W. Bush, and his older brother, George W. Bush, into the Oval Office. Read more


"A Florida woman died a week after having a pipe and a bottle of crack cocaine removed from her vagina, local reports said.

A body scan at the Polk County Jail's booking room alerted jail staff about a glass pipe and pill bottle stashed inside April Rollison, 31, according to the Ledger of Lakeland.

She had just been arrested Dec. 16 on drug charges.

Doctors at Bartow Regional Medical Center removed the drug paraphernalia, but authorities say they believe Rollison had already slipped the drugs out and ingested it when no one was looking." Read more


Investigators have traced the gun Ismaaiyl Brinsley used to kill two New York City police officers and wound his ex-girlfriend to a Georgia strip mall 900 miles away. The Arrowhead pawn shop, which bills itself as a "family-owned business dedicated to good prices, good customer service and good vibes," as of 2010 was the fifth-largest source of guns used in crimes nationally and the number-one source of out-of-state guns seized by the New York Police Department. Read more


An Egyptian man who moved into a house in Grossenzersdorf in Lower Austria told his neighbors the 60-year-old figure of Jesus on a cross outside his home was an 'eyesore' - so he cut it down with an angle grinder. Shortly after the man bought the house in Augasse, he was heard complaining to his neighbors about the two-metre high crucifix with the figure of Jesus that stood for several decades on the grass verge in front of his property. "I don't want that. It has to go!", he said, according to a report in the news daily Heute. Read more


Thursday, December 25, 2014

A monkey at Kanpur train station in India saves the life of another monkey who had fallen unconscious on the tracks after being electrocuted by walking on wires above. The first monkey rubs, hits and bites him, then dips him in water. After more than 20 minutes the electrocuted monkey shows signs of life Read more


WASHINGTON (AP) -- For as often as Democrats attack the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch for their heavy spending on politics, it's actually the liberal-minded who shelled out the most cash in the just completed midterm elections.

At least, that is, among those groups that must disclose what they raise and spend.

Among the top 100 individual donors to political groups, more than half gave primarily to Democrats or their allies. Among groups that funneled more than $100,000 to allies, the top of the list tilted overwhelmingly toward Democrats -- a group favoring the GOP doesn't appear on the list until No. 14.

Read more


The holiday season may be a TV wasteland here in the United States, but in Britain it's always a veritable fiesta of Christmas specials and Boxing Day bonus episodes.

This year, though, the Brits have outdone themselves: A Downton Abbey comedy sketch created for a charity fundraising campaign is better than anything we'll see on U.S. television until 2015 rolls around Read more


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MISSOURI CITY, TX (KTRK) -- Community activists are asking for a federal investigation into alleged misconduct by authorities in Ft. Bend County, but that request was nearly drowned out by a group of bikers last night.

These bikers revved their engines during Quanell X's press conference in front of the Missouri City police station last night. He tried to move his press conference inside the building, but that led to a shoving match.

Quanell X is trying to bring attention to the case of Chad Chadwick. He claims he was wrongfully arrested in a SWAT raid on his home in 2011. Chadwick spent thousands of dollars on legal fees and eventually was cleared of all charges. Read more


Clay Seals Discovered In Israel Linked To Era Of Kings David And Solomon

A Mississippi State University archaeological team uncovered six official clay seals at a dig in southern Israel -- offering some support for the reigns of King David and his wise son Solomon as found in the Hebrew Bible. Read more


When President Francois Hollande unveiled a "super-tax" on the rich in 2012, some feared an exodus of business, sporting and artistic talent. One adviser warned it was a Socialist step too far that would turn France into "Cuba without sun".

Two years on, with the tax due to expire at the end of this month, the mass emigration has not happened. But the damage to France's appeal as a home for top earners has been great, and the pickings from the levy paltry.

Hollande first floated the 75-percent super-tax on earnings over 1 million euros ($1.2 million) a year in his 2012 campaign to oust his conservative rival Nicolas Sarkozy. It fired up left-wing voters and helped him unseat the incumbent.

Yet ever since, it has been a thorn in his side, helping little in France's effort to bring its public deficit within European Union limits and mixing the message just as Hollande sought to promote a more pro-business image.


I thought the race debate reached a new low when Gummy Bear maker Haribo was accused of racism for making African mask Gummies, but what happened at UCLA this week makes that look sane. 25 University of California Los Angeles students participated in a sit-in protest because, get this, one of their professors had the gall to correct grammar and spelling issues on some black students' papers.

Val Rust, a professor of education and information, was the target of the protestors for what they feel was racial insensitivity. Describing themselves as "aggrieved minority students," they claim that the professor was wrong to correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar in the papers of black students. Read more


Being a disciple of Jesus is a lifelong journey towards conforming ourselves to the image and way of life that Jesus taught. I have compiled a list of 4 clear teachings of Jesus that most of us who exist within Evangelicalism have either never heard, refuse to acknowledge, or believe the exact opposite of: 1) Jesus, not the Bible, is God's living and active Word that brings life; 2) The only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven is through doing the will of God; 3) Condemnation isn't Jesus' style; 4) You're supposed to sacrifice yourself and speak words of blessings for those you disagree with the most.


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