• Residents Riled Over Pot-Smoking Santa Display

    Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    A Southern California medical marijuana dispensary has agreed to remove its holiday decorations after it found itself at the center of a town controversy, NBC Los Angeles reports. The Harbor House of Dank in San Pedro hired an artist last week to paint Christmas decorations, including a pot-smoking Santa, on its store front. The paintings also depict a snowman holding a prescription pill bottle. Hundreds of people expressed their anger about the décor on the "Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Watch" page, a closed Facebook group which had 2,784 members as of Tuesday afternoon.

  • Tim Burton Is In For Directing 'Beetlejuice 2' -- And That's Not All

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Sure, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton have projects like “Big Eyes” and “Birdman” keeping them busy nowadays, but every time we get the chance to sit down with the frequent collaborators, the conversation quickly drifts to “Beetlejuice 2," MTV reports. Keaton told the outlet on February 13 that he was in if Burton was, and on October 17 he mentioned that they were waiting for a script; but now Burton is here to set the record straight — “Beetlejuice 2″ is happening, and some very familiar faces will return.

  • OU listed as one of the top journalism schools in the country

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    The University of Missouri at Columbia’s School of Journalism was once again far and away the No. 1 choice as the top J-school in the country in the annual NewsPro-RTDNATop Journalism Schools poll of news professionals, according to the Radio Television Digital News Association. A series of ties followed. Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism tied for fourth place, while the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication tied for fifth place. 

  • 'Torture Report': A Closer Look At When And What President Bush Knew

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    One of the big, controversial questions to emerge from the Senate investigation into the CIA interrogation of terrorism suspects is this: Did President George W. Bush know the specific techniques used by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects? Accounts differ. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report says one thing, Bush himself says another in his memoir. To try to keep it simple, NPR explores what happened in two crucial years — 2002 and 2006. In a future post, NPR will focus what Bush may have known based on a major policy speech in which he first publicly revealed the existence of secret prisons.

  • Apple Prevails in Antitrust Suit Over iPod Music

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    A jury has decided that Apple did not use software to block songs sold by competing music stores from playing on the iPod so that it could secure a monopoly over the digital music market, according to The New York Times. The jurors determined Apple had used a version of the iTunes software that it issued eight years ago to deliver genuine improvements for iPods sold between 2006 and 2009. The jury of eight rendered its verdict on Tuesday after about three hours of deliberation, wrapping up a class-action antitrust suit that had kicked around in various courts and in various forms for 10 years before it finally went to trial here in federal court in early December.

  • Few Employers Cover Egg Freezing For Women With Cancer

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    As some companies add egg freezing to their list of fertility benefits, they're touting the coverage as a family-friendly perk. Women's health advocates say they welcome any expansion of fertility coverage. But they say that the much-publicized changes at a few high-profile companies such as Facebook and Apple are still relatively rare, even for women with serious illnesses like cancer who want to preserve their fertility, NPR reports. News stories about company-paid egg freezing for female employees have focused on whether the benefit truly gives women and men more options for balancing work and family life or instead sends a message that they're expected to put off having a family if they want to get ahead on the job.

  • Sony hackers threaten violence against moviegoers who see 'The Interview'

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    The group that hacked Sony Pictures has leaked another batch of data to the public, this time accompanied with an ominous message that overtly threatens violence for the first time, Mashable reports. The message accompanying the leak, posted on the anonymous Pastebin website, foresees a "bitter fate" for those who choose to see Sony's upcoming movie, "The Interview," in cinemas. It also says that "the world will be full of fear" and references 9/11. With the hackers' true identity still in doubt, there's no way of knowing whether their threats are at all serious.

  • 17-Year-Old Admits He Lied To Magazine About Making $72 Million

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    New York City, where high school seniors can go from budding hedge fund stars to financial fabulists in less than 24-hours, The Huffington Post reports. New York magazine apologized Tuesday morning for a story it published that celebrated a 17-year-old high school student’s $72 million stock trading gains. "We were duped. Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better," the editors say in a statement on the magazine's website.

  • 8 countries that win and lose big from oil plunge

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Oil prices traded near a five-year low Tuesday, as global supply continued to outstrip demand. Since the start of the year, prices have plummeted close to 50 percent, according to USA TODAY. That decline has produced windfalls — or disasters — for a number of countries. Here's a look at four of the biggest winners and four major losers...

  • Procrastinators, rejoice! Amazon extends Christmas shipping

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Procrastinators of the world, rejoice! Amazon is extending its free shipping deadline for Christmas Eve delivery to Dec. 19, according to USA TODAY. Customers who purchase items by Friday at 11:59 p.m. ET will still be able to have them delivered free by Christmas Eve, the company announced on Tuesday. Last year the free shipping cutoff was Dec. 17.

  • Rudolph's rare cousin threatened by army base closure

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    For much of its history, the Seneca Army Depot was home to everything from U.S. Army munitions to radioactive materials used in the Manhattan Project and the nuclear weapons during the Cold War, USA TODAY reports. In recent years, the most notable inhabitants of the 10,000 acres nestled in farm and winery country have been the ghost-like white deer there. A variation of white-tailed deer, the estimated 200 white deer roaming the property are not albino — they have brown eyes, not pink. They live alongside another 600 brown white-tailed deer, kept at arm's length from from traffic, hunters, and tourists by the fence around the base.

  • Anonymous layaway angel pays $50,000 for Walmart gifts

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Santa came early for customers at a Walmart in Mechanicsburg, Pa., when a man walked into the store and donated $50,000 to pay off all customer layaway accounts, according to USA TODAY. The good Samaritan, who paid in cashier's checks, is choosing to remain anonymous and would like to be known only as Santa B. "We first thought he said $5,000 — but no, he wanted to make a $50,000 donation. We made him repeat it twice," said store manager Steve Myers.

  • Um, your gift might be late: Truck spills packages

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    A truck accident Tuesday spilled packages along Interstate 75 in Monroe County, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. USA TODAY reports the sheriff's office said the accident involved a FedEx 18-wheeler that overturned while pulling two trailers. One witness told WMAZ-TV there were "presents all over the place."

  • Tanning Beds Send Thousands to ER

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Everyone knows, or should know, by now that tanning beds expose users to a lot of ultraviolet radiation, which can cause cancer. But according to a new study released Monday, indoor tanning also is responsible for an average of 3,234 injuries that result in visits to hospital emergency rooms each year, The Washington Post reports. That's nearly nine skin burns, fainting spells, eye injuries, lacerations, strains, sprains, bruises or dislocations every day that  could have been avoided, since, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the practice also increases the risk of skin cancers, including melanoma. The CDC recommends against the use of tanning beds.

  • Nordstrom fires worker over personal Facebook post

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Nordstrom has fired a Portland employee after the sales associate apparently posted a controversial statement using his personal Facebook page advocating the killing of police officers, KGW.com reports. "What our former employee chose to post from his personal account does not in any way reflect our views as a company," said Tara Darrow, a Nordstrom corporate affairs spokeswoman. "We do not tolerate violence, violent conversation or threats of any kind." Nordstrom sales associate Aaron Hodges has since taken down his Facebook and Twitter accounts, but a screen shot of his comment has been circulating online.

  • 10-year-old fan makes Justin Timberlake cry during concert

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Justin Timberlake definitely has a soft side -- especially when it comes to adorable young fans, AOL.com reports. The 33-year-old entertainer stopped his concert Sunday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., when a 10-year-old fan dressed in a suit caught his attention. Accepting a gift from him, Justin clearly got emotional at the sweet moment.

  • 'The Blind Side' Lady Shares A Heartwarming Racial Profiling Story

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Leigh Anne Tuohy is best known for being portrayed by Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side," a movie depicting the real-life story of how Tuohy and her husband adopted NFL tackle Michael Oher when he was a homeless teenager, DeadSpin reports. The movie ostensibly taught us a lot of Important Lessons about race and the American dream and folks treatin' other folks right, so it's not exactly surprising that Tuohy is still out here teaching us lessons.

  • Democrats already digging dirt on Bush, Cruz, 2016 GOP lineup

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    More than a year before Republicans pick their 2016 presidential nominee, a liberal super PAC, American Bridge , is readying the release of a “scouting report” on 20 potential GOP candidates — and building a team of scandal researchers and video trackers to follow every candidate, the Washington Examiner reports. Presented like a sports media guide, the advance copy provided to the Examiner is a researcher’s dream: a combination of biographical tidbits and controversy. Former Clinton aide Paul Begala writes in the foreword that “sunshine truly is the best disinfectant.” And many of the Republicans featured in American Bridge’s “2016 Scouting Report” read like they need a dose.

  • Survey: Teen marijuana use declines even as states legalize

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Marijuana use among teens declined this year even as two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the drug for recreational use, a national survey released Tuesday found. USA TODAY reports the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study, now in its 40th year, surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade in schools nationwide about their use of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs and cigarettes. "There is a lot of good news in this year's results, bu the problems of teen substance use and abuse are still far from going away," Lloyd Johnston, the study's principal investigator, said.

  • Jeb Bush to 'actively explore' presidential bid

    Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has decided to "actively explore" a presidential bid after conversations with his family over Thanksgiving, he said in a Facebook post Tuesday, CNN reports. While Bush had been making steps toward a presidential bid with recent speeches in early primary states and plans to release documents from his time period as governor, the timing of Tuesday's announcement was widely unexpected and will quicken the pace for some would-be Republican primary challengers. In the post , Bush writes that over the holiday he "talked about the future of the nation" with his family.