The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 22 Dec 2014 19:52:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Home Page Posts from THE WEEKMon, 22 Dec 2014 19:52:00 -0500Federal judge approves Oklahoma's 3-drug lethal injections</P><p>A federal judge ruled Oklahoma's lethal injection protocols constitutional Monday, <em>The Associated Press</em> reports.</p><p>After Clayton Lockett gasped and writhed on the gurney during a 43-minute execution April 29, 21 Oklahoma death row inmates sued over the use of the sedative midazolam. They said the drug risks subjecting them to unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.</p><p>After Lockett's execution, the state increased the midazolam dosage five-fold. Medical experts testifying for the death row inmates disagreed with the prison system's assertion that the execution method is humane, arguing that...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Julie KliegmanMon, 22 Dec 2014 19:52:00 -0500A federal appeals court just ruled a North Carolina abortion law unconstitutional</P><p>A North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to first give a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. This circuit court ruling upholds a lower-court decision from January, <em>The Huffington Post</em> reports.</p><p>The Woman's Right to Know Act was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature in 2011 over the veto of a Democratic governor. The doctor would also ask the patient if she wants to listen to the fetal heartbeat. Those who didn't comply faced losing their medical licenses.</p><p>"Transforming the physician into the mouthpiece...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Julie KliegmanMon, 22 Dec 2014 18:28:00 -0500Here is why champagne bubbles might affect the future of energy</P><p>When you pop that champagne bottle next week, chalk it up to a science experiment.</p><p>That process you see just after the bottle opens, with large bubbles overtaking smaller ones, is the same process that occurs in a power-generating turbine. A new study in T<em>he Journal of Chemical Physics</em> describes researches simulating the champagne bottle effect.</p><p>In the long run, the researchers' work analyzing no fewer than 700 million particles could lead to more efficient power stations and propellers. Cheers!</p> <a href="">More</a>By Julie KliegmanMon, 22 Dec 2014 18:07:00 -0500Study: Fast food linked to lower test scores</P><p>There might be a link between what children eat and their test scores. That's according to a recent <em>Clinical Pediatrics</em> study by Ohio State University and the University of Texas.</p><p>Fifth graders who ate fast food daily were four points behind those who didn't in reading and and science by the time they hit the eighth grade, <em>Reuters</em> reports. They were also behind three points in math.</p><p>The difference in scores might be due to a lack of iron in fast food, the study says. Higher fat and sugar levels are other possible culprits. Step away from the Whopper.</p> <a href="">More</a>By Julie KliegmanMon, 22 Dec 2014 17:36:00 -0500NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio calls for pause in anti-police protests after killing of two officers</P><p>After the shocking murder of two police officers in Brooklyn last Saturday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a suspension in the largely anti-police protests that have swept the city &mdash; and the nation &mdash; following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island at the hands of police officers.</p><p>"Put aside protests," Mayor de Blasio said Monday in a speech. "That can be for another day."</p><p>Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed Saturday afternoon when suspect Ismaaiyl Brinsley allegedly walked up to the passenger side of their...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kimberly-alters" ><span class="byline">Kimberly Alters</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:17:00 -0500Al Sharpton plays audio of death threats he has received</P><p>Following the execution-style killings of two NYPD officers, Al Sharpton held a press conference Sunday, saying, "We are now under intense threat from those that are misguided, by those that are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight."</p><p>Sharpton, who led a rally over the death of Eric Garner earlier this month, said he has received several death threats. He played a sample of one that said, "Hey [n-word], stop killing innocent people, I'm going to get you!"</p><p>Appearing alongside Sharpton were Garner's mother...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Teresa MullMon, 22 Dec 2014 15:11:00 -0500FAA launches drone safety program</P><p>Drones are on lots of people's Christmas lists this year. With models available for only a couple hundred dollars, a million drones have already been sold worldwide. And industry officials are getting concerned.</p><p>Government officials believe that more amateur fliers will lead to more encounters between small drones (which look just like other model aircraft) and manned aircraft.</p><p>"Many of these operators have no aviation history, background, or knowledge," said Margaret Gilligan, the Federal Aviation Association's (FAA) associate administrator for safety. "They think they just bought something...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Teresa MullMon, 22 Dec 2014 14:43:00 -0500There's only one person to blame for the murder of two NYC cops<img src="" /></P><p>Two New York City police officers are dead, ambushed by a lone gunman as they sat in a squad car in Brooklyn. It's a brazen killing, one so shocking it has left the city and the nation searching for a rational explanation to an inconceivable crime.</p><p>Why would someone do this? And who, or what, should be blamed?</p><p>In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, much of the blame fell on those accused of encouraging recent protests over the killing of unarmed civilians by police officers. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani claimed that propaganda "starting with the president" fomented anti-police...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:17:00 -0500Monkey hailed as a hero after saving another monkey's life</P><p>A monkey in India is said to have rescued his fellow monkey after he was electrocuted on high tension wires.</p><p>At a busy railroad station in the city of Kanpur, onlookers watched as the monkey quickly rushed over to his fallen comrade, who was knocked unconscious from the shock. For 20 minutes, the monkey did everything he could to revive his friend &ndash; he bit him, hit him, and finally dragged him into a pool of water, where he finally regained consciousness as the crowd cheered. Watch the video below. <em>--Catherine Garcia </em></p><center><iframe width="600" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></center> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaMon, 22 Dec 2014 14:14:00 -0500Christmas in New York, whimsically illustrated<img src="" /></P><p>Roxie Munro has written and illustrated more than 35 children's books. With a delicate hand, she draws incredibly detailed, magnetic scenes of cityscapes, deserts, and amusement parks filled with people, animals, and more.</p><p><em>Christmastime in New York City</em> (Rizzoli), back in print for the first time in more than two decades, invites readers of all ages to delight in the Big Apple's iconic buildings and vistas &mdash; all dressed up for the holidays. From skaters sweeping across Rockefeller Center's ice rink to people pressing their faces against department store windows, Munro's illustrations express...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sarah-eberspacher" ><span class="byline">Sarah Eberspacher</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500North Korea has gone completely offline</P><p>North Korea is mysteriously offline today, <em>Bloomberg</em> reports. The hermit kingdom, which was formally accused of leading the Sony hacking scandal last Friday, had been "experiencing intermittent problems" yesterday before going completely dark today.</p><p>On Friday, President Obama promised that the U.S. government would issue a "proportional" response to North Korea's alleged hacking. There has been no word yet if the U.S. is behind the outage.</p><p>UPDATE: The U.S. State Department on Monday cryptically said of the U.S. responses, "some will be seen, some may not be seen," <em>AP</em> reports. The White House...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kimberly-alters" ><span class="byline">Kimberly Alters</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:56:00 -0500NY Times: Prosecute Cheney for torture</P><p><em>The New York Times </em>editorial board is calling for President Obama to authorize a full and independent criminal investigation into the CIA's use of torture against suspected terrorists. It argues that the "nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down."</p><p>The editorial states that any "credible investigation" needs to include former Vice President Dick Cheney; his chief of staff, David...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaMon, 22 Dec 2014 13:41:00 -0500Blues singer Joe Cocker dies at 70</P><p>English blues singer Joe Cocker has died due to complications from lung cancer. He was 70.</p><p>Cocker was a lifelong musician known for his passionate vocal style over the course of 40 career albums. His hits included "You Are So Beautiful," "Feelin' Alright," "You Can Leave Your Hat On," and a cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," which was used as the theme song to TV's <em>The Wonder Years</em>.</p><p>In 1983, he won a Grammy for "Up Where We Belong" &mdash; a duet with Jennifer Warnes, popularized by its appearance on the <em>An Officer and a Gentleman </em>soundtrack, that reached number one on...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:25:00 -0500NASA scientists want to send a crew to the clouds of Venus</P><p>With temperatures above 900 degrees Fahrenheit and an intense atmospheric pressure, sending humans to the surface of Venus is impossible, but two NASA scientists say going to the planet's clouds is a different story.</p><p>Dale Arney and Chris Jones believe that an airship could explore the atmosphere of Venus, <em>The Verge </em>reports, because gravity at 31 miles above the planet is just slightly lower than Earth's and the atmospheric pressure is roughly the same. A helium-filled airship called the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) would run on solar power and would have to be folded into a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaMon, 22 Dec 2014 13:06:00 -05004 grammar lessons from our most beloved, old-timey holiday songs<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p><p>Read more on this story at <em>Mental Floss</em>.</p><p><strong>Listen to more of <em>The Week's</em> podcasts:</strong></p><ul><li>Your weekly streaming recommendation: <em>The One I Love</em></li><li>The great paradox of the greatest rock 'n' roll showdown of all time</li><li>This week I learned your coin toss odds are better than you think, and more</li></ul><p> </p><p ><em><em><strong>*You can also find The Week's mini podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud, and TuneIn.*</strong></em></em></p><p ><em><em><strong><em><em><strong>*Rate The Week's podcasts on iTunes.*</strong></em></em></strong></em></em></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/arika-okrent" ><span class="byline">Arika Okrent</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:24:00 -0500Pope Francis: Vatican officials suffer from 'spiritual Alzheimer's'</P><p>In a searing speech to the Vatican bureaucracy on Monday, Pope Francis openly criticized his senior cardinals, bishops, and priests for a wide variety of "ailments," and expressed hope that they will atone for their sins and be cured in 2015.</p><p>In the speech, Pope Francis laid out "15 Ailments of the Curia" suffered by the church officials that run the Holy See, including indifference to others, existential schizophrenia, and spiritual Alzheimer's. (Read the full list of ailments at <em>Vatican Insider</em>.) "The Curia is called on to always improve itself and grow in communion, holiness, and knowledge...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:20:00 -0500