Innovation of the Week
August 2, 2014

The smartshoe could be the next big thing in wearable technology, said Dhanya Ann Thoppil at The Wall Street Journal. Indian startup Ducere Technologies has developed a wireless-enabled shoe called the Lechal that it plans to start selling in September for $100 a pair. Thanks to Bluetooth technology that syncs with a smartphone app, the shoes use Google Maps to vibrate and "tell users when and where to turn to reach their destination." Developers originally envisioned the shoes as a tool to help the blind, but they soon realized the technology could benefit the sighted as well.

Shutdown showdown
5:19 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate appears poised for a vote Friday on a bill that would approve funding for the Department of Homeland Security without blocking President Obama's immigration order. That would give the House — which passed a DHS funding bill last month that included provisions thwarting Obama's immigration action — less than a day to respond; funding for DHS runs out Saturday.

Confronted with a restive conservative wing that wants him to keep fighting and spurn the bipartisan Senate deal, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has yet to say how he will respond once the Senate acts.

Snowball Fights
4:56 p.m. ET

During a speech on climate change, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) employed some very questionable science to prove that global warming is a hoax.

"Do you know what this is?" he asked. "It's a snowball. It's just from outside here, so it's very very cold out," Inhofe said before tossing the snowball.

"Here, Mr. President, catch."

His staff confirmed that the snowball was caught by a Senate page. —Marshall Bright

Science!
4:19 p.m. ET
iStock

Oversleeping might be the activity of choice for college students, but sleeping more than eight hours a day could have significant health risks.

A new study published in the journal Neurology found that people who regularly sleep for longer than eight hours a day are at a higher risk for stroke than people who sleep six to eight hours daily.

The researchers studied almost 10,000 people aged 42 to 81 for nearly 10 years, recording how long they slept each night and if they had any strokes. The participants who slept the most had a risk of stroke 46 percent higher than average, and their stroke risk was double that of those who slept six to eight hours a night.

For now, the study authors note that more research is needed, since the study only proves correlation, not causation, between the two. But the researchers also note that oversleeping may be a sign of other health problems, such as depression, cancer, or neurological deterioration.

Kiss off?
4:08 p.m. ET

"That's just a kiss, that's all," House Speaker John Boehner explained Thursday after blowing kisses in response to a reporter's query.

With two days to avoid a Homeland Security shutdown, Boehner faces a potential revolt from the right over the fight to block President Obama's immigration order. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck a deal with Democrats to undo parts of the House's DHS funding bill, but Boehner insists he's waiting to see a final version of the legislation before he'll commit to a next move.

So when pressed to explain how he would avert a DHS shutdown, Boehner began one response with a few kisses, before adding, "When we make decisions I'll let you know," he said. —Jon Terbush

Fair and Balanced
3:34 p.m. ET
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

It's likely not a surprise that a majority (66 percent) of Republicans trust Fox News. 

What is more surprising, though, is that Fox is both the most and least trusted news source, according to a new study from Public Policy Polling. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they trusted Fox News over ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, MSNBC, CNN, and NBC, while 30 percent of respondents said they trusted Fox the least.

The only network that Republicans and Democrats agree is reliable? PBS. 

This just in
3:00 p.m. ET
Pool/Getty Images

An Argentine judge has dismissed the case against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which alleged Kirchner had protected Iranian officials from being prosecuted for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Judge Daniel Rafecas said Thursday that the documents filed by deceased prosecutor Alberto Nisman "failed to meet standards needed to open a court investigation," The Guardian reports. "I dismiss the case because no crime was committed," Rafecas said on Thursday.

Nisman's death was originally ruled a suicide, but later was suspected to be murder. He had drafted an arrest warrant for Kirchner.

ISIS
2:47 p.m. ET

Islamic State extremists have taken sledgehammers and power drills to a series of 3,000-year-old statues in the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq, the Daily Mail reports.

A video of the destruction was posted to a Twitter account used by ISIS. An unidentified vandal in the video says the demolition is being done in the name of Muhammad.

(AP Photo via militant social media account)

"The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics," the man says, "and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him."

The Mail reports that one of the museum artifacts destroyed dates back to the 9th century B.C. This most recent rampage follows the bombing of Mosul Public Library at the hands of ISIS militants. Priceless "idolatrous" maps and manuscripts from the Ottoman Empire are assumed to have been destroyed because they "promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah."

Fightin' words
2:27 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off yesterday, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned that one of his rivals might not be received with open arms when it's his turn to present his ideas in front of the thousands of conservatives who gather to hear movement bigwigs make their case.

Despite having a brother and father as former presidents, Paul said Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) may face a "kind of a difficult crowd" at CPAC on Friday because he's not right-wing enough.

"There's definitely a place for moderates," Paul said on Fox News' The Kelly File, "but it may not be quite the same level of enthusiasm for moderates at this conference."

Bush has angered the conservative base in the past for his more liberal stance on certain issues such as Common Core and immigration.

top dog
2:19 p.m. ET

Who's a good dog?

The American Kennel Club has released its annual list of the country's most popular dog breeds, and Labrador retrievers came out on top. The announcement marks labs' 24th year at the top of America's hearts. Labs have made the top 10 list every year since the 1970s, according to The Associated Press.

Bulldogs are also on the rise, reaching number four on the most-popular list, an all-time high for the breed. And French bulldogs are in the top 10 for the first time in almost 100 years.

German shepherds, beagles, and golden retrievers rounded out the top five most popular breeds, and Yorkshire terriers, poodles, boxers, and Rottweilers all made the top 10.

This just in
1:09 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In a landmark 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved expansive rules aimed at ensuring all web traffic is treated equally.

The net neutrality rules would regulate the internet as a public utility, preventing internet service providers from prioritizing certain traffic or offering speedier service in exchange for higher fees. President Obama came out in favor of the rules last year.

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