For those who have everything
October 10, 2012

Forget those pesky bike chains that annoyingly catch and tear at your jeans. The Mando Footloose, a sleek and compact electric bicycle, ditches the chain and uses the pedals to generate electricity that powers a motor. Basically, says Andrew Liszewski at Gizmodo, this is "the bicycle equivalent of the Chevy Volt." Too tired to pedal? The motor alone can power the bike for nearly 19 miles, and once you've arrived at your destination, the Footloose, whose price has yet to be announced, even folds up for easy carrying. The Week Staff

a whole lot of shaking going on
7:01 p.m. ET
David McNew/Getty Images

In north-central Oklahoma, residents were left shaken Monday after at least seven earthquakes hit, including one jolt that was felt 300 miles away in Iowa.

Scientists say there is a link between the increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma — there were just a few dozen quakes magnitude 3.0 or above in 2012 compared to more than 720 so far this year — and oil and gas activity; several earthquakes are rattling areas where injection wells are pumping wastewater into the earth, The Associated Press reports. State regulators have asked disposal well operators to shut down their wells or have them reduce their volume, but State Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater) said enough isn't being done to slow down the earthquakes. "The problem is we're being totally reactionary as opposed to proactive," Williams told AP. "We wait for a seismic event, and then we react to it, which is an abysmal policy for handling something that can cause catastrophic damage to property and/or life."

Williams said the oil and gas lobby is powerful in Oklahoma, keeping policymakers from regulating the industry, and in 2014, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed into law a bill that states cities and towns can no longer regulate oil and gas operations within their boundaries. Chad Warmington of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association says if operations are shut down "it would be devastating. The goal is to be able to reduce earthquakes and still be able to produce." Catherine Garcia

a hairy situation
5:35 p.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had a productive post-Thanksgiving Monday, formally inviting President Obama to deliver his final State of the Union address Jan. 12. Afterward, he kicked back a little bit — by shamelessly showing off his beard on Twitter.

If you're wondering just how long it's been, the House archives has an answer: Ryan is apparently the first bearded speaker since Frederick Huntington Gillett, who served in the role until 1931.

But wait, you're probably craving even more House speaker facial hair history now. Never fear:

Perhaps Ryan will be inspired to rock a mustache. Julie Kliegman

This just in
4:42 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Sheldon Silver, an influential New York politician who served as the New York State Assembly's speaker for two decades, was convicted Monday on all seven counts of fraud, extortion, and money laundering brought against him in a federal corruption case.

The 71-year-old Democrat is the highest-profile target of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who is seeking to expose what he calls a network of corruption in Albany. Silver was forced to step down from his post following his arrest in January; Bharara is also trying New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R), who was arrested in May on federal corruption charges. Samantha Rollins

4:39 p.m. ET

The International Monetary Fund added the Chinese yuan to its list of elite world currencies Monday, a designation that acknowledges China's growing presence as a global economic power, The New York Times reports.

The yuan, also known as the renminbi, joins the dollar, the euro, the pound, and the yen in getting the nod from the IMF. It's a move that should allow for the yuan to be more widely traded in foreign exchange markets, Reuters reports. But at least for now, the addition to the Special Drawing Rights basket is primarily symbolic.

"There's this obsession with the SDR, and it's completely out of proportion to its economic impact, which is likely to be trivial," former Federal Reserve Board governor Randall Kroszner told the Times. "It may be that in the drive to get into the SDR, they may make changes that make the renminbi more attractive for international market participants." Julie Kliegman

court reports
4:21 p.m. ET

Robert Lewis Dear, 57, was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly fatally shooting a police officer and two others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday. Other charges could follow for Dear, who is being held without bond and appeared in the court via video feed.

Authorities have not released more information about an official motive for the shooting. Planned Parenthood advocates have attributed the shooting to pro-life abortion rhetoric, a connection many Republican presidential candidates have disputed.

Formal charges against Dear are set to be filed Dec. 9. Julie Kliegman

feel the bern
3:07 p.m. ET
Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is undergoing an elective outpatient hernia repair Monday in Washington, D.C., his spokesman said. The Democratic presidential hopeful plans to get back to his Senate work Tuesday and to the campaign trail later in the week, The Washington Post reports.

Sanders' surgery was scheduled, Michael Briggs told the Post, and he had been on the campaign trail through Sunday night, when the 74-year-old took part in a Democratic event in New Hampshire alongside frontrunner Hillary Clinton and longshot Martin O'Malley. Julie Kliegman

This just in
3:02 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

A University of Illinois at Chicago student was arrested on Monday for allegedly threatening online to shoot 16 white male students at the University of Chicago — one for every shot fired on black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was killed by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014.

When authorities searched the room of the suspect, who was living off campus, no gun was found, a source familiar with the investigation told The Chicago Sun-Times. The FBI has said charges for the threat are pending.

According to a statement by the University of Chicago on Sunday, the campus was on high alert due to the specifics in the threat, which targeted the campus quad at 10 a.m. However, while police monitored the quad Monday morning, there was no incident. University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer said that the school had canceled classes due to the "FBI's assessment of this threat and the recent tragic events at other campuses across the country." Jeva Lange

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