For those who have everything

For those who have everything: Armed for the zombie apocalypse

July 26, 2012

Sci-fi junkies who half-seriously forecasted an imminent zombie apocalypse in the wake of disturbing news reports of cannibalism can rest easy, thanks to OpticsPlanet's Zombie Extermination, Research, and Operation Kit ($24,000). The pricey package will help you protect your delicious brain from the ravenous undead with a zombie-slicing knife, night-vision scope, thermal imaging camera, lab equipment, first aid kit, kevlar gloves, weapon sights, and in case you get thirsty, a "Battle Mug." Source: CNET 

This just in

FBI charges 3 Russian spies in New York

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The FBI announced Monday that it has charged three people with connection to a Russian spy ring. Authorities said that the defendants tried to recruit New Yorkers as intelligence sources.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and FBI officials announced the case on Monday. According to the report, one of the defendents was a trade representative for the Russian Federation in New York. Another defendant, meanwhile, posed as an employee at a Russian bank in Manhattan.

The FBI arrested the bank employee, Evgeny Buryakov, in the Bronx on Monday. The other two suspects are still at large but are no longer in the U.S.

"The arrest of Evgeny Buryakov and the charges against him and his co-defendants make clear that — more than two decades after the presumptive end of the Cold War — Russian spies continue to seek to operate in our midst under cover of secrecy," Bharara said in a statement.

Fit for a king

The Department of Defense is sponsoring a writing contest in honor of late Saudi King

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Handout/Getty Images

Students at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. have the opportunity to participate in an essay competition to honor Saudi Arabia's controversial King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, who died last Friday at the age of 90.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey established the contest. In a Defense Department press release, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey says the contest is a "fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch" who was "a lifetime supporter of his country's allegiance with the United States."

"I found the king to be a man of remarkable character and courage," Dempsey said.

Abdullah's legacy, however, is far from pure. National Review points out that under the Saudi king's rule, Christianity and other religions were outlawed nationwide, women remained repressed, public executions were rampant, and homosexuals and victims of rape were punished, as were those who insulted Islam.

This just in

Mattel CEO fired amid declining profits

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Joerg Koch/Getty Images

Mattel's CEO, Bryan Stockton, was fired on Monday after the company reported a 59 percent drop in profits. Stockton was Mattel's chairman and chief executive for the past three years.

The company's overall earnings have declined, but the drop in Barbie sales has been the most discussed among analysts. In 2009, more than 25 percent of dolls purchased in the U.S. were Barbies, but in 2013, Barbie accounted for only 19.6 percent of doll sales.

Christopher Sinclair, who has served on the Mattel board since 1996, has been named the brand's interim chair and CEO. Sinclair said in a statement that the company needs "new leadership to maximize its potential."

snowpocalypse

Uber caps its blizzard surge pricing in New York

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Uber announced Monday that it would cap its surge prices in New York for this week's blizzard.

"Due to the State of Emergency declared in New York City, prices will not exceed 2.8x the normal fare," Uber said in an email. "Anytime a disaster or state of emergency strikes, dynamic pricing is capped, and all Uber proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts."

Ridesharing service Lyft is also capping its surge prices for the storm at twice the price of a normal fare. Both companies increase their fares with demand-based pricing during emergencies or holidays such as New Year's, in which there aren't enough cars to handle requests.

This just in

CBO: Federal deficit will drop to lowest level since Obama took office

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the budget deficit should this year shrink to its lowest level as a percentage of the economy since 2007.

The nonpartisan agency said the deficit for the fiscal year, which ends in September, will be $468 billion, down a tick from last year's $483 billion mark. In addition, the CBO said there were 19 million fewer uninsured Americans this year compared to the year before thanks to changes implemented under ObamaCare.

This doesn't look good

Sam Smith will pay Tom Petty songwriting royalties for 'Stay with Me'

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Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sam Smith's 2014 hit "Stay with Me" bore striking similarity to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down," and now Smith is paying the price.

Smith's rep told Rolling Stone that "the likeness was a complete coincidence." He added that the "Stay with Me" writers were "not previously familiar" with Petty's hit, but when they heard it, they "acknowledged the similarity."

Smith agreed to pay Petty royalties for the song, and Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne will get a 12.5 percent songwriting credit.

This just in

S&P downgrades Russian credit rating to 'junk' status

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Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Standard & Poor's on Monday cut Russia's credit rating to junk status, the first time in a decade it has done so. The downgrade reflects the global plummet in oil prices, Western sanctions on Russia, and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Those factors caused the ruble to nosedive last year, placing Russia on the brink of recession.

This doesn't look good

KFC is testing the Double Down Hot Dog

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KFC's new "Double Down Dog" is exactly what it sounds like: a hot dog with fried chicken in lieu of a bun, covered in cheese.

#NewKFCDoubleDown number 4: Sold! There are 46 more at KFC Fort Triangle Branch. Grab one now!

A photo posted by KFC Philippines (@kfcphilippines) on

The monstrosity is currently only for sale in the Philippines. Replacing bread with fried chicken seems pretty American, though, so perhaps one day you'll be able to live the Double Down Dog dream right here in the states.

snowpocalypse

Blizzard threat prompts states of emergency across Northeast

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Preston Rescigno/Getty Images

New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts declared states of emergency Monday as a massive blizzard churned into the region.

The storm, which could dump more than two feet of snow in some places, has forced airlines to cancel at least 3,400 flights and prompted travel bans that will go into effect Monday evening. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all non-emergency vehicles off the roads by 11 pm and urged people to leave work early if possible.

"I don't think it's draconian," he said of the road closures at a press conference Monday. "I think it's necessary."

space stuff

A huge asteroid is flying by Earth today

1:09pm ET
iStock

A giant asteroid is headed straight toward Earth, but NASA says not to worry.

The asteroid, 2004 BL86, will be about 745,000 miles from Earth, which is roughly three times as far away as the moon is. That may sound far away, but today's event marks the closest known asteroid of its size to pass near Earth until 2027.

Check out a video of the asteroid reaching its closest point with Earth here — and if you've got clear skies at home, scientists estimate that the best time to watch the event is between 8:00 p.m. Monday and 1:00 a.m. Tuesday. If your skies aren't affected by the Northeast blizzard, these NASA sky charts will help you figure out when is the best time to look for the asteroid today.

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