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Bloomberg Business: Last week, the fewest number of Americans filed for applications for unemployment in almost 15 years.Jobless claims plunged by to 265,000, down 40,000, in the week ended Jan. 24, the lowest since April 2000. The week did, however, includ the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which is said to make the data more difficult to calculate.Read more at Bloomberg Business.
CNN: Seven people, including four children, are died today after a natural gas explosion hit a maternity hospital on the outskirts of Mexico City this morning. Locals are worried there may be people trapped below what remains of the hospital, which was on the verge of collapsing after the explosion.Read the full story at CNN.
USA Today: McDonald's board has named a new CEO after months of declining numbers for the company. After the news broke this morning, McDonald's sock jumped 4%. The current CEO, Don Thompson is a 25-year McDonald's veteran, has only been in charge of the company for about two years. Read the full story at USA Today.
Bloomberg Business: At least a dozen elite colleges, including Duke, Dartmouth and Columbia, have made a mostly unprecedented choice to offer extensions of January application deadlines. The schools are not, however, admitting more students or suffering from low applications numbers. They're extending the deadlines so they can reject more students — more applications mean more rejections, which heightens a college's prestige in the world of higher education. Read the full story on Bloomberg Business.
NPR: Jordan says it is ready to meet the demands of ISIS militants in order to save the life of a Jordanian hostage.ISIS released a video demanding Jordan release a woman who was sentenced to death over an attack in Amman that killed 60 people. ISIS gave a 24 hours deadline for her release, or they would kill a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist.Read the full story at NPR.
CNN: Benjamin and Kristi Strack, the parents found dead alongside their three children in their Springville in September, Utah, killed themselves and their children fearing the apocalypse.The death of their 14-year-old son, Benson, was also caused by toxic levels of drugs. Police said the manner of his death "could not be determined" because investigators were unsure whether he was capable of deciding to join his parents in committing suicide.Read the full story on CNN.
CNN: An asteroid the passed Earth yesterday, officially known as 2004 BL86, has its own small moon. NASA released black and white photos showing the asteroid, a third of a mile in size, spinning through space, with its 230-foot-in diameter moon following behind. It was the closest known asteroid this large to pass near Earth until 2027, when an asteroid called 1999 AN10 will fly by. Read the full story and see photos at CNN.
Yahoo! News: French parents in the city of Valenciennes recently named their baby Nutella, for the chocolate-hazelnut spread, but a local judge decided that wasn't in her best interest. “The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread,” the judge ruled. “And it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”The judge renamed the child Ella.Read the full story at Yahoo! News.
Bloomberg: The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest drop since October, as a slide in durable-goods orders and disappointing results from companies like Microsoft Corp. increased concern over the economy’s strength.The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.8 percent at 8:45 a.m. in Tucson, while the Dow fell 381 points, or 2.2 percent. U.S. natural gas advanced 3 percent as a snowstorm hit the country’s northeast. Read the full story at Bloomberg.
Reuters: Facebook has been ordered to block a list of pages deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad by a Turkish court. The court threatened to stop access to the website entirely if the company does not comply. Read the full story at Reuters.
Bloomberg: The U.S. Secret Service found a small, remote-controlled drone on the White House grounds overnight. The drone, a quadcopter, is widely available and costs a few hundred dollars. That type of drone can only fly for about 20 minutes and it's carrying capacity is limited to items about the size and weight of a small camera.Read the full story at Bloomberg.
CNN: The National Weather Service is describing a storm expected to hit the Northeast Monday and Tuesday as "life-threatening" and "historic." As for 8:30 a.m., more than 4,000 flights to and from the area had been cancelled on Monday and Tuesday.The storm is likely to drop up to 3 feet of snow on Boston and New York, with wind reaching 55 to 65 mph. Read more at CNN.
NPR: Tom Brady says he didn't alter the footballs used to play the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.Thursday afternoon, Brady said that the NFL had not yet spoken to him about the condition of the footballs. Brady learned he was suspected of altering the balls when he was asked about it by a radio station.Read the full story on NPR.
CNN: Saudi Arabia's longtime king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, died early this morning at the age of 90. The cause of death has not been released.The kingdom appointed his 79-year-old half-brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz, to the throne. His half-brother Prince Muqrin, a decade younger, is the new crown prince.Read more at CNN.
Reuters: Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned yesterday in reaction to a Houthi rebel takeover of the country.Hadi blamed the Houthis' control of Yemeni campital Sanaa for complicating his attempt to steer Yemen toward stability. The Houthis seized Sanaa in September and held Hadi as a virtual prisoner at his home with clashes with security guards this week.Read the full story at Reuters.
CNN: Japan has been trying to talk to ISIS to save the lives of the two Japanese men the militant group threatened to kill. Japanese officials have said they are doing their best to communicate with ISIS but had so far heard nothing and don't know what situation the two hostages are in. ISIS threatened to kill the men after 72 hours if Japan did not pay a $200 million ransom. Japan estimates the 72 hours will be up at 2:50 p.m. Friday, Tokyo time — that's 10:50 p.m. in Tucson.Read the full story on CNN.
NPR: Police fired tear gas into a crowd where hundreds of elementary schools were protesting the illegal seizure of their playground by a private developer in Nairobi, Kenya.The incident sparked outrage across the city, inspiring the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround. Illegal land seizure is unfortunately common in the area. Known as "land-grabbing," a fence will appear overnight around a parcel of government property. Those who protest are warded off — sometimes violently — by police. After a while, a high-rise hotel or parking lot appears, owned by a politically connected magnate. Read the full story on NPR.
Yahoo! News: Lawyers were supposed to start presenting their cases in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday, but jury selection has taken longer than expected. Tsarnaev's attorneys have also launched a fresh effort to move the trial out of Boston, arguing that it will be impossible to find 12 unbiased jurors in the city where the attack took place. Read the full report at Yahoo! News.