Girls are beating boys in schools everywhere

Girls are beating boys in schools everywhere — even in places where they lack basic rights
new study from Gijsbert Stoet of the University of Glasgow and David C. Geary of the University of Missouri found that girls tend to outperform boys in educational achievement in most countries around the world.

Even more impressive, the girls' stellar performances extended to countries in which women face major obstacles to social, political, economic or gender inequality.

+ The report looked at 1.5 million 15-year-olds in 74 countries around the world the world, examining their performance on the Programme for International Student Assessment, a global survey that aims to evaluate education systems worldwide.

+ In 70% of countries, girls scored significantly better than boys on the standardized test, which includes reading, mathematics and science literacy sections.

+ Even in places that typically rank poorly when it comes to gender equality, such as QatarJordan and the United Arab Emirates, the gap between the sexes is fairly high, and girls come out on top.

+ Boys did better in just three places: Colombia, Costa Rica and the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

The American public believes in science

The American public believes in science — just not its findings
What's behind the "debate" over issues like climate change and vaccination? Can evidence change people's minds? A Pew Research Center poll suggests the American public and U.S. scientists are light-years apart on science issues — and 98% of surveyed scientists say it's a problem that we don't know what they're talking about.

Some examples:

+ Genetically modified foods: Eighty-eight percent of scientists say they’re "generally safe" to eat; 37% of the public agrees.

+ Vaccines: Eighty-six percent of scientists believe they should be required in childhood, compared to 68% of the public.

+ Climate change: Ninety-four percent of scientists say it’s a “very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem; 6% of the public agrees. While 87% of scientists blame humans, only 50% of the public does too.

+ Evolution: Ninety-eight percent of scientists say they believe humans evolved over time, compared to 65% of the public.

+ Ninety-seven percent of the scientists criticized the educational system and see major problems if communities don't invest in science literacy.

+ "It's not about being smart or dumb," American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO Alan Leshner told the AP. "It's about whether, in fact, you understand the source of the fact and what the facts are."

What the U.S. spends on imprisonment vs. education

Did you know that the U.S. spends way, way more keeping someone alive in prison is than on educating them?

The GIF below uses data from the Vera Institute of Justice's 2012 "Price of Prisons" report and 2012 U.S. Census data on public school costs. (Several states did not participate in the survey.) You can see that average resourcesannually devoted to prisoners easily outpace resources for students:

"In dozens of states, the cost of imprisoning someone is far more than double or triple the cost of educating a student," writes Mic's Zeeshan Aleem. "Perhaps if more money were spent on creating and sustaining an education system that met all of its students' needs, we wouldn't need to spend so much money on putting people behind bars

U.S. air strikes just struck a major blow against the Islamic State

Kurdish fighters, U.S. air strikes just struck a major blow against the Islamic State
After a brutal four-month battle against the Islamic State group, jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted IS militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani this week — a significant victory for both the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition.

+ "The Kurds raised their flag on a hill that once flew the Islamic State group's black banner," the Associated Press reports. "On Kobani's war-ravaged streets, gunmen fired in the air in celebration, male and female fighters embraced and troops danced in their baggy uniforms."

+ The U.S. certainly stepped up to deprive the Islamic State of the foothold: Kobani has been the target of about a half-dozen daily coalition airstrikes on average, and more than 80% of all coalition airstrikes in Syria have been in or around the town.

+ Why does this small town matter? "The Kurdish recapture of Kobani in northern Syria appears to have provided a blueprint for defeating the Islamic State, bringing together U.S. air power with an effective ground force and protected routes for the movement of fighters and weaponry," the AP explains

The U.S. exonerated more prisoners in 2014

The U.S. exonerated more prisoners in 2014 than ever before — simply because it started to look for them

The University of Michigan's National Registry of Exonerations announced in a report released Tuesday that in 2014, a record 125 people across the United States were exonerated of crimes for which they were falsely convicted, beating 2013's 91 exonerees.

+ This is a positive trend, according to the NRE: "Judging from known exonerations in 2014, the legal system is increasingly willing to act on innocence claims that have often been ignored."

+ Why is this happening? "[T]he number of people exonerated increases the more the government actually makes an effort to look for them," explains Mic's Tom McKay. "Aggressive law enforcement and prosecutorial tactics appear to play a role too: Forty-seven of the 125 exonerees had pled guilty to the crimes they were accused of, while about 46% had been sentenced for crimes that had never been committed in the first place."

+ Related: Read Mic's Zeeshan Aleem on what the U.S. can learn from Sweden's remarkable prison system.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just took a big fat step toward running for president

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his supporters have formed a political action committee ahead of a likely bid for president, Reuters reports. The PAC, called Leadership Matters for America, is "the clearest sign yet that Christie, 52, is running in the Republican Party primary for the 2016 presidential election."

+ While we're starting in on our 2016 reporting (we know, we're barely into the new year), let's get one thing out of the way: No matter what anyone says, Sarah Palin is not serious about running for president — just watch this bizarre video.

+ Meanwhile, conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and their network of private donors are planning to spend nearly $900 million to support select Republican candidates in the 2016 election cycle, more than double what they spent in 2012.

The Northeast just got walloped by a "crippling" snowstorm

The massive, wind-whipped blizzard that slammed into the Northeast created havoc for more than 60 million people up and down the East Coast and forced New York City "to shut down on a scale not seen since Superstorm Sandy devastated the region in 2012," Reuters reports.

+ The Associated Press reports that more than 7,700 flights in and out of the Northeast were canceled, and many of them may not take off again until Wednesday.

+ How did New Yorkers prepare for the storm? By hoarding kale and kimchi andtrawling for blizzard hookups, naturally.

+ The next time somebody tries to tell you that this blizzard is a sign that global warming is a hoax, just show them this.

The FBI says it broke up a Russian spy ring in New York

PHOTO: Federal prosecutors allege that Evgeny Buryakov worked with agents of Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

The FBI arrested an accused Russian spy in New York City on Monday for allegedly attempting to collect economic intelligence and recruit others.

+ According to the criminal complaint, three men — Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy — have been charged in connection with Buryakov's service as a covert agent working on behalf of Russia. Buryakov was arrested in the Bronx, but the other two men, who have since left the country, have not been arrested.

+ Buryakov allegedly used a job as an employee at a Manhattan branch of a Russian bank as his cover while actually working for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service.

+ "These charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

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Hillary To Announce In April

Hillary Clinton may start her campaign for the White House in early April with the involvement of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and a strategy to court liberal Democrats, Politico reported.
Clinton approved a preliminary campaign budget and several key hires shortly after Christmas, signaling to advisers that her likelihood of running is 100 percent, according to the publication’s website Monday.
While many of Clinton’s top campaign advisers have already signed on under likely campaign chairman John Podesta, one new name being floated for communications director is White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, Politico said. Bill Clinton has also been deeply involved in the campaign from the start, unlike when Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama in 2008 and he was isolated.
The Clinton campaign’s strategy to avoid strong competition from the left is to court the party’s liberals, such as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and civil-rights leader Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat, according to the article. She’s already won the backing of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Senator Al Franken, of Minnesota.

The East Coast is bracing for a historic blizzard


If you're one of our readers on the East Coast of the U.S., brace yourself: Cities from Philadelphia to Boston and up into Maine are bracing for a potentially historic blizzard on Monday expected to dump as much as three feet of snow and snarl transportation for tens of millions of people.

+ According to the Weather Channel, blizzard watches are in effect from southern New England to New York City, with a lesser storm warning issued as far west as metro Philadelphia.

+ New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: “My message to New Yorkers is to prepare for something worse than we have seen before."

The Department of Justice recommends no civil rights charges in the Ferguson shooting

The Justice Department has decided it will not pursue federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014.

Prosecutors had been investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal encounter for months, continuing their work well after a St. Louis County grand jury decided in late November that it would not return an indictment against Wilson, who resigned from the force days later.

+ "Federal prosecutors must clear a higher bar than the state law enforcement officials who decide if criminal charges are warranted," explains Mic's Tom McKay. "In this case, the Department of Justice needed proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Wilson sought to 'willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.'"

GOP Reverting To It's Standard FEAR Be Very Afraid


Top Obama aide: 'Where there is a threat to us, we will take action'  McDonough said the U.S. cannot be an "occupying force" in places like Yemen or Syria.
McCain: Obama has 'no strategy' to defeat terrorist groups  The senator said Obama has "lost touch with reality."
McDonough: No deal for ISIS hostage  "Our policies on this are pretty well set," McDonough told "Fox News Sunday."
Basketball legend: Terrorists using Islam as a 'mask'  "It is not what Islam is about," Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said.

Is The U.S. Still Running A Nuclear Arms Race

According to a report published by the Arms Control Association (ACA), the U.S. is going to spend $355 billion over the next decade on modernizing and upgrading the nuclear arsenal. Over the next 30 years, the bill could add up to $1 trillion. Instead of spending less on nukes, we’re spending more - and a new nuclear arsenal comes at the expense of more important national security programs.

That same ACA report details how the Pentagon stands to save roughly $70 billion over the next decade by cutting strategically outdated nuclear weapons systems, expanding the lifetime of existing programs and reducing the amount of nuclear submarines in our fleet from twelve to eight.

“Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations,” 

Pope Francis told delegates at the 2014 Conference on the Humanitarian Impact on Nuclear Weapons. He added that “the survival of the human family hinges” on securing a world free of nuclear weapons.

History has taught us that unless there is a popular movement for change, the status quo will always remain the same. This was the case with women's suffrage, civil rights, and the LGBT movement.
If humanity is ever to be free from the threat of nuclear catastrophe, people need to stand up and demand further action on nuclear reductions their representatives. The debate on nuclear security has to be revived, and citizens must hold their leaders accountable for holding the entire world hostage for the sake of a false sense of security.

Researchers Find Fish Living Under The Antarctic


A “lost world” never seen or touched by mankind before has been discovered by a group of scientists using a hot-water drill and underwater robotic vehicles to break through the Antarctic ice shelf.
Jim Morrison once said that in this world, there are things known and unknown, and in between are the doors. But in this in this case, it would appear that it was a sheet of ice separating man from one of his last great discoveries.
Yahoo! News reports that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln team cut through the ice and discovered a huge quantity of strange looking fish and other “unworldly” creatures going about their daily business in the freezing dark of this strange underwater kingdom.
It’s the first time scientists have been able to explore this exotic, alien world which exists in what they term the “grounding zone,” but to you or I, is simply the place where the ice shelf meets the sea floor.
Slawek Tulaczyk, a glaciologist from the University of California, Santa Cruz, is ecstatic about this frozen find.
This season we accessed another critical polar environment, which has never been directly sampled by scientists before — the grounding zone of the Antarctic ice sheet.”

The discovery of this “lost world” may not seem as exciting to your average Joe as cutting through the ice and finding a fully-formed Walt Disneykingdom where Princess Elsa and Anna spend their days singing beautiful duets and building fairy-tale castles out of ice, but in the scientific community, breaking on through to the grounding zone and being able to freely wander around this brutally cold, alien environment is a very big deal.
Working against the clock, the team had a limited time frame in which to pierce the ice and gather samples before the borehole closed.
It was the debut mission for Deep-SCIN, a camera-equipped robot vehicle designed to operate thousands of feet beneath the sea and explore the dark and brutally cold climate of the “grounding zone.”
The scientists hope that Deep-SCIN’s findings will enable them to understand how creatures can survive in the “grounding zone,” which for thousands of years has lain untouched by human hand and untroubled by human curiosity… until now.
“This is the first time that Deep-SCINI ROV has been used in the field and it passed this test with flying colours. Collectingvideo of fish living under the ice shelf in this extremely hostile environment.”
Ross Powell, a glaciologist from Northern Illinois University, believes that preliminary findings offer interesting clues about how climate change might affect Antarctic ice, and pointed to a layer of pebbles strewn on the bottom of the seawater cavity.
“They appear to have dropped from the ice as it melted and indicate a fairly recent change in the environment. They might help measure how fast the ice is melting and the stability of the ice shelf.”
Because a weakening or collapse of the Antarctic ice shelf would allow glaciers to flow more rapidly into the ocean, raising global sea level, understanding how climate change affects this might come in really useful if we don’t want the earth we’re living on to become a “lost world” anytime soon.

President Obama hosts over 200 Mayors from Across the Country at the White House

President Obama  hosted over 200 bipartisan Mayors during their annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting. At this year’s convening, the President will build on the issues discussed in his State of the Union Address and priorities outlines for cities across the country. Administration officials will discuss ways in which we can continue to partner with cities to raise wages and incomes, to strengthen the standing of working families in a new economy and to bolster and expand the middle class.

On Wednesday and Thursday at the US Conference of Mayors Vice President Biden, the co-chairs of the 21st century policing task force, and members of the cabinet addressed the mayors on a range of issues.  Today at the White House, Dr. Jill Biden, cabinet members and senior White House officials, interacted with the Mayors in plenary sessions and panel discussions on priority issues, including: trade, manufacturing, veterans homelessness, paid sick leave, climate change, affordable healthcare, workforce development, education, My Brother’s Keeper, and immigration.

Below are some of the ways Mayors are helping to make the President’s agenda a reality in cities across the country.


Mayors are creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to make the next world-changing product, students interested in hands-on engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and companies hoping to manufacture their products with American workers passionate about the latest manufacturing technologies. Through the Mayors’ Maker Challenge cities like Columbus, OH, Louisville, KY Scottsdale, AZ, Rockford, IL, Portland, OR, and South Bend, IN are changing the landscape of American manufacturing in small towns and big cities. In June, at the White House Maker Faire, the President highlighted new efforts of more than 100 mayors. The Administration aligning more than $1.3B in resources to help mayors pursue strong strategies to win manufacturing investment through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). And in Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Knoxville, TN, Raleigh, NC, and Youngstown, OH, new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes are pursuing cutting edge research in advanced manufacturing while attracting investment to the region. Below are specific examples of the work mayors are doing in the advanced manufacturing and tech sectors:
·         Rochester, NY Mayor Lovely Warren (D) led an effort to bring in 120 photonics manufacturers and more than 500 patents to the Greater Rochester community, one of the first Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designees.
·         Chattanooga, TN Mayor Andy Berke (D) invested in one gigabit per second broadband network and attracted at least five organized funds with investable capital of over $50 million.
·         In Louisville, KY through our workforce development efforts, Mayor Greg Fischer is significantly expanding the availability and lowering the cost of IT training through partnerships with the private sector. And in Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard worked with his city council and the private sector to launch an effort that will invest over $40 million in quality early childhood education programs. 

Cities have taken significant steps to defend and prepare for the implementation of the President's executive actions on immigration, which will strengthen border security, hold potentially millions of undocumented immigrants accountable, and boost wages and our economy. Cities United for Immigration Action (CUIA) and Cities for Citizenship are two initiatives helping to organize mayors to partner with business, faith, and law enforcement officials; and host information sessions.
·         Over the next few weeks, in partnership with the National Immigration Forum,, and CUIA, mayors will host over 14 informational sessions in cities across the country including Phoenix, AZ, Boston, MA and Austin, TX.

Since the President laid out his proposal to expand early childhood education in his 2013 State of the Union Address, cities have taken significant steps to expand high-quality preschool in their communities. Cities such as Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, Boston, MA, Cleveland, OH and San Francisco, CA have leveraged federal funding, public-private partnership, and ballot initiatives to expand pre-school. On December 10, ED and HHS announced over 750 million in grants to help communities increase the quality and seats of pre-school programs. On December 11, over 90 mayors signed a letter to Congress supporting the President’s proposal and asking Congress to take action
·         New York, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) secured $300 million in state funding to expand free, high-quality, full-day pre-k for nearly 51,000 children.
·         Indianapolis, IN Mayor Greg Ballard (R) led an effort in Indianapolis City-County Council that authorized a $40 million public-private partnership that will allow more than 1,000 low-income children to have access to high-quality preschool starting in 2016.

Through the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, local leaders across the country are ending Veteran homelessness in their communities. Since First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Mayors Challenge on June 4, 2014, 313 mayors and 101 county and city officials have signed on to the challenge. On August 26, 2014, President Obama announced a 33 percent decrease in Veteran homelessness since 2010. This progress includes a 43 percent decrease in the number of veterans sleeping on the streets.
·         New Orleans, LA Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) one of the first Mayors to answer the First Lady’s call and sign on to the Mayors Challenge, fast-tracked local efforts to connect every homeless veteran with permanent housing. On January 7, 2015 New Orleans became the first major U.S. city to end homelessness among Veterans.
·         Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker (D), Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton (D) and Salt Lake City, UT Mayor Ralph Becker (D) are poised to reach their goal by the end 2015.

Since the President’s 2013 State of the Union Address, 25 local jurisdictions have taken action to raise wages. Thirteen cities and counties, including Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties, MD, Sea-Tac, WA, Berkeley, CA, Las Cruces, NM, Oakland, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL approved city-wide increases in minimum wage for both public and private employee. Twelve other cities and counties including St. Louis, Ypsilanti, MI, Santa Monica, CA, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, WI, Jackson, MS, and St. Petersburg, FL raised wages to $10.10 or higher for their city workers or contractors. A number of cities already enacted laws allowing workers to earn and accrue sick leave, including Portland, OR, New York, NY Newark, NJ, San Diego, CA, Eugene, OR, and Oakland, CA.
  • More than 65 mayors signed a letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity Task Force, co-chaired by New York, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Boston, MA Mayor Martin Walsh (D), urging Congress to raise the minimum wage.
  • St. Paul, MN Mayor Chris Coleman (D) allocated $200,000 from his 2015 budget for paid leave for city employees.


Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting consumes enough energy to power 6 million homes for a year, costing cities about $10 billion per year. That is why today, we are launching a Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting. As part of The Challenge the Department of Energy  is tripling our goal of upgrading 500,000 poles, which we are already on track to exceed through DOE's Better Buildings program, and setting a new goal of 1.5 million poles. Through the Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator, the Presidential Challenge for Outdoor Lighting will work with dozens of municipalities to accelerate the adoption and use of high efficiency outdoor lighting, driving carbon pollution reductions in communities across the Nation.  Using today’s new technologies, these system-wide lighting exchanges can help local governments cut their outdoor lighting bills by 50% or more.

Today’s announcement comes with commitments from 2 states, 10 cities, and 3 regional networks to replace their outdoor lighting poles with more efficient technologies including: the Mid-American Regional Council; Huntington Beach, California; West Palm Beach, Florida; Little Rock Arkansas; and Detroit, Michigan; Southern California Regional Energy Network; Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources; Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office; Flint, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Dearborn, Michigan; Saint Petersburg, Florida; San Diego, California; Los Angeles, California; and the State of Tennessee.

President’s Climate Action Champions
In December, the President recognized 16 communities as Climate Action Champions for their leadership on climate change. This diverse group of communities are defining the frontier of ambitious climate action, and their approaches will serve as a model for other communities to follow. The President’s Climate Action Champions announcement builds on progress at the Federal and local level.  
·         On November 17, 2014, 16 mayors and other members of the President’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience presented recommendations to the Vice President on how the Administration can help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.
·         Knoxville, TN Mayor Madeline Rogero (D) set a short-term greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. 
·         In September 2014, Los Angeles, CA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) launched the Mayors’ National Climate Agenda, focused on U.S. cities, with Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker (D) and Philadelphia, PA Mayor Michael Nutter (D).

The Administration continues to hear success stories from mayors who are working to enroll Americans in affordable and quality health insurance across the country. Mayors across the country are opening up their facilities for navigators, hosting enrollment events, and finding innovative ways to enroll uninsured Americans.
·         Philadelphia, PA Mayor Michael Nutter (D) worked with partners to train city employees in seven public-facing city departments to ask each resident they interact with if they have health insurance. If the resident indicates they do not have coverage, the city employees offer them assistance including an appointment with a Navigator, printed materials and the option for a phone call from an enrollment specialist.
·         In, Tampa, FL Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) had over 3,000 church fans printed with instructions on how to enroll for ACA on each side of the fan.

In September 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to cities, towns, counties and tribes across the country to become “MBK Communities.” This challenge represents a call to action for all members of our communities, and mayors in particular, as they often sit at the intersection of many of the vital forces and structural components needed to enact sustainable change through policy, programs, and partnerships. Over 100 mayors have taken on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge and are working to increase opportunities for all young people across the country—to ensure they can achieve their full potential regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born.

Jon Stewart lampoons Romney and Christie

Jon Stewart (Credit: Comedy Central)
Jon Stewart wasn’t focused on President Obama’s SOTU address on Tuesday night, but rather who may be giving the address in the future.
The host of “The Daily Show” is already looking towards the 2016 presidential election. And in a segment last night, Stewart made it clear he’s not impressed with Mitt Romney or Chris Christie.
“This election is going to be such a drag,” the comedian stated.
Only one candidate might rouse him out of his pre-2016 fog: Lindsay Graham. Watch below to learn why:

Jon Stewart didn't hide his contempt for Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Already exhausted by the sheer number of GOP responses, the host of "The Daily Show" flipped out once he heard Paul's message.
"Liberal elites fly over my small town, but they don't understand us," Paul said in his post-SOTU speech. "They simply seek to impose their will on us."
Cut to Stewart, head in hand.
"'Liberal elites?'" Stewart said, with some venom. "You're a doctor and a senator with a twelve-term congressman father and a first name synonymous with a Russian novelist."
"That's pretty fucking elite," he growled.
Before finishing up, Stewart had some fun at the expense of Cruz, who started over halfway through his SOTU response. Stewart awarded Cruz with an "Implodie" award, a golden statue of rubble.
"Here's a tip: if you're running for President, maybe you shouldn't make your response to the State of the Union look like a ransom video," Stewart said to big laughs.
Watch the clip, courtesy of Comedy Central:

The Ted Cruz Speech He Did Not Want You To See

A video of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) messing up his response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address was uploaded to YouTube and quickly removed Tuesday night.
In the video, Cruz spoke for just under a minute before pausing to try again.
"Eh, lemme start over," Cruz said before the video cut to the beginning of his remarks for a second time.
Cruz's team pulled the video from YouTube, but luckily we have it right here for you to see.
Check it out below.

Barack Obama's State of the Union address largely approved

 Americans who watched President Barack Obama's State of the Union address largely approved, giving him better marks than they did for last year's speech, according to instant polling conducted by CNN.
View image on CNN website

The speech also increased watchers' confidence the president's policies "will move the country in the right direction." The number of those saying that rose 15 percentage points, from 57 percent in a pre-speech survey among speech watchers to 72 percent afterward. That was similar to Obama's 17-point gain on the same measure last year

A new app for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been released for iOS, Android and Windows devices

 issue of French satirical magazine available in Apple and Google Play stores
There's a new Charlie Hebdo app available for iOSAndroid and Windows devices which means you can read the French satirical magazine—in high demand since recent events—wherever you are.
The app for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been released for iOS, Android and Windows devices, letting readers worldwide get hold of a copy without queueing at newsagents.
The app is illustrated with the current cover, a cartoon of the prophet Muhammed, in a change from the norm for Apple’s notoriously censorious App Store which has previous banned satirical and controversial apps.