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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday he would take executive action to revamp the U.S. immigration system and move additional resources to protect the border after hopes of passing broad reform legislation in Congress officially died.

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Gunmen killed four Egyptian soldiers belonging to the central security apparatus near Rafah in North Sinai on Saturday, state media reported.

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Nurturing or neglect: the outcome is strikingly different.Two magnolia trees provide a visual analogy for the difference between nurturing and neglect. Some years ago, the city cut squares out of the concrete sidewalk near our home and planted magnolia trees about 10 meters (33 feet) apart.The soil conditions are unlikely to vary much in that distance, and the city used the same materials in planting the trees and provided the same watering schedule after planting.The city stopped watering the trees within a few months, and it fell to the residents to care for the trees. The vast majority of residents are renters rather than homeowners. (This is in very high-cost urban Northern California, where homeownership is unaffordable to the majority of residents.)No direct benefit accrued to
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Charlie Munger  rails against — among other things — “common-stock-price-related ‘wealth effects’” and foundations and other investors “wasting 3% of assets per year in unnecessary, non-productive investment costs.” Also see: Charlie Munger on Institutional Funds Management Talk Of Charlie Munger To Breakfast Meeting Of The Philanthropy Round Table 11/10/2000 I am here today to talk… The post From the Vault – Charlie Munger: Breakfast Meeting appeared first on ValueWalk.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

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WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing activity slowed last month and construction spending rose less than expected in April, which could temper hopes of a sharp pick-up in economic growth this quarter.

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One thing that has fascinated me for a long time is how huge, multi-billion dollar companies can make really obvious mistakes, mistakes that even a child could see. Do people lose touch with the hoi polloi when they've been enjoying the perks of the executive cafeteria for too long? Is it a product of the 'yes man' corporate culture, where some out-of-touch CEO has a shower epiphany which rips unchecked through vice presidents, middle managers, and teams of consultants to be broadcast nationwide? Take what happened today: I'm looking at a photo of one of the biggest, most expensive branding decisions McDonald's has made in a long time. Happy, the new mascot of the Happy Meal. This is an updated version of the old mascot, which was a Happy Meal box with a yellow smile drawn on it. Simple. Classic. Totally solid mascot. It seems logical, obvious, even, to give that old tried-and-true mascot an update. Bring it to life: add arms, legs and a face. What could possibly go wrong? Crazy Eyes. That's what. Happy looks crazy. Not evil, serial killer-crazy (which would actually, I think, be better) or even evil genius crazy... it's a desperate, deeply-needy, sad kind of crazy. Happy's eyes say: "Hi! I'm Happy! Will you be my friend? Please? I have a lot of trouble reading social cues! Oh my God, I'm so lonely!" Happy has the kind of expression on his face that you sometimes see on an internet date or a person you are sitting next to on a transatlantic flight. The kind of expression the person in the aisle wears that makes you think, "How much time can I spend in the bathroom before it becomes rude to the point of cruelty?" Shortly before ordering the strongest possible drink as fast as you possibly can. In its press release, McDonald's says Happy will serve as "an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating... and will encourage kids to enjoy fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and wholesome beverages such as water or juice." Happy accompanies a new yogurt option (alternative to french fries) in the Happy Meal. So, Happy is telling kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. Kids. Kids, who will take one look at Happy and know that if they sat next to Happy in the lunch room, their social life would be over until they went to college. If you thought kids hated eating their fruits and vegetables before, now those fruits and vegetables are associated with being a social outcast... which makes me think that maybe, just maybe, Happy isn't the marketing snafu it first appears to be. Maybe Happy is ACTUALLY a piece of marketing genius. Consider this: McDonald's serves burgers, sodas, fries, Filets-o-Fish, McRibs, Egg McMuffins and basically everything that is bad for you and can fit inside of a sesame seed bun. McDonald's might SAY it's embracing healthy eating, but it's not. If everyone in the world started eating what their doctor told them to, McDonald's would go out of business inside of two weeks. So what does McDonald's do? It rolls out a mascot for healthy eating, to tell kids how great "fruits, vegetables and wholesome beverages" are; a mascot that is so deeply unsettling to look at, any child who sees it will probably never want to go within 100 miles of fruit, vegetables or wholesome drinks ever again. You know what doesn't have any fruits or too many vegetables? Burgers. Fries. Filets-o-Fish. McRibs. Egg McMuffins and basically everything else McDonald's serves. McDonald's has not rolled out a messed-up mascot, it's invented the anti-mascot. Happy is reverse-psychology marketing in action. Children, highly impressionable children, will now forever associate "balanced and wholesome eating" with the kid who sits alone in the corner of the cafeteria and brings his cousin to the Homecoming dance. Sure, Happy might have crazy eyes... but I would submit that they might just be crazy, like a fox. Crazy like a fox that will spend the rest of its life thinking trans-fats are what the cool kids are eating. Well played, McDonald's.

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Here is a second set of charts from reader Tim Wallace on labor force, population, and employment. The first set was a look at Labor Force, Employment, and Population April 2008 vs. April 2014.This set compares the last two years, April 2012 vs. April 2104. Click on any chart to see a sharper image. Age 16-24 StatsSince April 2012 the number of people in age group 16-24 dropped insignificantly as did the number of people in the labor force. The latter is down by 101,000. However, there has been

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - From his base in Damascus, Bashar al-Assad can contemplate a broad sweep of Syria clawed back from rebels who once threatened to drive him out. The capital which they targeted is now plastered with posters inviting Syrians to reelect him president.

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OBRENOVAC, Serbia (Reuters) - Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bosnia on Saturday and soldiers rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century.

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KIEV (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatist leader Valery Bolotov was detained by Ukrainian border guards on Saturday then freed by armed supporters in a firefight at the checkpoint, a Ukrainian spokesman said.

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers made little progress this week in talks on ending their dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, U.S. and Iranian officials said on Friday, raising doubts over the prospects for a breakthrough by a July 20 deadline.

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Succinct Summations week ending May 16th   Positives: 1. U.S. jobless claims come in at 297k, lowest level since May 2007. 2. Rail traffic 12 week moving average is the highest it’s been since 2011. 3. Small business optimism jumps to its highest level since October 2007 4. U.K’s FTSE closed a highest level since...Read More

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Click for an animated graphic. Source: Retale   Click on the map to see an animation of Apple Inc. store openings and product releases over the last 13 years. We’ll wait for you. OK, that was pretty cool, right?  Continues here

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YANGON (Reuters) - Two years after Myanmar scrapped censorship in one of its boldest reforms, its journalists are again living in fear of jail and are convinced a state-sponsored crackdown is under way to limit press freedom.

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is already getting requests to remove objectionable personal information from its search engine after Europe's top court ruled that subjects have the "right to be forgotten," a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - A meeting between Thailand's interim prime minister and the Election Commission to fix a date for polls that the government hopes will break a stalemate was postponed on Wednesday due to security concern over the venue, a commission official said.

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SANAA (Reuters) - A colonel and four Yemeni soldiers were killed on Wednesday in an attack by suspected al Qaeda militants on an army outpost in southern Yemen, a source at the Yemeni Defense Ministry said.

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PRETORIA (Reuters) - A South African court on Wednesday ordered Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius to undergo evaluation for mental illness, further delaying a murder trial that has already stretched into its 32nd day.

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``Earlier in the day, the results of referendums were announced in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, showing the majority of voters support self-rule, amid an intensified military operation by Kiev which resulted in several deaths.''

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Canaries can be useful creatures. Coal miners used to bring them into the mines as a warning sign of methane or carbon monoxide. A dead canary meant the miners needed to get out of there pronto. Now a clever loophole in the rules regarding NSA requests for information is letting companies warn their customers in the same way a little yellow bird might signal trouble.  It's called a "warrant canary", and several major companies like Apple have already used it in their "transparency reports." The idea is that while the NSA can enforce rules on companies to not tell their customers when their information has been acquired, it is still within a company's rights to tell their customers what they haven't been asked. If a transparency report gets released without a statement saying that the NSA has not requested information, then a customer can infer that the request has been made. The idea originated from a public library that posted a sign on its door each day saying that the Government had not yet asked for any information on the patrons. The insinuation was that if ever the library did not post the sign, it meant that the NSA had made a request. According to Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, it's not only a clever way to let customers know if their information may have been acquired by the NSA, but also a way for the private sector to agitate Government agencies on the issues involved in privacy. "To mix my fowl, it’s a game of chicken played with a warrant canary. Under the first amendment, it may well be much more dicey for the government to insist that a company lie rather than to tell a company it may not speak."

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