CONGRATULATIONS, MAYOR BILL DeBLASIO! (NYC)


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TRUSTING SYRIA? RUSSIA?


CNN

The United States is looking at new classified intelligence indicating the Syrian government may not fully declare its chemical weapons stockpile, CNN has learned. That would mean Syria will still have a secret cache of chemical weapons after the agreed-upon destruction of its declared weapons is carried out.
The intelligence is not definitive, but “there are various threads of information that would shake our confidence,” one U.S. official said. “They have done things recently that suggest Syria is not ready to get rid of all their chemical weapons.”
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Syria Wants Chemical Weapons Destroyed Elsewhere


India Races To Space With a Mission to Mars


World

India launched its first unmanned mission to Mars on Tuesday as it tries to join a select group of countries that have managed to land spacecraft on the Red Planet. As the rocket sped off towards space from Sriharikota, a small island near Chennai in the southern part of the country, it was a huge boost for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which started in the 1960s with a local church as its main office, a converted bishop’s house as its workshop and a cowshed as its laboratory. The organization launched India’s first rocket from the middle of a coconut plantation in the southern state of Kerala in 1963.

Tuesday’s launch is just the first stage of Mangalyaan, as the mission has been named. The 1,350-kilogram orbiter will travel 780 million kilometers before reaching the Red Planet in September next year. “The biggest challenge will be precisely navigating the…

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Ask a ‘Stache: The 12 Dos and Don’ts of Growing a Mustache for Movember


NewsFeed

November marks “Movember,” the month-long charity event in which men will attempt to grow mustaches to look like President William Howard Taft, Burt Reynolds or Nick Offerman (also a “Movember” spokesman), while raising money for men’s health causes like testicular and prostate cancers.

To help out rookies who are trying to grow good ‘staches for these good causes, NewsFeed talked to a few experts:

  • Adam Paul Causgrove, 29, a grants administrator in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and the President and Chairman of the American Mustache Institute, an interest group for “mustached Americans.” He sports a classic handlebar mustache with ends that curl upwards.
  • Patrick Fette
    Greg Anderson

    Patrick Fette at the National Beard and Moustache Championships in New Orleans on September 2013.

    Patrick Fette, 27, the Louisville, Ky., resident, who has only had a mustache for two years, but was crowned the new world champion in the

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Toronto Mayor Admits Smoking Crack, No Plans to Step Down


World

Updated at 4:47 p.m. ET. 

Embattled Mayor Rob Ford told a room of reporters “I have nothing left to hide” and reiterated he will not step down after admitting to smoking crack cocaine Tuesday.

“I love being your mayor,” he said in an apology to Toronto residents. “I was elected to do my job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.”

Ford also said he kept the truth from his brother and family members, his staff and council colleagues because he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” The Canadian mayor added that Toronto must continue moving forward, and said he plans to run for reelection next year.

“I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.”

Earlier in the day Ford admitted to the drug allegation after months of denials,.

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford said at a…

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Russian Region Tolerates ‘Bride Stealing’ Even After Triple Murder


World

For centuries, it has been common for men in Russia’s southern regions to kidnap the woman they want to marry, a ritual known as “bride stealing.” And despite amounting to a major felony, the local custom is still widely tolerated. That tension between Russian law and local tradition was on display on Nov. 4, Russia’s National Unity Day, when the Kremlin-appointed leader of the region of Ingushetia called on his tiny, mountainous republic “to preserve its historic traditions and cultural values.” What President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov failed to mention was how much trouble the tradition of bride stealing has caused his region (or at least its women) over the past week and a half.

On Oct. 26, two prominent family clans in Ingushetia staged a shootout in broad daylight over the repeated kidnapping of 21-year-old Khagi Yevloeva. Over the course of this year, Yevloeva had been abducted three times by a…

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Gay High Schooler Suspended for Ripping Pages Out of the Bible


U.S.

Isaiah Smith, an openly gay 18-year-old senior at  Birdville High School in North Richland Hills, Texas, was suspended for three days last week after ripping pages out of a Bible in class.

Smith says that he tore the Bible while trying to make a point to his classmates about bullying. Last Monday, Smith told the Star-Telegram, his classmates started bullying him in Spanish class by telling him he was going to hell for being gay. Smith, who had his Bible with him, started tearing out pages of the Book of Leviticus, which he said many classmates quote when they taunt him.

“At my high school, some kids like to say that being gay is a sin and that you can’t be gay and Christian,” Smith told the Star Telegram. “I wanted to bring my Bible to school and interpret the books of Leviticus and Romans, because they are often used to…

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Ireland to Hold Gay Marriage Referendum


World

Gay marriage is being put to a vote in Ireland. In an announcement on Tuesday, the Republic’s government says it will have a referendum in mid-2015 on whether to allow same-sex marriage.

The vote will be part of a “constitution day,” in which there may be other major changes to Ireland’s constitution including abolishing blasphemy laws, the Guardian reports.

This year, Ireland’s constitutional convention, which is responsible for analyzing potential changes to the document, recommended the same-sex marriage referendum. Brendan Howlin, the minister for public expenditure and reform, said the majority of the cabinet were in agreement, telling the Guardian, “The Irish people in opinion polls had indicated their support for this issue and should be given the opportunity when practicable to express their views.”

The Catholic church has not yet announced any plans to run a campaign against the vote.

[The Guardian]

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Hold the Ciroc: Diddy Changes His Birth Date Because He Can Do Whatever He Wants


NewsFeed

When you’re a successful hip hop artist, you can do whatever you like.

P. Diddy has changed his name several times from the original Sean Combs (which he still uses for film roles); he was behind much of the most popular hip-hop of the 90s (in the 2000s…not so much); ran the New York City marathon (coming in a respectable 11,359th place); appeared on Downton Abbey (sorta) and he’s even recently started his own cable network (and he’s going door-to-door to promote it for TimeWarnerCable).

So if you can do all those things, what else is there left to do?

Well if you’re Puff, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy or Swag, you can change your birthday.

Initially when his mom Janice gave birth to him, it was on Nov. 4, 1969. But he’s a busy man so he’s pushing it back just 12 days, he tweets:

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