Bipartisan negotiators have reached a deal to set government spending levels and eliminate arbitrary forced spending cuts, and — if approved by Congress — avert another government shutdown in January.

The House and Senate must vote on the agreement, and opponents in both parties are already raising concerns. If passed by Congress, the agreement would mark a significant departure from repeated congressional showdowns over the budget.

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“Teddy Pendergrass-Be for Real (live)”

President Obama Memorial Speech Today in South Africa





A New Prophet like Moses ] “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—


Today in History, December 10th

Deported U.S. Vet Says North Korea ‘Confession’ Was Forced


Two days after his homecoming on Saturday, the U.S. veteran deported from North Korea after being detained several weeks for alleged crimes committed during the Korean War said his videotaped confession was made under duress, the New York Daily News reports.

Merrill Newman said on Monday that while reading the provided statement — the only way he could avoid 15 years in jail — he purposefully emphasized its poor English grammar and odd phrasing. “I realize that I cannot be forgiven for my offensives but I beg for pardon on my knees by apologizing for my offensives sincerely toward the DPRK government and the Korean people, and I want not punish me,” he was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency.

During the war, former members of his troops said he had led South Korean guerrilla fighters but was never involved in day-to-day operations.

Newman, 85, was pulled…

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Florida Congressman Lost $18M in Scheme

Here Is a Photo of a Panda Watching Panda Porn


TIME’s “Most Surprising Photos of 2013” gallery has 129 photographs of some of the most awesome, bizarre, shocking and just plain weird photographs taken in 2013 and chosen by our photo editors. But this picture may very well take the cake (which cake, we don’t know).

Distributed by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, the photograph shows Ke Lin, a 5-year-old female giant panda, leisurely watching a panda mating video. Why? Because she kept fitfully rejecting her mate, described as ‘clueless and unenthusiastic’.

Researchers moved a TV next to her enclosure and began looping footage of pandas mating in the wild. “So we played them the film and she took great interest in it. After that there was no stopping her and they mated successfully,” a spokesman toldThe Independent.

See more of the Most Surprising Photos of the Year on LightBox.

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Kremlin Appoints Gay-Bashing Anchor to Lead Its Media Empire


The Kremlin has chosen its messenger. Dmitri Kiselyov, the Russian news anchor known for his on-air tirades against Americans and homosexuals, was appointed on Monday to lead a new state-run media conglomerate, Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today). Even among the cynical ranks of Russia’s journalists, the news came as a shock. But it was not so much the fear of censorship that bothered them — the airwaves in Russia are already tightly controlled by the state. It was rather the standard-bearer President Vladimir Putin chose, one whose venom toward the West and its values would make all but the fiercest Cold Warriors recoil.

In April last year, Kiselyov stated on national television that homosexuals killed in automobile accidents should have their “hearts buried in the ground or burned” to prevent their transplantation into another human body. Though rights groups pointed out that this remark constituted hate speech under Russian law…

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UN: Number of City-Dwellers to Double by 2050


About 3.5 billion people across the globe live already live in cities — and the director of the United Nation’s Human Settlement Program says that population will grow by 2.5 to 3 billion people by 2050.

The U.N.’s Joan Clos said at a news conference for the upcoming World Urban Forum that the urban population will continue to grow, with 96% of that growth occurring in developing countries.

“In all human history we have reached 3.5 billion of urban settlers, and in the next 30 years we are going to have 3 billion more,” Clos said. “Imagine the changing rate — what we have done in all human history, we nearly will do in the next 30 to 40 years of history.”

Clos warned that if local and national governments fail to provide the proper resources to new urbanites the slum population will continue to increase as well. The main…

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