Evidence of War Crimes In Syria But No Prospect of Trials


The trove of horrific photos that surfaced Monday purporting to document systematic torture, starvation and execution of prisoners by Syrian authorities is exactly the kind of evidence prosecutors look for when seeking to bring charges of crimes against humanity in international courts. Yet legal experts say any such trial is highly unlikely.

“The obvious route of justice here would be the International Criminal Court,” says Reed Brody, an expert on international justice at Human Rights Watch. The ICC was created in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2002 to prosecute exactly the kind of outrages the report lays out in the sort of chilling bureaucratic detail seen in previous war crime trials, from the prosecution of Nazi officers at Nuremberg onward. And even though Syria is not among the 122 nations that have made themselves accountable to the ICC its officials still could be referred to The Hague by a vote…

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“Let’s Not Forget Medicare Advantage”: Selective Outrage Over Federal Health Care Costs


Knowing I’ve been both a critic of insurance company practices and a supporter of efforts to reform the industry, a FOX news producer reached out last week to get my take on accusations by conservatives that Obamacare will actually result in a bailout of big insurance companies.

Under the headline, “Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare,” The Weekly Standard on Monday urged Republicans to insist that future debt ceiling increases contain a no-bailout provision. The magazine also cited Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., bill to repeal a provision of the Affordable Care Act designed to limit potential initial losses of insurers selling policies on the new health insurance exchanges.

I reminded the FOX producer that Republicans have been supporting — and vigorously defending — a much more expensive transfer of taxpayer dollars to private insurers than the one Obamacare foes are now concerned about.

Here’s the issue:

Lawmakers who drafted…

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Breaking Breakfast News: Froot Loops Are All The Same Flavor


We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but: you’ve been eating a bowl of lies for breakfast … and you probably liked it.

Turns out that the delicious, multicolored O’s that make up Froot Loops don’t actually represent different fruit flavors. Reddit’s Today I Learned series recently unearthed a 1999 article from the Straight Dope, which confirms that “according to Kellogg’s, all of those delectable loops are flavored the same.”

If you fainted into your cereal bowl after reading that, you’re not alone. We’ve all been misled by those tempting lime green, orange, purple, yellow and red loops into thinking they are lime, orange, grape, lemon and cherry and/or strawberry flavored, when, in fact, they all the same flavor. That flavor? “Froot,” which according to Wikipedia, stems from “a blend of fruit flavors.”

The good folks at Food Beast did some scientific blind testing and…

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Why Mozzarella Is the Worst Cheese There Is


According to the U.S.D.A., Americans eat over 30 pounds of cheese a year. 11.5 pounds of that is mozzarella, which has beat out cheddar (9.6 pounds) for the second year in a row. The means mozzarella is the most popular form of cheese in the United States, which it shouldn’t be, because it’s terrible.

Plain-old mozzarella comes in vaccuum-tight plastic bags stacked on grocery store shelves like white bricks, which the cheese pretty much is. Most of the mozzarella in the U.S. is desiccated, dried out until it has a better shelf life, less moisture, and less taste. The brick shape and hard texture makes mozzarella popular for grating, but much of the country’s favorite cheese comes in an even more heinous form.

Modern Farmer relates our obsession with mozzarella to the popularity of pizza and notes that “resealable bags of shredded cheddar and mozzarella” have made cheese easier to…

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Former Virginia Governor Charged with Accepting Illegal Gifts


Updated: Jan. 21, 2014, 7:09 p.m. E.T.

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were charged on Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts — including luxury vacations, private jets and large loans — from a wealthy businessman seeking special treatment from the government.

Federal prosecutors say McDonnell, a Republican, and his wife Maureen repeatedly received gifts and loans totaling more than $160,000 from dietary-supplement executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. In exchange, the McDonnells allegedly bolstered Williams’ struggling company with the prestige of the governor’s office. The indictment on Tuesday charges them with 14 counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy.

In a statement on Tuesday, McDonnell, who has previously apologized for the gifts scandal but said he did nothing illegal, maintained his innocence.

“I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for…

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Rob Ford Admits He Was Drinking in New Video


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted that he was drinking when a new video that shows him swearing and slurring his words was shot on Monday night. Ford swore he stopped drinking or doing drugs two months ago.

The new video of Ford was posted to YouTube Tuesday and purported to show the mayor speaking in a Jamaican accent at a restaurant Monday night. Ford is incomprehensible in the video.

Ford told reporters Tuesday afternoon that the video was real and that it was new. “I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life with personal friends…it has nothing to do with you guys,” he told CTV News.

Ford has previously claimed that he has been sober since November and said that his sobriety is a necessary step before the October mayoral race in Toronto.

[CTV News]

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10 Most Shiver-Inducing Photos Of The Never-Ending Winter


This winter is making Frozen look more like a Werner Herzog documentary. The scenes of ice castles, frozen houses and finger-numbing blizzards in the blockbuster Disney movie are getting a little too real, as another storm descends in what has been a record breaking winter. Janus is expected to dump up to 12 inches of snow from Illinois to Tennessee and up the East Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by another deep freeze until next week.

PHOTOS: Winter Storm Pounds Northeast

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Ron Jeremy’s “Wrecking Ball” Parody Is Gross and Simultaneously Amazing


Porn star Ron Jeremy is back in the spotlight with a new parody of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”

In the roughly four-minute clip, which had over 1.6 million views as of Tuesday night, the scantily clad porn star re-enacts the sexiest scenes from Cyrus’s hit video.

You can watch the sex icon swinging from a wrecking ball at 1:05, licking a sledge hammer at 1:24, smashing a brick wall at 1:38 and moaning in despair at 2:12.

Fortunately for viewers, Jeremy doesn’t get completely naked in this film, spending the length of the video in his underwear and (sometimes) an undershirt.

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New Footage of Aspen Jet Crash Released


The Aspen-Pitkin County Airport released new footage of a jet crash that killed a co-pilot and injured two others earlier this month.

The infrared footage shows the aircraft — a Canadair Challenger — touching down hard, bouncing off the runway, then coming back down nose-first before bursting into flames.

“I saw a jet that didn’t look right,” airport employee Kirk Schoenthaler told the Aspen Times following the Jan. 5 crash. “It was in a nose-high attitude close to the ground, then it went nose-down and quickly dropped towards the runway. As soon as I saw that, I knew I needed to start responding and headed towards my truck. I didn’t wait for anything else.”

The airport footage was made public following a Colorado Open Records Act request from Aspen Journalism.

[Aspen Journalism]

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Winter Storm Pounds Northeast