TPM News

LOWER DIR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber attacked a funeral of a member of a pro-government Pashtun tribe in a village in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 20 people, police said.

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The U.S. warning on militants based in Pakistan, blamed by Washington for this week’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, works against counter-terrorism cooperation between the two allies, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss bank UBS said a trader had lost it around $2 billion in unauthorized deals, and police in London arrested 31-year old Kweku Adoboli in connection with the case.

Is the House GOP waging war against energy efficient lightbulbs in its own building?

The hallway on the first floor of the House Cannon building on Capitol Hill was noticeably brighter than the second floor for most of the day today. That's because the Architect of the Capitol is replacing modern energy-efficient 150-watt lightbulbs (photo to left) with traditional 250-watt lightbulbs because an unknown member of Congress complained.

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Yesterday, the Obama campaign launched Attack Watch, a new website in the tradition of Fight The Smears, a 2008 effort to push back on misleading and erroneous stories about Obama floating around in the days before the election.

The concept of the Attack Watch website is simple -- see something you think is false, send it in, and the Obama campaign will debunk it. Discussion of the site was so popular on Twitter Wednesday that it reached #3 on the service's top trending topics in the nation. But driving the conversation wasn't the debunking of headlines that could make it harder for Obama to win a second term -- it was a TweetDeck blur of conservative tweets mocking the concept that pushed the site's #AttackWatch hashtag near the top of the trending list.

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The world's most popular social network, and the one whose founder promotes openness and sharing as cardinal values of the new digital society, is going to remain private until at least 2012, according to a new report in The Financial Times.

Facebook is delaying it's long-rumored initial public offering (IPO) until September 2012 because CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants employees to not to get distracted from developing new products by the anticipated waves of cash, the FT reported, citing sources close to the company.

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Democrats and Republicans all agree that the nation needs to move on a jobs agenda. And Republicans have a new plan: unleash the reins of snake commerce.

GOP members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today called attention to a proposed regulation that would restrict the transportation and importation of nine types of snakes, including the Burmese Python.

In a new report entitled "Broken Government: How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama's Promise of Regulatory Reform," GOP members cited the proposed snake ban as one of seven examples of red tape choking off job growth in an already ailing economy.

One witness invited to testify, snake breeder David Barke, told lawmakers that the rules "threatens as many as a million law-abiding American citizens and their families with the penalty of a felony conviction for pursuing their livelihoods, for pursuing their hobby, or for simply moving with their pet to new state."

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In a development that smacks of Terminators and SKYNET, startup Narrative Science has created a program that can turn data into a news stories -- stories that include, most humanely, inferences and an angle.
PopSci reported the development.
Whether statistics from a football game or housing sales figures, the robot journalist culls the numbers and puts a journalistic spin on them, writing stories faster than human competitors can for $10 per 500-word article.
Narrative Software is promoting the software as a tool to expand and supplement coverage in budget-conscious newsrooms.

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President Obama has inextricably linked his administration to the green energy technology sector with the many photo opportunities and speaking engagements that he's undertaken to promote it in order to achieve the dual goals of reducing harmful emission that contribute to climate change, and to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil.

The problem for advocates of these goals is that clean energy technologies are emerging technologies and so when big bets fail, the policy becomes political baggage, and fodder for opposition soundbites, as Wednesday's hearing over the Energy Department's half a billion dollar loan guarantee to the failed solar panel maker Solyndra demonstrates.

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