Overnight News Digest
Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, rfall,side pocket,Man Oh Man and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, and Oke. The guest editor is annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.


Mystery girl Maria's parents found in Bulgaria by DNA

DNA tests have confirmed a Bulgarian Roma couple as the biological parents of mystery child Maria, found in Greece last week, Bulgarian officials say.
They identified the couple as Sasha Ruseva and Atanas Rusev.
The officials are investigating whether the mother had sold the child - a claim she has denied.
Maria was found at a Roma camp in central Greece. Police noticed the lack of resemblance between the blonde girl and the adults she was staying with.
The couple, Christos Salis and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, have since been charged with child abduction. They have insisted the girl was given to them legitimately.

German papers lay into Obama over US spying claims

German papers are increasingly turning their fire on US President Barack Obama over claims that the National Security Agency has monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone.
"Obama's aura is gone," reads the headline of a front-page commentary in the daily Die Welt.
Obama "did everything to present America's good side to the world" but "hardly any of that remains", the paper's Jacques Schuster argues. "The damage caused by his secret services is great. It must be repaired," he warns.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung takes a similar line. "Does Obama not realise how much trust he has lost in this country?" a front-page commentary by Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger asks.
"There is no other way to put it, US President Barack Obama looks like a hypocrite in the political landscape," Markus Decker says in the Berliner Zeitung.

Obama 'not told of Merkel phone bugging'

The chief of the US spy agency NSA has not discussed the alleged bugging of German chancellor's phone with President Barack Obama, officials say.
Gen Keith Alexander never discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Angela Merkel, an NSA spokeswoman said.
German media say the US has been tapping the chancellor's phone since 2002, and Mr Obama was told in 2010.
The row has led to the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries in living memory.
A report in German tabloid Bild am Sonntag claimed that Gen Alexander had told the president about the bugging himself.
An NSA source told the paper that Obama had not stopped the operation, and had wanted to know all about Mrs Merkel as "he did not trust her".
I don't often see Obama getting much credit for the fact that we're NOT bombing Syria.

Syria hands in chemical weapons destruction plan

Syria has handed in a plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons to the watchdog monitoring the process.
In a statement, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) said the declaration was submitted three days ahead of schedule.
OPCW inspectors are also due to complete visiting the last four of 23 weapons sites declared by Syria.
The OPCW's mission was set up following outrage at a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital in August.
Sixty inspectors have been in Syria since 1 October. The OPCW, which is based in The Hague, said on Friday that its team in Syria had visited 19 of the 23 sites disclosed by Syria.
Zombie News from N Y Times

Nothing Personal: They Want to Eat You

ZOMBIES may be hogging the pop culture spotlight these days in “World War Z” and “The Walking Dead,” but now that the flesh-eating undead are selling Sprint cellphones in television ads, one has to wonder: have they finally jumped the shark as the monster of the moment?

Well, there’s a new wave of evildoers waiting to step in: cannibals.

At the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Eli Roth’s hungry-savages film, “The Green Inferno,” and Manuel Martín Cuenca’s dark love story “Cannibal” played to gore-loving crowds. Other releases this fall include “Butcher Boys,” an urban thriller based on Jonathan Swift’s satirical 18th-century essay “A Modest Proposal”; “The Colony,” about flesh-eating survivors of an apocalyptic attack; “We Are What We Are,” about a father and his cannibal children; the German-language “Cannibal Diner,” with young women on the menu; and “Evil Feed,” a comedy about a restaurant that serves the body parts of losing participants in an underground fighting ring.

N Y Times

Forging an Art Market in China

When the hammer came down at an evening auction during China Guardian’s spring sale in May 2011, “Eagle Standing on a Pine Tree,” a 1946 ink painting by Qi Baishi, one of China’s 20th-century masters, had drawn a startling price: $65.4 million. No Chinese painting had ever fetched so much at auction, and, by the end of the year, the sale appeared to have global implications, helping China surpass the United States as the world’s biggest art and auction market.

But two years after the auction, Qi Baishi’s masterpiece is still languishing in a warehouse in Beijing. The winning bidder has refused to pay for the piece since doubts were raised about its authenticity.


Italy's Mount Etna erupts

ROME - Europe's tallest and most active volcano Mount Etna erupted on Saturday, spewing glowing lava into the air and sending a vast plume of smoke over the southern Italian island of Sicily.
The eruption did not require any mountain villages to be evacuated or cause significant disruption, though airspace over Sicily was briefly closed on Saturday morning, according to Catania airport.
The volcano is in almost constant activity, although the last major eruption was in 1992. The latest eruption was preceded by a series of underground tremors on Friday.
L A Times

Attackers in Mexico blow up nine electrical plants

MEXICO CITY -- Assailants early Sunday blew up at least nine electrical power plants in one of Mexico's largest states, triggering blackouts that gunmen then used as cover to torch gasoline stations, residents and authorities said.
The attacks in Michoacan state, west of the capital, did not cause deaths or serious injuries, authorities said. But they served as a pointed reminder of the strength of drug gangs and other criminals.
Shortly after midnight, attackers armed with Molotov cocktails almost simultaneously disabled electrical substations in at least nine cities and towns in Michoacan, plunging an estimated 1 million people into darkness. The power was out for 15 hours.
L A Times

Fukushima fishermen watch recovery slip away

SOMA, Japan — For much of his life, Koichi Matsumoto, 58, happily slipped out of bed in the dead of night to work on a fishing trawler.
But these days, his catch is tree branches, tires and other rubble still adrift since the massive earthquake and tsunami that shook Japan more than two years ago.
"It feels as if we're right back where we were after the disaster," which struck March 11, 2011, said Matsumoto, a third-generation fisherman and head of the trawl boat unit at the 1,000-member Soma-Futaba fisheries cooperative.
The lives of Matsumoto and about 1,500 other fishermen in the Fukushima region are back in flux because of the discovery in August that 300 tons of radioactive wastewater was pouring into the ocean each day from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
L A Times

Science has lost its way, at a big cost to humanity


n today's world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you'd think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science.
You'd be wrong. Many billions of dollars' worth of wrong.
A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology.
The idea was to make sure that research on which Amgen was spending millions of development dollars still held up. They figured that a few of the studies would fail the test — that the original results couldn't be reproduced because the findings were especially novel or described fresh therapeutic approaches.

But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid.

The Atlantic  
 So You Know, This Is How to Incubate Baby Cephalopods in a Soda Bottle
Say you find yourself, as one occasionally does, in need of incubating some baby cuttlefish. Say you don't have a lot of money, as one occasionally does not, to do the incubating of said cuttlefish.

Over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, marine biologists and curators found themselves in exactly this situation as they were preparing for their upcoming special exhibition: "Tentacles," which will feature cephalopods like octopi, squid, and, yes, cuttlefish. They had mother cuttlefish. They wanted to maximize the number of healthy hatchlings that could result from a given clutch, or collection of eggs. And nature, they realized, isn't always the best way to do this survival-maximization: Mothers can forget where they leave their eggs—or, even when they remember, neglect them. Which, if you're trying to increase cuttlefish populations, is not ideal. Removing the eggs and raising them separately, the aquarist Bret Grasse points out, "allows mom to focus on what she does best: laying more eggs."

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