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

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


Arizona 'anti-gay' bill sparks protests in two cities

Protests have been held in Arizona against the state's passage of a bill allowing business owners to refuse service to gays on religious grounds.
Hundreds rallied for demonstrations in the cities of Phoenix and Tucson, a day after the bill was approved.
Republican Governor Jan Brewer has not yet said if she will sign the bill into law. A decision is expected next week.
Similar legislation has been introduced in seven other US states, but Arizona is the only one to pass it.
Supporters have said the bill protects First Amendment rights for expression of religious beliefs.

The evolutionary puzzle of homosexuality

In the last two decades, dozens of scientific papers have been published on the biological origins of homosexuality - another announcement was made last week. It's becoming scientific orthodoxy. But how does it fit with Darwin's theory of evolution?
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's hit song Same Love, which has become an unofficial anthem of the pro-gay marriage campaign in the US, reflects how many gay people feel about their sexuality.
It mocks those who "think it's a decision, and you can be cured with some treatment and religion - man-made rewiring of a predisposition". A minority of gay people disagree, maintaining that sexuality is a social construct, and they have made a conscious, proud choice to take same-sex partners.

But scientific opinion is with Macklemore. Since the early 1990s, researchers have shown that homosexuality is more common in brothers and relatives on the same maternal line, and a genetic factor is taken to be the cause. Also relevant - although in no way proof - is research identifying physical differences in the brains of adult straight and gay people, and a dizzying array of homosexual behaviour in animals.


Oldest Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, dies at 110

The oldest known survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, Alice Herz-Sommer, has died in London at the age of 110.
Born into a Jewish family in Prague in 1903, Ms Herz-Sommer spent two years in a Nazi concentration camp in Terezin.
She was an accomplished pianist and music teacher and taught at the Jerusalem Conservatory until 1986, when she moved to London.
A film about her life has been nominated for best short documentary at next month's Academy Awards.

"We all came to believe that she would just never die," said Frederic Bohbot, producer of the documentary, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.
Alice Herz-Sommer and Caroline Stoessinger, who compiled Ms Herz-Sommer's memories in a book
'Music was our food. Through making music we were kept alive,' said Ms Herz-Sommer
Ms Herz-Sommer is said to have continued playing the works of Schubert and Beethoven until her final days.

N Y Times
Ukraine Parliament Moves Swiftly to Dismantle President’s Government
KIEV, Ukraine — A day after President Viktor F. Yanukovych fled the Ukrainian capital and was removed from power by a unanimous vote in Parliament, lawmakers moved swiftly on Sunday to dismantle the remaining vestiges of his government by firing top cabinet members, including the foreign minister.
With Parliament, led by the speaker, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, firmly in control of the federal government — if not yet the country as a whole — lawmakers began an emergency session on Sunday by adopting a law restoring state ownership of Mr. Yanukovych’s opulent presidential palace, which he had privatized.
Parliament voted to grant Mr. Turchynov authority to carry out the duties of the president of Ukraine, adding to his authority to lead the government that lawmakers had approved on Saturday.
Official: Drugs, needles found with dead officers on Maersk
CNN) -- Traces of narcotics and hypodermic needles found with the bodies of two American security officers on the container ship Maersk Alabama suggested the deaths resulted from drug overdoses, a Seychelles government official has told CNN.
Seychelles police identified the bodies found Tuesday as Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy, both 44. They worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. Trident Group President Tom Rothrauff said both were former Navy SEALs.
"It's bizarre. Of course, it's a shock. They're all great guys," Rothrauff said. "I'm absolutely clueless as to what happened."
Police said an autopsy would be carried out early next week. But the Seychelles government official, who spoke on condition of not being identified, said Thursday that the presence of drug traces and paraphernalia "would suggest that their deaths were a result of drug overdose."
L A Times
Rainstorm could be Los Angeles' wettest in 2 years.
Get ready, L.A. -- the winter storms headed to Los Angeles this week could be the wettest in two years.
The first storm, expected to hit Wednesday evening, could bring as much as a quarter of an inch of rain to Los Angeles County and leave by Thursday morning. A stronger second storm will arrive in time for the Friday afternoon commute and power through Saturday, dousing the coast and valleys with 1 to 2 inches of rain and as much as 4 inches in the mountains.
“It’s been … years” since this much rain has come to Los Angeles, said National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sukup. The last time this much rain has come to Los Angeles was on March 25, 2012, when 0.91 inches of precipitation fell in downtown.
How long ago was that? That was the same weekend the first "Hunger Games" movie came out. Mitt Romney still had not clinched the Republican nomination for president. The latest iPhone on the market was the iPhone 4S.
The storm systems will sweep in from the north and douse most of the state. For the mountains, snow and strong wind is forecast Friday into Saturday, and snow levels could drop to 5,000 feet by Saturday.
The winter storm will sweep away the 70-degree temperatures the region has enjoyed, with temps dropping to the low to mid 60s. Overnight lows could dip into the upper 40s. For the Academy Awards on March 2, forecasters say there is a 40% chance of showers, with highs in the 60s.
Netflix reaches streaming traffic agreement with Comcast
Netflix and Comcast have reached an agreement aimed at smoothing the streaming of Netflix content to the cable company's customers, ending a dispute that included suggestions of throttled traffic. (Heh)
The video-rental company has agreed to pay Comcast for direct access to its broadband network, sources told The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the deal. The agreement comes less than two weeks after Comcast announced a $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable, a merger that if approved could create a cable empire serving 33 million customers across the country.
The agreement was revealed in a joint announcement from the companies that did not disclose the terms of the deal.
 Comcast and Netflix today announced a mutually beneficial interconnection agreement that will provide Comcast's U.S. broadband customers with a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come. Working collaboratively over many months, the companies have established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks, that's already delivering an even better user experience to consumers, while also allowing for future growth in Netflix traffic. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which are not being disclosed.
USA Today

Cartel leader's capture may stir violence in Mexico

Note: The link starts with an ad and then a long video.

McALLEN, Texas — Drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán presided over an almost unprecedented criminal empire, but his arrest could bring additional problems to violence-plagued Mexico.
An innovator in the underworld and a sort of old-school cartel capo, Guzmán went about building illegal businesses that stretched across borders, growing in size, scale and reach to the point they threatened the state itself and made many parts of Mexico ungovernable.
His arrest Saturday leaves questions about what comes next, especially since the takedown of cartel kingpins in recent years has led to violence as underlings fight over the spoils.
Calls for his extradition to the United States started immediately.
S F Gate

Cellphone, wiretaps led to legendary drug lord

CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — After fruitlessly pursuing one of the world's top drug lords for years, authorities finally drew close to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman using a cellphone found at a house where drugs were stored.
The phone belonging to a Guzman aide was recovered with clues from a U.S. wiretap and provided a key break in the long chase to find Guzman, officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Another big leap forward came after police analyzed information from a different wiretap that pointed them to a beachfront condo where the legendary leader of the Sinaloa cartel was hiding, according to a U.S. government official and a senior federal law enforcement official.

When he was at last taken into custody with his beauty-queen wife, Guzman had a military-style assault rifle in the room, but he didn't go for it.

With Support For Marijuana, Concern Over Driving High Grows
The Lodo Wellness Center in Denver has been selling medical marijuana for several years. But since Jan. 1, when marijuana in Colorado officially moved from underground to behind-the-counter, they've also been selling legal, recreational pot.
A majority of Americans now say they support full legalization, and the trend is spreading: Legal weed is coming soon to Washington state.
Meanwhile, the public health community is warning of a potential safety problem: more people driving while stoned. But health officials and law enforcement don't yet have the data or tools to address the concern.

Inside the Lodo Wellness Center, shoppers don't seem particularly worried about getting behind the wheel with pot in their systems."You could smoke about an ounce and still have your motor skills," says 39-year-old Dante Cox. "When it comes to one shot of alcohol, all that goes out of the window."

I'm a very safe driver. I never go over 3 MPH.


New Jersey man escapes 5 year sentence after dash cam footage clears him, indicts cops

Evidence from a dashboard camera on a police cruiser ended a nightmare for a New Jersey man facing false charges of eluding police, resisting arrest and assault.

Prosecutors dismissed all the criminal charges against Marcus Jeter, 30, of Bloomfield, N.J. and instead indicted two Bloomfield police officers for falsifying reports and one of them for assault after the recording surfaced showing police officers beating Jeter during a traffic stop, according to WABC of New York. A third has pleaded guilty to tampering.

Jeter’s defense attorney requested all recorded evidence, but the police failed to hand over a second tape until additional evidence surfaced of a second police car at the scene. The tape showed Jeter complying with police, even as one punched him in the head repeatedly. Without the tape, prosecutors had been demanding a five-year prison sentence

Christian Science Monitor
Supreme Court takes up challenge to Obama and the EPA
For the second time in two months, the US Supreme Court is taking up a case examining whether the Obama administration by-passed Congress in an effort to unilaterally advance its political and policy objectives.
At issue in Monday’s oral argument is whether the Environmental Protection Agency usurped legislative power reserved to Congress when EPA officials wrote broad new rules regulating the emission of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Last month, the high court heard argument in a case testing whether President Obama acted properly when he ignored pro forma sessions of the Senate, declared Congress to be in recess, and then used his recess appointment power to unilaterally appoint three members to the National Labor Relations Board despite Senate objections to his nominees.

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