As U.S. eases hostilities, Cuba faces new challenge

Members of the Cuban Revolutionary Army hold Cuban national flags during a march "For the Five and Against the Terrorism" in HavanaBy Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) – For decades, it was Cuba's first response to criticism. Poor economic performance? An obvious effect of a U.S. trade embargo that amounted to a blockade of the island nation by a bullying superpower. Arrests of dissidents? A legitimate act of self-defense against mercenaries working for the world's richest nation, which backed the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and plots to assassinate revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. …


Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns, Cecil Shorts’ Post-Week 16 Fantasy Reaction

The lack of explosive plays from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ passing attack puts a cap on the fantasy worth of their trio of talented young receivers in Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Cecil Shorts.

Lee was leading the way for the Jags through three quarters of Week 16’s AFC South matchup with the Tennessee Titans, hauling in four catches on six targets for 65 yards.

No. 3 overall draft pick Blake Bortles struggled to get on the same page with Shorts through 45 minutes of action, connecting with him on just one of six passes for nine yards. Bortles‘ underwhelming throwing ability was reflected in Allen Hurns‘ modest 26 yards on three receptions.

Football Outsiders’ Cian Fahey weighed in on the two rookie pass-catchers in Lee and Hurns:

A good chunk of Lee’s yards came on one 34-yard catch, so that shows how quickly Jacksonville is trying to get the ball out of Bortles‘ hands. 

The video breakdown below by Bleacher Report expert Chris Simms does a great job of outlining the limitations that constrict the Jags offense.

Until Bortles puts it all together, should that day indeed come, Lee is the top option but is only worth endorsing as a fantasy flex play.

Hurns‘ hot start to the 2014 campaign fizzled, and Shorts has been banged up amid a year in which he’s recorded his lowest yards per catch. The Jaguars were last in scoring offense prior to Week 16, so any fantasy owners counting on the unit to produce couldn’t have been in the playoffs for their leagues.

Reports: Juror’s Illness Forces Mistrial In Ashanti Stalking Case

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The trial of a man charged with stalking Ashanti and her family ended in a mistrial Thursday, according to multiple published reports.

The mistrial was declared by Manhattan Supreme Court Daniel Conviser after it became clear that a sick juror would halt deliberations for more than 24 hours, according to a New York Times report. Conviser said while he did not like it, state law mandated that a mistrial must be declared in for such a disruption unless it was a weekend or holiday, the newspaper reported.

In a possible new trial, Ashanti might have to take the witness stand a second time to answer questions from defendant Devar Hurd, who is representing himself, the newspaper reported.

In closing arguments, Hurd told jurors that “there was nothing to show I intended to harass, annoy or alarm; nothing to show I intended to rape, kidnap or kill her. I never stalked this girl.”

However, as WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, prosecutor Rachel Earhart painted a far different picture of the case. As she put it, Hurd will not stop and is obsessed with the singer. We’ve all seen the movie, she said, about the obsessed fan who starts making contact through social media and starts showing up at events and asked, “What’s next?”

As the prosecutor told jurors, it was apparent how Hurd was “positively gleeful” sitting no more than 10 feet from Ashanti, taking his time to question her and keeping her on the stand as he knew this was the only way he’d ever be able to talk to her.

Ashanti says she was “disgusted” and “absolutely scared” when she learned in July 2013 that a fan who had been convicted of stalking her had since been tweeting her X-rated messages and posed for a photo with her sister.

Hurd was convicted in 2009 of stalking and served about two years in jail. He argued that if his tweets were not welcomed, the “Foolish” singer could have blocked him on the social media site.

He was charged in the latest case with stalking and aggravated harassment.

Prosecutors alleged that once Hurd got out of jail in 2011, he started harassing Ashanti again, beginning with phone calls to Tina Douglas, the singer’s mother and manager.

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Check Out This Badass Double Amputee Able To Control Robotic Arms With His Brain Power!

Incredible!!!

A man named Les Baugh recently made history by becoming the “first bilateral shoulder-level amputee” to wear two Modular Prosthetic Limbs at the same time.

And the whole thing went down at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory!

Baugh had lost his arms over forty years ago, and had to have a procedure called “targeted muscle reinnervation” which “reassigned the nerves that once controlled his arms and hands.”

But that wasn’t all that Les Baugh had to do to get to try these robot arms on!

He also had to undergo a series of tests that lasted ten days before he was finally able to try on the real thing as scientists mapped out his brain patterns.

[ Related: Holy Heartwarming! Man Makes His First Appearance Since Receiving Double Arm Implants! Seriously! Huuuuugs! ]

But in the end it seemed to be all worth it as Les Baugh was moving stuff with these arms of his by using only his mind!

And researchers like Courtney Moran were amazed by the speed he was able to do this! She said:

“We expected him to exceed performance compared to what he might achieve with conventional systems, but the speed with which he learned motions and the number of motions he was able to control in such a short period of time was far beyond expectation. What really was amazing, and was another major milestone with MPL control, was his ability to control a combination of motions across both arms at the same time. This was a first for simultaneous bimanual control.”

Although the MPL arms can only be used in the lab, scientists are hoping to produce some MPL arms that Les Baugh will be able to take home and use on his own!

Which we’re sure he would appreciate very much! Especially since it’s so clear that he’s a natural at using these amazing things!

Dude has one powerful mind!!

Get the evidence of his awe-inspiring ways by checking out the video down (below) !!!

Police: Man Caught At JFK With Gun Parts Hidden In Video Game Console

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Thursday that gun parts found in a passenger’s video game console at John F. Kennedy International Airport were not child’s play.

Transportation Security Administration officers noticed something wrong with a Brooklyn man’s bag as it went through the X-ray machine, Port Authority police said.

Inside, agents found pieces of a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun hidden inside a PlayStation 2 game and alongside a tripod.

Parts of the handgun found in the video game console were discovered as Ramirez passed through security in Terminal One, Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo said.

The game box was labeled as Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots. It featured a picture of Spongebob Squarepants leading a group of cartoon characters for a fight.

The suspect, Oscar Ramirez, was supposed to be on his way to Mexico City, police said. He was instead arrested on weapons charges.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Free Audiobook – Christmas Eve, 1914

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The audiobook download of Christmas Eve, 1914, by Charles Olivier, read by Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, Cody Fern, Damon Herriman, James Scott, John Beck, Lance Guest, Gabe Greenspan and Nate Jones, is free from Audible.

Book Description

In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had – in reality – only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive. Beyond the exploding shells and artillery, the merciless freezing cold, extreme hunger, and crushing exhaustion, these young men – both British and German – discover a miracle of grace, as enemies becomes friends and an impossible Christmas finally arrives.

Written by Emmy Award winner Charles Olivier and produced by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) to commemorate the Christmas Truce’s centennial anniversary, this astonishing moment of peace in the midst of total war is brought to life as a vivid and immersive audiodrama, featuring a full-cast performance, elaborate sound design, and an original musical score. Listeners will also enjoy a classic Christmas carol, “Il Est Ne”, performed by Tom Tom Club, at the conclusion of the story.

The full cast includes Damon Herriman, Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, James Scott, Lance Guest, Nate Jones, Cody Fern, John Beck, Gabe Greenspan, and Heiko Obermoeller.

Get the audiobook from Audible.

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Holiday Party With 13 Rescue Dogs And One Cat Is Something We All Should Watch! Gather Around The Table!

Aww!

We LOVE this!

Freshpet has delivered a new take on the holiday dinner we’ve all experienced usually once in our lives.

The pet food company made a video featuring 13 dogs and one cat at a holiday dinner party where they are all dressed for the occasion!

And all of the archetypes of holiday dinners were there, as well!

Including the obnoxious teenager doggie with the cellphone, the too tipsy grandpa dog, and almost all of them had on some adorably ugly sweaters!

The animals in the video were apparently all rescue animals from the Humane Society of Utah. And the pet food company will even pay for the adoption fees of any of this cuddly furry animals!

Now that’s a great way to do business!

[ Related: 82-Year-Old Shoots 10-Year-Old's Puppy Because It Was About To Poop On His Lawn! ]

Hopefully this cute commercial will lead to some homes for these adorable animals!

They’ve already shown they can handle the spotlight! Now all they all need are some loving families!

Check out the great short video featuring all of these lovelies down (below) !!!

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life