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President Obama Looking To Impose Free Community College Program

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“Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” the president said in his Facebook announcement.

Today President Obama proposed making community college free for all Americans. He presented the plan as a way to introduce more people to the middle class, which would in turn strengthen the U.S. economy. Congress has already presented the President with the question of how this program would be funded.

The $60 billion plan was announced during a speech in Tennessee, in where he described a quality education as a “right” for those that were willing to work for it. He also asked that Congress work with him to bring the cost of Community College down to zero.

Obama said, “I want to make it free.” He urged making community college just as universal as high school. “A college degree is the surest ticket to the middle class,” Obama said.

The proposed plan would cover enough tuition, to assist students who keep their grades up an associate’s degree or halfway to a bachelor’s.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the plan is expected to cost the federal government $60 billion over 10 years. The White House said the federal government would pick up 75 percent of the cost and the final quarter would come from states that opt into the program — though it’s unclear where the money might come from.

Last year, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law a scholarship program called Tennessee Promise that provides free community and technical college tuition for two years to the state’s high school graduates. About 58,000 of the state’s roughly 62,000 seniors have applied to participate this fall.

Under the president’s new plan, students would be required to maintain a 2.5 GPA while in college, and must make steady progress toward completing their program in order to have their tuition eliminated, according to the press release.

 
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12 People Dead In Paris Terrorist Shooting

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Twelve people were killed today in Paris when gunmen went into the offices of a popular French satirical magazine called Charlie Hebdo. The Magazine is know for publishing a series of cartoons about the famous Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Two gunmen ran into the Magazine’s office today wielding AK-47’s and shouting out “Allahu Akbar”, which is the Muslim term for “God Is The Greatest”. Among the victims were two police officers and the Magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier.

Since the attack earlier today, authorities have released the names of three suspects: Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, both in their 30s, and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad.

France has declared this day a national day of mourning and have raised the terror threat level. Security for media organizations, large stores and places of worship have been increased, and a manhunt for the killers with the assistance of the FBI was launched.

“We will find the people who did this,” French President Francois Hollande vowed. He later called for national unity.

“Freedom is always bigger than barbarism,” he said. “Vive la France.”

What a terrible day for the country of France. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims.

 
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Boston Marathon Bomber Trial Begins

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Everyone in America remembers April 15, 2013. That was the day that the world famous Boston Marathon was rocked by two bombs that exploded near the Marathon finish line killing 3 people and injuring 264. That tragic day ended when Law Enforcement tracked down and captured the suspect in the bombing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A little over 18 months later the trial is set to begin for Tsarnaev this Monday. Going into the trial defense attorneys have suggested Tsarnaev was controlled by his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a confrontation with police three days after the bombing. The younger drove over the older brother and escaped.

Defense attorneys also have said the family’s history played a role in shaping Tsarnaev. They note that the family, of Chechen ethnicity, experienced difficulties dating to World War II, when Josef Stalin deported mass populations to central Asia.

With his older brother dying, Tsarnaev is left to face these charges alone. “Prosecutors appear to have virtually incontrovertible evidence supporting their claim that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, planned and executed the Boston Marathon bombing,” said CNN legal analyst Paul Callan, a former prosecutor and defense attorney.

“The defense, on the other hand, will push for a more expansive ‘War and Peace’ type presentation to create a narrative that paints Dzhokhar as the innocent pawn of a domineering older brother,” Callan added. “A more expansive presentation of Dzhokhar’s family and psychological history is more likely to be seen during the sentencing phase if the jury returns a guilty verdict.”

This case will be tried as a Capital Case which means that if convicted, Tsarnaev will be tried separately to see if he will be executed. We’ll make sure to keep you updated as the trial progresses.

 
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President Obama Hits North Korea With Several Sanctions After Sony Hack

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers a New Year address in Pyongyang

President Obama’s Administration imposed a number of sanctions on North Korea today. The authorized sanctions are against agencies and officials associated with the North Korean government and Workers’ Party of Korea. This action serves as a retaliation against Pyongyang.

“We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a U.S. company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. “As the president has said, our response to North Korea’s attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment will be proportional, and will take place at a time and in a manner of our choosing. Today’s actions are the first aspect of our response.”

These sanctions will deny access to all those affected by these sanctions from the U.S. financial system and bar them from entering the U.S.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed that the North Koreans were 100% responsible for the Sony hack and some experts say that the attack could have been staged by ex-employees from the company, the Administration still feels that these sanctions are entirely necessary.

 
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Air Asia Flight 8501 Has Been Found

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It’s a sad day for the families of the passengers and staff of Air Asia flight 8501. Debris and bodies were found in the water today about 6 miles from the planes last known location over the Java Sea, CNN reported this morning. Indonesian officials found the bodies of two women and one man. The bodies have not been identified and no names have been released as of yet.

“We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances,” said Sunu Widyatmoko, head of AirAsia Indonesia. “We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Hospitals in the Indonesian city of Surbaya are being prepped to receive any bodies that are recovered, so that they can be housed and identified.

Several nations are contributing resources to the effort, including the United States. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Sampson arrived Tuesday.

Our condolences go out to all of the families that are affected by this tragedy.

 
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Sofia Vergara Is Engaged (Reportedly)

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Sofia Vergara, the 42 yr old star of ABC’s Modern Family is reportedly engaged to her boyfriend of a few months Joe Manganiello, 38, star of the popular HBO series True Blood. The two have seemed to be inseparable since they met this past July. They recently spent Christmas together in Hawaii and just yesterday Vergara posted a picture of her and Manganiello snuggled together wishing him a happy birthday and referring to him as her “best friend”. A source told E! news the “True Blood” actor proposed on Christmas Day. This will be Vergara’s second marriage. Her first marriage was to her high school sweetheart Joe Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Vergara were married for a couple of years before the two divorced. She has her only child from that marriage. Although the couple hasn’t confirmed their engagement, we wish Sofia and Joe all of the best!

 
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Russian Economy Heading For Disaster Fast

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The recent decline in oil prices has had a huge impact on the Russian economy over the past few weeks. This has put Russia on the path towards a deep recession and a double digit inflation in 2015, as reported by Russian Officials today. The Russian government has instituted a bail out similar to the U.S. bailout from years ago to help save the Rouble (Russia’s currency).

The economy is slowing even more as problems in the Ukraine are discouraging foreign investment and encouraging capital flight.

The Russian government is now taking what it feels are necessary steps to support financial institutions so that they can address the worsening currency crisis over the past weeks. This crisis has included interest rate hikes. Financial analysts are currently unsure and very pessimistic about the outcome for Russia’s economy and the outcome of the Rouble. It looks like this world power is in for a long hard fight to save their economy.

 
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Getting Ready To Direct My New Movie

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A lot of big things coming up for me in 2015. I hope you enjoy all of my new projects!!

 
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YouTube Threatened With A $1 Billion Lawsuit

New Performing Rights Organization, Global Music Rights has threatened to sue YouTube. The group which represents about 40 notable artists, including Pharrell Williams says that YouTube no longer has the license to perform the songs for a lot of different artists whose material is on YouTube. The artists/songwriters that make up Global Music Rights were former members of ASCAP and BMI. Now that they no longer are a part of the respective Organizations they have requested that over 20,000 songs be removed from YouTube. YouTube claims that they have the right to still perform these songs under the consent decree that they have with ASCAP & BMI. A lawyer from YouTube commented saying that if these artists want their material removed that they must go through the “notice & takedown” process that all YouTube users must go through. No formal lawsuit has been filed, as Global Music Rights is trying to negotiate with YouTube outside of court. We’ll see how long the negotiations last before the media giant is sued for over $1 Billion.

 
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Chris Hemsworth Talks Fame, Party Days and his little brother’s bad relationships in new GQ article

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The blue-eyed 31-year-old is featured on the January cover of GQ just weeks after being named the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine.

The studly star opened up about starting over and when he turned into a family man.

“The fame, the parties, the women — I did that stuff back home,” the Australian actor told the mag.

“I got away with a lot more over there,” he continued. “Then I came here” — to film 2010’s ‘Ca$h’ — “and sort of started over.”

Chris Hemsworth said he ‘had no empathy’ for brother Liam Hemsworth ‘being in relationships he shouldn’t be in.’

Hemsworth is now married to Spanish actress Elsa Pataky and the two share three children together.

“Depends on how messy it is,” he said of how speedy he can be when changing their kids’ diapers. “Sometimes you gotta give ’em a hose-down.”

The “Thor” star also dished to the glossy about his famous brother, Liam.

The younger Hemsworth, now 24, was previously engaged to Disney star turned wild child Miley Cyrus before the couple split up last year.

“I’ve watched Liam do things I did at his age, like being in relationships he shouldn’t be in, or being reckless just to prove a point. And I had no empathy. My mom had to remind me I was the same way,” Hemsworth said.

“Back when I was still on the soap, I became incredibly insecure and full of anxiety because I didn’t know if I was any good. I spent years being angsty, constantly telling people I wasn’t just part of a soap opera, that I was a real artist. And I remember Luke sort of snapping, telling me to shut up, that he was sick of hearing it,” he added of his older sibling.

Hemsworth went on to tell GQ that he gives fellow actor Matt Damon a lot of credit for how he manages life in the spotlight.

“We became friends around the time I started to work, and I’ve really benefited from watching how he handles himself,” he explained.

“Matt’s just a normal guy who has the movie-star thing figured out.”