Obama's decision to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba met with both admiration and anger

Barack ObamaWashington, Dec 18 - As United States President Barack Obama hailed a "new chapter" in U. S. relations with Cuba following a five decade-long political standoff; reactions in Miami were split, mostly along generational lines.

Obama's decision to trash the "outdated" U. S. approach towards Cuba was welcomed by groups of younger demonstrators on the one hand but was opposed by older protesters in Havana. Angry protesters flashed placards that read, "Obama administration conspiracy with Castro terrorist" and shouted "Obama a coward! Coward, coward, coward" outside the iconic Versailles Cafe, reported the CNN.


Hugging can protect you against stress and infection

Hugging can protect you against stress and infectionWashington, Dec 18 - A new study has observed that hugs help protect against stress and infection.

The study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University tested whether hugs act as a form of social support, protecting stressed people from getting sick.

The study led by Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences found that greater social support and more frequent hugs protected people from the increased susceptibility to infection associated with being stressed and resulted in less severe illness symptoms.


Stars in middle-aged clusters may be of same age

Stars in middle-aged clusters may be of same ageWashington, Dec. 18 - A new study has recently revealed that stars in the large middle-aged clusters at least, appear to be of similar age.

NGC 1615, a middle-age star cluster located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, contains stars that are of a more uniform age than previously believed.

A close look at the night sky reveals that stars don't like to be alone; instead, they congregate in clusters, in some cases containing as many as several million stars.


Obamas recall their encounters with racism

Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaWashington, Dec 18 - The US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama have opened up about their encounters with racism.

The 50-year-old first lady said that she thinks people forget that they've lived in the White House for six years, before which, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs, People Magazine reported.


President Obama names 'Boyhood' his favorite movie of 2014

President Obama names 'Boyhood' his favorite movie of 2014Washington, Dec 18 - US President Barack Obama has revealed that 'Boyhood' was the best film he saw this year.

While talking to the People Magazine along with First Lady Michelle Obama, the 53-year-old president revealed his own "Best of 2014" list, and said that the groundbreaking film, which had been 12-years in the making, was just great.

Obama also said that he was in the midst of reading a "wonderful book" called Redeployment, by Phil Klay, who's an Iraq War veteran and had penned some "powerful" short stories.


Global CO2 emissions soar to all time high but with decreased growth rate

Global CO2 emissions soar to all time high but with decreased growth rateWashington, Dec 18 - A new study has revealed that although global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production has reached an all new high, the growth has been notably slower at 2 percent than on average in the last ten years.

This slowdown, which began in 2012, signals a further decoupling of global emissions and economic growth, reflects mainly the lower emissions growth rate of China, but it was also found that USA, EU and China remain the top-3 emitters of CO2, accounting for respectively 29 percent, 15 percent and 11 percent of the world's total.


Twitter in two minds over autoplaying videos on users' timeline

Twitter in two minds over autoplaying videos on users' timelineWashington, Dec 17 : Social networking site Twitter is reportedly in two minds over autoplaying videos on its users' timeline.

According to The Verge, Twitter is said to be "cautious" about implementing autoplay, but the service already makes heavy use of video.

Facebook and Instagram have already introduced the new autoplay feature.

While some Facebook users were not happy with the new feature initially, it went on to become a hit, boosting Facebook's advertising business.


Quadriplegic woman makes medical history with mind-controlled robot arm

Quadriplegic woman makes medical history with mind-controlled robot armWashington, Dec 17 - A quadriplegic woman has made medical history by using a robot arm with just her thoughts to pick up big and small boxes, a ball, an oddly shaped rock, and fat and skinny tubes.

According to the researchers at the University Of Pittsburg School Of Medicine, this is the first time a participant has used -degree brain control of a prosthetic device to reach, grasp, and place a variety of objects.


Google's `year in search` reveals Robin Williams' death was top global trend in 2014

Google's `year in searWashington, Dec 17 : Google's `year in search` 2014 has revealed that the top global trending search was the story of Robin Williams' death, followed by the World Cup and Ebola.

It was also found that the searches for depression tests and mental health increased in the wake of Williams' death, the Verge reported.

While the lost Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 was one of the top searches, for example, Google was able to parse that "mh370 found" was searched far more often than "mh370 lost."

Among the global top 10, tech hardware, which made up a good portion in 2013's list, was for some reason missing in the 2014's search list.


Caveman 'Paleo diet' likely differed substantially over time, space

Caveman 'Paleo diet' likely differed substantially over time, spaceWashington, Dec. 17 - A new study has revealed that the "Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet," a weight-loss craze in which people follow the diet of plants and animals eaten by human's ancestors during the Stone Age, had no fix routine and might have been changing significantly over time and space.


Why introverts have more power at work place than extroverts

Why introverts have more power at work place than extrovertsWashington, Dec 17 : A new study has revealed that introverted employees are more likely to give low evaluations of JOB performance to extroverted co-workers, giving introverts a powerful role in workplaces that rely on peer-to-peer evaluation tools for awarding raises, bonuses or promotions.

Researchers at Oregon State University, the University of Florida and University of Notre Dame found that introverts consistently rated extroverted co-workers as worse performers, and were less likely to give them credit for work performed or endorse them for advancement opportunities.


People tend to trust 'average looking' faces more

People tend to trust 'average looking' faces moreWashington, Dec. 17 - A new study has revealed that people tend to believe average-looking faces, who aren't seen as the most attractive, while assessing trustworthiness.

The research indicated that being "average," which was often considered a bad thing, wins when people assess the trustworthiness of a face.


People tend to focus on positives and downplay negatives when pursuing goals

People tend to focus on positives and downplay negatives when pursuing goalsWashington, Dec 17 - A new research has revealed that people give more weight to progress than setbacks when pursuing goals.

The University of Colorado Boulder-led study claims that people tend to believe good behaviors are more beneficial in reaching goals than bad behaviors are in obstructing goals, for instance, a dieter might think refraining from eating ice cream helps his weight-management goal more than eating ice cream hurts it, overestimating movement toward versus away from his target.


NY student who claimed making $72M trading stocks admits story was a big lie

NY student who claimed making $72M trading stocks admits story was a big lieWashington, Dec 17 - The high school student who had earlier claimed to have made whopping 72 million dollars trading stocks has admitted that it was all a lie.

New York Magazine had published a story about Stuyvesant High senior Mohammed Islam from Queens, who had made a fortune investing in the stock market and the reporter had also said that though the young investor is shy about his earnings, he had confirmed his net worth is in the 'high eight figures', Observer reported.


US Senate confirms Indian-American Mehta as a federal judge

Indian-American Amit Priyavadan MehtaWashington - Indian-American Amit Priyavadan Mehta has been confirmed by the US Senate as a federal judge in the District of Columbia, becoming the first Asian Pacific American to occupy this important position.

His nomination was cleared late in the night by a voice vote along with over a dozen pending judicial nominations.

Nominated by President Barack Obama in July this year, Mehta has been a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder since 2010, where he represents clients in civil and criminal matters before state and federal courts.


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