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Blackberry misses expectations as sales stall

<b>Troubled smartphone maker Blackberry has reported a larger-than-expected drop in revenue during the third quarter.</b><p>Revenue fell to $793m (£507m) from $1.19bn a year earlier, missing analyst expectations.<p>Chief executive John Chen said the revenue figure was "not satisfying".<p>However, he added that he …

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Clinton backs Obama's Cuba moves

Hillary Clinton backed President Barack Obama's historic easing of decades-old sanctions against Cuba on Wednesday and said she is "deeply relieved" by the release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross.<p>Clinton, who was secretary of state when Gross was arrested in 2009, backed Obama in a statement …

APOD: NGC 7331 and Beyond (2014 Dec 18) Image Credit & Copyright: Tony Hallas http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141218.html Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. Since the galaxy's disk is inclined to our line-of-sight, long telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong sense of depth. The effect is further enhanced in this sharp image from a small telescope by galaxies that lie beyond the gorgeous island universe. The most prominent background galaxies are about one tenth the apparent size of NGC 7331 and so lie roughly ten times farther away. Their close alignment on the sky with NGC 7331 occurs just by chance. Seen through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of Milky Way, this visual grouping of galaxies is known as the Deer Lick Group. http://astrophoto.com/contact.htm Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141218 #APOD

Washington governor unveils carbon cap-and-trade plan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday laid out a plan for a carbon cap-and-trade program aimed at fighting global warming and raising $1 billion a year for state schools and public transportation initiatives, but he will first need the support of a divided state …

David Koch is pro-choice, supports gay rights; just not Democrats

David Koch, one of America's richest businessmen and largest political donors, says he is just fine with giving money to candidates who hold different social views than he does because its his economic concerns that matter most.<p>"I'm basically a libertarian. And I'm a conservative on economic …

Marcus Mariota has a chance to break 4 Heisman Trophy voting records Saturday night

Here are how many votes the Oregon quarterback will need in order to be one of the most definitive Heisman winners ever.<p>Marcus Mariota is going to win the Heisman Trophy.<p>I've been writing that for a couple of months now. Mariota's odds haven't been worse than even money at Bovada since October 21. …

Wall Street bets on Russia and Venezuela defaults

Wall Street is betting that Russia and Venezuela are getting closer to defaulting on their debt.<p>Plunging oil prices have slammed the economies of both countries, which are highly dependent on oil revenue.<p>On Wall Street currently, the cost to insure Russia's five-year bonds have surged to the …

Senate approves $1.1-trillion spending bill after deadline battle

Congress gave final approval to a $1.1-trillion spending bill to keep the government from shutting down, but not without a last-minute hitch when Republican Sen. Ted Cruz forced a rare Saturday session, defying party leaders' efforts for smooth passage.<p>The political gamesmanship not only put …

Christian Bale Solves the Mystery of the Dark Knight Rises Ending

Was there ever any doubt about Batman's conclusion?<p><b>In a new interview</b> <b>with Entertainment Weekly</b>, Christian Bale explains something that we never thought needed explaining: the (seemingly) clear-cut ending of Christopher Nolan's <i>Dark Knight</i> trilogy. The final chapter, <i>The Dark Knight Rises</i>, closes with …