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Katie’s FYINovember 24, 2014Katie Couric

Welcome to Katie’s FYI! I hope this makes it easy for you to understand what’s going on in the world, with the most important stories right at your fingertips. Want to get my FYI directly in your inbox every morning? Sign up above.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Violence erupted in Ferguson after the news broke last night: protesters set fire to police cars, broke windows and taunted police. (Not sure how we got here? Watch my Yahoo News report.)... You might think twice about ordering that brownie sundae next time you're out - chain restaurants will now be required to show calorie information on their menus... Odds are, your emails are passive aggressive (not that I care)… And, getting ready for the holidays? Here's how to pack like the Queen (yes, really)... These stories and more in today's FYI.

STREETS OF FERGUSON SMOLDER AFTER GRAND JURY DECLINES TO INDICT OFFICER

"This was Ferguson early Tuesday morning. Shattered glass from looted stores covered the asphalt. The smoke of tear gas lingered in the cold air. And more than a dozen buildings, including stores owned by local residents, were inexplicably set ablaze. "This ain't Iraq. This is the United States," Demetric Whitlock yelled to a line of police officers on South Florissant Road, in front of the Ferguson Police Department. When a grand jury decided Monday not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the act triggered fresh confrontations between protesters and police in the tense Missouri city…"


YAHOO NEWS SPECIAL REPORT

Ferguson Prepares for War

"The decision is in. The grand jury in Ferguson has chosen to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen, Michael Brown. Tensions have been high in Ferguson, Mo., since the shooting on Aug. 9. Here's a look at what happened on that fateful day and in the months that followed."


WHITE HOUSE SEEKS A STRONGER HAND AT PENTAGON TO MANAGE CRISES

"President Obama tapped Chuck Hagel as defense secretary because he wanted someone who would quietly implement the administration’s policy, avoid controversy and promote no big, sweeping ideas. Hagel was forced to resign Monday for being exactly that defense secretary. Hagel didn’t make big mistakes. Nor had he lost the confidence of the uniformed military. But he often seemed lost or overly deferential to his generals in top-level White House strategy meetings, especially those focused on the battle against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, senior administration officials said…"


RESTAURANT MENUS MUST CARRY CALORIE COUNTS, FDA SAYS

"Restaurants will have to list calories right on their menus under long-awaited rules to be published by the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday. As expected, the rules require chain restaurants to list clear calorie information on menus. But they don’t require anything else, such as fat content, up front, and they exempt some, but not all, prepared grocery store products. Pizza delivery chains get a little flexibility on counting the calories in toppings, but you’ll be able to see just how many calories are in movie theater popcorn and at the salad bar, as well…"


HONDA SAYS IT UNDERREPORTED SERIOUS ACCIDENTS

"Honda Motor Co. said it failed to report 1,729 death and injury incidents to U.S. regulators in an 11-year period starting in 2003 as results of an internal audit exposed lapses in its ability to meet federal reporting requirements. The figure more than doubles the actual number of deaths and injuries involving its vehicles, bringing the total during this period to more than 2,843—far more than the 1,114 it had initially reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the auto maker disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday…"


TARMAC TROUBLE: U.S. RUNWAY CLOSE CALLS SOAR

"Near runway collisions involving commercial airplanes climbed two-thirds from 2003 to 2013 at U.S. airports to a rate of nearly one per day, as a shift to major hubs led to increased traffic in most of those cities, according to a USA TODAY review of federal data. The most severe incidents, like a 2011 close call at Chicago Midway International Airport where a departing jet narrowly missed a taxiing Boeing 737 by 62 feet, are down and officials say that shows progress…"


FLORIDA WOMAN IN 'STAND YOUR GROUND' CASE TAKES PLEA DEAL FOR SHORTER SENTENCE

"A Florida woman who'd been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in a "stand your ground" case accepted a plea bargain Monday that greatly reduces her sentence. The 20-year sentence came in a case in which the woman, a mother of three, said she was attempting to flee her husband on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall. Nobody was struck by the bullet. After having the initial conviction overturned, Marissa Alexander was sentenced Monday to 65 days in jail on two counts of aggravated assault, with credit for time already served since her 2012 conviction. She will also serve two years under house arrest, and she agreed to wear a monitoring device…"


TWITTER CFO NOTO HAS AN OOPS MOMENT WITH MISTAKEN TWEET

"Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto yesterday publicly tweeted about a plan he has to buy a company, including how he wanted to help make the deal happen at a meeting in mid-December. The message was posted on the microblogging service before it was deleted, with Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser confirming that Noto was trying to send the message privately. “I still think we should buy them,” Noto tweeted. “He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16 -- we will need to sell him. I have a plan.” It’s unclear who Noto was trying to send a message to or which company he’s interested in purchasing. Prosser declined to comment further…"


U.N. TO MISS DEC 1 EBOLA TARGET DUE TO RISING SIERRA LEONE CASES

"The U.N. Ebola Emergency Response Mission will not fully meet its Dec. 1 target for containing the virus due to escalating numbers of cases in Sierra Leone, Anthony Banbury, the head of UNMEER, said on Monday. The mission set the goal in September of having 70 percent of Ebola patients under treatment and 70 percent of victims safely buried. That target will be achieved in some areas, Banbury told Reuters, citing progress in Liberia…"


UN: ISLAMIC STATE GROUP GOT UP TO $45M IN RANSOMS

"The Islamic State group which controls a large swath of Syria and Iraq has received between $35 million and $45 million in ransom payments in the past year, a U.N. expert monitoring sanctions against al-Qaida said Monday. Yotsna Lalji told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee that an estimated $120 million in ransom was paid to terrorist groups between 2004 and 2012. Kidnapping for ransom “continues to grow,” she said, as demonstrated by the money the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State has collected, between $35 million and $45 million in the past years…"


#ICYMI (AND YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS IT)

E-CIGARETTES CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR YOUR COMPUTER'S HEALTH. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

"…Online reports have surfaced that e-cigarettes are the newest channel for malware, suggesting that hackers are taking advantage of the increasing demand and usage of the devices. Most e-cigarettes are charged with a USB cable that can be plugged into a wall socket or into the USB port of a computer. While e-cigarettes charged through a wall socket will not put your home's electrical supply at risk, e-cigarettes charged by connecting the device to a computer will give the e-cigarette access to the computer, potentially putting the computer at risk…"


FYI, SEE BELOW: THE PURPOSE (AND THE SORROW) OF THE WORST KIND OF EMAIL—THE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE FORWARD

"Email is the worst, but some emails are worse than others. The worst emails are forwards. And the worst forwards? Not the jokes your uncle sends you from his AOL account, but the ones your boss or your coworkers send along from some obscure corner of Administrivistan. Most work emails are purely defensive missives. They seek to shift effort, hide omissions, or provide cover against future blame. Emails simulate work: Rather than getting something done, you create a futures market for excuses and rationales for not getting them done. Thanks to precarity, the modern workplace demands the construction of layers of protective virtual ramparts to shield the worker from possible future reproach…"


MOST HEAVY DRINKERS ARE NOT ALCOHOLICS

"Most people who drink to get drunk are not alcoholics, suggesting that more can be done to help heavy drinkers cut back, a new government report concludes. The finding, from a government survey of 138,100 adults, counters the conventional wisdom that every “falling-down drunk” must be addicted to alcohol. Instead, the results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that nine out of 10 people who drink too much are not addicts, and can change their behavior with a little — or perhaps a lot of — prompting…"


WHY IS THE AVERAGE POP SONG ONLY 3 MINUTES LONG?

"There's a famous Billy Joel song called "The Entertainer." In it, the piano man warbles about the perils of the music industry, and having to limit himself to writing radio-friendly tracks. "It was a beautiful song/But it ran too long/If you're gonna have a hit/You gotta make it fit/So they cut it down to 3:05." It's a deft set of lyrics that perfectly sums up the music world's short attention span. In the pop industry, most radio hits typically can't be longer than three to four minutes. Case in point, the top three songs currently on the Billboard Hot 100. For the week of November 22, the reigning trio was Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (3:39 minutes), Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass" (3:08 minutes) and Maroon 5's "Animal" (3:49 minutes). What makes three the magic number? …"


HOW TO PACK LIKE THE QUEEN: DUPLICATE OUTFITS, PERSONAL HANDLERS, AND CUSTOM TEA

"Here in the fashion community, we often hear editors lamenting about packing for a month abroad to attend the shows. (Our recommendation? It’s all about layers!) But what happens when royals need to embark on a diplomatic mission where every hair needs to be in place and every garment perfectly wrinkle-free? ...With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heading to the Big Apple next month, what can we expect that they will bring? We asked Susan E. Kelley, of WhatKateWore.com to weigh in…"


FUN FOOTNOTE

TECH TUESDAY

Why Virtual Reality Is Happening Now

"Since the Oculus Rift first made waves with its successful Kickstarter, there’s been a consistent line of criticism based in the notion, “why would it work this time?” It’s a fair question — you can go back decades and see myriad failed attempts to build virtual reality gear for the masses. “Many very smart people have attempted to do this! What didn’t they see that Oculus and its compatriots see today? People didn’t want a Virtual Boy in 1995, why would they buy a Rift in 2015?” That perspective misses one of the most important (and, almost always, obvious in hindsight) factors in tech: the actual technology that makes up a product…"




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Katie Couric Katie Couric http://katiecouric.com Journalist and News Anchor Yahoo! News New York City, NY, USA