U.S. doctor group calls for ban on drug advertising to consumers

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective.  The influential doctors' group said the new policy reflects physicians' concerns that marketing spending on a proliferation of advertising is helping to drive up drug prices. -Reuters-

Fed study finds smoking rates at a 50-year low, except in some demographics

Smoking is at a 50-year low — but less educated people are still lighting up like it's still the 1960s.
A federal study of more than 36,000 American adults found that 43% of people with high school equivalency diplomas smoke, while only 7.9% of college grads and 5.4% of grad school finishers did.-DailyNews-

Suspected architect of Paris attacks is dead, according to two senior European officials

The suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks was killed Wednesday in a massive predawn raid by French police commandos, two senior European officials said, after investigators followed leads that the fugitive militant was holed up north of the French capital and could be plotting another wave of violence.-Washington Post-

What does it actually mean to accept refugees from Syria?

In the wake of the Paris massacre, many U.S. politicians have begun to question the wisdom of welcoming refugees from the civil war in Syria, out of fear of infiltration by ISIS-affiliated terrorists. The Obama administration recently announced plans to accept up to 10,000 refugees from Syria. Sen. Ted Cruz (R. Texas) has vowed to introduce a bill denying entry to those Syrian refugees on national security grounds. At least 26 governors from Alabama to Illinois have announced they would refuse to take in Syrian refugees, and there are reports of refugee families being barred from Indiana. -Fusion-

Paris Siege Flat Owner: 'I Don't Know Anything'

The owner of the raided apartment says he did not know terror suspects were inside, as a woman describes hiding with her baby. Dozens of residents were evacuated from their homes as armed police launched the raid on the apartment, where they believe the mastermind of last Friday's terror attacks – Abdelhamid Abaaoud – was holed up inside with several heavily armed suspects. Two of the suspects have been killed, including a woman who detonated a suicide belt. -SKY News-

The fight over Syrian refugees heads to Congress — where it could result in a government shutdown

Keeping Syrian refugees from entering the US might not have been the issue Paul Ryan would have chosen to kick off his reign as speaker of the House. The problem is that the bill will inevitably fail. Not this week — there doesn't appear to be much opposition among House Republicans to a "pause" on Syrian refugees — but after that. In the Senate, Democrats have enough votes to filibuster any bill to death — and the Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, hasn't always been interested enough in the House to bring its bills to the floor. Even if it passed the Senate, Ryan and company would have to hope that President Obama would willingly sign a bill to do something that just this week he called downright un-American.-Vox-

After 74 deaths in a decade, Delta bans pets from being checked like luggage

Soon you won’t be able to check your dog with your suitcase on Delta flights. Delta Air Lines stated on its website that it will no longer allow customers to check their pets with their baggage after March 1, 2016, unless passengers are a member of the military with active transfer orders or require service animals. Certain pets can still travel in the cabin for a fee, however. -MarketWatch-

What You'd Have to Make to Be in the Top 1% in Each State

At one end of the spectrum, the 1% in Connecticut earns at least $677,608 per year. In Arkansas, the 1% threshold is $228,298. -Mental Floss-

Is this woman's outfit too revealing for work? J.C. Penney employee sent home for wearing shorts she bought — at J.C. Penney

Are dress codes too harsh on women? A former J.C. Penney employee said she was sent home from work for wearing shorts she bought in the store's career style section, launching a heated discussion about dress codes for women online.  Sylva Stoel of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, called out her former employer on Twitter last week, accusing her boss of sending her home because her red linen shorts were "too revealing," she said. -TODAY.com-

Charlie Sheen says he’s HIV-positive, has been extorted for $10 million over diagnosis

Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday that he is HIV-positive, as rumored in recent days by an onslaught of tabloid stories. Sheen told Matt Lauer on the “Today” show that he is going public with his illness for multiple reasons, including that he’s been blackmailed for upwards of $10 million since he was diagnosed four years ago.  Sheen said that he hired prostitutes over the years, some of whom turned around and extorted him over his diagnosis. Sheen told Lauer that one woman took a cellphone photo of the antiretroviral HIV medication he had in his bathroom and threatened to sell the image to the tabloids.-Washington Post-

The GOP’s devious Wall Street welfare plan: Why the future of the economy hangs in the balance

You wouldn’t know it, but this is a consequential week for the future of financial regulation, and in a larger sense, the future of the economy. Republicans have pulled out a successful playbook, and are planning an assault on Wall Street regulations. They’re doing it with the avowed support of a lingering faction of conservative Democrats. And the level of that support, which will be tested in House votes this week, is key to the success of the plan. -Salon-

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Finally Hosting SNL Together

For the first time ever, except for every time we've dreamed about it, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (who have a movie coming out soon) will be hosting Saturday Night Cheese Live together. We thought we hit the high water mark with Louis CK, but this, THIS, is as good as this show will ever get. And it's going to be great. And it's going to happen on December 19th. And it will be the last SNL of 2015, and maybe ever, because where do we go from here?-Gothamist-

How do Syrian refugees get into the U.S.? Explaining the process

The Paris terrorist attacks have intensified a debate in Washington over whether the United States should allow Syrian refugees to enter the country.  Following reports that one of the terrorists involved in the strike entered Europe as part of a wave of Syrians fleeing the country's civil war, Republicans on and off the campaign trail are pressing President Barack Obama not to accept the displaced people. Many Republican governors, meanwhile, have said they won't allow Syrian refugees into their states.  Here's how the refugee process works and how they come to the U.S.-CNN-

Germany-Netherlands soccer game evacuated, canceled over 'serious' bomb threat

Police sealed off, evacuated and then canceled a Germany-Netherlands soccery game in Hanover Tuesday night after finding "serious" signs of an imminent terror attack, officials said.  The friendly game wasn't even supposed to start for more than two hours when authorities sealed off the HDI-Arena, apparently due to a “suspicious object,” according to Associated Press. -Daily News-

Paris terror attacks latest: what you need to know

French president Francois Hollande has insisted that his country will "destroy terrorism" following the attack on Friday night which left more than 120 people dead and injured hundreds more in Paris.
Here's where we stand now. -Independent-

Paris Bomber's Mother: He Was 'Stressed'

The mother of Paris suicide bomber Brahim Abdeslam has claimed her son did not plan to kill anyone and that he blew himself up because he was "stressed".  The 31-year-old was identified by police as the attacker who detonated his suicide vest outside the Comptoir Voltaire café on Boulevard Voltaire on Friday night, injuring 15 people. -SKY News-

Paris Attack Highlights Foreign Policy Experience, or Lack of It, in Republican Field

After the deadly attacks in Paris over the weekend that left at least 129 dead, the Republican candidates for president are criticizing the Obama administration, questioning the decision to take in Syrian refugees and calling for an increased U.S. role in combating the Islamic State militant group, known as ISIS, which has taken credit for the attacks.  But the widening conflagration in the Middle East highlights the varying degrees of foreign policy experience among the leading Republican candidates. -Newsweek-

The problem with cracking down on PlayStations to stop terrorists

If you're scared of gaming consoles, you're scared of privacy. There's a joke in the legal world that criminals' most dangerous weapon is the flush toilet. Imagine, a perfect evidence-disposal system installed in every home in America, available whenever you hear the detectives knock on your door. Tens thousands of potential arrests have been flushed down toilets over the years.  So why do we keep toilets around? Well, they're useful for other things.  Today, instead of the flush toilet, we learned about the PlayStation 4. -The Verge-

Bernie Sanders joins Snapchat, jokes on Twitter: 'What is this Snapshot thing?'

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined Snapchat Monday, taking to Twitter to brag about his new foray into social media. is this Snapshot thing and why do I only get ten seconds?” Sanders, 74, tweeted jokingly about his debut on Snapchat.-NY Daily News-

Paris Attackers Used Nearly Identical Explosive Devices: Prosecutor-What We Know About the Seven Paris Attackers

The terrorists who launched a series of suicide bombings and shootings in Paris Friday used Kalashnikov-type weapons and nearly identical explosive devices, the Paris prosecutor said Saturday. -NBC News-

Life in the Paris Banlieues - The Other France Are the suburbs of Paris incubators of terrorism?

After the Charlie massacre—and after a third terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, gunned down a black policewoman outside a Jewish school and four Jews at a kosher supermarket—there was a widespread feeling, in France and elsewhere, that the killings were somehow related to the banlieues. But an exact connection is not easy to establish. Although these alienated communities are increasingly prone to anti-Semitism, the profiles of French jihadists don’t track closely with class; many have come from bourgeois families. The sense of exclusion in the banlieues is an acute problem that the republic has neglected for decades, but more jobs and better housing won’t put an end to French jihadism. -The New Yorker-

Paris ‘Mastermind’ Told ISIS Magazine that Bungling Police Officers Let Him Escape

The alleged mastermind of the Paris attack gave an interview to ISIS’s Dabiq magazine earlier this year in which he spoke about being on the radar of intelligence services and escaping capture while planning a “plot” that appears to be Friday’s attacks. -Daily Beast-

France Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria in Retaliation for Attacks

France bombed the Syrian city of Raqqa on Sunday night, its most aggressive strike against the Islamic State group it blames for killing 129 people in a string of terrorist attacks across Paris only two days before.  President François Hollande, who vowed to be “unforgiving with the barbarians” of the Islamic State after the carnage in Paris, decided on the airstrikes in a meeting with his national security team on Saturday, officials said.-NY Times-

Charlie Sheen will reveal to the world that he's HIV positive.

Sources connected to NBC's "Today" tell TMZ ... Sheen will sit down with Matt Lauer on Tuesday morning to make the announcement.  NBC touted the interview in a press release as Sheen making a "revealing personal announcement."  A tabloid report came out Monday claiming Sheen's been keeping the diagnosis secret for years.-TMZ-

Firefighter Receives “Milestone” Facial Transplant After Horrific Burn Injuries

Doctors say Patrick Hardison — who was severely burned on his face and scalp in the line of duty — has received the most extensive facial transplant performed to date. -BuzzFeed-

Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World

If investigators determine that the Islamic State is responsible for the catastrophic attacks in Paris, as the group claims and France alleges, the assaults represent a major leap in the group’s abilities.  -NY Times-

Assault Rifles Stolen From Massachusetts Armory

The U.S. Army Reserve armory in Worcester, Massachusetts was broken into Saturday night and more than a dozen guns were stolen.  Six M4 assault rifles, ten pistols, and several long guns were taken from the armory, according to the source. The break-in was discovered this morning. The armory’s alarms did not go off, according to the source who added they may have been disabled due to ongoing construction. -Daily Beast-

Dentist who killed Cecil the lion probed for illegal hunting again

Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources says it’s investigating a report of potentially illegal hunting activity on land owned by the dentist who was sharply criticized for shooting a well-known lion in Zimbabwe. -NY POST-

Uterus Transplants May Soon Help Some Infertile Women in the U.S. Become Pregnant

Uterine transplantation is a new frontier, one that pairs specialists from two fields known for innovation and for pushing limits, medically and ethically: reproductive medicine and transplant surgery. If the procedure works, many women could benefit: an estimated 50,000 women in the United States might be candidates. But there are potential dangers. -NY Times-

Dow dives 250, U.S. oil price around $42

Stocks tumbled Thursday as the Dow dropped more than 200 points and the S&P 500 fell back into the red for the year.

Investors were reacting to another sharp drop in oil prices, comments from the European Central Bank that suggest more stimulus may be on the way and comments from several Federal Reserve officials offering differing views on the need for a rate hike in December. -USA TODAY-

Donald Trump Loves Gold, Ben Carson Loves Jesus—Inside the Homes of the Republican Rivals

The Donald’s $100 million apartment is furnished with shameless excess, Carson imagines himself with Christ, and Fiorina and Huckabee love sweeping staircases. -Daily Beast-

It's Official Ladies....Women Have Overtaken Men in the Obese Category

Obesity is still rising among American adults, despite more than a decade of public-awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to watch their weight, and women have now overtaken men in the obese category, new government research shows. -CBS NEWS-

Video shows police stun man multiple times before death

Recently released video from the night a Virginia man died after officers shocked him with stun guns is bringing new attention to the case. In the video obtained by MSBNC, three South Boston police officers use stun guns multiple times on 46-year-old Linwood R. Lambert Jr. on May 4, 2013, after he ran from a police cruiser to the doors of an emergency room. They shock him again when he’s back in the cruiser, restrained in the back seat. -Boston Globe/MSNBC-

Hashtag BlackOnCampus Highlights Claims of College Racism Nationwide

The claims of racism at the University of Missouri are not isolated incidents at that campus, according to over 105,000 tweets with the hashtag #BlackOnCampus. Tweets of alleged racism in campuses nationwide reveal that many black students fear for their safety and believe they are racially profiled.-ABC NEWS-

Ebola Experts Warn of an African 'Apocalypse'

At an emergency hearing in Washington Thursday afternoon, major players in the fight against Ebola in West Africa addressed the outbreak that has stolen the lives of more than 900. Leaders from health agencies and humanitarian efforts addressed the need for increased support as one called the current state of affairs in West Africa “apocalyptic.”-DailyBeast-

The celebrities risking worldwide scorn by supporting Israel

These awesome dudes and dudettes have risked worldwide condemnation by publicly supporting Israel’s right to defend itself from relentless rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists. “If you are anti-Israel, you are anti-America,’’ Stern, 60, declared last month on his Sirius XM show. “It’s the only democracy over there. It’s the only friend we have who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right.’’-NY Post-

3-D printers are beginning to make an impression

3-D printers, which can make plastic objects, have long been used in industry but are creeping into the consumer market. You can make so many things with them. People who have businesses buy them for making prototypes. Parents buy them to make toys for their kids. Hobbyists buy them because they like to tinker. 3-D enthusiasts imagine a day when these printers are as ubiquitous as phones and people print out many household goods instead of stopping at a store. Small-business owners are already switching to these printers from more expensive industrial machines. Prices are expected to drop even further after key patents on 3-D printing technology expire next year.-LATimes-

Time to Hard-Delete Carlos Danger

WHEN you puzzle over why the elegant Huma Abedin is propping up the eel-like Anthony Weiner, you must remember one thing: Huma was raised in Saudi Arabia, where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet. Some sex scandals, like Mark Sanford’s, fall into the realm of flawed human nature, and some, like Weiner’s, fall into the realm of “Seriously, what is wrong with you?”-NYTimes-

Police accuse Spain train crash driver of 'reckless homicide,' minister says

Police in Spain have accused the driver of a train that derailed in northwestern Spain, killing at least 78 people, of "reckless homicide," the country's interior minister said. The crash on the outskirts of the city, which is popular with tourists and Christian pilgrims and was preparing to celebrate a saint's day Thursday, shocked the Galician region and the nation. Fernandez Diaz told reporters earlier Saturday there are "rational indications" that the accident is the fault of the driver. Pressed on what those indications are, he declined to give more details.-CNN-

4 in 5 in USA face near-poverty, no work

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Survey data points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The findings come as President Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality. As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused — on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race.-AP-

The Prelude to Israel-Palestine Peace Talks Begins Monday

After three years of a stalemate — and six middle east trips by Secretary of State John Kerry — Israel and Palestine will try again on Monday to resume peace talks. The Washington-based, direct talks will attempt to "develop a procedural workplan" for full-blown peace talks in the next few months.-Atlantic Wire-

Royal baby: Pregnant Kate taken to hospital in labor

The Duchess of Cambridge has been taken to hospital in the early stages of labour, Kensington Palace has said. She travelled by car from the palace to St Mary's in Paddington, west London, with her husband the Duke of Cambridge. The couple do not know the sex of their first child, who will be third in line to the throne. "Things are progressing as normal", said a spokesman. The next official announcement is likely to be that of the birth.-BBC-

Jenny McCarthy's hiring as 'View' co-host is matter of contention

Less than a week after Elisabeth Hasselbeck said her goodbyes after 10 years on "The View," another divisive blond has joined the daytime talk show.Critics are outraged that Jenny McCarthy, who has led an ongoing campaign against childhood vaccinations, has been hired as a co-host for ABC's 'The View.'-LA Times-

Cory Monteith Cause of Death Revealed

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed Cory Monteith died from a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol. The post-mortem testing, which included an autopsy and toxicological analysis, seem to confirm this was an accident. Monteith was found deceased in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, shortly after noon on July 13. He had checked into the hotel on July 6 and had been expected to check out on the 13th. When he had not done so, hotel staff checked his room and found him deceased.-ET-

After Zimmerman verdict, can nation heal racial rift?

George Zimmerman is a relieved man in hiding. Those convinced of his guilt in the death of Trayvon Martin continue to protest his acquittal and other perceived injustices. Now that the trial is over, some people are counseling that it's time to heal and move on. But protests were being held across the country Sunday by people who say they can't move on while they feel that the case and the bigger issues of race and justice that it represents are unresolved.-USA Today-

Jason Patric Bill May Boost Sperm Donor Rights

Inspired by actor Jason Patric‘s child custody battle, the California state legislature is debating a bill that would allow sperm donors to argue for their rights to become legal fathers. Currently, sperm donors are not legally considered the “natural father” of their children unless both parents sign a document prior to conception, according to the proposed bill. This applies to anonymous sperm bank donors and sperm donors participating in in-vitro fertilization with women other than their wives.-ABC-

Asiana Airlines considers legal action against TV station, NTSB

Asiana Airlines is considering legal action against an Oakland television station and the National Transportation Safety Board after an intern at the agency mistakenly confirmed "inaccurate and offensive" names as those of the pilots of ill-fated Flight 214.-CNN-

Venezuela Offers Asylum to Snowden

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela said Friday that he would offer asylum to the fugitive intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden, who has been stranded in a Moscow airport searching for a safe haven.-NYTimes-

Statue Of Liberty Reopens On Independence Day

It's an even more notable July 4th this year on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, where the Statue of Liberty is open for the first time since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Mid-Atlantic region last fall. Thursday, the first ferry to the island left Manhattan at 8:30 a.m. ET. As you would expect, tickets and reservations are said to be sold out for today.-NPR-

An interactive breakdown of the major Supreme Court decisions of the 2012-13 term:

The Supreme Court ended its term dramatically last week with rulings on same-sex marriage. But there were other important decisions this term with far-reaching effects. Among key rulings (first justice pictured is author of the decision):-USA Today-

Jury Hears Zimmerman’s Recorded Account of Night of Fatal Shooting

For the first time, the jury in the trial of George Zimmerman on Monday heard the defendant, in taped policeinterviews, give his version of events the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, in a townhouse complex here 16 months ago.-NYTimes/CBS/DB-

76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck

Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released Monday. Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all.-CNN-

Edward Snowden has nowhere to go

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, believed to be in legal limbo in the Moscow airport, expanded his requests for asylum to 21 countries, including China and 13 European nations, according to WikiLeaks, but his options seemed to be narrowing on Tuesday.-CBS-

American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

Pregnant women are getting sticker shock in the United States, where charges for delivery have about tripled since 1996, according to an analysis done for The New York Times. Childbirth in the United States is uniquely expensive, and maternity and newborn care constitute the single biggest category of hospital payouts for most commercial insurers and state Medicaid programs. The cumulative costs of approximately four million annual births is well over $50 billion. And though maternity care costs far less in other developed countries than it does in the United States, studies show that their citizens do not have less access to care or to high-tech care during pregnancy than Americans.-NYTimes-

Cirque Du Soleil Artist Dies After Fall In Vegas

A Paris-born performer in Cirque du Soleil's "Ka" died after a fall during a show in Las Vegas. Sarah Guyard-Guillot was pronounced dead late Saturday night at a hospital after falling about 50 feet from the show's stage. Witnesses told the Las Vegas Sun that the accident occurred near the end of the production Saturday night at the MGM Grand.-NPR-