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US: Kodak Teeters on the Brink

Image
© Bloomberg News
A box of Eastman Kodak Co.'s Tri-X 400 film.
Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would cap a stunning comedown for a company that once ranked among America's corporate titans.

The 131-year-old company is still making last-ditch efforts to sell off some of its patent portfolio and could avoid Chapter 11 if it succeeds, one of the people said. But the company has started making preparations for a filing in case those efforts fail, including talking to banks about some $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.

A Kodak spokesman said the company "does not comment on market rumor or speculation."

A filing could come as soon as this month or early February, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Kodak would continue to pay its bills and operate normally while under bankruptcy protection, the people said. But the company's focus would then be the sale of some 1,100 patents through a court-supervised auction, the people said.

Airplane

US: Boeing Will Lay Off More Than 2,100 Workers At Wichita Plant

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© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/ Joel Saget
Boeing says it will shut down over 2,000 jobs in Kansas.
Faced with defense budget reductions, the Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013, moving future aircraft maintenance, modification and support to its plant in San Antonio, Texas, and engineering work to Oklahoma City. Work on the Air Force refueling tanker will be performed in Puget Sound, Wash.

Boeing did not clarify whether the work would be done in Everett or Seattle.

The closure will cost more than 2,160 workers their jobs and end the firm's presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.

The decision was not entirely unexpected. The company said in November it was studying whether to close the Wichita facility, which specializes in modifying commercial aircraft for military or government operations, to address Defense Department budget cuts. The first layoffs are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012.

The company said the 24 Kansas suppliers on that program will continue to provide parts as originally planned.

Dollar

US: Personal Incomes Fall More During 'Recovery' Than During The Recession

America's longest economic recession since WWII, ended in June of 2009. The recession's end means that our economy has allegedly been in recovery mode since July of 2009, more than two and a half years.

If we are in recovery, why have American's incomes dropped more during the recovery than they did in the recession? The facts are clear.
Personal incomes fell during the recession by 3.2%.

During the recovery (since July 2009), personal incomes have fallen an additional 6.7%.
Those numbers were posted in a report by Sentier Research using numbers provided by the U.S. Census. (The RED line is the Household Income Index)

Pistol

US: Oklahoma Woman Shoots, Kills Intruder: 911 Operators Say It's Okay to Shoot


A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old baby on New Year's Eve, less than a week after the baby's father died of cancer.

Sarah McKinley says that a week earlier a man named Justin Martin dropped by on the day of her husband's funeral, claiming that he was a neighbor who wanted to say hello. The 18-year-old Oklahoma City area woman did not let him into her home that day.

On New Year's Eve Martin returned with another man, Dustin Stewart, and this time was armed with a 12-inch hunting knife. The two soon began trying to break into McKinley's home.

Passport

Canadian Man Flashes Scanned Passport on iPad to Gain Entry to U.S.

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© The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes
Martin Reisch holds up his iPad displaying his passport in Montreal, Tuesday, January 03, 2012. Mr. Reisch was allowed entry into the United States using a scanned copy of his passport on his iPad.
A Canadian man who forgot his passport at home discovered an unusual tool to help him get through U.S. Customs - his iPad.

Martin Reisch says a border officer let him cross into the United States from Quebec after he presented a scanned copy of his passport on the computer tablet and his driver's licence.

Reisch's entrance into the U.S. without a mandatory, hard copy travel document hints how, in some cases, stricter rules at the thickened American border may still have some flexibility in actual practice.

Canadians have had to present more than just a regular driver's licence at U.S. Customs for the last couple of years.

Reisch said he was about a half-an-hour drive from the Vermont border last week when he realized he had forgotten his passport at home.

He quickly remembered that a scanned copy of the document was stored on his iPad, and instead of turning his car around for the two-hour drive home, he decided to give it a shot.

Pistol

US: Texas Police Kill Armed Eighth Grader in School


A male 15-year-old student was shot and killed by Texas police today when he "brandished" a weapon in the main hallway of his school.

At around 8 a.m., school administrators from Cummings Middle School in Brownsville called 911 and the school went into lockdown.

The Brownsville Police Department responded immediately and "the student engaged the officers and was shot," according to a statement from the Brownsville Independent School District.

Light Saber

US: Montanans Move To Recall Congressional Delegation

Montana residents William Crain, an artist and Stewart Rhodes, an attorney, have launched a petition to recall the state's congressional delegation, Sen. Max Baucus (D), Sen. Jonathan Tester (D) and Rep. Denny Reberg (R) over their vote for the National Defense Authorization Act that explicitly authorized the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, including American citizens. Montana is one of nine states that has provisions to recall its elected federal officials. Under the Montana Recall Act all state officials in Montana are subject to recall for physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense. The Montana petitions (there is one for each of the three), states the following "reason for recall":

Book

US: Charlton, Massachusetts Library Sends Police To Collect Overdue Books From 5-Year-Old

books
© WBZ-TV
Shannon Benoit reads a book to daughter Hailey.

A Charlton mom says her local library crossed the line when they sent police to collect her daughter's overdue library books.

Her mom says the 5-year-old girl was so afraid that she burst into tears.

Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd stopped by the home of Shannon Benoit to let her know that her daughter had two books several months overdue which needed to be returned or paid for.

V

US, New York: Grand Central Latest Occupy Wall Street Destination; Cops Bust Three in Flash Mob Protesting Defense Act

Obama's signing of National Defense Act target of latest demonstation

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© Mary Altafeer/The Associated Press
Occupy Wall Street activists are dispersed among the rush hour commuters as they form a flash mob at New York's Grand Central, Tuesday.
Three Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested and two others given summonses after converging on Grand Central terminal Tuesday, an MTA spokeswoman said.

The group called a day of action, slamming President Obama's "treasonous" signing of the National Defense Authorization Act on New Year's Eve, according to an OWS spokesman.

A video uploaded to YouTube and posted on Twitter shows the rush hour flash mob.

Demonstrator Lauren DiGioia, 26, is seen being hauled off by four MTA police officers.

DiGioia was collared for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.

Stormtrooper

US: New York City Police Arrest Another 68 Occupy Wall Street Protesters

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© The Associated Press
Relentless: Occupy Wall Street protesters and New York Police clash over barricades at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan on New Year's Eve
On New Year's Eve New York City police arrested dozens of people, including passersby, during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Manhattan.

The arrests came after several hundred protesters assembled in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to protest the gross social inequality in the US and the police-state-like handling of their encampment, which was disbanded on the orders New York's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg on November 15.

Protesters had occupied the small public area in Manhattan's financial district on September 17 to draw attention to the domination of the super-rich in American political and social life.

The occupation and the numerous planned and spontaneous marches that it sponsored were met by escalating police harassment over the course of the next two months. This included resurrecting an old an unused law against covering one's face in public, mass arrests - including over 700 on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1 - gratuitous pepper spraying, routine kettling of protesters, and the use of special crowd dispersal equipment.