12.07.13 Your Morning Buzz

Christmas Tree Fails

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

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Transaction Wire

High 5

Britain's Worst Christmas Tree

Intel beats the clock, cements Nike tax deal – Gov. John Kitzhaber and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) have entered an agreement where the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company will invest $500 million to expand its multi-billion-dollar D1X plant in Hillsboro and at least 500 direct jobs in Oregon.

U.S. veteran detained in N. Korea on his way home – 85-year-old Merrill Newman, a U.S. tourist and war veteran flew to freedom Saturday aboard a San Francisco-bound flight after being deported by North Korea.

FCC Approves $3M To Expand Broadband For Rural Oregon – Thousands of homes and businesses in rural Oregon will soon have faster Internet service.

NSA cites Reagan-era executive order to justify collection of cell-phone location data – The National Security Agency on Friday cited a 1981 executive order signed by then-President Ronald Reagan as the authority under which it is collecting location data daily from tens of millions of cell phones around the world.

Tree lighting ceremonies celebrated at White House, Capitol – On Friday, hundreds crowded on the White House’s Ellipse in the 40-degree rainy weather as President Barack Obama and his family pressed the button to illuminate the 90th National Christmas Tree, a 31-foot Colorado blue spruce.

Electeds

Bad Family Tree

Obama says he tried to answer Mandela’s ‘call’ – At Occidental College in Los Angeles around 1980, Obama first forayed into political activism — a protest against apartheid.  It was the beginning of what would become years of studying Mandela’s speeches and writings.  But while Obama considered Mandela a champion, he frequently noted he was not alone in his views about the icon.

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital – Interesting read from Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘Politics’ branch about the great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle.

GOP repeal efforts go silent as Obamacare plays out – For the first time since they regained control of the House in 2011, Republicans have no plans at the moment to bring up a bill to repeal the law — something they have done nearly 50 times.

US to Allow Eagle Deaths to Aid Wind Power – Eagles, really?!  Yes, the new rule is designed to address environmental consequences that stand in the way of the nation’s wind energy rush: the dozens of bald and golden eagles being killed each year by the giant, spinning blades of wind turbines.

50 Nifty

Air Freshener Tree

Unemployment Rate Hits 5-Year Low – U.S. employers added 203,000 jobs in November, the government reported Friday. The figure comes in well above consensus estimates, which were at 180,000.

Utah delays new guidelines for punishing bad teachers – In the latest twist in a lengthy debate, the state Board of Education learned Friday that a task force it created in January to examine teacher-misconduct issues has gathered bids from outside lawyers for a $15,000 contract to write the new guidelines.

Montana: Chief justice – Financial disclosures unnecessary – Montana Supreme Court justices should not have to publicly disclose their personal financial interests or those of their families because the high court already follows a strict code to avoid potential conflicts, the chief justice said.

Social Media

Pac Man Tree

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Twitter Coming to Phones Without Internet – Hold the phones, what?!  Twitter is reportedly teaming up with a Singapore-based startup to make its service available in emerging markets where consumers cannot access the Internet.

Instagram invites press to ‘share a moment’ at NYC event – There are hardly any details about the event, but recent press reports have suggested that the photo-sharing social network is gearing up to introduce a private messaging service.

Apple Can Track You in Its Stores, and That Might Not Be Bad – Using its new GPS and Bluetooth-equipped iBeacon devices inside stores, the company will be able to tell whether you are in an Apple Store or not, and then specifically where you are in the store. The point isn’t so that Apple can watch you in the store; Apple said it is to serve you better information, including deals in the store.

Members of hacker group Anonymous plead guilty in PayPal cyber attack – Thirteen members of hacker group Anonymous have pleaded guilty to charges related to their involvement in a 2010 cyber attack of PayPal, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

Career Center

Bended Tree

Longterm unemployment aid cutoff could affect 76,000 in Oregon, feds say: Oregon & the Economy – More than 76,000 workers in Oregon could lose out on longterm unemployment aid when the program expires at the end of the month, according to a federal report out Thursday.

Salesforce continues to staff up in Hillsboro – Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) is on the hunt for more employees at its Hillsboro facility; about 70 positions for a new team.

Portlandia

Godzilla Tree

TriMet on verge of sending Portland’s vintage holiday trolleys to St. Louis – TriMet is on the verge of sending cars 511 and 512 — known for their original woodwork, iconic design and old-time conductors — to St. Louis for daily use in a revitalized trolley district in that city.

Right 2 Dream Too: 5 things we don’t know about newest plan to move the homeless community – Five things we still don’t know about the proposed deal to move the homeless community into a warehouse starting Jan. 1 and vacate the prominent outdoor spot that has been their home since Oct. 2011.

Gov. John Kitzhaber says federal money remains available for the Columbia River Crossing – The Oregon Legislature needs to make a decision on whether to go ahead with the CRC now that Washington state has dropped out, Kitzhaber said.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz delays plan to prioritize $8 million in park projects: Portland City Hall Roundup – The delay is in response to Wednesday’s parks board meeting, where several board members expressed concern about a rush to send a list of preferred projects to Fritz’s office.

OHSU breakthrough makes Time’s Top 10 list – Oregon Health & Science University made the Time Magazine Top 10 list of medical breakthroughs of 2013, with a discovery that could accelerate treatments for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiac disease and spinal injuries.

Cascadia

Upside Down Tree

Mandela’s aura stretched all the way to Seattle – The subsequent careers of Frank So, now 34, and Peter Koski, now 35, reflect how Mandela impacted their lives.

Oregon’s fast-aging rural population hinders economic growth, state economist says – The demographic shift presents yet another hurdle as rural Oregon counties slowly rebound from a recession that hit them faster, harder and longer than the Portland metropolitan area. Rural Oregon’s aging population has far-reaching implications on the types of jobs available, the wages earned, and the ability of rural communities to lure young families and companies.

King County deputy on leave amid probe of run-in with editor – A King County sheriff’s deputy who threatened an editor with arrest during a sidewalk confrontation in July has been placed on administrative leave pending the final results of an internal investigation into his behavior.

Marion County deputy injured in shooting during ‘high risk’ tactical operation – At least one Marion County Sheriff’s deputy has been injured during what officials are calling a “very high risk tactical operation” Friday afternoon near Silverton.

Seattle vs. San Francisco showdown: Which is the better city? – An argument that Seattle is not a lesser San Francisco; it’s a better San Francisco.

Midwest ELGL – Twitter

Terrible Tree

Elon Poll: More Trust In Local Leaders – When it comes to trust in government, North Carolinians place more faith in their local leaders rather than those they send to Raleigh and Washington, according to the latest Elon University Poll.

South Africans living in Wichita reflect on Mandela’s presidency – Local Wichita residents reflect on Mandela’s presidency.

Silver Spring Christmas tree at the root of holiday controversy – A non-traditional holiday display in downtown Silver Spring is the center of differing opinions for its alternative and colorful display.  The Christmas tree is actually far from a living, or once living, thing.

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