The Upshot

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  • U.N. blacklists operator of North Korean ship seized in Panama

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. Security Council committee on Monday blacklisted the operator of a North Korean ship, which was seized near the Panama Canal last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms, and raised concerns about Cuba's military cooperation with Pyongyang. The North Korea (DPRK) sanctions committee designated Ocean Maritime Management, which operated the Chong Chon Gang, the ship detained a year ago carrying arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tonnes of sugar. North Korea is under an array of United Nations and U.S. and other countries' sanctions for nuclear and ballistic missile tests since 2006 in defiance of global demands to stop.

  • Want to Colonize an Alien Planet? Send 40,000 People
    Want to Colonize an Alien Planet? Send 40,000 People

    The founding population of an interstellar colony should consist of 20,000 to 40,000 people, said Cameron Smith, an anthropologist at Portland State University in Oregon. "To do that, to carry that on, you have to have all of that extreme specialization" in skill sets and job descriptions, Smith said.

  • Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'
    Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

  • Venus advances, Serena set for WTA return at Stanford
    Venus advances, Serena set for WTA return at Stanford

    Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Venus Williams advanced to the second round of the WTA Stanford hardcourt tournament Tuesday by defeating Poland's Paula Kania 6-3, 6-2. Williams booked a second-round match against world number 10 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at the US Open tuneup event. Another highly anticipated second-round matchup at the event will see world number one Serena Williams, a 17-time Slam champion who exited Wimbledon after struggling with a virus in a weak doubles showing with her sister, face 45th-ranked Czech Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday night. Venus Williams fired seven aces in the 73-minute match.

  • Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site

    By Polina Devitt and Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia fought back on Wednesday over new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine even as G7 leaders warned of further steps, while Ukraine's government accused pro-Russian rebels of placing land mines near the site of a crashed Malaysian airliner to prevent a proper investigation. Russia announced a ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland and said it could extend it to the entire European Union, a move Warsaw called Kremlin retaliation for new Western sanctions over Ukraine imposed on Russia on Tuesday. Moscow called the new EU and U.S. sanctions "destructive and short-sighted" and said they would lead to higher energy prices in Europe and damage cooperation with the United States on international affairs.

  • This tiny Android projector puts an 80-inch touchscreen on your wall
    This tiny Android projector puts an 80-inch touchscreen on your wall

    TouchPico is an Android-powered pico projector that’s about the same size as the Galaxy S4, and it can turn any surface, including a wall, into a touch-friendly 80-inch screen. With 28 days left in its Indiegogo campaign, the TouchPico has already raised more than $96,000 in pledges, topping its $55,000 funding goal. The trick component of the TouchPico that turns it into projector with a touchscreen display is the special infrared stylus accessory, whose movements are captured by the projector’s camera and turned into actions on the projected screens. In addition to working like a touch-enabled Android desktop, or a large tablet, the TouchPico also lets users project content from other devices on a wall, including Macs and PCs. The device

  • Probe exposes flaws behind HealthCare.gov rollout
    Probe exposes flaws behind HealthCare.gov rollout

    Officials tell The Associated Press that a nonpartisan investigative report concludes that management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for the computer problems that paralyzed the HealthCare.gov website last fall.

  • TD Bank's 'Automated Thanking Machine' Surprises Customers With Gifts
    TD Bank's 'Automated Thanking Machine' Surprises Customers With Gifts

    Usually, the only reasons a bank makes me cry are the outrageously high fees, but this video from TD Bank has given me the feels. In it, TD Bank set up an ATM, or in this case, an "automated thanking machine," at various locations across Canada.

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