Who's News

President Obama announces normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba

In a surprising announcement on 17 December 2014, President Obama ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in almost fifty-five years in Cuba's capitol city of Havana. He further vowed to "cut loose the shackles of the past" and sweep aside one of the remaining vestiges of the Cold War. The announcement came at the end of eighteen months of secret talks and a rapprochement facilitated by Pope Francis and the Vatican.

Iowa restaurateur survives IRS asset-foreiture seizure of her cash deposits

Iowa restaurateur Carole Hinders, 67, learned more than most American citizens would hope to ever need to know about arcane IRS actions when the agency seized her entire $33,000 bank balance, without ever accusing her of a crime. This was a result of a controversial body of law that allows law enforcement agencies to seize cash, cars and other valuables they believe are tied to criminal activity. The burden of proof falls to those seeking return of their property, such as Ms. Hinders who has operated a restaurant that doesn't accept credit cars for forty years.

Prince and Princess of Monaco welcome twins

The Sovereign Prince and Princess of Monaco welcomed twins on Wednesday, 10 December 2014. By palace decree a forty-two gun salute - combining two twenty-one gun salutes - heralded the arrival of the twins. First born was Gabriella Therese Marie, followed minutes later by Jacques Honore Rainier, heirs to the 700+ year-old Grimaldi dynasty that rules the principality. Prince Albert II, 56, is the son of Prince Rainier III and legendary film star Grace Kelly, who quit Hollywood to become Princess of Monaco.

Apple's Tim Cook cites "being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me"

Apple chief executive Timothy D. Cook has publicly acknowledged that he is, "Proud to be gay," and considers, "... being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me." For a CEO at a public company such as Apple, which ranks #5 among the Fortune 500, it is unprecedented, and indeed Mr. Cook is the first. The essay set off a ripple effect of news stories creating a level of visibility certain to reach every remote town across America as well as a huge overseas audience. Coming from the CEO of Apple that was, of course, by design. Cook wrote of his realization that, "If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or brings comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist upon their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my privacy." He chose a golden moment when Apple shares are at near record prices. Goldman Sachs CEO was quoted in The New York Times as commenting, "He's chief executive of the Fortune One ... This will resonate powerfully."

Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, last of the Mitford sisters, dead at 94

Deborah Cavendish, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire and the last of the six eccentric Mitford sisters, died at 94. Born Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford on March 31, 1920, at the Oxfordshire estate of her parents, David Freeman-Mitford, the 2nd Baron Redesdale, and the former Sydney Bowles, she married Andrew Cavendish, second son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire at the age of 21.