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"Hours before Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) compared Europe's attitude toward Russian President Vladimir Putin to appeasement toward Nazi Germany, the German ambassador here warned U.S. hawks not to see a military solution as the only way forward on Ukraine. Germany has 'the sense this conflict is spiraling,' Ambassador Peter Wittig said in a small briefing with reporters at the Germany embassy in Washington. But he urged proponents of sending arms to Ukraine to remember that diplomacy at the highest levels -- including what he called 'an unusual trip' by the leaders of Germany and France to Moscow on Friday -- may still bear fruit." Russian-backed rebels have launched new offensives throughout Ukraine in recent weeks. [HuffPost]
Chinese hackers are said to be behind the Anthem heist of 80 million personal records, which is shaping up to be one of the largest medical-related hacks in history. Here's why hackers target health care data. [WaPo]
As the media continues to pick over Williams' apology for "misremembering" whether his helicopter had been shot at while covering the Iraq war, executives at NBC have stayed silent. Dan Rather spoke out in support of the news anchor. [HuffPost]
The cases are part of the growing measles epidemic; over 100 cases have appeared across the country. [Reuters]
"They came in the dead of night, their faces covered, riding on motorcycles and in pickup trucks, shouting 'Allahu akbar' and firing their weapons. 'They started with the shootings; then came the beheadings,' said Hussaini M. Bukar, 25, who fled after Boko Haram fighters stormed his town in northern Nigeria. 'They said, "Where are the unbelievers among you?"' … Refugees flocking into this besieged provincial capital describe a grim world of punishment, abduction and death under Boko Haram in the Islamist quasi state it has imposed in parts of northern Nigeria." [NYT]
The consumer electronics store filed for chapter 11 yesterday. Sprint will take over almost half of the storefronts, while the remaining stores will be shuttered. [AP]
"Aboard a No. 6 local train in Manhattan, Weill Cornell researcher Christopher Mason patiently rubbed a nylon swab back and forth along a metal handrail, collecting DNA in an effort to identify the bacteria in the New York City subway. In 18 months of scouring the entire system, he has found germs that can cause bubonic plague uptown, meningitis in midtown, stomach trouble in the financial district and antibiotic-resistant infections throughout the boroughs." [WSJ]
Applications for the program are down 10% from last year. [NYT]
"Weeks after the Sony hack reached critical mass, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Thursday that co-chair Amy Pascal would leave her position to launch a 'major new production venture at the studio.' According to the release, Pascal will move to the role in May." [HuffPost]
Photos for OS X is taking its place, and boy it's fast. [The Verge]
Prepare for your laptop to explode with gratuitous splendor. [HuffPost]
We hate clowns. [HuffPost]
"The man who built the free email encryption software used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as hundreds of thousands of journalists, dissidents and security-minded people around the world, is running out of money to keep his project alive." [ProPublica]
ON THE BLOG
"The hunt itself changed my life forever, and the complex cocktail of emotions it triggered have totally altered how I think about food. The experience of eating game meat you have hunted is not even in the same galaxy as anything you have ever bought from a store. To some extent we are all killers, either having the killing done for us on concrete floors or to stop animals from eating our vegetables before they reach stores. The further we put ourselves from the source of that act, the worse the impact for everyone and everything in the chain." [HuffPost]
BEFORE YOU GO
~ We miss smiling Kanye.
~ Luke Bryan cements his good guy status with news that he is raising his orphaned nephew.
~ John Mayer brought the Super Bowl sharks to "The Late Late Show," proving once and for all that Katy Perry and he are back together.
~ Check out the dark side of the moon.
~ Vanity Fair had Jennifer Lawrence pose nude with a giant snake, and the picture scares the heck out of us.
~ George R.R. Martin's original draft for "Game of Thrones" had quite the love triangle.
~ Angela is returning to the "Boy Meets World" universe on "Girl Meets World." Could Shawn finally get the happy ending he deserves?
~ Introducing chicken-fried bacon, one of the best bacon dishes in America.
~ And you can now buy a $30,000 margarita.