1. Sen. Schumer Calls for Open Primaries to Save America

    In an Op-Ed in the New York Times, New York Senator Charles Schumer blames the party primary system for the incredible polarization in American politics today. He says the partisan primary system has resulted in the election of more extreme officeholders and has become “a menace to governing.” Not only do primary elections typically only draw voters from the extreme right and left, they also usually forbid independents from voting at all. Schumer says we should adopt California’s “top two” primary system, where everyone votes and the the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, enter a runoff.

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  2. How to Keep Your Toes Safe During a Pedicure

    Summer is pedicure season - but if you’re not careful - you could wind up with a nasty toenail infection or fungus. The Washington Post has some advice on keeping your toes safe. Make sure your salon is properly sterilizing their equipment, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many salons will even let you bring your own pedicure kit, which you can sterilize at home in the dishwasher.

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  3. Breastfeeding Wars Hit Instagram

    The battle over what’s appropriate regarding breastfeeding has hit social media. The San Francisco Chronicle talks to several moms who have had breastfeeding photos removed by Instagram. Instagram, for its part, says it only removes content that violates policies, though many of the women the Chronicle spoke to says they don’t believe they broke the site’s rules.

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  4. Sports Pawn Shop Offers Cash and Secrecy for Championship Rings

    When former professional athletes fall on hard times, they may visit a pawn shop in Kansas City specializing in championship rings and trophies. Central Pawn owner Don Budd tells the Washington Post he’s bought more than 3,000 championship rings since 1988. A major reason athletes come to him is anonymity. He won’t reveal the names of his clients and even buyers must sign legally binding confidentiality agreements.

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  5. Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Portrayal in “Call of Duty”

    Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has been in prison since 1990 for for smuggling drugs, laundering money and murdering political rivals, but now he’s suing Activision, the makers of “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” for using his likeness in the game without permission. The New York Post says among the claims in Noriega’s lawsuit is that the former strongman has suffered damage to his reputation.

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  6. Poll: Most Americans Unhappy With Obama’s Handling of Border Crisis

    USA Today reports on a new Pew Research Poll that finds only 28% of Americans approve of the way President Obama has handled the influx of children from Central America. That’s one of the lowest approval ratings of any issue since Obama has been president. 53% said the United States should speed up the deportation process, even if it means some children eligible for asylum get sent back.

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  7. Dyson’s Bet: You’ll Vacuum More If Your Vacuum is Lighter

    For about a decade, Dyson has spent hundreds of millions of dollars hoping to create a cordless vacuum that works just as well as the company’s highly acclaimed corded versions. New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo says the DC59 Motorhead is like the iPad of vacuums - much more convenient than a desktop computer, but not powerful enough replace your regular vacuum.

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  8. Hard Times for Rock Cover Bands

    It’s not easy being a rock cover band these days. The Wall Street Journal says there are too few gigs and too many aging rockers who don’t want to quit the business. That’s why you’ll see some musicians settling for gigs at the local shopping mall or car dealership. But there are some rock cover bands who still make good money, particularly those who are willing to live on cruise ships or play in tribute bands impersonating rock stars.

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  9. Review: The Ultra-Secure Blackphone

    USA Today’s Ed Baig reviews the Blackphone. He calls it the handset for people with something to hide. The phone works by using a custom operating system and a suite of applications that allow you to make calls, exchange text messages and browse the web anonymously. Baig says the phone is not quite ready for the mainstream yet, but it is well-suited for those who need the highest levels of privacy.

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  10. Searching for the Perfect Dunkin’ Donuts Location

    It may be time to make the donuts, but where should we do it? The Orange County Register rides along with one Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee looking for an ideal spot in Southern California. Among the factors he considers: It should be accessible by right hand turns on a major route to the freeway, close to residential areas not businesses (since most coffee drinkers stop on their way to work) and far enough from unequal competition (like a competitor with a drive-thru window).

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  11. Romance a Rarity in Today’s Television

    Love is definitely not in the air on the air. The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand says three shows debuting Thursday sum up perfectly the way romance is depicted on television these days. Married, Satisfaction and You’re the Worst all offer “exceptionally bleak views of modern relationships and marriage.”  Wiegand says while the shows are all actually pretty good, they reflect the cynicism of the times, not just about romance.

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  12. The Downside of Sexy Profile Pics

    New research finds teens and young women who post sexy Facebook profile pictures will likely be judged harshly by their female peers. The Oregonian says researchers used two different photos of the same 20-year-old woman and created a mock Facebook profile for her. One photo showed Johnson wearing jeans and a short-sleeve shirt with a scarf draped around her neck. The other photo showed Johnson in a low-cut red dress with a slit up the leg and a garter visible. Those who viewed the non-sexy photo of the woman found her to be more physically and socially attractive and more competent than the subjects who viewed the sexier photo.

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  13. Summer Cooking Made Easy

    The New York Times offers a summer cooking guide featuring simple ingredients and cooking techniques you can use all season. Your go-to cooking device should be your grill - and you’ll need to learn how to cook using direct and indirect heat. The paper also offers tips on grilling meats, vegetables and fish, plus tips for side dishes (add big flavor there).

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  14. Once Unlikely Partners IBM & Apple Team Up

    One-time rivals Apple & IBM have joined forces to create a host of new business apps. The partnership will take advantage of IBM’s big data capabilities and Apple’s user-friendly devices. The companies are working on more than 100 software programs for Apple’s iOS.

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  15. Did This Man Invent the Selfie?

    The idea of the selfie exploded into the public consciousness in the past couple years, but a Hollywood camerman says he invented the concept. Lester Wisbrod has more than 150 photos of himself with celebrities dating back way before cell phones or digital cameras. The Los Angeles Times says Wisbrod took his first celebrity selfie in 1981 with a Canon Sure Shot 35-millimeter compact camera. Being a camerman, Wisbrod was confident in his ability to take the photos himself. He says taking the picture himself seemed to disarm the stars, allowing for a more personal photo.

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  16. The Most Endangered Jobs in America

    A company called CareerCast did a survey of the most endangered jobs in America. Top of the list is the mail carrier. That career will face a 28% decline in hiring by 2022. Meter readers and print reporters are not far behind. The publisher of CareerCast tells the Wall Street Journal the common link in many of these jobs is paper. That also explains why lumberjack jobs are on the list.

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  17. Carmakers Push for Changes to Europe-U.S. Trade Rules

    Before they are sent to America, Mercedes cargo vans are fully assembled in Germany, test-driven, disassembled and loaded onto cargo ships. Once they arrive in the U.S., they are put back together before they are shipped to dealers. The New York Times says Daimler is trying to avoid costly tariffs by doing a token portion of the assembly in America. New trade talks this week
    between the U.S. and Europe aim to change some of these restrictions.

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  18. Regrets of Aging Americans

    USA Today has results of a survey on the regrets felt by older Americans. Nearly half of adults 60 and over surveyed wished they had saved more money. About one-third regretted not taking better care of their health or not making better investments. The paper says the results offer a look ahead for younger Americans that can help shape their futures.

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  19. Israel’s Iron Dome a Game-Changer in Hamas Fight

    Israel has endured some 1,000 rocket attacks in the past week - and yet there has not been a single fatality. The country’s Iron Dome antimissile system has been able to successfully intercept about 90 percent of the rockets from Gaza. The Washington Post says the system has allowed Israel to avoid sending in ground troops to Gaza, and it’s led Hamas and its allies to try to find more creative ways to attack Israel. Some critics say Iron Dome has taken the pressure of Israeli leaders to reach a settlement with the Palestinians.

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  20. Study: Practice Not as Important as Natural Talent

    Practice all you want…you may never get to Carnegie Hall. It mostly depends on how naturally gifted you are. An oft-cited 1993 study found practice accounted for about 80 percent of the difference between elite performers and committed amateurs. But the New York Times says a new analysis of studies into a wide range of skills finds practice time accounts for only 20 to 25 percent of the difference in performance for activities like for music, sports and games like chess.

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  21. Bud Selig’s Final All-Star Game as MLB Commissioner

    Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig sat down with his hometown Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the eve of his final All-Star Game as commissioner. He talked about the All-Star game and the state of baseball in general. He says it’s actually a myth that the tie that ended the 2002 All-Star game led to the decision to have the game determine home field advantage for the World Series. He says he’s most proud of baseball’s economic growth in his time as commissioner, from $1.2 billion a year in 1992 to nearly $9 billion this year.

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  22. The Death of the Password

    The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims gives out his Twitter password today - to make the point that the password is finally on the way out as our means of protecting our online accounts. Two-factor authentication is the way of the future. It’s already the way we use ATMS, with one factor being your PIN, the other being your debit card. To make this work for online accounts, the second factor would be your smartphone. You get a text message with a secure PIN that you use to login to your account.

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  23. World Cup Win a Proud Moment for Germans Conflicted About Pride

    Germany’s victory over Argentina to capture the World Cup brought about a moment of rare national pride in a country still conflicted about such feelings. The Washington Post says many Germans are cautious to walk the line between patriotism and nationalism. But its World Cup win, the Post says, marks a defining moment in Germany’s relationship with patriotism and identity.

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  24. USA Today’s Quest for Viral Success

    The New York Times reports on USA Today’s efforts to transform into a big player in the social media and mobile realms. On “Social Media Tuesdays,” the staff is told to act as though the only way to get to their articles is through sites like Facebook and Reddit. The Times says these efforts have been paying off, with USA Today seeing an average monthly mobile readership of 25.5 million, an increase of about 48 percent in the last year.

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  25. Inside Jay Leno’s Garage

    Now that he’s retired from the Tonight Show, Jay Leno can focus more attention on his true passion, his massive car collection. The Los Angeles Times takes us inside the hangar that houses the 130 cars and 93 motorcycles in Leno’s collection. The paper says while most collectors stick to a particular make of car or an era, Leno simply buys the ones he likes, leaving him with a rather unique collection.

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  26. World Cup Final Pits Pope Versus Pope

    If Germany or Argentina is hoping for a little divine intervention in the World Cup Final - it might be hard to come by. The two countries happen to be the homelands of the two living Popes. But the Vatican says both Popes will refrain from asking for a helping hand for their homelands. The New York Post says neither Pope is expected to watch Sunday’s final - Pope Francis will be in bed, and Pope Benedict isn’t a big sports fan.

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  27. Signs of HIV in Child Thought to Have Been Cured

    Disappointing news from Mississippi as health officials announce a child who was thought to have been cured of H.I.V. through the use of an aggressive treatment regimen is now showing signs of infection. The girl’s apparent cure had raised hopes of being able to reverse infections in newborns and perhaps even adults. The New York Times says this development will likely affect plans for a clinical trial involving as many as 450 babies.

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  28. Woman Goes From Cake Decorator to Champion Semi-Truck Driver

    The Indianapolis Star profiles Verna Gillen, the first woman to win the Indiana Truck Driving Championship in the history of the 74-year-old competition. Gillen was raised Amish but broke away from the religion in her 20s. She left a job decorating cakes when she turned 40 and decided to pursue her dream of driving trucks. When asked about her victory over truckers who have been at it much longer than her, she says modestly, “I had a good day.”

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  29. Chilly Manitoba the Slurpee Capital of the World

    You might think a hot weather city like Houston or Las Vegas would reign supreme when it comes to Slurpee sales. But 7-Eleven says the biggest market for its slushy beverages is the chilly Canadian province of Manitoba. It’s earned the title of Slurpee Capital every year since 7-Eleven has tracked Slurpee sales in 1999. A spokeswoman for the company explains, Manitobans “have a greater appreciation for everything that’s cold.”

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  30. Garth Brooks’ Second Act

    14 years after he walked away from his wildly successful music career, Garth Brooks is back for more. Only the Beatles and Elvis have sold more records in the United States than Brooks. The Tennessean says Brooks admits he’s scared - and old - but he wants to get back to making music.  He has plans for a new album to debut around Black Friday and a worldwide tour.

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