Very best & very worst of the week
Highs and lows of this week's news.
Every week, the Daily Dose reviews the news to select three very best and three very worst stories to come across our desk.
— The Very Best —
• Responsible conversations about guns are being had, sometimes even with advocates from opposing sides of the issue listening to one another. Though the NRA today maintained a defiant hard line in the wake of the Newtown shooting, the organization also released a genuinely sympathetic statement, gun shows in the region of Newtown were canceled, and even video gamers pledged to observe a national "Day of Online Shooter Cease Fire."
• Five members of an NBC news team returned home safely after being kidnapped in Syria. Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his production team described their ordeal to the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie and how they were rescued by an unidentified team of Syrian rebels.
• Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, presented the results of a study showing that applying pressure to women’s breasts may help prevent malignant cells from triggering cancer. The news also prompted a Very Best headline of the week — “Squeezing breasts could prevent cancer, best study ever says” — and pages of colorful responses, mostly from overjoyed men.
Honorable mention: The world didn’t end.
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— The Very Worst —
• Charity scams exploiting the tragedy in Newtown have begun to emerge. On Facebook, a user posing as the aunt of one shooting victim solicited PayPal donations to a phony funeral fund. A website in the same seven-year-old child’s name was also established, with an undetermined motive, though the family was able to recover the domain and set up an official site for donations. Similar frauds in the wake of catastrophe are not uncommon as parasitic scammers seek avenues for capitalizing on other people’s grief.
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• Instagram wanted to sell out its dedicated user base to advertisers. The photo-sharing service introduced new terms of service enabling advertisers in the Facebook network to use data like users’ favorite places, restaurants, and hobbies, and to use their photographs and identity in ads. Faced with an uproar from angry users, Instagram backpedaled and reverted to previous terms of service.
• With only 11 days before automatic tax increases and slashes in government spending come into effect, House Speaker John Boehner was forced to cancel the “Plan B” vote on the fiscal cliff after members of his own Republican party revolted. While America awaits a new plan and passable plan to prevent the economy from reeling, Boehner offered the hopeful statement, “How we get there, God only knows.” On the plus side, he didn’t cry.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
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