Morning News and Stuff

click to enlarge Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan
Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan

Despite all of the incessant hype, there actually are other things going on in the world besides the Super Bowl. So, grab your beverage of choice, sit back and we’ll tell you about a few of them. (And we promise nary a mention of Tom Brady or Eli Manning. Well, after this paragraph, that is.)

A study by Chicago University’s Booth Business School found that the use of social media might be more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol. A team used BlackBerrys to gauge the willpower of 205 people between the ages of 18 and 85 in and around the German city of Würtzburg. The researchers say sex and sleep still appear to be stronger urges, but tweeting and checking email are more irresistible to some people than smoking or drinking.—-

Possibly buoyed by last week’s improving unemployment statistics, President Obama has opened a clear lead over Mitt Romney in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. It found Americans were evenly divided about whether Obama deserved a second term but once the president was placed into a match-up against Romney, his numbers dramatically improved.

Overall, 55 percent of those who are closely following the campaign say they disapprove of what the GOP candidates have been saying. By better than 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him.

Politico’s Jonathan Martin writes that Newt Gingrich 2012 looks a lot like Mike Huckabee 2008, and Gingrich’s campaign probably will flame out in a similar fashion. Some GOP strategists say Gingrich has yet to prove he holds appeal beyond Southern conservatives, who aren’t indicative of the populace as a whole.

Nevertheless, Newt will make a stop in the Queen City on Tuesday. Details still are being hashed out, but it looks like a stop at Price Hill Chili is in the works.

The Syrian military bombed the city of Homs today, killing at least 50 people as the crackdown continues on dissidents opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. Activists said more than 200 people were killed on Friday night when tanks and artillery blasted the Khalidiya neighborhood of Homs. The strikes come after Russia and China vetoed a draft U.N. resolution that would have backed an Arab plan urging Assad to resign.

A source at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation’s leading breast cancer charity, told The Huffington Post that the group’s new vice president, Karen Handel, was the main force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood. “Emails between Komen leadership on the day the Planned Parenthood decision was announced, which were reviewed by HuffPost under the condition they not be published, confirm the source's description of Handel's sole ‘authority’ in crafting and implementing the Planned Parenthood policy,” the website reported.

Although Mitt Romney only paid an effective tax rate of 13.8 percent in 2010, a recent report shows that many corporations are paying even less. U.S. corporations only paid an average of 12.1 percent in taxes on the profits they earned inside this nation during 2011, according to statistics from the Congressional Budget Office. That’s the lowest percentage corporations have paid on profits since at least 1972, and it’s less than half of the 25.6 percent they paid on average between 1987 and 2008.

Two gay men in Cleveland who were jailed without their pants by a police officer who was their neighbor are suing the city and the police department. The men were charged with assaulting the officer but were acquitted Oct. 20 in a non-jury trial. The lawsuit states the officer and his colleagues repeatedly referred to the two men as "faggots" and said "faggots don't get to wear pants to jail."

Locally, a homeless man was arrested early Sunday morning while hiding under a pew after allegedly breaking into an Avondale church and attempting to steal some items. An alarm was triggered, which alerted police to the scene. Vaughn Whitehead is scheduled to appear in court this morning.

Cincinnati City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan is proposing a charter amendment that would change council terms from two years to four years. As part of the measure, the term-limit clock would start over for incumbents, potentially giving them extra time in office if voters approve the measure and then reelect them. Councilmen P.G. Sittenfeld and Christopher Smitherman are opposed, but it looks like Quinlivan has enough support to put the amendment on the November ballot.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.