1. Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

    Almost to Friday! There is a lot happening in news today and we have a few of those stories right here on the blog! 

    ice cream sandwich

    Record Sales Despite Controversy: August 1st was deemed Chick-fil-A appreciation day by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who urged Americans to show their support of the company after some controversial comments made by Chick-fil-A’s CEO. More than 630,000 people signed up to celebrate the day as a “counter boycott” launched by gay marriage activists last week. Some people waited for up to three hours in lines that were wrapped around buildings. “There were no protestors, no signs, no shouting and no crowd control necessary” at restaurants around the country. Numerous supporters stated that they were there to support the right to an opinion. “Free speech cuts both ways.” As another person stated, This is just outrageous…Chick-fil-A is justanother silly thing that people can get polarized about and make arguments about.”

    chick-fil-a appréciation san diego

    An Unexpected Announcement: Kofi Annan, the Arab League and United Nations envoy for the Syrian conflict has unexpectedly announced his resignation, placing the blame on the U.N. Security Council. He says he wants peace just as much as the next person, but reaching that point is being made increasingly difficult. According to CBS News, Annan’s resignation is the “recognition that diplomacy has failed in Syria.” Annan previously came up with a six-point peace plan to resolve the Syrian crisis, but the cease-fire never took hold. The violence is continuing and the U.N. is having difficult coming to an agreement on a solution because of countries like Russia and China who believe the action taken in Libya last year was too much.  

    Charge It: Are you a Google Wallet user? On Wednesday, Google released a cloud-based version of the app that now supports credit and debit cards from Via, MasterCard, American Express and Discover! Users can shop in stores and online via six different phones on Spring and Virgin Mobile. What team are you on? Square or Google Wallet? 

    In other news: 

    image source: Union Tribune and NBC 

  2. Colossal Icebergs and Giant UN Problems: Today’s Top Stories

    Syrian Sanctions: Members of the UN are outraged at the results of the council meeting today when Russia and China vetoed a British-sponsored resolution aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria. The two countries have consistently rejected any resolution and Russia, one of president Assad’s foreign allies, accuses the West of being hypocritical  by supporting the president’s armed opponents. Meanwhile, states of the European Union reached a deal for a package of sanctions on Syria, which will require member states to search ships and plans suspected of carrying aid into Syria. 

    Shame on Zimmerman: George Zimmerman has managed to upset the public again with an interview he gave to Fox News on Wednesday night. It seems as though some details of his story changed a bit, saying he wasn’t pursuing Trayvon Martin that fateful night and only got out of his car to let the police know what address he was at. Zimmerman stated that although he feels horrible that Martin’s parents had to bury their son, he wouldn’t have done anything differently and claims it was all in “God’s plan”, statements that are upsetting more than just Martin’s family. He already admitted to shooting the 17-year-old boy, but still claims innocence when it comes to intentionally killing him. Many people are now calling for the review of a Florida “Stand your Ground” law, which was meant to protect law-abiding citizens protecting themselves or their families, not criminals.

    Titanic, Beware: Scientists have been watching the Petermann Glacier in Greenland to monitor an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan that broke free. It isn’t out of the ordinary for scientists to monitor that specific glacier this time of year, but there are concerns about how far up the ice island broke off and whether or not this is a result of global warming. Another story shares that dumping iron into seas can help ”prompt algae blooms”, which will ”transfer carbon from the atmosphere and bury it on the ocean floor” ultimately helping to fight climate change. 

  3. Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

    Half way to Friday Fluders! Here is today’s news roundup!

    Momentous Day: Today is former South African president, Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Festivities are happening today to celebrate and commemorate the life of a man who inspired many and changed the world. At 94 years old, Mandela has live a life worthy of praise after giving 67 years of that life to bring change to South Africa. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace prize and spent 27 years in a South African prison, but is now the international symbol for ending South African apartheid. #MandelaMeans is trending on twitter as people share what he means to them. Join us on Twitter and share what Mandela means to you! 

    FDA Approval: News from the FDA today as they announced the approval of a new weight loss drug, Qsymia, a combination of two previously approved drugs, phentermine and topiramate. The drug will reduce the appetite and target the loss of extra weight. This will not be an over-the-counter drug and there are strict requirements for someone to be a candidate for this drug. They must have weight-related conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or dyslipidemia and of course, the drug does come with a plethora of potentially negative side effects, leaving a lot of people wondering whether or not it’s worth it. 

    In other health-related news, the number of worldwide AIDS-related deaths fell last year as access to antiretroviral drugs has been more widespread and new drugs are being tested that may bring additional aid to the epidemic. Additionally, a few Alzheimer’s patients have been tested with a new immune system therapy and have seen their disease stabilize for at least three years. Scientists are hoping the new treatment will continue to prove effective, but the study is currently too small. Depending on a number of circumstances, the treatment could cost a patient up to $50,000 a year. 

    Around the World: A suicide bomber in Damascus killed three of the Syrian president’s top military officers today. The death of President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law, the defense minister and a top general has increased fighting across Damascus. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said “This is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control” and is calling for “maximum global pressure on Assad to step down.”

    In North Korea, leader Kim Jong-un has been announced marshal, the top functioning military rank previously held by his father and grandfather. Speculation continues regarding the removal of Ri Yong-ho from his position in the military and whether or not it was an attempt for Kim Jong-un to gain control over an army whose “influence burgeoned under the ‘military first’ policy adopted by his father.” 

    In lighter news from London, Olympic officials insist that the hiccups in the organization of security were minor and will be promptly taken care of. Athletes are arriving and people all over the world are following their teams to stay on top of the “must-follow” athletes. What sports are you most looking forward to watching this summer? 

    Share your favorite stories with us via Twitter @Fludapp !

  4. Space Flights and Syrian Fights, Today’s Headlines

    Microsoft Making Headlines: 

    Yesterday evening Microsoft announced that they would be ending a 16-year partnership with NBC. The two companies had equal ownership of the news site, MSNBC, which is one of the most-visited sites in the Unite States. NBC’s purchase of Microsoft’s half of the share will give them full editorial and business control over the site and it will relaunch next year with the new branding. The hope for Microsoft is that they will now be able to start working with news outlets other than NBC, hopefully helping them compete more efficiently with companies like Google. 

    Microsoft isn’t just making headlines with their withdrawal from NBC. They also released Office 2013 (also known as Office 15) today. Some of the updated features include a long list of updates, the ability to manipulate images and videos, a cleaner user interface, the ability to open, edit and create PDF documents in Word and touchscreen capabilities. Are you an Office user? What updates are you most looking forward to?

    Out of this World: 

    If you have an extra $200,000 just dying to get used, we have a solution for you. Richard Branson, Virgin Group’s head honcho, has announced the scheduled departure for the first Virgin Galactic space flight. Seriously. He is taking his son and daughter with him into space next year and you can join them for that small fee. Taking this trip also requires a week-long training course (not included in the ticket price). This has me wondering when this Virgin-style space travel will be more affordable for the masses. 

    Speaking of outer space, a massive solar flare occurred over the weekend that sent a beautiful light show spiraling towards Earth. Scientists weren’t concerned with the flare, but kept a close eye on it resulting in some beautiful pictures. Some people were even lucky enough to get a rare view of some northern lights that traveled unusually south as far as 40 degrees North latitude. Did you witness the light show? 

    Around the World: 

    North Korea has announced that their military chief, Ri Yong Ho, has been removed from his position due to an illness. Questions are being raised on whether or not he is actually ill because that doesn’t typically call for a position removal and people are suspect that Kim Jong Un is hoping to proceed with a “more flexible diplomatic policy” without Ho in place. 

    Out in the Persian Gulf, a U.S. military supply ship fired shots at a small boat that came too close, killing one person and wounding three others. U.S officials verbally warned the boat and fired a warning shot before the decision was made to disable the boat. Information regarding the incident is still preliminary and is being investigated by U.S. officials and the United Arab Emirates. 

    Violence continues in Syria as they saw their most intense battle in Damascus on Monday when guerrilla forces battled loyalist units near the city center. The road to a nearby international airport was closed and Damascus remains heavily defended. An increasing amount of strength is beginning to show, but the task of taking the capital still seems far out of reach. A “fresh dimension” has been brought to the uprising with the rebels newfound “staying power” and there may be another dramatic turn when Manaf Tlass, a Republican Guard general, delivers a speech to underline “his claims to a post-Assad leadership position.” 

    Check out more news and updates via Flud app! 

  5. Flud News Roundup, July 7-9

    Not Messing Around: Mohammed Shawabka, a Jordanian MP, and political activist Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad were debating on Syria’s uprising on Jordanian TV Thursday and things got heated. Shawabka accused Murad of being a spy and when he couldn’t hide his feelings any longer, he pulled out his gun and created quite the stir. Murad wants him to be punished, even though Shawabka didn’t actually shoot. Political debate shows are regular on Arabic-language TV and the guests are usually chosen for their extremely opposing points of view to create more drama and volatility. In other Syria related news, the President has agreed has agreed to search for an approach to end the violence that has killed over 10,000 people so far.

    Getting Desperate: It is reported that the Democratic Party raised $71 million last month, a significantly smaller amount from their opponent. Obama isn’t sugar coating the situation when he speaks to his supports about their needs saying, “it will be because we didn’t close the gap enough when we had the chance.” It doesn’t look like Obama’s pleas have been enough yet and Romney is viewing this as proof that Americans want change. In the midst of election worries, Obama tried to shift focus from the economy to tax fairness and proposed a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year and an end to cuts for wealthier families. This new focus will give Obama a new campaign tactic when he hits the road again to battle his opponent. 

    In other news:

  6. Flud News Roundup, June 12

    Civil War on the Horizon? Tension in Syria is rising and the UN has declared a warning that the Syrian government will be trying new tactics. Both sides in the conflict have ignored a ceasefire that was supposed to go into effect on April 12. More than 13,000 people have died since March 2011 and the country is inching closer to a civil war as it becomes increasingly militarized. To make matters worse, a report from the UN indicates that children have become major victims in the conflict as Syrian troops torture and use them as human shields against rebel forces on the front line. The United States has expressed hesitation to the request for intervention placing the goal on stopping the violence, not increasing military activity. 

    Wash Your Mouth With Soap: A Massachusetts town has had enough with public swearing and poor language, but is fining people taking it too far? Middleborough doesn’t think so; they just passed a law allowing officers to fine people $20 for public swearing. The list of unacceptable words has not been determined so it is according to officer discretion. We all want the world to be a cleaner place, maybe our words is a good place to start?  
    The Apple Effect: People are still talking about WWDC today. Let’s be honest, whenever something new with Apple happens, people talk about it until the next thing happens. The iOS 6 software has over 200 new features compared to iOS5 and will launch to the public this Fall. Apple also announced the release of Mountain Lion, MacBook air laptops, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Facebook integrations and much more!
    In other news:

    image source: Global Post