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Welcome to Overnight News Digest, where the usual crew, consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, side pocket, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, Interceptor7, jlms qkw, and ScottyUrb, guest editors annetteboardman and Doctor RJ, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you with tonight's news.

OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

From E! Online: 86th Academy Award Nominations

And the Oscar goes to...

Chris Hemsworth announced the nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards live from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 16. Joined by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the In the Heart of the Sea star revealed which actors, directors, animators, screenwriters and more are being honored at this year's ceremony.

The Oscars will be broadcast live from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, at 7 p.m. EST. Ellen DeGeneres is hosting the star-studded event, which will air on ABC; she previously emceed in 2007. "There will be no shortage of comedy with Ellen DeGeneres as our host," producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a statement. "There may also be a few musical surprises along the way."

You can see the entire list here, but these are the nominees in the major categories:

Some notes about the nominees:

  • 'American Hustle' and 'Gravity' led the field with 10 nominations each, followed closely by '12 Years A Slave' with nine nods.
  • Only nine films were nominated for Best Picture, even though the Academy could have nominated ten.
  • Both Meryl Streep and composer John Williams broke their own Oscar nomination records, with Streep's 18th nomination and Williams' 44th.
  • Both 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' with five nominations, and 'Nebraska' fared better than what was expected.
  • On the "snubbed" side of things, while the film 'Captain Phillips' was nominated for Best Picture, Tom Hanks didn't receive a Best Actor nomination. And neither did Robert Redford for 'All Is Lost.'
  • Neither 'Saving Mr. Banks' or 'Inside Llewyn Davis' were able to get traction and receive nominations in the major categories.
  • Ron Howard's 'Rush' and Lee Daniels’ 'The Butler' were shut out altogether.
From the Los Angeles Times: Colby fire above Glendora burns homes, spews smoke over L.A. Basin
A fast-moving wildfire in the hills above Glendora burned at least 1,700 acres of withered brush and five homes Thursday, and sent a smoky pall over much of the Los Angeles Basin — the likely harbinger of a rare winter fire season sparked by the driest conditions on record.

Weather officials had been warning about the fire danger for months, capped by a January that had the windy, nosebleed feel of October. The native chaparral that burns so easily in normal circumstances was parched and ready to combust.

The fire sent smoke and ash south and west toward the Pacific Ocean. People as far away as Huntington Beach and Santa Monica smelled the wood smoke and saw their shadows cast in an eerie red light.

From the Washington Post: Environmental groups say Obama needs to address climate change more aggressively
A group of the nation’s leading environmental organizations is breaking with the administration over its energy policy, arguing that the White House needs to apply a strict climate test to all of its energy decisions or risk undermining one of the president’s top ­second-term priorities.

The rift — reflected in a letter sent to President Obama by 18 groups, including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund and Earthjustice — signals that the administration is under pressure to confront the fossil-fuel industry or risk losing support from a critical part of its political base during an already difficult election year.

From the Associated Press: Okla. Sen. Coburn to Retire After Current Session
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn will finish out the current congressional session and then resign from his seat nearly two years before his term is scheduled to end, he said in a statement released late Thursday.

The 65-year-old Republican said he would leave the Senate at the end of the current session in January 2015. His term was scheduled to end in 2016, and Coburn already had vowed not to seek a third.

A physician from Muskogee, Coburn recently was diagnosed with a recurrence of prostate cancer, but said this move wasn't because of the cancer.

"Carolyn and I have been touched by the encouragement we've received from people across the state regarding my latest battle against cancer," Coburn said, referring to his wife. "But this decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires. As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere. In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong."

From Aljazeera: France's First Lady Making Progress
France's first lady is making progress in a hospital where she is receiving care following a gossip magazine's report that President Francois Hollande was having a secret affair with an actress, according to a spokesman.

Valerie Trierweiler was admitted to hospital on January 9 for rest after the weekly Closer's report about Hollande and Julie Gayet, an actress.

"I can tell you Madame Trierweiler is still in the hospital, and her doctors will determine when she can leave," Patrice Biancone, her spokesman, said in a phone interview with the Associated Press news agency. Trierweiler's condition is progressing: "She has six days of rest behind her - that counts, after all," he said, without elaborating.

It alleged that Hollande, wearing a helmet with darkened visor, was sneaking into an apartment near the presidential palace by motorcycle to meet Gayet. The allegation has dented a tradition among French media of ignoring the private lives of public figures.

From the CBC: Dennis McGuire executed in Ohio with new combination of lethal drugs
A condemned man appeared to gasp several times and took an unusually long time to die — more than 20 minutes — in an execution carried out Thursday with a combination of drugs never before tried in the United States.

Dennis McGuire's lawyer Allen Bohnert called the convicted killer's death "a failed, agonizing experiment" and added: "The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names."

A lawyer for McGuire's family said it plans to sue the state over what happened.

From Bloomberg: Baseball Gives Managers Right to Challenge Calls Via Replays
Major League Baseball umpires will be under more scrutiny than ever this year after team owners unanimously approved to expand video-replay rules.

From next season, challenges by managers will be allowed, along with reviews of incidents including tags and whether players were hit by a pitch.

Managers will get one challenge, and another if the appeal is successful, MLB said in a news release yesterday. After the seventh inning, umpire crew chiefs also may order a play review, while home run and boundary calls will remain reviewable under procedures that were used last season.

“The new system will give managers valuable recourse in potentially game-changing situations,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in the statement.

From The Guardian: UN climate report urges quicker switch to low-carbon global economy
Delaying action on global warming will only increase the costs and reduce the options for dealing with its worst effects, according to a draft report by UN experts.

The final draft of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming will continue to increase unless countries shift quickly to clean energy and cut emissions.

A leaked version circulating with media outlets and news agencies says that despite national policies and international efforts emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are warming the planet grew 2.2% per year on average between 2000 and 2010, compared with 1.3% per year from 1970 to 2000.

The two main drivers were a sharp rise in economic growth and a steady growth in the world's population, the report said. The largest contributor to global emissions was the burning of oil and coal and the draft report says its contribution is expected to rise. Unless "explicit efforts" are made to reduce emissions, the experts warn, increased conservation and efficiency will not be enough.

From BBC News: John Kerry urges Syria opposition to attend talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Syria's opposition to join next week's peace talks. The divided main political opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), is due to meet in Istanbul to vote on whether to go to the talks. Mr Kerry stressed the aim of the so-called Geneva II talks was to begin the process of setting up a transitional government to end the war in Syria.

The three-year conflict has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people. An estimated two million people have fled the country and some 6.5 million have been internally displaced.

A number of Syrian opposition leaders are reluctant to go to Switzerland unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is excluded from any future transitional government. Damascus says there should be no pre-conditions for the talks.

From NPR: Mystery of why birds fly in V formation solved
Scientists have gained new aerodynamic insight into why many species of birds fly in a V formation. The results, published in the journal Nature, suggest that the distinctive formations are the result of each bird catching a little lift from the bird ahead.

You may have heard that flocks fly in the shape of a V to save energy — like bicycle racers. Since as early as the 1920s, scientists have assumed the same thing. But they didn't have any proof.

"All it was, was theory — no one was ever actually able to measure anything," says Steven Portugal, a researcher at the Royal Veterinary College in London.

For a long time, the main problem was that the technology to measure things like a bird's position or vital signs was just too heavy to be put on the back of a flying animal. But the computer age has changed all that.

From io9: How to shelter from fallout after a nuclear attack on your city
Terrorists have detonated a low-yield nuclear warhead in your city. How long should you hide, and where, to avoid the worst effects of radioactive fallout? We talked to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory atmospheric scientist Michael Dillon to find out.

Yesterday Dillon published a paper on this topic in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. He's spent his career researching how the government should respond to disasters with an airborne component, whether that's a chemical accident, an epidemic, or nuclear fallout. After poring over dozens of studies on how fallout behaves, and analyzing as many factors as possible related to urban detonations, he's come up with a disaster plan that he hopes can be implemented by governments from the local to the federal level.

The best part of Dillon's fallout plan is that it's aimed at people like you and I, who won't have access to information about wind direction and blast magnitude. It's a plan that works even if all you know is that a nuclear bomb has gone off in your city.

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