Here are the top 10 stories to read (and watch) on your lunch break. Lots of Friday fun!
(1) Bradley Manning has been formally charged with aiding the enemy, a crime punishable by life imprisonment. Manning has been jailed since May 2010. The 24-year-old U.S. Army private is accused of leaking thousands of pages of diplomatic cables and field reports from Iran and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks. See here for a great defense of WikiLeaks and Manning.
(2) Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman called for a third party yesterday and said the current political system is "broken" in an interview with NBC News. He ruled himself out as a potential candidate, but said: "Someone's going to step up at some point and say we've had enough of this. The real issues are not being addressed, and it's time that we put forward an alternative vision, a bold thinking. We might not win, but we can certainly influence the debate."
Photo Credit: HPI1
(3) Ron Paul has quietly amassed an army of delegates with the GOP front-runners continue to battle. I wrote several days back that it is time for Ron Paul to drop out of the race, but was I wrong? The Guardian reports: "Paul's campaign could arrive at the August Tampa convention at the head of an army of delegates far larger than the proportion of votes that it won during the nomination contest. It could also increase the chances of a contested convention – where no candidate has enough delegates to declare the winner – as well as give Paul much greater ability to inject his beliefs into the Republicans' 2012 policy platform."
(4) A rising percentage of Americans live on their own. According to a new New York Times trend piece, "1 in every 4 American households is occupied by someone living alone;" writes Steven Kurutz, "in Manhattan, mythic land of the singleton, the number is nearly 1 in 2."
(5) J.K. Rowling is writing a new book aimed at adults. Publisher Little, Brown shocked the book world Thursday when it announced the Harry Potter creator will publish a novel for grown-ups. The title, the world-wide publication date, and even the subject material will be revealed later this year. In a statement, Rowling said 'my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series.'"
(6) Ahead of Oscar's weekend, a new study shows movie-ticket sales were 10% higher in January 2012 than in the same month a year ago, but January 2012 was the second-worst box-office January since 1995, according to Box Office Mojo. The average film loses approximately $17 million at the box office (DVD rentals and sales excluded), say Aaron Gazley and Gemma Clark of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and Ashish Sinha of the University of New South Wales in Australia.
(7) Maryland's Senate has approved same-sex marriage. Maryland is likely to become the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage, after the measure narrowly cleared the Senate late Thursday by a vote of 25 to 22. The legislation previously passed the state's lower chamber, 72-67. Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign the bill into law.
(8) Youth activists have launched a new grassroots organization to support Rick Santorum called 'Rick's Army.' The site features discussion forums where supporters can plan grassroots strategy and connect with state leadership. The site also organizes volunteers into local groups via the community organizing tool, Meetup Everywhere. Brett Harris, website co-founder with his brother Alex said, "'Rick's Army isn't beholden to special interests or ... Super PACs. We are an all-volunteer operation."
(9) Photo of the day, courtesy of National Geographic: "Anything is Possible"
(10) And finally, Sacha Baron Cohen is threatening "consequences" if the Academy Awards ban him from appearing at Sunday's Oscars dressed in costume. He appeared live on NBC's Today Show today dressed in character as Admiral General Aladeen, the star of his upcoming movie "The Dictator." Baron Cohen. It's funny, trust me:
Extra Bonus: Song to bring in the weekend. So impressive! "Somebody That I Used to Know" - Walk off the Earth.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons