Thursday, January 1, 2015

First Drip (1/01/15): New N.C. laws go in effect today, Deadly stampede in China, Play-Doh pulls penis-shaped toy

Posted By on Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 9:28 AM

At the stroke of midnight that rang in New Year's Day, the last set of laws passed by the General Assembly in 2013 and 2014 went into effect. Most of the flashy stuff lawmakers did last year, such as new criminal laws making it a felony to steal a Venus flytrap, went into effect in 2014. But a few tax changes and a grab-bag of civil laws take effect Thursday. Here are five you may want to know about.

Dozens were injured and at least 36 people were killed in Shanghai as they celebrated New Year's Eve. A stampede occurred shortly before midnight, at 11:35 p.m., at the Bund — a waterfront area that is one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist landmarks. People rushed to pick up coupons that looked like U.S. currency, which contributed to the panic.

Acknowledging major problems with the trial and sentencing, Egypt's top court has accepted the appeal of three Al Jazeera journalists who have been in prison for more than a year, and ordered a retrial, the defense lawyer said. They will not be released until they appear before the new chamber, which will decide whether to release them or not. Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were denied bail at the appeal hearing as the court said the case had to go back to the criminal court.

Hasbro, maker of the classic childhood toy Play-Doh, has said on its Facebook page that it will replace a piece in its “Cake Mountain” play set after receiving complaints from parents. The icing maker in the play set, which allows children to decorate a plastic cake with the popular modeling clay, resembled a part of the male anatomy according to social media reports and parental complaints.

In news even Stevie Wonder could see coming, Fox & Friend's #OverIt2014 Twitter chat backfired on Tuesday when it asked people on Twitter what were some of the things they were over. Black Twitter responded with gusto, leading Fox & Friends to realize it should probably just take a seat.

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