Mitt Romney will not run in 2016 election – BBC News 30 January 2015 Last updated at 12:22 ET

Mitt Romney, the Republican beaten by President Obama in the US 2012 election, has decided he will not run for president again.

Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney answers a question after his lecture to the student body and guests at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi

Mr Romney, 67, said he had decided it was “best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee”.

His statement comes weeks after a surprise announcement saying he was considering another bid.

The decision not to run frees up donors to support other Republican candidates.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul are among those who are considering a White House bid.

On the Democratic side, the presumed front-runner is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, although she has not made any announcement about campaigning.

Mrs Clinton previously ran for president in 2008 but lost the Democratic nomination to Mr Obama.

2016 runners and riders

Clockwise from top left: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton

Clockwise from top left: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton

No-one has formally declared but these are some of the names to watch:

  • early Republican frontrunner is Jeb Bush
  • but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could battle Bush for the party’s centre ground
  • darling of the Tea Party is Texas Senator Ted Cruz
  • firebrand liberal Elizabeth Warren is championed by many in the Democratic Party
  • libertarian Rand Paul has his supporters – and enemies – among Republicans
  • Hillary Clinton will have learnt much from her failed campaign of 2008

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White House Details ‘Precision Medicine’ Initiative – By Kimberly Leonard Jan. 30, 2015

Government health officials offer specifics about new personalized medicine funding.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest answers questions Thursday about President Barack Obama’s upcoming budget proposal, which includes funding for personalized medicine.

Scientists who mapped the human genome have been waiting a dozen years to do something with their findings.

That is why many health care practitioners cheered when they heard President Barack Obama mention “precision medicine” among the goals for his administration during his State of the Union Address. Health care overall did not receive much a spotlight during the speech, but personalized medicine did.

[MORE: Hospitals, Doctors Cheer Obama’s Call for Personalized Medicine]

Details about the plan emerged during a White House event Friday morning. “It comes at a critical moment in time when we have huge opportunities before us,” Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Thursday in a call with reporters.

Knowing what makes patients unique through the variations in their DNA would allow a doctor not only to be able to identify whether patients are likely to get a particular disease or condition – thereby helping them prevent it – but also to pinpoint which treatments will work.

While much attention has been focused on how health care is paid for through the Affordable Care Act, other government agencies are looking at how to make treatments better. The current way of approaching maladies uses trial and error – a process that can be frustrating, time-consuming and expensive for patients as they could undergo various methods of treatment without results or with difficult side effects for months or years. With information about their DNA, likely contained in an electronic medical record, scientists envision that doctors will be able to more easily determine what cures might work.

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On the Front Lines with the Ukrainian Army: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 89) – Published on Jan 30, 2015

Since mid-January, fighting between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine has escalated. Dozens of civilians have died due to the heavy shelling.

The rebels of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) have been attacking Ukrainian Army positions in an effort to reach the city of Sloviansk. In this dispatch, VICE News travels to the Ukrainian Army’s front lines in the village of Kodema to see how soldiers there, clad in German and British gear that has been donated to them, are preparing for the much talked-about DNR offensive.

We also visit the Ukrainian-controlled mining town of Dzerzhynsk to see firsthand what effects the fighting between the two sides has had on the local population.

Watch “Trapped by Artillery Fire: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 88)” –

4 Reasons Why It’s Veto Season At The White House – Mara Liasson JANUARY 30, 2015 4:03 AM ET

President Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL pipeline project, which passed in the Senate on Wednesday. Historically, political scientists say 90 percent of veto threats are issued behind the scenes but Obama has issued nine veto threats so far — in public.

President Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL pipeline project, which passed in the Senate on Wednesday. Historically, political scientists say 90 percent of veto threats are issued behind the scenes but Obama has issued nine veto threats so far — in public. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama is about to get his first veto opportunity of the new Congress. A bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project will be on his desk soon. He’s promised to veto it and that’s unusual. In his first six years in office, Obama issued just two vetoes — the fewest of any president going all the way back to James Garfield, and Garfield only served 199 days in office! But with the Republican takeover of both chambers of Congress, that will change. Here are four reasons why:

1. Nothing left to lose: the Janis Joplin doctrine. 

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, Joplin sang. The thing that holds presidents back from taking executive action is very often that members of Congress of their own party don’t want him to trample on their prerogatives. When the president has an opposition party controlling Congress, he doesn’t have to worry about that. And he’s no longer concerned with the political fate of red-state, pro-Keystone Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu or Sen. Mark Begich — they both lost their seats in November. So he’s free to stand with the environmentalist base of his party.

2. A divided government.

Instead of a divided Congress, where a Democratic Senate kept almost anything from coming to the president’s desk, we now have divided government. A Republican Congress will actually be passing things and sending them to President Obama to sign or veto.

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The Future of Wearables Isn’t a Connected Watch – BY MAT HONAN 01.29.15

Tech that attaches to our bodies doesn’t have to do it all. It just has to do one thing well.

Tech that attaches to our bodies doesn’t have to do it all. It just has to do one thing well. –  Tavis Coburn

At Intel’s big Make It Wearable competition in San Francisco late last year, the theme of the day was “no way.” As a parade of entrepreneurs took the stage to promote their Next Big Things, the phrase erupted in my brain again and again. A glove that tracks workers’ movements on a factory floor? No way. A turtle-shaped bionic baby that new mothers, whose premature infants have to stay in incubators, wear on their chests? No way. A drone that attaches to your arm, flies off when you flick your wrist, hovers, and snaps a selfie? I mean, come on!

And yet all of these notes from a sillier future were real—at least real enough to compete for a half-million-dollar prize from one of computing’s Godfather companies. Intel is covering itself in wearables. It bought Basis, maker of a multisensor watch that monitors movement, heart rate, and skin temperature to track your activity and sleep; it rolled out a line of technologized jewelry; and it is rumored that the next-generation Google Glass will have Intel inside. The reason for this push? Intel thinks wearables will be more ubiquitous than computers or phones. And it’s right. You won’t have just one wearable—you’ll have dozens. The biggest mistake everyone makes is assuming we’re going to wear the same one all the time.

That’s because, traditionally, wearables have done bits and pieces of what our phones already do. Aside from tracking movements, what are these bands and glasses besides proxy screens for our phones?

Well, wearables are about to explode into an array of novel, single-function devices. They will suit discrete situations rather than peeling off multiple functions from your phone—it’s use-case engineering. Think of activity-specific clothing, like Hexoskin, that monitors workouts. Or medical devices like Vital Connect, a patch that tracks your vital signs and lets doctors access the data. Or earbuds that aren’t quite hearing aids but which you can wear when there’s too much background noise.

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Bernie Sanders wants to take on ‘billionaire class’ – By Burgess Everett 1/29/15 6:40 PM EST Updated 1/29/15 7:00 PM EST

The Vermont senator insists he wouldn’t run just to push Clinton to the left.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is pictured. | AP Photo

AP Photo

If Bernie Sanders plans to takes shots at Hillary Clinton, he’s saving his ammo.

The Vermont independent and self-proclaimed socialist said Thursday that he’ll continue to explore running in the Democratic primary with a trip to New Hampshire this weekend and a visit to Iowa shortly thereafter. But asked to critique the presumed Democratic nominee, Sanders wouldn’t go there, at least explicitly.

“All I know is if I run, I’m not running against Hillary Clinton,” Sanders said in an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” that will air on Sunday. “What Hillary Clinton, or Mitt Romney, or anybody else has to say — that’s their business. And once we’re in a campaign, I can debate those issues.”

Absent a change of heart by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sanders is seen as perhaps the Democratic Party’s best vessel to channel populist outrage and push Clinton to the left in the Democratic primary. But he insisted that if he were to run, it wouldn’t be for that reason.

Sanders said his biggest causes on the campaign trail would be the “collapse of the middle class,” the rise of what he called the Koch brothers’ political “oligarchy” and the GOP’s position on climate change, which the senator called an “international embarrassment.”

“These and other issues are looming in front of us. And we’re going to need bold leadership, we’re going to need people prepared to take on, frankly, the billionaire class,” he said.

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