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Is an Outdoor Gear Subscription Worth It?
Cairn will deliver fun useful gear to your door at the start of each month.
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U.S. to reduce payouts from Sept. 11 victims fund
Rupa Bhattacharyya, the special master, said the $2.375 billion remaining in the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is not enough to compensate the thousands of victims and family members still eligible for awards. About $5 billion has been paid on more than 21,000 claims to the fund, which is slated to expire in December 2020.
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Bone Health: Tips to Keep Your Bones Healthy
Bone health—Find out what you can do to promote and protect bone health.
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Honda Ridgeline Recalled for Carwash Sensitivity
The mid-size pickup truck's fuel pump could be damaged by carwash soap.
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Just About Everything You Need To Know About the 2020 Toyota Supra
It's the return of the almighty Supra, but this Japanese car has a German flair.
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Bring on the ice and snow: Ottawa’s Winterlude celebrates a frozen north
The polar vortex that dipped from the Arctic down through North America in January briefly turned the Canadian capital into the world’s coldest, with thermometers reading -24 C (- 11.2 F.). Ottawa has been walloped by blizzards, including one this week that dumped 31 centimeters (12.2 inches) of snow. In a country that prides itself on its northern stoicism but increasingly finds itself begrudging the climate, the festival is an ode to Canadian winter.
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Trump, in proclamation, says military help needed due to 'gravity' of emergency
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump, in a proclamation on Friday declaring an emergency at the U.S. border with Mexico, said he need to call upon the military for assistance "because of the gravity of the current emergency situation." "The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency," Trump said in the proclamation, which he is using as a means to go around Congress to obtain funds to build a wall. ...
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If You Want to Support a Sick Friend, Let Bradley Cooper Show You How It's Done
Ken Jeong shared how Bradley Cooper supported him and his wife while she was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer.
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SoFi Plans New Lending Products and Move Into Stock Trading
The move would generate more competition for other financial technology startups including Robinhood Financial LLC, Betterment LLC and Wealthfront Inc., which have been offering digital customers low-cost investing options for years. While the company didn’t disclose revenue figures for the quarter or the full year, SoFi’s volume of loans, its most lucrative offering, continued to decline, falling to $2.24 billion from $2.5 billion the prior quarter and $3 billion in the quarter before that. “As part of our SoFi Invest plans, we released an alpha version of our new brokerage platform, inviting employees and select members to buy and sell individual stocks and ETFs with the tap of a button,” Chief Executive Officer Anthony Noto wrote the letter, obtained by Bloomberg.
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BofA Says a ‘Real’ Trade Deal Could Vault S&P 500 to Record High
The firm’s model on corporate earnings and equity valuations suggests that the market has priced in “a partial deal,” one where only some of the issues get resolved in favor of corporate America, according to strategists led by Savita Subramanian. In a best-case scenario, the S&P 500 could climb 5 percent to 10 percent when a “real deal” is struck. Companies from 3M Co. to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. have slashed their guidance this year, citing either trade tensions or weakening demand in China.
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Mike Pence claims Iran is planning a ‘new Holocaust’ to destroy Israel
Iran is planning a “new Holocaust” to destroy Israel, US vice president Mike Pence claimed at a summit on peace and security in the Middle East. “The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and seeks the means to achieve it,” he told delegates at the conference, which was co-hosted by the US and Poland in Warsaw. Mr Pence used his speech to encourage sceptical allies into joining an anti-Iran alliance, which includes Israel and Arabian Peninsula monarchies.
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A Solar Flare '10 Billion Times More Powerful' Than Earth's Sun Blasted Out of Orion's Sword
In November 2016, astronomers watched a young star some 1,500 light-years away from Earth belch out an explosion of plasma and radiation that was roughly 10 billion times more powerful than any flare ever seen leaving Earth's sun. This sudden stellar eruption may be the most luminous known flare ever released by a young star -- and it could help scientists better understand the still-murky process of star formation."Observing flares around the youngest stars is new territory and it is giving us key insights into the physical conditions of these systems," Steve Mairs, an astronomer and lead author of the study, said in a statement. [Aurora Photos: See Breathtaking Views of the Northern Lights]Mairs and his colleagues detected the flare using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, perched atop Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano. The flare originated from a binary star system -- a solar system where two big stars orbit around one another -- located in the Orion Nebula, some 1,500 light-years away, researchers reported in the new study, which was published Jan. 23 in The Astrophysical Journal. The green square (image on the left) shows the region of the Orion nebula where an intensely powerful solar flare took place. On Nov. 20, 2016, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope Transient Survey Team recorded no flare (top right image); six days later, a bright burst of plasma and radiation had blasted from the same spot and was already dimming from its most peak brightness (bottom right image). JCMT Transient Survey TeamThis nebula is the closest active star-forming region to Earth and is frequently studied by astronomers interested in the births of stars and planets. (You can actually see the nebula with the naked eye when you look for the Orion constellation; it's the middle "star" in Orion's sword, just south of his belt.) Solar flares occur when a star's magnetic-field lines twist and tangle about each other until they snap, unleashing huge amounts of energy and charged particles. According to NASA, a typical solar flare from Earth's sun releases the energy equivalent of "millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time." When this energy washes over Earth, it can temporarily knock out satellites and short-circuit technology around the world; one famous flare from 1859, known as the Carrington event, caused telegraph wires to shoot out sparks that caused offices to burst into flames.So, how did the 2016 flare manage to burst billions of times stronger than our sun's worst solar storms? The researchers aren't sure, but it probably has something to do with the fact that the star in question is still very young and sucking up gargantuan amounts of nearby matter to fuel its growth.Equally unknown are the effects that such massive energy expulsions have on young solar systems. The superhot, X-ray radiation emitted from flares like these could potentially change the chemistry of nearby bodies (like meteors) or possibly alter the atmospheres of young planets, the authors wrote.Editor's Note: This story was updated to correct the date of the Carrington Event. It occurred in 1859, not 1895.Originally published on Live Science * Winter Stargazing: Orion and Friends Shine Brightly | Space * Spaced Out! 101 Astronomy Images That Will Blow Your Mind * 11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy
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Uber Revenue Growth Slows, Losses Persist as 2019 IPO Draws Near
Like many unicorns, San Francisco-based Uber is emphasizing growth over profits. Last year, Uber bought Jump Bikes to help with its new mobility efforts, and it has a $1 billion budget for such projects this year. As it released the numbers, Uber touted the rising use of its app around the world.
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Reindeer Cyclones Are Real, and You Definitely Don't Want to Get Caught in One
Vikings hunting reindeer in Norway were once confounded by "reindeer cyclones"; a threatened herd would literally run circles around the fierce hunters, making it nearly impossible to target a single animal.Filmmakers recently captured incredible aerial footage of one of these reindeer cyclones, which aired Feb. 13 on PBS in the documentary "Wild Way of the Vikings," a program about Vikings and the wilderness they inhabited around A.D. 1000. [Photos: Ancient Arrows from Reindeer Hunters Found in Norway]One of the documentary's most striking scenes shows a re-enactment of a Viking hunt interspersed with real footage of reindeer herds. Reindeer were important to the Vikings for their meat, hides, antlers and boness, according to the film.In the cyclone scene, a lone hunter (an actor playing a Viking) approaches the herd; he notches and releases an arrow. The footage that follows shows an actual herd of reindeer running in circles. As the swirling mass of bodies thunders along a circular path, an overhead camera reveals that the herd's momentum follows a spiral shape, drawing tightly toward the cyclone's "eye" at the center.Faced with this spinning reindeer stampede, any predator -- wolf, bear or human -- would have a very tough time targeting and overpowering a single reindeer, making this a formidable defense strategy, according to a statement from PBS.This behavior is also practiced by reindeer kept in corrals, occurring in groups of at least 20 to 25 animals, researchers wrote in a 2002 study published in the journal Rangifer. Penned reindeer formed "cyclones" and were observed to run "invariably" in a counterclockwise direction, the scientists reported.A herd of reindeer moves through snow-covered mountains in Norway. Copyright Maramedia, photo by Fergus Gill Opportunistic huntersVikings were opportunistic hunters who preyed on reindeer, birds, fish, seals, walruses and possibly even whales, Albina Hulda Palsdottir, a doctoral candidate with the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo in Sweden, told Live Science."The Vikings really adapted to making use of everything that they could," she said.Scientists know that Vikings hunted with bows and arrows, and used ropes and nets for fishing "and possibly birding," said Palsdottir, a zooarchaeologist and science adviser for the film.However, archaeologists know little about the details of their hunting techniques, as Vikings crafted tools primarily from organic materials such as wood, rope and hide, which don't preserve well.But in recent years, many of these ancient relics have emerged from melting ice and permafrost. This is particularly true in Norway, where ice patches -- regions of long-frozen snow -- are rapidly disappearing, providing archaeologists with access to Viking objects that were preserved in ice for more than a millennium, Palsdottir said."It's really adding to our understanding of their material culture, and what they may have used to hunt reindeer," she added.You can watch the entire episode of "Wild Way of the Vikings" on the PBS website. * Fierce Fighters: 7 Secrets of Viking Seamen * 6 Surprising Facts About Reindeer * In Photos: Viking Outposts Possibly Found in CanadaOriginally published on Live Science.
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These Newfound Catfish Species Are Either the Ugliest Fish Ever or Super Adorable
With tentacle-covered snouts, claw-like spines that protrude from their heads and bodies covered in armor, these newfound catfish look more mythical than real.Scientists just discovered six species of these creepy-cute fish, called bristlenose catfish (in the genus Ancistrus), in rivers of the Amazon, the researchers reported in the journal Zootaxa Wednesday (Feb. 12). [In Photos: The World's Largest Bony Fish]"They're warriors, they're fish superheroes," lead author Lesley de Souza, a conservation scientist and ichthyologist at Chicago's Field Museum, said in a statement.The tentacles are actually present only in males, and they function as a sort of "pick me, I'd be a good father" sign. Males also guard the nests and make sure predators don't snatch their babies."The idea is that when a female fish sees a male with these tentacles, to her, they look like eggs," de Souza said in the statement. "That signifies to her that he's a good father who's able to produce offspring and protect them." One of the newfound species, in fact, is named Ancistrus patronus, meaning "protector," in recognition of the care the males provide their offspring.De Souza and her team discovered the catfish in northeastern South America in parts of Venezuela, Colombia and Guyana, which make up a geographic region called the Guiana Shield, according to the statement. But like many other species the world over, the catfish face some threats to their survival.Ancistrus patronus or "protector" was one of six new species of bristlenose catfish discovered in the Amazon. Jonathan ArmbrusterThe creatures are very sensitive to even tiny changes in their environment. So, in some of the clear-water rivers and streams where they were once plentiful, they are now scarce, according to the statement. Threats to their health and numbers include large-scale agriculture, deforestation and gold mining -- the latter can both change the fishes' habitat and poison them with mercury.The demise or reduction in population of one species, of course, can affect others. Giant river otters, for example, eat these fish all the time, according to the statement. "All the layers of the Amazon basin are interconnected, from the rivers to the forest canopy," de Souza said. "Everything begins with naming a species and determining how many species you have. Once you have done the taxonomy, then you can study the ecology [and] behavior and do conservation action."Some of the other newfound species include A. yutajae, named for a pair of star-crossed lovers in an Amazonian legend; A. Saudades, meaning melancholy in Portuguese; and A. leoni, named after a deceased colleague of the researchers. * Photos: The Freakiest-Looking Fish * 11 Animals Named After US Presidents * Photos: Incredible New Species Discovered in 2016Originally published on Live Science.
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NASA mulls buying new rides to space from Russia amid programme delays
NASA said on Friday it was weighing an option to buy two additional astronaut seats aboard a Russian rocket as a contingency plan against further delays in the launch systems being developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing Co. A possible purchase "provides flexibility and back-up capability" as the companies build rocket-and-capsule launch systems to return astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from U.S. soil for the first time since NASA's Space Shuttle program went dark in 2011.
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Trump denies he takes orders from Hannity
The president name-checks Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter at a press conference at which he declared a national emergency.
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Pompeo: No Mideast peace without confronting Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the world "can't achieve peace and security in the Middle East without confronting Iran." Pompeo spoke Thursday before the opening session of a Middle East security conference in Warsaw, Poland. (Feb. 14)
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How Great Design Could Fix the World's 'Wicked Problems'
How Great Design Could Fix the World's 'Wicked Problems'
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Diet drinks could increase the risk of stroke for post-menopausal women
New US research has found that postmenopausal women who drink more than two diet drinks each day may have a higher risk of stroke. During an evaluation three years into the study, the women were asked to report on how often they had consumed diet drinks such as low-calorie, artificially-sweetened colas, sodas and fruit drinks in the last three months. The researchers then adjusted the findings to take into account various stroke risk factors such as age, high blood pressure and smoking.
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A New Study Says Drinking Multiple Diet Sodas A Day Leads To A “Significantly Greater Likelihood” Of Heart Disease
Not what I wanted to hear today!
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Explainer: Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based militants, at heart of tension with India
India says the group and its leader, Masood Azhar, enjoy free rein in Pakistan, and demands that Pakistan acts to stop militant groups operating from its soil. Pakistan condemned the Thursday bomb attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen but denied any complicity. India has blamed Jaish for a series of attacks including a 2001 raid on its parliament in New Delhi that led to India mobilizing its military on the border, bringing the foes to the brink of a fourth war.
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Isil bride Shamima Begum has a legal right to return to the UK, head of MI6 says
The British Islamic State (Isil) bride Shamima Begum has a legal right to return to the UK the Head of MI6 has said. The Director General of MI6 has said that British citizens have a right to return home from Syria, even though they may still present a threat to national security. Alex Younger, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service - better known as MI6 - said he was "very concerned" about returning British nationals that had fought for or supported the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). Speaking ahead of the Munich Security Conference which started on Friday, Mr Younger said: "All experience tells us that once someone's put themselves in that sort of position they are likely to have acquired both the skills and connections that make them potentially very dangerous. "Anyone who has put themselves in this situation can expect to be questioned and investigated and potentially prosecuted if they return to our jurisdiction." When asked about the case of Ms Begum, the heavily pregnant 19-year-old Londoner who travelled to Syria four years ago to become an Isil bride and who now wants to return to the UK to have her baby, Mr Younger said: "British nationals have a right to come to the UK." Kadiza Sultana, left, Shamima Begum, center, and Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport Credit: Metropolitan Police Britain’s intelligence chief cautioned about showing triumphalism at the demise of Isil, saying such an approach led to hubris. "The military defeat of the caliphate does not represent the end of the terrorist threat that we face," he said. "You can’t use military force to kill and idea." Mr Younger warned that Isil was already in the process of trying to grow elsewhere around the world, even as its fighters are defeated in Syria, and that the threat from al-Qaeda had not been completely extinguished. He said: "Daesh [Isil] is a resilient organisation and it is reorganising, returning to its natural state as an asymmetric transnational terrorist organisation. We see it morphing, spreading out. "Al-Qaeda...has undergone a certain resurgence as a result of the degradation of Daesh and it is a force that should also be taken seriously. It is definitely not done out, and is something we should remain focused on." Mr Younger was keen to stress the "strength and unconditional nature of the UK security offer" and said Brexit would not harm enduring partnerships. "Britain’s commitment to the security of the European continent is unconditional," he said. "Our aim is to strengthen our security partnerships in Europe, alongside our other intelligence partnerships across the globe, because that is the inescapable logic of a world of increasingly international hybrid threats." The ability to "operationalise" partnerships with other intelligence organisations was critical in preserving our way of life, he said, and was used to great effect after the nerve-agent attack in Salisbury last year. Referring to the intelligence sharing relationships with France and Germany he said: "There are people alive in our three countries today because of terrorist attack plans that we have successfully disrupted, showing the value and importance of cooperation to all sides. This is not a one-way street." "Even in the past year...people’s lives have been saved in all of our countries as a result of this cooperation. The counter terrorist machine is working as it should. Bombs haven’t gone off as a result of our capacity to exchange data with each other. "Brexit doesn’t fundamentally alter those relationships."
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Our Favorite Eco-friendly Finds Put Sustainable Materials to Stylish Use
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U.S. top court to decide legality of census citizenship question
The justices, in a brief order, granted the administration's request to hear its appeal of Manhattan-based U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman's Jan. 15 ruling even before a lower appeals court has considered the matter. Oral arguments in the case will take place in late April, with a ruling due by the end of June. Furman ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had concealed the true motives for his "arbitrary and capricious" decision to add the citizenship question in violation of federal law.
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Donald Trump's emergency declaration is an attack on democracy
Invoking a bogus emergency to build a wall Congress rejected will have long-term impacts on the rule of law.
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Space junk harpooned like whale in orbit-cleanup test
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A harpoon flung from a satellite has successfully captured a piece of pretend space junk, like a whale.
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1stdibs Unveils Massive New Showroom Near Hudson Yards
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce bill blocking Trump’s ‘fake national emergency’
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquin Castro have announced new legislation that they intend to introduce as part of an effort to block Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration over the US-Mexico border. The Democratic lawmakers pointed to the National Emergencies Act that provides Congress the ability to “terminate the President’s emergency declaration,” according to Mr Castro. In a tweet following the announcement, Ms Ocasio-Cortez — a progressive freshman representative from New York City — wrote: “@JoaquinCastrotx and I aren’t going to let the President declare a fake national emergency without a fight”.
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GOP Looks to Turn Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal on Democrats
Republicans are embracing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s sweeping plan known as the Green New Deal to avert climate change, but not because they like it. Fueling the effort is a fact sheet that Ocasio-Cortez’s office circulated -- then retracted -- that included references that aren’t in the text of the actual resolution.
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U.S. Weighs New PDVSA Sanctions as Next Step Against Maduro
The U.S. is also bracing for a possible bankruptcy filing by Citgo Petroleum Corp., an American refiner controlled by PDVSA, according to Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a person who was briefed by the Trump administration. Citgo has already hired a law firm to help it weigh its strategic options, including potential bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported last month, though an American official told reporters on Jan. 31 that Citgo was one of Venezuela’s most important assets and the administration seeks to keep it viable.
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Watch a Space Junk Harpoon Complete a Successful Test Shot
The RemoveDEBRIS is proving to be a viable option for space debris.
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NASA mulls buying new rides to space from Russia amid program delays
The U.S. space agency has since had to rely on Russia's Roscosmos program to ferry astronauts to the orbital space station at a cost of roughly $80 million per seat, NASA has said. After 2019 there are no seats available on the spacecraft for U.S. crew, and a NASA advisory panel recommended on Friday that the U.S. space program develop a contingency plan to guarantee access to the station in case technical problems delay Boeing and SpaceX any further. A NASA spokesman on Friday characterized a solicitation request NASA filed on Wednesday as a contingency plan.
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Stacey Abrams calls voter suppression ‘the crisis of our day’
WASHINGTON — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams said Friday that “voter suppression … has to be considered the crisis of our day.” She made the comments in front of a Washington, D.C., audience where she cautioned Democrats to pay less attention to President Trump’s emergency declaration and to focus their energy on voting rights. Abrams, who became a national figure during her 2018 run for governor in Georgia, said that whether or not she runs for the U.S. Senate in 2020, she will use her current platform to elevate the issue of voting rights and obstacles to voting.
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US military aircraft to deliver more aid to Venezuela border
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, for the first time using U.S. military aircraft as it increases pressure on Nicolas Maduro to give up power, according to a State Department email sent to Congress.
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Honda's pickup trucks recalled because they can catch fire from car wash soap
The Honda pickup is subject to a new recall to fix faulty fuel pumps that can crack when exposed to acids in car-wash detergents.
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Follow the money: How President Trump's national emergency will pay for a border wall
President Trump will use a national emergency and other measures to tap $8 billion from the budget for his controversial border wall.
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Modi says Pakistan will pay 'huge price' for Kashmir bombing
India’s Prime Minister has accused Pakistan of carrying out Thursday's suicide car bombing that killed at least 44  people in Kashmir, saying the country has made a "huge mistake" for which it will pay a "huge price". Speaking after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Narendra Modi said that the "forces behind the attack and the people who are responsible for it, will definitely be punished for their crimes”. He added that India’s security forces had been given "full freedom" to respond to the attack. Mr Modi was reacting to claims from the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), that it carried out the attack on a paramilitary convoy on the outskirts of Kashmir’s summer capital, Srinagar. India’s foreign office demanded that Islamabad take "immediate and verifiable action" against the JeM. New Delhi has also withdrawn trade privileges extended to Pakistan under their long-standing Most Favoured Nation (MFN) agreement as part of "diplomatically isolating" Islamabad, said senior federal minister Arun Jaitley. Pakistan, however, has dismissed all Indian charges of any involvement in the bombing, which it said was a "matter of grave concern".  Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against the attack on a bus that killed 44 CRPF personnel in south Kashmir on Thursday Credit: Reuters Over 2,700 Central Reserve Police Force paramilitary personnel were travelling to Srinagar in a 78-vehicle convoy when a 22-year old suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, rammed his car packed with over 125bs of plastic explosives into one of the stationary busses. Police officials said Dar, a school dropout who had earlier worked in a sawmill near Srinagar, was reported missing since late last year.   The JeM has been active in Kashmir since its founding in 2000 and India holds it responsible for attacking its parliament building in New Delhi in 2001, an assault that brought the nuclear-armed neighbours to the brink of war. The JeM has been designated a ‘terrorist’ organisation by the UN, UK and the US, and even, under foreign pressure, proscribed in Pakistan since 2002. But its founder, cleric Masood Azhar, freely roams the country, holding public meetings and fund-raising drives. Indian efforts to have Azhar designated an international terrorist have long been been blocked by Pakistan’s close strategic ally China.     India claims Pakistan, which seized a third of Kashmir after independence in 1947 and lays claim to the rest, fuels the disputed province’s 30-year Muslim insurgency for an independent homeland in which over 70,000 people had died. Students hold candles during a vigil for the dead paramilitary police Credit: Reuters Pakistan denies Indian allegations, saying it only provided Kashmiri separatists’ moral and diplomatic support for their cause.  The two neighbours have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir. And in 1999, soon after both became nuclear weapon states, their two armies clashed in Kashmir’s Himalayan Kargil region for 11-weeks resulting in 1,200 soldiers dying on both sides.  Meanwhile, India’s principal Opposition Congress Party, virulently opposed to Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government, has offered its unequivocal support to the administration to deal with the crisis posed by the terror strike. The authorities have also imposed curfew in Kashmir’s winter capital Jammu following violent protests that erupted in the city over the terror attack. Several cars were set alight and the authorities have suspended Internet services in Jammu to prevent rumours  spreading over social media.
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Make El Chapo pay for a border wall? Don't count on it
NEW YORK (AP) — After El Chapo's conviction in a drug-trafficking trial that included florid testimony of jewel-encrusted guns, a fleet of cash-laden jets and a personal zoo with roaming big cats, some Americans have floated an idea they see as poetic justice: Why not take some of the Mexican drug lord's billions in ill-gotten gains and make him pay for a border wall?
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Police have 'potential suspects' in alleged attack on 'Empire' actor
Authorities had previously said only that the pair, whose names have not been released, were persons of interest after they were recognized from surveillance camera footage taken in the area where Smollett said two men shouted slurs at him and put a rope around his neck on Jan. 29. "Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. "While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is no evidence to say that this is a hoax.
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10 Things to Know for Today
Congress is set to resolve its clattering brawl with President Donald Trump in uncommonly bipartisan fashion as lawmakers prepare to pass a border security compromise. European plane manufacturer Airbus says it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 for lack of customers.
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UK PM May will fall if she relies on opposition to pass Brexit deal: lawmaker
British Prime Minister Theresa May's government will collapse if she relies on the opposition Labour Party to pass her Brexit deal, an influential pro-Brexit lawmaker said on Friday. Steve Baker said the Northern Irish party whose 10 members of parliament props up Britain's government would withdraw support for the government because they are opposed to the inclusion of the so-called Irish border backstop.
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Trump attacked Obama for using executive powers on immigration, now plans to do the same thing
Although the positions were reversed, Obama was also frustrated by a lack of congressional action for what he viewed as a broken immigration system.
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Diet soda may dramatically increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, study shows
If you're watching your weight to start the new year you might be tempted to opt for anything labeled "diet." As it turns out, diet soda might not be the best choice if you actually care about your health, as a new study warns that indulging in low-calorie beverages packed with sugar substitutes could put you in an early grave.The study, which was published in the journal Stroke, examined the long-term health of over 80,000 women who volunteered to have health check-ins decades after the fact. The data relied on self-reported consumption of what the scientists call ASB, or "artificially sweetened beverages."Diet sodas are able to boast about being low in calories thanks to the substitution of sugar for artificial sweeteners. Doctors have long warned of the potential risks of these substances, but the draw of low-calorie drinks has led many to make them a part of their daily routine.What the team discovered was that those who admitted to drinking multiple ASBs per day on average saw dramatic increases in stroke and heart attack over the years. The researchers say that, when compared to those who did not drink artificial sweeteners, women who were regular drinkers had a 23 percent higher chance of stroke and a 31 percent higher chance of stroke due specifically to a blocked artery. They also had a 29 percent higher chance of heart attack. Overall mortality among those who regularly enjoyed diet drinks rose by 16 percent."Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet,'' lead author Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement. "Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease."Unfortunately, the study wasn't able to break down what kind of artificial sweeteners were being consumed. The data didn't include that information, so it's difficult to say whether all artificial sweeteners are risky or if some, like aspartame, are more dangerous than others.
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NASA Ready to Risk Failed Launches and Landings to Return to Moon
NASA Ready to Risk Failed Launches and Landings to Return to Moon
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Nearly 1 in 5 Patients Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis May Actually Have Migraine
A study found that nearly 20 percent of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may actually have migraine or another condition.
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A Rogue Drone Sighting Shut Down a Major Airport For The Fourth Time Since December
It's part of a recurring theme of drones shutting down major airports.
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Antarctic ice shelves: Searching for clues on climate change
Chile's Escudero base on King George Island acts as a research hub for a frozen expanse that extends to the South Pole, with more than 300 international scientists taking turns to brave the bitter Antarctic temperatures. The Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) has supported research into a biomolecule called "Antartina," derived from a plant native to the region, which has shown positive early results in diminishing colorectal, liver and gastric cancers in mice. This month a multinational team embarked on a research trip to investigate what causes the break-up of ice shelves, a phenomenon associated with climate change.
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Craviations Turns Aircraft Salvage into Luxury Furniture
Rescuing 20th-century airplane parts from the junkyard and turning them into exclusive luxury furniture is fun for Craviations. In contrast to the repairing of aircraft, which must be conducted in adherence to strict industry standards, the designing of furniture allows for much more creativity. After all, a badly repaired aircraft can lead to death, but […]
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Donald Trump declares national emergency to bypass Congress and build his wall
Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in a bid to bypass Congress and secure funding for his border wall with Mexico, a move that Democrats vowed to challenge as unconstitutional. Mr Trump announced the controversial move from the Rose Garden on Friday and is expected to use the powers to appropriate around $8 billion (£6 billion) in funds from the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury and the Department of Defence.  Mr Trump has long floated the idea of declaring a national emergency, which would give him extra powers to unilaterally move around funds, as a way of circumventing Congress and ensuring he could deliver his campaign promise to build a Mexico border wall.  However the prospect of a lengthy battle in America’s courts – a legal challenge is all but inevitable – and vocal opposition from scores of Republican senators was thought to have convinced Mr Trump not to go down that path.  Donald Trump will no doubt face legal challenges  Credit: AP Even Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, had criticised the idea publicly, saying last month: “I don’t think much of that idea.”  A number of Republicans condemned the move ahead of the announcement.  "No crisis justifies violating the Constitution," Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter on Thursday. Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill he had concerns about an emergency declaration. He said it "would not be a practical solution, because there would be a lawsuit filed immediately and the money would be presumably balled up." Democrats in a number of states, including California and New York, look set to launch legal challenges as soon as Mr Trump makes his announcement. But Mr Trump had also come under criticism from leading right-wing US figures over a compromise deal that had been struck between Republican and Democrat congressmen this week. The US president had demanded $5.7 billion for more than 200 miles of wall along the US-Mexico border. That demand had led to a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in US history, before it reopened for three weeks of talks.  But the new agreement included just $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new border barriers. Furthermore the barrier would be fencing rather than a concrete wall, as Mr Trump had once envisioned.  Sean Hannity, a Fox News presenter who is close to the president, had dubbed the agreement a “garbage compromise”. Mark Meadows, the Republican congressman who leads the influential Freedom Caucus, had also been critical.  A vote on legislation enshrining the agreement took place in the US Senate on Thursday afternoon. Mr Trump must sign the bill by midnight on Friday to avoid yet another government shutdown.  By signing the bill and declaring a national emergency, Mr Trump would both avoid another shutdown – which he risked being blamed for – and be able to show his supporters that he is still building the border wall.  Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat House speaker, said she may launch a legal challenge and warned the move would create “great unease and dismay” among her party.  “It is not an emergency, what is happening at the border,” Ms Pelosi said, calling the claim an “illusion”.  She insisted that the constitution gave the “power of the purse” to Congress, appearing to question whether Mr Trump was overstepping his powers.
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Ahead of election, Nigerians reassess an old promise of safety
Maryam Abubakar was bent in prayer when she heard the first blast crack over Kano’s central mosque, a sound so loud it felt like the stately building had cracked in two. It was Nov. 28, 2014, and in the nerve center of Nigeria’s largest Muslim-majority city, the terror group Boko Haram was sending a message: Nowhere is safe. “You saw a woman in a hijab who you didn’t know, and you wondered, is she one of them?” says Kemi Fadipe, a teacher, referring to Boko Haram’s infamous use of female suicide bombers.
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Philadelphia beats U.S. appeal in sanctuary city case
In a 3-0 decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said the U.S. attorney general lacked power to condition that city's receipt of $1.6 million for local law enforcement on its compliance with three new requirements. In Friday's decision, Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell said the attorney general has only limited oversight of the program for awarding the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants. "Allowing the attorney general to withhold all funds because a jurisdiction does not certify compliance with any federal law of the attorney general's choosing undermines the predictability and consistency embedded in the program's design," Rendell wrote.
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Mike Pence attacks UK for 'breaking US sanctions against Iran'
Mike Pence, the US vice president, has accused Britain, France and Germany of trying to sabotage American sanctions against Iran and called on the European states to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal.  In an unusually blunt attack on America’s traditional European allies, Mr Pence told a summit in Warsaw that the three countries were leading “an effort to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime”.  He focused his criticism on a financial mechanism created by the three states and the EU to allow European firms to continue trading with Iran in a way that skirts punishing US sanctions.  “It's an ill-advised step that will only strengthen Iran, weaken the EU, and create still more distance between Europe and the United States,” Mr Pence said.  He said the British, French, and German governments had “not been nearly as cooperative” in backing America’s anti-Iran policy as Israel and the Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Mr Pence said for the first time that the three countries should pull out of the nuclear agreement, which was signed in 2015 by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the US and Iran. “The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.” Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the summit for bringing Israel together with the Arab states Credit: AP Photo/Michael Sohn Other US officials, including Donald Trump, have harshly criticised the deal but never before called for the European states to leave it.    There was no immediate response from the Foreign Office to Mr Pence’s criticism.  The US-hosted conference in Poland was enthusiastically attended by Israel and the Gulf states but the European governments which continue to support the Iran deal largely stayed away.  Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, attended the opening dinner of the summit on Wednesday night but left before the main meetings on Thursday. Germany sent a junior minister and France was represented by a foreign ministry official.  Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, hailed the summit for bringing Israel together with its Arab neighbours “against the common threat of the Iranian regime”.  Mr Netanyahu sat next to the foreign minister of Yemen at the conference, an image that would have once been unthinkable in the Middle East.  Here is @IsraeliPM Netanyahu sitting next to Yemen's Foreign Minister Khaled Hussein Alyemany, at the WarsawSummitpic.twitter.com/d7c5jRwKXp— Raphael Ahren (@RaphaelAhren) February 14, 2019 However, there still appears to be a ceiling on how far the Arab states will go in befriending Israel without a solution to the Palestinian issue.  While the Israeli leader sat in the same room as ministers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, none of them were prepared to hold a formal meeting with Mr Netanyahu or publicly shake his hand.  Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former spy chief, granted an unprecedented interview to Israeli television where he warned that there would not be peace between the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia until there was a deal on the Palestinians.  “From the Israeli point of view, Mr. Netanyahu would like us to have a relationship, and then we can fix the Palestinian issue. From the Saudi point of view, it’s the other way around,” he said.  Donald Trump has tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with brokering a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.  Mr Kushner told the conference the deal would not be released until after the Israeli elections in April and said that both sides would have to make compromises. However, he declined to give even basic details of his plan.  The US said that the Palestinians had been invited to the summit and refused to come. Palestinian officials said an invitation had only been issued five days before the start of conference, long after other governments were formally invited.  “This is not serious,” a Palestinian official said. “This is just part of the blame game of the Trump Administration in cooperation with their Polish friends.” An FCO spokesperson said: “The UK Government regards the JCPoA as a crucial agreement that makes the world a safer place by neutralising the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. We remain committed to preserving the JCPoA, which is why we are establishing a European Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with the E3 that aims to deliver the sanctions relief we committed to as part of the agreement. “The UK is not and has never been naïve about Iran and its nuclear intentions and while we share US concerns about Iranian regional activities and its missile programme, we believe the best way to address these wider concerns is while the nuclear deal remains in place.”
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How Shamima Begum and two other schoolgirls from Bethnal Green became jihadi brides living under a deadly regime
According to her older sister Sahima, Shamima Begum was like any other 15-year-old girl, with the same hobbies, the same worries and infatuations which preoccupy the minds of most British teens. “She was into normal teenage things,” Sahima said. “She used to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” At 15, Shamima’s young mind was filled with much more than the affairs of the most famous family in Hollywood. Four months before she was due to sit her GCSEs, Shamima — the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, by all accounts a “sensible girl” and a “talented and dynamic” student at the high-flying Bethnal Green Academy — was secretly planning to leave her family and the only home she had ever known in London’s East End, and travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride. Two of her school friends, Kadiza Sultana, then 16, and Amira Abase, 15, planned to accompany her, with the girls aiming to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum (no relation of Shamima), who had successfully travelled to Syria the year before. In an embarrassment for Scotland Yard, police had pulled a fifth girl from the group off the same flight Sharmeena was on without spotting the other girl. Two months later, it was the turn of the remaining three to make their escape. When CCTV footage emerged of three girls wearing hooded winter coats and thick-rimmed glasses, strolling through Gatwick Airport with smiles on their faces, they appeared so calm and casual they looked as if they might be going on a school trip, not about to board a one-way flight to the most dangerous corner of the world. Their secret plan to leave Britain had been formulated and executed with meticulous precision. The girls stole jewellery from family members which they sold to cobble together the money for flights (it’s thought they spent upwards of £1,000 on their one-way tickets — an amount their families said at the time they could have never afforded alone). They bought their tickets from a local travel agent, making sure there was some money left over. They had to make sure there was something left to pay the men who would smuggle them over the border into the Syrian war zone where Isil was carving out its caliphate. The Spring half term began and on the morning of February 17 2015, Shamima, Kadiza and Amira told their families they were going out for the day. One had a wedding, another said she was popping into school to do some work. Instead, they packed a small bag of hand luggage each, and headed to Gatwick, where they would board Turkish Airlines flight TK1966 at 12:40pm to Istanbul. A shopping list found in one of the girls’ bedrooms featured a reminder to pack underwear and a mobile phone. British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum in Raqqa Under the noses of the counterterrorism police who had spoken to them two months earlier after their friend Sharmeena fled to Syria, the girls began their journey. Four years later, one of them, Kadiza, is now known to have been killed in a Russian airstrike. Shamima, now 19, is alive and preparing to give birth to her third child (her first two died in infancy) in a refugee camp in northern Syria, having escaped Isil’s last remaining stronghold. Amira and Sharmeena were last seen alive in June in the remaining pocket of Isil-held territory. Shamima has lost two babies, her fighter husband is in captivity, and though she says she doesn’t regret coming to Syria, she has abandoned Isil at the 11th hour in an attempt to protect herself and her unborn child. For four years she has lived the life of a jihadi bride, witnessing the casual brutality of the regime on a daily basis and somehow escaping death herself. Now, she wants the ordeal to be over. She wants to come back home to Britain. Four years ago, almost to the day, the girls arrived in Istanbul and took a bus to the southern town of Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border. CCTV footage taken from a bus station showed them waiting with their bags. Another video, filmed by a smuggler called Mohammed Rashid (an Isil double agent who reportedly passed intelligence to the British and Canadian governments and was subsequently arrested by Turkish authorities), showed the girls clad in long black tunics trudging through a snowy landscape and clambering into a car. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo  Credit: PA Calling one of the girls “Sis”, Rashid gave them Syrian passports and tested codenames they had apparently been given. “Who is Um Ahmed?” he asked, before telling them to “hurry” and assuring them they would be in Syria in “one hour”. They were taken to an illegal crossing point known as Abu Zella, north of Tal Abyad, where they were handed to a Saudi jihadist known as Abu Mohareb al-Jazrawi. He was part of an Isil cell charged with helping transport would-be foreign jihadists into Raqqa. He took the girls to a safe house which was used for new volunteers who had yet to be vetted. There, they checked the girls’ papers and confiscated their passports and identity cards. They stayed in the house for a day or two before another Isil smuggler, calling himself Abu Fahad, transferred them to Raqqa. The girls spent their first days in Isil’s caliphate under lock and key in an apartment in what was then the jihadists’ stronghold city. They were put in the care of a woman handler known as Um Laith — “Mother of the Lion” — tasked with “purifying their Western minds” by instilling the practices of Isil’s hardline vision of sharia law. Kadiza Sultana 16, Amira Abase 15 and Shamima Begum 15 Credit: Metropolitan Police  In their first weeks in the city the girls were not trusted by Raqqa’s Isil rulers, and were forbidden to leave their apartment without their chaperone. An Isil leader confirmed to the Telegraph at the time that they were being kept together and watched. “Until now we don’t trust them,” he said. Speaking to The Times from the refugee camp where she is now awaiting the birth of her baby, Shamima recalled asking to be taken to the maqar – the female-only communal lodging for unmarried or widowed women where they believed their old school friend was living. “We kept asking his wife ‘why are we here?’ We want to go to the house of women, we want to see our friend. She didn’t say anything to us and then afterwards we found out it was because they suspected we were spies.” All three girls were quickly married off. Kadiza is said to have wed a western Isil fighter of Somali heritage, but after he was killed in battle decided to try to return to the UK. Shortly after, however, in May 2016, she was reported killed in a Russian airstrike, aged 17. Amira married an 18-year-old Australian jihadist, Abdullah Elmir, in July 2016. Elmir, who was described in Australian media as the “Ginger Jihadi”, was later reported by intelligence agencies to have been killed in coalition airstrikes. Shamima, meanwhile, married a Dutchman who had converted to Islam. For a while, she says, life was “normal”. “Like the life that they show in the propaganda videos. It’s a normal life but every now and then there are bombs and stuff.” She didn’t witness any executions, but she did see “a beheaded head in the bin”, she told a journalist calmly from the refugee camp on Wednesday. “Yeah, it didn’t phase me at all.” The young woman who can be heard talking on the interview recording is composed and unemotional. She is asked if it was hard to lose two children. “It came as a shock,” she replies, calmly. “It just came out of nowhere, it was so hard.” It’s why she is “really overprotective of this baby”, she says. “I’m scared that this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that’s why I really want to get back to Britain because I know it will be taken care of, like healthwise at least.” She talks about her school friend Kadiza, who is now known to have died in a Russian airstrike. “Her house was bombed because underground there was some secret stuff going on and a spy had… they figured out that something was going on so her house got bombed. And other people got killed as well.” Kadiza’s elder sister, Fahmida Khanam refused to discuss her suspected death in an air raid, or the fate of her surviving companions. Abase Hussen, father of Amira, who was last seen in June, said he hoped his daughter was still alive. “She could always make us laugh,” he said. “That’s how I want to think of her, not what happened after. I hope she is still alive, but I don’t really know whether she is.” Islamic State losing its grip on Syria Mr Hussen has said before that he cannot understand his daughter’s descent into radicalisation, telling MPs in 2015 that he could think of “nothing” to explain the change in her. After she travelled to Syria, video emerged of Mr Hussen beside a burning US flag at the front of a rally organised by the hate preacher Anjem Choudary. In June 2015, Amira spoke to an undercover reporter from a Sunday newspaper after 30 Britons were shot dead by an Isil jihadist in Tunisia, mocking the victims. She appeared to be grooming the reporter, giving tips on how to reach Syria and what to bring. Last summer her mother, Fetia Hussen, said she had lost contact with her and feared she had died, but Shamima has confirmed to The Times that she was seen alive last June, along with Sharmeena Begum. On Wednesday night, Shamima’s sister Renu — who in 2015 said her sister was “young” and “vulnerable”, and she hoped she had gone to Syria to bring back Sharmeena, not to join Isil herself — pleaded with the government to allow her to come home. “She's pregnant and vulnerable, and it’s important we get her out of al-Hawl camp and home as soon as possible," she said. "We hope the British Government will help us bring her home to us where she belongs. "I’m so relieved that my sister has been found, safe and sound. We are aware that she has been trying to get out. We lost contact with her for the longest of time. We are happy to know that she is okay.” The father of Sharmeena Begum told the Telegraph yesterday [THURS] that his family had been left distraught by her decision to travel to join Isil. Mohammad Nizam Uddin said he had been unable to reconcile himself to her disappearance from home. Speaking from his flat on the top floor of a tower block overlooking London’s East End, the 42-year-old told The Telegraph: “We have heard nothing from her since she left. We do not know where she is. “As a father I urge the British Government to let these girls back into the country. Please let them come back. I want to see my daughter again. It is terrible she is not here, it is terrible for us.” Mr Uddin added: “I think they should be allowed to come home. When they went to Syria they were not mature and they had been radicalised.” They travelled out to Syria together, but as Isil loses its remaining grip on the region, just one of the girls from Bethnal Green is living in relative safety. Taken on a coach filled with fleeing Isil families to the camp in al-Hawl, Shamima is now waiting to deliver her third baby, and to learn of her fate, desperate to return to Britain. “The caliphate is over,” she says. “There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory.” Her friends would be “ashamed” of her if they are alive and have learnt that she has fled. “They made their choice as single women. For their husbands were already dead. It was their own choice as women to stay.” Now, she says, her priority is her baby. “I know what everyone at home thinks of me as I have read all that was written about me online. But I just want to come home to have my child. That’s all I want right now. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child.”
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US sanctions Venezuela officials close to 'former President' Maduro
The US Treasury announced Friday it was imposing sanctions on five intelligence and security officials close to crisis-hit Venezuela's "former" President Nicolas Maduro. Among the five men is Manuel Quevedo, described by the Treasury as the "illegitimate" president of Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, PDVSA.
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USS Hornet has been found on the floor of the South Pacific, 76 years after it was sunk by the Japanese
Tim Gray interviewed the last surviving pilot from the 1942 Doolittle Raid that took off for Japan from the USS Hornet.
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U.S. investigators probing years of WikiLeaks activities: sources
American investigators are gathering information and pursuing witnesses involved in both recent WikiLeaks disclosures and the website's large-scale postings of U.S. military and diplomatic messages over several years from 2010. A former U.S. Army soldier, Chelsea Manning, was charged and convicted for leaking the reports and cables to WikiLeaks but was released from a lengthy prison term after her sentence was commuted by U.S. President Barack Obama.
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Sunken WWII U.S. carrier discovered in Pacific
At a depth of nearly 17,500 feet, a research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen has discovered the wreckage of an American aircraft carrier sunk in the South Pacific during World War II. (Feb. 14)
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British children walk out of lessons on climate strike
Youngsters marched on Parliament Square in London and gathered in other cities carrying banners marked with "Climate change is worse than homework", "Act now for our future" and other slogans. A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that while the government welcomed the students' engagement, the disruption to schools and lessons would be difficult for teachers.
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Russian court orders Baring Vostok founder to be held for 72 hours
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court on Friday ordered Baring Vostok's founder Michael Calvey to be kept in custody for 72 hours following his detention on suspicion of fraud, allegations that he denies.
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Kashmir car bomb kills 44; India demands Pakistan act against militants
The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. The Indian government accused Pakistan of letting militant groups operate from its soil and called on it to take action. Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan.
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Army calls base housing hazards 'unconscionable,' details steps to protect families
Deeply troubled by military housing conditions exposed by Reuters reporting, the U.S. Army’s top leadership vowed Friday to renegotiate its housing contracts with private real estate firms, test tens of thousands of homes for toxins and hold its own commanders responsible for protecting Army base residents from dangerous homes. In an interview, the Secretary of the Army Mark Esper said Reuters reports and a chorus of concerns from military families had opened his eyes to the need for urgent overhauls of the Army’s privatized housing system, which accommodates more than 86,000 families. The secretary’s conclusion: Private real estate firms tasked with managing and maintaining the housing stock have been failing the families they serve, and the Army itself neglected its duties.
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Portland, Oregon, police probe texts between officer and right-wing leader
Hundreds of emails and text messages released by the city's police bureau on Thursday showed Portland Police Lieutenant Jeff Niiya and Joey Gibson, leader of right-wing group Patriot Prayer, often discussed Gibson's plans to demonstrate. Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said she ordered an internal investigation to review the communications and determine if any bureau directives were violated. "If anything is identified that is deemed outside of our values and directives, it will be addressed," Outlaw said late on Thursday in a statement.
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37 killed in Indian Kashmir attack
At least 37 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on Thursday in Indian-administered Kashmir in one the deadliest attacks on government forces there, police said. The suicide bombing outside Srinagar claimed by an Islamist group is likely to ratchet up tensions between nuclear-armed arch rivals India and Pakistan, with New Delhi long accusing Islamabad of supporting militants. "The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain," Indian Prime Minister Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, calling the attack "despicable".
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William Barr sworn in for 2nd stint as US attorney general
WASHINGTON (AP) — William Barr was sworn in Thursday for his second stint as the nation's attorney general, taking the helm of the Justice Department as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
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Carson Daly wants to spread heart health awareness
In light of American Heart Month, Carson Daly opens up to his TODAY colleagues about his late mother, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2017. Now, he wants to raise awareness about the connection between Type 1 diabetes and heart health.
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Munger Asks, ‘Who Wouldn’t Want Rich People?’ in Tax Pushback
“A lot of civilizations work very well with low taxes on the rich,” Munger, 95, said in an interview Thursday after the annual shareholder meeting in Los Angeles of the Daily Journal Corp., where he serves as chairman. Democratic policy makers including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have advocated raising taxes on the rich. Munger, a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. vice chairman who owned more than $1.4 billion in company stock as of September, argued there’s a “lot of ignorance” around the tax issue.
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Amazon's Biggest Bull Says It May Be Bluffing About Nixed NYC HQ
“On first blush, we believe Amazon may be bluffing," wrote Tom Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson, who has a Street-high price target of $2,450. Shares of Amazon rose 0.5 percent in pre-market trading. Amazon is “incredibly shrewd when it comes to lobbying and working with governments,” Forte wrote in a note to clients.
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South Africa Ex-Ambassador Seized Over MTN Iran License Win
The case has been the subject of legal claims for several years by the Turkish company, which accuses Johannesburg-based MTN of paying bribes to South African and Iranian officials. MTN secured 49 percent of Irancell Telecommunication Co. Services in 2005, which gave it a license to operate in the country, after the stake was originally awarded to Turkcell.
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XPO Plummets as Analysts Link $600 Million Shortfall to Amazon
While XPO didn’t identify the mystery client, analysts including Citigroup Inc.’s Christian Wetherbee and Deutsche Bank AG’s Amit Mehrotra speculated that it was Amazon.com Inc. The e-commerce giant has been building its own package-delivery business to reduce its dependence on third-party carriers and logistics companies. XPO’s largest customer cut back by two-thirds, Jacobs said, eliminating $600 million in XPO sales for operations such as processing packages for transfer to the U.S. Postal Service.
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Amazon Leads $700 Million Bet on Electric Truck Maker Rivian
The backing from Amazon will bolster Michigan-based Rivian’s plans to bring an electric truck to market in late 2020. Rivian remains in talks with General Motors Co. about the largest U.S. automaker making an investment or collaborating another way, people familiar with the matter said. Chief Executive Officer R.J. Scaringe said in his first interview since reports of Rivian’s talks with Amazon and GM surfaced earlier this week that he was seeking companies that could help the electric-vehicle maker grow.
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In space, NASA heard astronaut's immune system scream
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly a year in space put astronaut Scott Kelly's immune system on high alert and changed the activity of some of his genes compared to his Earth-bound identical twin.
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Watch a space harpoon impale a piece of space debris
NASA tracks 500,000 chunks and bits of space junk as they hurtle around Earth. Some 20,000 of these objects are larger than a softball. To clean up the growing mess, scientists at the University of Surrey have previously tested a net to catch chunks of debris. Now, they've successfully tested out a harpoon. The video below, released Friday by the university's space center, shows a test of the experimental RemoveDEBRIS satellite as it unleashes a harpoon at a piece of solar panel, held out on a 1.5-meter boom. The harpoon clearly impales its target.  “This is RemoveDEBRIS’ most demanding experiment and the fact that it was a success is testament to all involved," Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, said in a statement.  Next, the RemoveDEBRIS team — made up of a group of international collaborators — is planning its final experiment: responsibly destroying the satellite. In March, the RemoveDEBRIS satellite will "inflate a sail that will drag the satellite into Earth’s atmosphere where it will be destroyed," the university said a statement. This is how the group intends to vaporize the future dangerous debris it catches.  SEE ALSO: Trump fails to block NASA's carbon sleuth from going to space Human space debris hurtles around Earth faster than a speeding bullet, with debris often traveling at 17,500 mph, or faster. The threat of collisions is always present, though in some orbits the odds of an impact are significantly lower than others. The International Space Station, for instance, is in a relatively debris-free orbit, but even here there is the threat of "natural debris" — micrometeors — pummeling the space station. Other orbits have considerably more debris spinning around Earth. In 2009, a derelict Russian satellite slammed into a functional Iridium telecommunication satellite at 26,000 mph, resulting in an estimated 200,000 bits of debris. In 2007, the Chinese launched a missile at an old weather satellite, spraying shrapnel into Earth's orbit. This risk amplifies as more satellites are rocketed into space. SpaceX now has government-approved plans to launch thousands of its Starlink satellites into orbit — perhaps by the mid-2020's, should they amass money for the pricey program.  This would double or triple the number of satellites in orbit. "It is unprecedented,” said Kessler, NASA's former senior scientist for orbital debris research told Mashable. "The sheer number, that’s the problem." Kessler has long warned about the potential of catastrophic chain reactions in Earth's orbit, wherein one collision creates enough weaponized debris to create a cycle of destruction.  Designs to harpoon dangerous chunks of debris are just being tested in space today, but the technology could prove critical as Earth's orbit grows increasingly trafficked with large, metallic satellites.   WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
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Monster mudslides ravage California
Parts of California are bracing for yet more flooding after a powerful storm unleashed historic levels of rainfall earlier this week. Floods and mudslides across the state have triggered evacuations and sent homes tumbling down hillsides. Linda So reports.
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U.S. targeted 21 Savage for his rap lyrics, lawyer says
The entertainer, whose real name is She'yaa BinAbraham-Joseph, was arrested on Feb. 3 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on charges he is a foreign citizen who had overstayed his visa by more than a decade. Officials said he came to the United States from Britain. During a Friday appearance on ABC News' "Good Morning America," Abraham-Joseph said he arrived in the United States when he was 7 years old with his mother and brothers, and that his visa expired in 2006.
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New York state eyes legal challenge to Trump's emergency declaration
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York's state attorney general on Friday threatened legal action against U.S. President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration aimed at freeing up billions in funds to build a wall along the country's border with Mexico.
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Trump says he'll declare emergency on U.S.-Mexico border
President Donald Trump on Friday announced he would declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move Democrats vowed to challenge as an unconstitutional attempt to fund his promised border wall without approval from Congress. "I'm going to be signing a national emergency," Trump said from the Rose Garden of the White House. Trump was also expected on Friday to sign a bipartisan government spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday that would prevent another partial federal government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday morning.
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Trump declares national emergency to access border wall funding, setting stage for legal battles
Donald Trump is signing a federal funding bill to avoid another government shutdown and announcing a series of executive actions along the US-Mexico border, including the declaration of a national emergency — setting the stage for a major legal showdown. The border security compromise was approved by the US Congress on Thursday afternoon as the president threatened to declare a national emergency if the billions of dollars he requested to go towards building a wall was not included in the bill. “It’s a great thing to do because we have an invasion of drugs, an invasion of gangs, an invasion of people, and it’s unacceptable,” Mr Trump said while announcing the national emergency he declared along the US-Mexico border on Friday.
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Nigeria bolsters security on eve of presidential election
The two leading candidates in Saturday's vote are President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in 2015, and Atiku Abubakar, a businessman who served as vice president from 1999 to 2007. The country, which has Africa's largest economy, is dealing with pockets of instability: authorities are trying to tackle a decade-long Islamist insurgency in the northeast and communal violence between farmers and nomadic cattle herders in central states, along with banditry and kidnappings in the northwest. Dozens of combat policemen and members of other security forces were deployed from police headquarters in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state that has been worst hit by Boko Haram and its off-shoot, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).
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Trump declares national emergency to build a wall
In a rambling, teleprompter-free diatribe, President Trump announced that he was declaring a national emergency in order to build a wall at the southern border.
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Papa John's serves up college tuition benefit to employees of pizza chain
Troubled pizza chain Papa John's will pay college tuition for its employees and assistance for franchisees.
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Southern California storm brings heavy rainfall Thursday
Rain is drenching Southern California on Thursday, as a strong storm brings steady rainfall through the evening.
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Netanyahu leaves Poland after plane mishap delayed departure
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to spend an extra night in Warsaw after his plane was damaged following an airport mishap shortly before departure. He departed around noon Friday, marking an inauspicious ending to a turbulent visit.
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Ex-Massachusetts governor to challenge Trump for GOP nod
BEDFORD, N.H. (AP) — William Weld, a former Massachusetts governor who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, became the first Republican to take a serious step toward challenging President Donald Trump in 2020.
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Weakest U.S. retail sales since 2009 cast pall over economy
The shockingly weak report from the Commerce Department on Thursday led to growth estimates for the fourth-quarter being cut to below a 2.0 percent annualized rate. December's collapse in retail sales and other data showing an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week and a second straight monthly decline in producer prices in January support the Federal Reserve's pledge to be "patient" before raising interest rates further this year. "The decline in retail sales calls into question the domestic growth assumption." Retail sales tumbled 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September 2009 when the economy was emerging from recession.
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America Wants to Talk About Iran, But Europe Doesn’t
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo first described this week’s big international conference in Warsaw, he left little doubt about its purpose. At the meeting, he said last month, America and its allies would discuss “how it is we together can get Iran to behave like a normal nation.”
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How long can Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Beto O'Rourke afford to wait to jump into 2020 race?
As more presidential hopefuls crisscross the state, the three Democratic contenders most preferred by Iowans still aren't in the race.
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Eating scorpions, worms in Thai/US military drill
Thailand and the US hosted the opening ceremony for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, the biggest activity of its type in the Asia-Pacific region with participants learning jungle survival skills. (Feb. 14)
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Sherrod Brown Is Not an Idiot
The day has arrived in the Democratic party when Sherrod Brown is a kind of moderate.The impeccably progressive Ohio senator who has occupied a spot on the left flank of the Democratic caucus for a very long time is declining to sign up for the fashionable radical causes of the hour.Brown has not endorsed the Bernie Sanders “Medicare-for-all” plan that contemplates the end of private insurance in America, nor for the outlandishly expensive and eminently mockable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “Green New Deal.”This marks Brown out from other Democratic senators running for president, who aren’t letting practicality or future worries about a general election keep them from putting their names to legislation that will never pass and opens them up to obvious attacks.A variety of forces tether Brown to reality more than his colleagues. He’s been in elected politics his entire adult life, and although he’s been willing to go his own way — he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s when that wasn’t popular — he’s pragmatic enough not to get carried away with wild enthusiasms.He’s managed to thrive in an increasingly red state. In 2016, Donald Trump handily won Ohio. The state is not Alabama, but it’s not New York or California either, where a Democrat can discount any need to appeal to culturally conservative voters.Finally, Brown’s base is unions that have no patience for pie-in-the-sky environmental schemes that threaten their jobs, or radical schemes to overturn current health-care arrangements when many of them have gold-plated plans they want to protect.All of this means that Brown has the sense to steer clear of proposals that will almost certainly diminish a Democrat’s chances of beating Trump.On paper, Brown looks like a strong general-election candidate, and not just because he’s avoiding ridiculous excesses.The natural play for Democrats in 2020 would be to nominate someone, like Brown, who has a good chance of winning back the Blue Wall states and therefore putting away the election (barring some unforeseen event that opens up Hillary states to Trump).There’s little doubt that Brown would have won against Trump in 2016. He has a much stronger connection to working-class voters than Hillary Clinton and never would have dismissed them or the Upper Midwest. He came up in politics hanging out in union halls, and he warns against coastal condescension toward the Midwest.Brown can claim some measure of vindication with the rise of Trump. It has moved the center of gravity of American politics in his direction. The senator was a voice in the wilderness on globalization, and now there’s a Republican president who makes much the same critiques and has largely brought his party around with him.Brown’s economic populism is no longer an outlier. Instead, the point of contention is whether Trump or Brown represents the best version. Brown believes Democrats shouldn’t “shy away from populism because Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump and Steve Bannon get called ‘populists.’”The question, at the same time, is whether the Democratic party is leaving behind Brown’s style of politics. The Left’s disdain for working-class whites has, if anything, grown over the first two years of the Trump presidency. And as Ron Brownstein pointed out in a recent analysis for CNN, noncollege whites are becoming a less important part of the Democratic party, while the influence of college-educated and African-American women grows.Like Bernie Sanders, Brown will have the disadvantage of being a white male more interested in class than racial politics, at a time when the most vocal part of the party’s base is obsessed with intersectionality.Part of Brown’s calculation has to be that he can leave the crowded left-most lane in the primary to others. And, so, yes, it has come to this: In the inflamed, resistance-driven contemporary Democratic party, Sherrod Brown is a voice of relative moderation.© 2019 by King Features Syndicate
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Trump, honoring Holocaust survivors, seems blind to events of today
President Trump honored Holocaust survivors in his State of the Union speech. But many could have been saved if the U.S. had opened its doors to refugees from Europe before World War II.
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Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg back at court after cancer bout
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back at the court after missing oral arguments in January as she recovered from lung cancer surgery at home, a court official said on Friday. Ginsburg, who will turn 86 in March, had been working from home and participating and voting in cases since her December surgery by reading argument transcripts and case briefs. While Ginsburg was expected to attend the next session of oral arguments beginning on Feb. 19, court officials could not confirm she would be on the bench next week.
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Everything We Know So Far About Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune'
Dune comes back to the big screen, this time with veteran director Denis Villeneuve.
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2020 Vision: Buckle up America! It’s gonna be a long, crowded campaign
If this week was a preview, the 2020 presidential cycle will make the last one seem tranquil.
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National emergencies are common; declaring one for a border wall is not
When Trump declares a national emergency to free up funding for his wall he will follow in a long line of presidents dating back to George Washington.
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Venezuela's Guaido challenging Maduro, millennial style
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's latest Instagram selfie got over half a million likes. President Nicolas Maduro might have dismissed the 35-year-old as a "kid playing politics" -- but experts say his millennial status could give him an edge over the middle-aged socialist leader. "Juan Guaido is part of the millennials generation," said Andres Canizalez, a political communication expert.
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POLL: Majority of New Yorkers Supported Amazon Moving to NYC
The majority of all New York voters supported the opening of an Amazon headquarters in Queens but the backing was strongest among blacks and hispanic residents, according to a recent Siena College poll.The poll, conducted from February 4-7, asked 778 New Yorkers: “Do you approve or disapprove of the recently announced deal between Amazon and New York, which grants up to $3 billion in state and city incentives to Amazon in return for Amazon locating its corporate offices in Queens, where it is projected to generate 25,000 jobs?”A significant majority (56 percent) of all New Yorkers approved of the plan while 36 percent disapproved. Among New York City residents support was slightly stronger at 58 percent.Support was most pronounced among minorities: 70 percent of black voters approved while just 25 percent disapproved, and 81 percent of Latinos approved compared to 17 percent who disapproved.“Even as Amazon is said to be re-examining the deal to locate in Queens, by twenty points New York voters approve of the deal,” said pollster Don Levy. “In New York City, where some local activists have voiced opposition, voters approve of the deal by 23 points.”The plan, which would have provided Amazon roughly $3 billion in state and city tax subsidies, was scuttled this week due to a political impasse in Albany. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had enthusiastically endorsed the proposal, blamed a "small group" of unnamed politicians for the setback in a statement released Thursday.“A small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community…The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity,” the statement read in part.
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Virginia governor asks lawmakers to focus on budget 'equity'
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam asked lawmakers Thursday to pass a state budget that has a "greater focus on issues of equity" as he tries to move past a blackface scandal that nearly ended his governorship.
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Sen. Chuck Grassley is literally praying that Donald Trump will sign the border security bill
President Donald Trump has not said whether he will sign the deal to avert another government shutdown. So GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley is praying.
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‘Serendipity’ Review: Intensely Personal Cancer Doc Makes Case for Art as Best Medicine
Berlin: The artist's feature directorial debut is part personal reckoning, part career overview, and entirely intimate.
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Getting Clued Up on Heart Disease Could Save Your Life
Women are more likely to experience unusual symptoms than men.Read More...
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Electric truck startup Rivian gets funding from Amazon
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Amazon and General Motors Co were in talks to invest in Rivian in a deal that could value the company between $1 billion and $2 billion. Both Rivian and Amazon declined to comment on the valuation. The investment comes on the heels of Rivian unveiling its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, the company said.
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New 2020 Porsche Taycan EV Details Revealed in Spy Photos
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UK teen runaway who joined IS 'wants to come home'
An unrepentant British teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria said in an interview Thursday that she wanted to come home, highlighting the challenge for Western governments on how to deal with returning jihadist supporters. Shamima Begum, who ran away from London with two school friends in 2015, spoke to The Times newspaper from a refugee camp in eastern Syria after fleeing the collapse of the IS group's "caliphate". "So I fled the caliphate.
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U.K. Spy Warns Against Triumphalism Over Islamic State Collapse
“We are not triumphant because I think from triumphant you get to hubris,” MI6 Chief Alex Younger told reporters in Munich on Friday. Younger said Islamic States’s so-called caliphate was now in its “end game,” with the extremist militants clinging to the last square mile of land they hold in the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria. Meanwhile the U.K. is debating the case of Shamima Begum, a 19-year-old from east London who wants to come home despite expressing no regrets over becoming a so-called jihadi bride with Islamic State in Syria at the age of 15.
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Amazon's NY exit spurs reactions on money saved and jobs lost
Amazon.com Inc's decision on Thursday to scrap its proposal to locate a second headquarters in the Queens borough of New York City ignited a sea of duelling reactions on Twitter, with some calling it a victory for working people while others said it meant that fewer people would work. Some people who praised the pullout included references to the wealth of Amazon's chief executive and founder, Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man with an estimated fortune of about $135 billion, while many who saw the decision as a blow to New York cited the loss of potentially tens of thousands of new jobs. The deal negotiated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had offered the world's largest online retailer about $3 billion in incentives, in exchange for the company's promise of 25,000 new jobs in the Long Island City section of Queens.
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$100 million in humanitarian aid pledged to crisis-hit Venezuela
Twenty-five countries have pledged $100 million in aid to Venezuela, a top US official said Thursday, as the crisis-hit country's Supreme Court took aim at oil executives appointed by the opposition. Venezuela is plagued by hyperinflation and major shortages of basic goods, and two men -- opposition leader Juan Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro -- are vying for control of the country. The United States is among more than 50 countries that have recognized Guaido as interim president, but Maduro -- backed by the country's military as well as Russia, China and dozens of other states -- has so far refused to relinquish his office.
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Donald Trump risks legal fight with 'national emergency' threat over wall
The president will almost certainly face challenges in court over his plan to raise additional funding for a border wall, bypassing the power of Congress.
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Danish economist picked to be new UN environment chief
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has picked Danish economist and environmentalist Inger Andersen to be the new UN environment chief, turning the page on a scandal over expenses that rocked the UN agency, according to a letter seen by AFP on Friday. Andersen, who heads the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is set to succeed Erik Solheim of Norway, who resigned in November amid an outcry over his huge travel expenses. UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed told a meeting of ambassadors on Thursday that Guterres had chosen Andersen as his nominee.
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Best Presidents Day TV Deals
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission—100% of the fees w...
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New Deals (Even Green Ones) Are Bonanzas for Big Business
Amazon is taking its ball and going home, and New York Democrats are actually celebrating.I wasn’t a huge fan of the deal New York and Amazon worked out. I don’t like corporate welfare, and the race among municipalities to bribe businesses to set up shop in their backyards has a lot of problems. The news that Amazon is spurning the Big Apple and searching for a different location will undoubtedly spark an unseemly frenzy among other cities, reminiscent of the search for the last golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.But what’s just astounding to me is how Democrats can (almost in one breath, figuratively speaking) champion a Green New Deal that would use the powers of the state -- taxes, subsidies, regulatory bullying, etc. -- to herd whole industries into alignment with their vision of a just and green society, and at the same time denounce these very tactics when actually put into practice.The most prominent architect of the GND is New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Under her proposal, cows might suffer, but humans will thrive thanks to all the wonderful new jobs and free health care her utopian scheme would provide.AOC, as she’s ubiquitously called, rejects the idea that traditional market economics or fiscal bookkeeping should be any hindrance to her scheme.“I think the first thing that we need to do is kind of break the mistaken idea that taxes pay for 100 percent of government expenditure,” she recently told NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “It’s just not how government expenditure works.  . . . Government projects are often financed by a combination of taxes, deficit spending, and other kinds of investments -- you know, bonds and so on.”When Inskeep pointed out to her that deficit spending is “borrowing money that has to be paid back eventually through taxes,” AOC reversed herself with an impressive lack of embarrassment, saying that’s okay because this isn’t spending, it’s investing. Borrowing tens of trillions for her “investments” will pay for itself, “Because we’re creating jobs.”The Amazon deal would have created some 25,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $150,000, but AOC was against it because the agreement amounted to “creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations.”Maybe it did. But I have news for AOC and others trying to use the precedent of the original New Deal as an excuse to get the band back together: This is how New Deals work.The original New Deal was a bonanza for big business. In their effort to mobilize the U.S. economy to fight the Depression, the New Dealers favored big businesses and “associations” -- cartels, guilds, syndicates, etc. -- at every turn. The largest corporations individually or in association wrote the “codes” -- i.e., regulations -- of the National Recovery Administration and other agencies for their own benefit. It was all done in the name of efficiency and progress.For instance, the big chain movie houses of the 1930s -- the Netflixes and Hulus of the time -- wrote the codes in such a way that independents were nearly run out of business, even though 13,571 of the 18,321 movie theaters in America were independently owned.A review board chaired by legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow investigated the NRA and found that, in “virtually all the codes we have examined, one condition has been persistent . . . . In Industry after Industry, the larger units . . . have for their own advantage written the codes, and then, in effect and for their own advantage, assumed the administration of the code they have framed.”This is what happens whenever any government pursues industrial policy: The biggest stakeholders demand to wet their beaks if they’re going to go along. The resolution introduced by AOC says it will “invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century.”As my American Enterprise Institute colleague (and zealous enemy of corporate welfare) Timothy P. Carney writes in the Washington Examiner, “All of these dreams become real only if the federal government forks over billions and billions to General Electric, Siemens, monopoly utilities, Tesla, Google, and the other corporate giants who hire the right lobbyists and position themselves to pocket the handouts.”The lesson of such efforts throughout American history and across the world is that when the government hugs big business, big business hugs back, and its embrace leaves the rest of us in the cold.The Amazon deal wasn’t the opposite of what AOC wants; it was a trial run.© 2019 Tribune Content Agency LLC.
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The Ocasio-Cortez Party Turns Amazon’s NYC Plans Into HQ0
Amazon’s decision to pull out of a planned mega-campus in Long Island City, Queens, is more than a loss for Cuomo. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio—two Democrats who rarely agree on anything—brokered a truce to put together a $3 billion tax break for Amazon.com Inc. that helped secure one half of a second headquarters.
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Trump emergency sets precedent Republicans will regret
Imagine future Democratic presidents declaring national emergencies to address gun violence, immigration, climate change, health care: Our view
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The Potentially Fatal Side Effect of Taking Antidepressants
A woman living with depression describes her experience with serotonin syndrome, a potentially fatal side effect of taking antidepressants.
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What if Airbags, But on the Outside of the Car?
The German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG is taking this idea seriously, developing airbags that would inflate on a vehicle's exterior to make it even safer.
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'All I Want to Do Is Come Home.' A London Schoolgirl Who Fled to Join ISIS Now Hopes to Return
A schoolgirl from east London who left the U.K. in 2015 to join the Islamic State has reportedly said she wants to return home because she is nine months pregnant and afraid for her unborn child.
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Texas Mom Arrested After Kids Found Locked in Dog Cage and Covered in Feces
The two eldest children were found in a 3 by 3 foot dog cage and the two other children were discovered nearby, covered in urine and feces.
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Supermoon? Snow Moon? Full moon? Whatever you call it, a lunar spectacle is coming soon
Whether you call it full, snow or super, the biggest, brightest moon of the year is coming to a sky near you Tuesday.
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President Donald Trump Is Now One of 93 Million Obese Americans
The results of his annual physical were released Thursday
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Suspect Involved in Death of NYPD Detective Charged with Murder
The 27-year-old man involved in the friendly-fire death of an NYPD detective had a fake gun, but he was charged with murder and manslaughter Wednesday.
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Pompeo meets EU's top diplomat after Pence's Iran accusations
Pompeo's meeting with Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, was scheduled before Pence's rebuke of European powers, during a Middle East peace conference in Warsaw on Thursday. Mogherini, who helped seal the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, greeted Pompeo at EU headquarters in Brussels. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Pence’s speech was not raised during the hour-long meeting, which he said was friendly and constructive.
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Trump will sign border deal but will also declare emergency
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress lopsidedly approved a border security compromise that would avert a second painful government shutdown.
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Brazil Considers Humanitarian Aid Route Into Venezuela From South
The aid center would be set up in the state of Roraima, on Venezuela’s southern border, the person said, asking not to be identified because discussions are not public. The facility would stockpile medicine and food and would be handled by Brazil’s foreign and health ministries, as well as the army. The U.S is due to host a conference in Washington on humanitarian aid for Venezuela on Thursday.
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Mexico to pump $3.6 billion into ailing oil firm Pemex in relief plan
Mexico's government will inject $3.6 billion into ailing state-owned oil company Pemex, including by reducing taxes paid, company officials said on Friday, a move aimed at improving the firm's balance sheet and preventing a further downgrade to its credit rating. Formally known as Petroleos Mexicanos, the firm holds roughly $106 billion in financial debt, the highest of any national oil company in Latin America. Pemex will receive $1.8 billion in pension liability monetization as part of the new fiscal assistance plan for company, officials said, but the Mexican government will not take on new debt for Pemex.
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Running Shoes She Is Going to Love
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U.S. jobless claims rise; four-week average at one-year high
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, pushing the four-week moving average of claims to its highest level in just over a year, suggesting some moderation in job growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week ended Feb. 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised up to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
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Advice for cancer patients: plan on surviving
Cancer patients and survivors should talk with their doctors about how their care and cancer history could affect their future health.
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Colorado 7-Year-Old Dies Following Flu Symptoms, Coma
A 7-year-old girl died Sunday after spending seven weeks in a Colorado hospital.
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Confirmed as attorney general, William Barr takes on investigations of the president
William Barr returns to lead the Justice Department for a second time, this time as it conducts tandem investigations of President Donald Trump.
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Torrential rain turns road into rushing river
Heavy rain hitting Southern California caused major flooding and several water rescues were required. In Palm Springs, California, this road was completely taken over by rushing flood waters.
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President Trump's National Emergency Is a Ploy to Avoid Admitting Defeat on the Wall
The risky maneuver opens a Pandora’s box of future challenges
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Senate approves William Barr as Donald Trump's new attorney general
The US Senate has approved President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr, putting the veteran Republican lawyer in charge of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of any ties between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia. The vote was 54-45, primarily on a party-line basis with most Republicans backing the 68-year-old and most Democrats opposed. Democrats had expressed concern over Mr Barr's nomination out of concern he might not fully make public Mr Mueller's findings. But with the Senate controlled by the Republicans, Mr Barr's confirmation was always assured. Previously attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under President George HW Bush, Mr Barr has won praise from lawmakers in both parties for his expertise and grasp of the workings of the Justice Department, which he will now head. He is the third man in barely two years to occupy that post, replacing acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr Trump ousted Mr Sessions last November after criticising him repeatedly. Mr Mueller is investigating meddling by Russia in the 2016 US presidential election and whether Moscow colluded with Mr Trump's campaign to try to tilt the election in Mr Trump's direction, as well as possible obstruction of justice. Mr Trump denies any collusion. The Kremlin denies any meddling. Before being nominated, Mr Barr wrote a 19-page legal memo, which he shared with Mr Trump's legal team and Justice Department officials. It called Mr Mueller's probe "fatally flawed." Mr Barr has said he will not let himself be bullied by Mr Trump and will protect the integrity of Mr Mueller's investigation and make public as many of its findings as he can. However, Mr Barr has not promised to release Mr Mueller's final report in its entirety. He has warned he may not be allowed to reveal the identities of people who escape prosecution. That stance troubles many Democrats, who say Mr Barr's expansive views of executive power might lead him to suppress parts of the report. Despite Democrats' opposition, many are still anxious to have Mr Barr installed quickly so that he can replace Mr Whitaker, whose tenure has been fraught with controversy since the president installed him in November. Critics have alleged Mr Whitaker's appointment was unlawful. Democrats fear Trump installed him to undermine Mr Mueller's probe because Mr Whitaker had criticised it when he was a conservative pundit. Mr Barr is widely expected to back many of Mr Trump's tough immigration policies. He will also be under the microscope for how he implements a new law that eases prison sentences for non-violent criminals, after he advocated for the opposite, tough-on-crime approach for decades.
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Russian court orders Baring Vostok executive Delpal be held in custody
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court on Friday ordered Baring Vostok executive Phillipe Delpal, a French national, to be held in custody for one month and 30 days after he was detained on suspicion of embezzlement. Delpal was one of several executives at private equity group Baring Vostok including Michael Calvey, a U.S. citizen, who were detained on Thursday. (Reporting by Maria Vasilyeva and Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Mark Potter)
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Woman Shot in the Face with a Crossbow Drove Herself to the Hospital
An Arkansas man was arrested on felony charges after deputies say he shot a woman in the face with a crossbow.
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Why Donald Trump is set to declare a national emergency to build his wall - and what will happen next
Donald Trump is poised to declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his US-Mexico border wall without congressional approval. The White House said the US president would sign a spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, but which only provides $1.375 billion for border barriers or fencing - far from the $5.7 billion Mr Trump wants. "President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. The prospect of Mr Trump declaring a state of emergency to build his border wall had appeared more likely after he backed down in the shutdown standoff last month without securing funds for the barrier.    The spectre of such action has produced widespread opposition in Congress, but Mr Trump is under pressure to soothe his conservative base and avoid looking like he's surrendered in his wall battle with Congress. A construction crew installs new sections of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier replacing smaller fences  Credit: Getty Such a move has been done before by past presidents but this time it would almost certainly face legal challenges. What is a national emergency? Passed in 1976, the National Emergencies Act allows the president to pronounce a national emergency when he deems it appropriate. The act offers no specific definition of “emergency”, but the use of it has rarely been controversial. However, because it allows a president to declare one entirely at his or her discretion, critics are accusing Mr Trump of "fabricating" a crisis at the southern border.  Why an emergency declaration? The administration has spent months trying to figure out how the president might be able to move forward with the wall - the central promise of his 2016 campaign - if Congress refuses to give him the money. As early as last March, Mr Trump was publicly floating the idea of using the military for the task.  Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018 But it’s Congress - not the president - that controls the country’s purse strings and must appropriate money he wants to spend. A emergency declaration, however, bypasses Congress. The White House counsel’s office is reviewing the option and among the laws Mr Trump could turn to is Section 2808 of the Title 10 US Code pertaining to military construction. According to the statute, if the president declares an emergency "that requires use of the armed forces," the Defence Secretary "may undertake military construction projects, and may authorise the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorised by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces". Pentagon budget officials are analysing the 2019 construction budget to determine how many dollars would be available to use for the wall if Mr Trump opts for that path. Under the provision, only those construction budget funds that are not already set aside for other construction projects could be used for the wall. There are more than 100 such provisions giving the president access to special powers in emergencies. And Congress has typically afforded the president broad authority to determine what constitutes an emergency and what does not, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the liberty and national security programme at the Brennan Centre for Justice. "Absolutely it’s an abuse of power for the president to declare a national emergency when none exists and to use it to try to get around the democratic process," she said. "But we are in a situation where our legal system for emergency powers almost invites that kind of abuse." What would happen then? Declaring an emergency to build the wall would likely trigger a torrent of legal challenges questioning the president’s authority as well as whether the situation at the border really constitutes an emergency. Mr Trump has been trying to press that case in recent weeks, insisting the situation qualifies as a security and humanitarian "crisis." He’ll also face other questions. "The problem for the Trump administration is that border security is fundamentally a law enforcement issue that does not require the use of the military," said Todd Harrison, a defence budget expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "So I think they would be on shaky legal ground trying to use emergency authorities this way, and it is almost certain that they would end up in court." Asked if she would file a legal challenge to an emergency declaration, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "I may, that's an option." A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico Credit: Reuters Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it would be inappropriate for Mr Trump to use Section 2808. "We are not at war with Mexico, and the proposed border wall has no core (Defence Department) function. Indeed, the Pentagon’s most recent National Defence Strategy doesn’t mention the southern border as a national defence priority," Mr Reed said. Adam Smith, House Armed Services Committee Chairman, said even if Mr Trump could declare an emergency, it would be a "huge mistake." "There clearly is no national emergency. But they asked me, ’Can he do it?’ Yeah he can. It would be wrong, it would be horrible policy and I’m totally and completely against it. But from a legal standpoint he can do it," Mr Smith told CNN. He and others agreed any declaration would surely be challenged in court. Has it been done in past? National emergencies have been declared by a number of presidents in the past, mostly when it comes to economic sanctions against foreign actors whose activities pose a national threat.  Bill Clinton declared emergencies 17 times, one of which was announced during the Cuba embargo in 1996, when US ships or aircraft were prevented from entering Cuban territory without authorisation. Barack Obama, meanwhile, declared one when tackling  the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic in 2009 in order to arrange proper patient treatment. One of the 31 national emergencies still in effect is that declared by George W Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. How could Congress or the courts challenge it? While Mr Trump can declare an emergency when he wants, Congress theoretically does have the authority to cancel it - though such a move would be unprecedented.   The National Emergencies Act gives lawmakers authority to reject a declaration through legislation that would require majorities in the House and Senate. Mr Trump would likely veto bill, after which lawmakers would have the chance to override it with a two-thirds majority vote. With Republicans in control of the Senate, that of course would be a tall order in the current climate. The declaration would likely face a legal challenge in the courts, where presidential declarations have rarely been voided.  President Harry S. Truman declared an emergency to take control of steel factories during the Korean War Credit: AP In 1952, President Harry Truman declared an emergency to take control of steel factories during the Korean War in response to a labour strike. By a 6-3 vote, the US Supreme Court ruled against the president. In an influential opinion, Justice Robert H. Jackson said Truman’s reliance on emergency power under the Constitution would hand too much power to the president - in stark opposition to the wishes of the framers. However, that preceded the 1976 Act, which leaves the existence of an emergency wide open to interpretation.  "If President Trump declares a national emergency at the border, it is far from clear that courts would strike it down," writes Chris Edelson, Assistant Professor of Government at American University School of Public Affairs. Where would the money come from? Shifting money from accounts to deliver the $5.7 billion he wants will be tricky.  The administration has been eyeing several pots of money - including disaster funds, counter-narcotic accounts and military construction dollars - to fund Mr Trump's wall, according to congressional aides and White House officials. One possibility is shifting a portion of the $13 billion in disaster aid Congress approved last year for Puerto Rico and a dozen states, including California and Texas, hit hard by hurricanes, flooding and other disasters. The money funds Army Corps projects, and the Puerto Rico aid alone totals more than $2 billion. A man walks past destroyed homes in Catano, Puerto Rico, which was pummelled by Hurricane Maria in 2017 Credit: AFP But Texas lawmakers revolted over White House plans to tap Hurricane Harvey funds, and Sen. John Cornyn said on Thursday they won assurances from the White House that the money won't be used for the wall. A more likely option is the military construction account that's used to upgrade bases and facilities. Congressional aides said there is $21 billion available. That includes about $10 billion in funds from the current 2019 fiscal year that ends September 30, and $11 billion remaining from the previous four years, said the aides.  But tapping the military construction money also may hit resistance. The money often goes for improvements to housing, roads, hospitals and other facilities, and can be used to eliminate mold or other hazardous problems at military installations in congressional districts across the nation and around the globe. Potentially easier to tap is the military's counter-drug account, so-called Section 284 money, as suggested by Rep. Mark Meadows, a Trump ally and leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus. But it falls short of what's needed with about $800 million available.
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The U.S. Navy's New Stealth Destroyer's: A Laser-Armed Warship?
Some big upgrades could be coming soon.
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Flu widespread in US with 15.2 million cases since October, but experts see 'low-severity' season
More people have received flu shots this year than last. The overall hospitalization rate so far this season is 20.1 per 100,000 people compared to 30.5 per 100,000 at this period last year.
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First lady makes Valentine's Day art with pediatric patients
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Melania Trump showed love for her new hometown during a Valentine's Day arts-and-crafts session with pediatric patients Thursday.
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Trump set to declare border emergency, sign shutdown-averting bill
Trump was also expected to sign a bipartisan government spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday that would prevent another federal shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday morning. The Republican president was scheduled to deliver remarks on the issue at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) in the Rose Garden at the White House. The bill, lacking any money for his wall, is a defeat for Trump in Congress, where his demand for $5.7 billion in barrier funding yielded no results, other than a record-long 35-day December-January partial government shutdown that damaged the U.S. economy and his poll numbers.
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UK students protest lack of action on climate change
LONDON (AP) — Chanting "Save our Planet!" thousands of students around Britain are rallying to demand that Britain's Conservative government take action on climate change.
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Yemen FM says seated next to Netanyahu in 'error'
Yemen's top diplomat said a "protocol error" landed him next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference in the Polish capital Warsaw and that his country's stance on the Palestinian issue remained unchanged. "Protocol errors are the responsibility of the organisers, as is always the case in international conferences," Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani wrote on Twitter late Thursday. Yamani was already seated when Netanyahu took his place earlier the same day at an international conference in Warsaw focused on security in the Middle East, with a strong emphasis on Iran.
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Exclusive: Trafigura halts oil trade with Venezuela - source
The decision will come as a blow to Caracas as Swiss-based Trafigura has a long-standing arrangement with state-run PDVSA to take Venezuelan crude and, in exchange, supply the Latin American country with refined products. Washington imposed fresh sanctions on PDVSA last month to cut off a key source of revenue for President Nicolas Maduro. The move came after congress head Juan Guaido invoked constitutional provisions to become interim president, arguing that socialist Maduro's re-election last year was a sham.
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10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
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IS teen's wish to return stirs UK debate over jihadi brides
The fate of a pregnant London schoolgirl who wants to return to Britain after joining the Islamic State group in Syria divided the nation on Friday as reports emerged of more UK women fleeing the war zone. Home Secretary Sajid Javid told The Times that people like Shamima Begum "were full of hate for our country". "My message is clear — if you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return," Javid said in the interview published Friday.
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New analysis finds link between Roundup chemical glyphosate and increased risk of cancer
A new large-scale analysis has found that exposure to the chemical glyphosate -- well-known for being the main ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup -- may increase the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent. The findings, published in the online journal Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, suggested that the link between glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is stronger than previously reported, with exposure to chemical linked with a 41 percent increased risk of developing the disease. "Our analysis focused on providing the best possible answer to the question of whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic," added senior author Lianne Sheppard.
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European stocks climb as Spain calls election
European stock markets advanced on Friday, with Madrid up half a percent after Spain's Prime Minister called a snap election.
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Senator Bob Menendez reportedly threatens to call police on Daily Caller reporter Henry Rodgers about the Green New Deal
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) reportedly threatens to call police on Daily Caller reporter Henry Rodgers who asked the Senator about the Green New Deal.
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Partisan battle erupts over Democrats' bill to make Election Day a federal holiday and bolster ethics rules
If the rancor over the proposed legislation is any indication, it could be a long and not especially productive two years in Congress.
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Will an increasingly progressive Democratic Party become steadily more anti-Semitic?
Progressives see Israel as an occupying power, an apartheid state, illegitimate. You don’t have to be anti-Semite to be anti-Zionist — but it helps.
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Explainer: Low vaccination rates, global outbreaks fuel U.S. measles spread
A similar pattern unfolded three months later and nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away when a person who visited Eastern Europe returned to a community with strong ties to a local church group in Vancouver, Washington. In both instances, U.S. travelers picked up measles in foreign countries where the highly contagious disease was running rampant and brought it back to places where vaccination rates were too low by U.S. public health standards, setting off the worst outbreaks seen in those states in decades. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says New York's outbreak marks the highest tally of imported cases since measles was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000.
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Wall Street divided on Brexit: Goldman sees a deal, JPMorgan sees a delay
Unless Prime Minister Theresa May can get a Brexit deal approved by the British parliament, then she will have to decide whether to delay Brexit or thrust the world's fifth largest economy into chaos by leaving without a deal. Goldman Sachs said it sees a 50 percent probability of May getting a Brexit divorce deal ratified, adding that lawmakers would ultimately block a no-deal exit if needed. Goldman said it saw the probability of a no-deal exit at 15 percent and the probability of no Brexit at around 35 percent.
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Russia detains U.S. founder of Baring Vostok private equity group
Russia has detained the U.S. founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group in Moscow on suspicion of fraud, a spokeswoman for Moscow's Basmanny court told Reuters on Friday. Yunona Tsaryova, the spokeswoman, said Michael Calvey, also a senior partner at the fund, was detained on Thursday. Moscow's Basmanny court will rule later on Friday on whether to hold Calvey in custody, the Interfax news agency said.
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Russia detained U.S. founder of Baring Vostok over bank dispute: Interfax
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Private equity group Baring Vostok said on Friday its founder Michael Calvey and three other employees had been detained in Moscow because of a dispute over Vostochny Bank, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.
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West ups defense spending to keep ahead of Chinese tech: conference report
The United States led a rise in Western defense spending in 2018 as it moved to keep ahead of Chinese and Russian pushes into advanced military technology, a report said on Friday. Worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018 - with the United States on its own responsible for almost half that increase, according to "The Military Balance" report released at the Munich Security Conference. Western powers were concerned about Russia's upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea - the peninsula it seized from Ukraine in 2014, the annual report said.
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Scout24 Gets $5.5 Billion Boost to Rival Axel Springer, EBay
The sweetened 46 euro-a-share bid from Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone Group LP -- which gives Scout24 an equity value of 4.9 billion euros -- will help the company better challenge rivals and grow across Europe, Scout24 Chief Executive Officer Tobias Hartmann said. The offer reflects a "joint long-term vision and ambition to turn Scout24 into a leading European digital player,” Hartmann said in a statement.
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China's Xi: trade talks with U.S. to continue in Washington next week
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday trade talks with the United States will continue in Washington next week and that he hopes the two sides will be able to reach a mutually beneficial deal in the upcoming negotiations, state media reported. Xi said during a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that talks in Beijing this week made progress and that China is willing to solve economic and trade disputes with the United States via cooperation, according to a report by Xinhua. Lighthizer and Mnuchin said during the meeting that they maintain hope although there is still much work to be done, and that they are willing to work with China to reach a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries, according to Xinhua.
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Trump enters obese range, but still in 'good health,' exam findings show
President Trump has put on a few pounds over the past year and is now in the obese range, although he remains in "very good health overall."
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In America, high-speed train travel is off track
California's suspension this week of a high-speed rail project underscores the up-hill battle the modern mode of transport faces in the United States -- including myriad cultural, political and economic obstacles. Long gone are the days of the 19th century gold rush, when Americans raced to build transcontinental rail links and conquer the nation's vast expanse. "We have a Congress polluted by special interest money ... that has been working for years to stop/prevent any rail investment," said Andy Kunz, head of the US High Speed Rail Association, pointing to the oil, aviation and auto industries in particular.
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Cumberland County student asked to 'cover up' after teachers found shirt offensive
A Cumberland County student was asked to cover up after teachers found her shirt to be offensive.
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Vessel discovers wreck of World War II carrier Hornet
SEATTLE (AP) — A research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen has discovered the wreckage of an American aircraft carrier sunk in the South Pacific during World War II. It is the latest in an ongoing effort to discover sunken vessels.
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Venezuela Supreme Court orders prosecution of new oil boards
Venezuela's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that executives appointed to boards affiliated with state oil firm PDVSA -- in a bid for control by opposition leader Juan Guaido -- face criminal prosecution. The court -- packed with Maduro loyalists -- ordered legal action against 15 executives that the National Assembly, headed by Guaido, named on Wednesday to form four new executive boards for PDVSA and its US-based affiliate Citgo.
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Thai court to hear case against party behind princess political bid
Thailand's constitutional court on Thursday said it would hear a case to dissolve the party which proposed a princess for prime minister, an ill-fated candidacy which threatens to sink the election strategy of the powerful Shinawatra clan. The Thai Raksa Chart party nominated Princess Ubolratana for premier last Friday, a bombshell move bringing Thai royalty to frontline politics for the first time since the 1932 establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Hours later the princess's brother -- Thailand's powerful king Maha Vajiralongkorn -- scuttled her political ambitions, hitting out at the attempt to bring her into politics as "highly inappropriate" and against royal traditions.
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The U.S. Navy Just Bought Four Giant, Robot Submarines from Boeing
Orca could help to fill a yawning gap in the American submarine fleet. In December 2016, the U.S. Navy announced it needed 66 nuclear-powered attack subs, or SSNs, to meet regional commanders' needs.
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Life in Kabul's squatter camps highlights challenge for any Afghan peace
In the shadows of mountains east of the capital, Kabul, families recently displaced by fighting join others who have been there for years, scratching out a living with no access to reliable supplies of water and heating fuel, or schools for their children. Melting snow leaves ankle-deep mud across the village of Pul-e Shina, where for many the new hopes for peace are tempered by the realization their struggles of daily life are unlikely to change for the better any time soon. "Even if there is peace, we can't go back," said Sima Gul, a community leader who fled Taliban attacks in a neighboring province with her husband and nine children 18 months ago.
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Ahead of EU polls, Facebook voids accounts targeting Moldovan election
CHISINAU/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Thursday it had disrupted an attempt to influence voters in Moldova, increasing concerns that EU elections in May could be prey to malign activity. Employees of the Moldovan government were linked to some of the activity, the California-based social media company said. Facebook said it dismantled scores of pages and accounts designed to look like independent opinion pages and to impersonate a local fact-checking organisation ahead of Moldova's elections later this month.
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New Pentagon chief meets NATO allies wary after Trump rows
Washington's new acting defence chief took part in his first NATO gathering Wednesday meeting allies unsure about his interim status and wary after recent spats with his boss President Donald Trump. Former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan took over at the Pentagon after serving as deputy, thrust onto the world stage when his predecessor Jim Mattis quit after long-running disagreements with Trump. "It's a pleasure to be over to spend time with you and especially in a such a nice facility," said Shanahan, after a tour that has taken in Kabul and Baghdad as well as Brussels in just a few days.
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Mnuchin says U.S. had 'productive' trade meetings with China
BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet on Friday that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had "productive meetings" with China's Vice Premier Liu He. Mnuchin made the comment on Twitter after two days of high-level trade talks in Beijing aimed at resolving the two countries' trade war, but he did not elaborate. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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Thune: Green New Deal is bad for American workers, families who will get stuck paying the bill
Sen. Markey accusing McConnell of trying to sabotage Green New Deal; reaction from Senate Majority Whip John Thune.
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Six days of turmoil: Virginia Democrats' nightmare February
Although February is not even a week old, it’s already been a terrible month for Virginia Democrats as they attempt to assess the crises afflicting their top three state officials.
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The Latest: Robbery shooting suspect charged with murder
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting of a New York Police Department detective (all times local):
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Trump’s State of the Union fails to mention the state of the planet: Hot and getting hotter
President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night clocked in at 82 minutes, the third-longest in U.S. history. Not once did he mention climate change.
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White House says it's 'very prepared' for legal challenges to a national emergency declaration on the border
President Trump is set to declare a national emergency to secure more money for a border wall; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'
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Senate Votes to Avert Shutdown as Trump Plans National Emergency
In a 83-16 vote Thursday, senators agreed to provide $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, far short of the $5.7 billion the president sought. Lawmakers of both parties said they wanted to avoid a repeat of a 35-day partial closure that ended Jan. 25 when Trump accepted a short-term spending bill without extra wall funding to give Congress time to negotiate a longer-term deal. “President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action -- including a national emergency -- to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
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State File Details Disturbing Accusations Against Former Elementary School Teacher
According to a lengthy state file, more than a dozen claim a former teacher constantly talked about sex, made inappropriate comments, and masturbated in the school.
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Los Angeles police fatally shoot man at busy train station
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man armed with a knife was shot and killed by police at a downtown train station during the morning rush hour Thursday, Los Angeles police said.
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Meet the 5 Deadliest Stealth Weapons of All Time (And the F-22 Made the List)
And they aren't all in the air.
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AP PHOTOS: Scientists fine-tune method to save rhinos
CHORZOW, Poland (AP) — Only two northern white rhinos exist in the world: both are female and neither can bear calves. But scientists have not given up hope of saving the species from extinction.
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Barack and Michelle Obama Valentine's Day Messages to Each Other Are Just As Romantic As You'd Expect
The former president and first lady have been married for 26 years
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AP Explains: Can Trump declare emergency to build his wall?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency and take other executive action to allow construction of the president's long-promised southern border wall, after bipartisan congressional negotiations provided less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion Trump wanted to start building more than 200 miles of wall.
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Jaish al-Adl: shadowy Sunni extremists on Iran-Pakistan border
A suicide attack that killed 27 troops in Iran's restive southeast on Wednesday was claimed by Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni Muslim extremist group that only emerged seven years ago. Jaish al-Adl -- Army of Justice in Arabic -- is seen as the incarnation of Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, which began a bloody rebellion against the Islamic republic in 2000. For a decade, Jundallah waged a deadly insurgency on civilians and officials in the restive southeast.
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Countdown to another possible govt shutdown as new border deal hits snag
Congress continues getting closer to a vote on a new border security deal, though Trump still has not committed to signing the new agreement.
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Severe turbulence rocks OC-Seattle flight, causing injuries, diverted landing
Severe turbulence rocked a flight out of Orange County, leading to several injuries, strewn belongings and an early landing.
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White House scrambles to find pots of money to use for wall
WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Donald Trump declares an emergency to build the wall with Mexico, he still needs money to pay for it. And shifting money from other accounts to deliver the $5.7 billion he wants is not without political problems.
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Quantum Radars: China's New Weapon to Take Out U.S. Stealth Fighters (Like the F-22)?
Or simply impossible?
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Alibaba-Backed Paytm Wants to Cash in on Amazon's India Distress
Amid the uproar, Vijay Shekhar Sharma -- whose two-year-old Paytm Mall is backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. -- is quietly devising ways to outstrip his rivals. The new regime forbids retailers from holding any business interest in online merchants on their websites, exclusive arrangements and deep discounts -- forcing Amazon and Flipkart to redraw contracts and rescue thousands of product listings that vanished overnight.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar slams Trump's Venezuela envoy Elliott Abrams
The Trump administration's new Venezuela envoy, Elliott Abrams, was pressed on U.S. involvement in El Salvador's civil war by Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar; State Department Correspondent Rich Edson reports.
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'IT'S PRETTY BIG': Tiger rescue at vacant Houston home began with anonymous tip
'How do you get a pet tiger?' | This was the call that got a tiger from a rundown Houston home to a life-saving sanctuary.
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U.S. judge rules Manafort broke plea deal
A U.S. federal judge says President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors, and so breached his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office. Ryan Brooks reports.
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Venezuela: Another black eye for Chinese economic diplomacy
China and Venezuela seemed like natural bedfellows: one is the planet's top crude-oil importer and the other possesses the world's largest reserves. Over the past decade Beijing has extended vast amounts of credit to Caracas for oil shipments and infrastructure deals, in what China has touted as a "mutually beneficial" relationship. "Venezuela's story is an important one," said Margaret Myers, director of the Asia & Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue, a US-based think tank.
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Cardinal expects 'significant progress' at sex abuse summit
DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. archbishop helping to organize next week's summit of the world's bishops at the Vatican on sexual abuse by clergy said Thursday he expects to make "significant progress" in responding to the scandal that's riven the church, and that lay Catholics will help to hold the hierarchy accountable.
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Torrential rain pummels Southern California in latest storm
A bridge has been severely damaged in Agoura Hills, California, after rain wallops the area.
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Didi Starts Major Job Cuts as It Overhauls Business
Co-founder Cheng Wei announced the cuts, representing 15 percent of its workforce, during an internal meeting on Friday, where he said some businesses will be re-evaluated and cut back if needed, the people said. After driving Uber Technologies Inc. out of China in 2016, Didi looked set to dominate China’s ride-hailing market even as it delved into new services from bike-sharing to payments and overseas markets such as Latin America. Despite the cutbacks, Didi intends to add 2,500 people to focus on areas from its international expansion to safety and product engineering, the people familiar said, citing Cheng’s comments.
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My Social Security 2100 Act shows that Social Security is affordable: Rep. John Larson
It’s a false choice to say we can’t have both Social Security and expanded opportunities for young people, writes Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.
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Ronna McDaniel challenges Democrats who support the 'Green New Deal': Put your money where your mouth is
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote on the 'Green New Deal,' forcing 2020 Democrats to go on record; reaction from Ronna McDaniel, RNC chairwoman.
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Why Donald Trump is set to declare a national emergency to build his wall - and what will happen next
Donald Trump is poised to declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his US-Mexico border wall without congressional approval. The White House said the US President would sign a spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, but which only provides $1.375 billion for border barriers or fencing - far from the $5.7 billion Mr Trump wants. "President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. The prospect of Mr Trump declaring a state of emergency to build his border wall had appeared more likely after he backed down in the shutdown standoff last month without securing funds for the barrier.    The specter of such action has produced widespread opposition in Congress, but Mr Trump is under pressure to soothe his conservative base and avoid looking like he's surrendered in his wall battle with Congress. A construction crew installs new sections of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier replacing smaller fences  Credit: Getty Such a move has been done before by past presidents but this time it would almost certainly face legal challenges. What is a national emergency? Passed in 1976, the National Emergencies Act allows the president to pronounce a national emergency when he deems it appropriate. The act offers no specific definition of “emergency”, but the use of it has rarely been controversial. However, because it allows a president to declare one entirely at his or her discretion, critics are accusing Mr Trump of "fabricating" a crisis at the southern border.  Why an emergency declaration? The administration has spent months trying to figure out how the president might be able to move forward with the wall - the central promise of his 2016 campaign - if Congress refuses to give him the money. As early as last March, Mr Trump was publicly floating the idea of using the military for the task.  Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2018 But it’s Congress - not the president - that controls the country’s purse strings and must appropriate money he wants to spend. A emergency declaration, however, bypasses Congress. The White House counsel’s office is reviewing the option and among the laws Mr Trump could turn to is Section 2808 of the Title 10 US Code pertaining to military construction. According to the statute, if the president declares an emergency "that requires use of the armed forces," the Defence Secretary "may undertake military construction projects, and may authorise the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorised by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces". Pentagon budget officials are analysing the 2019 construction budget to determine how many dollars would be available to use for the wall if Mr Trump opts for that path. Under the provision, only those construction budget funds that are not already set aside for other construction projects could be used for the wall. There are more than 100 such provisions giving the president access to special powers in emergencies. And Congress has typically afforded the president broad authority to determine what constitutes an emergency and what does not, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the liberty and national security programme at the Brennan Centre for Justice. "Absolutely it’s an abuse of power for the president to declare a national emergency when none exists and to use it to try to get around the democratic process," she said. "But we are in a situation where our legal system for emergency powers almost invites that kind of abuse." What would happen then? Declaring an emergency to build the wall would likely trigger a torrent of legal challenges questioning the president’s authority as well as whether the situation at the border really constitutes an emergency. Mr Trump has been trying to press that case in recent weeks, insisting the situation qualifies as a security and humanitarian "crisis." He’ll also face other questions. "The problem for the Trump administration is that border security is fundamentally a law enforcement issue that does not require the use of the military," said Todd Harrison, a defence budget expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "So I think they would be on shaky legal ground trying to use emergency authorities this way, and it is almost certain that they would end up in court." Asked if she would file a legal challenge to an emergency declaration, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "I may, that's an option." A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico Credit: Reuters Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it would be inappropriate for Mr Trump to use Section 2808. "We are not at war with Mexico, and the proposed border wall has no core (Defence Department) function. Indeed, the Pentagon’s most recent National Defence Strategy doesn’t mention the southern border as a national defence priority," Mr Reed said. Adam Smith, House Armed Services Committee Chairman, said even if Mr Trump could declare an emergency, it would be a "huge mistake." "There clearly is no national emergency. But they asked me, ’Can he do it?’ Yeah he can. It would be wrong, it would be horrible policy and I’m totally and completely against it. But from a legal standpoint he can do it," Mr Smith told CNN. He and others agreed any declaration would surely be challenged in court. Has it been done in past? National emergencies have been declared by a number of presidents in the past, mostly when it comes to economic sanctions against foreign actors whose activities pose a national threat.  Bill Clinton declared emergencies 17 times, one of which was announced during the Cuba embargo in 1996, when US ships or aircraft were prevented from entering Cuban territory without authorisation. Barack Obama, meanwhile, declared one when tackling  the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic in 2009 in order to arrange proper patient treatment. One of the 31 national emergencies still in effect is that declared by George W Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. How could Congress or the courts challenge it? While Mr Trump can declare an emergency when he wants, Congress theoretically does have the authority to cancel it - though such a move would be unprecedented.   The National Emergencies Act gives lawmakers authority to reject a declaration through legislation that would require majorities in the House and Senate. Mr Trump would likely veto bill, after which lawmakers would have the chance to override it with a two-thirds majority vote. With Republicans in control of the Senate, that of course would be a tall order in the current climate. The declaration would likely face a legal challenge in the courts, where presidential declarations have rarely been voided.  President Harry S. Truman declared an emergency to take control of steel factories during the Korean War Credit: AP In 1952, President Harry Truman declared an emergency to take control of steel factories during the Korean War in response to a labour strike. By a 6-3 vote, the US Supreme Court ruled against the president. In an influential opinion, Justice Robert H. Jackson said Truman’s reliance on emergency power under the Constitution would hand too much power to the president - in stark opposition to the wishes of the framers. However, that preceded the 1976 Act, which leaves the existence of an emergency wide open to interpretation.  "If President Trump declares a national emergency at the border, it is far from clear that courts would strike it down," writes Chris Edelson, Assistant Professor of Government at American University School of Public Affairs. Where would the money come from? Shifting money from accounts to deliver the $5.7 billion he wants will be tricky.  The administration has been eyeing several pots of money - including disaster funds, counter-narcotic accounts and military construction dollars - to fund Mr Trump's wall, according to congressional aides and White House officials. One possibility is shifting a portion of the $13 billion in disaster aid Congress approved last year for Puerto Rico and a dozen states, including California and Texas, hit hard by hurricanes, flooding and other disasters. The money funds Army Corps projects, and the Puerto Rico aid alone totals more than $2 billion. A man walks past destroyed homes in Catano, Puerto Rico, which was pummelled by Hurricane Maria in 2017 Credit: AFP But Texas lawmakers revolted over White House plans to tap Hurricane Harvey funds, and Sen. John Cornyn said on Thursday they won assurances from the White House that the money won't be used for the wall. A more likely option is the military construction account that's used to upgrade bases and facilities. Congressional aides said there is $21 billion available. That includes about $10 billion in funds from the current 2019 fiscal year that ends September 30, and $11 billion remaining from the previous four years, said the aides.  But tapping the military construction money also may hit resistance. The money often goes for improvements to housing, roads, hospitals and other facilities, and can be used to eliminate mold or other hazardous problems at military installations in congressional districts across the nation and around the globe. Potentially easier to tap is the military's counter-drug account, so-called Section 284 money, as suggested by Rep. Mark Meadows, a Trump ally and leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus. But it falls short of what's needed with about $800 million available.
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Hong Kong seizes $1m of rhino horn in record airport haul
Two men carrying at least 24 severed rhino horns were arrested in Hong Kong airport by customs officers who said it was their largest ever seizure of rhino contraband smuggled by air passengers. The haul -- worth some HK$8 million ($1 million) -- was transported brazenly through the terminal in two cardboard boxes, the customs department said. The pair had arrived from Johannesburg and were planning to transit to Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, according to a statement from the department, which did not give their nationalities.
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Beto O'Rourke planning stops in 2020 battleground Midwest
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Friday for a meet and greet with students and faculty, a closely guarded event that will be the former Texas congressman's first visit to a key state in the battleground, industrial Midwest.
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Trump vows emergency declaration over wall, agrees to shutdown-averting bill
Conceding defeat in his earlier demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall money, Trump agreed to sign a government-funding bill that lacks money for his wall, but prevents another damaging government shutdown. The bill, passed overwhelmingly by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday, contains money for fencing and other forms of border security. The bill was expected to go to the White House on Friday for the president's signature before he flies to his private Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida for a holiday weekend break.
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Spieth tied for lead after 12 holes at rainy Riviera
LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the wildest pars Phil Mickelson ever made didn't even count. Neither did one of the worst lies Jordan Spieth ever had.
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Mandy Moore speaks out about ex-husband Ryan Adams' 'controlling behavior'
The "This Is Us" star corroborated details of a NYT report alleging the singer was abusive to women, saying he interfered with her career. Later, she wrote on Instagram that "Speaking your truth can be painful and triggering but it’s always worth it."
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Pelicans: Davis injured shoulder vs Thunder
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis missed the second half of New Orleans' game against Oklahoma City on Thursday night with what the Pelicans said was a left shoulder injury.
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Miley Cyrus posts stunning new wedding photos on Valentine's Day: Look!
Miley Cyrus posted a handful of new wedding photos while paying tribute to herhusband, Liam Hemsworth, on Valentine's Day
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Bauer calls hearing's ending 'character assassination'
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — All-Star pitcher Trevor Bauer thought the Cleveland Indians had presented a better overall case against him in their latest salary arbitration hearing, until the last 10 minutes in a rebuttal by Major League Baseball labor relations staff he viewed as "character assassination" against him.
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Nick Cannon calls out Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel and Sarah Silverman for past use of blackface
The "Wild 'n Out" host posted a string of messages to Instagram calling out comedians and fashion companies for their use of blackface.
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The Latest: Shiffrin says 'awesome' to win bronze
ARE, Sweden (AP) — The Latest from the skiing world championships (all times local):
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Japan sets sights on tighter anti-trust regulations for Big Tech
Japan's government plans to set up a new watchdog to scrutinise big tech companies like Facebook and Google amid growing concerns about monopoly practices and the handling of personal data. The new regulator will examine competitive practices, the protection of personal data, and make anti-trust recommendations, according to a presentation made at a government advisory panel on Wednesday. The new body will also draw up new guidelines to evaluate whether mergers and acquisitions will lead to a monopoly on messaging data or personal data.
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Nothing says 'I love you' like heart-shaped ravioli stuffed with goat cheese
Welcome to Best Bites, a twice-weekly video series that aims to satisfy yournever-ending craving for food content through quick, beautiful videos for theat-home foodie
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Drinking Two or More Diet Sodas a Day Increases Likelihood of Strokes, Heart-Attacks, American Heart Association Says
Drinking Two or More Diet Sodas a Day Increases Likelihood of Strokes, Heart-Attacks, American Heart Association Says
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Trump to sign border bill, declare emergency: McConnell
President Trump will sign a spending bill to avert another government shutdown, but also declare a national emergency to obtain funds for his border wall.
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Sen. Lamar Alexander: President Trump made his case and Congress is responding to the border crisis
Congress rolls out plan to avoid another government shutdown; reaction from Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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No exit: El Chapo likely off to 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'
NEW YORK (AP) — In the world of corrections, there are inmates who pose security risks, and then there's El Chapo.
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New migrant caravan forming could be largest caravan yet
Guatemalan Intelligence Secretary Mario Duarte weighs in on the latest caravan and what Guatemala is doing to protect and control the movement of these migrants.
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Rush to Disband Princess-Backed Party Evokes Thai Bloodshed
The Constitutional Court on Thursday accepted a case calling for the party, Thai Raksa Chart, to be dissolved for hostility toward the constitutional monarchy. The accusation reached the court five days after King Maha Vajiralongkorn sunk the party’s shock bid to make his sister a candidate for prime minister. "If parties linked to Thaksin keep being disbanded, the conflict will never end, and will intensify," said Punchada Sirivunnabood, an associate professor at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities near Bangkok.
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City's Entire Snow Plow Fleet Sabotaged Right Before Snow Storm
One of the benefits of living in a densely populated region is expecting your tax dollars to salt and plow a clear path to work during a snowstorm. But on Tuesday morning in Mt. Vernon, New York, residents woke up to hit the road and got a rude awakening.
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Hunters in 24 US states warned of ‘zombie deer’ disease
Deer hunting is a big deal in many U.S. states, and surveys suggest that around 10 million hunters participate in the activity regularly. As any hunter will tell you, nabbing a deer isn't always the easiest of tasks, but a growing risk of disease is making things even more difficult for sportsmen even after they've bagged a buck or doe.Public health officials and infectious disease researchers are doing their best to raise awareness of an illness that has now been confirmed in deer populations across at least 24 states. It's called chronic wasting disease, and the Centers for Disease Control fears that it may be possible that the disease could spread to humans who eat infected animals.If you live in an area where deer hunting is common you've no doubt heard of chronic wasting disease (or CWD) before. It's not a particularly new disease -- it was originally discovered in the late 1960s -- but confirmed cases of it among wild deer and elk populations have spread to new states rapidly since 2001.The disease is absolutely devastating to animals that are affected by it. They take on a "zombie-like" state and exhibit odd behavior and physical deteriorating, with exposed ribs and an overall sickly appearance.CWD affects the brain with misfolded proteins known as prions. Prion diseases exist in humans and are typically fatal, and the same is true for animals with CWD. The disease progresses until the animal dies, and there is no known cure or way to reverse the damage.The CDC warns against the consumption of (or even physical contact with) an animal thought to be infected with CWD. It is recommended that animals suspected to have CWD be left alone and not harvested. Hunters are advised to have any animals they kill in areas known to have CWD tested for the disease before eating the meat, even if the animal appeared healthy.It's worth noting that there's been no scientific evidence that CWD can be transmitted from infected deer to humans. However, prion disease infections from animal consumption have been implicated in deaths in the past, so it's obviously best to err on the side of caution.
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'The Daily Show' sends Bricky, its border wall mascot, to troll Trump fans in Texas
Once again, The Daily Show has struck comedy gold. Meet Bricky, a border wall mascot that the show sent to El Paso to talk to fans of President Trump ahead of his Monday night rally in El Paso, Texas. (That's the one where a Trump backer attacked a BBC cameraman.)The Trump fans didn't disappoint -- exposing a lack of humanity and a deep ignorance while parroting Trump's talking points. From pointing out the flaws in plans to make Mexico pay for the border wall to fear-mongering stories about ISIS fighters being part of the caravan, Bricky let the pro-wall folks do the hard work for him. In the end, the video winds up being almost as sad as it is funny, revealing just how easily some are manipulated by Trump's agenda. Especially at the moment when Bricky is escorted from the rally, shouting, "You're separating me from my family!" Thank god for the joke because if we didn't laugh, we'd cry.
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Trump to Sign Border Bill, Declare Emergency for More Wall Money
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency - to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. After getting word from the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote on the plan later Thursday.
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Border security bill limits shackling of pregnant women, puts restrictions on Trump's wall
Congress is not only giving Trump money for a wall than he wanted, it's also placing new restrictions on immigration enforcement practices.
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Venezuela military reinforces Colombian border blockade
Ureña (Venezuela) (AFP) - Venezuela's military reinforced a blockade on Thursday morning at the border with Colombia where opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring in desperately-needed humanitarian aid despite President Nicolas Maduro's vow to keep it out. AFP journalists saw several new freight containers blocking the road that connects the town of Urena in Venezuela to Cucuta in Colombia, where tons of US aid has been piling up for a week.
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U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sue
Five families with a total of 16 people, including children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Wednesday, according to a person who works in migration for the Mexican government, who asked not to be named. In late January, the United States began sending non-Mexican migrants who had crossed at the U.S. border with Mexico back to Mexico to wait as their asylum requests are processed, a program called Migrant Protection Protocols. Rights groups say the program endangers asylum seekers by forcing them to remain in regions of Mexico experiencing record levels of violence.
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President Trump says he will 'take a very serious look' at compromise border security deal
White House officials say the president is not happy with several measures in the bill, including the amount of money for a border wall; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.
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Barr Confirmed as Trump’s Attorney General, Winning Power Over Mueller Probe
The confirmation vote of 54-45 on Thursday gave the 68-year-old attorney a second stint in the job as the nation’s No. 1 law enforcement officer that he previously held in the 1990s. While that will make him a major figure on issues from immigration to antitrust policy, one of the corporate lawyer’s first decisions will be whether to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller’s politically explosive probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Donald Trump or any of his associates conspired in the operation. Democrats expressed concern about Barr’s acknowledgment that he’s had “general conversations” with Vice President Mike Pence regarding the investigation.
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PR push for white officer accused of killing armed black man
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The attorney for a white police officer charged with fatally shooting an armed black man in Tennessee is calling for legal discovery documents to be sealed from members of the public.
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Prickly pears: 'humble' cactus brings hope to Algeria
For generations Algerians like the Gueldasmi family have barely eked out a living growing prickly pear fruits, but thanks to the cactus's new found virtues their lives are steadily improving. There is no need to go abroad" to find work, said Fethi Gueldasmi, 40, whose family's revenues have been growing thanks to what agronomists and biologists now call the "green gold". Scientific reports indicate that the Opuntia species of prickly pears which thrives in arid regions like Algeria's northern Sidi Fredj contains a plethora of virtues.
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President Trump is forced into declaring a national emergency: Rep. Jody Hice
Congress fails to deal with the humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border, writes Rep. Jody Hice of the House Freedom Caucus.
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Lexus, Toyota, Porsche top list of most reliable cars in America, J.D. Power says
Toyota's luxury Lexus brand took the top slot in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study for the eighth straight year.
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U.S. envoy Abrams met secretly with Venezuela foreign minister: AP report
The U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, met secretly with Venezuela's foreign minister as recently as this week, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing President Nicolas Maduro and a senior Venezuelan official. Washington has disavowed Maduro's government and backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month invoked articles of the constitution to assume the presidency on promises to end a humanitarian crisis caused by an economic collapse. Venezuela's foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, met twice with Abrams in New York for several hours and invited him to come to Venezuela "privately, publicly or secretly," Maduro said in an interview.
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U.S. issues new rules requiring rail oil spill response plans
The U.S. Transportation Department on Thursday issued final rules requiring railroads to develop oil spill response plans and to disclose details of shipments to states and tribal governments after a series of high-profile incidents. The new rules apply to High Hazard Flammable Trains transporting petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars and trains that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars. The rules partially address recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board after a 2013 crude-by-rail derailment killed 47 people in the town of Lac Megantic in Quebec and released 1.6 million gallons of crude oil.
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Senate passes border security bill, sends to House
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to avert another partial government shutdown with bipartisan spending legislation that funds new barriers for part of the U.S.-Mexico border, but not the $5.7 billion that President Donald Trump sought for a wall. The Republican-led Senate backed the bill, which would provide over $300 billion for several government departments and agencies, 83-16. It now goes to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which is also expected to pass it. (Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Eric Beech)
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The Latest: Children sent to Mexico under US asylum policy
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. immigration courts (all times local):
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Chicago police reject report 'Empire' actor investigated for staging attack
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said there was no evidence to support the report by Chicago ABC7 television, which cited multiple unnamed sources. "(Police Superintendent) Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate," Guglielmi said in a tweet.
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Why Social Security Expansion May Stiff the Poor
On January 31, over 200 House Democrats jointly introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, legislation that would expand Social Security both by raising the 12.4 percent payroll tax and by phasing out the current $132,000 cap on taxable earnings. Social Security Works, an activist group that was key to making Social Security expansion the de facto position of the Democratic party, crows that the Social Security 2100 Act would allow “no retiree to fall into poverty.” Not only is that claim untrue, but this budget-busting expansion of the federal government’s already-insolvent retirement program may leave low-income retirees disappointed.The Social Security 2100 Act is the brainchild of Representative John Larson (D., Conn.), who took the progressive impulse to expand Social Security and turned it into detailed legislation. Larson deserves credit for his efforts. With most members of Congress from both parties willing to go their entire careers without proposing anything to fix Social Security’s $10 trillion–plus funding shortfall, any congressman who does — to say nothing of one who attracts 80 percent of his own party to co-sponsor the bill — should be applauded.At the same time, legislative details don’t always live up to the talking points.Let’s look at how the poorest workers would fare in retirement under the Social Security 2100 Act. After all, these are the Americans least able to save on their own for retirement and most at risk of falling into poverty in old age. In theory, the Social Security 2100 Act would provide these low-income workers with Social Security benefit increases of up to 44 percent, a startling figure.In reality, many would see little difference in their benefits. For one thing, about 20 percent of the lowest-income quintile of U.S. workers fail even to qualify for Social Security benefits, owing to short working careers and Social Security’s ten-year vesting period. These Americans end up relying on Supplemental Security Income, a means-tested welfare program that provides sub-poverty-level benefits while effectively prohibiting beneficiaries from working or accumulating savings. Countries including New Zealand and Canada have universal retirement benefits to protect against poverty in old age, and I have advocated previously for such a benefit in the U.S. The Social Security 2100 Act does nothing to help this fifth of the poorest Americans. It only hikes their payroll taxes during the years in which they do work.But even many low-income workers who qualify for retirement benefits won’t see much of an increase under the Social Security 2100 Act. Here’s why. First, the Act’s advertised 44 percent benefit increase applies only to low-income workers who work for at least 30 years. Low-wage, long-career workers are unusual, making up only about a tenth of the retiree population. For low earners with shorter careers — the ones most likely to land in poverty in old age owing to a failure to build savings — the Act offers a benefit increase of just 4 percent.And even these modest benefit hikes may prove to be illusory. Almost 40 percent of very low earners currently receive a supplemental benefit based on a spouse’s earnings. For these “dually entitled” retirees, who are almost by definition low-income, the Social Security 2100 Act may increase the benefit check in their mailbox by very little or nothing. For instance, imagine a couple where the husband’s earnings brought him $2,000 per month in Social Security benefits while the wife’s earnings brought her only $750. Social Security’s spousal benefit would top her monthly check up to $1,000, half her husband’s check. Now imagine that the Social Security 2100 Act boosted her base benefit by 10 percent, to $825 per month. But that $75 per month increase would be deducted from her spousal benefit, leaving her with the same $1,000 total as before. For many of these very low earners, the extra benefits won’t be enough to compensate for the nearly one-fifth increase in payroll taxes they’ll be hit with as the Social Security 2100 Act gradually boosts the current 12.4 percent rate to 14.8 percent.Now let’s look at workers the Social Security Administration classifies as “high wage” — earning about $88,000 annually over a 44-year career — or “maximum wage,” earning the $132,000 maximum taxable wage throughout their careers. The Social Security 2100 Act promises these higher-paid workers a seemingly stingy 2 percent benefit increase. But because high-wage workers do not receive auxiliary spousal benefits, they are guaranteed to receive their promised benefit hike.Moreover, higher-income Americans will receive that higher benefit for longer. It’s now well-known that the rich live longer than the poor. A Congressional Budget Office analysis found a roughly six-year difference in life expectancy between the richest and the poorest quintiles of 65-year-old Americans, giving the rich a retirement about one-third longer than that of the poor. The Social Security 2100 Act compounds these longevity differences by increasing Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), a benefit hike that flows disproportionately to the very old, who are disproportionately higher-income.On top of this disparity, the Social Security 2100 Act reduces or eliminates income taxes on Social Security benefits for retirees whose household incomes range from about $50,000 to $100,000, a well-off group whose incomes have risen rapidly over the past two decades.Of all the benefit-increase provisions in the Social Security 2100 Act, only one is aimed squarely at boosting benefits for the poorest retirees, and it accounts for just 15 percent of the plan’s additional costs. Benefit-increase provisions slanted toward retirees further up the income ladder use the other 85 percent of additional funding.Yes, Social Security faces a significant funding gap. And yes, higher taxes are one way to fill it. If Republicans ever want a deal on Social Security reform, they’re probably going to have to live with some tax increases. And they’re going to have to get some new reform ideas of their own if they wish to counter a unified Democratic party pushing the Social Security 2100 Act.But the Social Security 2100 Act imposes tax increases well beyond what’s needed simply to pay promised benefits in full, which itself is well beyond what is truly needed if we gradually scale down the growth of benefits for middle- and upper-income retirees. It’s not at all clear why the nation should levy higher taxes on rich and poor alike merely to reshuffle most of those dollars to middle- and higher-income retirees. Even from a progressive standpoint, isn’t there a better use for higher taxes than this?
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In America, high-speed train travel is off track
California's suspension this week of a high-speed rail project underscores the up-hill battle the modern mode of transport faces in the United States -- including myriad cultural, political and economic obstacles. Long gone are the days of the 19th century gold rush, when Americans raced to build transcontinental rail links and conquer the nation's vast expanse. "We have a Congress polluted by special interest money ... that has been working for years to stop/prevent any rail investment," said Andy Kunz, head of the US High Speed Rail Association, pointing to the oil, aviation and auto industries in particular.
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Trump vows emergency declaration over wall, agrees to shutdown-averting bill
Conceding defeat in his earlier demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall money, Trump agreed to sign a government-funding bill that lacks money for his wall, but prevents another damaging government shutdown. The bill, passed overwhelmingly by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday, contains money for fencing and other forms of border security. The bill was expected to go to the White House on Friday for the president's signature before he flies to his private Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida for a holiday weekend break.
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US, Poland launch Mideast conference despite uncertain aims
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The United States and Poland are kicking off an international conference on the Middle East on Wednesday amid uncertainty over its aims and questions about what it will deliver.
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Parody: Donald Trump, love guru, mends Kellyanne Conway's marriage for Valentine's Day
Conway: 'Mr. President, you need to respect boundaries in a marriage.' Trump: 'When have I ever respected boundaries in a marriage?' Conway: (silence)
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House passes border security bill, sends to Trump
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bipartisan border security bill aimed at averting a government shutdown and sent it to President Donald Trump, including new barriers for part of the U.S.-Mexico border but not the $5.7 billion he sought. The White House has said Trump will sign it into law, but will also attempt to use unilateral powers to obtain money for a wall.
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Rich Red Brick Studio Built for a Mexican Icon
Vivid, complex, and full of pleasing geometries, Iturbide Studio by Taller de Arquitectura Maurico Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo is a beautiful example of Mexican architecture that’s simultaneously rooted in tradition and the modern era. At first glance, its towering form and perforated brick facades look almost futuristic, especially when taken in alongside its much humbler […]
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ICE: Suspect in death of woman whose body was stuffed into suitcase was in the US illegally
Javier Da Silva, a citizen of Portugal, entered the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program, ICE said. He is accused of kidnapping resulting in a death.
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Suicide bomb kills 27 Iranian Revolutionary Guard, state media says
At least 27 elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard were killed in a suicide car bombing on Wednesday night, according to state media, in the second major attack inside Iran within six months.    The explosion came as the US, Israel, and Gulf Arab states gathered for a major Middle East summit in Poland which was widely seen as anti-Iran gathering.  The Revolutionary Guard said a suicide bomber had rammed an explosive-laden car into a coach carrying Guardsmen as it drove through the volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.  Media reports claimed at least 10 more people in nearby passenger cars were also killed. The Army of Justice, a Sunni jihadist group based in the province, claimed responsibility for the attack, state media reported.  The blast came days after the Islamic Republic celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution.  The Revolutionary Guard blamed “Takfiri terrorists and mercenaries at the service of foreign intelligence agencies of the world’s arrogant powers”. Iran, which is majority Shia, uses the term Takfiri to describe Sunni extremists.  Tehran has in the past accused Saudi Arabia of funding the Army of Justice, an accusation which the kingdom denies.  Tansim, a news agency linked to the Guard, said at least 27 people were killed and many more wounded in the blast. Pictures from the scene show the bus was torn apart by the explosion.   The attack comes months after a shooting at a military parade in Ahvaz in September which left 25 people dead. That attack was claimed by both Arab separatists hoping to form an independent state from Iran and by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).  Mike Pence, the US vice president and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, are attending along with ministers from the Gulf Arab states opposed to Iran. European states who support the Iran deal have been less enthusiastic. France and Germany both sent junior representatives while Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, stayed away.   US officials stressed the summit was not meant to be anti-Iranian but Mr Netanyahu somewhat undermined that claim by declaring “the focus is Iran”.    Iran condemned the event as “irresponsible and destructive” while Russia, Turkey, and Qatar all snubbed it. Poland agreed to host the controversial summit as it lobbies Washington to increase the number of US troops on Polish soil as a deterrent against Russia. There are currently around 3,000 US troops in the country on different missions, including Nato deployments. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, attended the opening of the summit, partly as a chance to convene of meeting of the UK, US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the crisis in Yemen. He said Yemen may finally be “on the path to peace” after five years of brutal war if the two sides follow through on agreements reached at UN-brokered talks last year.
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Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protests
Amazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.
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Republican Senators Express Disapproval With Border Funding Bill and National Emergency Declaration
Several Republican senators expressed disapproval Thursday at Congress's border funding deal as well as President Trump's plan to declare a national emergency to obtain funds for a border wall."I’m disappointed with both the massive, bloated, secretive bill that just passed and with the president’s intention to declare an emergency to build a wall," Senator Rand Paul wrote on Twitter."I, too, want stronger border security, including a wall in some areas. But how we do things matters. Over 1,000 pages dropped in the middle of the night and extraconstitutional executive actions are wrong, no matter which party does them," the libertarian Kentucky Republican added.President Trump announced Thursday that he plans to sign the compromise border funding bill that does not include the $5.7 billion in wall funding he requested. He will also declare a national emergency, the White House said."President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.Other Republican senators also criticized the president's plan, including Susan Collins of Maine and Marco Rubio of Florida."We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution," Rubio said in a statement.Collins called declaring a national emergency "a mistake on the part of the President and of"dubious constitutionality.""Such a declaration would undermine the role of Congress and the appropriations process," she continued.Democrats predictably panned the decision, calling it an abuse of power by the president."We will review our options, we'll be prepared to respond appropriately to it," Democratic House Speaker Pelosi said. "If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people."Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer came out even stronger against the move, calling it "a lawless act – a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for the wall."
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UK's Labour pushes government to change Brexit 'red lines': spokesman
Britain's opposition Labour Party pressed the government to change its "red lines" on Brexit on Wednesday after two policy chiefs held "frank and serious" talks with ministers, a party spokesman said. Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers are trying to persuade not only their governing Conservative Party to back her deal to leave the European Union, but are also holding talks with Labour to see whether they can find common ground.
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US and China seek deal to prevent trade-war escalation
US and Chinese negotiators on Thursday kicked off two days of high-level talks that President Donald Trump says could decide whether he escalates the bruising tariff battle between the world's two biggest economies. Trump indicated this week he was open to extending a trade truce beyond March 1 depending on progress in Beijing. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are meeting with China's top economic czar Liu He, seeking to build on progress made in Washington last month.
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'Forever haunted' Parkland mourns a year after shooting
School buses brought only a handful of students to a shortened class day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a former student with an assault gun killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018. "As men and women of faith, we stand with you Parkland, painful Parkland, profound Parkland, powerful Parkland," said David Hughes, the lead pastor at Church by the Glades in Coral Springs. "In the name of a living God, we say together never, never, never, never again." Leaders of March for Our Lives, a national student movement formed in the aftermath of the Parkland tragedy to fight gun violence, were not in the spotlight, having noted they would "go dark" or cease most communications during the anniversary.
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Democrats, Republicans warn Trump against declaring emergency over border wall funding
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi railed against the idea of Trump declaring a national emergency, saying that Republicans “should have some dismay to the door that they are opening, the threshold they are crossing.”
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Amazon cancels plans for New York City HQ, deals blow to Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had lobbied hard for Amazon headquarters; Laura Ingle reports.
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Denver teachers strike ends with 'historic' deal
The Denver Classroom Teachers Association declared its three-day strike over and members are set to vote on whether to ratify the deal reached on Thursday with the Denver Public School District.
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Go-Jek Fields Bank Pitches Amid $3 Billion Funding Drive
Go-Jek has already raised just over $1 billion at the first close of the ongoing Series F round, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month. Mitsubishi Corp. and Provident Capital participated alongside existing investors Google, JD.com Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. The two most valuable startups in Southeast Asia are going head-to-head in everything from ride hailing to mobile payments and food delivery in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
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Venezuela's Maduro ramps up legal fight against Guaido's challenge
Venezuela's opposition, which argues Maduro's presidency is illegitimate because he won in a sham vote, is trying to wrest control of the OPEC nation's oil sector from him and deliver aid to a population suffering food and medicine shortages. Maduro says this is part of a strategy to carry out a U.S.-backed coup and has vowed to remain in office, despite around 50 nations recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president. Venezuela's chief state prosecutor, Tarek Saab, said on Thursday his office had opened an investigation into new opposition-appointed directors at state-run oil firm PDVSA and its U.S. refiner Citgo, Venezuela's most valuable foreign asset.
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Trump administration sued over shift in asylum policy
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Trump administration's policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico while their cases wind through immigration courts violates U.S. law by putting the migrants in danger and depriving them of the ability to prepare their cases, a lawsuit filed Thursday by civil liberties groups claims.
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GOP Splits Over Trump's Emergency Declaration for Wall Money
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s plan to declare a national emergency to get additional funds for a border wall divided congressional Republicans while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would consider a lawsuit to block the move.
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House advances border security funds toward final passage
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the rules for debating a bill to avert another partial federal government shutdown by funding several agencies but denying President Donald Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The procedural vote cleared the way for final passage of the legislation that the White House said Trump will sign into law by Friday's deadline, when existing funds expire for the Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies. (Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Eric Beech)
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Explainer: Trump risks legal fight with emergency threat on wall
Legal scholars say it is unclear how such a step would play out, but they agree a court test would likely focus on whether an emergency actually exists on the southern border and on the limits of presidential power over taxpayer funds. Trump is unhappy with a bipartisan border security bill that is going through Congress to avert another government shutdown, because it contains only a fraction of the funds he demanded for his promised border wall. The White House said Trump would sign the bill but declare a national emergency to try to obtain funds for the wall.
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U.S. court dismisses Energy Transfer Partners lawsuit against Greenpeace
ETP had sued https://reut.rs/2SASoIv Greenpeace and other environmental groups in 2017, accusing them of racketeering and defamation with the aim of blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the lawsuit, ETP argued that the environmental groups' actions and negative publicity against it, its sister company Energy Transfer Equity LP and other firms caused billions of dollars in damages. The Dakota Access Pipeline became one of the most bitterly contested energy projects in years as environmental activists and Native American tribes had tried to block the pipeline during a months-long standoff with authorities in North Dakota in 2016.
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Colorado man who strangled mountain lion describes life-or-death struggle
A 31-year-old man who fended off and suffocated a mountain lion when it attacked him on a Colorado jogging trail last week described on Thursday how he killed the big cat by stepping on its throat during a life-and-death struggle. Speaking for the first time publicly since the Feb. 4 incident that left him with still-visible lacerations on his neck and face, Travis Kauffman described for reporters the harrowing three-minute encounter. Kauffman said he was running at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, about 65 miles northwest of Denver, when he heard pine needles rustling and turned his head only to come face-to-face with a young cougar.
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How would Trump's emergency powers help build border wall?
President Donald Trump was set Thursday to declare a "national emergency" to help fund hundreds of miles of wall on the southern border to prevent migrants from crossing into the United States illegally from Mexico. The White House said Trump would also sign a spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, but which only provides $1.375 billion for border barriers or fencing -- far from the $5.7 billion Trump wants. Trump has for months teased the idea of declaring a national emergency, which would free up federal money from elsewhere, citing what the administration calls a "crisis" at the border.
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Kacey Musgraves asked the internet to meme her and it worked almost too well
Kacey Musgraves may have won Album of the Year at the Grammys on Sunday, but frankly she deserved a different kind of award -- an award for the greatest meme of the night.Obviously that one already has strong competition from Lady Gaga, but Musgraves' contribution is an undeniably accomplished effort.SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama just shared a glorious text exchange with her mom from Grammys nightIt started with her reaction to winning Album of the Year, which you can watch in full here:Then, on Tuesday night, Musgraves tweeted this.> Let the memes begin: pic.twitter.com/bCSkrXGTXF> > -- K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@KaceyMusgraves) February 13, 2019If ever there was a facial expression begging to be meme'd, it's that one.Here are some of the many, glorious responses.> when you get the valentine you wrote for yourself pic.twitter.com/U5aYWo848x> > -- noah (@justnoahtbh) February 13, 2019> Professor: The class average was a 65 > > Me: pic.twitter.com/F2bDMVTG47> > -- Niall Nugent (@niallnugent10) February 13, 2019> When you take a big gulp thinking it's sweet tea but it's unsweet pic.twitter.com/JcFsiScOrt> > -- Julian (@loco_ga) February 13, 2019> when you have socks on and step in something wet pic.twitter.com/xgNlLcPcIg> > -- (@nashvillesuit) February 13, 2019> when someone breathes on the back of your neck pic.twitter.com/gswu4WLpaU> > -- yesi (@breathinhaz) February 13, 2019> pic.twitter.com/NwOvrXXhvj> > -- Paula Deanne (@PaulaDeanne13) February 13, 2019Some people even went the extra mile and meme'd the whole reaction clip.> When my friends tell me a rumor and I have to act like I didn't start it pic.twitter.com/IfX2qy9aIU> > -- magdacious (@magdaciousss) February 13, 2019Frankly all the tweets are winners, but this one had the most RTs.Ask, and you shall receive. WATCH: Here are the top five moments where women stole the show at this year's GRAMMYs
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‘US is trying to break up Europe’: Controversial Iran conference opens in Poland
Some are dismissing it as a mere “photo op”, a chance to show the ideologically motivated benefactors of Donald Trump’s administration that it is doing something to counter Iran. “We are going to gather up to talk about the future of Middle East stability and prosperity,” US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, one of the organisers of the summit, said Tuesday night. “We’ll talk about the Middle East peace plan, we’ll talk about ... Counterterrorism, we’ll talk about how these countries can work together.
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Trump vows to find more money to fund a border wall. Where is he looking for it?
Donald Trump says there are plenty of options that would allow him to get more border wall funding without asking Congress. But a backlash is likely.
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Tasmania fires may 'wipe out' ancient species
Tasmania's ancient rainforest and alpine flora species face an uncertain future, scientists have warned, after out-of-control bushfires consumed vast tracts of wild bushland. Wildfires have scorched over 205,000 hectares (500,000 acres) in the southwest, centre and northwest of the island -- fuelled, scientists believe, by climate change. Most of the native eucalypt forests have adapted to frequent burning, but Tasmania is a refuge for ancient species, whose presence dates back millions of years to when Australia was part of a supercontinent called Gondwana.
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Central American migrant family rescued from Rio Grande
A family attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border was rescued from waters of the Rio Grande by U.S. authorities. They are part of thousands of Central American migrants stuck in a temporary shelter in Mexico waiting for their asylum to be granted.
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Eastern Canada digs out from major snow storm
A huge snowstorm blanketed eastern Canada on Wednesday, closing schools, grounding hundreds of flights and forcing many workers to stay home as tens of thousands of plows toiled to clear roads. Wind gusts up to 70 kilometers (44 miles) per hour were also expected in the evening, blowing snow and severely reducing visibility from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal to the Atlantic coast provinces. A winter storm warning was in place for much of the region and travel was not advised.
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Ocasio-Cortez celebrates Amazon's NYC pullout
U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheered the decision by Amazon.com Inc to scrap its plans to build an outpost in New York that could have created 25,000 jobs. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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U.S. judge rules former Venezuelan oil minister owes $1.4 billion
A federal judge in Houston ordered a former Venezuelan oil minister this week to pay the owners of a defunct Houston oil company $1.4 billion in damages in a fraud suit, although it is unclear if or how the payment will ever be made. U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal issued the default judgment on Wednesday after Rafael Ramirez did not contest Harvest Natural Resources' claims, according to an opinion accompanying the ruling. James Edmiston, Harvest Natural's former chief executive and director, said on Thursday he was pleased with the order.
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New York law gives child sex abuse victims more time to sue
The governor of New York state on Thursday signed a law extending the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sex abuse, a move that could trigger a torrent of new complaints. The law known as the Child Victims Act -- which the Catholic Church fought against for years -- will allow alleged victims until age 55 to file civil cases and 28 for criminal suits, compared to a limit of 23 under the old rule. The new law, which will go into effect in six months, also establishes a one-year litigation window for any victim, regardless of age, to take civil action.
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What the FDA Needs You to Know About Alzheimer's "Cures"
If a supplement sounds too good to be true, it probably is—the FDA is cracking down on the companies peddling false promises.
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Russia, Turkey, Iran hail US Syria withdrawal
The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran hailed the planned US withdrawal from Syria as they met for talks Thursday on how to work more closely together in the country's long-running conflict. Hosting his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in the southern city of Sochi, President Vladimir Putin said the three welcomed the expected US pull-out from northeastern Syria. Russia and Iran -- who both back the regime of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad -- and rebel supporter Turkey have positioned themselves as key foreign players in Syria's long-running war.
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Feeling unwelcome, Amazon ditches plans for New York hub
Amazon.com Inc abruptly scrapped plans to build a major outpost in New York that could have created 25,000 jobs, blaming opposition from local leaders upset by the nearly $3 billion in incentives promised by state and city politicians. Opponents of the project feared congestion and higher rents in the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, and objected to handing billions in incentives to a company run by Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man. State Senator Michael Gianaris, who represents Queens and was a vocal critic of the deal, told a news conference on Thursday that the Amazon subsidies were unnecessary.
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Cannabis-based treatment will be offered to dementia patients
Cannabis will be used to treat symptoms of dementia in the first major UK trial to test its use, scientists have announced. Pensioners with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease will be recruited to see how cannabis-based treatment compares with a dummy drug. Scientists are testing whether Sativex - a Peppermint-flavoured mouth spray containing cannabinoids - could be used to reduce symptoms of agitation or aggression. Around half of the 850,000 dementia sufferers in the UK experience such symptoms, as well as memory problems and confusion. The drug is already prescribed to some patients with multiple sclerosis to relieve muscle stiffness and spasms. Alzheimer’s Research UK is committing £300,000 funding to the Kings College London trial, involving elderly patients living in care homes. The study team will recruit 60 volunteers with Alzheimer’s disease between 55 and 90 years old who are living in care homes and have symptoms of agitation or aggression. Volunteers will take the medication for four weeks, with results compared with those given a placebo drug.   Lead researcher Prof Dag Aarsland said: “While people most often associate Alzheimer’s disease with memory problems, this is just one aspect of a complex condition that can affect people in different ways. “Many people with Alzheimer’s can become agitated or aggressive, and this can pose difficulties for the person with the condition and those closest to them,” the psychiatrist said. “Current treatments for behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia are very limited, and we desperately need to develop alternatives. Doctors sometimes prescribe anti-psychotic medications, and while these drugs can have important benefits, these need to be weighed against the risk of very serious side effects. Although Sativex is licensed for treatment of some MS symptoms, it is not currently licensed in the UK for any other indication, including treatment of the symptoms of dementia. The drug  is a peppermint-flavoured mouth spray that contains a 1:1 ratio of two key cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). If successful, the trial will be followed by a much larger study. The early signs of dementia Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer of Alzheimer’s Research UK, warned against the use of cannabis in an uncontrolled setting, saying the drug carries risks - including to short-term memory, and anxiety. He said: “With no new dementia treatments in over 15 years, it is vital that we test a wide range of approaches to find effective ways to help people living with the condition. “While a major focus for dementia research is to develop drugs that slow or stop the progression of the physical diseases that cause dementia, what really matters is that a medicine benefits people’s day-to-day lives. “This is a rigorous clinical trial of a medication that has been carefully prepared, and which will be tested in circumstances where the health and wellbeing of participants can be closely monitored. There is no good evidence that using cannabis in an uncontrolled setting could benefit people living with dementia, and we know that the drug can involve risks including short-term memory and thinking problems, coordination difficulties and anxiety.”
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Trump gains weight, now considered obese; cholesterol down
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has put on some pounds and is now officially considered obese.
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Goodbye to NASA's Opportunity Rover, a Machine We Loved That Could Never Love Us Back
NASA has officially declared its Opportunity rover dead after a remarkable 15 years on Mars. See photos from Opportunity's long mission.
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Former Teacher Sentenced to 180 Days for Sexting Student
A former Oklahoma high school teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student has been sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of engaging in sexual communication with a minor by use of technology.
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The Honor of Elliott Abrams
Three weeks ago, Elliott Abrams returned to government. This was very good news for U.S. foreign policy. He is the State Department’s special representative for Venezuela. And his presence on the public stage has reignited passions about the Reagan administration’s record in Latin America.Abrams was the assistant secretary of state for Latin America in Reagan’s second term. During the first, he had been assistant secretary for international organizations, and then for human rights. (Abrams joined the administration when he was in his early 30s.)Like many others he was caught up in the Iran-Contra affair, and he pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress. (Two misdemeanor counts.) He was pardoned by the first President Bush. There is a story to be told about all this, which we will not get into here. Abrams told it in a book, Undue Process: A Story of How Political Differences Are Turned into Crimes.The second President Bush made Abrams part of his national-security team, first in the area of democracy and human rights. Then he gave Abrams a Middle East portfolio. Later, Abrams wrote a memoir, Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In recent years, he has been a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.In short, Elliott Abrams is one of the wisest, most experienced foreign-policy heads in this country. He is also a steadfast advocate of freedom, democracy, and human rights, or American values, if you like.Yesterday he appeared on Capitol Hill and encountered Ilhan Omar. She is a freshman House member -- a Democrat from Minnesota -- who has had a lively first month. We editorialized about her and anti-Semitism on Monday (here).She called Mr. Abrams “Mr. Adams.” (Congratulations, Elliott, you’re a Gentile!) She got a lot else wrong too. She swiped at Abrams for the Iran-Contra affair -- and refused to let him defend himself. She went on to accuse him of being complicit in the rape, murder, and mayhem of Central America -- El Salvador, in particular.To see this performance on C-SPAN, go here.A great many hailed this performance, certainly on the old anti-Reagan left. It was as though the Christic Institute and CISPES had come back to life. Social media rang out with the old charges, the old smears, the old libels. Not all of Abrams’s enemies are on the left, of course. David Duke, of Klan fame, or infamy, chimed in with “Rep. Omar clashes with Zionist war criminal.”Look: When Reagan and his people took office in 1981, dictatorship was the rule in Latin America (as in the world at large). A rare exception was . . . Venezuela. Funny to think of at present, in a dark way. El Salvador was in the grip of its civil war. In 1980, Archbishop Romero had been murdered as he was celebrating mass. Groups on left and right, throughout Latin America, murdered with abandon. These were “dirty wars,” in the phrase of the day.Remember, too, that the 1980s were Cold War times. The Soviets and their Cuban proxy were doing everything they could to Castroize the region.Reagan, with Vice President Bush, George Shultz, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Elliott Abrams, and stalwart others, worked energetically for democratic transitions -- in Latin America, yes, but in other parts of the world too (e.g., South Korea). In El Salvador, the administration backed José Napoleón Duarte, the Christian Democrat. He was opposed by the FMLN on the left and ARENA on the right. Reagan’s policy was controversial on our own right. Many conservatives backed ARENA, chief among them Jesse Helms.In 1984, Salvadorans went to the polls, braving terrorism, and, in a free election, chose Duarte. El Salvador, for all its problems, has been democratic ever since. This is a “fabulous achievement,” as Abrams tried to explain to the congresswoman.Duarte made a state visit to Washington in 1987. Reagan said, “President Duarte, having fought the brutality and repression of Left and Right, has come to symbolize the struggle for democracy in this hemisphere.” He also said, “If peace is to prevail, so must democracy.”The Salvadoran president, for his part, did something startling and memorable. He said, “I’ve seen through my life many times when people with hate in their heart put fire to the American flag. This time, permit me to go to your flag and, in the name of my people, give it a kiss.” And so he did.Before the Reaganites left office, the countries of Latin America had democratized or were well on their way. Speaking at Moscow State University in 1988, Reagan said, “The growth of democracy has become one of the most powerful political movements of our age. In Latin America in the 1970s, only a third of the population lived under democratic government; today over 90 percent does.”In 2012, there was a Chilean film, No, about the 1988 plebiscite. This was the vote that saw the dictator Pinochet out of office. Elliott Abrams wrote about the movie, here. He describes a scene: Two men are talking about the upcoming plebiscite. They are on either side of the question. The Pinochet man says that America is supporting his guy, the “incumbent,” the dictator. The other man says no: “Los gringos están con nosotros” (“The gringos are with us”).Yes, they were. Yes, we were. There were some rotten choices to be made in Latin America, from the point of view of the U.S. government, and there were often not many democrats on offer. But the Reaganites’ record is honorable, even laudatory, and this silly, ignorant House freshman, though she did not intend so, has given us the happy opportunity of lauding them again.
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Trump will declare national emergency to build border wall after failing to secure funding
Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to build a border wall along the southern US border after failing to secure funding for the measure through Congress. The president plans on issuing that declartion after he signs the government funding bill that Congress is poised to approve to keep the government funded until the end of the fiscal year and avert a second damaging shutdown in two months. The plan was confirmed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders just before the Senate voted in favour of advancing the funding package.
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Amazon HQ2 Pulling Out of Queens Hits New Yorkers Hard
Social media reacts to the tech giant's decision not to move to Long Island City after all
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More Brexit embarrassment for May as parliament defeats her again
Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday that undermined her pledge to European Union leaders to get her divorce deal approved if they grant her concessions. In a show of muscle, hardline Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party decided to abstain, handing her an embarrassing, albeit symbolic, defeat as she tries to renegotiate her deal with the EU. May was absent from the House of Commons for the debate and the outcome of the vote, which deepened the sense of political crisis over Britain's departure, more than two years after voters opted to leave the bloc by a margin of 52 percent to 48.
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9 Products People With Diabetes Swear By
The Mighty's diabetes community shares the products that makes their life easier.
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This Year’s Flu Shot Was Far More Effective Than Last Year's. Here’s Why
The CDC just released its latest numbers
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William Barr: Senate confirms Trump pick as new attorney general
Three months following the ousting of Jeff Sessions, the Senate voted to confirm William Barr for his second stint as attorney general. The Senate confirmation on Thursday will grant Mr Barr, a hardline Republican, the power to supervise the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia and its interference with the 2016 presidential election. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 54-45 in favour of President Donald Trump’s nominee for the post.
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NASA lays out its commercial roadmap for putting astronauts on the moon by 2028
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA's leaders put out their pitch today for commercial ventures to build the hardware needed to put American astronauts back on the moon by 2028. "This is really sustainable, this is going to be fast," Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, told a roomful of space industry executives here at NASA Headquarters today. "We're going to need the best and brightest from you in industry. We're going to need the best and brightest from the international partner community to pull all this off." The mission architecture represents a dramatic shift from the way NASA put… Read More
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U.S. issues new rules requiring rail oil spill response plans
The U.S. Transportation Department on Thursday issued final rules requiring railroads to develop oil spill response plans and to disclose details of shipments to states and tribal governments after a series of high-profile incidents. The new rules apply to High Hazard Flammable Trains transporting petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars and trains that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars. The rules partially address recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board after a 2013 crude-by-rail derailment killed 47 people in the town of Lac Megantic in Quebec and released 1.6 million gallons of crude oil.
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Explainer: Denver teachers strike challenges landmark incentive pay scheme
The Denver work stoppage, which began on Monday, follows statewide teacher walkouts driven by salary disputes last year in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona, and a strike in Los Angeles last month that focused on pay, class size and charter school regulation. The strike in Denver is contesting the longest-running teacher compensation system of its kind in the United States, according to Allison Atteberry, an education professor at Colorado University-Boulder who has studied the issue. The Denver program included incentives tied to performance evaluations, and a panoply of other factors aimed at getting the strongest educators to the students who need them most.
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Venezuelans send out SOS signal from Colombian border
Ureña (Venezuela) (AFP) - Desperate doctors and nurses are protesting at Venezuela's border with Colombia, demanding that President Nicolas Maduro allows in humanitarian aid that remains tantalisingly out of reach. "Right now it's a critical situation, it's terrible because we have nothing: no gloves, no dressings, no medicines," Francis Duran, a 34-year-old nurse at the San Antonio hospital in the border town of Urena, told AFP. Duran was part of a motorcycle escort that accompanied a march to the Tienditas border bridge that separates Urena from the Colombian town of Cucuta, where tons of US aid is being stored ahead of an attempt to bring it into Venezuela.
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Lists tie more than 230 Catholic priests to sex abuse in multiple states
Multiple lists of Catholic priests that were said to be credibly accused of sexual abuse were released in New Jersey and Virginia on Wednesday.
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The Latest: Arlington says it's sticking to its Amazon plans
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the decision by Amazon to dump New York City as a location for a new headquarters (all times local):
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Ilhan Omar Clashed With Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Over Washington's Role in Latin America. Here's the History Behind Her Claims
The Iran-Contra Affair and the El Mozote massacre were among the darkest chapters of U.S. intervention in the region
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Frustrated EU wary of May's Brexit brinkmanship
With just 43 days until Britain is due to leave the European Union, EU leaders increasingly fear Theresa May is playing a dangerous game of chicken. Prime Minister May has made a great show of reopening talks with Brussels, but officials here say she is playing for time until a no-deal divorce is imminent. Then, with the economic consequences of a no deal threatening not just Britain but its trading partners on the continent, they expect May to push her anti-Europe MPs to back a lightly-tweaked accord.
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Explainer: Trump risks legal fight with emergency threat on wall
President Donald Trump will almost certainly face legal challenges over his decision to declare a national emergency to get additional funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, circumventing the power of Congress to set spending policy. Legal scholars say it is unclear how such a step would play out, but they agree a court test would likely focus on whether an emergency actually exists on the southern border and on the limits of presidential power over taxpayer funds. Trump is unhappy with a bipartisan border security bill that is going through Congress to avert another government shutdown, because it contains only a fraction of the funds he demanded for his promised border wall.
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Bill Barr confirmed as US attorney general
The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Bill Barr as the nation's next attorney general, placing him in control of the long-running investigation into President Donald Trump's possible Russia connections. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Senate voted largely along party lines, 54-45, to confirm Barr to the post, which he had previously held under George H.W. Bush's administration. Trump has attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation as a "witch hunt." But Barr said during congressional testimony that he does not agree with that description, and that he would allow Mueller to complete his investigation unimpeded.
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Trump declaring border emergency would be 'lawless act': Sen. Schumer
In unusually harsh language, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that if President Donald Trump declares a national emergency to build a border wall, he would be committing "a lawless act" and warned that Congress would take steps to stop him. "Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency," Schumer said in remarks on the Senate floor.
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GE to downsize Boston headquarters, reimburse state $87M
BOSTON (AP) — General Electric announced Thursday it will downsize its world headquarters in Boston and will return $87 million that Massachusetts spent as part of an incentives package to lure the company from Connecticut three years ago.
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President Trump Is Officially Obese
And he's upped his dose of cholesterol medication.
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NASA heading back to Moon soon, and this time to stay
NASA is accelerating plans to return Americans to the Moon, and this time, the US space agency says it will be there to stay. Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, told reporters Thursday that the agency plans to speed up plans backed by President Donald Trump to return to the moon, using private companies. "It's important that we get back to the moon as fast as possible," said Bridenstine in a meeting at NASA's Washington headquarters, adding he hoped to have astronauts back there by 2028.
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Police recover rare monkey stolen from Florida zoo
Kali, the 12-year-old rare Goeldi's monkey reported stolen from Palm Beach Zoo in Florida, has been found safe and sound. (Feb.13)
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Trump to avert shutdown, declare 'emergency' to fund border wall
US President Donald Trump will sign a spending bill to avert a government shutdown but will also issue an emergency declaration to fund his controversial border wall, the White House and lawmakers said Thursday. Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell told colleagues that he spoke by phone with Trump, who "indicated he's prepared to sign the bill. The White House confirmed the plan minutes later.
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No more A380s? Why Airbus' bet on 'superjumbo' jets failed
It’s official: Airbus will pull the plug on its A380 double-decker jet. The latest A380 is now expected to roll off the assembly line in 2021.
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U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sue
MEXICO CITY/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States began sending Central American families seeking asylum back to Mexico this week, a Mexican immigration source said on Thursday, while U.S. human rights groups sued the Trump administration, saying the policy puts migrants in danger. Five families with a total of 16 people, including children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Wednesday, according to a person who works in migration for the Mexican government who asked not to be named. In late January, the United States began sending non-Mexican migrants to Mexico to wait as their asylum requests are processed in U.S. immigration courts, in a program called Migrant Protection Protocols.
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Ted Cruz Wants Recently Convicted Mexican Drug Lord 'El Chapo' to Fund Border Wall
Cruz is pushing a bill that looks to use El Chapo's seized assets to build the controversial wall
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The Latest: Community vigil for Florida victims underway
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (all times local):
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Lawsuit challenges Trump plan keeping asylum-seekers in Mexico until case decided
The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging a new Trump administration policy requiring most asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their case is decided.
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See the Revived 2019 Ram 1500 Warlock in Photos
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US vice president honors Jews, Poles who resisted Nazis
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence paid homage Thursday to the suffering of the Jewish and Polish people under German occupation during World War II with visits to memorials honoring their suffering and heroism.
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Students track fatal child shootings since Parkland killings
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A student journalism project has concluded that at least 1,149 children and teenagers died from a shooting in the year since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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Trump's emergency declaration would trigger a drawn out legal fight
President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency to speed construction of his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
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More Brexit embarrassment for May as parliament defeats her again
In a show of muscle, hardline Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party decided to abstain, handing her an embarrassing, albeit symbolic, defeat as she tries to renegotiate her deal with the EU. May was absent from the House of Commons for the debate and the outcome of the vote, which deepened the sense of political crisis over Britain's departure, more than two years after voters opted to leave the bloc by a margin of 52 percent to 48. The crunch vote is now expected to come on Feb. 27, when May is due to return to parliament - and lawmakers who fear leaving without a deal could try to seize control of Britain's departure from the EU.
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The Latest: Arlington diocese says 16 priests on abuse list
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Catholic dioceses in Virginia releasing lists of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against them (all times local):
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Minnesotans debate Rep. Ilhan Omar's tweets
Many Jews in Minnesota are upset by her recent tweets suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they’ve been bought off. But an official of a Minnesota Muslim advocacy group calls the criticism of Omar unfair. (Feb. 13)
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Kushner: Mideast peace plan expected after Israeli election
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Donald Trump's senior Middle East adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner, said Thursday that the Trump administration would unveil its much-awaited Mideast "Deal of the Century" after Israeli elections on April 9.
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Agents begin processing migrants from latest Central American caravan in Eagle Pass, Texas
Asylum-seekers first face three-hour 'credible fear interview' to determine eligibility; Casey Stegall reports.
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The Latest: More than 180 priests named as accused abusers
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the release of names of clergy members with credible accusations of sexually abusing minors in New Jersey (all times local):
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Donald Trump will 'declare national emergency' to build Mexico border wall
Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to find extra funds to build his Mexico border wall, the most senior Republican in the US Senate announced on Thursday, setting up the prospect of a new court battle.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate leader, said that Mr Trump had pledged to sign a compromise deal that would provide more than $1 billion for barriers along the border but would also go one step further.  "He also will be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. I indicated to him I’m going to support the national emergency declaration,” Mr McConnell said.  The announcement, made on the floor of the Senate as Mr McConnell was seeking to secure votes for the compromise package, came as a surprise and was expected to trigger a fierce backlash from Democrats, civil rights activists and even some Republicans.  Mr Trump had long floated the idea of declaring a national emergency, which would give him extra powers to unilaterally move around funds, as a way of circumventing Congress and ensuring he could deliver his campaign promise to build a Mexico border wall.  However the prospect of a lengthy battle in America’s courts – a legal challenge is all but inevitable – and vocal opposition from scores of Republican senators was thought to have convinced Mr Trump not to go down that path.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Credit: AFP Even Mr McConnell had criticsed the idea publicly, saying last month: “I don’t think much of that idea.”  But Mr Trump had come under criticism from leading right-wing US figures over a compromise deal that had been struck between Republican and Democrat congressmen this week. The US president had demanded $5.7 billion for more than 200 miles of wall along the US-Mexico border. That demand had led to a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in US history, before it reopened for three weeks of talks.  But the new agreement included just $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new border barriers. Furthermore the barrier would be fencing rather than a concrete wall, as Mr Trump had once envisioned.  Sean Hannity, the Fox News presenter who is close to the president, had dubbed the agreement a “garbage compromise”. Mark Meadows, the Republican congressman who leads the influential Freedom Caucus, had also been critical.  The US Senate overwhelmingly passed the compromise spending bill on Thursday. The House of Representatives was due to vote on Thursday afternoon. Mr Trump must sign the bill by midnight on Friday to avoid yet another government shutdown.  By signing the bill and declaring a national emergency, Mr Trump would both avoid another shutdown – which he risked getting the blame for – and be able to show his supporters that he is still building the border wall.  I’m speaking with reporters live from the Capitol ahead of the House’s vote on the deal to KeepGovernmentOpen. https://t.co/cc3TgjzOoC— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 14, 2019 Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat House speaker, said she may launch a legal challenge and warned the move would create “great unease and dismay” among her party.  “It is not an emergency, what is happening at the border,” Ms Pelosi said, calling the claim an “illusion”.  She insisted that the constitution gave the “power of the purse” to Congress, appearing to question whether Mr Trump was overstepping his powers.  National emergencies have been declared 58 times since the laws were reformed in 1976, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, but none of those occasions was over spending which Congress would not grant.  The move theoretically opens up at least 123 different powers that a US president could use, according to experts. But each one has a tight legal definition which Mr Trump would have to meet.  There has been speculation that the Trump administration has been looking at two particular powers linked to military construction. But in both cases the government would have to be prove why the border wall is needed for national defence.  Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator and close confidante of the president, said: “He has all the legal authority in the world to do this and I will stand behind him.” Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said "we're very prepared" when asked about the possibility of a legal challenge but added that she did not expect one.
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Could Amazon still pick another HQ2 site after ditching New York?
Amazon's decision to pull out of plans for a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens reignites hope among cities that lost out on the project.
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Explainer: What's at stake in U.S.-China trade talks
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing this week as Chinese and American negotiators try to hammer out a trade deal to ease a trade war and avert an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for March 2. The governments of the world's two largest economies have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle for months as Washington presses Beijing to address long-standing concerns over Chinese practices and policies around industrial subsidies, market access and intellectual property rights protections.
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Venezuela at UN enlists countries in show of support
Russia and China joined Cuba, Iran, North Korea and several other countries at the United Nations on Thursday to show support for Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in his showdown with the United States. "We all have the right to live without the threat of use of force and without application of illegal coercive unilateral measures," Arreaza told journalists, flanked by the ambassadors of several countries.
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American charged with spying for Iran may have exposed colleagues to danger
FBI: The ex-Air Force intelligence officer allegedly disclosed information about confidential Pentagon programs.
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Denver teachers, school district reach deal to end strike
The walkout, the first teachers' strike in Colorado's largest city since 1994, began on Monday after 15 months of contract talks broke down.
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The Army’s Next Infantry Guns Will Have Computerized Fire Control for Unreal Accuracy
Next generation infantry weapons will incorporate computer technology previously only available on tanks.
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[UPDATE] President Trump Is Still Obese
Last year, his goal-set for him by both himself and his supervising physician-was to lose weight.
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Brock Long: FEMA chief criticised for Puerto Rico disaster response quits amid expenses scandal
The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that he will be stepping down amid controversy amid a row over alleged misuse of government resources and unauthorised travel expenses. FEMA administrator Brock Long is out, agency confirms. After its investigation, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general determined that Mr Long lavishly used government resources for personal trips throughout his term as FEMA chief.
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US senate passes border bill as Trump prepares to declare national emergency
The US Senate has passed a major spending bill that would effectively avoid another federal government shutdown, sending the legislation to the president’s desk for a signature. Now, the only question is whether Donald Trump intends to sign it. The bipartisan measure is the product of weeks of negotiations after the longest government shutdown in history, in which Mr Trump demanded billions of dollars towards his campaign promise of building a wall sprawling across the entirety of the US-Mexico border.
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Senate confirms William Barr as U.S. attorney general
The Senate voted 54 to 45, largely along party lines. A Justice Department spokeswoman said Barr will be sworn in at 4:45 PM ET in the Oval Office of the White House by Chief Justice John Roberts. Many Democrats opposed Barr out of concern he might not make Mueller's findings fully public.
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Suspect Involved in Death of NYPD Detective in Charged with Murder
The 27-year-old man involved in the friendly-fire death of an NYPD detective had a fake gun, but he was charged with murder and manslaughter Wednesday.
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Nvidia Gives Inline Forecasts for Sales, Margins; Stock Jumps
The biggest maker of processors for computer graphics cards predicted sales of $2.2 billion, plus or minus 2 percent, in the fiscal first quarter. Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang is trying to convince investors that the stall in the company’s earnings is a short-lived trend and that the broader use of graphics chips in everything from cars to data centers will restore growth that has doubled the size of his company since 2016. Nvidia’s run of consecutive revenue gains, stretching back to 2014, was broken in the fiscal fourth quarter when sales of chips to cryptocurrency miners crashed as the digital-coin market plunged.
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Alaska Airlines is selling BOGO flights for one day only
On February 14 only, the airline is rolling out a ‘Fly One, Get One’ promotionbetween select destinations around the country
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Rep. Garamendi introduces bill to prevent President Trump from reallocating money to fund border wall
The Congress, not the executive branch, is constitutionally mandated to levy taxes and appropriate the money, says California Congressman John Garamendi, Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee.
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UK's Prince Harry visits marines in the Arctic on Valentine's Day
Britain's Prince Harry flew up to the Arctic on Valentine's Day to meet the Royal Marines and learn about special freezing-weather helicopter commando exercises. Harry, who is Captain General of the Royal Marines, visited northern Norway where he reviewed the Commando Helicopter Force which operates in temperatures as low as minus 30 Celsius. "This is the first time His Royal Highness has visited Joint Helicopter Command since becoming Captain General and it is great that he is doing the visit while we’re in Norway," said Warrant Officer 1st Class Adrian Shepherd, who has served with force for 27 years.
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McConnell: Trump Will Sign Spending Bill and Declare National Emergency to Fund Wall
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that President Trump will sign the homeland-security-spending bill pending before Congress while simultaneously declaring a national emergency in order to fund his long-promised border wall.The spending bill, which provides just $1.35 billion for the construction of new physical barriers on the southern border, will receive a vote in the Senate Thursday afternoon, and will then go to Trump's desk to be signed into law, narrowly averting another government shutdown.McConnell also announced Thursday on the Senate floor that he supports Trump's national-emergency declaration, breaking from a group of Senate conservatives critical of ceding more authority to the executive.“I've just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump, and he would, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated that he's prepared to sign the bill,” McConell said. “He will also be issuing a national-emergency declaration at the same time. And I've indicated to him that I'm going to prepare -- I'm going to support the national-emergency declaration. So for all of my colleagues, the president will sign the bill. We'll be voting on it shortly.”White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Trump would declare a national emergency in a Thursday afternoon statement.“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action -- including a national emergency -- to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” the statement read. “The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”The announcement comes after a protracted conference-committee negotiation over Department of Homeland Security funding, which began after Trump signed a short-term spending bill in late January, ending a record 35-day government shutdown. Trump agreed to sign the stopgap bill in exchange for a commitment from Democrats to negotiate in the three weeks before the next deadline for a shutdown, which is this Friday.Since negotiations first began, Trump has cast doubt on the ability of congressional negotiators to deliver adequate border-security funding and repeatedly invoked the possibility of declaring a national emergency as the only route to deliver on his campaign promise.Under the emergency declaration, which is sure to be met with a legal challenge, Trump will attempt to appropriate discretionary military funds to make up the difference between the $1.35 billion Congress has appropriated for the border wall and the $5.7 billion he has long demanded.
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Researchers discover dinosaur with heart-shaped tail just in time for Valentine’s Day
In a story that was absolutely meant for Valentine's Day, dinosaur researchers have uncovered fossils of a new species of ancient reptile that "wears its heart on its tail." The creature, which was discovered thanks to artifacts collected way back in 2004 in Africa, is helping scientists understand more about the diverse group of dinos known as titanosaurs.In a new paper published in PLOS One, the research team that made the discovery explains how they managed to identify an entirely new species from fossils that were initially uncovered a decade and a half ago.The new dinosaur was named Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia, which is one heck of a mouthful. Its name was taken from the Swahili phrase "animal of the Mtuka with a heart-shaped tail." Mtuka is the name of the dry riverbed near the fossil's location, but it's the peculiar tail shape that really makes this the perfect Valentine's Day paleontology story.As you can see from the fossil photographs, a cross-section of the animal's tail bones reveals the heart shape that gives the animal its name.The first bones from this new species were uncovered in 2004 in a cliff wall, and paleontologists continued to mine the area for new fossils for several years afterwards. The bones have been dated to the Cretaceous period and are thought to be around 100 million years old.Identifying new bones and determining where they fit in the scientific record can be a lengthy process, especially in a region known for its wealth of ancient wildlife. Comparing and contrasting the bones against other known species isn't easy, and declaring an ancient skeleton to be that of an entirely new species is harder still."This new dinosaur gives us important information about African fauna during a time of evolutionary change," Judy Skog of the National Science Foundation's Division of Earth Sciences, said in a statement. "The discovery offers insights into paleogeography during the Cretaceous. It's also timely information about an animal with heart-shaped tail bones during this week of Valentine's Day."
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Trump medical: President now officially obese as newly released health report shows he's 243lbs
Donald Trump is officially obese, according to a newly released physical exam from the White House which shows that the president now weighs 243 pounds (110kg). Trump underwent an annual physical on Friday, 8 February, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, under the supervision of physician to the president Dr Sean Conley. While a small amount, the weight gain was enough to push Trump, who is six-foot-three, from the overweight to obese category on the BMI index.
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The Latest: Branson sets fund-raising concert against Maduro
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):
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Amazon Critics Call Company’s New York Reversal a Win for the Little Guy
Amazon.com Inc. expected some public outcry over its choice to expand in a redeveloped Queens industrial area along New York City’s East River. Among the fatal errors: Three-term Governor Andrew Cuomo and two-term New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, underestimated how an anti-corporate message from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in office less than two months, would take root so deeply and so quickly. “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic Socialist, said on Twitter.
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Netanyahu hails Warsaw talks with Arab states as 'turning point'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Thursday as historic a Warsaw meeting where he is joining Arab states, saying they stood united against Iran and voicing hope that cooperation extends to other areas. The opening dinner Wednesday night of the two-day, US-organised conference marked "a historical turning point," Netanyahu told reporters. "In a room of some 60 foreign ministers representative of dozens of governments, an Israeli prime minister and the foreign ministers of the leading Arab countries stood together and spoke with unusual force, clarity and unity against the common threat of the Iranian regime," he said.
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The Latest: Senate passes border security plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress' border security measure and President Donald Trump (all times local):
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Trump administration secretly moving US special forces closer to Venezuela, Cuba claims
Cuba has accused the US of secretly moving special forces closer to Venezuela as part of a plan to intervene under the pretext of a humanitarian crisis. Donald Trump‘s administration has been trying to pressure the country’s beleaguered president Nicolas Maduro to step down and hand over the reins of power to Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly. Mr Guaido invoked the country’s constitution three weeks ago to become interim president, arguing Mr Maduro’s re-election last year was a sham.
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Trump will sign spending bill but end-run Congress to build wall
President Trump will sign the bipartisan funding bill pending in Congress and then declare a national emergency to build the border wall, the White House announced Thursday afternoon.
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Storm system dumps several inches of snow in Redding
The storm system blasted Redding with several inches of snow.
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'King' the wire fox terrier wins crown at Westminster dog show
A wire fox terrier wins "Best in Show" at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, beating out nearly 3,000 barking, tail-wagging competitors. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
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Catwalk beauty gets playful at New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week continued to delight this week, as some of the industry's major designers debuted a playful take on runway hair and makeup for the Fall/Winter 2019 season.
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Trump has gained weight, still in 'good health,' doctor says
President Donald Trump has put on a few pounds over the past year but remains in "very good health overall," according to a physician who examined him last week. "After taking into account all the laboratory results, examinations and specialist recommendations, it is my determination that the president remains in very good health overall," the president's physician, Sean Conley, wrote in a memo on Thursday, which was released by the White House. The memo, which detailed the findings of a physical examination of Trump that Conley conducted on Friday, said the 72-year-old president weighed 243 pounds (110.2 kg), up from 239 pounds (108.4 kg)in early 2018.
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American Airlines: 700 Phoenix flight attendants will need to move
The airline is asking for volunteers as it needs 700 fewer flight attendants in Phoenix and 700 more in Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles.
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Amazon cancels plans to build second headquarters in New York after local protests
Amazon has announced it has cancelled plans to build its second headquarter campus in New York City following protests. “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Amazon spokesperson Jodi Seth said in a statement on Thursday. Incentivised by a $3bn subsidy deal with New York City, Amazon had originally planned to build a massive complex in Long Island City, Queens.
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This year's flu vaccine more effective than in last 2 years, CDC says
The flu vaccine is more effective this year than the past two years, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reported Thursday that the flu vaccine is proving 47 percent effective in preventing the strains of the flu that are most prevalent this year. It's reassuring that the vaccine is doing its job," said Dr. Joshua Doyle, an epidemic intelligence service officer in the CDC's Flu Division.
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Oxnard man, 21, arrested for alleged sex with 12-year-old he met online
A 21-year-old Oxnard man was arrested as police say he was on his way to a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.
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Judge finds Manafort lied to investigators in Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort intentionally lied to investigators and a federal grand jury in the special counsel's Russia probe, a judge has ruled.
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Fla. Man Allegedly Posed as Doctor Who Could Cure Diabetes by Injecting Patients with Own Blood
Fla. Man Allegedly Posed as Doctor Who Could Cure Diabetes
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Report: President Trump Installs $50,000 Golf Simulator in the White House
President Trump has installed a room-sized golfing simulator inside his personal quarters at the White House
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Declutter Your Desk with This Laptop Stand
And it also comes with six ports and can quick-charge all your devices.
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One year later, Parkland survivor shares heartbreaking photo taken before deadly shooting
Natasha Martinez shared a photo taken last year before a gunman killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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Trump installs $50,000 golf simulator in White House, report says
Donald Trump has personally paid to install a room-sized “golf simulator” in the White House that cost around $50,000 (£39,000), according to a new report. The system allows Mr Trump — who frequently attacked his predecessor Barack Obama for his golf schedule only to outpace him at the sport after becoming president himself — to play virtual rounds at courses all over the world, according to the report in The Washington Post. The installation reportedly replaced an older and less sophisticated system that Mr Obama had in the residence.
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Airbus A380: from European dream to white elephant
The decision to halt production of the A380 superjumbo is the final act in one of Europe's greatest industrial adventures and reflects a dearth of orders by airline bosses unwilling to back Airbus's vision of huge jets to combat airport congestion. Airbus fought back, arguing that travel between megacities would nonetheless dominate air transport.
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The Creators Of Proactiv Have Figured Out A New Way To Fight Acne
After spending the past several years dominating the anti-aging skin-care industry, the Stanford-trained dermatologists who created every American teenager's go-to acne fighter are going back to their roots. Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields of Rodan + Fields, who founded Proactiv together in 1995, announced today that they're once again creating new inroads in acne-fighting skin care, launching two separate product ranges aimed at teen and adult acne. The main ingredient stays the same, but according to the brand, it's the way it's been formulated that may bring acne to its knees once and for all.
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The Truth About the Connection Between Valentine's Day and the Ancient Roman Festival of Lupercalia
Long before Valentine’s Day was celebrated, an Ancient Roman festival took place on Feb. 15
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Every Photo of the 2019 Bentley Bentayga Speed
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Sparks fly as Omar takes on U.S. Venezuela envoy
Newly-elected Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, during a hearing on Venezuela on Wednesday, said she "failed to understand" why the American people should believe Special Envoy Elliott Abrams' statements on Venezuela, given his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. In the testy exchange, Abrams responded saying, "I am not going to respond to that kind of personal attack." Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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El Nino is back but it's late, weak and probably no big deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — An El Nino, which can alter weather worldwide, has formed but it's so weak and late that it shouldn't be a big deal, U.S. forecasters said.
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Who is excluded from conferences and summits and why?
The exclusion of countries, peoples or individuals from high-profile summits and conferences often says much about the events themselves.
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Venezuela prosecutor to investigate Guaido appointments
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's chief prosecutor said Thursday he has launched an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaido's appointment of a transitional board of directors for the state oil company.
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The 2019 Bentley Bentayga Speed Is Faster but Cannot Crush the Lamborghini Urus
Still, it's the fastest 12-cylinder SUV anywhere.
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Israeli election: More 'King Bibi' or bye-bye Bibi?
Love him or loathe him, the election is all about Netanyahu. If he wins, he will become Israel's longest-serving prime minister this summer. "There's no central issue other than Netanyahu's reign and clean government - whether he remains prime minister and what the price is for corruption," said Tamar Hermann, a political science professor with the Israel Democracy Institute.
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UK PM May to continue seeking changes to Brexit deal: spokesman
British Prime Minister Theresa May will continue to seek changes to her Brexit deal, a spokesman for her office said, after she suffered a symbolic defeat in parliament on her strategy. "The government will continue to pursue this with the EU to ensure we leave on time on 29th March," the spokesman said. The spokesman said May believed her Conservative lawmakers still wanted her to renegotiate the deal, but had voted against her on Thursday because they were concerned about the prospect of taking a 'no deal' off the table at this stage.
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Google Gets a Little Buggy With Its Valentine's Day Doodle
The Google Doodle celebrates Valentine's Day 2019 and "the universal, undeniable power of love."
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Ocasio-Cortez takes a victory lap after Amazon scraps plans to build in New York
The Democratic phenom scores a victory over the "richest man in the world."
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May Warns Tories Not to Undermine Her Mission: Brexit Update
May is asking the Commons to endorse her strategy of seeking legally binding changes to the Irish border backstop during talks with the European Union. With Labour and a number of Tory rebels planning to vote for Soubry’s rebel amendment, it’s possible that the main motion itself won’t come to a vote at all. If Soubry’s amendment passes, the wording of May’s motion will not be put to a separate vote.
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Pence, at summit, lashes out at Europeans over Iran
Pence spoke at a Middle East peace conference in Warsaw attended by 60 countries, notably including both Gulf Arab states and Israel, in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a "historical turning point" for an alliance against Tehran. Iran, Russia and the Palestinians were absent. European powers, who oppose the Trump administration's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Iran, were openly skeptical of a conference excluding Tehran.
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United Airlines: Three new routes for fast-growing Denver hub
United Airlines will add three new domestic routes at its Denver hub, all of which will go head-to-head against budget rival Frontier Airlines.
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U.K. Parliament Throws Out May’s Plan to Renegotiate Brexit Deal
The House of Commons voted on Thursday by 303 to 258 against a motion endorsing the prime minister’s approach to resolving the Brexit deadlock, after a revolt from Euroskeptics in her Conservative Party. The defeat effectively strips May of her political mandate to demand changes to the withdrawal agreement in Brussels, and suggests she has little chance of fending off an attempt by Parliament to take control of the process on Feb. 27. While the prime minister’s office said in a statement her plan remains unchanged, she has until the end of the month to convince moderate members of her Conservative Party that she is capable of getting a deal through parliament before Britain crashes out of the European Union.
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Wife of White House official claims measles 'keep you healthy & fight cancer.' Not quite.
Darla Shine, wife of White House communications director Bill Shine, said measles "fight cancer." Not exactly, a doctor told CNN.
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The Navy Is Buying Boeing's Drone Submarine Called "Orca"
The Orca unmanned autonomous submersible will be capable of crossing entire oceans and fulfilling a variety of missions, from hunting mines to sinking submarines.
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Senate Dems on Green New Deal debate: 'Bring it on'
WASHINGTON (AP) — When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would bring the Green New Deal forward for votes he thought it would put Democrats — especially 2020 presidential contenders — on the spot.
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Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra role
Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress, was appointed as U.S. envoy to Venezuela on Friday.
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GOP Senators Optimistic Trump Will Sign Border Wall Compromise
(Bloomberg) -- Senior Republican lawmakers said the compromise spending bill that would avert another government shutdown will easily pass the House and Senate and they expect President Donald Trump will sign it into law.
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May's Strategy Faces Renewed Threat in Parliament: Brexit Update
(Bloomberg) -- With Theresa May seemingly heading for a high-stakes game of brinkmanship with the U.K. Parliament and the European Union, British politicians are again seeking ways to take control of the Brexit process.
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Israeli leader sees 'common interest' in confronting Iran
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Israel's prime minister on Wednesday sent out a belligerent rallying cry to his Arab partners at a U.S.-backed Mideast conference, saying he planned to focus on the "common interest" of confronting Iran.
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Federal judge rules ex-Trump campaign chief breached plea deal
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office by intentionally lying to prosecutors, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the U.S. ...
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When the Sun’s Magnetic Field Squashes the Earth’s Magnetic Field, Beautiful Things Happen
If not for dueling magnetici fields, we'd have no aurora borealis.
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Smoking cannabis as teenager increases risk of depression by 40 per cent, Oxford study finds
Smoking cannabis as teenager could increase the risk of depression in adulthood by almost 40 per cent, a landmark study by Oxford University has found. Researchers warned that use of the drug in adolescence may be responsible for around 60,000 cases of the condition in subsequent decades - around one in 14 of all cases. They urged parents to be less relaxed about teenage use of cannabis, warning that some of the strains being pushed today are 10 times as strong as the drugs which were dealt 30 years ago. And they called on ministers to prioritise prevention of drug taking, warning that the damage caused by cannabis was now a public health risk with “devastating” consequences. The research examined 11 major studies involving more than 23,000 individuals from adolescence until their 30s. It found that those who tried cannabis in their teens had a 37 per cent higher risk of depression between the ages of 18 and 32, and more than three times the risk of attempting suicide. Has the war on cannabis been lost? Professor Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said: "It's a big public health and mental health problem." "The number of people who are exposed to cannabis, especially at this vulnerable age, is very high and I think this should be a priority for public health and the mental health sector." The study by researchers from McGill University in Canada and the University of Oxford, is the largest meta-analysis in the field.  It included teenagers who had used cannabis at least once before the age of 18 and did not distinguish between the frequency of use. In England, about four per cent of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years old in England are estimated to have used the drug within the last month. Animal studies have suggested a link between exposure to cannabinoids, the active component of cannabis, and the onset of depressive symptoms in adulthood. Prof Cipriani said: “For teenagers there may be an effect which is biological, with some consequences which can be devastating. “It is a vulnerable period of development of the brain - [so] exposing young teenagers to cannabis is likely to increase the risk of depression.” Young people with a mental disorder are three times more likely to have tried smoking or taking drugs The father of two teenagers said parents needed to know the facts about the risks of drug use. He said the evidence did not support having a relaxed attitude towards teenage experimentation. “My bottom line message is… to avoid using cannabis,” he said. “I think we should stress the importance of education and prevention programmes.” The studies were observational, meaning they could not prove that use of the drugs triggered the later depression, researchers said. It it possible that those who were struggling in adolescence were more likely to turn to drugs, they said. Professor Cipriani said: "Although the size of the negative effects of cannabis can vary between individual adolescents and it is not possible to predict the exact risk for each teenager, the widespread use of cannabis among young generations makes it an important public health issue. "Regular use during adolescence is associated with lower achievement at school, addiction psychosis and neuropsychological decline,” he said. Fellow researcher Dr Gabriella Gobbi, from McGill University, said teenagers often thought cannabis was safe because it was derived from plants. “It’s very important to inform adolescents about the risk and about the kinds of cannabis they use,” she said. “Today, it is not as in the 1980s and 1990s, when THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) was about three per cent in joints. Now we have joints of 10, 20, 30 even more per cent and adolescents must be aware of this.” She also highlighted the dangers of consuming ‘hash cookies’ and other foods containing drugs. “Many cannabis today, we have edibles. Adolescents buy cookies with THC and cannabidiol with different percentages. They are not aware that edibles have some risks,” she said. At a glance | Cannabis and the law It comes as the Royal College of Psychiatrists reviews its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis, with politicians including former Tory leader William Hague among those calling for a change in the law.   Prof Sir Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatric Research, Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London (IoPPN), said the study appeared robust, but had limitations. He said: “Information about the patterns of cannabis use in the original studies being re-examined is not very detailed; for example they do not quantify the amount of cannabis being smoked or what kind of cannabis is being used -we know from studies of psychosis that the risk is much greater with daily use of modern high potency (high THC/Low CBD) cannabis than old fashioned low THC varieties.” Dr Joseph Firth, Senior Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, said: “Among young adults worldwide, depression is the leading cause of disability, and suicide is the most common cause of death. "By linking cannabis as a contributing factor to both of these huge issues for public health, this latest study provides new insights into importance of reducing adolescent cannabis use. “However, it is important to consider that not all cannabis is equal. In particular, high-THC strains of cannabis are typically associated with more severe impact on mental health – whereas another component of cannabis (known as ‘CBD’) may even attenuate some of the adverse effects.” He called for further research on the varying affects of different types of cannabis use and the impact of policies which aimed to cut drug use. “If such schemes actually can produce significant reductions in the incidence of mental illness and suicide among young adults, these efforts could lead to population-scale prevention strategies for tackling the severe mental health issues currently affecting many young adults all over the world,” he said. Dr Lindsey Hines, from the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Mental Health said: "This study has taken the results of multiple studies of teenagers published over the past 15 years, and pulled together the results from those studies to get a clear, good quality estimate of the association between using cannabis as a teenager and mental health in adulthood. “We know that cannabis use co-occurs with anxiety, depression and self-harm in teenagers, but this research suggests that teenage cannabis use is still related to mental health in later years. However, we don't know if cannabis use as a teenager is causing these adult mental health problems. It could be that these behaviours are all due to shared underlying risk factors, such as early adversity or genetics," she said.  Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter. Cannabis in numbers 4 per cent of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years old in England are estimated to have used the drug within the last month. 37 per cent increased risk of depression among young adults who had smoked cannabis in their teens Tripling in rates of attempted suicide among such adults 60,000 cases of depression might be avoided among adults in their twenties and thirties if teenagers avoided all cannabis, researchers say 1 million young people likely to take cannabis if it was legalised, estimates suggest   Smoking cannabis at teenage parties ended with depression at university  Like many teenagers, Liam* started smoking cannabis at parties and at friends’ houses when their parents were out. At first, the habit he began at 16 was occasional. But by the time he was 18, he found himself smoking cannabis everyday with his friends, reflecting that he originally started because it “looked cool”. He said he and his group of grammar school friends then kept it up because it “felt good”. But it was just a year later - during the Summer before he left his home in Buckinghamshire to go to university in Sheffield - that Liam, a sociable and outgoing teenager, noticed an unfamiliar shift in his mood. He was feeling increasingly lonely and unproductive, and experiencing low moods that he didn’t understand how to deal with over his three years at university. “I had no idea what anxiety or even depression were. At the time I didn’t realise how common they were, therefore I didn’t realise it was affecting me,” said Liam, now 24. “My symptoms also reflected the paranoia I experienced when I was smoking, and I had a friend going through a similar thing,” he added, describing how he now believes his symptoms, which often surfaced at night, were directly related to his use of the drug. In his mid-twenties now and working in sales, Liam has completely stopped smoking cannabis, having taken a break from it at university - he said he has “pretty much fully recovered, although you always have that doubt.” Although the salesman, who now lives in London, thanks exercise and good relationships for helping him out of depression, he isn’t shocked by the new findings. “To me, the link is obvious,” he said. *Liam’s name has been changed at his request By Laura Fitzpatrick
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WWII aircraft carrier discovered on ocean floor, and the spooky video is amazing
Deep in the South Pacific Ocean, researchers have located the final resting place of the USS Hornet, the World War II aircraft carrier sunk in a 1942 battle.
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Cuba says U.S. moving special forces, preparing Venezuelan intervention
Cuba said on Thursday the United States was moving special forces closer to Venezuela as part of a covert plan to intervene in the chaotic South American country using the pretext of a humanitarian crisis. A “Declaration of the Revolutionary Government” alleged that recent events in Venezuela amounted to an attempted coup that had so far failed. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has been trying to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down and hand over power to Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
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Mother Still Searching for Answers Nine Years After Son`s Valentine`s Day Murder
It`s been nine years since someone murdered Johnny Valdivia on Valentine`s Day, just feet away from the front door of his Kansas City home.
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Wreck of long-lost WWII aircraft carrier USS Hornet found after 76 years, nearly 17,500 feet under water
For 76 years, she lay on the ocean floor, a quiet tomb for 140 sailors who died the day she sank. Now, for the first time since then, humans have laid eyes on the Hornet.
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Paul Manafort: Trump's ex-campaign manager breached plea deal by lying to prosecutors, judge rules
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, breached his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office by intentionally lying to prosecutors, a federal judge has ruled. There was a “preponderance” of evidence that Manafort lied on three different topics, including his communications with his former business partner and alleged Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik, Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the US District Court for the District of Columbia found.
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The controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s tweets
After widespread bipartisan criticism, the freshman Democratic congresswoman from Wisconsin apologized for recent tweets that seemed to invoke anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish financial influence over politics.
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Photos of the New 2019 Subaru Ascent Touring
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This 3D printed robot taught itself to ice skate
Researchers at the Computational Robotics Lab of ETH Zurich have built a four-legged robot that taught itself how to ice skate. Read more...More about Robots, Mashable Video, Robot, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics
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Amazon Scraps Plan to Build a Headquarters in New York City
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. said it’s axing plans to build a new corporate campus in New York City, bowing to fierce opposition from some residents and politicians and denying the city what the mayor and governor had called its biggest ever economic win.
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What No One Told Me About Accepting a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
The author shares the frustrations and challenges of other people's perceptions of type 2 diabetes.
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Parkland shooting: A year of protest and gains for gun control advocates as NRA faces uncertain future
One year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.
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Southwest Airlines passes key FAA test, schedules more Hawaii test flights
The airline, which needs FAA approval for long overwater flights, has scheduled a test flight on Thursday from Oakland to Honolulu.
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U.S. government shutdown caused 'real harm' to taxpayers: IRS watchdog
"Make no mistake about it, these numbers translate into real harm to real taxpayers," the National Taxpayer Advocate said in a report to Congress.
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Wall Street regains lost ground as trade optimism offsets bleak retail data
A surprise 1.2 percent fall in retail sales in December, the largest drop since September 2009, suggested a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018. The data dragged down consumer staples as well as the financials sector, which was hit by a jump in expectations that the Federal Reserve would cut key lending rates by the end of the year. "The data was much worse than expectations...It is creating a risk to outlook from some of these companies in more cyclical areas like retail," said Hugo Rogers, chief investment strategist at Deltec in Nassau, Bahamas.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar's controversial tweets
Ilhan Omar apologized for tweets that critics said invoked anti-Semitism about Jewish financial influence over U.S. politics. Here's where things stand.
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Facebook Says It May Remove Anti-Vaccine Recommendations
Information discouraging people from getting vaccines for their children, which has gone viral on Facebook, especially in its Groups product, may have contributed to an increase in outbreaks of measles. The crisis drew attention on Thursday from Representative Adam Schiff, who sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Google boss Sundar Pichai, asking them to address the problem.
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Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido tries to seize control of country's oil production
The self-declared leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, is attempting to wrest control of the nation’s massive oil revenues. The country’s congress, controlled by the opposition, has appointed a transitional board of directors for Venezuela’s state oil firm. Embattled socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, lashed out at congress leader Mr Guaido, saying he would face the courts “sooner or later” for violating the constitution.
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Beyond guilt or innocence, should jurors weigh if law is worth enforcing?
The more questions the potential jurors are asked, the more questions they seem to have. A howling winter wind is audible through the drawn curtains of a fifth-floor courtroom in the Mendocino County Superior Court, punctuating questions from the defense attorney and the prosecutor. “The judge does the sentencing?” a potential juror asks.
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Congress nears votes to end border security brawl with Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress rolled toward resolving its border security brawl with President Donald Trump in uncommonly bipartisan fashion Thursday, preparing to approve a compromise averting a new government shutdown this weekend but providing a mere sliver of the billions Trump has demanded for a wall with Mexico.
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How My Friends Have Supported Me in My Food Allergy Journey
A woman living with food allergies pens a letter of thanks to the friends, explaining how they have supported her in her food allergy journey and possible celiac disease.
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Exro Develops and Validates First Electric Gearbox
Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - February 14, 2019) - Exro Technologies Inc. (CSE: XRO) (OTCQB: EXROF) is pleased to announce that it has developed its "Electric Gearbox" technology, which is derived from Exro's Dynamic Power Management (DPM) System. The Electric Gearbox brings material value to many applications, and was recently reviewed and validated by an independent qualified company ELEN-MECH Consulting Inc.ELEN-MECH was founded by Constantin Pitis (the reviewer), who was previously employed by Powertech ...
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Researchers find clues that depression may speed brain aging
WASHINGTON (AP) — Memory and thinking skills naturally slow with age but now scientists are peeking inside living brains to tell if depression might worsen that decline — and finding some worrisome clues.
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Duke of Sussex jokes troops are 'weirdos' for Valentine's Day 'shrine' of Duchess inside igloo
The Duke of Sussex has celebrated Valentine’s Day 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, in an igloo decorated with photographs from his wedding. The Duke, who made a flying visit to Bardufoss in north Norway without the Duchess, was greeted with candles, mood music and pictures of his May ceremony as he was shown around a snug snow shelter used by the military to survive in the extreme cold. Checking that the British troops stationed at the base had remembered to send cards and flowers to their wives at home, he teased them about getting into trouble as he reminisced about his days as a pilot. In a three hour visit, in his role as Captain General Royal Marines, he admitted he misses his days as an Apache helicopter pilot as he was shown Commando Helicopter Force train to survive in the extreme cold weather. For 50 years, the Navy, Army and Airforce have been undertaking training in Bardufoss to provide aviation support to those who operate and fight in temperatures as low as -30C in what is known as Exercise Clockwork. The Duke landed in a charter plane flown directly from the UK in temperatures of around -10C, greeted by Richard Wood, the British ambassador in Norway, Lt Col Dave West, officer commanding Exercise Clockwork, Lt Col Andy Walker, the UK defence attache, and Col Eirik Stueland, Bardufoss station commander. Taken inside immediately for a briefing, he met senior personnel from the base before sitting down for a lesson in the history of Exercise Clockwork and a video of the modern day training programme. It included footage of servicemen undergoing their grueling ice water plunge, which sees them drop through a hole in the ice into freezing water to learn how to climb out again. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (left) during a visit to Exercise Clockwork in Bardufoss, Norway Credit: Getty Afterwards, the Duke joined the troops for a hot buffet lunch in the mess, away from the cameras so he could meet men and women of all ranks to speak frankly. As the snow fell, he was then invited to inspect the four-man, ten-man and 16-man tents used during training, with avalanche rescue gear and a 45kg Bergen backpack ready for inspection. Spotting Chris Anderson, a corporal in the RAF, dressed in a white, snow-camoflaged suit over his uniform with a mask, the Duke joked: "You look as though you’re loving it."  Inside a tent, he was invited to lift the heavy bag containing rations, emergency clothing, snow shovel, survival knives, hot flask, cooking equipment and sleeping bags, torch, goggles and gloves. "I’d like to but I’m not sure…" he said, making a quick attempt before dropping it. "When you’re out here, what do you guys look forward to the most?" he asked, quizzing servicemen on how long they had served and how long they are based in Norway. "Look after yourself," he told them. "How’s morale been?" he asked, before indulging in some military banter as Captain General Royal Marines by joking: "The RAF guys will be struggling the most, will they?"  Referring to his own time in the army, where he served as an Apache pilot, he empathised with the need to constantly update their training, usually waiting until it was down to the last moment to do so. The Duke was then invited inside the Quincey Shelter, a version of an igloo dug out and used in emergencies to stay alive in the snow. This time, the shelter had been decked out to welcome Prince Harry, with pictures of the Royal Wedding printed out and pinned on the walls, candles and ambient mood music. Spotting the photographs, the Duke laughed: "You weirdos! Nice. It's very kind of you to invite into your private, err, shrine," he added, proclaiming it "romantic". The picture of the Duke and his wife on his wedding day inside the igloo Credit: Getty "Homely in there isn’t it,” he said, as he stepped out into the fresh air. "It starts to get a little bit weird after a while." "They’re not always that comfortable,” he was told. Sergeant Ads Lesley said the Duke had asked some practical questions about the shelters, before moving on to personal questions about the troops’ welfare. "He was really keen to engage,” he said. "He asked if they had got their girlfriends or wives or partners flowers for Valentine’s Day - he was keen to make sure no-one was in trouble. "He liked to compare what we’re doing out here, how amazing it is, with what we’re doing back in the UK. He was really happy that we’re in a beautiful environment and to see how happy we are. "There was a little light humour: he saw people in sleeping bags and said ‘oh, have you just woken up?"  In the shelter, Sgt Lesley said, "he had a smile on his face. We had some chill-out music on, just to show how creative you can be."  The wedding photo decorations, he said, seemed "almost a bit of a shock" for the Duke, who "had a chuckle to himself". Moving into a large hanger, where the Wildcat and Apache helicopters were on show alongside their pilots, the Duke confessed: "I miss my pilot days."  "How is it?" he asked young pilots, noticing they were reticent. "You can be honest with me. I’m not going to get anything out of you, am I? Guys, well done. Make the most of it."  Major Huw Raikes, from the Army Air Corps, said the Duke had spoken of how he misses flying the aircraft. “It was a fun period for him,” he said. "He misses the experience he had flying it, he misses the brotherhood. It’s quite poignant to have him here, he’s got a very special relationship with the Army Air Corps."  Offered a chance to get in, the Duke resigned himself to patting the Apache fondly before moving on to meet the teams with the Wildcat and, back outside in the snow, the Merlin. “Did you all get your other halves a card and some flowers?” Prince Harry checked, as he was introduced to a group of Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel. Mock-grimacing, he added: "There were a few guys out there who said they don’t bother any more..." Before leaving, the Duke was asked to cut a cake celebrating the 50th anniversary of Exercise Clockwork, which featured a helicopter made from rice crispies and marshmallows. Quizzing Leading Chef Matt Roberts, he learned the troops in Bardufoss had a larger daily food budget to account for the extra calories they need in the cold, joking: "No wonder you’re all so happy."  Wielding a sword, he ceremonially cut the cake, shouting "Happy Birthday" to dozens of men and women gathered in the hanger. "It’s really nice to see you all and know that you’re having a good time out here,” he told them. “Use every single day as an experience, and bring that back. I hope you can make the most of it. "I know lots of you have left your families at home to be out here. It’s hugely appreciated. And you still have a smile on your face.  Congratulations on your 50th anniversary."  After the three hour visit, the Duke climbed back into the small charter plane to fly home: back at Kensington Palace in time for the Valentine’s dinner. Prince Harry’s trip marked the 50th anniversary of Commando Helicopter Force and Joint Helicopter Command deploying to the remote base, where military personnel are taught how to survive, operate and fight in the sub-zero conditions, as well as gaining experience of operating aircraft in severe cold weather and mountainous environments. The multinational exercise, hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces, comprises environmental flying qualifications, cold weather survival, and snow and ice driving courses. Duke of Sussex speaks with British and Norwegian troops  Credit: AFP The Duke was appointed Captain General Royal Marines in December 2017, taking over the role from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, who held the appointment for 64 years. The duke already has experience of colder climates, facing temperatures as low as -35C on charity expeditions to the North Pole in 2011 and South Pole in 2013 with Walking With The Wounded. Lieutenant Colonel David West, Officer Commanding Exercise Clockwork, said: "We are celebrating 50 years of Exercise Clockwork today and are honoured to be able to welcome the Captain General of the Royal Marines to Bardufoss to mark the occasion. "Clockwork continues to deliver vital training for our people. It provides essential experience in flying and surviving in the extreme cold hundreds of miles inside the Arctic Circle. "For 50 years Commando Helicopter Force and its predecessors have operated in this region and the skills learnt here are more relevant than ever."
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Adam Smith's hidden hand of empathy
 The “s” word – socialism, that is – has returned to American politics, with President Trump signaling in his recent State of the Union address that he sees it as a key weapon against the growing list of Democratic Party candidates for the White House. Some of Mr. Trump’s rivals are indeed advancing radical proposals for taxation and regulation on the very richest.
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XPO to close Verizon-contracted warehouse in Memphis
"Our customer has made a business decision and as a result this facility will close in June," XPO said in a statement. XPO declined to name the customer, identified by workers and media reports as Verizon. A representative for Verizon Communications Inc did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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The Biggest Threat to a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier: Catching on Fire
History tells us why.
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El Nino has arrived. What does that mean for weather in 2019?
El Nino has arrived in 2019. So far, it's pretty weak. That doesn't mean it will stay that way. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Thursday that this natural climate phenomenon -- which is triggered by warmer temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and can significantly affect weather in the U.S. -- will likely persist through the spring. But what happens next is still unclear."We don't have a good handle on where this goes the rest of the year," Mike Halpert, the deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in an interview. "It becomes kind of a tossup after spring."> So apparently ElNiño has returned. This weak El Niño, arriving late in the season, may help make 2019 warmer than 2018. > > However, given its weakness, it remains unlikely that 2019 will be warmer than the record warmth of 2016 with its super El Niño.https://t.co/9EIFsWlBHu pic.twitter.com/OOPPXalBgE> > -- Robert Rohde (@RARohde) February 14, 2019El Nino events happen when the warmer temperatures on the surface of the Pacific Ocean pass heat to the atmosphere, resulting in warmer air that naturally holds more moisture. "This allows more moisture to come to the U.S.," Jeff Weber, a meteorologist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, said in an interview.Typically, this means above-average rain and snow across the southern regions of the United States, especially California. Conversely, the northern U.S. often sees less precipitation and warmer-than-average temperatures. "That is what we expect in the next spring months," said Weber. SEE ALSO: The Green New Deal: Historians weigh in on the immense scale required to pull it offAlready, the West Coast has been pummeled by rain and snow events this winter, meaning up to 15 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and 8 inches of rain in some California areas. El Nino conditions may have contributed to these big precipitation events, noted Weber. Though, NOAA found that another climate phenomenon, the Madden Julian Oscillation, has also contributed to the wet season in some places. On Thursday, the West Coast got slammed by a storm, as a "conveyor belt" of moisture swamped the Golden State.Big El Nino events -- in which the ocean warms significantly more than this year -- have planetary-wide consequences. Good examples are the big El Nino events of 2016-2017 and 1998-1999."Those have a big footprint on global annual temperatures," noted Halpert.> NASA global temperature - here a comparison of the 2016 El Niño peak to the one 18 years before, in 1998. pic.twitter.com/JVUFGTY8vX> > -- Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) December 17, 2018Although such a mighty El Nino event isn't in the cards this year, when it does happen, the vast Pacific Ocean adds enormous amounts of heat to Earth's atmosphere. "That adds to the overall heat content of the planet, so to speak," said Weber. El Nino events also have big implications for hurricane season in the U.S. Specifically, higher atmospheric winds (known as the jet stream) kick up over the southern U.S. during El Nino years, which can doom hurricanes. "These winds tear apart hurricanes," said Weber. > A strengthening El Niño was the main reason 2015 & 2016 were warmer than 2014, with weak La Niña (2017) or neutral (2018) conditions explaining why 2017 & 2018 were cooller. > > This variability sits on top of the long-term warming trend from GHG emissions.https://t.co/ASWShRY0wU pic.twitter.com/BIygeDVsLS> > -- Glen Peters (@Peters_Glen) February 14, 2019As of now, however, there's still scant evidence that this weaker El Nino will last beyond spring. Hurricane seasons -- which have been historically devastating in recent years -- begin in early June. NOAA will keep watch over how this El Nino develops over the coming months. For now, temperature's in the Pacific are a bit warmer than average (about 1 degree Fahrenheit or 0.5 degrees Celsius), but not quite enough to portend big changes -- yet."I wouldn't necessarily say this event has a big impact unless the [El Nino] event really takes off," said Halpert. WATCH: This strange-looking tube is actually a giant sea worm -- Sharp Science
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The World's Biggest Passenger Plane, the A380, Is Dead. Here's What Killed It
The A380, currently the world’s largest airliner, which maker Airbus announced on February 14 is being retired after just 12 years in commercial service.
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A380 aimed high, but never hit cruising speed
Nearly 30 years ago Airbus began charting a new course for air travel with a mammoth jet that would shuttle hundreds of people to far-flung cities worldwide, but harsh economic realities eventually got the better of the A380 superjumbo. After the plane's launch just over 11 years ago, the final two A380s will be delivered in 2021, Airbus said Thursday, marking the end of an ambitious but ultimately misguided bet. "The A380 was a strategic feat which put Airbus on equal footing with Boeing, by dethroning the 747," said Sebastian Maire, an aviation expert at the consulting firm Kea & Partners.
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Airbus to scrap A380 superjumbo production
Europe’s Airbus is scrapping production of the A380 superjumbo, with lackluster sales forcing it to abandon a dream of dominating the skies with a 21st century cruise liner. Grace Lee reports.
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New York mayor: Amazon 'threw away opportunity'
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Amazon.com Inc for walking away from a plan to establish a headquarters in the city in the face of political opposition, saying the company "threw away" an opportunity and failed to work with the community. "You have to be tough to make it in New York City... We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone," De Blasio said in a statement on Thursday. "If Amazon can't recognize what that's worth, its competitors will." Amazon did not immediately respond to the mayor's statement.
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Flu vaccine doing a relatively good job this season
NEW YORK (AP) — The flu vaccine is doing a relatively good job this season, protecting about half the people who got it, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
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New NASA Mission Will Create Maps of the Sky Like Never Before
SPHEREx is will look at some of the universe's oldest questions.
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Trump’s abortion remarks fire up both sides
Groups on both sides of the abortion issue reacted swiftly to the president's comments in his State of the Union speech.
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PHOTOS: Remembering Parkland – One year later
Many Stoneman Douglas students arrived wearing the burgundy #MSDStrong T-shirts that have become an emblem of the tragedy.
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UK's chief Brexit negotiator says: It's May's deal or extension - ITV
Britain's lead Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins has said lawmakers face a choice between Prime Minister Theresa May's exit deal or a long extension of the March 29 deadline for leaving the EU, ITV news said, citing a private conversation. ITV news reported that its correspondent had overheard Robbins, who is a career civil servant, not a politician, talking to colleagues at a hotel bar in Brussels on Monday. Robbins said he expected UK lawmakers in March to be presented with the option of backing a reworked Brexit deal or a potentially significant delay to Brexit, the broadcaster said.
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How an alliance between Millennials and religious sisters has changed outlooks
This essay is part of an occasional series provided by our partner organization Encore.org, which created the Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign, inviting those in midlife and beyond to connect with young people who need champions. The number of Roman Catholic women religious – colloquially known as nuns – in the United States fell about 75 percent between 1965 and 2016, according to Catholic News Service. One of those new models is an unlikely intergenerational alliance called Nuns & Nones, which matches sisters with spiritually oriented Millennials who check “none” when asked to identify a religion they affiliate with.
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Michelle Obama's Mom Was Not That Impressed With Her Grammys Appearance and This Text Exchange Is Golden
"I guess you were a hit at the Grammys"
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Ahead of EU polls, Facebook voids accounts targeting Moldovan election
Employees of the Moldovan government were linked to some of the activity, the California-based social media company said. Facebook said it dismantled scores of pages and accounts designed to look like independent opinion pages and to impersonate a local fact-checking organization ahead of Moldova's elections later this month. "So they created this feedback loop," Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters in Brussels.
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One year on, Florida remembers victims of Parkland school shooting
Students, parents and politicians marked the first anniversary on Thursday of the Valentine's Day shooting at a Florida high school with prayers, somber tributes and calls to action. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student killed 14 classmates and three staff members a year ago, cancelled classes for the day and offered counseling services instead. "Exactly one year ago, to the minute at around 7 am, I sent two kids to school," said Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was among those killed at the high school in Parkland, Florida.
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Trump's idea of unity meets a skeptical State of the Union audience
The president's audience in the House chamber Tuesday night was more diverse than any before it.
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Tucker: Rep. Omar keeps picking fights
Rep. Ilhan Omar battles critics of trans athletes, berates Venezuela envoy.
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White supremacist gets life for killing black man to start a race war
James Jackson, 30, a former U.S. Army specialist, had hoped to start a race war when he attacked Timothy Caughman with a sword.
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U.S. court allows 'No-Fly List' lawsuits, dissenters warn of danger
A divided federal appeals court on Thursday said American Muslims who landed on the "No-Fly List" because of their refusal to become government informants can sue FBI agents for damages, prompting dissents that said the decision was dangerous and defied U.S. Supreme Court precedents. In a 7-3 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan refused to revisit its May 2018 decision by a three-judge panel letting Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah and Naveed Shinwari seek monetary damages for being put on the list, despite no evidence they threatened airline or passenger safety. Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs, one of Thursday's dissenters, said Congress intended the 1993 law to restore religious freedom that was curtailed in a 1990 Supreme Court decision, Employment Division v. Smith, and did not create a damages remedy.
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Woe to the 2020 Democrat Who Isn’t Dogmatic Enough
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey was for a long time an advocate of school choice as a means of liberating kids from failing schools, especially when he was mayor of Newark. It may not be enough that Booker voted against her confirmation when President Donald Trump nominated her. Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas has also gotten criticized for crossing the partisan aisle.
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Think Valentine's Day Is Tough Now? The Holiday Used to Involve Choosing a Sweetheart by Lottery
"Chance must often have been unfriendly," one 19th century historian acknowledged
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The Latest: Denver teachers are back in classroom
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on the Denver teachers strike (all times local):
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Drug lord, escape artist 'El Chapo' convicted by U.S. jury
Jurors in federal court in Brooklyn convicted Guzman, 61, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, on all 10 counts brought by U.S. prosecutors. Richard Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said he expected Guzman to receive life without parole when sentenced on June 25.
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I’m a Cardiac Nurse, and I Ignored My Heart Attack Symptoms for 6 Days
Jennifer Gaydosh insisted her pain was a pinched nerve.
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Texas children found in dog cage placed in foster care
DALLAS (AP) — Four malnourished siblings, all aged 5 or younger, have been placed in foster care after authorities found them hungry and thirsty in a North Texas barn, two locked in a dog cage and the others smeared with excrement, authorities said Wednesday.
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The Latest: German minister says Airbus must find jobs
TOULOUSE, France (AP) — The Latest on Airbus' announcement that it will stop making the superjumbo A380 (all times local):
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Bitcoin Buyers Offered Chance to Make Money and Avoid Big Losses
Bitcoin’s wild ride -- it gained 1,400 percent in 2017, only to plunge in 2018 -- put off many casual buyers and made the tokens palatable only for true believers and those with high pain thresholds. Harnessing some of the gains while limiting losses could be an attractive proposition, Singapore-based Jeanson said by phone.
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Ericsson Is Surprisingly Cheapest Vendor in Huawei's China
According to a tender by China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd.’s parent to purchase some 4G base stations, Ericsson offered to sell its products for 21 billion yuan ($3.1 billion), or 25 percent below Huawei and 22 percent lower than ZTE’s offer. Nokia Oyj asked for the highest price at 34.7 billion yuan.
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Gavin Newsom talks state's high-speed rail decision, gets compared to 'The Simpsons' character
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been unable to escape criticism after announcing he is pulling the plug on the state’s massive high-speed rail project. One Twitter user compared him to an over-promising, fraudulent salesman on 'The Simpsons.'
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Top Trump Official’s Wife Calls For Return Of Measles In Anti-Vaccine Rant
Darla Shine, a former TV producer and podcaster, falsely claimed Wednesdaythat sizable measles outbreaks in Washington state and New York are fake
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U.S. Congress advances border security bill without Trump border wall
The U.S. Congress aimed to end a dispute over border security with legislation that would ignore the president's request for funding to help build a wall.
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The AI That Can Write a Fake News Story From a Handful of Words
"The texts that they are able to generate from prompts are fairly stunning," said Sam Bowman, a computer scientist at New York University who specializes in natural language processing and who was not involved in the OpenAI project, but was briefed on it. OpenAI is aware of the concerns around fake news, said Jack Clark, the organization’s policy director. "One of the not so good purposes would be disinformation because it can produce things that sound coherent but which are not accurate," he said.
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To the Parkland Parents: I Lost My Son at Sandy Hook. Here’s Some Advice for this Painful Anniversary
"It’s not about moving forward; it’s about moving through"
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Teen journalists wrote obituaries for the 1,200 kids killed by gun violence since Parkland
As the first anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, approaches, young people around the world are reflecting on the staggering amount of gun violence that's taken place since.To make a powerful statement on the dire need for change, a group of teen journalists came together and spent the past year reporting on gun-related deaths of children.The group worked with The Trace, The Miami Herald, and McClatchy to write obituaries for 1,200 children killed by gun violence since the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, to create Since Parkland, a website to honor and remember the victims.Image: screenshot/sinceparkland.orgSEE ALSO: March For Our Lives activists go dark on social media to mark Parkland anniversary"Over the summer, more than 200 teen reporters from across the country began working together to document the children, ages zero to 18, killed in shootings during one year in America," the website reads. "The stories they collected go back to last February 14, the day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, when at least three other kids were fatally shot in incidents that largely escaped notice."The website currently lists all 1,200 names of the children who died by gun violence, each of which can be clicked on if you're interested in learning more about the individual. Several entries are accompanied with photographs and there's also an option to search by name, state, or specific category, such as "Musicians," "Gamers," "College-bound seniors," and more.Image: screengrab/sinceparklandImage: screengrab/sinceparklandIn addition to children lost to school shootings, Since Parkland documents kids who were killed as a result of "armed domestic violence, drug homicides, unintentional discharges, and stray bullets." It should be noted, however, that the reporting excludes around 1,000 people who were "killed while injuring someone else or in police-involved shootings, nor children who died in gun suicides."The goal of the young journalists who created Since Parkland was ultimately to humanize these statistics by telling the personal stories of the lives lost. The teens also used their voices to bring attention to every story related to the child gun violence epidemic in the past year, rather than simply highlighting the high profile ones that made headlines."We all remember Parkland. We're still frightened. Frustrated. Angry. But if this project has taught us anything, it's that we're not powerless. We can bring awareness to the true scope of the issue. Student journalists have that power. We refuse to stand idly by," the journalists wrote.The website officially went live on Feb. 12, two days before the Parkland anniversary, but the journalists are still planning to report additional cases as they occur.Visitors to the site are encouraged to alert the group of any deaths that were overlooked and submit special photos or memories of those already listed by reaching out to sinceparkland@thetrace.org.You can visit Since Parkland to learn more about the stories of the 1,200 children who died, the dedicated team of journalists, and what they learned from their reporting. WATCH: 2018 was the year of the youth activist
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'El Chapo' heading to Supermax prison? Who else is inside the hellish 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'
Inmates spend about 23 hours of every day in solitary confinement inside a 12-by-7-foot cell. "This place is not designed for humanity."
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Trump pledges to defeat HIV and childhood cancer
“My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years.”
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Abrams calls for voting rights in response to Trump's speech
“We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a ‘power grab,’” said Abrams.
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'Did I say I love you?' One year after Parkland horror, tributes to victims pour in
Tributes poured in to the victims of the deadly mass shooting a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Thursday, one year after the massacre there.
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What It's Like to Watch Your Grandchild Live With a Rare Disease
The grandparents of a child with microvillus inclusion disease, a rare condition, shares what it's like to watch their family's struggle from afar.
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Iran vows revenge on 'mercenaries' behind suicide attack
President Hassan Rouhani vowed revenge Thursday against the "mercenary group" behind a suicide bombing which killed 27 troops in southeastern Iran and accused the US and Israel of supporting "terrorism". "We will certainly make this mercenary group pay for the blood of our martyrs," the official IRNA news agency quoted the Iranian president as saying in response to Wednesday's attack. Rouhani was speaking at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport before leaving for the Russian resort of Sochi for a summit with his Russian and Turkish counterparts Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the future of war-battered Syria.
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European Shares Rise for Third Day as Trade Optimism Grows
ABN Amro dropped 4.9 percent after disappointing earnings scuppered plans to boost its dividend. Heineken NV gained 4.6 percent and Akzo Nobel NV added 3.4 percent, both on better-than-expected profit. European markets extended the positive tone set by Asian trading after U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s open to extending a March 1 deadline for raising tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near a deal.
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Putin to Turkey and Iran: We must crush militants in Syria's Idlib
Putin, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's closest allies, was speaking at a summit he was hosting in southern Russia to weigh the future of Syria with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. "...We should not put up with the presence of terrorist groups in Idlib," Putin told Erdogan and Rouhani at the start of the summit.
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When is a wall not a wall? Lawmakers argue over what they would be funding at the border
It appears that the majority of Republicans and Democrats will back the legislation, but don’t expect them to agree on what that structure is called.
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Olivia Newton-John is facing third cancer battle with 'bravery,' new Lifetime movies say
Beloved actress/singer Olivia Newton-John is the subject of a new Lifetime biopic and documentary, which detail her three bouts with breast cancer.
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Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia on lockdown after active shooter reports
(Reuters) - Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, was on lockdown on Thursday after initial reports of an active shooter situation, the shipyard said in a statement.
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Year after Parkland massacre, 17 victims remembered
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of students and adults across Florida and beyond observed a moment of silence Thursday to mark the first anniversary of the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead.
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Tesla Rolls Out "Sentry Mode" Alarm System—And a New Setting For Your Dog
A 2019 version of the car alarm, pet-friendly climate control.
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How Koenigsegg Made a Better Ford V-8
The Swedish company's naturally aspirated V-8 has humble beginnings, but has become something extraordinary.
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Venezuela opens investigation into opposition-appointed PDVSA directors: prosecutor
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's chief state prosecutor said on Thursday an investigation had been opened into directors of state-run oil firm PDVSA, and its U.S. refiner Citgo, that the opposition-controlled congress appointed on Wednesday. Prosecutor Tarek Saab, in comments broadcast on state television, announced "the opening of an investigation against people designated illegally as directors of PDVSA and Citgo." Saab also said they would investigate foreign ambassadors named by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who on Jan 23 invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency. ...
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UK teen runaway who joined IS 'wants to come home'
London (AFP) - A British teenager who fled to join the Islamic State group in Syria is living in a refugee camp and wants to return home, The Times reported on Thursday.
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Amazon will abandon plans to build HQ2 in New York
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said Thursday it will not move forward with plans to build a headquarters in New York after rising opposition from local politicians. The company said it will not reopen the search process "at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada. ...
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Valentine's Day not feeling the love in Indonesia
Valentine's Day wasn't getting much love in the world's biggest Muslim majority nation Thursday as Indonesian authorities urged amorous couples to call it quits and carried out raids to quash any wayward gift-giving. About 100 students in the second-biggest city, Surabaya, demonstrated against the chocolates-and-flowers celebration, saying it promoted Western decadence and casual sex. "Say no to Valentine's now!" chanted the high schoolers, most of them teenaged girls in hijab head coverings.
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Trump to female Democratic lawmakers: 'You weren't supposed to do that'
“No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” the president said.
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These Are the 8 Most Reliable Used Cars
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EU to Ban Use of Electricity in Fishing
Representatives of EU governments and the European Parliament agreed to prohibit all electric “pulse” fishing for commercial purposes as of July 2021, ending exemptions that have allowed 5 percent of Dutch trawlers to use the technique in the North Sea. The deal reached on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France, highlights the political appeal of environmental initiatives in the run-up to EU Parliament elections in late May. The negotiators added the prohibition to a draft European law on technical measures for fleets.
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Yelp Gains But Wall Street Still Says ‘Show Me’
(Bloomberg) -- Yelp’s fourth-quarter results came in above the Street’s consensus, but some analysts remained focused instead on management’s moves to address recent criticism from activist investor SQN Investors LP.
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Analysts Are Questioning the Latest Retail Sales Figures
Figures released Thursday by the Commerce Department show U.S. retail sales fell 1.2 percent in December from the previous month in the biggest drop since 2009, rather than the slight increase economists had been expecting. Jim O’Sullivan of High Frequency Economics said the figures were so much weaker than expected “that the data lose credibility,” while Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities said the report “seems seriously out of whack” given mostly upbeat comments from retailers about the Christmas season. The report was delayed about a month due to the partial federal closure, and “I’m actually wondering whether the government shutdown created issues for them in terms of data collection and quality,” said Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro Research LLC.
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The Latest: Putin says Idlib militants must be 'eradicated'
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments related to Syria (all times local):
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'All I Want to Do Is Come Home.' A London Schoolgirl Who Fled to Join ISIS Now Hopes to Return
Shamima Begum fled her east London home to join ISIS in Syria when she was 15
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U.S.-owned utility TVA votes to close Kentucky coal plant, in blow to Trump
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Tennessee Valley Authority, a U.S.-owned utility, voted on Thursday to close a Kentucky coal plant mostly supplied by a company chaired by a donor to President Donald Trump.
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Public school strikes revive clash with Teach for America
Young teachers are caught up in a possible strike in Oakland, California, that's giving new life to the long-simmering tension between traditional public schools and the education reform program Teach for America.
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Why Can't NASA's Curiosity Rover Rescue Opportunity?
The Mars rover Opportunity has died, NASA announced yesterday (Feb. 13). A layer of dust likely coated its solar panels, preventing it from juicing itself up after a 2018 sky-blackening dust storm on the Red Planet.But why couldn't NASA launch a rescue mission to get it working again? After all, Opportunity wasn't the first rover to get to Mars, and it won't be the last. It's just been the hardiest. In its stunning 14-plus years of travel, enabled by Martian winds that periodically cleaned off its solar panels, it has covered an impressive 28 miles (40 kilometers) on the planet.The most obvious candidate to rescue Opportunity is the Curiosity rover, Opportunity's bigger, nuclear-powered younger sibling. Why not take some time out of Curiosity's work, and send it to see what's wrong with Opportunity and if it might be fixed? [Voyager to Mars Rover: NASA's 10 Greatest Innovations]NASA's Opportunity Mars rover took this image of its own tracks on the rim of Endeavour Crater in June 2017. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State UniversityThe first problem, unfortunately, is distance. According to NASA's Mars map, the Curiosity and Opportunity sites are about 5,200 miles (8,400 km) apart from one another. Curiosity's a bit swifter-footed than Opportunity, but even so, the young sprite would just take way too long to cover that terrain. To navigate the Martian terrain, these rovers require constant guidance from Earth Combined with the long delay between message transmission and receipt, even a trek of a few feet can take days.The second problem is that Curiosity is an explorer, not a repair bot. It would be a monumental challenge to repurpose its onboard instruments to even clear dust off of Opportunity's solar panels. And there's no guarantee that's all that's gone wrong with the rover sitting silently in the Martian cold and darkness.A selfie of the Mars Curiosity rover. Unfortunately, Opportunity's buddy can't come to its rescue. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSSThe final problem is time. Even if Curiosity could take some express train to Opportunity's location, Martian winter is setting in, and the conditions will likely compound any damage to Opportunity now that it's no longer able to keep itself warm.So Opportunity is toast. But who knows, maybe humans on Mars will find it someday and manage to switch it back on. * 5 Mars Myths and Misconceptions * Mars InSight Photos: A Timeline to Landing on the Red Planet * Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life (Photos)Originally published on Live Science.
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Why This 'Atmospheric River' Could Cause Mudslides and 'Roofalanches' in California
Californians are experiencing some unusually nasty winter weather this week as an "atmospheric river" passes through most of the state, bringing howling winds and heavy rain.The storm arrived on Tuesday night (Feb. 12) in Northern California and continued into Wednesday (Feb. 13), leading the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue warnings of flash flooding, mudslides and high winds in the region. It is forecast to bring "excessive rainfall" to Southern California on Thursday (Feb. 14), according to the NWS.[Weirdo Weather: 7 Rare Weather Events]Atmospheric rivers are huge "rivers in the sky" that cause moisture from the tropics to flow north, from California to Canada. These huge weather systems can carry many times the freshwater that flows through the mighty Mississippi River, local news outlet KQED reported."They're the biggest freshwater rivers on Earth," F. Martin Ralph, the director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes in La Jolla, California, told KQED.These atmospheric rivers of condensed water vapor can easily be 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) long and 300 miles (482 km) wide, Ralph said. When an atmospheric river brings moisture from Hawaii to the Western U.S. -- as is the case with the current storm -- it's known as the Pineapple Express.Atmospheric rivers can bring much-needed rain -- or wreak havoc by dumping heavy rain or snow when they make landfall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). California has recently experienced storms, meaning the current downpour is falling on waterlogged soil. Summer wildfires also scorched the earth in several areas of California, and burn scars can be more prone to flash flooding and debris as well, according to the NWS.On Wednesday morning, 24-hour rainfall totals were as high as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in some parts of the Northern Bay Area, with San Francisco receiving about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) of rain, according to the NWS. Residents along the Bay Area coast and hills may face high winds from 25 to 35 mph (40 to 56 km/h) with gusts up to 60 mph (97 km/h), according to the NWS. Social media was abuzz with reports of downed trees and flash flooding. In the Sierras, the NWS warned that the atmospheric river could cause "roofalanches," or the sudden release of snow from already snow-packed roofs, which can pose a serious hazard.Earlier this month, Ralph and his colleagues developed a new scale to describe the strength of atmospheric rivers. The scale, which was described in the February issue of the journal Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, ranks these weather events using categories "1 to 5," with Category 1 indicating a "weak" storm and Category 5 indicating an "exceptional" one. The ranking is based on the amount of water vapor the storm carries, and how long it dumps moisture on a given area, according to a statement. The scale also indicates the extent to which the storm is likely to be beneficial -- by bringing much-needed rain to replenish reservoirs after a drought, for example -- or hazardous, leading to flooding and mudslides. The current storm is a "Category 3," according to local news outlet CBS San Francisco.Tia Ghose contributed reporting. * 9 Tips for Exercising in Winter Weather * Fishy Rain to Fire Whirlwinds: The World's Weirdest Weather * 10 Surprising Ways Weather Has Changed HistoryOriginally published on Live Science.
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Google Is Bringing Android's Best Feature to the iPhone
There are fewer dealbreaking differences between Android and iOS than ever, but this is one of them.
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Denver teachers to end strike after school officials agree to raise pay
The strike, which cost Denver Public Schools about $400,000 per day, came to an end early Thursday.
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U.S. seeks to increase pressure on Iran at Warsaw meeting
The absence of foreign ministers from major European powers, Germany and France, highlights festering tensions with the European Union over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision last year to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions. EU policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who was a key player in the Iran nuclear deal, will also not attend the two-day conference due to scheduling issues, an EU official said, although U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Brussels on Friday to meet with her.
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Russia's 6th Generation Fighter Might Be Able to Find and Kill an F-22 or F-35
This is why.
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Alphabet Named Citi's Top Internet Pick, Amazon Drops to Fourth
Amazon.com Inc., which was previously ranked number one, dropped to fourth. Both stocks have been among the market’s strongest performers in recent years, although the gains in Amazon have far eclipsed the rally in Alphabet shares.
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Racial gap in cancer death narrowing, but blacks
NEW YORK (AP) — For a long time, blacks have died of cancer at higher rates than other Americans. But a new report says the gap is narrowing.
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What Will Happen to the Opportunity Rover's Dead Body on Mars?
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars. The little solar-paneled robot apparently ran out of battery power during the Red Planet's awesome 2018 dust storm, and after one last attempt to contact it, NASA concluded yesterday (Feb. 13) that the far-off explorer is no more.Which raises the question: What's going to happen to its body?Many human artifacts wouldn't last very long beyond our protective biosphere. As Live Science reported previously, solar radiation has likely shredded the Tesla Roadster Elon Musk launched into space last year.But Tesla Roadsters have lots of organic fibers and plastics in their bodies. Mars rovers are made of tougher stuff. [Voyager to Mars Rover: NASA's 10 Greatest Innovations]Jeff Moersch, a professor of planetary science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a member of the Opportunity team, cautioned that he's not an expert in the rover's engineering. But he said that Opportunity does have some plastic bits that might eventually break down under the glare of the sun -- its insulation, for example."But, by and large, I think it'll look pretty much as we left it," when and if astronauts ever do come across its resting place, Moersch told Live Science. It'll probably be pretty dusty, though, he added.That's assuming that astronauts do make it to Mars in the relatively near future -- the next century or two, for example.Over much longer periods, Moersch said, dust will settle on the rover. Opportunity functioned as long as it did because regular Martian winds tended to routinely blow dust off its body. But over longer periods, it's a bit of an open question whether the dust or the wind will win out."I doubt it will end up buried in a mound, though," he added.What about millions of years in the future? On Earth, anything old and dead and sitting in one place on the surface tends to eventually end up underground. But that's thanks to the effects of water and plate tectonics, Moersch said -- factors that aren't present in the same way on Mars."Over the very long-term, you're going to get impacts that knock up ejecta [airborne Mars dirt] from where they hit, and that ejecta will very gradually resurface [on] the planet and bury things that were on the surface," he said.If Opportunity were to be left on Mars, aliens who landed there millions and millions of years from now would find the rover somewhere in the rock record -- much like how paleontologists find dinosaur fossils here on Earth.But NASA is hoping to send humans to Mars one day. And there are dreams of establishing some sort of human settlement there. Steve Squyres, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and head of the Opportunity science mission, made clear during NASA's press conference announcing the rover's death that the agency has no plans to bring the rover back to Earth. (Why would we spend the money bringing material back from Mars when we already know exactly what it's made of? he asked.)That said, Moersch added, when humans do settle Mars, it's not unreasonable to imagine they might make some effort to recover and preserve Opportunity. Perhaps it could end up in museum, or the region explored by the rover might end up as a national park.Of course, if humans never get there, Opportunity might not make it into the fossil record at all. It's at least plausible that, given millions of years, a meteor could strike it directly and smash it to bits. * 5 Mars Myths and Misconceptions * Mars InSight Photos: A Timeline to Landing on the Red Planet * Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life (Photos)Originally published on Live Science.
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Trump calls for an end to investigations of his administration
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” Trump said to cheers from some of his Republican colleagues and deafening silence from Democrats.
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Putin Challenges Turkey on Syria as U.S. Exit Fuels Tensions
“I propose to consider concrete practical steps that Russia, Turkey and Iran could take to completely destroy the terrorist hotbed” in Syria’s Idlib, Putin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani at a summit on Thursday. While they all want an end to hostilities, “that doesn’t mean we have to put with the presence in the Idlib region of terrorist groups,” Putin said.
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Nasa launching new 'SPHEREx' mission to find the origins of the universe
Nasa is launching a brand new space mission that could solve two of the deepest questions about the universe. The launch could help astronomers understand how our universe evolved in the first place and how common the ingredients for life are within it. The mission is named the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) will last for two years, cost nearly $250 million and is expected to launch in 2023.
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Airbus A380, the Concorde: technical feats, commercial flops
The scratching of the superjumbo jet Airbus A380 echoes the sad fate of the supersonic Concorde, another feat of aviation technology that turned out to be a commercial flop. It was the first computer-controlled commercial aircraft in history and also innovated with a weight-saving aluminium body and triangular delta wings.
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Artificially Sweetened Drinks Linked to Stroke
Swapping out regular soda for diet versions might seem like a healthy move. After all, it keeps you from consuming about 150 extra calories and 39 grams of sugars for every 12-ounce can you drink...
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Artificially Sweetened Drinks Linked to Stroke
Swapping out regular soda for diet versions might seem like a healthy move. After all, it keeps you from consuming about 150 extra calories and 39 grams of sugars for every 12-ounce can you drink...
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GM names its e-bikes 'Ariv,' plans Europe launch this spring
40 miles of electric range on a charge, but it won't come cheap
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Trump administration official's wife suggests measles can cure cancer
On Wednesday, Darla Shine expressed her anti-vaccination views in a series of tweets in response to a CNN report on the measles outbreak in the United States. “The entire Baby Boom population alive today had the #Measles as kids. The MMR is the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and is recommended to children, teens, and adults by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent against the diseases.
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'My battery is low and it's getting dark': Mars rover Opportunity's last message to scientists
NASA's Opportunity Mars rover was built to operate for just 90 days, but kept going for 15 years. NASA officially declared it dead on Wednesday, and its last message to scientists before it went dark eight months ago is getting a lot of attention.
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Parkland shooting spurred a grieving mom to run for Congress. Now she's voting for new gun laws
On the eve of the Parkland mass shooting anniversary, Rep. Lucy McBath voted in committee for a bill expanding background checks for gun purchases.
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First female Viper demo team pilot removed from position after 2 weeks
The United States Air Force has removed Capt. Zoe Kotnik from her position as the head of the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper demonstration team.
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Netanyahu tones down bellicose Iran talk - in English
Israel's prime minister's office has quitely toned down talk by Benjamin Netanyahu of a shared interest with Arab states in "war" with Iran, replacing the word with "combating" in its English-language transcript. Netanyahu made the comments on Wednesday on the sidelines of an international conference in Warsaw organised by Washington to discuss Iran and the region, and attended by the foreign ministers of a raft of Gulf Arab states. Netanyahu and his US ally have sought to play up the rare public appearance of senior Arab officials at a common forum with an Israeli prime minister.
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A year after Parkland school shooting, should we be arming teachers already?
After Parkland shooting, school districts took 'giant steps' to boost security, but we're still not arming teachers.
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Declutter Your Desk With This Laptop Stand
And it also comes with six ports and can quick charge all your devices.
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Mom Fears Her Missing 13-Year-Old Daughter Has Been Taken by Sex Traffickers
A Northern California mother fears her 13-year-old daughter was taken by sex traffickers.
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US Southern Baptist churches embroiled in sex abuse scandal
The United States' largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, is facing a sexual abuse crisis after a bombshell report revealed hundreds of predators and more than 700 victims since 1998. The report by two Texas newspapers found some 380 church leaders and volunteers have faced public accusations of abuse, mostly of children as young as three years old. Some of the accused continued to work at Southern Baptist churches, the newspapers said.
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3-minute brownie and truffle recipes for your Valentine
Natural chef has three minute brownie and truffle recipes for your Valentine
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Pence calls on EU to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused Washington's European allies on Thursday of trying to break U.S. sanctions against Tehran and called on them to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions," Pence said during a conference on the Middle East organized by the United States in Warsaw. Pence said a scheme set up by the EU to facilitate trade with Iran was "an effort to break American sanctions against Iran's murderous revolutionary regime".
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Venezuelan opposition envoy urges international help to get aid in
The Venezuelan opposition's envoy to the United States accused the government of President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday of blocking humanitarian aid to the country and urged the international community to help open "thousands of windows" to let assistance in. Carlos Vecchio, opposition leader Juan Guaido's representative in Washington, spoke to an international aid conference hosted at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington as a deadlock persisted in delivering aid to the crisis-stricken South American country. Guaido invoked constitutional provisions last month to declare himself interim president, arguing that Maduro's re-election last year was a sham.
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Full text: President Trump's 2019 State of the Union address
US President Donald Trump (L) faces lawmakers as he arrives to deliver the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. Below is President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address as prepared. Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential.
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Outrage in France after spate of anti-Semitic vandalism
A spate of anti-Semitic vandalism and graffiti in and around Paris at the weekend sparked widespread condemnation on Tuesday, stoking fresh concerns about an increase in hate crime against Jews. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers that he shared their anger at the "loathsome" acts, urging people "to express their absolute rejection" of anti-Semitism. Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux suggested the vandalism could be blamed in part on the far-left and far-right activists who have infiltrated the weekly "yellow vest" protests.
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How To Navigate the Confusing Task of Picking the Right Motor Oil
There are many choices when it comes to picking the appropriate oil for your car's engine. Our guide breaks down your choices to help you in the quest to change your oil.
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Trump Venezuela envoy interrogated by Ilhan Omar over his role in Iran-Contra scandal
Donald Trump’s envoy to Venezuela was left flustered and visibly angry following an interrogation by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar over his controversial political past. Elliot Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month to help lead the US response to the political crisis in the South American country, which is seeing widespread hunger and violence following the collapse of its economy. On Wednesday, Mr Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, testified in front of the House foreign affairs select committee, where he was subjected to a fierce line of questioning by Ms Omar.
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Rapper 21 Savage released from immigration custody: lawyers
Lawyers for rapper 21 Savage say he has been released on bond from federal immigration custody.
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Iran's Zarif says Warsaw meeting 'dead on arrival'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday that a two-day conference being co-hosted by Washington in Warsaw on Iran and the Middle East was "dead on arrival". "It is another attempt by the United States to pursue an obsession with Iran that is not well-founded," Zarif told a Tehran news conference. Zarif said not even Washington had any interest in the conference as a forum for an exchange of views among the 60 participating countries.
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British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home'
A British schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has said she does not regret it, but wants to return to the UK to give birth. Shamima Begum, 19, vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago, along with two other teenage girls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. A girl who identified herself as Shamima Begum, was found in a refugee camp in Syria as the Isil caliphate collapsed, the Times reported. In an interview with the newspaper she described how she had been living in the caliphate and had married an Isil fighter from the Netherlands called Yago Riedijk. She was heavily pregnant and due to give birth any day. Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, and Shamima Begum  Credit: PA The girl is living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria along with 39,000 other refugees. She described having seen a severed head in a bin during her time with Isil, and escaping bombs dropping, the Times reported. The teenager also said she had already given birth to two children, both of whom died in infancy. She told the Times: "I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here." She added: "I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that's why I want to get back to Britain, because I know my baby will be looked after." The three girls had joined another London teenager, Sharmeena Begum, in Syria. All were married off to jihadists.  Shamima Begum said at least one of her friends, Kadiza Sultana, had been killed when a bomb hit a house in Raqqa. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo while being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London Credit: PA The other two girls reportedly stayed on to fight in Baghuz in eastern Syria, along with a few hundred Isil fighters, as the caliphate came to an end. Shamima Begum and her husband fled instead, and the husband surrendered to Kurdish forces. The girl told the Times she had spoken to her mother in the UK and asked for her support when she goes home. She had also read what had been written about her online by people back in the UK. "The caliphate is over," she told the Times. "There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me. But I just want to come home to have my child. All I want to do is come home to Britain." WATCH: Isil schoolgirl Shamima Begum: I wasn't fazed by seeing a severed head The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, although anyone who returns to the UK after travelling to IS territory faces criminal investigation and stricter laws are now in place. Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger. "Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security. "There are a range of terrorism offences where individuals can be convicted for crimes committed overseas and we can also use Temporary Exclusion Orders to control an individuals' return to the UK." A displaced Syrian woman and a child walk toward tents at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of al-Hol in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria Credit: AFP Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer who was instructed by the Bethnal Green girls' families after they ran away, said he was "glad (Ms Begum) is alive and safe". He told the Press Association the authorities should be reminded of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe's position at the time of their disappearance. "The position of the Metropolitan Police was that they should be treated as victims, so long as they hadn't committed any further offences while they are out there," he said. Mr Akunjee said he had spoken to the girls' families, who had "expressed the position that they want time and space to process what's happened". The Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are expected to announce the territorial defeat of Isil in the coming days. Around 2,000 US special forces are expected to be brought home by April. Giving evidence to MPs in the wake of the British schoolgirls's disappearance, in 2015, senior police officers said they would not be treated as criminals if they returned home. They said there was a "difference between the person running around with a Kalishnikov" and three schoolgirls who had been duped into travelling to Syria. The girls funded their travel to Syria by stealing jewellery from relatives, paying more than £1,000 in cash to a local travel agent for their flights to Turkey. Donald Trump has said Isil is "defeated"and that an announcement is imminent on "100 percent of the caliphate" having been retaken. The war to push Isil out of its so-called caliphate had lasted more than four-and-a-half years. The area once covered part of Syria and Iraq that was around the size of Britain. Pentagon officials have warned that Isil remains an "active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria". Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.
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Suicide attack on bus kills 27 Iran Revolutionary Guards
A suicide car bombing on a Revolutionary Guards bus in southeastern Iran killed 27 troops on Wednesday, in one of the deadliest attacks on the elite forces in years. The assault came as the troops were returning from a border patrol mission, the Guards said in a statement. "In this terrorist attack 27 of Islam's brave warriors were killed and 13 were wounded," the statement read, accusing "world domination and Zionist intelligence agencies" of supporting the attackers.
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The Latest: District says 58 percent of Denver teachers out
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on the Denver teachers' strike (all times local):
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NASA bids farewell to Mars rover Opportunity after 15-year mission
NASA officially declared its Mars Opportunity space rover dead after it fell silent last June in a dust storm on the Red Planet. The rover provided jaw-dropping photos throughout its extraordinary 15-year mission. NBC’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY.
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As renewables soar, BP sees China hitting brakes on energy growth
China's energy demand rose by 5.9 percent over the past 20 years, but is set to grow by only 1 percent by 2040 as its economy shifts from energy-intensive industries to services and as Beijing introduces stricter rules on air pollution. BP revised down its forecast of China's energy demand by 7 percent from last year's report, "reflecting the pace at which China is adjusting to a more sustainable pattern of economic growth". Under BP's base-case Evolving Transition scenario, global energy demand will increase by around one third by 2040, driven by rapidly expanding middle classes in Asia.
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UK inflation below official target for first time in 2 years
LONDON (AP) — Lower energy costs as well as a waning impact from the pound's sharp fall in the aftermath of the country's Brexit vote have helped consumer price inflation in Britain fall below the Bank of England's target of 2 percent for the first time in two years.
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Weak El Niño likely to prevail through spring: U.S. forecaster
(Reuters) - Weak El Niño conditions are present and there is a 55-percent chance the weather pattern will prevail through the northern hemisphere spring this year, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.
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From flu symptoms to heart failure: A New York teen's harrowing heart transplant tale
A Rochester teen is heading home after a heart transplant that began as a flu scare last fall, underscoring an urgent push to improve organ donations
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EPA to begin rulemaking for drinking water limit for PFA chemicals later this year
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Thursday announced the agency's Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan, a series of short- and long-term steps to help states exposed to these common chemicals found in Teflon and foams used by firefighters linked to cancer and other health risks. The agency did not announce a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS, a legal limit for the amount the chemical can be allowed in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
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Israel warns Iran that its missiles can travel 'very far'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran Tuesday that Israeli missiles can travel "very far", on the eve of a conference in Poland about peace and security in the Middle East. Speaking during a visit to a naval base in the northern port of Haifa, Netanyahu said: "The missiles you see behind me can go very far, against any enemy, including Iran's proxies in our region" -- an apparent reference to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement. "We are constantly working according to our understanding and the need to prevent Iran and its proxies from entrenching on our northern boder and in our region in general," Netanyahu added.
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Parkland shooting stirs 3 siblings to lives of activism
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Last February, Matt Deitsch was living his dream studying at a California university. His brother, Ryan, was about to graduate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and head to college, the natural next step for the middle child of a family in an affluent suburb. Sister Sam was halfway through her freshman year at the Parkland school.
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Pence: Europe must withdraw from Iran nuclear deal
Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the White House's anti-Iran message to a Middle East summit in Poland.
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Europe's Investment-Screening Plan Clears Final Political Hurdle
The European Parliament approved legislation to screen foreign direct investments, wrapping up 17 months of deliberations over an initiative that for years had been deemed too controversial to take as a result of opposition in the bloc’s national capitals. The bloc’s national governments have already signaled support, making their final endorsement due on March 5 a formality. Concerns are mounting across the western world about national-security risks tied to foreign investment, particularly by China.
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750,000 Pieces of Junk Circle Earth. This Firm Wants to Start Clearing It
Astroscale Holdings Inc. is preparing to rendezvous with, capture and dock a test satellite early next year to show how its technology can help clear orbiting junk, Miki Ito, 36, general manager of Astroscale’s Japan unit, said in an interview. Astroscale is competing in a niche that has drawn urgent attention and funding from companies and governments including those in the U.S., Japan, Singapore and the U.K. The venture has raised about $103 million, including money from Japan’s state-backed INCJ Ltd., as it vies with rivals to invent an affordable way to prevent a chain-reaction of collisions known as the Kessler effect.
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GM Cruise Falls Short of Self-Driving Test Miles Projection
GM Cruise logged less than 450,000 miles all of last year in California, according to a report released Wednesday. While Cruise has self-driving Chevrolet Bolts on the road in other states, the bulk of its testing is done in California. The mileage prediction was made 14 months ago by Kyle Vogt, who was then Cruise’s chief executive officer.
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U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall the Most in Nine Years
The value of overall sales fell 1.2 percent from the prior month after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent increase in November, according to Commerce Department figures released Thursday after a four-week delay due to the shutdown. Stock futures erased gains, Treasuries rose and the dollar fell, as the broad weakness across most sectors added to signs that U.S. economic growth is cooling from prior quarters -- potentially by more than projected. Excluding automobiles and gasoline, retail sales slumped 1.4 percent, the biggest drop since March 2009, after a 0.5 percent advance the previous month.
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McCabe: There were 25th Amendment discussions at DOJ to remove Trump from office
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says that after President Trump fired his boss, FBI Director James Comey, there were discussions within the Department of Justice about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
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Gay couples in Japan join together on Valentine's Day to sue government over same-sex marriage ban
Thirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan." Mr Aiba and Mr Kozumi have held onto a marriage certificate they signed at their wedding party in 2013, anticipating Japan would emulate other advanced nations and legalise same-sex unions. That day has yet to come, and legally they are just friends even though they've lived as a married couple for more than five years. So they decided to act rather than waiting. "Right now we are both in good health and able to work, but what if either of us has an accident or becomes ill? We are not allowed to be each other's guarantors for medical treatment, or to be each other's heir," Mr Kozumi, a 45-year-old office worker, said in a recent interview with his partner Mr Aiba, 40. "Progress in Japan has been too slow." Politician Mizuho Fukushima has spoken out in favour of gay rights in Japan Credit: AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi Ten Japanese municipalities have enacted "partnership" ordinances for same-sex couples to make it easier for them to rent apartments together, among other things, but they are not legally binding. Japanese laws are currently interpreted as allowing marriage only between a man and a woman. In a society where pressure for conformity is strong, many gay people hide their sexuality, fearing prejudice at home, school or work. The obstacles are even higher for transgender people in the highly gender-specific society. The Supreme Court last month upheld a law that effectively requires transgender people to be sterilized before they can have their gender changed on official documents. The LGBT equal rights movement has lagged behind in Japan because people who are silently not conforming to conventional notions of sexuality have been so marginalized that the issue hasn't been considered a human rights problem, experts say. "Many people don't even think of a possibility that their neighbors, colleagues or classmates may be sexual minorities," said Mizuho Fukushima, a lawyer-turned-politician and an expert on gender and human rights issues. "And the pressure to follow a conservative family model, in which heterosexual couples are supposed to marry and have children, is still strong." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ultra-conservative supporters have campaigned to restore a paternalistic society based on heterosexual marriages. The government has restarted moral education class at schools to teach children family values and good deeds. "Whether to allow same-sex marriage is an issue that affects the foundation of how families should be in Japan, which requires an extremely careful examination," Mr Abe said in a statement last year.
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Trump set for compromise with Congress over Mexico border wall to avoid government shutdown
Congress is set to resolve its clattering brawl with President Donald Trump in uncommonly bipartisan fashion as lawmakers prepare to pass a border security compromise providing a mere sliver of the billions he's demanded for a wall with Mexico and averting a rekindled government shutdown this weekend. With Mr Trump's half-hearted signature widely expected but hardly guaranteed, congressional leaders planned votes Thursday on the sweeping package. Mr Trump's assent would end a raucous legislative saga that commenced before Christmas and was ending, almost fittingly, on Valentine's Day.
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Former Trump aide Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors, judge rules
Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, intentionally lied to investigators and a federal grand jury in the special counsel’s Russia probe, a judge ruled on Wednesday. US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s decision was another loss for Manafort, a once-wealthy political consultant who rose to lead Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and now faces years in prison in two criminal cases brought in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The four-page ruling hurts Manafort’s chance of receiving a reduced sentence, though Jackson said she would decide the exact impact during his sentencing next month. It also resolves a dispute that had provided new insight into how Mueller views Manafort’s actions as part of the broader probe of Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Trump associates. Prosecutors have made clear that they remain deeply interested in Manafort’s interactions with a man the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence.  Manafort arrives for arraignment on charges of witness tampering, at U.S. District Court in Washington Credit: Reuters But it’s unclear exactly what has drawn their attention and whether it relates to election interference because much of the dispute has played out in secret court hearings and blacked out court filings. In her ruling on Wednesday, Jackson provided few new details as she found there was sufficient evidence to say Manafort broke the terms of his plea agreement by lying about three of five matters that prosecutors had singled out. The ruling was largely a rejection of Manafort’s attorneys’ argument that he hadn’t intentionally misled investigators but rather forgot some details until his memory was refreshed. The judge found that Manafort did mislead the FBI, prosecutors and a federal grand jury about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, the co-defendant who the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence. Prosecutors had accused Manafort of lying about several discussions the two men had including about a possible peace plan to resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict in Crimea. During a sealed hearing last week, Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said one of the discussions- an August 2, 2016, meeting at the Grand Havana Club cigar bar in New York- went to the "larger view of what we think is going on" and what "we think the motive here is." Paul Manafort timeline "This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel’s Office is investigating," Weissmann said, according to a redacted transcript of the hearing. He added: "That meeting and what happened at that meeting is of significance to the special counsel." The meeting occurred while Manafort was still in a high-ranking role in the Trump campaign. Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime deputy and also a Trump campaign aide, attended. And prosecutors say the three men left separately so as not to draw attention to their meeting. Weissmann said investigators were also interested in several other meetings between Kilimnik and Manafort including when Kilimnik travelled to Washington for Mr Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. And Manafort’s attorneys accidentally revealed weeks ago that prosecutors believe Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign. Profile | Paul Manafort On Wednesday, Jackson found that in addition to his interactions with Kilimnik, there was sufficient evidence that Manafort had lied about a payment to a law firm representing him and about an undisclosed Justice Department investigation. But she found there wasn’t enough evidence to back up two other allegations. The judge said prosecutors failed to show Manafort intentionally lied about Kilimnik’s role in witness tampering or about Manafort’s contacts with the Trump administration in 2017 and 2018. Kilimnik, who lives in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He has yet to appear in a US court to face the charges. Manafort’s sentencing is set for March 13. He faces up to five years in prison on two felony charges stemming from illegal lobbying he performed on behalf of Ukrainian political interests. Separately, he faces the possibility of a decade in prison in a federal case in Virginia where he was convicted last year of tax and bank fraud crimes. Sentencing in that case was delayed pending Jackson’s ruling in the plea-deal dispute.
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The Best All-Terrain Tires
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Google announces plans for major expansion of data centers and offices in Middle America
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced a major investment in U.S. data centers and offices, which will include locations in Nebraska, Georgia, Texas and Ohio, among others.
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The Society of Tattletales
Esquire magazine launched a series of reported essays this morning with an article titled “The Life of an American Boy at 17.” It featured a tall, handsome, but not particularly dynamic white kid from Wisconsin who thinks he’s likely to end up working at a “water plant.” Thousands of people who don’t subscribe to Esquire, or normally read Esquire, or fit in with Esquire’s target demographic are furious about the choice of subject. Or at least they are pretending to be. Our future water-plant worker is just too unbearably privileged for the leading minds of New York media. He shouldn’t be represented this way. For reasons that aren’t altogether clear.The outrage that this article exists in is recursive in quality. It begins with a presumption that this particular subject, a tall white teenager who vaguely supports the president, should not be “centered” — or given attention at all, that he has earned too much attention. Again, these aren’t Esquire subscribers or regular readers. The question occurs: “Aren’t you in control of your attention? Couldn’t you just ignore this article?” Apparently not. And because there is outrage that he got attention, the controversy itself becomes the cause of further controversy. The people claiming they don’t want to “center” Esquire’s cover subject draw him into the center of a hurricane.Some of the excuses for the outrage are made up. How many women were in the decision-making process for this article? (The article’s author is a woman.) “Why are you centering whiteness? Are you defining American as white and male?” (It’s only the first in a series looking at white, black, and LGBTQ teen subjects). “Why did Esquire do this in February, which is Black History Month?” (It’s the March cover subject). But March is Women’s History Month! Although my favorite complaint is when people say, “Who thought this was a good idea?” Why isn’t someone an acceptable answer?Seriously, why can’t someone be interested in this? Why does a men’s magazine that creates journalism jobs by selling ad space to luxury brands aimed at men have to cater to everyone but privileged males? Why should it be having BuzzFeed’s conversation imposed on it? Like much of the anger directed at National Review, boycotts and canceled subscriptions aren’t a threat when they come from people who decided they hated you decades ago.Most of the critics, if they could read (and we shouldn’t presume), would find that a great many of their preferred topics and narratives about the world are subtly represented in the story, which looks at American society through this young man’s eyes. As he sees it, the world is ready to lash out at him for being what he can’t help being, for reasons that are unintelligible to him. The reaction to the article more than proved the point.And by the way, if it wasn’t Esquire, the outrage would have been about Bloomingdale’s. The department store stocked a T-shirt with the words “Fake News” on it. If it weren't liberals leading the outrage, it would be conservatives, moaning about the Oscars or something. Because we live in the age of the tattletale.And worse, we don’t even tattle to the authorities. How many real attempts at persuasion were sent to Esquire’s editor? Instead, we tattle to the anonymous online mob. Or, occasionally, we tattle to mega corporations that advertise, hoping that they see the mob and dole out the real punishment that matters.You would think that an age of diversity would be less anxious and vindictive. You’d think that it would privilege institutions that make judgments and stand behind them, rather than complaints made by randos who can’t. You would think that the forces that a diverse age called upon would be reasonable, full of liberality. Instead it’s thousands of idiots, pretending to be mad, pretending that the March issue is about February, that a men’s magazine should be about anything other than men, and that a kid destined for the local plant in Wisconsin is privileged.
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Queen unveils secret-message plaque to mark UK security agency centenary
Queen Elizabeth unveiled a plaque bearing a secret message on Thursday as she toured the original London home of Britain's GCHQ to mark the intelligence agency's centenary. After the success of signals intelligence used during World War One, GCHQ was formed in 1919, under the original name of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS). The cover name of GCHQ was given in 1939 to disguise its secret work in electronic eavesdropping.
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The Latest: Israeli leader hopes to rally Arabs against Iran
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on the international conference on the Middle East (all times local):
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Denver teacher strike reveals US divide over bonus pay
DENVER (AP) — Denver teachers went on strike to improve their pay, but the fight wasn't that simple.
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White supremacist sentenced for killing black man with sword
NEW YORK (AP) — A white supremacist who killed a black man with a sword wanted to ignite a worldwide race war, a prosecutor told a judge who sentenced the man Wednesday to life in prison without parole.
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Dutch to set up Venezuela aid hub on Curacao: minister
The Netherlands will set up a hub for humanitarian aid for Venezuela in the Caribbean island of Curacao, off the coast of the troubled South American country, the government said. Dutch authorities would work with the United States and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on the measure, Foreign Minister Stef Blok tweeted late Wednesday. The Venezuelan opposition and western nations have been demanding that President Nicolas Maduro allows in US aid shipments to the oil-rich country, whose economy is in meltdown.
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Bavarians in record push for 'save the bees' vote
A record 1.75 million Bavarians signed a petition to seek a referendum to "save the bees", a move that could have huge consequences for the German farming industry and environmental protection. The proposal for a vote to protect species diversity sets a target to have 20 percent of farmland meeting organic standards by 2025, before reaching 30 percent by 2030. Ten percent of green spaces in Bavaria should also be turned into flowering meadows, while rivers and streams must be better protected from pesticides and organic fertilisers.
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Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously
The bullet train is dead.Mostly.California’s new governor, the prim and grim Gavin Newsom, announced that the project would be taken off its $650-million-a-month life-support apparatus and euthanized. The end of the project leaves Californians with no way to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco except a 90-minute, $149 flight.(Or driving.)For perspective, if you went to Starbucks 35 times for a venti latte, you’d spend more money — and more time — than you would on round-trip air travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This is the “problem” that California has tried to solve with a $77 billion boondoggle.At the time of its demise, the bullet train was years behind schedule, had spent more than seven times its originally allocated budget, and, of course, carried no passengers.Governor Newsom — and this is the truly hilarious part — apparently intends to finish up the little bit of the project that already has been started, meaning that there will be a high-speed bullet train connecting Bakersfield with Merced, 100 miles away. This will come at a cost that is simply astonishing.The same people who brought you this ingenious plan want to take over the majority of the U.S. economy — agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, utilities, and more — and put those commanding heights under political discipline deployed in exactly the same immeasurably stupid way for exactly the same immeasurably stupid reasons. They are calling it the “Green New Deal” this time around.But it has been called many other things. Sing along if you know the words:“We’re at war with the Germans!”“The government must take over the economy!”“There’s a Great Depression!”“The government must take over the economy!”“We’re at war with the Germans again!”“The government must take over the economy!”“Stagflation!”“The government must take over the economy!”“Some people make a lot more money than others!”“The government must take over the economy!”“Global warming?”“The government must take over the economy!”“I have this weird pain in my right shoulder. I think it may be the rotator cuff, but I’m not entirely sure. Makes a funny clicking noise when I do bench presses.”“The government must take over the economy!”“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously!”“The government must take over the economy!”Etc.Progressives love trains. They hate cars. There’s a reason for that.The fundamental progressive idea is central planning. In the progressive imagination, society is a puzzle to be solved, a grand Rubik’s Cube that can be adjusted and readjusted and experimented with until — perfection! The progressive looks at society the same way a child looks at a model railroad set or an ant farm — which is to say, from a point of view that is effectively godlike. Human beings, their families, their desires, their pleasures, their dreams, their businesses, their associations, their communities — all of these are only chessmen to be moved around in pursuit of utopia.A car can go basically anywhere its driver wants. A train can go only where the central planners have preordained. It is for this reason that trains have long been at the center of the progressive vision. And not only the progressive vision: Such modern utopians as Ayn Rand find in the railroad the model of the kind of society they desire: a society that is designed, that proceeds according to plan. Whose plan? Preferably one of their own, of course, but they’ll get on board for almost any old plan if the alternative is no plan at all.There is another vision of society: that it is organic, that many of its best and more effective institutions are spontaneous orders, that all sorts of magnificent and enriching things are the result of systems that have no one in charge of them at all. That isn’t a manifesto for anarchism, but for what conservatives call “well-ordered liberty.” What is that? Aren’t ordered and liberty mutually exclusive? As conservatives understand things, the purpose of government is to govern: enforcing contracts and protecting property, rights, and liberty, which provides the security that is necessary for spontaneous orders to thrive.Progressives sometimes point out — correctly — that many of these rules and protocols appear to be fundamentally arbitrary. Some of you probably know the story (which is not the whole story) of how the capacity of a compact disc (kids, ask your parents) originally was determined: a Sony executive wanted a single CD to be able to handle all of Beethoven’s glorious Ninth Symphony, specifically the leisurely version of it recorded at Bayreuther Festspiele in 1951 under the baton of Wilhelm Furtwängler. It mattered less what provided the standard for CDs than that there was a standard, which enabled any ordinary CD to be played in any ordinary CD player. Picking a different piece of music might have yielded different dimensions or a different sample rate (44.1 kHz was not ordained by any deity) or other technical differences. A different set of rules for intellectual property would have changed the way Silicon Valley technology companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers are organized. This or that change in the way labor markets are organized and regulated would result in different wage distributions.From that, progressives conclude — also correctly — that these institutions are subject to change and renegotiation. But human beings and their relationships are not infinitely plastic, and even arbitrary standards and procedures may provide great value by simple virtue of the fact that they enable social cooperation. There is no existential mandate that gasoline pumps in Amarillo are in form and operation identical to those in Boston, but it does making filling the car up easier. American Express and Visa help to simplify complicated legal and financial issues related to doing commerce across national borders. These things develop over time, with input from many different people and institutions (no single person or entity invented the CD or the internal-combustion engine); sometimes, government is one of those institutions.A healthy society with an intelligent politics never falls for the illusion of Year Zero, that we rational and enlightened moderns — each generation of which always imagines itself to be the first of its kind — can begin anew, building from the foundations up. Under the auspices of the Green New Deal, a group of ordinary people with no special knowledge or ability believes that it can deputize itself to radically overhaul — from first principles of its own distillation — everything from the way soybeans are grown to how people get from New York to Los Angeles. That they couldn’t even figure out how to get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco while burning through $77 billion — an amount that exceeds by many billion dollars the market capitalization of BlackRock, Inc., a financial behemoth that is — take note, here — the world’s largest asset manager.Ordinary market processes (in air travel, a heavily regulated industry) created the system by which anybody who wants to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco can do so in less than two hours for the cost of a few dozen cups of coffee. The central planners failed to create an alternative even with enormous sums of money at their disposal and enormous power to command.With the state of California and all its splendid glories as their model-train set, they couldn’t even best Alaska Airlines.Put these po-faced generalissimos in charge of reinventing the U.S. economy from the ground up?Hard pass.
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Iran Should Be Worried About the Warsaw Summit
While Trump certainly deserves criticism for his foreign policy decisions, he may just have gotten Iran right.
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UPDATE: Wilmington police arrest woman wanted for hit and run
Wilmington police have arrested a woman wanted for a hit and run that was caught on camera and left the victim with serious injuries.
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Valentine’s Day is Stupid, But Men Should Stop Complaining about It
A  new survey found that men plan to spend an average of $339 on their partners for Valentine’s Day, while women play to spend an average of $64 -- and some men think that this is unfair.First of all, let me say that I think spending $339 on Valentine’s Day is ridiculous. I mean, where are all of these men? I would really love to know, because no one has ever spent that much on me on Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’m a little jaded, but I guess I always assumed the only reason someone would spend $339 on their partner for Valentine’s Day would be that he feels bad because he’s actually cheating on her. Considering the kind of Valentine’s Day presents I’ve gotten -- I once had a man give me only an e-card that said “Happy Black History Month is almost over” (and then that was over) -- I really am having a hard time believing that this survey could be actually true.After all, Valentine’s Day is the worst. I mean, who cares? All it means is that all of your social-media platforms are going to be flooded with pictures of other people’s flowers, complete with captions about how they were gifted by BEST BOYFRIEND IN THE WORLD, while you watch your cat lick up the crumbs from the cookies that you’re eating alone in bed. (Just me?) Even when I’ve been in a relationship, I still haven’t cared about it much because I have a career and a life and other things to worry about besides showing off my relationship on Instagram to make the cat-crumbs people feel bad about themselves.That being said, I’d still have to say that the only thing more ridiculous than Valentine’s Day is probably the fact that men are complaining about having to spend a little cash to celebrate it.Yes, $339 is a lot of money. I’ve already said that, and really, really, I think that any woman who is not a treacherous, gold-digging sociopath would probably be happy with much less. But here’s the thing: Even if you are a man spending $339 while your partner spends only $64, you still should not be complaining about it. Why? Because you have already saved so much money by just not being a woman.I mean, seriously -- it is so much cheaper to be a man. How much do your haircuts cost, like $10? (I have to spend money on getting mine cut and colored, and then on buying someone else’s hair to strap to my head, just to be acceptable to society.) How much money do you spend getting your nails done? That’s right, none, and all of the time you save by not having to waste your life sitting under those little dryers like an idiot waiting for them to be done is probably being spent making more money.Think about it: If you’re a man, you don’t even need to buy lip gloss. Do you know how much lip gloss us women have had to purchase throughout our lives? That s*** starts in like the fifth grade! Factor in that we’re also expected to wear mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, concealer (only men can have visible zits!), and a bunch of other garbage that sucks up our money and our time, and you might start to feel a little ridiculous about the fact that you have to get some flowers and a card.Valentine’s Day is dumb, and I’ve always believed that the people who really care about it must be some really sad people with some really sad lives. But the only thing more pathetic than getting super jazzed for Valentine’s Day is getting super salty about it because you’re a man and you have to spend a couple of extra bucks. If you find yourself complaining, then stop it. Remember: You’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars thanks to society allowing you to look just straight-up worse than we do.
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UK's May faces another damaging defeat in Brexit saga
Prime Minister Theresa May risks another humiliating Brexit defeat at the hands of her own eurosceptic MPs on Thursday, with just weeks to go until Britain officially leaves the EU. Parliament will hold a symbolic vote calling for May to renegotiate her deal's unpopular "backstop" provision and also to rule out leaving the European Union without a deal, as agreed in House of Commons votes last month. "Conservative MPs really ought not to be associated with anything, express or implied, which seems to take no deal off the table," said leading ERG member Steve Baker.
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Striking Denver teachers, school district reach deal to end walkout: union
(Reuters) - Striking Denver teachers reached a deal with school district officials after a marathon bargaining session early on Thursday to end their walkout, which was in its fourth day, the union said.
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There’s Not Much Performance in Denver Schools’ ‘Pay for Performance’ System
On Monday, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) went on strike, the latest in a series of teacher strikes that have erupted across the country over the past year. While Denver teachers have voiced concerns about class sizes, support staff, and starting salaries, the consensus is that the issue at the heart of the strike is teacher frustration with Denver’s once-celebrated ProComp pay system, which was jointly developed by the DCTA and Denver Public Schools in 2005.Back then, ProComp was heralded as a pioneering step forward on pay-for-performance/merit pay, and that framing  has colored coverage of the strike. Even before the strike started, education outlet Chalkbeat ran an explainer headlined, “How a once-promising merit pay system led Denver teachers to the brink of a strike.” This week, the Washington Post reported “Denver teachers strike in bid to dismantle pay-for-performance system.” The New York Times account was headlined, “Denver Teachers’ Strike Puts Performance-Based Pay to the Test.”The only problem? This narrative is bunk. For all the talk about “merit” and “performance,” ProComp is almost wholly devoid of any links between pay and teacher performance.As Denver Public Schools’ compensation chart illustrates, ProComp allows teachers to earn an annual $3,851 pay bump for obtaining an advanced degree or license; a $2,738 boost for working in a “hard to staff” field or a “hard to serve” school; $1,540 for working in a “ProComp Title I” school, which is different than a “hard to serve” school; $855 for completing the requisite “professional development units”; and between $800 and $5,000 for filling designated leadership roles. There is also a yearly bonus for teachers based on students’ state-wide-exam results.None of these bonuses, save perhaps for the last one, are performance-based. The only other component of ProComp resembling anything even remotely close to a performance-based incentive for individual teachers is the $855 they can receive for a satisfactory evaluation on a paper-driven performance rubric — and that figure falls by half for longtime educators. (Just how modest is such a sum in context? Average teacher pay in Denver before incentives is about $51,000, and the district has already offered teachers a 10 percent raise.)A couple points here merit note. First, contra the coverage of the strike, the Denver pay system which has sparked so much backlash is not actually rewarding performance. Rather, ProComp is mostly designed to reward the usual credentialism and to steer teachers to work in certain schools or fields. That’s all fine, and some of it makes good sense, but it’s a misnomer to characterize it as constituting a “pay-for-performance” scheme.Second, to the extent that ProComp seeks to reward performance in any fashion, it has opted for school-wide bonuses to schools that make large gains on math and reading scores (what the district euphemistically terms “top performing-high growth” schools). Reading and math scores matter, a lot. But education reform’s fascination with paying for test points is troubling on several counts. It is bizarrely detached from the instruction that most teachers (including those who teach science, foreign languages, music, or history) are asked to focus on and has encouraged corner-cutting and outright cheating. It also has parents concerned about narrow curricula and soulless instruction, and teachers feeling like insurance salesmen.Performance pay is always tricky, but a raft of for-profit and non-profit organizers have muddled through in pretty sensible ways — tapping human judgment, seeking to assess the full contribution that an employee makes, and relying more upon promotions and raises than one-time bonuses.Denver’s situation is so noteworthy because Denver is no laggard. Indeed, for many years, it has been celebrated as a “model” district by reformers. So it’s disheartening how little progress the city has actually made. Reformers wound up being so focused on finding ways to pay teachers to switch schools or raise test scores that they missed what might have been a larger opportunity to reshape the teaching profession by reimagining how teachers’ job descriptions, pay structures, and responsibilities could work. Indeed, given the limited dollar amounts involved (a 1–2 percent bonus if a teacher aces his personal evaluation), it’s hard to imagine why anyone ever expected ProComp to be a game-changer.As teacher strikes continue apace and efforts to improve schooling move on from the enthusiasm of the Bush and Obama years, there may emerge new opportunities to rethink teacher pay. If they do, reformers should seize them by focusing more intently on how well teachers do their jobs, and less on where they work or how many boxes they check.Frederick M. Hess is the director of education-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Brendan Bell is the education-program manager at AEI.
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U.S. meeting on Middle East brings together Israel, Gulf Arab states
By Lesley Wroughton and Justyna Pawlak WARSAW (Reuters) - A U.S.-sponsored Middle East conference aimed at building a coalition against what Washington sees as the threat posed by Iran also produced signs of a warming of ties between Israel and some Arab countries on Wednesday. Foreign ministers and other officials from more than 60 countries were gathering for the conference in Warsaw, which was starting on Wednesday evening and whose agenda included Iran, conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Israeli-Palestinian peace. ...
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I Went to an F-35 Stealth Fighter 'Factory': Here's What I Saw
An amazing site.
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Forget the Stealth F-22 or J-20: China Has Some Serious Plans for a 6th Generation Fighter
Why is Beijing rushing into a sixth-generation project when the dust has barely settled on their current flagship?
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Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's side project: Bashing Iran, in Poland
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani talks tough on Iran while in Poland. He's likely being paid to do it.
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Brock Long, who oversaw Trump administration's response to Hurricane Maria, resigns as FEMA chief
Deputy Administrator Pete Gaynor will become acting administrator upon Brock Long’s departure.
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Powerful storm dumps more rain and snow across the West
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Heavy rain again raised the risk of mudslides in Southern California burn areas where evacuations were ordered during a powerful storm that flooded roads, toppled trees and cut power further north.
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The Ilhan Omar Controversy Reveals a Larger Struggle Over Israel Among Democrats
A controversy over tweets by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar has revealed the fault lines in a debate over Israel that is going to intensify.
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One year after Parkland shooting, survivor says she's found her 'voice' in activism
Senior Mei-Ling Ho-Shing turned to activism in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine's Day.
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Airbus pulls plug on costly A380 superjumbo: statement
European aerospace giant Airbus said Thursday it would end production of the A380 superjumbo, the double-decker jet which earned plaudits from passengers but failed to win over enough airlines to justify its massive costs. The firm said it would stop deliveries of the A380 in 2021 after Dubai-based airline Emirates reduced its order of the model by 39 planes. "Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft," Airbus said in a statement.
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Jussie Smollett interview: I'm 'pissed off' people don't believe 'the truth' of the attack
Jussie Smollett, the 'Empire' star who was attacked in a "possible hate crime, talks to "GMA" about how he's doing.
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School massacre 1 year later: A time to remember the victims
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre a year ago renewed the national debate on guns and school safety, turned some victims' parents and surviving students into political activists and at least temporarily ended the local sheriff's career. An interfaith service will be held at a Parkland park, near the school, to remember the victims.
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In El Chapo's state, people see little change with verdict
CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — U.S. officials are hailing the conviction of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman as a victory for the Mexican people, but in the drug lord's home state of Sinaloa, cradle to his powerful cartel, many residents say they don't expect violence and trafficking to abate.
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Merck to further study Keytruda in prostate cancer after early success
(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc said on Thursday it was launching three late-stage studies for its cancer immunotherapy Keytruda as a combination treatment for prostate cancer after the drug showed anti-tumor activity in an early-stage trial. The interim findings of the trial testing Keytruda in combination with other cancer drugs such as Lynpraza, which it jointly develops and sells with AstraZeneca, and chemotherapy docetaxel showed anti-tumor activity, Merck said. "These promising data .. ...
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11,000 march in Brussels climate protest
BRUSSELS (AP) — Thousands of Belgian teenagers skipping school to protest for better climate protections have been joined by university students and grandparents for a sixth straight week of marches to keep pressure on authorities to do more.
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Ted Cruz wants drug lord El Chapo to fund border wall
Critics of the bill cite that El Chapo built his reputation by constructing tunnels across the Mexico-U.S. border.
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Prospective 2020 candidates make statements with State of the Union guests
With Trump occupying the spotlight, prospective 2020 presidential candidates currently in Congress are hoping that their chosen State of the Union guests will send him a message, create their own headlines or both.
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Bill and Melinda Gates get asked whether billionaires should exist
Should billionaires actually be a thing?That was one of the first questions Stephen Colbert put to Bill and Melinda Gates during their appearance on The Late Show on Tuesday, where they spoke about philanthropy and taxing the wealthy."I think you can make the tax system take a much higher portion from people with great wealth," responded Bill. "These great fortunes were not made from ordinary income, so you probably have to look to the capital gains rate and the estate tax if you want to create more equity there."They were clear that the wealthy should be taxed more than they currently are, but less sure about a specific upper tax rate."There have been many times where you're in France where they'll say, gosh, we wish we could have a Bill Gates, we wish we could have a vibrant tech sector," said Melinda. "But the taxes have been done there in such a way that it doesn't actually stimulate good growth."
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Talks to end four-day Denver teachers' strike stretch overnight
Negotiations lasted all night and into the pre-dawn hours of Thursday between striking teachers in Denver and the city school district, who are trying to come up with a deal to end a walkout affecting 92,000 students that's now entering its fourth day, . "We exchanged proposals that are moving us closer and are hopeful that we will get to an agreement soon," a joint statement by Henry Roman, president of the teachers' union, and Susana Cordova, the superintendent of the Denver schools, said late on Tuesday. The strike by the 5,650-member Denver Classroom Teachers Association is the first in Colorado's largest city since 1994.
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Samsung SDS Reveals Blockchain Accelerator Tech Following Hyperledger Testing
The IT arm of South Korean tech giant Samsung announced it had developed technology to speed up blockchain transactions, the company confirmed in a press release on Feb 14. Presenting at the ongoing IBM Think 2019 conference in San Francisco, Samsung SDS said its new technology, Nexledger Accelerator, had already passed testing with Hyperledger Fabric.
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Goodbye, Mars Opportunity Rover. Here's to What We Had.
After losing contact, NASA is saying goodbye to its red planet explorer.
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After ex-policeman's murder sentence, divisions in Chicago persist
After white former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced last month for the 2014 killing of black teen Laquan McDonald, top local officials urged the third-largest U.S. city to pull together to close a painful chapter in its history. Activists who had praised Van Dyke's second-degree murder conviction, a rare verdict for a U.S. police officer, found the sentence far too lenient for an officer who prosecutors said shot McDonald 16 times. The head of the Chicago police union told Reuters that officers had grown more cautious since Van Dyke's prosecution.
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After year of action, silence to mark Florida school shooting
Many students were expected to stay home from a shortened class day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a former student with an assault gun killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018. A moment of silence and community service activities are planned in local schools, and the city of Parkland will host an evening vigil at a park where a similar event the day after the shooting showcased angry grief and spurred calls for action. Some activists who seized the spotlight after the shooting to rally against gun violence expected to observe the day in private.
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Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase calls for 'due process' amid Fairfax's sexual assault allegations
Republican Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase is calling for an investigation into the sexual assault allegations made against Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
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El Chapo likely headed to 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'
Described as a hell on earth, the prison was built in 1994 and is located outside Florence, an old mining town about two hours south of Denver. It houses some of America's most notorious criminals including "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. According to a 2014 Amnesty International report, inmates spend a minimum of 12 months in solitary confinement before their detention conditions are reevaluated.
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Meanwhile in … New York, a charity is buying up outsize debt to forgive it
In New York, a charity is buying up outsize debt to forgive it. Bills for hospital stays can be expensive, and loan companies may charge high interest rates. Ownership of those debts can be bought and sold for cents on the dollar, turning the loans, and their future returns, into speculative investments for traders.
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Democrats swear off big money, but will it hurt their 2020 White House chances?
Warren's move regarding money from lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) - entities formed by corporations, unions and others to raise and spend money to back or oppose candidates - highlights the tricky role money is expected to play in a Democratic primary battle that could draw dozens of candidates vying to challenge Republican President Donald Trump. The Democratic candidates are expected to push one another to show their commitment to getting big money out of politics, following the lead of Democrats who helped the party retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Trump's fellow Republicans in last year's congressional elections.
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Florida Dem. Floats High-Capacity-Magazine Ban One Year after Parkland Shooting
Representative Ted Deutch (D., Fla.) and Senator Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) will introduce legislation Tuesday that would prohibit the sale and possession of magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.Deutch, who represents the Florida district where 17 students were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February, cited that massacre and those that occurred in recent years in Las Vegas, Nev. and Newtown, Ct. in explaining his prioritization of a high-capacity-magazine ban.“High-capacity magazines make those shooters dramatically more dangerous. You've got to take action to address it,” Deutch said. “The fact is that these high-capacity magazines allow someone to fire off more than 10 rounds in a row. You don't need that if you're a hunter. You don't need that for any purpose. You don't need that for sporting purposes.”The bill has attracted the support of two-dozen Democrats in the Senate and 65 in the House but lacks backing from a single Republican lawmaker. National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker called it “arbitrary” and suggested that it would prove ineffective in combating gun violence:> This legislation would effectively ban the most commonly owned firearms for self-defense. It is an arbitrary limit pulled out of thin air with no evidence that the limits would improve public safety. In fact, the after report from the deadliest school shooting in American history states that magazine limits would have had no impact. This is just more nonsense from anti-gun zealots who are looking to score political points by proposing legislation that would make criminals out of law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutional right to self-defense while doing nothing to deter criminals from committing crimes.Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School attack, which sparked a national debate about gun control.
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Airbus A380, the Concorde: technical feats, commercial flops
The scratching of the superjumbo jet Airbus A380 echoes the sad fate of the supersonic Concorde, another feat of aviation technology that turned out to be a commercial flop. The inaugural commercial flight on January 21, 1976 of Concorde, the world's first supersonic passenger plane, promised a revolution in aviation. It was the first computer-controlled commercial aircraft in history and also innovated with a weight-saving aluminium body and triangular delta wings.
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Nigeria militants vow to cripple economy if Buhari re-elected
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian militants threatened on Thursday to cripple Africa's biggest economy if President Muhammadu Buhari is re-elected in a vote due to be held on Saturday, the Niger Delta Avengers said in a statement on Thursday. The group said it hoped to change Buhari's rule through elections and that its preferred choice for president was opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar. The militants were behind a 2016 wave of violence that helped push Nigeria into recession. (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Gareth Jones)
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Michelle Obama's mom reminds her she's not a 'real celebrity'
The "Becoming" author made a surprise appearance at the Grammys but her mom wasn't too impressed.
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Iran's Rouhani blames U.S., Israel for attack on Revolutionary Guards: TV
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed the United States and its regional allies on Thursday for a suicide bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 27 members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards, Iranian state TV reported. The force said on Wednesday a suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives had attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan. A militant Sunni Muslim group, Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iranian media have reported.
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Parents arrested after kids found locked in dog kennel and living in deplorable conditions
Two children were found locked in a dog cage in a barn, and two others were living in deplorable conditions.
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One year after Parkland shooting, what's changed?
It's been a year since the Parkland shooting stirred a national outcry and calls for stricter gun laws. Here's where things stand.
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White Supremacist Sentenced to Life in Prison for NYC Sword Killing
A 30-year-old white supremacist who traveled from Baltimore to Manhattan to kill a black man with a sword was sentenced Wednesday.
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Angry Birds Maker Rovio Looking to Sell Control of Hatch Unit
The company is prepared to cede control of subsidiary Hatch Entertainment, the cloud-based gaming service it currently owns 80 percent of, to less than 50 percent. Without Hatch, the Finnish company’s profitability would improve to as much as 14 percent this year, it said in a statement Thursday. Rovio is now looking for outside backing to fund the growth of the unit, after taking an investment from Japan’s NTT Docomo Inc. earlier this month.
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Pete Buttigieg is running for president. Also, he's gay.
Pete Buttigieg would rather talk about his record as the two-term mayor of South Bend, Ind., than about his identity as the first openly gay man to seek the Democratic nomination.
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Thai court accepts dissolution case over princess nomination
BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court said Thursday that it will take up the case of whether to dissolve a political party that nominated a member of the royal family as its candidate for prime minister in next month's general election.
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Pineapple Express's biggest punch, set to hit water-logged California
Five people suffered minor injuries when turbulence shook a Delta Air Lines flight headed from southern California to Seattle on Wednesday, multiple media accounts said. The plane, a Embraer 175 aircraft operated by Compass Airlines under contract with Delta, was forced to land in Reno, Nevada, about 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Reno Gazette Journal and other media. "That whole area from Southern California and on up to Washington is primed for severe turbulence at altitude, especially over the mountains" said David Roth, a forecaster with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
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Congress Unveils Deal to Avoid Shutdown – If Trump Will Sign It
Trump signaled he’ll probably accept the plan though he hasn’t committed to signing it. The plan provides $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of border fencing, far short of the $5.7 billion the president sought to build the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, his main promise during the 2016 campaign.
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Airbus to scrap A380 superjumbo production as sales slump
The world's largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing's legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets. Airbus said on Thursday the last A380 would be delivered in 2021. The shake-up came after Emirates - the largest A380 customer - decided to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo and order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo instead.
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White supremacist gets life for killing black man to start a race war
James Jackson, 30, a former U.S. Army specialist, apologized for the slaying, before the State Supreme Court Justice Laura A. Ward sentenced him to the maximum allowed under the law, the New York Times reported. Last month, Jackson plead guilty to first-degree murder in furtherance of an act of terrorism, in the March 2017 death of Timothy Caughman, 66. Jackson, of Baltimore, told detectives that the traveled to New York City because it is the U.S. media capital and he believed that the killing would start a race war.
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U.S. judge rules ex-Trump campaign chief breached plea deal
The ruling concludes weeks of wrangling between Manafort's lawyers and the special counsel over whether he had intentionally lied to prosecutors, impeding their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the Manafort case in a Washington court, found there was a "preponderance" of evidence that Manafort lied on three different topics, including his communications with his former business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik has denied such ties.
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District Attorney Recounts `Chilling` Conversation with Serial Killer About Alleged Memphis Victim
A serial killer with ties to the Mid-South drew pictures of at least 16 of his unidentified victims, and he claims one of the women is from Memphis.
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The F-35 Is One of the 5 Worst Fighter Jets Ever Made
We break down the worst of the worst.
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Amazon, GM in talks to invest in electric pickup truck maker Rivian: sources
The deal would give Amazon and GM minority stakes in Rivian, the sources said. It would be a major boost for the Plymouth, Michigan-based startup, which aspires to be the first carmaker to the U.S. consumer market with an electric pickup. There is always a chance that deal talks fall through, the sources cautioned.
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Michelle Obama shares text messages her mother sent during the Grammys
It seems as though even former first lady Michelle Obama isn’t immune from the occasional teasing from her mother.
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'Allow in aid. That's an order': Venezuela opposition leader sets army deadline for food and medicine
Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido told tens of thousands of supporters on Tuesday that desperately-needed humanitarian aid would be brought into the country on February 23, despite opposition from President Nicolas Maduro. "It's sure that the humanitarian aid will enter Venezuela because the usurper will have no choice but to leave Venezuela," said self-proclaimed acting president Guaido. US aid has been piling up in Colombia at the border with crisis-hit Venezuela but until now the bridge border crossing has been barricaded by the military, under Maduro's orders. "We have almost 300,000 Venezuelans who will die if the aid doesn't enter. There are almost two million at health risk," said Guaido, recogniSed by 50 countries after declaring himself as Venezuela's interim leader. Taking his authority from the constitution, National Assembly leader Guaido considers Maduro "illegitimate" following his reelection last year in a poll widely viewed as fraudulent. The mass protests, the third in recent weeks, were largely peaceful Credit:  REUTERS Guaido is trying to force the socialist leader from power so he can set up a transitional government and hold new presidential elections. Venezuelans have faced shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine as the economy collapsed under Maduro. Some 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled since 2015, as hyperinflation rendered salaries and savings worthless. Maduro denies there is a humanitarian emergency and has branded the crisis a "political show" and pretext for a US-led invasion. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the US "against all interference in Venezuela's domestic affairs including the use of force threatened by Washington and which is in violation of international law." "It's not the first time Venezuela is going to be liberated from a tyrant," said Guaido. "Here is a direct order to the armed forces: allow in the humanitarian aid once and for all (and) end the repression." The fate of tons of aid piling up in Colombian collection centers at the border with Venezuela has become central to the power struggle between Guaido and Maduro, who is backed by the powerful armed forces. "The military are the ones keeping Maduro in power. I call on them to reflect and take the side of the people suffering from hunger," said Maria Ballera, 75. Guaido had called the Youth Day demonstrations across the country in part to honor 40 people killed in anti-government rallies last month. While waiting for him to speak in eastern Caracas, his supporters chanted: "Freedom!" Maduro meanwhile was due to speak at a march of young leftists in the center of Caracas denouncing "imperialist intervention" in Venezuela's affairs and collecting signatures of people who reject US President Donald Trump. "We want peace for Venezuela," chanted protesters, and "for the threats of military invasion to recede." Guaido has offered amnesty to military personnel who dump Maduro and told them that refusing to allow in aid was a "crime against humanity." He asked the 250,000 people who signed up as volunteers to bring in the aid to organize themselves over the weekend, "because we're going to have to go in caravans." The Venezuelan government distributed food and medicine on Monday when Guaido's envoys met Brazilian officials and announced plans to establish a second aid storage center in the state of Roraima, on Venezuela's southeastern border, from next week. But Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said the armed forces were deploying a "reinforced presence all along the border."
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Asian shares ease as US-China trade talks begin
Asian stocks eased Thursday as traders anxiously awaited news from high-level US-China talks under way in Beijing while official data showed trade between the world's two largest economies plunged.
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Michelle Obama just shared a glorious text exchange with her mom from Grammys night
Becoming First Lady of the US means a lot of big life changes, but the one thing it apparently doesn't put an end to are wonderfully awkward messages from your mom.Nothing stops those. Not even becoming a best selling author, or a super popular surprise guest at the Grammys.SEE ALSO: 17 books every activist should read in 2019On Wednesday morning, Michelle Obama took to Instagram to share a truly A+ message exchange she'd had with her mom, after appearing at the Awards show on Sunday.Make sure you swipe on the post below -- the second page may be even better than the first...> View this post on Instagram> > When your mom doesn't think you're a "real" celebrity...Tonight in Phoenix, I shared this text thread from my mom from Grammys night, and I just had to share it with all of you. TextsFromMom > > A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Feb 12, 2019 at 10:35pm PSTSo many wonderful highlights in that thread that it's hard to pick a winner.The "real stars" quip is a good one, as is the bluntness of the "No you did not" message. But our favourite might be the final, understated "Yeah". WATCH: Here are the top five moments where women stole the show at this year's GRAMMYs
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Is Beto back? O'Rourke's Trump counter-rally teases 2020 run
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — His voice occasionally cracking, Beto O'Rourke delivered an emotional appeal to thousands of cheering El Pasoans, vowing that Donald Trump shouldn't be allowed to stoke fears in his hometown. Only when the possible 2020 presidential hopeful paused for effect was the boom of the president's speech — echoing from the Trump rally less than a block away — heard in the distance.
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Judge rules that ex-Trump aide Manafort broke plea deal
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort could face a much longer prison sentence than expected after a Washington judge ruled Wednesday that he had broken his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Federal district judge Amy Berman Jackson agreed with prosecutors that Manafort had "intentionally" lied to investigators about his contacts with a suspected Russian operative, Konstantin Kilimnik in 2016 and 2017, despite having pledged to cooperate as part of his September plea agreement. Jackson also ruled that Manafort had lied about a secretive payment he made to a law firm, and lied on another occasion when investigators queried him about a separate, still secret investigation related to the Mueller probe.
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Here’s Why We Give Roses on Valentine’s Day—And What the Flower Really Means
Popularized by Victorian women, the tradition has its origins in Turkey
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In Huawei's China, Ericsson Is Surprisingly the Low-Cost Vendor
According to a tender by China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd.’s parent to purchase some 4G base stations, Ericsson offered to sell its products for 21 billion yuan ($3.1 billion), or 25 percent below Huawei and 22 percent lower than ZTE’s offer. Nokia Oyj asked for the highest price at 34.7 billion yuan.
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As Cuba medical mystery deepens, State Department turns to new scientific panel for answers
After two years of being stymied in the matter of the embassy incidents in Cuba, the State Department is turning to a new panel of scientists to investigate the cause, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News.
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Government shutdown: Border security measure expected to pass Congress on Thursday
The compromise bill would provide some funding for a physical border barrier, but far less than the $5.7 billion President Trump wants for a wall.
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How to score last-minute deals on Valentine's Day flowers at Whole Foods, Target and more
Looking to get your Valentine flowers Thursday? Here are in-store deals on roses at retailers including Publix, Kroger, Aldi and more.
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Police reject 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett's 'limited and heavily redacted' phone records
The Chicago Police Department rejected Jussie Smollett's submitted phone records because they were "heavily redacted."
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Careem Bests Uber With Accident Insurance for Passengers, Too
Careem launched an accident insurance program for passengers as well as drivers in Turkey and is planning to soon expand the service to other countries in the region, said Ibrahim Manna, managing director for emerging markets. The company has signed a deal with global insurance broker Price Forbes for policies that would pay up to $20,000 to cover expenses related to deaths or serious injuries caused by an accident during Careem rides. Uber only offers insurance for its drivers in Istanbul, leaving its customers uncovered.
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EPA to limit manmade chemicals in drinking water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce on Thursdays limits on how much toxic chemicals from cookware and carpeting are allowed in drinking water. The substances, which include PFOA and PFOS, are found in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting and other manmade materials. Acting administrator Andrew Wheeler will make the announcement at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT).
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Judge Rules Paul Manafort Intentionally Lied to Investigators in Russia Probe
Paul Manafort intentionally lied to investigators and a federal grand jury in the special counsel in the Russia probe, a judge ruled Wednesday.
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CNN uses Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism controversy to attack Trump
CNN is using Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic controversy to attack President Trump, according to the GOP.
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MGM CEO: Feds' Wire Act opinion is perplexing, unenforceable
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The chairman and chief executive officer of casino operator MGM Resorts International on Wednesday decried a U.S. Department of Justice opinion that is threatening the viability of online gambling and also blamed the recent partial government shutdown for fewer Las Vegas visitors during the Chinese New Year.
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The Twitter Takeover of Politics Is Just Getting Started
Leaving aside her views for now, the general trend is striking: Social media is allowing individual politicians to further their own careers at the expense of their party’s reputation. Put yourself in Omar’s shoes. You will probably never run for president, or even Senate, so your future is not tied very closely to that of the Democratic Party.
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Petal to metal: Rose inspections didn't stop during shutdown
MIAMI (AP) — Throughout the five-week government shutdown, one essential government service continued at Miami International Airport: checking for exotic bugs in bunches of roses destined for Valentine's Day bouquets.
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Border deal: Trump falls short on wall, Dems get less too
WASHINGTON (AP) — The undisputed grand prize at stake for President Donald Trump in the border security talks was money for his proposed wall with Mexico. He flat out got much less than he demanded.
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AP FACT CHECK: Newsom wrong on illegal border crossings
SAN DIEGO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom devoted part of his first State of the State address to attacking President Donald Trump's positions on illegal immigration, declaring, "This border emergency is nothing more than a manufactured crisis and California will not be part of this political theater."
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Congress advances border security bill without Trump border wall
The U.S. Congress on Thursday aimed to end a dispute over border security with legislation that would ignore President Donald Trump's request for $5.7 billion to help build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border but avoid a partial government shutdown. Late on Wednesday, negotiators put the finishing touches on legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, along with a range of other federal agencies. Racing against a Friday midnight deadline, when operating funds expire for the agencies that employ about 800,000 workers at the DHS, the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice and others, the Senate and House of Representatives aimed to pass the legislation later on Thursday.
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Nintendo Unveils New Mario, Zelda Games in Bid to Boost Switch
Among the most promising new games are Super Mario Maker 2, which will go on sale in June, and Zelda: Link’s Awakening slated for some time this year. The company made the announcement in a regularly scheduled Nintendo Direct webcast. Nintendo last month cut its forecast for Switch shipments to 17 million units, from 20 million units for the fiscal year through March.
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Google, Facebook Forced to Pay Creators Under New EU Rules
The new rules mean music producers and publishers could come gunning for more money from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. to compensate for the display of their songs, video and news articles. If artists and music producers refuse to grant platforms licenses, tech firms will be required to remove or block uploads.
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In rural Mississippi, still waiting on recovery
Here’s what has happened in Leflore County, Mississippi, since the end of the U.S. recession in 2009. The number of jobs fell 4 percent and nearly 8 percent of the businesses disappeared. The United States' record-setting and near-decade-long recovery from the 2007 to 2009 recession has restored many measures of the national economy back to or better than what they were.
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Thai Princess Ubolratana Says She's Sorry for Causing Problems
The post follows a political party’s failed bid to make the princess its prime ministerial candidate, after her brother King Maha Vajiralongkorn said it was inappropriate for her to seek office. Thailand officially treats top royals as semi-divine and apolitical. Thai Raksa Chart is linked to exiled former prime minster Thaksin Shinawatra.
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There Is No New Deal
In his piece “There Is No Green New Deal,” Charlie writes:> What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has thrust upon our national conversation is not, in any sense, a “Green New Deal.” It does not resemble a Green New Deal. It does not approximate a Green New Deal. It does not so much as represent the shadows or the framework or the embryo of a Green New Deal. It is, instead, the inchoate shopping list of a political novice who has managed to get herself elected to Congress and believes that this has turned her into a visionary.I agree with that, but it’s worth reminding folks that there was never any single coherent thing called “the New Deal.” From the beginning, FDR was clear that he was winging it. At Oglethorpe University, he famously set the tone for what they were up to: “bold, persistent experimentation.” He added, “It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”Roosevelt fans on the left -- and of late on the right -- have lionized FDR’s “pragmatism” ever since. But this is a terrible credo for a nation committed to the idea that we live under the rule of law, not of men. Some avenues are supposed to be closed off from “experimentation.” Let’s try getting rid of the Bill of Rights for a bit and see if we can’t get great things done! Let’s be -- as Tom Friedman puts it -- “China for a Day.” Implicit in the idea of experimentation from Washington is the idea that planners should not be constrained. Implicit in the idea of a constitutional republic is that they should be. As we put it in our editorial on the Green New Deal, “The Left really has only one idea: control” -- and that is the idea implicit in New Deal–style “experimentation.”But there’s something else implicit in the idea of such experimentation: a total lack of policy coherence.The New Deal cargo-cultists have a vexing habit of pointing at the things they like or liked about the New Deal and saying, “That’s the New Deal.” So they like Social Security but are silent -- usually from ignorance -- about the policies that caused blacks to protest the NRA (National Recovery Administration) as the “Negro Run Around” and “Negroes Ruined Again.” They like all the government makework for artists and writers but don’t talk about the little things, like Jacob Maged or the scuttling of the London Economic Conference, that helped deepen the Depression.The simple fact, as I argued here, is there was no single New Deal (which is one reason why historians talk about the second New Deal, which produced most of the stuff people associate with the good New Deal). It was the steady pursuit of control and constantly updated wish lists. As FDR told Congress in 1936:> We have built up new instruments of public power. In the hands of a people’s government this power is wholesome and proper. But in the hands of political puppets of an economic autocracy such power would provide shackles for the liberties of the people.In other words, so long as we have the power, whatever we want to do is “wholesome and proper.” But if our political opponents get power, look out!“I want to assure you,” FDR’s aide Harry Hopkins told an audience of New Deal activists in New York, “that we are not afraid of exploring anything within the law, and we have a lawyer who will declare anything you want to do legal.”The New Deal wasn’t a program, it was the by-product of ad hoc experimentation by people who thought their own power was self-justifying. And to look back on it as somehow more coherent than the would-be Green New Deal is to give it too much credit.“To look upon these programs as the result of a unified plan,” wrote Raymond Moley, FDR’s right-hand man during much of his rule, “was to believe that the accumulation of stuffed snakes, baseball pictures, school flags, old tennis shoes, carpenter’s tools, geometry books, and chemistry sets in a boy’s bedroom could have been put there by an interior decorator.” When Alvin Hansen, an influential economic adviser to the president, was asked — in 1940 — whether “the basic principle of the New Deal” was “economically sound,” he responded, “I really do not know what the basic principle of the New Deal is.”It was control. And wish lists. And it was ever thus.
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China's Stock Traders Are Snapping Up Everything 5G
The latest trigger was China Mobile Ltd.’s huge order for fiber-optic cable, lifting shares of likely bidders in Hong Kong and onshore. The optimism spread wide across the telecom sector, boosting ZTE Corp. and Xiaomi Corp. which don’t even make cables. The thesis is that firms tied to next-generation wireless technology are about to get a windfall as China Mobile and other carriers spend big to upgrade their infrastructure.
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What Can We Make Of Noble Engineering Group Holdings Limited’s (HKG:8445) High Return On Capital?
Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card! Today we are going to look atRead More...
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15-month-old among 5 shot to death at home
Five family members, including a 15-month-old baby, were found dead at a home in east Texas on Monday morning, authorities said.
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Trump: Democratic lawmaker should resign over Israel lobby comments
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he believes that Democratic U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar should resign after her comments about the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. "Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress," said Trump, who has himself been criticized for remarks offensive to racial and ethnic minorities. Omar was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for saying on Twitter that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, was paying U.S. politicians to support Israel.
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Thai election commission moves to dissolve party linked to princess
Thailand's election commission on Wednesday asked the constitutional court to dissolve a party that proposed a princess as candidate for prime minister, a potentially serious blow to the political aspirations of the kingdom's powerful Shinawatra clan. Junta-ruled Thailand has sunk into political chaos since Friday, when Princess Ubolratana's name was submitted by Thai Raksa Chart, a party allied with the divisive billionaire ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
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Post-verdict, 'El Chapo' jurors rely on anonymity to stay safe
The jurors were escorted from the courthouse by armed federal marshals and their identities have been kept secret for fear of retaliation by the Sinaloa Cartel, which El Chapo headed. Despite the judge's unusual warning and the extraordinary security measures during the three-month trial, some legal experts said it could be difficult for the jury to remain anonymous and at least one law enforcement agent involved in the chase for Guzman said jurors might be at risk if their identities are leaked. "The Eastern District of New York has done a great job to protect the witnesses and jurors, but in 2019 with social media and instant access to information, you can’t really hide," said Derek Maltz, a former special agent-in-charge of Drug Enforcement Agency Special Operations, who coordinated federal agency activity to capture Guzman twice in Mexico.
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Singapore to Hanoi: The bumpy diplomatic road since Trump and Kim first met
SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It's been the better part of a year since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stood face to face for the first time at their unprecedented summit in Singapore. North Korea still has its nuclear weapons, and Washington has only increased sanctions on Pyongyang so the stakes are high for both leaders who have promised to overcome decades of tension and conflict between the two countries. Here is a breakdown of what Trump and Kim have agreed to, what has - and hasn't - happened since they last shook hands, and what may be on the negotiating table.
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Trump considers 60-day extension for China tariffs deadline: Bloomberg
BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is considering a 60-day extension of the Mar. 1 deadline for higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloomberg said on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Trump was considering the extension so as to give two-way talks more time, Bloomberg added. A trade delegation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin began high-level talks with Chinese counterparts, led by Vice Premier Liu He, on Thursday. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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Senate Republicans Press Ahead With Plan to Speed Up Confirmations
Rules Chairman Roy Blunt and Republican James Lankford have proposed a measure that would limit debate on most nominees to just two hours of floor time, with Blunt planning to push the rules change through his committee Wednesday. Major nominations such as cabinet officials, circuit court judges and Supreme Court picks would still have up to 30 hours of debate before a final vote. "With President Trump, it’s been 55 days from the time we get a nominee out of committee until the Democrats finally will allow that nominee to come to the floor," Blunt said.
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Judge finds Manafort lied to investigators in Russia probe
The decision hurts Paul Manafort's chance of receiving a reduced sentence next month.
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These Small Tattoo Ideas Are Perfect If You're Looking for Something Simple
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Activist minister Jacqui Lewis: White supremacy sometimes “masquerades as faith” in Christian churches
“Through Her Eyes” is a new weekly half-hour show hosted by human rights activist Zainab Salbi that explores contemporary issues from a female perspective. Rev. Jacqueline Lewis, senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan, is on a mission to eradicate racism — especially within the church she loves. “The thing that does not change, the thing that has no change, is the persistent myth of white supremacy,” she said.
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Exclusive look at how migrant caravan has overwhelmed US agents
Fox News got an inside look at the workings of one of the busiest crossings on the southern border.
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The Latest: Trump appears to be ready to accept budget deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional border security negotiations and President Donald Trump (all times local):
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Wall Street advances on trade hopes, tame inflation data
All three major U.S. stock indexes gained ground, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posting their fourth consecutive advances. For the second straight day, the S&P 500 closed above its 200-day moving average, a key technical level. Stocks briefly pared gains following a late-morning tweet by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio saying he would introduce a bill to "tax corporate buybacks the same way as dividends." In Beijing, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said "so far, so good," regarding ongoing talks aimed at resolving the U.S.-China trade dispute, adding he hoped for "productive" meetings in the days ahead.
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Mudslide risk from California storm forces hundreds to evacuate
The storm, the wettest to hit California this winter, was set to peak on Thursday and has already sparked flood watches from Arizona to Washington. Residents of Lake Elsinore, 56 miles (90 km) east of Los Angeles got mandatory evacuation orders over risks nearby hillsides scorched by fire in 2018 could turn into rivers of mud and debris that could carry away cars and homes.
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Too Faced teases brand new skincare line
Cult cosmetics brand Too Faced is officially entering the skincare arena. The cruelty-free makeup label is preparing to launch a brand new ‘Hangover Good To Go' moisturizer, formulated with SPF 25 and featuring hydrating coconut water, as well as prebiotic and probiotic ingredients. The product appears to be based on the brand's existing ‘Hangover' line, which comprises a face primer and a 3-in-one setting spray.
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Cameraman attacked at Texas Trump rally
A BBC cameraman was attacked by a man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat as he was working at a rally held by President Trump in El Paso, Texas on Monday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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NASA’s deputy chief echoes JFK in a pitch for commercial space ventures
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA’s No. 2 official channeled President John F. Kennedy today in a pitch designed to please space industry executives. “We choose to commercialize low Earth orbit,” Deputy Administrator James Morhard declared here at the Commercial Space Transportation Conference. “We choose to have free space lanes in commerce, just as we have had free sea lanes of commerce on Earth.” The phrasing echoed Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech that set out the goal of putting Americans on the moon. “We choose to go to the moon,” said the president, who put his goal on a par with crossing the Atlantic… Read More
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Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' found guilty by NY jury
Mexican mobster Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was found guilty Tuesday by a New York jury of crimes spanning a quarter of a century as head of one of the world's most powerful drugs gangs. The 61-year-old former head of the Sinaloa cartel -- famed for his brazen escapes from Mexican prisons -- faces a possible life sentence after being convicted of smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States. In his closing arguments late last month, Guzman's lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman asked the jury not to convict on the basis of the "garbage" testimony of government witnesses.
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Club: Mardi Gras tradition is not the same as blackface
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' widely recognized Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club says its tradition of using black makeup for its Mardi Gras float riders is not the same as "blackface," a controversy that has embroiled officials nationwide.
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The Latest: More troops heading to US-Mexico border
U.S. active-duty troops from dozens of units around the country are flowing to the southern border, as part of the latest plan to send 3,750 new forces to beef up surveillance and install more wire barriers. The bulk of that will be in California and Arizona, in locations between ports of entry that are identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as vulnerable. President Donald Trump says the wall he envisions in some places along the southern border would be harder to scale than Mount Everest.
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Mnuchin says 'looking forward' to China trade talks as deadline looms
BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday he was "looking forward" to trade talks with China, as the two sides began high-level discussions in Beijing aimed at resolving a tariff war ahead of a March 1 deadline for a deal. The talks, scheduled to run through Friday, follow three days of deputy-level meetings to work out technical details, including a mechanism for enforcing any trade agreement. "Looking forward to discussions today," Mnuchin told reporters without elaborating as he left his hotel. He and U.S. ...
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Judge voids Paul Manafort's plea deal
Judge says Manafort 'intentionally' lied to Mueller investigators.
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Life after cancer: More survivors living longer, facing new health challenges
More cancer patients are living longer. Fewer are getting the help they need to stay healthy
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Trump to give speech on Venezuela on Monday in Miami
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will give a speech on Venezuela in Miami on Monday and voice support for Venezuela's National Assembly President Juan Guaido, whom the United States considers the legitimate president of that country, a White House official said on Wednesday. Trump is to make remarks on Venezuela and "the dangers of socialism" at Florida International University in Miami, the official said. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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Vote on ending US shutdown likely Thursday, Trump on fence
A plan to avert another US government shutdown will not receive a vote in Congress before Thursday evening, one day before the deadline, lawmakers said, as Donald Trump declined to say whether he would sign the measure. On Wednesday, Trump said he has not seen the legislation yet, but he did not refuse to sign it into law either, suggesting he could stomach the deal in order to avoid a shutdown, and find another way to boost funding for his long-promised wall. "We'll take a very serious look at it" when the bill arrives, Trump told reporters at the White House.
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Children found locked in dog cage, deputies say
The parents, whose children range in age from one to five years old, face charges of child endangerment.
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Bloomberg rips Trump for not taking action on climate change
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential prospect Michael Bloomberg is criticizing President Donald Trump for ignoring his administration's climate scientists and failing to take action to address climate change.
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Asia stocks wait on Sino-U.S. talks, China trade data
There was some hope another U.S. government shutdown would be averted as President Donald Trump edged toward backing a deal in Congress on funding for a border barrier. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was all but flat, having just touched peaks last seen in early October. Japan's Nikkei edged up 0.3 percent to its highest for the year so far as a weakening yen boosted export stocks.
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Migrants overwhelm New Mexico border post with thousands of illegal crossings
New Mexico border patrol resources stressed after more than 28 large migrant groups make illegal crossings since October
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High-speed rail could still be a reality in California – and elsewhere, proponents say
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put the high-speed rail line to Los Angeles and San Francisco on the slow track, but advocates are pressing on.
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From Mass Weddings to Spilled Wine: How 6 Countries Around the World Celebrate Valentine's Day
Here are some unusual Valentine's Day traditions around the world
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Toddler, 4 family members found fatally shot in Texas
Investigators walked into a horrific crime scene at a Texas ranch home Monday morning, when they found five people killed -- with the youngest just 15 months old.
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Judge finds Manafort lied to investigators in Russia probe
The decision hurts Paul Manafort's chance of receiving a reduced sentence next month.
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Chicago police say phone records submitted by actor Jussie Smollett were redacted, not sufficient
'Empire' star Jussie Smollett told police that he was on the phone with his manager when two masked men attacked him, yelled racist and homophobic slurs, splashed him with a chemical and put a rope around his neck.
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NASA bids adieu to Opportunity, the Mars rover that kept going and going
Engineers lost contact with the solar-powered vehicle on June 10 during a dust storm that encircled Mars. Since then, NASA officials made numerous attempts to reach the six-wheeled rover, which is about the size of a golf cart. Opportunity's equipment may have been compromised by the storm, which struck while the rover was at a site called Perseverance Valley and blotted out sunlight needed by the robot's solar panels, officials said.
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Great white sharks likely pushed the massive megalodon to extinction
Taking a dip in the ocean and coming face to face with a predator of the deep would be enough to scare anyone. Modern day great white sharks are intimidating creatures, but they wouldn't have held a candle to the ancient super-sized beast known as megalodon.The long-extinct shark has been the subject of many research efforts in the past, with scientists attempting to determine when and where it lived, and perhaps even figure out why it's no longer around. Now, new fossil evidence suggests that the colossal creature actually died off quite a bit earlier than was originally thought, and great white sharks might have been to blame.In a new paper published in PeerJ, scientists looked at several megalodon fossil discoveries and subsequent attempts to date the remains. They believe they've cleared up some previously erroneous fossil dating estimates, closely studying megalodon fossils from California and dating the rock layers they were found in.Using their new data, the team led by Robert Boessenecker of the College of Charleston in South Carolina now believes the mega shark died off as far back as 3.6 million years ago. Previous estimates dated megalodon extinction to around 2.6 million years ago.Earlier studies linked the extinction of the ancient shark to a period of mass extinction in Earth's oceans which claimed many species we no longer see today. Now, the team believes that the extinction event has no direct link to the megalodon at all."After making extensive adjustments to this worldwide sample and statistically re-analyzing the data, we found that the extinction of O. megalodon must have happened at least one million years earlier than previously determined," Boessenecker said in a statement. "The extinction of O. megalodon was previously thought to be related to this marine mass extinction-but in reality, we now know the two are not immediately related."It now appears increasingly likely that competition over food sources was a major contributor to megalodon's downfall, with the emergence and eventual dominance of great white sharks happening around the same time that the larger shark died off.
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Heart-Healthy Dinners You Should Make Tonight
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NASA Formally Says Its Goodbyes to the Mars Opportunity Rover
NASA Formally Says Its Goodbyes to the Mars Opportunity Rover
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NASA's Mars Rover Is Declared Dead After 15 Years of Exploration: 'Rest Well, Rover'
The Opportunity Mars Rover Is Officially 'Dead' After 14 Years
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Republican senators pressure Trump's EPA pick over biofuels
The senators, all from states hosting oil refineries, said they want to be assured that Wheeler would work to reduce the regulatory costs for oil companies of complying with the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard before they decide on whether to back him as permanent chief of the EPA. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires oil refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into their fuel each year, or purchase blending credits from those who do. The measure is intended to help farmers and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources, but oil refining companies - like Valero Energy Corp and billionaire investor Carl Icahn's CVR Energy Inc - complain it costs them a fortune.
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Esquire sparks debate with profile of white teen from Middle America
Esquire's cover story about a 17-year-old white teenager has caused a heated debate on social media. Editor in Chief Jay Fielden said Esquire staffers huddled to discuss what it's like to be a kid these days the idea for a series on 'growing up now' was born. Critics are angry because they feel that documenting the experiences of a 17-year-old boy is unnecessary, while others took to social media to share their outrage over the outrage.
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Thai election agency seeks dissolution of party that nominated princess
Thailand will hold a general election on March 24, its first since a military coup in 2014. Last week, a party allied with Thaksin said its candidate for prime minister, if it won the election, would be Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, the king's older sister. The announcement caused a sensation in a country where the royal family has traditionally remained above politics.
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Trump pans Venezuelan leader's refusal of humanitarian aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's refusal to accept humanitarian aid a "terrible mistake" and the decision an example of what can happen when the wrong government holds power.
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Senators vow urgent reform to correct 'unacceptable' military housing conditions
At Senate Armed Services Committee hearings in response to Reuters reports describing U.S. military families facing squalid living conditions, lawmakers proposed fixes to hold private landlords and military branches accountable for hazards including peeling lead paint, mold and vermin infestations. "The testimony suggests the system is broken," Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, told executives from five of the largest private companies that operate military housing. "The problems were obvious to military families, but they weren't obvious to you." Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and the Committee's chairman, pledged to make military housing reform the subject of further Senate hearings and said Congress must halt the problems.
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FBI emails show agency officials scrambled to respond to Hillary Clinton legal team leading up to 2016 election
The email from Clinton's lawyer David Kendall to FBI General Counsel James Baker came after then-FBI Director James Comey reopened the investigation into whether classified information was mishandled by former of Secretary of State Clinton; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports
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Tiger found in abandoned home now at sanctuary
A tiger found in an abandoned Houston home has made it safely to an animal sanctuary in East Texas. (Feb. 13)
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Wary of shutdown, Trump inches toward support for wall deal
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday edged toward backing a deal in Congress on government funding that would not meet his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall on the Mexican border but would avert a partial government shutdown. Trump, widely blamed for a five-week shutdown that ended in January, said he did not want to see federal agencies close again because of fighting over funds for the wall, one of his signature campaign promises in the 2016 election. Trump said he would hold off on a decision until he sees actual legislation about the issue.
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Spanish City Gives $13 Mln to Develop ‘Industry 4.0’ Technologies, Including Blockchain
The government of the Spanish city of Aragon has allocated over 12 million euros ($13 million) for the development of “Industry 4.0,” which includes blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies. The news was announced by local news outlet La Vanguardia on Feb. 12. The funds —  the amount of which is reportedly twice the originally planned amount —  were co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the Operational Program of Aragon for 2014–2020.
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NASA's Opportunity Rover Is Dead After 15 Year Mars Mission
After 15 years, NASA's Opportunity Mars rover is officially no more
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Rep. Ilhan Omar and Elliott Abrams clash in fiery exchange
In a contentious exchange Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Ilhan Omar clashed with Elliott Abrams, the United States’ special envoy to Venezuela, over his past roles with Latin American countries.
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Singer Ryan Adams calls accusations in New York Times 'inaccurate'
Rock singer Ryan Adams on Wednesday called a New York Times article about him "upsettingly inaccurate" but said he was "not a perfect man" and apologized to anyone he had hurt. Adams, 44, was responding on Twitter to a New York Times story in which seven women, including his ex-wife actress Mandy Moore, accused him of manipulative behavior and of pursuing female artists for sex. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly," Adams tweeted.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is 'fine' with a sitting president who smokes weed
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to be chill as hell.In an interview with TMZ on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez shared some of her thoughts on cannabis legalization, proving she's extremely open-minded on the topic.When asked if she'd be OK with a sitting president who smokes, the 29-year-old congresswoman said, "I don't care. Yeah. I don't care, it's fine with me. You're not hurting anybody, you know?""There are plenty of people who drink, they'll go out to happy hour ... how is that different from anything else?" Ocasio-Cortez questioned.Her comments come after several politicians running for president -- such as Kamala Harris -- shared positions on marijuana legalization, along with past experiences."I certainly think people used to run away from it but we just need to accept that there is nothing more inherently damaging about marijuana than, say, legal substances like alcohol or anything else," Ocasio-Cortez said. "So I'm glad that we're moving towards a more just position as a party."It's not often you hear a politician, let alone a member of Congress freely come out and accept marijuana consumption, especially in the White House. But Ocasio-Cortez made it clear she's excited for marijuana to be legalized and for the country to make up for "damages done by the war on drugs."
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Special Education Teacher Gets Life Sentence for Incest, Sexual Abuse of Minors
A 50-year-old California man was sentenced to life in prison after he sexually abused at least four of his own daughters, a son and two young women outside of his family.
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'Like a rover in the wind': One Mars rover pays tribute to another on NASA Twitter account
The tribute poem, invoking Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," was tweeted by Curiosity Rover's Twitter account after news broke that Opportunity, a 15-year-old Mars rover, had been declared dead.
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How Much Vitamin D Do You Really Need?
It’s been hailed as a lifesaving wonder supplement. But recent research throws some shade on the “sunshine vitamin.”
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Catholic dioceses in New Jersey release names of accused priests
The disclosure was the result of an internal investigation of archdiocese records and all of the priests and deacons listed have previously been reported to law enforcement and none remain in the ministry, Newark Archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin said in a statement. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal formed a task force in September to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in his state, along with any efforts to cover up such abuse. "I am pleased to see that our task force’s grand jury investigation has prompted the dioceses to finally take some measures to hold predator priests accountable," Grewal said in a statement on Wednesday.
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U.S. judge sees problems in Harvard Asian-American bias case
A federal judge weighing whether Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants said on Wednesday both the Ivy League school and a non-profit suing it faced potential problems in proving their positions. U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston gave the assessment while hearing a final round of arguments in the case, whose outcome could have implications for other U.S. colleges that consider race as a factor when selecting students. Burroughs asked why Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), which was founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum, called no students during a trial that ended in November who could claim Harvard rejected them because of their race.
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Fairfax accuser to detail allegations to Boston prosecutors
BOSTON (AP) — A woman who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in Boston nearly 15 years ago will meet with prosecutors to discuss her allegations, her attorney said Wednesday.
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The Latest: More troops heading to US-Mexico border
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional border security negotiations and President Donald Trump (all times local):
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Cameraman attacked at Trump's Texas rally
A BBC cameraman is attacked by a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump during a rally in El Paso, Texas.
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House Democrats gear up for showdown over Mueller report
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are stepping up their efforts to investigate President Donald Trump and his associates, hiring new lawyers and staff as they take on oversight responsibility and prepare for a showdown over access to special counsel Robert Mueller's final Russia report.
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Hackers can gain full control over Xiaomi electric scooter, security group finds
The Xiaomi M365 electric scooter has a defect in which hackers can take complete control over the vehicle, according to Zimperium.
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Man whose daughter was killed by an illegal immigrant hopes to meet with Nancy Pelosi about the border wall
Dan Ferguson says he wants to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Angel Moms and Dads are reasonable in their request for a border wall.
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Thai election body seeks dissolution of party that nominated princess for PM
Thailand's election commission is to ask the constitutional court to consider dissolving the Thai Raksa Chart party, which nominated a princess to run for prime minister. The commission said in a statement the party violated an electoral law for its nomination of the Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi last week, which it said was "an act that is antagonistic toward the constitutional monarchy". Thailand, ruled by a junta, is set to hold a general election on March 24.
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Guaido seeks to wrest control of Venezuela's oil company
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly appointed a transitional board of directors for the state oil company Wednesday, in a bid by congress chief Juan Guaido to gain control of an industry that is the economic backbone of the country.
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From discovering water to snapping selfies: The lasting memories of Mars rover Opportunity
NASA announced Wednesday the Mars rover was deemed dead after it hadn't communicated in over eight months. Here are some of its greatest discoveries
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Opportunity rover's last picture is as grim as it is dark
A mighty dust storm swirled around the Opportunity rover on June 10, 2018, forcing the robot to shut itself off and conserve power. The dust blocked out nearly all the sunlight, turning day to night.  Opportunity would never awake. On Wednesday, NASA announced that they would no longer attempt to revive the 15-year-old machine, formally ending the legendary extraterrestrial mission.  But on that dark June day, just before Opportunity went silent, the rover took one final picture: Opportunity's final picture. Image: nasa The image captured a Martian world shrouded in darkness by the dust storm.  "This was the last image we ever took," Bill Nelson, chief of the Opportunity mission's engineering team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an interview just after NASA declared the mission over.  "We are looking at an incredibly small amount of sunlight — .002 percent of the normal sunlight that we would expect to see," said Nelson. "If you were there, it would be late twilight. Your human eye would still be able to make out some features, but it would be very dark." But in this final image, no Martian features are visible. In the picture, the white static amid the black is just image noise the camera picked up in the darkened setting ("It's kind of like the image you get on your phone in a very dark environment," said Nelson). The thick black bar at the bottom of the picture is data that never arrived back to Earth — as if Opportunity's message was cut off mid-sentence. SEE ALSO: A 12-mile, underground lake may have been found on Mars. What could live there? If the rover had not been caught in such a dust storm, it would have taken a picture down a channel, about 20-feet across, as Opportunity peered down a valley, said Nelson. So-called "Perseverance Valley" became Opportunity's final resting spot.  Six days earlier, Opportunity captured the following picture of the wide, sloping environment. Perseverance Valley, taken in early June 2018. Image: nasa Over the course of Opportunity's life, the rover shot well over 200,000 images and sent them back to Earth.  One of Nelson's favorites came just 180 Martian days, or sols, into Opportunity's exploration of the red planet. With the sun shining behind the rover, Opportunity captured an image of its long shadow. Opportunity's shadow taken on July 27, 2004. Image: nasa "It's very evocative of the status of that rover," said Nelson. "Here we are, with one tiny rover on this foreign, alien planet all by itself." Now, the 400-pound robot will spend millennia getting shrouded in red dust, and NASA engineers like Nelson will move on to other extraterrestrial projects, as will his entire NASA exploration team. "It's bittersweet," said Nelson, noting how proud he is to have worked with engineers and scientists that directed Opportunity for some 15 years. "Now, our teams are going to sort of scatter to the winds." WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
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Ex-US intelligence officer in Iran charged as spy
A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence specialist who defected to Iran has been charged with revealing classified information to representatives of Iran, federal prosecutors say. (Feb. 13)
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Mars rovers didn't just reach for the stars: They dug into the Red Planet dirt
The Mars Opportunity rover's 15-year mission: To boldly go into Martian craters everywhere. But now that it's over, where does it rank?
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Fatal experiments on dogs. By our government.
Plus: NASA’s Mars rover is dead, and a new dinosaur was discovered
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Mission complete: NASA announces demise of Opportunity rover
During 14 years of intrepid exploration across Mars, it advanced human knowledge by confirming that water once flowed on the red planet -- but NASA's Opportunity rover has analyzed its last soil sample. The robot has been missing since the US space agency lost contact during a dust storm in June last year and was declared officially dead Wednesday, ending one of the most fruitful missions in the history of space exploration. Unable to recharge its batteries, Opportunity left hundreds of messages from Earth unanswered over the months, and NASA said it made its last attempt at contact Tuesday evening.
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British-born rapper 21 Savage to be released on bond amid US deportation threat
UK-born rap artist 21 Savage, who has been in custody in Georgia for nine days on immigration charges, was granted bond on Tuesday and will be released from custody on Wednesday, his lawyer said. The entertainer, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested on February 2 by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents over accusations he had overstayed his visa by more than a decade. Officials said he came to the United States from Britain in 2005. Atlanta US Immigration Court Judge Dan Pelletier granted the 26-year-old bond during a hearing on Tuesday, his attorney Charles Kuck told Reuters by phone. The bond amount was set at $100,000, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Kuck declined to confirm the amount. His legal team earlier on Tuesday released a statement that said he had been released. Kuck later said Abraham-Joseph remained in ICE custody because the bond was not granted before a daily 2pm deadline, but said he would be released on Wednesday.  21 Savage was born in the UK Credit: AP The rapper, who was born in Plaistow, east London, but moved to the US with his mother when he was seven, was granted an expedited hearing after speaking with ICE officials to clarify his legal standing and bond eligibility, his legal team said in a statement. "He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country," they said. ICE officials were not immediately available for comment. The rapper still faces deportation proceedings in federal immigration court, Kuck said. "His case is not over by a long shot," he added. https://t.co/2dXm2pI0wgpic.twitter.com/WkBM318ljl— Saint Laurent Don (@21savage) February 7, 2019 Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in Georgia in 2014, and was arrested as part of a targeted operation with the cooperation of local law enforcement, an ICE spokesman told Reuters when the rapper was taken into custody. 21 Savage was nominated for two Grammy Awards for the hit "Rockstar," with Post Malone, including the coveted record of the year category, but was unable to attend the glitzy awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday because he was being held in Georgia. His Facebook page shows he has several concerts scheduled in the coming weeks.
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Why Are Heart Attacks Becoming More Common in Women Under Age 54?
There are a few reasons.
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California governor names new leaders on water, education
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom named new leaders Tuesday to top posts in water, transportation and education policy, his latest moves to set the state government on a fresh path during his first months in office.
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El Chapo will be sent to prison known as ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’, former supermax warden says
Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo,” will likely be sent to a supermax prison in Colorado after being convicted on 10 drug-trafficking charges on Tuesday. Federal prosecutors said they will ask for Guzman, who twice escaped prison in Mexico, to be given a life sentence without a chance for parole. Given the drug lord’s violent decades-long career smuggling tons of narcotics in the United States, it is likely Guzman will be sent to a federal supermax prison.
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Yelp Shares Rally After Revenue Beat and Three New Board Members
Yelp projected revenue growth of 8 percent to 10 percent in 2019. The stock had gained about 10 percent this year through the close. Last month SQN Investors LP, one of Yelp’s largest shareholders, said it was prepared to launch a proxy fight against the company if it didn’t follow recommendations to improve performance or consider selling itself.
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What You Need to Know About "Normal" Blood Sugar, According to 2 Experts
Your blood sugar level, or blood glucose, is the amount of sugar in the blood stream. Pretty basic, right?
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Republican senators pressure Trump's EPA pick over biofuels
The senators, all from states hosting oil refineries, said they want to be assured that Wheeler would work to reduce the regulatory costs for oil companies of complying with the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard before they decide on whether to back him as permanent chief of the EPA. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires oil refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into their fuel each year, or purchase blending credits from those who do. The measure is intended to help farmers and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources, but oil refining companies - like Valero Energy Corp and billionaire investor Carl Icahn's CVR Energy Inc - complain it costs them a fortune.
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Does the State of the Union mean anything at all?
The State of the Union address has lost its power in recent years to bring Americans together. More Democrats may be watching today than in previous years, but not necessarily in search of a moment of national unity.
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Overwhelming majority of Americans believe U.S. should remain in controversial arms accord
Two-thirds of respondents oppose abandoning the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and favor pursuing diplomacy to resolve the dispute over Russia's compliance with the 1987 arms accord, according to a survey conducted by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland and the university’s Center for International and Security Studies.
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7-Year-Old Unvaccinated Colorado Girl Dies of Flu Symptoms After Going into a Coma
7-Year-Old Unvaccinated Girl Dies of Flu Symptoms
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Venezuela's Guaido announces new board for key US-based oil subsidiary
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido Wednesday announced the appointment of a new board for Citgo, the US-based arm of state oil firm PDVSA that until recently was a major source of revenue for President Nicolas Maduro's embattled regime. Guaido -- who has been recognized as acting president by more than 50 countries and also heads the opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature, which appointed the new board -- is locked in a battle with Maduro for control of the crisis-hit country. The United States, which is leading the push to topple Maduro, has sanctioned key regime financial assets including the Citgo subsidiary, and on Wednesday President Donald Trump once more refused to rule out military action against the leftist leader.
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Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman found guilty of drug trafficking by New York court
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the world's most notorious drug kingpin, is expected to spend the rest of his life in a US jail after being convicted of running a criminal enterprise that amassed him a $14 billion (£11 billion) fortune. Guzman, 61, showed no emotion as a jury in New York on Tuesday found him guilty of 10 drug-related charges. He will be sentenced on June 25, and will face a mandatory life term. After the verdicts were read the Mexican drug lord, dressed in a a charcoal suit and tie, leaned back in his chair and looked at his wife Emma Coronel, 29, a beauty queen. Both placed their hands on their hearts and gave each other a thumbs up. She had tears in her eyes. The jury of five men and seven women, who have been under special protection since the trial began in November, deliberated for six days. During the trial they heard allegations of gruesome murders, guns encrusted with diamonds or plated with gold, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, and a naked escape by Guzman with a mistress through a tunnel. Prosecutors presented what they called an "avalanche" of evidence showing how Guzman, and his murderous Sinaloa cartel, made billions of dollars in profits by smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and cannabis into the US. It was moved through secret border tunnels, flown to hidden airstrips, stashed in trucks, under cars, in train carriages, and even in small submarines. The court heard an allegation that Enrique Pena Nieto, the former Mexican president, took a $100 million bribe from Guzman. Mr Pena Nieto denied it.  Jurors were also told of Guzman's personal brutality. On one occasion he was alleged to have kidnapped an associate who left his cartel, beating and shooting him, before having the victim buried alive. A cast of 56 witnesses, many of them Mexican drug traffickers already in US prisons, gave evidence against him. A courtroom sketch of Emma Coronel, the drug lord's wife Credit: Reuters They included a Colombian known as Chupeta, or Lollipop, whose face had been so altered by plastic surgery while on the run that the court collectively gasped at his appearance. One of Guzman's many mistresses, Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez, told how she was in bed in a safe house with the drug lord when he was in hiding in 2014. Mexican marines broke down the door but Guzman led her to a trap door beneath a bathtub, which led to an escape tunnel. "He was naked. He took off running," she told the court.' Guzman's nickname translates as "Shorty" and refers to his 5ft 6ins height. He was born Joaquín Guzmán Loera and grew up in poverty in rural Mexico before ascending to run the Sinaloa cartel, becoming the world's most notorious drug baron since Pablo Escobar, the Colombian who was shot dead by police in 1993. Guzman's status in Mexican folklore was cemented by two prison escapes. In 2001 he broke out of a Mexican jail by hiding in a laundry bin. Then, in 2014, he fled jail through a mile-long lighted tunnel which his associates had fitted with a motorcycle on rails. He was arrested again in 2016 and extradited to the US the following year. Guzman will be held in a maximum-security prison in the US to avoid the jailbreaks that embarrassed the Mexican government. At his trial he declined to give evidence in his own defence. The jury only heard his voice, which was described as "sing-songy," in recordings of telephone calls he had made. The defence case lasted only 30 minutes as his lawyers claimed he was a scapegoat for another drug lord still at large. Jeffrey Lichtman, his lawyer, said the government had set out to "just get Chapo" and the defence had "left it all on the battlefield". Prosecutors in the US will now try to seize some of the billions of dollars Guzman made.
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Florida governor calls for grand jury over Parkland school shooting
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday called for a state grand jury to investigate the 2018 school massacre in Parkland in which 17 people died, pledging accountability for any local failures that led to the deadliest U.S. high school shooting. DeSantis, a Republican elected last fall after campaigning on the issue, petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the investigation the day before the first anniversary of the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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Border security deal "win" for Americans: Pelosi
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday the bipartisan border security deal is a compromise and a win for the American people. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Here’s How Far Germs Spread Through Sneezing and Coughing
We have good news and bad news.
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Science Marks Its Return To The House Science Committee
"It is clear that we are responsible for our planet warming at an alarmingrate," Rep
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Nail the perfect tomato sauce for dinner tonight
One of the simplest and romantic dinners is pasta. And what pairs better with pasta than the perfect creamy tomato sauce? Not much!
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How Republicans Are Talking Trump Into Accepting a Smaller Border Wall Deal
Donald Trump has been forced to dramatically reduce his long-promised border wall in the face of financial reality.
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Lyndon LaRouche, perennial U.S. presidential candidate, dies at 96
Lyndon LaRouche, a fringe political figure who fueled his eight presidential campaigns with conspiracies involving Queen Elizabeth, AIDS and communist spies before going to prison for swindling his supporters, died on Tuesday at the age of 96, his political organization said. LaRouche, an economist, lived on an estate in Leesburg, Virginia, about 40 miles (65 km) outside Washington, D.C., amid much secrecy and security, which he said was necessary because of the high likelihood of assassination. The bombastic LaRouche made his eight bids for the presidency between 1976 and 2004 -- including once from prison -- but never drew more than 80,000 votes, the Washington Post said.
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The Green New Deal Has Put Climate Change Denial Out to Pasture
Now Republicans have pivoted to actually talking-about-talking-about a solution. Also, cows and planes.
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Venezuela opposition takes steps to seize oil revenue as Maduro issues threat
Maduro lashed out at the congress leader, Juan Guaido, saying in an interview that he would face the courts "sooner or later" for violating the constitution, after Guaido invoked constitutional provisions last month to assume an interim presidency. Controlling PDVSA's U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum, Venezuela's most valuable foreign asset, would go some way to helping in that, though seizing the reins of PDVSA itself seems improbable while Maduro remains in power. "We have taken a step forward with the reconstruction of PDVSA," Guaido said on Twitter, just after congress named the directors.
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Former Trump lawyer Cohen to testify to Congress before entering prison: CNBC
President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen will testify before three congressional committees before he enters jail on March 6, CNBC reported on Friday, citing Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis. Cohen is expected to appear before closed sessions of the House and Senate intelligence committees and in a public session of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, CNBC said. Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison in December, canceled a planned Tuesday appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.
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Notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman convicted
NEW YORK (AP) — Mexico's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was convicted Tuesday of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation after a three-month trial packed with Hollywood-style tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and a naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel.
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Snow, snow, go away: Familiar rain returns to Seattle on Monday night
Following a historic winter storm that has already made this month the city’s snowiest February since 1949 according to Accuweather, Seattle was dealing with more familiar weather on Monday night, though life won’t immediately return to normal.
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These Easter Desserts Are Almost Too Adorable to Eat
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U.S. Open to Russia Nuclear Treaty and Warns Turkey on Arms
“Our government is firmly in the camp of looking for an opportunity to have an arms control agreement that would include all the countries that have these intermediate ballistic missiles,” U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said during a Tuesday call with reporters.
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Maui snow recorded at lowest level ever in Hawaii
A-SNOW-HA: Tourists visiting the Hawaiian Islands expecting endless sunshine were treated to snow instead.
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US says ex-intel official defected to Iran, revealed secrets
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence specialist who defected to Iran despite warnings from the FBI has been charged with revealing classified information to the Tehran government, including the code name and secret mission of a Pentagon program, prosecutors said Wednesday.
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Top Republicans call for consequences for Rep. Omar's anti-Semitic tweets
Rep. Ilhan Omar faces accusations of anti-Semitism after her Twitter suggestion that lobbyist money was fueling congressional support for Israel; chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel reports from Capitol Hill.
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Report: Pope says not time yet for mediation in Venezuela
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has reportedly written to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro indicating conditions aren't ripe for the Vatican to step in and help mediate in the country's dramatic political crisis.
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The Polaris Ranger 150 ATV Is Basically a Pickup Truck For Kids
Buckle up, 10-year-olds, for some real-world driver ed.
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NASA bids adieu to Mars rover that kept going and going and going
Engineers lost contact with the solar-powered vehicle, dubbed Opportunity, on June 10 of last year during an immense dust storm that encircled Mars. Since then, NASA officials made numerous attempts to reach the six-wheeled rover, which is about the size of a golf cart. Opportunity's equipment may have been compromised by the dust storm that struck while the rover was at a site called Perseverance Valley, officials said.
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Cheap and easy cleaning routine wards off superbug infection
Think of it as decontaminating yourself. Hospitalized patients who harbor certain superbugs can cut their risk of developing full-blown infections if they swab medicated goo in their nose and use special soap and mouthwash for six months after going home, a study found.
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What to Feed Your Family When the Power Goes Out
If you won’t be able to leave your house for a few days or if the power is out for longer than a couple of hours, what to feed your family becomes a major concern. The food experts at Consumer Re...
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Apple ramps up self-driving program as Waymo says its tech improves
Apple Inc has sharply increased its efforts to test self-driving cars on public roads but lags far behind market leader Waymo on a key safety metric, according to data released on Wednesday by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Apple, which has kept details of its self-driving program under wraps, put in 79,745 miles (128,337 km) of testing in California in 2018, still far short of 10 million miles of testing on roads around the world by Alphabet Inc's Waymo. The data was part of California regulators' annual so-called "disengagement reports," which track how often a human safety driver must intervene to take control from a self-driving system during testing on public roads.
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Susan Lucci on Her Recent Runway Fall: 'I Twirled Myself Right Off My Feet in Excitement'
Susan Lucci On Why She Fell On the Runway: 'I Twirled Myself Right Off My Feet In Excitement'
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Here's What You Need to Know About Norovirus
If you’ve ever been hit with a few days of intense nausea and vomiting, there’s a good chance that the culprit was a bug called norovirus, which sickens between 19 and 21 million people in the U....
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Here's What You Need to Know About Norovirus
If you’ve ever been hit with a few days of intense nausea and vomiting, there’s a good chance that the culprit was a bug called norovirus, which sickens between 19 and 21 million people in the U....
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Opportunity on Mars, 2004-2019: NASA sings requiem to a rover — and looks ahead
After months of silence from Mars, NASA finally read the rites over its Opportunity rover, hailing the six-wheeled machine as an overachiever that found some of the first and best evidence of the Red Planet’s warmer, wetter past. The solar-powered rover’s demise was no surprise: It fell out of contact with controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., last June — due to a globe-girdling Martian dust storm that kept Opportunity from charging its batteries. Mission managers tried all sorts of tricks to wake up the comatose rover and re-establish communications, but it was to no avail. The last… Read More
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Brooklyn jury reaches verdict in trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman
After nearly three months of testimony and more than a week of deliberations about a vast drug-smuggling conspiracy steeped in violence, a Brooklyn jury has reached a verdict in the U.S. trial of the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
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What El Chapo can expect inside the 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'
His tunneling out of prison cells and safe houses has given him almost mythical status. So there is little doubt that when Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is sentenced in June he’ll be sent to the most secure prison in the United States’ arsenal. Guzman, 61, is almost certain to be sent to the Colorado “Supermax” prison, in the mile-high desert outside of Florence, two hours from Denver. It’s a facility so secure it’s known as “Alcatraz of the Rockies”. The complex is guarded by razor-wire fences, gun towers, heavily armed patrols and attack dogs. The 400 prisoners, including Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 1993 World Trade Center attacker, Ramzi Yousef, and Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, are kept in concrete cells for 23 hours a day. Abu Hamza, the British hate preacher, has been at the Supermax since October 2015, and in December 2017 took legal action to try and be returned to a British prison, claiming the conditions in the US were too harsh. He said in legal documents he would go back to Belmarsh "in a second", and argued unsuccessfully that his conditions at the Supermax breached his human rights under Article 3 of the European Convention, which protects people from "inhuman and degrading treatment". The typical cell is a seven-foot-by-12-foot concrete box with concrete fittings, and a four-inch window, leaving its occupants unable to see the sky. El Chapo's fellow inmates will include Abu Hamza and Richard Reid, the shoe bomber Prisoners are normally allowed television and newspapers, but given Guzman’s status he may be only given old issues, to keep him isolated from the world. Prisoners generally get an hour outside a day together in a small caged-in area, but Bob Hood, a former warden in the prison, said Guzman may not even get that. “He’s such a high-profile person that, in my opinion, he’ll never be allowed on the yard with other prisoners for the rest of his life," he said. Furthermore, prisoners can only receive visitors through thick Perspex barriers, and often go days “with only a few words spoken to them,” an Amnesty International report found. Guzman looks out of the window of his plane as he is extradited from Mexico to the US, in January 2017 Human interaction is minimal, and prisoners eat all meals in the solitude of their own cells. “Other than when being placed in restraints and escorted by guards, prisoners may spend years without touching another human being,” the Amnesty report found. One former prisoner described it as a “high-tech version of hell, designed to shut down all sensory perception.” The US authorities are less concerned about his tunnelling out – something believed to be impossible – or his bribing guards, which certainly aided his legendary Mexican prison escapes. Instead they are worried that his money and mythical status will enable him to win over fellow inmates, or order hits on some of the cooperating witnesses who testified against him. For that reason he may be placed in the prison’s most isolated area, Range 13, Mr Hood said, where inmates rotate between four identical cells. “If ever there were an escape-proof prison, it’s the facility at Florence,” said Burl Cain, the former warden of the maximum-security Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. “It’s the prison of all prisons.”
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Snowstorm hammers Pacific Northwest
The snowiest month in 50 years has the Seattle, Washington area digging out. Roads and highways are littered with vehicles trapped in the snow along Interstate 90 near North Bend.
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'El Chapo' leaves a void in his Mexican hometown
The downfall of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has done little to diminish his drug cartel's power, but locals say it has had a devastating effect in one place: his remote and lawless hometown, Badiraguato. "El Chapo" was born 61 years ago in this small, dusty town in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains, in the northwestern state that would give his multi-billion-dollar global drug empire its name: the Sinaloa cartel.
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A Hawaii State Park May Have Seen Its First Ever Snowfall
Polipoli Spring State Park in Hawaii was covered in snow in what may be the first time ever.
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Report on Covington High School incident finds no fault with students
A private investigation firm retained by Covington Diocese in Park Hills, Kentucky studied the incident, which sparked outrage on social media. Greater Cincinnati Investigation found that the students, who were in Washington D.C. to attend the March for Life anti-abortion rally, were met at the Lincoln Memorial by offensive statement by members of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
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'I honestly don't see color,' Howard Schultz says when asked about racial profiling
"As a young boy in the projects, I didn't see color, Howard Schultz said at a CNN town hall on Tuesday. "And I honestly don't see color now."
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Wellness Wednesdays: Matters of the Heart
This episode of Wellness Wednesdays, a weekly series to check in on youroverall wellbeing and help you live life as your best self, is sponsored byEntresto
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US government shutdown: Trump expected to sign border wall deal to avoid closure
Addressing the deal on Wednesday, Mr Trump said he would be taking “a very serious look” at the text when the White House receives it from Congress. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill were still haggling over final details, but they appeared on track to finish soon. White House officials cautioned on Wednesday that they have yet to receive full legislative language.
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Senate Democrats press Trump for China IP, tech transfer commitments
Seven U.S. Democratic senators urged President Donald Trump on Wednesday to press China for a trade deal that fully addresses the technology transfer and intellectual property concerns outlined by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Led by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the senators said in a letter to Trump that any deal with Beijing must at a minimum commit China to "cease the predatory practices" identified in USTR's Section 301 investigation, which formed the basis for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. "As you approach the final weeks of negotiations with China, we urge you to insist that the deal make substantial, verifiable, and enforceable progress to address the myriad threats identified in USTR’s investigation," the senators wrote.
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Pope discusses ethics of artificial intelligence with Microsoft chief
Microsoft President Brad Smith met Pope Francis on Wednesday to discuss the ethical use of artificial intelligence and ways to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor nations, the Vatican said. The head of the global tech giant and the 81-year-old Roman Catholic leader, who once said he is a "disaster" when it comes to technology, spoke for about 30 minutes in the pontiff's residence. The pair discussed "artificial intelligence at the service of the common good and activities aimed at bridging the digital divide that still persists at the global level", according to a statement.
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Take a Tour of Rebecca de Ravenel's Airy Los Angeles Home
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Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to Iran
The US Justice Department charged a former Air Force intelligence official Wednesday with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks. US officials said Monica Witt, 39, who worked a decade in Air Force counterintelligence, had an "ideological" turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US espionage operations against Tehran. "It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, announcing the indictment.
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Candidates cast their ballots (presumably for themselves)
It’s Election Day in America, and voters will deliver their first verdict on President Trump’s tumultuous tenure in midterm elections that are expected to draw historic numbers to the polls. Across the country, people are talking about this election as one of the most momentous in their lifetimes — a fight for the very soul of America. Here’s a look at candidates, politicians and the political elite as they vote on Election Day.
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Trump: Congresswoman Omar's apology for Israel remark 'lame'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar's apology for suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so was "lame" and that she should resign.
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Ten towns hit by river pollution from Brazil dam disaster
Ten towns in southeast Brazil are suffering river pollution after a dam collapse at a mine nearly three weeks ago that killed 166 people and left 155 missing, presumed dead, according to officials. Mineral-laced sludge from the disaster near the town of Brumadinho has contaminated 75 miles (120 kilometers) of the Paraopeba river, impacting the riverside towns, the Institute for Water Management in the affected state of Minas Gerais (IGAM) said in a report.
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Suspect accused in deadly Tennessee Waffle House shooting pleads not guilty
Travis Reinking, 30, is accused of opening fire with an assault rifle at the Nashville restaurant in April 2018, and then fleeing the scene naked. The suspect did not appear during Wednesday's arraignment hearing before Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn, said Steve Hayslip, spokesman for the Office of the District Attorney in Nashville, in emails. Reinking's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Ilhan Omar confronts Elliott Abrams over human rights
Omar suggested Americans would have reason to doubt Abrams’ testimony about the United States role in Venezuela. “If I could respond to that,” said Abrams. “I’m not going to respond to that question, I’m sorry,” said Abrams. Omar continued.
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Man goes into abandoned home to smoke cannabis and finds overweight tiger
A man who broke into an abandoned house to smoke marijuana stumbled across more than he bargained for when he discovered a pet tiger inside. Police in Houston, Texas, said the “concerned citizen” contacted them after he found the overweight mammal crammed inside a tiny cage. “They saw a tiger in this building, this vacant house that’s obviously been abandoned for some time,” said Sergeant Jason Alderete, the Houston Police Department’s animal unit.
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Man goes into abandoned house in Texas to smoke cannabis and finds overweight tiger
A man who broke into an abandoned house to smoke marijuana stumbled across more than he bargained for when he discovered a pet tiger inside. Police in Houston, Texas, said the “concerned citizen” contacted them after he found the overweight mammal crammed inside a tiny cage. “They saw a tiger in this building, this vacant house that’s obviously been abandoned for some time,” said Sergeant Jason Alderete, the Houston Police Department’s animal unit.
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Rapper 21 Savage released from immigration custody: lawyers
Lawyers for rapper 21 Savage say he has been released on bond from federal immigration custody.
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Google investing billions in US operations
Google said Wednesday it will invest $13 billion in US data centers and offices this year as the internet giant continues to expand across the country. The spending will build on more than $9 billion in US investments in the past year and should create the potential for tens of thousands of new jobs, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai. "This growth will allow us to invest in the communities where we operate, while we improve the products and services that help billions of people and businesses globally," Pichai said in an online post.
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Meghan Markle hounded like Diana? Hardly, British papers say
Could Meghan Markle really face the same fate as Princess Diana? Britain's newspapers on Wednesday angrily challenged US actor George Clooney's claim that their treatment of Prince Harry's wife resembled the hounding of his late mother. Clooney, who attended the couple's wedding last year, on Tuesday stirred up a hornet's nest of discontent by accusing the London tabloids of giving the new Duchess of Sussex "a raw deal".
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Former US intelligence officer charged with spying for Iran after defection
A former US Air Force intelligence officer has been charged with helping Iran target ex-colleagues with cyberattacks after defecting to the country in what was dubbed a “betrayal” of America.  Monica Witt, 39, was accused of switching sides after more than a decade of US military service and identifying American intelligence officers and their personal Facebook accounts for the Iranian regime.  Messages quoted in an indictment unsealed yesterday showed Witt saying that she wanted to “put the training I received to good use instead of evil” around the time of her defection.  Four Iranians said to have been involved in the cyber-attacks were also charged along with two Iran-based businesses, New Horizon Organization and Net Peygard Samavat Company.  The five individuals charged are all at large, meaning the chances of a successful prosecution remain unclear. The investigation to uncover the alleged crimes was being run for years.  John Demers, the US assistant attorney general, said: “This case underscores the dangers to our intelligence professionals and the lengths our adversaries will go to identify them, expose them, target them, and, in a few rare cases, ultimately turn them against the nation they swore to protect." Image released on February 13, 2019 showing the missing person page of the FBI website for Monica Witt Credit: HO/AFP/Getty Images   Witt, a US citizen, worked for the US Air Force as an intelligence specialist and special agent between 1997 and 2008. She worked with the Defence Department as a contractor until 2010.  During her service she was given access to secret and top secret information relating to counterintelligence, including material that contained the true names of secret agents and sources.  Early in her career she was taught the Farsi language and was deployed in a number of overseas locations, carrying out missions to counter America’s enemies.  Witt repeatedly promised to act in America’s interests and not share classified information she accessed, according to US prosecutors – pledges which she is accused of flagrantly breaking.  The first signs of Witt’s alleged defection came when she attended the Iranian New Horizon Organization’s “Hollywoodism” conference in February 2012.  The gathering was sponsored by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of Iran’s armed forces which was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration for its “malign” activities.  The conference was partly aimed at “condemning American moral standards and promoting anti-US propaganda”, US prosecutors said. By August 2013, just 18 months later, Witt had fled to Iran.  Messages between Witt and an unnamed Iranian-American who helped arrange the trip which were published in the indictment give an insight into her thinking before the defection. “Should i thank the sec of defense . . u were well trained,” the unnamed individual allegedly wrote to Witt in one message before her trip, appearing to reference the US defence secretary, her old boss.  Witt responded: “LOL thank the sec of defense? For me? Well, I loved the work, and I am endeavoring to put the training I received to good use instead of evil.” She added a smiling emoji and the words: “Thanks for giving me the opportunity.” In another message Witt wrote “If all else fails, I just may go public with a program and do like Snowden :)”. The apparent reference is Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked classified material in 2013 and then fled to Russia.  Once Witt was in Iran she was given housing and computer equipment by Iranian government officials, according to US prosecutors.  She is then accused of disclosing classified information about secret US projects and combing Facebook under an alias to identify former colleagues, putting together “target packages” that would help the Iranians find, track and “neutralize” the threat posed.  The four Iranians charged in the indictment then began a “malicious” campaign of targeting Witt’s former colleagues, according to US prosecutors.  The allegations included using fictitious or imposter Facebook accounts to send messages with links that would compromise their computers once clicked.  The Iranian nationals charged with computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft are Mojtaba Masoumpour, Behzad Mesri, Hossein Parvar and Mohamad Paryar.  Terry Phillips, a US special agent with the Air Force, said: “The alleged actions of Monica Witt in assisting a hostile nation are a betrayal of our nation’s security, our military, and the American people.   “While violations like this are extremely rare, her actions as alleged are an affront to all who have served our great nation.”  It is not known how those charged will plead if the case came to court. The five individuals charged had not commented publicly in the hours immediately after the indictment was unsealed.
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U.S. emergency-management chief Brock Long to resign
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, said he would resign on Wednesday, after overseeing the U.S. government's response to hundreds of hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.
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Apple Invites Hollywood Stars to Video Service Launch
The iPhone maker invited Hollywood stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and director JJ Abrams, to attend, one of the people said. The video service is similar to Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video and Netflix Inc. products, and will include TV shows and movies either acquired or funded by Apple. The company has created dozens of original programs so far, but hasn’t wrapped them in a paid subscription yet.
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Hong Kong's "umbrella revolution" explained
By Katie Brinn The scene in Hong Kong over the past week has gone from chaos to calm and back again, as tensions grow and pro-democracy throngs clash with pro-China demonstrators. It all started on Sept. 26, when hundreds of students gathered in a courtyard in Central Hong Kong, demanding an end to Chinese oppression and control.  China’s modern history with Hong Kong has been complicated, to say the least. For more than 150 years, Hong Kong belonged to Britain.  Then in 1997 Britain handed the thriving metropolis back to China in a political deal called “One Country, Two Systems,” which allowed Hong Kong to maintain some of the freedoms and independence mainland Chinese people do not have, such as freedom of the press and the right to assemble. The people of Hong Kong would even be allowed to elect their own leader in 2017.
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Neurotic? Extroverted? Disagreeable? Political campaigns have an ad for you.
“I’ll put it in your personality file,” Nix joked. “We’ve modeled every personality of every voter in the United States.” If one were to try to imagine the person who claims to know every single American personality, one would probably not think of Nix, an Eton-educated Englishman in a tweed coat who speaks in fluid, grammatically correct paragraphs of his company’s microtargeting strategy. Whether we like it or not, political campaigns know more and more about each and every one of us, and they’re using that data to craft increasingly specific advertising tailored to our lifestyles. Republicans, led by Karl Rove, pioneered the technique of political microtargeting in a presidential election in 2004, to get out the vote for George W. Bush.
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Ben Carson Sometimes Deviates From GOP Health Care Thought
Meanwhile, the federal government could offer catastrophic care coverage akin to the National Flood Insurance Program, paid for with taxes on insurers’ profits. He has called for government regulators to determine — “with the help of medical professionals” — what providers can charge for care, ensuring “fair and consistent” payments “throughout the country.” Once he declared his candidacy, Carson said he’d scrap Medicare and Medicaid — two longtime targets of conservatives — and spend the money instead on giving every American $2,000 a year for a health savings account. Now, three months from when Iowa and New Hampshire voters cast ballots, Carson’s campaign is promising a policy announcement that will clarify just where the candidate stands on health care.
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Why Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham say they won last night’s GOP debate
Hours after stepping off the stage at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, several of the lower-polling Republican presidential candidates hit the morning talk shows to explain how they won the last GOP debate of 2015.
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Anti-Hillary Clinton Group Hopes To Crowdfund Its Way Into The Indy 500
The 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 will run this May, and advertisers of all stripes will be looking to take advantage—including this unusual political one.
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Ohio man pleads not guilty to deputy slaying charges
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man who could face the death penalty if convicted pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he fatally shot an Ohio sheriff's deputy and tried to kill others during a standoff.
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Tanzanian 'beast' sheds light on gigantic dinosaur group
Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of fossils of a dinosaur called Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia that measured roughly 26 feet (8 meters) long, weighed about one ton, lived between 110 and 100 million years ago and was an early and comparatively small member of the group called titanosaurs. Titanosaurs, which walked on four pillar-like legs, first appeared earlier in the Cretaceous Period, perhaps 125 million years ago. By the time an asteroid impact caused a mass extinction that doomed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, titanosaurs had achieved staggering dimensions.
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New footage released of rare giant pangolins in Africa
Researchers from a British Zoo on Wednesday released rare footage revealing the secret lives of giant pangolins, considered one of the world's most trafficked mammals. The footage of the creatures, captured by Chester Zoo conservationists, shows a pangolin, known as scaly anteaters for their protective armour, sitting on its powerful tail while grasping a tree with its claws. Researchers hope the imagery could provide new insights into the secretive nocturnal species only found in equatorial Africa, which are being pushed to extinction by illegal hunting for its scales and meat.
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'El Chapo' found guilty by jury in Brooklyn federal court
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was found guilty on all 10 counts, including drug trafficking and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.
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Border Deal May Be Released Thursday, Democratic Negotiator Says
“There’s a long list of all kinds of things in there,” Lowey said about the deal during an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television. While she “wouldn’t dare predict” whether President Donald Trump will support the measure and avoid another partial government shutdown after funding expires on Friday night, she said she is hopeful he will. The tentative accord reached Monday night provides $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of fencing in Texas -- less than the $5.7 billion Trump wants.
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Dr. Vanessa Tyson makes first public appearance since accusing Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax of sexual assault
Tyson did not mention Fairfax by name or discuss her accusations during the symposium at Stanford University; Garrett Tenney reports from Richmond, Virginia.
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Pentagon releases blueprint for accelerating artificial intelligence
The publication of the Pentagon strategy’s core concepts comes eight months after a Silicon Valley revolt against the military’s premier AI research program.
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McConnell, Schumer Urge Trump to Sign Spending Deal
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday urged President Trump to sign the tentative spending deal Congress reached Monday night."I have recommended that if it becomes what we think it is, I do recommend [Trump] sign it," McConnell told reporters. "I think he's got a pretty good deal here. . . . I hope he’ll find this agreement acceptable and he’ll sign the bill."Schumer, meanwhile, said Trump would be to blame if another government shutdown occurred, and urged the president to back the deal to prevent one.“Sign it and don’t cause a shutdown," the New York Democrat said.Congress has until Friday, when funding runs out for about a quarter of the government, to craft a spending package Trump will sign. Lawmakers reached a tentative deal Monday that included $1.375 billion for the construction of barriers on the southern border, not the $5.7 billion the president requested for a concrete wall. Republicans and Democrats hope to avoid repeating the partial shutdown that began in late December and dragged on for a record 35 days.Trump has hinted he may not sign the current deal, telling reporters on Tuesday, “I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick.”“I’m adding things to it, and when you add whatever I have to add, it’s all going to happen where we’re going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall,” he added.Some Republican members of Congress expressed even more displeasure and called on the president to take executive action to build the wall."This conference agreement is hardly a serious attempt to secure our border or stop the flow of illegal immigration," Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows wrote in a Monday night tweet. "It kicks the can down the road yet again, failing to address the critical priorities outlined by Border Patrol Chiefs. Congress is not doing its job."Trump has floated moving federal funds around and using his executive power, including possibly declaring a national emergency, to build hundreds of miles of border wall.
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Honda Tomo EV is the cute concept we hope to see in future cities
Designed in part by Master of Transportation Design students from Italy's Istituto Europeo di Design, the Honda Tomo EV that's expected to go on display at the Geneva Motor Show represents the compact, smart EVs of Honda's future, according to the institution. In January, the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy, announced that about a dozen of their graduate design students were partnering with Honda to create what turned into the zero emissions-producing Tomo concept car, whose name means "friend." Since this was announced last month, all we've known about the project -- which is part of the Master in Transportation Design graduate students' theses -- is that the model will be a compact electric vehicle that will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show, March 7-17.
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Bill Gates slams Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 70 percent tax rate for the rich
Billionaire Bill Gates says tax policy can be more progressive without threatening income generation.
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18 Ways to Make Money from Home
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Here's the Best $1,000 You Can Spend When You Buy a Jeep Wrangler
The new turbo four-cylinder is the best Wrangler powerplant yet.
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Shannen Doherty fears having kids after breast cancer: 'Am I going to last five years?'
"I certainly wouldn’t want my 10-year-old burying a mother," Shannen Doherty, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, said.
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Vonn's retirement signals end of an era for US Ski Team
ARE, Sweden (AP) — It was a telling sign that in Lindsey Vonn's last race there was only one other American skier competing.
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Doubts on border deal pile up, second shutdown looms
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he has yet to decide whether to support an agreement reached by congressional negotiators to avert another partial government shutdown that includes no funds for his promised U.S.-Mexican border wall. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Wire Fox Terrier named Westminster's 'Best in Show'
The Westminster Dog Show crowned a Wire Fox Terrier named "King" its "Best in Show" Tuesday, further burnishing the breed's "top dog" status in the esteemed competition. The breed, which already was the all-time champ at Westminster, has now claimed the crown 15 times. The Scottish Terrier is second on the all-time list with eight titles.
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No casualties in Florida nightclub siege caused by police gunfire: officials
Police gunfire was responsible for none of the civilian casualties at the Pulse nightclub in Florida as officers sought to end a rampage by a man who killed 49 people in the one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, state authorities said on Wednesday. In a report following a six-month investigation into the emergency response to the June 2016 massacre at the Orlando club, investigators determined that 14 responding officers had fired more than 180 shots during five attempts to take down the shooter, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala said. "All officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing," Ayala said at the news conference on Wednesday.
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NATO chief to meet Russia's Lavrov on missile pact crisis
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday that he will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this week, as part of efforts to save a key arms control treaty that is on the point of collapse. The pair will meet at the Munich Security Conference, which starts on Friday, as NATO tries to persuade Moscow to abandon a new missile system the alliance says breaches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The US began the process of exiting the treaty earlier this month in response to Moscow's deployment of the 9M729 missile, prompting Russia to announce its own withdrawal.
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Texas mayor speaks out on border security ahead of President Trump's visit
The mayor of El Paso, Texas, Republican Dee Margo, refutes Trump's claim the city became the safest in the nation because of a border barrier, saying there are better alternative options than a wall.
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USDA official hopes year-round E15 gas approved soon, but sees fallback
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's deputy secretary said on Wednesday he is "hopeful" the administration will complete its rule allowing year-round sales of a higher ethanol blend of gasoline by summer, but the government should use "discretionary enforcement" of the summertime ban if there is a delay. "I see this as a fallback plan in the event we don't make the deadline," the deputy secretary, Stephen Censky, said at a biofuels conference in Florida. The higher ethanol blend, known as E15, contains 15 percent ethanol versus the 10 percent found in most U.S. gasoline.
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URGENT: NASA says Opportunity rover mission on Mars is over
NASA on Wednesday declared that the Mars rover Opportunity is definitely out of commission, officially closing an intrepid 14-year mission that confirmed that water once flowed on the red planet.
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Package thief steals child's $40,000 box of cancer medicine from doorstep
A package thief was caught on camera making off with $40,000 of chemotherapy medication for a 14-year-old. Gage Haynes was diagnosed with cancer at six-months old, and has been in some form of treatment ever since. "I have Systemic Mastocytosis.
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Trump ready to sign border deal, averting shutdown: reports
President Donald Trump is ready to sign a border security funding deal, despite failing to get anywhere close to the money he sought for a US-Mexico border wall, US media reported Wednesday. CNN and NBC television quoted sources close to the president saying that Trump has resigned himself to the deal crafted by his Republican Party and the Democrats in Congress. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders would not confirm or deny the reports, but said Wednesday that "there are positive pieces" in the deal.
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Not ‘All Americans’ Are ‘Proud That We Have More Women in the Work Force Than Ever Before’
In his State of the Union address, President Trump announced, "All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the work force than ever before." It was one of the few times he received a standing ovation from both Democrats and Republicans.I would not have stood and cheered.Either the president or whoever wrote that line honestly thought it was something worth celebrating or the president simply wanted to say something that would sound wonderful to both Democrats and Republicans, as well as to Americans who do not otherwise support him.Whatever the reason, both the fact that there are more women in the work force than ever before and the fact that Trump thought mentioning it would bring credit to his administration constitute a victory for the feminist Left. Getting women to leave home for the workplace has been one of the central goals of modern feminism.Feminists deny this, claiming they don't prefer that women work outside the home; they only want women to have the choice to do so. But if that were true, why did congressional Democrats -- the women in white, feminists all -- jump up and cheer?The answer is obvious: Feminists consider women who eschew a career to take care of their home, their children, and their husband to be less than women who place career first.But even if one prefers that women work outside the home, "All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the work force than ever before" is simply not true. As feminists often note, many women work outside the home not because they want to but because they have no choice: They have to support themselves, their household and/or their children.Why should we be proud of that?What if every woman in America were in the work force? Would we be proud of that? By the "more of women than ever" logic, we should be.On the other hand, if the president had said, "All Americans can be proud of the fact that more women than ever now have the choice to work inside or outside the home," that would be true. That is something I, too, would have cheered.But the members of Congress did not stand and cheer because more women have the choice to work outside the home. They cheered because more women than ever before are working outside the home.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 nearly 75 million women were in the American civil work force. But it is inconceivable that 75 million women want to be in the work force. So, again, why all the cheering?We know why Democrats did: They want women to eschew homemaking and time with children in favor of work outside the house.But why did Republicans stand up and cheer?One reason bears testimony to the thesis of a recent column I wrote: The greatest fear in America is fear of the Left. The last thing Republican members of Congress wanted was to be photographed sitting quietly after the president of the United States announced, "All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the work force than ever before" -- especially while every Democrat was standing and cheering. The left-wing media, meaning virtually all mainstream media, would have depicted every such Republican as "sexist" and "misogynist."A second reason bears testimony to another fact of contemporary life: Republicans have been far more influenced by leftism than Democrats have been by conservatism. While many of the Republicans who cheered did so out of fear of the Left and/or to support their party's beleaguered president, many sincerely believe that the record number of women in the workplace is something worth celebrating.But believe it or not, there are still many women and men who do not agree. We all acknowledge that with enough money and/or familial support, a woman can raise fine children and maintain a happy home and a loving marriage. Nevertheless, we also know that doing all three is difficult enough when a woman devotes full time to those three goals. But when a woman works outside the home, devoting full time to home and family is impossible.So, yes, more women than ever are in the workplace. But before we stand and cheer, it is worth asking:Are women happier today?Are families doing better today?Are marriages happier with wives at home or in the workplace?Do young people grow up happier and better adjusted with mothers at home or with mothers in the workplace?Is society's emphasis on work and career inhibiting more young women from marrying and having children?Is society better off or worse off when a record number of women leave home to enter the workplace?Only when those questions are answered will we know whether to cheer.Copyright 2019 Creators.com
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Trump blasts Venezuela over blocked US aid shipments
President Donald Trump warned Venezuela on Wednesday that "all options" are on the table and demanded that far left leader, Nicolas Maduro, unblock US aid shipments to the country. Again stressing that he had not ruled out military options, Trump said he was "sad" about the "turmoil" in the oil-rich Latin American nation. "You'll see," he told reporters at a White House meeting with his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque, when asked if thousands of US troops could deploy.
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Senator Graham says Trump is inclined to sign funding deal
U.S. President Donald Trump is inclined to sign bipartisan legislation to fund the government as long as its provisions on a border wall and bed spaces for illegal immigrants are as he expects, a Republican senator close to the White House said on Wednesday. "If you can use the money the way he envisions for barriers and there is no limit on bed space in reality, he'd be inclined to take the deal and move on," Senator Lindsey Graham, who said he spoke to Trump on Tuesday night, told reporters.
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Johnson & Johnson to buy robotics surgery firm Auris Health for $3.4bn
US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is acquiring a robotics company which specialises in developing surgical tools for diagnosing and treating patients with lung cancer. The company announced that it has agreed to buy Auris Heath for $3.4bn (£2.6bn) in cash, plus an additional $2.4bn in payouts if it reaches certain milestones. Auris Health developed a robotic scope used to monitor patients' lungs in order to better diagnose and treat lung cancer, which received regulatory approval in the US last year.  The privately held company was founded by Dr Fred Moll, who started his first medical device robotics company in 1995. He says Auris has focused thus far on tackling lung cancer as it is the deadliest cancer.
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NASA declares Mars rover Opportunity dead after 15 years on the red planet
NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover traversed the red planet for more than a decade. Its photography—simultaneously detailed and panoramic—made a hostile environment seem almost familiar, revealing the nature of a neighbor to which both the agency and several billionaires want to send humans.  On Wednesday, after seven months during which NASA was unable to establish contact with the machine, its 15-year mission was declared complete.  The solar-powered craft’s last communication was received on June 10 as a massive dust storm was enveloping the planet. On Tuesday night, after more than 600 electronic pings aimed at Opportunity since last summer, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory sent their final commands to the rover, hoping to spark a response. Opportunity was one of two Mars Exploration Rovers (MERS) sent to the planet 16 years ago, arriving in January 2004. Its twin, Spirit, was lost in March 2010. Both of the 384-pound rovers were designed for 90-day service spans, with NASA reaping years of data from each beyond the original mission schedules. Among its many scientific achievements, Opportunity found evidence in 2004 that salty water once flowed on the surface of Mars. It followed that early discovery with years of additional rock and sediment examinations across an array of landscapes. One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, our @MarsRovers Opportunity is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars. Designed to last just 90 Martian days, here's a look at this record-setting mission: https://t.co/erVYRlyIOmpic.twitter.com/VEY0KbLxyz— NASA (@NASA) February 13, 2019 Beyond the deeper geologic understanding of Mars’ history, the rovers “significantly improved our knowledge about how to navigate on other planets—something that will help future robotic and human exploration of Mars,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator, wrote in a blog post.  The rovers’ photography and journeys also made the planet less foreign to both scientists and the public at large. After the rover failed to respond on Tuesday, scientists at JPL’s California offices wept, according to Tanya Harrison, a former member of the Mars Exploration Rover team.  The programme’s end was emotionally difficult for many at the facility, from which rover operations are conducted. “You develop a special bond. They become your children,” said John Callas, project manager for JPL’s rover programme. “Even though it’s a machine and we’re saying goodbye, it’s very hard and very poignant.” Some in the Martian exploration community criticized NASA for its plan to rouse the rover. The initial 45-day plan was, according to detractors, too brief given the dust storm’s severity. Mars experiences regional dust storms each year, but only occasionally do they expand to engulf the entire planet. The last such major storm occurred in 2007, which sent NASA’s rovers into a “hunker down” mode for several weeks before the skies cleared.  “To have a 90-day mission last for 15 years, and then end as a consequence of one of the most ferocious dust storms to hit Mars in a very long time, we can walk away with our heads held high,” Steve Squyres, a Cornell professor and principal investigator on the mission, told Gizmodo. “The mission exceeded far beyond what I could have expected.” NASA retains a presence on Mars. The larger, nuclear-powered Curiosity rover has been roaming the planet since August 2012. In November, a stationary robot called Mars InSight arrived to begin exploring the planet’s interior. The next large rover, Mars 2020, is scheduled to launch next summer. The 2,300-pound craft will also carry a drill to collect rock samples. Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.
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The 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP Has Over 300 Horsepower
If the production version is at least half as radical as last year's JCW GP Concept, everybody wins.
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U.S. charges former top Apple lawyer with insider trading
Authorities said Gene Levoff exploited his positions as corporate secretary, head of corporate law and co-chairman of a committee that reviewed draft copies of Apple's financial results to trade illegally between 2011 and 2016. Prosecutors said Levoff, 45, of San Carlos, California, generated $604,000 in illegal gains, including realized profit and avoided losses before Apple terminated his decade-long employment in September.
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J&J buys medical robotics company for $3.4 bn
US healthcare and consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday it will acquire medical robotics company Auris Health for $3.4 billion, arguing the technology will become more central to surgery. Privately-held Auris has the opportunity to earn up to $2.35 billion in additional payments if it meets "predetermined milestones," J&J said in a press release. "In this new era of health care, we're aiming to simplify surgery, drive efficiency, reduce complications and improve outcomes for patients, ultimately making surgery safer," said J&J Executive Vice President Ashley McEvoy said in a statement.
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Karl Rove calls Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' a 'laundry list of lunatic ideas'
The U.S. should not bankrupt its economy when for most of the last 20 years its C02 emissions have remained flat, says Fox News contributor Karl Rove, former White House deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
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Sorry Traders, T-Mobile’s Sprint Deal Is Anybody’s Guess
With romance in the air, it’s only appropriate that T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. will appear side by side on Wednesday morning to defend their union to a panel of lawmakers questioning its effects. T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure are back on Capitol Hill to testify before the House subcommittee on communications and technology about the pending merger of the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.(1) The gregarious and straight-talking Legere smoothly handled a mild Senate grilling last June, but much has changed since then, not least that Democrats took control of the House in the latest midterm elections.
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Russia to Receive First New 'Armata' Tanks in 2019
Moscow’s next generation tank is behind schedule and will be purchased in far fewer numbers than originally planned.
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Report: Senate Intel Committee probe finds no direct evidence of Trump-Russia collusion
Senate Intelligence Committee investigation winds down; Catherine Herridge has the details.
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As time runs out, Washington ready to help with jihadist repatriation
The United States is ready to help countries repatriate Islamic State jihadists detained in Syria but time is of the essence and Washington insists that ultimately it is up to their home governments to come up with solutions. The window to organize the fighters' return with US support "is quickly closing," a US State Department official told AFP, on condition of anonymity. US President Donald Trump's sudden announcement in December that US troops would be withdrawing from Syria set off a countdown for governments whose citizens, having joined IS, were captured by the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
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Suffolk DA ‘Ready’ to Investigate Fairfax Sexual Assault Allegations
Rachel Rollins, district attorney for Suffolk County, Mass., is prepared to launch an investigation into the sexual assault allegation recently brought against Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax provided his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, is willing to file a complaint, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.Rollins claims she emailed Tyson's attorneys last week asking if they would like to file a criminal complaint related to their client's allegation that Fairfax sexually assaulted her in a Boston hotel room in 2004, but have not yet received a response.“We will help in any way we can if she chooses to come forward,” Rollins told the Globe in an interview. “We would offer any number of services starting from getting them in touch with counselors all the way, if they were so inclined, to seek prosecution.”Fairfax, who previously admitted to having a consensual sexual encounter with Tyson, once again denied the assault and floated the possibility of filing a criminal complaint against her in a statement provided to CNN Wednesday.“The Lt. Gov. has stated repeatedly that he has never sexually assaulted anyone ever.He has called publicly for a fair, impartial investigation,” the statement reads in part. “He has nothing to hide. He would cooperate fully with an investigation by Suffolk County District if a criminal complaint is filed. In that event the Lt. Gov. will explore all options with regard to filing his own criminal complaint in response to the filing of a false criminal complaint against him.”In a graphic statement released last week by her attorneys, Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him while the pair were in Boston for the 2004 Democratic National Convention.Fairfax was also accused last week by a second woman who claims he raped her while the pair were undergraduates at Duke University in 2000. He has also denied that claim.
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The Bold Science That Could Save You from Alzheimer’s Disease
Meet the maverick new theory about what causes your brain to fade.
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Mission complete: NASA announces demise of Opportunity rover
During 14 years of intrepid exploration across Mars it advanced human knowledge by confirming that water once flowed on the red planet -- but NASA's Opportunity rover has analyzed its last soil sample. The robot has been missing since the US space agency lost contact during a dust storm in June last year and was declared officially dead Wednesday, ending one of the most fruitful missions in the history of space exploration. Unable to recharge its batteries, Opportunity left hundreds of messages from Earth unanswered over the months, and NASA said it made its last attempt at contact Tuesday evening.
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NASA rover finally bites the dust on Mars after 15 years
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's Opportunity, the Mars rover that was built to operate for just three months but kept going and going, was pronounced dead Wednesday, 15 years after it landed on the red planet.
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Post-box love for lonely Britons on Valentine's Day
Big-hearted Britons have penned thousands of uplifting messages to be delivered to single seniors on Valentine's Day in a project aimed at alleviating loneliness. The letters and cards were written in recent weeks and left in ten models of old-fashioned red post-boxes set up in locations across London and several other cities. Red Letter Days, a gift experience company which came up with the idea, will dispatch the messages to needy elderly recipients in selected care homes during Thursday.
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These Beautiful Photos Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
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A modern take on the classic white shirt at Carolina Herrera
NEW YORK (AP) — When the last model walked down the Carolina Herrera runway in a floor-length, billowing gown that looked like a huge white shirt, it was a playful nod in two ways.
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