stephen jay gould

(september 10, 1941-may 20,2002)
  • Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

    Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 


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  • Defeated governor pardons man convicted of decapitating woman and stuffing her body into barrel

    Defeated governor pardons man convicted of decapitating woman and stuffing her body into barrelOutgoing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin commuted the sentence on Monday of a man who had been convicted of decapitating a woman and disposing of her body in a 55-gallon barrel.


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  • Bloomberg Vows to Finish Off Coal Plants: Campaign Update

    Bloomberg Vows to Finish Off Coal Plants: Campaign Update(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg wants to retire all remaining coal-fired electricity plants in the next decade and “immediately” stop the construction of new gas facilities to cut U.S. emissions in half by 2030.His campaign said he’s still developing a cost estimate for his climate plan as well as figuring out where to find the revenue for it. It’s the second policy plan he’s rolled out this week without a price tag or a plan to pay for it.The former New York mayor released a climate proposal on Friday near a closed coal-fired power plant in Alexandria, Virginia, where he helped launch a campaign in 2011 to retire almost 300 coal facilities so far. He has committed $500 million for a “Beyond Carbon” campaign and said President Donald Trump “refuses to lead on climate change, so the rest of us must.”Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.Bloomberg wants to reach net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century, which is in line with with plans released by front-runner Joe Biden and other leading candidates Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. But it’s less aggressive than the 10-year timetable in the $93 trillion “Green New Deal.” Like other Democratic candidates, Bloomberg seeks to end subsidies for fossil fuels, impose fossil-fuel moratoriums on federal lands, and achieve 100% clean energy “as soon as humanly possible.”Bloomberg’s plan proposes more stringent limits on emissions and pollution to retire the remaining 251 coal plants. He said the regulation would also deter the building of new gas plants, though it’s unclear how quickly that could happen. Bloomberg would push Congress to expand solar and wind tax credits and enact new tax incentives for clean-energy technology.COMING UPJoe Biden will travel to San Antonio, Texas, for a community event on Friday afternoon.Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Tom Steyer will participate in a forum organized by 11 public education organizations in Pittsburgh on Saturday.Seven Democratic presidential candidates have so far qualified for the final debate of 2019 in Los Angeles on Dec. 19.(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.net;Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Kevin WhitelawFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Child killed as quake strikes southern Philippines

    Child killed as quake strikes southern PhilippinesA powerful earthquake hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Sunday, killing a child, injuring dozens and damaging buildings in an area still recovering from a string of deadly quakes in October. Police said a rescue operation had been launched at a heavily damaged market building in Padada near the 6.8 magnitude quake's epicentre, which is about 90 kilometres (55 miles) south of the major city of Davao. A provincial police commander said the number of injured across the hardest hit areas had reached 62, with one confirmed fatality after a child was crushed under a collapsed structure.


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  • Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

    Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.


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  • 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

    2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.


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  • Operation Plunder: How 1 Hellish Battle Slowed The Allies' Capture Of Nazi Germany

    Operation Plunder: How 1 Hellish Battle Slowed The Allies' Capture Of Nazi GermanyThe battle was utter hell.


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  • Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

    Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found


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  • China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on US

    China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on USChina expressed cautious optimism Saturday about a first-step trade agreement that dials down a trade war it blames the U.S. for starting. Chinese experts and news media joined government officials in saying the deal would reduce uncertainty for companies, at least in the short term. “It at least stabilizes the situation and lays a foundation for the next round of trade talks or canceling additional tariffs in the future," said Tu Xinquan, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.


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  • Greta Thunberg apologizes for comment

    Greta Thunberg apologizes for commentTeenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has apologized for saying that politicians should be put “against the wall” after critics took it to mean that she was advocating violence.


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  • U.S.-China trade deal cuts tariffs for Beijing promise of big farm purchases

    U.S.-China trade deal cuts tariffs for Beijing promise of big farm purchasesWASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States and China cooled their trade war on Friday, announcing a "Phase one" agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods. Beijing has agreed to import at least $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services over the next two years on top of the amount it purchased in 2017, the top U.S. trade negotiator said https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/US-China-Agreement-Fact-Sheet.pdf Friday. If the purchases are made, they would represent a huge jump in U.S. exports to China.


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  • How to Get a Green Deal Done: Europe’s Lessons for U.S. Democrats

    How to Get a Green Deal Done: Europe’s Lessons for U.S. Democrats(Bloomberg) -- When it comes to Green Deals, Europe has a lesson or two for liberal politicians in the U.S. trying to engineer far-reaching policies to address climate change.An American lawmaker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, may have done more than anyone else to popularize the concept of a sweeping “green deal” to shift away from fossil fuels. But now the European Union is much closer to translating the goal into concrete policies that have a decent chance of actually being implemented.Both the U.S. Green New Deal resolution and the European Green Deal, which was unveiled this week by the EU’s executive arm, share the same targets: limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, in line with the landmark Paris climate accord. To meet this objective, backers of the plans in the EU and the U.S. aim to eliminate emissions by 2050 at the latest. Both plans trace their lineage explicitly to the New Deal of the 1930s, a series of social programs, public work projects and financial reforms championed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to counteract the Great Depression. The Green Deals may have identical goals and nearly matching branding, but the policies are oceans apart when it comes to the means of delivery.The European version is strictly focused on climate, and those policy areas which can affect it, such an industry, energy and public procurement. The U.S. Green New Deal — as it is laid out in the Ocasio-Cortez-sponsored resolution and the policy programs of Democratic presidential hopefuls such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — is tied to a series of contentious issues unrelated to climate, from health care coverage to employment.Europe’s narrow focus helped the plan gain the backing of conservative, centrist and center-left governments across the 28 nation-bloc, while the sweeping U.S. manifestos have little chance of garnering across-the-aisle support from legislators. Even ultra-conservative European governments, such as Poland’s, which resisted committing themselves to Green Deal goals, didn’t object to the bloc striving to meet the objective. Across the Atlantic, even modest efforts to curb climate change have been met with hostility by conservatives in the U.S. Congress, so reaction to the resolution was bound to split along political fault lines from the start. However, the Green New Deal’s very broad ambition has made it a favorite target of Republicans, who have tried to cast it as an illustration of how their liberal opponents are both dangerous and laughably unrealistic.Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic advisor, stated that it would “literally destroy the economy.” Republican Senator John Barrasso suggested that the Green New Deal would result in the banning of cows, who burp methane, a greenhouse gas, and therefore the end of ice cream. The House Republican Conference and U.S. Chamber of Commerce dismissed it as a “Trojan horse for socialism.”The European Green Deal is also more concrete. The EU Commission unveiled on Wednesday a roadmap of specific legislative proposals divided by sector, measurable policy goals with due to be agreed interim benchmarks, and fixed dates. On the other hand, there are few numbers and details to be seen in any version of the Green New Deal advocated by U.S. Democratic hopefuls, other than public spending pledges.Europe’s step-by-step and sector by sector approach has already delivered real wins. The world’s biggest multilateral financial institution, owned by EU governments, has announced it will end funding for fossil fuel energy projects and its intention to mobilize a trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) over the next decade to finance the bloc’s transition to a low-carbon economy.To minimize risks for a pushback from skeptics, the EU’s Green Deal is also more flexible. While its U.S. counterpart aims 100% electricity production from renewables by 2030 — a target criticized by many as unrealistic — the EU lets its member states choose their energy mix, including zero-emitting nuclear power.The benefits of flexibility may end up outweighing any costs in terms of ambition and speed. Through a series of incentives and deterrents, such as the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program for polluters and progressively stricter limits on emissions from transport, the EU is effectively pushing its industries and companies toward ever cleaner technologies.Another way the European climate push differs is by successfully engaging the private sector. The continent’s biggest business leaders threw their weight behind a plan to make the bloc climate neutral, on the condition that appropriate safeguards “to avoid carbon and investment leakage and guarantee a global level playing field for competition,” are adopted. The EU is already considering such measures, including adjusting restrictions on state aid for companies, changing public procurement rules and penalizing imports from countries with looser emissions controls.In a sign of such private-sector support, earlier this month Spain’s Repsol SA became the first oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals, saying it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its customers by 2050.  Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal — the world’s largest steel-maker — announced on Friday that it set a target to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 to contribute to the Green Deal.To be sure, the European Green Deal is facing its own headwinds. Leading airlines attacked plans to impose a region-wide kerosene tax as part of a sweeping new environmental strategy, saying investment in sustainable fuels and electric planes would be more effective in reducing carbon emissions. More is still to come. While the European Commission will draft all the rules to bring the bloc’s Green Deal to life, they will require the support of EU governments and the bloc’s assembly. Expect every word and comma to be analyzed by national governments, parliamentarians, companies, industry lobbies and environmental activists. But rallying more than two dozen governments behind a shared goal to eliminate emissions and initiating the process of legislative proposals is something to start with. That’s the way the EU does things — one small, tedious, win at a time. \--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns and Ewa Krukowska.To contact the authors of this story: Nikos Chrysoloras in Brussels at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.netLeslie Kaufman in New York at lkaufman27@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at arutkoff@bloomberg.net, Ben SillsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • The 10 Best Tech Gadgets of 2019

    The 10 Best Tech Gadgets of 2019


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  • Hong Konger 'missing' after crossing China bridge checkpoint

    Hong Konger 'missing' after crossing China bridge checkpointHong Kong's immigration department said Sunday they have received reports a man went missing on a cross-border mega bridge to the gambling hub of Macau that currently hosts a Chinese mainland police checkpoint. The disappearance first emerged on Saturday when the man's son told local media his father had texted to say he was being detained while passing through an artificial island manned by Chinese police on his way to the semi-autonomous city of Macau. The man was travelling by bus on Friday afternoon along the bridge-and-tunnel network linking Hong Kong, Macau and mainland city Zhuhai, his son said.


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  • A Mobster's Murder, and the Jockeying to Move Up the Hierarchy

    A Mobster's Murder, and the Jockeying to Move Up the HierarchyNEW YORK -- On a quiet night in March, a mob leader was executed in New York City for the first time since 1985. The body of Francesco Cali, a reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, lay crumpled outside his Staten Island home, pierced by at least six bullets.Hours later, two soldiers in the Gambino family talked on the phone. One of them, Vincent Fiore, said he had just read a "short article" about the "news," according to prosecutors.No tears were shed for their fallen leader. The murder was "a good thing," Fiore, 57, said on the call. The vacuum at the top meant that Andrew Campos, described by authorities as the Gambino captain who ran Fiore's crew, was poised to gain more power.Cali's death was just the beginning of surprises to come for the Gambino family.Last week, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Fiore and 11 others in a sprawling racketeering scheme linked to the Gambinos, once the country's preeminent organized crime dynasty. The charges stemmed from a yearslong investigation involving wiretapped calls, physical surveillance and even listening devices installed inside an office where mob associates worked.As part of the case, the government released a court filing that offered an extremely rare glimpse at the reactions inside a Mafia family to the murder of their boss -- a curious mix of mourning and jockeying for power. The case showed that life in the mob can be just as petty as life in a corporate cubicle."Mob guys are the biggest gossips in the world," said James J. Hunt, the former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's office in New York. "You think they're tough guys, but they're all looking out for themselves. The only way they get promoted is by a guy dying or going to jail."While Fiore initially plotted how Cali's death would help him and his faction, he adopted a different tone when calling his own ex-wife a few days later, prosecutors said. He warmly referred to Cali as "Frankie" and seemed to mourn the boss as a man who "was loved." He speculated about the killer's motive, saying he had watched the surveillance tape from Cali's home that captured the murder.Vincent Fiore appeared ambitious, court documents showed, eager to reveal his connections to other gangs and organized crime families. About two weeks after Cali's death, Fiore bragged in another wiretapped conversation about how he could take revenge on students who had hit his son at school, a government filing said.Fiore talked first about sending his daughter to beat the students up.But he also had other options, he said on the call. His ex-wife's father was a Latin King, her nephews were Bloods, and her cousin was a member of the Ching-a-Lings, the South Bronx motorcycle gang.Vincent Fiore and the other defendants have each pleaded not guilty to the charges. A lawyer for Fiore did not respond to a request for comment.Despite decades of declining influence in New York City, the Gambino family, led by the notoriously flashy John J. Gotti in the 1980s, is still raking in millions of dollars, according to the government. Prosecutors said they had evidence that the family had maintained its long-standing coziness with the construction industry, infiltrating high-end Manhattan properties.The indictments accused Gambino associates of bribing a real estate executive to skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York City construction projects, including the XI, a luxury building with two twisting towers being built along the High Line park in West Chelsea.At the height of their power in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Gambinos and other organized crime families had a stranglehold on New York City construction, through their control of construction unions and the concrete business.Some of the defendants charged last week operated a carpentry company called CWC Contracting Corp., which prosecutors said paid kickbacks to real estate developers in exchange for contracts.Despite the scramble after Cali's death in March, the Gambino crime family continued to thrive through fraud, bribery and extortion, investigators said.The wiretaps quoted in court papers hinted at the crime family's capacity for violence. One of the defendants was recorded in April claiming that he had a fight in a diner and "stabbed the kid, I don't know, 1,000 times with a fork." Inside another defendant's home and vehicle, agents found brass knuckles and a large knife that appeared to have blood on it.Among the notable names in last week's takedown were two longtime Gambino members, Andrew Campos and Richard Martino, who were once considered by Gotti to be rising stars in the Mafia, according to former officials."John was enamored by these guys," said Philip Scala, a retired FBI agent who supervised the squad investigating the Gambino family. "He couldn't believe what they were doing. These kids were making millions of dollars as entrepreneurs."In particular, Martino has long been viewed by mob investigators as somewhat of a white-collar crime genius, former officials said. Prosecutors have previously accused him of orchestrating the largest consumer fraud of the 1990s, which netted close to $1 billion. One part of that scheme involved a fake pornography website that lured users with the promise of a free tour and then charged their credit cards without their knowledge.Campos, 50, and Martino, 60, each pleaded guilty in 2005 to their role in the fraud and served time in federal prison.But as soon as they were released, the government said, they returned to the family business.Martino is now accused of hiding his wealth from the government to avoid paying the full $9.1 million forfeiture from his earlier case.After Martino's release from prison in 2014, he still controlled companies that conducted millions of dollars in transactions, using intermediaries to obscure his involvement, the government alleged. This included investments in pizzerias on Long Island and in Westchester County, according to a person familiar with the matter.Martino's lawyer, Maurice Sercarz, said his client fully paid the required forfeiture before reporting to prison. He added, "The suggestion that Mr. Martino concealed his ownership of businesses and bank accounts to avoid this obligation ignores or misrepresents his financial circumstances."Campos, meanwhile, climbed the ranks to become a captain inside the Gambino family, according to prosecutors.Henry E. Mazurek, a lawyer for Campos, said the government's photos and surveillance footage of his client were not evidence of a crime. "The government presents a trumped-up case that substitutes old lore for actual evidence," Mazurek said.After searching Campos' home in Scarsdale, New York, a wealthy suburb north of New York City, investigators found traces of a storied mob legacy. In his closet there were photos taken during his visits with Martino to see Frank Locascio, Gotti's former consigliere, or counselor, in prison.Locascio is serving a life sentence. He was convicted in 1992 alongside Gotti by the same U.S. attorney's office that brought last week's indictment. Gotti, who died in prison in 2002, was found guilty of, among other things, ordering the killing of Paul Castellano in 1985, the last time a Gambino boss was gunned down in the street.On March 14, the day after Cali's death, Campos drove into Manhattan around 5:50 p.m. to discuss the circumstances of the murder with Gambino family members, seemingly unaware that law enforcement was tracking his every move.He parked near a pizzeria on the Upper East Side, according to a person familiar with the matter. As the night progressed, he met with Gambino family captains on the Upper East Side and near a church in Brooklyn. They stood in the street, chatting openly, but law enforcement officials could not hear the conversations.Several days later, Campos and Fiore drove to Staten Island for a secret meeting. A group of about eight high-level Gambino lieutenants gathered to discuss Cali's murder, a court filing said. In a wiretapped call the next day, Fiore complained that he had stayed out past midnight.Fiore said on the call that a woman had been at Cali's home the night of his death, pointing to her as a possible connection. Court papers do not reveal the woman's identity.Nobody within the mob family seemed to suspect the person who was charged: a 25-year-old who appeared to have no clear motive.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


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  • How Would America Fight If the Tomahawk Missile Didn't Exist?

    How Would America Fight If the Tomahawk Missile Didn't Exist?An important counterfactual.


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  • An exclusive fundraiser reveals Pete Buttigieg is being backed by some of Silicon Valley's wealthiest families

    An exclusive fundraiser reveals Pete Buttigieg is being backed by some of Silicon Valley's wealthiest familiesButtigieg has come under fire from rival Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for his ties to big tech.


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  • Louisiana sues California over alligator ban

    Louisiana sues California over alligator banLouisiana is suing the state of California over its decision to ban the import and sale of alligator products, saying the ban will hurt an important Louisiana industry and ultimately could hurt the state's wetlands. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Louisiana said the economy surrounding alligators has played a key role in bringing back the American alligator population and is an important factor in protecting wetlands and other species besides alligators that depend on the wetlands. “California has nevertheless attempted to destroy the market for American alligator products notwithstanding the fact that no such alligators live in California," the lawsuit says.


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  • Satellite evades ‘day of reckoning' to discover puzzling weather phenomenon on Jupiter

    Satellite evades ‘day of reckoning' to discover puzzling weather phenomenon on JupiterAt first glance, these newly released images by NASA may look like lava churning in the heart of a volcano, but they reveal otherworldly storm systems whirling in a way that surprised scientists.The swirls in the photos are cyclones around Jupiter's south pole, captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft on Nov. 3, 2019. Juno has been orbiting the solar system's largest planet since 2016 and has seen these polar cyclones before, but its latest flight over this region of the planet revealed a startling discovery - a new cyclone had formed unexpectedly. Six cyclones can be seen at Jupiter's south pole in this infrared image taken on Feb. 2, 2017, during the 3rd science pass of NASA's Juno spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM) Prior to its early November pass, Juno had photographed five windstorms arranged in a uniform, pentagonal pattern around one storm sitting stationary over the south pole."It almost appeared like the polar cyclones were part of a private club that seemed to resist new members," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.It is unclear when exactly the new cyclone formed, but it changed the arrangement of the storms from a pentagon to a hexagon.Winds in these cyclones average around 225 mph, according to NASA, wind speeds higher than any tropical cyclone ever recorded on Earth. An outline of the continental United States superimposed over the central cyclone and an outline of Texas is superimposed over the newest cyclone at Jupiter's south pole give a sense of their immense scale. The hexagonal arrangement of the cyclones is large enough to dwarf the Earth. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM) The discovery of this evolving meteorological phenomenon almost didn't happen as Jupiter itself almost caused the mission to end abruptly.Juno is a solar-powered spacecraft that relies on constant light from the sun to keep the craft alive. Flying through Jupiter's enormous shadow would take about 12 hours to complete, which would cut off the power source, drain the spacecraft's battery and potentially spell the end of the mission."Our navigators and engineers told us a day of reckoning was coming, when we would go into Jupiter's shadow for about 12 hours," said Steve Levin, Juno project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.To avoid the potential mission-ending eclipse, Juno fired up its engine (which was not initially designed for such a maneuver) and adjusted its trajectory just enough to avoid the icy grip of Jupiter's shadow. Jupiter's moon Io casts its shadow on Jupiter whenever it passes in front of the Sun as seen from Jupiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS Image processing by Tanya Oleksuik, (C) CC BY) "Thanks to our navigators and engineers, we still have a mission," said Bolton. "What they did is more than just make our cyclone discovery possible; they made possible the new insights and revelations about Jupiter that lie ahead of us."NASA scientists will continue to study these polar vortices in future flights over Jupiter's south pole to better understand the atmosphere over this part of the planet."These cyclones are new weather phenomena that have not been seen or predicted before," said Cheng Li, a Juno scientist from the University of California, Berkeley. "Nature is revealing new physics regarding fluid motions and how giant planet atmospheres work. Future Juno flybys will help us further refine our understanding by revealing how the cyclones evolve over time."


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  • Why Trump's Senate GOP allies are pushing accusations of Ukraine election meddling

    Why Trump's Senate GOP allies are pushing accusations of Ukraine election meddlingRepublicans are warming to a Ukraine election meddling narrative as they mount a defense for Trump against the fast-moving impeachment proceedings.


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  • Bolivia's interim leader says arrest warrant to be issued against Morales

    Bolivia's interim leader says arrest warrant to be issued against MoralesBolivia will issue an arrest warrant in the coming days against former leftist President Evo Morales, accusing him of sedition, interim Bolivian President Jeanine Anez said on Saturday. Morales is in Argentina, granted refugee status this week just days after the inauguration of new President Alberto Fernandez. Peronist Fernandez succeeded outgoing conservative Argentine leader Mauricio Macri, who lost his bid for re-election in October.


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  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns Iran of 'decisive response' if harm in Iraq

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns Iran of 'decisive response' if harm in IraqSecretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday warned Iran of a “decisive” response if U.S. interests are harmed in Iraq, after a series of rocket attacks on bases.


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  • Decades on, Soviet bombs still killing people in Afghanistan

    Decades on, Soviet bombs still killing people in AfghanistanGholam Mahaiuddin sighs softly as he thinks of his 14-year-old son, who was killed in the spring by a bomb dropped last century in the hills of Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan. "We knew the mountain was dangerous," said Mahaiuddin, who found his son's remains after he didn't come home one day. Forty years after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan -- and three decades since the conflict ended -- the war's legacy continues to claim lives across the country.


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  • Five Italians sentenced to jail for gang rape of British tourist in popular holiday resort

    Five Italians sentenced to jail for gang rape of British tourist in popular holiday resortFive Italians have been jailed for the gang rape of a British woman in the popular resort of Meta di Sorrento, south of Naples. The men, who were all employees of a hotel where the woman was staying, set up a WhatsApp group after the rape which they called “Bad Habits”. They were accused of slipping the 50-year-old Kent woman a date rape drug and then subjecting her to multiple rapes in the Hotel Alimuri on the night of October 6 2016. They filmed and took photos of the assault and some were identified by tattoos on their bodies. The woman was on holiday with her 25-year-old daughter, who went to bed early on the night the attack happened and was not targeted by the Italians. They were sentenced on Friday to prison terms of between four and nine years by a court in the nearby town of Torre Annunziata. The rapists were named as Gennaro Davide Gargiulo, who was given the heaviest sentence of nine years; Antonino Miniero and Fabio De Virgilio, who were sentenced to eight years; Francesco D’Antonio, who will go to jail for seven years; and Raffaele Regio, who was given a four-year sentence. Sorrento is popular with British tourists Credit: Look The British victim was not in court but had been in “a state of anxiety all day” while awaiting the verdict from a panel of three judges, said Lucilla Longone, her Italian lawyer. She was “delighted” with the tough sentences handed down, her lawyer said. When the sentences were read out there was uproar in court, with the defendants’ families shouting and yelling abuse at the judges. Police officers escorted the judges out of the courthouse through a side entrance as around 30 relatives hurled threats at them. The woman was allegedly given a date-rape drug in a drink that she accepted from two of the Italians on the last night of her holiday. The two barmen then took her to a nearby swimming pool and raped her. They then passed her onto the other men, who raped her in a part of the hotel used as staff accommodation. The men photographed her and later shared the photos on a WhatsApp group that they called “Bad Habits”. The judges will deliver their “motivazione” or explanation of the guilty verdicts within 90 days, as is customary under Italian law. Meta di Sorrento is close to Sorrento, a picturesque town which commands views of the Bay of Naples and is a favoured base for exploring the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and the island of Capri. When the men were arrested, Costanzo Iaccarino, the head of the local hoteliers' association, said he was appalled by what had happened. "We treat our guests with great care and the British, for us, have always been our preferred visitors. We participate in travel fairs in London every year." Sorrento is so popular with tourists from Britain that one guidebook nicknames it “Eastbourne-on-the-Med”.


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  • Mortal Enemy? How Does the People's Liberation Army View the United States?

    Mortal Enemy? How Does the People's Liberation Army View the United States?Enemy or adversary?


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  • A California Starbucks reportedly denied police officers service, in the latest of several alleged anti-cop acts at the coffee chain this year

    A California Starbucks reportedly denied police officers service, in the latest of several alleged anti-cop acts at the coffee chain this yearIn July, police officers were asked to leave an Arizona Starbucks. In November, a Starbucks employee was fired after writing "PIG" on a cop's order.


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  • Israel welcomes Belgian parade's removal from UNESCO list

    Israel welcomes Belgian parade's removal from UNESCO listIsrael on Saturday welcomed a decision by the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency to drop a famous Belgian carnival off its heritage list after protests over displays of anti-Semitism. Israel’s rare appreciation of UNESCO came a day after the organization removed the Aalst carnival from its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.


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  • Meghan McCain Confronts Tom Steyer: ‘You Bought Your Way’ Onto Debate Stage

    Meghan McCain Confronts Tom Steyer: ‘You Bought Your Way’ Onto Debate Stage2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer got a warm welcome from every co-host of The View except one on Friday morning. “Mr. Steyer, between you and Mayor Bloomberg, you have now spent $200 million on political ads,” Meghan McCain told their guest. “It hasn't really helped you very much in the polls, but you did make it to the next debate stage. I think you bought your way there, and I don't think it's fair that you’re there and Cory Booker isn't. Change my mind.” After letting out an uncomfortable chuckle, Steyer skirted the question by touting his message about a “broken” government “bought by corporations.” When the candidate pointed out that he has been spending time in the early primary states—unlike that other billionaire—McCain shot back, “Cory Booker has too, who doesn't have $200 million.” “I’m talking about breaking a corporate stranglehold on our government that is preventing it from acting on anything,” Steyer said. “And no one can say that I have been purchased, but I also have 10 years of putting together coalitions like the people in this audience to stand up for our rights and to take on unchecked corporate power that has bought our government.” “But it’s good you have $100 million to buy Facebook ads to get you on a debate stage,” McCain said, interrupting him. “I’m completely unconvinced by this, but we can move on.” Later in the segment, after Steyer vowed to help elect whoever the Democratic nominee ends up being and reminded the hosts that he started “one of the biggest grassroots organizations in the United States,” McCain came back with, “That doesn’t make you a good politician, with all due respect.” “Mayor Bloomberg was mayor for three terms, and so if you’re going to go the billionaire route,” she continued, with a dramatic eye roll, “he's a lot more compelling than you are.” Meghan McCain: Greta Thunberg Didn’t ‘Earn’ Person of the YearRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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  • Kellyanne Conway says Trump is fond of former Epstein lawyer Alan Derschowitz amid rumours he may join impeachment team

    Kellyanne Conway says Trump is fond of former Epstein lawyer Alan Derschowitz amid rumours he may join impeachment teamDonald Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway says the president is "very fond" of Alan Dershowitz amid rumours that the former lawyer for sex offender Jeffery Epstein may join the president's legal team as his impeachment heads to Congress and a trial in the Senate.Ms Conway told reporters at the White House that the president has spoken with Mr Dershowitz "on any number of occasions over time." She said the president will announce his legal time at another time.


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  • The 25 Best Survival Games

    The 25 Best Survival Games


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  • 'We are nothing' without U.N. agency's help, says Palestinian refugee

    'We are nothing' without U.N. agency's help, says Palestinian refugeeBETHLEHEM/GAZA (Reuters) - George Salameh's family has lived in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem for 70 years. Salameh, like many Palestinians whose families were made refugees following the mid-20th century war that surrounded Israel's creation, views his presence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city as temporary. Other Palestinian refugees are scattered from the Gaza Strip to Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.


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  • Malema re-elected as head of SAfrican radical left

    Malema re-elected as head of SAfrican radical leftThe controversial head of South Africa's far left Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, was re-elected unopposed as at a party congress in Johannesburg. "For the position of president, it is Mister Julius Malema, may he please come forward," vote organiser Terry Tselane of the Institute of Election Management Services in Africa announced to some 3,000 delegates late on Saturday.


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  • California Has a Healthy Obsession With the 2020 Census

    California Has a Healthy Obsession With the 2020 Census(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Fears are running high that the 2020 U.S. census could result in a costly undercount in a number of states and communities. Politicians and policy makers in the parts of the country with large hard-to-count immigrant and minority populations are particularly worried.They should be. This will be the first time that the census, carried out every 10 years, is conducted online. Court battles and funding cuts have delayed the production of backup paper forms and shortened the time for testing online portals and rural surveys. Although the courts blocked the administration’s efforts to include a citizenship question, President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and orders to round up undocumented residents may discourage many from taking part in the census.California is especially aware of these challenges. With both vast rural areas and a large immigrant population, the nation’s most populous state faces an undercount that is projected to be as high as 2%, close to double the national average. That could cost the state a seat in the House of Representatives during the next reapportionment process, as well as federal funding for everything from schools to infrastructure.The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that in the 1990 survey, California missed more people than any other state — about 2.7% of its population. The undercount cost the state one House seat and an estimated $2 billion in federal funding during the 1990s.To ensure an accurate count in 2020, California has developed an aggressive strategy that includes enlisting help from the public schools, including teachers, parents and students. It’s an example other states and localities with similar populations should follow, especially because children are among the groups at greatest risk of being undercounted.Federal law makes it a serious crime to share information provided by individuals to the Census Bureau, but noncitizens still need assurance that participating in the survey won’t bring immigration enforcement agents to their doors.Neighborhood schools are ideally positioned to tackle the census challenges, because local residents are more likely to trust them than they are other government entities. Schools can also provide the computers and internet connections that hard-to-count areas often lack, a resource that will be particularly important next year.California has spent at least $100 million since 2017 to ensure an accurate count, and much of that money is going to schools. Thirty-two county offices are funding school-based efforts to reach the targeted populations.Los Angeles County alone — identified as the nation’s “hardest to count” county — will get $2 million for a range of activities, from training parents and administrators about the importance of the census to setting up kiosks where families can fill out survey forms.Neighboring Orange County has allocated funds to a school district in Anaheim, which has a large Latino and Asian population, to train parents to operate school-based centers where families can get information and help in filling out the online surveys. Student groups are involved, and there is curriculum training for teachers who want to do census-related units in their classes.As an example of these grass-roots efforts, the superintendent of the Anaheim Union High School District, Michael Matsuda, last spring enlisted the help of the leader of the Vietnamese students’ association at one school. Anika Nguyenkhoa, 17, developed a Ted talk-like speech that she has presented to hundreds of parents and county educators. She is teaming up with the heads of Vietnamese groups at other Anaheim high schools for two news conferences in February, one for the general public and the other targeting Vietnamese students.The school district has also enlisted the Anaheim Bros, a civic fraternity founded, initially, to give young Latinos an alternative to gangs. By connecting the census to political representation and to local funding, Anaheim’s push is part of a district-wide civics-awareness effort that Matsuda sees as essential for engaging immigrant students and their families.A few other states also are targeting schools, including Illinois and New Mexico. New Mexico, which has remote rural populations, recently set aside $3.4 million to encourage counties, public schools and Native American communities to complete the population survey; Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is seeking an additional $8 million for the census campaign.New Jersey has designated 21 schools for outreach efforts. Public schools in Newark, which has a large minority and homeless population that makes it a hard-to-count city, will be open to parents on April 1, the day most states start the census count, so they can complete surveys at their children’s schools.Local efforts can have a huge impact. In 2010, census outreach by the Dominican community in New York City’s Washington Heights resulted in a response rate of close to 80 percent — among the highest in the nation, according to Ahsia Badi, New York State census director for Emgage USA, a Muslim-American civic organization. As a result, she said, Washington Heights gained six new schools. Badi is using the Washington Heights example to try to overcome mistrust among Muslims in New York, where the police used census data to identify and spy on Muslim communities after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.California’s census strategy should serve as a beacon for states like New York, which only rolled out its 2020 census plan the week before Thanksgiving. Although the New York City Department of Education plans to provide information on the census, including fliers, to students and families, the state needs a grass-roots strategy for getting out the count — one that will include teachers, students and families.Neighborhood schools offer more than just a resource for completing the census in hard-to-count states and communities. For all states, a K-12 census strategy could serve as a valuable lesson in civics for students and community engagement for parents.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Gabor at Andrea.Gabor@baruch.cuny.eduTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Katy Roberts at kroberts29@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Gabor, a former editor at Business Week and U.S. News & World Report, is the Bloomberg chair of business journalism at Baruch College of the City University of New York and the author of "After the Education Wars: How Smart Schools Upend the Business of Reform."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Will the Navy's New LRASM Missile Change the Balance of Power?

    Will the Navy's New LRASM Missile Change the Balance of Power?Or will it keep the status quo?


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  • The US and NATO are preparing for Russia to go after troops in the field and at home

    The US and NATO are preparing for Russia to go after troops in the field and at homeNATO is designed for air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace operations, but on the fringes of those, hybrid activity poses a new kind of challenge.


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  • Judge: 234K Wisconsin voter registrations should be tossed; victory for conservatives

    Judge: 234K Wisconsin voter registrations should be tossed; victory for conservativesA Wisconsin judge on Friday ordered that the registration of up to 234,000 voters be tossed out because they may have moved, a victory for conservatives that could make it more difficult for people to vote next year in the key swing state.


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  • US officials downgrade Venezuelan aviation safety rating

    US officials downgrade Venezuelan aviation safety ratingU.S. authorities downgraded Venezuela's aviation rating Friday, saying the crisis-torn nation isn't able to meet basic international standards for airline safety. The Federal Aviation Administration said it recently performed an “extensive review” of Venezuela's civil aviation authority, leading to the status change. “The Venezuelan regime does not comply” with international standards, the FAA statement said.


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  • Blowback from U.K. election burns Warren, Sanders

    Blowback from U.K. election burns Warren, SandersCentrists warn Corbyn defeat highlights the dangers of a progressive nominee.


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  • The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy

    The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change EnergyThe next step in nuclear power is 1/100th the size of today's reactors.


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  • Thousands join biggest protest for years in Thai capital

    Thousands join biggest protest for years in Thai capitalSeveral thousand people took part in Thailand's biggest protest since a 2014 coup on Saturday after authorities moved to ban a party that has rallied opposition to the government of former military ruler Prayuth Chan-ocha. The demonstration in Bangkok, called just a day earlier by Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a 41-year-old billionaire, revived memories of the spasms of street protest that have roiled the Thai capital periodically during the past two decades of political turbulence. "This is just the beginning," Thanathorn told the cheering crowd that spilled across walkways and stairways close to the MBK Centre mall, in the heart of Bangkok's shopping and business district.


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  • Israel eyes Dubai expo as 'portal' to Arab world

    Israel eyes Dubai expo as 'portal' to Arab worldWith the world's largest trade fair opening in an Arab country for the first time next year, Israel is stepping up preparations, hoping to boost nascent ties with regional neighbours. The Dubai Expo 2020 trade fair will gather nearly 200 countries vying for the attention of a projected 25 million visitors over nearly six months from October. Like most Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates has no diplomatic relations with Israel.


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  • Spokane Cop Accused of Sex Assault Finally Loses Pay After More Accusers Come Forward

    Spokane Cop Accused of Sex Assault Finally Loses Pay After More Accusers Come ForwardA Washington state police officer once told a coworker he would “say exactly what's on my mind, unless I'm on body camera.” This week, his boast came back to haunt him. The Spokane Police Department suspended Officer Nathan Nash without pay after a domestic violence victim accused him of assaulting her, and a police investigation found he had turned off his body camera during the event.The investigation began in October, when a domestic violence victim told the police department Nash had sexually assaulted her in a follow-up call to her house. The woman says she called Nash to ask about the location of her evidence photos, according to court documents obtained by KXLY. Nash allegedly asked her to meet in a private place to “go over the bruises on her body” and then pressed her to let him come over before her mother returned. On his way to the woman’s apartment, Nash allegedly turned off both his body camera and tracking equipment, resulting in a 36-minute location gap that a police analyst later described as “peculiar.” Once inside, the woman says, Nash followed her into her bedroom and directed her to take off her pants and underwear. She told investigators she was confused by the request, but complied because he was a police officer. The woman says Nash then penetrated her with his fingers for 30 seconds to a minute. She says she panicked, but thought it might be what he was supposed to do. Eventually, she says she told Nash "OK, that's enough." She later told investigators the alleged assault was the worst thing that has ever happened" to her.Before leaving, the woman says, he gave her his personal cellphone number. He did not photograph or otherwise document her bruises.When questioned by investigators, Nash blamed the incident on the domestic violence victim, suggesting that she had come on to him and become “embarrassed, mad, or upset,” when he ended the sexual contact, according to court documents. He added that the police department's body camera manual was more than 100 pages and “there's no way I'm gonna know all that content." In a statement after Nash's arrest, his personal attorney Rocco Treppiedi said Nash “categorically denies the allegation of sexual assault and any criminal activity.” “Ofc. Nash considered the additional evidence she provided, and immediately followed up on the information she provided,” Treppiedi said. Nash’s attorneys did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.In the weeks after the initial report, two more women came forward with concerns about Nash. One was a second domestic violence victim, who told investigators that Nash had come on to her while he was investigating her complaint in May. During a visit to her home, the woman said, Nash made a point of turning off his bodycam, then gave her his personal cellphone number and said he would respond faster than 911. Over the following weeks, she says he friended her on Facebook and started liking photos of her in lingerie, and sending her “creepy” and “needy” messages. According to court documents, she told investigators she felt he “had a hidden agenda of starting a relationship with her.”A police department volunteer also complained about Nash, claiming he had given her his personal number and sent her inappropriate texts, including a Jeopardy-themed message reading, “Things I would like to do to you for $600,” and “Answer: what is a naked back rub?”“I’m too old to play games, no need in beating around the bush,” Nash allegedly wrote in another message. “I just say exactly what’s on my mind, unless I’m on body camera."Nash was arrested on Nov. 22 and pleaded not guilty to second- and third-degree rape and official misconduct. His trial is set to begin in February.Nash was originally placed on administrative leave while the investigation progressed. This week, the police department put him on “unpaid lay-off status,” meaning he will not work or be paid until the outcome of his case is determined.  If he is found not guilty, he will be reinstated while the department investigates whether he violated any department policy, City spokesperson Marlene Feist told local news station KREM.“The alleged conduct is completely unacceptable and in absolute conflict with the high standards of the Spokane Police Department,” Chief Craig Meidl said in a press release. “Our men and women took an oath to protect and serve the community in which we live. We will not shy away from that oath and it will be upheld.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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  • Could This Be The End Of Iran?

    Could This Be The End Of Iran?Iran is facing serious internal and external problems.


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  • A pair of 3D-printed homes built in 24 hours are kicking off the 'world's first 3D-printed community.' They cost residents just $20 per month.

    A pair of 3D-printed homes built in 24 hours are kicking off the 'world's first 3D-printed community.' They cost residents just $20 per month.The homes are part of a planned community for low-income residents in Tabasco, Mexico. Residents will pay a mortgage of $20 per month.


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  • Justin Trudeau moves forward with ban on LGBT+ conversion therapy across Canada

    Justin Trudeau moves forward with ban on LGBT+ conversion therapy across CanadaLGBT+ conversion therapy could soon be banned across Canada after Justin Trudeau made this one of the priorities for his new government.In a letter to the country’s justice secretary on Friday, the prime minister stated that banning the controversial practice of attempting to forcibly change people’s gender or sexuality must be a “top priority”.


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  • Suit: Pilot tried to warn before dozer killed pot suspect

    Suit: Pilot tried to warn before dozer killed pot suspectThe family of a marijuana suspect who wound up dead under the treads of a bulldozer commandeered by Pennsylvania State Police has filed an amended lawsuit that raises new questions about the agency's tactics. The family is suing state police, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and others. The suit accuses police of extreme recklessness in their pursuit of 51-year-old Gregory Longenecker, who had been caught growing marijuana plants on public land near Reading.


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  • Why is the president of the United States cyberbullying a 16-year-old girl?

    Why is the president of the United States cyberbullying a 16-year-old girl?What it says to girls is: no matter what you do, no matter how much you achieve, powerful men will try to cut you downThe morning after election day 2016, I got a call from a girls’ school in New York where I was scheduled to speak. “We have to reschedule,” said a representative from the school. “The girls are too upset.”Girls across the country were upset when Trump was elected, but not simply on partisan grounds. They were upset because Donald Trump was a bully, a cyberbully, and he bullied girls and young women like them – women like the former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who revealed that, when she was 19, he called her “Miss Piggy,” a dig at her weight.In a New York Times poll in the run-up to the election, nearly half of girls aged 14 to 17 said that Trump’s comments about women affected the way they think about their bodies. Only 15% of girls said they would vote for him if they could.And now Trump has a new target for his bullying: Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist. Thunberg seems to be really making Trump upset, without meaning to. She doesn’t fit into any of his ideas of how girls are supposed to act. She isn’t trying to be a contestant in one of his beauty pageants. She’s too busy trying to get world leaders like him to do something about the climate crisis. She’s too occupied by giving speeches at places like the UN – where Trump was laughed at, when he gave a speech in 2018, and Thunberg was met with respect, despite slamming the entire body for “misleading” the public with inadequate emission-reduction pledges.In the last couple of weeks, while Trump was seemingly mocked by his peers at the Nato summit in London, and impeachment hearings against him began, Thunberg was named Time’s person of the year, an honor Trump reportedly wanted. And so he did what he always seems to do, on Twitter, when he’s upset: he lashed out by accusing the person upsetting him of the very things he’s feeling, or is guilty of.“Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “Chill Greta, Chill!”Poor Trump. This tweet didn’t sound very chill. And Thunberg knew it. Like the majority of girls growing up in the digital age, she has been cyberbullied before – by Trump himself, who, after her celebrated speech before the UN General Assembly, sarcastically tweeted, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”Both times Trump has tweeted about her, Thunberg’s responses have been jocular, and sarcastic in kind. This week, she changed her Twitter bio to: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”In her handling of being cyberbullied by the president of the United States, at age 16, Thunberg has become an inspiration for girls two times over – first as a climate activist, then as a social media ninja.But that doesn’t mean that Trump’s cyberbullying of Thunberg is any less despicable, or dangerous. What it says to girls all over the world is: no matter what you do, no matter how much you achieve, powerful men can and will try to cut you down.This message is depressing, scary and not without potentially dire consequences. It’s a message that has contributed to a precipitous rise in the suicide rate among girls. It’s a message that has contributed to rising anxiety and depression among girls and young women. It’s a message that Trump’s wife, Melania, is supposed to be combatting, with her campaign against cyberbullying.But girls don’t need Melania Trump to be their role model in fighting against online harassment. They have each other, and they have Thunberg. * Nancy Jo Sales is a writer at Vanity Fair and the author of American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers


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  • Jeremy Corbyn's humiliating defeat a 'canary in the coal mine' for Democrats warns Mike Bloomberg

    Jeremy Corbyn's humiliating defeat a 'canary in the coal mine' for Democrats warns Mike BloombergPresidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has described Jeremy Corbyn’s crushing defeat as a “canary in the coal mine” for the Democrats as the party gears up for 2020 election. With the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary only a couple of months away, Democrat centrists have seized upon the UK election results as evidence of the danger the party faces if it drifts too far to the left. In recent weeks divisions between the centrist and radical wings have been laid bare, particularly over health care. Leading left-winger Elizabeth Warren, who had been polling strongly, has come under attack for her blueprint which would eventually see America’s private health insurance system replaced by a state-run Medicare system. Moderates have warned that her radical policies would make her unelectable. Speaking in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr Bloomberg, a former New York mayor and late entrant to the Democrat race, said the party should learn the lessons of Mr Corbyn’s disastrous campaign. Democrat candidates "I think it's sort of a catastrophic warning to the Democratic Party to have somebody that can beat Donald Trump and that is not going to be easy. Americans want to change, but I think they don't want revolutionary change — they want evolutionary change." Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is now leading in Iowa and New Hampshire, has emerged as the main hope of the centrists as Joe Biden’s campaign shows signs of faltering. He also suggested there were lessons to be learned from the UK.  “It means that you’ve got to be ready to build a coalition and gather that majority,” Mr Buttigieg said. Another moderate Democratic candidate, John Delaney, urged the party to take on board what had happened in the UK election.  “Despite the turmoil caused by Brexit, Boris Johnson just won a massive victory with the British electorate, which should be a wake-up call to Democrats," he said. "Johnson proved that mainstream voters will not embrace an extreme economic plan that will cause upheaval, just because they are not fans of the conservative leader." Meanwhile, Mr Biden, whose main pitch to has been his ability to beat Donald Trump, will rely on a bastion of states in the US South to see him to the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination - and potentially the White House. Although the former vice president is faltering in New Hampshire and Iowa, the latest polls show him building seemingly impregnable leads in the South. Mr Biden leads easily in South Carolina, which will the fourth state to vote. He is also comfortably ahead in Texas, Mississippi,  North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee - in some cases by over 20 points. Mr Biden's base in the southern states relies on his support from black voters. In South Carolina two-thirds of the Democrat primary electorate is black. A Quinnipiac poll this week showed Mr Biden with 51 per cent support from black voters in the state, with his nearest rival Mr Sanders on 13 per cent.


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  • House Republicans once passed a law to hamper Obama. Now it's being used to delay Trump's wall.

    House Republicans once passed a law to hamper Obama. Now it's being used to delay Trump's wall.Hindsight, they say, is 20/20. Some House Republicans might have that cliche on their minds these days.That's because U.S. District Court Judge David Briones has continually ruled against the Trump administration's efforts to fund the president's oft-promised wall at the U.S.'s southern border by pointing to an obscure legislative provision passed by the House GOP back in 2014, Politico reports.The provision, which prohibits the chief executive from doing anything to "eliminate or reduce funding for any program, project, or activity as proposed in the president's budget request" until Congress gives the thumbs up, was initially put in place to prevent former President Barack Obama from making cuts to space exploration. While born from a narrow dispute, the restrictions wound up being applied government-wide when enacted, and a year later Republicans added "increase" along side "eliminate" and "reduce."Briones has utilized the language in his rulings on the wall, noting that Trump doesn't have the authority to move money from other military construction projects to fund the wall. It looks like he has his own party to thank. Read more at Politico.More stories from theweek.com Trump's pathological obsession with being laughed at The most important day of the impeachment inquiry Jerry Falwell Jr.'s false gospel of memes


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  • Cholera kills over 27,000 pigs in Indonesia

    Cholera kills over 27,000 pigs in IndonesiaMore than 27,000 pigs have died in a hog-cholera epidemic that has struck Indonesia, with thousands more at risk, an animal welfare official said. Thousands of pigs have died in more than a dozen regencies across North Sumatra over the past three months, and the pace of deaths is increasing, authorities said.


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