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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 3,659

Journal Archives

Just In: Atlanta's Confederate streets get new names

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed a bill Wednesday officially renaming three city streets with Confederate in their names.

Confederate Avenue and East Confederate Avenue will be renamed United Avenue and United Avenue S.E., respectively and a third street, Confederate Court, will be renamed Trestletree Court, after apartment buildings that are on the street.

After a months-long campaign that included meetings, door-to-door canvassing and a ballot process spearheaded by residents who live along the streets, the renaming measure got the unanimous vote of the Atlanta City Council on Monday. In a small, private ceremony attended by City Council Member Carla Smith, who pushed the legislation through, Bottoms turned the page on a contentious issue.

Residents of the neighborhoods chose the new names and new street signs are expected to begin going up after Thanksgiving.

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/local/just-atlanta-confederate-streets-get-new-names/uStM5kDReX0Y5CmemAygrM/

Mueller shedding more attorneys in Russia investigation

Source: AP

Special counsel Robert Mueller is shedding more attorneys, another sign that his team of prosecutors has begun winding down parts of their investigation.

Two prosecutors detailed to the Russia investigation for the past year are returning to their duties in other parts of the Justice Department. They join two other attorneys who left the team, assigned to investigate potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, over the summer.

The departures are the latest indication that Mueller's team is wrapping up parts of the investigation and focusing its efforts on critical remaining strands, including an active grand jury probe of longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone.

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr says prosecutor Brandon Van Grack has already returned to the Justice Department's national security division but will continue to be involved in cases he was assigned to. That includes the investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/mueller-shedding-more-attorneys-russia-investigation-212115823--politics.html

New dwarf planet spotted at the very fringe of our solar system

Source: Washington Post

A previously unknown dwarf planet circles through the far reaches of our solar system, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced Tuesday. Officially designated 2015 TG387, the small and spherical object is probably a ball of ice. Astronomers first observed the dwarf planet on Oct. 13, 2015, from the Subaru telescope at Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatories. Embracing the near-Halloween October spirit — and for want of something pronounceable — its discoverers nicknamed 2015 TG387 “the Goblin.”

The Goblin is “about 300 kilometers in diameter, on the small end of a dwarf planet,” said Scott Sheppard, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington who discovered the object along with colleagues at Northern Arizona University, University of Hawaii and the University of Oklahoma. Dwarf planet Pluto, by comparison, is six times as wide.

Sheppard has embarked on an ongoing survey to find tiny planetoids on the solar system’s outer rim. He’s interested in the Goblin because it “always stays well beyond the giant planet region,” referring to the lineup of our solar system’s four biggest planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Because 2015 TG387 exists so far away, speaking in terms of miles becomes unwieldy. Instead, astronomers refer to its orbit in astronomical units, or AU, where 1 AU is the distance between the sun and Earth. Pluto sits at an average of 40 AU from the sun. The Goblin comes no closer than 65 AU.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/02/new-dwarf-planet-spotted-very-fringe-our-solar-system/

White House Tells F.B.I. to Interview Anyone Necessary for Kavanaugh Inquiry

Source: New York Times

The White House has authorized the F.B.I. to expand its abbreviated investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh by interviewing anyone it deems necessary as long as the review is finished by the end of the week, two people briefed on the matter said on Monday.

The new directive came in the last 24 hours after a backlash from Democrats, who criticized the White House for limiting the scope of the bureau’s investigation into President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. The F.B.I. has already completed interviews with the four witnesses its agents were originally asked to talk to, the people said.

Mr. Trump said on Monday that he favored a “comprehensive” F.B.I. investigation and had no problem if the bureau wanted to question Judge Kavanaugh or even a third accuser who was left off the initial witness list if she seemed credible. His only concerns he said, were that the investigation be wrapped up quickly and that it take direction from the Senate Republicans who will determine whether Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed.

“The F.B.I. should interview anybody that they want within reason, but you have to say within reason,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden after an event celebrating a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. “But they should also be guided, and I’m being guided, by what the senators are looking for.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/us/politics/trump-fbi-kavanaugh.html

U.S., Canada and Mexico just reached a sweeping new NAFTA deal. Here's what's in it.

Source: Washington Post

Here’s a rundown of what’s in the “new NAFTA.”

New name: Goodbye NAFTA. The new deal will be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA. Trump, who had long disdained NAFTA, had suggested he might call it the “USMC,” in honor of the U.S. Marine Corps, but in the end, USMCA won out.

Big changes for cars. The goal of the new deal is to have more cars and truck parts made in North America. Starting in 2020, to qualify for zero tariffs, a car or truck must have 75 percent of its components manufactured in Canada, Mexico or the United States, a substantial boost from the current 62.5 percent requirement.

There’s also a new rule that a significant percentage of the work done on the car must be completed by workers earning at least $16 an hour, or about three times what the typical Mexican autoworker makes. Starting in 2020, cars and trucks should have at least 30 percent of the work on the vehicle done by worker earning $16 an hour. That gradually moves up to 40 percent for cars by 2023.


Trump’s victory: Canada opens up its milk market to U.S. farmers. Trump tweeted often about how unfair he thought it was that Canada charged such high tariffs on U.S. dairy products. Canada has a complex milk and dairy system. To ensure Canadian dairy farmers don’t go bankrupt, the Canadian government restricts how much dairy can be produced in the country and how much foreign dairy can enter to keep milk prices high. Trump didn’t like that and dairy was a major sticking point in the negotiations.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/10/01/us-canada-mexico-just-reached-sweeping-new-nafta-deal-heres-whats-it/?utm_term=.6e2818aa9e19

Study Confirms Cats Aren't That Into Catching Rats

We've long been told that cats can help tamp down rat populations—let's face it, who wouldn't want a Ninja force of cats to combat vermin? However, a new study from Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution has shattered conventional wisdom, positing that cats actually don't catch that many rats.

Ecologist Michael Parsons, a visiting professor at Fordham University, spent time with colleagues observing the behavior of rats and cats at a rat-infested Brooklyn recycling facility. (Nice work if you can get it.) The study concludes that "feral cats (Felis catus) are predators that cause widespread loss of native wildlife in urban ecosystems. Despite these risks, cats are commonly released as control agents for city rats (Rattus spp.). Cats can influence their prey directly by killing or indirectly through changes to feeding or space-use. However, cats prefer defenseless prey, and there are no data suggesting that cats influence large (>300 g) urban rats."

In other words, cats don't really want to expend much energy chasing after and fighting with rats, which are more of a pain to catch and kill. Plus they are rats!

Parsons had actually been researching rat behavior when he made the discovery. According to Scientific American, this was his initial reaction to noticing the cats at the recycling facility: "As a behavioral ecologist, I was like, ‘Let’s get rid of the cats so we can do our rat research.'" But then he realized, "We don’t know what the rats will do around the cats," which quickly became,


College football player from Atlanta in critical condition with head injury

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An Atlanta native and Tennessee State football player is in critical condition after he suffered a head injury in Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.

Christion Abercrombie, a sophomore linebacker who played at Westlake High School in south Fulton County, was rushed to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville for emergency surgery, the Tennessean newspaper reported. He was injured in the second quarter.

Tennessee State coach Rod Reed didn’t know the exact time of Abercrombie’s injury.

“It was right before the half,” Reed told the Tennessean. “He came to the sideline and just kind of collapsed there.”

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/local/college-football-player-from-atlanta-critical-condition-with-head-injury/a6keuTCDuKTOUDyS2u5jFM/

Police and State's Attorney response to Montgomery County House Delegation's request to open crimina

Source: Baltimore Sun

Police and State’s Attorney response to Montgomery County House Delegation’s request to open criminal investigation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh


To date, there have been no criminal reports filed with the Montgomery County Department of Police that would lead to the initiation of any criminal investigation related to Judge Kavanaugh. Furthermore, the law at the time the offense occurred is the law that must be applied to any charges that might be brought. For example, in 1982, assault and attempted rape were both misdemeanors and subject to a one-year statute of limitations. The Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office stand ready to investigate any sexual assault allegation from any victim where the incident occurred in our jurisdiction.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-police-and-state-s-attorney-response-to-montgomery-county-house-delegation-s-request-to-open-crimina-20180928-htmlstory.html#

Judge Says Democratic Lawmakers Can Sue Trump On Emoluments

Source: NPR

About 200 Democrats in the House and Senate have won a judge's approval to go ahead with their anti-corruption lawsuit against President Trump.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, in Washington, D.C., said the lawmakers have standing to sue Trump. They allege he violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, as his hotels and other establishments around the world profit from spending and favors by foreign governments.

Justice Department lawyers, representing Trump, contended that only Congress, not its members acting individually, could deal with the emoluments clause.

The Foreign Emoluments Clause bars U.S. officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments unless Congress consents. It's a visible issue, as some foreign dignitaries pay to stay at Trump's hotel while on official visits to the White House.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2018/09/28/652820065/judge-says-democratic-lawmakers-can-sue-trump-on-emoluments

Red-state Democrats refuse to come out against Kavanaugh

Source: Politico

Democrats have all the cover they need to vote in lockstep against Brett Kavanaugh. But a half-dozen of them have refused to go there, even after the pair of sexual assault allegations against the Supreme Court nominee.

Democratic insiders are feeling more bullish than ever that the party’s 49 caucus members ultimately will oppose Kavanaugh. Yet the undeclared bloc of Democratic senators could be a problem for Democratic leaders, who want to put the weight of the nomination entirely on a handful of holdout Republicans.

“I’m very open. I haven’t closed any doors at all on Kavanaugh. I just want to make sure there’s a fair, open and civil hearing,” said Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, perhaps the most conservative Democrat. “The man has to have a chance to clear his name, but these ladies have the complete opportunity to tell their story.”

Manchin said the allegations haven’t made him any less likely to vote against Kavanaugh than he was two weeks ago: “It hasn’t changed anything. I’m still waiting for this hearing.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/25/red-state-democrats-kavanaugh-841400
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