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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,332

Journal Archives

German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure

Source: Washington Post

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged early Monday to maintain stability after the Free Democratic Party pulled out of talks on forming a new government with her conservative bloc and the left-leaning Greens, raising the possibility of new elections.

Merkel told reporters that the parties had been close to reaching a consensus on how to proceed with formal coalition talks but that the Free Democrats decided abruptly to pull out just before midnight Sunday — a move she said she respected, but found “regrettable.”

She said she would consult with Germany’s president later in the day to brief him on the negotiations and discuss what comes next.

Without bringing the Free Democrats back to the table, Merkel will be forced to try to continue her current governing coalition with the Social Democrats, although that center-left party has said it will not do so, or she could try to form a minority government, which was seen as unlikely. Otherwise Germany will have to hold new elections.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/german-government-talks-collapse-merkel-seeks-to-reassure/2017/11/19/1a0e22c6-cd8d-11e7-a87b-47f14b73162a_story.html?utm_term=.c677299aabc2

Ohio governor candidate brags about sexual history

Source: The Hill

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate and sitting state Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill responded to the recent sexual misconduct accusations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Friday by boasting about his own sexual history.

"Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males," O'Neill said in a Facebook post on his personal account.

"In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland," he went on.

O'Neill confirmed to Cleveland.com that he wrote the post.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/360913-ohio-governor-candidate-brags-about-sexual-history

I am now convinced that people are idiots.

Kagan withdraws from Supreme Court immigration case

Source: Washington Post

Justice Elena Kagan has stepped aside from the Supreme Court’s consideration of a case involving the rights of immigrants who are detained while the government considers deporting them.

Court clerk Scott Harris says in a letter Friday that Kagan belatedly discovered that she authorized a court filing at an earlier stage of the case when she was serving in the Justice Department.

Justices typically take themselves out of cases if they’ve played even a minor role at any point.

There now will be eight justices to decide the issue. The court has heard arguments twice. The first round, in 2016, was inconclusive. That was before Neil Gorsuch joined the court.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/kagan-withdraws-from-supreme-court-immigration-case/2017/11/10/51ce6a8a-c672-11e7-9922-4151f5ca6168_story.html?utm_term=.b6b456e56081

Baltimore police van driver Caesar Goodson not guilty on all 21 administrative charges in Freddie Gr

Source: Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. was found not guilty Tuesday of all 21 administrative charges against him in the 2015 arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

The verdict absolves Goodson once and for all in the high-profile case, and allows him to continue his career in the city police force.

Goodson, 48, the driver of the police van in which Gray was found with severe and ultimately fatal spinal cord injuries in April 2015, had faced possible termination if any of the charges against him was sustained. He was charged with neglecting his duty by failing to ensure Gray’s safety, including by not securing a handcuffed and shackled Gray in a seat belt and not calling a medic for Gray after he requested one. He was also charged with making false statements to investigators.

The decision clearing him of all charges was unanimous among the three law enforcement officials who presided over the six-day administrative trial, and follows his acquittal on all criminal charges, including second-degree depraved-heart murder, at a separate trial last year.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-goodson-tuesday-20171107-story.html

Apple's iPhone X has higher margin than iPhone 8: analysis

Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) new flagship iPhone X makes the company more money per phone than its iPhone 8 model, according to an analysis, which found the iPhone X’s flashier parts cost Apple 25 percent more than the iPhone 8, but that it retailed 43 percent higher.

The iPhone X smartphone costs $357.50 to make and sells for $999, giving it a gross margin of 64 percent, according to TechInsights, a firm that tears down technology devices and analyzes the parts inside. The iPhone 8 sells for $699 and has a gross margin of 59 percent.

The finding is surprising because technology products tend to become more profitable as they age and the parts for them drop in cost.

The iPhone X is a brand new design that went on sale on Friday, to apparently strong demand, while the iPhone 8 is an update on last year’s iPhone 7, which itself was similar to the iPhone 6 released in 2014.


Trump administration ending protections for thousands of Nicaraguan migrants, defers decision on Hon

Source: LA Times

The Trump administration said Monday it will end a special reprieve from deportation for thousands of Nicaraguans who have been allowed to stay in the U.S. for years, but delayed a decision on similar protections for tens of thousands of Hondurans.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that it would not renew Temporary Protected Status for about 5,300 Nicaraguans whose protections under the program expire on Jan. 5. They will be allowed to stay in the U.S. only until Jan. 5, 2019, unless they qualify to stay under other provisions of immigration law, senior administration officials told reporters.

But the administration gave a six month reprieve to some 86,000 Hondurans also covered by the program. The officials said that acting Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke needed more time to determine if conditions in Honduras had improved enough to allow them to return home.

The temporary status program was originally set up to protect immigrants from countries that were badly hurt by hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Many have lived in the U.S. for as much as 20 years, with large numbers in southern California.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-trump-administration-ending-protections-1510012896-htmlstory.html

Warm Air Helped Make 2017 Ozone Hole Smallest Since 1988

Source: NASA

According to NASA, the ozone hole reached its peak extent on Sept. 11, covering an area about two and a half times the size of the United States – 7.6 million square miles in extent - and then declined through the remainder of September and into October. NOAA ground- and balloon-based measurements also showed the least amount of ozone depletion above the continent during the peak of the ozone depletion cycle since 1988. NOAA and NASA collaborate to monitor the growth and recovery of the ozone hole every year.

“The Antarctic ozone hole was exceptionally weak this year,” said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is what we would expect to see given the weather conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere.”

The smaller ozone hole in 2017 was strongly influenced by an unstable and warmer Antarctic vortex – the stratospheric low pressure system that rotates clockwise in the atmosphere above Antarctica. This helped minimize polar stratospheric cloud formation in the lower stratosphere. The formation and persistence of these clouds are important first steps leading to the chlorine- and bromine-catalyzed reactions that destroy ozone, scientists said. These Antarctic conditions resemble those found in the Arctic, where ozone depletion is much less severe.

In 2016, warmer stratospheric temperatures also constrained the growth of the ozone hole. Last year, the ozone hole reached a maximum 8.9 million square miles, 2 million square miles less than in 2015. The average area of these daily ozone hole maximums observed since 1991 has been roughly 10 million square miles.

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/warm-air-helped-make-2017-ozone-hole-smallest-since-1988

Slidell vet declines award 'tainted' by NFL protests; Saints call his decision 'sad and divisive'

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune

The head of a Slidell-based military veterans' organization has declined to accept a senior citizen award that was to have been presented during Sunday's (Nov. 5) New Orleans Saints game in the Superdome, citing the ongoing demonstrations by players before and during the national anthem at NFL games.

Retired Navy Cmdr. John Wells, executive director of the national Military Veterans Advocacy, was named a Peoples Health Champion, an award given by the Medicare health insurance advantage organization to citizens over 65 who have made significant accomplishments after reaching "senior citizen" status.

But on Wednesday, Wells told the organization he was unable "in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium" while some players "disrespect" the American flag by kneeling or sitting during the anthem. Some Saints players in recent weeks have kneeled before the anthem, then stood while the anthem is sung.

A disabled veteran who served in the Navy from 1972 until 1994 and later became an attorney specializing in military and veterans law, Wells said he is dismayed by the NFL's refusal to disallow the protests

Read more: http://www.nola.com/northshore/index.ssf/2017/11/slidell_veterans_advocate_decl.html

Trump's Twitter account briefly 'inadvertently deactivated' by Twitter employee, company says

Source: ABC News

The Twittersphere lit up Thursday night when President Donald Trump's Twitter account was briefly deactivated -- an action "inadvertently" caused by a Twitter employee, the social media company said.

"Sorry, that page doesn't exist!" was the message that greeted visitors to Trump's Twitter page, @RealDonaldTrump, for eleven minutes around 7 p.m. ET.

The president has 41.7 million Twitter followers.

Twitter said in a statement, "Earlier today @realdonaldtrump's account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-twitter-account-briefly-critics-seize-chance-ridicule/story?id=50897711

U.S. Passports of Child Sex Offenders Will Note Their Convictions

Source: New York Times

The passports of Americans convicted of sex offenses against a child will soon bear a mark of their crimes.

The State Department announced this week that a sentence noting their conviction would be added to the back inside cover of offenders’ passports.


Smaller passport cards, which can be used only for very limited international travel, will not be issued to such offenders because they lack room for a similar message. It was not immediately clear how many passport holders would be affected.

The policy, which went into effect on Tuesday, was required under legislation passed in 2016 known as “International Megan’s Law.” It is named for Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old girl from New Jersey whose rape and murder in 1994 inspired a slew of namesake laws that allow neighbors to be notified when a sex offender moves to their community. Her attacker, a neighbor, had previous child sex offense convictions.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/02/us/passports-child-sex-offenders.html
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