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Missouri governor declares state of emergency amid rising floodwaters in Midwestern U.S.
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 17:08:39 -0400

Missouri governor declares state of emergency amid rising floodwaters in Midwestern U.S.Flooding triggered by last week's so-called "bomb cyclone" storm has already inflicted damage estimated at nearly $1.5 billion in Nebraska, killed at least four people in Nebraska and Iowa and left a man missing below Nebraska's collapsed Spencer Dam. "The rising floodwaters are affecting more Missouri communities and farms, closing more roads and threatening levees, water treatment plants and other critical infrastructure," Governor Mike Parson said in issuing his emergency declaration. "We will continue to work closely with our local partners to assess needs and provide resources to help as Missourians continue this flood fight and as we work to assist one another," Parson said.


'We just want the guns back': New Zealand announces immediate ban of assault rifles
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 10:32:02 -0400

'We just want the guns back': New Zealand announces immediate ban of assault riflesNew Zealand's Jacinda Ardern announces ban on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and military-style semi-automatic rifles after mosque shootings.


Juan Guaido's chief of staff snatched from his home at 2am
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:45:41 -0400

Juan Guaido's chief of staff snatched from his home at 2amThe United States has threatened Venezuela with severe consequences unless President Nicolas Maduro immediately release a senior aide to Juan Guaido, who was snatched from his home by masked intelligence agents in the early hours of Thursday. Roberto Marrero, chief of staff to Mr Guaido, shouted out loud that Mr Maduro’s agents had planted two rifles and a grenade on him, Mr Guaido tweeted. On Thursday afternoon, 12 hours later, Mr Marrero was still being held. John Bolton, the US national security advisor, said that the arrest of Mr Marrero “would not go unanswered”. “Maduro has made another big mistake,” he added. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, also threatened to "hold accountable those involved". Juan Guaido, at a rally in Caracas on March 12 Venezuela’s government has not commented on the 2am arrest, but Mr Guaido said that Mr Marrero had been taken by Sebin, the Venezuelan intelligence agency, and was being detained at an unknown location. Mr Marrero's neighbour, Sergio Vergara, a pro-Guaido deputy, was able to raise the alarm. Mr Vergara said around 15 Sebin officers threw him to the floor and "ransacked" his own home for around two hours, while asking where to find Mr Marrero. Mr Marrero was able to send a voice message shortly before he was taken, and urged: "Look after the president". The voice message was distributed by Mr Guaido’s press team, who also sent a video of another opposition politician, Carlos Berrizbeitia, showing damage to the door of Mr Marrero's home and a broken lock. Mr Guaido, the 35-year-old head of the national assembly, was himself briefly detained on January 13, en route to a rally. But since he declared himself the legitimate president on January 23 he has been able to move freely throughout Venezuela and internationally, with the support of the United States. Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido both believe they are the legitimate rulers of Venezuela Mr Maduro and Mr Guaido both claim to be Venezuela's legitimate leaders but Mr Maduro, 56, retains the loyalty of the military and has control of state apparatus. The White House has frequently said that touching Mr Guaido would cross a line and provoke a strong response. Mr Guaido demanded the release of his chief of staff, saying that "we won't be intimidated" by the "vile, vulgar kidnapping." He said that Mr Maduro is weak and does not "dare" to detain him. Elliott Abrams, Mr Trump’s envoy to Venezuela, agreed, saying that Mr Maduro is instead targeting Mr Guaido's aides. The United Nations said it learned "with concern" about reports of Mr Marrero’s detention, and urged all sides "to lower tensions and refrain from any action that could lead to further escalation." Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman, noted that UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, whose team is currently in the country, and has expressed concern at Mr Marrero's detention. On Wednesday Ms Bachelet issued a strongly-worded condemnation of the situation in Venezuela, demanding that Mr Maduro allow her team to work unhindered, and highlighting more than 300 murders and abductions by the Venezuelan security forces.


Indonesia's Garuda says to cancel 49-jet Boeing 737 deal after crashes
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 04:23:36 -0400

Indonesia's Garuda says to cancel 49-jet Boeing 737 deal after crashesIndonesia's national carrier Garuda has told Boeing it will cancel a multi-billion-dollar order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after the model was involved in two fatal crashes. The move could spark more cancellations from other major carriers, an aviation analyst said, as Boeing and US federal regulators get set to face their first public grilling by Congress since the deadly incidents. "We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be cancelled," Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan said.


ACLU sues FBI for records related to black extremists report
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 16:08:36 -0400

ACLU sues FBI for records related to black extremists reportSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union sued the FBI on Thursday for records related to a divisive 2017 report that said black extremists were on the rise following the shooting deaths of several African-Americans.


Bringing the Sting: The U.S. Navy Is Getting New F/A-18E/F Super Hornets
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Bringing the Sting: The U.S. Navy Is Getting New F/A-18E/F Super HornetsThe Super Hornets would be the first new-build examples of the Block III variant of the F/A-18E/F. The Block III flies farther and carries more weapons than an older F/A-18E/F can do and also is stealthier than earlier Super Hornet models are.


Harvard 'shamelessly' profits from photos of enslaved people, descendant claims in lawsuit
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 10:18:00 -0400

Harvard 'shamelessly' profits from photos of enslaved people, descendant claims in lawsuitA descendant of enslaved people has sued Harvard University, alleging that the Ivy League institution has “shamelessly” profited from photos of her ancestors. Tamara Lanier, of Norwich, Connecticut, claims that Harvard has ignored requests to surrender images of a man named Renty, whom she says is her great-great-great grandfather, and his daughter Delia. Lanier is suing Harvard for “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation” of the images, asking the university to return the photos to her, pay unspecified damages, and recognise her ancestry.


Some Pickups Lag in Passenger Crash Protection
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 00:01:01 -0400

Some Pickups Lag in Passenger Crash ProtectionCrash Tests Show Some Pickup Trucks Lag in Passenger Protection Most pickup trucks fall short when it comes to protecting passengers in certain types of crashes, according to new findings from t...


CNN takes over a week to report Covington lawsuit
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 20:57:30 -0400

CNN takes over a week to report Covington lawsuitWhat happened to 'facts first'? Reaction from former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino.


Kellyanne Conway says Trump is 'protective of me' in feud with her husband
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:12:57 -0400

Kellyanne Conway says Trump is 'protective of me' in feud with her husbandWhite House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday continued to defend her boss, President Trump, who called her husband, George, a “whack job” whose feud with Trump is “doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife.”


See Photos of the New 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:14:00 -0400

See Photos of the New 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe


North Korea quits liaison office in setback for South after new U.S. sanctions
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 05:34:17 -0400

North Korea quits liaison office in setback for South after new U.S. sanctionsNorth Korea said it was quitting the joint liaison office set up in September in the border city of Kaesong after a historic summit between leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in early last year. "The North's side pulled out after conveying to us that they are doing so on the instructions from a higher level, during a liaison officials' contact this morning," South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told a briefing. South Korea regrets the decision and urged a swift normalisation of the arrangement, Chun said, adding the South would continue to staff the office, set up as a regular channel of communication to ease hostility between the rivals, which technically remain at war.


Giant inland sea created by the disastrous Mozambique cyclone
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:08:58 -0400

Giant inland sea created by the disastrous Mozambique cycloneCyclone Idai left death, destruction, and a sprawling inland sea in its wake. The powerful tropical cyclone -- which struck Mozambique last Thursday as the equivalent of a Category 2 or 3 hurricane with winds of around 100 mph -- has left at least 150 dead and 600,000 in need of help in the flooded nation said the EU, though the Associated Press reports over 300 fatalities as of March 21 when accounting for deaths in neighboring Zimbabwe.The cyclone's widespread flooding -- in part overshadowed by simultaneous and historic flooding in the Midwest -- has left behind an inundated area some 200 square miles in size (518 square kilometers), with the inland sea reaching up to 15 miles wide, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA). > And for better comparison a GIF animation of the images showing the Mozambique flood before (March 2nd) and after (March 20th) Mozambique Copernicus Sentinel-1️ Better quality GIF https://t.co/h8608N8so5 MozambiqueFloods MozambiqueFloods2019 RemoteSensing Beira Idai pic.twitter.com/d9hOmdiBbp> > -- Pierre Markuse (@Pierre_Markuse) March 21, 2019The destruction is particularly severe around Mozambique's fourth largest city, Beira. SEE ALSO: The West accepts its drought-ridden future, slashes water use"The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed," said the Red Cross's Jamie LeSueur, who is working in the region. > The latest delineation maps for Mozambique: > ✴️Nhantaze: 24,837.7 ha (248 sq km) flooded > ✴️Macorreia: 9,862.5 ha (98.6 sq km) flooded > Maps and geospatial data: https://t.co/w3uo4SPyREMozambiqueFloods Idai IdaiCyclone pic.twitter.com/0siHZhW6hM> > -- Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS) March 21, 2019Though there's little evidence showing that the planet is experiencing more cyclones and hurricanes, there is mounting evidence that these storms are growing stronger compared to storms in the 21st century.What's more, cyclones, like any big storm today, can now carry more water: The world has warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 Celsius, over the last century, and for every 1 degree C of warming the atmosphere holds seven percent more water. > This just in: shocking footage from our team via helicopter that has just arrived in Beira, Mozambique. The devastation is widespread with barely a house intact following CycloneIdaipic.twitter.com/BnyqVIJ9YF> > -- IFRC Africa (@IFRCAfrica) March 17, 2019Since the 1960s, only three tropical storms of category 3 or stronger have hit Mozambique, according to Weather.com.When the total number of fatalities are confirmed and the great inland sea dissipates, Idai's rampage may end up being the worst storm on record in the Southern Hemisphere, the EU noted.  WATCH: Jordan Peele explains the childhood experience that made him love horror


Ex-cop says he thought he saw a gun when he shot black teen
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 22:38:37 -0400

Ex-cop says he thought he saw a gun when he shot black teenPITTSBURGH (AP) — A white former police officer said Thursday he thought a weapon was pointed at him when he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager outside Pittsburgh last summer.


School shooting survivor stricken by 'survivor's guilt' takes own life
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 19:05:19 -0400

School shooting survivor stricken by 'survivor's guilt' takes own lifeA teenager who survived the Parkland school shooting in Florida has killed herself while struggling with survivors' guilt, local media reported Friday. Sydney Aiello, 19, was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last February 14 when a former student opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon, killing 14 students and three staff members. Among the dead were two of Aiello's best friends, Meadow Pollack and Joaquin Oliver.


JetBlue pilots who drugged and raped flight attendants continued working for airline without repercussion, lawsuit says
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 13:20:53 -0400

JetBlue pilots who drugged and raped flight attendants continued working for airline without repercussion, lawsuit saysThree female flight attendants claim they were drugged and two of them raped by two JetBlue pilots during a layover in Puerto Rico, a new lawsuit filed this week in New York federal court has claimed. At least one of the female flight attendants said she was forced to work with one of the accused pilots after the alleged rape. After making their way to a beach in Puerto Rico near the hotel they were staying during their layover in May of last year, the women were offered sips from one of the flight attendant’s alcoholic beverages.


Strengthen Your Retirement Security in 7 Steps
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:47:19 -0400

Strengthen Your Retirement Security in 7 StepsRetirement security is the ability to live a comfortable retirement without the burden of financial stress. Early planning is the best way to ensure a financially secure retirement, but not everyone has the luxury of time to prepare. The financial decisions you make in the years approaching retirement will have a significant impact on your retirement security.


The Real Reasons American Evangelicals Support Israel
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:54:56 -0400

The Real Reasons American Evangelicals Support IsraelIt never fails. Whenever a Republican president makes a controversial or contentious move to support Israel -- such as moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, or yesterday’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights -- you’ll see various “explainers” and other stories that purport to inform progressives why the American Evangelical community is so devoted to the nation of Israel.The explanation goes something like this -- Evangelicals believe that the rebirth of Israel is hastening not just the second coming of Christ, but a particular kind of second coming, one that includes fire, fury, and war that will consume the Jewish people. The pithy, tweet-length version of this analysis comes from progressive Young Turks host Cenk Uygur:> You know what's REAL anti-semitism? Right-wing Evangelical Christians supporting Israel because they think it will bring about the End Times where all of the Jews die. Worst anti-Semitism in the world!> > -- Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) March 7, 2019Thus, the political marriage between American Evangelicals and Israelis represents a cynical form of mutual exploitation. Evangelicals support Israel to hasten the apocalypse, while Israelis (who obviously don’t believe Christian eschatology) are happy to humor the Evangelical community and milk that support for tourist dollars and political power.But the true narrative of American Christian support for Israel is substantially different. The intellectual and theological roots of Christian Zionism do not rest in end-times prophesies but rather in Old Testament promises. Last month Samuel Goldman at Tablet wrote an outstanding piece explaining the centuries-old history and legacy of Christian support for Jewish claims to the Holy Land. After tracing Christian support for a Jewish Israel to the Reformation, he writes this:> These arguments were products of the emphases on the plain meaning of Scripture and the theological significance of covenants that characterized Calvinism. Before the Reformation, most Christians read prophecies like Ezekiel’s as allegories for the transformation of the “carnal” Israel descended from the patriarchs into the “spiritual Israel” represented by the Church. Calvin and his followers, by contrast, insisted that allegorical interpretations were permitted only when literal ones made no sense. But why was it nonsensical to believe that the Jews might be reconstituted as a nation and return to their own land?In addition, I’d argue that Romans 11 has enduring significance in the American Christian mind. It begins, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!” Paul declares that God “has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” The chapter continues with the assertion that Gentiles have now been “grafted in” to the same spiritual tree, and it concludes with the promise not that all Israel will be burned up in the apocalypse, but rather with the statement that “all Israel will be saved.”Now, the precise theological meaning of these verses has been and will be debated for some time, but the practical impact in contemporary American Christian culture has been to create a bond between American Christians and Jews that would be utterly mystifying to the vicious Christian persecutors of Jews in the not-so-distant European past.The end result is a community -- including a political community -- that believes two things with firm conviction. First, God has reserved Israel as the Jewish homeland, and second, that the creation of modern Israel was an act of divine providence. While there are many Christians who believe this act of divine providence may be a prelude to the Second Coming (whenever that may be), that is miles and miles away from the belief that Jews will burn in a fiery apocalypse.These beliefs are then reinforced by experience and basic morality. It’s difficult to overstate the profound impact that a visit to the Holy Land has on a believing Christian. I’ll never forget my time in Israel. Not only was it moving to stand where Jesus stood and to walk where Jesus walked, other aspects of the visit bring the miracle of Israel’s rebirth into sharp focus. How can you visit the ruins of the fortress of Masada and not grasp the improbability of the journey from total destruction to diaspora to renaissance?Then there’s basic morality. As I’ve written before, from the very moment of its founding, Israel has been subject to repeated, genocidal threats to its existence. It has defended itself in the face of overwhelming odds, faced enduring terrorist threats that we in the United States can’t imagine, and built an imperfect but well-functioning democracy that grants all its citizens (Jewish and Arab) a greater degree of individual liberty than the citizens of any other Middle Eastern nation.The pernicious persistence of anti-Semitism heightens the moral case for supporting Israel. There is zero justification for the U.N.’s obsessive focus on alleged Israeli crimes. Actual genocidal tyrants face less condemnation by the U.N. Human Rights Council than does the state of Israel. The Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement proudly holds Israel to higher standards than it holds the entire rest of the Middle East and most of the rest of the world. Some of its founders and leaders hope to eradicate Israel as a Jewish state.Finally, the fact that Evangelical support for Israel is rooted in part in Christian biblical interpretation does not mean that it is somehow less legitimate than purely secular support. In a nation full of believers, religious arguments have always been a part of our national life, and they always will be. They should be weighed and measured just like any other belief. Nor are religious arguments a right-wing phenomenon. There are liberal religious arguments for gun control, for laxer immigration policies, and for welcoming refugees, to take just a few, easy examples. And who can forget the mighty power of the Christian argument in the American civil-rights movement?Yes, you can find Christians who obsessively focus on the end times and try to match each and every significant news story in Israel with biblical prophecies. Those people are out there, no question. But the vast bulk of Evangelical support for Israel rests on faith in ancient promises, wonder at modern miracles, and a deep conviction that evil forces must not prevail against the Middle East’s most vibrant democracy.


President Trump's latest executive order is a shot in the campus free speech wars
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:59:11 -0400

President Trump's latest executive order is a shot in the campus free speech warsBut while Trump’s order is a clear declaration he agrees with conservative concerns about America’s colleges, it’s not clear what actual effect the move will have in academia.


Facebook employees given access to hundreds of millions of users' passwords
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 16:17:14 -0400

Facebook employees given access to hundreds of millions of users' passwordsMillions of Facebook users had account passwords exposed in plain text that could be searched by employees at the social media company.



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