Friday, 31 May 2019

AP sources: White House wanted USS McCain moved for Trump

AP sources: White House wanted USS McCain moved for TrumpThe White House wanted the U.S. Navy to keep a warship named for the late Sen. John McCain out of President Donald Trump's view during his trip to Japan, three U.S. officials said Wednesday.




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Gen-Z Contestants Chase Wordy Highs, 'Spellebrity' Status at the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Gen-Z Contestants Chase Wordy Highs, 'Spellebrity' Status at the Scripps National Spelling BeeToday's elite spellers bring a distinctive approach to competition, self-presentation, and what it means to win.




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North Korea Executed Envoy Over Trump-Kim Summit, Chosun Reports

North Korea Executed Envoy Over Trump-Kim Summit, Chosun ReportsKim Hyok Chol, who led working-level negotiations for the February summit in Hanoi, was executed by firing squad after being charged with espionage after allegedly being co-opted by the U.S., the newspaper said Friday, citing an unidentified source. Speculation has swirled for months about the fate of Kim Hyok Chol, who hasn’t received any recent mentions in state media dispatches. Previous South Korean media reports about senior North Korean officials being executed following the talks have proven false.




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Google quietly ruined Chrome, and we almost missed it

Google quietly ruined Chrome, and we almost missed itGoogle's Chrome is the most popular way to browse the web on desktop and mobile, thanks to a combination of features that make it a reliable, albeit sometimes resource-intensive, app. However, Google's recent moves are going to ruin the Chrome experience for many users, and we nearly missed them.Google a few months ago announced a proposal to change the way Chrome extensions work, which would prevent current ad blockers from working. Google received plenty of negative feedback from users, but this hasn't deterred the company from going forward with these plans.Google a few days ago responded to some of the criticism (via 9to5Google) regarding its Manifest V3 changes, explaining what will change going forward. The company confirmed that the ad blocking capabilities of Chrome would no longer be available to regular Chrome users. Chrome will still block content if you're a paid, enterprise user of Chrome.A Google's spokesperson told 9to5Google that "Chrome supports the use and development of ad blockers," adding that Google is "actively working with the developer community to get feedback and iterate on the design of a privacy-preserving content filtering system that limits the amount of sensitive browser data shared with third parties."However, as the blog points out, the Chrome changes will make it impossible for most Chrome ad blockers to work in the near future. Google's moves aren't surprising, considering that it makes money from advertising. Alphabet noted in a recent SEC Form 10-K filing that ad blocking extensions are a "risk factor" to revenue:> New and existing technologies could affect our ability to customize ads and/or could block ads online, which would harm our business.> > Technologies have been developed to make customizable ads more difficult or to block the display of ads altogether, and some providers of online services have integrated technologies that could potentially impair the core functionality of third-party digital advertising. Most of our Google revenues are derived from fees paid to us in connection with the display of ads online. As a result, such technologies and tools could adversely affect our operating results.What's also interesting is that Google made it clear during I/O 2019 that it wants to offer better privacy and security to users, something that seemed to go against its bottom line. Google tried to redefine privacy to suit it needs around that time. The fact that it's trying to protect the customizable ads that it sells to businesses is also an indication that Google won't give up collecting user data anytime soon.In Google's defense, we'll remind you the company is looking to improve the advertising experience on the web, and prevent the kind of annoying ads that you'd use ad blockers to stop from appearing in the first place.Also, in the same response, Google said that future versions of Chrome will make it easier for end-users to deal with permissions that extensions require and force developers to inform end-users of what data their extensions will access. The move is meant to protect privacy and prevent abuse, which is certainly laudable. However, that doesn't minimize the fact that Google plans to temporarily or permanently disable third-party ad blockers.




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Cardi B due in court in New York City after rejecting plea in strip club melee

Cardi B due in court in New York City after rejecting plea in strip club meleeCardi B is accused of throwing bottles and chairs at two bartenders at a New York City strip club after accusing them of having sex with her husband.




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Nissan's technology could pay in Renault-FCA deal -sources

Nissan's technology could pay in Renault-FCA deal -sourcesBEIJING/TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - Nissan's advanced technologies including platforms and electric powertrains could give it leverage in a merger involving Renault and Fiat Chrysler, thanks to a royalty system it has with the former, two people with knowledge of the matter said. A merged Renault-Fiat Chrysler could face an extra hurdle each time it uses technology developed by Nissan Motor Co or Mitsubishi Motors Corp, while the two Japanese automakers stand to gain a client in Fiat Chrysler (FCA) , one of the people said. Nissan's technology, particularly in electrification and emissions reduction, could give it some sway in the $35 billion potential tie-up between Renault and FCA, even as its stake in the newly formed company would be diluted.




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Louisiana abortion law: Fury as Democratic governor says he will sign bill banning terminations into law

Louisiana abortion law: Fury as Democratic governor says he will sign bill banning terminations into lawLouisiana lawmakers have passed a strict new abortion ban which will stop some women from having the procedure before they even know they are pregnant.In a 79-23 vote on Wednesday, the Louisiana House gave final passage to a bill barring abortion once there is a detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.The state joins Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, which have all passed similar “heartbeat” bills this year.Missouri politicians also approved an eight-week ban on abortion and Alabama has gone even further, outlawing virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. None of the bans have taken effect, and all are expected to face legal challenges.Louisiana Democratic governor John Bel Edwards supports the ban and intends to sign it into law despite opposition from national party leaders who say such laws are attacks on women.He said in a statement after the ban’s passage: “I know there are many who feel just as strongly as I do on abortion and disagree with me – and I respect their opinions.“As I prepare to sign this bill, I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone.”Abortion opponents are pushing new restrictions on the procedure in the hope a case will make its way to the high court, and two new conservative justices appointed by US president Donald Trump could help overturn the US Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe V Wade decision that legalised abortion nationally.Louisiana’s prohibition would only take hold if neighbouring Mississippi’s law is upheld by a federal appeals court. A federal judge temporarily blocked that Mississippi law on Friday.Abortion rights activists said Louisiana’s bill would effectively eliminate abortion as an option before many women realise they are pregnant, calling the proposal unconstitutional.The legislation includes an exception from the abortion ban to prevent a pregnant woman’s death or “a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” – or if the pregnancy is deemed “medically futile”.However it does not include an exception for a pregnancy caused by rape or incest.A doctor who violates the prohibition under the bill could face a prison sentence of up to two years, as well as having their medical licence revoked.Although similar abortion bans have drawn sharp criticism from Democrats nationwide, Louisiana’s proposal won wide bipartisan support and was sponsored by a Democrat from the north-west corner of the state, Senator John Milkovich.Support from Mr Edwards, who is running for re-election this autumn against two Republicans, is expected to help shore up his position with some voters in his conservative home state, even if it puts him at odds with national Democratic Party leaders and donors.The ban is one of several bills that Louisiana politicians are advancing to add new restrictions on abortion.Another bill nearing the governor’s desk would limit where medication-induced abortions can be performed to the state’s three licensed abortion clinics.Reacting to the news Mr Edwards was poised to sign the bill, Allison Galbraith, second vice chair of Maryland Democratic Party, said: “We keep a big tent, but I’ve no room for being so incompetent or spineless that you don’t get or don’t care what these bills do.”Adam Best, an activist and co-host of The Left podcast, tweeted: “Democrats are the party of civil rights and social justice. Being pro-choice is non-negotiable. “You can’t have DINOs like John Bel Edwards making draconian abortion laws. Should be zero tolerance for Dems like that.”Krishan Patel, who described himself as a progressive Democrat from Irvine on his Twitter profile, said: “If John Bel Edwards wants to make the government force a girl violently raped by her own father to carry that pregnancy out to term and give birth, then he does not deserve any Democratic support.”Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, added that the law would “devastate the health and well-being of women and families”.While Jacob Taber tweeted: “The Democratic Party has no room for misogynists who want to police women’s bodies.”The chief executive of Walt Disney said it would be “very difficult” for the media company to keep filming in Georgia if a new abortion law takes effect.Bob Iger said the law would mean many people would not want to work in the US state.Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp signed the legislation earlier this month. The law bans abortion once cardiac activity can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks.If it survives court challenges, the law is due to take effect on 1 January.Disney has shot blockbuster films such as Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame in the state.Netflix has also warned it would “rethink” its film and television production investment in Georgia if the law goes into effect.Agencies contributed to this report.




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Trump Tariffs on Mexico Irk Key Republican Allies in Congress

Trump Tariffs on Mexico Irk Key Republican Allies in CongressThe president’s announcement Thursday surprised many Republicans who hoped to focus on passing a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada known as the USMCA. Trump said he will impose a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico -- ramping up 5 percentage points every month until hitting 25% in October -- unless Mexico takes "decisive measures" to stem migrants entering the U.S.




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Trump would be 'in handcuffs' if not president, says Democrat Warren

Trump would be 'in handcuffs' if not president, says Democrat WarrenDemocratic White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that if Donald Trump were not protected by his presidential status, he would be "in handcuffs and indicted" for obstructing the investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference. The progressive US senator from Massachusetts, one of the leading Democrats for the party's 2020 nomination, was the first presidential candidate to speak out in favor of launching impeachment proceedings against Trump. Warren had called for an impeachment inquiry the day after the April 18 publication of special counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report on Moscow's election interference.




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New Mexico town gets death threats after halting crowd-funded border wall

New Mexico town gets death threats after halting crowd-funded border wallA New Mexico mayor on Thursday said he and his staff received multiple death threats after they briefly halted construction of a crowd-funded, private border wall by a group that then urged supporters to tell the city to "stop playing games," and alleged it was tied to drug cartels. The Florida-based group has raised $23 million via crowd-funding site GoFundMe.com to build private border walls to halt smuggling and a surge in undocumented migrants, after funding for President Donald Trump's promised wall was blocked. Perea described the tactics of We Build the Wall as a "cheap blow," and the American Civil Liberties Union accused it of pursuing a "white Nationalist" agenda.




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Man charged after Nassau County police find woman, 2 boys with autism, 1 teen in car with 'CALL 911' sign

Man charged after Nassau County police find woman, 2 boys with autism, 1 teen in car with 'CALL 911' signA man was charged after police say a woman holding a "CALL 911" sign and her three children were found inside his car on Long Island.




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Escalating Iran crisis looks a lot like the path US took to Iraq war

Escalating Iran crisis looks a lot like the path US took to Iraq warThe U.S. went to war in Iraq in 2003 based on flawed intelligence supported by hawkish policy makers. Is it doomed to repeat the error with Iran?




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Florida Gov. DeSantis meets with Netanyahu in Israel

Florida Gov. DeSantis meets with Netanyahu in IsraelJERUSALEM (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis met with Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, calling the embattled Israeli prime minister a "strong leader" on the governor's final day of a trade mission to Israel.




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US national spelling bee crowns eight co-champions after running out of challenging words

US national spelling bee crowns eight co-champions after running out of challenging wordsA superhuman group of adolescents broke the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, with eight contestants crowned co-champions after the competition said it was running out of challenging words.It was a stunning result, coming just after midnight, for the 92nd annual event, which has had six two-way ties but had never experienced such a logjam at the top.After the 17th round, Jacques Bailly, the event’s pronouncer, announced that any of the eight remaining contestants who made it through three more words would share in the prize.“We do have plenty of words remaining in our list, but we’ll soon run out of words that will challenge you,” Mr Bailly told the contestants at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Centre in National Harbour, Maryland.He added: “We’re throwing the dictionary at you. And so far, you are showing this dictionary who is boss.”None of the contestants faltered. They each got their own moment of triumph as they correctly spelled their words in the 20th round, then patiently sat back in their seats as the following contestants had their moments. They supported each other with high-fives and hugs, and each placed a hand on a single trophy.The champions were, along with the final words they spelled:Rishik Gandhasri, 13, of San Jose, California: auslaut.Erin Howard, 14, of Huntsville, Alabama: erysipelas.Saketh Sundar, 13, of Clarksville, Maryland: bougainvillea.Shruthika Padhy, 13, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey: aiguillette.Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Dallas: pendeloque.Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Flower Mound, Texas: palama.Christopher Serrao, 13, of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey: cernuous.Rohan Raja, 13, of Irving, Texas: odylic.The competition normally offers a $50,000 (£39,610) prize to the champion. Instead of splitting it eight ways, all eight contestants will receive $50,000 and their own trophies.There have been marathon spelling bees before — the 2017 event went 36 rounds, with two spellers battling it out after the 17th round — but the competition has never hosted such a large group of spellers who could not be defeated.The field is typically winnowed down to fewer than four by the 16th round.This year, the ninth-place finisher, 13-year-old Simone Kaplan of Davie, Florida, was thwarted in the 15th round.From that point on, the contestants correctly spelled 47 straight words.Already nervous, they started showing signs of fatigue as the competition stretched on past its expected window.At the beginning of the 17th round, Rishik had a question for Mr Bailly.“Out of curiosity, would you happen to know what time it is?” he asked. It was 11:18 pm.It was one of several moments of levity from a group of students who appeared largely unfazed by the pressure, with their parents in the audience often looking more unsettled.Rohan prompted laughter in the 17th round as he recoiled at his errant pronunciation of “Gaeltacht.”“Oh God,” he said, “I sound like I vomited.”The New York Times




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How the 2016 Debates Are Still Haunting Democrats

How the 2016 Debates Are Still Haunting DemocratsDemocrats are trying to avoid the missteps of the 2016 primary debates — a goal that has proven elusive as more candidates have announced.




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Stone Was Like ‘Uncle Roger,’ Miller Testifies to Grand Jury

Stone Was Like ‘Uncle Roger,’ Miller Testifies to Grand JuryProsecutors focused their examination on Miller’s relationship with Stone and Stone’s connection to WikiLeaks founder Assange, Miller’s attorney Paul Kamenar told reporters after the proceeding. Stone was indicted by the grand jury in January on charges of lying to Congress about communications with Assange, obstruction and witness tampering.




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Auto industry dented by latest Trump tariffs

Auto industry dented by latest Trump tariffsPresident Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on Mexico will affect myriad industries, but few are as exposed as automakers. Shares of several major automakers and auto suppliers dived five percent or more following Trump's announcement Thursday night that the United States would impose a five percent tariff on all Mexican imports on June 10, explicitly linking the trade action to a demand that Mexico crack down on illegal immigration. The White House intends to gradually raise the tariff level until it hits 25 percent on October 1, a levy that "could cripple the industry and cause major uncertainty," said a note from Deutsche Bank.




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Judge considering Missouri abortion clinic license case

Judge considering Missouri abortion clinic license caseST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge is deciding whether to ensure Missouri's only abortion clinic can keep its license past Friday, the latest development in a decades-long push by abortion opponents to get states to enact strict rules on the procedure.




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Barr: Counter-intelligence Probe of Trump Campaign Crossed ‘Serious Red Line’

Barr: Counter-intelligence Probe of Trump Campaign Crossed ‘Serious Red Line’Attorney General William Barr said Friday that the FBI's counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign "crossed" a "serious red line" and should be "carefully looked at.""The use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign to me is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed," Barr said in an interview with CBS.The attorney general is currently investigating the origins of the probe to determine whether the U.S. intelligence community's surveillance of the Trump campaign was warranted. He has expressed skepticism about the explanations for some of the investigative actions taken.During testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee last month, Barr stated that "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign, angering Democratic lawmakers."I guess it's become a dirty word somehow," Barr told CBS. "I think there is nothing wrong with spying. The question is always whether it is authorized by law.""There were counterintelligence activities undertaken against the Trump campaign, And I'm not saying there was not a basis for it, that it was legitimate, but I want to see what that basis was and make sure it was legitimate," he added.The New York Times reported that the FBI sent an undercover agent posing as a research assistant to ask former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos whether the campaign was working with Russia. Papadopoulos was told by a Maltese professor in early 2016 that Russia had damaging information on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, but said he told the undercover agent he had “nothing to do with Russia.”"Republics have fallen because of Praetorian Guard mentality where government officials get very arrogant, they identify the national interest with their own political preferences, and they feel that anyone who has a different opinion, you know, is somehow an enemy of the state," Barr remarked. "That can easily translate into essentially supervening the will of the majority and getting your own way as a government official."FBI director Chris Wray said earlier this month that he had seen no evidence that the FBI illegally spied on the Trump campaign.




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Riyadh rallies allies against Tehran at Mecca summits

Riyadh rallies allies against Tehran at Mecca summitsGulf and Arab allies rallied around Saudi Arabia Friday as it ratcheted up tensions with regional rival Iran after a series of attacks, drawing accusations from Tehran of "sowing division". Tehran, which has strongly denied involvement in any of the attacks, expressed disappointment that Riyadh plans to level the same "baseless accusations" at a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) early on Saturday.




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9 Cool Things We Learned Driving the Spectre Land Rover Defender

9 Cool Things We Learned Driving the Spectre Land Rover Defender




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Trump: I was 'not informed' about order to move John McCain warship during Japan trip

Trump: I was 'not informed' about order to move John McCain warship during Japan tripTrump's comments come after the White House reportedly requested that the USS John S. McCain be "out of sight" during Trump's visit to Japan.




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Amit Shah: Modi's enforcer emerges from behind India's throne

Amit Shah: Modi's enforcer emerges from behind India's throneAs the battle-hardened drill sergeant for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah has long been considered India's second most-powerful person, and his appointment Friday as home minister elevates his position to leader-in-waiting. While Modi is the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party's people person, firing up rallies and mastering Twitter, Shah has for years made sure that Modi's orders are carried out to the letter while turning the world's biggest political party into the undisputed force across the nation of 1.3 billion people. Shah's piercing stare and strongarm tactics have made him a feared and respected figure in the Hindu nationalist party -- opposition parties and critics call him "ruthless" -- a status only increased by his role masterminding the BJP's second straight landslide election victory this month as the party president.




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Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner meets with Israeli leader amid political chaos

Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner meets with Israeli leader amid political chaosJared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday even as Israel faced an unprecedented political stalemate.




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The 2020 Buick Encore GX Is a Bigger Sibling to the Wee Encore

The 2020 Buick Encore GX Is a Bigger Sibling to the Wee EncoreArriving in the U.S. in early 2020, this new model fills a gap in Buick's SUV lineup between Encore and Envision.




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80+ Low-Carb Dishes That Will Make Your Diet A Breeze

80+ Low-Carb Dishes That Will Make Your Diet A Breeze




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Missouri governor says politics plays no role in abortion clinic licensing fight

Missouri governor says politics plays no role in abortion clinic licensing fightPlanned Parenthood, the national women's health provider that operates the clinic, sued the Missouri department of health on Tuesday after the department told the clinic it could not approve a license until it interviewed seven doctors that worked there. The clinic's license is due to expire on Friday. The Republican governor said "Planned Parenthood’s apparent disregard for the law" over its record-keeping was cause for "serious concerns that need to be addressed prior to any license renewal.




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Motorola just unveiled the $499 Moto Z4 with 2-day battery life and upgradeable 5G

Motorola just unveiled the $499 Moto Z4 with 2-day battery life and upgradeable 5GThe cat was let out of the bag a little early regarding Motorola's new Moto Z4, the $499 handset the company officially unveiled this morning -- and which Amazon mistakenly sold to a user two days before we were supposed to, er, know it existed. Nevertheless, it's here now -- or, rather, it will be soon, as it hits Verizon in the US two weeks from today. In keeping with past Z flagships, Verizon has got the exclusive stateside, and as with the announcement of the Moto Z3 as the world's first "5G-upgradeable" smartphone, the Z4 will likewise be upgradeable to 5G via the company's "Moto Mod" component once 5G networks are available in your area.Among the highlights of this newest addition to Moto's Z series: it will run Android 9 Pie out of the box and sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core processor. You'll have 4GB of memory and 128 GB of internal storage, with up to 512 GB of expandable storage via microSD. The device also comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor and promises a battery life of "up to 2 days."Movies, games, and photos should look stunning on the 6.4-inch Max Vision OLED display that stretches from edge to edge and offers a screen-to-body ratio of 85%. The massive 3600 mAh battery here is also the largest ever on a Moto Z. Additionally, the device is equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack and the company's largest-ever 48-megapixel rear camera sensor that uses new Quad Pixel technology to capture high-quality 12 MP images.The Z4's rear camera also includes 4x better light sensitivity, in addition to optical image stabilization plus AI-guided portrait lighting, AR stickers, live filters, support for Google Lens and much more. Motorola specifically touts Night Vision, which is included in the rear camera software and layers together eight separate frames taken with different exposure values. After performing some dynamic noise reduction and sharpening, the result is an image with enhanced detail and more accurate colors even in situations with challenging lighting.Verizon will start selling the Z4 in Flash Gray on June 13, and in Frost White later this summer, for $499. It will be available for $20.83 for 24 months on a Verizon Device Payment plan, but for a limited time if you switch to Verizon or add a new line and get a Z4 you can pay $10 for 24 months, an overall savings of more than $200.Existing Verizon customers can upgrade to a Z4 and save $100 when they buy a new phone on a Verizon Device Payment plan. Starting June 6, meanwhile, a universally unlocked version of the Z4 will be available for $499 bundled with the Moto 360 camera Mod at Best Buy, B&H Photo and at Amazon, with pre-sales starting today.




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The Chevrolet Trailblazer Is Back, and It Now Splits the Difference between Trax and Equinox

The Chevrolet Trailblazer Is Back, and It Now Splits the Difference between Trax and EquinoxChevy's latest crossover is small, boxy, stylish, and wears a classic nameplate.




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Facebook removes accounts originating from Iran that targeted Princess Eugenie

Facebook removes accounts originating from Iran that targeted Princess EugenieFacebook accounts originating from Iran that targeted Princess Eugenie have been taken down by the social media giant. Some 51 accounts, 36 pages, seven groups and three Instagram accounts were producing "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" and have been removed. A photo of Princess Eugenie marrying Jack Brooksbank with homeless people edited into the image was used by one of the now defunct pages. It claimed that the princess "expects the taxpayer to subsidise her dream wedding, while food banks are over run", in an apparent attempt to stir up tensions among the British public. Around 21,000 people followed one or more of the pages involved, Facebook said. An example of 'coordinated inauthentic behaviour' that has been removed by the Facebook following a crackdown on accounts originating from Iran Credit: Facebook/PA Princess Eugenie has been on the receiving end of social media trolling in the past, including being targeted by users for a grammatical error in an Instagram post. In December 2016, her mother the Duchess of York pleaded with people to “stop bullying” her daughters, in a comment that was believed to be directed at those criticising their limited Royal duties. “Let's focus more on this and less on tittle-tattle gossip. Stop bullying the York family, please,” she said at a Teenage Cancer Trust event. Facebook yesterday said that the pages were removed because they were distributed with suspected malicious intent and that those behind the activity misled people about who they are and their intentions, sometimes representing themselves as journalists. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity, said: "We're constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people. "Policy, as is always the case with these takedowns, is we're removing these pages, groups and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted. "Based on a tip shared by FireEye, a US cybersecurity firm, we conducted an internal investigation into suspected Iran-linked coordinated inauthentic behaviour and identified this activity. "We've shared our analysis with law enforcement, policymakers and industry partners." Last month it was reported that Iran carried out a number of cyber attacks on the Post Office and the UK's local government networks in the lead-up to Christmas.




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Pelosi: Impeachment Not ‘Off the Table’ but Dems Still Need to Make a ‘Compelling’ Case

Pelosi: Impeachment Not ‘Off the Table’ but Dems Still Need to Make a ‘Compelling’ CaseHouse speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she has not yet ruled out the possibility of opening an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, but stipulated that she would only do so if the case was sufficiently compelling to convince congressional Republicans to turn on the administration.Addressing her constituents at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Pelosi responded to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Wednesday press conference by reiterating her commitment to only pursue impeachment on an irrefutable, bipartisan basis.“Many constituents want to impeach the president. But we want to do what is right and what gets results. What gets results,” Pelosi said. “But we do want to make such a compelling case, such an ironclad case that even the Republican Senate would — at this time [it] seems to be not an objective jury — will be convinced of the path that we have to take as a country.”Mueller, in his first public remarks since being appointed more than two years ago, emphasized the limitations placed on him by Department of Justice guidelines that prohibit the indictment of a sitting president, and suggested Congress must now determine whether the president's attempts to obstruct his investigation warrant further censure.“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mr. Mueller said, reading from prepared notes behind a lectern at the Justice Department. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”In response, a number of prominent 2020 Democratic presidential aspirants reiterated their calls for impeachment, arguing that Mueller's Wednesday remarks served as an implicit instruction to pursue that course of action.Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer have long resisted their colleagues' calls to begin impeachment proceedings, believing that doing so would unnecessarily inflame partisan divisions and potentially deprive the American people of an opportunity to rebuke Trump in 2020. They maintained that posture Wednesday in their respective written statements despite the urging of the party's presidential contenders.




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Police: Ex-Jaguars LB pointed gun, threatened to kill woman

Police: Ex-Jaguars LB pointed gun, threatened to kill womanJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Blair Brown pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to kill her, according to the Jacksonville's Sheriff's Office.




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The Latest: Group behind private border wall has more plans

The Latest: Group behind private border wall has more plansSUNLAND PARK, N.M. (AP) — The latest on the crowd-funded barrier built on the U.S.-Mexico Border (all times local):




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Ex-NBA Star Scottie Pippen Names 5-Year-Old in Lawsuit Over Home Damages

Ex-NBA Star Scottie Pippen Names 5-Year-Old in Lawsuit Over Home DamagesPhillip Faraone/GettyFormer Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen has named a 5-year-old girl in a lawsuit over alleged damage to his Florida mansion, claiming she ruined his pad by “defacing” it with crayons and markers.The former basketball player had initially filed the lawsuit against lawyer-turned-comedian Lindsay Glazer and her husband, Jacob Woloshin, in 2018, but amended it this week to include the couple’s young daughter. In court documents, Pippen accused Glazer and Woloshin of a “failure as parents” for supposedly allowing their child to “deface certain elements of the property with markers, crayons, and/or cause damage of similar nature” while they rented his six-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion.The lawsuit alleges that damages totaled nearly $110,000 and seeks compensation “in excess of $15,000,” excluding legal fees, costs, and interest. In addition to the child’s alleged “defacing” of the property with crayons and markers, Pippen has also accused the couple of “neglecting the care of the home,” “causing the home to become infected with insects,” allowing pets to urinate in the home, and “literally stealing personal household items,” among other things. Glazer, who last year jokingly set up a GoFundMe page to “replace [Pippen’s] missing knife set” and raised over $700 for charity, laughed off the latest allegations. “All jokes aside, who would have ever thought that Dennis Rodman would be strengthening relations with North Korea, and Scottie ‘no tippin’ Pippen would be the crazy one suing little girls?” Glazer told the New Times Broward Palm Beach.“With all of the publicity this ridiculous case was getting, we thought it good to use it as an opportunity to raise funds for the Fisher House Foundation, which assists military and veteran's families,” the comedian told the New Times about the fundraising page.According to The Sun-Sentinel, Pippen was ordered to pay $13,190 more in taxes on the home the same year he sued Glazer. Pippen misidentified the home as his primary residence when he was actually renting the home out, which makes him ineligible for a tax break.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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Democratic Louisiana governor signs six week abortion into law

Democratic Louisiana governor signs six week abortion into lawGovernor John Bel Edwards has signed Louisiana’s abortion ban into law, making the southern state the fifth to enact a law prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically as early as six weeks, which is before most women know they’re pregnant. Alabama’s law, which bans abortions from the moment of conception, surpasses these states in severity. But like that law, Louisiana’s new ban does not contain any exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape or incest.Governor Edwards is the first Democrat to back one of the many attempts to overturn Roe v Wade with deliberately unconstitutional language currently sweeping the US. Like all the bans, it will not take effect immediately, and abortion remains legal and accessible in Louisiana for now. However, restrictive laws already in place, which work around the Supreme Court decision to make abortion difficult to access, leave the state in an already precarious position. Mr Edwards has been open about his stance against abortion rights throughout his career, and was clear that he would sign the bill when it reached him. Though differing on abortion rights from most of his party, he was still supported by the Democratic National Committee. In a statement celebrating his election in November 2015, then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote: “John Bel Edwards’ commitment to expanding quality health care to hundreds of thousands of Louisianans … is a message that Democrats all across the country can run on and win with in 2016.”The bill was also sponsored by a Democrat, state senator John Milkovich. Nola.com reports that Louisiana legislators overwhelmingly supported the ban, with a 79-23 House vote and 31-5 Senate vote.A tweet from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which covers Louisiana, called Thursday “a dark day in Louisiana’s history”.“But as our supporters showed today,” the tweet said, “we will never stop fighting these attacks on our reproductive rights and freedoms. Louisianans deserve better.”




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Dangerous tornado touches down in Kansas City; severe weather moves east into Missouri

Dangerous tornado touches down in Kansas City; severe weather moves east into MissouriA dangerous tornado touched down on the western edge of Kansas City, Kansas, forcing local residents to take shelter.




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Navy official confirms White House requested USS McCain be kept away during Trump visit

Navy official confirms White House requested USS McCain be kept away during Trump visitU.S. Navy officials tell Fox News that all ships were in their normal configuration during the president's visit; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports.




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The Updated Tesla Model S Could Crib Model 3 Content

The Updated Tesla Model S Could Crib Model 3 ContentTesla's largest all-electric hatchback will reportedly have an extended driving range and a simpler cabin design.




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Trump planning 'dramatic' policy statement on border

Trump planning 'dramatic' policy statement on borderPresident Donald Trump said he is planning to make a major statement on US immigration policy on Thursday or Friday, amid continuing frustration over thousands of migrants pouring over the border with Mexico. "I'm going to be making a statement, probably tomorrow but maybe today," Trump told reporters. Trump accused Democrats in Congress of not supporting legislation to end what he called "ridiculous" US policy on asylum seekers.




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Body believed to be missing Utah girl is found

Body believed to be missing Utah girl is foundSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A body believed to be a missing 5-year-old Utah girl was found Wednesday less than a block from her home, bringing a wide-ranging search to a grim close five days after the child was taken from her home and killed by her uncle, police said.




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Tankers almost certainly damaged by Iranian naval mines, John Bolton says

Tankers almost certainly damaged by Iranian naval mines, John Bolton saysJohn Bolton, the US national security advisor, has publicly accused Iranian forces armed with naval mines of carrying out an attack on oil tankers earlier this month.  Speaking in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr Bolton said Iran “almost certainly” used mines in the sabotage attack which damaged two oil tankers and two smaller ships at the Emirati port of Fujairah.   “There is no doubt in anybody’s mind in Washington who is responsible for this and I think it’s important that the leadership in Iran know that we know,” he said.  But Mr Bolton also adopted a softer tone than in the past, saying the US was not planning military action in response to the Fujairah attack.  However, he warned and Iran its proxy groups that “that these kind of activities risk a very strong response from the Americans.” Mr Bolton also said Iran had unsuccessfully tried to carry out an attack at the Saudi port of Yanbu but gave no further details.  Persian gulf sabotage attacks Iran denied responsibility and said Mr Bolton’s accusations were “ridiculous”.   Western officials have long suspected that Iran was behind the May 12 sabotage attack in the UAE, which damaged a Saudi and a Norwegian oil tanker, but Mr Bolton’s comments about naval mines are the first time a possible method has been revealed.  The UAE is continuing to lead an international investigation into the sabotage and has not formally accused any state of responsibility.  Meanwhile, Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, said the “road is not closed” for negotiations between the US and Iran if Washington agrees to lift crippling sanctions and return to the negotiating table.  Mr Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear agreement last year and imposed sanctions designed to completely choke off Iran’s oil exports. The president has repeatedly expressed his hope that Iran would stop supporting militant groups across the Middle East and enter negotiations with the US. “I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon,” he said last week. The US has been building up its forces in the Middle East since early May, when Mr Bolton announced that an American aircraft carrier and bomber squadron was being sent to the region in response to Iranian threats. While Mr Bolton has taken a consistently hard line on both Iran and North Korea, Donald Trump has publicly distanced himself from his aide’s hawkish approach.




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Showdown over Missouri abortion clinic postponed as governor weighs in

Showdown over Missouri abortion clinic postponed as governor weighs inGov. Mike Parson said court intervention in the fight over whether to renew the license of Missouri's lone abortion provider would be "reckless."




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SpaceX's Starlink Satellites Put on a Celestial Show Over the Netherlands

SpaceX's Starlink Satellites Put on a Celestial Show Over the NetherlandsBut stargazers worry more satellites could hinder our views of the night sky.




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Trump says he 'can’t imagine the courts allowing' him to be impeached

Trump says he 'can’t imagine the courts allowing' him to be impeachedPresident Trump renewed his assertion that Robert Mueller’s report exonerated him of wrongdoing, claiming that the special counsel "would have brought charges" if he could, and adding that he “can’t imagine the courts allowing” him to be impeached.




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Is the Syrian regime about to retake Idlib?

Is the Syrian regime about to retake Idlib?Syria's regime has increased its deadly bombardment of Idlib in recent weeks, but analysts say that is unlikely to signal an all-out offensive on the jihadist bastion. Eight years into Syria's civil war, the government has notched up a series of victories against rebels and jihadists, and controls around 60 percent of the country. Two regions largely remain beyond its control: a Kurdish-held swathe of the northeast and a northwestern region controlled by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.




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Tour boat sinking revives memories of SKorea ferry disaster

Tour boat sinking revives memories of SKorea ferry disasterSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The sinking of a boat carrying South Korean tourists in Hungary is touching a nerve in South Korea, where many are still traumatized over a 2014 ferry sinking that killed more than 300 people, mostly students. The grief is compounded by claims by some South Korean tour agents and travelers that there were past safety issues on the Danube River where the accident happened.




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Thursday, 30 May 2019

Landmark US opioid trial begins in Oklahoma

Landmark US opioid trial begins in OklahomaThe first civil trial that could end up holding a drug company responsible for the US opioid epidemic began Tuesday in Oklahoma, in a landmark case that might impact thousands of others like it. The bench trial pits the state of Oklahoma against Johnson & Johnson. Two other drug companies named in the lawsuit settled ahead of the trial.




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Kamala Harris targets abortion bans with ‘Reproductive Rights Act,’ focusing on constitutionality behind restrictions

Kamala Harris targets abortion bans with ‘Reproductive Rights Act,’ focusing on constitutionality behind restrictionsKamala Harris has unveiled a new proposal targeting state abortion bans amid a wave of new restrictions being passed across the country. The 2020 presidential hopeful’s “Reproductive Rights Act” would shift the burden from abortion providers to states attempting to pass bans by forcing them to prove the constitutionality behind the restrictive measures. If a state is unable to do so, they will not receive a pre-clearance requirement from the California Democrat’s Justice Department, which would be needed to enact the state’s law, according to a fact sheet provided by the senator’s campaign. The policy leans on an example created by a core special provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, known as Section 5, which barred nine states from implementing new voting laws with federal approval due to their discriminatory track records.Ms Harris, a former prosecutor and attorney general of California, said in a statement announcing her new proposal: “A woman’s constitutional right to an abortion is under attack. Today I announced a plan as president to block these dangerous and deadly state laws before they take effect.” She has frequently spoken about women’s rights and reproductive health care access along the campaign trail, saying during an interview last week, “I will always fight for a woman's right to make whatever decision she believes is in the best interest of her and her family and the government should not be in the business of taking those decisions away from women."The policy proposal arrives as states like Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi all have passed restrictions against abortions in recent months. The bills have sparked days of nationwide protests and backlash from legal experts, who say the restrictions do not hold constitutional merit. For example, Alabama’s law is arguably the most restrictive in the country, limiting abortion access once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This typically occurs just six weeks into a pregnancy, at a time when most people are unaware they are with a child. Those restrictions fly in the face of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, which determined abortion access was a constitutional right. However, Republican politicians voting for the abortion bans fully acknowledge the end game with passing legally ambiguous bills: to challenge that exact decision and have the Supreme Court review the constitutionality of abortions once again. "Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v Wade was handed down in 1973,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement when signing the new law. “The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the US Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”The Reproductive Rights Act is just one of several policy proposals Ms Harris has launched in recent weeks ahead of the first Democratic presidential primaries. The senator has also unveiled an equal pay policy that would force companies to reveal their gaps in wages among different genders — and face major fines for not paying employees equally — as well as a federal investment in teacher’s wages.




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Huawei reviewing ties with FedEx after two packers were 'diverted to America'

Huawei reviewing ties with FedEx after two packers were 'diverted to America'Huawei is reviewing its relationship with FedEx after it claimed two of its packages were "diverted to America", amid rising tensions between the Chinese technology company and the US government.  Donald Trump's administration has repeatedly warned that Huawei's equipment could be used for spying by China, and earlier this month the US president signed an executive order which effectively banned the company from America's 5G network. Huawei has maintained it is independent of the Chinese state and has now accused American courier FedEx of diverting its packages to the US, despite the fact they were travelling between Asian addresses. The company said that FedEx diverted two parcels sent from Japan and addressed to its offices in China, instead sending them to the US, and attempted to divert two more packages sent from Vietnam to offices elsewhere in Asia.   Huawei provided images of FedEx tracking records to Reuters, but the news agency said it has not yet verified their authenticity. Huawei said one package originating in Vietnam was received by Friday, and the other was on its way. FedEx said the packages were “misrouted in error” Credit: AP The four packages did not contain any technology, but important commercial documents, according to Huawei. Joe Kelly, a spokesman for the technology giant, said: “The recent experiences where important commercial documents sent via FedEx were not delivered to their destination, and instead were either diverted to, or were requested to be diverted to, FedEx in the United States, undermines our confidence”. “We will now have to review our logistics and document delivery support requirements as a direct result of these incidents,” he added.   Maury Donahue, a spokeswoman for FedEx, said that the packages were “misrouted in error” and insisted that it was not at the request of any other party. “This is an isolated issue limited to a very small number of packages,” said FedEx. “We are aware of all shipments at issue and are working directly with our customers to return the packages to their possession.” FedEx's China office on Tuesday issued an apology on its Chinese social media account for the “mishandling” of Huawei's packages and insisted there was no “external pressure” to divert them.




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‘Large and Extremely Dangerous’: Kansas Tornado Leaves a Dozen Injured

‘Large and Extremely Dangerous’: Kansas Tornado Leaves a Dozen InjuredKyle Rivas/GettyA swift-moving tornado that tore through eastern Kansas late Tuesday has left at least a dozen people injured and more than 13,000 without power.Large amounts of debris, including toppled trees, live wires and leveled homes have left some parts of the city of Lawrence completely impassable, police said. Photos circulating on Twitter Tuesday night showed wrecked cars, soiled furniture, tattered clothes and wooden beams scattered across lawns and city streets.  As of midnight on Tuesday, there were no reported fatalities, though videos of close-calls with one twister believed to be a mile-wide flooded social media. For residents in many areas of eastern Kansas and western Missouri, the night was one of wailing sirens and debris “falling from the sky,” as the National Weather Service repeatedly warned. On Twitter, the agency frantically sought to keep up with multiple reports of tornadoes and ominously listed all the areas in the path of a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” that at one point was heading straight for Kansas City. In many areas, residents were told exactly how many minutes they’d have to take shelter. “If you live in LINWOOD, KS TAKE SHELTER NOW! The tornado will be there within the next 5 minutes!” the NWS tweeted. Linwood Mayor Brian Christenson later told CNN dozens of homes outside of Lawrence were “all gone.” Authorities were still working to survey the damage on Tuesday night, and Christenson said he’d seen entire roofs torn off homes in certain areas. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the reported injuries in Lawrence were caused by the twister. “We know some have gone to Lawrence Memorial Hospital and we do know that some have been taken to other area hospitals,” Sgt. Kristen Channel told The Kansas City Star, noting that they could not say the exact number or how severe they were. Lawrence Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Janice Early also told The Star that the medical center had received 12 patients with tornado-related injuries. The number of tornado warnings rocketed in the last 24 hours, including in the Dayton, Ohio area where a deadly twister killed one man. The Lawrence storm is also one of more than a dozen reports of tornadoes Tuesday evening in what could be a record-breaking streak. More than 500 reports of tornadoes were received by the National Weather Service in the last 30 days, according to The Weather Channel, making it the longest, most active period for tornadoes in the U.S. in eight years. The service also reportedly ordered local TV stations in Kansas City to use “the strongest language you can” to warn residents of the incoming tornado late Tuesday.The East Coast was also pummeled by storms late Tuesday, with the NWS confirming a twister in eastern Pennsylvania and issuing a tornado warning for northern New Jersey and parts of New York City. 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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