Today's News Headlines
The latest caravan of hundreds from Central America is working its way to the U.S. border just as the midterm elections near. Read more.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2018
The workweek has start with plenty on the plate of President Trump and The White House and Congress. Today, Trump started the day by saying the U.S. would cut off or “substantially reduce” foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants—many of whom crossed the Mexican border illegally—continued its journey toward the U.S.
In a series of tweets Monday Mr. Trump said he had alerted the U.S. Border Patrol and the military that the caravan was a national emergency. He criticized El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico for not stopping the group or otherwise curbing the flow of migrants.
His tweets came days after he threatened to deploy the military and close the southern border if Mexico didn’t stop an “onslaught” of Latin American migrants passing through its country from reaching the U.S.
On Friday and Saturday, Mexican border officials refused to let the caravan enter the country, saying they would only allow about 150 people in at a time to apply for asylum. Mr. Trump praised Mexico’s efforts at stopping the caravan from heading to the U.S. border. But the caravan then broke apart in different groups, and by Sunday morning, a large part of the caravan had regrouped and was heading north.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for details on how the U.S. would begin changing the amount of aid it sends to those three countries. For fiscal year 2019, the U.S. plans to send about $70 million in aid to Guatemala, $66 million to Honduras and $46 million to El Salvador, according to the State Department. Most of the funds go to violence prevention, justice and rule-of-law programs, along with funding for border and narcotics enforcement.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly proposed cuts to foreign aid in the budget, which Congress has largely rejected. The president can, however, opt to freeze funds for foreign aid and order the State Department to put spending on hold.
Mr. Trump has seized on the caravan to rally Republican voters ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. Close Senate races are being fought in the U.S. border states of Arizona and Texas. On Monday the president called for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws and exhorted his supporters: “Remember the Midterms!”
At a rally in Elko, Nev., on Saturday, Mr. Trump claimed that Democrats are “openly inviting” immigrants and “want caravans.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), the Democratic leaders in Congress, issued a joint statement Saturday saying Mr. Trump is “desperate” to change the subject from health care to immigration because voters oppose GOP policies on health care. “Democrats are focused like a laser on health care and will not be diverted,” the statement said.
Mr. Trump on Monday also claimed, without evidence, that the caravan was carrying “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners.”
Mr. Trump’s comments come after his administration has sought to develop a relationship with the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Vice President Mike Pence in June met with the three presidents to address the immigration crisis on the U.S. southern border and called for the “exodus” of migrants to end. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales at the time said the so-called Northern Triangle nations would address the migration crisis but also urged the Trump administration to work with Congress to ensure a fair path to citizenship for Latin Americans who hold jobs and pay taxes in the U.S.
The situation with Saudi Arabia is intensified today as The Trump administration, under pressure to sanction Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is seeking ways to maintain the two countries’ strategic alliance.
Many lawmakers from both parties urged sanctions on the kingdom as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin prepared to visit Saudi Arabia on Monday. Mr. Mnuchin told a small group of reporters that the administration’s relationship with Riyadh was critical to the U.S. campaign to counter Iran’s bid to become the region’s dominant power.
Mr. Mnuchin said it was too early in the investigations of Mr. Khashoggi’s death to discuss sanctioning the kingdom. But he suggested the U.S. generally should punish gross human-rights abuses and target those responsible for them, leaving the door open for possible punitive action.
He said his message in visiting Saudi Arabia—the primary challenger to Iranian power in the Middle East and a crucial oil supplier—was that the two countries “have very important issues that we continue to focus on,” including combating terrorist financing and countering Iran.
“We will continue in that relationship, while we also simultaneously want to get to the bottom of what the facts are about the Khashoggi situation, which is obviously a terrible situation,” Mr. Mnuchin said after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The situation is complicated by the involvement of Turkey, because Mr. Khashoggi, who had been a critic of the Saudi government, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday he would shortly disclose the truth as to how Mr. Khashoggi was killed. The entire story is almost like from a factionary novel in its facts and what really happened is slow to learn by everyone so far.
“We are looking for justice here, and [the facts] will be revealed in all their naked truth,” Mr. Erdogan said, pledging to reveal the details during an address to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia said early Saturday that Mr. Khashoggi died in its Istanbul consulate after a fistfight. Some 18 Saudi nationals have been detained in connection with the incident, and two top officials have been relieved of their positions.
That has done little to quell the furor, and officials said President Trump is weighing a more formal response even as he gives Riyadh time to complete its investigation.
The midterm elections are growing nearer and the interest by voters is growing by the day. President Trump’s approval ratings are up while many Americans say they would now like Democrats to lead Congress in a new poll from liberal-leaning NBC News. The findings point to an energized electorate with just two weeks to make their votes count.
Nearly two thirds of registered voters showed a high level of interest in the election—the highest ever recorded in a midterm election since the Journal/NBC poll began asking the question in 2006.
“It’s a barnburner,” Bill McInturff, a GOP pollster who conducted the survey with Democrat Fred Yang, said of the surge of voter interest. “There’s a switch that’s been flipped...They are engaging in the campaign and the process.”
In the aftermath of the bitter confirmation fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans have closed the once-large gap between their voters’ and Democrats’ interest in the election. Now, 68% of Republican voters and 72% of Democrats say they are very interested in the election—the highest recorded for either party by the survey in a midterm election.
Hand in hand with Republicans’ increased election interest is a rise in Mr. Trump’s job-approval rating to 47%, the highest mark of his time in office, with 49% disapproving of his performance.
Democrats still lead on the question of which party should control Congress. Among poll respondents identified as likely voters, 50% prefer Democrats, while 41% prefer Republican control, about the same as in last month’s poll. Among all registered voters, a broader group of respondents, Democrats’ advantage over the GOP is narrower—48% to 41%.
Not exercing is just bad for your body. A new study claims being sedentary is worse for your health than smoking. One of the study’s co-authors (Dr. Wael Jaber) said they found that being unfit has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker.
Keeping the little ghosts and goblins safe is a huge priority for most parents, with 83% saying they check their children’s candy for anything dangerous before they let them eat it. Once the candy has been given the tasty stamp of approval, it turns out that 62% of parents admit to secretly eating their kids’ candy.
Despite all the talk about how expensive kids are and how much parents now spend on essentials from food to health care, it turns out parents are also giving away steady chunks of cash to their children in the form of an allowance, gifts and even bribes. A new survey released today found that on average, children under age 10 receive $1,360 each year from their parents, which comes out to about $113 a month. Seven in 10 parents said they give money to their kids regularly, and the most popular reasons included a monthly allowance, rewards for good behavior or achievements, bribes to get them to behave, gifts for special occasions and compensation for chores.
… Two in three parents said they wish they gave less money, but they couldn’t give less because they feel “in competition with other parents” or they “don’t want to disappoint” their children. A minority — 17 percent — even admitted that they had to hand over the cash because their child “likes expensive things and needs enough to buy them.”
Naps are good for you. Go ahead take that daily nap because science says they are essential for your mental and physical well being. A recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research discovered that short naps improve a person’s cognitive alertness and mental capacity. The findings mean that a quick 20-minute nap in the afternoon can make all the difference in whether or not you perform at your best for the rest of the day.
Imagine recognizing your alleged rapist at a wedding reception. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police have arrested a man in connection with a case that had been unsolved for decades. 20 years ago the then 18-year-old victim stuck up a conversation with an 18-year-old man. He punched her and then raped her behind a building. The victim immediately reported the rape and was taken to a local hospital. However, no suspect was developed in the case and it remained unsolved. Investigators say 20 years later, the victim saw her attacker at a wedding reception and recognized him as the man who raped her. The woman got his name at the reception and then contacted the Baton Rouge Police Department. Detectives obtained a search warrant to collect a DNA sample from the attacker and the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab positively matched it to the DNA sample that was collected in the sexual assault kit from 1998.
The CDC is warning people not to dress up their chickens for Halloween. Yes, some people do this, believe it or not. The agency says handling chickens to put on a costume or cuddling them can lead to salmonella exposure. The CDC is tracking a salmonella outbreak right now and so far it’s reached 29 states, affecting 92 people. The agency says handling chickens could be a contributing factor to the outbreak.
Mother maybe does know best about baby gender. Around 20 years ago University of Arizona researchers found that expectant mothers can use the power of intuition to learn the sex of their unborn babies. Women who claimed to have an intuition about the gender of their child made the right choice 70% of the time.
Two years ago while fleeing an assailant in Thailand, Hannah Gavios fell 150 feet off a cliff and fractured her spine. There was a chance she might never walk again. Now the 25-year-old Queens, New York, native is about to run the New York City Marathon on November 4. Although she is still unable to feel her feet and ankles and relies on crutches, Gavios is running to raise money for spinal-cord research.
… While teaching English and traveling through southeast Asia in September 2016, Gavios and went to a shop in Thailand where she asked for directions to her hotel. A 28-year-old local offered to show her the way. Instead, he led her into a wooded area and attacked her. Gavios punched him in the face and bit his ear and fled in the dark. Not knowing where she was going, she fell off the cliff, hitting her head along the way. After she landed but was unable to move, Gavios called out for help — and was found by her attacker, who sexually assaulted her for 10 hours until locals saved her.
… Her assailant was sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison after pleading guilty to obscene behavior.
A new survey of 2,000 Americans reveals kisses on the neck are the biggest turn-on. Others in the top ten are:
- My partner telling me ‘I like that’
- My partner undressing me
- Nibbling my ear
- Eye contact during love-making
… Big turn-offs include:
- Poor hygiene
- Eating with mouth open
- Talking about exes
- Talking too much/not listening
- Dressing poorly
- Baby talk
Friday, Oct. 19, 2018
Will President Trump send troops to protect our borders as the migrant caravan of people head for the U.S.? Yesterday the president threatened to deploy the military and close the southern U.S. border if Mexico did not move to halt large groups of migrants headed for the United States from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Trump threatened to withhold aid to the region as a caravan with several thousand Honduran migrants traveled this week through Guatemala to Mexico in hopes of crossing into the United States to escape violence and poverty in Central America.
Trump’s threat came as U.S. Secretary of State Mike is in Panama and then Mexico City, where he was to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto this morning. Mexico’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who has sought to curtail immigration and build a border wall on the Mexican border, this week threatened to halt aid if Central American governments did not act. Stay tuned.
MEGA MILLIONS IS HUGE. Tonight’s (Friday) Mega Millions jackpot is $970 million. Tomorrow night’s Powerball is $430 million.
Sewer swimming. When the Charleston Water System in South Carolina noticed that their pumps at the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Center had clogged, they couldn’t just call in any plumber. They had to call in a crack team of divers to dive into up to 90 feet of raw sewage — in complete darkness — to find and remove the clog by hand. They came up with these large masses of wipes in their first two loads. They also found a baseball and a big piece of metal.
A new study (University of Oregon) suggests failing to open curtains fully makes people more likely to get sick. The study found sunlight kills disease-causing bacteria that live in dust, while darker conditions let them thrive. Researchers warned the problem also affects windowless offices.
A Portland, Oregon family is offering a $6.27 reward for the return of a 50-pound nose sculpture stolen from the front porch of their home. The Albert family said the 2-foot-tall sculpture, which they rescued from being thrown in the trash after a photo shoot, has been a fixture on their front porch since last Halloween, but someone stole it Sunday night. 11-year-old Sayre Albert and his 7-year-old brother Albert came up with the $6.27 reward. They said they had wanted to offer a $2,000 reward, but their mother vetoed the idea.
Photo of potty training on airplane goes viral. There are a lot of methods and a lot of opinions when it comes to potty training, and all of that played out on social media after a picture went viral of a mom sitting her child on a portable potty in the aisle of an airplane.
Someone posted it on the Passenger Shaming Instagram. Most people were totally against it, calling it everything from disgusting to outrageous. But others — moms in particular — jumped to the woman’s defense. They say potty training is going great at home and then you venture out. The kid has to go at that moment, so what do you do?
A pizza restaurant in Battle Creek, Michigan, that doesn’t do delivery made an exception. One of its employees dropped off some pies for a couple in a different state after the husband was diagnosed with cancer. The couple had lived in Battle Creek 25 years ago for just a short time before moving a state away to Indianapolis.
But the pair never stopped thinking about Steve’s Pizza, the local pizza they used to splurge on when they were younger and struggling to make ends meet. For the wife’s 56th birthday, the couple had planned to make the trip back to Michigan to treat themselves to Steve’s Pizza again — but then the husband was suddenly diagnosed with salivary gland cancer and given just days or weeks to live. Knowing how much Steve’s Pizza meant to the grieving couple, the wife’s father made a call to the restaurant and explained the situation.
The restaurant asked: What kind of pies should they deliver? The man on the other line, 18-year-old Dalton Shaffer, whose uncle owns Steve’s Pizza, was determined to get the couple their pizza, regardless of the almost four-hour drive separating the them.
… Dalton was true to his word, packing up two pizzas — one with pepperoni and mushrooms and one with just pepperoni — after the store closed at 10:15 PM and hopping into his car. When he finally reached the father and the couple’s children at 2:30 AM the next day, Dalton simply dropped off the pizzas — turning down payment for the delivery, gas money, and offers to stay the night at a hotel paid for by the family before reluctantly accepting some money the father pushed at him. Then, Dalton drove home because he had work later that day.
You’ll live longer in Spain. A new study looking at how life expectancy around the world will have changed by 2040 holds bad news for the US: Of all the high-income countries, the US will take the biggest drop, falling from 43rd place today to 64th place; the average US life expectancy in 2040 is expected to be 79.8 years. The average global rise in life expectancy from today to 2040 will be 4.4 years, compared to just 1.1 years in the US.
… By 2040 Spain (85.8 years) is expected to edge out Japan from its long-held top spot.
A nine-year-old Girl Guide in Canada sold all of her cookies in under 45 minutes to people lined up waiting to buy cannabis on Wednesday. Elina Childs and her father showed up at Nova Cannabis in Edmonton, pulling a wagon filled with sandwich cookies and mint thins. She sold all 30 boxes in less than 45 minutes, earning $120 for Girl Guides.
Japanese researchers say people who eat quickly until full are three times more likely to be overweight. The findings highlight how eating styles, and not just what or how much is eaten, can contribute to an obesity epidemic fueled by the spread of Western-style affluence in many parts of the world.
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018
Wall Street worries about the U.S.-Saudi relationship…and stocks sink 300 points. Investors are showing concerns about geopolitical tensions and the state of the global expansion weighed on stock prices around the world.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 372 points shortly after 2 p.m Eastern time today. It had recovered a bit after being down roughly 470 points earlier in the afternoon.
The declines, which put the Dow industrials and S&P 500 on pace to end lower for a fourth straight week, hit formerly highflying tech stocks particularly hard, sending the Nasdaq Composite down more than 2% while Netflix lost 4.3% and Facebook slipped 3.5%. Caterpillar, often considered a proxy investors’ views on the state of global trade, shed more than 3%.
U.S. declines accelerated midday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he wouldn’t be participating in an investment conference in Saudi Arabia amid mounting concern that the kingdom may be complicit in the disappearance and suspected death of a dissident journalist.
Some analysts said the confluence of trade frictions, growth worries and a recent surge in bond yields have made investors wary, accelerating Thursday’s selling and likely exacerbating market swings in coming days and weeks.
“Strong earnings and economic data haven’t been able to overpower geopolitical concerns,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors. “Until we receive some clarity on trade, monetary policy and the midterm elections, we’re likely going to see this volatility continue.”
“People are worried that China’s slowing is more real than in 2015,” said Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management. “Some companies, like Apple and Louis Vuitton, are also talking about Chinese demand slowing.”
You’ve probably heard about it, another Latin American caravan of people heading through Mexico to get to America and our borders. Today President Trump said he may deploy the military and close the southern border if Mexico doesn’t stop an “onslaught” of migrants passing through its country from reaching the U.S.
On Twitter, the president blamed Democrats for what he described as “weak” immigration laws that have allowed undocumented migrants to enter the U.S. The Republican-controlled Senate and House this year rejected multiple immigration bills, including one backed by the president that would have combined border-security funding with other measures sought by the Democrats.
“I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S,” the president wrote in his three-part tweet.
“In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!”
As of August, more than 90,000 immigrants traveling as families had been arrested at the border in the prior 11 months, a 27% increase. That figure likely reached about 105,000 by September, the end of the federal fiscal year, according to a person familiar with the government’s border-arrest data.
Despite the Trump administration’s suggestions that Mexico isn’t doing enough to curb the flow of migrants to the U.S., more Central Americans from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been deported from that country than from the U.S. this year.
The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency, said that through August, Mexico deported 65,210 Central Americans, while U.S. authorities returned 64,239 people to Central America.
Mexico increased such deportations by about 40% compared to the same time period in 2017, the agency’s data shows.
American women are having fewer children each year say the statistics. American women are having fewer children than in years past, and having them later in life, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The U.S.’ total fertility rate — or the estimated number of lifetime births expected from a group of 1,000 women — hit its most recent peak in 2007. But in the decade following, fertility rates fell while the average age of first-time mothers rose.
… In large metro counties, total fertility rates fell by 18% between 2007 and 2017, from 2,096 to 1,712 (births per 1,000 women), while average first-time maternal age rose from nearly 26 to almost 28. In smaller metro counties, fertility rates fell by 16%, from 2,110 to 1,778, and first-time maternal age rose from around 24 to almost 26. And in rural counties, fertility rates fell by 12%, from around 2,206 to 1,950, and first-time maternal age rose from just over 23 to 24.5.
Facebook post may lead to depression. Like you don’t already know this… Researchers (University of Pennsylvania) have found that the words people used in their Facebook posts seemed to indicate whether they would later be diagnosed with depression. The findings offer a way to flag people who may be in need of help. Researchers said people who were later clinically diagnosed with depression used more “I” language. They also used more words reflecting loneliness, sadness and hostility.
Burger King is ready for Halloween. In the past, Burger King introduced a couple of different sandwiches with black buns with the aim of getting everyone into the Halloween spirit. 2018 is going to be different, though, and things are about to become exceptionally frightening.
Not only will the special holiday sandwich from Burger King feature a green bun, but the company is promoting the burger by saying that the “Nightmare King” will actually induce nightmares in those who consume it. The Nightmare King is an a legitimate sandwich: a green bun made with all natural coloring from watermelons. Stacked between the two halves is a quarter-pound burger, a crispy chicken fillet, melted American cheese, thick-cut bacon, mayonnaise, and onions.
… The Nightmare King will sell for around $6.39 and will be available on October 22.
… Burger King actually partnered up with the Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostic Services Inc. to conduct a sleep study regarding their Halloween creation. More than 100 participants were analyzed during a 10-night study that had them eat a Nightmare King before going to sleep for the evening.
… During the study, the subjects had their heart rate, brain activity, and breath monitored to find out about their dreams. While four percent of the population experiences nightmares in any given night, after eating the Nightmare King the incidence of nightmares increased by 3½ times.
A 5-month-old baby is set to become the youngest member of the All Fifty States Club. Harper Yeats has been traveling with mother Cindy Lim and father Tristan Yeats, who have been documenting their ambitious tour of the United States on Instagram over the last four months. Cindy and Tristan, who are from Australia, have been living in Canada for the last three years and visiting the states in pockets at a time. The couple was on maternity leave after Harper was born. They started the trip by entering Maine in June and it wasn’t until they looked into an All Fifty States Club membership — and the possibility of Harper becoming the freshest face in group — that the idea caught traction.
… They’re scheduled finish up today (October 18) in Vermont, No. 50 on the list.
Dogs are very understanding. Dogs really can understand language, according to new research. They even process the spoken word in a similar way to humans — and in the same area of the brain. It sheds light on why man’s best friend gets excited when we say “walk” — or responds to an affectionate tone of voice.
… The study does not mean spoken words are the most effective way for an owner to communicate with a dog. In fact, other recent research by the same team showed the neural reward system of dogs is more attuned to visual and scent cues than verbal ones.
An Indianapolis wedding DJ found love online after posting an ad for himself on Facebook Marketplace. Michael Nickolich was wary of dating apps, so he decided to put a funny ad on the social network last year. It read: “Free to a good home single male 33, no kids, never married, has a job, house broken. Dating websites kinda suck … so I figured I would try here.” Within the next 24 hours, he was flooded with ‘thousands” of responses from single women and people who were trying to fix him up with their coworker or family member.
… On his tenth date, he met Sara Claiborne, a teacher who was then-based in Monticello, Indiana, nearly 90 miles away. Claiborne’s sister found his ad and recommended that she message him. After their first date at a pub, Nickolich knew she was the one. Earlier this month, Nickolich proposed to Claiborne and they plan to tie the knot within the next year.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in his second day in in Ankara as Turkey, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia spar over the scope of Ankara’s probe into the suspected killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Mr. Pompeo met with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, a day after he held similar meetings with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh.
Washington has emerged as a mediator between the two Middle Eastern powers, who are locked in a dispute over the Oct. 2 disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, a critic of the ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia.
After visiting Turkey, Mr. Pompeo told reporters that he had “a good, constructive conversation with President Erdogan.” The Turkish president, according to Mr. Pompeo, said that the Saudis were cooperating with the Turkish investigation but that there have been some delays in the process.
But Mr. Pompeo stressed the existence of “lots of important relationships” between the U.S. and Saudi governments and businesses in both countries, particularly on countering Iran.
“We just need to make sure that we are mindful of that as we approach decisions that the United States government will take when we learn all of the facts associated with whatever may have taken place,” he said.
Turkish officials have an audio recording proving that Mr. Khashoggi was beaten, drugged, killed and dismembered by operatives inside the office of the Saudi consul in Istanbul, minutes after walking into the consulate, say people familiar with the matter.
The Saudi consul general, Mohammad al-Otaibi, left Turkey for the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Tuesday afternoon. Saudi authorities deny any involvement in the disappearance.
Turkish demands to search the consul general’s office have emerged as a fresh point of conflict between the Saudis and the Turks.
After meeting with Mr. Pompeo, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara wished to extend its search of Saudi diplomatic buildings in Istanbul to Mr. al-Otaibi’s residence, but had yet to receive authorization from Riyadh.
Turkish inspectors, who spent nine hours searching the consulate building for clues earlier this week, were ready to inspect the residence Tuesday, the minister said. But Saudi officials refused because the consul general’s family was still inside, he said.
“We are hoping to go into [the building] today,” Mr. Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia didn’t authorize the inspection because the kingdom’s authorities were upset after learning that Turkish officials had leaked the evidence of their involvement in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance to the media, a person familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Pompeo declined to predict the outcome of the Saudi and Turkish investigations, or to telegraph the U.S. response. “We’re going to give them the space to complete their investigations of this incident, and when they issue their reports, we’ll form our judgment about the thoroughness, depth, and the decisions they make about accountability connected to that,” he said.
His comments Wednesday echoed what Mr. Pompeo said after seeing Saudi Arabia’s rulers. Before flying from Riyadh to Turkey this morning, he told reporters that it was “reasonable” to believe Saudi Arabia’s denials and wait for the results of an investigation.
The secretary told reporters at King Salman Air Base that he was reassured by Saudi Arabia’s promises to carry out a thorough and transparent investigation.
Back home, President Trump resisted calls to cut back U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying the $100 billion in U.S.-Saudi arms deals are important to American companies and workers.
Speaking yesterday at the University of Minnesota, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is vowing to keep the Supreme Court out of the political fray despite the intense and divisive fight over the nomination of the court’s newest member, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Roberts said he wanted to make some comments prompted by what he euphemistically called “the contentious events in Washington in recent weeks.” “I will not criticize the political branches. We do that often enough in our opinions,” the chief justice said. “What I would like to do is emphasize how the judicial branch is and must be very different.”
Roberts professed “great respect” for public officials, presumably including the senators who conducted the two rounds of hearings for Kavanaugh.
“After all, they speak for the people,” the chief justice said. “We do not speak for the people, but we speak for the Constitution. Our role is very clear.”
Roberts stressed that many of the Supreme Court’s most significant decisions had been unpopular and at odds with what elected officials of the time probably would have wanted.
“We do not serve one party or one interest, but we serve one nation,” the chief justice said, still citing his newest colleague. “I want to assure all of you that we will continue to do that to the best of our abilities, whether times are calm or contentious.”
Roberts said having a new member on the court prompted many of the justices to sharpen up arguments that may have gotten a bit shopworn with colleagues they’ve known for years.
“It is like having a new in-law at Thanksgiving dinner. Uncle Fred will put on a clean shirt,” the chief justice joked. Despite some politically polarized and polarizing decisions from the high court in recent years, Roberts described collegiality between the justices as “very, very good.”
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
A once giant retailer of American, Sears has filed for bankruptcy.
The 132-year-old company has been struggling for several years and is drowning in debt. The final straw was a $134 million debt payment due Monday that it could not afford.
Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, is among dozens of prominent retailers to declare bankruptcy in the era of Amazon.
The filing in federal bankruptcy court in New York came in the early hours of this morning. The company issued a statement saying it intends to stay in business, keeping open stores that are profitable, along with the Sears and Kmart websites.
As of the filing, about 700 stores remained open and the company employed 68,000 workers. That's down from 1,000 stores with 89,000 employees that it had as recently as February.
But Sears said that it's looking for a buyer for a large number of its remaining stores, and it will close at least 142 stores near the end of this year. That's in addition to the 46 store closings already planned for next month.
The company did not rule out additional store closings as the bankruptcy process proceeds.
Eddie Lampert, the company's chairman and largest shareholder, has given up the title of CEO. The company will now be run by three of the company's top executives.
For years, Lampert has claimed the company was making progress to end its years of ongoing losses.
"While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired," Lampert said in a statement Monday. He said the bankruptcy process would allow the company to shed debt and costs and "become a profitable and more competitive retailer."
Although retailers typically file for bankruptcy with the intention of staying in business, many end up going bust after filing. In recent years, Toys "R" Us, RadioShack and Sports Authority have followed that path to the graveyard.
The upcoming holiday season will be a particular challenge for Sears. It will need to do better than last year. While other traditional retailers enjoyed strong holiday sales, Sears and Kmart both reported sharp drops.
But many of Sears' problems were self-inflicted. Its management tried to compete by closing stores and cutting costs. It slashed spending on advertising and it failed to invest in the upkeep and modernization of its outlets. Sears and Kmart stores grew barren and rundown.
Sales declined. Losses piled up in the billions of dollars. Debt mounted, and the company's cash reserves disappeared. Sears sold many of its most valuable assets, including its massive real estate footprint, to raise the cash it needed to survive. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company was losing about $125,000 a month.
By last month, Sears' market value had fallen below $100 million, less than quarter of the value of Kenmore itself.
With the writing on the wall that a bankruptcy was imminent, suppliers demanded Sears pay cash up front for the items in its stores, putting it at an even greater competitive disadvantage with other retailers.
Creditors opted instead to try their hand in bankruptcy court. Without a deal and with $134 million in debt payments due Monday, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Mega-Millions and Powerball Jackpots grow. There was no winner in either of the two national lotteries over the weekend. Tuesday night’s Mega Million jackpot has gown to $654 million and Wednesday’s Powerball is $345 million.
A school bus carrying students plunged into a backyard swimming pool Friday morning in Florida. The bus had nine student on-board as it traveled into a yard and through a fence before nosediving into the pool. The school bus driver told troopers the another driver swerved to avoid a dead cat in the road, prompting the bus to drive off the road. The bus driver and nine children were not injured.
Coors Beer founder dies. William “Bill” Coors — the man who helped make the brewery started by his grandfather, Adolph Coors, one of the largest in the world — died at his home Saturday. He was 102. One of Bill Coors’ major contributions to the industry was the development and introduction of the recyclable aluminum can in 1959.
… Though he retired in 2003 at age 87, Bill stayed on as chief technical advisor and continued to taste test Coors beer until he was 100.
Another selfie pic death. A woman in Panama fell to her death from the 27th floor of a high-rise after she lost her balance while taking a selfie. The incident is still under investigation, but police are focusing on the theory that a gust of wind may have knocked her off balance.
… A study released in September revealed 259 people had been killed while taking selfies between 20111 and 2017. The most common ways that people die while taking selfies is by drowning, being hit by traffic or falling. It happens overwhelmingly to men, with nearly three quarters of the worldwide victims being male (153).
… The country where most of the deaths happened was India which accounted for around half of all the selfie-related deaths, closely followed by Russia, the USA and Pakistan.
A new study (Australian National University and University of Nevada) shows that having more books growing up, even if you don’t read them, improves educational outcomes. The study found strong correlations between the number of books owned at age 16 and later-in-life literacy, math and IT skills.
… The households with the most books are in Estonia, with an average of 218 books per house. Norway came in second with an average of 212 books per house. The US came in 11th with an average of 114 books per house, just under the world average of 115. One in five American households own only 5 books.
If you think Diet Coke is a lesser evil choice compared to the regular one, then you might have to think again. A new study reveals that artificial sweeteners, like aspartame found in Coke, can be toxic to the gut bacteria. Researchers (Ben-Gurion University) found that sugar substitutes hamper the growth of bacteria living in our guts. The study used genetically modified E.coli to test common sugar substitutes available like aspartame, sucralose, saccharine and three others — all of which were approved safe by the US Food and Drug Administration.
After dosing hundreds of times, the researchers found out that artificial sweeteners had a stressing effect on the gut bacteria and it thwarts its ability to grow and reproduce.
The University of Michigan’s library recently acquired a copy of American Cheese: 20 Slices (by Ben Denzer), a book made from shelf-stable, plastic-wrapped slices of American cheese. Just ten copies have been created. The book is about cheese, but it has no words: the material in its construction — the plastic-wrapped cheese slices — is also its subject matter.
… The author’s other books include “200 One-Dollar Bills Arranged in Serial Number Order” and “A Tiny Volume of Chinese Restaurant Fortunes.”
A 5-month-old baby is set to become the youngest member of the All Fifty States Club. Harper Yeats has been traveling with mother Cindy Lim and father Tristan Yeats, who have been documenting their ambitious tour of the United States on Instagram over the last four months. Cindy and Tristan, who are from Australia, have been living in Canada for the last three years and visiting the states in pockets at a time. The couple was on maternity leave after Harper was born. They started the trip by entering Maine in June and it wasn’t until they looked into an All Fifty States Club membership — and the possibility of Harper becoming the freshest face in group — that the idea caught traction.
… They’ll finish up on October 18 in Vermont, No. 50 on the list. • IMAGE
A British mother of two, who survived a 4,000-foot fall after her husband deliberately tampered with her parachute, took to the skies once again wearing the same “lucky shoes” she had on during the fateful jump. Victoria Cilliers was left with devastating injuries when she plummeted to the ground on Easter Sunday 2015. The parachute jump had been a present from her husband and marked her return to the sport after giving birth to their second child. But her world fell apart when he was arrested and charged with attempted murder after police discovered that the her cords of her chute had been cut. Earlier this year the husband was sent to prison for a minimum of 18 years.
… To mark her astonishing return to fitness Victoria has jumped from an aircraft once again. And she wore the same pair of navy and turquoise tennis shoes she had been wearing for the fateful jump.
A barber in New Windsor, New York, is considered to be the oldest barber in the world. He’s 107. Anthony Mancinelli is still working full time, cutting hair five days a week for 8 hours a day. He has been working in barbershops for the past 97 years.
… Anthony was born in 1911 near Naples, Italy, and eight years later sailed to the United States with his family, arriving in New York on September 11, 1919. He started cutting hair in 1921, when haircuts cost a mere 25 cents. He was just ten years old. When asked about retirement, he replied, “Why would I?”
Red-heads rejoice: you age better. That’s according to a study (Erasmus University in Rotterdam) which found that the gene that keeps people looking young is the same as the one responsible for red hair and skin. According to the findings, those who carry a variation of the MC1R gene responsible for red hair, look around two years younger than they actually are.
Someone just paid $558,000… for a bottle of wine. A bottle of a 1945 wine sold for $558,000 in New York on Saturday. The wine was made just before the vineyard was uprooted for replanting, and Sotheby’s called it “rare and wonderful.” The wine is Romanee-Conti, one of just 600 bottles produced in 1945 by the maker of what’s considered France’s best Burgundy,
Friday, Oct. 12, 2018
The ravages of property destruction are unimaginable now in the Florida panhandle and the death toll from Hurricane Michael has risen to at least 11 people in four states after the storm’s two-day rampage from Florida to Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management confirmed today that Michael has killed five people there. The storm also killed four people in Florida, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina, according to authorities.
Michael slammed into the Florida’s Panhandle midday Wednesday as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever strike the U.S., devastating coastal communities, flattening houses, damaging the power grid and disrupting communication lines.
The storm then tore through Georgia—still as a powerful hurricane in much of the state—before tracking through the Carolinas and Virginia on its way out to sea.
The deaths in Virginia include four people who drowned in separate incidents, said Jeff Caldwell, a spokesman for the state’s emergency management agency.
In addition, a firefighter was killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended a fire engine that was at the scene of a car accident on Interstate 295 in the Richmond area, according to the Virginia State Police. The drownings include a 45-year-old man who was swept away from his vehicle during a flash flood in Pittsylvania County, state police said.
A girl was killed in her home as the storm swept through southwest Georgia, and a falling tree killed a North Carolina man in his car. The Sheriff’s Office in Gadsden County, Fla., said on Thursday that the storm killed four people there.
The states are in recovery mode now, and power outages remain widespread across the region. In Virginia, more than a half-million power customers were offline Friday morning, according to the emergency agency there.
In Florida, emergency authorities said 347,000 were still in the dark early Friday. Utility Duke Energy said more than 400,000 of its customers in North Carolina were also without power Friday morning.
Wall Street is holding its breath today as U.S. stocks are trying to rebound after two horrible days. The gains provided some relief after stock markets around the world suffered their biggest shakeout since February earlier this week on concerns around a steep rise in bond yields, higher oil prices and escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 242 points, to 25285 in recent trading. The S&P 500 gained 1.3% and the Nasdaq Composite added 2%. All three were on track to end the week sharply lower.
Stock markets around the world also recovered Friday. Some of the biggest casualties of this week’s stock-market rout were the biggest gainers on Friday, with Netflix shares up more than 5% and Amazon.com gaining more than 4%.
Also helping lift the mood was earnings season beginning in earnest, with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all reporting rising profits. With earnings season now under way, a renewed focus on corporate results should help support stock prices in the near term, some analysts and investors say.
“We’re starting today on a positive foot because we have good earnings,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist for Invesco. She said strong third-quarter results will initially boost stocks, but what matters more to investors is commentary by companies on how tariffs, trade tensions and shifts in other markets will impact their businesses.
80% of college students admit to driving and texting. Research (from King’s College in Pennsylvania) shows four out of five college student drivers have texted while driving. Previous research suggests that texting slows driver reaction times more than being drunk. Male drivers were found to be more likely to text and drive.
It’s a spooky month, and it’s Friday, so it feels like today should be Friday the 13th. But of course it’s not. In fact, our next Friday the 13th won’t come until September of 2019.
Sextortion is on the rise with teenagers. Teen sexting is on the rise, and so is a horrific new cybercrime linked to it. Researchers have found a sharp increase in the number of teens who have discovered that their nudes had been shared without their consent. They’re literally using nudes to blackmail one another — a new type of cybercrime called “sextortion.”
Video shows what can happen when a drone hits a plane. Even small drones can leave a big impact on large aircraft. Which is why, in many parts of the world, flying a drone anywhere near an airport is illegal. Scientists at the University of Dayton Research Institute flung a 2.1 drone from a cannon into an airplane wing. The collision was staged but the damage was real — it tore open the airplane. • VIDEO
New moms take an average of 3½ months to feel they have the hang of motherhood. More than half of those in a survey said the first few months of their child’s life passed by in a blur because of the extent to which they were fraught with worry over getting things right. The top concern for moms was the worry their baby might get sick, followed by worries over feeding — specifically how much to feed their little one. Third on the list of worries is the costs associated with having a child.
A British family was so frustrated with the late delivery and “stone cold” temperature of their Domino’s order that they staged a sit-in protest at the restaurant. Fay James and her family were upset when their Domino’s meal was delivered over an hour after they had placed the order. Making matters worse, the mom reported that the food was “stone cold,” though the family lives just eight minutes away from the restaurant’s location.
… James said that attempts to speak to the delivery driver were unsuccessful as he “just walked off,” prompting her to spend 45 minutes on the phone with the Domino’s store in hopes of getting a replacement meal. That didn’t work. Taking matters into her own hands, James and her family went to the Domino’s location to demand a replacement or refund of the $28 order. The manager refused to speak to the family so they camped out until police were called. The officer told the store manager to refund the family’s money.
A woman who bid more than $1 million for a painting by the mysterious British artist Banksy, which shred itself into pieces at the moment of the sale, has gone ahead with the purchase. The anonymous buyer said, “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.” The auction house said the artwork had been granted a certificate by Banksy’s authentication body and has given a new title, “Love is in the Bin”.
Those annoying computer pop-up reminders to update your anti-virus software might be worth paying attention to. According to a recent study 87% of computer users say they have anti-virus software running on their computer, but just under half of them keep it updated.
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018
It’s one of the most powerful hurricanes and storms to ever hit Florida. Hurricane Michael is pounding ashore and is devastating coastlines, toppling houses, trees and power lines in its path through the Florida Panhandle.
The Category 4 storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles an hour, made landfall near Mexico Beach, Fla., in a region rimmed with tourist beaches and fishing villages. After rapidly intensifying over the Gulf of Mexico, Michael ranked as the strongest storm to hit the Panhandle since at least 1851, when record-keeping began, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“As Hurricane Michael continues its destructive path through the Panhandle and leaves our state, we are turning 100% of our focus on search and rescue and recovery,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday evening. He urged residents to be cautious about going outside, as flash flooding and tornadoes still were possible.
Panhandle residents faced the risk of life-threatening flooding, with the hurricane center reporting a storm surge of nearly 8 feet above ground level in Apalachicola. The storm also was expected to drench a broad region with heavy rain, with more than a foot expected in parts of three states, raising the risk of flash floods.
At least one person died has a result of the storm. A tree fell through a man’s home in Greensboro, Fla., crushing and killing him, according to a Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
Wall Street is reeling again today as U.S. stocks are trying to recover a day after major indexes suffered their largest one-day losses since February, losing 832 points. The previous day’s selloff spilled over into global markets, though, as investors there refocused on slowing global growth, rising bond yields and increasing trade tensions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 102 points again this morning, and now is bouncing back. Some of the sectors that led Wednesday’s selloff bounced back this morning, with tech and communications stocks in the S&P 500 both rising 0.2%. The biggest losers in Thursday’s session were energy stocks, which dropped 1.5% as oil prices tumbled.
Part of it has been sparked by the recent jump in government-bond yields and the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases. President Trump called out the U.S. central bank on Wednesday, saying “the Fed has gone crazy,” as it continues to tighten monetary policy. Stay tuned.
Driving stress is taking its toll on us. A study says a third of us regularly drive while stressed — and half of those who are stressed blame other drivers. We’re stressed most by:
- Being tailgated
- Poor driving decisions by other drivers (e.g. speeding)
- Bad roads (e.g. potholes)
- Winding roads and blind spots
- Bad weather
- Passing cyclists on the road
- A lack of road lights
- Sun in the eyes
Eight hours of sleep is perhaps the limit. It seems like forever that researchers have been telling us we’re not getting enough sleep. But we should also be careful of getting too much sleep, apparently. The largest sleep study in the world has confirmed that getting too much sleep is just as bad for you as getting too little. Scientists (University of Western Ontario) have found that under seven hours a night severely impacted brain health — but that more than eight isn’t healthy either.
A New Hampshire restaurant is offering free steak to anyone with tips on a recent burglary at their location. Police say a man broke into Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery (in Raymond) early Tuesday morning and stole more than $25,000. The man was captured on surveillance video entering the closed restaurant with a crowbar, and a restaurant manager says one of their safes was broken into. The restaurant says in a Facebook post it is offering a $2,000 cash reward and free steak for the duration of the burglar’s sentence to anyone who helps police catch the man.
It's haunted house time and be careful. A group of friends who went to Nashville Nightmare Haunted House got a real scare when one of them was stabbed by another. The three pals were at the attraction when a man, who they believed was an employee dressed in character, allegedly handed one of them a knife and told her to stab her friend. She did… and the friend started bleeding.
… The victim said, “The thing I remember is the guy who gave [the knife] to her kind of freaking out and saying things like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know my knife was that sharp. I didn’t know. I’m so sorry.'” Then the guy reportedly grabbed the knife back and disappeared. The victim received nine stitches and police have opened an investigation.
Have you seen a ghost? From seeing ghost children with jet black eyes to experiencing otherworldly green flashes to witnessing the TV mysteriously flicker on and off, a new Halloween study found that most people have a stronger connection to the paranormal than one might think.
… Just over 60 percent of people admit to having seen a ghost in their lifetime. And more than 40 percent of those surveyed think their pet has seen one too.
… One in three people have either lived or stayed in a house they felt was haunted.
… Men were twice as likely than women to scream and run away when they saw a ghost.
… The study also identified America’s top 10 fears as: snakes, spiders, sharks, drowning, heights, public speaking, failure, bees, cramped spaces and rejection.
Coffee may help you become a dad. Men who drink just two cups of coffee a day could double their partner’s chance of getting pregnant. A new study of 500 couples trying for a baby suggests caffeine in the week before a couple has sex might increase the chance of conception. However, women who drank alcohol before and after ovulation reduced the likelihood of pregnancy.
With Canada on the verge of being the second country in the world to legalize marijuana, Walmart Canada says it has done some preliminary fact-finding to see if selling cannabis is an option. Canada’s big day is October 17.
Everyone’s made crazy impulsive choices after they’ve had a few too many, but one couple got so drunk on their honeymoon that they purchased an entire hotel. Gina Lyons and Mark Lee, from London, bought a small beach-front spot in Sri Lanka. During their three-week backpacking trip in December 2017, the couple hit it off with some of the staff members at the rustic location. After drinking 12 glasses of rum, they found out the lease was almost up on the hotel, so they agreed to take it over for three more years, which cost around $39,576.
… After making this big financial decision, the couple panicked when they found out they were expecting a child.
… They were plagued with feeling irresponsible, but it was either sink or swim — so they decided they’d have to make it work. After about $8,000 in renovations the couple reopened the seven-bedroom bed-and-breakfast they named Lucky Beach Tangalle at the end of July. Business is now booming and they’ve since seen a steady flow of customers.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
Hurricane Michael Begins Hitting Florida Coastline
Hurricane Michael began hammering the tourist beaches, fishing villages and nature reserves along the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, and officials braced for what is poised to be the region’s strongest storm on record.
Michael is set to make landfall this afternoon, potentially near Panama City Beach, Fla., while pushing up to 14 feet of ocean water into the coast and drenching parts of three states in as much as a foot of rain. The Category 4 was recently packing maximum-sustained winds of 145 miles an hour while high winds and storm surge began hitting the coast.
“This is the worst storm that the Florida Panhandle has seen in a century,” said Gov. Rick Scott at a news conference Wednesday morning. “All along our coast, communities are going to see unimaginable devastation.”
Michael would be the first Category 4 storm to hit the Florida Panhandle since 1851, when record-keeping began, a National Hurricane Center spokesman said.
Officials in 22 Florida counties issued orders urging about 375,000 residents to evacuate ahead of the storm, but it wasn’t known how many people heeded warnings to get out of harm’s way. As the storm ramped up early Wednesday, the governor told coastal residents it was no longer safe to leave and travel in the Panhandle.
Michael will be the second Category 4 storm to hit Florida in 13 months, after Hurricane Irma last year. But Michael left the state much less time to prepare, surging from a tropical depression off the Mexico coast to a major hurricane in just two days. Hurricane Michael is close to a catastrophic, unprecedented Category 4 strike on the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend with a life-threatening storm surge and over 100 mph winds possible not just near the coast, but also inland that could leave some areas without power for over a week. Wells Fargo Securities estimated that the storm could cause more than $10 billion in losses for insurers.
Moving forward today, Democrats are fighting to derail the White House’s push for cheaper, less-robust health care plans, seeking to try to manage the opinions of America and get the upper hand over Republicans ahead of the mid-term elections.
The fight over shorter-term plans—which went on sale this month and are free from many Affordable Care Act requirements—is emerging as a proxy for the broader battle over health care. Democrats say the increase of such plans will raise premiums for older and less healthy people by letting healthier consumers out of coverage that complies with the ACA. Republicans say the effect won’t be significant and that all consumers will benefit by having more choice.
With the vote this week, Democrats see a rare opportunity to take the offensive. The vote, which will take place as early as Wednesday, can be forced under the Congressional Review Act, which needs only 30 senators to bring an action. Democrats are borrowing from a GOP playbook; the tool has been used by Republicans to challenge Obama-era rules.
Google’s new Pizel 3 phone is giving users the option to spam their spammers and fight robocalls. The new Pixel 3 smartphone, unveiled on Tuesday, features a virtual assistant that can help screen out robocalls by responding to the automated calls with its own automated messages. With the tap of a button, users will be able to send suspicious incoming calls to the assistant, which will tell the caller, “Hi, the person you’re calling is using a screening service from Google, and will get a copy of this conversation.
Go ahead and say your name, and why you’re calling.” The virtual assistant then transcribes the caller’s response in real time. Based on this response, the user can either accept the call, send a preset text, or report it as spam. The last option directs the assistant to tell the telemarketer, “Please remove the number from your mailing contact list. Thanks, and goodbye.”
Digital license plates. California drivers now have a new digital option for license plates. The new plates are about the size of an iPad or Kindle, the plate number is displayed just as a regular one, except everything is digital and tied directly to your phone.
… The plates display registration tags digitally, so they can’t be stolen. Because they’re updated digitally there’s no need to visit the DMV. The cost of the plate $700 and there’s also a $7 monthly fee. The plate includes a tracking device that you can turn on or off. If the car or plate is stolen, the plate will read stolen.
… Law enforcement can also display Amber Alert messages on it.
A new survey about holiday eating and willpower reveals something pretty obvious: 75 percent of us experience a bit of guilt after giving into favorite foods. Unfortunately more than half of those who feel guilt say it brings down their holiday spirit.
… 87 percent experience more food cravings over the holidays than any other time of year.
… The most sweets and desserts at the holidays are, in order: chocolate chip cookies; pumpkin pie 41%; brownies; apple pie; ice cream; sugar cookies; cupcakes; snickerdoodle cookies; pecan pie; red velvet cake; gingerbread cookies.
… The most tempting holiday foods: mashed potatoes; turkey; stuffing; rolls; mac n cheese; ham; sweet potatoes or candied yams; green bean casserole; cranberry sauce; creamed corn; brisket.
With cold and flu season here, parents are doing everything they can to keep little ones from spreading germs, getting sick, and missing day care or school. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) often sings the praises of hand-washing as an inexpensive, easy way to keep viruses and bacteria at bay. Meanwhile, most of us think of hand sanitizer as something we’ll use in a pinch. Now, a new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that children who used hand sanitizer over washing actually fared better when it came to falling ill and missing school.
… Researchers in Spain studied over 900 children up to age 3 who attended 24 day care centers. Those in the hand sanitizer group missed 3.25% of the study period days, while those in the soap and water group missed 3.9%. More notably, researchers found those in the soap and water group had a 21% higher risk of contracting a respiratory infection. They also had a 31% higher risk of being prescribed antibiotics than those using hand sanitizer.
Among the car-driving population, squirrels get a lot of hate. To those rats with furry tails, we’re all monsters — except a guy in Minneapolis. Chris Felix thought he hit a squirrel with his back wheel and immediately stopped to help it. The squirrel was on its back and wasn’t moving, so Felix pulled out a glove he had in his car and started doing chest compressions. Soon two very confused officers on patrol stopped to see what was going on. Chris remained by the critter’s side repeating the same procedure for 20 minutes until the little guy finally got up and ran away.
Instagram is taking action against trolls and bullies. The social media giant on Tuesday rolled out new machine learning tools that are able to ‘proactively detect’ bullying in photos and captions. It’s expected to arrive on the app in the coming weeks. Instagram already uses AI to filter out comments that violate its Community Guidelines, but this feature takes it a step further.
… And Instagram will be able to block offensive comments on live videos.
If you’ve ever handed out treats to eager trick-or-treaters, you’ve probably run into a kid who seems just a bit too old to be ringing your doorbell. Some towns in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia appear to have solved that problem: jail time for offenders. In Chesapeake, the law states, “If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as ‘trick or treat’ or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.”
… Chesapeake isn’t alone. In Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk it’s against the law for anyone older than 12 to trick or treat.
If you’ve ever said you’d “sleep on it” before making an important choice, you might have been on to something. According to new research, taking a little catnap may help you pick the best option when faced with a challenging decision.
… The study (by Liz Coulthard, PhD) measured changes in people’s brain activity and responses before and after a nap. In the experiment, participants practiced tasks and then either stayed awake or took a 90-minute nap before trying the tasks again. Results showed that the small amount of sleep actually made a big difference for the folks who took a nap: Hitting the hay improved their processing speed when it came to info that was presented very briefly or even “masked” in an earlier task.
What are the odds that someone marries their high school sweetheart? Facebook wanted to know, so they ran the numbers and discovered 15% of their users went to the same high school as their spouse. There’s a better chance you’ll marry the person you met in college — 28% of college sweethearts got married.
Any holiday that combines candy with funny looking pumpkins can’t be all bad, right? Turns out, it can be a little dangerous. To reduce the risk of serious injury while carving jack-o-lanterns, a study suggests people may be better off avoiding knives and getting specially designed pumpkin cutters. Although they are not foolproof, the research found some of the carvers appear less likely to cause injury. There’s no data on how many people are injured each year while carving pumpkins.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned today, directly to President Trump, at the White House. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Trump and Haley met in the oval office this morning, and now he’s got another cabinet member position to fill. A senior State Department official said Haley told her staff about this, just this morning.
No explanation has been given at this time to the public. The former South Carolina governor was tapped as ambassador to the UN following Trump's election win despite supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in her state's all-important 2016 presidential primary and later backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
During her more than a year-and-a-half on the job, she has repeatedly spoken her mind on human rights and other issues around the world and here at home. Stay tuned.
It’s done and Associate Justice, Brett Kavanaugh was ceremoniously sworn in at the White House yesterday and as he takes the bench today, it will mark the culmination of the Republican Party’s 50-year drive to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Little in Tuesday’s proceedings will suggest such significance. Chief Justice John Roberts likely will offer a brief welcome to Justice Kavanaugh before the court hears two workaday cases on sentencing.
Over time, however, Justice Kavanaugh is expected to provide a consistent vote to implement the conservative movement’s legal agenda in a range of areas where the Supreme Court has failed to produce ideologically consistent results, despite Republican presidents having appointed 14 of 18 justices since 1969.
At minimum, a five-justice majority more sensitive to regulatory and litigation costs on business should tip more outcomes toward industry and employers, imposing higher bars for workers, consumers and environmentalists, according to legal experts who have studied the court and Justice Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence. At the same time, the new majority is likely to show more sympathy for social conservatives resisting the encroachment of gay rights and access to contraceptives, as well as greater tolerance for state initiatives to curb the availability of abortion.
Police officers wearing new cameras by Axon, the U.S.’s largest body camera supplier, will soon be able to send live video from their cameras back to base and elsewhere, potentially expanding police surveillance. Another feature of the new device — set to be released next year — triggers the camera to start recording and alerts command staff once an officer has fired their weapon, a possible corrective to the problem of officers forgetting to switch them on. The initial price of $699 doesn’t include other costs, like a subscription to Axon’s Evidence.com data management system.
… Legal experts say adding new technologies to body camera video introduces new privacy concerns. They’ve cautioned that a network of live-streaming cameras risks turning officers into roving sentinels for a giant surveillance system.
Animal control officials in Waukegan, Michigan, got a call Monday morning from a kayaker about a four-foot alligator spotted slowly swimming in the lake. The caller followed up with a video, proving the remarkable claim, and authorities responded. An animal control officer was able go get a hold on the reptile, which had tape around its mouth.
… Although it was initially reported by authorities to be an alligator, the animal was transported to a wildlife center where someone identified it as similar creature called a caiman. • IMAGE
Halloween is going to the dogs — and the cats, and the rodents and the reptiles. According to a survey, 51 percent of all pet owners plan to dress their animals in costumes for Halloween this year. They’re not just slapping bandannas on the mutts and kitties either. The survey shows pet owners will spend an average of $29 on get-ups for their pet pals. An additional 18 percent of owners plan to match their own costumes to their animal’s outfit.
The legal pad is 130 years old this year. A company called the American Pad and Paper Company, or AMPAD, claims to have invented the legal pad in 1888. A young inventor named Thomas Holley made the tablets from cheap leftovers, or sortings, from paper mills. His low-cost lined pads were quickly adopted by the scribbling professions, and the legal pad was born.
… As for their distinctive color, one story is the yellow legal pad was devised specifically because yellow was thought to be a color which stimulated the intellect. Though hard to verify, in general dark text on a light background is considered optimal for reading. And yellow tends to be easier on the eyes than a harsh white background, a fact that 3M took to heart when they invented the Post-it note.
A Twitter user appeared to catch his local Little Caesars Pizza chain red-handed with DiGiorno frozen pizza. A Toledo, Ohio TV station reported that the customer, who was in a Little Caesars, recorded video of a box of DiGiorno pizzas in a shopping cart at the end of the cash register. The Twitter user captioned the video with “This can’t be happening right in front of me.”
… Little Caesars replied to the video post, asking, “Which location was this?” but the tweet has since been deleted. The location where the video was filmed is not clear.
Best cure for a hangover? Sprite. For years people have argued over what they believe is the essential remedy after a heavy night of drinking — from a strong coffee to a hair of the dog. But now we’ve learned that partiers who go for the healthy option and console themselves with an herbal tea could actually be making their hangover worse. A team of Chinese scientists found in tests on 57 drinks that Sprite performed the best in relieving the alcohol-related symptoms.
… The key to alleviating the damaging effects of alcohol is reducing the time that a chemical called acetaldehyde is in the body. Some drinks, including a herbal tea made from hemp seeds, increased the length of the process, whereas Sprite was among the drinks which sped up the first process, therefore reducing the damaging effects of the alcohol.
Covering for a co-worker causes stress. Duh. The average American’s workload increases by nearly a third when covering for a coworker, according to new research. And over half of people saying covering for a coworker is a “significantly stressful event”.
A Houston Astros fan bought “about $500” worth of beer for his entire section after he called a George Springer home run during Game 1 of the American League Division Series. Eddie Flores told the Houston Chronicle, “I knew Springer was going to hit one, and I wanted everyone to know it. I called it.” Flores told everyone in Section 103 that he would buy everyone a beer if Springer led of the fifth inning with a dinger. Sure enough, he did.
Contrary to popular belief, a study found that eye contact might actually hurt the effectiveness of persuasion. Researchers (Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Freiburg) found that when experiencing direct eye contact, listeners were unreceptive to viewpoints that differed from their own. The study’s participants’ eyes were monitored with a tracking technology while they were shown videos of people giving speeches about various controversial issues. Researchers found that participants’ beliefs about a particular issue were less likely to change the longer they looked at a speaker’s eyes. A locked gaze proved to be positively effective only when the participant already agreed with the speaker’s opinion.
When New Yorker Jodi Ekberg’s Siberian Husky Frankie was diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma, she didn’t think twice about spending whatever it would take to get her healthy. The 57-year-old hospital volunteer had gotten Frankie as a therapy dog after herself being diagnosed with cancer. Frankie passed a year ago, but Ekberg remains about $40,000 in debt, and she’s fine with that. She spent a total of $70,000 on Frankie’s health — most of it put on a credit card. She has since adopted a new husky named Ollie that she believes Frankie sent to her and her husband. It has the same color coat and eyes as Frankie.
Monday, Oct. 8, 2018
On Saturday, amid the protests of Democrats, the United States Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, cementing a conservative majority on the nation’s top court after a blistering battle over sexual-assault allegations leveled against him.
Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed by a two-vote margin, with 50 in favor, 48 opposing, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) voting present. One senator, Republican Steve Daines of Montana, was absent due to his daughter’s wedding.
Judge Kavanaugh was sworn in late Saturday in a private ceremony at the court. Chief Justice John Roberts administered one of the two required oaths and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy the other, allowing Justice Kavanaugh “to participate in the work of the court immediately,” the court said in a statement.
Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation will cement a 5-4 conservative majority that has been a top goal of right-leaning activists for decades, while likely fueling the anger of liberals who argue that Republicans improperly blocked former President Obama’s last Supreme Court pick.
The emotions surrounding the confirmation fight show no signs of dissipating. Outside the Capitol on Saturday, protesters shouted “We vote next.”
“It was a very tense moment in the chamber,” Sen. Bob Casey (D., Penn.) said after the vote. “I think that reflects the tension in the country.”
Today, in the aftermath of it all, Republicans and Democrats head into the midterm-election homestretch trying to channel passions churned in recent weeks into getting their supporters to the polls. The focus of the next several weeks will be the crucial November elections, as raw emotions stirred by multiple allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against Justice Kavanaugh and a fight over a reopened FBI probe have energized voters from both parties. Republicans have been invigorated by their goal of reshaping the federal judiciary, and the women’s “#MeToo” movement has fueled a rise in female Democratic candidates.
President Trump, at a Kansas rally after the Senate vote on Saturday, portrayed Democratic attacks on Justice Kavanaugh and the tactics of those protesting his nomination in Washington as emblematic of what would come from giving Democrats control of Congress.
“Just imagine the devastation they would cause if they ever obtain the power they so desperately want and crave,” the Republican president said.
Democrats portrayed Republican handling of the sexual-assault allegations, which Justice Kavanaugh has denied, as an illustration of the GOP’s win-at-all-costs attitude.
“All of these angry people out there, they know that it is the people who are sitting in the Senate that they’ve elected who are making these decisions,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii), a leading Kavanaugh critic and one who told men to “just shutup”, said on CNN “We’re going to go to the polls and we’re going to vote differently.”
Analysts said that based on polls, the Kavanaugh fight in the short term likely improves Republicans’ chances of keeping control of the Senate and reduces their odds of keeping their House majority.
The fight for the Senate is being waged mostly in states where the president and his court pick are popular, while the House battleground is mostly suburban districts more opposed to the president.
“Our energy and enthusiasm was lagging behind theirs until this,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on CBS Sunday. “And I think this gave us the motivation and the opportunity to have the kind of turnout in this off-year election that would help us hold the Senate.”
Democratic activists, who organized demonstrations around the Capitol while the Senate met Saturday, said they hope to turn the energy from the streets to the ballot box—especially among women.
“This confirmation process has been an all-out war on women,” Linda Sarsour, an organizer of the 2017 Women’s March, held a day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, said in a fundraising email Friday. “We have to fight harder than ever to win the Senate.”
Over the longer term, the Kavanaugh fight could reinforce an alignment of the parties that has been accelerated by the Trump presidency: The Republican Party’s core constituency increasingly is centered on white men, while the Democratic Party is home to many people of color and a rising share of female voters.
A record number of women are running for office up and down the ballot—the overwhelming majority of them as Democrats—and many women have turned to political activism for the first time in response to the 2016 election.
Keywords: National News, Klamath Falls News, Klamath Basin News, U.S. News Update, Regional News, News, White House News, Capitol Hill News, News Update, U.S. News And Information, National News Stories