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Published: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:04:25 -0500

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2017 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved

‘That’s how dictators get started’: McCain, critics blast Trump’s view of the media as ‘the enemy’

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:56:23 -0500

(image) Critics on both sides of the aisle are blasting President Trump’s assertion that the media is “the enemy of the American people” — and comparing his escalated attack on the press to that of a dictator. “That’s how dictators get started,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in an interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. McCain stopped short of calling Trump one.

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Ex-cop says Duterte paid him, others to kill crime suspects

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:51:06 -0500

(image) MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A retired Philippine police officer said Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a so-called liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents, including a kidnapping suspect, his family and a critical radio commentator.

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Turkish PM, U.S. vice president discuss improving ties: sources

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 04:54:41 -0500

(image) U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim that Washington was keen for a new start in relations between the two countries, sources in Yildirim's office said, after ties soured during the Obama administration. Pence and Yildirim met on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, Germany, and discussed improving ties, boosting cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the need to work together to find a permanent solution in Syria. Yildirim told Pence that moves by the United States to meet Turkey's demands over Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric blamed by Ankara for masterminding and orchestrating a failed coup last July, would pave the way for a fresh start in relations.

Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailout

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 01:07:15 -0500

(image) Mongolia has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $5.5 billion bailout package, officials announced, as the debt-wracked country tries to stabilise its economy. The landlocked north Asian nation has been hit hard by a more than 50 percent fall over the past five years in the price of copper, its main export. Billions of dollars' worth of natural resources lie buried beneath Mongolia's sprawling steppes, but development has been delayed for years and slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy.

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Explosive blog post details ‘abhorrent’ sexism at Uber

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:46:57 -0500

In a blog post published Sunday, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler Riggetti details her experiences working for the company. Sadly, given she's a female engineer working at a thrusting, big-name Silicon Valley startup, the experiences are exactly what you'd expect. In the post, Riggetti details numerous instances of overt sexist behaviour. She reportedly sent evidence, including email and chat logs to HR, but ran into a brick wall multiple times. In the end, she says that her attempts to quietly report sexist behaviour were turned against her: I forwarded this absurd chain of emails to HR, and they requested to meet with me shortly after. I don't know what I expected after all of my earlier encounters with them, but this one was more ridiculous than I could have ever imagined. The HR rep began the meeting by asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making, and that if I had ever considered that I might be the problem. I pointed out that everything I had reported came with extensive documentation and I clearly wasn't the instigator (or even a main character) in the majority of them - she countered by saying that there was absolutely no record in HR of any of the incidents I was claiming I had reported (which, of course, was a lie, and I reminded her I had email and chat records to prove it was a lie). She then asked me if women engineers at Uber were friends and talked a lot, and then asked me how often we communicated, what we talked about, what email addresses we used to communicate, which chat rooms we frequented, etc. -  an absurd and insulting request that I refused to comply with. When I pointed out how few women were in SRE, she recounted with a story about how sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others, so I shouldn't be surprised by the gender ratios in engineering. Our meeting ended with her berating me about keeping email records of things, and told me it was unprofessional to report things via email to HR. Beyond the reports to HR, Riggetti also details a company overrun with internal politics and management problems: In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering organization. It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor's job. No attempts were made by these managers to hide what they were doing: they boasted about it in meetings, told their direct reports about it, and the like. Shortly after the blog post was published, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a statement promising a (secret, internal) investigation into the matter, and reaffirmed Uber's committment to a equitable workplace where everyone isn't trying to stab each other in the back: "I have just read Susan Fowler's blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber -- and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired." This isn't the first time that Uber has run into human resources problems within its internal teams and management. In 2014, an Uber exec famously suggested digging up dirt on journalists to discredit them. That statement came in response to a journalist who had accused Uber of sexism once again. More recently, #DeleteUber trended on Twitter after Uber removed surge pricing at JFK airport during a taxi strike -- a strike that was in protest of President Trump's Muslim travel ban. The [...]

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"Blind Sheik" guilty of 1990s terror plots dies in US prison

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 02:37:35 -0500

(image) The so called Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted of plotting terror attacks in New York City in the decade before 9/11 has died in a federal prison. He was 78.

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Fantasy league aims to lure US students to economics

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 22:03:45 -0500

(image) Have you needed to use your high school chemistry recently? The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, part of the US central bank system, is on the forefront of trying to make economic and personal finance information accessible to the general public, and especially to students.

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A controversial executive order leads to internment camps

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:00:25 -0500

(image) On this day in 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued his most-controversial executive order, an act that sent more than 100,000 people to government-controlled facilities because of their ethnicity.

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Trump Refers To Imaginary Attack In Sweden

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:36:17 -0500

(image) During his Saturday rally in Melbourne, Florida, President Donald Trump linked the large number of refugees in Sweden to an incident “last night” that never actually occurred.

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Toughening penalties if pets are harmed during crimes

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:53:00 -0500

(image) FLORIDA, N.Y. (AP) — When Denise Krohn came home to find her goldendoodle Kirby bleeding on the kitchen floor, she at first thought it was a terrible accident. But she soon realized that her home had been ransacked, and that her other dog, Quigley, was lying dead on his favorite blanket in the living room.

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Senators look to new sanctions against Iran for missile development

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:06:22 -0500

(image) U.S. Republican senators plan to introduce legislation to impose further sanctions on Iran, accusing it of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions by testing ballistic missiles and acting to "destabilise" the Middle East, a U.S. senator said Sunday. "I think it is now time for the Congress to take Iran on directly in terms of what they’ve done outside the nuclear program," Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Munich Security Conference. Graham said he and other Republicans would introduce measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions.

Nigeria urges AU to intervene over 'SAfrica killings'

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:27:41 -0500

(image) Nigeria on Monday urged the African Union to step in to stop what it said were "xenophobic attacks" on its citizens and other Africans in South Africa. "This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria," a senior presidential aide on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in an emailed statement. There was no independent verification of the claimed number of deaths, which may have been the result of wider criminal activities rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.

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Car bomb blast in Somalia marketplace

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:02:33 -0500

(image) A car bomb blast at a marketplace Somalia’s capital has killed at least 20 people and injured 50 others, said a local Somali official. The blast by a car bomb parked near a restaurant went off at a busy time when shoppers and traders were gathered inside the market, said district commissioner Ahmed Abdulle. Mohamed Haji, a butcher who suffered shrapnel wounds, pointed at a clothes shop devastated by the blast.

Donald Trump's Great Escape

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 01:44:27 -0500

(image) MELBOURNE, Fla.—After four miserable weeks of being locked up in presidential prison—starved of affection, suffocated by bureaucracy, tormented by the press—Donald Trump made a break for it Saturday.

Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monk

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:25:27 -0500

(image) By Cod Satrusayang and Aukkaraporn Niyomyat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Monks and police scuffled on Monday at a Buddhist temple in Thailand where security forces are trying to arrest an influential former abbot on money-laundering charges. The standoff at the scandal-hit Dhammakaya Temple represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Thailand's junta since it took power in 2014. Police said they would try to avoid violence while threatening arrest for followers of the sprawling temple who have defied orders to leave and instead flocked there, hampering the search for 72-year-old Phra Dhammachayo.

Arpaio successor pulls back on immigration holds in jails

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:02:36 -0500

(image) PHOENIX (AP) — For years, immigrants being released from jails in Phoenix would routinely be kept locked up an extra couple days to give federal authorities time to check their immigration status and launch deportation proceedings.

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Relive SpaceX's incredible daytime rocket landing with this video

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:08:04 -0500

(image) SpaceX did it again, and this time, with a whole lot of style.  Elon Musk's private spaceflight company managed to land yet another Falcon 9 first stage back at Cape Canaveral after launching a mission to orbit for NASA. SEE ALSO: SpaceX sticks daytime rocket landing back on Earth after launch to space The daytime landing marks the third time the company has landed a rocket back on land and the eighth time overall that it has recovered a rocket stage after launch. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2017 This Falcon 9 mission was the first SpaceX launch from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, a pad with a rich history dating back to the Apollo moon missions up through the space shuttle era.  This marks the first time 39A has been used since the end of the shuttle program in 2011.  Here's another view of the landing, via SpaceX: Hours later, Musk posted another video on Instagram, this time giving us perhaps the best close-up view of the amazing landing we've seen yet:  A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Feb 19, 2017 at 12:20pm PST Lana Del Rey goes intergalactic in new video for 'Love' We can't forget about 'Donnie Brasco' on its 20th anniversary Surprise: John Oliver is pretty suspicious about Trump and Putin's relationship Watch a clever comedy duo imagine what fighting Trump IRL might be like

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Shocker! World’s first self-driving car race ends in a crash

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:40:03 -0500


The world's first race on a professional track involving self-driving cars ended, not surprisingly, with a crash. As part of the Roborace competition held in Buenos Aires over the weekend, one of the two self-driving Devbot vehicles involved in the race slammed into a wall after miscalculating a particularly sharp turn.

While the Devbot vehicles weren't going all out, they weren't exactly driving at a leisurely pace either. At their best, both cars were driving in excess of 100 MPH, with one reaching a top speed of 115 MPH at one point.

In addition to racing around the track at high speeds, it's worth noting that each car can communicate with the other as to prevent them from crashing into each other. Unfortunately, the racetrack wall proved to be an insurmountable foe.

As for the software malfunction that caused the crash, Roborace's Justin Cooke explained what happened in an interview with the BBC:

One of the cars was trying to perform a manoeuvre, and it went really full-throttle and took the corner quite sharply and caught the edge of the barrier.

It's actually fantastic for us because the more we see these moments the more we are able to learn and understand what was the thinking behind the computer and its data.

Indeed, for as far along as self-driving software and hardware has progressed, it's clear that there's still a lot of work to be done before self-driving cars can replace human drivers completely across all driving environments.

While the DevBot vehicles are designed such that they "can be driven by a human or a computer", the versions used in the race over the weekend did not have any humans inside. Photos of the crash can be seen here.

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Hundreds of inmates abandon gang life in El Salvador

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 21:29:51 -0500

(image) Inside a Salvadaron prison Francisco Lopez teaches fellow ex-gang members how to make paper figurines, as part of a program designed to reinsert them into society once they are released. There are an estimated 70,000 gang members in El Salvador.

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On frozen fields, North Korean farmers prep for battle ahead

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:38:14 -0500

(image) PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Plug your noses and ready your "Juche fertilizer." It's time to prep the frozen fields in North Korea.

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Mourning the presidency: A mock funeral for Presidents’ Day

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:55:12 -0500

(image) A New Orleans-style funeral in New York’s Washington Square Park hosted by Rise and Resist and GAG Is Watching on Saturday gave young New Yorkers the chance to grieve, march, sing, wail and ultimately “demand the rebirth of a presidency dedicated to the service of all peoples.”

Fresh ceasefire appears to hold for now in eastern Ukraine

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:47:08 -0500

(image) By Pavel Polityuk AVDIYIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists appeared to be respecting a new ceasefire attempt on Monday after international powers called for shelling to stop and for the withdrawal of banned heavy weapons. In recent weeks, the area around the government-held town of Avdiyivka has seen some of the heaviest artillery fire of the past two years, refocusing global attention on a simmering conflict that has strained relations between Russia and the West. Violence has since lessened, but the close proximity of the opposing sides and continued use of heavy weapons prompted the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to call on Sunday for renewed efforts to implement the terms of the much-violated Minsk peace agreement of 2015.

Police: Man in photos now 'main suspect' in 2 girls' deaths

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:58:18 -0500

(image) DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A man photographed walking along a northern Indiana trail system around the time two teenage girls later found slain were dropped off by a relative is now considered "the main suspect" in their killings, State Police said Sunday.

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This futuristic ATM means you’ll never have to go into a bank again

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:00:26 -0500

(image) Fifty years ago, the ATM was one of the first robots to start down the long path of stealing jobs. Even the name -- Automated Teller Machine -- shows that it was explicitly designed to put bank tellers out of a job. ATMs have become far more sophisticated since their introduction, but their main function of dispensing cash hasn't really changed. So, for ATMs themselves to remain relevant as banks increasingly go online, there needs to be change. NCR, a company you likely haven't heard of but almost certainly interact with frequently, has just released its latest take on the ATM. Called the SelfServ 80, it's likely to have payment processing conference attendees all aflutter -- but there's a reason you should care too. Rather than just dispensing cash, the machine uses a 19-inch touchscreen and video confrencing to let you do virtually anything you'd do in a regular bank. Apply for credit cards or loans can theoretically all happen without ever speaking to a person in the flesh: all the communication can happen with a bank advisor via fancy Skype. Only ever talking to a bank advisor through a screen does sound like an awfully dystopian future. But the silver lining here is that by centralizing the bank tellers, banks could offer services for much longer hours, and you'd never need to wait in line to see one of your branch's two tellers ever again. The ATM will start rolling out this year, as according to NCR "several of the largest banks in the world, along with many community banks, have signed on for initial delivery contracts."

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One dead, 27 hurt in Belgium train derailment

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:07:30 -0500

(image) One person died and 27 others were injured -- three of them seriously -- when a train derailed Saturday shortly after leaving a station east of Brussels, officials said. The train carrying 85 passengers derailed four minutes after leaving Louvain bound for the North Sea coast via the Belgian capital, the SNCB railway authority said. "Rescue workers confirm the death of one person, three seriously injured and 24 others hurt," a Belgian official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

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Blizzard Terminating Windows XP, Vista Support

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:21:58 -0500

(image) Video game company Blizzard Entertainment has announced the end of the road for Windows XP and Windows Vista support for its games.

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Man dies after breaching security at Honolulu airport

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 19:28:51 -0500

(image) HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that a man is dead after he breached security at Honolulu International Airport and stopped breathing.

Ecuador in key vote for Latin American left

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 13:06:11 -0500

(image) Ecuador voted Sunday in general elections that could see a pillar of the Latin American left swing to the right -- and potentially deprive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of his place of refuge in London. President Rafael Correa, who is not running, expressed confidence that his party's candidate, Lenin Moreno, would win in the first round. The polls clearly say the contrary," he said after casting his ballot at an elementary school in Quito.

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Indonesia Islamists urge ouster of Jakarta governor, plan more protests

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:04:35 -0500

(image) Indonesian Islamist groups on Monday called on the government to suspend the Christian governor of the capital and for the courts to convict him of blasphemy, demands they will make again at a rally outside parliament on Tuesday. Islamist groups have held two big rallies since November against the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for insulting the Koran, and in the midst of an election in which he hopes to win a second term. "Our demands to parliament are that they urge the government to suspend Purnama ... and urge the Supreme Court and judges to detain him and impose the maximum sentence," said Muhammad al Khaththath of the Islamic People's Forum.

3 Reasons to Celebrate Love Your Pet Day

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:00:05 -0500

(image) We know you love your pet because he or she is cute, loyal, and entertaining, too. But scientific evidence suggests that you might want to show your pet some gratitude for your good health. Pet o...

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Syrian rebels say army attacks wrecking ceasefire efforts

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:05:06 -0500

(image) Syrian rebel groups who have participated in peace talks said on Sunday that an upsurge in Syrian army shelling and bombing was wrecking the prospects of maintaining a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey. The rebel groups, mostly backed by Turkey, have attended two rounds of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana. Mohammad Alloush, the head of the Astana talks delegation, said the rebel groups who signed a shaky ceasefire deal late last year that was meant to end bombing of civilians were ready to go back to "all out war".

Hunters charged in Texas shooting had blamed immigrants

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:05:43 -0500

(image) PRESIDIO, Texas (AP) — Two hunters accused in a shooting on a remote Texas ranch near the Mexican border had told authorities that they were attacked by immigrants who had entered the country illegally.

Atlanta, other cities eye test tracks for self-driving cars

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:27:58 -0500

(image) ATLANTA (AP) — Self-driving vehicles could begin tooling down a bustling Atlanta street full of cars, buses, bicyclists and college students, as the city vies with other communities nationwide to test the emerging technology.

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This new iPhone 8 feature might end up blowing our minds

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:33:11 -0500

Amid rumors that the iPhone 8 will incorporate advanced facial recognition features, the Hebrew-language website Calcalist (via Times of Israel) is reporting that Apple recently acquired Realface, an up-and-coming Israeli startup with impressive real-time facial recognition software. Lending credence to rumors that the iPhone 8 may forgo the use of Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, Realface's software is said to be sophisticated enough such that it can reliably be used as a foundation for mobile-based biometric authentication. As is often the case when Apple acquires a company, Realface's web presence has already been wiped from the web. Still, thanks to the magic of Google, we were able to poke around and dig up some intriguing nuggets of information about the company's promising technology. Realface boasts that it's AI software rests upon deep learning methods and is so reliable and quick that the end-result is an absolutely seamless user experience. "Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms," says Realface. "We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features." Incidentally, Realface's technology is also capable of filtering out photos of faces and advanced sculptures designed to trick the software into thinking that a device's camera is honed in on an actual human face. Further, Realface claims that its software can recognize faces with a 99.67% success rate, an impressive figure that is even higher than the average 97.5% success rate exhibited by humans. To this point, a profile on Realface from last year relays that the company's technology is so advanced that it can even distinguish between identical twins with alarming and impressive accuracy. Below is a quick and dirty demo of the software in action. What's particularly interesting is that Realface's technology is not only capable of discerning individual faces, but can also analyze specific facial expressions as a means to determine a user's mood. If this sounds somewhat familiar, Apple last year acquired Emotient, a company with similar AI technology of its own. Now as for what Apple is planning to do with its growing portfolio of AI-based facial recognition software, well, that's the million dollar question. While initial speculation centered on Apple rolling out augmented reality features, perhaps similar to what the beloved MSQRD app does, more recent rumblings suggest that Apple wants to position facial recognition as a means to identify users and securely authorize sensitive transactions. Again, there are even reports that facial recognition might ultimately serve as a replacement for Touch ID. While this seems far-fetched, Ming Chi-Kuo -- an analyst with the b[...]

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Thousands of anti-Trump protesters say 'not my president'

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:35:19 -0500

(image) About 10,000 anti-Trump protesters marched in New York to shouts of "not my president!" Monday, joined by others in cities across the United States as the nation celebrated its Presidents Day holiday. The "Not My Presidents Day" protests aim to show grassroots opposition to the Republican president remains fervent one month after his January 20 inauguration. Controversies over the property tycoon's unprecedented approach to running the world's remaining superpower are at full-pitch amid investigations into ties between Trump and his associates with Russia.

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UAE signs $1.2 bn in deals as arms fair opens

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:31:41 -0500

(image) Abu Dhabi (AFP) - The four-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) kicked off Sunday in Abu Dhabi with the United Arab Emirates announcing 21 deals worth more than $1.2 billion.

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Governor's proposed gun permit fees come under fire

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:31:09 -0500

(image) HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gun rights supporters and state Republican lawmakers are fighting huge gun permit fee increases proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, saying they would price many people out of being able to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

‘Pokémon GO’ Tips And Tricks To Maximize Gen 2 Pokémon Update Experience

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 22:05:18 -0500

(image) There are a lot of things the Pokémon GO team said about the Gen 2 Pokémon Update, but these are the things they did not tell Trainers.

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Libya's Seraj sees Russia as possible intermediary with eastern commander

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:03:09 -0500

(image) By Shadia Nasralla and Andreas Rinke MUNICH (Reuters) - Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli said on Sunday he would like Russia to help overcome deadlock in the country, which is struggling with divisions among militias and an Islamist militant threat. In an interview with Reuters, Seraj expressed hope that Moscow might act as an intermediary between him and Khalifa Haftar, a military commander who is supported by factions based in the east of Libya. Seraj's Government of National Accord has been trying to formulate plans for unified Libyan security forces since arriving in Tripoli in March, but has made little progress.

Solar-powered Africa “never more possible and less expensive”: energy chief

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 05:16:44 -0500

(image) By Maina Waruru ABU DHABI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A “solar revolution” is coming to Africa, comparable in scale and importance to the rapid surge in mobile phone use on the continent two decades ago, predicts the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Fast-dropping costs for solar power, combined with plenty of sun and a huge need for electricity on a continent where many are still without it, means solar has huge potential in Africa, said Adnan Amin, the director general of IRENA. “Africa’s solar potential is enormous,” he said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Turkey puts 47 on trial for 'coup plot to kill Erdogan'

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:02:07 -0500

(image) One of the nearly 50 suspects in an alleged plot to assassinate Turkey's president admitted involvement in the botched July 15 putsch bid as the mass trial opened Monday. Forty-four suspects, mainly soldiers, are under arrest over the alleged plot to kill Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while three others still on the run are being tried in absentia at the court in the southern city of Mugla. Onlookers heckled the accused as they stepped out of the buses that took them from prison, shouting "we want the death penalty!" and "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest").

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