U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's review of the events that prompted an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia. The directive comes as the White House spars with congressional Democrats over the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led a two-year investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and if there were any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
A document containing approved Republican talking points regarding Alabama's near-total abortion ban has been uncovered. Entitled “Messaging in the Minority,” the document was produced on Wednesday by the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House Republicans, and obtained by Vice News. It offers “messaging guidance” on the GOP's anti-abortion platform, and is labelled as “strictly OFF-THE-RECORD.” Vice News did not say how the document was obtained.
When the Justice Department unsealed a March 2018 indictment of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange last month, there was a reasonable case to be made that his prosecution would avoid setting a dangerous precedent against press freedom. The original indictment charged Assange with computer hacking on the novel theory that he coached Private Chelsea Manning on how to crack passwords on Department of Defense computers that stored the reams of secret diplomatic cables Wikileaks eventually published. Journalists routinely encourage sources to encrypt their texts and phone calls.
Delirious supporters of India's ruling party banged drums and smothered each other in saffron paint as they celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide victory in the country's giant election. Across India, supporters of Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress party were both stunned by the size of the Hindu nationalist leader's triumph, with early counts indicating a thumping majority for the BJP.
For the purposes of Lockheed's marketing campaign, the F-21 is a new fighter, although it shares many of its major features with the F-16V the company has sold to Bahrain, Greece, Slovakia, South Korea and Taiwan. Lockheed can build new F-16Vs or upgrade older F-16s to the V-standard.Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes.(This first appeared earlier in the month.)But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract.According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.Singh explains his rationale in the May 2019 issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. India previously ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender. “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.”Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States. Whichever fighter New Delhi selects, it needs the new jets now, according to Singh.
To all the moms who say they turned around and their babies grew up, who ask where the time went, who wonder how this kid could be graduating because wasn't he just a toddler? I can tell you. I felt them, those moments.
Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president's son "evidently retarded." Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat. Mooney said Rogers brought "shame" on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban.
The Fed’s 2018 report on the economic well-being of households, published Thursday, indicated “most measures” of well-being and financial resilience “were similar to, or slightly better than, those in 2017.” The slight improvement coincided with a decline in the average unemployment rate to 3.9% last year, from 4.3% in 2017. The statistic, which was a bit better than in the 2017 report, has become a favorite rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump’s boasts about a strong economy among Democratic politicians, including 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California. “Relatively small, unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance, can be a hardship for many families without adequate savings,” the report said.
Japan's Panasonic Corp said on Friday it has not stopped any shipments of components to Huawei Technologies, a day after it originally called for a halt of transactions in line with a U.S. export controls against the Chinese firm. "No transactions with Huawei have been suspended at the moment," a Panasonic representative told Reuters. "We are still making checks whether the ban applies to our products." The Osaka-based company said on Thursday it had "instructed employees to halt transactions with Huawei and its 68 affiliates subject to the U.S. ban." Its Chinese unit later released a separate statement that it continues to supply to Huawei, stressing that transactions not covered by the ban have been not affected.
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rocketed to fame through his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels in her battles with President Donald Trump, was charged Wednesday with ripping her off.
Theresa May had a mission to fight Britain's "burning injustices" through strong and stable leadership - but her term as prime minister was anything but. The Conservative leader's turbulent time in office was swamped and ultimately sunk by her legacy-defining battle to secure a Brexit divorce deal which eroded her authority to such an extent that by Friday, she could hold off her resignation announcement no longer. She won praise for her determination and ability to survive what often felt like a three-year political crisis since the referendum vote to leave the European Union.
While abortion is legal nationwide, Americans have unequal access to the procedure, depending on their location in the United States and how much they are able to spend. The disparities are great indeed, from the more than 150 abortion clinics available in the most populous state of California, to only one in states like Mississippi in the South or Missouri in the Midwest. State laws also vary widely on other matters like speed limits for drivers and marriage age requirements, but the Supreme Court has set a "minimum standard throughout the entire country," noted Meg Penrose, of the Texas A&M School of Law.
The Federal Aviation Administration is meeting with international air regulators from around the world on Thursday to determine what is needed to return the grounded Boeing Co 737 MAX to return it to service. The agency will summarize the status of three major ongoing reviews of the 737 MAX and give an update of the recertification process and shed light on Boeing's proposed revisions to its software and pilot training. Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said on Thursday he thought travelers in the United States and around the world would respect any eventual decision by the FAA to return the plane to service.
An Oregon State University student died Sunday following a 100-foot fall from a viewpoint at Neahkahnie Mountain, KPTV reports. Michelle Casey, 21, was taking pictures over a retaining wall when she slipped and fell off the steep edge, officials with the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office said. Casey, who was with her boyfriend at the time, reportedly landed on a tree that stopped her from plunging into the Pacific Ocean below.
It’s been 73 days since Sarah Huckabee Sanders last held a “daily” White House press briefing. For the most part, she has chosen to bring the Trump administration’s message to Fox News and Fox News only. But on Thursday morning she stepped out of her comfort zone and was quickly reminded what it feels like to be questioned by a real reporter. Sanders’ interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on New Day started out all smiles as the two women exchanged pleasantries. But as soon as the host began to dig in on President Trump’s ultimatum to Democrats in Congress that he will not work with them on infrastructure until they stop investigating him, things went south.Alisyn Camerota Loves Doing Journalism at CNN, After Doing the Opposite at Fox News“Congress say they can do two things at once, the Democrats is Congress say this isn't a problem,” Camerota said. “So is the president saying that he cannot do infrastructure while he's being investigated?” “I think it’s a complete lie that Democrats in Congress think they can do two things at once,” Sanders replied. “So far we haven't seen them do anything. Nancy Pelosi has had the majority in the House for months and is yet to accomplish a single thing. They literally haven’t gotten anything done since she took over.” When Camerota pointed out that since January, the House has passed 248 bills and the Senate has passed 161, Sanders laughed it off as insignificant. “I just want to say, it's the president who is saying that he can't do infrastructure while he's being investigated,” Camerota reiterated. “He is the one who walked out of the meeting. So just so that we're clear, he's saying that bridges are not going to be fixed until he's no longer investigated, is that what we hear from the White House?” Instead of answering that question, Sanders stammered a bit as she once again accused Democrats of being “incapable of doing anything other than investigating this president.”“They spend all of their time attacking him and the fact that they would have a meeting an hour before they are set to arrive at the White House where Nancy Pelosi literally accuses the president of a crime and then wants to walk into his office and sit down as if nothing happened, that's just—that's lunacy,” she continued. “That's not even in the realm of possibility. The president absolutely wants to get infrastructure done, he wants to secure our border, he wants to do things that help our veterans, he wants to improve our education system, he wants to do all of those things but Democrats have been unwilling to work with him.”Fox News' Chris Wallace Shuts Down Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Claim About Terrorists Crossing BorderLater, after confirming that Trump’s “merit-based” immigration plan will not prioritize DREAMers, Sanders returned to her attacks on Pelosi for suggesting the president may have committed a crime. “That would be like John telling you that he thought you were stealing from the network and then sitting down in the chair next to you and saying, but no big deal, let's just move forward,” she said, referring to Camerota’s co-host John Berman. “John would never accuse me of something like that,” Camerota said with a smile. “I would hope not,” Sanders added. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Climate change has long been a disaster in the making, but until recently the American public tended to treat it as an afterthought. The Green New Deal brought climate change front and center, and made Americans think about big bold solutions instead of technical tweaks and half measures. The think tank Data for Progress has a plan that actually predates Ocasio-Cortez’s, but which goes into much greater detail about how to combat climate change both at home and abroad.
There are millions of apps available for your phone, but you can't take all of them on your next trip. Of the 10 most-downloaded iPhone apps last year, only one – Google Maps – made the list (at No. 8). "Google Maps first comes to mind," says Anne Woodyard, who owns a tour company in Reston, Virginia.
"I would certainly send troops if we need them." If needed, "we'll be there in whatever number we need," he added. Trump, who has been focused on trying to reduce the number of U.S. troops deployed around the world, spoke shortly before he was to be briefed at the White House on a new deployment plan by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Shanahan said the Pentagon was considering sending additional U.S. troops to the Middle East as one of the ways to bolster protection for American forces there amid tensions with Iran.
Army engineers say two runaway barges did "minimal" damage when they struck an Arkansas River dam. The barges, filled with 1,500 tons of fertilizer, swept down the flood-swollen river and hit the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam about noon Thursday and sank. Town officials in the riverfront town of Webbers Falls had warned residents to flee for fear such a collision would catastrophically breach the dam and flood the town.
President Trump on Thursday escalated his attacks on those involved in launching the federal investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russia, saying “a number of people” should be tried for treason. He also delivered what he thinks should be the verdict: Guilty. Among them: former FBI Director James Comey; ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe; Peter Strzok, the deputy assistant director of counterintelligence; and Lisa Page, an FBI attorney who was romantically involved with Strzok at the time the probe began in 2016.
Facebook has been accused of leaving 'broken children' as collateral damage in the wake of their commercial aims, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard. Barrister William Chapman, representing the victims of abuse at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), said social media companies were not preventing paedophiles reaching children as it was “contrary to their business model” and that their apps needed to be “fundamentally redesigned”. Police also warned that tech firms were going ahead with plans to encrypt more features "in the certain knowledge" it would lead to more children being abused.
SpaceX, the private rocket company of high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched the first batch of 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit on Thursday for Musk's new Starlink internet service. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellites blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 10:30 p.m. local time (0230 GMT Friday), clearing a key hurdle for a business venture that Musk hopes will generate much-needed cash for his larger ambitions in space.
When Google unveiled Google Duplex last year at I/O 2018, the brand new Assistant feature looked terrific. It was the kind of futuristic technology nobody else had. With a simple voice command, you could instruct the Assistant to make restaurant reservations for you by placing a phone call using an AI bot. But soon after that keynote, it became clear that Duplex is somewhat creepy, as Google failed to identify the robocall to the other person. It was also kind of disingenuous, since the entire demo wasn't live.Google dealt with those issues at the time and Google Duplex deployment continued, culminating with this year's I/O announcement that the feature will be available in 44 states. Also, Google said that Duplex is getting similar functionality for booking reservations on the web. But a brand new report reveals additional details that were previously not known about Duplex, which brings the creepy back. It turns out that Google employees are actively involved in making many of these Duplex calls.A report from The New York Times reveals that about 25% of calls placed through Duplex started with a human. Beyond that, 15% of calls that started off with the Duplex AI bot had a human intervene at some point.The whole point of using the Assistant to make restaurant reservation is to eliminate the human side of things. That's why Google Duplex appeared to be so amazing in the first place. Having humans involved in the whole thing is where things get strange. Yes, maybe Duplex needs human oversight and the best way to train AI is by having it work with a lot of examples to learn from. But Google never really mentioned this human aspect of Google Duplex, which sort of ruins the magic of it all. Yet again, it's somewhat disingenuous.Also, there's user privacy to take into account. A human interacting with a restaurant on your behalf is different from a computer doing it, as the human is also let in on the booking information. It may seem trivial, but where does one agree to involve a Googler in setting up one's dinner plans?Google does say on its support pages that Duplex calls are recorded for quality assurance, which means someone may listen to your reservations: If the customer wants to book an appointment, the Assistant will confirm specific details like the customer's preferred time, type of service, or size of party. Once this information is confirmed, the Assistant will try to book an appointment with your business by using an online booking partner (if available) or by calling your business using the automated voice-calling technology Duplex (calls are recorded for quality assurance).Also, Google has a tiny note that a manual operator might start calls in the frequently asked questions section, although it's hardly enough (emphasis ours): At the start of the call, you'll hear the reason for the call and that the call is from Google. You can expect the call to come from an automated system or, in some cases, a manual operator.Google Duplex is clearly a far less polished product that Google led us to believe a year ago. Also, considering its renewed interest in protecting the user's privacy, Google should do a much better job explaining what goes on behind the scenes of a Google Duplex call when it comes to your privacy. The full Times report, complete with examples that explain what a human-made Google Duplex call looks like, is available at this link.