Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday were moving ahead with legislation to prevent the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, following a court decision this week blocking inclusion of such information. Representative Carolyn Maloney, a senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told reporters that she is re-introducing her bill, which was ignored by Republicans in 2017-2018 when they controlled the House of Representatives. With the Democrats takeover of the House this year and the panel that oversees the decennial census, Maloney said she hoped that her "Census IDEA Act" would advance early in 2019.
A falling tree killed a man in Oakland on Wednesday as a powerful storm lashed Northern California with high winds and rain, authorities said. The man, who was homeless, may have been "just trying to stay dry," California Highway Patrol Officer Herman Baza said. The latest storm in a series that has pounded California all week closed a major freeway, triggered deadly wrecks on slick roads, had people in wildfire-ravished communities bracing for dangerous mudslides and mountain residents facing "potentially life-threatening" blizzard conditions in the Sierra Nevada.
House Republican said President Donald Trump should deliver his State of the Union speech even if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi objects because of security issues related to the shutdown. There are no security concerns that have been raised, and it has nothing to do with that,” said Steve Scalise of Louisiana. "I'd encourage the president to still come and we'll find a place for him to speak.
Historic but failing US retail chain Sears got a reprieve on Wednesday after a billionaire hedge fund manager won an auction to keep the remaining stores alive -- for now, according to reports. Edward Lampert, who steered the company into bankruptcy last year in order to restructure it, won the bid to buy the remaining assets, beating out others who would have killed off the brand, according to news reports. The deal with Lampert's ESL hedge fund could keep up to 50,000 people in work and 425 stores open, but requires approval from a bankruptcy court.
Netflix is planning to boost prices for all of its monthly streaming video plans, and analysts say consumers should expect future price hikes from both Netflix and most other streaming services. The price increase is Netflix's first since 2017 and its biggest ever. We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience,” a Netflix spokesperson told Consumer Reports in an email.
Children playing Fortnite were exposed to a potential “massive invasion of privacy” thanks to an oversight in the game's security, researchers have revealed. The popular shooting game enjoyed by more than 80 million people around the world left users vulnerable to a flaw that if exploited, allowed hackers to steal virtual currency and read private conversations online. The bug was fixed in mid-December, according to researchers who shared their findings with Fortnite's developer, Epic Games.
A four-hour Southwest Airlines computer glitch on Tuesday caused delays and cancellations for passengers traveling to and from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The exact number of delayed and canceled flights isn't clear, though 37 Southwest flights were canceled leaving the airport Tuesday out of 174 scheduled. It's also not yet clear what caused the four-hour glitch between 10 a.m.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday moved toward launching a 2020 presidential campaign by forming an exploratory committee. The New York Democrat announced her intentions on CBS' “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” ahead of a trip to Iowa this weekend.
Recognized around the world as a symbol of manly civility for more than a century, Gillette will now be remembered as the company that did itself in by sacrificing a massive consumer base at the altar of progressivism. In case you hadn't seen or heard: Parent company Procter & Gamble launched a Gillette ad campaign blanket-demonizing men as ogres and bullies. At home and at work, in the boardroom, on the playground, and even while barbecuing in the backyard, Gillette sees nothing but testosterone-driven trouble.
Ireland's cabinet on Tuesday began to build upon the no-deal contingency plans it issued last month by seeking to reassure business of the availability of additional transport capacity and patients of the security of medicine supplies. Its preparations will be underpinned by one single emergency Brexit bill incorporating 17 new laws that Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney will, if required, begin moving through parliament in the final week of February. "We don't want to have to do this of course, nobody wants a no-deal Brexit and everybody will work toward avoiding that but we also have to ensure that Ireland has done everything it can to protect itself and its citizens," Coveney told a news conference.
Heavy rain, snow and wind pummeled much of California Thursday, causing at least five deaths, leaving thousands without power and forcing wildfire victims threatened by floods to flee their homes. Southern California authorities concerned with rising streams and excessive runoff ordered evacuations in parts of Malibu and other areas scarred by wildfires. In harder hit Northern California, authorities warned of imminent floods and debris flows in the wildfire-ravished city of Paradise and the surrounding region denuded of protective trees and vegetation, telling residents to prepare to flee their homes on a moment's notice.
Former acting ICE director Tom Homan says that until the Democratic leadership closes the loopholes that allow migrants to come, the caravans will not stop.
Venezuela's opposition-controlled but powerless National Assembly stepped up its battle with President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday by offering an amnesty to anyone from the military who joins it in disavowing the socialist leader. The "amnesty law" would extend also to civilian government officials who collaborate "in the restitution of constitutional order," parliament said. The row between the legislature and Maduro has intensified since the socialist leader was sworn in last week for a second term of office in the crisis-hit country, after he won snap elections in May that were boycotted by the opposition and dismissed by the United States, European Union and Organization of American States as a fraud.
The BMW flagship sedan also gets revised engines and plenty of new tech. From Car and Driver
Two Republican U.S. lawmakers are turning to a World War I-era financial tactic to break the impasse over President Donald Trump's demand for money to build a wall along the Mexican border. Representatives Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Andy Harris of Maryland, both members of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the Border Bonds for America Act of 2019 -- a law that would allow Americans to buy such securities from the U.S. The money would be put in a trust fund and used just to build a wall along the nearly 2,000 mile (3,200 kilometer) border.
Britons have been told to restrict their meat intake to the equivalent of one beefburger a fortnight by health experts in new dietary recommendations branded "fanatical" by critics. The Eat-Lancet Commission, a group of 37 health experts, has spent two years compiling the "planetary health diet", which they claim is the healthiest and most sustainable food plan for everyone in the world. They say it could cut premature deaths globally by 11 million and help feed the growing worldwide population which is due to reach 10 billion by 2050.
While Republicans and Democrats are condemning or calling for Rep. Steve King's resignation after his comments on white nationalism and white supremacy, the congressman is using the backlash to raise money for his campaign. "The unhinged left has teamed up with Republican 'NeverTrumpers' and is pulling out all the stops to destroy me," King wrote in a campaign email to his supporters. In the email, King, R-Iowa, said the New York Times and "rabid leftist media" are coming after him for supporting President Donald Trump and because of his views on immigration.
This included SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest), Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards — three previously unrelated loyalty programs that existed with separate point-value systems and benefits. The merger essentially unified the currency for all three separate rewards programs and allowed for members of any of the three programs to use their points across Marriott's entire combined portfolio of 29 brands and 6,700 participating resorts and hotels. Today, Marriott has solidified the mega-merger under the new name and introduction of Marriott Bonvoy, the new travel-focused loyalty program that will be taking the place of the three merged programs.
Some 30,000 Los Angeles teachers on strike for higher pay, smaller classes and more staff walked picket lines in the rain for a second day on Tuesday as Mayor Eric Garcetti embraced their cause while trying to nudge the two sides back to the bargaining table. Negotiators for the Los Angeles Unified School District and the United Teachers Los Angeles have not met since union leaders rejected the LAUSD's latest contract offer on Friday night, calling the proposal an "insult." Asked on Tuesday afternoon whether the two parties had any intention of resuming labor talks, an LAUSD spokeswoman said: "Nothing is scheduled at this time."
The Latest on the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs (all times local): 6:30 p.m. The grandfather of a 21-year-old Wisconsin man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents during a home invasion says his grandson was "quiet and shy." Jim Moyer told ABC News on Tuesday that his grandson, Jake Thomas Patterson, is a "nice boy, polite" who often "backed off from crowds."
At least five people have died in severe rain and snowstorms that blanketed parts of California with at least five feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains this week, besides triggering flooding and mudslides, officials said. Forecasters expect the bitter weather to push eastwards into the Rockies and US Midwest through the weekend, while the California Highway Patrol said rain-slicked highways led to two fatal accidents that killed four people. A family of three, including a one-year-old baby, died in El Dorado County on Tuesday, after their car spun across a rain-soaked freeway to hit another car, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
The senior U.S. defense intelligence official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, did not predict that China's military, known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA), would take such a step but said such a possibility was the top worry as China expands and modernizes its military capabilities. "The biggest concern is that ... they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities," the official said, referring to China's president. Pressed on whether the official was referring to Chinese confidence in its capabilities to be able to successfully win a battle with Taiwan, the official said, "Well, specifically that would be the most concerning to me." Taiwan is only one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, including a trade war between the countries, U.S. sanctions on the Chinese military, and China's increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.
A commercial for the Gillette razor brand that supported the #MeToo movement and called on men to change their behavior has triggered a heated controversy online. The spot, which features images of harassment and brutality, urges men to end a culture of "toxic masculinity" and turns the brand's 30-year-old slogan into a question: "Is this the best a man can get?" The broadcast of the spot, which was released Sunday and lasts just under two minutes, has earned the brand praise from those who see it as an example of brave communication, with the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs even paying tribute in a tweet on Tuesday.
The New York lawmaker, who has become a sensation among progressives, will almost certainly join the House Financial Services Committee after a group of fellow Democrats on the party's steering committee voted to recommend her for the panel on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. Two other recently elected progressive Democrats, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Katie Porter of California, are also likely to join the panel, said the people said, who requested anonymity because the names of the new members have not yet been announced. Tulsi Gabbard, a lawmaker from Hawaii who says she plans to run for president in 2020, is also poised to join, the people said.
Should you tip flight attendants?