Solar Trust seeks bankruptcy protection in Del.

RANDALL CHASE

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

Solar Trust of America's Chapter 11 filing on Monday listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $50 million and $100 million.

The filing comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Solyndra, a solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Gov. Jerry Brown were on hand last June when Solar Trust broke ground on a 1,000-megawatt project in California. The project was touted as the world's largest solar power plant and a keystone of the Obama administration's efforts to promote solar energy.

  • Trump orders intelligence community to cooperate with review on Russia probe origins
    Reuters

    Trump orders intelligence community to cooperate with review on Russia probe origins

    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.

  • 'The lion returns' -- Modi fans paint the town saffron
    AFP

    'The lion returns' -- Modi fans paint the town saffron

    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.

  • The F-21 Could Be One Tough Fighter (With F-35 DNA). Here's the Problem.
    The National Interest

    The F-21 Could Be One Tough Fighter (With F-35 DNA). Here's the Problem.

    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.

  • Missouri: destructive tornado leaves three people dead and severe damage
    The Guardian

    Missouri: destructive tornado leaves three people dead and severe damage

    The National Weather Service confirmed that the deadly tornado moved over Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, shortly before midnight. Across the state, Missouri's first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Governor Mike Parson said. Authorities said the three were killed in the Golden City area of Barton county, near Missouri's south-west corner, as the severe weather moved in from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water.

  • Almost 40% of Americans Would Struggle to Cover a $400 Emergency
    Bloomberg

    Almost 40% of Americans Would Struggle to Cover a $400 Emergency

    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.

  • USA TODAY

    Mom: My baby is graduating high school and I can't wait. Don't wish yours stay small

    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.

  • Trump Justice Department Crosses New Line, Charges Assange With Publishing U.S. Secrets
    The Daily Beast

    Trump Justice Department Crosses New Line, Charges Assange With Publishing U.S. Secrets

    In a stunning escalation of the Trump administration's war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. The charges invoke broad provisions of the Espionage Act that make it a crime to disclose or retain any defense information knowing it “could be used to injure” the U.S. The act has no exception for reporters or publishers, but prior administrations have balked at invoking the law against journalists for fear of colliding with the First Amendment.

  • Should Any Late-Term Abortion Be Illegal? Democrats Won’t Say.
    National Review

    Should Any Late-Term Abortion Be Illegal? Democrats Won’t Say.

    Essentially, congressional Democrats seek to take the standard for late-term abortion proposed earlier this year in Virginia — and shelved after the bill's chief sponsor Kathy Tran acknowledged it would allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if a lone doctor asserted it was necessary for mental-health reasons — and impose it on every state that provides greater protection for unborn children late in pregnancy. The federal legislation would require states to permit abortion after an unborn child is viable (that is, old enough to survive outside the womb) if a single doctor asserts that an abortion is necessary to protect the mother's “health.

  • Oregon State University student falls 100 feet from mountain viewpoint to her death
    AOL.com

    Oregon State University student falls 100 feet from mountain viewpoint to her death

    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.

  • Michael Avenatti charged with defrauding Stormy Daniels
    Associated Press

    Michael Avenatti charged with defrauding Stormy Daniels

    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.

  • India's Modi begins talks for new cabinet after big election win
    Reuters

    India's Modi begins talks for new cabinet after big election win

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet to tackle a stuttering economy and other challenges facing his second term after winning a big majority. Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party had won 296 of the 542 seats up for grabs and was ahead in seven more, up from the 282 it won in 2014. The BJP would have the first back-to-back majority in the lower house of parliament for a single party since 1984.

  • Congress leader Rahul Gandhi loses his home seat in humiliating election defeat
    The Telegraph

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi loses his home seat in humiliating election defeat

    The Indian National Congress Party went from understated optimism to shellshocked defeat within the space of a few hours on Thursday as Narendra Modi and his party celebrated another landslide victory. For the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, the performance by his party was nothing short of a humiliation, with several members of his own party demanding he step down and lay the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to rest for good. Mr Gandhi suffered the sting of losing the iconic seat of his family homestead in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, which he had held since 2004  and was controlled by his father before him. He won in his second constituency – candidates can run from two in India – but the symbolism of the defeat was one from which he may never recover. Modi vowed to build an 'inclusive' India after a first term marred by accusations of fomenting religious hatred Credit: AFP At a brief press conference as the results were still coming in, Mr Gandhi congratulated Mr Modi and said “the people are king and they have directed that the BJP and Modi have won this election”. He added: “I don't want to get into what went wrong today, this is not the time for that. I fully respect the Indian people's decision.” During the briefing he also conceded defeat in the Amethi election and congratulated his opponent Smriti Irani, of the BJP, who was more than 28,000 votes ahead at the time. Congress party officials did not return calls by The Telegraph but there were widespread reports in Indian media that the party had wildly miscalculated the margin of any potential loss with its internal polling, and now all that was left was to call for its talisman's head. “If they want to change anything, change the leadership,” a Congress official in Rajasthan told Reuters, referring to Mr Gandhi and the party's high command. “You need to give young people a chance.” However Mr Gandhi, 48, will probably not face an immediate leadership challenge as India's establishment party does some soul searching after an inglorious defeat. Some reports claimed Mr Gandhi had offered to resign. “According to sources, Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leaders advised him to bring up the matter before the party forum,” reported India Today TV. “The CWC (Congress Working Committee) will meet in a week in which the proposal will be discussed,” it added. Ironically the youthful pretender had grown into his role as leader in the past 18 months after previously being seen as a reluctant heir to his political lineage which stretched back to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He campaigned vigorously and was not shy on calling out Mr Modi on the economy, national security, Hindu nationalism and women's rights. After a while the media started to take notice. However behind the scenes his inability to foster good relations with a host of regional party leaders that could have generated a tenable anti-Modi alliance may have damaged his chances. "The BJP fought these elections on the basis of social and religious divisive policies and the agenda was set by them on this basis," said Atul Kumar Anjaan, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, a potential ally.  "But more significant is the fact that the unity of the opposition has been damaged by the Congress. The policies and decisions of Rahul Gandhi has weakened opposition unity, led to divisions and opened the doors for Modi's victory.” Congress has ruled India for most of its history since independence from Britain in 1947, and boasts three prime ministers from the Nehru-Gandhi clan. But its weak performance in the last two elections seems to suggest it needs a drastic change of direction to take on someone with Mr Modi's political savvy.

  • The Latest: Runaway barges cause 'minimal' damage to dam
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Runaway barges cause 'minimal' damage to dam

    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.

  • 14 Garage Organization Ideas That'll Give You Back Your Parking Spot
    Car and Driver

    14 Garage Organization Ideas That'll Give You Back Your Parking Spot

    It's so strangely soothing to see everything this organized in the garage.From Car and Driver

  • Will Robert Mueller testify before the House Judiciary Committee?
    FOX News Videos

    Will Robert Mueller testify before the House Judiciary Committee?

    Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins says Democrats will not call Robert Mueller to testify because they are afraid of what he will say.

  • May to Announce Departure Date Friday, FT Says: Brexit Update
    Bloomberg

    May to Announce Departure Date Friday, FT Says: Brexit Update

    Key Developments:May will inform her advisers Friday morning of the day she plans to stand down, the FT reportedMay’s Brexit legislation isn’t listed for debate in the first week of June as promised, but the government says it still hopes to put it to Parliament that weekEU elections are under way. The prime minister will meet with her advisers at 10 a.m. to reveal her decision and will also meet Graham Brady, chairman of the rank and file 1922 Committee, it said. May appeared determined to re-write her Withdrawal Agreement Bill to make it palatable to her party when she met with Home Secretary Sajid Javid, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

  • Across US, women have unequal access to abortion
    AFP Relax News

    Across US, women have unequal access to abortion

    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.

  • USA TODAY

    Download these 5 apps before your next trip

    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.

  • New US charges against Julian Assange could spell decades behind bars
    The Guardian

    New US charges against Julian Assange could spell decades behind bars

    Julian Assange could face decades in a US prison after being charged with violating the Espionage Act by publishing classified information through WikiLeaks. Prosecutors announced 17 additional charges against Assange for publishing hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables and files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Assange, 47, was previously charged with working to hack a Pentagon computer system, in a secret indictment that was unveiled soon after his arrest at Ecuador's embassy in London last month.

  • First satellites for Musk's Starlink internet venture launched into orbit
    Reuters

    First satellites for Musk's Starlink internet venture launched into orbit

    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.

  • Trump calls 'treason' on Comey, McCabe and 'a number of people'
    Yahoo News

    Trump calls 'treason' on Comey, McCabe and 'a number of people'

    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.

  • Lawmaker's censure sought after comments about Trump Jr.
    Associated Press

    Lawmaker's censure sought after comments about Trump Jr.

    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.

  • Facebook accused of leaving 'broken children' in wake of its commercial aims, abuse inquiry hears
    The Telegraph

    Facebook accused of leaving 'broken children' in wake of its commercial aims, abuse inquiry hears

    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.

  • Surprise: The ‘AI bot’ people talk to on Google Duplex calls is sometimes actually a person
    BGR News

    Surprise: The ‘AI bot’ people talk to on Google Duplex calls is sometimes actually a person

    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.

  • The Real Green New Deal Doesn’t Belong to AOC
    Bloomberg

    The Real Green New Deal Doesn’t Belong to AOC

    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.