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No honeymoon: US relations, EU future challenge Merkel

BERLIN (AP) - A record 171 days after Germany's election, Angela Merkel is set to pledge for the fourth time to dedicate her efforts to Germans' well-being and «protect them from harm.» Merkel has 12 often-turbulent years as chancellor behind her

Politics

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Open thread for night owls: Michael Flynn and his lawyers learn the hard way how not to do things

Former federal prosecutor Ken White at The Atlantic writes—Note to Michael Flynn: Federal Court Is Not Twitter: Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Tuesday got an unpleasant lesson on the difference between politically effective arguments a
Daily Kos

Open thread for night owls: Michael Flynn and his lawyers learn the hard way how not to do things

Former federal prosecutor Ken White at The Atlantic writes—Note to Michael Flynn: Federal Court Is Not Twitter: Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Tuesday got an unpleasant lesson on the difference between politically effective arguments and legally astute ones.  Backed by an array of well-wishers including President Trump, and buoyed by widespread conservative arguments that the FBI had violated his rights, Flynn walked into a federal courtroom in Washington hoping for the probationary sentence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had recommended. Instead he was threatened with jail by a furious United States District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who accused him of selling America out and forced him to retreat from his evasions. Flynn’s lawyers hastily agreed to delay the sentencing until March 2019 so that he might strive to cooperate further with the Special Counsel and perhaps work off the custodial sentence that Sullivan was clearly contemplating. This may have been a shock to Flynn, but it was predictable to everyone who understands that federal court is neither Twitter nor a cable news show.[...] For a year online conspiracy theorists and marginal publications have argued that Sullivan would dismiss the case because the government failed to turn over exculpatory material, or because his interview was conducted incorrectly.  Since Flynn filed his sentencing brief, more mainstream outlets – including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page – have taken up the cause, proclaiming that the FBI broke the law in its interview. Those arguments are, and have always been, errant nonsense, as any legal professional should know. Could it be that Flynn and his lawyers included the disastrous Flynn-as-victim pitch in their brief because they came to accept the partisan din – because they forgot that federal judges don’t react like people on Twitter?  That would be a very 2018 way to go to federal prison. TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES QUOTATION “Though Anne was born in Alabama and schooled in Mississippi, she had traveled North, and, like many Southerners, gained a theoretical understanding of the concept of cold. But the mind is an overprotective parent. What it doesn't care for, it hides. Like many inhabiting the subtropics, Anne had repressed the reality of subzero mercury.”              ~~Kathy Reichs, Monday Mourning (2004) TWEET OF THE DAY xBlack lung disease is killing thousands of miners. Regulators could have stopped it. - NPR https://t.co/nBxtxhBD4V— Tedi Grey Owl (@tedigreyowl) December 18, 2018 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2011—The failure of austerity: The current fad is to declare that austerity, in the form of slashed budgets, slashed jobs, a slashed tax based and so on will magically produce the opposite of all those things, as wealthy benefactors rush in to spend all the new money you have given them, create jobs creating new products nobody can afford to buy, and, I don't know, start rebuilding infrastructure out of the goodness of their hearts. It is never clear, and nor is it honest: it is predicated on the danger of the Scary Deficit Monster, who was not at all scary during the time he was being fed by these same politicians and think-tank prophets, but who, like any false god, just happens to hate all the same things that his worshippers do. In this case, the Scary Deficit Monster hates helping unemployed people, hates regulations (regardless of whether or not they save money), hates government in every form save the military, and especially hates it when well-off citizens are asked to pay the same rates they did a few decades ago, back during the dark, nearly apocalyptic 1980s or 1990s. That is damn nuanced policy for a mindless, frothing Deficit Monster, but it is consistent: the Deficit Monster hates anything Democrats might want and just happens to love all the ideas of the Heritage Foundation, etc., etc. And why not? Even a Deficit Monster ought to love its mother On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Politico sets a small fire with yet another AOC story. Russia targeted Mueller. Excitement builds for Flynn's sentencing, before it exploded. The Saudis are paying for the Yemen war like Mexico is paying for the wall. How was Flynn radicalized? With «stovepiping.» x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

GOP representative is only person blocking bill to address violence against Native American women

Savanna’s Act, a federal bill named after a 22-year-old Native American woman who was killed at eight months pregnant, has the potential to dramatically help Native American women in the U.S. Native American women suffer from disproportionate rates of viole
Daily Kos

GOP representative is only person blocking bill to address violence against Native American women

Savanna’s Act, a federal bill named after a 22-year-old Native American woman who was killed at eight months pregnant, has the potential to dramatically help Native American women in the U.S. Native American women suffer from disproportionate rates of violence (including domestic violence, sexual abuse, and going “missing”), and this bill would help address that violence by improving responses from the federal government. Specifically, it would ensure that the Department of Justice trains law enforcement agencies on how to record tribal enrollment information in crime databases, as well as requiring the attorney general to get recommendations from tribes. This would improve access to federal, state, and local information databases, with the ultimate goal of creating guidelines for how to respond to the rampant violence against Native American women.  So, in short, an all-around amazing (and much needed) step forward. The question is: Why is Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte so opposed to it?  Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is sponsoring the bill, recently called out Goodlatte on Twitter. Why? Because he’s the only (literally, only) person keeping this bill from progressing.  Savanna’s Act has already passed in the Senate, and unanimously at that. Sadly, it’s currently stuck in the House. If it isn’t passed by the end of this year, it will have to be reintroduced in January. This isn’t unusual, of course, but given that Heitkamp is not returning to Congress (she lost her re-election bid in November), it’s a huge deal.

Democrats plan to be very busy come January, because elections really do have consequences

For the nearly two years of the Trump presidency, the Republican-controlled House’s idea of oversight was to investigate Hillary Clinton for being Hillary Clinton, and when it came to Trump, looking the other way. But starting on January 3, that crazy conce
Daily Kos

Democrats plan to be very busy come January, because elections really do have consequences

For the nearly two years of the Trump presidency, the Republican-controlled House’s idea of oversight was to investigate Hillary Clinton for being Hillary Clinton, and when it came to Trump, looking the other way. But starting on January 3, that crazy concept of checks and balances will return to Washington when Democrats once again run the House of Representatives. And they plan to get busy immediately. Take Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Chairman-designate of the House Oversight Committee, who on Day One will have sent out a few letters. Like one to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker “demanding the age, gender, country of origin and current location of every child who was separated from his or her parents under the Trump administration’s immigration policy.” And one to the White House counsel, demanding to know which White House officials “have used nongovernmental email accounts to conduct official business.” Then there will be the one to whoever is the White House chief of staff about “information and documents about the use of government-owned aircraft for personal travel and private aircraft for official travel.” And a sure-to-induce-rage letter to the Trump Organization “asking for a complete accounting of all the payments it has received from foreign governments or foreign-government-owned entities since Donald Trump’s election.” In other words, there will be a new sheriff in town. Or as Cummings put it: “I’m not trying to do anything extraordinary. I’m trying to do what the Constitution says I’m supposed to do.” At the same time, proving once again that it’s possible to walk and chew gum, soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic majority will be jumping right in on health care, commonsense gun reform, «dark money» in politics, and restoring voting rights.  Checks and balances, government for the people … good times. 

America's No.1! Republican tax cuts lead to a record $1,000,000,000,000 in stock buybacks

When the Republican Party gave away billions to the richest people and companies in our country, they promised everyone that the big hole in revenue their tax breaks were going to create would be filled by all of the jobs and revenue being created by big busi
Daily Kos

America's No.1! Republican tax cuts lead to a record $1,000,000,000,000 in stock buybacks

When the Republican Party gave away billions to the richest people and companies in our country, they promised everyone that the big hole in revenue their tax breaks were going to create would be filled by all of the jobs and revenue being created by big business. Everyone, except for the few hundred Republicans who voted to make this happen, said otherwise. In fact, even corporate CEOs said that this would not happen. The moment corporations counted up how much money they didn’t have to pay into America’s collective piggy bank, they began spending it on stock buybacks. Stock buybacks help to fill shareholders’ pockets in the short term. It’s like a Christmas bonus that makes everybody who is already pretty wealthy a little wealthier. Of course, we are America, goddamnit! So we do buybacks better than anybody! US companies, led by Lowe's (LOW) and AbbVie (ABBV), rewarded shareholders by unveiling $34.4 billion in buybacks last week, according to TrimTabs Investment Research. That lifted repurchase announcements above $1 trillion for the first time ever, TrimTabs said, exceeding the prior record of $781 billion set in 2015. The reason that tax cuts don’t work to stimulate growth in an already growing economy is that big business doesn’t care. Big business is only interested in profits. It develops its infrastructure and hires people based on that goal. Just ask giants like Verizon: they will tell you that they aren’t going to invest tax cuts in anything other than their own executives’ and shareholders’ pockets. Giving them tax breaks with zero strings attached results in them spending that money on making themselves wealthier. Period.

13 months after Las Vegas shooting, Trump finally approves bump stock ban

In October 2017, shortly after it was revealed that Las Vegas right-wing white domestic terrorist Stephen Paddock used a bump stock adapter when he murdered 58 people at an outdoor festival, Republicans quickly offered their thoughts and prayers. Many peopl
Daily Kos

13 months after Las Vegas shooting, Trump finally approves bump stock ban

In October 2017, shortly after it was revealed that Las Vegas right-wing white domestic terrorist Stephen Paddock used a bump stock adapter when he murdered 58 people at an outdoor festival, Republicans quickly offered their thoughts and prayers. Many people wondered whether or not the Republican Party, beholden to the NRA, would even make the almost meaningless gesture of banning bump stocks. Bump stocks are used to allow semi-automatic firearms to act more like fully-automatic machine gun-style firearms. On Tuesday, the Trump administration finally announced that  it was banning the use of bump stocks. Those who possess the devices, which make it easier to fire rounds from a semi-automatic weapon by harnessing the gun's recoil to «bump» the trigger faster, will have 90 days to turn in or otherwise destroy them from the date that the final rule is published in the federal register -- likely this Friday -- according to senior DOJ officials. Of course, banning bump stocks alone is mostly just a gesture because the devices themselves only provide users some mechanical help in firing off the number of rounds that the gun itself can already fire, at a rate at which the gun can also already fire. It’s sort of like banning goggles at the pool to stop people from looking under water. However, the gun lobby’s control over the Republican Party has been so strong that even Donald Trump has only mentioned possibly banning bump stocks every few weeks for over a year, while doing nothing until Tuesday. At least bump stocks are finally being banned! It is something. Maybe Trump wanted to create a meaningless sideshow in order to keep Americans from simply paying attention to the bad news that is the Trump crime family?

Economics

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OBC, Canara Bank: Two PSU bank stocks that look bullish on the charts

The stock of Oriental Bank on the weekly chart has formed «Inverse Head & Shoulder» with neckline in the range Rs 98 - Rs 99.
Markets

OBC, Canara Bank: Two PSU bank stocks that look bullish on the charts

The stock of Oriental Bank on the weekly chart has formed «Inverse Head & Shoulder» with neckline in the range Rs 98 - Rs 99.

Gold scales over 5-month peak, investors await Fed outlook

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,250.20 per ounce, as of 0405 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 11 at $1,251.06 earlier in the session.
Moneycontrol Business News

Gold scales over 5-month peak, investors await Fed outlook

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,250.20 per ounce, as of 0405 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 11 at $1,251.06 earlier in the session.

RCom falls 12% on reports DoT has rejected its spectrum deal with Jio

Shares of RCom fell as much as 12 per cent to Rs 13.77 apiece on BSE after a news report suggested that the DoT has told RCom and Reliance Jio Infocomm that it can't approve their spectrum deal
Markets

RCom falls 12% on reports DoT has rejected its spectrum deal with Jio

Shares of RCom fell as much as 12 per cent to Rs 13.77 apiece on BSE after a news report suggested that the DoT has told RCom and Reliance Jio Infocomm that it can't approve their spectrum deal

RBI officers unhappy with new promotion policy, seek return to old system

With the new policy, only 75% of the officers with a particular rank would be promoted, while it was 90% earlier
Finance

RBI officers unhappy with new promotion policy, seek return to old system

With the new policy, only 75% of the officers with a particular rank would be promoted, while it was 90% earlier

SpaceX, Blue Origin scrub rocket launches, plan to try again - CNET

Four missions were scheduled for Tuesday and then postponed, but all, including the Falcon 9 and New Shepard launches, will get another go.
CNET News

SpaceX, Blue Origin scrub rocket launches, plan to try again - CNET

Four missions were scheduled for Tuesday and then postponed, but all, including the Falcon 9 and New Shepard launches, will get another go.

Science

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Facebook purges more ‘bad actors’ in Myanmar but it still won’t commit to a local office

As Facebook continues to grasp the severity of the situation in Myanmar, where the UN has concluded that its social network plays “determining role” in inciting genocide, the U.S. tech giant has completed a third sweep in recent months to remove b
TechCrunch

Facebook purges more ‘bad actors’ in Myanmar but it still won’t commit to a local office

As Facebook continues to grasp the severity of the situation in Myanmar, where the UN has concluded that its social network plays “determining role” in inciting genocide, the U.S. tech giant has completed a third sweep in recent months to remove bad actors from its platform. Facebook said late Tuesday U.S. time that it has […]

Amnesty International used machine-learning to quantify the scale of abuse against women on Twitter

A new study by Amnesty International and Element AI puts number to a problem many women already know about: that Twitter is a cesspool of harassment and abuse. Conducted with the help of 6,500 volunteers, the study, billed by Amnesty International as “t
TechCrunch

Amnesty International used machine-learning to quantify the scale of abuse against women on Twitter

A new study by Amnesty International and Element AI puts number to a problem many women already know about: that Twitter is a cesspool of harassment and abuse. Conducted with the help of 6,500 volunteers, the study, billed by Amnesty International as “the largest ever” into online abuse against women, used machine-learning software from Element […]

Elon Musk’s ‘vision for transport’ is a 3D network of tunnels for autonomous electric vehicles

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s vision of an “entirely new system of transport,” which he unveiled Wednesday night at a splashy event in Hawthorne, California, wasn’t a reusable rocket like the ones he’s building at his nea
TechCrunch

Elon Musk’s ‘vision for transport’ is a 3D network of tunnels for autonomous electric vehicles

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s vision of an “entirely new system of transport,” which he unveiled Wednesday night at a splashy event in Hawthorne, California, wasn’t a reusable rocket like the ones he’s building at his nearby SpaceX headquarters. Nor is it an electric vehicle, like the Teslas he is producing at a factory in Fremont, California. […]

Facebook’s got 99 problems but Trump’s latest “bias” tweet ain’t one

By any measure Facebook hasn’t had the best of years in 2018. But while toxic problems keep piling up and, well, raining acidly down on the social networking giant — from election interference, to fake accounts, faulty metrics, security flaws, eth
TechCrunch

Facebook’s got 99 problems but Trump’s latest “bias” tweet ain’t one

By any measure Facebook hasn’t had the best of years in 2018. But while toxic problems keep piling up and, well, raining acidly down on the social networking giant — from election interference, to fake accounts, faulty metrics, security flaws, ethics failures, privacy outrages and much more besides — the silver lining of having a core […]

Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI shuts down

Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI is calling it a day. The news, first reported by The Information, has since been confirmed by CEO Alex Teichman. “I am incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work the Lighthouse team accomplished – delivering
TechCrunch

Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI shuts down

Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI is calling it a day. The news, first reported by The Information, has since been confirmed by CEO Alex Teichman. “I am incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work the Lighthouse team accomplished – delivering useful and accessible intelligence for our homes via advanced AI and 3D sensing,” the executive […]

Culture

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Piaget Sunlight Journey Collection Shines in Shanghai

Piaget, a Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller, celebrated the Sunlight Journey collection exhibition at 55 By The Group in Shanghai. To highlight the distinctive connotation of the Sunlight Journey collection, a scene featuring interwoven light and shadow fr
Lifestyle

Piaget Sunlight Journey Collection Shines in Shanghai

Piaget, a Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller, celebrated the Sunlight Journey collection exhibition at 55 By The Group in Shanghai. To highlight the distinctive connotation of the Sunlight Journey collection, a scene featuring interwoven light and shadow from sunrise to sunset was therefore created, offering an immersive “sunlight journey” to all the guests present, as per the Piaget website.According to the website, an exclusive Gala dinner, celebrating the glamour and spirit of the Piaget Society in the presence of the most sparkling company was held at the Shanghai Post Building, a famous and historical landmark.Chabnam NOURI, CEO of Piaget and Marguerite SAM, Managing Director of Piaget China, together with YANG Mi, Dee HSU, and Kevin TSAI, appreciated the unique style and glaring charm of the Sunlight Journey collection, explored PIAGET’s century-old craftsmanship legacy, and toasted to celebrate this resplendent moment.Piaget’s newest collection draws inspiration from the scenic beauty of the Amalfi Coast. “Stepping into the event scene and crossing the gallery decorated by brightly-coloured bougainvillea and greenery, the guests entered a fantasy Mediterranean land – with primary shades of blue, pink, and yellow, and a touch of green, a fresh marine breath was spreading over; illuminated by crystal lights, the jewels delivered exceptional vibe and appeal,” states the Piaget website.Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the gala night  https://www.blouinartinfo.com/              Founder: Louise Blouin

St. Paul Island works to keep air service after airline sale

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Residents of a remote western Alaska island are concerned about a possible lapse in air service after PenAir was purchased by another airline. KTVA-TV reports PenAir had provided regular flights to St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea, b
www.washingtontimes.com stories: Travel

St. Paul Island works to keep air service after airline sale

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Residents of a remote western Alaska island are concerned about a possible lapse in air service after PenAir was purchased by another airline. KTVA-TV reports PenAir had provided regular flights to St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea, but the company filed for bankruptcy and Ravn ...

Largest T. rex skeleton has new display at Chicago museum

CHICAGO (AP) - The largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found is ready to go back on display at Chicago's Field Museum in a new exhibition space. The skeleton named Sue (after her discoverer, Sue Hendrickson) is now in a second-floor gallery near other din
www.washingtontimes.com stories: Travel

Largest T. rex skeleton has new display at Chicago museum

CHICAGO (AP) - The largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found is ready to go back on display at Chicago's Field Museum in a new exhibition space. The skeleton named Sue (after her discoverer, Sue Hendrickson) is now in a second-floor gallery near other dinosaurs. It opens to the public Friday. ...

Twitter Rolls Out New Update That Lets You See New Tweets First

Scrolling through older, popular content on Twitter is a nuisance, but Twitter just introduced a new update that lets you see new tweets first. On Tuesday, Twitter announced a new iOS update on […] The post Twitter Rolls Out New Update That Lets You Se
Geek.com

Twitter Rolls Out New Update That Lets You See New Tweets First

Scrolling through older, popular content on Twitter is a nuisance, but Twitter just introduced a new update that lets you see new tweets first. On Tuesday, Twitter announced a new iOS update on […] The post Twitter Rolls Out New Update That Lets You See New Tweets First appeared first on Geek.com.

Yellowstone again sees more than 4 million visits

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - Figures show that November was not an abnormally busy month for Yellowstone National Park. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports park statisticians estimate the park had about 13,849 visits during the month, about a 3,000-visit increase ov
www.washingtontimes.com stories: Travel

Yellowstone again sees more than 4 million visits

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - Figures show that November was not an abnormally busy month for Yellowstone National Park. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports park statisticians estimate the park had about 13,849 visits during the month, about a 3,000-visit increase over November 2017. It brings the total for 2018 to almost ...

Google Transformed Cloud Storage Traffic Into Cool Data Art

Cloud storage traffic might not be a top conversation topic, but Google’s Cloud team aims to have people see data differently through visualization art. On Tuesday, Google announced in a blog post that […] The post Google Transformed Cloud Storag
Geek.com

Google Transformed Cloud Storage Traffic Into Cool Data Art

Cloud storage traffic might not be a top conversation topic, but Google’s Cloud team aims to have people see data differently through visualization art. On Tuesday, Google announced in a blog post that […] The post Google Transformed Cloud Storage Traffic Into Cool Data Art appeared first on Geek.com.

Sport

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