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Video captures emotional moment a teenager asks her stepfather to adopt her for Christmas

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 11:07

A father has shared footage of the moment his 18-year-old stepdaughter asked him to adopt her on Christmas Eve. Makayla Dabney made the decision to ask her stepfather Stephen, the man who raised her for 14 years, to become one of her legal guardians as his Christmas present. The college student from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was inspired by a dream in which she asked him to adopt her.

Where the U.S. stands in the fight against ISIS

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 11:06

In 2017, President Donald Trump expanded the war on ISIS, leading to group losing former strongholds Mosul and Raqqa. But there were also American casualties in new battlefields: 21 service members killed in six countries.

4-day week being tested in some Oklahoma schools

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 11:04

Facing a budget crisis and a teacher shortage, about 20 percent of schools in Oklahoma are trying a new approach: shorter school weeks, but longer days.

2 million at Times Square NYE celebration will see increased security

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 11:03

The NYPD is ramping up security efforts for this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration, preparing officers for two big threats: terror attacks and dangerously cold temperatures.

Houston Police Arrest 'Drunk' Man With Stash Of Weapons In Hotel Room

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 10:37

Houston police arrested an intoxicated man with a cache of weapons in his hotel room early Sunday, according to local media reports.

In address, Merkel promises more work on social divisions

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 10:22

By Andrea Shalal BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under mounting pressure after three months of failing to form a new conservative-led coalition, vowed on Sunday to address growing social divisions. "And Germany will only prosper if its success serves all people and improves and enriches our lives." Merkel, seeking a fourth term in office, is trying to persuade the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to extend the "grand coalition" that has ruled for the past four years, even though both blocs suffered big losses in September's election. Party leaders will meet on Jan. 3, with exploratory talks scheduled from Jan. 7 to 12.

Night sky – January 2018: Once in a Blue Moon

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 09:42

The full Moon on Jan 2 will be the perigee full Moon of 2018. Perigee is the point in an object’s elliptical orbit around the Earth where its distance to our planet is minimised. The Moon experiences perigee once per orbit but not always coinciding with full Moon. When it does, it produces a Moon which is appears slightly larger and brighter than those that proceed or follow it. The popular press uses the term Supermoon to describe such an event, a loose term originating from astrology rather than astronomy. Interestingly, the astrological definition means that the full Moons on Dec 3, 2017 and on Jan 31, 2018 are also technically Supermoons. A complete cycle of lunar phases takes one synodic month, approximately 29.5 days long: Moon phases The Moon repeats its phases over a period known as a synodic month, approximately 29.5 days long. So if the Moon is at a particular phase, for example full Moon, it reaches the same phase 29.5 days later. If the Moon is full early in a month containing at least 30 days, two full Moons may occur in the same calendar month. Such timings occur on average once every two-and-a-half years. In rare cases the timing will be such that February misses out altogether with the two full Moons in January being followed by two in March. This will be the case in 2018, a situation that happens roughly four times every century. The second full Moon in a month has, somewhat inaccurately, become known as a Blue Moon and if you’re wondering whether this is linked to the phrase ‘once in a blue Moon’, it isn’t. That references the effects caused by a volcanic eruption. Micron sized particles injected into the atmosphere from such events are particularly good at scattering red light, leaving the blue component to dominate. The eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 was notable for causing blue coloured Moons. The varying distance of the Earth from the Sun throughout the course of the year, causes the apparent size of the Sun as seen from Earth to change Credit: PETE LAWRENCE Earth’s orbit is also elliptical, causing our planet to pass through positions where it is alternately closest and farthest from the Sun. The farthest point occurs at the start of July and is known as aphelion. The closest point is known as perihelion and occurs at the start of January; the 3rd at 03:17 to be exact. Although it may not feel like it, our distance from the Sun on Jan 3 will be 3.1 million miles closer than it will be on July 6 at aphelion. Scintillating Sirius Finding Sirius Switching away from the Sun and daylight, one of the defining sights on a cold January night is that of the beautiful star Sirius twinkling away low towards the southern part of the sky. Sirius is the brightest night time star of them all and the alpha star of Canis Major the Great Dog. It is a fairly obvious sight but if you want further confirmation you have the right target, simply follow the line of Orion’s Belt down and to the left; it points directly at Sirius. Sirius’s brightness is due in part to its relative closeness to our own Sun. It’s a close neighbour, only 8.6 light years away (50,560,000,000,000 miles) and shines with a blue-white colour. From the UK at least, it never gets very high in the sky. For this reason, its light has to pass through a thick layer of turbulent atmosphere and this causes its light to deviate slightly, resulting in noticeable twinkling or, as the effect is known scientifically, scintillation. At low altitudes above the horizon, the atmosphere acts like a prism, spreading incoming starlight into its component colours. Known as atmospheric dispersion, this effect combines with scintillation to make Sirius flash intense colours. Make a point to stare at Sirius the next time it is clear and the colours should be obvious. If you have good dark skies or a pair of binoculars to hand, centre your view on Sirius and then move your gaze down until you arrive at a cluster of stars named Messier 41 (M41). This cluster was known in ancient times, perhaps even being seen by Aristotle as early as 325 BC. In total it contains around 100 stars and covers an area about the same as the full Moon. At its distance of 2,300 light years – that’s 270 times further away than Sirius – its apparent size translates to a physical diameter of around 26 light years. Its proximity to Sirius makes it a particularly nice object to hunt down on a chilly winter evening. The night sky in January  Night sky January 2018 The chart shows how the sky will appear at midnight on 1 January, 11pm on 15 January and 10pm on 31 January. The planets are shown along with the location and phase of the Moon at 5-day intervals. The Moon is full on 2 January and again on 31 January. The full Moon on 2 January is a perigee-full Moon, the closest of 2018. The stars are shown as circles; the larger the circle the brighter the star. The hazy area represents the Milky Way. Orientate the chart by holding it in front of you rotated so the compass bearing at the bottom matches the direction you’re facing. The bottom of the chart then reflects your horizon with the middle of the chart representing the view directly above your head. The chart is designed to be viewed using a red torch outside. Red light allows you to see the chart detail without ruining your night vision.

Hundreds flee clashes in C.Africa

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 09:37

Hundreds of people in north-east Central African Republic have fled their villages following fresh violence between armed groups, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Sunday. Villagers fled gunfire and machete attacks to arrive in the small town of Paoua, where some 11,000 people have already sought refuge since fighting erupted in the region in November. "There are clashes at almost every point all around Paoua.

How do protests in Iran differ from 2009?

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 08:06

Msnbc’s Ayman Mohyeldin discusses how current protest in Iran differ from the protests that arose during the 2009 presidential election.

Yeah, All Of This Really Happened In 2017

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 08:00

Some might call the last year a turning point or a culmination of bottled feelings, but one thing we can agree on is that 2017 was a wild ride with some of the craziest news cycles in recent history.

Minimum Wage Raises Coming To 18 States On New Year’s Day

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 08:00

Minimum wage workers in 18 states will get a pay hike next week when higher wage floors go into effect around the country for 2018.

NYC security ramps up ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 07:50

New York City officials are ramping up security measures for the New Year's Eve celebrations that could bring up to 2 million people to Times Square.

Israeli pipeline, once a link to Iran, will remain a mystery

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 07:49

An oil pipeline company established decades ago by Israel and Iran, and a new Israeli company that is meant to replace it, can continue to operate secretly, an Israeli parliamentary committee ruled on Sunday. The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co (EAPC) was a joint venture set up in 1968, when the two nations were friendly, to transport Iranian oil via Israel to the Mediterranean. Ties were cut after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, and the enemies are now locked in arbitration that could be worth billions of dollars.

6 Of The Most Bizarre News Stories In 2017

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 07:00

2017 was a huge year in news: The United States got a new president.

When Is an Extended Car Warranty Worth It?

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 07:00

My car salesman was pushing me to buy an extended warranty because I put a lot of miles on my car per year. Is it worth it? "You might be tempted to roll the cost of an extended warranty into you...

No winner in Powerball drawing, jackpot soars to $440 million

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 02:12

The estimated $440 million prize, with a cash value of $278 million, marks the ninth largest jackpot in the game's history, according to figures on the Powerball website. The winning numbers for Saturday's drawing were: 28, 36, 41, 51, 58 and the Powerball of 24. The odds of a single ticket hitting all six numbers are 292 million to one, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

New Year's resolutions for big tech: how Silicon Valley can be better in 2018

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 02:00

New Year’s resolutions are crap. It is in that spirit that we have created a list of New Year’s resolutions for the tech industry. Tech companies have been promising to improve their hiring of women and underrepresented minorities for nearly two decades.

Social media companies ignoring pleas over extremism could face tax hikes

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 01:00

Internet companies could simply move their money abroad if the Government introduces a potential terror tax to crackdown on the spread of extremist material online, critics fear. Keith Simpson, a senior Tory MP and member of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, said taxing companies if they fail to cooperate with efforts to fight terrorism was an “attention grabber headline” but would be difficult to enforce. Ben Wallace, the Security Minister, said "patience is running out fast" with web companies. He accused them of putting profit before public safety and that “if they continue to be less than co-operative, we should look at things like tax as a way of incentivising them or compensating for their inaction”. He also suggested web companies were “ruthless profiteers” - a remark which prompted an angry response from Facebook with the internet giant saying he was “wrong to say that we put profit before safety”. Any levy could be similar to the windfall tax imposed on excess profits of privatised utilities by the Blair government in 1997, or the charge Margaret Thatcher's government placed on banks in 1981. The amount of tax paid in the UK by internet companies relative to their overall profits has provoked widespread fury in recent months and has prompted questions about how effective any new charge would be. The likes of Facebook and Twitter have been warned they could face tax hikes Credit: LOIC VENANCE/AFP Mr Simpson told The Telegraph: “Part of me says ‘well, good luck’ if you think that this can persuade them and raise money. “I suspect that it will be incredibly difficult.” He said companies could react to any attempt to impose a new levy by moving their money away from the UK. “It is convenient to use the UK for many reasons but they might decide to go to another European country or somewhere else,” he said. “It is incredibly difficult to do this but that is not to say that we shouldn’t try to do this. “I did think this was a bit of an attention grabber headline.”   Mr Simpson said he believed the “broad mass of the public would agree” with such a windfall tax being introduced “but merely making promises is not enough”. Mr Wallace said in an interview with the Sunday Times that obstruction and inaction by social media companies is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds as law enforcement agencies pick up the cost of tackling radicalisation. Simon Milner, of Facebook, said: “Mr Wallace is wrong to say that we put profit before safety, especially in the fight against terrorism. We’ve invested millions of pounds in people and technology to identify and remove terrorist content.” Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for YouTube said the video website is “doing more every day to tackle these issues” while Twitter said 95 per cent of terrorist content was removed proactively from the site.

Catelynn Lowell Of 'Teen Mom OG' Heads Home After Treatment For Suicidal Thoughts

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 00:45

“Teen Mom OG” reality star Catelynn Lowell Baltierra is heading back home to Michigan after six weeks in a treatment center following a struggle with suicidal thoughts.

Daughter takes on ruling that may let mom's killer go free

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 00:38

On a spring day in 1994, a retired German couple who'd traveled to California to see their daughter were sightseeing in the San Jacinto Mountains when they were robbed and shot by three young men. Gisela Pfleger, 64, died in the attack. Her husband, 62-year-old Klaus, was severely injured.