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US judge says Obamacare can stand while appeal is heard

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 02:56

A US judge who ruled earlier this month that Obamacare is unconstitutional has said the health care law can stand while his decision is appealed. Opposition Democrats, who have seen the law survive previous legal and legislative attacks, view it as a signature achievement of former president Barack Obama. Republicans on the other hand dismiss it as governmental overreach and President Donald Trump made repealing the law a key part of his campaign platform.


Taiwan rebuffs China tourist snub with record 2018 arrivals

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 01:29

A record 11 million tourists have visited Taiwan in 2018, the government said Monday, a boon for the island as it courts holidaymakers across Asia to make up for a shortfall from China. The number of Chinese mainlanders visiting Taiwan has dropped dramatically since the 2016 election of president Tsai Ing-wen who has refused to acknowledge Beijing's stance that the island is part of "one China". Beijing still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.


Where do the investigations related to Trump stand?

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 00:01

Where the investigations related to President Donald Trump stand and what may lie ahead for him:


Emerging Markets at Mercy of Trade and Fed After Painful 2018

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 23:28

The tweet in question this week is President Donald Trump’s declaration that “big progress” is being made toward a deal between the U.S. and China, and it may spur gains across emerging markets. “Emerging markets have been particularly hard hit so I expect to see a relief bounce in January,” said Tarek Fadlallah, the Dubai-based chief executive officer at Nomura Asset Management Middle East.


Indonesia's latest tsunami raises global questions over disaster preparedness

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 22:02

The Dec. 23 tsunami killed around 430 people along the coastlines of the Sunda Strait, capping a year of earthquakes and tsunamis in the vast archipelago, which straddles the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire. "Indonesia has demonstrated to the rest of the world the huge variety of sources that have the potential to cause tsunamis. More research is needed to understand those less-expected events," said Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton.


Volunteers strive to stave off shutdown chaos at US parks

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 22:00

Sabra Purdy is just back from Joshua Tree National Park in southern California, which was crammed with tourists. It is high season, and to prevent chaos from the partial shutdown of the US federal government, she put on her gloves, cleaned toilets and picked up trash. The result: hundreds of thousands of federal workers were sent home without pay, including 21,383 employees of the National Park Service (NPS), responsible for 418 facilities nationwide, including national parks, monuments, historic sites and even the White House.


Lion kills young worker at North Carolina wildlife sanctuary

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 19:45

A lion at a North Carolina private wildlife sanctuary fatally mauled a 22-year-old worker on Sunday before being shot and killed.


Origin of virus that hobbled newspapers still unclear

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 19:02

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The origins of a suspected computer attack that disrupted the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing newspapers remained unclear Sunday after causing delivery delays and being brought to the attention of federal investigators.


Judge Who Ruled Against Obamacare Halts Order Pending Appeal

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 18:57

“Because many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal, the court finds that the Dec. 14, 2018, order declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional and inseverable should be stayed,” U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said in a filing Sunday in federal court in Fort Worth. O’Connor had agreed with a coalition of Republican states led by Texas that the ACA, the signature health-care overhaul by President Barack Obama, needed to be eviscerated after Congress in 2017 zeroed out a key provision -- the tax penalty for not complying with the requirement to buy insurance.


Merkel says Germany must fight for 'our convictions'

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 18:08

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said Germany must "stand fast, argue, and fight for our own convictions" and assume greater responsibilities at a time when multilateralism is coming under intense pressure. In her New Year's address to Germans, Merkel said long-held certainties about international cooperation were being put to the test. Global challenges including climate change, immigration and the fight against terrorism could not be solved by countries going it alone, she warned.


Amazon to build more Whole Foods stores to boost reach of Prime Now service

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 17:20

When Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.4 billion back in June of 2017, many people found the move a bit curious. Now, about 18 months later, Amazon's plans with the popular supermarket chain are finally starting to crystallize. A few months ago, for example, Amazon announced that Prime members would able to receive discounts on Whole Foods purchases, with some items available at a generous 50% discount. And now comes word via The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to expand the cumulative number of Whole Foods stores across the country. The reason? It will significantly expand the pool of Prime subscribers who will be able to take advantage of Amazon Prime Now, the company's free two-hour delivery service. "The push would bring Whole Foods to more suburbs and other areas where the natural grocer is quickly adding customers since the merger," the Journal explains. "That is a shift from the layoffs and slowing store growth Whole Foods experienced for several years before Amazon bought it in 2017..." Notably, Amazon is reportedly contemplating adding stores to areas that currently lack a Whole Foods presence, with areas in Idaho and Utah being two such examples. Of course, as with all things Amazon, everything can seemingly be tied back to Amazon Prime, which currently boasts more than 100 million subscribers. Over the past few years, Amazon has significantly increased the number of benefits afforded to Prime subscribers. This, of course, should be expected given that the price of a Prime subscription this year jumped from $99 to $116. All that said, free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods is undoubtedly a nice perk that will certainly keep current Prime subscribers happy and potentially sway prospective Prime subscribers to pull the trigger. And in a rare instance where the word "synergy" might appropriately be used, Amazon anticipates that the move will "attract new customers to Whole Foods and draw them back more often."


California authorities seek motive in triple slaying

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 17:08

ORCUTT, Calif. (AP) — California authorities are trying to determine why a Central Coast man stabbed and beat his sister, mother and a third person to death in their home.


Why a Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 was worth waiting 22 years for

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 16:36

The long wait only made getting this 1992 Skyline GT-R that much sweeter for Mark Hutchinson, after he dreamed of owning one for decades


Why the Range Rover P38a deserves space in your garage

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 16:27

Forever lampooned as a liability by keyboard warriors and marque snobs alike, the second generation Range Rover (P38a) remains criminally underrated. Stylish and incredibly capable as a 4x4 , here's why you should ignore the horror stories and buy one...


8th Largest Mega Millions Jackpot in History Up for Grabs on New Year's Day

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 16:24

The jackpot climbed to $415 million in a drawing set to take place Tuesday


Washington Parses Trump’s Wall Semantics in Search for Compromise

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 16:21

Trump’s demand for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico actually refers to “steel slats” as well as the technology that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers have said they need to intercept the illegal flow of goods and people, according to Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser. “It is a silly semantic argument because people who just want to say ‘wall, wall, wall’ want that to be a four-letter word,” Conway said on “Fox News Sunday,” one of two appearances on a day parts of the federal government are shut for a ninth day.


PG&E could face murder charges in California wildfires, attorney general says

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 15:50

California's attorney general said it's possible the power utility could face charges up to murder if investigators find reckless operation of power equipment caused any deadly wildfires.


Border patrol chief defends agents in child deaths

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 14:28

The deaths have intensified the debate over U.S. immigration policy as President Donald Trump holds onto his demand that lawmakers give him $5 billion to fund a wall along the border with Mexico. The impasse over Trump's border wall resulted in a partial government shutdown that entered its ninth day on Sunday. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told ABC's "This Week" it had been a decade since a child had died in the agency's custody and that the loss of two Guatemalan children in three weeks was "just absolutely devastating for us on every level." Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died on Christmas Day.


Will General Motors resurrect the GMC Envoy? Trademark filing raises speculation SUV may be brought back.

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 14:25

General Motors has filed for a trademark on the name Envoy, raising speculation that it will resurrect the once popular GMC SUV.


Israel protests after Jordan minister pictured stepping on flag

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 13:42

Israel's foreign ministry protested to Jordan on Sunday after a minister was pictured stepping on an image of the Israeli flag while entering a meeting. The image of the flag has been affixed to the floor just inside the entrance to the complex for several years to protest Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories and Jordan's normalised ties with the Jewish state, union officials say. Israel called Jordan's ambassador in for clarifications on Sunday, the foreign ministry said.


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