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Scientists say this planet could unlock insights about Earth

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 22:45

Venus' heat-trapping atmosphere – 97% carbon dioxide – and 900-degree average surface temperature present both a challenge and an opportunity for learning about Earth's formation.

Chief Justice Roberts appears uncertain ahead of Senate break

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 21:49

Chief Justice John Roberts appeared briefly uncertain ahead of the Senate dinner break on Friday evening.

Use of 'rescues' by Mexican migration officials criticized

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 18:41

For many people who watched the moments when hundreds of Mexican national guardsmen with helmets and riot shields confronted hundreds of migrants who had been resting in the shade after walking all morning, “rescues” didn’t seem to be the right word. Defenders of migrants' rights say rescues typically don’t involve spraying those being rescued with pepper spray.

Two pedestrians killed by snowplow in Kansas

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 18:39

The two victims were struck by a snowplow north of the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, authorities said.

Owners of solar company that caused loss for Buffett plead guilty over Ponzi scheme

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 18:30

Jeff Carpoff, 49, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Paulette Carpoff, 46, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

Photos show how China is grappling with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as 12 cities are quarantined and hospitals run out of space

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 18:00

Chinese authorities quarantined people in 12 cities, halting transportation and cutting off nearly 33 million people to try and quell the outbreak.

Anti-Semitic attack sparks Italy protest

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 17:34

Mondovì (Italy) (AFP) - Hundreds of people carrying candles protested in an Italian town Friday after unknown vandals wrote "Jews Here" on the front door of the house of a Nazi concentration camp survivor. A Star of David and the words "Juden Hier," German for "Jews Here", were daubed in black paint on the door in the Piedmont town of Mondovi, where a member of the Italian anti-Fascist resistance lived until her death in 1996. Lidia Beccaria Rolfi's son Aldo, who lives in the house now, said the attack followed the publication of an article in which he talked about his mother and warned of the rise of anti-Semitism.

Schiff lobbies Chief Justice Roberts to rule on questions of executive privilege

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 17:19

Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House prosecutor, called on Chief Justice John Roberts to expedite rulings on any disputes between Congress and President Trump over witness testimony and documents, if the Senate votes to allow them.

US military investigating after finding Pornhub video of Navy service members shot through peephole

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 16:34

The Navy is reportedly investigating videos found on the website Pornhub that they believe show unsuspecting service members through a peephole in a bathroom.The videos were discovered earlier this month by an agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Series, according to a report by NBC News.

'It should be illegal': protesters call for end to abortion at Washington rally

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 16:33

Protesters out in numbers for annual March for Life, at a time when US reproductive rights are under serious threatAmerica’s largest annual anti-abortion protest drew tens of thousands of people to Washington in one of the most precarious years in decades for reproductive rights.The March for Life demonstration has been organized since 1973 and Roe v Wade, the landmark supreme court decision that legalized abortion nationally. In the decades since, the march has become a tradition for many with a conservative or religious objection to abortion, a ritual they hope will return America to a time when abortion was clandestine, even as many countries around the world liberalize abortion laws.“I’m very passionately Catholic, and so it goes against everything I’ve ever been taught in my life,” said Shawna Queen, a mother from Portsmouth, Ohio, who brought three generations of her family with her. She started to cry while describing abortion. “I just think it’s a travesty that we kill the unborn,” she said.Attendance hit a high-water mark in 2009, just after Barack Obama’s inauguration. But this year will hold special significance for many.Where once there was doubt about Donald Trump’s anti-abortion bona fides – he once called himself “very pro-choice” – that has long been forgotten, at least publicly. Red Make America Great Again hats were omnipresent at Friday’s demonstration.Trump this year became the first president ever to address the march in person. In previous years, Mike Pence, the vice-president, attended, and Trump relayed video messages to attendees.The president’s administration is responsible for putting abortion rights on exceptionally shaky ground. A conservative-leaning supreme court, with two justices of Trump’s choosing, is set to hear its first abortion case in March. Some signs at the protest read “Most Pro-life President Ever” with an image of Trump in red.A majority of Americans still support abortion rights, and oppose efforts to overturn Roe v Wade: those opinions have shifted little in the decades since abortion was legalized. However, where supporters of reproductive rights considered the issue a settled matter, opponents saw Roe as a target to aim at.Emboldened by Trump’s anti-abortion rhetoric, states have worked to overturn Roe v Wade and undermined states’ rights and services along the way.A wave of the strictest anti-abortion laws in decades swept across the south and midwest last year. Many laws banned abortion at the sixth week, before most women know they are pregnant. The laws are all unconstitutional, as long as Roe stands, and none have gone into effect.“My hope is there will be a law that will not allow abortion to continue happening,” said Gladys Kohr, who came to the march in a full-sized bus wrapped in pro-Trump images. Abortion “should be illegal”, she said.Behind Kohr, the bus sported pro-Trump memes. One image showed Trump’s head superimposed on the body of a boxer, and said “Ready for Round Two”. In another, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth wore a Maga hat and gave a thumbs-up.Kohr said she would support punishment for women who have abortions, and doctors who perform them – “something very severe”. But she said women should be given information about abortion before being allowed to undergo the procedure.Even so, the crowd was not monolithic.Pat O’Kane from California, who attended with a group called Feminists for Life, was wary of the movement’s adulation of Trump. “I sort of take the biblical position – we should not put our faith in princes,” she said. “I don’t think any one president, or even a succession of presidents, is necessarily the answer.”One surprise was the common ground between the anti-abortion and pro-choice movements on other women’s issues. Many attendees said they supported paid maternity leave, usually considered a progressive cause. The US is the only developed country that does not mandate maternity leave. Many also supported better workers’ protections for pregnant women.But it is the primacy of abortion has turned the issue into a gaping political wound. For many protesters, abortion represented their No 1 voting issue, eclipsing policies that might otherwise support pregnant women and mothers.Anti-abortion leaders have sought to blur this image. This year’s theme is “Life empowers: pro-life is pro-woman”. It is meant to commemorate the centennial of women’s right to vote in the US, ratified in 1920.Queen, from Ohio, said: “I absolutely think that maternity leave should be an everyday practice in our country. I always vote. [But] I don’t even have a party any more. I vote on how I can sleep at night,” she said, referring to abortion. Most often, that means voting Republican.Republicans have attempted to capitalize on this apparent soft spot, but have only introduced plans to allow workers to borrow against their future retirement benefits. Such proposals have not received any broad-based support.Kaleb Pandorf, 20, from Smyrna, Tennessee, said he supported same-sex marriage and, unlike much of the crowd here, does not consider himself a Christian. But if a candidate were to promise to end abortion and same-sex marriage, he would value abortion above all, he said.“As much as I hate to say it, I’d have to, I’d have to support him,” he said. “Because he sees the wrong in killing a child.”

China Is Building a Hospital for Coronavirus Patients in Just Six Days. How?

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 14:35

The country has taken on similar rush jobs before.

Tweets urge calls to Supreme Court for fair Senate trial

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 13:15

The Supreme Court doesn't have a public comment line for its own work, much less the Senate's. The court is receiving “a higher than usual number of public calls," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. Roberts is presiding over the Senate impeachment trial.

Tenn. governor announces plans for strictest anti-abortion laws in U.S.

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 13:04

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced his intention to enact some of the strictest abortion laws in the U.S.

Sanders touts controversial comedian's 2020 support, sparking criticism

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:46

U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders' decision to highlight an unofficial endorsement from Joe Rogan drew criticism on Friday due to the comedian's brand of humor that some see as dismissive of issues like equal pay and transgender rights. The online flap comes as Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, has been trying to move past a weeks-long controversy over whether he told rival Elizabeth Warren, a friend and progressive ally, in a 2018 meeting that a woman could not beat Republican President Donald Trump, a charge he has denied. "Look, you could dig up dirt on every single human being that's ever existed if you catch them in their worst moment and you magnify those moments," Rogan continued in explaining his support.

Virginia House advances gun control measures

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:42

Democrats in the Virginia House are advancing a package of gun-control measures less than a week after tens of thousands of pro-gun advocates from around the country rallied at the state Capitol. A Democratic-led House committee voted Friday for several pieces of gun legislation that a Republican majority has blocked for years. “Our action today is for the families who have lost loved ones as a result of gun violence,” House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said.

Sluggish storm to keep dumping snow over Midwest

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:26

A slow-moving storm already responsible for dumping more than half a foot of snow on parts of Missouri and Iowa will continue to produce fresh powder over a portion of the Midwest as it sluggishly drifts eastward through Saturday.As snow returns to Chicago and Milwaukee and reaches Detroit, air and ground travel disruptions are likely to mount. This satellite loop from Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, shows the organized storm swirling over the middle of the nation. (NOAA / GOES-East) The storm became better organized late this past week as it managed to attach to the upper part of the atmosphere. Rather than remaining weak and taking a swift eastward track, spreading snow over huge swath from the Plains to the Northeast, the storm matured and stalled over the Mississippi Valley for a time.The result was a swath of light to moderate snowfall from part of northern Arkansas to northern Michigan. The swirl of snow near and north and west of the center of the storm has held together and will drift eastward through Saturday. "Up to a few additional inches of snow is forecast to fall on portions of northern and western Illinois, central and southeastern Wisconsin and northern Michigan," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis said.This is on top of what has already fallen, bringing the storm total to 6-10 inches with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 12 inches in portions of the area.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"An advancing cold pocket of air with moisture is forecast to produce snowfall in the 1- to 3-inch range from central Illinois to northern and central Indiana and the northwestern and central parts of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan on Saturday," Travis added.Americans who live in this zone, including in Indianapolis and South Bend, Indiana; Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Flint, Michigan; and Champaign, Illinois; may yet have enough snow to sweep off of their cars and shovel.Up to a few more inches of snow is likely to fall on Chicago.Meteorologists urge motorists to use caution on Saturday morning across the region, as untreated roadways are likely to be slippery.Even though blustery conditions will develop as the storm moves along this weekend, the air is of Pacific origin and not from the Arctic. Aside from snow showers near the old center of the storm, lake-effect snowfall is likely to be minimal in the storm's wake.Saturday night, slightly colder air with snow showers will continue to advance eastward along with the old storm center. Motorists around Detroit and Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio, could encounter slippery conditions with a coating of snow possible. By Sunday, the main focus of snow showers will retreat to the central Appalachians and around the eastern Great Lakes.Temperatures are likely to be above average during the last few days of January and the first few days of February for the North Central states. Highs will generally average within a few degrees of freezing in the northern tier to the lower 40s over portions of the central Plains and the Ohio Valley.Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

Social worker charged with coercing client into prostitution

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:20

A former child services caseworker has been charged with human trafficking, accused of recruiting a mother who was her client into prostitution in exchange for a favorable custody recommendation, authorities said. Candace Talley, 27, of Winslow, New Jersey, was working for the Division of Children and Youth Services in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, when she coerced the mother, whose children were in foster care and whose case Talley was managing, into working as a prostitute, the Delaware County District Attorney's office announced Thursday. Talley drove the woman to and from jobs and took more than 25% of the money that was made, authorities said.

Birth Tourism? Not Anymore, Says State Department

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:12

Was it a good idea?

America's B-25G Bomber Was The Air Force's Very Own Flying Tank

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:00

And it shot like one too.