Thursday, January 31, 2019

Trump orders ‘several thousand’ more troops to US-Mexico border, costing taxpayers over $600m

Trump orders ‘several thousand’ more troops to US-Mexico border, costing taxpayers over $600mDonald Trump’s White House administration has ordered “several thousand” more troops to the US-Mexico border, Pentagon officials said Tuesday. Acting Defense Department Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the latest dispatch of troops to the southern border would occur “soon” following a new request from the Department of Homeland Security. Meanwhile, reports indicate the president’s demands for an increased US military presence along the border are expected to cost American taxpayers over $600m (£458m).




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Mnuchin says Huawei case 'separate' from U.S.-China trade talks

Mnuchin says Huawei case 'separate' from U.S.-China trade talksU.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Tuesday he expected to see significant progress in trade talks with Chinese officials this week and that U.S. charges against telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd were a separate issue. "Those are separate issues, and that's a separate dialogue," Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox Business Network. "So those are not part of trade discussions.




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Venezuela crisis: Opposition leader Juan Guaido hit with travel ban and asset freeze by supreme court

Venezuela crisis: Opposition leader Juan Guaido hit with travel ban and asset freeze by supreme courtVenezuela’s self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, has been hit with a travel ban after the country’s chief prosecutor announced he would launch a criminal investigation into the congressional leader. The supreme court – stacked with members loyal to president Nicolas Maduro – blocked Mr Guaido from leaving the counrty and froze his bank accounts, but did not strip him of his legislative immunity. It came as Mr Guaido called on Venezuelans to stage a two-hour walkout from their homes and workplaces in protest at Mr Maduro’s stewardship of the country.




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U.S. intel chief Dan Coats: North Korea 'unlikely to completely give up' its nukes

U.S. intel chief Dan Coats: North Korea 'unlikely to completely give up' its nukes"Our assessment is bolstered by our observations of some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization," Coats added.




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Boeing bullish on 2019 despite US-China tensions

Boeing bullish on 2019 despite US-China tensionsBoeing reported a strong fourth quarter on Wednesday and offered a bullish 2019 outlook as executives expressed measured confidence in the prospects for a US-China trade agreement. Shares rallied on the report and 2019 forecast, which anticipates much higher than expected 2019 profits as the company ramps up commercial aircraft deliveries. "Across the enterprise, our team delivered strong core operating performance and customer focus, driving record revenues, earnings and cash flow and further extending our global aerospace industry leadership in 2018," said Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg.




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Venezuela crisis: Maduro accuses Trump of hiring Colombian mafia to assassinate him

Venezuela crisis: Maduro accuses Trump of hiring Colombian mafia to assassinate himVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused President Donald Trump of hiring the local mafia to assassinate him in an interview with a Russia state-run news agency. “Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” Mr Maduro told RIA news agency on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Critics argue that the 56-year-old’s claim is a red-herring tactic to rally up support in Venezuela amid mass protests against his socialist government, and the debilitating inflation and food and medicine shortages in the Latin American country.




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Goldman Sachs ups 'no-deal' likelihood after UK parliament amendment vote

Goldman Sachs ups 'no-deal' likelihood after UK parliament amendment voteGoldman Sachs nudged up its estimated probability of a "no-deal" Brexit on Wednesday after British lawmakers instructed Prime Minister Theresa May to reopen a Brexit treaty with the European Union to replace a controversial Irish border arrangement. Britain's parliament rejected a proposal to give parliament a path to prevent a potentially chaotic "no-deal" exit, but accepted two amendments - one seeking to replace the Irish backstop with alternative arrangements, and another rejecting the notion of a "no-deal" Brexit. Goldman Sachs analysts upped their "no-deal" Brexit probability to 15 percent from 10 percent, and cut their probability of Brexit not happening at all to 35 percent from 40 percent.




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US Midwest braces for dangerous arctic chill

US Midwest braces for dangerous arctic chillMillions of Americans braced Tuesday for a dangerous polar vortex which began to settle over a broad swath of the United States, threatening to set new records for cold as schools and businesses closed and authorities warned of frostbite. Temperatures in almost a dozen states stretching over 1,200 miles from the Dakotas to Ohio were forecast to be the coldest in a generation, if not on record. The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast temperatures between -10 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 to -40 Celsius) by Wednesday, with wind chill making it seem as cold as -65 degrees Fahrenheit in one area of Minnesota.




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Trump slams U.S. intelligence chiefs as 'passive and naive' on Iran

Trump slams U.S. intelligence chiefs as 'passive and naive' on IranLeaders of the U.S. intelligence community told a Senate committee on Tuesday that the nuclear threat from North Korea persisted and Iran was not taking steps toward making a nuclear bomb, conclusions that contrasted starkly with Trump's assessments of those countries. "The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran.




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Kids (not just infants!) can now fly for free on Frontier Airlines, but there's a catch

Kids (not just infants!) can now fly for free on Frontier Airlines, but there's a catchFrontier Airlines is letting kids fly for free as part of their Discount Den program, which costs about $60 a year. Here's what you need to know.




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Dangerous arctic chill sweeps over US Midwest

Dangerous arctic chill sweeps over US MidwestTens of millions of people in the United States are bracing for a potentially life-threatening deep arctic chill forecast to hit swaths of the country on Wednesday. The US Postal Service -- known for its commitment to bringing the mail whatever the weather -- has even reportedly suspended deliveries in Iowa due to the severe cold. Temperatures in almost a dozen states stretching more than 1,200 miles (1,930 kilometers) from the Dakotas to Ohio were forecast to be the coldest in a generation, if not on record.




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'Naive': President Trump disputes his own intelligence chiefs on Iran, North Korea

'Naive': President Trump disputes his own intelligence chiefs on Iran, North KoreaPresident Trump takes to Twitter to defend his foreign policy on Iran, North Korea, and other issues.




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No mail will be delivered to parts of seven states as polar vortex chills postal delivery

No mail will be delivered to parts of seven states as polar vortex chills postal deliverySo much for "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night." The U.S. mail won't be delivered tomorrow in four states due to the crippling cold of the polar vortex.




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World stocks mixed amid fears for trade talks, Brexit hopes

World stocks mixed amid fears for trade talks, Brexit hopesSINGAPORE (AP) — World markets were mixed Tuesday amid concerns that U.S. criminal charges against China's Huawei could complicate trade talks, though European indexes were up on optimism over Brexit.




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Should NYC Ride-Share Drivers Get a $17 Hourly Minimum? Lyft and Juno Say No  

Should NYC Ride-Share Drivers Get a $17 Hourly Minimum? Lyft and Juno Say No  The rule, passed by New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission in December, requires that drivers for market leader Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft, Juno and Via earn at least $17.22 an hour. It’s part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to cap the growth of app-based, ride-for-hire platforms and reduce traffic congestion.




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The impact of the frigid cold, snowstorm, by the numbers

The impact of the frigid cold, snowstorm, by the numbersMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A look at how this week's snowstorm and bitter cold have affected the United States, by the numbers:




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Venezuela crisis: Chief prosecutor asks court to ban opposition leader from leaving country and freeze his accounts

Venezuela crisis: Chief prosecutor asks court to ban opposition leader from leaving country and freeze his accountsVenezuela’s chief prosecutor has asked the country’s top court to impose a travel ban on opposition leader Juan Guaido and freeze his accounts. The United States, along with several other countries, has recognized Mr Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state and denounced leftist president Nicolas Maduro as a usurper. Mr Maduro, who was sworn in earlier this month for a second term after disputed elections last year, accuses Mr Guaido of staging a US-directed coup.




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Post-shutdown, some Republicans see door ‘slightly ajar’ to challenging Trump

Post-shutdown, some Republicans see door ‘slightly ajar’ to challenging TrumpIt’s still a long shot, but a few Republicans are beginning to muse about a possible primary challenge to President Trump.




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Trump may nominate former Wyoming lawmaker for Interior post, succeeding Zinke: report

Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis has emerged as a serious contender to become President Trump’s next interior secretary, according to reports.

from FOX News https://fxn.ws/2t0ZE0R

Batman to get 2021 release with a much younger Bruce Wayne: report

Ben Affleck will be passing the baton to a new actor to play Batman in the planned 2021 release, according to reports. 

from FOX News https://fxn.ws/2HE7hol

Venezuela's Maduro accuses Trump of ordering his murder: RIA

Venezuela's Maduro accuses Trump of ordering his murder: RIAIn an interview with Russia's RIA agency, Maduro rejected calls for an early election, said an order to arrest his rival Juan Guaido had not yet been given, and promised Caracas would honor debts to Russia and China. Facing the biggest challenge of his six-year rule, the 56-year-old socialist leader also said his armed forces remained loyal and President Vladimir Putin was firmly behind him. Maduro's comments were published on Wednesday as the fight for control of Venezuela escalated with the government preparing an investigation into self-declared interim president Guaido, and new street protests planned.




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Huawei exec's extradition hearing pushed to March

Huawei exec's extradition hearing pushed to MarchThe extradition hearing for a top Huawei executive at the center of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing was pushed back to March on Tuesday, after the US unveiled sweeping charges against her and the Chinese tech giant. Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, was indicted along with Huawei and two affiliates in a US case related to alleged Iran sanctions violations that has inflamed tensions with China. In Meng's first court appearance since being released, the judge moved the start of her extradition hearing to March 6, a month later than previously scheduled, in order to allow the defense time to review the evidence in the case.




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Polar Vortex: What is the weather phenomenon and how should you prepare for one?

Polar Vortex: What is the weather phenomenon and how should you prepare for one?As frigid temperatures and life-threatening winds batter parts of the US, cities in the Midwest are shuttering to keep citizens inside and safe from the dangerous cold. The sudden extreme temperatures are the result of a polar vortex, a weather phenomenon that occurs in the winter and impacts parts of the northern hemisphere. What is a polar vortex?




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Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for sharp tax increases on the wealthy: 'We've had it as high as 90 percent'

Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for sharp tax increases on the wealthy: 'We've had it as high as 90 percent'“Through Her Eyes” is a new weekly half-hour show hosted by humanitarian and women’s rights activist Zainab Salbi that aims to explore a hot button news issue through the lens of a female newsmaker. Weeks after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., made headlines by calling for a top marginal income tax rate of 70 percent in an interview with “60 Minutes,” her fellow freshman congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., suggested that the rich could pay even more. “There are a few things that we can do,” Rep. Omar said in an interview with “Through Her Eyes.” “One of them, is that we can increase the taxes that people are paying who are the extremely wealthy in our communities.




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Man arrested for killing 3 also accused of stealing $210K

Man arrested for killing 3 also accused of stealing $210KSANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man killed his parents and brother after he was kicked out of his home and accused of stealing $210,000 from his family to send to a woman he had met on a porn website, according to a sheriff's office.




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Brexit deal 'best possible' and 'not renegotiable': Macron

Brexit deal 'best possible' and 'not renegotiable': MacronFrench President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday the Brexit deal is the "best agreement possible and is not renegotiable", as Britain's premier pushed to reopen talks with Brussels. Macron's comments during a summit in Cyprus came as Prime Minister Theresa May appealed to British lawmakers to give her a mandate to renegotiate, after parliament rejected an accord reached with the European Union. Macron urged the British government to "promptly" lay out to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier "the next steps that will prevent an exit without an agreement, which nobody wants but for which we must all prepare ourselves".




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Top airline is selling flights for $44

Top airline is selling flights for $44Winter weather and the general lull of the post-holiday season can leave just




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U.S. intel chief Dan Coats: North Korea 'unlikely to completely give up' its nukes

U.S. intel chief Dan Coats: North Korea 'unlikely to completely give up' its nukes"Our assessment is bolstered by our observations of some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization," Coats added.




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'Serious consequences,' U.S. warns, after Venezuela moves on Guaido

'Serious consequences,' U.S. warns, after Venezuela moves on GuaidoThe sweeping U.S. sanctions on oil firm PDVSA, announced on Monday, means the state-run company may not be able to fulfill contracts with North American buyers, the government of President Nicolas Maduro said. Aimed at driving Maduro from power, the sanctions were the strongest measures yet against the 56-year-old former union leader, who has overseen economic collapse and an exodus of millions of Venezuelans in recent years. The measures triggered higher global oil prices, angry responses from China and Russia and the first serious moves against Guaido since he challenged Maduro's claim on the presidency last week.




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The Latest: Extreme cold stops mail delivery in some states

The Latest: Extreme cold stops mail delivery in some statesMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on a major snowstorm and frigid weather in the Midwest (all times local):




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NASA’s mission to ‘Touch the Sun’ just reached a major milestone

NASA’s mission to ‘Touch the Sun’ just reached a major milestoneNASA had a big year in 2018 with several bold new missions to study various features of our Solar System, and one of the most exciting was the launch of the Parker Solar Probe which will study the Sun in more detail than has ever been possible before. The probe has already broken several records and proven that it's capable of enduring the intensity of our star, and it's starting out 2019 by adding another notch to its belt. The probe, which launched in August of last year, recently completed its first full orbit of the Sun on January 19th. It's a feat that the spacecraft will repeat many times over the next several years, but completing the first full loop is obviously cause for celebration. "It's been an illuminating and fascinating first orbit," Parker Solar Probe Project Manager Andy Driesman said in a statement. "We've learned a lot about how the spacecraft operates and reacts to the solar environment, and I'm proud to say the team's projections have been very accurate." The probe gathered a huge amount of data during its first trip around the Sun, and it performed much of its work without being in radio contact of its handlers back on Earth. As it orbits the Sun, the probe will regularly lose contact with Earth and then reconnect when it emerges from behind the star once more. Thus far, the probe has sent back over 17 gigs of scientific data and it's still streaming more observation data back. The data dump won't be finished until April, NASA says. The probe is expected to put in nearly seven years of work, making a total of 24 orbits and getting gradually closer to the Sun with each pass. It is tasked with observing many different functions of the star, including the generation of solar wind and the outflow of energy from the Sun into space, advancing our understanding of solar weather.




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Canada’s Decision on Huawei and 5G ‘Some Ways Off,’ Goodale Says

Canada’s Decision on Huawei and 5G ‘Some Ways Off,’ Goodale Says“I’m not going to speculate about time but it’s certainly beyond weeks,” Goodale told reporters Tuesday after a cabinet meeting. Goodale said Canada will take the view of allies such as the U.S. into account when studying potential risks to national security, and will make its own decision in the end. China’s ambassador to Canada and Huawei officials have denied the company’s gear is used for spying.




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Best Buy Goes Back on Decision to Fire Security Guard Who Tackled Suspect

Best Buy Goes Back on Decision to Fire Security Guard Who Tackled SuspectA Northern California Best Buy is walking back its decision to fire a security guard who tackled a shoplifting suspect.




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'El Chapo' must not 'escape' again, U.S. prosecutor tells jury

'El Chapo' must not 'escape' again, U.S. prosecutor tells juryAccused Mexican drug boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's repeated escapes from the law prove that he "knows he's guilty," a U.S. prosecutor told jurors in closing arguments at his trial on Wednesday, urging them not to let him escape again. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg's description of Guzman's history of dramatic prison escapes capped off a day-long summation in federal court in Brooklyn in which she also attacked the defense argument that Guzman was a scapegoat.




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Palestinian president Abbas accepts government resignation

Palestinian president Abbas accepts government resignationPalestinian president Mahmud Abbas accepted the resignation of his government Tuesday, in a reshuffle seen as a bid by the ageing leader to strengthen his position as a decade-old political split deepens. Analysts view replacing prime minister Rami Hamdallah after five years as part of Abbas's efforts to further isolate his political rivals Hamas, who run the Gaza Strip. Hamdallah's government will remain in place while a new administration is formed.




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US reiterates 'all options on the table' as John Bolton accidentally flashes plans for troops to Venezuela border

US reiterates 'all options on the table' as John Bolton accidentally flashes plans for troops to Venezuela borderUS National Security Advisor John Bolton was photographed on Monday holding a notepad that included the handwritten line: "5,000 troops to Colombia." Bolton spoke to White House reporters while holding the yellow notepad and discussing the crisis in Venezuela, where the US now recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president. It was not until after the briefing that observers spotted the black scrawl. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official said "we are not seeing anything that would support" a potential troop deployment to Colombia, which neighbors Venezuela. The Pentagon referred a query back to the White House. John Bolton was caught out holding a notepad saying '5,000 troops to Colombia' Credit:  Win McNamee/Getty  During the briefing, Bolton would not rule out use of US troops in Venezuela. "The president has made it clear on this matter that all options are on the table," he said. The US military's Southern Command did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Bolton's notepad also had the line: "Afghanistan - welcome the talks" - a reference to a potential breakthrough in discussions with the Taliban.




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Trump friend Roger Stone pleads not guilty in Russia probe

Trump friend Roger Stone pleads not guilty in Russia probeWASHINGTON (AP) — Roger Stone, a longtime adviser and confidant of President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges in the Russia investigation after a publicity-filled few days spent slamming the probe as politically motivated.




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Young boy found after being lost for days in the woods says he made friends with a bear

Young boy found after being lost for days in the woods says he made friends with a bearKids say the darndest things, and a young boy who was lost for three days in a heavily wooded area of North Carolina is spinning a yarn that is leaving investigators baffled. Casey Hathaway was reportedly playing with other children in his grandmother's backyard when he wandered into a nearby woods and disappeared from view. Nobody could find the young boy, and authorities and volunteers scoured the woods for three days before he was eventually found alive. Having endured chilly temperatures and heavy rain, the boy was still in good health, but he says he didn't make it through the ordeal alone. "He made a comment about having a friend while he was in the woods -- his friend was a bear," on of the investigators, Maj. David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff's Office, told CNN in an interview. "In the emergency room he started talking about what happened in the woods and he said he had a friend that was a bear with him while he was in the woods." The youngster likely had a rather uncomfortable time while he was lost in the woods, as nighttime temperatures dropped as low as 20 degrees and two inches of rain fell during the three days he was missing. As for whether or not a bear actually joined him, authorities can't say for certain one way or the other. Authorities note that there are indeed bears in the area, but nobody involved in the search for the boy reported seeing one while combing the woods. The boy was found in a tangle of vines, according to investigators, and while he was cold he was otherwise unharmed. Search party members could hear him calling out for his mother, which helped them locate him. Police say the young boy will be interviewed -- or at least questioned to the extent that one can question a three-year-old -- in order to get a better idea of how he survived, and perhaps they'll learn a little bit more about his bear friend in the process.




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More Than 36,000 Pounds of Tyson Chicken Nuggets Recalled Over Possible Rubber Contamination

More Than 36,000 Pounds of Tyson Chicken Nuggets Recalled Over Possible Rubber ContaminationThe contamination is considered a high health risk




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Phone Giant Plays a Cunning Game Over Huawei Ban

Phone Giant Plays a Cunning Game Over Huawei Ban(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If Deutsche Telekom AG is to be believed, a ban on equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. would slow down its rollout of 5G  networks by two years. Even though such an embargo would be a huge burden for the German phone giant, there are factors that might lessen the pain. A delay to its 5G plans might even be welcome.




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US weather forecast: Record low temperatures caused by polar vortex ‘threaten 110 million Americans’

US weather forecast: Record low temperatures caused by polar vortex ‘threaten 110 million Americans’Life-threatening temperatures across the United States and a polar vortex in the Midwest is set to impact nearly 110 million Americans this week. The extreme cold and record-breaking temperatures are blasting a swathe of states spanning from North Dakota to Missouri and into Ohio after a powerful snowstorm pounded the region earlier this week. A blast of warm air from misplaced Moroccan heat last month made the normally super chilly air temperatures above the region rapidly increase.




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Sheriff: Suspect confesses to killing 5 with dad's gun

Sheriff: Suspect confesses to killing 5 with dad's gunBATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A young man from Louisiana has confessed to killing his parents, his girlfriend, and two of her family members who had taken him in after he was kicked out of his house, authorities said Tuesday.




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Alibaba profit up 37% but revenue growth eases

Alibaba profit up 37% but revenue growth easesChinese e-commerce leader Alibaba said Wednesday that net profit increased 37 percent in the latest quarter as growth in cloud computing and other business lines helped offset a slowing expansion in core online retail. The company's net profit grew to 33.0 billion yuan ($4.9 billion) in the October-December third quarter, compared to 24.1 billion yuan over the same period in 2017. Alibaba dominates China's emerging consumer culture and its corporate results were widely anticipated for any signs of whether a worsening Chinese economic slowdown and the US-China trade tussle was curbing the country's appetite for shopping.




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U.S. security aid to Palestinians to end Thursday, envoys seek workaround

U.S. security aid to Palestinians to end Thursday, envoys seek workaroundThe loss of the some $60 million in annual funding would marks another tear in ties between the Trump administration and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and potentially undermines his security cooperation with Israel in the occupied West Bank. Diplomatic sources said Palestinian, U.S. and Israeli officials were seeking a way to keep the money flowing despite Abbas's decision to turn it down as of a Jan. 31 deadline set by Congress' Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) of 2018. The ATCA empowers Americans to sue foreign aid recipients in U.S. courts over alleged complicity in "acts of war".




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Free bacon, bacon and more bacon: McDonald's, Wendy's go whole hog on what Americans love

Free bacon, bacon and more bacon: McDonald's, Wendy's go whole hog on what Americans loveFrom free Wendy's Baconators to free bacon from McDonald's for one hour, bacon is the sizzling hot choice for fast-food chains now.




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Trump Says He’ll Leave Decision of Whether to Release Special Counsel’s Report to Justice Dept.


By MAGGIE HABERMAN from NYT U.S. https://nyti.ms/2sYkIFk

On Politics: Trump Calls His Own Intelligence Officials ‘Naïve’


By Unknown Author from NYT U.S. https://nyti.ms/2RZBYZV

Another Go for Charles and Di, This Time With Music


By SARAH LYALL from NYT Theater https://nyti.ms/2RoY8zC

A Black Legacy, Wrapped Up in Fur


By JASMINE SANDERS from NYT Style https://nyti.ms/2sYq1os

Rescue Pets


By KATHERINE SCHULTEN from NYT The Learning Network https://nyti.ms/2G91nt3

How Much Do You Know About Your Family’s History?


By KATHERINE SCHULTEN from NYT The Learning Network https://nyti.ms/2TpuAU8

Word + Quiz: upstage


By THE LEARNING NETWORK from NYT The Learning Network https://nyti.ms/2CXxwQO