President Trump lost his first fight over health care and Monday night he appeared to back off threats to force Democrats and Republicans to pay for the border wall. Fmr. GOP Congressman David Jolly and MNSBC's Joy Reid join Lawrence O'Donnell.
Pope Francis made a surprise appearance at a TED talk conference on Tuesday, urging powerful leaders "to act humbly" and said he hoped technological innovation would not leave people behind. The 18-minute video was filmed in Vatican City and broadcast to the audience at the annual TED 2017 conference in Vancouver. "If you don't, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other." The comments echoed Francis' frequent themes to not ignore the plight of immigrants, the poor and other vulnerable people Speaking in Italian with subtitles, Francis urged solidarity to overcome a "culture of waste" that had affected not only food but people cast aside by economic systems that rely increasingly on automation.
French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday rejected accusations he was resting on his laurels after winning the first round of the election, insisting "nothing's won yet" in the race against the far right's Marine Le Pen. The 39-year-old centrist said his victory in Sunday's first round of voting was proof that pollsters -- who had long placed him second to Le Pen in the opening round -- "get it wrong". "Nothing's won yet," Macron said during a visit to a hospital near Paris.
By David Mardiste AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia (Reuters) - Two of the U.S. Air Force's newest and most advanced jets landed in the Baltic state of Estonia for the first time on Tuesday, a symbolic gesture meant to reinforce the United States' commitment to the defense of NATO allies that border Russia. The visit of the F-35 stealth fighters, which flew from Britain and spent several hours in Estonia, is part of broader U.S. jet pilot training across Europe as the NATO alliance seeks to deter Moscow from any possible incursion in the Baltics. "This is a very clear message," Estonia's Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna told Reuters.
After months of college application tasks and an anxious waiting period, high school seniors are starting to receive college acceptance letters. Many students may be relieved, but the hard work isn't necessarily over. Two current undergraduates recently shared their college decision strategies to help you prepare to pick a college before National College Decision Day on May 1.
Three people were killed in Venezuela on Monday in renewed violence, raising the death toll in three weeks of massive demonstrations against leftwing President Nicolas Maduro to 24, officials said. Several others were seriously injured and "between life and death," said public defender Tarek William Saab. The latest casualties come on a day anti-Maduro demonstrators blocked major roads in the South American nation.
Several mummies and more than 1,000 figurines have been discovered at an ancient cemetery located at Luxor in Egypt, archaeologists reported. A team of archaeologists with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities uncovered the funerary complex during the ministry's ongoing excavations at the site. The funerary complex contains multiple tombs that were originally built for a man named Userhat, who was a judge in Luxor sometime during what modern-day archaeologists call Egypt's New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.) period, the ministry said in a statement.
The US State Department has been caught promoting Donald Trump’s Florida golf club Mar-a-Lago, in another apparent ethics violation by the administration. The US Embassy in London's website, which the department is responsible for, featured an article titled “Mar a Lago: Winter White House”. It said Mr Trump “is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it”.
A new survey commissioned by Comcast has ranked apartment-dweller's need for good internet, relative to other niceties like basic hygiene. The conclusion seems to be that good Wi-Fi and high-speed internet are viewed as being the most critical.
Comcast probably commissioned this survey to show how relevant its brand is to millennials or something, but the only actual truth to be found is this: Comcast knows that you will put up with basically anything to get good internet, so it's going to squeeze you for every last penny.
The survey polled 2015 building managers and developers in the US about what features are the most important for prospective renters. A majority (59%) had either Wi-Fi access or fast internet as the most important feature, comfortably beating out a washer-dryer in unit as the must-have.
This isn't so much a statement on the value of technology as it is a stunning indictment of broadband technology in the US. In a supposedly technology-literate, competitive, first-world country, access to the internet should be a given. But thanks to the oligopoly of cable companies that control access to the internet with very little regional competition, you're often left with little or no choice of cable providers. That means that if Verizon or Comcast only choose to supply your building with a 10Mbps, you're out of luck.
So really, this survey just confirms to Comcast an important fact about its customers: it doesn't matter how bad the customer service is or if it flat-out calls its customers idiots: you don't have any choice and you need internet, so pucker up, lucky consumers.
Two conservative groups filed a lawsuit against the University of California at Berkeley claiming that a decision to cancel an appearance by the firebrand pundit Ann Coulter violated their right to free speech. The Berkeley College Republicans and Young America's Foundation, which had invited Coulter to speak on April 27, accused the university of seeking to silence conservative viewpoints and stifle political discourse at the famously progressive campus by imposing unreasonable demands on campus events involving certain "high-profile" speakers. "Defendants' discriminatory imposition of curfew and venue restrictions has resulted in the cancellation of two speaking engagements featuring prominent conservative speakers in the month of April, 2017," read the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco.
One of the police officers who forcibly removed a passenger from a United Airlines flight said "minimal but necessary force" was used in the incident that became a public relations disaster for the carrier, according to a report released by the city. Video recorded by other passengers showed David Dao, a 69-year-old doctor, being dragged down the aisle with blood on his face after refusing to give up his seat on a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky on April 9. Dao suffered a concussion and a broken nose, lost two front teeth and is likely to sue the airline, according to his lawyer, Thomas Demetrio.
The stated objective of the Hezbollah-coordinated press tour of southern Lebanon was to see new Israeli defensive installations on the border – indications, according to the powerful Shiite Lebanese militia, of Israeli fears of Hezbollah’s growing military might. The unprecedented spectacle appeared to be a deliberate and calculated breach of a UN Security Council resolution that bans non-state forces from bearing arms in southern Lebanon, and it illustrated the unmatched sway Hezbollah wields, and the impunity it enjoys throughout the country. Recommended: Hezbollah 101: Who is the militant group, and what does it want?
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish warplanes struck suspected Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Baghdad and criticism from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which is allied with Kurdish factions in both countries.
Mother Earth is one seriously gracious host. Humanity has done little else to the planet that produced us than completely destroy it at every turn. We dump toxic oil into oceans, irreversibly alter the climate, drive species into extinction, and pile heaps of trash everywhere we can find space for it. Nature owes us nothing, but it still finds a way to help us save our own hides on a regular basis. The latest example? How about a caterpillar that eats and breaks down the one thing humans have created that pollutes for centuries before decomposing on its own: plastic.
Plastic is everywhere, and as far as the Earth is concerned it absolutely sucks. Scientists believe it can take anywhere from 400 to 1,000 years for common disposable plastic products like bags, bottles, and containers to break down after being thrown into a landfill — or flying out of your car window and into a ditch. That's a long, long time, and it makes plastic a particularly bad pollutant. Now, researchers believe they've stumbled upon a natural plastic decomposition tool that has been crawling around right under our feet, in the form of Galleria mellonella, the greater wax moth.
Scientists from Cambridge University just discovered that the moth's larva can actually eat and break down plastic in a similar way to beeswax, which the moth regularly consumes. Its digestive system breaks up the chemical bonds of polyethylene and makes the insects a powerful tool against the seemingly unending flood of plastic waste around the globe.
Unfortunately, solving the problems of plastic pollution isn't as simple as dumping a bunch of moth larva into landfills; scientists first have to fully study and detail the unique process in the bug's gut that is giving it its remarkable power. Once researchers know exactly how the moth is performing its trick they could apply that knowledge to large-scale efforts to biodegrade junk plastic in places where it causes the most problems, such as the ocean and other pollution hot spots.
Retail banking giant Wells Fargo has fixed problems in its 2015 bankruptcy plan and will now be allowed to open new international branches, US banking regulators said Monday. A Treasury Department agency found this month found the bank's board as early as 2005 had received "regular" reports that employee firings and internal ethics complaints were related to unethical sales practices. Monday's announcement reversed an action taken by the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which in December jointly found that Wells Fargo had failed to remedy problems in its 2015 bankruptcy plan.
Israel indicted an 18-year-old American-Israeli Jew on Monday for a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States that stoked fears of a rising wave of anti-Semitism and threatening a Delaware state senator.
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States slammed South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Tuesday for the African state's "man-made" famine and ongoing conflict, urging him to fulfill a month-old pledge of a unilateral truce by ordering his troops back to their barracks. "We must see a sign that progress is possible," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told a United Nations Security Council briefing on South Sudan. "We must see that ceasefire implemented." South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 after Kiir fired his deputy, unleashing a conflict that has spawned armed factions often following ethnic lines.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An FBI investigation and congressional probes into the Trump campaign and contacts with Russia continue to shadow the administration, each new development a focus of White House press briefings and attention on Capitol Hill.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf, an American official said on Wednesday, the latest tense naval encounter between the two countries.
10,000 years from now (assuming humans haven't been wiped out by a plague, space rock, or our own destructive tendencies), it'll probably be fairly easy for the average person to research what life was like in 2017. For us here today, finding out what life was like in 11,000BC is much more challenging, but by studying ancient stone carvings and pairing the somewhat confusing messages with archeological data, researchers believe they've discovered concrete evidence of an apocalyptic event that may have altered the future of mankind: a comet strike.
The study, performed by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh (PDF), suggests that a potentially cataclysmic comet strike rapidly and dramatically altered the Earth's climate for hundreds of years, sending humanity into a mini ice age with nearly glacial conditions. The time period when this occurred is known as the Younger Dryas, and has been well documented thanks to ample evidence of the cooling found in core samples, but its cause has been theorized and debated for a long while. Now, thanks to stone carvings left by ancient people in modern day Turkey, researchers believe that a comet was the culprit.
The carvings are remarkably preserved and appear to have been created to document an apocalyptic event which devastated the land. Figures depicted in the carvings, including apparently deceased, headless human bodies and other wildlife, were made at around the time the Younger Dryas began, suggesting that the event archived in stone could have been the same one that caused the thousand-year cold snap. The carvings were found at what is considered to be one of the oldest and most important temple sites on the planet, and for the images to appear there suggests that they have enormous historical significance.
The Younger Dryas is often credited with pushing ancient humans to band together out of pure necessity, forming the foundation of modern agriculture and other huge advancements in civilization. The idea that a comet may have been responsible for pushing humanity forward is an extremely interesting, and potentially frightening possibility.
The findings are far from an iron clad confirmation, but the timing matches up shockingly well, and would have to be a fantastic coincidence if the two events are actually unrelated.
Global warming has pushed the Arctic into a new state unprecedented in human history, with thinning and retreating sea ice, skyrocketing air and sea temperatures, melting permafrost, and glaciers that are shedding ice at increasing rates. All of these impacts and more may seem remote at first — after all, few of us live in Nunavut — but if you're a coastal resident anywhere in the world, from New York City to Dhaka, Bangladesh, what happens in the Arctic will affect you during the next several decades and beyond, primarily through sea level rise. SEE ALSO: Trump White House reveals it's 'not familiar' with well-studied costs of global warming The economic effects of all Arctic warming impacts may be enough to dent the gross domestic product of some countries, with cost estimates ranging from $7 trillion to $90 trillion by the end of this century. These are the conclusions of a new, comprehensive assessment of the Arctic climate by a division of the Arctic Council — a cooperative, governing body that helps oversee development in the Far North. Sea ice (TOP) meets land as seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft above Greenland.Image: Mario Tama/Getty ImagesThe scientific report, released on Tuesday, is known as Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic, or SWIPA. About 90 scientists helped produce the report, while more than two-dozen experts peer-reviewed the results. The document contains two key findings that anyone concerned about the future of not just the Arctic, but the entire globe, should take note of. The first is that the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer sea ice starting as early as the late 2030s, which is earlier than other estimates have shown. The second is that rapid Arctic warming is driving greater melting of land ice in the region, which led scientists to conclude that consensus projections of global sea level rise made in 2013 are too conservative. Compared to the previous SWIPA report, which was produced in 2011, the new assessment paints a far more dire picture of an Arctic climate in overdrive. It also offers hope that action can be taken now to slow down and eventually stabilize Arctic warming after about the year 2050. But time is running out. Even with rapid action to curb global warming pollutants like carbon dioxide and methane, the Arctic most of us grew up with — featuring thick sea ice making the region virtually impenetrable year-round — is gone, and is not likely to return anytime in the next century. Sea ice thickness trends, showing the thinning trend in recent years.Image: zack labe"... The Arctic of today is different in many respects from the Arctic of the past century, or even the Arctic of 20 years ago," the report states. "Many of the changes underway are due to a simple fact: Ice, snow, and frozen ground — the components of the Arctic cryosphere — are sensitive to heat." Based on computer model projections, the report states that average fall and winter temperatures in the Arctic will increase up to 5 degrees Celsius, or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, above late 20th century values by the middle of the century, even if relatively stringent greenhouse gas emissions cuts are made. Such temperature thresholds are already being reached in some months, with January 2016 recording a temperature anomaly of 9 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1981-2010 average for the region, with even higher anomalies seen during October through February of the same year. This past winter was the warmest on record for the Arctic, and for the third straight year, Arctic sea ice peaked at a record low level during the winter. This has left sea ice in a precariously thin and sparse state as the upcoming melt season nears. The report contains valuable findings on what would happen to Arctic climate change if the world were to come close to meeting the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement. That treaty, which went into force in November 2016, aims to keep global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels through the year 2100. It's unclear whether the agreement's goals are still feasible, considering that the U.S. — the world's second-largest emitter — is considering pulling out of it altogether, and other nations have yet to offer plans to cut their emissions in line with the temperature target. A "drunken forest" in Fairbanks Alaska where trees are collapsing into the ground due to permafrost melt.Image: Warming Images/REX/ShutterstockMeeting the Paris targets would help slow the pace and reduce the severity of Arctic warming, but it "would not stabilize the loss of Arctic glaciers, ice sheets, and ice caps," the report states. "The recent SWIPA assessment tells that the changes in the Arctic are bound to continue at the current rate until mid-century," said Morten Skovgaard Olsen, who chaired the new report, in an email. "But it also tells that immediate and ambitious green-house gas reductions will slow the speed of changes beyond mid-century and even stabilize change beyond mid century, preventing major further impacts associated with the Arctic melt
.” Any carbon pollution cuts made now will have the most significant influence on what the Arctic will look like after about 2050, the report's authors said at a press conference Tuesday in Virginia. “The changes are cumulative, and so what we do in the next 5 years is really important on slowing down the changes that will happen in the next 30 or 40 years," said James Overland, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "The emphasis on action and immediacy is one of the main findings” from the report, he said. NASA project scientist Nathan Kurtz surveys an iceberg locked in sea ice near Pituffik, Greenland.Image: mario tama/Getty ImagesForeign ministers from the eight Arctic nations will meet in Fairbanks, Alaska on May 11 to discuss these findings and other issues pertaining to the region. Some discussion on the Paris agreement may take place, particularly along the sidelines of the talks. According to the SWIPA report, meltwater from Arctic glaciers has contributed 35 percent of current sea level rise, with the greatest contribution coming from Greenland. The planet's largest island lost an average of 375 gigatons of ice per year. This is equivalent to losing a block of ice measuring 4.6 miles on all sides, from 2011 to 2014 alone. It amounts to twice the melt rate from 2003 to 2008. In addition, thawing permafrost is harming infrastructure from Alaska to Siberia, with landslides and mysterious craters swallowing parts of the Russian Arctic. In Alaska, the report found that wildfires in taiga forests are worse now than at any time in the past 10,000 years, due to hotter, drier summers and earlier spring snowmelt. WATCH: Stunning drone footage captures rare video of blue whales feeding
The US Supreme Court on Monday turned back an appeal by rights groups seeking to make public a damning report on the CIA's post-September 11 torture program, ensuring it will remain secret. The court rebuffed arguments from the American Civil Liberties Union that the highly classified report, compiled in 2014 by the Senate Intelligence Committee, should be released based on US government transparency rules. "We are disappointed by this major setback for government transparency and accountability.
By Samia Nakhoul, Nick Tattersall and Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will not wait at Europe's door forever and is ready to walk away from EU accession talks if rising Islamophobia and hostility from some member states persist, President Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday. Speaking at the presidential palace less than two weeks after winning sweeping new powers in a referendum, a relaxed Erdogan said a decision by a leading European human rights body to put Turkey back on a watch list was "entirely political" and that Ankara did not recognize the move. The Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said it put Turkey back on review over its crackdown on dissent since last year's coup attempt, rights violations, and concerns about Erdogan's increased grip on power.
Less than two years after officially launching its Pony Car beyond its domestic US borders, the Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sportscar. In all, Ford sold 150,000 Mustangs around the world in 2016 which, according to the latest industry data from IHS Markit, means the car is not only America's most popular sportscar, it has now conquered the world, too, despite some hard-hitting European and Japanese competition. The Mustang has outsold the Mazda MX-5 Miata, BMW 4 Series, Nissan 370Z and the venerable Porsche 911 among others to claim the top spot, leaving many to ponder why it took Ford so long -- 51 years -- to finally offer its most famous muscle car to European and Asian customers.