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Thursday, April 27, 2017

White House vows to continue funding Obamacare, averting showdown with Democrats
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:46:18 -0400
The White House has assured Democrats it will continue to fund a key portion of Obamacare, clearing the way for negotiations on a series of spending bills to avoid a government shutdown, according to two sources familiar with the decision. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had demanded that Congress pay for the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies — which lower health care costs for 7 million people — as part of the emerging spending bill.


Slain trooper's young sons in court as killer gets death
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:05:41 -0400
MILFORD, Pa. (AP) — With his victim's two young sons in court for the first time, a gunman who shot and killed a Pennsylvania trooper was formally sentenced to death Thursday, one day after a jury determined he should receive a lethal injection for the ambush at a state police barracks.


Syria accuses Israel of strike near Damascus airport
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:29:29 -0400
Syria accused Israel of firing several missiles Thursday at a military position near Damascus airport, triggering a huge explosion and prompting a call from regime ally Russia for restraint. The Israeli military later said it shot down "a target" over the occupied Golan Heights neighbouring Syria, although it was unclear whether the two incidents were linked. Israel has carried out multiple air strikes in Syria since the country's civil war erupted in 2011, most of which it has said targeted arms convoys or warehouses of its Lebanese arch-foe Hezbollah, which is a key supporter of the Syrian regime.


A Growing -- and Deadly -- Problem on America’s Roads
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:17:29 -0400
For the first time, drugged driving is to blame for more traffic fatalities involving drivers than drunk driving, a new report reveals.


United Airlines reaches settlement with David Dao after doctor was violently dragged off flight
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:31:00 -0400
United Airlines has a reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month. Dr David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was taken to hospital after Chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from the city's O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky. "I hope he becomes a poster child for all of us, someone’s got to," Thomas Demetri, Dr Dao's attorney, said during a press conference on Thursday.


Arkansas nears fourth execution in about a week
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:55:32 -0400
Arkansas plans to end its series of April executions by putting to death on Thursday an inmate convicted of murdering a cheerleader and who escaped from prison and killed two other people before being captured again. Arkansas, which had not held an execution in 12 years until this month, has put three inmates to death since April 20. It planned to execute Kenneth Williams, 38, by lethal injection at 7 p.m. CDT (0000 GMT) at its Cummins Unit prison.


Sobering visualizations reveal how sea level rise could transform cities in your lifetime
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:46:08 -0400
Until recently, it seemed that we would be able to manage global warming-induced sea level rise through the end of the century. It would be problematic, of course, but manageable, particularly in industrialized nations like the U.S. However, troubling indications from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets show that melting is taking place faster than previously thought and that entire glaciers — if not portions of the ice sheets themselves — are destabilizing. This has scientists increasingly worried that the consensus sea level rise estimates are too conservative. With sea level rise, as with other climate impacts, the uncertainties tend to skew toward the more severe end of the scale. So, it's time to consider some worst-case scenarios. SEE ALSO: Trump White House reveals it's 'not familiar' with well-studied costs of global warming Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published an extreme high-end sea level rise scenario, showing 10 to 12 feet of sea level rise by 2100 around the U.S., compared to the previously published global average — which is closer to 8 feet — in that time period.  The research and journalism group Climate Central took this projection and plotted out the stark ramifications in painstaking, and  terrifying, detail.  The bottom line finding?  "By the end of the century, oceans could submerge land [that's] home to more than 12 million Americans and $2 trillion in property," according to Ben Strauss, who leads the sea level rise program at Climate Central.  Here's what major cities would look like with so much sea level rise: New York CityImage: CLIMATE CENTRAL New Orleans: Gone.Image: CLIMATE CENTRAL San Francisco International AirportImage: CLIMATE CENTRAL Bienvenido a Miami.Image: CLIMATE CENTRALIn an online report, Climate Central states that the impacts of such a high amount of sea level rise "would be devastating."  For example, Cape Canaveral, which is a crown jewel for NASA and now the private sector space industry, would be swallowed up by the Atlantic. Major universities, including MIT, would be underwater, as would President Trump's "southern White House" of Mar-a-Lago. In the West, San Francisco would be hard-hit, with San Francisco International Airport completely submerged. "More than 99 percent of today’s population in 252 coastal towns and cities would have their homes submerged, and property of more than half the population in 479 additional communities would also be underwater," the analysis, which has not been peer-reviewed, found.  Image: climate centralIn New York City, the average high tide would be a staggering 2 feet higher than the flood level experienced during Hurricane Sandy. More than 800,000 people would be flooded out of New York City alone.  Although the findings pertain to sea level rise through the end of the century, in reality sea levels would keep rising long after that, with a total increase of about 30 feet by 2200 for all coastal states, Climate Central found.  As for how likely this extreme scenario really is, here's what the report says:  "The extreme scenario is considered unlikely, but it is plausible. NOAA’s report and Antarctic research suggest that deep and rapid cuts to heat-trapping pollution would greatly reduce its chances."  More specifically, the NOAA projection says this high-end outlook has just a 0.1 percent chance of occurring under a scenario in which we keep emitting greenhouse gases at about the current rate. While a 1-in-1,000 chance outcome might seem nearly impossible to occur, recent events suggest otherwise.  For example, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Mid-Atlantic in 2012 while following a track that was virtually unprecedented in storm history. In addition, California is estimated to have had just a 1 percent chance of climbing out of its deep drought in a one to two-year period, and it did just that this winter.  Also, Donald Trump is president, people.  Robert Kopp, a sea level rise researcher at Rutgers University, whose projections formed the basis of the NOAA scenarios, said it's difficult to put exact odds on the extreme scenario.  "I would say that our knowledge about marine ice-sheet instability is too deeply uncertain for us to answer that question right now," Kopp said in an email. "We can come up with a physically plausible pathway that gets us to 2.5 meters [or 8.2 feet], we know it is more likely under higher emissions, but we don't have a good way of putting a probability on it." A paper published in the journal Nature in March found that if emissions of global warming pollutants peak in the next few years and are then reduced quickly thereafter, then there is a good chance that the melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet would be drastically curtailed.  However, with the U.S., which is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, backing away from making significant cuts under the Paris Climate Agreement, adhering to such an ambitious timetable is looking less realistic.  Image: climate centralIn order for NOAA's extreme scenario, and therefore Climate Central's maps, to turn into reality, there would need to be decades more of sustained high emissions of greenhouse gases plus more melting from Antarctica than is currently anticipated.  However, recent studies have raised questions about Antarctica's stability, as mild ocean waters eat away at floating ice shelves from below, freeing up glaciers well inland to flow faster into the sea.  "What's new is that we used to think 6- to 7 feet was the max *plausible* or *possible* sea level rise this century, and now we've roughly doubled that," Strauss said in an email. "The new Antarctic science says it's plausible."  "If you were to survey ice sheet experts today, instead of something like 5 to 10 years ago, I suspect you'd get a significantly higher probability than 0.1 percent," he said.  A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change last week found that sea level rise could prompt a wave of internal migration within the U.S., especially as people move from the hardest-hit states such as Florida, Louisiana and New York. It's long been known that Florida is ground zero for sea level rise impacts, but the Climate Central projections are even more pessimistic. The report shows that a whopping 5.6 million Floridians would be at risk before the end of the century under an extreme sea level rise scenario, about double the amount simulated in the study last week. WATCH: Serene underwater footage shows whale's-eye view of Antarctica


U.S. Probes Into Trump’s Russia Links, Kremlin Meddling Gain Two Heavyweights
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:16:27 -0400
The Senate investigation gains a former NSA lawyer. The FBI probe gets a veteran prosecutor.


Fox News hit with racism lawsuit alleging 'plantation-style management' for black employees
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 20:46:00 -0400
Weeks after firing host Bill O’Reilly amid allegations of sexual harassment, Fox News is under fire once again for accusations of racial discrimination. Eleven current and former Fox News employees have filed a lawsuit alleging that Fox employees engaged in “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination” and created a workplace “more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment". The case, which started with two former payroll employees, made headlines this week with the addition of former Fox and Friends co-host Kelly Williams.


Mom lets daughter's school know her 10-year-old is 'done' with homework
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:17:49 -0400
Making tough calls for your children is a vital aspect of parenting. One brave mother stepped up to the parenting plate for her child, sharing an email she sent to her daughter's school explaining that her 10 year old is "done with homework" because of the undue stress it causes. SEE ALSO: Instead of telling women who might get pregnant they can't drink, study suggests trusting them Bunmi Laditan, a mom blogger in Quebec, explained on Facebook that she told her daughter's school that her child would be "drastically reducing" the homework she'd be completing, but that she "was trying to be polite because [her daughter is] finished." “I just sent an email to her school letting her know she’s all done,” the mother wrote. "Over the past four years I've noticed her getting more and more stressed when it comes to school," the troubled mother wrote, "And by stressed I mean chest pains, waking up early, and dreading school in general." Laditan explained that her daughter often does homework until 6:30 p.m., with little to no time to relax after dinner. “Is family time not important?” she wrote, “Is time spent just being a child relaxing at home not important? Or should she become some kind of junior workaholic at 10 years old?" “Children need downtime after school the same way adults need downtime after work. They need to play with their siblings," she continued. Laditan later commented on her own post to further explain her point of view. Image: bunmi laditan/facebookThe mother clarified that she wasn’t blaming her daughter’s "incredible" teachers, and that she simply feels the system isn’t working for her child. “I can’t watch her unravel anymore and be filled with so much stress at age 10,” she explained. Parents, teachers, and even therapists sounded off in the post's comment section in support of Laditan, relating similar experiences with children in their own lives. Image: kim tang/facebook Image: Katie chavarria/facebook Image: Erin avirett/facebook Image: jamie ellam davis/facebookSeems like this mom might be on to something. WATCH: This NYU student went undercover as a worker in a Chinese iPhone factory




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