National News [External Sources]
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.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders will express serious concern over territorial disputes in the South China Sea when they gather in an annual summit in Manila this week, but a draft of a communique to be issued at the end of the meeting indicates they will adopt subdued language on a conflict that has increasingly alarmed Asian and Western governments.
Reports of American workers being short on their retirement funds are rampant. The National Institute on Retirement Security frames the "underfunded" issue in real dollar terms, noting that retirement savings are "dangerously low", and the U.S. retirement savings deficit is between $6.8 and $14 trillion. Yes, too many Americans are underfunded in the retirement accounts -- but how do you know exactly how much you're underfunded?
It was the most stunning political victory of the 21st century, one that brought shocked concern in many parts of the world and cheers in others. One uncontroversial certainty was that it would cause reverberations around the globe. Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” platform, but has found himself as president drawn into thorny geopolitical complexities aplenty in the first 100 days of his administration.
Barack Obama has reportedly agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference for almost half a million dollars. The former President, who left the White House almost 100 days ago, is said to be appearing at Cantor Fitzgeralds LP’s healthcare conference as a keynote speaker in September. Mr Obama’s reported speech fee is nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton has charged private companies for similar style events.
Turkish air strikes targeting local armed groups in northern Iraq killed six members of Kurdish security forces in an apparent accident on Tuesday, a senior official said. "Six people were martyred, five from the peshmerga and the sixth from asayish," Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of the peshmerga ministry in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish government, told AFP. "Nine others were also wounded by the air strike on the Sinjar mountain," he said, in reference to a northwestern region of Iraq which is the main hub of the Yazidi minority.
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.
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.
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.
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Ann Coulter is now at the center of a civil rights lawsuit filed Monday against the University of California, Berkeley by students who say the school is violating their right to free speech by canceling the conservative pundit's speaking event on campus this week.
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.
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.