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'Horrifying': Kirsten Gillibrand denounces anti-abortion bills in Georgia

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 11 hours 1 min ago

Gillibrand vowed to champion abortion rights in her campaign for president, calling the recent bans "horrifying" and "discriminatory."


Search warrants tied to former Trump lawyer Cohen released

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 11 hours 11 min ago

Months before the FBI raided Michael Cohen's office and hotel room, investigators were examining the flow of foreign money into his bank accounts and looking into whether the funds might be connected to a plan to lift Russian sanctions, according to court filings unsealed Wednesday. The five search warrant applications, made in the early weeks and months of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation in 2017, were made public in response to requests from The Associated Press and other media organizations. The warrants shed further light on how the longtime Trump fixer, who this month began a three-year prison sentence, tried to financially capitalize on his closeness to the president.


Bigger cuts expected: 23,000 more Ford layoffs needed, analysts say

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 11 hours 43 min ago

Ford CEO Jim Hackett plans for layoffs won't deliver savings the company has said it wants. An analyst says another 23,000 layoffs are needed.


Man who threatened to kill ‘as many girls as I see’ because he was repeatedly rejected set to be spared jail

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 12 hours 45 min ago

A man who threatened to murder “as many girls” as he could see may escape a jail sentence, despite pleading guilty to a charge of attempted threat of terrorism.Christopher Cleary wrote a detailed Facebook post about how he planned to become “the next mass shooter” in January 2019.The 27-year-old described himself as a virgin who had never had a girlfriend.He also said he wanted to make the fact that so many women had turned him down “right” by going on a shooting spree, according to documents filed by Provo Police.Cleary was arrested on 19 January after publishing the Facebook post.Cleary then struck a deal with Utah prosecutors, pleading guilty to a reduced criminal charge.Attempted threat of terrorism is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.But Utah prosecutors agreed to recommend him for probation, despite his extensive criminal record.A judge will decide whether or not to accept the deal at a hearing on Thursday.The 27-year-old has been accused of stalking multiple times, with at least eight alleged victims contacting the authorities about his behaviour since 2012, according to police and court records.He was on probation following a marijuana conviction in 2016 when he was charged with stalking two teenagers he had met online.Cleary was put on probation for the stalking cases but in 2017 was charged with stalking and harassing his case worker.In 2018 judges in Jefferson County, Colorado sentenced him, once again, to probation for all three stalking cases.In one of the cases a 19-year-old woman said she lived with Cleary for a fortnight in a hotel room. She said that he strangled and urinated on her during that time, court records show.Cleary was out on probation for the three cases when he was arrested in a McDonald's in January, after publishing his Facebook post.Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Utah’s county prosecutor’s office, said once the case was concluded Cleary would be returned to Colorado.Prosecutors in Denver will seek to revoke his probation and send him to prison in relation for the stalking and harassment cases, she added.“All I wanted to be was loved,” Cleary wrote in his Facebook post.“Yet no one cares about me, I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I’m ready to die.”It is unclear how truthful the Facebook post was, as at least two of Cleary’s accusers have said they had a sexual relationship with him.Some news reports have speculated that Cleary could be part of the “incel movement”, which promotes the misogynistic idea that men are entitled to have sex with women.But a Colorado police detective, who investigated two accusations against the 27-year-old, said there as no evidence he was part of the movement.“I truly think he’s just wired differently,” he said. Additional reporting by agencies


Apple more upfront with iPhone users on battery health: UK watchdog

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 14 hours 15 min ago

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it raised consumer law concerns with the tech company last year after finding people were not being warned clearly that their phone's performance could slow down following a 2017 software update designed to manage demands on the battery. The iPhone maker previously came under scrutiny after it said in 2017 that software to deal with ageing batteries in iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE models could slow down performance.


Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 16 hours 4 min ago

The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing's control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war. A seemingly routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths company this week is being widely read as an obvious threat that Beijing is standing ready for action. Xi's inspection tour "is no accident, this didn't happen by chance," said Li Mingjiang, China programme coordinator at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.


UPDATE 4-U.S. judge says Qualcomm violated antitrust law; appeal planned, shares plunge

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 16 hours 17 min ago

Qualcomm Inc illegally suppressed competition in the market for smartphone chips by threatening to cut off supplies and extracting excessive licensing fees, a U.S. judge ruled, a decision that could force the company to overhaul its business practices. The decision issued late Tuesday night by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, caused Qualcomm shares to plunge 11.4 percent on Wednesday. "Qualcomm's licensing practices have strangled competition" in parts of the chip market for years, harming rivals, smartphone makers, and consumers, Koh wrote in a 233-page decision.


Know-Nothing Ben Carson Is a Threat to Our Democracy

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 17 hours 24 min ago

Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/ShutterstockDuring a grilling by the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson faced an actual expert on housing: Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA). Porter, a former law professor who wrote the textbook on consumer law, asked Carson about REOs, a term related to foreclosures. He mistakenly thought she was asking about Oreos—as in the cookie—and Twitter lost its mind. At one point, the band REO Speedwagon was trending. If Carson’s ignorance wasn’t enough, he later tweeted out a photo of himself with a package of Oreos.Carson, a groundbreaking pediatric neurosurgeon-turned-failed presidential candidate, may no longer physically hold the lives of children in his hands. But the decisions he and his agency make affect millions of people—many of them low-income children. That he could casually joke away his ignorance is yet another outrage in an outrageous presidency. Ben Carson, Housing Secretary, Does Not Know Basic Housing TermBut Carson is just an extreme example in an administration full of unqualified appointees, starting at the top. And while much has rightly been made of President Trump’s kleptocracy, the type of behavior Carson displayed is no less problematic. Trump, the only president never to have served in the military or government, benefited from the perplexing but widespread assumption that anybody with private sector experience is qualified to run the country. Some wishful thinkers assured those alarmed by his election that he would surround himself with real experts once in office.He has, of course, done the opposite. There are the garden variety grifters and criminals like former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and former EPA head Scott Pruitt. But then there’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who, during her confirmation hearing, appeared ignorant of a fundamental federal education law and was unfamiliar with one of the biggest debates about education policy. There’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Kathy Kraninger, who had no experience in consumer affairs, financial services or regulation, or government (and who was also thoroughly schooled in a hearing by Rep. Porter). And then there’s Jared Kushner, poster child for mediocre rich men failing up, who reportedly blocked the views of legitimate State Department experts from reaching his father-in-law, presumably so that he could single-handedly broker Middle East peace. The sheer idiocy is not limited to Washington Republicans. Alabama recently passed a law effectively banning abortion in all cases. Supporter Sen. Clyde Chambliss admitted ignorance of the reproductive system he was legislating: “I’m not trained medically, so I don’t know all the proper medical terminology and timelines and that sort of thing but from what I’ve read, what I’ve been told, there’s some period of time before you can know that a woman is pregnant… It takes some time for all those chromosomes and all that.” Chambliss has good company in Ohio, where state Sen. John Becker thinks that an ectopic pregnancy can be reimplanted into the uterus. And these are the men who are seizing total control over the pregnant people in their state. Some argue that Trump’s authoritarian tendencies are curbed by his administration’s ineptitude. But there are real consequences of the wall-to-wall incompetence. It’s why the Department of Homeland Security confiscated children from their parents at the southern border with no tracking system or plan in place to ultimately reunite families. It’s why five migrant children have died in U.S. custody in the past six months—when none perished in the previous decade. It’s why Puerto Rico is still suffering the effects of Hurricane Maria two years ago, and why 3,000 Americans died in its aftermath. And we haven’t even gotten to Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees, laughable Fed picks, or disastrous foreign policy. Elected officials are not experts on every subject they will encounter, and Cabinet heads can’t know everything about their departments. Not every energy secretary will be a Nobel Prize-winning physicist—though it certainly helps. But the people appointed to the highest levels of government ought to have some basic knowledge of their own agencies, some curiosity to learn what they don’t know, and some empathy for the millions of people they purportedly serve. Two converging forces have brought us this administration of dunces. One is Trump’s autocratic impulse to surround himself with people whose primary qualification is fealty to him. The second is that the Republican Party has descended to a place where a functioning government, like widespread enfranchisement, would be a political liability. They deliberately broke government so that it cannot serve the American people, which makes the American people distrust government—and therefore more likely to vote Republican. It’s about as cynical as you can get.Take all of this to its logical conclusion and you end up with Ivanka Trump—whose greatest success was hawking shift dresses and faux feminism on Instagram—leading the World Bank.Democrats will continue to debate how to hold Trump accountable for his many transgressions. But they must also show the American people that he and his cronies are just plain bad at running the most powerful country in the world. Government of the ignorant is as much a threat to our democracy as government of the corrupt.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Accused Thief Taunted Disney World With Photo of Stolen Robot’s Mutilated Head

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - 17 hours 25 min ago

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIf you’re accused of stealing an animatronic child from Disney World, maybe don’t make a wildly popular Disney-related Twitter account and post a picture of the stolen robot child with its eyes gouged out.“Buzzy,” an animatronic boy from an abandoned Disney World attraction, has been missing for months. Online, Disney superfans treated the disappearance like a kidnapping. But the investigation into the theft led police to someone in the online Disney fandom: a Disney blogger who taunted Disney about their security, posted conspiracy theories about Buzzy’s disappearance and, in the final days before his arrest, uploaded a picture of the robot’s decapitated and eyeball-less head.Patrick Spikes, 24, was arrested last week. He worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, until last year. But Spikes didn’t completely part ways with the theme park after he stopped working there. Instead, he started churning out videos, podcasts, and tweets under the username “BackDoorDisney.” His Twitter account, which amassed more than 17,000 followers before going dark last week, promised to give fans an inside view of Disney World. In its seven months of operation, the account uploaded pictures of Disney control rooms, secret maps, and Disney cast members pretending to have sex while dressed as characters from Toy Story.Soon, Spikes was posting about an even more salacious Disney World story. In August, Disney told police that someone had stolen clothes off Buzzy. The 300-pound animatronic child used to sit inside the “Cranium Command” exhibit, in Epcot’s Wonders of Life Pavilion. But the building, which hosted somewhat dated attractions, had been closed for years. The stolen clothes (including a miniature bomber jacket) were worth nearly $7,000, Disney claimed, according to an affidavit from Florida’s Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Later, the entire robot was stolen, an operation that required the thief to cut through electric cables.Spikes and other Disney bloggers posted about Buzzy’s rumored disappearance. But Spikes and a crowd of Disney fans who broke into the park soon came under suspicion. Spikes routinely boasted of secret trips through Disney World, including with a friend who climbed the park’s Thunder Mountain roller coaster.“Good job filling the holes under the Mk back fence this morning,” Spikes wrote in a January tweet directed at Disney. “I told you guys about this issue 2 months ago but it took somebody going in and climbing one of your coasters for you to care.”On his personal Twitter account, Spikes taunted Disney, advising them to buy a bulk box of security cameras from Best Buy. As the search for Buzzy continued, Disney fans speculated that an urban explorer might have snatched the robot.Eventually, police began narrowing in on Spikes and his scene. Investigators found an October picture of Buzzy on Spikes’ @BackDoorDisney account. The picture does not appear to have been taken inside the Cranium Command exhibit. In texts with investigators, Spikes allegedly let slip that Buzzy’s clothes were sold on the black market for $8,000.Police got a warrant for Spikes’ cellphone and called him in for questioning in December. The meeting went poorly when Spikes tried to cut it short.“The defendant stated he felt sick and felt that he was going to vomit,” police alleged in an affidavit. “A short time later, he began to make strained breathing noises, and stated he couldn’t breath. He requested water, which was given to him, and also was allowed to lay on the floor. The fire department responded and all vitals were normal.” Spikes was taken to a hospital. Police charged him with non-violently resisting arrest. He has pleaded not guilty.Spikes later made a video about a police search on his house, and professed his innocence.“I said ‘really? The entire thing got stolen?’ I didn’t really believe it,” he said in the March video. “It blew my mind. I was like, you can’t be serious right now.”Later in the video, Spikes suggested that Disney had staged Buzzy’s disappearance in order to shut down his BackDoorDisney account.“There’s a theory someone talked about that Imagineering [a Disney team] removed Buzzy and didn’t tell anyone else. So when Operations, the part of the company that runs the Pavillion noticed he was missing, they filed him as ‘stolen,’” he said. “Did Disney willingly file a report, knowing the thing wasn’t stolen, just to run me down? Because obviously I had been posting a lot of backstage photos and stuff, and information … It almost seems like they wanted my phones because they knew I had a lot of backstage photos on them.”But BackDoorDisney kept implying inside knowledge of Buzzy’s disappearance.In a May 12 tweet, he tweeted a picture of Buzzy’s fate. The tweet showed a picture of Buzzy’s decapitated head, with its eyeballs scratched off. The image was included in a screenshot of a text Spikes received, which meant someone else might have stolen the robot.TwitterFive days later, police arrested Spikes. Although Buzzy’s disappearance featured prominently in an arrest affidavit (police appear to have started investigating him over Buzzy’s theft), Spikes was actually charged for a different series of alleged thefts from Disney World. His lawyer did not return The Daily Beast’s request for comment.In July, police alleged, Spikes printed a fake Disney employee card for his cousin and snuck him into the park. The pair allegedly snuck into the Haunted Mansion, a popular ride, and stole a collection of wigs and outfits from backstage. The clothes, which were designed for the ride’s animatronic ghosts, cost between $40 (a tiara) and $1,746 (a robot’s jacket), adding up to more than $7,000.Spikes and his cousin allegedly took pictures throughout the heist, and posed in the wigs at a nearby 7-Eleven. A video from shortly after the theft allegedly shows Spikes’ cousin’s girlfriend wearing a robot’s stolen dress.Disney may have priced the clothes at just over $7,000, but they allegedly went for four times that price on the black market. Days after the alleged burglary, Spikes allegedly received a combined $29,451 payment from two people over Paypal. One of the people, whose name is redacted in the affidavit, told police he paid Spikes $8,890 for 18 items from various Disney heists, including $1,000 for a Haunted Mansion dress.Shortly before his arrest, Spikes teased a forthcoming video about the black market for stolen Disney gear.Police haven’t charged Spikes with Buzzy’s disappearance. But they say his video about the raid on his house raised questions about his involvement. In the video, he showed part of a search warrant for his house. Police say he edited the document to remove references to two pieces of evidence police sought.“The fact that Spikes altered the warrant for his video and only removed these two items indicate that he was aware these items were used in a crime,” the affidavit reads.In that same video, Spikes tells viewers he’ll keep his lips tight about Buzzy’s disappearance until the investigation is over.“If things are still under investigation, I’m not going to get on YouTube and run my mouth about it,” he said. “That would be dumb.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Chinese ambassador blames US for sinking trade deal

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 9:55pm

China's ambassador to the United States said in a Tuesday interview with Fox News that Washington repeatedly "changed its mind overnight" and sunk deals that could have ended the two countries' trade war. Ambassador Cui Tiankai also slammed as "politically motivated" the White House's move to ban the transfer or sale of US technology to Chinese telcom giant Huawei. Such actions will really undermine people's confidence in the normal function of the market," Tiankai told Fox.


China Surveillance Giant Hikvision Slumps on U.S. Ban Report

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 8:00pm

The White House will make a final decision in coming weeks on whether to limit exports of U.S. components to Hikvision, as it’s done with Huawei Technologies Co., the Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Such a move would escalate tensions with China and raise questions about whether the U.S. is going after more of the country’s technology champions. Hikvision has grown into a surveillance giant, selling its cameras around the world after cashing in on China’s obsession with monitoring its citizens.


US stocks rally on Huawei reprieve as pound gyrates on Brexit news

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 6:37pm

Global stocks rallied Tuesday as the United States took a step away from imposing crushing restrictions on Chinese telecom company Huawei, while the pound gyrated on fresh Brexit drama.


Abducted Idaho girl found safe in Arizona, suspect jailed

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 5:35pm

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl abducted from an Idaho fast-food restaurant where she worked was found safe in Arizona on Tuesday and the man accused of taking her was jailed on a $1 million bond, authorities said.


'Nowhere for the water to go': Tornadoes, floods hit central US day after 20 tornadoes

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 4:24pm

A tornado tore through a neighborhood near Tulsa International Airport on Tuesday as a powerful storm triggered flash flooding and washed out roads across parts of Oklahoma.


Hospital that treated baby cut from womb investigated

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 4:02pm

CHICAGO (AP) — The agency that licenses and inspects health care facilities in Illinois has started an investigation of a suburban Chicago hospital where doctors treated a baby brought in by a woman claiming to be his mother, a spokeswoman for the agency said Tuesday. The woman was charged weeks later with killing the actual mother and cutting the child from her womb.


Researchers say a tiny planet slammed into the Moon a long time ago

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 1:11pm

Earth's Moon only ever shows us one face. It's locked into its current orientation, with a permanent nearside and farside, but it wasn't until the Apollo missions that scientists were able to see just how different the two sides really are. The nearside, with its sea of dark gray basins standing in contrast to the brilliant white powder that covers the rest of its face, varies dramatically from the farside, which is marked with countless smaller craters in a more uniform distribution.The debate over how the Moon's split personalities developed has raged for decades, but new research seems to indicate that one of the possible explanations does indeed hold water. The theory, that Earth's Moon was struck by a tiny dwarf planet long ago, is the subject of a new research paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.Using computer models to simulate what may have happened to the Moon's surface long ago, researchers suggest the most likely scenario seems to be the collision between the Moon and a very large body. The impact of a dwarf planet as large as 480 miles across would have struck what we see today as the Moon's nearside at a speed of 14,000 miles per hour.This theory stands in contrast to other proposed explanations, including the theory that Earth may have once had not one Moon, but two. The two-moon theory suggests that Earth's moon duo may have at one point collided and merged, leaving the Moon as we see it today looking oddly unsymmetrical.The dwarf planet collision scenario assumes that whatever the body that struck the Moon was, it was in its own path around the Sun and just happened to be in the right place at the right time to strike Earth's natural satellite. This, the researchers say, would also explain why the crust on the farside of the Moon is different than that of its nearside."We demonstrate that a large body slowly impacting the nearside of the Moon can reproduce the observed crustal thickness asymmetry and form both the farside highlands and the nearside lowlands," the paper explains. "Additionally, the model shows that the resulting impact ejecta would cover the primordial anorthositic crust to form a two‐layer crust on the farside, as observed."


Trump says he doesn't want war with Iran. Is John Bolton driving the US into a conflict anyway?

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 12:52pm

The view that John Bolton is driving Trump into military confrontation with America's principal foe in the Middle East is spreading across the globe.


Dog sitter caught walking around naked in customer's home

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 11:50am

A dog sitter has been caught on camera walking around her client’s house naked. Rosie Brown hired Casey Brengle to look after her two dogs, Penny and Daisy, while she went to a wedding for four days.


Elon Musk hires man behind 'absolute unit' sheep meme to run Tesla's social media

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - May 21, 2019 - 11:38am

* Adam Koszary’s tweet of giant sheep went viral last year * Musk adopted image and description for his Twitter profileElon Musk is legally obliged to have his tweets checked by lawyers. ‘My Twitter is pretty much complete nonsense at this point,’ he observed last month. Photograph: Mike Blake/ReutersElon Musk has reportedly hired the man responsible for a viral tweet about a giant sheep to be Tesla’s social media manager.Adam Koszary, programme manager for the UK’s Reading Museum and Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL), run by the University of Reading, will join Tesla in July, according to his Twitter account.The @TheMerl account went viral in April last year when it tweeted an old picture of a large ram with the caption: “Look at this absolute unit.” The tweet has now been retweeted more than 31,000 times and has over 111,000 likes.> look at this absolute unit. pic.twitter.com/LzcQ4x0q38> > — The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) April 9, 2018Last month Musk changed his Twitter bio to “absolute unit” and his picture to the image of the sheep. @TheMerl returned the compliment by changing its bio photo to one of Musk.The tweet led to a series of messages from Musk ending with one reading: “My Twitter is pretty much complete nonsense at this point.”> My Twitter is pretty much complete nonsense at this point> > — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2019Tesla was not immediately available for comment. It is not yet clear whether the sheep tweet was instrumental in Koszary’s hiring.Musk has a troubled history with Twitter. The Tesla founder now has to have his tweets checked by lawyers after incorrectly claiming on social media that his company was close to a large investment from Saudi Arabia’s largest investment fund.Tesla’s share price has slid in recent weeks as investors worry the company is running out of cash.


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