Tuesday, 21 February 2017

UPS on Track to Use Delivery Drones This Year That Launch from Roof of Electric Trucks

The technology company Workhorse has unveiled a delivery drone that launches from the roof of electric trucks.  UPS has begun testing the drones in Florida.  Workhorse CEO Steve Burns discusses the benefits of the drones and when consumers might see those drones dropping off deliveries at their front doors.

According to Burns, Workhorse and UPS have focused the testing on rural areas.

“FAA likes rural because not many people to fly under, or over, and for UPS, that’s the most expensive delivery, it’s the furthest to go,” Burns told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

As the delivery drones are tested and improved, Burns predicts that they will expand beyond rural areas.

Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation

Undocumented immigrants arrested for traffic violations or shop-lifting will be targeted along with those convicted of more serious crimes.

The memos do not alter US immigration laws, but take a much tougher approach towards enforcing existing measures.

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.

Five questions ahead of new US travel ban
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday the new guidelines would not usher in mass deportations, but were designed to empower agents to enforce laws already on the books.

"The president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies," Mr Spicer said.

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein: Trump’s attacks on the press are more dangerous than Nixon’s

The reporter who helped expose an infamously paranoid, manipulative and destructive president said Sunday that Richard Nixon had nothing on Donald Trump.

“Trump's attacks on the American press as 'enemies of the American people' are more treacherous than Richard Nixon's attacks on the press," former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein said Sunday on CNN.

Trump's comments — made publicly, whereas Nixon attacked his enemies in private — brought to mind “dictators and authoritarians, including Stalin, including Hitler," Bernstein said.

Heterosexual couple lose civil partnership challenge

A heterosexual couple have lost their Court of Appeal battle to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, from London, challenged a ruling that said they did not meet the legal requirement of being the same sex.

The judges said there was a potential human rights breach but the government should have more time to decide on the future of civil partnerships.

The couple said there was still "everything to fight for".

They intend to appeal to the Supreme Court.

A government spokesman said it welcomed the ruling and that it would take the judgement into account during its evaluation of civil partnerships.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Baby born with brain outside his skull shocks doctors with remarkable progress

Little Jayden Moyo was born with part of his brain outside his skull with a growth so big doctors had never seen one like it before.

After marathon surgery, the toddler shocked doctors with his remarkable progress.

Now a happy and healthy toddler, Jayden is cherished by his parents who know how precious his life is.

The Perth boy was born with a massive growth protruding from a hole between his eyes.

Vic plane crashed in a fireball: witnesses

The Beechcraft Super King Air twin-engine aircraft with five aboard struck the DFO Essendon about 9am on Tuesday after taking off from nearby Essendon Airport, heading for King Island.
Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane told reporters it was a catastrophic crash and all five aboard were believed dead.
"It looks like no-one has survived the crash," he said.
"Looking at the fireball, it is incredibly lucky that no-one was at the back of those stores or in the car park of the stores that no-one was even hurt."
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says is "the worst civil aviation accident that our state has seen for 30 years".
The plane was carrying a golfing party bound for King Island links, The Advocate newspaper in Tasmania reported.
Unconfirmed reports on twitter say the party was four US tourists and an Australian pilot.
Superintendent Mick Frewen said there was a mayday call shortly after take off.

Authorities were reluctant to confirm who was on the plane or their nationalities, saying only that family members were being contacted.
Witness Carmel Brown told AAP there was a huge explosion when the plane hit.
"There was a big crash and then a big red fireball, like a mushroom," she said
Ash Mayer, a storeman at The Good Guys, felt the crash reverberate through his building.
"We were just coming off the off-ramp, we felt just everything shake and a massive explosion and a fireball go up," he told AAP.
"We just knew this was bad and there was nothing we could do.
"One of the boys actually saw it go down and he's now left because he can't deal with it."
Craig Lapsley, Emergency Management Commissioner, said witnesses had been treated for shock and trauma but not physical injuries.
Firefighters have extinguished the blaze that travelled from the aircraft, through the building and out into the car park fueled by aviation fuel.
"So that is where obviously the area itself is quarantined for the investigation and will be for some hours," he said.

Homes damaged, thousands without power after Texas storms

Thunderstorms backed by racing winds set off a string of tornado warnings in parts of southeast Texas on Sunday and into Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The strong storms, along with intensifying wind shears, may have produced a tornado, the agency said.

At least 100 homes were reported damaged late Sunday in San Antonio, the National Weather Service told CNN. Officials plan to send out teams Monday morning to survey losses.

Nearly 40,000 customers in the San Antonio area remain without power, CPS Energy said. Two minor injuries were reported, officials said.

In Thrall, Texas -- 120 miles northeast of San Antonio -- strong storms after midnight Monday caused a train to partially derail, the weather service told CNN.

America’s affirmation of the one-China policy pleased Taiwan, too

THE idea that China and Taiwan might be separate countries, rather than estranged parts of “one China”, is anathema in Beijing. So on February 9th, when Donald Trump told his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, that America would respect the one-China policy after all (having previously questioned this polite fiction), Chinese officials were profoundly relieved. So, oddly, was Taiwan’s government, which thought that questioning the policy had been bad for Taiwan and scrapping it would have been worse.

That is remarkable. After all, Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party rejects the one-China policy and says the island is already independent. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, cannot even bring herself to utter the words “1992 consensus”—the name for a deal between China and the Kuomintang party (KMT), now the island’s opposition, which affirmed the notion of one China but said the two sides had different interpretations of it. So why was her government pleased?

Since coming to office last year, Ms Tsai has presented herself as cautious, responsible and predictable—as different as possible from the previous DPP president, the irrepressible Chen Shui-bian, whose constant efforts to highlight Taiwan’s de facto independence infuriated both China and America. In a speech in October that Ms Tsai hoped would reassure China, she promised she would “of course not revert to the old path of confrontation”.

Mr Trump’s stand-off with Mr Xi could have imperilled that approach. There was an outside chance, debated with paranoia in Taipei, that America’s president might strike a grand bargain with China, selling Taiwan down the river in exchange for big concessions on trade and security. This is highly unlikely, given that America’s defence commitments to the island are enshrined in an act of Congress which could not be undone without legislative approval. Still, there are serious concerns that fall short of that dire possibility. If the stand-off with China turned into a trade war, Taiwan would suffer badly; its economy is inextricably linked to the mainland.

Putting the one-China policy up for negotiation would also have cut across Ms Tsai’s desired timetable for dealing with Mr Xi. Towards the end of the year China’s communist rulers are to hold a party congress—the biggest event of the Chinese political calendar. It seems unlikely that Mr Xi, who is trying to consolidate his authority, would do anything before the congress that might look to rivals like weakness on Taiwan. After the event, however, he might have room for manoeuvre.

Or so Ms Tsai hopes. She and her advisers are considering new ways of describing Taiwan’s relations with the mainland which might replace or add to the 1992 formula. She recently told a group of Taiwanese business people that the time to discuss such a formulation would be in the second half of the year—though, even then, the chance that Mr Xi will show flexibility on the one-China idea seems remote.

At least Ms Tsai will gain some time, which she needs to deal with her priority, the economy. It grew by only 0.7% in 2015 and 1.4% last year. Salaries have stagnated for two decades, youth unemployment is up and Taiwan’s state-run pension funds all face bankruptcy. After months of deliberation, the government is ready to put its pension-reform plan to the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s parliament. This will inevitably involve painful choices and probably make Ms Tsai even more unpopular (her poll ratings are dismal).

Mr Trump’s phone call with Mr Xi may help. Her party contains a significant minority of fundamentalists, known as “deep greens”, who want faster strides towards formal independence. They argue that, with Mr Trump in the White House, Taiwan has a historic chance to advance its case for sovereignty. “She hasn’t shown she can seize the opportunity,” grumbled a deep-green politician, Parris Chang, before Mr Trump’s call.

Mr Trump’s change of heart over confronting China seems to weaken the deep-green argument that American politics has become exceptionally friendly to their position. This does not mean they will stop criticising Ms Tsai. They are unhappy about her economic management, the presence in her government of officials from past KMT administrations and her unwillingness to invite to Taiwan some of China’s foremost bugbears, such as the Dalai Lama and Rebiya Kadeer, the head of the World Uighur Congress (who this week turned down a private invitation to visit the island). But Mr Trump’s volte-face reduces the pressure they can exert on Ms Tsai to change course on China.

Role of the rocks: South China Sea

Is America becoming more assertive about China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea?

Is America becoming more assertive about China’s territorial claims in the region? The navy chafed at Barack Obama’s caution: despite China’s massive programmes of building and militarisation on disputed reefs far from the mainland, the former president allowed only a handful of relatively uncontroversial “freedom of navigation” operations. Now the navy has submitted a list of tougher actions for President Donald Trump’s approval, and this weekend a strike group, including the “supercarrier” USS Carl Vinson, showed up. The admirals want to send vessels within 12 nautical miles of features claimed by China: a reminder that, under international law, artificial islands cannot claim surrounding waters. They also want to flout China’s demand to be notified before ships pass through seas it claims. This could backfire. Mr Trump’s national-security apparatus remains in chaos and without a clear China strategy. Rather than restraining Chinese projection of maritime power, more assertive American operations could provide the pretext for increasing it.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis rejects Trump's war on the media as he says 'I don't have any issues with the press'

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis does not think the free press is the 'enemy of the American people,' in spite of his boss' declaration otherwise.

'I don't have any issues with the press, myself,' Mattis said on Sunday. 

The Pentagon chief broke ranks with President Donald Trump in remarks to reporters traveling with him in the United Arab Emirates, after he was questioned about Trump's tweet on Friday that branded the press 'the enemy of the American people.'

Mattis, a retired Marine general seen as one of the most influential voices in Trump's cabinet, did not mention his boss by name, but did take an entirely different position.

'I've had some rather contentious times with the press. But no, the press, as far as I'm concerned, are a constituency that we deal with,' he said. 'Welcome to democracy.'

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Donald Trump appears to invent terror attack in Sweden and then blames it on ‘migrants’

The only problem is that the ‘incident’ was apparently completely made up.
The President name-dropped the country in a list of places that have experienced terror attacks in the past, such as Brussels and Nice.

Speaking at a cheering rally in Florida last night, he said: ‘You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.’

He then seemed to blame the ‘attack’ on migrants after adding: ‘Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.’

But the media and Sweden’s security service have since struggled to name any specific incident that took place on Friday.

In fact, the security service told Aftonbladet there was no change to the threat level, and former PM Carl Bildt said: ‘Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?’

Saturday, 18 February 2017

U.S. pushes Beijing to keep up pressure on North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington urged Beijing to keep pressure on North Korea to return to talks aimed at preventing Pyongyang from making further advances in its weapons program in violation of U.N. resolutions.

China's Commerce Ministry said on Saturday that it would suspend all imports of coal from North Korea starting Feb. 19. The announcement came as part of Beijing's efforts to implement international sanctions against the country.

Earlier this month, Pyongyang tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile, its first direct challenge to the international community since U.S. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.

President Trump's administration has said that China should do more to pressure Pyongyang.

"All countries should fully and transparently implement all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on the DPRK," a State Department spokesperson said, referring to North Korea.

"We continue to urge China to exert its unique leverage as North Korea's largest trading partner to convince Pyongyang to return to serious talks on denuclearization."

China's Ministry of Commerce has said its ban on coal imports from North Korea would be effective until Dec. 31.

China announced in April last year that it would ban North Korean coal imports to comply with sanctions imposed by the United Nations and aimed at starving the country of funds for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

But it made exceptions for deliveries intended for "the people's well-being" and not connected to the nuclear or missile programs.

At Least Three Die as Storm Socks Southern California, Flooding Freeways

Tens of thousands of people were left without power Saturday after one of the strongest storms to pummel Southern California killed at least three people and left a destructive trail of sinkholes, flooded highways and downed power lines.

The powerful Pacific Ocean storm that rolled into the region Friday was expected to taper off by Saturday afternoon, but a flash flood watch remained in place for Orange County and parts of the San Diego area, according to the National Weather Service.

A 55-year-old man in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, died after apparently being electrocuted by live power lines brought down by a tree, and a person was found dead inside a submerged car near Victorville, fire officials said. A passenger was killed in a four-vehicle crash after a driver hydroplaned on a San Diego interstate, NBC San Diego reported.


Friday, 17 February 2017

Group making anti-Trump robocalls is closely tied to a pro-Trump PAC

During the 2016 election, a political action group called Liberty Action Group raised nearly $3 million through radio advertisements and robocalls by asking for contributions to help elect Donald Trump.

According to public filings reviewed by CNN's KFile, the group made no direct donations to the Trump campaign nor is there any indication the group contributed in other ways to Trump's election effort. The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for transparency in government, described Liberty Action Group as an "extremely shady PAC" last year.

Now, the individuals behind Liberty Action Group have turned their attention to the progressive movement, soliciting donations for a different group, Progressive Priorities PAC. Several people have reported receiving phone calls in the past month from Progressive Priorities PAC that play a recording of former President Barack Obama followed by a request to contribute to "help Obama impeach Trump."

FEC records for Progressive Priorities PAC, which also ran radio ads soliciting donations during the 2016 Democratic primary, reveal it has never directly contributed to any candidate or cause.

The two groups, soliciting money from opposite ends of the political spectrum, are both connected to the same man, sources familiar with the PACs inner-workings told CNN's KFile. That man, Matthew Tunstall, is not listed as the director of either PAC. However, FEC filings show Tunstall was paid more than $300,000 by Liberty Action Group last year.

Tunstall did not return multiple requests from CNN for an interview.

FEC records show the two groups also used the same Virginia-based treasurer, whose only work of this type was with those two PACs. Both groups also paid the same robocalling company, SmartCall Media.

Dramatic photos reveal asylum seeker caught on US BORDER with Canada by vigilant police

The man who claimed to be from Sudan had crossed a treacherous gully which separates the US and Canada with his eight other family members, four of whom were children.

Shortly after they had pulled up to the US-Canada border in Champlain, New York, an officer seized their passports and questioned the man.

Researchers in Mexico have uncovered a new species of horned-face dinosaur that lived 73 million years ago

3,000-year-old Philistine cemetery discovered

Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed the first Philistine burial site ever discovered, dating back to the 12th century B.C.Source: CNN

With 'Fake News, and Trump movments, ' Trump Moves From Alternative Facts To Alternative Language

With 'Fake News,' Trump Moves From Alternative Facts To Alternative Language

Friday night, President Trump took to Twitter to deliver one of his favorite insults to journalists: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!" he wrote.

It's a phrase President Trump has now tweeted 15 times this month (10 times in all caps). He used the phrase seven times in his Thursday news conference.

Anyone who has followed the news knows this isn't what "fake news" meant just a few months ago. Back then, it meant lies posing as news, made up by people from Macedonian teenagers to a dad in the Los Angeles suburbs. The stories impacted the election to some unmeasurable degree, and they also presented a tangible threat when a gunman inspired by false stories fired shots inside Washington pizza restaurant Comet Ping Pong.

Now, Trump casts all unfavorable news coverage as fake news. In one tweet, he even went so far as to say that "any negative polls are fake news." And many of his supporters have picked up and run with his new definition.

The ability to reshape language — even a little — is an awesome power to have. According to language experts on both sides of the aisle, the rebranding of fake news could be a genuine threat to democracy.

The danger of the word "fake"

As a linguist, University of California, Berkeley professor George Lakoff is one of the few people in the world who can truthfully say things like "I've studied the word 'fake' in some detail."

Because of that expertise, he finds the term fake news uniquely troubling. He explained to NPR exactly what is so destabilizing about calling news "fake."

To illustrate, he used the word "gun." Putting the adjective "black" in front of it doesn't negate that it's a gun. It just specifies a kind of gun. That black gun still has the same primary function of any other gun — that is, it can shoot something.

Shark attack off Hinchinbrook Island leaves man with critical injuries

Cairns resident Glenn Dickson was spearfishing with three friends off Hinchinbrook Island, which lies east of Cardwell, when he was attacked about 10:30am.

Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Martin Taylor said the 26-year-old suffered severe blood loss with multiple bites to his upper and lower leg.

"The friends have immediately pulled him out of the water and applied emergency first aid," Mr Taylor said.

"They put a tourniquet up high and tight on his femur and stopped the subsequent bleeding which was quite significant.

Beijing press says, Trump's media attacks play into China's hands.

Donald Trump’s war on the media means he will struggle to challenge China over “ideological” questions such as human rights, a Communist party-controlled newspaper claimed, as the US president intensified his offensive against the press, labelling journalists “the enemy of the American people”.

In an editorial published on Saturday morning, China’s state-run Global Times newspaper celebrated how Trump’s early moves in office suggested he would be “less concerned about issues like human rights” – long a bone of contention between western governments and Beijing’s authoritarian rulers.

McCain savages Trump administration and inability to 'separate truth from lies'

“His war with mainstream media makes it difficult for Trump to ally with the media on [the] ideological front against China,” the state-run tabloid said, adding: “Many have predicted that Trump’s presidency would exacerbate the recession of liberalism.”


Trump tells Jewish magazine's reporter to 'sit down,' blames anti-Semitism on 'the other side'

In response to a question Thursday about threats to Jewish centers nationwide, President Donald Trump called a Jewish reporter a liar, told him to sit down and later said anti-Semitism was coming from "the other side."

The exchange kicked off as Trump looked through the room at a White House news conference and asked for a question from a "friendly reporter."

'Telephone terrorism' has rattled 48 Jewish centers. Is anyone paying attention?

He settled on a reporter who identified himself as Jake Turx, a reporter with Ami Magazine, which bills itself as "a new standard in Jewish media." Turx prefaced his question by saying he did not see evidence the President or his staff were anti-Semitic. He even mentioned Trump's Jewish grandchildren.

He then launched into the thrust of his question about bomb threats to dozens of Jewish Community Centers last month.

"What we are concerned about, and what we haven't really heard being addressed, is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it," Turx said.

As Turx continued, Trump interrupted, "See, he said he was going to ask a very simple, easy question, and it's not."

The reporter said, "It's an important one."

"Not a simple question. Not a fair question. OK, sit down. I understand the rest of your question," Trump said. "So here's the story folks. No. 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism. The least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican."

Turx raised his hand again and spoke up.

"Quiet, quiet, quiet," Trump replied. "See he lied about -- he was going to get up and ask a very straight, simple question. So, you know, welcome to the world of the media."

Turx shook his head, and Trump continued as if he himself had been accused of anti-Semitism, despite Turx's preface.

"But let me just tell you something: I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question because people that know me -- and you heard the Prime Minister, you heard Benjamin Netanyahu, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, 'I've known Donald Trump for a long time,' and then he said, 'Forget it.' So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that."
Later on in the news conference, Sirius XM's Jared Rizzi said, "I'll follow up on my colleague's question about anti-Semitism. It's not about your personality or your beliefs. We're talking about a rise in anti-Semitism around the country. Some of it by supporters in your name. What can you do to deter that?"

Trump said, "Some of it is written by our opponents. You do know that? Do you understand that? You don't think anybody would do a thing like that?"

Oroville Dam Threatens Valley After Warnings Ignored Long Ago: New at Reason

A Sacramento Bee story published Monday succinctly described the disaster unfolding at the nation's tallest dam, where flaws in the Oroville Dam's concrete spillway are forcing water onto the earthen emergency spillway. Threats of a spillway collapse led to mandatory evacuations throughout Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties last Sunday, although residents have since been allowed to return home.

"Oroville Dam contains a flaw, some critics assert, one that could damage the structure during a major flood and threaten downstream communities," according to the Bee. "That flaw is the dam's emergency spillway, which empties onto a bare dirt hillside adjacent to the earthen-fill dam." The torrent of water could erode the unprotected hillside, undermine the emergency spillway's foundation and lead to a catastrophic failure.

Damaging thunderstorms hit Sydney, cutting power to thousands

Thousands of people were without power Friday night after electrical storms brought hail, heavy rain and strong winds to the Sydney region during the afternoon.

Emergency crews have restored power to around 14,000 homes and businesses but 21,000 across the Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter regions remained without power at 9pm AEDT.

Strong winds reaching up to 93km/h lashed Sydney on Friday afternoon, tearing the roof off a home in the inner-Sydney suburb of Lilyfield.

One resident said she saw the roof of the three-storey apartment fly off, taking down nearby power lines.

"I was looking at it and I thought I should shut the windows," she told 9NEWS.

"I realised it was worse than I’d thought and then the roof fell off."

A 36-year-old man was struck by lightning while at a construction site at Rouse Hill just before 4pm.

He was transported to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition.

Send your photos and video of the storms to contact@9news.com.au but remember to stay safe!

Residents in western and southern areas bore the brunt of the system, which pelted Penrith with hailstones shortly after 2pm before damaging winds and heavy rain hit the city and surrounding areas.