Somalia Mogadishu: Deadly attacks rock capital – BBC News Oct 29, 2017


Security forces in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have ended a 15-hour siege of a hotel stormed by armed militants.

The gunmen entered the building after two bombs were detonated in the area. At least 20 people were killed, and it is feared more bodies will be found as security forces search the hotel.

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab said it had carried out the bombings.

Two weeks ago, 358 people died in the worst attack in Somalia since the group launched its offensive in 2007.

The al-Qaeda-linked group denies having any involvement with the 14 October attack, from which another 56 people are still missing.

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First Charges Filed in Russia Probe Led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller – Del Quentin Wilber Updated Oct. 28, 2017 11:45 a.m. ET


At least one defendant is expected to be taken into custody as soon as Monday

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is special counsel on the Russian investigation.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is special counsel on the Russian investigation.Photo: saul loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

At least one person was charged Friday in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to people familiar with the matter.

That person could be taken into custody as soon as Monday, these people said. The number and identity of the defendants, and the charges, couldn’t be determined.

A spokesman for Mr. Mueller, Peter Carr, declined to comment. The news of the charges, marking the first in Mr. Mueller’s investigation, was first reported by CNN on Friday.

Appointed in May, Mr. Mueller and his team of prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have been examining alleged Russian efforts to influence last year’s election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or Mr. Trump’s associates colluded with the Kremlin.

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6 charts that explain why American politics is so broken – Andrew Prokop Oct 27, 2017, 12:10pm EDT


The Pew Research Center’s political typology report, explained.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

US politics has gone in some pretty strange directions lately. But now the Pew Research Center has come along to try to make sense of just what Americans are thinking, with a new edition of its study of Americans’ political typology — its first since 2014.

Pew’s analysis stands out from standard polls because it doesn’t simply sort Americans by demographic factors like age, race, and gender, and instead finds divisions within political parties that don’t fall along typical lines. To them, it’s not all about Hillary voters versus Bernie voters, or Trump populists versus establishment Republicans — what people actually believe creates divisions that are more complicated than that.

Instead, in surveys this summer of about 5,000 people, Pew asked respondents several ideological questions, and then used statistical techniques to try to figure out the clearest way to divide respondents’ views into a series of coherent groups. The questions present respondents with a stark choice between two very different options:

The actual survey respondents could also volunteer that they’re unsure or don’t know. Still, it’s true that this format doesn’t allow for much moderation or nuance. But in a system with two major parties (and a media environment that often lacks nuance), your choice about which statement you most agree with — or which one you’re most repelled by — can be very revealing. Here’s what Pew found.

1) Pew splits the politically engaged public into eight groups

Pew Research Center

In analyzing how the responses differed, Pew ended up dividing politically engaged voters into eight groups. Among Republicans, the “Core Conservatives” — traditional GOP voters — is the largest and most engaged group. “Country First Conservatives, who we might think of as anti-immigration Trump fans, are relatively small in comparison. Then, two GOP-leaning groups that tend to get less attention in punditry are “Market Skeptic Republicans,” who stand out for their concern about the economic system favoring the powerful, and “New Era Enterprisers” (they’re pretty moderate on social issues but economically conservative).

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Solve These Tough Data Problems and Watch Job Offers Roll In – TOM SIMONITE 10.28.17


Late in 2015, Gilberto Titericz, an electrical engineer at Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras, told his boss he planned to resign, after seven years maintaining sensors and other hardware in oil plants. By devoting hundreds of hours of leisure time to the obscure world of competitive data analysis, Titericz had recently become the world’s top-ranked data scientist, by one reckoning. Silicon Valley was calling. “Only when I wanted to quit did they realize they had the number-one data scientist,” he says.

Petrobras held on to its champ for a time by moving Titericz into a position that used his data skills. But since topping the rankings that October he’d received a stream of emails from recruiters around the globe, including representatives of Tesla and Google. This past February, another well-known tech company hired him, and moved his family to the Bay Area this summer. Titericz described his unlikely journey recently over colorful plates of Nigerian food at the headquarters of his new employer, Airbnb.

Titericz earned, and holds, his number-one rank on a website called Kaggle that has turned data analysis into a kind of sport, and transformed the lives of some competitors. Companies, government agencies, and researchers post datasets on the platform and invite Kaggle’s more than one million members to discern patterns and solve problems. Winners get glory, points toward Kaggle’s rankings of its top 66,000 data scientists, and sometimes cash prizes.

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‘Read me!’: Students race to craft forceful college essays as deadlines near – By Nick Anderson October 28 at 5:44 PM


Leslie Atkin leads a college essay workshop at Wheaton High School in Maryland on Oct. 17. (Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post)

Find a telling anecdote about your 17 years on this planet. Examine your values, goals, achievements and perhaps even failures to gain insight into the essential you. Then weave it together in a punchy essay of 650 or fewer words that showcases your authentic teenage voice — not your mother’s or father’s — and helps you stand out among hordes of applicants to selective colleges.

That’s not necessarily all. Be prepared to produce even more zippy prose for supplemental essays about your intellectual pursuits, personality quirks or compelling interest in a particular college that would be, without doubt, a perfect academic match.

Many high school seniors find essay writing the most agonizing step on the road to college, more stressful even than SAT or ACT testing. Pressure to excel in the verbal endgame of the college application process has intensified in recent years as students perceive that it’s tougher than ever to get into prestigious schools. Some well-off families, hungry for any edge, are willing to pay as much as $16,000 for essay-writing guidance in what one consultant pitches as a four-day “application boot camp.”

But most students are far more likely to rely on parents, teachers or counselors for free advice as hundreds of thousands nationwide race to meet a key deadline for college applications on Wednesday.

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Racism Is Literally Bad For Your Health – Michel Martin October 28, 2017 6:06 PM ET


Harvard professor David Williams says, “Much of this discrimination that occurs in the health care context, and in other contexts of society, may not even be intentional.” Sarah Sholes/Courtesy of Harvard Chan

Most people can acknowledge that discrimination has an insidious effect on the lives of minorities, even when it’s unintentional. Those effects can include being passed over for jobs for which they are qualified or shut out of housing they can afford. And most people are painfully aware of the tensions between African-Americans and police.

But discrimination can also lead to a less obvious result: tangible, measurable negative effects on health. A new survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health asked members of different ethnic and racial groups about their experiences with discrimination. Ninety-two percent of African-American respondents said they felt discrimination against African-Americans exists in the United States today, and at least half said they have experienced it themselves at work or when interacting with police.

All of this discrimination can literally be deadly, according to Harvard professor David Williams, who has spent years studying the health effects of discrimination.

He tells NPR’s Michel Martin: “Basically what we have found is that discrimination is a type of stressful life experience that has negative effects on health similar to other kinds of stressful experiences.”

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House panel says it will get bank records from firm behind Trump dossier – Jesse Byrnes10/28/17 04:04 PM EDT


“The parties have reached an agreement related to the House Intelligence Committee’s subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records that will secure the Committee’s access to the records necessary for its investigation,” the committee said in a statement.

Fusion GPS had hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile the dossier on Trump. House Republicans have sought the firm’s bank records to find out who paid for the research. The records could reveal more details about the funding surrounding the project.

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that a lawyer working for Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the Democratic National Committee had retained Fusion GPS in April 2016, before the firm hired Steele.

The conservative website The Washington Free Beacon revealed to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday that it had originally funded Fusion GPS to compile research on Trump and other GOP presidential candidates.

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Samuel Adams Just Unleashed a $200 Beer That’s Illegal in Some States – By Chris Morris Updated: October 27, 2017 3:18 PM ET


Every two years, the brewers at Samuel Adams like to create an event—and there’s no easier way to stir the passions of beer lovers than the release of Utopias.

The biennial release, which carries a price tag of $199 and an ABV of a whopping 28%, is one of the beer world’s most highly anticipated events. Just 13,000 bottles of the beer will be distributed throughout the U.S., though not in 12 states, where it’s illegal to sell.

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington all prohibit the sale of Samuel Adams Utopias due to that sky high alcohol content. The rest of the country can begin looking for it early next month.

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