Fox News host Eric Bolling suspended over ‘lewd messages’ – BBC News Aug 6, 2017


Eric Bolling denies allegations that he sent sexually inappropriate text messages to co-workers.

Eric Bolling, a long-time host at the network, allegedly sent the messages on separate occasions several years ago.

His lawyer described the claims as “untrue and terribly unfair”. Fox News said an investigation was under way.

It is the third high-profile harassment case to hit the conservative cable news outlet recently.

Citing 14 unnamed sources, the Huffington Post, a politically liberal news site, reports that Mr Bolling sent unsolicited photos of male genitalia by text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one at Fox News.

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Source: Fox News host Eric Bolling suspended over ‘lewd messages’ – BBC News

Giant ‘Mirror’ Planets Found in First-of-Its-Kind Experiment – By Nadia Drake NatGeo PUBLISHED JUNE 22, 2017


If confirmed, the shiny new worlds may help astronomers better understand how strange planets known as hot Jupiters are created.

Picture of a hot jupiter

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An illustration shows a hot Jupiter, a type of planet that is about the same size as our solar system’s largest world but is bizarrely close to its host star.

Photograph by NASA, JPL, Caltech

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CaliforniaPlanets orbiting other stars are running out of ways to hide.

For the first time, astronomers have used reflected starlight to tease out the possible presence of 60 large, roasted worlds. As those planets traipse around their stars, they act like large alien mirrors and briefly bounce a bit of extra starlight toward Earth, causing a small but measurable increase in their systems’ brightness.

The discoveries still need to be independently confirmed using a different planet-hunting method. But if even some of the worlds are really there, they could have an important story to tell about how such hot, Jupiter-size planets form.

“You see a brightening when the planet moves behind the star because at that point, you’re seeing its day side,” says Yale University graduate student Sarah Millholland, who will present the work Friday at the Kepler and K2 Science Conference.

 

Solar System 101 How was our solar system born? Join scientists as they embark on a journey into the mesmerizing mysteries of space. Hear their expert theories, then decide for yourself.

The 60 possible planets were hiding among nearly 200,000 stars in the patch of sky that NASA’s Kepler spacecraft stared at for four years. Though the spacecraft has spotted more than 2,300 confirmed worlds among those stars, it can’t see all of the ones that must exist.

That’s because the probe orbits the sun, and distant planetary systems ordinarily need to be aligned just right so that planets pass between their stars and the spacecraft. Kepler can then detect a planet as it briefly blots out a portion of its star’s light. However, this configuration only occurs for about 10 percent of hot Jupiters.

“With the transit method, we’re still biased to systems that are aligned in a particular way, which means we don’t have the ability to explore the vast majority of planets in the galaxy,” says Caltech’s Courtney Dressing. “Sarah has found a way to identify more planets, even those in systems that are misaligned.”

The catch: Those planets need to be either really big, or really shiny.

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Alleged hacker behind LinkedIn breach at centre of US-Russia legal tussle – Robert Tait in Prague and Julian Borger in Washington Friday 27 January 2017 03.30 EST


Yevgeniy Nikulin faces extradition requests from both countries amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’s alleged interference in the US presidential election

 Yevgeniy Nikulin was charged with offences relating to the hacking of computer networks belonging to LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring. Photograph: YouTube


Yevgeniy Nikulin was charged with offences relating to the hacking of computer networks belonging to LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring. Photograph: YouTube

An alleged computer hacker being held in the Czech Republic is at the centre of an international legal tussle between the United States and Russia amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’s alleged interference in the recent US presidential election.

Yevgeniy Nikulin, 29, faces extradition requests from both countries after being detained by Czech police on an Interpol arrest warrant issued by US authorities.

Nikulin, a Russian citizen, was arrested in a restaurant in Prague on 5 October shortly after arriving in the city during a holiday with his girlfriend.

A federal court in Oakland, California, followed up with an indictment charging him with offences relating to the hacking of computer networks belonging to LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring and formally requesting his extradition to the US.

He faces a maximum 30 years in prison and up to US$1m in fines if convicted on charges including computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy, damaging computers and trafficking in illegal access devices.

There is no acknowledged link between Nikulin’s alleged offences and the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but his arrest came just three days before the Obama administration formally accused Russia of stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee and disclosing them through WikiLeaks.

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NPR Finds The Head Of A Covert Fake News Operation In The Suburbs – LAURA SYDELL November 23, 2016 3:31 PM ET


"The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt right." Fanatic Studio/Getty Images

“The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt right.”
Fanatic Studio/Getty Images 

“The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt right.” Jestin Coler, publisher of fake news sites

A lot of fake and misleading news stories were shared across social media during the election. One that got a lot of traffic had the headline: “FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide.” The story is completely false, but it was shared on Facebook over half a million times.

We wondered who was behind that story and why it was written. It appeared on a site that had the look and feel of a local newspaper. Denverguardian.com even had the local weather. But it only had one news story — the fake one.

We tried to look up who owned it and hit a wall. The site was registered anonymously. So, we brought in some professional help.

By day, John Jansen is head of engineering at Master-McNeil Inc., a tech company in Berkeley, Calif. In the interest of real news he helped us track down the owner of Denverguardian.com.

Jansen started by looking at the site’s history. “Commonly that’s called scraping or crawling websites,” he says.

Jansen is kind of like an archaeologist. He says that nothing you do on the Web disappears — it just gets buried — like a fossil. But if you do some digging you’ll find those fossils and learn a lot of history.

The Denver Guardian was built and designed using a pretty common platform — WordPress. It’s used by bloggers and people who want to create their own websites. Jansen found the first entry ever for the site was done by someone with the handle LetTexasSecede.

“That was sort of the thread that started to unravel everything,” Jansen says. “I was able to track that through to a bunch of other sites which are where that handle is also present.”

The sites include NationalReport.net, USAToday.com.co, WashingtonPost.com.co. All the addresses linked to a single rented server inside Amazon Web Services. That meant they were all likely owned by the same company. Jansen found an email address on one of those sites and he was able to link that address to a name: Jestin Coler.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Arizona To Enforce Ban On Ballot-Collecting November 5, 2016 12:56 PM


Democrats argued that the ban on what critics call "ballot harvesting" would suppress the vote, particularly among minorities. Sky Schaudt/KJZZ

Democrats argued that the ban on what critics call “ballot harvesting” would suppress the vote, particularly among minorities.
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ

Reversing a one-day-old appeals court ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court says Arizona can enforce its law banning the collection of early-voting ballots by political campaigners. The ruling means that in Arizona, the practice that critics call “ballot harvesting” will be a felony in Tuesday’s election.

The law was enacted earlier this year; since then, it’s been in a tug-of-war between Republicans and Democrats — as on Friday, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 6-5 to block the law. Today’s ruling changes that.

Here’s how member station KJZZ in Phoenix explained it Friday:

“Critics, mostly Republicans, call the practice “ballot harvesting” and say it invites voter fraud. Republican lawmakers tried to halt it by passing a state law that made it a felony to turn in someone else’s ballot, with an exception for relatives, caregivers and roommates.

“Democrats sued, saying ballot collection is key way to get out the vote, especially from minority households. They argued the law violated the Voting Rights Act.”

The state of Arizona immediately sought a stay on the 9th Circuit’s ruling that blocked the law, H.B. 2023, Friday.

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The Congresswoman Who Paved the Way For Hillary Clinton – By JOSH ZEITZ November 02, 2016


Jeannette Rankin’s career—and the controversy surrounding it—tells us a great deal about what’s changed in the past 100 years, and what hasn’t.

90

100 years and a day before Hillary Clinton will cast her vote in a bid to become the first female president of the United States, Jeannette Rankin, a 36-year-old rancher’s daughter from Missoula, Montana, who had devoted her early career to women’s suffrage and progressive reform causes, voted in her state’s federal and local elections. That night, when all the ballots were counted, she made history, becoming the first woman ever to be elected to Congress. “I may be the first woman member of Congress,” she declared after her landslide victory. “But I won’t be the last.”

No less than Hillary Clinton, another trailblazer, Rankin was deeply controversial in her time. But her career—and the controversy surrounding it—tells us a great deal about what’s changed in the past 100 years, and what hasn’t.

For one, first-wave feminists like Rankin did not challenge the idea that there should be separate spheres for men and women; instead they embraced the prevailing orthodoxy and used it to their favor. Like many of her colleagues in the women’s movement, Rankin claimed a role in politics by insisting that women, not men, best knew how to safeguard public health, education and safety.

Ironically, though she fought a much lonelier battle and won a more improbable victory, in some ways, it was easier for Rankin than it is for Clinton today. When she was the only woman to hold elective office at the federal level, she was regarded by some as a “freak.” Few men anticipated a tidal wave of women in politics, which made her less threatening than Clinton—and her gender less a part of the conversation.

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Vice-Presidential Debate Set to Highlight Sharp Policy Differences – By  Reid J. Epstein Oct. 3, 2016 8:38 p.m. ET


Mike Pence and Tim Kaine diverge on a range of issues, from the health-care law to immigration

Workers on Monday made final preparations for Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.ENLARGE

Workers on Monday made final preparations for Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In their first debate, the presidential nominees veered far away from substantive differences and into personal bickering.

That likely won’t be the case with their running mates, who will meet Tuesday for the only vice-presidential debate of 2016.

Mike Pence for Donald Trump and Tim Kaine for Hillary Clinton were chosen to run for their lack of controversy and also their lack of temperamental behavior. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains why this could lead to a less fiery debate than those of their respective running mates. Photo: AP

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican, and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democrat, have decadeslong political records that are diametrically opposed, reflect the mainstream of their respective parties and could bring out sharp contrasts. The 90-minute debate will be moderated by Elaine Quijano of CBS News.

Mr. Kaine, a former governor, is for the minimum-wage increase that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has advocated, while Mr. Pence is opposed. Mr. Pence would rescind the Affordable Care Act, while Mr. Kaine wouldn’t. Mr. Pence, since joining the GOP ticket, has defended presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposals to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport illegal immigrants. Mr. Kaine opposes both measures.

While vice-presidential debates can at times produce a memorable moment, they typically don’t substantially shift the dynamics of a race.

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Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds – Molly Redden Saturday 20 August 2016 07.00 EDT


As the Republican-led state legislature has slashed funding to reproductive healthcare clinics, the maternal mortality rate doubled over just a two-year period

texas health clinic

About half of Texas lacks ready access to OB-GYN care, making it difficult for women to obtain contraception or for pregnant women to confirm the health of their babies. | Photograph: Delcia Lopez/Reuters

The rate of Texas women who died from complications related to their pregnancy doubled from 2010 to 2014, a new study has found, for an estimated maternal mortality rate that is unmatched in any other state and the rest of the developed world.

The finding comes from a report, appearing in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, that the maternal mortality rate in the United States increased between 2000 and 2014, even while the rest of the world succeeded in reducing its rate. Excluding California, where maternal mortality declined, and Texas, where it surged, the estimated number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births rose to 23.8 in 2014 from 18.8 in 2000 – or about 27%.

But the report singled out Texas for special concern, saying the doubling of mortality rates in a two-year period was hard to explain “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval”.

From 2000 to the end of 2010, Texas’s estimated maternal mortality rate hovered between 17.7 and 18.6 per 100,000 births. But after 2010, that rate had leaped to 33 deaths per 100,000, and in 2014 it was 35.8. Between 2010-2014, more than 600 women died for reasons related to their pregnancies.

No other state saw a comparable increase.

In the wake of the report, reproductive health advocates are blaming the increase on Republican-led budget cuts that decimated the ranks of Texas’s reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011, just as the spike began, the Texas state legislature cut $73.6m from the state’s family planning budget of $111.5m. The two-thirds cut forced more than 80 family planning clinics to shut down across the state. The remaining clinics managed to provide services – such as low-cost or free birth control, cancer screenings and well-woman exams – to only half as many women as before.

At the same time, Texas eliminated all Planned Parenthood clinics – whether or not they provided abortion services – from the state program that provides poor women with preventative healthcare. Previously, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas offered cancer screenings and contraception to more than 130,000 women.

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