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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Trump Issues Order to Keep Guantanamo Open

A new executive order, issued as U.S. President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address, cancels a 2009 order in which President Barack Obama promised to close the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba. The White House made the announcement just before Tuesday’s State of the Union address. And, the president spoke about it in his speech. "I am keeping another promise. I just signed, prior to walking out, an order directing Secretary Mattis, who is doing a great job, to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantánamo Bay," he said. "I am asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists -- wherever we chase them down, where ever we find them." Sixteen years after the first prisoner arrived, 41 detainees remain at Guantanamo. Of the more than 700 prisoners who have been held there since 2002, only a handful have been charged with a crime and even fe..

Hawaii Fires Emergency Official Responsible for False Missile Alert

The Hawaii state employee responsible for launching an erroneous January 13 warning of an incoming missile attack has been fired, following a report stating that the employee had a history of confusing practice exercises with real-life events. The information was revealed Tuesday in a report by Investigating Officer Bruce Oliveira to the director of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency. Vern Miyagi, the administrator for the agency, resigned Tuesday, as the findings became public. The report said the employee responsible for the erroneous warning message did not realize an order for an emergency drill had been declared, and instead activated a real alert that went out to mobile phones and broadcast outlets across Hawaii. The Saturday morning incident led many Hawaii residents to believe for more than half an hour that they were under attack. The message said a missile attack was imminent, advised residents to seek shelter immediately, and emphasized, "This is not a drill." Wh..

Spat Over Russia Sanctions Erupts Ahead of Trump’s Address to Congress

The Trump administration’s delay in implementing congressionally mandated Russia sanctions provoked an outcry on Capitol Hill hours before President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address to lawmakers. Congress last year overwhelmingly approved mandatory penalties against those who do business with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors. This week, the Trump administration said the law already has had a chilling effect on those sectors even before sanctions take effect. A chorus of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, accused the administration of dragging its feet. “President Trump has failed time and time again to stand up to Vladimir Putin, despite the assault that he carried out on our democracy in the 2016 election,” said Schumer. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told a Senate panel the administration is still looking at imposing sanctions based on a list of Kremlin-affiliated business moguls the Treasury Department published Monday. “So thi..

FACT CHECK: Trump’s Claims in State of the Union Address

The AP is fact-checking prepared remarks from President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech. Here's a look at some of the claims we've examined: Obama's Health Law Trump: "We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare -- the individual mandate is now gone." The facts: No, it's not gone. It's going, in 2019. People who go without insurance this year are still subject to fines. Congress did repeal the unpopular requirement that most Americans carry insurance or risk a tax penalty but that takes effect next year. It's a far cry from what Trump and the GOP-led Congress set out to do last year, which was to scrap most of the sweeping Obama-era health law and replace it with a Republican alternative. The GOP blueprint would have left millions more Americans uninsured, making it even more unpopular than "Obamacare." Other major parts of the overhaul remain in place, including its Medicaid expansion, protections for people with pre-existing cond..

FACT CHECK: Snapshots From Trump’s Speech

The AP is fact-checking prepared remarks from President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech. Here's a look at some of the claims we've examined: Tax cuts Trump: "We enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history." -- excerpt released by White House. The Facts: No truer now than in the countless other times he has said the same. The December tax overhaul ranks behind Ronald Reagan's in the early 1980s, post-World War Two tax cuts and at least several more. An analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in the fall put Trump's package as the eighth biggest since 1918. As a percentage of the total economy, Reagan's 1981 cut is the biggest followed by the 1945 rollback of taxes that financed World War Two. Valued at $1.5 trillion over 10 years, the plan is indeed large and expensive. But it's much smaller than originally intended. Back in the spring, it was shaping up as a $5.5 trillion package. Even then it would hav..

Sources: Russian Spy Chief Met US Officials in US Last Week 

Russia’s foreign spy chief, who is under U.S. sanctions, met last week outside Washington with U.S. intelligence officials, two U.S. sources said, confirming a disclosure that intensified political infighting over probes into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Sergey Naryshkin, head of the Russian service known by its acronym SVR, held talks with U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and other U.S. intelligence officials, the sources said. The sources did not reveal the topics discussed. A Russian Embassy tweet disclosed Naryshkin’s visit. It cited a state-run ITAR-Tass news report that quoted Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, as telling Rossiya-1 television that Naryshkin and his U.S. counterparts discussed the “joint struggle against terrorism.” Antonov did not identify the U.S. intelligence officials with whom he met. The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment. Coats’ office said that while it does not discuss U.S. intellig..

5 Ideas Win $10,000 Each in Ohio Opioid Science Challenge

Virtual reality, neural feedback and digital therapy were among five ideas to help solve the U.S. opioid crisis that won a global technology challenge on Tuesday. Winners were selected from hundreds of ideas submitted by researchers, caregivers, service providers and individuals from Ohio, other states and nine countries. The winning entrants will receive $10,000 each to take their ideas to the next phase. The $8 million Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge was modeled after the Head Health competition launched by the National Football League, Under Armour and General Electric to address traumatic brain injuries suffered playing football. It's part of a two-pronged strategy Ohio is pursuing to fight the deadly epidemic tied to prescription painkillers; the state has also awarded $10 million in research-and-development grants. Besides the top prizes awarded to ideas with the highest likelihood of success, 40 runners-up — 20 laypeople and 20 technical professionals or experts — will ..

Despite Crime, Chicago Ranked World’s Best City for Enjoying Life

Often regarded as a symbol of gun violence in the United States, Chicago was ranked the best city in the world for having fun and enjoying life in an index published Tuesday. Propelled by its buzzing restaurants and bars, the third-largest U.S. city came out on top for the second time in a row in a global index by the British culture and entertainment magazine Time Out, followed by Porto, New York, Melbourne and London. "This Midwestern city offers its dwellers endless opportunities to eat and drink well, be happy and experience cultural opportunities at every turn," Morgan Olsen, editor of Time Out Chicago, said in a statement. The magazine asked 15,000 people in 32 cities, from Mexico City to Bangkok, to score them on their food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and livability. Chicago enjoyed above-average results overall, including top scores for eating and drinking, with safety as its only flaw. Other findings included New York having the best nightlife,..

FCC: Hawaii Employee Mistook Drill for Real Missile Attack 

A Hawaii employee who issued a false missile warning mistook a test drill for an actual attack, the U.S. Federal Communications said on Tuesday, faulting the state’s handling of the issue. The false alarm, which went uncorrected for 38 minutes after being transmitted to mobile phones and broadcast stations, caused widespread panic across the Pacific islands state. The FCC blamed the error in part on a miscommunication and a lack of supervision of the test drill by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. The employee who transmitted the alert said in a written statement to Hawaii that he or she believed it was an actual alert, rather than a drill, and clicked yes in response to a prompt that read: “Are you sure that you want to send this Alert?,” the FCC said in a presentation. The drill recording did not follow the standard script for a practice and included the phrase: “This is not a drill.” It ended with the phrase, “Exercise, exercise, exercise.” The officer who issued the aler..

Federal Judge Says He Cannot Ignore Trump’s ‘Vicious’ Anti-immigrant Comments

A federal judge hearing a challenge to President Donald Trump's order to end a program protecting some young immigrants from deportation says he cannot ignore Trump's "drumbeat" of "vicious" anti-immigrant comments. "In this country, in over 230 years, this is not ordinary," Judge Nicholas Garaufis said Tuesday during a hearing in Brooklyn, N.Y. "It's extreme, it's recurring, it's vicious." The judge gave no timetable for making a ruling. Trump has called Mexicans rapists and murderers, and reportedly said Haitians have AIDS. He also allegedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as "s---hole" countries. A number of plaintiffs are suing to stop Trump from eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants known as Dreamers who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Many Dreamers have jobs, attend school and own businesses; some have served in the military. Trump ..


Atlanta hospital opens mobile ER to handle flu cases

As the flu epidemic overwhelms Georgia, one Atlanta hospital has set up a mobile unit to handle flu patients.Original Article
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