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Sasse Warns Trump That National Emergency Could Set Dangerous Precedent

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 18:25

Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Friday warned President Trump that his national emergency declaration may set a dangerous precedent that will be exploited by a future Democratic administration.In a statement provided to National Review, Sasse endorsed President Trump’s claim that a lack of attention to security has created a “crisis” at the southern border, but warned that resolving the issue through a national-emergency declaration would prove counterproductive for conservatives in the future.“We absolutely have a crisis at the border, but as a Constitutional conservative I don’t want a future Democratic President unilaterally rewriting gun laws or climate policy,” Sasse said in the statement. “If we get used to presidents just declaring an emergency any time they can’t get what they want from Congress, it will be almost impossible to go back to a Constitutional system of checks and balances. Over the past decades, the legislative branch has given away too much power and the executive branch has taken too much power.”On Thursday, Sasse joined ten fellow conservative senators in voting against the Department of Homeland Security spending bill, which provided just $1.375 billion for the construction of new barriers on the southern border, prompting Trump to declare a national emergency on Friday. In doing so, he moved to secure $3.6 billion in discretionary military funds to construct additional barriers but, as Trump acknowledged during his address, it is sure to be challenged in court.Asked after his address about conservative critics who have argued the national-emergency declaration cedes too much power to the executive and paves the way for constitutional abuses by future Democratic administrations, Trump argued that the scale of the crisis at the border should override any concern about future implications.“We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming in to our country,” he said.


It Looks Like the Land Rover Discovery SVX Is Dead

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:54

This looks like another miss from Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.


Airlines to begin adding new gender option for 'non-binary' flyers

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 16:03

Some U.S. airlines are on track to add a new gender option for “non-binary” passengers amid evolving best-practices suggestions for the industry.


Washington state snow plow rage: 2 plow drivers threatened

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 15:47

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Unusually heavy snow in the Spokane area has caused snow plow rage: Two plow drivers clearing streets this week were threatened by people infuriated when their driveways ended up blocked with mounds of snow.


The Latest: Police: Men arrested in Smollett case are black

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 15:07

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett (all times local):


More rain, snow expected in storm-battered California, following days of mudslides and floods

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:47

Californians were in clean-up mode Friday as the state slowly recovers from an onslaught of rain, wind and snow, which brought widespread flooding and mudslides.


After Auschwitz visit, Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:46

After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Pence said the Nazi death camp had made him more determined to confront Tehran, saying it was "breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe." Iran's ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel. Pence, who said he was deeply moved by his Auschwitz visit, cited Iran's stated desire to destroy Israel as justification for singling out the country, rather than focusing on anti-Semitism across the Middle East. Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in January Iran's strategy was to wipe "the Zionist regime" (Israel) off the political map, Iran's state TV reported.


Amazon invests in electric vehicle startup Rivian

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:45

Electric vehicle startup Rivian on Friday announced a $700 million investment round led by Amazon, which recently pumped money into a young self-driving car technology firm. Details of Amazon's stake in US-based Rivian were not disclosed, but the company said it will remain independent. The potential Tesla rival late last year unveiled an electric pickup truck and an electric sport utility vehicle at an auto show in Los Angeles.


NASA mulls buying new rides to space from Russia amid program delays

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:00

The U.S. space agency has since had to rely on Russia's Roscosmos program to ferry astronauts to the orbital space station at a cost of roughly $80 million per seat, NASA has said. After 2019 there are no seats available on the spacecraft for U.S. crew, and a NASA advisory panel recommended on Friday that the U.S. space program develop a contingency plan to guarantee access to the station in case technical problems delay Boeing and SpaceX any further. A NASA spokesman on Friday characterized a solicitation request NASA filed on Wednesday as a contingency plan.


President Trump's National Emergency Sets Him Up for Another Fight. He's Fine With That

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:29

Trump's national emergency is widely seen by as a "nuclear option" that will spark legal challenges and shake the balance of federal power.


Push on last IS enclave blunted by discovery of civilians

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:23

AL-OMAR OIL FIELD BASE, Syria (AP) — The offensive on the last enclave held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria has been blunted by the discovery of hundreds of civilians still living there, a commander with the Kurdish-led force fighting the extremists said Friday.


BofA Says a ‘Real’ Trade Deal Could Vault S&P 500 to Record High

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:23

The firm’s model on corporate earnings and equity valuations suggests that the market has priced in “a partial deal,” one where only some of the issues get resolved in favor of corporate America, according to strategists led by Savita Subramanian. In a best-case scenario, the S&P 500 could climb 5 percent to 10 percent when a “real deal” is struck. Companies from 3M Co. to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. have slashed their guidance this year, citing either trade tensions or weakening demand in China.


During a school lockdown, 7-year-old writes note on her arm in case she dies

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:11

A second-grader wrote a chilling note to her parents on her arm during school lockdown.


Major storm to drench West Coast through the weekend

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:04

Southern California is experiencing 10 to 12 inches of rain, which could cause flash floods and mudslides.


Honda's pickup trucks recalled because they can catch fire from car wash soap

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:56

The Honda pickup is subject to a new recall to fix faulty fuel pumps that can crack when exposed to acids in car-wash detergents.


Donald Trump's emergency declaration is an attack on democracy

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:21

Invoking a bogus emergency to build a wall Congress rejected will have long-term impacts on the rule of law.


Trump, Xi Hail Progress in Trade Talks as Tariff Deadline Nears

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:54

Trump’s comments signal the two sides may be approaching a deal after two days of high-level talks in Beijing. The two countries said they are working toward an initial written agreement, and will continue negotiations next week in Washington. “It’s going extremely well,” Trump said, referring to the negotiations that wrapped up Friday in Beijing.


Watch a space harpoon impale a piece of space debris

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:52

The U.S. government tracks 500,000 chunks and bits of space junk as they hurtle around Earth. Some 20,000 of these objects are larger than a softball.To clean up the growing mess, scientists at the University of Surrey have previously tested a net to catch chunks of debris. Now, they've successfully tested out a harpoon.The video below, released Friday by the university's space center, shows a test of the experimental RemoveDEBRIS satellite as it unleashes a harpoon at a piece of solar panel, held out on a 1.5-meter boom.The harpoon clearly impales its target. "This is RemoveDEBRIS' most demanding experiment and the fact that it was a success is testament to all involved," Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, said in a statement. Next, the RemoveDEBRIS team -- made up of a group of international collaborators -- is planning its final experiment: responsibly destroying the satellite.In March, the RemoveDEBRIS satellite will "inflate a sail that will drag the satellite into Earth's atmosphere where it will be destroyed," the university said a statement. This is how the group intends to vaporize the future dangerous debris it catches. SEE ALSO: Trump fails to block NASA's carbon sleuth from going to spaceHuman space debris hurtles around Earth faster than a speeding bullet, with debris often traveling at 17,500 mph, or faster. The threat of collisions is always present, though in some orbits the odds of an impact are significantly lower than others. The International Space Station, for instance, is in a relatively debris-free orbit, but even here there is the threat of "natural debris" -- micrometeors -- pummeling the space station.Other orbits have considerably more debris spinning around Earth. In 2009, a derelict Russian satellite slammed into a functional Iridium telecommunication satellite at 26,000 mph, resulting in an estimated 200,000 bits of debris. In 2007, the Chinese launched a missile at an old weather satellite, spraying shrapnel into Earth's orbit.This risk amplifies as more satellites are rocketed into space. SpaceX now has government-approved plans to launch thousands of its Starlink satellites into orbit -- perhaps by the mid-2020's, should they amass money for the pricey program. This would double or triple the number of satellites in orbit."It is unprecedented," said Kessler, NASA's former senior scientist for orbital debris research told Mashable. "The sheer number, that's the problem."Kessler has long warned about the potential of catastrophic chain reactions in Earth's orbit, wherein one collision creates enough weaponized debris to create a cycle of destruction. Designs to harpoon dangerous chunks of debris are just being tested in space today, but the technology could prove critical as Earth's orbit grows increasingly trafficked with large, metallic satellites.   WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?


Supermoon? Snow Moon? Full moon? Whatever you call it, a lunar spectacle is coming soon

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:47

Whether you call it full, snow or super, the biggest, brightest moon of the year is coming to a sky near you Tuesday.


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