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US Sends Aircraft Carrier to Deter Alleged Planned Iran Attack

ABC News – The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to “clear indications” Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, a U.S. official said.

Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” | go to source

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737 Max Safety Issue Hidden from Public by Boinf

Seeking Alpha – Boeing (NYSE:BA) knew for more than a year before telling regulators and airlines that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the 737 MAX, instead of standard as on earlier 737s, but insists the missing display is not a safety risk.

It was only after the second MAX crash, in Ethiopia, that Boeing became more forthcoming with airlines about the problem, industry and government officials say. | go to source

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US Gas Prices on the Rise

ABC News – The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 5 cents a gallon (3.8 liters) over the past two weeks, to $2.97.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that gas prices have spiked 66 cents since early January. | go to source

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US-China Trade War Negotiations Heat Up, and That’s a Good Thing

ABC News – American and Chinese trade negotiators met Wednesday for talks on their bruising tariff war after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. side might be moving toward a decision on whether to make a deal with Beijing.

Wednesday’s atmosphere appeared amicable. Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, along with China’s economic czar, Vice Premier Liu He, smiled for photos and shook hands after their one-day meeting. | go to source

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US Treasury Secretary Says US-China Trade Resolution Coming Soon

CNBC – When asked about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s suggestion that the White House could announce an agreement with Beijing in the next two weeks, the top Trump advisor said, “I think that’s fair.”  “Someone asked me how long is the negotiation going to go on and I don’t have a specific answer to that,” he said at the Milken Institute Global Conference. “It won’t go on forever. I think at some point in any negotiation you realize: ‘OK: we’re close to getting something done so we’re going to keep going.’ On the other hand, at some point you just throw your hands up and say ‘you know this is never going to get anywhere.’ | go to source

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US Afghan War Vet Plotted to Blow Up White Supremacist Rally in Revenge of Christchurch

Al Jazeera – A US veteran of the war in Afghanistan, who prosecutors say plotted to detonate a bomb at a Los Angeles area rally causing mass casualties, has been taken into custody following an FBI online sting operation, federal prosecutors said on Monday.  Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a US Army infantryman who served time in Afghanistan and later converted to Islam, was taken into custody on Friday after being given what he thought was a live explosive device to use in the attack, federal prosecutors said in a written statement. | go to source

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Did This Whale Found in Norway Come to Spy for Russia? The Whale’s Go-Pro Says Maybe

BBC – A beluga whale found off Norway’s coast wearing a special Russian harness was probably trained by the Russian navy, a Norwegian expert says.  Marine biologist Prof Audun Rikardsen said the harness had a GoPro camera holder and a label sourcing it to St Petersburg. A Norwegian fisherman managed to remove it from the whale.  He said a Russian fellow scientist had told him that it was not the sort of kit that Russian scientists would use. | go to source

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Not Since the US First Landed on the Moon Have Jobless Claims Reached Such Lows

CNBC -The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a 49-1/2-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth.  Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 196,000 for the week ended April 6, the lowest level since early October 1969. Claims have now declined for four straight weeks. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported. | go to source

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1 Dead, 3 Injured In California Synagogue Terror Attack

Fox News – A 19-year-old man armed with an assault-type rifle opened fire inside a Southern California synagogue on Saturday as worshipers prepared to celebrate the last day of Passover, killing a woman and injuring three others, authorities said.  An unidentified off-duty border patrol agent who was inside Chabad of Poway synagogue fired at the shooter – identified later as John Earnest – missing him, but striking his getaway vehicle, authorities said. | go to source

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Smoking Workers Face Accusations, Ire, in Wake of Notre Dame Fire

Express UK – A spokesman for the firm Le Bras Frères told Reuters that some workers of its Europe Echafaudage scaffolding branch had “sometimes” smoked on the scaffolding, despite a strict ban on site.   Marc Eskenazi said some workers “had admitted in front of the police that they did smoke from time to time,” confirming a report in the satirical French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné.  “We condemn it. But the fire started inside the building… so for Le Bras this is not a hypothesis, it was not a cigarette butt that set Notre Dame de Paris on fire,” he continued | go to source

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Indian Teen Girl Survives 12 Story Fall

Mirror UK – Surat, India –  A 13-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after plummeting 12 storeys when she lost her balance at a block of flats.  Hetal Saroli had leaned over to look at her schoolfriends on the street below, before suddenly falling towards the ground.  She crashed into the roof of a bike shed below, which appeared to have broken her fall. | go to source

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Kim Un Shuffles to Bear Country to Tangle with Putin

CBS News – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia by train on Wednesday, a day before his much-anticipated summit with President Vladimir Putin. The visit comes as Kim’s recently-feverish diplomacy with the Trump administration, aimed at ridding the North Korean regime of its nuclear weapons, remains deadlocked. | go to source

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Twitter and Trump Meet, Literally, Behind Closed Doors, Dorsey to Donald

Motherboard – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, along with other Twitter executives, is having a closed-door meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, according to an internal Twitter email obtained by Motherboard from two independent sources. The meeting comes after an invitation from the White House, the email adds….The meeting lasted 30 minutes, and touched on “the health of the public conversation on Twitter,” according to an internal Twitter email obtained by Motherboard. | go to source

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Trump Accepts Elizabeth’s Invitation to Tea, UK Prepares for More Trump Balloons

Buzzfeed –  Donald Trump Will Be Hosted By Queen Elizabeth On A State Visit To The UK On June 3-5   President Trump will be hosted by Queen Elizabeth on a state visit to the UK this summer, during which he will also attend major D-Day commemoration events in Britain and France. Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday that the president and first lady will be guests of the queen during the visit between June 3 and 5, and he will also hold talks with prime minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street. | go to source

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The Trumpeachment Dem Dilemma

Democrats are still grasping for an effective response to Robert Mueller’s report after leaving an opening for President Donald Trump to mount a furious and fact-twisting weekend victory lap.  –  CNN | go to source

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Redstate Dems Fear Trumpeachment Will End Them

Vulnerable House Democrats, mindful of President Donald Trump’s continued strength among Republican voters, are using caution in how they respond to the special counsel’s report, which detailed Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation into Russian efforts to help him win the White House.  More than 30 Democratic representatives, many of whom are in their first term, represent districts that supported Trump in 2016. The party’s chances of keeping control of the U.S. House of Representatives likely hinge its ability to defend those seats.  –  Reuters | go to source

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Dems Weigh Trumpeachment At the Highest Levels of the Party

Top congressional Democrats left the door open on Sunday to the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump, but said they would first need to complete their own investigations into whether he obstructed justice in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.  Some party leaders have cautioned against impeachment just 18 months before the 2020 presidential election, although prominent liberals have demanded the start of proceedings to remove Trump from office since the release on Thursday of a redacted version of Mueller’s report.  –  Reuters | go to source

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Did Mueller Report Prove Trump Tried to Axe Him?

Public at last, special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller’s removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president. Trump was largely thwarted by those around him who refused to go along.  – Miami Herald | go to source

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The Grand Ole Elephant Don’t Have No Time For Roy Moore, Even If the Voters Do

Republicans in Washington are dead set against Judge Roy Moore being the party’s Senate nominee in Alabama next year and say they will do whatever is possible to prevent that from happening.  Moore is expected to announce a decision soon on whether to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), a top Republican target, and a new poll shows him leading a field of possible GOP Senate candidates.  – The Hill | go to source

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Is Alabama About to Outlaw All Abortions?

The Alabama House Health Committee has approved a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state.  The measure, which would criminalize abortions in all cases unless the health of the pregnant person was in danger, passed via voice vote in the committee on Wednesday, according to reports. The committee approval will allow for the House to vote on the bill. – The Hill | go to source

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Suspect in Louisiana Church Arson Faces Hate Crime Charges

Three additional charges were lodged against the son of a sheriff’s deputy accused of burning down three predominately black churches in southern Louisiana in the past few weeks.  A Louisiana judge added three federal hate crime charges against Holden Matthews, 21, and denied him bond on Monday, multiple media accounts reported, including CBS News. – Reuters | go to source

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South Struck with Deadly Tornadoes, Storms, with 4 Fatalities

Extreme weather has affected much of the south and southwest thia week, with four fatalities attributed to the storms.
Tornadoes slam South, killing at least 4 people as severe threat expands north – Fox News
At least 4 people were killed — including 2 children — after powerful storms roared through the South on Saturday, spawning multiple tornadoes in several states as the threat for severe weather expands north on Sunday. The Angelina County Sheriff’s Office in Texas said an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old died when strong winds toppled a tree onto the back of their family’s car in Lufkin, located about 115 miles northeast of Houston. | go to source

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Vatican Unveils the 28 Steps of Christ for First Time in 300 Years

The stair of Pontius Pilate that tradition holds Christ walked before the trial that would ultimately condemn him have been unveiled for the first time in over 300 years.
Stairs Believed to Have Been Climbed by Jesus Prior to His Crucifixion Unveiled in Rome   CBN.com
ABC News reports after more than a year of restoration, the 28 steps of the “Scala Sancta,” or Holy Stairs, of the Pontifical Shrine in Rome, was unveiled by the Vatican Thursday.
The stairs have not been seen without their wooden protection for almost 300 years. Their opening comes just in time as thousands of people will visit Rome and the Vatican for Easter.  | go to source

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You Might Still Get to Be a Toys R Us Kid

CNN – The company said it is considering “a new, operating Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us branding company,” the filing said. The plan would “create new, domestic, retail operating businesses under the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us names, as well as expand its international presence and further develop its private brands business.”The details of when and how the brand would be brought back to life were not disclosed. | go to source

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Zombie Deer is Good Eats, Docs Say

NY Post – Researchers examined about 80 people who’ve feasted on the meat of deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease — a fatal illness that causes zombie-like behavior in the animals and could spread to humans — and found over the course of the six-year study “no significant changes in health conditions,” USA Today reported on Thursday. | go to source

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Camel Sacrifice Ritual of Siberians Caught on Video

Independent UK – The video, shot in January in the Siberian town of Angarsk, shows the five camels being led, one by one, through a human corridor of several dozen drummers. Their slaughter is not shown on camera. Instead, the footage cuts to show their corpses being set alight.  | go to source

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Monster Turtle Missing in New Mexican Desert – AP News

AP News – ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman is on a desperate hunt for her disappearing pet that can’t run fast and can’t be missed — a 100-pound tortoise.
KOB-TV reports Dusty the Turtle went missing earlier this month in Roswell, New Mexico after strong winds knocked open a gate that housed him. | go to source