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Flynn was warned by Trump transition officials about contacts with Russian ambassador – Washington Post

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by senior members of President Trump’s transition team about the risks of his contacts with the Russian ambassador weeks before the December call that led to Flynn’s forced resignation, current and former U.S. officials said. Flynn was told during a late November meeting that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s conversations were almost certainly being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, officials said, a caution…

Texas officer who killed black teenager leaving party is charged with murder – Washington Post

Saturday, May 06, 2017

A Texas police officer who shot and killed a 15-year-old high school freshman last weekend has been charged with murder, according to news reports. Roy Oliver, a patrol officer in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, has not been arrested, but a judge signed a murder warrant Friday afternoon and his bond has been set at $300,000, according to the Dallas Morning News. Oliver, who had been with the department…

Mark Green withdraws as Trump’s Army secretary nominee, citing ‘false and misleading attacks’ – Washington Post

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Trump administration’s second Army secretary nominee withdrew from consideration Friday amid mounting opposition to past comments he made about Islam, evolution and gender issues. Mark E. Green, a firebrand Republican state senator in Tennessee and veteran of the Iraq War, said there can be no distractions in overseeing the military and blamed “false and misleading attacks against him” in a statement provided to the media. The Pentagon and the…

Health care is now set to be a defining issue in next election cycles – Washington Post

Friday, May 05, 2017

With one hasty and excruciatingly narrow vote, House Republicans have all but guaranteed that health care will be one of the most pivotal issues shaping the next two election cycles — from congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races in the 2018 midterms to President Trump’s likely reelection bid in 2020. Just as Democrats were forced to defend Obamacare in the 2010 midterms — the result was a coast-to-coast drubbing that…

White House fires its chief usher — the first woman in that job – Washington Post

Friday, May 05, 2017

The White House has fired its chief usher, Angella Reid, the first woman and second African American to hold the position. When the White House residence staff arrived at work Friday morning, they were told that Reid was no longer employed, according to someone with knowledge of the dismissal. A White House official confirmed that Reid is no longer working at the White House. “We are very grateful for her service…

18 frat members, fraternity charged in Penn State student’s death – Chicago Tribune

Friday, May 05, 2017

A Penn State University fraternity pledge had toxic levels of alcohol in his body and was badly injured in a series of falls, authorities said Friday in announcing criminal charges for his death against 18 members of the organization and the fraternity itself. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said a grand jury investigation, greatly aided by security camera footage from the Beta Theta Pi chapter house, found that…

Rape charge dropped against undocumented Maryland student – CNN

Friday, May 05, 2017

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Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia investigators in letter – CNN

Friday, May 05, 2017

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Blue Ella review: freaky design meets superior sound – The Verge

Friday, May 05, 2017

Even if you’ve never heard of Blue as a company, you’ll have no doubt heard its microphones at some point in your explorations of the web. The Blue Yeti has established itself as the favorite mic of podcasters around the world, and in recent times it’s been making inroads among game streamers and aspiring musicians. Like fellow American brand Shure, Blue is a company with a rich tradition of making…

The Amazing Story of KISS Guitarist Paul Stanley’s Missing Ear, and the Doctor Who Reconstructed It – Variety

Friday, May 05, 2017

KISS frontman Paul Stanley is mourning the death of a man who played a pivotal part in shaping the sound of his band and ensuring a long career for the guitarist. New Hampshire’s Dr. Frederic Rueckert, who died on May 4, treated the rocker for a congenital ear deformity called Grade 3 Microtia back in 1982. Stanley was born with the condition, which left the external ear underdeveloped and essentially deaf….

Twitterstorm: why British birdsong is vital to music – The Guardian (blog)

Friday, May 05, 2017

Nightingales have played the unwitting muse to human poets, playwrights and composers for centuries, from Shakespeare and Hardy to Coleridge and Tchaikovsky. Last year, Nitin Sawhney received a front-row performance from one such feathered troubadour during the making of TV show The Animal Symphony – an experience the initially sceptical composer described to me as “a revelation”. This month, the organisers behind the UK’s National nightingale festival are hoping to…

America’s Protected Natural Areas Are Polluted, By Noise – NPR

Friday, May 05, 2017

Cars line up at the south entrance to Zion National Park in Utah, bringing with them the urban soundscape. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Cars line up at the south entrance to Zion National Park in Utah, bringing with them the urban soundscape. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images There are thousands of parks, refuges and wilderness areas in the U.S. that…

GOP Cheers a Big Victory. But Has It Stirred a ‘Hornet’s Nest’? – New York Times

Friday, May 05, 2017

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U.S. Job Gains Rebound; Unemployment Falls to Pre-Crisis Low – Bloomberg

Friday, May 05, 2017

U.S. payroll gains rebounded in April by more than forecast and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 4.4 percent, signaling that the labor market remains healthy and should support continued increases in consumer spending. The 211,000 increase followed a 79,000 advance in March that was lower than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 190,000 gain. While…

North Korea Accuses US and South Korea of Plotting to Kill Kim Jong-un – New York Times

Friday, May 05, 2017

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Trump’s forbidden love: Single-payer health care – Washington Post

Friday, May 05, 2017

President Trump claimed a victory Thursday after the House approved a more free-market approach to health care. Then he capped it off by praising a country with government-run, universal health care. Alongside Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at an event in New York, Trump reflected on what the House had just done. He took the occasion to bash Obamacare as being terrible, and then he turned to Turnbull. “We have…

Yeager Airport Crash: Two Killed When Cargo Plane Hits Hillside in West Virginia – NBCNews.com

Friday, May 05, 2017

Two people were killed when a cargo plane veered off an airport runway Friday morning and crashed into the hillside in Charleston, West Virginia, authorities said. Preliminary reports suggest the twin-engine turboprop — identified as a Short 330 — made a hard landing with one of the wings striking the runway at Yeager Airport and causing the plane to cartwheel. “The aircraft hit the runway before the runway actually began,”…

America’s Protected Natural Areas Are Polluted, By Noise – NPR

Friday, May 05, 2017

Cars line up at the south entrance to Zion National Park in Utah, bringing with them the urban soundscape. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Cars line up at the south entrance to Zion National Park in Utah, bringing with them the urban soundscape. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images There are thousands of parks, refuges and wilderness areas in the U.S. that…

Late-night hosts blast Republican health-care bill: ‘Those ramifications are disastrous’ – Washington Post

Friday, May 05, 2017

Seth Meyers on “Late Night.” (screengrab via YouTube/NBC) On Thursday, House Republicans passed a controversial bill to replace Obamacare. The bill now heads to the Senate, though as you might imagine, several late-night hosts already have some thoughts on the topic. There were lots of jokes, but some also took a more serious approach. [House Republicans claim a major victory with passage of health-care overhaul] “In reality, Trump will not be…

France 2017: Europe’s most decisive election of the year – Washington Post

Friday, May 05, 2017

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen. (Eric Feferberg/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images; Olivier Hoslet/European Pressphoto Agency). European elections countdown: In this occasional series, we take a look at what is at stake in key European elections this year.  One outcome of the French presidential election on Sunday is certain: Europe won’t be the same. The choice between candidates, however, could hardly be more stark. A victory by far-right…