Huge “Remain” march, and maybe public vote,
planned for March as Brexit crash-out nears
— Campaigners against Theresa May’s “my deal or no deal” Brexit strategy are planning to mobilise the public and politicians for a showdown over the UK’s future in Europe in the final six days before Britain is due to leave the EU.
Beginning to look like Jussie Smollett attack was fake
— The two brothers who were interrogated by police investigating the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett purchased the rope that was found around the “Empire” actor’s neck, sources told ABC News Saturday.
— Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo agreed to cooperate with authorities after detectives confronted them with evidence that they bought the rope — allegedly used in an attack that Smollett described to police as laced with racial and homophobic slurs — at an ACE Hardware store, sources said.
— Detectives have now shifted the investigation to determining whether Smollett made up the entire story.
>>> Arrested Nigerian Brothers in Jussie Smollett Case Both Filed for Bankruptcy After Mounting Debt
Gov. Phil Murphy and state legislative leaders have reached a deal in principle on how to tax and regulate marijuana in New Jersey after months of negotiations, paving the way to bringing legal weed to the Garden State.
First of many legal challenges filed over fake National Emergency
— Public Citizen, a consumer rights think tank, filed the complaint Friday evening on behalf of a nature preserve and three landowners in southern Texas who’ve been told the government will seek to build sections of the wall on their property once funding becomes available.
Police: Gunman who killed 5 civilians, wounded 5 cops was being fired
— An Aurora, Illinois man who was in the process of being fired from his job started a shooting spree in his workplace Friday afternoon that killed five employees, wounded five police officers and another civilian, and ended with his own death.
— The shooting occurred in the 29,000-square-foot Henry Pratt manufacturing warehouse at 641 Archer Ave.
— Authorities said the shooter began firing a Smith & Wesson handgun either during or shortly after an afternoon meeting in which he was being terminated from a job he held for 15 years.
— Police Chief Kristen Ziman identified the shooter as Gary Martin, 45, of Aurora. She said he acted alone.
20-year sentence looms for Manafort
— Prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller said in a new court filing that President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort should serve between 19.5 and 24.5 years in prison for the financial crimes for which he was convicted in a Virginia court last August.
Kaepernick’s collusion settlement with NFL: $60 million?
— The NFL and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced Friday that they have reached a settlement over Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit, The Washington Post reports. Kaepernick had sued the league after he was apparently blacklisted from playing football due to his protests during the national anthem; he has been out of the sport for the past two seasons.
— While the terms of the settlement were not revealed, and the resolution is subject to a confidentiality agreement, NFL columnist Mike Freeman reported that “team officials are speculating to me [that] the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 million to $80 million range.”
SPECIAL NATIONAL EMERGENCY REPORTING ….
Now here’s a real emergency:
Don’t travel to Haiti, US advises
And so it begins, the push to get Clarence Thomas to retire
The New Yorker
… The more complex drama involves Clarence Thomas, who is seventy years old and the longest-tenured Associate Justice on the Court. With fifty-three Republicans now in the Senate (and no filibusters allowed on Supreme Court nominations), Trump would have a free hand in choosing a dream candidate for his conservative base if Thomas were to retire this year.
How a no-deal Brexit could lead to One Ireland
… the increasing possibility that Britain will leave the European Union on March 29 without an agreement has rallied both moderates and extremists in the united-Ireland camp behind renewed talk of a single Irish state.
… And lurking in the background of the debate is the possibility that the imposition of a hard border between north and south, with physical checkpoints, could reignite the violence that largely ended in 1998 — fears that were underscored by a recent car bombing in Londonderry and several hoaxes.
… But the idea of Northern Ireland breaking from the United Kingdom in order to stay in the European Union is spurring fresh debates across the city. Taxi drivers joke that they will soon be taking payments in euros. Pro-Irish unity campaigners are discussing how to persuade opponents of the virtues of an all-island Irish state.
… A significant demographic shift also looms. Protestants held a narrow edge on Catholics in population when the last census was taken, in 2011. But Protestants dominate among the oldest age group, while younger people are more likely to be Catholic, heralding what experts say will soon be a Catholic majority.
Colorado dude describes his bare-handed fight with mountain lion
— As a cat owner, he realized that if he pinned the mountain lion’s back legs, the animal would be a bit more vulnerable. So he did that. Then he tried to stab the cat with some sticks, hit it on the head with a “big rock,” and then stepped on the animal’s neck to suffocate it. That did the trick, although Kauffman said it was “unfortunately” killed. Other trail-goers then took him to the hospital and went and fetched his car.
— “My face was just kind of a bloody mess,” Kauffman said. He received 17 stitches across his cheek, 6 stitches on his nose, 2 stitches on his other cheek, and three stitches on his wrist. “I’m about a week out, and I feel great.”
Book: Sessions said drunken Micks fit in well with FBI
— In one particularly shocking exchange, Sessions reportedly told McCabe the FBI was a better organization when “you all only hired Irishmen.” Drawing on archaic and offensive stereotypes, he clarified, “They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos—who knows what they’re doing?”
— McCabe also noted that electronic tablets used to deliver the daily presidential brief to Sessions came back with no sign that he had even entered the passcode to view the important document. He not only failed to read other intelligence reports but also got confused between classified material and information he read in newspaper clippings.
Secret deals and empty promises
A study of Texas business incentives
Casts doubt on the whole process
… after politicians stage photo ops of company announcements, little is done to make sure companies are complying with these agreements.
Texts Show Portland Cops, right-wingers were cozy
Majority of Californians want to move away, poll finds
— According to a new survey by Edelman Intelligence, 53 percent of Californians are considering moving out of state due to the high cost of living. Millennials are even more likely to flee the Golden State — 63 percent.
— Bay Area residents surveyed were especially sensitive to affordability issues, and it’s no surprise. The median home value in San Francisco is $1.37 million, according to Zillow, and $1.09 million in San Jose. In Edelman’s survey, 76 percent of Bay Area residents say they consider cost and availability of housing to be a serious issue.
—-> So … nearly a quarter of the people in the Bay Area DON’T think it’s a problem having fixer-uppers priced over $1 million?
Amazon’s federal tax rate: Less than zero
— Amazon, which doubled its profits and made more than $11 billion in 2018, won’t pay any federal income taxes for the second year in a row, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported on Wednesday.
— The company will not be required to pay the standard 21 percent income tax rate on its 2018 profits, and is claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which ITEP describes as a “a tax rate of negative 1 percent.”
This Website Uses AI to Generate the Faces of People Who Don’t Exist
— Doing this requires some super-expensive and powerful hardware, but now there’s a website that bypasses that requirement: generating a fancy new face is as easy as refreshing your browser with the aptly-named thispersondoesnotexist.com. Every time you load the page, an algorithm generates a new human face from scratch.
— The website uses an implementation of machine learning known as Generative Adversarial Networks, or GANs. These programs “learn” from a large number of training inputs—say, real human faces—in order to produce new examples. Thispersondoesnotexist.com uses code previously released by Nvidia researchers on GitHub.
NFL begs NBA czar: Come run our league
> He says forget about it.
— NBA revenues have increased from $4.8 billion to a projected $9.1 billion in Silver’s five years. Team valuations have increased by 267 percent, from an average of $509 million in 2013 to $1.9 billion in the latest Forbes Magazine valuations.
— The NBA has been a vanguard in embracing esports, legalized sports betting, allowing patch advertisements on jerseys, reform of the draft lottery and rules changes to improve game flow and referee accountability.
Trump to declare himself a national emergency
> Coward McConnell caves, and so-called Senate will bow and scrape.
> An attempt to go around Congress in funding the so-called Wall.
— “It’s a bad idea because it’s a bad precedent,” said a Senate Republican on the Armed Services Committee. “The most likely or maybe only fund he can allocate from is the [military construction] fund and that hits readiness and a lot of the military installations.”
Some suspect “Empire” actor of staging attack
— Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
— Multiple sources have told ABC7 Eyewitness News that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of “Empire.”