Wed 3.28


Sarah Huckabee Sanders— White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that there is “no discussion or consideration” of presidential pardons for former aides Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.
— The New York Times reported Wednesday that John Dowd, until recently a top member of the president’s legal team, raised in talks with attorneys for Manafort and Flynn the notion that Trump might offer them a pardon. Such talks, which reportedly took place before Manafort and Flynn were charged by Mueller’s team, could be construed as an attempt to influence whether Manafort and Flynn would cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.

— 10 legal experts on the dangers of Trump-issued pardons

Lockheed-Martin has patented a fusion reactor and …
The Drive
fusion-photo-engineer… the company could soon debut a prototype system the size of shipping container, but capable of powering 80,000 homes.
— In 2014, the company began working on the device at its Skunk Works in Palmdale, Calif. Dr. Thomas McGuire, head of the project, said the goal was to have a working reactor in five years and production worthy design within 10.

Atlanta fairly well (still!) screwed by malware
Atlanta Journal Constitution
> The Municipal Court does not have the ability to process ticket payments — online or in person. All scheduled court appearances will be reset. Reset notices will be mailed.
>  Atlanta 311 systems are down. Customers must apply for water service in person at one of the two walk in locations.
> Applications for new employment are suspended.
> The Department of Parks and Recreation is manually reviewing permits and event applications.

Canada to go full-legal on pot within months
The Independent
— “We’re working closely with the senate and we feel confident, at this time, in that timeline of end of summer that we’re going to see a regime that will control and legalise cannabis.”
— Mark Holland, parliamentary secretary for the minister of public safety.

Utah becomes first state to pass “free range parenting” law
The Hill
— Utah has become the first state to legalize “free-range parenting,” codifying that kids can participate in unsupervised activities without their parents facing neglect charges.
— The new law prevents parents from being considered negligent by state authorities for letting their child walk outside alone, play without supervision or wait alone in a car.
— State Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R), a sponsor on the bill, said society has become “too hyper” about protecting children and ends up sheltering them from opportunities.

China says N. Korea open to giving up nuclear weapons
Voice of America
— Kim told XI he is prepared to resolve “the issue of the denuclearization” as long as South Korea and the United States “respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability, while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” according to the Xinhua news agency.

After escaping corruption charges
NJ’s Menendez seeks new term in Senate
Newark Star-Ledger
— Menendez spent 11 weeks last year battling charges that he traded political favors for luxury vacations, flights on private jets and $600,000 in political donations from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor and longtime friend. The trial ended in a hung jury, and prosecutors decided to drop the case in January.

Filing: Trump campaign aide Gates
knew he was dealing with Russian spies

Vice News
– The Mueller inquiry has obviously flipped Rick Gates, and that is very bad news for the Trump claim that his campaign did not collude with Russians.

Trump “obsessed” with making trouble for Amazon
> His real-estate buddies blame Amazon for the sagging value of their shopping malls.
> Bezos-owned Washington Post pisses him off.
> He believes (contrary to both fact and common sense) that the Postal Service is being hurt by Amazon.

Cost of raising a child in the US just keeps growing
The Conversation (with charts)
— The cost of having children in the U.S. has grown exponentially since the 1960s, when the government first started collecting data on childhood expenditures. Between 2000 and 2010, the cost shot up by 40 percent.
— As of 2015, American parents spend, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college. This number covers everything from housing and food to childcare and transportation costs. As a mother myself, as well as a sociologist who studies families, I have experienced firsthand the unexpected costs associated with having a child.

Uber, Arizona governor, had a secret deal
The Guardian
— Arizona’s governor repeatedly encouraged Uber’s controversial experiment with autonomous cars in the state, enabling a secret testing program for self-driving vehicles with limited oversight from experts, according to hundreds of emails obtained by the Guardian.
— The emails between Uber and governor Doug Ducey reveal how Uber began testing self-driving cars in Phoenix in August 2016 without informing the public.
>>>>> Uber cheaped out on safety sensor
When Uber decided in 2016 to retire its fleet of self-driving Ford Fusion cars in favor of Volvo sport utility vehicles, it also chose to scale back on one notable piece of technology: the safety sensors used to detect objects in the road.

Implications for cancer treatment
All about the interstitium, the organ you never knew you had

… researchers found that in patients with some types of malignant cancers, cells could leave the tissues where they originated and leak into these channels, eventually contaminating the lymphatic system. “Once they get in, it’s like they’re on a water slide,” the pathologist told New Scientist. “We have a new window on the mechanism of tumor spread.”
— With further analysis of the fluid traveling across the interstitium, the researchers hope they may be able to detect cancer much earlier than they can today.

Where have we heard this kind of thing before?
Owner of fire-trap Russian mall
blames “ethnic teenagers” 
for starting the blaze
Moscow Times
mallfireowner— The mall’s jailed owner said: “These teenagers were of different nationalities, I can’t say which nationality exactly, but with a black beard, like those worn by [people] of the Chechen, Caucasus, nationality.” One of them “looked like a gypsy and we can describe him very clearly.”
— BUT …  Russia’s top investigator said an electrical short-circuit was the leading theory for the cause of the fire, naming arson a less likely possibility.
— Forty-one children were among the 64 victims of the fire that swept through the Winter Cherry shopping mall in the city of Kemerovo.




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