Sweden tests road that charges e-cars while they’re driving
— In the first of its kind, the Scandinavian country is trialling the world’s first public road which allows electric vehicles to recharge while driving. Similar to a slot-car track, vehicles are able to connect to an electric rail that’s embedded into the road.
Sprint, T-Mobile to merger in new test of US appetite for monopolies
— T-Mobile and Sprint announced a deal to merge their two companies Sunday, setting up another test of the Trump administration’s approach to corporate mega-deals.
— The agreement to combine the nation’s third-and fourth-largest wireless carriers comes after several false starts over the years, including discussions last year that failed to produce a deal. If approved by federal regulators, the merged company would have about 127 million customers, making it competitive with market leaders Verizon and AT&T.
— It’s unclear how the deal will fare at the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission. Under the Obama administration, top officials at both agencies expressed resistance to a merger of the two companies in 2014 due to competition concerns.
>>> The Communications Workers of America, a union for telecommunication workers, has said the merger will cost at least 20,000 US jobs and reduce competition in wireless, bringing higher prices. —The Guardian
Judge puts Stormy lawsuit on hold
Apparently there are more serious matters pertaining to Michael Cohen…
E-waste recycling guy is resigned to serving prison time
His crime? Pissing off Microsoft.
Georgia doctor threatened to decapitate employees
— A doctor in Georgia is facing felony charges after making violent threats to employees at her medical practice.
— Dr. Marian Antoinette Patterson, according to a license suspension order, yelled expletives at employees in her office and repeatedly threatened to “slit their throats.”
— The order states she told another employee she was going to “cut her” from her “throat to private parts.” Patterson also allegedly threatened to cut another employee’s head off, “roll it down a hallway” and “call the employee’s children so that they could see it.”
–Patterson could have been “under the influence” (No kidding!) more than once at her practice, according to the order.
Congressional clown: Trump deserves Nobel Peace Prize
— Republican Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana is gathering support from his colleagues in Congress to nominate so-called President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.
— Messer’s push follows an announcement from that South Korean and North Korea had made vague promises about a peace treaty.
Editor’s note: Messer is one of them there “privatizing” Republicans. He was instrumental in “leasing” Indiana’s toll roads to a company he had undisclosed ties with. Hmm.
> He’s a school voucher guy, has a top rating from the NRA and anti-abortion groups, is an Obamacare repealer and climate change luddite. During his run for office, he failed to disclose two arrests for drunken driving that occurred when he was in his 20s.
> Messer ran for office with a promise to “stop the reckless spending” in government. His wife, it turns out, is paid a $20,000 a month “consulting fee” by an Indianapolis suburb, for work she does for them in Washington. Cozy!
> According to the website 538, Messer votes with Trump on 93% of the issues. His district went for Trump by a 40% margin.
Suspected serial killer wheeled into court
In 2017, DNA search for California serial killer led to the wrong man
— An Oregon police officer working at the request of California investigators persuaded a judge in March 2017 to order a 73-year-old man in a nursing home to provide a DNA sample.
— The Oregon City man is in declining health and was unable to answer questions Friday about the case.
— His daughter said authorities never notified her before swabbing her father for DNA in his bed a rehabilitation center, but once they told her afterward she understood and worked with them to eliminate people who conceivably could be the killer.
Undermining the Electoral College
Connecticut lawmakers pass bill to give
Electoral College nod to winner of popular vote
— The Connecticut state House passed a measure Thursday that would give the state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who won the popular vote, if enough states promise to do the same.
— The bill would have the state join an interstate compact that grants participating states’ votes to candidates who wins the popular vote.
— However, the compact doesn’t go into effect until enough states join for the group to have 270 electoral votes – the amount a presidential candidate must earn to win the Electoral College.
— Ten states have joined the group so far, representing a total of 165 electoral votes.
TODAY’S DOG & PONY SHOW
Korean “Summit” a photo op with zero substance
— A handshake across the world’s most heavily fortified border. A lengthy conversation on a bridge, beyond the range of microphones. Longstanding enemies on a divided peninsula calling for peace after a year of threats.
— Friday’s summit meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea was a master class in diplomatic stagecraft, with each scene arranged for its power as political theater and broadcast live. In a perilous standoff that has resisted solutions, it was these images that offered hope, much more than the actual results from the meeting — vague pledges to work toward nuclear disarmament and a peace treaty.
No prescription needed
Trump’s doctor ran a “grab and go” pharmacy at White House
— “We would just hand them out,” said one former staffer who worked for Jackson. “They’d come in and say, ‘Hey, can I have an Ambien?’ And we would just hand them out. Without having to sign a thing. We all had a huge problem with it.”
— “People in the unit can pick it up and hand it out to staffers,” said another source. “Jackson himself is directing people to do that.”
>>> Maybe that’s why…
Trump can’t seem to implement an opioid strategy
14 prison workers (& no corrections officers)
face corruption charges after S. Carolina prison riot
Courthouse News Service
Interesting, isn’t it, that the low-status workers found themselves charged while prison guards … oh, never mind.
— Two weeks after a prison riot left seven men dead in South Carolina, 14 prison employees appeared in court in shackles to face federal corruption charges.
— Thecharges include bribery, smuggling and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said that inmates used cellphones in the prison to direct crimes outside the walls.
— The 14 former employees include a nurse, ground workers and food service workers: None were corrections officers.
Geneology web sites helped identify suspect in Golden State Killer case
— Sacramento investigators tracked down East Area Rapist suspect Joseph James DeAngelo using genealogical websites that contained genetic information from a relative.
— The painstaking process began with using DNA from one of the crime scenes and comparing it to genetic profiles available online.
— Officials explored online family trees to find potential suspects.
>>> Question: Can cops just troll your DNA data?
Paintball war erupts in Detroit
— Police are sending out warnings after multiple paintball shootings were reported around the city Wednesday night.
— Reports emerged on social media showing a trail of cars, property and people that had been sprayed with paintballs. It appears to be part of an organized campaign to stop violence and get people to put down their real guns but is scaring those it’s meant to inspire.
— Tiffany Brockington’s father had a paintball gun pointed right at him. She tweeted about it that night.
— “This is how folks end up dead — joking around. A child just pulled their paintball rifle on my Father. The very worst could have happened.”
EU to ban bee-killing pesticides
— The EU on Friday backed an almost total ban on insecticides blamed for killing off bee populations, in a move hailed by environmentalists as a “beacon of hope”.
— Bees help pollinate 90 percent of the world’s major crops, but in recent years have been dying off from “colony collapse disorder,” a mysterious scourge blamed partly on pesticides.
— European Union countries voted for a ban on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides in fields, meaning that they can only now be used in covered greenhouses where they cannot get into the environment.
Bad news for human programmers: Robo-Coder
–Tired of writing your own boring code for new software? Finally, there’s an AI that can do it for you.
— BAYOU is an deep learning tool that basically works like a search engine for coding: tell it what sort of program you want to create with a couple of keywords, and it will spit out java code that will do what you’re looking for, based on its best guess.
— The tool was developed by a team of computer scientists from Rice University who received funding both from the military and Google.
— Basically, BAYOU read the source code for about 1500 Android apps, which comes out to 100 million lines of Java. All that code was fed through BAYOU’s neural net, resulting in AI that can, yes, program other software.
— Did Paul Ryan think the House chaplain was a meddlesome priest? Father Pat Conroy says that two weeks ago, the House speaker asked for his resignation but did not provide a reason.
–Democrats believe the priest, who was nominated by John Boehner in 2011, was forced out over a November prayer in which he mentioned the GOP tax bill and said the efforts of lawmakers should result in “benefits balanced and shared by all Americans” instead of “winners and losers.”
— House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley says Ryan’s move was “reprehensible.” That Conroy “be the first chaplain of the House of Representatives to be fired in the history of the United States is just outrageous,” he says.
Will Cohen flip on Trump?
It will cost a fortune to defend himself against the federal probe, and his finances are shaky
— In the two weeks since federal agents seized the files of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and fixer, a question has hovered: Will Cohen cooperate with investigators?
— His decision could depend in part on whether he can readily shoulder the enormous legal fees required to fight a federal probe of this magnitude.
— A taxi business he and his wife built is deeply in debt and losing money daily, his commercial real estate is throwing off only modest income, and his legal and consulting work is on hold while he remains under investigation.
Sarah Sanders, vampire
“She’s a calm, competent professional. She may lie, but she’s just a lot more unflappable and calm when she’s doing it.”
— Sanders possesses a unique talent: She can deaden a room. You almost have to be in the White House briefing room, a claustrophobic space packed tight with reporters and photographers, to appreciate her art. When the bright lights are on and the cameras are snapping and everyone is yelling, “Sarah! Sarah!” with their hands in the air, a palpable electricity flows through it. The moment Sanders unleashes her trademark monotone, the energy drains.