Sneaky US plan to cut Medicaid
— Three administration sources say Trump’s lackeys are drawing up guidelines on a major overhaul of Medicaid in some states. Instead of the traditional open-ended entitlement, states would get spending limits, along with more flexibility to run the low-income health program that serves nearly 75 million Americans, from poor children, to disabled people, to impoverished seniors in nursing homes.
— Capping spending could mean fewer low-income people getting covered, or state-designated cutbacks in health benefits.

Huge overdose of fentanyl in Calif. town: 1 dead, 12 in hospital
Chico Enterprise Record
— One person is dead and four are in critical condition following apparent drug overdoses Saturday morning at a house on Santana Court in an incident that Chico police Chief Mike O’Brien described as “horrific.”
— “Every indication is that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance,” O’Brien said.
— O’Brien said though the event is tragic, and there is a possibility for more fatalities, it could have been worse without dispensing the naloxone, a drug which counteracts the effects of opioids.

White House requested plan for war on Iran
CNN/Wall Street Journal
— The White House’s National Security Council asked the Pentagon last year for plans for launching a military attack against Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported early Sunday, citing current and former US officials.
— The request from the council, which is led by national security adviser John Bolton, came after an attack in September on the US Embassy in Baghdad by a militant group aligned with Iran, according to the Journal.
…. The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the talks, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.

Cold feet on both sides — Brexit delay offered
The Guardian
— “Should the (British) prime minister survive and inform us that she needs more time to win round parliament to a deal, a technical extension up to July will be offered.”

Mountains of cheese just sitting there….
cheese— While Americans consumed nearly 37 pounds per capita in 2017, it was not enough to reduce the country’s 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The glut, which at 900,000 cubic yards is the largest in U.S. history, means that there is enough cheese sitting in cold storage to wrap around the U.S. Capitol.
— The stockpile started to build several years ago, in large part because the pace of milk production began to exceed the rates of consumption, says Andrew Novakovic, professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University.
… “What has changed — and changed fairly noticeably and fairly recently — is people are turning away from processed cheese,” Novakovic says. “It’s also the case that we’re seeing increased sales of kind of more exotic, specialty, European-style cheeses. Some of those are made in the U.S. A lot of them aren’t.”

Amateur astronomers discover strange new world that pros missed
NY Daily News
— The exoplanet, called K2-288Bb, orbits a small red star 226 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Taurus. It’s about double the size of Earth and circles its host star in the habitable zone, where liquid water and possibly life could exist …

Cops arrest woman suspected of killing nail salon owner over $35


Canada gives asylum to scared Saudi teen
rahaf-mohammed-al-qunun— TORONTO – An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family this week saying she feared for her life arrived in Toronto on Saturday after Canada granted her asylum, according to a Reuters witness.
— Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun grabbed international attention this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family, which denies any abuse. Qunun refused to meet her father and brother, who arrived in Bangkok to try take her back to Saudi Arabia.

Police: Jayme Closs’s Alleged Kidnapper Shaved His Head Before Murders So He Wouldn’t Leave DNA
— The suspect accused of abducting Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs after killing her parents in October allegedly planned the crime in advance and “went to great lengths to prepare to take her,” police announced at a Friday press conference.
— According to Baron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, suspect Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, allegedly shaved his head before murdering Jayme’s parents on Oct. 15 in their Baron-area home so he could “minimize forensic evidence.”
— Patterson was arrested Thursday and is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one of kidnapping. He is currently in the Barron County Jail and police are not looking for additional suspects.

Cops use genealogy web sites to find 1990s rape suspect
A California man has been arrested in connection to rapes committed in the 1990s after his DNA was linked to the crime scenes through commercial genealogy websites, which initially turned up the both the suspect and his twin, police said on Friday.

With Amazon, Google expansion, job prospects soar in NYC

Applications now accepted for $10,000 “move to Vermont” bonus

Super White Guy Steve King goes mealy mouth
and says he didn’t say what he said,
or at least he’s sorry that he embarrassed other GOP white guys
The Hill
— Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa, what else) said in an address on the House floor Friday he made a “freshman mistake” in agreeing to an interview with The New York Times in which he asked when the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive.
>>>> Friends of Steve defend the Sage of the Cornfields
“I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.”

Texas scientists see advance in universal treatment for full-blown Ebola
Houston Chronicle

Tent city exec quits, says US pressured him
to pack in more and more migrant kids
Vice News
— Kevin Dinnin, the CEO of the contractor that ran the controversial tent city for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas, says the facility is closing down because he refused the government’s request to detain more youths there.
— Shrouded in secrecy since it opened in June to handle overflow of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, the facility at Tornillo became a symbol of the administration’s mass detention of undocumented children. Originally built to hold 400 migrant teens sent from its permanent facilities and slated to close within 30 days, by December it had ballooned to a large complex holding more than 2,800 children.
— “The children were coming in but never leaving,” Dinnin said in an exclusive interview with VICE News. The president and CEO of the nonprofit BCFS, which ran the facility under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said he was dismayed the U.S. government kept asking him to expand the camp.
— Ultimately, he came to believe that HHS would continue sending migrant teenagers to Tornillo as long as it could. So on Dec. 17, Dinnin sent HHS and ORR a letter informing them that his nonprofit wouldn’t accept more children at the facility.
— “We as an organization finally drew the line,” Dinnin, who oversaw day-to-day operations at Tornillo, said. “You can’t keep taking children in and not releasing them.”

Make America Walled Again campaign fails —
Business Insider
— GoFundme to refund the $$$$


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