Tue

PROMISES, PROMISES
AG nominee Barr swears up and down that he won’t limit Mueller probe
Politico
dog-pony-juggleUh-huh. Today’s Dog & Pony Show
— Attorney General nominee William Barr broke with President Donald Trump during his confirmation hearing Tuesday, saying he didn’t think special counsel Robert Mueller is involved in a “witch hunt” investigation.
— Barr told Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that he did not think Mueller “would be involved in a witch hunt,” a term Trump has used repeatedly to deride the investigation. Barr also told the Judiciary Committee that he agreed with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation – the primary reason Trump soured on Sessions.
——> He won’t “limit” it … but he WILL keep it from being made public. You betcha!

800-foot Chicago skyscraper to be built mostly of wood
The Week

Federal judge: No citizenship question will be added to census
CNN

Drug kingpin’s $100 million bribe
BBC
— 
Former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto accepted a $100m bribe from drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a witness has testified.
— Alex Cifuentes, who says he was a close associate of Guzman for years, told a New York City courtroom that he had told authorities of the bribe in 2016.
— Guzman is accused of being behind the Sinaloa drug cartel, which prosecutors say was the largest US drug supplier.

Chinese schools scanning children’s brains to see if they are concentrating
The Independent
… neuroscientists have questioned the devices’ effectiveness and the technology has also raised privacy concerns.

Space exploration about to enter the age of steam
Live Science
— Scientists at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have teamed up with Honeybee Robotics, a private space and mining tech company based in California, to develop a small, steam-powered spacecraft capable of sucking its fuel right out of the asteroids, planets and moons it’s exploring.
>>> Plants are growing on the moon for the first time
— sprouted from seed sent on China’s dark side mission
Motherboard

US classrooms are starting to resemble arcades
AP
— 
Peek inside your average classroom these days, and you’re likely to see teachers using apps, websites and software that borrow elements from video games to connect with students living technology-infused lives. By all accounts, they’re fun to use, and studies have found that some can be effective. But there is also skepticism about how often students who use them are better educated, or just better entertained.

The prison-industrial complex: Book examines a strange American institution
Brennan Center for Justice
— Let’s start with the notion that 40% of people in prison do not need to be there for public safety reasons…

Americans more likely to die of opioids than car crashes
CBS News

Balance of trade takes big jump in favor of …. CHINA!
Wall Street Journal
— China’s trade surplus with the U.S. hit a record last year, as robust American demand for Chinese goods undercut the Trump administration’s tariff offensive aimed at narrowing the countries’ lopsided trade gap.
— China recorded $323.32 billion in surplus with the U.S. in 2018, representing a 17% jumpfrom the figure in the previous year, according to Chinese government trade data released Monday.
— Abetting the record imbalance were a healthy American economy and a weakening Chinese one, some economists and analysts said, which in turn fed U.S. demand for imports and damped demand in China. The Trump administration’s phased deadlines for tariffs, along with threats of more for this year, also sent Chinese exporters racing to fill orders, and a weakening Chinese currency kept the prices of those goods competitive.
>>> China Asks State Firms to Avoid Travel to U.S. and Its Allies
Bloomberg

GOP calls mount for Rep. King’s resignation
Newsweek

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT RESEARCH!!!
Drink craft beer ASAP, and cold
Eureka Alert
craft-beer-12-1.jpg— A new study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich shows that craft beer should be kept cool and consumed as fresh as possible. After three months, cold stored beer already loses more than one third of an important hop odorant which characterizes the typical aroma of many craft beers. Storage at room temperature causes the concentration of this substance to decrease even more significantly.

Netflix raises price for US subscribers
Reuters

An Island Crusader Takes On The Big Brands Behind Plastic Waste
NPR
“The contrast of where I grew up, beautiful white sand beaches, clear water, and arriving in Manila where it’s black water with countless plastic,” he says, “that was shocking to me.”plastic

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