Humanitarian Aid Arrives For Venezuela — But Maduro Blocks It

The aid convoy arrived at the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, The Associated Press reports, but Maduro and the military have blocked the Tienditas bridge so that the trucks cannot enter Venezuela.

The well-armed militia
States more active in taking guns from crazy people
— In the year since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, more and more states have passed laws making it easier to take guns away from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence against others, and courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country.
— Supporters say these “red flag” laws are among the most promising tools to reduce the nearly 40,000 suicides and homicides by firearm each year in the U.S. Gun advocates, though, say such measures undermine their constitutional rights and can result in people being stripped of their weapons on false or vindictive accusations.

Students from wealthy Saudi families
commit crimes in US, and easily flee
The Oregonian
— University students from Saudi Arabia have vanished while facing criminal charges here and in at least seven other states as well as Canada — evidence that a growing number of Saudi defendants have fled justice in the United States.

There’s an explosive spy scandal lurking
in the fight between Enquirer, Bezos
The Observer
— A hint where this scandal is headed appeared last night when a Post reporter revealed on MSNBC that Gavin de Becker, the security guru to the stars whom Bezos hired to look into AMI, “told us that he does not believe that Jeff Bezos’s phone was hacked, he thinks it’s possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his text messages.”

Germany puts the screws to Facebook’s business model
— On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, ruled that Facebook was exploiting consumers by requiring them to agree to rampant data collection in order to have an account, and has prohibited the practice going forward.
— “Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts.”

Amazon threatens NY: We’ll take our ball and go home

N.H. Court: Women gotta keep their nipples covered
… a question of equal treatment under the law … 

This zoo will name a cockroach after your ex,
then feed it to a meerkat on Valentine’s Day

CBS News
… the “Quit Bugging Me” meerkat event will live-stream on Facebook and the zoo’s website. The names of those exes will also be displayed around the meerkat exhibit and on social media starting February 11. The zoo calls it “the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.”

Steel jobs coming back yet? Nope.

Federal bill introduced to “deschedule” and regulate marijuana

Rising costs of water in Great Lakes cities
forces some to live with pipes shut down
… wealthier Americans may not even know that water prices have spiked. But for millions struggling to afford water, or living without it, the crisis can be life-altering.

Nashville cops arrest 5 teens (ages 12-16)
in shooting death of musician
The Tennessean
— Police charged three girls, ages 12, 14 and 15, and two boys, ages 13 and 16, with criminal homicide in the death of Kyle Yorlets, gunned down outside the back of his home just before 3 p.m. Thursday.
The investigation shows that prior to the shooting, the five arrested juveniles were in a stolen Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck in the alley that runs behind Yorlets’ home when they spotted him outside.
— The minors approached Yorlets, took his wallet, and told him to hand over the keys to his vehicle.  Police said they believe Yorlets was shot after he refused to give them up.
— Police have not said which juvenile pulled the trigger.

Billion-plus drug bust at US port
…  bound for Australia

She’s a licker
She’s a groper
And she’s now
A no-hoper
Tampa Bay Times

MADEIRA BEACH, FLA. — Former City Commissioner Nancy Oakley was censured and reprimanded by her former colleagues for violating state ethics rules by groping and licking the face of a former city manager. (You mean that’s against the rules in Florida?)


Woman told mom someone would kill her … then someone did
Fox News
The woman whose body was found Tuesday stuffed into a large red suitcase dumped on the roadside in an affluent Connecticut town reportedly told her mom just before vanishing that she was afraid “someone” was going to “murder” her.
— Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, N.Y., was identified this week as the person whose body was bound at the hands and feet, jammed into the piece of luggage and then abandoned in upscale Greenwich, Conn.

Roberts opposes wing-nut Supremes, helps delay LA. abortion law
… for now, the Court will not allow the state to require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Netflix made $845 million profit, paid $0 federal taxes
——> That new tax law’s sure workin’ good.

Michigan mayor: Hell no to sex doll brothel
Detroit Free Press
— “I haven’t had anybody call me and say ‘I hope the council votes for this,'” Siver said. “All the callers and emailers were appalled, and they don’t want the city to be associated with this.”

“I fell short,” admits former NYT editor accused of plagiarism

Cops say groom assaulted teen waitress, then started a riot, at his own wedding reception.
——> Advice to bride. Get … out … now.

Bezos goes balls-out, accuses National Inquirer scumbags of blackmail
— Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer and its publisher David Pecker of extortion and blackmail, stepping up a war of words between the world’s richest man and a confidant of U.S. President Donald Trump.
— The magazine, owned by American Media Inc., published an expose on Bezos’s relationship with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, and Bezos has hired investigators to find out if the story was politically motivated. He owns the Washington Post, which has written critical stories about Trump, who counts Pecker as a close ally.

Veterinarian doing time for smuggling heroin inside puppies
NBC News
“Every dog has its day and with today’s sentence, Elorez has been held responsible for this reprehensible use of his veterinary skills to conceal heroin inside puppies as part of a scheme to import dangerous drugs into the United States.”
Puppies rescued from a farm in Colombia were destined for use as drug mules to the US.

Living Near Your Grandmother Has Evolutionary Benefits
— Two studies published Thursday in Current Biology take another look at the “grandmother hypothesis” and add new insights into the role grandmothers play.


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