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In the haunting new 'Westworld' Season 3 trailer, the hosts are out for blood
Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton face off in a new trailer for the third season of HBO's "Westworld." But the hosts aren't in Westworld anymore.
4 m
latimes.com
Op-Ed: Running against Bloomberg isn't easy. I know. I was his opponent in the 2001 New York mayoral race
It's no great surprise that after buying the mayoralty, Bloomberg would see if he could do the same with the presidency.
5 m
latimes.com
Virtual program to help patients during chemo
6 m
edition.cnn.com
Review: From the Archives: 'Pandora and the Flying Dutchman' provides rare enchantment
Ava Gardner and James Mason star in the digitally-restored 4K release of Albert Lewin's 1951 fantasy-romance "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman."
6 m
latimes.com
DOE is making it ‘nearly impossible’ for defrauded students to cancel loans: suit
A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that new Department of Education rules, set to take effect in July, will make it more difficult for scammed students to write off their student loans. The lawsuit relates to the so-called borrower defense law, enacted in the 1990s. The provision allows defrauded students — often from closed for-profit schools...
7 m
nypost.com
A Disaster of a Democratic Debate, With a Temporary Side of Bloomberg | Opinion
Although Michael Bloomberg might be the most electable Democrat in the race, he is also the least likely to be nominated. Wednesday night showed us why.
newsweek.com
Mississippi's six-week abortion ban struck down
Mississippi was one of a handful of states to pass so-called fetal heartbeat bans in 2019.
cbsnews.com
Police in Panama found more than 5 tons of drugs in a homemade semi-submersible vessel
More than 5 tons of drugs were seized off the coast of Panama after authorities spotted what appeared to be a semi-submersible vessel, the country's ministry of public security said.
edition.cnn.com
Mike Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg delivers remarks during a campaign rally on February 12, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. | Brett Carlsen/Getty Images Billionaire and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg has joined the Democratic presidential race. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg joined the 2020 Democratic race in November 2019, aiming to challenge President Donald Trump. Compared to the rest of the Democratic candidates, Bloomberg has had an unconventional campaign so far. In addition to his late entrance to the race, he has spent record-high amounts on political advertisements thanks to his billionaire status, and he has focused most of his attention on Super Tuesday states, steering away from the tradition of campaigning in early primary states such as New Hampshire. Bloomberg has been heavily criticized by his Democratic rivals for attempting to buy his way into the election, but he has also come under intense scrutiny as his record is being dug up. He has endured criticism for some of his controversial policies as mayor, including the stop-and-frisk rule, as well as his past comments on race and gender.
vox.com
Listen to Episode 12 of ‘Up In The Blue Seats’: The Rangers Aren’t Dead Yet feat. Bernie Nicholls
The Rangers have played their way back into a playoff race in the Eastern Conference, sitting six points out of the final spot. On the newest episode of the “Up In The Blue Seats” podcast, Ron Duguay opens the show talking about the Rangers beating the Blackhawks on Wednesday night for their fifth win in...
nypost.com
Epic NASA photograph shows International Space Station crossing the moon
NASA has revealed a gorgeous image of the Moon, Mars and the International Space Station.
foxnews.com
NBC's Dem debate leaves liberal CNN with lowly viewership
As liberal viewers flocked to NBC and MSNBC for the debate, there weren’t many left for CNN, which averaged a dismal 569,000 viewers from 9-11 p.m. ET.
foxnews.com
Letitia James preps suit against city over medallion debt crisis
State Attorney General Letitia James plans to sue New York City if it does not fork over $810 million for taxi drivers burdened by debts from medallions purchased at inflated costs at city-sponsored auctions, she said Thursday. James’ intent to sue — announced in a letter to city Comptroller Scott Stringer — comes after an...
nypost.com
Lauren London talks rumors she’s dating Diddy after Nipsey Hussle’s death
"Stop f--king playing with me and my name. Now let me get back to healing."
nypost.com
Elizabeth Warren Won't Reject Super PAC Help Unless All Other Democrats Do
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Thursday refused to disavow a newly-formed super PAC aimed at boosting her flailing candidacy for president — despite her public opposition to Super PACs and repeated calls to banish big money from politics.
breitbart.com
Prosecutors investigating new allegations against Robert Hadden
A plea deal in 2016 means the former Columbia University obstetrician never saw jail time, dozens of women have since come forward
cbsnews.com
Trump says he won't intervene in Roger Stone case for now
"Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly. And this has not been a fair process, OK?" the president said.
cbsnews.com
Chinese factory hit hard by coronavirus appears to be open again
One of the Chinese factories that’s been hardest hit by the coronavirus appears to be returning to activity, signaling that China’s government is allowing people to return to work there, The Post has learned. Located about 20 miles outside of Wuhan — the epicenter of the deadly virus — the Daye Hubei copper plant where...
nypost.com
5 Storylines to Look Out for During Second Half of NBA Season
The NBA will begin its unofficial second half of the regular season Thursday, following the league's All-Star Game last weekend.
newsweek.com
Bloomberg’s views on redlining could remain an issue for black voters
The term was trending after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) mentioned the former New York mayor's stance on the housing policy during Wednesday's debate.
washingtonpost.com
Trump addresses Roger Stone sentencing for first time
President Donald Trump addressed the Roger Stone sentencing for the first time during a commencement address in Las Vegas. CNN's Elie Honig fact-checks Trump's claims about the case.
edition.cnn.com
Mike Bloomberg jokes about brutal Democratic debate debut
"So how was your night last night?" a smirking Bloomberg deadpanned to supporters at an event in Salt Lake City, drawing a chorus of laughter.
nypost.com
Shop gear for next winter at Sorel's End of Season Sale
As we bid winter adieu, Sorel is ramping up its End of Season Sale with additional inventory, including boots, sneakers and slippers.
edition.cnn.com
GOP lawmaker Matt Gaetz calls for Trump to pardon Roger Stone
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a longtime defender of President Donald Trump, said the President should pardon longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone.
edition.cnn.com
Global food waste twice as high as previously estimated, study says
Twice as much food as previously estimated -- or a third of all food available for human consumption -- is wasted, with people in wealthier countries wasting more, according to a recent study published in the journal PLOS One.
edition.cnn.com
Larry Tesler, creator of copy, cut and paste function, dies at 74
Larry Tesler, a pioneer of personal computing credited with creating the cut, copy and paste as well as the search and replace functions, has died. He was 74.
edition.cnn.com
Veteran detective Mark Fuhrman's advice for Jussie Smollett as actor heads back to courtroom
Veteran LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman had some advice for former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, as the 37-year-old is due back in court on Feb. 24 to face six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about his claims of a racist and homophobic attack against him in January 2019.
foxnews.com
Anti-Trump MSNBC analyst Donny Deutsch says president was 'big winner' of Democratic debate
MSNBC analyst Donny Deutsch, a staunch critic of President Trump, said Thursday that he was the "big winner" of Wednesday's Democratic debate in Las Vegas.
foxnews.com
Trump to tap Florida official as homeland security adviser
Julia Nesheiwat replaces Rear Admiral Peter Brown, who only lasted around six months in the job.
politico.com
Google manager arrested after wife’s body found on Hawaii beach
A Google product manager from Washington state was arrested in Hawaii following the discovery of his wife’s body, police and reports said. Sonam Saxena, 43, of Bellevue, WA was arrested on one count of murder in the second-agree Wednesday after Hawaii Island police found a female body believed to be Saxena’s wife, Smriti Saxena, 41,...
nypost.com
Ukrainians Hurl Stones at China Evacuees En Route to Quarantine Amid Coronavirus Fears
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the protests showed 'not the best side of our character'
time.com
Pete Alonso eyes Keith Hernandez-like leap for his Mets encore
PORT ST. LUCIE — Pete Alonso was Aaron Judge last season. This year he wants to be Pete Alonso and Keith Hernandez. In arriving to spring training last weekend, the Mets first baseman cited a Gold Glove award as a top personal goal for 2020. On Thursday, he expanded on those comments, evoking the name...
nypost.com
A year on this exoplanet only takes 18 hours. And it might be doomed
Every 18 hours, a newly discovered exoplanet found 2,000 light-years away from Earth completes an orbit around its star -- and potentially takes another step closer to being ripped apart.
edition.cnn.com
Naomi Campbell fires back at tabloid pictures
Supermodel Naomi Campbell discusses how she responds when tabloids have tried to distort her image and reputation.
edition.cnn.com
Racially motivated terror attack that kills nine leaves Germany deeply unsettled
A right-wing racially motivated terror attack on three hookah bars that left nine dead has left Germany deeply unsettled
latimes.com
Ronald Reagan and Jayne Wyman's former Westside estate sells for $6.7 million
In Little Holmby, the regal marital home of Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman just sold for $6.7 million.
latimes.com
2020 Democrats’ campaign finance pledges, explained
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been cited as a leader among the 2020 candidates on campaign finance, though she recently softened her opposition to Super PAC support. | Scott Olson/Getty Images Democratic presidential candidates are rejecting special interest campaign donations. But there is usually a catch. Ahead of the Nevada caucuses and Super Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren appears to be walking back her opposition to Super PAC support, softening a stance that had once made her one of the most stringent candidates in the Democratic field. Warren made the comments after a Democratic debate in which she stood out for her attacks on billionaire (and former New York City mayor) Mike Bloomberg. NEW: Here is video of Warren declining to disavow the new super PAC supporting her:“If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in. I'll lead the charge. But that's how it has to be. It can't be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only 1 or 2 don’t.” pic.twitter.com/byxQRjGMfs— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 20, 2020 The New York Times reported that the new Super PAC supporting Warren would spend $1 million in Nevada before the caucuses there on Saturday. After third- and fourth-places finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, Warren needs a strong performance in Nevada to give her faltering campaign momentum. Her debate performance was a fundraising boon for her campaign; now a Super PAC is coming in to help — despite Warren’s previous pledge. Democrats running for president in 2020 had been making a big show of turning away top-dollar donors early in the campaign. Most of these campaign finance pledges sound good, and they are certainly better than not making such a promise. But these are not necessarily airtight safeguards against money buying influence with presidential candidates. “For years, candidates for both parties publicly declared support for limiting money’s influence on politics but then privately exploited every campaign finance loophole they could find,” Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the Campaign Legal Center, told me last summer. “We’re in an entirely different environment this cycle, and I think that’s a good thing.” Corporate PACs, something every Democrat running for president swore off, tend to provide a relatively small chunk of the money, Fischer told me. So turning down their support probably isn’t going to hurt a candidate’s bottom line too much. Rejecting PAC money also isn’t the same as rejecting support from high-level executives. “The no-corporate-PAC pledge is popular. It’s a symbolic expression of a candidate’s commitment to reform,” Fischer said. “But it may not make a huge dent in their fundraising.” Turning down support from federal lobbyists also isn’t as simple as it sounds. Many people in Washington who try to influence lawmakers and policy are not actually registered as lobbyists with the government. Influential people can still give to candidates without the campaigns having violated that pledge. Fischer gave the example of former Vice President Joe Biden attending a fundraiser with Comcast’s David Cohen, who oversees the telecom giant’s lobbying shop but isn’t registered as a lobbyist himself. Still, the very fact that candidates feel they need to make these pledges is real change. Vox surveyed the 24 Democratic presidential campaigns last June and received responses from all 24 of them. Every campaign that responded to us said it was refusing donations from corporate PACs. Most also said they were rejecting support from the fossil fuel industry and from registered federal lobbyists. A handful of them were forgoing support from Super PACs of any kind (though that is subject to change, as Warren and Joe Biden show). Two candidates — Sens. Bernie Sanders and Warren — swore off high-dollar private fundraisers. Alex Wong/Getty Images Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 18, 2020. “The pledge that seems the most meaningful is the one that eschews closed-door big-money fundraisers and donor perks,” Fischer said. “One way wealthy donors can have a broader influence on politics and politicians is at fundraisers. We kind of take it for granted wealthy donors can buy access.” The loopholes in these pledges — and the willingness of many Democratic candidates to solicit donations from elite, wealthy donors — has been a reminder of how difficult the problem of money in politics will be to fix. But the Democratic field’s renunciation of certain streams of major campaign donations is still a sign of progress. What the 2020 Democratic campaigns actually promised on donations In June 2019, Vox asked every Democratic campaign to provide the promises they had made regarding which industries, groups, and people they would not accept financial support from. The inquiry was intentionally open-ended. Every campaign provided a response. The promises generally covered four kinds of donations: from the fossil fuel industry, from corporate PACs, from all Super PACS, and from federal lobbyists. But not all of these pledges have stuck: Warren and Biden are now tacitly accepting (at least not disavowing) Super PAC support. Note: This chart was made in June 2019; since then, some of these candidates have changed their positions and most have dropped out of the race. Javier Zarracina/Vox (Originally published in June 2019) Here were the raw tallies: 24 campaigns were rejecting donations from corporate PACs 19 campaigns were rejecting donations from the fossil fuel industry 13 campaigns were rejecting donations from federal lobbyists 9 campaigns were rejecting donations from all Super PACs Some of the campaigns added other entities to their blacklist. Biden wasn’t accepting money from “unions, federal contractors, national banks or foreign nationals.” Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also rejected donations from the pharmaceutical industry. California Rep. Eric Swalwell didn’t want support from “the NRA or tobacco industry.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio specified any lobbyists or businesses that do business with New York City in his response. The official No Fossil Fuel Money pledge pushed by anti-climate change grassroots organizers, signed by 16 candidates (Biden’s campaign said he would not accept support from the industry but he is not listed as a signatory of the pledge), is self-explanatory. With climate change as the greatest threat to humanity’s future, Democratic candidates have shunned the industry that voters hold responsible for it. Rejecting corporate and federal lobbyist money is a signal of a candidate’s willingness to ignore the traditionally influential interests in Washington. But the reality, of course, is a little more complicated. The potential loopholes in these 2020 campaign finance pledges Some of these pledges can still be subverted. Disavowing corporate (fossil fuel or otherwise) PAC money does not mean disavowing support from individual CEOs and executives, though some campaigns added them to their pledge. There are plenty of people in Washington who still wield influence and persuade officials without actually being registered as lobbyists. Closed-door, high-dollar fundraisers remain perhaps the most pernicious means of influence in modern-day politics, and most of the Democratic candidates still participating in those, as the Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee documented. But even there, a few candidates stand out: Warren has promised she will not attend any exclusive gatherings like that as part of her platform to weed out corporate influence in US politics. Sanders has also disavowed any high-dollar private events and any donor perks. “I’m not taking a dime of PAC money in this campaign. I’m not taking a single check from a federal lobbyist. I’m not taking applications from billionaires who want to run a Super PAC on my behalf. And I challenge every other candidate who asks for your vote in this primary to say exactly the same thing,” Warren said when announcing her candidacy. Even the no-Super PAC promise isn’t perfect; Cory Booker said he didn’t want Super PAC support, but a wealthy Democratic donor started one backing his candidacy anyway. And because of the rules prohibiting coordination between campaigns and Super PACs, there technically wasn’t much Booker could do about it. Mario Tama/Getty Images Pete Buttigieg stands with a member of Culinary Workers Union on a picket line outside of Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 19, 2020. Those soft spots are why Fischer regards the rejection of closed-door, high-dollar fundraisers as the gold standard for campaign finance pledges. Even if we were to give candidates the benefit of the doubt, their attendance at those private events where participants had to spend thousands of dollars to join is going to skew — intentionally or not — their views on what issues are important and what should be done about them. “The only people inside can write a $2,800 check. They get face time with the candidates. The candidate spends an inordinate amount of time with donors, hearing about their concerns and pitching themselves as someone who is going to be responsive to those concerns,” Fischer said. “Even the best-intentioned candidate is going to be affected by that.” Joe Biden’s comments reassuring donors that “nothing will fundamentally change” for wealthy people under a Biden presidency were made at a fundraiser; his campaign does allow press to cover those events, however. Warren and Sanders were the only candidates to swear off such events in their response to Vox. The one private event that the Vermont senator held had tickets available for $27, the Washington Post reported, not a huge barrier for middle- or working-class voters who want to attend. The evidence shows that campaign donations buy access and policy outcomes These days, “quid pro quo” corruption is pretty rare, Fischer emphasized. Politicians and moneyed interests are simply too savvy to get caught making a specific offer of money for a specific deed. But campaign contributions can still buy big donors access to elected officials. It’s not just common sense and anecdotal evidence that prove it, either. Empirical research has shown what some well-placed donations can get you. A 2016 paper from two University of California Berkeley researchers, published in the American Journal of Political Science, ran a remarkable experiment. A political organization tried to schedule meetings with 191 congressional offices between lawmakers and their campaign donors. For some of the requests, the group disclosed that the donor had given money to the campaign; for other requests, they withheld that crucial information. It was a truly randomized experiment. This is what it yielded (emphasis mine): When informed prospective attendees were political donors, senior policy makers made themselves available between three and four times more often. Other studies have found a similar connection. Researchers from Stanford and the University of Wisconsin examined campaign donations from corporations to members of congressional committees that affect their business. They found industries would drop donations to members who were leaving an influential committee and instead direct their money to incoming members, even those of the opposite party. “We provide evidence that corporations and business PACs use donations to acquire immediate access and favor,” the authors wrote, “suggesting they at least anticipate that the donations will influence policy.” The Roosevelt Institute ran its own data, examining the behavior of lawmakers who initially voted in favor of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and then took later votes to weaken the bill’s provisions, and found that “for every $100,000 that Democratic representatives received from finance, the odds they would break with their party’s majority support for the Dodd-Frank legislation increased by 13.9 percent.” Sometimes, it doesn’t require any academic rigor to see how money influences policy. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said before the Republican tax bill passed in 2017 that his donors had told him to pass the bill, legislation that would hit his home state harder than most, “or don’t ever call me again.” The pressure on Democratic campaigns: Ideals versus practical needs Ever since Citizens United allowed corporations and rich donors to write blank checks to support their chosen political activities and candidates, Democrats have sworn that they will do whatever they can to put a check on money buying access in politics. The pledges the 2020 candidates made demonstrate commitment to that goal. But Democrats often find these promises hard to keep. In prior elections, presidential and otherwise, Democrats accepted Super PAC support while decrying its influence. They defended that compromise by arguing Republicans had no such qualms about allowing big donors to boost their campaigns. Indeed, defeating President Donald Trump remains at the top of Democrats’ agendas — and they may care a lot less about how such a campaign is funded. They don’t want to fall behind in an arms race; Trump has already raised more than $150 million for his 2020 reelection campaign. Alex Wong/Getty Images Joe Biden meets with supporters in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 18, 2020. The expansive nature of the 2020 Democratic primary field has put new pressure on these pledges. The Washington Post reported that Beto O’Rourke, who once swore off any private fundraisers, had held an exclusive event with maxed-out donors. Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Michael Bennet might have disavowed corporate PAC money but they still attended closed-door events with donors in Manhattan or the San Francisco Bay Area for their campaigns, according to the Post. Warren and Biden have softened their opposition to Super PACs when the going got tough. Some of these candidates found there simply isn’t enough grassroots support to fuel their presidential campaigns. As the Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee summarized her findings: Many of the candidates previously had held a handful of high-dollar fundraisers or avoided them altogether, seeking to tap into the populist sentiment that has animated the Democratic base. They tried to capi­tal­ize on the deluge of online donations that helped fuel the midterm elections, rather than making the traditional overtures to wealthy donors, once a staple of early presidential campaigns. But after a disappointing fundraising haul in the first quarter of the year, and as the primary drags on with no clear front-runner, many of the candidates are turning their focus to wealthy donors — a strategy that could help keep their campaigns viable but may hamper their ability to connect with base voters. It’s easy to promise you’ll turn off the spigot of big money — until you find yourself choosing between an underfunded campaign and compromising on your ideals. This is the same dilemma Democrats always find themselves in on large campaign donors: They don’t want them, but they think they need them. Money has a way of grinding down even the best intentions. While 2020 has been an improvement on past election cycles, it still might end up another chapter in that age-old tale for many of its campaigns.
vox.com
OpenAI Text Generator GPT-2 Creates Video Game Walkthrough for 'Most Tedious Game in History'
An advanced language model may one day be used in game design, experiments with 'Overwatch,' 'Dota 2' and 'Final Fantasy VII' demonstrate.
newsweek.com
Jennifer Lawrence adds to her busy 2020 with new Netflix film
Netflix just announced that it has purchased a new Adam McKay movie that will star Jennifer Lawrence. It's Lawrence's third project of 2020 so far.       
usatoday.com
Column: Elizabeth Warren blew up the rules about female rage and came away without a scratch
Elizabeth Warren may not have secured the nomination Wednesday, but she proved that a female presidential candidate can throw fire without getting burned.
latimes.com
Are Bernie Sanders’s opponents aiming for a contested convention?
Watching Wednesday night's debate, you'd think the non-Bernie Sanders candidates were just hoping for a contested convention.
washingtonpost.com
General Mills to release $13 box of cereal aimed at health-conscious consumers
The expensive cereal, Morning Summit, contains organic coconut oil, pumpkin seeds and dried sugary cranberries.       
usatoday.com
‘First Wives Club’ stars Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton reuniting in ‘Family Jewels’ comedy
New Republic Pictures has won an auction for Peter Hoare’s pitch “Family Jewels,” a multigenerational family comedy that returns Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton back on the big screen together for the first time since the 1996 blockbuster “The First Wives Club.” In “Family Jewels,” Hawn, Midler and Keaton’s characters are forced to...
nypost.com
Sinaloa Cartel snitch who ran El Chapo’s cocaine train network gets light sentence
Snitches get stitches — or sweetheart prison sentences. The Sinaloa Cartel’s former “director of transportation” turned government witness against Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman dodged a possible life sentence on Thursday — and may do as little as one year behind bars for cocaine trafficking. Tirso Martinez Sanchez got the soft sentence from Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan,...
nypost.com
Elizabeth Warren won't disavow super PAC in a shift on issue central to her campaign
Sen. Elizabeth Warren indicated on Thursday that she would not disavow the help from a super PAC supporting her candidacy, a notable shift from a candidate who has spent most of the 2020 campaign railing against the influence of outside groups and criticizing her Democratic rivals for relying on super PACs.
edition.cnn.com
Bernie Sanders and Medicare for All are at a crossroads with unions in Nevada
Sen. Bernie Sanders has pitched himself as the most ambitiously pro-labor candidate in the Democratic primary. He has also centered his campaign on the promise of passing and implementing a "Medicare for All" single-payer health insurance system.
edition.cnn.com
Trump defeats all 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin but loses in Pennsylvania and Michigan, poll finds
Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were key to Trump's 2016 win, but according to a new poll, he faces an uphill battle to sweep all three again.        
usatoday.com
Watch – Mayor Bill De Blasio Grilled by New Yorkers on Rising Crime: ‘We Don't Feel Safe!’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was grilled by New Yorkers who said they are fed up with the rising crime rate in the city, blaming his policies of neighborhood jails, homeless shelters in communities, and the state's new abolishment of bail for criminals deemed "non-violent." 
breitbart.com