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Planet That Orbits Its Star Every 18 Hours on Path of Destruction Discovered by Astronomers
The planet is located around 1,000 light-years from Earth and experiences average temperatures of more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
newsweek.com
France launches crackdown on its plague of bedbugs
France thought it had gotten rid of bedbugs in the 1950s, but in recent years the blood-sucking insects have made a comeback.
edition.cnn.com
‘Call of the Wild’ star Harrison Ford shares how George Lucas influenced his career
Harrison Ford is trading in his human co-star for one played by a man’s best friend.
foxnews.com
Iran confirms 13 more coronavirus cases, two new deaths, mostly in Qom holy city
Iran confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases on Friday, two of whom have died, with the outbreak there coming just as the country votes in a parliamentary election.
reuters.com
Black Ice Creates Hazardous Driving Conditions in North and South Carolina and Georgia—How to Stay Safe in Icy Conditions
Between 2007 and 2016, there were 521 fatalities caused by icy conditions.
newsweek.com
George Washington sought honest British workers over 'slovenly' Americans
George Washington, the first president of the United States, praised the honesty of British farmers and sought to entice some to his estates because local tenants were so "slovenly", according to a handwritten letter he wrote in 1796.
reuters.com
Trump has had an ‘acting’ official in a Cabinet-level job for 1 out of every 9 days
Trump leaves departments under "acting" control for more than a year at a time in some cases.
washingtonpost.com
All lanes blocked on George Washington Parkway north
A vehicle fire has caused all northbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway to close.
washingtonpost.com
Arizona governor, GOP lawmakers end sanctuary city ban push
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican lawmakers have pulled a contentious proposal to enshrine a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” in the state constitution.
foxnews.com
What Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump have in common
A contempt for transparency.
washingtonpost.com
Our Founders Didn’t Intend for Pardons To Work Like This
GraphicaArtis / GettyOn Tuesday, President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor and Celebrity Apprentice contestant who was imprisoned for trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. The president also pardoned the former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., the “junk-bond king” Michael Milken, and former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, among others. Each person had some connection to the president, a fact that the White House press announcement on the decisions made clear. Trump seems to view clemency as a way to reward celebrities and please his supporters.The country’s Founders did not intend for the clemency power to be used as a prize. Article II of the Constitution allows the president to forgive any federal crime, but just because he can does not mean he should.[Quinta Jurecic: Trump’s unpardonable challenge to the Constitution]The Founding Fathers had their own ideas about how the process should work; Alexander Hamilton provided the most famous rationales for the clemency power. In “Federalist No. 74,” he noted how the president must be able to make exceptions for “unfortunate guilt”; otherwise, the justice system would be “too sanguinary and cruel.” Additionally, Hamilton pointed out that presidents may need to use clemency to quell unrest or rebellion and thereby “restore the tranquillity of the commonwealth.”President George Washington pardoned two men charged with treason after the whiskey rebellion. On December 8, 1795, in his annual address to Congress, he said he was motivated to both show mercy and serve the public good. Washington’s use of these dual rationales set the clemency standard for his successors. Going forward, one or both ideas have implicitly undergirded most of the roughly 30,000 individual clemency decisions that have been granted by presidents one through 44. Each rationale has also been featured in a Supreme Court case: United States v. Wilson described a pardon as an “act of grace,” and Biddle v. Perovich described the pardon power as “part of the Constitutional scheme” and characterized clemency as a decision to be guided by “public welfare.”Using clemency to address a larger societal concern, Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson offered forgiveness to entice the Confederates to rejoin the Union. Harry Truman named a panel to recommend amnesty for Selective Service Act offenders after World War II. Both Jimmy Carter and his predecessor, Gerald Ford, offered amnesty to Vietnam War–draft offenders.[Read: The clemency process is broken. Trump can fix it.]Presidents have also granted pardons and commutations as “acts of mercy” to individuals—many anonymous—for a variety of federal offenses. Most recipients applied to the pardon attorney’s office within the Department of Justice and, months or years later, successfully received a pardon or sentence commutation. Recent examples include Olgen Williams, whom George W. Bush pardoned in 2002 for stealing money from the mail, and Charles Russell Cooper, a bootlegger pardoned by Bush in 2005. In 2017, Barack Obama pardoned Fred Elleston Hicks for illegal use of food stamps.Not all presidents have followed these rationales, though. History also shows that presidents—particularly recent ones—have abused clemency for their own personal or political benefit. In 1992, George H. W. Bush pardoned several Iran-Contra figures, including former Reagan Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, effectively relieving Weinberger of the need to stand trial, a boon to Bush, who may have been called to testify. Bill Clinton offered clemency to members of the violent Puerto Rican nationalist organization FALN, a controversial decision that some said he made to gain Latino support for the political races of his wife and Vice President Al Gore. Right before he left office, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, a fugitive from justice whose ex-wife was a large Clinton donor. George W. Bush commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, sparing Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff a prison term. (Trump later pardoned Libby.) The presidents issued each of these clemency decisions after they were free from electoral consequences.President Trump began by pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio for criminal contempt of court, after Arpaio refused to stop police practices that amounted to racial profiling. Trump mentioned his intentions at a political rally before granting the pardon three days later. Since then, Trump hasn’t looked back. Along the way, he has favored a host of well-connected, famous, wealthy, or partisan figures for presidential mercy. To his credit, Trump has not hidden from the press, Congress, or other institutions when exercising clemency. He makes a decision and then takes the heat, often noting that his clemency grants counteract an “unfair” criminal-justice system.Almost a year after Arpaio, Trump teased on Twitter a pardon for the conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who had violated campaign-finance laws. He pardoned D’Souza that same day, and then made comments that shifted clemency speculation to the TV personality Martha Stewart and to Blagojevich.Trump has also been swayed by celebrities. He commuted Alice Marie Johnson’s prison sentence after Kim Kardashian West visited the White House to advocate for her. He also pardoned the late African American boxer Jack Johnson in a grant pushed by the Rocky actor Sylvester Stallone.The usual procedure for petitioning for a pardon or sentence commutation is far less showy than Trump’s current process. Typically, after waiting a minimum of five years, applicants go to the website of the pardon attorney; download, complete, and submit the appropriate form; and wait. After a lengthy review—sometimes years—the result is usually the same for everyone: a denial. George W. Bush granted only about 2 percent of petitions for a pardon or sentence commutation; Barack Obama granted 5.3 percent; and—as of February 7, 2020—Trump had granted less than 0.5 percent of clemency requests.The former pardon attorney Margaret Love explains in her article “The Twilight of the Pardon Power” that one crucial reason so few clemency cases receive a positive recommendation is that “all but a handful of the individuals officially responsible for approving Justice Department clemency recommendations since 1983 have been former federal prosecutors.” In other words, because prosecutors in the pardon attorney’s office are reluctant to undo the work of their fellow prosecutors, presidents are rarely given a thumbs-up to pardon.[Garrett Epps: The self-pardoning president]The traditional role of the pardon attorney has been basically abandoned by the Trump administration, after the office assisted presidents for more than a century. As The Washington Post reported earlier this month, “Former White House officials describe a freewheeling atmosphere in which staff members have fielded suggestions from Trump friends while sometimes throwing in their own recommendations.” Moreover, “all but five of the 24 people who have received clemency from Trump had a line into the White House or currency with his political base.”Whether Trump is reaping significant personal benefits from his clemency decisions is unclear, but he does seem to enjoy the public’s reaction, even inviting two military clemency recipients onstage at a fundraiser late last year. With so many clemency grants to controversial figures like Arpaio, D’Souza, and now Blagojevich, he may be launching trial balloons to test public reaction to more serious pardons for his former associates, including Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn.Along similar lines, Trump has twice tweeted about his understanding of the scope of the clemency power. In July 2017, he noted that he held “the complete power to pardon.” Roughly a year later, Trump tweeted that he had “the absolute right to PARDON myself.” Robert Mueller’s investigation and the impeachment trial are now both behind him. Still, it’s become apparent at this point in his presidency that Trump has used clemency to both gauge public opinion and stake out ground for a self-pardon, should he ever need one.
theatlantic.com
Zillow is losing millions on selling homes. But its risk-taking CEO isn't worried
Zillow's CEO Rich Barton built a huge site for real estate listings. But now he's shifting the company into a far riskier business, buying and selling homes.
edition.cnn.com
This highway was once a tribute to the Confederacy. Soon, it will honor Harriet Tubman
A highway in Florida won't be keeping its name much longer after a county voted to change the name of a handful of "Dixie" highways to "Harriet Tubman Highway."
edition.cnn.com
5 things to know for February 21: Russia, Roger Stone, coronavirus, Iran, Israel
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
edition.cnn.com
'Miracle on Ice' 40 years ago was so great, TWO movies were made about it
The "Miracle on Ice" was a medal-round hockey game between the United States and the Soviet Union during the 1980 Winter Olympics was so unexpected and thrilling that it inspired TWO movies.
foxnews.com
New York Times hit for publishing op-ed by Taliban leader linked to ‘ruthless attacks’
Readers "appalled" over New York Times op-ed written by the deputy leader of the Taliban.
washingtonpost.com
Russia, Nevada, Afghanistan: Your Friday Briefing
Here's what you need to know.
nytimes.com
China's changed how it counts virus cases three times now. Here's why
Weeks after the novel coronavirus crisis began in December, there is still widespread confusion over the exact number of cases reported in China and whether the epidemic is finally stabilizing at the outbreak's epicenter of Hubei province.
edition.cnn.com
Lesotho Prime Minister fails to show up in court to face murder charge
Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane failed to show up in court Friday where he was due to be charged with murdering his former wife, police said.
edition.cnn.com
How to Pre-Order Hasbro Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy and When It's On Sale
The must-have gift of 2020 for fans of "The Mandalorian" is coming.
newsweek.com
Video of Female Medics in China Having Their Heads Shaved Sparks Backlash Over Propaganda in the Coronavirus Fight
The video was to the Twitter-like Chinese social media platform Weibo by Gansu Daily
time.com
The new polling giving both parties hope
And new reporting ties Joseph Maguire’s departure as acting DNI to his candor about Russian election interference.
politico.com
Op-Ed: How to protect democracy from lawless presidents like Trump
We need a firewall between the White House and the Department of Justice
latimes.com
How to watch the Nevada caucuses on Saturday
The caucuses are a critical contest for candidates who faltered in Iowa and New Hampshire
cbsnews.com
Video: Relive Brandon Girtz's best moments ahead of Bellator 239
Watch Brandon Girtz's highlights ahead of his Bellator 239 bout with Myles Jury.       Related Stories4 burning questions heading into Bellator DublinKristina Williams wants to make impression in final fight of contract at Bellator 239Bellator 239 weigh-in video highlights, photos with potential welterweight barnburner in Oklahoma 
usatoday.com
On This Day: 21 February 1965
Civil rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated in Manhattan. (Feb. 21)       
usatoday.com
‘Tamales for Tío Bernie’: Sanders’ outreach to Latino voters pays off
Violeta Alvarez is so passionate about Bernie Sanders that she becomes emotional talking about the white, 78-year-old senator from Vermont, a state 3,000 miles from this sun-drenched California enclave.
reuters.com
The Field: An Anti-Endorsement in Nevada
The state’s largest labor union has fought hard for health care. And now it’s fighting Bernie Sanders.
nytimes.com
Carla Hayden discusses being first woman, African-American serving as Librarian of Congress
CBS News' Major Garrett spoke to Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, for this week's episode of "The Takeout"
cbsnews.com
A Studio At Your Fingertips: 5 Apps Teachers Are Using To Make Student Podcasts
We checked in with educators to see what tools their students are using to create entries for NPR's Student Podcast Challenge.
npr.org
Op-Ed: More than 90% of U.S. plastic waste is never recycled. Here's how we can change that
A new bill in Congress would put the onus on plastic manufacturers to solve the plastic pollution crisis, making them design and run waste and recycling programs.
latimes.com
Yes, Buttigieg is ‘gay enough,’ Richie Jackson says
The LGBTQ community is engaging in a rather insane conversation.
washingtonpost.com
Trump bemoans South Korean film’s historic Oscars win: ‘Can we get Gone With the Wind back?’
“And the winner is a movie from South Korea, what the hell was that all about?” Trump asked about "Parasite," the first foreign language film to win best picture at the Oscars.
washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor: The new Prop. 13 doesn't deserve to pass, even if schools need more money
California is spending $81 billion on schools; it should find additional funds in its $215-billion budget rather than ask for a bond issue.
latimes.com
This comedian says Border Patrol pulled him off a bus. Now he's suing the government
A comedian from Libya, granted U.S. asylum, accuses Customs and Border Protection agents of racially profiling him and holding him without cause. He says the incident gave him nightmares and that his federal suit is serious — but he's worked it into his stand-up act.
latimes.com
Editorial: Despite complaints about bias, the University of California shouldn't dump the SAT and ACT
The University of California is under pressure to drop the SAT and the ACT as an admission requirement. A new report suggests that would be a mistake.
latimes.com
Editorial: California's mountain lions are already under threat. Stop killing more of them
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a permit to kill mountain lion P-56 last month after he had killed a dozen sheep. It should be the last time.
latimes.com
He dressed up at Comic-Con. He preached to chickens. He's the John Lewis you never knew
Congressman John Lewis is turning 80. His place in history has been so thoroughly documented that it's hard to find anything new to say about him -- unless you talk to some people who have known him the longest
edition.cnn.com
Endorsement: The Times' recommendations for Superior Court judge in Los Angeles County
Who are the judges on the ballot on March 3, and who should you vote for? Here are The Times' endorsements.
latimes.com
Watchdog: Trump administration lacks strategy to fight Afghanistan's dangerous heroin trade
Afghanistan is the source for 90 percent of the world's heroin, and the drug trade fuels a deadly insurgency against American troops.       
usatoday.com
Nicaragua's last newspaper dared to criticize the government. Then it lost its ink and paper
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has carried out a war on the press, jailing journalists and closing news outlets. In a blow to the storied La Prensa newspaper, he barred delivery of newsprint and ink.
latimes.com
How America developed two sign languages — one white, one black
washingtonpost.com
Avi Loeb: What's causing mysterious radio bursts in space? Don’t rule out any options yet, including aliens
As scientists, we should be humble and not be guided by prejudice but by evidence. After all, if we expect the future to resemble the past we will never discover something new.
foxnews.com
'If I get killed it won't be an accident': Progressive Vermont family faces threats
Abusive posts and vandalism have made Quinn Doner, who is transgender, and their family fear for their lives. Police say there's not much they can do.       
usatoday.com
Op-Ed: Trump's 2021 budget explains Jeff Bezos' monster house deal and L.A.'s homeless crisis
The most draconian cuts in Trump's proposed 2021 budget represent a White House intent on fueling American inequality.
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: Boy Scouts of America, another institution sued into honesty about sexual abuse
Two major institutions, the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, talk a lot about morality but were honest only because of litigation.
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: CSU's quantitative reasoning proposal is not as scary as it's made out to be
The Cal State University chancellor responds to Sandy Banks' column expressing skepticism about a new proposed math requirement for incoming freshmen.
latimes.com
As he transforms neglected corners of New Orleans, artist Brandan Odums can add 'alchemist' to his resume
The winter sun is already going down on Mid-City and its crosshatch of shotgun houses, the porch-sitters eyeing passing bicyclists and stray cats.
latimes.com