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Teddy bear that fought Hitler in Second World War makes £4,000 in auction

The battered 4ft bear was gifted to British soldier Thomas Matthews after the the D-Day landings following the Second World War but it has now been sold in Stafford
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Trump orders a near total withdrawal of US troops from Somalia
President Donald Trump has ordered the majority of US troops to leave Somalia "by early 2021," in just the latest major military policy decision being taken in the final days of the Trump administration.
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Atlanta raises $150G in a day to help eatery facing coronavirus closure
An Atlanta community came together to help raise $150,000 in 30 hours for a restaurant on the brink of closure because of COVID-19.
Biden confident Congress will pass COVID relief bills
Biden would not say whether or not he has spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Presidential pardon investigation involves Kushner lawyer and GOP lobbyist, sources say
The Justice Department bribery-for-a-presidential-pardon investigation, which became public this week, involves the past efforts of well-connected Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell and Republican lobbyist and fundraiser Elliott Broidy in the early days of the Trump White House, sources tell CNN.
Foul play suspected in deaths of two men found at Fort Bragg
Investigators believe foul play is suspected in the deaths of two men found deceased at the embattled Fort Bragg army base where at least 31 staffers have died this year, reports said Friday.  The two men, identified as Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, and Timothy Dumas, 44, were found dead Wednesday afternoon in...
CDC recommends "universal mask wearing" outside home
New guidance lists "universal wearing of face masks" as the first strategy to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
White House exodus begins even as Trump continues to baselessly claim victory
White House staffers at all levels are plotting their departures as a growing number of aides to President Donald Trump are abandoning his quest to overturn the 2020 election results -- some in frustration with the building they are leaving behind.
USWNT star Kelley O’Hara is ready to call D.C. home, on and off the field
The two-time World Cup defender was traded to the Spirit from the Utah Royals.
Video shows suspected drunk driver speeding on Brooklyn Heights Promenade
A drunk driver with a water bottle filled with alcohol took a joyride up and down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade — as shocked pedestrians looked on, according to cops. Police say got the call about a reckless driver speeding on the car-free walkway just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday. A video posted to Reddit shows...
CDC Recommends Wearing Mask Indoors When Not at Home, a Day After Biden Says He'd Urge Nationwide Masks
The agency recommends wearing a mask in all indoor spaces, a day after Joe Biden said he would encourage Americans to commit to 100 days of masks on his first day in office.
The PS5 and Xbox Series X just ushered in a new game era. But not for the reasons you think
Making games more accessible is the next technological leap. Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X bring us closer but don't ignore how Nintendo's Switch and Microsoft's Game Pass are changing how we play.
Biden says inauguration likely to emulate DNC's virtual proceedings
The president-elect said his staff will consult with public health experts as they formulate their plans for Inauguration Day.
Judge orders restoration of DACA, opens program to new applicants
One million undocumented immigrant teens and young adults who qualify for DACA on paper could apply for the Obama-era protections from deportation following the court order.
Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump effort to revive Medicaid work requirements
Lower court judges who have addressed the issue said the purpose of Medicaid was to provide the needy with health benefits, not to shed those eligible for its help.
Nearly half of NYC residents not sold on getting COVID-19 vaccine, survey finds
Twenty percent of Gotham residents said they would not take the vaccine and 27 percent were not sure.
Biden expands search for HHS secretary
New candidates for the job include Barack Obama's health secretary and California's attorney general.
California sheriff's office doesn't plan to use patrols to enforce stricter COVID orders
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office in Southern California said Friday it will not utilize law enforcement patrols to enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest coronavirus mitigation orders.
High school football player who attacked referee charged with assault
Emmanuel Duron is facing the misdemeanor charge after a video showed him body-slamming a referee.
Young member of Sen. Kelly Loeffler's campaign staff dies in car wreck
A young field staffer working on Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s campaign has died in a car crash.
Bay Area counties will begin stay-at-home order on Sunday, ahead of state mandate
Bay Area health officials have issued a stay-at-home order effective Sunday, fearing that COVID-19 patients could otherwise overwhelm hospitals.
Explore the biggest little world of wonder in South Africa
Positioned near the southernmost tip of Africa is a nature reserve like no other. Made up of thousands of Fynbos plant species, the Cape Floral Region is a biodiversity hotspot.
Dates to circle in the NBA's first half schedule
SportsPulse: In a blink of the eye a new NBA season is upon us and we're here to provide you with a users guide to the most anticipated matchups in the first half.
UCLA faces Arizona State in a continuation of bizarre COVID-19 circumstances
Dorian Thompson-Robinson could be back for UCLA for its fifth game of the season against an Arizona State team that has only played once.
D.C. sets ambitious new goals for curbing HIV epidemic over next decade
The plan calls for 95 percent of patients to achieve viral supression and start treatment the day they test positive.
The controversy behind a star Google AI researcher’s departure 
Timnit Gebru, a former co-leader of Google’s Ethical AI team, is a leading researcher on biases baked into AI systems | Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch Timnit Gebru says she was pushed out of the company; now some are worried it will have a chilling effect on academics in tech. Google’s workplace culture is yet again embroiled in controversy. AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru — a well-respected pioneer in her field and one of the few Black women leaders in the industry — said earlier this week that Google fired her after blocking the publication of her research around bias in AI systems. Days before Gebru’s departure, she sent a scathing internal memo to her colleagues detailing how higher-ups at Google tried to squash her research. She also criticized her department for what she described as a continued lack of diversity among its staff. In her widely read internal email, which was published by Platformer, Gebru said the company was “silencing in the most fundamental way possible” and claimed that “your life gets worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people” at Google. After Gebru’s departure, Google’s head of AI research Jeff Dean sent a note to Grebu’s department on Thursday morning saying that her research paper did not meet the company’s standards for publishing after internal review. According to Gebru, the company also told her that her critical note to her coworkers was “inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.” A representative for Google declined to comment. Gebru did not respond to a request for comment. Gebru’s allegation of being pushed out of the powerful tech company under questionable circumstances is causing a stir in the tech and academic communities, with many prominent researchers, civil rights leaders, and Gebru’s Google AI colleagues speaking out publicly on Twitter in her defense. A petition to support her has already received signatures from more than 740 Google employees and over 1,000 academics, nonprofit leaders, and industry peers. Her departure is significant because it hits on broader tensions around racial diversity in Silicon Valley as well as whether or not academics have enough freedom to publish research, even if it’s controversial, while working at major companies that control the development of powerful technologies and have their own corporate interests to consider. What happened People are still trying to unravel exactly what led to Gebru’s departure from Google. What we know is that Gebru and several of her colleagues were planning to present a research paper at a forthcoming academic conference about unintended consequences in natural language processing systems, which are the tools used in the field of computing to understand and automate the creation of written words and audio. Gebru and her colleagues’ research, according to the New York Times, “pinpointed flaws in a new breed of language technology, including a system built by Google that underpins the company’s search engine.” It also reportedly discussed the environmental consequences of large-scale computing systems used to power natural language processing programs. As part of Google’s process, Gebru submitted the paper to Google for internal review before it was published more broadly. Google determined that the paper was not up to its standards because it “ignored too much relevant research,” according to the memo Dean sent on Thursday. Dean also said in his memo that Google rejected Gebru’s paper for publication because she submitted it one day before its deadline for publication instead of the required two weeks. Gebru asked for further discussion with Google before retracting the paper, according to the Times. If Google couldn’t address her concerns, Gebru said she would resign from the company. Google told Gebru it couldn’t meet her conditions and the company was accepting her resignation immediately. It’s a standard process for a company like Google to review the research of its employees before it’s published outside it. But former colleagues and outside industry researchers defending Gebru questioned whether or not Google was arbitrarily enforcing its rules more strictly in this scenario. “It just seems odd that someone who has had books written about her, who is quoted and cited on a daily basis, would be let go because a paper wasn’t reviewed properly,” said Rumman Chowdhury, a data scientist who is the former head of Responsible AI at Accenture Applied Intelligence and has now launched her own company called Parity. Chowdhury has no affiliation with Google. The conflict and Grebu’s firing reflect a growing tension between researchers studying the ethics of AI and the major tech companies that employ them. It’s also another example of deep, ongoing issues dividing parts of Google’s workforce — just Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint that said Google had spied on its workers and likely violated labor laws when it fired two employee activists last year. After several years of internal turmoil at Google in its workforce over issues ranging from its controversial plans to work with the US military to sexual harassment of its employees, the past several months had been relatively quiet. The company’s biggest public pressure came instead from antitrust legal scrutiny and Republican lawmakers’ unproven accusations that Google’s products display an anti-conservative bias. But Gebru’s case and the recent NLRB complaint show the company is still fighting internal battles. “What Timnit did was present some hard but important evaluations of how the company’s efforts are going with diversity and inclusion initiatives and how to course-correct on that,” said Laurence Berland, a former Google engineer who was fired after organizing his colleagues around worker issues and is one of the employees contesting his dismissal with the NLRB. “It was passionate, but it wasn’t just non-constructive,” he said. Why Gebru’s departure matters In the relatively new and developing field of ethical AI, Gebru is not only a foundational researcher but a role model to many young academics. She’s also a leader of key groups like Black in AI, which are fostering more diversity in the largely white, male-dominated field of AI in the US. (While Google doesn’t break out its demographics specifically for its artificial intelligence research department, it does annually share its diversity numbers. Only 24.7 percent of its technical workforce are women, and 2.4 percent are Black, according to its 2020 Diversity & Inclusion report.) “Timnit is a pioneer. She is one of the founders of responsible and ethical, artificial intelligence,” said Chowdhury. “Computer scientists and engineers enter the field because of her.” In 2018, Gebru and another researcher, Joy Buolamwini, published groundbreaking research showing facial recognition software identified darker-skinned people and women incorrectly at far higher rates than lighter-skinned people and men. Her work has contributed to a broader reckoning in the tech industry about the unintended consequences of AI that is trained on data sets that can marginalize minorities and women, reinforcing existing societal inequalities. Outside of Google, academics in the field of AI are concerned that Gebru’s firing could scare other researchers from publishing important research that may step on the toes of their employers. “It’s not clear to researchers how they’re going to continue doing this work in the industry,” said UC Berkeley computer science professor Moritz Hardt, who specializes in machine learning and has studied fairness in AI. “It’s a chilling moment I would say.”
Got a PS4 or Xbox One collecting dust? Here's what to do with it
D.C. police charge man in two fatal shootings in Northeast, Southeast Washington
The killings occurred Nov. 3 and Nov. 29.
Atlantic Media taps top editor of Conde Nast’s Wired as new CEO
In an unusual move in the publishing world, Atlantic Media tapped Nicholas Thompson, the editor in chief of Wired magazine, to be its new CEO after a year-and-a-half-long search. Atlantic is hiring 45-year-old Thompson — who has spent the past 15 years as a journalist at Conde Nast publications including the New Yorker — to...
CNBC's Rick Santelli blasts anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin over lockdowns
A shouting match on CNBC went viral on Friday after on-air editor Rick Santelli and "Squawk Box" co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin engaged in an intense exchange over the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on "The Takeout" - 12/4/20
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, joins Major for a conversation about U.K.'s approval of COVID-19 vaccines, a vaccine distribution plan for the U.S. and the incoming Biden administration on this week's episode of "The Takeout with Major Garrett."
Foul Play Suspected In the Fourth and Fifth Deaths at Fort Bragg This Year
The two people discovered on Wednesday are 44-year-old Master Sergeant William J. Lavigne II and 37-year-old Army veteran Timothy Dumas.
Thai researchers unearth rare whale skeleton
SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand — Thai researchers have unearthed a rare partially fossilized skeleton belonging to a Bryde’s whale believed to be around 5,000 years old at an inland site west of Bangkok. The 41-foot long skeleton was found by a cyclist, who spotted part of a vertebrae coming out of the ground, in early November....
Obama, underscoring need for Dem Senate, says his first 2 years in office were 'most productive since Lyndon'
President Obama joined Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in a virtual rally Friday, underscoring the need for Democratic control of the Senate.
Shut up! Movie theaters are not dead even if Warner Bros. is grim reaper
The movie-business-obituary writers are at it again!
Pelosi defiant over handling of stimulus: Rejecting previous Republican proposals was 'not a mistake'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday stood by the way she has handled the stimulus negotiations, telling reporters during her weekly news conference that both she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agree Covid-19 relief should be tied to the government funding bill facing a December 11 deadline.
'Not a mistake,' says Pelosi of rejecting previous Republican stimulus proposals
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday stood by the way she has handled the stimulus negotiations, telling reporters during her weekly news conference that both she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agree Covid-19 relief should be tied to the government funding bill facing a December 11 deadline.
Kenosha Shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s MAGA-Loving Defense Team Implodes
ReutersWhile Kyle Rittenhouse awaits trial for killing two people at a Kenosha, Wisconsin, Black Lives Matter protest this summer, his lawyers are in prosecutors’ crosshairs.From the start of the high-profile case, Rittenhouse’s lawyers have attracted nearly as much attention as he has. Now, the 17-year-old’s main lawyer, John Pierce, is off the case, after prosecutors argued that fundraisers for Rittenhouse could act as a “slush fund” for the embattled attorney. Another prominent attorney who has associated himself with Rittenhouse, Lin Wood, also appears to have pivoted away from the case in order to focus his efforts on overturning President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.Rittenhouse was charged with reckless homicide after he fatally shot two people and wounded a third person at the August protest. He has pleaded not guilty, and says he acted in self-defense.Read more at The Daily Beast.
During his season away from baseball, Nationals pitcher Joe Ross found his voice
Nats starter Joe Ross opted out of the 2020 season for health reasons. In the time off, he discovered the importance of his platform as a pro athlete.
Tribune Publishing Closes Hartford Courant Newsroom
Citing the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout, the Connecticut daily’s parent company tells staff members they will work remotely into 2021.
Spammed, slammed and grifted
Come along, friends, and join us for a tale of yesteryear...
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak launches new company
Tech maven Steve Wozniak launched a new company this week — more than four decades after he started Apple with the late Steve Jobs. Wozniak’s latest venture, Efforce, aims to use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to make it cheaper and easier for companies to fund environmentally friendly projects. The company says its goal is to...
Trump orders troop withdrawal from Somalia
An estimated 700 U.S. troops are stationed in Somalia to assist in its fight against Al-Shabab, a terrorist group with links to Al Qaeda.
Artem Lobov targets seven-figure paydays in boxing, happy to 'whoop' Jake Paul
With Artem Lobov looking to enter the world of boxing in 2021, he wants to secure the bag before calling it quits.        Related StoriesUFC on ESPN 19 faceoff video highlights, photo galleryUFC on ESPN 19 predictions: Can Marvin Vettori top Jack Hermansson on short notice?UFC on ESPN 19 video: Jack Hermansson, Marvin Vettori talk and smile during faceoff
Turns out that dishonesty is lucrative
Trump and his favorite cable-news outlets have embraced the monetization of nonsense.
Yusuf/Cat Stevens, still listening to the wind
The singer-songwriter looks back and looks ahead, 50 years after releasing "Tea for the Tillerman," and on the eve of his "CatSong Festival" celebration
L.A. County provides at-home coronavirus testing in pilot program
The home-testing pilot program for L.A. County residents runs through Jan. 15 and is designed to reduce COVID-19 spread through the holidays.
Masks are critical to stopping coronavirus spread, even at home, CDC says
Masks are "critical" to controlling the spread of coronavirus, and that includes at home sometimes, the CDC said Friday.
Joe Biden says he won’t mandate getting COVID-19 vaccine, wearing masks
President-elect Joe Biden on Friday said that he won't impose national mandates to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or to wear a mask.