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Colombia: 5 cases of Zika-associated microcephaly this year

A massive space shuttle external propellant tank is squeezing through the streets of Los Angeles to join a display of the retired orbiter Endeavour at the California Science Center. A massive space shuttle fuel tank squeezed through the streets of Los Angeles and loomed over vehicles on a busy freeway Saturday to join the retired orbiter Endeavour on display at the California Science Center.

Silicon Valley Targets Smart Guns

Experts believe that soon Americans will be more likely to be shot to death than die in an automobile-related accident. (In 2014 firearms killed 33,000. That same year, 32,675 died in car wrecks) Newsweek writes about Silicon Valley’s answer to U.S. gun violence: perfect user-authenticated firearms. The technology allows only the owner of a gun to pull the trigger. But the biggest road block to the widespread use of smart guns is politics. “The gun companies have chosen to sit on their asses and not innovate,” said Ron Conway, a billionaire investing in the technology. “Silicon Valley is coming to their rescue.”

Ryan: ‘I Do Not Want Nor Will I Accept the Nomination’

House Speaker Paul Ryan sought to put an end to speculation that he could end up being the Republican 2016 candidate. “Count me out,” Ryan said. “I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee, to be the president, you should actually run for it. I chose not to. Therefore, I should not be considered. Period.” Last year Ryan had also said he would not seek to become speaker of the House but later agreed to the position. “Apples and oranges,” Ryan said when asked about his turnabout last year. “Being speaker of the house is a far cry from being President of the United States.”


Commenters More Abusive to Women, Non-Whites

The Guardian has studied the 70 million reader comments posted on its site: “New research into our own comment threads provides the first quantitative evidence for what female journalists have long suspected: that articles written by women attract more abuse and dismissive trolling than those written by men, regardless of what the article is about. Although the majority of our regular opinion writers are white men, we found that those who experienced the highest levels of abuse and dismissive trolling were not. The 10 regular writers who got the most abuse were eight women (four white and four non-white) and two black men. Two of the women and one of the men were gay. And of the eight women in the ‘top 10,’ one was Muslim and one Jewish. And the 10 regular writers who got the least abuse? All men.”

The Guardian has already taken the decision to cut down the number of places where comments are open on stories relating to a few particularly contentious subjects, such as migration and race. This allows moderators to keep a closer watch on conversations that we know are more likely to attract abuse.

However, unlike many news sites, the Guardian has no plans to close comments altogether. For the most part, Guardian readers enrich the journalism. Only 2% of comments are blocked (a further 2% are deleted because they are spam or replies to blocked comments); the majority are respectful and many are wonderful. A good comment thread is a joy to read — and more common than the “don’t read the comments” detractors believe.

California School District Allows Teachers to Arm Up

Kingsburg High School District in California voted Monday to allow some staff to carry guns during the school day to help protect students and staff in the case of an active shooter. The district is the second in California to allow guns at schools. At least seven other states have schools that allow guns in some form, according to the Council of State Governments Justice Center. In 2013, at least 33 states introduced more than 80 bills related to arming teachers and school staff.

Mary Lou Swenning, who has grandchildren attending the district, said, “Now we’re going to add something else for teachers to think about? Shooting people, really? That’s a difficult thing for a police officer to do who’s been trained to do this, and you have a split second to decide if you should kill this person or not. I wouldn’t want that responsibility, and I wouldn’t want it for our teachers.”

Waldman: Republicans Know Hillary Won’t Be Indicted

Paul Waldman, Washington Post: For the most part, the [Hillary] Clinton email story has been a disappointment to Republicans. They were desperately hoping that the emails would reveal some kind of ghastly malfeasance on Clinton’s part, some smoking gun that would make all Americans realize that she should never be elected president. When that turned out not to be the case, they pinned their hopes on the idea that she would just have to be charged with a crime eventually. I have no doubt that people like Will and Rove now understand that that isn’t going to happen either. But having gone this far, they need to keep up appearances, and they also know that just talking about her emails serves to convince people that something scandalous must have happened. So they are laying the groundwork to argue, if and when she doesn’t get indicted, that it must only be because Barack Obama’s corrupt administration quashed the investigation and hid the truth from the public.

Obama Forgiving Student Loans of Nearly 400,000

Hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers will now have an easier path to getting their loans discharged, the Obama administration announced Tuesday. The Department of Education will send letters to 387,000 people they’ve identified as being eligible for a total and permanent disability discharge, a designation that allows federal student loan borrowers who can’t work because of a disability to have their loans forgiven. “Americans with disabilities have a right to student loan relief,” said Ted Mitchell, the undersecretary of education.

About 179,000 of the borrowers are in default on their student loans, and of that group more than 100,000 are at risk of having their tax refunds or Social Security checks garnished to pay off the debt.

Often borrowers losing out on these benefits aren’t even aware that they’re eligible for a disability discharge, said Persis Yu, director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center.

Hillary, De Blasio Under Fire for ‘CP Time’ Joke

A comic gag by Hillary Clinton and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at an annual satirical event triggered a social media storm over perceived insensitivity to African-Americans.

Clinton and de Blasio took the stage on Saturday at the Inner Circle, a media roast of politicians that traditionally ends with New York’s mayor delivering a snarky rebuttal in the form of a rehearsed skit, often with the help of Broadway cast members.

This year Leslie Odom Jr., who is black and plays Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway show Hamilton, participated in the planned joke. In the skit, Clinton kidded de Blasio about his delay in endorsing her bid for the White House.

“Sorry, Hillary, I was running on C.P. Time,” de Blasio said, referring to the phrase “colored people time” used to indicate chronic lateness.

“I don’t like jokes like that,” Odom said.

Clinton then added: “‘Cautious politician time.’ I’ve been there.”

The joke quickly led to an angry reaction on social media, with commentators criticizing Clinton and de Blasio for being insensitive to black people. De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, is African-American.

New Pressure on Obama Admin to Release 9/11 Info

Pressure is building on the Obama administration to release information about the 9/11 attacks that has been kept from the public for well over a decade. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has read the 28 pages that have been locked in a vault under the Capitol for 13 years. She said the 9/11 families she represents deserve to read them too — before the president travels to the Middle East next week. “If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document,” Gillibrand said. Steve Kroft, for 60-Minutes, interviewed former Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry. He said the classified pages lay out a network of people he believes helped some of the hijackers find housing and enroll in flight school.

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I am on the Drone Kill List

Malik Jalal: I am in the strange position of knowing that I am on the “Kill List.” I know this because I have been told, and I know because I have been targeted for death over and over again … I took to the habit of sleeping under the trees, well above my home, to avoid acting as a magnet of death for my whole family. But one night my youngest son, Hilal (then aged six), followed me out to the mountainside. He said that he, too, feared the droning engines at night. I tried to comfort him. I said that drones wouldn’t target children, but Hilal refused to believe me. He said that missiles had often killed children. It was then that I knew that I could not let them go on living like this … I am in England this week because I decided that if Westerners wanted to kill me without bothering to come to speak with me first, perhaps I should come to speak to them instead.

In January 2010, I lent my vehicle to my nephew, Salimullah, to drive to Deegan for an oil change and to have one of the tires checked. Rumors had surfaced that drones were targeting particular vehicles, and tracking particular phone signals. The sky was clear and there were drones circling overhead.

As Salimullah conversed with the mechanic, a second vehicle pulled up next to mine. There were four men inside, just local chromite miners. A missile destroyed both vehicles, killed all four men, and seriously injured Salimullah, who spent the next 31 days in hospital.

Upon reflection, because the drones target the vehicles of people they want to kill in Waziristan, I was worried that they were aiming for me.

Every Presidential Candidate Should Release Tax Returns

Ruth Marcus, Washington Post: Politicians like to bet that reporters and their pesky questions will go away. Too often, they’re right. Thus, the drumbeat of demands for Donald Trump’s tax returns faded after he waved it all away with claims that a pending audit prevented the transparency he would otherwise be delighted to provide. .

Trump is, by far, the greatest offender here and, in this area at least, Clinton the avatar of full disclosure.

Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Bernie Sanders have claimed transparency but released only the initial, summary pages of their tax returns.

This dodge obscures all sorts of potentially significant information, from amounts and details about charitable giving to precise sources of income to their use of various tax shelters. Voters should not be misled by this phony forthcomingness.

Would they accept a president who provided a similarly flimsy summary?

Although an audit for a taxpayer of Trump’s magnitude and complexity is not evidence of tax mischief, if anything, it argues for more transparency, not less.

Trump says there was no “net” deficiency. Were there dodges that the IRS disallowed? Aren’t voters entitled to know about those? Richard Nixon, of all people, released his tax returns — in the midst of an IRS audit, while he was president. (He owed nearly a half-million dollars in taxes and interest.)

Next Tax Day will see a new president in the White House. Will it be the first in decades in which the president won’t be straight with fellow taxpayers?

‘Affluenza’ Teen Gets 2 Years for Violating Parole

Ethan Couch, the affluenza teen was sentenced to nearly two years in jail Wednesday, 180 days for each parole violation relating to a 2013 drunken driving crash that killed four people. But the judge also said he would hear arguments in two weeks to determine if he should reconsider the sentence. During Couch’s 2013 trial concerning the four deaths, a witness testified he didn’t know right from wrong due his wealthy upbringing, hence dubbing Couch the affluenza teen. After being released on probation, a video was brought to officials attention that appeared to show someone who looks like Couch at a beer-pong party. Couch and his mother fled to Mexico but were found by authorities and returned to the U.S. Couch has been in jail since his return. “I do believe Ethan Couch is not the same person he was when he came to jail,” a jail official told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . “This time he’s spent, it’s a rude awakening for anyone.”

Video a young man paralyzed by the 2013 Ethan Couch drunk driving wreck.

Texas Prisoners Banned from Social Media

Texas prisoners are forbidden to have any social media presence, according to the new Texas Department of Criminal Justice Offender Handbook published April 1. Fusion reports that prison officials say they will send social media outlets, such as Facebook, notices to take down accounts and prisoners will be given level-three punishments, the lowest. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out that had Martin Luther King, Jr. written “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” today, his wife would not have been able to post it on his social media account. “Supporters of inmates often use social media to raise attention about prison conditions and the appeal campaigns of individual prisoners,” EFF wrote. “This policy would not only prohibit the prisoners’ exercise of their First Amendment rights, but also prevent the public from exercising their First Amendment right to gather information about the criminal justice system from those most affected by it.”

Judge in Pakistan Asks How Bomb Works, Then …

A device being presented as evidence at a trial in Pakistani blew up after the judge asked a police officer to show how it worked. At least two people were injured, including the policeman, in the blast at an anti-terrorism court in Karachi. The device presented in court was at the request of the defense. When Judge Shakil Haider asked how it worked, a part of the device was pulled and it exploded, throwing the judge off his chair. “We are investigating as to how the detonator was brought to the court without being defused,” said senior police official Jamil Ahmed.

Trump Reshuffles Staff; ‘Corey Has Been Neutered’

Donald Trump’s struggling campaign has brought together a new team under recently hired strategist Paul Manafort and they’re taking control of people once overseen by campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, multiple campaign sources told Politico. The power struggle has left two groups with conflicting authority and staffers unsure which one to follow. A GOP fundraiser said Manafort is casting a wide net for prospective staff as he endeavors to build “an entire mirror organization.” A former campaign adviser said, “Corey has been neutered.”

Manafort was brought in last month and given more control last week in response to the Trump campaign’s struggles to amass delegates, a process mostly controlled by party insiders with knowledge of arcane, state-specific rules that has befuddled the GOP front-runner’s operation. Trump has almost no margin for error if he hopes to secure the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination outright.

UC-Davis Sprayed Money Around to Bury Video

How much would you pay to hide something embarrassing? At least $175,000 is what the University of California in Davis, California, has shelled out to companies to scrub the Internet of information about campus police pepper spraying students, according to the Sacramento Bee. In November 2011 campus police officers calmly pepper sprayed students seated during an Occupy movement protest. “I would say that it is common for an individual who might be applying for a job or an individual who has been wrongly maligned to go to a company like Reputation.Com, but for a public university that is funded through taxpayer funds, who has repeatedly stepped into a vast hole, it is surprising that they though this could be done without the light of day shining on the act,” said public affair consultant Doug Element to The Sacramento Bee.

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400 Democracy Spring Protesters Arrested at Capitol

U.S. Capitol police said “unlawful demonstration activity” such as crowding, obstruction or sitting in unauthorized areas led to the arrest of more than 400 protesters Monday outside the Capitol. Democracy Spring is a group working to get rid of laws that allow money to influence the U.S. political system. The group lists individuals including actor Mark Ruffalo and dozens of other political groups who support the movement on their website. More protests are planned this week.

New York Poll: Hillary 51%, Sanders 39%

Hillary Clinton is maintaining her double-digit lead over Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders in New York, ahead of the April 19 primary, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday. The poll found Clinton and Sanders effectively tied among white voters — 48% for Sanders, 46% for Clinton — but the former secretary of state leads the Vermont senator 62% to 22% among African-American, Hispanic and other non-white voters. The results are similar to recent findings from Quinnipiac University and Fox News, which also showed her double-digit leads in the state she was twice elected to the Senate.

Octopus Escapes Aquarium, Flees to Freedom

An octopus has made a successful dash for freedom from a New Zealand aquarium and is now thought to be roaming the Pacific Ocean. Inky the octopus took his chance to escape through a small gap in his enclosure at the National Aquarium in the coastal city of Napier. After managing to squeeze his way out, Inky slid across the floor and found a six-inch-wide drain pipe which — luckily for him — led to the sea. Aquarium manager Rob Yarrall says the tank’s lid was left slightly ajar following maintenance work. “He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean and off he went — didn’t even leave us a message,” he tells Radio New Zealand.

Trump Campaign Manager Won’t Be Prosecuted

Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will not be prosecuted for battery of former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, according to Politico, citing unnamed sources. Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg will make the official announcement Thursday. Police charged Lewandowski with simple battery after Fields was grabbed trying to ask Trump a question following a press conference. After the incident, Trump and Lewandowski denied that Lewandowski ever touched her, which video later showed was a lie. Trump then downplayed the incident and said the pen the reporter was carrying could have been considered dangerous. “She had a pen in her hand, which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb,” Trump said.

Astronomers Discover Mysterious Alignment of Black Holes

Deep radio imaging by researchers in the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape, in South Africa, has revealed that supermassive black holes in a region of the distant universe are all spinning out radio jets in the same direction — most likely a result of primordial mass fluctuations in the early universe. The astronomers publish their results in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.|

New York Verizon Workers Prep for Massive East Coast Strike

Thousands of East Coast Verizon workers are planning to strike on Wednesday if labor representatives can’t negotiate a new contract with the communications giant.

The strike is scheduled for 6 a.m. on April 13 and would be “by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years,” according to union leaders.

“[Our members] are located all over the state,” CWA spokesman Robert Master told Patch. “It’s the phone company, so we serve every community.”

In the Hudson Valley, if Verizon workers do go out on strike, union officials said there will be about 600 workers manning the picket lines at 111 Main St. in White Plains beginning at 6 a.m.

However, Verizon representatives said that the company is “fully prepared to serve its customers” in the event of a strike.

In a Monday joint statement, labor leaders with IBEW Local 827 and CWA Local 1000 said that 39,000 East Coast workers plan to “stand up for working families” against “Verizon’s corporate greed.”

Union leaders are alleging that even though Verizon made $39 billion in profits over the last three years, the company wants to “gut job security protections, contract out more work and send jobs overseas, and require technicians to work away from home for as long as two months without seeing their families.”

The corporate giant is also refusing to negotiate any improvements in wages, benefits or working conditions for Verizon Wireless retail workers, who formed a union in 2014, labor leaders allege.

According to labor leaders, contract negotiations began in June 2015; the workers’ contracts expired on August 1 last year.

“For months and months, we’ve made every effort to reach a fair agreement at the bargaining table,” said Myles Calvey, IBEW Local 2222 business manager and chairman, T-6 Verizon New England. “We’ve offered Verizon hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings and yet they still refuse to provide basic job security for workers. We have to take a stand now for our families and every American worker.”

According to union leaders, Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam earns 200 times more than the average Verizon employee.

In addition, the company’s top five executives allegedly made $233 million over the last five years.


The company said it is “fully prepared to serve its customers” in the event of a strike.

“We do not take strike threats lightly,” said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon’s wireline network operations. “For more than a year, we’ve been preparing in the event union leaders order our employees to walk off the job. If a strike takes place, whether it’s one day, two weeks or longer, we are ready.”

Mudge said that the company has trained thousands of non-union Verizon employees to carry out “virtually every job function handled by our represented workforce,” from making repairs on utility poles to responding to inquiries in its call centers.

According to a company statement, Verizon approached contract negotiations with “a goal of preserving good jobs while also making critical changes needed to legacy contracts.”

Verizon’s 36,000 employees covered under these contracts currently have a wage and benefit package that averages more than $130,000 a year, the company asserted.

Over 99 percent of these employees support the company’s wireline business, which in 2015, contributed about 29 percent of Verizon’s revenue but less than seven percent of its operating income, company spokespeople stated.

“We’ve tried to work with union leaders to reach a deal,” said Marc Reed, Verizon’s chief administrative officer. “Verizon has been moving the bargaining process forward, but now union leaders would rather make strike threats than constructively engage at the bargaining table.”

“A strike in this case is not going to change the issues on the table that need to be addressed,” Reed added.

According to Verizon, offered terms of its wireline contract proposal include:

A 6.5 percent wage increase over the term of the contract
“Competitive retirement benefits” including a 401K with a company match
Verizon spokespeople also said that the current proposal includes “structural changes” to its health plan due to rising healthcare costs.


In a March 18 letter to McAdam, 20 U.S. senators called for the Verizon to “act as a responsible corporate citizen and negotiate a fair contact with the employees who make your success possible.”

Signatories to the letter included Bernie Sanders, Robert Menendez, Cory Booker and Charles Schumer.

The senators wrote:

“It is our understanding that the [CWA and IBEW] have offered to negotiate substantial savings in heaelth care for the wireline workforce, but there are additional areas of concern for your workers, including job security, the treatment of sick and injured workers, pensions and the contracting out of work. While we recognize that changes in technology and customer preference have led to a decline in landline service, driving the need for some contract changes, we also want to be sure that Verizon preserves good, family-supporting jobs in our region.”

Photo: CWA Local 1101 workers protest outside a Verizon store in New York City on Sunday

Patch staff writer Michael Woyton contributed to this report.

Court Makes Polygamy Illegal Again in Utah

A federal appeals court restored Utah’s ban on polygamy Monday, handing a defeat to the family from TV’s Sister Wives and other polygamists who say the ruling could send plural families back into hiding out of fear of prosecution. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a 2013 ruling that struck down key parts of Utah’s law against bigamy, or holding multiple marriage licenses. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups had found the state violated polygamists’ right to privacy and religious freedom. The appeals court ruled that Waddoups should not have considered a lawsuit from Kody Brown and his four wives because they were never charged with a crime and there was little chance they would be.

The decision brings back a rule forbidding married people from living with a second purported “spouse,” making Utah’s law stricter than those in every other state and creating a threat of arrest for plural families. Like most polygamous families in Utah, Brown is legally married to one wife and “spiritually married” to the others.

State authorities have long said they don’t go after polygamists who otherwise follow the law, and they reiterated that stance after the ruling. Officials wanted the clause kept on the books to help in criminal cases related to polygamy.

The battlelines for the next expansion of marriage have been drawn.

How James Mattis Becomes President

Leo Shane III, Military Times: The path for former Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to become president is simple: 1. Declare himself a candidate. 2. Ensure no other candidate gets 270 electoral college votes in November. 3. Have Congress install him as commander-in-chief.

O]ne possible scenario is all of the states breaking for the same party as in 2012, but with Mattis capturing Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania (forget for a moment that Mattis has never won a single vote in those states or even appeared on a local ballot).

The former four-star currently works as a national security fellow at the Hoover Institution, a California-based think tank connected to Stanford University.

He developed a cult-like following among service members during his 34-year military career, in large part due to his blunt talk about the nature of combat. He once advised Marines serving under him to “be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

A meeting of James Mattis and Vlad Putin would be a fun one.

Carson: I’d Prefer to Be #NeverTrump

If it were not for the pragmatic belief that Donald Trump is the most likely Republican candidate who can win, Ben Carson said he would join the never-Trump movement. Speaking on the Denver, Colorado-based radio show Kelley and Kafer last week, Carson explained that the stakes are too high not to support any Republican that could win. Host Krista Kafer explained that she will never vote for Donald Trump saying he is a bad man and that she does not want to put nuclear codes in the hands of a person who makes fun those with disabilities. “If it were just me, I would be completely where Krista is,” Carson said at the end of the 19-minute clip on BuzzFeed.

Dark Web Browser Tor Wants to Go Mainstream

The Tor Project’s new executive director Shari Steele, a former leader of the digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wants the browser to attract more mainstream users. Before coming to Tor, Steele said like most Internet surfers, she had never used Tor. The Browser has about 2.4 million users each day and some say it’s clunky design makes it hard to use. A recent ad by the group featured a picture of Edward Snowden, with the words, “This is What a Tor Supporter Looks Like.”

Flaccid Sales Plague Female Viagra Drug

After the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Addyi, a medication used to treat low sex drive in females, the late night comics and investors were buzzing about the possibilities. Today, doctors have prescribed Addyi (pronounced addee) fewer than 4,000 times, according a New York Times investigation. The article details problems with pricing, marketing and distribution. “We have millions of women who arguably would like access to this drug,” said the executive director of the National Consumers League Sally Greenberg. “It’s incredibly frustrating.”

2 of Trump’s Kids Won’t Be Voting for Him

If Donald Trump loses any New York delegates by two votes, he’ll know who to blame. Eric and Ivanka Trump did not register as Republicans before last October’s deadline. “They had a longtime register and they were, you know, unaware of the rules, and they didn’t, they didn’t register in time,” Trump said during a television telephone interview on Fox & Friends. “So they feel very, very guilty. … But it’s fine. I understand that.” The host joked about cutting off their allowance. “Yes. No more allowance,” Trump said.

‘All the President’s Men’ Turns 40

This week All the President’s Men, Alan J. Pakula’s classic journalism procedural, celebrates the 40th anniversary of its release. Journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein share their favorite shots from the movie with the Washington Post, the newspaper that also stars in the 1976 classic, and Michael Cavna writes about the visuals it used to tell the story of the unmaking of a president.

Texas AG Charged with Stock Fraud

Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday was charged with securities fraud in federal court. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges in court documents that Paxton and one other man were paid commissions by Servergy, a technology company, “to promote the company to potential investors. Neither White nor Paxton disclosed their arrangements to prospective investors.” Servergy and its founder are also being charged.

From the court filing:

From November 2009 to September 2013 Servergy “raised approximately $26 million in private securities offerings to develop what it claimed was a revolutionary new server, the Cleantech-1000.”

“In oral and written communications with prospective investors, and in Servergy’s February 2013 Private Placement Memorandum (“PPM”), Servergy’s co-founder and then-CEO and Chairman William E. Mapp, III (“Mapp”) led investors to believe that the CTS-1000 was in high demand by falsely claiming notable companies like and Freescale Semiconductors had pre-ordered the product.”

“In addition, Mapp claimed the CTS-1000 consumed up to 80% less power than other servers and that it was positioned to compete with servers from industry leaders like Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Dell for use in large data centers. Mapp had no reasonable basis for these claims and failed to disclose that, in reality, the CTS-1000 was based on outdated technology that was being phased out of the industry.”

“As part of its fundraising efforts, Servergy paid Caleb J. White (“White”) and Warren K. Paxton, Jr. (“Paxton”) commissions to promote the company to potential investors. Neither White nor Paxton disclosed their arrangements to prospective investors.”

At a meeting of the sheriff’s association, Paxton said that if elected he is committed to defending state laws and envisions Texas “remaining a beacon of freedom and liberty to the nation.”

Cruz: Matt Drudge Has Become Trump’s Attack Dog

The Drudge Report has become the “attack site” for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz said Monday. “Drudge Report over the years has done a good job highlighting the excesses of the left and excesses of liberalism, and about the past month the Drudge Report has basically become the attack site for the Donald Trump campaign,” Cruz said during a telephonic appearance on the San Diego-based Mike Slater Show. “And so every day they have the latest Trump attack. They’re directed at me. By all appearances, Roger Stone now decides what’s on Drudge. And most days, they have six-month-old article that is some attack on me and it’s whatever the Trump campaign is pushing that day will be the banner headline on Drudge.” Cruz also complained that when he wins a state, Drudge Report does not put up a red siren. “There was no red siren on Drudge when we won all 34 delegates in Colorado,” Cruz said.

Radioactive Wild Boars Rampaging Near Fukushima

Radioactive boars are running wild and breeding uncontrollably in the northern region of Japan contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The animals have been devastating local agriculture and eating toxic, nuclear-contaminated food from around the accident site. Mass graves and incinerators have been unable to cope with the quantity of boar corpses, shot by local hunters … The damage to local farms beyond the quarantine zone caused by the boars has correspondingly increased.

DEA May Reschedule Marijuana in 2016 

The Drug Enforcement Administration plans to decide whether marijuana should reclassified under federal law in “the first half of 2016,” the agency said in a letter to senators. The DEA, responding to a 2015 letter from eight Democratic senators urging the federal government to facilitate research into marijuana’s medical benefits, doesn’t indicate whether it will reclassify marijuana as less dangerous. The letter, signed by Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, explains in great detail the marijuana supply available at the University of Mississippi, the federal government’s only sanctioned marijuana garden.

Corey Lewandowski Has History of Abusive Tirades 

Corey Lewandowski, the embattled manager of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was mostly unknown to national political observers before the 2016 elections. But he is infamous to former co-workers at Americans for Prosperity, some of whom describe him as verbally abusive, unprofessional, and occasionally misogynistic. And at least one Republican operative who has interacted with him in his current role said much of the same.

While his own dealings with Lewandowski were unpleasant, [AfP field director Pat] Maloney said he felt Lewandowski reserved his worst behavior for female employees. “There was definitely a misogynistic streak to this guy,” he said. …

Lisa Bast, another Ohio regional field director at the time, said Lewandowski once threatened to “come really down hard” on her if she didn’t get 50 people to attend an AFP event in Akron. After she missed a 7 a.m. conference call to prepare for the event, her phone rang.

“Corey gets on the phone and defames my character. He called me incompetent, called me a loser,” Bast said. “He called me a f—— b—-, yelling, ‘I am going to fire your f—– ass!'”

Court: Walker’s Right-To-Work Law Unconstitutional

A Wisconsin court has struck down the state’s right-to-work law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, calling it unconstitutional. A Dane County Circuit Court judge issued the ruling Friday in a lawsuit filed by local unions. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel promised to appeal the order, saying: “We are confident the law will be upheld on appeal.” The unions argued that Wisconsin’s law was an unconstitutional seizure of union property since unions now must extend benefits to workers who don’t pay dues. Walker launched his run for president just months after signing the law, and frequently mentioned it while campaigning. He dropped out of the race in September, four months before the first state voted.

Suspect Held in Freshman’s Murder on UT Campus 

An 18-year-old University of Texas freshman was killed as she walked home from class on Sunday night, the first murder on the grounds of the campus since the Charles Whitman shooting spree in 1966. Haruka Weiser left the drama building at 9:30 p.m., calling a friend to say she was on her way. She never showed up and her body was found in a creek Tuesday. Surveillance video helped lead police to Meechaiel Criner, 17, who has been charged with first-degree murder. Police had made contact with Criner on Monday, when they took him to a youth homeless shelter after he was found at the scene of a trash fire near campus.

In addition to dance, Weiser was declaring a major in premed.

Her family issued a statement that stated, “”Although Haruka loved to perform on stage she never sought the spotlight in her daily life. Perhaps the last thing she would want is to be the poster child for any cause. And yet, as we struggle to understand why she was killed, if her death can somehow make it safer for a young woman to walk home, if it will prevent another assault or murder, then at least we could find some meaning behind an otherwise senseless and tragic death.”

Soldier Kills Commander, Self at Air Force Base 

A tech sergeant at Lackland Air Force Base was being escorted to a disciplinary proceeding by a senior non-commissioned officer Friday morning when the tech sergeant opened fire in the commander’s office, killing the commander, a source told the San Antonio Express-News. The tech sergeant then killed himself. The senior NCO, a first sergeant, was uninjured. The victim is a squadron commander, the paper reported.

Ford Confirms New $1.6B Plant in Mexico 

Ford has confirmed plans for a new assembly plant in Mexico, likely fueling more criticism of the company in the current presidential election. “We’re going to be in vesting in a new plant in Mexico’s San Luis Potosi state to produce more small cars for North America,” said Ford President of the America’s Joe Hinrichs. “It’s a $1.6 billion U.S. investment that will create 2,800 additional direct jobs by 2020.”

But the UAW wasn’t ready to be reassured, calling the announcement a disappointment and “very troubling.”

“For every investment in Mexico it means jobs that could have and should have been available right here in the USA,” said UAW President Dennis Williams in a statement. “This is another example of what’s wrong with NAFTA and why the TPP would be a disaster for the citizens of the United States. Companies continue to run to low-wage countries and import back into the United States. This is a broken system that needs to be fixed.”

Ford Confirms New $1.6B Plant In Mexico, UAW Fires Back

Murder Charge for Cop Who Shot Unarmed, Crawling Man

Moments before a Mesa, Arizona, police officer killed Daniel Shaver with five shots from an AR-15, Shaver was on all fours, pleading with officers not to shoot him, according to a newly released police report from the incident. Shaver, 26, from Texas, was killed on January 18. Philip Brailsford, the two-year Mesa Police Department officer who allegedly killed him, was fired from the department and charged with second-degree murder.

According to the police report, the officers who responded asked Shaver and a woman he was with to exit the room. Shaver exited, then raised his hands and dropped to his knees. An officer told him to lay on the ground, and he did. …

Officers ordered Shaver to crawl toward them, and he complied, “audibly sobbing” as he did so. As he crawled, he briefly moved his hand toward his waist and back toward his body, and Officer Brailsford began shooting.

“The movement of Shaver’s right arm in the recording was a very similar motion to someone drawing a pistol from their waist band,” the [police] report reads. However, it continues, “Shaver’s underwear were clearly visible and it appeared his shorts had fallen partially down his leg at that point. Shaver’s motion was also consistent with attempting to pull his shorts up as they were falling off.” …

BuzzFeed News notes that Laney Sweet, Shaver’s widow, recorded a conversation in which a prosecutor told her she could view the body camera footage, but only if she did not speak to the media about it.


Klamath Dams Will Be Removed

Oregon, California, the federal government and others have agreed to go forward with a plan to remove four hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest without approval from a reluctant Congress, a spokesman for dam owner PacifiCorp said Monday. Tearing down the dams would be a major victory for tribes that have fought for years to restore the river for salmon they rely on for subsistence and ceremony. The move also could breathe new life into a struggling effort to allocate more water for farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Klamath basin.

Slate: Bernie Sanders’ Bizarre Idea of Fair Trade

Jordan Weissmann, Slate: Bernie Sanders, it is often noted, has never met a free trade deal that he liked. But in his recent interview with the New York Daily Newseditorial board, the senator from Vermont outlined the trade terms he might find acceptable. His statement should be absolutely chilling to the developing world. “And what fair trade means to say that it is fair. It is roughly equivalent to the wages and environmental standards in the United States.” With those last few words, Sanders has effectively written off trade with any country that is not already rich and prosperous — which is simply inhumane. What I can’t tell is whether Sanders simply doesn’t understand this, or doesn’t care.

Stone Age Human Seafarers Brought Deer to Scotland

Stone Age humans populated the Scottish islands with red deer transported “considerable distances” by boat, said researchers Wednesday who admitted surprise at our prehistoric ancestors’ seafaring prowess. DNA analysis revealed that deer on Scotland’s northermost islands were unlikely to have come from the closest and seemingly most obvious places — mainland Scotland, Ireland or Norway, said a study in the Royal Society journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It was known that late Stone Age humans had transported cattle, sheep and pigs by boat, but not large wild animals, and not over such vast distances. Red deer, said Stanton, were central to life in Britain from the end of the last Ice Age about 11,000 years ago to the arrival of the first late Stone Age farmers. The animals provided crucial nourishment, skins, sinew, bones and antlers — used to till the soil, among other things. Scientists say all animals, including deer, found on the islands today must have been introduced by seafaring people.

Newtown Teacher Charged with Bringing Gun to School

A middle school teacher was charged Wednesday after he was found carrying a gun at school. Officers were called to the school by officials about 9 a.m. who said science teacher Jason M. Adams had come to the school with a concealed firearm. Security personnel had detained him at that time. After an initial investigation by police and school district administration, Adams, who has a valid pistol permit, was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds, a class D felony. Adams, 46, was released without posting bail and was scheduled to appear in Danbury Superior Court April 20. In December 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, killing 20 first-grade students and six adults.

Sanders Campaign Hopes for Contested Convention 

Bernie Sanders will surpass Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates and emerge as the nominee at a contested convention, his campaign said Tuesday. “We’ve mapped out a path to victory in our campaign in terms of delegates — pledged delegates — and we don’t have to win everywhere, but we do have to win most of the states coming up,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told MSNBC on Tuesday. “So there’s no one state that’s a must-win, and as we look forward we’re gonna be able to accumulate the delegates we need to get the pledged delegate lead by the end of this primary and caucus process.”

“He is winning by these gigantic margins, and that’s gonna allow him to catch up to the secretary,” Weaver said on CNN.|

Weaver said it’s highly unlikely either candidate will garner 2,383 pledged delegates to win the nomination. Superdelegates “don’t count until they vote, and they don’t vote until we get to the convention,” Weaver argued. “So when we arrive at the convention, it will be an open convention, likely with neither candidate having a majority of pledged delegates. So I think it’ll be an interesting Democratic convention.”

N.Y. GOP Poll: Trump 50%, Kasich 25%, Cruz 17%

Donald Trump has a more than two-to-one lead over his closest rival, John Kasich, in the Republican presidential front-runner’s home state of New York, a new poll finds.

A Monmouth University survey released Wednesday shows Trump taking 52 percent support, followed by Kasich at 25 percent.

Ted Cruz has 17 percent.

The April 19 primary in New York will go a long way toward determining whether Trump can reach the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination outright and avoid a contested convention.

Osama Bin Laden Was Bullish on Gold

At the end of 2010, Al Qaeda found itself suddenly flush after securing a $5 million ransom, and the group had to decide what to do with its windfall. At a time when the financial uncertainty of the Great Recession made gold a hot investment, Bin Laden turns out to have been as bullish about the precious metal as any Ron Paul devotee, Tea Party patriot or Wall Street financier. In a letter he wrote in December 2010, Bin Laden instructed Al Qaeda’s general manager to set aside a third of the ransom — nearly $1.7 million — to buy gold bars and coins. The letter was part of the trove of intelligence seized by Navy SEALs in the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011 that was declassified last month by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Trump Campaign in Disarray

Donald Trump’s campaign is increasingly falling into disarray … Since March, the campaign has been laying off field staff en masse around the country and has dismantled much of what existed of its organizations in general-election battlegrounds, including Florida and Ohio. Last month, the campaign laid off the leader of its data team, Matt Braynard, who did not train a successor. It elevated his No. 2, a data engineer with little prior high-level political strategy experience, and also shifted some of his team’s duties to a 2015 college graduate whose last job was an internship with the consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive. Some of the campaign’s data remains inaccessible.

As the final stretch of this hard fought GOP primary bogs down into a delegate fight among party insiders and operatives that likely won’t be decided until the July convention in Cleveland, Trump’s singular star power appears to be no longer enough — and his campaign’s months-long lack of attention to other fundamentals is emerging as a hindrance to his ability to clinch the nomination outright.

Woman Yells at Rick Scott Until He Flees Starbucks 

A video captured a woman confronting Gov. Rick Scott as he stopped for coffee Tuesday at Starbucks in Gainesville, Florida. “You cut Medicaid, so I couldn’t get Obamacare,” said the woman, Cara Jennings. You’re an a–h—! You don’t care about working people. You should be ashamed to show your face around here.” Jennings, 39, a stay-at-home mom and former city commissioner in Lake Worth who works part time, said, “I didn’t think about whether I should do it or not,” she told ABC Action News. “I thought, ‘Here’s my chance to tell the governor how I feel about the horrible bill.'” Scott fled without waiting for his coffee.

Antonin Scalia School of Law (ASSoL) Renamed 

Officials at George Mason University in Virginia were left red-faced after their decision to rename a law school after late Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia prompted hilarity over its unfortunate acronym. The university said its law school would be called the Antonin Scalia School of Law, prompting much hilarity on Twitter because its acronym would be ASSoL. The university quickly renamed it the Antonin Scalia Law School. So now it’s ASLS.

Aging Decline in Brains Occurs Faster in Men

The normal decline in memory and intellect that comes with aging may occur earlier — and faster — in men than women, says a study in Psychology and Aging. Older women outscored older men on most tests of cognitive function administered over nearly a decade, the study found. Men also showed a faster decline in specific cognitive abilities, such as mental agility, whereas there was no measure in which women had a steeper decline compared with men. Men and women were free of cognitive impairment at all times in the analysis, according to the study.

Hillary Fundraises Off Fumbling Sanders Interview

Presidential populist Bernie Sanders came under blistering fire Tuesday for opposing efforts by families of Sandy Hook shooting victims to sue gun manufacturers. Sanders, in an exclusive interview with the New York Daily News last week, said, “No, I don’t,” when asked if victims of a crime with a gun should be able to sue the manufacturer. His Democratic rival and her Connecticut supporters took aim at the upstart, saying the Vermont senator was out of touch on the issue. “I was against it, and he was for it, to give immunity from liability to gunmakers and sellers,” front-runner Hillary Clinton told supporters at a campaign event at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. “We can reverse this, and 92% of Americans and 85% of gun owners agree that we should.”


CNN reports, “The Vermont senator’s April 1 sit down with the paper’s editorial board, a transcript of which was published Monday, showed him having difficulty clearly answering some questions about both foreign and domestic policy, including the implementation of his much-touted plan to reform Wall Street. … In one exchange, Sanders acknowledged that he wasn’t sure exactly how he intended to break up the big banks, a proposal that has been a centerpiece of his Wall Street reform agenda.”

MSNBC and Bloomberg host Mark Halperin tweeted, “If Hillary gave answers like this to [an editorial] board, she would be crucified.”

Model Rocket Explosion Kills Teen, Injures Friend 

An 18-year old is dead and his 17-year old friend hospitalized when their propane-propelled model rocket exploded at an elementary school Monday evening. The two high school students from Thousand Oaks, California, were working to test launch the model rocket as a school project Monday evening on the handball courts of Madrona Elementary School when it exploded. Witnesses nearby heard the explosion and were quoted saying that it sounded like a sonic boom.

Congressman Spent $1K in Campaign Funds on Steam 

Congressman Duncan Hunter spent $1,302 in campaign funds on videogames from the Steam download platform over a two-month period, FEC records show. the California Republican blamed the purchases on his son making unauthorized use of his campaign credit card and listed them each as “personal expense — to be paid back” on the FEC filing. Though the purchases occurred in 2015, there’s no indication he’s paid it back to the campaign, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Merle Haggard Dies

Country music legend Merle Haggard, best known for such patriotic hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” died Wednesday at his home in Northern California of complications from pneumonia. He turned 79 today. Haggard recorded more than three dozen No. 1 country hits in a musical career that spanned six decades. Before his music career, he served a prison term in San Quentin after attempting to rob a Bakersfield roadhouse in 1957. He played in the prison’s country music band and took as inspiration a performance at the prison by Johnny Cash in 1958. Despite his advancing age Haggard maintained a robust touring schedule in recent years, only recently cancelling for health reasons some performances scheduled for this April.

Start of the Trump Building Empire not in America

A First Nations band is planning to start luring tourists this summer to the northern B.C. ghost town where Donald Drumpf’s pioneering grandfather once ran a brothel.

The Carcross Tagish First Nation, whose territory straddles the B.C.-Yukon border, is building a luxury wilderness camp south of that border, in the town of Bennett, which was briefly a hub for prospectors and others seeking their gold-rush fortunes, including one Frederich Drumpf, who established the Arctic Hotel there in 1899.

The Arctic Hotel was open 24 hours a day and boasted “private boxes” for ladies, which included a bed and a gold scale so customers could pay in nuggets, according to a multigenerational biography of the Drumpfs by U.S. author and journalist Gwenda Blair.

“The bulk of the (hotel’s) cash flow came from the sale of liquor and sex,” Blair wrote in her book The Drumpfs: Three Generations That Built An Empire.

Blow: Democrats Pick Nominee in 2 Undemocratic Ways

Charles Blow, New York Times: There are two prominent features of the Democratic Party’s presidential selection process that are thoroughly undemocratic and undermine faith in the party: superdelegates (which favor Hillary Clinton) and caucuses (which favor Bernie Sanders). … For a Democratic Party that prides itself on the grand ideals of inclusion and fairness, the nominating process is anything but.

McDonald’s: Wage Hikes Are Improving Our Service

Last year, McDonald’s joined a chorus of struggling U.S. companies offering workers pay hikes to help spur a turnaround. And it looks like the move is paying off for the fast-food giant. “It has done what we expected it to — 90 day turnover rates are down, our survey scores are up — we have more staff in restaurants,” McDonald’s U.S. president Mike Andres told analysts at a UBS conference on Wednesday. “So far we’re pleased with it — it was a significant investment obviously but it’s working well.” In October, McDonald’s reported its first quarter of comparable sales gains in two years. The company built on that growth with a huge 5.7% increase in the following quarter. 

Trump: I’ll Extort Mexico By Blocking Money Transfers

Donald Trump says he will force Mexico to pay for a border wall as president by threatening to cut off the flow of billions of dollars in payments that immigrants send home to the country, an idea that could decimate the Mexican economy and set up an unprecedented showdown between the United States and a key regional ally. In a two-page memo to the Washington Post, Trump outlined for the first time how he would seek to force Mexico to pay for his 1,000-mile border fence, which Trump has made a cornerstone of his presidential campaign and which has been repeatedly scoffed at by current and former Mexican leaders. The proposal would jeopardize a stream of cash that many economists say is vital for Mexico’s struggling economy. But the feasibility of Trump’s plan is unclear both legally and politically, and also would test the bounds of a president’s executive powers in seeking to pressure another country.


Armed Hate Group at Mosque Met by Armed Locals

An anti-Muslim hate group planned an armed protest at an African-American mosque in Texas on Saturday — but it didn’t go as planned.

The group, the Bureau of American Islamic Relations, or BAIR, has made it a habit in the past to show up at mosques with firearms and intimidate worshipers. In November, armed protesters stalked Muslims in Irving. In December, they again stalked Muslims at the Islamic Association of North Texas.

The group that makes a show of carrying guns while they surround places of worship was met in-kind at a Nation of Islam mosque in South Dallas.

“This is an armed defense maneuver, making sure that our communities are safe and secure from any insurgents coming in,” Krystal Muhammad of the New Black Panther Party said. “We will not allow them to come to South Dallas with arms and intimidate our people,” Yafeuh Balogun, spokesman for the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, said last week. “We’re taking a defensive posture, but we’re not threatening anyone.”

According to news reports, BAIR last week backed out of the protest and was a no-show, but BAIR spokesman John Usener said an agreement had been made with the Nation of Islam leadership and Dallas police to postpone the protest

20 Years to Life for Stealing a Snickers Bar

A Louisiana man accused of stuffing candy bars into his pockets faces a possible sentence of 20 years to life in prison, prompting a judge to question whether the sentence was “over the top.” Prosecutors charged Jacobia Grimes, 34, under a law makes the alleged candy theft a felony because Grimes was previously convicted more than once of theft of goods. “They’re spending their time to lock someone up for years over $31 worth of candy,” his attorney Miles Swanson said. Judge Franz Zibilich said during Grimes’ arraignment, “Isn’t this a little over the top?”

Tim Robbins: Hillary Followers Are ‘Sheep’

At a rally for Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin, the liberal actor and activist Tim Robbins to Democrats who “feel Bernie in their hearts but are supporting Hillary with their pragmatic brains,” saying that “these are not bad people.” He said, “We’ve all been fed a steady stream of simplistic propaganda that furthers the establishment’s narrative that Hillary’s the presumptive nominee. And if we were sheep, if we had gotten in line, there’d be no problem now.” He continued that “establishment figures would get elected” and figures like Sanders would be “marginalized.”

Why Hasn’t Sanders Released His Tax Returns?

David Cay Johnston: Bernie Sanders holds himself out to huge and adoring crowds as a model of personal, political and financial integrity. But when it comes to revealing his income tax returns, Sanders is as tricky a politician as Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich. … The Sanders, Cruz and Kasich campaigns have all distributed what they claim are tax returns; Kasich for seven years, Cruz for four, and Sanders for just one year, 2014. But those proclaimed disclosures were neither accurate nor honest. None of those candidates has released even a single tax return. What they made public instead was merely a summary known as IRS Form 1040.

As for Sanders, the single Form 1040 he released raises more questions than it answers, especially since the junior senator from Vermont has a history of making incomplete and misleading financial disclosures.

In 2014, he reported an adjusted gross income of $205,271, most of it from his Senate salary.

What appears unusual are his itemized deductions, totaling $56,377, a whopping 27.4 percent of his income. People in his income class of $200,000 to $500,000 on average take 15.6 percent of their income as deductions, while those in the $100,000 to $200,000 range averaged 18.8 percent. Both averages are far below the Sanders itemization rate.

Sanders and his wife paid $27,653 in federal income tax, or 13.4 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Meet Donald Trump’s USA Freedom Kids

VICE traveled to Fort Myers, Florida, to spend the day with the USA Freedom Kids, a group of girls singing to spread liberty and working to get Donald Trump elected. The effort is the brainchild of manager Jeff Popick, who created the group to spend more time with his daughter and “find a positive way to spread freedom and American pride to combat the last seven years in this country.” The girls range in age from 8 to 13 and belt out politically charged lyrics with phrases like “Ameri-tude” and lyrics about Trump “making things great again.” They performed at a Jan. 13 Pensacola rally for the candidate.

Isaac Newton’s Lost Alchemy Recipe Found

Combine one part Fiery Dragon, some Doves of Diana, and at least seven Eagles of mercury, and what do you get? A key precursor to the Philosopher’s stone, according to a rediscovered manuscript handwritten by legendary physicist Isaac Newton. Held in a private collection for decades, the 17th-century document is now in the hands of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, a non-profit based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The group bought the manuscript in February and is currently working on uploading digital images and transcriptions to an online database so more people can study Newton’s take on the alchemical text.

The recipe cryptically details how to make “sophick mercury,” a substance seen as a main ingredient for the Philosopher’s stone. The stone in turn could supposedly change base metals like lead into precious ones like gold.

The document also underscores the fact that Newton — a father of modern physics and co-discoverer of calculus — was greatly influenced by alchemy and his collaborations with alchemists.

The newly uncovered recipe is no exception: Newton copied the strange text from manuscripts by the American-born George Starkey, a 17th-century alchemist better known under his romantic pen name Eireanus Philalethes (“the peaceful lover of truth”).

As translated by modern scholars, Starkey’s recipe for sophick mercury involves repeatedly distilling mercury and then heating it with gold. This process eventually produces an alloy with delicate, branch-like growths.

Fact Checking Sanders on Hillary’s Contributors

Senator Bernie Sanders said Hillary Clinton has received significant contributions from the fossil fuel industry … Not so much. We took a look at the numbers. First of all, Clinton’s campaign has not received money from oil, gas or coal companies, because corporations cannot donate to candidates’ campaigns. … [The] amount raised by Clinton represents less than one-half of 1 percent of her total fund-raising that the Center for Responsive Politics was able to track to specific industries, and the oil and gas industry is not among the top 20 industries that have helped finance her campaign.

When it comes to people who work in the oil and gas industry, Clinton has indeed raised more money than Sanders. She has collected about $308,000, compared to about $54,000 for Sanders, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks contributions by industry.

But that amount raised by Clinton represents less than one-half of 1 percent of her total fund-raising that the Center for Responsive Politics was able to track to specific industries, and the oil and gas industry is not among the top 20 industries that have helped finance her campaign.

Nearly $9 of every $10 donated to presidential candidates in this election cycle from the oil and gas industry has gone to Republicans.

David Plouffe Forecasts the Rest of the Dem Primary

David Plouffe: How can Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner and close to presumptive nominee lose five of the six last contests? Doesn’t that suggest the race could somehow be changing and Bernie Sanders now has a shot? Negative. … I believe Hillary Clinton has zero chance of not being the Democratic nominee. But she still is going to lose a bunch of states to Bernie Sanders the rest of the way into the clubhouse.

The Clinton lead is almost 300 in pledged delegates. And over 700 in total delegates. Clinton will end the primary, even if she underperforms the rest of the way, with a pledged delegate lead greater than Barack Obama’s in 2008. …

So as we follow each primary breathlessly and pundits assign outsized value to each of them and want to suggest momentum has changed this way or that, the reality is far less interesting. We for the most part this deep into the race already know what’s going to happen.

Ben Stein: Trump’s Economic Views ‘Sheer Idiocy’

If Donald Trump hopes to win Ben Stein’s vote it won’t be for his economic prognostications. Stein, an economist and political commentator and actor, said Monday on CNN that Trump’s recent prediction of a “very massive recession” coming soon in the United States was “nonsense” and that Trump’s views on the economy are “sheer idiocy.” “It breaks my heart, it makes me want to cry because I’m Republican, I’ve never voted for a Democrat,” Stein said. “And to think the guy who’s our likely standard bearer has such nonsensical ideas of every single aspect of the economy is just breathtakingly horrible.”

Keystone Pipeline Springs a Leak

A key section of the Keystone pipeline has been shut down due to an oil spill in South Dakota, TransCanada said on Monday. TransCanada, which operates the pipeline, reported a spill of about 187 gallons of crude oil to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center on Saturday afternoon. The company said in a statement it is removing the oil and investigating the source. TransCanada said “no significant impact to the environment has been observed.” The incident along the controversial pipeline is located about four miles away from the Freeman pump station in Hutchinson County, South Dakota. A portion of the Keystone pipeline that transports oil from Alberta, Canada to Cushing, Oklahoma will be shut down until at least Friday. The section that connects Cushing to Texas remains in operation.

In 2008 TransCanada proposed a controversial expansion of the pipeline known as the Keystone XL that would have brought oil down from Canada directly into Nebraska. While TransCanada touted the project’s employment and national security benefits, environmentalists strongly opposed the expansion.


Sanders: Shut Down New York Nuclear Plant

Highlighting his opposition to nuclear power ahead of the New York primary later this month, Bernie Sanders called for the shutdown of a nuclear power plant outside New York City that has leaked radioactive material into groundwater supplies. The Indian Point plant has long been a source of controversy, thanks to numerous leaks and safety concerns, but the plant would be extremely difficult to replace — it produces about a quarter of the electricity used by New York City and neighboring Westchester County. Sanders is the only candidate in either party who wants to end nuclear energy production, which currently accounts for 20% of U.S. electrical generation.

“I am very concerned that the Indian Power nuclear power reactor is more than ever before a catastrophe waiting to happen,” Sanders said Monday.

Hillary Clinton, whose Chappaqua home is about 15 miles from the plant, was one of the most vocal critics of Indian Point while she served in the Senate. “Just about every week we pick up the local newspaper and find some other problem at Indian Point,” Clinton said in 2007 as the plant faced a relicensing battle. But Clinton called for improving operations at the plant rather than shutting it down entirely.

Hillary, Sanders Will Debate in Brooklyn

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have agreed to meet for a Democratic debate on CNN and NY1 on April 14, five days before the primary in New York state. The debate will take place in Brooklyn and will be moderated by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. Both CNN and NY1 will carry the debate live from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern. Sanders especially wanted the debate in Brooklyn, the borough where he was born. It’s also the site of the campaign headquarters for Clinton, a former U.S. senator from the state.

Police Investigate Death Threat Against Michelle Fields

Police in Washington D.C. are investigating several chilling death threat phone calls made to Michelle Fields, the former Breitbart News reporter who filed assault charges against Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Fields, who had to leave her apartment after Fox News and BuzzFeed revealed her home address and phone number, shared audio of a call with The Blaze. “I know where you live. You have got 36 hours to drop the charges,” a man states. “I’m dead serious.”

Author: Trump Sitting on Fox News Bombshells

When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump launched a crusade against Fox News and its star anchor, Megyn Kelly, last summer, many political insiders saw the move as the beginning of the end of Trump’s upstart campaign. Why would anyone seeking the Republican presidential nomination attack a network that reaches huge swaths of the Republican primary electorate? Author and journalist Gabriel Sherman explains how Trump came to possess ultra-insider information about Fox News and its founder, Roger Ailes, that could be damaging if it were ever to be made public. It’s this leverage, Sherman writes, that has so far discouraged Fox News from launching an all-out war on Trump.

From Sherman’s article:

An odd bit of coincidence had given him a card to play against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2014, I published a biography of Ailes, which upset the famously paranoid executive. Several months before it landed in stores, Ailes fired his longtime PR adviser Brian Lewis, accusing him of being a source. During Lewis’s severance negotiations, Lewis hired Judd Burstein, a powerhouse litigator, and claimed he had “bombs” that would destroy Ailes and Fox News. That’s when Trump got involved.

“When Roger was having problems, he didn’t call 97 people, he called me,” Trump said. Burstein, it turned out, had worked for Trump briefly in the ’90s, and Ailes asked Trump to mediate. Trump ran the negotiations out of his office at Trump Tower. “Roger had lawyers, very expensive lawyers, and they couldn’t do anything. I solved the problem.” Fox paid Lewis millions to go away quietly, and Trump, I’m told, learned everything Lewis had planned to leak. If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.

North Carolina Loses 400 Jobs Because of Anti-LGBT Law

In a move that will cost the city hundreds of jobs, PayPal on Tuesday scrapped plans for a new Charlotte operations center in the most dramatic corporate response yet to a new North Carolina law that limits the legal protections of LGBT individuals. The payment processor’s decision led to renewed calls for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the state legislature to overturn a law that has drawn criticism from big companies such as Bank of America and American Airlines as well as sports organizations such as the NBA.