#Animals, #Headlines, #TheNewz

South Carolina woman killed in alligator attack while walking her dog

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Witnesses said the woman was pulled under the water by an alligator but the dog did not appear to have been hurt

Authorities in South Carolina said an alligator attacked and killed a woman who was walking her dog by a lagoon.

Related: Body of woman killed by alligator found in Florida lake

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/20/south-carolina-alligator-attack-cassandra-cline

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Venezuela devalues currency and raises minimum wage by 3,000%

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Caracas shears five zeros from bolívar, which will be pegged to new cryptocurrency

Venezuela moved to shore up its crumbling economy on Monday, devaluing its currency and preparing to raise the minimum wage by more than 3,000% in what the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, declared a visionary bid to tame rampant hyperinflation.

More than 500,000 Venezuelans have fled overseas this year amid chronic shortages of food and medicine, soaring crime and warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that inflation could hit 1m% this year.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/20/venezuela-prepares-to-devalue-currency-amid-fears-it-may-worsen-crisis-bolivar

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Poll: Most Americans think Trump doesn’t ‘hire the best people’

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President Donald Trump repeatedly said during the 2016 election that he would “hire the best people” for his administration, but a new poll Monday shows that most Americans don’t think he delivered on that promise.

The new Monmouth University Poll found that only 30 percent of respondents believe that Trump has hired the “best people,” with 58 percent saying he has not. Twelve percent of those polled responded either that the president’s hiring record was mixed or that they didn’t know about his hiring record.

Trump’s White House has experienced higher-than-usual turnover. And several of his hires for his 2016 campaign and White House have made news in recent weeks.

Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s presidential campaign in the summer of 2016, is awaiting a jury verdict on tax evasion and bank fraud charges as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference. The president has distanced himself from his former campaign chairman but on Friday said that he was a “very good person” and that his trial was a “very sad day.”

Meanwhile, longtime Trump loyalist Omarosa Manigault Newman has commanded the airwaves over the last week as she embarks on a press tour to promote her new tell-all book, including the release of secret recordings she made during her time in the White House.

The Monmouth poll found that about three-quarters of respondents were aware of Manafort’s trial and Manigault Newman’s book release.

Respondents held a dim view of how the Trump White House operates in general — just 19 percent said that they were “very confident” in the way that the president’s advisers and staff are handling their jobs, with 23 percent saying they were “somewhat confident” in White House personnel. More than half said they were “not too confident” or “not at all confident.”

The poll was conducted by phone from Aug. 15 to 19 with 805 adults in the United States. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/20/trump-poll-administration-staff-turnover-789604

#Cars, #Headlines, #ScienceTech, #TheNewz

Aston Martin will build 25 new Goldfinger cars—with gadgets

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Few cars are quite as legendary as the Aston Martin DB5. It’s not because they sold well—just over a thousand were built between 1963 and 1965. And it’s not because they won famous races. Instead, the DB5 became such an icon thanks to an early example of product placement, because it’s the car that James Bond drove in the film Goldfinger. And now, Aston Martin has said it’s going to build 25 of them, complete with gadgets. But they won’t be cheap—each will cost $3.51 million (£2.75 million) plus tax.

In the film, 007’s car was modified by Q Branch and equipped with revolving number plates, machine guns, an oil slick dispenser, and even an ejector seat. In reality, the car used in the film—actually one of Aston Martin’s pre-production prototypes—was modified by John Stears, who won an Oscar for his work. No one knew at the time quite how much the DB5 would steal the show, and after the film the gadgets were removed from the car, then reinstalled some years later.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1361243

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Fleeing Venezuelans face suspicion and hostility as migration crisis worsens

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Ecuadorian border town struggling to cope with exodus driven by economic collapse and political turmoil

Nicolás Maduro has belittled the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing across the Andes as gullible “slaves and beggars” duped into scrubbing foreign toilets by enemies of the Bolivarian revolution.

The United Nations says 2.3 million people, more than 7% of Venezuela’s population, have left the country since 2015, with most heading to Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Half a million have arrived this year in Ecuador alone.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/19/fleeing-venezuelans-suspicion-hostility-migration-crisis-ecuador

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Giuliani: ‘Truth isn’t truth’

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President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Sunday claimed “truth isn’t truth” when trying to explain why the president should not testify for special counsel Robert Mueller for fear of being trapped into a lie that could lead to a perjury charge.

“When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,” Giuliani told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning

“Truth is truth,” Todd responded.

“No, it isn’t truth,” Giuliani said. “Truth isn’t truth. The President of the United States says, “I didn’t …”

A startled Todd answered: “Truth isn’t truth?”

Giuliani: “No, no.”

Todd said: “This is going to become a bad meme.“

Giuliani‘s remark was not the first time he has gone down this road.

Last week on CNN, he rejected Chris Cuomo’s assertion that “facts are not in the eye of the beholder.”

“Yes, they are,” Giulini said. “Nowadays they are.”

In May, the former New York mayor pursued a similar line of thought in an interview with the Washington Post about the Mueller investigation: “They may have a different version of the truth than we do.”

Trump’s legal team, led by Giuliani, earlier this month replied to special counsel Mueller’s proposal for terms of a possible presidential interview, but wouldn’t disclose the details of the counteroffer.

Mueller is investigating whether the Russian government colluded with Trump’s 2016 campaign, as well as related issues including possible obstruction of justice by the president.

The president has said he is willing to speak with the special counsel, though his legal team is advising against it.

Giuliani also accused Mueller of leaking that White House counsel Don McGahn cooperated with the special counsel.

The New York Times reported Saturday that McGahn spent 30 hours over a three day period answering questions as part of Mueller’s investigation.

Trump tweeted Saturday evening that he allowed McGahn and “all other requested members of the White House staff, to fully cooperate with the special counsel.”

Giuliani told Todd that the special counsel was the only one who could have “leaked” the story.

“I believe this is a desperate special council who leaked this to the New York Times, illegally I might add,” he said.

When pressed how he knew it was Mueller, Giuliani said those involved on Trump’s side would have never done it.

“I didn’t leak to the Times and Jay Sekulow didn’t leak it to the Times. The president sure as heck didn’t. So who could it be?” Giuliani said. “It could be McGahn. McGahn’s not doing it and he would have done it a long time ago if he was gonna do it.”

Giuliani, who has previously called on the investigation to end in September, said he doesn’t believe the White House has any evidence on the president.

“They’re down to desperation time,” he said. “They have to write a report and they don’t have a single bit of evidence.”

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/giuliani-truth-todd-trump-788161

#Guns, #Headlines, #TheNewz

Montana governor supports assault weapon ban

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Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on Sunday said he would support a ban on semiautomatic weapons — the strongest stance the Democratic governor has taken on gun control as he weighs a possible run for the 2020 presidential election.

Bullock told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” that firearm owners and those who want more gun control have the same goal: keeping their families safe.

“If we really step back for a minute, I think most folks that live in Montana and elsewhere that are firearm owners want to keep themselves and their families safe. It’s not unlike folks who say that all these school tragedies and everything that’s been happening,” he said.

“What do they really want? Those same values.”

Bullock in May wrote in an op-ed in the Great Falls Tribune that he would support universal background checks. That stance was much stronger than a statement he made in his 2016 re-election campaign, where he said that he opposed universal background checks and that he had actually expanded gun rights during his tenure as governor. (Bullock won reelection in his state at the same time President Donald Trump was routing Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percentage points.)

During the CNN interview, Bullock said that there needs to continue to be red flag laws, universal background checks, and even age and magazine restrictions.

“Let’s begin with everybody wants to keep themselves and their family safe and let’s try to find those values so we can move those things forward,” he said.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/montana-governor-supports-assault-weapon-ban-788194

#Headlines, #TheNewz

Trump invokes Nixon and McCarthy in NYT White House counsel report rant

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Donald Trump went on the offensive on Sunday, invoking the spectres of Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy, starkly polarising figures from American history, in a frenzied attack on the New York Times.

Related: Why is Donald Trump attacking the US intelligence community?

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/19/trump-blasts-new-york-times-white-house-counsel-report-in-twitter-rant