Arizona State University junior Belen Sisa posted update about paying her taxes on Facebook goes viral

'Dreamer' Belen Sisa's taxes post

On Sunday morning, Arizona State University junior Belen Sisa posted a simple Facebook update that she paid her taxes.

By Sunday night, dozens of strangers were messaging her that she is a criminal and a liar, and that they reported her to be deported.

Sisa, 23, is a “dreamer” — her parents visited the U.S. from Argentina when she was 6 and overstayed their visas — but she is shielded from deportation by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA allows young undocumented immigrants without serious criminal records who were brought to the U.S. as children to register their personal information with the government, and in exchange receive Continue reading “Arizona State University junior Belen Sisa posted update about paying her taxes on Facebook goes viral”

Broadband rules axed by Congress, headed to Trump

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The US House of Representatives voted Tuesday to overturn broadband privacy rules established five months ago by the Federal Communications Commission.

After the 215-205 vote, a measure repealing the rules passed by the FCC on Oct. 27 will go to President Trump, who is expected to approve the measure.

The FCC, then chaired by Democrat Tom Wheeler, passed those rules to require Internet Service Providers to ask customers’ permission to collect, use and sell personal information.

But ISPs, free market supporters – and Republicans – say that the current Continue reading “Broadband rules axed by Congress, headed to Trump”

President Trump and his properties have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations and money laundering.

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To expand his real estate developments over the years, Donald Trump, his company and partners repeatedly turned to wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet republics — several allegedly connected to organized crime, according to a  review of court cases, government and legal documents and an interview with a former federal prosecutor.

The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.

Among them:

• A member of the firm that developed the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York is a twice-convicted felon who spent a year in prison for stabbing a man and later scouted for Trump investments in Russia.

•  An investor in the SoHo project was accused by Belgian authorities in 2011 in a $55 million money-laundering scheme.

• Three owners of Trump condos in Florida and Manhattan were accused Continue reading “President Trump and his properties have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations and money laundering.”

President Donald Trump signed an executive order rolling back at least 10 major Obama environmental regulations

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President Trump’s executive order on American energy independence is a sweeping repudiation of Obama-era environmental initiatives, substituting a strategy of combating climate change through international cooperation for an America-first energy policy.

Trump proclaimed the order as “start of a new era in American energy and production and job creation” that would “restore economic freedom and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete, and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time.”

Trump spoke at a signing ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday on a stage with a dozen coal miners. “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” he said. “I made them this promise. We will put our miners back to work.”

Trump’s order attempts to roll back Obama-era policies on power plant emissions limits, coal mining on federal lands, and regulations on fracking and methane. Because most of those rules were finalized under Obama, the Trump would have to start from the beginning on a rulemaking process to dismantle those regulations.

The most significant of those regulations is the Clean Power Plan, which put emissions limits on new and existing coal power plants. “Perhaps no single regulation threatens our miners, energy workers, and companies more than this crushing attack on American industry,” Trump said.

Even further, the order also takes aim at the entire framework of climate change action under the previous administration. Under Obama, federal agencies were required to plan for and mitigate the future effects of climate change, treat it as a national security issue, and attempt to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. With one executive order, Trump revoked four separate executive orders and presidential memoranda Obama signed over the last four years.

Trump’s action also takes away the Obama “secret weapon” in energy regulations, known as the “social cost of carbon.” By changing the way that future side effects of carbon emissions are accounted for, the Obama administration was able to use a cost-benefit analysis to justify many of its environmental regulations. Trump’s order restores the previous policy, which discounts those future costs in relation to the present-day benefits of energy.

Environmental activists deplored the order. Annie Leonard of Greenpeace USA said it showed Trump is “just a fossil fuel industry stooge with a presidential pen.”

But she also cast the executive order as a temporary setback. “Thankfully, for all his bluster, the best Trump can do is delay America’s inevitable transition to clean energy, but he can’t stop it,” she said.

White House officials said Trump’s action “will look back and it will look forward,” providing the framework for a new Trump-era energy framework that will emphasize more production and more jobs.

And despite relaxing environmental standards, the White House argues that its energy policies can be good for the environment in the long term. “The president strongly believes that protecting the environment and promoting our economy are not mutually exclusive goals,” press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. “This executive order will help to ensure that we have clean air and clean water without sacrificing economic growth and job creation.”

The order will ask all federal agencies to identify obstacles to domestic energy production, with a report back to the White House for future action. By reducing the federal role in regulation, Trump said the order is “returning power to the states, where that power belongs.”

Former vice president Al Gore called the order “a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come.”

“No one man or group can stop the encouraging and escalating momentum we are experiencing in the fight to protect our planet,” Gore said.

Continue reading “President Donald Trump signed an executive order rolling back at least 10 major Obama environmental regulations”

President Donald Trump’s attorneys are trying to get a lawsuit against him dismissed due to his presidential duties

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President Trump’s private attorneys asserted in court this week that he should be immune from a defamation lawsuit filed against him because of his presidential duties.

Summer Zervos, a former contestant from The Apprentice, sued Trump in New York on Jan. 17, just days before the inauguration. She came forward in October and accused Trump of kissing and groping her in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2007. Trump denied the accusation, including a series of tweets calling the sexual misconduct allegations “100% fabricated and Continue reading “President Donald Trump’s attorneys are trying to get a lawsuit against him dismissed due to his presidential duties”

Trump to attend NATO summit in Brussels amid complaint allies owe ‘vast sums’

Trump speaks during a meeting on women in health care

President Trump will travel to Brussels in May for a NATO summit, the White House said Tuesday.

The announcement comes as Trump has roiled the alliance with renewed complaints about how much European allies are paying for their defense. But administration officials say the U.S. has a “strong commitment” to the alliance.

In a meeting at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, Continue reading “Trump to attend NATO summit in Brussels amid complaint allies owe ‘vast sums’”

Roger Goodell says changes coming to quicken NFL games in 2017

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Every NFL fan has seen an exciting game disrupted in a familiar way: a commercial break, then a kickoff, then … another commercial break.

Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t like it, either.

“It drives me crazy,” Goodell told news Agency on Wednesday. “We call those ‘double-ups.’ They actually occurred 27% of the time (on kickoffs last season). And that’s still too high for us.”

In the coming days, the league will roll out its plans for not only revamping the commercial structure within TV broadcasts, but also tweaking in-game timing, replay reviews and more — the product of experimentation and research the NFL took directly to fans before last season to find out what they liked and disliked, both in the stadium and on the couch.

Goodell said the changes aren’t tied to a pre-election TV ratings dip last season. But he acknowledged the expiration of the NFL’s current TV deals in 2022 amidst a changing media landscape is “top of mind for us on the broader picture” as the league continues to seek the best way to deliver a valuable commodity: three hours of content many viewers still consume live.

Beginning with the upcoming season, there will be subtle changes to the timing of the game itself, including standardizing the start of the clock after a player goes out of bounds and the duration of halftime. A play clock will be instituted after extra points (and perhaps after touchdowns, though that’s still under discussion). A vote is expected at the league meetings next week on a centralized replay system in which referees review plays on tablets, rather than sideline monitors, and provide input to officiating headquarters in New York, where the final call would be made.

There will be changes to TV broadcasts, including less frequent, but slightly longer commercial breaks — a standard pattern of four per quarter (rather than five, six, five and five), each extended from 1:50 to 2:20. (The NFL’s research shows fans notice fewer breaks, not how long they are, Goodell said.) Networks will be allowed to break during replay reviews. At times, a double box allowing viewers to see inside the stadium while an ad plays, or a sponsored break featuring one brand, could replace standard commercials. Some in-game promotion for NFL and partner initiatives will be replaced by more analysis, highlights and other content.

“We have seen commercialization maybe creep into the game in areas that we don’t think is appropriate,” Goodell said, “and we’re going to work with our network partners to try to pull that back, to make sure that we can create that compelling experience for our fans.”

Other changes — including a potential vote to eliminate coaches challenges after or late into a commercial break (another issue Goodell said frustrates him) and an actual reduction of ads and promotions — remain under consideration as well.

he goal isn’t to shorten games, though Goodell estimated the changes might shave five minutes off contests that lasted an average of 3:07:08 last season (down from 3:08:18 in 2015).

“What we’re looking to do is take that down time out, which is not entertaining,” Goodell said. “And in our research, we had biofeedback, so we could see what they were watching and you could tell when they’re not as interested in what’s happening in the broadcast.

“In today’s day and age, we have to give our fans every reason to watch what’s happening, find what they see on television and in the stadium as compelling. Don’t give them a reason to turn away.”

Other frequent targets of fans angle are also being addressed. Goodell confirmed the NFL intends to begin hiring some of the 17 full-time officials permitted under its labor deal. He also expects the league “will be loosening up the celebration rules to allow the players a little more expression of their enthusiasm,” though the competition committee continues to study that issue, as  reported last month, and discussions likely will extend beyond the next meeting.

Further changes to commercials, timing and other areas are likely in the coming seasons, Goodell said. As it does with everything, the NFL will roll out changes incrementally, gauge the impact and then determine what it should do next.

As for those obnoxious “double-ups” — Goodell said the goal is to eliminate them, though significantly reducing them by reducing the number of breaks would be a positive first step.

“You’re always going to be re-evaluating these areas and trying to say, what do we do better here?” Goodell said. “Whether it’s in our officiating mechanics, whether it’s in our commercial mechanics and how work with our TV partners, what we do in our stadiums — all those things are going to continue to be high priorities for us.

Italian police capture fugitive Italian Mafia boss after 10-year chase

Santo Vottari [Photo: LACNEWS24]

The Italian police on Wednesday said that a `Ndrangheta Mafia’ boss who has been on the run for 10 years has been captured.

Santo Vottari, 44, who was sentenced in Italy to 30 years on a series of charges, including murder, was on Europol’s most wanted list.

Continue reading “Italian police capture fugitive Italian Mafia boss after 10-year chase”

Woman pulled alive from River Thames after London attack

Police at Westminster [Photo Credit: Daily Express]

A woman was pulled from the River Thames alive after Wednesday’s attack on a bridge near Britain’s parliament in Westminster, the Port of London Authority (PLA) said.

It said that the woman was being treated for serious injuries.

“A female member of the public was pulled from the water near Westminster Bridge, alive, with serious injuries.

Continue reading “Woman pulled alive from River Thames after London attack”

Trump blasts rapper Snoop Dogg for music video

Snoop Dogg

U.S. President Donald Trump blasted Snoop Dogg on Wednesday for a music video that shows the rapper shooting a gun at a clown that resembles the president.

“Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing Continue reading “Trump blasts rapper Snoop Dogg for music video”