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Trump rejects idea of expanding U.S. Supreme Court

Trump rejects idea of expanding U.S. Supreme CourtTrump said he "wouldn't entertain that," when asked about expanding the size of the court at a news conference. "The only reason they're doing that is they want to try to catch up, so if they can't catch up through the ballot box by winning an election they want to try doing it in a different way," the Republican president added, referring to Democrats. Trump has appointed conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the court since taking office in 2017, cementing its 5-4 conservative majority.




POSTED MARCH 19, 2019 4:26 PM

New Zealand holds first funerals for victims of Christchurch massacre

New Zealand holds first funerals for victims of Christchurch massacreA father and son who fled the civil war in Syria for "the safest country in the world" were buried before hundreds of mourners on Wednesday. The funerals of Khalid Mustafa, 44, and Hamza Mustafa, 15, came five days after a white supremacist methodically gunned down 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch - a massacre that he broadcast live on Facebook. Hamza’s high school principal described the student as compassionate and hardworking, and said he was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian. Those present included Hamza’s younger brother, 13-year-old Zaed, who was wounded in an arm and a leg during the attack. The boy tried to stand during the ceremony but had to sit back in his wheelchair, one mourner said. "We tried to not shake his hand, and not touch his hand or his foot, but he refused, he wanted to shake everybody’s hand, he wanted to show everyone that he appreciated them. And that’s amazing," said Jamil El-Biza, who travelled from Australia to attend the funeral. Female mourners attend the funeral of two victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack at Memorial Park Cemetery Credit: Getty The Mustafas had moved to New Zealand last year, after spending six years as refugees in Jordan. Mustafa’s wife, Salwa, told Radio New Zealand that when the family asked about New Zealand they were told "it’s the safest country in the world, the most wonderful country you can go ... you will start a very wonderful life there." She added, "But it wasn’t." Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the family should have been safe. "I cannot tell you how gutting it is to know that a family came here for safety and for refuge," she said. Families of those killed had been anxiously awaiting word on when they could bury their loved ones. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have now formally identified and released the remains of 21 of those killed. Islamic tradition calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible. The burials began soon after Ms Ardern renewed her call for people to speak of the victims rather than the man who killed them. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern receives a hug from a student during her visit to Cashmere High School which lost two students during a mass shooting  Also on Wednesday, a man accused of sharing video footage of Friday’s massacre was jailed by a judge until his next court appearance in mid-April. And Mr Bush said he believes police officers stopped the gunman on his way to a third attack. Ms Ardern’s plea against giving the accused gunman notoriety followed his move to represent himself in court, raising concerns he would attempt to use the trial as a platform for airing his racist views. During a visit on Wednesday to the high school Hamza and another victim attended, Ms Ardern revisited that thought and asked students not to say the attacker’s name or dwell on him. "Look after one another, but also let New Zealand be a place where there is no tolerance for racism," she told students at Cashmere High School. "That’s something we can all do." Another Cashmere student, 14-year-old Sayyad Milne, also died in the attack. About 30 people wounded in the attacks remained in hospital as of Tuesday evening. About 10 of them were in critical condition, including a four-year-old girl. Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, has been charged with murder and is next scheduled to appear in court on April 5. Police have said they are certain Tarrant was the only gunman but are still investigating whether he had support from others. Ardern previously has said reforms of New Zealand’s gun laws would be announced next week and she said an inquiry would be convened to look into the intelligence and security services’ failures to detect the risk from the attacker or his plans. New Zealand’s international spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, confirmed it had not received any relevant information or intelligence before the shootings. Sheik Taj El-Din Hilaly, of Sydney, travelled to Christchurch to attend or lead some of the funerals. Through a translator, he said he felt compelled to support the grieving. A nationwide lockdown on mosques was imposed until Monday, which Hilaly said had upset Muslims whom he had visited in Auckland. Police continue to guard mosques across the country. Philip Arps, 44, appeared in a Christchurch court on Wednesday on two charges of distributing the killer’s livestream video of the attack on the Al Noor mosque, the first mosque that was attacked, a violation of the country’s objectionable publications law. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Arps, heavily tattooed and dressed in a T-shirt and sweatpants, hasn’t entered a plea. He remained expressionless during the hearing, his hands clasped behind his back. Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied him bail. Charging documents accuse Arps of distributing the video on Saturday, one day after the massacre. Bush said they believe they know where the gunman was going for a third attack when officers rammed his car off the road but won’t say more because it’s an active investigation. In a 74-page manifesto he released before the attack, Tarrant said he was going to attack two mosques in Christchurch and then one in the town of Ashburton if he made it that far.




POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 2:15 AM

Syria force makes gains in last IS redoubt

Syria force makes gains in last IS redoubtKurdish-led fighters advanced in the Islamic State group's last bastion in eastern Syria, confining holdout jihadists to a tiny pocket on the edge of Baghouz village, the force said Tuesday. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said those IS fighters who had not yet surrendered had been forced out of their main encampment and cornered into a very small area on the banks of the Euphrates River. "SDF is in control of the Daesh encampment area in Baghouz," spokesman Mustefa Bali said on Twitter in English, using the Arabic acronym for the jihadist group.




POSTED MARCH 19, 2019 6:16 AM

Trump changes his mind on Electoral College, now wants to keep it

Trump changes his mind on Electoral College, now wants to keep itIn a not-totally-unexpected reversal of policy, President Trump, who before being elected president called the Electoral College “a disaster for democracy,” now says it’s “far better for the U.S.A.”




POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 9:50 AM

I got into 39 colleges without cheating: What applying to schools looks like in 2019

I got into 39 colleges without cheating: What applying to schools looks like in 2019Jordan Nixon got into 39 colleges without any celebrity parents or $500,000 bribes. But that doesn't mean it wasn't "stressful to say the least."




POSTED MARCH 19, 2019 11:49 AM

Flooding will continue into next week in storm-ravaged Midwest

Flooding will continue into next week in storm-ravaged MidwestFloods driven by rain and melting snow have affected several states, with four people killed and one missing after storms.




POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 6:50 AM

Aggressive Instagramming is ruining Southern California's super bloom

Aggressive Instagramming is ruining Southern California's super bloomPeople trampled California's poppies for the 'gram, and ruined it for the rest of us. Fields of fiery "super bloom" poppies are lighting up the hills of Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore, a city about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Thanks to uncommonly heavy rains this winter, much of Southern California is seeing a massive burst of wildflower blooms across the state. The poppies in Walker Canyon are so lush, they can be seen from space. > Superbloom visible from space - California poppies (orange) near Lake Elsinore, CA > > [15 March 2019; Sentinel-2 satellite; https://t.co/fy8NaGcTwN] pic.twitter.com/ZdSqCvjbuY> > -- Zack Labe (@ZLabe) March 18, 2019With the bloom came hordes of influencers, mommy bloggers, and YouTubers, all eager to snap a few photos of themselves sitting among the flowers.But it's making life absolute hell for Lake Elsinore, which has a population of 60,000. On Sunday, about 100,000 visited Walker Canyon, overwhelming Lake Elsinore and creating the traffic of nightmares. Since the poppies went viral -- even getting their own Twitter moment --the city has tried to cope with the flood of visitors by closing, then reopening, then closing the fields. SEE ALSO: Death Valley, the driest place in North America, is now a sea of yellow flowersIn a Facebook post over the weekend, the city of Lake Elsinore closed Walker Canyon because "the situation has escalated beyond our available resources." The city also closed the highway ramps leading to the canyon because traffic was so bad. By Monday, Walker Canyon was open to the public again, albeit with "extremely limited" parking. Explaining that it is "not feasible" to keep visitors out, the city stated that "this is something unlike anything we have ever experienced in our city and may never again." "Lake Elsinore is the destination for so many unique and incredible features," the Facebook post said. "And this attraction has brought thousands of people from around the world to not only see our city, but to shop in our stores and dine in our restaurants."But by noon, Mayor Steve Manos asked people to come another time because the fields were so full. "As you can see behind me, there are a large number of people here again," Manos said in an Instagram video recorded in front of the blooms. "We've expended lots of resources over the weekend ... But we are full." He added that the city just didn't have the resources to keep Walker Canyon closed because of the sheer amount of people sneaking in and parking on the freeway. Never underestimate the tenacity of an Instagram devotee.> View this post on Instagram> > SuperBloom Update: Steve Manos, Lake Elsinore Mayor provides update regarding why City was forced to reopen Walker Canyon and encourages visitors to choose other options. Walker Canyon is full. City is evaluating all options. We must remain flexible to this once in a lifetime opportunity and crisis facing our city.> > A post shared by City of Lake Elsinore (@cityoflakeelsinore) on Mar 18, 2019 at 12:02pm PDTManos is hopeful that the city will figure out a solution, though. "We've gone through fires and floods, we'll get through the flowers," he told CBS This Morning. By Tuesday afternoon, Lake Elsinore once again closed the freeway ramps in both directions. In a Facebook post citing "severe congestion," the city said that the decision was made by California Highway Patrol, not the city. In the meantime, here are some photos of the super bloom if you can't (or consciously won't) see them in person. > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Momo Twins ~ Leia & Lauren (@leialauren) on Mar 18, 2019 at 10:20pm PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by ⠀ ⠀⠀J i m e n a R e n o (@renosaurio) on Mar 18, 2019 at 8:04am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Gerd Ludwig (@gerdludwig) on Mar 19, 2019 at 12:51pm PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by J E S S (@jess.wandering) on Mar 14, 2019 at 8:30am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Lil' Sawyer the Labradoodle (@sawyertheminidood) on Mar 19, 2019 at 7:26am PDTAnd don't forget that if you do end up visiting, stick to the wildflower etiquette guide.   WATCH: Elon Musk did it - Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is finally finally finally here




POSTED MARCH 19, 2019 7:30 PM

The future of wireless headphones is here, at only $49.99 from Anker

The future of wireless headphones is here, at only $49.99 from AnkerThe first truly wireless earbuds were released all the way back in 2015, but this cool new category of headphones didn't really get popular until Apple launched the AirPods in 2016. Apple hasn't updated its AirPods since then, but other electronics companies have definitely come a long way. Cord-free earbuds that offer better sound quality, better sound isolation, and a more comfortable fit can now be found for much less than the $159 Apple charges for AirPods, and we've got a sale for you to check out today that helps illustrate how far we've come. In fact, these new cord-free earbuds are so good that they made us regret ever spending so much on AirPods.The Soundcore Liberty Neo Bluetooth 5.0 True Wireless Earbuds by Anker are the best new cord-free earbuds we've tested in a long time. They're ultra-compact and comfortable, with each bud weighing in at just 0.2 ounces. They also feature the latest Bluetooth technology for fast pairing and the most reliable connection possible. On top of all that, the Soundcore Liberty Neo buds deliver fantastic sound quality and deep bass thanks to premium graphene drivers, which are rare in true wireless earbuds. They're worth every penny of their normal $65 retail price, but Amazon is running a special sale until the end of the month that slashes the price to just $49.99. That means you can buy three sets of Liberty Neo earbuds for less than one pair of AirPods!Here are the key details from the product page: * Breathtaking Sound: Liberty Neo's graphene-coated drivers are rigid, yet light. They produce precision oscillation for superior sound across the entire frequency range. Crystal clarity and a delicately tuned sound signature deliver an immersive experience that puts you center stage. * Extended Playtime: With 3.5 hours of playtime from a single charge and an extra 9 hours in the charging case, you can power a week of commuting and workouts with no cables and no chargers. * Instant Connection: Push and Go™ makes connecting your devices effortless--simply take Liberty Neo out of the charging case and connect via your phone's Bluetooth menu. After the initial setup, Liberty Neo automatically connects when removed from the case and disconnects when returned. * Deep Protection: Designed to withstand liquid penetration far beyond what you encounter day to day. IPX5 resistance means sweat, water, and other liquids pose no threat for worry-free workouts and all-weather listening.




POSTED MARCH 19, 2019 8:13 AM

The Supreme Court Ruled That Immigrants With a Criminal Past Can Be Detained Years After Serving Time

The Supreme Court Ruled That Immigrants With a Criminal Past Can Be Detained Years After Serving TimeThe 5-4 ruling gives the federal government the power to detain immigrants with a criminal past years after they finish serving time




POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:28 AM

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POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 8:00 AM

News – Insurance Journal

‘Devastation is Everywhere’ in Flooded Communities Along Missouri River
A string of small Missouri towns prepared for the next deluge along the raging Missouri River on Wednesday after flooding wreaked nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killing at least four people and leaving another man missing. High water …

POSTED MARCH 21, 2019 1:21 AM
Burning Down a House to Show How to Build for Wildfire Defense
After only a year into his job as CEO and president of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, Roy Wright is setting the place on fire. The IBHS conducted a demonstration in early March simulating an active wildfire …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 6:00 PM
Relation Names Brennan Account Executive in California
Relation Insurance Services has named Sean Brennan an account executive at Pan American Insurance Services, a Relation company. Brennan will be based in Relation’s Walnut Creek, Calif., office. He will work on increasing Pan American’s footprint in the San Francisco …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 5:51 PM
Study Examines Impact of California Workers’ Comp Formulary
Since California implemented its workers’ compensation formulary last year, an increasing share of drugs prescribed to injured workers are either “Exempt” from prospective utilization review or “Not Listed” in the formulary, while “Non-Exempt” drugs that require UR before they can …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 5:16 PM
Texas Body Shop Owner Sentenced in Auto Insurance Fraud Case
A Travis County body shop owner has been sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to reporting wrecks that never took place and damaging vehicles to increase insurance payouts, the Texas Department of Insurance reported. The fraud took …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:27 PM
FMH Insurance Collaborates With Start-Up FindBob to Offer Agents Perpetuation Tool
Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa (FMH) has a new web-based tool designed to help FMH insurance agencies identify growth opportunities. The new tool, called FMH Bridge, was developed in collaboration with FindBob, a tech start-up company focused on …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:17 PM
Farm Bureau: Flooding-Related Ag Losses in Nebraska Nearing $1B
The Nebraska Farm Bureau president says farm and ranch losses to the devastating flooding could reach $1 billion in the state. President Steve Nelson estimates $400 million on crop losses because of crops that will be planted late _ if …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:14 PM
Houston-Area Petrochemical Blaze Extinguished, Company Says
Firefighters on Wednesday extinguished a fire at a Mitsui & Co. petrochemical storage site outside Houston that has been billowing acrid smoke for days, the company said. The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co. in Deer Park, Texas, was …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:10 PM
Ohio Sues Pharmacy Benefit Manager over $16M in Alleged Drug Overcharges
Ohio is suing a company that managed prescription benefits for the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, seeking to recover nearly $16 million in alleged overcharges for the fund for injured workers. Attorney General Dave Yost says OptumRx Administrative Services managed …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:05 PM
White Named VP, Chief Internal Auditor at LWCC
Baton, Rouge, Louisiana-based workers’ compensation insurer, LWCC, has hired David White as vice president, chief internal auditor. White brings over 40 years of audit experience in the insurance, reinsurance, telecommunications and retail industries, and expertise across multiple disciplines such as …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2019 4:03 PM

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