Day: March 19, 2017

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SECURITY STUMBLE? Guest slips into Trump's Mar-a-Lago study for selfie


A guest at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion claims he gave Secret Service agents the slip to snap a selfie in Trump’s private study — but the president’s security detail insists there was no breach.

“Snuck by secret service to catch this selfie. They might have told us not to go in there,” Joseph Young posted on Instagram on Saturday night, along with a photo of himself alone in the poshly appointed room with a painting of a youthful Trump behind him.

PRESIDENT TRUMP NO LONGER SAFE IN WHITE HOUSE: FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT

But officials say Young didn’t sneak past anyone.

“Those reports are all false,” Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan told The Post on Sunday. “No one got past the Secret Service.”

A Secret Service source added to the Web site TMZ that guests were allowed in the study.

Another guest even posted a photo of himself and his mom in front of the Trump portrait, too.

Click here to read more at the New York Post.



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Jimmy Breslin, iconic newspaperman, dead at 88 – VIDEO: NY columnist Jimmy Breslin has died


Jimmy Breslin, the surly, iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning New York newspaper columnist who covered the funeral of President John F. Kennedy from his grave digger’s perspective and corresponded with the “Son of Sam” killer, died on Sunday, multiple outlets reported. He was 88.

Breslin died at his Manhattan home of complications from pneumonia, his stepdaughter, Emily Eldridge, said.

Born in Queens, Breslin worked for nearly every newspaper with a New York zip code, including The New York Daily News, Newsday, The New York Herald Tribune and The New York Journal American.

Perhaps best known for his distinctly working class New York columns, Breslin was also a gifted novelist and also had turns as a screenwriter and playwright.

“I’m the best person ever to have a column in this business,” he once boasted. “There’s never been anybody in my league.”

His column, “Digging JFK’s grave was his honor,” was published in The New York Herald Tribune in November 1963. While most of the media flocked to cover the assassinated president’s funeral from a conventional perspective, Breslin went against the grain, taking the reader through a day-in-the-life of Kennedy’s grave dinner, Clifton Pollard.

“Clifton Pollard wasn’t at the funeral,” Breslin wrote. “He was over behind the hill, digging graves for $3.01 an hour in another section of the cemetery. He didn’t know who the graves were for. He was just digging them and then covering them with boards.”

In 1977, the so-called “Son of Sam” serial killer, David Berkowitz, wrote to Breslin, fueling legendary columns on the psychotic murderer for The New York Daily News.

“The night he got arrested, I walked into the courtroom in Queens and he pointed at me [and] said, ‘There’s Jimmy Breslin, my friend,’” Breslin said, according to The New York Daily News. “‘What was that? Shoot him,’ I said.”

As to his motivation, the answer you received depended on when you asked Breslin the question.

Once he said: “Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers.”

Another time: “To please a reader: me.”

Breslin was born in Queens, the son of James Breslin Sr. and his wife Frances. The hard-drinking elder Breslin abandoned the family when Jimmy was 6; he died broken and broke in a Miami nursing home.

Breslin’s mother supported the family by working for 30 years as a welfare system administrator.

Breslin demonstrated few early skills as a wordsmith; he once said that he graduated high school “in the requisite five years” before a brief, undistinguished stay at Long Island University.

The college dropout-to-be was already working at the Long Island Press when he enrolled at LIU in 1948. Breslin was a sportswriter, bouncing between papers until landing at the New York Herald Tribune.

His 1963 column on Kennedy’s grave digger was a breakthrough and Breslin later covered Robert Kennedy’s assassination, in 1968, from close-up: Breslin was standing 5 feet away when Sirhan Sirhan struck at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1969, Breslin joined author Norman Mailer on a twisted political ticket: Mailer for mayor, Breslin for city council president. After their predictable loss, Breslin observed, “I’m mortified to have taken part in a process that has closed the bar for the better part of the day.”

By then, the failed politician was a successful author. His second book, “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?”, was praised for its tales of the sad-sack New York Mets. “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” was made into a 1971 movie.

Breslin dabbled in television and magazine writing, but returned to the newspaper business in 1976 as a Daily News columnist and became part of one of the city’s most horrifying stories; the “Son of Sam” killings in 1977. Berkowitz sent Breslin several letters and impressed the columnist enough for him to observe: “He’s the only killer I ever knew who knew how to use a semicolon.”

Breslin jumped to New York Newsday in 1988, signing a contract for more than $500,000 a year. During the Crown Heights riots in 1991, the then-61-year-old columnist commandeered a cab and ordered the driver to head directly into the action.

About 50 rioters instead yanked Breslin from the taxi, robbed and beat him. Breslin was left with only his underwear and his press card.

Three years later, he underwent successful surgery for a brain aneurysm — an episode that led to his memoir.

While Breslin had crowds of admirers, he created an equal number of enemies. One of his most enduring feuds was with ex-Mayor Edward I. Koch, who once promised to “give the eulogy at Jimmy Breslin’s funeral,” a vow undone when Koch died in early 2013. Breslin also made his own ill-fated prediction. In his last regular column for Newsday, on Election Day of 2004, he rejoiced in the expected win of Democrat John Kerry for president; Republican George W. Bush was instead re-elected.

Breslin had two daughters and four sons with his first wife, Rosemary, who died of cancer in 1981. He later married Ronnie Eldridge, a former New York City councilwoman.

His elder daughter, Rosemary Breslin, died in 2004 at age 47 from a rare blood disease. His other daughter, Kelly Breslin, collapsed at a New York restaurant in April 2009 and died a few days later. She was 44. Eldridge said an arrhythmia episode was considered a likely cause.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Trump to name Conway's husband to lead Justice's civil division


President Trump is expected to name George Conway, husband of White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, to lead the Justice Department’s civil division, Fox News confirmed Sunday.

Conway, a New York lawyer, if appointed would lead efforts to defend Trump’s travel ban and other lawsuits against the Trump administration.

The 53-year-old Conway attended Harvard University and Yale Law School. He is now a partner in the New York City firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, specializing in litigation, including those related to securities and mergers and acquisitions.

Trump’s choice of Conway was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Two sources confirmed the story to Fox News.

Kellyanne Conway took over as Trump’s presidential campaign manager in August 2016 and is considered a major factor in him pulling off a come-from-behind win. Conway has since joined the administration as counselor to the president.

The Justice Department’s civil division has far-reaching scope and jurisdiction, representing the entire U.S. government — from federal agencies to members of Congress — in civil and criminal matters.

The division also handled national policy issues, which would likely mean it would be involved in the president’s travel bans that are being held up in federal courts across the country.



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San Bernardino terror attack victims still fighting to get proper treatment


More than a year after the Dec. 2, 2015, terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead, survivors of the horrifying ordeal continue to struggle physically and mentally.

The problems started when San Bernardino County placed the terror victims into California’s Workers’ Compensation System. Many survivors then had their claims repeatedly modified – or fully denied. Those denials prompted the state to conduct an investigation into how the cases were handled. The findings, published this month, concluded that in many cases, the denial of care was the fault of the victims’ personal physicians, stating: “The fact that several requests were denied and then authorized upon further review suggests that better communication by providers to the county’s claims administrators and better documentation at the time requests were first submitted might have reduced the number of UR denials and IMR (independent medical review) requests.”

“I have to fight for treatments all doctors and surgeons say I need. Everyone was saying I need this, and yet my claim was sent to utilization review and being denied,” Valerie Weber told Fox News during her continued recovery at the end of last year. She was shot twice by Tashfeen Malik, who, along with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, carried out the deadly assault.

One bullet paralyzed Weber’s left arm; the other shattered her pelvis. Weber is back in the I.C.U this weekend after she experienced complications from her most recent surgery.

Gary Kaplan, Weber’s attorney, says that while blame is being tossed around, the real accountability lies in a system not designed to handle wounds typically sustained on the front lines.

“If you were in any other setting using your private insurance, the vast majority of the things that you require to get better would be authorized and paid for by insurance, and it just isn’t in the workers’ compensation system.” Kaplan says.

The San Bernardino County Board Chairman, Robert A. Lovingood, released a statement earlier this month.  “This has been unchartered territory for the county, for the doctors, and most certainly for the survivors. But the state’s investigation shows the county has worked hard and effectively to ensure safe, and complete care for the employees injured during this horrific attack. This has been the county’s priority since that fateful day,” Lovingood says.

Fox News has reached out numerous times over the past few months to the County’s Board of Supervisors for an on-camera interview, but all five board members declined to comment or appear. That silence has also been delivered to the survivors, who continue to seek help in their ongoing recovery process, some even petitioning President Trump for help.



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SpaceX capsule returns space station science to Earth


A SpaceX capsule is back on Earth with a full load of space station science samples.

The Dragon cargo ship parachuted into the Pacific on Sunday off the Southern California coast. Astronauts set it free from the International Space Station 5½ hours earlier.

The Dragon flew to the space station a month ago from the same Florida launch pad used for NASA’s Apollo moon shots. It took up more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and brought back just as much in completed experiments and used equipment.

NASA’s other supplier, Orbital ATK, plans to launch its own supply ship Friday, also from Cape Canaveral, Florida. That one, however, burns up on re-entry.

The space station is home to one Frenchman, two Americans and three Russians.



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Clashes break out in Syrian capital following rebel ambush


Damascus residents say fierce clashes have broken out on the eastern side of the Syrian capital following an ambush by rebel-aligned forces.

Rebels are reported to have detonated two large car bombs at 5:20 a.m. Sunday morning close to the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus. Residents say artillery shells and rockets are landing inside the heart of the city.

Government warplanes responded with a number of raids around the areas of the clashes.

Syrian state media said the military had repelled an attack by an al-Qaida-linked group. It said terrorists had infiltrated the city through tunnels in the middle of the night and reported clashes in the Qaboun and Jobar neighborhoods.

Jobar is one of three pockets in the Syrian capital still in opposition hands. It is besieged by government forces.



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Indiana considers prohibiting cities from banning Airbnb


Indiana lawmakers are wading into the parochial matters of property rights and zoning issues as they consider a bill to prohibit local governments from regulating short-term rentals through online companies such as Airbnb.

Small government Republicans often talk about the virtue of local government control. But the measure is just the latest example of Indiana’s GOP majority taking up legislation that would tie the hands of local governments.

Supporters say the bill is needed to stop knee-jerk regulations being placed on an emerging and innovative market.

But opponents say local governments should be able to decide if people can turn their home into a for-profit business that could inconvenience neighbors.

The measure was approved by a Senate panel on Wednesday and previously cleared the House.



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Iraqi troops push into area around symbolic Mosul mosque


Iraqi government forces have pushed into the area around a highly symbolic mosque in western Mosul where the Islamic State group’s leader made his first and only public appearance.

Black smoke billowed from the area around al-Nuri mosque, also known as the Great Mosque, Sunday as helicopters hovered overhead and fired into the militants’ positions. At least two large mushroom clouds were seen rising from what is believed to be suicide car bomb explosions as gunfire rattled.

The IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivered a Friday sermon in al-Nuri mosque in July 2014 after the extremist group seized almost a third of Iraq and declared an Islamic “Caliphate” on territory it controlled in Iraq and neighboring Syria.



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This is why you’re gassy


If much to your own chagrin, you’ve ever accidentally let one (OK, several) rip in public, you’re not alone. Battling a discretionary war on burps and farts can be trying—and that’s true for all of us. Despite our avid denials, each of us passes upwards of about 1-3 pints of gas, 14 times a day on average.

Many farts are actually odorless and have nothing to do with digestion. Stink factor notwithstanding, farting, along with burping, carries with it cringe-inducing social stigma. Nobody wants to cut one loose at an inopportune time, such as in a yoga class or during sex. But the frustrating thing about having gas is that it can feel random, hard to control, and difficult to pin on anything in particular. 

In fact, there are several surprising things that cause gas that you do have some control over. About half of all burps and farts are caused by aerophagia, otherwise known as swallowing air. Bloat is a different beast altogether: “Although many people who are bloated feel like they have gas, they don’t technically have extra gas—they just have the sensation of bloatedness,” says Patricia Raymond, MD, FACG, assistant professor of clinical internal medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, practitioner at Gastrointestinal Consultants, LTD, in Norfolk, VA, and a member of the American College of Gastroenterology’s public relations committee. 

“Most of us know when we poorly absorb something we eat, it travels down to the colon, where the bacteria spew out smelly gas in small volume,” says Raymond. “This gas smells bad, like rotting eggs—think of your high school days’ silent but deadly moniker.” But non-smelly, voluminous gas, expressed as noisy farts or big burps, means too much air is the culprit. “The GI tract was not made to absorb gas,” says Raymond. “If you are putting it down your stomach it will either come back up or go back out further down.”

Here are 6 unexpected things that may be causing you to pass gas—and how to find relief.

Medications

Many medications cause dry mouth, which can intensify the amount of air you consume, says Raymond. Investigate whether the side effects of your medications are linked to dry mouth. If the gas bothers you, it may be worth finding out if you can switch up your prescription to one with less side effects.

Chewing gum

“Chewing gum makes you swallow more air than normal, and can lead to burps or farts,” says Raymond. While gum may provide a quick pick-me-up if you’re feeling peckish or stressed, you probably don’t want to spend your day tooting along. Plus, chewing sweetened gum does your teeth no favors, and sugarless gum contains controversial artificial sweeteners. (Here are 6 gross side effects of chewing gum.)

Prevention Premium: 20 Doctor-Recommended Natural Remedies For Everyday Ailments

Drinking through a straw

Drinking through a straw is like blowing up a balloon in reverse. As you suck your beverage through the straw, you’re inhaling air into your belly, creating the perfect storm for gassy conditions. Instead of straws, which can’t be recycled and are destined for the landfill, hydrate the old-fashioned way and drink directly from the glass.

Smoking

Smoking is very similar to sucking through a straw: When you inhale, you swallow air—and gas. And don’t be lulled into thinking electronic cigarettes are any different from conventional cigarettes in terms of making you gassy. Either way, smoking doesn’t do you any favors: A growing body of evidence, including a recent study published in JAMA Cardiology, suggests electronic cigarettes are also linked with increased cardiovascular risk.

MORE: 6 Daily Habits That Are As Bad For You As Smoking

Drinking from a bottle

“Something about how your mouth wraps around the bottle mouth versus how your mouth wraps around a cup or a glass makes people burp,” says Raymond. If you want to minimize flatus (gas), ditch the bottle—and the burps.

Eating too fast

If you’re wolfing down your food, chances are you’re downing a lot of air as well. Speed eating causes several problems, from weight gain to gastric reflux. Aim to eat without distraction (a recent study shows eating while driving is almost as dangerous as texting) and chew each bite 20-40 times. If you pay attention to your food and internal cues of fullness, expect a range of health benefits, including the potential for weight loss, according to a study published in Eating Behaviors.

This article originally appeared on Prevention.com.



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Boaty McBoatface to set sail


The unmanned submarine named ‘Boaty McBoatface’ following a high-profile viral campaign last year is about set sail on its first mission.

Boaty McBoatface grabbed headlines across the world when it won the poll organized by the U.K.’s Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). The research organization had asked for help finding a name reflecting the $284 million ship’s mission and celebrating British naval history.

MEET BOATY MCBOATFACE – THE DRONE SUBMARINE

Officials, however, blocked the name, opting instead to name the vessel Royal Research Ship (RSS) Sir David Attenborough in honor of the celebrated British naturalist and broadcaster.

However, the name did live on in the shape of the drone submarine. In a statement released Monday, NERC said that the long-range autosub will soon be deployed on a scientific expedition.

WALMART CASHIER’S ACT OF KINDNESS GOES VIRAL

“Cute though it sounds, this unmanned submarine is part of a fleet of some pretty intrepid explorers,” it said. “This month they’ll begin their first mission, traversing a deep current that originates in Antarctica and flows through the Southern Ocean. They’ll be collecting data for the Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) project as they ‘fly’ through submarine waterfalls and rapids, shedding light on how global warming is changing our oceans.”

Last year officials said that the drone submarine will be operated from the RSS Sir David Attenborough.

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In its statement, NERC said that work on the ship is progressing at shipbuilder Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. “Work continues on dry land for now but she’ll be ready to ‘splashdown’ off the yard and into the blue early next year, whilst works will continue inside,” it said. “Then she’ll be taken for trials to make sure she’s seaworthy and her scientific equipment is working to perfection before she sets off for her first mission in 2019.”

 

 

 



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