Day: June 16, 2017

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TABLES TURNED? Alex Jones releases tapes before Megyn Kelly chat


Megyn Kelly could find her upcoming interview with conspiracy monger Alex Jones scooped — by Jones himself.

Amid a firestorm leading up to Sunday evening’s NBC broadcast of Kelly’s next major interview for the network, Jones claimed he had secretly made his own tape of the interview — as well as talks leading up to it — and planned to release his version in advance. Jones says his tape will show the former Fox News personality sandbagged him.

“It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that,” Kelly tells Jones in a recording released on Jones’ website, Infowars.com. “All I can do is give you my word and tell you if there is one thing about me I do what I say I’m going to do and I don’t double-cross.”

Kelly goes on to say in one of the pre-interview recordings that she is a “combination of Mike Wallace, Oprah Winfrey and Larry the Cable Guy.

“That’s what you’ll get in the interview – a little bit of all three of those and hopefully everybody will walk away feeling like they had a good dinner – nutritious, some red meat with some dessert at the end,” she is heard saying.

“Of course I’m going to do a fair interview I’m still
me – I’m not going to go out there and be Barbara Walters,” she added.

MEGYN KELLY’S INTERVIEW WITH ALEX JONES GETTING COMPLETE OVERHAUL

However, Jones, in commentary interspersed throughout the recordings, accused Kelly of going back on her word.

“When she got here with her crew of intelligence operatives she did the opposite of what she said,” Jones told viewers. “And so I was recording the whole time, from our pre-interviews, right through the interviews, we have a record of it so that you can decide for yourself what I really said and what I stood for.”

“You alone will be the judge,” he adds. “You alone will be the jury of who is fake news.”

Kelly’s follow-up to her debut interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin was already steeped in controversy. By early this week, the network was reportedly in crisis meetings over how to respond to enraged parents of children killed in the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Their criticism is that NBC’s decision to send its newest star to interview Jones – infamous for having said in 2014 that “Sandy Hook is synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured” — will only dignify the alt-right celebrity broadcaster.

“I don’t know what the truth is, all I know is that the official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese,” Jones later said in a video he posted online in November 2016.

Lawyers representing the families of the victims of Sandy Hook say that NBC airing the interview will only give more credibility to conspiracy theories surrounding the tragic shooting which left 20 children and six school staffers dead.

“Airing Ms. Kelly’s interview implicitly endorses the notion that Mr. Jones’ lies are actually ‘claims’ that are worthy of serious debate, and in doing so it exponentially enhances the suffering and distress of our clients,” lawyers Josh Koskoff and Katie Mesner-Hage wrote in a letter to NBC, according to The Associated Press.

Then, following the parental backlash, a major sponsor said it was pulling advertising dollars. J.P. Morgan Chase announced no more money for NBC until after the Jones interview aired, or the broadcast is cancelled.

“When you say parents faked their children’s deaths, people get very angry,” Kelly said in a teaser of the interview released by NBC.

“I looked at all the angles of Newtown and I made my statements long before the media even picked up on it,” Jones responds.

MEGYN KELLY DEFENDS ALEX JONES INTERVIEW, NBC PRESSURED TO CANCEL IT

An interview with at least one Sandy Hook parent whose child died in the shootings will be included in NBC’s report Sunday, a person familiar with the show told The Associated Press.

In other parts of the pre-interview recordings released by Jones, Kelly appears to butter up the InfoWars host after the NBC interview is agreed upon.

“I’m not looking to portray you as some boogie man or do any sort of a gotcha moment…the craziest thing of all would be if some of the people who have some insane version of you in their heads walk away saying ‘You know what I see the dad in him, I see the guy who loves those kids and who is more complex than I’ve been led to believe’,” Kelly says, referencing Jones’ child custody trial.

In Texas, Jones’ recordings are protected from any potential legal action Kelly and NBC could pursue, as the state has a “one-party consent” law where only one person needs to agree to having recorded communications.



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Could under-the-radar Menendez trial give GOP a shot at Senate seat? – NJ Democratic strategist launches #HuntRepublicans and #HuntRepublicanCongressmen


Lost amid the headlines on the Trump-Russia drama — but just a few-hour drive from Washington up I-95 — is another story of political intrigue that could have national implications. 

The trial of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is set for this fall, after the senator’s numerous appeals stemming from his April 2015 indictment pushed off the start date.

The Garden State senior senator maintains his innocence in the federal bribery case. The delays in the case, however, have complicated matters politically, observers note — creating a scenario where the state’s Republican governor could appoint a successor if the incumbent is forced to step down. 

According to New Jersey state law, if Menendez should step down less than 70 days before the next election, the governor “may make a temporary appointment of a senator of the United States.” 

FLASHBACK: MENENDEZ VOWS TO FIGHT CHARGES

Given that New Jersey has a gubernatorial election this November, if Menendez were to leave his seat after Aug. 30, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could be able to name a replacement who would not face voters until November 2018.

The scenario was first raised by New Jersey Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine — the Menendez camp, though, suggests it is pure fantasy.

“The Senator has absolutely no intention of stepping down and nothing will change that. He has done nothing wrong and has always acted within the law,” Menendez’ Communications Director Patricia Enright told Fox News.

Republicans have not won a Senate race in the blue state since 1972, and a Christie appointment represents perhaps their best chance to flip a seat, if only for a short period. It would give Republicans a boost, at a time when the Trump administration is still struggling to move its agenda through a Senate where the party holds a narrow 52-seat majority. 

‘The Senator has absolutely no intention of stepping down and nothing will change that.’

– Menendez spokeswoman Patricia Enright

Fox News reached out to the Democratic and Republican campaign committees and state political committees, but none would provide comment. 

Mulshine offered the following scenario: “Let’s imagine Menendez is offered a deal involving resignation just before the trial begins, thus clearing the way for Trump’s friend Chris Christie to name a 53rd Republican senator. That would look an awful lot like political interference in a legal matter. But that’s something the Donald doesn’t seem to mind.”

Presuming it goes forward in early September, the trial revolves around allegations that Menendez illegally received gifts and campaign donations from his friend, Florida-based ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen, in exchange for political favors.

Although he eventually paid $58,500 to Melgen, his co-defendant in the case, for trips to Paris and the doctor’s home at a Dominican resort, Menendez did not report the payments on his Senate financial disclosure forms.

Federal prosecutors contend the trips were offered in return for securing visas for Melgen’s foreign mistresses and for his intervention with Medicare officials who were probing Melgen’s practice.

But matters got complicated in April when Melgen was convicted in a separate case in Florida involving 67 counts of Medicare fraud, which could bring a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Melgen will be sentenced on July 14, yet could find himself under pressure from federal prosecutors to testify against Menendez in the separate bribery case.

“Given the draconian sentence he faces on the fraud charges, the doctor might be wise to turn state’s evidence against the senator. That would make things even tougher for the defense,” wrote Mulshine.  

“That case has nothing to do with my case,” Menendez told reporters after the Melgen verdict. “It was about the procedures and practices of his office,” he added.

Others disagree.

“It absolutely was a game-changer,” said Republican pollster Adam Geller. “[Melgen] is going to be under intense pressure given he is looking at the possibility of a stiff sentence.”

Geller, who worked for Christie, notes that if the lame-duck governor does have the chance to name a replacement, it would not be the first time.

In June 2013, Christie tapped Republican state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to temporarily fill the vacancy in the Senate after the death of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Chiesa served in the seat until a special election was held in October.

Despite the pending trial, Menendez has remained steady in the polls and continues to raise funds for a 2018 reelection bid.

According to his latest FEC filing, Menendez has more than $2.7 million cash-on-hand. 

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found only 31 percent of voters believe he should be reelected and just 39 percent of New Jersey Democrats support his reelection. 



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Watch: Man grabs machete, chases off armed robbers


A machete-wielding homeowner confronted three would-be robbers early Thursday morning, holding one of them for deputies and chasing the others off in a dramatic melee that was caught on surveillance video.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, it was just after 4:45 a.m. when several suspects targeted a home on Dodge Avenue with the intention of robbing the men who were relaxing there.

The home’s surveillance video shows the hooded men burst onto the porch waving a shotgun, machete, and a crowbar.  One of the residents disappears out of view, then returns waving his own machete as the suspects scramble.  Before long, the suspects are scrambling over the fence as other residents and even a small dog chase them around.

HERO HOMEOWNER HOLDS ESCAPED GEORGIA INMATES AT GUNPOINT UNTIL ARREST

The residents disarmed one of the suspects, later identified as Alen Beltran-Vazquez, and held him until deputies arrived.  Deputies soon caught up with the two other would-be robbers in their suspected getaway car at a nearby gas station, along with two more suspects.  

Click here for more from Fox 10. 

 



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Man shoots cyclist from car to 'blow off steam': police


A 19-year-old Texas man is accused of aggravated assault for allegedly firing a shotgun at a cyclist from a car so he could “blow off steam,” police said.

Merrick David Isaacks was arrested this week following an investigation stemming from a June 7 shooting incident in Austin, Fox 4 News reported.

According to police, officers responded to a reported shooting around midnight that evening and found a victim with an unknown injury to his back, shoulder, and head after he was struck by what appeared to be a shotgun blast.

The victim, identified as Alonso Solis-Mata, was transported to the hospital where doctors found pellets from the shotgun blast inside his brain stem.

HERO HOMEOWNER HOLDS ESCAPED GEORGIA INMATES AT GUNPOINT UNTIL ARRESTS

During the course of the investigation, detectives connected the incident to another aggravated assault case. A witness in that case said Isaacks threated him with a shotgun to drive around the city to help “blow off steam” and that he “wanted to shoot or kill someone.”

The driver told police he tried to convince Isaacks to not open fire, but the 19-year-old didn’t listen. He said Isaacks “turned his entire body toward the passenger side door and lifted the shotgun to the window as if he was aiming at something and fired one shot.”

The witness told police that it was around the same time and date that Solis was hit, adding that he believed Isaacks had fired at the cyclist.

After the shooting, Isaacks reportedly shot his weapon several more times into the air while driving around.

Isaacks has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on a $250,000 bail.

Read more news at Fox 4 News.



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Otto Warmbier’s injuries renew focus on North Korea’s infamous torture camps


The case of American student Otto Warmbier, who sustained serious injuries while he was detained in North Korea, is renewing the focus on the horrors that prisoners face in North Korea’s infamous torture camps. 

Officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier is being treated, said that while there is no physical evidence he was beaten, his “extensive loss of brain tissue” suggests he likely lost blood supply to his brain for a period of time.

OTTO WARMBIER, FREED BY NORTH KOREA IN A COMA, TO ARRIVE IN HOMETOWN CINCINNATI FOR URGENT MEDICAL CARE

How that happened is up for debate, but after a seemingly healthy 22-year-old college student winds up with severe brain damage shortly after being sentenced to 15 years of labor, some experts are inclined to remind people about the kinds of brutality that regularly occur in North Korea’s infamous camps. 

Graphic video footage of what are reportedly interrogations at North Korean camps reveal that prisoners are bound at the hands as they are subjected to whatever cruelties the guards feel like inflicting. And, according to some former guards who have since defected, the level of cruelty is entirely up to them.

In a 2014 documentary on life inside of North Korea’s labor camps, “Camp 14: Total Control Zone,” one former labor camp official suggested that the guards at these camps serve as judge, jury and executioner.

Kwon Hyuk, who is identified in the film as an ex-commander of the guards in a North Korean labor camp, said prisoners are “treated like animals” once they arrive at the camps.

OTTO WARMBIER HAS EXTENSIVE BRAIN DAMAGE, DOCTOR SAYS

“The life of an inmate is worth less than the life of a worm,” he said. “They can’t defend themselves, not even when they’re being beaten. I could do anything with the prisoners that I like. The decision whether to kill them or let them live was completely up to me.”

In a 2014 Sky News report, “The Defectors,” escapees from North Korea’s prison camps suggest that they are unable to fall asleep at night because “from every room there are sounds, sounds of beatings.”

North Korean officials have denied that there are any “labor camps” in the country at all, instead suggesting that they are places designed for “education.” According to the United Nation Human Rights Commission, “the very existence of political prison camps is considered a state secret, even though international human rights groups have reported about them since the late 1980s.”

And in a 2014 report, the U.N. commission documented in specific and graphic detail the kinds of cruelty that goes on at some of these camps.

“The unspeakable atrocities that are being committed against inmates of the kwanliso political prison camps resemble the horrors of camps that totalitarian states established during the 20th century,” the report states.

Researchers concluded that, at the time, there were anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners actively detained in what were described as “four large political prison camps, where deliberate starvation has been used as a means of control and punishment.”

AMB. BOLTON: NORTH KOREA’S TREATMENT OF OTTO WARMBIER WAS ‘BARBARIC’

Witnesses interviewed for the U.N. report describe how “special torture chamber[s]” exist in these prison camps for the sole purpose of unconventional cruelty. There are hooks from which people can hang upside-down, needles for driving under fingernails, and special chili-pepper concoctions for pouring down a victim’s nose.

Multiple subjects also describe how subjects are immersed in water tanks to the point that they fear drowning. One woman, apparently tortured on suspicion of practicing Christianity, “indicated that she was fully immersed in cold water for hours. Only when she stood on her tip-toes would her nose be barely above the water level.”

It’s possible that drowning could have led to the kind of oxygen deprivation that Warmbier’s doctors are reportedly seeing. When asked if they saw any signs that could have been the case, however, the doctors suggested that a scan of soft tissue in Warmbier’s neck revealed no abnormalities.

 

Joshua Stanton, a Washington-based attorney who has advised the House Foreign Affairs Committee on legislation related to North Korea, argues that whatever suffering Warmbier endured, it’s worth remembering that millions of North Korean citizens suffer far worse on a daily basis.

“[B]y North Korean standards [Warmbier’s treatment] was entirely ordinary,” Stanton writes. “[F]or North Koreans, brutality is an everyday fear, whether they’re market traders being extorted and beaten by corrupt MSS officers, women refugees who are beaten after being repatriated by China, women in “Kangan” Province who are raped by soldiers with impunity, or the child prisoners in places like Camp 16, where death rates may be as high as 20 percent each year… One death is a tragedy, but the death of millions is a statistic from a dying star in a distant galaxy. As we look on one tragedy, let’s remember the statistics, too.”



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Ohio family bluegrass band murder: Brother kills mom, sibling, attempts suicide


Police are investigating a double homicide and attempted suicide involving members of an Ohio family band known for its bluegrass music.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office says two family members are dead and a third, believed to be the shooter, has been taken to a Cleveland hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police investigating a 911 hang-up call Thursday arrived at the home of The Stockdale Family Band, where officers found 21-year-old James Stockdale and 54-year-old Kathryn Stockdale dead.

They believe 25-year-old Jacob Stockdale shot his brother and mother with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself.

Early Friday, Calvin Stockdale, the eldest brother of James and Jacob, released a statement say the family “appreciates the prayers and support we are receiving from our friends and the community.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Outlet prank drives people mad


Bored traveler David McDonald has found a novel (if slightly nefarious) way to pass the time at airports.

Prior to his Wednesday afternoon flight from Miami to London, McDonald made himself a sticker that looked exactly like an electrical outlet. Later, upon arriving at Miami International Airport, he placed the sticker in an outlet-deficient area of the terminal, then sat back and waited for an unsuspecting passenger to fall for his prank.

LAX PASSENGERS CAUGHT SMUGGLING $50K OF METH IN UNDERWEAR

And naturally, once McDonald got the chance to try out his trick, he was ready to film the hijinks that ensued:

Just like McDonald predicted, empty outlets were scarce enough that at least two of his fellow passengers fell for the gag, each of whom repeatedly tried to jam their phone chargers into the sticker.

THE WEEK IN PHOTOS

According to the prankster, his marks weren’t even that miffed. Once they figured out what was going on, McDonald says they played along for the benefit of future victims.

“After I was done videotaping, I told them what I did and they all laughed,” McDonald told ABC News. “And we acted like nothing happened and waited for the next person to try it.”

McDonald also told the site that he first got the idea during a chat with his co-workers.

“We talked about how outlets are always scarce at the airport,” McDonald said. “We thought a sticker would be a great idea to pass time.”

Luckily, McDonald worked with a few graphic designers that could help him bring their idea to fruition.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

After news of his prank went viral, McDonald announced on Twitter that he’s selling his stickers on Amazon for $3.99 (plus $3.95 for shipping). His next step is to make stickers with European-style outlets on them, he tells ABC News, so the entirety of Europe can get in on the fun.

McDonald also revealed that he plans on traveling again next week, so airline passengers in the Miami area should be wary of available outlets that look a little too good to be true.



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Russia preps for Confederations Cup amid fears of violence, racism, terror


The Confederations Cup is like the dress rehearsal for the World Cup. It’s a chance for some of the best national teams from around the globe to gauge their opponents, figure out tactics and generally work out any kinks before they take the field the following summer.

It is more importantly, however, a chance for the world to see how prepared the host nation – Russia, in this case – is to host the World Cup. And with the 2017 Confederations Cup set to kick-off on Sunday there are a number of pressing issues still looming about Russia’s readiness.

Safety is the biggest concern among foreign visitors heading to Russian amid the threat of Islamist terrorism, hooligans, anti-corruption protesters and any crackdown by the country’s security forces.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has imposed a package of security measures, but faces criticism from observers who say his order could hamper ordinary Russians’ lives and stifle dissent.

The measures are based on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which had a single host city and sports facilities far from inhabited areas. The June 17-July 2 Confederations Cup has four host cities and next year’s World Cup will have 11.

More on this…

“Sochi was easier,” argues Russian author Andrei Soldatov, an expert on the security services. “Now we’re talking about many cities. It’s an unusual and dangerous situation.”

Stadiums will have airport-style security, but there have been teething troubles. In a notable setback, a Russian league game last month was used to test Confederations Cup security, but instead stood out for the many fireworks smuggled in by fans.

Despite this Russian officials say the tournament is safe.

“No direct threats against participants or guests” have been uncovered, the senior Federal Security Service official in charge of tournament security, Alexei Lavrishchev, said last week. As for security measures, “law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about.”

For years, Russia’s security services focused heavily on Islamist groups from the restive North Caucasus, where Russian forces fought two wars in the 1990s and early 2000s.

A bombing on the St. Petersburg subway April 3 killed 14 and ended a three-year run for Russia without a major attack outside the North Caucasus region. 

Russia’s major train and subway stations are equipped with metal detectors as standard, but often only a few travelers are examined in detail, and sometimes the equipment is switched off altogether. Procedures have been tightened in the St. Petersburg subway following April’s bombing, and ahead of the tournament, but many Moscow subway stations seem largely unchanged.

Airport security is tight following bombings of two planes in 2004 and a Moscow airport in 2011. By law, passengers and baggage are scanned on entry to the terminal.

Racial profiling is common for Russian law enforcement in major cities, with people of Asian appearance routinely pulled over for document checks in subway stations. Foreign fans wearing team colors are less likely to be approached.

Besides terrorism, soccer hooligans – and the violence and racism that accompanies them – are seen as a major concern for the Confederations Cup.

It’s been a year since Russian fans fought running battles with England supporters at the European Championship in France, and Russia is keen to avoid a repeat.

A repeat seems unlikely, given that few foreign fans are expected at the Confederations Cup and Russia has no rivalry with its group stage opponents New Zealand, Portugal and Mexico.

As they prepare for the World Cup, Russian authorities have compiled a blacklist of 191 fans banned from attending games. To attend a game, a ticket isn’t enough — you’ll need a “Fan ID” issued only after your personal information has been examined by Russian authorities.

There will be a heavy police presence, particularly at stadiums, and restricted alcohol sales nearby.

While Russia has made some progress combating racism directed at players by fans or opposing players, a new report found that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

There were 89 racist and far-right incidents at Russian games in the 2016-17 season, slightly below the two previous seasons, according to Thursday’s report by European anti-discrimination group FARE and Russia-based SOVA.

In one case, an African player complained of racist abuse by an opponent during a Russian Premier League game. In another case, a hardline fan group segregated part of a stadium for people of “Slavic appearance,” the report alleges. Fans of Russian champion Spartak Moscow flew anti-Semitic banners.

FARE says Russia has made some progress, and that it didn’t observe monkey chants or openly Nazi flags in any top-flight games this season. However, it warns far-right fans instead fly banners with concealed messages such as runes and number codes used by Nazi and ultranationalist groups.

The RFU punished two clubs in the 2015-16 season for such banners, but didn’t pursue any such cases this season — something which FARE’s executive director Piara Powar says indicates it may be “turning a blind eye.”

Then there is the specter of widespread protests against Putin.

With the world’s eye on Russia, many people disenchanted with the Kremlin see the games as an opportunity to voice their anger at Putin on a global stage.

Putin, however, issued a decree stipulating that police must approve any public gatherings in or near host cities. Holding an unapproved event puts organizers and participants at risk of arrest. Monday’s protests were a mix of officially sanctioned and unsanctioned events in different cities, and no major opposition events are planned for the upcoming weeks.

The decree also stipulates foreign visitors must register with the authorities within 24 hours on arrival in a new city, while Russians have three days. Hotels will register guests, but those using room-rental services like Airbnb face more difficulties.

“This decree needs to be seen as proclaiming a state of emergency in a certain part of the country for a period of time,” said Russian human rights activist Pavel Chikov, who filed an unsuccessful Supreme Court appeal against a similar decree at the 2014 Olympics. “The main constitutional rights don’t apply, or they apply with certain limitations.”

Still, authorities may be reluctant to apply the law to the letter to avoid bad publicity, and mass arrests are unlikely. “There will be some kind of freedom,” Chikov said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Putting LIFE on Mars


Elon Musk has put his Mars-colonization vision to paper, and you can read it for free.

SpaceX’s billionaire founder and CEO just published the plan, which he unveiled at a conference in Mexico in September 2016, in the journal New Space. Musk’s commentary, titled “Making Humanity a Multi-Planetary Species,” is available for free on New Space’s website through July 5.

“In my view, publishing this paper provides not only an opportunity for the spacefaring community to read the SpaceX vision in print with all the charts in context, but also serves as a valuable archival reference for future studies and planning,” New Space editor-in-chief (and former NASA “Mars czar”) Scott Hubbard wrote in a statement. [ SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport for Mars in Images ]

Musk’s Mars vision centers on a reusable rocket-and-spaceship combo that he’s dubbed the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). Both the booster and the spaceship will be powered by SpaceX’s Raptor engine, still in development, which Musk said will be about three times stronger than the Merlin engines that power the company’s Falcon 9 rocket.

The booster, with its 42 Raptors, will be the most powerful rocket in history, by far. It will be capable of launching 300 metric tons (330 tons) to low Earth orbit (LEO), or 550 metric tons (600 tons) in an expendable variant, Musk said. For comparison, NASA’s famous Saturn V moon rocket, the current record holder, could loft “just” 135 metric tons (150 tons).

ITS rockets will launch the spaceships to Earth orbit, then come back down for a pinpoint landing about 20 minutes later. And “pinpoint” is not hyperbole: “With the addition of maneuvering thrusters, we think we can actually put the booster right back on the launch stand,” Musk wrote in his New Space paper, citing SpaceX’s increasingly precise Falcon 9 first-stage landings .

The ITS boosters will launch many spaceships and fuel tankers (which will top up the spaceships’ tanks) to orbit over the course of their operational lives; the rockets will be designed to fly about 1,000 times each, Musk wrote. The spaceships, meanwhile, will hang out in orbit, and then depart en masse when Earth and Mars align favorably. This happens once every 26 months.

Eventually, Musk wrote, he envisions 1,000 or more ITS spaceships, each carrying 100 or more people, leaving Earth orbit during each of these Mars windows. The architecture could conceivably get 1 million people to Mars within the next 50 to 100 years, he has said.

The ships would also fly back from Mars, using their nine Raptor engines and methane-based propellant that was manufactured on the Red Planet. Each ITS ship would probably be able to make 12 to 15 deep-space journeys during its operational life, Musk wrote, and each fuel tanker could likely fly to Earth orbit 100 or so times.

The ITS’ reusability is key to making Mars colonization affordable . This reusability — combined with other measures, such as fueling the spaceships in Earth orbit and making propellant on Mars — could bring the price of a Red Planet trip down to $200,000 or so per person, from an estimated $10 billion using conventional spaceflight systems, Musk said.

ITS spaceships could begin flying to Mars about 10 years from now, if everything goes well, Musk added. But he acknowledged that success is far from guaranteed.

“There is a huge amount of risk. It is going to cost a lot,” Musk wrote. “There is a good chance we will not succeed, but we are going to do our best and try to make as much progress as possible.”

And SpaceX has a history of overcoming long odds. When Musk founded the company in 2002, he wrote, “I thought we had maybe a 10 percent chance of doing anything — of even getting a rocket to orbit, let alone getting beyond that and taking Mars seriously.”

You can download a free copy of Musk’s Mars paper here: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+ . Follow us @Spacedotcom , Facebook or Google+ . Originally published on Space.com .



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Nugent: I have to stop


Ted Nugent is toning down his “hateful rhetoric” after a gunman opened fire at a GOP baseball practice Wednesday morning, critically wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. 

“I’m not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore,” Nugent said Thursday on the WABC radio show “Curtis & Eboni.”

Eboni K. Williams also is a co-host of the “Fox News Specialists.”

The outspoken rocker said he is re-evaluating his tough-guy approach after the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

“At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me that I just can’t use those harsh terms,” Nugent said. “I cannot and I will not.”

The often-controversial guitarist is known for his wild and inflammatory statements, such as telling President Obama to “suck on my machine gun” and labeling him a “subhuman mongrel.” Nugent also called Hillary Clinton a “worthless b—h” in 2007.

Nugent also said he is encouraging his “friends [and] enemies on the left in the Democrat and liberal world that we have got to be civil to each other, that the whole world is watching America, where you have the God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and we have got to be more respectful to the other side.”

Nugent admitted to sometimes getting heated, especially while performing on stage. He also promised to “avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence” moving forward.

But he won’t steer clear of politics all together saying he will still be “feisty” and “passionate.”

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.



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