Category: New Posts

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Mike getting serious look from suburban Dems who just want to beat Trump…


PHILADELPHIA — When Elizabeth Warren was emerging as a front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary last fall, Helen Springer enthusiastically contributed $100 to the liberal Massachusetts senator’s campaign.

“She was trending high,” said Springer, 75, of Kennett Square. “That didn’t last.”

Springer, a retired human resources administrator, has watched with dismay since then, concerned that none of the candidates who competed in Iowa and New Hampshire can win the nomination, unite the party and defeat President Donald Trump in November.

But another candidate is giving her hope: Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York and Republican-turned-Democrat, who was skipping the early-voting states and spending hundreds of millions of dollars on television commercials making the case that “Mike will get it done.”

“We Democrats have to be absolutely pragmatic. We have to be cold-eyed,” said Springer, who described her politics as “way way way way to the left.”

“We have to look at the situation we’re in and get behind somebody who can stand toe to toe with Trump,” said Springer who, like others interviewed for this article spoke last week. “It’s very uncertain right now. It’s really scary, and we’ve gotta have somebody who can take it all the way with Trump. Bloomberg, I think, can.”

Springer isn’t alone among Democratic voters in the Philadelphia suburbs. For some, the first votes this month have reinforced concerns that the party will nominate a candidate who can’t beat Trump in such battleground states as Pennsylvania that delivered him the White House in 2016.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s lackluster performance so far has created a hunger for another moderate alternative to the leading progressive candidate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. And even some self-described progressive voters said they are open to Bloomberg, in part because they’re worried that the candidates running on more liberal platforms can’t win.

Democratic voters said their anxiety was exacerbated by Trump’s purge of some who testified in his impeachment trial, and tweets last week that raised the specter of his meddling in the sentencing recommendation for his convicted associate Roger Stone.

Add to that an unprecedented advertising blitz, and Bloomberg is getting a serious look from voters in the suburbs — a key region that helped Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in 2018 and where the party swept Republicans out of power in local elections last year. In a fluid nominating contest shaping up as a drawn-out fight, Pennsylvania’s April 28 primary could be critical. Voters in the suburbs could help determine the nominee, and in November they will form a crucial bloc in a state Trump won by less than 1% in 2016.

A Franklin & Marshall poll of Pennsylvania voters, taken in January before voting started, found Bloomberg with the support of 7% of Democrats — well behind Biden’s 22% but ahead of former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the leading moderates who have competed in the early states. Newer national polls put Bloomberg in third place behind Sanders and Biden, according to an average of surveys tracked by RealClearPolitics.

Over the weekend, rival candidates treated Bloomberg like a threat, accusing him of trying to buy the election, blasting his record on race relations, and questioning his treatment of women over the years.

“There is a growing sentiment to take a closer look at what he might be able to bring to the whole campaign and what his presidency might look like,” said Dick Bingham, chairman of the Chester County Democratic Committee.

The Bloomberg campaign said that by this weekend, it will have opened field offices in Media, Langhorne, West Chester and Ardmore — one in each of Philadelphia’s four collar counties. He already has offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, with the campaign on its way to almost 100 staffers in the state. Biden headquarters his national campaign in Philadelphia, but no Democrat besides Bloomberg has built up substantial Pennsylvania infrastructure of any kind.

Two days before Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, Marsha Peltz, vice chair of the Chester County Democrats, hosted about 25 people from across the region at her Malvern home for an informational session about Bloomberg. Among those who showed up were three self-identified Republicans, said Peltz, who is running to become a Bloomberg delegate at the Democratic convention.

“I see on the grassroots level how he’s uniting those Republicans that are looking for some place to go,” she said. Registered Republicans cannot vote in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania.

Bloomberg has spent more than $14 million on television and radio commercials in Pennsylvania, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad-tracking firm. No other Democratic candidate has bought airtime in Pennsylvania media markets.

“It’s gotten to the point of saturation,” said Ron Kolla, chairman of the Horsham Democratic Committee, in Montgomery County. “I’m on Facebook and he comes up in my Facebook feed. I’m driving to work, I’m listening to the radio, I hear him on the radio.

“It’s almost as if he’s the only candidate currently running in Pennsylvania,” Kolla said.

A few minutes after an interview, Kolla said he received a phone call from someone conducting a poll. It was paid for by the Bloomberg campaign.

An ad contrasting Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric with lofty speeches from such former presidents as John F. Kennedy caught the attention of Stephanie Mullen, 47, of Phoenixville. Mullen, who works for a nonprofit foundation, said she’s undecided on a candidate and in November will vote “blue no matter who.”

“I’m not quite as progressive as the Bernie crew and all of them,” she said, calling her top priority beating Trump.

Bloomberg is only starting to come under the kind of scrutiny his opponents have endured for months.

He has faced renewed criticism for his support, as mayor, of a policing policy known as stop and frisk, which a federal judge in 2013 ruled was unconstitutional and had led to “indirect racial profiling.” Bloomberg apologized for his position shortly before he announced his campaign in November — after vigorously defending it for years.

Some African American mayors and other elected officials have flocked to Bloomberg as Biden has struggled. It remains to be seen how black voters will ultimately weigh the legacy of stop and frisk in deciding whether to back him.

“I have problems with him, the stop and frisk,” said Spencer Lewis, 51, a digital marketing strategist who is black.

Lewis, of Whitpain Township, founded a local chapter of the anti-Trump group Indivisible after the 2016 election. He favors Warren and Sanders, and said his top priority was “getting rid of that kind of corporate money in Washington.”

Bloomberg, he said, is “part of that class that has too much influence in our government.”

Melissa Chargel, 43, of Whitpain, cited lobbying and money in politics as the biggest issue confronting the country: “I think we have Trump because things were already broken.”

Collecting signatures at a grocery store last week for her petition to become a Warren delegate, Chargel said Bloomberg’s candidacy was “tricky” for her. A mother of two daughters, ages 4 and 2, she said she was “terrified” by Trump’s election and got involved with the anti-gun-violence group Moms Demand Action. Friends she knows through that group support Bloomberg, she said. The nonpartisan organization is affiliated with the Bloomberg-financed group Everytown for Gun Safety.

“He has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into gun violence,” Chargel said. “And that is a big issue for me, and I appreciate that.”

But she’s not comfortable with a campaign that Bloomberg’s opponents denounce as him trying to buy the election.

Like Lewis, Chargel said she’d vote for Bloomberg if he were the nominee.

(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)

Bloomberg’s best bet may be winning over Democrats discouraged by Biden’s shaky campaign.

“I’ve heard concern about Biden for months,” said Jill Zipin, a self-described moderate Democrat who is active in Montgomery County politics. Friends tell her of the 77-year-old Biden: “He seems older, more frail. He’s not the Biden of 10 years ago.” Bloomberg is 78.

Gary Wasserson, 63, a former communications industry executive, and his wife hosted a gathering of about 80 friends at their Penn Valley home a few days after the Iowa caucuses, to hear a presentation from Bloomberg campaign officials.

“Virtually everybody who attended either loved the idea of Bloomberg or wanted to hear more about what he was doing,” Wasserson said. Upon hearing Bloomberg’s platform, he said, a close friend who voted for Trump and who has continued to support the president told him he would register as a Democrat and vote for Bloomberg in the primary.

“That shocked me,” he said.

———

©2020 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

—————

PHOTOS (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): Mike Bloomberg



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Locust Outbreak Spreads Further…


JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — The worst locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in 70 years has reached South Sudan, a country where roughly half the population already faces hunger after years of civil war, officials announced Tuesday.

Around 2,000 locusts were spotted inside the country, Agriculture Minister Onyoti Adigo told reporters. Authorities will try to control the outbreak, he added.

The locusts have been seen in Eastern Equatoria state near the borders with Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. All have been affected by the outbreak that has been influenced by the changing climate in the region.

The situation in those three countries “remains extremely alarming,” the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in its latest Locust Watch update Monday. Locusts also have reached Sudan, Eritrea, Tanzania and more recently Uganda.

The soil in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria has a sandy nature that allows the locusts to lay eggs easily, said Meshack Malo, country representative with the FAO.

At this stage “if we are not able to deal with them … it will be a problem,” he said.

South Sudan is even less prepared than other countries in the region for a locust outbreak, and its people are arguably more vulnerable. More than 5 million people are severely food insecure, the U.N. humanitarian office says in its latest assessment, and some 860,000 children are malnourished.

Five years of civil war shattered South Sudan’s economy, and lingering insecurity since a 2018 peace deal continues to endanger humanitarians trying to distribute aid. Another local aid worker was shot and killed last week, the U.N. said Tuesday.

The locusts have traveled across the region in swarms the size of major cities. Experts say their only effective control is aerial spraying with pesticides, but U.N. and local authorities have said more aircraft and pesticides are required. A handful of planes have been active in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The U.N. has said $76 million is needed immediately. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Ethiopia said the U.S. would donate another $8 million to the effort. That follows an earlier $800,000.

The number of overall locusts could grow up to 500 times by June, when drier weather begins, experts have said. Until then, the fear is that more rains in the coming weeks will bring fresh vegetation to feed a new generation of the voracious insects.

South Sudanese ministers called for a collective regional response to the outbreak that threatens to devastate crops and pasturage.



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COPS: Man forced woman to watch 'ROOTS' so she could 'better understand her racism'…


FEBRUARY 18–An Iowa man held a female acquaintance captive and forced her to watch “Roots” so that she “could better understand her racism,” according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators allege that Robert Lee Noye, 52, yesterday forced Jill Shelton, 37, to sit with him and watch the program about slavery. Shelton allegedly was held against her will inside a small Cedar Rapids home (seen below) she has shared with Noye.

Shelton told police that when she tried to move, Noye “threatened her to remain seated and watch the movie with him” or else he would “kill her and spread her body parts across I-380 on the way to Chicago,” the complaint charges.

Noye, seen at right, was arrested for felony harassment and false imprisonment, a misdemeanor. He was booked into the Linn County jail and released from custody last night. A judge has ordered Noye to have no contact with Shelton.

Court records show that Noye and Shelton have been involved in a tumultuous relationship spanning nearly two decades, with both parties filing for multiple restraining orders against the other person.

The criminal complaint does not reveal whether Shelton was allegedly forced to watch the original nine-hour “Roots” miniseries or subsequent remakes based on Alex Haley’s novel. (1 page)



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BERNIE DRAWS 17,000 TO RALLY IN TACOMA…


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., speaks at a campaign event in Tacoma, Wash., Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Bernie Sanders rallied thousands of supporters in Washington state three weeks ahead of its presidential primary, calling for the grassroots movement that led to his win in the state’s 2016 caucuses to continue through the broader primary that takes place March 10.

“We may not have billions of dollars to throw around, but we have hundreds of thousands of people in every state in this country knocking on doors,” he said. “And that’s why we’re going to win here in Washington and why we’re going to win all over this country.”

Supporters packed the Tacoma Dome and chanted Sanders’ name as he appeared on stage after being introduced by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Seattle Democrat who is chairing his Washington state campaign. The Tacoma Dome holds about 23,000 people, and the campaign said more than 17,000 people were in attendance. Also speaking at the rally was actor Tim Robbins, who told the crowd “Bernie Sanders is the one who can unite us.”

Sanders told the crowd that he believes President Donald Trump can be defeated because “there are fundamental problems in this county that must be addressed,” he said, citing income inequality, student debt and health care.

He also called out fellow Democratic candidate and billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising.

“We are a democracy, not an oligarchy,” Sanders said. “You’re not going to buy this election.”

The Vermont senator’s visit came on the heels of his win in the New Hampshire primary and just three weeks ahead of Democrats casting their ballots in the state presidential primary. The state party will use the primary for the first time to allocate delegates to candidates, with 89 delegates to be awarded based on the results.

Supporters lined up hours ahead of the evening rally. Cali Randall, an 18-year-old high school senior from Tacoma, arrived with two friends and was carrying a #Babes4Bernie sign. Randall was excited to be voting in her first presidential election, and to start with a vote for Sanders in the presidential primary.

“Bernie has a movement behind him,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Sanders spoke at a rally in Richmond, California. The state — which offers more delegates than any other state — is among the more than dozen states where voters will cast their ballots on so-called Super Tuesday, March 3. Two contests come before Super Tuesday — caucuses in Nevada on Saturday and a primary in South Carolina on Feb. 29.

Last year, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a measure moving the state’s presidential primary from May to the second Tuesday in March. The move was an effort to involve more voters and make Washington more relevant during the national delegate chase. And while Republicans had previously used the primary to allocate delegates, this is the first year in which both parties will use the results of the primary instead of the caucuses.

The state Democratic Party’s central committee voted last year to start using a hybrid system that utilizes the state’s vote-by-mail system for a presidential primary to apportion delegates to candidates, and caucuses and conventions to select which delegates will represent the state at the national convention in Milwaukee.

About 230,000 Washington Democrats turned out to caucus across the state in March 2016, while 1.4 million cast a ballot in the May presidential primary. Sanders handily won the caucuses, but Hillary Clinton, who went on to become the Democratic nominee, won the non-binding Democratic primary in Washington that year. Of the 1.4 million ballots cast, more than 802,000 ballots were cast by Democrats, even though their vote didn’t count.

With the change by the state party, a much broader Democratic electorate will be involved this year in deciding the winner of the state. Ballots will be mailed to the state’s nearly 4.5 million registered voters on Friday.

Washington state has no party registration but since 2008, the presidential primary requires voters to attest to being either Republican or Democrat.

Eight candidates remain in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who placed fourth in the New Hampshire primary, has scheduled a rally in Seattle for Saturday.

Erik Butler, 49, traveled to the rally with his 12-year-old son Bryce, from nearby Gig Harbor.

Butler said he also likes Warren, but said he has decided to cast his vote for Sanders.

“At the end of the day he’s been consistent in his vision,” Butler said. “I really applaud that.”

By RACHEL LA CORTE, the Associated Press



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VIRUS TAKES BITE OF APPLE…


Apple’s suppliers and partners are getting hit hard following the iPhone maker’s revenue warning due to the coronavirus epidemic in China, underscoring fears about the financial fallout of the outbreak.

Qorvo, a radio frequency chip supplier for Apple, fell nearly 2.5% on Tuesday morning. Credit Suisse estimates 30% of Qorvo’s revenues come from Apple. Chip company Skyworks Solutions, with about half of its sales from Apple, fell 2.4% and Lam Research skidded nearly 4%.

Other chip suppliers like Broadcom, Micron and Intel, fell 1.2%, 1.8% and 1%, respectively. About 20% of Broadcom’s revenues come from Apple and about 5% of Micron and Intel’s come from the iPhone maker. Semiconductor companies Nvidia and Xilinx dropped 1.5% and 2.3%.

Apple said Monday it does not expect to make its quarterly revenue forecast due to lower iPhone supply globally and lower Chinese demand as a result of the coronavirus. Apple previously forecast revenue of $63 billion to $67 billion in its fiscal second quarter but did not give new guidance. Manufacturing facilities in China that produce Apple’s iPhone have reopened but are ramping up more slowly than expected, Apple said.

Apple suppliers and partners are in the eye of the COVID-19 storm, said Bank of America.

“This will have a ripple effect of increased uncertainty and guide-downs across the semiconductor supply chain since Apple’s warning suggests a weak demand environment in China which impacts other smartphone vendors and their respective supply chains also,” analyst Vivek Arya said in a note to clients Tuesday. “So the impact is greater than just Apple itself.”

Apple’s warning knocked major U.S. equity averages off their recent record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 100 points at the open. Shares of Apple sank 2.3% in morning trading on Tuesday.

The spreading deadly coronavirus has dominated the news cycle for most of this year, exacerbating fears of the outbreak’s impact on global economic growth. As of Tuesday, more than 73,400 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, including at least 1,874 deaths, mostly in China.

Credit Suisse said Monday the coronavirus “impact is more likely demand disruption/dislocation than outright destruction.” The firm estimates any weakness will be recovered by the second half of 2020.

—With reporting by Michael Bloom.



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Formula 1 car of sky: Incredible drone that can fly 87 MPH with person on board…


Formula 1 car of the sky: Incredible 16ft-wide manned drone that can fly at 87 MPH with a person on board performs rolls and loops on its maiden flight

  • Big Drone is able to fly at 87 MPH using 12 motors and propellers keeping it up
  • It is about 16ft across and built around the design of the Formula 1 monocoque
  • At take off the Big Drone can carry one person that weighs up to 368lbs 
  • The company behind the Drone Champions League will use a computer game to recruit future pilots for the giant 217 brake horsepower craft

An incredible manned drone described as being like a Formula 1 car in the sky can perform rolls and loops at 87mph – even when there is a human on board.

The ‘Big Drone’ had its maiden flight in Croatia with CEO of the Drone Champions League, Herbert Weirather, in the hot seat while a remote pilot made it loop and roll. 

The drone, designed around the monocoque of a formula one car, is about 16ft across with 12 large motors and propellers keeping it aloft.

The Drone Champions League started with small drones but ‘they were too small for people to follow’, according to Weirather. He said ‘we made it bigger’. 

The 12 propeller drone is able to fly loops and other aerobatics at speeds of up to 87 miles per hour with a passenger on board

The 12 propeller drone is able to fly loops and other aerobatics at speeds of up to 87 miles per hour with a passenger on board

It has 217 brake horsepower and produces 660lbs of static thrust. It will be used in a new competition as part of the Drone Champions League

It has 217 brake horsepower and produces 660lbs of static thrust. It will be used in a new competition as part of the Drone Champions League

WHAT ARE THE BIG DRONE’S STATS?

  • Static thrust: 660lbs
  • Take off weight: 368lbs
  • Drone weight: 216lbs
  • Top speed: 87miles/h, 
  • Engine: 12 motors and propellers
  • Power: 217 brake horsepower 

Source: Drone Champions League 

They are now recruiting for people to remotely fly the massive 217 brake horsepower craft from a pool of people playing Drone Champions League – The Game. 

Initial testing saw the drone fly around Vrsar in Coratia and was described by the company as a ‘historic maiden flight milestone’ towards a racing tournament.

Weirather sat in the single-seat machine as it was piloted remotely by former Drone Champions League contender and multi-discipline champion Mirko Cesena.

The Big Drone can fly up to 87 miles per hours using 12 motors and propellers producing 217 brake horsepower. It can carry up to 368lbs at take off.

It will be the base of a ‘brand-new future racing experience’ and the Drone Racing League are on the hunt for pilots to ride inside the looping craft. 

During testing at Vrsar in Croatia CEO Weirather sat in the single-seat machine as it was piloted remotely by former Drone Champions League contender and multi-discipline champion Mirko Cesena

During testing at Vrsar in Croatia CEO Weirather sat in the single-seat machine as it was piloted remotely by former Drone Champions League contender and multi-discipline champion Mirko Cesena

Blurring the lines between virtual and reality, the Drone Champions League was created in 2016 to bring together the best pilots of small racing drones in the world.

The smaller drones can reach speeds of up to 99 miles per hour in head-to-head battles and pilots are recruited from players of drone computer games.

They hold Drone Grand Prix races across the world, but wanted to find a way to take it up a notch – and make the whole thing bigger. 

Weirather said people kept complaining it was difficult to follow the action with the small drones – so they made them bigger, but people still complained.

During the process of finding the right size, they eventually made a craft big enough to take a human pilot on board – that’s how the ‘Big Drone’ was born. 

‘Basically we started with very small drones, it was super fast and nobody could really follow, so we made it bigger, and bigger and people said it was still too small.

‘So we made a really big one that means potentially we can have manned drone racing one day,’ said Weirather. 

The craft is able to make loops, rolls and fast turns which will all form part of the new tournament when it launches

The craft is able to make loops, rolls and fast turns which will all form part of the new tournament when it launches

During the test the drone was even flown over water, as seen here, and will be used in head to head races with a remote pilot and on board passenger

During the test the drone was even flown over water, as seen here, and will be used in head to head races with a remote pilot and on board passenger

Weirather, pictured, said they were on the hunt for pilots to work with the Drone Champions League and would be recruiting through a computer game available on consoles

Weirather, pictured, said they were on the hunt for pilots to work with the Drone Champions League and would be recruiting through a computer game available on consoles

The Big Drone has been months in development but in early February they were able to take it to Vrsar for outdoor testing – after initial indoor flights in Germany.

Members of Flite Test were at the initial flight – they produce content on YouTube and other platforms to serve the RC community. 

‘I feel like this experience is honestly a new chapter for multi-rotors,’ said Josh Bixler from the radio control vehicle group.

‘To be able to have kids go into the hobby and aspire for bigger things is always a goal of Flite Test. To see them now aspire to actually fly a manned multi-rotor is absolutely incredible.’

Drone Champions AG, the company behind DCL, will continue to refine the Big Drone ahead of a yet to be confirmed future tournament.  

WHAT IS THE US GOVERNMENT DOING TO IMPROVE DRONE TECHNOLOGY?

President Donald Trump signed a directive in 2017 to establish the ‘innovation zones’ that allow exemptions to some drone regulations, such as flying over people, nighttime flights and flights where the aircraft can’t be seen by the operator. 

States, communities and tribes selected to participate would devise their own trial programs in partnership with government and industry drone users.

‘Data gathered from these pilot projects will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace,’ US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a statement.

Ms Chao, who called the rapidly developing drone industry the biggest development since the jet age, said about 150 applications were received.

Ten sites have been included in a the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. 

Selected were the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; the cities of San Diego, California, and Reno, Nevada; state transportation departments in North Dakota, North Carolina and Kansas; University of Alaska-Fairbanks; the Center for Innovative Technology in Virginia; Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in Memphis, Tennessee; and the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Fort Meyers, Florida.

North Dakota lieutenant governor Brent Sanford said the program will spur more commercial investment and ‘allow us to explore new uses for unmanned aircraft.’

He envisioned drones helping with oil field, flood and weather monitoring, and ‘finding missing persons.’

The unmanned aircraft industry has pushed for relaxed restrictions, and the Trump administration has said current regulations have limited drone use, forcing companies to test overseas.

Steven Bradbury, a lawyer for the federal Transportation Department, said drones have caused some ‘apprehension’ with the public but one of the initiative’s biggest goals will be increased ‘community awareness and acceptance’ of unmanned aircraft.

Mr Bradbury said there is no direct federal funding for the test program.

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STUDY: Splitting Up More Painful Than Ever Before Thanks To Social Media…



If you fear you’re nearing the end of a relationship, it may be a good time to say goodbye to Facebook too. Researchers warn it may be “almost impossible to move on” easily, otherwise.


BOULDER, Colo. — Moving on from a failed romantic relationship is rarely easy. Memories and passionate feelings don’t just disappear overnight, and many people go through a significant mourning period after a break up. While it’s usually a bit easier for the person who ended things, it’s common for both sides of a newly extinguished relationship to feel bummed out. Technology is supposed to enrich and enhance our lives, but just like in so many other scenarios, it turns out it’s actually making modern breakups even more harrowing for countless people, a new study finds.

Imagine logging on to Facebook or Instagram and being greeted by images of your ex moving on with their life, often times with a new beau. Facebook’s “memories” feature can also stir up some long dormant memories by prominently displaying pictures of days past with old partners. These are just a few examples of how social media platforms make it particularly difficult in 2020 to move on with our lives, according to researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

“Before social media, breakups still sucked, but it was much easier to get distance from the person,” says lead study author Anthony Pinter, a doctoral student in the UCB information science department, in a release. “It can make it almost impossible to move on if you are constantly being bombarded with reminders in different places online.”

The research team interviewed 19 participants who had “experienced something upsetting online regarding a break up” within the past 18 months. Each person was extensively interviewed for one hour. Over the course of the interviews a troubling trend emerged; even among participants who had taken every measure they were aware of to remove their exes from their social media “lives” and feeds, time and time again they reported somehow being reminded of their prior relationships online. In many cases, participants said this occurred multiple times per day.

“A lot of people make the assumption that they can just unfriend their ex or unfollow them and they are not going to have to deal with this anymore,” Pinter explains. “Our work shows this is not the case.”

One participant described how, despite “unfriending” his ex on Facebook, he logged on one day to immediately see she had changed her relationship status on the platform to “in a relationship.” The announcement appeared on his feed because one of his friends had liked the post. Another participant described the “emotional wallop” he experienced after opening up Facebook to be greeted by a picture he and his ex-wife had taken together being displayed by Facebook’s “memories” feature.

Comments on mutual friends’ pictures and shared groups or events were a few other online corners where participants said they couldn’t help but see their ex online.

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To be fair to Facebook, the platform does offer a “Take A Break” feature that allows users to hide their ex’s activity, but Facebook only offers the feature when users officially switch their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single.” So, many people don’t even know such a feature exists.

Moreover, other participants said that even when they’ve successfully managed to block their ex thoroughly on social media, they are still rudely reminded of their past love by seeing their ex’s friends and family as friend suggestions under Facebook’s “People You May Know.”

“Am I never going to be free of all this crap online?” One participant wondered aloud to researchers.

The algorithms used by platforms like Facebook are incredibly intricate and serve to connect us with topics and people we’re interested in online, but the research team say their findings point to a newly emerging phenomenon known as “algorithmic insensitivity.”

“Algorithms are really good at seeing patterns in clicks, likes and when things are posted, but there is a whole lot of nuance in how we interact with people socially that they haven’t been designed to pick up,” comments Assistant Professor Jed Brubaker.

All in all, if you’ve recently gone through a break up and want to avoid being reminded of your ex, the study’s authors say the best course of action is to just stay offline.

The study is published in Proceedings of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery.


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SPACEX will launch humans to space for first time…


Well, it all comes down to this. NASA has given SpaceX the thumbs up to become the first company in its Commercial Crew program to send humans into space. The race between SpaceX and Boeing, which had hoped its Starliner spacecraft would be the first to send humans to space from American soil in roughly a decade, is nearing its end.

The launch, which won’t take place for another couple of months, will be the culmination of an incredible amount of work on the part of SpaceX, which has seen its fair share of setbacks along the way.

The mission will see a pair of NASA astronauts — Dough Hurley and Bob Behnken — travel from Earth to the International Space Station. Being able to send US astronauts to the space station without relying on seats aboard Russian rockets has been a major goal for NASA, and it hired both Boeing and SpaceX to come up with crewed spacecraft capable of filling that need.

Early on, most analysts assumed Boeing would be the first to get the all-clear from NASA to send humans to space. However, as months passed it became clear that SpaceX was hitting its milestones more rapidly than its competitor. It was all going so well for SpaceX… until it didn’t.

In April 2019, a static test of Crew Dragon resulted in an explosion and a total loss of the vehicle. An investigation was launched and NASA noted that there would be significant delays as a result. This seemed to open the door for Boeing to take the lead, but the company’s Starliner spacecraft ran into its own laundry list of problems and recently had to abort an unmanned trip to the space station after a glitch caused the ship to burn too much fuel early on.

Now, with 2020 well underway and NASA desperate for a vehicle to send astronauts into space, it seems SpaceX will cross the finish line first. The launch, which is currently expected to take place in early May, will be one for the record books.

Image Source: SpaceX

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of
reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.



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Trump Threatens To Sue 'Everyone' Over Mueller Investigation, Roger Stone Trial…



Trump Threatens To Sue 'Everyone' Over Mueller Investigation, Roger Stone Trial...

(Second column, 11th story, link)


Related stories:
Federal judges’ association calls emergency meeting after DOJ intervenes in cases…
Expansive view of executive power gets post-impeachment surge…





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HOLDS DOUBLE DIGIT LEAD AMONG DEMS…


Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a wide lead among Democratic voters nationally, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

David Zalubowski/AP


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David Zalubowski/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a wide lead among Democratic voters nationally, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

David Zalubowski/AP

Updated at 7:08 a.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters’ preferences.

His next closest contender has 19%. But that second-place rival is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Many Americans have become familiar with Bloomberg lately in this race because of his ubiquitous TV ads. But now get ready to see him on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday. With this poll, Bloomberg has qualified for the Nevada debate, despite not being on the ballot there for Saturday’s caucuses.

Bloomberg’s campaign has said he will participate in the debate if he qualifies. Campaign manager Kevin Sheekey called the new poll result the latest evidence of a “groundswell” for the candidate.

To qualify, a candidate needed to have won at least one delegate in the first two contests, have four national polls showing the candidate with 10% or more or two state polls from either South Carolina or Nevada showing the candidate with 12% or more support. Bloomberg previously cracked 10% in polls from Quinnipiac University, Monmouth University and Fox News.

Bloomberg, a multi-billionaire, has spent more than $300 million of his own money on ads, and despite not competing in the first four states of the nominating process, he’s vaulted now into second place nationally.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has qualified for the next debate in Nevada, but he isn’t actively competing in contests that take place until March.

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Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has qualified for the next debate in Nevada, but he isn’t actively competing in contests that take place until March.

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

In recent days, Sanders and Bloomberg have upped attacks against each other. Sanders has taken aim at Bloomberg for the amount of money he has spent in the campaign, accusing him of trying to buy the nomination.

He tweeted that Bloomberg “will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to defeat Donald Trump.” Bloomberg responded by tweeting a video compilation of attacks leveled against fellow competitors by Sanders supporters online and stressing it’s important to “unite” and that “this type of ‘energy’ is not going to get us there.”

Third among Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents is former Vice President Joe Biden with 15%, down 9 points since December.

The debate Wednesday, as well as Biden’s performance in Nevada Saturday and South Carolina a week later, are critical to whether the former vice president has a real chance at the nomination after disappointing fourth- and fifth-place showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively.

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Following Biden is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 12%, also down from December — by 5 percentage points — after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Next is Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 9%. She’s up from 4% in December after surprisingly good finishes in the first two contests, and she has leaped ahead of Pete Buttigieg in this national survey.

The former South Bend, Ind., mayor is at just 8%, down from 13% in December, not a good sign for the candidate after very solid finishes in the first two contests. Buttigieg is the delegate leader, one ahead of Sanders. He won the most national delegates out of Iowa and, though he narrowly finished second to Sanders in New Hampshire, they tied with the same number of delegates out of the state.

The poll result is especially inauspicious for Buttigieg heading into Super Tuesday, March 3, in what will be essentially a national primary, with 16 contests and more than a third of all delegates up for grabs on that single day.

The one thing Biden can continue to hang his hat on is how well he does against President Trump. All of the top six Democrats the poll tested beat Trump in a head-to-head matchup, but Biden does best, beating Trump by 6 points and the only candidate to reach 50%.

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Next best is Bloomberg, who beats Trump by 4 points, 48% to 44%; followed by Sanders, 48% to 45%; Buttigieg and Klobuchar do the same against the incumbent president, 47% to 45%; Warren runs about even with Trump, just 1 point ahead, 47% to 46%.

In this survey, Sanders has broad support. He leads, as expected, with those under 45, progressives, in cities and among those without college degrees. But he also leads with women; college graduates, including white college graduates; in the suburbs and rural areas; and is second with black voters, within the margin of error, to Biden.

Bloomberg leads with moderates and voters over 45, showing the clear split in the party, and where Bloomberg’s appeal is and might grow if he does well on Super Tuesday. Bloomberg is also second with women, voters without a college degree and in rural areas. He also is third with black voters, showing that if Biden doesn’t do well in South Carolina and drops out before Super Tuesday, Bloomberg might stand to benefit.

Two candidates who have to be worried about their lack of support with black voters, especially as the race is about to take a turn to the South, are Buttigieg and Klobuchar. They each get only 4% and 3%, respectively, with black voters. Klobuchar does better against Trump with black voters, with 80% of African Americans saying they would vote for her over Trump. Buttigieg gets just 74% saying they will vote for him.

In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 89% of black voters nationally against Trump, according to exit polls.

The live-caller telephone survey of 527 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents was conducted by the Marist Poll at the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.4 percentage points.



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