President Donald Trump told the leaders of Canada and Mexico Wednesday he was not immediately planning to end the North American Free Trade Agreement, a pact which he railed against as a candidate and as recently as last week declared was harmful to US workers. In a description of Trump's phone calls to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Enrique Peña Nieto, the White House said Trump "agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries." ... "It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation," Trump said in a written statement that accompanied the readout of his phone calls.
Greg Sargent, Washington Post: President Trump had hoped to celebrate his 100-day mark by boasting of his success in obliterating his loser predecessor's signature domestic accomplishment -- and in replacing it (naturally, since Trump is a winner) with something that delivers more and better health care for less money. Instead, one of his chief 100-day accomplishments may be that he's in the process of making Obamacare more popular. A new Post-ABC News poll finds that 61 percent of Americans now favor keeping and improving the Affordable Care Act, while only 37 percent favor repealing and replacing it. Crucially, it also finds that huge majorities reject the ideas at the core of the latest version of the GOP replacement that Trump is championing.
The story involves mastodon remains unearthed back in 1992 by workers building Route 54 south of San Diego.
In 2014, James Paces, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, determined that the mastodon remains were a hundred and thirty thousand years old. On its own, this fact would not be so surprising, but a recent examination of the animal's bones suggests that they were smashed open with large cobbles, most likely for the marrow inside. What seemed at first to be a paleontological site, in other words, could be an archeological one. If that's the case, then it predates some of the earliest evidence of hominins in North America by more than a hundred thousand years. Eleven scientists, including Deméré and Paces, joined to publish their results today in the journal Nature. read more
Tom Engelhardt, The Nation: As the 100-day mark of his presidency approaches, there's been no serious reassessment of America's endless wars or how to fight them (no less end them). Instead, there's been a recommitment to doing more of the familiar, more of what hasn't worked over the last decade and a half. No one should be surprised by this, given the cast of characters -- men who held command posts in those unsuccessful wars and are clearly incapable of thinking about them in other terms than the ones that have been indelibly engrained in the brains of the US military high command since soon after 9/11. read more
The creators of This is Spinal Tap, the most influential mockumentary ever made, have been paid almost nothing. The rock gods are angry. read more