Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Charles Manson, the '60s cult leader behind one of the most notorious killings in American history, died Sunday in California after a prolonged illness, officials said. He was 83. Manson -- housed at Corcoran State Prison since 1989 -- died at 8:13 p.m. local time at Kern County Hospital, the California Department of Corrections said in a press release early Monday. He'd been in failing health for months and was first hospitalized back in January, reportedly with serious gastrointestinal problems. read more


Last week, they arrived -- two brothers, their wives and their four children -- and plopped onto newly bought bunk beds. The family is one small part of a sudden exodus of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans racing to Florida after Hurricane Maria, a migration so large it rivals those from New Orleans to Houston after Hurricane Katrina and from Cuba to Miami during the Mariel boatlift. ... More than 168,000 people have flown or sailed out of Puerto Rico to Florida since the hurricane, landing at airports in Orlando, Miami and Tampa, and the port in Fort Lauderdale. Nearly half are arriving in Orlando, where they are tapping their networks of family and friends. An additional 100,000 are booked on flights to Orlando through Dec. 31, county officials said. Large numbers are also settling in the Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas. read more


President Trump's Twitter habits in the White House could be costing him a key demographic of voters ahead of elections in 2018 and 2020, according to an online focus group convened by former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. The group was comprised of voters from Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who had voted for both former President Barack Obama as well as President Trump in November. "The white Obama-Non-Clinton voters we surveyed were clear: If the economy does not improve measurably, they are not going to give Trump a second chance -- and they already have a clear reason to explain his failure: Twitter," Messina explains in a Politico op-ed.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Barbie's breaking barriers! Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first-ever U.S. Olympic athlete to compete wearing a hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. And now she has her very own Barbie -- the first to ever wear a hijab in the brand's 58-year history. A one-of-a-kind doll made in her likeness was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit Monday, as the latest doll in Barbie's "Shero" line (that would be female heroes), a program that celebrates boundary-breaking women intended to inspire the next generation.


Jay-Z: This month Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating his probation. #FreeMeek hashtags have sprung up, and hundreds of his fans rallied near City Hall in Philadelphia to protest the ruling. On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn't smarten up and is back where he started. But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he's 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he's been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside. read more


US congressman Greg Gianforte misled police after his assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in May, falsely stating that Jacobs had initiated physical contact and that the "liberal media ... is trying to make a story", according to the police incident report. The records, made public on Friday, provide new details on the violent altercation that occurred on the eve of a special election to fill Montana's sole seat in the US House of Representatives. Jacobs had approached the then candidate at his Bozeman campaign headquarters to ask a question about the Republican healthcare bill when Gianforte threw him to the ground and punched him.


The scientists behind a study published in the Oct. 20 issue of the journal Science didn't set out to reveal a human influence on bird evolution. But when they compared the DNA of Dutch and British great tits (Parus major) they found clues of just that. The key genetic differences between these great tit populations lay in their beaks. As a result, the British birds' beaks were roughly one millimeter longer than the Dutch birds' beaks, a change that appears to have taken place in just a few decades. The scientists studying the great tits suspect a change in human behavior might be behind this dramatic evolution. Backyard bird feeding started becoming popular in Britain in the 1960s. Now, an estimated half of all British households put food out for the birds, says Kate Plummer, a research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology, who was not part of the research team. "It's an enormous pastime for people in [Britain]." British birds born with longer beaks may have been better able to access the plentiful food source provided by backyard bird feeders, improving their likelihood of surviving to reproduce.


President Donald Trump has started paying his own legal bills related to the Russia probe, rather than charging them to his campaign or the Republican National Committee, and is finalizing a plan to use personal funds to help current and former White House staff with their legal costs. The Office of Government Ethics and a tax firm are working on a mechanism for Trump to contribute to staffers' legal bills that would meet regulatory and ethical standards, White House lawyer Ty Cobb said in an interview. The White House is hoping the issue will be resolved shortly, said Cobb, who declined to elaborate further on the details of the plan. read more


President Donald Trump has suspended the import of elephant hunting trophies, only a day after a ban was relaxed by his administration. Imports of trophies from elephants legally hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe had been set to resume, reversing a 2014 Obama-era ban. But late on Friday, President Trump tweeted the change was on hold until he could "review all conservation facts." The move to relax the ban had sparked immediate anger from animal activists.
"Your shameful actions confirm the rumors that you are unfit for office," said French actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot in a letter to President Trump.


An investment firm run by Bill Gates has put down $80 million to develop a planned community in Arizona. The 25,000 acres of land is about 45 minutes west of Phoenix, in an area called the West Valley. The community, which Gates wants to turn into a "smart city," will be named Belmont. "Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs," Belmont Partners, the Arizona real state investment company involved in the deal, said in a news release.


According to a report at Politico, aides to embattled President Donald Trump feed him data from internal polls that don't reflect public sentiment in order to keep his spirits up -- although some White House insiders call the numbers "delusional." Like many presidents, Trump is fascinated with how he is perceived by the public and has been know to forward polls showing support from the American public to members of Congress to keep them in line with his agenda. The report notes that White House aides show Trump polls designed to make him feel good, according to insiders, with many of those same polls weighted towards voters who cast ballots for him in 2016 or have made their enthusiasm for Trump known. According to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former Trump adviser, Trump is obsessed with his polling numbers as if he is still running for office. read more


Income inequality inspires fierce debate around the world, and no shortage of proposed solutions. As global billionaires bid up the price of a da Vinci painting on Wednesday, to $450.3 million, Congress debated tax reforms that many analysts said would give the largest benefits to the richest 1 percent of taxpayers. In the United States, the richest 1 percent have seen their share of national income roughly double since 1980, to 20 percent in 2014 from 11 percent. This trend, combined with slow productivity growth, has resulted in stagnant living standards for most Americans. No other nation in the 35-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is as unequal, and none have experienced such a sharp rise in inequality. read more


America's brand has taken a major hit in the age of Trump. At least that's according to a survey that ranks the world's best nation brands. The United States lands with an overall No. 6 ranking in the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, which measures 50 nations in multiple categories, including governance, exports, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. The United States was the overall No. 1 in 2016, but Germany took the top spot this year. The source of America's big drop? President Donald Trump, says Simon Anholt, a political consultant who developed the brand survey more than a decade ago.


Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, a Democratic candidate for governor, apparently trying to head off any criticisms from his opponents, revealed what he says are his sexual escapades over the years on a Facebook post. A post on O'Neill's official Facebook said he was speaking up "on behalf of all heterosexual males" after allegations against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken came to light Thursday. O'Neill, a Chagrin Falls native, said he had been "sexually intimate" with "approximately 50 very attractive females." O'Neill said he was disappointed by the "national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago" and wanted to focus on the issues like legalizing marijuana and addressing opioid addiction. Over the last several weeks, numerous allegations of predatory sexual behavior against powerful men have come to light. read more


Jared Kushner was copied on emails sent to the Trump campaign last year from Sergei Millian, a Belarus-born businessman who was reportedly a key source in the explosive dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia. Millian told associates last year that he was in regular touch with George Papadopoulos -- a campaign foreign policy adviser who lied to the FBI about the extent and nature of his contacts with Kremlin-linked foreign nationals. Millian's relationship with Papadopoulos, who was told in April 2016 that the Kremlin had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, raises questions about what they discussed during the election and what they relayed to campaign officials. read more


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