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Progressive Groups Want Doug Jones To Throw Caution To The WindThrough a unique confluence of events, Democrat Doug Jones managed to defy the deeply Republican leanings of Alabama and win a special election on Tuesday to represent the state in the Senate.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 7:03 pm

93-Year-Old Woman Spends 2 Nights In Jail After Eviction From Senior HousingFlorida authorities released an elderly woman from jail on Thursday after police arrested her for allegedly not paying rent at the senior housing community where she had lived since 2011.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 6:58 pm

Mario Batali Apologizes For Sexual Harassment With Cinnamon RollsMario Batali, the former host of “The Chew” who stands accused of sexual misconduct, issued an apology to fans on Friday through his newsletter and inexplicably ended it with a recipe for cinnamon rolls.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 6:03 pm

Alyssa Milano Educates Matt Damon After His Horrid Response On Sexual MisconductActress Alyssa Milano taught a master class on the problems of sexual misconduct Friday night.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 4:12 am

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 3:41 am

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 2:39 am

Final Republican tax bill slashes U.S. corporate rate, voting next weekBy Amanda Becker and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional Republicans on Friday unveiled the final version of their dramatic U.S. tax overhaul - debt-financed cuts for businesses, the wealthy and some middle-class Americans - and picked up crucial support from two wavering senators ahead of planned votes by lawmakers early next week. Passage of the biggest U.S. tax rewrite since 1986 would provide Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump their first major legislative victory since he took office in January. Prospects for approval soared after Republican senators Marco Rubio and Bob Corker pledged support.


Posted: December 16, 2017, 1:17 am

Female candidate quits Kansas race over 2005 harassment suitTOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A female congressional candidate dropped out of the Kansas race Friday over a 12-year-old lawsuit accusing her of sexually harassing a male subordinate, an unusual case of a woman facing the sort of misconduct allegations that have forced numerous men out of their jobs in recent weeks.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 10:08 pm

So, The FCC Repealed Net Neutrality. What Does That Mean For You?If you woke up with a chill in your bones and a faint sense of dread, it could be this: On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission decided to give internet service providers, like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, the power to meddle with your internet traffic.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 7:52 pm

What School Safety Looks Like 5 Years After Sandy HookOn the morning of Nov. 14, staff members at Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Corning, California, heard the sound of a single gunshot in the vicinity of the campus.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 7:43 pm

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leaveCSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 7:41 pm

Grand Jury Slams Penn State for 'Rampant and Pervasive' Fraternity Hazing After Tim Piazza's Death"No fraternity’s existence is worth more than the life of Tim Piazza"


Posted: December 15, 2017, 7:32 pm

Battle lines drawn for South Africa's ANC on eve of leadership voteBy Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruler since the end of apartheid, faces perhaps the most pivotal few days in its recent history when it meets over the weekend to choose a successor to Jacob Zuma as party leader. The ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the job is likely to become South Africa's next president. Economic growth in Africa's traditional powerhouse has been lethargic over the last six years and the jobless rate stands near record levels.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 6:58 pm

Man dies after attacking Israeli troops with a knife in deadly clashes over Trump's Jerusalem decisionIsraeli troops shot dead four Palestinians and wounded 150 others with live fire on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital entered a second week. Most of the casualties were on the Gaza Strip border, where thousands of Palestinians gathered to hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers beyond the fortified fence. Medics said two protesters, one of them wheelchair-bound, were killed and 150 wounded. In the occupied West Bank, another area where Palestinians are seeking statehood along with adjacent East Jerusalem, medics said two protesters were killed and 10 wounded by Israeli gunfire. One of the dead was a man who Israeli police troopers said was shot after he stabbed a member of their unit. Reuters witnesses said the Palestinian held a knife and wore what looked like a bomb belt. A Palestinian medic who helped evacuate the man for treatment said the belt was fake. Palestinians -- and the wider Arab and Muslim world -- were incensed at Trump's December 6 announcement, which reversed decades of U.S. policy reticence on Jerusalem, a city where both Israel and the Palestinians want sovereignty. Mohammed Aqal, 29, stabbed a border police officer at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank while wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest, before being shot three times by police Credit:  GORAN TOMASEVIC/ REUTERS Israeli border policemen stand away after shooting Aqal Credit:  GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS Aqal later died, according to health authorities Credit:  GORAN TOMASEVIC/ REUTERS Washington's European allies and Russia have also voiced worries about Trump's decision. Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists, which reject coexistence with Israel, called last week for a new Palestinian uprising, but any such mass-mobilisation has yet to be seen in the West Bank or East Jerusalem. There have been almost nightly Gazan rocket launches into Israel, so far without casualties. Israel has responded with air strikes on Hamas facilities, one of which killed two gunmen. The Israeli military said that, on Friday, about 3,500 Palestinians demonstrated near the Gaza border fence. "During the violent riots IDF (Israel Defence Force) soldiers fired selectively towards main instigators," the military said in a statement. Pictures from the scene show Aqal with a knife and what appears to be a suicide belt A military spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the wheelchair-bound protestor, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya. Abu Thuraya, 29, was a regular at such demonstrations. In media interviews, he said he had lost both his legs in a 2008 Israeli missile strike in Gaza. In the West Bank, the Israeli military said that about 2,500 Palestinians took part in riots, rolling flaming tyres and throwing fire bombs and rocks at soldiers and border police. Israel captured East Jerusalem, an area laden with Jewish, Muslim and Christian shrines, from Jordan in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognised internationally. Palestinians hope that part of the city will be the capital of a future independent state and Palestinian leaders say Trump's move is a serious blow to a moribund peace process. Israel has welcomed Trump's announcement as recognising political reality and biblical Jewish roots in Jerusalem. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Israel, as well as Egypt, next week. (Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Catherine Evans and Hugh Lawson)


Posted: December 15, 2017, 6:21 pm

This Couple Lost 8 Family Members in the Texas Church Massacre. But They’re Still Finding Joy at Christmas"It won’t be long until we’ll be there with the rest of the family," Joe, 86, said


Posted: December 15, 2017, 6:00 pm

Barack Obama Dressed Up As Too-Cool-For-School Santa For His Latest AppearanceThe former president dropped by a Boys & Girls Club branch in D.C. in a statement outfit — with a festive touch.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:56 pm

2-Year-Old Steals Baby Jesus From Manger During Nativity PageantOne eager Tennessee 2-year-old took matters into her own hands during her church’s recent Nativity pageant


Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:50 pm

Man charged in shooting of cops saved by bulletproof vestsST. LOUIS (AP) — A 37-year-old man was charged Friday in the shooting of two suburban St. Louis police officers who were saved by their bulletproof vests.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:43 pm

14 years after he went missing in Africa, I think my brother is still aliveChristmas Charity Appeal banner 2017 It was when the letters stopped arriving that Christian Velten’s family knew something had gone terribly wrong.  Armed with a video camera, the 27-year-old had embarked on a six-month expedition through West Africa, along the banks of the River Niger, retracing the steps of his hero, the 18th century Scottish explorer Mungo Park. He made his way alone on foot, by donkey, or in a canoe from Gambia, through Senegal, and Mali, stopping along the way to stay with villagers. Each time he moved on, Christian would give the children his address back in England, telling them to write. “Cards kept coming to the house from kids he’d met,” says his sister Hannah, who has spent the past 14 years tirelessly searching for her brother. “At some point the letters stopped.” Even though he was travelling through remote African countryside, Christian had still managed to keep in contact with his family. “When he phoned Mum and Dad for the last time, it was just before their birthdays,” Hannah tells me, as we talk in the living room of the East Sussex home she shares with her husband Grant and children Freya, 6, and Cameron, 9. “When he didn’t get on his plane home, we realised pretty quickly something had gone wrong.” Christian's sister Hannah believes he is alive and is waiting for him to come forward Credit: Christopher Pledger  That final phone call came on March 23, 2003 and Christian has been missing ever since. In that time, the search to find him has taken innumerable twists and turns. The early years were fraught with fear and frustration, as Hannah’s parents, Pauline and Tim, frantically led the charge to find their son. Confronted with Foreign Office red tape, they took matters into their own hands, putting out appeals in the African and British press and sending a team, led by one of his friends, to search for Christian on the ground. At one point, they even enlisted the help of a Malian village chieftain.  “Everything went against us,” says Hannah, cradling a mug of tea, as she takes me through the events which have shaped her adult life. “Nothing you try works and fear kicks in.”  For years, the race to trace Christian led them to dead ends, each more painful than the last. It always went the same way: a renewed appeal would spark a sighting - a lone white male seen walking near the river, or a bedraggled figure who rode the bus every day. Moments of hope, cruelly shattered when the trail went quiet. Telegraph Christmas Appeal 2017 | What are the charities? “That desperate feeling is exhausting,” adds Hannah. “I realise, now I’m a mum myself, just how awful that first search was for my parents.” In 2015, on Christian’s 40th birthday, the family decided to throw a party. It was a way to celebrate the man who had been absent from their lives for more than a decade. “The thing is, you don’t have a funeral,” says Hannah. “You go through a grief process, but you’re in limbo.”  As the years and milestones passed, the hope of finding him seemed more and more remote. Yet, on Boxing Day in 2015, as she trudged around the fields near her parents’ Sussex home, trying to walk off the sadness of another Christmas without her brother, Hannah suddenly felt strangely upbeat about finding him. Her dad was less so. “He told me: ‘I think if Christian isn’t found by next New Year then I’m going to give up hope. It’s just too painful.’” Then, three months later, there was a fresh sighting. One so clear that it would set into motion a new search, culminating in the realistion that Christian is almost certainly alive.  Sightings of Chris have come in waves over the years, and Hannah has learnt how to work out when someone isn't being truthful Credit: Christopher Pledger  In early 2016, Hannah had set up ‘Searching for Chris’ pages on social media, renewing interest in their story. A friend got in touch to say that a contact in Kenya had recognised Christian’s picture on Facebook. Raabia Hawa, a prominent conservationist, told how two years before, a man with that very same profile picture had sent her a friend request on Facebook, from a now defunct account.  Hannah realised that the picture (an old one from her website), could have been downloaded by Christian, who may have found it when looking himself up online. Before he went missing, Christian had been a keen conservationist. Was it possible he had reached out to Raabia to ask for advice? With renewed energy, Hannah wrote about the connection on Facebook and sightings came in thick and fast from Nairobi. People had seen Christian as a homeless man in the city’s slums, as a white preacher on a bus, in a hotel.  It would have been easy to take them as nothing more than fantasies or false hope from strangers. But instead, Hannah chose to treat each one as a possible lead, and a new picture began to form.  “Your intuition kicks in. It was like I was an arrow locked on a target,” she says. The last sighting of Christian was in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015 Credit: Hannah Velten One woman said she had seen Christian begging in Accra, Ghana, in 2005, telling Hannah: “He spoke with a British accent. He said he was begging to raise money for a ticket back home. What makes me 80 per cent sure it’s your brother was what he said as he appealed for money: ‘Are you a Christian, missy? Can you help me please? My name is Christian.’” Hannah now believes that, while travelling, Christian was attacked - but that someone found and looked after him. Somehow, after all these years, she thinks, he has ended up in Kenya. “For some time, he may not have known who he was. He must have been ill for many years. But I think he is now aware that we are looking for him. “It wouldn’t have been his choice to go missing,” she adds. “Something terrible happened.” It raises the hardest question of all: is it possible that Christian doesn’t want to be found? It is a prospect Hannah has been forced to grapple with, and she has come to terms with the idea that her brother may have chosen not to get in touch. After all, she explains, 14 years is a long time - especially when you have been alone and confused. It is possible that the thought of simply walking back into his old life feels too overwhelming.  “But I have faith that he will [be found]. That’s the bit that drives you insane, the idea that he could just ring any second now. He could turn up on the doorstep.” Read more | Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal As well as being a devoted sister, Hannah, 42, runs a publishing company with her husband. Through it all, she has kept the surname Velten, to make it easier for Christian to trace her. It is clear that this latest push to find her brother has been a terrible strain. “It’s almost the worst thing that you could think of in terms of a family,” she tells me, stroking the labrador curled beside her on the sofa, as she fights back tears. “It is a nightmare. If you just think how you feel when you lose your child in the supermarket, that sheer panic - we have felt that for nearly 15 years. “All that time, we thought he was dead…” she trails off, trying to compose herself. “You’d toast him at Christmas, we always talked about him, but the hope was flickering.” She desperately wants Christian to meet her children, who have heard so much about their uncle. “It’s my biggest sadness now, what my kids are missing, because he would be a fabulous uncle. I’m sad for mum and dad and I’m sad for Christian and the life he would have had.” For now, all she can do is wait.  “When the phone rings now, I don’t expect it to be him. So when he does call, it will be out of the blue.” Is she fearful of all the complications that his sudden appearance could bring with it?  “After 14 years he is going to have changed so much. But he’s my brother, I love him. It’s what I want.” If you would like to know more about Christian's story, or if you think you can help in any way, please visit the 'Searching for Chris Velten' Facebook page.  Missing People is a beneficiary of this year’s Telegraph’s Christmas Charity Appeal. To make a donation to this or one of the other charities supported in our appeal, please call 0151 284 1927 or visit telegraph.co.uk/charity  


Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:06 pm

One of Kim Jong Un’s top generals has VanishedSouth Korean intelligence agencies are reporting that a top North Korean general may have been executed, despite being seen by Kim Jong Un’s side as recently as September.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 4:34 pm

Trump Speaks At FBI Graduation After Trashing Bureau's 'Worst In History' ReputationPresident Donald Trump on Friday told graduates of an FBI training program in Quantico, Virginia, he’s a “loyal champion” of police, days after he attacked the bureau and claimed its “reputation is in tatters.”


Posted: December 15, 2017, 4:20 pm

Harley-Davidson Trademarks the BronxHarley-Davidson Trademarks the Bronx New York borough's name conjures tough, urban image According to a recent report on Motorcycle.com, the folks at Harley-Davidson have filed a trademark application that would allow it to reference one of New York City’s


Posted: December 15, 2017, 4:15 pm

Jamie Oliver Says He'd Do This Disgusting Thing If He Had To Cook For Donald TrumpJamie Oliver isn’t planning on cooking a meal for President Donald Trump anytime soon.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 4:11 pm

SpaceX Successfully Launches CRS-13 Mission To The ISSNailed it again.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 4:01 pm

The Funniest Tweets From Parents This WeekKids may say the darndest things, but parents tweet about them in the funniest ways.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 3:56 pm

Trump won’t discuss a pardon for Flynn – yetWith a single syllable in comments to reporters Friday morning, the president suggested he may have the last word in the matter of Michael Flynn. Trump also appeared to question the integrity of the FBI, even though he was on his way to a graduation at the bureau’s academy.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 3:45 pm

UN Syria talks in doubt as Russia takes on dealmaker roleThe failure of Syria peace talks this week has cast doubt over UN efforts to mediate a solution to the country's devastating war, while regime backer Russia has emerged as a key dealmaker, analysts say. UN mediator Staffan de Mistura acknowledged that "real negotiations" never took place during the eighth round of talks. "I am disappointed," he said, blaming the Syrian government for refusing to enter into dialogue and calling the round "a golden opportunity missed".


Posted: December 15, 2017, 2:41 pm

Ryan Zinke Fires 4 Department Of Interior Employees For HarassmentInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke fired four senior staffers at the Department of the Interior for inappropriate conduct in response to a bombshell employee survey revealing widespread harassment within the agency.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 2:13 pm

Chef Mario Batali Fired From ABC's 'The Chew'It’s not looking good for celebrity chef Mario Batali, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 1:54 pm

China sidesteps blame over S. Korean journalist's beatingChina sidestepped blame Friday for the beating of a South Korean photojournalist by Chinese security, an incident that has marred a visit by the South Korean president to mend frayed ties with Beijing. The incident has sparked outrage in South Korea, with the opposition calling on Moon to cancel the rest of his four-day state visit, his first in China since taking office in May. A photographer was thrown to the floor and kicked, reportedly suffering fractured facial bones and ruptured vessels in an eye, as Chinese security personnel stopped South Korean photographers following Moon's delegation at a trade show on Thursday.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 1:04 pm

Catalan election to return hung parliament: pollBy Sonya Dowsett MADRID (Reuters) - An election in Catalonia will fail to conclusively resolve a political crisis over an independence drive in the region, the final surveys before the Dec. 21 vote showed on Friday. The ballot will result in a hung parliament, a Metroscopia poll showed, with parties favoring unity with Spain tipped to gain a maximum of 62 seats and pro-secession factions 63, both short of a majority in the region's 135-seat legislature. Spain's worst political crisis since its transition to democracy four decades ago erupted in October, when Madrid cracked down on an independence referendum it had declared illegal and took control of the wealthy northeastern region.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 12:37 pm

Hong Kong 'milkshake murderer' challenges life sentenceAmerican Nancy Kissel, dubbed the "milkshake murderer" for one of Hong Kong's most notorious crimes, was back in court Friday to challenge her life sentence for murdering her banker husband. Kissel lost an appeal in 2014 against a conviction for drugging her husband -- a senior executive at US bank Merrill Lynch -- with a sedative-laced strawberry drink before clubbing him to death with a lead ornament in their luxury home in the southern Chinese city. With bobbed hair and wearing glasses, she took copious notes throughout the judicial review hearing into her case at Hong Kong's High Court on Friday.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 10:42 am

Return of 2 ill GOP senators crucial next week for tax billWASHINGTON (AP) — Ailing Republican senators John McCain and Thad Cochran missed votes this week, but their presence will be crucial early next week as the GOP tries to pass a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax package in the Senate with a razor-thin majority and all Democrats opposed to the legislation.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 7:55 am

Trump Judicial Nominee Can't Answer Basic Questions About The Law In Disastrous HearingMUST WATCH: Republican @SenJohnKennedy asks one of @realDonaldTrump’s US District Judge nominees basic questions of law & he can’t answer a single one.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 7:47 am

Australia's Child Sex Abuse Commission Exposes National Tragedy Of Systemic ViolenceSYDNEY ― Australia’s child sex abuse Royal Commission on Friday handed over its final report to the government in a move that increases pressure on lawmakers, religious groups and civic institutions to immediately adopt more than 400 recommendations.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 6:25 am

Florida UPS Delivery Man Steals Package off PorchPolice delivered Jason Mohn to prison and charged him with grand theft.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:00 am

California Is One Step Closer to Recreational Pot SalesThe state will allow people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow six marijuana plants at home


Posted: December 15, 2017, 4:43 am

Trump Jr. Doesn't Seem To Know His Dad Designated The FCC ChairmanDonald Trump Jr. managed to spread some fake news Thursday on Twitter.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 3:14 am

U.S. Prosecutors Are Rushing to Cash In on a Drug-Ring's Seized BitcoinsThe bitcoin cache was worth less than $500,000 a year ago, but has exploded in value to about $8.5 million


Posted: December 15, 2017, 3:09 am

Prominent 9th Circuit judge faces sex misconduct inquirySAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that he has opened a misconduct inquiry into a judge accused of inappropriate sexual conduct and comments by six women.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 2:19 am

Trump and Putin discuss 'working together to resolve' North Korea nuclear crisisDonald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Thursday evening about the threat posed by North Korea. A White House statement said the world leaders "discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea". The Kremlin said in a statement that Mr Trump and Mr Putin discussed bilateral relations and the situation in the Korean Peninsula.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 12:43 am

Ex-Today Staffer Says Matt Lauer Cheated on His Wife with Her: He 'Took Advantage of His Power'A former Today show staff member is detailing an alleged in-office affair with Matt Lauer that transpired 16 years ago.


Posted: December 15, 2017, 12:34 am

Omarosa Calls Robin Roberts' 'Bye Felicia' Comment Petty: 'It's a Black Woman Civil War'Omarosa Manigault Newman is firing back after Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts dismissed the former Trump aide with a terse, on-air “Bye, Felicia” following her White House ousting this week


Posted: December 14, 2017, 11:46 pm

El Salvador Upholds Three-Decade Prison Term For Woman Who Suffered StillbirthA Salvadoran court upheld a 30-year jail sentence this week for a woman who was convicted of aggravated homicide after suffering what she said was a stillbirth.


Posted: December 14, 2017, 10:43 pm

Anthony Bourdain Expresses 'Real Remorse' In Wake Of Mario Batali AllegationsIn the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations coming out against celebrated celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, Anthony Bourdain is again reflecting on his own time in the food industry.


Posted: December 14, 2017, 10:37 pm

Jury convicts woman of murder in teen's starvation deathDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jurors on Thursday convicted an Iowa woman of murder in the starvation death of her 16-year-old daughter, who weighed only 85 pounds when she died.


Posted: December 14, 2017, 10:29 pm

Firefighter Killed Battling Thomas Fire In Southern California, Officials SayA firefighter was killed battling the monstrous Thomas Fire in Southern California, officials said on Thursday.


Posted: December 14, 2017, 10:05 pm

Google just helped NASA find an alien planet thousands of light-years from EarthAnd we're tied, folks.  Thanks to Google and some fancy artificial intelligence, we now know that our solar system is just slightly less unique than we may have thought.  Scientists have discovered an eighth planet circling the sunlike star Kepler-90, 2,545 light-years away. This means that our solar system and Kepler 90 are now tied for the most number of known planets within a star system.  SEE ALSO: Now you can own NASA's Golden Record on vinyl So yeah, maybe we're not that special after all. The newfound planet, named Kepler-90i, was found using machine learning technology from Google that effectively teach a computer to spot patterns in large datasets. In this case, the dataset was compiled of signals spotted by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope, which discovers planets by spotting the slight dips in a star's light that happen when a planet passes in front of its star from Earth's perspective. That movement is called a transit. Astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google’s Christopher Shallue trained the artificial intelligence by first showing it how to pick out transits from 15,000 signals they already knew were from actual exoplanets, NASA said. After that, they moved on to the hard stuff. Vanderburg and Shallue then used the technology to look at the data from 670 other star systems that they knew had planets to find any other worlds that may be lurking in the data.  Kepler-90i is one of those worlds.  “We got lots of false positives of planets, but also potentially more real planets,” Vanderburg said in a statement. “It’s like sifting through rocks to find jewels. If you have a finer sieve then you will catch more rocks but you might catch more jewels, as well.” Scientists also found another planet, Kepler-80g, circling a star with five other planets orbiting it.  The Kepler 90 system.Image: NASA/Wendy StenzelKepler-90i isn't the kind of place you want to jet off to for a quick vacation, however.  While the world is rocky, it's also exceedingly hot. The planet completes an orbit of its star once every 14.4 Earth days and likely has an average surface temperature of about 800 degrees Fahrenheit.  The Kepler 90 system is also very different from our own.  If all eight planets in that system were moved into our solar system, they would all fit within Earth's orbit. In other words, all of the planets are closer to Kepler 90 than our Earth is to the sun, according to NASA.  “These results demonstrate the enduring value of Kepler’s mission,” Jessie Dotson, Kepler’s project scientist, said in the statement.  “New ways of looking at the data — such as this early-stage research to apply machine learning algorithms — promises to continue to yield significant advances in our understanding of planetary systems around other stars. I’m sure there are more firsts in the data waiting for people to find them.” WATCH: Making pizza in space is incredibly hard, ya'll


Posted: December 14, 2017, 9:46 pm

Nikki Haley Slams Iran’s Role In Yemen War, Neglects To Mention U.S. Part In Humanitarian CrisisThe U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stood before missile remnants that she claimed were covered in Iranian “fingerprints” on Thursday while laying out what she called “irrefutable evidence” that Tehran has violated its international obligations by militarily supporting rebels in Yemen.


Posted: December 14, 2017, 8:55 pm