ABC and a South Dakota meat producer finally settled in a $1.9 billion lawsuit on Wednesday. The defamation case began in 2012 after ABC aired a segment where BPI's beef product was referred as pink slime, an unsafe product that isn’t nutritious. Sales dropped from 5 million pounds to less than 2 million pounds after the reports, forcing the company to three plants and layoff 700 workers.The terms of the agreement are confidential. The network still stands behind it’s reporting.
Amazon has it’s eye on Whole Foods Market, an Austin-based organic grocery store. The e-commerce company made a bid of $13.7 billion, $42 a share, on Friday—which made Whole Foods’ stock rise 28 percent. Whole Foods operates 460 stores which rang up $16 billion in sales in 2016. Sales have dropped at the “whole paycheck” store since organic offerings have increased at other cheaper grocery chains. For Amazon, a purchase of Whole Foods would give it a firm footing in the grocery store sector. Only 7 percent of Americans order groceries online but 52 percent of those who order groceries online use Amazon Prime.
After a 10-hour siege, 31 people died at a popular Somalian restaurant. Five Islamic extremists set off a car bomb before entering as security in a pizza restaurant Wednesday night. They killed point-blank until security forces took out the attackers. Forty additional people were injured. Al-Shabaab, one of the deadliest terror groups in Africa, claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Five people, including Majority Whip Steve Scalise, were injured after gunfire interrupted a morning GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Authorities have identified the shooter as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson. The shooter has died from his injuries. Scalise is undergoing surgery after being shot in the hip.The Democrats practice has been canceled.
Maryland and the District of Columbia have filed suit against President Donald Trump alleging that his failure to divest from his private businesses has undermined public trust and violated constitutional bans against self-dealing. This lawsuit makes many of the same points as another filed earlier this year by a Washington watchdog organization. However, some legal experts have said that the new suit is stronger legally because the plaintiffs are governmental entities, which could have stronger standing to successfully sue the president. No state has ever before accused a president of violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution. One clause bans the president from accepting gifts from foreign governments. The second prohibits the president from accepting economic benefits from the federal or state governments, other than his salary.
Portland mayor wants to cancel alt-right protests
1. Two men were stabbed to death after defending two young women who were a target of hate speech on the train during a commute. A 35-year-old Jeremy Christian was arrested for the deaths of 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche and 53-year-old Ricky Best. A third victim, 21-year-old Micah Cole-Fletcher was treated for serious injuries. Christian is a known white supremacist.
2. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is asking for a permit to be revoked for an alt-right protest called March Against Sharia. Another protest is scheduled for June 10th. Wheeler said the city “is in mourning, our community's anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation.” He is also asking for the alt-right protestors to stay away from the city, in order to avoid a tense situation. Since the federal government controls permits for the Terry Shrunk Plaza, the city can’t revoke the permit on its own.
3. So, is the protest going to cause a disturbance or is just first amendment rights?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
An explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande concert left 19 people dead and approximately 50 people injured. The alleged suicide attack happened outside the Manchester Arena in England. Authorities are treating the attack as terrorism. The arena is one of the largest venues, holding up to 21,000 people. The singer was not injured.
China wants to resurrect the Silk Road
1. China has big plans for the Silk Road. Yes, that Silk Road you learned about in your world history class. China hopes to recreate Marco Polo’s trade route to reconnect Asia and Europe for trading purposes. President Xi Jinping is going to trade in the camels and caravans for a network of $1.4 trillion modern trading routes that includes roads, a high-speed rail, airports, and pipelines. Jinping hosted the “Belt and Road,” a two-day summit with 28 heads of state.
2. The new Silk Road would involve 60 countries and shift the world’s economic structure. The trade route would cut through countries with 70 percent of the World’s population, 75 percent of energy reserves and 55 percent of global economic output. The economic shift would also impact the geopolitics of the world, shifting the economic power to Eurasia and possibly helping to stabilize Some Middle Eastern countries.
3. So, is the new Silk Road just ambition or the future of world economics?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey
1. FBI Director James Comey was fired from his position by President Donald Trump. The FBI director position is independent, non-partisan and supposed to be politically isolated. Any investigations launched by the department and run by the director are unbiased and fair. This is the second time in American history that an FBI director was fired. Trump said he was fired because of how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server.
2. Comey was leading the investigation into Russia's involvement with the Trump presidential campaign and his White House staff. He reportedly asked for more resources in the investigation just days before he was fired from his position. Comey apparently learned the news from TV reports. Republicans are mostly supporting Trump's decision to fire Comey, but Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said the firing could lead to impeachment proceedings.
3. So, did Trump go too far in firing Comey?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
ESPN whittled down it’s staff by laying off about 100 employees, including familiar faces like Ed Werder, Danny Kanell, Len Elmore, Jayson Stark and Trent Dilfer. Empolyees got phone calls Wednesday morning informing them thye were let go. ESPN is focusing on increasing attention on SportsCenter TV and digital-efforts.ESPN will also be moving its ESPNU studio operation from Charlotte to Bristol.
A dispute over whether the US government deported an undocumented immigrant with protected status reignited Wednesday after details about the case were released by the Department of Homeland Security. Lawyers for the man said their client was apprehended by Border Patrol and deported to Mexico on February 18. The Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday that that had never happened. Lawyers for the deported man are also arguing in a lawsuit that he was deported despite having protected legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This was a program enacted by executive order under President Obama. Trump has not dismantled it yet, but this action calls to question his support of the program.
Turkey referendum gives sweeping powers to president
1. Turkey's citizens voted in a national referendum to grant their president sweeping powers that could bring an end to democracy in the country. Voters cast ballots on an 18-article constitutional reform package that would change Turkey's parliamentary system into a powerful executive presidency. Under the new constitution, the position of prime minister would disappear, to be replaced by several vice presidents. The Turkish president would become the head executive and the head of state. And, most notably, the president alone will be able to declare a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.
2. The referendum passed with 51.4 percent of the vote. Turkey's current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party have argued that the new constitution streamlines decision-making and avoids unwieldy parliamentary coalitions. They have argued that the current parliamentary system has been holding Turkey back. Citizens who voted in favor of the changes say they believe Turkey's future would be safer and more prosperous with President Erdogan and his new powers.
3. So, is the referendum granting too much power to Turkey's president?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
The United States dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb, known as the "mother of all bombs," on ISIS positions in Afghanistan. The U.S. military has described it as a tactical move. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb was dropped Thursday night on a network of fortified underground tunnels that ISIS had been using to stage attacks on government forces. The strike killed 36 ISIS fighters, Afghan officials said. The bomb is GPS-guided and has the power to destroy an area equivalent to nine city blocks. The blast destroyed three underground tunnels as well as weapons and ammunition but no civilians were hurt, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.
A teacher and a student are dead after a husband fatally shot his estranged wife in her classroom at San Bernardino, California's North Park Elementary School on Monday. Another student was injured in the shooting and appears to be in stable condition. The shooter, 53-year-old Cedric Anderson, opened fire in a special needs classroom before killing himself. An eight-year-old boy and the teacher 53-year-old Karen Elaine Smith died. There were 15 students between first-and-fourth-grade and two teacher aides in the room at the time of the shooting.
President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike on Syria in response to Syrian President Basha Assad's use of a deadly chemical agent against his own people. The target of the airstrike was a Syrian air base. Trump announced the airstrike Thursday night from Mar-a-Lago. He said the strike was intended to deter future use of poison gas. "It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons," Trump said. Some experts have expressed concern that the airstrike could exacerbate tensions in the region. Russia currently has ground troops in the area working with the Syrian regime to fight against the rebel factions. Russian President Vladimir Putin could take this action by the United States as an offense to his government's efforts.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is starting another company called Neuralink, which will specialize in developing implantable brain chips. Musk is the brain behind the all-electric car Tesla and the private space exploration company SpaceX. Neuralink will work on implanting tiny electrodes to treat brain disorders like epilepsy and depression. Rudimentary electrodes are already being used to treat Parkinson's disease. But Musk envisions these implants one day being used in healthy people's brains to combat what he sees as the potentially dangerous rise of artificial intelligence.
By George, they really did it. The Federal Reserve raised the interest rates to range between 0.75 percent and 1 percent. This is the third time in 15 months the rate has increased, signaling an end to the nine-year stimulus project. Spending and hiring numbers are up. The market keeps surging, showing investors are confident. The Fed is expected to raise rates again this summer. Better pay of your credit card debt.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday that two Russian intelligence agents and two other people were indicted on charges stemming from the hacking of at least half a billion Yahoo accounts. The defendants were able to gain information about "millions of subscribers" at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers late last year, according to the Justice Department. The two Russian Federal Security Service agents Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin allegedly paid co-conspirators to access email accounts.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has hit a 44-year low. Claims for state unemployment benefits have dropped by 19,000. Only 223,000 people filed for benefits. This is the lowest this number has been since March 1973, according to the Labor Department. This is the 104th straight week where claims were below 300,000. The decreased number of Americans filing for benefits indicates a healthy labor market. This stronger labor market combined with rising inflation could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon.
It might feel like spring for part of the United States. But the clash of warm fronts and cold fronts is creating bad weather for the Midwest and Southeast. A string of tornados went through Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and southeastern Ohio Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Three people have died in Tuesday’s storms. The National Weather Service received more than 20 reports of tornadoes or possible twisters on Tuesday. Several million people are at risk go severe weather damage.
Mardi Gras got serious after a drunk driver drove into a parade crowd, injuring 28 people. According to New Orleans police, 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto had three times the legal alcohol limit. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree vehicular negligence, one count of reckless operation and one count of hit-and-run driving. The youngest person to be injured is 3-years-old. Rizzuto's bail is set at $125,000.
J.C. Penny announced that it will close anywhere from 130 to 140 stores and two distribution centers over the next two months. The company is aiming to improve profitability in light of online shopping. The closures represent 13 to 14 percent of J.C. Penny's current store count, which is also less than 5 percent of total annual sales. The company said it would initiate a voluntary early retirement program for 6,000 eligible employees. J.C. Penny is looking for ways to increase sales while improving its e-commerce.