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Reuters: World News
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:43:54 -0500
(1) Passengers evacuate Qantas plane via emergency slides at Sydney airport
Passengers on a Qantas Airways Ltd flight evacuated their plane via emergency slides at Australia's Sydney airport on Sunday after the flight was forced to turn around.


(2) New Zealand recovery teams return to volcanic island, two remain missing; death toll rises to 16
New Zealand recovery teams returned to the volcanic White Island on Sunday but were unable to locate two remaining bodies in their search, as the death toll from Monday's eruption rose to 16, police said.


(3) Bolivia's interim leader says arrest warrant to be issued against Morales
Bolivia will issue an arrest warrant in the coming days against former leftist President Evo Morales, accusing him of sedition, interim Bolivian President Jeanine Anez said on Saturday.


(4) Negotiators work through the night to salvage U.N. climate summit
Negotiators worked into the early hours of Sunday to try to salvage a strong global commitment to fight climate change after some of the most vulnerable nations said they were being sidelined at a marathon U.N. summit in Madrid.


(5) Frustrated with climate talks, activists dump manure outside Madrid summit
Green activists dumped horse manure and staged a mock hanging outside the venue of a U.N. climate summit in Madrid on Saturday, airing their frustration at the failure of world leaders to take meaningful action against global warming.



Reuters: U.S.
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:53:02 -0500
(1) California governor rejects PG&E bankruptcy reorganization plan
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday rejected a bankruptcy reorganization plan submitted by PG&E Corp , the state's largest investor-owned utility, saying its proposal fails to meet the requirements of a recently enacted wildfire law.


(2) Trump lawyer Giuliani at White House as U.S. lawmakers vote on impeachment charges
President Donald Trump's private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was at the White House on Friday, the same day that a Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives panel approved impeachment charges against Trump.


(3) Trump impeachment looms as U.S. House committee approves charges
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday took Republican President Donald Trump to the brink of impeachment by approving two charges against him over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.


(4) Factbox: Trump impeachment trial - What happens next?
The U.S. House of Representatives will take up impeachment charges against President Donald Trump next week after the House Judiciary Committee on Friday recommended two charges, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, to the full chamber.


(5) Bloomberg climate plan would halve U.S. carbon emissions in 10 years
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Friday unveiled a climate plan to slash U.S. carbon emissions by 50% in ten years, by slapping tougher pollution standards on new gas-fired power plants and replacing coal with cleaner energy sources like wind and solar.



Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




















Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:01 -0500


(1) Teen questioned in connection with Barnard College student Tessa Majors' murder released

Teen questioned in connection with Barnard College student Tessa Majors' murder releasedPolice have released a teenager being questioned in connection with the murder of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors. The 14-year-old was with his lawyer during questioning and made no statements, a police source told ABC News. Law enforcement officials declined to charge him at this time, so he was released.




(2) Cyberattack on New Orleans city computers called 'minimal'

Cyberattack on New Orleans city computers called 'minimal'Officials announced Saturday that no data was held for ransom and that a recovery operation is getting underway after a cyberattack a day earlier triggered a shutdown of city government computers in New Orleans. Chief Information Officer Kim LaGrue, speaking at a news conference with Mayor LaToya Cantrell and others, said the city hadn't heard from any hackers or received any demands. NOLA.com reported that LaGrue described the cyberattack as “minimal" and that officials expect to move quickly to bring computers fully back online.




(3) Democrat lawmaker opposed to impeachment will switch parties: report

Democrat lawmaker opposed to impeachment will switch parties: reportA Democratic U.S. lawmaker who opposed his party's moves to impeach President Donald Trump told staff on Saturday he will become a Republican as soon as next week, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the discussions. New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew is one of just two Democrats who voted against setting up the impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 31. If he changes his political party, it would be a sign of the strain the impeachment process is putting on moderate Democrats.




(4) Keys detective ordered to turn in her badge over taped racially charged comments

Keys detective ordered to turn in her badge over taped racially charged commentsMonroe County’s sheriff ordered one of his top deputies to turn in her badge and gun on Friday following an internal affairs investigation into an audio tape on which she is heard telling a subordinate to act like a racist cop to pressure a black man suspected in a 2017 Key West murder for information.




(5) NYPD officers' body cameras shows moments leading up to killing of police officer, suspect

NYPD officers' body cameras shows moments leading up to killing of police officer, suspectThe NYPD has released body camera footage from officers involved in a pursuit and deadly shooting that left a fellow officer and a suspect dead. The video, released Friday, shows police officer Brian Mulkeen and other plainclothes officers on patrol in the Bronx on Sept. 29, 2019. The footage shows him and officer Robert Wichers get out of an unmarked vehicle and approach two suspects.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:54:01 -0500


(1) Israel eyes Dubai expo as 'portal' to Arab world

Israel eyes Dubai expo as 'portal' to Arab worldWith the world's largest trade fair opening in an Arab country for the first time next year, Israel is stepping up preparations, hoping to boost nascent ties with regional neighbours. The Dubai Expo 2020 trade fair will gather nearly 200 countries vying for the attention of a projected 25 million visitors over nearly six months from October. Like most Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates has no diplomatic relations with Israel.




(2) S.Africa's businesses marooned by rolling blackouts

S.Africa's businesses marooned by rolling blackoutsAs if choreographed by a puppet master, stores along the aisle of a Johannesburg mall hurriedly shut their doors one by one as soon as power outages strike slap-bang in the middle of the day. "We have to close the store immediately because people can steal... the card machines also don't work without electricity," a 23 year-old clothing retail worker told AFP. Since 2008, state utility Eskom has sporadically implemented rolling blackouts -- rationing up to 4,000 megawatts at a time -- to help prevent a collapse of the electricity grid, a process known as "load shedding".




(3) This little piggy went to court: German piglets 'sue over castration'

This little piggy went to court: German piglets 'sue over castration'Little piggies go to market, but in Germany they also go to court. In a legal first, animal rights activists have asked Germany's top court to ban the practice of castrating young male pigs without anaesthetic -- with the piglets themselves listed as the plaintiffs. Farmers argue that the castration of piglets a few days after birth is necessary to prevent "boar taint", the occasional occurrence of a foul smell when cooking pork from male pigs past puberty.




(4) Noked Capital: Best Performing Hedge Fund in 2019 Q3?

Noked Capital: Best Performing Hedge Fund in 2019 Q3?Every quarter Insider Monkey publishes its list of best performing hedge funds. Our goal is to identify the best hedge funds to replicate and thus avoid large hedge fund fees. I am going to explain this point a little bit later. First, last quarter's best hedge fund: Noked Capital. Noked Capital is an Israeli hedge […]




(5) Does Avi-Tech Electronics Limited's (SGX:BKY) Recent Track Record Look Strong?

Does Avi-Tech Electronics Limited's (SGX:BKY) Recent Track Record Look Strong?For long term investors, improvement in profitability and outperformance against the industry can be important...























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:44:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Trump: 'I'll do whatever I want' during Senate impeachment trial

Trump: 'I'll do whatever I want' during Senate impeachment trialPresident Trump said Friday that he hasn’t decided whether to wage a long or short impeachment defense in the U.S. Senate, but either way, he expressed confidence in the outcome.




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Britain’s Political Map Changes Color in Ways Few Could Imagine

Britain’s Political Map Changes Color in Ways Few Could Imagine(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Towns in northern England share a history of mining, faded industry and neglect. For generations they also had another thing in common: staunch support for the Labour Party.From Workington on the west coast to Bishop Auckland and Blyth on the east, the dominoes fell as the results from the U.K. election rolled in through the small hours of Friday morning. The U.K.’s tortured efforts to leave the European Union redefined political tribes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives took seats his party has never held before.Johnson declared the victory as “historic.” That will be even more apparent in places where most voters have never known a Conservative lawmaker.Workington, where mines and steelworks shut years ago, last voted Conservative in 1976. Back then Britain was in the grip of an economic crisis. It turned back to the red of Labour three years later. On Thursday it voted Conservative by a margin of 10 percentage points.Bishop Auckland, in the mining area south of Newcastle, had never turned Tory blue in more than a century. Elsewhere, Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire elected a Conservative for the first time since the 1930s, as did swathes of the Midlands and Yorkshire. Labour’s so-called “Red Wall” had fallen.Many of these former mining and steel towns endured mass unemployment under the Conservative governments of the 1980s. They then voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum amid a wave of anger at austerity, frustration over immigration and dismay at joblessness and lack of opportunity. Today, they are embracing the Tories in their determination to finally quit the EU. Backing for Brexit also comes with a rejection of the socialist promises of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who now says he will step down.In Scotland, Labour’s vote had already collapsed in the wake of the independence referendum in 2014. This time around the pro-independence Scottish National Party took the vast majority of districts again, even in some of the post-industrial regions that Labour had won back in 2017.In that election, the Conservatives planted a giant poster on a dilapidated building near the seafront in Redcar, a town in England’s northeast haunted by steelworks that finally collapsed a few years ago. The Tories had never won in Redcar, and failed in 2017 as well. But as people demanded their voice be heard over Brexit, the voters of Redcar did in 2019 as so many did across the north of England: They abandoned Labour -- and embraced Boris Johnson.To contact the reporter on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Heather Harris at hharris5@bloomberg.net, Adam Blenford, Alan CrawfordFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




(5) US Pacific commander says China seeks to intimidate region

US Pacific commander says China seeks to intimidate regionChina's activities in territory it claims in the South China Sea are meant to intimidate other nations in the region, the commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet said Friday. Adm. John Aquilino said China's actions, including constructing islands in the disputed waters, are intended to project its military capacity. China's vast territorial claims, far beyond its shores, have been challenged by other claimants, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:54:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:54:01 -0500


(1) Researchers get their hands dirty in one of the last frontiers of science

Researchers get their hands dirty in one of the last frontiers of scienceSeveral researchers from across Canada have teamed up to get the dirt on dirt."It's fascinating because soil is one of the last frontiers," said Claudia Goyer of Agriculture Canada in Fredericton.Goyer and her colleagues are attempting to collect and document all of the organic matter and micro-organisms in topsoil — with a focus on agricultural land and forests.They'll compile the data in a soil map of Atlantic Canada."Soil is super important because that's what gives us food on our plates," Goyer said. "We're eating plants. Animals eat plants. It's very crucial to our life, basically."Aided by students who were employed for the summer, the researchers dug up 250 soil samples this year in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.They intend to collect another 250 next summer in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.In the longer term, the plan is to map the soil of the entire country.Most of the research will focus on the few centimetres closest to the surface, known as the A horizon. But they also took some samples at depths of 30 to 60 cm to find out how carbon moves through soil. Erika Young of Memorial University of Newfoundland will analyze the nematodes and soil respiration.Kirsten Hannam of Summerland, B.C., will look after fractionation — breaking the soil down to different parts.Goyer's Fredericton colleagues, Louis-Pierre Comeau, Jessica Vickruck and Cameron Wagg, will respectively look at organic matter, micro-arthropods such as mites and the relationships, known as mycorrhizas, between fungi and plants.Goyer's focus is on microbiology.Soil has about 100 million bacteria and a million fungi per teaspoon, she said."It looks like it's inert … but it's actually very active."And remarkably little is known about how all those life forms work together to cycle nutrients, feed plants, protect against pathogens and recycle carbon — some pretty key functions in ecosystems."I can go in your garden and have 20 to 30 per cent of the organisms that we don't know anything about."All of that should soon change.There's been a recent boom in soil microbiology research, said Goyer, made possible by a new DNA testing method known as next generation sequencing.Whereas before only a small portion of organisms in soil could be cultivated, now it's possible to get a much more complete picture of biological diversity.Once we have a better idea what's in the soil and how it works together, we might also figure out ways to protect and boost food and forest production."That's the dream of all soil microbiologists on the planet, I think," Goyer said.She also expects the study will provide important baseline data to monitor the effects of climate change.Canada's growing season is expected get longer, but there will also be more frequent periods of drought and extreme rain events.Those extreme rain events are already taking a toll on New Brunswick soil, she said. The province is prone to run-off because of its rolling landscape."We're losing that very good A horizon — like the top part of the soil where most of the organic matter is and most of the organisms. And that is not good."That's why some farmers in the potato belt have started using terraced fields, she said.Another protection method is maintaining riparian zones, or strips of trees, that stop the soil from running into a stream."We're always looking for solutions so we make sure that soil stays where it should be."Goyer suspects this data will be useful for farmers, foresters and policy makers.




(2) The Water Crisis In Cities Everywhere Is Worsening Already Terrible Inequality

The Water Crisis In Cities Everywhere Is Worsening Already Terrible InequalityWhile the rich can drill wells and keep swimming pools filled, poorer residents line up for water and struggle to survive.




(3) 5 new skyscrapers broke records as the tallest buildings in their countries this year — take a look

5 new skyscrapers broke records as the tallest buildings in their countries this year — take a lookAt 752 feet tall, The Leonardo overlooks "the richest square mile in Africa." It also comes with one of South Africa's most expensive penthouses.




(4) 13 fascinating animal species discovered in the last decade, from the 'Wakanda' fish to the world's tiniest frog

13 fascinating animal species discovered in the last decade, from the 'Wakanda' fish to the world's tiniest frogScientists travel to remote mountain forests and the deepest regions of the seas to catalogue new animals from the unknown 86% of Earth's species.




(5) The Geminids meteor shower peaks this weekend, with hundreds of multicolored shooting stars. Here's how to spot them.

The Geminids meteor shower peaks this weekend, with hundreds of multicolored shooting stars. Here's how to spot them.Unlike most meteor showers, which come from comet dust, the Geminids are fragments of an asteroid. Earth passes through the cloud each December.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:03 -0500


(1) Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making it

Sanders retracts controversial endorsement less than 24 hours after making itSen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.




(2) Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notes

Judge's decision may shine light on secret Trump-Putin meeting notesA district court judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered administration lawyers to explain why, for more than two years, the White House has refused to turn over to the State Department an interpreter’s notes from a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 




(3) 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaters

2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwatersThe bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.




(4) Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not to

Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toYounger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found




(5) Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun

Iran Demands $6 Billion Oil Payment From South Korea: Chosun(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the South Korean ambassador last month to demand payment of 7 trillion won ($6 billion) for oil it sold to the Asian country, Chosun Ilbo reported, citing officials it didn’t identify.Iran expressed “strong regret” over Seoul’s failure to complete the payment, which has been deposited at two South Korean banks without being transferred to Iran’s central bank for years due to U.S. sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper said. It added that other Iranian authorities including the central bank also complained.South Korea sent a delegation to the Middle East late last month and explained that the country will cooperate with the U.S. to successfully complete transfer of the payment, it added.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Siraj DatooFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:01 -0500


(1) Viola Davis’s message to white women: ‘Get to know me’

Viola Davis’s message to white women: ‘Get to know me’But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.




(2) Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys’s husband, says hip-hop industry lacks compassion

Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys’s husband, says hip-hop industry lacks compassionIconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.




(3) Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison, Snooki Says

Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison, Snooki SaysMike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison




(4) 'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record

'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...




(5) Selma Blair reveals she cried with relief at MS diagnosis after being 'not taken seriously' by doctors

Selma Blair reveals she cried with relief at MS diagnosis after being 'not taken seriously' by doctorsThe 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August."Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal," Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on "Good Morning America." "And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me. Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home. During her interview with "GMA" at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an "exacerbation" of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.
























Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
Last updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 22:49:01 -0500


(1) Do star athletes make too much money?

Do star athletes make too much money?With athletes in America's biggest sports leagues raking in salaries worth $300 million and more, is it time to reign in the big spending or do superstars deserve the big bucks they make?




(2) Live animal mascots: Cute or exploitative?

Live animal mascots: Cute or exploitative?Animal rights activists have repeatedly called for college sports teams to stop using real animals as their mascots. Are these complaints fair or an overreaction?




(3) Does U.S. women's soccer deserve equal pay?

Does U.S. women's soccer deserve equal pay?Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.




(4) After fighting for 9/11 victims, Jon Stewart turns to Warrior Games

After fighting for 9/11 victims, Jon Stewart turns to Warrior GamesThe former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.




(5) Kevin Love talks anxiety, depression and the time he thought he was going to die mid-game

Kevin Love talks anxiety, depression and the time he thought he was going to die mid-game“Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.
























The world this week
Last updated Mon, 09 Dec 2019 15:26:11 +0000
(1) Politics this week
(2) Business this week
(3) KAL’s cartoon
(4) Business this week
(5) KAL’s cartoon
























The Economist: Business
Last updated
(1) Tesco considers selling its Asian supermarkets
(2) Offering software for snooping to governments is a booming business
(3) Posh hotels are scarce in Japan—and increasingly lucrative
(4) A price war has undermined India’s big telecoms companies
(5) How to deal with board gender quotas
























The Economist: United States
Last updated
(1) Should the federal government subsidise students, or make college free?
(2) A shooting puts the spotlight on military training for allies
(3) How to win in Iowa
(4) In praise of high-school football
(5) The investigation into the investigation

























Last updated
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(2)
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The Economist: Books and arts
Last updated
(1) An opera in a soup kitchen, featuring homeless singers
(2) The different languages of impeachment
(3) The classical musicians who were enlisted in the cold war
(4) India’s constitution helped sustain the world’s biggest democracy
(5) The case for migration—in pictures
























The Economist: Science and technology
Last updated
(1) Tuberculosis kills more people than any other pathogenic illness
(2) The world’s oldest picture gallery
(3) Transparent solar cells could be used to glaze office blocks
(4) DNA could be used to embed useful information into everyday objects
(5) How cetaceans got so large












Law and Daily Life
The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog.
Last updated 2019-12-13T14:12:42Z


(1) Take Steps Now to Ease Your Tax Bite
2019-12-13T13:12:55Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: By taking action before year's end, you can significantly reduce your tax obligation.

Written by: Richard Dahl

Article:

Many of us ? maybe even most of us ? avoid thinking about our tax obligations until April 15 draws near.

But there are good reasons to start thinking about taxes well before then. In fact, you probably should be thinking about them before New Year's Eve. If you do, you might save a few bucks.

First, though, here's a brief look at a few ways the federal tax return you'll be filing by April 15 will differ from previous ones.

Act Now and Save on Taxes

Now, on to the pre-year-end tax-saving tips:

The holiday season can be a nerve-racking time of year. But if you can find time to look at your finances now, tax time won't be quite so foreboding.

Related Resources:





(2) What Are the Laws on Tipping? When Are Tips Required?
2019-12-13T07:12:46Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Tips are considered voluntary, so there is no legal duty to pay them. But what about automatic gratuity? Learn more in this FindLaw blog.

Written by: Kellie Pantekoek

Article:

'Tis the season for generosity and giving. But when you are dining out with friends, colleagues, or family members over the holidays, you may be wondering just how generous you need to be with tips ? particularly, if the service wasn't that great.

Are There Laws on Tipping?

Tipping is not mandatory in the United States, so there are no laws that govern how much gratuity should be paid. That means it is generally up to you to decide how much of a tip to leave a server at a restaurant.

According to the Emily Post Institute, which focuses on etiquette, a pre-tax tip of 15-20 percent is considered standard for service in sit-down restaurants.

When there have been issues with the service ? such as a waiter messing up an order or not being attentive ? many restaurant patrons reduce tips accordingly. However, keep in mind that servers often make less than minimum wage per hour and are expected to pay income taxes based on sales and the assumption that they earn at least 15 percent in tips.

What About Automatic Gratuities?

Many restaurants place automatic gratuity on large dining groups ? usually 18 percent ? which is legal to do under federal law. But state laws determine whether paying the automatic gratuity is required.

Interestingly, the IRS qualifies these payments as service charges and not tips, which means they are treated like wages instead of tips for tax purposes. It also allows restaurants make the argument that a service charge was not a tip and therefore was not voluntary.

What Happens When a Patron and Server Disagree?

In situations involving a true tip (and not automatic gratuity), the server has no legal standing to argue that a tip should have been paid or should have been greater because tips are voluntary, albeit customary and expected.

On the other hand, if a customer refuses to pay automatic gratuity, the restaurant may have legal standing to demand that the "service fee" is paid, so long as it made the policy clear in the menu or in a statement by the server.

So, the next time you are out, take a look at the menu for a statement about automatic gratuities. If one does not apply to your group, the tip you leave is under your discretion. Just remember that your server could make as little as $2.13 per hour and depends on tips to make ends meet.

Related Resources:





(3) Are Nativity Scenes on Public Property Legal?
2019-12-12T14:12:13Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Nativity scenes are sometimes allowed on publicly-owned property. Learn why they don't always violate the Establishment Clause in this FindLaw blog.

Written by: Kellie Pantekoek

Article:

We have all heard the term "separation of church and state" since learning about the Establishment Clause in high school civics. But if church and state are supposed to be separate, why do we still see nativity scenes on government-owned property this time of year? Is this legal?

The answer is that there is no bright-line rule against nativity scenes ? or any religious symbols, for that matter ? on public property.? Instead, a court would have to look at a nativity scene in the context of the entire display to decide if it violates the Establishment Clause or not.

What Does the Establishment Clause Tell Us?

The Establishment Clause, found in the Constitution's First Amendment, prohibits the government from making any law ?respecting an establishment of religion." Consequently, it prohibits the government from:

One might think that a nativity scene at Christmastime clearly advances, promotes, or even endorses Christianity, but the Supreme Court has held that is not always the case.

Supreme Court Rulings on Nativity Scenes

There are two main Supreme Court cases that deal with the issue of nativity scenes on government-owned property, specifically.

First was Lynch v. Donnellydecided in 1984. In that case, the court narrowly held that a Rhode Island nativity scene ? part of an elaborate Christmas display including Santa, reindeer, and other decorations ? did not violate the Establishment Clause.

The Court found that the display was erected to "celebrate the Holiday recognized by Congress and national tradition and to depict the origins of that Holiday," which the Court held are "legitimate secular purposes."

The second case, Allegheny v. ACLUgives additional insight. The decision came in 1989 and involved two different holiday displays: one in a prominent location inside the Allegheny County Courthouse, and the other outside the building.

The first display, which the Court found violated the Establishment Clause, included only a nativity scene and a religious message: ?Gloria in Excelsis Deo." The Court took issue with the facts that the nativity scene stood alone, had an overtly religious message, and was on a main location inside of the government building.

The second display, which the Court found did not violate the Constitution, included a menorah, a Christmas tree, and a sign with a message about liberty and freedom. The Court reasoned that the display was "conveying the city's secular recognition of different traditions for celebrating the winter-holiday season."

Testing the Constitutionality of Christmas Displays

The two Supreme Court decisions led many to see the presence of a variety of holiday symbols ? such as Santa, reindeer, menorahs, and Christmas trees ? as the distinguishing factor in acceptable versus unacceptable holiday displays.

Since then, some local governments with penchants for holiday decorating have attempted to "secularize" Christmas displays by including additional holiday or religious symbols.

But the Court noted that a number of factors should be considered when determining if a holiday display violates the Establishment Clause, including:

All of these factors can help determine if a nativity scene or another Christmas display is in violation of the Constitution, or an acceptable, secular celebration of the season.

Related Resources:





(4) Parking Lot Accidents: Who Is Liable?
2019-12-09T11:12:31Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Parking lots can be busy and dangerous. But when an accident occurs, who is at fault? Find out in this FindLaw blog post.

Written by: Kellie Pantekoek

Article:

There is a lot of hustle and bustle this time of year. Between holiday shopping, school events, and get-togethers with family and friends, many people are doing a lot of running around from one place to the next. This also means a lot of time driving ? and maneuvering around crowded parking lots.

If you've ever driven in a busy parking lot during the month of December, you know the kind of hazards you are up against: lots of traffic, drivers in a rush, distracted pedestrians, and ? depending on where you live ? snow and ice. Unfortunately, these hazards can, and do, cause parking lot accidents.

Determining Fault in Parking Lot Accidents

Liability in parking lot accidents typically depends on two things: whether both cars were moving at the time, and which car had the right-of-way.

Determining who is at fault in a parking lot accident is usually pretty easy if only one vehicle was moving at the time. Generally, the driver who was moving is liable as long as the non-moving vehicle was legally parked or stopped.

For example, if a driver runs into the back of a vehicle stopped at a traffic sign in a parking lot, that driver is likely liable ? just like if this accident were to happen on a roadway.

Who Had The Right-of-Way?

Right-of-way is another determining factor in parking lot accident liability. Generally, the driver who had the right-of-way is not liable unless they were doing something illegal at the time like speeding.? Note: Many large parking lots have posted speed limits, but when in doubt, 15 mph is a good limit to stay under.

Drivers in thoroughfare lanes have the right-of-way over drivers in feeder lanes, so drivers in feeder lanes must stop or yield. Thoroughfare lanes are the main lanes that generally exit to a street. Feeder lanes typically start and end at the thoroughfares and usually bring drivers to parking spots.

Liability in Common Parking Lot Accident Scenarios

Here are a few common parking lot accident scenarios and who is likely liable:

Hopefully, these scenarios help clear up questions about right-of-way in parking lots. It's especially important to keep these rules in mind in busy parking lots this holiday season.

If an accident has already occurred and no one was injured, you will probably be able to work it out with your insurance company. However, if there were injuries or you feel the insurance companies are not playing fair, it's a good idea to meet with a car accident attorney for advice.

Happy holidays and safe driving from the team at FindLaw!

Related Resources:

5 Tips for Dealing With Parking Lot Accidents (FindLaw's Injured Blog)

Bumped in the Parking Lot? 3 Ways to Recover for Dents, Dings (FindLaw's Injured Blog)

Parking Lot Injuries: When Can You Sue? (FindLaw's Injured Blog)

What to Do When You Hit a Parked Car (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)





(5) What Are the Best Legal Podcasts for Nonlawyers?
2019-12-06T12:12:11Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: There are a lot of legal podcasts out there, but which ones are best for average folks. FindLaw's Law and Daily Life helps out out.

Written by: Richard Dahl

Article:

If you're a lawyer, seemingly endless podcasts exist to meet your professional interests.

But what if you're a nonlawyer who is merely interested in the law? Or who is looking for useful legal information that you can use?

There aren't as many legal podcasts out there for nonlawyers, but we've rounded up what we think are some of the best ones ? eight in total ? and summarize them below in no particular ranking order.

They range in style and format, but we chose them specifically because they are not legal "inside baseball." We chose them because they provide substantive information of one kind or another that can be understood by a nonlawyer.

We encourage you to check them out.

1. Good Law / Bad Law. Weekly, hosted by Aaron Freiwald, managing partner of Freiwald Law, a Philadelphia plaintiff's firm. Featuring ?guests and conversations that show how and why the law matters." Recent topics: ?Did You See What?", on the flaws of eyewitness testimony; ?Reckoning With a Nazi Past," on the continuing legacy of Nazi persecution; and ?How to Ask a Good Question."

2. Common Law. Periodic, every one or two weeks. Hosted by Risa Goluboff and Leslie Kendrick, dean and vice dean of the University of Virginia School of Law, who ?explore how law shapes society, how we shape the law and why we should all care." Recent topics: ?When Law Changed the World," recounting pivotal moments when law and lawyers changed the world; ?The Road Not Taken After the Civil War," on how efforts to distribute land to former slaves were foiled by southern lawyers; and ?The Nonsmoker Revolution."

3. Law to Fact was created in 2017 by Leslie Garfield Tenzer, then an attorney for the City of New York and now a professor at the Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, aiming to provide information for law students and aspiring law students preparing for the LSAT. Since then, it has expanded to ?all things law" and of interest to nonlawyers. Recent topics: ?Summary Judgment," ?First Amendment: Free Speech," and ?Election Law."

4. Lehto's LawDaily podcast of Michigan consumer-law attorney Steve Lehto, the ?podcast reincarnation of the radio show Lehto hosted for many years." The podcast answers submitted listener questions on consumer law, one per podcast. Recent topics: ?Never Sell a Car to a Relative," ?Can You Pry the GPS Tracker Off Your Car?", and ?Driver's Licenses Are Not 'Commercial'."

5. Legal Beagle Personal Injury PodcastWeekly podcast about ?the wonderful world of personal injury law" by Phoenix PI lawyer Jonathan Negretti. Recent topics: ?Tesla's Smart Summon Technology," which looks at legal implications if an owner's Tesla strikes a vehicle or person when it's being summoned, and ?Electric Scooter Laws."

6. Your Legal Rights. Weekly, hosted by San Mateo (Calif.) Deputy District Attorney Chuck Finney, but not limited to criminal matters. Recent topics: ?Year-end tips to figure income tax returns for 2019," ?Reshaping Landlord-Tenant Relations," and ?Employment Rights After a Workplace Injury."

7. In Legal TermsWeekly production of Mississippi Public Radio, hosted by Richard Gershon, a professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Gershon interviews attorney guests to explain legal terms and concepts to a lay listenership. Recent topics: ?Revocable Trusts," ?Cyber Security," and ?Expungements."

8. Lawyer 2 Lawyer. Attorneys Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams have been offering up perspectives, often opposing, on legal issues in the news since 2005. They're lawyers talking about the law, but the podcasts are accessible for general audiences. Recent topics: "Inside the Liability of Selfies," "Website Accessibility and the ADA," and "Space Law."

Related Resources:





(6) Human and Programming Errors Caused Self-Driving Vehicle Fatality
2019-12-04T10:12:58Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: U.S. safety investigators found a fatality caused by a self-driving vehicle was the result of human error and faulty programming. Read more in this FindLaw blog post.

Written by: Kellie Pantekoek

Article:

One of the most difficult things about creating a safe self-driving vehicle is programming the vehicle to be as observant as a human driver.

Self-driving cars not only need GPS capabilities to get from point A to point B, they also must have the ability to sense and avoid surrounding objects, such as as other vehicles, pedestrians, and objects in the road in order to avoid an accident.

Generally, humans can still do this much easier than computers. However, this doesn't include drivers who are distracted, which is all too common today.

Safety Driver to Blame in Accident Involving Self-Driving Uber

Unfortunately, U.S. safety investigators found that both an inattentive human driver and faulty programming were involved in a fatal accident last year in which a self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

A federal investigation found that the vehicle lacked programming to see and respond to pedestrians outside of crosswalks, in addition to other safety and design lapses. But the cause of the accident was attributed to a safety driver in the vehicle who was distracted by their phone.

The safety driver was sitting behind the wheel of the self-driving car and was supposed to step in if the software driving the vehicle failed. Investigators found that the safety driver was looking away from the road during 34 percent of the trip and looked away from the road a total of 23 times in the three minutes leading up to the crash, a video recording showed.

The National Transportation Safety Board found that if the driver had been paying attention at the time of the accident, they would have had two to four seconds to see and avoid the pedestrian, who was walking her bike across the road.

The NTSB also criticized the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for not having more regulations in place for the testing of self-driving vehicles on U.S. roadways, CNN reported.

Who Is Liable for Accidents Involving Self-Driving Cars?

Currently, all self-driving vehicles on the roadways are equipped with safety drivers who are supposed to take over if technology fails. The technology has not reached a point where it is trustworthy enough by itself.

When it comes to criminal and civil liability for accidents involving self-driving vehicles, there is still a lot of gray area. Uber reached a civil settlement with the family of the woman killed in the Tempe accident, but the company was not criminally charged. The safety driver, on the other hand, could be charged with manslaughter. The local prosecutor's office is still deciding whether to press charges.

It is likely that different standards will be set for accidents involving vehicles driven by humans versus autonomously. It will certainly be an important area of law as self-driving vehicles become more common.

Related Resources:





(7) TikTok Settles One Data Privacy Lawsuit, Still Faces Another
2019-12-06T11:12:58Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular apps among American teens. Should parents be worried about data privacy?

Written by: Andrew Leonatti

Article:

If you've got a teenage kid at home, chances are they use TikTok. If they haven't filled you in yet, it's a popular app for sharing 15-second video clips. Teens everywhere are creating short, funny videos in a bid to rack up views.

Seemingly overnight, TikTok's popularity has soared, with more than 110 million downloads to smartphones in the U.S. The app is owned by the China-based ByteDance Technology Co. Despite assertions by the company that TikTok is operated outside of China, lawmakers have raised national security concerns and criticism that it censors content unfriendly to China.

Now, a pair of recent lawsuits should concern parents and TikTok users across the U.S. about just how safe and innocent the app is.

Company Accused of Hoarding User Data

In one suit, a group of parents alleged the company violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). When signing up, children under 13 were asked to provide personally identifiable information that was available to other users. The app also allegedly collected location data of child users for more than a year.

The allegations are similar to those faced by YouTube earlier this year, when it was fined for violating COPPA. TikTok was also fined by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year for COPPA violations.

While not admitting to anything, the company settled the lawsuit one day after it was filed.

Storing Data in China?

In the second, a class-action lawsuit filed by a college student alleges that TikTok does indeed store private user data on servers in China. The company says that all U.S. user data is stored here in America, with backup servers located in Singapore.

According to that suit, the student downloaded the app but never created an account, only to later discover that the app itself created an account for her and collected private information about her, including a scan of her face.

The suit further alleges that embedded within the code for TikTok are a host of other Chinese tech companies, all with their own privacy concerns.

What Can You Do?

The concern with personally identifying data being available on Chinese servers is that the Chinese government enjoys much easier access to that data than the U.S. government does to data stored on servers here.

As a parent, you always have to straddle the line between letting your teen children learn and make mistakes while also looking out for their best interests. While no one wants to be "that parent" who doesn't let their kids use the app all their friends do, this is an issue that may require monitoring.

Related Resources:





(8) What to Do When Holiday Lawn Decorations Become a Legal Nuisance
2019-12-09T09:12:40Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: You don't have to be a Grinch to be fed up with your neighbor's excessive holiday lights. Learn your legal options in this FindLaw blog post.

Written by: Kellie Pantekoek

Article:

We've all driven by and gawked at the houses that go all-out with decorations for the holiday season. Properties with lights galore, blaring Christmas music, and thematic displays can be found in just about every town. It's all in the holiday spirit... right?

You don't have to be a Grinch to get annoyed at bright, loud, and flashy holiday lawn decorations, especially if you live right next door. But is there anything you can do to stop your neighbor's holiday cheer? Or at least get them to take it down a couple notches??

Legally speaking, you have a few options when all you want for Christmas is for your neighbor's power to go out.

Local Ordinances, Regulations, or CC&Rs

First, you can look at the local ordinances and regulations in your city and county. Cities and counties typically have ordinances controlling lights, noise, traffic, and parking ? all of which can be associated with excessive holiday displays. You'd be surprised how many areas even have regulations that deal with holiday displays, specifically.

Also, depending on what type of neighborhood you live in, check to see if there are Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that apply. CC&Rs are rules set by a developer or homeowners association that govern residences or condos.

If your area or neighborhood regulates holiday lights and displays and your neighbor is not in compliance, consider discussing it with your neighbor to make sure they are aware. Another option is to file a complaint with the city or county's code enforcement office, or your homeowner's association.

Filing a Private Nuisance Claim

If there aren't any ordinances or CC&Rs that apply, you can explore filing a nuisance claim in civil court. There are two types of legal nuisance claims: private and public. Private nuisance refers to the interference of a property owner's right to use and enjoy their property. Public nuisance refers to a threat on a community's health, safety, or overall welfare.

Every year, there are nuisance claims filed because of over-the-top holiday displays, and few have been successful because it's a difficult legal claim to make. Generally, the courts want to allow people to enjoy ? and decorate ? their properties how they choose as long as it's compliant with local law.

In other words, your claim would have to be based on more than just you being annoyed or inconvenienced for the courts to step in with an injunction. Additionally, by the time you get your day in court the holiday season will be long gone and so will the Christmas lights (one would hope).

With that said, a real estate lawyer can help you explore your options for restoring your holiday spirit.

Related Resources:





(9) What Can You Do About Holiday Package Theft?
2019-12-04T14:12:03Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: "Porch pirates" are running rampant as the holiday season heats up. A few steps, however, can reduce the risk of theft.

Written by: Richard Dahl

Article:

You've been anxiously awaiting delivery of those high-end, noise-cancelling headphones that you found online for half price, the perfect holiday gift for your music-loving squeeze.

The delivery service gives you a time, and so you rush home from work that day, eager to tastefully wrap the gift. But there's nothing there. Nothing on the front step. Nothing in the front hallway. Nothing left with a neighbor.

If something like this has happened to you, you're far from alone. The sheer quantity of goods that people are buying online for the sake of convenience ? 1.5 million package deliveries per day in New York City ? has placed severe strains on delivery systems at the same time it is attracting thieves eager to swoop in and make off with packages left on porches and front steps.

The New York Times estimates that 90,000 of those packages, or about every 16th one, are either stolen or disappear without explanation.

And it's not just New York. One recent study of "porch pirate" rates in the country found that cities in the West had the highest theft rates, with San Francisco claiming the top spot.

In addition, the market research firm C+R Research conducted a national survey of 2,000 people who had shopped online in the previous year and found that 36% had packages stolen.

If you are like most people, your first reaction when you think you've had deliveries stolen is to contact either the seller or the delivery company. And that's the right thing to do, because most of the time you can have the product redelivered or receive a refund. The more established the retailer, the better will be your chances ? Amazon is particularly reliable ? but as C+R found in its survey, 27% of the victims reported that they'd gotten nothing.

How to Reduce the Risk of Theft From Porch Pirates

So when you buy online, convenient though it may be, you're always running a bit of a risk. So what should you do to reduce the risk of porch-pirate theft?

There are many ways. Here are a few:

Then again, you could eliminate all this paranoia in one simple, old-fashioned way: Do your shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

Related Resources:





(10) Internet Deliveries Making Streets Unsafe
2019-12-03T11:12:23Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Convenience comes with a cost, and consumers will have to decide if it is worth paying. Learn more about the impact of internet deliveries in this FindLaw article.

Written by: Robert Bjornson

Article:

For many consumers, online shopping is about as good as shopping gets. From the comfort of your home, you can browse a seemingly infinite number of products on your phone or computer until you find the exact thing you are looking for, and then you can have it delivered to your home, often within the period of a few days.

Even though online shopping can be gratifying, the convenience may come with a cost that is much higher than shoppers expect.

Dangerous Deliveries

In recent years, many journalists have researched how large online retailers are influencing our lives, the areas in which we live, how we order our food, how we move around our cities, etc.

Many journalists have also focused on the negative societal consequences of these companies. In terms of delivery infrastructure, increased numbers of delivery vehicles mean:

Over the past five years, delivery vehicles have been involved in hundreds of vehicles accidents. Amazon, arguably the single largest employer of delivery vehicles and delivery services, is a defendant in over a hundred lawsuits regarding delivery vehicle accidents, although determining liability for those accidents is not always a simple task.

Liability for Delivery Accidents

If a driver who works for a traditional courier, e.g., UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc., causes an accident, the driver and the courier will probably be legally accountable for the damages. However, liability is often less clear with online retailers.

According to several sources, online retailers often pressure their delivery drivers to fulfill orders faster, resulting in labor disputes and tragic accidents. Many driver have reported being pressured into skipping meals, bathroom breaks, or any breaks at all.

Drivers have also reported that they have been forced to work overtime to deliver every package they are given ?sometimes hundreds of packages? without being given overtime pay. This constant pressure and fast pace are believed to have been the cause of dozens of delivery accidents.

An Example: Amazon

Amazon hires small, independent companies, independent contractors, and traditional companies like UPS and USPS to deliver its orders.

Many contractors have alleged that Amazon's level of involvement with their day-to-day deliveries makes Amazon the driver's employer, but Amazon has worked extremely hard to maintain its legal separation from independent delivery companies and contractors.

If an independent delivery contractor causes an accident ? even if they claim it is because Amazon is pressuring them to deliver packages faster ? the driver and/or the independent company for which they work are general held legally liable. Moreover, Amazon's employment contracts sometimes require contractors to cover any legal fees, even if the contractor ends up defending Amazon in court.

Even though online shopping can create all kinds of opportunities for individuals and businesses, those opportunities come at a cost. A significant decision consumers may have to make in the coming years is whether or not that cost is worth paying.

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(11) Can You Stop Neighbors From Feeding Dangerous Wild Animals?
2019-12-04T09:12:43Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: If you see a neighbor or friend feeding wildlife, you may want to step in and stop them before the situation gets unsafe for humans and the animals. If you find yourself in this "wild" situation, Findlaw tells you how to react to keep out of trouble with the law but still protect your legal rights.

Written by: Jaclyn Rainey

Article:

The short answer: yes, but not by yourself.

As colder temperatures set in across much of the country, wild animals are more likely to dig through trash in search of food, bringing them closer to humans. It is also not uncommon for sympathetic people to offer food to hungry wildlife.

But when you spot a neighbor feeding larger animals that could be dangerous, where is the legal line between a bird feeder and offering dog food to coyotes?

Feeding Wildlife Is Generally Illegal

In general, feeding any wildlife is illegal under animal harassment laws. ?Harassment" is legally considered any action that interrupts an animal's ?normal behavior patterns," so this includes trapping, petting, or feeding most animals.

Most states also have specific laws regarding ?big game" mammals. Even if feeding wildlife is not illegal where you live, it is discouraged for the safety of animals and humans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Note: There are exceptions for most licensed herds or farms, such as protected reindeer herds.

How to Talk to Someone Who Is Illegally Feeding Wildlife

Discussing a wild animal sighting or feeding situation can be awkward, since your neighbor may feel they are being kind or helpful. Be sure not to break any trespassing laws if you want to speak to them in person. To be safe, you can give them a call or send an email, if possible. Politely explain your concerns and listen to their reasoning.

If your neighbor refuses to stop, you can back off and let officials take over. You do not have a legal responsibility to warn your neighbor that you will involve police or wildlife organizations. However, as a courtesy, you can tell them that if they continue feeding wild animals, you will have to report it for the safety of you and the animals.

Keep in mind that spreading rumors, fliers, or social media posts about the person could result in a libel or slander lawsuit against you. If you can't prove what they did, it becomes your word against theirs in court. It is better to let officials handle the situation. 

Where to Report Wild Animal Safety Concerns

Do not take matters into your own hands by going on someone's property or trying to shoo away large animals by yourself ? you could end up in the hospital ? or in jail for trespassing.

Most local police have a wildlife control unit that can answer questions or step in to help, or you can find the right person to contact through your Wildlife Services State Office.

Note: Cats and dogs are not considered wildlife. You can rescue them, though leaving them food outside can still attract wildlife. Involve your local animal control or animal shelter if you have questions. However, other cute animals like ducks, birds, rabbits, mice, foxes, and raccoons are wildlife and should not be fed or rescued. Find your closest rehabilitation website to learn what you should do when these animals look abandoned or hungry.

Legal Issues From Feeding Wildlife

Worst-case scenarios can occur when wild animals are too close for comfort, though these situations are rare. Some possible legal issues from feeding wildlife can include:

'Tis the Season to Do Good (While Following the Law)

This whole article can sound harsh for animal lovers. Keep in mind the laws and government organizations are there to keep you and all wildlife safe, even if feeding the ducks seems like a cute idea.

The good news is there are safe, legal ways you can help wild animals or encourage a neighbor to switch to a better method of helping wildlife. From backyard conservation to donating to volunteering with wildlife organizations, you (or your neighbor) can make a difference in a safe way.

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(12) Apps Are Keeping Track of Students, but Who Is Keeping Track of the Apps?
2019-12-03T07:12:04Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Apps help schools with everything from grading to hall monitoring. But at what cost? We explore the privacy concerns with school technology in this FindLaw blog post.

Written by: Kellie Pantekoek

Article:

Schools today are turning to software applications for help with everything from grading and tracking homework to managing behavior and class scheduling. And now apps are even available to manage hall passes.

The app e-Hallpass records each student's whereabouts throughout the school day, including trips taken to the bathroom, principal's office, or the health office. The app not only helps teachers to keep track of students, it also allows administrators to look back at where students were at a given time or spot patterns that could suggest an issue.

Teachers Can Check for 'Red Flags' Before Granting Hall Passes

When using the e-Hallpass app, students request to use the bathroom (or visit the nurse, etc.) on a school-issued laptop or tablet. Their teachers then check for "red flags" that could prevent them from issuing the pass (such as too frequent of requests by the same student or another student, who the requesting student is supposed to avoid, already being in the hall) and choose whether to grant the pass.

The teachers then log the students as returned when the students get back. After a student has been gone for a certain period of time, an administrator is pinged to check on the student.

What isn't there to love about an app that lets teachers and school administrators track and study your every move? A lot, many students say. And some parents agree, the Washington Post reported.

When Technology Advancements Come With Privacy Intrusions

Technology comes with big time-saving, value-adding benefits, but as we all know, there are costs. One notable sacrifice is privacy. Data privacy has become an important topic anywhere technology is used ? which is basically everywhere, including schools.

Kids, and more often their parents, want to know how personal information is being collected at school and what that information is being used for. Schools are left with the difficult position to decide which apps to use, how to use them, and how to approach the topic with parents.

Schools Are Still Figuring out How to Deal With Data Privacy

In many cases, school-focused apps have privacy policies that say student data is not shared with third parties, but schools are often left in charge of the data that is collected and how long it is kept. With some schools using hundreds of applications at any given time, keeping track of the privacy policies ? and data ? can be a huge undertaking. It's no wonder that parents often feel left in the dark.

Parents who are concerned about privacy issues can set up a meeting with teachers or school administrators for answers. Many schools are also receptive to parents opting out of having their children's data gathered by the apps or used by the school.

At this time when technology is advancing faster than laws and administrators can keep up, it is parents who will hold schools and software companies accountable for privacy violations. For assistance, you may want to speak with an education law attorney in your state.

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(13) Animal Cruelty Is Now a Federal Crime
2019-12-02T12:12:34Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Congress has passed the nation's first federal anti-animal-abuse law.

Written by: Richard Dahl

Article:

Every state has laws against animal cruelty. But until recently, no federal law governed animal abuse.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act went into effect Nov. 25, for the first time making animal cruelty a federal crime. Punishment under the new law for people who abuse animals includes fines and prison sentences of up to seven years.

The new law is the latest step in federal regulations to protect animals.

In 2007, Congress passed a law banning sponsorship of animal fights, and in 2010 President Barack Obama signed a law banning videos that show animals being "intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury." That law replaced a 1999 law that the Supreme Court overturned on the grounds that it was too broad.

The new law, signed by President Donald Trump, expands on the 2010 law by making violent videos of animal harm a felony offense.

Unanimous Support

Even though all 50 states have anti-animal-cruelty laws, the new federal law makes it easier for prosecutors to investigate cases that cross state lines.

The bill for the animal-abuse ban was a bipartisan effort by two House members from Florida, Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Ted Deutsch, and offered a rare opportunity for lawmakers of both parties to come together. The bill passed both chambers unanimously on its way to Trump's desk.

The law does not apply to hunters, trappers, or fishermen, or to people who slaughter animals for food.

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(14) PFAS: Current Lawsuits and Overview
2019-12-02T11:12:11Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: PFAS is in the legal spotlight again. Learn about current PFAS lawsuits and more in this FindLaw article.

Written by: Robert Bjornson

Article:

Our environments are filled with chemicals. Some of them occur naturally, while some were introduced by people. Unfortunately, some of the chemicals introduced into the environment by people ? by companies, specifically ? can and do cause serious health issues.

One such group of chemicals currently receiving attention are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Companies that manufacture and use PFAS are hesitant to impose limits on the chemicals, but a variety of entities are taking legal action to prevent continued use of PFAS.

What Legal Actions Are Being Taken?

PFAS have been used for decades, and many people believe that the companies that produce and use PFAS have long known about the negative environmental and health effects and chose to do nothing about them.

One of the most significant legal actions currently underway is a class-action lawsuit against several PFAS manufacturers. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a career firefighter who was exposed to PFAS through firefighting foams, was recently allowed to proceed via a federal ruling.

The class in the lawsuit includes everyone in the U.S. who has measurable amounts of PFAS in their systems. The goal of the lawsuit is the formation of an independent panel of scientists who will be responsible for "thoroughly studying and confirming the health effects that can be caused by contamination of human blood with multiple PFAS materials."

If the panel is formed and is able to verify the believed negative health and environmental effects of PFAS-exposure, the companies that produce and use PFAS may be held liable for those negative effects.

Additional Actions

There are currently several lawsuits underway across the nation. Additionally, movies have been made about PFAS and the people who have fought to create public awareness and policy changes. Some settlements have already been reached, although those settlements are certainly not the end of the PFAS story.

What Are PFAS?

PFAS are a group of specialized chemicals that are resistant to several elements, e.g., water, oil, grease. Because of their characteristics, PFAS are frequently used to make a wide variety of products, including:

One of the reasons PFAS are so significant is because of the amount of time it takes for them to break down. Studies have shown that PFAS can survive and accumulate for decades, both in the environment and within people, which is part of the reason PFAS are sometimes called ?forever chemicals."

What Are the Health Effects of Exposure to PFAS?

Much research is still being conducted to determine the many ways PFAS affect people and their environments, but studies conducted by several independent and government agencies have shown that relatively modest levels of PFAS can cause serious health issues such as:

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(15) Cannabis Law Updates After the 2019 Elections
2019-12-02T10:12:26Z(last updated)
Brief capsule: Did the cannabis landscape change in 2019? Learn more about current legislation and changes in state cannabis law in this FindLaw blog post.

Written by: Robert Bjornson

Article:

More Americans are changing their opinions on cannabis, and this cultural change is being reflected in national politics. Over recent years, state governments across the nation have altered their cannabis laws to allow for more medical and recreational cannabis use, but some states have been resistant to change.

Cannabis is traditionally more accepted in more politically liberal areas. As a result, states with Republican-controlled legislatures are often the last to legalize cannabis use, whether it be for medical or recreational purposes.

However, recent elections have shifted the political landscape in many states, and these changes may have a significant impact on cannabis law.

November's Elections and Cannabis Law Reform

Legislators are, in general, trending toward the greater legalization of cannabis. However, not everyone supports proposed cannabis-related ballot measures. In November, voters in areas all across the nation voted for and against various cannabis-related ballot measures.

Democrats picked up a significant number of seats in the recent November elections, most notably in Virginia and Kentucky. The vast majority of Democratic winners have stated that they support cannabis legalization in some form.

Local Ballot Measures

Voters in Illinois, Maine, and Michigan voted to allow cannabis businesses to operate within certain areas of the state. Conversely, voters in Colorado, Massachusetts, and other regions in Michigan voted against measures that would allow cannabis businesses to function within certain counties and cities.

In Ohio, voters in the cities of Bremen, Nelsonville, and Northwood voted in favor of passing decriminalization measures. The local ordinances decriminalize possession of 20 grams of cannabis or less. Although decriminalization is not legalization, decriminalization effectively removes any legal penalties for people who break the possession law.

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