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Member since: Fri Jul 1, 2016, 03:42 PM
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SpaceX successfully launches test dummy aboard new Dragon crew capsule toward space station

Source: wmcactionnews5

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (AP) — America’s newest capsule for astronauts is rocketing toward the International Space Station on a high-stakes test flight by SpaceX.

A Falcon rocket blasted off with the crew Dragon capsule early Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The only passenger is a life-size test dummy, named Ripley from the "Alien" movies. SpaceX needs to nail the debut of the capsule before putting people on board later this year.

The Dragon should reach the space station Sunday.

Among the estimated 5,000 launch spectators at Kennedy were the two NASA astronauts who will strap in as early as July for the second demo, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. It’s been eight years since Hurley and three other astronauts flew the last space shuttle mission, and human launches from Florida ceased.

Read more: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2019/03/02/sapcex-successfully-launches-test-dummy-aboard-new-dragon-crew-capsule-toward-space-station/

Kashmir escalation: Pakistan 'shoots down two Indian jets'

Source: bbc

Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian Air Force jets in a major escalation of the Kashmir conflict. An army spokesman said one of the planes had fallen inside Pakistan and a pilot had been arrested. There is no confirmation from India which claimed to have shot down a Pakistani aircraft.

Pakistan earlier said it had hit Indian targets, a day after India struck militants in Pakistan. The raids follow a militant attack in Kashmir which killed 40 Indian troops. Also on Wednesday, Pakistan's foreign ministry said Pakistani jets had launched air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Pakistani- and Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Pakistan said it had "taken strikes at [a] non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage".

Indian authorities said the Pakistani jets had been pushed back.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47383634

'He doesn't even look human': Racist rant caught on camera in California

A racist rant from a woman berating a mother and her young son was caught on camera in California.

Belinda Panelo was walking with her child when the woman began yelling at her.

"What are you? He doesn't even look human," she said on the video. "We don't want you here. This is our street. Leave us alone."

The 44 year old mom from West Los Angeles says she and her son had parked on a public street in Playa Vista to grab some coffee Tuesday afternoon when they came under the verbal attack.

"We pay ten thousand dollars a month to keep you out," the woman said.

Panelo said she didn't catch the peak of the woman's racism on camera, but that she kept asking what mix they were and kept calling them ugly, poor, and subhumans.

Penalo said she was able to keep her wits about her.

"Because inside, you know, you want to react a certain way, but you're going to have to, like, keep it together," she said.

She tells us she was trying to show her son how to handle such a situation.

"You'd hope that in a situation that your child would react in a respectful way," she said. "Maintaining their dignity, but while still standing up for themselves."


Billions Dead: That's What Could Happen if India and Pakistan Wage a Nuclear War

Things are getting pretty bad right now in the Kashmir. India could break diplomatic relations with Pakistan over the recent attack that killed over 40 soldiers.

NEW DELHI — India accused Pakistan on Friday of orchestrating a suicide bombing that killed dozens of soldiers in Kashmir, the worst attack there in decades, promising an appropriate response and calling on world leaders to isolate its neighbor.

Pakistan has denied involvement in the attack, in which at least 40 Indian soldiers were killed Thursday when a driver slammed an explosives-packed vehicle into a paramilitary convoy. But by Friday, India had recalled its ambassador to Pakistan for consultations in New Delhi.

With national elections in India set to take place by May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi facing a close contest, analysts say he risks looking weak if he does not respond. Modi was elected in 2014 on promises to crack down on Kashmir’s militants and to adopt a tougher line on Pakistan. The nuclear-armed rivals have gone to war three times since independence in 1947, with two of the wars fought over Kashmir.


More rain, snow expected in storm-battered California, following days of mudslides and floods

Source: USA Today

Californians were in clean-up mode Friday as the state slowly recovers from an onslaught of rain, wind and snow, which brought widespread flooding, mudslides, and washed-out highways.At least two deaths have been blamed on the storm. Although the worst of the storm had moved well inland early Friday, forecasters said some leftover showers and snow was still likely to fall across the state on Friday and Saturday.

The higher elevations of the Sierra could see an additional 3 to 6 feet of snow over the next few days, on top of the 3 feet that fell Thursday, the National Weather Service said. So much snow has fallen in the area that cities are running out of places to put the snow, according to Kevin Cooper of Lake Tahoe TV. In Southern California, officials said rain-drenched hillsides could still loosen and collapse, bringing down mud, boulders and debris.

“The ground is still so saturated and the water is still flowing down from the mountains,” said April Newman, spokeswoman for Riverside County Fire Department.Over 50,000 homes and business were without power as of midday Friday, poweroutage.us reported.

In Sausalito, north of San Francisco, a home smashed into another house after sliding down a hill. One woman was buried under a tree and mud for two hours before fire crews rescued her. The National Weather Service reported staggering rainfall amounts across California. A rain gauge at Palomar Observatory, 60 miles northwest of San Diego, picked up over 10 inches of rain Thursday, that location's wettest day ever recorded.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/15/california-storms-more-rain-snow-follow-floods-mudslides/2882442002/

Amazon will pay $0 in federal income taxes for the second year in a row

Amazon, which doubled its profits and made more than $11 billion in 2018, won't pay any federal income taxes for the second year in a row, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported on Wednesday.

The company will not be required to pay the standard 21 percent income tax rate on its 2018 profits, and is claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which ITEP describes as a "a tax rate of negative 1 percent."

Amazon drew ire in 2018 for not paying federal taxes on its $5.6 billion in profits the year before, which was made possible due to tax credits and stock-based compensation, reports Politifact. Last year was the first time Amazon paid no federal income tax whatsoever.

From 2011 to 2016, Amazon payed federal income tax at a rate of 11.4 percent — less than half of the national rate of 35 percent. Due to President Trump's corporate-friendly tax cuts, Amazon will pay any deferred or postponed taxes at the lowered rate of 21 percent rather than the previous rate of 35 percent, per Politifact.

Based out of Washington state, which has no income tax, Amazon has also been free from state filings on income.


Italians build giant statue of Trump in parade float

Jesus. I don't think even the most fanatical Trump fanboys would've made something like this here in the US. How the hell is Trump this popular in Italy??

California lawmakers ask AG to investigate "mystery surcharge" in gasoline prices

I knew it! There was something screwy about the gasoline prices here in California, even with the taxes we pay an absurdly high rate compared to other states!

SACRAMENTO — Since at least 2015, Californians have been paying a “mystery surcharge” on gasoline that adds roughly 20 cents to each gallon — costing drivers more than $17 billion — and now a coalition of lawmakers is asking the attorney general to find out why.

A group of 19 legislators, including a dozen from the Bay Area, sent a letter Monday requesting the state’s Department of Justice to investigate the hidden charge identified in a 2017 report on the state’s high gasoline prices.

Golden State drivers regularly pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation, which fluctuate weekly but that typically rank in the top two or three. This week, however, California has the distinction of the highest prices, at $3.25 per gallon, or a dollar more than the national average, according to AAA.

High taxes are not entirely to blame, says UC Berkeley economist Severin Borenstein, a lead author of the report. Even with California’s recently increased gas tax, which voters upheld this past November, the state still ranks second in total taxes, paying approximately 73 cents per gallon, compared to Pennsylvania’s 77 cents, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

There are other factors contributing to higher-than-average prices, too, Borenstein told this news organization in 2017. Among them are cleaner-burning and low-carbon fuel requirements that together contribute another 14 cents. The state’s cap-and-trade program adds another 12 cents.

But motorists are still paying 20 cents more for each gallon of gasoline than they should, Borenstein said. And, the mysterious part is that the surcharge showed up just a few months after the researchers started their work.

The California Energy Commission in late 2014 tasked Borenstein and four other experts to form the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee to study the state’s high gas prices. Not too long after the team started working, an explosion in February 2015 at Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Torrance caused a major disruption in the state’s oil market, causing prices to spike while the refinery was shut down.

The committee expected prices to rise, which is traditionally what happens when there’s a sudden shortage. But instead of prices coming down when the refinery got back online, they stayed high, he said. And they still haven’t dropped to what the committee would have expected.

That could be because refineries are colluding to pocket the extra profit, or it could be some other issues limiting production and driving up prices, he said. What the committee did conclude, according to the legislators’ letter, is that the surcharge shows up “between the refineries and our gas tanks, in the distribution and retailing network.”


Texas man shot woman after 'freaking out' over price of sex

A man shot and killed a woman inside his home in Williamson County after "freaking out" about the money she wanted for sex, according to an affidavit.

32-year-old Archie Samuel Rogers Jr. is charged with murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Stormie Callison last Friday.

Police say Rogers told them he met Callison on an adult website where they made arrangements for sex on Friday afternoon at his home in Bartlett.

After they had sex, police say Callisom raised the price from $600 to $1,000, and told him that if he wouldn't pay, she would call the police.

Rogers told investigators he "freaked out" and pulled out a 9mm pistol and shot her in the leg. He said he then fired another shot into her head and left his home.

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office was able to arrest Rogers using an infrared drone.

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