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Member since: Fri Jul 1, 2016, 03:42 PM
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French Senate Thwarts Macron, Mandates Notre Dame Be Rebuilt Just As It Was Before

The French Senate issued a pretty decisive backhand to French President Emmanuel Macron over the weekend, squashing the progressive leader’s proposal to rebuild the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in a newer, more modern light.

Rebuilding plans for the 800-year-old cathedral, large portions of which burned to the ground in a massive blaze back in April, were rumored to include a host of modern takes, including “a rooftop garden, an 'endless spire' of light and a swimming pool on top of the building,” according to The Local. Other new-age designs included a massive glass ceiling and a public park.

While a design plan hadn’t yet been selected, Macron had expressed public support for a more contemporary “inventive reconstruction” for the new structure, and had announced an international architectural competition soliciting designs for the massive building’s renovation.

The French Senate, however, strongly disagreed – so much so that they passed a restoration bill this week mandating that the historic cathedral must be restored to its “last known visual state.”


China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earth Metals in Trade War

Source: Bloomberg

Beijing is gearing up to use its dominance of rare earths as a counter in its trade battle with Washington, according to a salvo of media reports in China that included hints from the state planning agency. Stocks of producers surged.

The U.S. shouldn’t underestimate China’s ability to fight the trade war, the People’s Daily, a flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial Wednesday that used some historically significant language on the weight of China’s intent.

The newspaper’s commentary included a rare Chinese phrase that means “don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The specific wording was used by the paper in 1962 before China went to war with India, and “those familiar with Chinese diplomatic language know the weight of this phrase,” the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, said in an article last April. It was also used before conflict broke out between China and Vietnam in 1979.

On rare earths specifically, the People’s Daily said it isn’t hard to answer the question whether China will use the elements as retaliation in the trade war.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-29/china-gears-up-to-weaponize-rare-earths-dominance-in-trade-war

Anyone here notice how there are more homeless women on the streets now?

Homelessness has always been a problem here, but these days I've noticed there are even more women than ever before. Used to be pretty unusual but now it's so common nobody cares.

California will get snow and possibly two months worth of rain from back-to-back-to-back 'atmospheri

Source: CNN

California is on track to get more rain in a week than it sees in two months, all from unseasonal storm systems rolling through. The National Weather Service's San Francisco office said that through May 22 the state is expected to get 150-200% of its normal monthly rainfall. It's all thanks to a series of "atmospheric rivers" that will set up over the Pacific Ocean, moving into California. Atmospheric rivers suck up water vapor from the ocean, transport it along narrow regions in the atmosphere and then dump precipitation in massive amounts on land, supercharging storm systems.

The second of three "rivers" is setting up still offshore, but it'll start bringing rain and snow to California on Friday through Saturday. Then a third system, albeit weaker, will move through the state next Wednesday to help push precipitation totals over record amounts. While the lower elevations will see rainfall, the Sierra Nevada will see even more snowfall. Some areas could see up to 30 inches of snow through Friday morning. The southern portion of the mountain range is already under a winter weather warning and officials say travel will be impossible at times.

Expected high winds won't help travel conditions either and are likely to cause power outages and down trees. These storms are unusual because they normally happen in winter. In fact, atmospheric rivers are responsible for pulling much of California and Arizona out of drought. The first atmospheric river moved through on Wednesday and is already dissipating. Before it did, it set daily rainfall records across the state. Venado, California, got 5 inches in one day, making it the wettest day in May in its history. The previous record for the northern California town was 3.28 inches on May 18, 2005.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/16/us/california-atmospheric-rivers-wxc/index.html

Police shoot 17 year old girl armed with knife

I'm surprised this is hardly in the news. Guess our society doesn't care anymore since it happens too often now.


Florida man arrested after refusing to remove 'obscene' sticker from window


LAKE CITY, Fla. — Authorities say a Florida man was jailed after refusing to remove an obscene sticker from his truck's window.

The Lake City Reporter reports that 23-year-old Dillon Shane Webb was arrested Sunday and charged with misdemeanor counts of violating the state's obscenity law and resisting an officer without violence.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says a deputy pulled Webb over near Lake City because of a sticker that crudely described his sexual appetites. The deputy initially cited Webb for obscenity with a notice to appear in court.

Officials say the deputy then told Webb to alter the sticker to change the derogatory part, but Webb refused, citing his First Amendment right to free speech. That's when the deputy charged Webb with resisting and took him to jail.

Webb was later released on $2,500 bond. Jail records didn't list an attorney.


16-year-old Boy Scout collapses, dies hiking in Arizona desert

PHOENIX -- No charges are expected after a 16-year-old Boy Scout died while on a troop hiking trip in the Arizona desert, authorities said Friday.

Joshua White, an active member of Troop 99, was on a training hike with two adults leading a small group of Scouts in Picacho Peak State Park last Saturday. On the 90-degree day, the group started off with plenty of water but ran out at some point on the second half of their hike.

White showed signs of extreme dehydration and died on the way down, authorities said. It remained unclear if the lack of water led to the boy's death or if he had some other medical issue.

The hikers called 911 but the boy was unconscious by the time a park ranger arrived. Two adults and one child were also evaluated by paramedics for exhaustion, but did not need to be taken to a hospital, officials said.

"When we arrived on scene, our crews had to hike about a mile in," Capt. Patrick Calhoun with the local fire department explained. "A park ranger was already on scene, trying to perform resuscitative efforts."

White was a member of the junior varsity football team at Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear, a suburb west of Phoenix. A memorial service was scheduled for May 10.

"Scouting was an important part of Joshua's life, and we know the Scouts and leaders in the troop loved Joshua," his family said in a statement. "Joshua, the other Scouts and their leaders were experienced hikers and fully prepared for the activities they had planned last weekend. Our prayers are for everyone affected, and we appreciate the support from the community as we ask for privacy during this difficult time."

Andy Price, CEO of the Boy Scouts' Grand Canyon Council, released a statement saying the organization is saddened by the teen's death and is providing support for the family and the scouting community. He did not immediately respond Friday to a call seeking additional comment.


Gov. Newsom calls for investigation into California's high gas prices

Source: SF Chronicle

Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the California Energy Commission to look into possible irregularities in the state’s gas prices, which have recently soared above $4 per gallon. “Independent analysis suggests that an unaccounted-for price differential exists in California’s gas prices and that this price differential may stem in part from inappropriate industry practices,” Newsom wrote in a letter to the commission on Monday. “These are all important reasons for the Commission to help shed light on what’s going on in our gasoline market.”

Newsom asked the commission to provide a preliminary analysis by May 15. The commission announced it would start the probe immediately. Issues at California refineries have contributed to the high prices, according to gas price tracker GasBuddy, which recorded the average price at $4.03 in California and $4.10 in San Francisco on Tuesday. That’s more than $1 per gallon higher than the national average. A group of state lawmakers, including several from the Bay Area, sent a letter to Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office in January asking for an investigation into gas prices. The request was spurred by the “final report” of the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee, which was formed by the Energy Commission in 2014.

According to the letter, the report found that after accounting for the state’s gas tax, fuel blend and greenhouse gas reduction costs, prices in California since February 2015 had a “continuous and significant unexplained differential compared to the rest of the country.” Before a fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance (Los Angeles County) in 2015, gas price spikes following refinery problems tended to be of shorter duration, according to Severin Borenstein, faculty director of the Energy Institute at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

“From 1996 until the February 2015 Exxon Torrance refinery explosion in Southern California, our gasoline price premium tracked closely with our higher taxes and production costs,” Borenstein wrote in a blog post in 2017. “Occasional refinery outages spiked prices, but they returned to the expected differential within a month or two, because that’s how long it takes to import our special blend from refineries outside the state. The 2015 Torrance explosion, however, has been a different story.” Borenstein estimated the “mystery surcharge” has cost consumers $20 billion.

Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Newsom-calls-for-investigation-into-13789550.php

Attorneys say Arkansas woman fatally shot husband over porn channel

PINE BLUFF, Ark — (AP) - Prosecutors told jurors that an Arkansas woman "flew into a rage" and fatally shot her 65-year-old husband after seeing a satellite television bill that showed a pornography channel had been added.

Testimony continues Tuesday in the capital murder trial for 69-year-old Patricia Hill. She's accused of killing her husband, Frank Hill, last July at their Pine Bluff home, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Little Rock.

According to the Pine Bluff Commercial, deputy prosecutor Holden Raines told jurors Monday that Patricia Hill had previously canceled the pornography channel but that she shot her husband twice after seeing a bill that showed the channel had been added again.

Defense attorney Bill James says doctors will testify to Patricia Hill's mental state and that she viewed pornography as a "personal affront."


Three children of Danish billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for Povlsen’s fashion firm said on Monday.

The spokesman declined to give any further details but Danish media said the family had been on holiday in Sri Lanka.

A string of bombings at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka killed 290 people and wounded about 500 in Sunday’s attacks. A senior investigator said on Monday that seven suicide bombers had taken part in the attacks.

Povlsen is the owner of fashion firm Bestseller, which includes brands like Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, and is the majority stakeholder in online retailer Asos while also holding a big stake in Zalando.

He owns more than 1 percent of all the land in Scotland, according to Forbes.


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