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Wed, 20 Mar 2019

Trump changes his mind on Electoral College, now wants to keep itIn a not-totally-unexpected reversal of policy, President Trump, who before being elected president called the Electoral College "a disaster for democracy," now says it's "far better for the U.S.A."



Thu, 21 Mar 2019

New Zealand Prime Minister announces immediate ban on all assault weaponsNew Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in the country's worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. In the immediate aftermath of Friday's shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, Ms Ardern labelled the attack as terrorism and said New Zealand's gun laws would change. "On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place," Ms Ardern told a new conference. "All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." Ms Ardern said she expects the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme will be established for banned weapons. The buyback would cost up to NZ$200 million ($138 million), she said. All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines. Under existing New Zealand gun laws, A-category weapons can be semi-automatic but limited to seven shots. Live-streamed video of a gunman in one of the mosques showed a semi-automatic weapon with a large magazine. Australia banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a gun buy-back after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were gunned down. Ms Ardern said that similar to Australia, the new gun laws will allow for strictly enforced exemptions for farmers to conduct pest control and animal welfare. "I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride." Floral tributes to those who were gunned down at the two mosques are seen against a wall bordering the Botanical Garden in Christchurch Credit:  MARTY MELVILLE/AFP New Zealand, a country of less than 5 million people, has an estimated 1.2-1.5 million firearms, around 13,500 of them MSSA type weapons. Most farmers in the Pacific country own guns, which they use for killing pests such as possums and rabbits, and for putting down injured stock. Recreational hunting of deer, pigs and goats is popular for sport and food, while gun clubs and shooting ranges dot the country. That has created a powerful lobby which has thwarted previously attempts to tighten gun laws after other mass shootings in New Zealand and overseas. Federated Farmers, which represent thousands of farmers, said it supported the change. "This will not be popular among some of our members but...we believe this is the only practicable solution," Federated Farmers Rural Security spokesman Miles Anderson said in a statement. The changes exclude two general classes of firearms which are commonly used for hunting, pest control, stock management on farms, and duck shooting. "I have a military style weapon. But to be fair, I don't really use it, I don't really need it," said Noel Womersley, who slaughters cattle for small farmers around Christchurch. "So I'm quite happy to hand mine over, to be fair." Ms Ardern said the next tranche of reforms will cover the firearm registry and licencing. Also on Thursday, police said they'd inadvertently charged Tarrant with the murder of a person who is still alive. Police said in a statement they had apologized to the person incorrectly named on the document and would change the charge sheet. They said the charge remains valid, so there was no chance the suspect would be released as a result of the error. Police did not offer further details of what went wrong or make anybody available for an interview. The name of the person on the charging sheet has been suppressed by court order. Officials said more charges against Tarrant would follow. Tarrant, 28, is next scheduled to appear in court on April 5, and Bush said investigations into him were continuing. Police have said they are certain Tarrant was the only gunman but are still investigating whether he had support.



Thu, 21 Mar 2019

Floods threaten more states in rain-soaked U.S. MidwestBy Humeyra Pamuk VALLEY, Neb. (Reuters) - As icy floodwaters fed by rains and melting snow receded in Nebraska and Iowa, leaving destroyed homes, drowned cattle and swamped farmland, Midwestern states downstream on Thursday braced for a relentless surge along the Missouri River, with more rain expected. Flooding from last week's storm has already caused nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killed at least four people with another missing. U.S. ...



Wed, 20 Mar 2019

Devin Nunes sued a Twitter account dedicated to a cow. Now it has more followers than he doesRep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter and a number of parody accounts. Now, one dedicated to a cow has, um, mooved past him.



Tue, 19 Mar 2019

Aggressive Instagramming is ruining Southern California's super bloomPeople trampled California's poppies for the 'gram, and ruined it for the rest of us. Fields of fiery "super bloom" poppies are lighting up the hills of Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore, a city about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Thanks to uncommonly heavy rains this winter, much of Southern California is seeing a massive burst of wildflower blooms across the state. The poppies in Walker Canyon are so lush, they can be seen from space. > Superbloom visible from space - California poppies (orange) near Lake Elsinore, CA > > [15 March 2019; Sentinel-2 satellite; https://t.co/fy8NaGcTwN] pic.twitter.com/ZdSqCvjbuY> > -- Zack Labe (@ZLabe) March 18, 2019With the bloom came hordes of influencers, mommy bloggers, and YouTubers, all eager to snap a few photos of themselves sitting among the flowers.But it's making life absolute hell for Lake Elsinore, which has a population of 60,000. On Sunday, about 100,000 visited Walker Canyon, overwhelming Lake Elsinore and creating the traffic of nightmares. Since the poppies went viral -- even getting their own Twitter moment --the city has tried to cope with the flood of visitors by closing, then reopening, then closing the fields. SEE ALSO: Death Valley, the driest place in North America, is now a sea of yellow flowersIn a Facebook post over the weekend, the city of Lake Elsinore closed Walker Canyon because "the situation has escalated beyond our available resources." The city also closed the highway ramps leading to the canyon because traffic was so bad. By Monday, Walker Canyon was open to the public again, albeit with "extremely limited" parking. Explaining that it is "not feasible" to keep visitors out, the city stated that "this is something unlike anything we have ever experienced in our city and may never again." "Lake Elsinore is the destination for so many unique and incredible features," the Facebook post said. "And this attraction has brought thousands of people from around the world to not only see our city, but to shop in our stores and dine in our restaurants."But by noon, Mayor Steve Manos asked people to come another time because the fields were so full. "As you can see behind me, there are a large number of people here again," Manos said in an Instagram video recorded in front of the blooms. "We've expended lots of resources over the weekend ... But we are full." He added that the city just didn't have the resources to keep Walker Canyon closed because of the sheer amount of people sneaking in and parking on the freeway. Never underestimate the tenacity of an Instagram devotee.> View this post on Instagram> > SuperBloom Update: Steve Manos, Lake Elsinore Mayor provides update regarding why City was forced to reopen Walker Canyon and encourages visitors to choose other options. Walker Canyon is full. City is evaluating all options. We must remain flexible to this once in a lifetime opportunity and crisis facing our city.> > A post shared by City of Lake Elsinore (@cityoflakeelsinore) on Mar 18, 2019 at 12:02pm PDTManos is hopeful that the city will figure out a solution, though. "We've gone through fires and floods, we'll get through the flowers," he told CBS This Morning. By Tuesday afternoon, Lake Elsinore once again closed the freeway ramps in both directions. In a Facebook post citing "severe congestion," the city said that the decision was made by California Highway Patrol, not the city. In the meantime, here are some photos of the super bloom if you can't (or consciously won't) see them in person. > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Momo Twins ~ Leia & Lauren (@leialauren) on Mar 18, 2019 at 10:20pm PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by ? ??J i m e n a R e n o (@renosaurio) on Mar 18, 2019 at 8:04am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Gerd Ludwig (@gerdludwig) on Mar 19, 2019 at 12:51pm PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by J E S S (@jess.wandering) on Mar 14, 2019 at 8:30am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Lil' Sawyer the Labradoodle (@sawyertheminidood) on Mar 19, 2019 at 7:26am PDTAnd don't forget that if you do end up visiting, stick to the wildflower etiquette guide.   WATCH: Elon Musk did it - Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is finally finally finally here



Thu, 21 Mar 2019

Watchdog Probing Boeing, FAA to Testify to Senate Aviation PanelCalvin Scovel, the Transportation Department's inspector general, will testify along with FAA Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell and National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt, the Senate Commerce Committee said on its website. The committee also intends to hear from Boeing executives, pilots and other aviation industry groups in a second hearing in the near future, the panel said.



Wed, 20 Mar 2019

Glyphosate under fire from San Francisco to Sri LankaGlyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup, is the subject of fierce controversy across the globe and is classified by the World Health Organization as "probably" being carcinogenic. A California court on Tuesday found that Roundup was a "substantial factor" in Edwin Hardeman, 70, getting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spraying the weedkiller on his garden for decades.



Wed, 20 Mar 2019

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Condition: Overcast
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Visibility: 10.00mi