November 2019

 At least 200 elephants have died in Zimbabwe since October amid a severe drought in the southern African country, wildlife officials said.

Most of the animal deaths have been in conservation areas in Mana Pools and Hwange National Park. Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo said the drought is affecting "almost every animal."
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"Of course, elephants are easily noticed during patrols or game drives, but some bird species are seriously affected because they can only breed in certain tree heights and those trees are being knocked down by elephants," he said.

The agency said it plans to relocate about 600 elephants -- along with antelope, buffalo, giraffes, lions and wild dogs -- from Save Valley Conservancy to other national parks.

Zimbabwe, which is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa, declared a national emergency after the yearly October rains never materialized. Watering holes dried up and became mud pits, trapping animals that tried to reach what little water was left.

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday backed out of a lawsuit asking a court to weigh in on whether he should have to testify in the House's impeachment inquiry.
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He said he instead plans to follow President Donald Trump's instructions not to comply with a subpoena the House committees handling the impeachment inquiry issued Nov. 7. Democrats requested Mulvaney appear for a closed-door deposition last week, but he declined to show up.

Mulvaney revealed his decision in a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

On Friday, he requested to join the lawsuit by Charles Kupperman, a former top national security official. Kupperman asked the court for clarity on whether he had a constitutional duty to testify after conflicting statements from House Democrats and the White House.

The White House ordered Kupperman not to cooperate with a subpoena from House Democrats. He declined to appear before the House committees last month.

Since then, Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, with similar conflicting orders, joined the same lawsuit, refusing to participate in the impeachment inquiry until the legal dispute was settled.

"Mr. Mulvaney, like Mr. Kupperman, finds himself caught in the division, trapped between the commands of two of its co-equal branches ... with one of those branches threatening him with contempt," Mulvaney's attorneys, Christopher Muha and William Pittard, wrote in the filing Friday.

House lawyers withdrew Kupperman's subpoena earlier in the week, saying they would be guided by similar litigation's outcome regarding the subpoena of former White House counsel Donald McGahn.

Last week, the House committees on foreign affairs, oversight and intelligence released a transcript of a closed-door deposition by National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. He said Mulvaney helped coordinate a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

Vindman told House lawmakers he learned from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that the Trump administration expected Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in order for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to receive a meeting with Trump.

"I heard [Sondland] say that this had been coordinated with White House chief of staff Mr. Mick Mulvaney," Vindman said.

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Mark Sanford is dropping his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020, the former South Carolina governor announced Tuesday in New Hampshire.
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The candidate blamed Democrats' impeachment inquiry for his departure from the race less than one year before Election Day.

"You have got to be a realist and what I did not anticipate is an impeachment; you have had only two of them in the history of this country," Sanford said standing outside the New Hampshire statehouse.

He said he wanted to find other ways to advance issues he cares about -- the federal debt and the economy.

"You cannot have a meaningful debate on what we do about that debt and deficit, what comes next financially for this country," Sanford added.

"Instead it is red team versus blue team, us against them, the complete debate is about whether you are on this team or that team."

Sanford announced his presidential bid about two months ago, becoming the third Republican to challenge Trump. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., have also announced their candidacies.

Weld said Sanford's presence in the Republican primary will be missed.

"A true fiscal conservative, he has advocated the common-sense policies too seldom heard from Donald Trump or anyone else in Washington," Weld said. "It is shameful that the Trump-controlled South Carolina state party canceled a primary in which Mark could have been a real factor."
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared divided along party lines on President Donald Trump's efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, indicating a potential end to the immigration image
Justices heard the first arguments in the case Tuesday. Two key questions dominated the arguments -- about whether the court can second-guess the president's effort to end DACA and whether he has the authority to do so.
Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh appeared to side firmly with Trump -- indicating he has sound legal ground for eliminating the Obama-era program, which allows migrants taken to the United States as children to stay.
Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and more liberal Associate Justice Stephen Breyer seemed unsure of the court's authority on the question.
"I'm saying honestly, I'm struggling," Breyer said.
Roberts said a mass deportation resulting from the end of the program is unlikely because the government doesn't have the resources to do it.
Pro-DACA attorney Theodore Olson argued Trump's original justification to phase out the program was that it was illegal. He added that the threat of repealing the system will disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of migrants who rely on it to remain in the United States.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued the program should end regardless of its legality, and the Homeland Security Department disagreed with providing immunity against deportation laws.
"We own this," Francisco said.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, appointed by President Barack Obama, said Trump has wavered on the issue, noting that he once said "Dreamers" were "safe under him" -- only later to change position and give them six months to leave.
Trump has tried to wind down DACA, but lower federal courts have kept him from doing so. Trump campaigned on a promise to end Obama's "illegal executive amnesties."
More than 90 percent of DACA recipients are employed and 45 percent are in school, a government study found, and proponents argue many become contributing members of American society -- physicians, attorneys, engineers and military officers.
"We represent employers of all sizes in making the case to uphold DACA," Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote Friday in a blog post supporting the program, also saying "serious harm" will be done if the program ends. Microsoft is among more than 140 companies that support DACA.
Trump said last year he was willing to keep the DACA program if Congress took the steps needed to fix it. Federal courts ultimately issued an injunction that nullified the administration's deadline.
As the high court weighed the merits of the case Tuesday, congressional Democrats held a news conference calling on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to pass the DREAM Act, which would make DACA law.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said he met with Trump at the White House on the issue, and said the president said he wanted to "treat these young people with love."
"When you started on a pathway that put all these young people at risk, that's not love," Menendez said. "It's just fundamentally wrong what the administration is doing. Let's see who stands for the dream and who wants to snuff it out."
Most recently, Trump said he wants a "bipartisan deal" that benefits everyone.
In a brief filed with the court, the Trump administration said the repeal of DACA was an administrative procedure that is not subject to judicial review -- and argued that President Barack Obama's actions to start the program in 2012 were unlawful. In 2017, then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Department of Homeland Security was "legally required" to end DACA.

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Don't count on potted plants to keep your home's air clean.

Dispelling a common belief, researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia found that natural ventilation does a far better job than houseplants in maintaining air quality in homes and offices.
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"This has been a common misconception for some time. Plants are great, but they don't actually clean indoor air quickly enough to have an effect on the air quality of your home or office environment," said Michael Waring, head of Drexel's indoor environment research group.

His team analyzed dozens of studies conducted over 30 years. Their findings were published online Nov. 6 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

The researchers said air-exchange rates indoors -- either natural or from ventilation -- dilute concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) far faster than plants can pull them from the air. VOCs are the air pollutants that plants are supposed to clean.

Many of the studies reviewed did find that plants reduced concentrations of VOCs over time. This likely led to the widespread belief that plants can purify indoor air, the study authors said.

But it would take between 10 and 1,000 plants per square meter of floor space to match the air cleaning capacity of a building's air-handling system or even just a couple of open windows in a house, the investigators found.

"This is certainly an example of how scientific findings can be misleading or misinterpreted over time," Waring said in a university news release.

"But it's also a great example of how scientific research should continually reexamine and question findings to get closer to the ground truth of understanding what's actually happening around us," he added.

More information

The American Lung Association has more on indoor air quality.

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As vehicle technology advances and they become more sophisticated, experts say they also will become more popular targets for cybercriminals, leading some to question whether developers are adequately looking at the potential problem.

Cybersecurity firm IntSights reported recently, in an analysis titled "Under The Hood: Cybercriminals Exploit Automotive Industry's Software Features," that cybercriminals so far this decade have been circulating data on the Internet that describe how to hack into car systems.

The information provides hackers with a de facto manual how to infect vehicles with malware, interfere with their computerized systems or even steal them.

Cars and trucks have been at least partly computerized for decades, but it only recent leaps in auto technology have presented hackers with a serious target, experts say.

"[We] discovered easy-to-find online shops that sell car hacking tools on the clear web. These online shops sell services that disconnect automobile immobilizers, as well as services that sell code grabbers and forums that give bad actors a complete tutorial on how to steal vehicles," the IntSights report states.

Analysts like IntSights say some of the primary reasons cars are now capturing hackers' attention is due to the integration of certain, interruptible systems -- like GPS navigation and WiFi Internet access.

Presently, the most common types of attacks target a car's Controller Area Network, or CAN, protocol -- a component that can open access to all of a vehicle's functions. It also uses devices known as "code grabbers" to copy or intercept the signals used to remotely open and start a vehicle.

Experts say owners are most susceptible to someone hacking into their remote start system when the vehicle is not in motion. However, getting around that limitation -- and hitting your car while you're driving it -- is doable.

"The biggest challenge for hackers attempting to exploit remote access points is the required proximity to do so," the IntSights report notes. "Attacking a moving car can be near impossible if the hacker needs to physically connect to it.

"However, there are ways to bypass this problem: Attacking a car via a cellular network, breaking into its Wi-Fi access points, or breaking in via the manufacturer's back-end system, to which many modern cars are connected."

Etay Maor, IntSights' chief security officer and one of the report's editors, said auto hacks can potentially take over vehicle systems and harm drivers. Bu,t he says, the main objective, at least for now, is to steal items from inside vehicles or take the vehicles themselves.

"A car represents a different type of attack surface for potential criminals, because when you think about computers, they're not really reachable for the attackers," Maor said. "But on the other hand, cars are all around us. Stealing one and monetizing it is relatively easier than a stolen bank account."

With current automotive technology, experts say hackers can also use traditional computer-hacking tactics -- like phishing -- to infect cars with ransomware, which is basically a virus that hijacks access to the vehicle and holds it for ransom.

That type of cyberattack is rapidly gaining popularity among criminals, due to its relative anonymity and chances for success. Multiple governments in the United States this year have paid out more than $1 million in ransom to regain control of their systems.

As a result of the rising risks, automakers have taken many precautions in developing and updating digital systems.

Faye Francy, executive director of the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or Auto-ISAC, said she isn't surprised by the IntSights warning. Her organization shares, tracks and analyzes intelligence about cyber threats in the auto industry.

Francy said automakers are aware of the potential issues and are taking a systematic approach to secure vehicle technologies. The industry is developing practices, like over-the-air security updates, for vehicle software and firmware.

Automakers also are taking a proactive approach to make owners, dealers and potential buyers aware of the more prevalent auto hacking risks.

"There's a lot of activity for [a vehicle's] full life cycle, from the design all the way through to the operation, and we know that these cars are usually out there for 12 to 15 years," Francy said.
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She added that vehicle security, however, is not solely the responsibility of automakers. Owners, she stressed, must be cautious when plugging smartphones and other communication devices into their vehicles. And when selling a vehicle, she said, it's critical that drivers delete all the device-linked data from the car's computer so it can't be exploited by the next owner.

"Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility," Francy said.

Maor cautioned that gone are the days when cybercrimes only were a problem for the personal computer industry.

"I honestly cannot point to an industry today which is not being targeted by some form of cyberattack, whether [it's] simple phishing or very advanced ones," he said. "The car industry is definitely no different."

Car creations draw fans to SEMA Show

Attendees view a recently damaged custom-built 700-hp 2019 Dodge Challenger 6.4 HEMI on display Tuesday. The car, which was stolen by a car thief a week earlier and damaged during a police chase, received a lot of news coverage in the Las Vegas media. Photo by James Atoa/UPI | License Photo

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Craig Ferguson's latest stand-up special, Hobo Fabulous, takes the unique form of a six-part documentary series, and the multitalented comedian said the format was born of a desire for more intimacy with the viewing audience.

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Australia's newest destroyer, the NUSHIP Sydney, successfully completed its sea trials and is on schedule for delivery to the navy, the Royal Australian Defense Force announced.
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It is the third and final ship in the Air Warfare Destroyer series of Hobart-class vessels, designed and built by Raytheon Australia, ASC Shipbuilding and the Australian Defense Department as part of a consortium called the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance.

The NUSHIP Sydney expected to join the HMA Hobart and the HMA Brisbane in February 2020.

The term "NUSHIP" applies to vessels of the Australian Navy not yet commissioned, in the manner that U.S. warships are designated "PCU," or "Pre-Commissioned Unit" until their commission grants them the opportunity to use "USS" in their names.

The Sydney is a diesel- and gasoline-powered, guided missile- and torpedo-carrying destroyer, 483 feet long. The vessel uses the Aegis Combat System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, and will carry a single helicopter. Its class of ships provides air defense for accompanying ships, and can navigate successfully in shallow coastal waters.

The ship can also conduct undersea warfare and is equipped with modern sonar systems, decoys, surface-launched torpedoes and an array of effective close-in defensive weapons, a government statement said.

In a statement on Saturday, Defense Minister Linda Reynolds called the three ships "the most potent warships to date. By using a combination of Australian and globally proven technologies, these highly capable warships are truly world-class and will allow us to work even closer with our allies."

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Late dinners and heavy evening snacking do no favors for women's hearts, a new study suggests.

Researchers at New York City's Columbia University found that those who ate more of their daily calories in the evening had a higher risk of heart disease.
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One cardiologist who looked over the new findings wasn't surprised by the effect.

"The way metabolism, circadian rhythm, cortisol/insulin cycles work, they do not and cannot support heavy meals in the evening hours," said Dr. Evelina Grayver.

"Not only are our bodies not meant to digest at late hours, we are also less mobile at night, thus the calories we consume are not being expended as energy," said Grayver, who directs the coronary care unit at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

The new study involved 112 women, average age 33, whose heart health was assessed at the start of the study and then again one year later. The women recorded what they ate for one week at the start of the study and for one week 12 months later.

Most of the women ate some food after 6 p.m., but those who consumed a higher proportion of their daily calories in the evening tended to have had poorer heart health, say a team led by Nour Makarem, a Columbia associate research scientist.

In fact, with every 1 percent increase in calories consumed after 6 p.m., heart health declined accordingly.

Specifically, women who ate more of their daily calories in the evening were more likely to have higher blood pressure, higher body mass index and poorer long-term control of blood sugar.

Similar findings occurred with every 1 percent increase in daily calories consumed after 8 p.m., according to the study, which is to be presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting, held Nov. 16 to 18 in Philadelphia.

"So far, lifestyle approaches to prevent heart disease have focused on what we eat and how much we eat," Makarem said in an AHA news release. But he said that the when of eating may be important, too.

There's good news from the study, because shifting the timing of eating is "a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk," Makarem said.

Dr. Satjit Bhusri is a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agreed the findings make sense.

"Calories are immediate energy," he said. "I always advise patients to eat a lean, low -carbohydrate, early dinner. This simple understanding and mindfulness of when and what to eat, as the study states, can make a major impact on overall cardiovascular health and outcomes."

Because these findings were presented at a medical meeting, they should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women's Health offers advice on heart disease prevention.

Copyright 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Former Bolivian President Evo Morales said Monday that he is leaving for Mexico after the country accepted his request for asylum.

Morales made the announcement via Twitter, saying that he is "grateful" to Mexico for opening its doors to "protect our life."
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"It hurts to leave the country for political reasons, but I will always be concerned," he said. "I will return soon, with more strength and energy."

The announcement follows Mexico's foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, accepting Morales' request for asylum "for humanitarian reasons and because of the emergency situation that he faces in Bolivia," the ministry said in a statement.

Ebrard granted Morales asylum earlier Monday and informed Bolivia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the decision to ensure that it adheres to international laws concerning Morales' departure from the country.

"The decision of the Mexican government has been communicated to the Organization of American States and will be made known to the United Nations, invoking international protection for the life and safety of Evo Morales," the ministry said.

Morales, 60, resigned Sunday following mass protests that erupted over irregularities concerning his re-election on Oct. 20.

He said he regretted the decision "deeply" but was stepping down "for the good of the country."

His resignation was followed by several other politicians, leaving a power vacuum in the country.

U.S. State Department officials said they expect an interim leader to be named and sworn in Tuesday, which they said should help stabilize the situation.

During a briefing on the situation, the officials said Morales' successor will then have 90 days to organize elections.

"So, if the interim president can be sworn in very quickly, that would help the public order, and there would be no constitutional break," a state official said.

President Donald Trump cheered Morales's resignation as a "significant moment" for democracy.

"After nearly 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Morales' departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard," Trump said in a statement. "The United States applauds the Bolivian people for demanding freedom and the Bolivian military for abiding by its oath to protect not just a single person, but Bolivia's constitution."

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 Former President Jimmy Carter was admitted Monday to a Georgia hospital for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding due to recent falls, his foundation said.
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In a statement, the Carter Center said the procedure was scheduled for Tuesday at the Emory University Hospital and the former president was "resting comfortably."

"His wife, Rosalynn, is with him," the center said.

Carter has suffered from a spat of injuries caused by falls in the past few months, most recently in late October when he was admitted to the hospital for a fractured pelvis that he sustained from a fall at his home.

Earlier in the month, Carter received 14 stitches to his forehead and a black eye from a fall while getting ready for church.

In May, he also underwent surgery to repair a broken hip sustained from a fall at his Plains residence.

Carter, 95, is the oldest living president in U.S. history and has suffered from health problems in recent years, including undergoing treatment in 2017 for brain cancer.

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Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md, said she will be running for her late husband's seat in Congress.

During an interview Monday with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Rockeymoore Cummings said she will be officially announcing her candidacy for the 7th congressional district of Maryland on Tuesday.

"I believe very strongly that I have the background and the focus and the commitment and the ability to take the reins and make a good run for the seat," she said.

Rockeymoore Cummings will be entering an already congested race for her late husband's seat that became available following his death at the age of 68 in October from complications from longstanding health issues.

As of Monday, three Republicans and eight Democrats had officially filed for the special election, which is scheduled for April 28. The winner will complete Cumming's term, which ends in January 2021. The deadline to file is Nov. 20.

During the interview, Rockeymoore Cummings said she worked alongside her husband for over two decades, and that he told her prior to his death that he wanted her to take over for him if he were to die.

"We'd been discussing this for quite some time because he had been ill for quite some time and he was pondering his future and what would happen to the seat," she said. "So, about six months ago, we were talking and he said, 'You know, I really do think you should take this seat.'"

She made the announcement the same day she resigned as chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Cory McCray, Baltimore City State Senator, has since been appointed chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

In a statement, McCray thanked Rockeymoore Cummings for her service and reassured Democrats of the party's "stability and continuity of service" in the build-up to the 2020 elections.

Rockeymoore Cummings also told Maddow that she will be undergoing a scheduled double mastectomy on Friday but will continue a strong presence online during her two- to four-week recovery period.

She said the decision to undergo the surgery was made before her husband's death and pre-emptive due to her family's history of breast cancer.

Her mother died of stage four breast cancer in 2015 and her younger sister underwent a double mastectomy last year after being diagnosed with the disease, she said.

"I want to get ahead of the curb and take the bull by the horns and stop it in its tracks before it ever begins," she told Maddow.

Her husband, she said, had helped persuade her to undergo the surgery and she said she will keep her promise to him.

"Even though he passed away and even though this race is now before me, I decided to keep my promise to him and I will keep this appointment on Friday," she said.

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President Donald Trump laid a wreath and praised American service members on Monday at the start of the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.

Thousands attended the city's 100th parade to honor American military veterans. The parade is put on each year by the United War Veterans Council. Trump placed the wreath and spoke to the crowd at the Eternal Light Memorial.

"We pledge to always honor our veterans," he said while standing at a podium near his wife, first lady Melania Trump. "You are America's greatest living heroes and we will cherish you now, always and forever.

"This nation is forever in your debt, and we thank you all. You are the reason our hearts swell with pride, our foes tremble with fear, and our nation thrives in freedom."

The president honored fallen American troops from past wars, and added that the United States will never forget the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that initiated the War on Terror.

Organizers said they have invited every president for the last 25 years, but Trump is the first to accept. Sitting presidents traditionally attend a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

"It is truly an honor to come back to New York City to Madison Square Park to be the first president to ever attend America's parade," Trump said.

"As far back as we can remember, no one has ever accepted our invitation," Nick Angione, a member of the organizing veterans council, said. "This year, very honored, very pleased, very excited President Trump has accepted."

Trump's appearance at the event drew a crowd of demonstrators, as well. Some chanted "lock him up" as a nod to the ongoing House impeachment investigation. Others used tape on windows in a building overlooking the park to spell out the words "impeach" and "convict."

Council Chairman Douglas McGowan said earlier Trump's appearance should be viewed as a tribute to military veterans rather than any kind of a political statement.

"This is a day when we put politics aside to focus on honoring our veterans and to recommit ourselves as a community to providing them with the services they have earned, the services they deserve and, for many, the services they were denied," McGowan said.

Some 25,000 participated in Monday's parade, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The mayor, who ended his Democratic presidential campaign in September, said Monday's event should not be politicized.

"[The parade] should not be turned into a spectacle," he said.

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 Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, died unexpectedly Sunday in his sleep at the age of 60, the not-for-profit healthcare company said.Image used on the post
"On behalf of our board of directors, employees and physicians, we extend our deepest sympathies to Bernard's family during this very difficult time," the company said in a statement. "An outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans, Bernard was a tireless advocate for Kaiser Permanente, our members and the communities we serve."
Tyson spent more than 30 years with the company serving in an array of roles from hospital administrator to division president before being named CEO in 2013 and chairman of the board of directors in 2014, according to his bio on the company website.
Under his stewardship, the healthcare provider said it expanded from 9.1 million members to 12.3 million members to date and its annual revenue grew from $53 billion to $82.8 billion.
Gregory A. Adams, executive vice president and group president, has been named interim chairman and CEO, effective immediately, the company said.
"Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader and an honorable man," said board member Edward Pei. "The board has full confidence in Greg Adams' ability to lead Kaiser Permanente through this unexpected transition."
The cause of his death was not disclosed. The day before his death, Tyson participated in Afro Tech, a convention for black entrepreneurs in Oakland, Calif.
"We're honored to have shared his presence and learned about his journey at [Afro Tech]," the event said on Twitter. "We join his loved ones in mourning this loss and celebrating his legacy."
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, called Tyson one of "the world's greatest CEOs."
"A light unto this world has gone out. Bernard Tyson, our loving friend and board member, has passed away," the entrepreneur said via Twitter. "He always did so much for others and the world."
Tyson is survived by his wife, Denis Bradley-Tyson, and three sons.

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Vitamin E acetate, a petroleum-derived oil used in cosmetics, has been named by the government as a "toxicant of concern" in the vaping-related illness outbreak that has killed at least 39 people and sickened more than 2,000.
Researchers pointed to that substance as suspect in a report released Friday in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Vitamin E acetate is safe when consumed in foods or used on the skin, but has adverse effects on the lungs when inhaled, scientists said.
The liquid appeared on the illicit THC market this spring, being used as a thickening cutting agent for THC vaping cartridges. It was sold under different names such as "Honey Cut" and "Uber Thick" diluent agent. Image used on the post
"Vitamin E acetate is enormously sticky. You can think of it just like honey," medical officer James Pirkle, of the CDC's Environmental Health Laboratory, said in a media telephone call.
The report analyzed toxic chemicals found in lung fluids from patients suffering from e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury, or EVALI.
In bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, researchers found traces of vitamin E acetate in all 29 samples from patients in 10 states with EVALI. Two of the patients died, the agency said.
Researchers used fluid collected during patient treatment from patients using a bronchioscope that squirts a saline solution into the lungs and withdraws a sample of the lining.
Researchers from the CDC's labs also tested for plant oils, other petroleum oils such as mineral oil, medium-chain triglyceride oils and terpenes. They found none of those other substances in lung fluids, the agency said.
Evidence of THC was found in the lung fluids of only 23 of the patients, but researchers said THC does not remain in the lungs.
The national vaping crisis may also be caused by other compounds or substances, said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director. Officials there said more research was needed, and they still advised people to avoid THC vaping cartridges, especially from informal sources such as friends, dealers or online sales.
The Food and Drug Administration is telling people to avoid any vape products until more research has been completed.
Large concentrations of vitamin E acetate first were identified by the New York State Department of Health as being present in THC cartridges used by patients who suffered from the mysterious lung injury.
Earlier, the CDC had said that vitamin E acetate was being used as a cutting agent to expand the profitability of illicit THC vape cartridges, and that internet videos were spreading the strategy.

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A Hong Kong police officer shot a pro-democracy protester early Monday as demonstrators blocked roads and stopped traffic as part of a citywide general strike.
The officer fired three shots at two protesters, one of whom was struck and fell to the ground, according to a graphic video of the event posted to Facebook by Cupid Producer. The shooting followed a short scuffle between the officer and a protester at an intersection in the Sai Wan Ho neighborhood though the cause of the altercation is unknown as is the condition of the man who was shot.
Police have since cordoned off the area.
The shooting occurred as protesters across the embattled semiautonomous region attempted to instigate a general strike by disrupting traffic through erecting barricades at major thoroughfares. Train service was also impacted by protests with lines suspended and stations closed due to "an escalation of the situation," MTR said on its website.
In a release, Hong Kong Police referred to the demonstrators as "radical protesters" and said officers were working to clear the roads.
"Police warn the protesters to stop their illegal acts immediately," the police force said in a press release.Image used on the post
Protesters had called for an escalation in demonstrations and for a general strike following Friday's death of Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old computer science student at Hong Kong University, who succumbed to injuries he sustained days earlier after he fell from a parking garage during protests on Nov. 4.
Police have denied responsibility for his death and said in a release that the incident was under investigation by the Regional Crime Unit of Kowloon East.
Hong Kong Police said it expresses its "profound sadness" over his death and offered its "condolences to his family and friends."
The shooting followed a weekend of protests fueled by Chow's death that saw police and demonstrators clash throughout the region that has been home to often violent confrontations since early summer. Protests initially began over a now-shelved extradition bill, but the movement has since grown into a greater pro-democracy push.
Police said 88 people were arrested Sunday for offenses ranging from unlawful assembly to possession of an offensive weapon and wearing face masks.
"Police reiterate that no violent behavior will be tolerated," police said. "Police will continue to take resolute enforcement action so as to safeguard the city's public safety and bring all lawbreakers to justice."

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 House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff described a request by the Republicans for public testimony this week by the whistle-blower who sparked an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump as "redundant and unnecessary."
On Saturday, House intelligence committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sent a list of witnesses they would like to interview to Schiff, including Hunter Biden, the son of former vice President Joe Biden. The letter was five pages.
Schiff, a Democrat from California, responded to the letter later Saturday with his own two-page letter.
He wrote the impeachment inquiry "has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence -- from witnesses and documents, including the President's own words in his July 25 call record -- that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistle-blower's complaint. The whistle-blower's testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary. In light of the President's threats, the individual's appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk."
In September, Schiff said the whistle-blower would appear before Congress "very soon," but later has said the testimony is unnecessary.Image used on the post
In the phone call Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to conduct an investigation of the Bidens. Without confirmation, Joe Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where Hunter served on the board, bringing in a reported $50,000 per month.
The whistle-blower in a complaint alleges that Trump abused his official powers "to solicit interference" from Ukraine in the 2020 election. That led to the impeachment inquiry.
Nunes has described it as a "sham impeachment process" and the Republicans' desired witnesses will "provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process."
In the letter, Schiff said "this inquiry is not and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or facilitate the President's effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistle-blower who courageously raised the initial alarm."
Also Saturday, the whistle-blower's attorney Andrew Bakaj reiterated that his client is only willing to answer questions in writing, a suggestion Republicans reject.
"My client's complaint has been largely corroborated. Nonetheless, I have offered to have my client respond in writing, under oath, and under penalty of perjury to Republican questions," Bakaj said in a statement to CNN.
Schiff said the committee is "carefully evaluating the witness list you provided, along with the written justifications you included." He added the consideration will be given "within the scope of the impeachment inquiry."
Nunes, who served as chairman of the committee until the Democrats regained control of the House in the 2018 midterm, election, had written: "The minority members must identify all potential witnesses we wish to call before knowing the number, topics or scope of hearings you intend to convene. "e Democrats' impeachment process against President Trump is a drastic departure from bipartisan precedent for presidential impeachment proceedings."
The GOP's witness list also named another former Burisma board member, Devon Archer; former Democratic National Committee staffer Alexandra Chalupa; Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale; former National Security Council official Tim Morrison; former contractor for Fusion GPS Nellie Ohr; former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker; and the individuals from which the whistle-blower obtained information about the phone call.
Trump reacted to Schiff's decision Sunday.
"Corrupt politician Adam Schiff wants people from the White House to testify in his and Pelosi's disgraceful Witch Hunt, yet he will not allow a White House lawyer, nor will he allow ANY of our requested witnesses," Trump tweeted. "This is a first in due process and Congressional history
On Saturday, Trump suggested other names should be added to the list for the inquiry, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"I recommend that Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff's lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the Whistleblower (who miraculously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd Whistleblower (who also disappeared), & the I.G., be part of the list!" Trump tweeted.
The whistle-blower complaint letter was submitted to Intelligence Inspector General Michael Atkinson.
Trump has been critical of Schiff for his "parody" reading of Trump's July phone call during a hearing in September. The White House earlier released its transcript version of the call.
Three committees have jointly conducted a number of closed-door hearings and the Democrats have released transcripts from those private depositions. Public hearings begin Wednesday.
The Democrats have scheduled U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent for Wednesday, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday. They previously have testified behind closed doors.

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 Bolivian president Evo Morales announced Sunday his resignation, hours after calling for fresh elections amid allegations of voting irregularities and growing opposition.
Morales said on national television he was stepping down "for the good of the country."
Morales, 60, has been Bolivia's president for nearly 14 years and is the longest-serving leader in Latin America.Image used on the post
"I regret this deeply," Morales said late Sunday afternoon on national television.
Morales said he will send his resignation letter to Congress in the next few hours. Other government officials also resigned.
Earlier in the day he called for a new election "to preserve the new Bolivia, life and democracy."
And in other developments Sunday, the Organization of American States issued a report on irregularities in last month's election and the military commander urged him to resign
At least three people have died and more than 300 people have been injured in clashes between anti-government protesters and Morales supporters since the election on Oct. 20. The term is five years.
During an earlier nationally televised news conference, Morales said he would also replace members of the country's election board.
The country's election board had an unexplained 24-hour halt in the vote count with 83 percent of the results counted and the president ahead by 7 percentage point but need 10 percentage points to avoid a runoff. When it resumed, it showed a shift in favor of Morales.
The Organization of American States found it was "statistically improbable that Morales had obtained the 10 percent difference to avoid a second round."
"The manipulations to the computer system are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian state to get to the bottom of it and assign responsibility in this serious case," said the Organization of American States, which recommended a new election.
Williams Kaliman, the commander of the country's armed forces, told reporters Sunday that Morales should resign to restore "peace and stability and for the good of our Bolivia."
Police officers have joined several thousand people in anti-government protests in La Paz, Sucre, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.
Some police guards abandoned their posts at the presidential palace in the capital La Paz.
Carlos Mesa, runnerup in the October election, said Morales and his vice president Alvaro García Linares should be disqualified from running in the next election.
Most TV and radio stations are controlled or support the government.

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For the first time since 2009, Australian fire officials issued a maximum fire warning for Sydney and the surrounding region for Tuesday after brush fires killed three people and injured 40 more over the weekend.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said the catastrophic fire danger alert was given for Tuesday as they tried to contain more than 60 fires. More than 150 homes were destroyed and officials warned that more will be in danger as temperatures were expected to soar near 100 degrees.

"High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are forecast making conditions dangerous," the warning stated. "Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire danger. Homes are not designed to withstand afire under these conditions.

"If a fire starts and takes hold during catastrophic fire danger conditions, lives and homes will be at risk," the warning continued.

The warning told residents to avoid bush fire prone areas, suggesting that larger cities, shopping centers or facilities away from bushland areas would be safer locations. Officials said schools in the affected areas will be closed.

The North Coast, Illawarra and Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western New South Wales were all listed as locations in extreme danger areas. The Far North Coast, New England, Far South Coast, Southern Ranges and Lower Central West Plains were in severe danger zones.

New South Wales issued a statewide fire ban for Monday and Tuesday because of the fire conditions.

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said a fallen tree at Nambucca Heads injured two firefighters Sunday while battling a brush fire.

"One firefighter was partially outside the truck when the tree fell, causing injuries to her head and neck," Baxter said in a statement. "The impact of the tree falling on the roof also caused head injuries to another firefighter inside the truck. Both firefighters were attended to by NSW Ambulance paramedics and have been transferred to a hospital in a stable condition."

Three people have been reported dead in the fires but five others missing have been accounted for.

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Image used on the postTezos skyrocketed over 50 percent in the last 24 hours. The sudden increase in prices took place after Coinbase announced that it would be offering staking rewards on this cryptocurrency. Now, several technical indicators show that XTZ could be bound for a higher impulse.

Staking Rewards

Staking is the process of holding a certain amount of a given cryptocurrency in a wallet for an extended period to support the functionality of its network. It translates into locking cryptocurrencies to receive rewards. Generally, protocols that support the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism use staking as a method to maintain the underlying blockchain secure and efficient.
In a move to provide value to its customers, Coinbase revealed would stake Tezos. The process would be done on behalf of customers, and the rewards will be distributed directly to their accounts. Even though anyone can stake XTZ on their own, this new service offers a simple, easy, and secure way to do it.
The announcement reads:
“[Customers only need to] buy Tezos on Coinbase or deposit Tezos to [their] Coinbase account from an external wallet, and [they’ll] start earning rewards immediately.”
Users must go through an initial holding period of 35-40 days before they can receive the first rewards in their accounts. After that, users will receive their rewards every three days. Coinbase estimates an annual return rate of approximately 5 percent.
Moreover, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange also launched the Coinbase Earn Tezos campaign. This is an educational initiative that lets customers learn about the Tezos protocol while earning up to $6 worth of XTZ.

The Market Reacts

Following Coinbase’s announcement, XTZ’s market value surge over 50 percent. Throughout most cryptocurrency exchanges, Tezos hit a high of $1.43 just a few hours ago. But, the bullish impulse was even more noticeable on Coinbase.
On this platform, Tezos hit a high $1.90 a couple of minutes after the news dropped. It seems like the announcement triggered investors into panic buying this cryptocurrency. However, XTZ reached an exhaustion point and plummeted over 20 percent. Now, this crypto is hovering around $1.15 and could be on the verge of another significant price swing.

Bearish Outlook on Tezos

CCN reach out to Lunar Express, a technical analyst, to gather his thoughts about Tezos. According to the cryptocurrency trader:
The spike stopped at the 61.8% Fib line which converged with a key resistance zone. Since then, Tezos backed down and I don’t think that this decline is done. XTZ can easily move towards the 100-day MA before it can move higher again. Losing the 100-day MA would be a bearish warning.
Additionally, Maxime Prigent told CCN that Tezos is a “coin flip” now. The French technical analyst said that if XTZ is not able to sustain the current price and closes underneath the 200-day MA, it will probably go back to the $1 support or below. Thus, the $1.17 price barrier is the key resistance point that must be overtaken for the continuation of the bullish trend.

Moving forward

The sentiment around Tezos appears to be bullish. As Coinbase offers staking services for this crypto, more investors could try to hold it for a more extended period. This could take a significant number of sellers off the market, allowing XTZ to resume its bullish trend.
OKEx, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, announced that it would be listing Tezos on its retail platform. The move will provide access to XTZ to millions of retail investors, which adds credibility to the bullish outlook.
Disclaimer: The technical analysis above should not be considered trading advice from CCN. The writer owns bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in different cryptos but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

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Image used on the post

Introduction to Node.js

The modern web application has really come a long way over the years with the introduction of many popular frameworks such as bootstrap, Angular JS, etc. All of these frameworks are based on the popular JavaScript framework.
But when it came to developing server-based applications, there was a kind of void, and this is where Node.js came into the picture.
Node.js is also based on the JavaScript framework, but it is used for developing server-based applications. While going through the entire tutorial, we will look into Node.js in detail and how we can use it to develop server-based applications.


Tutorial Download & Install Node.js: Step by Step Guide.
Tutorial Node.js Modules: Create, Publish, Extend & Manage
Tutorial Node.js Http Tutorial: Create Server and Get Data
Tutorial Node.js Express Tutorial
Tutorial Node.js MongoDB Tutorial
Tutorial Node.js Promise Tutorial
Tutorial Bluebird Promises Tutorial
Tutorial Node.js Generators & Compare with Callbacks
Tutorial Node js Streams Tutorial: Filestream, Pipes
Tutorial Node.js Testing with Jasmine
Tutorial Node.Js Vs. AngularJS: Know the Difference
Tutorial Node.js Vs. Python: What's the Difference?
Tutorial Node.js Tutorial PDF

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment used for the development of server-side web applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript and can be run on a wide variety of operating systems.
Node.js is based on an event-driven architecture and a non-blocking Input/Output API that is designed to optimize an application's throughput and scalability for real-time web applications.
Over a long period of time, the framework available for web development were all based on a stateless model. A stateless model is where the data generated in one session (such as information about user settings and events that occurred) is not maintained for usage in the next session with that user.
A lot of work had to be done to maintain the session information between requests for a user. But with Node.js, there is finally a way for web applications to have real-time two-way connections, where both the client and server can initiate communication, allowing them to exchange data freely.

Why use Node.js?

We will have a look into the real worth of Node.js in the coming chapters, but what is it that makes this framework so famous. Over the years, most of the applications were based on a stateless request-response framework. In these sort of applications, it is up to the developer to ensure the right code was put in place to ensure the state of web session was maintained while the user was working with the system.
But with Node.js web applications, you can now work in real-time and have a 2-way communication. The state is maintained, and either the client or server can start the communication.

Features of Node.js

Let's look at some of the key features of Node.js
  1. Asynchronous event-driven IO helps concurrent request handling – This is probably the most significant selling point of Node.js. This feature basically means that if a request is received by Node for some Input/Output operation, it will execute the operation in the background and continue with processing other requests.
    This is quite different from other programming languages. A simple example of this is given in the code below
var fs = require('fs'); 
                console.log("Reading Data completed");
  • The above code snippet looks at reading a file called Sample.txt. In other programming languages, the next line of processing would only happen once the entire file is read.
  • But in the case of Node.js the important fraction of code to notice is the declaration of the function ('function(error,data)'). This is known as a callback function.
  • So what happens here is that the file reading operation will start in the background. And other processing can happen simultaneously while the file is being read. Once the file read operation is completed, this anonymous function will be called, and the text "Reading Data completed" will be written to the console log.
  1. Node uses the V8 JavaScript Runtime engine, the one which is used by Google Chrome. Node has a wrapper over the JavaScript engine which makes the runtime engine much faster and hence the processing of requests within Node also become faster.
  2. Handling of concurrent requests – Another key functionality of Node is the ability to handle concurrent connections with a very minimal overhead on a single process.
  3. The Node.js library uses JavaScript – This is another important aspect of development in Node.js. A major part of the development community is already well versed in javascript, and hence, development in Node.js becomes easier for a developer who knows javascript.
  4. There is an active and vibrant community for the Node.js framework. Because of the active community, there are always keys updates made available to the framework. This helps to keep the framework always up-to-date with the latest trends in web development.

Who uses Node.js

Node.js is used by many large companies. Below is a list of a few of them.
  • Paypal – A lot of sites within Paypal have also started the transition onto Node.js.
  • LinkedIn - LinkedIn is using Node.js to power their Mobile Servers, which powers the iPhone, Android, and Mobile Web products.
  • Mozilla has implemented Node.js to support browser APIs which has half a billion installs.
  • eBay hosts their HTTP API service in Node.js

When to Use Node.js

Node.js is best for usage in streaming or event-based real-time applications like
  1. Chat applications
  2. Game servers – Fast and high-performance servers that need to processes thousands of requests at a time, then this is an ideal framework.
  3. Good forcollaborative environment – This is good for environments which manage documents. In a document management environment, you will have multiple people who post their documents and do constant changes by checking out and checking in documents. So Node.js is good for these environments because the event loop in Node.js can be triggered whenever documents are changed in a document managed environment.
  4. Advertisement servers – Again here you could have thousands of request to pull advertisements from the central server and Node.js can be an ideal framework to handle this.
  5. Streaming servers – Another ideal scenario to use Node is for multimedia streaming servers wherein clients have request's to pull different multimedia contents from this server.
Node.js is good when you need high levels of concurrency but less amount of dedicated CPU time.
Best of all, since Node.js is built on javascript, it's best suited when you build client-side applications which are based on the same javascript framework.

When to not use Node.js

Node.js can be used for a lot of applications with various purposes. The only scenario where it should not be used is where there are long processing times, which is required by the application.
Node is structured to be single-threaded. If an application is required to carry out some long-running calculations in the background, it won't be able to process any other requests. As discussed above, Node.js is used best where processing needs less dedicated CPU time.

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