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Live from CPAC, it’s Bannon and Priebus

Live from CPAC, it’s Bannon and PriebusPolished White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and pugnacious chief presidential strategist Steve Bannon took their strained buddy routine to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, reminiscing about Donald Trump’s election victory, promising revolutionary change in Washington, denying their ongoing West Wing power struggle and — naturally — bashing the news media. Bannon, the rumpled adviser who never tires of calling reporters “the opposition party,” lasted not quite three and a half minutes after their awkward opening handshake before making sure everyone in the room knew that he was the scrappy one and the former Republican National Committee chairman was the softy. Priebus had just dismissed news reports about their rivalry as all just a big “misconception” and had embarked on a chummy description of their work day just a stumble away from the Oval Office — “we share an office suite together, we’re basically together from 6:30 in the morning until about 11 o’clock at night” — when Bannon cut in.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 4:05 PM

Vice President Pence downplays concerns over disruptions to health care

Vice President Pence downplays concerns over disruptions to health careVice President Mike Pence dismissed concerns Thursday about the pace of Republican plans to repeal and replace the health care law passed by Democrats under President Barack Obama, promising an “orderly transition” to a new system. It was the only comment by Pence in a 20-minute speech that went beyond boilerplate rhetoric and touched on challenges facing the new administration.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 9:27 PM

Tesla Reports Loss for Q4, Looks to 2017 For Growth

Tesla Reports Loss for Q4, Looks to 2017 For GrowthA merger with Solar City, expansion into the energy storage market, and roll out of Model 3 and solar roof makes for a busy 2017.

POSTED FEBRUARY 22, 2017 9:54 PM

Malaysia murder mystery breaks with North Korean assassin tradition

Malaysia murder mystery breaks with North Korean assassin traditionBy James Pearson and Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - The bizarre assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother marks a departure from the isolated country's repertoire of overseas operations, according to experts on its opaque ruling structures. Kim Jong Nam died last week after being assaulted at the airport in the Malaysian capital with what police believe was a fast-acting poison. South Korea has said that it believes the assassination was coordinated by a shadowy North Korean agency called the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB).

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 6:05 PM

Florida Police Officer Charged With Manslaughter

Florida Police Officer Charged With ManslaughterThe officer had shot and killed a 73-year-old woman during a public demonstration in August.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 2:12 PM

Activist heroically flies over barricade to seize Confederate flag

Activist heroically flies over barricade to seize Confederate flagBy climbing a flagpole outside the South Carolina's statehouse, Bree Newsome practically wrote the modern book on removing Confederate flags from public spaces. Apparently, not everyone read that book, so now we have a sequel. Black Lives Matter activist Muhiyidin d'Baha was arrested on Wednesday in South Carolina after epically leaping over a police tape barricade to snatch a Confederate flag out of a protestor's hand. Since it took place directly behind a CBS newscast, the stunning moment aired on live TV — the cameraman followed d'Baha as he quickly ran across the shot.  SEE ALSO: How Black Lives Matter made the leap from social media to social action Check out the unbelievable moment here. Protester jumps barricade and attempts to get Confederate flag from man #chsnews — Ray Rivera (@RayRiveraLive5) February 22, 2017 The flag was held by a member of the South Carolina Secessionist Party, protesting outside of the College of Charleston's Sottile Theatre, at an event featuring Newsome, an African-American activist, filmmaker and one of the driving forces behind the South Carolina state government's decision to permanently remove the Confederate flag from Capitol grounds. D'Baha was counter-protesting the demonstration when he dove over the police tape, and is now being lauded on Twitter for his remarkable act of resistance. This is Muhiyidin d’Baha, a #blacklivesmatter organizer and, like Bree Newsome, a #RoleModel and #hero. Conviction and courage in action. — Donald Deeley (@DonaldJDeeley) February 23, 2017 @RayRiveraLive5 Somebody give that young man a medal. He's definitely doing great work. — JL Sigman (@JLSigman) February 23, 2017 That's the shit right there. No place for the confederate flag to be used like that in the US nowadays. We live in 2017, not 1862. — Jeff (@Vivalawino) February 23, 2017 the guy snatching the confederate flag is a hero, he didn't deserve to be arrested — ️ (@PRINCESSYIXING) February 23, 2017 Not all heroes wear capes @RayRiveraLive5 — Melanin God™ (@TrueTashan) February 23, 2017 D'Baha, our new personal hero, was arrested after his leap for justice, and reportedly charged with disorderly conduct by the Charleston Police Department.  Advocacy group Showing Up For Racial Justice Charleston has set up  a crowdfunding page to raise money for d'Baha's bail, already garnering over $12,000 of their $12,500 goal. D'Baha, you are an inspiration to us all. We leave you with this perfect tweet. @RayRiveraLive5 Racist's worst nightmare coming true. "My God, it's happening," he thinks as a flying black activist appears out of nowhere — Olivia Rodricks (@olivia_rodricks) February 23, 2017 BONUS: Trevor Noah has a lesson on how to talk to conservatives

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 5:16 PM

India police arrest cheap mobile maker on fraud charges

India police arrest cheap mobile maker on fraud chargesLUCKNOW, India (AP) — The director of an Indian company that claimed it was selling the world's cheapest smartphone was arrested Thursday on fraud charges, police said Friday.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 3:14 AM

France Is Training Eagles to Take Down Terrorist Drones

France Is Training Eagles to Take Down Terrorist DronesThe latest tool in ISIS's armory could soon be foiled by an original aerial ace.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 12:41 PM

Wonder-ful news: 13-year-old girl wins Supreme Court decision over service dog

Wonder-ful news: 13-year-old girl wins Supreme Court decision over service dogYou may have seen photos of a young girl and her goldendoodle Wonder on the steps of the Supreme Court on social media, so who is she and why is she smiling? On Wednesday, the Supreme Court unanimously sided with Fry, which may allow her to sue her local school board for damages for the emotional distress she said she suffered by being denied the assistance of her service dog. “The school district had decided that Wonder wasn’t necessary,” Stacy Fry, Ehlena’s mother, told Yahoo News.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 6:01 PM

Resistance Report: Tom Cotton’s master class in holding a town hall

Resistance Report: Tom Cotton’s master class in holding a town hallON THE TOWN. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas held a town hall for the ages in Springdale, Ark., Wednesday night, drawing pointed questions from an Obamacare supporter, a Lutheran pastor, a descendent of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a 7-year-old boy.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 11:21 AM

Pakistan says gas leak, not bomb, behind Lahore blast

Pakistan says gas leak, not bomb, behind Lahore blastAn explosion that killed seven people and caused panic in the Pakistani city of Lahore was caused by a gas leak and not a bomb as police had earlier stated, officials said Friday. It was not caused by explosives or a result of terrorism," Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah said Friday. Thursday's explosion sent panic through Lahore, where reports of a second blast were quickly debunked.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 6:52 AM

‘Truly heartbroken’: Sean Hannity honors longtime friend Alan Colmes after death at 66

‘Truly heartbroken’: Sean Hannity honors longtime friend Alan Colmes after death at 66Fox News host Sean Hannity paid tribute to his longtime friend and colleague Alan Colmes on Thursday after the liberal commentator’s death at 66. According to a statement released by his family, Colmes passed away Thursday morning after a brief illness and leaves behind his wife Jocelyn Elise Crowley. Hannity and Colmes rose to national prominence as co-hosts of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes,” which ran from 1996 until 2009.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 12:57 PM

Women in sports ad strikes nerve in Arab world

Women in sports ad strikes nerve in Arab worldAn online commercial released by Nike this week that showed Arab women fencing, boxing and spinning on ice-skates has stirred controversy over its attempt to smash stereotypes about women leading home-bound lives in the conservative region. Maybe they'll say you exceeded all expectations." Within 48 hours the video was shared 75,000 times on Twitter and viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube. "An ad (which) touches on the insecurities of women in a society digs deeper and becomes an empowerment tool rather than just a product," Sara al-Zawqari, a spokeswoman for the International Red Cross in Iraq, wrote on her Twitter page.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 5:53 AM

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on marijuana enforcement and Ivanka Trump's role

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on marijuana enforcement and Ivanka Trump's roleSpicer said the Department of Justice will be key in recreational drug enforcement and president's daughter will advise on areas she's passionate about.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 4:08 PM

The Maha Shivaratri Hindu festival

The Maha Shivaratri Hindu festivalMaha Shivaratri, or the night of Shiva, is a festival celebrated annually in honor of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 9:58 AM

Olathe Restaurant Shooting Suspect Arrested

Olathe Restaurant Shooting Suspect ArrestedA massive manhunt was launched by the Kansas police after a gunman yelling racial slurs in a restaurant shot three people.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 2:20 AM

NASA's Jupiter-circling spacecraft stuck making long laps

NASA's Jupiter-circling spacecraft stuck making long lapsCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's Jupiter-circling spacecraft is stuck making long laps around the gas giant because of sticky valves.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 12:10 PM

Could Trump administration shut down legal marijuana sales?

Could Trump administration shut down legal marijuana sales?Remarks from a Trump spokesman that the new administration might want legal recreational marijuana sales to end in several states could start a new controversy over the boundaries of federal power.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 1:06 PM

Where does the Trump saga end?

Where does the Trump saga end?Which is strange, because normally you wouldn’t be idly speculating about the end of a presidency barely a month after the inauguration. Certainly, in parts of the country that voted overwhelmingly for Trump, the sense is he’s just getting started.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 5:00 AM

Hard landing as plane skids on Dutch runway in raging winds

Hard landing as plane skids on Dutch runway in raging windsA passenger plane skidded along a runway at Amsterdam's busy airport Thursday as its landing gear collapsed on hitting the ground during heavy winds, but no passengers were injured, officials told AFP. Video images of the Flybe plane carrying 59 passengers and crew from Edinburgh showed the plane struggling to stay on course as it came in to land at Schiphol airport, with The Netherlands buffeted by a strong winter storm. Airport officials said they were still investigating the cause of the incident.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 1:50 PM

Hillary Clinton has a special message for people attending the Democratic National Committee meeting

Hillary Clinton has a special message for people attending the Democratic National Committee meetingAhead of the Democratic National Committee meeting, Hillary Clinton addressed the Democratic Party in a video on Twitter. "Let resistance plus persistence equal progress for our party and our country," she said.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 4:18 PM

Every day a sweet dog peeks out from under a gate, waiting for his friend

Every day a sweet dog peeks out from under a gate, waiting for his friendMay we all find a  secret dog bud that will wait for your pets every day.  Elisa Lee a 17-year-old senior at Lakewood High School in California has developed somewhat of a routine with her newfound friend Ralph, a golden retriever that really enjoys some friendly pets.  SEE ALSO: Meet the dog who's basically a saint This is Ralph he is a dog that lives near school and waits for me everyday after school to say hi to him before I have to leave — elisa (@babygirIe) February 22, 2017 "One day my friend was giving me a ride home and I saw this dog near the gate," Elisa explained in an email. "At I was afraid that he would bite me since most dogs would bark at you and seem aggressive if you came near their house. Days have passed and he was still waiting there, so one of my friends encouraged me to try to pet him." "The first time I had pet him he was so excited and started licking my hand and pawing at it, Elisa said. "Ever since then I would go after school towards the spot where he lives in to pet him and usually always find him there waiting for me." But if Ralph isn't at the gate waiting for Elisa, he's usually not too far away, unless it's raining outside.  "Sometimes he's not there, probably chewing on a toy or laying in the grass, said Elisa. "But if I call his name he is sure to come to the little spot one the right side of the gate where he can see me better." Recently, Elisa says that she had a four day weekend and wasn't able to stop by Ralph's place because she didn't have school. When she returned, Ralph was a little upset the two weren't able to hang out for a while. @katiewright we had a 4 day weekend and he got mad at me since I didn't say hi for a while — elisa (@babygirIe) February 22, 2017 Prepare yourselves: Ralph also gets sad when Elisa has to leave.  "A lot of the time he looks so sad when I leave and tell him 'bye,' Elisa explained, but she says she always reassures Ralph that she'll be back to hang out.  One day, Elisa spotted an older man walking a golden retriever, but she wasn't quite sure if it was Ralph.  "I thought to myself in my head kiddingly 'oh what if that's the dog I pet everyday.' And to my surprise, I noticed his cute nose that is pink and has a brownish outlining and realized it was him," Elisa explained. The owner confirmed Elisa's assumption that the dog was Ralph, and told her his name and informed her that Ralph is a little over a year old.  Elisa says that she wanted other to appreciate how awesome Ralph is, so she posted a tweet with a few photos, explaining that she visits him every day. The tweet blew up, and has since been retweeted over 12,000 times, gaining tons of Ralph fans on the internet. This also prompted a bunch of people to joking tweet back at Elisa with the hashtag #FreeRalph. Elisa says that she is a little concerned about what happens when she graduates this year, because she won't be near where Ralph lives every day. "I am quite sad that I got to only meet him this school year," Elisa said. "I'm worried about what will happen when I graduate but I'm sure his owner loves him so he should be just fine. I hope Ralph can make new friends around our school and be happy!" BONUS: Popular Twitter account that rates dogs now has a cute mobile game

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 11:04 AM

Magnitude 5.7 quake strikes Lake Tanganyika area: USGS

Magnitude 5.7 quake strikes Lake Tanganyika area: USGS(Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 struck the southern area of Lake Tanganyika early on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter of the quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.1, was in a national park area in northern Zambia close to Lake Tanganyika. The quake, which struck at 2:32 a.m. (0032 GMT), could be felt across the lake in Tanzania and to the north in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, the USGS said.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 2:02 AM

Housing Bubble Ahead? Analysts Don't Think So

Housing Bubble Ahead? Analysts Don't Think SoHome prices rose again last year, and the housing market is starting off 2017 at a brisk clip. According to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data, which includes the 20 largest U.S. cities, home prices regained their 2007 peak late last year and increased 5.6 percent from November 2015 to November 2016 -- the latest figure available. Zillow's Home Value Index, which measures median home value nationwide, predicts its index will reach the 2007 level this spring.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 3:49 PM

Pope Francis Speaks Out Against Catholics Leading 'Double Lives'

Pope Francis Speaks Out Against Catholics Leading 'Double Lives'He delivered a strong message against hypocritical Catholics during a Thursday mass in Rome.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 4:00 PM

Woman who drove with man body on windshield gets 25 to life

Woman who drove with man body on windshield gets 25 to lifeLOS ANGELES (AP) — A California substance-abuse counselor who hit a man with her car and drove two miles with his body embedded in her windshield was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 9:09 PM

Trump Critic Poised for Senior State Department Job

Trump Critic Poised for Senior State Department JobBrian Hook, a former Mitt Romney adviser, is favored by Rex Tillerson to lead his foreign-policy brain trust.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 6:25 AM

Norwegian Air launches $65 flights between the US and UK

Norwegian Air launches $65 flights between the US and UKNew pair of shoes? Or transatlantic flight from the UK to the US? That's the new conundrum at travelers' disposal, with this week's launch of bottom-of-the-barrel fares by Norwegian Air, which is offering flights for as low as $65 USD one-way. 

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 9:24 AM

Palestinians, Israel soldiers clash in West Bank's Hebron

Palestinians, Israel soldiers clash in West Bank's HebronHundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers Friday in the powderkeg West Bank city of Hebron on the anniversary of a 1994 massacre carried out by a far-right Jewish settler. Soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the crowd as cannons doused them with stinking water, an AFP correspondent said. Jewish settlers, of whom 500 are entrenched in the centre of the city of around 200,000 Palestinians, hurled stones at the protesters who also pelted soldiers with stones.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 11:18 AM

Officials in legal pot state vow to fight federal crackdown

Officials in legal pot state vow to fight federal crackdownWASHINGTON (AP) — Officials in Washington state, where recreational marijuana is legal, vow to fight any federal crackdown on the nascent industry after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said they should expect to see stepped-up enforcement of anti-pot laws.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 3:51 AM

Watch a bunch of chubby tigers take down a drone and try to eat it

Watch a bunch of chubby tigers take down a drone and try to eat itA drone operator got a little too close to a group of excited Siberian tigers, and well, a drone looks a whole lot like a really awesome cat toy. According to The Independent, a sanctuary in China's Heilongjiang Province uses drones to help keep their tigers get in shape, though it doesn't seem to be working well because some of the tigers still look a little overweight. (Not that we're tiger fitness experts.) Regardless, the drone flew a bit too low, and one of the tigers makes an impressive leap, knocking the drone out of the sky.  The rest of the tigers gather round as one of them starts to chomp on the drone, causing it to emit a thick grey smoke. Don't worry, though, the staff were able to remove the mangled machine before it caused any harm to the animals. 

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 11:56 AM

Little Tikes Recalls Thousands Of Toddler Swings

Little Tikes Recalls Thousands Of Toddler SwingsMore than 540,000 of the company's 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Pink Swing was included in the recall.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 11:53 AM

Couple with Down Syndrome to Celebrate 22nd Anniversary: 'I've Never Seen Love Like It'

Couple with Down Syndrome to Celebrate 22nd Anniversary: 'I've Never Seen Love Like It'Defying criticism, a couple with Down syndrome has been married for nearly 22 years.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 6:59 PM

22 Ingenious Ways To Repurpose Old Junk

22 Ingenious Ways To Repurpose Old Junk

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 5:46 PM

Illinois state worker union members approve strike if needed

Illinois state worker union members approve strike if neededIllinois could face a shutdown of its state government after its biggest labor union representing state workers said on Thursday its members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike. Just over 80 percent of members voted in favor of allowing the union's bargaining committee to call a strike if "no other path forward can be found" in reaching a new contract with the state, said Roberta Lynch, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31. The union's 38,000 members, who include prison guards, healthcare providers for veterans and the disabled, child welfare investigators, state highway workers and others, have been without a contract since July 2015.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 1:39 PM

Trump Is Kremlin’s Puppet, Russian Editor Says

Trump Is Kremlin’s Puppet, Russian Editor SaysThe editor-in-chief of Moscow Times said Russia is looking to take advantage of President Donald Trump’s slip-ups in office.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 6:21 AM

Uber, 1Password, Fitbit and OKCupid user data exposed by massive security flaw

Uber, 1Password, Fitbit and OKCupid user data exposed by massive security flaw

The good news is that hackers do not appear to have taken advantage of a severe Cloudflare security bug that would have given them access to sensitive customer data including passwords and authentication tokens. The bad news is that the bug was only recently discovered, which means it went undetected for nearly five months.

Cloudflare is a content delivery serviced used by more than 5.5 million sites, including plenty of popular ones that you might use on a regular basis such as Uber, 1Password, Fitbit and OKCupid. In other words, it's probably a good idea to change your passwords immediately.

The bug was initially discovered by Google’s Project Zero security researcher Tavis Ormandy, Ars Technica explains. He then contacted Cloudflare once he realized what he discovered, comparing it to Heartbleed in scope and severity. The company promptly fixed the issue.

"The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines," Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming wrote in a post on the company blog. "We are disclosing this problem now as we are satisfied that search engine caches have now been cleared of sensitive information. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence."

The security bug could have exposed plenty of user data, including passwords, cookies, tokens used to authenticate users, and even Cloudflare’s encryption keys used to protect server-to-server traffic. And all that data was then cached by search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing, which would have given hackers nearly live access to the data.

Even though Cloudflare acknowledged the issue, Ormandy took issue with the company’s disclosure. "It contains an excellent postmortem, but severely downplays the risk to customers," he wrote in an update. He was also the one to mention the names of the companies that may have been affected by security breaches in a Twitter message.

1Password said in a blog post that thanks to its triple encryption layer, no sensitive data was ever exposed to hackers.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 11:28 AM

California requests $440 mn for flood control after dam crisis

California requests $440 mn for flood control after dam crisisCalifornia's governor announced Friday a $437 million plan for flood control and emergency response following a recent crisis in which part of the tallest dam in the United States nearly failed, causing massive evacuations. Almost 200,000 people fled their homes more than a week ago after flooding and increased water levels at the Oroville Dam in northern California prompted authorities to channel excess water down an emergency spillway, which quickly began eroding and created a potentially catastrophic situation for residents below. "Recent storms have pounded the state of California resulting in a dam spillway eroding, roads crumbling and levees failing," Governor Jerry Brown said.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 8:26 PM

After protest, China says will address army veterans' issues

After protest, China says will address army veterans' issuesBEIJING (AP) — China's defense ministry said Thursday it expects economic growth and a strengthened social security system to solve problems faced by former soldiers, following reports of new street protests by disgruntled veterans who say they've been denied their promised retirement benefits.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 5:25 AM

Here’s why it's so frickin’ hot right now

Here’s why it's so frickin’ hot right nowThere's something about a warm February day that reminds you that something just isn't right. It gives you that nagging feeling that maybe global warming is real after all.  February 2016 has featured prolonged warm weather the likes of which many areas have not seen before, or have only experienced on rare occasions.  Taken as a whole, the month-to-date in the U.S. has seen a ridiculously lopsided ratio of daily record highs to daily record lows, which is a key indicator of short-term weather variability and, over the longer term, human-caused climate change.  SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers interviews 'rogue' climate scientist worried about Trump For individual days' worth of warm weather, you mainly have the jet stream to thank. This current of fast-moving air at about 35,000 feet above the ground has been steering a never-ending series storms into the West Coast, where California's mountains have picked up a crazy 500 inches of snow so far, and then moved across the U.S. in a way that has cut off flow of frigid air from the Arctic.  While transient weather variability is playing a key role here, the widespread record warmth across the U.S. so far this year is part of a long-term trend toward more warm temperature records versus cold ones. Me enjoying this weather but knowing our Earth is danger — breanna (@bre_lliant) February 19, 2017 This February offers a vivid illustration of this trend. Through Feb. 22, daily record highs have been blowing away daily record lows by a greater than 100-to-1 ratio, which, if it holds for a few more days, would itself set a record. (Although it might need an asterisk, considering the short calendar month.) And it's not the daily records that are most impressive, but rather the number of monthly records that are being tied or broken from the Gulf Coast all the way to the Midwest and northeastward into Canada. During the past week alone (not including Feb. 23), there were 736 daily record highs set or tied in the U.S., compared to zero daily record lows for the same period.  Even more startling is the number of record warm overnight temperatures set or tied in the past seven days, which total a whopping 940. There were no record cold overnight low temperatures set or tied during the same period.  And the monthly records, which are far harder to break than daily milestones, are astounding.  Temperature anomaly across North America for Feb. 19 as seen through the GFS computer model. Image: weatherbell analytics According to the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Asheville, North Carolina, February has seen 248 monthly record highs set or tied, along with 203 records set or tied for the warmest overnight minimum temperature. In comparison, there were no monthly cold temperature records set or tied through Feb. 22.  These figures do not include records that have been broken on Thursday, which so far include 69 degrees Fahrenheit in Albany, 63 in Toronto, Canada, and 62 in Burlington, Vermont, both of which were monthly records.  On Wednesday, the record warmth was centered across the Midwest, where the three major cities in Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay), all saw temperatures hit record highs for not just February, but for any month during meteorological winter, which encompasses the months of December, January and February.  Milwaukee, for example, broke its monthly all-time record high for February when the temperature reached 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and Madison set a monthly record with a high of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Chicago hit 70° today for the 5th time during Feb. since 1871. Also happened Saturday. Highest Feb. temp of 75° (2/27/1976) in jeopardy Wed. — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) February 20, 2017 In Ottumwa, Iowa, where the ground would normally be snow-covered this time of year, the high on Wednesday was 79 degrees, which set a monthly record as well. Some cities set records for the longest stretch of February warmth they've seen, including Kansas City, which set a seven-day February warmth record on Wednesday, according to  On Monday, Chicago had a high temperature of 70 degrees, which was only the fifth time that has happened in any February in the "Windy City." (The fourth time also came this February.)  The warm weather in the Midwest was enabled by a marked lack of snow cover and lake ice across the Great Lakes, which allowed air temperatures to soar on mild southwesterly winds for days on end. As of Feb. 22, just 19.1 percent of the lower 48 states were snow-covered, far below average for this time of year. While cold air is staging a comeback across the Midwest, where heavy snow is predicted to fall from Nebraska into Wisconsin, much of the South and East is likely to stay milder than average for at least a few more days.  Where's the snow? Image: noaa The warm weather in the U.S. hasn't been a freak phenomenon only occurring for the past few weeks, either. The year-to-date is averaging a record daily highs to record daily lows ratio of more than 4-to-1, and studies have shown that over the past several decades, human-caused global warming has increased the odds of warm temperature records so that these ratios are becoming more and more skewed.  And the warmth isn't just limited to the U.S., either, with the planet recording its 3rd-warmest January on record, after its warmest year so far in 2016. This continues the long-term warming of about 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since reliable surface temperatures began in 1880. As the planet warms in response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ratio of high temperature records compared to low temperature records has become more skewed. If the climate weren't warming, that long-term ratio should average out to about 1-to-1.  However, that isn't the world we're living in. A 2009 study found that the record highs to lows ratio was 2-to-1 for the lower 48 states during the 2000s, and this disparity has only grown since then, though not evenly across every part of the country. Projections show the imbalance increasing in coming decades as global warming continues, possibly to as high as 15-to-1 if emissions of planet-warming pollutants such as carbon dioxide continue apace. "One thing I remind myself when comparing contemporary events to trends or patterns is that the contemporary events themselves make up the trends and patterns," said Deke Arndt, who leads the climate monitoring branch at NCEI. "This is a real-time view into what we will call "recent trends" in a few years." "This week has been an up close look at the DNA of what we are seeing in the big picture: relative to historical norms, extreme heat continues to outpace extreme cold across almost every place, season and time of day in the USA." While individual months will still vary from this trend, it's clear that over the long-term, the ratio of record highs to record lows is now strongly favoring record highs as well as record warm overnight temperatures. This is consistent with computer model projections of a warming world.  In other words, if you like 70-degree February days in Washington, D.C., you're in luck.  The odds are (increasingly) ever in your favor. BONUS: 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record, continuing a three-year streak

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 6:36 PM

Philippines to defend Duterte's drug war at U.N. rights body

Philippines to defend Duterte's drug war at U.N. rights bodyThe Philippine foreign minister on Thursday said he would tell a United Nations rights body that the killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs were not state-sponsored. More than 7,700 people have been killed since Duterte unleashed the drugs war in June, about 2,500 in what police say are shootouts during raids and sting operations. Most of the rest are under investigation and activists believe many were extrajudicial killings.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 9:44 AM

Citizen Sleuths Spring Into Action in Indiana Murder Mystery as Reward Reaches $50G

Citizen Sleuths Spring Into Action in Indiana Murder Mystery as Reward Reaches $50GEveryday people are springing to action a day after haunting audio of the killer was released by authorities.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 3:58 PM

2017 Jeep Compass

2017 Jeep CompassBetter than before, and that's no backhanded compliment.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 12:01 AM

Race for DNC chair narrows

Race for DNC chair narrowsABC News' MaryAlice Parks talks with DNC chair hopeful Pete Buttigieg and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 2:28 PM

The Best Keyboards For Serious Typists

The Best Keyboards For Serious Typists

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 12:20 PM

Richard Spencer Got Kicked Out Of CPAC

Richard Spencer Got Kicked Out Of CPACBefore heading to the event, Spencer posted a tweet likely intended to infuriate conservatives.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 1:24 PM

Understanding which wireless network is actually the best

Understanding which wireless network is actually the best

Every year, a bunch of different studies come out that crown a winner, the "best network" in the USA. Each study claims to use the best, most scientific methodology to give "unrivaled accuracy" or "undisputed results," or something else equally quotable.

But if the studies are so good, why do they give such different results? Take a study published today by RootMetrics, which has Verizon in first place and T-Mobile in last. That's in stark contrast to a study last month from OpenSignal, which had T-Mobile and Verizon tied for first and Sprint languishing in last place.

The reason for the difference is that measuring cellphone networks is hard. We're talking about trying to quantify a network that stretches across the entire country, works on tens of thousands of different devices and in all kinds of terrain. Trying to measure that, assign each of the big four wireless networks an easy-to-understand score and publish results in a 300-word blog post is basically impossible.

RootMetrics and OpenSignal are two good examples of the most common approach to actually measuring network signal and speed (as opposed to something like Nielsen, which surveys users for their perception of their network). RootMetrics buys devices and sends testers out to set locations, where they test all the networks head-to-head and record the results.

It's known in the industry as drive-testing, and has some major advantages: it pits the networks head-to-head, it's repeatable, and by controlling the number of tests, the location, and the testing device, you remove most of the variability in the testing.

OpenSignal takes a completely different approach. Rather than sending employees out with test devices, it encourages users to download an app. Users then conduct speed tests and coverage tests as they go about their day-to-day lives, and the data is uploaded to OpenSignal.

Compared to drive-testing, it's less repeatable and less "scientific." But it also has the advantage of sheer numbers: hundreds of thousands of OpenSignal users submitted billions of data points for their last test. That means OpenSignal is more likely to be representative of day-to-day performance of a network, as it's measuring the actual day-to-day performance of users -- not a statistical representation of the average day.

Yes, there are flaws in OpenSignal's methodology too. Users are more likely to be on a network that works in their area, so you're less likely to get data from areas that have no coverage. If a small town somewhere only gets Verizon signal, then everyone in that town is going to be on Verizon, and you're not going to get a bunch of tests that show no signal for T-Mobile.

There's also questions about demographics: wealthier people with nicer smartphones are more likely to be on expensive networks like Verizon and AT&T, which means more Sprint and T-Mobile users would be on older smartphones, which in turn are slower than newer devices on the same network.

The end result is that no one method is perfect, and it's important to look at a range of results rather than just one test. For the majority of users, I tend to suspect that crowd-sourced testing like OpenSignal will be more representative, but without seeing the precise data set and methodology of all the studies (for example, the RootScores that RootMetrics provides are calculated using a proprietary algorithm) it's difficult to make a call one way or the other.

There is one thing that prospective customers can check, though: local coverage maps. Quantifying a cell network across a country is hard, but getting data on coverage on a particular street is comparatively easy. OpenSignal excels at this, thanks to the crowd-sourced data, and its coverage map should be the first thing you check when you're thinking about switching networks.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 5:01 PM

France's Le Pen snubs police interview in 'fake jobs' probe

France's Le Pen snubs police interview in 'fake jobs' probeFrench far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen refused Friday to attend questioning by investigating magistrates over claims she broke the rules on the use of European Parliament funds. Le Pen, who is one of the frontrunners in the race, told AFP she refused to be questioned by anti-corruption investigators during the presidential campaign. Le Pen's personal assistant Catherine Griset was charged on Wednesday with breach of trust in the probe into allegations that her National Front (FN) party defrauded the European Parliament of about 340,000 euros ($360,000).

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 7:48 PM

Environmental and fishing groups sue to save salmon

Environmental and fishing groups sue to save salmonSPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Environmental and fishing groups sued the federal government on Thursday as they seek cooler water for salmon in the Columbia River system.

POSTED FEBRUARY 23, 2017 3:36 PM

Israel bans Human Right Watch worker, accuses group of peddling pro-Palestinian line

Israel bans Human Right Watch worker, accuses group of peddling pro-Palestinian lineIsrael has denied a work permit to a Human Rights Watch researcher, accusing the group of serving as Palestinian propagandists in a move the U.S.-based organisation called an "ominous turn". The news emerged as Israel faced criticism from the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva over the 18-month jail sentence handed to an Israeli soldier who shot an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the head. U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the sentence given to soldier Elor Azaria was "excessively lenient" and part of a "chronic culture of impunity" for Israeli abuse of Palestinians.

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2017 9:31 AM

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