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Washington Post: Trump administration drafting possible sanctions against Iraq – CNN

January 6th, 2020

Washington(CNN) Trump administration officials have started drafting possible sanctions against Iraq should US troops be expelled from the country, three people briefed on the situation told The Washington Post.

The news comes after the Iraqi Parliament voted to obligate Iraq’s government “to work towards ending the presence of all foreign troops on Iraqi soil” after a US airstrike killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.

The people told the Post that the White House and Treasury Department would likely play a large role if sanctions were implemented but stressed that discussions over sanctions were still preliminary.

One of the officials told the newspaper that the plan is to wait “at least a little while” to see if Iraqi officials move forward with expelling US troops.

Trump outlined his sanction threats in a conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One on Sunday, asserting, “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever.”

“It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” he said.

The President said the costs of maintaining an American troop presence in the country over the past many years should be repaid by Iraq if the country chooses to rescind the agreement allowing them to stay.

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” he said.

Political and economic realities, however, could make it difficult for Trump to carry out his threat. It would be difficult to achieve without increasing already-rising oil and gasoline prices, for example.

Iraq is one of the most important oil producers on the planet, and sidelining its output would likely worsen fears of a supply shock that erupted after Trump ordered the drone strike in Baghdad last week.

“If there were Iran-style sanctions that made Iraq’s oil toxic to the rest of the world, that would drive prices up quite sharply,” said Bob McNally, president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group.

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US on track for one of the worst flu seasons in decades – KSL.com

January 6th, 2020

NEW YORK (CNN) — This flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in decades, according to the United States’ top infectious disease doctor.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said while it’s impossible to predict how the flu will play out, the season so far is on track to be as severe as the 2017-2018 flu season, which was the deadliest in more than four decades, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The initial indicators indicate this is not going to be a good season — this is going to be a bad season,” Fauci said.

So far this flu season, at least 2,900 people in the U.S. are estimated to have died of the flu, according to data released Friday by the CDC. That’s 800 more deaths than estimated the previous week.

Flu cases and hospitalizations because of the flu have also risen sharply since the season began in October. CDC estimates there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses and 55,000 hospitalizations.

Fauci said it’s possible this steep rise in flu activity could reverse itself soon, in which case the season wouldn’t end up being so severe.

“Hopefully this turns around and comes down, but if it continues on the trajectory it’s on, it’s not going to be good,” he said.

Fauci pointed out a CDC graph to compare the current flu season to two of the most severe in recent decades. In the graph below, designed by CNN based on the CDC data, the red line indicates flu activity from September 29 through December 28. The other lines show the 2014-2015 and 2017-2018 flu seasons, two of the worst in recent decades.

So far this season, flu activity has surpassed the peak for 2014-2015, and is climbing toward the peak for the particularly deadly 2017-2018 season.

“We don’t want it to keep going up and up and up like in 2017-2018,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t, but if it continues to go straight up, this could really be a bad year.

“The only thing predictable about flu is that it’s unpredictable.”

This season so far has been particularly deadly for children, with 27 deaths reported through December 28. That’s the highest number of deaths at this point in the season since the CDC started keeping track 17 years ago.

One reason flu has been so severe for children this season is that they’re particularly susceptible to influenza B, this season’s dominant strain. Compared with flu A, flu B is relatively stable and doesn’t change as much from year to year, so many adults have immunity to it from infections earlier in life.

Even though the flu season is well underway, the worst could still be ahead, so the CDC advises everyone older than 6 months to get a flu shot.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Elizabeth Cohen

John Bonifield

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Trans Mountain, LNG pipeline among projects UN racism committee urges to be stopped – Global News

January 6th, 2020

A United Nations committee working to end racism is urging Canada to immediately stop the construction of three major resource projects until it obtains approval from affected First Nations.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which monitors a convention to end racial discrimination signed by countries including Canada, is calling for a suspension of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Site C dam and Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The committee, made up of 18 experts, says in a written directive last month that it is concerned by the approval and construction of the three projects without the free, prior and informed consent of impacted Indigenous groups.

READ MORE: Indigenous opposition to Trans Mountain pipeline shouldn’t outweigh public interests, provinces say

It also says it’s disturbed by law enforcement’s “forced removal, disproportionate use of force, harassment and intimidation” and “escalating threat of violence” against Indigenous Peoples.

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Trans Mountain Corp., the Crown corporation building the pipeline expansion, says it is approved and moving forward with construction safely and in respect of communities.

BC Hydro says it has been consulting with affected First Nations on Site C since 2007 and has reached benefit agreements with most of them.

3:42Conservative shadow minister for natural resources weighs in on energy industry

Conservative shadow minister for natural resources weighs in on energy industry

“The Canadian courts have reviewed our consultation with certain First Nations and found it to be adequate and to have appropriately accommodated their interests,” it says in a statement.

“To date, more than $230 million in Site C procurement opportunities has been committed to Indigenous companies. In addition, we have around 400 Indigenous Peoples currently working on the project.”

The Canadian government, Coastal GasLink and RCMP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

READ MORE: Lawyer says Indigenous groups didn’t approach Trans Mountain pipeline consultation in good faith

The UN committee has previously demanded a halt to Site C, which is opposed by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in northeast British Columbia. However, this marks the first time it has called for a stop to the Trans Mountain and Coastal GasLink projects.

The right to “free, prior and informed consent” to resource projects is part of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has adopted but not incorporated into law.

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The B.C. government has committed to adapt its laws to meet the aims of the UN resolution but has not yet begun amending legislation.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to face First Nations’ legal challenge

The UN committee recommends Canada establish a legal and institutional framework to ensure adequate consultation to obtain free, prior and informed consent, and freeze present and future approval of large-scale development projects that don’t meet that level of consent.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en have attempted to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline near Smithers, B.C. The natural gas pipeline is part of the massive $40-billion LNG Canada project.

On Saturday, hereditary chiefs with the First Nation issued a letter advising the company that it was “trespassing” on unceded territory and demanding that it vacate the premises.

1:56New questions about financial realities of TMX pipeline

New questions about financial realities of TMX pipeline

The company has said only security staff were present on the weekend and they complied with the eviction notice, but it plans to resume construction this week after a holiday break.

A protest group calling itself the Tiny House Warriors has built tiny homes in the path of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Secwepemc territory in B.C.’s Interior.

The UN committee says it’s particularly alarmed by the reported arrest and detainment of a Secwepemc demonstrator in October.

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READ MORE: Lawyer argues Ottawa’s consultation with Indigenous groups on Trans Mountain pipeline project was meaningful

The committee calls on Canada to immediately cease the “forced eviction” of Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en people and guarantee that no force will be used against the two groups.

It also calls for the RCMP and other security and police to withdraw from their traditional lands.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Samsung just debuted a bezel-less 8K TV that is 99% picture – CNET

January 6th, 2020

Too old? Too slow? No! Debut marathoners may add years to life – Yahoo Entertainment

January 6th, 2020
Too old? Too slow? No! Debut marathoners may add years to lifeToo old? Too slow? No! Debut marathoners may add years to life

View photos

FILE PHOTO: People are seen shortly after crossing the finish line at the London Marathon in London

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – First-time marathon runners can add years to their lives and reap the health rewards of lower blood pressure and healthier arteries, even if they take on the challenge in mid- to later life, research showed on Monday.

“It appears to never be too late,” said co-lead researcher Charlotte Manisty of University College London.

The Marathon Study showed the biggest health gains were in slower, older men who also had relatively high blood pressure when training began, though the researchers said it was not clear why they benefited most.

In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Manisty’s team looked at 138 first-time marathon runners from the 2016 and 2017 London Marathon.

On average, the new runners were 37 years old and 49% were male, and were not running for more than two hours per week before the study began. The average marathon time at the end of the study was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men.

The scientists examined the participants before training and after they had completed the 26.2-mile (42 km) event to see if successfully taking on a marathon had affected their levels of arterial stiffening.

Hardening of the arteries is a normal part of aging. It increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack and related conditions which are also linked to dementia and kidney disease.

The first-time marathon runners in the study saw, on average, a decrease in arterial stiffness equivalent to a four-year reduction in their ‘arterial age’, and a drop in systolic (when heart muscles contract) and diastolic (when the muscles relax) blood pressure of 4 and 3mmHg respectively.

The findings show “it is possible to reverse the consequences of aging on our blood vessels with real-world exercise in just six months”, Manisty said.

“These were not people who were doing extreme levels of exercise or losing extreme amounts of weight. They were doing moderate training and reaching realistic running goals,” she added in a telephone interview.

Metin Avkiran, a director at the British Heart Foundation charity which co-funded the research, said in a statement that the results showed the “undeniable” benefits of exercise.

“As the old mantra goes, if exercise were a pill it would be hailed as a wonder drug,” he said.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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Hannah and Peter’s Bachelor Reunion Was Truly Shocking – E! NEWS

January 6th, 2020

We feel alive right now. Do you feel alive right now? We have never felt this alive. 

The Bachelor just premiered with Peter Weber at the helm, the first season since, you could argue, Colton Underwood and Hannah Brown upended the franchise in their own unique ways. Colton hopped a fence to escape production, giving us one of the most anticipated, most satisfying, and most athletically impressive moments in franchise history. Hannah failed in every possible way, ending up with two full losers in her final four, briefly engaged to a liar, emerging single but more popular than any star before her. 

Now we have Peter, who made a name for himself by having sex with Hannah in a windmill four times, setting out on a new Bachelor landscape, one where anything could happen. Or at least we can believe that anything might happen, even if it all just ends up boring at the end. For now, anything could happen. Anything! 

We all knew Hannah Brown was appearing in tonight’s episode, so when it first appeared that her entire conversation with Peter entailed giving him back the wings he gave her on The Bachelorette, and telling him she hoped the best for him, it was a bit of a letdown. That was the conversation that would give them closure? But boy, we did not see the extent of what was coming. 

After a full episode of limo arrivals and two full other dates (more on those in a moment), a group of the women were invited on a date that only promised to be awkward. They immediately assumed it was sex ed, which was pretty much correct, except it’s even more awkward than that, because it was actually sort of a storytelling class about a sexual experience, starting with Peter and the Windmill. 

After telling the story of her four-time night with Peter in the windmill, Hannah explained that the women needed to be confident in their sexuality in a relationship, so to demonstrate that, they were going to to retell a story of a past sexual experience in front of a live audience. 

Some of the women were like, huh, this woman keeps showing up here a lot, and then we cut to Hannah, standing behind the on-stage windmill with a producer, expressing how much she cares about Peter. 

“I loved him, but I know sometimes it doesn’t work,” she said, heading backstage to cry. (Also, it was her birthday on the day of this date, just to add another element to this whole thing.) 

Peter went to comfort her, telling her she killed it with the story. (“Just like I remembered it.”) 

He then told her that a part of him hoped she wasn’t just there to drop something off during the limo arrivals, but he knew he didn’t need that. Then they started talking about that day in Greece when she sent him home, with Hannah’s face so covered in smeared makeup you have to know this was not staged, because no person would be willing to be on TV looking like she was looking. And yes we have transcribed their entire conversation, as if we’ve got nothing better to do. 

Here goes: 

Hannah: “I don’t know what the f–k I was doing. I don’t know. I’m really f–ked up…I don’t know Peter. I question what I should have done. I question a lot. But…”

Silence. 

Peter: “I know you asked Tyler out after your last episode, but did it ever cross your mind to ever ask me instead for that, or…if not, it’s fine, I haven’t asked you that, but it’s been on my mind for a long time…” 

Hannah: “There was still something when I saw you at [After the Final Rose], I felt like.” 

Peter: “I’m just being very honest with you. Watching that episode that night live and seeing that happen, it was just like OK, for me, that’s kind of, like that’s it. I don’t want to be someone’s third option at all. And then it was just tough, because I found out you had moved 20 minutes from where I live, and just all this stuff kept happening, and I don’t know. I feel like I thought that I was not confused, but now I don’t know. What the f–k am I doing right now? I don’t know what I’m doing…This is so insane, but what would you say if I asked you to come be part of the house?” 

Hannah: “Maybe? I mean, oh my gosh. I mean, there’s a lot…I don’t know.” 

Peter: “Do you regret sending me home at all in Crete? 

Hannah: “Yeah Peter, I question it all the time.” 

Peter: “I felt zero doubt. Even when you said Jed’s name first, so sure that you were calling my name. And then obviously you didn’t. But that morning, was there still something…” 

Hannah: “I told you, I had no doubts that you were going to be…it was you and Jed.” 

Peter: “Me and Jed?!” 

Hannah: “That you were gonna meet my family. Like, you were gonna meet my family.” 

Peter: “You never told me that.” 

Hannah: “Yes I did.” 

Peter: “No you didn’t.” 

Hannah: “I don’t think I wanted to change my mind about Jed. It was comfortable, it was falling back into the same thing, but I’ve broke everybody’s heart, and my own, through this experience.” 

Peter: “I swear to you, I remember I was at my aunt’s house watching that live last episode, and I was telling my parents, if she wants to try this again, I am 100% on board. And my heart just sank when you like asked Tyler out. And I love Tyler and it’s nothing against him, but I was just like…ugh. That hurts.”

Hannah: “Well he was like reaching out, and you didn’t say anything. I didn’t know where you were. I knew you were upset and dealing with it, so I didn’t reach out to you. And you didn’t reach out to me. I didn’t know if you just wanted to get past it, wanted to be the Bachelor…I mean, I thought you wanted to be the Bachelor. And I walked out there and when I saw you, I felt a lot more than I thought I was going to. I didn’t think it would be that much spark, because I know there’s still something there.” 

Peter: “OK, but like, what does that mean?”

Hannah: “I don’t know, what do you mean? I don’t know. What are you asking?”

Peter: “What do you want? I’m so confused right now, because I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I did kind of want you to come back in. I remember I saw you that first night and I remember saying like, wow, didn’t even know it was you, I swear to God. And then you come out and then I realized who it was, and I don’t know what to do right now. I’m so confused, and this is the first week this whole thing has started. And I’m obviously not 100% where I thought I was. I don’t know what to do. I can’t help how my heart feels.”

And then we got Peter, in a solo interview. 

“I look at her, and I just don’t want to stop looking at her. And I want to just kiss her and just…just like have had all this work out. And it didn’t, and I know it didn’t. And I just, I feel like such a jerk because I have such an awesome group of girls here expecting to meet someone that was truly ready to have this work for them as well, and I don’t know.” 

TO BE CONTINUED.

Jaw on the floor, honestly. After all those promos featuring Hannah’s return, we thought sure they were teasing us with something that was nowhere near as dramatic as it actually was. We were incredibly wrong, and we gotta say, we wouldn’t be that mad if Hannah and Peter lived happily ever after and the season ended with the next episode. But alas, that does not appear to be the case. 

Elsewhere tonight, a group of women went on one of our favorite dates of the franchise when they went to flight school, taught by a couple of badass lady pilots. They made them do math (multiple women thought a mile is 30,000 feet!) and taught them all the dirtiest words that are also flight terms, and gave them various tasks to complete, including changing into their pilot uniforms in a Porta Potty. 

The final task was an obstacle course, and Kelley (the girl who had previously met Peter in a hotel) cheated by just flying right through it to the finish line, ignoring the actual course. Peter did not take this cheating into account and took her up in a plane for a bit of alone time. Then, the cocktail party just so happened to be held in the same hotel where they first met, so he didn’t care when she stole time the other girls didn’t already have. She got the rose. So far, not a fan of Peter’s rose choices! 

The other date of the night was a one-on-one with Madison, who got to attend the vow renewal of Peter’s parents. It seemed like they had barely spoken before that, so that seemed a bit premature. If we were Peter’s (delightful, incredibly sweet) parents, we would have been like please don’t bring some random girl you just met to our vow renewal, to meet our extremely close family. 

Then they got to enjoy one of those super awkward private concerts we love so much, and then we promptly forgot about everything that had just happened and had to go back and rewatch after the whole Hannah situation. Hard to care about any of these new women when the one we already know really well is currently covered in mascara tears. 

We’ll have to wait until next week to find out what exactly this means and what happens next, and you can also tune into E!’s Daily Pop tomorrow to see Peter Weber explain himself. 

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. 

Watch Daily Pop weekdays on E! at 12 p.m.

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Intel event at CES 2020 in 9 minutes –

January 6th, 2020

Sony built an electric car to show off the future of automotive tech – TechRadar India

January 6th, 2020

Intel event at CES 2020 in 9 minutes – Engadget

January 6th, 2020

Sony at CES 2020 in 9 minutes – Engadget

January 6th, 2020