It was the most stunning political victory of the 21st century, one that brought shocked concern in many parts of the world and cheers in others. One uncontroversial certainty was that it would cause reverberations around the globe. Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” platform, but has found himself as president drawn into thorny geopolitical complexities aplenty in the first 100 days of his administration.
By Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate's main investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is equipped with a much smaller staff than previous high-profile intelligence and scandal probes in Congress, which could potentially affect its progress, according to sources and a Reuters review of public records. With only seven staff members initially assigned to the Senate Intelligence Committee's three-month-old investigation, progress has been sluggish and minimal, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity. A committee aide, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said two more staff members were being added and a few others were involved less formally.
Two people were killed in Venezuela on Monday in renewed violence, raising the death toll in three weeks of massive demonstrations against leftwing President Nicolas Maduro to 23, officials said. Several others were seriously injured and "between life and death," said public defender Tarek William Saab. The return to violence in the streets of Venezuela after a weekend lull was certain to further stoke international concern over the country, whose economy is imploding despite vast oil reserves.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied last-minute appeals from one of two Arkansas killers scheduled for execution on Monday evening, clearing the way for the first of two back-to-back executions to proceed. Jack Jones, 52, who raped and killed a woman in 1995 and left her 11-year-old daughter for dead, and Marcel Williams, 46, who kidnapped, raped and murdered a woman in 1997, were scheduled for lethal injection in what would be the first time in 17 years that a U.S. state executed two inmates on the same day. The two men separately filed 11th-hour applications with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday afternoon seeking to have their executions halted.
Forget about self-driving cars for a second and imagine yourself “driving” a flying car. It may happen as soon as this year, as at least one company is looking to deploy a commercial version of a mini helicopter that you’d be able to fly yourself. However, it’ll be a few years until these flying cars will be allowed to merge with regular car traffic — if that will ever happen.
Kitty Hawk, a company that’s backed up by Google legend Larry Page, plans to launch the Flyer by the end of the year. You can already sign up for a three-year membership that costs $100 and will net you $2,000 off of the retail price. However, it’s unclear at this time how much the Flyer itself will cost.
For the time being, the Flyer won’t be allowed on public roads. Or above them. The device operates in the FAR 103 Ultralight Category of US FAA regulations, which means you won’t need a pilot’s license and may be flown in uncongested areas for recreational purposes.
The Kitty Hawk test flying car that was recently used in California “looked like something Luke Skywalker would have built out of spare parts,” according to The New York Times.
“It was an open-seated, 220-pound contraption with room for one person, powered by eight battery-powered propellers that howled as loudly as a speedboat,” the report notes.
The final version of the Flyer will likely be more quieter when it launches, though it might not look like a car at all.
The Times says that Page isn’t the only entrepreneur chasing this dream. There are plenty of companies in the US and around the world looking to develop flying cars. Airbus is one of the most prominent rivals, given their extensive expertise in making things fly.
In addition to regulation and safety, there’s one other concern that needs addressing before such devices become commercially available: battery life. It’s unclear how long a Kitty Hawk drone would be able to fly.
A video below shows Page’s flying contraption in action. And this is how it feels like riding one. Meanwhile, I can’t but wonder how much we’ll have to wait for self-driving flying cars to arrive.
BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) — A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history.
US President Donald Trump on Monday asked France's envoy to the United Nations about the French presidential elections following a first round of voting at the weekend. Trump took Ambassador Francois Delattre aside during a meeting of UN Security Council envoys to Washington to ask about the vote that sets up a run-off next month between pro-Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Most Scottish voters do not want another referendum on independence from the United Kingdom and support for secession itself appears to have weakened, according to a Kantar survey. Scots voted by a wide margin to stick with the European Union in last June's referendum, clashing with the UK as a whole which voted to leave. Scotland's devolved government, run by the Scottish National Party (SNP), says this means the country should be given a new chance to decide whether it wants to split from the UK.
By Brian Ellsworth and Diego Oré CARACAS (Reuters) - At least one person was killed in political unrest in Venezuela on Monday as anti-government protests entered a fourth week with mass "sit-ins" to press demands for early elections. A local government worker was shot dead in the Andean state of Merida at a counter-protest rally in favor of the socialist government, while another man there was wounded by a bullet and left fighting "between life and death", state ombudsman Tarek Saab said. There was also an unconfirmed report on Monday, from a regional opposition party official, of two more fatalities during protests in the western agricultural state of Barinas.
Gregory Burleson and Todd Engel, two of six Bundy supporters on trial Monday, were convicted of obstruction of justice and interstate travel in aid of extortion in a case that came to symbolize tensions in the American West over the federal ownership of land. Burleson also was found guilty of firearms charges and threatening and assault of a federal officer, according to Trisha Young, a spokeswoman for the Nevada District Attorney's Office.
Ontario has launched a pilot program to provide a guaranteed basic income to a few thousand people to test its effects on recipients and public finances, the Canadian province announced Monday. Provincial Premier Kathleen Wynne said the program would provide a "basic income" for three years to 4,000 people living under the poverty line.
By Lisa Lambert WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been reworking student lending since her appointment in February, raising concerns among Democrats that she will undo former President Barack Obama's overhaul of college financial aid. On Monday, 21 state attorneys general, all Democrats, wrote to Republican DeVos decrying her decision to end the Education Department's work on reforming loan servicing, steps intended to ensure that borrowers understand their outstanding debt and repayment options.
A new survey commissioned by Comcast has ranked apartment-dweller's need for good internet, relative to other niceties like basic hygiene. The conclusion seems to be that good Wi-Fi and high-speed internet are viewed as being the most critical. Comcast probably commissioned this survey to show how relevant its brand is to millennials or something, but the only actual truth to be found is this: Comcast knows that you will put up with basically anything to get good internet, so it's going to squeeze you for every last penny. The survey polled 2015 building managers and developers in the US about what features are the most important for prospective renters. A majority (59%) had either Wi-Fi access or fast internet as the most important feature, comfortably beating out a washer-dryer in unit as the must-have. This isn't so much a statement on the value of technology as it is a stunning indictment of broadband technology in the US. In a supposedly technology-literate, competitive, first-world country, access to the internet should be a given. But thanks to the oligopoly of cable companies that control access to the internet with very little regional competition, you're often left with little or no choice of cable providers. That means that if Verizon or Comcast only choose to supply your building with a 10Mbps, you're out of luck. So really, this survey just confirms to Comcast an important fact about its customers: it doesn't matter how bad the customer service is or if it flat-out calls its customers idiots: you don't have any choice and you need internet, so pucker up, lucky consumers.