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Monday, Feb 18th

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Utility bankruptcy could be costly to California wildfire victims

OG&E bankruptcyFaced with potentially ruinous lawsuits over California's recent wildfires, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in a move that could lead to higher bills for customers of the nation's biggest utility and reduce the size of any payouts to fire victims.

The Chapter 11 filing allows PG&E to continue operating while it puts its books in order. But it was seen as a possible glimpse of the financial toll that could lie ahead because of global warming, which scientists say is leading to fiercer, more destructive blazes and longer fire seasons.

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Roger Stone enters not guilty plea

Roger Stone pleads not guilty.Roger Stone, a longtime Republican campaign adviser and confidant of President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to seven criminal charges of false statements, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and the US attorney for the District of Columbia have accused Stone of lying to congressional investigators about his communications regarding WikiLeaks' publication of stolen emails meant to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016.
In one charge, he is accused of threatening a contact of his whose congressional testimony about WikiLeaks would contradict Stone's.

Michael Cohen to testify before House Intel panel next week

Michael Cohen agrees to testify behind closed doors at House Intel Com.

President Donald Trump’s former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen will testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, said Monday that Cohen agreed to appear voluntarily before the committee behind closed doors on Feb. 8.

Last week, Cohen backed out of his planned public testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee — initially scheduled for Feb. 7 — citing fears for his family’s safety after Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, publicly harangued Cohen and his father-in-law.

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Eric Trump Miffed Media Reported About Undocumented Workers At Trump Clubs

Eric Trump speaks: He's miffed at media reports of daddy's undocumented employees

Hey, members of the media: Eric Trump doesn’t appreciate you reporting that the Trump Organization recently fired a dozen employees who are in the U.S. illegally even though managers had known about their legal status for years.

The president’s second-born son took to Twitter on Monday to lash out at the media for daring to report a newsworthy story.

Apparently, he thought other stories were more worthy of coverage:

To think that a dam broke in Brazil (with 37 fatalities & many missing), Venezuela is in shambles, and so much more, yet @NBCNews leads with another anti-Trump story (that among 10,000+ hospitality employees, a few admitted to giving fake IDs to gain unlawful employment),

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Post-shutdown negotiations look brutal for Trump

Post shutdown negotiations will be brutal for TrumpLawmakers in both parties are skeptical about President Trump’s chances of securing funding for his wall on the Mexican border after a 35-day partial government shutdown that bruised the White House’s political standing.

The deal reached last week gives Trump and Congress until Feb. 15 to reach a new deal to prevent another partial shutdown, and the president is demanding new legislation again that would fund his signature campaign issue.

Democrats seem unlikely to budget any money for a border wall, and even if they did, lawmakers say such a deal would likely require Trump to include significant immigration reforms, such as giving immigrants known as Dreamers a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency.

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Trump ‘very pissed off’ at former White House aide’s tell-all

Trump very pissed off at aide's tell-all book

President Donald Trump is “very pissed off” and “really hopping mad” at former aide Cliff Sims’ new book that reveals firsthand the chaos and infighting that is ever present in his White House, according to several current and former White House officials.

Trump is asking aides: “Who is this guy? Why is he writing this book? He wasn’t even in meetings,” the sources said. He also dismissively refers to Sims — who served until last May as director of White House message strategy and a special assistant to the president —as “the videographer” because he also helped Trump with the weekly video and radio addresses, according to three current and former White House officials.

Sims’ tell-all book, “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House,” will be published Tuesday. Advance excerpts and leaks have revealed embarrassing anecdotes about Trump and damning portraits of several top White House aides.

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Government shutdown costs the economy $11 billion, significantly dings Q1 GDP growth, CBO estimates

CBOThe 35-day government shutdown wiped out $11 billion in economic activity, most of which will be recouped, but the episode will noticeably reduce economic growth in the first quarter, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

The shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, reduced the nation’s gross domestic product by $3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $8 billion in the current quarter, CBO estimates. As a result, inflation-adjusted GDP growth will be an annualized 0.2 percentage points lower in the fourth quarter and 0.4 percentage points lower in the first quarter, CBO said.

Many economists now estimate the economy grew about 2.5 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter and will expand at about a 2 percent pace in the current quarter.

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We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it

Gum disease connected to Alzheimers

If you bled when you brushed your teeth this morning, you might want to get that seen to. We may finally have found the long-elusive cause of Alzheimer’s disease: Porphyromonas gingivalis, the key bacteria in chronic gum disease.

That’s bad, as gum disease affects around a third of all people. But the good news is that a drug that blocks the main toxins of P. gingivalis is entering major clinical trials this year, and research published today shows it might stop and even reverse Alzheimer’s. There could even be a vaccine.

Alzheimer’s is one of the biggest mysteries in medicine. As populations have aged, dementia has skyrocketed to become the fifth biggest cause of death worldwide. Alzheimer’s constitutes some 70 per cent of these cases and yet, we don’t know what causes it.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day marked amid renewed hate-fueled violence

Holocaust Remebrance Day marred with violenceThe world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday amid a revival of hate-inspired violence and signs that younger generations know less and less about the genocide of Jews, Roma and others during World War II.

In Poland, which was under Nazi German occupation during the war, a far-right activist who has been imprisoned for burning the effigy of a Jew gathered with other nationalists Sunday outside the former death camp of Auschwitz ahead of official ceremonies remembering the 1.1 million people murdered there.

Since last year’s observances, an 85-year-old French Holocaust survivor, Mireille Knoll, was fatally stabbed in Paris and 11 Jews were gunned down in a Pittsburgh synagogue during Shabbat services, the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

TVNL Comment: The plea to the world was 'Never Again.' Look around, it's happening again and again and again.

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