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/news/ is a text board for sharing and discussing current news articles. When starting a thread you must include the complete URL of a news article from a credible news site (for instance, a newspaper, news magazine, or a news TV channel). Blogs and editorial articles are not acceptable news sources. News articles must be recent! Nothing older than 48 hours please. Threads older than 48 hours will cease to bump when replied to. Please note that 4chan's global rules are in effect. Blatant trolling and racism is not permitted.

Please note that news, news articles, and current events can also be discussed on /pol/; however /news/ is exclusively for recent news articles, and not general discussions of politics, social phenomenon, or world events.
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Please note that although /news/ is a text board, the thread creator is permitted to upload an image to the original post. All replies to the thread, however, are to be strictly text only.

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It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

Every day at one company in Jinan, China, 1 billion cockroaches are fed 50 tons of kitchen waste, according to Reuters. Officials there say it’s an efficient way to get rid of food waste as cities continue to expand.

“Cockroaches are a bio-technological pathway for the converting and processing of kitchen waste,” said Liu Yusheng, president of the Shandong Insect Industry Association.

Outbreaks of African swine fever recently led to a ban on using food waste as pig feed. Now, people are turning to the cockroaches.

“It’s like turning rubbish into commodities, turning trash into resources,” said Li Hongyi, chairman of Shandong Qiao Bin Agricultural Technology Co Ltd, where the billion cockroaches gorge on trash.

There are several waste composting firms popping up around China. One farm in the southwestern Sichuan province houses 3.4 million cockroaches. Another company in the same province called Gooddoctor houses 6 million.

Wen Jianguo, Gooddoctor’s manager, notes that the bugs are used as raw material in traditional Chinese medicine. “The essence of cockroaches is good for curing oral and peptic ulcers, skin wounds and even stomach cancer.”

As for the possible escape of the creepy critters? “We have a moat filled with water, and in the water, there are fish. If the cockroaches escape, they would fall into the moat, and the fish will eat them all,” Jianguo said.

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>>326047
>“We have a moat filled with water, and in the water, there are fish. If the cockroaches escape, they would fall into the moat, and the fish will eat them all,” Jianguo said.
i wish people would stop underestimating species that have been around for hundreds of millions of years
you'd think we wrote enough fiction to warn against being this retarded...

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Another one bites the dust
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/proud-boys-gavin-mcinnes-fired_us_5c0ea391e4b0edf5a3a75bf8

Gavin McInnes, the founder of the violent neo-fascist gang the Proud Boys, was fired from Blaze Media, and his YouTube account was disabled ― the latest in a series of professional setbacks for the far-right bigot.

The Blaze, founded by conservative pundit Glenn Beck, merged with CRTV last week to form right-wing media giant Blaze Media. McInnes hosted a podcast with CRTV called “Get Off My Lawn,” which he used to discuss his anti-Muslim and misogynistic beliefs.

“Blaze Media no longer has a relationship with Gavin McInnes, and per company policy, cannot comment on personnel matters,” the company tweeted Saturday.

Asked for comment Monday about his firing, McInnes told HuffPost he believed “there has been a concerted effort to de-platform me” and claimed he was the victim of “lies and propaganda.”

“Someone very powerful decided long ago that I shouldn’t have a voice,” he wrote in an email. “I’m finally out of platforms and unable to defend myself. ... We are no longer living in a free country.”

McInnes, who co-founded Vice before leaving the media company in 2008, quit the Proud Boys last month a day after a report indicated that the FBI had described them as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” The FBI has since denied classifying the group as an extremist group, The Washington Post reported Friday.


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>>325195
>being mad about anime reaction images on 4chan
Fuck off to plebbit
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>>325284
I think a private organization that doesn't provide the consumer something that is necessary like water, food, or housing, can do whatever the fuck they want.
Women? LGBT? Republican? Why do they NEED a "YouTube" and why should you be protected to have a "YouTube" or a "wedding cake" or anything to that effect when you could easily get that same product somewhere else.
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>>325284
So is freedom of speech. But that only applies to government institutions. Then why do race/sex extend to private companies?
>>
The people do all the whining about these deplatformings are the same people who were regurgitating corporate propaganda about how we shouldn't be telling companies what they can and can't do with their private property when the FCC repealed net neutrality protections last year. Regulate the infrastructure on which all Internet users depend? Nope. Regulate Internet users who do things we don't like? Obviously.
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>>325192
>Gab
And we all know how that went down.

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The Fastest Animal on Earth: the Snap-Jaw Ant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9dsINb64Q0

It is a good thing the Dracula ant is not the size of a crocodile, because their jaws snap shut 5000 times faster than the blink of an eye.

While cheetahs and great white sharks usually come to mind when considering the fastest movers in the animal kingdom, the title actually belongs to an Australian ant.

The speedy little Dracula ant has just set a new record for having the fastest animal movement on earth.

American scientists have used high-speed video to record their jaws going from zero to about 320km/h in 0.000015 seconds.

The agile ant uses a snapping mechanism to quickly slide their mandibles across each other – just like a finger snap.

Dracula ants get their name from their strange desire to suck the blood of their children, senior curator of insects at Queensland Museum Chris Burwell said.

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>>326052
>Burwell said the adult worker ants pierce the skin of their babies to drink their blood – but fear not, the babies survive.
But y
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>>326054
Colonies of dracula ants may contain as many as 10,000 workers, winged males and several wingless queens (4) (5). The workers go out each day to capture prey, which they stun using venom, to bring back to the colony for the larvae to feed upon. It is the unique and bizarre feeding habits of the queen and workers, however, which has fascinated researchers. Hungry Dracula ants scratch and chew holes into their larvae and suck out the hemolymph, the ant equivalent of blood (4). This practice has been described as a form of ‘non-destructive cannibalism’, since the larvae are not killed by it. Nevertheless, when hungry workers enter the chamber, the larvae have been observed attempting to flee and escape their fate (6).

https://www.arkive.org/dracula-ant/adetomyrma-venatrix/
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>>326054
in many ant (and other social insects) species, the workers feed the larvae what they hunt, and the larvae give a few drops of sweet juice to feed the workers in return
it's an efficient system that ensures the workers keep hunting for the larvae and protecting them, since they can't feed themselves - no risk of developping selfish behaviour

this species' larvae can't apparently willingly produce the juice, so they just tap in their blood - close enough

Donald Trump insists the GOP’s midterm election shellacking had nothing to do with him. Things will be different, he says, when his name is actually on the ballot in 2020.

While it’s true that most presidents who see their party suffer major losses in their first midterm election get reelected anyway, Trump isn’t most presidents — and there are lots of blaring-red warning lights in this month’s election results for his bid for a second term.

Unlike most of his predecessors, he’s been persistently unpopular, with approval ratings mired in the 40-percent range — so far, he’s the only president in the modern era whose job approval ratings have never been over 50 percent, according to Gallup.

Some of Democrats’ biggest gains came in the states that powered Trump’s Electoral College victory in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And while a president’s base has stayed home in previous midterm elections, leading to losses, the record turnout in this year’s races suggests 2018 was more like a 2016 re-run than Trump voters standing on the sidelines.

Thus far, even Trump loyalists in the party haven’t seen the president expand his electoral base beyond core Republicans.

“This is now the party of Donald Trump. I read articles saying the Republican Party has merged with the Trump coalition — they have no choice. Trump voters own the Republican Party. That’s consolidated,” said John McLaughlin, who was part of the team of pollsters working on Trump’s 2016 campaign. “The bad part is they haven’t broadened [his coalition]. They haven’t gotten his job approval over 50 percent, like Reagan. We haven’t done that.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/23/warning-signs-trump-reelection-bid-1012184
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>>317848
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REDMAP
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>>324368
Republicans - not conservatives - used to be the party of the likes of Eisenhower and Lincoln.
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>>317570
Republicans lost over 2/3rds of the Senate elections. The only reason they gained seats was that the map was mostly incumbent Democrats defending seats in Republican leaning or toss-up states.
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>>324371
And they only gained a single seat. It's important to remind them of this every time.

It was so much in their favor, and all they got was one seat.
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It's pretty funny.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - A jury found James Fields Jr. – the man who plowed into a crowd during the Unite the Right rally in August 2017 – guilty of first-degree murder on Friday.

A 12-person jury of seven women and five men also found Fields guilty on charges of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury or death.

The two-week trial concluded Thursday as both sides delivered their closing arguments.

In closing statements, the commonwealth argued the case was about intent. Prosecutors said Fields used his car as a deadly weapon and that he acted with malice, intent and premeditation.

Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina-Alice Antony said there is no credible evidence of Fields' claim that his car was attacked.

Antony said Fields acted with hatred, and that same hatred can be seen in text messages sent to his mother before the rally. She told him to be careful and Fields replied with “we are not the ones who need to be careful” alongside a picture of Adolf Hitler.

As the trial closed on Thursday, more photo evidence was released, including Fields in a convenience store with Joshua Matthews, and a young couple from the Richmond area. They were all together less than an hour before the crash. Fields dropped them off at their car, and they said no to going to lunch.

Antony said it was important for jurors to see that Fields had an intent to harm others, making a decision to act of “ill will, hate and anger.”

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>>325645
The lesson is to not kill people so that you don't get sentenced to a life of buttfucking by Tyrone in the first place. The additional 419 years was from the numerous counts of malicious wounding that he was charged with for all of the other people that he injured, as well as leaving the scene of an accident.
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>>325647
Precisely what punishment is warranted for murder, then?
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>>325732
Getting a Medal of Honor for owning the libs, apparently
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>>324213
Why don't you both kill yourselves???
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>>326070
Why are yuo so mad?

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Fox News host Sean Hannity appears to have deleted numerous tweets related to President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen just hours before the lawyer was sentenced to three years in jail Wednesday.

Cohen, who pled guilty to numerous charges surrounding fraud, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress, was also revealed last April to be representing Hannity as well.

The news stirred controversy at the time given that Hannity’s coverage of Cohen—which often painted the long-time attorney as a victim of a “corrupt” Mueller investigation—failed to mention the connection.

According to HillReporter.com, Hannity has now deleted upwards of 280 tweets, five of which were related to Cohen.

Several of Hannity’s remarks were saved by an automated Twitter account that screenshots tweets as they are being deleted.

One such tweet was Hannity’s denial in April that he was ever a client of Cohen.

Hannity also deleted a spree of tweets from a feud he had with Jimmy Kimmel, where he branded the talk show host “Harvey Weinstein Jr.”

https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/sean-hannity-deleting-michael-cohen-tweets/

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At the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked some difficult questions. None was more difficult than Iowa Congressman Steve King's, however, whose question was literally impossible to answer.

King said that his seven-year-old granddaughter was playing a game on her phone before an election — most likely King's November 2018 re-election bid — and was shown a picture of the congressman that included some not-so-flattering language.

"I'm going to say into the record what kind of language was used around that picture of her grandfather," he said.

Then, holding up his Apple device, King asked Pichai, "How does that show up on a seven year-olds-iPhone who's playing a kids game."

To which the Google CEO answered, "Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company."

The Democratic staff table erupted in laughter at Pichai's reply, according to Business Insider's Joe Perticone who attended Tuesday's hearing.

Later in the hearing, Rep. Ted Lieu (CA) told the Iowa congressman that if he wanted "positive search results, do positive things." King has repeatedly found himself in hot water over his insensitive racial comments.

https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-king-asks-google-ceo-iphone-democrats-laugh-2018-12?utm_source=reddit.com
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>>325625
But I'm not OP? Anyway eating your own isn't nice you should at least admit to who your real spopulation is.
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>>325451
this anime op was stolen from >>>/g//hpg/
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>>325694
yes im sure /hpg/ has a drawfag that literally created that image rather than copy-and-pasting it from twitter or pixiv or booru or something
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>>325694
>>325780
I will admit that I probably did save the image from there since it has a 4chan filename and since it's Maki it makes sense that I got it from /g/.
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>>325457
And people thought I'm crazy to think old white rich men in power is the most stagnant force on the planet

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France protests: Government fears 'major violence' in coming days

The French government says it fears "major violence" in Paris on Saturday as the national "yellow vests" protest movement shows little sign of easing.

The government said it was scrapping the fuel tax increases in the budget - the original spark for the protests.

But broader discontent with the government has spread, and protests have erupted over several other issues.

On Thursday, more than 140 people were arrested at a single protest about proposed reforms to the school system.

The rally, in Mantes-la-Jolie in Yvelines, ended in clashes with police in front of a school, reports said. Dozens of other schools were blockaded in cities like Marseille and Paris.

Meanwhile, Saturday's planned rally of the yellow vests looks set to go ahead. Recent protests have turned violent, causing millions of euros in damage.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46466268

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>>324245
If it keeps being co-opted with violence it'll probably dissipate and nothing will be solved. The only way it'll work is if it becomes much larger and commits (mainly) to non-violence. Otherwise the normals will stay away, because they want nothing to do with this puerile insurrection shit that Anarchists want.
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>>323242
>Gas prices are too high so I'll buy gas and use it to set stuff on fire
They are going to get higher with the new tax.
>This also how i show I care about stopping global warming.
How the fuck did you deduct that these protests are about global warning?
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well with the measures coming there's a several-billions-large fucking hole in the budget
wait until these yellow faggots get pissed off about where they grab the money they need to pay for this shit
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>>323252
Chopin was polish, Bonaparte had italian genes, monsieur.
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>>326008
>implying corsicans and italians are related in any way
someone wants to die young

believable. those morons full of shit has chosen a guy who want a mass genocide and literally had screamed with joy and happiness when he saw pictures of dead people. called to kill all terminal children and literally came out as an free agent of ukrainian intern secret service after he failed the operation to blame his own fake death on russian government. has declared he is polishing american tanks and is waiting for a day he can roll into Moscow on them.

http://time.com/person-of-the-year-2018-the-guardians/
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>>325898
My nigga.
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>>325742
You've met one russian national and she was brilliant. But have you ever met a single russian government? Yeah, didn't think so.
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>>325949

lol. i got told once that if you fucked the jewish whore then you know all Israel. and whats your point?
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>>325949
What point are you trying to make? You don't have to meet someone to know they're shit. You think someone like Richard Ramirez was a morally upstanding guy just because you never met him personally?
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>>326068
>You don't have to meet someone to know they're shit.

i disagree. i never met you and you behave like a massive piece of shit, but who knows.. maybe you are russian jewfart yourself.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/11/monopoly-man-returns-to-congress-for-google-ceo-pichais-hearing.html
A person dressed as the mustachioed character from the game Monopoly sat a few rows behind Google CEO Sundar Pichai during his hearing Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee.
Ian Madrigal, the person who identified themselves as the Monopoly Man, said the act is a protest of the internet company's alleged inability to self-regulate when it comes to protecting consumer data.
The "Monopoly Man" first made their debut at the Equifax hearing last year.

A person dressed as the mustachioed character from the popular game Monopoly was back in congress on Tuesday for Google CEO Sundar Pichai's hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Tweet

The self-dubbed Monopoly Man first made their debut at the Senate's Equifax hearings last year. Madrigal, who recently changed their name from Amanda Werner and uses gender neutral pronouns, said in a statement on Twitter that they were holding a "Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card" at the Google hearing. Madrigal is a strategy director for Revolution Messaging, the firm run by Keegan Goudiss, Bernie Sanders' director of digital advertising during the 2016 election.

The Monopoly Man stunt is a protest of the alleged inability of tech companies like Google to self-regulate to protect consumers' personal data, according to Madrigal's statement.

"We have no say in how Google uses even our most personal data, and the only way to opt out is to boycott the internet itself," Madrigal said in a statement on Twitter. "We can't rely on tech giants to self-regulate. It is past time for Congress to step in and do its job."


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>>326033
The Monopoly man just symbolizes the robber barons to the public, and the monocle is one of those things associated with rich people, it's just to hit the point home.

If you're going to quibble over the details, his shirt should have had more defined and thicker black buttons and his hair should have been shaved.
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>>326024
>protest of the internet company's alleged inability to self-regulate when it comes to protecting consumer data
This is the real reason there should be hearings into big tech. Not dumb shit about a "bias" in results based on what's popular.
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>>326044
But mum free market will fix everything!
Seriously, more regulation is a good thing.
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>>326059
>Seriously, more regulation is a good thing.
Why?
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>>326069
Look at how the tech companies are acting. They cannot be trusted to self regulate. Just like you can't trust people to do the right thing by themselves unless you regulate their behavior through laws.

And yes that happens, you're not allowed to rob, rape and murder at.

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>Cohen had pleaded guilty to nine federal charges of tax evasion, violating campaign finance laws, lying to banks and to Congress.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michael-cohen-gets-3-years-cases-involving-stormy-daniels-lying-n946956

An emotional Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer, was sentenced Wednesday to 3 years behind bars for what a Manhattan federal court judge called a “veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct,” including making secret payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, lying to Congress about the president’s business dealings with Russia, and failing to report millions of dollars in income.

Judge William Pauley found Cohen, 52, deserved “a significant term of imprisonment” for crimes that were driven by “personal greed and ambition.”

Cohen appeared to get choked up as he pleaded with the judge for mercy. He told Pauley he was taking “full responsibility” for his actions — but laid much of the blame at the feet of the former boss he once said he'd take a bullet for.

“I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired," Cohen told the judge, saying his blind loyalty to Trump led him to choose “darkness over light.”

He noted that Trump had blasted him as being weak on Twitter. “It was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds," Cohen said.

He appeared to tear up as he apologized to his family and to the people of the United States.

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Are the hush payment related convictions jailable offenses or are they slap on the wrist fine crimes?
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>>326043
A hush payment isn't a conviction unto itself. Campaign finance violations can be a felony. Directing someone to commit a crime is a crime as well.

>>326014
Not saying this country doesn't have bullshit sentencing standards when it comes to the rich and famous, but he did cooperate with multiple investigations.
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>>326014
He cooperated with Mueller and pleaded guilty, that always nets you a lighter sentence because you save the courts a ton of money and you potentially help nab the bigger fish.
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>>326060
This, the reason the southern district still slapped his shit was because they said he wasn't forth coming on everything.
Most ex-prosecutors think he's willing to fall on the sword to protect his family since people are making the guess they were somehow involved in wrong doing as well, but not Trump which is why he's singing like a cannery to Mueller.

At this point Cohen is a bigger get than Manafort since while Manafort has all the dirt on Trump's conspiracy with Russia, Cohen's the one who knows the finances and is able to give motive to why Trump committed treason.

>Follow the money
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>>326062
Don't forget the tapes.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/12/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-new-favorite-pastime-appears-be-trolling-conservative-critics/?utm_term=.38d5f28e5a19

>For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, being the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and a Latina who happens to have the word “socialist” in her party identification means enduring a ceaseless spotlight and a constant stream of criticism from conservatives who tell the world to dismiss her views and opinions.

>A consistent line of attack has been that Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is young and inexperienced. There have also been suggestions that her humble upbringing is a carefully crafted narrative meant to endear her to naive members of the electorate.

>Some of the congresswoman-elect’s responses to the vitriol have been forceful — as when John Cardillo, a host of Newsmax’s “America Talks Live,” told his followers that Ocasio-Cortez lived in a too-nice house in a “very nice area” before going to Brown University.

>“A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling,” he said.

>“Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things,” Ocasio-Cortez shot back on Twitter.

>He was not the last conservative to receive a social media gut punch from Ocasio-Cortez, as she has shown herself to be particularly deft at weaponizing Twitter.

>Exhibit A is a tweet that served as her response to a series of recent attacks by critics. Eric Trump shared a meme on Instagram suggesting that if Ocasio-Cortez’s policies came to fruition, Americans would be forced to eat dogs. Mike Huckabee called her “looney.” Kellyanne Conway said that Ocasio-Cortez “doesn’t seem to know much about anything.”

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>>326021
Inconsequential is subjective.

There was an article on here about peanut butter the other day. Didn't care. Didn't reply.
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>>325925
>Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
>trolling critics
Remember when she violated 42 U.S. Code § 1983 by threatening Trump Jr with the House's subpoena power because he posted a meme about her on Twitter?

>>325943
>everyone who disagrees with me is /pol/
90% of the issues with board would be solved if we just started banning people who type this shit without evidence

>>325977
>She needs a backbone
And a functioning brain attached to it. You think she was a barista for years despite having an ivy league economics degree due to an accident or just plain bad luck with the job market?
Her political career will be entirely inversely dependent on how much she'll actually have to sit down and discuss her economic ideals and plans with the public. The more she acts like a living meme and plays identity politics, the better she'll do.
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>>326031
>Civil action for deprivation of rights
>Because she mentioned Jr. could be subpoena'd by Congress over the matter he lied under oath.
>Also pointed out that she doesn't have the power to do it unilaterally and it would have to come from a committee
Nice grasping at straws.

>Everyone who rightfully calls me out for being from /pol/ should be banned!
So much for the tolerant right wing.
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>>326034
>>Because she mentioned Jr. could be subpoena'd by Congress over the matter he lied under oath.
No, see
>threatened Trump Jr with Congress' subpoena power because he posted a meme about her on Twitter

>>326034
>everyone disagrees who with me is either /pol/ or right wing
Have you ever stopped to think it may just be because you're just generally insufferable?
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>>326036
>Implying it was a threat or could be carried out. Which anyone who has even a basic grasp of governance, aka not Republicans, would tell you.
Grasping at straws, the right winger specialty.

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LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a critical parliamentary vote on her proposal to leave the European Union, throwing both her government and her plans for the U.K.'s exit from the bloc into disarray.
"If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin," Mrs. May told jeering lawmakers in the House of Commons.
With a March 29 deadline for the U.K. to quit the EU, a fresh round of fevered negotiations is now needed to adjust the deal and present it anew to Britain's Parliment. May is scheduled to meet with EU leaders to begin new negotiations. However, European Commissioner Jean Claude Junker has signaled there are no more concessions to be made on the side of the EU.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/world/europe/uk-brexit-ecj.html
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>>325438
>not understanding the post
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>>325055
Looks like May is finally playing hardball against the globalists by not giving them enough time to organize a second referrendum
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>>325685
but will it work?
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>>325503
>Tu quoque fallacy
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>>326053
>Expecting the EU to give up anything.
No way in hell, they'd let the UK burn to the ground first to make it an example of any other country thinking of leaving the EU.
They have no motivation or reason to give May anything

An ancient, dolphin-like marine reptile resembles its distant relative in more than appearance, according to an international team of researchers that includes scientists from North Carolina State University and Sweden's Lund University. Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators.

"Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related to those sea-dwelling mammals," says research co-author Mary Schweitzer, professor of biological sciences at NC State with a joint appointment at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and visiting professor at Lund University. "We aren't exactly sure of their biology either. They have many features in common with living marine reptiles like sea turtles, but we know from the fossil record that they gave live birth, which is associated with warm-bloodedness. This study reveals some of those biological mysteries."

Johan Lindgren, associate professor at Sweden's Lund University and lead author of a paper describing the work, put together an international team to analyze an approximately 180 million-year-old Stenopterygius fossil from the Holzmaden quarry in Germany.

"Both the body outline and remnants of internal organs are clearly visible," says Lindgren. "Remarkably, the fossil is so well-preserved that it is possible to observe individual cellular layers within its skin."

Researchers identified cell-like microstructures that held pigment organelles within the fossil's skin, as well as traces of an internal organ thought to be the liver.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181205134118.htm
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They also observed material chemically consistent with vertebrate blubber, which is only found in animals capable of maintaining body temperatures independent of ambient conditions.

Lindgren sent samples from the fossil to international colleagues, including Schweitzer. The team conducted a variety of high-resolution analytical techniques, including time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF SIMS), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, as well as immunohistological analysis and various microscopic techniques.

Schweitzer and NC State research assistant Wenxia Zheng extracted soft tissues from the samples and performed multiple, high-resolution immunohistochemical analyses. "We developed a panel of antibodies that we applied to all of the samples, and saw differential binding, meaning the antibodies for a particular protein -- like keratin or hemoglobin -- only bound to particular areas," Schweitzer says. "This demonstrates the specificity of these antibodies and is strong evidence that different proteins persist in different tissues. You wouldn't expect to find keratin in the liver, for example, but you would expect hemoglobin. And that's what we saw in the responses of these samples to different antibodies and other chemical tools."

Lindgren's lab also found chemical evidence for subcutaneous blubber. "This is the first direct, chemical evidence for warm-bloodedness in an ichthyosaur, because blubber is a feature of warm-blooded animals," Schweitzer says.
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Taken together, the researchers' findings indicate that the Stenopterygius had skin similar to that of a whale, and coloration similar to many living marine animals -- dark on top and lighter on the bottom -- which would provide camouflage from predators, like pterosaurs from above, or pliosaurs from below.

"Both morphologically and chemically, we found that although Stenopterygius would be loosely considered 'reptiles,' they lost the scaly skin associated with these animals -- just as the modern leatherback sea turtle has," Schweitzer says. "Losing the scales reduces drag and increases maneuverability underwater.

"This animal's preservation is unusual, especially for a marine environment -- but then, the Holzmaden formation is known for its exceptional preservation. This specimen has given us more evidence that these tissues and molecules can preserve for extremely long periods, and that soft tissue analysis can shed light on evolutionary patterns, relationships, and how ancient animals functioned in their environment.

"Our results were repeatable and consistent across labs. This work really shows what we're capable of discovering when we perform a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional study of an exceptional specimen."


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