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IT40 News for 01/16/2019

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#1 Trump Summons Thousands Back to Work Without Pay as Shutdown Drags On

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Tuesday that it would summon tens of thousands of federal employees back to work without pay to get the government running amid a partial shutdown well into its third week, as the White House and increasingly agitated lawmakers on Capitol Hill cast about for a way to end to the stalemate.

On a day of inertia and theatrics in Washington, the partisan disconnect fueling the deadlock was on full — sometimes absurd — display. House Democrats spurned an invitation by President Trump to a bipartisan lunch at the White House, drawing howls of outrage from Mr. Trump’s team, while Democrats dismissed the steak-and-potatoes meal as little more than a photo opportunity. A group of House Democratic freshmen marched across the Capitol — with reporters in tow — to publicly confront Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, with demands to end the impasse. But Mr. McConnell was not in his office, so they left a note.

In between the choreographed scenes of non-negotiation, Republicans and Democrats toiled privately to find a solution that Mr. Trump would accept. The talks were expected to continue Wednesday, after the president issued yet another lunch invitation to a group of centrists from both parties, the Problem Solvers Caucus, who were weighing whether to attend.

Senior administration officials, in the latest indication that they do not expect the partial shutdown to end anytime soon, made contingency plans to call back workers without pay. The Federal Aviation Administration said it was bringing thousands of furloughed inspectors and other employees back to work, while the Internal Revenue Service released a plan to have 46,000 of its 80,000 employees on the job for tax-filing season, up from about 10,000.

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#2 UK’s May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit plan crushed

LONDON — British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union on Tuesday, plunging the Brexit process into chaos and triggering a no-confidence vote that could topple her government.

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The defeat was widely expected, but the scale of the House of Commons' vote — 432 votes against the government and 202 in support — was devastating for May's fragile leadership.

It followed more than two years of political upheaval in which May has staked her political reputation on getting a Brexit deal and was the biggest defeat for a government in the House of Commons in modern history.

Moments after the result was announced — with Speaker John Bercow bellowing "the noes have it" to a packed Commons chamber — May said it was only right to test whether the government still had lawmakers' support to carry on. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn quickly obliged, saying May's government had lost the confidence of Parliament.

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#3 Escort Who Said She Had Tapes of Russian Meddling to Be Deported From Thailand

A Belarusian escort who has spent nearly a year behind bars in Thailand after claiming to have audio recordings linking Russia with President Trump’s election will be deported within days, officials said Wednesday.

Anastasia Vashukevich and seven others arrested with her pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation and conspiracy on Tuesday in the Pattaya Provincial Court. The court sentenced them to three years in prison but reduced their sentences to time served.

They had faced up to 10 years on charges of indecency, conspiracy and belonging to a secret society.

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The damaging information that Ms. Vashukevich claimed to possess has never materialized.

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#4 Iran calls for release of its journalist arrested in U.S.

DUBAI, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Iran on Wednesday called for the immediate release of an American-born journalist arrested in the United States while working for Iran's English-language state television, accusing Washington of mistreating her in jail as a black Muslim woman.

Iran's English-language Press TV said earlier Wednesday that Marziyeh Hashemi, its TV anchor and documentary film maker, was arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday and was being held in Washington. She has not been formally charged.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials were not immediately available for comment.

"We condemn the illegal arrest of Marziyeh Hashemi, the reporter and presenter of Press TV, and the inhuman treatment of her in jail in Washington," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

Press TV said in a statement on its website that Hashemi "a mother and a grandmother ... has traveled to the United States to visit her family members, including her brother, who is suffering from cancer."

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#5 U.S. Concerned at China’s Rapidly Modernizing Military

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has published a new report warning that China’s rapidly modernizing military poses a potent threat to security in Asia.

The 140-page report, published Tuesday, is titled: “China Military Power: Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win.” It notes that ongoing tension over the status of Taiwan is a key factor in China’s huge investment in its military forces in recent years.

Read More: China warns it won’t allow U.S. interference in Taiwan as military leaders meet to defuse tensions

“Beijing's longstanding interest to eventually compel Taiwan's reunification with the mainland and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence has served as the primary driver for China's military modernization,” DIA Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley wrote.

“China is building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains which will enable China to impose its will in the region. As it continues to grow in strength and confidence, our nation’s leaders will face a China insistent on having a greater voice in global interactions, which at times may be antithetical to U.S. interests.”

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#6 The Democratic National Committee ended its sponsorship of the Women’s March after co-leader Tamika Mallory refuses to condemn Louis Farrakhan

The Democratic National Commitee joined dozens of prominent progressive organizations who have quietly dropped their support for the Women's March after after months of controversy over accusations of anti-Semitism among the organization's leadership.

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The DNC's move comes just days before the group's annual event and shortly after march co-leader Tamika Mallory refused to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has for years made anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks, in a Monday interview on "The View."

"The DNC stands in solidarity with all those fighting for women's rights and holding the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers across the country accountable," Sabrina Singh, the DNC's deputy communications director, said in a statement. "Women are on the front lines of fighting back against this administration and are the core of our Democratic Party."

The DNC was joined by groups including the AFL-CIO, NARAL, the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, and Amnesty International - all of whom are no longer listed as official sponsors of the group.

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#7 Briton and American among dead in Nairobi hotel attack

A Briton and an American were among at least 14 people killed in a militant attack on a hotel and office complex in Nairobi on Tuesday, officials and relatives have said.

“I am very sad to confirm that we believe that at least one British national has been killed in the attack,” said Nic Hailey, the British high commissioner in Nairobi. “We are providing support to his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Jason Spindler, the American who died, was the director of a business development firm who was based in the Kenyan capital, and had survived the 11 September attacks in New York. “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that my brother, Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi,” his brother Jonathan wrote on Facebook. “Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell.”

Eleven Kenyans were confirmed dead, a mortuary official told AFP. One victim had no papers, the official added.

Related: Kenya received warnings of imminent al-Shabaab terror attack

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#8 Travis Scott Consulted With Colin Kaepernick Before Confirming Super Bowl Appearance (EXCLUSIVE)

News that Travis Scott would be performing with Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl first leaked out in December, but three weeks passed before the performance was officially announced. That announcement only came after Scott announced that he and the NFL would donate $500,000 to the non-profit social-justice organization Dream Corps. The move was clearly intended to blunt the criticism Maroon 5 and particularly Scott had received for performing at the game, due largely to the league’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has essentially been banished from professional football for taking a knee during the pre-game performances of the national anthem, a move many feel is based in racism.

Scott and Kaepernick had at least one phone conversation before the rapper confirmed his Super Bowl appearance, sources tell Variety. A source close to Scott said that while the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding, with the rapper taking the stance that everyone makes a statement in their own way and he felt that the money going toward Dream Corps, combined with the platform provided by the Super Bowl, will do some good. The source also said that Scott would not confirm his performance until the donation was locked in.

Reps for Kaepernick and Scott declined Variety‘s requests for comment.

The comments were similar to the ones Scott made in his statement announcing the donation. “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” he said. “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”

After the three performers were confirmed, a petition helmed by Change.org demanding that Maroon 5 cancel their performance, which had collected nearly 85,000 signatures, was updated to request that all three take a knee during the halftime performance. “It appears these artists aren’t backing out at this point. So now what?,” the petition reads. “There’s one way they can still redeem their reputation with their fans. Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi: take a knee during your set.”

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#9 Former Oscars Producer Says Show Doesn’t Necessarily Need a Host

When Donna Gigliotti, who is producing this year’s Oscars, took the stage Monday at a reception for the Producers Guild Award nominees in New York, she had a simple message for everyone present: “If anyone in this room asks me who is going to host the Oscars, security is going to escort you out.”

Gigliotti made the joke before introducing Bruce Cohen, the winner of this year’s Charles B. FitzSimons Lifetime Achievement Award. Cohen himself is certainly no stranger to the Oscars; in addition to winning best picture in 2000 for American Beauty, he also produced the 2011 Oscars broadcast. Leading up to this year’s show, Cohen told The Hollywood Reporter he’s been vicariously riding “the intense, indescribable roller coaster ride that is producing the Oscars.”

This year is particularly challenging for the Academy, and all because of the hosting role. Kevin Hart was announced to lead the show on Dec. 4, but withdrew from the gig just two days later after an uproar over years-old homophobic tweets. The position has remained vacant ever since.

But according to Cohen, the Oscars don’t necessarily need a host.

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#10 Keanu Reeves is wet and wild in John Wick 3 teaser

As you might expect from a man with a $14 million bounty on his head, Keanu Reeves‘s hitman looks particularly annoyed in a just-released teaser for John Wick 3 (out May 13). Also, it’s raining! In addition to teasing us about the titular character’s mood and the weather conditions, the clip reveals that a trailer for director Chad Stahelski’s action sequel will be released this Thursday.

“The third chapter is literally connected to 

The actor’s costars this time around include franchise newbies Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, and Hollywood legend Anjelica Huston as “someone who was responsible for [Wick’s] upbringing and his protection,” says Stahelski, who calls Chapter 3 “a little bit of an origin story.”

Watch that teaser, above.

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#11 Drake Signs Multi-Year Las Vegas Residency Deal at Wynn for Over $10 Million!

© David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns

Drake just guaranteed that he’ll be a big winner in Las Vegas over the next couple of years by securing millions of dollars for a residency at one of the hottest Vegas clubs on The Strip.

Sources close to the deal tell The Blast the “God’s Plan” singer recently agreed to a multi-year deal, with a minimum 10 show commitment at XS Nightclub inside the Wynn casino and hotel. We’re told the deal guarantees Drake more than $10 million.

Last week the hip-hop star performed at XS during the Consumers Electronics Show and hinted at the longterm deal, telling the crowd, “I’ll be back here at XS all year. You’ll have a lot of chances to see me.”

We’re told Drake was highly sought after by many clubs in Las Vegas, as it becomes the growing trend to lock down big celebrities, like J. Lo and Lady Gaga, to residency deals. After discussions with many clubs, we’re told October’s Very Own chose XS due to its high exposure and ability to consistently bring in the biggest crowds.

It’s unclear when tickets will go on sale, but it appears the official announcement is coming soon as Drake dropped a photo last week of himself performing at XS, and proclaiming, “New home.”

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#12 The Ticking Clock That Is ‘Avengers: Endgame’

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has played with time in ways that films rarely get to. When it comes to characters aging significantly onscreen, there are sometimes time jumps, such as in the Star Wars and Blade Runner franchises. But few film characters are a constant presence over a long period of time like the Avengers have been, with multiple heroes aging and maturing together.

So it's appropriate that time travel has been a rumored plot device for Avengers: Endgame. Time travel provides the opportunity to end the Avengers' stories, and possibly their lives, in a way that will allow them to pass the baton to the next generation of heroes.

Each original Avenger has a tale of time that can grow through visiting their past — their triumphs, their mistakes, what they’ve forgotten. 

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has gone from an egotistical hotshot to a regretful middle-aged man. Iron Man (2008) shows him learning from his past mistakes of getting into arms dealing, and every passing film has dealt with Tony trying to get ahead of time, to prevent a coming doom. And he fails time and time again, irreversible mistakes piling up, until his nightmares come true in the form of Thanos' snap in Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has been a man out of time, trying to understand his place and his duty in the 21st century. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) depicts Rogers as unsure of what he’s meant for. Captain America: Civil War (2016) gives him a semblance of purpose. Time gives him back his best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan), but takes away in equal measure, as he loses his first love, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), and the Avengers as a family. Avengers: Infinity War calls Steve back to duty only for him to truly fail.

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#13 Colton Underwood Calls Ex Aly Raisman His Worst Heartbreak in ‘Tough’ Split

Colton Underwood may be looking for “the one” on The Bachelor this season, but the 26-year-old former football star has had his heart broken before.  

Colton opened up to The LadyGang podcast, including ET's Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, and Jac Vanek, about his gymnast ex, Aly Raisman, whom he dated for seven to eight months from late 2016 to mid-2017. 

"I wouldn’t say it was on the show. I would say it was my first love,” Colton said of having his worst heartbreak, naming Aly during the interview. 

"While it was confusing and it was hard in the beginning, it also taught me a lot about myself, what I need, what I want, what I can do better in a relationship,” Colton said of the split. "It was a big step for me. It was really tough.”

The Bachelor named Jennifer Aniston as his first celebrity crush, saying he used to stay home and watch Friends while others were out partying. 

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#14 Miley Cyrus Can’t Stop Gushing About ‘Happiest Days’ With Hubby Liam Hemsworth in Touching Post

Almost a decade later, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth couldn’t be more perfect! The newlywed stars are clearly more smitten than ever, and late Sunday night, Cyrus took to social media in a rare personal post in honor of Hemsworth’s birthday. 

“L, HBD to my #1… When we met you were 19, Today, you are 29,” she began. “I thought I could share some of my favorite things about my favorite dude in honor of this very special day.” 

The subsequent list crafted by Cyrus seriously has us swooning. 

“The way you look at me, the way you look at our dogs… our pigs, our horses, our cats, our fish. The way you look at your family,” she wrote. “Your friends… at strangers… at life… the way you look at the ocean and the way you always take your time.”

The romance continued as the “Malibu” singer gushed about Hemsworth, adding, “The look on your face when you receive good news and how you look AT the bad news. I love how you always try things your way, but are never too proud to ask for help.”

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#15 CNN analyst Areva Martin accused radio host David Webb of ‘white privilege.’ Webb is black

During a guest radio appearance, a CNN legal analyst said the show's host, who is black, has benefited from "white privilege."

The segment aired Tuesday during a SiriusXM show hosted by David Webb, who is also a contributor at Fox News. His guest during the segment was Areva Martin, a civil rights attorney and CNN legal analyst.

According to a clip posted to Twitter, Webb details his rise in the media, saying he always saw his qualifications as a more important issue than his color.

"Well, David, that’s a whole 'nother long conversation about white privilege, the things that you have the privilege of doing that people of color don’t have the privilege of," said Martin.

When Webb asks how he benefits, Martin said it's "by virtue of being a white male."

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#16 CNN legal analyst Areva Martin accuses David Webb of ‘white privilege’ before learning he’s black

It was a rough day for author and CNN legal analyst Areva Martin, as she accused Sirius XM radio and Fox Nation host David Webb of 'white privilege' during a segment on a radio program before he broke the news to her that he was actually black. The embarrassing moment occurred during a discussion about experience being more important than race when determining whether or not someone is qualified for a particular job.

It was a rough day for author and CNN legal analyst Areva Martin on Tuesday.

Martin accused Sirius XM radio and Fox Nation host David Webb of “white privilege” during a segment on a radio program before he broke the news.

“Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black,” Webb said.


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#17 Professional bull rider, 25, dies after being injured at Colorado event

A professional bull rider died Tuesday night after he suffered injuries during an event at the National Western Stock Show in Colorado.

A professional bull rider died Tuesday night after he suffered injuries during an event at the National Western Stock Show in Colorado.

Mason Lowe, 25, was set to compete in the rodeo show at the Denver Coliseum when he was seriously injured, the Professional Bull Riders Association said in a statement. The organization did not provide details of how Lowe was injured.


"We are deeply saddened to report that Mason Lowe passed away this evening following injuries sustained at the PBR event in Denver," PBR president Sean Gleason said in a statement. "The entire PBR and National Western sports family extends our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Mason’s wife Abbey and his family.”

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#18 Juventus v Milan: Supercoppa Italiana – live!

45+3 mins: That’s half time. There have been no great chances, but a bit of fouling and shooting, and very occasionally saving.

45+2 mins: Castillejo brings down Matuidi from behind, and is booked.

45+1 mins: There will be about two minutes of stoppage time.

45 mins: Save! Calhanoglu goes down the left then tries to work the ball inside to Paqueta. It rebounds back to him, though, and he hammers a low shot goalwards, which Szczesny holds!

44 mins: Pjanic is booked, for sliding in on Calhanoglu about two yards from the referee. Again, a free kick would probably have sufficed there, but maybe the referee thought doing that right in front of him was a bit cheeky.

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#19 Tiger Woods will make his 2019 debut at Torrey Pines for Farmers Insurance Open

Tiger Woods will make his 2019 debut at Torrey Pines for Farmers Insurance Open

It’s a perfect fit.

As expected, Tiger Woods will make his 2019 debut in the Farmers Insurance Open at his beloved seaside Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. The tournament announced Woods' commitment Wednesday.

The tournament begins Jan. 24.

Torrey Pines in a favorite stomping ground for Woods, who has started most of his campaigns there dating back to 2006. Woods, who often attended the Andy Williams San Diego Open at Torrey Pines with his father back in his childhood days, has won the Farmers Insurance Open on seven occasions, the most recent coming in 2013.

Woods also won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines with a broken left leg and severe ligament damage in his left knee. It was his most recent of 14 triumphs in major championships.

Woods, who turned 43 last month, is No. 12 in the official world golf rankings. He last played in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December, where he finished 17th in the 18-man field. Before that, he lost The Match in Las Vegas to Phil Mickelson on Thanksgiving weekend.

Making his return to the game following spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, Woods’ capped his remarkable 2017-18 wraparound PGA Tour season by winning The Tour Championship in Atlanta, his most recent of 80 Tour titles and his first victory on the PGA Tour since 2013. He had six other top-6 finishes, including a tie for sixth in the British Open and a second in the PGA Championship.

Woods played 18 events last season – the most since he played 19 in 2012. He also played in the Ryder Cup, The Match and the Hero World Challenge. In the Bahamas, Woods, who will captain the U.S. squad in the Presidents Cup in December, said he won’t play as much this season.

“I played in too many this year, and that was from adding an event because I missed the cut at (the Genesis Open) to qualifying to get into Akron (the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational),” Woods said. “All those events took a toll.”

Woods has not unveiled his 2018-19 schedule. Currently, Woods said he’s committed to playing in five events in addition to the Farmers Insurance Open – the Genesis Open, which is run by and benefits his foundation, and the four major championships.

Woods joins a star-studded field that includes defending champion Jason Day, current world No. 1 and reigning FedExCup champion Justin Rose, 2017 Farmers winner Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Marc Leishman and Jordan Spieth.

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