Top40 News for 03/27/2018

#1 When tickling the brain to stimulate memory, location matters

WHITE MAGIC  Targeting parts of the brain's white matter, the tissue that connects different brain regions (shown), may be key to whether stimulating the brain with electricity will work as a treatment for memory problems and other ills.

Pasieka/Science Source

BOSTON — Conflicting results on whether brain stimulation helps or hinders memory may be explained by the electrodes’ precise location: whether they’re tickling white matter or gray matter.

New research on epilepsy patients suggests that stimulating a particular stretch of the brain’s white matter — tissue that transfers nerve signals around the brain — improves performance on memory tests. But stimulating the same region’s gray matter, which contains the brain’s nerve cells, seems to impair memory, Nanthia Suthana, a cognitive neuroscientist at UCLA, reported March 25 at a meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.

A groundbreaking study by Suthana and colleagues, published in 2012 the New England Journal of Medicine, found that people performed better on a memory task if their entorhinal cortex — a brain hub for memory and navigation — was given a low jolt of electricity during the task. But subsequent studies stimulating that area have had conflicting results. Follow-up work by Suthana suggests that activating the entorhinal cortex isn’t enough: Targeting a particular path of nerve fibers matters.

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#2 Retired justice urges repeal of Second Amendment

WASHINGTON — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation.

The 97-year-old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association's ability to "block constructive gun control legislation."

Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. He had previously called for changing the Second Amendment to permit gun control.

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#3 Clout of young voters uncertain; A real force or a fad?

NEW YORK (AP) — They have walked out, marched and demanded action across America to stop gun violence. But it’s far from certain that the young people behind the “March for Our Lives” movement will be a political force at the ballot box this fall.

Republicans are skeptical. Democrats are hopeful. And outside groups that favor gun control aren’t taking any chances.

Organizations aligned with Democrats on gun control are spending tens of millions of dollars to ensure that young voters’ passion and enthusiasm doesn’t fade before the November midterm elections, when the Republican Party’s control of Congress will be put to the test.

“Other people look at those young people and think organizing them makes no sense because they don’t vote,” said Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge-fund magnate-turned-liberal activist who has committed at least $31 million this year to what is believed to be the largest youth vote organizing effort in American history. “We really believe in this generation.”

Past voting patterns show how much work Steyer and others have ahead of them. Just 15 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 20 cast ballots in the last midterm election.

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#4 White House counsel examines loans to Kushner’s family business

© Provided by The Hill
White House attorneys are assessing whether White House senior adviser Jared Kushner ran afoul of federal ethics regulations by meeting with executives from two companies that loaned millions of dollars to his family's business.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) had previously raised concerns to the Office of Government Ethics following reports that Kushner met with executives from Apollo Global Management and Citigroup shortly before each company loaned the Kushner Companies millions of dollars.

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Apollo loaned $184 million to the Kushner Companies, while Citigroup loaned $325 million to the business, which is run by Kushner's family.

David Apol, acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, said in a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal that he spoke with the White House Counsel's Office about Krishnamoorthi's concerns.

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  1. They probably would have gotten the loan anyway. Unless they can prove they got some favor in return its just other people being jealous becuase they think they should be getting a cut!

#5 Designer of deadly waterslide charged along with park owner

TOPEKA, Kan. — A water park company co-owner accused of making a spur of the moment decision to build the world's tallest waterslide and rushing it into service, and a designer accused of shoddy planning, were charged Tuesday in the 2016 death of a 10-year-old boy who was decapitated on the ride when the raft he was on went airborne and hit an overhead hoop.

The Kansas attorney general's office said Jeffrey Henry, 62, co-owner of Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, and designer John Schooley were charged with reckless second-degree murder in the death of Caleb Schwab on the 17-story ride Verruckt, a German word for insane. The indictment also charges them with injuries to 13 other people on the slide. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 9 years to 41 years.

The company that built the ride, Henry & Sons Construction Co., which is described as the private construction company of Schlitterbahn, also was charged.

Henry was ordered held in a Texas jail without bond Tuesday, pending extradition to Kansas. The attorney general's office says Schooley is not in custody. Schooley didn't have a listed phone number and no one answered the phone at Henry & Sons Construction Co. Eric B Terry, who represented the company in an earlier unrelated case, didn't immediately return a phone or email message.

The charges announced Tuesday bring to three the number of people accused in Schwab's death. A Kansas grand jury last week indicted Tyler Austin Miles, the former operations manager of the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, on 20 felony charges. The charges include a single count of involuntary manslaughter in Schwab's death. Miles has been released on $50,000 bond, according to one of his attorneys, Tricia Bath.

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#6 The awesome moment U.S. Naval fast-attack submarine smashes through 16 inch thick ice in the Arctic Ocean

This is the awe-inspiring moment that a U.S. submarine broke through feet of ice to surface in the Arctic Ocean during a training drill. 

The USS Hartford is one of two submarines taking part in the biennial Ice Exercise - a five-week drill to assess operation readiness in the Arctic region. The ice where they attempted to surface was reportedly 16 inches thick.

In video taken last Wednesday, the Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine breaks through a sheet of ice covering the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, and then bobs at the surface before coming to a stop. 

Sailors are then seen peaking out of the top of the submarine while others clean ice off the massive rig.   

Moment young girl 'sexually assaulted' by OAP in China

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#7 White House claims Trump is TOO BUSY to tweet about Stormy Daniels (even though he has NO public engagements)

On Tuesday the White House tried to suggest President Trump was too busy to tweet about Stormy Daniels, as he spent the day tucked away from reporters, with scheduled meetings in the Oval Office. 

'Look, I didn't say he punches back on every single topic,' Huckabee Sanders said in the press briefing when asked if Trump's challenging the veracity of the porn star's story, why he hasn't taken her on. 'He also has a country to run and he's doing a great job with that,' the Trump spokeswoman added. 

The president has been uncharacteristically quiet since Daniels' appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday night, tweeting just once on Tuesday, and keeping the day's schedule free of public events. 

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued on Tuesday that President Trump 'has a country to run,' which is why he hasn't tweeted about the 60 Minutes interview featuring porn actress Stormy Daniels, in which she alleged having sex with him in 2006 

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#8 Bodycam footage shows the moment cops shot dead a 76-year-old hospital patient – and Hurricane Irma evacuee – at nurses station after he refused to drop his gun

Video has been released of the moment two police officers shot dead a 76-year-old Hurricane Irma evacuee in a North Carolina hospital after he refused to drop a gun.

The footage, filmed in September 2017, shows Huntersville Police officers Michael Joseph, 32, and Travis Watts, 27, trying to locate Joseph Cook in the hospital.

When they find Cook, who was a patient at the hospital, one of the officer screams: 'Sir, show me your hands, show me your hands!'

The footage, taken from Joseph's body camera, shows Watts holding a shield and firing his gun multiple times into the nurses station. 

Cook, whose body is not seen until later in the video, was ultimately shot eight times.

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#9 REVEALED: British spy who wrote Trump dirty dossier also gave the FBI a report claiming Putin media tsar who US claimed died accidentally was actually bludgeoned to death in a Washington DC hotel room

The FBI is in possession of a secret report that was written by the former MI5 agent behind the Trump dirty dossier which claims Putin's former media tsar Mikhail Lesin was beaten to death in 2015, directly contradicting the government's official line that he died by accident after drinking too much.

The report was written by Christopher Steele, the British spy behind the infamous 'golden showers' dossier put together in an attempt to prove Trump's alleged collusion with the Russians, after Lesin was found dead in a hotel room in Washington in November 2015. 

It claims that a Russian oligarch hired men to beat him after the pair fell out but that they went too far and accidentally killed him. 

It does not indicate whether Putin knew about the alleged plot, however it adds to previous claims that Lesin's death was no mistake.   BuzzFeed News published details of Steele's report on Tuesday.

According to his research in Moscow, Lesin was murdered after falling out with an unnamed oligarch who is close with Putin.  

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