IT40 News for 07/10/2018

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#1 Trump names D.C. circuit judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

President Donald Trump named Washington, D.C. federal judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

'Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law,' Trump said in his announcement.

'There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,' the president added. 

President Trump named Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

Trump called Brett Kavanaugh 'one of the sharpest legal minds of our time.' Kavanaugh was joined by his family, wife Ashley, and daughters Margaret and Liza, at the announcement

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#2 Father, toddler son shot dead in Georgia; mother falls into ravine while fleeing attacker, officials say

An American family of three living in the republic of Georgia died during an attack by a disgruntled shepherd, who shot and killed the father and young son, and caused the mother to flee in fear -- until she fell into a ravine and died, officials said.

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Ryan Smith, his wife, Lora Smith, and their son, Caleb, were pronounced dead when their bodies were found last week, days after the family was killed on July 4, the Interior Ministry of Georgia announced Monday.

Police began searching for the family last Friday after someone notified them that the Smiths and their son, all of whom have dual citizenship in Georgia and the U.S., were missing. Authorities began searching Khada Gorge, the Dusheti region of Georgia, and found a car and personal belongings in Tskere village.

On the same day, Lora Smith’s body was found at the edge of a waterfall with “no traces of violence.” Ryan Smith’s body was discovered the next day.

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#3 Trump Stance on Breast-Feeding and Formula Criticized by Medical Experts

The Trump administration’s aggressive attempts to water down an international resolution supporting breast-feeding go against decades of advice by most medical organizations and public health experts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls human breast milk the “normative standard” for infant feeding, and recommends that mothers breast-feed their babies exclusively for six months.

“Breast-feeding is one of the most cost-effective interventions for improving maternal and child health,” said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists “strongly supports” breast-feeding and says evidence of benefits “continues to mount.” Global health experts say that in poor countries in particular, breast-feeding reduces diarrheal diseases and saves babies’ lives.

On Monday, President Trump sharply criticized a New York Times report that the United States had threatened trade sanctions and withdrawal of military aid to defeat a resolution at a United Nations health assembly that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and to limit misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

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#4 Federal judge rejects Trump administration’s bid to alter rules on detaining minors

People stage a protest in Union Square against President Donald J. Trump's immigration policy in Manhattan, New York on July 7.

Police clear the area after removing protesters from blocking the loading dock of a Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) office in Philadelphia on July 3.

Demonstrators attend a march and rally on June 30 outside the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Los Angeles, California against the separation of immigrant families.

People protest outside a Border Patrol office during a rally in McAllen, Texas, on June 30.

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#5 Dem senator: Trump’s Supreme Court pick shows he’s ‘terrified of Robert Mueller’

© Provided by The Hill
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Monday laid into President Trump for nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying he did so to protect himself in the ongoing Russia probe.

Merkley suggested Trump picked Kavanaugh because of the judge's past writings that argue a president should be shielded from ongoing investigations.

Trump tapped Kavanaugh, 53, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of the month.

Prior to serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Kavanaugh worked as a White House aide under former President George W. Bush, and for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated former President Clinton in the 1990s.

In his legal writings, Kavanaugh has argued the president should be shielded from the demands of criminal and civil investigations because they interfere with his official duties.

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#6 The Most Powerful Storm on Earth Is Bearing Down on Japan

I think it’s time to retire Maria as a name for any storm. The name has been wiped from the hurricane list in the Atlantic after Hurricane Maria completely upended life in the Caribbean. But it’s still on the rolls in the Pacific, where Typhoon Maria is about to make life miserable.

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The storm has ping-ponged between being the equivalent of a Category 4 and Category 5 storm since late last week. Maria could clip Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan before slamming into China’s central coast on Wednesday, dumping heavy rains along the way. That could be a huge issue in Japan, which is already reeling from historic flooding that’s left at least 109 dead and 2 million ready evacuate.

As of Monday, Maria was spinning as a strong Category 4 storm about 300 miles from Okinawa with sustained winds of nearly 143 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Gusts are even more potent, reaching an estimated 174 mph. The current buzzsaw of a storm is a far cry from where it was on Thursday, when it was just a tropical storm with winds around 70 mph.

From Thursday to Friday, the storm exploded. Warm waters and calm upper levels winds allow the storm to blow up to a Category 5 monster with 160 mph winds in 24 hours. In meteorological parlance, the storm underwent rapid intensification, which weather geeks define as a storm’s winds increasing 35 mph in a 24-hour period. Maria more than met the criteria.

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#7 He refused to pay a fine for the U.S. flag on his porch. His fight with the HOA forced him to sell his house.

Shortly after slicing open the letter from his condo association, Larry Murphree was seeing red.

People doing routine neighborhood checks for the Tides Condominium Association had taken notice of the “unauthorized object” on his front porch and demanded that he remove it. If he didn’t, the letter warned, he’d be fined $100 every day.

But the “unauthorized object” in question was a 17-inch American flag that he had placed in a flower pot. And Murphree, who says he spent half a dozen years as an air traffic controller in the Air Force, wasn’t budging.

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“I lost it,” Murphree said of his state on receiving the letter. “It just dawned on me there’s people that strap on a gun every day to protect me and the people I love. It’s a small flag, but it stands for a big thank you.”

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#8 Trump’s Personal Driver for 25 Years Sues for Unpaid Overtime

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years says the billionaire real estate developer didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary twice in 15 years, clawing back the second raise by cutting off his health benefits.

Noel Cintron, who is listed in public records as a registered Republican, sued the Trump Organization for about 3,300 hours of overtime that he says he worked in the past six years. He’s not allowed to sue for overtime prior to that due to the statute of limitations.

“In an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige,” Trump and his businesses exploited the driver, Cintron says in the complaint.

Cintron says he was required to be on duty for Trump starting at 7 a.m. each day until whenever Trump, his family or business associates no longer required his services. He worked as long as 55 hours per week, but was paid a fixed salary of $62,700 in 2003, $68,000 in 2006, and $75,000 in 2010, according to the complaint.

The wage bump in 2010 came with a catch, Cintron said. He was induced to surrender his health insurance, saving Trump approximately $17,866 per year in premiums, according to the lawsuit.

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#9 Many out of power, water in flood-hit Japan; over 150 dead

Heavy rainfall in Japan has caused major flooding that has killed and injured dozens and forced massive evacuations. 

Heavy rainfall in Japan leave dozens killed and injured, with over 1.6 million people evacuated.

(Pictured) People are rescued by fire fighters on July 8, in Kurashiki, Japan.

Mabi town is flooded on July 8, after the collapse of the Oda river embankment a day prior, in Kurishiki.

Rescue workers look at a damaged house following heavy rains and flooding in Hiroshima, on July 8.

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#10 Illegal fires ignite massive Colorado blazes, spur arrests

DENVER (AP) — An illegal campfire likely ignited another destructive blaze in Colorado, an outcome authorities were trying to avoid across the hot, dry U.S. West by enforcing strict fire rules and closing some public lands.

Several people have been arrested in two Colorado wildfires that burned homes after ignoring local and federal restrictions on campfires, target shooting and other activities aimed at combating and avoiding explosive blazes across the U.S. region.

Parts of Colorado and other Western states have been grappling with heat and severe drought. In Arizona, large swaths of national forests and state trust land have been closed since before Memorial Day, while some national forests in New Mexico are opening up after rain helped ease fire danger that kept popular trails and camping spots off limits for weeks.

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