BartCop Entertainment Archives - Friday, 10 March, 2017

Friday

10 March, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[35 days in a row]



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Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Josh Marshall: Why Repeal and Replace Is Going So Badly (TPM)
The outlook for the GOP leaderships' 'repeal and replace' bill looks bleak. That said, I would not underestimate the ability of GOP leaders to get their members to vote for basically anything in the crunch. Also remember that House Republicans have a 20+ vote cushion. But it's worth reviewing what I believe are three key reasons why the current legislation looks to be on life support just a day after it was released.


Daniel Marans, Laura Barron-Lopez: Republicans' Obamacare Replacement Just Got A Powerful Enemy (Huffington Post)
AARP announces its opposition to the bill.


Mark Hill: 5 Reasons Why The Middle Class Doesn't Understand Poverty (Cracked)
Unlike John [Cheese] and others, I grew up one year's worth of acoustic guitar lessons away from being the most stereotypical middle-class white kid ever. I didn't take yearly vacations to private islands to hunt men for sport, but I also never wanted for clothes and video games. And while us suburban kids were taught that it's good to help the poor, we were also accidentally taught to treat them with disdain. Here's how.


Kevin Jackson: Anthony Burgess at 100: unearthly powers (Prospect Magazine)
His critics accused him of being a mere entertainer with highbrow airs. But Anthony Burgess was one of the most astonishing writers of the 20th century.


Claire Hennessey: "Girl Power: the best female leads in children's and young adult novels" (Irish Times)
International Women's Day: Claire Hennessy introduces you to a host of literary role models.


Rebecca Nicholson: Instagram is my haven from rage-filled social media (The Guardian)
The photo-sharing site still offers moments of kindness - and we all need a slice of rainbow cake once in a while.


Andy Orin: The Gentle Respite of Instagram (LifeHacker)
There is only one place on the internet that is nice. There is only one place that does not add to my anxiety and actually alleviates the low level dread that comes with the ubiquitous awareness of being online all of the time. That place is Instagram.


Michael Dirda: The unconventional life of Angela Carter - prolific author, reluctant feminist (Washington Post)
As Carter herself complained at the end of her life, "I had no intention of writing illustrative textbooks of late feminist theory to be used in institutions of education and the thought that I'm taught in universities makes me feel rather miserable."



David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

David Bruce's Smashwords Page

David Bruce's Blog

David Bruce's Lulu Storefront

David Bruce's Apple iBookstore

David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.


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Trivia Question of the Day


In 2005, The Guardian determined using "estimates of earnings accrued in a composer's lifetime" that this American was the wealthiest composer of all time. What is the name of this composer?

                                  



Send your answer to Marty








Throwback Thursday Trivia Question from Yesterday


Peaking at 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the only record to chart for Loudon Wainwright III, this song memorializes a deceased animal in the center of a street. What kind of animal was it?


       Dead Skunk (In The Middle Of The Road)                                                      Source


"Dead Skunk" is a 1972 novelty song by Loudon Wainwright III.

The song is musically a simple folk song based on acoustic guitar, but accompanied by drums and strings. The lyrics describe a dead skunk in the middle of a busy road and the smell it produces for pedestrians. Wainwright said the song was an accident, written in 15 minutes.

Although the single was released in November 1972, it was not until well into 1973 that it caught on with radio stations, and its number 16 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was not reached until the week ending 31 March 1973. It peaked at number 12 on the Cashbox charts on April 14. It was the only record to chart for Wainwright. "Dead Skunk" also reached number eight in Canada and number 12 in Australia.        Source


DEAD SKUNK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD - LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III - YouTube








David of Moon Valley was first and correct with:
   Dead skunk in the middle of the road
  and (like the current republicrap administration)
  it's stinkin' to high heaven




Mark. wrote:
   I would guess that the biggest song from Loudon Wainwright III was about a Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.



zorch said:
   Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road



Randall replied:
   Dead Skunk
  ...in the middle of the road
  stinkin to high heaven





Alan J responded:
   Dead Skunk in the middle of the road.



Adam answered:
   Looks to be a dead skunk



mj wrote:
   One knows, without seeing
  That there's a Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.




Stephen F said:
   Dead Skunk



Jim from CA, retired to ID, replied:
   a dead skunk in the middle of the road



Kevin K. in Washington, DC answered:
   It was a dead skunk in the middle of the road, and it was stinkin' to high heaven.
  (I love when the trivia question can be answered by just remembering a song that was in heavy rotation on AM radio when I was a kid. I have a good memory for those!)




Deborah responded:
   "Dead skunk in the middle of the road/And it's stinkin' to high heaven."
  The Wainwrights are a musically talented family. Rufus and Loudon (among other artists) made a record with the McGarrigal sisters and enjoy it 20+ yrs. later.
  So if Congress is going to futz with the ACA, why don't they give us the same health care plan they have?
  70 degrees yesterday - spring is right around the corner!




Dave in Tucson wrote:
   Loudon Wainwright's dead animal in the middle of the road was a skunk.





Billy in Cypress said:
   The title tells is all except the smell which seems to haunt forever: "Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)". It reminds me of CpPDJT-ID and his mob of repugs whose stench is so distracting, nauseating, endless and widespread that it is impossible to escape now and possibly in the future.



Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali replied:
   Good old stinky fucking dead skunk. We have more than a few of those awful, rabid critters in my parts. Almost like springtime in the foothills of the Sierras. We'll see.



DJ Useo answered:
   That would be a skunk. Something to dread in real life. I lived in a woods for years, & when those suckers came around, I knew it long before they arrived. Even indoors, I had total cover from the smell. Glad the song doesn't do that.





Joe S     took the day off.
  



MAM     took the day off.
  



Marian took the day off.
  



BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.
  
~~~~~

  March 10 Birthdays - Celebrities Born March 10 | Famous Birthdays




Sally has retired.
  


  





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Middle Class Political Economist




Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"


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Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ


Nick Kristof follows Rachel on Trump & Russia



61 Paths to Putin



GOP Rushes Forward With Its Health Care Bill | The Huffington Post



BBC - Earth - In 1703, Britain was struck by possibly its worst ever storm



Why 3-D Printed Homes May Save Lives As Well As the Environment - NBC News



Secretly Filmed Anti-Immigrant Video Claims Indians Have 'Ravaged' the Midwest - NBC News



Iceland Plans To Become World's First Country To Require Equal Pay For Women : The Two-Way : NPR



In Arizona, Program To Recruit Police To Help ICE Agents Gets Mixed Reviews : NPR



Chaffetz can play with his iPhone while Rachel Maddow helps me build my war chest



Watch Joe Kennedy educate the GOP-on what defunding Planned Parenthood would look like



Is Trump running out of mouthpieces?



Brookings: Expect CBO estimate to show 15M losing coverage under TrumpCare. Huge coverage losses.



Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Hate group - 'Don't watch 'Beauty and the Beast!' Support our movie instead!



Look on my works, ye mighty Ozymandias statue found in mud | World news | The Guardian



Justin Trudeau Pledged $650 Million To Counter Trump's Anti-Abortion Rule | The Huffington Post



ACLU launching People Power to resist Trump immigration policies in 'freedom cities' | US news | The Guardian



Canada judge resigns over 'keep your knees together' comment in rape trial | World news | The Guardian



Dying robots and failing hope: Fukushima clean-up falters six years after tsunami | World news | The Guardian



Samuel L Jackson hit out at black British actors in Hollywood. Was he right? | Gary Younge and Joseph Harker | Opinion | The Guardian



Sex orgies, prostitution, porn: Claims shake Catholic Church in Italy



Montini: AARP says 'Trumpcare' repeals, replaces ... seniors



Rob Bishop: Republicans seek 'paradigm shift' in federal land management




Thanks, Michelle!


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Reader Suggestion

Spicer Bunny


Hilarious photos of Spicey being a WH bunny for Moron! The bunny suit seems as ill-fitting as that suit he wore for his first tirade at the WH Press Corps!

Photos of Sean Spicer dressed as Easter Bunny resurface | Daily Mail Online


Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.


Thanks, Linda!



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Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp


Insurance Companies Just Accidentally Made The Case For Medicare For All | The Huffington Post



Republicans are now paying the price for a years-long campaign of Obamacare lies - Vox



AARP Tears Apart New GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan - TPM



Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government - ProPublica



The GOP health bill is a $600 billion tax cut - almost entirely for the wealthy - Vox



The U.S. is about to lose a trillion dollars in coastal property values - thinkprogress.org



From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. Donald J. Trump - BillMoyers.com



The Deep State Is a Figment of Steve Bannon's Imagination - POLITICO Magazine



Paul Ryan Doesn't Know How Insurance Works - esquire.com



Was Trump compromised by Russians? We don't know - but we do know he adores authoritarian thugs - Salon.com



Michael Flynn Concealed Foreign Lobbying Work From Justice Department | The Huffington Post



FBI still investigating computer link between Trump Organization, Russian bank: report | TheHill



Trumpcare breaks every promise Trump made about health care - thinkprogress.org



Trump Promises Tea Party Groups He Will Punish America: If TrumpCare Fails, He Will Let ACA Fail - dailykos.com



GOP Congressman Says Men Shouldn't Have to Pay for Prenatal Care | Mother Jones



GOP slams budget scorekeeper as repeal bill moves forward - POLITICO



Internet erupts in mockery after Trump says Trumpcare will be 'a beautiful picture' - rawstory.com





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from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying




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http://dareland.blogspot.com



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Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD


PRUNE WHIP BABBLES.

"I F*CKING HATE MELANIA TRUMP."

THE CRASS CLOWN!

EAT YOUR FASCISM! IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!

DONALD TRUMPS' PET HAMSTER.

WHO DAT?

EVEN THE ROBOTS ARE DYING!

WHAT A FUSTER-CLUCK.

WOOF!

"JOE BIDEN IS FOLLOWING ME."






Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music




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In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Sunny and straight into summer temps.



Tonight, Friday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'MacGyver', followed by a FRESH 'Hawaii Five-0', then a FRESH 'Blue Bloods'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Felicity Huffman, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Anthony DeVito.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 1/17/17) are Kate Hudson, Anders Holm, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Jim James.



NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Grimm', followed by 'Dateline'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Fallon (from 2/3/17) are Gordon Ramsay, Alessia Cara, and experts from "Ask This Old House".
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 3/1/17) are Amy Schumer, RuPaul, Panic! At the Disco, and Vinnie Colaiuta.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 2/27/17) are Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Caspian, and Jenny Zigrino.



ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'Last Man Standing', followed by a FRESH 'Dr. Ken', then a RERUN 'Shark Tank', followed by '20/20'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 3/2/17) are George W. Bush and Adam Pally.



The CW offers a FRESH 'The Vampire Diaries', followed by another FRESH 'The Vampire Diaries'.



Faux has a RERUN 'Rosewood', followed by a FRESH 'Sleepy Hollow'.



MY recycles an old 'American Ninja Warrior', followed by another old 'American Ninja Warrior'.



A&E has 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH 'The First 48: Revenge Kills', then a FRESH 'Live PD'.



AMC offers the movie 'Planet Of The Apes', followed by the movie 'Beneath The Planet Of The Apes'.



BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 11-Haven
 [7:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 12-The Big Goodbye
 [8:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 13-Datalore
 [9:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 14-Angel One
 [10:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 15-11001001
 [11:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 16-Too Short a Season
 [12:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 17-When The Bough Breaks
 [1:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 18-Home Soil
 [2:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 19-Coming of Age
 [3:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 20-Heart of Glory
 [4:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 12-The Deadly Years
 [5:10PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 13-Obsession
 [6:20PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 14-Wolf in the Fold
 [7:30PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 15-The Trouble with Tribbles
 [8:40PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 16-The Gamesters of Triskelion
 [9:50PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 17-A Piece of the Action
 [11:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 12-The Deadly Years
 [12:10AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 13-Obsession
 [1:20AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 14-Wolf in the Fold
 [2:30AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 15-The Trouble with Tribbles
 [3:40AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 16-The Gamesters of Triskelion
 [4:50AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 17-A Piece of the Action    (ALL TIMES EST)



Bravo has 'Married To Medicine', another 'Married To Medicine', followed by the movie 'Why Did I Get Married?'.



Comedy Central has 'Futurama', another 'Futurama', 2 hours of old 'South Park', followed by the movie 'Hot Tub Time Machine'.



FX has the movie 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted', followed by the movie 'Penguins Of Madagascar'.



History has all old 'American Pickers' all night.



IFC  -   
 [6:30AM]    PORTLANDIA-Passenger Rating
 [7:00AM]    30 NIGHTS OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY WITH THE DEVIL INSIDE THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
 [8:45AM]    JENNIFER'S BODY
 [11:15AM]    30 NIGHTS OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY WITH THE DEVIL INSIDE THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
 [1:00PM]    THE WORLD'S END
 [3:30PM]    DAYBREAKERS
 [5:45PM]    28 WEEKS LATER
 [8:00PM]    ALEX CROSS
 [10:15PM]    TRAINING DAY
 [1:00AM]    ALEX CROSS
 [3:15AM]    SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D
 [5:15AM]    FRIDAY THE 13TH    (ALL TIMES EST)



Sundance  -   
 [6:30AM]    The Bob Newhart Show
 [7:00AM]    The Bob Newhart Show
 [7:30AM]    The Bob Newhart Show
 [8:00AM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
 [8:30AM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
 [9:00AM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
 [9:30AM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
 [10:00AM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
 [10:15AM]    The Kids Are Alright
 [12:45PM]    What About Bob?
 [3:00PM]    Law & Order-Switch
 [4:00PM]    Law & Order-Baby, It's You
 [5:00PM]    Law & Order-Monster
 [6:00PM]    Law & Order-Bait
 [7:00PM]    Law & Order-Sideshow
 [8:00PM]    Law & Order-DNR
 [9:00PM]    Law & Order-Swept Away: A Very Special Episode
 [10:00PM]    Law & Order-Whiplash
 [11:00PM]    Law & Order-Judge Dread
 [12:00AM]    Law & Order-The Fire This Time
 [1:00AM]    Law & Order-Prejudice
 [1:59AM]    Hap and Leonard-The Bottoms
 [3:00AM]    Foxcatcher    (ALL TIMES EST)



SyFy has the movie 'Ghost Rider', followed by the movie 'Underworld'.



TCM spends the night with Richard Burton
 [6:00 AM]      Murder, My Sweet (1944)
 [7:45 AM]      Bureau Of Missing Persons (1933)
 [9:15 AM]      Harper (1966)
 [11:30 AM]      The Thin Man (1934)
 [1:15 PM]      Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
 [2:45 PM]      The Gazebo (1960)
 [4:30 PM]      Lady in the Lake (1947)
 [6:30 PM]      Rope (1948)
 [8:00 PM]      Where Eagles Dare (1968)
 [10:45 PM]      Staircase (1969)
 [12:30 AM]      Villain (1971)
 [2:15 AM]      Equus (1977)

 [4:45 AM]      The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)     (ALL TIMES EST)



Saturday   -  03/11/17

TCM:
 [6:30 AM]      The Four Feathers (1939)
 [8:30 AM]      Soldiers Three (1951)
 [10:30 AM]      Congo Maisie (1940)
 [12:00 PM]      The Enemy Below (1957)
 [2:00 PM]      Shenandoah (1965)
 [4:00 PM]      The Last Sunset (1961)
 [6:00 PM]      Ride the High Country (1962)
 [8:00 PM]      The Quick and the Dead (1963)
 [9:45 PM]      A Walk in the Sun (1946)
 [12:00 AM]      Force of Arms (1951)
 [3:00 AM]      Thrashin' (1986)
 [4:15 AM]      Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)     (ALL TIMES EST)




Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from March 2, 1978) - Bruce Dern, Robert Klein, Susan Sullivan, and Dr. Carl Sagan.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network

Escape

Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff

Me-TV

MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV





Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty




Support the e-page!




(See below for addresses)


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In preparation for a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline, Native Americans have erected several teepees on the National Mall near the White House in Washington, DC, USA, March 9, 2017.
Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


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Streaming Service

Classic Cartoons

Turner and Warner Bros. have announced that they will be launching a streaming service in the U.S. that will feature all of the studios' classic animated shows. Called Boomerang, the service will launch this spring and will cost $4.99 a month.

Boomerang will offer over 5,000 animated titles from the library of Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes and MGM. This includes beloved cartoons such as "Scooby-Doo," "Tom & Jerry," "The Jetsons," "The Flinstones" and "Bugs Bunny."

Although the highlight of the announcement was the inclusion of those classic titles, Boomerang will also include shows from the '90s to the early '00s like "Courage the Cowardly Dog" and "My Gym Partner's a Monkey," according to Slash Gear.

The upcoming streaming service isn't only just for old-school cartoons either as Turner and Warner Bros. will also be bringing new and exclusive original series on a weekly basis. Upcoming new shows that have been confirmed so far are "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz" and the remake of "Wacky Races."

Boomerang will be available to watch on the web and on iOS/Android devices. The streaming service will have features like family profiles, recommendations, Spanish audio option, downloading for offline viewing and some "interactive features."

Classic Cartoons

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Widows take part in Holi celebrations in the town of Vrindavan in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, March 9, 2017.
Photo by Cathal McNaughton

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Freakishly Hot February

Climate Change

A freakishly balmy February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States, but it didn't quite beat 1954 for the warmest February on record, climate scientists said.

The average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees - 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday.

It was unseasonably toasty for most of the country east of the Rockies, but a cool Pacific Northwest kept the national record from falling, said NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch.

Chicago had no snow. Oklahoma hit 99 degrees. Texas and Louisiana had their hottest February. NOAA said local weather stations broke or tied warm temperature records 11,743 times but set cold records only 418 times.

An international science team's computer analysis of causes of extreme weather calculated that man-made global warming tripled the likelihood for the nation's unusually warm February. The mostly private team of researchers, called World Weather Attribution, uses accepted scientific techniques to figure if climate change plays a role in extreme events based on computer simulations of real world conditions and those without heat-trapping gases.

Climate Change

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Newhead News


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County Agrees To Restore Voters' Rights

Georgia

Election officials in Georgia's sparsely populated, overwhelmingly black Hancock County agreed Wednesday to restore voting rights to dozens of African-American registered voters they disenfranchised ahead of a racially divided local election.

About three-quarters of the people they removed from the voting rolls - nearly all of them black - still live in the voting district and will be restored to the county's registered voter list under the settlement.

"We want to make sure that a purge program like the one that played out in the fall of 2015 never happens again," said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, which sued the county in federal court.

Hancock County Board of Elections members maintain that they weren't targeting or trying to intimidate black voters by sending sheriff's deputies to summon people to appear before them and prove they lived in the county.

Georgia

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The historic Klaffenbach castle reflected in a rain drop in Chemnitz, Germany, March 9, 2017. Weather forecasts predict changeable weather in most parts of Germany.
Photo by Hendrik Schmidt

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Used 'Aspirin' For Tooth Pain

Neanderthal

Nearly 50,000 years before the invention of penicillin, a young Neanderthal tormented by a dental abscess ate greenery containing a natural antibiotic and pain killer, analysis of his teeth revealed Wednesday.

The male, who lived in El Sidron in what is now Spain, ate an antibiotic fungus called Penicillium and chewed on bits of poplar tree containing salicylic acid -- the active ingredient of modern-day aspirin, researchers said.

The youngster's fossilised jawbone reveals the ravages of an abscess, and his dental plaque contained the remnants of an intestinal parasite that causes acute diarrhoea, "so clearly he was quite sick," they wrote in the journal Nature.

"Apparently, Neanderthals possessed a good knowledge of medicinal plants and their various anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and seem to be self-medicating," said study co-author Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD).

The study is the latest to recast our long-extinct cousins, long thought of as thick-skulled and slow-witted, in a more positive light.

Neanderthal

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Digby's Hullabaloo


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Hunting Pregnant Whales

Norway

Animal rights activists expressed anger on Wednesday after reports emerged that a large majority of whales harpooned each year in Norway are pregnant.

A documentary broadcast on public television network NRK, featuring gory video images of whales being cut open and foetuses removed, claimed that 90 percent of Minke whales killed each year in Norwegian waters were females and that "almost all" of them were pregnant.

Norway -- which does not consider itself bound by a 1986 international moratorium on whaling, to which it formally objected -- and Iceland are the only countries in the world that authorise commercial whaling.

Japan also allows whaling but officially it is for scientific reasons, even though a large share of the whale meat ends up on the market.

Oslo, which argues that it has strong enough whale stocks to sustain the hunt, has authorised the killing of 999 whales this year, up by 199 from the quota allotted in 2016.

Norway

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A sign that reads in Spanish: "Guatemala is not a safe home," hangs from the front gate of Presidential House above an artists' installation made of charred-stained dolls, in remembrance of the victims of a fire at a youth children, in Guatemala City, March 9, 2017.
Photo by Luis Soto

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Designer Genome

Yeast

Scientists have taken a big step toward designing complex forms of life from scratch by constructing five new artificial chromosomes of baker's yeast, representing a third of the micro-organism's genome, or genetic blueprint.

The international team used computers to create laboratory-made versions of the threadlike structures that carry genetic code inside cells.

Synthesizing genomes may alarm some who see biotechnologists "playing God" but scientists view it as a logical extension of existing genetic engineering that is already used routinely to make drugs like insulin, as well as genetically modified crops.

The international group previously took seven years to build the first yeast chromosome in 2014. The addition of another five demonstrates accelerating progress in the field of synthetic biology, which promises a new era of designer life-forms.

Yeast is surprisingly closely related to humans at the genetic level, sharing 26 percent of its genes with our species, although the human genome is around 250 times larger.

Yeast

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Kuwait Turns Into Massive Causeway

Silk Road

Kuwait is building one of the world's longest causeways to its remote north where it will pump billions into "Silk City", aiming to revive the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The oil-rich emirate is eager to inject life into the uninhabited Subbiya region on its northern tip that has been chosen as the location for Silk City.

The plan is to reinvigorate the ancient Silk Road trade route by establishing a major free trade zone linking the Gulf to central Asia and Europe.

The 36-kilometre (22-mile) bridge, three-quarters of it over water, will cut the driving time between Kuwait City and Subbiya to 20-25 minutes from 90 minutes now.

Investment in the Silk City project is expected to top $100 billion, and a 5,000-megawatt power plant has already been built in Subbiya.

Silk Road

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Four workers suspended by cables as they clean the side of a building in Singapore, March 9, 2017.
Photo by Wallace Woon

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Ordered To Remove 'Degrading' Posters

Saint Laurent

France's advertising regulator has ordered fashion house Saint Laurent to remove posters of extremely thin models in "degrading" poses after an outcry over their appearance around Paris.

The campaign features a reclining woman in a fur coat and fishnet tights opening her legs and another of a model in a leotard and roller skate stilettos bending over a stool.

Stephane Martin, head of advertising regulator ARPP, told AFP Tuesday that his organisation had received 120 complaints over the way the posters depicted women.

The latest campaign was created in-house by Saint Laurent, which is under new young Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello whose debut collection featured a dress that exposes one breast.

Saint Laurent has declined to comment. Ironically, the label made its name by putting women in men's tuxedos, a gesture that chimed with the rising feminist wave of the 1970s.

Saint Laurent

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Literally Catch Fire

Lawyer's Pants

It's not just a metaphor anymore: a defense lawyer literally had "pants on fire" as he addressed a jury in Miami Wednesday.

Stephen Gutierrez was about to deliver closing remarks in an arson case, contending that his client didn't intentionally set fire to his car, but that it spontaneously combusted. When he began fiddling with his pocket, the Miami Herald reports, smoke began emerging and he ran out of the courtroom.

The jurors were removed from the courtroom and Gutierrez returned with a "singed pocket," but maintained that his own spontaneous combustion was not an act. Witnesses told the Herald that Gutierrez blamed an e-cigarette in his pocket.

A Miami-Dade Circuit Judge could decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court, the Herald adds.

Jurors found his client guilty of the arson charges.

Lawyer's Pants

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One of five cheetah cubs explores its outdoor enclosure for the first time in Beekse Bergen Safari Park, Hilvarenbeek, the Netherlands, March 9, 2017.
Photo by Rob Engelaar

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