CNBC – Some of the planet’s most powerful people will take part in the infamously secretive Bilderberg meeting that begins Thursday to discuss their most pressing concerns, including Russia, free trade and the “post-truth” world.
AP – After striking an elusive nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration found itself in a quandary in early 2016: Iran had been promised access to its long-frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion stuck in an Omani bank. To spend it, Iran wanted to convert the money into U.S. dollars and then euros, but top U.S. officials had repeatedly promised Congress that Iran would never gain access to America’s financial system
Those assurances notwithstanding, the Obama administration secretly issued a license to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions for the brief moment required to convert the funds through an American bank, an investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday showed. The plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate.
Yet two years later, the revelation is re-igniting the bitter debate over the nuclear deal and whether former President Barack Obama was too eager to grant concessions to Tehran.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Defence News – A three-month internal review conducted by senior U.S. surface fleet leaders found some or significant concerns with the ship handling skills of nearly 85 percent of its junior officers, and that many struggled to react decisively to extricate their ship from danger when there was an immediate risk of collision, according to an internal message obtained by Defense News.
Reuters – The Trump administration urged Congress on Wednesday to give it new powers to disable or destroy threatening drones, according to testimony viewed by Reuters.
David Glawe, undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Hayley Chang, DHS’ deputy general counsel, told the Senate committee that oversees the department that it needs new authority.
“Terrorist groups overseas use drones to conduct attacks on the battlefield and continue to plot to use them in terrorist attacks elsewhere. This is a very serious, looming threat that we are currently unprepared to confront,” the officials’ written testimony said.
NBC – Amid rumors, Melania Trump makes first public appearance in nearly a month
The appearance came hours after President Donald Trump tweeted criticism of the “unfair” and “vicious” media coverage of his wife.
CNBC – Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs and potentially view conversations between associates linked to President Donald Trump, sources told CNBC.
NBC – Suit claims the attorneys tried to arrange for her to appear on Sean Hannity’s show and deny affair
Economy & Business
AFP – The EU on Wednesday said a raft of retaliatory tariffs, including on whiskey and motorcycles, against painful metals duties imposed by the US would be ready as early as July.
CNBC – Shares of Alphabet fell Wednesday following a report that European Union officials will hit the company with a “negative result” and a fine of up to $11 billion for abusing its dominance through the Android mobile operating system.
CNBC – An acute shortage of affordable homes in the United States will continue over the coming year, according to a majority of property market analysts polled by Reuters, driving prices up faster than inflation and wage growth.
Energy & Environment
ABC – Severe storms, including hail the size of baseballs, left a trail of damage from Carrollton to Coppell to Arlington early Wednesday. Windows and skylights were shattered, car lights were cracked or smashed, and tree branches were knocked to the ground.
AP – Authorities cautiously resumed search and rescue operations Wednesday in towns and villages devastated by the eruption of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire, with time quickly running out to find any survivors.
Science & Technology
Reuters – Scientists seeking new ways to fight drug-resistant superbugs have mapped the genomes of more than 3,000 bacteria, including samples of a bug taken from Alexander Fleming’s nose and a dysentery-causing strain from a World War One soldier.
The DNA of deadly strains of plague, dysentery and cholera were also decoded in what the researchers said was an effort to better understand some of the world’s most dangerous diseases and develop new ways to fight them.
AFP – It’s the hands-free experience you never knew you needed — a Japanese company has developed a drone-powered parasol it says can hover over users, protecting them from the sun.
The drone-powered sunshade — being developed by Asahi Power Service — should be released next year, and will initially target those in need of a hands-free head covering wider than your average hat, like golfers.
The potential headaches posed by crashes, and regulations governing autonomous aircraft, mean the company expects the product will initially be used in closed private spaces, like golf courses.
Gardening, Farming & Homesteading
Off Grid News – There are many reasons to grow lavender. Lavender is a beautiful plant, most often known for its intoxicating smell. The small purple flowers and the leaves both emit the fragrant perfume that the plant is famous for. With lavender in your garden, you can expect to catch the scent on a breeze as long as the plants are flowering. But is lavender as easy to grow as other herbs? And what can you do with it aside from enjoying its perfume in the garden? Armed with the right knowledge, you can successfully grow lavender in your garden and put it to good use as a scent, in foods, and for medicinal purposes.
NaturalNews – Roseanne Barr might be a polarizing figure, but if anything good has come from the recent Twitter fiasco that culminated in the cancellation of her TV show, it’s the fact that the sleeping drug Ambien has been thrust into the spotlight and people are talking about just how crazy it can make them act.
NaturalNews – You have a new reason to drink a hot cup of chamomile tea before bedtime. The humble yellow flower was recently revealed to control or even prevent diabetes. In an article on The Conversation, a British researcher who specializes in historical textile dyes has identified the specific diabetes-fighting compounds found in the herb.
Medical News Today – Both swine flu and bird flu created a stir in recent years. Now, a new threat may be on the horizon. A new study demonstrates that the influenza virus can jump from pigs to canines.