Yahoo- The US should learn the lesson of Iraq, President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday, threatening to expel American troops from Syria and retake areas from its Kurdish allies.
In the interview with RT, the Russian state’s international broadcaster, Assad raised the prospect of conflict with US forces if they do not leave Syria.
He vowed to recover territory where American troops have deployed, either through negotiations with Washington’s Syrian allies or by force.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
NY Post – Federal and New York state officials say they will hold drills in the weeks leading up to primary elections for the US House and Senate to prevent hacking and other cyber-threats to voting systems, officials said Wednesday.
Washington TImes – After a gunman opened fire on students in Parkland, Florida, the phones started ringing at the Texas Home School Coalition, and they haven’t stopped yet.
The Lubbock-based organization has been swamped with inquiries for months from parents seeking safer options for their kids in the aftermath of this year’s deadly school massacres, first in Parkland and then in Santa Fe, Texas.
“When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded,” said coalition president Tim Lambert. “In the last couple of months, our numbers have doubled. We’re dealing with probably between 1,200 and 1,400 calls and emails per month, and prior to that it was 600 to 700.”
NBC – The president told reporters aboard Air Force One that he is considering pardons or commutations for Stewart and Blagojevich; earlier, he tweeted his plan to pardon D’Souza.
Economy & Business
The Hill – (4/13/18) New Jersey lawmakers have sent a bill to the governor that would reinstate ObamaCare’s individual mandate after Congress repealed it late last year.
If signed by Gov. Phil Murphy (D), New Jersey would become the first state to issue a statewide health insurance requirement following Congress’s repeal of the rule that most people acquire health insurance or pay a fine, which doesn’t take effect until 2019.
CNBC – Sears Holdings said Thursday it will be closing more than 70 additional stores in 2018 as its sales continue to erode, dropping more than 30 percent in the latest quarter from a year ago.
The retailer has identified 100 unprofitable stores in total, and it will begin closing sales at 72 of these stores “in the near future.”
Reuters – Mexico responded to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing wide-ranging “equivalent” measures on farm and industrial products, the economy ministry said on Thursday, ratcheting up tensions during talks to renegotiate NAFTA.
The United States on Thursday morning said it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, ending a two-month exception and threatening to ignite a trade war.
The Mexican measures, which target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel, could hit farm states that are a bastion of support for U.S. President Donald Trump, ahead of American midterm elections in November.
The Mexican measures will be in place until the U.S. government eliminates its tariffs, the ministry said.
Fox – A Goldman Sachs vice president has been arrested in California on insider trading charges brought in New York.
Woojae Jung was to appear Thursday in federal court in San Francisco to face six counts of securities fraud and a conspiracy charge.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman says the charges stem from a scheme in which Jung repeatedly traded on stolen insider information.
Science & Technology
Daily Star – ENGINEERS have gone one step closer to designing a living Frankenstein’s monster, by building a cyborg with living tissue in it.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science have created a cyborg with living muscle embedded within it, in a shocking leap forward for artificial intelligence.
The new method, in a study published in journal Science Robotics, developed a method that causes muscle cells to multiply, before being incorporated into the robot.
The team, led by Shoji Takeuchi, first built a robot skeleton.
This included rotatable joints, anchors for muscles to attach, and electrodes to make the muscles move.
PHSY.ORG – Facebook is rapidly losing ground against rival internet platforms in attracting and keeping US teenagers, a survey showed Thursday.
The Pew Research Center report confirms a trend seen in other surveys, showing a sharp drop in Facebook’s share of what had long been a core age segment for the huge social network.
The survey found 51 percent of US teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, compared with 85 percent for YouTube, 72 percent for Instagram and 69 percent who are on Snapchat.
The landscape has shifted since a 2014-15 Pew survey which found Facebook leading other social networks with 71 percent of the teen segment.
Fox – Google came under fire on Thursday after an error in its Knowledge Panel listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party.
The error, which was first spotted by political strategist Eric Wilson, showed “Nazism” alongside other ideologies such as “Conservatism,” “Market liberalism,” “Fiscal conservatism,” and “Green conservatism.”
CBC – It can be hard to concentrate when you’re always being diverted by your phone. It’s a pattern that scientists say creates something they call the switch cost.
Research shows constant interruptions can create a different chemistry in the brain.
“There’s this phenomenon they call switch cost that when there’s an interruption we switch away from the task that we were at and then we have to come on back. We think it interrupts our efficiency with our brains, by about 40 percent. Our nose is always getting off the grindstone, then we have to reorient ourselves,” said Dr. Scott Bea, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic.
Natural Health News – Hardening of the arteries happens at different rates in different people as we age. It is known to be a factor in cardiovascular risk but there are no straightforward answers to what causes the arteries to harden in the first place.
A number of diseases – and, in particular, inflammation-related conditions – are linked to low microbiome diversity. While a link with gut diseases, such as the inflammatory bowel disease may seem obvious, low microbiome diversity has also been found to be connected to conditions such as arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, eczema and allergies.
Type-2 diabetes, obesity and weight gain – which are also linked to inflammation – also appear to be linked to a lower numbers of gut bugs. Because these conditions are known risk factors for heart disease the research team wanted to determine whether low microbiome diversity was directly linked to poor heart health, or if it instead was linked to type-2 diabetes, obesity and weight, which, in turn, are tied to poor heart health.
Natural Health News – Regular dental check-ups are important for our overall health. But fear of the dentist can prevent many people from going to the dentist.
The study team identified than 120 trials across England, China, Spain, Portugal and Germany were identified as having investigated the effects of acupuncture on patients with dental anxiety, but the six selected for review were considered to be of particularity high quality.