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Justice Department Confirms Mueller's Team Interviewed Sessions

53 min 53 sec ago

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We now know Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned last week about Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Justice Department confirmed Sessions was interviewed with multiple news outlets.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team reportedly questioned the attorney general for several hours.

SEE MORE: Sessions Might Be Looking To Crack Down On Legal Marijuana

This marks the first time we know of that Mueller's team interviewed a current member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

Last year, Trump had the White House's top lawyer pressure Sessions to stay a part of the Russia investigation. But Sessions recused himself from the probe.

AT&T Suspends Its USA Gymnastics Sponsorship Amid Sexual Abuse Scandal

1 hour 33 min ago

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AT&T has suspended its sponsorship of USA Gymnastics in the wake of sexual abuse allegations involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.

The company said in a statement it's pulling out of the deal with the organization "until it is re-built and we know that the athletes are in a safe environment."

Late last year, several major companies — including Kellogg's, Hershey's and Under Armour — also decided not to renew their partnerships with USA Gymnastics.

Nassar has been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women and girls, including Olympic gymnasts Aly RaismanMcKayla MaroneyGabby Douglas and Simone Biles.

2 Women Made History With Their 2018 Oscar Nominations

1 hour 50 min ago

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Greta Gerwig can now add "Oscar-nominated director" to her resume.

She scored the nomination Tuesday morning for her work behind the camera on "Lady Bird," a coming-of-age tale about a teenage girl who has a tense relationship with her mother.

Even more impressive is Gerwig is only the fifth woman ever nominated for this Academy Awards category — and this year marks the 90th year of the awards show.

The last woman to be nominated was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for her work on "The Hurt Locker." She also happens to be the only female director to ever win.

SEE MORE: An Oscar Contender's Reviews Are So Good, They Broke A Record

Besides Gerwig's nomination, the film "Lady Bird" also got nominations for best actress, best supporting actress, best original screenplay and best picture.

Another woman made Oscars history Tuesday. Rachel Morrison's work on "Mudbound" made her the first woman to be nominated for cinematography.

1 Dead, Others Injured After Kentucky High School Shooting

2 hours 25 min ago

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One is dead, and others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in western Kentucky.

Gov. Matt Bevin posted on Twitter, confirming the incident at Marshall County High School. He said the shooter is in custody but that there isn't much information.

Local media outlets report at least five students were shot.

Trump's Tariffs On Imported Solar Panels Could Hurt The US Economy

3 hours 9 min ago

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The Trump administration's decision to impose new tariffs on imported solar panels could do more harm than good for the U.S. economy, critics of the move say.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg argues the 30 percent tariff on solar panel components will cost thousands of American jobs, raise electric bills and even harm the environment.

And some in the industry say the decision could slow U.S. investment in solar power.

The president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association said in a statement that the tariffs "will create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving."

Still, some U.S.-based manufacturers stand to benefit from the new tariffs as prices for competing, foreign-made solar panels go up.

It's still unclear exactly when the new tariffs will be imposed.

'The Shape Of Water' Leads The Pack Of 2018 Oscar Contenders

3 hours 11 min ago

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The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday, and there were definitely some favorites.

"The Shape of Water" led the pack with 13 nominations, including nods for best director, original screenplay and best picture. 

Christopher Nolan's World War II film "Dunkirk" also scored big, thanks to a bunch of nominations for behind-the-scenes work like film editing and sound mixing. 

And no surprise here: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was nominated for seven awards, including best picture, lead actress and supporting actor. 

One of 2017's biggest hits — "Get Out" — scored nominations for best picture, lead actor, directing and original screenplay. The only horror film to ever win the best picture Oscar was "The Silence of the Lambs" in 1992. 

Other films up for best picture include "Call Me by Your Name," "Darkest Hour," "Dunkirk," "Lady Bird," "Phantom Thread" and "The Post."

Jimmy Kimmel is once again hosting the Oscars ceremony, which will take place March 4. 

Facebook Created A Unit Of Time You Probably Won't Use

3 hours 14 min ago

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Facebook made a new unit of time — frame ticks, or flicks. One flick is equal to exactly one 705,600,000th of a second, and you probably won't use it unless you work with visual or audio effects. 

That's because flicks deal with frames per second. The typical movie is shot with 24 frames per second, so each of those frames equals 29,400,000 flicks. 

SEE MORE: Facebook Basically Says Social Media Can 'Damage' Democracy

It's a really big number, but the idea is to make life a little easier for people working with video or audio, because they have to work with fractions of a second. 

Facebook is offering its code online free for people who want to download it and put flicks to use. 

Tiny Crystals Might Be Key In Predicting Volcanic Eruptions

4 hours 17 min ago

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Thousands of Filipinos evacuated the area around the Mayon volcano just a week before it exploded. To give at-risk communities more warning, researchers are developing new methods of predicting when volcanoes might erupt. One group thinks the answer is in the miniscule crystals of volcanic rocks.

The hard-to-miss crystals contain a historical record of the goings-on inside volcanoes right before eruption — similar to how tree rings can tell scientists about past climate events.

When researchers examined the crystal layers from Mount Etna in Italy, they found magma a little more than 6 miles below the surface was often enough to trigger an eruption. The same technique might also be applied to crystals from other sites to determine when eruptions might occur. 

SEE MORE: Climate Change Might Make Effects Of Major Volcanic Eruptions Worse

The team said they hope their technique might help volcanologists know how deep to look for warning signs of a possible eruption. The approach might also be useful for studying historically dormant volcanoes that don't have any recent data for scientists to measure.

Why Are Journalists Being Jailed At Historic Highs?

4 hours 54 min ago

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Most reporters don't expect, or even enjoy, public accolades. But they do want to stay alive and do their jobs. It's a unique job, exposing facts that some of the most powerful and violent people in the world want nothing more than to keep quiet.

That struggle led to the deaths of 44 reporters around the world in 2017, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. But the chilling effect goes further, the report finds.

Two hundred sixty-two journalists were imprisoned. Unsurprisingly, the political beat is the most dangerous, accounting for 87 percent of reporters behind bars. 

And it’s not all national news or huge papers: 97 percent of these journalists work at local outlets.

These are the biggest offenders. Turkey, a nominal democracy, was the worst, jailing 73 reporters in just one year as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cracked down on dissent, squelched free speech and targeted the press.

China comes in second with 41 lock-ups. Human Rights Watch explains there's widespread "torture and ill-treatment of detainees in police-run facilities."

SEE MORE: The Free Press: What's At Stake?

No. 3 is Egypt, where CPJ reports that President Abdel Fattah el-Asisi’s government "passed a draconian anti-terrorism law that furthered its crackdown on the press, among other things."

The U.S. isn't in the official imprisonment count, but American journalists aren't spared harassment or intimidation.

A few examples from the past few years: Jan. 20, 2017, Inauguration Day, violent protests filled D.C. streets. The New York Times writes: "Officers in riot gear from the Washington Metropolitan Police moved in and arrested 230 people — including nine journalists."

The Bismarck Tribune covered the trial of a videographer for The Guardian who was arrested while she reported on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. A CBS News reporter, who can he heard on camera identifying himself as media holding press credentials, was slammed to the ground outside an anti-President Donald Trump protest in Chicago.

In Virginia, a progressive reporter was handcuffed for tracking Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. The Washington Examiner says he "was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, although the officers in the video claim he was being arrested for swearing."   

A central creed in most newsrooms is "Hold The Powerful Accountable." It might not be easy. It might not be popular. But it's the job of journalists. And as dangers mount, so does their steel.

Tsunami Advisory Issued After Major Earthquake Strikes Near Alaska

5 hours 4 min ago

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A tsunami warning was issued after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska. 

The major earthquake struck roughly 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, early Tuesday. The U.S. Geological Survey initially recorded its strength as a magnitude 8.2, but later revised the reading.  

As of early Tuesday, there have been no reports of damage, but the quake did cause a tsunami. The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning initially, but later downgraded it to a tsunami advisory only impacting parts of the Alaska coast. A tsunami watch for the entire West Coast of the U.S. was also canceled.

Officials say those in the advisory area should stay out of the water and move away from the coastline.

Trump Approves Tariffs On Imported Washing Machines And Solar Panels

5 hours 9 min ago

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President Donald Trump has approved new tariffs on solar panels and certain washing machines.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the change Monday, which is in line with Trump's "America First" trade policy.

Lighthizer said the U.S. International Trade Commission found that foreign imports of solar cells and washing machines are "a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers."

He added the move "makes clear again that the Trump Administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard."

But critics argue it could end up hurting the U.S. economy instead of helping it.

Montana Has A Plan To Get Internet Providers To Observe Net Neutrality

14 hours 39 min ago

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Montana says internet service providers have to follow net neutrality principles if they want government contracts.

The Federal Communications Commission repealed key net neutrality rules in December.

Gov. Steve Bullock signed an executive order on the rule Monday and said on the matter, "We can't wait for folks in Washington, D.C., to come to their senses and reinstate these rules."

The repeal was widely unpopular, prompting states to consider introducing their own net neutrality protections.

President Trump Signs Stopgap Spending Bill, Ends Partial Shutdown

14 hours 45 min ago

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President Donald Trump signed a short-term funding bill to re-open the government after a three-day partial government shutdown. 

The bill passed the House and Senate by large margins. It will allow roughly 800,000 federal employees to go back to work.

Democrats and Republicans fell out of negotiations last week amid backbiting over Trump's profane comments on developing nations. Some liberal activists were upset the bill passed without addressing DACA protections.

Bob Costas Is No Longer Covering The Super Bowl For NBC

15 hours 15 min ago

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One of the most famous names in American broadcasting is no longer covering America's most-watched sporting event. Bob Costas isn't covering the Super Bowl LII for NBC.

NBC released its roster of on-air talent for its Big Game broadcast on Monday, and Costas' name isn't on it. Instead, Dan Patrick and Liam McHugh will handle hosting duties. 

This is despite earlier reports that Costas would be a part of NBC's Super Bowl coverage this year.

SEE MORE: Philadelphia Eagles Are The Biggest Super Bowl Underdogs Since 2009

The network says Costas won't be in Minneapolis for the game because Patrick and McHugh covered the NFL for the network all season. Costas apparently agrees; in a release he said it "wouldn't be right for me to parachute in and do the Super Bowl."

It's worth noting Costas made news in November when he publicly criticized pro football as part of a panel at the University of Maryland.

"The reality is that this game destroys people's brains," Costas said. "Not everyone, but a substantial number. It's not a small number, it's a considerable number. It destroys their brains."

Costas has hosted NFL coverage for NBC as far back as 1984 but stepped away this year as part of a "semi-retirement." He also handed over primetime Olympic hosting duties to Mike Tirico starting with this year's Winter Olympics, which will begin just a few days after the Super Bowl.

Apple Partners With Malala Yousafzai To Fund Girls' Education

15 hours 28 min ago

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Tech giant Apple announced it's partnering with Malala Yousafzai's charity, Malala Fund, which aims to ensure girls around the world have access to "free, safe, quality education."  

The partnership will allow the charity to double the number of grants it awards and extend education programs in India and Latin America with an initial goal of helping more than 100,000 girls.   

In a statement, Apple's CEO Tim Cook said, "We believe that education is a great equalizing force, and we share Malala Fund's commitment to give every girl an opportunity to go to school." 

Apple's contributions will help Malala Fund by "assisting with technology, curriculum and research into policy changes." 

In 2012, the Taliban shot Yousafzai in the head for speaking out about educational inequality in Pakistan. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Netflix Announces Expectation-Breaking Growth In Final Months Of 2017

15 hours 35 min ago

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Netflix blew passed its own growth expectations for the final three months of 2017. 

The company announced it added 24 million new subscribers, up from 19 million added in 2016. That news caused the company's stock to jump, finishing Monday trading at $227.58 a share. After-hours trading pushed the company's value north of $100 billion. 

The streaming company's success is due in part to its growing roster of original content, like "Stranger Things" and "Bright." Netflix is also expanding into new parts of the globe, with more than 6 million of its new fourth quarter subscribers from foreign countries. 

That end-of-the-year growth surpassed both Wall Street's and the company's own expectations, even as a price hike was put in place in October. 

Many Democrats Upset Senators Passed A Bill Without DACA Protections

16 hours 35 min ago

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The Senate approved a spending bill to keep the government open through Feb. 8 Monday, but some liberal activists aren't happy about it — and they're blaming Democrats. 

That's actually putting it lightly. Some started the hashtag #SchumerSellout, referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

That's because the bill to reopen the government didn't include official protections for undocumented immigrants.

SEE MORE: What Are Undocumented Immigrants' Few Paths To Green Cards?

Democrats initially said they wouldn't support a bill without legislation on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised a vote on DACA by Feb. 8 in exchange for Democratic votes, but that wouldn't be legally binding.

The House also passed the bill, so now it's headed to President Donald Trump's desk.

Vermont Becomes Latest State To Legalize Marijuana

16 hours 43 min ago

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Vermont is now the ninth state to legalize marijuana, but it's the first state to use the legislative process to do so. 

Bill H. 511, which goes into effect in July, allows residents age 21 or older to have up to one ounce of marijuana and grow a small amount of plants. It does not legalize the commercial sale of marijuana.  

In a statement, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said he had mixed feelings about signing the bill and has reservations about "a commercial system which depends on a profit motive and market driven demand for its growth." 

Bud Light Is Still Planning To Give Out Free Beer If The Eagles Win

16 hours 45 min ago

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If the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl, Bud Light is going to make sure Eagles fans have a really good time.

Bud Light promised free beer to Eagles fans in Philadelphia if their team can hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Dilly Dilly? More like Philly Philly,. 

This wager started back in July. Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson told reporters, "If we win a Super Bowl, I'm giving out beer to everybody."

Well, Bud Light got wind of this and stepped in, tweeting "the party is on us" if the Eagles win it all.

SEE MORE: Philadelphia Eagles Are The Biggest Super Bowl Underdogs Since 2009

So what's the Dilly-O with this bet? It's still on, according to Bud Light's Twitter account. Before the NFC championship game, the beer giant told a TV station in Philadelphia it hadn't forgotten its agreement.

Again, the Eagles have to win the Super Bowl. They're going up against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. But if the Eagles pull off the upset ... Bartender, I'll take 6,069,875 beers please.

Puerto Rico Moves To Privatize Island's Electric Company

16 hours 47 min ago

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Puerto Rico will move to privatize its electric company, the island's governor announced Monday. 

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, was an issue decades before Hurricane Maria. After the storm, Puerto Rico was left without power. Now, nearly 30 percent of residents are still without power. 

The privatization process could take 18 months. Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the process would start with outlining the legal framework. 

Rossello said the move would incentivize businesses to move to the island and would lead to more affordable rates.