Greenland’s most critical glacier is suddenly gaining ice, but that might not be a good thing – CNN

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Were they filtered by labels or sizing?”)},h.videoAdapters = [],h.registerBidAdapter = function(e, t) {var n = (2 n

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Boeing and F.A.A. Hearings: Live Updates – The New York Times

And even if the F.A.A. does approve the new software and training soon, regulators in Europe, Canada, China, Brazil and elsewhere might move more slowly. “Certification around the world will be at the discretion of those regulators around the world, and so we can’t comment on timing,” Mr. Sinnett said.

Boeing stressed that no final conclusions have been made about what caused the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia in October and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 this month, which both crashed after erratic takeoffs. Investigations into both crashes are continuing, but preliminary flight data and other evidence have suggested similarities between the two accidents. Investigators are examining whether the anti-stall system may have been partly to blame.

Near the end of his prepared remarks, Mr. Sinnett seemed to acknowledge that, based on the available information, there did indeed appear to be a link between the new anti-stall software on the Max, known as MCAS, and the crashes.

“The rigor and thoroughness of the design and testing that went into the Max gives us complete confidence that the changes we’re making will address any of these accidents,” he said.

At the same time, Mr. Sinnett said that Boeing had faith in its design and engineering.

“The 737 is a safe airplane,” he said. “The 737 family is a safe airplane family. And the 737 Max builds on that tremendous history of safety.”

The busy day on Capitol Hill began at 10 a.m. when the Senate Appropriations Committee’s transportation subcommittee convened a hearing with Ms. Chao. The hearing was ostensibly about the Transportation Department’s budget request for the 2020 fiscal year, but lawmakers used it to question her about the 737 Max.

“Let me emphasize that safety is always No. 1 at the Department of Transportation, and a good day is when nothing bad happens,” Ms. Chao said in her opening statement. Of the Ethiopian Airlines crash this month in which 157 people died, she added, “We all have a lot of important questions about this accident.”

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Jussie Smollett hoax charges dropped, but federal investigation, lawsuits could be next – Fox News

Jussie Smollett may have had the criminal charges related to his alleged staged hate crime dropped, but the “Empire” star may still face both federal charges and civil lawsuits in connection to the scandal.

On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney dropped 16 felony counts against the actor stemming from his allegedly false police report about a hate attack he claimed to have suffered on Jan. 29.

Though he escaped criminal charges, the legal fallout may not be over for Smollett.

​​​​​​FOX ‘GRATIFIED’ BY DISMISSAL OF CHARGES AGAINST JUSSIE SMOLLETT

Former Cook County prosecutor-turned-criminal-defense-attorney Andrew Weisberg told Fox News on Wednesday that Smollett’s case is unusual for several reasons — most notably the speed at which his charges were dismissed. Smollett was indicted on March 8 and his charges were dismissed on March 26.

“It was such a quick turnaround. Pretrial diversions are usually a year long, and this happened so quickly,” Weisberg said, adding that he suspects the case’s notoriety accelerated the proceedings.

OPINION: PROSECUTORS JUST SPIT IN THE FACE OF CHICAGO COPS IN JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE

Weisberg, who was working in the courthouse the day the dismissal was announced, was baffled by the proceedings. “I figured they had a plea agreement and I was shocked when I heard the dismissal,” he admitted. “I can’t figure it out. I don’t think it’s anything corrupt or anything terrible — but it’s an unusually great outcome for [Smollett].”

Weisberg explained that in a best-case scenario for similar false police report cases that he’s worked on, the defendant will get deferred prosecution, but that it’s still somewhat rare because of the amount of work police put in to investigate claims. In most cases, he said, a defendant may be sentenced to probation and have to pay restitution to the cover city’s estimated expenses.

‘EMPIRE’ STAR TARAJI P. HENSON SPEAKS OUT ON JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S CHARGES BEING DISMISSED

In one similar case he recently worked on, Weisberg said that police told prosecutors they put in too much work to drop the charges and that the city estimated the expenses to investigate the false claim amounted to about $8,400 for three detectives in a single day’s work. “In [Smollett’s] case, they put in 10 times the work. This would cost [the city] hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.”

Weisberg said that the repercussions of the dismissal will reverberate throughout Cook County going forward, noting, “A lot of criminal defense lawyers are the ones who will bring this [case] up and ask for similar treatment.”

ROBIN ROBERTS ON JUSSIE SMOLLETT INTERVIEW: IT WAS A ‘NO-WIN’ SITUATION

Smollett also may face federal charges of mail fraud, as the FBI is investigating whether or not he also sent himself hate mail laced with white powder a week before the alleged attack occurred. If convicted, Smollett could face up to a decade in prison.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano previously said that dropping charges in a case like this is “almost unheard of” and offered two possible explanations for alternatives: “Either because the government could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt notwithstanding the evidence it has, or because it decided to grant Smollett what’s called a ‘deferred prosecution,’ which means a short period of probation, at the end of which the charges would be dismissed.” A deferred prosecution would also expunge Smollett’s record at the end of the probationary period.

KAMALA HARRIS ‘COMPLETELY CONFUSED’ OVER JUSSIE SMOLLETT CHARGES BEING DROPPED

On Wednesday, Napolitano said on “Varney & Co.” that due to Smollett’s expungement, he can now legally say under oath that he was never indicted for the alleged crime and that if a judge’s mind were to be changed about the case, its records could be unsealed.

However, Smollett could never be charged in relation to the alleged hoax ever again due to the language of the nolle pros ruling, Weisberg said.

BRIAN STELTER CAUTIONED BY CNN COLLEAGUE STEVE CORTES: ‘DON’T DISRESPECT THE COPS’ IN SMOLLETT CASE

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is also considering suing the actor to recoup some of the money the city wasted on the lengthy investigation, according to reports, though Weisberg thinks that is unlikely to actually happen because the city would have to re-litigate the entire case in civil court.

Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown-Holmes, said in a press conference Tuesday that it was not a deferred prosecution and that the records in the case were sealed.

Smollett, 36, told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Chicago Subway sandwich shop at approximately 2 a.m. Smollett alleged that the masked men beat him, taunted him with homophobic and racial slurs and yelled: “This is MAGA country.”

LATE NIGHT HOSTS ON JUSSIE SMOLLETT ESCAPING CHARGES: R. KELLY AND FELICITY HUFFMAN ARE ‘FREE TO GO’

Police later determined that Smollett’s masked assailants were brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who authorities also identified as being the men seen on surveillance video purchasing the rope that was hung around Smollett’s neck during the alleged attack. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the press at the time that the brothers were cooperating with authorities and the investigation was pivoting from a hate crime investigation into a case of false reporting, transforming Smollett from an alleged victim in the case into a suspect.

Smollett pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence throughout the case.

LATE NIGHT HOSTS ON JUSSIE SMOLLETT CHARGES BEING DISMISSED: R. KELLY, FELICITY HUFFMAN ARE ‘FREE TO GO’

After news of Smollett’s dropped charges, First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats told the press that he still believes Smollett filed a false police report and that prosecutors in the case “stand behind the investigation and the facts … this was not an exoneration.”

Smollett reportedly performed community service and voluntarily forfeited his $10,000 bond, Magats said, making it a “fair and just outcome” for the case — even though that outcome infuriated the Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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Green New Deal fails Senate test vote as dozens of Democrats vote ‘present’ – Fox News

The Green New Deal, a sweeping Democratic proposal for dealing with climate change, fell at the first hurdle Tuesday as the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to begin debate on the non-binding resolution, with 42 Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voting “present.”

No senator voted to begin debate on the legislation, while 57 lawmakers voted against breaking the filibuster. Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined 53 Republicans in voting “no.” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted “no.”

The vote had been teed up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a bid to make Democratic senators — including several 2020 presidential candidates — go on the record about the measure. McConnell had called the proposal “a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”

The Green New Deal calls for the U.S. to shift away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power. It calls for virtual elimination by 2030 of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming. Republicans have railed against the proposal, saying it would devastate the economy and trigger massive tax increases.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called the Green New Deal “ridiculous” and displayed pictures of dinosaurs, cartoon characters and babies on the Senate floor. He said he was treating the plan “with the seriousness it deserves.”

Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, called McConnell’s move a “sham vote” that aimed to draw attention away from a real debate on the consequences of climate change. In addition to Sanders, Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — all candidates for the Democratic nomination who have endorsed the Green New Deal — voted “present” Tuesday.

“Today’s #GreenNewDeal vote is a partisan stunt to side-step needed debate on climate action, and give Republicans cover to put oil lobby checks over our kids,” Gillibrand tweeted earlier Tuesday, adding ” … I don’t play ball with bad-faith farces.”

“Climate change is an existential threat, and confronting it requires bold action,” Harris said in a statement following the vote. ” … Political stunts won’t get us anywhere. Combatting this crisis first requires the Republican majority to stop denying science and finally admit that climate change is real and humans are the dominant cause. Then we can get serious about taking action to tackle the climate crisis at the scale of the problem.”

“[McConnell’s] stunt is backfiring and it’s becoming clearer and clearer to the American people that the Republican Party is way behind the times on clean energy and that Democrats are the party willing to take action,” said Schumer, D-N.Y., who asked, “… What’s the Republican Party proposal? Is it more coal?”

However, Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper said Tuesday that he opposes the Green New Deal. The former Colorado governor said the proposal sets “unachievable goals” and shuns the private sector.

In explaining his “no” vote, Manchin said in a statement: “This climate problem is a massive one and we must act, but aspirational documents will not solve this crisis –real solutions focused on innovation will … The truth is even if we zero out our country’s use of fossil fuels tomorrow, we must face the facts that other nations have invested in and will continue to use fossil fuels to develop their economies for decades to come. We cannot successfully address our climate challenge by eliminating sources of energy that countries are committed to using.”

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER: GREEN NEW DEAL WOULD COST TRILLIONS ANNUALLY — HERE’S A BETTER IDEA

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Democrats were being hypocritical by refusing to vote for their own plan. “I’ve never seen a bill sponsored by a dozen people who don’t want to vote on it,” he said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the Green New Deal’s main sponsor in the House, tweeted following the vote that she had encouraged Senate Democrats to vote “present” on the resolution.

“McConnell tried to rush the #GreenNewDeal straight to the floor without a hearing,” she wrote. “The real question we should be asking: Why does the Senate GOP refuse to hold any major hearings on climate change?”

At a news conference earlier Tuesday, McConnell said he believed climate change was real and at least partially caused by humans, but said the real question facing lawmakers was, “How do you address it?”

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“The way to do this, consistent with American values and American capitalism, is through technology and innovation,” McConnell said. ” … Not to shut down your economy, throw people out of work, make people reconstruct their homes, get out of their cars, you get the whole drift here. This is nonsense, and if you’re going to sign on to nonsense, you ought to have to vote for nonsense.”

By “basically outlawing the only sources of energy that working-class and middle-class families can actually afford,” the Green New Deal would “kill off entire domestic industries” and eliminate millions of jobs, McConnell said. The plan could lead to a spike in household electric bills of over $300 a month, he said.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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CVS Shares Feel Weight of Centene-WellCare Deal – TheStreet.com

Shares of healthcare and retail giant CVS Health (CVS) fell Wednesday following the announcement that Centene plans to buy WellCare – a move seen by investors as a potential hit to revenue at CVS Health’s Aetna health insurance business.

Centene (CNC) and WellCare (WCG) on Wednesday announced they were combining forces in a deal valued at approximately $17.3 billion. The agreement gives the combined company 22 million members across the U.S. and combined 2019 revenue of $97 billion – and bigger scale to compete with the likes of CVS Health’s Aetna health insurance business.

CVS in late November officially signed off on its $69 billion mega-merger with healthcare giant Aetna, which combined CVS’s pharmacies with Aetna’s insurance business and also put CVS near the front of the pack in terms of pharmacy and prescription benefits. 

Centene and WellCare’s announcement could potentially affect CVS’s position, since the combined companies will directly complete with similar offerings.

To be sure, CVS has its sights on other opportunities in the health care space. 

“The real growth opportunity in that space is in the assisted and the independent living space,” CEO Larry J. Merlo said in an interview with TheStreet.com’s Jim Cramer on CNBC earlier this week. “We feel that we’ve got the business stabilized and it’ll grow from this point forward.”

CVS stock was down 3.1% to $53.69 on Wednesday in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

CVS is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells CVS? Learn more now.

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