All posts by Robert A Williams

Parkland Survivor Slams Fox Host: Coming From A 14-Year-Old, Please Grow Up

Lauren Hogg, a teen survivor of last month’s mass shooting at a Florida high school, is accusing a Fox News host of cyberbullying.

Laura Ingraham of the “Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday mocked Hogg’s brother, David Hogg, also a survivor of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which left 17 dead.

David Hogg has since become a vocal proponent of gun control, and has been attacked from the right for it. 

Ingraham said the high school senior “whined” about getting rejected by four colleges:

Lauren Hogg defended her brother: 

Her brother called for a boycott of Ingraham’s show on Wednesday evening: 

Lauren Hogg also called on first lady Melania Trump, who has vowed to fight cyberbullying, to speak out. 

Lauren Hogg, who lost four friends in the mass shooting, made a similar comment last month, when Donald Trump Jr. “liked” two tweets promoting right-wing conspiracy theories about her brother. 

You say that your mission as first lady is to stop cyber bullying,” she tweeted to Melania Trump. “Don’t you think it would have been smart to have a convo with your stepson @DonaldJTrumpJr before he liked a post about a false conspiracy theory which … put a target on my back?”

The Hogg family has received death threats since the mass shooting, The Washington Post reported last month.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lauren-hogg-laura-ingraham_us_5abc7654e4b06409775d0d2c

36 Ingenious Everyday Inventions Thatd Make Inspector Gadget Jealous

Inspector Gadget would definitely live up to his name if he had these 36 handy gadgets in his arsenal.

We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: 22Words is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.

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Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/36-ingenious-everyday-inventions-thatd-make-inspector-gadget-jealous/

The Shirk Report Volume 464

Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

20 IMAGES

Friday!
Ever seen an angry unicorn?
I remember my first time
I respect this on multiple levels
This deer would show up every day to chill so the owners got him his own day bed
WANT
¡Cows!
Seriously
Meanwhile on Old People Facebook
Never change Jordan Peele
🙋
Me trying to multitask at anything
Respect the long game
His neighbors love him (pretty sweet though)
That backspin though
Don’t lie and tell me you neatly stack yours
When you have a glass table and your dog begs for food
✅
Needed that
Until next week

10 ARTICLES

Chuck Feeney: the billionaire who gave it all away
Almost all plastic in the ocean comes from just 10 rivers
Here Come the Fake Videos, Too
Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us
The Design Theory Behind Amazon’s $5.6 Billion Success
Perfectionism Is Increasing, and That’s Not Good News (thx for sharing Big City Smitty!)
Don’t make fun of renowned Dan Brown
The dangerous social cycle that makes us buy things we don’t need
A Day In the Life of a Line Cook at One of NYC’s Fanciest Restaurants
Lobsters can’t live forever—but they do keep growing and growing until they die

5 VIDEOS + cookie

IT’S BEEN A SLICE

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2018/03/the-shirk-report-volume-464/

Saudis, SoftBank Plan World’s Largest Solar Project

  • Venture may cost $200 billion, add 100,000 jobs in the kingdom
  • Plan envisions 200GW of solar capacity in Saudi Arabia by 2030

Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, known for backing ambitious endeavors with flair, unveiled the project Tuesday in New York at a ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The powerful heir to the throne of the world’s largest crude exporter is seeking to diversify the economy and wean off a dependence on oil.

The deal is the latest in a number of eye-popping announcements from Saudi Arabia promising to scale up its access to renewables. While the kingdom has for years sought to get a foothold in clean energy, it’s was only in 2017 that ministers moved forward with the first projects, collecting bids for a 300-megawatt plant in October.

At 200 gigawatts, the Softbank project planned for the Saudi desert would be about 100 times larger than the next biggest proposed development and more than double what the global photovoltaic industry supplied last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“It’s a huge step in human history,” Prince Mohammed said. “It’s bold, risky and we hope we succeed doing that.”

Over The Top

SoftBank-Saudi solar vision dwarfs other planned PV projects

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance; SoftBank

If built, the development would almost triple Saudi Arabia’s electricity generation capacity, which stood at 77 gigawatts in 2016, according to BNEF data. About two thirds of that is generated by natural gas, with the rest coming from oil. Only small-scale solar projects working there now.

Son said he envisions the project, which runs the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing, will create as many as 100,000 jobs and shave $40 billion off power costs. The development will reach its maximum capacity by 2030 and may cost close to $1 billion a gigawatt, he said.

“The kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land and great engineers, great labor, but most importantly, the best and greatest vision,” Son told reporters at a briefing.

Deepening Ties

The agreement deepens SoftBank’s ties with the Saudi Arabia, and advances the crown prince’s ambition to diversify its economy.

“SoftBank seeks investment and Saudi needs energy, so it may make sense to sort the financing out in a large block and then separately hammer out the phases and the technical details,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF. “It is worth noting that many of these memorandums of understanding do not result in anything happening. ”

SoftBank was said to be planning to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years. That’s a boost for Prince Mohammed, who’s been at the forefront of the Vision 2030 campaign to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil by that year. SoftBank is said to have aimed to deploy as much as $15 billion in a new city called Neom, which the crown prince plans to build on the Red Sea coast.

The Japanese company’s Vision Fund is also said to plan investments of as much as $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co. as part of efforts to diversify the utility into renewables and solar energy.

Vision, Investments

Son, who is known as a savvy investor with a flair for the spotlight, has been promoting clean energy since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and recently completed a 50-megawatt wind power farm in Mongolia. He has also pushed a plan dubbed “Asia Super Grid,” a plan to connect Asian nations by grids and undersea cables to distribute clean energy.

The kingdom’s deal-making has quickened as it pursues Prince Mohammed’s diversification goals. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which has more than $224 billion in assets, spent about $54 billion on investments last year. The sale of about a 5 percent stake in oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is expected to provide more funds.

Saudi Arabia also plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. Electricity demand in the country has risen by as much as 9 percent a year since 2000, according to BNEF.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/saudi-arabia-softbank-ink-deal-on-200-billion-solar-project

More Than 30 Trump Aides Lose Top-Secret Clearance, Sources Say

More than 30 aides to President Donald Trump have been stripped of access to top secret intelligence, two people familiar with the move said.

The officials have been notified that they will be downgraded to lower-level “secret” interim security clearances, said the two people. None of the officials has been asked to leave the administration and their portfolios on top secret matters will be distributed to other staff members, they said.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is among those officials whose security clearance has been downgraded as a result of the new policy on interim clearances set by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, said another person familiar with the material. The change means that Kushner lost access to some files, including those containing intelligence on foreign leaders and diplomats that can be used to gain an advantage in negotiations, according to a second person, who is familiar with the clearance process.

All of the officials whose clearances were downgraded held the top secret designation on an interim basis. Kelly set a new policy that took effect last week that permits interim clearances only at the secret level and not permitting temporary clearances at higher levels.

The revelations come as the White House weathers intense criticism over its handling of sensitive intelligence after former Staff Secretary Rob Porter was permitted to keep his clearance status for months even though the FBI said it had provided the White House a report including allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives. 

Grassley Wants Answers

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley this week called for answers from the White House and the FBI about reports that dozens of top officials still lacked a full security clearance and that some them, including Kushner, had access to the highly classified President’s Daily Brief prepared by intelligence agencies.

The crackdown on clearances also come amid the drama of a special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling and potential ties to Trump election advisers. Trump communications director Hope Hicks, who had been romantically linked to Porter and who testified Tuesday to a House panel in the Russia probe, on Wednesday announced her plans to resign in a statement released by the White House.

In an earlier memo released Feb. 16, Kelly said that the administration must “do better” in its handling of security clearances. Kelly said he would discontinue all “Top Secret or SCI-level interim clearances” for people who have ongoing investigations stretching back to June 1, 2017, using an acronym for “Sensitive Compartmented Information.” While the new policy was set to take effect on Feb. 23, White House officials have declined to say who would be affected.

In a statement last week, Kelly didn’t address whether Kushner’s security clearance would be revoked but said he had “full confidence” in his ability to continue his foreign policy work. Trump said at a news conference last week that “I will let General Kelly make that decision. I have no doubt he’ll make the right decision.”

A spokesman for Kushner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that no concerns have been raised to Kushner about his security clearance and that the White House’s new security clearance policy doesn’t affect Kushner’s ability to do his job. His assignments by Trump include leading efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, overhauling prison sentencing and technology innovations.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-28/more-than-30-white-house-aides-said-to-lose-top-secret-clearance

    Uber Agrees on Southeast Asian Sale to Grab

    Uber Agrees on Southeast Asian Sale to Grab

    Updated on

    • Uber is said to announce sale, for a stake of 25% to 30%
    • A deal will mark Uber’s exit from yet another major market

    Uber Technologies Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Southeast Asian ride-hailing business to rival Grab and could announce the deal as early as Monday morning in Singapore, people familiar with the matter said.

    The agreement — which includes all of Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia as well as Uber Eats in the region — gives the U.S. company a stake of between 25 percent and 30 percent in the new combined business, the people said, asking not to be identified ahead of an official announcement. The deal, which Bloomberg outlined earlier this month, marks Uber’s operational exit from yet another major market and hands a victory to Grab as it battles local competitor Go-Jek.

    SoftBank Group Corp., a major backer of Grab’s and Uber’s as well as China’s Didi Chuxing, has pushed consolidation to improve the profitability of a global ride-hailing business that bleeds billions of dollars a year. New entrants and the strength of second-place regional players such as Lyft Inc. in the U.S. have complicated those efforts.

    Representatives for Grab and Uber declined to comment.

    Read more: Grab Is Said to be Close to Deal for Uber’s Southeast Asia Business

    The deal represents another major retreat from international markets for Uber. Travis Kalanick, its former chief executive officer, sold Uber’s business in China in 2016 in return for a 17.5 percent stake in Chinese ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing. Then the ride-hailing giant agreed to sell its Russian business to Yandex — just before Dara Khosrowshahi took over as chief executive.

    Khosrowshahi has been pushing to clean up the company’s financials in preparation for an initial public offering next year. Pulling out of markets like Southeast Asia would boost profits at a company that has burned through $10.7 billion since its founding nine years ago. Khosrowshahi signaled during a trip through Asia last month that he is committed to key markets such as Japan and India.

    Grab CEO Braces for a Fight of Biblical Proportions With Uber

    For Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan, the truce would bring to an end a bruising battle for leadership in a Southeast Asian ride-hailing market forecast to reach $20.1 billion by 2025. The companies have been locked in a struggle for control of as many cities as possible across Southeast Asia, home to 620 million people.

    Grab, which started out as a taxi-hailing app in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, became the region’s dominant ride-hailing service in past years with $4 billion raised from investors. It was most recently valued at $6 billion, according to CB Insights. Grab, which has more than 86 million mobile app downloads, currently offers services in more than 190 cities across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-25/uber-is-said-to-reach-agreement-on-southeast-asian-sale-to-grab

    19 People Reveal the Things Theyd Invent If They Were Able to Time Travel Into the Past

    If you could go back in time, what would you invent?

    Would it be something useful, like the printing press, or something really useful, like sandwiches?

    These 19 people have some good ideas.

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    Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/people-reveal-the-things-theyd-invent-if-they-were-able-to-time-travel-into-the-past/

    Ohio teen crushed to death by minivan seat was ‘funny, smart and positive,’ family says

    The teenager tragically killed Tuesday after he was crushed to death by a minivan seat was remembered by his family as being “funny, smart and positive.”

    Kyle Plush, 16, of Cincinnati, Ohio, called 911 at least twice Tuesday afternoon while he was strapped in the 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan outside Seven Hills School in Madisonville. The teenager was found unresponsive in the minivan hours later by a family member.

    Plush’s parents, Ron and Jill, released a statement regarding their son Friday night. The parents called him “unforgettable” and asked for privacy as they said their goodbyes to the teen.

    “We would like to share a few words about our remarkable son. Kyle embraced life with a passion far beyond his years,” the family said. “We thank God for sharing him with us for over 16 years but we so desperately wish he was here today.”

    They added: “Anyone who ever encountered Kyle knows he lit up a room with his larger than life, funny, smart and positive personality with inclusion of all. His friends know him as a leader with incredible potential that kept them laughing with his wit and innovative mind. He is unforgettable and we, as a family, will make sure he is never forgotten.”

    911 DISPATCHER WHO ANSWERED CALL FROM BOY CRUSHED BY MINIVAN SEAT COMPLAINED ABOUT JOB DAYS BEFORE INCIDENT 

    During Plush’s first phone call to 911, he told the dispatcher to tell his mom he loved her if he died.

    Kyle Plush’s parents said their son was “unforgettable.”  (FOX 19 Now)

    “I’m going to die here,” the teenager told the dispatcher. “I probably don’t have much time left. Tell my mom I love her if I die.”

    Plush suffocated after he became trapped under the third-row seat that flipped and pinned him while he was trying to reach his tennis equipment. The teenager told 911 operators where he was located but authorities were not able to find him. Police said Amber Smith, the 911 operator who answered Plush’s second call, failed to relay information to the additional officers who were at the scene.

    During the call, Plush explained to Smith the call was not a joke.

    BOY, 16, DIES AFTER BEING CRUSHED BY MINIVAN SEAT IN SCHOOL PARKING LOT DESPITE 2 CALLS TO 911

    “I am trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of the Seven Hills…Send officers immediately,” Plush pleaded. “I’m almost dead.”

    Smith has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. She has been a 911 operator for four years. FOX 19 Now reported Smith was set to return from administrative leave next week. She told supervisors her computer froze and she was unable to put information into the system.

    Police are investigating why it so long for somebody to find the teen despite Plush giving officials a detailed location of the van.

    Cincinnati.com reported the 911 center has had problems regarding staffing, training and technology. The city’s 911 center has had five directors in the past four years and its budget was cut $400,000 since 2016. Records showed the center needed 17 dispatchers and 15 operators, the paper reported.

    Fox News’ Madeline Fish contributed to this report.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/14/ohio-teen-crushed-to-death-by-minivan-seat-was-funny-smart-and-positive-family-says.html

    Trump says the military will secure the southern border until wall can be built

    President Trump on Tuesday said that the U.S. will secure the southern border with the military until a wall can be built, calling the move a “big step.”

    Trump made the remarks during a meeting with Baltic leaders, where he said he had discussed the matter with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. A White House official revealed later Tuesday to Fox News that the plan considered by Trump would be a “substantial” mobilization of the National Guard.

    “Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” he said. “That’s a big step, we really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”

    At a news conference later, he confirmed the plan, saying the border is unprotected by “our horrible, horrible and very unsafe laws.”

    “We don’t have laws, we have catch-and-release,” he said. “You catch and then you immediately release and people come back years later for a court case, except they virtually never come back.”

    Trump did not offer specifics, but the move appears to be at least partly motivated by a caravan of over 1,000 Central American migrants heading toward the U.S. border. Buzzfeed, which first reported on the caravan, said that Mexican officials had not yet attempted to stop the flow.

    In Tuesday’s discussion, Trump and senior officials “also agreed on the need to pressure Congress to urgently pass legislation to close legal loopholes exploited by criminal trafficking, narco-terrorist and smuggling organizations,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. She added that Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and Chief of Staff John Kelly were among the other officials present.

    Reports of the caravan angered Trump, who has sent out a number of tweets threatening to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to cut foreign aid to countries such as Honduras, from where many of the migrants originate.

    “The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our “Weak Laws” Border, had better be stopped before it gets there,” he tweeted Tuesday. “Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!”

    At the press conference he said that NAFTA was an “embarrasing” deal and that he had told Mexican officials on Monday: “I hope you’re going to tell that caravan not to get up to the border.” He added that he thinks the caravan was being broken up as a result.

    The Pentagon was scrambling to come up with a response to Trump’s statement on the military guarding the border. But according to a memo obtained by Fox News and discussions with officials, one area where the Pentagon could contribute immediately is the Air Force’s Barry Goldwater live-fire range, which shares a 35-mile border with Mexico in southern Arizona.  

    The Defense Department is already offering some support to the border, including U.S. Navy ships patrolling waters to seize drugs as well as missions involving over 100 personnel from U.S. military’s northern command — including eight planes and a drone — to help border patrol.

    In 2010, President Obama authorized 1,200 National Guard troops to increase security at the border, although Republican lawmakers questioned their role and whether they would in fact be “boots on the ground.”

    Trump has struggled to secure funding for his central campaign promise of a wall, which the administration and border officials say will cost approximately $20-25 billion. In the omnibus bill signed by Trump last month, $1.6 billion was included for technology and some replacement of existing border fencing — although it excluded the prototypes Trump recently viewed in California.

    Trump briefly considered vetoing the legislation both over its lack of funding for the wall and also the failure to include a fix for the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that granted protection for illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. He has since floated the idea of getting the Pentagon to fund the wall.

    Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, said on Fox News Radio’s “The Todd Starnes Show” that it gives Border Patrol “certainty of apprehension.”

    “The criminal smugglers, this is a multibillion dollar industry. They smuggle humans, they smuggle drugs,” he said. “This criminal enterprise, if we arrest the majority of people that cross the border illegally, we put a dent into their criminal enterprise, and if you put a dent into their criminal enterprise, then you can possibly stop them.”

    Fox News’ Kristin Brown, John Roberts, Lucas Tomlinson and Wes Barrett contributed to this report.

    Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/03/trump-says-military-will-secure-southern-border-until-wall-can-be-built.html