Category Archives: PND News

New Zealand: Test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit

Source: New York Daily News

“California-based company Rocket Lab said Thursday it had launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn’t reach orbit as hoped. The company said its Electron rocket lifted off at 4:20 p.m. Thursday and reached space three minutes later. … Rocket Lab was given official approval last week to conduct three test launches from the remote Mahia Peninsula on the North Island. The company hopes to begin commercial launches later this year and eventually launch about one rocket every week.” (05/25/17)

Trump, Pence hit new lows in Fox poll

Source: The Hill

“President Trump and Vice President Pence are facing their lowest approval ratings since the inauguration, according to a new Fox News poll. More than half of voters, 53 percent, disapprove of the job Trump is doing, compared to just 40 percent who approve. Pence’s numbers are slightly higher, with a 42 percent approval rating and 43 percent disapproving. Those numbers are a significant drop from their ratings in a similar Fox News poll last month.” (05/25/17)

U.S. warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea

Source: Reuters

“A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. China said its warships had warned the U.S. ship and it lodged ‘stern representations’ with the United States. China said it remained resolutely opposed to so-called ‘freedom of navigation’ operations…. Territorial waters are generally defined by U.N. convention as extending at most 12 nautical miles from a state’s coastline.” (05/25/17)

Green: Articles of impeachment against Trump are being drafted

Source: Raw Story

“Democratic Representative Al Green has said he is pushing ahead with the process of impeaching President Donald Trump and is currently drawing up articles of impeachment. The Texas congressman last week appeared on the floor of the House of Representatives to call for his colleagues to begin impeachment proceedings. The appeal came a day after revelations of a memo from former FBI Director James Comey claiming that Trump had asked him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Green has since detailed racially charged threats he has received but insists he has not been dissuaded from the process. ‘We will move forward, and as a matter of fact, I am currently crafting, drafting if you will, articles of impeachment,’ he told C-Span Tuesday.” [editor’s note: And if this succeeds, they will drown the Democratic Party in the process – SAT] (05/24/17)

Still no evidence of Trump “collusion” with Russia as media shift focus

Source: Fox News

“The headline in the Washington Examiner was rather eye-catching: ‘At This Rate, It Won’t Matter If Trump Colluded with Russia.’ Huh! Won’t matter? Hasn’t that been the subject of a huge swath of media coverage for many months now? Turns out the piece contained astute observations by Byron York, a Fox News contributor, on how the focus of all the journalistic digging and investigative machinery has shifted. I’ve long cautioned that, though we don’t know for sure, there may be no there there when it comes to these murky allegations about Donald Trump having ‘colluded’ with Russia. That doesn’t mean that, say, Michael Flynn, who just invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying on the Hill, doesn’t have problems related to past payments from the Russians. But Trump himself? Not so far.” (05/24/17)

Five charged with insider trading involving US health agency

Source: Reuters

“Five men, including a Washington, D.C. political consultant and a federal employee, were criminally charged on Wednesday with engaging in an insider trading scheme based on leaks from within a federal healthcare agency. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Wednesday announced the arrest of political consultant David Blaszczak, founder of Precipio Health Strategies; U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) employee Christopher Worrall; and Rob Olan and Ted Huber, employees of the healthcare hedge fund Deerfield Management. Jordan Fogel, a former employee at New York-based Deerfield, who was also charged, pleaded guilty on Friday, according to a spokesman for acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in Manhattan. ‘Jordan looks forward to resolving this and moving on,’ said Marc Mukasey, Fogel’s lawyer.” (05/24/17)

ME: LePage says no road sign for new monument? Fans hang one anyway

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Maine’s governor is refusing to allow road signs to be installed for a new national monument, so supporters of the park are taking matters into their own hands. Fans of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument hung a banner advertising the park from a highway overpass above Interstate 95. The sign appears to be written on a bed sheet or piece of canvas. It says ‘KWW Exit 264’ and was first seen Wednesday. Republican Gov. Paul LePage has long opposed the creation of the monument. President Barack Obama created the park last year. A governor’s spokesman says it would be ‘imprudent and premature’ to install signs before completion of a 120-day review period ordered by President Donald Trump last month.” (05/24/17)

Report: Hate crime criteria vary widely by state

Source: Fox News

“National hate-crime statistics are skewed because there is a wide disparity of criteria that state and local authorities use in identifying such offenses, according to a report issued Wednesday. The analysis, ‘Five Facts: Hate Crimes, 2010-2015,’ by Seattle-based data intelligence firm LiveStories found that nearly 40,000 hate crimes have been reported across the country since the start of the decade but that the geographic dispersion of those reported crimes varies widely. Most of them were in Northern states such as Michigan, Washington, and New York, while the region with the fewest incidents were in the Deep South. LifeStories CEO Adnan Mahmud said that the likely reason for lower reported incidents in the South may be due to differing ways law enforcement agencies define or classify hate crimes.” (05/24/17)

Poll: Majority of Americans don’t think Trump has drained swamp

Source: USA Today

“Only one in four Americans believe that President Trump has started to ‘drain the swamp,’ according to a new poll out Wednesday. Despite his promises to shake things up in Washington, per the latest Monmouth University Poll, only 24% believe that Trump has made any progress to ‘drain the swamp.’ Another 32% said he has made the swamp worse, while 35% said nothing has changed at all. ‘If draining the swamp is a measurable campaign promise, it doesn’t look like President Trump has been able to keep it,’ Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. While on the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised that he’d ‘drain the swamp’ by pushing for ethics reforms that would prevent the revolving door of officials who leave government from lobbying their former colleagues and agencies.” [editor’s note: His major aim seems to be replacing them with his own cronies, bidness as usual – SAT] (05/24/17)

Study: Magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Source: USA Today

“Are magic mushrooms safe? A new survey found that when it comes to recreational drug use, magic mushrooms appear to be the safest drug. Only .2% of almost 10,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016 reported that they needed emergency medical treatment, according to the annual Global Drug Survey. The survey, of more than 120,000 participants in 50 countries, found that the rates of emergency medical treatment for MDMA, LSD, alcohol and cocaine were almost five times higher. Magic mushrooms can be risky and cause panic attacks or confusion, Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey told the Guardian. ‘Combined use with alcohol and use within risky or unfamiliar settings increase the risks of harm most commonly accidental injury, panic and short-lived confusion, disorientation, and fears of losing one’s mind,’ Winstock told the Guardian.” (05/24/17)