China launches first domestically made aircraft carrier

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China has launched a new aircraft carrier, boosting its military presence amid rising tensions in the region.
It is the country’s second aircraft carrier, after the Liaoning, and the first to be made domestically.
State media said the unnamed ship was “transferred from dry dock into the water” in the north east port of Dalian. Previous reports said it would be operational by 2020.
It comes amid heated rhetoric between the US and North Korea in recent days.

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The US has deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula, prompting an angry reaction from North Korea. China has urged for calm.
The carrier is touted to be a significant upgrade from the Liaoning, which was built more than 25 years ago and is a refurbished Soviet ship bought from Ukraine.

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Chinese state news agency Xinhua said work had started on their latest aircraft carrier in 2013.
The launch was attended by the vice-president of China’s central military commission Fan Changlong.
Officials smashed a bottle of champagne on the ship’s hull as “magnificent patriotic songs” played on loudspeakers and nearby ships sounded their horns in celebration, reported Xinhua.
The defence ministry said previously that it would carry China’s J-15 aircraft along with other planes, and that it would use conventional rather than nuclear propulsion.

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Babies Floating in Fluid-Filled Bags

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A lab has successfully gestated premature lambs in artificial wombs. Are humans next?

When babies are born at 24 weeks’ gestation, “it is very clear they are not ready to be here,” says Emily Partridge, a research fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Doctors dress the hand-sized beings in miniature diapers and cradle them in plastic incubators, where they are fed through tubes. In many cases, IV lines deliver sedatives to help them cope with the ventilators strapped to their faces.

Each year, about 30,000 American babies are born this early—considered “critically preterm,” or younger than 26 weeks. Before 24 weeks, only about half survive, and those who live are likely to endure long-term medical complications. “Among those that survive, the challenges are things we all take for granted, like walking, talking, seeing, hearing,” says Kevin Dysart, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital.

Babies Floating

But within a decade or so, babies born between 23 and 25 weeks might not be thrust into the harsh outside world at all. Instead, they may be immediately plunged into a special bag filled with lab-made amniotic fluid, designed to help them gestate for another month inside an artificial womb. That is, if a new technology that has been successfully tested on lambs is found to work on humans.

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Daughter tragically dies while swimming in lake – Family warns everyone of lake electrocution

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Fifteen-year-old Carmen Johnson loved to swim and play in the water, but her love soon lead to her demise. It was a tragic accident that no one could have foreseen. With her death, Carmen’s parents speak out on the dangers of swimming in a lake.

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On April 16, Carmen swam in the lake behind their home. Although she knew how to swim, something tried to pull her down into the water, which caused her to drown.

“I was in a position where I could have saved her, if it would have been anything but electrocution in the water,” her father Jimmy Johnson recalled. “It was instant. It just grabbed hold of me.”

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He also added that both his sons Zach and Jimmy jumped into the lake to save Carmen, but they too almost died. “It felt like your arm or leg is asleep and it hurts to move, and you can’t move, but it’s your entire body. And you’re trying to tread water but can’t swim,” said Zach.

While Zach and Jimmy survived after the main power switch was turned off, it was too late for Carmen.

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The weird incident that cost Carmen her life is called shock drowning. It happens when a current, often from a short circuit in the wiring of boats or in a dock, spreads through the water. As a result, those who are in the water will be electrocuted and end up drowning.

The Johnsons revealed that local laws never really require the inspection of faulty electric lines. Now, they hope to use Carmen’s tragic story as a warning to all other parents about the dangers of lake electrocution.

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In the name of Carmen, they are calling for change in terms of safety standards. Join them in their cause by watching the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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Facebook’s digitally enhanced future sidesteps ugly reality

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mark Zuckerberg has seen the future — augmented reality through a camera lens, a virtual-reality app called Spaces and a new Messenger that makes everyday tasks simpler.

The Facebook co-founder and CEO heralded these cool new features as playful, amazing and with a higher purpose: To foster stronger communities in a society that’s divided.

But for the social network’s nearly 2 billion users, it’s not clear which of the upcoming innovations will become more than gimmicks that keep them from straying to rival social platforms — and which, if any, will meaningfully change their lives. And if they do, it may not be in a good way.

The news leading up to the Facebook CEO’s opening speech showed how very wrong even innocuous product launches can go: Cable channels and news sites were focused on the “Facebook killer,” a murder suspect who had broadcast his intent, killing and confession, on Facebook video — a previous innovation designed to share celebrations like weddings and birthdays.

“Before the election and before all the fake news scandals, there was the utopian view of how Facebook is making the world more open and more connected and lifting people up and benefiting them. Now with some of the tragedies around Facebook Live, that vision has been really tarnished,” says Greg Sterling, contributing editor of tech industry blog Search Engine Land.

Zuckerberg acknowledged the killing at the outset, saying “our hearts go out” to the family and friends of the victim’s family. The company’s annual developers conference, however, was intently focused on the great work to come, not the sticky work of fixing what’s been released.

For about 80 minutes, he laid out an online experience in which cartoon avatars, 3-D stickers and augmented reality “(extend) the physical world online.”

Soon, says Zuckerberg, everyday life will get an augmented reality jolt in three ways: by using the Facebook camera to display information on the real world, add digital objects in it and and enhance existing objects.

Tech analysts say they will eventually become staples of consumers’ Facebook experiences. It just will take time.

“I can see brands doing this as a splashy novelty thing to get a lot of attention but we’re still a ways off from any kind of mainstream experience of augmented reality,” says Sterling.

AR has the potential, at least, because the hardware infrastructure exists to make that more widespread.

Your friends (and you) become cartoon avatars in Facebook virtual reality
The question is will people build software for an AR experience? “It’s not an immediate thing,” Sterling says. “The VR stuff is very powerful interesting and will have an intense and devoted user base, but you need a lot of hardware to make that work.”

For Facebook, the innovative playbook has been staking a claim to being a “first or second mover” to entice developers to build applications for the platform before they hit big with the mainstream, says Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. Sometime that risky strategy works, and sometimes it doesn’t, he says.

“Facebook has many times taken very aggressive stances on features and completely whiffed,” says Moorhead. “I don’t think they know exactly what will work. But they are not afraid to try it. In fact, when you look at Spaces, this is Second Life 15 years later.”

“You should all be very skeptical but not dismissive. It took tablets 20 years from the first one to become mainstream,” Moorhead says.

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Among the major announcements that could change the way you use Facebook:

— Facebook opened up its camera platform to developers, an attempt to get thousands of programmers to build the killer app that will get people attached to a digitally altered reality they may have experienced on Snapchat or Pokemon Go, but in Facebook style.

— Facebook launched a social virtual reality platform for owners of Oculus headsets and controllers, which allows users to create avatars based on their photos who then interact with each other in virtual spaces.

— Facebook’s Messenger app expanded the way users of the popular texting app can chat with robots — an expansion of the chatbot platform Facebook launched to much fanfare last year.

Facebook Messenger takes another swipe at chat bots
These launches don’t always pan out, despite the occasional hoots and cheers from the audience. The chat bot platform, which promised a future smoothed by painless interactions with all-knowing robots, underwhelmed and disappointed. While many in numbers (100,000), the bots failed to gain traction with users.

Facebook Messenger honcho David Marcus addressed these bumps Tuesday. “I’m glad we called it a beta,” Marcus quipped of last year’s launch.

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Why Turkey’s referendum matters to the U.S.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu cast their votes in the referendum on expanding the powers of the country’s president, seen as a crossroads in the modern history of the nation.

Turkey held a constitutional referendum Sunday that would radically change President Recep Tayyip Erdogan country’s system of government and give the president vast, new powers.

So, why does that matter to the United States? Here are three major reasons:

Secular democracy at stake

Opponents campaigning against the referendum say Erdogan would undermine Turkey’s democracy and secular traditions and institute a religious authoritarian regime in the mostly Muslim nation, which provides a bridge between Europe and its Western values and the Middle East.

Political critics point to the government crackdown following an attempted military coup last July and pressure for women to cover up in Muslim clothing.

A more powerful Erdogan, who could be around at least another decade, worries Western leaders who have expressed concerns about his move away from democracy. That has made the European Union less receptive to Turkey’s bid to become a member.

U.S. air base

The U.S. military has a vital air base in Turkey that is used for operations throughout the Middle East.

U.S. Air Force Col. John Dorrian said in January that any actions by Turkey to shut down or limit U.S. air operations out of Incirlik Air Base would be damaging for the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State —also known as ISIS — in Syria.

“It’s absolutely invaluable … for the coalition,” he said. “The entire world has been made safer by the operations that have been conducted there. It’s a very important base to the coalition and to the ongoing fight against (ISIS).”

Strategic U.S. ally

The NATO member is a valued ally in the fight against ISIS and the defense of Europe. In addition, Turkey is trying to keep the tide of refugees fleeing Syria and other conflict zones from flooding Europe.

Turkey has the second largest army in NATO and is key to any success in rolling back and eventually defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

President Trump has spoken about the two countries’ “shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms” and has welcomed Turkish contributions to the fight against ISIS. On Tuesday, the White House said Trump called Erdogan to “congratulate him on his recent referendum victory” and to discuss the recent U.S. action in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.”

Both leaders, according to the White House, agreed on the importance of holding Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable and discussed cooperation efforts to combat terror efforts.

Credit: USAtoday.com

Police: Man killed 4 in Fresno, posted disdain for whites on Facebook

According to local media, a gunman opened fire in Fresno, California on Tuesday, killing three people before he was taken into custody.

Race is what drove a homeless African-American man in Fresno to shoot and kill three white men on Tuesday – bringing his homicide total to four since last week, the city’s police chief said during a news conference.

“We don’t believe it’s a terrorist act,” Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters about the Tuesday rampage led by suspect Kori Ali Muhammad. “We believe it’s a hate crime.

Dyer said the incident ended with Muhammad, 39, shouting “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is great” – as police took him down to the ground.

Muhammad sought to kill as many white people as possible, Dyer said. The shootings were random, he added. “This is solely based on race,” he said.

The Fresno police chief also told reporters that the suspect’s Facebook page included posts that expressed hate for white people.

Muhammad also was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting Thursday night of a security guard at a Motel 6 who was responding to a disturbance, Lt. Mark Hudson, Fresno police department public information officer, confirmed to USA TODAY.

The victim in that shooting also was a white male, Dyer said.

Dyer said Muhammad has been arrested in the past on weapons, drugs and false imprisonment charges and making terrorist threats. He had been associated with gangs but was not a validated member, police said. Muhammad was living on the streets and most people had “disassociated” themselves from him, the chief said.

Dyer told reporters that the victims were shot minutes apart as Muhammad made his way through downtown.

The shootings happened outside a Catholic Charities building, but spokeswoman Teresa Dominguez told the Associated Press that the charity does not believe the suspect was tied to the nonprofit organization.

Sayed Ali Ghazvini, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, said Muhammad was not a member of his congregation and he did not recognize him. The imam said he is consulting with other faith leaders.

“We’re kind of shocked and surprised for what happened,” the Associated Press quoted Ghazvini as saying. “We are very sorry for this to happen. We offer condolences for the victims. We pray for the victims and their families.”

In a statement published to its Facebook page, the center condemned the killings and explained that “Allahu Akbar” is a prayer of peace.

“When someone utters these beautiful words and commits violent acts, it brings pain to our community and crushes our hearts,” the statement read. “We condemn the acts of this criminal in the strongest terms and we stand with our community and city in support and brotherhood.”

Muhammad first fired shots late Tuesday morning into a Pacific Gas & Electric vehicle, killing the passenger, police said. He shot at a second person on the street, but missed, police said. He then shot and killed two more people near the who, Dyer said, might have been clients of nearby Catholic Charities.

PG&E released a statement following the shooting: “Our hearts are very heavy today, as we have lost a member of our PG&E family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our employee, and all those impacted by this tragic event.”

Muhammad faces four counts of murder and two of attempted murder, according to Dyer.

Following the shooting, Fresno city spokesman Mark Standriff said county offices were placed on lockdown, and people were urged to shelter in place.

Credit: Usatoday.com

Josh Brolin as Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’?

Brolin, whose name never came in casting rumors for the character, has snagged a four-movie deal to portray Cable. USA TODAY

Josh Brolin has signed on to play comic-book character Cable, opposite Ryan Reynolds’ foul-mouthed mercenary in Deadpool 2, The Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press confirmed Wednesday.

But, wait, wasn’t Brolin already cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Indeed. Brolin plays Thanos, a supervillain who has a major role in the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

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Josh Brolin’s first Marvel character, Thanos, first appeared in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ (Photo: Marvel)

Reynolds, himself, made light of the fact that Brolin’s been cast as a second character based on Marvel Comics (though Deadpool is a Twentieth Century Fox film, as opposed to Disney’s Avengers). He tweeted, sarcastically, “You can’t play 2 characters in the same universe!! Josh Brolin was in Sicario and I was in Sabrina The Teenage Witch.”

By Wednesday afternoon, news of Brolin playing Cable in a four-picture deal had lit up social media, with “Josh Brolin” as a top national Twitter trend. Though many online complained about the casting decision, others tweeted in defense of Brolin.

To be fair, Brolin isn’t the first actor to play two Marvel characters. Both Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan played Human Torch in Fox’s Fantastic Four movies, before going on to play hero Captain America (Evans) and supervillain Erik Killmonger (Jordan, in 2018’s Black Panther) in Disney/Marvel films.

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The ‘Outlander’ Season 3 teaser is breaking our hearts

The unlucky lovers of Starz Outlander return in the show’s Season 3 trailer, which aired on the channel before the premiere of new show The White Princess. Things are not looking very good for the Frasers, who have been ripped apart by time and space. And it looks like they’ve been apart for a very long time.

The new season finds Claire having returned to her present in 1948, with Jamie left in the past after a failed stand at Culloden, each trying to reform their lives without the other. But as Claire’s new fashion and hair suggest, it’s been years (even decades) since the two were together. Fans who have been anticipating this long-awaited season, may be able to relate.