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Pragmatic governor Laschet elected to lead Merkel…

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party has elected Armin Laschet, the pragmatic governor of Germany’s most populous state, as its new leader — sending a signal of continuity months before an election in which voters will decide who becomes the new chancellor

There's something fishy about this robot swarm

Many fish species gather by the thousands and swim in harmony with seemingly no effort. Large schools display a range of impressive collective behaviors, from simple shoaling to collective migration and from basic predator evasion to dynamic maneuvers such as bait balls and flash expansion. A wealth of experimental and theoretical work has shown that these complex three-dimensional (3D) behaviors can arise from visual observations of nearby neighbors, without explicit communication. By contrast, most underwater robot collectives rely on centralized, above-water, explicit communication and, as a result, exhibit limited coordination complexity. Researchers are now demonstrating 3D collective behaviors with a swarm of fish-inspired miniature underwater robots that use only implicit communication mediated through the production and sensing of blue light.

Mourners Honor Chuck Yeager, 'Who Pushed the…

Mourners including the vice president told stories Friday about one of the nation's most celebrated aviators, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, an ace fighter pilot who went on to break the sound barrier as a test pilot. Yeager died last month at 97. "The best pilots are the...

Nearly 100 cats survive New York house fire

Nearly 100 cats have survived a house fire in a town outside Rochester, New York, according to an animal protection group. (Jan. 15)

FEMA To Build COVID Vaccine Centers Under Biden's…

President-elect Joe Biden announced during a Friday speech that he has plans for FEMA. He said he will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build facilities for COVID-19 vaccines. These facilities will then distribute the vaccine to the American public, says Business Insider. Biden said his administration will build 100 federally-funded community vaccination centers. He plans to have this in motion by the end of his first month in office. He also promised to set up mobile vaccination units for hard-hit and hard to reach communities.

China builds hospital in 5 days after surge in…

China has finished building a 1,500-room hospital for COVID-19 patients to fight a surge in infections the government said are harder to contain and that it blamed on infected people or goods from abroad

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Liam Neeson Says He’s Done Starring in Action…

Liam Neeson Says He’s Done Starring in Action Movies. Oscar nominee Liam Neeson thinks he’s getting too old for his signature vigilante roles. In an interview with ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ Neeson revealed that he plans on retiring from action movies after this year. Oh, yeah. I think so. I'm 68 and a half. 69 this [June] … There's a couple more I'm going to do this year - hopefully, COVID allowing us - there's a couple in the pipeline and, then I think that will probably be it, Liam Neeson, to 'Entertainment Tonight'. He jokingly followed up by saying that although he loves “beating up guys half [his] age,” he’s going to need a walker if he continues. . Neeson’s revelation about his age apparently occurred while he was on the set of his next movie, ‘Blacklight.’ . While filming a fight scene for the flick, Neeson realized how exhausted he was compared to his younger co-star. . I had a fight scene with a kid -- lovely, sweet actor called Taylor -- and halfway through the fight I looked up, I was breathless and it didn't cost him a cent, and I said, 'Taylor, what age are you?' He said, '25.', Liam Neeson, to 'Entertainment Tonight'. In 2020, Neeson also confessed to ‘Entertainment Tonight’ that he didn’t want to return to the superhero genre. . Although he “admire[s]” superhero films, Neeson ultimately found it “exhausting.” . I have no desire to go into the gym for three hours every day to pump myself up to squeeze into a Velcro suit with a cape, Liam Neeson, to 'Entertainment Tonight'

Man Who Doubted Ability To Be Arrested Following…

Andrew Williams was one of the Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6th. Days later, he asked, "How are they going to arrest every single person?" in a live stream. His expression of doubt regarding the insurrection was fairly widespread among participants. Williams was arrested on January 13th, according to Business Insider. Williams' activities and participation were chronicled in photos and videos obtained by federal police. The FBI and local police force are urging everyone with info to come forward.

On Its Way to Texas, NRA Files for Bankruptcy…

The National Rifle Association asked a federal court for bankruptcy protection from its creditors on Friday, saying it plans to restructure as a nonprofit in Texas. The organization now is registered in New York, Reuters reports. In a statement, the NRA said it's leaving "a corrupt political and regulatory environment....

Downpour of graupel hits the Springfield area

Photographer Brady Nickols captured a downpour of graupel falling in the village of Chatham, just outside Springfield, Illinois, on Jan. 15.

Ex-Governor of Michigan Is Among 9 Officials…

Ex-Governor of Michigan, Is Among 9 Officials Charged in Flint Water Crisis. The charges involving ex-Governor Rick Snyder are the result of what has been described as "the largest criminal investigation in the history of the state of Michigan.". A switch in the supply of water directed to Flint, MI, in 2014 resulted in dangerously high levels of lead in the community's tap water. Water from the Flint River was redirected in order to cut costs. . Pure and simple, this case is about justice, truth, accountability, poisoned children, lost lives, shattered families that are still not whole .., Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor, via NBC News. ... and simply giving a damn about all of humanity, Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor, via NBC News. Snyder pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor charges. The eight other officials who worked under Snyder have been charged with crimes as serious as involuntary manslaughter. A class-action lawsuit related to the scandal resulted in a $600 million settlement for the affected residents

Trump's presidency not just a blip in US foreign…

President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to scrap President Donald Trump’s vision of “America First” in favor of “diplomacy first” will depend on whether he’s able to regain the trust of allies and convince them that Trumpism is just a blip in the annals of U.S. foreign policy

US governors angered by miscues on vaccine supply

Governors say the Trump administration is deceiving states about the amount of COVID-19 vaccine they can expect to receive as they ramp up vaccination efforts. The government attributed the anger to confusion and misguided expectations. (Jan. 14)

Pelosi: Lawmakers Who Aided Mob Face Prosecution

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that she wants to know whether any of her colleagues helped the mob that stormed the Capitol last week. That would put them in criminal jeopardy, she said. "If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if...

Inauguration Day also is move in/out day at the…

Inauguration Day is also moving day at the White House

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Rescue kangaroo insists on daily couch cuddles…

Rescue kangaroo insists on daily couch cuddles with dad

CDC Has Warning About the New Strain of Virus

A new coronavirus strain moving through the US hasn't caused much damage yet. But unless vaccinations start being given much more quickly and people stick to measures designed to limit the spread of the disease, the variant could bring a surge of new cases by March. The Centers for Disease...

AP Top Stories January 15 P

Here are the top stories for Friday, Jan. 15th: Biden highlights vaccine rollout plan, Trump to depart DC just before Inauguration; Global COVID-19 deaths pass 2 million; Chuck Yeager remembered in West Virginia.

Ted Cruz To Attend Biden's Inauguration Despite…

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. This comes after weeks of elevating misinformation about the election results. Cruz has faced immense backlash and increasing pressure to resign following his objection. Biden has even criticized the Texas senator and said he should be defeated in 2024. Since November, Cruz has sown doubts into the electoral process, says Business Insider. Cruz's communications director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, also left her job in the wake of the siege.

Diary shows how quest for love landed Navy vet in…

Navy veteran Michael White kept a handwritten document detailing the nearly two years he spent imprisoned in Iran

This Day in History: The Persian Gulf War Begins…

This Day in History:, The Persian Gulf War Begins. January 16, 1991. The UN midnight deadline for the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait expired, leading to the commencement of Operation Desert Storm. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST, aircraft from the U.S.-led military coalition pounded targets in and around Baghdad. During the next six weeks, the allied force engaged in an air war against Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure. On February 24, a massive coalition ground offensive began, quickly overwhelming Iraq’s outdated and poorly supplied armed forces. On February 28, President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire. 125 American and an estimated 20,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the Persian Gulf War

Biden Plan For COVID-19 Vaccine Won't Cause…

14 (UPI) -- The incoming Biden administration's plan to release more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine won't cause supply shortages, Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of the newly created COVID-19 advisory board said Thursday. Two COVID-19 vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have been approved for use in the United States, and both require two doses for maximum effectiveness. Through Thursday, nearly 30 million doses of the two vaccines had been distributed across the country, but fewer than 11 million have been administered, based on estimates from the U.S.

Saved by the Bell Stars React to Dustin Diamond's…

The news of Dustin Diamond's stage 4 cancer is making the rounds, and some former colleagues are now offering up their good wishes. On Thursday, People magazine put up an Instagram post with news of Diamond's diagnosis, and fans flooded the comments with good thoughts for the 44-year-old actor, who...

Fresh snow moves into parts of Illinois as storm…

A quick-moving storm passing through the Northeast on Jan. 15 brought snow to wide swaths of Illinois.

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US Retail Sales Fell Again in December

US Retail Sales Fell Again in December . According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales in December 2020 fell by 0.7 percent. A Reuters poll of economists revealed an expectation of no change in retail sales for December. Retail sales in November 2020 were adjusted to show a slip of 1.4 percent. The U.S. economy also lost jobs in December. Unemployment numbers in the first week of January indicate that job loss could continue this month. President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan was revealed on Thursday. The plan is expected to help the economy by boosting spending in the later half of 2021

Vaccines to stimulus checks: Here's what's in…

President-elect Joe Biden is proposing a $1.9 trillion plan to expand coronavirus vaccinations, help individuals and jump-start the economy

‘MLK/FBI’ probes when bureau bugged Martin Lu…

The new documentary “MLK/FBI” chronicles one of the darkest chapter’s in the FBI’s history: the yearslong surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King Jr.. (Jan. 15)