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It turns out the FBI told the White House half a year ago that then-aide Rob Porter had been accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wives. Since those accusations became public last week, the White House has issued some conflicting statements on what it knew and did, and when—but perhaps most telling, still, were President Donald Trump’s own remarks. —Sam Schulz
Do Republicans care about deficits anymore? It sure doesn’t look like it. The two-year budget deal President Donald Trump signed last week, which boosted spending by almost $400 billion, cruised through Congress—many of whose members brought the U.S. to the brink of default to force the Obama administration to cut spending. These days, they’re increasing spending, even as they cut taxes. In the long run, analysts warn, all that red ink could spook investors, and crimp Trump’s flexibility in a crisis.
Israeli police have recommended corruption charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is accused of trading his influence for favors. Netanyahu claims the charges are politically motivated. Now it’s up to Israel’s attorney general to decide whether to file charges against a sitting prime minister for the first time. If Netanyahu is actually charged, he could be in for his biggest political fight yet.
Even brand-new Ph.D.s can make a killing as AI experts, as tech giants offer massive pay packages in their war for talent. Designing artificial intelligence systems requires intuition, an understanding of high-level math, and skills in data science and programming. There are widely varied estimates of exactly how shallow the talent pool is, but a new report estimates about 22,000 Ph.D.-level scientists worldwide can build AI systems—and only 3,000 are looking for a job.
American forces killed scores of Russian fighters in Syria last week, in what may be their deadliest clash since the Cold War. Hundreds of mercenaries—mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad—died attacking a U.S.- and Kurd-held base. The attack, which may have been a rogue operation, underscores how Syria’s civil war has morphed into a proxy war involving stateless Kurds, Islamic extremists and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel. Russia’s military said it had nothing to do with the attack. The U.S. accepted that claim.
These crypto investors want revenge on the people they say ripped them off, and they’re minting their own currency to get it. The group is suing BitConnect, the company they say roasted them on a multi-level-marketing crypto deal, but their lawyer says it’s unlikely they’ll be able to recoup much of their investment. So they're seeking some vigilante-style justice, branding themselves the Crypto Watchdogs and offering a bounty—in JusticeCoins—for dirt on the company. The effort is unusual, the frustration less so: In crypto world, it’s not hard to get suckered.
Homes are more expensive than they’ve ever been pretty much everywhere. Prices jumped to all-time highs in nearly two-thirds of American cities, as buyers fight for a record low number of properties up for sale. Values have grown steadily as the improving job market drives demand. But while prices have jumped 48 percent since 2011, incomes have only risen 15 percent, making homes unaffordable for many. Maybe it’s time to quit hunting in the Bay Area and consider a move to Glens Falls, New York, where prices actually dropped by almost 12 percent.
Self-driving cars will kill things you love (and a few you hate). Electric cars, robo taxis and self-driving trucks are coming to change our world—possibly sooner than you think. They could mean fewer people taking public transit, and ultimately less investment in it. (Same goes for domestic airlines—why suffer the indignities of the TSA when you can read a book in your driverless car?) While they could reduce traffic, car crash rates, and insurance premiums, workers like parking cops, mechanics and truckers could be out of a job. And even as people stop throwing tailgate parties, they might start watching a lot more Netflix on the road.
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