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Russia Plans to Pull Out of International Space Station in 2024, Build Its Own

Russia Plans to Pull Out of International Space Station in 2024, Build Its Own

ESA/NASA(MOSCOW) -- Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced on Wednesday that it will end its cooperation on the International Space Station in 2024, and then build its own outpost. The agency had worked with the United States, Europe, and Japan on the space station. President Obama recently announced plans to extend the mission to 2024, but any extension beyond that reportedly depended on Russian cooperation.Wednesday’s announcement not only threatens to end decades of U.S.-Russian cooperation in space, but also the viability of the space station a decade from now.

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Embattled “Downton Abbey” Congressman Aaron Schock Hires Lawyers, PR Pros

Embattled “Downton Abbey” Congressman Aaron Schock Hires Lawyers, PR Pros

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- “Am I supposed to applaud you for poking round in my things?” Those are the wise words spoken by head maid Anna May Bates of television’s Downton Abbey, a statement that could also apply to the latest episode in the real-life dramatic series of Rep. Aaron Schock, R-IL. Schock, who has come under fire for lavish spending on office décor, as well as pricey travel habits, has hired a team of lawyers from the Washington, D.C., firm Jones Day. He has also hired a public relations firm, Singer Bonjean Strategies, headed by communications operatives Ron Bonjean and Brian Walsh -- both veteran congressional aides -- to help the congressman respond to his recent troubles. A spokesperson for Schock confirmed the news on Wednesday, which was first reported by Politico, to ABC News. “After questions were first raised in the press, Congressman Schock took the proactive step of assembling a team to review the compliance procedures in his official office, campaign and leadership PAC to determine whether they can be improved,” the spokesperson said. “To lead the review, he hired William McGinley and Don McGahn of Jones Day. “Congressman Schock takes his compliance obligations seriously which is why he took this proactive step to review these procedures. Congressman Schock has a well-deserved outstanding reputation for constituent service and remains steadfastly focused on serving the people in Illinois' 18th congressional district during this review.” Schock’s troubles first began when The Washington Post ran an article revealing the congressman’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building was modeled after the red room in the famed period television series Downton Abbey. Schock is already under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly soliciting contributions for an independent expenditure-only political committee in excess of $5,000 per donor, in violation of federal law, House rules, and standards of conduct. The Committee on Ethics continues to gather information necessary to complete its review.

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Embattled “Downton Abbey” Congressman Aaron Schock Hires Lawyers, PR Pros

Embattled “Downton Abbey” Congressman Aaron Schock Hires Lawyers, PR Pros

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- “Am I supposed to applaud you for poking round in my things?” Those are the wise words spoken by head maid Anna May Bates of television’s Downton Abbey, a statement that could also apply to the latest episode in the real-life dramatic series of Rep. Aaron Schock, R-IL. Schock, who has come under fire for lavish spending on office décor, as well as pricey travel habits, has hired a team of lawyers from the Washington, D.C., firm Jones Day. He has also hired a public relations firm, Singer Bonjean Strategies, headed by communications operatives Ron Bonjean and Brian Walsh -- both veteran congressional aides -- to help the congressman respond to his recent troubles. A spokesperson for Schock confirmed the news on Wednesday, which was first reported by Politico, to ABC News. “After questions were first raised in the press, Congressman Schock took the proactive step of assembling a team to review the compliance procedures in his official office, campaign and leadership PAC to determine whether they can be improved,” the spokesperson said. “To lead the review, he hired William McGinley and Don McGahn of Jones Day. “Congressman Schock takes his compliance obligations seriously which is why he took this proactive step to review these procedures. Congressman Schock has a well-deserved outstanding reputation for constituent service and remains steadfastly focused on serving the people in Illinois' 18th congressional district during this review.” Schock’s troubles first began when The Washington Post ran an article revealing the congressman’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building was modeled after the red room in the famed period television series Downton Abbey. Schock is already under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly soliciting contributions for an independent expenditure-only political committee in excess of $5,000 per donor, in violation of federal law, House rules, and standards of conduct. The Committee on Ethics continues to gather information necessary to complete its review.

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Over 100 Reported Dead in Afghanistan Avalanches

Over 100 Reported Dead in Afghanistan Avalanches

File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least 100 people were killed in a series of avalanches Wednesday in central Afghanistan. Abdul Rahman Kabiri, governer of the central Panjshir province, told ABC News the avalanches were caused by heavy snowfall in the area and destroyed around 100 homes. As a result of the avalanches, 51 people are missing so far and 15 others are reported trapped on a mountain that needs emergency evacuation, according to Kabiri.

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Chertoff and Ridge Blast Congress on DHS Funding Impasse

Chertoff and Ridge Blast Congress on DHS Funding Impasse

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the latest rhetorical salvo over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Jeh Johnson stood shoulder to shoulder Wednesday with two of his Republican predecessors, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, blasting Congress for threatening funding for the department. While former secretary Ridge expressed his strong opposition to President Obama’s executive order on immigration, saying the president “has gravely overstepped his constitutional authority,” he was equally blunt in his assessment of Congress. 

“I don't think we right that wrong on the backs of the patriots that go to work every day and provide safety and security every day at the Department of Homeland Security.  They [Republicans in Congress] may not like what has transpired, but the solution that they seek, in my judgment, is unfortunate, from a policy point of view it's wrong, it's folly,” Ridge said. Ridge said DHS workers are improperly being caught up in the policy debate over immigration.  “You don’t elevate the debate and you don’t send a message by refusing to compensate the men and women who go to work every single day in a uniform of public service, when their mission is frankly to keep us safe and secure.”  Former DHS Secretary Chertoff was similarly blunt, accusing the Congress of holding the DHS hostage in an act of political gamesmanship.

“What I don’t think makes sense is to hold the entire set of operations at the Department of Homeland Security in abeyance, as a hostage as the legislative branch starts to play a game of chicken with the president,” Chertoff said. Despite the tough talk, current secretary Jeh Johnson expressed optimism that an agreement could be worked out before the Friday deadline passes and forces furloughs and suspended operations and pay stoppages for the department’s employees.  

“I remain optimistic that Congress is going to work this out, but we have to plan, we have to prepare,” Johnson said.  “We’re talking about working men and women here,” Johnson said about the prospect of his department’s employees working without pay.  “They are entitled to know what the status of negotiations are in Congress are because their paychecks hang in the balance,” Johnson added. Secretary Johnson told reporters about FEMA director Craig Fugate’s emotional reaction to the prospect of a DHS shutdown. “I feel as though my people are being treated as pawns, as though they don’t matter,” he said.   DHS has already begun the process of informing people who would be furloughed if the impasse is not resolved. All this occurs with the backdrop of a more challenged security environment in the homeland, due in large part to the instability in Syria and Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.

“The breadth and the depth of the threat streams and threats directed to the United States of America today, in 2015, in my judgment, are greater and more complex than as of September 12, 2001.  That’s a fact of life,” Ridge said. Ridge said for him and the other secretaries who have led the department, it has become personal.  “I want somebody up on the Hill, as much as I disagree with the president, to look into the eyes of that man on horseback or on an ATV on the southern border, or look in the eyes of that Coastie who is just being dropped in 30-foot waves to rescue some crab fisherman outside of Alaska.  I want you to look in their eyes and say, ‘Well we appreciate what you do, but we don’t appreciate it enough to fund you.  So it becomes very personal for…the four secretaries.”While former DHS secretary Janet Napolitano was not in attendance at the briefing, she said in a statement that she stands with her colleagues in support of the passage of a clean DHS funding bill.

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“Super Bug” Linked to Antibiotic Use Kills Nearly 30,000 Yearly

“Super Bug” Linked to Antibiotic Use Kills Nearly 30,000 Yearly

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A stubborn, hard-to-treat “super bug” causes more than half a million infections a year and is responsible for nearly 30,000 deaths in the United States, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Wednesday. Clostridium difficile, or C. Diff, is a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of the colon, the agency explained. The bacterium is found in feces, the agency said, and is spread by hand contact or contaminated surfaces. “C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said. More than 80 percent of C. Diff deaths were people 65 or older, with residents of nursing homes especially vulnerable to infection, the report said. Hospital stays and especially long-term antibiotic use seem to up the risk of C. Diff infection. “Antibiotics kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut which fight infection, leaving space for C. Diff to come in and release its toxins,” explained Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. Studies show that more than half of patients receive antibiotics at some point in their stay, and up to 50 percent of antibiotic use is unnecessary. Over-prescribing antibiotics, combined with poor infection control, may allow the spread of C. Diff and other bacteria within a facility and to other facilities when a sick patient is transferred, the CDC report speculated. The CDC report said preventing and controlling C. Diff should be a national priority. The infection costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs, the agency reported. “You can fight it with hand hygiene, early diagnosis, isolating sick patients and curtailing excessive antibiotic use,” Schaffner said. Meticulously cleaning surgical instruments would also help, Schaffner noted. Seven people were diagnosed last week with another drug-resistant "super bug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures with instruments that may have been contaminated.

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“Super Bug” Linked to Antibiotic Use Kills Nearly 30,000 Yearly

“Super Bug” Linked to Antibiotic Use Kills Nearly 30,000 Yearly

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A stubborn, hard-to-treat “super bug” causes more than half a million infections a year and is responsible for nearly 30,000 deaths in the United States, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Wednesday. Clostridium difficile, or C. Diff, is a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of the colon, the agency explained. The bacterium is found in feces, the agency said, and is spread by hand contact or contaminated surfaces. “C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said. More than 80 percent of C. Diff deaths were people 65 or older, with residents of nursing homes especially vulnerable to infection, the report said. Hospital stays and especially long-term antibiotic use seem to up the risk of C. Diff infection. “Antibiotics kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut which fight infection, leaving space for C. Diff to come in and release its toxins,” explained Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. Studies show that more than half of patients receive antibiotics at some point in their stay, and up to 50 percent of antibiotic use is unnecessary. Over-prescribing antibiotics, combined with poor infection control, may allow the spread of C. Diff and other bacteria within a facility and to other facilities when a sick patient is transferred, the CDC report speculated. The CDC report said preventing and controlling C. Diff should be a national priority. The infection costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs, the agency reported. “You can fight it with hand hygiene, early diagnosis, isolating sick patients and curtailing excessive antibiotic use,” Schaffner said. Meticulously cleaning surgical instruments would also help, Schaffner noted. Seven people were diagnosed last week with another drug-resistant "super bug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures with instruments that may have been contaminated.

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Stadium Proposal Approved By Inglewood, California

Stadium Proposal Approved By Inglewood, California

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(INGLEWOOD, Ca.) -- The National Football League's inevitable return to the Los Angeles market has taken another step forward.

Late Tuesday night, the Inglewood City Council approved a $2 billion stadium proposal set forth by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Last week, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders put forth a proposal for a joint stadium in Carson, California. Kroenke and the Inglewood council felt a new sense of urgency after the two teams were seeking to relocate.

The Rams left the Los Angeles market after the 1994 season. The team was founded in Cleveland in 1937 but relocated to Los Angeles in 1946.

It is believed the Rams could move to Los Angeles as soon as the 2016 season, where they would play in the Los Angeles Coliseum until the new stadium would be completed around 2018.

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Year-Round Homemade Girl Scout Cookies Are Now Possible in New Toy Oven

Year-Round Homemade Girl Scout Cookies Are Now Possible in New Toy Oven

Girl Scouts of America / ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Everyone’s obsessed with Girl Scout cookies -- and unless you have superhuman restraint, most of the year you can’t feed the craving. That’s all about to change this fall with the introduction of the first-ever Girl Scouts Cookie Oven, finally making it possible for avid Thin Mint and Samoa lovers to recreate their favorite cookies at home. The oven will retail for $59.99 and come with one box of Thin Mint mix. Other flavors, like Trefoils, Coconut Caramel (Samoas), PB Sandwich (Do-si-dos), Chocolate Peanut Butter (Tagalongs) and more, are available for $6.99 per mix.The idea is 17 years in the making, when Wicked Cool Toys co-president Michael Rinzler was an MBA student and wrote a school project business plan for the oven. “It’s not the most original idea in the world -- it’s a no-brainer -- but it was just something that personally I was always very passionate about,” Rinzler told ABC News. “But the Girl Scouts always said no to everyone that pitched it.” That all changed with new management recently, and Rinzler saw an opening. He got the cookie company to agree to a partnership and plans were set in motion this past July. Wicked Cool Toys developed their own patent-pending toy oven – which Rinzler is very quick to say is better than the Easy Bake with an all-new ceramic heating element – and worked with food scientists to create the cookie mixes. “We’re not meant as a replacement for selling Girl Scout cookies; we’re meant as a way for girls and boys to have fun and recreate them in their homes,” Rinzler said. “Now you can do it all year long because cookie selling is only January to March.” In other words, no need to hide those boxes from yourself so you can get a late-year treat.

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Stocks Close Mixed As Optimism High Over Interest Rates

Stocks Close Mixed As Optimism High Over Interest Rates

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks were little changed on Wednesday, but the blue chip average remains at a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Wednesday at 18,224.57, up 15.38 from its open. The Nasdaq, however, fell by 0.98 to close at 4,967.14. The S&P 500 also fell by 1.62 points to close at 2,113.86. Fed Chair Janet Yellen was back for more grilling on Wednesday by a House committee as optimism remains high that interest rates won’t be raised soon. New home sales were basically flat in January, evidence that recent job gains have yet to spur the real estate market, according to analysts. TJX Companies, the owner of T.J Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods stores, said on Wednesday it will boost pay for its U.S. workers. The announcement came a week after Wal-Mart said it would increase wages for some of its employees.

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Peanut Allergy Study: Three Questions Parents Have

Peanut Allergy Study: Three Questions Parents Have

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In what could be a game changer, a new study finds that feeding peanut products to infants early may cut their risk of developing allergies. “Every once in a while a study comes out and you just say, ‘Wow, this goes against everything I was taught as a pediatrician and what I’ve been telling parents,’” Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, said Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. The study, published in Monday’s New England Journal of Medicine, found that children younger than 1 who avoided peanuts were 80 percent more likely to develop full-blown peanut allergies than those who didn't. Besser said this is important information because the number of children living with peanut allergy has tripled since 1997, according to the advocacy group Food and Allergy Research and Education. Parents definitely have questions about the study, Besser said. Here are some of the questions they’ve been asking, along with what the study suggests.

 

@DrRichardBesser @kellyg377 Yes, But why the increase?What are the theories pointing to?Are Environ factors or changing genetics driving it?

— Daddy (@daddyblr) February 24, 2015

 

“One of the thoughts is that we’ve made the world too clean for children,” Besser explained. “Our children need to be exposed to things early in life so that they’re immune system tones down.” This so-called “hygiene hypothesis” proposes that when the immune system is introduced to possible allergens early on, it does not develop severe reactions when subjected to them later on.

 

@DrRichardBesser breastfeeding, noticed rash on 8week old after I ate cashews. Do I stay away from all nuts?

— Tricia Williams (@tricianw) February 24, 2015

 

“If your child already has food allergies or is at high risk, they need to be skin-tested before you do anything,” Besser said, adding that it’s important to discuss any diagnosed or potential allergies with your child’s doctor.

 

@GMA @DrRichardBesser peanuts yes/peanuts no coffee yes/coffee no wine yes/wine no ... what/who are we to believe? #trust #drknowsbest

— rose howe (@howe_rose) February 24, 2015

Besser said he understood parents’ frustration with changing health information but every new, well-designed study helps us learn. The current thinking is that any child not at high risk for allergies should be exposed to a wide variety of foods as a baby. “No milk, no honey but everything else is good to go for babies in the first year of life,” he said.

 

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Hedge Fund Owner Could Face $1 Million Monthly Child Support Payments

Hedge Fund Owner Could Face $1 Million Monthly Child Support Payments

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A multibillionaire hedge fund owner could be on the hook for nearly $1 million a month in child support -– including staggering sums for a private jet, vacations and stationery – according to newly filed court documents in an Illinois case that threatens to be one of the biggest divorce settlements in the country. Ken Griffin filed for divorce last year from his wife Anne after 11 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple is the parents of three children, ages 2, 4 and 7. In those court filings, Ken Griffin says his estranged wife reported how much it costs to raise their children each month, including $14,000 for food, $300,000 for a private jet, $160,000 for vacations and $2,000 for stationery. According to Illinois law, children of divorce are entitled to continue the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage. A spokesperson for Dias Griffin told ABC News that her husband is trying to avoid his financial responsibilities to his family. But Griffin said in court papers that he already pays for virtually “every expense related to the children,” and that his estranged wife simply wants him to "continue funding her lifestyle." The marriage included five homes, access to two private airplanes, a household staff and 24/7 security services for the children. Dias Griffin is also asking a judge to throw out her prenuptial agreement, which she says entitles her to only 1 percent of her husband’s estimated $5 billion estate -– or around $50 million. She says she signed the document under duress the day before the couple's 2003 wedding in Chicago. Griffin is the founder of the Chicago-based Citadel LLC.

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Hedge Fund Owner Could Face $1 Million Monthly Child Support Payments

Hedge Fund Owner Could Face $1 Million Monthly Child Support Payments

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A multibillionaire hedge fund owner could be on the hook for nearly $1 million a month in child support -– including staggering sums for a private jet, vacations and stationery – according to newly filed court documents in an Illinois case that threatens to be one of the biggest divorce settlements in the country. Ken Griffin filed for divorce last year from his wife Anne after 11 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple is the parents of three children, ages 2, 4 and 7. In those court filings, Ken Griffin says his estranged wife reported how much it costs to raise their children each month, including $14,000 for food, $300,000 for a private jet, $160,000 for vacations and $2,000 for stationery. According to Illinois law, children of divorce are entitled to continue the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage. A spokesperson for Dias Griffin told ABC News that her husband is trying to avoid his financial responsibilities to his family. But Griffin said in court papers that he already pays for virtually “every expense related to the children,” and that his estranged wife simply wants him to "continue funding her lifestyle." The marriage included five homes, access to two private airplanes, a household staff and 24/7 security services for the children. Dias Griffin is also asking a judge to throw out her prenuptial agreement, which she says entitles her to only 1 percent of her husband’s estimated $5 billion estate -– or around $50 million. She says she signed the document under duress the day before the couple's 2003 wedding in Chicago. Griffin is the founder of the Chicago-based Citadel LLC.

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“American Idol” for Political Nerds Is Coming to DC

“American Idol” for Political Nerds Is Coming to DC

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- OK, political junkies, it’s time to switch on C-SPAN: There’s a three-day-long reality show just getting started outside Washington, D.C.CPAC, an annual conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union, will draw almost all of the Republican Party’s likely presidential contenders, who are given 20 minutes each to pitch their vision for America.At the end, the conference attendees, conservatives from all over the U.S., will crown the winner of the CPAC straw poll. Basically, it’s American Idol for political nerds. Sure, the contestants are a little older, the conference center venue a little blander, and the dulcet tones of Adam Lambert noticeably absent. But with the White House in play, the stakes are a whole lot higher. The ContestantsLike Idol, CPAC is essentially a big casting call, a chance for the Republican base to preview candidates’ stump speeches before the 2016 cycle officially begins. This year’s headliners include almost all of the 2016 contenders, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum. (Real estate mogul Donald Trump, who always seems to be eyeing the White House, will also speak, as will Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.)

The highest-profile CPAC speakers will meet a fan base almost as vociferous as Carrie Underwood’s following -- and the CPAC fans often dress in costume. From Wednesday through Saturday, the Gaylord Convention Center will play host to a cadre of Uncle Sams, George Washingtons and Ronald Reagans -- plus a hoard of college kids wearing elephant ties and kissing cardboard cutouts of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.Of course, not every presidential wannabe makes it to CPAC. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, thought to be mulling a 2016 bid, is skipping the conference, heading instead to Tennessee and South Carolina. Other party bigwigs -- most notably House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- are also opting out. Both offices cite scheduling conflicts. The JudgesRemember watching Idol contestants squirm under Simon Cowell’s skeptical eye? That’s basically the feeling you’ll get when you see Fox News’ Sean Hannity question former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush about common core curriculum standards onstage at CPAC. Bush, whose recent speeches in Chicago and Detroit fell decidedly flat, has decided to forgo the formal speech entirely, opting instead for a 20-minute Q&A. He’s excelled at the format in the past -- but pundits are waiting to see how he’ll do when confronted with controversial issues, like his support for common core and immigration, at CPAC. And The Winner Is ...You can’t text in your vote (the ACU isn’t quite as hip as Ryan Seacrest) but just as at Idol, audience participation is encouraged at CPAC. The grand finale is the straw poll reveal Saturday evening -- the results of an informal ballot asking attendees who they’d vote for to be president. Last year, Sen. Rand Paul won handily, garnering 31 percent of the vote, a full 20 points ahead of the first runner-up, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The straw poll doesn’t necessarily mean much -- only a few CPAC straw poll winners have gone on to become the party’s nominee -- but it can help demonstrate momentum and attract bundlers, crucial in the early stages of campaign fundraising.

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Justin Bieber Roast: Kevin Hart Reveals What to Expect

Justin Bieber Roast: Kevin Hart Reveals What to Expect

Comedy Central(NEW YORK) -- We are just a month away from the Justin Bieber "Roast" on Comedy Central and the roastmaster himself, Kevin Hart, is dishing on what to expect. "He'll be fine, that's a great friend of mine. I'm not going to be malicious, we'll throw a couple jabs here and there, but it's all about setting the tone," Hart told MTV News over the weekend. "It's all in fun." Hart added that he's not trying to make the pop singer cry on his 21st birthday on March 30. "We don't," he said. "[Almost crying] where his face shakes. I don't want to make him cry, I just want to make his face shake. Then go 'I'm kidding Bieb.'" Check it out.

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Justin Bieber Roast: Kevin Hart Reveals What to Expect

Justin Bieber Roast: Kevin Hart Reveals What to Expect

Comedy Central(NEW YORK) -- We are just a month away from the Justin Bieber "Roast" on Comedy Central and the roastmaster himself, Kevin Hart, is dishing on what to expect. "He'll be fine, that's a great friend of mine. I'm not going to be malicious, we'll throw a couple jabs here and there, but it's all about setting the tone," Hart told MTV News over the weekend. "It's all in fun." Hart added that he's not trying to make the pop singer cry on his 21st birthday on March 30. "We don't," he said. "[Almost crying] where his face shakes. I don't want to make him cry, I just want to make his face shake. Then go 'I'm kidding Bieb.'" Check it out.

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Lady Gaga Is Heading to “American Horror Story: Hotel”

Lady Gaga Is Heading to “American Horror Story: Hotel”

A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Michael Yada(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga is heading to American Horror Story. The singer announced Wendesday on Twitter that she will appear in season five of the FX show, which will be dubbed American Horror Story: Hotel."Make your reservation now," she wrote.

 

Make your reservation now. #GagaAHSHotel https://t.co/o9ixi5TaFy

— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 25, 2015

 

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Politicians Become Cats With Artist’s Touch

Politicians Become Cats With Artist’s Touch

Anthony Pego(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- An Oklahoma artist’s not "kitten" around when he says he wants to draw a cat version of all 100 U.S. senators. Anthony Pego, an Oklahoma City artist, has started posting on his website drawings of politicians as cats, giving whiskers and fur to pols ranging from the Senate majority leader to an Oklahoma representative. The drawings began as a silly gift for Pego’s friends on his birthday and served as a way for him to hone his skills using a digital stylus, the artist told ABC News. Pego, 36, typically creates metal jewelry, but the colder winter temperatures make that process more difficult this time of year, he said. So he drew Oklahoma's U.S. senators, the governor and a district representative -- clad in suits, posing before flags, and with whiskers sprouting from their cheeks. Pego, an owner of two dogs but no cats, decided on felines because of the animal’s pervasiveness online -- and said they were more of a challenge to fuse with people. “It’s very easy to get a human emotion out of a dog. We anthropomorphize them more easily,” he said. “With cats it’s a little harder, you don’t really know what’s going on in their mind.” He scans the politicians’ photos online -- official portraits and unflattering shots alike -- and takes time to learn their positions, too. After purr-fecting his own state’s leaders, he noticed a photo of a New York state senator wielding machetes he wanted to ban -- a photo Pego found absurd -- and decided to “cat-ify” that politician, along with others from New York. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., took on the name "Purrsten Giilibrand." And New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, became "Andrew Cuomew."Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., got a cat version of himself and even tweeted out a link to Pego’s site, Boo Science.

Not sure what to make of this: http://t.co/5qbF52dPF2 pic.twitter.com/LgY1AgWg7y

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 24, 2015

Pego hopes to draw all 100 U.S. senators before the year is out. “I wont stop until I mange to get all of them,” he said, “and hopefully I manage to get them all before some of them get booted out by voters.” He’s now working on a cat version of Woody Guthrie, for the release of a pineapple-infused version of a beer dedicated to the late singer-songwriter. But he’s been blown away by the response to his political “catifications” -- and says he had to check to make sure Schumer’s tweet didn’t come from a fake account. “It’s really me just teaching myself who’s running my country,” he said. “It’s just for fun.”

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Samsung Pokes Fun at Galaxy S6 Rumors

Samsung Pokes Fun at Galaxy S6 Rumors

Samsung(NEW YORK) -- Samsung is having a laugh at all of the hoopla surrounding the rumored Galaxy S6 smartphone.As Samsung fans try to decipher cryptic tweets from the company and glean clues from a slick profile photo posted to Instagram, the South Korean electronics giant released a parody page taking on the rumor mill.While the big reveal is set to happen on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung's Norwegian team brainstormed a list of outrageous rumors about the smartphone along with renderings of what the device would actually look like."Rumors point to an all-glass Samsung Galaxy," the website said, alongside a photo of a hypothetical crystal-clear smartphone.Among the other rumors dreamed up by Samsung's team were a triangular smartphone -- perhaps a play on the real speculation that the Galaxy S6 will have a curved side similar to the Galaxy Note Edge. They also featured a bendable phone and another oval-shaped device with speakers that extend like wings.While Samsung is keeping quiet on what may actually be in store for Sunday's event, hints dropped by Samsung include a new smartphone that has traded in its plastic backing for an all-metal frame.Also expect the "next big thing" to be even faster and more efficient, possibly changing the frequency and way consumers can power up their devices.

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Three New York Men Arrested in Plot to Join ISIS

Three New York Men Arrested in Plot to Join ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Three New York City men were arrested Wednesday on charges they allegedly conspired to join ISIS in Syria, while also trying to carry out attacks on the terror group's behalf in the United States, the FBI said. Federal officials said the men had planned to travel to the Middle East and had also spoken about attacking President Obama or planting a bomb in Coney Island, Brooklyn, authorities said. Federal officials said Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, was arrested on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul. Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, had a plane ticket to travel to Turkey sometime next month. He was arrested in Brooklyn, according to the feds. Abror Habibov, 30, a third man, is accused of helping fund Saidakhmetov's efforts, authorities said. He was arrested in Florida. The arrests came as FBI Director James Comey spoke Wednesday about how ISIS, also known as ISIL, is recruiting members. "ISIL in particular, is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda through social media that goes like this: 'Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called caliphate and if you can't come, kill somebody where you are.' That is a message that goes out to troubled souls everywhere," he said.

 

Three Brooklyn Residents Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL http://t.co/TNZPdmUpiB

— FBI (@FBI) February 25, 2015

In August 2014, Juraboev allegedly posted this message on an Uzbek-language site of ISIS: “I am in USA now. ... But is it possible to commit ourselves as dedicated martyrs anyway while here? What I’m saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels." A week later, the FBI met with Juraboev twice. He allegedly told them that he believes in ISIS’ terrorist agenda and that he would like to go to Syria to fight with ISIS “if Allah wills,” authorities said. He also told them he would harm Obama if he could, based on president’s role in killing Muslims, his support for Israel and recent bombings of ISIS. Juraboev allegedly said he didn’t have an imminent plan to harm Obama, but that if anyone within ISIS told him to, he would, authorities said. The FBI twice met with Juraboev, where he again professed his loyalty to ISIS and repeated his claims that he would kill the president should the terror group ask him to.

“ISIL calls on its followers to come fight for the terrorist organization in Syria, and in messages to followers outside Syria, ISIL has called on them to attack police, intelligence officers or the military in their home countries including the United States,” said NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. "By pledging allegiance to ISIL, these defendants conspired to fight for a designated foreign terrorist organization either in Syria, or even New York."

In one November 2014 discussion, Saidakhmetov allegedly suggested he join the U.S. military so he could pass military information to ISIS -– and if his plan ever fell apart, he could open fire on American soldiers, according to the charging documents.

And then just last month, Saidakhmetov said he could buy a machine gun and “shoot all police” before “go[ing] to the FBI headquarters” to “kill the FBI people,” authorities said. “It was made quite plain based on those statements that if they were not able to go [to Syria or Iraq], that they would seek to acquire weapons here .. and seek to attack,” Bratton said. “Those aspirations were made quite clear." Nevertheless, by that time, Saidakhmetov and Juraboev had purchased tickets to fly to Turkey, a known destination point for those looking to sneak into Syria, the charging documents say. "The defendants looked to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, by flying to Turkey in a vain attempt to evade detection. And several of the defendants planned to commit acts of terror here -- in America -- if they could not travel, to include killing FBI agents,” added FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez. "The defendants violated the true tenants of their faith in pursuit of their radical, violent agenda. We rely on help from the community, the public and religious leaders to be mindful of those who could be radicalized. We cannot do this alone." Saidakhmetov is a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident and citizen of Kazakhstan. Juraboev and Habibov also live Brooklyn and are citizens of Uzbekistan. The men have been charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Habibov was arraigned this afternoon in Florida. His alleged accomplices have yet to face a judge. If convicted, the men each face a maximum sentence of 15 years behind bars.

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