With 200 out of 317 Conservative MPs supporting her in a motion called by her fellow party members Wednesday, the British Prime Minister will stay on as their leader. The size of the vote against her indicates to some however that she still has an uphill battle getting the Brexit deal through parliament. May had promised her party earlier in the day that she would step aside after Brexit negotiations had concluded and thus won’t be leading them through the 2012 general election.
The Presidential Daily Brief
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer was sentenced in a New York Court Wednesday despite efforts by his defense Guy Petrillo for leniency. Emphasizing Cohen’s cooperation with the office of Special Counsel’s investigation he compared to Watergate, Petrillo said the stakes were high for Trump’s past fixer but Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Roos said his financial crimes carried a “tremendous societal cost.” Cohen pleaded guilty in August to two campaign finance violations, five counts of tax fraud and one of making false statements to a bank. Last month he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.
“This has spiraled downward.” So said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after what was supposed to be a private meeting between her, Sen. Chuck Schumer and President Donald Trump descended into bitter, televised acrimony. In the remarkable public exchange, Trump threatened to shut down the federal government by Dec. 21 if Democrats refuse to fund his border wall. Despite a claim by Pelosi that they departed “in a pretty good place,” the heated, barb-strewn meeting appeared to foreshadow the challenges Trump could face from a soon-to-be Democratic House.
The British prime minister’s political career — and the fate of her country’s withdrawal from the European Union — are on the line after Conservative lawmakers triggered a vote of confidence in her leadership. Today’s vote would force May to step down if she loses, though she’s promised to fight it “with everything I’ve got.” Even if she survives, the gesture from her own ruling party reveals the degree of discontent over her perceived failure to secure a favorable divorce deal with the EU. The U.K. is due to withdraw from the bloc in March.
Hundreds of police officers are hunting for a gunman who killed three people and injured a dozen more at a popular Christmas market in central Strasbourg last night. “People were running everywhere,” said one eyewitness. The unnamed 29-year-old suspect, who engaged with police twice, reportedly has a significant criminal history, and authorities said he was known to French security services as a potential extremist threat. Of the wounded, six are in serious condition. A senior official said five people had been detained in connection to the shooting.
In his telephone call with U.S. officials this week, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He reportedly said his country’s willing to reduce tariffs on American-made cars to 15 percent and buy more agriculture goods like soybeans. Meanwhile, President Trump said he’d intervene in the U.S. government’s case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou — who was released on bail by a Canadian court yesterday — if it meant securing a trade deal with China. Further complicating the matter, some experts suggest, are the divided opinions within the Trump administration over China.
Remember This Number: $293,052.33. That’s how much a federal judge ordered adult film star Stormy Daniels to pay in legal fees from a defamation suit against President Trump that was dismissed in October.
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Disguised as an innocent battery-enhancing app, Android Optimization can reportedly steal hundreds of dollars in seconds. The malware, which is available on third-party app stores rather than Google Play, was reported by cybersecurity firm ESET this week. Unlike other banking trojans, Android Optimization leverages a device’s accessibility services, which are designed to assist users with disabilities. Simply granting permission to “Enable Statistics” notifies cyberthieves when you access financial apps — and triggers an automatic withdrawal when PayPal is opened. Experts recommend only installing apps from trusted sources.
Analyzing high-speed video, researchers from the University of Illinois found that the tiny insects can snap their jaws open at around 200 miles per hour — 5,000 times faster than the blink of an eye — in the fastest known movement of the animal kingdom. Their powerful spring-loaded mandibles work like a mousetrap to smash their prey against the walls of the narrow tunnels they inhabit. The Dracula ant, named for its practice of drinking its own offspring’s blood, is found in Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia.
They’re built in man’s image. New research from experts at Cardiff University and MIT shows that autonomous machines can develop negative and unsubstantiated prejudices, just like humans. Using simulation models, scientists had artificial intelligence agents play a game in which they had to choose whether to donate within their group or to an outsider. When some bots shunned outsiders to bolster their in-group reputation, others soon copied their behavior. The results are not only a caution for future technology, but show humans how easy it is to develop biases.
Researchers studied 350 films released from 2014 to 2017 and found those with top-billed female stars earned more. All films that earned over $1 billion also passed the Bechdel test, a measure of female representation in media. In order to pass the test’s low bar — which only 60 percent of the films did — female characters must have a conversation about something other than a man. Researchers noted that despite an industry assumption that female-led films don’t do well, leading women are actually a “marketing asset.”
The city sued every team in the league Tuesday, asking for hundreds of millions of dollars for their “unlawful decision to boycott Oakland” and move the Raiders franchise to Las Vegas. The suit argues the NFL acts like an “illegal cartel,” demanding cities build stadiums with taxpayer dollars. Oakland claims to have borrowed and invested over $240 million in the expectation the Raiders would stay in the East Bay. Meanwhile, St. Louis has a similar complaint moving through the courts after losing the Rams to Los Angeles in 2016.