The latest local news

Narwhal the ‘unicorn puppy’ is happy and healthy, shelter says

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JACKSON, Mo. – A puppy saved by a Missouri dog rescue organization is going viral over the extra tail he has on his face.

Mac’s Mission specializes in helping homeless dogs have a birth defect, are injured or abused. They posted this update about the Narwhal the puppy to their Facebook page today:

“The million dollar question about Narwhals extra tail on his face. Is it connected and does it wag? The extra tail is not connected to anything and has no real use other than making him the COOLEST PUPPY EVER!

One of our followers said, “It appears they assembled the puppy wrong. Always follow the directions people!”

This is a true experience of having “extra parts” during assembly. Dr. Heuring said there is no real reason at this time for the unicorn tail to be removed (and we all wish it wagged)!! Pretty sure the staff at Cape Small also gushed all over this little nugget!

The unicorn face tail does not bother Narwhal and he never slows down just like any normal puppy. He seems completely healthy other than some usual puppy worms he got meds for.

The shelter said in the post they wanted Narwhal to grow more and to make sure that the extra tail did not become a problem.

If you are interested in helping Narwhal or any of the other dogs at the shelter, click here.

You can get updates on Narwhal by checking out Mac the Pittbull’s Facebook page.

Iowa man pleads guilty to making bomb threats against Trump

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill President Donald Trump with homemade bombs.

The Gazette reports that 25-year-old Christian Delatorre, of Dubuque, entered the plea Tuesday, November 12 in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. The charge: willfully threatening to take the life of and inflict serious harm upon the president. His sentencing date hasn’t been set yet.

A proposed plea agreement says a Secret Service agent interviewed Delatorre on April 29 at a Dubuque hospital where he was being treated for psychiatric problems. A psychiatric nurse practitioner at Mercy Hospital reported that Delatorre had been making threats about assassinating Trump.

The agent reports in the document that Delatorre said he was angered when Trump mocked people and talked about sending immigrants back to their home countries.

The document says Delatorre’s plans included attaching bombs to drones he’d fly over and detonate at the White House. The document also says Delatorre intended to undertake a suicide mission if his other plans didn’t work.

Rapper Kodak Black sentenced to more than 3 years on weapons charges

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(CNN) — Rapper Kodak Black will serve more than three years in prison on weapons charges.

The 22-year-old, whose real name is Bill K. Kapri, pleaded guilty in August to making false written statements when trying to acquire firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

US District Judge Federico A. Moreno in Miami on Wednesday sentenced Kapri to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The maximum sentence could have been 10 years in prison.

When filling out a firearms transaction record form in January and March, the Broward County rapper said he was not “under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year,” according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office.

“On both occasions, as Kapri then and there well knew, Kapri was, in truth and in fact, under indictment for a felony offense,” the statement reads.

The Florida rapper was arrested in May at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival in Miami on state and federal weapons charges, right before he was to perform. Kapri has been held in custody at a federal detention center in Miami since that arrest, says CNN affiliate WFOR. In April, he was arrested on gun and drug charges near Niagara Falls, New York, while trying to enter the US from Canada.

An Instagram post from Kapri’s account after his sentencing said, “Hold It Down While I’m On Lock. Calling Shots From The Box #Literally.”

Disney+ launches, then crashes

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(CNN) — Disney+ launched to much fanfare on Tuesday, and then immediately hit some bumps.

Disney fans looking to enjoy all the content the company’s new streaming service had to offer were instead greeted by error pages starring Disney’s own Wreck-It Ralph.

“Unable to connect to Disney+,” one error page, which showed Wreck-It Ralph holding a WiFi signal, read. “There seems to be an issue connecting to the Disney+ service.”

Another error page depicted Mickey Mouse and his dog, Pluto, as forlorn astronauts looking off into space.

“The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations. We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience,” a Disney+ spokesperson said in a statement.

Downdetector, a website that provides information on online outages, had received more than 7,300 reports of problems related to Disney+ by 7 a.m. ET. The number of reports then dropped before going up again, spiking at nearly 8,500 reports around 9 a.m. ET.

Some users on social media reported a litany of difficulties launching the app and watching content on the service.

“Introducing Disney+ Premium! For a small $15-per-month upgrade fee, you can enjoy our vast catalogue of films and television series without the hassle of none of it working,” Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair’s chief critic, tweeted.

Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter for the New York Times, tweeted, “PHENOMENAL COSMIC LIBRARY/itty bitty server capacity,” a joke referencing the company’s animated classic “Aladdin.”

The rough start for Disney+ is a bit embarrassing for the company considering the attention around the service’s launch.

The service is Disney’s first charge into the “streaming wars,” in which media companies like WarnerMedia and Comcast as well as tech giants like Apple are battling with Netflix for consumers’ time and money.

For Disney and its CEO Bob Iger, Disney+ represents a major shift in the company’s business focus and a possible key to its future.

“The launch of Disney+ is a historic moment for our company that marks a new era of innovation and creativity,” Iger said in a statement when the service launched early Tuesday.

The service will have 30 original series, 7,500 past episodes and 500 movie titles. That includes a new Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian,” Disney Animation, Marvel films such as “Avengers: Endgame,” documentaries from National Geographic and 30 seasons of “The Simpsons.”

Illinois Senate passes bill to make daylight saving time permanent

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Senate has approved legislation to make daylight saving time permanent in Illinois.

When daylight saving time is in effect, the sun rises and sets one hour later than it normally would.

According to Fox2now, Seniors in a civics class came up with the idea and presented their research before a Senate committee in Springfield.

Time is regulated by federal law under the Uniform Time Act of 1966. One of two scenarios must take place in order for daylight saving time to become the permanent standard if SB 533 is passed into law:

  • Federal legislation must be passed to exempt Illinois from the Uniform Time Act of 1966 in a way similar to Arizona and Hawaii.
  • Federal legislation must be passed to repeal or amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to make daylight saving time the year-round standard nationwide.

More than 35 states introduced legislation in 2019 to do away with seasonal time changes by eliminating or standardizing daylight saving time.

However making the change isn’t so simple, for example, people living in other states still on standard time will experience difficulty when traveling to states on different times. Can you imagine the confusion just the Quad Cities would experience with half in Iowa and Half in Illinois?

According to AP news, here’s what science has to say about a twice-yearly ritual affecting nearly 2 billion people worldwide.

SLEEP EFFECTS

Time changes mess with sleep schedules, a potential problem when so many people are already sleep-deprived, says Dr. Phyllis Zee, a sleep researcher at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

About 1 in 3 U.S. adults sleep less than the recommended seven-plus hours nightly, and more than half of U.S. teens don’t get the recommended eight-plus hours on weeknights. One U.S. study found that in the week following the spring switch to daylight saving time, teens slept about 2½ hours less than the previous week. Many people never catch up during the subsequent six months.

Research suggests that chronic sleep deprivation can increase levels of stress hormones that boost heart rate and blood pressure, and of chemicals that trigger inflammation.

HEART PROBLEMS

It has also been shown that blood tends to clot more quickly in the morning. These changes underlie evidence that heart attacks are more common in general in the morning, and may explain studies showing that rates increase slightly on Mondays after clocks are moved forward in the spring, when people typically rise an hour earlier than normal.

That increased risk associated with the time change is mainly in people already vulnerable because of existing heart disease, said Barry Franklin, director of preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at Beaumont Health hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Studies suggest that these people return to their baseline risk after the autumn time change.

CAR CRASHES

Numerous studies have linked the start of daylight saving time in the spring with a brief spike in car accidents, and with poor performance on tests of alertness, both likely due to sleep loss.

The research includes a German study published this year that found an increase in traffic fatalities in the week after the start of daylight saving time, but no such increase in the fall.

Other studies on how returning to standard time in the fall might impact car crashes have had conflicting results.

OUR INTERNAL CLOCKS

Circadian biologists believe ill health effects from daylight saving time result from a mismatch among the sun “clock,” our social clockwork and school schedules — and the body’s internal 24-hour body clock.

Ticking away at the molecular level, the biological clock is entrained — or set — by exposure to sunlight and darkness. It regulates bodily functions such as metabolism, blood pressure and hormones that promote sleep and alertness.

Disruptions to the body clock have been linked with obesity, depression, diabetes, heart problems, and other conditions. Circadian biologists say these disruptions include tinkering with standard time by moving the clock ahead one hour in the spring.

A mismatch of one hour daily is enough for ill effects, especially if it lasts for several months, according to Till Roenneberg, a circadian rhythm specialist at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.

PRESSURE TO CHANGE

In the U.S., daylight saving time runs from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. It was first established 100 years ago to save energy. Modern-day research has found little or no such cost savings.

Federal law allows states to remain on standard time year-round but only Hawaii and most of Arizona have chosen to. Proposed legislation in several states would have them join suit — or switch to year-round daylight saving time, which would require congressional approval.

Roenneberg and Northwestern’s Zee are co-authors of a recent position statement advocating returning to standard time for good, written for the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms.

“If we want to improve human health, we should not fight against our body clock, and therefore we should abandon daylight saving time,” the statement says.

Tesla is closing out 2019 with a bang

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(CNN) — Tesla is one of the most polarizing companies on the planet.

Fans of the electric car company and CEO Elon Musk think Tesla will reinvent the mass market auto industry thanks to the Model 3 sedan and upcoming Model Y crossover.

But Musk’s detractors think Tesla is an overvalued company that has yet to prove it can be consistently profitable and still faces challenges from global auto giants like GM, Volkswagen and Nissan.

The Tesla bulls have the upper hand for now. Shares are up nearly 40% in the past month and more than 60% in the past three months.

That’s pushed the stock back into positive territory for the year. (It still lags the performance of GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and many other big auto makers, however.)

Tesla’s strong earnings and sales last month were a key catalyst behind its recent rebound. Musk also said during the company’s last earnings conference call that production plans for the Model Y — which he predicted will outsell the Model 3 as well as its higher end S sedan and X crossover “combined” — are ahead of schedule. The Y should launch in the summer of 2020 instead of in the fall.

Those are key reasons why Wall Street now expects Tesla will post a profit in the fourth quarter — and for all of 2020.

Musk is looking to capitalize on the momentum with plans to build a new European gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries and vehicles in Berlin — the city in which VW was founded. Tesla is also building a gigafactory in Shanghai to take on Chinese rivals Nio, BAIC Motor and BYD, a company backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

The bear case against Tesla

Many analysts are still wary of Tesla. The consensus price target for the stock is just under $263 — more than 25% below its current price.

Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne, who has one of the lower targets on Wall Street at just $190 a share, thinks the company’s recent rally is unsustainable.

His take on the company’s third quarter earnings report?

“Nearly every financial lever appeared to have been pulled to the positive compared to [the second quarter], and we question how repeatable many of these actions will be,” Osborne said.

Tesla bulls emboldened

Oppenheimer’s Colin Rusch has a decidedly different take on Tesla. Rusch is one of the most bullish Tesla analysts on Wall Street. His target price of $385 is nearly 10% higher than where the stock is trading now.

Rusch said in a research note after Tesla’s last earnings report that concerns about the sustainability of Tesla’s business “are effectively off the table.” Investors will now view Tesla more favorably when compared to larger auto companies that are “struggling with global demand challenges, technology transitions, product design, and fraught labor relations,” he added.

Musk has a history of making promises that he can’t deliver, particularly regarding production timelines.

He’s also made enemies because of controversial comments, such as unfounded accusations that one of the rescuers of a boys’ soccer team and their coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand in July 2018 was a pedophile. Musk later apologized on Twitter.

Musk has also been in hot water with regulators, most notably the Securities and Exchange Commission, after tweeting in August 2018 that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share. That led to a short-term pop in the stock price. No such deal materialized.

Tesla skeptics also point to Musk’s many other distractions, such as the fact that he’s also running rocket maker SpaceX and working on a Hyperloop underground transportation system with his tunnel digging firm called The Boring Company.

Still, the fact that Tesla has its fair share of critics may, strangely enough, wind up being one of the main factors to push the stock even higher — at least in the short term.

Nearly 25% of Tesla’s available shares are held by short sellers, investors who bet that a stock will go down so they can make money from the decline in the price.

Short sellers do that buy borrowing shares and selling them with the hopes of buying the shares back at a lower price. The difference between the price the short sellers sold at and the price at which they repurchased the stock is their profit.

But when a stock that’s heavily shorted climbs on good news, that leads to big losses for short sellers since it drives up the price they have to pay to return the stock they borrowed. That’s known as a short squeeze.

Last month, when Tesla stock jumped 20 percent when it surprised Wall Street with a third quarter profit. CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said in a report that as long as Tesla keeps reporting good news, there’s no end in sight for the short squeeze.

Schools shut, riot police out as Hong Kong sees yet another day of unrest

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(CNN) — Hong Kong has been hit with another day of turmoil Tuesday after a man was shot by a police officer and another set alight following a confrontation with protesters in one of the most dramatic days in over five months of protests.

Some universities and schools shut Tuesday as protesters and riot police faced off around the Asian financial hub. By 8 a.m. police had already fired tear gas on the city’s streets.

At midday Tuesday, a few thousand people — including office workers and black-clad protesters — brought traffic to a standstill by occupying a major intersection in Central, the city’s business district. In the afternoon, police fired multiple rounds of tear gas and detained about a dozen people.

Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in Hong Kong’s New Territories also became a major flashpoint Tuesday. In the morning, protesters set up barricades and a collection of bows and arrows were spotted piled nearby. By the afternoon, tensions flared between police and protesters, with police firing tear gas as protesters threw petrol bombs, causing an empty car to go up in flames.

At both Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Hum, “masked rioters” dropped bricks from a footbridge, police spokesman Kong Wing-cheung said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. From another footbridge near the University of Hong Kong, “rioters” threw chairs and traffic cones at the traffic below, he said.

Kong said society had been “pushed to the brink of a total breakdown” over the past two days — and said if anyone who was still making excuses for protesters’ violence, they needed to “do some soul-searching.”

“If anyone still has any wishful thinking that they can achieve their so-called ideals by using violence, please wake up,” he said. “If you still refuse to cut ties with rioters and are still looking for excuses to defend them, you are indeed an accomplice.”

Earlier in the day, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam called out “aggressive rioters” who she said were trying to disrupt the city’s transport networks. “They want to paralyze Hong Kong, which is a selfish act,” she said.

Although some schools have shut for the day, Lam said the government is not officially suspending classes as it would give protesters what they wanted — to bring the city to a standstill.

Most subway lines remained operational throughout the day. However, some commuters were forced to walk along the train tracks in Sha Tin district after an unidentified object was found on the track, an MTR representative said.

Tuesday’s unrest follows a day of clashes around the city on Monday that saw protesters hurl petrol bombs, set fires, build barricades and disrupt transport. In total, 287 people were arrested on Monday, including 187 students, according to police.

A day of chaos

On Monday morning local time, a police officer shot a 21-year-old protester at close range in the torso in Sai Wan Ho, on eastern Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Chief Superintendent of Police Tse Chun-Chung said the officer fired because he was afraid the protester would attempt to snatch the gun from his hand.

On Monday afternoon, police said there was no immediate threat to the protester’s life, and on Tuesday, hospital authorities said he was no longer in a critical condition. According to a police source, the protester has been arrested for unlawful assembly, and for attempted robbery over allegedly trying to grab the gun.

Police first used lethal force in October by firing a live shot and injuring an 18-year-old man.

In a separate incident on Monday afternoon, a 57-year-old man was doused with a flammable liquid and set alight after an argument with protesters on a footbridge in Ma On Shan, police said in a statement.

The man remains in a critical condition, according to Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority. Police are treating the case as attempted murder.

A police officer was suspended from front line service Monday after driving a motorbike through a crowd of protesters in Kwai Fung, in the New Territories, Tse said.

While police officers were under great pressure, they were not out of control, he said.

“We appeal to everyone to please stay calm and rational,” Tse added. “Continuing this rampage is a lose-lose situation for Hong Kong — everyone is a loser.”

Human rights group Amnesty International called Monday a “shocking low for the Hong Kong police,” describing the shooting of the protester as a “reckless use of force.”

Ongoing protests

Hong Kong’s protests began in June over a now-withdrawn extradition bill.

Since then, demonstrations have expanded to include five major demands, including an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality and wider democratic reforms.

In response to the demands, the city government appointed a panel of overseas experts to assist Hong Kong’s longstanding Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), which is conducting a fact-finding study into alleged police misconduct during the protests.

But on Saturday, one of the experts tweeted a copy of the panel’s progress report, criticizing the IPCC’s investigative capabilities, and saying it needed to “substantially enhance its capacity” to assess evidence from witnesses and assemble a coherent account of the facts.

The IPCC said it was “disappointed” that it was not consulted before one of the overseas experts made the progress report public. On Sunday, the Hong Kong government said the IPCC’s study would be “by no means a final report.”

The nonstop protests have also sent retail and tourism numbers plunging, and the semi-autonomous city fell into recession in October. Travel is dropping as demonstrations escalate in violence, and there is increasing public hostility toward the city government and police force.

Escalating violence

Monday’s violence comes just days after a university student died from a head injury suffered in a parking garage close to the scene of protests.

Chow Tsz-lok, a computer sciences student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), died on Friday morning after being on life support.

Although there is no indication that Chow was involved in the nearby protest the night of his injury, his death prompted an outpouring of anger and grief from anti-government protesters, who claim that police actions on the night of the accident resulted in paramedics being temporarily unable to access him, a charge the force denies.

Man dies in Venice’s worst floods for 50 years as city calls for state of emergency

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(CNN) -- An elderly man has died in the worst floods to hit Venice in more than 50 years, as local authorities in the Italian lagoon city called for a state of emergency to be imposed.

The unnamed man was killed on Tuesday night while he was trying to run electric pumps at his home on the island of Pellestrina, Alessandro Bertasi, spokesman for Venice's mayor, told CNN.

The popular tourist destination was struck by an exceptionally high tide on Tuesday night, which peaked at 187 centimeters (73.6 inches), according to a statement by Venice's government Wednesday morning.

The historic crypt of St. Mark's Basilica was inundated for just the sixth time in 1,200 years.

It is the worst flooding in Venice since 1966, when the city was hit by tides up to 194 cm (76.4 inches) high, according to government statistics.

Venice's Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said it would cost hundreds of millions of euros to fix the city, telling reporters at a news conference that the damage was "enormous."

Francesco Moraglia, the Patriarch of St Mark's Basilica Monsignor, also told reporters: "I have never seen something like what I saw yesterday afternoon [Tuesday] at St. Mark's square. There were waves as if we were at the beach."

More rain and strong winds are expected in the coming days, according to Luca Zaia, the President of the Veneto Region.

'A night of fear'

"It's a real catastrophe," Stefano Bandini, a Venetian taxi driver told CNN. "I have never seen such a high tide accompanied with such a strong, destructive wind.''

Bandini explained that when the tide goes over 1.10 centimeters using the canals was prohibited for safety reasons but said many of his colleagues had taken people to check houses and shops. "We want to help each other now," he said.

Andrea Di Masi, deputy director of the luxury hotel Baglioni, said furniture, carpets and pottery were removed from the ground floor on Tuesday as high-tide warnings had been issued.

Venice resident Elisa Aquina Laterza told CNN she lives near the Rialto Bridge. She posted on Twitter a video of sirens that alerted the population about the high tides on Tuesday night.

"Last night after the sirens went off we were without electricity. The windows banged with gusts of strong wind," she said. "It was a night of fear and today we are blocked here at home with reduced public transport."

Laterza said on Monday it was impossible to walk because of the floods. "Today I'll try to venture out to help my neighbors," she added.

People who lived through the 1966 flood say there wasn't the strong wind then that there is now, Laterza said.

"I've only witnessed this historic flood but I must say that the situation is unprecedented and our city is our land and it needs help and support from all," Laterza added.

45% flooded

On Tuesday, the Tide Forecasting and Reporting Center of Civil Protection said that 45% of the city was flooded. Thirty volunteers will be deployed Wednesday to help with the clean-up, it said.

Photos show waters flooding St. Mark's Square in front of the famous Basilica, and spilling into the Gritti Palace luxury hotel.

Venice's government announced that after the "extraordinary" tide, it would "submit a request for a state of emergency" to the country's central government. All schools will be closed Wednesday due to the weather conditions, the local government said.

It also asked citizens and businesses to collect evidence of any damage their properties had suffered so they could request compensation.

In a tweet, Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the unusually high tides, and said the tide was "a wound that will leave a permanent mark."

Only around 53,000 residents live in Venice, which has seen its population dwindle over the past 50 years as it tries to curb over-tourism.

Tides of 140cm (55 inches) or more are known as "acqua alta" in Italian, and generally take place in winter time, according to Venice's municipality website.

Google wants to be your bank: It will soon offer checking accounts

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(CNN) — Silicon Valley continues to invade your wallet.

Google plans to offer checking accounts to customers starting next year, a source familiar with Google’s plans told CNN Business. Google is partnering with Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University for the initiative. The Wall Street Journal first reported Google’s entry into checking accounts.

“We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account,” a company spokesperson said.

But Google doesn’t plan to take center stage on the checking accounts. Instead, the financial institutions’ brands will be put on the accounts and banks will be responsible for the financial plumbing and compliance. Partner banks and credit unions will offer these smart checking accounts through Google Pay. Google also hasn’t decided whether the accounts would charge fees.

The push into checking accounts is the latest instance of a Big Tech company moving into the financial services space. Amazon also wants to introduce checking accounts for customers. Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency project earlier this year. And Apple has teamed up with Goldman Sachs to launch a credit card, while its Apple Pay service has become a go-to payment method for many iPhone customers.

Google is attempting to deepen its relationship with consumers by entering into finance, Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, told CNN Business.

“The company has an unmatched position within the consumer life cycle and now they’re trying to leverage where they are,” Ives said.

Google already offers smart home devices like Nest and Google Assistant and just entered into health and wellness world with its planned acquisition of Fitbit.

“The missing piece is banking,” said Ives.

Ives said Google’s initiative probably won’t cause big banks any concern for now, but Big Tech’s ongoing expansion of its financial footprint will likely pose a competitive threat in the future — especially as it shows no signs of letting up.

“This is just the tip of the spear in terms of where [tech giants are] going,” said Ives.

Lawmakers in Washington, who are already investigating the dominance of big tech companies, will probably review Google’s move closely.

Google’s effort could draw scrutiny given Washington’s distaste for both Big Tech and big banks, Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen and Company, said in an analyst note.

“We have trouble seeing how combining the two is going to produce an outcome that either Democrats or Republicans will embrace,” Seiberg said.

Local inventor’s app takes target practice to the next level

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LONG GROVE, Iowa -- A local inventor has created a product that's taking target practice to the next level.

Tyler Brockel invented a program called A.I.M.S.S., which stands for Attachable Interactive Modular Shooting System.

Brockel went through training for the Army National Guard using high tech interactive targets.  So going back to traditional paper targets was getting stale for this sharp shooter. That's when he decided to develop A.I.M.S.S.

The device pops up a small target attachment.  When the target goes up, you shoot.  The movement patterns are controlled by an app that also tracks your accuracy.

"It really ups the realism, the intensity and therefore the entertainment," said Brockel.

The Army veteran first got a patent for the idea and then went through a program called "Adventure School" at the University of Iowa.  The program is designed for entrepreneurs and that's where he linked up with investors.

"We went out (and) hired a professional engineering firm who has cranked out three prototypes for us," he explained.

During the trial phase of the product, Brockel is making some last minute adjustments before it's launched to the market.  He said they hope to launch the product by summer of 2020.

Couple says dream home’s paperwork included racist clauses

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) - A Stockton couple says they found a racist requirement in their paperwork while they were trying to buy a new home.

After months of searching for the perfect house, prospective homeowner Esai Manzo thought he found it in Stockton’s Colonial Heights neighborhood.

"This is a beautiful house and we love it," Manzo told KTXL.

But their dream home quickly turned into a nightmare as he and his wife went through the paperwork.

“Crazy to think now in 2019 to read over a document and we have to agree to these terms,” Manzo said.

Hidden in a document outlining covenants, conditions and restrictions was a racist requirement that said no one can purchase or live in the home unless they are “wholly of the white Caucasian race.”

“I identify as a Hispanic descent. I’m wondering, did everyone sign this paperwork?" Manzo said. "Did everyone read it? Did they agree and find it's no issue to them? If so, I would feel kind of disturbed to live there."

The restrictions date back to 1947 and McGeorge School of Law Professor John Sprankling explained these kinds of rules were fairly common in those days.

“The supreme court in 1948 declared that racially restrictive covenants were invalid as a matter of public policy and since then they’ve all been invalid,” Sprankling explained.

So if the covenants can’t be enforced, why still include it in the document?

“There’s no one around to ask them to sign off on it,” Sprankling said.

If the property fell under a homeowners association, the organization would be required to get the rules wiped from the documents. But since there is no homeowners association governing the property, Sprankling said it’s up to the owner to get it changed.

“They could pretty easily file a statement with the county recorder, which would solve this problem entirely,” Sprankling said.

Manzo, though, hasn’t decided whether he’s willing to sign a document outlining such racist policies even if he could have it changed later. To him, it’s a matter of morals.

“It’s just sad to know that we have to live through these terms and discriminations,” Manzo said.

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