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Curry says she wasn’t surprised by Lauer allegations

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Curry says she wasn't surprised by Lauer allegations

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2014, file photo, Ann Curry attends the Panthere de Cartier Collection dinner & party at Skylight Clarkson Studios in New York. Former "Today" show anchor Curry says she's not surprised by the allegations that got former colleague Matt Lauer fired and that there was an atmosphere of verbal sexual harassment at the NBC show when she worked there. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Former "Today" show anchor Ann Curry said Wednesday that the atmosphere of verbal sexual harassment when she worked at the morning show left her not surprised by the allegations that got former colleague Matt Lauer fired.

Meanwhile, the show she left behind named a new executive producer for its first two hours, making women the hands-on supervisors for all four hours of "Today."

Curry resurrected some unpleasant memories for "Today" with an interview at competitor "CBS This Morning." She's promoting a new PBS show. Curry offered no specific examples of harassment or wrongdoing associated with Lauer, who was fired in November for an inappropriate relationship with a colleague that began in 2014.

"I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed," Curry said, later amending that to add the word "sexual."

She said the world is "waking up to a reality, an injustice that has been occurring for some time.

"I think it will continue until the glass ceiling is finally broken," she said. "This is about power, a power imbalance where women are not valued as much as men."

NBC News and Jim Bell, executive producer of "Today" during Curry's tenure as anchor, declined comment. Curry lost her job after less than two years as Lauer's co-anchor in 2012, and her tearful farewell was a low point that contributed to ABC's "Good Morning America" ending NBC's long-time reign at the top of the morning ratings. She left NBC in 2015.

Many viewers blamed Lauer for Curry's unceremonious exit. When asked if she believed he was behind her firing, Curry said that "I'm not the one to ask."

"You're the only one to ask," said CBS' Gayle King.

"I don't know what was all behind it," Curry said. "I do know that it hurt like hell. It wasn't a fun moment. I've learned a great deal about myself. I've really at this point let it go."

NBC's announcement that Libby Leist is replacing Don Nash as executive producer for the first two hours of "Today" comes two weeks after NBC appointed Hoda Kotb as Lauer's replacement, working alongside Savannah Guthrie. The show has two women in its lead on-air roles for the first time in its history.

Nash has been with "Today" for 30 years, as executive producer of the first two hours since 2012. He said he's leaving to spend more time with his family; behind-the-scenes leadership changes are not uncommon when anchors change at shows.

Leist, the new boss for the 7 to 9 a.m. hours at "Today," joined NBC in Washington in 2001, and has been a senior producer at "Today" for five years. She joins Jackie Levin, who oversees Megyn Kelly's "Today" hour at 9 a.m., and Tammy Filler, executive producer of the 10 a.m. hour. NBC News President Noah Oppenheim is the executive with overall oversight of the show.

Curry saluted Kotb's appointment to a job she once held.

"Many of the viewers of the morning broadcast are now women," she said. "It's overwhelmingly women. And so the idea that women are involved, speaking to women is actually an overdue idea."

Since Kotb began filling in for Lauer at the end of November, "Today" has won every week in the ratings to eclipse "Good Morning America." With the publicity boost and viewership sampling that usually accompanies the Olympics, NBC has the chance to turn what seemed like a disastrous story in Lauer's firing into the turnaround point for a real change in the morning pecking order. Morning shows are the most lucrative properties for television news divisions, so that means more than bragging rights.

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Source – abcnews.go.com

TV

Kristen Wiig to Star in Apple Comedy Series From Reese Witherspoon (Exclusive)

Kristen Wiig to Star in Apple Comedy Series From Reese Witherspoon (Exclusive)

Reese Witherspoon, left, exec produces Apple's Kristen Wiig comedy.

The untitled 10-episode series is the tech giant's first half-hour comedy.

Kristen Wiig is returning to the small screen.

In a competitive situation with multiple outlets bidding, Apple has landed a 10-episode comedy series executive produced by and starring the Saturday Night Live grad. The project, inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld's upcoming short-story collection You Think It, I'll Say It and produced by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine banner, is the tech giant's first scripted comedy pickup.

Colleen McGuinness (30 Rock) created the series and serves as showrunner. She will exec produce alongside Witherspoon, her Hello Sunshine topper Lauren Neustadter and Wiig. Sittenfeld is on board as a consulting producer. A studio is not yet attached; the series is expected to be set up soon. (Apple does not own the show.)

For Wiig, the Apple show marks her return to television after seven seasons on NBC's Lorne Michaels-produced SNL, where she was a regular from 2005 to 2012 and earned three supporting actress in a comedy Emmy nominations. Since exiting the sketch series, Wiig has focused on features including Bridesmaids (for which she earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the original screenplay), Downsizing, mother! and Ghostbusters, among others.

The Wiig vehicle is Apple's third series with Witherspoon and joins the untitled morning show drama in which she stars alongside Jennifer Aniston and Octavia Spencer entry Are You Sleeping. Hello Sunshine exec produces all three. Overall, the Wiig show is Apple's fifth overall scripted series and also joins the Steven Spielberg-produced Amazing Stories anthology and Ron Moore space drama See. The company is currently in a bidding war with HBO for J.J. Abrams' first script since Fringe. Still to be determined is just how Apple will roll out its scripted originals.

Wiig is repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman; Witherspoon, who recently scored a sizable payday for season two of HBO's Big Little Lies based on her salary from Apple, is with CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Season two of Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Big Little Lies, which Witherspoon exec produces and stars in, returns in 2019. McGuinness, whose credits include Netflix's Friends From College and NBC's About a Boy, is with WME and Hansen Jacobson.


Read the full article – Hollywoodreporter.com

Technology

Big swings continue as bitcoin briefly dips below $10,000

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Big swings continue as bitcoin briefly dips below $10,000

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, file photo, a man watches a screen showing the prices of bitcoin at a virtual currency exchange office in Seoul, South Korea. Bitcoin is suffering another one of its trademark nosedives on Wednesday. The digital currency has fallen about 30 percent during the week as investors worry that regulators in South Korea will crack down on trading. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

The volatility of the digital currency markets was on display again Wednesday, as bitcoin briefly fell below $10,000 before rebounding back above $11,000 in the U.S. afternoon.

With the drop below $10,000, bitcoin had lost about half its value since hitting a high above $19,000 in mid-December. Other digital currencies bounced around as well.

Bitcoin has slumped 20 percent this week as traders worry that regulators in South Korea will crack down on trading of digital currencies. The price of bitcoin fell as much as 20 percent Wednesday, but later recovered and was nearly flat at $11,392 around 5:10 p.m. Eastern Time, according to Coindesk.

Bitcoin hasn't caught on as a currency for buying things, as intended. But it has drawn huge interest from traders, and its price has soared over the past year, and has also had several sharp drops.

The price of one bitcoin went from $1,000 at the beginning of last year to nearly $20,000 in mid-December. The latest plunge brings the price back to where it was in early December.

Many financial pros believe bitcoin is in a speculative bubble that could crash any time.

The possibility that South Korea will ban or restrict virtual currency trading has weighed on traders' minds the last few weeks because the nation is a major market for currencies like bitcoin.

Those worries have also depressed the prices of other digital currencies that gained sharply in recent months.

Ethereum fell 9 percent to $993 Wednesday, according to Coindesk. During the day it tumbled as much as 26 percent. Its current price is still roughly double where it was in November, and down sharply from its recent peak of $1,329 on Jan. 10.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies trade on private exchanges that have little regulation or protection for investors. In December two major financial exchanges, the Cboe and CME, started trading in bitcoin futures, which allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin without actually holding bitcoins.

Bitcoin futures on the Cboe were little changed while CME-traded futures slipped 2 percent. Earlier they hit their lowest levels since trading began last month.

Bitcoin is extremely hard to value because it has no country or central bank backing it and it's not widely used to make transactions. Its value is tied only to what people believe it is worth at any given time.

Partly for that reason, it's gone through numerous highs and lows in its brief history since being formed in 2009: After a plunge in November 2013, it lost about half its value in 2014. The huge rally in 2017 also came with some sharp selloffs, although those wound up being temporary.

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World

Syrian Kurds appeal to UN as Turkey prepares to attack

Syrian Kurds appeal to UN as Turkey prepares to attack

The Associated Press
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Erdogan on Tuesday called on NATO to take a stance against the United States, a fellow ally, over its plans to form a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led border security force in Syria. Turkey has been threatening to launch a new military offensive in Syria against Syrian Kurdish militias, which Turkey considers to be terrorists because of their affiliation with outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Syria's dominant Kurdish party on Wednesday called on the U.N. Security Council to act quickly to ensure the safety of Kurdish-controlled territories in the country's north, including an enclave that Turkey has threatened to attack.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will launch a military offensive in the coming days against territories controlled by the dominant Syrian Kurdish militia in northwestern and eastern Syria, and in particular the enclave of Afrin, where an estimated 1 million people live.

Turkey views the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces as terrorists, and an extension of the Kurdish insurgency raging in its southeast. It has criticized the U.S. for extending support and arming the Kurdish forces as part of the campaign that drove the Islamic State group from large parts of Syria.

The Kurdish militia, which forms the backbone of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, now controls nearly 25 percent of Syrian territory. It is the U.S.-led coalition's chief ally in the campaign against IS militants in Syria.

The U.S.-led coalition recently said it is planning a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led border force, further angering Turkey.

"Turkey has reached the end of its patience," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said after a Cabinet meeting Wednesday. "No one should expect it to show more patience. Turkey is determined to take whatever steps are necessary."

Turkey's National Security Council also met Wednesday and vowed to take steps to "eliminate" threats from western Syria — in an apparent reference to Afrin.

A statement issued at the end of the meeting also criticized the United States, saying Turkey was saddened by the fact an ally has "declared terrorists as partners" and "armed them without taking our security into consideration." It called on the U.S. to reclaim all arms supplied to Syrian Kurdish fighters.

In reference to the planned Kurdish-led border force, the statement added: "Turkey will not allow the creation of a terror corridor or an army of terror near its border."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that those plans were a "perilous" step that would "seriously endanger ties." The two met in Vancouver on Tuesday.

"Such a development would damage Turkish-American ties in an irreversible manner," the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Cavusoglu as saying Wednesday.

In a speech at Sanford University on Wednesday, Tillerson said the U.S. government "hears and takes seriously the concerns of our NATO ally Turkey."

"We recognize the humanitarian contributions and military sacrifices Turkey has made towards defeating ISIS, towards their support of millions of Syrian refugees, and stabilizing areas of Syria it has helped liberate," he added. "We must have Turkey's close cooperation in achieving a new future for Syria that ensures security for Syria's neighbors."

Erdogan said the imminent military operation is to "purge terror" from near its borders. Along with Afrin, Erdogan has also threatened Manbij, a town the Kurdish-led SDF seized from IS in 2016.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, the political arm of the main Kurdish militia, said that if Turkey launches an operation against Afrin, the world will bear responsibility for the lives of people residing there. The PYD called on the Security Council to "move immediately" to ensure the security of Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria.

"Such a responsible behavior will lead to the desired result in finding a resolution for the Syrian crisis," the PYD said in a statement.

The Syrian government of President Bashar Assad has meanwhile accused the SDF of being "traitors" for cooperating with the United States.

On Monday, Erdogan vowed to crush the border force and called on NATO to take a stand against the United States, a fellow ally.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists said Turkish military activities near the borders with Afrin have continued, as well as shelling of the outskirts of the town. Tanks amassed near the border with Syria, while Turkish media reported that medical personnel in Kilis, a Turkish town across the border from Afrin, were asked not to take leave, apparently in anticipation of military operations.

Turkey's private Dogan news agency quotes Turkey-backed Syrian rebels as saying they are awaiting Turkish orders to launch the Afrin operations. It says some 3,000 fighters are ready to participate in operations against Afrin and Manbij.

———

Associated Press writer Sarah el-Deeb reported this story in Beirut and AP writer Suzan Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.

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Technology

Hidden cameras help scientists study elusive wildlife

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Hidden cameras help scientists study elusive wildlife

The Associated Press
This 2011 photo from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service motion-activated camera shows an elephant seal in the Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Southern California. Motion-detecting wildlife cameras devices are getting smaller, cheaper and more reliable, and scientists across the United State are using them to document elusive creatures like never before. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

How does a bighorn sheep say "cheese?"

Some charismatic critters caught by motion-detecting wildlife cameras seem to know how to strike a pose. But it's not just show business. As these devices get ever smaller, cheaper and more reliable, scientists across the U.S. are using them to document elusive creatures like never before.

"There's no doubt — it is an incredible tool to acquire data on wildlife," said Grant Harris, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife biologist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Remote cameras have photographed everything from small desert cats called ocelots to snow-loving lynx high in the Northern Rockies.

Harris cited images of javelinas, pig-like desert mammals, and coatimundi, members of the raccoon family, captured at higher latitudes in recent years. That could mean global warming is expanding their range northward, he said.

Scientists deploying remote cameras include researchers with the Wyoming Migration Initiative, who use global positioning to map the movements of elk, mule deer and antelope in and around Yellowstone National Park. They only have so many collars to track animals, meaning there's a limit to the GPS data they can gather, said Matthew Kauffman, a University of Wyoming associate professor and initiative director.

"You see one animal migrating, you don't know if it's migrating by itself, if it's migrating with a calf, or if it's migrating with 40 other animals," Kauffman said.

Remote cameras — which can be left in the backcountry for days, weeks or even months — help fill in blanks by showing how many animals are on the move over a given period, he said.

Where to position them requires careful forethought. Clustering several around a watering hole, for instance, might produce many images but not a thorough profile of a population.

"There's this tension between subjectivity in where you put your camera and where it's statistically sound," Harris said.

Sometimes smart-alecky humans turn up among the images. "I've seen people moon cameras, and that's always funny," he said.

Remote video can also reveal details about animal behavior, including the mewling sounds of migrating mule deer. And live-streaming cameras for everything from bison in Saskatchewan, Canada, to the underwater kelp forest off California's Channel Islands are always popular.

As with all human intrusion into nature, remote cameras have downsides. Animals such as wolverines and bears have been known to attack them, though whether out of curiosity or aggression is hard to say.

Also, the devices have become popular tools to help hunters scout for game, prompting a debate over fair-chase ethics. Then there's the whole subjective thing about going into nature to get away from it all, including surveillance cameras.

Anyway, to answer the question: A bighorn sheep that looks like it's smiling probably isn't saying "cheese" but sniffing pheromones and other scents in what's called a flehmen response, said Harris.

In other words … bleats us.

———

Follow Mead Gruver at https://twitter.com/meadgruver

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Entertainment

What Tesla’s newest affordable electric car has in store for you

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Reporter’s Notebook: Test-driving Tesla's new mass-market Model 3

PlayABC News

WATCH Test-driving Tesla Model 3 as waitlist and anticipation build

Tesla’s Model 3 was unveiled in March of 2016, but it’s only hitting their showrooms now.

The company’s first foray into mass-market cars, the base-level Model 3 starts at $35,000, and that has customers excited. In the company’s Palo Alto and Los Angeles showrooms Friday night, interested onlookers lined up to see the entry-level Tesla for themselves.

Tesla autopilot appears to predict accident in new video All eyes on Tesla as it faces its biggest hurdle yet

While production delays limited Tesla to only 2,425 Model 3 cars produced in the last three months of 2017, the company says they are now producing 1,000 cars a week and estimating 2,500 cars a week by the end of March. They say full capacity is 5,000 cars a week, and have targeted June of 2018 to hit that number.

PHOTO: A Tesla Model 3 is seen in a showroom in Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2018.Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
A Tesla Model 3 is seen in a showroom in Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2018.

Offering ABC News the first test drive for television, I headed down to the Fremont, California, Tesla factory and jumped into the sedan.

The initial models off the production line have a bigger battery, longer range and a bigger price tag. The 310-mile range of the car I’m driving adds $9,000 to the price tag. Plus, the model I’m driving has autopilot activated (we’ll get to that in a second), which adds another $5,000 to the price.

PHOTO: ABC News Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the companys first foray into mass-market cars. ABC News
ABC News' Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the company's first foray into mass-market cars.

They say people decide to buy a car if they like the cup-holders; the interior and creature comforts of a car seem to make a huge impact on how we interact with our cars.

Boy, is that a factor in the Model 3. It’s really different from traditional cars. There is a turn signal stalk on the left, and on the right the shifter stalk (I’m not a car-enthusiast so I had no idea that the turn-signal-thingys off the steering columns were called stalks — now I know).

PHOTO: ABC News Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the companys first foray into mass-market cars. ABC News
ABC News' Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the company's first foray into mass-market cars.

There are two scrolling buttons on the steering wheel itself, but those are the only controls, except for the ginormous tablet on the center console.

Almost every single interaction with the car is done through that tablet. There are no instrument displays at all.

It takes a second to get used to it, but the upside is revolutionary in the car industry: the entire car and its functionality can be updated like a computer. In fact, Tesla regularly offers over-the-air updates just like a cell phone to tweak a feature or improve on an algorithm. They did this a few weeks ago to make the windshield wipers auto-sensing and turn on by themselves instead of manually starting. This is a car that is constantly evolving.

PHOTO: ABC News Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the companys first foray into mass-market cars. ABC News
ABC News' Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the company's first foray into mass-market cars.

The car is a true sedan: lots of headroom, a glass ceiling that goes all the way into the back seat, and lots of legroom in the front and the back. It has a huge back trunk with a second storage compartment below the trunk and a front trunk too.

While the Model 3 is a few inches narrower and shorter than Tesla’s luxury sedan, the Model S (which starts at $68,000), I didn’t feel a significant difference between the two cars as I sat in the driver’s seat looking at the interior.

PHOTO: ABC News Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the companys first foray into mass-market cars. ABC News
ABC News' Becky Worley test-drives the Tesla Model 3, which is the company's first foray into mass-market cars.

When you drive the car it also feels very similar to the Model S. The ride is smooth, the seats comfy, and as my son’s friend exclaimed from the backseat as I hit the gas, “Oh wow, it’s peppy!”

Elon Musk famously said, “We don’t make slow cars.” Ludicrous mode in the Model S sedan has your glasses flying off the top of your head when you punch it, and while acceleration on the Model 3 was not “ludicrous,” it was darn impressive. I had to make a quick acceleration on the freeway and it was indeed peppy, way more than any of the cars I currently own (which isn’t saying much because I drive a mini-van and a light SUV).

The auto-pilot features on the car are incredible. It’s not totally autonomous by a long shot, but the driver assistance takes the edge off in traffic. The car reacts to stop-start traffic, braking and accelerating for you. It also assists during highway driving using cameras and sensors to do advanced “lane-keeping,” steering you in between the lines on the road. Much has been written on this topic, but for me, the auto-pilot aspect of the car is a total game changer for anyone who commutes in traffic.

While production delays and high demand may pose issues for potential buyers, the car itself is a lot of fun to drive while lowering emissions and radically changing the driver’s relationship with the car. Two thumbs up while the car steers for me!

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct the announcement date for Tesla's Model 3 from March 2017 to March 2016. The company's full production capacity for the model is 5,000 per week, not per month, as originally stated.

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Source – abcnews.go.com

Technology

What you need to know about the meteor that caused seismic shock over Michigan

180117_vod_orig_meteor_12x5_992

What you need to know about the meteor that caused seismic shock over Michigan

PlayWWMT/Zack Lawler

WATCH What is a meteor shower?

The meteor that lit up the night sky over southeast Michigan and shook the ground Tuesday night did not actually cause an earthquake, researchers say.

In fact, meteors do not cause earthquakes to rupture along a fault, according to William Yeck, a research geophysicist at the United States Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado.

The seismic observations associated with the meteor were assigned a magnitude 2.0 by the United States Geological Survey, which said the event was centered about 5 miles west-southwest of New Haven, Michigan, some 40 miles northeast of Detroit. The National Weather Service sent out a tweet that said, "USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake."

But Yeck said the magnitude cannot be directly used to compare the meteor's size to an earthquake because the source of the seismic signals are different.

"While the event was reported as a magnitude 2, the magnitude scale is used to estimate the size of earthquakes and therefore is not an accurate representation of the observations from a meteor," Yeck told ABC News.

Researchers are still investigating this specific incident, Yeck said. The seismic waves observed from these events are typically not from an impact but instead are sound waves generated in the atmosphere.

Earthquake-causing meteor leaves southeast Michigan residents awestruck

PHOTO: Image taken from video, Jan. 16, 2018, showing the meteor that the National Weather Service tweeted USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.@topherlaine/Twitter
Image taken from video, Jan. 16, 2018, showing the meteor that the National Weather Service tweeted "USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake."

Bill Cooke, the lead of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said Tuesday night's phenomenon occurred when a meteor, measuring about 2 yards in diameter and traveling at about 28,000 mph, entered the Earth's atmosphere over Michigan.

The pressure difference between the air in front of the meteor and the air behind it caused the rock to break apart and explode in the sky with the force of less than 100 tonnes of TNT, Cooke said. That explosion generated shock waves that traveled down to the ground northeast of Detroit, where residents heard a loud boom and felt the ground beneath them tremble.

The meteor would not have landed intact, Cooke said, but rather tiny pieces weighing only a few ounces would have scattered over the area.

“When Armageddon is near, you better get out of of here. Looking like a Deep Impact. I ain’t afraid of no ‘stroid” #metrodetroitmeteor pic.twitter.com/MdibIt82TZ

— Topher No Grace (@topherlaine) January 17, 2018

And it's not a rare event.

"It's common with fireballs that produce meteorites on the ground," Cooke said. "When the shock waves hit the ground, it will shake the ground a bit."

#meteor scared the buhjesus out of us pic.twitter.com/qFcFMotFDi

— PirateHooker (@BlackBeerded) January 17, 2018

Still, the explosive flash, the sonic boom and the ensuing vibrations on the ground both dazzled and startled residents.

"That's probably a little bit disconcerting," Cooke said.

Although meteorites have damaged cars and the roofs of homes, Cooke said no one has been killed by a meteorite in recorded history.

"I would say most folks are pretty safe," he said.

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Health

ANALYSIS: 6 questions about Trump’s health answered

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ANALYSIS: 6 questions about President Donald Trump's health answered

PlayOlivier Douliery/CNP via ZUMA/Splash News

WATCH Doctor declares Trump is in 'excellent health' after physical

President Donald Trump’s physical exam results give an insight into his medical health and wellness for the first time in his presidency.

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Despite Trump’s affinity for McDonald’s and diet Coke, he appears to be in “excellent” cardiovascular shape for his age, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, who administered Trump’s nearly four-hour physical exam five days ago at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, said.

Here’s what we learned about the president’s health:

1. What medical issues does the president have?

The president’s medical issues are limited to high cholesterol, rosacea (a benign skin disease) and being considered “overweight,” as measured by the body mass index (BMI).

His BMI – or body mass index – is calculated at 29.9, using the National Institutes of Health calculator, which is just shy of the obesity classification, which starts with a score of 30. “The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

PHOTO: Physician to President Donald Trump, Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks during the daily White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.Alex Wong/Getty Images
Physician to President Donald Trump, Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks during the daily White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.

Trump has a 16.7 percent risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack or a stroke, over the next 10 years, according to the American College of Cardiology risk calculator.

2. What medications is he taking?

The president takes a cholesterol-lowering drug called rosuvastatin, and because his cholesterol level is a little high, Jackson said, the dosage of this medication will be increased.

He also takes finasteride for male-pattern hair loss. That medication can also be used to treat prostate issues at higher doses.

Trump also takes aspirin daily to prevent heart disease, a multivitamin and applies a cream called ivermectin, as needed, to treat skin condition rosacea, Jackson said. Rosacea is a condition that causes redness on the face.

Read President Donald Trump's full physical report Trump's 'overall health is excellent' says doctor, weight loss a goal Meet President Trump's new doctor: White House physician Admiral Ronny Jackson

3. How was the president’s mental status assessed?

At Trump’s urging, his physician conducted a brief screening test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. A score less than 26 may indicate a cognitive issue; Trump scored a 30/30, his doctor said.

This is a basic test of cognitive function using things such as identifying pictures of animals, elementary math equations and word memory questions.

4. How do his numbers look so good given that he reportedly doesn’t eat healthfully or exercise?

The simple answer cited during the press briefing: genetics.

"It is called genetics. I don't know," Jackson said Tuesday. "Some people have just great genes. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old."

Trump has also avoided alcohol and smoking, which could be helping his cause, his doctor says.

Regardless, he would benefit from exercise and dietary changes, which Jackson said he will include in Trump’s routine moving forward. Jackson’s target for Trump is to lose 10 to 15 pounds over the next year.

5. Are any of Trump’s lab tests outside the normal range?

Yes. Trump has a slightly elevated LDL count of 143, which is a kind of cholesterol called a low-density lipoprotein. Jackson is aiming to get it down to less than 120 by increasing his statin medication.

His calcium score was 133, which may indicate some mild-moderate heart disease but not overly concerning for a 71-year-old man, his doctor says. A calcium score of over 400 would be more worrisome for heart disease.

His prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, which is elevated for men with prostate cancer, was normal but the number may be affected by his hair-loss medication.

6. What’s the take-home message here?

Given his age, Trump is in very good to excellent overall health. With some lifestyle changes, his cardiovascular fitness would get better, and there doesn’t appear to be any cause for concern in the results of his mental status exam.

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Technology

Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

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Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, file photo, people stand in line near an Apple Store at an outdoor shopping mall in Beijing, China. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, Apple announced it is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall from the country's new tax law.

The pledge announced Wednesday comes less than a month after Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code championed by President Donald Trump that will increase corporate profits.

Besides dramatically lowering the standard corporate tax rate, the reforms offer a one-time break on cash being held overseas.

Apple plans to take advantage of that provision to bring back most of its roughly $252 billion in offshore cash, generating a tax bill of about $38 billion. It's something that Apple CEO Tim Cook promised the company would do if it could avoid being taxed at the 35 percent rate that had been in effect under the previous tax law.

About $75 billion of the $350 billion in U.S. investments will be paid from money that had been overseas, Apple estimated.

Companies that bring back money stashed overseas this year will be taxed at a 15.5 percent rate, below the new 21 percent rate for U.S. corporate profits under the new law.

Other U.S. companies, including American Airlines, AT&T and Comcast, have been handing out $1,000 bonuses to all their workers to share the wealth they will gain from the lower rate on their domestic earnings.

Excluding banks and other financial services companies, Moody's Investors Service estimates corporate America has an estimated $1.6 trillion in overseas cash. Most of that is in the technology industry, with Apple sitting at the top of the heap.

Analysts have been predicting that most of the overseas profits coming back to the U.S. would be plowed into paying shareholder dividends and buying back stock, something that happened the last time a one-time break on offshore profits was offered more than a decade ago.

Trump and lawmakers are hoping companies use the money to raise wages, expand payrolls, open more offices and invest in new equipment.

After plowing nearly $46 billion into dividends and stock repurchases in its last fiscal year, Apple is still likely to funnel a big chunk of overseas money to its shareholders.

But Wednesday's announcement was clearly designed to be a show of faith in the U.S. — Apple's most lucrative market. The public show of support also helps the optics of a company that will still continue to make most of its iPhones, iPads and other gadgets in factories located in China and other faraway countries that offer cheaper labor.

"Apple is a success that could only have happened in America, and we always felt a very big sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who have made our success possible," Cook said during a ceremony Wednesday celebrating a new warehouse being built in Reno, Nevada.

The White House applauded Apple's commitment.

"Just as the president promised, making our businesses more competitive internationally is translating directly into benefits for the American worker, through increased wages, better benefits, and new jobs," White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

Apple Inc., which just spent an estimated $5 billion building a Cupertino, California, headquarters that resembles a giant spaceship, plans to announce the location of a second campus devoted to customer support later this year.

The company didn't say how big the second campus will be, or how many of the additional 20,000 workers that it plans to hire will be based there. About 84,000 of Apple's 123,000 workers currently are in the U.S.

One thing is certain: Cities from across the U.S. will likely be offering Apple tax breaks and other incentives in an attempt to persuade the company to build its second campus in their towns.

That was what happened last year after Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters in North America to expand beyond its current Seattle home. The online retailer received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Amazon is expected to announce the winning bid later this year.

Besides hiring more workers and building its second campus, Apple is also planning to open more data centers to help back up the photos, documents and other content that people store on their phones, tablets and computers. It also is increasing a fund established last year to invest in U.S. manufacturers from $1 billion to $5 billion.

Apple's high-profile commitment may pressure its peers in the technology sector to take similar steps, despite the industry's disdain with many of Trump's other policies, especially those affecting immigration. The next four biggest hoarders of overseas cash are Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google corporate parent Alphabet Inc. and Oracle, with a combined $320 billion among them.

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AP writers Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada, and Josh Boak in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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