In West Virginia, Convicted Coal Baron Don Blankenship Is Already Declaring Victory | US News


.. in a reversal of fortune that can only be explained by these politically uncharted times, the 68-year-old ex-con is now a viable candidate for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia.

In fact, his top campaign adviser tells U.S. News that Blankenship has essentially already won the primary, which will be held on May 8.

Source: In West Virginia, Convicted Coal Baron Don Blankenship Is Already Declaring Victory | The Report | US News

Trump now less likely to sit for Mueller interview


A bipartisan group of senators put forward legislation on Wednesday to protect Mueller and his investigation, which the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider next week.

“Anyone advising the President – in public or over the airwaves – to fire Bob Mueller does not have the President or the nation’s best interest at heart. Full stop,” Republican Senator Orrin Hatch wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Source: Trump now less likely to sit for Mueller interview: sources

Trump to pardon ex-Cheney aide Scooter Libby | TheHill


The president has reportedly already signed off on the pardon for Libby, who was convicted in 2007 for lying to the FBI and obstructing justice in the investigation into who leaked the identity of ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Multiple people claimed that Libby leaked Plame’s identity to them after he had publicly stated he was not the source of the information.

Source: Trump to pardon ex-Cheney aide Scooter Libby: report | TheHill

Five things to know from Comey’s new book | TheHill


The book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth Lies & Leadership,” is due out on April 17.

Here are some of the most notable claims in the book …

Source: Five things to know from Comey’s new book | TheHill

GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe | TheHill


Trump’s days-long attacks on the Russia investigation have sparked heartburn among lawmakers worried that the impulsive president could ax the former FBI director or Rosenstein, setting off a chain of events Republicans describe as “suicide” and “catastrophic” months before a midterm election.

Left in political limbo, Republicans are upping their public warnings to Trump while holding out hope he is simply venting his frustration.

Source: GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe | TheHill

Rolls-Royce and airlines grapple with further Dreamliner engine issues


Problems with engine turbine blades wearing out sooner than expected have hampered a restructuring program prompted by the engineering company’s declining older engine program and plunging demand for oil equipment.

It said on Friday that more regular inspections are required and would lead “to higher than previously guided cash costs being incurred during 2018.”

Source: Rolls-Royce and airlines grapple with further Dreamliner engine issues

Russia lawmakers draft list of U.S. imports that could be banned


The Russian parliament is often used to send assertive messages to foreign states, but these do not always translate into concrete measures.

Large-scale restrictions on U.S. goods and services would hurt American firms but could also cause significant disruption in Russia, where consumers flock to McDonald’s restaurants, fly on vacation in Boeing jets, and use Apple phones.

The draft law, according to a text seen by Reuters, is aimed at protecting Russia’s interests and security in the face of “unfriendly and unlawful acts by the United States of America and other foreign states.”

Source: Russia lawmakers draft list of U.S. imports that could be banned

Russia deputy PM says international relations should not depend on one person’s mood


In an early-morning tweet on Wednesday, Trump warned that missiles “will be coming” in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces. Russia is Syria’s most important military ally in the country’s civil war.

“We cannot depend on the mood of someone on the other side of the ocean when he wakes up, on what a specific person takes into his head in the morning,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said at a forum in Krasnoyarsk, according to the TASS news agency.

“We cannot take such risks.”

Source: Russia deputy PM says international relations should not depend on one person’s mood

Trade war or not, China is closing the gap on U.S. in technology IP race


“With the number of scientists China is training every year it will eventually catch up, regardless of what the U.S. does,” said David Shen, head of IP for China at global law firm Allen & Overy.

Indeed, IP lawyers now see President Xi Jinping’s pledge earlier this week to protect foreign IP rights as projecting confidence in China’s position as a leading innovator in sectors such as telecommunications and online payments, as well as its ability to catch up in other areas.

Last year, China overtook Japan as the No. 2 patent filer in the world, with 13.4 percent annual growth, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. If maintained, the pace will take it above the United States in just over a year, a strong indication of its ambitions.

Source: Trade war or not, China is closing the gap on U.S. in technology IP race

Why blockchains and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are bullshit | Vox


Nicholas Weaver is a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley. Weaver teaches a course on blockchains and seems to think the technology is, at best, misguided and, at worst, a fraud. So I (Sean Illing) asked him to lay out his case in the simplest possible terms.

There are private blockchains, which is a 20-year-old technology that somehow causes idiots to throw money at it, and then you have public blockchains, which is supposed to be a decentralized record-keeping structure but, in reality, is both centralized and horribly inefficient. The use of private blockchains is pretty varied because there’s nothing new and it’s an old idea. The use of public blockchains is basically limited to cryptocurrencies.

The rationale for these things is that there’s no central authority, which means no one can block or undo a transaction. And so far at least, it’s true that transactions aren’t blocked. But why do you need such a system? Because you’re doing a transaction that a central authority would otherwise block, like paying off a hitman or buying drugs.

But if you don’t need to buy drugs or hitmen, the cryptocurrencies are vastly less efficient.

Source: Why blockchains and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are bullshit – Vox