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    Samsung seems to be playing it safe -at least with its battery - as it unveils its first major smartphone since the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7. The Galaxy S8 will come in two sizes, both bigger than comparable models from last year. To maximize display space, there's no more physical home button. The S8 also sports a voice assistant intended to rival Siri and Google Assistant. But battery capacity isn't increasing, despite the larger sizes, meaning more breathing room for the battery. Samsung had pushed the engineering envelope with the Note 7 battery, which contributed to spontaneous combustions. That recall cost Samsung at least $5.3 billion. Though many customers remain loyal, any further misstep could prove fatal. The phone, announced Wednesday in New York, will come out April 21. The standard-size S8 will cost about $750 and the larger S8 Plus about $850 - both about $100 more than comparable iPhones and rival Android phones. 'That's a big bet that its phones will justify a higher price, whereas it could have used these new phones as a way to drive higher sales after a couple of years of stagnation,' said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research.
  • A new Russian hypersonic missile could make the rest of the world's warships obsolete overnight. The International Business Times says it's called the Zircon missile, and experts say it's so fast, it would be unstoppable and could take out the most advanced aircraft carriers and warships with one strike. The Zircon uses scramjet technology to reach speeds of 4,600 miles per hour, 5 times faster than the speed of sound. It's being tested for deployment as soon as 2020. Right now, the only way for U.S. and British carriers to avoid it is to stay so far away, that the carrier's planes would be essentially useless.
  • Six schools were briefly placed on modified lockdown Thursday after a shooting in north Tulsa sent a man to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. Ofcr. Jeanne MacKenzie tells KRMG the victim’s girlfriend called 911 about 12:20 p.m. to report the shooting. One person, a female, is in custody and being questioned about the incident. A second potential suspect, a male, is still on the loose. Witnesses have told police he’s a white man, about six feet tall, possibly wearing a red baseball cap and driving a red car. The victim was reportedly in his mid-thirties; there has been no update yet on his condition. MacKenzie said it’s standard for TPS to lock down schools in an area where there has been a violent incident, and that there was never any immediate danger to the children. The affected schools were Bell, Hamilton, McKinley, Mitchell, Owen, and Tulsa MET.
  • One of the House Republican rebels, Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie, wasn't just 'no' on the GOP health care bill to replace Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Massie was 'hell no.' That won over Mary Broecker, president of the Oldham County Republican Women's Club and a strong proponent of a full-blown repeal of the 2010 law. 'When he came out against this bill, I thought, 'I trust him so this must be the right way,'' the 76-year-old retired teacher said of Massie this week as she sat at a coffee shop near her LaGrange home. Defying President Donald Trump on the seven-year Republican Party promise to repeal and replace 'Obamacare' sounds like political suicide, especially in the congressional districts Trump won handily. Yet in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Iowa in the bitter aftermath of the GOP's epic failure, Republicans who blocked the legislation have won praise from constituents for stopping what many saw as a flawed plan, either in the legislation's substance or strategy. In the House, hard-line conservatives opposed the bill because it didn't go far enough in getting the government out of health care while moderates worried that tens of millions of Americans might be left without insurance. Trump's famed deal-making and power of persuasion faltered with his own party, a remarkable turn at a time when the GOP controls the White House, Senate and House. Nationwide, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Wednesday found that 62 percent disapprove of the way Trump is handling health care, his worst rating among seven issues the poll tested, including the economy, foreign policy and immigration.
  • President Donald Trump bested his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, in a national poll commissioned by The Salonniere asking respondents whom they would most like to sit next to at a dinner party. >> Read more trending news  The current commander in chief came out on top with 36 percent, followed by Obama at 24 percent. Former first lady Michelle Obama polled far ahead of her successor, first lady Melania Trump, though, 12 percent to 4 percent. Others named by respondents were Oprah Winfrey, at 7 percent, Lady Gaga at 6 percent and Lin-Manuel Miranda at 3 percent. Former first lady, Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton tied with Melania Trump and Russian ruler Vladimir Putin at 4 percent. Reality television personality Kim Kardashian polled at 1 percent. The Salonniere’s Spring ’17 Party Poll, conducted in March by a national research firm, surveyed 1,203 men and women between 25 and 59 whose household income exceeds $75,000 annually. Respondents who get the chance to sit next to Trump at dinner might chastise him about what some consider a social faux pas: One-third of those polled disapproved of his decision to skip the April 29 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.  Read more at The Salonniere.
  • For the fourth time in the past six days, President Donald Trump has used his platform on Twitter to take a swing at a group of more conservative Republicans in the House, this time raising the specter of using the bully pulpit against them in the 2018 elections, if they don’t get on board with his legislative agenda. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump said on Twitter. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” he added. The Twitter jabs against the Freedom Caucus are becoming somewhat routine for Mr. Trump, who was frustrated that he was unable to convince those lawmakers to back a GOP health care bill last week. Even before today, those type of tweets by the President have drawn frowns from some members of the Freedom Caucus, who say they’re not budging on their conservative principles, just to give Mr. Trump a legislative victory. “I disagree with him,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said earlier this week, after Mr. Trump signaled his displeasure with the Freedom Caucus opposition to the GOP health bill. “My conscience was to get rid of Obamacare; this doesn’t do it,” Yoho said of the GOP plan that had the blessing of the White House. “Some of the constant tweeting is at minimum distracting, and at maximum, counterproductive to a legislative agenda,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who also knocked the President for using Twitter to keep grousing as well about Hillary Clinton. “You’re fighting yesterday’s story if you are fighting against a candidate you were once running against that is no longer the candidate you might be running against,” Sanford said.
  • Some tactics Russia used to meddle in last year's presidential election would give shivers to anyone who believes in American democracy, the Senate intelligence committee's top Democrat says. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia spoke ahead of a committee session Thursday that will address how the Kremlin allegedly uses technology to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. Warner and the panel's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., provided an update the committee's investigation into activities Russia might have taken to alter or influence the 2016 elections and whether there were any campaign contacts with Russian government officials that might have interfered with the election process. 'There were upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect, taking over series of computers, which is then called a botnet,' Warner told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Warner said the committee was investigating to find out whether voters in key states, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, might have been served up Russian-generated fake news and propaganda along with information from their traditional news outlets. 'We are in a whole new realm around cyber that provides opportunity for huge, huge threats to our basic democracy,' Warner said. 'You are seeing it right now.' Burr added that Russians are trying to influence elections in Europe as well. 'I think it's safe by everybody's judgment that the Russians are actively involved in the French elections,' Burr said. Scheduled to appear at the committee's open hearing are: Eugene Rumer, director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Roy Godson, professor of government emeritus at Georgetown University; Clint Watts, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security; Kevin Mandia, chief executive officer of the cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.; and retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency and president of IronNet Cybersecurity. Pledging cooperation, Burr and Warner said they would steer clear of politics in their panel's probe of Russian meddling. They made a point of putting themselves at arm's length from the House investigation that has been marked by partisanship and disputes. Democrats have called for House intelligence committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes to recuse himself because of his ties to the Trump team, especially because the investigation includes looking at contacts that Russians had with President Donald Trump's associates. Nunes, R-Calif., met with a secret source on the White House grounds last week to review classified material, which he says indicates that Trump associates' communications were captured in 'incidental' surveillance of foreigners. Nunes says he sees no reason to step aside. Burr said that so far, the Senate committee has requested 20 individuals to be interviewed. Five have been scheduled, and the remaining 15 are likely to be scheduled within the next 10 days. Additional witnesses could also be interviewed. Burr identified just one of the witnesses: Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The White House has said that Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, has volunteered to answer questions about arranging meetings with the Russian ambassador and other officials. Asked whether the committee had spoken to former national security adviser Michael Flynn or his representatives, Burr told reporters, 'It's safe to say that we have had conversations with a lot of people, and you would think less of us if Gen. Flynn wasn't in that list.' An attorney for Flynn said his client had not yet been interviewed by the Senate committee. One of Flynn's lawyers, Robert Kelner, said they have had discussions with committee staff members, but Flynn has not been contacted directly. Trump asked Flynn, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, to step down last month from his post as national security adviser. The president said he made the decision because Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
  • Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper say they have an agreement to end the state's so-called 'bathroom bill' that they hope will drive away negative national attention and remove obstacles to expanding businesses and attracting sporting events. But they'll have to get enough votes in the House and Senate for a proposal set for debate Thursday so the replacement measure for the March 2016 law known as House Bill 2 can reach Cooper's desk. Social conservatives in the General Assembly would prefer to have HB2 stay on the books. Gay rights groups oppose the replacement measure because it would still restrict LGBT protections from discrimination. Political repercussions exist for legislators and Cooper. Cooper, who was elected governor last November with support from LGBT forces and on a platform that included a complete repeal of HB2, said in a release that he supported the compromise unveiled Wednesday shortly before midnight by GOP lawmakers. 'It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation,' Cooper said. The late-night announcement came as the NCAA had said North Carolina sites won't be considered for championship events from 2018 to 2022 'absent any change' in House Bill 2, which it views as discrimination. The NCAA said decisions would be made starting this week on events. North Carolina cities, schools and other groups have offered more than 130 bids for such events. The NCAA already removed championship events from the state this year because of the law, which limits LGBT nondiscrimination protections and requires transgender people to use restrooms in schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. HB2 has prompted some businesses to halt expansions and entertainers and sports organizations to cancel or move events, including the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte. An Associated Press analysis this week found that HB2 already will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years. The new proposal would repeal HB2 but would leave state legislators in charge of policy on public multi-stall restrooms. Local governments also couldn't pass ordinances extending nondiscrimination protections in private employment and in places such as hotels and restaurants covering categories like sexual orientation and gender identity until December 2020. That temporary moratorium, according to GOP House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, would allow time for pending federal litigation over transgender issues to play out. 'Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy,' Berger and Moore said in a statement. It's not clear whether the NCAA would be satisfied by the changes. Responding before Wednesday night's announcement to anticipated provisions in the legislation, top national and state gay rights activists blasted the proposal and said those who back Thursday's measure aren't allies of the LGBT community. Only a complete repeal, with nothing else, will do, they say. 'At its core, it's a statewide prohibition on equality,' Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin told reporters, adding that consequences could fall on Cooper, whom gay rights activists backed in the election, for backing a 'dirty deal.' 'It would be a failure of leadership for Cooper' and for Democratic legislative leaders to back this agreement 'instead of standing up for civil rights,' Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro said. The Republican-controlled legislature passed HB2 in response to a Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use restroom aligned with their gender identity. Cooper narrowly defeated GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the law. HB2 supporters say ordinances like the one in Charlotte make it easy for sexual predators to enter public restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Several potential compromises have failed over the past year, including one during a special session in December that collapsed amid partisan finger-pointing. GOP and Democratic legislators have been in a seemingly endless chase during the past several weeks to cobble together enough votes on various drafts of legislation.
  • A 5-year-old boy is recovering at a hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake in DeBary, Florida.  >> Read more trending news Volusia County investigators said Tampa resident Elijah Vaughn, 5, and his family were at a relative's house on Fort Florida Point Road on Saturday after leaving a funeral.  Vaughn and his mother went outside so the boy could play on the jungle gym in the yard, deputies said.  When Vaughn approached the jungle gym, he walked underneath the platform and saw what he thought was a toy snake.  As the boy reached for the snake, it bit him on the right index finger, according to a police report. His mother rushed Vaughn to meet with deputies and he was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital, where he received anti-venom treatment, investigators said. Vaughn was then taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.  Officials said the boy's swelling had not spread down his arm and was primarily on his hand and wrist.  The snake, believed to be a pygmy rattlesnake, was caught and killed.
  • France's attempts to counter the radicalization of its young people are in turmoil, with a group home intended to turn them away from Islamic extremism empty, the head of a highly publicized nonprofit convicted of misuse of public funds, and plans to segregate prison inmates suspected of harboring jihadi ideas abandoned. The results are both disappointing and unsurprising, according to a French senator who co-wrote a recent report highly critical of an effort she says was devised in haste and has been a waste of money. 'We spread money around because we didn't have time and we had to communicate something, we had to show something,' said Sen. Esther Benbassa, whose report last month concluded that the country's de-radicalization efforts so far were largely ineffective. 'The time that this takes to work is long, very long.' The backtracking takes on added significance as recent attacks, including last week's rampage in London and the previous week's assault on soldiers at Paris' Orly airport, were carried out by ex-convicts who may have been radicalized behind bars. France is not the only country reconsidering how it responds to radicalization. Britain's contentious Prevent program, which seeks to identify residents at risk of being radicalized, has come under criticism by rights groups and an expert for the United Nations who said it stifles free speech.
  • Samsung seems to be playing it safe -at least with its battery - as it unveils its first major smartphone since the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7. The Galaxy S8 will come in two sizes, both bigger than comparable models from last year. To maximize display space, there's no more physical home button. The S8 also sports a voice assistant intended to rival Siri and Google Assistant. But battery capacity isn't increasing, despite the larger sizes, meaning more breathing room for the battery. Samsung had pushed the engineering envelope with the Note 7 battery, which contributed to spontaneous combustions. That recall cost Samsung at least $5.3 billion. Though many customers remain loyal, any further misstep could prove fatal. The phone, announced Wednesday in New York, will come out April 21. The standard-size S8 will cost about $750 and the larger S8 Plus about $850 - both about $100 more than comparable iPhones and rival Android phones. 'That's a big bet that its phones will justify a higher price, whereas it could have used these new phones as a way to drive higher sales after a couple of years of stagnation,' said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research.
  • A new Russian hypersonic missile could make the rest of the world's warships obsolete overnight. The International Business Times says it's called the Zircon missile, and experts say it's so fast, it would be unstoppable and could take out the most advanced aircraft carriers and warships with one strike. The Zircon uses scramjet technology to reach speeds of 4,600 miles per hour, 5 times faster than the speed of sound. It's being tested for deployment as soon as 2020. Right now, the only way for U.S. and British carriers to avoid it is to stay so far away, that the carrier's planes would be essentially useless.
  • Six schools were briefly placed on modified lockdown Thursday after a shooting in north Tulsa sent a man to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. Ofcr. Jeanne MacKenzie tells KRMG the victim’s girlfriend called 911 about 12:20 p.m. to report the shooting. One person, a female, is in custody and being questioned about the incident. A second potential suspect, a male, is still on the loose. Witnesses have told police he’s a white man, about six feet tall, possibly wearing a red baseball cap and driving a red car. The victim was reportedly in his mid-thirties; there has been no update yet on his condition. MacKenzie said it’s standard for TPS to lock down schools in an area where there has been a violent incident, and that there was never any immediate danger to the children. The affected schools were Bell, Hamilton, McKinley, Mitchell, Owen, and Tulsa MET.
  • One of the House Republican rebels, Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie, wasn't just 'no' on the GOP health care bill to replace Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Massie was 'hell no.' That won over Mary Broecker, president of the Oldham County Republican Women's Club and a strong proponent of a full-blown repeal of the 2010 law. 'When he came out against this bill, I thought, 'I trust him so this must be the right way,'' the 76-year-old retired teacher said of Massie this week as she sat at a coffee shop near her LaGrange home. Defying President Donald Trump on the seven-year Republican Party promise to repeal and replace 'Obamacare' sounds like political suicide, especially in the congressional districts Trump won handily. Yet in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Iowa in the bitter aftermath of the GOP's epic failure, Republicans who blocked the legislation have won praise from constituents for stopping what many saw as a flawed plan, either in the legislation's substance or strategy. In the House, hard-line conservatives opposed the bill because it didn't go far enough in getting the government out of health care while moderates worried that tens of millions of Americans might be left without insurance. Trump's famed deal-making and power of persuasion faltered with his own party, a remarkable turn at a time when the GOP controls the White House, Senate and House. Nationwide, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Wednesday found that 62 percent disapprove of the way Trump is handling health care, his worst rating among seven issues the poll tested, including the economy, foreign policy and immigration.
  • President Donald Trump bested his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, in a national poll commissioned by The Salonniere asking respondents whom they would most like to sit next to at a dinner party. >> Read more trending news  The current commander in chief came out on top with 36 percent, followed by Obama at 24 percent. Former first lady Michelle Obama polled far ahead of her successor, first lady Melania Trump, though, 12 percent to 4 percent. Others named by respondents were Oprah Winfrey, at 7 percent, Lady Gaga at 6 percent and Lin-Manuel Miranda at 3 percent. Former first lady, Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton tied with Melania Trump and Russian ruler Vladimir Putin at 4 percent. Reality television personality Kim Kardashian polled at 1 percent. The Salonniere’s Spring ’17 Party Poll, conducted in March by a national research firm, surveyed 1,203 men and women between 25 and 59 whose household income exceeds $75,000 annually. Respondents who get the chance to sit next to Trump at dinner might chastise him about what some consider a social faux pas: One-third of those polled disapproved of his decision to skip the April 29 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.  Read more at The Salonniere.