ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
55°
Sunny
H 61° L 40°
  • clear-night
    55°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 61° L 40°
  • clear-day
    58°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 61° L 40°
  • clear-day
    61°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 66° L 38°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National News

    When Jimmy Carter left office in 1980, the return home to Plains, Georgia, was not easy. His once-flourisshing farming business was more than $1 million in debt, and he faced the prospect of selling the land that his family had been on for 150 years. Then a friend pointed out that Carter, at the tender age of 56, could expect to live at least until 80 years old. “I had one disturbing reaction,” Carter wrote in his 1998 book, “The Virtues of Aging.” “What was I going to do with the next 25 years? Let’s just say a lot — from establishing the Carter Center and being awarded the Nobel Prize to building Habitat for Humanity homes and writing more than two dozen books. March 21, 2019 marks yet another milestone. While it is not his birthday, Carter becomes the oldest living former president in United States history. At the age of 94 years and 172 days, he passes George H.W. Bush, who was 94 years, 171 days when he died last November. “We at the Carter Center sure are rooting for him and are grateful for his long life of service that has benefited millions of the world’s poorest people,” the center said in a statement. After the country’s first president, George Washington, lived to be 67, only a handful of others have lived into their 90s. Already, Carter had set the presidential record for living the longest number of years out of office, at 38-plus. But then again, he started the job young. When he was elected in 1976, Carter was only 52 years old, making him the 17th youngest elected president in history. The median age for accession to the presidency is 55 years and three months. “What could possibly be good about growing old? The most obvious answer, of course, is to consider the alternative to aging,” Carter wrote in 1998. “But there are plenty of other good answers — many based on our personal experiences and observations.” Sure, there have been scares along the way. In August 2015, Carter revealed that doctors had found four small melanoma lesions on his brain. The discovery followed the removal of a lesion on his liver that took about 10 percent of the organ. He began receiving drug treatments, along with radiation therapy, and said at the time that he would cut back significantly on his schedule. He continued receiving treatments until the following February when doctors had told him they were no longer needed, he said. In 2017, Carter was briefly hospitalized in Winnipeg, Manitoba after he became dehydrated while working on a Habitat for Humanity building site. He remains active. Many historians consider him one of the greatest former presidents ever — if not the greatest. Following his bitter defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan — or his “involuntary retirement,” as he calls it, becoming the first full one-term president since Hoover to lose re-election — Carter turned himself into something else. In 1982, he started the Carter Center in Atlanta to advance human rights and promote democracy. The center mediates conflicts and monitors electoral processes in support of free and fair elections. Carter traveled the world for elections and worked with the Carter Center to eradicate diseases. His hard work during post-presidential life was recognized in 2002, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. “As we’ve grown older,” Carter wrote of himself and his wife, Rosalynn, “the results have been surprisingly good.” Oldest former United States presidents 1. Jimmy Carter, born Oct. 1, 1924 (age 94 years, 172 days as of March 21, 2019) 2. George H.W. Bush, 1924–2018. (age 94 years, 171 days) 3. Gerald Ford, 1913–2006. (age 93 years, 165 days) 4. Ronald Reagan, 1911–2004. (age 93 years, 120 days) 5. John Adams, 1735–1826. (age 90 years, 247 days) 6. Herbert Hoover, 1874–1964. (age 90 years, 71 days)
  • Scheduling glitches led an immigration judge to deny the Trump administration's request to order four Central American migrants deported because they failed to show for initial hearings Wednesday in the U.S. while being forced to wait in Mexico. The judge's refusal was a setback for the administration's highly touted initiative to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. immigration courts. One migrant came to court with a notice to appear on Saturday, March 30 and said he later learned that he was supposed to show up Wednesday. He reported in the morning to U.S. authorities at the main crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. 'I almost didn't make it because I had two dates,' he said. Similar snafus marred the first hearings last week when migrants who were initially told to show up Tuesday had their dates bumped up several days. Judge Scott Simpson told administration lawyers to file a brief by April 10 that explains how it can assure migrants are properly notified of appointments. The judge postponed initial appearances for the four no-shows to April 22, which raised more questions about they would learn about the new date. Government documents had no street address for the four men in Tijuana and indicated that correspondence was to be sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Simpson asked how the administration would alert them. 'I don't have a response to that,' said Robert Wities, an attorney for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At least two others were given notices to appear Tuesday but, when they showed up at the border, were told by U.S. authorities that they were not on the schedule that day. Their attorneys quickly got new dates for Wednesday but Mexico refused to take them back, forcing them to stay overnight in U.S. custody. Laura Sanchez, an attorney for one of the men, said she called a court toll-free number to confirm her client's initial hearing Tuesday but his name didn't appear anywhere in the system. Later, she learned that it was Wednesday. Sanchez said after Wednesday's hearing that she didn't know if Mexico would take her client back. Mexican officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Homeland Security Department representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday. The snafus came two days before a federal judge in San Francisco hears oral arguments to halt enforcement of the 'Migration Protection Protocols' policy in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. The policy shift, which followed months of high-level talks between the U.S. and Mexico, was launched in San Diego on Jan. 29 amid growing numbers of asylum-seeking families from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Mexicans and children traveling alone are exempt. Families are typically released in the U.S. with notices to appear in court and stay until their cases are resolved, which can take years. The new policy aims to change that by making people wait in Mexico, though it is off to a modest start with 240 migrants being sent back to Tijuana from San Diego in the first six weeks. U.S. officials say they plan to sharply expand the policy across the entire border. Mexican officials have expressed concern about what both governments say is a unilateral move by the Trump administration but has allowed asylum seekers to wait in Mexico with humanitarian visas. U.S. officials call the new policy an unprecedented effort that aims to discourage weak asylum claims and reduce a court backlog of more than 800,000 cases. Several migrants who appeared Wednesday said they fear that waiting in Mexico for their next hearings would jeopardize their personal safety. The government attorney said they would be interviewed by an asylum officer to determine if their concerns justified staying in the U.S. Some told the judge they struggled to find attorneys and were granted more time to find one. Asylum seekers are entitled to legal representation but not at government expense. U.S. authorities give migrants who are returned to Mexico a list of no-cost legal providers in the U.S. but some migrants told the judge that calls went unanswered or they were told that services were unavailable from Mexico. A 48-year-old man said under the judge's questioning that he had headaches and throat ailments. The judge noted that migrants with medical issues are exempt from waiting in Mexico and ordered a medical exam. ___ Associated Press writer Maria Verza in Mexico City contributed to this report.
  • Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he would suspend the federal death penalty if elected president. Hickenlooper, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, made the pledge during a CNN town hall Wednesday night. As governor, Hickenlooper refused to execute a quadruple-murderer. He said he was opposed to the death penalty and wouldn't carry it out. Asked if he would do the same for the 63 people currently on federal death row, Hickenlooper said yes. He added that while he hasn't studied all the cases, 'I'd have to be suspicious just to start.' He also noted that minorities are more likely to be sentenced to death. Other Democratic presidential aspirants, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, have also called for suspending the death penalty.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced an immediate ban on all assault weapons, and “military-style semi-automatic weapons,” like the weapons used in last Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques. >> Read more trending news Ardern announced the ban Thursday and said it would be followed by legislation to be introduced next month. She said the man arrested in the attacks had purchased his weapons legally and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase.” Ardern said a buyback program will be created to pay owners “fair and reasonable compensation” for the soon-to-be outlawed guns. She said that it will cost New Zealand between $100 million and $200 million and the guns would be destroyed according to NPR. Unlicensed gun owners would not be prosecuted for any weapon they turn in.  “Amnesty applies ... we just want the guns back,” Ardern said in a press briefing. “For other dealers, sales should essentially now cease. My expectation is that these weapons will now be returned to your suppliers and never enter into the New Zealand market again,” she said. Ardern did not say what would happen to those who violate the law. >> RELATED: Assault weapon vs. assault rifle: What is the difference? What is an “assault rifle”?  An assault rifle is a rapid-fire, magazine-fed rifle designed for military use. It is a shoulder-fired weapon that allows the shooter to select between semi-automatic (requiring you to pull the trigger for each shot), fully automatic (hold the trigger and the gun continuously fires) or three-shot-burst modes. What is an 'assault weapon?' Technically, there is no such thing. What’s called an assault weapon (or sometimes an assault rifle) in reports on gun violence is a semi-automatic rifle that looks similar to the assault rifles used by the military. An AR-15 rifle, like the ones that have been used in some mass shootings, is an example of this type of weapon. What’s the difference between a semi-automatic and an automatic weapon? An automatic weapon (“assault rifle”) can shoot more than one round when you pull the trigger. A semi-automatic weapon (“assault weapon”) does not.  Automatic weapons have not been used in recent mass shootings. In the shootings in Orlando, Florida; Newtown, Connecticut, and San Bernardino, California, semi-automatic weapons, were the weapons used. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A Jackson County, Georgia, woman helped reunite a family with a book of baby photos she found scattered on the streets of downtown Commerce.  >> Read more trending news Mystyn Wilson says she was walking down Elm Street in front of the Lanier Tech campus when she found several photos on the ground along several blocks and a photo album on the other side of the road.  Wilson took the album home in hopes of finding the family it belongs to. She posted images of the book on Facebook and reached out to WSB-TV for help.  '(The) baby is probably an adult now, I just know someone is going to really be missing this book,' Wilson wrote. 'I've lost things like this myself and it really eats me up inside... So I'm really hoping to get his back to whomever it belongs to.' The photos show a smiling family with several generations holding an infant.  Shortly after WSBTV.com posted the story on their Facebook page, Wilson found the owners of the photos.  Hallie McElvery, of Commerce, commented on the post, saying: 'A box flew open on the trailer while my husband was moving.' McElvery then posted the good news on her Facebook page that the pictures has been found. The two will meet Thursday where Wilson will return the photos to McElvery.
  • A new study on the effects of medication prescribed to those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder suggests that teens and young people could face an increased risk of psychosis with certain drugs. >> Read more trending news   The study, conducted by researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, looked at teens and young people who had recently begun taking two classes of drugs – amphetamines (marketed as Adderall and Vyvanse) and methylphenidates (marketed as Ritalin or Concerta) – used to treat ADHD. The study showed that while the chance of developing psychosis – a condition that affects the mind and causes a person to lose contact with reality – is low, there is an increased risk of developing the disorder in patients taking the amphetamines. “The findings are concerning because the use of amphetamines in adolescents and young adults has more than tripled in recent years. More and more patients are being treated with these medications,” said Dr. Lauren V. Moran, lead author of the paper. “There is not a lot of research comparing the safety profiles of amphetamines and methylphenidate, despite increasing use of these medications,” Moran said. Moran said that clinicians have long observed “patients without previous psychiatric history” developing psychosis “in the setting of stimulant use.” The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, looked at insurance claims on more than 220,000 ADHD patients between the ages of 13 and 25 years old who had started taking amphetamines or methylphenidate between Jan. 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2015. According to the study, researchers found that one out of every 486 patients started on an amphetamine developed psychosis that required treatment with antipsychotic medication. One in 1,046 patients started on methylphenidate developed psychosis. The study showed that the development of psychosis appeared in people who had recently begun taking the amphetamines. Moran stressed that “people who have been on a drug like Adderall for a long time, who are taking the drug as prescribed and are tolerating it well, are not likely to experience this problem (psychosis).” The paper, “Psychosis with Amphetamine or Methylphenidate in Attention Deficit Disorder,” is set to be published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. 
  • Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand says she's 'open to improving' a Senate bill that would limit opioid prescriptions for acute pain. The senator from New York was addressing criticism she received last week when she tweeted that she and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado had introduced the bill 'because no one needs a month's supply for a wisdom tooth extraction.' Backlash was swift, with many commenters saying medical decisions should be left to doctors, not politicians. In a Medium post Wednesday, Gillibrand says she has heard concerns that the bill could 'exacerbate disparities and biases in our health care system.' She says her goal is to tackle the 'over-prescription of these highly addictive drugs' and she is willing to listen to ideas on how to make the legislation better.
  • An independent, non-profit military watchdog group says the F-35 stealth fighter, even after 17 years of testing and billions of dollars spent on development, is STILL not ready for combat. Dan Grazier with the group Project on Government Oversight says that there have been so many cracks in the jets during durability testing and so many modifications made, they might only last about 25-percent of their supposed life expectancy. If that's not bad enough, he says the most combat-critical high-tech systems on the plane continue to malfunction and are vulnerable to hackers. Pentagon officials dispute Grazier's report. They still hope the F-35 can replace most of America's roughly 3,000 fighter jets, at a cost of $1-trillion. You can read more about the story here.
  • Do you like your tea served piping hot? Beware— you could be doubling your cancer risk, according to a new report.  >> Read more trending news  Researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran recently conducted a study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, to determine the association between drinking hot tea and esophageal cancer. To do so, they examined more than 50,000 people, aged 40-75, in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran. They followed the participants for 10 years, tracking the temperature of the tea they drank as well as their overall health. During the follow-up, 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were identified.  Furthermore, they found those who drank tea warmer than 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit and consumed more than 700 ml of tea daily were 90 percent more likely to develop esophageal cancer, compared to those who drank less tea and at temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius. >> Related: Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says “Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking,” lead author Farhad Islam said in a statement. Tea is rarely consumed at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius in the United States or Europe. However, in places like Iran, Russia, Turkey and South America, it’s more common to serve tea at that temperature or hotter, Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the USA, told CNN last year. The scientists do not know why drinking hot tea is linked with esophageal cancer, but this isn’t the first study of its kind.  A 2018 study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, found that consuming “hot” or “burning hot” tea is linked with a two- to five-fold rise in esophageal cancer, but only among individuals who also smoke or drink alcohol. >> Related: Black tea helps you lose weight with gut bacteria, study says The analysts from that evaluation believe hot beverages may damage the tissue lining the esophagus, which could increase the risk of cancer from other factors, such as repeated irritation of the esophagus and the formation of inflammatory compounds.
  • Boeing's grounded airliners are likely to be parked longer now that European and Canadian regulators plan to conduct their own reviews of changes the company is making after two of the jets crashed. The Europeans and Canadians want to do more than simply take the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's word that alterations to a key flight-control system will make the 737 Max safer. Those reviews scramble an ambitious schedule set by Boeing and could undercut the FAA's reputation around the world. Boeing hopes by Monday to finish an update to software that can automatically point the nose of the plane sharply downward in some circumstances to avoid an aerodynamic stall, according to two people briefed on FAA presentations to congressional committees. The FAA expects to certify Boeing's modifications and plans for pilot training in April or May, one of the people said. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the briefings. But there are clear doubts about meeting that timetable. Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1 and suspend some routes that it flew with the plane before it was grounded around the world last week. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, which are slightly less dependent on the Max than Air Canada, are juggling their fleets to fill in for grounded planes, but those carriers have still canceled some flights. By international agreement, planes must be certified in the country where they are built. Regulators around the world have almost always accepted that country's decision. As a result, European airlines have flown Boeing jets with little independent review by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and U.S. airlines operate Airbus jets without a separate, lengthy certification process by the FAA. That practice is being frayed, however, in the face of growing questions about the FAA's certification of the Max. Critics question whether the agency relied too much on Boeing to vouch for critical safety matters and whether it understood the significance of a new automated flight-control system on the Max. The FAA let the Boeing Max keep flying after preliminary findings from the Oct. 29 crash of a Lion Air Max 8 in Indonesia pointed to flight-control problems linked to the failure of a sensor. Boeing went to work on upgrading the software to, among other things, rely on more than one sensor and limit the system's power to point the plane's nose down without direction from the pilots. The FAA's assurance that the plane was still safe to fly was good enough for the rest of the world until an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crashed. Satellite data suggests both planes had similar, erratic flight paths before crashing minutes after takeoff. Patrick Ky, the executive director of the European regulator, said his agency will look 'very deeply, very closely' at the changes Boeing and the FAA suggest to fix the plane. 'I can guarantee to you that on our side we will not allow the aircraft to fly if we have not found acceptable answers to all our questions, whatever the FAA does,' he said. The message was the same from Canada's Transport minister, Marc Garneau. 'When that software change is ready, which is a number of weeks, we will in Canada — even if it is certified by the FAA — we will do our own certification,' he said. Other countries could also conduct their own analysis of how much pilot training should be required on the Max. Ky noted that one Lion Air crew correctly disabled the plane's malfunctioning flight-control system, but not the crew on the next flight, which crashed. He said pilots under stress might have forgotten details of a bulletin Boeing issued in November that reminded pilots about that procedure. The FAA's handling of issues around the Max jet have damaged its standing among other aviation regulators, said James Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The FAA will have to be more transparent about its investigation, and it should require that pilots train for the Max on flight simulators, Hall said, because 'that is how pilots train today, not on iPads.' John Hansman, an aeronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and chairman of an FAA research and engineering advisory committee, said separate approvals by Canada and the Europeans will reassure the public because those countries are seen as having no vested interest in the plane. 'It's unfortunate because it will probably cause a delay, but it may be the right thing in the long haul,' Hansman said. He expects that the FAA will wait until other regulators finish their reviews before letting the Max fly again. FAA spokesman Greg Martin would not comment on whether the agency's reputation has been hurt by its approval of the Max, the crashes or the agency's initial hesitation to ground the planes after the second crash. Meanwhile, the FAA is getting a new chief. The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump will nominate former Delta Air Lines executive and pilot Stephen Dickson to head the agency. Daniel Elwell has been acting administrator since January 2018. Boeing too is shifting personnel. This week, the company named the chief engineer of its commercial airplanes division to lead the company's role in the investigations into the Oct. 29 crash of the Lion Air jet and the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash. The executive, John Hamilton, has experience in airplane design and regulatory standards. From 2013 until early 2016, Hamilton oversaw the use of Boeing employees to perform some safety-certification work on behalf of the FAA. That program has come under criticism from critics including members of Congress. The Justice Department is investigating the FAA's oversight of Boeing, and a federal grand jury issued a subpoena to someone involved in the plane's development. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao formally directed her agency's inspector general to audit the FAA's handling of that process. Congressional committees are looking into the matter as well. A Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on Max and aviation safety on March 27. The company declined to comment. The Max, the latest and most fuel-efficient version of the half-century-old 737, is Boeing's best-selling plane, with more than 4,600 unfilled orders. ___ Associated Press writers Carlo Piovano in London and Robert Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.
  • News 1023 an AM740 KRMG plans an InDepth Hour Monday focusing on cyber security and Tulsa’s growing role as a leading market for cyber security innovation. An expert from the University of Tulsa is expected to comment on their leadership in the field and the resulting innovations. Be sure to be listening Monday morning at eight for the InDepth Hour on KRMG.
  • An independent, non-profit military watchdog group says the F-35 stealth fighter, even after 17 years of testing and billions of dollars spent on development, is STILL not ready for combat. Dan Grazier with the group Project on Government Oversight says that there have been so many cracks in the jets during durability testing and so many modifications made, they might only last about 25-percent of their supposed life expectancy. If that's not bad enough, he says the most combat-critical high-tech systems on the plane continue to malfunction and are vulnerable to hackers. Pentagon officials dispute Grazier's report. They still hope the F-35 can replace most of America's roughly 3,000 fighter jets, at a cost of $1-trillion. You can read more about the story here.
  • Cincinnati Ave. is closed between 21st and 19th streets after workers say a stormwater drain caused the road to collapse Wednesday afternoon. Repair crews sent a camera down into the manhole to get a better look at the problem. No word yet on the exact cause of the problem of when the road will be reopened. Tune to NEWS102.3 and AM740 KRMG for live traffic reports. 
  • Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor in a California man’s cancer, a jury determined Tuesday in the first phase of a trial that attorneys said could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits. The unanimous verdict by the six-person jury in federal court in San Francisco came in a lawsuit filed against Roundup’s manufacturer, agribusiness giant Monsanto. Edwin Hardeman, 70, was the second plaintiff to go to trial out of thousands around the country who claim the weed killer causes cancer. Monsanto says studies have established that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is safe.  A San Francisco jury in August awarded another man $289 million after determining Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A judge later slashed the award to $78 million, and Monsanto has appealed. Hardeman’s trial is before a different judge and may be more significant. U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria is overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has deemed Hardeman’s case and two others “bellwether trials.”
  • The year’s final supermoon will coincide with the spring equinox, the term used to mark the end of winter.  >> Read more trending news  According to the United States Naval Observatory, the equinox, which occurs in the spring and autumn, is the moment when the center of the sun is directly above the equator. During this vernal equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator, and both the Northern and Southern hemispheres get the same amount of rays; night and day are nearly equal length. The 2019 spring equinox will occur on Wednesday, March 20. Four hours after the arrival of the equinox, we’ll witness the first full moon of spring for the Northern Hemisphere and the first full moon of autumn for the Southern Hemisphere. That moon will also be a supermoon. >> Related: What to know about the spring equinox According to Space.com, the March 20 Worm Moon—a nickname for the first full moon in March—will reach its full phase at 9:43 p.m. It will reach perigee (the closest point in its orbit around Earth) at 3:48 p.m. on March 19. Why is it called a Worm Moon? “At the time of this Moon, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting the return of robins and migrating birds— a true sign of spring,” according to the Farmer’s Almanac. “Roots start to push their way up through the soil, and the Earth experiences a re-birth as it awakens from its winter slumber.” The nickname was first given by Native Americans — the Algonquin tribes in particular — who used lunar phases to track the seasons. What is a supermoon? According to NASA, the moniker supermoon was coined by an astrologer in 1979 and is often used to describe a full moon happening near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth. >> Related: What is a supermoon and how does it affect us? Supermoons may appear as much as 14 percent closer and 30 percent brighter than the moon on an average night. The moon’s average distance from Earth is approximately 238,000 miles. Where are the best places to see the supermoon? Wherever the sky is clear and the moon is visible is an ideal place from which to experience the spectacle.  But if you’re really up to making an adventure out of it, consider heading to a state park or the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp is notorious for being one of the best spots in the world for star gazing and was named a gold-tier “International Dark Sky Park.” You can also make your way to one of the nine best places to see stars around Atlanta. Any of those spots would make great viewing points for a supermoon, too.  Best ways to photograph the supermoon? According to National Geographic, seeing the supermoon near the horizon with buildings, trees or mountains for scale will make the moon appear slightly larger in your photos, even though it isn’t. >> Related: Full snow moon on the way; it’s the largest supermoon of the year “Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself, with no reference to anything,” Bill Ingalls, a senior photographer for NASA, told National Geographic last year. “Instead, think of how to make the image creative—that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.” Other photo tips from National Geographic staff photographers: Shoot with the same exposure you would in daylight on Earth. Don’t leave your camera shutter open too long. This will make the moon appear too bright and you won’t be able to photograph lunar detail. If you’re using your smartphone, use your optical lens only.  If you’re using your smartphone, do not use your digital zoom. This will decrease the quality of your photo. Instead, take the photo and zoom or crop later. Use a tripod or a solid surface to keep your phone stabilized. Use your fingers to adjust the light balance and capture the lunar detail. More from National Geographic.

Washington Insider

  • Using his veto pen for the first time in just over two years in office, President Donald Trump on Friday rejected a special resolution from Congress which would block his national emergency declaration to shift money into construction of a border wall, a day after the GOP Senate joined the Democratic House in rebuking the President. 'Congress’s vote to deny the crisis on the southern border is a vote against reality,' President Trump said in the Oval Office. 'It's against reality. It is a tremendous national emergency. It is a tremendous crisis.' The measure now goes back to the House and Senate, where any effort to override the President's veto is far short of the necessary two-thirds super majority. 'On March 26, the House will once again act to protect our Constitution and our democracy from the President’s emergency declaration by holding a vote to override his veto,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the President sternly disagreed. Here's the text of the President's veto message, as sent back to the Congress: To the House of Representatives:   I am returning herewith without my approval H.J. Res. 46, a joint resolution that would terminate the national emergency I declared regarding the crisis on our southern border in Proclamation 9844 on February 15, 2019, pursuant to the National Emergencies Act.  As demonstrated by recent statistics published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and explained in testimony given by the Secretary of Homeland Security on March 6, 2019, before the House Committee on Homeland Security, our porous southern border continues to be a magnet for lawless migration and criminals and has created a border security and humanitarian crisis that endangers every American. Last month alone, CBP apprehended more than 76,000 aliens improperly attempting to enter the United States along the southern border -- the largest monthly total in the last 5 years. In fiscal year 2018, CBP seized more than 820,000 pounds of drugs at our southern border, including 24,000 pounds of cocaine, 64,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 5,000 pounds of heroin, and 1,800 pounds of fentanyl. In fiscal years 2017 and 2018, immigration officers nationwide made 266,000 arrests of aliens previously charged with or convicted of crimes. These crimes included approximately 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings. In other words, aliens coming across our border have injured or killed thousands of people, while drugs flowing through the border have killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.   The current situation requires our frontline border enforcement personnel to vastly increase their humanitarian efforts. Along their dangerous trek to the United States, 1 in 3 migrant women experiences sexual abuse, and 7 in 10 migrants are victims of violence. Fifty migrants per day are referred for emergency medical care, and CBP rescues 4,300 people per year who are in danger and distress. The efforts to address this humanitarian catastrophe draw resources away from enforcing our Nation's immigration laws and protecting the border, and place border security personnel at increased risk.   As troubling as these statistics are, they reveal only part of the reality. The situation at the southern border is rapidly deteriorating because of who is arriving and how they are arriving. For many years, the majority of individuals who arrived illegally were single adults from Mexico. Under our existing laws, we could detain and quickly remove most of these aliens. More recently, however, illegal migrants have organized into caravans that include large numbers of families and unaccompanied children from Central American countries. Last year, for example, a record number of families crossed the border illegally. If the current trend holds, the number of families crossing in fiscal year 2019 will greatly surpass last year's record total. Criminal organizations are taking advantage of these large flows of families and unaccompanied minors to conduct dangerous illegal activity, including human trafficking, drug smuggling, and brutal killings.   Under current laws, court decisions, and resource constraints, the Government cannot detain families or undocumented alien children from Central American countries in significant numbers or quickly deport them. Instead, the Government is forced to release many of them into the interior of the United States, pending lengthy judicial proceedings. Although many fail ever to establish any legal right to remain in this country, they stay nonetheless.   This situation on our border cannot be described as anything other than a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are needed to help confront it.   My highest obligation as President is to protect the Nation and its people. Every day, the crisis on our border is deepening, and with new surges of migrants expected in the coming months, we are straining our border enforcement personnel and resources to the breaking point.   H.J. Res. 46 ignores these realities. It is a dangerous resolution that would undermine United States sovereignty and threaten the lives and safety of countless Americans. It is, therefore, my duty to return it to the House of Representatives without my approval.   DONALD J. TRUMP   THE WHITE HOUSE, March 15, 2019. 
  • Democrats in the U.S. House will try to send an unmistakable message to President Donald Trump on the issue of relations with Russia this week on Capitol Hill, bringing up a series of bills on the House floor dealing with Russia and Vladimir Putin, including a plan which demands the public release of any report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 'This transparency is a fundamental principle necessary to ensure that government remains accountable to the people,' a series of key Democrats said about the resolution on the Mueller inquiry. The Russian legislative blitz comes as Democrats on a series of House committees have stepped up their requests for information from the White House and the Trump Administration on issues related to the Russia investigation and the Mueller probe. So far, Democrats say they aren't getting much in the way of help from the White House on any of their investigative efforts. 'It's like, zero,' said House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). 'We can't get witnesses, they don't want us to talk to witnesses.' Among the Russia-related bills on the schedule this week in the House: + The 'KREMLIN Act,' a bipartisan bill which would require the Director of National Intelligence - already reportedly in hot water with the President for saying that North Korea probably wouldn't give up its nuclear arsenal - to submit to Congress a new round of intelligence assessments on Russia and its leaders. 'The Kremlin’s efforts to sabotage our democracy and those of our allies across Europe are undeniable,' said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), who has sponsored this bill with fellow Intelligence Committee member Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT).  Earlier this year, DNI Dan Coats said of Russia: 'We assess that Moscow will continue pursuing a range of objectives to expand its reach, including undermining the US-led liberal international order, dividing Western political and security institutions, demonstrating Russia’s ability to shape global issues, and bolstering Putin’s domestic legitimacy.' + The Vladimir Putin Transparency Act, a bipartisan bill which again asks the U.S. Intelligence Community to weigh in with evidence about the Russian government, and expressing the sense of Congress 'that the United States should do more to expose the corruption of Vladimir Putin.' 'I am proud to cosponsor this bill which aims to identify Putin and his allies for who they are: nefarious political actors undermining democracies,' said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who teamed up with Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) on this measure. 'Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia,' President Trump tweeted last July, after his controversial summit with Putin in Finland. 'They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!' + A bipartisan bill to block any move by the U.S. Government to recognize the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia and Vladimir Putin. This is another measure meant to put public pressure on the President, who has been somewhat uneven in public statements on his feelings about Russia's move to take Crimea, as well as the ongoing proxy war being supported by Moscow in areas of eastern Ukraine, and how the U.S. should respond - even as his administration has leveled new economic sanctions against Moscow. In November of 2018, the President canceled a scheduled meeting with Putin at the G20 Summit in Argentina, after Russian naval forces seized several Ukrainian ships and their crews. + A bipartisan resolution calling for 'accountability and justice' surrounding the assassination of Russian activist Boris Nemtsov, who was shot and killed in Moscow in 2015. Lawmakers in both parties have urged the Trump Administration to sanction those involved in the murder, as the measure also calls for an international investigation into his death. 'Boris Nemtsov had a vision for a democratic and free Russia. Sadly, that put him right in Putin’s cross hairs,' said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). This not just a House effort, as there is a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). 'Putin's media and surrogates called Boris Nemtsov an 'enemy of the people,'' said Michael McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia under President Obama, and a frequent critic of President Trump. + Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.  While the four previous legislative measures have bipartisan support, the final piece of this 'Russia' week in the U.S. House might create a bit of a tussle on the floor of the House, as Democrats move to put GOP lawmakers on the record about whether they want to make any report from the Special Counsel public.  Under the Special Counsel law, there is no guarantee that the Mueller report will ever see the light of day - the Special Counsel submits a report to the U.S. Attorney General - in this case, William Barr - who is then authorized to summarize that to Congress.  That's different than back during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when independent counsel Ken Starr was able to send Congress volumes and volumes of evidence - knowing that all of it would be made public. In testimony before the Senate earlier this year, Barr did not expressly commit to releasing any report, saying 'my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law. I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision.
  • As President Donald Trump sent Congress on Monday a $4.7 trillion budget proposal for 2020, the estimates of his own budget experts predict that this spending plan will result in four straight years of deficits exceeding $1 trillion, with no budget surplus until the mid-2030's. After a deficit of $779 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, the President's new budget plan forecasts four more years of even higher levels of red ink. 2019 - $1.092 trillion 2020 - $1.101 trillion 2021 - $1.068 trillion 2022 - $1.049 trillion The White House budget document shows the deficit dropping to an estimated $909 billion in 2023. The higher deficit figures come even as the White House projected a growing amount of revenues coming in for Uncle Sam as a result of the 2017 GOP tax cut plan, as officials said the problem is not taxes, but the level of government spending. 'We don't think the tax cuts are going to lead to anything other than economic growth over the next ten years,' a senior White House official told reporters on Monday morning. After revenues were basically flat from 2017 to 2018, the official predicted the feds would see growth of 6 percent in money coming into the Treasury in 2020, as compared to 2019. Part of the President’s 2020 budget plan would make the GOP tax cut permanent for individuals - the business part of that tax package was permanent, but the income tax cuts and other items impacting individual taxpayers end in 2025. Still, for the President - and his chief aides - the big problem is spending, not tax revenues, as the White House said the 2020 budget was a ‘fiscally responsible and pro-American budget.’ While GOP supporters of the President like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) touted today’s budget plan - the declaration that the Trump budget will result in a balanced budget won’t be happening anytime soon. In the next ten years, the 2020 Trump budget estimates that another $7.2 trillion would be added in deficits, pushing the national debt towards the $30 trillion mark. “Under reasonable economic assumptions, we find it would add about $10.5 trillion to the national debt over 10 years,” said the watchdog group, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “It's quite an achievement for the President's budget to have fantastical economic assumptions, massive & unprecedented cuts to domestic discretionary spending, and *still* manage to end up with trillion dollar deficits for the next four years,” tweeted Shaki Akabas, an economic expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.
  • With over $2 trillion added to the federal debt since he took office just over two years ago, President Donald Trump will deliver a spending plan to the Congress on Monday which is certain to spur a sharp debate with Democrats over proposed cuts in domestic spending programs, but won't come close to producing a balanced budget for more than a decade. 'It is time for Congress to join the president in his commitment to cutting spending, reducing bloated deficits, and getting our national debt under control. America’s future generations are depending on them,' said Russ Vought, the acting chief of the White House budget office. But, so far, President Trump's time in office has seen the growth in the deficit accelerate, from $584 billion in President Obama's last full year in office in 2016, to $779 billion in 2018. As of January, the deficit in 2019 was running 77 percent higher than a year ago, as even White House budget estimates have forecast a yearly deficit over $1 trillion in coming years. Here's some of what to look for in Monday's budget submission, which is titled, 'A Budget for a Better America.' 1. Domestic spending cuts, back door increase for defense. With no deal as yet to avoid budget caps from a 2011 deficit law, spending in 2020 would be limited on defense to $576 billion, and $542 billion for domestic programs. But the President wants much more for the military, so the Trump Administration will reportedly propose spending a massive $174 billion for the 'Overseas Contingency Operations' fund - an increase of $106 billion - for a total military budget of $750 billion. Budget watchdog groups say the idea is a big, fat budgetary gimmick, nothing but a slush fund for the Pentagon. 2. Trump to request $8.6 billion for the border wall. With no confirmed details yet on how the President will shift around some $6.6 billion in the Pentagon budget to fund construction of his border wall, Mr. Trump will reportedly ask Congress to approve $8.6 billion for the wall in 2020. Democrats had a simple reaction on Sunday. 'No,' said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). 'No,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). 'Dead on arrival,' said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). Even after a 35 day partial government shutdown earlier this year, the President received $1.375 billion for barriers - but not a wall, and there seems to be little chance that dynamic will change for Democrats in the 2020 budget debate. 'Congress refused to fund his wall,' Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted on Sunday. 'The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again.' 3. Goal for a balanced budget would be 2035. Even if President Trump serves two terms in office, his own White House doesn't forecast anything close to a balanced budget. The last official budget estimates from the White House in July of 2018 - which will be updated with this new budget proposal - predicted the deficit would peak over $1 trillion for three years, and then finally get below $500 billion by 2027, adding almost $8 trillion in deficts along the way. More conservative Republicans in the House aren't worried by those details, as they say the President has shown 'fiscally conservative leadership,' even though the debt has already increased by more than $2 trillion during his two plus years in office. 4. Not all the details, and already behind schedule. President Trump was supposed to have sent this budget to Congress by the first Monday in February - but today will only bring the basic highlights, not all the nitty gritty details of the proposal. Part of the reason is that the 35 day partial government shutdown delayed a lot of work in government agencies. All of the spending work is supposed to be done by Congress each year by September 30 - but that's only happened four times since the budget process was reformed in 1974. Congress has six and a half months until the deadline - it's hard to see how lawmakers avoid more stop gap funding plans - and maybe another shutdown as well. 5. A new dynamic with divided control of Congress. In the first two years of the Trump Presidency, Republicans in the House and Senate were in charge - but now, Democrats will have first crack at the President's budget, and they are certain to take a much different road. In a sense, that's a good thing for Mr. Trump, giving him the chance to battle it out with Democrats more clearly on budget priorities. But it also amplifies the chance for a government shutdown on October 1. Speaker Pelosi likes to say that a budget is a 'statement of values.' After the Trump budget gets delivered to Congress, the next move will be up to Democrats in the House, to forge their on budget outline for 2020. There are political pitfalls ahead for both sides.
  • The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee took the unusual step Friday of publicly releasing a 268 page interview transcript with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, confirming reports that Ohr forwarded material to the FBI from his wife, and that former British Intelligence agent Christopher Steele warned during the 2016 campaign that Russian intelligence believed they had President Donald Trump 'over a barrel.'  'He (Steele) told me that the former head of - or he had information that the former head of the Russian foreign intelligence service had said that they had Trump over a barrel,' said Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who funneled information from Steele to FBI investigators. 'My interpretation is that that meant that, if true, the Russian Government had some kind of compromising material on Donald Trump,' Ohr told lawmakers in the August 28, 2018 deposition, as he defended the quality of information Steele had provided the U.S. Government in the past. 'Chris Steele has, for a long time, been very concerned about Russian crime and corruption and what he sees as Russian malign acts around the world, in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere,' Ohr told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). 'And if he had information that he believed showed that the Russian Government was acting in a hostile way to the United States, he wanted to get that information to me.' In the deposition, Ohr acknowledged that he forwarded information not only from Steele to the FBI - but also from his wife, Nellie Ohr, who worked at Fusion GPS, the company which had hired Steele to do intelligence work on President Trump from Europe. Ohr said he realized during 2016 that his wife was researching 'some of the same people that I had heard about from Chris Steele,' and that she provided her husband with a thumb drive of information, which he then gave to FBI investigators.  Republicans found the chain of events described by Ohr to be a bit difficult to swallow. 'I'm trying to envision this cold start to a conversation with 'Here, honey, here's a thumb drive,'' said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) at one point. Ohr, an expert in Russian organized crime, said he never looked at any of the information. 'I didn't want to plug it into my machine at work,' Ohr testified. 'I just gave it to the FBI.' The transcript of the deposition was released by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) on Friday; Collins said he took the unilateral action because he was frustrated that it was taking so long for the Trump Justice Department to make the transcript public. 'After many months, and little progress, our patience grows thin,' Collins said in a speech on the House floor on Friday morning. 'I intend to make other transcripts public soon,' Collins said, referring to interviews done with a variety of Justice Department and FBI figures when Republicans were in charge of the House in 2018. Collins said the transcripts were being held back because of questions over redactions, as he accused the Trump Justice Department of slow walking requests to make the testimony public. In 2018, House Republicans conducted a series of private interviews with different figures involved in the Russia investigation - not focusing on possible wrongdoing involving the Trump campaign - but instead looking at Justice Department and FBI officials, and how they came to start and conduct the initial investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.  Other than a two day closed door interview with former FBI Director James Comey - who requested the release of his closed door testimony - none of the other private transcripts had been released publicly until Collins did so on Friday. While Ohr's testimony was in private, some highlights were immediately leaked to a series of news organizations back in August of 2018. 'AP sources: Lawyer was told Russia had 'Trump over a barrel,'' the Associated Press reported. 'DOJ official told Russia had Trump 'over a barrel,'' was the CNN headline at the time. The GOP inquiries for Ohr repeatedly sought to raise questions about a broader conspiracy of actions by officials at the Justice Department, as Republicans tried to paint a picture of a group of government officials doing everything they could to investigate Mr. Trump and his allies. Republicans also found it hard to believe that Ohr's wife got a job from Fusion GPS without his involvement. 'I don't remember who made the contact, whether she spoke with Glenn Simpson directly or whether there was another party or someone else involved. I just know it wasn't me,' Ohr said of his wife's job. “So when she came home and said, 'Honey, I got a job with Glenn Simpson,' what did you say?” asked Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) at one point. In the interview, Ohr was asked about an email from Steele in which Steele wanted to talk about 'our favorite business tycoon’ - which GOP lawmakers seemed to believe was a certain U.S. candidate. But Ohr repeatedly said that description wasn't a reference to President Trump, but rather to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was owed money by Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Republicans again and again pressed Ohr about how he handled information from Steele, and why he did not inform his bosses that he was handing over that material to the FBI. 'I have received information from different people about organized crime over the years, and in each case I've provided it to the FBI,' Ohr explained. Ohr said he did not have a personal relationship with Glenn Simpson, who had hired Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS, but that they had met several times through the years. Ohr defended his contacts with Steele, even after the FBI had terminated their relationship with the former British agent. “When I got a call from Chris Steele and he provided information, if it seemed like it was significant, I would provide it to the FBI,” Ohr said.