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White House warns Syria may be readying chemical attack

White House warns Syria may be readying chemical attackThe White House warned strongman Bashar Assad that his regime would pay heavily for the slaughter of civilians.



Hillary Clinton: Reading ?Harry Potter? builds compassion for immigrants, refugees

Hillary Clinton: Reading ?Harry Potter? builds compassion for immigrants, refugeesFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited a study that found reading ?Harry Potter? helped to build compassion for marginalized groups in children.



Three Chicago officers charged over alleged 'cover up' of shooting of 17-year-old black man Laquan McDonald

Three Chicago officers charged over alleged 'cover up' of shooting of 17-year-old black man Laquan McDonaldThree current and former Chicago police officers were indicted on Tuesday on felony charges for conspiring to cover up the shooting death of a black teenager by a white officer, prosecutors said. The indictments stem from a 2014 incident in which Laquan McDonald, 17, was shot to death. A video of the shooting, released in 2015, sparked days of protests and thrust Chicago into a national debate over the use of excessive force by police against minorities.



New security measures (and massive lines) announced for all flights to the US

New security measures (and massive lines) announced for all flights to the US

180 airlines flying over 300,000 people a day into the US will have to comply with new "enhanced security measures" for electronic devices, the Department for Homeland Security announced on Wednesday.

The new security measures, which have not been described in detail, will need to be implemented at speed by the airlines. Passengers flying on any airline that does not implement the new security measures will not be able to bring anything bigger than a cellphone under the new regulations.

The new measures seem to be the ultimate evolution of a laptop ban that the US announced back in March, which affected passengers on most airlines flying from the Middle East. The new security measures will affect carry-on and checked luggage, the DHS confirmed, but should now allow those airlines affected by the laptop ban to allow passengers to carry laptops on once again, provided the new security measures are implemented.

Those security measures have not been specified, but the DHS says that it will be a mixture of visible and behind-the-scenes changes. Among the changes is likely to be deeper scrutiny of individual passengers, as well as more detailed searches of electronic devices.

The DHS said that passengers "may want to prepare for a bit more extensive screening process," although an official added that "intensive doesn't always mean slower."

Logical additional screening methods could include routine swabs of electronic devices to look for explosive residue -- something that's already done on a case-by-case basis -- as well as requiring passengers in some cases to power up laptops and demonstrate that they're working.

According to reporting from multiple news outlets, Israeli intelligence idenitified an ISIS plot to use a laptop bomb to attack an airliner several months ago. That intelligence was behind the laptop ban in March. The source of that intelligence is also reported to have been leaked to Russia by President Trump during a White House meeting.



China's verdant 'forest city' will fight pollution with a million plants

China's verdant 'forest city' will fight pollution with a million plantsIf tree-covered skyscrapers act like enormous air filters, this cluster of buildings will be a clean air oasis. China has broken ground on a "forest city" in the southern city of Liuzhou. The development, which will span two-thirds of a mile along the Liujiang River, involves blanketing offices, apartments, hotels, and schools with more than a million plants and about 40,000 trees. SEE ALSO: How drones are helping to plant trees The verdant towers will help soak up urban air pollution, produce clean oxygen, and boost local biodiversity. The greenery also provides shade on sunny days and acts as an insulating blanket during winter, allowing tenants to use less heating and electricity. Liuzhou Forest City will span 175 hectares, or 0.67 miles, along the Liujiang River.Image: stefano boeri architettiIf the concept sounds familiar, that's because these buildings are the work of Stefano Boeri Architetti, the same architecture firm behind the two "vertical forest" buildings planned for Nanjing in eastern China.  Liuzhou city officials commissioned the Italian company to build the development, which will host about 30,000 people and be connected to the main Liuzhou city ? population 3.8 million ? via a fast-rail line used by electric cars. The forest city, now under construction, is expected to be completed by 2020, the Milan-based architects confirmed by email. 'Vertical forest' buildings in the Liuzhou development.Image: stefano boeri architettiThe development is a flashy but tiny effort to combat the dangerous smog and toxic air pollution that's choking China's industrialized cities. It comes as China is building more wind and solar power than any country in the world to slash emissions from coal plants, factories, and vehicles, and to combat climate change. Stefano Boeri's firm, which recently completed two verdant towers in Milan, is planning to expand into other smoggy cities, including China's Shijiazhuang, Guizhou, Shanghai, and Chongqing. In the Liuzhou Forest City, buildings, parks, and gardens will absorb almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of fine dust pollutants per year, while producing about 900 tons of oxygen, the architects said in a press release.  By comparison, the two green towers in Nanjing will absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide and produce 0.06 tons of oxygen.  An electric railway will link the 'forest city' to the main Liuzhou city.Image: stefano boeri architettiBeyond sucking up toxic air, the urban greenery is also expected to stifle noise pollution and support biodiversity by providing a habitat for the local birds, insects, and small animals that inhabit Liuzhou. The project will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, plus two schools and a hospital. Along with plants, the buildings will also feature rooftop solar panels to produce clean electricity and use geothermal energy systems for interior air-conditioning. Stefano Boeri Architetti said the Liuzhou Forest City represents its broader effort to design a "new generation" of architecture and urban environments to address climate change. WATCH: China's big, beautiful, green 'vertical forests' will suck up toxic smog



How To Protect Yourself Against Petya Ransomware

How To Protect Yourself Against Petya RansomwareA ransomware attack known as Petya has hit computer systems around the world. Here's how to protect yourself from the attack.



Chinese passenger chucks coins into plane's engine for luck

Chinese passenger chucks coins into plane's engine for luckA superstitious passenger delayed a flight from Shanghai for several hours Tuesday after throwing coins at the plane's engine for good luck, Chinese officials said. The elderly woman was detained by police at Shanghai Pudong International Airport following the bizarre incident, forcing nearly 150 passengers to be evacuated from the plane bound for Guangzhou in southern China. The 80-year-old threw nine coins at an engine of China Southern Airlines flight CZ380 as she was boarding on the tarmac.



Obama on temple sojourn during Indonesia holiday

Obama on temple sojourn during Indonesia holidayBarack Obama took his wife and daughters to the ancient Borobudur temple on Java on Wednesday on a family vacation to Indonesia, where the former US president spent part of his childhood. The Obamas arrived in the city of Yogyakarta in central Java and headed straight to explore the Borobudur, an ancient Buddhist temple built in the 8th and 9th centuries. "Obama is fascinated by Borobudur, and he remembers that he has seen this temple when he was a child," said Edy Setijono, head of the temple management complex, who accompanied the family at the site.



Man with Super Smiley Mugshot Allegedly Threatened to Kill Lawmaker on Facebook: Cops

Man with Super Smiley Mugshot Allegedly Threatened to Kill Lawmaker on Facebook: CopsCops say Steve St. Felix threatened Republican State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz.



Can Democratic pediatrician Mai-Khanh Tran unseat one of the most powerful House Republicans in 2018?

Can Democratic pediatrician Mai-Khanh Tran unseat one of the most powerful House Republicans in 2018?In many ways, Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran isn?t all that different from millions of other Democrats who have been dismayed or depressed or indignant since Donald Trump was elected president. On election night, Tran watched in shock as the returns rolled in. The next morning, she wept at work ? Tran is a pediatrician ? with her colleagues.