Macron and Le Pen to face off in French presidential runoff vote, May 7

Early projections in France's presidential elections today show that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron will now face off in a runoff election. Macron came in first, and Le Pen second, in Sunday's first round of voting. Moscow won't be happy if Le Pen loses the next round of voting for the French presidency, now slated to take place on May 7.

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Obama to end silence with first post-presidency speaking appearance in Chicago

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been enjoying an extended post-presidency vacation around the world, but that's about to end. Barack Obama is slated to break his silence in Chicago on Monday, April 24. If you're hoping he will rip into Donald Trump, we've got sad news for you.

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American Airlines employee appears to hit woman with baby stroller, challenges passenger to 'hit me'

Et tu, American Airlines?

Just weeks after a shocking video surfaced of a United Airlines passenger being violently dragged off a flight for refusing to give up his seat, a new video shows an intense confrontation between American Airlines employees and passengers, including a woman holding a baby stroller.

Surain Adyanthaya is credited with capturing the video, and says it happened on American Airlines flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas.

The video was posted to r/dallas, and started to go viral even before the flight landed at DFW.

The original Reddit poster says he was told it started over how a flight attendant dealt with a young mother who was trying to store a stroller in an overhead bin.

Jalopnik watched it, so you don't have to:

The video starts with the woman already crying at the front of the airplane, holding a child in her arms and asking for her stroller back. You can hear another upset passenger say he’s “not going to sit here and watch this...” before making his way to the front of the plane to confront the flight attendants and ask for the name of the employee that allegedly hit the crying woman.

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Trump teases “massive” tax cut, “big announcement,” bigger than “any tax cut ever“

Former reality television star Donald J. Trump promised late on Friday to reveal plans for a “massive” tax cut for Americans next week. “Tax reform is way too complicated,” he added. Seriously.

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Astronaut says flight to Space Station felt like “burrito of awesomeness smothered in awesome sauce“

"It’s so beautiful," U.S. astronaut Jack Fischer described today's trip to the ISS to his wife. The experience, he said, was "a burrito of awesomeness smothered in awesome sauce."

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Ireland and England’s ‘best’ teas, reviewed by an American

Barry's is Ireland's finest cheap black tea in a bag. Folks seems awful fond of PG Tips and someone brought me a box. Read the rest

Putin-linked thinktank wrote plan to swing 2016 U.S. election in Trump's favor

A Russian thinktank controlled by Vladimir Putin's government crafted a written plan “to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system,” reports Reuters, citing three current and four former U.S. officials.

Snip:

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

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Fox News dumps Bill O'Reilly. He is officially out.

Boom.

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North Korea 'bombs' U.S. in birthday video for founder Kim Il Sung

North Korea put on a musical spectacle to honor the birthday of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung, ending with a video in which missiles rain down on the United States and burst into flames. The audience and the current leader Kim Jong Un appeared to love it.

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Sassy Trump Remembers Cake He Ate While Bombing Iraq Or Syria or Something

God Bless America, God Bless Sassy Trump, and God Bless Peter Serafinowicz.

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Baidu to launch self-driving car technology project 'Apollo' in July

The Chinese tech firm Baidu said Tuesday it will launch a self-driving car technology in July. A first release will involve a restricted environment, but the company plans to gradually introduce “fully autonomous driving capabilities on highways and open city roads by 2020,” Reuters reports.

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Fox News to cut ties with Bill O’Reilly

The Rupert Murdoch and ‎News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal reports Fox News “is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly,” and a final decision on his “fate could come as early as the next several days.”

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A bowtie sure makes my cat look suave

A break-away bowtie cat collar will add even more saunter to your cat.

My daughter decided that our cat Heart needed a bowtie collar. He looks pretty slick.

There are an assortment here, via Amazon. Make sure you find a break-away collar, so your cat doesn't get stuck on something, fatally. Read the rest

I wonder if my house sitter found the 'Snakes in a Can' yet

Whenever I leave town I put the can on my kitchen counter.

Loftus Three Snakes in a Can - King Deluxe Mixed Nuts Prank via Amazon Read the rest

Breathtaking space film on Cassini's final months exploring Saturn

NASA's JPL is counting down the days to the scheduled end of Cassini's mission in September. Erik Wernquist created this awe-inspiring overview of Cassini's final months of existence.

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U.S. drops 'mother of all bombs' on Afghanistan, largest non-nuclear bomb in arsenal

CNN is reporting that President Trump is now implementing the “bomb the shit out of them” portion of his campaign promises.

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Betsy DeVos ends ban on crooked loan-collectors in the student debt biz

Education secretary (and Ponzi-scheme billionaire heiress, anti-public-education crusader, and sister of notorious war criminal Eric Prince) Betsy DeVos just killed the recent Department of Education/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines that banned dirty bill-collectors from going after people with delinquent student bans.

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