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Friday, November 24, 2017

US backtracks on decision to close Palestinian office in DC

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The Trump administration backtracked Friday on its decision to order the Palestinians’ office in Washington to close, instead saying it would merely impose limitations on the office that it expected would be lifted after 90 days.

Last week, U.S. officials said the Palestine Liberation Organization mission couldn’t stay open because the Palestinians had violated a provision in U.S. law requiring the office to close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis. The move triggered a major rift in U.S.-Palestinian relations that threatened to scuttle President Donald Trump’s ambitious effort to broker Mideast peace before it ever got off the ground.

Yet the United States delayed shuttering the office for a week while saying it was working out the details with the Palestinians, before abruptly reversing course late Friday, as many Americans were enjoying a long Thanksgiving Day weekend. State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said the U.S. had “advised the PLO Office to limit its activities to those related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Vasquez said even those restrictions will be lifted after 90 days if the U.S. determines the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious peace talks. The White House, in an effort led by Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been preparing a comprehensive peace plan to present to both sides in the coming months.

“We therefore are optimistic that at the end of this 90-day period, the political process may be sufficiently advanced that the president will be in a position to allow the PLO office to resume full operations,” Vasquez said.

The reversal marked a serious departure from the administration’s interpretation of the law only a week earlier. Officials had said then that, one way or another, the office had to close because Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a U.N. speech in September, had called on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis. That same law, though, says that the president can let the office re-open after 90 days despite an ICC push if serious Israeli-Palestinian talks are underway.

Asked how the Trump administration explains its new interpretation of about what must happen if the Palestinians call for an ICC investigation, Vasquez said: “These actions are consistent with the president’s authorities to conduct the foreign relations of the United States.”

There were no indications that the Trump administration had initially moved to close the office as part of a premeditated strategy to strengthen its hand in eventual peace talks. Instead, officials explained the move by saying Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a strict interpretation of the law, determined that Abbas’ speech had crossed the legal line.

The chaos that ensued after the announcement, with the U.S. unable for several days to explain if the office was truly closing and when, indicated it had caught much of the government off-guard.

Still, the move led the Palestinians to issue an angry response last weekend threatening to suspend all communication with the U.S. Additionally, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused the U.S. of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal.”

Vasquez said the original position had never been intended to create leverage or impose pressure. The State Department said that the administration is actively working to pursue lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The requirement about the mission closing stems from a little-noticed provision in U.S. law that says the U.S. cannot allow the Palestinians to have a Washington office if they back the international court’s move to investigate or prosecute Israeli nationals for alleged crimes against Palestinians.

Abbas said at the United Nations in September that the Palestinians had “called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people.”

The PLO is the group that formally represents all Palestinians. Although the U.S. does not recognize Palestinian statehood, the PLO maintains a “general delegation” office in Washington that facilitates Palestinian officials’ interactions with the U.S. government.

The United States allowed the PLO to open a mission in Washington in 1994. That required President Bill Clinton to waive a law that said the Palestinians couldn’t have an office. In 2011, under the Obama administration, the U.S. started letting the Palestinians fly their flag over the office, an upgrade to the status of their mission that the Palestinians hailed as historic.

Israel opposes any Palestinian membership in U.N.-related organizations until a peace deal has been reached.

The Israelis and Palestinians are not engaged in active, direct negotiations. But Trump’s team, led by Kushner, is working to broker a deal aimed at settling the intractable conflict.

The Trump administration has not disclosed details about its effort to achieve an agreement that ostensibly would grant the Palestinians an independent state in exchange for an end to its conflict with the Israelis. Kushner and other top Trump aides have been shuttling to the region to meet with Palestinians, Israelis and officials from Arab nations.

The Palestinians, publicly supportive of the U.S. effort, are nonetheless skeptical because Trump’s close ties to Israel suggest whatever deal he proposes might be unfavorable to them.

Search for missing Argentine submarine will continue, country's president says

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The search for the missing Argentine submarine lost in the South Atlantic will continue on, the country’s president said on Friday, nine days after it first disappeared on Nov. 15.

“The disappearance and current search of the ARA San Juan submarine has touched all Argentines,” President Mauricio Macri said while at the navy’s headquarters in Buenos Aires. “It’s a difficult moment for all, but obviously, especially for the families of the 44 crew members.”

2 SAILORS DIDN’T BOARD MISSING ARGENTINA SUBMARINE AT THE LAST MINUTE

Argentine President Mauricio Macri, pauses as he gives a statement, flanked by Defense Minister Oscar Aguad, left, and Chief of the General Staff of the Navy Marcelo Eduardo Hipolito Srur at the navy headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Macri said the international search for a submarine carrying 44 crew members that has been lost in the South Atlantic since Nov. 15 will continue and that the sub's disappearance will be investigated. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Argentine President Mauricio Macri, pauses as he gives a statement, flanked by Defense Minister Oscar Aguad, left, and Chief of the General Staff of the Navy Marcelo Eduardo Hipolito Srur at the navy headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Macri said the international search for a submarine carrying 44 crew members that has been lost in the South Atlantic since Nov. 15 will continue and that the sub’s disappearance will be investigated.  (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

“I’m here to guarantee you that we will carry on with the search, especially now that we have the support of all the international community,” Macri said.

He also added that a review of the recently renovated sub’s disappearance will be conducted.

“This demands a serious, deep investigation,” Macri said. “We need to understand how a submarine that had undergone a midlife refit, and that was in perfect conditions to sail, suffered this explosion.

The Argentine navy said Thursday that an explosion occurred near the time and place where the submarine went missing. Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said at a news conference that the relatives of the crew had been informed and the search would continue until there was full certainty about the fate of the vessel.

ARGENTINA SAYS SOUND DETECTED IN SEARCH FOR MISSING SUBMARINE IS CONSISTENT WITH NON-NUCLEAR EXPLOSION

More than a dozen airplanes and ships have been participating in the multinational search across an area of some 185,000 square miles, roughly the size of Spain.

The Argentine navy said Friday that Russia is sending an Antonov transport aircraft, and a ship in the southern Patagonian port of Comodoro Rivadavia is being adapted to carry a U.S. Navy submarine rescue chamber. They will focus the search efforts on a smaller area where the explosion was recorded.

In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 photo provided by Brazil's Air Force, Brazilian military aid in the search for Argentina's missing submarine as they fly on a mission over the South Atlantic, after leaving a base in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. Argentina’s president said Friday that an international search will continue for a submarine carrying 44 crew members that has been lost in the South Atlantic for nine days and that the sub’s disappearance will be investigated. (Brazilian Air Force via AP)

In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 photo provided by Brazil’s Air Force, Brazilian military aid in the search for Argentina’s missing submarine as they fly on a mission over the South Atlantic, after leaving a base in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.  (Brazilian Air Force via AP)

The submarine was sailing from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to the coastal city of Mar del Plata. It was originally scheduled to arrive Monday at a navy base there.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Consumer watchdog chief Cordray resigns; he and Trump both name successors

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The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resigned Friday and named his own successor, leading to an open conflict with President Donald Trump — who announced a different person as acting head of the agency later in the day.

That means there are now effectively two acting directors of the CFPB, when there should only be one.

Typically an acting director position would be filled according to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. But Richard Cordray, along with his resignation, elevated Leandra English, who was the agency’s chief of staff, into the deputy director position.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB, English would become acting director. Cordray — an Obama appointee — specifically cited the law when he moved English, a longtime CFPB employee and ally of his, into that position.

Within a few hours, President Donald Trump announced his own acting director of the agency, Mick Mulvaney, who is currently director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney had widely been expected to be Trump’s temporary pick for the bureau until a permanent one could be found.

Mulvaney is a long-time critic of the CFPB, and has wanted the agency’s authority significantly curtailed. So the difference between English and Mulvaney running the agency would be significant.

The person nominated to be director of the CFPB requires confirmation by the Senate, and it could be many weeks or months before the person would be able to step into the role permanently. Cordray’s move was aimed at allowing his favored successor to keep running the agency for as long as possible before a Trump appointee is confirmed by the Senate.

Cordray had announced earlier this month that he would resign by the end of this month. There is wide speculation that Cordray, a Democrat, is resigning in order to run for governor in his home state of Ohio.

The CFPB was created as part of the laws passed following the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. The agency was given a broad mandate to be a watchdog for consumers when they deal with banks and credit card, student loan and mortgage companies, as well as debt collectors and payday lenders. Nearly every American who deals with banks or a credit card company or has a mortgage has been affected by new rules the agency put in place.

Cordray used that mandate aggressively as its first director, which often made him a target for the banking industry’s Washington lobbyists and Congressional Republicans who believed Cordray was overreaching in his role, calling the CFPB a “rogue agency.”

As director, he also was able to extract billions of dollars in settlements from banks, debt collectors and other financial services companies for wrongdoing. When Wells Fargo was found to have opened millions of phony accounts for its customers, the CFPB fined the bank $100 million, the agency’s largest penalty to date.

Spokesman: Arkansas prison inmates take 2 guards hostage

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A prison system spokesman says two correctional officers were held hostage briefly by a pair of inmates at a state prison in central Arkansas.

Spokesman Solomon Graves of the Arkansas Department of Correction says the officers were freed with minor injuries shortly after being taken hostage Friday evening in a housing area at the Maximum Security Unit in Tucker, Arkansas. The prison is 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Little Rock.

Graves says the two guards suffered cuts and bruises. He says the two inmates were taken into custody after “a use of force.” He did not specify what kind of force was used.

It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the hostage situation.

Several violent incidents have occurred at Arkansas prisons in recent months.

Packers optimistic rookie CB Kevin King will play vs. Steelers

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Kevin King has shouldered a heavy load in Green Bay’s secondary. The Packers are hoping he’s ready to handle some more this weekend.

More Packers coverage

The health of the rookie cornerback’s left shoulder will determine how much of a role he’ll play in Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. King, whose issues date to a torn labrum during his freshman year at the University of Washington, was inactive for last week’s loss to Baltimore.

King’s return at Pittsburgh would be huge, since the Steelers’ offense revolves around receiver Antonio Brown, who led the NFL in receptions in 2014 and 2015 and is topping the league again this season.

“He was willing to throw it this week in practice, so that was a big, big change,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said of King’s shoulder. “When he has both his arms, he’s played solid. If he doesn’t throw it, I’m going to pull him out of the game. It’s going to be that simple.”

The Packers also could get back safety Morgan Burnett, who has missed four of the last five games, including the last two games with an injured groin.

“I’ll definitely be out there,” he said. “I’m excited. I’m ready to go. I had a good week of practice. So now just keep making those positive steps forward.”

The Packers are 1-3 without Burnett.

“He’s Mr. Steady for us,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “It’ll be good, hopefully, to get him back. He’s been practicing, and I think feels confident. He brings a lot of confidence to the secondary.”

King, Burnett and outside linebacker Clay Matthews (groin) are questionable for Sunday.

King and Burnett fully participated during Thursday’s practice and would have done so again on Friday had the team practiced, so it appears likely they’ll be back in the lineup.

Matthews and defensive tackle Kenny Clark (ankle) didn’t practice all week. Matthews said he’ll be a game-time decision; Clark is doubtful.

The Packers have decent depth at outside linebacker with starter Nick Perry, veteran Ahmad Brooks, second-year player Kyler Fackrell and rookie Vince Biegel. The situation on the defensive line could be a bigger issue against Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who leads the NFL in rushing. Clark and Mike Daniels had been driving forces behind the Packers’ vastly improved run defense the past three games. Veteran Quinton Dial, second-year player Dean Lowry and rookie Montravius Adams will have to pick up the slack.

“We’ve got good players,” defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said. “I think Montravius has really in the last month made really good improvement. He’s been working his butt off. Quinton is a good football player. Mike is, Dean is. We’ll battle in there. We can’t worry about it.”

Bell and Brown will be double-trouble for a Packers defense that is No. 18 in points allowed. They are on pace to form the third tandem in the Super Bowl era to lead the league in rushing and receiving.

“It’s a lot of offense,” Capers said.

The Packers have injury concerns on offense, too. For the second consecutive week, it appears they’ll be without their top two running backs. Rookie Aaron Jones (knee) is out and Ty Montgomery (ribs) is doubtful.

“Obviously, if he doesn’t practice tomorrow, he won’t be available,” coach Mike McCarthy said Montgomery.

In their place, rookies Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays will have to carry the load. Mays, playing his first snaps on offense vs. Baltimore, fumbled on each of his first two carries.

“I’ve just got to show them that they can count on me,” Mays said. “I know that they were counting on me, and I didn’t step up like I wanted to. This game, I’m going to do a better job of that.”

Center Corey Linsley (back) is questionable, as well, but said he “for sure” would play.

Universities revoke Charlie Rose's journalism awards amid harassment scandal

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Charlie Rose, who was fired this week by CBS News and whose program was cancelled by PBS in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women, had accolades from two universities rescinded Friday.

Panels at both Arizona State University and the University of Kansas met this week and coincidentally came to the same decision on the same day.

Arizona’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication gave Rose an award for journalism excellence in 2015. But the actions reported about Rose were too “egregious” to ignore, according to Dean Christopher Callahan.

“The actions victimized young women much like those who make up the overwhelming majority of Cronkite students — young women who deserve to enter workplaces that reward them for their hard work, intelligence and creativity and where they do not have to fear for their safety or dignity,” Callahan said in a statement.

Callahan said the action was mostly symbolic. But he hoped it would send a message that sexual misconduct would not be tolerated. The award has never been revoked since it was created in 1984. Past recipients include Bob Woodward, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour.

The William Allen White Foundation, which supports journalism education at the University of Kansas, presented Rose an award last spring. The National Citation award has been bestowed on a journalist annually since 1950. Other recipients include Bob Woodward and Gwen Ifill.

After the allegations against Rose surfaced, the foundation’s board of trustees voted to revoke the honor. In a news release, officials said Rose “does not exemplify the ideals of this award.”

Eight women who worked for or wanted to work for Rose told the Washington Post Monday that the veteran newsman groped them, openly walked around nude or said sexually inappropriate things on the job.

The fallout for Rose was swift. After initially suspending him, CBS News fired Rose from its morning show Tuesday. Three women at the network have since come forward with complaints with two saying he grabbed them inappropriately.

PBS, which broadcasts his eponymous interview program, cut ties with Rose.

In a statement earlier this week, Rose apologized for his actions and said he was “deeply embarrassed.”

Pope's place as refugee champion tested in Myanmar

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Pope Francis heads to Myanmar and Bangladesh with the international community excoriating the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as “ethnic cleansing” but his own church resisting the label and defending Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi as the only hope for democracy.

Francis will be walking a diplomatic tightrope during his visit next week, which will include meetings with Suu Kyi, the powerful head of Myanmar’s military and a small group of Rohingya in Bangladesh.

Francis has defined his papacy by frequent denunciations of injustices against refugees. He would be expected to speak out strongly against the Rohingya plight. But he is also Myanmar’s guest and must look out for the well-being of his own tiny flock — just 659,000 Catholics in the majority Buddhist nation of 51 million.

2 Stocks I'd Never Buy, and 1 I'll Consider

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Bargain-chasing investors must take care to separate spring-loaded value stocks from truly troubled businesses. Today, I’m taking a look at three stocks that have fallen at least 20% in 2017, and at least 10% of their shares are still being sold short. As it turns out, only one of these three tickers looks like a solid investment idea today.

Continue Reading Below

The stocks under my microscope are Snap, Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), IMAX Holdings (NYSE: IMAX), and Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR). Read on to see what’s wrong with two of these companies, and why the third one is a superior business.

By the numbers

Metric

Snap

IMAX

Frontier

Market cap

$14.7 billion

$1.6 billion

$0.6 billion

Year-to-date market performance

(48%)

(22%)

(84%)

Short interest

17%

12%

31%

Net profit margin

(463%)

1.8%

(11.5%)

What’s going on here?

You can make a fair argument that all three of these stocks have earned their drastic haircuts this year.

Continue Reading Below

  • Snapchat launched onto the public stock market at an overheated valuation, and it didn’t take long for investors to adjust their expectations downward when the digital media-sharing company started to report lackluster results. The market cap quickly followed suit.
  • Big-screen entertainment specialist IMAX is suffering along with the cinema sector at large. Theater chains are reporting dismal results, as movie lovers are choosing to stay home and wait for Blu-ray or Netflix releases rather than rushing to the movieplex. IMAX is not immune to these changing consumer habits, and its results have been lackluster in 2017.
  • Frontier bet the farm on a $10.5 billion buyout of Verizon Communication‘s landline business in California, Texas, and Florida. That agreement has failed to pay for itself, and large interest expenses on the deal-related debt weigh heavy on the company’s income statements. Frontier has resorted to reverse stock splits and dividend cuts just to stay afloat.

One of these stocks is not like the others

You won’t find me eyeing the “buy” button for Frontier or Snapchat anytime soon. Their troubles are more than skin-deep, and I don’t expect either one of these companies to turn things around anytime soon. IMAX is different.

The company’s immersive cinema experience is the cure for the common movie. A full-fledged IMAX installation, with screens larger than your field of vision and dozens of precision-engineered speakers, delivers a movie presentation that even a high-end home-theater installation will find difficult to match.

That’s why IMAX can deliver 35% top-line growth at a time of 14% lower box-office numbers for the industry as a whole. Yes, IMAX is struggling a bit, but this is a company that has figured out how to swim against the current of an imploding market sector. Movie audiences are willing to pay an IMAX premium, especially for visually rich blockbusters such as Dunkirk and Blade Runner: 2049.

Looking forward, IMAX’s management isn’t sitting on its laurels. The company is retooling its distribution strategy to include fewer 3D releases and a faster expansion in China. These efforts dovetail with a larger cost-cutting effort, and should keep the bottom line growing for years to come — despite the unstoppable cord-cutting turmoil going on around IMAX.

This is a plunging stock that I can see getting back on its feet again. Starting from bargain-basement share prices, this could be a great time to bet against the large short-seller cohort and start a bullish position in IMAX.

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UCF tops USF in thrilling War on 1-4 to finish a perfect regular season

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Mike Hughes returned a kickoff 95 yards for the final touchdown with 1:28 remaining as No. 12 Central Florida completed the first unbeaten regular season in program history with a wild 49-42 victory over No. 19 South Florida on Friday to clinch the American Athletic Conference’s East Division title.

The Knights (11-0, 8-0 AAC, CFP No. 15) will host Memphis in the conference title game on Dec. 2.

Hughes’ touchdown capped a crazy 53-second span where the Knights took an eight-point lead, South Florida tied it and then the Knights took the lead for good.

The Bulls (9-2, 6-2) tied it at 42 when Quinton Flowers connected with Darnel Salomon for an 83-yard touchdown, and then found D’Ernest Johnson for a 2-point play. Flowers finished with 605 yards of total offense.

On the ensuing kickoff, Hughes found an opening on the right side and scored.

South Florida drove to midfield late, but Mitchell Wilcox fumbled and it was recovered by Chequan Burkett.

McKenzie Milton was 29 of 44 for 373 yards and four touchdowns.

UCF led 21-7 late in the first quarter but South Florida took a 34-28 lead with 3:41 remaining in the game on Flowers’ 24-yard touchdown run, which marked the first time this season that the Knights had trailed in the second half.

UCF has scored 30 points or more in every game this season, which is the longest streak in the nation.

Flowers threw for a career-high 503 yards (24 of 45, four touchdowns) and ran for 102. He had 348 yards alone in the first half with five completions of 30 yards or more.

Tryre McCants had already set a USF single-game receiving record with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. The junior had 227 yards on nine receptions, including a 55-yard touchdown. The previous record was 191 yards by Andre Davis in a 2012 game at Nevada. McCants previous career high was 105 yards against SMU last season.

THE TAKEAWAY

USF: Flowers gets forgotten among college football’s star quarterback, but his career puts him among the most productive ever. He became the sixth player in FBS history with 60-plus passing touchdowns and 40 or more rushing scores.

UCF: The Knights are in the driver’s seat for possibly making a major New Year’s bowl for the second time in five seasons.

UP NEXT

USF: The Bulls prepare for a third straight bowl appearance and ninth overall.

UCF: The Knights will try to make it 2-0 against Memphis this season. They beat the Tigers 40-13 in September. And then they’ll see if Frost remains their coach.

Airbnb lists converted Cold War nuclear missile silo as rental, report says

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In what is likely to be a unique vacation experience, travelers can now rent a Cold War-era missile silo to crash at during their visit to Kansas, a report said.

The Subterra Castle was previously the home of a nuclear warhead during the early-to-mid 1960’s, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. After it was left abandoned for decades, Ed and Dianna Peden reportedly bought the property in 1994 and reconstructed it into “an underground mansion.”

But the idea to list the bunker on Airbnb, the online rental marketplace, was devised by their neighbor Matthew Fulkerson, the outlet said. He is the site’s host and has reportedly known its owners for years.

Subterra, located in rural Wabaunsee County, opened for business six months ago, according to The Journal. It’s the first and only Airbnb available that is a converted missile silo, Fulkerson said.

COLD WAR DRAMA CAUGHT ON VIDEO AS N. KOREAN SOLDIER ESCAPES

According to the Airbnb listing page, the bunker’s decor has a “bohemian eclectic” vibe to its redesign and guests can see “the story of its transformation from a bunker into a home.” The underground space is more than 18,000 square feet and sits on 33 acres of property that includes a pond, a stone circle and a grass airstrip, the site said.

In this Nov. 2, 2017 photo, Mathew Fulkerson and his wife Leigh Ann appear in the great room at their Subterra Airbnb located in a former underground missile silo base near Eskridge, Kan. The Subterra Castle Airbnb opened for business about six months ago (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

In this Nov. 2, 2017 photo, Matthew Fulkerson and his wife Leigh Ann appear in the great room at their Subterra Airbnb located in a former underground missile silo base near Eskridge, Kan.  (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

The structure, built in 1959, was originally part of a ring of nine Air Force silos built around Topeka, The Journal said. The underground bases were reportedly constructed during the height of the Cold War and ran for four years before being shut down and abandoned.

The building stored “an intercontinental ballistic missile that had a nuclear warhead 32 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima,” Fulkerson said. “The guys who lived here thought they would have to launch this missile at any moment.”

This Nov. 2, 2017 photo shows Mathew Fulkerson and his wife Leigh Ann at their Subterra Airbnb, located in a former underground missile silo base near Eskridge, Kan. This is the area where the intercontinental ballistic missile was kept. The Subterra Castle Airbnb opened for business about six months ago. (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

This Nov. 2, 2017 photo shows Mathew Fulkerson and his wife Leigh Ann at their Subterra Airbnb, located in a former underground missile silo base near Eskridge, Kan. This is the area where the intercontinental ballistic missile was kept.  (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

This Nov. 2, 2017 photo shows the launch control panel for the Atlas missile at a silo missile base that has been converted into the Subterra Airbnb near Eskridge, Kan. The Subterra Castle Airbnb opened for business about six months ago. (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

This Nov. 2, 2017 photo shows the launch control panel for the Atlas missile at a silo missile base that has been converted into the Subterra Airbnb near Eskridge, Kan.  (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

COMMISSION ALERTED TO REVIEW ALLEGATIONS AGAINST TRIPADVISOR

The silo reportedly sat vacant for a number of years before the owners bought and transformed it into something habitable.

But Fulkerson told The Journal that he had a larger plan for the location and wanted it to become more than an overnight stay on people’s way through the state.

“I see it as becoming a destination,” he said.

In addition to a main-floor bedroom, Airbnb guests at Subterra will have a full kitchen, private bathroom, laundry services and a fireplace which gives a “nice, cozy feeling in the fall and winter months,” Fulkerson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

US troops killed in plane crashes skyrockets in 2017

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Even before the Navy cargo plane crash Wednesday, the number of U.S. troops killed in plane crashes had skyrocketed in the past year along with the total number of crashes overall compared to this point a year ago, a Fox News investigation has uncovered.

So far this year, there have been 22 U.S. military non-combat plane crashes flying routine operations. That’s up 38 percent from this time last year.

The number of American troops killed in these plane crashes has more than doubled.  Following the announcement by the 7th Fleet Thursday night that it has ended its search for three missing American sailors hundreds of miles off the coast of Japan, the number of U.S. service members lost to plane crashes in 2017 stands at 37. That is more than 130 percent higher than the number killed in non-combat plane crashes at this point in 2016.

Many on Capitol Hill say years of budget cuts are taking a toll. 

NAVY SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR 3 SAILORS MISSING AFTER PLANE CRASH

“Perhaps the greatest harm to our national security and our military is self-inflicted. I repeat self-inflicted,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former naval aviator said on the senate floor. “We are killing more of our own people in training than our enemies are in combat.”

The Navy cargo plane crash this week was the deadliest crash for the U.S. military since an Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Hawaii killing five soldiers in August.

The crash of the C-2 Greyhound occurred 575 miles out to sea while flying from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan. A former C-2 pilot says it’s a miracle eight sailors survived and compared the pilots’ actions in the crash to Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landing a US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. 

The Navy C-2 cargo plane is used to bring passengers and supplies to aircraft carriers at sea. It first entered service in the late 60s and is scheduled to be replaced by the V-22 Osprey in a few years.   But only 9 of the 33 C-2 jets in the fleet can currently fly, according to Navy officials.

Right now the investigation is focusing on the possibility of an extremely rare duel engine failure, officials told Fox News. Fuel and oil sources are also being examined. The Navy is expected to release the names of the remaining missing sailors late Friday.

Just two days before the Navy plane crash, an Air Force T-38 training jet — with parts also dating from the 1960s — crashed in Texas killing one pilot and injuring another. A mechanical failure is also suspected. A similar Navy training jet, a T-45, crashed last month killing both pilots.

In July, a Marine Corps KC-130 transport plane crashed in the Mississippi Delta killing all 16 on board after reaching cruising altitude during a routine cross-country flight to California originating from North Carolina.

Less than a month later, a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey crashed off the east coast of Australia killing three Marines. 23 others were rescued.

In April, following a Fox News report about instructor pilots refusing to fly the Navy’s T-45 training jet citing poison in the plane’s oxygen system, the Navy grounded its fleet of some 200 jets for weeks. Only recently has the Navy resumed full training flights for student jet pilots, seven months after grounding the jets.

The Navy’s crisis in aviation extend into its premier strike aircraft as well.

3 MISSING AFTER NAVY AIRCRAFT CRASHES EN ROUTE TO USS RONALD REAGAN, 8 RECOVERED

The head of naval aviation says only half the Navy’s 542 F-18 super Hornet jets can fly fight now and only 31 percent are fully mission capable and ready to “fight tonight.”

It’s even worse for Marine Corps where roughly 70 percent of its fleet of older model F-18 Hornets can’t fly.

In the Air Force, only half of the bomber fleet of B-1 and B-2 bombers can fly, forcing airmen to scrounge for spare parts in places in a remote desert scrapheap known as “The Boneyard.”  The secretary of the Air Force told reporters earlier this month she was almost 2,000 pilots short, forcing the service to ask retired pilots to come back.

In order to get three aircraft carriers ready to deploy for ISIS strikes in the Gulf or other hotspots around the world beginning in January, nearly 100 F-18 fighter jets had to be shuffled around, robbing training squadrons of valuable flight time to train future pilots, according to Vice Adm. Troy M. Shoemaker before a House Armed Services sub-committee hearing earlier this month.

“[The] shell game leaves non-deployed squadrons well below the number of jets required to keep aviators proficient,” Shoemaker warned.

“Additionally, to get those air wings ready, several hundred parts had to be cannibalized from other [F-18] Super Hornets across the force, further decimating the readiness of squadrons and adding significantly and unnecessarily to the workload of our maintainers,” he added.

Shoemaker said the lack of jets caused hundreds of sailors to have to move unnecessarily or remain on board ships for longer than planned.

The U.S. Navy is down 41 ships and 90,000 sailors since September 11, 2001. For years the defense budget prioritized the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Training, space parts and maintenance suffered as well as the ability to buy newer planes. 

The Navy’s problem has been evident at sea as well as in the air.

Since June, the Navy has lost two guided-missile destroyers in the Pacific in separate collisions killing 17 sailors. The repairs to both USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain are expected to reach more than half a billion dollars. A Navy investigation called both collisions “preventable,” and cited poor training as a factor in the deadly collisions with merchant vessels.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has testified before Congress, arguing that “no enemy in the field has done more to harm the combat readiness of our military than [budget cuts].”

According to Sen. McCain, only five of 58 Army brigades and four of 64 Air Force squadrons are combat-ready.

Congress has called for a $26 billion increase in defense spending to rebuild the military and to try to get more airplanes flying again.

Leonard Balducci contributed to this report

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

Lightning strike 1st but can't stop Capitals, begin road trip with a loss

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin and Devante Smith-Pelly each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 shots for his first victory of the season and the Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay 3-1 on Friday night to end the Lightning’s six-game road winning streak.

Jay Beagle clinched the victory for the Capitals, scoring into an empty net with 2:08 to go.

Ovechkin’s second goal in two games and 15th overall followed a six-game drought. His resurgence comes after coach Barry Trotz placed Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the same line Wednesday night for the first time this season.

Although the Lightning (16-4-2) are off to the best start in franchise history, they couldn’t find a way to snap their run of poor outings against the Capitals, especially in Washington. Tampa Bay has lost five straight in the nation’s capital and is 2-8 in its last 10 games against the Caps.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored the lone goal for the Lightning, a power-play tally in the opening two minutes. Tampa Bay was seeking to match the franchise record for consecutive road wins — seven straight from Jan. 7-Feb. 1, 2007.

Grubauer (1-5-1) and Washington held Tampa Bay’s high-scoring duo of Steve Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov in check. Stamkos leads the NHL with 36 points and Kucherov came in with a league-leading 17 goals.

Smith-Pelly put the Capitals up 2-1 in the second period, flicking home the rebound of a shot by Beagle from the left circle.

That would be last puck to get past Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished with 36 saves.

Tampa Bay wasted no time racing to a 1-0 lead. With Washington’s Brooks Orpik in the penalty box for hooking, Kucherov took a shot that hit Namestnikov and ricocheted into the net at 1:22.

Ovechkin tied it at 18:36 with a wrist shot from the left circle. Backstrom got the second assist.

Washington outshot Tampa Bay 16-7 in the first period and 14-9 in the second.

NOTES: Ovechkin has 573 goals, tied with Mike Bossy for 21st on the career list. … Tampa Bay has a power-play goal in 18 of 22 games. … Washington is in the midst of playing at home in nine of 10 games. The Capitals are 7-1 at home this month… Tampa Bay’s Braydon Coburn played in his 800th NHL game. … The Capitals recalled C Tyler Graovac from the Hershey Bears of the AHL. He did not suit up.

UP NEXT

Lightning: At Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

Capitals: Host Toronto on Saturday night.

Consumer watchdog chief Cordray resigns, names acting successor

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Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, resigned Friday and simultaneously named his own successor, setting up the consumer agency for another battle with the Trump White House over control of the powerful federal watchdog.

Cordray had announced earlier this month that he would resign by the end of this month. There is wide speculation that Cordray, a Democrat, is resigning in order to run for governor of Ohio, his home state.

On the same day that Cordray announced his resignation, he also elevated Leandra English, who was the agency’s chief of staff, into the deputy director position. With Cordray’s resignation, English would become acting director.

By naming English as deputy director, Cordray, an Obama appointee, sets up a fight with the Trump White House, who wanted to assign its own acting director of the CFPB.

The CFPB director position requires confirmation by the Senate, and it could be many weeks or months before he or she is able to step into his or her role as director. While likely to be fought by those opposed to Cordray and the CFPB, Cordray’s move allows his favored successor to keep running the agency for as long as possible before a Trump appointee is able to take over.

The CFPB was created following the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. The agency was given a broad mandate to be a watchdog for consumers when they deal with banks, credit card, student loan and mortgage companies, as well as debt collectors and payday lenders. Nearly every American who deals with banks or a credit card company or has a mortgage has been impacted by rules the agency put in place.

Cordray used that mandate aggressively as its first director, which often made him a target for the banking industry’s Washington lobbyists and Congressional Republicans who believe Cordray was overreaching in his role, calling the CFPB a “rogue agency.”

As director, he also was able to extract billions of dollars in settlements from banks, debt collectors and other financial services companies for wrongdoing. When Wells Fargo was found to have opened millions of phony accounts for its customers, the CFPB fined the bank $100 million, the agency’s largest penalty to date.

California mother, daughter killed in collision with bear

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Authorities say a woman and her 19-month-old daughter were killed when the car she was driving struck a black bear in Northern California on Thanksgiving evening.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Sean Fitzgerald says the 27-year-old woman was driving a Subaru Impreza on a rural road near San Andreas Thursday around 6 p.m. when a black bear came in front of the vehicle’s path.

The bear was struck and killed, but the impact of the bear killed the unidentified driver and her daughter, of Copperopolis. A 4-year-old boy in the car suffered minor injuries and was taken to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment.

Fitzgerald said alcohol and drugs are not believed to be a factor in the crash. The victims’ names were not released pending notification of family.

UN chief warns of risk of a new Israeli-Hezbollah conflict

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that unauthorized weapons in the hands of Hezbollah, and threatening rhetoric from the Lebanese militant group and Israeli officials, “heightens the risk of miscalculation and escalation into conflict.”

The U.N. chief called on Hezbollah and Israel, who fought a war in 2006, “to exercise restraint at all times.”

Guterres said in a report to the U.N. Security Council circulated Friday that allegations of arms transfers to Hezbollah continue “on a regular basis,” which the U.N. takes seriously but “is not in a position to substantiate them independently.

He noted, however, that Hezbollah has acknowledged “use and display of that weaponry.”

The U.N. resolution that ended the 2006 war calls for Hezbollah and all other militias operating in Lebanon to be disarmed and demobilized.

Jay Cutler ruled out for Sunday, Matt Moore to start for Dolphins against Patriots

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DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler was ruled out of Sunday’s game at New England because of a concussion, and backup Matt Moore will make his second start of the season.

Cutler practiced Friday, but remains in the concussion protocol. He threw three interceptions in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay before he left at halftime because of his injury.

Moore threw for 282 yards and a score in the second half. He started for an injured Cutler three weeks ago at Baltimore and Miami lost 40-0.

Guard Jermon Bushrod (foot) and defensive end William Hayes (back) were also ruled out.

The Dolphins (4-6) take a four-game losing streak to New England.

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Las Vegas shooting survivors turn to each other for support

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Many survivors of last month’s Las Vegas concert massacre have found an important tool to help them move forward: each other.

“Nobody knows how they are supposed to feel after something like that,” said 36-year old Jenn Gibson of Las Vegas, one of the 22,000 people who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival that ended in gunfire the night of Oct. 1.

She says a tight-knit community has emerged among the survivors, both locally and out of state, who are scheduling events like meet-ups, brunches and potluck dinners as means to help heal. Some also meet for drinks while others gather at a new Las Vegas healing garden, where a tree has been planted for each victim.

“When we get together, it’s not the conspiracy theories, it’s not what everyone thinks happened,” Gibson said. “It’s more, ‘I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you’re safe and when’s the next concert?'”

“We’re getting through it together,” said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak. “Las Vegas is a big but relatively small community. Everybody knows somebody who was there.”

Sisolak launched a GoFundMe page in the hours after the shooting, which combined with the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund has so far raised about $15 million for those impacted by the shooting.

“I’m proud of the community,” Sisolak continued. “The hate that [was] rained down on the festival was met with an outpouring of love.”

That’s the type of love Gibson has found among her fellow concertgoers, specifically from Todd Riley of Thornton, Colo. That night, despite being hit by shrapnel, the 48-year-old Riley stopped running to perform CPR on Gibson’s friend, 34-year-old Carrie Barnette of Garden Grove, Calif., who was fatally wounded.

Gibson initially didn’t know Riley’s name but a few weeks after the shooting, as a way to help overcome the magnitude of that night, she tracked him down. Thanks to the Facebook page “Find My LV Hero,” Riley returned to Las Vegas earlier this month to meet with Gibson.

“He did everything he could to try to save [Barnette],” Gibson said. “[We] felt that it was really important to meet face to face and kind of begin the healing process together.”

In Barnette’s honor, the pair shared drinks, visited her tree in the healing garden and retraced their steps from the night of Oct. 1. It was a reunion Gibson said helped put few pieces of her heart back together.

“Just coming out here and meeting with me and allowing me to hug you and tell you thank you in person, it’s just indescribable,” said Gibson, who now considers Riley and his fiancée members of her family. “That bond — there are no words.”

Fox News’ Jonathan Hunt contributed to this report.

Trump says he passed on being TIME's 'Person of the Year'

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In a tweet on Friday, President Trump claimed he “took a pass” on being TIME Magazine’s 2017 “Person of the Year” after the publication reportedly called and said they’d “probably” offer him the spot.

“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photoshoot,” Trump said in the tweet. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”

Trump was awarded the title last year after he won the 2016 presidential election.

The magazine’s managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, said last year that the choice of Trump was “straightforward.”

In 2015, Trump made the short-list for the award but it was instead offered to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At the time, Trump said in a tweet that he had predicted he wouldn’t win and referred to Merkel as the “person who is ruining Germany.”

TRUMP DENOUNCES ATTACK IN EGYPT, CALLS AGAIN FOR TRAVEL BAN

TIME recently defined its “Person of the Year” as “a person (or people) who has had the most influence over the news in the last 12 months.”

TIME has not yet released who they are awarding the title to this year. The official announcement will be made on Dec. 6, the publication said.

A Fox News request to TIME for comment wasn’t immediately returned.

While the magazine’s editors make the final choice, they reportedly take into consideration the opinions of their readers and let them vote, TIME said.

According to their posted results as of Friday night, Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, was leading the pack, followed by Trump, “The Dreamers” and “#MeToo.” 

Former Toys 'R' Us CEO on importance of the holiday season

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This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” November 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TRISH REGAN, GUEST HOST: All right, Black Friday isn’t even over, and already retailers are advertising their Cyber Monday deals.

Online competition from Amazon has many traditional retailers fighting for survival. How is this season shaping up and are retailers banking on those GOP tax cuts?

We are asking Gerald Storch, CEO of Storch Advisors and former CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us.

Good to see you. Good to have you here.

GERALD STORCH, FORMER CEO, TOYS ‘R’ US: Great to be here.

REGAN: Tax cuts, how important are they for corporations, for retail, and for the country?

STORCH: Well, I think they’re very important.

Anything that puts more hands — more money in the hands of consumers is great. Anything that puts more money back into companies is fantastic. The U.S. tax rate is among the highest in the world.

And retailers, by the way, don’t have a lot of special tax breaks or loopholes or anything, so they tend to pay very high tax rates as a group of companies. So, this would be very helpful.

REGAN: So, that’s what two investors we were just talking about — talking with were saying as well.

But let me turn now to retail and the Christmas season, holiday season, expectations that sales are going to be up 4 percent. Is this going to be enough for the retail sector, which, frankly, has been under so much pressure?

STORCH: Well, there’s no doubt that this is a very transformational period for retailers.

But there are winners and losers within that. So, there are winners in the bricks-and-mortar world, like a T.J. Maxx or a Costco that are doing quite well, because they offer great value even in those times.

There are companies who are way ahead of the game in terms of getting the Internet and the bricks-and-mortar combination right. And that ultimately is going to be what wins.

REGAN: Mm-hmm.

STORCH: I think, as you read the stories that have taken place this year and what people say, I think it was sort of oversold that the Internet was destroying the bricks-and-mortar retailer, when 85 percent of sales still take place in physical — physical storefronts.

And so what you saw today, for example, was quite a bit of resilience on the part of bricks-and-mortar retailers, where there were mobs in these stores. I went to Walmart and to Best Buy last night.

REGAN: It’s a cool, cool thing, though, right?

STORCH: This is what I do for fun.

REGAN: Oh, it’s what you do for fun. Ah.

(CROSSTALK)

STORCH: And they were mobbed. They were mobbed.

REGAN: The people love — there’s something about Black Friday, right?

STORCH: There is.

REGAN: And Americans love to go out and shop and hunt for deals.

STORCH: Yes.

REGAN: We are consumers.

STORCH: That’s right.

REGAN: That’s a big part of our…

(CROSSTALK)

STORCH: Mobs. And they were in good moods.

REGAN: Yes.

STORCH: People were having fun. This is a form of entertainment.

REGAN: Mm-hmm.

STORCH: People love to go shopping.

REGAN: Mm-hmm.

So, overall, I think that’s a good point, 85 percent of sales still being at brick-and-mortar stores.

(CROSSTALK)

STORCH: The issue is, a lot of the growth, if not all of it, is taking place online.

But even there, not all of that’s Amazon. A lot of that is the growth in the Internet arms of the bricks-and-mortar retailers.

REGAN: So, how should investors be thinking about Amazon? I mean, Jeff Bezos now worth $100 billion. He’s seen $30 billion in his own growth this year. The stock is on a tear. Is it too heady for you? Is it getting to a pop?

STORCH: Look, they have done — they have done — they have done amazing job.

But I have been expecting it not to keep going from the second or third year it was there, and I was wrong. So I’m not going to call anything negative about Amazon.

(LAUGHTER)

STORCH: I would say, though, that there are opportunities in the best bricks-and-mortar retailers, the best traditional retailers.

I mentioned T.J. Maxx. T.J. Maxx is worth more than the entire department store industry. So, if you offer good value, if you take care of the customer, you provide service, a destination they want to go to…

REGAN: It doesn’t matter.

STORCH: And if you’re good at the Internet, you can do it.

REGAN: Yes. Gerald, it’s good to see you. Thank you for coming.

STORCH: Great to be here.

REGAN: All right.

END

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Wisconsin Badgers-Minnesota Gophers pregame notes

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Notes, tidbits and stats for Saturdays game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Gophers in Minneapolis:

— This is the 127th meeting between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The series is tied 59-59-8. The Gophers lead the series in Minnesota, 37-25-2.

— Wisconsin is looking to finish a regular season for just the fourth time in school history and first since the 7-0 1912 team.

— Under Paul Chryst, Wisconsin is 22-3 when scoring first (7-0 in 2017), 10-3 when the opponent scores first (4-0 in 2017), 20-3 when leading after the first quarter (8-0 in 2017), 6-2 when trailing after the first quarter (3-0 in 2017), 27-2 when leading at halftime (8-0 in 2017), 3-4 when trailing at halftime (1-0 in 2017), 29-2 when leading after the third quarter (11-0 in 2017) and 3-3 when trailing after the third quarter (0-0 in 2017).

More Badgers coverage

— Wisconsin has 46 100-yard rushers vs. Minnesota, including two over 300 yards — Billy Marek, 304 in 1874, and Anthony Davis, 301 in 2002. Both of those were at home. Most on the road was Zach Brown, 250, in 2007. The Badgers have a 100-yard rusher in every game against Minnesota since 2004 — the year their current winning streak began.

— The Badgers have 16 200-yard passers against Minnesota, including a school-record 423 yards by Darrell Bevell in 1993. It has been accomplished five times since 2004. The last to do it in Minnesota was John Stocco in 2005.

— Wisconsin has 16 100-yard receivers against Minnesota. The last to do it and also the most yards is Alex Erickson, 160 in 2014. The last to do it in Minnesota was Nick Toon, 100 in 2010.

— With his next 200-yard rushing game, Jonathan Taylor will be just the third Wisconsin player to have four or more 200-yard games in a season. Ron Dayne had five such games in 1996 and ’99 while Melvin Gordon did it six times in 2014.

— Taylor’s next 100-yard rushing game will be his ninth of 2017, tying him for 7th-most with four others (Ron Dayne, 1998; Brian Calhoun, 2005; John Clay, 2009; James White, 2013) for most in a single season in UW history.

— Taylor needs 25 rushing yards to pass Michael Bennett (2000) for 6th place, 174 to pass Montee Ball (2012) for 5th place and 267 to pass Montee Ball (2011) for 4th place on UW’s all-time single-season list.

— Taylor needs 57 rushing yards to pass Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine (2014) for 6th place, 76 to pass Nevada’s Chance Kretschmer (2001) for 5th place, 143 to pass Pittsburgh’s Dion Lewis (2009) for 4th place, 145 to pass North Texas’s Jamario Thomas (2004) for 3rd place and 210 to pass Ron Dayne (1996) on the NCAA’s all-time freshman rushing yards list.

— Alex Hornibrook needs 1 touchdown pass to tie and 2 to pass Randy Wright (1983) and Darrell Bevell (1993) for 4th place and 3 to tie John Stocco (2005) for 3rd place on UW’s all-time single-season list.

— Hornibrook needs 135 passing yards to pass Mike Howard for 11th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Hornibrook needs 25 passing yards to pass Mike Samuel (1996) for 19th place, 30 to pass Tony Lowery (1990) for 18th place, 31 to pass Brooks Bollinger (2002) for 17th place, 169 to pass Mike Samuel (1997) for 16th place and 272 to pass John Stocco for 15th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Hornibrook needs 27 completions to pass Neil Graff for 11th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Hornibrook needs 1 interceptions to tie and 2 to pass Gregg Bohlig, John Boyajian and John Stocco for 16th place and 2 to tie and 3 to pass Charles Burt and John Stocco for 14th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Troy Fumagalli needs 26 receiving yards to pass Donald Hayes for 13th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Fumagalli needs 2 receptions to tie and 3 to pass Chris Chambers for 8th place and 6 to tie and 7 to pass Al Toon for 7th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Derrick Tindal needs 2 pass breakups to tie and 3 to pass Devin Smith for 9th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Tindall needs 1 passes defensed to tie Niles Brinkley for 13th place, 2 to tie Steve Wagner for 12th place, 3 to tie Nevoia Geyer and Scott Nelson for 11th place and 4 to tie Devin Smith for 9th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Tindall needs 1 forced fumble to tie 20 others (most recently Dezmen Southward) for 7th place (with 4) and 2 to tie Brendan Kelly for 6th place on UW’s all-time list.

Badgers all-time databases

— Tindal and/or Tyler Johnson needs 1 forced fumble to tie 10 others (most recently Chris Borland in 2012) for 4th place on UW’s single-season forced fumbles list (with 3).

— Nick Nelson needs 1 pass breakup to tie Steve Wagner and Troy Vincent for 12th place, 2 to tie and 3 to pass Niles Brinkley for 10th place and 4 to tie Devin Smith for 9th place on UW’s all-time list.

— Nelson needs 1 passes defensed to tie and 2 to pass Jamar Fletcher (2000) for 3rd place and 5 to tie Mike Echols (2000) and Jim Leonhard (2002) for 1st place on UW’s all-time single-season list.

— Rafael Gaglianone needs 4 field goals to tie Philip Welch for 2nd place on UW’s all-time list.

— Gaglianone needs one 50+-yard field goal be the only kicker in Wisconsin history with four FGs from 50+ in Wisconsin history.

— Natrell Jamerson needs 1 kick return for a touchdown to tie Ira Matthews and Nick Davis for the most in UW history (2).

— Wisconsin needs 535 yards of total offense to pass the 2008 team for 10th-most in a single season in UW history.

— Wisconsin needs 303 yards rushing to pass the 1994 team for 10th-most and 378 to pass the 1993 team for 9th most in a single season in UW history.

— The Badgers need 11 points to pass the 2016 team for 9th-most, 23 to pass the 1999 team for 8th most, 26 to tie the 2009 team for 7th most and 27 to tie and 28 to pass the 2012 team for 6th most in a single season in UW history.

Can Intel Dominate This Market by Overcoming This Smaller Rival?

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Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) placed a big bet on the future of programmable chips by spending $16.7 billion to acquire Altera a couple of years ago. Chipzilla believed that Altera’s field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) would play a critical role in powering artificial intelligence (AI) solutions given their customizable nature.

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The good news is that Intel has made good progress in this space, as evident from the company’s third-quarter earnings report released in late October. But is the chip giant doing enough to make a bigger dent by overcoming market leader Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX)?

Charting Intel’s FPGA progress

Intel’s revenue from its programmable solutions group (which houses the FPGA division) increased 10% year over year during the third quarter to $469 million. This is not even 3% of Intel’s total revenue, but the potential is huge given the increasing usage of FPGA chips for AI applications.

In fact, FPGA chips are already finding traction in fast-growing areas such as automotive and data centers. This isn’t surprising as the flexible architecture and the low power consumption of FPGA chips allow developers to program these modules to perform tasks that couldn’t have been executed by fixed architecture chips such as GPUs (graphics processing units) or CPUs (central processing units).

For instance, Audi is using Intel’s FPGAs to enable autonomous driving in next year’s A8 sedan, while automotive components manufacturer Denso has deployed Intel’s technology to power a stereo vision system. This opens up a big opportunity for Intel as automakers are increasingly using FPGAs in their vehicles to power a host of features such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and driver assistance.

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Moreover, Intel’s FPGAs will come in handy in its own autonomous car development project, which has started gaining impressive traction. The benefits of this chip platform could help Chipzilla steal a march over rival NVIDIA, which primarily relies on the computing power of its GPUs to power AI systems in self-driving cars.

But cars aren’t the only catalyst for Intel’s FPGA business. The ability of these chips to quickly solve unique problems because of a flexible architecture and low power consumption makes them ideal for use in AI applications such as data centers. As it stands, Intel’s FPGAs are already being used by data centers to power deep learning platforms in the cloud.

For instance, Microsoft is using Chipzilla’s Stratix FPGAs in Project Brainwave, which is an accelerated deep learning platform based on FPGAs. Microsoft plans to provide real-time AI in the cloud by processing and transmitting data as fast as possible, and this is made possible by Intel’s FPGAs.

But Microsoft isn’t the only one using Intel’s FPGAs to build the AI-enabled cloud. Alibaba recently announced that it is using these chips to power its Acceleration-as-a-Service offering in the Alibaba Cloud. This service allows Alibaba customers to accelerate the development and deployment of compute-intensive tasks such as AI inferencing and video streaming through a pay-as-you-go model that doesn’t require any upfront investments.

Therefore, Intel seems to be on track to grab a bigger piece of the FPGA market that could be worth $14 billion by 2024, as per Grand View Research. But this is easier said than done as Intel will have to overcome the technology lead of Xilinx.

A look at the competition

Xilinx is Intel’s biggest challenge in the FPGA space, thanks to the former’s technology lead that has allowed it to capture almost 60% of this market. Looking ahead, Xilinx believes that its FPGA market share could go up to a range of 60%-65% by 2021.

Xilinx’s ambitious forecast doesn’t seem out of place as it has started developing FPGA chips on a more efficient 7nm node, while Intel is now testing the 10nm platform. This could extend Xilinx’s existing 18-month technology lead over Intel in FPGAs, as chips based on a smaller footprint consume less power and reduce costs.

But Chipzilla can fight back thanks to an integrated solution it is developing to tap the server market. Intel recently revealed that it is going to integrate FPGAs with its x86 server CPUs. This hybrid solution is expected to accelerate the performance of its server CPUs, with the FPGA component taking on workloads that the CPU couldn’t have performed efficiently.

Additionally, Intel is also planning to launch a discrete FPGA chip that can be bolted on to existing server chips. Both these variants are expected to hit the market next year, and it won’t be surprising if they boost Intel’s share of the FPGA chip market given its monopoly in this market. In fact, Intel controls almost all of the data center chip market, so it can easily push its chips into existing sales channels and dent Xilinx’s business.

Therefore, FPGAs can become big business for Intel in the long run given the potential size of this market. More importantly, even if Intel holds on to its current FPGA market share of 42%, this segment’s revenue could grow to almost $6 billion by 2024 (based on Grand View Research’s forecast of the total market size).

But Intel looks well-placed to grow its clout in FPGAs thanks to recent contract wins and dominance in the cloud server market, putting the company on track to generate more revenue.

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Derrick Rose leaves Cleveland Cavaliers to weigh NBA future, report says

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Derrick Rose’s injuries may have pushed him to a breaking point.

The former league MVP, who has been trying to revive his career with the Cavaliers, left the team earlier this week to handle a personal matter. A team spokesman said Friday that Rose has been excused since Wednesday and there is no timetable for his return.

The team did not offer any other details about Rose’s absence.

ESPN reported that Rose is taking personal time “to evaluate his future in the NBA.” A team source told ESPN that Rose’s numerous injuries are “taking a toll on him mentally.”

Rose’s agent, B.J. Armstrong, did not immediately return messages from the AP seeking comment.

Rose has played in just seven of Cleveland’s 18 games this season because of a left ankle injury the point guard sustained while driving to the basket on Oct. 20 in Milwaukee. He’s averaging 14.3 points per game in his first season with Cleveland.

Rose’s career has been slowed by knee injuries. He sat out the 2012-13 season in Chicago and played only 10 games the following year due to injury.

The 29-year-old had been excited about a new start with Cleveland after spending last season with the New York Knicks. He signed a one-year, $2.1 million free agent contract this summer with the Cavs and was expected to be the team’s backup point guard behind Isaiah Thomas.

However, Thomas is still recovering from a hip injury sustained last season with Boston, and Rose was thrust into a starting role.

Rose dropped some weight to pressure off his knee joints, and showed flashes of his former self before getting hurt. The ankle had been bothering him for nearly a month when Cavs coach Tyronn Lue announced last week that Rose would be sidelined for “at least” two more weeks.

Rose had been wearing a walking boot and undergoing treatment.

The Cavs have rebounded from a slow start and have won six straight games entering Friday’s matchup with Charlotte.

Packers seeking to halt Steelers' five-game win streak

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PITTSBURGH — Mike McCarthy grew up in Pittsburgh and the roots still run deep for the longtime Green Bay Packers coach.

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Sunday night’s visit to Heinz Field against the AFC North-leading Steelers will be a homecoming of sorts for McCarthy and several staff members, including defensive coordinator Dom Capers and special teams coordinator Ron Zook — both of whom worked for the Steelers during the early days of the Bill Cowher regime two decades ago.

“I think we should talk about the guys that are not from Pittsburgh and what the heck am I thinking hiring anybody that isn’t from Pittsburgh?” McCarthy said with a laugh.

Considering the way the Steelers (8-2) are rolling at the moment, maybe he’s on to something.

Pittsburgh has ripped off five straight victories, including a second-half demolition of Tennessee a week ago in which the Steelers finally looked like the dominant force they expected to be all along.

The surge came following an impassioned halftime pep talk from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He responded by shredding the Titans for three touchdown passes over the final two quarters in what the Steelers hope is a sign that the early season malaise , when the Steelers won frequently if not impressively, is finally over.

As encouraged as he was by what he saw on the field, if Roethlisberger has his preference, he’s rather not have to go full hype every week.

“I’m not the savior, you don’t just give speeches and they work,” Roethlisberger said. “It doesn’t happen very often. Usually, you don’t want to have to do them. It’s like fourth-quarter comebacks, you don’t want to have them because it means you stink early.”

While the Steelers are surging, the Packers (5-5) are sliding. Green Bay is 1-3 since Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone, putting the franchise’s streak of eight straight playoff berths in serious jeopardy. That’s too big picture for them to think about it at the moment as two-touchdown underdogs on the road.

Then again, it’s not like Green Bay has to dig too far back for inspiration. The Packers were 4-6 after 10 games last season, then won eight straight to reach the NFC title game. Then again, that was with Rodgers under center and not backup Brett Hundley.

“We’re not in a position where we feel the season’s over by any means,” linebacker Clay Matthews said. “We’re right in the thick of things. Obviously not where we anticipated or sought to be at the beginning of the season. But … at 4-6 last year, we obviously overcame a lot to win eight in a row. It’s a little different this year in that respect, but at the same time, we’ve got a great opportunity in front of us.”

PICK CITY: Hundley had an awful game last week in a 23-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens , throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble after getting sacked. It was a big step back for the third-year quarterback after making clutch throws in the 23-16 win the previous week over the Chicago Bears.

Hundley’s backup is Joe Callahan, who has spent parts of two seasons with the Packers after joining the team as an undrafted free agent, so it’s going to take a lot for Hundley to get replaced. McCarthy is steadfast in his support of Hundley, with the offense-minded McCarthy taking some of the blame for the mistakes and lack of production.

“He’s here, he’s working out, everybody respects him, so I don’t see any issue with that,” McCarthy said.”At the end of the day, and I’ll just say it again: I believe in Brett Hundley. I believe in Brett Hundley as a quarterback and I believe he will improve, and that’s where we are.”

HUBBARD IN: Chris Hubbard takes over at right tackle for the Steelers while Marcus Gilbert begins his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Hubbard filled in capably for Gilbert earlier this season while Gilbert dealt with a balky hamstring injury.

“He’s played so much, having him around helps,” Roethlisberger said of Hubbard. “He’s not a rookie. He’s not a new guy. (Right guard David DeCastro) and him have a great relationship and rapport.”

The next month could be an audition of sorts for Hubbard, who is a free agent at the end of the season and is typically a reserve on a line where all five current starters are under contract through the end of 2018.

TAKING A HIT: Lost in the Packers’ offensive struggles has been the solid performance of a defense that held the Ravens to 219 yards overall last week, including 58 on the ground on 26 carries. The unit will be tested this week by the high-scoring Steelers, especially with the status of three key starters in question at midweek because of injuries: cornerback Kevin King (shoulder), linebacker Matthews (groin) and defensive lineman Kenny Clark (ankle). Clark has been especially good against the run, coupling with fellow lineman Mike Daniels to give the Packers a stout presence up front.

PRIME TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME: The Steelers have been nearly unbeatable at Heinz Field under the lights lately thanks in large part to Roethlisberger’s spectacular play. Roethlisberger is 7-0 in his last seven home prime-time games, throwing 24 touchdowns against two interceptions. That includes four scores and no picks last week against Tennessee.

Officials: SC man cuts woman, makes her eat off floorboard

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Deputies in South Carolina have arrested a man who they say cut a woman with a knife and forced her to eat food off the floorboard of a car.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that a woman told deputies that when she picked up 27-year-old Jesus Emmanuel Resendis from a friend’s house on Thanksgiving, he argued with her about embarrassing him in front of his friends and cut her on the arm with a knife. The release says she then spilled leftovers she was holding, and Resendis told her to eat the food off the floorboard or he would cut her throat.

The woman said Resendis jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off and wrecked the car.

Resendis faces several charges, including domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

Egyptian massacre shows us that people of all faiths must unite against the evil of terrorism

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Terrorist attacks are happening with such mind-numbing regularity that even Friday’s barbaric bombing and machine-gunning of hundreds of Muslims at prayer at an Egyptian mosque seems like just one more in a long line of tragedies – almost a normal part of modern life. We are becoming desensitized to mass murder.

The crushing of our collective voice of moral outrage into a mere whisper represents a huge victory for Islamist terrorists. They continue to justify such horrible attacks against their fellow Muslims – as well as attacks against Christians and Jews at prayer all over the world – in God’s name.

This is a perversion of religion. God did not create us in his image to become mass murderers, and does not want us to glorify him with the blood of innocents. 

We are witnessing the decimation of fundamental norms of civilization by cold-blooded killers who continue to market their culture of death through social media and by invoking Islamist theologians.

We can only prevail over Islamist terrorism if leaders of all faiths take the lead in openly and consistently denouncing the murderers who use God’s name to justify their evil and immoral agenda.

We can only prevail over Islamist terrorism if leaders of all faiths take the lead in openly and consistently denouncing the murderers who use God’s name to justify their evil and immoral agenda.

There are important voices in the Muslim world, including in the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia, who are already taking up this challenge.

Recently, King Hamad of Bahrain authored a declaration denouncing religious extremism and emphasizing the right of everyone to pray – or not pray – in the way they alone choose.

In Azerbaijan, the main mosque in Baku – the capital of the nation where 96 percent of the population is Muslim – Sunni and Shia Muslims pray together in peace and mutual respect. This is a rarity in the Muslim world, where Sunnis and Shias too often treat each other as enemies.

The rest of us – starting with President Trump – should acknowledge those Muslim leaders who get it right, and do everything in our power to support their efforts to encourage peaceful coexistence with people of all faiths. We don’t have to be identical twins and hold the same beliefs about God to treat each other as brothers and sisters. 

Many of us have the bully pulpit in houses of prayer. We have the obligation to raise our voices in prayer, moral indignation and calls for action.

Beyond his provocative tweets, President Trump must also take action against those who weaken the global struggle to defeat the jihadis.

Especially enraging was the recent decision by Pakistan to release Hafiz Saeed, who is linked to the infamous Mumbai Massacre in India 2008.

I led the interfaith memorial service in Mumbai that remembered the innocent victims at the railway station and the Taj Hotel. We remembered the wonderful Chabad rabbi, his wife and four other Jews butchered at the Chabad House by terrorists trained and dispatched from Pakistan. God did not bless these murders.

As if we needed more proof that Pakistan is more a foe than a friend of America when it comes to terrorism.

The terrorists and their global support network are counting on our apathy, silence and ultimate acquiescence. Our military can kill them on the battlefield. But the rest of us – led by religious leaders of all faiths – must engage and defeat them in the Houses of God where we pray with the most powerful ammunition of all – our love for humankind.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean, Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter