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House Democrats are suing the Trump administration over the border wall

House Republicans may have established the precedent they need to successfully do so. House Democrats plan to sue the Trump administration over the president’s attempts to reauthorize funds for a southern border wall, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday. In February, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in an effort to obtain roughly $8 billion in funding for the border wall, a last-ditch effort he made after Congress declined to fulfill an earlier spending request. House Democrats haven’t filed their suit yet, but they intend to take to the courts and argue that this move was unconstitutional, Pelosi said. Trump has, after all, ignored the will of Congress — the body that’s authorized to approve federal spending by the Constitution — not once, but twice. After Congress rejected Trump’s initial demands for border wall money, it also passed a resolution aimed at blocking his national emergency — a clear sign that the majority of the body disagreed with..

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Boeing’s effort to get the 737 Max approved to fly again, explained

A bigger problem than a software update. On Thursday, Boeing for the first time officially took responsibility for the two crashes of 737 Max jets that got the planes grounded by regulators. Claiming responsibility was part of an attempt to get the planes approved to fly again. Boeing was trying to say that it now understands why the planes crashes — flawed software — and has a plan in place to replace it with new software that will eliminate the problem and persuade regulators to get the planes off the ground. But then Friday morning, the company announced that it had found a second, unrelated software flaw that it also needs to fix and will somewhat delay the process of getting the planes cleared to fly again. All of which, of course, raises the question of why such flawed systems were allowed to fly in the first place. And that story begins nine years ago when Boeing was faced with a major threat to its bottom line, spurring the airline to rush a series of kludges through the..

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Mindfulness meditation in America has a capitalism problem

Can the mindfulness movement resist becoming a tool of self-absorption? Capitalism has a way of co-opting a lot of our culture’s best ideas. Great concepts in fashion, music, and wellness are constantly rebranded and used to peddle consumer products. Whether it’s punk music or yoga, industry will find a way to profit from it. Is mindfulness meditation the latest victim? This is the argument David Forbes, a professor of contemplative education at Brooklyn College, makes in his new book Mindfulness and Its Discontents. The number of Americans who’ve tried meditation has tripled since 2012. And many are doing a specific practice with Buddhist roots called mindfulness, which involves directing your attention to your experience in the present moment with kindness and without judgment. The practice is increasingly being offered in schools, health care facilities, and prisons to improve well-being. So how is this a bad thing? A lightly edited transcript of my conversation with Forbes ..

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How to get better at predicting the future

Forecasting world events is crucial for policy. A new study explores how to do it better. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see into the future? Imagine being able to estimate the effects of political events and every policy we considered. Raising interest rates, passing a bill, starting a war — if we could forecast their outcomes, we would all be so much better off. That’s one of the hopes experts hold about prediction markets. There’s a very simple idea behind them: Just like you can bet on sports, you can bet on, well, anything you want, from “fewer than 10 million Americans will be uninsured in 2025 if this bill passes” to “migration from Central America will increase” to “this new cancer study will fail to replicate.” The point is that you can make money by making good bets. And that incentive is what can make prediction markets a pretty good forecaster of what’s to come. That’s the idea anyway. Real-world prediction markets are interesting, but they don’t fully live up to tha..

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Scott Gottlieb’s last word as FDA chief: Juul drove a youth addiction crisis

Youth vaping is surging. Trump’s FDA chief says the Silicon Valley startup sparked the teen epidemic. It’s not that often that you hear a top Trump official unabashedly blaming a US company for a health crisis. But that’s exactly what FDA chief Scott Gottlieb did Tuesday in an interview during his final week in office. “The dramatic spike of youth [vaping] — that was driven in part at the very least if not largely by Juul,” the maker of hugely popular vape products, Gottlieb told Vox by phone. “I hope they recognize the problem that’s been created has been created largely by their product.” Gottlieb joined the Trump administration in 2017, hoping to use policy to further reduce cigarette smoking, still the leading cause of preventable death in the US. But then the teen vaping epidemic — what he calls an “addiction crisis” — exploded under his watch. By 2018, the number of high school seniors who say they vaped nicotine in the past 30 days doubled over the previous year — from 11 ..

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A-Rod loves the baseball emoji. But what does he think it means?

“Lucky me [red heart] [baseball] [green checkmark].” The emoji weren’t the point, or at least they weren’t supposed to be. In late January, singer, actress, and World of Dance judge Jennifer Lopez posted a thirst trap on Instagram. Like many famous person ’grams, it was screengrabbed by Comments by Celebs, an Instagram account that tracks celebrities’ online activity. In the photo, Lopez wears a rose-colored bikini top and high-waisted leggings, and has six visible abs. As one of her 90 million followers, I knew that she was on some kind of crash carb-cut with her then-boyfriend (now fiancé), former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, and it showed. View this post on Instagram Waiting on you, @marcanthony. #CommentsByCelebs A post shared by Comments By Celebs (@commentsbycelebs) on Jan 29, 2019 at 6:05pm PST Comments by Celebs’ post featured replies from two notables: “OMG [heart eyes]” Lopez’s ex, P. Diddy, had written, spawning headlines like “P. Diddy left a Thirsty Comment on Jennifer Lop..

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Howard Schultz hasn’t gotten into policy specifics. Here are 4 ideas from women candidates who have.

Harris, Klobuchar, Warren, and Gillibrand have ideas. “Why am I here, and why am I considering doing this?” Howard Schultz asked during a town hall event on Thursday hosted by Fox News. That’s what a lot of other people are wondering, too. The former Starbucks CEO is mulling running for office as a centrist independent. A third-party candidate has never won a presidential election in the United States, but Schultz seems to believe he’s the exception — and because he’s a billionaire, he can fund his bid himself. During the Fox News town hall hosted by Martha MacCallum and Brett Baier, Schultz tried to make the case a potential independent run makes sense — he claimed that he could run a competitive race and potentially win electoral college votes in more than 40 states. He answered questions from the audience on a variety of issues, though he didn’t get into many details in the one-hour event. He talked about abortion (he’s pro-choice), health care (he thinks prices are too high)..

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Shazam!’s 2 end-credits scenes, explained

Spoiler alert. Shazam! has two credits scenes: a mid-credits scene that could tease out a future sequel and an end-credits scene that’s more of a joke. For over a decade now, most comic superhero movies have come with credits scenes. Marvel’s interconnected superhero universe is largely responsible, as the studio essentially invented the practice of embellishing the credits of its films with Easter eggs and scenes that hint at future movies and future heroes (see: Avengers: Infinity War’s credits scene referencing Captain Marvel). Warner Bros. has now adopted the habit with its DC Comics films, albeit more inconsistently. Wonder Woman didn’t have one at all while Justice League had two. Aquaman had one, but it was kind of a dud. Shazam!’s two are better. Here’s what happens in Shazam!’s two end-credits scenes: 1) Mr. Mind introduces himself to Doctor Sivana At the end of the movie, Doctor Sivana is defeated, and the credits scene picks up with Sivana scrawling all kinds of symb..

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Vox Sentences: Mar-a-Lag-Oh-No

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. A recent arrest at Mar-a-Lago suggests a possible national security threat; gay sex is now punishable by death in Brunei. A spy caper at Mar-a-Lago? Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images A Chinese woman, Yujing Zhang, was arrested on Saturday for trespassing at Mar-a-Lago while carrying a thumb drive infected with malware. Some are worried that the lack of oversight of President Trump’s Florida club could lead to a national security crisis. [Vox / Emily Stewart] The incident sheds light on the complications that follow when the president prefers to stay at a crowded resort over the more isolated Camp David, a remote lodge in Maryland designed for presidential retreats. [CNN / Jeremy Diamond and Jim Acosta] Although the Secret Service amps up the resort securit..

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Exclusive: Google cancels AI ethics board in response to outcry

The controversial panel lasted just a little over a week. This week, Vox and other outlets reported that Google’s newly created AI ethics board was falling apart amid controversy over several of the board members. Well, it’s officially done falling apart — it’s been canceled. Google told Vox on Thursday that it’s pulling the plug on the ethics board. The board survived for barely more than one week. Founded to guide “responsible development of AI” at Google, it would have had eight members and met four times over the course of 2019 to consider concerns about Google’s AI program. Those concerns include how AI can enable authoritarian states, how AI algorithms produce disparate outcomes, whether to work on military applications of AI, and more. But it ran into problems from the start. Thousands of Google employees signed a petition calling for the removal of one board member, Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, over her comments about trans people and her organization’s ..

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