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Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to keep his hands to himself

Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to keep his hands to himselfSpeaker asks former vice-president to ‘join the straight-arm club’ but says his behavior doesn’t disqualify him from a 2020 run * US politics live: follow the latest updatesNancy Pelosi said of Joe Biden’s behavior with women: ‘What’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.’ Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty ImagesNancy Pelosi – widely seen as the most powerful woman in Washington – has some advice for Joe Biden: keep your hands to yourself.As Biden, the former vice-president, scrambles to contain any political damage over his past behavior with women, the House speaker said at an event in Washington that her fellow Democrat and other male politicians should keep their distance during encounters with women and restrain from being touchy-feely.“Join the straight-arm club with me,” Pelosi, who is the first female speaker, said of Biden during a live interview with Politico on Tuesday. “He’s an affectionate person, to children, to senior citizens, to everyone, but that’s just not the way.”Over the past week, Biden – who has long been expected to launch a bid to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020 any time now – has been the subject of damaging news reports after two women accused him of inappropriate behavior towards them.Pelosi said the two allegations of unwelcome contact should not keep Biden from running for the presidency in 2020.“I don’t think it’s disqualifying,” she told the event on Tuesday. But she added that Biden “has to understand that in the world we are in now, people’s space is important to them and what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it”.The former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores described in an essay for the Cut her discomfort when Biden kissed her on the head during a campaign event in 2014. She has since said the episode is disqualifying and that he should not run.Amy Lappos, from Connecticut, also detailed an unwanted exchange with the former vice-president, describing how he grabbed her head and they rubbed noses during a 2009 fundraiser. She said she was prompted to recount the allegation publicly after watching the treatment of Flores.Biden issued a statement on Sunday saying he does not believe he has acted inappropriately during his long public life. The former vice-president said in that statement: “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”In a statement on Monday, a Biden spokesman, Bill Russo, blasted “rightwing trolls” from “the dark recesses of the internet” for conflating images of Biden embracing acquaintances, colleagues and friends in his official capacity during swearing-in ceremonies with uninvited touching.Biden hasn’t made a final decision on whether to run for the White House. But the developments underscored some challenges he will face if he does run.Following historic wins in the 2018 midterms, Democratic politics is dominated by energy from women. The allegations could leave the 76-year-old Biden, long known for his tactile mannerisms, appearing out of touch with the party as the Democratic presidential primary begins.Asked on Monday about the accusations against Biden, Pelosi said: “I don’t think that this disqualifies him from running for president, not at all.”But Biden’s potential Democratic rivals haven’t rushed to back him up. Over the weekend, the presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand came closest to calling out the former vice-president. Warren, a Massachusetts senator, said Biden “needs to give an answer” about what occurred. Gillibrand, a New York senator, said, “If vice-president Biden becomes a candidate, this is a topic he’ll have to engage on further.”Ultraviolet, a women’s advocacy group, tweeted: “Joe Biden cannot paint himself as a champion of women and then refuse to listen and learn from a woman who says his actions demeaned her. Good intentions don’t matter if the actions are inappropriate. Do better, Joe. And thank you @LucyFlores for coming forward.”On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, strongly denied any suggestion that anyone from the senator’s team or his allies encouraged Lucy Flores to publish her account of an unwelcome interaction with Biden.“Neither the Bernie Sanders campaign nor anyone involved in it, planted, planned, persuaded, cajoled or otherwise urged Lucy Flores or anyone else to tell their story. Full stop, period, end of sentence. I don’t want to hear it. We didn’t play a role,” he said.Flores, the former Nevada lawmaker, supported Sanders during the 2016 election and was on the board of his group Our Revolution.The Associated Press contributed to this report



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Venezuela: Maduro calls on armed groups to keep order amid electricity rationing

Venezuela: Maduro calls on armed groups to keep order amid electricity rationingPresident announces 30-day rationing plan and says pro-government
colectivos must ‘defend the peace of every block’ Nicolás Maduro said: ‘We are facing a group of monsters who want to destroy Venezuela.’ Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro has called on armed pro-government groups to help subdue unrest as he announced a 30-day electricity rationing plan set to inflict further pain on the population. In a televised address, Maduro said he had no choice but to take drastic measures while his government rebuilt key sections of Venezuela’s national grid following a succession of crippling power failures since 7 March. Experts and Maduro’s political opponents say the repeated collapse of Venezuela’s electricity system – which has left millions without light or water – is a consequence of years of neglect, corruption and incompetence. But in his late-night appearance Maduro repeated the Socialist party line that Venezuela had suffered a series of “brutish attacks” masterminded by his political opponents and their supporters in the White House. “We are facing a group of monsters who want to destroy Venezuela,” Maduro said, claiming their aim was to topple his government by “making the people and the country go mad”. Amid growing fears that Venezuela’s crisis could be moving into a violent new phase, Maduro instructed “revolutionary and patriotic” government supporters and armed pro-government gangs known as
colectivos to mobilize “to defend the peace of every
barrio, of every block”. “They will not take away our peace,” Maduro vowed. Last week Maduro’s second-in-command, Diosdado Cabello, appeared in a menacing video flanked by dozens of masked men and women who he referred to as “peace defenders” but who many fear have been tasked with violently repressing dissent. There were signs on Sunday that such groups had begun responding to the government’s calls. As further blackouts struck Venezuela and citizens took to the streets to protest, photographs and videos circulated appearing to show armed men confronting demonstrators in the capital, Caracas. Two protesters were reported to have been shot after burning blockades were set up in streets near the presidential palace. “We’re here fighting for water and power, we’ve gone twenty-some days without water,” Yofre Gamez, 32, told Reuters as shots rang out. In the western state of Zulia, perhaps the worst affected by the electricity crisis, opposition leaders claimed a 70-year-old woman had been shot dead by members of one
colectivo during a protest. Footage also circulated on social media that appeared to show paramilitaries and police special forces searching a housing estate for protesters in Barquisimeto, Venezuela’s fourth largest city. Maduro’s challenger, Juan Guaidó, claimed such paramilitary groups were trying – but failing – to suppress popular opposition to Hugo Chávez’s successor, who has led Venezuela into economic crisis. “We must stay strong and stay in the streets,” tweeted Guaidó, who most western governments have recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. The Venezuelan human rights group Provea said Maduro’s so-called “peace squads” were actually paramilitary gangs tasked with spreading violence and shooting protesters. “Maduro’s peace means violence against the people,” Provea said. As Venezuelans braced for weeks of hardship and uncertainty, Maduro urged them to have faith in his government – and in God. “God must accompany us with his blessings in this, the most difficult of battles that we must face,” Maduro said, before being applauded by senior political and military leaders.



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30+ Healthy Ways To Eat Eggs—And Keep Your Breakfast From Ever Getting Boring

30+ Healthy Ways To Eat Eggs—And Keep Your Breakfast From Ever Getting Boring



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Trump changes his mind on Electoral College, now wants to keep it

Trump changes his mind on Electoral College, now wants to keep itIn a not-totally-unexpected reversal of policy, President Trump, who before being elected president called the Electoral College “a disaster for democracy,” now says it’s “far better for the U.S.A.”



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Tesla reverses course on price cuts amid plans to keep most stores open

Tesla reverses course on price cuts amid plans to keep most stores openOne of the more interesting and admirable things about Tesla over the years has been the company's clear vision and unwavering adherence to a coherent product strategy. As laid out in the first installment of Tesla's master plan more than a decade ago, the company described in clear terms its plan to revolutionize the auto industry by using profits from pricier electric vehicles to develop and manufacture a mass market EV, a car we now know as the Model 3. Recently, though, Tesla seems to be somewhat prone to waffling as opposed to sticking with a coherent game plan. Late last month, for example, Tesla at long last announced the long-overdue arrival of the $ 35,000 Model 3. The company also announced that it would be closing nearly all of its stores and that the Model S and Model X would also see some slight price reductions. Not even two weeks later, Tesla has had something of an about-face. Perhaps realizing that closing the majority of its stores was a short-sighted move, the company over the weekend announced that it will keep most of its stores open and that the promised price cuts for the Model S and Model X won't be implemented. Tesla's updated announcement on the matter can be viewed below: > Last month, we announced that we would be winding down many of our stores and moving to online-only sales in order to pass the savings along to our customers. Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months. When we recently closed 10% of sales locations, we selected stores that didn’t invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for. These are stores that we would have closed anyway, even if in-store sales made up our entire sales model. A few stores in high visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened, but with a smaller Tesla crew. In addition, there are another 20% of locations that are under review, and depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open. As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide. In other words, we will only close about half as many stores, but the cost savings are therefore only about half. Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th. There will be no price increase to the $ 35,000 Model 3. The price increases will only apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X. To be clear, all sales worldwide will still be done online, in that potential Tesla owners coming in to stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes. And the generous return policy of 1000 miles or 7 days, whichever comes first, should alleviate the need for most test drives. However, cars will still be available for test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner’s request. Stores will also carry a small number of cars in inventory for customers who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately.All in all, this seems like the right move for Tesla. Though the company noted that most orders occur through the Tesla website, that's probably a function of eager Tesla buyers willing to pull the trigger with not so much as a test drive. If Tesla truly wants to hasten the adoption of EVs, though, it needs physical retail locations where complete strangers to the Tesla brand can learn about the company and schedule test drives.



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Warren Says Breaking Up Tech Giants Will Keep Market Competitive

Warren Says Breaking Up Tech Giants Will Keep Market CompetitiveThe Massachusetts senator spoke Saturday at the annual South by Southwest cultural festival in Austin, Texas, a day after proposing to take steps to break up companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Co.’s Google if she’s elected. On Friday she called for legislation that would designate large technology companies as “platform utilities,” and for the appointment of regulators who’d unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.



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Back in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez says to keep up the fight

Back in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez says to keep up the fightNEW YORK (AP) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez returned to her home district in the New York City borough of the Bronx on Saturday to encourage her supporters to keep up the kind of activism that resulted in Amazon rescinding its plan to build a campus in the city.



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Venezuela opposition rally to keep up pressure on Maduro

Venezuela opposition rally to keep up pressure on MaduroVenezuela’s opposition supporters will hold rallies across the country on Saturday to show backing for self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido and to protest against the increasingly isolated socialist leader Nicolas Maduro. Maduro’s critics also hope to encourage similar moves by European countries. Some European Union member states are expected to officially recognize Guaido next week, while others will likely take a more cautious stance of support.



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Bid to keep U.S. sanctions on Russia's Rusal fails in Senate

Bid to keep U.S. sanctions on Russia's Rusal fails in SenateSenators voted 57-42 to end debate on the measure, as 11 of Trump’s fellow Republicans broke from party leaders to join Democrats in favor of the resolution, amid questions about Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. To keep the administration from lifting the sanctions, the measure must pass both the House and Senate and muster the two-thirds majority needed in both chambers to override an expected Trump veto. Many members of Congress have been questioning the U.S. Treasury Department’s decision in December to ease sanctions imposed in April on the core businesses of Deripaska – Rusal, its parent, En+ , and power firm EuroSibEnergo – watering down the toughest penalties imposed on Russian entities since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.



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National Park Service plans to use entrance fees to keep major parks open during shutdown

National Park Service plans to use entrance fees to keep major parks open during shutdownNational Park Service takes unprecedented step to use entrance fees to keep major parks open. The fees will be used for trash clean up and more. But is it legal?



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