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Israeli troops kill Palestinian during Gaza protests: health ministry

Israeli troops kill Palestinian during Gaza protests: health ministry(This March 8 story corrects to clarify paragraph 11 to show that around 70 percent of Gaza residents are refugees from the 1948 Middle East war or their descendants, instead of “nearly all”) By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian and wounded 42 others taking part on Friday in weekly protests at the fortified Gaza Strip border, the Palestinian health ministry said, after days of rising tensions along the frontier. The Israeli military said over 8,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstration, throwing rocks and explosives towards soldiers, and that some tried to breach the fence into Israel. Israel’s military said on Thursday it had carried out air strikes on a compound belonging to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, after explosives attached to balloons were launched from the coastal enclave towards Israel.



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Israeli troops kill Palestinian during Gaza protests: health ministry

Israeli troops kill Palestinian during Gaza protests: health ministryThe Israeli military said over 8,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstration, throwing rocks and explosives toward soldiers, and that some tried to breach the fence into Israel. A spokesman for the military said troops “responded with riot dispersal means and fired in accordance with standard operating procedures”. Israel’s military said on Thursday it had carried out air strikes on a compound belonging to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, after explosives attached to balloons were launched from the coastal enclave toward Israel.



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Forget About Nuclear Weapons: North Korea’s Artillery Could Kill Thousands

Forget About Nuclear Weapons: North Korea’s Artillery Could Kill ThousandsAnd impact millions within 24 hours.



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Alabama tornadoes kill at least 23 and leave trail of 'catastrophic' damage

Alabama tornadoes kill at least 23 and leave trail of 'catastrophic' damageA tornado roaring across southeast Alabama killed at least 23 people, including children, and injured several others on Sunday as severe storms destroyed mobile homes, snapped trees and caused widespread destruction. Dozens of emergency responders rushed to join search and rescue efforts in Lee County, Alabama, after what appeared to be a large tornado touched down on Sunday afternoon, springing out of a powerful storm system raking the Southeast. "Unfortunately our toll, as far as fatalities, does stand at 23 at the current time," Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said. Mr Jones described the damage caused by the storm as "catastrophic, based on the destruction of homes that we've seen." "The devastation is incredible," he said. "I cannot recall at least in the last 50 years… a situation where we have had this loss of life that we experienced today." Debris in Lee County, Alabama, after what appeared to be a tornado struck in the area Credit: AP Drones flying overheard equipped with heat-seeking devices had scanned the area for survivors but the dangerous conditions halted the search late Sunday, Jones said. An intense ground search would resume on Monday morning. Mr Jones said the storm's path of destruction stretched for miles through his rural county. He didn't have an immediate account of how many were believed missing. Several people in Lee County were taken to hospitals, "some of them with very serious injuries," Mr Jones said. After nightfall on Sunday, the rain had stopped and pieces of metal debris and tree branches littered roadways in Beauregard.  Debris and a damaged house seen following a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama Credit: Reuters President Donald Trump tweeted late on Sunday, "To the great people of Alabama and surrounding areas: Please be careful and safe. … To the families and friends of the victims, and to the injured, God bless you all!" Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said the death toll could rise. "We've still got people being pulled out of rubble," he told the Birmingham News newspaper. "We're going to be here all night." "There are some children involved," Harris said later, following unconfirmed reports that an eight-year-old girl was among the dead. A fallen cell tower lies across U.S. Route 280 highway in Lee County, Alabama Credit: AP The East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika said in a statement that it was treating more than 40 patients as a result of the tornado and expected to receive more. Some patients had been sent to other hospitals, it added. Rita Smith, spokeswoman for the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, said about 150 first responders jumped in to efforts to search the debirs after the powerful storm hit. She said numerous homes were destroyed or damaged in Beauregard, about 60 miles east of Montgomery. "We've still got people being pulled out of rubble," Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told Al.com. "We're going to be here all night." This photo shows some damage at the Buck Wild Saloon, located on U.S. Highway 280, east of Smiths Station, Alabama, Credit: AP Photos posted on social media from a highway near Smiths Station, about 20 miles east of Beauregard, showed a large bar called the Buck Wild Saloon with its roof torn off and missing most of a wall after the storm swept through. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey warned residents on Twitter that more severe weather might be on the way. A state of emergency for Alabama, issued on Feb. 23 to deal with flooding, would be extended, she said. "Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the storms that hit Lee County today," Ivey wrote. "Praying for their families & everyone whose homes or businesses were affected." No deaths had been reported Sunday evening from storm-damaged Alabama counties outside Lee County, said Gregory Robinson, spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. But he said crews were still surveying damage in several counties in the southwestern part of the state. Radar and video evidence showed what looked like a large tornado crossing the area near Beauregard shortly after 2 pm on Sunday, said meteorologist Meredith Wyatt with the Birmingham, Alabama, office of the National Weather Service. Numerous tornado warnings were posted across parts of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina as the powerful storm system raced across the region. Weather officials said they confirmed other tornadoes around the region by radar alone and would send teams out early on Monday to assess the situation involving those and others. People walk amid debris in Lee County, Ala., after what appeared to be a tornado struck in the area  Credit: AP In rural Talbotton, Georgia, about 80 miles south of Atlanta, a handful of people were injured by either powerful straight-line winds or a tornado that destroyed several mobile homes and damaged other buildings, said Leigh Ann Erenheim, director of the Talbot County Emergency Management Agency. Televised broadcast news footage showed smashed buildings with rooftops blown away, cars overturned and debris everywhere. Trees all around had been snapped bare of branches. "The last check I had was between six and eight injuries," Ms Ereheim said. "From what I understand it was minor injuries, though one fellow did say his leg might be broken." Henry Wilson of the Peach County Emergency Management Agency near Macon in central Georgia said a barn had been destroyed and trees and power poles had been snapped, leaving many in the area without power.



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As tensions over aid rise, Venezuelan troops fire on villagers, kill two

As tensions over aid rise, Venezuelan troops fire on villagers, kill twoThe United States, which is among dozens of Western nations to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president, has been stockpiling aid in the Colombian frontier town of Cucuta to ship across the border this weekend. With tensions running high after Guaido invoked the constitution to declare an interim presidency last month, Maduro has denied there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela despite widespread shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation. The socialist president has declared Venezuela’s southern border with Brazil closed and threatened to do the same with the Colombian border ahead of a Saturday deadline by the opposition to bring in humanitarian assistance.



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Maduro's Troops Kill 2 as Opposition Tries to Open Borders

Maduro's Troops Kill 2 as Opposition Tries to Open BordersMembers of the Pemon stopped anti-riot troops and their vehicles about 6 a.m. as they tried to assert control over the remote area around Gran Sabana, about 780 miles (1,260 kilometers) southeast of Caracas. Soldiers opened fire, leaving more than a dozen indigenous people injured, some seriously, said Americo de Grazia, an opposition member of the National Assembly. The victims were Zoraida Rodriguez and her husband, Rolando Garcia, according to a news release from Asociacion Civil Kape Kape, an organization that promotes rights for indigenous people in Venezuela’s Bolivar state.



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Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders Have a Plan to Kill the Stock Market

Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders Have a Plan to Kill the Stock MarketSenators Chuck Schumer of New York and Bernie Sanders of Vermont want to penalize “self-indulgent” corporations that buy back their own stock. In a recent article in the New York Times, they argued that when companies repurchase shares, not only do the vast majority of Americans not benefit, but income inequality is exacerbated since only wealthy shareholders and corporate management profit.Despite decades of extraordinary success that the United States has enjoyed and that we enjoy today, Schumer and Sanders believe that something sinister is taking place in the corporate world. They call buybacks a form of “corporate self-indulgence.” Why? Because> corporate boardrooms have become obsessed with maximizing only shareholder earnings to the detriment of workers and the long-term strength of their companies. . . . Companies, rather than investing in ways to make their businesses more resilient or their workers more productive, have been dedicating ever larger shares of their profits to dividends and corporate repurchases.Now even some Republicans are getting on board. Florida senator Marco Rubio has suggested changes in the tax law to discourage buybacks because he says they “inflate” the prices of stock “at the expense of future productivity & job creation.”These senators don’t seem to fully understand that the purpose of a business is to allocate resources in a way that maximizes per share results over the long run. To think that this can be achieved at the expense of workers, at the expense of investing in research, at the expense of developing new and better products, at the expense of investing in equipment to both lower the cost and increase the quality of production, etc. is sophomoric. This underscores their lack of knowledge about investing and financial markets.Companies have several options with regard to the use of excess cash. They can (1) retain the funds in the company, (2) invest in the capital needed to grow the company, (3) make acquisitions, (4) pay out the excess cash in the form of dividends, or (5) repurchase shares from existing shareholders.These senators see little value in share buybacks, but they should listen to Warren Buffett, who is unequivocally a long-term investor. His financial success is a result of making exceptional long-term investments in resilient companies. Unlike Schumer and Sanders, Buffett is an enthusiastic proponent of utilizing excess cash to repurchase shares when conditions are favorable (or opportune).Here is what he said in his 1984 annual report: “The companies in which we have our largest investments are all engaged in significant share repurchases at the times when a wide discrepancy exists between price and value.” He has made this point repeatedly throughout the years. These companies repurchase shares and continue to grow, continue to invest in research, in capital that will improve the quality and lower the cost of products. He has even bought back $ 1 billion of shares of his own company, Berkshire Hathaway, not because he is “self-indulgent” but because he thinks the firm is undervalued.Schumer and Sanders—and in some cases they are joined by Rubio—provide two main reasons we are in a stock buyback “crisis”:> First, stock buybacks don’t benefit the vast majority of Americans.> > Second, when corporations direct resources to buy back shares on this scale, they restrain their capacity to reinvest profits more meaningfully in the company in terms of R&D, equipment, higher wages, paid medical leave, retirement benefits and worker retraining.The first point is utter nonsense. More than 100 million average Americans own stock. Americans invest in mutual funds and index funds and buy and sell stock every day. Tens of millions more have 401K plans, and most union pension funds have hundreds of billions of dollars invested in stocks.The second point is equally absurd. A corporate board of directors is elected by shareholders, the owners of the company. When a board makes the decision to repurchase shares, it is a sign of confidence in the firm’s long-term profitability. It raises share values, which obviously benefits shareholders and puts firms in better financial shape — which also benefits the employees. Essentially, Schumer and Sanders believe, and Rubio seems to believe, that they have the right to tell the owners of a corporation the best way to allocate their profits.Studies show that firms that buy back their own shares have strong long-term growth.Consider Apple. It has become the most valuable company in the world. This exceptional success was achieved because of the enormous investments they made to develop revolutionary products. Companies cannot develop revolutionary products by underpaying talented workers or without investing billions of dollars in research, factories, and equipment. Not incidentally, Apple has repurchased billions of dollars of its own stock.The hyper-competitiveness and efficiency of U.S. companies is a major reason that unemployment is at a near 50-year low. Today, no company can survive if its workers are treated poorly. Walmart, which Schumer and Sanders attacked in their article, and many other companies recently raised their wage rates substantially, starting with entry-level positions.What is most disturbing about Schumer and Sanders’s proposal is their hubris in believing that they know how every company should handle its excess cash better than the CEOs, the boards of directors, and shareholders do. That is a rather all-encompassing statement. One would be hard-pressed to find a more vivid example of what Friedrich Hayek called “the fatal conceit,” the distorted notion that one knows more than is knowable. Would Buffett invest in a company if Schumer and Sanders were in charge of allocating its resources?We doubt it. Who in their right mind would?If approved, what Schumer and Sanders propose would not only hurt U.S. companies. It would harm the entire U.S. economy and financial system. It would raise the cost of capital for companies. What they advocate would tell domestic and foreign investors that our government is interfering with how companies allocate their resources.What is the difference between going after a large company with lots of shareholders and a small company with one owner? How long before Senators Schumer and Sanders tell the tire-shop owner that he has not paid his employees enough and that therefore he has withdrawn too much of the profit as an owner distribution?Every shareholder and business owner in America should rise up in loud protest against what these senators are proposing.Thomas A. Smith is the president of the Smith Foundation and ran a successful investment company for 40 years. Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks.



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Afghan lawmaker says airstrikes kill 21 civilians

Afghan lawmaker says airstrikes kill 21 civiliansKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Airstrikes in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province have killed 21 civilians, including women and children, a lawmaker from the region said Sunday.



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Venezuela's Maduro says Trump out to kill him, Russia seeks talks

Venezuela's Maduro says Trump out to kill him, Russia seeks talksThe fight to control Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, has intensified with new U.S. sanctions and legal moves that may bring the arrest of opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido. In an interview with Moscow’s RIA news agency, Maduro, 56, facing the biggest challenge to his rule since replacing Hugo Chavez six years ago, said Trump had ordered neighboring Colombia to murder him. “Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” Maduro said, reprising a constant accusation of his and Chavez’s over the years.



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'Your Ignorance Could Kill You:' How Minnesotans Are Preparing for Minus 60 Wind Chills

'Your Ignorance Could Kill You:' How Minnesotans Are Preparing for Minus 60 Wind Chills“One breath of wind can suck the heat out of you”



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