CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A NASA spacecraft has detected carbon-based materials, similar to what may have been the building blocks for life on Earth, on the Texas-sized dwarf planet Ceres that orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the main asteroid belt, scientists said on Thursday, Feb. 16.
TransCanada Corp, Canada's No. 2 pipeline operator, filed an application with Nebraska authorities to route its Keystone XL pipeline through the state, after U.S. President Donald Trump cleared the way for the project last month. In November 2015, the pipeline company withdrew the route application it had made to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, after then President Barack Obama denied a permit for the controversial project over environmental concerns.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate on Thursday, Feb. 16, narrowly confirmed South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney to serve as White House budget director in a 51-49 vote that largely followed party lines. Underscoring the rocky reception that President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees have had on Capitol Hill, the vote came as Republican Sen. John McCain opposed Mulvaney along with 46 Democrats and two independents. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Wednesday he was concerned about Mulvaney's opposition to defense spending.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, conservative federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, beginning on March 20, the panel's Republican chairman said on Thursday, Feb. 16. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who will oversee the proceedings as head of the Judiciary Committee, said the hearing is likely to last three to four days.
BOSTON - New versions of Monopoly will no longer give players the option of using a tiny silver-colored thimble as their pawn on the board, after fans voted to drop the piece that had featured in the game since its introduction in 1935. The thimble -- a tool used in sewing to prevent pricking one's thumb with a needle -- was the second of the games' original pieces to be dropped after players gave a thumbs-down to the iron in 2013, Providence, R.I.-based game maker Hasbro said on Thursday, Feb. 16.
WASHINGTON -- In a blow to President Donald Trump as he tries to assemble his administration, his nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday, Feb. 15, amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed. Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night's abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job.
Illinois proposes state police hiring in effort to curb violence By Timothy Mclaughlin CHICAGO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Illinois' governor on Wednesday proposed boosting the shrinking ranks of the Illinois State Police in an effort to quell a steady increase in gun violence spilling over from Chicago's neighborhoods onto the city's expressways. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget would add a projected 170 troopers through two cadet classes, one this year and another during the 2019 fiscal year. Seventy of these troopers would be sent to the Chicago area.
NEW YORK - Diseased rat urine has killed at least one person and sickened two others in New York City in an outbreak of a rarely seen infection, prompting calls from city officials on Wednesday for a renewed effort to cull the rodent population. The outbreak of leptospiriosis began in December and all three cases were traced to a single-block area of the Bronx, New York's northernmost borough, the city's health department said in a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday: RUSSIA Trump assails U.S. intelligence agencies and dismisses reports of contacts between members of his presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials. The Kremlin says U.S. media reports about Russian intelligence connections to Trump's presidential campaign are groundless. Congress should start a bipartisan investigation if there were inappropriate contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says.
The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable team for the second consecutive year despite having been shut out of the playoffs since 2013, according to a Forbes poll released on Wednesday, Feb. 15, that showed the average team value rose 9 percent. The Knicks' value rose to $3.3 billion, up 10 percent from last year, as they continue reaping the rewards of a $1 billion renovation to Madison Square Garden, which produced new revenue opportunities from sponsorships and seating. The Minnesota Timberwolves were ranked 29th at $770 million with a revenue of $154 million.