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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refuses to back Bernie Sanders for 2020 election run against TrumpAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez has refused to endorse Bernie Sanders for the 2020 Democratic nomination, despite working on the senator’s first presidential campaign. A spokesperson for Ms Ocasio-Cortez, like Mr Sanders a self-described democratic socialist, refused to comment directly on the 77-year-old’s Tuesday announcement he is running for a second time. “We’re excited to see so many progressives in the race,” spokesperson Corbin Trent said.


Neptune's smallest moon may have been created by cometsWe're all made of star stuff, but some things in the universe are created by comets. Neptune's recently discovered and smallest moon, Hippocamp, has been confirmed and observed in detail by the Hubble Space Telescope according to new research published in Nature on Wednesday. SEE ALSO: Neptune looks extremely sharp and very blue in these latest images Named Hippocamp for the half-horse, half-fish creature from Greek mythology — all of Neptune's moons are named for Greek and Roman mythological figures — it's the smallest of the planet's seven inner moons, with a diameter of approximately 20-21 miles (34 kilometres).  How have we never met Hippocamp before? The planet's other six small inner moons were picked up in a 1989 fly-by from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, but Hippocamp was missed.  Between 2004 and 2009, the Hubble picked up a "white dot" from 150 images, and in 2013, Mark Showalter of California's SETI Institute officially discovered the moon by analyzing the photographs and plotting its circular orbit.  Hippocamp was officially confirmed in the study published Wednesday by Showalter alongside Imke de Pater from the University of California, Berkeley, Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center, and R. S. French of SETI. While there are three Hubble programmes dedicated to studying Neptune's rings, arcs and small inner moons, the study's authors had to develop their own specialised image processing techniques to focus on the inner satellites, including Hippocamp, because of their speedy orbits.  With these new techniques, the team were able to confirm not only that Neptune officially has 14 moons, but how the smallest was likely formed. Part of another moon? Hippocamp sits in orbit near Proteus, the largest and outermost of Neptune's moons. In fact, the study's authors suggest Hippocamp could be derived from Proteus, as an ancient fragment of it.  "The first thing we realized was that you wouldn't expect to find such a tiny moon right next to Neptune's biggest inner moon," study author Showalter said on NASA's blog.  "In the distant past, given the slow migration outward of the larger moon, Proteus was once where Hippocamp is now." This diagram shows the orbits of several moons located close to the planet Neptune. Image: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI) The inner moons are thought to be younger than Neptune, having formed after the capture (a successful pull into orbit) of Neptune's largest moon, Triton.  But according to the study, each inner moon has likely been fragmented by comet impacts, including Proteus, which sports the enormous Pharos crater thought to be unusually large in relation to the size of the moon, and possibly created by a comet. "Based on estimates of comet populations, we know that other moons in the outer solar system have been hit by comets, smashed apart, and re-accreted multiple times," said Lissauer.  "This pair of satellites provides a dramatic illustration that moons are sometimes broken apart by comets." It's this type of comet impact that the authors hypothesise could have released debris from the moon, which then settled into orbit and gradually accreted (formed) into Hippocamp. According to NASA, astronomers refer to it as "the moon that shouldn't be there." A pretty violent way to be born, but there it is. WATCH: Elon Musk says Mars round trip could cost only $100,000 one day


Father accused of beating, raping twin daughters sentencedMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 52-year-old Minneapolis man accused of beating and raping his mentally disabled twin daughters has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.


Empire Star Jussie Smollett Charged for Allegedly Falsely Reporting Hate AttackEmpire star Jussie Smollett was charged in Chicago for allegedly filing a false report for his claim he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.


Trump bars US-born woman who joined IS from returningPresident Donald Trump said Wednesday he is barring a US-born former Islamic State propagandist from returning home, making the highly unusual case that she is not a US citizen. Trump's refusal to admit 24-year-old Hoda Muthana comes just as he is pressing Europeans to repatriate their own Islamic State fighters and will likely face legal challenges, with US citizenship extremely difficult to lose. Trump said on Twitter he has "instructed" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the country" - a break with usual US protocol not to comment on individuals' immigration issues.


Jussie Smollett Now Considered a Suspect for Allegedly Filing a False Hate-Crime ReportEmbattled Empire actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a “suspect” for filing a false police report, evidence of which has been presented before a grand jury, a Chicago Police Department spokesman announced on Wednesday.> Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury. pic.twitter.com/FhDcbBKsuU> > - Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 20, 2019The announcement came after Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and detectives on Wednesday. Smollett initially told police that he was attacked outside of a Subway restaurant at around 2 a.m. on January 29 by two masked men who allegedly beat him, poured an unknown chemical on him, and placed a noose around his neck. Smollett later added that the men had yelled, “This is MAGA country” as they fled, a detail he reported only after TMZ claimed it had taken place.Chicago police announced last Friday that the focus of their investigation had “shifted” after interviewing two Nigerian brothers, one of whom worked as an extra on Empire, and both of whom claimed that Smollett had paid them to stage the attack. The brothers also told police that Smollett was motivated to stage the attack after he sent himself a threatening a letter and did not receive the attention from co-workers and fans that he believed the letter warranted.“We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens,” the brothers said in a statement provided to CBS Chicago on February 19.Smollett has repeatedly denied that he staged the attack and has maintained that he was the victim of a hate crime.Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx, Chicago’s top prosecutor, recused herself from the Smollett investigation on Tuesday, citing “familiarity with potential witnesses.”“Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,” spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.Filing a false police report is a class-four felony and typically results in a prison sentence of two to ten years.


North Carolina Republican's son says warned father about operative's pastA state probe into the election for the 9th Congressional District has uncovered the fraudulent scheme by a consultant working for the campaign of candidate Mark Harris. The probe could lead to a new election to fill the seat, which has remained vacant since state officials refused to certify Harris' apparent victory over Democratic rival Dan McCready by 905 votes out of 282,717 ballots cast. The five-member State Board of Elections heard evidence this week that the political consultant, Leslie McCrae Dowless, hired workers to solicit and collect absentee ballots from voters in violation of state law.


Snow, sleet threaten U.S. East Coast, hinder hundreds of flightsA winter storm bore down on the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday, threatening to snarl New York City's evening commute after hindering air travel along the East Coast and prompting the shutdown of federal offices in Washington. Snow turning to sleet slickened roadways in the New York metropolitan area by the early afternoon and was blamed for a rash of fender benders and traffic jams. The widespread weather system piled as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of snow across the Washington area before turning to sleet, said meteorologist Bryan Jackson of the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.


Netanyahu strikes election deal with far-right partiesJERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday reached a preliminary election deal with two fringe religious-nationalist parties in a bid to unify his hard-line bloc ahead of April elections.


Obama talks self-confidence with Steph Curry: ‘If you’re confident with your sexuality, you don’t need 8 women twerking around you’In a wide-ranging interview about what it means to be a man, Barack Obama said that you don't need women "twerking around you" if you are "very confident about your sexuality". During a town hall in Oakland, California as part of the former president’s My Brother’s Keeper programme, Mr Obama engaged in a candid conversation with Golden State Warriors basketball star Steph Curry. When it came to self-confidence, Mr Obama suggested that those who know who they are do not always flaunt it.


Some Americans face a costly surprise this tax season: tiny refunds or bigger billsFor some, this tax season so far has come with a costly surprise – a tiny tax refund or a big tax bill. The shock is hitting their finances.


 

CNN learned a letter of intent for the project was signed by President Trump, something his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani initially disputed. The lengthy letter of intent is dated Oct. 28, 2015, four months after Trump announced his bid for the presidency.

 

Democrats believe illegal immigration and border security are important issues that must be addressed - but it is wrong to "pretend" building a "great big wall" is the solution, Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said Wednesday. In remarks to Fox News' "America's Newsroom," Kildee did not dispute that Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., all have publicly decried the problems illegal immigration have caused the nation.

 

A federal judge who described himself as disgusted by Michael Flynn's behaviour upended a straightforward sentencing hearing, postponing punishment for President Donald Trump's first national security adviser and telling him in a stinging rebuke, "Arguably you sold your country out." Lawyers for Flynn requested the delay Tuesday after a tongue-lashing from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan raised the prospect that Flynn could spend time behind bars for lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

 

The Paducah City Commision voted on Tuesday to approve a contract to develop a demolition package for the iconic Kresge Building, a former dime store at 318-324 Broadway in downtown Paducah.

 

In 2003's landmark Lawrence vs. Texas case, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas's sodomy law and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal across the nation. But apparently Texas Republicans still haven't gotten the memo, because the state continues to uphold a law that lists gay sex as a Class C misdemeanor punishable with a $500 fine.

 

President Trump backed off of his demands for a $5 billion border wall early Tuesday in his ongoing spending showdown with Democrats. That's certainly understandable, as the wall may not have been the best place for him to fight over immigration policy.

 

The White House on Tuesday appeared to inch away from forcing a partial government shutdown over funding for a southern border wall, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying there are "other ways" to secure the $5 billion in funding that President Donald Trump wants. It was the first sign of a potential White House counter offer as the clock ticks down toward Friday's deadline to fund the government.

 

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, is an unrepentant bigot. His hatred of, and disdain for, Jews, gay men and lesbians, trans people, and white people in general is consistent and unwavering.

 

Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation. Trump's private company is contending with civil suits digging into its business with foreign governments and with looming state inquiries into its tax practices.

 

How appropriate would it be for a major publicly held American company to hire a person with a history of having publicly made the following statements and many others like them? "The world could get by just fine with zero black people." "It's kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men."

 

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