Odds and Ends 

Sources: Apple is acquiring music recognition app Shazam

Update: this story has now been confirmed. As Spotify continues to inch towards a public listing, Apple is making a move of its own to step up its game in music services. Sources tell us that the company is close to acquiring Shazam, the popular app that lets people identify any song, TV show, film or advert in seconds, by listening to an audio clip or (in the case of, say, an ad) a visual fragment, and then takes you to content relevant to that search. We have heard that…

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FBI investigates Russian-linked Cyprus bank accused of money laundering

Request for financial information may be connected to inquiries into possible conspiracy between Trump and Kremlin The FBI has asked officials in Cyprus for financial information about a defunct bank that was used by wealthy Russians with political connections and has been accused by the US government of money laundering, two sources have told the Guardian. The request for information about FBME Bank comes as Cyprus has emerged as a key area of interest for Robert Mueller, the US special counsel who is investigating a possible conspiracy between Donald Trumps…

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Aardvark killed and four meerkats presumed dead after fire at London zoo

Zoo to reopen on Christmas Eve despite blaze at Regents Park site, which left some staff requiring treatment for smoke inhalation An aardvark has died and four meerkat brothers are presumed dead after a large fire broke out at ZSL London zoo in the early hours of Saturday morning. A number of ZSL London staff have been treated for smoke inhalation after the blaze in the Animal Adventure section, which spread to an adjacent shop. Sadly our vets have confirmed the death of our nine-year-old aardvark, Misha,

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Tesco to go ‘food waste free’ by February

Many supermarkets have introduced initiatives to tackle waste – such as moving away from “buy-one-get-one-free” offers that have been criticised for potentially increasing the amount of food thrown away in the home. East of England Co-op recently became the first major retailer to sell food beyond its “best before” dates. But Mr Lewis, who joined Tesco in 2014 from consumer brand Unilever, said the contrast between the amount of wasted food in the UK and the situation in countries suffering food shortages was “really stark”. He said: “Last year we…

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Odds and Ends 

The Republicans Are What We Thought They Were

Youre surprised at Bob Corker? Really? Please. Yes, hes a deficit hawk. And hes a senator who has, from time to time, made some effort to work in a bipartisan fashion. But come on. Hes a Republican. He likes tax cuts. He believes, as they all do, in supply-side economic theory. And he has donors and constituents in Tennessee who wanted this. See what he said in defending his switch from no to yes on the GOP tax bill: He changed because of many conversations over the past several days…

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Carrie Fisher brought her own wit, humor to her final Star Wars appearance

Carrie Fisher and director Rian Johnson.Image: lucasfilm Carrie Fisher did more than reprise her role as General Leia Organa in the newest installment of the Star Wars franchise. Before her death at age 60 last year, she brought her own wit and humor with her into The Last Jedi — and director Rian Johnson was all about it. He included some one-liners that have that characteristic Fisher bite, which she wrote herself. SEE ALSO: Carrie Fisher’s dog loved ‘The Last Jedi’ and we’re crying In an interview with PEOPLE, Johnson…

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Former U.S. Attorneys Warn Trump About ‘Severe Repercussions’ Of Firing Robert Mueller

When a reporter asked Trump last week if he planned to fire Mueller, the president said he did not, adding that “there was no collusion whatsoever” between his campaign and Russia.  Ensuring the special counsel can conduct his investigation “free from interference or fear of reprisal” is essential “to the interests of justice and public trust,” they wrote.  Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May while he was leading an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. The president later admitted he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided to dismiss Comey.  Trump’s…

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Trump Signs $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut in First Major Legislative Win

President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax-overhaul bill to little fanfare on Friday, delivering a major tax cut to U.S. corporations along with a package of temporary cuts for other businesses and most individuals. “I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office before signing the legislation. “Corporations are literally going wild over this. I think even beyond my expectations.” Trump’s signature caps a seven-week sprint that

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Sessions orders DOJ review after report Obama administration gave Hezbollah a pass

EXCLUSIVE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is launching a review of a law enforcement initiative called Project Cassandra after an investigative report was published this week claiming the Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track. The Justice Department said in a statement to Fox News that Sessions on Friday directed a review of prior Drug Enforcement Administration investigations “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately…

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Dont keep cell phones next to your body, California Health Department warns

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public. The CDPH asks people to decrease their use of these devices and suggests keeping your distance when possible. “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the…

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