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U.S. Offers $3 Million Prize To Boost Solar Manufacturing

The Trump administration is offering a $3 million prize to revive domestic solar manufacturing, this coming after imposing tariffs opposed by much of the U.S. solar industry. The Energy Department said Wednesday that the American Made Solar Prize would help “reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace.” Earlier this week, President Donald Trump decided to impose tariffs of up to 30 percent on most imported solar cells used in solar panels. Most of the U.S. solar industry revolves around installing solar systems for homeowners and utilities, and those companies largely opposed the tariffs. A federal trade panel recommended the tariffs, which had been sought by two U.S. manufacturers. ...Read more

President Trump Says He Is Willing To Be Interviewed By Mueller Under Oath

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be willing to be interviewed under oath by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.  “I‘m looking forward to it, actually,” Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said of an interview with Mueller. “I would do it under oath.”  He later added his lawyers would have to work out the details and that there is no date set but it could be in two or three weeks. The president’s lawyers began meeting with Mueller’s team in December and have been discussing how the president would respond to the special counsel’s questions, including the possibility of sending questions in writing. Sources familiar with the meeting said earlier this month that Mueller wanted to speak with the president directly. ...Read more

LeBron James Becomes Youngest NBA Player To Join 30,000-Point Club

Heading into Tuesday night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James needed seven points to reach the 30,000 career point milestone. James became the seventh player with 30,000 career points when he hit a jumper with one second left in the first quarter. He finished the game with 28 points, though it was not enough for the Cavaliers to win the game as the Spurs went on to win 114-102.  The 14-time All-Star is also the youngest person to join the prestigious point club, at the age of 33 years and 24 days. He bested Kobe Bryant, who was 34 years and 104 days when he reached the mark. In addition, James became the first NBA player to add 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists to his point total.   ...Read more

Former Olympic Doctor Larry Nassar Sentenced To Up To 175 Years In Prison For Sexual Abuse

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison today by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina for 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The sentence came down following the seventh day of victim impact statements in the courtroom, after 156 women spoke in open court about the damage done by Nassar’s serial sexual abuse of them, done under the guise of providing them with medical treatment. Nassar, who already is serving time in prison after pleading guilty on child pornography charges, will have this sentenced added on to the 60 years he is currently already serving in federal prison. “Your decision to assault was calculated, precise, devious, despicable,” Aquilina said. “You do not deserve to walk outside a prison again,” she added. “I just signed your death warrant.” ...Read more

Joel Taylor Of Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” Dead At Age 38

Joel Taylor, who starred on Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, has died at the age of 38. Taylor’s death was confirmed by a number of friends on social media Tuesday. The cause of death has not been disclosed, but TMZ is reporting that there is speculation that Taylor may have died from a suspected overdose on a cruise ship.  Taylor joined Storm Chasers, a documentary reality series about researchers who follow storms in Tornado Alley, in 2008. The series was canceled after five seasons in January 2012. “RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor. I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend,” Taylor’s Storm Chasers co-star Reed Timmer said on Twitter alongside photos of the reality star. ...Read more

Elton John Announces He Plans To Retire From Touring After Upcoming 300-Date Tour

Elton John announced during a special live-streamed event Wednesday that he will be retiring from touring, following an upcoming 300-date farewell tour.  “I’m not going to be touring and traveling the world. My priorities have changed. I have young children,” the music icon said to moderator Anderson Cooper onstage during the event, which included John playing songs such as “Tiny Dancer” and “I’m Still Standing.”  The singer also confirmed that he will still be making music following the tour and that he is healthy after being forced to cancel a series of shows in April due to contracting a rare infection in South America.  The 70-year-old said he will kick off his final world tour in September.  ...Read more

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth Will Be First Senator To Give Birth In Office

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, said she and her husband “are thrilled” to announce that she is pregnant with their second child, making her the first acting senator to give birth. The soon-to-be mother of two, who’s baby girl is due this spring, thanked friends, family and hospital staff for helping in their “decades-long journey to complete” their family. Duckworth is a decorated Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs in combat.  She was elected to the Senate in 2016 after previously serving two terms in the House of Representatives. The senator’s latest pregnancy news makes her one of 10 women to have a baby while serving their term in Congress, and Duckworth will reportedly be the first acting senator to do so. Duckworth, 49, first became a mom in 2014 after giving birth to daughter Abigail. She was a member of the House at the time.   ...Read more

Kentucky High School Shooting Leaves 2 Dead, 17 Injured

A 15-year-old student killed two classmates and hit a dozen others with gunfire Tuesday, methodically firing a handgun inside a crowded atrium at his rural Kentucky high school. Seventeen students were injured, 12 of them hit with bullets and five others hurt in the scramble as hundreds of students fled for their lives from Marshall County High School.  The gunman kept firing until he ran out of ammunition and tried running away. Police arrested him moments later, leading him away in handcuffs to be charged with murder and attempted murder. Authorities did not identify the gunman responsible for the nation’s first fatal school shooting of 2018, nor did they release any details about a motive.  The attack marked the year’s first fatal school shooting, 23 days into 2018. ...Read more

Centerfielder Austin Jackson Agrees To $6M, 2-Year Deal With San Francisco Giants

Centerfielder Austin Jackson agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday, filling the club’s top remaining void just a few weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. San Francisco announced the acquisition Monday, a week after the Giants traded for right fielder Andrew McCutchen. “He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions,” general manager Bobby Evans said. Jackson batted .318 with seven homers, 19 doubles, three triples and 35 RBIs while limited to just 85 games because of injuries for Cleveland last season. His .352 average against left-handed pitchers ranked fourth in the American League. ...Read more

Coach Jason Kidd Fired By Milwaukee Bucks After 3-Plus Seasons

The Milwaukee Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd on Monday. It was a surprising end to Kidd’s three-plus season tenure in Milwaukee, when the Bucks made the playoffs twice. The Bucks were considered an emerging force in the East at the start of the season but have found themselves in eight place after a mid-season slide. The Bucks had lost four of five to fall to 23-22 going into Monday night’s home game against Phoenix. Assistant coach Joe Prunty is serving as interim head coach. General manager Jon Horst, who was promoted from director of basketball operations in June, said it was time for a change and the move was made with “unanimous support of ownership.” “We appreciate everything that Jason has done for the Bucks organization, but we have decided to make a coaching change,” Horst added. ...Read more