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Today’s Top Stories | US launches new satellites

Dec.18th, 2018 | US launches new satellites

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Here’s today’s top news:

 1: US launches new satellites:

The U.S. Air Force will launch the first of its new GPS satellites today. It’s set to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

GPS is known for civilian applications like navigation. The U.S. military developed GPS and still designs and operates the system. The Air Force controls 31 GPS satellites from its Colorado Springs base.

The new system has a stronger military signal and will be harder to jam. It is expected to improve the accuracy of civilian GPS receivers. They are currently accurate within 10 to 33 feet. The new satellites could increase accuracy within 3 to 10 feet.

The second satellite is already complete. Six more satellites are under construction.

2: US airstrikes in Somalia:

The U.S. military killed 62 al-Shabab extremists in Somalia over the weekend.

The U.S. military’s Africa Command issued the statement yesterday. It said the military carried out four strikes on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

No civilians were killed or injured in the attacks, according to the statement. It said the airstrikes were coordinated with Somalia’s government to, quote, “prevent al-Shabab from using remote areas as a safe haven to the plot, direct, inspire, and recruit for future attacks.”

Al-Shabab is the most active Islamic terrorist group in Africa and is linked to al-Qaida. The U.S. military carried out at least 46 airstrikes against al-Shabab this year.

3: Guatemalan girl’s death:

Hospital officials said the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died after illegally entering the U.S. likely died of septic shock.

A form from the children’s hospital the girl was transported to said that Jakelin Caal Maquin died from septic shock, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the Mayo Clinic, sepsis is when a body’s normal infection response is out of balance. It triggers changes that can damage multiple organ systems. Sepsis sometimes leads to septic shock.

The Mayo Clinic’s website says, quote, “Most people recover from mild sepsis, but the average mortality rate for septic shock is about 40 percent.”

An autopsy has been planned. Both the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection have launched investigations into her death.

Jakelin’s father said Border Patrol agents did their best to save his daughter.

He did dispute earlier reports saying she hadn’t had anything to drink or eat for days before they were apprehended.

4: Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional:

A U.S. district judge ruled last week that Obamacare is unconstitutional.

Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, agreed with 20 other states last Friday that a tax law change invalidates the entire Affordable Care Act.

President Donald Trump praised the ruling on Twitter. He wrote, quote, “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an unconstitutional disaster! Now Congress must pass a strong law that provides great healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”

The court ruled the individual mandate isn’t constitutional. Since the mandate can’t be separated from the rest of Obamacare, the judge ruled the entire act is invalid.

The individual mandate required people who were uninsured to pay fines at the end of the year.

5: Missing FBI texts:

President Trump blasted the FBI over “missing” text messages and breaking into Michael Cohen’s office.

He suggested there’s a double standard.

He tweeted, quote, “Michael Cohen only became a ‘Rat’ after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server.”

He also brought up the missing text messages from former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The two former agents exchanged thousands of anti-Trump texts while probing Hillary Clinton’s improper email use and Russian election interference.

A recent inspector general report revealed that their phone messages had been cleared after they were dismissed from the FBI.

The president tweeted, quote, “So where are all the missing Text messages between fired FBI agents Peter S and the lovely Lisa Page, his lover. Just reported that they have been erased and wiped clean. What an outrage as the totally compromised and conflicted Witch Hunt moves ever so slowly forward.”

Republican lawmakers questioned former FBI Director James Comey about the anti-Trump messages earlier this month. Lawmakers asked if their bias against Trump interfered with their work probing the 2016 candidates.

6: Google new NYC campus:

Google announced Monday that it plans to invest over $1 billion to create a new campus in New York City.

Google and Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said the company will, quote, “have the capacity to more than double its staff” in New York City over the next 10 years.

She said the company is committed to deepening “STEM education, workforce development and access to technology.”

In November, Amazon announced it will split its second headquarters between Long Island City in Queens, New York, and Crystal City in Virginia.

Today’s quote comes from Alexander Hamilton:

“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”

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