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Minnesota School District Sued by Parents of Students Who Were Sexually Exploited
The parents of two students are suing the Bemidji school district, alleging it was negligent in allowing a former assistant principal to sexually exploit their children. Brandon Bjerknes, who was arrested in 2017, is serving a federal prison sentence for …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 5:33 PM
Brown & Brown Acquires Assets of Texas All Risk
Brown & Brown Inc. through its subsidiary, Hull & Company LLC, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Dallas-based Texas All Risk, a managing general agent (MGA) placing a wide range of property/ casualty insurance for businesses and individuals …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 5:24 PM
Hurricane Dorian’s Bahamas Storm Toll: $3.4 Billion in Damages, 3 Years of Rebuilding
The Bahamas may need to tap international debt markets as it confronts the steep cost of recovering from the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the islands. The government will probably borrow about $500 million in coming months as it …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 5:02 PM
California Lawmaker Wants Probe of PG&E’s Chief Regulator
A state lawmaker is demanding an extensive review of the California Public Utilities Commission to determine whether regulators’ lax oversight enabled neglect at Pacific Gas & Electric that triggered catastrophic wildfires, a messy bankruptcy and exasperating blackouts. The request by …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:40 PM
California Sleep Apnea Company Pays $37.5M to Settle Kickback Lawsuits
ResMed, a San Diego, Calif.-based company that sells sleep apnea machines, will pay $37.5 million to settle allegations that it provided kickbacks to obtain customer referrals, federal prosecutors announced this week. The settlement covers five whistleblower lawsuits filed on behalf …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:36 PM
Forex Firm Travelex Resumes Customer-Facing Operations After Ransomware Attack
More than two weeks after a crippling ransomware attack forced Travelex staff to use pen and paper to calculate foreign currency exchanges, the company said the first of its customer-facing systems in Britain was up and running again. The cyber …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:24 PM
USG Adds Aguilar as a Producer in Arizona
USG Insurance Services Inc. has named Jay Aguilar a producer/broker in commercial lines in the Scottsdale, Ariz. office. Aguilar will work to expand USG’s Southwestern territory. Aguilar has 23 years of insurance industry experience, most recently at Agents Alliance Services. …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:18 PM
MGA Incubator Castel Taps Carlos from Arch Insurance as Head of Specialty
Castel Underwriting Agencies Ltd., the managing general agent and club-style MGA formation platform, has announced the appointment of Raoul Carlos as head of Specialty as it structures its underwriting cells and MGAs into a number of centres of excellence focused …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 3:26 PM
Three Massachusetts Workers Shocked When Scaffolding Touches Power Line
Three people were injured, one critically, on Tuesday when scaffolding they were working with at a Massachusetts home came in contact with power lines, police said. Beverly police responded to a report that two workers had fallen from the roof …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 3:06 PM
SterlingRisk Insurance Promotes DelPrete to President of Programs
SterlingRisk Insurance, a Woodbury, N.Y.-based independently owned insurance brokerage, has promoted Geraldine DelPrete to president of Programs. According to SterlingRisk CEO David Sterling in a company press release, DelPrete’s background in reinsurance and underwriting and understanding of programs has directly …

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 3:04 PM

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Republican senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Things happen'

Republican senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Things happen'Republican Senator Richard Shelby defended an argument from President Trump’s legal team that soliciting foreign interference in an election is not an impeachable offense, saying, “things happen.”

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 3:42 PM

Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowding

Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowdingThousands of twins packed two-by-two into a stadium in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday - so many that officials struggled to count them in time to prove they had organised a record-breaking gathering. Huge queues built up at the open-air venue in Colombo as sets of siblings waited to get their birth certificates checked. The last record was set in Taiwan in 1999, when 3,961 sets of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets gathered outside Taipei City Hall.

POSTED JANUARY 20, 2020 10:19 PM

Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river

Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ riverVanessa Smallwood of Maple Shade, N.J., was 46 at the time of her disappearance. She was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police.

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 2:10 PM

Scientists say Australia's rare duck-billed platypuses are being pushed to 'the brink of extinction' — and deadly bushfires are making it worse

Scientists say Australia's rare duck-billed platypuses are being pushed to 'the brink of extinction' — and deadly bushfires are making it worseA new report says population numbers of the animal have more than halved since Europeans first arrived in Australia.

POSTED JANUARY 20, 2020 9:56 AM

The last time China was hit by a deadly illness like the Wuhan virus, it covered it up and 774 people died. There are fears it could happen again.

The last time China was hit by a deadly illness like the Wuhan virus, it covered it up and 774 people died. There are fears it could happen again.China tried to cover up the deadly SARS virus in 2003, and observers are closely watching China as it deals with a new virus outbreak.

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2020 3:13 AM

Dutch farm dad 'beat bad spirits out of kids'

Dutch farm dad 'beat bad spirits out of kids'A Dutchman isolated six of his children in a remote farmhouse from birth and beat them to drive out "bad spirits," prosecutors told a court on Tuesday. Gerrit Jan van D., 67, subjected the youngsters who were found on the farm in the village of Ruinerwold in October to "very serious physical punishment" when he thought they had been made "unclean". One child was tied up by his hands and feet as punishment, while another child was forced to spend an entire summer in a doghouse at the farm in northern Drenthe province, prosecutors said.

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2020 11:09 AM

Forget North Korea or Pakistan: This U.S. Ally Has a Nuclear Arsenal That Could Kill Billions

Forget North Korea or Pakistan: This U.S. Ally Has a Nuclear Arsenal That Could Kill BillionsAnd its all underwater.

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2020 2:55 AM

Supreme Court stays out of dispute over grand jury secrecy

Supreme Court stays out of dispute over grand jury secrecyThe Supreme Court refused Tuesday to get involved in a dispute about judges' authority to order the disclosure of secret grand jury material in rare circumstances. The court turned away an appeal from an 82-year-old researcher who is seeking grand jury records from the late 1950s. The justices' order does not affect an ongoing court battle over House Democrats’ quest for access to grand jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2020 9:57 AM

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Unusual, Rustic Island Paradise

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Unusual, Rustic Island ParadiseWhen news broke that Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and baby Archie had escaped the public eye to find shelter on Vancouver Island, I, like most people who have spent a lot of time there, raised an eyebrow. Exotic it is, but it is hardly the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of a royal getaway. I’ve been to the island dozens of times to visit in-laws, and I can attest that, even in the summer, the weather is gray and the water is always cold. And the unusually snowy 2020 so far has no doubt baptized the couple to what Canadian winters can be like. Even though Prince Harry said baby Archie thought it was “bloody brilliant,” it’s likely he enjoyed it through double glazed windows beside a roaring fire. The very British city of Victoria, near where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex found refuge in a $15 million mansion owned by the country club where I rather coincidentally had my wedding reception nearly two decades ago, is a mishmash of colonial chic with double decker buses, British flags along the streets, and proper tea rooms. The Empress Hotel is the jewel of the city and as luxurious as it gets, but the city is cozy, not cosmopolitan, and certainly nothing close to the same level of sophistication as London. And the place is hard to get to. It is reachable from the mainland by private jet for royalty, but most people have little option but  a two-plus hour ferry, a white knuckle float plane or commuter cigar-plane service from the larger Canadian cities. The rest of the island is a mix of rugged terrain and the largely uninhabited northern reaches are isolated and almost entirely off the grid. Highways are scarce—there is just one major thoroughfare called the Island Highway that cuts a curvy swath along the island’s east coast. It was only recently completed all the way to the northernmost town of Port Hardy, and has opened up the most remote areas of the island to tourism and trade which won’t make everyone who is settled there happy. The island was a haven for American draft dodgers who settled there during the Vietnam War and who still live there comfortably under the radar.The island is popular with outdoorsy types who favor off-route hiking and those for whom rough camping—read no amenities—is a treat. One of the main tourist attractions during the winter months is storm-watching off the rocky Pacific coast. Hotels like the famous Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino on the island’s remote west coast are booked months in advance, especially during the harshest seasons. Microphones set up along the sharp rocks capture the violent crashing sounds of the waves that can be piped into every room in the hotel and take the place of dinner music in the main dining room.Beachcombing here takes on a whole new meaning. Cargo ship wreckage—including cars, containers, and tons of plastic—regularly washes up on the coast line. Over the years, the British Columbia province spent millions to clean up debris that had been swept across the ocean after the 2011 tsunami in Japan that killed more than 15,000 people. I still have a weathered yellow hard hat with Japanese writing inside that rolled up on the shoreline in 2013. The island is also where a number of severed feet in sneakers and leather shoes have washed up on shore in one of the area’s most bizarre claims to fame.Another oh-so-Canadian treat is Coombs Old Country Market about halfway up the Island Highway between Nanaimo, with its popular port and world-famous chocolate and custard squares, and the Comox Valley, which is where indigenous Canadians, called First Nations People, first settled the island. The market started as a highway fruit stand in the 1970s and has grown into a bizarre roadside attraction featuring live goats that graze the convenience store rooftop. It’s the kind of thing Baby Archie would surely love–I know my kids could never get enough of seeing animals eating the steep rooftop.The island is a commercial fisherman’s paradise, offering some of the best prawn, salmon, halibut and crab anywhere in Canada. Whale-watching and bird-watching are regular pastimes, too, but royal-watching is apparently not. Miles Arsenault, the owner and captain of Deep Cove’s Bay to Bay Charters near Victoria, said he turned down several British tabloid hacks who descended on the island over the holidays, who tried to get him to take them out for a glimpse of the Sussexes in their hideaway. He said he and other charter boat captains made a pact not to create such a cottage industry. “It’s hard to turn down money when you are starting a new business, but this one was an easy choice to turn down,” he told the Global News. “Canadians and all of the islanders respect the privacy of others and would not feel good about taking them [paparazzi] out to take pictures of the royals.”It is yet unknown whether Meghan and Harry will stay on the island, but it seems more likely they would move to the more glamorous city of Vancouver on the mainland. The city, called Hollywood North, has produced a string of television series and movies in recent years, including Star Trek, X-Files, Deadpool, Tomorrowland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, The Twilight Saga and X-Men. It seems a good spot for the duchess to job-hunt. It is also a great spot for charity work. The Downtown Eastside, where Meghan was photographed just last week at a women’s center, is known for the high number of heroin addicts and homeless people who get help from the area’s numerous shelters. Already, several real estate companies have started courting the Sussexes with some of the city’s best properties on the market. According to one article in the local newspaper The Province, called “Fit For a King: Five B.C. Homes That Could Work for Meghan and Harry,” agents have compiled a list of some stunning homes. The most expensive goes for around $30 million and is located in the ritzy First Shaughnessy district, referred to in the listing as, “the traditional seat of power for Vancouver’s rich, after being developed by Canadian Pacific Railway for its executives back when Vancouver was a railroad town.” The 12,400 square-foot home was built in 1922 and, according to the ad, “stripped to the bones and rebuilt to include all sorts of probably unneeded things like an indoor Koi aquarium and an enormous Cognac Cellar.” Another one goes for around $20 million in a district called Surrey. “As Surrey is a very British word, and they don’t mind living outside of the city, this 11,000 square foot home on 77 acres of rural land could work,” the listing suggests. Whatever they decide to do, they will likely be ignored by the Canadian population, who tend to not meddle as a matter of national pride. Big name celebrities, from Tom Cruise to Demi Moore, have bought property in the area precisely because they are left alone. If that’s what the couple formerly known as royals really want, then they will easily find the peace and quiet that countless others love about the area. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

POSTED JANUARY 21, 2020 4:51 AM

Biden Warns Media against Shopping ‘Conclusively Debunked’ Ukraine Corruption Allegations During Impeachment Trial

Biden Warns Media against Shopping ‘Conclusively Debunked’ Ukraine Corruption Allegations During Impeachment TrialAhead of Tuesday’s Senate trial on impeachment, Joe Biden’s campaign is cautioning media outlets against “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory” regarding a conflict of interest between the former vice president’s policy work in Ukraine and his son Hunter's role on the board of Burisma.“It is not sufficient to say the allegations are 'unsubstantiated' or that 'no evidence has emerged to support them,’” the memo reads. “Not only is there 'no evidence' for Republicans' main argument against the Vice President — there is a mountain of evidence that actively debunks it. And it is malpractice to ignore that truth."Joe Biden has been insistent that there was no unethical behavior committed by his son while he was serving as point man for Ukraine relations in the Obama White House, despite countering claims of alleged corruption by President Trump and Republican allies.Last month, he told Axios he would not look into the matter further because “I trust my son,” but in an interview with the New York Times editorial board released last week, Biden said he “didn’t realize” Hunter Biden had served on the board of Burisma “until after he had been on the board.”“He has come forward and said it was a mistake on his part to be on the board,” Biden added on his son’s role. An October Reuters report stated that Hunter Biden was hired “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name” by Burisma owner and Ukrainian politician Mykola Zlochevsky, who was then being scrutinized over allegations of corruption.In its memo, the Biden campaign states that any reporting suggesting that "Biden engaged in wrongdoing when he executed official United States policy to remove a corrupt prosecutor from office” amounts to "spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory."“To fail to make clear that the conspiracy theory and false accusations about Joe Biden have been comprehensively disproven, to artificially prop-up these egregious lies based on the ‘principle’ that if partisans make accusations, they have to be treated as legitimate regardless of the facts, is to make you an enabler of misinformation,” the memo threatens.The former vice president and his son could be called by Republicans as witnesses in the upcoming trial. Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said that the Bidens should be called if the upper chamber votes to hear witnesses.“If the president is being accused of withholding foreign aid, and his argument is, ‘Well, we were studying corruption, and we wanted to know about corruption in Ukraine,’ and I think the Bidens are as corrupt as the day is long,” Paul argued. “No young man who is the son of a politician gets $50,000 a month who has no experience, working for a Ukrainian oligarch. You know, for goodness sakes — it smells to high heaven. It smells like corruption.”

POSTED JANUARY 20, 2020 9:02 AM

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