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Solar-Powered Plane Completes Journey Across Pacific Ocean

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A solar-powered airplane landed in California on Saturday, completing the first stage of its daunting mission to travel across the world.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard landed the Solar Impulse 2 in Mountain View, in the Silicon Valley south of San Francisco, at 11:45 p.m. following a 62-hour, nonstop solo flight without fuel. The plane landed on Moffett Airfield where Piccard was met by the project’s team. “You know there was a moment in the night, I was watching the reflection of the moon on the ocean and I was thinking ‘I’m completely alone in this tiny cockpit and I feel completely confident.’ And I was really thankful to life for bringing me this experience,” Piccard said at a news conference after he landed. “It’s maybe this is one of the most fantastic experiences of life I’ve had.”

The landing came after a fly-by over the Golden Gate Bridge as people goggled from below at the airplane’s state-of-the-art design. “I crossed the bridge. I am officially in America,” he proclaimed as he looked at San Francisco Bay in all its glory.

Piccard and fellow Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg have been switching off flying the plane on an around-the-world trip since taking off from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in March 2015. It made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii.

The pilots said that the trans-Pacific leg was the most difficult to navigate due to the lack of available landing locations.

The aircraft faced several obstacles along the way.

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii in July and was forced to stay in the islands after the plane’s battery system had heat damage on its trip from Japan. The team was delayed in Asia, too. When first attempting to fly from Nanjing, China, to Hawaii, the crew had to land in Japan and forgo their travel for a few days because of poor weather conditions.

A month later, when weather conditions were adequate, the plane departed from Nagoya in central Japan for Hawaii.

The plane’s preferred flight speed is 28mph, however, during the day when the sun is brightest, the aircraft can double that amount. The plane is composed of carbon-fiber and weighs 5,000 lbs, about the equivalent of a mid-sized truck.

The plane’s wings, which span wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. The plane runs on stored energy at night.

Solar Impulse 2 will make three more stops in the United States before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or Northern Africa, according to the website documenting the journey. “The adventure continues,” Piccard said. “The story is not finished.”

The project, which began in 2002 and is projected to cost more than $100 million, is meant to encourage innovative thought and awareness of the power of creativity. “I think innovation and pioneering must continue,” Piccard said. “It must continue for better quality of life, for clean technologies, for renewable energy; this is where the pioneers can really express Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 1.34.44 PMthemselves and be successful.” Solar-powered air travel is not currently commercially feasible, due to the slow travel time and physical constraints. “Maybe it will be boring in 20 years when all the airplanes will be electric and people will say ‘Oh it’s routine.’ But now, today, an airplane that is electric, with electric engines, that produces its own energy with the sun, it can never be boring,” Piccard said. “It’s a miracle of technology.”

Jesse Anderson has written extensively about legal matters and current events. She offers fresh perspectives on controversial issues and consistently reports objectively on notable political cases. Anderson grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and frequently volunteers for organizations like Civic Works, RAINN and Kids Against Hunger. She hopes to change the face of politics and make a positive impact on the world around her.

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Syria al-Qaeda Leader Attacked, Unsure of His Survival

An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

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An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

Syrian opposition forces, the Local Co-ordination Committees, posted a photo of the car which was targeted for the attack, as stated by them.

Car with roof shattered is shown in photo taken from Syrian opposition activists

The car, in the town of al-Mastuma, was targeted by “international coalition aircraft”, the group said.

Additionally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an al-Qaeda official was killed in a strike, but did not confirm it was Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.

The Egyptian, whose real name is Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, was reportedly released from custody by Iran in 2015 as part of a prisoner swap.

Last year, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was reported to have given his blessing to a decision by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, to cut formal ties with the global jihadist network.

The Syrian jihadist with ties broken with al-Qaeda had renamed its name to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, as reported by CNN.

According to Ahmad Hasan Abu al Khayr al-Masri, al-Qaeda has embraced the split. The man Masri would replace as an upranking to No. 2 of the leadership position in the terror group, is al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri expressed his opinion on the split in a supportive manner and called for infighting between jihadist groups to end.

Although Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was no longer linked to an external entity, the U.S. still kept it on its list of foreign terrorist groups and continued to target air strikes.

Therefore, in January, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham dissolved itself and formed an alliance with four smaller Syrian jihadist groups called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The move seemed to deem an attempt by the group to distance itself from al-Qaeda.

Tahrir al-Sham as since then fought rebel groups for control of the Idlib province in Syria, implying that it was them who had instigated suicide bombs on Saturday against the military in the government-controlled city of Homs.

Although the death of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri is uncertain, the Guardian has stated that he has been killed based off of what jihadists are stating.

The immediate circumstances of Masri’s death were unclear. Video online showed a tan four-door Kia sedan destroyed at a roadside with a large hole in its canopy but its windscreen mostly intact. The location of the attack was unusually far west for a US drone strike.

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Developments in Presidential Race, Trump does Terribly at Forum as Clinton shines

November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States…

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November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States.

First of all, Donald Trump, according to Kristina Vong’s article at Thehill.com, wrongly corrected a veteran Marine during a forum. The veteran, a woman named Rachel Fredericks, asked Mr. Trump how he plans to stop 20 veterans from committing suicide, daily. Trump tried to correct the woman, who needed no correction. He said it is actually 22, trying to emerge correct, when he was essentially incorrect.

Mr. Trump also does not have a real plan to defeat ISIS, as “his plan is to have a plan” according to Igor Bobic at the Huffington Post. He also insulted military leaders calling them embarrassments to the country when they were under President Obama. He wants to give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS.  Of course, this even makes it more obvious that Mr. Trump does not have a plan to defeat ISIS. Why, then did he call our current president the founder of ISIS? How can you give your vote to someone so unprepared and unfit for the presidency that constitutes a whole country? Sorry to say, but Donald Trump is not someone to vote for, at least not as US President!

According to Sean Colarossi at PoliticusUSA.com, a presidential forum highlighted how prepared Trump and Clinton are compared to each other, with Clinton appearing as the more prepared one, very easily. Clinton was engaged with questions, expressed gratitude, and was very prolific and intelligible in her responses. To reiterate, Trump has not a plan to defeat ISIS, where Hillary has a well thought-out plan. She outlined her plan, entailing it could take any form and she iterated and supports the idea that terror suspects should not be able to purchase firearms. Clinton also covered issues like mental health, illuminating the fact that it is overlooked, and mental health should no longer be stigmatized and victims of mental disorders should have access to resources. On the other hand, Trump gave generic answers like that he knows what is going on in the world. Also according to Colarossi’s article, Trump showed as an “empty suit” and “showed he is not prepared to be commander-in-chief” and that the contrast between him and Clinton could not be clearer”; this essentially means Clinton showed to be immensely more prepared to lead and did not focus on attacking others, like Trump’s approach does.

Lastly, Donald Trump has insulted women, children, ethnic groups, religious groups, his opponent, our current president, the military, and the list goes on. He is patronizing and unprepared to preside over our country as well. He constantly attacks others, with no action in mind. Consider if you want to have him as president, seriously!

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Politics

Senator Elizabeth Warren Highlights that Trump is a “Racist Bully” and that a Vote for Jill Stein Would Only Help Trump

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently, and I must say, very appropriately, called Donald Trump a “racist bully.” She said also that a vote for the Green Party’s presidential nominee, Jill Stein, is essentially a vote for Donald Trump…

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Senator Elizabeth Warren Highlights that Trump is a "Racist Bully" and that a Vote for Jill Stein Would Only Help Trump

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently, and I must say, very appropriately, called Donald Trump a “racist bully.” She said also that a vote for the Green Party’s presidential nominee, Jill Stein, is essentially a vote for Donald Trump.

Adding to her speech at Roxbury Community College, the senator said,  Trump has constantly proven to be a “thin-skinned, racist bully.” She then said his approach is hateful, with parts of his campaign being based on hate and that it is not characteristic of our country: that our country “is better than that.”

Warren then took the stance that, no, voters should not vote for Dr. Jill Stein over Secretary and Democratic Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton. Her reasons are simple. Anything can be precocious in getting Trump even inches closer to the White House, as she said in essence. Warren then suggested directly that a vote for Stein is a vote that brings Mr. Trump closer to the White House.

Also today, Dr. Stein even voiced more apprehensions and warning about Donald Trump. She did so by calling him a neo-fascist, basically. She generally suggested in her interview with Democracy Now, that Trump resonates fascist qualities of leaders of the past. This makes it clear that a vote for Trump is a vote for misfortune and peril in the United States.

Recently, on “Hannity” on Fox News, Trump generalized minorities once again, fabricating a vibe that illegal immigrants have been acutely responsible for deaths and fatalities in the country. One woman came forward, saying this is not an isolated issue. Trump, once again, has me disappointed in him and terrified if he gets elected.

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