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The New Sticker Shock: Plunging Cellphone Bills

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Customers are used to cellphone bill shock, but not like this.

The cost of U.S. cellular service is rapidly plunging, reversing years of increases that have squeezed consumers’ budgets and generated huge profits for wireless companies.

Americans are using their smartphones more than ever to stream videos, surf the web and browse Facebook. But telecommunications companies are losing their power to raise prices for using their networks, in part because the U.S. cellphone market is nearing saturation. That has kicked off a vicious price war among the four national wireless carriers.

The consumer-price index for wireless phone service, an indicator of current offers from cellphone service providers, dropped 12.5% in May from a year ago, according to the Labor Department. The index earlier fell 13% in April, the largest decline in the history of the category, prompting Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to say earlier this month it was a factor in the country’s low inflation.

Beyond the consumer impact, the rapid collapse in the industry’s pricing power will ripple through its profit margins, federal regulations and antitrust law.

T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS -0.25% and Sprint Corp. S -0.25% , the third and fourth largest carriers, recently rekindled talks about a merger, according to people familiar with the matter. The two previously discussed combining in 2014 but backed down in the face of regulatory opposition.

The rout could continue when the many consumers who haven’t felt the effects of price drops, unaware they can lower their monthly bills, call their carriers to demand better deals.

Selina Sosa, who runs a nonprofit near Dallas, cut her monthly bill by about a third in less than six months. Last December, she switched carriers from AT&T Inc. T -0.39% to Verizon Communications Inc., VZ -0.07% reducing her payment for three phones from $330 to $279.
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No.151667 ViewReplyOriginalReportDownload thread

Suicide bomber attempts to blow up Mecca - but goes off early when cornered by police.

Why is a muzzie trying to TK his own spawn?
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Donald Trump’s Preferred Candidate Wins Again, This Time in Saudi Arabia

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Philando Castile shooting: Police car dashcam footage released

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New study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes

No.150790 ViewReplyLast 50OriginalReportDownload thread

A research group in New Jersey has taken a fresh look at postelection polling data and concluded that the number of noncitizens voting illegally in U.S. elections is likely far greater than previous estimates.

As many as 5.7 million noncitizens may have voted in the 2008 election, which put Barack Obama in the White House.

The research organization Just Facts, a widely cited, independent think tank led by self-described conservatives and libertarians, revealed its number-crunching in a report on national immigration.

Just Facts President James D. Agresti and his team looked at data from an extensive Harvard/YouGov study that every two years questions a sample size of tens of thousands of voters. Some acknowledge they are noncitizens and are thus ineligible to vote.

Just Facts’ conclusions confront both sides in the illegal voting debate: those who say it happens a lot and those who say the problem nonexistent.

In one camp, there are groundbreaking studies by professors at Old Dominion University in Virginia who attempted to compile scientifically derived illegal voting numbers using the Harvard data, called the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

On the other side are the professors who conducted the study and contended that “zero” noncitizens of about 18 million adults in the U.S. voted. The liberal mainstream media adopted this position and proclaimed the Old Dominion work was “debunked.”
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House Republican admits Trump’s antics making it hard for her to get reelected

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During a private talk to the Arizona Bankers Association last week, Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) acknowledged that the ongoing circus created President Donald Trump and his administration—in particular, the president’s reckless tweets—is damaging her reelection prospects.

According to Tucson Weekly, which obtained a recording of McSally’s remarks thanks to a source in the room, the second-term congresswoman “complained that President Donald Trump and his tweets were creating troubling ‘distractions’ and ‘it’s basically being taken out on me. Any Republican member of Congress, you are going down with the ship.’”

“The environment has changed and some of it changed on January 20,” McSally continued, according to Tuscon Weekly. “There’s just an element out there that’s just, like, so against the president. Like they just can’t see straight. And all of a sudden on January 20, I’m like his twin sister to them. And I’m, like, responsible for everything he does, and tweets and says. And they want me to be spending my time as a pundit. ‘I disagree with that. I agree with this.’ I have a job in the legislature!”

McSally’s not-meant-for-public-consumption criticism of Trump is notable for how it differs from what Republicans continue to say about the president in public. There are indications, however, that her sentiments are shared by some of her colleagues in private. Publicly, Republican members of Congress mostly defended Trump and ran interference for him during and after the Comey hearing, but privately, Politico reported that a number of them “were absolutely shocked at how poorly yesterday went for the president.”
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Gianforte pleads guilty to assault in incident with reporter

No.148795 ViewReplyOriginalReportDownload thread
>Greg Gianforte, the Montana congressman-elect who was accused of "body slamming" a reporter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Monday morning.
Judge Rick West sentenced Gianforte to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with a $85 court fee.

>Gianforte has apologized to the journalist, Ben Jacobs, and also pledged to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization that promotes press freedom, "in the hope that perhaps some good can come of these events."

>"My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful," Gianforte said in the letter.
">I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness."
>Jacobs accepted the apology.
>Jacobs was present and made a statement in the courtroom. Gianforte later asked if he could address Jacobs directly and apologized again.
>"I just want to say I'm sorry and if and when you're ready, I look forward to sitting down with you in DC," he said.

>In his letter, Gianforte stated: "I had no right to respond the way did to your legitimate question about health care policy. You were doing your job."

Don't fuck with the left. We will take you down.
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Canadian elite special forces sniper makes record-breaking kill shot in Iraq

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A sniper with Canada's elite special forces in Iraq has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,540 metres.

The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed Thursday that a member of Joint Task Force 2 made the record-breaking shot, killing an Islamic State insurgent during an operation in Iraq within the last month.

"The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target at 3,540 metres," the forces said in a statement. "For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place."

The elite sniper was using a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle while firing from a high-rise during an operation that took place within the last month in Iraq. It took under 10 seconds to hit the target.

"The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces," said a military source. "Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn't have a clue what was happening."

The military source said the JTF2 operation fell within the strictures of the government's advise and assist mission.

"As stated multiple times in the past, members of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force do not accompany leading combat elements, but enable the Iraqi security forces who are in a tough combat mission," the statement said. "This takes the form of advice in planning their operations and assistance to defeat Daesh through the use of coalition resources."

The kill was independently verified by video camera and other data, The Globe and Mail has learned.
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