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  1. YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Yelm. This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes. In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm. The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day. Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building. The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene. People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety. “I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire. McIntire’s shared his concern about living so close to what’s become a repeated target. “I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said. Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt. By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.” Read more:
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  2. THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - Two worship centers operated by the Jehovah's Witnesses were damaged by fire Monday morning, and arson is suspected in both blazes, fire officials said. Olympia firefighters responded to the first blaze, a Kingdom Hall in the 225 Cain Road Southeast about 8:20 a.m. A fire was breaching an interior wall in the building, which was unoccupied. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and determined that it started outside the building. There was a strong smell of petroleum similar to gasoline and other items that suggested arson, the Olympia Fire Department said. About a half-hour later, another fire was then reported at a second Kingdom Hall in Tumwater. Crews from the Tumwater Fire Department responded to that scene and found smoke and fire inside and outside the building. They were able to extinguish the flames. The Tumwater fire is likely related to the Olympia fire, officials said. Officials from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to both fires In the Olympia fire, video surveillance footage shows a person pouring a liquid on the exterior of the worship hall and lighting it on fire early in the morning before dawn, said Assistant Chief Rob Bradley of the Olympia Fire Department. He said it appears the fire smoldered some time before it began spreading through the walls and was noticed. In the Tumwater fire, evidence indicates two possible ignition points on the north side of the building, said Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle. It appears that an accelerant was used, he said. ATF officials are now checking on similarities between the two fires.
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  3. WASHINGTON (AP) — El subdirector del FBI Andrew McCabe, quien fuera un blanco frecuente de críticas por parte del presidente Donald Trump, renunció abruptamente el lunes antes de su jubilación ya cercana. McCabe, veterano de 22 años en el FBI, fue criticado públicamente repetidas veces el año pasado por Trump, quien lo ha acusado de parcialidad por las conexiones políticas de su esposa y por una investigación del FBI de la cual no surgió ningún cargo penal contra Hillary Clinton. McCabe, que desempeñó varios puestos de liderazgo y estuvo muy involucrado en investigaciones de crímenes importantes _incluido el atentado en el Maratón de Boston de 2013_, cumpliría en cuestión de semanas los requisitos para jubilarse. El personal del FBI se enteró el lunes que McCabe dejaba el segundo cargo más importante de la agencia de forma inmediata, según personas familiarizadas con la situación que pidieron permanecer anónimas debido a que no podían hablar públicamente sobre una decisión interna relativa al personal. El tercer funcionario en rango del FBI, David Bowdich, fue nombrado subdirector interino. Se tiene previsto que McCabe se retire con todos los beneficios de la jubilación. Su salida se da en el marco de los cambios implementados por el director del FBI Christopher Wray en su equipo de liderazgo. Otros dos funcionarios importantes fueron remplazados la semana pasada. Tales cambios no son inusuales cuando un nuevo director toma las riendas de la agencia, pero son notorios debido a la presión de Trump sobre Wray para que despidiera a los funcionarios que eran cercanos al ex director James Comey. En un mensaje el lunes a los empleados de la agencia, Wray les dijo que McCabe se retirará el 18 de marzo y rechazó que la medida se deba a presión política.
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  4. Lawmaker To Remove $26 Million Dollars From Evergreen College After Racist Students Takeover Campus World News
  5. The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is now home to some of Ethiopia’s most important religious manuscripts after they were recently donated to the university by Chicago-based collectors Gerald and Barbara Weiner. The couple gave out the handmade leather manuscripts with the hope of allowing Ethiopians in the U.S. to use them for prayers and study, according to Catholic News Agency. Dr. Aaron M. Butts, a professor of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the university, put up a statement saying the collection “provides unparalleled primary sources for the study of Eastern Christianity.” What’s In the Collection? In total, the collection is comprised of 125 Christian manuscripts, including liturgical books, hagiographies, psalters, and 215 Islamic manuscripts, including the Quran and commentaries on Quran. According to the Catholic News Agency, it’s the largest collection of Ethiopian Islamic manuscripts outside of Ethiopia. More than 600 manuscripts were handmade using hides from calves, sheep, and goats, and are estimated to date back to the 18th and 19th century. In the collection, there are over 350 “magic” scrolls, which are traditional Christian prayer talismans, and each was handwritten by a “debtera,” or a cleric in the Ethiopian church, and includes the name of the person it was written for. Pieces of the manuscripts were worn around the neck for purposes of helping people with different kinds of ailments, including headaches, painful menstruation, and complicated childbirth. Butts suggests that some of these scrolls, which were predominantly worn by women, may have been passed down through many generations, mainly from mother to daughter. He added that the prayer jewels haven’t been studied much due to the personal nature of their use. Washington, D.C., hosts one of the largest Ethiopian communities outside Ethiopia, and has several Ethiopian Orthodox and Catholic churches and cultural centers, making it the best location to donate the manuscripts. Ethiopian Religion Ethiopia is predominantly a Christian country, with the majority of Christians belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. However, there are other small religious communities in the country, including Muslims, Judaists, and Pagans. There is also a minority section of Christians who are Roman Catholics or Protestants. Many Ethiopians still use the prayer scrolls for protection and healing. They are often inscribed with prayers, spells, and charms to offer protection to their specific owner. The text on these “magic” scrolls is often derived from the bible, which is why the majority of churches in the country tolerate despite their connection to magic.
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  6. Marcus Aurelius

    Spring 2017 Marches & Rallies

    Wed. March 1: Wolf-PAC WA rally at the CapitolSat. March 4: Congressman Denny Heck’s “March for our Healthcare” in TacomaWed. March 8: “A Day Without A Woman” National Strike; March in Olympia for International Women’s DayFri. March 10: Rise with Standing Rock Native Nations March (National) Sat. March 11: Washington Rise with Standing Rock March & RallySat. March 25: Counter “Make America Great Again” March in OlympiaSun. March 26: Students March on Olympia (date changed from March 4)Sat. April 1: “Fire the Fool” Rally in Olympia (National)Sat. April 15: Tax Day March (National)Sat. April 22: March for Science (National)Sat. April 29: People’s Climate March (National)Sat. May 6: Immigrants March (National)Sat. May 20: March Against Monsanto (and Bayer) (Worldwide)Sun. June 11: Pride March (National)
  7. President Barack Obama holds a robotic arm being controlled by the mind of the man in the wheel chair at right as he makes a stop at the exhibition hall of the White House Frontiers Conference on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Pittsburgh. (Michael Henninger/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP) (Associated Press) WASHINGTON — A paralyzed man shared a handshake with President Barack Obama on Thursday by using a mind-controlled robotic arm that, in a first for medical research, is helping to restore his sense of touch. Obama fist-bumped Nathan Copeland’s robotic hand, and tiny chips implanted in Copeland’s brain let him use his thoughts to move the Star Trek-looking metal arm attached to his wheelchair — and also let him feel subtle pressure in his own fingers when the artificial ones were touched. He had “pretty impressive precision,” Obama said. “When I’m moving the hand, it is also sending signals to Nathan so he is feeling me touching or moving his arm.” The president congratulated the University of Pittsburgh researchers who are developing the technology, saying, “what a story.” The research is part of a quest to make artificial limbs that can feel. On Thursday, the Pittsburgh team reported important early findings: When they blindfolded Copeland, he could correctly identify which robotic finger they touched 84 percent of the time. “The majority of them, it felt like a pressure or a tingling” in his own corresponding finger, said Copeland, 30, of Dunbar, Pennsylvania, who was left paralyzed after a car accident. When a researcher touched two fingers at the same time, “I just laughed and I said, ‘Are you trying to be tricky or something?” Preparing to show the president how the cutting-edge research worked, Copeland said he was “circling between excited and nervous every half-hour.” Harnessing brain waves to power prosthetics is a hot field, with a goal of giving the disabled more independence and improving artificial limbs for amputees as well. Headlines in recent years have reported experiments that let paralyzed people move a robotic arm to touch a loved one or take a drink simply by imagining the motion. Their thoughts activate brain implants that relay electrical signals needed to command movement. The signals are transmitted through a computer to the robotic limb. What’s new is recreating sensation using this brain-controlled technology. After all, proper motion depends on more than muscle movement. Reach for something and that sense of touch helps you naturally grasp with just enough force to hang on while not either dropping something or crushing it. “It’s not only that emotional connection we get,” said Robert Gaunt, a Pittsburgh assistant professor of rehabilitation who led the new study. “People have an incredibly difficult time interacting with objects, picking objects up, manipulating them, doing fairly basic things with the hand if they don’t have a very basic sense of touch.” Step one is placing sensors in prosthetics. The next hurdle is how to allow feedback to and from those sensors. For amputees, some scientists are attempting to wire nerves left in the remaining part of the person’s natural limb directly to the robotic arm. That’s not possible if a spinal cord injury has interrupted the messages that normally flash between the hand and the brain. But previous monkey research had suggested brain implants could bridge that gap. So surgeons at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center implanted electrodes in the part of Copeland’s brain that controls what his hands feel. Electrically stimulating those cells worked even though the car wreck that left Copeland mostly paralyzed happened over a decade ago, Gaunt noted. “This shows you can get natural sensation” through the brain implant, added Pittsburgh neurobiologist Andrew Schwartz. Thursday’s report in Science Translational Medicine details the first six months of experiments after Copeland received the brain implants in March 2015. The ongoing research is becoming more sophisticated, as he picks up objects while the electrodes stimulate different amounts of force, Copeland said in a phone interview. While the work is in just one patient, it’s a step toward creating touch capability, said Richard Andersen, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology whose team also studies mind-controlled prosthetics and is about to begin a similar experiment. “It still needs to be determined if this tactile feedback will improve performance” in using the robotic arm, Andersen cautioned. Copeland doesn’t get to take the robotic arm home but is proud of helping to advance the science. “Technically when it’s over, I will have netted nothing except having done some cool stuff with some cool people,” Copeland said. “It’s cheesy, but Luke Skywalker loses his hand and then basically the next day he’s got a robot one and it’s working fine. We have to get to that point, and to do that, someone has to start it.”
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  8. Great resource for suspended License restoration.
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  9. Head Start / Early Head Start / ECEAP / Childcare No Cost to eligible families EOCF - Give Your Child A Great Start.pdf Español.pdf
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