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Search optimization focuses on how people search. Search engine optimization focuses on how search engines work. Search optimization sees quality web content as its foundation stone.

In an age of information overload, how is your website going to get found? Because if it's not found, it might as well not exist, and all your effort will be in vain. Every day, millions of people use search engines to find things. A significant majority of these people will not go beyond the first page of search results, and most people will stop searching by the third page.

However, if you want to succeed with search engines in the long term, you should not primarily focus on how the search engine works. Rather, you should focus on how the brain of the searcher works. Because if you understand how people search, you're halfway there to getting found when they search for your content.

It all comes down to a small set of words. (I call these words "carewords"; the words people really care about.) The searcher is the modern equivalent of the hunter gatherer. They go out hunting and gathering content in order to complete a task. It's very important to understand that searching is just the first step in this task completion.

Making sure your content is found in the first page of search results is a great start, but it is only a start. Until the person has completed the task they came to your website to complete, then nothing of substance has been achieved.

People want to make a reservation, renew a license, find out more about a course, etc. Therefore, we need to see search optimization in the context of the task. In reality, what you need to focus on is task optimization. How many customers bought your product today? How many citizens availed of your service today? How many students applied for a place at your university today?

The focus of this series of articles is on how you can optimize your website for how people search. I will explore why linking is so crucial to success. I will explore how you can create content that significantly increases your chances of being found, as well as increasing the chances of task completion.

I was recently thinking of renting a holiday home in Spain, so I searched for: "Spanish holiday homes". I clicked on the first search result, and this is the text I read.

Spain Holiday Rentals Holiday rentals in Spain for holidays in Spain Spain Holiday Rentals directly from the owners. Rent Spanish holiday homes - a holiday villa or perhaps a holiday apartment in Spain. Spain vacation rentals for holidays in Spain are easily located by searching a Spain holiday home on our website. Spain Holiday Rental offer Spanish holiday homes for your next Spain vacation.

This content is excellently written from a search engine optimization perspective. The carewords (Spain, holiday, rentals, etc.) are prominent and repeated often. However, this content doesn't seem credible to me. I don't get a sense of trustworthiness off it. In fact, it reads to me like spam, and that made me quickly hit the Back button.

Remember, getting people to your website is just the first step. Having them complete the task is ultimately what it's all about.

  • Death toll from Mexico fuel explosion rises to 89 -

    Death toll from Mexico fuel explosion rises to 89The death toll from a fiery explosion in central Mexico rose to 89 on Monday as authorities vowed to hold accountable those responsible for a deliberate fuel-line puncture that drew hundreds of people looking to gather gasoline before it ignited. Images captured by local media showed a torrent of fuel escaping from a pipeline as people converged on the site with buckets and jerrycans to collect gasoline.

  • 11 killed in Israeli airstrikes against Iranian bases in Syria -

    11 killed in Israeli airstrikes against Iranian bases in SyriaIsraeli airstrikes in Syria killed 11 Iranian and pro-regime fighters on Monday, in the most serious direct confrontation between Iran and Israel in the last six months.  Israeli warplanes attacked bases belonging to Iran?s elite Quds Force after an Iranian missile was fired from Syria towards the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Sunday, the Israeli military said.   The Iranian missile was reportedly fired in response to Israeli air raids carried out inside Syria earlier in the day on Sunday.  By Monday morning, the situation appeared calm but Israeli forces were on high alert and both sides were watching for any signs of a fresh escalation.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said the Israeli attacks had killed 11 people, including Iranian troops, Hizbollah fighters, and at least two Syrians.  It was the highest death toll from Israeli raids since May 2018, when waves of Israeli airstrikes killed at least 23 Iranian and Syria fighters.  Israeli army Merkava tanks gather in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, on January 20, 2019 Credit:  JALAA MAREY/AFP Israel is determined to continue its campaign to stop Iran from entrenching in Syria despite Donald Trump?s decision to withdraw US forces from the country.  It warned the Syrian regime that it ?was putting itself at risk? by allowing Iranian forces to use its territory for strikes against Israel. The head of Iran?s air force, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh, responded that his forces were ?impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth?.  The escalation appears to have begun on Sunday afternoon when Israeli aircraft carried out a rare daylight operation against targets inside Syria. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) refused to comment on whether they struck first.  At around 3pm Iranian forces fired a midrange surface-to-surface missile from Damascus towards the Golan Heights, where thousands of Israelis were skiing on Mount Hermon, according to the IDF.  The Iranian missile was shot down by Israel?s Iron Dome defence system. Israeli skiers recorded video of a pair of interceptor missiles streaking over the ski slopes towards their target. There were no injuries on the Israeli side.  ?We saw that as an unacceptable attack by Iranian troops - not proxies, not Shia militias, not Syrian forces, but Iranian troops firing an Iranian-made missile,? said Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli spokesman.  What is believed to be guided missiles are seen in the sky during what is reported to be an attack in Damascus, Syria Credit: Reuters   He said Israeli intelligence showed the missile strike was ?premeditated? in that Iran had brought the missile to Syria with the intent of firing it at Israel, rather than using it in the internal Syrian conflict.      Israel launched three waves of airstrikes against Quds Force targets, including their main weapons depot at Damascus airport, which they used to supply their own troops and Hizbollah fighters, the IDF said.  Israel said it had informed the Syrian regime via Russia that it was targeting Iranian bases and warned Syrian forces not to fire on Israeli aircraft.  But Syrian air defence systems nonetheless fired dozens of missiles at the attacking Israeli jets. Israel said it then struck Syrian regime targets in response.   ?This regime is putting itself at risk by allowing the Iranians extensive and almost unlimited use of Syrian facilities,? the IDF said. ?Syria yesterday paid a price for allowing Iran to plan and conduct attacks from its soil.? Israel has carried out thousands of strikes against Iranian and Hizbollah targets inside Syria as part of its effort to keep Iran from entrenching its forces in the Arab state.   The attacks have mostly been carried out in secret but Israel has become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, with both Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and senior military officers referring publicly to the strikes.  So far, Israel has been able to carry out its operations without sparking a full-blown war but international observers fret that one day a miscalculation by either side could lead a much larger conflict.

  • 2 dead after 6.7 magnitude earthquake hits Chile's coast -

    2 dead after 6.7 magnitude earthquake hits Chile's coastDamage has been reported after a strong magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck near Coquimbo in central Chile, prompting a tsunami warning that was canceled a short time later, officials say.

  • Giuliani says Trump pursued Moscow tower throughout '16, raising questions -

    Giuliani says Trump pursued Moscow tower throughout '16, raising questionsU.S. President Donald Trump pursued a business deal to erect a tower bearing his name in Moscow throughout 2016, his attorney said on Sunday, raising new questions for congressional investigators looking into possible ties between the president and Russia. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he may have continued to pursue the project and had discussions about it with his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, until as late as October or November 2016, when Trump was closing in on his election victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Moscow deal ultimately did not materialize but Giuliani's remarks suggest that Trump's discussions about the project with Cohen may have dragged on months longer than had been publicly known.

  • Lunar eclipse 2019: ?Blood Moon? on Monday will be the last eclipse to be seen in Britain for 10 years -

    Lunar eclipse 2019: ?Blood Moon? on Monday will be the last eclipse to be seen in Britain for 10 yearsThe Moon will turn red tomorrow as Britain experiences its last total lunar eclipse for 10 years. The eclipse will happen in the early morning of Monday January 21 when the Moon start to darken at 2.35am with full eclipse beginning at 4.40am. It will be free of the Earth?s shadow by 7.49am. It  is the last chance for UK observers to see a total lunar eclipse in its entirety until 2029. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes exactly between the Sun and the Moon creating a shadow which stops solar rays reaching the lunar surface. Spectators can expect the Moon to begin to darken slowly before turning red as it becomes completely caught in Earth?s shade. Sometimes the eclipsed Moon is a deep red colour, almost disappearing from view, and sometimes it can be quite bright. Next weeks Super Blood Wolf Moon will be the last for a decade  Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe January?s full Moon is also known as a ?wolf moon?, a name deriving from Native American Tribes who said wolves would howl outside villages during full moons at the beginning of the year. And the eclipse will occur when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth - making it a supermoon, so it will appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter. In Britain the Moon will be above the horizon throughout the eclipse, though from the extreme southeast of England the Sun will have risen as it comes to an end. The red effect is due to Earth?s atmosphere. Without an atmosphere the Moon would appear black or even totally invisible when it was within Earth?s shadow. But because Earth?s atmosphere extends about 50 miles up, during a total eclipse, although the Moon is in shadow, there is a ring around our planet through which the Sun?s rays still pass. Unlike the other wavelengths the Sun's red light is scattered much less by air allowing it to travel through the atmosphere where other colours are lost. Finally it is bent by a process of refraction as it leaves the atmosphere on the opposite side, channelling it on to the Moon?s surface. Lunar eclipses always happen at a full Moon as this is when it moves behind the Earth and into line with the Earth and Sun but most of the time no eclipse takes place because the e Moon's orbit is slightly tilted so it normally passes a little above or below the Earth?s shadow.

  • Why the stock market is headed for a swift recovery -

    Why the stock market is headed for a swift recoveryEverywhere I look, people seek negatives and ignore positives. When that happens, better times lie ahead for the stock market.

  • The Entry-Level 2019 Porsche Cayenne Deserves Your Attention -

    The Entry-Level 2019 Porsche Cayenne Deserves Your AttentionPorsche?s base Cayenne will have you seeking out the roads usually reserved for sports cars.

  • British pound recovers as May outlines Brexit 'Plan B' -

    British pound recovers as May outlines Brexit 'Plan B'The pound recovered ground Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she plans to return to Brussels to discuss changes to the Brexit deal she agreed with EU leaders last month despite an overwhelming rejection of the draft text by MPs last week. There was mixed news out of China, with official data showing the country's economic growth at its slowest pace in 28 years offsetting a report that the country has offered to eliminate its massive trade surplus with the United States -- easing trade war tensions between the world's two biggest economies. "Unless the British PM intends to commit political suicide, an extension request is the most likely scenario and the EU will most probably agree, which should be a positive development that will take the pound towards $1.30 again," predicted Konstantinos Anthis, Head of Research at ADSS.

  • Video shows Florida toddler walking towards police with hands up during her father's arrest -

    Video shows Florida toddler walking towards police with hands up during her father's arrestTPD said the toddler unexpectedly got out the pickup truck and imitated her parents, who were suspects, walking toward officers with her hands raised.

  • All the best signs from Women's March events around the world -

    All the best signs from Women's March events around the worldThe Women's March is back for its third year, and despite several layers of controversy surrounding the march's leadership, highly attended events were still held across the world. In Dec. 2018, the march came under fire when Tablet Magazine reported allegations that the organization's leaders made anti-Semitic remarks. The fallout was fierce and the allegations were handled in a way that drew added criticism, with Women's March leader Tamika Mallory refusing to condemn anti-Jewish comments on The View earlier this week and several civil and women's rights groups declining to participate in the events. Despite the controversy, several local organizers decided to take part in the events, and many women  across America showed up ready to march, keeping to tradition with witty-as-ever signs in hand. SEE ALSO: Why local organizers support the Women's March despite controversy As we've learned from the 2017 and 2018 marches, women standing up for their rights make some kick-ass signs. It's no surprise that this year's sign game was also remarkably impressive, so we wanted to take a bit of time to appreciate some of the masterpieces. > Love all of the poster creativity, especially the one that says, "No old white guys 2020!" #WomensWave #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Gregory A. Cendana (@gregorycendana) January 19, 2019 > One of my favorite signs from this year's NYC #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Molly Bangs (@MollyBangs) January 19, 2019 > Someone made a great sign #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Ruth Gregory (@RRGregory1) January 19, 2019 > My favorite sign from the #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Evan Shreffler (@shreff21) January 19, 2019 > So many Marie Kondo references on these signs. #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Hafsa Quraishi (@hafiisaa) January 19, 2019 > The most important sign. #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) January 19, 2019 > my favorite sign so far #WomensMarch2019 > > -- maddie (@madelyngcole) January 19, 2019 > Good signs at #WomensMarch2019 > > -- Paige Krzysko (@smilepaige) January 19, 2019 > Fave sign from women's march #WomensMarch2019 > > -- hannah (@chuck_chestnut) January 19, 2019 Image: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock Image: Jose Luis Magana/AP/REX/Shutterstock Image: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images Image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images Image: Zach Gibson/Getty Images Image: Rob Kim/Getty Images Image: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images Image: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images Image: Carsten Koall/Getty Images ## WATCH: A new study says women are abused every 30 seconds on Twitter

  • 5 shot and 3 killed after homeowner opens fire on suspects in east Houston -

    5 shot and 3 killed after homeowner opens fire on suspects in east HoustonHouston Police have cleared the scene where 5 men where shot, killing 3.

  • Israel says its jets struck Iranian military sites in Syria -

    Israel says its jets struck Iranian military sites in SyriaJERUSALEM (AP) ? The Israeli military said its jets struck Iranian military targets in Syria early Monday, an announcement that marked a rare departure from Israel's yearslong policy of ambiguity regarding activities in neighboring Syria.

  • Winter storm to hit U.S. northeast with up to two feet of snow -

    Winter storm to hit U.S. northeast with up to two feet of snowThe Weather Service issued winter storm warnings or advisories for a swath of the eastern United States that is home to 100 million people, said meteorologist Rich Otto of the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. The storm system, which was moving from west to east and was strengthened by arctic air from Canada, hit many parts of the Midwest on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. In Chicago, where some neighborhoods received 8 inches (20 cm) of snow, a third of flights were canceled at the city's two main airports, said Mark Duell, vice president of operations for tracking firm FlightAware.

  • Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election result -

    Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election resultCongo's political standoff deepend on Sunday after the top court backed the contested presidential election victory of Felix Tshisekedi, then his main rival rejected the ruling, called for protests and declared himself leader. As Mr Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated the ruling in the streets of Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, runner-up Martin Fayulu said the decision had opened the way to a ?constitutional coup d'etat?, raising fears of more violence. Rwandan President Paul Kagame - the chair of the African Union which has said it has ?serious concerns? about the vote and called for the results to be delayed - was due to arrive in Kinshasa with an AU delegation to discuss the crisis on Monday. Last month's delayed election was meant to mark the first democratic transfer of power in the vast central African country, where conflicts have regularly destabilised the region. Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition party, the UDPS Credit:  BAZ RATNER But monitors pointed to major flaws in the poll. Unrest over the vote has already killed 34 people, wounded 59 and led to 241 ?arbitrary arrests? in the past week, according to the U.N. human rights office. In the early hours of Sunday, the Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the result filed by Fayulu was inadmissible. ?Felix Tshisekedi will become the fifth president of the republic,? government spokesman Lambert Mende said as he welcomed the judgement. Mr Fayulu issued statements dismissing the ruling. ?The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime ... by validating false results, (and enabling) a constitutional coup d'etat,? he said in one. ?I am now considering myself as the sole legitimate President of the Democratic Republic of Congo,? he added in another statement. He called for people to mount peaceful demonstrations - though the streets of the capital were calm on Sunday afternoon. Mr Fayulu says Mr Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila made a deal to cheat him out of a more than 60-percent win - an accusation they both dismiss. The provisional results, announced on Jan. 10, showed Mr Tshisekedi winning with a slim margin over Fayulu. In a speech, Mr Tshisekedi welcomed the victory and said he would seek to mend divisions in the country. ?This is the end of one fight and the start of another in which I will enlist all the Congolese people: a fight for well-being, for a Congo that wins,? he said. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc which includes South Africa and Angola, congratulated Tshisekedi and called for a peaceful transfer of power. ?SADC calls upon all Congolese to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections,? it said. On Thursday, SADC eased pressure on Congolese authorities by backing off earlier calls for a recount. Independent monitors flagged major problems with the election, including faulty voting machines and polling stations where many were unable to vote. The Catholic Church, which had a 40,000-strong team of observers, denounced the provisional result. A tally from the church reviewed by Reuters from about 70 percent of polling stations suggested a victory of 62 percent for Mr Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobil country manager.  MrTshisekedi and Mr Ramazani were virtually neck-and-neck second place with 16.93 percent and 16.88 percent, respectively. Congo - which was ruled by kleptocratic dictator Mobutu Sese Seko for 32 years before tumbling into chaos and war in the late 1990s - is a vital source of copper and other metals, including cobalt.

  • Trump confuses weather with climate change again: 'Wouldn?t be bad to have a little good old fashioned Global Warming right now!' -

    Trump confuses weather with climate change again: 'Wouldn?t be bad to have a little good old fashioned Global Warming right now!'Donald Trump has again confused weather with climate change, suggesting the US would benefit from ?a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now? amid forecasts of snow and cold conditions. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. In November, Mr Trump conflated seasonal weather with climate change, suggesting chilly conditions meant global warming wasn?t real.

  • The First 1500 Toyota Supra Buyers Get This Special Launch Edition -

    The First 1500 Toyota Supra Buyers Get This Special Launch EditionWith visual tweaks and a commemorative plaque, this car is a bid to make the new 2020 Supra more collectible.

  • Saudi Crown Prince Shows a ?Chilling? Instability, Graham Says -

    Saudi Crown Prince Shows a ?Chilling? Instability, Graham SaysThe heir to Saudi Arabia?s monarchy, widely known as MBS, has so far largely dodged any reprisals against himself, with President Donald Trump opting in November to impose sanctions against 17 lower-level Saudis implicated in the murder following global outrage. ?We have to deal with bad people, but we don?t have to have special relationships with bad people,? Graham told Bloomberg News.

  • Ghosn awaits fate after vowing to stay in Japan if bailed -

    Ghosn awaits fate after vowing to stay in Japan if bailedCarlos Ghosn awaits his fate as a Tokyo court prepares to rule on his bail request after the ousted Nissan boss vowed to remain in Japan if released and offered to provide more collateral. "As the court considers my bail application, I want to emphasise that I will reside in Japan and respect any and all bail conditions the Court concludes are warranted," Ghosn said in a statement released by his US-based representatives. A spokeswoman for Ghosn, Devon Spurgeon, said his family had already rented an apartment in Tokyo where he promised to reside while awaiting trial.

  • 10 ways to make your binge-watch as comfortable as possible -

    10 ways to make your binge-watch as comfortable as possibleIn Binged, Mashable breaks down why we binge-watch, how we binge-watch, and what it does to us. Because binge-watching is the new normal. * * * Binge-watching is basically an endurance sport, so you need to be sure you're prepared. After all, if you're going to watch You until your eyes fall out (recommended), why not make the experience as pleasant as possible? That means paying close attention to the conditions under which you watch: the couch, the temperature, the vibe, and (most importantly) the snacks. Some hot tips: ## 1\. Assemble your snacks before the binge-watch begins To truly maximize your experience, I recommend selecting one salty snack, one sweet snack, and one wild-card snack. Some suggestions from my colleagues, whose tastes range from great to truly horrifying: * Takis * Sno-Caps in popcorn * Uncrustables * Plain Lay's chips and Greek yogurt * Chocolate-covered pretzels * Trader Joe's olive oil popcorn * Literally a ham-and-cheese sandwich dipped in orange juice (cursed) * Celery and peanut butter * Peanut butter straight from the jar Note: you can always sub in pizza for any category (or all three). ## 2\. Keep no less than three beverages in front of you at all times One of the beverages should be water. For the other two, I like to choose a large, gulp-able beverage -- like Gatorade or, if I am feeling brave, seltzer -- as well as a fancy, small beverage, like a blood orange San Pellegrino or one of those high-end lemonades with cursive lettering on the bottle. SEE ALSO: Watching your favorite TV show a million times isn't compulsive. It's a comfort binge. ## 3\. Get up every hour to stretch You don't have to do a full yoga class, but it's nice to remind your body that it is, in fact, capable of movement.  > Netflix: are you still watching? > Me: > > -- sara reinis (@SaraReinis) March 7, 2018 ## 4\. Consider the two-blanket approach I have radiators in my apartment and do not control my own heat, which means that sometimes my living room is 1,000 degrees. This is too hot. If I open the window, though (see #7), it becomes too cold. That's why I prefer to have two blankets near me when I binge-watch: one thick blanket for the cold times and one thinner cotton blanket for the medium times. During the hot times, I use no blanket at all. ## 5\. Consider your spinal column If you need to bring a bed pillow onto the couch for back support, so be it. If you're binge-watching in bed, consider acquiring a backrest pillow. Maybe one ... with a cupholder? ## 6\. If you're watching a show featuring heavy subject matter, take more breaks While there is certainly no shame in binge-watching, it can have adverse effects on your mental health -- especially if the show you choose deals with emotionally fraught topics. In these cases, treat yourself to a few more breaks than you normally would. We're not saying go outside (imagine!), but maybe do a few more stretches, check in with your friends, and drink some extra water. ## 7\. Open a window Let your binge-watching farts (different than regular farts) fly freely into the atmosphere. ## 8\. Text people about what you're watching If you do not have a binge-watching partner literally sitting next to you, it can be fun to live-text the show with a fellow binge-watcher in another location. It also reminds you that you have friends. Crucial!  What you should not do, however, is send texts about the show to someone who has not seen the whole show yet. Avoid committing this friendship crime at all costs. > When Netflix freezes to ask if you're still watching and you see yourself reflected in the screen > > -- Philip Ellis (@Philip_Ellis) February 16, 2018 ## 9\. Switch positions When you have a nest, you have a nest, so switching rooms isn't necessary. But alternating between sitting up and lying down, or even just lying down on the other end of the couch, can be kinda nice. After all, lying down in a second location is a fun twist on lying down. ## 10\. Respect the air If you've chosen some really good snacks (and also haven't left the couch for six hours), the room can start to smell a little ... rank. That's when it's time to light a candle. On the off-chance Gilmore Girls is your binge-watch, there is a Gilmore Girls candle designed to burn in tandem with the 2016 revival. There are also Stranger Things-themed candles. Or you could just burn a regular one. It's your binge-watch, after all! ## WATCH: Netflix is raising its prices ##

  • Australian rallies demand safe streets for women after Israeli student murder -

    Australian rallies demand safe streets for women after Israeli student murderSeveral thousand people marched through major Australia cities on Sunday calling for safety for women after an Israeli exchange student was murdered in Melbourne. The marches, part of the Women's March rallies held around the world in support of women's rights, gathered some 3,000 people in Sydney, who in their chants demanded safe streets for women in Australian cities. Aiia Maasarwe, 21, was killed when walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, earlier this week.

  • Can Democrats afford to turn down a border security proposal that includes a DACA deal? -

    Can Democrats afford to turn down a border security proposal that includes a DACA deal?Democratic strategist Joel Rubin and District Media Group president Beverly Hallberg weigh in on whether or not Democrats will agree to Trump?s new border security deal.

  • The Latest: Winter storm death toll rises to 5 -

    The Latest: Winter storm death toll rises to 5The Latest on the winter storm hitting the East Coast (all times local):

  • Dream Match: Could an Old F-14 Tomcat Kill a Stealth F-22? -

    Dream Match: Could an Old F-14 Tomcat Kill a Stealth F-22?We take a look.

  • Government shutdown: A look back at the major events, decisions and bills that got us here -

    Government shutdown: A look back at the major events, decisions and bills that got us hereAs President Trump readies a "major announcement" on the shutdown, here's a look back at the major events and efforts to reopen the government.

  • Elon Musk gets green light to deliver Tesla Model 3 cars in Europe -

    Elon Musk gets green light to deliver Tesla Model 3 cars in EuropeTesla has secured approval from regulators to sell its Model 3 cars in Europe, in a move that will bring it in direct competition with the likes of BMW, Volkswagen and Peugeot in their home market. Dutch vehicle authority RDW approved Tesla's request to sell the most affordable of its electric cars on Monday, meaning that British customers can order the car from next month. Production of right hand driving vehicles, the standard in the UK, is not due to start until mid 2019. The announcement comes days after chief executive Elon Musk issued a letter to all of his employees, describing 2018 as "the most challenging in Tesla's history". In the same letter, Musk said he had "no choice" but to reduce full time employee headcount by 7pc and retain only the most critical temps and contractors.  "There isn't any other way," he said. Workers will now focus on producing a cheaper version of the Model 3 in an attempt to boost sales.  Shipments of Model 3 vehicles to Europe and Asia are expected to generate a profit for the company in future, Musk said.  Tesla's Model 3 is currently priced at over $35,000 (£27,200), has a range of 220 miles and a top speed of 130 mph. The model first went on sale at the end of 2018.  Tesla was forced to push back its production targets last year when it failed to hit the 5,000 vehicle a week target by the end of 2017.

  • Israel to open new international airport near Red Sea -

    Israel to open new international airport near Red SeaIsrael was to inaugurate a new international airport Monday in its desert south meant to boost tourism to the nearby Red Sea and serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport. The official ceremony was scheduled to begin at 11:30 am (0930 GMT) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance. Initially Ramon Airport will handle only domestic flights, operated by Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir.

  • 'Black Muslims' to blame for high school students' confrontation with Native American man, mother claims -

    'Black Muslims' to blame for high school students' confrontation with Native American man, mother claimsThe mother of a high school student among the group filmed in confrontation with a Native American man after a rally in Washington DC has blamed ?black Muslims? for the encounter. The woman?s son was reportedly alongside several wearing Make America Great Again (Maga) hats who were criticised for apparently taunting Nathan Phillips, surrounding him and chanting ?build the wall, build the wall?. Did you witness the black Muslims yelling profanities and video taping to get something to further your narrative of hatred??

  • China population growth slows despite abolition of the one-child policy -

    China population growth slows despite abolition of the one-child policyChina's population grew at a slower rate last year despite the abolition of the one-child policy, official data showed Monday, raising fears an ageing society will pile further pressure on an already slowing economy. There were 15.23 million live births in 2018, a drop of two million from the year before, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. With 9.93 million deaths, this led to a growth rate of 3.81 per thousand in 2018, a dip from 5.32 per thousand the previous year. NBS commissioner Ning Jize said population growth had peaked, but said the country still had huge potential. "China's labour participation rate is not considered low worldwide, more than 700 million of our 900 million people (of working age) are employed, and there is still room (for growth)," he said. Signs of China's falling population growth had emerged when data released by some local authorities indicated a significant drop in births last year. In Qingdao, a city in eastern Shandong province - one of China's most populous regions - births between January and November decreased by 21 percent to just over 81,000 compared to the previous year. Top 10 | Largest countries by population Still, China's total population rose by 5.3 million in 2018 to 1.395 billion people, retaining its title as the world's most populous nation. China for decades limited most families to one child - often enforcing this policy through hefty financial penalties - in a bid to control population growth. This was relaxed in 2016 when couples were allowed two children in response to concerns about an ageing society and shrinking workforce. China's workforce - those aged between 16 and 59 - was 897.3 million last year, a 4.7 million drop from 2017, NBS data showed. The workforce is on track to decline by as much as 23 percent by 2050.

  • Police fire tear gas as Greeks protest against Macedonia name deal -

    Police fire tear gas as Greeks protest against Macedonia name dealCentral Athens turned into a sea of people holding blue and white Greek flags as thousands came from all over the country to rally against the accord to name the ex-Yugoslav state North Macedonia. Many Greeks believe the name Macedonia implies a territorial claim over their country's own northern region of that name. The issue evokes strong emotions among Greeks who consider Macedonia, the ancient kingdom ruled by Alexander the Great, to be an integral part of their homeland and heritage.

  • ProSieben sees pressure easing as Netflix raises prices -

    ProSieben sees pressure easing as Netflix raises pricesProSiebenSat.1 Media believes that price increases by U.S. streaming giant Netflix could ease competitive pressures on the German group's core TV business and is bullish on growth at its e-commerce arm, CEO Max Conze said. Conze took the helm at the Munich-based broadcaster last June but has had a rough welcome from investors who have sent its shares to seven-year lows on doubts that he can revive its ailing free-to-air TV business. The former CEO of UK appliances company Dyson told Reuters that plans to relaunch a German streaming venture in cooperation with Discovery Inc, public broadcaster ZDF, publisher Axel Springer and possibly others were on track for late summer.

  • Winter storm forces airline cancellations, road troubles -

    Winter storm forces airline cancellations, road troublesDETROIT (AP) ? A plane carrying 129 people skidded Saturday from a slick Chicago runway and a plow driver was killed when his truck rolled over outside Kansas City following a winter storm that covered many parts of the Midwest in snow and ice.

  • The Latest: 12 killed in Taliban attack in east Afghanistan -

    The Latest: 12 killed in Taliban attack in east AfghanistanKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) ? The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):

  • Blood Sport or Good Government? -

    Blood Sport or Good Government?President Donald Trump and House speaker Nancy Pelosi traded snide jabs at each other ? she canceling the State of the Union Address, he canceling her trip overseas ? rather than come together to restart the government. Meanwhile, the mainstream media ? the self-proclaimed protectors of democracy? embarrassed themselves by obsessing over a report from BuzzFeed that claimed Robert Mueller has evidence that the president instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. Next, the Right to Life March produced a bit of drama, as Catholic-school students from Kentucky seemed to get into a nonphysical conflict with a Native American activist at the National Mall.

  • British Airway is giving one of its Boeing 747s a 1960s-era paint scheme -

    British Airway is giving one of its Boeing 747s a 1960s-era paint schemeBritish Airways will paint one of its Boeing 747's in a retro scheme that dates to the 1960s as part of an effort to commemorate its 100th birthday.

  • Prince Philip 'could be sent on driving awareness course' as police investigate crash -

    Prince Philip 'could be sent on driving awareness course' as police investigate crashThe Duke of Edinburgh could be sent on a drivers? awareness course, it has emerged, as police continue to investigate a crash which left two women hospitalised. The Duke, 97, is understood to have no intention of giving up driving, having been photographed on public roads driving a new car less than 48 hours after the accident. He is understood to be complying with a Norfolk Police investigation, which will see him interviewed about what happened. Two women, aged 45 and 28, will also be asked for their recollections of the accident, after their Kia Carens collided with the Duke?s Land Rover Freelander on the A149 on Thursday. Both police and palace have emphasised that the investigation will be conducted in the same way as any other traffic accident, despite one of the involved parties being married to the Queen. That process would see him interviewed in the coming days, before police officers recommend whether to proceed with charging anyone involved. The scene of the crash, on the A149 at Sandringham The Duke has already passed an eye test as part of the investigation, celebrating by defiantly driving himself around the public roads near to Sandringham alone less than 48 hours after the accident. He was caught on camera driving in dark glasses without wearing a seatbelt, in a gesture that has been criticised by onlookers. A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: ?We are aware of the photograph. ?Suitable words of advice have been given to the driver and this is in line with our standard response when being made aware of or receiving such images showing this type of offence.? The law states that drivers can be fined up to £500 if caught without a seatbelt. The Duke of Edinburgh drives the Queen and Barack and Michelle Obama during their visit to Windsor Credit: Geoff Pugh If the Duke was found to be at fault for the Sandringham accident, he could be charged with driving without due care and attention, which carries a maximum penalty of nine points on a driving record and a £5,000 fine. It is thought unlikely that a prosecution would come to court. A police source said yesterday that non-royal drivers involved in a similar collision would more likely be offered a drivers? awareness course, with improving their motoring skills considered more in the public interest than a court case. The Duke reportedly said "I'm such a fool" after being pulled from his wrecked Land Rover Freelander on Thursday after it flipped on its side following the collision with a Kia close to Sandringham. Witnesses claim he had told police at the scene he had been ?dazzled? by the low sun at 2.45pm. A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: ?As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken.?

  • Chile earthquake: Magnitude 6.7 quake rocks north of country -

    Chile earthquake: Magnitude 6.7 quake rocks north of countryA magnitude- 6.7 earthquake hit the coast of north Chile, causing buildings to shake and fears of a possible tsunami. It reportedly caused homes to rattle, as well as minor damage to old buildings and power outages in the nearby coastal city of La Serena ? a popular beach town about 250 miles north of Santiago. Chilean mining group Antofagasta Plc said operations were continuing as normal at its Los Pelambres copper mine following the nearby earthquake.

  • The best UK deals for Blue Monday: ManCave beard oils, Rimmel highlighters, L’Oréal face masks, and more -

    The best UK deals for Blue Monday: ManCave beard oils, Rimmel highlighters, L’Oréal face masks, and moreWelcome to Blue Monday -- a party you definitely don't want to attend.  If you aren't familar with this date, and why it's blue, it's probably a good thing, because Blue Monday is the name given to the date in January claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. That day is today!  The third Monday of January has been awarded this gloomy title due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights, and the arrival of some pretty unpleasant credit card bills. It's not all doom and gloom though, because Blue Monday can be used as a catalyst to make some positive changes to turn your frown upside down. In this list of the best Blue Monday deals, we have tracked down discounts on personal care products including face masks, moisturisers, highlighters, and self-tanning elixers. Basically, all the stuff that is going to make you feel good and glow, literally. You can save on a bunch of different ManCave products, including ManCave blackspice beard oil and ManCave dace and stubble cleanser. We have also sourced deals on Rimmel and Max Factor items, like Rimmel insta strobing highlighter and Max Factor miracle glow duo pro illuminator. Last but certainly not least, you can save on L'Oreal products like the L'Oreal Paris 3 pure clays and charcoal detox mask, reduced to just £4.80. These are the best deals from across the internet for Jan. 21. ## ManCave products This wash bag set is an Amazon exclusive. Image: Amazon * ManCave Essentials Wash Bag Set -- £17 * ManCave Blackspice Beard Oil -- £5.25 (list price £9.99) * ManCave Anti-Ageing & SPF20 Moisturiser -- £4.20 (list price £8.99) * ManCave Texturising Hair Paste -- £4 (list price £8.50) * ManCave Face and Stubble Cleanser -- £4.49 (list price £5.99) ## ## Rimmel deals This Rimmel London insta fix and matte powder is down to £2.96. Image: Amazon * Rimmel London Insta Fix & Matte Powder -- £2.96 (list price £4.99) * Rimmel London Kate Sculpting Highlighter Palette -- £5.59 (buy two and save £6.99) * Rimmel Magnif'eyes 12 Pan Eyeshadow Palette -- £5.82 (buy two and save £8.99) * Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Eye Contouring Palette -- £6.47 (buy two and save £8.99) * Rimmel Insta Strobing Highlighter -- £3.88 (buy two and save £5.99) ## ## Max Factor offers You'll literally be glowing. Image: amazon * Max Factor CC Concealer Stick -- £7.98 (list price £9.99) * Max Factor Miracle Glow Duo Pro Illuminator -- £6.39 (list price £10.99) * Max Factor CC Concealer Stick for Dark Spots -- £5.68 (list price £9.99) * Max Factor CC Reduce Dullness Concealer Stick -- £5.81 (list price £9.99) * Max Factor Miracle Glow Duo Pro Illuminator Creamy Highlighter -- £8.79 (list price £10.99) ## ## L'Oreal deals Treat your face right. Image: amazon * L'Oreal Sublime Self-Tanning Elixir -- £9.18 (list price £14.99) * L'Oreal Paris 3 Pure Clays and Charcoal Detox Mask -- £4.80 (list price £7.99) * L'Oreal Paris 3 Pure Clays and Marine Algae Blemish Rescue Mask -- £4.80 (list price £7.99) * L'Oreal Paris 3 Pure Clays and Red Algae Glow Mask -- £4.73 (list price £7.99) * L'Oreal Paris 3 Pure Clays and Yuzu Lemon Bright Mask -- £4.73 (list price £7.99)

  • Arab states call for return of Syria refugees -

    Arab states call for return of Syria refugeesArab states at an economic summit in Lebanon on Sunday urged world powers to step up efforts to enable refugees, particularly Syrians, to return home and to ease the burden on host countries. The fourth annual Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, held in the Lebanese capital Beirut, was marred by the glaring absence of most Arab heads of state. The refugee issue had been high on the summit's agenda at the request of Lebanon, which has been inundated with refugees since the start of the Syrian war 2011.

  • Germany's Maas skeptical on UK-Ireland talks solving Brexit deadlock -

    Germany's Maas skeptical on UK-Ireland talks solving Brexit deadlockGerman Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday it was unclear how any talks between Britain and Ireland on resolving the question of the Irish backstop could help the European Union's deal with London on Brexit. British Prime Minister Theresa May is to set out her plans for Brexit on Monday after UK lawmakers rejected her deal with the EU last week, throwing the process into disarray. Asked by ZDF television about media reports on possible plans by May to negotiate a bilateral deal with the Irish government, Maas said it was unclear how it would work.

  • World's oldest man, 113, dies at his home in northern Japan -

    World's oldest man, 113, dies at his home in northern JapanTOKYO (AP) ? The world's oldest man has died at his home ? a hot springs inn ? in northern Japan at the age of 113.

  • Stealth Shocker: China Claims It Can Track Air Force F-22 Raptors -

    Stealth Shocker: China Claims It Can Track Air Force F-22 RaptorsNo more stealth?

  • Woman fabricates attempted kidnapping story to Long Island police to cover up how baby was injured -

    Woman fabricates attempted kidnapping story to Long Island police to cover up how baby was injuredPolice on Long Island said a woman fabricated a story about an attempted kidnapping in order to cover up how her 1-year-old son was injured.

  • 'SNL' pokes at Trump with shutdown-themed 'Deal or No Deal' -

    'SNL' pokes at Trump with shutdown-themed 'Deal or No Deal'This week's opening sketch on 'Saturday Night Live' gave President Trump 'Deal or No Deal' options to end the partial government shutdown.

  • Model who alleged Russian meddling in US election tells Moscow court she will not publish Deripaska recordings -

    Model who alleged Russian meddling in US election tells Moscow court she will not publish Deripaska recordingsAnastasia Vashukevich, the model who recorded a former employer of Paul Manafort allegedly discussing US relations with a Russian deputy prime minister during the 2016 election, has promised in a Moscow court not to release any further recordings.  Ms Vashukevich previously claimed to have evidence of Russian interference in the US election from a fling with Oleg Deripaska, the metals magnate to whom Donald Trump's campaign manager Manafort reportedly promised private briefings, something Deripaska always denied. Video she uploaded to Instagram showed Mr Deripaska speaking on a yacht in 2016 with Sergei Prikhodko, a deputy prime minister and long-time aide to Vladimir Putin. In a separate audio recording, Mr Deripaska is heard discussing Russia's ?bad relations with America?. The pair talked about the ?issue with America,? Ms Vashukevich had claimed. After her Instagram posts were discovered in February 2018, Ms Vashukevich was arrested while leading a sex training seminar in Thailand, and Mr Deripaska successfully sued Ms Vashukevich for violating his right to privacy with her photographs and recordings. A Russian court ordered her to delete the posts and pay him £5,800 in emotional damages. She and her partner from the sex training received a suspended sentence for soliciting and conspiracy last week and deported to Belarus, their native country. On her way there, they were arrested in a Moscow airport on Thursday. They face prostitution charges carrying up to six years in prison. After being led by bailiffs into a glass defendant's cage on Saturday, Ms Vashukevich asked Mr Deripaska's forgiveness and promised no more revelations. Ms Vashukevich was deported by Thailand and arrested at Moscow airport Credit: Vasily Maximov/AFP ?There won't be any more audio recordings about Oleg Deripaska,? she told journalists from a glass defendant's cage. ?I won't compromise him anymore, so he can relax, really, I've had enough." She claimed that she was now subject to "fabricated" criminal cases in Thailand, Russia and Belarus. Ms Vashukevich declined to comment when asked by The Telegraph if the prostitution charges against her were related to claims of Russian election interference. The court delayed a hearing on her confinement until Tuesday after investigators said they didn't have enough evidence to make their arguments. Mr Deripaska has denied interference and said he never received an offer of private briefings. He is under US sanctions, but sanctions against some of his companies are set to be lifted this week despite controversy in congress. Mr Deripaska is seen speaking to Mr Prikhodko in footage posted by Ms Vashukevich Credit: Instagram The meeting on the yacht took place in August 2016 off the coast of Norway, according to an investigation by opposition activist Alexei Navalny. A private jet linked to Mr Deripaska had flown between New York and Moscow and then to Norway in the previous days, Mr Navalny found. Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller's investigation into election interference, told a Russian acquaintance he could offer private briefings to Mr Deripaska the month before, according to emails seen by The Atlantic and other publications. Russia ordered YouTube to take down Mr Navalny's video investigation, but it is still available and has more than 8 million views. While in jail in Thailand, Ms Vashukevich claimed to have more than 16 hours of audio recordings and photographs providing evidence of Russian interference in the US election. She promised to provide the evidence if the United States gave her asylum. Miss Vashukevich in detention in Thailand  Credit:  JORGE SILVA/REUTERS Ms Vashukevich told CNN she witnessed Mr Deripaska meeting three Americans in 2016 and 2017 and said ?they had a plan for the election?. She said she had photographs of one of the Americans with Mr Deripaska, but refused to name any of the men. CNN also reported FBI agents had unsuccessfully tried to see her in Thailand.

  • The Latest: Bitter cold freezes US regions hit by storm -

    The Latest: Bitter cold freezes US regions hit by stormBOSTON (AP) ? The Latest on the winter storm moving across the country (all times local):

  • How do you draw an X? Twitter is divided over it. -

    How do you draw an X? Twitter is divided over it.Draw an X. I'll wait. Now, how did you go about it? The left stroke first, downward, then the right, or the right stroke first, upward? Turns out there are multiple ways. SEE ALSO: Everyone's taking their anger out on Sasuke in this hilarious new meme The question of how folks instinctively draw an X has gone viral, thanks to a thread by Twitter user @SMASEY. It's divided Twitter in a way we haven't seen since the whole Yanny/Laurel debate of 2018.  "Which way do you draw an X?" she asked, presenting eight possibilities, each showing a different colour for the first stroke and arrows indicating the direction of the strokes. > Also this is so interesting to me - which way do you draw an X? Colored line being the first stroke > > -- sixers smasey (@SMASEY) January 20, 2019 Some people were confident in their answer, others less so. Many, like myself, weren't even really aware there were multiple ways to draw an X -- for the record, I'm a seven. > 5! > > There are other ways? > > -- Hannah Wilks (@newballsplease) January 20, 2019 > 5?? > > Why would I finish opposite to where my pen needs to go next? > > -- Steve Curtis (@curtisteve) January 20, 2019 > Is there anyone who doesn't do a 7/8? > > -- Ngonidzashe (@Ngonijay95) January 20, 2019 > 8. > > People who draw bottom to top are also the ones that put their toilet paper on the holder the wrong way. > > -- Eddie (@NinjaJenssen) January 20, 2019 > Depending on if you're right or left handed it should be 7 or 8. What kind of sick person draws an X any other way > > -- Aokiji ??? (@DukeOfZamunda) January 20, 2019 > me realising there are other ways to draw an 'x' > > -- Shego (@LadyBellatrix) January 20, 2019 > sat here testing myself > > -- ? (@bcfchxrry) January 20, 2019 Which way do you X? ## WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is giving Twitter classes to fellow Democrats

  • Israel and Chad renew diplomatic ties as Netanyahu visits -

    Israel and Chad renew diplomatic ties as Netanyahu visitsN'Djamena (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the majority-Muslim nation of Chad Sunday for what he called a "historic" trip, as the two countries restored diplomatic ties after a decades-long break. The Israeli leader said it was the start of a push to restore his country's standing in the Islamic world. Netanyahu and Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno have "announced the renewal of diplomatic relations between Chad and Israel", a statement from the Israeli premier's office said, shortly after he arrived in N'djamena.

  • Trump says no amnesty for 'Dreamers,' signals support in broader deal -

    Trump says no amnesty for 'Dreamers,' signals support in broader dealIn a morning Twitter storm, Trump also said he would not seek the removal of millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States, while bashing House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for turning down an offer he made on Saturday, including for Dreamers, the immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. "No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3-year extension of DACA.

  • US spy satellite launched into orbit from California -

    US spy satellite launched into orbit from CaliforniaVANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) ? A powerful Delta 4 Heavy rocket carrying a U.S. spy satellite lifted off Saturday from California.

  • China's Xi Warns Party of `Serious Dangers' as Risks Mount -

    China's Xi Warns Party of `Serious Dangers' as Risks MountXi told a ?seminar? of top provincial leaders and ministers in Beijing on Monday that the Communist Party needed greater efforts ?to prevent and resolve major risks,? the official Xinhua News Agency said. ?The party is facing long-term and complex tests in terms of maintaining long-term rule, reform and opening-up, a market-driven economy, and within the external environment,? Xi said, according to Xinhua.

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