LOS ANGELES - Several major news outlets found themselves blocked from attending a Friday White House press briefing with Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary, the latest sign of worsening relations between the Trump administration and the media attempting to cover it.
Scientists in London are training bumblebees to 'score' goals by moving a mini ball to a target, demonstrating unprecedented learning abilities. Researchers first show the bee where the ball should go. The insect then copies this technique to receive a reward; taking the sting out of the ball and moving it to a target, effectively scoring a goal. Subsequent training included one bee teaching another how to move the ball to the target. The study, published in the journal Science, suggests small brains don't necessarily limit an insect's ability to adapt and learn.
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump criticized the FBI on Friday, Feb. 24, for failing to stop leaks of national security information to the media and directed the agency to find those who pass on classified information. Trump's comments come amid media reports saying the FBI refused a White House request to knock down news stories saying members of Trump's team were in frequent contact with Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign.
Department store operator J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said on Friday, Feb. 24, it would close 130 to 140 stores over the next few months, and reported a bigger-than-expected drop in same-store sales for the holiday quarter. Shares of the company were down 2.6 percent in premarket trading on Friday, after initially rising 3 percent. The company said it would also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 employees from among its home office, stores and supply chain personnel. Fortune reported the list of stores closing would be announced in March.
Martin Kaymer chipped in for birdie at the 17th then birdied the last to move within one stroke of the lead after Thursday's opening round of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Springs Gardens, Florida. The rousing finish by the German, playing his first U.S. event of the year, lifted him to a five-under-par 65, one stroke behind American rookies Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan on a course softened by rain on Wednesday. Anirban Lahiri of India joined Kaymer at 65 by rolling in a 24-foot putt for eagle on the par-five 18th.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Justice Department has reversed an order by the Obama administration to phase out the use of private contractors to run federal prisons. In a memo made public on Thursday, Feb. 23, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Obama policy impaired the government's ability to meet the future needs of the federal prison system. The Obama administration said in August 2016 it planned a gradual phase-out of private prisons by letting contracts expire or by scaling them back to a level consistent with recent declines in the U.S. prison population.
NEW YORK - The founder of what had been one of the largest online poker websites agreed on Thursday, Feb. 23, to confront U.S. charges stemming from a long-running criminal case targeting internet firms like his operating illegally in the United States. Scott Tom, who founded Costa Rica-based Absolute Poker, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges he violated a federal internet gambling law and engaged in a money-laundering conspiracy.
A Powerball ticket sold in Indiana matched the winning numbers of a drawing on Wednesday, Feb. 22, for the game's $435 million jackpot, one of the largest in the lottery's history. The numbers drawn were 52, 10, 61, 28, and 13. The Powerball was 2. The winning ticket in Indiana is worth $435 million, the seventh-largest jackpot in the game's history, according to the lottery's website. Before Wednesday, the last time a winning ticket in the jackpot was sold was on Dec. 17. The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 292,201,338.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis delivered another criticism of some members of his own Church on Thursday, Feb. 23, suggesting it is better to be an atheist than one of "many" Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life. In improvised comments in the sermon of his private morning Mass in his residence, he said: "It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life."
CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple's sprawling new campus, dubbed "Apple Park," will open in April, the iPhone maker said on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Although the first wave of employees will begin moving into the new headquarters this spring, it will take about six months for all of the 12,000-plus workers to make the transition, Apple said. Construction will run through the summer. Apple also said the 1,000-seat theater at its futuristic headquarters will be named for its late co-founder, Steve Jobs, who helped design the 175-acre campus before his death in 2011.