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Google is no longer developing its own self-driving car: report

The Verge   
The Verge
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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images Google has refocused its autonomous driving efforts away from developing its own car without a steering wheel and pedals, according to a report from The Information. The two companies announced a partnership to develop self-driving minivans in May. Alphabet CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat are said to be behind the decision to pivot, believing the existing plan of self-producing a radically new car without a steering wheel to be impractical. It's reportedly a controversial move inside Google X's autonomous driving division, known as Chauffeur, with Google co-founder Sergey Brin also in favor of...
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The best YA books of 2016

Mashable   
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This may have been a rough year in a lot of ways, but 2016 has been a great one for new YA books. Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, McLemore's book reads like a fairytale world in the midst of our own, where people from all backgrounds, genders, and sexualities take center stage. Yoon's YA novel, a National Book Award for Young People's Literature finalist and our November MashReads pick, follows two teens on a day that would change the course of their lives forever. Scientific and rational Natasha is dealing with the worst day...
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Sources: Trump to pick ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson as secretary of state

CNN   
CNN
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Like Trump, Tillerson, 64, has no formal foreign policy experience, but has built close relationships with many world leaders by closing massive deals across Eurasia and the Middle East on behalf of the world's largest energy company.Tillerson was originally a dark horse for the secretary of state nomination, but emerged from a lengthy public interview and vetting process that included better-known quantities like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.Trump has called Tillerson a "world-class player" and the transition team is likely to stress that...
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Donald Trump picks ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State

The Verge   
The Verge
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Tillerson has no governmental or diplomatic experience Tillerson has no governmental or diplomatic experience, but has extensive experience dealing with world leaders and through his career at ExxonMobil, where he is due to retire next year at the age of 65. He opposed sanctions against Russia Tillerson’s ties with ExxonMobil and Russia will likely be subject to a number of questions in his confirmation hearings, especially after the CIA has determined that Russia’s efforts were intended to aid Donald Trump’s campaign to win the White House. Trump has repudiated these reports, saying that they are “ridiculous.” Selecting Tillerson for Secretary...
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Rogue One: the latest news about the new Star Wars movie

The Verge   
The Verge
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Nov 25, 2016, 2:27am EST Prepare your stormtrooper suits and break out your lightsabers: tickets for the first Star Wars spin-off movie, Rogue One, will go on sale next Monday. The date was revealed by the official Star Wars Twitter account on Thanksgiving night, giving...
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Can Taiwan trust Trump? Island fears becoming pawn between superpowers

CNN   
CNN
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The Communist government in Beijing views Taiwan as a "renegade province," since Chinese nationalists fled there and established a government after losing the civil war in 1949.Both governments -- officially the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) -- claim to be the legitimate ruler of all of China, but the ROC effectively controls only Taiwan and a few other small islands.China talks tough in editorialTrump unleashed a storm of controversy when he took a call from Taiwan's leader, President Tsai Ing-wen, earlier this month.Chinese officials were furious over the first conversation in decades between a...
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Aleppo: Syrian army tightens grip on city

CNN   
CNN
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"It is going to be a very difficult situation because there is no place for all these fleeing civilians," said Ismail Abdallah, a member of the White Helmets."We believe there are a large number of civilian casualties as a result of this intensifying offensive and White Helmets rescue workers are unable to move to reach any of these areas," he said.Abdallah told CNN the al-Fardous neighborhood has been captured by Syrian government forces, while some areas of resistance remain in parts of the city."There is a mass exodus of terrified civilians fleeing from al-Fardous, al-Jaloom, al-Salheine and areas that have...
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Donald Trump Chooses Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Time   
Time
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Dear TIME Reader, As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising. The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to. The TIME Team
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Creepy 'monster'-like object washes up onto New Zealand beach

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The nightmarish creation was discovered by Melissa Doubleday, who snapped pics of the oddity and posted it on a local Facebook group. SEE ALSO: Oh hell yeah, look how big this turtle is"Just curious to know if anyone knows what this is??! But it turns out it's very likely that it's a piece of driftwood covered with gooseneck barnacles, the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society told the news outlet. Image: melissa doubledayWhile this discovery might be appetising for fishermen along Iberian coasts, the smell is more confronting for curious Kiwis who've paid a visit to the object. "Yesterday afternoon it...
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Tropical cyclone Vardah takes aim at India

CNN   
CNN
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Tropical cyclone Vardah is the first cyclone on the Bay of Bengal to reach hurricane force in 2016It is expected to make landfall on Monday afternoon local timeTropical cyclone Vardah is packing winds of 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) and is the first cyclone on the Bay of Bengal to reach hurricane force in 2016, according to CNN meteorologists. Vardah could also take a heavy toll on the country's agricultural sector, destroying banana plantations, papaya groves and rice paddies.According to local media reports, Vardah has prompted schools and colleges to close in Chennai, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur districts...
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