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Westlake Legal Group > fox news (Page 104)

Dating sites, political ads, Fire TV and more: Tech Q&A

Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital.

Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job.

This week, I received questions about whether any old tech is worth money to collectors, dating online, the Fire Stick, political ads and whether I shut down my app.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?

Tap or click here to email me directly.

Best Dating Sites

Q: My divorce is final and I’m ready to date again. Now that everyone is meeting online, are some apps better than others? I’m looking for a relationship, not a hookup.

A: There is nothing fun or glamorous about a legal separation, but now that you’ve reached the end of the tunnel, you may find exciting times ahead. Online dating has evolved dramatically in recent years, and although Tinder gets the most attention, it may not be the ideal venue for long-term relationships.

Unlike the early days of digital courtship, when the dating pool was small and any old profile would do, you are now competing with legions of other singles. Communicating with potential dates is a separate skill, and staying safe is yet another. Tap or click here for five online dating tips.

Political Ad Doubts

Q: Do online sites like Facebook monitor political ads? I saw an ad about Trump that was 1,000% wrong.

A: Given the epidemic of fake news, you would think political campaigns would face more oversight. Aside from confusion and slander, a vicious campaign ad with erroneous information can cause serious problems, including threats and manipulated polls. To answer your question, it depends on what social media platform you use.

Some services, like Twitter and Spotify, have stopped allowing political ads altogether. Facebook says they want to let their users decide what’s real. Keep in mind that an absence of political ads doesn’t impact the videos, posts and memes that may continue to spread lies and exaggerations about a given candidate.

Bans are effective, but in the end, it’s up to you to fact-check your sources and stay informed. Tap or click here to learn more about political ads on social media.

Find My App

Q: I looked in the App Store and couldn’t find your app. Did you take it down?

A: So many people struggle to find my app because they’ve misspelled my name. I get it: “Komando” isn’t a familiar English word, but “commando” is – so you may want to add a “c” or extra “m,” which may hamper your results.

I can assure you the Komando app is available wherever you get your apps, and the reviews have been splendid. There are so many reasons to download this app, from up-to-the-minute breaking tech news and security alerts to streaming episodes of my show.

If you still can’t find the app on Google Play or the App Store, feel free to use the handy link on my website. Tap or click here to download the Komando app.

Old Tech Worth Money

Q: I have boxes of old tech lying around the house from a Commodore, Walkman and more. Would collectors want any of it?

A: Most of us haven’t seen a PDA or LaserDisc in years, and we couldn’t even conceive of using one. Our garages are full of the “junk” you describe — technology that lost its relevance decades ago. But just because it’s old doesn’t mean a gadget is worthless, and collectors often chase after rare and original devices: Atari games, iPods and yes, Commodores.

Obviously, these items are more valuable when they’re in good condition, and the real prizes are still packaged in their original boxes. But before you dump your dusty stash in the Goodwill bin, check out what someone might pay for it. Tap or click here to identify old tech that is worth big bucks.

The Amazon Fire Stick Shtick

Q: My sweetie got me an Amazon Fire Stick for Christmas. Does it feed me ads based on my internet searches and stuff?

A: Amazon is pretty aggressive about advertising, and whether you’re using the Amazon website to shop or a Kindle Fire to read an ebook, you will probably stumble into a good number of targeted ads. The bad news is Fire TV won’t permit you to eliminate these ads altogether.

The good news is you can change your settings to stop using your browsing data. But that’s only the tip of the Fire TV iceberg. That little stick is packed with features, including Alexa compatibility and free streaming movies from IMDb.

Fire TV doesn’t grab as many headlines as Apple TV, but this service is excellent in its own right, and there are many ways to make it even better. Tap or click here for 10 secret Fire TV tips only the pros know.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2020, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group TinderThomasTrutschel-PhotothekviaGettyIMages Dating sites, political ads, Fire TV and more: Tech Q&A Kim Komando fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc article 3e5b5f35-ccc9-5d7c-a787-2010681491b5   Westlake Legal Group TinderThomasTrutschel-PhotothekviaGettyIMages Dating sites, political ads, Fire TV and more: Tech Q&A Kim Komando fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc article 3e5b5f35-ccc9-5d7c-a787-2010681491b5

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Sen. Tom Cotton says threat of future Soleimani attacks looks different to soldiers than politicians

Westlake Legal Group Cotton-Levin-Reuters-FOX Sen. Tom Cotton says threat of future Soleimani attacks looks different to soldiers than politicians fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f14d6195-26bc-58a6-b55b-d7ef18d46a23 Charles Creitz article

Senate Armed Services Committee member Tom Cotton, R-Ark., praised President Trump‘s swift action that killed Iran Gen. Qassem Soleimani, telling Mark Levin that the viewpoint of a soldier in the Middle East is different than that of a lawmaker working stateside.

Cotton, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in an interview airing Sunday on “Life, Liberty & Levin” that he has seen intelligence that showed Soleimani, 62, was plotting “something large [and] something very dangerous” in the near future.

“There is no doubt,” he said, suggesting that the severity of the situation trumped whether the predicted attack or attacks happened in a matter of days as opposed to weeks or months.

MARK LEVIN: ‘APPALLING’ TO WATCH LAWMAKERS INVOKE ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ WAR POWERS ACT AGAINST TRUMP

“The question of whether the attack is imminent or not … looks very different if you’re a soldier sitting in Iraq than if you’re some comfortable senator sitting behind armed guards in Washington D.C.,” Cotton said.

The Arkansas lawmaker added that Soleimani “was a sadistic terrorist mastermind and there is no country in the Middle East whose citizens have not suffered from his depredations.”

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Cotton claimed Soleimani is a chief reason why Syria President Bashar al-Assad remains in power Syria and that the general’s Quds Force was responsible for killing thousands of Iranians during a recent civil protest against the Tehran government.

“If you’ve got a chance to take a mastermind like Qassem Soleimani off the battlefield, you take it,” he said, backing up the president’s sentiments and adding that he is disappointed in the objections he’s heard from the Democrat side of the aisle.

Westlake Legal Group Cotton-Levin-Reuters-FOX Sen. Tom Cotton says threat of future Soleimani attacks looks different to soldiers than politicians fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f14d6195-26bc-58a6-b55b-d7ef18d46a23 Charles Creitz article   Westlake Legal Group Cotton-Levin-Reuters-FOX Sen. Tom Cotton says threat of future Soleimani attacks looks different to soldiers than politicians fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f14d6195-26bc-58a6-b55b-d7ef18d46a23 Charles Creitz article

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Obamas not advising Harry and Meghan on royal transition, despite rumors: report

Contrary to rumors, former President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are not advising Prince Harry and Meghan Markle following their controversial decision to step back as senior members of the royal family, sources close to the ex-White House couple said, according to a report.

“The rumors of them having anything to do with this are totally false,” one source told People magazine. “The former president and first lady are not advising the couple and have not been in contact with them.”

PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE: WILL THEY GO HOLLYWOOD LIKE THE OBAMAS? NETWORK EPS WEIGH IN

British tabloid reports last week said the Obamas had been advising the royal couple on how they leveraged their White House popularity into post-presidency commercial success.

“There’s no truth to it,” another source told People.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-855654858 Obamas not advising Harry and Meghan on royal transition, despite rumors: report fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/topic/royals fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox-news/person/barack-obama fox news fnc/entertainment fnc df60da2a-0eca-5721-8109-1dbe7d864089 Brie Stimson article

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Prince Harry chat on at the Invictus Games 2017 on Sept. 29, 2017 in Toronto. (Getty Images)

The Obamas collaborated with Prince Harry while in the White House on veteran’s projects like the Invictus Games and they have both met Meghan, but have reportedly not been in contact with them for more than a year, People reported — save for Michelle Obama’s written answers to Meghan’s interview questions when Meghan guest-edited Britain’s Vogue a few months back.

“The Obamas are a great model for how to make money and keep it classy,” veteran Hollywood public relations strategist Howard Bragman said, according to Reuters. “They could find projects that are moving and sometimes Meghan could be in them. If it’s a documentary, maybe Harry could narrate it,” said.

Meghan had reportedly already signed a voiceover deal with Disney before she and Harry announced their plan last week.

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Oprah Winfrey also denied last week that she has been helping the royal couple with their transition.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-855654858 Obamas not advising Harry and Meghan on royal transition, despite rumors: report fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/topic/royals fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox-news/person/barack-obama fox news fnc/entertainment fnc df60da2a-0eca-5721-8109-1dbe7d864089 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-855654858 Obamas not advising Harry and Meghan on royal transition, despite rumors: report fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/topic/royals fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox-news/person/barack-obama fox news fnc/entertainment fnc df60da2a-0eca-5721-8109-1dbe7d864089 Brie Stimson article

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Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118267181001_6118271951001-vs Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus Paul Batura fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3ee86adb-194a-51fa-bd4e-54659fab65c9

Macy’s has decided to close dozens of its brick-and-mortar stores amidst an accelerating retail revolution.

Founded by Rowland Hussey Macy in 1858, the iconic retailer joins several other popular brands like JCPenney and Kohl’s that are currently struggling to navigate a titanic consumer shift in personal purchasing habits.

Despite retail sales growing 3.7 percent industry-wide during the past holiday shopping season, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to convince patrons to actually drive to a traditional store to buy something.

ONLINE SALES RECORD LEADS HOLIDAY SHOPPING SURGE

Can you blame consumers for not wanting to trudge out in the cold, find a parking spot and run the likely risk of not finding the item in their desired size or color, let alone at the best possible price?

The explosion and convenience of “one-click” online shopping is truly one of the most remarkable developments of the last few decades. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were debating whether even inputting our credit-card number online was wise.

Incessant hacking and identity theft notwithstanding, we’ve all pretty much acquiesced to the new ways. Even my late father was ordering items from Amazon when he was in his 80s.

But convenience always comes at a cost – and the cost is not always financial.

More from Opinion

In many ways, I grieve the fading of the brick-and-mortar store for reasons great and small.

Revolutions often come in incremental waves these days, and so it’s not unusual for people living through them to not fully appreciate the scope and significance of the change happening right before their eyes.

Of course, I appreciate being able to order what I want, when I want. The arrival of the big blue Amazon van on our Colorado Springs street elicits a good feeling, especially if I’m waiting for a new pair of running shoes or a David McCullough bestseller.

Yet, turning shopping into a purely transactional arrangement is something of a blow to our sense of humanity.

As a former retail employee myself, I have wonderful memories of conversations and interactions with so many of my customers. Almost all of them were serendipitous and interesting in numerous ways. At the risk of overstating it, those happy (and sometimes tense) exchanges helped shape me into the person I am today.

By contrast, and with no offense to Amazon Prime, I’ve never walked away from an online purchase a better man.

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One of my best friends is David Bervig, a renaissance gentleman of the old school, but also something of a do-it-yourself sage. Whenever I’m flummoxed with a home project, which is often, I know he’ll have the solution.

David’s late father, Farris, was the long-time owner of the True Value Hardware store in Alamosa, Colo. He was also the mayor of the town, a sprawling Adams State College community in the high-altitude San Luis Valley. As a high school student, David went to work for his father at the store, and encountered contractors coming in for plumbing, paint and electrical supplies.

“In helping them find what they needed, they wound up teaching me everything I know,” he told me. “And you know what? The more they taught me, the more I was able to help those who walked into the store.”

Change is always inevitable, and the loss of one tradition usually ushers in another benefit we wonder how we ever lived without. YouTube tutorials are quickly replacing how-to-chats with weathered hardware store aficionados. The change may help you get the job done, but it will never leave you changed like a warmhearted face-to-face chat with Farris Bervig would.

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I guess I mourn some of the shift in retail trends because behind all the numbers of the closed stores, there are the names of people I’ll never meet and conversations I’ll never have with the good folks who would have been inside of them.

Bervig’s hardware store closed several years ago, shortly before Mayor Bervig passed away himself. A happy man with a wide smile and an infectious laugh, I think a part of him died along with it.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY PAUL BATURA

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118267181001_6118271951001-vs Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus Paul Batura fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3ee86adb-194a-51fa-bd4e-54659fab65c9   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118267181001_6118271951001-vs Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus Paul Batura fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3ee86adb-194a-51fa-bd4e-54659fab65c9

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How to identify an STD

Dear Dr. Manny,

One of my ex-boyfriends just informed me that he has an STD. How do I know if I have an STD? What are common STDs? Are STDs treatable? Are there any that aren’t treatable? Should I be worried? 

Thanks for your question.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread when someone with an STD is sexually active with someone who does not have one. Any sort of sexual activity — oral, anal or traditional intercourse — comes with a risk of an STD.

IS PLASTIC SURGERY SAFE?

Half of all STDs in America occur in people under the age of 25. These are serious diseases that require treatment. Some STDs include genital herpes, HPV, hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea.

Sometimes STDs have symptoms, and sometimes they have none at all. However, women will usually present symptoms to let them know that something is off. These may include bumps or warts near the mouth or genitals, swelling or redness of the genitals, skin rash, painful urination, burning urination, weight loss, aches, pains, fever, chills, yellowing of the skin, vaginal discharge, bleeding, painful intercourse and severe itching near the genitals. Men can develop some of these symptoms as well.

Most STDs are treatable with antibiotics. It is important to get these diseases treated as soon as possible in order to avoid lasting damage.

WHAT EXACTLY IS BOTOX?

The most common STD is HPV. There are more than 40 types of HPV that can be spread sexually. It is important that young men and women get a vaccine that will help prevent cancers caused by HPV. Women should also get pap smears regularly to look for cervical cancer caused by HPV. There is no cure for HPV.

Recently, there has been a surge in the number of chlamydia cases in the U.S., making it the most frequently reported bacterial STD in the U.S., according to the CDC. Most people do not experience symptoms from chlamydia, so it is important to get tested regularly if you are sexually active. Gonorrhea is similar in that most people don’t notice any symptoms. Both are treatable with antibiotics.

Syphilis has four stages, with the last stage causing brain and nerve damage. It is also hard to detect without medical testing. Herpes is very easy to catch because it is spread by skin-to-skin contact. It’s also a virus, in the same family as chickenpox, so there is no real medicine to make it go away. The symptoms can be managed with medicine, however.

Trichomoniasis is another STD that can be treated with antibiotics. It is more common in women than in men.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is dangerous. It can also only be detected through blood or saliva. Symptoms of HIV feel like the flu, but it can destroy your immunity over time. Some risk factors include drug abuse and unprotected sex. Currently, ongoing research on the treatment of HIV is being conducted and indeed, and early detection with proper medication is helping millions of people.

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The only real way to avoid getting an STD is through abstinence. Even using condoms does not come with a 100 percent guarantee that you won’t catch a disease, especially since diseases like herpes are spread via skin-to-skin contact. If you are sexually active, make sure you get regularly tested, use condoms and don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you start seeing symptoms.

Westlake Legal Group std_test_istock How to identify an STD Manny Alvarez fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/ask-dr-manny fox news fnc/health fnc article a275750f-cd60-50d6-9ced-6fe4c6a9a54a   Westlake Legal Group std_test_istock How to identify an STD Manny Alvarez fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/ask-dr-manny fox news fnc/health fnc article a275750f-cd60-50d6-9ced-6fe4c6a9a54a

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Looking for cheap flights? You’ll want to avoid the ‘Do Not Fly Days’ of 2020

There are cheap days to fly in the New Year, and then there are the expensive days. And knowing which is which can save you a bundle.

But before we get into specific seasons and dates, remember that you can usually save something year-round if you’re diligent about comparing fares and seeking out the best deals.

PICS: ‘CANNABIS AMNESTY BOXES’ NOW AVAILABLE FOR PASSENGERS AT CHICAGO AIRPORTS

Aside from that, these are the travel dates you’ll want to avoid for the sake of your bank account.

Do Not Fly Days — January and February

  • Feb. 14 to 17: These days are going to be a little pricier than the dates surrounding them, because of the one-two punch of Valentine’s Day, on. Feb. 14, and the long weekend (for some, at least) before President’s Day, between Feb. 15 and 17.
  • Feb. 29: On or around the last day of February is when the cheapest fares of winter usually come to an end, and slightly higher prices begin.
  • Europe: No dates to avoid.

Cheapest time to fly in January and February: All the other days will have better fares, but Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday flights will have the biggest bargains.

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Do Not Fly Days — March, April, May

  • Fridays and Sundays: Starting in March, these popular days to fly get more expensive; frugal flyers are better off flying on Saturday.
  • March 26 and May 14: This only applies to flights heading to Europe, so watch for a price hike.

Cheapest time to fly in March, April and May: During these months, the cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Westlake Legal Group FlightSearch Looking for cheap flights? You'll want to avoid the 'Do Not Fly Days' of 2020 Rick Seaney fox-news/travel/general/travel-tips fox-news/travel/general/budget-travel fox news fnc/travel fnc article 1abb93cc-6e5f-58dc-b7f1-0081e53f15fd

Remember that you can usually save something — year-round — if you’re diligent about comparing fares and seeking out the best deals. But aside from that, there are certain travel dates you might want to rethink, for the sake of your wallet. (iStock)

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Do Not Fly Days — June, July, August, September

  • June 4 (and beyond): This is the first significant price hike for summer fares; if possible, finish up your trip by June 3.
  • June 22 to August 24: Late June through the third week in August is peak-pricing for summer; fly before or after and you’ll save.
  • July 15 and again around Aug. 11: This applies to Europe. Prices drop July 15 and again around Aug. 11.

Cheapest time to fly in June, July, August, September: September generally has good deals for U.S. and European airfare. For fares to Europe, prices tend to drop most noticeably around July 15 and again around Aug. 11.

Bottom Line

Winter is cheapest, followed by fall and spring. Summer, especially July, is generally far and away the most expensive time to fly. But even summer can be made cheaper by flying unpopular days (midweek and Saturday) and unpopular routes (connecting flights are sometimes much cheaper).

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Here’s hoping your new year is filled with travel bargains.

Westlake Legal Group FlightSearch Looking for cheap flights? You'll want to avoid the 'Do Not Fly Days' of 2020 Rick Seaney fox-news/travel/general/travel-tips fox-news/travel/general/budget-travel fox news fnc/travel fnc article 1abb93cc-6e5f-58dc-b7f1-0081e53f15fd   Westlake Legal Group FlightSearch Looking for cheap flights? You'll want to avoid the 'Do Not Fly Days' of 2020 Rick Seaney fox-news/travel/general/travel-tips fox-news/travel/general/budget-travel fox news fnc/travel fnc article 1abb93cc-6e5f-58dc-b7f1-0081e53f15fd

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Ohio church damaged as high winds, rain batter area north of Dayton

Westlake Legal Group lightning-istock-large Ohio church damaged as high winds, rain batter area north of Dayton fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox news fnc/us fnc d662abc5-eba2-5978-a636-d2c264cbd866 Brie Stimson article

Severe storms in western Ohio reportedly downed trees, knocked out power and damaged a church — potentially beyond repair — amid a possible tornado in Miami County on Saturday.

The steeple and several bricks from the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Portsmouth were blown off by the wind, WSAZ-TV of Huntington, W. Va., reported.

Viewer photos submiited to Eric Halperin of WCMH-TV in Columbus showed the extensive damage.

Fire officials told the WSAZ they were concerned the storms could further damage the historic church, built in 1886, and possibly cause it to fall down.

STORMS IN SOUTH BLAMED FOR 11 DEATHS, INCLUDING 3 IN ALABAMA FROM TORNADO

In Champaign and Miami counties, both north of Dayton in Montgomery County, homeowners lost power and bricks were left strewn across sidewalks and roads, WDTN-TV of Dayton reported.

The Troy Fire Department said seven commercial buildings and several homes were damaged in the city, 20 miles north of Dayton, including a tree that fell on a house, WHIO-TV of Dayton reported.

A tornado may have touched down in Miami County, WDTN reported.

Winds gusts as high as 83 mph were reported at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside Dayton, according to WDTN.

A high-wind warning remained in effect for most of the region until 4 a.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, powerful storms across the South have been blamed for at least 11 deaths, including three from a tornado in Alabama.

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No deaths have been reported in Ohio.

Westlake Legal Group lightning-istock-large Ohio church damaged as high winds, rain batter area north of Dayton fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox news fnc/us fnc d662abc5-eba2-5978-a636-d2c264cbd866 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group lightning-istock-large Ohio church damaged as high winds, rain batter area north of Dayton fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox news fnc/us fnc d662abc5-eba2-5978-a636-d2c264cbd866 Brie Stimson article

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Andy Puzder: Trump economy is booming – Good news for America, bad news for Democrats

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5998373165001_5998371255001-vs Andy Puzder: Trump economy is booming – Good news for America, bad news for Democrats fox-news/us/economy fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc cb2b72ca-f63e-53d0-a248-00bc0cef3f9e article Andy Puzder

The Democrats are in for a tough year. President Trump’s economy is roaring, completely debunking the left’s pessimistic narrative about economic growth.

According to figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 158.8 million Americans are now employed, while the unemployment rate continues to hold steady at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent.

With more job openings than there are job seekers to fill them, our strong and growing economy has truly reached full employment – an elusive milestone that means we are butting up against the limits of how quickly we can expand the labor force.

DEROY MURDOCK: TRUMP ECONOMY BENEFITS LOW-INCOME WORKERS – OPPOSITE OF WHAT DEMOCRATS FALSELY CLAIM

This is especially great news for workers, because companies with job openings to fill are increasingly having to compete with each other to attract employees by offering higher wages, better benefits, improved working conditions, greater flexibility and more workplace perks.

“As we begin this new year, our economy is booming,” President Trump said during a recent rally in Ohio, adding that “wages are soaring, workers are thriving, and America’s future has never looked brighter.”

More from Opinion

But the remarkable employment figures are only part of the story. According to the most recent weekly report from the Labor Department, jobless claims have fallen to 214,000 – thousands fewer than experts had expected.

Moreover, the service sector – which accounts for nearly  80 percent of gross domestic product – experienced a significant boost last month, suggesting that demand for workers is continuing to increase.

These incredible economic figures are a nightmare for the Democrats, who have spent the last three years warning voters about impending economic doom. Time and again, those on the left have attempted to manufacture panic over anomalous, cherry-picked, or just plain misunderstood data points, using them to justify their fanatical insistence that President Trump’s policies are destined to trigger the next Great Recession.

But the recession hasn’t come – and for a good reason. Contrary to the Democrats’ talking points, President Trump’s pro-growth economic agenda succeeded in strengthening the private sector and unshackling America’s entrepreneurial spirit, leading to the creation of more than 7 million new jobs across America.

Thanks to President Trump’s historic tax cuts, for instance, Americans saved an average of $1,400 on their federal income taxes in 2018. Meanwhile, his commonsense approach to slashing the job-killing regulations that were put in place by his predecessor has freed workers and business owners alike from the bureaucratic micromanagement that had stifled economic growth in this country – sometimes intentionally – for years.

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President Trump’s bold and assertive trade policies will give the economy an even greater boost in the near future, disproving the constant naysaying of Democrats and the mainstream media.

Thanks to the president’s widely misunderstood strategic counter-tariffs, for instance, the U.S. and China are on the verge of reaching a revolutionary bilateral trade agreement that would protect American businesses and their intellectual property.

Perhaps even more significantly, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) is on the verge of being implemented, after obstructionist Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., finally allowed members to approve it late last year.

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The deal is set to add tens of billions of dollars to our gross domestic product and increase employment by nearly 200,000 jobs, which is basically like having an extra month in the year in terms of job growth. Call it the Trump leap year.

The U.S. economy is thriving like never before under President Trump – and the obstructionist Democrats know it. With 2020 getting off to such an auspicious start, their woes are just going to keep growing until Election Day in November.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5998373165001_5998371255001-vs Andy Puzder: Trump economy is booming – Good news for America, bad news for Democrats fox-news/us/economy fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc cb2b72ca-f63e-53d0-a248-00bc0cef3f9e article Andy Puzder   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5998373165001_5998371255001-vs Andy Puzder: Trump economy is booming – Good news for America, bad news for Democrats fox-news/us/economy fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc cb2b72ca-f63e-53d0-a248-00bc0cef3f9e article Andy Puzder

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Illinois service member ID’d as one of two killed in Afghanistan by IED

A 21-year-old soldier from Illinois has been identified as one of two U.S. military personnel killed Saturday in Afghanistan.

Miguel Villalon was in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar province, according to a Twitter message posted by the City of Aurora.

2 US SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED BY ROADSIDE BOMB IN AFGHANISTAN

The other service member killed in the attack, for which the Taliban took immediate responsibility, has not yet been identified.

“Tonight, the Aurora community mourns the heartbreaking loss of Miguel Vallalon, 21,” the post reads. “He was one of two U.S. service members who passed away today while serving in Afghanistan. A former student at East Aurora High School, Miguel was proud to serve in the United States Army.”

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who is an Army veteran, also commented on Villalon’s passing.

“Our prayers and condolences are with the Villalon family during this tragic time,” Irvin said in a statement, according to WBBM-TV of Chicago. “Miguel was a young soldier with dreams for the future and a desire to make a difference in the world today.

“Miguel was a young soldier with dreams for the future and a desire to make a difference in the world today.”

— Aurora, Ill., Mayor Richard Irvin

“Much like all of us who have left from our hometown of Aurora to serve our country, our goal is to do our job well and return to our family and friends,” Irvin continued. “Sadly, Miguel made the ultimate sacrifice as he protected our freedom from the front lines. The City of Lights shines much dimmer because of this loss. We’ll stand with his family and provide support. Godspeed, young soldier.”

Saturday’s tragedy hit the Chicago area especially hard because just days earlier, Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr., 23, of Hazel Crest, Ill., was identified as the service member who was killed Jan. 5 in a terror attack against U.S. and Kenyan forces in Kenya.

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Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr., 23, of Hazel Crest, Ill., was identified as the service member who was killed Jan. 5 in a terror attack in Kenya.

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More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Last year was one of the deadliest for the United States, with 23 American troops killed, even as Washington engaged in peace talks with the Taliban.

About 2,000 international forces are currently stationed in Afghanistan, focused on training and advising Afghan security forces, with a portion focused on counterterrorism, Stars and Stripes reported.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Iranian female Olympian defects, calls out regime’s ‘hypocrisy’ as she exits country permanently

Iran’s only female Olympic medalist has reportedly defected, posting a goodbye letter to Iran on Saturday, calling out the government’s “hypocrisy” as she announced she had permanently left the country.

“Should I start with hello, goodbye, or condolences?” Taekwondo athlete, Kimia Alizadeh, 21, posted on her Instagram in Farsi, Agence France-Presse reported.

Alizadeh did not disclose where she was going, but Iran’s ISNA news agency reported she had gone to the Netherlands, according to AFP. The Iranian report quoted Alizadeh’s coach as saying the athlete was injured and did not show up for trials ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

IRAN ADMITS TO ‘UNINTENTIONALLY’ SHOOTING DOWN UKRAINIAN PLANE, SAYS IT MISTOOK AIRCRAFT FOR HOSTILE TARGET

The Olympian’s announcement came just a day after Iranian officials admitted to downing a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing 176 people minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport early Wednesday due to “human error,” thinking it was a military aircraft.

She accused the Iranian government of “lying” and “injustice” toward Iranian athletes, adding all she wants is “Taekwondo, security and a happy and healthy life,” according to AFP.

Alizadeh won a bronze medal in Taekwondo at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

She said she wore everything the government asked her to wear, referring to the head covering all Iranian female athletes must wear, and wrote she “repeated everything they told me to say…None of us matter to them.”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-591909792 Iranian female Olympian defects, calls out regime's 'hypocrisy' as she exits country permanently fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/sports/olympics fox-news/sports fox news fnc/sports fnc dd49698f-479a-51f6-b952-f455b53533cf Brie Stimson article

​​​​​​​Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of Iran celebrates after defeating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden during a women’s Bronze Medal Taekwondo contest at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Aug. 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Getty Images)

Iranian parliamentarian Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh decried “incompetent officials,” saying the country had allowed “human capital to flee,” AFP reported.

He compared Alizadeh to Alireza Firouzja, an Iranian chess prodigy who now lives in France after becoming a grandmaster at age 14.

In a Twitter message, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus hailed Alizadeh’s decision.

#KimiaAlizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, has rejected the regime’s oppression of women,” Ortagus wrote. “She has defected for a life of security, happiness, and freedom. #Iran will continue to lose more strong women unless it learns to empower and support them.”

ISNA reported Alizadeh plans to try to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but wouldn’t represent Iran.

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Alizadeh promised the Iranian people she would always remain a “child of Iran.”

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