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Departing Bo Obama Lands K Street Lobbyist Position

WASHINGTON—Touting his lengthy tenure in the White House and close personal relationships with the president of the United States and first lady, executives at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck announced Monday that once the current administration steps down later this week, the departing Bo Obama will officially join their high-powered K Street lobbying firm.

A Timeline Of Trump’s Relationship With The Press

President-elect Donald Trump routinely insists that he is treated unfairly by the press, while many in the news industry have openly expressed how difficult it can be to report on him in today’s chaotic media environment. Here is a timeline of the major events that have shaped this relationship.

The Pros And Cons Of Universal Basic Income

As Finland tests a program to give a universal basic income to unemployed citizens, many wonder if a similar initiative could work in the United States. Here are some pros and cons of such a program:

What Compromising Information Does Russia Have On Donald Trump?

On Tuesday, it was reported that leaders of American intelligence agencies had given Donald Trump a memo advising that Russia had gathered compromising personal information about him as part of a wider effort to disrupt the election, though these claims remain unsubstantiated and both the president-elect and the Kremlin deny these reports. Here’s a look at what damaging information Russia may have in its possession.

How Confirmation Hearings Work

On Tuesday, Congress began holding confirmation hearings to evaluate the fitness of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees for their offices. Here is a step-by-step guide to the confirmation hearing process.

Trump Gives Intelligence Agencies Their Daily Briefing

NEW YORK—Sitting down with top officials from the CIA, FBI, and Defense Intelligence Agency in a Trump Tower conference room, President-elect Donald Trump reportedly gave U.S. intelligence agencies their daily briefing Tuesday morning.

John Kerry Throws Vine Over Pit Of Quicksand To Save Child Companion

PANGSAU, MYANMAR—Thinking quickly to thwart disaster as he ventured deep into the Myanmar rainforest to meet with State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, Secretary of State John Kerry threw a vine over a pit of quicksand to save the life of his 12-year-old Moroccan companion, Drumstick, sources confirmed Monday.
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Bush Still Working On Manned Mission To Mars Quietly In Spare Time

DALLAS—Speaking from his home in Dallas, former president George W. Bush told reporters Tuesday that when he's not busy giving lectures or writing his memoirs, he spends most of his spare time working on the manned mission to Mars he proposed in January 2004.

Bush goes over some of the statistics on surviving in a prolonged low-light environment.

"This is genuinely important to me," said Bush, looking over sketches of potential rocket systems he had drawn up while waiting for his oil to be changed at a service station earlier this week. "I wasn't kidding when I announced a plan to get us to Mars, by God, and I intend to finish what I started. That's why I try to carve out a little time before lunch and after dinner to work on this important interplanetary initiative."

"It's a big project," Bush added. "Lots of little details to work out."

While in 2004 many critics suggested Bush's call for a mission to Mars was little more than political theater, the 43rd president has called those claims "ridiculous." Bush said he has spent many hours scouring the web for information about space travel and Mars, in addition to checking out "a bunch" of books on the subject from the local library and regularly e-mailing contacts he still has at NASA to ask their advice on his plan.

He also frequently watches the PBS program Nova.

"It's the first thing I think of when I wake up after having some breakfast and doing the crossword," Bush said. "Ask anyone: Whenever I have a spare minute, I'm always thinking about how to put astronauts on the surface of Mars."

The former president believes the journey from Earth to Mars will be feasible, although fraught with peril.

"And Laura knows not to bother me on Saturday afternoons when I don't have a speaking engagement or a golf match to go to," Bush added. "That's my Mars time."

Working from the makeshift basement office he refers to as "Mission Control 2," Bush said he has grappled with some of the major issues surrounding a manned mission to Mars. For months he's been jotting down notes about how zero gravity would affect the bone density and muscle mass of the crew, and he spends about five minutes during his morning jog each day coming up with ideas for safely storing a year's worth of onboard oxygen.

Sometimes, Bush said, potential solutions come not when he's reading about the Red Planet's inhospitable surface conditions on Wikipedia or brainstorming shuttle names through free-association exercises, but when he's not thinking about the historic 34- million-mile voyage at all.

"Just last week, I was out in the garden tending to the tomatoes when it hit me: The astronauts should grow their own food to eat on their spaceship," Bush said. "I'm not saying I have all the specifics down just yet, but how the astronauts going to Mars will eat is at least one thing the next president won't have to worry about."

Bush recently started a blog devoted entirely to his thoughts about setting up a permanent colony on Mars. To achieve this, he writes on MarsUSA.blogspot.com, the astronauts will need to bring materials for building a sustainable base on the planet, and be able to convert water in the Martian soil into hydrogen and oxygen for the trip home.

"That's just common sense," Bush said. "All the science-fiction writers know that."

Bush admitted that he didn't have as much time as he would like to devote to the mission, but assured reporters he would never give up on something so important. While the challenges may seem insurmountable, he said, the greatest hope for man to achieve the incredible goal of landing on the surface of Mars lies in exploiting as-yet undiscovered technologies to overcome the incredibly daunting physical distances involved.

"I'm pretty busy right now, but when I get a spare 30 minutes, I'm going to start working on that," Bush said while flipping through a copy of Scientific American. "I'll have my friend Jerry from down the road come over and crunch some of the numbers for me. He's good with computers."

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