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Stephen King's take on the Trump shutdown is as blunt as you'd expect

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Stephen King is certainly not one to mince his words — and that goes double when it comes to Trump.
The horror master spent a large chunk of 2018 berating the President on Twitter, and — judging by his tweets so far in 2019 — he isn't planning to stop any time soon.  
On Wednesday night, King addressed Trump's government shutdown — and, as usual, he didn't hold back.
The part about "queuing for donated commodities" refers to the 800,000 federal workers in the U.S. who have spent the shutdown either working for free, or who have been granted a leave of absence, per CNBC.
On Wednesday, Trump signed legislation which guarantees workers affected by the shutdown will receive back pay.

Read the email Elon Musk sent to Tesla employees explaining the need for job cuts

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Tesla (TSLA) Chief Executive Elon Musk sent an email to employees on Friday announcing the company would cut full-time staff by around 7 percent.
In the note, Musk says the firm faces a "very difficult" road ahead in its long-term goal to sell affordable renewable energy products at scale, noting the company is younger than other players in the industry.
Here's the full text of the company update:
This morning, the following email was sent to all Tesla employees:
As we all experienced first-hand, last year was the most challenging in Tesla's history. However, thanks to your efforts, 2018 was also the most successful year in Tesla's history: we delivered almost as many cars as we did in all of 2017 in the last quarter alone and nearly as many cars last year as we did in all the prior years of Tesla's existence combined! Model 3 also became the best-selling premium vehicle of 2018 in the US. This is truly remarkable and something that few thought possible just a short time ago.
Looking ahead at our mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy, which is important for all life on Earth, we face an extremely difficult challenge: making our cars, batteries and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels. While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people. Tesla has only been producing cars for about a decade and we're up against massive, entrenched competitors. The net effect is that Tesla must work much harder than other manufacturers to survive while building affordable, sustainable products.
In Q3 last year, we were able to make a 4% profit. While small by most standards, I would still consider this our first meaningful profit in the 15 years since we created Tesla. However, that was in part the result of preferentially selling higher priced Model 3 variants in North America. In Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3. This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit.
However, starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower priced variants of Model 3. Right now, our most affordable offering is the mid-range (264 mile) Model 3 with premium sound and interior at $44k. The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely.
Sorry for all these numbers, but I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult. This is not new for us – we have always faced significant challenges – but it is the reality we face. There are many companies that can offer a better work-life balance, because they are larger and more mature or in industries that are not so voraciously competitive. Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity, but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause.
As a result of the above, we unfortunately have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7% (we grew by 30% last year, which is more than we can support) and retain only the most critical temps and contractors. Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn't any other way.
To those departing, thank you for everything you have done to advance our mission. I am deeply grateful for your contributions to Tesla. We would not be where we are today without you.
For those remaining, although there are many challenges ahead, I believe we have the most exciting product roadmap of any consumer product company in the world. Full self-driving, Model Y, Semi, Truck and Roadster on the vehicle side and Powerwall/pack and Solar Roof on the energy side are only the start.
I am honored to work alongside you.
Thanks for everything,
Elon

Driver attempts to destroy giant snowman, not realizing it's built on a large tree trunk

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When a driver decided to destroy a giant snowman in Petersburg, Ky., on Monday, the culprit got a rude awakening. Instead of poor Frosty being murdered, the snowman got its revenge, since its base was a giant tree trunk in the yard of Cory Lutz.
Lutz was hosting his fiancée, Lucy, and her sister, Laura, who were visiting from Mississippi this weekend when Lucy experienced the “biggest snowfall she’s ever seen.” Naturally, Lutz wanted to make it special for the visiting women.
Lutz told FOX 8 that the three of them spent the weekend sledding, engaging in snowball fights and even canoeing. But no winter wonderland of a weekend would be complete without building a snowman.
As three grown adults are wont to do, they set out to build a towering snowman. They used a large stump in Lutz’s front yard for the base of the 9-foot-tall Frosty.
Lutz thought everyone in his neighborhood would love Frosty, and with its top hat and charming smile, how could you not? But apparently, there was at least one nefarious foe.
Lutz came home on Monday to find a set of tire tracks in his yard leading directly to the snowman. The trunk was exposed, and in the snow was not a snow angel but the imprint of the culprit’s bumper.
“Apparently, Frosty had been handing out life lessons to surprised 4×4 vandals. You reap what you sow! Still standing and still smiling — he certainly had the last laugh!” Lutz said.

How Easy Is It to Get a Gun Versus an Abortion in All 50 States?

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Abortion may be legal in the U.S., but for thousands of women all over the country, it has become almost impossible to access. Across the 40,408 square miles that make up Kentucky, there is exactly one abortion clinic—one that was at risk of closing this year. In all 97,813 square miles of Wyoming, there’s only one provider that acknowledges they do terminations.
Just this November, during the midterm elections, West Virginians approved an amendment to their state's constitution that would say “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
When you contrast those kinds of restrictions with the stunning lack of regulation around guns in this country, the results are galling. In about 40 states, there is no wait time to buy a firearm. Washington mandates a wait period only when there is a warrant for the arrest of the prospective buyer. While pregnant women must wait 72 hours to have an abortion in Missouri, gun enthusiasts need only walk into one of more than 1,900 dealerships in the state to walk out with a handgun. Wisconsin repealed the 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases in 2015. South Dakota did the same in 2009.
You know this: We do not protect all bodies equally. This data proves it. This is how relatively easy it is to get a gun and how hard it is to get an abortion in all 50 states.
Sources: For information about access to guns: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; for Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Mississippi abortion access information: Vice News; for Missouri abortion access information: NPR; for state-by-state abortion access information: Guttmacher Institute; and for more information about wait-time regulations: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
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