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Why the MLB free agency hellscape has made contract extensions popular

“Those contracts also match the total number of four-plus year deals signed in free agency this offseason” writes Feb Est for sbnation.com. Teams are more than willing for these pre-free agency players because their salaries are still artificially depressed.This winter was supposed to be a bonanza for baseball free agents, yet spring training camps are open with Harper, Machado, Keuchel, Chris Sale, and more unsigned.Keuchel, for instance, is one of the many top-shelf free agents still without a new team.The contracts: All four deals bought out every salary arbitration year…

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News Oil 

The Energy 202: EPA plan to rid drinking water from toxic chemicals sparks divisions in Washington

“The Greenpeace report also calls out technology companies, Amazon Web Services in particular, for needing to do more to push for renewable energy sources” writes February At Am for washingtonpost.com. But the agency isn’t setting that limit just yet because, according to Ross, it wants to make sure any new rules will be defensible in court. Source: washingtonpost.com

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Germany’s spy agency is reportedly investigating Russian links to right-wing parties political parties

“BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s domestic spy agency is examining Russia’s ties to far-right parties, including the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), the RND group of newspapers on Thursday cited intelligence sources as saying” reports businessinsider.com. US Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and Moscow’s possible collusion with the Trump campaign.Thomson Reuters Overall, intelligence officials thought the AfD had “minimal and limited contact” with Russia, the report said. Source: businessinsider.com

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Amazon loaded up on low-risk government bonds last year as investors dumped tech stocks

“The category of government and agency securities includes Treasury notes, like two-year and 10-year bonds, and securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” writes Jeniece Pettitt for cnbc.com. Amazon increased its U.S. government and agency securities holdings by a record $6.8 billion in 2018, ending the year with $11.7 billion worth of the debt, the most ever, according to the company’s annual report.That’s more than double the amount Amazon had in the previous year and the most as a percentage of total cash, equivalents and marketable…

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EPA Vows To Regulate Cancer-Causing ‘Forever Chemicals’…

“Capito was one of 20 senators who wrote to Wheeler demanding ceilings on two phased-out types of PFAS chemicals” writes Ellen Knickmeyer for detroitnews.com. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also called for legal limits and said if EPA balked, Wheeler “didn’t deserve” to run the agency.With the Senate considering whether to confirm him as EPA chief, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have pressed Wheeler to establish mandatory limits for PFAS in public water systems. Source: detroitnews.com

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Reports: Russian authorities make deal with Google

“The daily Vedomosti reported Thursday that Google has reached an agreement with the Russian state media oversight agency, Roskomnadzor, to regularly receive updated lists of banned sites and delete links to them upon review” reports thebusinessjournal.com. The RIA Novosti news agency quoted Roskomnadzor as saying it has established a “constructive dialogue” with Google. Source: thebusinessjournal.com

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Markets News 

If you thought NBA trade season was wild, just wait until this summer

“The NBA trade deadline just shook up the league and set up an intriguing playoff race, especially in the East” writes Feb Est for sbnation.com. Anthony Davis is the biggest superstar to hit the NBA trade market in decades.The Clips also have an impressive collection of assets after the Tobias Harris trade they can package to be a player on the trade market.With so many teams poised to have major cap space this summer, free agency is going to be bananas.Will GM Danny Ainge offer Jayson Tatum in a potential…

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Look at this colossal storm on Uranus

“NASA’s long-lived Hubble telescope spotted a notable storm churning inside the planet’s blue-green atmosphere, and the space agency posted the image online Thursday” writes Mark Kaufman for mashable.com. Just beneath the massive polar storm is a smaller, compact white cloud made of the common gas methane, notes NASA. The space agency also spotted a new storm brewing on Neptune.It’s the dark spot near the top of the planet and is somewhat mysterious, as these massive dark storms have been observed appearing and then vanishing relatively quickly.Uranus, a huge gaseous world…

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