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Illinois Gov. Rautner sends dead fish to Rahm Emanuel as war of words takes weird turn

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A war of words between Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over which government is in the worst financial shape took a bizarre turn on Friday with the purchase of fish.

“I bought a gift for a special person,” the Republican governor told reporters at a Chicago market. “I bought some fish…to send some dead fish to the mayor. I think he will deeply appreciate that as only he can.”

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Early in his political career, Emanuel once sent a message to a pollster via a dead fish. In Mafia lore, a sent dead fish signifies someone is sleeping with the fishes and no longer alive.

While Rauner acknowledged his fish plan was all in fun, he continued to criticize the mayor for pushing through a city budget this week with a record property tax hike, calling the move “a massive mistake” because it was not coupled with cost-saving reforms.

Emanuel on Wednesday blasted Rauner for opposing measures he needs from the state for the new budget, including a bill to shield lower-valued residential properties from the tax hike.

“It’s a very strange economic strategy to try to hurt your economic engine to try to grow the economy,” the mayor told reporters. “Name me a governor in the other 49 states that is attacking the economic engine of their state. Is Washington state going after Seattle?”

Rauner’s pro-business reform agenda for the state has been met with opposition from Democrats who control the legislature and the two sides have yet to agree on a budget nearly five months into fiscal 2016.

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Both Illinois and Chicago have severe financial problems stemming largely from unfunded pensions for their workers. Emanuel and Rauner have been close friends and even political allies, with Emanuel appointing Rauner as chairman of the city’s tourism agency soon after he became mayor in 2011.

There was no immediate comment from Emanuel’s office concerning the coming gift of fish.

(Reporting By Karen Pierog; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.

Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?

Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.

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Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report

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The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.

"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.

"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.

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Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo

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Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.

In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.

But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."

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