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  • Graham says he's 'increasingly optimistic' Trump's Syria strategy will succeed

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    After spending a week railing against President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that he supports the move.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:54:25 -0400
  • Buttigieg, surging in Iowa, has a plan to win it all. Here it is.

    Golocal247.com news

    Reminder: There are 105 days until the Iowa caucuses and 379 days until the 2020 election. It happened to Kamala Harris during the summer. Now it’s starting to happen to South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was widely proclaimed one of the “winners” of last week’s Democratic primary debate in Westerville, Ohio.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:52:12 -0400
  • Dallas orders curfew after tornado shreds homes; thousands without power

    Golocal247.com news

    Three people were reported hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the Sunday storm ripped through north Dallas with maximum wind speeds of 140 mph (225 kph), according to the National Weather Service. Emergency management workers went door to door in areas such as Preston Hollow and Richardson, checking homes without roofs or crushed by fallen trees, tagging structures with orange spray paint. "#DallasTornado you took my job! my school!" one Twitter user, Monica Badillo, posted, along with images of shattered windows and debris at Primrose School in Preston Hollow, where she said she worked.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 01:37:19 -0400
  • Three people hospitalised by chemical leak on board American Airlines plane

    Golocal247.com news

    Three people have been hospitalised after a cleaning product leaked on an American Airlines flight forcing it to make an emergency landing in Dublin. The plane was less than an hour into its flight from London Heathrow to Philadelphia when two crew members fell unconscious due to the powerful smell. Several passengers complained of burning eyes and skin irritation and one traveller was also taken to hospital in Ireland. 287 passengers and 12 Philadelphia-based crew members were on board flight AA729, which had been cleared for take off despite concerns over the leaked liquid. Reports suggest the product was left behind in one of the bathrooms. In audio from the cockpit, the pilot explained that although the product is believed to be non-toxic, the crew required immediate assistance.  He said: "We’ve actually covered the container of the substance. It was a cleaning product that was used at London Heathrow, if you wait a moment I actually have a picture of the container that I have in a plastic bag.  "It was spilled and for some reason the container itself was left behind in the aircraft in one of the lavatories and continued to seep into the carpeting and produce what I’m told is not, it is not a toxic substance. "We require paramedics to come on board the airplane and render immediate assistance. We’ve had two of our flight crew staff made, excuse me, the cabin staff have actually lost consciousness, but I think they’re back to a state of consciousness just now and there are general complaints about burning eyes and skin problems." The pilot added that the leaking product was an aircraft interior cleaner made by Callington, a leading specialty chemicals manufacturer.  One passenger told The Telegraph the plane had been delayed at Heathrow whilst reports of an "unusual smell" were investigated.  He said: "Before take off the captain came on the loudspeaker saying the flight attendants had reported an unusual smell, and the flight was delayed while they investigated. They must've judged it safe because we flew out after, only to be rerouted to Dublin a short time later." @AmericanAir There aren't even chairs, we're not allowed to leave this area where we're penned in like cattle, and we've not been fed by the likes of you since boarding four plus hours ago. You're the worst. pic.twitter.com/PqnelJ2P2u— Philip Ott (@Blasphevism) October 21, 2019 He added that the flight's 287 passengers were "penned in like cattle" at Dublin airport before been taken by bus to stay overnight in a hotel. They have not been told when they can expect onward travel.  Another passenger expressed concern for others onboard, calling the incident a "sickness outbreak".  Ok, so this hasn’t quite gone to plan. Chemical spillage has led to sickness outbreak and an emergency landing in Dublin. firecrewparamedicspolice— Katie Phillips (@KatieHJP) October 21, 2019 A statement released by American Airlines said: "American Airlines flight 729 from London Heathrow to Philadelphia diverted to Dublin due to an odor caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley." "The flight landed safely in Dublin at 1:15 p.m. local time, and taxied to the gate." "Medical personnel have met the aircraft to evaluate any crew members or passengers who may need additional assistance." The Telegraph has contacted Callington for comment.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:24:00 -0400
  • Trump 'like a squirrel caught in traffic' during Pentagon meeting: Aide

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    In President Trump's first full briefing at the Defense Department, he requested a grand "Victory Day" parade with "vehicles and tanks on Main Street" and down Pennsylvania Avenue, like the "amazing" parade he'd just witnessed in France, Guy Snodgrass, a top aide to then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, recounts in his new book, "Holding the Line." "The Fourth of July is too hot," Trump added.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:41:23 -0400
  • Judge asked to stop student suspension over note about rape

    A high school activist's comment about rape posted on a bathroom mirror represents constitutionally protected free speech — and punishing her would discourage young victims from coming forward, an attorney said Monday. The sticky note that proclaimed "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is" aimed to call attention to the unaddressed problem of sexual assaults, said Emma Bond from the American Civil Liberties of Maine. U.S. District Judge Lance Walker, who listened to the arguments on Monday, said he'll rule soon on Aela Mansmann's request to intervene to stop a three-day suspension imposed by school administrators.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:47:24 -0400
  • US targets Cuba tourism with tighter airline sanctions

    Golocal247.com news

    The US moved to further hurt Cuba's vital tourism industry by tightening the ability of the country's airlines to lease aircraft. The US Department of Commerce said it was revoking existing licenses for US companies leasing aircraft to Cuban carriers, and will deny future applications for aircraft leases. The move could make it harder for Cuba to service its rapidly growing tourism sector, a key source of foreign revenue for the poor country.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:57:01 -0400
  • China Is Building 'The Mother of All Bombs': Report

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    America already has one.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:44:00 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4

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    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • Trump blames Constitution's ‘phony Emoluments Clause’ for G-7 debacle

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    President Trump on Monday defended his initial plan to host next year’s summit of world leaders at his golf resort near Miami, dismissing concerns that he would have personally profited from the decision.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:27:35 -0400
  • Julián Castro Threatens to Drop Out of the Presidential Primary Over Lackluster Fundraising

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    Julián Castro's campaign will end unless he can secure enough fundraising by Halloween.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:04:22 -0400
  • Connecticut College Students Charged With Violating State Law Prohibiting ‘Ridicule’ after Using Racial Slur

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    University of Connecticut students Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj were arrested by campus police Monday night and charged with violating a Connecticut hate crime statute for using a racial slur in an incident captured on video.One night earlier this month, Karal and Mucaj — both described by police as white — walked with another individual through the parking lot of a student apartment complex playing “a game in which they yelled vulgar words,” according to the incident report. Police allege that the two switched to saying “n*****” when they reached the parking lot, which was loud enough for two people inside to hear.The two were charged under a Connecticut State law that criminalizes ridiculing “any person or class of people on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality, or race.” The misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $50, or both. The third individual was not charged for saying the slur.It is unclear whether the statute violates First Amendment grounds. “It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has caused considerable harm,” UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas said in a statement late Monday.Karal and Mucaj were released after promising to return for a scheduled court date on October 30.After the video went viral online, Campus blowback was swift. The administration, which learned of the incident October 11, faced severe criticism from students and activists. On Monday, the university’s NAACP chapter published a letter to the editor in the campus newspaper lambasting the university’s administration.“If the university does not adequately address and handle these occurrences of racism appropriately, it will create a culture in which racism is tolerated and normalized,” the NAACP letter reads. “We demand for your full assurance that you will take appropriate measures to hold the students involved in these heinous acts of racism accountable.”On Monday afternoon, hundreds of students chanted “it’s more than just a word” during an on-campus march and rally. During the march, Katsouleas voiced support for the students and extended an invitation to discuss the incident during his open office hours scheduled for Friday morning.UConn’s president also announced a nationwide search for a chief diversity officer in a letter to students on Friday. But students and professors criticized the president for his slow and inadequate response.“No stance is a stance,” Conn senior Areon Mangan told the Chronicle. “Not saying anything says a lot.”In its letter to the campus newspaper, the NAACP released a list of eight demands, including new student guidelines and punishments for instances of racism, a new first-year course on diversity training, and increased hiring of black administration, faculty, staff, and police officers.Democratic State Senators Mae Flexer and Gregory Haddad, both UConn alums, voiced their support for students during the Monday rally.“White people can’t just say they care about this with words,”Flexer said. “You can’t just say you’re an ally. You need to be a co-conspirator.”“I’m here because I want to lift your voices up,” Haddad added.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:06:40 -0400
  • A West Point cadet and his M4 rifle have been missing for three days

    Golocal247.com news

    Officials said that the cadet, member of the class of 2021, is not believed to be a threat to the public, but could be a threat to himself.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:49:47 -0400
  • 'Lost' Road Built by Christ's Executioner Unearthed

    Golocal247.com news

    Pontius Pilate likely commissioned the street during or after 31 AD.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:52:00 -0400
  • There's a reasonable explanation why this mom saw a 'ghost baby' in her sleeping son's crib

    Golocal247.com news

    This mom's 'ghost baby' baby monitor mix-up has us all laughing. Maritza Elizabeth's post on Facebook has gone viral.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 08:08:17 -0400
  • Presidential candidate Warren slated to join striking Chicago teachers at rally

    Golocal247.com news

    Warren, a Massachusetts senator, is scheduled to visit with striking Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) teachers in the morning, according to her campaign. About 300,000 students have been out of school since Thursday when the system's 25,000 teachers went on strike. Late on Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for the union to end the strike and make a deal with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 06:02:44 -0400
  • The U.S. Army Has Big Plans to Smash Enemy Drones in a War

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Army is fast-tracking what could be called an entire sphere of counter-drone weapons

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:56:00 -0400
  • Trump Cheated (Shocker!) on Property Tax; But Will Anyone Go to Jail?

    Golocal247.com news

    Chip SomodevillaProPublica published a piece Wednesday that put the spotlight once again on some questionable financial practices of the Trump Organization, which showed one set of books to banks (inflating value) and another to New York City tax authorities (deflating value).Is this just the usual Trump mendacity, or can prosecutors see this as part of a pattern? And if so, could it be prosecuted? Who would be tagged as the defendant(s)? If not, what more is needed to bring the guilty parties to justice?Before we explore these questions, let’s look at the facts. Both versions of them.ProPublica obtained property tax docs for four Trump properties. These docs became public when Trump appealed the tax bills, and the loan records became public when Trump’s lenders sold the debt on the properties. Significant discrepancies were unearthed between the tax records and loan records for two of the properties: Trump International Hotel & Tower, on Central Park West, and 40 Wall St.Tax and loan documents for 40 Wall St. showed significant discrepancies in how certain costs such as insurance were reported. Further, Trump representatives reported different occupancy rates to lenders and tax officials: 81 percent to lenders (rising later to 95 percent), and just 59 percent to tax authorities. Rising occupancy rates are valued by lenders because they are indicative of rising income level which is material to securing refinancing, while lower rates, of course, mean lower taxes.Meanwhile, documents for the Trump International Hotel & Tower showed that city tax officials were advised that this property made about $822,000 in 2017 from renting space in the building to other businesses, while loan officials were told that the building made about $1.67 million. ProPublica further notes that Trump appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas on tax documents but did report the income on loan docs.Each of the above-noted discrepancies is indicative of potential fraud. But do they represent instances of a prosecutable case?The short answer is: not yet. The discrepancies do reflect a situational ethics approach toward financial obligations and responsibilities. But more evidence will be needed to prosecute anyone should criminal prosecution be considered by the authorities.Who might be prosecuted here? It is unclear just who is responsible for submitting the doctored financial statements to the lending authorities and tax officials. Were the folks who submitted the documents the same folks who prepared them? If so, what were their marching orders? Who directed the Trump Organization officials to tailor the financial statements to minimize property taxes or maximize occupancy rates to obtain loans?Investigators need to home in on the work papers prepared to support the finagled financial statements in order to determine “willful intent,” or “mens rea” that James Comey so infamously referenced. Such evidence may well be found at Mazars USA—the Trump Organization accounting firm that is the subject of intensive litigation with regard to subpoenas served by both the U.S. Congress and the Manhattan DA’s office.Accountant work papers have been found to be beneficial when uncovering evidence of intent to defraud in case after case of white-collar fraud, specifically tax fraud. In fact, accountant work files and testimony provided critical evidence leading to the conviction of Paul Manafort in the Mueller investigations and prosecutions. It should be noted that tax fraud, bank fraud, and the falsification of business records may result in felony charges that could be contemplated by the Manhattan DA and provide for prison sentences that could lead the convicted defendants to land in Rikers Island for a stretch with the aforementioned Manafort. Evidence of corrupt intent to defraud either a financial institution or a public tax authority is critical to a successful criminal prosecution. The use of a double or triple set of books and records by company officials for fraudulent purposes is a terrific example of overt acts of corrupt intent. But further evidence will be needed here to link all those involved in each of the instances denoted above. Email, texts, voice mail, notes to the file and other evidence of directions to finagle the financial docs are needed. Further forensic analysis of the documents, for example fingerprint analysis, ink chemistry analysis and handwriting analysis are investigative tools available to the prosecutors to tighten the vise and provide the links in the chain of potential targets.Cohen was reportedly debriefed in detail recently by the Manhattan DA’s office. His testimony will be needed to outline just who in the Trump Organization was responsible for the preparation of the questionable documents referenced above. Cohen’s credibility will clearly be attacked in court by the defendant(s) and will become a question for the jury to grapple with. Cohen provided the Southern District of New York with a prosecutive path for those responsible for cooking the books at the Trump Organization with regard to the reimbursement of “hush money” payments to Cohen. That path is now available to the Manhattan DA. Add Cohen’s now corroborated congressional testimony outlining the transactional financial ethics referenced above, used by the Trump team in their shady business dealings and the jury will likely be sitting on the edge of their seats. All the DA needs to do now is fill in some blanks in combination with demonstrating a pattern of fraud over time—the closing argument is shaping up to be very persuasive.The allegation that the Trump Organization appeared not to report income from leasing space for television antennas to tax authorities but did report the income on loan docs revives memories of the landmark New York Times tax fraud series on Fred Trump and Donald Trump’s financial shenanigans in the ’90s wherein the Times detailed multiple instances of unreported income streams tailored by Fred Trump for the Donald. While the statute of limitations has long expired with regard to the multi-million dollar gift tax evasion schemes entered into by Donald Trump, prosecutors can use evidence of historical frauds to depict a pattern of fraudulent conduct on the part of a defendant no matter how long ago the fraud occurred. It goes to willfulness or corrupt intent exhibited by Individual-1.The Manhattan DA’s case against the Trump Organization may appear to be on its surface just a mundane business fraud type of case. But fraudulent documents don’t change stories, particularly when there are witnesses available to tie the documents and the corrupt intent together. Add the historical pattern of fraud engaged in by Individual-1 and the Manhattan DA’s case appears to be silently moving along like a stealth nuclear submarine under the radar and there are no available defenses available like an Office of Legal Counsel opinion to protect the prospective defendants from a potentially lethal prosecutorial attack.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 07:00:33 -0400
  • Justice Department Distances Itself From Giuliani

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    The Justice Department distanced itself Sunday from Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, declaring that department officials would not have met with Giuliani to discuss one of his clients had they known that federal prosecutors in New York were investigating two of his associates.Several weeks ago, Brian A. Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, and lawyers from the division's Fraud Section met with Giuliani to discuss a bribery case in which he and other attorneys were representing the defendants.That meeting took place before the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan publicly charged the two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with breaking campaign finance laws and trying to unlawfully influence politicians, including former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Parnas and Fruman were part of Giuliani's effort to push Ukraine for an inquiry into Democrats."When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani's associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known," said Peter Carr, a department spokesman.The Justice Department's public statement Sunday illustrates the unusual and broad set of roles that the president's personal lawyer has played in the scandal that has engulfed the White House and imperiled Trump's presidency.Even as Giuliani ran a shadow foreign policy campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president's political enemies -- which is now at the heart of an impeachment inquiry against Trump -- he and his business associates were under criminal investigation for unlawfully wielding political influence. And while all of this was happening, Giuliani still served as a lawyer to clients with cases to plead before the Justice Department.In distancing itself from Giuliani and trying to draw bright lines around how the Justice Department will and will not engage with him, the department has also undercut the perception that Giuliani can influence some of Washington's most important lawyers and decision-makers. That could make it harder for Giuliani to represent clients who are under Justice Department scrutiny in the future."This is an incredibly unusual statement from the Justice Department, which does not comment on ongoing investigations or even acknowledge them, and it's the kind of statement that would give clients pause about who is representing them," said Joyce Vance, a former federal prosecutor.Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment.While the Southern District of New York has been investigating Giuliani's associates -- an inquiry that may be tied to a broader investigation of Giuliani himself -- prosecutors there had not told Benczkowski of the Criminal Division of the case, as he does not oversee or supervise their work. The U.S. attorney's offices report to the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen.Prosecutors in Manhattan informed Attorney General William Barr about the investigation of Parnas and Fruman soon after he was confirmed in February, according to a Justice Department official. They were required to do so under the department's rule that requires prosecutors to notify the attorney general of any cases that could generate national news media or congressional attention.When Giuliani and other lawyers requested the meeting with the Justice Department to discuss a foreign bribery case, Benczkowski and the lawyers in the Fraud Section had not been informed of the Manhattan case and agreed to meet.Last week, Giuliani told The New York Times that he was being unfairly attacked by reporters and lawmakers and that questions about his behavior would "destroy" his business."I can't publicly defend everything I do because I'm presumed guilty," Giuliani said in a text message. "If I did, my business and firm would be unable to have any clients."Foreign business leaders and politicians have long hired those with ties to the White House as consultants, paid back channels to the administration who could plead their cases and present their interests to U.S. decision-makers.Trump, however, was not connected to the usual array of Washington power brokers who had built lucrative businesses off their ties to U.S. leaders, and Giuliani was perceived as the rare figure who could provide a direct line to the president.Now that tie to the Justice Department seems to be gone, and Giuliani himself is a person of interest in at least two federal investigations.While The Times and other publications have reported that Giuliani is being investigated by prosecutors in Manhattan, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York have declined to confirm or deny an investigation into him. But any such inquiry would make it difficult for the department to work with him on any of his clients' cases."Giuliani can continue to represent clients before the department because people are innocent until proven guilty, but it's unclear whether a client would want to have a lawyer who is being scrutinized in so many investigations," Vance said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:05:06 -0400
  • Lebanon's Hezbollah under rare street pressure

    Golocal247.com news

    When mass anti-government protests engulfed Lebanon, a taboo was broken as strongholds of the Shiite Hezbollah movement saw rare demonstrations criticising the party and revered leader Hassan Nasrallah. This shattered the myth of absolute acquiesence among Hezbollah's popular base, baffling even those who hail from the movement's strongholds. "No one ever expected that in any of these areas in south Lebanon we would hear a single word against Nasrallah," or Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri, said Sara, a 32-year-old activist who participated in protests in the southern city of Nabatiyeh.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 20:53:10 -0400
  • Gun control advocate: Pushing mandatory buybacks will hand victory to the NRA, again

    Golocal247.com news

    We can pass significant gun safety laws but not if the 2020 campaign is about confiscating assault weapons. This is not timidity, it's reality.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:00:16 -0400
  • Panel backs removal of sheriff over school shooting response

    Golocal247.com news

    The tragedy of the Parkland school massacre framed a developing political drama in Florida's capital, as a divided legislative panel on Monday sided with the state's Republican governor in removing a county sheriff accused of mishandling the response to the shooting that killed 17 people. The mostly party line vote by Florida's Senate Rules Committee sends the matter to the full chamber, which is expected to consider it Wednesday. The highly charged session was a victory for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel just days after taking office in January.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 21:32:45 -0400
  • Billionaire Isabel dos Santos Denies Wrongdoing at Sonangol

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    (Bloomberg) -- Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and the daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, said she did nothing wrong when she was chairwoman of state-owned oil company Sonangol and called a probe into the transfer of millions of dollars from the Luanda-based firm “political vengeance.”Angolan newspaper Novo Jornal reported on Oct. 18 that Angola’s prosecuting authority started a criminal investigation into the transfer of $38 million from Sonangol authorized by dos Santos. Her successor at Sonangol, Carlos Saturnino, accused dos Santos last year of authorizing the transfer to a company in Dubai days after she was dismissed as chairwoman. Saturnino was sacked in May.“To say there was a transfer order after my dismissal is simply false,” dos Santos said in statement emailed on Monday. “The fight against corruption can’t be used to feed an agenda of persecution or a witch hunt.”Dos Santos said the fund-transfer was legal and was made while she was still in her position at Sonangol on Nov. 15, 2017, the day she was dismissed and before a new board was appointed the next day. She said payment instructions were given one or two days before her dismissal.If Angolan authorities are serious about fighting corruption they should investigate why Sonangol had about $20 billion in debt at the end of 2015, before her appointment, and how this money was “used and lost,” said the 46-year-old dos Santos.Dos Santos was dismissed as head of Sonangol amid a crackdown on corruption by Joao Lourenco, who replaced her father as president in 2017. Sonangol, long the main engine of Angola’s oil-focused economy, has been at the center of Lourenco’s anti-graft campaign.(Adds dos Santos’s comment about timing of payment instructions in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joao Lima at jlima1@bloomberg.net, Rene Vollgraaff, Alastair ReedFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:58:43 -0400
  • Thousands protest against Bangladesh police after deadly shootings

    Golocal247.com news

    Thousands protested against police across Bangladesh on Monday, a day after at least four people died when officers fired on a crowd in one of the country's deadliest religious riots to date. Some 20,000 Muslims called for the execution of a young Hindu man on Bhola island Sunday for writing Facebook messages that allegedly defamed the Prophet Mohammed, with police saying they opened fire after rocks were thrown at officers. Mob attacks over online posts perceived to be blasphemous have emerged as a major headache for security forces in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up some 90 percent of the country's 168 million people.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:52:22 -0400
  • Spain will exhume dictator Francisco Franco's remains on Thursday

    Golocal247.com news

    Spain will on Thursday remove the 1.5-tonne slab which has covered the tomb of dictator Francisco Franco for the past 44 years and fly his remains by helicopter away from a state mausoleum, government sources told reporters on Monday. The ruling Socialists have long sought to exhume Franco's remains and turn the Valley of the Fallen complex near the capital Madrid into a memorial to the 500,000 people who were killed during the 1936-39 civil war he unleashed. A crane will lift the slab and, if the original zinc-lined wood coffin is too degraded, the dictator's remains will be transferred into a new coffin, the sources said.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:24:37 -0400
  • This Is the Robot Tank Russia Used in Syria

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    (But it didn't fight well.)

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:15:00 -0400
  • Poll: Majority of Mexicans say organized crime stronger than government after El Chapo’s son released

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    A majority of Mexicans see organized crime as more powerful than the Mexican government after government forces capitulated to drug-cartel strongmen and released the son of the former cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán, known as “El Chapo.”

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:41:22 -0400
  • View 2020 Nissan Titan XD Photos

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:00:00 -0400
  • Mitt Romney said everyone in the Senate is 'really nice' except for Bernie Sanders, who 'just kind of scowls'

    Golocal247.com news

    Romney has emerged as one of the few Republican senators willing to take a stand against Trump, but he says most people are really nice.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:53:18 -0400
  • Seth Meyers Blasts Mulvaney and Pompeo’s Disastrous Sunday Show Spin

    Golocal247.com news

    NBCSeth Meyers had a lot of news to catch up on when he returned from vacation on Monday. And much of it had to do with the Trump administration’s failed attempts to clean up its multiple calamities on the Sunday shows over the weekend. The Late Night host began with Trump’s “acting” Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who went on Fox News Sunday to explain why the president announced that he would be holding the G7 conference at his Miami Doral resort in Florida and then reversed his decision after loud protests from both sides of the political aisle. It’s Not Just Ronan Farrow: NBC News Killed My Rape-Allegation Story TooStephen Colbert Mocks Mitt Romney’s ‘Embarrassing’ Secret Twitter Account“He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback,” Mulvaney said, adding, “At the end of the day, you know, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.” “OK, first of all, he’s not in the hospitality business, he’s the president,” Meyers said. “And second, Trump was never in the hospitality business. Hospitality is when you show warmth and compassion to guests and strangers. Trump was in the ruthless-real-estate-asshole-who-stands-like-a-baboon-on-his-hind-legs business.” Later, Meyers turned to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and repeatedly refused to acknowledge Mulvaney’s confession that there had, in fact, been a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine. “You could see his brain short-circuit in real time,” Meyers said before playing the now infamous of clip of Pompeo trying to dodge the host’s questions until George Stephanopoulos stopped him in his tracks by reminding him of Mulvaney’s admission. “Wow, normally when someone takes that long to answer a question on TV a red ‘X’ pops up on screen,” Meyers joked, taking on the persona of a game show host. “Top five answers on the board, name a country that the president has colluded with.” As Pompeo sat there silently, he finally said, “Sorry, the answer we were looking for was Ukraine.”  Sean Hannity Goes Off on Mick Mulvaney: ‘I Just Think He’s Dumb’Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 00:07:36 -0400
  • Warren Calls on DHS to Allow Transgender Migrants Immediate Entry Into U.S.

    Golocal247.com news

    Senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D., Wisc.) sent a letter on Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security urging the agency to allow transgender migrants to remain in the U.S. while their asylum cases are processed, rather than being returned to Mexico in accordance with current policy.Under the recently-introduced Migrant Protection Protocols, the Trump administration requires that asylum-seekers who arrive at the southern border remain in Mexico while their claims are processed through DHS and ICE."We…call for DHS to use its discretion to release members of vulnerable populations, including transgender detainees," Warren and Baldwin wrote in a letter addressed to acting ICE Director Matthew Albence and acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan and obtained by Out.com.The senators pointed to the "abuse and neglect of transgender migrants and asylum seekers at the border and in U.S. custody" in the letter, and said the administration "must" allow them entry into the U.S. to prevent such treatment.According current DHS regulations, "individuals from vulnerable populations" may request an exemption from the "Remain in Mexico" rules but transgender migrants rarely benefit from the exemption, according to Warren and Baldwin. In their letter, the pair cite a case in which a transgender asylum-seeker had a finger cut off by a drug cartel in Mexico while she waited for her exemption request to be processed.Baldwin is the first openly-gay senator in the history of the U.S., and is currently serving her second term.Warren has released a slew of progressive policy proposals in recent weeks as part of her presidential campaign. In one plan, Warren promises to detain transgender prisoners with inmates of the opposite biological sex, and laid out her support for federally-funded gender transition medical care for transgender inmates.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:21:11 -0400
  • Judge allows Chicago suit against Jussie Smollett to proceed

    Golocal247.com news

    A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss Chicago's lawsuit against former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. U.S. District Virginia Kendall's ruling means that Chicago's suit that seeks to recoup $130,000 that city officials say the police department spent investigating Smollett's claim that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January can proceed. The motion by the former "Empire" actor's attorneys was a longshot because their argument boiled down to the contention that Smollett shouldn't be required to reimburse the police department because he couldn't have known how much time and money would be spent investigating his allegations.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:01:38 -0400
  • Haiti's dicey prison conditions made worse by crisis

    Golocal247.com news

    Port-au-Prince (AFP) - With protests rocking the streets, some prison authorities in Haiti have confined inmates to cells that lack showers or toilets, in a country where most detainees are stuck awaiting trial for months or even years. The move is meant to stop protests from breaking out in Haiti's badly overcrowded prisons, but violates the law and risks the health of prisoners, human rights advocates say. "To prevent any kind of riot from the general tension in the country, prison officials decided to keep detainees in their cells without being allowed at least an hour of outdoor time," Marie Rosy Auguste Ducena of the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) told AFP.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 22:15:36 -0400
  • Croatia Gets Green Light to Join EU’s Visa-Free Schengen Zone

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Six years after Croatia joined the European Union, the Balkan nation is getting a green light from the European Commission to join the bloc’s passport-free Schengen area.Croatia has continued to fulfill all of Schengen criteria, the Commission said in a statement in Brussels on Tuesday. The European Council would still need to sign off on Croatia’s accession. It’s the latest country to join the EU.“I commend Croatia for its efforts and perseverance to meet all the necessary conditions to join Schengen,” President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement. “This is why I trust the member states will take the right steps for Croatia to become a full Schengen member soon.”Fellow EU nations Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the bloc in 2007, are still waiting to join the world’s largest multinational free-travel zone.(Updates with comments from Juncker from third paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmina Kuzmanovic in Zagreb at jkuzmanovic@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at adudik@bloomberg.net, ;Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, ;Nikos Chrysoloras at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.net, Michael WinfreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:40:01 -0400
  • China Wants To Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers in a War (It Won't Be Easy)

    Golocal247.com news

    The story starts in 2005.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 23:00:00 -0400
  • U.S. EPA set to release fuel economy revisions by year-end

    Golocal247.com news

    The Trump Administration’s revised final fuel economy standards for U.S. vehicles should be released by the end of the year, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler said on Tuesday. Wheeler said the final proposal will not be look "exactly like" the original one announced in August 2018 to freeze fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026. Work is continuing on revisions to the vehicle efficiency and emissions standards, which are overseen by EPA and the Department of Transportation, he said.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:41:26 -0400
  • The FBI says at least 3 American tourists died of natural causes in the Dominican Republic, not tainted alcohol

    Golocal247.com news

    This year saw a spate of tourist deaths that sparked fears over tainted alcohol or other mysterious conditions before the investigation was launched.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:18:07 -0400
  • Trump condemned after comparing impeachment inquiry to ‘lynching’ in Twitter rant

    Golocal247.com news

    Donald Trump has compared the impeachment process against him to being lynched in an incendiary tweet that sparked swift outcry on Tuesday morning.“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” the president wrote. ”All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching.”

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 08:04:00 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Ford Ranger

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:32:00 -0400
  • The Terror Gap: U.S. Laws Let White Supremacists Operate Like ISIS

    Golocal247.com news

    Courtesy SITEThe recent arrests of Jarrett William Smith, a former U.S. Army soldier who discussed plans to “bomb a major U.S. news network,” and Conor Climo, a Las Vegas man who plotted attacks on a synagogue and LGBT bar, give an inkling of the growing threat posed by far-right terrorists in the United States.The problem of white supremacist violence is international. From the horrific attack on a mosque in Christ Church, New Zealand, to the assault on a synagogue in the German city of Halle, the movement often follows the same horrific script—live-streaming the carnage, disseminating a manifesto, comments full of tongue-in-cheek internet references—and governments are scrambling to counter this threat. Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State Cell Leader Stripped of Arsenal in U.S., Banned from CanadaBut U.S. laws have a special problem, what might be called a “terror gap” between “foreign” and “domestic” terror organizations.While the arrests of Smith and Climo mark a new level of initiative by the federal government, there is still much more to be done. What allows far-right terrorist groups to thrive in the U.S. is a legal double standard that binds the hands of even the most proactive members of law enforcement.This double standard is exemplified by groups like Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group with major influence in the far-right online community. A video this past May shows people with Atomwaffen patches on their arms carrying out paramilitary drills with assault rifles. They then burn the flags of Israel, the United Nations, the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” snake, the gay pride rainbow, Black Lives Matter, the police-supporting Thin Blue Line—designating any and all as enemies. If it weren’t for the Atomwaffen branding, you’d think you were watching footage of an ISIS training camp on American soil.Now combine this militancy with a widely aimed recruitment operation. Messages on Telegram, the far-right’s current online hub, recruit on behalf of Atomwaffen, directing prospects to different email addresses of region-specific chapters across the US, Europe, South America, and Australia. Minding its popularity, it’s not surprising to see that Atomwaffen has inspired other neo-Nazis to launch offshoot chapters or like-minded groups across the globe, such as Feuerkrieg Division, a growing neo-Nazi organization which both Climo and Smith were associated with.Media by such groups often advocate for terrorism and praise far-right attackers, including the Halle shooter and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers.This type of propaganda is a major lifeblood to the far-right community, just as it is for any extremist group or movement—no terrorist organization can grow without it. The world witnessed the power of media with the rise of ISIS, leading governments to counter propagandists with the same urgency as fighters or financiers. That is precisely why last October, a 34-year-old man named Ashraf Al Safoo was arrested for his work with Khattab Media Foundation, a prominent ISIS-linked media group that issued scores of threats and incitements against elections, public events, and other targets. Safoo himself never killed or planned to kill anyone, but the media he created helped amplify ISIS’ dangerous message, making him no less guilty of aiding the group. Taking note of Safoo’s story, you might ask yourself how groups like Atomwaffen or Feuerkrieg Division can run their threat propaganda machines—let alone carry out paramilitary drills with the objective of overthrowing the U.S. government—with little to no interference. The answer is simple: what they do is, for the most part, not illegal.The reason the U.S. government can arrest ISIS recruiters or media workers like Safoo and others is because the groups they support are Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), making their activities grounds for, in the language of court documents, “conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” To support or be a member of an FTO in any capacity is a crime.While actual acts of domestic terrorism—killing, assaulting, harassing—are obvious crimes, being a member of domestic terrorist organizations like Atomwaffen or Feuerkrieg Division in and of itself is not, despite their blatantly stated goals to spark collapse of the U.S. through terrorism. The very phrase “domestic terrorist group” is in many ways legally meaningless. As assistant FBI Director Michael McGarrity explained before the House Homeland Security Committee in May: “A white supremacist organization is an ideology, it's a belief. But they're not designated as a terrorist organization.”This lack of adequate domestic terror laws too often leaves far-right terrorist propaganda, incitement, and recruitment messages under the classification of hate speech, something protected under the First Amendment. A group like Atomwaffen, which bluntly and loudly states its goals for violence, is a perfect example of why this makes for a domestic security crisis. Noting this problem, I’d like to echo the yet small but growing voices of legislators and others seeking to end this double standard in how we protect our nation from terrorism. The world has made immense progress against ISIS online and on the ground, in no small part due to the clear-cut laws against promoting it, whether financially, militarily, through its incitement propaganda machine. That said, the U.S. legal system shouldn’t have to wait until the brink of an attack—or, as it too often does, the aftermath of one—to prosecute terrorists like Climo or Smith. Membership of a group like Atomwaffen should bear all the same legal weight as ISIS, al Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization we don’t flinch at pursuing. U.S. Soldier Discussed Plans to Bomb News Network, Kill Beto O’Rourke: FedsAny such list of designations should be regularly updated to address the rapidly changing landscape of groups that either form or, under pressure, dissolve only to reemerge under different names.Such laws will make it immensely clearer to these far-right organizations and the platforms hosting them that they cannot remain online.I don’t embrace such measures lightly. I’ve been very vocal throughout my counter-terrorism career speaking out against overreaching measures by the government, whether attempting to regulating encrypted messenger services or other ill-guided policies.But the far-right community has grown dramatically in the last year, with new waves of attacks and uninterrupted online spaces that inspire them—a very similar condition to that of ISIS shortly before it established its so-called Caliphate. This is a critical moment for the U.S. government to prove if it is capable of learning from history. While terrorist legislation will not be a silver bullet to stop the threat of attacks by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, it would mark a major step in the right direction.As it’s increasingly said these days, "Terrorism is terrorism.” So why perpetuate the legal double standard?Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 05:00:54 -0400
  • Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne

    Golocal247.com news

    Three booming cheers of "Banzai!" rang out Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as Naruhito formally declared his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the nation's 126th emperor. As a driving autumn rain briefly gave way to sunshine and 2,000 guests looked on, Naruhito pledged at an elaborate, ritual-laden ceremony to serve as a symbol of the state for his people. The enthronement ceremony is the high point of several succession rituals that began in May when Naruhito inherited the throne after the abdication of Akihito, his father.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:13:59 -0400
  • Philippine police recommend drug charges against ex-chief

    Golocal247.com news

    Philippine police recommended graft and drug charges against its former chief on Monday over a new scandal that has put President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics crackdown under the spotlight. The police face allegations some officers are involved in the illegal drugs trade and that they had the protection of former chief Oscar Albayalde. It is the latest controversy to engulf the Philippine police force, which is waging a drug war launched by President Duterte in 2016.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 09:30:36 -0400
  • Democrats Seek Insider Trading Probe After ‘Trump Chaos’ Article

    (Bloomberg) -- Democratic lawmakers are increasingly demanding that U.S. authorities investigate allegations raised in a recent magazine article that traders might be using non-public government information to reap huge illegal profits, even as the exchange where the transactions purportedly took place called the story “patently false.”In a Monday letter, 14 Democratic senators urged the heads of the Justice Department, FBI, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission to probe “disturbing reports of suspicious trading in our futures and equities markets” described in a Vanity Fair piece. The magazine referred to the transactions as “Trump Chaos Trades.”Since the story’s publication, the suggestion that White House leaks could be a factor in futures traders making billions of dollars from well-timed bets ahead of major geopolitical announcements has fueled endless chatter from Washington to Wall Street. Still, the article has been met with widespread skepticism from the financial industry.CME Group Inc., the world’s biggest futures exchange, has dismissed the claims, arguing that the trades highlighted in the story couldn’t have been based on inside information because too many market participants were involved. The article describes five big transactions in S&P 500 e-mini futures from June 28 to Sept. 13, ranging from 55,000 to 420,000 contracts.“As it relates to the Vanity Fair article published on October 17, 2019, regarding activities in the E-mini S&P futures contract, the allegations about the trading activity are patently false,” CME said in an Oct. 18 statement.In Monday’s letter, Democrats said they wanted federal authorities “to investigate immediately whether any rules, laws or regulations were violated.” The lawmakers added that “if any wrongdoing is uncovered, we demand that you swiftly hold violators accountable to the fullest extent possible.”Spokesmen for the SEC and Justice Department declined to comment, while spokesmen for the FBI and CFTC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The wagers cited by Vanity Fair were made shortly before market-moving news -- three times involving the U.S.-China trade war, once involving the bombing of Saudi oil fields and once involving Hong Kong politics. Thanks to market reactions, the magazine said, people involved in the transactions could’ve booked gains of between $82.5 million on the smallest to $1.8 billion on the biggest.The story’s author, William D. Cohan, has said that finance professionals with decades of experience alerted him to the trades. Cohan, a former Bloomberg Opinion columnist, has said that factors other than illegal buying-and-selling could explain the transactions and that he doesn’t know whether any nefarious activity actually occurred.Earlier Monday, Angus King, an independent Maine senator who caucuses with the Democrats, also called on the SEC to investigate. Last week, Democratic Representatives Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice requested a federal investigation into the timing around sales of e-mini futures contracts before significant geopolitical events or statements from Trump.\--With assistance from Nick Baker.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Bain in Washington at bbain2@bloomberg.net;Matt Robinson in New York at mrobinson55@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:09:18 -0400
  • Why Russia's Navy Is Becoming a Smaller, Regional Force

    Golocal247.com news

    (But is still deadly.)

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:44:00 -0400
  • China issues tariff-free quota for U.S. soybean purchases - sources

    China on Tuesday issued major Chinese and international soybean crushers with tariff-free quota to import soybeans from the United States, according to three people briefed on a government meeting to discuss the issue. The quota to import U.S. soybeans was issued to state-owned crushers, privately owned crushers and major international trading houses with crushing plants in China, said two of the people. A total of 10 million tonnes was issued at the meeting, which was hosted by the state planner, said one of the sources.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 08:06:58 -0400
  • School apologizes after photo showing students with cardboard boxes over their heads during exam goes viral

    Golocal247.com news

    An school in India has issued an apology after a bizarre image of students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads went viral. The images were taken during a chemistry exam at Bhagat Pre-University College in the town of Haveri.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 12:41:03 -0400
  • Mick Mulvaney, on increasingly thin ice with Trump, apparently has 2 job-security aces up his sleeve

    Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney went on Fox News Sunday in part to clean up a press conference Thursday in which he described President Trump's actions with Ukraine as a quid pro quo, trading military aid for an investigation of Democrats. Instead, Mulvaney created a new mess while trying to defend Trump's since-reversed decision to host next year's G7 summit at his own for-profit golf resort."At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business," Mulvaney said of Trump, prompting Fox News anchor Chris Wallace to remind him: "He's the president of the United States.""The bookended performances over the span of a few days were panned by the president's allies and cast doubt on Mulvaney's job security at the White House," The Associated Press reports. "Mulvaney's interview did not play well among Trump allies and advisers, with one calling it a 'self-immolation,'" Politico adds. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to defend Mulvaney's Ukraine comments on Sunday, telling ABC News This Week, "I will leave to the chief of staff to explain what it is he said and what he intended."On Fox News, Mulvaney said there is "absolutely, positively not" any consideration of his resignation, and a person close to Mulvaney told AP that Trump has expressed support for his acting chief of staff and Mulvaney is not aware of any effort to replace him. He may be right."Several White House aides and Trump allies presume Mulvaney's job is safe during the impeachment proceedings," partly because "no one else would want the chief of staff job right now and partly because Mulvaney is too much at the center of the Ukraine scandal for Trump to unceremoniously dump him," Politico reports. Mulvaney "was on thin ice, with diminished status in the White House," even before the Ukraine scandal hit, AP reports, citing nine staffers and outside advisers. And Mulvaney's job security isn't unique to him, AP adds. "The shortage of viable replacements has kept other officials in their posts months after [Trump] soured on them."

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 02:49:05 -0400
  • You can go now go past security at three US airports without a ticket; here's how it works

    The Detroit Metro Airport joins Pittsburgh and Tampa in allowing non-flyers to go through the security checkpoints.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:30:31 -0400
  • Michael Bloomberg ‘still looking at’ a presidential run ... but only if Biden is out

    Golocal247.com news

    The former New York mayor’s attitude towards wealth is staunchly opposite to Elizabeth Warren’s, with whom he’s repeatedly clashedMichael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, is teasing a presidential run if former vice-president Joe Biden were to fall back. Photograph: Ritzau Scanpix/ReutersFormer New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again – teasing a presidential run. At 77, he won’t even be the oldest in the field, and the billionaire is certainly not short of funding to be able to throw his hat in the ring.Over the past several weeks, he’s signaled renewed interest in the democratic nomination, telling friends and associates he’s “still looking at” running for president. But he has cautioned he’d only join the race if former vice-president Joe Biden’s faltering centrist campaign takes a decisive hit or pulls out early in primary season, according to a report by CNBC.Biden’s collapse would likely leave Elizabeth Warren as frontrunner, a liberal candidate with whom he has repeatedly clashed over her anti-corporate policies and fears she will push the party too far to the left and eliminate the chance of a Democratic candidate unseating Donald Trump next year.Bloomberg’s disagreements with Warren are stark. In January, when he was considering a run for president, he described Warren’s wealth tax proposals in extreme terms .“We shouldn’t be embarrassed about our system,” he said. “You want to look at a system that’s not capitalistic, just take a look at what was perhaps the wealthiest country in the world and now people are starving to death. It’s called Venezuela.”More recently, at an anti-gun event in Iowa hosted by the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, a group Bloomberg founded and supports, he was again asked about Warren’s wealth tax proposals.“I just said to Senator Warren on the way out, ‘Senator, congratulations, it’s a nice talk. But let me just remind you if my company hadn’t been successful, we wouldn’t be here today, so enough with this stuff’,” he said.Bloomberg’s attitude to wealth is diametrically opposed to Warren, whose criticisms of the financial sector’s excesses are legion. Before he ever ran for New York mayor, his company threw a party in London complete with entertainers – representing avarice – instructed to wave bundles of cash and shout: ‘Money, ain’t it gorgeous?’Forbes recently put his wealth at $51bn.Bloomberg has previously flirted with presidential ambitions, but he decided not to run in 2016 after concluding he might split the Democratic vote. It is not clear that dynamic has changed, nor whether Democratic primary voters really have the taste for a billionaire candidate. But others see a possible centrist path to the White House.“The reality is both parties, Republican and Democrat, are in serious trouble, they are not functioning, and they’ve gone to extremes,” says veteran strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “Could Mike Bloomberg unite the centre of the party and bring people to the center if he can prove he can win? The answer is yes.”“Bloomberg has up-top professionals ready if he needs them, and he could assemble an operation in days and go to work. Whether the Democrats like him as centrist or not, they want to win the White House. He provides an extraordinary alternative to losing.”People familiar with Bloomberg’s thinking says his aims are clear – and they’re grouped neatly as gun control, climate change, coal, education and health.“He doesn’t understand why people don’t talk about his five points more. If he happens to mention something about the presidency at a cocktail party and they get talked about more, that’s a good thing for him,” one source said.Strengthening the rumor mill is Bloomberg’s appointment of his former deputy Patti Harris to his company’s management committee. Harris has been at the company since 1994. As Bloomberg’s deputy during his three terms as New York mayor, Harris was regarded, in personal and political terms, as the keeper of the Bloomberg brand, his personal gate keeper and point person on all strategic and staffing decisions.“She’s the most important person in his life and director of all his political aspiration,” says the source. “If you believe in this line of gossip, putting Harris in to run the company frees him up to run for president. You can argue that he’s setting himself up to do something.”When Bloomberg was last considering a run, almost exactly a year ago, a Quinnipiac University poll found he had an overall unfavorable rating of 32%, and 19% of Democrats viewed him negatively. Howard Wolfson, a top political advisor, hinted at how much Bloomberg would look to invest in a campaign for president.“Mike spent more than $100m in his last mayor’s race. Last time I looked, NYC is a fraction of the size of the country as a whole,” Wolfson explained, pointing out that he spent at least more than $110m backing Democrats during the 2018 congressional midterm elections.Asked what Bloomberg would spend on his own campaign, Wolfson replied, “Whatever is required.”With Biden appearing to be running low on funds, and a Warren or possibly Bernie Sanders candidacy looming, it’s not surprising that Bloomberg’s interest is again stirring. Last month, Fox Business reported that he still has a team of political advisors on the payroll.“I think it’s something he wants. He has not been shy about that,” a Bloomberg ally told CNBC. “Bloomberg is in if Biden is out,” a billionaire friend added.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 02:00:19 -0400
  • Blackouts possible again as fire danger looms in California

    Golocal247.com news

    Less than two weeks after blacking out much of Northern California, the state's largest utility is warning that dangerous fire weather could prompt it to shut off power to about a half-million people. Pacific Gas & Electric began notifying customers Monday that it could begin precautionary shutoffs to parts of 16 counties as early as Wednesday, mostly in the Sierra foothills and to the north of the San Francisco Bay Area. Any blackouts would last at least 48 hours, the utility said.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:50:18 -0400
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