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  • 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
  • PHOTOS: Fluorescent turtle embryo wins forty-fifth annual Nikon Small World Competition

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    The winners of the 45th annual competition showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:42:30 -0400
  • Former SS camp guard tells court he's "haunted" by killings

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    A 93-year-old German former Stutthof guard on trial in Hamburg on thousands of counts of accessory to murder testified Monday he regrets having served in the Nazi concentration camp. Bruno Dey, a former SS private, told the court that "the images of misery and horror have haunted me my entire life," the German dpa news agency reported. The comments from Dey, in a short statement and in answer to questions from Presiding Judge Anne Meier-Goering, were his first at his trial, which opened last week.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:10:03 -0400
  • Lebanon's Hezbollah under rare street pressure

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    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
  • Russia’s Troll Farm Is Kind of Sh*tting the Bed on Facebook

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyFacebook on Monday removed nearly 200 newly discovered fake accounts linked separately to Iran and to Russia’s Internet Research Agency. The takedowns demonstrate that foreign influence operations are already targeting the 2020 election, but provide evidence that Russia’s notorious troll farm is struggling to regain anything close to the influence in held in 2016.The new wave of takedowns targeted separate networks of deceptive accounts created by Iran and Russia, including dozens of fake Facebook organization pages. In a press call, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the takedowns show the company has come far since getting caught flat-footed in 2016. “The fact that we’ve identified them proactively should provide some confidence that our systems here are working,” Zuckerberg said.The Russian accounts were far more focused on U.S. domestic issues, but in terms of sheer numbers and longevity, the Iranian effort outstripped Russia. The Iranian accounts included 21 Instagram accounts and 135 fake Facebook accounts propping up 26 phony organization pages and four Facebook groups. More than 90 of the accounts were primarily focused on U.S. readers, with the others mostly targeting Latin America. The accounts largely pushed links to Iranian propaganda on state-run news outlets, according to Facebook.As with past takedowns, the company’s announcement only identified a handful of the Iranian personas. Of those, though, one stands out as eerily reminiscent of Russia’s 2016 efforts—a Facebook page called “BLMnews” that purported to be a news site covering the Black Lives Matters movement. The page had a meager 45 followers, and, according to Facebook, was devoted to driving traffic to an associated website that’s been operating since August 2016, according to Internet registration records.Russia’s Internet Research Agency ran similar sites and Facebook pages during and after the 2016 election season, some with sizable followings. But so far the Saint Petersburg troll farm appears to have a long way to go. Of the 50 accounts banned by Facebook on Monday, all but one were on Instagram alone, with no Facebook presence at all. The Russian operation appears to be in the early stages, Facebook said. “They're still trying to build their audience, and they put significant operation security into concealing who they were,” said company cybersecurity chief Nathaniel Gleicher in Monday’s press call.One sign of that improved op-sec is the dearth of text on the troll’s posts—perhaps a sign that Russia is seeking to avoid the linguistic giveaways that marred some of its 2016 content. According to social network analysis tool Graphika, which had inside access to Facebook’s data, the accounts generally pushed screenshots of other people’s tweets and memes with no commentary. “Some posts gained hundreds of likes but typically obtained orders of magnitude fewer than the American personalities they copied,” reads Graphika’s report on the Russian accounts. “The ‘conservative’ accounts in the set had a particular fondness for the conservative partisan group Turning Point USA, often sharing its memes and comments.”That may be a factor in the relatively limited reach of Russia’s identified personas. The 50 accounts together had a total of 246,000 followers, according to Facebook’s figures. “It seems they are getting stuck at the mimicry phase of infiltration,” said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.As tallied by Graphika, the personas are the usual Russian mix of accounts pretending to be arch-conservatives in the heartland, and a roughly equal number pretending to be African American activists. A smattering of accounts were focused on more specific issues, like gun rights on the right or LGBTQ rights on the left.The accounts were largely devoted to sowing division, but when they directly addressed the 2020 election, they followed the IRA’s 2016 playbook to the letter. The “conservative” accounts attacked liberals and heaped praise on Donald Trump, while “liberal” accounts derided the president while vocally supporting Bernie Sanders over Democratic frontrunners. Joe Biden is singled out for criticism in much the same way as Clinton in 2016.Notably, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, a favorite of Russia’s state-owned media, isn’t featured at all in the posts shared by Graphika and Facebook, despite recently being labeled a “Russian asset” by Hillary Clinton.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 17:04:54 -0400
  • Steeda-Tuned 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Packs 775 HP

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    The $97,000 price tag might be a steal for this car!Shortly after Ford launched the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt, Steeda announced plans for a tuned version of this car to pay homage to Steve McQueen: the limited-production Steve McQueen Edition. Steeda only built 300 of these tuned Mustangs for the 2019 model year, and this particular 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Steve McQueen Edition, no. 31 of 300, is up for sale through Imperial Motorcars listed for $97,000. Included in that price is the base price of the 2019 Mustang Bullitt that starts at $46,595, and that doesn't event factor in any options. This car is at least equipped with the available Recaro racing bucket seats, but this was probably fully loaded from the dealership. From there, Steeda got a hold of it adding almost $41,000 worth of performance upgrades. Factor in the limited production of the Steve McQueen Edition and this car's super-low miles (just 75 miles on the odometer), and this car is a no-brainer if you're looking for a car that is destined to be an instant classic.The 2019 Mustang Bullitt already increased power output (480 hp) over the base Mustang GT (460 hp), but Steeda bumped things up even more giving the Steve McQueen Edition a base tune of 550 horsepower as well as beefed-up suspension components for improved handling. If that's not enough, there's also an optional Whipple Supercharger upgrade that squeezes 775 horses from this screaming V8, and to handle the increased power output, Steeda also fitted this car with severe-duty half shafts and a belt assembly. The seller of this car also opted for the stylish Alcantara steering wheel bringing the list of upgrades to $40,875.All-in, you're getting an incredible performance that is collectible right out of the gate.If you're interested in this rare 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Steve McQueen Edition or any of the other cool and collectible cars being sold by Imperial Motorcars, click HERE for their contact info. More From Imperial Motorcars... * Save Gotham City In This $140K Batmobile Replica * Completely Original 1987 Buick Grand National Is A Rare Treasure

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 19:06:02 -0400
  • Brexit Bulletin: High-Speed Politics

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    Brexit is 9 days away.(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.Today in Brexit: Boris Johnson vowed the U.K. would leave the European Union on Oct. 31. A vote in Parliament today may determine whether he can keep his promise.What’s happening? Prime Minister Boris Johnson is giving Parliament only a few days to debate the most important change to Britain’s constitution in almost 50 years. His government, thwarted again on Monday in its plan to put Johnson’s Brexit deal to a straight vote in the House of Commons, will instead today begin a rapid attempt to pass key implementing legislation in time to leave the EU on Oct. 31. By the end of this evening the Commons is scheduled to have voted several times on aspects of the prime minister’s plan, giving a clear indication of how the final stages of this lengthy divorce might play out. There are opportunities for Johnson, as well as major potential pitfalls. Bloomberg’s Tim Ross and Robert Hutton have the full timetable and details here.The choreography will see a legislative process, which often takes weeks to play out, compressed into three days of debate. Here’s how the government sees things unfolding.It probably won’t be that simple. Lawmakers only got to see the 110 pages of the legislation, known as the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, on Monday evening. It comes with 125 pages of explanatory notes. As Hutton noted last night, there is more to scrutinize than simply reading the documents.There are two moments to watch today: The first vote, known as the Second Reading, should take place at about 7 p.m. in London. That will give a broad indication of how much support Johnson’s plan has. The next vote, called the Program Motion, could be the battle royal.Lots of MPs want to back the bill and leave the EU, but don’t like the idea of rushing the legislation through in double-quick time. Voting down the Program Motion would scupper the government’s proposed timetable — and probably ensure the process won’t be done in time to leave on Oct. 31. The Institute for Government has a helpful explainer on how it all unfolds.Expect drama. Johnson could pull or drop support for his own bill if the timetable slips. He could resume his efforts to call a general election. And the EU would be forced to consider approving a delay to Brexit. Johnson grudgingly requested that on Saturday night but prefers to “get Brexit done and move on.”Today’s Must-ReadsThe plan to fast-track Brexit throws up a host of related perils for Johnson, from Scottish nationalism to a new no-deal cliff-edge in 2020, reports Bloomberg’s Edward Evans.  The pound is rising on Brexit news, and this time it looks like the markets have it right, John Authers writes for Bloomberg Opinion. No matter how the tortuous process of leaving the EU ends, those who supported Brexit as a way of curbing immigration will have to accept that their country will remain economically reliant on foreign workers for decades, writes Bloomberg’s Mark Gilbert.                       How are we doing? Time is running out to tell us what you think of the Brexit Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to fill in our survey.Brexit in BriefHow Much? | Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid was accused of keeping U.K. members of Parliament in the dark after conceding that there will be no impact analysis published by the government. “The dearth of relevant economic analysis on which MPs can decide how to vote is deeply concerning,” said Catherine McKinnell, interim chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee.Fighting Back | Facebook Inc. will set up a U.K. operations center during the next general election campaign to counter misinformation networks, fake news stories and outside interference. Facebook Vice President of Policy Solutions Richard Allan wrote in the Telegraph that the company is “determined to play our part in protecting elections from interference by making our platform more secure and political advertising more transparent.”Wrong Notes | Musicians are some of the most mobile of all EU citizens, with some 85% of Britain’s professionals performing in Europe at least once a year. Their future is now uncertain, deal or no deal. “Freedom of movement is just a golden ticket,” British soprano Anna Patalong told Bloomberg’s Angelina Rascouet. “But now that that’s disappearing, or it looks like it will, we don’t even know if that option will be available to us.”On the Markets | Sterling traded near a five-month high on Monday, clinging to the $1.30 mark but failing to break higher as the market awaits clarity from Parliament. It was still close to that mark early this morning, at $1.2978.Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter, and listen to Bloomberg Westminster every weekday. It’s live at midday on Bloomberg Radio and is available as a podcast too. Share the Brexit Bulletin: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For full EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close. To contact the author of this story: Adam Blenford in London at ablenford@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne Swardson at aswardson@bloomberg.net, Leila TahaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 02:29:53 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4

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    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • An Air France flight was forced to turn back in midair when staff found an unattended cellphone that wasn't claimed by any of the passengers

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    Air France flight 136 to Chicago from Paris landed at Ireland's Shannon Airport, where the police scanned a cellphone found on board.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:34:28 -0400
  • Wary foes Turkey and Syria hold covert contacts to avoid conflict

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    Turkey is holding covert contacts with Syria's government to avert direct conflict in northeast Syria where both sides have deployed their armies, Turkish officials say, despite Ankara's long-standing hostility to President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan backs rebels who fought to topple Assad during Syria's eight-year civil war.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:00:05 -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
  • South Korean prosecutors seek arrest of ex-minister's wife

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    Prosecutors said Monday they are seeking to arrest the wife of South Korea's former justice minister, who resigned last week amid allegations of financial crimes and academic fraud surrounding his family that sparked huge protests and dented the popularity of President Moon Jae-in. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it requested an arrest warrant for Chung Kyung-shim over her suspected involvement in dubious private equity investments, attempts to destroy evidence, and creating fake credentials to help her daughter get into medical school.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 23:37:29 -0400
  • Inside the Iran Hawks' Hijacking of Trump's Syria Withdrawal Plan

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    Former Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk: Donald Trump's Syria debacle may be "a Fort Apache scenario" in the making.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:19:00 -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
  • ‘This is oil country’: Newly painted Greta Thunberg mural defaced

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    A mural of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has been defaced with pro-oil and derogatory messages days after it was created.The vast artwork appears to depict the Swedish campaigner during her United Nations speech last month when she criticised world leaders for their “betrayal” of young people through their inertia over the climate crisis.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:20:41 -0400
  • Betrayal, Jealousy and Cliff Edges: Johnson’s Brexit Minefield

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    (Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson is giving members of Parliament only a few days to debate the most important change to Britain’s constitution in almost 50 years. The outcome will decide the fate of Brexit and potentially his own future.Unlike his predecessor, Theresa May, the prime minister wants Britain to have far looser ties with the European Union after leaving, which means withdrawing in full from the bloc’s customs union. That decision may have helped him to pacify the Tory right, which torpedoed May’s proposals three times, but it leaves him facing opposition on multiple fronts. The opposition Labour party, for starters, wants to remain in the EU customs union.With the voting in Parliament on whether to back his deal too close to call, here are some of the key issues that Johnson has to navigate.Northern IrelandThe Democratic Unionist Party has refused to back his deal because it would see Northern Ireland being treated differently for customs purposes to the rest of the U.K. The grouping is also unhappy that it won’t be able to exercise a veto on the arrangements, after Johnson diluted it in an effort to secure the EU’s backing for his plans.The DUP’s view matters because the opposition of the party’s 10 MPs contributed to Johnson losing a key Brexit vote on Saturday. Can he win them over? Unlikely, as my colleague Dara Doyle has explained here.Johnson Has a Big Brexit Problem: His Northern Irish FriendsScotlandIf they can have it, why can’t we? Voters in Scotland, who overwhelmingly wanted to remain in the EU, are unlikely to relish the idea that Johnson’s deal will give Northern Ireland special treatment. The province will be closely aligned with the EU’s customs rules, potentially giving companies in the region an advantage over their Scottish peers.The Scottish National Party will almost certainly ramp up pressure for a second independence referendum after Brexit. Will Johnson be able to avoid the breakup of the U.K.?2020 Cliff EdgeThe Withdrawal Agreement Bill creates a new cliff edge: If a free trade agreement hasn’t been reached with the EU by the end of 2020 (or up to two years later, if both sides agree) then we are back to leaving without a deal. When Conservative MP John Baron pointed that risk out in a BBC interview, waverers took it to mean that Johnson isn’t serious about leaving with a divorce agreement.The Not-So-Level Playing FieldThe prime minister moved the U.K.’s commitments to abide by EU standards on tax, labor protections and environmental standards from the Withdrawal Agreement into the Political Declaration -- which, crucially, isn’t legally binding.Johnson has pledged to protect labor rights, but opposition Labour politicians are deeply skeptical he really means it. He will need to convince at least a few to believe him if he is to get his deal through Parliament.Second Referendum?Labour is backing an amendment to put Johnson’s Brexit deal to hold another referendum -- something the government has so far resisted.(Updates cliff edge section.)To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Evans in London at eevans3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:22:57 -0400
  • A West Point cadet and his M4 rifle have been missing for three days

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    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

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

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:52:00 -0400
  • ‘The View’ Doubles Down on Hillary Clinton’s Tulsi Claim: She’s a ‘Useful Idiot’

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    The View’s Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin on Monday applauded former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for seemingly claiming last week that Russians will support a third-party presidential run by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, calling the Hawaii Democrat a “useful idiot” and a “Trojan horse.”During a podcast interview last week, Clinton said Gabbard was a “favorite of the Russians” and was being groomed “to be the third-party candidate,” offering no evidence to support her assertion. Gabbard, who is running a long-shot Democratic presidential campaign, quickly fired back, calling Clinton the “queen of warmongers” while claiming the “corporate media and war machine” were trying to destroy her reputation.Hostin, meanwhile, sided entirely with the former first lady in this growing feud, stating Clinton has been “dead-on about so many things.”“She told us about Russia, she told us about the probable interference,” Hostin continued. “She was secretary of state. She has deep world knowledge of world issues. I thought, where’s the lie? I’ve often said that Tulsi is sort of the Trojan horse in this. She’s polling at only 1.2 percent, yet she’s still in the race. You have her being touted by people like Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson.”Behar would then join Hostin in noting that Gabbard has received endorsements from Russian-friendly media and white supremacist David Duke, asserting that while she’s denounced Duke’s support she hasn’t distanced herself from Russia’s praise of her.“She hasn’t denied it,” Behar said of Gabbard’s reaction to Clinton. “She hasn’t said anything in her tweets. ‘How dare you? It’s outrageous. Of course, I’m not.’ She didn’t say that. She’s just going after Hillary.” Adding that she doesn’t believe Clinton wants to get back in the presidential race, Behar went on to say she also doesn’t feel that Gabbard is a Russian “agent.”“I just think that she could be a useful idiot the way Trump is a useful idiot to the Russians,” the liberal co-host proclaimed. “That they see something. They say, ‘Oh look, a useful idiot. Let’s play this.’”Behar, meanwhile, insisted that Republicans absolutely need outside interference from Russia and voter suppression to win the upcoming election, before informing the audience that they’ll be able to ask Gabbard about this soon as she’s scheduled to come on The View in a couple of weeks.Conservative co-host Abby Huntsman, for her part, said she saw this more as Clinton having an “ax to grind” over 2016, while accusing Clinton of playing the Russians’ game and being “clueless.”“They want the Democratic Party to be divided,” Huntsman continued. “They want more people to know Tulsi Gabbard and she was only promoted because of this. It surprised me Hillary Clinton was not smarter and more tactful in how she talked about it.”Hostin, however, didn’t buy Huntsman’s argument that Gabbard’s isolationist foreign-policy views could resonate with many Democrats, pointing once more to the Hawaii lawmaker’s low poll numbers. This prompted Huntsman to accuse Clinton of hurting her own party by smearing Gabbard.“I love that she’s playing that,” Hostin concluded. “She can say what she wants.”‘The View’s’ Meghan McCain Confronts Tulsi Gabbard for ‘Spouting Propaganda from Syria’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.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:57:52 -0400
  • Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua

    Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer sought by Indonesian police over Twitter posts authorities blame for fanning unrest in the Papua region, has a tattoo on each wrist. The first, inked when she was in her late teens and a fervent nationalist, reads simply "Indonesia" and, she says, meant that "Indonesia is running through my veins". "I've actually been experiencing this weird systematic attack, if you like, online since I think it was almost two years ago," Koman said in an interview in Australia, where she is now living.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 05:06:05 -0400
  • Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne

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    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
  • The U.S. Army Has Big Plans to Smash Enemy Drones in a War

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    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
  • US awarded ownership of seized North Korean vessel

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    A New York court has formally handed the US ownership of a North Korean cargo ship seized for violating international sanctions, the Justice Department said. The 17,061 ton bulk carrier Wise Honest -- the first North Korean vessel seized by Washington for sanctions violations -- was caught carrying a $3 million shipment of coal in Indonesian waters last year and later handed over to US authorities. The court in the Southern District of New York ordered the vessel to be forfeited to Washington and for the Treasury Department to "dispose of" it, an order released by the Justice Department showed.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 04:04:23 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Ford Ranger

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:32:00 -0400
  • Malaysia Fears Becoming Sanctions Target in Trade War Crossfire

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Malaysia may become a target of sanctions as the export-reliant economy is caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war, according to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.Mahathir said trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies could evolve into another Cold war, although he didn’t specify who could impose the curbs.“Economically we are linked to both markets, and physically we are also caught in between for geographical reasons,” Mahathir said in Kuala Lumpur. “There are even suggestions that we ourselves would be a target for sanctions.”He said Malaysia will prepare for the worst by cooperating with regional neighbors, but didn’t elaborate.Neighboring Vietnam has already drawn the U.S. government’s ire, with President Donald Trump describing the Southeast Asian nation as “almost the single worst abuser of everybody” when asked if he wanted to impose tariffs on the nation.Malaysia was placed on the U.S. Treasury watch list for currency manipulation in May for its bilateral trade and current-account surplus. The central bank has denied the nation manipulates its currency and said it supports free and fair trade.To contact the reporter on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at ashukry2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at yho35@bloomberg.net, Liau Y-SingFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 22:39:29 -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
  • Why more Mexicans wrap themselves in the flag

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    500 years after conquistadors first set foot on Mexican soil, a renewed sense of nationalism is taking root.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:09:00 -0400
  • Atatiana Jefferson Funeral Set for Thursday After Judge Ends Family Dispute

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/HandoutThe inter-family standoff over the funeral for Atatiana Jefferson—a black Texas woman fatally shot inside her own home by a white police officer—came to an end Monday after a judge announced the funeral will take place on Thursday and placed a gag order on members of the family from discussing how the dispute was resolved.The 28-year-old was killed on Oct. 12 by former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean, 35, who shot her through a window after failing to announce himself while performing a welfare check at her home.Her Saturday funeral, which was to feature prominent civil-rights activists at a local megachurch, was cancelled hours before it was set to begin by Dallas County Judge Brenda Hull Thompson amid the family’s legal battle over the arrangements.Marquis Jefferson, the 28-year-old’s father, was granted a temporary restraining order Friday to stop the burial, after arguing that he would suffer “immediate and irreparable injury” if his daughter’s aunt, Venitta Boda, continued with the service planning without his participation and input. “He’s the father of the deceased,” Walter L. Irvin, his lawyer, said on Friday. “They would not let Mr. Jefferson participate in burial arrangements. That’s why we had to seek an injunction.”Atatiana Jefferson’s Funeral Canceled Amid Family FeudThompson ruled that the father has the authority to make arrangements for his daughter’s funeral, according to court records. On Monday, Dallas County probate court judge Brenda Hull Thompson heard from both sides of the Jefferson family in a closed-door meeting to determine whether the restraining order should continue.At the end she announced the funeral is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Dallas’ Concord Church, according to the Dallas Morning News. Hull said she issued a gag order to prevent members of the family, and their lawyers, from talking about what happened in the meeting.Boda has previously claimed Jefferson is not Atatiana’s legal or biological father, according to the Dallas Morning News.The dispute comes amid rising community tension against the Fort Worth Police Department and the District Attorney’s office in a case that has prompted mass protests against racial bias and police use of excessive force.Authorities said Dean, who has resigned from the force and been charged with murder, responded to an Oct. 12 welfare check call at Jefferson’s home after one of her neighbors noticed her front door was slightly ajar. Her 8-year-old nephew told police that while the two were playing video games in the bedroom, Jefferson heard someone outside and got a gun out of her purse. She pointed it at the window, according to court documents, out of fear of an intruder. Texas Police Officer Fatally Shoots Black Woman Inside Her Own Home During Welfare CheckBody-cam footage shows Dean and another officer walking alongside Jefferson’s home with flashlights before entering her backyard gate—all without identifying themselves. After seeing “a person standing inside the residence near a window,” police previously said, Dean shouted at Jefferson to put her hands up before opening fire within seconds. It is not clear if Dean saw the weapon. “I get it. We are trying to do better... anyone who had looked at that video saw it was wrong,” Police Chief Ed Kraus told reporters the day Dean was charged.The shooting occurred less than two weeks after former police officer Amber Guyger in nearby Dallas was convicted of fatally shooting her unarmed black neighbor, Botham Jean, inside his apartment in 2018.  Hundreds have since gathered to protest the incident—including a small group that came together on Saturday to commemorate Jefferson and the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to Fort Worth. Rev. Al Sharpton told those protestors via audio message “the battle is in; the fighters are coming. We want the nation to know what’s going on in Fort Worth.”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 22:45:57 -0400
  • U.S. soldiers who fought alongside Kurds blast Trump's Syria retreat

    Golocal247.com news

    Now retired and living in Portland, Oregon, the 66-year-old former Army Special Forces soldier is among legions of U.S. servicemembers with a deep gratitude and respect for Kurdish fighters they served alongside through the Iraq war and, more recently, conflicts with the Islamic State. Walker's rage was echoed in Reuters interviews with a half dozen other current and former U.S. soldiers who have served with Kurdish forces.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:52:41 -0400
  • Iran says 5.6 magnitude earthquake strikes its south

    A magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook southern Iran Monday, though there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Officials said the earthquake struck near Kukherd, a city in Iran's Hormozgan province. Kukherd is a farming community some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Iran's capital, Tehran, with a population of some 4,000 people.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:42:22 -0400
  • This Is the Robot Tank Russia Used in Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    (But it didn't fight well.)

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:15:00 -0400
  • Gambia's ex-number two admits responsibility in opposition killings

    Golocal247.com news

    The right-hand man of Gambia's former president Yahya Jammeh on Monday admitted being "partially responsible" for the arrest, torture and execution of suspected political opponents during the leader's 22-year reign. "I am perhaps responsible... for putting Jammeh there," former army captain Edward Singhateh told the country's Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). British-born Singhateh held a number of top government positions, including that of defence minister, under Jammeh who fled the country in January 2017 after losing presidential elections and initially refusing to step down.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:39:29 -0400
  • Poll: Majority of Mexicans say organized crime stronger than government after El Chapo’s son released

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Johnson’s Battle to Deliver Brexit: Here’s What Happens Next

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    (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed in his first attempt to get his Brexit deal approved in a vote in the British Parliament. He’s been forced to seek an extension to the Oct. 31 deadline, but says he’s going to fight all the way to complete the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union on time.Here’s what could happen next, according to government plans.Monday, Oct. 21Hundreds of civil servants get to work on the government’s no-deal Brexit contingency plan, Operation Yellowhammer, in preparation for a split on Oct. 31.Johnson will propose another “meaningful vote” on his Brexit dealThe government thinks there is a good chance Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow will not allow this to happen on the grounds MPs have already considered the exact same question, and convention bars a repeatThe House of Commons opens for business at 2:30 p.m. and Bercow will make his decision at some point after that; if it does happen, the vote is likely to be before 10 p.m.The government is also expecting to publish the draft law implementing the Brexit deal -- this is called the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. It won’t be debated until later in the weekA Scottish court will decide whether Johnson has complied with the Benn Act that requires him to seek a delay to Brexit if he hasn’t reached a deal. Johnson’s lawyers previously promised the judge hearing the case that the premier would act according to the lawTuesday, Oct. 22Government will propose a motion designed to speed up progress of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill -- the crucial piece of law that will incorporate Johnson’s Brexit deal into British statute, preventing a no-deal divorceThis “programme motion” will lay out a timetable for rushing the law through Parliament before the Oct. 31 deadline, potentially by completing all its House of Commons stages before the end of Friday, with an emergency House of Lords sitting over the weekendBut the government fears it could lose a vote on this timetable, and that could mean the Bill does not get put forward at all. Or that there will be no way to get the legislation through before the Oct. 31 deadline. That could mean a no-deal Brexit -- or more likely a delay If the government wins the motion on the timetable for the bill, members of Parliament will begin debating it immediatelyTo Be Decided:The EU is considering Johnson’s formal request for a Brexit extension. It is possible an emergency EU summit will be convenedTo contact the reporter on this story: Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 03:57:33 -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
  • Bag explodes while being loaded on flight at Midway Airport after run over by luggage vehicle

    Golocal247.com news

    Police said the bag exploded while being loaded onto a flight at Chicago Midway International Airport just after noon Monday.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:19:16 -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
  • WikiLeaks founder Assange appears confused at extradition hearing

    Golocal247.com news

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared confused at a London court hearing on Monday, struggling to recall his name and age in his first public appearance in months as he sought to fight extradition to the United States. Assange, 48, who spent seven years holed up in Ecuador's embassy before he was dragged out in April, faces 18 counts in the United States including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:48:25 -0400
  • Afghan official: Taliban storm checkpoint, kill 15 policemen

    Golocal247.com news

    The Taliban stormed a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 15 policemen in the latest attack by insurgents, an Afghan provincial official said Tuesday. The multi-pronged attack on the checkpoint in the Ali Abad district of northern Kunduz province began late on Monday night and set off an hours-long gunbattle, according to Ghulam Rabani Rabani, a provincial council member. The attack came as Afghan troops have been battling the Taliban for the past few weeks in Kunduz's Dashti Archi and Imam Sahib districts, Rabani added.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 03:33:43 -0400
  • China Is Building 'The Mother of All Bombs': Report

    Golocal247.com news

    America already has one.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:44:00 -0400
  • Hillary Clinton has reportedly been saying she'd consider a 2020 run if she saw an opening

    After shutting the door on a 2020 run again and again, might former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still have it ever so slightly open?A new report from The New York Times describing how some Democrats are "daydreaming" about another candidate making an unlikely late entrance into the race includes the detail that Clinton, in recent weeks, has been saying that if she "thought [she] could win," she "would consider entering the primary," although she's "skeptical there would be an opening." Still, Clinton is reportedly being encouraged to enter the race, and the report details how she has "concerns" about Democrats' current 2020 field, worried about the "durability" of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the "liberal politics" of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), being "unsure of who else can emerge to take on" Trump. This report comes days after the endless 2020 speculation surrounding Clinton ramped up when she took a shot at Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) by on a podcast suggesting Russians are "grooming" her to run as a third party candidate. Gabbard hit back by challenging Clinton to "join the race directly." Clinton, who recently tweeted at President Trump that he shouldn't "tempt me" to get into the race, would consider a run if Biden "drops out or is badly weakened," the Times reports, citing Democrats close to her. Clinton isn't the only name being floated to possibly make a late entrance, with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also reportedly telling allies he'd run if he saw an opening, and with former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also reportedly being urged to enter. Will any of them actually join the race with just months to go until the Iowa caucuses? Almost certainly not, but as Patrick told the Times, "it's nice to be rumored about."

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:54:05 -0400
  • Deep-sea researchers discover second missing Battle of Midway ship

    Golocal247.com news

    After the recent discovery of a Japanese aircraft carrier that was destroyed in the 1942 Battle of Midway, researchers combing through the deep seas for lost World War II-era warships have found the remains of another craft.Discovered nearly 5,500-metres below the surface in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, roughly 2,000 kilometres from Pearl Harbour, the carrier Akagi was found by a crew using an autonomous underwater vehicle on Sunday morning.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:45:56 -0400
  • Billionaire Isabel dos Santos Denies Wrongdoing at Sonangol

    Golocal247.com news

    (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
  • 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
  • 15 of the World’s Scariest-Looking Structures

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

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:21:00 -0400
  • 'If anyone can do it, it's him': how Boris won a Brexit deal

    Golocal247.com news

    BRUSSELS/DUBLIN/LONDON(Reuters) - In 90 days as British prime minister, Boris Johnson has been humiliated in parliament, drawn mass street protests, tasted heavy defeat in the courts and suffered significant departures from his government, including his own brother. At home, he and his Brexit strategy remain under siege this week as his 11th-hour divorce agreement with the European Union hangs in the balance in a parliament outside his control. There is one place, however, where he has earned grudging respect over the past few weeks: Brussels.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:41:35 -0400
  • Thais, Frenchman could face firing squad in Bali drug cases

    Golocal247.com news

    Two Thai women and a Frenchman could face the death penalty after they were caught smuggling drugs into Bali, the Indonesian holiday island's customs agency said Monday. The Thai nationals -- identified as Kasarin Khamkhao and Sanicha Maneetes -- arrived last week on a flight from Bangkok and suspicious airport officials found nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine hidden under their clothes, authorities said. "A lab test confirmed all the packages contained methamphetamine weighing 958 grams in total," Himawan Indarjono, head of immigration at Bali's international airport, told reporters Monday.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:02:39 -0400
  • US may now keep some troops in Syria to guard oil fields

    Golocal247.com news

    Even as American forces make a hasty and chaotic withdrawal from northeastern Syria, the U.S. is considering leaving some troops behind to secure oil fields in the region and make sure they don't fall into the hands of a resurgent Islamic State, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday. The Pentagon chief said the plan for was still in the discussion phase and had not yet been presented to President Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly said the Islamic State has been defeated and has portrayed the withdrawal of American support for Kurdish forces as part of his larger goal of bringing troops home from the Middle East.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:50:06 -0400
  • Here's What We Know About the Air Force's New B-21 Stealth Bomber

    Golocal247.com news

    An excellent plane.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 12:05:00 -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
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