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  • As coronavirus spreads, Biden says Trump is 'the worst possible person' to keep America safe

    Golocal247.com news

    As evidence, Biden cited Trump’s response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Earlier, Trump tweeted that “it will all work out well.” Trump’s potential Democratic rivals, however, are not so sure. The second is about Trump’s leadership.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:45:48 -0500
  • Historians unveil rare photos of Sobibor death camp

    Golocal247.com news

    Hundreds of newly discovered photographs, including some taken at the Sobibor death camp, represent a "quantum leap" in research into Nazi crimes against humanity, historians at the Berlin museum Topography of Terror said Tuesday. Historians said the "exceptional collection" provided unprecedented insights into the Sobibor camp in German Nazi-occupied Poland, about which little is known even 75 years after the end of World War II. The trove, consisting of 361 black-and-white photos and several written documents, also includes photos believed to show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who denied ever being at Sobibor.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:43:19 -0500
  • Georgia man set to be executed for killings of 2 people

    Golocal247.com news

    Donnie Cleveland Lance, 66, is set to receive a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson for the November 1997 killings of Sabrina “Joy” Lance and Dwight “Butch” Wood Jr. in Jackson County, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta. Lance went to Wood’s home the night of Nov. 8, 1997, kicked in the front door and shot Wood in the front and back with a shotgun and then beat Joy Lance to death with the butt of the shotgun, according to a Georgia Supreme Court summary of the case.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 01:14:21 -0500
  • Get Early Access to Backcountry’s Big Winter Sale Right Now

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

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:30:00 -0500
  • McConnell: Republicans don't have the votes to block witnesses in impeachment trial, reports say

    Golocal247.com news

    Mitch McConnell told Republicans that the GOP does not have the votes to block additional witnesses, according to multiple media reports.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 19:46:22 -0500
  • China demands an apology from a newspaper for a satirical cartoon of a Chinese flag with coronavirus particles

    Golocal247.com news

    China is outraged with a Danish newspaper for publishing a satirical cartoon of a Chinese flag with coronavirus particles in place of its stars.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:31:39 -0500
  • U.N. criticizes Iraq trials of ISIS 'members', including human shields

    The United Nations raised "serious concerns" on Tuesday about the trials of hundreds of alleged Islamic State members in Iraq, some of whom merely prepared meals, offered medical services or even acted as human shields for the jihadist group. Iraq has processed thousands of cases under its anti-terrorism law - including of detainees from outside the Middle East transferred from neighboring Syria - in the aftermath of a 2014-17 war against Islamic State militants.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 09:05:06 -0500
  • Kobe Bryant helicopter video emerges showing ill-fated flight minutes before crash

    Golocal247.com news

    A video that appears to show Kobe Bryant’s helicopter circling over California roughly 15 minutes before the fatal crash has been posted online, illustrating the foggy conditions faced by the chopper on its last flight.In the video, which was posted by a user on Twitter who said they live in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale — where Bryant’s flight circled for roughly 10 minutes on Sunday awaiting instruction, according to flight records — the helicopter can be seen moving slowly in the sky above, obscured by the early morning fog.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 14:25:17 -0500
  • The Israeli Army Is Unprepared for a Ground War with Iran and Hezbollah

    Golocal247.com news

    If Israel has to go to war tomorrow against Iran or its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, there’s a problem. The Israeli mechanized division that would defend Israel’s northern border, or enter Syria or Lebanon to eject Iranian and pro-Iranian forces, are in bad shape.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 05:53:00 -0500
  • Biden won't commit to backing Sanders if he's the Democratic presidential nominee

    Golocal247.com news

    Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped short Tuesday of saying he’d support Bernie Sanders if the progressive Vermont senator wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 19:52:15 -0500
  • Bloomberg says he didn't bother to keep Trump's cellphone number

    Golocal247.com news

    Bloomberg told CBS News about advice he gave Trump after he was elected but before he took office.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:13:33 -0500
  • Fotis Dulos, who is accused of killing his wife, is in critical condition after an apparent suicide attempt

    Golocal247.com news

    Farmington Police found Fotis Dulos unresponsive while conducting a welfare check Tuesday, after he failed to show up for a court date.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:55:00 -0500
  • Indonesia's Aceh unveils new female flogging squad

    Golocal247.com news

    The masked woman nervously approaches her target, shuffles into position and then unleashes a flurry of lashes -- proving herself as the newest member of the first female flogging squad in Indonesia's Aceh province. Such behaviour constitutes a morality crime in Aceh, the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation that imposes Islamic law -- known as Sharia.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 10:58:45 -0500
  • McConnell Tells Caucus They Lack the Votes to Block Impeachment Witnesses

    Golocal247.com news

    Senator Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Tuesday said he doesn't have the votes to block a resolution to allow witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, according to multiple reports.McConnell made the admission in talks with Senate Republicans after President Trump's defense team concluded its arguments.If the Senate votes to summon witnesses, Democrats will likely attempt to call on former White House national security adviser John Bolton to give testimony in the trial. On Sunday the New York Times reported that Bolton wrote in the manuscript of his upcoming book that Trump had conditioned aid to Ukraine on that country's commitment to conduct investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden.Republicans may react to a subpoena of Bolton by summoning Hunter Biden and the government whistleblower, whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry, to testify."Those are the ones that I want to call," Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said on Monday of Hunter Biden and the whistleblower, despite having told reporters on Friday that he would vote against summoning Hunter Biden. "If we add to the record, we are going to do it completely."Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) concurred during an interview on Fox & Friends."My view is this — if the Senate decides to call witnesses later this week . . . we need to hear from Hunter Biden, he is right at the center of this," Hawley said. "What was he doing in Ukraine? What was he doing with Burisma?"Hawley also wrote on Twitter, "if the Senate is going to call witnesses, then I will ask to hear from Adam Schiff, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden & the whistleblower, at a minimum."

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 18:23:05 -0500
  • A robot named Little Peanut is delivering food to people in quarantine amid the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

    Golocal247.com news

    "Hello everyone. Cute Little Peanut is serving food to you now," the robot said, according to a translation. "Enjoy your meal."

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 00:05:16 -0500
  • The Latest: Fuss over Thai navy officers' return from China

    Golocal247.com news

    A Thai navy spokesman says 20 officers sent to Wuhan to oversee construction of Thailand's first new submarine have returned home after the Chinese city was locked down to try to contain a viral outbreak. Navy spokesman Vice Adm. Prachachart Sirisawat said Tuesday the officers had left Wuhan during the Lunar New Year holiday at the shipyard where they were stationed. An expert says the sharp rise in the number of infections in a virus outbreak in China suggests there has been significant human-to-human spread of the virus.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 01:14:12 -0500
  • Venezuelan police capture fugitive Colombian senator who fled via dentist's office

    Venezuelan special police detained a fugitive Colombian former senator who had illegally crossed the border, the force's chief said, four months after she escaped custody by climbing out of her dentist's office in Bogota. Aida Merlano, a former Conservative senator who was imprisoned last year for vote buying, made her theatrical escape in October, lowering herself with a rope and fleeing on the back of a delivery motorcycle. Jose Dominguez, head of Venezuela's FAES Special Action Force, wrote on his Instagram account late on Monday that officers detained her in the city of Maracaibo, capital of western Zulia state by the Colombian border.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 11:32:37 -0500
  • Stunning drone video shows devastation from helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, 8 others

    Golocal247.com news

    Stunning NTSB drone footage shows a swath of catastrophic devastation from the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 10:58:55 -0500
  • Trump lawyers contradict one another as they conclude first phase of impeachment trial 

    Golocal247.com news

    The president’s top White House lawyer has repeatedly told the Senate Trump did nothing wrong in withholding aid to Ukraine, even as other lawyers on his defense team directly contradicted that assertion over the last two days. 

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 18:45:05 -0500
  • Dems’ Impeachment Guru Flirted With #Resistance Conspiracies — and Went to War With Alan Dershowitz

    Golocal247.com news

    He’s the Harvard law professor advising Democrats on their impeachment playbook. There’s just one problem: His adventures in the extremely online world of the anti-Trump “Resistance” took him a little off the deep end for a while. Laurence Tribe has spent decades as a respected constitutional law scholar, but the Trump era saw him buddy up for a bit with the fringiest of fringey Resistance conspiracists online in amplifying far-fetched theories about how President Donald Trump and his crew might finally meet justice, some of which Tribe now regrets partaking in. And in another sign of the divisiveness of the Trump era, Tribe and his more MAGA-friendly Harvard Law colleague Alan Dershowitz—who is defending the president in his impeachment trial—have descended into a bitter feud, with Dershowitz accusing Tribe of harboring a “vendetta” against him for supporting Trump throughout his various legal woes. Tribe has been pushing for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office from the day former FBI Director James Comey was sacked. Since then, he’s urged House Democrats to take the impeachment plunge and, when they finally got there, counseled top lawmakers on how to handle it, even huddling with them personally ahead of key hearings.In a very Washington coincidence, Tribe counts both Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)—the lead prosecutor of Democrats’ case against Trump—and Chief Justice John Roberts, the referee in Trump’s trial—as former law school pupils. Tribe did not make himself available for an interview but answered emailed questions from The Daily Beast. He declined to go into details about the advice he is giving to Democrats as they lay out to the Senate and the public their case to impeach Trump—but he noted it was “accurate” that his ideas on impeachment have proven influential within the Democratic caucus. Dershowitz Can’t Give a Straight Answer on Impeachment RoleIndeed, it was Tribe who first described the plan that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) turned to in hopes of getting an upper hand over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In a Washington Post op-ed published two days before the House passed articles of impeachment, Tribe argued that Pelosi had no obligation to immediately send the articles to the Senate so it could begin the trial, because McConnell’s closeness with Trump ensured it would be unfair. “Under the current circumstances,” Tribe wrote, “such a proceeding would fail to render a meaningful verdict of acquittal.” Pelosi ultimately heeded his advice and held the articles of impeachment for 28 days, a move that altered the course of the impeachment process. Hill Democrats say Tribe has been an engaged, if sober, presence in the impeachment process. When he met with House Judiciary Committee Democrats to help prepare them for their impeachment hearings in December, his presentation was “very dry,” according to a Democratic source. Online, however, Tribe has been much more colorful. His takes, backed by the weight of his half-century of legal scholarship, sometimes meaningfully push the envelope, as Pelosi’s hold-the-articles gambit showed. Other times, they have strayed a bit too far into the fever swamps. MAN OF STEELEIn December 2017, Tribe approvingly shared a prediction from another Resistance Twitter star, Brian Krassenstein, who tweeted that he had “no doubt in my mind that before all is said and done Devin Nunes will be headed to prison.”“I’m willing to bet @krassenstein is right,” tweeted Tribe. “Nunes is headed to federal prison.” Since then, Nunes has not come close to federal prison. Krassenstein, however, has been banned from Twitter and had his Florida home raided by the FBI. Nor is Krassenstein the only Resistance figure Tribe’s aligned with. In the past, Tribe has approvingly shared the views of Louise Mensch, the British pundit whose fantastical commentary on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation made her an online favorite.Mensch is notorious for, among other things, declaring that her “sources say the death penalty, for espionage, being considered for @StevenKBannon.” In March 2017, Tribe tweeted a link to an interview Mensch did with the BBC in which, among other things, she reiterated her belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the murder of Andrew Breitbart, the founder of Breitbart. (He did not.)Tribe told The Daily Beast that his views of Mensch have since changed. Asked if he regretted amplifying her views, he said, “Of course I do.”   The professor has also revisited another favorite topic: the Steele dossier. In late 2017, Tribe tweeted a challenge: Had anything in the 35-page memo compiled by a British spy during the 2016 campaign—which made explosive claims about Russian collusion with Trump—been off-base?Since then, some of the dossier’s key claims—including a colorful anecdote involving Trump, prostitutes, and bodily fluids in a Moscow hotel room—remain unsubstantiated. Others, like the claim that Trump fixer Michael Cohen met with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, have been proven false. In January 2019, before Mueller dealt the final death blow to the Prague theory, Tribe was still referencing it on Twitter. He told The Daily Beast on Monday that he doubts the meeting occurred. “I may well have missed,” said Tribe, “some aspects of what the Steele dossier contained.” But Tribe has stuck to his guns on the question of Nunes. When the former GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was under scrutiny at the time for possible coordination with the White House on the panel’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia, Tribe didn’t just think Nunes was wrong but possibly breaking the law. Tribe told The Daily Beast last week that he continues to believe Nunes, who has since come under scrutiny for his contacts with figures involved in the Ukraine probe, “has significant criminal exposure and that a principled Justice Department would prosecute him.” In a statement to The Daily Beast, a spokesperson for Nunes did not comment on Tribe’s claims but said “it’d be hard to find anybody who would take Laurence Tribe or The Daily Beast seriously.” ENTER THE DERSHAnother wrinkle to Tribe’s impeachment role is his escalating feud with Dershowitz. The two celebrity legal experts, once friendly colleagues at Harvard Law, find themselves on opposite sides of the Trump impeachment and drifting further apart by the day.  On Monday, when Dershowitz testified in defense of Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, he name-checked Tribe two times as an example of someone who was inconsistent on legal questions of impeachment. Tribe, meanwhile, live-tweeted takedowns of Dershowitz’s arguments. In an interview with The Daily Beast last week, Dershowitz—who has occasionally responded to Tribe, but with far less frequency—said he doesn’t pay much attention to Twitter but claimed that his former colleague has a “personal vendetta” against him. “He’s a partisan,” said Dershowitz. “I think he was assigned a job by the anti-Trump people to try to destroy me and he’s accepted that assignment, which I think is pretty immoral.” He also claimed that Tribe would be silent if Hillary Clinton faced similar charges had she become president. Tribe told The Daily Beast the notions that his partisan feelings inform his legal judgment—or that he has it out for Dershowitz—were ridiculous.“Why would I have a ‘vendetta’ against Alan?” Tribe asked in an email. “We were colleagues and friends for years, and although we’ve disagreed at times I used to come to his defense with some frequency. I’ve become a vocal critic of Alan’s increasingly unhinged arguments in defense of President Trump’s conduct only because those arguments have seemed to me increasingly bizarre and increasingly dangerous.”Team Trump Settles on Its Impeachment Defense: A Healthy Dose of Lib Triggering“The one and only compass Alan Dershowitz follows these days,” leveled Tribe, “is the one that will bring him maximum media attention.”Tribe has also kept a close eye on two of the trial’s most central players, Schiff and Roberts.The California congressman, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1985 and was a research assistant for Tribe while there, is among the many students—including Barack Obama—whom Tribe has mentored. Schiff, said Tribe, “remains among the brightest and most promising students I have taught in a half-century career at Harvard Law School… His handling of the Intelligence Committee’s work, and his performance as a House Impeachment manager, have been breathtakingly effective.”Schiff, for his part, had nothing but good things to say about Tribe in a statement provided to The Daily Beast. “Larry is a dear friend, former professor, and trusted mentor,” said Schiff. “He’s been a great source of knowledge on the law and Constitution for all of us throughout this process, and we’re lucky to have the best constitutional law scholar in the nation advising us.” HE’S GOT THE POWERWhile Tribe’s praise for Schiff has been effusive and encouraging, his praise of Roberts, whom he has called “fair-minded and brilliant,” has sounded a more aspirational note. According to the Constitution, the chief justice presides over a Senate trial, but tradition has dictated that the role is more ceremonial and procedural than substantial.Among some observers, however, there is hope that Roberts could play a significant role in resolving key questions about the trial. In the event of a tied vote, Roberts could cast a decisive role for or against new evidence. He could also quickly resolve any legal challenge from the White House regarding the legality of a subpoena for officials like John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney.Tribe predicted to MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell that Roberts could rule in favor of new witnesses and documents if the situation arises. “If he is asked to issue a subpoena, I think he will use his power to do it,” Tribe said.It’s one of many predictions Tribe has made over the course of nearly three years of excited Trump-era tweeting and opining. Notably, he has yet to predict Trump’s conviction or acquittal—but has suggested there will be chaos no matter what.“Even if an unremoved Trump is defeated this Nov 4 so overwhelmingly that he doesn’t even try to hang onto power beyond next January 20,” tweeted Tribe, “imagine the havoc this vengeful man could wreak in the intervening 77 days, pardoning his loyal henchmen and attacking political adversaries.”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, 28 Jan 2020 11:24:51 -0500
  • Keiko Fujimori Returns to Peru Jail Pending Laundering Trial

    (Bloomberg) -- Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori will be returned to jail while she’s investigated for money laundering, less than three months after she’d been freed by Peru’s top court on the grounds that her constitutional rights had been violated.In Tuesday’s ruling, the court said Fujimori should be arrested immediately and jailed preventively for 15 months, arguing it was a proportional measure to safeguard the probe. With Fujimori incarcerated into April 2021, prosecutors should have time to charge her and put her on trial, Judge Victor Zuniga said, according to video broadcast by state television.Prosecutors told the court they have new evidence that Fujimori took cash from companies including Brazilian builder Odebrecht SA for her 2011 presidential campaign and sought to disguise it as donations from individuals. They also said there’s a serious risk that Fujimori will seek to obstruct the investigation.The 44-year-old daughter of Peru’s disgraced autocrat Alberto Fujimori was jailed in 2018, only to have the Constitutional Court annul the sentence 13 months later. In his summing up, Zuniga said that decision isn’t binding.The ruling is a fresh blow to her party, Popular Force, which received a drubbing in congressional elections Sunday, losing a majority it won in 2016. President Martin Vizcarra dissolved Congress four months ago following clashes with the opposition over anti-graft reforms.Read More: ‘Fragmented’ Peru Congress Eases Path for Vizcarra’s ReformsMinutes before the judge concluded his verdict, Fujimori walked into the court room with her American husband Mark Vito Villanella and took a seat next to her lawyer.In a pre-recorded video posted on her Facebook page following the ruling, she said she’s a victim of “political vengeance promoted by many interests,” including the media and “a government who wants to concentrate power to avoid” scrutiny. Her husband will take her case to “foreign governments,” she said.Fujimori hasn’t been formally charged and denies any wrongdoing. She said last month she’ll take a break from political activity to face the investigation.Odebrecht is at the center of Peru’s biggest bribery probe after the company admitted to financing candidates and bribing officials across Latin America.(Updates to add Fujimori’s comment in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 19:49:27 -0500
  • Connecticut man accused of killing wife found unresponsive

    Golocal247.com news

    Fotis Dulos attempted suicide earlier today by gassing himself in his garage, his attorney Norm Pattis told CBS News.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:12:45 -0500
  • GOP Senators Urge Barr to Declassify Footnotes in Russia-Probe IG Report: ‘The American People Have a Right to Know’

    Golocal247.com news

    Two Republican senators on Tuesday urged Attorney General William Barr to declassify four footnotes in the inspector general’s report on the FBI's Russia investigation."We are concerned that certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes," Senators Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) wrote in a letter to Barr. "This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report, but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation.""The American people have a right to know what is contained within these four footnotes and, without that knowledge, they will not have a full picture as to what happened during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation," the senators continued.The IG report centered on the FBI's application for a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The report found numerous issues with agents' handling of the application, so much so that the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued a rare public rebuke of the FBI for withholding exculpatory information about Page from the court and for failing to verify the information contained in the infamous Steele dossier, which formed a "central and essential" part of the FISA application."The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," the court wrote in December.The letter does not specify which four of the dozens of redacted footnotes in the report the senators are referring to. One prominent redacted footnote refers to Steele's relationship with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, which could have conceivably affected the analysis provided in his dossier. Another redacted footnote contains information about Steele's "primary sub-source."Grassley has served on numerous committees throughout his seven terms in the Senate, while Johnson is the current chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which oversees the FBI and the Department of Justice probe into the bureau's Russia investigation.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:19:38 -0500
  • Useless: North Korea Has Thousands of Old and Outdated Tanks

    Golocal247.com news

    What a joke.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 10:00:00 -0500
  • Chinese villages are cutting themselves off from the world with makeshift brick walls to try to stop outsiders from giving them the Wuhan virus

    Golocal247.com news

    The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 106 people, infected 4,500, and spread to more than a dozen countries, China's health commission said Tuesday.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 05:18:23 -0500
  • 'Now they can chase their dreams': Bangladesh allows Rohingya children to study

    Golocal247.com news

    Rohingya refugees reacted with surprise and joy on Wednesday to the news that Bangladesh would provide formal education to their children, two and a half years after they were forced to flee Myanmar. Human rights groups have long campaigned for the nearly half a million effectively stateless Rohingya children in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to be allowed access to quality education, warning of the costs of a 'lost generation'.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:39:28 -0500
  • Leaked report shows United Nations suffered hack

    Golocal247.com news

    Sophisticated hackers infiltrated U.N. offices in Geneva and Vienna last year in an apparent espionage operation, and their identity and the extent of the data they obtained is not clear. An internal confidential document from the United Nations, leaked to The New Humanitarian and seen by the Associated Press, says dozens of servers were compromised including at the U.N. human rights office, which collects sensitive data and has often been a lightning rod of criticism from autocratic governments for exposing rights abuses. Asked about the report, one U.N. official told the AP that t he hack appeared “sophisticated” and that the extent of the damage remained unclear, especially in terms of personal, secret or compromising information that may have been stolen.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:42:50 -0500
  • Biden's final Iowa drive sweeps through rival territory

    Golocal247.com news

    When U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden went to an Iowa university to campaign this week, one thing was in short supply: students who support him. Biden, 77, joked that it can be difficult to get college students to show up before 4 p.m. and, indeed, a few more young people appeared at a later campaign event at the University of Iowa. "I'm the only one that gets a significant portion of the young vote, as well as the old vote, in-between vote, black vote, Hispanic vote, all the vote," Biden said.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 07:20:28 -0500
  • In wake of Bolton book news, White House allies say Trump lawyers bungled defense

    Golocal247.com news

    Reports that John Bolton had written a firsthand account of President Trump’s direct involvement in withholding aid to Ukraine has left some Republicans confused and angry over the legal strategy by the president’s defense team.

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 15:24:07 -0500
  • Parnas Lawyer: Giuliani Delivered Graham Letter Calling for Sanctions on Ukrainian Officials

    Golocal247.com news

    In late 2018, Rudy Giuliani said he delivered an unusual missive to Sen. Lindsey Graham, according to the lawyer of one of his ex-associates: a letter calling for sanctions on a host of Ukrainian government officials, including one widely viewed in the West as a brave reformer and another who helmed the company where Hunter Biden was a board member.Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Lev Parnas, an indicted Florida businessman involved in the U.S.-Ukraine saga, told The Daily Beast that Giuliani showed his client the letter and told him he delivered it to Sen. Graham (the letter misspelled the South Carolina Republican’s first name as “Lingsey”). Bondy said Giuliani also showed Parnas a second, similar letter addressed to Sigal Mandelker, who at the time was a top official at the Treasury Department. The letters, which The Daily Beast reviewed, claim that an eclectic mix of Ukrainian political figures and businesspeople were part of an alleged “organized crime syndicate.” The letters claim that the individuals were “actively involved in the siphoning of funds appropriated by the American government for aid to Ukraine.” And they claim that the alleged crime syndicate used those funds to buy black-market military parts from a Russian company under U.S. sanctions. All the while, they say, Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general (Giuliani ally Yuriy Lutsenko) couldn’t fight the crime because then President Petro Poroshenko wouldn’t let him take the case to court.“It concerns me, as should any fellow American, that a taxpayer’s money is rudely been stolen in Ukraine [sic],” reads the letter to Mandelker.The letter-writer introduces himself in the letter addressed to Mandelker as a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen named Michael Guralnik who graduated from the Soviet Military Academy and was “a 10-year veteran of the Soviet Army.” The letter to Graham, meanwhile, also bears Guralnik’s name but contains no introduction. It arrived a month before Giuliani tried to help former Ukrainian top prosecutor Viktor Shokin travel to the U.S. and meet with Graham, Bondy said. A few weeks before the date of the Guralnik letter, Giuliani sent Graham a letter of his own asking his staff to help three unnamed Ukrainians get visas so they could come to the U.S. and share information about the Bidens. The State Department did not give Shokin a visa. The letters say that the “only way” to “stop this syndicate” is to sanction the individuals involved. Both letters list 12 people, along with phone numbers for some of them. Included on the list are Mykola Zlochevskiy, the head of the scandal-plagued Ukrainian company where Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was a board member; Valeriya Gontareva, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine from mid-2014 to mid-2017; and Kateryna Rozhkova, who was her deputy. Graham and Giuliani did not respond to repeated requests for comment, and it was not immediately clear if lawmakers ever even considered the sanctions. A spokesperson for Graham did not respond to a request for comment. Mandelker did not comment on the record for this report. When contacted, Guralnik hung up the phone and texted, “Do not call any more.”The inclusion of Gontareva and Rozhkova’s names is notable. In 2016, Gontareva oversaw the Ukrainian government’s decision to seize control of a bank that belonged to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Ukrainian officials alleged that Kolomoisky and his allies had misappropriated billions from the bank. Kolomoisky has pushed to regain control of the bank, even as the FBI has investigated him for financial crimes. And in the wake of her decision, Gontareva has faced death threats and danger. Her home was vandalized, and someone left a coffin with her likeness inside it outside the Central Bank offices, as The Washington Post reported. Years after the nationalization of the bank, the danger persists. In August 2019, she was hit by a car in London and hospitalized. The next month, her home in Ukraine was burned down, per the Kyiv Post. Gontareva’s fight to reform Ukraine’s financial sector won her devoted allies in the West, who saw her as one of Kyiv’s few genuine reformers. Kolomoisky, meanwhile, is an intimidating figure to many in Ukraine, and some have alleged he has ordered contract killings. He also funded a private militia that fought Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. His connection to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also long raised eyebrows; the TV show that boosted Zelensky’s public profile aired on a TV channel that Kolomoisky owns, and one of Kolomoisky’s former lawyers is now a senior aide to Zelensky (Giuliani and U.S. officials have raised concerns with Zelensky’s team about that aide, Andriy Bohdan). Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for the government watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told The Daily Beast that the Guralnik letters mean Giuliani should answer more questions about his Ukraine work.“While we can’t obviously speak to the veracity of these claims, it does seem to look more and more like Rudy Giuliani is incredibly deeply involved with some seriously shady business in Ukraine and we need more information, not only on his activities, but his activities and those of his associates on behalf of or benefiting Donald Trump,” he said. “As bad as these things look on their face, they’re so much worse if you consider the involvement of the president of the United States. There is so little we know, but enough to know that we need to know a lot more.” 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.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:25:14 -0500
  • Harvard Arrest Ups the U.S. Ante on China as Security Threat

    (Bloomberg) -- A Harvard University chemist, an ex-Coca-Cola Co. scientist and a University of Kansas researcher.All three have been swept up in a U.S. crackdown on intellectual property theft sponsored by China and linked to the Thousand Talents Plan, a Chinese government program to recruit overseas researchers.The charges unveiled Tuesday against Harvard’s Charles Lieber -- that he lied to U.S. investigators about his role in recruiting people to pass along scientific research to the Chinese government -- mark a high-profile escalation of the Trump administration’s effort to root out economic espionage in academic institutions.While the Justice Department’s “China Initiative” has focused on bringing garden-variety cases against engineers and executives accused of stealing technology from American companies for Chinese corporations and startups alike, U.S. officials also have cast greater suspicion on scholars with ties to Beijing-controlled research institutions.As part of the newest prosecutions announced Tuesday, authorities charged a Boston University researcher who prosecutors say was a lieutenant for the People’s Liberation Army and a cancer researcher who allegedly tried to smuggle 21 vials of biological materials in his sock.“China’s communist government’s goal simply put is to replace the United States as a superpower,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Boston Field Division, said at a press conference. “China is also using what we call nontraditional collectors such as researchers, hackers and front companies.”Read More: China’s Thousand Talents Program Gets the U.S.’s AttentionProsecutors said Lieber lied to U.S. Defense Department investigators about his involvement with the Thousand Talents Plan and concealed that he was paid $50,000 a month and received more than $1.5 million to establish a lab and do research at Wuhan University of Technology. His deceit caused Harvard to make false statements to the National Institutes of Health about his work with China, because grants that Harvard received required disclosure of ties with foreign governments, the U.S. said. Lieber’s lawyer declined to comment on the case.Agencies across the federal government have mobilized against potential Chinese industrial spies, warning companies and universities and anyone else with intellectual property to be particularly vigilant when dealing with Chinese business partners and employees. Tuesday’s action comes weeks after the Trump administration signed a Phase One trade deal with the Chinese.China has tried to lure overseas scientists for years. Government initiatives, such as the Thousand Talents and Changjiang Scholar programs, offer funding to experts to work at least part time in China. A 2018 report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council called such efforts a thinly veiled way “to facilitate the legal and illicit transfer of U.S. technology, intellectual property and knowhow” to China.A top official at the National Institutes of Health said in December that the agency has investigated 140 scientists at 70 institutions over failures to disclose income and other significant resources they received from other countries while working on NIH-funded grants.Prior to Lieber’s arrest, the Justice Department has taken action against other researchers with alleged Thousand Talents ties:The ex-Coke scientist was accused in February of seeking a reward from the talent program while trying to steal trade secrets valued at $120 million from companies working with the soft-drink giant on the chemical coating used in bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) containers. Xiaorong You has pleaded not guilty and faces a trial in April in Greeneville, Tennessee.Franklin (Feng) Tao, a University of Kansas associate professor, was indicted for allegedly defrauding the U.S. government by taking federal grant money while he was employed and paid by a Chinese research university and failing to disclosed that he was chosen for a Changjiang Scholarship. He, too, has denied wrongdoing.Turab Lookman, a former Los Alamos National laboratory scientist, pleaded guilty in a New Mexico federal court in January after being charged with lying to an investigator about participating in the talent program for compensation.Van Andel Research Institute, a Michigan-based biomedical research institution, agreed to pay $5.5 million as part of a settlement with the U.S. over allegations that two NIH-funded scientists failed to disclose grants from the Chinese government.To U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who worked on a committee report in November that highlighted concerns with the Thousand Talents program, Lieber’s arrest signaled validation.“The charges show the lengths that China will go for access to top-notch research here in the United States,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement.But some scholars say the intense scrutiny U.S. law enforcement officials are applying to ethnic Chinese scientists and, now, U.S. researchers, carries a downside: It chills academic freedom and stifles scientific progress.Read More: The U.S. Is Purging Chinese Americans From Top Cancer Research“On the one hand, it’s good that the U.S. government is looking beyond ethnic identity for these cases,” said Frank Wu, a professor of law at University of California Hastings. “On the other hand, the increasing scope of these investigations threatens American science more generally.”The push to stanch China’s well-documented and costly theft of U.S. innovation and know-how has also raised questions about overzealous prosecutors and racial profiling.Two Tulane University professors, one of them a Chinese citizen, were charged in May with trade-secrets theft after downloading a software model that predicts how the Mississippi Delta will change over time. In July, the Justice Department abruptly dropped the case, saying “extensive investigation” showed prosecutors can’t prove the charges.“Every prosecution should have all the fundamental facts and materials in place before they’re brought forward,” said Jeremy Wu, a retired federal official and member of APAJustice.org, a group that addresses racial profiling.He said the federal government’s approach to the Thousand Talents Plan “is generating a lot of fear and suspicion, especially for those working in the health fields.”Tao, the Kansas professor, has mounted an aggressive defense, claiming both that he never accepted a teaching position in China and that he was framed by a vindictive co-worker. He argues the prosecution’s case is based on “fabricated tips” from a visiting scholar who was angry because she thought Tao didn’t give her enough credit on some research papers.Lieber, whose Harvard biography page lists him as an honorary fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society, was placed on indefinite administrative leave by the university after his arrest. Harvard called the charges “extremely serious” in a statement and said it’s cooperating with federal authorities.At a court hearing scheduled for Thursday, prosecutors are set to argue that Lieber shouldn’t be released on bail because of the risk he’ll try to flee before his trial.\--With assistance from Peter Waldman.To contact the reporters on this story: Janelle Lawrence in New York at jlawrence62@bloomberg.net;Chris Dolmetsch in Federal Court in Manhattan at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net;Malathi Nayak in San Francisco at mnayak21@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter BlumbergFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 18:41:37 -0500
  • Mexico deports 2,300 Hondurans who crossed illegally in '2020 Caravan'

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    Mexican migration authorities said they have deported 2,300 Hondurans who illegally crossed over from Guatemala with a caravan heading to the United States.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:37:23 -0500
  • The Leopard 2 Tank Has Some Big Flaws (As It Got Smashed In Syria)

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    Will they be fixed?

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 23:30:00 -0500
  • US Navy's SEAL Team 6 reportedly recovered 2 bodies and flight recorder from Afghanistan crash

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    The US Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 recovered two bodies from the wreckage site where a US Air Force aircraft crashed in Afghanistan on Monday.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 13:01:37 -0500
  • Japan confirms virus in man who had not been to China

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    Japanese authorities said Tuesday a man with no recent travel to China has contracted the novel strain of coronavirus -- apparently after driving tourists visiting from Wuhan, where a deadly outbreak began. The man in his sixties from Nara in western Japan drove two groups of Wuhan tourists earlier in January and was hospitalised on Saturday with flu-like symptoms, the health ministry said. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the country had confirmed two new cases, bringing the total so far in Japan to six.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 05:13:08 -0500
  • Restaurant honors 'Good Samaritan' who helped stop abduction

    North Carolina A&T graduate student Cody Byrd, 24, received a “Good Citizen Award” at a ceremony presented by the Biscuitville restaurant chain. Byrd will eat free for a year, and he shared his first free meal with his mother on Tuesday, news outlets reported. Byrd was dining at the Greensboro location in December when he noticed a man watching the child, he told news outlets and police.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:01:21 -0500
  • Latest North Korea quake shows legacy of instability at nuclear test site: South Korea

    A small natural earthquake detected in North Korea on Wednesday was likely a result of seismic instability lingering in the area since North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test in 2017, the South Korean government said. A magnitude 2.5 earthquake was detected at 9:33 a.m. (0033 GMT) in Hamgyong Province, the location of North Korea's shuttered Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, according to South Korea's Meteorological Administration. "It was a natural earthquake, presumably caused by the sixth nuclear test," the administration said in a statement on its website.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:30:02 -0500
  • Dershowitz: Trump’s Conduct in Leaked Bolton Book Manuscript ‘Does Not Constitute an Impeachable Offense’

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    Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Trump's legal team, told the Senate during arguments Monday that even if President Trump explicitly orchestrated a quid pro quo by dangling Ukrainian military aid, as alleged in a leaked excerpt of John Bolton's book, that would still not constitute an impeachable offense.The New York Times reported Sunday that in his upcoming book, former national security adviser John Bolton says President Trump told him personally in August that the provision of military aid to Ukraine was contingent on the opening of an investigation into Joe Biden.“Even if a president, any president, were to demand a quid pro quo as a condition to sending aid to a foreign country, obviously a highly disputed manner in this case, that would not by itself constitute an abuse of power,” Dershowitz said.“Quid pro quo alone is not a basis for abuse of power,” the former Harvard law professor continued. “It’s part of the way that foreign policy has been operated by presidents since the beginning of time. The claim that foreign policy decisions can be deemed abuses of power based on subjective opinions about mixed or sole motives, that the president was interested only in helping himself, demonstrates the dangers of employing the vague subjective and malleable phrase of abuse of power as a constitutional criteria for the removal of a president. Based on this reasoning, the new information the Times said appears in Bolton's book "would not constitute an impeachable offense," Dershowitz said.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 09:21:18 -0500
  • US Navy’s first Triton drones arrive in Guam

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    Two drones arrived in Guam and will serve as part of an early operational capability to develop a concept of operations for the high-altitude, long-endurance systems.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 16:25:12 -0500
  • Idaho Nurse Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Helping Cover Up Kelsey Berreth’s Murder

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    A former Idaho nurse was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday for helping Patrick Frazee cover up the murder of his fiancée last Thanksgiving.Krystal Lee, 33, was sentenced after pleading guilty in February to evidence tampering and testifying against Frazee, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, who was convicted of killing 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth.“I know that saying sorry is not good enough,” she told a packed Teller County courtroom on Tuesday, before receiving the maximum sentence. “And I don’t even know what the right word would be to describe the remorse that I feel.”Patrick Frazee Convicted of Murdering His Missing Fiancée With a Baseball Bat, Burning Her BodyFrazee, a 33-year-old cattle rancher, was convicted in November on all six charges against him for the slaying and disappearance of Berreth and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 156 years. Berreth, a flight instructor at Doss Aviation, was last seen at a Safeway grocery store near her Woodland Park, Colorado, home on Nov. 22, 2018. Prosecutors say later that day, Frazee fatally beat his would-be wife, with whom he shared a child, with a baseball bat before burning her body and the murder weapon at his family’s ranch. The cattle rancher then enlisted the help of Lee, his secret girlfriend, to clean up the crime scene, Lee said.During her emotional two-day testimony, Lee described her troubled relationship with Frazee—which began as an affair several years ago while she was married and included a secret abortion. While the nurse has denied participating in Berreth’s murder, she later admitted she witnessed him burn the evidence of his crime.“She shouldn’t have received the plea deal that she did,” Berreth’s parents, Darrell and Cheryl, wrote in a letter read aloud in court Tuesday, according to The Denver Post. “She was an active participant in the murder. The only thing she didn’t do was swing the bat.”‘Calculating Manipulator’ Patrick Frazee Murdered Kelsey Berreth With Help From Secret Girlfriend: ProsecutorsLee recounted that in 2018, Frazee asked her three times to kill Berreth on his behalf, claiming she was abusing their 1-year-old daughter and needed to be stopped. The nurse said while she initially agreed to help, she backed out before each murder attempt. “His little girl is being abused,” Lee testified. “I understand if it was wrong. I didn’t know what to do so I didn’t make correct decisions.”Prosecutors said when Lee failed to help Frazee murder Berreth, the “cold, calculating manipulator” took matters into his own hands. Afterward, Lee said Frazee told her, “I need your help, and I need your help now. You have a mess to clean up.”Lee said during their frantic clean up of Berreth’s apartment, Frazee told her to “get the candles wiped up, get the bathroom done, and wipe up the footprints,” and threatened to kill her if she failed to do a sufficient job. Kelsey Berreth Murder Suspect’s Secret Ex: He ‘Told Me to Take Care of the Problem’“He asked me if I got it done. I told him the best that I could do. He said, ‘You better hope you did, because your life depends on it,’” she said during the trial, according to The Gazette.After the Nov. 24 cleanup, she said the two went to Frazee’s ranch, where the 33-year-old set Berreth’s body on fire, along with several trash bags. To further trick authorities, Lee said she took Berreth’s cellphone to Idaho—nearly 800 miles away from the missing mom’s home in Woodland Park—for the signal to ping before burning it. 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, 28 Jan 2020 15:01:42 -0500
  • Jamaica earthquake: Huge 7.7-magnitude tremor hits off island’s coast

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    Warnings of a “hazardous” tsunami were issued for parts of the Caribbean after a huge earthquake struck.The US Geological Survey said the 7.7-magnitude quake hit off the northwest coast of Jamaica, prompting the US Tsunami Warning Centre to issue an alert for Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 14:30:00 -0500
  • Erdogan Warns Russian Mercenaries in Libya Paid by Abu Dhabi

    (Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lobbed a rare direct rebuke at the rulers of Abu Dhabi over their backing of Khalifa Haftar and the Russian mercenaries fighting on his behalf in Libya.Erdogan said that the emirate is bankrolling thousands of Russian fighters who support the forces controlled by the Libyan general, whom he derided as a “desert lord.” Turkey has responded to the Russian deployment by providing military support to the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.The Turkish president’s criticism comes as a truce agreed this month appeared to be under severe strain with each side accusing the other of violations. A conference convened by Germany days after the cease-fire was struck had sought a cessation of hostilities to pave the way for an end to the civil war in the North African country.“Haftar is, at the moment, like a desert lord in Libya,” Erdogan told reporters during a flight from Algeria to Gambia, according to a transcript of his remarks published by his office. “He has control in desert areas but not in populated regions.”In fact, Haftar holds sway over the country’s east and many Libyan cities as well as most of its key oil installations. This month, his forces also took the city of Sirte.Turkey is currently monitoring Haftar’s “ugly attempts” to grab more land but will do whatever is necessary to stop him, Erdogan said.The United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry and the Abu Dhabi executive council, the sheikhdom’s top decision-making body, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Erdogan’s remarks.The direct criticism once more lays bare tensions between Turkey and Abu Dhabi. The oil-rich Gulf emirate has turned into a regional rival in recent years as Erdogan supported Islamist political movements seen as a threat by Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de-facto leader of the U.A.E.Russian mercenaries back Haftar’s forces, officials have told Bloomberg, and he also has support from Egypt and the U.A.E., who see him as a bulwark against Islamic extremists. Turkish soldiers are training forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have also joined the conflict.Dueling GovernmentsWestern officials say more than 1,400 fighters with the Russian Wagner group, headed by a confidant of President Vladimir Putin, have arrived since September to back Haftar’s Libyan National Army in its offensive to capture Tripoli.Meanwhile, Erdogan’s government has dispatched military advisers, armed drones and Syrian militiamen in support of the Government of National Accord in the Libyan capital.Despite the Berlin accord, foreign backers of both sides have sent in fighters and advanced weapons, the United Nations mission in Libya said late Saturday. Such moves raise questions over their commitment to halting the oil producer’s latest war, which began when the eastern-based Haftar ordered his forces to march on the capital in April.When asked this month about Russian mercenaries operating in Libya, Putin didn’t explicitly deny their presence but wouldn’t specify their number and said they receive no financing from Russia itself.“If there are any Russian citizens there, they neither represent the interests of the Russian state, nor receive funding from the Russian state,” Putin said Jan. 11 after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow.(Updates with Western estimate of mercenaries, Turkey’s involvement under ‘Dueling Governments’ subheadline)\--With assistance from Zainab Fattah and Samer Khalil Al-Atrush.To contact the reporter on this story: Onur Ant in Istanbul at oant@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net, Paul Abelsky, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 08:08:17 -0500
  • A dead NASA space telescope and an old Air Force satellite have a 1-in-10 chance of colliding over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and people on the ground may see it

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    Experts who track space debris calculated that the satellites will pass within 39 feet of one another — and one of the spacecraft has a 59-foot boom.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 16:36:00 -0500
  • Coronavirus outbreak could peak in ten days: Chinese expert

    Golocal247.com news

    A viral outbreak that has killed 106 people in China could reach its peak in around 10 days, a top Chinese government expert said Tuesday. The novel coronavirus that has infected thousands of people across China has genetic similarities to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), a pathogen that left some 650 people dead on the mainland and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. The new virus first emerged in early December in the central city of Wuhan and the number of cases has soared in recent days, doubling to more than 4,500 in the past 24 hours.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 08:38:58 -0500
  • Lev Parnas blocked from Senate impeachment hearing Wednesday

    An associate of Rudy Giuliani who is awaiting trial on charges that he made illegal campaign contributions has a ticket to Wednesday's U.S. Senate impeachment trial, but he won't be going. Instead, Lev Parnas will go to Washington with his lawyers to show support for a fair trial, his lawyer, Joseph Bondy, said in a tweet. U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken permitted Parnas to go to Washington, but he said the defendant can't remove his electronic-tracking device.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 19:28:18 -0500
  • China virus turns Macau into gambling ghost town

    Golocal247.com news

    The Chinese territory of Macau has become a near-ghost town during what is typically the busiest time of year in the world's biggest casino hub, after authorities announced a raft of measures to keep visitors away and contain the new coronavirus. The local government late on Tuesday said it would curb its individual visit scheme through which visitors gain entry from mainland China, days after it suspended inbound package tours. The steps come as deaths from the coronavirus reached 132 in China on Wednesday with 1,500 new cases.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 03:07:39 -0500
  • Biden-Tied Lobbyist Bought Island Property from Biden’s Brother, Gave Him Mortgage Loan

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    Financial records reviewed by Politico show that Joe Biden's brother James sold one of his three parcels of land in the U.S. Virgin Islands at a substantial profit to a well-connected lobbyist who then extended a mortgage to James on the remaining two parcels.In May 2005, James Biden purchased an acre of land on Water Island for $150,000. He then applied for and received an easement to divide the property into three plots, one of which he sold to lobbyist Scott Green — a decade-long Senate staffer for Joe Biden in the 1980s — for $150,000. James had initially purchased all three parcels for $150,000, meaning that he made his money back and was able to keep the majority of the one acre plot for himself.Green’s lobbying firm, Lafayette Group — which features a photo of Green with Biden on its website and quotes Biden endorsing Green — earned two government contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency worth a total of $5.8 million on April 11, 2010.Three days later, Green extended a $133,300 mortgage to James Biden for his remaining Water Island property. Property records reviewed by Politico show that Green had “received full payment and full satisfaction” and released the mortgage in September 2013.Joe Biden and his family traveled to Water Island several times during his vice presidency, but did not stay on his brother’s or Green’s land, which remains undeveloped.Lafayette Group earned tens of millions of dollars in government contracts during the course of Biden’s time as vice president. During his time in the Senate, Biden also advocated for a number of areas in which Green’s lobbying intersected, including a broadband network for first responders and the non-profit Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 09:28:49 -0500
  • Police find mom of 2 missing kids in Hawaii with husband

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    Police say a mother of two missing kids has been found in Hawaii along with her new husband, but there’s still no sign of the children in the cross-country investigation, which includes several mysterious deaths.

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 09:39:48 -0500
  • Mexican Narcos, More Brazen by the Day, Land Coke Plane on a Highway and Shoot a General

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    CALI, Colombia—Talk about a tough commute. Traffic was backed up for miles early Monday morning in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo after drug traffickers landed a twin engine prop plane on Highway 307, near the resort town of Bacalar.Mexican Police Chief Arrested in Mormon Massacre CaseThe flight—which originated in South America and had been tracked by radar since entering Mexican airspace—touched down at about 4:30 a.m. A task force led by the senior commander of military operations in that state moved out to intercept.When soldiers worked their way through the traffic jam caused by the plane they were met by a light cavalry force consisting of some 50 vehicles belonging to well-armed, ground-based accomplices who had been waiting for the delivery. The sicarios had also cut down roadside trees and signs to create a makeshift runway for the aircraft. By the time the army showed up, the traffickers already were hustling to offload more than a half ton of cocaine.In the pitched battle that followed, Mexican troops came under fire from military-grade weapons, including a high-powered .50 caliber sniper rifle. When the firefight was over the general in charge had been hit, his driver killed, and at least two more soldiers wounded. Two suspects were apprehended nearby. A portion of the contraband cargo, the .50 cal, a few other rifles, and two vehicles also were seized. The pilots and other traffickers, along with an unknown quantity of narcotics, apparently escaped.To make room for more marching powder, the plane had been gutted of all seats save the pilots’. Authorities retrieved 26 individually wrapped packages of cocaine in the raid, altogether weighing some 600 kilograms (1,320 pounds). Given that the average U.S. street price for the drug is about $96 per gram, that makes the captured haul worth some $57,600,000 dollars.Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued a rather laconic statement later that day about the “confrontation,” confirming that the raid was indeed led by General José Luis Vásquez Araiza, who heads up the 34th military zone, and that “unfortunately they shot him.” Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González took to Twitter to offer his condolences to the soldiers and their families and to praise their “hard work and courage ensuring the security of Quintana Roo.”Boilerplate rhetoric aside, security in Quintana Roo is in relatively short supply of late, as cartels carry out turf wars in areas once safe for tourists. The Associated Press reported six people were killed in drug-related violence over the weekend in the popular beach town of Cancún, farther north on the same highway where the plane landed. This once placid region in southeast Mexico, near the border with Belize, is now part of a major smuggling corridor, which led to Quintana Roo’s murder rate nearly tripling in 2018. Though homicide rates fell slightly in 2019, decapitated and dismembered victims still draw unwelcome attention from the press, stoking fears that the steady stream of foreign visitors, so crucial to the local economy, might be scared away.The image of a drug plane blocking traffic on a national highway in broad daylight has drawn eyeballs throughout the hemisphere. But the incident also highlights just how bold and fearless the cartels have become.    * * *A GRIM NEW STANDARD* * *Most cocaine that enters the United States from South America makes a stopover in Mexico. It comes by land, sea, and air, in shipping containers and submarines and modified planes like the one captured this week. Cocaine production in the Andean nations is soaring, especially in Colombia, which now produces about 70 percent of the global supply. To enhance their profits, Mexican cartels have recently taken to importing raw coca paste and refining it in their own country, so as not to have to pay middlemen to cook it on site. As heroin and marijuana have steadily declined in value, thanks to synthetic opioids and legalization respectively, cocaine remains a more stable and valuable commodity—making the cartels “desperate” to obtain it, according to Robert Bunker, a security analyst with the U.S. Army War College.Why the Drug War Can’t Be Won—Cartel Corruption Goes All the Way to the TopWhat Bunker describes as “the cartels’ increasing brazenness” is also fueled by their growing power, it seems, to get away with just about anything, including colluding with senior Mexican officials. In the last month, U.S. prosecutors have charged two high-level Mexican national police officers with taking millions in bribes.  “They have become so used to operating with such high levels of impunity that this is becoming the new standard of their activities,”  Bunker told The Daily Beast.In reference to the airborne smuggling episode in Quintana Roo, a high-ranking source within one of Mexico’s cartels (who requested anonymity for security reasons) described the operation as daring to the point of being foolhardy.“I am surprised that a group with access to a plane and that amount of cocaine would land on a road instead of a more secure location,” the source said. He also said the tactics were “sloppy” and suggested the lack of “lookouts” and “exit routes” indicated the traffickers might be too cocky for their own good. “There should have been blockades ready in case they were under surveillance,” he said.Bunker said one of the more likely culprits behind the highway-as-tarmac plot is the Jalisco New Generation Cartel [CJNG]. Now one of the nation’s most powerful crime groups, the CJNG has been encroaching on Quintana Roo for the last few years, driving the surge in violence there.Bunker also said the presence of a .50 caliber rifle and other assault weapons is in line with the CJNG’s paramilitary profile. Additionally, one of the two men arrested at the scene was a Jalisco native.“The cartel unit was more than willing to go toe-to-toe with the Mexican armed forces in a tactical engagement,” said Bunker. That’s also in line with CJNG’s aggressive behavior, as the cartel has also shot down army helicopters and attacked military convoys in the past.* * *TROUBLE IN PARADISE* * *Quintana Roo isn’t the only tourist hotspot suffering from new and unusually high levels of violence in Mexico. Once the playground of Hollywood elites, Acapulco is now among the most dangerous cities in the Americas. Tijuana, on the border with California, was the site of a record-breaking 2,518 murders in 2018. Even Mexico City, long thought to be the safe-zone free from organized crime, has been rocked by gun battles among armed groups. Murders in Mexico reached an all-time high last year, with more than 35,500 victims.Part of the spike in killings is due to the cartel world fragmenting, meaning no one group can maintain order and hegemony—what Bunker calls a “Pax Mafiosa”—over its territory.Up until a few years ago, places like Quintana Roo had been relatively exempt from narco violence because government officials and powerful business owners—including wealthy investors from within established criminal organizations—wanted to keep the tourist dollars rolling in. But today’s new breed of next-gen narcos like the CJNG have shown themselves all too willing to challenge that hierarchy. In Quintana Roo, the move of CJNG into tourist safe havens “is slowly changing the ‘off-limits’ rules that once existed,” Bunker said.“These groups do not fear kicking over the old economic interests in Mexico or the power structure that exists behind them.”The cartel insider agreed that the security situation in places like Quintana Roo could continue to worsen.  “The narcos are getting bolder,” he said, “and it isn’t going to get better.”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.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:37:32 -0500
  • Democrats court doom by backing Bernie Sanders. His ideas are toxic outside blue America.

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    Sanders has never won anything that really matters outside of Vermont, and all the available data shows his brand is a flop in red and purple states.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:00:06 -0500
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