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  • The NRA's Wayne LaPierre: Washington's all-powerful gun man

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    After a surge in mass shootings and reports of scandalous spending on his own luxury needs, Wayne LaPierre's time as Washington's preeminent power-broker appeared to be up. After two shocking massacres at the beginning of August, Trump initially promised tougher gun controls, a pledge which quickly melted away after he spoke on the phone Tuesday with LaPierre. Suddenly, Trump was again a hardliner defending the most absolutist interpretation of the US Constitution's Second Amendment guarantee of firearms ownership.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 00:48:43 -0400
  • Iran's Zarif says will see if scientist's death sentence can be delayed

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    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday Tehran "will do its best" to see if the death sentence on Swedish-Iranian scientist Ahmadreza Djalali can be delayed. Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in the Swedish capital, was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and later convicted of espionage, having been accused of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:57:37 -0400
  • Arms Race Redux! A U.S. Intermediate Range Nuclear Missile Test Shows Russia Was Right to Worry

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    Scott HoweThe U.S. military has test-fired a new kind of nuclear-capable cruise missile. A weapon that, just 16 days earlier, was banned from the American and Russian arsenals under a 1987 treaty.The successful test on Sunday of an intermediate-range, ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missile reintroduces a previously defunct type of atomic weapon, effectively reversing 32 years of successful arms-control. It also appears to confirm Russia’s fears about American intentions as Washington and Moscow backslide into Cold War-style mutual mistrust. A Missile Explosion, a Radiation Spike, and Kremlin Secrecy Bring Back Memories of ChernobylThe Pentagon tried to portray the Sunday launch in California as just a boring trial. “Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform [the Defense Department’s] development of future intermediate-range capabilities,” the military stated. But to Russia, the trial launch was a huge insult. It was what Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, called the “arms-control equivalent of a ‘Murica gif,’” a jingoistic internet meme featuring, say, a bald eagle firing a machine gun. And it’s likely to raise further the already elevated risk of nuclear war.The test-firing involved a ground-launched version of the Tomahawk cruise missile, for decades a staple of the Pentagon’s high-tech arsenal. Most Tomahawks are non-nuclear, however. The military dismantled the ground-launched, nuclear models back in 1991 in order to comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty that U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev negotiated in the mid-1980s and President Donald Trump finally ditched this month.The INF treaty banned from Europe all nuclear-tipped missile with ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles. The U.S. and Soviet governments considered these small, quick-striking missiles —1,500 on the Soviet side and 400 on the American side in 1987— particularly destabilizing and more likely than larger, farther-flying and slower-reacting rockets to trigger atomic Armageddon.But a few years ago the INF began to fray. In 2011, the Obama administration warned that new, intermediate-range nuclear-armed cruise missiles—under development in Russia since 2008—could violate the terms of the treaty. In mid-2013 the U.S. State Department first raised the issue with the Kremlin. Later the same year, the White House formally announced that Russia was in violation of the accord.U.S. moves helped to accelerate Russian developments. In 2015 the Pentagon began installing so-called “Aegis Ashore” missile defenses in Romania and Poland. The non-nuclear SM-3 missile-interceptors are designed to hit ballistic missiles launched by Iran at the United States.But many Russians believed the United States planned to secretly add nuclear weapons to the European missile-defense sites, all in violation of the INF treaty and as preparation for an atomic sneak-attack on the motherland. Robert Gates, defense secretary under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, had warned about that dangerous perception as far back as 2009.The Russians’ belief wasn’t unfounded. The SM-3 sites in Romania and Poland feature land-based versions of the U.S. Navy’s Mk. 41 vertical-launch system, a kind of generic metal box that can launch almost kind of missile that physically can fit inside it. Navy ships fire non-nuclear Tomahawks from Mk. 41 launchers. It always has been entirely possible for the Pentagon to equip the European sites with nuclear-tipped Tomahawks. And the Russians always have known it. “Although it was never U.S. intent to slip intermediate-range nukes through the back door of Aegis Ashore, the Russians were justifiably concerned,” Bruce Blair, a Princeton University nuclear expert, told The Daily Beast.Russia responded to this apparent threat by developing a new, treaty-busting nuclear system of its own -- the SS-C-8 cruise missile. Moscow deployed the first battery of operational SS-C-8s to its western frontier in 2017, U.S. officials claimed. A little over a year later, the Trump administration announced its intention to withdraw from the INF. “The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,” the State Department stated at the time. The Trump administration completed the withdrawal process on Aug. 2. The State Department told The Daily Beast it was not yet prepared to comment further.But from the Russian point of view, it was the United States that first violated INF when, in the final years of President George W. Bush’s administration, it began the process of installing Mk. 41 launchers in Eastern Europe. “The recent Tomahawk test only bolsters their argument,” Blair said of the Russians.It’s unfair solely to blame hawkish Republican presidents for bending INF, backing the Russians into a nuclear-arms corner and then canceling a treaty that both countries seemed determined to undermine. Obama’s administration also embraced Aegis Ashore and its provocative launchers. “Obama had to know, or should have known, that the decision was a violation of the terms of the INF treaty,” Ted Postol, a nuclear expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told The Daily Beast. “Either the president wasn’t informed, or his advisors were either brain-dead or complicit in making a very bad decision.” “It would be interesting to hear what Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have to say about this matter,” Postol added.In fairness to successive U.S. administrations, Postol said Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland would make poor nuclear-launch sites, as their fixed locations and proximity to Russia make them vulnerable to Russian attack. Spies, Lies, and Radioactivity: Russia’s Nuke Missile Mishap, DecodedBut the potential foolishness of arming the sites with nukes doesn’t necessarily diminish how dangerous they seem from the Russian perspective. Sunday’s missile test adds insult to injury, seemingly making a mockery of years of American claims that it was Russia alone that wanted to roll back decades of successful arms-control.The whole world could pay the price for America’s nuclear negligence and Russia’s acute sensitivity to even the theoretical possibility of U.S. nukes on its European border. Thanks to a decade of missteps and mutual mistrust, quick-striking nukes are back, in a big way. “No matter how one looks at this situation,” Postol said, “it makes no sense and must be considered a strategic blunder that has substantively increased the chances of an accidental nuclear war.” 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, 21 Aug 2019 05:46:14 -0400
  • Bernie Sanders announces plan to double union membership if elected

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    Workplace Democracy Act expansion would restore rights to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and conditions Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in West Branch, Iowa, on 19 August. Photograph: Alexander Drago/ReutersBernie Sanders has released plans to double union membership in the US during his first term in office as he campaigns to secure the Democratic presidential candidacy.Sanders’ plan is an expansion of the Workplace Democracy Act, previously championed by the Vermont senator, and would also restore workers’ rights to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.Between 1983 and 2015, union membership declined by 2.9 million workers, as the number of wage and salary workers grew by nearly 50 million. Nearly one-third of workers in the US were represented by a union 50 years ago, but that representation has declined since the 1960’s to about 11% today. Economists have directly attributed about one-third of increases in wealth inequality in the 1980s and 90s to a decline in labor unions.Sanders first introduced a Workplace Democracy Act bill to Congress in 1992. His most recent version of the bill, co-introduced with the Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan, received 61 co-sponsors in the House and 16 co-sponsors in the Senate, including the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker.That bill called for repealing right-to-work laws, replace union elections with card checks where workers just needed a simple majority of workers to sign union cards to form a union and increase financial penalties on employers who fire workers for union organizing.The latest, expanded version of the plan includes granting federal workers the right to strike, prohibiting corporations from requiring workers to attend anti-union captive audience meetings and denying federal contracts to employers who pay poverty wages, outsource jobs overseas, engage in union busting practices such as hiring scabs or pay executives over 150 times more than average workers, and a just transition to Medicare for All.“Bernie will require that resulting healthcare savings from union-negotiated plans result in wage increases and additional benefits for workers during the transition to Medicare for All,” the plan notes.Corporations would also be required to honor pre-existing union contracts after mergers, and be banned from hiring permanent replacements for workers on strike.A new addition to the plan also includes ensuring every public sector union in the US has the freedom to negotiate, which would overturn a 2018 Iowa supreme court ruling to uphold a rewrite of the state’s collective bargaining law by Republicans to limit collective bargaining rights of some public sector unions.The pro-union plan seeks to rein in employers who overwhelmingly respond to union organizing drives in the workplace with anti-union campaigns that include hiring outside consultants, intimidating and retaliating against workers, and dragging out contract negotiations with newly formed unions.Unionized workers are afforded around a 22% wage premium compared to non-union workers. A 2003 paper published by the Economic Policy Institute found even non-unionized workers benefited from wage increases based on the percentage of unionization within their industry.“Making it easier for workers to form unions is not a radical idea. Sixty-two per cent of the American people support labor unions, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership is barely half of what it was 35 years ago,” the new plan states. “In order to reverse the 40-year decline of the middle class, we must strengthen unions and restore bargaining power to workers.”

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:00:08 -0400
  • A shark attacked a woman in Hawaii, and authorities are warning it's 'still in the area'

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    A 27-year-old woman was bitten twice by a shark while swimming on Tuesday. She is reportedly recovering and in "good health."

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 10:22:40 -0400
  • 5 men, 85-year-old woman accused of lewd, sexual activity in Connecticut woods

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    Police say the six people, five men and an 85-year-old woman, were involved in lewd and sexual activity in the woods in Connecticut.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:03:50 -0400
  • The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space.

    Golocal247.com news

    Climate change comes with a higher risk of wildfires. This summer, fires have ravaged the Arctic, and the flames can be seen from space.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 08:24:00 -0400
  • China warns UK to stay out of its affairs after arrest of British Consul worker

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    China warned the UK not to meddle in its affairs over Hong Kong on Wednesday after the arrest of a British Consulate official worsened already strained ties between Beijing and London. Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section, went missing on August 8 on the way back from a business event in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Britain has said it is “extremely” concerned. News of his disappearance became public on Tuesday, prompting China on Wednesday to confirm that it was holding him on allegations of violating local law, without revealing any further details. Geng Shuang, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said the case was linked to China’s Public Security Administration Punishment Law, a statute pertaining to minor violations. Individuals can be held under administrative detention for as long as 15 days, which would be roughly until Friday. Mr Geng warned the UK to back away from the affairs of its former colony. “The British side has made a lot of erroneous remarks on Hong Kong,” Mr Geng said, urging London “to stop pointing fingers and making accusations.” "He is not a British citizen. He is a Chinese person, so this is entirely a matter of China’s internal affairs," Mr Geng said of Mr Cheng. "As for Britain's comments, we've made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they've made on Hong Kong," he said.   He also called on Britain to stop interfering in China's internal business. "Britain has made a series of wrong statements on Hong Kong. We again urge them to stop gesticulating and to stop fanning the flames," Mr Geng said. Activists gather outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong  Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images In a statement issued on Facebook, Mr Cheng’s family said: “We feel very helpless, and are worried sick about Simon. We hope that Simon can return to Hong Kong as soon as possible.” Friends of Mr Cheng, staged a rally outside the British Consulate in central Hong Kong on Wednesday urging Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister and Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister “save” the young man from a Chinese jail. “Save Simon Now! Delay No More!” they chanted. Max Chung, the rally organiser, who knew Mr Cheng from his student days at the London School of Economics, accused the UK of “failing to show due diligence” towards him. “Mr Boris Johnson, the prime minister, it’s now or never!” he said. “We appeal to Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon, we urge you to save Simon. Make this your number one priority now.” Michael Mo, a fellow protester, added: “England expects every man to do his duty and we expect every British politician to honour their word.” The group was briefly admitted indoors to present a petition calling for the UK to express “specific measures” to protect British Nationals in Hong Kong and to issue a travel warning that British and foreign nationals in Hong Kong could be subjected to “enforced disappearance.” Simon Cheng, a staff member of the British Consulate in Hong Kong, was initially reported missing Emerging from the building, Mr Chung said senior officials had assured him that they were working “full throttle” to secure Mr Cheng’s freedom. However, protesters said that Mr Cheng’s predicament confirmed their worst fears about arbitrary detention by China. The Hong Kong protest movement, now in its eleventh week, began over opposition to a planned extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to trial for the first time in China’s opaque justice system. “Simon’s case is “white terror” to everyone in Hong Kong. Because even if you haven’t voiced out your political views, you may still be considered a target, and can be arrested for no reason,” said Duff Li, a protester in his twenties. Mr Cheng’s disappearance has also revived fears about the safety of diplomatic personnel in China. The diplomatic and expat community has already been put on edge by the December detention of Michael Kovrig, a Hong Kong-based security analyst on leave from Canada’s foreign service, and by the arrest of Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, who worked between China and North Korea.   China | Read more from The Telegraph Meanwhile, Hong Kong maintained its week long uneasy calm spell on Wednesday night when thousands of protesters gathered at the Yuen Long metro station in the New Territories district on the outskirts of the city to mark one month since a vicious assault on dozens of commuters by triad gangs. Public anger remains high over the incident, in which at least 45 people were attacked by hundreds of alleged gang members wearing white shirts and wielding sticks. The police were accused of responding too late and of being slow to arrest the perpetrators. Protesters crowding the station initially stood in silence, holding one hand over their right eye to symbolise a young female medic who was hit in the face by a police bean bag shot during a demonstration and badly injured But there were tense scenes outside the station as locals hurled angry insults at riot police. “Triad cops! Why didn’t you save us last month? Why are you coming now when nothing is happening?” shouted bystanders. Violence was close to flaring up when protesters pushed police back from the station entrance with fire extinguishers and closed the gates, briefly locking themselves inside. But while the elite Raptors squad lurked on standby, armed with bean bag guns and tear gas, not a shot was fired, and both sides retreated to brace for another weekend of protests as the pro-democracy movement heads into its 12th week.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:31:56 -0400
  • See the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant from Every Angle

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    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:01:00 -0400
  • Marianne Williamson pledges to remove Oval Office portrait of Andrew Jackson put there by Trump

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    Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson pledged to remove the portrait of former President Andrew Jackson that President Donald Trump chose to hang in the Oval Office if she is elected to be its next occupant.

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:17:34 -0400
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    Parking lot shooter told detectives he feared severe injury

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    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:05:28 -0400
  • Iraq paramilitary units blame US for base attacks

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    Iraqi paramilitary units said Wednesday they held the US responsible for a string of mysterious blasts in recent weeks at their bases, renewing fears of a possible proxy war. Over the past month, alleged attacks have targeted four training camps and arms depots used by the Hashed al-Shaabi, a network of mostly-Shiite, pro-Iran paramilitary units opposed to the US. On Wednesday, the paramilitary group said in a statement it had carried out its own investigation and pointed the finger at the US military, but also accused Israel of infringing Iraqi airspace.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:31:26 -0400
  • Police Arrest Two Louisiana Men in 39-Year-Old Cold Case Murder of Teen

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    Rapides Parish Sheriff's OfficeAfter nearly four decades, Louisiana police have charged two men they believe brutally raped and murdered an 18-year-old girl before disposing of her body in the woods.Leo Laird, 64, and Gary Haymon, 54, were both charged on Monday in the death of 18-year-old Donna Gayle Brazzell, according to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office. The young woman’s skeletal remains were found near Nichols Cemetery Road in 1980, but authorities were unable to identify them until last month.The Daring DNA Hunt That Cracked France’s Gruesome Cold Case“These cases never, ever leave a policeman’s mind,” Officer William Earl Hilton, who was first assigned the case, told KBLA. “They prey on you all the time. Especially cases like this that you never solve.”Authorities declined to elaborate on what evidence led to Laird and Haymon’s arrest, but said “sufficient probable cause was established.” Both men have been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, and aggravated kidnapping.The mystery began on November 5, 1980, when the sheriff’s office responded to a call about “skeletal remains found in a wooded area” near Nichols Cemetery Road. Working alongside Louisiana State University’s Repository for Missing and Unidentified Persons, investigators were able to determine that the remains, which were likely in the woods for at least two months, belonged to a female victim between the ages of 16 and 21.  The lab also created a DNA profile and a facial sketch of the victim but were still unable to make a positive identification. In 2014, the sheriff’s office “received information in reference to the case” that led them to name Laird and Haymon as suspects. It remains unclear what new evidence pointed to the two men.Vatican to Open Tombs in Hunt for Teen Missing for 30 YearsThe sketch of the victim proved key to cracking the case five years later, when a woman contacted authorities claiming the picture resembled her long lost granddaughter. After a DNA comparison last month, authorities confirmed the remains belonged to the woman’s relative, Donna Gayle Brazzell.Laird, who would have been in his 20s at the time of the alleged murder, was arrested on August 14 and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. He is currently being held on a $1 million bold. Haymon is already serving a 49-year prison sentence for second-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, and public bribery, authorities said. While he was originally set for release in 2047, authorities said arrangements “are in place to have Haymon booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center in reference to his new charges.”Quadriplegic Charged in Cold-Case Murder of Bay Area MomRead 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, 20 Aug 2019 16:53:39 -0400
  • Drivers in Idaho keep harassing busloads of immigrants' children on their way to pre-school

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    One driver reported experiencing threatening incidents with other drivers while she was driving a busload of children under the age of five.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:23:17 -0400
  • Man punches his own lawyer in court

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    A defendant standing trial for attacking a corrections officer punched his own lawyer during a hearing in an Arizona courtroom.Footage of Lamont Payne's violent assault in Maricopa County was caught on court camera and released by officials.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:10:55 -0400
  • Putin says deadly military accident occurred during weapons systems test

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a deadly blast at a military site in northern Russia earlier this month had taken place during the testing of what he called promising new weapons systems. Putin said that Moscow could not reveal everything about the blast because of its military nature, but that information exchanges about such accidents should be improved. "When it comes to activities of a military nature, there are certain restrictions on access to information," Putin told a news conference in Helsinki, standing alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:15:22 -0400
  • China State Media Says U.K. Consulate Worker Visited Prostitute

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    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.China detained a U.K. consulate staffer from Hong Kong for visiting a prostitute, a Chinese newspaper alleged, a new twist in a case that has raised concerns Beijing is trying to warn the British government against meddling in its former colony.Police in the border city of Shenzhen said Simon Cheng, 28, “violated the 66 article of China’s law on administrative penalties for public security, which states that people who engage in prostitution or visit prostitutes shall be detained for no less than 10 days but no more than 15 days,” the Communist Party’s Global Times reported Thursday. Cheng’s 15th day of detention is Friday.Cheng told the police not to notify his family about his detention, the newspaper said, adding that he faces a potential 5,000 yuan ($705) fine. It gave no evidence against Cheng. The UK consulate in Hong Kong did not answer a phone call seeking comment on the allegation. Cheng’s girlfriend did not immediately respond to a question on the charge.Before the Global Times story was published, the consulate said it had raised the issue with authorities in China and Hong Kong and was in contact with Cheng’s family and providing support.Allegations of visiting prostitutes have later proved false in other instances where Hong Kong residents have been detained in China. A Hong Kong lawmaker apologized after accusing bookseller and Communist Party critic Lee Bo of visiting prostitutes, the South China Morning Post reported in 2016.Separately, allegations of sexual impropriety have appeared alongside political corruption charges in the trials of senior Chinese politicians Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang and Sun Zhengcai.The Global Times said Hong Kong, Taiwanese and western media had politicized Cheng’s case. “Those reports linked the incident to the current complicated situation in Hong Kong, politicized the case and highlighted his family’s lack of knowledge on his whereabouts,” the newspaper said.The allegation was also tweeted by the paper’s editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, who’s among a small number of prominent Chinese figures who comment on topics usually handled with extreme sensitivity by state agencies.China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday that Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen, was being held in administrative detention in Shenzhen on allegations of violating local laws, but didn’t specify any allegations.Cheng is employed by the U.K. Consulate General and works for Scottish Development International, which encourages firms to do business with Scotland. He failed to return home to Hong Kong from an Aug. 8 meeting in Shenzhen.His detention occurred as historic pro-democracy protests have rocked the city since early June. On Wednesday evening, a small group of protesters staged a “Save Simon Cheng” rally outside the consulate in central Hong Kong.Cheng went to Shenzhen to attend a trade fair, leaving around noon on Aug. 8, according to an account circulated by his girlfriend, Annie Li. He was on his way back to Hong Kong after 10 p.m. when he messaged Li to say “passing through” and “pray for me.” He then stop communicating. The next morning, Li and Cheng’s family went to the U.K. consulate, which told them to file a police report. Police launched a missing person’s investigation. (Adds details on Cheng’s time in Shenzhen from eleventh paragraph. An earlier version corrected to clarify that allegation against Lee Bo was made by a Hong Kong lawmaker, who later apologized.)\--With assistance from Peter Martin.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Sheryl Tian Tong Lee in Hong Kong at slee1905@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen Leigh, Sharon ChenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 08:45:14 -0400
  • Russia's new high-altitude drone just flew for the first time, and they want to arm it with one ton of bombs

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    On Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense shared video of a test flight for the Altius-U, a major step forward in its drone program.

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:09:52 -0400
  • Yale failed to stop professor who sexually assaulted students over decades, report says

    A report commissioned by Yale says a professor assaulted at least five students, and an investigation in 1994 failed to stop him.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 23:46:49 -0400
  • The Latest: Merkel says her 30-days remark not a deadline

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel says a suggestion she made that a solution to the Brexit dispute be solved in 30 days shouldn't be interpreted as a strict deadline. Some commentators in Britain had interpreted her comment as a deadline to Johnson, who wants to take Britain out of the European Union by the end of October — whether a solution to the Irish border issue is agreed or not. French President Emmanuel Macron says the Irish backstop is "indispensable" in a Brexit deal.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:33:58 -0400
  • Albania bulldozes restaurant after owner attacks tourists

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    Albanian officials on Wednesday razed a beachfront restaurant whose owner was captured on camera attacking a car rented by Spanish tourists, as the country scrambles to clean up its reputation as a burgeoning holiday destination. The incident, filmed by the victims' tour guide from inside their vehicle, took place at the weekend in Porto-Palermo on the Ionian coast in southern Albania, a popular tourist spot. The restaurant owner, 51-year-old Mihal Kokedhima, was arrested and faces trial for "verbally assaulting a group of Spanish tourists for futile reasons", damaging their car and causing minor injuries, police said.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 10:17:17 -0400
  • We can't trust police to protect us from racist violence. They contribute to it

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    White nationalists pervade law enforcement. Fighting far right violence means continuing our fight for police accountabilityProtesters shout anti-Nazi chants after chasing alt-right blogger Jason Kessler from a news conference on 13 August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesAs mass violence continues, many of us have become rightly afraid for the people we love. We want justice, but we also want protection.So what are the solutions we’re hearing about following this month’s violence? One idea we must reject is the idea of trusting law enforcement to protect us from white nationalist violence, given how much they contribute to it. If people in law enforcement want to be seen as experts on defeating white nationalism, shouldn’t they have to get rid of all the white nationalists in their own ranks first?White nationalists pervade law enforcement. There is a long history of the military, police and other authorities supporting, protecting or even being members of white supremacy groups. But it’s not just history. It was revealed last week that a black man in Michigan came upon KKK materials and Confederate flags in plain view while being shown a home for sale – the home of a police officer on the force for more than 20 years who shot and killed a black man in 2009 without consequence.It’s a widespread pattern. As early as 2006, the FBI flagged it. Another FBI report in 2015, not covered nearly enough, indicated that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers”. (And that’s the FBI, which has its own history of white supremacy affinity groups.)White nationalists connect through online networks and offline groups, and openly share tactics for infiltrating and influencing police departments, border patrol, the FBI and the military. That was the case for a Virginia police officer – assigned to a high school – who was revealed to be a longtime white nationalist and served as a recruiter for Identity Evropa, one of the groups behind the Charlottesville hate rallies and violence. He was not shy about his cover. In chat messages, he “discussed ways to downplay appearances of racism, while still promoting white nationalism”.Another thing many of those like him are not shy about: stoking and celebrating violence, and promoting hateful misinformation and rhetoric. The Plain View Project tracked publicly posted social media material from more than 3,500 confirmed current and retired law enforcement officers, and found that “about 1 in 5 of the current officers, and 2 in 5 of the retired officers, made public posts or comments ... displaying bias, applauding violence, scoffing at due process or using dehumanizing language”. The Center for Investigative Reporting was able to identify almost 400 current and retired law enforcement officials who were members of private Facebook “Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia” groups.We have seen racist text messages and emails among active officers revealed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and more, including among those in management with direct authority over law enforcement practices. As the Portland case proved, we must come to terms with the depth of association between senior law enforcement and white nationalist leaders and groups – people they should be investigating and thwarting, not encouraging and helping to evade justice.Neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the University of Virginia after marching through the campus with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. Photograph: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesIt would be naive to look at cases in which agencies have dismissed white nationalists from their ranks as an encouraging sign, whether in police departments, border patrol (an agent with a pattern of racist text messages ran over a Guatemalan migrant with a truck), the coast guard (a white nationalist aimed to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”), military units (more Identity Evropa members in the Marines), or anywhere else.In truth, would the level of violence committed by law enforcement in communities of color, and at the border, even be possible if racial hatred weren’t part and parcel of police culture? White nationalists in law enforcement and in many roles in government, such as prosecutors, are dangerous because they routinely abuse their power to attack and debilitate communities of color, including harassment and coercion, financial exploitation, acts of sexual and racially-targeted violence and mass incarceration – all officially sanctioned, and all celebrated as part of the larger white nationalist agenda.Within the FBI, there has been an active movement among white nationalist sympathizers to protect their own by unfoundedly targeting nonviolent black activists: inventing the idea of a black extremist threat to justify surveillance of nonviolent black activists and divert attention from truly violent white nationalist perpetrators. This policy was codified in an internal “Race Paper” that a federal court allowed to remain secret, despite a move for transparency led by my organization, Color Of Change. (And people who have spoken out about internal racism at the FBI have not been treated well.)Investigations have not yet uncovered the extent to which people in law enforcement at all levels are actually involved in white nationalist violence more directly: training and mentorship, advice and tips, offering the social validation that people of color and others are, in fact, the enemy, or offering the social validation that violence is, in fact, the answer.More stories from those who know what’s happening inside law enforcement officers’ lives would help.But we already know enough. We must change the incentives for law enforcement and their unions – financial, social, cultural and otherwise – that allow the denial of this threat to persist. Instead of allowing news media to praise law enforcement as problem-solvers, we must hold them to account for the harm they enable. Lawmakers across the country must also play their role: investigating the extent of the problem, and forcing a purge of white nationalists and their sympathizers from positions of power and influence – everywhere. Fighting white nationalist violence means doubling down on our fight for police accountability.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 08:29:07 -0400
  • Trump dismisses criticism of his dual loyalty comments: 'It's only anti-Semitic in your head'

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    President Trump Wednesday expanded on his views about how Jews who vote for Democrats are “disloyal” and dismissed any criticism of his comments.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:16:48 -0400
  • In the streets and on the run: Alligators are having a 'hot girl summer' of their own

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    From climbing fences in Florida to swimming in a Chicago lagoon, here are 11 of the best gator stories so far this year.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:27:59 -0400
  • Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour

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    CORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer. U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 22:09:39 -0400
  • NYC Rules Ease Affordable Housing Path for Undocumented Migrants

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    (Bloomberg) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio is making it easier for New York City’s undocumented immigrants to qualify for scarce city-subsidized affordable housing.New eligibility rules de Blasio unveiled scrap credit-rating, Social Security and taxpayer identification requirements if applicants can show 12 consecutive monthly rent payments.“For too long, families without access to credit have faced barriers to the affordable housing they need,” de Blasio said Wednesday. “By allowing New Yorkers to submit rental history instead of credit checks, we are creating a fairer system for all New Yorkers.”The mayor’s goal of creating or preserving 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026 has been one of his signature programs, which he’s touted while campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The city’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants would be able to participate in a lottery that already attracts more than 500 applicants for each available unit, said Bitta Mostofi, commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.Unlike federal housing programs that bar undocumented immigrants from applying for U.S. funded public or subsidized housing, they were never legally disqualified from city housing programs, said Margy Brown, associate commissioner for housing opportunity in the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development. By ending credit-rating requirements, there’s no need for an applicant to provide Social Security and taxpayer documents, making it easier for non-citizens to qualify, she said.“We are committed to ensuring that New Yorkers across the board have equal access to affordable housing,” she said.The new policy was criticized as “a really bad idea” by Howard Husock, vice president for research and publications, at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative policy research group. “People who consistently pay their bills should be rewarded for their efforts, especially when property owners are being asked to take less-than-market rent, and deserve assurance they will get paid,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at fmcroberts1@bloomberg.net, Michael B. Marois, William SelwayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:43:51 -0400
  • The 10 Least Expensive New Compact SUVs to Own

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

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:52:00 -0400
  • Prosecutor: Cannibalism victim was butchered 'like you wouldn't kill a livestock animal'

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    Joseph Oberhansley, 38, is accused of killing his estranged girlfriend and eating parts of her brain and organs in 2014.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:58:00 -0400
  • Weekslong migrant standoffs in Med becoming 'new normal'

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    A rescue ship carrying 356 people, mostly Africans, rescued in the Mediterranean off Libya is nearing two weeks at sea without being assigned a safe port to offload its traumatized passengers — a situation one charity worker decried as "the new normal" as Europe fails to devise a systematic response. It is inhumane," Jay Berger, project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders on the ship, the Ocean Viking, said by satellite phone Thursday. The Ocean Viking conducted four rescues off Libya from Aug. 9-12, and is in its 13th day without being permitted to disembark the rescued people in a safe harbor, as dictated by maritime law.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:43:28 -0400
  • Brazil's Bolsonaro blames Amazon fires on NGOs as Twitter erupts

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    Wildfires in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil have ignited a firestorm on social media, with President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday suggesting green groups started the blazes. Images of fires purportedly devouring sections of the world's largest rainforest have gone viral on Twitter. "No matter how successful we are, if our Earth dies, we all die," posted one Twitter user.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:39:46 -0400
  • Luntz: ‘I was wrong’ on climate change

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    Luntz urged Democrats to "personalize, individualize and humanize" the impacts of climate change

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:11:03 -0400
  • Ivanka tried convincing Trump on background checks by visualizing it as a 'historic' Rose Garden ceremony. The NRA had other thoughts.

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    "They will love us," Trump reportedly said to Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive, adding, "I'll give you cover."

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:50:24 -0400
  • Carrie Symonds 'barred from entering the US over Somaliland trip'

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    Boris Johnson's girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, has been barred from visiting the US. She had applied for permission to go to the US in the next few days as part of her job with environmental group Oceana but the request was blocked by the American authorities, the Daily Mail reported. The situation could prove embarrassing for the Prime Minister, who is expected to meet US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in France which begins on Saturday. The problem with Ms Symonds' travel plans could be linked to a trip to Somaliland last year. The US does not recognise Somaliland as an independent country, instead viewing it as part of Somalia. Applicants under the electronic system for travel authorisation (Esta) visa waiver programme, which allows Britons to spend up to 90 days in the US, are asked whether they have visited Somalia since March 2011. Ms Symonds visited Somaliland last year with her friend Nimco Ali, a campaigner against female genital mutilation. Following the reports of Ms Symonds' travel difficulties, Ms Ali said on Twitter: "Somaliland is Africa's best kept Secret, it's my birth place and it's stunning. "For 28 years without international assistance we have rebuilt our Country and are the only democracy in the Horn of Africa. I am happy to personally show anyone around the land I was sourced from." Ms Symonds has no official role in Downing Street and no taxpayer-funded support, although she has been pictured at functions in Number 10 with Mr Johnson. Downing Street declined to comment. Ayan Mahamoud, Head of the Somaliland Mission to the UK said, the country is an "independent, peaceful and stable" nation often wrongly confused with neighbours Somalia. She said: "We have a longstanding and positive relationship with the UK Government, and we have been proud to host members of the Government within the last 12 months, numerous Members of Parliament, and thousands of tourists from the UK every year. “We continue to call on the UK Government to support our calls for international recognition and to support Somaliland as we seek to overturn the damaging and unjustified travel restrictions unfairly imposed on our citizens by the US Government.”

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:59:52 -0400
  • California blames Texas for San Francisco's homeless crisis

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    California Gov. Gavin Newsom says many homeless people on the streets of San Francisco are from Texas. Former California assemblyman turned Texas resident Chuck DeVore reacts.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:18:59 -0400
  • UPDATE 3-Employee of Britain's Hong Kong mission held in China over prostitution -report

    An employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong has been detained in China for involvement in prostitution, the state-backed Global Times newspaper said on Thursday, as Britain said it continued to urgently seek information. China's foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the employee, Simon Cheng, had been detained in the border city of Shenzhen neighbouring Hong Kong. In a report on its English-language website, the paper, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, cited Shenzhen police as saying Cheng had been detained for 15 days for "solicitation of prostitution".

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 05:33:02 -0400
  • Progressive Group That Backed AOC Takes Aim at Incumbents Across U.S.

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    (Bloomberg) -- The atmosphere at Buunni Coffee in the Bronx is thick with the aroma of roasted Ethiopian beans and anti-establishment fervor.The shop is in the Riverdale neighborhood represented for more than 30 years in the House by Democrat Eliot Engel, a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Wielding their personal laptops and cell phones, a crew of volunteers mostly in their 20s and 30s is trying to change that.“Hello, I’m calling on behalf of Jamaal Bowman,” begin most calls from a make-shift phone bank upstairs, introducing a progressive candidate few people in the district have ever heard of. A lot of the connections end abruptly. But occasionally, interest is piqued, and another potential voter’s name is logged for the middle school principal endorsed by Justice Democrats, the progressive activist group that backed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a neighboring district.The group is hoping to repeat Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning 2018 Democratic primary victory over Joe Crowley, who was a member of House leadership and a 20-year incumbent. Energized by that upset, the Justice Democrats who has endorsed candidates in Massachusetts, Texas and Ohio to challenge Democratic incumbents they deem as too moderate to reflect the progressive energy animating voters in solidly blue districts.It’s a major 2020 headache for Pelosi. She often reminds her caucus that their House majority depends on defending and flipping swing districts where middle-of-the-road voters are turned off by progressive causes like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.Losing her incumbents to upstart challengers risks ceding crucial seats to Republicans and playing into President Donald Trump’s attempt to present Ocasio-Cortez and her closest allies -- Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota -- as the face of a Democratic Party trending towards socialism.EndorsementBowman, 43, an education-reform activist from Yonkers, is one of Engel’s two leading primary challengers. Another is educator Andom Ghebreghiorgis, 33, of Mount Vernon. But it was Bowman who won the endorsement of Justice Democrats, a progressive badge of honor also sought by Ghebreghiorgis and about 10 others vying for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 16th Congressional District.The district is heavily Democratic and Engel, 72, has been entrenched. He handily defeated three Democratic primary challengers in 2018 with 74 percent of the vote -- and didn’t even have a Republican opponent in the general election.But for Bowman and other progressives, too many Democrats in such safe districts haven’t changed with the times and don’t reflect the more leftward tilt of their constituents.“A corporate Democrat and a paper progressive,” is how Bowman dismissively described Engel.The fight for Engel’s seat is but one of the tests for whether Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise 2018 victory was a template for efforts to yank the party further left, which aren’t limited to Justice Democrats.Engel’s fellow New Yorkers such as House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Nita Lowey, Kathleen Rice, and Yvette Clark, are among those facing primary challenges, as are Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, Henry Cuellar in Texas and Minority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland.Engel’s ConfidenceEngel said he wouldn’t know Bowman “if I fell into him” and expressed confidence he won’t lose the primary -- to anyone.He concedes that Justice Democrats “did catch lightning in a bottle” by backing the rise of Ocasio-Cortez in 2018. But he suggests the group is seriously miscalculating by “going around the country thinking they can catch lighting in a bottle again in many other places.”Justice Democrats, which was founded by former staff members of the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, is trying to do just that.Along with Bowman, the organization so far this year has endorsed Jessica Cisneros to challenge Cuellar in Texas; Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in his Massachusetts primary bid against Neal; and Morgan Harper in an Ohio challenge to Representative Joyce Beatty. The group also endorsed candidates who lost their 2018 challenges to Representatives Dan Lipinski in Illinois, and William Lacy Clay in Missouri. Progressive Betsy Sweet has the group’s backing in the primary vying to defeat Republican Senator Susan Collins, as well as Kara Eastman in her bid to unseat Nebraska Representative Don Bacon.‘AOC’ TiesThe Justice Democrats’ website plays up its ties with Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the squad, but the four freshmen aren’t now openly or actively campaigning against their House colleagues. One page sells t-shirts, hoodies and tank tops touting “Ayanna & Ilhan & Rashida & Alexandria” and “Green New Deal.”“We thought Jamaal had the best shot to take on someone who is difficult to beat,” said Justice Democrat spokesman Waleed Shahid. He pointed to Bowman’s background founding the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, and his advocacy for equitable school funding and opposition to standardized school testing.Shahid said the group’s assistance for Bowman is similar to how it is operating for other insurgent House campaigns -- aiding in his launch, helping find staff and making voter contacts. Justice Democrats will use its “pretty wide net” of small-donation contributors to provide support, he said.Bowman and Ghebreghiorgis acknowledge they have a steep, uphill battle to unseat Engel. Ghebreghiorgis said eventually one of them should drop out to prevent a split of the progressive vote.Both seize on election data reflecting that only about 7% of the district’s registered voters showed up to cast ballots in the 2018 Democratic primary, and the Bronx portion of district -- which stretches to southern Westchester County -- is under-represented in the turnout.Untapped VotersThey say that suggests voters aren’t engaged by Engel and that there’s a lot untapped votes that could be won by a challenger.“It tends to make you think there’s actually a capacity to mobilize and bring people into the fold in the Bronx, who have historically not been voting,” Ghebreghiorgis said.Out on the stump, Bowman touts what is becoming a familiar progressive agenda. He is for Medicare for All, free public college tuition, overhauling the criminal justice system and the Green New Deal.“My opponent voted for an unjust war in Iraq, deregulating Wall Street, school privatization and building more prisons,” Bowman said in his launch video. “While the very few at the top continue to build their wealth and power, the majority of us continue to struggle.”At a picnic by the grassroots “Indivisible” group that began in opposition to Trump’s 2016 election, Engel made a point to highlight that he has joined the call for an impeachment inquiry, which now roughly half of the 235 House Democrats want to pursue.The incumbent congressman does have some progressive bona fides and a record of liberal achievements. Kenneth Jenkins, the Westchester deputy county executive, and former president of the Yonkers branch of the NAACP, said he’s been an Engel supporter for years, dating from their work together on desegregation and housing issues.“People forget that Eliot was the rabble-rouser of his time,” Jenkins said. “He was the renegade and the liberal.”When Engel first ran for the state Assembly in a 1977 special election, he was the insurgent liberal nominee who defeated both the Democratic and Republican candidates. And in his first race for a U.S. House seat, in 1988, he beat a 10-term congressman, Mario Biaggi, who had already resigned his seat after being convicted on racketeering charges, but remained on the primary ballot.At Buunni Coffee, some of the volunteers said they hadn’t met Bowman yet. But nearly all were aware he’d gotten the backing of Justice Democrats, the group famous for backing Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 candidacy.Jatnna De La Cruz, 20, a City College of New York political science student, said that “overlap with the Justice Democrats and AOC” played some role in her wanting to canvass for Bowman, but it was not the only reason.Asked what she knew about Engel, she said, “I know is he has been in Congress for 30 years.”When Bowman himself arrived, he was clearly happy to find such a crew of canvassers. He said he’s proud of his endorsement from the Justice Democrats: “It comes up and I bring it up, I mention it because I want people to know our ideology and where we are coming up.”He also recognizes a campaign to topple an incumbent won’t be built overnight.“It’s still early,” Bowman said. “We’re just working. We have our heads down. We’re grinding.”To contact the reporter on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • Ex-VA doctor who was fired for being drunk on job charged with manslaughter in 3 veterans' deaths

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    Robert Morris Levy was arrested and faces a grand jury indictment on manslaughter and fraud charges in connection with the death of three veterans.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:33:13 -0400
  • Last of its kind rocket puts GPS satellite in orbit

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    A rocket that's the last of its kind delivered the newest, most powerful GPS satellite to orbit for the Air Force on Thursday. The Delta IV Medium ended its 17-year run with 29 launches. Denver-based United Launch Alliance said it will be replaced by the still-in-development Vulcan rocket.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:33:43 -0400
  • Giant panda Bei Bei, soon to go bye-bye, turns four in US

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    The birthday celebration for Bei Bei -- his name is pronounced "Bay Bay" -- could be viewed live thanks to the zoo's "Panda Cam," which broadcasts scenes of the four-year-old and his siblings and parents from their enclosure round-the-clock. Bei Bei will soon be returned to China, under terms of the agreement that brought him to the US zoo on loan. Under the loan agreement, the zoo pays China $500,000 a year to support conservation efforts there, and any panda cubs born at the zoo may stay until age four, according to the Smithsonian website.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:12:50 -0400
  • Former Manafort deputy Rick Gates testifies against Greg Craig

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    Rick Gates was thrust into public view in August 2017 when he and Manafort were indicted in the first case publicly brought by Mueller’s office.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 08:38:16 -0400
  • View Photos of the Mercedes GLE vs. BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne

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

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • Trump ranted for 35 minutes in 89-degree heat, calling the prime minister of Denmark 'nasty,' repeating his claim that Jewish voters are 'disloyal,' and saying it 'isn't my trade war'

    Golocal247.com news

    Trump has had a tumultuous week, from calling Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats "disloyal" to sparring with the prime minister of Denmark.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:40:30 -0400
  • Brown bear that is killing livestock and startling hikers in Italy's Dolomites is wanted, dead or alive

    Golocal247.com news

    A bear that is raiding beehives, attacking livestock and startling hikers in the Dolomite mountains of Italy is now wanted dead or alive. The brown bear is known to scientists as M49 but was nicknamed Papillon, after the Henri Charrière novel about escaping from Devil’s Island in French Guiana, when it managed to climb over a 16ft-high fence and flee an enclosure last month. It had been captured just a few hours before after being identified as a problem bear which posed a threat to farm animals.   Since escaping the enclosure in a wildlife sanctuary in the province of Trentino on July 15, it has been slowly moving northwards, disemboweling a cow and encountering hikers. The province of South Tyrol has now issued an order which calls for the capture or, if necessary, the killing of the 140kg, three-year-old bear. It is normally illegal to kill or capture Italy’s bears, which were introduced from Slovenia in the 1990s. The order was signed on Wednesday by Arno Kompatscher, the president of the autonomous, German-speaking province, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of the First World War when it passed to Italy. “We want to capture the bear in order to protect other bears, and also wolves, because if it continues to be a nuisance, then bears and wolves will never be accepted by the population,” said Arnold Schuler, the deputy president of the province. The bear is roaming the Dolomites in northern Italy, between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol The authorities say the bear poses a risk to humans. In the last few days, it was seen snuffling around a caravan used by shepherds in a remote mountain spot, looking for discarded food. Two national park rangers fired shots into the air to scare it away. The bear was encountered this week by a hiker on a mountain trail near the Bletterbach Canyon in South Tyrol. “My legs were shaking,” the 64-year-old man told a local newspaper. “People joke about meeting a bear in the wild, but when you really do encounter one, you’re no longer laughing.” Carlo Groff, an expert on large carnivores from Italy’s Forestry Corps, says rangers are trying to keep track of the bear’s movements and hope to tranquilise and capture it. “The safety of humans comes before the bear,” he told La Stampa newspaper. Conservation organisations and animal rights groups have threatened to take legal action against the authorities if the bear comes to any harm. “The bear is simply living its normal life. It has never been dangerous to humans. It has caused a few thousand euros’ worth of damage, and it is right that compensation should be paid, but we need to learn to value bears as an asset, not a threat,” said Isabella Pratesi of WWF Italy. While the autonomous provincial government has called for the bear’s capture or, if necessary, killing, Sergio Costa, the environment minister, has called for the bear to be spared.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:13:43 -0400
  • Interpol issues red notice for former Colombian guerrilla leader

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    Interpol on Thursday issued a red notice for a fugitive Colombian lawmaker and former FARC rebel commander who the United States wants extradited for alleged conspiracy to export 10 tonnes of cocaine. Seuxis Paucias Hernandez - known best by his guerrilla nom de guerre Jesus Santrich - was indicted in 2017 by a U.S. grand jury, setting off a legal saga that has seen him twice arrested and released. Hernandez has denied the U.S. allegations.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:06:43 -0400
  • White House Scraps Planned Foreign-Aid Cuts: REPORT

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    The White House decided Thursday not to move forward with a broadly unpopular proposal to cut billions of dollars in foreign aid, according to multiple reports.The Office of Management and Budget had planned a package of $4.3 billion in cuts to foreign aid, but the White House backed off the plan amid concerns that it would jeopardize the sweeping, bipartisan budget deal Congress passed earlier this month.Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Republican members of Congress had reportedly warned Trump that the move would threaten national security and not be popular with either party. On the other side, arguing in favor of the plan, were acting budget director Russ Vought and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney."We’re talking to Republicans and Democrats about it and certain things we could save," Trump told reporters on Tuesday. "Certain things, it could probably be a pennywise," he added, implying the cuts could be smaller than first thought.Both Democrats and Republicans objected to the proposal, albeit for different reasons."We strongly urge the Administration to refrain from sending a rescission message to the Congress," Representative John Yarmuth and Senator Bernie Sanders, influential members of their respective chambers' budget committees, wrote in a letter Monday to Mulvaney. The two Democrats expressed concern that the funds for foreign-aid programs could be frozen until the end of the fiscal year unless Congress explicitly rejected the cuts.The top Republicans on the Senate and House appropriations subcommittees that handle foreign aid, Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Hal Rogers, vehemently rejected the plan as well."At a time when threats from Iran are increasing, ISIS has not been vanquished, the Administration is putting significant pressure on the regime in Venezuela, and aiming to curtail the North Korea nuclear program, the rescission package is particularly concerning," Graham and Rogers wrote in a letter to the president. They added that pulling the funding "undermines our national security interests and emboldens our adversaries."

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:08:51 -0400
  • Why are Jason Momoa and other Native Hawaiians protesting a telescope on Mauna Kea? What's at stake?

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    Protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island have elevated issues of Native Hawaiian rights and conservation.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:55:05 -0400
  • Government watchdog claims DNA lapse by CBP allowed violent migrants to elude detection

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    The independent Office of Special Counsel says the CBP failed to implement a DNA screening program for illegal migrants, violating the law for a decade and compromising public safety; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:13:01 -0400
  • Lawyers seek exam for man charged in Ole Miss student death

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    Lawyers for a man charged with killing a University of Mississippi student withdrew their request Thursday for a judge to set bail, instead seeking a psychiatric evaluation. Defense lawyer Tony Farese said after the brief hearing that lawyers had obtained new information Wednesday about Brandon Theesfeld. "We received some new information," Farese told The Oxford Eagle after the hearing.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:30:05 -0400
  • Mind the doors: Japan bullet train runs with door open at 280 kph

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    A Japanese bullet train hurtling along at 280 kilometres (174 miles) per hour ran for nearly a minute with one of its doors completely open on Wednesday, its operator said. The accident, due to human error, was a rare mishap for the Japanese "Shinkansen" bullet train which has a world-famous safety and punctuality record. The Tokyo-bound Hayabusa No. 46 train screeched to an emergency stop in a tunnel shortly after leaving Sendai station in northeastern Japan when the conductor saw a warning light that the door of the ninth carriage was open, East Japan Railway said.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 10:17:10 -0400
  • 2020 Chevy Bolt EV Gets More Driving Range

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    The Bolt goes from 238 miles to 259 and leapfrogs rival EVs from Tesla, Hyundai, and Kia.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:39:00 -0400
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