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  • The CIA sent a team of 4 operators on a spy mission targeting China. None came back. news

    In 2008, CIA operative Stephen Stanek faced a decision: cancel the operation he was running or go forward with it — as a hurricane barreled through the Philippines with a projection to veer north and miss his team's area of operation.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 05:00:47 -0400
  • As Trump courts Black voters, critics see a 'depression strategy' news

    While the president’s team touts its efforts to court a community that Republicans have long ignored, critics describe them as part of a cynical “depression strategy” designed to minimize Black American turnout.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:57:38 -0400
  • Tesla driver charged for appearing to be asleep with the seat fully reclined while traveling at over 86 mph news

    Canadian authorities said the man was going over 86 mph before being stopped, where police discovered fully reclined seats.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:42:05 -0400
  • Students and parents complained after a Dallas high school's class assignment placed the accused Kenosha shooter on a list of 'modern heroes' news

    Rittenhouse was suggested as a "hero for the modern age" along with Malcolm X, George Floyd, and Joseph Rosenbaum, a man allegedly shot by Rittenhouse.

    Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:39:26 -0400
  • Michigan residents urged to stay indoors as scientists race to deal with threat of rare mosquito-borne disease news

    ‘This is an ongoing threat to the health and safety of Michiganders,’ says Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive Dr Joneigh Khaldun

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:46:31 -0400
  • Mass suspension of German police officers who shared pictures of Hitler and doctored images of refugees in gas chambers news

    The officers allegedly shared extremist content in chatrooms and WhatsApp groups. Some face charges of spreading Nazi propaganda and hate speech.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 05:00:00 -0400
  • Japan police arrest fraud suspect linked to ex-PM's event news

    Japanese police on Friday arrested a man on fraud charges linked to annual cherry blossom viewing parties that were hosted by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but the new government ruled out an investigation into how the party and its budget were used. Abe's annual cherry party came into question last year when opposition lawmakers pointed out the number of guests and high cost, accusing Abe of using taxpayers' money to entertain constituents. Abe has denied any wrongdoing or personal ties with the suspect and is not facing any criminal investigation so far.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 05:40:03 -0400
  • Coronavirus updates: US borders with Canda, Mexico to remain closed; almost 200,000 people have died in the US news

    U.S. has almost confirmed 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 as several states hit peaks in cases. Latest coronavirus news.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 13:13:04 -0400
  • Quebec launches police blitz in bars as COVID-19 cases climb news

    The Canadian province of Quebec on Friday said police would target more than 1,000 bars and restaurants to enforce rules curbing the spread of coronavirus, as authorities raised the alarm over a possible second wave. Quebec and Ontario, the two most populous of the 10 provinces, blame a recent spike in cases on people ignoring limits on parties and regulations on social distancing. Public health officials reiterated warnings that they might lose the ability to manage the pandemic.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:29:57 -0400
  • Harvey Weinstein: Jailed movie producer stripped of honorary CBE news

    The disgraced film mogul, jailed this year for rape and sexual assault, received the honour in 2004.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:01:52 -0400
  • Biden looks to engage Black men on issues — and rapper Jeezy approves news

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is hoping that barbershop conversations will equate to an increase in voter turnout for the Democratic presidential nominee among Black men in November.

    Thu, 17 Sep 2020 18:44:23 -0400
  • The man behind Trump’s campaign against 'critical race theory' news

    The programs Rufo targeted are intended to improve communication, defuse tensions and promote equal opportunities among co-workers of different races and ethnicities, and are analogous, or identical to, similar programs that have been a staple of corporate human relations departments for decades.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:00:21 -0400
  • Communist Organizers Arrested after Allegedly Barricading Officers Inside Aurora Police Department news

    Six rioters were charged by Colorado district attorneys on Thursday with allegations stemming from anti-police demonstrations in June and July.The demonstrations occurred following the death of George Floyd, who was killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. However, Colorado demonstrations also protested the August, 2019, death of Elijah McClain, an African American man who died after being put in a choke hold by officers in Aurora. Several officers in the Aurora Police Department were fired on July 3, 2020, after photos surfaced in which the officers reenacted the choke hold near the site of McClain's arrest.Riots over the summer in Aurora included a July 3 incident in which demonstrators barricaded police inside a precinct building for seven hours.Prosecutors charged Lillian House and Joel Northam, organizers for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, as well as Whitney Lucero with first-degree kidnapping in connection with the July 3 demonstration. The defendants "unlawfully and feloniously attempted to imprison or forcibly secrete 18 officers with the intent to force them or another person to make a concession to secure their release," prosecutors said in a press release. The charges were brought by the district attorneys for Colorado's 17th and 18th judicial districts, both of which are in the city of Aurora.The Party for Socialism and Liberation is a communist party that "believes that the only solution to the deepening crisis of capitalism is the socialist transformation of society," according to its website. House, Northam, and their party have led many of the demonstrations in Aurora and Denver over the summer, the Denver Post reported.Another demonstrator facing felony charges for engaging in and inciting a riot, Terrance Roberts, is a leader of a group called the Front Line Party for Revolutionary Action.Riots that began after the death of George Floyd have caused almost $2 billion in damages, according to a report from Axios, in the most expensive damage from civil unrest in U.S. history. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has called to prosecute rioters for sedition.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:08:38 -0400
  • Obama says democracy at risk if Republicans try to fill Ginsburg Supreme Court vacancy before election news

    Former president says same standard should apply as in 2016

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 09:48:03 -0400
  • A Florida bar owner is banning customers from wearing masks and asking them to leave if they do news

    Gary Kirby, owner of Westside Sports Bar and Lounge, said that anyone who refuses to take off their face covering will be asked to leave.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 12:42:44 -0400
  • Israel charges east Jerusalem woman with aiding Hezbollah

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

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 06:18:00 -0400
  • Southern California jolted by magnitude 4.5 earthquake, another worry after raging wildfires news

    In a region already reeling from wildfires and smoke-filled skies, a magnitude 4.6 earthquake jolted Southern California.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 07:11:33 -0400
  • Senate Republicans say Democrats could end filibuster news

    A filibuster fight as Democrats hope for majority in Senate; Mike Emanuel reports.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:52:41 -0400
  • Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activist news

    Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed, the attorney general's office said on Saturday. Jawar, founder of the Oromiya Media Network and a member of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, was arrested in June amid the widespread unrest that followed the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:27:15 -0400
  • Mexico's populist president left embarrassed by failed stunt to sell private jet news

    Mexico’s populist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador was voted in on a pledge to stamp out corruption and largess that went all the way to the country's highest office. So when he pledged to sell the presidential plane, with its marble bathrooms and king sized bed, it seemed like an easy win. But the $218 million, purchased under a predecessor in 2012, jet lies on the tarmac after the latest failed bid to find a buyer in a saga that has exposed the socialist leader to ridicule and embarassment. This week's attempt to raffle the plane during the country’s Independence holiday ended in predictable disaster. For López Obrador, also known by his initials as Amlo, the plane is a symbol of the opulence and waste of the country's political elite, and he vowed to sell it and return the money to Mexicans during his 2018 campaign. After his landslide victory, the President put it up for sale and has been flying on low-cost commercial flights. But it wasn’t that easy. The jet is a used and expensive luxury item with few potential buyers. After spending nearly two years parked for sale in California and spending almost the same amount of money for having it parked than he would have spent using it (about $1.5 million), Amlo decided in February he would just raffle it off during the September 15 Independence holiday. He even had to change the law in order to raffle an item instead of money through Mexico’s National Lottery. Only the plane wasn’t his to raffle. It turned out the Mexican government hasn’t finished paying for it. Amlo moved forward with the raffle but decided to give out the cash equivalent of the jet’s market value of about $95 million instead of the actual plane, split it into 100 winning tickets.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:57:40 -0400
  • Texas is a 'voter suppression' state and one of the hardest places to vote. Will it help Trump win? news

    Despite the pandemic officials have placed tight restrictions on voting by mail, while students and minority groups face particular hurdlesCynthia Riley realized some voters might not wear face masks when she staffed Texas’s primary runoff elections in July. But she hadn’t predicted that her fellow election clerks and one of the judges in Plano, Texas, would refuse to don basic protective gear at the start of a 14-hour shift sitting shoulder-to-shoulder.“I don’t have to wear a mask, and I’m not going to,” she remembers the Republican judge snapping at her.Riley, who has a chronic breathing problem, abandoned her post after maybe 30 minutes at the polls, though she didn’t do so thoughtlessly. She has worked elections since 2016, and she understands the difference the staff makes. “I just feel like it matters a lot who’s there,” she said. Things can happen, she said, if there aren’t clerks onsite who “are willing to open their mouth”.Across the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has threatened the democratic process ahead of the presidential election. But the situation is even more acute in Texas, where Republicans have long devised a tortuous system that actively disadvantages minority communities who would generally lean Democratic. Long lines, voter intimidation, voting machine malfunctions and other issues afflicted almost 278,000 Texans during the midterm election in 2018, according to the Texas Civil Rights Project.Most recently, Harris county – by far Texas’s most populous county, which includes Houston and has the most Covid-19 cases and fatalities in the state – became embroiled in a court battle with the Texas attorney general over whether the county clerk can even send mail-in ballot applications to all voters (a state district judge’s recent decision says he can, but the Texas supreme court blocked him from doing so “until further order” as the state appeals).From antiquated voter registration practices to a controversial voter ID law, “Republicans have spent the better part of the last two decades” finding ways to challenge Texas voters, said Rose Clouston, voter protection director for the Texas Democratic party. Now, the myriad ways in which they neglected to “bring Texas’s election into the 21st century are only exacerbated and more problematic in a pandemic”.Just getting on the electoral rolls in Texas can be arduous, with restrictions on where and when voters can register and who can help them through the process. Unlike in 21 states and Washington DC, there is no same-day voter registration; to participate in the presidential election this November, voters must register roughly a month in advance.Texas also doesn’t provide online voter registration – a critical difference from the vast majority of states – which means residents either have to risk an in-person interaction or rely on the beleaguered US Postal Service to deliver their applications.“Voter suppression is encapsulated in every part of voting in the state,” said Louis Bedford IV, an election protection legal fellow with the Texas Civil Rights Project. And this symphony of restrictions has contributed to low voter turnout in the state for mapJudge Orlando Garcia of the US district court ruled last month that Texas was violating federal law by not allowing people to simultaneously apply to vote when they renew a driver’s license or submit a change-of-address application online. He mandated the state to devise an online system for voter registration no later than 23 September.Amid that bottleneck, voter registration drives have faced serious roadblocks, as only Texans who are US citizens and undergo training can be appointed as volunteer deputy registrars and register others to vote, a burden some organizers were already struggling to overcome pre-Covid-19. Texas is the only state that requires people to be deputized in order to conduct a drive, a 2012 report by the Brennan Center for Justice indicates. There is no statewide certification, so volunteers cannot sign up voters from counties where they are not already sanctioned, out of 254 counties across the state.Thousands of volunteer deputy registrars would have flocked to parades, block parties and other crowded events over the summer to register their neighbors under normal circumstances. But, “because we believe in the science and don’t wanna ask our people to put themselves at risk, those things are not happening” during the health emergency, Clouston said.Nevertheless, after a slow start, new Texas voter registrations in June and July actually outpaced the same months in 2016, a recent report from the Center for Election Innovation and Research shows. Democrats mounted the single largest weeklong effort around voter registration in state party history this summer, reaching out to 1.3 million unregistered voters.Amid the public health crisis that has killed nearly 200,000 people in the US, some states have opened up mail-in voting to residents with concerns over Covid-19. Not Texas.“They’re trying to scare us by not easing vote-by-mail restrictions, hoping that when we have to choose between our health and our constitutional duty to vote, that we’ll stay home,” said MJ Hegar, the Democrat running to unseat the Republican incumbent US senator John Cornyn. “But frankly, they don’t know Texans very well. When you try to intimidate us out of doing something, we just want to do it more.”The Democratic party’s Clouston described “heartbreaking conversations” during the primary runoff as voters made impossible calculations around either breaking lockdown to cast a ballot or protecting an immunocompromised child at home. Low-income, minority voters – many of whom are essential workers – have borne the brunt of the virus. They may also work hours that make a trip to the polls difficult, said Brittany Perry, an instructional associate professor at Texas A&M University.“The number of institutional and personal hurdles is kinda stacking on top of these communities that tend to, of course, vote Democratic,” she said.Democrats have jockeyed for the state to expand its limited vote-by-mail eligibility, so far to no avail.A more inclusive version of vote-by mail “would benefit voters”, Clouston said. “It would benefit voters’ health. It would benefit voters’ confidence. And it would benefit their safety.”Young people in Texas fueled Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 senatorial bid, and college students overwhelmingly lean middle of the road, liberal or far left. But while Texas’s voter ID law allows residents to use their handgun license to confirm their identity, student IDs have been left off the approved list.When Brian Rowland attended Prairie View A&M University – a historically Black institution near Houston – in the early-2000s, the students there received a letter from their district attorney singling them out and detailing the potential penalties associated with voting in the county.The letter embodied “the front, in-your-face of how emboldened people were at that moment in time”, said Rowland, who is now a Prairie View city council member.Students at the university have faced obstacles to voting for decades, from fighting their way to the US supreme court in 1979 to secure the right to vote based on their college address, to 19 students being indicted in 1992 over voting, though the cases were later dismissed for insufficient evidence. During the last midterm election, the school continued to field issues, from a voter registration dispute to allegations of voter suppression.“It’s continued to be that: this cloud of, ‘what is it about Waller county not wanting Prairie View students to have the right to vote?’” Rowland said.At Texas A&M University, one of the state’s gargantuan public schools, the early voting location is hard to find, there has been a change of venue for the polls on election day this year and the pandemic presents even more challenges to disseminating information about where to vote, said Raven Atkinson, a senior studying political science.She expects long lines that will especially affect student workers, who “don’t have time to be waiting hours to vote”. But advocates’ attempts to add a second polling place on or near campus have fallen on deaf ears.Alleged voter intimidation pervades much of Texas. Officials have been quick to threaten prosecution – or actually prosecute – voters, so the specter of criminalization acts as yet another deterrent against participating in the democratic process.In 2018, the Harris county GOP’s ballot security chairman, Alan Vera, challenged about 4,000 voter registrations in one fell swoop, supposedly because voters had listed post offices or parcel stores under their addresses. Any registered voter in Texas can challenge the legality of other voters’ registrations within the same county, and Vera’s challenges resulted in more than 1,700 wrongful voter suspensions because of a “software glitch”, according to the Houston Chronicle.Then, last year, state officials caught Donald Trump’s attention with the insinuation that almost 100,000 voters had been illegally registered. But they later dropped their review after many of those people turned out to be naturalized citizens flagged through flawed methodology.Permitted voter IDs are generally harder for minorities to access, Perry said, while widespread poll closures have also disproportionately affected areas with burgeoning Black and brown populations.“You have a general environment of neglect. And then you have these episodes of aggressive suppression intent,” said Clarissa Martínez, deputy vice-president of the Latino civil rights and advocacy organization UnidosUS.Despite the pandemic, the “historically high” stakes this election cycle have given voters plenty of reasons to cast a ballot, Perry suggested. “The people see such a huge gulf between the two candidates,” and for supporters of the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, one of his greatest draws is that he isn’t Trump.After a series of polls that signal a competitive race in Texas, Trump is now only “slightly favored” to win the famously red state, according to the political forecaster FiveThirtyEight. In recent years, Texas’s historically low voter participation has been surging, and Clouston anticipates the election will see record-breaking turnout.“I know that Texans are incredibly motivated and excited to vote in this election,” Clouston said. “And to have a change in leadership.”Erum Salam contributed reporting from Texas.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:18:07 -0400
  • Pakistan outcry over police victim-blaming of gang-raped mother news

    A police chief's comments spark an unprecedented backlash after a woman was raped in front of her children.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 20:16:48 -0400
  • Op-Ed: Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it news

    If Republicans insist on replacing Ginsburg before a new president is in place, Democrats should vow to expand the court should they win the Senate and White House.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 01:19:59 -0400
  • The physician accused of performing unwanted hysterectomies in an ICE detention center is not a board certified OB-GYN news

    The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology told the Daily Beast that Dr. Mahendra Amin is not certified by the organization.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 12:28:47 -0400
  • Mexico sees fentanyl seizures up 465%, denies making drug news

    Mexican authorities say seizures of the synthetic opioid fentanyl so far this year are 465% higher than in 2019, rising to almost 2,300 pounds (1,040 kilograms) from around 405 pounds ( 184 kilograms) last year, but progress against another big Mexican export to the U.S. market — methamphetamines — is slower. The Defense Department said seizures of meth in Mexico rose by only 32.8% between Jan. 1 and Sept. 16, but busts of meth labs dropped 51% compared to the same period of last year.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:24:18 -0400
  • Tropical Storm Beta strengthens overnight news

    We'll enjoy some fantastic weather Saturday ahead of impacts from Tropical Storm Beta.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 07:05:37 -0400
  • Tropical Storm Beta, currently standing still in the Gulf of Mexico, expected to hit Texas coast news

    As Pensacola copes with effects of Sally, three storms are active in an exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 17:54:04 -0400
  • Moderna sees 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate by year end news

    A handful of vaccines, including those from Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca, are also being tested in large studies. Moderna had enrolled 25,296 participants out of a planned 30,000 in its late-stage study as of Wednesday. Moderna has a vaccine supply deal in place with the U.S. for 100 million doses, and has finished advanced talks with the European Union for the vaccine.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:00:17 -0400
  • It’s Time to Rein in the Fed news

    At the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s virtual Jackson Hole economic-policy symposium, Fed chairman Jerome Powell drove a final stake into the legendary inflation fighter Paul Volcker’s Fed. The new orthodoxy promises easy money as far as the eye can see and holds that inflation is good -- not Venezuelan and Zimbabwean hyperinflation of course, just a moderate dose -- thus ensuring that a dollar every year is worth less. Americans should be afraid.Powell announced the Fed’s new inflation-averaging strategy. The central bank is changing how it defines and attempts to achieve the 2 percent inflation target, which it adopted on its own authority in 2012. Henceforth, the Fed will attempt to catch up for past inflation shortfalls. Powell warned that inflation below “its desired level,” which our enlightened central bankers have decreed is 2 percent, can lead to an “unwelcome reduction” in inflation expectations, causing lower inflation. Joe and Sally Sixpack, however, would view gas, steak, and dental check-up prices not rising as welcome.Additionally, the Fed chairman declared the central bank would not, as it has in the past, preemptively raise interest rates to stave off higher inflation when unemployment falls below its natural rate.The new policy has an asymmetric pro-inflation bias. America’s central bankers are not contemplating deflationary policies to offset excessive past inflation. If inflation were 5 percent in period one, the Fed would try to bring it down to 2 percent in period two, not to negative 1 percent.The Fed is a masterful political actor. Powell touted “The Fed Listens” events as “connecting with the American people.” All well and good, but it is Congress, which represents the American people, that the Fed is supposed to heed.The Fed isn’t independent or the policymaker. It is an instrument of Congress, which by statute directs it to conduct monetary policy to achieve “stable prices,” maximum employment, and moderate low-term interest rates. Stable prices mean inflation hovering around zero, not prices doubling every 35 years. If a 200-pound MMA fighter’s weight increased 2 percent every year to 244 pounds after a decade, nobody would suggest his weight was stable.Shame on the Fed for “redefining” its role under the law. But shame on Congress for not insisting the central bank hew to statute.If Congress wants inflation, it should pass legislation changing the Fed’s mandate to that effect, which President Trump or Biden would likely sign. But while many congressional cravens may want inflation, few want to go on record voting for it.Powell allowed, “Many find it counterintuitive that the Fed would want to push up inflation.” No kidding. Money is a unit of account, a means of exchange, and a store of value. Stable money is a sine qua non of stable, prosperous, free societies. There’s enormous value in the dollar remaining constant for consumers and firms planning, transacting, and saving. Imagine a world where a yard continually changed.The received wisdom is that deflation is bad. Precipitous deflation is harmful. However, gentle deflation benefits many firms and individuals. During much of the 19th century the U.S. enjoyed mild deflation.To bolster inflation the Fed is keeping real wholesale interest rates negative.Interest rates are the price of present versus future investment and consumption. They are the economy’s most important price, dynamically signaling where and when capital should be allocated to maximize value.Keeping interest rates artificially low, as the Fed has done for nearly two decades, causes systemic malinvestment, incentivizes excessive risk-taking, and sustains zombie firms, making society poorer, and is sowing the seeds for the next crisis. It punishes savers and creditors.There are, however, powerful constituencies for easy money. America’s biggest borrower, the federal government, loves it. Real-estate developers and brokers and much of Wall Street also vigorously support cheap debt.With everyone focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, inflation is low on people’s list of concerns, but it’s brewing. From December 2019 to August 24, 2020, the monetary base (M1) increased 35 percent. The Fed’s real benchmark interest rate is negative. The pandemic has crimped production. As America limps out of the crisis and the velocity of money -- the rate at which money turns over -- recovers, it’s a recipe for inflation.Since the Fed’s creation in 1913, its policies have massively debased the dollar and caused or contributed to multiple economic crises, including the Great Depression and the Great Recession, devastating job and wealth creation. While the central bank can affect price levels, easy money can’t increase sustainable long-term employment and wealth. Congress should, therefore, eliminate any doubt about what the Fed can and should do by doing away with its “dual” mandate, narrowly focusing it on maintaining stable prices, something that it is equipped to deliver.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 06:30:11 -0400
  • Pentagon sending troops to Syria after clashes between U.S., Russian military news

    The troops are meant to discourage Russians from crossing into the eastern area where U.S., coalition, and Syrian Democratic Forces operate, say officials.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:38:00 -0400
  • Virtual class students overhear fatal shooting between siblings, Wisconsin cops say news

    A teacher called 911 after the shooting.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:20:59 -0400
  • "Big mistake": Trump’s favorite pollster tells Fox why Republicans shouldn’t push nomination before news

    Conservative pollster Scott Rasmussen warned Republicans it would be a bad idea

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:30:19 -0400
  • Canada abandons free trade talks with China: minister news

    Canada has walked away from free trade talks with China amid soured relations over a Huawei executive's arrest and the detention of two Canadians in apparent retaliation, foreign minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a newspaper interview Friday.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:26:17 -0400
  • Kremlin chafes at Navalny team taking suspected evidence news

    The Kremlin accused colleagues of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Friday of hampering a Russian investigation by taking items from his hotel room out of the country, including a water bottle the colleagues claimed had traces of the Soviet nerve agent that German authorities said was used to poison Navalny. Navalny's colleagues revealed Thursday that they removed the bottle and other items from the hotel room in Siberia and brought them to Germany as potential evidence. “Regrettably, what could have been evidence of poisoning was taken away,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:40:56 -0400
  • Former zookeeper stole two penguins during night-time break in, court hears news

    A former zookeeper stole two penguins during a night-time raid in order to sell them, a court heard. Bradley Tomes, 25, purloined a total of £25,000 worth of rare birds from the South Lakes Safari in Cumbria, where he used to work. South Cumbria Magistrates court heard that Tomes had cut a hole in the perimeter fence of an aviary where he used to work to steal 12 spoonbill birds in July 2018, before abducting the penguins and three macaws 3 months later. But he was rumbled after he sold the two tiny Humboldt penguins, named Pablo and Penny, on Facebook to animal rescuer Reece Oliver, who became suspicious.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:12:11 -0400
  • California and Oregon 2020 wildfires in maps, graphics and images news

    A visual guide to the wildfires ravaging California, Oregon and other western states.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:14:05 -0400
  • 'They should have let us die in the water': desperate Lebanese migrants sent back by Cyprus news

    Mohammad Ghandour never thought he'd be one of them. "In Lebanon, we are being killed by poverty," Ghandour told Reuters this week, from his mother's cramped three-room apartment where he was staying with 12 other family members. Ghandour, 37, is one of dozens of Lebanese who've attempted the journey since late August, when rights groups say a rise in the number of boats leaving Lebanon began.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:09:56 -0400
  • US borders with Canada, Mexico to remain closed through Oct. 21 to 'slow spread of COVID-19' news

    Neither border closure extension comes as much of a surprise: The U.S., Canada and Mexico have all seen a rise in cases since August.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 09:07:11 -0400
  • ‘She is a good person’: Fauci backs Pence aide who says she’s voting for Biden news

    Mr Pence dismisses former aide as “disgruntled employee”

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:34:02 -0400
  • Ex-officer indicted for fatally shooting Texas woman whose dog ran at him news

    A Tarrant County grand jury indicted former Arlington police officer Ravinder Singh on a charge of criminally negligent homicide.

    Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:34:54 -0400
  • Hong Kong Pro-democracy Activist Nathan Law Wins TIME’s 2020 TIME100 Reader Poll news

    TIME asked readers to vote for who they thought should make the 2020 TIME100 list, an annual compilation of the world’s most influential people. Nathan Law, a leading pro-democracy activist and the youngest lawmaker in Hong Kong’s history, took first place in TIME’s poll with 3.8% of the 4.7 million votes cast by readers. Law made news in July when he revealed that he fled Hong Kong after China imposed a new, controversial national security law making separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign countries criminal offenses—an attempt at cracking down on Hong Kong protests.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:37:27 -0400
  • ‘We’re Not Scared’: Tens of Thousands of Motorcyclists Pack Lake of the Ozarks for Bike Rally news

    Along the Bagnell Dam Strip in the heart of the Lake of the Ozarks, thousands of motorcycles are tightly parked in the middle of a two-lane highway.Tourists from across the country have been cutting loose along the historic stretch, known as the “main party hub” of the Missouri resort area, for months—but over the last three days, the highway lined with bars, hotels, and concert venues has been home to one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the Midwest: Lake of the Ozarks’ Bikefest. Tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts have flooded the area for the annual rally, which started Wednesday, participating in five days of rides, fairs, music concerts, and coordinated stops at local bars and restaurants. Did Sturgis Really Infect 250,000 People?In one video from Thursday night, hundreds of patrons—most maskless—could be seen crowding into the strip’s bars and restaurants, clearly flouting federal social distancing recommendations. And Bikefest is not the only gathering at the lake this weekend. Hundreds are expected to show their support for President Trump at a boat parade taking place across the 92-mile-long lake.“There are thousands of bikes here. A lot of people here—this weekend there will be even more people,” Dan Ousley, a 51-year-old local who has participated in Bikefest for years, told The Daily Beast. “It’s great to see. Honestly, I think that the COVID-19 thing is a little overblown, to be honest. We made national news for having large crowds, but we just want to live our life.”Ousley, who is hosting a 15-mile “Bikefest-Trump parade” ride on Saturday that is expected to attract a couple hundred participants, admitted that local residents are “not real big on masks here,” because they don’t want to “infringe on anyone’s rights.”“Around here, if people don’t want to go out and want to stay home, that’s totally fine. We’re all about freedom here,” he said. “We did the whole stay-at-home order thing and enough’s enough. People have to live and feed their families and life goes on.”Health experts, however, are concerned that Bikefest, which was attended by 125,000 bikers last year, and the Trump boat parade will lead to a surge in the already fast-growing number of COVID-19 cases in Missouri, a state that even the White House has deemed in danger. “For mass gatherings like this bike rally, it is very unlikely people are going to social distance. People are going to congregate from all over the country, and it will likely spur a chain of transmissions that has impacts in various different states,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who specializes in infectious diseases, told The Daily Beast. “It will be a major task for public health officials because it is very difficult to track this mobile population.” The rally comes just weeks after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, a 10-day event that attracted nearly a half-million visitors. The August gathering has since been deemed a coronavirus “super-spreader” event that infected hundreds and killed at least one biker. RNC Speaker Kristi Noem Is a Master of COVID DelusionBut several participants of Bikefest told The Daily Beast they’re not at all worried about the rally becoming the next Sturgis, with one rider insisting that participants “are thinking and acting responsibly as it relates to spreading a virus.” For Greg Surdyke, the 54-year-old owner of Surdyke Yamaha, whose store is participating in Bikefest this weekend, the ongoing pandemic—which has already killed nearly 200,000 Americans—shouldn’t get in the way of an annual tradition. Surdyke’s store is just one of the 24 bars and restaurants participating in Bikefest’s passport system. Each participating rider must get their “passport stamped” at all the participating venues to be entered in a raffle for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Surdyke’s store is also handing out free “beer n’ brats” to bikers as they go on a ride that spans three counties. “Motorcycle riders have one thing in common. They all thrive on freedom, thrills, and camaraderie,” Surdyke told The Daily Beast, adding that he will be participating in the festival on Saturday. “I can assure you 10 times more good will come out of this showing of freedom than will arise from COVID-19.”Since the state lifted its coronavirus restrictions in June, Missouri has seen COVID-19 cases climb. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 1,780 residents have died from the coronavirus and 110,129 more have been infected. Now among the top 10 states for cases per capita, Missouri is currently battling a daily positive COVID-19 test rate of about 11 percent and an average of 1,000 new cases each day. The state, which does not have a mask mandate and has left all public health decisions up to local officials, has also seen record daily hospitalizations over the last week, according to data from the Missouri Hospital Association.“As the number of COVID-19 cases in our community continues to climb, we again face a stark truth: This pandemic is not just happening somewhere else—it’s happening here,” CEO Dane Henry of Lake Regional Health System wrote in a July letter. “Although many are wary of the national coverage and political debate about COVID-19, the fact is there are things you can and should do to protect yourself, your family, and others. Here’s why—we are now seeing widespread COVID-19 cases in each of the counties Lake Regional serves, as well as a recent uptick in the number of patients hospitalized with, and dying from, this illness.”The rising number of cases has also put Missouri on the White House’s radar, according to a September report by the administration’s Coronavirus Task Force. The task force recommended that bars and some dining establishments be restricted in counties marked as “yellow” or “red” zones,” where there are higher rates of transmission. The White House also recommended a mask mandate for Missouri—which Gov. Mike Parson publicly rejected.Among the counties in the “red zones” are Camden and Miller, which cover the Lake of the Ozarks. Combined, the two counties have 1,187 active COVID-19 cases. While local leaders have not yet instituted any official restrictions, the Camden County Health Department has posted over a dozen guidelines for residents, including avoiding gatherings of over 50 people and eating and drinking in bars. Labor Day Fun as Coronavirus Rages Could Doom the FallSimilar concerns were also raised before the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Since the August rally, cases in North Dakota and South Dakota have surged, and experts are still trying to determine the full extent of the event’s nationwide impact. “The lessons from Sturgis are that this chain of transmission will happen in any mass gatherings and it will have mass consequences,” Adalja said. “So in this case, social distancing, mask-wearing, and screen people entering the bike even would be beneficial. At the very least, anyone that attends a mass gathering should get tested a couple of days after the event.”But despite pleas for public health officials to beef up coronavirus measures in Missouri, local leaders in the Ozarks have refused to take a hardline approach. In an interview with the Kansas City Star, Lake Ozark Mayor Gerry Murawski admitted that he has been concerned about the ongoing pandemic for months, but does not expect Bikefest participants to wear masks or adhere to other coronavirus prevention guidelines. “But this is our last event of the year and I keep thinking, ‘Let’s just get through this,’ and then we can quite frankly go to sleep for a few months,” Murawski said. “And hopefully by next year, it’s gone. Probably not, though.”Murawski and the governor’s office did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. Organizers for Bikefest also did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Julie Fowler, a local who has gone to Bikefest for the last decade, thinks this year’s rally is “going to be bigger” than ever before because “people are desperate to get out.”“It won’t be as big as Sturgis—it never has been. Though I think the organizers would like it to be,” Fowler told The Daily Beast. “But I think people are desperate to get out and also Missouri just passed a no-helmet law and that’s huge for a lot of these bikers. Also, we don’t have a mask mandate at the lake area.”The 56-year-old is eager to participate in the Trump boat rally with hundreds of other residents clad in presidential paraphernalia. Fowler insisted that since everyone will be in their own boats, “absolutely no one is worried at all about COVID-19.” “We’re not scared of COVID-19 around here,” said Fowler, adding that she still practices social distancing and wears a mask in public. “Trump supporters, whenever we get together, we just have a good time. We want to live our life. We don’t have to live in fear, we don't want to fear corona.”But not all residents in the Lake of the Ozarks are unconcerned about the potential consequences of these dual events. Coronavirus Is Surging So Much in South Carolina They’re Building Tent HospitalsKim Flynt, a 58-year-old who has lived near the Ozarks for about six years, is very anxious about the huge event—telling The Daily Beast that while Bikefest has been a great way to generate local business in the past, it “seems nuts” to hold it during the pandemic. “Most of the residents that live here are older adults that can’t afford to get sick,” Flynt said. “If our governor would have taken some initiative and had a mask mandate, we wouldn’t be where we are.”Flynt said she and her husband will stay home this weekend to avoid the crowds. “I truly have never seen it so packed,” she said, adding that her biggest concern is what will happen to her home after “everyone goes on their merry way.” “They will leave behind the virus at our restaurants, bars, and even grocery stores.”“The only saving grace is most of the bars will close soon for winter.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? 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