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  • Trump compares impeachment inquiry to 'lynching' in explosive rant, as key witness gives 'damning' testimony to Congress

    Golocal247.com news

    Donald Trump has compared the impeachment inquiry surrounding him to “a lynching” in an apparent bid to inflame controversy and distract from Bill Taylor’s deposition on Capitol Hill, the US charge d’affaires for Ukraine who discussed his alarming text exchanges with Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker during the session.“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” the president tweeted, prior to Mr Taylor’s arrival.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:25:00 -0400
  • Silicon Valley CEOs Appear to Have Chosen Their 2020 Candidate

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- The technology industry is looking for something different in a president in 2020. And it appears Pete Buttigieg is their candidate.While Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren are topping national polls in the contest for the Democratic Party’s nomination, California’s deep-pocketed Silicon Valley is donating to the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana over the former vice president by a 5-to-1 margin.“Pete is a clean slate for the party in ways Biden can’t be,” said Cyrus Radfar, a 35-year-old technology entrepreneur and Democratic donor. “There’s new life and new energy that Pete brings, especially as the base of the Democratic Party is getting younger. I think he’s going to be on the national stage for a long time.”Buttigieg has staged a fundraising blitz in posh Northern California communities, holding events hosted by technology executives such as Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, Nest Labs home-automation company co-founder Matt Rogers, and Chelsea Kohler, director of product communications at Uber Technologies Inc., among others.Were he to win, Buttigieg would not only be the youngest president, but also the first openly gay one. While he is successfully raising money, Buttigieg has struggled until recently to enter the top tier of candidates nationally.But there are signs that he could be a moderate voter’s alternative to Biden. While raising money in California, Buttigieg is campaigning heavily in Iowa, and it appears both efforts are paying off. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll of likely Iowa caucus goers put Buttigieg just behind Biden and Warren for the first time. Biden had 18% support, Warren 17% and Buttigieg 13%.Millennial voters in the tech industry say they appreciate that Buttigieg’s liberal policies seem grounded in reality and recognize “a cutthroat world,” as Elizabeth Moran, 28, put it at a debate watch party in Silicon Valley’s Sunnyvale. Moran, who works at Poshmark, a social commerce platform, said she likes Buttigieg’s grasp of economics.“Well-educated recognizes well-educated,” Moran said, adding that Buttigieg could have come to Silicon Valley after graduating from Harvard as many Ivy League graduates do.In other words, in their eyes, Buttigieg is like them.“There’s a big move on the Democratic side to more heavily regulate tech, and that hasn’t been part of Buttigieg’s message,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “His message is consistent with innovation and forward-looking technology. He has not given the impression that he would threaten their interests.”While he hasn’t said much about competition and antitrust, Buttigieg has focused on improving regulations as opposed to breaking up big tech.“We’re going to need to empower the FTC to be able to intervene, including blocking or reversing mergers, in cases where there’s anti-competitive behavior by tech companies,” he said in a CNN town hall in April, referring to the Federal Trade Commission.Buttigieg was his high school’s valedictorian and went on to Harvard, where he befriended two roommates of future Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and was one of the first 300 users on the social media platform. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, joined McKinsey & Co. as a consultant, and volunteered for Barack Obama’s tech-savvy 2008 presidential campaign before joining the U.S. Navy Reserve and serving in Afghanistan.His relationship with Zuckerberg persisted. Zuckerberg, 35, visited South Bend in 2017 while doing research for his philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and got a personal tour from Buttigieg. That relationship lasted into this year, when Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recommended two people that Buttigieg ultimately hired for his campaign. Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Zuckerberg and Chan, said the couple hasn’t yet decided whom to support for president.The Golden StateCalifornia voters have an unusually large influence in choosing the party’s nominee this cycle. The state primary next year is in March instead of its previous June slot and its donors contributed 1 of every 5 dollars raised by the party’s presidential candidates in the first six months of this year, data from the Center for Responsive Politics show.Buttigieg is second only to home-state senator Kamala Harris in the percentage of his campaign money that comes from California. Harris got 45% of her donations from Californians, Buttigieg got 22%.Harris, who was the state’s attorney general, raised $1 million from California lawyers, more than twice as much as any other candidate. She was also the top recipient of donations from employees of the entertainment industry. But California employees of tech companies, including giants like Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., backed Buttigieg more than any other candidate.Silicon Valley bundlers -- fundraisers who gather money from numerous employees of a firm -- have raised concerns about both Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders, who are relying primarily on small-dollar contributions from online donors.Warren is particularly thorny for the tech industry. She has vowed that she will not meet with big donors who want to “buy access” -- and perhaps more troubling for them, has promised to break up big technology companies. Some technology workers are contributing to Warren and Sanders, but few are writing the $2,800 checks that Buttigieg and Biden are relying on, likely because they’ve been quieter on the question of how to handle big tech.Buttigieg is positioning himself as a younger alternative to 76-year-old Biden. Like Biden, he has not embraced the progressive wing’s Medicare for All, instead proposing government-run health care “to those who want it,” without eliminating private insurance.In other areas, he hasn’t taken many unique stances, but his Midwestern and military background seeps into some plans. An issue page on his campaign website is simply called “Unleash rural opportunity,” and he has proposed eliminating some student debt in exchange for national service.Paul Holland, a California venture capitalist and fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said he believes a moderate has the best chance of winning. In his circles, Biden hasn’t attracted the same kind of enthusiastic support that other candidates have.“It’s Mayor Pete and Cory Booker who are getting most of the attention,” he said.Buttigieg himself drew the contrast between his candidacy and Biden’s during a Marin County event.“Every time we’ve won in our party it’s been with a candidate with new ideas, who hasn’t been on the scene for too long,” Buttigieg said. “That’s what works. Also, Americans are most likely to support the opposite of what’s in the Oval Office.”Among Buttigieg’s donors are Ron Conway, an investor who has guided San Francisco mayors to back tech-friendly policies; Scott Belsky, the chief product officer and executive vice president at Adobe Inc.; Tony Xu, CEO of Doordash Inc.; David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project and Wendy Schmidt, wife of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.Buttigieg’s fundraising has been prodigious, but he’s still behind in national polls. He stands at just 5% in the RealClearPolitics national average, compared with 26% for Biden. And that raises pragmatic questions about who can win the Democratic nomination.“Even with his flaws, Biden is the guy who’s probably going to satisfy the moderates,” Holland said.To contact the reporters on this story: Bill Allison in Washington DC at ballison14@bloomberg.net;Jeffrey Taylor in San Francisco at jtaylor184@bloomberg.net;Sophie Alexander in San Francisco at salexander82@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Peter EichenbaumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • CORRECTED-Security forces arrest 31 cartel suspects in raid on Mexico City drug labs -authorities

    Security forces arrested 31 suspected cartel members on Tuesday in a raid on a warren of clandestine tunnels and alleged drug laboratories in Mexico City, authorities said. Government officials said dozens of police and security force members swooped down on buildings in the central Tepito neighborhood of Mexico City, long known for its contraband activity. Videos on Twitter purportedly of the raid showed soldiers in battle gear brandishing assault rifles alongside armored vehicles and police trucks blocking an intersection and highway before dawn.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:46:35 -0400
  • Tree of Life anniversary: American Jews see rising anti-Semitism in alarming new survey

    American Jews think anti-Semitism is growing worse. More than third have experienced it, and nearly that many say they hide their identity in public.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 00:01:08 -0400
  • Why Russia Is Angry at America's Missile Defense Systems

    Golocal247.com news

    Moscow hates THAAD and Aegis Ashore.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:40:00 -0400
  • Kim orders South's buildings at resort in North be destroyed

    Golocal247.com news

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the destruction of South Korean-made hotels and other tourist facilities at the North's Diamond Mountain resort, apparently because Seoul won't defy international sanctions and resume South Korean tours at the site. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday that Kim had visited the resort and described its facilities as "shabby" and lacking national character.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 06:34:21 -0400
  • Boris Loses Control as Parliament Rejects Brexit Exit Plan

    Golocal247.com news

    REUTERSLONDON—Boris Johnson’s “do or die” pledge to take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31 was quashed by Parliament on Tuesday night, handing the initiative to the EU to effectively trigger a British election.Johnson threatened to call for a general election if British lawmakers refused to allow him to rush through his deal and the EU proposed a new extension of three months or more. Under a law passed in Westminster last month, Johnson is not allowed to negotiate to shorten whatever extension the EU chooses. Rather than seek to compromise with opponents who want proper time to scrutinize the Brexit deal, Johnson responded to the 322 to 308 vote defeat on fast-tracking it by halting the passage of his deal altogether while Britain waits to see what extension the EU will grant. “We will pause this legislation,” he said, a phrase that sounded innocuous but could well kick-start an epic new election showdown between the forces of Remain and Leave. A snap vote could take place before Christmas. It remains to be seen if Johnson is as good as his word—and there have been plenty of reasons to cast doubt on it in the past—as there was no specific mention of the election he had threatened earlier in the day in the aftermath of his defeat. Under Britain’s fixed-term parliament act, a two-thirds majority is usually required to call an election so both the government and the opposition would have to agree. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, did not need a second invitation, however. Soon after Johnson said he was pausing the agreement, Tusk tweeted that he was talking to leaders in Brussels about issuing a written extension, which is likely to delay the Brexit deadline until January 31.If that were confirmed, British politicians would be under heavy pressure to agree to hold an election and seek a fresh mandate from the voters before proceeding with any Brexit deal.Johnson had earlier won a vote on his deal—the first time his government has won a single significant vote in the Commons. That was a major step towards securing Brexit, as Parliament has always refused to back any formal arrangement that would result in leaving the EU.The next phase of the legislation’s progress is where things become more difficult, however, as lawmakers are able to amend the bill in order to clarify sections or—as No. 10 fears—introduce so-called wrecking amendments that would collapse the bill entirely.Just last week, Johnson had secured a compromise deal that many thought was impossible in Brussels, but that came at a serious cost. The EU had sworn they would not re-open the Withdrawal Agreement that had been negotiated with Theresa May, but then Johnson did what he said he would never do and he caved on one of his key red lines. He signed up to a version of the deal that May had rejected, which would effectively create a customs border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the mainland. That concession led to a breakthrough in Europe but it meant the Democratic Unionist Party, which had been propping up the Conservative government, fled from the deal. It was lawmakers who made the most aggressive speeches attacking the prime minister during a contentious debate in the House of Commons. Sammy Wilson of the DUP said he felt they had been betrayed by the Conservatives. “I nearly choked when the prime minister said it,” he said on Tuesday.Wilson and his nine DUP colleagues voted against Johnson’s expedited deal. Wilson was particularly aggravated that Johnson had been unfamiliar with the precise details of the deal he had agreed that would govern Northern Ireland’s relationship with the rest of Britain. There were doubts about exactly how familiar Johnson was with the customs rules that he was attempting to rush through Parliament.Jill Rutter, an independent former civil servant who worked at the Treasury and No. 10, said: “I don’t think Johnson understands what he has agreed for Northern Ireland…”With the Europeans jumping on his “pause” to bind Britain into another extension, Johnson may have also misunderstood that he was putting his job on the line. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:07:36 -0400
  • See Photos of the New Honda Fit

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

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:04:00 -0400
  • Hong Kong Government Formally Withdraws Extradition Bill That Ignited Protests

    Golocal247.com news

    Hong Kong's government on Wednesday formally pulled the extradition bill that ignited months of violent pro-democracy protests.“I formally announce the withdrawal of the bill,” Secretary for Security John Lee announced to the Chinese territory's legislature, citing “conflicts in society” as his justification.Hong Kong has been roiled by protests throughout the summer, originally sparked by outrage over the extradition law, which Hong Kong residents say would allow Chinese authorities to effectively “kidnap” them with little evidence of criminality.However, the concern over the law has ballooned into fear that China plans to throw out its “One Country, Two Systems” policy regarding Hong Kong — and the withdrawal of the bill is unlikely to curb the protests.China has vowed a “severe” response to the protests and has accused demonstrators of terrorism.Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced last month that the extradition bill would be withdrawn. The protesters have since made several other broader demands including enhanced democracy for Hong Kong, an independent investigation into police conduct, and amnesty for protesters who have been arrested.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:55:05 -0400
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham and a Fox News contributor threw a Hail Mary to keep US troops in Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    The duo attempted to persuade Trump to keep a contingency force in Syria to help defend oil fields from Iranian interests, NBC News reported.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:45:40 -0400
  • Biden’s Lead in CNN Poll Widest Since April: Campaign Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden is rebounding, at least according to the latest CNN poll, which registered his widest lead since April among fellow Democratic White House candidates.It’s an encouraging sign for the former vice president, who has been on the verge of losing his front-runner status to rival Elizabeth Warren.Biden has the support of 34% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters, with Warren second with 19% followed by Bernie Sanders with 16%. Biden’s bump hasn’t appeared to harm Warren or Sanders, whose support stayed steady from the last CNN poll in September.Instead, Biden has seen his support spike among moderate and conservative Democrats, 43% of whom support him now, up from 29% in the September poll. He also registered a 14 percentage-point gain among racial and ethnic minorities and a 13-point gain among voters 45 and older. The national poll, conducted Oct. 17-20, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 5.8 percentage points.COMING UPCory Booker is scheduled to speak at the National Press Club in Washington at 1 p.m on Wednesday.Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke and Sanders are to attend a town hall hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens in Iowa on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. local time.Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren are set to attend a forum hosted by the Bipartisan Justice Center in Columbia, South Carolina, Oct. 25-27.To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in London at khunter9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 06:50:28 -0400
  • South Carolina police find remains of 5-year-old girl missing since August in landfill

    Golocal247.com news

    The Sumter Police Department on Tuesday announced the remains of Nevaeh Lashy Adams were found after a search that began in August.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 22:18:37 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Kremlin says U.S. betrayed Kurds in Syria, tells Kurds to withdraw or be mauled

    The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States had betrayed and abandoned the Syrian Kurds and advised the Kurds to withdraw from the Syrian border as per a deal between Moscow and Ankara or be mauled by the Turkish army. The comments by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to Russian news agencies followed a deal agreed on Tuesday between Russia and Turkey that will see Syrian and Russian forces deploy to northeast Syria to remove Kurdish YPG fighters and their weapons from the border with Turkey. Peskov, who was reported to be reacting to comments by U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, complained that it appeared that the United States was encouraging the Kurds to stay close to the Syrian border and fight the Turkish army.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 03:19:21 -0400
  • China Is Building 'The Mother of All Bombs': Report

    Golocal247.com news

    America already has one.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:44:00 -0400
  • TV reporter climbs on classic cars, is handed walking papers

    Maybe the "Good Day Sacramento" reporter just thought he'd drive a little more traffic to his television station's website when he climbed on top of a classic 1950s Thunderbird convertible and struck a silly pose, putting his feet on its pristine yellow paint job. Instead, Angel Cardenas drew criticism of car-wreck proportions with his live broadcast for KMAX-TV from Sunday's Sacramento International Auto Show. It was hours before the show was to open, he added, and no one was there to keep him off the cars, many of which he reported were off-limits.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:31:51 -0400
  • Iraq: U.S. troops crossing border from Syria don't have approval to stay

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. forces that crossed into Iraq as part of a withdrawal from Syria do not have permission to stay and can only be there in transit, the Iraqi military said on Tuesday.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:34:29 -0400
  • Lebanon's Hezbollah under rare street pressure

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 20:53:10 -0400
  • Seattle Public Schools Want to Teach Social Justice in Math Class. That Hurts Minorities.

    Golocal247.com news

    Seattle’s public-school district has proposed a new math curriculum that would teach its students all about how math has been “appropriated” -- and how it “continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities.”A draft of the curriculum, which was covered in an article in Education Week, would teach students how to “explain how math and technology and/or science are connected and how technology and/or science have (sic) been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,” as well as to “identify and teach others about mathematicians* of color in their various communities: schools, neighborhoods, places of worship, businesses, etc.”Education Week reports:> If adopted, its ideas will be included in existing math classes as part of the district’s broader effort to infuse ethnic studies into all subjects across the K-12 spectrum. Tracy Castro-Gill, Seattle’s ethnic studies director, said her team hopes to have frameworks completed in all subjects by June for board approval.> > If the frameworks are approved, teachers would be expected to incorporate those ideas and questions into the math they teach beginning next fall, Castro-Gill said. No districtwide—or mandated—math/ethnic studies curriculum is planned, but groups of teachers are working with representatives of local community organizations to write instructional units for teachers to use if they wish, she said.As strange as it may sound, this proposed curriculum is not the first time that someone has argued for teaching math in this way. In fact, in 2017, an online course developed by Teach for America -- titled “Teaching Social Justice Through Secondary Mathematics” -- instructed how to teach their students how “math has been used as a dehumanizing tool.” Also in 2017, a University of Illinois math-education professor detailed what she saw as some of the more racist aspects of math, claiming that “mathematics itself operates as Whiteness.”I wrote columns about both of these stories that year -- and, at the time, most people likely saw them simply as examples of “fringe” beliefs, confined to only super-progressive, ultra-woke circles. With the announcement of this Seattle proposal, however, we can no longer reassure ourselves that this is the case. Now, the social-justice approach to teaching math has officially entered the mainstream (and taxpayer-funded!) arena.This concerns me, and, believe it or not, that’s actually not because I despise “people and communities of color.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite: It’s because this approach to teaching math will only end up harming the very groups it claims it champions. As The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher notes:> The young people who are going to learn real math are those whose parents can afford to put them in private schools. The public school kids of all races are going to get dumber and dumber.Guess what? Minority students are far more likely to attend public school than whites. In fact, according to Private School Review, “[t]he average percent of minority students in private schools is approximately 28 percent.”In other words? The minority students, the members of the very groups that this curriculum presumably aims to aid, are actually going to be learning less math than they would have without it -- because they will be spending some of that class time learning about how math’s racism has hurt them. Ironically, one of the curriculum’s goals is to teach students how to “critique systems of power that deny access to mathematical knowledge to people and communities of color,” and yet, that’s exactly what the district itself would be doing with it.The historical contributions of communities of color are important, and students should study them. A better place to study them, though, would (quite obviously) be a history class, not a mathematics one. Mathematics classes should be for mathematics lessons; this is especially important considering the fact that math is exactly where American students (of all races) struggle compared to students in other countries. In fact, according to a Pew Research study from 2017, American students ranked 38th out of 71 countries in the subject. If we want to fix this, we need to focus more on math, instead of looking for ways to teach less of it in the very classes where our students are supposed to be learning it.The bottom line is: If Seattle’s school district really wants to help minority students excel in mathematics, the last thing it should be doing is proposing a math curriculum that would teach less of it in the schools that they’re most likely to attend.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:05:27 -0400
  • Pompeo says Trump is 'fully prepared' to take military action against Turkey if necessary, which would shatter NATO to pieces

    Golocal247.com news

    This comment came a little over two weeks after Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from northeast Syria, which paved the way for Turkey to invade.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:55:38 -0400
  • Iranian beauty queen pleads for asylum in the Philippines

    Golocal247.com news

    An Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit.  Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country’s Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault.  In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women’s rights. If she was deported to Iran, “they will kill me,” she said.  Markk Perete, undersecretary at the Philippine department of justice, said that “the only reason she was held at the airport -  and we really don’t call it detention -  it is really restraining her from entering the Philippine territory, is only because of that Red Notice issued against her.” He added that the request had been made “presumably on account of a pending criminal case against her in Iran, and this case was filed by an Iranian national against her in relation to an assault that happened presumably here in the Philippines.” Bahareh Zare Bahari, who is studying dental medicine, is an outspoken advocate for women's rights Credit: Facebook However, Mr Perete said that the Philippines was unaware of this allegation, and that an earlier accusation of commercial fraud against her had been dismissed.  There were no criminal cases pending against Ms Bahari, he confirmed. “We don’t have any cause for refusing her entry for violation of our laws.” Ms Bahari’s asylum plea is now being considered by the justice department, with the help of a lawyer.  Meanwhile, the dental student is confined to Terminal 3’s transit area awaiting her fate. “There is no updating, no information about the reason why [they] keep me here so long,” she said.  She believes her political statement at the pageant - waving a poster of Reza Pahlavi, the exiled former crown prince, and one of the foremost critics of Iran’s Islamic government - made her enemies in Tehran.  Mr Pahlavi's name has been invoked by some Iranian groups who have called for a return of the monarchy to deal with corruption and poor economic conditions. “I used his photo on stage to be [the] voice of my people because all news and media are ignoring my people,” she said.  Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for “a fair and impartial hearing of her claim” in Manila.  “It’s absolutely critical the Philippines provides Bahareh Zare Bahari with support, including access to legal counsel, to compile and file her asylum application,” said Phil Robertson, HRW deputy Asia director.  “While waiting for the details to become clear, there should be no action under Iran’s Interpol red notice, especially since under Interpol rules a red notice is null and void if the person named in the notice is found to be a refugee fleeing from the state that issued it.”

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:11:46 -0400
  • Brothers who allegedly left their grandma to die in a fire, but saved meth lab equipment indicted

    A Steuben County grand jury two men in connection with a May fire that was reportedly caused by a meth lab and killed their grandmother.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 18:10:32 -0400
  • U.S. defense chief recuses himself from review of $10 billion cloud computing contract

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has removed himself from reviewing a disputed $10 billion cloud computing deal because of a possible conflict of interest, a move that could further delay the contract-award process. Esper has delegated decision-making on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) program to Deputy Secretary David Norquist, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. "Although not legally required to, he (Esper) has removed himself from participating in any decision making ... due to his adult son's employment with one of the original contract applicants," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 16:38:00 -0400
  • Joe Biden's Black Sheep Son Could Wreck His Presidential Run

    Golocal247.com news

    Hunter Biden and, by extension, his father’s third run for the presidency, have become enmeshed in controversy as Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Hunter’s questionable business dealings in the war-torn country are coming under attack from congressional Democrats.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:39:00 -0400
  • Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go at it on 'The View' over Trump's 'lynching' comments

    Golocal247.com news

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump’s “lynching” comments on Twitter.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:19:34 -0400
  • Indian troops kill 3 senior Kashmiri militants

    Golocal247.com news

    Indian forces have killed a top militant commander and his two associates in a counterinsurgency operation in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said Wednesday. Hamid Lelhari and his associates were killed Tuesday evening in a gunfight that erupted after Indian security forces launched a counterinsurgency operation in southern Awantipora area, said Dilbagh Singh, chief of police in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Police say Lelhari became the operations chief of Ansar Ghawzat-ul-Hind, an affiliate of the al-Qaida militant group, after Indian troops killed a top militant, Zakir Musa, last year.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 06:55:52 -0400
  • US awarded ownership of seized North Korean vessel

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 04:06:23 -0400
  • Hong Kong Police Already Have AI Tech That Can Recognize Faces

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong law enforcement authorities have access to artificial intelligence software that can match faces from any video footage to police databases, but it’s unclear if it’s being used to quell months-long pro-democracy protests, according to people familiar with the matter.Police have been able to use the technology from Sydney-based iOmniscient for at least three years, and engineers from the company have trained dozens of officers on how to use it, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The software can scan footage including from closed-circuit television to automatically match faces and license plates to a police database and pick out suspects in a crowd.In addition to tracking criminals, iOminiscient’s artificial intelligence can be used for everything from finding lost children to managing traffic. In one training session that took place after the protests began in June, the people said, officers asked how to automatically identify license plate numbers using dashboard cameras.Questions over the use of facial recognition technology have loomed over the protests, stoking fears that Hong Kong is moving closer to a mainland-style surveillance state. Demonstrators have worn masks, destroyed CCTV cameras, torn down so-called smart lampposts and used umbrellas to hide acts of vandalism. Authorities in turn used an emergency law this month for the first time in more than half a century to ban face masks, a move that triggered increased violence.“Hong Kong people are afraid of being captured by the CCTV cameras,” said Bonnie Leung, a district councilor and a former leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized some of the biggest protests in the past few months. “Why are people still wearing face masks? Because of the police surveillance.”While Hong Kong’s government has disclosed some ways it uses facial recognition technology, Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration and the police haven’t publicly confirmed whether they are using it to monitor the protests. Patrick Nip, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, said in June that no government department had procured or developed automated facial recognition-CCTV systems or applied the technology in CCTV systems.Nip’s office referred all questions on facial recognition technology to the police, which didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.iOmniscient declined to comment on whether Hong Kong’s police use its facial recognition technology. The company said that its technology also has the capability to keep identities anonymous for such uses as crowd control. Its systems are used in more than 50 countries and only a small portion of overall revenue comes from Hong Kong, where business opportunities are relatively limited given privacy concerns and fewer cameras compared with other cities, according to the firm.Under Hong Kong’s privacy laws, which are more stringent than the mainland, members of the public must be informed if they’re subject to surveillance. If authorities are matching faces or names to identity markers, that would fall under the privacy ordinance, according to Stuart Hargreaves, a law professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong who researches surveillance and privacy issues. However, police can claim an exemption if the data is being used to detect or prevent crime.“Is the ‘facial recognition’ simply the police combing through video footage for ‘known individuals,’ or is there some kind of automated AI system at play?” Hargreaves said. “The truth is we simply do not know.”The world’s five most-watched cities are all in China, with the top city of Chongqing having about 168 cameras per 1,000 people, according to estimates by Comparitech. By comparison, Hong Kong’s 50,000 CCTVs are one-tenth the number in London and not enough to put it in the top 20 most-watched cities.Hong Kong authorities have tried to appease concerns by pointing out that there is no in-built facial recognition in recently installed smart lampposts or in CCTV cameras at China government offices. Still, the technology has been used in the city for more than a decade, including at the airport and Shenzhen border for immigration control.Next year a new electronic identity system is scheduled to come into effect in which as many as 100 public services will make use of biometric authentication, including facial recognition, eye scans, and finger and voice prints. A unit of Ping An Insurance Group Co., whose shareholders include the Shenzhen government, is responsible for the design, implementation and support of the core system, as well as facial recognition and imaging processing, according to a government statement in April.Some Chinese companies recently blacklisted by the U.S. over human rights concerns in the far west region of Xinjiang have their tech in Hong Kong. Face scan technology from AI startup Yitu Technology will be among the options that staff can choose to access the headquarters of the government’s electrical and mechanical services department, according to a June statement on the three-month trial project. Yitu didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. cameras with facial recognition capabilities are installed outside of buildings including the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, though the facial recognition function hasn’t been turned on, according to responses from government agencies to lawmaker Charles Mok. The department told him it sent footage from its cameras to police seven times since the protests began.“The whole thing is: do you trust the government with your data?” said Mok, who has been in the information technology industry for more than 20 years. “That’s the problem, if there’s a whole breakdown of trust.”A Hikvision spokesperson said its products are sold through third parties, so it cannot confirm camera locations or whether a specific function is turned on. The group opposes the U.S. sanctions and is working to address concerns, recently retaining former U.S. Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper to advise on human rights and compliance.On Hong Kong’s streets, riot police have sought to avoid the cameras even while arresting more than 2,000 protesters, including nearly 100 people for violating the mask ban. They’ve used flashlights to disrupt media coverage, and some officers removed ID numbers and donned masks to hide their identities for fear that they could become victims of personal attacks online, known as doxxing. Apple Inc. recently pulled a live mapping app used by protesters to track some police deployments including of water cannons.Hong Kong protesters have continued distributing masks at rallies, telling demonstrators to take one “if you aren’t feeling well” to take advantage of exemptions in the law.At least one Hong Kong company, TickTack Technology, pulled out of the smart lamppost program after protesters tore one down and found a Bluetooth Beacon the company used to signal its location to devices including smartphones. Demonstrators then doxxed some of the group’s founders.“We prefer to be low-profile till things cool down,” a TickTack spokesman said by email.Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Bureau said in a statement that it “deeply regrets” that a local enterprise was cowed into stopping the supply of its technology, calling it a “serious blow” to local innovation. The government has denied that the lampposts have facial recognition capabilities.Hong Kong’s colleges are also involved in facial recognition. Tang Xiaoou, a professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Information Engineering, is a founder of SenseTime, the world’s most valuable artificial intelligence startup.The developer of facial recognition was among eight Chinese companies blacklisted by the U.S. over Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has implemented a massive program of surveillance and re-education camps to monitor the local mostly Muslim population. The company said it sees its technology as a “global force for good” and is disappointed with the U.S. sanctions, and will work to address any concerns.Sensetime said its focus in the city is on education and it does not have any contracts with the Hong Kong government. The group published Hong Kong’s first textbook on artificial intelligence for secondary schools.Banks including HSBC Holdings Plc allow clients to open accounts with selfies under guidelines of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which is also considering allowing face scans for ATMs. Customs guidelines allow firms to use face scans for security.The current protests may dampen enthusiasm for greater use of facial recognition. As demonstrations have become more violent and intense over the weeks, the number of masks has grown -- including, more recently, those of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Guy Fawkes mask associated with the Anonymous movement.“The government is just trying to take away our rights,” Angus, a 22-year-old student wearing a surgical mask and black clothes, said on the day Lam announced the ban. “They’re just the tool of the Chinese government. We don’t want to be China.”(Updates with Hikvision comment.)To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Hong Kong at bschmidt16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Adam Majendie, Chris KayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:44:30 -0400
  • Trump Whines That Senate Republicans Are Failing Him on Impeachment and Not Owning Nearly Enough Libs

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    Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastPresident Trump, his advisers, and his most fervent media allies have grown increasingly irritated with Senate Republicans for failing to counterprogram the Democratic-led House impeachment inquiry.In the weeks since the now-infamous whistleblower complaint came to light—and as various witnesses have since testified behind closed doors about the administration’s efforts in Ukraine to dig up dirt on political opponents—the president’s close advisers have pushed for the Senate GOP to hold hearings and call witnesses of their own in a broader effort to put Democrats on the defensive.According to those who’ve spoken with him recently, Trump remains confident that the Senate, still under Republican Party control, would readily acquit him if the House passed articles of impeachment. But it’s the damage they will incur getting there that has the president and his team worried. That’s where, they believe, his top allies should come in to run interference. In particular, there is growing frustration that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has not yet called hearings into the issues that sparked Trump’s interest in Ukraine: Joe Biden’s alleged and unfounded attempts to aid a business whose board his son sat on as well as  a conspiracy theory that links Ukraine with 2016 election meddling. "Senate Republicans don't have to defend Trump on everything, they just have to do their jobs,” said one senior Trump operative. “Part of that is holding hearings, calling witnesses, and forcing testimony on the misdeeds we already know about—Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 election against Trump, the Clinton campaign paying foreign sources to fabricate a dossier against Trump, the politically driven Kavanaugh smear campaign, the son of the former vice president influence-trading overseas, Adam Schiff trying to obtain dirt on Trump from the Ukrainian embassy, and more. What good is controlling half of Congress if Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff get to run the whole show anyway?"The complaints have come from the top down. One source who spoke to Trump in the past two weeks said that the president wondered aloud why Republican lawmakers couldn’t be more like people such as Tom Fitton—the Judicial Watch president who Trump regularly watches on Fox and often excitedly tweets about—when defending him against the impeachment inquiry. And in public, Trump has increasingly let his dissatisfaction with Republican Senate leadership and others be known.“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” the president said at a cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election.”For all the grumbling, however, the White House has appeared to have done very little to chart out a hearing process of their own. Graham has floated the idea of calling Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to testify. But those plans appear far off—if not dead entirely—as Giuliani has receded from the spotlight. Graham did not return a request for comment. But one senior Senate aide said that there has been little that the White House has offered that has given members there either direction or confidence. “As far as I know, there are no emissaries on the Hill telling us what to say on this,” said the senior Senate GOP aide. “I'm not going to rule out any work on our side in terms of looking into other things that are sort of adjacent to the investigations going on. But there is just not a lot of appetite among Senate Republicans. They are not very enthusiastic about defending the indefensible on this stuff.” Evidence of the divide between the White House and Senate GOPers has emerged in recent days, with allies of the former—including the president’s son Don Jr.—taking to Twitter to berate Republican lawmakers for not doing more, and members of the latter gently distancing themselves from the president on a range of fronts. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he did not “recall any conversation with the president,” in which he told Trump that his phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was, in fact, “perfect.” The Zelensky call is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry launched to determine if Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless that government investigated Biden. And Trump has repeatedly said that McConnell privately told him that nothing wrong was uttered.McConnell’s remarks were noticed among other Hill Republicans, who have watched warily over the last few weeks as the White House has struggled to mount a defense to the damaging allegations emerging from the House proceedings. And they were widely interpreted as a message to the president that—for all his demands that the Senate get more aggressive in rallying to his side—he had to come up with a plan to defend himself first. “It’s amazing that people are attacking Senate Rs,” texted one top Senate GOP aide. “The White House has literally no pushback to what the House is doing. No war room, nothing.”With little counterprogramming being planned currently by Senate Republicans, much of the White House’s focus has drifted to other investigations that could shift the focus away from Trump. In particular, there is hope that a Department of Justice probe into the origins of the 2016 investigation into Trump and Russian electoral interference could turn up findings problematic for several prominent Democrats, chief among them Obama’s former CIA Director John Brennan.“It seems [prosecutor John] Durham is working on this, and I suppose following his report, further action could be taken as warranted,” said one senior White House official.But not everyone in Trump’s orbit is willing to wait patiently for Durham’s findings. Indeed, some of Trump’s favorite media sycophants have begun letting it be known that they expect more from the president’s reliable fellow travelers on the Hill.“Think about this, nothing is happening in the U.S. Senate… nothing!” Lou Dobbs, a Fox Business host and top informal Trump adviser, said on his show Monday evening. As it were, Dobbs was talking to Fitton at the time. “For nine months, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee [Lindsey Graham] has not lifted a finger to help this president. He blathers little soundbites one side or another for or against the president every week, it seems, but has done nothing for the American people or truth, justice, and the American way.”“He is an embarrassment to the government of this country and its traditions,” Dobbs added for good measure.Tucker Carlson, another pro-Trump Fox personality who has privately advised the president on foreign policy, also took aim at Graham on Monday night. Speaking with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Carlson grumbled that Graham wasn’t upholding his promise to get to the bottom of whether or not “top DOJ officials plotted a bureaucratic coup to overthrow the elected president.”Paul, one of the president’s most vocal defenders on Capitol Hill these days, suggested that Graham and other Republican senators were more loyal to the so-called Deep State than to Trump, adding that the South Carolina senator may want the Deep State to “maintain their power and maintain the intelligence community’s enormous grip.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:18:24 -0400
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    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • Canadian Court Rules against Transgender Activist Jessica Yaniv in Fight with Beauticians over Waxing

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    The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has ruled against Canadian transgender activist Jessica Yaniv in a case stemming from a complaint Yaniv filed against multiple female beauticians who refused to wax Yaniv’s male genitalia.“Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” said Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented the beauticians. “Our clients do not offer the service requested. No woman should be compelled to touch male genitals against her will, irrespective of how the owner of the genitals identifies.”The Tribunal said in its decision that Yaniv had had filed the “complaints for improper purposes,” and had contradicted herself in “disingenuous” testimony. Yaniv, who is sexually attracted to women, brought 15 complaints against a number of beauticians in the Vancouver area, seeking as much as $15,000 in damages from each one.“Most of the women who were the target of Yaniv’s complaints work out of their own home, are of immigrant background, and have small children with them in the house during the day,” the Justice Centre’s report said. Yaniv also apparently accused immigrants during the trial of discrimination for refusing service on religious grounds, writing earlier this year on Facebook that “we have a lot of immigrants here who gawk, judge and aren’t the cleanest of people, they’re also verbally and physically abusive, that’s one reason I joined a girl’s gym.”Yaniv is being ordered to pay $2,000 to three of the accused women, one of whom was forced out of business due to the case.In August, Yaniv was arrested for owning a taser, after brandishing it on camera during an interview about Yaniv’s alleged history of predatory behavior toward children. Screen-captured messages allegedly from Yaniv highlighted intimate questions to underage girls, and legal documents showed an attempt to organize a topless pool party for such girls.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 16:57:18 -0400
  • Making do with less: Mexican media bruised by president's austerity

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    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December promising to reduce public spending to free up more resources for the poor. Between January and August, Lopez Obrador's government spent 88 million pesos ($4.6 million) on advertising, just 3.6% of the sum spent in the same months of 2018 by his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto, Public Administration Ministry (SFP) data show. The reduction in government publicity, which had accounted for 10% or more of advertising revenue for many outlets, has sparked layoffs and the suspension of projects in an industry still suffering disruption from the shift to the internet.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 04:02:23 -0400
  • This 1 Invention Made Swedish Submarines Among the Best

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    A silent, powerful new engine.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:00:00 -0400
  • Driver dies days after pickup collided with small plane

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    Patrick J. Schounard died from injuries he suffered when a single-engine aircraft attempting to land collided with his pickup truck in Wisconsin.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:39:46 -0400
  • California governor wants investigation of high gas prices

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    California's governor has asked the attorney general to investigate why the state's gas prices are so high, pointing to a new report suggesting big oil companies are "misleading and overcharging customers" by as much as $1 per gallon. The commission said California drivers paid an average of 30 cents more per gallon in 2018, with the difference getting as high as $1 per gallon in April of this year. The result is California drivers paid an additional $11.6 billion at the pump over the last five years.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 04:45:31 -0400
  • US far-right activists get four years in jail for attacking leftists

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    Two members of a US far-right group were each sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for brawling with anti-fascist demonstrators in New York, prosecutors said. The sentencing comes as tensions between white supremacists and leftists simmer in the United States. Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, members of the Proud Boys group, were found guilty in August by a state court of several counts of attempted assault and rioting.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:44:26 -0400
  • Shamima Begum appeals against loss of British citizenship but Home Office suggests plight is her 'own fault'

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    Shamima Begum, the Isil bride, chose to go to Syria and can only blame “her own actions” if she is in danger, the Government said on Tuesday as it argued against her return to the UK.  The Bethnal Green schoolgirl fled to join the terror group when she was 15 with two other friends and married a Dutch fighter with whom she had three children.  As the caliphate crumbled earlier this year, she was tracked down to a refugee camp close to the Syrian border, heavily pregnant and grieving the deaths of her two older children.  Her re-emergence into the public eye prompted Sajid Javid, then Home Secretary, to revoke her British citizenship to prevent her travelling home. Her newborn child died days later. On Tuesday, a legal challenge launched by Ms Begum, now aged 20, reached the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in London, as her lawyers tried to get the decision ruled unlawful. They are claiming the revocation left her stateless, exposed her to the risk of death or harm and deprived her of access to a “fair and effective” appeal.  Concerns were raised that Ms Begum could be “hanged” if she was sent back to Bangladesh - where the Government alleges she has citizenship - or rendered to face trial and possible execution in Iraq by the forces currently running the al-Roj camp. She claimed the loss of her British citizenship had left her trapped in “wretched and squalid conditions” at the camp, contrary to her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights However, the Home Office rejected these claims in written submissions presented to the court and suggested Ms Begum’s current plight was her own fault.  The argument, prepared by Jonathan Glasson QC, said: “It is relevant that the appellant is in Syria because of her own actions; and is detained in a camp run by the (Syrian Democratic Forces) as a direct consequence of her own actions; the Secretary of State has no role in the running of that camp; and no role in the decision of the SDF to detain the appellant there. “If her appeal succeeds on this preliminary issue, she will still be in precisely the same situation.” The Government claimed Ms Begum had “not presented any evidence” to show she was at risk of being deported to either Bangladesh or Iraq. A similar argument was deployed to counter the suggestion she had been denied a route of appeal, as she was said to have travelled to Syria “against Foreign Office advice, aligned with Isil and remained there in those circumstances for the next four years”. “Any difficulties she faces there - including difficulties leaving the camp or appealing against the deprivation decision from outside the UK - are not the result of any actions of the Secretary of State,” the written submissions continued.  Ms Begum’s lawyer, Tom Hickman QC, said in his own submissions that the Isil bride was not a Bangladeshi citizen as she was born in the UK and had never travelled to the country, meaning she would have to apply for dual citizenship through the Bangladeshi citizenship of her parents. The Bangladeshi government released a statement in February saying it was “deeply concerned” that Ms Begum had been “erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship”. These claims were also dismissed by the Home Office, which argued Ms Begum held dual citizenship through her parents because her father never became a naturalised British citizen and therefore she was not required to reapply for Bangladeshi citizenship as she was under 21.  It also suggested in a letter to her lawyers on October 18 that the chaos which has engulfed northern Syria since Turkey launched an offensive meant Ms Begum was “free to leave” as her camp was “likely to be unguarded”. But Mr Hickman told the court on Tuesday: “As far as we are aware nothing material has changed at al-Roj, albeit that the environment there is incredibly fragile and dangerous." Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing is expected to reserve her judgment at the end of the four-day preliminary hearing in London.  It is not expected to examine the “national security” allegations against Ms Begum this week, which may include claims, first reported by The Telegraph, that she was an enforcer in Isil’s morality police.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:38:41 -0400
  • President Trump is right to keep administration members from secret tribunals: Rep. Biggs

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    Speaker Nancy Pelosi should formalize the impeachment inquiry by a vote of the whole House, writes Rep. Andy Biggs, chairman of the Freedom Caucus

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 18:35:58 -0400
  • An Air France flight was forced to turn back in midair when staff found an unattended cellphone that wasn't claimed by any of the passengers

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

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:34:28 -0400
  • Classic Car Fraud Lands Missouri Man In Federal Prison

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    As the classic car market continues to grow, scams like this are probable going get worse.  A Kansas City, Missouri man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for one count of wire fraud and one count of transporting a stolen vehicle following a classic car scheme. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Missouri, Travis D. Oberg, 51, was fraudulently selling cars that didn't belong to him, and in the end, he ended up stealing $145,000 from his victims.Oberg had set up an LLC called Maaco Sales and Reconditioning using the name of the nationwide paint repair company to trick his customers. A victim from Connecticut was scammed out of $53,000 after Oberg "sold" him a 1973 BMW, 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL, 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and a 1967 Jaguar XKE 2+2 Coupe (like the one shown above), and he later "sold" the same Jaguar and Porsche to a California man for $37,000.Another victim trusted Oberg with his 1957 Ford Thunderbird to restore and consign but instead he just sold it outright and kept the $12,500 from the sale. Sadly, this wasn't his first time running this scam. Oberg had been previously sentenced to federal prison for the same type of crime only before he had defrauded his customers of over $900,000.Here are three easy tips to avoid encountering the same: * Pay with credit card if possible \- This is generally the safest way to pay due to the fact that you can always dispute fraudulent charges, but, of course, this isn't always possible. * Hire a reputable vehicle inspector \- Spending a couple hundred dollars up front is better than getting scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars * Do your research \- If a deal is too good to be true (1973 BMW, 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL, 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and a 1967 Jaguar XKE 2+2 Coupe for $53,000, for example), then it probably is. Also, do a quick search of the person/company you're dealing with. A Google search of Oberg's name comes up with claims of fraudulent activity dating back almost a decade Related Articles... * Custom SUVs Built For Auction Stolen From Kids Cancer Charity * U.S. Marshals Auctioning Off 149 Vehicles From DC Solar Scam

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:38:05 -0400
  • Murder suspect walks free as Hong Kong, Taiwan authorities clash

    A murder suspect whose case led to mass street protests in Hong Kong walked free from jail on Wednesday as the city's government squabbled with Taiwan, where he is accused of murdering his girlfriend, over how to handle a promised voluntary surrender. Chan Tong-kai, a Hong Kong citizen, was accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan last year before fleeing back to the Chinese-ruled financial hub. Chan, wearing a navy blue shirt and red backpack, bowed and apologised to the family of his ex-girlfriend and the public as he left the prison in Hong Kong's rural Sai Kung district after serving 29 months for money laundering.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:00:54 -0400
  • Your History Book Missed It: In 1921, Great Britain and America Nearly Went to War

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    A U.S. invasion of Canada? What would have happened? One thing is for sure: our world would be a very different place.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:08:00 -0400
  • Nearly 900 clinics have lost federal funding after Trump administration abortion rule, report says

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    Nearly 900 clinics have lost Title X funding since a Trump administration rule banned recipients from abortion referrals, according to a report.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 22:58:07 -0400
  • View 2020 Nissan Titan XD Photos

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:00:00 -0400
  • Iraqi Kurds turn to Zoroastrianism as faith, identity entwine

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    Zoroastrianism. Years of violence by the Islamic State jihadist group have left many disillusioned with Islam, while a much longer history of state oppression has pushed some in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to see the millennia-old religion as a way of reasserting their identity. "After Kurds witnessed the brutality of IS, many started to rethink their faith," said Asrawan Qadrok, the faith's top priest in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:52:11 -0400
  • Trump 'like a squirrel caught in traffic' during Pentagon meeting: Aide

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

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:41:23 -0400
  • Democrats' 2020 race has a new shadow: Hillary Clinton

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    Some Democrats are putting up caution signs for Hillary Clinton as she wades back into presidential politics by casting 2020 candidate Tulsi Gabbard as a "Russian asset," mocking President Donald Trump's dealings with a foreign leader and drawing counterattacks from both. Bernie Sanders, who lost the 2016 nomination to Clinton and is running again in 2020, took to Twitter with implicit criticisms of his erstwhile rival. Larry Cohen, one of Sanders' top supporters, was more conciliatory but warned in an interview that Clinton could harm the eventual 2020 nominee by weighing in against specific candidates, even a longshot like Gabbard.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:06:14 -0400
  • Trump’s Betrayal of the Kurds? U.S. Allies Will Get Over It, and Soon

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/ReutersPresident Donald J. Trump’s decision to redeploy U.S. forces from the Syrian-Turkish border, if not to withdraw the majority of U.S. troops from Syria altogether, constitutes a shameful betrayal of America’s Kurdish partners in the fight against ISIS and a needlessly self-inflicted wound to U.S. interests. Indeed the images of U.S. withdrawal are feeding ISIS, Iranian and Russian propaganda mills.But among the disastrous consequences of Trump’s decision summoned up by his critics, one seems hyper-inflated: the notion that deserting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has so shaken the confidence and trust of Washington’s longtime allies and partners that they will now think carefully about relying on the U.S. for their security and cooperating with the Americans.Last U.S. Base in Syria ‘Is Everything Wrong With Trump’s War’We don’t buy it. Even the victim of America’s latest perfidy—Mazloum Kobani, commander of the SDF—recently expressed the hope (perhaps out of desperation) that the relationship with the U.S. would continue. Indeed, America’s relations with its most important Middle Eastern, European, and Asian allies will survive Trump’s stab in the back and almost certainly outlast his presidency.On the face of it, it’s easy to understand the impact that throwing the SDF under the bus had on America’s Middle Eastern allies, who understandably, in a cruel and dangerous region, worry for a living. The Israelis, who had long supported and identified with the Kurds as a minority, felt particularly aggrieved, convinced America had now left the field to Iran. It is also important to bear in mind that Trump’s 180 on the Kurds took place against the backdrop of his “America First” policy, his dismissive attitude toward many of America’s NATO allies, and his unwillingness to respond with force to Iran’s attacks against Saudi oil installations in September (though the Saudis no doubt breathed a sigh of relief).But does Trump’s Kurdish betrayal spell disaster for America’s allies and rapture for their adversaries? Are we in for a major realignment because Trump has forgotten who America’s friends are? Almost certainly not. And here’s why. * * *THE KURDISH EXCEPTION* * *To compare America’s relationship to the SDF—a newly created non- state actor—with any of Washington’s traditional allies in the region or beyond is misplaced, misleading and just plain wrong. Whatever doubts South Korea or Japan have about Trump, it’s not driven by his policy toward a Kurdish/Syrian militia, but rather by the way he has dealt with both allies in the face of a threat from North Korea. Going forward, both will be watching how Trump deals with them and whether he fulfills his commitments to Tokyo and Seoul, not to the Kurds. The SDF was a valiant partner in America’s campaign against ISIS. And deserting those who had sacrificed thousands of their fighters in the battle against ISIS was an abdication of moral responsibility. But both the history of America’s ties with the Kurds and the future of that relationship were quite different from America’s ties with its historic allies in Europe and Asia. America had a tactical marriage of convenience; there had never been a history of consistent cooperation and no domestic base of public support. The relationship was not anchored in shared values and Syria, unlike the major concentrations of wealth and power in Europe and northeast Asia, is of little strategic or geopolitical consequence for the balance of power in the Middle East.Few, if any, of America’s treaty allies—not even the British or the French, who were contributing to the campaign against ISIS—were prepared to assume a long-term commitment to Kurds, offer the SDF security guarantees over the territory they controlled, or accepted Kurdish aspirations for autonomy given the Turkish determination to crush it. And that’s because the Kurds’ fate is of little matter to the U.S.’ traditional allies. To assume, however, that they would draw the conclusion that Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds signaled that the U.S. would not defend them in response to an external attack or willingly put them in life threatening circumstances is a real stretch even in Trumpland.* * *MISUNDERSTANDING CREDIBILITY* * *In betraying the Kurds, Trump has been almost universally scorned for putting U.S. credibility at risk with its allies in the region and beyond. According to this theory, if America fails to confront a challenger in one place, it will confront challengers in many places because of the loss of American credibility. Like so much that passes for conventional wisdom these days, it is wrong. And because it results from bad analysis, it can lead to very bad decisions that increase the risk of America going to war to defend its reputation. A 1984 Yale University study reviewed dozens of cases between 1900 to 1980 for signs that if a country stood down in one confrontation, it would face more threats elsewhere. There was no correlation. International relations experts who have studied the role of credibility’or what is often referred to “as reputational anxiety"’in U.S. foreign policy agree on the following propositions: First, when an adversary of the U.S. is contemplating an attack on an American ally, its decision-making calculus on the risks and rewards of aggression is not based on what America may, or may not have done, to confront challenges in other circumstances; rather, it is determined by its perception of how Washington views its stake in the outcome of the potential conflict in the circumstances it is facing and whether America has the will and capacity to defend those interests. And second, the threatened American ally will make similar calculations about whether it can count on Washington to meet its security commitments. It is preposterous to believe, for example, that because of Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds, Kim Jong Un would order an attack on South Korea; Vladimir Putin would decide to attack a NATO country; President Xi Jinping would decide to seize Taiwan, or Iran’s leaders would decide to launch a full-scale attack on Israel. Nor is it likely that Trump’s decision will embolden these leaders to take greater risks in a situation where misjudging America’s resolve could lead to serious consequences for the survival of their country and their rule. The U.S. gets stuck in a self-imposed credibility trap thinking wrongly that reputations are all that matter. Studies suggest that the Russians didn’t believe the US was weak because it abandoned South Vietnam and were surprised the US had stayed for so long. * * *TRUMP ISN’T FOREVER* * *America’s allies are justifiably concerned about Trump’s general unpredictability and erratic, mercurial, and impulsive behavior. His policies have strained America’s relationships with its allies. Japan and South Korea are worried about Trump selling them down the river to placate North Korea; Israel is worried about the possibility of a rapprochement with Iran and the absence of U.S. leadership in the Middle East. And yet these countries depend on America—they have no alternative to an American guarantee of their security, certainly not Russia, and the U.S. withdrawal of all its forces from Syria, if and when that happens, won’t change that. In fact, even as Trump withdrew U.S. forces there, he announced the additional deployment of several thousand troops, combat aircraft, and air defense systems to Saudi Arabia. That Riyadh is prepared again to host U.S. troops reflects how dependent it has become on U.S. support. And not only Saudi Arabia; this week Bahrain hosted, under U.S. auspices, a conference on maritime security with 60 countries including Saudi Arabia and Israel. The U.S. has an enormous military footprint in Qatar and Kuwait. None of the U.S. partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council lifted a finger to help the Kurds in their fight against ISIS and none made a significant contribution to the anti-jihadist cause in either Syria or Iraq. So it is not terribly logical to argue that they would get all exercised about the U.S. ending its military support for the Kurds. America’s long-time allies make decisions based on their own circumstances, the common interests they share with the U.S., the context of their relationship, and whether or not they view Washington as fulfilling specific obligations and commitments to them. In some cases, America’s relations with its partners and allies go back decades and they are rooted not only in shared interests but common values as well. These relationships should not be taken for granted, but they are not easily breakable like fine China. And more than likely, even with an impulsive bull in that China shop, they’ll be around much longer than Donald Trump.Donald Trump Is Perfectly Happy to Let Allah Sort ’Em OutRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:24:42 -0400
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