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  • Trump compares impeachment inquiry to a 'lynching'

    Golocal247.com news

    While fuming Tuesday morning about the House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, President Trump declared the probe a “lynching.”

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 08:58:28 -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
  • Trump’s Betrayal of the Kurds? U.S. Allies Will Get Over It, and Soon

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • A new round of PG&E power outages could put 500,000 Californians in the dark for days

    Golocal247.com news

    California's largest utility says it could shut off power to 500,000 people this week as wildfires again threaten to bring havoc to 15 counties.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:33:42 -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
  • 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
  • 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
  • US far-right activists get four years in jail for attacking leftists

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Former Acting Attorney General: ‘Abuse of Power Is Not a Crime’

    Golocal247.com news

    Following Tuesday’s devastating House testimony by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor about President Trump allegedly coercing the Ukrainian president to do his political bidding, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker defended the president by claiming “abuse of power is not a crime.”With House Democrats reportedly looking to focus their impeachment inquiry on a basic “abuse of power” narrative going forward, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham brought Whitaker on her primetime show Tuesday night to provide a counter-argument.Predicting Republican “payback” in the future if Democrats are successful in impeaching and removing the president, Whitaker went on to complain about the “secret testimony” in the House hearings before claiming that it is too close to the 2020 election for impeachment.“It’s corrosive and yet those that are perpetrating it cast themselves as the white knights,” Ingraham replied, seemingly referring to Taylor, among others. “They are saving the republic from the man whose policies they disagree with so vehemently.”Whitaker, meanwhile, blasted the “global elitists and careerists” who are upset with Trump for “upsetting the apple cart” of the “world establishment,” claiming Trump is “being punished for this.” He then called on Democrats to hold public hearings to make their case for impeachment.“I’m a former prosecutor and what I know is this is a perfect time for preliminary hearings where you would say show us your evidence,” Whitaker stated. “What evidence of a crime do you have? So the Constitution—abuse of power is not a crime.”“Let’s fundamentally boil it down,” he added. “The Constitution is very clear that there has to be some pretty egregious behavior and they cannot tell the American people what this case is even about.”The articles of impeachment against former President Bill Clinton specifically laid out gross abuse of presidential power charges. Richard Nixon was also looking at three articles of impeachment—one of which was for abuse of power—before he resigned as president.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:51:43 -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
  • The Latest: Hong Kong government withdraws unpopular bill

    Golocal247.com news

    Hong Kong's government has formally withdrawn an unpopular extradition bill that sparked unruly protests, which morphed into a broader campaign for democratic change in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. The security chief announced in the legislature on Wednesday that the bill was being withdrawn. Hong Kong's leader had proposed amendments to extradition legislation as a way to resolve a case involving a man wanted for murder in self-ruled Taiwan, who could not be sent to face charges because there was no extradition agreement.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 03:10:00 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-U.S. welcomes German security plan for Syria, unlikely to take part

    The United States and NATO cautiously welcomed on Wednesday a German proposal for a security zone in northern Syria, though Washington's envoy to the alliance saying it should be for Europe to take charge and not U.S. forces. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters he had discussed the proposal with German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is expected to present it to NATO counterparts at a regular meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:46:21 -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
  • Bernie Sanders says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will work in his administration if he's president

    Golocal247.com news

    Bernie Sanders was asked in a joint interview if he would consider Ocasio-Cortez to be his running mate. The congresswoman answered for him: "I think I'm too young for that."

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:53:48 -0400
  • A top Marine Corps scout sniper managed to sneak up on his enemy completely naked except for a pair of boots

    Golocal247.com news

    The nude sniper proved that to truly disappear you don't need clothes, just that you fully embrace the "weirdest thing in the world."

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 16:51:13 -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
  • Canadian Court Rules against Transgender Activist Jessica Yaniv in Fight with Beauticians over Waxing

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Southern Niger reels after Nigeria closes borders

    Golocal247.com news

    Dan Issa (Niger) (AFP) - "Nothing crosses into Nigeria and nothing comes out. It's hermetically sealed," said Amadou Idi, sitting in a makeshift shelter to keep out of the rain, and reflecting on the downturn in his luck. Idi's job is a transiting agent -- to get goods across the border to Nigeria at the Dan Issa frontier post in southeastern Niger.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:39:19 -0400
  • Honduran woman accuses immigration agent of sexual assault over seven years

    Golocal247.com news

    In a $10m lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she says the officer threatened her with deportationA Honduran woman has sued the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency over sexual assault she says occurred over a period of seven years. Photograph: Bryan Cox/Associated PressA Honduran woman living in Connecticut has accused a US immigration agent of sexually assaulting her over a period of seven years under the threat of deportation, according to a federal lawsuit. The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, sued the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), and the former Ice agent Wilfredo Rodriguez on Saturday, seeking $10m in damages.“My only comment is that my client had a choice: cooperate with Ice or be deported with her family,” said George Kramer, the woman’s lawyer. “She remains in a very fragile psychological state. She is not only seeking compensation for the physical and emotional damage she suffered but to change the way those who are cooperating with Ice are treated by those in a position of power and who often wield total control over the ability to remain in the United States.”An Ice spokesman told the Associated Press he couldn’t comment on litigation but confirmed Rodriguez no longer works for the agency. Homeland security didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.It was not immediately clear whether Rodriguez had a lawyer to speak for him, and a phone listing for him could not immediately be found, according to the AP.Tom Carson, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Connecticut, told the AP he could not comment on whether there has been or will be a criminal investigation.The woman first met the Ice agent in 2006 after her brother was arrested for entering the US illegally, according to the lawsuit.Rodriguez found out she was also living in the country illegally and said that to avoid deportation she would have to become an informant by helping Ice locate criminals. According to the lawsuit she did so, but, in 2007, Rodriguez sexually assaulted her in a motel.He called himself the “wolf” and said he was the reason she and her family weren’t deported, she says in the lawsuit.The woman alleges that the assaults continued and resulted in three pregnancies, each followed by abortions, one of which Rodriguez paid for. Later, he told her that he was leaving the agency but that if she told anyone what happened, “she and her family would pay”, according to the lawsuit.The woman finally told her story last year when her father, living in the US and fearing deportation because of her friendliness with Ice, applied for asylum. She opened up to an agent who approached her about her father’s application, the lawsuit says.The agent, she says, suggested she consult an attorney.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 20:14:10 -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
  • 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
  • Joe Biden's Black Sheep Son Could Wreck His Presidential Run

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    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
  • 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
  • Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go at it on 'The View' over Trump's 'lynching' comments

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    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
  • A Tenn. county official called Pete Buttigieg a slur. It sparked calls to boycott Dollywood

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    Following his remark, Commissioner Warren Hurst went on to say, “I’m not prejudice, but by golly a white male in this country has very few rights."

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:43:12 -0400
  • Teenagers charged with urinating on black classmate and shouting racist abuse

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    Two 17-year-old boys from New Jersey have been charged with harassment, lewdness and bias intimidation after allegations that they urinated on a black middle school student at a high school football game while calling her the n-word.Social media posts from at least one parent of a Lawrence High School student alleged that the boys used racist language while urinating on the girl during a Friday night game.

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:43:49 -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
  • Hong Kong Police Already Have AI Tech That Can Recognize Faces

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    (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
  • Thailand arrests German man for allegedly disposing of body

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    Police in Thailand are investigating the death of a German woman after arresting a German man for allegedly dumping her body into a canal. Thailand's Immigration Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Sompong Chingduang said Tuesday that the dead woman, 77-year-old Margund Schaefer, co-owned a bar in the resort town of Pattaya with Richard Stanislaus and shared a house with him and his Thai girlfriend. The police began their investigation of the case at the request of German authorities after Schaefer's relatives reported losing contact with her.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 05:24:10 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4

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    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • U.S. defense chief recuses himself from review of $10 billion cloud computing contract

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    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
  • 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
  • Lebanon's Hezbollah under rare street pressure

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

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 20:53:10 -0400
  • 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
  • Trump hints at 'incredible' trade deal with North Korea

    President Trump wants more than just a nuclear agreement from North Korea.Trump spent more than an hour during a Monday Cabinet meeting spinning on everything from how he "captured" ISIS to how he doesn't believe in part of the Constitution. But buried in those talks was another, lesser discussed implication: That Trump is working on a trade deal with North Korea.After railing about health care at the end of the Monday remarks, Trump snuck in an unexpected mention of international trade deals. "These trade deals are incredible," Trump said. "Whether it's North Korea, South Korea -- probably, something is going to be happening with North Korea too," he continued, and then added some more vague claims: "There's some very interesting information on North Korea. A lot of things are going on. And that's going to be a major rebuild at a certain point."Trump's North Korea suggestions were obviously light on the details, and after mentioning the "rebuild," he moved on to talk South Korea and China. So it's unclear if a deal is really in the works, or if Trump was just stumbling through the region on his way to discuss South Korea.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:28:00 -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
  • Contributions to Catholic Church plunge amid sex abuse crisis as Vatican 'faces default' over financial failings

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    Worldwide donations to the Catholic Church have plunged in the wake of sex abuse scandals that have eroded faith in the Vatican, a new book claims. The Church’s finances are in such a dire state – a result of a toxic mix of incompetence, internal wrangling and corruption – that the Vatican risks a default by 2023, according to the expose. The amount of money donated by ordinary Catholics to the Church, known as Peter’s Pence, has plummeted from €101 million in 2006 to €70 million in 2016 and may now be less than €60 million. Only a fifth of the total goes to helping the poor and needy, with the rest held in bank accounts or used to plug gaps in the finances of the Curia, the Vatican’s governing body. The revelations are based on scrutiny of 3,000 confidential documents obtained by an Italian investigative journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi. In his book, Universal Judgment, which was published on Monday, he portrays the Vatican as a viper’s nest of jealous cardinals, warring departments and avaricious officials who are adept at parallel book-keeping. “If the pontificate of Frances fails, it won’t be because of the attacks of conservative Catholics or the crisis in vocations or because of the declining number of faithful,” Mr Nuzzi writes. “It will be because of the financial collapse that is coming ever closer.” The Vatican deficit is “like a voracious and insatiable parasite, attacking wealth that was accumulated over the centuries from the pious offerings of the faithful.” The precipitous decline in contributions has coincided with a crisis of faith for millions of Catholics, who have been appalled at the multiple sex scandals involving priests and cardinals. Thousands of prelates have been accused of raping or molesting children and the Vatican’s former finance chief, Australian cardinal George Pell, is in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys in the state of Victoria. A Gallup survey early this year found that the number of Catholics in the US who had a “high” or “very high” opinion of the clergy had dropped from 49% in 2017 to 31% at the end of 2018. The plunge in confidence was ascribed to the sex abuse crises which have affected the Church in the US, Ireland, Chile, Australia and other countries. Pope Francis himself admitted that the Church’s “credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them.” The Vatican has set up an emergency task force to address its financial crisis as its losses rose from €32 million in 2017 to nearly €44 million last year. Pope Francis' push for more transparency has been sabotaged by Vatican insiders, according to the book Credit: AP In a document obtained by Mr Nuzzi, a Vatican official wrote: “The deficit is recurring and structural and has reached worrying levels. We risk a default if no urgent steps are taken.” Although the Vatican has a vast property portfolio, its management of the assets is “catastrophic,” said Mr Nuzzi, with around 800 properties left empty and hundreds of others leased out on peppercorn rents or for no money at all. The entity that runs the property portfolio, known by its acronym Apsa, made a loss of more than €22 million last year. It was the first time the department had ever been in the red, according to the author. Vatican insiders have continuously attempted to impede or sabotage Pope Francis’ efforts to introduce more transparency and accountability, Mr Nuzzi claims. He described his book as “an account of the Pope’s fight to stop the slide towards the financial collapse of the Vatican.”

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:47:57 -0400
  • Judge allows Chicago suit against Jussie Smollett to proceed

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    A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss Chicago's lawsuit against former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. U.S. District Virginia Kendall's ruling means that Chicago's suit that seeks to recoup $130,000 that city officials say the police department spent investigating Smollett's claim that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January can proceed. The motion by the former "Empire" actor's attorneys was a longshot because their argument boiled down to the contention that Smollett shouldn't be required to reimburse the police department because he couldn't have known how much time and money would be spent investigating his allegations.

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:29:24 -0400
  • Classic Car Fraud Lands Missouri Man In Federal Prison

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • US moves troops, tanks into Lithuania in message to Russia

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    The United States on Monday began deploying a battalion of troops and dozens of tanks to Lithuania for an unprecedented six-month rotation, a move sought by the Baltic EU and NATO state to deter neighbouring Russia. Dozens of Abrams tanks and Bradley armoured vehicles arrived by railway at the army training area in Pabrade. Lithuania's Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said the deployment of some 500 US troops scheduled to stay through the winter proves that a US military presence on NATO's eastern flank "is no longer a taboo".

    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 15:20:29 -0400
  • Hong Kong Becoming ‘Criminal Paradise’: Taiwan Lashes Out at Lam

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    (Bloomberg) -- The war of words between Hong Kong and Taiwan is heating up as a murder suspect at the center of months of unrest in the financial hub was released from jail.Chan Tong-kai, who admitted in court to killing his girlfriend in 2018 while on a vacation in Taiwan, was set free on Wednesday and bowed deeply in apology after some brief comments. He was jailed on a related money-laundering charge after Hong Kong determined that it lacked the evidence to prosecute him for the more serious offense in Taiwan.Chan’s case led to months of increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong after Chief Executive Carrie Lam cited it to introduce deeply unpopular legislation that would allow extraditions to China. The unrest has also spurred animosity between Lam, who was elected to her current position by a committee dominated by Beijing loyalists, and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen, whose party favors independence from China.Now squabbling between Hong Kong and Taiwan over jurisdiction, sovereignty and legal technicalities makes it unclear if Chan will face justice for the murder. Hong Kong wants Chan to board a plane and fly to the island to turn himself in, while Taiwanese authorities want to send law enforcement officers to escort him.“Its publicly stated support for the suspect to take a flight to Taiwan totally ignores the safety of the other passengers on board the same flight,” the Mainland Affairs Council in Taipei, which manages the island’s relations with China, said in a statement on Wednesday. “Allowing the suspect to turn himself in is a political goal that will, in the long run, turn Hong Kong into a criminal paradise where murder suspects can roam freely. It is incredible.”Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Twitter that Lam refused judicial cooperation to send the suspect back and stand trial. The tweets, signed with the initials of Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, accused her of releasing Chan to justify Hong Kong’s extradition legislation, and reiterated that the island isn’t part of China.Earlier Wednesday, the city’s government said Taiwan’s plan to collect Chan showed “disrespect for Hong Kong’s jurisdictional power and is totally unacceptable.” Chan was a “free man” who could travel as he pleased, it said, adding that Taiwan authorities can arrest him once he arrives. Hong Kong’s government ultimately answers to authorities in Beijing, who view Taiwan as a Chinese province.Taiwan in 2016 arrested three murder suspects at the request of Hong Kong and allowed police officers from the city to collect them, Wang Ting-yu, a senior Taiwanese lawmaker from Tsai’s ruling party, said on Twitter.Later Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed a question about the case, saying it was “not a diplomatic matter” since Beijing considers both jurisdictions part of China. “Hong Kong’s government will deal with it appropriately,” Hua told a news briefing in Beijing.After he was released from prison, Chan apologized for the “irreversible mistake” he made and for the pain he caused the family of the victim, Poon Hiu-wing.“I am willing to return to Taiwan to face sentence and trial for my recklessness and mistake I made,” Chan told reporters. “To society and the Hong Kong people -- sorry.”(Updates with Chinese foreign ministry statement in ninth paragraph)\--With assistance from Adela Lin, Miaojung Lin and Peter Martin.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Chinmei Sung in Taipei at csung4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 23 Oct 2019 05:39:22 -0400
  • Pompeo says Trump is 'fully prepared' to take military action against Turkey if necessary, which would shatter NATO to pieces

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    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
  • Trump 'like a squirrel caught in traffic' during Pentagon meeting: Aide

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • View 2020 Nissan Titan XD Photos

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    Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:00:00 -0400
  • South Carolina police find remains of 5-year-old girl missing since August in landfill

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    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
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