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World News >> Asia-Pacific

Trump fires up base as impeachment bid blocked in Congress

Trump fires up base as impeachment bid blocked in CongressA fired-up Donald Trump took aim once more at Democratic lawmakers who "hate" America as he hit the campaign trail Wednesday, hours after an opposition bid to impeach the US president over "racist" attacks was shot down in Congress. Egging on a sea of supporters in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump reeled off the names of the ethnic minority congresswomen whom he has urged to "go back" to their countries of origin in a series of incendiary tweets. "These left-wing ideologues see our nation as a force of evil," charged Trump -- whose tweets were condemned as "racist" a day earlier by the House of Representatives, although a subsequent attempt to launch impeachment proceedings failed in the chamber.



07/17/2019 - 09:53 PM

 

Italian, U.S. police make arrests as Mafia clan looks to regroup

Italian, U.S. police make arrests as Mafia clan looks to regroupItalian and U.S. police have launched a coordinated crackdown on a Sicilian Mafia family that was seeking to rebuild its power base after years of exile in the United States, Italian investigators said on Wednesday. More than 200 police, including officers from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrested 18 people in Sicily as part of their investigation into the Inzerillo clan in the island's capital Palermo and the allied New York-based Gambino family. A 19th suspect is being sought in the United States.



07/17/2019 - 05:08 AM

 

What If America Lost a Carrier in a War with Iran?

What If America Lost a Carrier in a War with Iran?The Navy simply lacks enough ships and aircraft to meet the increasing demands of its global mission. The recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman reinforce the need to reestablish a highly visible U.S. naval deterrent in the Middle East. For eight months last year, no aircraft carrier strike group plied the region, the longest such interruption this millennium. With the United States needing a more robust posture against Iran and confronting renewed challenges in Asia and Europe, several immediate measures and concerted longer-term efforts are critical to ensure America has the carriers it needs.The requirement to maintain carrier presence in the Middle East is a critical part of a broader national security strategy, in which U.S. global security interests necessitate a worldwide force presence. Indeed, the Navy's mission demands remain as high as those of the Cold War, calling on ships to be everywhere seemingly at once, but today's fleet is less than half the size it was 30 years ago.During the Obama administration, a “rebalance” supposedly allowed the Pentagon to focus on Asia and Europe while washing its hands of the Middle East. In reality, we never effectively rebalanced forces in the Indo-Pacific, and the situation on the ground forced us to remain deeply involved in the Middle East. Now with a growing Iranian threat, it would be imprudent to suddenly abandon the region, even as we face renewed challenges in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean.(This first appeared in June 2019.)



07/16/2019 - 05:41 PM

 

Turkey calls on US to reverse decision on F-35 exclusion

Turkey calls on US to reverse decision on F-35 exclusionWashington's decision to exclude Turkey from an American-led fighter jet program goes against the "spirit of alliance," the Turkish government said Thursday, and called on its NATO ally to reverse the decision. In a major break with a longtime ally, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday said Turkey is being kicked out of the F-35 program because it is buying the Russian S-400 air defense system.



07/18/2019 - 03:21 AM

 

Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-off

Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-offInvestigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a “mysterious 200lb load” added to the flight list after take-off, according to an engineer whose wife and two children were on board. Ghyslain Wattrelos said the cargo was revealed in a report on the passengers and baggage by French investigators. Mr Wattrelos, who believes the flight was deliberately downed, told Le Parisien newspaper: “It was also learned that a mysterious load of 89 kilos was added to the flight list after take-off. A container was also overloaded, without anyone knowing why. It may be incompetence or manipulation. Everything is possible. This will be part of the questions for the Malaysians.” MH370 became one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries when it vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. French investigators who examined flight data at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle believe that the pilot was in control of the airliner “right up to the end”.  A modern mystery | Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mr Wattrelos said the investigators told him the data “lends weight” to the theory that the pilot crashed into the sea in a murder-suicide, although they stressed that there was no proof. The investigators expect it to take up to a year to examine the data fully. However, some experts believe a hijack by a stowaway is a possibility and the mysterious load could lend credence to the theory. Tim Termini, an aviation security specialist, told Channel 5 earlier this month: “It’s highly likely that a hijack took place and again, there’s four options for the hijack. "One is the hijack of the aircraft through a crew member. The second is a hijack coming from a passenger. A third option, which is a fairly unusual one, would be a stowaway. And then of course the fourth option is an electrical takeover of the aircraft from a ground-based station.” Mr Wattrelos, 54, who has led a campaign to find out what happened to the flight, acknowledged that “there is a risk that I may never learn the full truth.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.



07/16/2019 - 12:55 PM

 

Sen. Rand Paul delays attempt to reauthorize 9/11 first responder bill, cites cost as the reason

Sen. Rand Paul delays attempt to reauthorize 9/11 first responder bill, cites cost as the reasonA bill to reauthorize a fund that compensates victims of 9/11 and their families was delayed on the Senate floor by Sen. Rand Paul.



07/17/2019 - 05:00 PM

 

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leaveAustralia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, days after co-signing a letter denouncing Beijing's treatment of the Muslim minority. China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in tightly controlled Xinjiang region, in the country's northwest. Sadam Abdusalam has campaigned for months for his Uighur wife, Nadila Wumaier, and their son Lutifeier, whom he has never met, to be allowed to come to Australia.



07/17/2019 - 05:31 AM

 

How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North Korea

How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North KoreaResearchers tracked the luxury cars all the way from the Netherlands, in apparent defiance of sanctions.



07/16/2019 - 06:30 PM

 

North Carolina father of 7 dies trying to save his drowning children at beach

North Carolina father of 7 dies trying to save his drowning children at beachA North Carolina father drowned Sunday while rescuing two of his youngchildren who were swept away by a wave while walking on a submerged jetty atWrightsville Beach



07/17/2019 - 03:36 PM

 

Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments

Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments(Bloomberg) -- New York City’s rent-stabilization law is under attack after a group of real-estate trade groups and landlords sued to overturn regulations that cover more than 1 million apartments.The decades-old law that limits rent increases violates the U.S. Constitution by placing an unfair burden on property owners, particularly those who own pre-1974 buildings with six or more units, according to the suit, filed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.The state legislature, now under full Democratic control, adopted sweeping tenant protections in June that further cap rent increases and restrict landlords’ ability to evict residents. The massive rewrite of the rent rules, which cover about 2.4 million residents, aimed to preserve affordable housing by eliminating tools landlords used to remove units from regulation. The package also abolished a “vacancy bonus” that allowed property owners to raise rents 20% when a tenant left.The plaintiffs say the update further eroded their rights and that the law’s “irrationality and arbitrariness” and “web of restrictions override core rights of property owners.”Read More: NYC Tenants Get a Rent-Law Blessing That Landlords See as CurseThe landlords claim the rules have morphed over the years so that they benefit too many higher earners, while renters who make less than $35,000 a year account for just 38% of rent-stabilized renters. The breakdown is about the same for unregulated apartments, the groups claim, suggesting the law isn’t much different from the unregulated market.The trade groups claim that 22% of rent-stabilized tenants make more than $100,000 a year and that married couples without children are over-represented in rent-stabilized apartments despite being less likely to suffer rental hardship than couples with children.The city said the suit threatens ordinary New Yorkers.“Dismantling rent stabilization would be a devastating blow to everyday New Yorkers who are working hard to call this great city home,” Jane Meyer, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement. She said the city would review the suit and continue to “fight to protect affordability, prevent harassment and keep this a city for everyone.”Supreme Court SnubTenants-rights groups argued the changes were needed to counter decades of abuse by some landlords and a shrinking supply of affordable housing. Tens of thousands of apartments have been removed from rent-stabilized status, sending rents higher as neighborhoods are gentrified. The effort won support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as well as New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the city’s rent-stabilization system in 2012, turning away an appeal from landlords who said the city had violated their constitutional rights by limiting rents on three one-bedroom apartments in their Upper West Side brownstone. The state of New York defended the statute, citing previous Supreme Court decisions that judges “should not sit as super-legislatures reviewing matters of economic policy, but should ask only whether a legislature’s policy judgments are rational.”Among the plaintiffs is the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. When the law was amended, the landlords said it would cause buildings to fall into disrepair because owners wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain them.The case is Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York, 19-cv-4087, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).(Updates with second paragraph under Supreme Court Snub)\--With assistance from Gerald Porter Jr..To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net;Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/16/2019 - 05:13 PM

 

In El Chapo's home state, Mexicans bemoan his punishment far from home

In El Chapo's home state, Mexicans bemoan his punishment far from homeIn Culiacan, the capital in Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa, locals lamented that Mexicans were deprived of the chance to see the notorious capo tried, convicted and punished on his native soil. "He doesn't stop being Mexican... He should be paying for his sins here in Mexico," said Victor Estrada, who was at a public plaza in Culiacan. After an 11-week trial, a U.S. jury in February found Guzman guilty of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and engaging in murder conspiracies as a leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico's most treacherous drug trafficking groups.



07/17/2019 - 09:09 PM

 

Rev. Jesse Jackson asks President Trump to pardon former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Rev. Jesse Jackson asks President Trump to pardon former Illinois Governor Rod BlagojevichThe Reverend Jesse Jackson and his son, Jesse Jackson Jr., are asking President Donald Trump to release former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from prison.



07/16/2019 - 08:39 AM

 

Over-the-Top Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes That Are Worth Every Calorie

Over-the-Top Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes That Are Worth Every Calorie



07/16/2019 - 06:07 PM

 

Asylum seekers waiting in Nuevo Laredo fear lurking dangers

Asylum seekers waiting in Nuevo Laredo fear lurking dangersThe round-faced woman from La Ceiba, Honduras, and her 5- and 12-year-old sons arrived in this city across the border from Laredo, Texas, where she had been promised a job and hoped to build a new life. As the United States tries to slow the flow of mostly Central American migrants and asylum seekers to its southern border and pressures Mexico to assist, months-long stays on the Mexican side of the frontier have become the rule for many. The U.S. government tells its own employees not to set foot in nearly all parts of the state.



07/18/2019 - 12:06 AM

 

Acting DHS chief Kevin McAleenan faces barrage of lawmaker questions on migrant detention facilities

Acting DHS chief Kevin McAleenan faces barrage of lawmaker questions on migrant detention facilitiesActing DHS chief Kevin McAleenan will face questions on the separation of migrant families and conditions at overcrowded detention centers.



07/18/2019 - 12:10 AM

 

World court orders Pakistan to review alleged spy's death sentence

World court orders Pakistan to review alleged spy's death sentenceThe International Court of Justice ordered Pakistan on Wednesday to review the death sentence for an alleged Indian spy, in a ruling hailed by nuclear rival New Delhi as a "complete victory". Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav was arrested in Pakistan's restive southwestern province of Baluchistan in March 2016, and the case has stoked tensions between the two countries. Judges at the UN's top court ruled Pakistan had breached the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.



07/17/2019 - 10:03 AM

 

Iran Loves This: The Royal Navy Doesn’t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian Gulf

Iran Loves This: The Royal Navy Doesn’t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian GulfThe Royal Navy plans briefly to double its number of warships in the Persian Gulf following an attempted attack by Iranian forces on a British oil tanker on June 20, 2019.But the temporary increase in British warships in the region, from one to two, underscores just how few ships the Royal Navy can deploy even in an emergency.Iranian boats tried to “impede” the British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, the BBC reported. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, “was forced to move between the three boats and the tanker,” according to the BBC.The British government claimed the attacking boats belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia. The IRGC also allegedly was behind several recent bomb attacks targeting oil tankers in the Gulf and surrounding waters.Tensions have escalated in the Middle East following U.S. president Donald Trump decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program. After Trump restored economic sanctions, Tehran resumed stockpiling uranium.The July 2019 tanker incident compelled the Royal Navy to accelerate by several weeks a planned deployment to the Gulf by the Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan. Montrose and Duncan together will patrol the Persian Gulf before Montrose returns to U.K. waters for maintenance.Duncan sailed south through the Bosphorus on July 13, 2019. The destroyer had been in the Black Sea region for NATO exercises.



07/16/2019 - 08:22 AM

 

Couple kiss in photo with lion moments after shooting it dead

Couple kiss in photo with lion moments after shooting it deadA couple photographed kissing next to a lion they have just killed while on safari has caused outrage.Darren and Carolyn Carter, from Edmonton in Canada, posed for the camera minutes after shooting dead the animal while trophy hunting in South Africa.“Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun,” they wrote underneath the picture posted online. “A monster lion.”Another image shows the couple in front of a second dead big cat. “There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle,” the photo is captioned.But the pictures were widely condemned after being placed on the website of Legelela Safaris – a tour company which specialises in organising big game hunts.> Darren and Carolyn Carter. I hope this kiss makes you famous. pic.twitter.com/V2QUkZq5NB> > — Danny Clayton (@DannyjClayton) > > July 15, 2019Eduardo Goncalves, the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said: “It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie.“This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras.”Australian TV host Danny Clayton said: “More idiots that get their rocks off by pointing a boomstick at a beautiful animal."But the couple have refused to be drawn on the photos. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Mr Carter, who runs a taxidermy business with his wife, said: “We aren’t interested in commenting…it’s too political.”Legelela Safaris charges up to £2,400 for tours which include giraffe, zebra, leopard, elephant, rhino and lion hunts.



07/16/2019 - 05:16 AM

 

Man arrested in slaying of 75-year-old community activist

Man arrested in slaying of 75-year-old community activistThe suspect in the slaying of a community leader who founded Baton Rouge's African American history museum was a tenant who owed her back rent, authorities said Tuesday. Ronn Jermaine Bell, 38, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder, city Police Chief Murphy J. Paul told news reporters. Bell is being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish jail.



07/16/2019 - 06:22 PM

 

'You must be stupid': Duterte says he won't be tried by international court

'You must be stupid': Duterte says he won't be tried by international courtPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared he will never be tried by an international court for mass killings in his war on drugs, and vowed no let up in a crackdown that he said he was winning and would see through "to the very end". In a television interview with a celebrity pastor, the firebrand leader said the Philippine justice system was working fine, so it would be "stupid" to imagine he would let an international court put him on trial.



07/17/2019 - 04:34 AM

 

Teachers union has become an arm of the abortion-rights left. Conservatives should quit.

Teachers union has become an arm of the abortion-rights left. Conservatives should quit.Why would the NEA go out of its way to take extreme stands on hot-button issues so far removed from the real problems facing our nation’s schools?



07/17/2019 - 07:00 AM

 

Your Kids Won't Have Any Room For Candy After These Halloween Dinner Ideas

Your Kids Won't Have Any Room For Candy After These Halloween Dinner Ideas



07/17/2019 - 03:46 PM

 

June was the warmest June ever recorded, but there's a bigger problem

June was the warmest June ever recorded, but there's a bigger problemIn 139 years of record-keeping, this June was the warmest June ever recorded. But June 2019 also revealed a deeper warming reality. The first half of 2019, January through June, finished up as the second warmest half-year on record, newly released NASA data shows. On top of that, each of the last five January through Junes are now the five warmest such spans on record. Only 2016 started off hotter than 2019. "At this point, the inexorable increase in global temperatures is entirely predictable," said Sarah Green, an environmental chemist at Michigan Technological University. She noted that NASA's updated data is added proof that climate models have accurately predicted Earth's continued warming as heat-trapping gasses amass in the atmosphere."As we have shown in recent work, the record warm streaks we've seen in recent years simply cannot be explained without accounting for the profound impact we are having on the planet through the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations," added climate scientist Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.Indeed, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, already at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years, are now accelerating at rates that are unprecedented in both the historic and geologic record."The latest numbers are just another reminder that the impacts of human-caused warming are no longer subtle," said Mann. "We're seeing them play out in terms of both unprecedented extreme weather events and the sorts of planetary-scale temperature extremes betrayed by these latest numbers."The warmest January through Junes on record.Image: nasa gissThe well-predicted consequences of this heating are now unfolding. Here are some, of many, examples:  * Warming climes have doubled the amount of land burned by wildfires in the U.S. over the last 30 years, as plants and trees, notably in California, get baked dry. * Greenland -- home to the second largest ice sheet on Earth -- is melting at unprecedented rates. * The last 12 months have been the wettest 12 months in U.S. history, leading to widespread flooding around the nation (For every 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, of warming, the air can hold 7 percent more water.) * The Arctic is on fire. * Ocean temperatures are going up, and up, and up.  * Since 1961, Earth's glaciers lost 9 trillion tons of ice. That's the weight of 27 billion 747s. * Heat waves are increasing in duration and frequency, while smashing records. * Daily high record temperatures are dominating daily low records. Overall, the atmosphere is experiencing an accelerated upward temperature climb, though there are some ups and downs within the greater warming trend. This is due to natural climatic influences, particularly from events like El Niño, which can give global temperatures an added kick. > NASA global mean June temperature is out! Guess what - it's been the hottest June on record. Definitely felt like that in Germany... climatecrisis FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/vkOFP22NNM> > -- Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) July 15, 2019"The year-to-year variations of the global temperature may be affected by El Niño, etc., but in the long-term [global temperature] keeps increasing steadily," said NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientist Makiko Sato, who helped prepare the June climate observations. SEE ALSO: This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate changeThis June was "easily" the warmest June on record, NASA noted, and overall, this year's January through June temperatures were 1.4 degrees Celsius (or 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above average temperatures in the late 1800s. Seasonal temperature trends.Image: nasa Giss2019 will almost certainly end up being one of the hottest years on record. This is in line with another stark trend. Eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 -- and the five hottest years have occurred in each of the last five years. (It's not just the first half of each year setting records.)"This is further evidence that temperatures will keep rising until government policies that decrease greenhouse gas emissions are actually implemented," emphasized Green.  WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?



07/16/2019 - 06:00 AM

 

GOP congressman on Trump tweets: 'I’m a person of color. I’m white. I’m an Anglo-Saxon '

GOP congressman on Trump tweets: 'I’m a person of color. I’m white. I’m an Anglo-Saxon 'In a statement Kelly explained that his broader point was: “It’s time to stop fixating on our differences — particularly our superficial ones — and focus on what unites us."



07/17/2019 - 07:50 PM

 

UK raises alarm after mother held by Iran is taken to mental ward

UK raises alarm after mother held by Iran is taken to mental wardLondon demanded the immediate release Wednesday of a jailed British-Iranian aid worker whose husband said she has been transferred to the mental ward of a public hospital in Tehran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case has roiled Britain's relations with the Islamic republic since her 2016 arrest and conviction on sedition charges over which she has held a series of hunger strikes. "We are extremely concrned about Nazanin's welfare and call for her immediate release," Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said.



07/17/2019 - 11:38 AM

 

Big Guns: Army Prototypes Range-Doubling New Artillery Weapon to Outgun Russia

Big Guns: Army Prototypes Range-Doubling New Artillery Weapon to Outgun RussiaThe Army is building prototypes of a new artillery cannon that can more than double the range of existing weapons and vastly alter the strategic and tactical landscape shaping land war into the future.The Army program, called Extended Range Cannon Artillery, has been developing for several years; it is now entering a new phase through an Army deal with BAE Systems to build “Increment 1” prototypes.“This prototype phase will address capability gaps in the Army’s indirect fire systems and improve the rate and range of fire with the development of power distribution software and hardware integration solutions,” a BAE Systems statement said.During testing thus far, the Army has successfully fired a 155mm artillery round 62 kilometers - marking a technical breakthrough in the realm of land-based weapons and progressing toward its stated goal of being able to outrange and outgun Russian and Chinese weapons.Currently, most land-fired artillery shot from an M777 Towed Howitzer or Self-Propelled Howitzer are able to pinpoint targets out to 30km - so hitting 62km dramatically changes Army offensive attack capability. As part of an effort to ensure the heavy M777 is sufficiently mobile, the Army completed a “mobility” demonstration of ERCA prototypes last year.



07/17/2019 - 03:02 AM

 

Pakistan arrests US-wanted terror suspect in Mumbai attacks

Pakistan arrests US-wanted terror suspect in Mumbai attacksPakistan on Wednesday arrested a radical cleric and U.S.-wanted terror suspect implicated in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, officials said, just days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's trip to Washington. Hafiz Saeed was taken into custody in Punjab province while traveling from the eastern city of Lahore to the city of Gujranwala, according to counterterrorism official Mohammad Shafiq. Saeed founded the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was blamed for the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.



07/17/2019 - 11:12 AM

 

'Justice wasn't served': 50 years since Chappaquiddick

'Justice wasn't served': 50 years since ChappaquiddickThe crash ended a young woman's life, and with it, a man's White House dreams. U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's Oldsmobile sedan veered off a narrow bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, an extension of the resort island of Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast, and plunged into a moonlit pond 50 years ago Thursday. Kennedy, 37, survived, but his presidential ambitions did not.



07/16/2019 - 11:13 AM

 

Ukraine says transport organizer of missile that shot down MH-17 plane in jail

Ukraine says transport organizer of missile that shot down MH-17 plane in jailUkraine said on Wednesday a rebel who organized the trailer carrying the missile that shot down a Malaysian airliner in 2014 had been captured two years ago and was now serving a sentence in Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine during a rebellion by Russian-backed separatists, killing all 298 people on board. A Dutch-led team of investigators has blamed Russia for supplying the surface-to-air missile that shot it down.



07/17/2019 - 10:25 AM

 

US military chiefs ordered to reveal if Pentagon used diseased insects as biological weapon

US military chiefs ordered to reveal if Pentagon used diseased insects as biological weaponUS lawmakers have voted to demand the Pentagon discloses whether it conducted experiments to “weaponise” disease-carrying ticks – and whether any such insects were let loose outside the lab.A bill passed in the House of Representatives requires the Defence Department’s inspector general to investigate whether biological warfare tests involving the tiny arachnids took place over a 25-year period.It follows claims that Pentagon researchers implanted diseases into inspects to study the potential of biological weapons in the decades after the Second World War.A tick-related amendment, first reported by Roll Call, was added to the fiscal 2020 defence authorisation bill by Republican congressman Chris Smith prior to its passing in the House.The New Jersey politician said the inspector general’s office should “conduct a review of whether the Department of Defence experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975.”If the experiments did take place, the office must provide a report explaining “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design”, the amendment also stated.A book released earlier this year, entitled Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, sets out the case that the Defence Department did conduct research on biological warfare.Author Kris Newby also suggests a possible relationship between the experiments and the spread of Lyme disease – an infectious disease spread by ticks causing fever, headaches and fatigue.“We need answers and we need them now,” said Mr Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater understanding of the disease.Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said uncovering past experiments might help with current work trying to tackle the illness.“We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease,” she said.The defence authorisation bill still needs to pass in the Senate before heading to Donald Trump’s desk at the White House.



07/16/2019 - 07:04 AM

 

2-year-old girl who disappeared from Michigan campsite found alive

2-year-old girl who disappeared from Michigan campsite found alivePolice have found the 2-year-old who went missing from a campsite in Comins Township, Michigan, on Monday. The search lasted more than 24 hours.



07/16/2019 - 02:49 PM

 

Trump’s Cabinet has become severe headache for his White House

Trump’s Cabinet has become severe headache for his White HouseThe president who promised an all-star cast instead faces the highest Cabinet turnover in recent history.



07/16/2019 - 05:04 AM

 

Wary US swimmers share waves with deadly sharks off Cape Cod

Wary US swimmers share waves with deadly sharks off Cape CodAt the entrance to Newcomb Hollow Beach, at the tip of the Cape Cod peninsula, the picture of a great white shark reminds swimmers that the US shores of the Atlantic must be shared with the ocean's most feared predator. The great whites swim to this region in the northeastern United States to hunt for one of their preferred foods -- seals. Since the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed in 1972 the number of seals in Cape Cod has grown to more than 50,000.



07/17/2019 - 04:14 AM

 

What Rare Earths Tell Us about China's Competitive Strategy

What Rare Earths Tell Us about China's Competitive StrategyThe recent debate over whether or not China will carry through on its threats to stop exporting rare earth minerals to the United States is an important one. It raises deeply unsettling questions about the strength of America's defense industrial supply chain. But Beijing’s monopolization of the global rare earths industry gives it far more than a card to play in an escalating trade war. The game is far bigger and the stakes higher than even many national-security experts seem to realize.In the minds of Chinese strategists, this issue is ultimately about which nation, China or America, wins the central struggle of the twenty-first century, the race for world leadership. Obviously, they intend to win and to win big.The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considers rare earths to be essential for growing China’s power and eclipsing the United States. Official Chinese propaganda outlets recently called rare earths “strategic resources” for the “six new technology groups” that Beijing sees as engines of China’s future strength. These include information technology, medical technology, new materials, new energy sources, space technology, and advanced shipbuilding. According to the report, a major breakthrough in the application of rare earths is being made every five years, and one out of every six new inventions involves these minerals.



07/17/2019 - 12:27 PM

 

House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension

House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension(Bloomberg) -- The House voted overwhelmingly to repeal a tax Wednesday intended to fund the Affordable Care Act, preserving tax breaks for employer-sponsored insurance plans favored by large corporations.In a reversal of the usual partisan roles, Democrats rather than Republicans led the charge to kill a key part of Obamacare.The bill to repeal the levy commonly known as the “Cadillac tax” passed 419-6 with bipartisan support. The 40% excise tax on the most generous and expensive employer health-insurance plans was included in Obamacare as a measure that economists said would help curb health costs.Congress kept delaying its implementation so the tax has never actually been collected. Had it gone into effect, it would have hit about one in five employers that offer health benefits to their workers, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The vote to repeal the tax highlights the conflicting forces pulling at Democrats when campaigning versus legislating.Several of the party’s presidential candidates led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support replacing nearly all private insurance with a government-run system financed by tax increases. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the race, has a less sweeping plan to bolster Obamacare, but it still would offer a public health insurance option funded by tax hikes on the wealthy.But in Congress, Democrats and Republicans are facing pressure from labor unions and large companies to move in the opposite direction by keeping tax advantages for employer-sponsored plans. Supporters of repealing the tax say keeping it in place would force employers to offer less generous health insurance to their workers.Employers can reap large tax savings by compensating their employees in the form of more extensive health insurance, rather than wages, which are subject to payroll taxes. Employer-paid premiums are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes, and the premiums employees pay are also often excluded from taxable income.Changing Minds“I’ve been a supporter of the Cadillac tax because I thought it would” lower health care costs, said Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. “But I’ve read some additional material on it and it’s obviously overwhelmingly thought this will not have the effect in terms of raising money or controlling cost that I thought it would have.”The dissonance among Democrats about whether to expand or shrink employer-sponsored health coverage makes them look like “gymnasts,” said Representative Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican.“Where are you on this stuff?” he said. “Wait a minute, you’re all advocating that there be no such thing as employer-sponsored coverage.”The repeated delays in imposing the Cadillac tax delays mean that Congress was never able to test whether it would curb the explosion of health care spending, which has risen an average 4.2% every quarter between 2010 and 2018, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The repeal also would mean that the Treasury Department won’t collect the $201 billion the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would raise over a decade.Obamacare TaxesObamacare included several other tax increases, including a 3.8% tax on investment income and a 0.9% levy on wages for top-earners. The portion of the law that was supposed to be financed through the Cadillac tax instead would be paid for through deficit spending, unless lawmakers propose a last-minute tax increase to offset the cost.Democrats have generally opposed measures to chip away at President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but the Cadillac tax has been unpopular since it became part of the code.The measure to repeal it, H.R. 748, was passed under a fast-track procedure requiring two-thirds support among House members.Yet popularity doesn’t necessarily mean good policy, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Politicians don’t like the tax on health benefits, but nearly every economist thinks the Cadillac tax or a similar measure is necessary to help slow the rise in health-care costs and curb overuse of health services, he added.“Just because it’s bipartisan doesn’t mean it’s good,” he said.Not all Democrats are on board with eliminating the tax. Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, said he opposes the repeal because the cost isn’t offset and there wasn’t any discussion about how scuttling the tax would affect the Affordable Care Act overall.“I think we are lapsing into some very bad habits in the majority,” he said. “We need to start instilling some fiscal discipline in this place and making some tough decisions.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn’t committed to addressing the issue in his chamber. Because the repeal effort is led by Democrats, it sets up a path for McConnell to use it as a vehicle to attach Republican tax priorities, such as correcting errors in the 2017 tax law or extending several expired tax breaks that benefit the biodiesel and energy industries.“We’ve kicked the can down the road for so long on this one that the assumption is that it’s never going to go into effect,” said Representative Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat. “There’s a certain inevitability to this one getting repealed.”\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 06:58 PM

 

Planned Parenthood president forced out after only 8 months

Planned Parenthood president forced out after only 8 monthsThe president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen, was ousted Tuesday after just eight months on the job as the organization faced unprecedented challenges related to its role as the leading abortion provider in the U.S. Wen, in a Twitter post, said she learned that Planned Parenthood's board "ended my employment at a secret meeting." She indicated the board wanted more emphasis on political advocacy, while she sought to prioritize Planned Parenthood's role as a provider of health care services ranging from birth control to cancer screenings. "We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood," Wen said.



07/16/2019 - 05:57 PM

 

Ex-chairman of Vietnam's BIDV bank dies in detention

Ex-chairman of Vietnam's BIDV bank dies in detentionA former head of Vietnam's second largest listed bank, the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), died in detention on Thursday, state media and three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said. Tran Bac Ha was arrested in November last year in a widening crackdown on corruption in the Southeast Asian country, which has seen its Communist-ruled government launch investigations into hundreds of public officials and several executives at state-owned enterprises jailed. Ha had not stood trial and was being held at a military detention center near Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.



07/18/2019 - 03:22 AM

 

'Today we can't breathe.' DOJ will not bring civil rights charge against NYPD officer in death of Eric Garner

'Today we can't breathe.' DOJ will not bring civil rights charge against NYPD officer in death of Eric GarnerGarner died after an NYPD officer tried to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. His dying gasp of "I can't breathe" inspired nationwide protests.



07/17/2019 - 09:11 AM

 

Southwest and Boeing had a 'reckless, greedy conspiracy' to keep the 737 Max flying despite knowing about its flaws, a new lawsuit alleges

Southwest and Boeing had a 'reckless, greedy conspiracy' to keep the 737 Max flying despite knowing about its flaws, a new lawsuit allegesThe lawsuit alleges Southwest has a unique relationship with Boeing, and that both companies knew about a fatal defect in 737 Max planes.



07/16/2019 - 07:20 AM

 

A Military Flyboard Doesn’t Make Any Sense

A Military Flyboard Doesn’t Make Any SenseThey’re not useful on the battlefield—even if France might think otherwise.



07/17/2019 - 11:05 AM

 

Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s

Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’sTrump has repeatedly urged Iran to negotiate, saying that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are his chief concern, talking points that experts say echo the 2015 deal.



07/17/2019 - 05:05 AM

 

German Sea-Watch captain to face Italy prosecutor over migrants

German Sea-Watch captain to face Italy prosecutor over migrantsGerman captain Carola Rackete, who sparked international headlines by forcibly docking in an Italian port with rescued migrants, faces questioning by an Italian prosecutor on Thursday over allegedly aiding illegal immigration. The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 is expected to be questioned in the southern Sicilian town of Agrigento from 10 am (0800 GMT). Rackete was arrested on June 29 for entering Italy's Lampedusa port despite a veto imposed by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, and knocking a coast guard boat out of the way to land 40 migrants after over two weeks blocked at sea.



07/17/2019 - 10:08 PM

 

At least 1 dead, 15 injured — including 3 firefighters — in California house explosion

At least 1 dead, 15 injured — including 3 firefighters — in California house explosionA California gas company reports one of its employees died in an explosion Monday afternoon in Murietta, California.



07/16/2019 - 12:05 PM

 

We Asked Two Experts If a War with Iran Is Coming

We Asked Two Experts If a War with Iran Is ComingPollack stated that Washington’s actions were counterproductive to America’s interests in securing a new, better nuclear deal. America’s policy of maximum pressure on Iran continues, with the U.S. Department of the Treasury announcing new sanctions on eight Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commanders. That directive was tweeted during a luncheon event on Iran at the Center for the National Interest, which was moderated by Geoffrey Kemp, the Senior Director of Regional Security Programs at CFTNI who also served in the White House during the first Reagan administration as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff. The discussion focused on the ongoing crisis, Iran and America’s interests, and whether war could be avoided.“[Donald] Trump’s approach is self-defeating,” declared panelist Kenneth Pollack, Resident Scholar for Middle Eastern Political-Military Affairs at the American Enterprise Institute, and both a former Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs and a former Director for Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council. Pollack explained that the hardliners keep claiming vindication, noting that they had warned that the United States might tear up the Iran deal. Pollack emphasized that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei started in the moderate camp but has drifted steadily toward a hardline position.(This first appeared in June 2019.)



07/16/2019 - 08:00 PM

 

Arrested reporter slams conditions at US detention centers

Arrested reporter slams conditions at US detention centersA Spanish-language reporter who was recently released from immigration custody said Wednesday he was held for 15 months in detention centers that were plagued by insects and he had to bathe with cold water from water hoses. During a news conference, Manuel Duran discussed what he called inhumane conditions at immigration detention facilities in Louisiana and Alabama. Duran was released from an Alabama facility on bail last week as immigration courts consider his request for asylum.



07/17/2019 - 05:24 PM

 

View Photos of the Lotus Evija

View Photos of the Lotus Evija



07/16/2019 - 02:06 PM

 

U.S. judge blasts drug lord El Chapo's 'overwhelming evil,' imposes life sentence

U.S. judge blasts drug lord El Chapo's 'overwhelming evil,' imposes life sentenceGuzman, 62, berated the U.S. justice system, and a former associate described how he had paid a gang $1 million to try to kill her before U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan imposed the mandatory sentence of life plus 30 years. Cogan also ordered Guzman to forfeit $12.6 billion in a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. A jury in February convicted Guzman of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, long known as one of Mexico's largest, most violent drug trafficking organizations.



07/17/2019 - 06:03 AM

 

Cop helps save 12-day-old baby during traffic stop

Cop helps save 12-day-old baby during traffic stopDeputy William Kimbro administered CPR and was awarded the Life-Saving Medal from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department



07/17/2019 - 09:07 AM

 

National $15 minimum wage expected to pass in House of Representatives this week

National $15 minimum wage expected to pass in House of Representatives this weekThe "Raise the Wage Act" would make 15-dollars an hour a reality for all American workers by 2024.



07/16/2019 - 03:24 PM

 

 

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