UPDATE 3-Israel hits Iranian force in Syria to stop 'killer drones' - military
JERUSALEM/DAMASCUS, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Israeli aircraft on Saturday struck Iranian forces near Damascus that had been planning to launch "killer drones" at targets in Israel, an Israeli military spokesman said. "The strike targeted Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days," the military said in a statement.
08/24/2019 - 04:55 PM
Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion
More than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.
08/23/2019 - 11:12 AM
Shrugging off Trump, FBI tackles right-wing extremists
One man had three assault rifles, extra-large magazines and a gas mask. Another had over 18 weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, AR-15s, and a grenade launcher. Earlier this year, the two might not have drawn the attention of US law enforcement.
08/24/2019 - 10:08 PM
David Koch's Millions Remade the Republican Party. He Didn't Like the Results
David Koch was the most vilified symbol of the billionaires who have turned 21st century politics their playground. He died at 79.
08/23/2019 - 03:16 PM
Metal detectorist finds £10,000 gold ring in garage 40 years after discarding it as worthless
A metal detectorist who discarded a gold ring in his garage for 40 years after a museum told him it was worthless has discovered its real value is £10,000. Tom Clark, 81, dug up the buried treasure while scanning an area of farmland near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1979, then put it inside a metal tin and forgot about it. But the retired leather craftsman came across the rare seal ring eight years ago while sorting through items from his mother's house after she passed away. He got the item valued and was astonished to discover that it was actually a 670-year-old medieval artefact dating back to 1350. It is due to be auctioned off in Derbyshire on Tuesday (Aug 27) and is expected to sell for between £8,500 and £10,000. The turn of events is similar to the plot of BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, when brothers Del and Rodney come across a watch in their garage which is then auctioned off for millions of pounds. Mr Clark said: "I had completely forgotten about it. At the time I'd only been metal detecting for 10 years and didn't realise the ring was anything special. It was all twisted and broken when I dug it up." He took the rare ring along with some others to a museum to have them valued at the time, but was told they were all fairly modern. "I put them all in a tin and left them in the garage at my mother's house," he said. "A few months ago, I was sorting through some stuff in my own garage that had come from my mother's house and there it was - the tin with the rings in it." Tom is auctioning off the ring, which is expected to make between £8,500 and £10,000 Credit: Hansons / SWNS/Hansons / SWNS Mr Clark, now a much more experienced collector, said he instantly knew it was a seal ring dating back to the 1300s and would have belonged to someone important given its decoration and quality. He added: "It's rare and elegant. I'd love to know who it belonged to." A Latin inscription on the ring translates as 'I hide the true message'. Mark Becher, Historica expert at auctioneer Hansons, said: "It's a fascinating piece of medieval jewellery and I'm delighted Tom rediscovered again after all these years."
08/23/2019 - 08:46 AM
Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit
(Bloomberg) -- Iceland’ prime minister is open to a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence during his trip to the Nordic island, should the visit be extended.The option was discussed during a pre-scheduled meeting on Friday between Katrin Jakobsdottir and ambassador Jeffrey Gunter, a government spokesman told Bloomberg.Jakobsdottir, a left-of-center feminist and LGBT advocate, is due to attend a conference by Nordic trade union leaders in Sweden on Sept. 4. That’s the same day in which Pence is due to arrive.Jakobsdottir’s decision to not change her schedule to accommodate the vice president’s visit has been criticized at home.Olafur Hardarson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, told local media Morgunbladid it would be “unusual” for the prime minister not to greet the American vice president.According to her spokeswoman, a final decision on whether the meeting can take place has not yet been made.The White House said Pence planned to discuss trade opportunities, the Arctic and NATO efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region.The scheduling snafu is the latest episode in a series of exchanges involving Donald Trump and the Nordics.Pence’s visit would take place in the wake of a very public spat between the U.S. president and Denmark over its refusal to sell Greenland.Trump said Saturday he had held a “nice” conversation with Mette Frederiksen, with the exchange coming just days after labeling the Danish prime minister as “nasty.”In 2017, Sweden reacted forcibly to Trump’s portrayal of the Nordic nation as being in a state of chaos and overrun by crime after an influx of refugees.(Adds quote in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir in Reykjavik at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at email@example.com, Nick Rigillo, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
08/24/2019 - 10:27 AM
Revered as a saint by online extremists, how Christchurch shooter inspired copycat terrorists around the world
“Brenton Tarrant was a catalyst for me personally. He showed me that it could be done. And that it needed to be done.”Those were the words written by John Timothy Earnest shortly before he stormed a synagogue in Poway, California, and opened fire on the Jewish congregation.
08/24/2019 - 04:22 PM
21 Democratic presidential candidates left in the 2020 race
Voters at the Democratic National Convention summer meeting in San Francisco guess which candidates are still in the 2020 presidential race.
08/23/2019 - 04:57 PM
20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever
08/23/2019 - 11:55 AM
Michael Bennet slams DNC over debate qualification rules: Process is ‘stifling debate’
Democratic presidential candiate Sen. Michael Bennet told delegates at a DNC meeting that the rules for qualifying for the party's primary debates are “stifling debate at a time when we need it most."
08/23/2019 - 10:41 PM
Yemen's Houthis attack Saudi airport, air base with drones: Al Masirah TV
Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis launched drone attacks on Sunday on Saudi Arabia's Abha airport and the air base of Khamis Mushait, the group's military spokesman told Al Masirah TV. The spokesman said the drones attacked the control towers at the two sites, both located in the southwest of the kingdom. There was no confirmation from Saudi authorities.
08/24/2019 - 11:52 PM
Tear gas fired as Hong Kong police, protesters clash
Hong Kong riot cops fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of stones, bottles and bamboo poles on Saturday, as a standoff in a working-class neighbourhood descended into violence, breaking an uneasy peace that had lasted several days. Earlier thousands of demonstrators, many wearing hard hats and gas masks, marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of riot police with shields and batons outside a police station. Frontline protesters -- known as "braves" -- pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles.
08/24/2019 - 05:03 AM
The Latest: Houston police chief supports drug raid charges
Houston's police chief says the arrest of two officers for their roles in a deadly January drug raid that killed a couple shows his agency can hold its own accountable if they do something wrong. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday he doesn't believe the actions of ex-officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant are indicative of a systematic problem within his agency. Earlier Friday, prosecutors announced they had filed two felony murder counts against Goines and one count of tampering with a government record against Bryant.
08/23/2019 - 07:45 PM
Pompeo says Huawei CEO is not a bargaining chip in Trump-China trade war
Mike Pompeo has rejected claims that detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is being used for leverage in the US-China trade war. Speaking with his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, in Ottawa on Thursday, the US secretary of state appeared to rule out dropping the extradition request for Ms Meng to ease tensions with Beijing, insisting it is a legal matter. In December, US president Donald Trump implied he might intervene in the case to help secure a trade deal with China. “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do,” he said at the time. The US alleges Ms Meng – the Chinese technology company’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its chief executive – helped Huawei circumvent sanctions on Iran. According to Vancouver court documents released this week, she told a Canadian border official that the company has an office in Iran. The US has charged Ms Meng, 47, with bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit both. She is currently on bail living under house arrest in one of her Vancouver mansions while her lawyers fight her extradition to the US. Asked on Thursday if she is a “bargaining chip” in US-China trade talks, Mr Pompeo replied simply: “No.” Since Ms Meng’s arrest in Vancouver airport on a US arrest warrant in December, ties between Ottawa and Beijing have fallen to a historically low ebb. Two Canadians, businessman Michael Svapor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, were arrested and charged with espionage shortly afterwards in what is widely viewed as a reprisal by Beijing. “Our team is focussed on helping those two Canadians be released,” Mr Pompeo said later ahead of a meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. Mr Trump spoke directly to Chinese president Xi Jinping about their “arbitrary detention” in June, he told journalists. Mr Pompeo, 55, also slapped down a question comparing their confinement with that of Ms Meng, accusing the journalist of taking “the Chinese line”. Mr Pompeo was visiting Canada ahead of the G7 meeting in France, where relations with China will be discussed. On Friday, Beijing escalated the trade dispute, announcing fresh tariffs on US imports worth $75 billion (£61 billion).
08/23/2019 - 12:45 PM
Ghost Particles Could Explain Just About Everything in the Universe
You might also know them by their other name: neutrinos.
08/23/2019 - 06:21 PM
An innocent man spent months in jail after customs officials thought honey he brought back from Jamaica was liquid meth
Leon Haughton told The Washington Post he was jailed for 82 days after customs officials in Baltimore alleged that the three jars of honey were meth.
08/23/2019 - 04:42 PM
Fast-moving wildfire erupts in California, forcing thousands to evacuate
Mountain fire races across hundreds of acres in just hours as wildfire season looms large over the stateThis photo provided by Cal Fire shows an aerial view of the Mountain Fire on 22 August. Photograph: APA fast-moving wildfire that broke out on Thursday in northern California has forced the evacuation of nearly 4,000 residents, racing across at least 600 acres within just a few hours, officials say. The Mountain fire, which erupted on the outskirts of a national forest in northern California, has threatened 1,110 homes and structures. As of Friday morning the fire was 40% contained , according to Cal Fire.The cause of the fire is under investigation.Photos of the blaze posted on Twitter by the Shasta county sheriff’s office showed thick black and gray smoke billowing into the area over a highway near the Shasta-Trinity national forest.“Jones Valley and Bella Vista area residents! This situation is very fluid and rapidly changing, if you do not see your road listed but feel you are in danger YOU MAY EVACUATE to Shasta College Gymnasium,” the sheriff’s department said in a separate tweet.The Mountain fire is threatening thousands of homes and forcing evacuations. Photograph: APThe Shasta College campus was closed along with Highway 299 and about a dozen smaller roads. Residents of small communities in the path of the flames were told to evacuate or be prepared to flee on short notice.California was hit by some of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in a century last year and state officials have warned this year’s fire season could be similarly intense.The Camp fire, which broke out in Butte county in November and overran the town of Paradise, killed 86 people and left thousands of others homeless. State fire investigators determined that the Camp fire was sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric Co transmission lines.The Mountain fire broke out on the same day that Bernie Sanders, the senator and Democratic presidential candidate, unveiled his $16.3tn climate change plan and toured Paradise, which he called a “wake-up call for our entire nation”.“Climate change is a major, major crisis for our country, and the entire world, and one of the manifestations of that crisis is what happened here,” Sanders said as he walked through a burned-out mobile home park in Paradise alongside people who lost their homes in last November’s deadly blaze.
08/23/2019 - 12:23 PM
Democratic presidential candidates have a new approach for tackling gun violence: Treat it as a public-health crisis
Candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker want to draw on tactics used by community-based organizations to fight gun violence.
08/23/2019 - 01:23 PM
A man was training to get a gun permit. The instructor accidentally shot him, police say
The instructor, a Riverside County Sheriff's Department trainer, accidentally shot a student attending the class to get a concealed weapons permit.
08/24/2019 - 02:27 PM
2020 Democratic presidential field begins to shrink
Christian Hanley and Kristen Hawn weigh in on the field of 2020 Democratic hopefuls as candidates begin to drop out of the race.
08/24/2019 - 02:25 PM
Hong Kong police arrest 29 after overnight clashes, more protests planned
Hong Kong's police said on Sunday they arrested 29 people after clashes overnight in which volleys of tear gas were fired to disperse anti-government protesters, as the Asian financial hub braced for more demonstrations later in the day. The city's rail operator, MTR Corp <0066.HK>, announced it was suspending some services in the west of the territory due to public activities taking place in the area. Four MTR subway stations were closed due to the protests.
08/24/2019 - 09:37 PM
Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings
Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.
08/23/2019 - 03:01 AM
Iranian oil tanker pursued by US says it is going to Turkey
An Iranian-flagged oil tanker pursued by the U.S. amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington changed its listed destination to a port in Turkey after Greece said it wouldn't risk its relations with America by aiding it. The crew of the oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, on Saturday updated its listed destination in its Automatic Identification System to Mersin, Turkey, a port city in the country's south and home to an oil terminal.
08/25/2019 - 12:21 AM
Pelosi’s Go-Slow Impeachment Strategy Is Tested in Fight Over Trump’s Bank Records
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s lawyers were in a New York courtroom Friday trying to block Democrats’ access to financial records from Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp. -- and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has much at stake over the outcome.The president has been in a fight to keep his financial information private, especially since Democrats won control of the House in November. His lawyers went before a three-judge federal appeals court panel seeking to overturn a ruling that the banks had to comply with subpoenas issued by the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees.A Trump victory would undercut Pelosi’s litigation-first strategy to put off a politically explosive decision on whether to impeach the president. It could make it impossible for her to continue fending off the growing demands from House Democrats to at least open an impeachment inquiry, calls that have been joined by several of the party’s 2020 presidential candidates.So far, Pelosi has held to her go-slow approach as polls consistently show that the public doesn’t support impeachment at this point and Democrats can’t risk alienating voters in swing districts if they want to keep or expand their House majority.Friday’s test of the speaker’s strategy came in an appeal by Trump’s lawyers to a ruling in May by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. They say the subpoenas in dispute, which call for records relating to Trump, his businesses and his family, are too broad and that the House is simply out to harass and embarrass him.Pelosi says getting the records from these two long-time Trump lenders is among several House legal pursuits needed to build a stronger case for impeachment -- beyond former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.The bank records could document foreign influence on the president and his family, including “money laundering, illicit transactions and foreign investments,” Pelosi said in a memo this month to fellow Democrats.Friday’s hearing reflected that broader drama. The judges aggressively questioned both sides and granted each more than twice its allotted time. And the session ended in a remarkable standoff between the judges and the lawyers for Deutsche Bank and Capital One, who were repeatedly asked -- and repeatedly refused to say -- whether the banks even had tax records sought by the House subpoenas.Can’t go there, Raphael Prober, an attorney for Deutsche Bank, told a surprised trio of appellate judges.“I’m simply not able to answer that question standing here today,” he said.Read More: Democrats Want Trump’s ‘Every Debit Card Swipe,’ Lawyer SaysThe battle over the bank records is an early test in the courts of a developing contest between the executive and legislative branches that may go all the way to the Supreme Court, with all the maneuvering and delays that implies.More than roughly half of the lawmakers in Pelosi’s 235-member caucus are already calling for impeachment or at least for the opening of formal impeachment inquiry -- and the number keeps growing.This week, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, the No. 4 House Democrat, joined that chorus, saying an impeachment inquiry “will continue to uncover the facts for the American people and hold this president accountable.”Against this pressure, even a mid-level court defeat could undercut Pelosi’s insistence that the House is poised for victories before judges and should stay the course with her impeachment-delay strategy.“Maxine Waters, Chair of Financial Services, and Adam Schiff, Chair of Intelligence, are winning in court in the Deutsche Bank case, seeking the president’s bank-account records,” she wrote in the memo to Democrats.Pelosi also seized on a lower court ruling in favor of the Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoena to an accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, seeking the president’s financial records. But Trump’s lawyers last month asked an appeals court in Washington to reverse that too, contending that the panel was overstepping its oversight responsibilities.Another front was opened last month, when the House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit asking a federal court in Washington to force the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to hand over the president’s tax returns for the past six years.Pelosi wasn’t commenting through her office Thursday on Friday’s scheduled legal arguments.Avoiding SetbacksBut she and her House legal team have to avoid setbacks in the various court battles for Trump financial records, testimony and other information, according to Neil Kinkopf, a law professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta.“A loss in the Second Circuit would be a major setback from every angle,” he said of the court that’s hearing Friday’s appeal regarding bank records.Kinkopf said it would undercut Pelosi’s “go slow, we’re winning in the courts strategy” but also “it would be a real blow to those who want to move forward on impeachment, because it would deny, or delay their access to documents and testimony that seem crucial to mounting a credible impeachment proceeding.”Some analysts doubt Pelosi really wants to pursue impeachment, which would likely end with the Republican-controlled Senate refusing to remove the president from office.‘Winning’ by Losing“Few people on the Hill seriously believe that Pelosi is seriously entertaining impeachment,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University in Washington.“If this is correct, Pelosi’s ‘winning’ strategy may be losing,” Turley said. “If she loses, she has burned the calendar for impeachment and not produced any further evidence to support articles of impeachment. Alternatively, if she wins, this goes to the Supreme Court and will be delayed into 2020,” when she can argue it’s too close to the election to act on impeachment.But Pelosi has denied that she’s determined to avert impeachment, saying last month that her patience for litigation “isn’t endless.”House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York has argued that his panel’s pursuit of Trump’s “malfeasance” -- through subpoenas and in the courts -- already amounts to “formal impeachment proceedings.”“We’re gathering all the evidence,” he said Aug. 8 on CNN. “And we will, at the conclusion of this, hopefully by the end of the year, vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t.”In urging the appeals court to uphold the ruling demanding Trump’s bank records, the House Financial Services and Intelligence panels argued that they issued the subpoenas in support of legitimate congressional probes and that the requests for information are within Congress’s broad constitutional powers.“The subpoenas are designed to obtain documents to inform the committees’ investigations, oversight functions, and legislative judgments,” and the district court was right to hold that they serve legitimate legislative purposes, the committees said.But lawyers for Trump contend it’s overreach.“The subpoenas seek documents reaching back more than a decade, cover individuals who have never held government office (including minor children), and seek virtually every financial detail that the institutions might have about plaintiffs’ private affairs,” they said in a brief filed with the appeals court.(Updates with the events of Friday’s hearing in paragraphs 8-10.)\--With assistance from Patricia Hurtado.To contact the reporters on this story: Billy House in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at firstname.lastname@example.org, Larry Liebert, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
08/23/2019 - 04:52 PM
Police are trying to arrest their way out of a mass shooting epidemic, and experts warn that law enforcement can't shoulder the entire burden
The arrests won't fully or permanently stop a person determined to inflict mass death — and the US is nowhere near close to tackling the root causes.
08/24/2019 - 07:04 PM
All the Best Le Creuset Deals During Williams Sonoma Warehouse Sale
08/23/2019 - 02:54 PM
'Keep Marysville white': racist remark by would-be councilor shocks Michigan city
A question about diversity in a candidate’s forum produced a jaw-dropping response from first-time candidate Jean CramerJean Cramer, a candidate for the Marysville city council, gives her opening remarks during a candidate forum on Thursday at Marysville City Hall in Michigan. Photograph: Brian Wells/APFor the first hour of the election forum in Marysville, Michigan, on Thursday night the debate between the five candidates for a city council seat dealt with the local subjects you might expect – how to improve Little League fields, new real estate developments and the like.Then the question came: “Do you believe the diversity of our community needs to be looked at?”First to answer was Jean Cramer, a local resident running her first political campaign. She replied: “Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible.”Her response, reported by the Times-Herald newspaper in Port Huron, sent a ripple of laughter and then shock across the hall. Marysville, a small town of 10,000 north-east of Detroit, is 98% white and 0.3% African American.Cramer’s unalloyed remark was immediately denounced by other Marysville figures. The town’s acting mayor, Kathy Hayman, said: “I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked.”Hayman added that her father was Syrian. “So basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business in this community.”The outgoing mayor, Dan Damman, called Cramer’s comments “as vile as they were jaw-dropping”.After the forum ended, Cramer doubled down on her racist outburst to the Times Herald.She insisted she was not “against blacks” but went on to say: “A husband and wife need to be the same race … That’s how it’s been [since] … God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time.”Paradoxically, of the five candidates in November’s mayoral election, Cramer has the weakest roots within Marysville. The other four were born in the town or have lived there for decades, but as the Times Herald pointed out she only moved to the community within the last 10 years.
08/23/2019 - 10:57 AM
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg treated for malignant tumor on pancreas
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a three-week radiation course after a "localized malignant tumor" was found on her pancreas.
08/23/2019 - 05:45 PM
Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute plea
A serial killer who admitted killing six gay men in just eight-months in the US east coast has been executed.Gary Ray Bowles was given a lethal injection in Florida late Thursday after more than 20 years on death row.
08/23/2019 - 03:46 AM
UK Hong Kong consulate worker Simon Cheng freed after detention in mainland China
A British consulate employee in Hong Kong has been freed by China after being detained for 15 days on the mainland amid rising tensions between the former British colony and Beijing. Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section, went missing on August 8 on his way back from a work trip in Shenzhen, a neighbouring Chinese city. It was not until after the UK expressed “extreme concern” about his disappearance that China’s foreign ministry broke its silence, confirming Mr Cheng had been detained without releasing further details. On Saturday, his family announced that he had come back. "Simon has returned to Hong Kong; thanks you everyone for your support! Simon and his family wish to have some time to rest and recover, and will not take any interview,” they said in a statement. An activist holds an illustration of Simon Cheng during a gathering outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong Credit: AFP Chinese police in Shenzhen confirmed that Mr Cheng had been detained for violating public security management regulations, and was released after that period on Saturday. Police also said he had “confessed to the facts of his illegal activity,” without saying what those activities were. Mr Cheng was not formally charged or tried in court, and his family rejected allegations in Chinese state media that he had been detained for visiting prostitutes. On Friday the UK issued a warning to all travellers to Hong Kong about increased scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings. The warning added that mobile phones and electronic devices were being checked by border patrol. Mr Cheng’s mysterious disappearance highlights China’s murky legal and judicial system – something that help kicked off mass protests early June in Hong Kong. Many fear freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong, guaranteed for at least 50 years under an agreement that became effective when the former British colony was returned to Beijing, are fast-disappearing under China’s ruling Communist Party. Hong Kong crisis | Comment and analysis Millions first took to the streets against a now-suspended extradition proposal that would have sent people to face trial in mainland China, where Communist Party control of the courts contributes to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate. Forced confessions are also common with suspects paraded on state television. “What happened to Simong Cheng – this is a common tactic used by the central government to put pressure on people,” said Kammy Yang, 50, an office clerk at a protest on Saturday. “Many Chinese activists were accused of prostitution or tax scams; this is their strategy in China, trying to suppress freedom.” Thousands of protesters on Saturday engaged in a series of skirmishes, throwing projectiles from bricks to petrol bombs at police who responded with sprays of tear gas and rubber bullets. It was the first time tear gas had been deployed in 10 days, a period of relative calm as protesters recalibrated their approach in an otherwise tumultuous, violent summer. Demonstrators join hands to form a human chain during the Hong Kong Way event in the Central district of Hong Kong, China, on Friday Credit: Bloomberg “The reasons why protesters are building roadblocks, surrounding police stations, and throwing bricks – it’s because the government doesn’t respond to us,” said Vaso Chan, 28, an office clerk. “It’s not fun for any of us to come out during summer break.” Protesters spray painted slogans like “Give me liberty or death,” Chinazi,” and “HK popo Gestapo,” on sidewalks and highways. As the political movement has grown, so have protesters’ demands, who are now calling for an independent inquiry into police handling of the protests, the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and direct leadership elections. City leaders however have made no concessions, instead thrusting the police to the front lines to handle the situation, further angering protesters. Demonstrations are occurring nearly every day now in the financial hub, disrupting traffic and public transportation. On Saturday, several stations closed along a planned march route. But despite growing unrest, public support for the protesters has stayed strong, with marches and strikes planned through September. “No matter whether those protesters are peaceful protesters or protesters that are standing in the ‘front lines’, no matter what they do, we will support them,” said Mr Chan.
08/24/2019 - 10:15 AM
U.S. new home sales drop sharply, point to more housing weakness
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes sank more than expected in July, a sign that the housing market continued in low gear despite lower mortgage rates and a strong labor market. The Commerce Department said on Friday new home sales dropped 12.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000 units last month. Economists had expected a sales pace of 649,000 units.
08/23/2019 - 10:32 AM
Rep. Steve King wants to make abortion point in 'softer way'
Backed by supporters at a news conference in Des Moines, the Iowa Republican affirmed his belief that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions for rape or incest. King faced criticism for his comment Aug. 14 that questioned whether there would be "any population of the world left" if not for births due to rape or incest. The remarks were condemned by numerous groups and individuals, including Republican and Democratic candidates seeking to oust King, Democratic presidential candidates as well as the Iowa Republican Party and Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in House leadership.
08/23/2019 - 06:31 PM
Trump's economic anxiety comes to a boil
The president directs U.S. businesses to pull out of China, but maintains that the "economy is doing really well."
08/23/2019 - 02:47 PM
Journalist killed in Mexico
The head of a Mexican news website was found stabbed to death in the center of the country, authorities said Saturday, the 10th such killing this year. The body of Nevith Condes Jaramillo "was found Saturday morning... showing injuries from a sharp object," the state prosecutor said in a statement. Condes Jaramillo, 42, was the head of a local news site in Tejupilco and was also an announcer on a community radio station.
08/25/2019 - 01:32 AM
A man with schizophrenia was found guilty of murdering a Saint Augustine's University student in 1979. 40 years later, a panel of judges decided he's innocent after all.
Blackmon's lawyers argued he was tricked by police and prosecutors into falsely confessing to a crime he didn't commit.
08/23/2019 - 11:05 AM
08/23/2019 - 08:00 AM
Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicide
Authorities say they believe Marsha Edwards shot Christopher Edwards Jr. and Erin Edwards before turning the gun on herself.
08/23/2019 - 09:43 AM
Qantas to test 'ultra long-haul' Sydney to NY, London flights
Qantas on Thursday said it will run "ultra long-haul" test flights in the coming months from New York and London to Sydney in order to assess the health of pilots and passengers, as it eyes commercial services on the marathon routes. Qantas last year introduced the first direct service from the western Australian city of Perth to London, with the 17-hour journey one of the longest passenger flights in the world. "Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we're determined to do all the groundwork to get this right," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
08/23/2019 - 02:38 PM
2 women accused of shoplifting strollers and accidentally leaving their baby behind
Two women were arrested for allegedly shoplifting baby strollers and accidentally leaving their own baby behind as they tried to get away.
08/24/2019 - 01:30 PM
Cathay Pacific cabin crew union leader fired as Hong Kongers warn of spread of 'white terror'
Cathay Pacific fired a cabin crew union leader on Friday, the latest casualty in a fast-spreading “white terror” as mass protests in Hong Kong continue into their third month. Rebecca Sy, head of the Cathay Dragon flight attendant’s association, said she lost her job of 17 years, without explanation, after managers saw and confirmed her Facebook account, which included messages in favour of the protests. “All the employees are being frightened, not just cabin crews, but even the management,” Ms Sy told reporters. “My colleagues are all terrified because of its white terror.” “White terror” is a term used to describe a slew of events that create a climate of fear particularly as companies and employees worry of serious repercussions for voicing their views. Her departure follows a surprise resignation last week by CEO Rupert Hogg, reported first by Chinese state media, underlining the political nature of the decision. Cathay has borne the brunt of Beijing’s anger as authorities look to punish companies with any link to the Hong Kong protests - a direct challenge to the power of the Communist Party. Rebecca Sy was dismissed from her position as flight attendant for Cathay Pacific's subsidiary Cathay Dragon Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images In the crackdown, companies and employees could face serious repercussions for voicing their views. Hong Kong subway operator MTR has also come under fire for arranging additional trains to allow protesters to travel home, accused of “colluding with rioters” in Chinese state media. Beijing authorities have long put the squeeze on companies over political issues by encouraging its 1.4 billion citizens to snub various brands or by throwing up a number of regulatory roadblocks – a move that can have devastating consequences for even the biggest firms. Simon Cheng, 28, a British consular official in Hong Kong and permanent resident of the city has been detained for two weeks in mainland China for allegedly visiting prostitutes. Under Chinese law, Mr Cheng should have been released today after a 15-day administrative period but at time of publication he was still in detention. Hong Kong police said on Friday that they did not know Mr Cheng's whereabouts. Protests in Hong Kong first kicked off over an extradition proposal that would have exposed people to China’s murky legal and judicial system, where authorities have also in the past detained foreigners to express political displeasure. Two Canadians - Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur - were detained in China last year during Beijing’s diplomatic dispute with Ottawa over its arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. It is widely viewed that both men - who are still being held and have been charged with spying – are being used as political pawns. Hong Kong protests | Read more A number of multinationals operating in Hong Kong have sought to stress their political neutrality to avoid their businesses being targeted and to protect staff from arbitrary detention. Earlier this week, the world’s “big four” accounting firms came under attack after an anonymous group claiming to be made up of their employees took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to express support for protests in Hong Kong and condemn the firms for remaining silent on the issue. Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers all sought to distance themselves from the advertisement, saying it didn’t represent the companies’ views. But Chinese state media had already seized on the situation, calling for the firms to identify and sack the employees behind the ad. FinnAir has also issued a warning to staff to remember to “keep work and politics separate,” reported the South China Morning Post, over concerns that any link to the protests might lead to a customer backlash or flight cancellations in China, its second-largest market for long-haul travel. “China is obviously putting pressure on companies to ensure that they all hold the same political views,” said Keenan Chuk, 30, a finance manager who attended a lunchtime rally or accountants in Hong Kong’s central business district Friday. “I am concerned that I will be fired,” he said, adding that “we still have to fight for our rights.” Even universities have warned students against discussing politics and participating in rallies. “In a modern society, education should be free from politics so as to alleviate the escalation of anxiety and avoid the divisive society caused by chaos,” according to a statement from the City University of Hong Kong issued earlier this month. A woman said she experienced at a police station during her detention in Hong Kong Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Peter Some banks are also now taking precautionary measures, purchasing full page ads in newspapers to affirm their support for the government. Edwin, 26, an accountant who declined to give his last name, said senior partners in his firm had invited junior employees to lunch that day in an attempt to dissuade people from attending Friday’s protest. But he participated in the demonstration anyway, turning up again in the evening to join a human chain meant to evoke the Baltic Way, when two million lined up across three countries to protest Soviet rule in 1989. “In the industry, we switch firms quite often,” he shrugged. Hong Kong police came under renewed pressure on Friday when officers were accused of conducting an unnecessary strip search on a female protester. The alleged victim appeared at a press conference dressed in all black with a black face mask, cap and sunglasses. Facing the cameras in front of a "MeToo" sign, she claimed she was arrested weeks ago at a protest against the now-abandoned extradition bill and was admitted to hospital for injuries she suffered that night. By her account, one officer patted her thighs with a pen, instructing her to open her legs wider after ordering her to take off all her clothes in a police cell. The police said their body search procedures had not changed during the recent outbreak of citywide protests.
08/23/2019 - 12:36 PM
Chinese embassy says the US is trying to suppress Huawei
An embassy statement to The Associated Press said the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities is "of course different" from China's detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. "The Meng Wanzhou incident is not just a judicial case, but the U.S. using state power to work with its certain ally to suppress a private high-tech Chinese enterprise on unwarranted charges.
08/23/2019 - 05:48 PM
Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife
Can we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality
08/23/2019 - 03:00 AM
Fear grips Bangladesh camp as 2 Rohingya refugees killed
Bangladesh police said they had shot dead two Rohingya refugees during a gunfight in a refugee camp on Saturday after the pair were accused of killing a ruling party official. Nearly a million Rohingya live in squalid camps in southeast Bangladesh, 740,000 of whom fled a 2017 military offensive against the Muslim minority in Myanmar. The incident comes two days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the refugees, which saw not a single Rohingya turn up to return across the border to conflict-scarred Rakhine state.
08/24/2019 - 11:56 AM
Two NYC women plead guilty to plan to build bomb for attack on U.S.
Two women inspired by radical Islam pleaded guilty in New York City on Friday to teaching and distributing information about the manufacture and use of an explosive, destructive device and weapon of mass destruction, federal prosecutors said. Asia Siddiqui and Noelle Velentzas, both U.S. citizens in their 30s from the borough of Queens, face up to 20 years in prison when they are sentenced. U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement the defendants studied some of the most deadly attacks in U.S. history as a blueprint for their plans to kill American law enforcement and military personnel.
08/23/2019 - 01:59 PM
A youth sports organization is raffling off a semi-automatic weapon to help its cheerleading and football teams
As a result of the controversy, the president of the organization said he is considering doing away with the rifle raffle for future fundraisers.
08/23/2019 - 04:56 PM
Chinese buyers pull back from U.S. housing market, hurting home sales
Chinese investors are buying fewer U.S. homes because of money controls in China. That's lowering prices and giving U.S. buyers a better chance to buy
08/23/2019 - 03:13 PM
2 US allies in Asia are at each other's throats, and it's a big win for China
"It weakens the United States' toolkit for fighting back against China's aims and ambitions," an Asia security expert told Insider.
08/23/2019 - 01:31 PM
The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health Care
The Hyde Amendment keeps women of color, young people, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and lower-income people from accessing abortion care, writes Congresswoman Barbara Lee. She says it's time for Congress to repeal it.
08/23/2019 - 02:26 PM
US homeland security chief tours Panama jungle migrant camp
The acting U.S. homeland security secretary visited a camp in the Panamanian jungle Friday housing hundreds of migrants who survived the perilous border crossing from Colombia, usually heading for the United States. Kevin McAleenan arrived by SUV in Penitas shortly before midday and was briefed on the camp's operations and the physical conditions of those who crossed the region known as the Darien Gap.
08/23/2019 - 06:43 PM
Kavanaugh’s High-School Classmate Sues HuffPost for Defamation
A former high-school classmate of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh has filed suit against HuffPost over a “fabricated” report intended to detail the culture of debauchery at Georgetown Preparatory School during Kavanaugh's time there.HuffPost reporter Ashley Feinberg, now at Slate, published a report at the height of the Kavanaugh confirmation controversy entitled “Former Student: Brett Kavanaugh's Prep School Party Scene Was a ‘Free-For-All',” which purported to expose the degenerate culture that predominated at Georgetown Prep when Kavanaugh was a student. That hard-partying ethos supposedly culminated in the 1984 overdose death of David Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's son, in a Palm Beach hotel.Feinberg, citing one anonymous Georgetown Prep alumnus, wrote that “two students — David's brother Doug, and his friend Derrick Evans — had helped score the coke” that ultimately killed David. Evans, an African American professor and community activist, filed suit on Wednesday alleging that Feinberg failed to contact him and fabricated his role in David's death in her “zeal to create a sensational article about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s years at [Georgetown Prep] and thereby drive traffic to [HuffPost's] website.”“Indeed, if Ms. Feinberg or her HuffPost editors had done even the most basic research of publicly available sources, she and they would have known, if they did not already know, that Mr. Evans actively assisted law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting the individuals who actually sold the illegal narcotics,” the lawsuit reads.HuffPost initially corrected the article after Doug Kennedy's employer, Fox News, sent a letter to the outlet rebutting its allegations.“This article previously stated incorrectly that Doug Kennedy was involved in helping his brother to purchase drugs in 1984. Kennedy was only sharing a room with Derrick Evans, who helped David purchase the drugs, according to an affidavit obtained by the New York Times. We regret the error,” reads a correction appended to the article just one day after it was published.While the correction exonerated Doug Kennedy it also further defamed Evans, according to the lawsuit.“The September 21 correction was another complete fabrication published by HuffPost with actual knowledge that both it and the original publication were false or in reckless disregard of the truth, again without ever attempting to contact Mr. Evans for comment,” the lawsuit reads. “As HuffPost knew, there was NO affidavit reflecting that Mr. Evans ever helped anyone purchase illegal drugs. Defendants had no such affidavit in their possession, and they could not have had such an affidavit in their possession.”The original article has been significantly altered since its publication and, as of this writing, no longer contains any reference to David's death.The case, Evans v. Huffington Post.com Inc., is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
08/23/2019 - 06:49 PM
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