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  • U.S., Taliban deal will not stop attacks on Afghan forces, Taliban say

    Golocal247.com news

    KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - As U.S. and Taliban negotiators push to wrap up talks aimed at securing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, Taliban sources say a pact will not mean an end to fighting with the U.S.-backed Afghan government. U.S. and Taliban officials have been negotiating in Qatar since last year on an agreement centered on the withdrawal of U.S. forces, and an end to their longest-ever war, in exchange for a Taliban guarantee that international militant groups will not plot from Afghan soil. U.S. negotiators have been pressing the Taliban to agree to so-called intra-Afghan talks, meaning with the Kabul government and a ceasefire, but a senior Taliban official said that would not happen.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 04:29:40 -0400
  • Doubling down on racist comments, council candidate says she opposes interracial marriage

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    Marysville, Michigan mayor Dan Damman has called for city council candidate Jean Cramer to withdraw. She says she doesn't plan to.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:33:27 -0400
  • Montana is back among states without state-funded preschool

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    Montana enters the upcoming school year back among the handful of states without publicly funded preschool, and the unions and education groups that are otherwise staunch allies of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock are a big reason why his fledgling pre-kindergarten program fizzled. The state briefly broke from those ranks with a 2017 budget item that provided funding for preschool programs through 10 school districts and seven private providers. Bullock, who is now running for the Democratic nomination for president, touted it as a major win for one of his top priorities of his final term: early childhood education.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 11:20:34 -0400
  • A psychiatrist who's worked with inmates where Jeffrey Epstein was held weighs in on his death

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    The Justice Department confirmed Friday that a psychologist OK'd Jeffrey Epstein's release from suicide watch. An expert scrutinized the medical call.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:22:13 -0400
  • Lindsey Graham warns Trump not to pull all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan

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    Trump has long been eager to withdraw American troops out of the country.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 14:32:21 -0400
  • Parents charged with hate crime after allegedly assaulting boy found in daughter's closet

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    The mother and step-father of a 15-year-old San Bruno girl are in jail after allegedly assaulting and kidnapping the teenage boy they found in their daughter's bedroom. Police are saying it was a hate crime.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 19:57:55 -0400
  • Revered as a saint by online extremists, how Christchurch shooter inspired copycat terrorists around the world

    Golocal247.com news

    “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.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:22:59 -0400
  • Journalist killed in Mexico

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    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.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 01:32:37 -0400
  • Bat poo no longer blights church and interrupts service, as worshippers rejoice over new scheme

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    Enticing the next generation through their ancient doors, keeping donations topped up and ensuring that the organ is tuned usually rank high among any church’s list of priorities. For one congregation in Leicester, however, their problems have been somewhat more ungodly. For years, members of All Saints Church in Braunston-in-Rutland have been plagued by faeces dropping from the ceiling where a 500-strong colony of bats now reside.  This has meant that instead of praying or enjoying the 1,000-year-old church building, parishioners have been slipping on its floors, art and furniture has been covered in sheeting and volunteer wardens have spent hours scouring pews and floors of bat excrement. Now, however, the congregation remains clean and dry. Following a pioneering new scheme, entitled the Bats in Churches project, work has been done to fill the gaps in the ceiling to prevent faeces and urine soaking through without harming the animals. It is illegal to stop bats - which are a protected species - from reaching their roost, leaving many churches unable to patch up holes in their walls and doors which bats use for access. As a result, many congregations across the country have often found themselves at the receiving end of their sporadic, plunging excrement.  Gail Rudge at All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, where bats have roosted and caused damage  Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  All Saints Church was one of the first to benefit from £3.8million of Heritage Lottery Funds to reduce the impact of bats on the buildings across the UK. It is one of around 100 churches, which hosts a large bat roost, which is now reaping the rewards of clean floors and clean congregants.  Sue Willetts, church warden, told the BBC: "Before, we had covers down on the floors to collect the droppings. "We had to clean the pews every time, it took an hour before every single service. Now we use the church how its meant to be." Mrs Willetts said that the bat problem “snowballed” five years ago when an old chimney in the village collapsed, prompting its residents to move into the church instead. She added that after signing up to the scheme, ecologists found gaps between the roof and the church and it was possible to block these gaps without harming the bats. She estimated that the church has received £100,000 worth of scaffolding, building, and ecological study works since applying for funding from the project. Rosemary Riddell, from the Bat in Churches project, said work at All Saints Church "has enabled us to sort of roll out solutions to other churches similar to Braunstone and it's really helped us to learn from their experiences". "[The church] was one of our guinea pigs and we're grateful for their engagement and involvement," she added. More than 100 churches have applied for the Bats and Churches Partnership, which monitors bats to see whether church managers could be allowed to take action to protect their historic buildings. It is funded by a multi-million-pound National Lottery grant.  All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  During the General Synod earlier this summer, The Telegraph reported that bats in the belfry were being mooted as a potential “tool for mission”.  Bishops visiting York were asked to answer more than 100 questions involving an array of controversial topics such as reporting abuse during confession, non-disclosure agreements and ethical investments in large technology companies; and one was on bats.  The Archdeacon of Lincoln, the Venerable Gavin Kirk, asked for an update on the progress of the Bats in Churches project, and “how those afflicted by bats may find out more about it?”  Sir Tony Baldry, chair of the Church Buildings Council, responded: “A number of projects involve volunteers from the community in managing and even exploiting the presence of bats, for school projects and the like. Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave politely.” Asked how bats may prove to be tools for mission, Sir Tony told the media: “We have to work out how to encourage them out of the belfry to roost in bat boxes in churchyards. “They could then be of interest for projects for schools and A-level students studying the life cycles of bats and so on. They are part of God's creation and are interesting mammals. “There are serious challenges. They poo and urinate over large parts of the church, it is very distressing for parishioners on a Sunday to have to clear a whole load of bat poo off the altar and pews and so for some churches that bats have made almost unusable.”

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 17:00:00 -0400
  • Iran says it has sold oil from tanker released by Gibraltar

    Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel's owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday. After Gibraltar freed the Adrian Darya tanker on Aug. 18, the United States said it would take every action it could to prevent it delivering oil to Syria - the original stated reason for its detention - in contravention of U.S. sanctions.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 04:07:01 -0400
  • A man was training to get a gun permit. The instructor accidentally shot him, police say

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    The instructor, a Riverside County Sheriff's Department trainer, accidentally shot a student attending the class to get a concealed weapons permit.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:27:09 -0400
  • Oklahoma judge to deliver judgment in state's opioid lawsuit

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    An Oklahoma judge is expected to rule Monday in the first state case to go to trial accusing an opioid drugmaker of being responsible for the devastating consequences arising from addiction to the powerful painkillers. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman is scheduled to deliver his judgment in open court at 3 p.m. The case is at the forefront of a wave of similar lawsuits by states, cities, counties and Indian tribes against drug companies over the wreckage caused by the national opioid crisis. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has called consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson, the last remaining defendant group in the case, a "kingpin" company that helped fuel the most devastating public health crisis in the state's history.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 00:03:12 -0400
  • Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit

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    (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 rsigurdardot@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net, Nick Rigillo, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 10:27:24 -0400
  • Felix Sater: Trump wanted to reveal my secret CIA, FBI work during the campaign

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    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump wanted to reveal years of secret work that his one-time real estate adviser Felix Sater did for the CIA and FBI, Sater tells the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 15:00:21 -0400
  • Lindsey Graham: 'Accept the pain' of the U.S.-China trade war

    The senator and key Trump ally suggested China will try to drag the trade war out through the 2020 elections.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 12:44:18 -0400
  • NJ Cop Sent to Psychiatric Ward After Wife’s Slaying Will Finally Face Judge

    Golocal247.com news

    Chip East/ReutersA New Jersey cop accused of breaking into his estranged wife’s home, shooting her, and then chasing her into the streets to put a final bullet in her head—all while in uniform—will finally face a judge next week.Newark Lt. John Formisano was arrested a couple of hours after the July 15 slaying. But instead of being brought to court, he was taken to a psychiatric unit after telling investigators that he “blacked out” just before the shooting.According to a police affidavit, the 49-year-old exhibited “suicidal behavior.” Five weeks later, he was still in the hospital and had not been arraigned in a court of law—frustrating victim Christie Solaro-Formisano’s family.“What we feel is we want to have some justice. Any justice can bring a small fraction of peace and closure,” her aunt, Joy Mandara, said earlier this week. “Right now, it seems justice is working very slowly and differently from how we expected.”Uniformed Cop Who Allegedly Gunned Down Screaming Wife Hasn’t Faced JusticeAfter The Daily Beast and local media reported on the delay, the wheels of justice seemed to speed up. Prosecutors confirmed Saturday that there will be a hearing in the case on Wednesday, and that Formisano will appear via video hookup from the psychiatric unit.Before the hearing was scheduled, prosecutors had insisted Formisano was not getting special treatment because he is a police officer.“If this defendant was a house painter or a businessman on Wall Street in the same circumstances, it would have been handled in the same way,” a spokesman for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office told The Daily Beast earlier in the week.At the time of the shooting, Solaro-Formisano and the Newark lieutenant were in the process of getting a divorce.Formisano told investigators that he went to her home to drop off glasses for their 8-year-old daughter, the older of their two children. The mother of two was home with her boyfriend, and went down to the door.“He’s got a gun!” Solaro-Formisano yelled, according to the boyfriend. “Call 911!”A nightmarish scene ensued. Formisano allegedly chased his estranged wife through the house, shooting at her, then broke down the bedroom door and shot the boyfriend in the abdomen, thigh, arms, and hand.Bleeding from her wounds, Solaro-Formisano ran outside. She was scrambling up the steps to a neighbor’s house when the cop allegedly caught up to her and shot her in the head.The neighbor called 911 and identified the gunman. “He’s a Newark cop. He lives on the corner. I saw it. I saw him through my window. He’s in his uniform,” she told the dispatcher.N.J. Cop Claims He ‘Blacked Out’ Before Killing Estranged Wife, Shooting Her Boyfriend: AuthoritiesAccording to police, Formisano locked his service weapon in the trunk of his car, tossed his cellphone and drove 30 miles. He was nabbed in a parking lot.During a police interview, he did not deny his role in the bloodshed.“After entering the residence, Formisano stated he began to suspect that [his estranged wife] had a male guest in the bedroom, at which point he ‘blacked out,’” the police affidavit said.“He stated that he recalls firing his weapon numerous times.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 23:20:23 -0400
  • Muslim man left in coma after Thai army interrogation dies

    Golocal247.com news

    A Muslim man left in a coma after being interrogated at a notorious Thai detention centre died Sunday, as pressure mounts on the army to release further findings of a probe into the case. Abdulloh Esormusor, a suspected rebel from the country's restive south died early Sunday morning, more than a month after he was taken to the Inkayuth military camp, his cousin Mohammatrahmat Mamu told AFP. Inkayuth is the Thai army's biggest detention centre in the south, where suspects are taken for interrogation and held under emergency laws and where rights groups have documented torture.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 03:22:54 -0400
  • UK Hong Kong consulate worker Simon Cheng freed after detention in mainland China

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    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.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 10:15:04 -0400
  • Exclusive: Iran says it will not negotiate missile work, wants to export more oil

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran wants to export a minimum of 700,000 barrels per day of its oil and ideally up to 1.5 million bpd if the West wants to negotiate with Tehran to save a 2015 nuclear deal, two Iranian officials and one diplomat told Reuters on Sunday. A second official said "Iran's ballistic missile program cannot and will not be negotiated.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 12:34:38 -0400
  • 2 women accused of shoplifting strollers and accidentally leaving their baby behind

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    Two women were arrested for allegedly shoplifting baby strollers and accidentally leaving their own baby behind as they tried to get away.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:30:39 -0400
  • Oregon defends past nonunanimous jury verdicts to high court

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    Oregon's criminal justice system would be "overwhelmed" if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in an upcoming case that nonunanimous jury verdicts are unconstitutional, the state's attorney general has told the court. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in an amicus brief on Friday that if the U.S. Supreme Court finds nonunanimous juries unconstitutional, it could invalidate hundreds or even thousands of convictions in Oregon. Oregon is the only state in America allowing 11-1 or 10-2 jury verdicts in criminal trials, except first-degree murder convictions.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:29:43 -0400
  • Immigration: Baby girl in critical condition after illegal border crossing in Texas

    Golocal247.com news

    A baby girl is in critical condition after being detained by the U.S. with her father. They had crossed the Rio Grande illegally in a group of 21 people.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 21:56:47 -0400
  • Trump ‘suggested firing nuclear weapons at hurricanes to stop them hitting US’, report claims

    Golocal247.com news

    Donald Trump suggested firing nuclear weapons into hurricanes to prevent them hitting the US, reports in Washington claim.The president is said to have raised the idea of bombing hurricanes with senior Homeland Security and national security officials on numerous occasions, dating back as far as 2017.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 19:51:19 -0400
  • First Ladies Raise Glasses on Morning Out in French Countryside

    (Bloomberg) -- While their husbands sparred over Iran and the global economy in Biarritz, the first ladies of the U.S. and France were all smiles as they sampled local sangria in a Basque countryside town 30 kilometers to the southeast.Residents of the commune of Espelette -- known for its spicy dried red peppers -- greeted U.S. first lady Melania Trump warmly on Sunday morning as she browsed in local shops, accompanied by the spouses of other world leaders attending the Group of Seven summit nearby.But it was Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, who drew cheers of “Brigitte! Brigitte!” from the gathered crowd when the spouses emerged from a tasting a La Cave Des Barons D’ezpeleta.“Just an advice, don’t drink too much,” Macron could be heard warning her counterparts as reporters were ushered out of the local wine shop in the town center.The sangria was “very good,” Jenny Morrison, the wife of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed as she exited the tasting, glass still hand.Trump, Macron and Morrison -- along with the first ladies of Chile and Japan, as well as Malgorzata Tusk, the wife of European Council President Donald Tusk -- also visited a textile store, a bakery and a shoe merchant specializing in locally-made espadrilles.A White House official said the first lady didn’t make any purchases.At a sixteenth-century church on the town’s outskirts, Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, snapped photos on her phone as the group took in a choir performance in front of a Baroque altarpiece.Their next stop was Villa Arnaga, built in the early 1900s by French playwright Edmond Rostand. A dance troupe from La Bastide-Clairence, a village near the Spanish border, entertained the women as they sat in the shade to avoid the midday heat in the villa’s manicured gardens.For lunch, the group dined on fresh tomatoes in a light broth and farm-raised organic chicken with sweet bell pepper sauce, a local specialty. Dessert was a peach parfait and Basque-style cake.To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Biarritz at khunter9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Gordon at cgordon39@bloomberg.net, Kathleen Hunter, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:21:47 -0400
  • New Epstein Victims Will Appear in Court With Plans to Sue His Estate

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    Johannes Eisele/GettyBefore prosecutors dismiss their case against Jeffrey Epstein, victims of the deceased sex offender will get a chance to speak in court.Tomorrow morning, multiple women are expected to appear in Manhattan federal court—including new accusers with plans to sue Epstein’s estate, which is already facing five other lawsuits over his alleged sex-trafficking scheme.Famed lawyer Gloria Allred said she’ll be there with a number of clients who say they’re victims of the late financier. “We have not filed lawsuits for them yet, but we will be filing lawsuits for them soon,” Allred told The Daily Beast.Attorney Brad Edwards, who’s represented Epstein’s victims for more than a decade, will also watch Tuesday’s hearing with his law partner, Stan Pottinger. “Regardless of the number of people who appear, the invitation for victims to be present and participate is very important, not only for the victims of Jeffrey Epstein but for crime victims generally,” Edwards said.The closing of Epstein’s criminal case comes nearly two months after the 66-year-old’s July 6 arrest for child sex-trafficking—and weeks after his jail-house suicide. Epstein killed himself shortly after a cache of court records were unsealed in a 2015 lawsuit filed by Victoria Roberts Giuffre, who has long claimed Epstein kept her as his “sex slave” and forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew. (Buckingham Palace has denied the allegations.) The documents revealed more sexual abuse allegations against Epstein’s famous friends. Send The Daily Beast a TipModels Say Jeffrey Epstein’s Closest Pal Drugged, Raped ThemAfter Epstein’s demise, the focus in the press quickly shifted to British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who accusers say was Epstein’s madam and recruited and groomed girls and took part in the abuse herself. Maxwell hasn’t been charged in connection to Epstein’s case, and it’s unclear whether she’s cooperating with authorities. Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, vowed his investigation would continue following Epstein’s death. “To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment—which included a conspiracy count—remains ongoing,” Berman said in a statement.The feds have previously suggested they were eyeing possible accomplices. One July court filing, which requested a protective order for certain documents, stated that prosecutors were investigating “uncharged individuals.”In the meantime, prosecutors in Paris, France, are looking into rape charges against Epstein, while New Mexico’s commissioner of public lands has handed investigators 400 pages of property records which may contain the names of Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators. The perverted money manager owned a residence on Paris’ Avenue Foch, as well as a 10,000-acre ranch in Stanley, New Mexico. While victims wait to see if authorities charge others in Epstein’s orbit, they’re pursuing justice another way: in lawsuits against his estate, his companies, his supposed recruiters and employees, and, in one case, against Ghislaine Maxwell.Jennifer Araoz was the first to sue Epstein’s estate—and Maxwell—after his death. Araoz claims she was 14 and attending a performing arts high-school when she was recruited into Epstein’s sex ring in 2001. Epstein repeatedly abused Araoz at his Manhattan mansion, her lawsuit states, and when she was 15 years old, he raped her.Epstein allegedly preyed on Araoz, who was poor and being raised by a single mother after losing her father to AIDS, and claimed that his connections in the modeling and acting worlds could help launch her career.Soon after Araoz’s suit was filed, two women identified only as Jane Does 1 and 2 sued Epstein’s estate, an adult recruiter “Sue Roe,” whose identity isn’t known, and Roes 2 through 10, who were “employees and/or agents of Epstein.”In June 2004, the Jane Does were aspiring models and hostesses at The Coffee Shop, a Manhattan restaurant that was opened by a trio of Wilhelmina models and earned a reputation for its attractive waitstaff. The eatery closed last year. Sue Roe allegedly approached the women at work, offering them hundreds of dollars to give Epstein “harmless” massages. According to the complaint, “Sue Roe told Jane Doe 1 that her ‘boss’ thought Jane Doe 1 was beautiful and that he liked to give young girls ‘opportunities.’” Roe had assured the women that Epstein wouldn’t touch them, but when they visited his home, he molested them and masturbated, their lawsuit states.The women are represented by Lisa Bloom, who told The Daily Beast a member of her firm will be in court on Tuesday to read statements from four victims she represents. (Bloom says she’s in the middle of a trial in Los Angeles and cannot make it.)Last week, the New York Post reported Epstein’s last will and testament was inked just two days before he hanged himself at Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein left his $577 million fortune to a mysterious entity called The 1953 Trust and named his longtime lawyers, Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, as the primary executors of the estate. Records show the men hired the firm of Erika Kellerhals, another loyal Epstein attorney based in the Virgin Islands, to represent them in the probate proceedings. As The Daily Beast previously revealed, Indyke, Kahn and Kellerhals made up a cadre of operatives who handled Epstein’s business matters and were officers of his nonprofits, including the financier’s secret charity, Gratitude America Ltd. Now Indyke and Kahn, as representatives of Epstein’s estate, are named in three new federal lawsuits filed by accusers last week. The women—identified by the pseudonyms Katlyn Doe, Priscilla Doe, and Lisa Doe—are represented by Edwards and Pottinger. Their complaints list as defendants several of Epstein’s companies, including the Florida Science Foundation, and HBRK Associates, Inc., an entity registered to Kahn.REVEALED: We Found Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Secret CharityEpstein Had His Own Lodge at Interlochen’s Prestigious Arts Camp for KidsAccording to the complaints, Epstein and his employees had recruiters inform victims that Epstein “possessed extraordinary wealth, power, resources, and influence” and that “he was a philanthropist who would help female victims advance their education, careers, and lives” if they provided him with body massages.Katlyn Doe says she was 17 in 2007 when she met Epstein through a female relative who worked for him. At the time, Katlyn was struggling with an eating disorder and additionally needed surgery for another serious medical condition, and Epstein promised to cure her and fund those expensive medical procedures. But for the next several years, Epstein and his circle allegedly groomed Katlyn for sex—and even coerced her into marrying one of Epstein’s recruiters, who wasn’t a U.S. Citizen. Katlyn was allegedly sexually abused by Epstein at his New York mansion, in Florida while Epstein was on “work release,” and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.When Katlyn turned 18, she says, Epstein forced her to lose her virginity to him during a trip to his private island, Little St. James. And in October 2008, while Epstein was on “work release” in Palm Beach, he had Katlyn send him sexually explicit photos of herself and of a female relative. (The Palm Beach Sheriff has opened a criminal probe into how deputies handled the financier’s “work release” stint, during which Epstein was supposedly working for his nonprofit, the Florida Science Foundation, according to Katlyn’s lawsuit.)In 2009, Epstein allegedly flew Katlyn to Florida under the guise of working for his charity and coerced her into sexual encounters with him and, on one occasion, another young woman.The complaint describes Epstein’s employees and associates as “disciples” who constantly warned Katlyn and other victims “of Jeffrey Epstein’s power and ability to improve or destroy a victim’s life depending on her level of cooperation.”In 2013, when Katlyn urged Epstein to make good on his promises, he made another proposal—this time offering Katlyn $20,000 to marry one of his recruiters so the unnamed woman could stay in the country. Epstein also offered the married couple a place to live on E. 66th Street, where he’s provided housing for female employees.Epstein paid Katlyn $10,000 after the marriage and said the second half would come once the couple split. Yet, after Katlyn’s divorce in 2017, Epstein failed to pay her or help secure her surgery, which she still needs today.In her own lawsuit, Priscilla Doe says she was 22 in 2006 when she was recruited into Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking operation in New York.During Priscilla’s first visit to his mansion, Epstein offered her hundreds of dollars for a massage, which wasn’t sexual. Instead, Epstein asked Priscilla questions about her life, learning that she was a virgin, and that she was poor and wanted to financially support her mother.The massages would quickly begin to include sex. “Jeffrey Epstein always reminded [Priscilla] that because of the money he was paying her for the commercial sex acts that he called ‘massage,’ she was able, for the first time, to pay for her mother’s rent and for her own groceries,” the complaint states.Epstein forced himself on Priscilla during one encounter and “took her virginity against her will and wishes,” the lawsuit alleges.According to the complaint, Priscilla went to Epstein’s private island and Ghislaine Maxwell and modeling mogul Jean-Luc Brunel joined this trip.On the island, Maxwell trained her on how to sexually service Epstein and the “proper way to give a blow job,” court papers allege. Priscilla claims her passport was confiscated to stop her from leaving the island.Ghislaine Maxwell’s Father Was a Dark and Mysterious Figure, Just Like Jeffrey Epstein“Ghislaine Maxwell made it clear to [Priscilla] that it was very important for her to understand and take this instruction seriously,” the lawsuit says, adding that Maxwell’s orders “instilled genuine fear” in Priscilla, who believed “her failure to comply would cause her serious harm.”Priscilla says that from 2006 to 2012, Epstein controlled virtually every aspect of her life including what she wore, her career path, and the food she ate. When Priscilla traveled to Montreal on her own, Epstein allegedly summoned her back, warning she wasn’t allowed to leave New York without his permission.Priscilla engaged in sex acts with Epstein in Florida, too, while he was supposed to be on “work release,” the lawsuit states.Epstein warned Priscilla not to tell anyone about him or their sexual activities, and he boasted close ties to powerful and influential people. “Jeffrey Epstein commonly bragged to [Priscilla] that Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and the Sultan of Dubai were among his closest friends,” the complaint alleges. In 2011, Epstein ordered Priscilla to attend massage school and regularly asked her to recruit students for him. To maintain Priscilla’s compliance, Epstein promised he would pay for her relative’s serious medical care, her lawsuit says.Meanwhile, Lisa Doe was recruited by an Epstein associate outside her dance studio in 2002, when she was 17 years old. The recruiter approached Lisa—a dancer with a promising future— and offered her a job teaching “dance-based exercise” to a wealthy New Yorker.Epstein allegedly told Lisa he was linked to many major dance companies and had personal friends in New York’s dance community. He said he’d buy high-end dancing attire for her and use his resources to advance her career.Yet after Lisa taught Epstein ballet stretches, his recruiter called her and asked her to perform “massages” instead. Lisa continued to return to Epstein’s mansion, relying on his promises to help her career, and was routinely sexually abused, the lawsuit states.Epstein and his associates warned Lisa “that if she remained loyal and obedient to him, he would provide her with the dance training and connections she needed to succeed, and, conversely, if she did not remain loyal and obedient to him he would prevent her from becoming a professional dancer,” the lawsuit states. In her lawsuit, Lisa accuses Epstein of forcing her into sex acts with other women. He also demanded she recruit other dancers to do “massage” work for him.As in Priscilla’s case, Epstein allegedly began to control every aspect of Lisa’s life and forced her to become a masseuse, albeit without a professional license. He made a $10,000 donation to one dance company on the condition that the organization use the money to pay Lisa for massage services for the company’s dancers, her complaint states.Lisa says she was led to believe that if she didn’t have sex with Epstein, he would ruin her reputation in both the dance and massage communities.Experts say it could take years for the secret beneficiaries of Epstein’s estate to be paid out, in large part because of the legal actions filed against it.Bridget J. Crawford, a professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, told The Daily Beast last week that creditors and tax collectors could come forward seeking funds from the estate as victims file their complaints.Epstein’s brother, Mark Epstein, is listed in the will as the sole relative “who would be entitled to share the estate if he had left no will.” According to Crawford, Mark is likely the only person who could challenge the validity of the document. “Mark could come forward and say, ‘This is not a valid will, it was executed when he was not of right mind.’ There [could] be multiple possible grounds for doing so—fraud, undue influence, duress for example,” she said.“I expect the court to be inundated with claims against the estate,” Crawford added. “This thing’s going to go on for years.”Matthew R. Reinhardt, a lawyer in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, said “the complexity and character of the estate property usually determines how long the probate process will take.”“Here, all of the estate property is given to a single entity … which serves to expedite the probate proceedings,” said Reinhardt, a partner at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. “There is only one heir listed who would be entitled to share the estate if there had been no will.”“However, if the validity of the will is questioned or the creditor’s claims are numerous or complex, the probate process may get lengthy.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 04:59:11 -0400
  • Islamic scholar Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

    Golocal247.com news

    Tariq Ramadan, a leading Islamic scholar charged in France with raping two women, has also been accused of taking part in the gang rape of a journalist, French judicial sources said Sunday. The sources confirmed reports on Europe 1 radio and in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper that a woman in her 50s had accused Ramadan, 56, of raping her along with a member of his staff when she went to interview the academic at a hotel in Lyon in May 2014. The woman, who filed a criminal complaint in May 2019, also accused Ramadan of issuing "threats or acts of intimidation" aimed at dissuading her from reporting the alleged attack to the police, the judicial sources added.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 20:44:24 -0400
  • Seven dead in Majorca air crash as sightseeing helicopter collides with ultralight plane

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    Seven people, including two children, died when a sightseeing helicopter and an ultralight aircraft crashed in mid-air over Majorca. The helicopter had three adults and two children on board, all of whom were killed. According to the Balearic Islands government it was believed they were all German. However, a local report suggested one of them may have been Italian. Two men in the ultralight, who were local to Majorca, also died. An ultralight is a form of small aircraft with only one or two seats. Both aircraft were in private use, according to the Diario de Mallorca newspaper. Emergency services were called to the crash at 1.35pm local time, and the mid-air collision happened over the Inca Hospital, in the municipality of Inca, in the north of the island Wreckage from both aircraft was strewn across parts of the town and rural areas. Photographs circulated on social media showed one section landed on fire on what appeared to be a garden wall. A tail section from one of the aircraft came down on a road, and another section crashed into a farm field. Pedro Sanchez, Spain's caretaker prime minister, sent his sympathies to the families of the dead. He wrote on Twitter: "My solidarity and love for the families of the victims that lost their lives in this tragic accident," The Balearic islands government said an investigation into the cause of the tragedy had been launched. More than nine million holidaymakers visit Majorca annually. Of those, more than two million are British. As many as 500 cruise ships now dock in Palma each year, depositing up to 22,000 passengers a day.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 14:03:08 -0400
  • Israel says air strike in Syria sent "no immunity" message to Iran

    JERUSALEM/DAMASCUS, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Israel said on Sunday an air strike against an arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Syria that it accused of planning "killer drone attacks" showed Tehran that its forces were vulnerable anywhere. A senior Revolutionary Guards commander denied that Iranian targets had been hit late on Saturday and said its military "advisory centres have not been harmed", the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 06:03:31 -0400
  • How conservatives are making the best case against the death penalty

    Golocal247.com news

    There are many reasons to oppose capital punishment. People of faith have reasons to be against it. So do people who see the inequities in the system.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 06:00:16 -0400
  • Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

    Golocal247.com news

    A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives in China on Wednesday for a visit that will include meetings with top Chinese officials over the South China Sea and attendance at a world basketball championship game. Duterte's visit will be his fifth to China but the first during which he plans to finally raise the result of the 2016 Hague arbitration case that mostly invalidated China's claim to virtually the entire South China Sea under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 00:41:24 -0400
  • 'I thought she was going to die': Parents separated from children after Mississippi ICE raids

    Golocal247.com news

    More than two weeks after massive ICE raids in Mississippi, multiple parents of young children remain in detention.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:43:56 -0400
  • Democrats can’t just unwind Trump’s foreign policy

    Golocal247.com news

    Through executive orders, regulatory changes, political maneuvers and sometimes mere neglect, the president has overseen major, possibly permanent, shifts in U.S. foreign policy.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 06:36:25 -0400
  • Seven people shot at two-year-old’s birthday party in Washington DC suburb

    Golocal247.com news

    Seven people have been left hospitalised after a shooting at a two-year-old’s birthday party in a suburb of Washington DC.Police believe the incident, which took place on Saturday at around 9pm local time (1am GMT), may have been sparked by an “exchange of words” between party-goers and a bystander who had approached the group.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 15:03:52 -0400
  • Divorcing Spouse Claims NASA Astronaut Committed Crime in Space: Report

    Golocal247.com news

    NASA astronaut Anne McClain's former partner has accused her of committing identity theft from the International Space Station, according to a report.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:54:22 -0400
  • 200,000 Rohingya rally to mark 'Genocide Day' in Bangladesh camps

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    Some 200,000 Rohingya rallied in a Bangladesh camp Sunday to mark two years since they fled a violent crackdown by Myanmar forces, just days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the refugees. During the brutal August 2017 offensive, around 740,000 of the Muslim minority escaped Myanmar's Rakhine state -- joining those who had fled earlier persecution. A total of nearly one million refugees now live in three dozen squalid camps in Bangladesh's southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:30:41 -0400
  • A Georgia attorney thought a man hit his Mercedes with a golf ball. He ran him over and killed him, DA says

    An Atlanta attorney has been charged with murder after he allegedly struck and killed a real estate investor he says hit his car with a golf ball.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 19:08:38 -0400
  • Measles-stricken New Zealand girl visited Disneyland, other California destinations

    A teenage girl from New Zealand sick with measles visited Disneyland and other popular tourist stops across Southern California earlier this month, possibly infecting others, local government health officials warned. The alert comes amid the worst outbreak of measles in the United States in a quarter century, with more than 1,200 cases reported across 30 states since October 2018, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is looking to identify others who are at risk for measles and may have been exposed to a non-resident measles case that traveled to Los Angeles County while infectious," the health department said in an advisory on Friday night.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 12:51:33 -0400
  • The Latest: Iran imposes sanctions on US think tank

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran's Foreign Ministry says it has imposed sanctions on the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies and its CEO for its role in promoting sanctions and "economic terrorism" against Iran. A Saturday report by Iranian media, including the semi-official Fars news agency, quoted a statement by Iran's Foreign Ministry as saying the foundation and its CEO Mark Dubowitz "intentionally" damaged vital interests of Iran through spreading lies and negative campaigning against Iran.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:43:20 -0400
  • ‘Safe Haven’ Israel Became Hot Money Bait for Central Bank Chief

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Israel’s economic transformation has turned it into an “emerging markets safe haven” that continued to absorb money from abroad despite maintaining near-zero interest rates, according to central bank Governor Amir Yaron.The inflows in recent years were a reflection of “the structural change in the fundamentals of the Israeli economy,” including the country’s declining debt burden and current-account surpluses, Yaron said in a speech at the annual retreat for central bankers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,“In spite of having kept rates very low, Israel faced capital inflows following the U.S. rate hikes,” Yaron said in prepared remarks. “And appreciation pressures emerged -- a marked change from past patterns.”Israel has struggled to normalize its monetary policy after years of near-zero borrowing costs. As a strong currency dampened inflation this year and major central banks turned more dovish, Yaron put off a future hike and said in late July that rates won’t rise for a “long time.”Yaron cited research to demonstrate how “Israel is caught in between” policies in major economies. Unlike the period before the global financial crisis a decade ago, short maturities on Israeli government bond yields are now more correlated with Europe’s while longer tenors more closely track the U.S.“A challenge for the policy makers in markets like Israel is to deal with divergence of policies in the major blocs,” Yaron said.Another issue he raised in Jackson Hole was Israel’s weak inflation, which he said had been higher than among its peers before slowing.“Such developments make real-time assessments of whether policy makers are faced with transitory divergence or structural economic changes a challenge,” Yaron said. “While there is a wish to not be behind the curve, the uncertainty and ambiguity suggest a call for greater patience and risk aversion.”To contact the reporter on this story: Ivan Levingston in Tel Aviv at ilevingston@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 01:00:01 -0400
  • I went to the DMV in NYC to get my driver's license replaced. It took 90 minutes, and I was expected to use quarters to pay for a pen.

    Golocal247.com news

    It was my first time making this trek since moving to New York City three years ago. The experience was better than I feared, but was still a hassle.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 09:43:00 -0400
  • CNN’s Brian Stelter: ‘We Can't Tiptoe’ Around Trump’s Mental Instability ‘Anymore’

    Golocal247.com news

    CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter called on media outlets to focus more coverage on what he feels is President Trump’s obvious mental instability, saying Sunday morning that it is an issue we can no longer “tiptoe around.”“He’s getting worse,” Stelter said at the top of his weekend show focussing on the media CNN’s Reliable Sources. “We can see it. It’s happening in public but it’s still a very hard, very sensitive story to cover. I’m talking of course about President Trump, about his behavior, about his instability.”Noting that several prominent conservative figures—notably, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband—are pleading with the press and Republicans to take the president’s erratic behavior more seriously, the CNN host then ticked off a list of the president’s comments and actions that have raised eyebrows.“Look, all of these stories are covered in the moment, individually, by reporters,” Stelter said. “News outlets use words like erratic, volatile, unstable but rarely are Trump’s words and actions covered as a whole and rarely do news outlets take it to that next level. Okay, what he just said seems crazy—what does that reveal about him? We rarely see it go to that next step.”Pointing out that Trump will always have a chorus of supporters backing him up and defending him, the CNN media analyst added that Trump’s “Fox fans pretend the worst episodes didn’t happen at all or blame the media for bad coverage.”While Stelter went on to credit CNN and MSNBC for doing a decent job of showing the “ugly reality” with their on-screen graphics, he also stated that there is not “really a vocabulary” or a “format” for covering concerns about a president’s mental well-being. “It’s really a series of questions that no one is able to answer,” he declared. “Why does he make it all about himself even after visiting a hospital after a massacre? Why does he lie so often? Is there a method to the madness or is something wrong? Is he suffering from some sort of illness? It’s questions, questions and then just more questions.”Prior to bringing on two psychiatrists to debate the ethics of media outlets openly discussing the president’s mental fitness, Stelter ended his monologue by noting “we can’t tiptoe around it anymore.”“We’ve got to talk about this,” he concluded. “So let’s talk about it. Let’s do it.”This isn’t the first time that Stelter has taken to the air to speculate about the president’s mental health. In Aug. 2017, the CNN personality wondered aloud why more journalists weren’t asking the “uncomfortable questions” about whether Trump was fit for office or “suffering from some kind of illness.” And in Jan. 2018, called on reporters to do “more reporting” on Trump’s possible mental instability. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 12:33:15 -0400
  • Britain sends another warship to Gulf

    Golocal247.com news

    A third British warship is heading to the Gulf, the Royal Navy announced Saturday, amid heightened tensions in the region. Britain has already sent the HMS Kent to cover for frigate HMS Montrose while it undergoes maintenance in nearby Bahrain, and is now redirecting the Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender from its mission to the Pacific. Britain outraged Iran by seizing one of its tankers -- the Grace 1 -- on July 4 on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:26:40 -0400
  • Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Legalize Workplace Discrimination Against Gay Employees

    Golocal247.com news

    Workers' sexual orientation is not protected under Title VII legislation, federal lawyers argue

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 17:03:12 -0400
  • Video of transgender women being violently kicked out of Los Angeles bar surfaces

    Golocal247.com news

    Police say that a hate crime report has been filed after the altercation.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 03:52:05 -0400
  • Driver kicks pregnant woman in stomach during fight at Chick-fil-A, police say

    The pregnant woman tried to pull in front of her in the drive-thru lane, police said.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 16:23:44 -0400
  • Britain will withhold $37 billion from EU in no-deal Brexit: Mail on Sunday

    Golocal247.com news

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to tell European Union leaders he will withhold 30 billion pounds ($37 billion) from the Brexit divorce bill unless they agree to changes to the deal, the Mail on Sunday reported. If Britain leaves the bloc without a trade deal, lawyers have concluded the government's will only have to pay the EU 9 billion pounds, rather than 39 billion pounds, the newspaper reported.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:14:10 -0400
  • Syrian troops surround Turkish post in country's northwest

    Golocal247.com news

    A heavily fortified Turkish observation post in the northwestern village of Morek stood surrounded on all sides by Syrian troops Saturday, a testament to the rapid advance of President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria's northwest over the past three weeks as rebel defenses collapsed. Syrian authorities took a group of journalists to tour the observation post, several newly captured villages and the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was a major rebel stronghold until it was taken by government forces earlier this week. In Morek, there was no sign of friction between the Turks and the Syrian troops who took positions hundreds of meters away from the observation post.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 15:46:10 -0400
  • British Airways Bank Holiday chaos as thousands of travellers spend hours on phone trying to salvage plans

    Golocal247.com news

    British Airways was accused of "ruining" the bank holiday weekend as thousands of holidaymakers attempted to salvage their travel plans in the wake of the planned pilots' strike. Passengers vented their fury at the airline on Sunday as some claimed they spent up to four hours on the phone trying to contact the airline's customer services department to cancel or reschedule their booked flights.  Exasperated traveller Ben Pywell told the BBC he called British Airways on more than 200 occasions without success, while others demanded compensation for having to rearrange holidays and family celebrations. Ellie Kormis, from Surrey, spent almost £2,000 rebooking flights for her family holiday to Greece - only to be told her original flights hadn't been cancelled. She told the BBC: "You're left in a situation where you can't speak to anyone - and you fear you'll either lose your holiday or be left out of pocket." IT outages at British Airways | The litany of BA’s IT woes Jon Sopel, the BBC's North America editor, was also among those caught up in the chaos, tweeting: "Dear British Airways. "This morning you wrote saying our flight was cancelled from Washington, and that we needed to rebook. We rebooked. Now you’ve written to say our flight is not cancelled after all. So what the ..... are we meant to do now?"  The airline was told on social media it had "ruined" the bank holidayover its handing of the planned pilots' strike, which the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said would take place on September 9, 10 and 27. The airline's customer services line became jammed as passengers were mistakenly emailed about cancellations to flights on days strike action was not planned for. No online link was provided for people to rebook their flights online, meaning customers had to make contact directly. In the 24 hours after the airline sent emails on Friday, BA said it received close to 40,000 calls. Anger over the planned strike continued to simmer on Sunday, which came as British Airways marked its centenary. Visitors to the airline's Twitter page were treated to a display of animated balloons. Travel expert Simon Calder said: "British Airways: on the airline's 100th birthday, thousands of prospective passengers are stressed, upset and out-of-pocket as a result of BA's botched communication about the impending pilots' strike." British Airways is now braced to receive a series of financial claims as travellers demanded to be compensated for rearranging their travel plans. Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, said the issue had caused "a lot of confusion and anxiety". history of Ba "It is vital that the airline ensures that any customer who was initially informed that their flight was cancelled and has booked an alternative flight is not left out of pocket," he said. A British Airways spokesperson told The Telegraph that all those who had rebooked flights after the email error were eligible for a refund. She added that customers should keep all records and receipts for the refund process. Rival airline Virgin Atlantic were seemingly quick to spot an opportunity among frustrated passengers as the company intervened in the matter. The firm wrote on its social media page: "Has British Airways cancelled your flight on the 9, 10 or 27th September due to their pilot strike? We’d love to help keep your travel plans on track." The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) claimed on Friday that strike action was a "last resort" borne out of "enormous frustration" with airline management. The union also suggested further walkouts could yet be announced. It came after BA pilots have rejected a pay increase worth 11.5 per cent over three years, that would take a captain's pay to over £200,000 a year, which the airline put forward in July. BA has told passengers affected by the confusion that they can request a full refund, rebook their flights for another time in the next 355 days, or use the value of the fare to fly to a different destination.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 13:00:00 -0400
  • S.Africa seizes Air Tanzania plane over unpaid farm claim

    Golocal247.com news

    South Africa has impounded a plane belonging to Tanzania's national carrier over a farmer's $33-million compensation claim for land which was nationalised decades ago, a lawyer said Sunday. The Air Tanzania aircraft was seized on Friday at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport after it landed on a scheduled flight from the Tanzanian economic capital Dar es Salaam. Lawyer Roger Wakefield of Werksmans Attorneys said the seizure followed an order granted by the High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:04:41 -0400
  • Retailers Dealt Another Blow as Trump Steps Up China Tariffs

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. For American retailers, what Trump giveth, Trump taketh away.President Donald Trump’s administration, which said just 10 days ago it would delay until December some of its new tariffs on Chinese goods, has hit the retail sector with a new blow: The new levies will be raised to 15% from 10% as retaliation after China threatened to impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of American goods.He also said that the $250 billion of goods and products already being taxed at 25% will see that rate hiked to 30% starting on Oct. 1. Trump had warned earlier in the day that he was planning to escalate the trade war with China, firing off on Twitter a new demand that U.S. companies seek alternatives to producing goods in China. Some large retailers had said they’ll be able to pull levers to keep from passing on the costs to consumers at the 10% tariff rate, but a 15% hike makes that harder to pull off.The National Retail Federation, a retail trade association, weighed in on the escalating trade war Friday, ahead of Trump’s tweets laying out the specifics.“There are no winners in a trade war, and right now, both sides are losing,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the group. “American businesses and consumers continue to be caught in the crosshairs.”Home Depot Inc., Lowe’s Cos., Mattel Inc. Hasbro Inc., Walmart Inc., Target Corp., Best Buy Co., Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and the Toy Association didn’t immediately respond to email requests for comment.David French, senior vice president of government relations for the NRF, said it’s “impossible” for businesses to plan for the future in the current climate.“The administration’s approach clearly isn’t working, and the answer isn’t more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” he said. “Where does this end?”Before May, the average U.S. consumer had largely escaped direct impact from U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, with the previous rounds focusing more on agricultural items like fish and produce as the Trump administration tried to avoid the backlash that taxing consumer goods might bring. But consumer items like handbags were added to the list in the spring, with the upcoming rounds expected to hit everything from footwear to electronics.“We urge both governments to cease all punitive tariffs and return to the negotiating table,” Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said in an emailed statement after China’s $75 billion round was first announced. “It is time that we end this senseless game of tariff ping-pong, before undue harm comes to our economies and our consumers.”After Trump announced plans to increase the levies further, Helfenbein decried the “tit-for-tat tariff hikes.”“Two and a half years we have been promised a new and innovative approach, yet what we’ve been given is a 1930s trade strategy that will be a disaster for American consumers, American businesses and the American economy,” Helfenbein said.“The president has said he wants American businesses to stop working in China, yet he doesn’t seem to understand that moving a supply chain is incredibly complicated and expensive. It takes years to build relationships that meet compliance standards and deliver quality products, yet we have been given weeks and in this case days. This is not how you negotiate.”The Consumer Technology Association, a trade group representing more than 2,200 companies and which holds the annual CES, a massive consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas, was blunt.“These escalating tariffs are the worst economic mistake since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 -- a decision that catapulted our country into the Great Depression,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”(Updates with CTA statement in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Matthew Boyle.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Deaux in New York at jdeaux@bloomberg.net;Jordyn Holman in New York at jholman19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at tharrison5@bloomberg.net, Anne Riley Moffat, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:23:02 -0400
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