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  • TB, armed guards, lack of food at UN migrant center in Libya

    The United Nations center in Libya was opened as an “alternative to detention,” a last, safe stop for migrants before they were resettled in other countries. The facility is jam-packed with nearly 1,200 migrants — about twice the number it was built for — including hundreds who fled from abuse at other detention centers in hopes of sanctuary. Sewage is overflowing, and armed guards from a local militia have effectively turned the center into a prison.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 01:21:18 -0500
  • Iran nuclear deal parties meet as accord nears collapse news

    The remaining signatories to the faltering 2015 Iran nuclear deal will meet in Vienna on Friday with the survival of the landmark agreement at stake after Tehran vowed to continue to breach the deal's limits on its nuclear programme. Envoys from Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran will take part in the meeting, which is the first time the six parties will have gathered in this format since July. Since May, Iran has taken a series of measures, including stepping up uranium enrichment, in breach of the 2015 deal, with another such move likely in early January.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 01:18:08 -0500
  • A locker, a chirp: How tiny clues help solve child sex cases news

    Investigators spent hours poring over graphic images of little boys changing in and out of their swimsuits at what looked like a YMCA. Eventually, investigators matched the photos to a YMCA in Sandusky, Ohio. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations section has a little-known Child Exploitation Investigations lab where agents scour disturbing photos and videos of child sexual abuse.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:44:10 -0500
  • TB, armed guards, lack of food at UN migrant center in Libya

    The United Nations center in Libya was opened as an “alternative to detention,” a last, safe stop for migrants before they were resettled in other countries. The facility is jam-packed with nearly 1,200 migrants — about twice the number it was built for — including hundreds who fled from abuse at other detention centers in hopes of sanctuary. Sewage is overflowing, and armed guards from a local militia have effectively turned the center into a prison.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:25:53 -0500
  • GOP Rep. pitches LGBTQ rights bill with religious exemptions news

    As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals. The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other public services — while also carving out exemptions for religious organizations to act based on beliefs that may exclude those of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Stewart’s bill counts support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it has yet to win a backer among House Democrats who unanimously supported a more expansive LGBTQ rights measure in May.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:12:14 -0500
  • A Year of Protests Sparked Change Around the Globe news

    (Bloomberg Markets) -- Economies on the verge of collapse, a yearning for greater democracy, revulsion against corruption and inequality–the grievances that drove people into the streets in 2019 were consistent across continents. Some marched peacefully, others clashed violently with security forces, and in at least five places the unrest helped topple government leaders.Below is a breakdown of protests around the world, by region, and the main reasons behind them.GlobalA defining movement of 2019 was the worldwide push for more urgent government action against what scientists and activists call a climate emergency. Demonstrations took place around the globe, many inspired by the 2018 school strikes started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.Americas① Puerto RicoAfter a hurricane, bankruptcy, and probes into corruption, Puerto Ricans ousted Governor Ricardo Rosselló in July.② VenezuelaHyperinflation and hunger have driven opposition to the repressive regime of Nicolás Maduro. So far, he’s dug in.③ Colombia President Ivan Duque promised to lower taxes for the poorest quintile of the country after unrest led to the deaths of at least four, including a teenager.④ EcuadorWhen fuel subsidies ended, chaos ensued. The government rescinded the price hikes days later.⑤ BoliviaPresident Evo Morales presided over economic growth but ignored term limits. He was forced out on Nov. 10.⑥ ChileAnger at increases in public transport costs grew into a broad-based movement protesting inequality. Europe① ScotlandMore than 200,000 marched through Edinburgh in support of independence from the United Kingdom.② U.K.Britain has seen mass demonstrations both for and against Brexit, which is destined to define the country’s future.③ France A year into the yellow vest protests, the demonstrations have waned in size, but the grievances remain.④ CataloniaThe impasse between Catalonia and Spain’s government in Madrid flared anew, with no resolution in sight.⑤ Czech RepublicPrime Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country’s richest men, was a target of the biggest protests since 1989.⑥ SlovakiaSlovaks took to the streets in October to demand investigations into crimes and the rooting out of government corruption.⑦ RussiaMoscow has been the center of the largest antigovernment rallies in seven years. Africa and the Middle East① AlgeriaAlgeria’s president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, sought a fifth term, prompting unrest. He resigned in April.② LebanonA levy on WhatsApp calls sparked pent-up anger, forcing Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign in October.③ Iraq Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi quit after hundreds died in protests against government corruption and influence from Iran.④ IranFuel-price hikes resulting from U.S. sanctions sparked protests that led to more than 200 deaths, Amnesty International said.⑤ SudanOmar al-Bashir crushed dissent during his 30-year presidency, but discontent over prices led to unrest that forced him out in April.⑥ MalawiAllegations of election rigging prompted tens of thousands to take to the streets of Malawi’s cities in August.⑦ South AfricaPoor government services and a lack of housing were the primary reasons for violent demonstrations that broke out in April. East Asia and Oceania ① South KoreaTens of thousands protested the appointment of Cho Kuk as minister of justice. He left after five weeks on the job.② Hong KongA June rally against a proposed law allowing extradition to China morphed into a broad anti-China movement.③ Indonesia October protests raged against the government’s program, including controversial changes to the criminal code.④ PapuaIn Indonesia’s easternmost region, clashes between separatists and government forces in August and September resulted in many deaths.  To contact the author of this story: Alan Crawford in Berlin at acrawford6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Glassman at, Christine HarperFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:01:35 -0500
  • Britain’s Brexit Election Is Now a Referendum on Corbyn news

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Jeremy Corbyn’s red bus pulled into the small car park at the community center. It was greeted by cheers from a crowd of about a hundred people who had been unable to get into the building because it was full. They’d waited in the drizzle anyway.As the Labour Party leader walked through them, they chanted his name. He turned and gave a brief speech before continuing inside. Then, jacket removed, sleeves slightly rolled up, he was in his element. “We are told it’s too expensive, it’s unaffordable, you can’t achieve this, that or the other,” Corbyn said of his plans to nationalize the railways, ramp up welfare spending and even hand out free broadband for every home.The scene on the campaign trail in the former mining region of Nottinghamshire, central England, was far removed from the accusations of anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks, a terrible performance in a prime-time TV interview and a poll that showed the party will get trounced in next week’s U.K. election. Indeed, the “Corbynmania” that produced shock gains two years ago looked like it was still going strong.Britain’s election was supposed to be all about Brexit, to break the impasse in the self-inflicted turmoil over leaving the European Union. Instead, it now looks more like a referendum on a 70-year-old socialist whose personality cult has cemented its grip on one of Europe’s largest political parties.For Corbyn, it’s a last stand to try and ensure his project isn’t dead on arrival by the time votes start getting counted next Thursday after 10 p.m. That will depend on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservatives can breach the “Red Wall,” the band of districts running across the middle of the U.K. from North Wales to almost the East coast of England.Many of them are historically considered safe for Labour and yet tribal lines are now being blurred by Brexit because just as many voted to leave the EU.With the Conservatives’ pro-Brexit stance making life more difficult for them in the south of the country and Scotland, the party aims to find a parliamentary majority for Johnson in these places to fulfill his campaign slogan and “Get Brexit Done.” If Corbyn’s supporters stay loyal, meanwhile, then Labour might just upset the odds again—and this time take power.Labour expects to lose some seats, though its not clear how many, according to a senior party official. Internal polling and feedback from voters suggests the Conservatives, or Tories, are on course for that majority, the person said. That’s because Corbyn was unpopular on the doorstep, the Labour campaign was incoherent and its policy promises were not credible, the official said.Thirty-five of the 50 Labour seats with the slimmest margin of victory last time are in places that backed Brexit and most of them are in the Midlands or north of England, according to John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University in Glasgow and the U.K.’s most prominent psephologist.If Johnson does win a majority, it will be thanks to places like Ashfield, a Nottinghamshire seat that Labour held in 2017 by fewer than 500 votes. Both the Labour and Tory messages are resonating among locals.Brian Yerbury, a 69-year-old retired architectural technician was having a drink with his wife Lorna in the Lady Chatterley pub in the town of Eastwood, which lies in the constituency. He said he’d always voted Labour in the past. “I was wobbling a bit,” he said. “I didn’t like Corbyn. He’s got no charisma and no style. I didn’t trust Corbyn or Boris.”What seemed to be pulling him back to Labour were the party’s promises. “Corbyn’s come out with a huge amount of good things,” his wife said. She would stand to gain in particular from the promised cash for retired women. “Corbyn has said us ladies will benefit,” she said. “Boris, he doesn’t appreciate what working women do.”About 40 miles west, Newcastle-under-Lyme is another district in the “Red Wall.” It’s been Labour for nearly 100 years, but the party held it last time by just 30 votes. It’s now on the point of voting Conservative, driven by support for Brexit and anger at the political deadlock in London that means that three years after Britain voted to leave the EU, it’s still a member.“It’s Corbyn that gets raised on the doorstep,” said Aaron Bell, the Conservative candidate. “Both by Conservative voters and by Labour people who are thinking of switching.”Bell spoke as he delivered leaflets in Helmer End, a village in the district. “People are frustrated, angry, mystified that it hasn’t happened yet,” he said. “There are an awful lot of people who are either upset about Brexit and their vote not being respected or can’t stand the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, or quite often both.”One of the doors he knocked on was answered by 77-year-old Arthur Jim Nixon, in his slippers. “I’ve worked in the mines and I’ve worked with laboring men all my life,” he said. “I like Boris. I don’t like this Labour Party because they criticize Jews. Live and let live.”It feels a long way from two years ago, when Corbyn had the people’s touch compared with his opponent, former Prime Minister Theresa May.The jam-making, railway-loving vegetarian may have spooked businesses and the rich with this socialist message, but he won adoring fans among students and those suffering from years of government spending cuts. His obfuscation on Brexit—he was a long-standing critic of the EU after Britain joined in the 1970s and was reluctant to commit his party to position since the 2016 referendum—didn’t end up counting against him.That gives his supporters hope. During the 2017 election, they point out, Corbyn trailed in the polls, but also held mass rallies and managed to gain seats. Indeed, like now, Labour insiders were among the pessimists. Johnson, though, is a different animal. He’s far happier in the spotlight than May was, and he’s kept his policy platform vague and clear of surprises.So far, it seems to be working. A constituency-by-constituency poll by YouGov predicted Newcastle-under-Lyme would go Conservative, along with dozens of other Labour seats. It found much larger swings to the Conservatives in places that voted for Brexit. Britain’s Election Gamble—What You Need to KnowAs people living in the “Red Wall” regions struggled with globalization, they felt neglected and their votes taken for granted. Immigration loomed large in the EU referendum as resentment grew over the influx of many east Europeans to the local workforce.Both parties agree on the issues faced by traditional Labour voters, the difference is in their solution. For Corbyn, it’s government spending, on housing, on the National Health Service, on adult education. It sees the government increasing welfare payments, wages for public sector employees, free university tuition and compensating women who say they lost out when the age at which they were entitled to a state pension increased.For Johnson, the approach is cultural. There is an offer of more money, but the main focus of his argument is that politicians, out of touch with ordinary people, have blocked Brexit—and this the U.K.’s ability to choose who comes into the country.In particular, he argues that Corbyn is unpatriotic. After a terrorist killed two people at London Bridge last week, the Conservatives swiftly moved to accuse the Labour leader of being soft on terror, too.Back in Nottinghamshire, Stacey Cook, a 43-year-old builder, was clear. “I don’t want Jeremy Corbyn getting in,” he said. “My parents and my missus and everybody I know who’s in their right mind will vote Conservative. I don’t want a bloke in power that will open the floodgates to the country.”To contact the authors of this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.netRobert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Ross at, Rodney JeffersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:01:32 -0500
  • Indian police fatally shoot 4 suspects in gang-rape case news

    Indian police on Friday fatally shot and killed four men suspected of raping and killing a woman in southern India, leading some to celebrate their deaths as justice in a case that has sparked protests across the country. The men, who were in police custody and had not been formally charged with any crime, were taken to the crime scenes, both where the rape and killing are suspected of taking place and the spot where the woman's body was burned about half a kilometer (a third of a mile) away, according to Shreedharan, an official in the police commissioner's office who uses one name. Another police official said the suspects tried to grab an officer's firearm and escape.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:52:06 -0500
  • US considering troop boost to counter Iran news

    The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter Iran, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the region. "We're continuing to look at that threat picture and have the ability to dynamically adjust our force posture," Rood told the Senate Armed Services Committee. A US official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:17:52 -0500
  • 'Stress test' for Merkel coalition as SPD debates future news

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition faces a "stress test" from Friday as the weakened Social Democrats kick off a crunch congress to discuss their next move under a new, more radical leadership. Some 600 delegates from the centre-left SPD will be gathering at a Berlin convention centre until Sunday. The conference also marks the big-stage debut of co-leaders Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken -- the shock winners of a vote last month who are set to be formally confirmed in their new roles on Friday.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:10:29 -0500
  • U.S. says Iran "could have murdered over 1,000 citizens" during protests news

    The State Department has received more than 32,000 videos of the unrest after Iran shut down the internet and banned foreign media.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 22:05:25 -0500
  • Tucker Carlson: ‘In My View’ We Shouldn’t Be Sending Ukraine Any Aid news

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has repeatedly said recently that he’s rooting for American adversary Russia against Ukraine, now says the United States shouldn’t be sending any military aid to Ukraine.In the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Carlson welcomed on former Mitch McConnell Chief of Staff Josh Holmes on Thursday night to discuss the Democrats’ “rush” to impeachment and where this will end up.The ex-McConnell aide questioned the central charge behind the impeachment inquiry—that the president withheld congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to compel the Ukrainian president to publicly announce an investigation into Trump’s domestic political rivals. “Ultimately, the underlying facts here are they are trying to impeach the President of the United States for holding aid that was ultimately delivered in exchange for a favor for some kind of investigation that was never conducted.”“Aid we shouldn’t be sending in the first place, in my view,” Carlson interjected.Holmes quickly charged past the Fox host’s Russia-friendly remarks, claiming Democrats' version of events “never happened.” In recent days, Carlson has made it a habit to side with Russia in its military aggression campaign against Ukraine. Last week, The Fox star said he was “serious” when he said: “Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.” He would later walk his comments back by claiming he was “joking.”Earlier this week, however, he revealed that he was, in fact, not joking. Besides saying America “should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine,” Carlson also insisted Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t hate America as much as MSNBC journalists do.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.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 21:28:41 -0500
  • New satellite image reportedly shows renewed activity at North Korean test site

    A satellite image captured Thursday shows activity at a rocket launching site that North Korea had previously dismantled, CNN reports.The image of Sohae Satellite Launching Station, obtained by CNN and analyzed by experts, shows a large shipping container at the facility's test stand, said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute. This was the first time analysts have seen this container, he added, and it could indicate that North Korea will soon start conducting engine tests at the site again. These engines would be used to power satellite launchers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, CNN reports.While at the NATO summit in London on Tuesday, Trump mused that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "really likes sending rockets up, doesn't he? That's why I call him Rocket Man." Trump also said he has a "good relationship" with Kim, but his remarks still irked Choe Son Hui, North Korea's first vice-foreign minister. According to North Korean state media, Choe declared that "if any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again on purpose at a crucial moment as now, that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard."More stories from Trump's pathological obsession with being laughed at The most important day of the impeachment inquiry Jerry Falwell Jr.'s false gospel of memes

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 21:04:00 -0500
  • Former envoy: Putin likely ‘joyful’ about Ukraine theory news

    President Donald Trump’s former ambassador to Russia said Vladimir Putin is likely “joyful” about the renewed prominence of a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine was responsible for meddling in the 2016 election, which experts consider Russian disinformation. “He’s probably joyful that he has the world talking about something he may have been behind,” Jon Huntsman Jr. said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. Huntsman is running for his old job as Utah governor after leaving the Moscow post, which he said likely had him spending as much time with the Russian president as any other American.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 20:43:24 -0500
  • Auschwitz survivor fears rise of anti-Semitism news

    As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Auschwitz for the first time on Friday, 96-year-old survivor Frederick Terna will be at home in New York worrying about a resurgence of anti-Semitism. Terna, in America since 1952, isn't trying to be "the conscience of the world," but said he is concerned by similarities he sees between today's politics and the "narrow nationalism" of the 1930s. Terna was a child in Prague when Nazi Germany annexed parts of Czechoslovakia in late 1938 before overrunning the country the following year as Adolf Hitler began his march through Europe.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 20:39:14 -0500
  • U.K. Labor Market Freezes Amid Brexit, Election Uncertainty news

    (Bloomberg) -- Political uncertainty is “playing havoc” with the U.K. labor market, with demand for workers rising at the slowest pace for a decade and wage pressures easing, according to a report.The survey by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation published Friday found companies delaying or canceling hiring plans and people hesitating to take on new jobs last month amid the confusion over Brexit and the upcoming general election.“Clearly employers and job-seekers are taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to growth or movement,” said James Stewart, vice chair at KMPG.Prime Minister Boris Johnson is portraying the Dec. 12 vote as a chance to finally deliver Brexit and end the uncertainty that has taken a heavy toll on the economy. The jobs market, which has defied the turmoil since the 2016 vote to leave the EU, has lost significant momentum in recent months.Johnson wants a parliamentary majority for his Conservative Party to get the deal he struck with the European Union through Parliament. His rival, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has promised to renegotiate the exit agreement and then give the public the final say in a second referendum.Here are the key findings of the KPMG/REC report:November sees the slowest increase in vacancies since October 2009Demand for workers weakest in public sector, retail industryPermanent starting salaries rise at slowest rate since end of 2016Number of permanent placements fall for a ninth consecutive monthCandidate numbers decline at fastest rate for five monthsTo contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at, Lucy Meakin, David GoodmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 20:01:00 -0500
  • Pearl Harbor vet’s interment to be last on sunken Arizona news

    On Dec. 7, 1941, then-21-year-old Lauren Bruner was the second-to-last man to escape the burning wreckage of the USS Arizona after a Japanese plane dropped a bomb that ignited an enormous explosion in the battleship’s ammunition storage compartment. This weekend, divers will place Bruner’s ashes inside the battleship’s wreckage, which sits in Pearl Harbor where it sank during the attack 78 years ago that thrust the United States into World War II. The Southern California man will be the 44th and last crew member to be interred in accordance with this rare Navy ritual. The last three living Arizona survivors plan to be laid to rest with their families.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 19:08:45 -0500
  • Articles of impeachment: Explaining what's next in the House news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats will draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, a crucial step toward a vote of the full House. The articles are likely to mostly encompass Democrats' findings on Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Democrats are still writing them, but the articles could charge Trump with abuse of office, bribery and obstruction.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:25:56 -0500
  • Chase with stolen UPS truck ends with shootout, 4 dead news

    Four people, including a UPS driver, were killed Thursday after robbers stole the driver’s truck and led police on a chase that ended in gunfire at a busy South Florida intersection during rush hour, the FBI said. Both robbers were shot and killed, and the fourth victim was in a nearby vehicle when shots rang out at a crowded intersection in Miramar, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of where the incident began, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said during a news conference Thursday night. Television news helicopters showed first responders tending to at least one person who fell out of the UPS truck, moments after several shots were fired when the chase ended.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:23:49 -0500
  • Pompeo brings Iran pressure campaign to Morocco news

    The United States and Morocco discussed efforts to isolate Iran, officials said Thursday, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a visit to the kingdom. Pompeo had been due to have an audience with King Mohammed VI but the meeting was dropped, apparently after the top US diplomat extended a visit to Lisbon to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We have a great relationship between our two countries," Pompeo said.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:09:06 -0500
  • Trump on likely impeachment: 'Do it now, fast' news

    After months of fighting the House impeachment inquiry, blocking witnesses and ignoring subpoenas, the White House is now publicly embracing a strategy it has privately signaled for weeks: It will accept the reality that President Donald Trump will likely be impeached by the House and focus instead on a made-for-TV trial on friendlier turf in the Republican-controlled Senate. It was a message that came even before Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood before cameras and announced that House committees would draft articles of impeachment.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:06:25 -0500
  • Europeans, Iran to cross swords at nuclear talks

    European powers will demand Iran stop violating their nuclear deal or potentially face renewed U.N. sanctions, but with Tehran locked in conflict over U.S. sanctions, there appears to be little scope for compromise when they meet on Friday. The meeting comes amid heightened friction between Iran and the West. Tehran has rolled back its commitments under the 2015 deal in response to Washington's pullout from it last year and reimposition of sanctions that have crippled its economy.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:00:01 -0500
  • Trump lights National Christmas Tree in holiday tradition news

    President Donald Trump helped light the National Christmas Tree on Thursday, taking part in a nearly century-old holiday tradition in the nation’s capital. The lighthearted honor for presidents, going back to Calvin Coolidge, came on an otherwise difficult day in Trump's presidency. Hours before the ceremony, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Democratic chairmen to bring forward impeachment charges against Trump.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 17:40:53 -0500
  • US says Iran protest toll may surpass 1,000, mulls troops news

    The United States said Thursday that Iranian authorities may have killed more than 1,000 people in a crackdown on demonstrations, which Washington cast as the clerical regime's worst-ever internal challenge. The damning account came as the US put new pressure in the region on its arch-enemy, with an official saying the Pentagon was considering sending 5,000 to 7,000 more troops. "It appears the regime could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens since the protests began," Brian Hook, the US pointman on Iran, told reporters.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 17:39:57 -0500
  • The Pentagon is tripping over itself trying to explain its plans for countering Iran, possibly with thousands more troops news

    Trying to deny a report that it was sending 14,000 troops to confront Iran, the Pentagon has created a lot of confusion about what it plans to do.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:41:52 -0500
  • The Pentagon is tripping over itself trying to explain its plans for countering Iran, possibly with thousands more troops news

    Trying to deny a report that it was sending 14,000 troops to confront Iran, the Pentagon has created a lot of confusion about what it plans to do.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:41:52 -0500
  • Palestinians outraged over ICC report into war crimes

    Palestinian officials expressed “great concern” Thursday over a report by the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor that includes a warning that Palestinian stipends to attackers and their families could constitute a war crime. The Palestinians have long sought redress with international bodies such as the ICC for what they consider Israeli crimes. President Mahmoud Abbas's government appeared to have been caught off guard by the language of the criticism found in the report.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:53:53 -0500
  • Where's the 'secret' White House Russia room? diplomat jokes news

    One of Moscow's top diplomats joked to President Donald Trump on Thursday after touring the White House that he was disappointed not to have seen the "secret" Russia room. "Thank you for the tour of the White House," Vasily Nebenzya, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, told Trump at a lunch for the members of the UN Security Council.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:26:15 -0500
  • Bloomberg gun plan: Permits, assault weapon ban, age limits

    Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg unveiled a gun control policy on Thursday just steps from the site of one of Colorado's worst mass shootings, calling for a ban on all assault weapons, mandatory permits for gun purchasers and a new position in the White House to coordinate gun violence prevention. “I’ve been all in on the fight against gun violence for 15 years, and I’m just getting started,” Bloomberg declared.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:22:51 -0500
  • Pro-paramilitary demonstrators stream into Iraqi protest camp news

    Crowds backing a paramilitary force close to Iran streamed into the Iraqi capital's main protest camp on Thursday, rattling anti-government demonstrators who have denounced Tehran's role in their country. The flash protest hinted at a new effort to delegitimise or intimidate anti-government protesters, and came after the apparent torture and death of a 19-year-old girl taking part in the rallies. Youth-dominated mass rallies have rocked Iraq's capital and Shiite-majority south since October, slamming the entrenched political class as corrupt, incompetent and under the sway of neighbouring Iran.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:14:33 -0500
  • Zelenskiy's Opponents Fear He Is Ready to Sell Out to Russia news

    KYIV, Ukraine -- Washington may be obsessed with the impeachment inquiry over President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine, but it was far from the minds of a few thousand protesters who gathered on a recent frosty night in Kyiv to vent their anger at their own country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, over his peace overtures to Russia.If he struggled to resist demands by Trump for investigations affecting next year's U.S. elections, some protesters said, imagine what will happen when he meets President Vladimir Putin on Monday for talks on ending the war in eastern Ukraine. As speakers derided Zelenskiy as soft on Russia, the crowd answered with cries of "No to capitulation!" and "Treason!"Zelenskiy campaigned for the presidency on a two-plank platform of fighting corruption and ending a grinding war with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has killed at least 13,000 people.While the peace effort has received less notice, it is undoubtedly the more politically treacherous of the two undertakings. Everyone is against corruption, in theory at least, but there are sharp divides over how to deal with Russia, which is widely despised by Ukrainians outside the breakaway eastern territories.Domestic political opponents are concerned that Zelenskiy, having no clear U.S. diplomatic backing, may be too willing to make concessions to Moscow in the talks. Any widespread perception that he has done so could weaken him politically, hampering his ability to follow through with his anti-corruption efforts."If the president signs anything granting Russian influence in Ukraine, it would cause riots," said Volodymyr Ariev, a member of parliament in the party of former President Petro Poroshenko, which is in opposition to Zelenskiy.Ariev said that the talks with the Trump administration over opening investigations related to the family of former Vice President Joe Biden "were unprofessional, and that is why we are concerned about what will come" in talks with Russia.Already, critics said, Zelenskiy has made unilateral concessions intended to pave the way for the peace talks. And they are alarmed at comments by Ihor Kolomoisky, a businessman with ties to Zelenskiy, suggesting that Ukraine should swivel toward Russia amid the chaos in Ukraine policy in the United States.In the worst-case scenario, they said, Zelenskiy would give amnesty to rebel leaders and grant sweeping autonomy to the breakaway regions, while allowing Russian forces to linger in or just outside Ukraine even after any political settlement.In the peace talks, scheduled for Monday in Paris, most analysts see Russia seeking at a minimum to trade de facto control over the two separatists zones in eastern Ukraine for influence in domestic Ukrainian politics, including a veto on membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.In its post-independence history, Ukraine has twice tilted from pro-Western to pro-Russian governments, in 1994 and 2010. It's a back-and-forth common to many former Soviet states as they have tried to play the powerful east-west geopolitical forces off against each other for advantage at home. In Ukraine's case, on both occasions the country lurched back into the Western orbit, most recently in the Maidan revolution of 2014.In recent years, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova have all at some point pivoted to closer ties with Russia -- and then back, in some cases. In an interview, Kolomoisky said that Ukraine should do just that if the U.S. tries to pressure Kyiv again.Analysts saw the comments as self-serving, in that Kolomoisky stands to lose billions of dollars under a banking sector overhaul backed by Western governments. Zelenskiy issued a statement distancing himself from the comment.Working as an actor in Moscow in 2014 as Russian troops invaded his country, Zelenskiy joked that Russian soldiers were not moving inside Ukraine but were "just standing on the border, and the Ukrainian border is just slightly pushed forward."But through the summer, Zelenskiy sought a White House visit to urge Trump to press Russia and side with Ukraine in the negotiations. It never materialized.To the contrary, at a news conference in New York in September, Trump backed away from Zelenskiy and his troubles in the war, telling the Ukrainian leader, "I really hope you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem."By distancing himself from Zelenskiy in the negotiations, as stressed by many of the security professionals who testified in the recent impeachment hearings, Trump has raised doubts about how far he will go to support Ukraine and made it harder for the Ukrainian government to defend the concessions it is making to end the war.Some analysts said that despite Zelenskiy's weak hand going into the talks, worries of a pivot to Russia are overblown and mostly whipped up by domestic political opponents."Accommodation with Russia would be a very hard sell inside Ukraine," Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, said in a telephone interview.Ivan Yakovina, a foreign policy columnist with Novoye Vremya magazine, concurred, saying that allies of Poroshenko, the former president, were fanning fears of a geopolitical pivot to undermine Zelenskiy."They don't think he is worthy of being president," Yakovina said of Zelenskiy, who before his election as Ukraine's leader played a president in a television series. They see him "as a clown from a television show. They are doing everything so he fails."To pave the way for talks, Zelenskiy rebuilt a bridge across the de facto border with the breakaway republics, pulled troops back from the front line in three locations, negotiated a prisoner exchange and agreed to the outlines of a political formula for an eventual settlement.Zelenskiy has said that each step was worthwhile in its own right. He secured the return of Ukrainian captives, eased hardship for people living in separatist areas and ended some of the senseless skirmishing along the front.In the settlement road map signed in early October, Zelenskiy agreed to a timeline for local elections and to other political steps needed to reintegrate the breakaway regions with Ukraine without any corresponding timeline for Russia to withdraw its troops. Zelenskiy said the Russian troop withdrawal is implied.Three protests ensued on Independence Square -- the largest of which drew about 20,000 people, far fewer than the gigantic crowds that gathered on the square in the 2014 revolution and drove pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych into exile in Moscow."There are clear red lines that Ukrainian society, and especially the active part of Ukrainian society, is not willing to cross and not willing to let anybody cross, including the leaders of the country and the president," said Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, leader of the opposition Holos political party.Vakarchuk pointed to polls showing that a majority of Ukrainians oppose a settlement on terms of the so-called Minsk agreements, the framework deal under which Zelenskiy will negotiate in Paris.Under 20% of Ukrainians support the political framework that Zelenskiy is pursuing, about 25% want to continue fighting to free the separatists territory, and about 35% want to declare the regions as occupied by Russia but not pursue military efforts to recover them for now, according to a poll by Rating Group, which conducts social surveys.Vakarchuk said he is consulting with Zelenskiy's party in parliament and would support any agreement that emerges from the Paris talks if it defends Ukrainian interests.That will be harder to pull off with the U.S. distracted, though."For a long time, the United States was considered the leader of the free world, and I think that was fair enough," Vakarchuk said. "But remember the Bob Dylan song -- 'The Times They Are a-Changin.'"This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:10:13 -0500
  • Iran accuses France, Germany and UK of false missile claims

    Iran accused France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Thursday of “a desperate falsehood” for saying its missile program goes against a U.N. resolution calling on Tehran not to undertake any activity related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi responded separately to a letter from the three European countries to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Wednesday.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:07:28 -0500
  • Putin seeks rapid renewal of key nuclear deal with US news

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said Moscow seeks to renew the nuclear New Start treaty, a key remaining US-Russian arms treaty, before the end of the year. Speaking to military chiefs and Russian defense executives, Putin said the decision must be made quickly on the soon-to-expire document, and Washington's position is so far unclear. "Russia is ready to renew the New Start treaty without delay, as quickly as possible, before the end of this year," Putin said.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:05:29 -0500
  • Iran working on nuclear-capable missiles: European powers news

    Britain, France and Germany have accused Iran of developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in a letter dismissed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Thursday as "a desperate falsehood". UN ambassadors for the three countries said in the letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Iran's actions were "inconsistent" with the UN resolution enshrining a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:54:55 -0500
  • Report: Teen who died in US custody unresponsive for hours news

    A flu-ridden 16-year-old from Guatemala writhed in agony inside a U.S. Border Patrol cell and collapsed on the floor where he lay for several hours before he was found dead, according to video released Thursday that further calls into question the Trump administration's treatment of immigrant families. The footage published by ProPublica shows the last hours of Carlos Hernandez Vasquez, who was found dead May 20. According to ProPublica, Hernandez staggered to the toilet in his cell in the middle of the night at the Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas, and collapsed nearby.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:47:23 -0500
  • UN says 13 people reportedly killed in Philippines typhoon news

    U.N. humanitarian officials say Ytyphoon Kammuri (Tisoy) reportedly killed 13 people and displaced nearly 400,000 others as it crossed the Philippines with fierce winds and rain this week.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:17:58 -0500
  • Israel: Hezbollah undeterred after recent setbacks news

    A year after uncovering a network of cross-border Hezbollah tunnels, the Israeli military says the Lebanese militant group has beefed up its presence along the volatile frontier. Military officials say that neither the destruction of the tunnels, nor Hezbollah’s recent domestic problems, have weakened the group’s desire to prepare for renewed conflict with Israel. Israel and Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a U.N.-brokered cease-fire.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:06:41 -0500
  • GOP Senator Backs Whistle-Blower Testimony: Impeachment Update news

    (Bloomberg) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House will move ahead with drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and top Republican Doug Collins have both mentioned a hearing next week focusing on the impeachment report’s evidence and conclusions, but they didn’t provide details.Here are the latest developments:GOP Senator Backs Whistle-Blower Testimony (1:53 p.m.)Republican Senator Ron Johnson said he expects the White House will want to call the whistle-blower to testify in any Senate impeachment trial, and said he will be supportive because it would give Trump a chance “to confront his accuser.”“He should be able to mount a defense and that includes calling witnesses, including the whistle-blower,” Johnson said. He dismissed the idea that the whistle-blower’s identity should be protected, calling that a “charade” because his name has been published.Johnson said people want to know what kind of interaction the whistle-blower had with Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee before filing the complaint, and what type of political biases the person might have.The senator said “Republicans control this body, and I think Republicans ought to afford the president the ability to defend himself and put on a robust defense, within reason.”Johnson of Wisconsin said he disagrees with some House Republicans who want testimony from former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He said he doesn’t think they could provide much insight into the allegations against Trump.White House Says Democrats Abused Power (12:58 p.m.)White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Democrats in Congress “have clearly abused their power” with what she called an “illegitimate impeachment hoax.”“Speaker Pelosi’s instruction to advance this impeachment process – one that has violated every precedent - moves this country toward the most partisan and illegitimate subversion of the Constitution in our history,” Grisham said in a statement.Pelosi Says She Doesn’t ‘Hate’ Trump (11:14 a.m.)Pelosi told reporters she doesn’t hate Trump and that the impeachment effort is unrelated to politics.Asked if she hates the president, Pelosi responded, “I don’t hate anyone,” and that as a Catholic she resents having the word attributed to her. “Don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that,” she said.“I think he is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence,” the speaker said. “I think he is cruel when he doesn’t help our Dreamers. I think he is denial about the climate crisis.”“However, that’s about the election,” she said, while impeachment “is about the Constitution of the United States.”Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine is related to her contention that “all roads lead to Putin,” Pelosi said. “Who benefited form our withholding military assistance? Russia.”Pelosi also told reporters she has asked the chairmen of six House committees to make recommendations about the articles of impeachment.She wouldn’t say whether the articles will include any conduct that was investigated by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and gave no hint on when the House might vote on impeachment.Judiciary Plans Next Hearing on Monday (10:54 a.m.)The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Monday to receive presentations from lawyers for the House Intelligence and Judiciary panels.Nadler said his panel will hear from lawyers for Democrats and Republicans on each committee.Trump Campaign Aide Calls for ‘Fair Trial’ (9:46 a.m.)Trump’s campaign chairman says Democrats “should just get on with” impeaching the president “so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and expose the swamp for what it is.”“We are less than a year away from election day 2020 and Democrats can’t possibly explain to the American people why they want to take the decision of who should be president out of the hands of voters,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in an emailed statement.He said Pelosi, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Joe Biden’s son Hunter should testify at an impeachment trial.Democrats to Draft Impeachment Articles, Pelosi Says (9:18 a.m.)Pelosi said Trump’s actions are a “profound violation of the public trust” and she is asking committee chairmen to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment.“The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit,” she said.Pelosi said Trump “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security” and said he did it “in exchange for an announcement of an investigation of his political rival.”“If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic,“ said the speaker, who started her statement by reading the opening words of the Declaration of Independence. “His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.”“Today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” said Pelosi, who did not say how soon the House will act.Trump Says ‘Do It Now,’ Send Case to Senate (8:25 a.m.)Trump asserted on Twitter Thursday that Democrats “have no impeachment case” and urged the party’s lawmakers to move quickly to bring charges against him so the nation can move beyond the matter.“If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,” the president said in a pair of Thursday-morning tweets shortly before Speaker Pelosi was due to make a statement on the status in the inquiry.Trump said Democrats “have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country.”Pelosi’s office hasn’t said what her statement will entail, but it’s possible she could offer a timeline for House consideration of any articles of impeachment the Judiciary Committee might draft.Pompeo Dismisses House Report as ‘All Wrong’ (7:20 a.m.)Secretary of State Michael Pompeo continued Thursday to fend off questions related to his role in the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine that are now at the center the House impeachment inquiry.“It’s just all wrong,” Pompeo told reporters in Lisbon, when asked about the House Intelligence Committee report’s account of his actions.Pompeo challenged a reporter’s characterization of language in the report,without elaborating on what his role in fact was.The report, compiled by the panel’s majority Democrats, states that Pompeo and other Trump subordinates -- including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry -- had “knowledge of, in some cases facilitated and furthered the president’s scheme, and withheld information about the scheme from the Congress and the American public.” -- Kathleen Hunter and Nick WadhamsPelosi to Speak at 9 a.m. on Inquiry Status (6:23 a.m.)Speaker Pelosi plans to make a statement Thursday morning on the status of the House’s impeachment inquiry, a day after the Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the matter.Pelosi’s office announced that she would speak to reporters at 9 a.m. eastern time in the Speaker’s Balcony Hallway in the Capitol.Judiciary Chairman Nadler closed yesterday’s hearing by declaring Trump had committed “impeachable offenses,” saying his actions were “a direct threat” to the nation. -- Kathleen HunterCatch Up on Impeachment CoverageKey EventsAt Wednesday’s hearing, House Democrats hinted they’re moving toward bringing articles of impeachment against Trump on charges of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction. They dismissed Republican objections that their entire inquiry is flawed.The House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ impeachment report is here.Gordon Sondland’s transcript is here and here; Kurt Volker’s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of Holmes, a Foreign Service officer in Kyiv, is here.The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent’s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper’s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson’s is here and Catherine Croft’s is here. Jennifer Williams’ transcript is here and Timothy Morrison’s is here. Philip Reeker transcript is here. Mark Sandy’s is here.\--With assistance from Nick Wadhams and Billy House.To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Litvan in Washington at;Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:58:56 -0500
  • PM: Israel has ‘full right’ to annex strategic Jordan Valley news

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel has the “full right” to annex the Jordan Valley if it chose to, even as the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court warned the country against taking the bold step. Netanyahu said his proposal to annex the strategic part of the occupied West Bank was discussed during a late-night meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Trump administration has already delivered several landmark victories to Netanyahu, such as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:33:53 -0500
  • US says seized Iranian weapons bound for Yemen news

    The United States said Thursday that it seized a major shipment of Iranian weapons bound for Yemen's Huthi rebels, denouncing what it called a violation of a UN arms embargo. A US warship interdicted the ship on November 25 off the cost of war-ravaged Yemen and found "sophisticated weapons" of Iranian origin including land-based, anti-tank and air-defense missiles, said Brian Hook, the US special representative on Iran. "This discovery is yet more proof of Iran's efforts to inflame conflicts in the region by proliferating deadly weapons to its proxies," Hook told reporters.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:56:31 -0500
  • Senator: Lebanon must be 'on notice' on jailed US citizen

    An American citizen jailed in his native Lebanon since September on no charges is very ill, and if he dies there, then Lebanon should be subject to sanctions, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said Wednesday. Shaheen, who was addressing a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, said Amer Fakhoury has been illegally detained since Sept. 12. The 57-year-old Fakhoury, who owns a restaurant in Dover, New Hampshire, went to visit family in Lebanon on vacation -- his first trip back in nearly 20 years.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:54:04 -0500
  • Brexit boost for UK's Johnson as he plans for victory news

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a boost from Brexit supporters on Thursday as he marked one week until election day by setting out a plan for his first 100 days in office. The Conservative leader appears increasingly confident of victory on December 12 as he remains around 10 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party in opinion polls. The electoral threat posed by Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, meanwhile, receded further with the decision of four of its European Parliament MPs to endorse the prime minister.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:53:13 -0500
  • Biden scrap with voter risks overshadowing critique of Trump news

    Joe Biden sought to capitalize on President Donald Trump's icy reception from world leaders by portraying himself on Thursday as someone who is well versed in foreign affairs and can restore American prestige abroad. As he nears the end of an eight-day tour of the state that will open the Democratic contest in February, Biden knocked Trump as a dangerous and erratic commander in chief and head of state. John Kerry, the former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, followed up with an endorsement of Biden.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:37:56 -0500
  • Turkey says 2 killed in car bomb attack in northeast Syria

    Turkey's Defense Ministry says a car bomb explosion in a Turkish-controlled area of northeastern Syria has killed two civilians. In a statement posted on Twitter, the ministry said at least 10 other people were wounded in the attack in the city of Ras al-Ayn on Thursday. The attack was the latest in a string of deadly car bomb attacks in northeast Syria since Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters captured Ras al-Ayn and other areas in October to drive Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:37:09 -0500
  • UN appeals for aid to help millions of Zimbabweans buy food news

    The United Nations on Thursday called for some $200 million in extra funding to help four million Zimbabweans unable to buy food due to drought and triple-digit inflation. The southern African country has been hit by a poor harvest and an entrenched economic crisis that has rendered basic goods out of reach for most people. "The food security situation in Zimbabwe is very dire," said the World Food Programme (WFP) country director Eddie Rowe during a press briefing in the capital Harare.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:32:43 -0500
  • Giuliani in Ukraine as Congress moves closer to impeachment news

    President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was in Ukraine on Thursday, reviving the efforts that landed him and Trump in the impeachment inquiry now roiling Washington. The inquiry was triggered by a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son and also a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump denies wrongdoing.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:31:27 -0500
  • SpaceX launches beer malt, caring robot and 'mighty mice' news

    SpaceX launched a 3-ton shipment to the International Space Station on Thursday, including “mighty mice” for a muscle study, a robot sensitive to astronauts' emotions and a miniature version of a brewery's malt house. The Dragon capsule also is delivering holiday goodies for the six station residents. SpaceX recovered the new booster on a barge just off the coast in the Atlantic several minutes following liftoff so it could be reused.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:31:02 -0500
  • US says Iran protest death toll may surpass 1,000 news

    The United States said Thursday that Iranian authorities may have killed more than 1,000 people in a crackdown on demonstrations, which Washington cast as the clerical regime's worst-ever internal challenge. "It appears the regime could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens since the protests began," Brian Hook, the US pointman on Iran, told reporters. Hook said that "many thousands" of Iranians have been wounded and that at least 7,000 protesters have been detained.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:15:14 -0500
  • UPDATE 1-Putin says Russia ready to extend New START nuclear arms treaty

    Russia is ready to extend the New START nuclear arms control treaty by the end of this year without any more conditions or discussion, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, appearing to drop Moscow's earlier defiant tone. The New START accord, signed in 2010, limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Washington and Moscow can deploy. Its fate has been in the spotlight since Washington pulled out of another key arms accord in August, citing violations by Russia that Moscow denies.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:04:30 -0500
  • Johnson Insists He Can Keep to His Brexit Schedule: U.K. Votes news

    (Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson laid out his plan for his first 100 days in office as the U.K. general election enters its final week, including delivering a budget and getting Brexit “done” by Jan. 31. The prime minister also committed to securing a trade deal with the European Union by the end of next year.Labour pointed to nearly 3,500 “days of failure” under the Tories, and said more of the same won’t work as it plugged its plans for hiring new teachers and tackling the housing crisis. But leader Jeremy Corbyn is struggling to shake off allegations of antisemitism in his party.Must Read: Key Election Task for U.K. Tories: Tame Boris JohnsonFor more on the election visit ELEC.Key Developments:Johnson tells ITV the NHS is not on the table in U.S. trade talksLabour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is embroiled again in the antisemitism row that’s damaging his campaignLabour’s Treasury spokesman John McDonnell says his party would try to govern without a formal arrangement with other parties in the event of a hung ParliamentTories unveil plan for first 100 days in government, promising budget and delivery of BrexitThe pound is headed for longest winning streak since June as traders bet on a Conservative majorityJohnson Shows Why Tories Backed Him (4:30 p.m.)Boris Johnson was on the stump at a mill in Derbyshire on Thursday and showed why the Conservative Party put their faith in him, as he entertained a crowd of workers with his well-worn campaign lines and jokes. He went through variations of his line about having an “oven ready” deal with the EU, telling the audience it will be passed “before you’ve cooked your Christmas turkey.”He got a laugh when he said Jeremy Corbyn would be helped into 10 Downing Street by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, and “we all know who’d wear the tartan trousers in that relationship.”The Prime Minister also acquired his latest piece of election memorabilia, a scarf, knitted in the factory, bearing the slogan “Get Brexit Done.” He held above his head to applause and later posed for selfies with mill staff.Outside there were protesters against Johnson and his Conservative Party’s record on austerity and spending cuts, showing how divided the country is over the prime minister’s leadership. In just over a week the Tories will know whether their faith in him and his rapport with voters has paid off.Johnson Uses Huawei for Selfies After Ban Hint (3:45 p.m.)Just a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted the U.K. could restrict or ban Huawei’s telecommunications equipment, he was seen using what appeared to be the Chinese company’s flagship P20 Pro smartphone -- with a shimmering Twilight color scheme -- to take a selfie.Johnson gave an interview to U.K. broadcaster ITV’s “This Morning” program, and posed for a photo with the anchors afterward. TV cameras briefly captured him holding a distinctive Huawei product to take the photograph.Huawei has become a lightning rod for tensions between the U.S. and Europe over trade and security policy as Washington threatens reprisals against any country that allows Chinese equipment to form part of 5G networks.Read more: U.K.’s Johnson Uses Huawei for Selfies After Hinting at BanJohnson Defends ‘Brexit Done’ Pledge (3:30 p.m.)Boris Johnson insisted Brexit will be “done” on Jan. 31 and played down the risk that voters will then want to know why negotiations with the European Union and lobbying by business are continuing.“What will happen is it will be done,” Johnson said at a campaign event in central England. “If we can get a majority, on Jan. 31 we’ll be out, we’ll have full legal control of the things that matter to us and we’ll have a great opportunity to take this country forward.”The prime minister said the EU would want to agree a trade deal with the U.K. by the end of the year.“We have a zero-tariff, zero-quota position now and I have absolutely no doubt at all that we’ll be able to make sure the European Union protects its own interest and has a deal with us that ensures that continues for the future,” he said. “Can I absolutely guarantee we’ll get a deal? I think I can.”Tories Eclipse Other Parties for Large Donations (2:55 p.m.)Donations to Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party eclipsed those to opposition groups during the third week of the election campaign, according to a statement from the Electoral Commission.In the week of Nov. 20-26 the Tories reaped 3.59 million pounds ($4.7 million). That compares with almost 523,000 pounds for Labour and about 510,000 pounds for the Liberal Democrats.The Electoral Commission release, which only details donations of more than 7,500 pounds, includes a 1 million-pound gift for the Tories from Hargreaves Lansdown co-founder Peter Hargreaves. Almost half of Labour’s total came from the GMB union.Corbyn Rejects Jewish Labour Movement Claims (12 p.m.)Jeremy Corbyn said he rejects “completely” the Jewish Labour Movement’s allegations that his Labour Party has become infused with antisemitism since he became leader (see 11:30 a.m.). The party is taking steps to deal with the problem, he said.“When I became leader of the party there were no processes in place to deal with antisemitism,” Corbyn said in an interview with the Press Association. “We introduced an appeals procedure to deal with it and we introduced an education process so that party members understood the hurt that can be caused by antisemitic remarks or antisemitic behavior.”Corbyn said the number of cases of anti-Jewish racism as a proportion of the membership was “very, very low indeed -- but one case of antisemitism is one too many.”“I deeply regret there is an antisemitism in our society,” he said. “Obviously I regret the way in which some people have been hurt by it and I do not want that to be the case.”Four Brexit Party MEPs Quit to Back Tories (11:50 a.m.)Four Brexit Party members of the European Parliament, including Annunziata Rees-Mogg, the sister of Conservative Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, have left the party to support Boris Johnson’s Tories. (link to video)In a video explaining their decision, Rees-Mogg said: “Boris Johnson says ‘we must get Brexit done’ and he is right.” The other MEPs are Lance Forman, Lucy Harris and John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce who had the Brexit Party whip removed on Wednesday.In a statement, Party Leader Nigel Farage said he’s “disappointed.” The defectors “don’t seem to understand that we both saved the Conservative Party from large scale losses to the Liberal Democrats in the South and South West of England, but we are also hammering the Labour Leave vote in its traditional heartlands,” he said.Israeli Minister Slams Corbyn Over Antisemitism (11:30 a.m.)Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he hopes Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t win the U.K. general election on Dec. 12. It’s yet another blow to the Labour Party leader, who has struggled to overcome allegations over antisemitism.“I personally hope he doesn’t get elected,” Katz, who also serves as minister of Intelligence, told Israeli Army Radio, according to the Associated Press. He cited a “wave” of anti-Jewish racism in the party.Corbyn has repeatedly said he’s against all forms of racism and prejudice, but accusations of antisemitism have dogged his leadership. Adding to the Labour leader’s problems, the U.K. Jewish Labour Movement accused him of failing to tackle the problem as it filed its submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry into antisemitism in the party.Labour Aims to Govern Without Smaller Parties (11:10 a.m.)Labour Treasury spokesman John McDonnell said, in the event of a hung parliament, his party would try to govern without a formal arrangement with other parties.The Liberal Democrats have already ruled out such a deal, and the idea of Labour making an agreement with the Scottish National Party -- likely to involve another independence referendum -- has proved toxic in the past.“We will implement our manifesto… no negotiation, no deal, no coalitions,” McDonnell told the Financial Times.With Boris Johnson’s Conservatives the only alternative, Labour sees the Liberal Democrats and SNP having no choice but to back a Jeremy Corbyn-led government if no party has an overall majority. Even so, it might struggle to get support from those parties for much of its program beyond another Brexit referendum.Johnson Compares NHS Warnings to UFO Theories (11 a.m.)Boris Johnson was again forced to deny he would put the National Health Service on the table in talks on a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.S.In an interview with ITV’s “This Morning,” Johnson compared the idea to conspiracy theories about UFOs. But the questioning on the issue suggests it may be one that’s cutting through with the public, along with the other focus of the interview: trust.Asked why he thought people don’t trust him, the prime minister replied: “There’s a big trust issue with the whole of politics.”Javid Says Quick EU Trade Deal Possible (Earlier)Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said it will be possible to agree a “comprehensive free trade agreement” with the European Union by the end of 2020.“In the time that we’ve been negotiating over the last 100 days or so, it wasn’t just the exit agreement,” Javid told BBC Radio 4. “We have also negotiated and worked to agree the outline of the ambitious free trade agreement.”Javid promised “zero tariffs, zero quotas,” in the deal, adding there would be “an agreement on services, having an equivalence on financial services” by the end of the year. “There’s already an agreement. There’s already an agreement in principle. It’s already there, it’s done there,” he said.He dismissed concerns from the opposition that the timetable would be too tight to complete such a complex trade deal.Earlier:U.K.’s Johnson Promises Brexit, Budget, New Laws in 100 DaysPresident Who? Johnson Plays It Safe and Doesn’t Mention TrumpJohnson Says Security Vital in Deciding on U.K. Huawei Ban (1)\--With assistance from Robert Hutton.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Mayes in with the prime minister at;Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:02:25 -0500
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