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  • Iran says oil aboard tanker pursed by US sold; buyer unnamed

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran on Monday announced that the 2.1 million barrels of crude aboard an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the U.S. has been sold to an unnamed buyer as the ship, at the center of a crisis roiling the region, continued its voyage in the Mediterranean Sea. The announcement by government spokesman Ali Rabiei represent just the latest twist in the saga of the Adrian Darya 1, which had been known as the Grace 1 when authorities seized the vessel off Gibraltar on July 4, on suspicion of breaking European Union sanctions targeting Syria. The seizure of the ship, and Iran's subsequent seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker, came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the collapse of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 05:08:45 -0400
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Lisa Bloom: lawyer in Epstein case speaks of suffering sexual abuse

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    Bloom, representing two alleged victims of financier, says being a survivor ‘has enabled me to have a lot of compassion’Lisa Bloom in London, on 8 May 2017. Photograph: Tom Nicholson/REX/ShutterstockLisa Bloom, the powerhouse lawyer who has risen to prominence in the MeToo era, has spoken of suffering sexual abuse herself.The experience, she said, left her feeling suicidal.“I blamed myself,” Bloom told the Guardian. “I thought it was my fault. I had no idea who to talk to, or what to say.”At the age of 18, she said, she found her way to a therapist.“I think experience as an abuse survivor has enabled me to have a lot of compassion and understanding for my clients,” she said. “I know everything they’re going through because I’ve gone through it myself.“I understand the shame and fear, but I also understand how empowering and liberating it is to tell your story. I tell my clients ‘this happened to you, but it does not define you.’”In recent years, Bloom and her mother and fellow attorney Gloria Allred have stood prominently counter to a parade of mostly white, middle-aged and famous men accused of sexual misconduct.Both are media-savvy practitioners of the law of women’s rights. Both are veterans of the courtroom and press-call soundbite. Both have, in one way or another, stood against the crimes or alleged but uncharged conduct of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Les Moonves, Roger Ailes, Charlie Rose and Donald Trump.In an email to the Guardian, Bloom named her alleged abuser. The Guardian was however not immediately able to contact the man for comment.“I don’t know if he is still alive,” Bloom wrote, in part. “I assume so. I have spoken about being sexually assaulted/abused but I have not named him before publicly.” ‘A good measure of justice’Amid a slew of MeToo cases, Allred and Bloom have remained prominent. Where there is no criminal case, often because the statute of limitations has expired, there is still the court of public opinion. There is a news conference to name the alleged perpetrator, followed by relentless media coverage. Eventually the scales tip, advertisers are spooked and, in the case of many media figures, corporations are forced to act.A case in point was Bloom’s takedown of the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told the Hollywood Reporter, recounting the claims of an African American Fox staffer. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”> We still have an opportunity in the civil system, and that is to demand full and fair compensation for Epstein's victimsFor Bloom, “Operation O’Reilly” culminated when she said the nickname her client said O’Reilly gave her: “Hot Chocolate”. Amid a deluge of reports of settled sexual harassment suits, TV’s most feared pro-Trumper was toast.Bloom is now representing two alleged victims of Epstein, the financier and convicted sex offender who was friends with the rich and powerful but who killed himself in a Manhattan jail two weeks ago.Speaking in New York during her lunch break on Friday – from litigating, she said, a sexual harassment case she was confident would result in multimillion-dollar judgement – Bloom said her mission in representing the alleged Epstein victims was “to deliver justice that was denied when jail authorities allowed Epstein to kill himself”.Bloom has filed suit against Epstein’s estate and an alleged co-conspirator, named in court documents as Sue Roe. The suit alleges that two hostesses at the Coffee Shop in New York City’s Union Square were approached regarding “opportunities” to “perform what they thought were massages on [Epstein] for cash payments”.Unbeknown to the women, the suit says, the financier went on to “sexually touch” them “against their will and force them to watch him masturbate”.Epstein’s death, Bloom says, meant the women “were denied accountability in the criminal justice system. But we still have an opportunity in the civil system, and that is to demand full and fair compensation for his victims from his estate.”Money, she said, “is a good measure of justice in many ways”.“It makes a big difference. It’s a deterrent for people who do bad things and it can help victims get therapy, pay medical bills, go back to school, pay off debt and start a new life. It’s very meaningful to to them.”Epstein faced federal charges more than a decade ago but in a controversial deal pleaded guilty to a lesser state charge in Florida and was permitted to serve a 13-month sentence in which he spent six days out of seven at his office. It now appears he continued to receive visits from young women. His sentence completed, he returned to public life, largely unscathed.For offenders who enjoy the protective cocoon of extreme wealth, Bloom reasons, the only thing that really makes a difference is a loss of privilege.“Power corrupts and extreme wealth corrupts,” she said. “Wealthy people believe they are above the law because in many cases they are above the law. Look at Jeffrey Epstein. He got away with this for years. He had a system of recruiters to bring underage girls to him. Anytime a predator gets away with this, they feel impervious to legal consequences.” ‘Represent the underdogs’Bloom’s initiation into the world of women’s rights and the law came through her mother, an attorney who achieved celebrity herself. Among her high-profile cases, Allred was the first woman to challenge the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, because she was denied certain benefits of membership. She also sued the archdiocese of Los Angeles over sexual abuse by Catholic priests and represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, the murdered ex-wife of OJ Simpson.Lisa Bloom and Janice Dickinson announce a settlement in their defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby in Woodland Hills, California, on 25 July. Photograph: Frederick M Brown/Getty ImagesBloom attended Yale Law School, she has said, because she “wanted to represent the underdogs”. She and her mother have worked well together: they were once profiled in W magazine under the headline “Defenders of Women in 2017”.Bloom’s practice is now 100% for the victims of sexual misconduct and she has given up representing accused men. That decision came after she found herself on the wrong side of the Weinstein story.While her mother took on two of Weinstein’s alleged victims, in initial stages of the case Bloom advised the accused. It was a surprising choice: Weinstein had optioned her book about the slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.> The pendulum needs to keep swinging … because we’ve been living through an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault> > Lisa BloomBloom initially defended her work, saying the former Hollywood producer was trying to change his ways.Now, she said: “The problem was that Harvey Weinstein ended up being about a great deal more than inappropriate language. When the first woman accused him of sexual assault I was out of there. When the deluge came, I just felt mortified I’d ever associated with him.”Some suggest famous men accused of sexual misconduct have lost the right to clear their name, given the highly public cases of Weinstein, O’Reilly, Ailes, Cosby and others.Bloom recognizes that men have been going through their own awakening to the realities of sexual harassment. But she doesn’t believe the pendulum has swung too far.“The pendulum needs to keep swinging in favor of women because we’ve been living through an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault,” she said. “I believe the MeToo movement is long overdue and profoundly important.”Ultimately, she said, it’s a question of due process, of going to court and trying cases there.“I love being in that environment where there has to be evidence and witnesses,” she said, “not just people swinging allegations back and forth. The brave women who are standing up now are sending a message to predators that their day of reckoning is coming.”

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 07:00:09 -0400
  • Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit

    Golocal247.com news

    (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
  • Montana is back among states without state-funded preschool

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2 women accused of shoplifting strollers and accidentally leaving their baby behind

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • NJ Cop Sent to Psychiatric Ward After Wife’s Slaying Will Finally Face Judge

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    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
  • 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
  • Oregon defends past nonunanimous jury verdicts to high court

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Seven dead in Majorca air crash as sightseeing helicopter collides with ultralight plane

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Chinese State Media Warns of Intervention as Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent

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    Police fired a gunshot to warn protesters, a rare occurrence in Hong Kong

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 00:42:16 -0400
  • Britain sends another warship to Gulf

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    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
  • 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
  • How conservatives are making the best case against the death penalty

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    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

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    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
  • U.S. equity futures reopen lower, U.S.-China trade relations at new low ebb

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    White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham sought on Sunday to clarify comments from Trump, saying the president wished he had raised tariffs on Chinese goods even higher last week, even as Trump signaled he did not plan to follow through with a demand he tweeted on Friday that U.S. firms find ways to close operations in China.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 18:23:38 -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
  • CNN’s Brian Stelter: ‘We Can't Tiptoe’ Around Trump’s Mental Instability ‘Anymore’

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    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
  • British Airways Bank Holiday chaos as thousands of travellers spend hours on phone trying to salvage plans

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    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
  • The Latest: Iran imposes sanctions on US think tank

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    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
  • 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
  • ‘Safe Haven’ Israel Became Hot Money Bait for Central Bank Chief

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    (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
  • These are the 9 nuclear-armed countries and the 31 allies they've vowed to defend

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    There are about 13,885 nuclear weapons in the world. Here's an overview of the world's nuclear states and their arsenal.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 08:08:09 -0400
  • S.Africa seizes Air Tanzania plane over unpaid farm claim

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    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
  • UPDATE 1-Russia finds radioactive isotopes in test samples after accident

    Russia's state weather agency said on Monday it had found the radioactive isotopes of strontium, barium and lanthanum in test samples after a mysterious accident during a test at a military site earlier this month. The deadly accident on Aug. 8 caused a brief rise in radiation levels in the nearby city of Severodvinsk. President Vladimir Putin later said the mishap occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 04:07:16 -0400
  • 'Words and pictures matter': Two Alaska 13-year-olds arrested for middle school shooting plans, police say

    Alaska authorities arrested two 13-year-old students for planning to bring a gun to their school and shoot people, the Juneau Police Department said.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 21:27:34 -0400
  • Heard for miles: Gas explosion hits office, shopping complex

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    A powerful natural gas explosion badly damaged a Maryland office complex and shopping center Sunday morning, ripping away part of the facade and exposing twisted metal, authorities said. No injuries were reported in the thundering blast, which occurred at about 8 a.m. It came after authorities said they had evacuated the area around the complex because of a suspected early morning gas leak near the complex in Columbia, Maryland. "It was so powerful it could be heard in communities many miles away," said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball in a statement.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 18:21:07 -0400
  • An Inside Look at Chicago’s Seedy Car-Impound Netherworld

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    How the Windy City takes its citizens’ vehicles.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:31:00 -0400
  • Donald Trump Upstaged at G7 By Foreign Minister of ... Iran

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    Jeff J Mitchell/ReutersIt looked like President Donald Trump was set up for a diplomatic ambush at the Group of Seven summit on Sunday when Iran’s foreign minister suddenly flew into town.The arrival of the smooth-talking Javad Zarif at the elegant French beach resort of Biarritz, where the leaders of the seven most industrialized democracies are gathered, underscored a key conflict between Trump and the rest about how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. ‘Absolute Amateur Hour’: Team Trump Mangles Messages to IranLast year, the U.S. pulled out of an agreement that severely limited for several years Iran’s production and stockpiling of nuclear fuel and imposed an extensive inspection regime. Trump claimed the accord forged under Barack Obama was a disastrous deal, and he could do better.A senior French diplomat told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz that Macron informed Trump over lunch on Saturday that Zarif would be coming, and told the rest of the summit participants at dinner that night. The Trump administration imposed sanctions specifically targeting Zarif earlier this month, but when Trump was asked for a reaction after the the visit became public, his initial comment was, “No comment.”Although Trump has said he would be willing to meet with Iran’s leaders, they have so far declined, and a tweet from the Iranian foreign ministry stated flatly, “There will be no meetings or negotiations with the American delegation on this trip.”Trump has insisted he can force Iran to make more concessions, not only about nukes, but about its missiles and extensive proxy forces outside its borders, most notably Hezbollah, and to that end the U.S. has imposed draconian sanctions crippling the Iranian economy while punishing its trading partners.Germany, France and Britain–all signatories of the Iran deal, and all represented at the G7–have sought desperately to shore up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the agreement is called. They share Trump’s view that missiles and proxies are serious issues, but they believe it makes more sense to keep the nuclear agreement that exists rather than throw all the cards up in the air.To try to keep Iran on board, the Europeans have been discussing various mechanisms to try to bypass the American sanctions, but with little success. Meanwhile, step by calculated step, Iran terminates bits of the JCPOA. As Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With IsraelIn June, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also at the G7 this weekend, visited Tehran to try to calm the situation, but to no avail. Indeed, holes were blown in a Japanese tanker by mysterious, presumably Iranian, agents at the same time as Abe’s visit.It’s likely that Zarif’s visit to Biarritz is mainly political theater orchestrated by Macron, and there is little hope it will resolve an increasingly dangerous standoff between the U.S. and Iran. Already we have seen attacks on shipping near the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the recent British seizure, then release against U.S. objections, of an Iranian tanker at Gibraltar. Last month, when Iran downed an American drone it claimed was over its territorial waters, Trump gave a green light, then a red one, to a retaliatory attack that would have killed a number of Iranian personnel.Meanwhile, as The Daily Beast has reported, Iran’s clients in Lebanon and Syria, the Hezbollah militias, are preparing for war with Israel as part of a wider conflagration, and Israel is attacking Iranian installations in Iraq as well as Syria.What Zarif’s visit to the G7 summit might do is calm the situation and buy some time.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 12:50:35 -0400
  • Turkey says Syria safe-zone center with U.S. fully operational: Anadolu

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    A joint Turkish-U.S. operation center to establish and manage a safe zone in northeast Syria is fully operational, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying on Saturday by the state-owned Anadolu news agency. Turkey and the United States agreed to set up the joint operations center for the proposed zone along Syria's northeastern border but gave few details, such as the size of the zone or the command structure of the forces that would operate there. "The joint operation center has started working at full capacity.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:57:19 -0400
  • Vietnam Prefers Its Mobile Networks to Be Free of Huawei

    (Bloomberg) -- Vietnam is intent on being the first Asean nation to provide a 5G network -- without China’s tech powerhouse Huawei Technologies Inc.Viettel Group, Vietnam’s largest mobile carrier owned by the Defense Ministry, will deploy Ericsson AB’s equipment in Hanoi and Nokia Oyj’s technology in Ho Chi Minh City, said Viettel Chief Executive Officer Le Dang Dung. It will use 5G chipsets from Qualcomm Inc. and another U.S. company. The carrier, which uses Ericsson and Nokia for its 4G network, is also developing its own equipment, he added.“We are not going to work with Huawei right now,” Dung said in an interview at the company’s Hanoi headquarters. “It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now. There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei. So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe.”Vietnam’s smaller carriers appear to be shying away from Huawei, as well. MobiFone Corp. is using Samsung Electronics Co. equipment while Vietnam Telecom Services Company, or Vinaphone, entered into a partnership with Nokia to deploy its 5G network, according to local media.“I think Huawei is having difficulties in Vietnam right now, since other companies don’t use them as well,” said Dung, whose carrier has about 60 million customers in the nation of about 96 million people.The Southeast Asian country is quietly siding with the Trump administration, which has barred Huawei from buying U.S. technology over national-security concerns. Vietnam’s decision to shun Huawei appears to make it an outlier in Southeast Asia, where other countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia are open to deploying Huawei’s technology.Dung insisted Viettel’s decision not to use Huawei for its 5G networks was a technological one and not tied to geopolitical considerations.“We decided not to use Huawei, not because of the U.S.’s ban on Huawei -- we just made our own decision,” he said. “Many other countries, including the U.S., have found evidence that showed using Huawei is not safe for the security of the national network. So we need to be more cautious.”Still, Vietnam’s government has in the past cast suspicions over technology from neighboring China.Government officials vowed to review the use of Chinese technology in 2016 after cyber attacks on the nation’s two major airports in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi that they blamed on a hacker group from China.Years of territorial disputes between the two Communist countries have eroded trust in China among Vietnamese. A Pew opinion poll released in 2017 found just 10% of Vietnamese view China favorably.Maritime TensionThe Southeast Asian nation is already involved in a tense standoff with Beijing over the presence of a Chinese surveying ship along with Coast Guard escorts in oil-producing waters off Vietnam’s coast. In mid-2014, China dragged an exploration oil rig into contested waters off Vietnam, leading to deadly anti-China protests in Vietnam.“Vietnam can’t trust China,” said Le Hong Hiep, a fellow at the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. “They can’t risk their critical infrastructure just because they offer something cheaper than other companies.”Excluding Huawei could limit Viettel’s pricing and technology options, said Nikhil Batra, a senior telecom research analyst at IDC.“Huawei is deeply entrenched in this stuff,” Batra said. The Chinese company is more technologically advanced in 5G networks in some areas than its competitors, he said. “But they have to face all these headwinds in terms of security.”As mobile networks become more entwined with a country’s economic and national security, governments are taking a closer look at what technology is deployed.“Governments treat telecommunications just like utilities and water pipes -- as national infrastructure assets,” Batra said. “Everything is dependent on networks.”Vietnam has another reason to avoid Huawei technology: its desire to increase security and economic ties with the U.S., said Carl Thayer, emeritus professor with The University of New South Wales in Australia. Deploying the Huawei 5G infrastructure could make the U.S. reluctant to share some intelligence with Vietnam, he added.“The U.S. is putting pressure on every country not to get involved with Huawei,” Thayer said.Other highlights from the interview:Viettel forecasts 2019 revenue to grow 8%-10% to $11 billion with a pretax profit of about $2 billionCarrier willing to spend $1 billion-$2 billion to acquire overseas phone companies in countries such as the Philippines or Indonesia, though no time frame givenViettel considers selling stakes in three units -- its Viettel Digital Services, Viettel Enterprise Solutions and Viettel Media -- next year with possible exchange listings(Updates with Viettel earnings in 20th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: John Boudreau in Hanoi at jboudreau3@bloomberg.net;Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen in Hanoi at uyen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Ruth Pollard, Sam NagarajanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 05:29:40 -0400
  • Video of transgender women being violently kicked out of Los Angeles bar surfaces

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

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 03:52:05 -0400
  • S.Africa rare earths mine hopes for boost from US-China feud

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    It's old, doesn't look like much and is located well out the way in an arid part of western South Africa. "Steenkampskraal will become a very important source of rare earths for the global industry," Trevor Blench, chairman of Steenkampskraal Holdings Limited, said during a recent tour. China produces the largest share of so-called "tech minerals", with a domestic output of 120,000 tonnes in 2018.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 23:09:15 -0400
  • Israeli PM cuts Gaza fuel transfers amid flurry of threats

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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the military on Monday to cut fuel transfers to Gaza in half in response to rocket attacks from the coastal strip, raising tensions along Israel's southern border in addition to a renewed threat from the north amid reported Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Israel said the blast was a Palestinian attack. The flurry of activity comes amid a massive manhunt by Israeli troops for the 17-year-old's killers and dire warnings from Lebanon's Hezbollah leader of an imminent attack, just weeks before an unprecedented repeat Israeli election.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 05:25:42 -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
  • Muslims in China's most oppressed, closed-off region are turning to China's version of Gen Z favorite TikTok to communicate with the world

    Golocal247.com news

    Dozens of Uighurs in Xinjiang are using Douyin to tell the outside world about their plight. This is their first contact with the outside world.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 06:06:00 -0400
  • Red Summer 1919: Tree memorializing black Americans killed in Elaine, Arkansas, cut down

    A tree memorializing the African American lives lost in a 1919 massacre in Elaine, Arkansas, was chopped down this week in a possible hate crime.

    Sun, 25 Aug 2019 12:35:50 -0400
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