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  • Dick Cheney to appear at Trump 2020 fundraiser as Republican establishment bows to president

    Golocal247.com news

    Former vice president Dick Cheney will appear at a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to an invitation for the event, in a sign that the Republican establishment will publicly back his re-election bid.Mr Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 as an outsider and has often clashed with senior figures in the party, such as Mitt Romney and the late John McCain.However, an invitation to a luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyoming, shows Mr Cheney will appear alongside Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, according to The Washington Post.He will attend the event with his daughter Liz Cheney, who is a Republican congresswoman for Wyoming, for the fundraising group “Trump Victory”.Mr Cheney, who was George W Bush‘s vice president, previously said Mr Trump’s 2015 call for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” went “against everything [America] stands for and believes in”.Earlier this year, Mr Cheney also clashed with Mike Pence, the current vice president, over the administration’s foreign policy, criticising Mr Trump’s hard-line approach towards US allies in Nato.The invitation reportedly does not list the official titles of Mr Mulvaney, Ms Trump or Mr Kushner and insists that “their participation in the event is not a solicitation of funds”.Officials for the Trump campaign confirmed the event but would not say how much tickets would cost.Trump Victory has been known to charge up to six-figure amounts for tickets to its events.“Representative Cheney is honoured to be co-hosting this event and working hard to support President Trump’s re-election,” a spokesperson for Ms Cheney said in a statement. “The president’s policies are benefiting Wyoming and the nation.”The structure of the Trump Victory committee, which raises funds for both the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC), has shown how the president has been accepted into the Republican Party’s mainstream.By merging his re-election campaign with the national party, Mr Trump has become less vulnerable to an Republican opponent challenging him in the 2020 primary.However, linking the RNC to Mr Trump’s divisive presidency may be risky in the long-term for the Republican Party.In recent weeks, billionaire Stephen Ross has faced calls for a boycott of his Equinox luxury fitness company over his plans to hold a fundraiser for Mr Trump in the Hamptons.Additional reporting by agencies

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 13:11:44 -0400
  • School workers who used Sharpie to color in black teen’s hair in Texas are being sued

    Golocal247.com news

    A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on Sunday against a Texas school district and three officials after they took disciplinary action for a student’s haircut, court documents say.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:23:43 -0400
  • FBI: Ohio police arrest man connected to online shooting threat against Jewish community center

    Golocal247.com news

    Ohio police arrested James P. Reardon, 20, on charges of telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 18:51:32 -0400
  • Right-wing leader threatens to return to Portland every month after 13 arrested in weekend violence

    Golocal247.com news

    The leader of the Right-wing protesters who were embroiled in violent clashes with Left-wing counter-demonstrators in Portland over the weekend has threatened to return to the city every month. Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the “Proud Boys”, escalated the long-running feud between white supremacists and Antifa, a loose coalition of Left-wing and anarchist groups, which has brought mayhem to the streets of a number of American cities. He said his group would stage further demonstrations until Ted Wheeler, the mayor of the Oregon city, moved against Antifa. “The path forward for Mayor Wheeler is simple, free your city from the grip of Antifa, take direct and meaningful action,” he said. At least 13 people were arrested and six were injured in Saturday’s clashes which saw police seize an array of weapons including bear spray, metal poles, batons and curtain rods.  Some of the Right-wing protesters, who included members of the paramilitary “Three Percenters”, who pledge to resist attempts to “curtail constitutional rights”, wore body armour,. Portland Police deployed all of its thousand officers to keep the peace in the city. The standoff was the latest in a series of clashes reflecting the growing polarisation of American politics. Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019 Donald Trump, who was following developments from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, appeared to lay blame on Antifa for the violence, when he posted on Twitter. “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR’,” the president wrote. “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!” Demonstrator surrounded by police amid violent clashes in Portland, Oregon Credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images A Senate resolution, designating Antifa as a domestic terrorist group, has been proposed by Ted Cruz, a conservative Republican from Texas. Mr Trump’s tweet was described as “not helpful” by Mr Wheeler. “This is a potentially dangerous and volatile situation, and adding to that noise doesn’t do anything to support or help the efforts that are going on here in Portland.” The US president finally bowed to pressure to condemn white supremacists after the mass shooting at El Paso earlier this month, which claimed 22 lives. But in the past he has been reluctant to do so, notably after the August 2017 violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia when Heather Heyer who was killed when a car was driven into a group of people protesting against a “Unite the Right” rally. Mr Trump was heavily criticised when he said there were “very fine people on both sides”.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 11:59:40 -0400
  • Iran Warns U.S. Against Seizing Oil Tanker Headed to Greece

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    (Bloomberg) -- Iran warned the U.S. against apprehending a supertanker carrying the Middle East country’s oil and said it couldn’t be clear on the ship’s ultimate destination, leaving the fate of the vessel uncertain as it sailed into the Mediterranean Sea from Gibraltar, where it had been detained.The tanker, formerly called the Grace 1 and re-named the Adrian Darya 1, was signaling Kalamata, Greece -- at least for now -- with an arrival date of Aug. 26, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg at 5:25 p.m. London time. It had previously been showing an arrival date of Aug. 25.The vessel left Gibraltar Sunday night after being detained there since early July, when British forces seized it on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions. The U.S., which has sanctions against Iran, is seeking to prevent anyone from doing business with the ship.Iranian Crude Tanker Leaves Gibraltar Waters: What Happens Next?U.S. sanctions mean Iran cannot be “very transparent” about the destination of the tanker, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at a press conference in Helsinki. He said the U.S. is trying to “bully others from purchasing our oil” and that he hopes the release of the vessel will de-escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf.A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The incident is one of several in recent months that have strained relations between Iran and the West, following the U.S. reinstatement of sanctions on the Islamic Republic last year. Iran has maintained that the ship’s original detention on July 4 was unlawful. The Persian Gulf state continues to hold a U.K.-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero. Aggression in the region has threatened shipping in recent months in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most critical waterway for oil supplies.“The U.S. surely can’t seize the Iranian tanker and, if it does, it would pose a threat to international maritime security,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said. Iran warned the U.S. via “diplomatic channels,” including Switzerland, against interfering with the tanker, in international waters, Mousavi said at a news conference in Tehran. Swiss diplomats serve as interlocutors between the U.S. and Iran.Destination UnclearIt’s not known where the Iranian vessel is ultimately headed. Greek authorities haven’t received formal notification that the vessel intends to head to a port in the country, according to a spokesman for Greece’s coast guard. Kalamata’s port usually serves pleasure craft like sailboats and cruise ships, data compiled by Bloomberg show.The waters off Kalamata could be a possible location for ship-to-ship cargo transfers, according to two vessel brokers without specific information about the tanker’s plans. A ship’s destination is entered manually into its Automatic Identification System and is picked up by vessel-tracking. The destinations can be altered multiple times on the same journey.Gibraltar rejected an attempt by the U.S. to block the Iranian supertanker, saying that EU regulations don’t allow it to seek a court order to detain the vessel.U.S. ComplaintA complaint unsealed in Washington stated that “Oil Tanker ‘Grace 1,’ all petroleum aboard it and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture,” according to a Justice Department statement. The statement alleges a “scheme to unlawfully access the U.S. financial system to support illicit shipments” of oil from Iran to Syria in violation of U.S. sanctions, money laundering and terrorism statutes.Gibraltar last week released the vessel, after the government said Iran had provided assurances that the ship would not sail to a destination sanctioned by the EU. In response, the U.S. said it was gravely disappointed with Britain, and it warned that ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the vessel or its crew might be subject to sanctions, according to two administration officials.(Updates vessel’s estimated arrival date in second paragraph, request for comment in fifth. An earlier version of this story included an incorrect spelling for a port official in Kalamata, Greece.)\--With assistance from Serene Cheong, Anthony DiPaola, Alex Longley, Julian Lee, Paul Tugwell, Kati Pohjanpalo and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Wingfield in London at bwingfield3@bloomberg.net;Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at ashahla@bloomberg.net;Verity Ratcliffe in Dubai at vratcliffe1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, Rachel GrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:58:54 -0400
  • Iranian tanker sought by US heads to unknown destination

    Golocal247.com news

    An Iranian supertanker hauling $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects to be tied to a sanctioned organization lifted its anchor and begun moving away from Gibraltar late on Sunday. The trail left by GPS data on Marinetraffic.com, a vessel tracking service, showed the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously known as Grace 1, moving shortly before midnight. Iran's ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad, confirmed in a post on Twitter that the oil tanker was headed to international waters.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 20:22:51 -0400
  • India's Moon probe enters lunar orbit

    Golocal247.com news

    India's Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Tuesday, executing one of the trickiest manoeuvres on its historic mission to the Moon. After four weeks in space, the craft completed its Lunar Orbit Insertion as planned, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement. India is seeking to become just the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:43:53 -0400
  • Palestinian Authority Bans LGBTQ Organizing in West Bank

    Golocal247.com news

    The Palestinian Authority has banned all LGBTQ political organizing in the West Bank in response to the news that a pro-LGBTQ advocacy group was planning to hold a gathering for its members at the end of the month.The ban, which was first reported Sunday by the Jerusalem Post, was issued in response to the organizing efforts of Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, a pro-LGBTQ political group that held an event last month and was planning to hold another in the coming weeks.Palestinian Authority police spokesperson Luay Zreikat said that LGBTQ events were “harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society” in justifying the ban. Zreikat also accused unspecified “dubious parties” of attempting to “create discord and harm civic peace in Palestinian society” through the group's events.In response, Al-Qaws, which means "the bow" in Arabic, argued that it is an organization that is firmly embedded in Palestinian society and does not seek to disrupt it.“The Palestinian police announcement about our activities is very unfortunate,” the group said in a statement. “It’s very strange that they are accusing us of being a suspicious entity working to take apart Palestinian society. Al-Qaws is a Palestinian organization that has been operating since 2001, and is carrying out educational and professional programs on sexual and gender diversity. We totally reject the attempt to create an atmosphere of prosecution and intimidation, as well as threats of arrest.”An unnamed member of Al-Qaws also told the Post that he and his friends have received hundreds of death threats, most of which were sent through Facebook.“The attack on us is unprecedented,” the man said. “They are calling us traitors and corrupt people and many are calling for our execution. We are afraid for our lives.”

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:22:59 -0400
  • 'That is ridiculous': Andrew Gillum rips Rick Santorum for claiming guns aren't 'problem' in mass shootings

    Golocal247.com news

    Former Tallahassee, Fla., Mayor Andrew Gillum slammed former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's stance on gun control as “ridiculous” for saying guns are not the “problem” in mass shootings.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 13:42:26 -0400
  • TV presenter punched live on air during protest

    Golocal247.com news

    A journalist was knocked unconscious live on air after being punched in the face while covering a feminist protest.Video footage published by TV network ADM 40 shows reporter Juan Manuel Jimenez speaking to the camera as women yell at him during a march in Mexico City.Mr Jimenez can be seen standing in the middle of the crowd as women throw glitter at him and a woman holding a young girl’s hand shouts into the reporter’s microphone.As the reporter continues speaking to the camera, a man dressed in a white T-shirt and blue baseball cap walks up to him and punches him in the face before calmly walking away.Mr Jimenez can be seen lying on the ground seemingly unconscious as protesters chase after his attacker.At the beginning of the clip, shaky footage also shows another protester with their face covered who appears to grab the journalist and hit him in a separate incident.In other footage shared on social media, news presenter Melissa del Pozo de Milenio of the Milenio Televisión network also appears to be attacked by protesters.The journalist can be seen struggling with a woman dressed in black who has her face covered.The camera then focuses on two women who appear to be stabbing a sign.Demonstrators painted the word “rapists” on the wall of a nearby police station and phrases such as “they don’t take care of us” and “rape state” on Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument. The feminist protests were triggered by allegations that two teenage girls were raped by a group of policemen.The demonstrations have become known as the “glitter protests” after marchers doused the city’s police chief in pink glitter.Violence against women is a serious problem in Mexico. Human Rights Watch says Mexican laws “do not adequately protect women and girls against domestic and sexual violence”.A 2019 report said provisions in Mexican law, including those that make the severity of punishments for sexual offenses contingent upon the supposed chastity of the victim, “contradict international standards”.Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the first woman elected to head the city’s government, tweeted that the attorney general’s office of the metropolis will investigate and bring charges against those who attacked journalists.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:09:37 -0400
  • Mountain lion attacks Colorado hunter armed with just a pocket knife, officials say

    Golocal247.com news

    A Colorado man was scouting spots to hunt elk earlier this month when he became prey himself, according to state wildlife officials.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:47:16 -0400
  • Search continues for 2 missing firefighters along Florida coast

    Golocal247.com news

    The search continues for two firefighters who went missing along the Florida coast last week.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:26:30 -0400
  • The Must-See, Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Cars from the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

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    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 21:14:00 -0400
  • Scientists detect a black hole swallowing a neutron star 'like Pac-man'

    Golocal247.com news

    For the first time, scientists have detected a black hole devouring a neutron star, according to a report released Monday.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:42:18 -0400
  • US sued over Honduran man's suicide after family separation

    A new lawsuit blames the Trump administration's family separations for the death by suicide of a Honduran father after being separated from his 3-year-old child. The widow of Marco Antonio Muñoz sued the U.S. government and South Texas' Starr County, which operated the local jail where he died. The Texas Civil Rights Project, which announced the lawsuit Monday, said it was the first known lawsuit that linked a person's suicide to the zero-tolerance policy enacted last spring and ended amid worldwide condemnation.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:49:41 -0400
  • Epstein put assets in trust two days before suicide: report

    Golocal247.com news

    Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein wrote a will two days before he died, putting his $578 million in assets into a trust with unnamed beneficiaries, the New York Post reported Monday. Epstein, a wealthy hedge fund manager who befriended many politicians and celebrities over the years, hung himself in prison on August 10 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges. It posted a copy of the will online showing that Epstein claimed he had more than $56.5 million in cash, equities of over $300 million as well as a fixed income of more than $14 million.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:36:36 -0400
  • Mexican man facing voter fraud trial in Sacramento. He’s a Trump supporter

    Golocal247.com news

    For years, President Trump has claimed that millions of noncitizens voted in the 2016 presidential election, unfairly skewing his vote as Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:03:22 -0400
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    Russia accuses U.S. of stoking tensions with missile test: TASS

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    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:02:57 -0400
  • U.K. ‘Extremely Concerned’ by Reports Staffer Held on China Trip

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    (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. said it was “extremely concerned” by reports that a Hong Kong consulate worker was detained during a recent trip to mainland China, a case that threatens to add to strains between Beijing and London.The statement came after news site HK01 reported that the U.K. consular employee, Simon Cheng, 28, was reported missing after failing to return from an Aug. 8 meeting in the adjacent city of Shenzhen. The U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office said it was providing the man’s family with support and seeking information from authorities in Hong Kong and Guangdong province.“We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen,” the office said. Cheng is being held on the mainland, the Telegraph newspaper reported, citing the British Embassy in Beijing.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing Tuesday in Beijing that he wasn’t familiar with the reports on Cheng’s disappearance. The Hong Kong police didn’t respond to requests for comment. The incident comes at a sensitive time for the U.K. and China, which has accused the British government of meddling in its former colony by defending the rights of demonstrators. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Aug. 9 to discuss “concerns about the situation in the city and the protests there,” the foreign office said in a statement that made no mention of Cheng’s case.Concerns about the safety of foreign diplomatic staff operating in China have increased since Michael Kovrig, a global security analyst on leave from the Canadian foreign service, was detained in December and later accused of espionage. The move came amid a spat between Beijing and Ottawa over the arrest of a Chinese executive accused of sanctions violation in the U.S.‘Pray for Me’Text messages published by HK01 suggest that Cheng and his Taiwanese girlfriend were concerned about his safety as he prepared to pass through immigration on his return home. “Passing through. Pray for me,” he told his girlfriend, identified only by her surname Lee.China has stepped up border controls near Hong Kong as authorities seek to prevent the financial hub’s unrest from spreading. Travelers into China are being asked to unlock their smartphones so Chinese agents can examine their chats and social media, Bloomberg News reported last week, citing a person familiar the procedure.Read more: China Border Agents Probe Hong Kong Travelers’ DevicesIt wasn’t immediately clear whether Cheng successfully crossed the mainland border and made it to the high-speed railway station staffed by mainland agents on the Hong Kong side. Also unknown was what, if any, diplomatic protections were available to Cheng, whose LinkedIn profile lists his job as a trade and investment officer with Scottish Development International.Immigration authorities told Lee that Chen was being held in administrative detention, according to the HK01. Authorities can hold people for as long as 15 days under that process.The Hong Kong Immigration Department told Bloomberg News that the agency has reached out the city’s trade office in Guangdong seeking information about the case. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong confirmed that it had received the request and said it would follow up with the agency. (Updates with Chinese response in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Peter Martin, Iain Marlow, Dandan Li and Karen Leigh.To contact the reporter on this story: Sheryl Tian Tong Lee in Hong Kong at slee1905@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Fion LiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 04:28:31 -0400
  • Fourth correctional officer arrested after alleged Florida prison beating on video

    Golocal247.com news

    A fourth Florida Department of Corrections officer has been arrested in connection with an alleged July 8 beating of an inmate that was caught on video.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:31:29 -0400
  • Tourists who stole sand from beach in Sardinia could face up to six years in prison

    Golocal247.com news

    A pair of tourists face up to six years in prison after allegedly stealing a large quantity of sand from the pristine beaches of Sardinia. The French couple were found to have nearly 40kg (90lb) of fine white sand in the boot of their car. The vehicle was stopped during a routine check by border police as the tourists were preparing to board a ferry in Porto Torres, on the north coast of the island, bound for Toulon in France. The sand was found in 14 large plastic bottles and had been taken from a beach near Chia in southern Sardinia. The couple told police that they had no idea they were breaking the law, but they now face between one and six years in jail. The island has battled for years to stop tourists from pinching its sand, shells and pebbles, which are prized as souvenirs or in some cases, for indoor aquariums. WWF has run a campaign against 'beach thieves', reminding tourists that taking sand from Sardinia's shoreline is a crime To try to stop the pillaging, some locals have taken on the role of self-appointed guardians of the beaches. If they see tourists taking sand or shells, they ask them to return the material. If that does not work, they call the police or national park rangers. One of them, Pina Careddu, told an Italian newspaper on Monday that visitors sometimes become rude and aggressive when challenged. “A family of Germans were filling up some bottles with sand. I recorded them on my phone so they couldn’t deny it. The father came towards me in a threatening manner. But in the end he tipped the sand back onto the beach,” Mrs Careddu, 58, told Corriere della Sera. Dubbed “the granny sheriff” of the Sinis peninsula, on the west coast of the island, she is strict even with her grandchildren. “They say, ‘Nana, can’t we take some pebbles home to play with?’ And I say no, if everyone did that, soon there would be no beach left.”

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:04:40 -0400
  • Serial killer who murdered SC teen featured on new season of Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’

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    He has a long rap sheet of crimes throughout the South, and a controversial connection to a South Carolina murder.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:09:52 -0400
  • John Delaney draws 11 people to 2020 event – does he truly think he can win?

    Golocal247.com news

    The former congressman has put $24m of his own cash into an increasingly quixotic presidential run – and he’s ploughing on despite a near total lack of supportJohn Delaney speaks at the Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake, Iowa. What Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. Photograph: Brian Cahn/Zuma/Rex/ShutterstockJohn Delaney has poured a staggering $24m of his own money into running for president. He has been campaigning for the White House for more than two years, and in that time has held more than 200 events in Iowa.On one recent Thursday morning, these efforts translated into a grand total of 11 people coming out to see Delaney, at a campaign event in the small town of Algona, in the north of the state.The former Maryland congressman, former businessman and formerly much wealthier candidate is one of a slew of long-shot candidates for the Democratic nomination. In a crowded, historically diverse field, Delaney is part of a group of white, middle-aged men who are forging ahead with their increasingly quixotic presidential campaigns in spite of a collective lack of support.Delaney strode into Miller’s Sports Bar & Grill, one of a chain of bars across Iowa, just after 10am. One of his team had taped a couple of Delaney 2020 campaign posters to a wall in the back of the bar, and a sign-up list was on a table. The crowd, all silver haired apart from a thirtysomething man who walked in late, were sitting patiently at four different tables.Clad in the off-duty politician’s uniform of open-necked shirt, blue jeans and casual brown shoes, Delaney got to work, vigorously shaking 11 hands. One member of the crowd was immediately impressed with the 56-year-old.“You actually look even better than you do on TV,” one woman said.“I think I’m just going to stay around here,” Delaney quipped.If Delaney was disappointed with the turnout, he didn’t show it. Besides, in a way, the 11-person crowd was a positive. The night before, on Delaney’s Facebook page, just two people had said they would attend, and one of those was his campaign director.Delaney, who served in Congress for six years before resigning to run for president, was joking when he said he might just stay around Iowa. But in fact, it would be hard for him to spend more time here. The 58-year-old has made 34 separate visits to the state in two years. This trip was the first of three in August. And the actual vote in Iowa – the state’s caucuses – is still six months away.It’s a grueling schedule. On Thursday alone, Delaney was scheduled to hold five different events in the space of nine and a half hours.With the pleasantries over at Miller’s Delaney dived into his pitch. The two most important questions in 2020, he said, are: “Who can beat Trump?” and: “Who is the best leader for this country at this moment in time?”Delaney gestures at the end of his speech during a visit to the Iowa state fair in Des Moines earlier this month. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP“I believe I’m the right answer to those two questions,” he concluded.Delaney’s problem is that very few people agree. Despite a marathon campaign – he declared his candidacy in July 2017, 18 months before any other major contenders – and a big pot of cash, he is barely registering – even in Iowa. Delaney is currently polling at 1% in the state – in ninth place. Nationally, Delaney has just 0.3% of the vote.But Delaney, an electrician’s son turned millionaire, isn’t about to let a near total lack of support stop him.“I don’t want to be the president just to be the president,” Delaney said at his second event of the day. “I want to be the president to do the job.”Later, Delaney was speaking to a crowd of 15 people, at the Rustic Brew in Hampton, an hour and a half drive east of Algona. He had been allocated an area in the back, in a room with a painting of a reindeer on one wall. Delaney had almost immediately been interrupted by a man wearing a Vietnam cap.The man complained about veterans’ hospitals. Delaney, hoping to appease him, said he would allow veterans to visit a wider range of hospitals for their care. The man in the cap said that was exactly the plan he was opposed to. Delaney said he would talk to him about it later, then carried on with his speech. The man in the cap slumped in his chair, mumbling something to himself.The main part of Delaney’s pitch is that he can beat Donald Trump and actually pass legislation, whereas, in his view, people such as the leftwing senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are making “impossible promises”. After Delaney criticized the more ambitious proposals of his rivals during the recent televised Democratic debates, Warren chopped him down, telling the audience: “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”Far from being cowed by that, Delaney told the Guardian that if he could change one thing about his campaign, he actually would have plugged his centrist credentials earlier.“The kind of sharp contrasts I’m making now, I would have made them earlier,” Delaney said.But what Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. He brushed off concerns that he won’t make the next Democratic debates – the bar for entry is far higher for the next round, in mid-September – by insisting he could make the one after that, because he expects other candidates to drop out.As Delaney closed out at the Rustic Brew, his campaign manager abruptly announced that the rest of the day’s events were cancelled. He had only completed two out of five. The campaign manager put it down to a schedule conflict. John Delaney at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines, on 9 August. Photograph: Eric Thayer/ReutersThe Guardian chased Delaney down in Des Moines the next day, where he was appearing at the Iowa state fair. Delaney spent some time prodding pork chops on a grill – a classic state fair photo opportunity – before speaking for about 15 minutes to a crowd, again pitching his centrist vision. He drew a decent number of people, but his crowd was dwarfed by those who came out for speeches by Warren, Sanders and Biden.Delaney is probably right when he says other people will soon quit the race. The California congressman Eric Swalwell ended his campaign in July, citing a lack of money and a lack of support. Colorado ex-governor John Hickenlooper dropped out last week. Delaney doesn’t have to make that choice yet. He has loaned his campaign $24m, but according to Forbes, he is worth $200m, so he has plenty of cash left to splurge.But there will surely come a point where he has to make a decision. Given Delaney is polling within the margin of error of zero, that point might come soon.Or perhaps Delaney, ever the optimist, could bide his time. If Trump wins in 2020, then there’s always 2024. If Delaney doesn’t bankrupt himself first, maybe he could be a contender.At the very least, he will know his way around Iowa.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 02:00:38 -0400
  • El Paso widower who invited public to wife's funeral has SUV stolen and wrecked

    Golocal247.com news

    A tow truck driver said he took it back to Antonio Basco's home for free after recognizing his name from media coverage of the shooting.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:00:08 -0400
  • Sudan's Bashir got $90 mn from Saudi, investigator tells court

    Golocal247.com news

    Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir has admitted to receiving $90 million in cash from Saudi royals, an investigator told a Khartoum court on Monday. Police Brigadier Ahmed Ali said at the opening of Bashir's corruption trial, which an AFP correspondent attended, that the former president told him that the latest payment was "delivered by some of Mohammed bin Salman's envoys". Bashir, whose military Islamist regime ruled Sudan for 30 years, arrived at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute where the trial is taking place in a huge military convoy.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:19:45 -0400
  • Amash dumped Trump, and now Mich. district may dump Amash

    Golocal247.com news

    Eirran Betka-Pope was on her lunch break when she spotted hundreds of Donald Trump supporters protesting outside the office of Rep. Justin Amash, the first Republican on Capitol Hill to say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the president. The 32-year-old from Grand Rapids, who works in theater and sketch comedy, put on a Trump mask she happened to have in her car and joined the crowd on the sidewalk. Amash's is another cautionary tale for GOP lawmakers who consider opposing Trump, whose job approval rating among Republicans has hovered around 90% for the past year, according to Gallup.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:44:51 -0400
  • Fugitive lived in isolated bunker for 3 years to evade arrest in Wisconsin

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    Jeremiah Button was sleeping in a homemade bunker in the woods on the morning of Aug. 9 when his three-year run from the law came to an end.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 14:29:45 -0400
  • The Best Fall Soup Recipes, From Chicken Noodle to Broccoli Cheddar

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    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 18:04:00 -0400
  • Texas police who led black man down street by rope will not face criminal probe

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    Police officers who led a handcuffed African American man down a street with a rope on horseback will not be subjected to a criminal probe in the state, despite widespread outrage after images of the incident were shared online.The decision was announced on Friday by the Texas Rangers, who said in a statement that an initial investigation found “nothing that warranted a criminal investigation”.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:41:00 -0400
  • Duke of York pictured inside mansion of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

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    Peering out from behind the 15ft-high solid oak door Prince Andrew is seen to catch himself and check if anyone is watching as he waves goodbye to an attractive brunette. And it may be little surprise that he was concerned that someone might spot him in the doorway of the £63million Manhattan mansion, as it belonged to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. A video of the encounter emerged as the Duke of York faced a growing list of questions over this association with the financier who died in prison in an apparent suicide earlier this month. The Duke is seen in the video emerging in the imposing doorway of the New York building which Epstein’s victims have dubbed the “House of Horrors” to chat for a few seconds and then wave goodbye to an unnamed woman. Before he closes the door he peers around it apparently to see if anyone is watching. Less than an hour earlier Epstein had left the house in a thick fur-lined coat in the company of a young blonde woman who was wearing a thin jumper and appeared to be shivering. Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein pictured walking together in Central Park during the 2010 visit  Credit: Jae Donnelly  Witnesses told the Mail on Sunday that the woman entering and leaving the house whilst the Duke was inside “looked very young indeed”. The footage is from December 2010 when the Duke, then the UKs Special Representative for Trade, stayed with Epstein in his New York home. Previously pictures have emerged from the same trip of the pair walking together in Central Park. The corridor in which the Duke stood to wave goodbye to the woman is said to contain a number of bizarre items, including a painting of Bill Clinton wearing the dress Monika Lewinsky was infamously wearing when she performed a sex act on him and a chandelier with a life sized female doll hanging from it. Jeffrey Epstein was in prison awaiting trial when he apparently took his own life  Two years before the video was shot Epstein had been convicted of sex with a child and placed on the sex offenders register.   The emergence of the video came after prosecutors in the US said they were continuing their investigations into Epstein's crimes and their attention had turned to his associates. The source said that they had gone public with the footage to try and encourage other victims to come forward. The Duke is braced for the release of further court documents in coming weeks after being named in documents relating to British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who is alleged to have “acted as a madam" for her lover Epstein. She has repeatedly denied the claims. Ghislaine Maxwell denies being a "madam" for her former lover Jeffrey Epstein   Buckingham Palace have refused to comment on the video but have recently repeated their “emphatic denial” of allegations against the Duke made by Virginia Roberts, one of Epstein’s victims. A spokesman for the Palace said: “Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.” The Duke is currently on holiday in Spain with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. The Metropolitan Police have refused to say whether they will look at requests by Ms Roberts to resume their inquiries into the allegations she made surrounding her time in London. In 2015 Detectives looked at allegations that Ms Roberts, who now uses her married name Guiffre, was trafficked to London for sexual exploitation but they did not to pursue a full investigation.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 13:55:51 -0400
  • Couple who ran a home for troubled boys charged with trafficking children, forced labor

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    A husband and wife who ran a home for troubled boys in Texas have been arrested a year after the home was raided and eight boys were removed, reports say.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:21:09 -0400
  • Is recycling collapsing in California? Advocates call on lawmakers to rescue it

    When rePlanet closed its doors at its remaining 284 California locations earlier this month, alarm bells went up among recycling advocates.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:30:00 -0400
  • He was found hurt near downtown shuffleboard courts. Cops say it was an attempted homicide

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    Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:56:56 -0400
  • Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

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    Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers. Bahrain's King Hamad voiced his country's appreciation of the "US role in supporting regional security and stability" during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said. "The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain's participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy," the official Bahrain News Agency reported.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:26:54 -0400
  • Trump Goes Dark on Gun Control After Pledging Background Checks ‘Like We’ve Never Had Before’

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    Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIt’s been roughly half a month since dual mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, forced the president, his administration, and Capitol Hill lawmakers into yet another debate about gun control. And in those short weeks, Donald Trump has already started to pump the brakes on his support for background checks legislation the likes of which, he said, “we’ve never had before.”“He’s started to move on,” a White House official conceded, adding that they haven’t heard the president discussing the topic in recent days with the same urgency or frequency that punctuated the immediate aftermath of the high-profile shootings. “If it were up to the president, he’d do background checks today. But that’s not how it works, and he loses patience [quickly].”So far this month, President Trump has posted four tweets directly addressing the need for more robust background checks for gun purchases, one fewer than he’s posted about Diamond & Silk, the Trump-loving, self-described “Video Vloggers” who make regular appearances on Fox News and Fox Business. Trump Flips on Gun Control After NRA Sits Him Down in Oval OfficeThat Trump’s attention span drifted elsewhere before Congress could even reconvene to debate gun control reform was hardly a surprise. The president has promised to tackle background checks before, only to drop the idea once the mass shooting that precipitated his apparent interest faded from the news cycle. Two sources close to the president each said they had spoken to Trump in the past week, and neither recalled him saying anything about seriously pushing expanding background checks.But for officials on the Hill, Trump’s latest backtrack still serves as a notable illustration of just how quickly he can paralyze the legislative process—even on issues with wide public support. “There is nothing happening,” one Senate Democratic aide, who asked to be referred to as a "severely depressed staffer who has been through too many of these," said of the current state of negotiations. “This is all Trump. It is all in his hands. No one is talking to Republicans or their offices. If the president says, ‘Yes I wanna do it,’ it gets 85 votes. If he doesn't, it doesn't.”So far, the president has not said he wants to “do it.” There have been no conversations with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.)—the chief Democratic co-sponsor on the most bipartisan piece of background check legislation—since the two talked early last week. White House staff have not had substantive follow up conversations with Senate staff since they convened to discuss the Manchin-Pat Toomey legislation, aides say. And a senior Democratic House aide confirmed that there was not “much movement” on their end of the Capitol either. DHS Official: Trump Can’t Admit ‘This Is Terrorism’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a radio interview on Aug. 8 that he had talked with the president and was “anxious” to work with him to get an outcome on guns. A spokesman for McConnell told The Daily Beast that the GOP leader and Trump talk frequently but would not say if they had spoken about prospective bills in recent days. A source familiar with the discussions said that Democrats remain willing to work with Trump to reach a legislative compromise on guns. But they are skeptical that it might happen, aware of his tendency to backtrack after past mass shootings. The hope among Senate offices involved in the discussions is that the White House will ultimately make clear what proposals Trump can and cannot support with respect to gun legislation and that that, in turn, will set the table for possible next steps, according to the source familiar with talks.But, so far, the president has signalled mainly that he is retreating from the idea that he can push an expanded background-checks bill through Congress. On Sunday, he told reporters that, “People don't realize we have very strong background checks right now,” before arguing that the issue with gun violence was a “big mental [health] problem.”In case there was any confusion, Trump added: “Look, I've had a great relationship with the [National Rifle Association], and I will always have a great relationship. I've been very good for the NRA.”Though the gun rights lobby finds itself in a state of internal turmoil, its influence has not waned on the Hill or within the West Wing. The group staunchly opposes ongoing efforts to expand background checks, and quickly jumped on the phone with Trump to restate that position in the wake of the two recent mass murders. Since then, more conservative voices, including figures closely aligned with Trump, have signalled their disapproval with far-reaching legislation favored by Democratic lawmakers. “We already have background checks on all gun transactions except those between private individuals. Spending time on this issue is a waste for anyone who really wants to help with mass shootings,” Ed Brookover, who served as a senior adviser on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, said on Monday.Democratic Hill aides expect that Republicans will, ultimately, not move on legislation this time around unless it has the NRA’s endorsement. And for that reason, there is growing resignation to the idea that Senate GOP leaders will end up pushing reforms to the background checks system that nibble around the edges rather than directly expanding its scope. One such bill was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the wake of the Newtown shooting in early 2013 and reintroduced in years since. The bill increased funding for school safety measures, criminalized straw purchases, and encouraged states to report mental health records; but it did not actually limit gun ownership, at least in material ways. Another possibility is a so-called “red flag law” proposal — which would aim to keep guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people — that represents probably the maximum level of gun control that the GOP can get behind. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already said that Democrats won’t “settle” for gun action that is limited to red flag laws. On Monday, he called Trump’s “backtracks” on guns “heartbreaking” and called on McConnell to put universal background checks to a vote on the Senate floor immediately. There was no response from McConnell or Trump. “Every reporter called me up and said the time feels different,” the Senate Democratic aide said. “I was like, am I missing something?” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 22:14:59 -0400
  • 4 last wolves in Washington pack killed by state hunters

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    The last four members of a wolf pack that preyed on cattle in a rural Washington state area bordering Canada have been killed by state hunters, prompting protests from environmental groups. The four wolves were part of a pack that originally had seven members and attacked cows, killing or wounding them 29 times since 2018 and nine times over the last month, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement last Friday. Agency director Kelly Susewind authorized the killings of the remaining pack members on July 31.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 19:57:07 -0400
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    Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

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    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:06:21 -0400
  • Some of Our Favorite Nerf Blasters Are Way Cheap Right Now

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    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:00:00 -0400
  • 'Ticking time bomb': Violence surges amid guard shortage, lockdown at Mississippi prison

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    As a lockdown at this Mississippi prison enters its seventh month, violence is rampant. It's "not a sustainable situation," ACLU official says. Others agree.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:47:40 -0400
  • Man accused of killing Nia Wilson to enter plea today

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    The man accused of stabbing and killing 18-year-old Nia Wilson at the MacArthur BART Station in July 2018 is expected to enter a plea in the case.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:58:19 -0400
  • Driver pins paramedic against her ambulance in Walmart parking lot, NC police say

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    The woman was airlifted to a hospital with serious leg injuries, officials say.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:08:20 -0400
  • Turkey Fires Kurdish Mayors Ahead of Military Push Into Syria

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    (Bloomberg) -- Turkey fired the elected mayors of three major Kurdish-dominated cities in the country’s southeast and detained more than 400 people in a crackdown as it prepares to push a Syrian Kurdish militia away from its border.The mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van were removed Monday for their alleged ties to the PKK, an autonomy-seeking Kurdish group classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. Police used water cannons to disperse hundreds of Kurdish protesters outside the mayor’s office in Diyarbakir, according to footage by Arti TV.While Turkish authorities have in the past evicted Kurdish officials at times of heightened political tension at home, this time the moves were seen as linked to a long-promised military operation in northern Syria.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to carve out a frontier buffer zone that will be off-limits to the Syrian YPG militia, which authorities say has links to the PKK. The seizure of three Turkish municipalities with a population of about 3.7 million people where the PKK traditionally enjoys strong backing aims to prevent any support for the militants.But it also renewed accusations that Erdogan and his nationalist allies are damaging Turkey’s democracy by attacking the pro-Kurdish HDP after it swept back to office in ballots in the southeast and helped Turkey’s main opposition party to win mayoral races in the capital and the nation’s commercial hub.“All political parties and society should react to this coup against the will of the people,” Garo Paylan, an HDP lawmaker, said on Twitter. “If you remain silent, then the next in line could be Ankara and Istanbul.”Erdogan warned before local elections in March that his government would not hesitate to replace HDP mayors if they are deemed to be linked to Kurdish militants. The HDP has faced a broad clampdown since it won enough votes to enter parliament in 2015. Since then, the government has jailed hundreds of Kurdish politicians and seized about 100 municipalities in the southeast.The HDP denies it’s influenced by the PKK and blames the group’s armed rebellion on a history of repressive policies toward Kurds.All three mayors were elected with a majority of votes on March 31. Diyarbakir Mayor Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli got 63% of the provincial vote, while Mardin Mayor Ahmet Turk had 56% and Van Mayor Bedia Ozgokce Ertan received 54% support.Officials have said they expect a headquarters for the expected joint operation by Turkey and the U.S., which supported the Syrian YPG in the fight against Islamic State, to be up and running this week.(Updates with context in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net;Taylan Bilgic in Istanbul at tbilgic2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, Mark Williams, Alaa ShahineFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:57:28 -0400
  • New planet discovered in orbit of young Milky Way star

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    A second planet has been discovered circling Beta Pictoris, a fledgling star in our own galaxy offering astronomers a rare glimpse of a planetary system in the making, according to a study published Monday. "We talking about a giant planet about 3,000 times more massive than Earth, situated 2.7 times further from its star than the Earth is from the Sun," said Anne-Marie Lagrange, an astronomer at France's National Centre for Scientific Research and lead author of a study in Nature Astronomy. Like its big sister b Pictoris b, discovered by Lagrange and her team in 2009, it is a gassy giant.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:45:18 -0400
  • 'Dumb as a rock' and a 'crazed crying lowlife': How Trump has insulted former staff

    Golocal247.com news

    On becoming president Donald Trump boasted that he only hired the best people.It was a claim that played into his preferred self-image of a business titan, delegating the running of his many big-money projects to shrewdly chosen managers who could be relied on to make the right calls.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:03:15 -0400
  • Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana's governor during Katrina, dies

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    Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who became the state's first female elected governor only to see her political career derailed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, has died. After struggling for years with cancer, Blanco died Sunday in hospice care in Lafayette. Please pray for God's peace to carry us through the coming days and months of sorrow as we mourn her absence from our lives," Blanco's family said in a statement released by Gov. John Bel Edwards' office.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 19:49:36 -0400
  • How the Government Creates Wealth Inequality

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    There are economic storm clouds on the horizon, but for now wages are rising, jobs are plentiful, and poverty is falling. Democrats running for president need an economic line of attack, so the solution has been to focus on wealth inequality. Senator Bernie Sanders claims that there has been a “massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top one percent.” Senator Elizabeth Warren lambastes America’s “extreme concentration of wealth.” Even the establishment Joe Biden laments, “This wealth gap that exists in the United States of America is so profound now.”Wealth inequality has risen in recent years, but by far less than the Democrats and many media articles imply. The scarier claims about inequality usually stem from the flawed data created by French economist Thomas Piketty and his colleagues. More careful studies by other economists and the Federal Reserve Board reveal surprisingly modest changes in wealth inequality given the huge revolutions in globalization and technology that have occurred.Are increases in wealth inequality the awful thing that Democrats claim? It depends on what causes them. Much of the recent modest rise in wealth inequality stems from innovations in our economy that are pulling everyone up. Brian Acton and Jan Koum, for example, built huge multibillion dollar fortunes by creating WhatsApp, which provides free phone service for 1.5 billion users globally.Acton and Koum’s success may have increased the wealth owned by the top 1 percent, but their product has created massive consumer value as well. Most of the wealthiest Americans are entrepreneurs who have fueled economic growth, which is clear in examining the Forbes 400 list. Wealth created this way is not the zero-sum struggle that Democrats imagine it is.That is the good news. The bad news is that the government itself generates wealth inequality in at least two ways that make us worse off. First, governments give subsidies, regulatory preferences, and other crony-capitalist benefits to wealthy insiders. In the recent Fat Leonard scandal, for example, Leonard Francis gained hundreds of millions of dollars of government contracts by cozying up to Navy officers and providing them with gifts, prostitutes, and other favors to get them to do his bidding.The other way that the government fuels wealth inequality is a deeper scandal. The expansion of social programs over the decades has undermined incentives for lower- and middle-income families to save while reducing their ability to save because of higher taxes. Government programs have displaced or “crowded out” wealth-building by all American families but the richest.Politicians complain loudly about wealth inequality, but their own policies are generating it. This issue receives too little policy attention, but it is profoundly important and reveals the hypocrisy of the political left.Many Americans have saved little for retirement because Social Security discourages them doing so, as does the heavy 12.4 percent wage tax that funds the program. Economist Martin Feldstein found that every dollar increase in Social Security benefits reduces private savings by about 50 cents.Social Security accounts for a larger share of retirement income for the non-rich than for the rich, so this crowd-out effect increases wealth inequality. In a simulation model, Jagadeesh Gokhale and Laurence Kotlikoff estimated that Social Security raises the share of overall wealth held by the top 1 percent of wealth holders by about 80 percent. This occurs because the program leaves the non-rich with “proportionately less to save, less reason to save, and a larger share of their old-age resources in a nonbequeathable form.”A study by Baris Kaymak and Markus Poschke built a model of the U.S. economy to estimate the causes of rising wealth inequality. They found that most of the rise in the top 1 percent share of wealth in recent decades was caused by technological changes and wage dispersion, but the expansion of Social Security and Medicare caused about one-quarter of the increase. They concluded that the “redistributive nature of transfer payments was instrumental in curbing wealth accumulation for income groups outside the top 10% and, consequently, amplified wealth concentration in the U.S.”More government benefits result in less private wealth, especially for the non-rich. It is not just Social Security and Medicare that displaces private saving, but also unemployment insurance, welfare, and other social spending. Some social programs have “asset tests” that deliberately discourage saving.Total federal and state social spending as a share of gross domestic product soared from 6.8 percent in 1970 to 14.3 percent in 2018. That increase in handouts occurred over the same period that wealth inequality appears to have increased. Generations of Americans have grown up assuming that the government will take care of them when they are sick, unemployed, and retired, so they put too little money aside for future expenses.Cross-country studies support these conclusions. A 2015 study by Pirmin Fessler and Martin Schurz examined European data and found that “inequality of wealth is higher in countries with a relatively more developed welfare state . . . given an increase of welfare state expenditure, wealth inequality measured by standard relative inequality measures, such as the Gini coefficient, will increase.”A study by Credit Suisse found: “Strong social security programs — good public pensions, free higher education or generous student loans, unemployment and health insurance — can greatly reduce the need for personal financial assets. . . . This is one explanation for the high level of wealth inequality we identify in Denmark, Norway and Sweden: the top groups continue to accumulate for business and investment purposes, while the middle and lower classes have a less pressing need for personal saving.”That is why it is absurd for politicians such as Sanders and Warren to decry wealth inequality and then turn around and demand European-style expansions in our social programs. The bigger our welfare state, the more wealth inequality we will have.The solution is to transition to savings-based social programs. Numerous countries have Social Security systems based on private savings accounts. Chile has unemployment-insurance savings accounts. Martin Feldstein proposed a savings-based approach to Medicare. The assets in such savings accounts would be inheritable, unlike the benefits from current U.S. social programs.Sanders and Warren are right to criticize crony capitalism as a cause of wealth inequality. But their big government approaches to social policy would have the opposite effect on wealth inequality than what they may believe.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 06:30:20 -0400
  • Earthquake cluster slams Kansas county with 11 quakes in 5 days

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    A county in central Kansas experienced a pretty shocking uptick in seismic activity last week — 11 earthquakes in five days.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 12:19:41 -0400
  • Florida 'stand your ground' trial begins for deadly dispute over handicapped parking spot

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    The manslaughter trial for Michael Drejka, the man involved in a deadly dispute over a handicapped parking spot in Florida, was set to begin Monday.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:44:39 -0400
  • Drug dealer spared jail after telling judge his baldness had ruined his life

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    A judge spared a drug dealer from jail after hearing his alopecia had led to a life of ridicule and that selling drugs was a way of making friends. Cameron Bridges started selling drugs after being frozen out by his peers for much of his school life and to support his £150 a day cocaine habit. Bridges, of Polperro, Cornwall, admitted possession of cocaine, ketamine and cannabis with intent to supply, as well as possession charges and assaulting an emergency worker. Truro Crown Court heard the 20 year old's life spiralled out of control until his arrest in May when he sought help and is now drug free. Chris Andrews, defending, said:"At school he suffered five years of ridicule and bullying and sat out PE while other children laughed at him. "It will come as no surprise that at 12 he started smoking cannabis and at 15 he started using cocaine behind his parents' backs. Drugs gave him something he's never had before, a circle of friends and all of a sudden a social group. Suddenly people rang him and he was in demand." Judge Simon Carr jailed him for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered him on a six month drug rehab order, a curfew and 150 hours of unpaid work.

    Sun, 18 Aug 2019 16:20:18 -0400
  • Philippines warns of 'unfriendly' greeting for uninvited warships

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of "unfriendly" treatment for foreign ships travelling in the country's territorial waters without permission, in a rare swipe at China's use of warships just a few miles off Manila's coast. Duterte's spokesman, Salvador Panelo, on Tuesday made the demand for transparency amid frustration by the Philippine military at multiple sightings this year of Chinese warships moving within the country's 12 mile territorial sea, at various locations in the archipelago. "All foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage," Panelo said.

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:49:46 -0400
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