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  • Romney speculates Turkey called Trump's bluff: 'Are we so weak and inept?'

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    The Utah senator delivers an impassioned speech on the Senate floor that accuses the president of betraying American values.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:20:21 -0400
  • What Hunter Biden did on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma

    During his time on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Hunter Biden, the son of former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, was regarded as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name, according to people familiar with Biden’s role at the company. Biden’s role at Burisma Holdings Ltd has come under intense scrutiny following unsupported accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump that Joe Biden improperly tried to help his son’s business interests in Ukraine. Interviews with more than a dozen people, including executives and former prosecutors in Ukraine, paint a picture of a director who provided advice on legal issues, corporate finance and strategy during a five-year term on the board, which ended in April of this year.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:33:29 -0400
  • Marines correct ID of second man who raised flag at Iwo Jima

    Golocal247.com news

    The Marine Corps on Thursday corrected the identity of a second man in the iconic photograph of U.S. forces raising an American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Rene Gagnon, as had long been believed, but Cpl. Harold P. Keller, the Marines said in a statement, noting that Gagnon did help obtain the flag.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:40:25 -0400
  • Hundreds of police officers have been labeled liars. Some still help send people to prison.

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    Across the USA, prosecutors aren't tracking officer misconduct, skirting Supreme Court "Brady" rules and sometimes leading to wrongful convictions.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:26:39 -0400
  • McConnell Says He Wants ‘Something Stronger’ than House Resolution Condemning Syria Troop Withdrawal

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    Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would like to see "something stronger" than the bipartisan resolution the House passed on Wednesday condemning President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria."I believe it's important that we make a strong, forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday, which has some serious weaknesses," McConnell said in a Senate floor speech.The resolution overwhelmingly passed the House in a 354 to 60 vote, with 129 Republicans voting in favor. It states that Congress "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria" and demands the White House present a plan to support Kurdish fighters and prevent ISIS from regaining a foothold in the area.Trump announced last week that he would withdraw American troops stationed in the north part of Syria, saying he did not want the U.S. to “police” the area any longer. The decision was condemned by many in Trump's party, including some of his closest allies, who anticipated that a U.S. troop withdrawal would clear the way for the invasion of the region subsequently launched by Turkey and leave the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who have fought alongside by U.S troops in an alliance against ISIS, open to attack.However, while McConnell said he was "encouraged" by the resolution, he complained that it is "narrowly drafted," and does not address several crucial issues such as the Sunni Arab and Christian communities in Syria."It is curiously silent on the issue of whether to actually sustain a U.S. military presence in Syria, perhaps to spare Democrats from having to go on record on this question," McConnell remarked. "Many of us will have much more to say on the subject very soon," he added.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:37:10 -0400
  • China's Nightmare: Why Is Taiwan Building Kamikaze Drones?

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    A good or bad idea?

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:00:00 -0400
  • Moms Demand Action founder says advocacy group is not anti-gun

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    Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts spoke with CBS News' Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout"

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 22:08:49 -0400
  • Macron Says U.K. Shouldn’t Get New Delay If Johnson Loses Vote

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    (Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron heaped pressure on the British Parliament to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, saying the U.K.’s departure from the European Union shouldn’t be delayed a moment longer.With Parliament due to vote on the revised agreement on Saturday, Macron’s remarks echoed the message Johnson himself has been sending to reticent MPs: it’s now or never. "I don’t think a new extension should be granted," Macron told reporters after a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, where the deal had been rubber stamped. "The Oct. 31 deadline must be met."Macron’s stance increases the risk that the U.K. will crash out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31. But the reality is more nuanced, according to EU diplomats who doubt the bloc will ever throw the U.K. off a cliff without a safety net. The pound dipped on the comments, and then recovered.Selling the DealAfter sealing a revised deal with the EU on Thursday, Johnson is spending Friday frantically talking to politicians from his own and other parties as he tries to rustle up a majority. The prime minister needs to add 61 votes to the tally his predecessor Theresa May managed when her version of the Brexit deal was defeated for a third and final time in March.The new agreement differs from May’s agreement because only Northern Ireland rather than the whole U.K. will continue to apply the EU’s customs rules. That’s upset the province’s Democratic Unionist Party whose MPs say they won’t back Johnson’s deal on Saturday.If Johnson loses the vote, he’s obliged by law to request from the EU another extension by the end of the day. But any postponement must be approved unanimously by the EU’s 27 leaders so Macron would have a veto.EU officials were expecting such an intervention by Macron, who made similar noises before approving a Brexit delay in April, but they said that it’s very unlikely that he or any other leader would prevent another one, particularly if the U.K. was headed for a general election. While the bloc is just as keen to get Britain’s departure over the line as Johnson, it considers a no-deal exit in two weeks a far worse prospect than another postponement.Envoys from the 27 remaining countries and the European Commission are due to meet on Sunday to discuss next steps should Johnson’s deal fall.The French have consistently taken a hard line in Brexit negotiations and Macron argues that the tight deadline he insisted on the last time the process was extended helped force Johnson into concessions. Several EU governments privately now regret delaying Brexit from April until October, acknowledging that it took the pressure of the U.K. to pass a deal."I was alone and I don’t think I was wrong," Macron said, referring to the decision six months ago.Other leaders were more circumspect on the issue, with Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of Ireland, which stands to be affected most by a no-deal Brexit, saying a delay isn’t guaranteed and Luxembourg premier Xavier Bettel insisting the ball was now in the U.K. Parliament’s court.“We have done our job,” he said. “There’s a plan A, but there’s no plan B."(Updates with context throughout.)\--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni.To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net;Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:59:33 -0400
  • Murderer who triggered Hong Kong protests will go to Taiwan: pastor

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    A man who inadvertently triggered Hong Kong's huge protests after he murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan has agreed to return to the island to face justice, a clergyman who has visited him in prison said on Friday. Chan Tong-kai, 20, is wanted in Taiwan for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend during a holiday the two Hong Kongers took there in February last year. The case triggered an ill-fated proposal by Hong Kong's pro-Beijing government to ram through a sweeping extradition bill which would have allowed the city to extradite suspects to any territory, including the authoritarian mainland.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:05:47 -0400
  • McCarthy tries to defend Mulvaney’s clarification on quid pro quo

    Golocal247.com news

    At a press conference on Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., took several questions about White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s initial statement and clarification on whether there was a quid pro quo between the Trump administration and the president of Ukraine.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:34:59 -0400
  • Clever-Approved Travel Gear That Looks Good and Works Even Better

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:34:55 -0400
  • Polls show Americans have come to support Trump's impeachment much faster than Nixon's or Clinton’s

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    President Trump hasn’t just crossed the 50 percent threshold on impeachment, peaking at 50.3 percent earlier this week. He’s gotten there faster than Richard Nixon — and, for that matter, Bill Clinton, who never got there at all.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:54:18 -0400
  • Former concentration camp guard, 93, goes on trial in Germany

    Golocal247.com news

    A 93-year-old former concentration camp guard arrived in court in a wheelchair on Thursday, in what could be one of Germany's last trials of Nazi war crimes. Bruno D., whose surname cannot be given for legal reasons, is accused of being an accessory to 5,230 murders in the final months of World War Two.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:50:54 -0400
  • Judges grapple with misconduct claims in Jodi Arias case

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    Appellate judges who will decide whether to reverse Jodi Arias' murder conviction in the gruesome 2008 killing of her former boyfriend grappled Thursday with who was responsible for whipping up publicity during the salacious trial and whether alleged misconduct by a prosecutor should cause the verdict to be tossed. A lawyer for Arias told the Arizona Court of Appeals that prosecutor Juan Martinez improperly questioned witnesses, ignored rulings on evidence, courted publicity and made an unfounded accusation that an expert on her defense team had an inappropriate relationship with Arias. Terry Crist, a lawyer for the Arizona attorney general's office, told the judges that he believes Martinez may have occasionally violated court rules, but none of his actions should lead to a reversal of the conviction.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:03:15 -0400
  • Joe Biden digs at Elizabeth Warren after debate: Polls don't show 'anybody else as a frontrunner'

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    "You know, I haven't seen any polling showing that nationally, on average, that anybody else is a front-runner," Joe Biden said.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:23:19 -0400
  • New ICE Program Exposes Hundreds of Fraudulent ‘Family Units’ Trying to Cross The Border

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. immigration authorities have discovered hundreds of instances at the border of “family unit fraud,” or unrelated individuals posing as families, over the last six months thanks to a new investigative initiative.Authorities exposed 238 fraudulent families presenting 329 false documents, according to the results of an investigation run by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in El Paso, Texas, the results of which were announced Thursday.More than 350 of those individuals are facing federal prosecution for crimes including human smuggling, making false statements, conspiracy, and illegal re-entry after removal. Authorities have referred 19 children to U.S. Health and Human Services as a result of this investigation. Another 50 migrants fraudulently claimed to be unaccompanied minors."Some of the most disturbing cases identified involve transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and individuals who are increasingly exploiting innocent children to further their criminal activity," ICE said in a statement.In some cases, criminal organizations made deals with the children's biological parents to transfer children as young as 4 months old to the U.S. and pose as a family unit either for human smuggling purposes or to fraudulently obtain immigration benefits, ICE said.“These are examples of the dark side of this humanitarian crisis that our Border Patrol and HSI agents are working tirelessly to identify,” said El Paso Sector Interim Chief Gloria Chavez. “We will pursue the highest of judicial consequences for those who commit fraud and exploit innocent children.”The Trump administration has attempted to end the "catch and release" policy for migrant family units, which provides migrant families an expedited release into the U.S. as their asylum cases are being processed.Then–acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan said last month that the vast majority of migrant families who enter the country illegally will no longer be eligible for “catch and release” due to the implementation of stricter policies. One such policy, the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires that migrants wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are being adjudicated.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 08:41:26 -0400
  • Chinese Nuclear Stockpile Clouds Prospects for U.S.-Russia Deal

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    (Bloomberg) -- A key hurdle to extending a landmark nuclear treaty between the U.S. and Russia isn’t Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin. It’s China.The New START treaty, the last major arms control accord between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, is set to expire in early 2021. Like another key treaty covering intermediate-range nuclear missiles, which collapsed this year after the U.S. quit that accord, Trump administration officials say the agreement may not be worth extending if China isn’t brought into the fold.A failure to renew or extend the accord would mark the effective end of decades of agreements aimed at limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Experts say it would also send a worrisome signal to other nations -- from Saudi Arabia to North Korea -- already pursuing or seeking to pursue nuclear programs.U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that the U.S. should consider “multi-lateralizing” the agreement. “If we really want to go after avoiding an arms race, and capture these systems, we should multi-lateralize it.”Yet while the U.S. believes China will double its nuclear stockpile over the next decade, most arms control experts say it would be better for Washington and Moscow to settle on an extension of New START and worry about Beijing later.“China doesn’t have anything like the number of warheads the U.S. and Russia possess,” Sam Nunn, a former Democratic senator from Georgia who co-chairs the Nuclear Threat Initiative, said in an interview. “We will at some point have to have China in the equation but that won’t happen now. Common sense would be to at least extend a treaty that already exists and work from there.”Russian officials say they want the current agreement extended for the allowed five years beyond its 2021 expiration. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters last month that that the U.S. continues to insist China be brought into negotiations, a message he said Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered to him at the annual United Nations General Assembly meetings.But Moscow says time is running out. Negotiations for a new deal would typically take as long as a year. Even settling on an extension would be lengthy.“We urge our American colleagues not to lose time anymore,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with Russia’s International Affairs journal. “There’s almost none left. Simply letting this treaty die would be unforgivable. This will be perceived by the international community as neglecting one of the key pillars of international security.”Despite American efforts, Beijing has so far balked at trilateral talks, arguing it is far behind Moscow and Washington, which together hold more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.“China has no interest in participating in a nuclear-arms-reduction negotiation with the U.S. or Russia, given the huge gap between China’s nuclear arsenal and those of the U.S. and Russia,” said Fu Cong, director general of the foreign ministry’s Arms Control Department. “The U.S. and Russia, as the countries possessing the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenals, bear special and primary responsibilities on nuclear disarmament.”Nine countries possess nuclear weapons, with the global nuclear warhead count at 13,865 in 2018, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia and the U.S. each have more than 6,000 warheads, followed by France at 300, China at 290, the U.K. at 200, India and Pakistan each with over 100, Israel at about 80 and North Korea estimated at 20-30.China’s stockpiles are expected to grow rapidly. The country “has developed a new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, a new multi-warhead version of its silo-based ICBM, and a new submarine-launched ballistic missile,” Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in May. “With its announcement of a new nuclear-capable strategic bomber, China will soon field their own nuclear triad, demonstrating China’s commitment to expanding the role and centrality of nuclear forces in Beijing’s military aspirations.”Getting China to participate in any talks is complicated by Beijing’s own calculus, which involves deterring India and expanding its weapons program, said Gary Samore, a former U.S. senior director for nonproliferation and export controls during the Clinton administration.“A trilateral approach is not practical at the moment because the Chinese will not agree to institutionalize their very small numbers compared to the U.S. and Russia,” added Samore, who now directs the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University.The demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF -- the Cold War-era agreement that expired this year -- is already raising tensions with Beijing. Esper recently indicated that the U.S. was looking at deploying previously-banned intermediate range missiles in Asia, angering Chinese officials. Potential bases for the missiles could be in Taiwan and Japan, Samore said.Beyond China, U.S. talks with Russia are complicated by increasing mistrust on both sides. As a UN disarmament committee sought to begin its scheduled meetings earlier this month, Russian officials wouldn’t agree to adopt the schedule in protest of a U.S. refusal to issue visas to members of its delegation, a diplomat said.The potential of an escalating arms race comes after a prolonged period of relative progress in curbing nuclear weapons.The U.S. and Russia destroyed thousands of ground-launched missiles thanks to the INF treaty. New START, reached between Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, capped the total number of U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles. Crucially, after reaching that accord, the U.S. and Russia adopted a united stance against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, forcing Tehran to sign a 2015 nuclear accord that the U.S. withdrew from last year.Unlike the situation during the Cold War, the advent of new cyber, artificial intelligence, and space technologies has moved much of the nuclear arms competition in recent years away from quantity to quality, Nunn and Ernest Moniz, the former U.S. Energy secretary and the co-chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, recently warned in a report. That may bolster the U.S. case for China to be included in a future deal.China’s rising military and technological prowess in the decades since the first nuclear deals were ratified means the Trump administration is right in calling China to be included in new strategic talks, even if it remains in the U.S. interest to extend New START, said Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.“The U.S. has historically dominated many emerging technologies such as space, but now the Chinese are growing in these areas,” Manning said. “We need strategic dialogue to tackle these new areas. Do we want autonomous weapons or not? Do we want to ban hyper-sonics or not? That’s where the next wave is, not in whether nuclear weapons should be reduced or not.”But losing New START would send a signal to the world that the two biggest nuclear powers don’t care about arms control, Nunn said. Lori Esposito Murray, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, agrees.“You don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,” Murray said. “You keep the constraints you have that have produced an 80% reduction of nuclear stockpiles and then you look at a process that looks at China and advanced technologies.”(Updates to add estimated global arsenal in 12th paragraph. An earlier version of this story was corrected to say Nunn is from Georgia, not North Carolina)\--With assistance from Henry Meyer and Brendan Scott.To contact the reporter on this story: David Wainer in New York at dwainer3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:36:01 -0400
  • Washington Group Fighting Affirmative Action Used Proud Boys As Guards

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    John Rudoff/GettyAn anti-affirmative action campaign used members of the Proud Boys for security—and is now claiming it didn’t realize its protection team was an organization labeled a hate group.On Nov. 5, voters in Washington state are set to decide on the future of Referendum 88, a measure that would allow affirmative action hiring in public jobs. The measure has support from civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), but faces opposition from a state veterans group and the organization Washington Asians for Equality, which claims the measure would lead to preferential treatment for some groups. This summer, some of those opponents partnered with a more notorious organization: the Proud Boys, who featured the signature drive in a recently surfaced propaganda video.The Proud Boys—designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—prioritizes street fights and has extensive connections to more explicit white supremacist organizations. But unlike many other extremist groups, the Proud Boys frequently cozy up to the more mainstream right. Their current leader, Enrique Tarrio, is a Florida director of Latinos for Trump, despite marching in 2017’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.Republicans Are Adopting the Proud BoysIn the August video, a Washington Proud Boy claims Referendum 88 backers solicited the Proud Boys’ help in delivering signatures to the secretary of state’s office.The group “gave us a call asking for security to help take the signatures for Referendum 88 down to the capitol building,” he says in the video, which referendum supporters like the group Washington Fairness surfaced this week.The video goes on to show the group riding in a truck with the signatures and speaking into walkie-talkies for reasons that are not immediately apparent. The clip concludes with an advertisement for gas masks, which the Proud Boy says he used during a summer brawl with anti-fascists in Portland, Oregon.Reject Ref. 88, the organization that allegedly hired the Proud Boys, disavowed knowledge of them.“The Referendum 88 petition drive worked with many volunteers during the signature gathering phase,” organizer Linda Yang said in an email. “We didn’t know the association of these individuals you refer to, nor did they tell us. The Reject Ref.88/I-1000 campaign welcomes people from all walks of life who believe in equality for all, regardless of race. Those who don’t believe in that principle—be they on the far left or the far right—are not welcome in this campaign.”But as the Seattle Stranger noted, Yang even appeared in the Proud Boys’ video, explaining her opposition to Referendum 88. In the video, she gives different account of her group coming to work with the Proud Boys. After trying and failing to hire a security company to help deliver referendum signatures, “I got a call saying ‘hey there’s a group, they’re willing to help,’” she said in the video. “I said ‘we’ll take it.’”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:16:34 -0400
  • Say Cheese! Satellite Photos Reveal China’s New Aircraft Carrier

    Golocal247.com news

    High-resolution, commercial satellite images of China’s Jiangnan shipyard in September 2019 provided the clearest glimpse yet of the Chinese navy’s third and largest aircraft carrier.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:00:00 -0400
  • Rep. Nunes tries to use Steele dossier to defend Trump during closed-door hearing

    Golocal247.com news

    During a closed-door impeachment meeting on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) brought up a topic that surprised some attendees: the Steele dossier. The context, according to three sources familiar with the episode, was his effort to explain why President Trump might be “upset” about Ukraine.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:18:50 -0400
  • Trump's former personal lawyer says Rudy Giuliani has 'gone off the rails,' has a secret Ukraine ledger

    Jay Goldberg, President Trump's personal lawyer for 15 years, told MSNBC's Ari Melber on Thursday night that he warned Trump not to hire his current personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani."I think he's gone off the rails," Goldberg said of Giuliani, now being scrutinized by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for his work in Ukraine. "I think he will have legal liability." When Trump asked him last March if he should retain Giuliani's legal services, "I said despite his background, which as extraordinarily good, Giuliani would not make a good defense-type lawyer," Goldberg said, because "he had spent too much time as a prosecutor; prosecutors can generally go outside the line and there's nobody to correct them." He added that he thinks "Giuliani has been seduced by Mar-a-Lago, the lifestyle.""Does Rudy Giuliani have any evidence or records that could resolve what he was doing with Ukraine?" Melber asked, and Goldberg dropped a potential bombshell: "Yes, there's a book that he kept of all the contacts that he made while in the Ukraine. It hasn't been subpoenaed thus far, it hasn't come to light, and I tell you that if the subpoena is issued for that book that he prepared, it will redound to the detriment of Donald under an agency kind of concept, that Donald will be responsible for all the things that he did. And Giuliani did a lot of the things that he's used to doing while he was a prosecutor.""Rudy Giuliani prepared this book, you say?" Melber asked. "Yes," Goldberg replied. "I've seen the book." Melber pointed out that now he has disclosed its existence on national TV, it is likely to be subpoenaed. "Let the chips fall where they may," Goldberg said. "Giuliani likes to keep a log of the things that he's doing because he wants to show it to the client.""This is crazy," journalist Marcy Wheeler said of Goldberg's revelation. "In what capacity did he see the book? And why does 'cybersecurity' expert Rudy G have a book of his mob ties?" There's also a question of whether the likely subpoena will arrive in time. > Rudy Giuliani right now thanks to Jay Goldberg on the @TheBeatWithAri pic.twitter.com/slNaxSg7NC> > -- Mickey (@Mickey115207446) October 17, 2019

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 01:50:00 -0400
  • Prince William and wife Kate land in Pakistan capital after aborted flight

    Golocal247.com news

    Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate landed in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Friday, after turbulence forced the couple to stay overnight in Lahore in a change to their tightly-choreographed itinerary. On Thursday an RAF Voyager carrying the royals, who are on a four-day official visit to Pakistan, aborted landings in Islamabad and nearby Rawalpindi due to severe turbulence.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 03:48:28 -0400
  • Wisconsin school guard fired for repeating racial slur

    A black security guard at a Wisconsin high school who was fired after he says he repeated a racial slur while telling a student who had called him that word not to use it has filed a grievance seeking his job back. The Madison School District has a policy forbidding employees from saying racial slurs. West High Principal Karen Boran sent an email to families on Wednesday asaying that racial slurs are not acceptable in schools, regardless of context or circumstance, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:55:52 -0400
  • 3 types of passengers who deserve to be banned from commercial flights

    Golocal247.com news

    They're inconsiderate. They irritate you. And sometimes, they infect you.  We shouldn't have to put up with these passengers on commercial flights.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:30:03 -0400
  • U.N. Investigates Possible Chemical Weapons Use by Turkish Forces in Syria

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    United Nations chemical-weapons inspectors announced that they are investigating whether Turkish forces used chemical weapons in their invasion of Syria, the Guardian reported Friday.The Kurds have accused Turkey of using white phosphorous during their recent incursion into northeastern Syria. The Kurdish Red Crescent claims that six patients, including civilians and military members, have been hospitalized in the city of Hasakah due to burns from "unknown weapons."The organization could not confirm chemical-weapons usage, saying it was "working together with our international partners to investigate this subject." However, a British chemical-weapons expert who examined a photo of one of the victims said the burns on the victim were likely from a chemical weapon."The most likely culprit is white phosphorus," said Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain's chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear regiment. "It is a horrific weapon, and has been used repeatedly during the Syrian civil war; unfortunately its use has become increasingly normalized."White phosphorous can be used legally as a smokescreen or as an incendiary at night to illuminate the battlefield, and is held by militaries worldwide. The use of white phosphorous as a weapon, however, is illegal under international law because it causes severe burns upon contact with skin.While some Kurdish officials alleged that Turkey used "unconventional weapons" in Syria, Turkey denies this."It is a fact known by everyone that there are no chemical weapons in the inventory of the Turkish armed forces," said Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar.Turkey invaded northeast Syria on October 9 to clear a "safe zone" in which to resettle 3.6 million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey, as well as to combat Kurdish groups in the region it considers terrorist organizations. Some of these Kurdish groups were instrumental in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS in Syria.Syrian president Bashar Assad has repeatedly used chemical weapons against Syrian citizens in that country's civil war.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:33:42 -0400
  • Trump Administration Gets High Court Review on Quick Deportation

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a Trump administration appeal that could bolster the government’s ability to deport undocumented immigrants quickly after their asylum bids are rejected.Taking up a politically charged issue, the justices said they’ll review a lower court’s conclusion that people who enter the country illegally have a broad right under the Constitution to make their case to a federal judge before being deported.The case centers on “expedited removal,” a streamlined deportation process set up by Congress in 1996. Right now, those eligible include thousands of people who every year are arrested within 100 miles of the border less than two weeks after crossing and then are deemed by immigration officials not to have a credible fear of being persecuted if they are deported. The process gives federal judges only a limited role.The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Constitution guarantees a Sri Lankan man arrested near the Mexican border a “meaningful opportunity” to show he met the criteria for asylum.In its appeal, the Trump administration said the 9th Circuit ruling would “impose a severe burden” on the U.S. immigration system.Strained Resources“Such review would further strain the government’s limited resources and prevent expedited removal from being expedited at all,” argued U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer.The appeal doesn’t directly concern the Trump administration’s effort to expand the expedited removal program to cover people who’ve been in the U.S. as long as two years and are no longer near the border. A federal judge in Washington temporarily blocked that expansion in September.The case involves Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, who says he would be subject to persecution as an ethnic Tamil if he were returned to Sri Lanka. Thuraissigiam says he went into hiding and then fled the country after a group of men kidnapped and beat him in 2014. He crossed into the U.S. near San Ysidro, California, and was arrested 25 yards north of the border.The 9th Circuit said Thuraissigiam could invoke the Constitution’s suspension clause, which protects the right of people to file so-called habeas corpus petitions challenging their detention. The appeals court said its ruling was consistent with the 2008 Supreme Court decision that allowed habeas petitions by inmates being held at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base in Cuba.Suspension Clause“As a person detained within U.S. borders, he was entitled to invoke the suspension clause to challenge his expedited removal order,” Thuraissigiam’s lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union told the Supreme Court.Under the expedited removal system, an asylum officer makes an initial determination of whether the person faces a credible fear of persecution. If the officer concludes that no credible fear exists, a supervisor reviews the case, and the asylum seeker can then turn to an immigration judge within the Homeland Security Department.Thuraissigiam’s lawyers say the hearing before the immigration judge often lasts just a few minutes and almost always occurs without witnesses. By law, that hearing must take place no later than seven days after the asylum officer’s determination.The immigrant may then turn to federal court, but U.S. immigration law effectively limits that review to claims of mistaken identity, the ACLU lawyers say.The Supreme Court will hear arguments early next year and rule by July. The case is Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, 19-161.To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:48:46 -0400
  • Atatiana Jefferson's neighbor thought he asked police to do a wellness check, but the police didn’t investigate it that way

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    Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in her home on Saturday by Aaron Dean, a Fort Worth police officer who has resigned and been charged with murder.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:01:11 -0400
  • Next-Gen Dodge Challenger Coming in 2023? Don't Be So Sure, Says Dodge

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    The number 2023 spotted on press photos has people all excited, but Dodge told C/D it doesn't mean anything.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:40:00 -0400
  • Peek Inside Eero Saarinen’s Iconic General Motors Technical Center

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:22:04 -0400
  • Trump Flack Hogan Gidley Stops Just Short of Bashing the Grieving Dunn Family: ‘Entitled to Their Own Opinion’

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    White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley chided grieving parents in defense of President Donald Trump, suggesting on Thursday morning that the family of Harry Dunn was lying when they said the president “ambushed” them and tried to pressure them into meeting the woman who killed their son.In an interview Thursday morning on CNN, the Dunn family said they felt Trump was trying to “intimidate” them into meeting the wife of a U.S. diplomat who killed Dunn in an auto accident in the United Kingdom. A family spokesman further stated that during the Dunns’ White House visit, the president’s aides acted as “henchmen” and were “snarling” at the family.Appearing on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Gidley was asked about the parents’ description of Trump’s visit with the parents and whether he could explain why they felt the president ambushed them.“I have spoken with the president directly about this,” the White House spokesman replied. “It is a horrific situation. He offered his condolences to the family and understands the gravity of this moment and the situation. He did this simply on the behest of [British Prime Minister] Boris Johnson to meet with that family. He wasn’t trying to ambush anybody.”Fox News anchor Sandra Smith then wondered aloud if the president exerted pressure on the family to meet with the diplomat’s wife at the White House.“Absolutely not,” Gildey declared. “He was wonderful in that setting.”Co-anchor Bill Hemmer and Smith, meanwhile, noted that the Dunn family called the president’s advisors “henchmen” and said the scene was terrifying.“Again, that’s their description,” the White House flack responded. “I didn’t get any of that when I talked to the president about the situation. He was the one calming everybody down.”After saying that the president was just offering condolences, Gidley appeared to be ready to bash the family, adding that it is “sad that people come out” to say these things before stopping himself short.“Look, they are entitled to their own opinion about the matter,” he concluded. “But the president didn’t pressure anybody. He doesn’t do that in those situations. He is a father. He is a grandfather. He understands this type of sadness.”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.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:26:09 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-Global watchdog keeps Pakistan on terrorism financing "grey list"

    A global finance watchdog kept Pakistan off its terrorism financing blacklist on Friday but warned Islamabad it only had until February to improve or face international action. The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which tackles money laundering, said it was concerned that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January deadline, then a May deadline and now October. "The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020," it said in a statement.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:07:07 -0400
  • Messages reveal a top Boeing pilot knew about problems with the 737 Max's 'egregious' behavior before 2 deadly crashes (BA)

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    The messages, sent by the chief technical pilot on the 737 Max to another employee in 2016, showed that he knew about issues with MCAS.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:11:27 -0400
  • Contractor claims video shows structural flaws prior to Hard Rock Hotel collapse

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    A contractor posted a video arguing it showed structural problems inside the Hard Rock Hotel construction site two days before its deadly collapse.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:57:40 -0400
  • 38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

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    The State Department has completed its internal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of private email and found violations by 38 people, some of whom may face disciplinary action. The investigation, launched more than three years ago, determined that those 38 people were "culpable" in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton's personal email, according to a letter sent to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley this week. The 38 are current and former State Department officials but were not identified.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:42:43 -0400
  • Why Mexico Is Cooperating with Us on Immigration

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    One of the reasons border apprehensions have dropped from their alarming peak in May is that Mexico has been pretty aggressive in stopping third-country nationals from traversing its territory on their way north to make bogus asylum claims so they can be released into the U.S.But why has Mexico been willing to work with us like this? It's especially curious because in the past, Mexico was not at all eager to help us limit illegal immigration, a pattern we might have expected to intensify with last year’s election as president of left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (commonly known as AMLO, pronounced as a word rather than initials).No doubt President Trump's tariff threats had some effect. Three-quarters of Mexico's exports go to the U.S., and despite increased integration of our economies over the past couple of decades, they still need us a lot more than we need them. Also, Trump's mercurial temperament clearly has the Mexicans worried that he could do something rash (similar to Iran's fears about Reagan if the hostages weren't released before he was inaugurated).But it's unlikely that these things would be enough to move a sometimes touchy nationalist like AMLO. Rather, I think a big part of the explanation is that the current flow of illegals is mainly made up of foreigners, not Mexicans. Earlier waves of mass infiltration across our southern border consisted mainly of Mexicans, and while Mexico quickly took back its people who had been nabbed by the Border Patrol, it did little if anything to reduce the flow. They did establish a police-like unit of the country's immigration agency called Grupo Beta, which worked on Mexico’s northern border (opposite our southern border), but its remit was to help potential illegals with water and first aid and protect them from criminals.But the current flow is very different. Yes, there are still a significant number of Mexicans sneaking across the border, but fewer than there used to be. Mexico's economy has grown and developed to a point where fewer people see the need to emigrate. Also, there just aren't that many able-bodied, working-aged people left in rural areas of Mexico, which is now about as urbanized as the U.S.The current illegal flow, by contrast, is mainly non-Mexican, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (the “northern triangle” countries of Central America), but with growing numbers from Haiti, Cuba, various African countries, and even the Middle East. There had always been a small number of what the Border Patrol calls OTMs (Other Than Mexicans), but they now constitute the majority of the flow.When the first caravan to catch the world's attention passed through Mexican towns on its way north in spring 2018, it was often welcomed with mariachi bands, offers of food and water, and even medical checkups. But as more caravans arrived, plus many migrants in smaller groups, all drawn by loopholes in American law that facilitated their release into the U.S., the welcome started to wear out. As the Washington Post wrote this spring:> But six months and several caravans later, much of that welcome has dried up. Most media have left. And the people of Mapastepec, and other places that have been overwhelmed, are showing their fatigue with the growing stream of migrants.> > "People . . . previously opened their doors to these migrants, but they do not have much extra money here," said Roberto Sarabia, 56, who works at a small grocery store. "What little they could give, they’ve already given."Exhaustion has turned to resentment. As the Central American illegals started piling up in Tijuana, preparing to cross to San Diego, local residents last November staged a protest; the NPR report offered a sense of the mood:> Demonstrators held signs reading "No illegals," "No to the invasion" and "Mexico First." Many wore the country's red, white and green national soccer jersey and vigorously waved Mexican flags. The crowd often slipped into chants of "Ti-jua-na!" and "Me-xi-co!" They sang the national anthem several times.Tijuana's mayor at the time, who was in political hot water generally (he subsequently lost his bid for reelection), rushed to try to take advantage of the situation by sporting a "Make Tijuana Great Again" red baseball cap.> Con ustedes el alcalde de Tijuana, Juan Manuel Gastélum, capaz de decir “que me perdonen las organizaciones defensoras de DH, pero los derechos humanos son para humanos derechos” … CaravanaMigrante pic.twitter.com/DkSuKeFBaF> > — Risco (@jrisco) November 16, 2018And it's not just Tijuana. The El Paso Times recently wrote about the newly developed Cuban community across the river in Juarez. Many Cuban illegals are giving up on their U.S. asylum gambit and deciding to settle down in Juarez (proving they were really economic migrants all along). And it's creating resentment. As a burrito seller said of the Cubans, "They don't get along with Mexican people. They get in a little group by themselves. A lot of people don't like them here." And a business consultant complained, "There are people who are coming looking for a handout, who want us to help them, when they could also look for work."The flow of illegals passing through Mexico to make bogus asylum claims in the U.S. has grown so large that some of them aren't bothering to head all the way to the border and are applying for asylum in Mexico instead. The number of asylum applications submitted to Mexico's refugee agency (COMAR) more than tripled in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2018. The asylum burden seems to have gotten so bad that the refugee agency has removed the helpful video it used to host on its website explaining how to apply.And over the weekend, a large group of illegal aliens from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America tried to set out on another caravan in southern Mexico, but were stopped by police and the National Guard (a new paramilitary force established by AMLO specifically for border control). Most telling was this bit of video from a Mexican news outlet, showing the commander of a National Guard platoon addressing his men before confronting the latest caravan. He starts his pep talk by saying, "No one will come to trample our country, our land!"> “Nadie va a venir a pisotear nuestro país, nuestra tierra”, son las palabras de un comandante de pelotón de la GuardiaNacional durante la redada de hoy contra migrantes haitianos y africanos.> > @Chechetc corresponsal de @WRADIOMexico pic.twitter.com/9YexXMqMsF> > — Salvador Zaragoza A. (@SalvadorZA) October 13, 2019None of this is to say that our border has been fully secured, or that we don't need to plug the loopholes that sparked this flow in the first place, or that interior measures such as E-Verify, workplace enforcement, and curbing sanctuary cities are no longer needed. And it's entirely possible that if Mexico hits a serious economic road bump in the future, a new Mexican-illegal surge will take place, and the political calculus will be very different.But for now, the United States and Mexico have a confluence of interests in stopping the flow of third-country "asylum-seekers" heading for the American border. Mexicans love their country, as they should, and they're tired of foreigners using it as a doormat.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:09:22 -0400
  • House GOP Leader Praises Mark Zuckerberg for Political Ads Policy

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    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to ban political ads that Democrats say are inaccurate drew praise from the top Republican in the House of Representatives Friday.Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said he appreciated Zuckerberg’s comments on Thursday that policing political speech would be undemocratic.“The idea of banning speech you might not like is nonsense, but sadly the mindset is creeping into places like college campuses and our presidential campaign platforms,” McCarthy told reporters. “Yesterday was a heartwarming reminder that free expression is the best business model in the world.”In recent weeks, the presidential campaigns of Democrats Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have called on Facebook to remove ads from President Donald Trump’s campaign that include claims with no evidence. Facebook has declined to do so, raising the larger question of whether such ads on social media should be regulated.“I don’t think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true,” Zuckerberg said Thursday at Georgetown University in Washington. “People should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”“In a democracy, I believe people should decide what’s credible, not tech companies,” Zuckerberg said.\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna Edgerton, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:26:56 -0400
  • Meet the Nanchang Q-5: China's Nuclear Bomber

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    Beijing's got deterrence.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:36:00 -0400
  • Return of Argentine Peronism throws shadow over Falklands

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    Argentina is going to the polls on October 27 with a Peronist politician backed by former president Cristina Kirchner expected to win an outright majority, something that has got Falkland Islanders worried. The Falklands have been in British hands since 1833 but Argentina has waged a diplomatic battle -- that spilled into economic and then actual warfare -- since the 1960s to try to gain control of the archipelago. Argentine troops invaded the windswept islands for 74 days in 1982, before Britain swiftly defeated them.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 03:15:58 -0400
  • Rick Perry confirms Trump's Ukraine policy passed through Giuliani, recounts a wild call with Rudy

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry led the U.S. delegation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's inauguration in May. In a subsequent May 23 meeting in the White House, President Trump said he wouldn't agree to meet Zelensky until the Ukrainians "straightened up their act," Perry told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, adding that he later understood Trump to be referring to concerns about his 2016 presidential campaign. In order to resolve those concerns, Perry said, Trump told him to "visit with Rudy," meaning Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Perry says he agreed to call Giuliani in the hopes it would ease the way for Trump to meet with Zelensky. "And as I recall the conversation, he said, 'Look, the president is really concerned that there are people in Ukraine that tried to beat him during this presidential election,'" Perry told the Journal. "Rudy didn't say they gotta do X, Y, and Z," he added. "He just said, 'You want to know why he ain't comfortable about letting this guy come in? Here's the reason.'"Those reasons, Perry recalled, involved three conspiracy theories: That Ukraine was responsible for former British spy Christopher Steele's dossier on Trump; that Ukraine had Hillary Clinton's email server; and that Ukrainian's "dreamed up" evidence that led to Paul Manafort's conviction and imprisonment.Trump's former homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, said last month he was "deeply frustrated" that Giuliani had poisoned Trump's mind with those "completely debunked" conspiracy theories. Perry had a more detached response. "I don't know whether that was crap or what," he said, "but I'm just saying there were three things that he said. That's the reason the president doesn't trust these guys."Trump finally called Zelensky on July 25, and their conversation -- specifically Trump's request that Zelensky investigate Joe Biden and his son -- led to a whistleblower complaint and a House impeachment inquiry. In that inquiry, several diplomats have expressed concerns about Giuliani's shadow diplomacy in Ukraine on behalf of Trump and possibly other clients. Federal prosecutors in New York are also reportedly investigating Giuliani's Ukraine business dealings. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 00:28:49 -0400
  • Explainer: Democrats Warren and Sanders want wealth tax; economists explain how it works

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    According to Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the University of California at Berkeley economists who developed that estimate, that is in part because the wealthiest American families declare only a small portion of their actual economic gains in any given year as income, while leaving the rest invested in stocks and other assets, to grow in value. Saez has been involved in a series of what are considered groundbreaking studies of U.S. income, inequality and economic mobility that involved both developing techniques to impute income based on holdings of wealth, and extensive access to U.S. Internal Revenue Service records. "The greatest injustice of the U.S. tax system today is its regressivity at the very top: billionaires in the top 400 pay less (relative to their true economic incomes) than the middle class," the economists wrote in a September paper https://brook.gs/2OWp9wx.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:28:57 -0400
  • Convicted Killer Now Charged in Estranged Wife’s Cold-Case Murder: Prosecutors

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    Virginia State Police/HandoutA Virginia man who is behind bars for killing his girlfriend has now been charged with the murder of his wife three decades ago, prosecutors announced Friday.Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, 53, was indicted by a Stafford County grand jury for the May 1989 murder of 28-year-old Marta Haydee Rodriguez. Rodriguez-Cruz is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for the 2009 murder of his girlfriend, Pamela Butler, who was a federal worker in Washington, D.C.During a Friday press conference, Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen announced that the former military police officer, who was discharged after threatening to harm his female superior twice, has been charged with first-degree murder and the unlawful concealment of his wife’s body, finally bringing a 30-year investigation to a close. Cops: NYPD Officer Ordered Hit on Estranged Husband, Boyfriend’s Kid“This is the ultimate act of domestic violence and it’s noteworthy that in the month of October justice is going to be delivered for Marta Rodriguez,” Olson said, pointing out that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rodriguez was last seen on May 1, 1989, as she walked to a bus stop after leaving her job as a nurse’s aide. Prosecutors allege Rodriguez-Cruz murdered his first wife shortly after she told police he had assaulted and kidnapped her—but before she could testify against him in court.“If I can’t have her, no one will,” Rodriguez-Cruz once said, according to 2017 court documents.The 28-year-old’s body was found in 1991 on an Interstate 95 median but was not positively identified until last year.Twenty years after his wife’s 1989 disappearance, Rodriguez-Cruz fatally strangled Butler, an Environmental Protection Agency analyst and his girlfriend of seven months, during a heated argument before hiding her body. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2017, at which point he confessed to killing the 47-year-old in her basement in 2009 before slipping her body out of a first-floor window.Air Force Major Charged With Murder After Missing Wife’s Remains FoundOne of Rodriguez-Cruz’s friends told authorities that he once said it was “easy” to get rid of a body because “if you dig a hole deep enough, no one will find it,” according to testimony at his plea hearing. As part of his plea deal, Rodriguez-Cruz told police he buried Butler in 2009 along Interstate 95—where Rodriguez was found—but her remains were never discovered. Derrick Butler, Pamela’s brother, also attended Friday’s news conference and told reporters he was relieved to hear news of Rodriguez-Cruz’s latest charge.Authorities believe his pattern of abuse stretches beyond the death of his two former lovers. In 2017, investigators testified that the 53-year-old told his second wife he knew how to make sure a body was never found. Another woman, a security guard at a federal office, also told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz allegedly duct-taped her wrists, held a gun to her head, and sexually assaulted her in 2004. “This man doesn’t impulsively kill. He abducts women, duct-tapes them, sexually assaults them, and then holds them captive,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner said at the 2017 hearing. “Duct tape and a gun are his weapon of choice.”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.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:18:31 -0400
  • Long-extinct Tasmanian tigers spotted at least eight times, officials say

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    Between 2016 to 2019, the report notes seven sightings of the Tasmanian tiger. It "had black stripes on the back side of the body."

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:20:21 -0400
  • Former Pompeo aide testifies; Senate talks impeachment trial

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    The swift-moving impeachment probe pushed onward Wednesday as a former top State Department aide testified that the Trump administration's politicization of foreign policy contributed to his resignation, while the Senate GOP leader briefed colleagues on a possible Christmas impeachment trial. The day's events, interrupted by an explosive meeting at the White House, churned as longtime State Department officials are speaking out under subpoena — some revealing striking new details — about the actions Trump, and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, took toward Ukraine that have sparked the House impeachment inquiry.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:56:33 -0400
  • View 2020 Chevrolet Corvette vs. Porsche 718 Cayman Cargo Comparison Photos

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:26:00 -0400
  • The ATF Has Been Enforcing a Rule That Does Not Exist

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    Anyone else sick to death of watching the Democrats debate each other already? Tuesday saw them rehash numerous conversations they've already had, and there are still eight excruciating nights of such television for us to endure.Beto O'Rourke, for instance, once again loudly and obnoxiously announced his intention to confiscate semiautomatic "assault weapons" from their lawful owners. He said he “believes” that compliance will be forthcoming.If I really need to engage with this nonsense, I'll go ahead and note that the American people don't support gun confiscation — even in polls where they endorse banning sales of new assault weapons; that compliance with gun bans is low pretty much everywhere; that his policy would violate the Second Amendment; and that there's little solid evidence that blanket gun bans are effective in reducing crime. We’re not going to pass this law, we wouldn’t comply with it if we did, and the courts might not allow it anyway.But with that out of the way, let's address what should be an elephant in the room: While Beto was rambling on about his bizarre fantasies in which docile AR-15 owners happily identify themselves to the government and dutifully surrender their arms, our actual legal regime for regulating these guns came under serious threat from a case out of California — because the folks who are supposed to enforce the gun laws have royally messed up for decades.To understand what's going on here, you need a little bit of background. There are lots of rules about making and selling guns in this country: If you sell guns regularly as a business, you need to get a license and conduct background checks on your buyers; each gun a manufacturer creates for sale needs a serial number; etc. However, it's generally legal to sell firearm parts without following those rules.The exception is the "receiver." Federal law treats this part — the frame that holds the gun’s guts, basically — the same way it treats an entire firearm. It needs to have a serial number and so on even when it's sold by itself, preventing people from evading the law by simply buying and selling firearms piece by piece.But this creates an issue for AR-15s, whose receivers themselves are divided into two parts. For these guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives treats the bottom part — the "lower receiver" — as the firearm for regulatory purposes. The only way to skirt the law is to sell "80 percent lowers," hunks of metal mostly made into lowers but still requiring some machining. (It’s legal to finish these off yourself, but only for personal use.)But wait a minute: Could the ATF’s usual practice be wrong? Is it actually flat-out legal to sell a completed lower with no serial number and no background check? That's the issue raised by the recent case.You can read the whole story over at CNN, and find the judge's order here, but for our purposes, these are the important facts: A guy named Joseph Roh illegally manufactured and sold AR-15s and other guns through a slapstick scheme to avoid the law. A judge issued a tentative order against Roh — but in the process held that lower receivers are not firearms under current regulations, thus acquitting Roh of some of the charges. The government decided to let Roh off with a slap on the wrist rather than pursue the matter further, to prevent the order, as CNN puts it, from “becoming permanent, drawing publicity, and creating case law that could hamper ATF enforcement efforts.” It ended up on CNN’s website regardless, and anyone prosecuted for selling AR-15 lowers going forward will be tempted to try Roh’s defense.How did this happen? Vague laws and poorly crafted bureaucratic rules.Congress's law on this matter simply refers to a "receiver"; it doesn't define the word. The definition is found instead in the Code of Federal Regulations:> That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.This is very bad, for the reason noted above: AR-15s don't have a single receiver. The bolt and threading are found in the upper receiver, while the hammer and firing mechanism are in the lower. Neither, in other words, by itself meets the definition of “receiver” in the regulation — and for decades the ATF has been enforcing, via its opaque in-house classification process, a rule that doesn’t exist in the official rulebook. As a result, someone who carefully reads both the law and the regulation is not on notice that it's illegal to sell a lower receiver without a serial number and background check, and cannot rightfully be punished for doing so.The upshot? Here's how the government put it in a filing noted by CNN, warning the judge about the consequences of enforcing the rule as written:> Unregulated parts could be manufactured, sold, and combined with other commercially available parts to create completed, un-serialized firearms which would not be subject to background checks, and which would be untraceable.It also stressed that the problem is common to many semiautomatic guns, not just AR-15s and their variants.This isn't the first time a court has noticed this problem, surprisingly enough. In 2016's U.S. v. Jimenez, a court found similarly when faced with wording like this in a related part of the regulatory code. It further noted that the ATF itself was confused about how to handle split receivers when it discussed them internally in the 1970s.This might be a loophole the executive branch can plug fairly easily, since the problem lies mainly in the regulation and not the statute passed by Congress — though prosecutors could lose cases against illegal gun sellers in the meantime. It’s also possible that other courts will let the agency get away with pretending that the rule means something other than what it says. (See, for instance, ATF’s decision to ban “bump stocks” by administrative fiat despite the fact the statute at issue clearly does not cover them.)But you have to ask: If Congress and the ATF can’t write rules clearly ensuring that our basic gun laws apply to AR-15s, how well could Beto’s confiscation drive possibly go?

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 06:30:43 -0400
  • America's Enemies Aren't Ready for the New B-21 Stealth Bomber

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    A stealthy upgrade to its predecessor.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:00:00 -0400
  • Fears of military build-up as China secretly leases entire island in Solomons

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    The government of the Solomon Islands has reached a secretive deal with a Chinese company with close ties to the Communist party that grants it exclusive rights to develop Tulagi, once the seat of British colonial rule in the Pacific archipelago.  The confidential arrangement has alarmed residents and raised fears that Beijing could be planning to use the tiny territory for future military rather than just commercial purposes.  Tulagi, which has a protected deepwater harbour, has long been viewed as a strategic outpost. Japan occupied the island during the Second World War in 1942 before it was seized by the US marines in a fierce battle.  China extended its reach last month after it persuaded the Solomon Islands and the Pacific nation of Kiribati to switch formal diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing, as it seeks to expand its influence in the Indo-Pacific region while undermining the US and its allies’ strategy there. A copy of the “strategic cooperation agreement” which sets out a renewable 75-year lease was granted to the China Sam Enterprise Group, a conglomerate founded in 1985 as a state-owned enterprise, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy.  The vague wording of the document has sparked suspicion that it could be used for infrastructure that shares both civilian and military uses, causing concern among US officials who see the island chains of the South Pacific as crucial to protecting important sea routes, said the Times.  Dated September 22, the deal mentions provisions for a fishery base, an operations centre, and the “building or enhancement of the airport,” noting also that the company has ambitions to build an oil or gas terminal even though there are no confirmed natural reserves.  The Solomons’ authorities have not commented on the reports, but Stanley Maniteva, the provincial governor, told the local media earlier this week that the agreement had not been completed and formalised.  But the news follows reports earlier this year that Pacific nations would seek new, stronger ties with China as they pivot away from traditional allies towards Beijing.    In a speech in February in Port Vila, Vanuatu, Dame Meg Taylor, the secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, an intergovernmental body, said it was time to debate how to “collectively engage” with Beijing to gain access to its markets, technology, financing and infrastructure.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 08:33:12 -0400
  • A woman sues San Antonio after a police officer pulled out her tampon in public

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    The city of San Antonio will vote this week on a proposed settlement that would award a woman $205,000, after she accused a police officer of inappropriately searching her and pulling out her tampon in public.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:52:33 -0400
  • 'It’s About Our Boy.' Parents of U.K. Teen Allegedly Killed by Diplomat’s Wife Not Worried About Political Fight After Trump Meeting

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    Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn tell TIME they made a deathbed promise to seek justice

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:50:37 -0400
  • 'Failure:' Mexico admits bungled arrest of kingpin's son after mayhem

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    Mexican officials on Friday admitted they had bungled the arrest of kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's son, who they let go during shootouts with drug gangs in the streets of a major city, but the president insisted his security strategy was working. Cartel gunmen surrounded around 35 police and national guards in the northwestern city of Culiacan on Thursday and made them free Ovidio Guzman, one of the jailed drug lord's dozen or so children, after his brief detention set off widespread gun battles and a jailbreak that stunned the country. The chaos in Culiacan, a bastion of Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel, turned up pressure on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December promising to pacify a country weary of more than a decade of gang violence and murders.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:45:50 -0400
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