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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Actually, About That Whole 'We're Going to the Moon in 2024' Thing...

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    Congress is skeptical we can make it back in four years, when we don't even know how much it will cost.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:53:00 -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
  • Trump is getting worse

    President Trump's behavior is getting worse.We already knew Trump was vain and vulgar, a thin-skinned narcissist, the Dunning-Kruger effect made flesh. He may be the first president we've ever had with no discernible redeeming qualities, either as a politician or a human being. But impeachment is here, and Trump is finding new ways to demonstrate his sheer unfitness for office every few hours. The president's reaction to the impeachment process is proving once more why he should be removed from office -- and fast.Wednesday opened with the president's attempt to shoehorn the (unsuspecting) grieving parents of a British teenager into a reality show reconciliation with the woman who killed their son. It was the act of a man who can perceive the world -- and human emotions -- only through a show business lens. It was cruel. But 12 hours later, it was only the third or fourth most outrageous thing we'd learned about the president since sunrise.There were two other contenders for the No. 1 spot on the list. The first was Trump's reported White House meltdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whom he insulted and called a "third-grade politician" during a quickly abandoned meeting. That was probably superseded, though, by the unveiling of a bonkers October 9 letter in which he cajoled and threatened Turkey's president in an unsuccessful attempt to halt that country's invasion of Syria.> White House confirms authenticity of Trump letter to Erdogan, dated 10/9: "History... will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later." > First reported by Fox Business. pic.twitter.com/lImxfhb2j1> > -- Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 16, 2019Meanwhile, in Syria, U.S. troops were leaving so quickly -- thanks to the president's hasty withdrawal announcements -- that they were bombing their own ammunition depot so that American ordnance wouldn't fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, a similar option isn't available to dispose of the 50 or so U.S. nuclear weapons still stored in Turkey.That was the news from just one day. Trump was already a bad president and now his performance is in quick, observable decline. Can you imagine how much more quickly the misjudgments and lashings-out will pile up as impeachment draws ever nearer? The crisis is going to grow only more intense.There is a kind of hostage-holding quality to Trump's behavior. He seems to be saying: You think things are bad now? I can make them much worse … if you make me. Which means the best approach to impeachment, now that the inquiry is under way, is to proceed with all deliberate haste. Let's get this thing over with, at long last.Democrats -- as is often the case -- do not seem sure how to proceed. Politico reported Wednesday that party leaders are still trying to settle on a calendar for the impeachment process -- an admittedly tough task, given that new evidence of the president's bad conduct seems to emerge every day."At some point you realize to get additional tranche of information that's going to take quite awhile, and then you make a decision: Do you wait that much longer or do you go with what we have?" said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a member of the Judiciary Committee.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), at least, favors the fast approach. He is reportedly expecting the impeachment trial to begin around Thanksgiving -- this should be a great holiday season for families already prone to political bickering! -- and finish up by the end of the year.That schedule, however, gives House Democrats just five weeks to finish the inquiry and vote on impeachment. That sounds very fast, given that the inquiry itself was announced just a couple of weeks ago.Then again, Trump's deteriorating behavior suggests a need for speed. And as Lieu told Politico, "My view is the most damning evidence basically already came out." It's going to hurt when we rip the Band-Aid off, one way or the other, so we might as well rip it off hard and fast. It won't be fun -- and there is a chance an angry, vengeance-minded Trump will still be in office at the end of the process. But the fast approach might offer the best route to ending this awful era, and letting the national healing begin.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:17:00 -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
  • Judges grapple with misconduct claims in Jodi Arias case

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Anti-Trump businesswomen are nervous about Warren, and the Democratic debate didn't help

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    In her fight against corporate America, Warren is turning off a key group of voters who want to oust Donald Trump: the liberal women who work there.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:00:27 -0400
  • Clever-Approved Travel Gear That Looks Good and Works Even Better

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    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:34:55 -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
  • Erdogan threatens to restart Syria operation Tuesday if deal not respected

    Golocal247.com news

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday warned that Ankara would restart its operation against Kurdish forces in Syria on Tuesday evening if they did not withdraw from a "safe zone". Turkey has agreed to suspend its offensive for five days in northern Syria while Kurdish fighters withdraw from the area, after high stake talks with US Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:51:30 -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
  • Sen. McConnell warns Republicans that Trump's impeachment trial could start as soon as November

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    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his fellow Republicans that a Senate impeachment trial could begin as early as Thanksgiving, multiple news outlets reported Wednesday.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:16:01 -0400
  • Amazon fish wears nature's 'bullet-proof vest' to thwart piranhas

    Golocal247.com news

    One of the world's largest freshwater fish is protected by the natural equivalent of a "bullet-proof vest," helping it thrive in the dangerous waters of the Amazon River basin with flexible armor-like scales able to withstand ferocious piranha attacks. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego and University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday described the unique structure and impressive properties of the dermal armor of the fish, called Arapaima gigas.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:08:35 -0400
  • Controlled blasts to bring down cranes at collapse site

    Golocal247.com news

    Two giant, badly damaged construction cranes towering over a partially collapsed hotel project are to be demolished Friday with a series of controlled explosions in hopes of dropping them straight down without damaging nearby businesses and historic buildings around the site at the edge of the French Quarter. Fire Chief Tim McConnell said work was beginning Thursday in hopes of bringing the multi-ton structures down ahead of approaching tropical weather. Forecasters said a tropical storm could form in the Gulf of Mexico and affect the area by Friday night.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:36:46 -0400
  • U.S. Air Force F-35s Are Knocking on Russia’s Back Door

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Air Force has stood up a fighter squadron to operate F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters in Alaska. It might not be long before F-35s join Alaska-based F-22s in intercepting Russian bombers and other warplanes that frequently probe American defenses.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 01:30:00 -0400
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg Drops Fundraiser Tied to Laquan McDonald Coverup

    Golocal247.com news

    REUTERSMayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign announced Friday that the co-host of a controversial campaign fundraiser was dropping out amid sharp public criticism over the role he played in delaying the release of a video of an infamous 2014 shooting death of a black teenage boy.The would-be co-host, Steve Patton, is a former Chicago city attorney who pushed to withhold video depicting the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald until after a contentious mayoral runoff election, more than a year after a judge had ordered the video to be released. Patton already donated $5,600 to Buttigieg in June—a donation that the South Bend mayor’s campaign said it would be returning. “Transparency and justice for Laquan McDonald is more important than a campaign contribution,” Chris Meagher, the Buttigieg campaign’s national press secretary, told The Daily Beast. “We are returning the money he contributed to the campaign and the money he has collected. He is no longer a co-host for the event and will not be attending.”Patton’s role in the Friday fundraiser, first reported by the Associated Press, prompted sharp criticism of Buttigieg, including from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the city’s most prominent civil rights leader, who called on the Democratic nominee to “adjust his schedule.”Buttigieg’s campaign had initially declined to comment on the story, directing the Associated Press to his “Douglass Plan” to end systemic racism.Buttigieg, who is struggling in the polls among black voters, has had difficulty trying to reconcile his sweeping proposals for deconstructing structural racism with his record as the mayor, where he fired the city’s first black police chief and has conceded that he has failed in diversifying the city’s law enforcement. South Bend’s police department is 90 percent white while the city itself is 27 percent black.In June, Buttigieg left the campaign trail following the shooting death of a black man, Eric Logan, by a white police officer. At a town hall discussing the shooting, Buttigieg was heckled by angry South Bend residents who demanded that he focus on the city’s problems with racism in its police force rather than his run for the White House.“I just want you to know that we’re not running from this,” Buttigieg said at the time. “Of course I’m upset. A man died in this city at the hands of one of the people in charge of protecting the city.”Other president campaigns were quick to jump on Patton’s participation in the fundraiser as evidence of misplaced priorities. Rob Flaherty, digital director for Buttigieg rival Beto O’Rourke, tweeted that it was “good to see that despite The Pete Pivot, he’s remaining consistent on some things.”According to Federal Election Commission filings, Patton donated $2,700 to O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate.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 12:10:30 -0400
  • Income Inequality Has Soared While Taxes Have Become Dramatically Less Progressive . . . or Not

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    The truth gets its boots on pretty quickly in the Internet age. On October 6, the New York Times ran a piece broadcasting the striking claims made by the economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in the new book The Triumph of Injustice. Just a couple of weeks later, it’s clear that these claims are built atop a foundation of often questionable and sometimes indefensible assumptions.Per Saez and Zucman, while the rich have been pulling in more and more of the nation’s income — grabbing about a fifth of it now, double what they got a few decades back — they’re paying lower and lower tax rates. Indeed, in 2018, the richest 400 Americans paid the lowest overall tax rate (including state, local, and federal taxes) of any income group. While the very richest Americans in 1950 paid two-thirds of their income in taxes, in 2018 it was down below a quarter; even the full top 0.1 percent barely pay more than the bottom 90 percent these days. It’s not that much of an exaggeration to say we have a flat tax system, not a progressive one.The debunkings came from everywhere: a Twitter thread by Journal of Public Economics editor Wojtek Kopczuk, an article by the economic historian Phil Magness, an academic response from the economist David Splinter, a report from the Republican side of the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee (JEC), a traditional book review in Le Grand Continent, and more.Let’s take the two claims, rising inequality and rich people paying low tax rates, in turn. Both of these problems are probably overstated, in the latter case quite dramatically, in Saez and Zucman’s numbers. And I say “probably” only because no one writing about these trends should pretend that even the best estimates are much more than guesswork, and necessarily so, because the data here are spotty and there are legitimate disagreements over what should even count as income and tax payments.The alleged rise of income inequality was recently the focus of some congressional hearings about the government’s plan to start reporting more data on the topic, as well as an extensive but readable summary of the academic literature from the JEC Republicans. You might think this would be an easy question to answer, whether the rich are pulling away from the rest of us, because the IRS can tell you how much income people report to the government. But — I hope you’re sitting down — not all income is reported to the government. And that’s only the first big obstacle to measuring inequality accurately.We know from the “national accounts,” the data we use to monitor overall economic activity, approximately how much money goes unreported overall. But to account for the missing money while measuring inequality, we need to know how much unreported income goes specifically to the rich versus the poor, and that is hard to do. Splinter, for example, argues that Saez and Zucman use a method that gives too much of this income to the rich; Splinter’s own approach relies on data from IRS audits and gives more of it to folks down the income scale.If your eyes are glazing over, I have bad news: As the JEC report details, this is only the first of many technical decisions researchers must make that affect the results. Should we worry about income inequality before or after taxes are taken out? Should we include governmental transfers as income? Should we analyze married couples together or separately, bearing in mind the decline of marriage in recent decades, especially among the poor? How to handle corporate profits that are retained rather than given out to shareholders? How to handle stocks that have grown in value but have not been sold?The JEC report provides a remarkable buffet of options to anyone wanting to find a study to cite in favor of a preferred narrative, with the general pattern being that Saez and Zucman’s work is on the high end. By all accounts, pre-tax income has become more concentrated at the top, though this trend is more dramatic in some estimates than others. But the share of post-tax income going to the top 1 percent may have risen only from 7.2 to 8.5 percent from 1979 to 2015.If it’s hard to tell how much money people make, it’s even harder to calculate their total tax rates, which requires you to know not only their income but also their payments to several levels of government. Once again the IRS is very helpful when it comes to what’s reported to the federal government, but then you also have to estimate how much money people across the income spectrum spend on state income taxes, sales and property taxes, etc. It’s no easy task.And here too, beyond problems with the basic data, there are arguments over what to include. A big one — a way that The Triumph of Injustice departs even from its authors’ own previous work — has to do with the tax on corporate profits. Since corporations are just legal entities, they don’t really pay these taxes; people do. And there’s a lot of debate over how much of this tax burden falls on corporate shareholders, as opposed to other folks, including workers and customers, who tend to be less wealthy and might benefit if the government didn’t take this money. Faced with this conundrum, the right-leaning Tax Foundation will point to studies showing “that labor bears between 50 and 100 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax,” while the left-leaning Tax Policy Center assigns 60 percent of the burden to shareholders, 20 percent to capital in general (because the corporate tax has spillover effects for other forms of capital), and 20 percent to labor.Saez and Zucman’s approach? To assume the entire corporate tax falls on shareholders, and to make this clear only after their number-crunching has been reported as fact in the national media. As the economist Tyler Cowen put it in a scathing post, “no Western fiscal authority I have heard of thinks of tax incidence in these terms.” And as this animation from Kopczuk shows, this new assumption largely explains a big change in the trend for rich people’s taxes even relative to Saez and Zucman’s own approach in a recent paper with Thomas Piketty:> So why is sky falling in the S-Z book? Recall this animation. There are just two changes of relevance here. One is corporate tax incidence. This is what turns very mild decline in progressivity into rapid drop. The other somewhat important one is treatment of capital gains pic.twitter.com/vOQchHMGAY> > -- Wojtek Kopczuk (@wwwojtekk) October 15, 2019There are other points too at which anyone making a chart like this needs to make decisions about what to include as taxes, and for whom. For instance, what are we to make of “refundable” income-tax credits that are paid even to people with no income-tax liability to offset? Should we treat those as offsetting the other taxes that people pay, which after all is one of their purposes? Or should we just classify them as outright transfers, not part of the tax system at all? Unsurprisingly, Saez and Zucman do not include them, because they would boost income and thereby reduce taxes as a percentage of income for the poor.As with inequality, we can point to other sources of data on tax progressivity to show that Saez and Zucman are an outlier. Splinter’s response illustrates this, and so does this from Jason Furman, who headed the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers:> The standard data shows that the tax system is overall progressive. This chart combines CBO estimates for federal taxes with ITEP estimates for state & local taxes. Federal income taxes highly progressive, when you add in payroll/state/local/etc. is still progressive but less so. pic.twitter.com/WTOgm58Fyo> > -- Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) October 7, 2019At every step of the way, Saez and Zucman made decisions that skewed the income distribution toward the top and the tax burden away from it. You can have a reasonable debate about the best way to analyze these data and what they say about our tax policies. But it does no one any favors to treat these estimates as established fact, the way the New York Times did.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:00:58 -0400
  • Trump Has a New Punching Bag at Fox News

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    (Bloomberg) -- On Oct. 13, Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” grilled Secretary of Defense Mark Esper about the administration’s response to the growing Ukraine scandal. That night, President Donald Trump jumped on Twitter and compared Wallace unfavorably to his late father.“Somebody please explain to Chris Wallace of Fox, who will never be his father (and my friend), Mike Wallace, that the Phone Conversation I had with the President of Ukraine was a congenial & good one,” Trump tweeted.Expect much more of the same to follow.Two days earlier, Shepard Smith, whose tough and factual reporting style often drew the ire of Trump and his supporters,  abruptly left the network. For years, Smith served not only as Fox News’ premier breaking news anchor but also as the most prominent banner carrier for the network’s team of straight-news reporters. His abdication positions Wallace as his natural successor.It’s a role guaranteed to attract fire. Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t appreciate it when his favorite TV channel exposes its viewers to unflattering news about him.Smith’s departure also makes Wallace more important than ever to the network, which relies on the credibility of its news division to counter criticism about its Trump-friendly prime-time hosts.“Smith leaving is a big deal” because Wallace can’t do it on his own, said Andrew Tyndall, publisher of the Tyndall Report, which monitors newscasts. To be considered a legitimate news outlet, “you can’t just point to one person.”Fox News says Wallace is just one of many respected journalists at the network who have confronted members of the Trump administration, including Bret Baier, Neil Cavuto and Martha MacCallum. But Wallace’s tough interviews, especially with Republicans, have been shared on social media and cited by other news outlets, reinforcing the notion that Fox News is feeding viewers more than just conservative talking points.While Smith appeared on Fox News every weekday, Wallace’s show only airs on Sundays, making him a less regular presence to viewers. (Wallace will join a rotating cast of news anchors filling in for Smith’s vacated 3 p.m. hour until the network names a permanent replacement.)“Chris becomes the next voice of realism at Fox News, but I’m not sure that he replaces Shep,” said Conor Powell, a former Fox News foreign correspondent. “Chris is a really good interviewer and plays an important role. But he only has one show once a week. Shep was on every day.”Wallace’s contract keeps him at Fox News through the 2020 election. His journalistic credibility is also good for business, helping Fox News host presidential debates, attract advertisers and charge distributors like Comcast Corp. higher fees to carry the network.“If it turns out you’re not a news organization anymore, you lose bargaining leverage with cable operators,” Tyndall said.“That’s been their mantra for decades: ‘We’re a real news organization. We have Shep Smith and Chris Wallace.’”Wallace, 72, was praised in 2016 for his performance moderating a presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Trump. More recently, he’s gained attention for pushing back on explanations from the White House. He described responses by Trump aide Stephen Miller as “an exercise in obfuscation” and said Trump’s backers had been “deeply misleading.”Wallace calls himself an “equal opportunity inquisitor” and has said that he has the full support of Fox News executives.His father, Mike Wallace, was one of the original correspondents for “60 Minutes” on CBS. He died in 2012.Mike passed down his confrontational, devil-may-care gene to his son, said Jonathan Klein, a former president of CNN’s U.S. network.“Chris plows ahead and does what he thinks is right,” Klein said. “It serves Fox News viewers well because Chris knows they deserve to hear the truth.”The late Fox News founder Roger Ailes hired seasoned journalists like Wallace because he thought it would deflect criticism of the network’s right-leaning opinion hosts, Klein said.“That’s been their mantra for decades: ‘We’re a real news organization. We have Shep Smith and Chris Wallace,’” Klein said. “But these days I’m not sure how much they care about that. Their brand has morphed.”Fox News executives say they are investing more in journalism, a push that includes hiring new reporters, opening a high-tech studio and launching a news program at 11 p.m.Trump has attacked Wallace before. In May, he complained that Wallace complimented Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, tweeting, “I like Mike Wallace better.”At a recent event during Advertising Week, Wallace reacted to Trump’s comparison: “One of us has a daddy problem, and it’s not me.”To contact the author of this story: Gerry Smith in New York at gsmith233@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Felix GilletteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:00:27 -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
  • Peek Inside Eero Saarinen’s Iconic General Motors Technical Center

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    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:22:04 -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
  • China stocks have worst day in a month after bleak GDP data

    China stocks fell on Friday, posting their steepest daily drop in a month to end the week lower, as weaker-than-expected GDP growth deepened worries over the health of the world's second largest economy amid a trade war that is more than a year old. ** China's third-quarter economic growth slowed more than expected and to its weakest pace in almost three decades as the bruising U.S. trade war hit factory production, boosting the case for Beijing to roll out fresh support. ** "Given exports are unlikely to stage a comeback and a possible slowdown in the property sector, the downward pressure on China's economy is likely to continue, with fourth-quarter economic growth expected to slip to 5.9%," Hwabao Trust economist Nie Wen said.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 03:18:27 -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
  • See This Plane? It Was Suppose to Turn Aircraft Carriers into Scrap Metal

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    As in make them obsolete--but the carrier remains. Here is what happened.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 04:23:00 -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
  • A diplomat warned Joe Biden staffer about Hunter's Ukraine work in 2015. Then he was 'turned away'

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    A US diplomat overseeing the previous administration's Ukraine policy reportedly told House investigators he was "turned away" by a staffer to then-Vice President Joe Biden after sharing concerns about his son's work in the country.George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, said that he approached an aide to Mr Biden in early 2015 with concerns about Hunter Biden’s position on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, according to the Washington Post.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:33:10 -0400
  • Parents of Dead Teen Compare Trump Cronies to ‘Henchmen’ at Meeting Britain Denies Asking For

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    Carlo Allegri/ReutersThe grieving family of 19-year-old Harry Dunn have spoken out about their ill-fated meeting with Donald Trump at the White House in a new interview. Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn told CNN on Thursday morning that the president “doesn’t understand” how the accident that killed their son has “broken” their family. Dunn was killed when 42-year-old American Anne Sacoolas, who is married to an intelligence officer who was working at a spy base in Croughton, England, hit his motorcycle head-on while driving down the wrong side of the road on Aug. 27. Sacoolas initially cooperated with authorities, but then left the country under diplomatic-immunity protections in early September before authorities could formally investigate her or charge her with a crime. Dunn’s parents had only hoped to convince Trump to send Sacoolas back to the U.K. for justice, not to meet her in person. Radd Seiger, the family spokesman, who appeared on CNN with the family, added that during the visit, new National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien “snarled” at him and jeered that Sacoolas “would never return” to the U.K. “I used to look up to that institution,” Seiger told CNN. “But it’s a bunch of henchmen trying to make him look good.”During the White House meeting, Trump surprised Dunn’s parents with the announcement that Sacoolas, who they had made clear they would only meet on U.K. soil if she returned to assist the investigation, was behind a door waiting. Grieving Parents ‘Ambushed’ by Trump, Who Had Teen’s Killer Waiting at White HouseIn an email to The Daily Beast on Thursday, Seiger shot down White House denials that photographers were present for the supposed meetup. “We do not know who the photographer(s) were or which organization they were from,” the family spokesman said. “But they were there and had cameras and were clearly poised to grab that “poster picture shot” in the event that the president’s callous plan had come off.”Seiger continued: “Further, if President Trump really had Harry’s best interests at heart and really only wanted to comfort them he would have a) given advance notice of his intention to convene such a meeting with Mrs Sacoolas b) sought consent from us instead of springing it on us c) arranged for it to take place in a neutral and controlled environment with mediators and therapists around and out of the glare of the media spotlight [and] d) called off his attack dog Robert O’Brien who snapped, snarled and intimated his way through the meeting within feet of grieving people.”On Wednesday, Trump said he arranged the meeting at the request of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been very vocal about Sacoolas returning to England. Johnson had earlier insisted Sacoolas return and promised he would take the matter up personally with the president.But on Thursday, Downing Street denied it had asked for such a meeting between Sacoolas and Dunn’s parents to take place and had not been informed or involved in the planning. “The P.M. and the president spoke last Wednesday and the P.M. asked the president to do all he could to resolve the issue,” a spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office told The Guardian. “During the conversation, the president raised a possibility of a meeting with Anne Sacoolas at the White House, but at that stage we weren’t aware of any plans for the family to go [to the U.S.], so it wasn’t discussed further.”The Sacoolas family, who have assembled a team of lawyers versed in international diplomacy and extradition, are expected to return to the U.K. this weekend. 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 10:07:47 -0400
  • View 2020 Chevrolet Corvette vs. Porsche 718 Cayman Cargo Comparison Photos

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    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:26:00 -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
  • Cathay woes pile up as passenger figures dip again in September

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    Cathay Pacific cut its economic outlook on Friday following a second successive drop in monthly passenger traffic after the airline faced a backlash from Beijing over Hong Kong's heated pro-democracy protests. The marquee brand has had a torrid few months, coming under fire from Chinese state media and authorities because some of its 27,000 employees took part in -- or were sympathetic to -- the anti-government demonstrations. Overall passenger traffic fell 7.1 percent in September, the airline said, with inbound traffic into its Hong Kong hub plunging 38 percent for the second month running.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 02:44:41 -0400
  • Man charged with murders of two Alaska Native women

    A digital camera card containing videos of a man beating and strangling a woman in a hotel room led to the arrest of an immigrant from South Africa charged with murders of two Alaska Native women who had gone missing, authorities said on Thursday. In each case, the victims' remains were found dumped in wooded outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. The suspect, Brian Steven Smith, 48, has confessed to both slayings to police, according to a bail memorandum filed by prosecutors on Thursday.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 01:16:58 -0400
  • Chicago's top cop found lying in car; requests investigation

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    Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson asked the city's police department to conduct an internal investigation on himself Thursday after he was found lying down in a car. Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that Johnson indicated he parked his car after feeling lightheaded. "There were no charges of intoxication, no information of intoxication as far as I know," Guglielmi said.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:26:47 -0400
  • YIKES: Saudi Arabia Does Have Chinese-Built Ballistic Missiles

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    But they aren't exactly the best or most accurate.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 03:00:00 -0400
  • Plane collides with pickup truck while landing, pilot killed

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    Witnesses reported the airplane was at an altitude of just 5 feet as it crossed a county road near the airstrip and struck a pickup truck.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:07:52 -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
  • Trump holds Dallas rally as impeachment fight messes with his lead in Texas

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    Texas on Thursday night offered President Donald Trump a much-needed break from the backlash over his Syria decision and the relentlessness of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. To an adoring crowd at his campaign rally, he tested out new, aggressive messaging as he sought to cast Democrats as politically extreme, the Biden family as corrupt, and the media in cahoots with both of them as part of a grand conspiracy. It was good to let Turkey attack the Kurds, longtime U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS, Trump said, because “sometimes you have to let them fight like two kids.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:23:48 -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
  • Progressive Chicago Mayor Angers Democratic Force: Teachers

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    (Bloomberg) -- Striking Chicago teachers on Thursday chanted a blunt challenge to the maverick mayor of the third-largest U.S. city: “Lori Lightfoot, get on the right foot!”This year’s election of Lightfoot, a gay black woman and daughter of a union steel worker, represented a shift -- and perhaps a national bellwether -- for a heavily Democratic constituency that chafed under her centrist predecessor Rahm Emanuel. But like Emanuel before her, Lightfoot is failing to win over a party mainstay, the Chicago Teachers Union. Its 25,000 members walked out Thursday, seeking higher pay, more nurses and housing for homeless students.The conflict threatens to further mire a city with a vast gulf of wealth and race, whose poor, violence-wracked neighborhoods are an object of derision for President Donald Trump. The junk-rated school system has soaring pension costs, years of declining enrollment and was recently saved from insolvency thanks to state aid. And in less than a week Lightfoot must deliver a separate municipal budget that closes an $838 million deficit, the largest in recent history.Chicago’s fiscal woes come after two decades in which it was governed by Richard M. Daley, whose father was a legendary political boss, and Emanuel, who had been chief of staff to President Barack Obama. Emanuel clashed repeatedly with parents and teachers as he closed 50 schools in the name of economy.Lightfoot, 57, didn’t benefit from a national profile or an organization built over years. But she won support by underscoring her progressive credentials and cultivating corporate leaders. She was endorsed by the city’s two major newspapers and its chamber of commerce -- but not the teacher’s union, which supported her opponent, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.Lightfoot promised to rein in autocratic members of the City Council, to increase affordable housing and to invest in schools to nurture pupils of all colors and incomes. She had a star turn, appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” speaking to Democratic National Committee activists and even dining with Oprah Winfrey with her wife, Amy, an event memorialized on her Instagram account.Now, after only five months in office, her ability to tread a line between progressivism and business-friendly fiscal policies is in question as she tries to stem a loss of residents, avoid raising property taxes, close the city’s yawning budget gap and end the strike, which followed months of contract negotiations.It’s a test of strength. “Some of it has to do with timing, a new union president and new mayor,” said Michael D. Belsky, executive director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Municipal Finance. “They are trying to flex their muscles.”Presidential candidates who represent the left-most wing of the Democratic Party are lending support to the teachers. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist, showed up for a union event and tweeted his good wishes Thursday. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also said on Twitter that she stands by the union members and supports the “need to invest in all of our public school staff.”Don V. Villar, secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said at a Thursday rally that support for the union is strong. “All around the country they are watching what we are doing here,” he said.Lightfoot insisted Thursday that she has gone as far as possible financially to satisfy labor.“We’ve made good on things I said during the campaign,” Lightfoot said in response to reporters’ questions. She noted that the school board in August approved a budget with more money for nurses and other staff. The city’s contract offer includes a 16% pay increase over five years, which the teacher’s union rejected.“Keep in mind that CPS is just on the other side of the line from insolvency. We are borrowing $700 million every year, when you’re doing that your finances are still in a precarious state,” Lightfoot told reporter Friday after serving some children breakfast at Gads Hill Center in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Though she acknowledged the district has made improvements, “CPS is not flushed with cash. That is a total misnomer.”“There is no more money. Period,” she said.The walkout reflects what poor- and middle-class workers feel around the country, said Timothy Dohrer, assistant professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in suburban Evanston. “Teachers are an important member of what we used to call the middle class, a bellwether,” he said.Frustration boiled over because there’s a sense the profession has been devalued, he said.Lainey McFarlane, a special-education instructional coach and case manager, voted for Lightfoot despite her union’s endorsement of Preckwinkle. Lightfoot’s focus on school funding appealed to McFarlane, who until a year ago worked as an elementary teacher. She had 34 children in one first-grade classroom.Lightfoot “had a lot of promises about what she was going to do for the city, kids in the city, for schools” McFarlane, 32, said on the edges of an afternoon strike rally Thursday in Chicago’s Loop. “She hasn’t come through.”Laura Enciso, a special-education classroom assistant, said that most of all she wants resources for children.“I am waiting,” she said.Lightfoot’s ability to end that wait -- and how she chooses to pay for it -- may determine the course of her mayorship.(Updates with mayor’s comments in 13th and 14th paragraphs)To contact the reporter on this story: Shruti Date Singh in Chicago at ssingh28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net, ;Elizabeth Campbell at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net, Michael B. MaroisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:44:17 -0400
  • Explainer: Democrats Warren and Sanders want wealth tax; economists explain how it works

    Golocal247.com news

    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
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