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  • Pelosi describes Trump's 'very serious meltdown' during White House meeting on Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked out of a meeting with Donald Trump about the crisis in Syria Wednesday after she said the president had had a "very serious meltdown" and insulted her in front of other congressional leaders.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:40:50 -0400
  • Joe Biden digs at Elizabeth Warren after debate: Polls don't show 'anybody else as a frontrunner'

    Golocal247.com news

    "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
  • UPDATE 3-Cartel gunmen terrorize Mexican city, free El Chapo's son

    Heavily armed fighters surrounded security forces in a Mexican city on Thursday and made them free one of drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's sons, after his capture triggered gunbattles and a prison break that sent civilians scurrying for cover. Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said a patrol by National Guard militarized police first came under attack from within a house in the city of Culiacan, 1,235 km (770 miles) northwest of Mexico City. After entering the house, they found four men, including Ovidio Guzman, who is accused of drug trafficking in the United States.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 20:38:47 -0400
  • APNewsBreak: Skeleton unearthed beneath California peak

    Golocal247.com news

    The climbers were closing in on the top of California's second-highest peak when they came upon the grisly discovery of what looked like a bone buried in a boulder field. Tyler Hofer and his climbing partner moved rocks aside and discovered an entire skeleton. The discovery a week ago beneath Mount Williamson unearthed a mystery: Who was the unfortunate hiker?

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:25:42 -0400
  • Murderer who triggered Hong Kong protests will go to Taiwan: pastor

    Golocal247.com news

    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 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
  • 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
  • Why Mexico Is Cooperating with Us on Immigration

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • Here's the Deadline Countdown for Every Trump Impeachment Subpoena Issued So Far

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    We're updating this live as more subpoenas are issued

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:22:44 -0400
  • Doing it for the 'gram? Royal Caribbean says no to that, bans guests for life

    Doing it for the 'gram? Royal Caribbean Cruises doesn't seem to think that's a good idea, particularly when it's dangerous.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:37:21 -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
  • Former Nazi SS guard, 93, goes on trial in Hamburg

    Golocal247.com news

    From his post as a teenage SS private in a watchtower in Nazi Germany's Stutthof concentration camp, Bruno Dey could hear the screams of Jews dying in the gas chamber. More than seven decades later, Dey went on trial Thursday on 5,230 counts of accessory to murder in Hamburg state court.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 08:56:27 -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
  • Chinese Nuclear Stockpile Clouds Prospects for U.S.-Russia Deal

    Golocal247.com news

    (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
  • Next-Gen Dodge Challenger Coming in 2023? Don't Be So Sure, Says Dodge

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Washington Group Fighting Affirmative Action Used Proud Boys As Guards

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • Long-extinct Tasmanian tigers spotted at least eight times, officials say

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 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
  • Atatiana Jefferson's neighbor thought he asked police to do a wellness check, but the police didn’t investigate it that way

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Warren Left $30 Trillion Short of Paying for Her Health Plan

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren took a lot of flak at this week’s Democratic presidential debate for being evasive about the taxes needed to pay for the $30 trillion Medicare for All plan she champions. There’s a reason for being vague: Her team hasn’t yet figured out how to pay for it.“Her taxes as they currently exist are not enough yet to cover fully replacing health insurance,” University of California, Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez, who advised the Warren campaign when developing the wealth tax, told Bloomberg News on Wednesday.Warren -- who campaigns on the theme that she has a plan for everything -- is relying on the wealthy and big corporations to pay for her vision of restructuring American society, including funding student debt, free college, universal childcare, green energy and affordable housing plans.She has promised to fully cover those costs with her big ideas -- a wealth tax, corporate surtax, an increase in the estate tax and the elimination of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.But she has made the strategic decision to adopt Bernie Sanders’ government-run health care plan rather than develop one of her own. Sanders acknowledged in Tuesday’s debate that “taxes will go up,” but neither of them have detailed how much or who those taxes would hit, prompting the toughest criticism she has faced from her Democratic primary rivals, including Joe Biden, with whom she is tied for the lead in most polls.The Warren campaign said they are continuing to review revenue options to fund Medicare for All and would support pay-fors that prioritize reducing costs for the middle class.Warren has made it a hallmark of her campaign to demonstrate how she’d pay for her dozens of policy proposals. Her 2% wealth tax on America’s richest would be one of the biggest sources of revenue, bringing in about $2.75 trillion over a decade.That would finance some of her most ambitious plans: $1.07 trillion for universal childcare, $610 billion for free college, $640 billion for eliminating student debt, and among others, $100 billion to combat the opioid crisis. All told, Warren’s wealth tax would pay for her plans with some room -- $303 billion -- to spare.That’s true for the rest of her plans. In total, she’s proposed an agenda that she estimates would cost nearly $6 trillion, according to her campaign. She’s offset those costs with more than $7.3 trillion in tax increases, according to Warren’s estimates and projections from the non-partisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.“She is offering a Medicare for All plan and not offering even close to enough to pay for it,” said Kyle Pomerleau, the chief economist at the conservative Tax Foundation. “One place she hasn’t gone yet is raising the existing individual income tax for top earners.”However, he added, even that would only garner a fraction of what she’d need to fully fund a health care plan.Warren has been reluctant to make Sanders’ point about taxes going up. Instead, she argues that overall costs for middle class families will go down, but big corporations and the wealthy will pay more. When asked to answer “yes or no” during Tuesday’s debate whether taxes would go up, Warren again focused on the overall costs.“Costs will go up for the wealthy, they will go up for big corporations and for middle-class families, they will go down,” Warren said on stage in Ohio Tuesday. “I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle-class families.”She added later, “We know that they are a lot of different cost estimates for Medicare for All and they vary by trillions and trillions of dollars. We know there a lot of different revenue streams.”Even a conservative economist agreed with her costs argument.“I think the statement of costs going down is quite likely be true, said Alan Viard, a resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “But it would nevertheless be true that most people would be paying more in taxes.”Warren argues her taxes correct a system in which the wealthy and corporations weren’t paying their fair share. Even with what remains after raising those taxes, there wouldn’t be enough revenue from top earners and corporations to fund the estimated $30 trillion 10-year cost for Medicare for All. She’d have to find more revenue streams and that would have to include increasing taxes on the middle class, according to public finance experts across the political spectrum.Saez said that eliminating health care premiums for individuals who are covered through their employers could be transformed into higher wages that would more than cover any tax increase. “It’s true that we might have to pay an extra tax but it can be structured in a way that we gain in extra wages, bigger than whatever extra tax will be there,” he said.Warren rivals Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Biden chided her Tuesday for not being straightforward about funding health care.“I don’t want to pick on Elizabeth Warren but this is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” Biden told reporters in Ohio on Wednesday. “It’s fascinating that the person who has a plan for everything has no plan for the single most consequential issue in this election in the minds of the American people across the board. And you know, credibility matters.”\--With assistance from Jennifer Epstein.To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.net;Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Perry on Ukraine efforts: ‘There was no quid pro quo’

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    Energy Secretary Rick Perry emphatically denied anything improper occurred as part of the Trump administration’s efforts in Ukraine and said he was comfortable consulting with the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in those pursuits. In a pair of interviews broadcast Friday, Perry defended the administration’s efforts in Ukraine — he was known as one of the administration’s “three amigos” on Ukrainian policy — as a genuine effort to fight general corruption in the country and said he never heard any effort to seek political ammunition against former Vice President Joe Biden now at the center of an impeachment inquiry in the House.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:05:32 -0400
  • Boeing pilots' messages on 737 MAX safety raise new questions

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    A Boeing Co senior pilot said he might have unintentionally misled regulators, in a series of internal messages from 2016 that became public Friday, plunging the world's largest airplane maker into a fresh crisis. The messages, first reported by Reuters, sent Boeing's shares tumbling, prompted a demand by U.S. regulators for an immediate explanation, and a new call in Congress for Boeing to shake up its management as it continues to grapple with the fallout from two fatal crashes that have grounded its fastest-selling plane. In a transcript of instant messages between two employees, the 737 MAX's then-chief technical pilot, Mark Forkner, raised questions about the performance of the so-called MCAS anti-stall system in the airplane.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:41:55 -0400
  • The Latest: Probe after Chicago chief found lying in car

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    Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has asked the department to investigate his actions after he was found lying down in a car near his home. Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says Johnson indicated he parked his car after feeling lightheaded. The 59-year-old Johnson underwent kidney transplant surgery in August 2017.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:36:12 -0400
  • What attacked a 13-foot great white shark pulled from the ocean? One that is even bigger.

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    Ocean researchers have pulled a 13-foot-long great white shark from the seas that had bite marks from an even bigger predator.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:07:06 -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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Nunes Tries to Use Steele Dossier to Defend Trump During Closed-Door Hearing

    Golocal247.com news

    Chip Somodevilla/GettyDuring 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. Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee that is leading the impeachment probe, said some of the dossier’s contents dealt with Ukraine, and that the Clintons paid for it. Some attendees said it seemed oddly divorced from the topic at hand–namely, whether Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate one of his political opponents.“It was nutso,” said one person familiar with the exchange. “It was awkward.” That source added that Ambassador Gordon Sondland—America’s envoy to the European Union, who was questioned at the meeting—appeared perplexed by Nunes’ commentary. A Nunes spokesperson said the congressman has made the argument described above in public.The dossier is at the crux of Republicans’ argument that the intelligence community conspired to take down Trump in 2016, and the president has tweeted about it dozens of times. Democrats view their focus on the document as conspiratorial and odd.Democrats called Sondland to Capitol Hill to answer questions about his role helping Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, develop a shadow foreign policy on Ukraine focused on pressuring its government to investigate the Bidens. Democrats were particularly interested in a series of text exchanges, which former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker gave them last week, that reveal alarm from the top American diplomat in Ukraine over the possibility of a quid pro quo involving $400 million in U.S. security aid. Sondland testified that Trump directed him to send a message to Volker and Bill Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Kyiv, explicitly stating there was “no quid pro quo.” He also discussed his high opinion of ousted Amb. Marie Yovanovich and his discomfort with Giuliani’s Ukraine work.Given the focus on Trump’s relationship with Ukraine, Nunes’ decision to bring up the dossier generated some raised eyebrows. But, in Nunes’ view, the dossier’s connection to Ukraine helps explain Trump’s frustration with the fragile Eastern European democracy. The dossier discussed, among many other things, Paul Manafort’s work in Ukraine. (Manafort was later convicted on tax and bank fraud charges, along with a charge of failing to disclose a foreign bank account.)The dossier is a series of documents assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele, working on contract for the research firm Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, in turn, funded some of that Fusion GPS work. The dossier made a host of allegations, including that the Russian government had compromising material on Trump. Many of the dossier’s claims are unverified. But it circulated among high-level U.S. government officials, and alarmed them. Then-FBI Director James Comey discussed its contents with Trump two weeks before his inauguration. The counterintelligence investigation scrutinizing Trump associates for Russia ties was already underway when the dossier began circulating in government. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court cited Fusion GPS’ work when it authorized surveillance of people affiliated with the Trump campaign. Republicans argue that this is evidence that the Intelligence Community conspired with the Clinton campaign to surveil Trumpworld and boost Clinton’s candidacy. The claim is widely rejected. Conservative talk show hosts, especially Sean Hannity, have made a cause célèbre of investigating the origins of the Russia probe, as well as the dossier itself. Attorney General Bill Barr has dispatched John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to scrutinize the matter. 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 15:19:52 -0400
  • Meet the Nanchang Q-5: China's Nuclear Bomber

    Golocal247.com news

    Beijing's got deterrence.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:36:00 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-Prince William and wife Kate leave Pakistan, day after aborted flight

    Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate left Pakistan on Friday after visiting an army dog training school, a day after a severe thunderstorm forced them to change their schedule and stay the night in Lahore. "What happens here in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens on the streets of the UK," William told British media after he and Kate saw dogs that are trained to sniff out explosives.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 03:50:55 -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
  • 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
  • Cathay woes pile up as passenger figures dip again in September

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Police: Gang member confesses in mass shooting at festival

    Golocal247.com news

    A 20-year-old gang member has confessed to being one of two shooters in a gunfight that turned a lively summer community festival in Brooklyn into a blood-drenched nightmare, police said Thursday. One person died and 11 were wounded when Kyle Williams and a second, yet-unidentified gunman opened fire, possibly on each other, during the Brownsville neighborhood's annual Old Timers Day celebration July 27, police said. Police arrested Williams on Wednesday and he confessed to the shooting during questioning, Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:36:50 -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
  • An interrogation company is suing Ava DuVernay and Netflix for defamation over how their series characterized a police technique used to extract false confessions from the Central Park 5

    Golocal247.com news

    A company that pioneered a notorious criminal interrogation tactic is suing over how Ava DuVernay portrayed the Reid Technique in "When They See Us."

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 02:33:40 -0400
  • Senate Republicans reject effort to condemn Trump's Syria withdrawal

    Golocal247.com news

    Senate Republicans on Thursday rejected an effort to condemn the Trump administration's decision to pull troops out of Syria, despite the House's overwhelming vote in support of the measure this week. "History will show that the country, the Senate and even the senator from Kentucky will regret blocking the resolution," Schumer fumed after the episode.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:56:58 -0400
  • America's Enemies Aren't Ready for the New B-21 Stealth Bomber

    Golocal247.com news

    A stealthy upgrade to its predecessor.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:00:00 -0400
  • Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian at West Bank checkpoint

    Israeli forces shot a Palestinian who ran towards them with a knife near a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Friday, Israel's defence ministry said, and Palestinian officials said he died of his injury. Israel's defence ministry said a Palestinian man ran towards a checkpoint between Israel and the central West Bank city of Tulkarem "with a knife in hand, with the apparent intention of attacking security personnel".

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:38:51 -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
  • Fears of military build-up as China secretly leases entire island in Solomons

    Golocal247.com news

    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
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