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  • Scaramucci says he will start and fund a super PAC to 'dismantle' Trump

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    Anthony Scaramucci piles on to his Trump bashing, revealing his plans to start and fund a political action committee to "dismantle" Trump.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:14:12 -0400
  • Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New Hampshire

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    The campaign manager for Bernie Sanders emphasized Thursday that New Hampshire is a critical presidential primary state he expects Sanders to win, but he's leaving room for a scenario in which Sanders falls short. Faiz Shakir said he doesn't "like the language of must-win," though he does believe it is an important early voting state.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:44:00 -0400
  • Russia, China ask U.N. Security Council to meet Thursday over U.S. missile developments

    Russia and China have asked the United Nations Security Council to meet on Thursday over "statements by U.S. officials on their plans to develop and deploy medium-range missiles," according to the request seen by Reuters. Moscow and Beijing want to convene the 15-member council under the agenda item "threats to international peace and security" and have requested that U.N. disarmament affairs chief Izumi Nakamitsu brief the body. The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, the first such test since the United States pulled out Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:20:09 -0400
  • Beto O’Rourke: As president, I’d institute a mandatory buyback of assault weapons

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    Only America has more guns than people. Follow the lead of moms demanding action and students marching for their lives, writes candidate Beto O’Rourke

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 19:17:44 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 vs. 2020 Toyota Supra

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    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • Beijing hits back after Trudeau vows to stand up to China

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    Beijing on Thursday accused Ottawa of worsening bilateral relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to stand up to China amid deepening diplomatic and trade disputes. The two countries have been locked in a feud since last December, when Canada detained top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and -- in apparent retaliation -- China detained two Canadian nationals over espionage-linked accusations. On Wednesday, Trudeau pushed back against Beijing in a speech that promised to "always defend Canadians and Canadian interests" and to not "back down".

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 05:38:34 -0400
  • Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show

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    Jair Bolsonaro hopes to sabotage conservation efforts in the Amazon, leaked documents show.A series of powerpoint slides reveal that Brazilian government officials intend to build a bridge, motorway and hydroelectric plant through the rainforest.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:26:45 -0400
  • Drivers in Idaho keep harassing busloads of immigrants' children on their way to pre-school

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    One driver reported experiencing threatening incidents with other drivers while she was driving a busload of children under the age of five.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:23:17 -0400
  • Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbor after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated to the ruling party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said in an interview Thursday.“Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecom,” Mahajan said by phone. “Not just in consumer goods, they’re a threat in telecom because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure.”The group met Indian telecom companies on Aug. 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. The organization had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mahajan said. Calls made to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking comment went unanswered.This isn’t the first time that the Swadesh Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders had called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the U.N. Security Council.A ban called by both organizations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn’t successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30%, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over $53 billion with China.To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:00:00 -0400
  • Seth Moulton drops out of 2020 presidential race

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    Moulton, a former Marine Corps officer, entered the race in April, becoming the third Massachusetts politician to do so.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:51:01 -0400
  • Baltimore teen gets life in prison in police officer slaying

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    A Baltimore teenager was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, more than a year after he accelerated a stolen Jeep and fatally struck a Maryland police officer in a suburban cul-de-sac. Dawnta Harris, 17, was tried as an adult earlier this year and convicted of felony murder in the slaying of Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio. A judge in the suburban county that surrounds the city of Baltimore also sentenced Harris to 20 years in prison for burglary.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:59:57 -0400
  • Trump just looked up to the sky and told reporters 'I am the chosen one'

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    Donald Trump apparently thinks even more highly of himself than we thought.On Wednesday, he told a group of reporters outside the White House that he is "the chosen one." Not a normal thing that people usually say unless they are Superman or Harry Potter, or like, a complete narcissist, but sure.The context makes the statement only a bit less bizarre. Trump was reportedly talking about the trade war with China and how he is the one tasked with taking on the country's unfair trading practices. But still. Pretty weird.> What a moment. > > President Trump on the WH lawn just looked up to the sky and said, "I am the chosen one." > > He was talking about the trade war with China and repeated his claim that he needs to take on China for unfair trading practice.> > -- Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 21, 2019It wasn't long before people began to mock Trump's "chose one" statement with jokes and Star Wars references. > I'M THE CHOSEN ONE! https://t.co/IQqNegzQzy pic.twitter.com/lpXcFRPYGG> > -- pink nightmare (@Themaplewitch) August 21, 2019> "I am the chosen one" isn't something that a U.S. President should say. It's barely something the villain in a poorly-written movie based on a video game should say.> > -- Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) August 21, 2019> The chosen one pic.twitter.com/bOkE2U8SZP> > -- Mikhara (@mikhara_) August 21, 2019> A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT I AM THE CHOSEN ONE. pic.twitter.com/RER6kpnzpE> > -- Caroline Goldsmith (@GoldCaro) August 21, 2019> If Barack Obama looked to the sky and said 'I'm the chosen one', even as a joke(which this wasn't), everyone at Fox News would look like they just peeked inside the Ark of the Covenant. https://t.co/bfxkxWkL44> > -- Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 21, 2019Many also noted the fact that the president keeps relating himself to god-like figures. Earlier today he shared a concerning tweet that claims he is seen as both the "King of Israel" and the "second coming of God." > "King of Israel" and "I am the chosen one" on the same day, huh https://t.co/MfKJKBPVxS> > -- Allahpundit (@allahpundit) August 21, 2019> President Trump today: > > -"I am the chosen one" on his trade war with China. > > -Retweet claiming he is like the King of Israel. > > -Retweet claiming he is like the 2nd coming of god.> > -- Christina Ginn (@NBChristinaGinn) August 21, 2019> Put Trump's "I am the chosen one" in the larger context with the messianic language in his tweets earlier today. > > He quoted a right-wing propagandist as saying he was "King of Israel" and "the second coming of God": pic.twitter.com/0DhKVtUNnP> > -- Leah McElrath ️‍ (@leahmcelrath) August 21, 2019Can you believe there's still so much time in this day for Trump to say and tweet more things? WATCH: Papa Roach scolds Trump with song lyrics on Twitter

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:24:25 -0400
  • U.S. removed almost 2.7 million barrels daily of Iranian oil, according to Pompeo

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    The United States has removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets daily following Washington's decision to reimpose sanctions on all purchases of Iran's crude, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:28:08 -0400
  • Chinese state media says fentanyl abuse is entirely U.S. responsibility

    Chinese state media on Friday hit back at claims by U.S. officials that China was failing to crack down on the flow of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances into the United States, saying that responsibility for opioid abuse lay with users. The United States was "pushing responsibility" for fentanyl abuse to China and ignoring that Beijing had implemented strict controls on the highly addictive synthetic opioid, reported The People's Daily newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:54:35 -0400
  • Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

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    Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:01:09 -0400
  • 2020 Chevy Bolt EV Gets More Driving Range

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    The Bolt goes from 238 miles to 259 and leapfrogs rival EVs from Tesla, Hyundai, and Kia.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:39:00 -0400
  • In the streets and on the run: Alligators are having a 'hot girl summer' of their own

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    From climbing fences in Florida to swimming in a Chicago lagoon, here are 11 of the best gator stories so far this year.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:27:59 -0400
  • Luntz: ‘I was wrong’ on climate change

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    Luntz urged Democrats to "personalize, individualize and humanize" the impacts of climate change

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:11:03 -0400
  • Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicide

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    Authorities say they believe Marsha Edwards shot Christopher Edwards Jr. and Erin Edwards before turning the gun on herself.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:43:01 -0400
  • Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail

    Golocal247.com news

    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released on Friday after spending a month in jail for calling for an unsanctioned protest. Navalny, along with several opposition activists, has led a protest movement earlier this summer against Russian election authorities' decision to bar nearly two dozen independent candidates from running for the Moscow city legislature in the Sept. 8 election. One of these rallies was the largest anti-government protest that Moscow had seen in eight years.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 05:14:58 -0400
  • Trump claim doctors treating mass shooting victims 'were coming out of operating rooms' to meet him dismissed by hospitals

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    Two hospitals have denied Donald Trump’s claim doctors “were coming out of operating rooms” to meet him when he travelled to Texas and Ohio to console victims of two mass shootings."At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” University Medical Center (UMC) spokesperson Ryan Mielke told local TV station KVIA. “Our priority is always patient care."

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:35:14 -0400
  • Prosecutor: Cannibalism victim was butchered 'like you wouldn't kill a livestock animal'

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    Joseph Oberhansley, 38, is accused of killing his estranged girlfriend and eating parts of her brain and organs in 2014.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:58:00 -0400
  • L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off

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    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:17:00 -0400
  • China to soon unveil plan for retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. products: Global Times

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    "Based on what I know, China will take further countermeasures in response to U.S. tariffs on $300 billion Chinese goods. Beijing will soon unveil a plan of imposing retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. products", Hu Xijin wrote in a tweet on Friday. Global Times is a tabloid published by the Ruling Communist Party's People's Daily.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 06:53:40 -0400
  • Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' report

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    The family of a staffer at the UK consulate in Hong Kong have rejected a "made-up" report by Chinese state media that he was detained in the mainland for visiting prostitutes. Simon Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since. The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen, which lies on the China-Hong Kong border.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 05:27:48 -0400
  • Immigration lawyers: We saw what's happening at the US-Mexico border. It's a tragic farce.

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    There is no due process in Mexico for asylum seekers, just endless obstacles to staying alive, finding an attorney and communicating with authorities.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:29:08 -0400
  • Half of Venezuela's Oil Rigs May Disappear If U.S. Waivers Lapse

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    (Bloomberg) -- A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s.A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Latin America’s biggest crude exporter until recent years.Venezuela had 23 oil rigs drilling in July, down from 49 just two years ago, data compiled by Baker Hughes show. Ten of those are exposed to U.S. sanctions, according to calculations by Caracas Capital Markets. The Treasury Department extended waivers in July for service providers to continue for three more months, less than the six months the companies had sought.Most other government agencies involved in the deliberations opposed any extension, a senior administration official said last month, adding that another reprieve will be harder to come by.“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets.Output RiskA U.S. Treasury official said the department doesn’t generally comment on possible sanctions actions.More than 200,000 barrels a day of output at four projects Chevron Corp. is keeping afloat could shut if the waivers aren’t renewed. That would be debilitating to Maduro because the U.S. company, as a minority partner, only gets about 40,000 barrels a day of that production.The departure of the American oil service providers would hurt other projects in the Orinoco region, where operators need to constantly drill wells just to keep output from declining. The U.S.-based companies are also involved in state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s joint ventures in other regions such as Lake Maracaibo.Limiting ExposureHalliburton Co., Schlumberger Ltd. and Weatherford International Ltd. have reduced staff and are limiting their exposure to the risk of non-payment in the country, according to people familiar with the situation. The three companies have written down a total of at least $1.4 billion since 2018 in charges related to operations in Venezuela, according to financial filings. Baker Hughes had also scaled back before additional sanctions were announced earlier this year, the people said.Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, PDVSA and Venezuela’s oil ministry all declined to comment.Halliburton has adjusted its Venezuela operations to customer activity, and continues operating all of its product service lines at its operational bases, including in the Orinoco Belt, it said in an emailed response to questions. It works directly with several of PDVSA’s joint ventures, and timely payments from customers are in accordance with U.S. regulations, it said.Hamilton, Bermuda-based Nabors Industries Ltd. has three drilling rigs in Venezuela that can operate for a client until the sanctions expire in October, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Petrello said in a July 30 conference call, without naming the client.The sanctions carry geopolitical risks for the U.S. If Maduro manages to hang on, American companies would lose a foothold in Venezuela, giving Russian competitors such as Rosneft Oil Co. a chance to fill the void. Chinese companies could also benefit. Even if the waivers get extended, the uncertainty hinders any long-term planning or investments in the nation by the exposed companies.Rosneft’s press office didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on operations in Venezuela.\--With assistance from David Wethe, Debjit Chakraborty and Dina Khrennikova.To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at pmillard1@bloomberg.net;Fabiola Zerpa in Caracas Office at fzerpa@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net, Pratish Narayanan, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:00:01 -0400
  • Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

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    Bradley Moss and John Yoo weigh in on a federal court ruling in Colorado on the Electoral College that could make its way to the Supreme Court.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 23:32:18 -0400
  • Mexico struggles: whether to talk to vigilantes or jail them

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    Mexico's government appears to be split about whether it should talk to armed vigilante groups, or treat them as criminals. President Andres Manuel López Obrador said Thursday he disagreed with his assistant interior secretary's decision to attend a ceremony with vigilantes, who often call themselves "self-defense" groups. The debate came to a head Wednesday when Ricardo Peralta, an assistant secretary of the interior, attended the groundbreaking of an agricultural processing plant in the vigilante-dominated community of La Huacana in the western state of Michoacan.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:14:02 -0400
  • Trump ranted for 35 minutes in 89-degree heat, calling the prime minister of Denmark 'nasty,' repeating his claim that Jewish voters are 'disloyal,' and saying it 'isn't my trade war'

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    Trump has had a tumultuous week, from calling Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats "disloyal" to sparring with the prime minister of Denmark.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:40:30 -0400
  • Tropical disturbance creeps closer to Florida

    A tropical disturbance that formed Wednesday near the Bahamas continues to spin toward Florida.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:33:05 -0400
  • Six people aged 62 to 85 arrested for 'sexual activity' in woods after police surveillance operation

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    Six people aged 62 to 85 have been arrested after police officers went into the woods to watch them having sex.The group was arrested in a conservation area in Fairfield, Connecticut, which is some 87 acres in size.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 05:39:09 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-Russia extends detention of ex-U.S. Marine accused of spying

    A court on Friday extended by two months the pre-trial detention of a former U.S. Marine who has been held in Russia on suspicion of spying since December and who accused Moscow prison authorities of injuring him. The court ordered Paul Whelan held until the end of October, as Russian news agencies reported that authorities said they planned to wrap up their investigation into him in two weeks and present definitive accusations. Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained by agents from Russia's Federal Security Service in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 after a Russian acquaintance gave him a flash drive which his lawyer said he thought contained holiday photos, but which actually held classified information.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:36:13 -0400
  • Parkland Shooting Survivors Just Proposed Aggressive New Gun Restrictions. Here's What's in Their Plan

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    March For Our Lives has released an aggressive plan to address gun violence that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:19:39 -0400
  • Chinese state media accuses Hong Kong metro of aiding protesters

    Golocal247.com news

    China's state-run media have launched a co-ordinated attack on the company that runs Hong Kong's train network for its perceived support of pro-democracy protesters, echoing a campaign against Cathay Pacific. As hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in the financial hub approach their third month of rallying around democratic reforms, Beijing has upped its rhetoric against the movement -- and any organisation appearing to support it. On Thursday, Chinese state-backed outlets accused Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) company of abetting protesters by offering them a free and "exclusive" train to escape police, after a sit-in to mark a mob attack by suspected triad gang members one month earlier.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 04:58:13 -0400
  • The 10 Least Expensive New Compact SUVs to Own

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    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:52:00 -0400
  • 2 more El Salvador ex-officers to face trial in '81 massacre

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    Two ex-military officers were notified Thursday that they will join more than a dozen others in being prosecuted for the 1981 El Mozote massacre, a particularly infamous moment from El Salvador's nation's civil war. A judge in San Francisco Gotera, about 100 miles (170 kilometers) east of the capital, summoned former Cols. Roberto Antonio Garay and José Antonio Rodríguez to inform them they will be tried on the charges of torture, forced disappearance and forced displacement.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:11:37 -0400
  • Brexit Held at the Border

    Golocal247.com news

    In the last two days Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed that Ireland temporarily leave the European Union to align with the economic rules of a post-Brexit U.K. German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested, somewhat flippantly, that the U.K. could figure out a special trading arrangement for itself and Ireland in the next 30 days. And French president Emmanuel Macron has said that there’s still room for negotiation between the U.K. and the EU, but he’s willing to be “the hard boy.” Maybe Macron is taking the EU marriage metaphor a little too personally . . .What on earth is going on?It’s been three years since a majority of the U.K.’s electorate voted to leave the European Union. And so far, all that Brexit has generated is a great deal of nearly incomprehensibly vocabulary. First we got Theresa May’s red lines, her attempt to define how it was exactly that Brexit means Brexit, and what the future relationship, if any, the United Kingdom would have with the EU. These red lines, an end to freedom of movement from EU member states into the U.K., and an exit from the EU’s customs union ruled out the Norway option but not Canada Plus Plus. Or Canada Plus Plus Plus. Yes, I’m serious.According to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Theresa May and the rest of the EU, that future relationship has to be figured out in the transition period. That’s a two-year window after the U.K. leaves the EU in which it would continue to follow EU rules until they came to a trade agreement. That is, unless there is a no-deal Brexit and the U.K. simply exits the European Union on October 31 and conducts business with the world based on World Trade Organization rules. Got it? Well, sort of.The focus is now on the Irish-border backstop. Basically, the backstop is a promise that there will be no hard border — a customs border across the island of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Irish public officials have argued (with the support of the EU) that a frictionless border is necessary for economic and political reasons. The frictionless border is understood there as part of the the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. So too the “all-island economy” that it creates. The backstop is a promise by the U.K. to keep Northern Ireland following a number of regulations and customs rules that match it to the Republic of Ireland.This promise became the focus of Tory and Brexiteer anger at Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. First, because it created what seemed like a negotiating trap for the U.K. during the transition period. Having already agreed to keep Northern Ireland (and the rest of the U.K. with it) aligned with the EU’s rules as part of a backstop, the EU would have less incentive to come to another, different trade relationship to supersede that agreement. The price to be paid for testing and pushing the EU might carve up the United Kingdom itself. If Great Britain diverged from the EU at the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland would be partially politically detached from the Union, and perhaps its citizens would have to go through customs to travel within their own country, from Belfast to Birmingham.Recently Johnson has begun calling the backstop “undemocratic” and hinting that it violates the Good Friday Agreement. He has a point. The backstop would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU rules and regs in which they have no say. It would deprive Northern Ireland’s elected ministers to Parliament of any voice on matters that would be routine for MPs in any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. That seems quite a lot like a partial form of Irish unification. But the Good Friday Agreement ensures that Irish unity can be achieved only by a majority vote for it in the six counties and another one in the Republic of Ireland.Proponents of the backstop hold that this measure would merely be the decision of a sovereign Parliament over a part of its territory. It is an agreement between Parliament and the EU and doesn’t legally touch Ireland. That’s true. But, the reality is that it would create checks between constituent parts of the U.K. that normally exist between two different countries. It does so in order to prevent those checks on the island of Ireland. And it does so to meet the expectations of the Irish government based in Dublin. To whom would Northern Irish people turn when trade policy affects them? Nobody they directly elect would have a constitutional say.Effectively these economic rules would be imposed on Northern Ireland as if it were a kind of EU colony, and done in the interests of the Republic of Ireland. This may satisfy the historical imagination of Irish nationalists. (Believe me, there is a delicious irony to be savored here.) But it is hard to argue that such a result is consonant with the Good Friday Agreement. Or a wise way to endear Northern Irish unionists to the Irish government.All of this confusion is the result of a kind of gamesmanship. The EU and U.K. each want to use the Irish border as a reason to crack the other’s negotiating position. The EU would like to see the U.K. bounced into a permanent customs union in which it has no say, effectively maintaining the economic size and power of the EU while reducing the political influence of Eurosceptical Britannia. On the other side, the U.K. would like to see the Irish-border issue work in the opposite way, forcing the EU to strike an especially good and liberal trade deal with the U.K. that comes with fewer strings attached than those on Norway or other states that have non-standard arrangements.The lesson is rather obvious. You cannot predetermine what kind of infrastructure will be at a border and what laws will be enforced at it, in the absence of a durable agreement on trade in goods and materials. The EU and the U.K. have been trying to resolve questions in the wrong order. Both have done so out of a reasonable fear of loss.But the hour is late, and the real work must be done.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:22:09 -0400
  • 'Lord forgive them': Larry Swearingen executed for killing Conroe college student Melissa Trotter

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    Up until the very end, Larry Swearingen maintained he was innocent in the abduction, rape and murder of Melissa Trotter in Conroe.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:46:42 -0400
  • Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife

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    Can we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jed Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:00:06 -0400
  • Yale failed to stop professor who sexually assaulted students over decades, report says

    A report commissioned by Yale says a professor assaulted at least five students, and an investigation in 1994 failed to stop him.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 23:46:49 -0400
  • U.S. will aggressively enforce sanctions over Iran tanker: State Department official

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    The United States will aggressively enforce its sanctions to prevent the private sector from assisting an Iranian oil tanker that is traveling through the Mediterranean and that Washington wants seized, a State Department official said on Thursday. "The shipping sector is on notice that we will aggressively enforce U.S. sanctions," the official told Reuters days after warning countries not to allow the tanker to dock. Ship tracking data has shown the ship, Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, last heading toward Greece, although Greece's prime minister said it was not heading to his country.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:34:39 -0400
  • Brown bear that is killing livestock and startling hikers in Italy's Dolomites is wanted, dead or alive

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    A bear that is raiding beehives, attacking livestock and startling hikers in the Dolomite mountains of Italy is now wanted dead or alive. The brown bear is known to scientists as M49 but was nicknamed Papillon, after the Henri Charrière novel about escaping from Devil’s Island in French Guiana, when it managed to climb over a 16ft-high fence and flee an enclosure last month. It had been captured just a few hours before after being identified as a problem bear which posed a threat to farm animals.   Since escaping the enclosure in a wildlife sanctuary in the province of Trentino on July 15, it has been slowly moving northwards, disemboweling a cow and encountering hikers. The province of South Tyrol has now issued an order which calls for the capture or, if necessary, the killing of the 140kg, three-year-old bear. It is normally illegal to kill or capture Italy’s bears, which were introduced from Slovenia in the 1990s. The order was signed on Wednesday by Arno Kompatscher, the president of the autonomous, German-speaking province, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of the First World War when it passed to Italy. “We want to capture the bear in order to protect other bears, and also wolves, because if it continues to be a nuisance, then bears and wolves will never be accepted by the population,” said Arnold Schuler, the deputy president of the province. The bear is roaming the Dolomites in northern Italy, between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol The authorities say the bear poses a risk to humans. In the last few days, it was seen snuffling around a caravan used by shepherds in a remote mountain spot, looking for discarded food. Two national park rangers fired shots into the air to scare it away. The bear was encountered this week by a hiker on a mountain trail near the Bletterbach Canyon in South Tyrol. “My legs were shaking,” the 64-year-old man told a local newspaper. “People joke about meeting a bear in the wild, but when you really do encounter one, you’re no longer laughing.” Carlo Groff, an expert on large carnivores from Italy’s Forestry Corps, says rangers are trying to keep track of the bear’s movements and hope to tranquilise and capture it. “The safety of humans comes before the bear,” he told La Stampa newspaper. Conservation organisations and animal rights groups have threatened to take legal action against the authorities if the bear comes to any harm. “The bear is simply living its normal life. It has never been dangerous to humans. It has caused a few thousand euros’ worth of damage, and it is right that compensation should be paid, but we need to learn to value bears as an asset, not a threat,” said Isabella Pratesi of WWF Italy. While the autonomous provincial government has called for the bear’s capture or, if necessary, killing, Sergio Costa, the environment minister, has called for the bear to be spared.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:13:43 -0400
  • Harvard Economist Warns Hong Kong Could Trigger World Recession

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Hong Kong’s rolling political turmoil could prove a tipping point for the world economy, Harvard University economist Carmen Reinhart said.Noting an incidence of shocks that have rattled global growth, including the intensifying U.S.-China trade war, Reinhart cited Hong Kong as among her main concerns. Having previously warned that Hong Kong faces a housing bubble, she said the world economy could be hit by “shocks with a bang or with a whisper.”“One shock that is concerning me a great deal at the moment is the turmoil in Hong Kong,” which could impact growth in China and Asia generally, Reinhart said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Kathleen Hays.“These are not segmented regional effects, these have really global consequences. So what could be a tipping point that could trigger a very significant global slowdown, or even recession -- that would be a candidate, that could be a candidate,” said Reinhart, who specializes in international finance.Anti-government protests that began nearly three months ago are pressuring Hong Kong’s economy, which already was being squeezed by China’s slowdown and the trade war.The academic’s warning comes days after Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said Hong Kong’s crisis is on his global worry list.“There are clearly problems in Hong Kong that could spill over in a broader sense into international markets,” Rosengren told Bloomberg Television this week. It’s “one of the great global cities so we do have to be concerned about how that all gets resolved.”On Tuesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who authored a 1992 law that granted special trading privileges to Hong Kong, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Senate “will reconsider that special relationship, among other steps, if Hong Kong’s autonomy is eroded.”“The less dramatic part, but nonetheless very real, is already taking a situation that was weaker, where we have seen a slowdown of significant proportions, and just making it worse,” Reinhart said.Economists say new tariffs that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened on $300 billion of Chinese goods would drag China’s annual economic growth below 6%, according to a Bloomberg survey, which would be the slowest expansion since 1990.“Tipping points don’t always need big drama,” Reinhart said.To contact the reporter on this story: Enda Curran in Hong Kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net, Chris BourkeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 01:03:52 -0400
  • Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute plea

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    A serial killer who admitted killing six gay men in just eight-months in the US east coast has been executed.Gary Ray Bowles was given a lethal injection in Florida late Thursday after more than 20 years on death row.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:46:50 -0400
  • North Dakota court overturns life term in cut from womb case

    Golocal247.com news

    A judge overstepped by giving a life prison sentence to a man whose girlfriend cut the baby from the womb of an unsuspecting neighbor, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday, ordering that the man be resentenced. William Hoehn, of Fargo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the August 2017 attack on Savanna Greywind, who died of her injuries but whose baby survived. Hoehn's girlfriend, Brooke Crews, admitted that she sliced Greywind's baby from her womb.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 19:09:44 -0400
  • The top 10 holiday destinations for... food poisoning

    Golocal247.com news

    The Daily Mail reports that tourists can sometimes bring back more than they bargained for from their vacations. According to the British newspaper, the site Sickholiday.com has been ranking the top 10 destinations for food poisoning, with Hurghada, Egypt coming in first. After steering its industry back into the favors of worldwide travelers, the Egyptian tourism bureau might have to work overtime to counter the effects of a recent ranking putting successful Red Sea resort destination Hurghada first in food poisoning cases since the start of of 2017.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:31:06 -0400
  • Taiwan warns Pacific islands of China's 'empty promises' on aid

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    Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned Pacific island nations Thursday against "empty promises" of financial aid from China, as the Solomon Islands considers switching diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing. Visiting Palau to shore up Taiwan's relations in the Pacific -- where six of its 17 diplomatic allies are located -- Wu said democratic nations were concerned about Chinese inroads into the region.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:49:01 -0400
  • Trump again says he is 'very seriously' looking to end birthright citizenship

    Golocal247.com news

    Eight months after first raising the idea, the president said his administration is again “very seriously” looking into ending the practice of conferring U.S. citizenship on anyone born in the United States.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:35:25 -0400
  • Why are Jason Momoa and other Native Hawaiians protesting a telescope on Mauna Kea? What's at stake?

    Golocal247.com news

    Protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island have elevated issues of Native Hawaiian rights and conservation.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:55:05 -0400
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