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  • 'Five Eyes' in the dark: Will Trump and Barr destroy trust in U.S. intelligence?

    Golocal247.com news

    The effort by President Trump and his attorney general to enlist foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies in their smear of Joe Biden may do lasting damage to relationships with their counterparts in other countries and the critical “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing agreement.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:11:35 -0400
  • Yang and O'Rourke propose decriminalizing opioids, including heroin

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    Two Democrats suggested making small amounts of heroin legal as a way to combat the drug epidemic.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:59:37 -0400
  • Booze run from behind bars: Inmates escape from Texas federal prison, return with whiskey

    Golocal247.com news

    The men left the prison grounds and cut through a neighboring ranch before getting caught by authorities.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:11:36 -0400
  • Jeep Gladiator Gets Even More Rugged as a Military-Spec Vehicle

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    Jeep and AM General could re-enlist with the U.S. Army as soon as next year.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:07:00 -0400
  • Buttigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’s Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New Ad

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    Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released a campaign ad Monday evening taking aim at Medicare for All, the public health insurance proposal favored by several rival 2020 candidates, and proposing his alternative, "Medicare for All Who Want It."The South Bend, Ind., mayor's minute-long video, titled "Makes More Sense," features several political reporters and analysts praising his plan and juxtaposing it with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All, which would require that roughly 160 million Americans' surrender their private insurance.“Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe that we have to force ourselves into Medicare for All, where private insurance is abolished, there are 160 million Americans to get their insurance from their employer,” CNN analyst Joe Lockhart says in a clip included in the ad.Buttigieg is “trying to focus on choice not infringing on people’s freedom to make that decision voluntarily,” NBC reporter Josh Lederman says in another segment."Medicare for All Who Want It is different than Medicare for All because this gives Americans a choice," Buttigieg said in an additional video that was released concurrent with the ad and explains his proposal. "If you prefer a public plan like Medicare, like I think most Americans will, you can choose it. But if you prefer to keep your private insurance, you can."Medicare for All Who Want It will be a "public insurance alternative for everyone, no matter their income" with the goal of making health care "far more affordable," according to the explanatory video.Buttigieg also vowed to release a "policy series" over the next several months to diagnose problems in the country's health care system, which is "too expensive, too complicated, and too frustrating.""I trust Americans to make our own decisions regarding the type of health care that makes the most sense for each of us and our families," the mayor said.Buttigieg's ad comes hours before he is set to face off against Warren, Sanders, and other fellow contenders for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination during Tuesday night's debate in Ohio hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 12:39:23 -0400
  • India blocks SMS services in Kashmir after trucker killed

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    Text messaging services were blocked in Indian Kashmir just hours after being restored when a truck driver was killed by suspected militants and his vehicle set ablaze, authorities said Tuesday. Separately, Indian officials said a 24-year-old woman died in the latest exchange of artillery fire with Pakistan over their de-facto border dividing the blood-soaked Himalayan region.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:53:02 -0400
  • Woman will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder of boyfriend

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    A woman who poured gasoline on the couch where her sleeping boyfriend lay and then shut the door after seeing him jump up and yell "hot, hot" will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:46:41 -0400
  • The U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Must Be Revolutionary

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    Oh, and they want it like now.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 06:04:00 -0400
  • Pope's bodyguard resigns over new financial leaks scandal

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    The Vatican's latest scandal claimed its first victim Monday as Pope Francis' chief bodyguard resigned over the leak of a Vatican police flyer identifying five employees who were suspended as part of a financial investigation. The Vatican said its police chief, Domenico Giani, bore no responsibility for the leaked flyer but resigned to avoid disrupting the investigation and "out of love for the church and faithfulness" to the pope. Giani, a 20-year veteran of the Vatican's security services, has stood by Francis' side and jogged alongside his popemobile during hundreds of public appearances and foreign trips.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:44:53 -0400
  • The US defense secretary gives US's strongest condemnation yet of Turkey's 'unacceptable incursion' in Syria

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    "Turkey's unilateral action was unnecessary and impulsive," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, adding that US-Turkish relations was now "damaged."

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:12:00 -0400
  • 'Kanye West should not be president': Chris Hayes grapples with the demise of parties

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    MSNBC's Chris Hayes on what he would do if a Trump-like celebrity ever ran for president as a Democrat.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 05:00:34 -0400
  • GM, UAW reach tentative deal to end month-long strike

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    General Motors Co and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative deal for a new four-year labor deal, moving the sides closer to ending the month-long strike that had drawn the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump and potential Democratic rivals in the 2020 presidential election. The deal is subject to approval by the union's national GM council during its meeting on Thursday and then must still be ratified by the wider membership, the UAW said in a statement. “The number one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, director of the union's GM department, said in a statement.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:50:50 -0400
  • Court Ruling Extends Vote Protest of Philippine Marcos’ Son

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    (Bloomberg) -- The Philippines’ top court on Tuesday decided to release the initial results of the vice-presidential vote recount, which the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ son said will delay his chance to assume the post.Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he is “frustrated” by the court’s decision not to resolve his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo victory in the 2016 polls. Robredo is already halfway through her six-year term.The court instead decided to make public the result of the recount covering three provinces that will serve as basis for any further action on Marcos’ challenge. It also asked the two camps to comment on Marcos’ plea to nullify votes in three other provinces due to supposed irregularities in the 2016 elections.“The proper vice president -- myself -- is being robbed of years of service,” Marcos said in a televised interview. President Rodrigo Duterte, who has faced questions on his health, has repeatedly said Marcos is his preferred successor if he had to leave office before his single term expires in 2022.Robredo, leader of the opposition party, said she welcomes the court decision, as she urged the court to already junk Marcos’ protest. “The mere fact that this has been dragging on for so long only provides Marcos a platform for his lies,” she said in a separate televised briefing.(Updates with comments from Marcos and Robredo from fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net, Muneeza NaqviFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 05:50:20 -0400
  • Hiker Digs Up 1,000-Year-Old Iron Weapon

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    Climate change melted away the ancient arrowhead.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:49:00 -0400
  • Latest search for Amelia Earhart plane comes up empty: NYT

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    The latest hunt for the remains of the plane of Amelia Earhart, the famed American aviatrix who disappeared over the Pacific in 1937, has turned up nothing. The New York Times reported Tuesday that an extensive search conducted by a team led by Robert Ballard, discoverer of the wreckage of the Titanic, had not turned up any evidence of Earhart's aircraft. The National Geographic Channel, which sponsored the expedition, is to air a documentary about the search on Sunday.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 13:26:03 -0400
  • View 2021 Genesis GV70 Spy Photos

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    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 12:28:00 -0400
  • The Latest: Tropical weather new fear at collapse site

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    Tropical weather is the latest worry in New Orleans, where officials say experts have yet to come up with a viable plan for stabilizing a partially collapsed building and two damaged construction cranes. City Homeland Security director Collin Arnold said Tuesday authorities fear a disturbance over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula could become a tropical depression threatening the Gulf Coast, bringing wind and rain that would topple the unstable structures onto neighboring buildings.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:57:43 -0400
  • US officials are considering pulling nuclear weapons from Turkey, effectively severing the US-Turkey alliance

    Golocal247.com news

    The US-Turkey relationship has soured over the past several years, but the US still stores as many as 50 B61 gravity bombs at Inçirlik Air Base.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:24:14 -0400
  • AOC to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2020 Democratic presidential primary

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    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., plans to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and appear with him at an event this weekend.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:32:24 -0400
  • Kenya opens Chinese-built railway linking Rift Valley town to Nairobi

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to open a new $1.5 billion Chinese rail line on Wednesday linking the capital Nairobi to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, despite delays in establishing an industrial park there to drive freight traffic. The development of Kenya's railways has been part of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a multi-billion dollar series of infrastructure projects upgrading land and maritime trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa. Kenya had planned to open an industrial park in Naivasha, offering companies tax breaks for investing in manufacturing, and preferential tariffs for electricity generated in the nearby geothermal fields.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 04:47:43 -0400
  • Pastor at Pro-Trump conference: 'We've come to declare war'

    If the video depicting a fake President Trump massacring members of the media -- which was condemned by the White House -- wasn't too much to handle already, ProPublica and WNYC released more disturbing audio from the conference where the footage was originally shown.While speaking at the pro-Trump conference in Miami, Florida, at the Trump National Doral Miami, Mark Burns, a pastor, told the crowd multiple times that "we've come to declare war." As he continued, he reportedly asked if anybody was "read to go to war for Donald J. Trump, this nation?" as the audience reportedly cheered him on.Additionally, radio host Wayne Allyn Root reportedly boasted about a time in his childhood when, as one of the few white students at a predominantly black high school, he knocked one classmate unconscious and shattered another kid's teeth. "My buddies and I were high-fiving and laughing," Root reportedly said during his speech. "Man, it was funny."Root reportedly went on to say that "you've got to be a natural-born killer" to win in politics. Listen to the audio clips at ProPublica.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:53:50 -0400
  • New Jersey police are looking for a possible witness to the kidnapping of a 3-year-old girl 30 days ago

    Golocal247.com news

    Five-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez disappeared from Bridgeton City Park in New Jersey on September 16.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:35:25 -0400
  • Brazil probes whether 'ghost ship' carrying Venezuelan oil involved in spill

    Golocal247.com news

    A huge oil spill off Brazil's northeastern coast may have involved a "ghost ship" carrying Venezuelan oil in breach of US sanctions, an expert close to the probe into the disaster said Tuesday. Brazil has accused its South American neighbor of responsibility for the leakage that began in early September and affects a 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) stretch of the Atlantic coast -- charges Venezuela's state oil giant PDVSA denies. Describing the incident as "very complex and unprecedented," Brazil's navy says it is investigating "lots of hypotheses" for the cause of the massive spill, including a ship accident.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:27:22 -0400
  • Angela Merkel Intervenes to Allow Huawei Access to German Networks

    Golocal247.com news

    Germany will allow Huawei access to its 5G networks despite a U.S. pressure campaign, spearheaded by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, to block the Chinese tech giant from interacting with allies' data networks.“Essentially our approach is as follows: We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference Monday, as Germany’s Federal Network Agency plans to release an in-depth “security catalogue” on compliance criteria for 5G networks in the coming days. The announcement confirmed a report by German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which stated that a review of the current draft of security requirements permits Huawei to provide 5G services in Germany.Handelsblatt also reports that the decision to include Huawei came from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, due to fears that exclusion would damage the country's relationship with China.Merkel’s office, in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, also removed a clause from a 5G government policy paper that suggested only “trusted suppliers” should be given access to the network.The decision comes after heavy pressure from the U.S. to urge international allies to resist partnerships with Huawei over fears of espionage, fraud, and intellectual property theft. In January, the Justice Department indicted the Chinese firm after allegations of theft and conspiracy.“The criminal activity in this indictment goes back ten years and goes all the way to the top of the company,” said former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker at a press conference announcing the charges.In May, President Trump blacklisted Huawei from doing business with American firms.Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and other U.S. allies have already moved to block Huawei from accessing their networks, while the U.K. has had a political debate over the inclusion of the company in the wake of the rollout of 5G technology.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 12:22:39 -0400
  • Everything Google Revealed at Its NYC Pixel Event

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    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:44:00 -0400
  • Wisconsin jury awards $450,000 in Sandy Hook defamation case

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    A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never happened. A Dane County jury on Tuesday decided the amount James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was among the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. Fetzer, a retired University of Minnesota Duluth professor now living in Wisconsin, and Mike Palacek co-wrote a book, "Nobody Died at Sandy Hook," in which they claimed the Sandy Hook shooting never took place but was instead an event staged by the federal government as part of an Obama administration effort to enact tighter gun restrictions.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:08:07 -0400
  • Sen. Klobuchar calls out Warren's healthcare plan: 'At least Bernie's being honest'  

    Golocal247.com news

    During the Democratic debates in Ohio, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg attacked Senator Elizabeth Warren's healthcare plan. "We heard it tonight. A yes or no question that didn’t get a yes or no answer," said Buttigieg.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 20:47:10 -0400
  • Russian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tampering

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    Anna Bogacheva was detained and briefly threatened with extradition to the US after being named in Mueller reportRobert Mueller alleges that Anna Bogacheva and others posed as US citizens to set up social media accounts aimed at swaying the 2016 presidential vote. Photograph: Tom Brenner/ReutersA Russian national charged with attempting to meddle in the 2016 American presidential elections was briefly threatened with extradition to the United States after being arrested in Belarus, before she was was freed by local authorities. Anna Bogacheva was detained late on Monday evening by police at a hotel in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, while on holiday with her family, according to RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency. Her lawyer said she had been detained under an international arrest warrant issued by the United States.Bogacheva was one of 13 Russians indicted last year by the US justice department after the investigation into election interference led by the special counsel Robert Mueller. Three Russian entities, including a notorious state-backed “troll farm” called the Internet Research Agency, were also indicted. Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Bogacheva had been arrested and said that it was providing consular assistance. But shortly after the foreign ministry statement, Russia’s embassy in Minsk announced that Bogacheva had been freed. A spokesman for Belarus’ general prosecutor’s office said that there were “no grounds” for her arrest or extradition to the United States. “She has been released,” the spokesman said, adding that Minsk would apply to have the international warrant for her arrest invalidated on the territory of Belarus. Mueller alleges that the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency’s employees, including Bogacheva, posed as US citizens to set up social media accounts aimed at swaying the 2016 presidential vote that brought Donald Trump to power, as well as sowing “discord” in the US political system. US investigators say the Internet Research Agency is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman known as “Putin’s chef” because his companies often provide catering services to the Kremlin. Prigozhin is also reported to provide mercenaries for Russia’s military operations in Syria, Ukraine and parts of Africa. Bogacheva is accused of working as a translator for the agency and overseeing its data analysis group. She and Alexander Krylova, another agency employee, travelled to the United States in June 2014 on what US investigators say was an intelligence gathering trip. Bogacheva’s arrest in Minsk briefly looked set to derail relations between Belarus and Russia. Viktor Vodolatsky, an MP from Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party, accused Belarus of a “betrayal” before news of her release broke.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 12:07:58 -0400
  • Mexican president confirms Pemex union boss under investigation

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    The veteran leader of Mexico's powerful oil workers' union faces formal accusations of wrongdoing, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday, slowly turning up pressure on the labor boss to step aside. Earlier this year, sources said the attorney general's office had accused Pemex union chief Carlos Romero Deschamps and several relatives of illicit enrichment and money laundering, charges he has consistently denied. "Complaints have been presented to the attorney general's office," Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 13:15:43 -0400
  • The floodgates are opening as Trump officials publicly defy his orders and more whistleblowers come out of the shadows

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    Current and former Trump administration officials are defying the president's orders as more whistleblowers are coming forward.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:48:42 -0400
  • Hundreds of police officers have been labeled liars. Some still help send people to prison.

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:11:41 -0400
  • Yes, Russia or China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. Here's How.

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    How vulnerable are America's carriers?

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 04:30:00 -0400
  • Turkey's Erdogan says he won't meet with Pence and Pompeo, then immediately doubles back

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's snubbing of Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sure didn't last long.Sky News on Wednesday morning published an interview with Erdogan in which he indicated ahead of a U.S. delegation's visit to Turkey he wouldn't meet with Pence and Pompeo, saying "I'm not going to talk to them" and that he'll talk "when Trump comes here." This seemed to surprise Pence, who in an interview subsequently said, "we have every expectation that we will meet with President Erdogan." But the meeting is evidently back on, with Erdogan's communications director quickly telling Turkish press he actually does plan to meet with Pence and the rest of the U.S. delegation after all, Axios reports. Pence and Pompeo are visiting in order to negotiate a ceasefire in Syria. At the same time that he's reversing this snub, Erdogan is floating the possibility of canceling his upcoming meeting with Trump in the United States next month, per Reuters, saying he may re-evaluate it because "arguments, debates, conversations being held in Congress regarding my person, my family and my minister friends are a very big disrespect" to Turkey.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:01:13 -0400
  • This church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless guns

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    Dozens of couples carrying assault rifles took part in a blessing of their weapons at a church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. Members of the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, an unofficial sect of the Christian Unification movement, were invited to "show their willingness to defend their families, communities and nation". The weapons are meant to represent the "rod of iron" referenced in the biblical Book of Revelation, which was used to control God's enemies. The semi-automatic rifles are similar to the weapon used to kill 17 people in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018. The church believes that the Florida shooting could have been prevented if the teachers were armed. Members carry guns while some wear crowns, often made of bullets Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty In the aftermath of the tragedy the debate over gun control raged across America, with shocked students calling for immediate action on gun control. Despite this, the US's largest gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has hindered attempts to restrict the accessibility of firearms, using its financial and political clout. Weapons are not loaded and the guns are secured with zip ties to stop them firing Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Now, two decades on from the 1999 Columbine school shooting, it is easier to purchase assault rifles after a temporary ban under the Bush administration expired.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 07:19:28 -0400
  • Shooting kills 6 in Puerto Rico, leads to emergency meeting

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    Puerto Rico's governor called an emergency meeting Tuesday after six people were killed in a mass shooting in a San Juan housing project and gunfire left two people dead a day earlier in the island's north. A police statement said the violence left five men and one woman dead. The brazen murders led Gov. Wanda Vázquez to convene a gathering of her security team, led by public security chief Elmer Román and justice secretary Dennise Longo Quiñones.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 20:00:43 -0400
  • Magnitude 4.7 earthquake shakes part of central California

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    A magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck a remote area of central California on Tuesday. But a seismologist said there was no connection to a slightly smaller quake hours earlier in the San Francisco Bay Area region.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:28:15 -0400
  • Russia Prepares the Way for Bashar al-Assad’s Brutal Endgame in Nothern Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    GAZIANTEP, Turkey—After eight years of Syrian civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and the displacement of half the Syrian population, U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s decisions have created conditions for Bashar al-Assad’s regime to re-assert control over nearly one-third of the country that had been outside its grip since 2012. Far from reining in U.S. adversaries, Trump’s presidency will likely be remembered as one through which Assad, this century’s greatest mass murderer, managed finally to claw his way back to a position of undisputed authority. Trump Just Enlisted America in a New Axis of EvilThis is the way that’s playing out on the ground in what is, admittedly, still a complicated situation.The news began Tuesday morning with Russian pro-Kremlin journalist Oleg Blokhin streaming a live video from inside the recently abandoned American al-Sa’idi’a base in Syria on the western outskirts of the Manbij countryside. “Good morning to everyone from Manbij,” exclaimed Blokhin. “I’m at the American military base right now, where they were until yesterday morning. Already, we’re here [instead]. We’re going to examine now how they were living here, what they were so busy with, and what’s going on.” A second video would show Blokhin as he mockingly played with a boom barrier at the entrance to the base, appearing to check whether or not it worked. “It’s in good condition,” he assured the cameraman, with a slight grin. Blokhin, who works for the pro-Kremlin ANNA news network, previously covered the activities of Russian private military contractor Wagner as it trained pro-Assad militiamen in January, and later accompanied Russian and pro-Assad forces during the latter’s successful August campaign to take back the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Now, he stood gloating on a former U.S. military base. Other pro-Assad media soon conducted similar tours of other U.S. bases abandoned by American soldiers. Reports throughout the day Tuesday would also claim U.S. troops pulled out of two new additional locations including the eastern town of Tal Baydar and the Kharab Ashak base west of Ain Aissa. Shortly before U.S. troops withdrew, ISIS families still being detained at a nearby prison facility in Ain Aissa reportedly set fires throughout the camp in a renewed attempt to try to escape. In addition to exemplifying the momentous shift underway as Assad’s vital ally Russia finally replaces the United States as the primary party in northern Syria capable of liaising with most all of the parties to the conflict, Blokhin’s livestream carried a special significance for locals in Manbij. Over the past week, including several days after Trump’s shock announcement that U.S. troops would withdraw from Syria, American soldiers at the al-Sa’idi’a base actually continued carrying out near-daily patrols in the western and northern Manbij countryside that helped successfully ward off previous attempts by Syrian regime forces to set up positions in the area. That offered hope to those in Manbij who oppose the regime—that U.S. military institutions might be capable of coercing the Turkish president to adopt a compromise that saw U.S. troops remain in the area until Turkish-backed forces were capable of assuming control. But those hopes along with more than 16 months of U.S.-Turkish diplomacy were dashed Tuesday as the American troops made their final withdrawal from the area, paving the way for Russian and Syrian regime forces to roll in free and unopposed.  Elsewhere, in Ain Aissa and Tal Tamr, towns located along the M4 highway, northern Syria’s main artery and transportation route, Russian and regime forces established permanent checkpoints and bases to ensure control of the strategic route in the face of oncoming Turkish assaults. Those reinforcements appeared to have helped the SDF capture three villages from Turkish-backed forces in the immediate vicinity north of Tal Tamr later that night. While the arrival of regime forces undoubtedly has provided much needed relief for the SDF on several fronts, doing so will come with a cost. As the SDF welcomes more Syrian regime reinforcements into its territory, the group undoubtedly will lose future leverage it would need in order to preserve a role for itself within civil governing institutions throughout northeast Syria. On Monday, the SDF’s largely toothless civil wing, the Syrian Democratic Council, issued a directive to local councils in the area to continue to perform their duties “as previously,” insisting that “nothing has changed” and that the agreement with the regime constituted no more than a temporary military alliance to protect Syria’s borders. However it’s unlikely that the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Council, or other SDF-backed institutions within the group’s self-proclaimed “Autonomous Administration” will be able to preserve any modicum of independence as their reliance on the Assad regime becomes more solidified. And, following the failure of Russian-Turkish negotiations throughout Tuesday to reach a ceasefire between the warring parties, that reliance looks set to intensify. Negotiations between Moscow and Ankara began Tuesday morning following condemnation of Turkey’s campaign by the Kremlin’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev. A high-ranking Free Syrian Army military source in Manbij told The Daily Beast that Turkey gave orders Tuesday morning to its FSA proxies to halt temporarily their assault while both sides attempted to reach a solution. During that time, numerous pro-regime demonstrations were held in Manbij as the Syrian army sent several armored tanks into the city. According to local sources on the ground, some of these demonstrations were led by pro-regime figures that previously had been arrested by the SDF but were recently released following the Russian and Syrian regime entrance to the city. The Russian-Turkish talks come one day after the official Facebook page for the Russian defense ministry’s Hmeimim base issued a stern warning for Turkey and its allies not to “behave recklessly in entering an open war with government troops.” That was issued shortly after the Russians allegedly concluded an agreement with the SDF to allow Russian and regime troops to enter the cities of Kobani and Manbij. Yet despite the repeated warnings and attempts to hold talks, by Tuesday night Turkish-backed forces re-launched their assault. Thousands of civilians fled the border city of Kobani as a result of renewed Turkish assaults on the city in an attempt by the latter to capture the site of a former U.S. base recently abandoned nearby. Shortly after, our military source would claim renewed orders had been given by Ankara to re-launch operations in Manbij by dawn. Speaking to Reuters while returning from the Azerbaijaini capital Baku, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared undeterred by recent U.S. sanctions imposed on Ankara, by the arrival of regime reinforcements into the area, or by international condemnation of his country’s assault. “They say ‘declare a ceasefire.’ We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan said. “They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions.”Shortly after, local media and activists would report a Turkish airstrike on the strategic town of Aun al-Dadat, the site of a former U.S. base in the north Manbij countryside along the al-Sajur River that has since been occupied by SDF and regime units. Nawaf al-Mustafa, an activist living several miles away in Manbij city, said he could hear the explosion from his home. “I heard an explosion and thought it might have been an ISIS suicide attack,” he said. “But it wasn’t, news came in shortly after that Turkish forces instead were bombing Aun al-Dadat.”Look Who’s Back! Trump Handed Terrorists a Free Pass.Ahmed Qalqali, another anti-regime activist, would send out an alert to the families of FSA fighters to several WhatsApp groups used by locals to follow the news. “Any young man in Manbij who has a brother fighting on the front lines with the FSA should avoid sleeping at home tonight,” hinting at the possibility of SDF-regime house raids in response to the attacks. “Try to stay with a friend or someone to whom you’re not blood related.” Despite the Turkish insistence to continue fighting, in reality the tide seems to be turning against Ankara and its proxies. Despite managing to gain control of the strategic border town of Tal Abyad, after nearly one week of fighting Turkish-backed forces have been unable to capture Ras al-Ain, a city of just over 30,000 that has managed to put up stiff resistance and ward off Turkish incursions. Manbij, a city of nearly 100,000, will require much greater strength and political will in order to be captured.Recent U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on key Turkish ministers and cabinet officials will also likely further hamper Ankara’s ability to freely wage war against the SDF, while significantly raising the cost of doing so. Nonetheless, these factors are unlikely to push Erdogan to end the campaign, as domestic pressures to create space to resettle Syrian refugees that have proven a burden to the Turkish economy threaten to destabilize his government. What will likely ensue will be a committed, albeit slow and protracted campaign to achieve Ankara’s goal of carving out a safe zone in Manbij and along the entirety of Turkey’s border with Syria. However, the likely delay in achieving further Turkish gains will also give the Syrian regime a larger window to calmly mobilize and deploy its forces throughout the region while still being able to exploit the threat posed to the SDF by Ankara in order to slowly grab more power in northeastern Syria. Further, the expansion of Syrian regime troops throughout the area doesn’t seem to be a prospect that much bothers the Turkish president, so long as they don’t mix with SDF and other armed Kurdish elements. Also while speaking to reporters in Baku, Erdogan stated, “The regime entering Manbij is not very negative for me. Why? It’s their lands after all,”  he said. “But, what is important to me is that the terrorist organization does not remain there… I told this to Mr. Putin as well. If you are clearing Manbij of terrorist organizations, then go ahead, you or the regime can provide all the logistics. But if you are not going to do this, the people there are telling us to save them.” By “terrorist organizations,” Erdogan means primarily the Kurds who were backed by the United States in the fight against ISIS.Such a statement from a head of state who for eight years has been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the Syrian revolution to topple Assad is indicative of the extent to which international calculus surrounding the Syrian issue has changed. It will likely encourage the Assad regime to consider the possibility of going after and eliminating the SDF itself if doing so may once and for all put an end to the activities of their meddlesome Turkish neighbor. Such a prospect may occur as part of a broader swap or deal whereby Turkey would also agree to withdraw its troops from the broader Idlib region, where Ha’it Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an offshoot of al Qaeda’s former Syrian branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other FSA groups have been engaged in a bloody standoff with the Syrian regime for over a year.Erdogan’s statements make perfectly clear that, following Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops, the cards increasingly lie in the hands of the Assad regime and its Russian ally. 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.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 05:01:50 -0400
  • 7 Indigenous Pioneers You Need to Know

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    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:19:00 -0400
  • U.S. 'deeply concerned' about untrackable China ships carrying Iran oil - officials

    The White House is warning Chinese shipping companies against turning off their ships' transponders to hide Iranian oil shipments in violation of U.S. sanctions, two senior administration officials said. "We've been messaging very heavily to the shipping companies, you don't want to do this, it's not worth it," said one official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. China is the largest remaining buyer of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran's main export.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 03:33:55 -0400
  • Pennsylvania man charged in decades-old rape case after DNA links him to attack

    Golocal247.com news

    Decades after a woman was raped near the University of Delaware campus, police identified a suspect based on DNA and "cutting-edge technology."

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 23:36:35 -0400
  • Sergeant is apparently 10th NYPD officer to die by suicide this year

    Golocal247.com news

    Commissioner says department is dealing with "epidemic" of suicides

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:53:50 -0400
  • Boris Johnson is reportedly very close to agreeing a Brexit deal with the EU

    Golocal247.com news

    EU sources told Bloomberg that a deal could be concluded as early as Tuesday, with the UK set to agree a new compromise deal.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:54:30 -0400
  • School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullying

    Golocal247.com news

    A 15-year-old girl was suspended for bullying after trying to draw attention to what she believed was an unaddressed problem of sexual assaults involving students at her high school. Aela Mansmann, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School outside Portland, has been at odds with Cape Elizabeth Schools for a month after posting a note in a bathroom that said: "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is." She and two other students who left similar notes were ordered suspended. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is taking on Mansmann's case and calling on federal court to stop her suspension.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:38:19 -0400
  • Warren, Buttigieg Dismiss O’Rourke’s Call to Strip Churches of Tax-Exempt Status If They Oppose Gay Marriage

    Golocal247.com news

    Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have both distanced themselves from fellow candidate Beto O’Rourke's call to revoke the tax-exempt status afforded to religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage.“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone … that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.” O'Rourke said during CNN’s “Equality in America” town hall last Thursday night. “And so as president, we are going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”Despite widespread bipartisan criticism, O'Rourke reiterated his stance during a Sunday interview, telling NBC News that he would ensure that all institutions that “provide services in the public sphere,” would be forced to comply with certain non-discrimination standards if they wish to continue enjoying tax-exempt status.Asked by the Associated Press whether she agreed with O’Rourke’s assertions, Warren’s campaign replied by email, saying that “Elizabeth will stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ+ community,” but would refuse to eliminate the tax-exempt status of religious organizations as part of an anti-discrimination effort.“Religious institutions in America have long been free to determine their own beliefs and practices, and she does not think we should require them to conduct same-sex marriages in order to maintain their tax-exempt status,” campaign spokeswoman Saloni Sharma said in an email.Pete Buttigieg has also distanced himself from O’Rourke, saying Sunday that “going after the tax exemption of churches, Islamic centers or other religious facilities in this country” will “deepen the divisions that we’re already experiencing.”

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 16:12:53 -0400
  • Russia seeks to cement its role as power broker in Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    Russia moved to fill the void left by the United States in northern Syria on Tuesday, deploying troops to keep apart advancing Syrian government forces and Turkish troops. At the same time, tensions grew within NATO as Turkey defied growing condemnation of its invasion from its Western allies. Now in its seventh day, Turkey's offensive against Kurdish fighters has caused tens of thousands to flee their homes, has upended alliances and is re-drawing the map of northern Syria for yet another time in the 8-year-old war.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:01:38 -0400
  • Confessions of a cannabis farmer: The Vietnamese getting Brits high

    Golocal247.com news

    Holed up alone in a suburban British house thousands of miles from home, cannabis farmer Cuong Nguyen spent months carefully nurturing his plants, one of thousands of Vietnamese migrants working in the UK's multi-billion dollar weed industry. "All I ever wanted was to make money... whether it was legal or illegal," Cuong, who is now back in Vietnam, tells AFP. It was criminal career steered by the Vietnamese gangsters behind the UK's huge marijuana trade -- which researchers value at around 2.6 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) a year.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 23:42:33 -0400
  • U.S. House passes legislation taking hard line on China over Hong Kong, Huawei

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed four pieces of legislation taking a hard line on China, three related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and one commending Canada's government in a dispute over the extradition of an executive from Huawei Technologies. All four measures passed by unanimous voice vote, as members of Congress - Democrats and Republicans - said they wanted to take an aggressive stance on China and show support for Hong Kong following four months of unrest in the city. One of the measures, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, would require the U.S. secretary of state to certify every year that Hong Kong was retaining its autonomy in order to keep receiving the special treatment that has allowed it to be a major financial center.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:19:33 -0400
  • A Florida man called the sheriff's office to report stolen marijuana. The deputy's response: 'Stop calling'

    The Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida told a man to stop calling 911 to report $20 worth of stolen weed.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:49:29 -0400
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