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  • Polish PM nixes trip to Israel after Netanyahu Holocaust 'comment': govt

    Golocal247.com news

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has cancelled a visit to Israel for a high-level summit, a government spokesperson told AFP on Sunday, after uproar in Poland over reported comments by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu about the Poles and the Holocaust. Netanyahu -- who was initially quoted in Haaretz newspaper as saying that "The Poles collaborated with the Nazis" -- has been condemned in Poland for appearing to accuse all Polish people of cooperating with Germany during World War II. Warsaw has long been at pains to point out that Poland, which was occupied by Nazi Germany, could not have and did not collaborate in the Holocaust although individual Poles may have done so.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 11:11:09 -0500
  • Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner to register as sex offender after prison release

    Golocal247.com news

    Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner has been released from federal prison after being convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl in 2017. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website shows the 54-year-old New York Democrat is currently in the custody of its Residential Re-entry Management office in Brooklyn, New York. The prison bureau, federal prosecutors in New York and Weiner’s lawyer didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 15:37:00 -0500
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Celebrated Amazon Pulling Out of New York––But the Governor Says It Cost the City 25,000 Jobs

    Golocal247.com news

    The spat between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Gov. Andrew Cuomo lays bare a growing divide over Amazon's decision to pull out of New York City.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 16:03:37 -0500
  • Trump's national emergency may halt a Kentucky military middle school

    Golocal247.com news

    The $62 million project to construct Fort Campbell Middle School near the Tennessee/Kentucky border could be in limbo because of Trump's border wall.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:14:45 -0500
  • McCabe and 60 Minutes Avoid Discussing Why Russia Factored in Comey’s Firing

    Golocal247.com news

    Andrew McCabe is a good witness and he made a favorable impression, at least on me, in his 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelley. Pelley and his editors did a great job highlighting McCabe’s down-to-earth likability. Unlike Jim Comey, a career prosecutor and corporate lawyer before he became FBI director, former deputy director McCabe is a career agent; his relation of events smacks of the Bureau’s “just the facts, ma’am” ethos. And McCabe’s account of Trump telling him to ask his wife what it was like to be a “loser” (after she lost a Virginia state senate race) is devastating, precisely because it sounds just like something Trump would say.That aside, there are problems with McCabe’s story.First, Pelley failed to ask him the screamingly obvious questions: What about Russia did Trump want included in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo supporting Comey’s dismissal? McCabe obliquely said Trump wanted Rosenstein “to put Russia in” the memo about Comey (I’m quoting from memory). But Pelley never asked what in particular about Russia Trump wanted included. What about Russia was Trump referring to when he spoke — in conversations with NBC News and Russian diplomats — of Russia’s part in Comey’s firing? Pelley highlighted the word “Russia,” but he sidestepped what Trump was concerned about regarding Russia.The viewer was thus left to conclude, from McCabe’s other comments, that Trump must have fired the FBI director because he was fearful of the Bureau’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the election; because he was concerned that the FBI would find that Russia intended to benefit Trump and would therefore deduce that Trump was complicit.But that is misleading. We know that what Trump wanted made public was something very specific about Russia, namely, that Comey repeatedly told the president he was not a suspect in the Russia investigation. Trump was frustrated — over time, ballistic — over the fact that Comey was privately telling him that he was not under investigation, yet making statements that would lead the public to believe Trump was suspected of conspiring in Russia’s hacking operations. Trump wanted Comey to state publicly that he was not a suspect; Comey’s refusal to do so made no sense to the president, especially after Comey gratuitously implied, in his stunning March 2017 House testimony, that Trump was a suspect.Pelley never asked McCabe about this. It might have been interesting. McCabe’s statements in the interview support the theory I have long posited here: Trump was always the main subject in the investigation. The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading. The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject. This is why, as Comey conceded in Senate testimony, a member of his advisory team was very uncomfortable with the director’s decision to assure Trump he was not a suspect. (See the last section of my column, here.) Just because the president’s name was not put on the file, just because he was not named as the intended target of a surveillance warrant, did not mean that they were not investigating him. They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him. I believe that a big part of the reason Comey did not inform the congressional Gang of Eight about the investigation (even though such sensitive matters are what the Gang of Eight is for) is that he would not have been able to explain the contradiction of claiming both that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign for complicity with Russia to help Trump win and that Trump himself was not a suspect.Obviously, what Trump wanted Rosenstein to put in his memo was not just anything about Russia but specifically that Comey had said Trump was not a suspect. We know that because Trump put on Rosenstein’s memo a cover letter pointing out that Comey had told him three times that he was not a suspect.When Trump spoke to NBC, he explicitly said he was not shutting the Russia investigation down; he simply did not trust Comey to do it right. Trump even acknowledged that the effect of firing Comey might be to “expand” and “lengthen” the investigation but that this was worth it because he lacked confidence in Comey. One can disagree with Trump’s assessment of Comey’s capabilities. (I know from experience that Comey is highly capable.) But Trump is president, he gets to make that judgment, and making it does not mean he is obstructing an investigation, especially when he took no steps to limit it. (McCabe’s suggestion that the Russia investigation might have disappeared if he didn’t open an investigation of Trump after Comey’s firing is absurd.)While Trump’s abomination of Comey in remarks to the Russian diplomats was disgraceful, his statement that removing Comey relieved pressure on him owing to Russia did not mean Comey’s removal ended the Russia investigation. Again, he never took any step to close or even restrict the investigation; in his mind, the pressure was off him because he was finally able to inform the American people that their president was not suspected of a traitorous conspiracy with the Kremlin — information he was livid at Comey for withholding.The second big problem with McCabe’s story involves his stated fear that Trump could be interfering in the FBI’s probe of Russia’s interference in the election. This brings us to my oft-rehearsed focus on salient differences between counterintelligence and criminal investigations.Let’s put aside that Trump has never lifted a finger to prevent the FBI and other intelligence agencies from examining Russia’s meddling in the campaign. It is illogical to speak of a president obstructing a counterintelligence investigation. Unlike criminal investigations, which are designed to uphold the rule of law through court prosecution, counterintelligence investigations are done strictly for the president’s benefit. They gather intelligence in order to help the president carry out his mission to protect the nation against foreign threats. In our constitutional system, that mission is assigned to the president, not to the FBI — notwithstanding McCabe’s apparent belief to the contrary. If the president suddenly decided that quite enough investigation had been done to determine the nature and extent of Russia’s election interference, and that he wanted those intelligence resources to be targeted at other threats, that would be his call to make.You could argue that it was a foolish call, even a reckless one. I thought it was reckless for President Obama to ignore intelligence that Iran was the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism so that he could cut a naïve nuclear deal with Tehran; but that was his call to make — the American people having elected him to be responsible for our security against foreign threats.Significantly, it would be different if McCabe had said that the FBI had a factual basis in evidence to believe that Trump was complicit in a criminal conspiracy with the Kremlin. In that situation, if Trump tried to restrict or shut down the probe, he would be obstructing a criminal investigation into his own suspected crimes. But McCabe does not make that claim. He concedes, instead, that FBI agents were conducting a counterintelligence investigation in which they suspected that Russia favored Trump in the election but did not claim to have evidence that Trump was complicit in any violations of criminal law.As to Trump, then, the FBI was not conducting a criminal investigation that the firing of Comey could conceivably have obstructed. The Bureau was conducting a counterintelligence investigation, which is done in support of the president’s constitutional duties. It is up to the president, not the FBI, to determine what the president’s intelligence needs are. (By McCabe’s lights, a mid-level FBI supervisor can shut down a counterintelligence investigation conducted for the purpose of informing the president, but the president himself may not interfere in any way.)In any event, the president merely removed the FBI director, which he did not need any reason to do; which he is empowered to do at will, even for dumb reasons. Trump did not order the Russia investigation closed or restricted. And to the extent he said the Russia investigation played a role in Comey’s firing, he was clearly referring to Comey’s refusal to state publicly what he was assuring the president privately — that the president was not a suspect.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:51:15 -0500
  • Gisele Bundchen flaunts bikini bod, Tom Brady during family vacation

    Golocal247.com news

    Gisele Bundchen flaunts bikini bod and husband Tom Brady during a family vacation to Costa Rica.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:17:17 -0500
  • The New Ford Focus ST Looks Awesome and Makes 276 Horsepower

    Golocal247.com news

    It's not too late for Ford to change its mind about bringing this hot hatch to America, is it?

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:00:00 -0500
  • Trial over Delaware prison riot ends with no convictions

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The trial for four inmates charged with murder in a 2017 Delaware prison riot ended Monday with no convictions.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:04:28 -0500
  • Florida inmates use criminal skills to rescue baby from car

    Golocal247.com news

    A group of prisoners in Florida put their criminal skills to good use on Valentine’s Day – breaking into a car, to free a baby locked inside. The prisoners, on work-release, were repairing parking meters in Pasco County, north of Tampa, when they spotted the family in distress. The one-year-old child was trapped inside the car, with the keys inside. The family was unable to afford a locksmith and so, in the 56 degree Fahrenheit heat, the father was preparing to break the window. That is when the prisoners, in their black and white uniforms, offered to help, and worked in a team to pry open the front door just enough for one inmate to use a coat hanger to push a button that unlocked the 4x4’s door. In a video, which has gone viral, police are heard telling the father to "pop his head in the window" so "strange faces" would not scare the baby. Another person in the video, filmed by the baby’s mother Shadow Lantry, can be heard commenting on the "hilarious situation," with police watching the crew unlock the car. The whole endeavour took about two minutes, and ended with the group cheering.  Ms Lantry said the child was "just sitting there happy" throughout the ordeal. The parents thanked the crew, deputies and firefighters for their help.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:09:25 -0500
  • U.S. Senator Rubio warns Venezuela's Maduro not to act against opposition

    In a televised interview, Rubio declined to say if he would support U.S. military action against Venezuela, which is mired in a political and economic crisis. "There are certain lines and Maduro knows what they are," Rubio, a senator from Florida seen as an influential voice on Venezuela policy in Washington, told CNN. The senator was part of a U.S. delegation visiting the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where humanitarian aid is being stockpiled for planned delivery to Venezuela.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 19:07:38 -0500
  • Man awarded £120m in compensation from Ford after being paralysed in car accident

    Golocal247.com news

    An Alabama jury has awarded $151.8m (£117.4m) to a young man paralyzed in a 2015 rollover accident involving a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, Ford and lawyers in the case said on Sunday. The jury awarded $100m in punitive damages and the rest in compensatory damages after finding that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not meet the company’s own safety guidelines, according to a court document seen by Reuters and lawyers for plaintiff Travaris “Tre” Smith. The document, released on Friday, said Ford “acted wantonly” in designing the vehicle.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:02:00 -0500
  • Here’s What’s Open and Closed on President’s Day 2019

    Golocal247.com news

    Find out if banks, schools and the post office are open on President's day

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:23:49 -0500
  • Israel to withhold $138 mln from Palestinians over prisoner payments

    Golocal247.com news

    Israel said its security cabinet on Sunday decided to withhold $138 million (122 million euros) in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to prisoners jailed for attacks on Israelis. A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the withheld cash would be equal to that paid by the PA last year to "terrorists imprisoned in Israel, to their families and to released prisoners". Israel alleges the payments encourage further violence.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 13:15:09 -0500
  • Southwest Airlines under FAA investigation for aircraft weight, balance calculations

    The investigation began in February 2018, and there have been no fines nor enforcement action from the investigation to date.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:51:34 -0500
  • New York's Amazon rejection exposes US opportunity gap and Democrats' political disconnect

    Golocal247.com news

    Democrats should consider this a wake-up call for 2020 when they must win states that don't have dynamic urban economies like New York or California.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:05:57 -0500
  • GMC Acadia souped up with new engine, trim, and tech

    Golocal247.com news

    GMC has unveiled the refreshed Acadia for the 2020 model year complete with a new trim, a fresh look, and the latest GMC infotainment system. GMC announced on Monday that the Acadia has gotten its midcycle refresh, and now, the lineup looks more like a group of Sierra pickups from the front than mid-size SUVs. In addition to its new exterior styling, the Acadia has a new powertrain option and an assortment of new technologies including an enhanced infotainment system and heads-up display.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:53:41 -0500
  • World bishops head to Vatican for sex abuse summit

    Golocal247.com news

    The heads of around 100 bishops' conferences from every continent will convene from Thursday to Sunday for the meeting on the protection of minors, with victims' groups demanding that a concrete action plan on fighting paedophilia be drawn up. The pope, who asked the bishops to speak to victims of abuse in their respective countries before the Rome convention, has tried to dial down "inflated expectations" for a cure-all. Several victims were also invited to the Vatican.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 06:38:22 -0500
  • This Week: Walmart results, Fed minutes, US home sales

    A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:05:42 -0500
  • UK's May to speak to every EU head in bid for Brexit deal changes

    Golocal247.com news

    In her talks with EU leaders and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker she will be seeking to change the Irish backstop, one of the most contentious parts of the withdrawal agreement she agreed in November, her office said. May has told EU leaders she could pass her deal with concessions primarily around the backstop - a guarantee that there can be no return to border controls between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland. The backstop has become one of the main points of contention ahead of Britain's planned departure from the EU next month after 45 years.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:17:33 -0500
  • Indian authorities detain 23 after deadly Kashmir attack

    Golocal247.com news

    Indian forces have detained 23 men suspected of links to the Pakistan-based militant group that masterminded the bombing of an Indian security convoy that killed 44 paramilitary police, a top police official said on Sunday. The 23 men included members and sympathisers of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the militant group that claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, the deadliest on Indian security forces in decades. The attack has fuelled tensions between India and Pakistan. India has demanded Pakistan close down Jaish-e-Mohammad and other Islamist militant groups that operate from its soil, while Islamabad has rejected suggestions it was linked to the attack. Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility, is claimed in its entirety by India and Pakistan, but is ruled in part by both south Asian countries. Representatives of India's National Investigating Agency questioned the suspects about the bombing on Sunday, two security officials said. "They are trying to reach out to the top commanders of Jaish-e-Mohammad, including its Kashmir Chief," one of the sources said. Mohammed Umair, the commander of the group in Kashmir who is believed to have plotted the attack, is suspected to be hiding in the region where the attacks took place, the officials said. The officials say Mr Umair had "radicalized and motivated" the Kashmiri school dropout who rammed a car laden with explosives into the convoy on Thursday. Mr Umair is thought to have entered Indian Kashmir from Pakistan in September to head the Jaish in the region. Security forces suspect he is in hiding in southern Kashmir, according to the officials, who could not be named as a matter of policy. Indian officials say Mr Umair is a nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammad's chief, Masood Azhar, who is believed to be in Pakistan. Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, has promised a strong response to the attack and says he has given the military a free hand to tackle cross-border militancy.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 14:06:38 -0500
  • How many push-ups can you do? Study finds men who can do 40 have lower risk of heart disease

    Active, middle-aged men who could do more than 40 push-ups in timed test had significantly lower risks for heart problems, according to a new study.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 17:02:45 -0500
  • Aurora shooting: Henry Pratt Company expected to reopen; Victim's wife received text 'I love you, I've been shot at work'

    Golocal247.com news

    The Henry Pratt Company in Aurora is expected to reopen Monday for the first time since last Friday's mass shooting.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:40:07 -0500
  • Trump accuses own deputy attorney general of 'planning illegal act' in early morning Twitter rant

    Golocal247.com news

    Donald Trump has accused his own deputy attorney general of breaking the law in a series of early morning tweets railing against current and former law enforcement officials. Mr Trump lashed out on Twitter at former FBI director Andrew McCabe, whose new book details his concerns about potential foreign influence over the president, and current deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who initiated special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe,” Mr Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:30:00 -0500
  • Amazon announces plans to make half of shipments carbon neutral by 2030

    Golocal247.com news

    Online retail giant Amazon has announced plans to make alf if its shipments carbon neutral by the year 2030. The company, which ships millions of packages a year to shoppers, said that it will achieve that goal by switching to renewable energy sources and by asking suppliers to reimagine their packaging. “It won’t be easy to achieve this goal, but it’s worth being focused and stubborn on this vision and we’re committed to seeing it through,” Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, said.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:47:36 -0500
  • 7 Lawmakers Quit U.K.'s Labour Party Over Brexit and Anti-Semitism

    Golocal247.com news

    Seven U.K. lawmakers resigned in an act of protest against the party’s Brexit policy and persistent allegations of anti-Semitism.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 07:41:19 -0500
  • Belgian Jewish museum trial interrupted as juror questioned

    Golocal247.com news

    The trial of a Frenchman accused of shooting dead four people at the Jewish museum of Belgium was briefly interrupted on Monday as police were summoned to question a juror. "We cannot start the closing arguments under these conditions," judge Laurence Massart said, after recusing the juror for having communicated with outside parties. "This is probably a person in search of attention," said Sebastien Courtoy, the lawyer for the accused Mehdi Nemmouche, referring to the juror's work colleague.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:08:45 -0500
  • More than 1,500 attend vigil for Aurora shooting victims

    Golocal247.com news

    AURORA, Ill. (AP) — More than 1,500 people braved snow and freezing drizzle to attend a prayer vigil for five slain co-workers Sunday, two days after they were fatally shot at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant by a longtime employee who was fired moments earlier.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:27:58 -0500
  • Macau police investigate suspected murder at Sands casino resort: media

    Golocal247.com news

    Police in the world's biggest gambling hub of Macau are investigating what they suspect is a rare murder in a five-star casino resort after a Chinese man was found stabbed in his bed, broadcaster TDM reported on Monday. Murder cases have been rare in the Chinese territory since Portugal ceded control of what had been a colonial backwater on the heel of China's southern coast 20 years ago. The suspected murder took place in Sands China's Conrad Macau hotel, TDM reported, citing police.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 01:02:40 -0500
  • Australia's major political parties hacked by 'state actor' ahead of elections

    Golocal247.com news

    A “sophisticated state actor” was behind a cyberattack on the Australian Parliament's computing network that also affected the network of major political parties, the prime minister said on Monday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not identify the state behind what he described as a “malicious intrusion” on Feb 8. A joint statement from House of Representatives speaker Tony Smith and Senate president Scott Ryan said at the time there was no evidence that data had been accessed in the breach. But lawmakers were advised to change passwords. Morrison revealed Monday that the computer networks of the government parties - the Liberal Party and the Nationals - as well as the opposition Labor Party had also been affected. Australia's security agencies were securing those systems and protecting users, he said. “Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity,” Morrison told reporters. “Let me be clear, though - there is no evidence of any electoral interference. We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system,” he added. The Australian Cyber Security Center, the government's main cyber security agency, had briefed federal and state election authorities, Morrison said. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, will hold elections on March 23. A federal election will be held on a date to be set in May. Duncan Lewis, director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, the nation's main spy agency, would not comment on how deeply the attack had penetrated the computer networks. “The electoral machinery which we have in this country, that's the Australian Electoral Commission and the various state electoral commissions that work with the federal system - there is no evidence that they have been compromised,” Lewis told a Senate committee. He would not say whether the attack had been neutralized, saying it was “being managed.” Although Australian officials have not blamed any country, in 2011 it was reported that China was suspected of accessing the email system used by lawmakers and parliamentary staff. Election interference has been high on the international agenda ever since America's 2016 presidential election, in which Russian hackers stole and published more than 150,000 emails from various Democratic targets in what U.S. spymasters and senior lawmakers have described as a wide-ranging effort to help elect Donald Trump.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:15:11 -0500
  • Will Procter & Gamble stock split again soon?

    Since 1970, P&G stock has usually traded for several weeks or a few months above $100 before shares split.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:44:53 -0500
  • This Is the Airpower Theorist the Air Force Needs (And Already Has)

    Golocal247.com news

    There is no need to borrow from seapower theory to think soundly about airpower theory.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 04:22:00 -0500
  • Pence and Biden in Munich: Stark contrast shows how Trump is ruining relations with Europe

    Golocal247.com news

    Former ambassador: We're safer in NATO than outside it, but Donald Trump doesn't seem to realize that and is separating us from our closest allies.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:04:41 -0500
  • Shamima Begum is 'traumatised', says her lawyer as he likens Isil bride to a First World War soldier

    Golocal247.com news

    The Isil bride who travelled to Syria to marry a terrorist is "traumatised", according to her lawyer, who likened his client to a First World War soldier.  Shamima Begum, 19, flew to the Middle East four years ago to join the terror group. There, she married a Dutch-born fighter with whom she had three children.  Her two eldest children have died, but she gave birth at a refugee camp in northeastern Syria on the weekend and now wants to return to Britain.  In an interview over the weekend, Begum said that people should be feeling sympathy for her, and her lawyer Tasnime Akunjee defended her attitude.  He told ITV's Good Morning Britain on Monday: "I think it's difficult to take what she's saying in the current circumstances and try to draw from the lack of emotion that she has.  "She's a traumatised person. She finds herself in a camp and was clearly quite attached to her husband, it would seem, and suddenly he's not by her side." When confronted with the fact Begum does not seem traumatised and instead appeared to be composed, Mr Akunjee said: "You might've said the same thing about a World War One soldier in the middle of shellshock." Presenter Richard Madeley said this comparison was "a bit of a stretch", to which Mr Akumjee responded:  "It's a warzone. They're both warzones." Lawyer Tasnime Akunjee Credit: Emrah Gurel/AP The teenager, who gave birth to a baby boy on the weekend, appeared to defend the Manchester Arena bombing as tit-for-tat retaliation for air strikes in Syria.  In an interview with the BBC, she said the deaths of 22 innocent people in the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017 were akin to the "women and children" being bombed in Isil territory in Baghuz. She told the broadcaster: "I do feel that it's wrong that innocent people did get killed. It's one thing to kill a soldier that is fighting you, it's self-defence, but to kill the people like women and children... "Just people like the women and children in Baghuz that are being killed right now unjustly, the bombings. It's a two-way thing really. "Because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now and it's kind of retaliation. Like, their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought 'OK, that is a fair justification'." She was partly inspired by videos of fighters beheading hostages and partly by other propaganda films showing the "good life" IS could offer. The Begum's family lawyer, Mr Akunjee, said he understood some of the responses to her pleas for sympathy. He told BBC Breakfast: "The family have gone out of their way from day one to try to get her away from the Isil narrative and the context which she finds herself in. "She's been there for four years and we would be surprised if she hadn't been further damaged beyond the degree she had already been groomed into. "The family are concerned, as they have been for the last four years, not just to get her away, but, as of yesterday, to make sure that their grandchild - her child - is not influenced by that sort of thinking." Mr Akunjee said he anticipated that Begum would probably face criminal proceedings upon any return to the UK, but said it was the family's hope that she would be given professional help following her experience in Syria. Begum was one of three schoolgirls, along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, from Bethnal Green Academy who left the UK for Syria in February 2015. Ms Sultana was reported to have been killed in an air strike in 2016, while the other two are reported to still be alive. 'Show me some sympathy', says Isil bride after giving birth The British schoolgirl who ran away to join Isil has appealed for public sympathy following the birth of her son, as a row intensifies over whether she should be allowed to return to the UK. Shamima Begum, 19, went to Syria in 2015 and was discovered there in a refugee camp last week, heavily pregnant and insisting she wanted to go home. The birth of her child over the weekend prompted calls for the baby to be subject to care proceedings should Begum be able to return from Syria, as it emerged that the Family Division of the High Court had presided over cases involving at least 150 children deemed at risk of radicalisation in the last five years. In an interview with Sky News recorded at the Kurdish-controlled camp to which she fled from the last pocket of Isil-controlled territory, Begum said there was "no evidence" she had done anything wrong and she could not see "any reason" why her child should be taken from her when she had simply been living as a housewife. Speaking just hours after giving birth, her baby at her side, she said she had no regrets about fleeing the family home in Bethnal Green, east London, to support Isil, claiming the experience had made her "stronger, tougher". Shamima Begum's Dutch-born husband Yago Riedjik She said she could see a future for herself and her son, whom she has named Jarah after one of the two children she lost to malnutrition and disease in the last three months, "if the UK are willing to take me back and help me start a new life again and try and move on from everything that’s happened in the last four years". She added: "I wouldn’t have found someone like my husband [Yago Riedijk, 26, a Muslim convert from the Netherlands] in the UK. I had my kids, I had a good time there." Her other children, Jarah and Surayah, a daughter, died aged 18 months and nine months. Asked how she felt about the debate over whether she should be allowed to return home, Begum said: "I feel a lot of people should have sympathy for me, for everything I’ve been through. "I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left, I just was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they let me come back.  "I can’t live in this camp forever. It’s not really possible." In the interview, Begum apologised for the first time to her family for running away, and said that though she knew it was "like a big slap in the face" for her to ask after she had previously rejected their calls for her to return, "I really need their help". Tim Loughton, deputy chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he thought it "extraordinary" that Begum was asking to come back while showing "not a scintilla of regret". The Conservative MP added: "My own feeling is in line with most others, that she has made her bed and should lie in it. But the law must prevail and we are probably going to have to let her back" "However, I think her child should be subjected to care proceedings due to the threat of radicalisation." He said a forthcoming report by the Henry Jackson Society disclosed that the Family Division of the High Court had presided over cases involving at least 150 children deemed at risk of radicalisation in the last five years. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, said last week that he would "not hesitate" to prevent the return of anyone who supported terrorist organisations abroad. He reiterated his stance in a Sunday newspaper article, expressing compassion for any child born or brought into a conflict zone, but stating that the safety and security of children living in this country had to be the priority. Isil schoolgirls' journey into Syria Jeremy Wright, the Culture Secretary and former Attorney General, said Britain was "obliged" to take back British citizens.  However, he added: "That doesn’t mean that we can’t put in place the necessary security measures to monitor their activities. It doesn’t mean either that we can’t seek to hold them to account for their behaviour thus far.”  He said the nationality of Begum’s baby was a "difficult question", but the pair’s health was the most pressing matter. "In the end she will have to answer for her actions," he added. "So I think it is right that if she’s able to come back to the UK that she does so on the understanding that we can hold her to account for her behaviour thus far." Ms Begum said she was attracted to Isil by videos that she had seen online, which she said showed "how they’ll take care of you". She said she knew that the group carried out beheadings, but that she "was OK with it at first. I started becoming religious just before I left and from what I heard Islamically that is all allowed". "At first it was nice," she said of life in the so-called Islamic State. "It was how they showed it in the videos, you know, you come, make a family together, but then things got harder.  "We had to keep moving and moving and moving. The situation got fraught." Begum acknowledged that it would be "really hard" to be rehabilitated after everything she had been through.   "I’m still in that mentality of planes over my head, emergency backpacks, starving... it would be a big shock to go back to the UK and start again," she said. Isil bride Shamima Begum | Read more Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Javid said that decisions about what to do with potential returnees had to be made on a case-by-case basis, based on the "facts of each case, the law and the threat to national security". He added: "I think about the children that could in future get caught up in dangerous groups if we don’t take a firm stance against those who support them… And that means sending a message to those who have backed terrorism: there will be consequences." His comments were described as "sick" by Ms Begum’s lawyer on Sunday. Mr Akunje told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: "We are talking about a newborn baby who poses no risk or threat to anybody, [who is] not even cognitive, and yet he’s speaking about a child who’s a British citizen in terms of a security threat." Mr Akunje suggested that the birth of Begum’s child increased pressure on the British authorities to allow her to return home. He also revealed that Begum’s family has struggled to make direct contact with her and is now considering the possibility of getting out to Syria themselves. Her family has indicated that if she is jailed for supporting a terrorist group, they want to step in and raise her son themselves. Begum names boy after Islamic warlord, historian says Quoting Sunday's Telegraph story on Twitter, leading historian Tom Holland accused Begum of having "the moral self-awareness of a brick".  He said that the Isil bride's baby boy has been named after Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah - a general from the early days of the Arab conquests chiefly famed for beating infedels.  Begum said she named the boy after one of her other two children who have since died in Syria.  But Mr Holland said it was the name her husband took after converting to Islam, insisting it was a deliberate glorification of Islamic brutality.  If she’d wanted to signal that she was returning to Britain in peace, she might have considered naming her baby after someone other than Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, a general from the early days of the Arab conquests chiefly famed for beating the crap out of infidels.— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) February 17, 2019 Cressida Dick hits back at claims Met failed  The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has hit back at claims that officers failed to stop another runaway schoolgirl on the same flight as a 15-year-old arrested as she attempted to flee the UK to join Islamic State (IS). Cressida Dick said it was "incredibly complicated" and difficult to know about somebody's intentions, and claimed the schoolgirls - Sharmeena Begum and another unnamed passenger - were in fact on separate flights as the latter was pulled from the runway at Heathrow in December 2014 when she sought to get to Syria. The Times newspaper said the 15-year-old was arrested but not prosecuted, despite officers finding extremist material on her devices. Asked about the flight to Istanbul, on which both Sharmeena Begum and the unnamed 15-year-old were said to have been passengers en route to Syria, Ms Dick told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I think it was actually a different flight and I think the question that's being asked is whether we were able to pass on sufficient information and understand well enough what these three girls were intending. "The truth of the matter is it's incredibly hard to know what somebody's intending. "The moment we informed the school about the girl who came off the flight, we did not know these girls were intending that, they were merely witnesses and we were talking to them as witnesses. These things are incredibly complicated. "We try to stop people from travelling when we knew they were travelling with ill-intent." Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:25:32 -0500
  • Saudi official fires back after Iran blames attack on Riyadh

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    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A senior Saudi diplomat on Monday fired back after Iran initially blamed the kingdom for an attack last week that killed 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:37:37 -0500
  • Hong Kong economy stalls amid trade dispute: finance chief

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    Hong Kong's economy stalled last year as the ongoing China-US trade dispute and retail woes dragged down local business, the city's financial chief said Sunday. Beijing and Washington have already imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, roiling global financial markets and weighing heavily on manufacturing output in both countries. "The impact of China-US trade frictions on Hong Kong's exports has clearly emerged at the end of last year," said finance secretary Paul Chan.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 04:31:15 -0500
  • No more A380s? Why Airbus' bet on 'superjumbo' jets failed

    It’s official: Airbus will pull the plug on its A380 double-decker jet. The latest A380 is now expected to roll off the assembly line in 2021.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:28:36 -0500
  • Spanish victims of sex abuse priests speak out

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    A trickle of accusations of sexual abuse against priests in schools and seminaries is starting to erode the wall of silence in Catholic Spain, whose Church representatives are set to attend a major Vatican meeting on child protection. "This is only the tip of the iceberg," warned Miguel Hurtado, who recently made his case public. For 20 years, Hurtado stayed quiet, trying to come to terms with the abuse he suffered when he joined a boy scout troup at the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which sits high up in jagged mountains northwest of Barcelona.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:26:21 -0500
  • No need for Shinzo Abe: Trump already nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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    During a White House news conference on Friday, Trump said the Japanese premier had given him "the most beautiful copy" of a five-page nomination letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Regardless, Trump has already been nominated by two Norwegian lawmakers. "We have nominated him of course for the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula," Per-Willy Amundsen, who was Justice Minister in Prime Minister Erna Solberg's cabinet in 2016-2018, told Reuters.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:31:46 -0500
  • NASA posts image of ghostly blue objects, deep in the cosmos

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    When a star is born, a chaotic light show ensues.  NASA's long-lived Hubble Space Telescope captured vivid bright clumps moving through the cosmos at some 1,000 light years from Earth. The space agency called these objects clear "smoking gun" evidence of a newly formed star — as new stars blast colossal amounts of energy-rich matter into space, known as plasma.  Seen as the vivid blue, ephemeral clumps in the top center of the new image below, these are telltale signs of an energy-rich gas, or plasma, colliding with a huge collection of dust and gas in deep space. As NASA says, these blue masses are transient creations in the cosmos, as "they disappear into nothingness within a few tens of thousands of years." Bright lights inside a nebula. Image: ESA/Hubble/NASA/K. Stapelfeldt These blue clumps are traveling at 150,000 mph toward the upper left direction (from our view, anyhow). In total, there are five of these ghostly clumps, hurtling through space.  SEE ALSO: Opportunity rover's last picture is as grim as it is dark NASA doesn't identify the new star itself, called SVS 13, perhaps because it's obscured by thick clouds of cosmic matter. This collection of dust and gas is part of a distant nebula, which are often the remnants of exploded stars swirling through the infinity of space. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 11:19:53 -0500
  • Emails show how fake university set up by ICE lured foreign students

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    Emails obtained by the Detroit Free Press offer a glimpse into how a fake university in Detroit may have convinced students it was real.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:03:14 -0500
  • Trump says Venezuela's military will 'lose everything they have' if they continue to support Maduro

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    Donald Trump has issued his most blunt threat yet to Venezuela’s military – stop supporting President Nicolas Maduro or risk “losing everything”. In a speech in which he claimed “the evils” of socialism were also being turned back in Cuba and Nicaragua and that the US would never be a socialist country – comments that were almost certainly made with the 2020 presidential election in mind – the president spoke directly to military officials who have so far overwhelmingly supported Mr Maduro. Venezuela is leaving socialism, the dictatorship, and there is no turning back,” he told a crowd of Venezuelan-Americans and immigrants in Florida.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 12:14:00 -0500
  • Potato rösti

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    This potato rösti is the perfect way to use up that last bit of cheese in the fridge.  SERVES Two INGREDIENTS 500g potatoes, ideally a nice waxy chip potato 1 small onion, finely sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped Pinch of dried chilli 50g butter 120g mixed grated cheese such as cheddar, gruyere or comté (a great opportunity to use up leftovers) Large pinch of fresh or dried sage METHOD Peel the potatoes and coarsely grate them into a bowl. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and season well. Tip onto a tea towel and squeeze them tightly to remove any excess liquid, then return to the bowl and mix in 25g of the butter, diced. Add 15g of the butter to a large non-stick and ovenproof frying pan (large enough to hold the potato mixture) and allow to melt. Press the potato mixture into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the underside starts to crisp – from around six to 10 minutes. When ready, flip the rosti onto a plate (cooked side up), melt the rest of the butter in the pan and slide the rosti into it to cook on the other side for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through. To finish, preheat the grill and sprinkle the rosti with the grated cheese and sage, along with a good grinding of black pepper. Place until the grill until the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve with a crisp green salad. RECIPES | Angela's budget-friendly dishes

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 05:00:00 -0500
  • The Latest: Aid group says 62 die fleeing IS in Syria

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    BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local):

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:52:54 -0500
  • Iran's Zarif accuses Israel, U.S. of seeking war

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    Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also criticized the U.S. administration after Vice President Mike Pence this week called on European powers to pullout of the nuclear deal with Iran. Zarif urged France, Germany and Britain to do more to save that accord. "Certainly, some people are looking for war ... Israel," Zarif said.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 07:29:04 -0500
  • REI CEO steps down following revelation of outside personal relationship

    The CEO of outdoor gear retailer REI is stepping down in the wake of an inquiry into a relationship that appeared to be a conflict of interest.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:26:40 -0500
  • Pope's credibility 'on the line' as Vatican convenes global meeting on combating child abuse by clergy

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    Victims of clerical sex abuse have warned Pope Francis that his credibility is on the line as he confronts the biggest challenge of his papacy with a landmark conference on protecting children from rape and molestation. Nearly 200 bishops, archbishops, patriarchs and other senior Catholic figures from around the world will convene in Rome on Thursday for an unprecedented four-day conference that is supposed to tackle the scourge of child abuse by clergy. It is the biggest effort so far to address scandals that have eroded faith in the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Australia and elsewhere. “There’s going to be every effort to close whatever loopholes there are,” said Charles Scicluna, an archbishop from Malta who is one of the organisers of the summit. “This is a new day in terms of transparency. Bishops are going to be held accountable. My hope is that people see this as a turning point.” Members of the survivors' group Ending Clergy Abuse in front of St Peter's Square at the Vatican Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP But victims’ groups are furious that it has taken this long for the Church to organise such a high-profile meeting, pointing out that is has been 17 years since the Boston sex abuse scandal, which lifted the lid on the problem in the Church. They accuse Pope Francis of failing to clearly decree that priests, and the bishops who protect them, should be reported to the police, prosecuted and sent to jail if found guilty of abuse. They say the Vatican has had years to set out clear guidelines to every diocese in the world, instructing them to hand over to the civil authorities any priest accused of abusing children. It has not done so. “Pope Francis has been talking about zero tolerance ever since he was elected. It’s time to deliver on that promise,” said Peter Isely, from Ending Clergy Abuse, a victims’ support group. “There needs to be a universal law for the Church around the world – if you are a priest who rapes or sexually assaults a child, then you are going to be removed from the priesthood. And you are going to be turned over to the authorities and prosecuted and imprisoned.” Peter Isely, founding member of Ending Clergy Abuse, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP Survivors of sex abuse are tired of the years of empty rhetoric and lack of action coming from the Vatican. “We’ve been waiting a long time. We’ve waited too long. This is a historic moment. This has never happened before in the history of the Catholic Church. The Pope has acknowledged that this is a global problem in the Church and that’s important. He now has to deliver,” said Mr Isely, speaking in front of St Peter’s Basilica. “They can do something in the next few days that could save a child somewhere in the world from undergoing what we went through as children – these horrible, horrific, terrible crimes.” Peter Saunders, a British victim of sex abuse by priests, said: “This pope is the best public relations pope of our lifetime. He is very media savvy. But his credibility on this issue has been blown away.” The Vatican made Mr Saunders a member of a special commission for the protection of children, but he resigned in protest at how little progress the body made, saying it was “starved of funding”. Around a dozen survivors have been invited to meet the Pope during the conference.  “What we need is action. We need to have a real conversation about this - why is there not zero tolerance for priests who have assaulted children? What’s the hold-up? What’s the problem?” said Mr Isely. The Vatican insists that this time, it means business. Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, is one of the organisers of the summit Credit: AP/Gregorio Borgia “It’s going to be a rallying moment,” said Cardinal Blasé Cupich from Chicago, another organiser of the conference. “We want to make sure that bishops claim ownership of the problem.” Archbishop Scicluna vowed that the days of omerta – the code of silence which normally refers to the mafia – were over. “Whether you call it omerta or a state of denial, it’s a no-go. We need to face the facts. This is not the end game but we are going to do everything possible to make people accountable.” On Saturday, Pope Francis defrocked an American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, for historical sexual abuse allegations. The 88-year-old, a former archbishop of Washington, is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:58:30 -0500
  • Jussie Smollett attack: Brothers tell police that actor staged attacked after threatening letter did not get enough attention

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    Two brothers told police that "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett staged an attack on himself because a threatening letter he received a week prior did not get enough attention, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told ABC News.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:10:00 -0500
  • India, Pakistan 'spy' row heads for UN top court amid tensions

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    India will on Monday renew its bid to persuade international judges to take an alleged spy off death row in Pakistan, in a controversial court case as fresh bloodshed in Kashmir sends tensions between the neighbours soaring. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former Indian navy officer, was arrested in the restive southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan in March 2016 on charges of espionage and sentenced to death by a military court. India insists Jadhav was not a spy and that he was kidnapped in Pakistan.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:35:51 -0500
  • Global Slowdown Leaves Growth Weakest Since Financial Crisis

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    (Bloomberg) -- The global economy’s loss of momentum has left expansion now looking like its weakest since the global financial crisis, a development that’s already sparked a dramatic shift among central banks.

    Mon, 18 Feb 2019 19:30:00 -0500
  • Trump to veto Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez resolution blocking national emergency unless Republicans lend support

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    Donald Trump is prepared to issue the first veto of his presidency over a national emergency declaration his critics have slammed as an unconstitutional power grab, a senior White House official said on Sunday. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News Sunday that “the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration”. The president declared the emergency Friday in an effort to go around Congress to fund his border wall.

    Sun, 17 Feb 2019 11:36:00 -0500
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