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  • Romney speculates Turkey called Trump's bluff: 'Are we so weak and inept?'

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    The Utah senator delivers an impassioned speech on the Senate floor that accuses the president of betraying American values.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:20:21 -0400
  • UPDATE 3-Cartel gunmen terrorize Mexican city, free El Chapo's son

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

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 20:38:47 -0400
  • One year on, migrant caravan leaves unexpected legacy

    Golocal247.com news

    A year ago, thousands of Central American men, women and children chasing the American dream arrived in Mexico in a massive caravan that has left a lasting legacy -- just not the one people generally thought it would. Fleeing chronic poverty and brutal gang violence at home, they banded together in hopes of finding safety in numbers against the dangers of the journey, including criminal gangs that regularly extort, kidnap and kill migrants. The images made an impact around the world: carrying their meager belongings on their backs, many migrants pressed small children to their chests or held them by the hand.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:25:40 -0400
  • Asylum-seeking Mexicans are more prominent at US border

    Lizbeth Garcia tended to her 3-year-old son outside a tent pitched on a sidewalk, their temporary home while they wait for their number to be called to claim asylum in the United States. The 33-year-old fled Mexico's western state of Michoacan a few weeks ago with her husband and five children — ages 3 to 12 — when her husband, a truck driver, couldn't pay fees that criminal gangs demanded for each trailer load. "I'd like to say it's unusual, but it's very common," Garcia said Thursday in Juarez, where asylum seekers gather to wait their turn to seek protection at a U.S. border crossing in El Paso, Texas.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 20:46:20 -0400
  • Joe Biden digs at Elizabeth Warren after debate: Polls don't show 'anybody else as a frontrunner'

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    "You know, I haven't seen any polling showing that nationally, on average, that anybody else is a front-runner," Joe Biden said.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:23:19 -0400
  • Fox’s Judge Napolitano: G7 at Trump Doral Is as ‘Profound a Violation’ as ‘One Could Create’

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    Immediately after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced Thursday that President Donald Trump’s Doral golf club will host next year’s G7 summit, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano declared such a move represents a clear emoluments clause violation.During Thursday’s broadcast of Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast, eponymous host Neil Cavuto noted that the announcement of the G7 location “is effectively saying the president has given himself this contract.”Pointing out that previous summits in the United States took place at Camp David and Sea Island, Cavuto said the White House is arguing that holding the event at the president’s property is not a violation of the emoluments clause. “I believe the judge has a different notion of that,” Cavuto added, turning to Napolitano.“It’s not my notion,” the judge replied. “It’s the Constitution’s notion. The Constitution does not address profits, it addresses any present, as in a gift, any emolument as in cash of any kind whatever. I’m quoting the emoluments clause, from any king, prince or foreign state.”Explaining that this wouldn’t be an issue if this were a meeting of U.S. government officials, Napolitano once again stated that the emoluments clause is to prevent the president from receiving gifts or cash from foreign entities. “He has bought himself an enormous headache now with the choice of this,” he continued. “This is about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create.”Cavuto, meanwhile, went on to say that there will also be a “spillover effect,” asserting that the Doral resort will become a greater attraction in the future because it hosted the international summit.Napolitano, who in recent months has assessed that the president has engaged in numerous unethical and criminal activities, observed that this is “exactly what the emoluments clause was written to prohibit.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:51:03 -0400
  • Why Did 3 U.S. Navy Submarines Surface In The Pacific In 2010? China.

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    Submarines are useful for signaling intent.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:00:00 -0400
  • New ICE Program Exposes Hundreds of Fraudulent ‘Family Units’ Trying to Cross The Border

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    U.S. immigration authorities have discovered hundreds of instances at the border of “family unit fraud,” or unrelated individuals posing as families, over the last six months thanks to a new investigative initiative.Authorities exposed 238 fraudulent families presenting 329 false documents, according to the results of an investigation run by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in El Paso, Texas, the results of which were announced Thursday.More than 350 of those individuals are facing federal prosecution for crimes including human smuggling, making false statements, conspiracy, and illegal re-entry after removal. Authorities have referred 19 children to U.S. Health and Human Services as a result of this investigation. Another 50 migrants fraudulently claimed to be unaccompanied minors."Some of the most disturbing cases identified involve transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and individuals who are increasingly exploiting innocent children to further their criminal activity," ICE said in a statement.In some cases, criminal organizations made deals with the children's biological parents to transfer children as young as 4 months old to the U.S. and pose as a family unit either for human smuggling purposes or to fraudulently obtain immigration benefits, ICE said.“These are examples of the dark side of this humanitarian crisis that our Border Patrol and HSI agents are working tirelessly to identify,” said El Paso Sector Interim Chief Gloria Chavez. “We will pursue the highest of judicial consequences for those who commit fraud and exploit innocent children.”The Trump administration has attempted to end the "catch and release" policy for migrant family units, which provides migrant families an expedited release into the U.S. as their asylum cases are being processed.Then–acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan said last month that the vast majority of migrant families who enter the country illegally will no longer be eligible for “catch and release” due to the implementation of stricter policies. One such policy, the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires that migrants wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are being adjudicated.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 08:41:26 -0400
  • House GOP Leader Praises Mark Zuckerberg for Political Ads Policy

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    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to ban political ads that Democrats say are inaccurate drew praise from the top Republican in the House of Representatives Friday.Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said he appreciated Zuckerberg’s comments on Thursday that policing political speech would be undemocratic.“The idea of banning speech you might not like is nonsense, but sadly the mindset is creeping into places like college campuses and our presidential campaign platforms,” McCarthy told reporters. “Yesterday was a heartwarming reminder that free expression is the best business model in the world.”In recent weeks, the presidential campaigns of Democrats Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have called on Facebook to remove ads from President Donald Trump’s campaign that include claims with no evidence. Facebook has declined to do so, raising the larger question of whether such ads on social media should be regulated.“I don’t think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true,” Zuckerberg said Thursday at Georgetown University in Washington. “People should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”“In a democracy, I believe people should decide what’s credible, not tech companies,” Zuckerberg said.\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna Edgerton, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:26:56 -0400
  • Polls show Americans have come to support Trump's impeachment much faster than Nixon's or Clinton’s

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    President Trump hasn’t just crossed the 50 percent threshold on impeachment, peaking at 50.3 percent earlier this week. He’s gotten there faster than Richard Nixon — and, for that matter, Bill Clinton, who never got there at all.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:54:18 -0400
  • Hong Kong protest leaders urge turnout for march, despite risk of arrest

    Golocal247.com news

    Pro-democracy leaders called on Hong Kong's citizens to join a Sunday anti-government march in spite of the risk of arrest, after police banned the rally which is seen as a test of the protest movement's strength following months of unrest. Police declared the march illegal on Friday, citing concerns over public safety, and a court on Saturday said the destination of the march - the main railway interchange with mainland China - could be attacked and vandalized. Hardcore protesters have in recent weeks targeted mainland Chinese businesses, daubing them in graffiti and at times setting fires, while mainland Chinese living in Hong Kong have begun to express fears for their own safety.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:51:09 -0400
  • High-profile cases turn spotlight on domestic violence in Russia

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    Natalia Tunikova's partner pushed her towards the open balcony in their high-rise Moscow flat, before punching her to the floor. A Moscow court later ruled that her use of force in self-defence was not justified. Cases like Tunikova's are ever more widely reported in Russia, leading to a public outcry in a country that has no specific law on domestic violence and where feminist movements like #MeToo had little impact.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:34:40 -0400
  • Clever-Approved Travel Gear That Looks Good and Works Even Better

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    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:34:55 -0400
  • Mexico breaks ground on new airport project outside capital

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    Mexico broke ground Thursday on a project to supplement the capital's overtaxed international airport, finally making headway on a controversial alternative to another, equally controversial one that was scrapped last year after being about a third built. Bulldozers cleared earth at the site of the Santa Lucia air base north of Mexico City, and a backhoe scooped the soil into the backs of military-green trucks as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, top government officials and armed forces brass looked on. A video showed a rendering of the envisioned facility, which involves converting Santa Lucia for civilian use and building two additional landing strips and which the president vowed to inaugurate in spring 2022.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 21:40:07 -0400
  • Mexico flies 300 Indian migrants to New Delhi in mass deportation

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    Mexico has deported more than 300 Indian nationals to New Delhi, the National Migration Institute said late on Wednesday, in what it described as an unprecedented transatlantic deportation.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:32:34 -0400
  • Could France and Germany Jointly Build an EU Aircraft Carrier?

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    All in all, a European carrier will only come about in a world where Germany is willing and able to commit far more resources to defense than it currently does; and can arrive at a joint vision with France on how to use such an expensive vessel to project force abroad. That’s not the world we live in yet.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 23:00:00 -0400
  • Next-Gen Dodge Challenger Coming in 2023? Don't Be So Sure, Says Dodge

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    The number 2023 spotted on press photos has people all excited, but Dodge told C/D it doesn't mean anything.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:40:00 -0400
  • Captives in ISIS Detention Camps Fear Calm Before the Storm

    Golocal247.com news

    Delil Souleiman/GettyThe Trump administration and Turkey say they’ve reached a ceasefire. The formerly U.S.-backed forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces say they’ll accept it but won’t accept further incursions into Kurdish-held areas. Caught in the middle of the war between Turkey and Syrian Kurds are tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners—mostly women and children—now detained in a sprawling network of camps guarded by Kurdish forces who are waiting and considering their options amidst uncertainty about who, if anyone, will man the gates of their temporary homes. The Daily Beast reached out to a number of those women and found a range of views about the Turkish offensive and what it could mean for ISIS detainees. Some professed optimism about the possibility of release in the event that Kurdish guards melted away or Turkish forces took a more permissive attitude toward security. Others, however, are worried about what could happen to them under a new regime just as they’ve grown accustomed to living under Kurdish forces.President Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria has prompted intense criticism and warnings that the ensuing security vacuum could lead ISIS to rebuild in Syria. The Trump administration has since tried to curb the Turkish offensive through a mixture of sanctions and diplomacy. Pence Just Ratified All of Turkey’s War Aims in SyriaTrump initially announced sanctions against a handful of senior Turkish officials for “endangering civilians and threatening, peace, security, and stability” in Syria but the administration’s tone appeared to soften on Thursday when Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and announced a 120-hour ceasefire. General Mazlum Kobani, the commander of the SDF, said he’d accept the halt in operations along the border but warned that forces would remain in place in other parts of northern and eastern Syria and said SDF wouldn’t accept any Turkish attempt to change the ethnic composition in the region.It’s unclear what that will mean for SDF-guarded ISIS prison camps, but there have already been signs that security at the facilities across Syria has started to crumble as Kurdish forces pushed the security of ISIS detainees into the background and focused on repelling the Turkish attack. One Russian-speaking woman held in an ISIS detention camp in Ayn Issa told The Daily Beast earlier this week that the guards there had left the camp but some prisoners had yet to flee. “The camp is open, Kurdish guards left but we are sitting with kids inside as usual,” she said. “We also made white flags to signal to Turkish forces that there are no military among them.” The New York Times reported that Kurdish guards at the Ayn Issa camp let hundreds of women flee after rioting in the wake of a Turkish airstrike nearby. On Sunday, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted a picture of people purportedly leaving the area and wrote that “almost all suspected ISIS militants fled the camp.”Women at the al-Hol camp, farther away from the Turkish offensive, also reported that SDF troops had brought three large trucks with women from the camp in Ayn Issa for detention there. The Ayn Issa area became part of the contest among Turkish, Kurdish, and Assad regime forces for control of territory formerly held by the ISIS caliphate earlier in the week. SDF forces had controlled the area, which lies just south of the M4 highway that Turkey says marks the limit of the buffer zone it’s trying to establish. State news outlets in Damascus claimed on Monday that Assad regime troops had deployed to Ayn Issa, part of an apparent bargain struck between Kurdish and Assad regime forces to try and repel the Turkish invasion. The largest camp for ISIS detainees lies in al-Hol, further away from the Turkish border, in Hasaka governorate, close to the Syrian border with Iraq. The camp houses 70,000 people, mostly women and children from the families of ISIS fighters. Thus far, al-Hol remains guarded by SDF troops and far away from the limits of the buffer zone where Turkey initially claimed its forces would stop. Despite its relative distance from the front, the strain of responding to the Turkish invasion had hindered security at the camps, as documented in viral videos on Twitter. At the moment, many women held in al-Hol told The Daily Beast that the day-to-day routines of the camp remain mostly undisturbed, except for an uptick in the noise of helicopters flying overhead at night.A number of women in al-Hol reached by The Daily Beast were apprehensive about the possibility of a new regime in charge of the camp. “We already learned how to work with Kurds,” one woman said. “For example, for money we could get anything from [SDF guards]. But it is not clear what to expect from Turkey.”Even before Turkey’s recent offensive, women in al-Hol have managed to bribe their way out of the camp in some cases. Detainees told The Daily Beast that family members of women held in al-Hol have paid smugglers to take relatives out of the camp, through Kurdish-held territory, through Syria’s Idlib province, and into Turkey. Detainees say local and foreign ISIS fighters were often smuggled out of al-Hol using fake Iraqi passports and stolen Syrian identity documents.A day before Turkey began its invasion of SDF-held territory in northern Syria, rumors spread among the foreign women detained in SDF’s ISIS camps that the detention centers had already been surrendered to Turkey and inmates should stay put and wait.The rumor was false, but some ISIS women interviewed by The Daily Beast said they’re looking forward to the possibility that the SDF security could collapse because they believe that it will be easier for them to return to their home countries. Many of the women detained there still can’t bring themselves to believe that their home countries had refused to repatriate them and choose instead to blame Syrian Kurdish forces for their stateless predicament. At least one woman at al-Hol, however, rejected the idea of release at the hands of Turkish-backed forces. “We prefer brothers to rescue us and not [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” she wrote in a post on social media.ISIS hasn’t officially instructed its imprisoned followers what to do in the wake of the Turkish invasion but rumors, advice, and threats have circulated among the pro-ISIS chatrooms on the Telegram app. A letter purporting to be from ISIS making the rounds on the encrypted messaging app instructs Syrians to protect and hide any women fleeing from SDF detention camps and warns that anyone reporting on the women or cooperating with Kurdish authorities will face punishment.  Forced to sleep outside, exposed to the elements, and with little access to aid or medical care, infants and children held in the camp have suffered the most from the austere environment. A World Health Organization report published in February found that infants made up two-thirds of the 73 registered deaths at al-Hol at that point. “Many infants and young children have perished from hypothermia on the way to or shortly after arrival at the camp,” aid workers reported.In addition to Western countries, ISIS’ rivals among Syria’s jihadist groups are worried about what mass releases of ISIS-affiliated prisoners could mean for them. The Daily Beast spoke to a Russian-speaking member of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al Qaeda-aligned militant group that has sparred with ISIS for control of the jihadi movement in Syria. HTS fighters say they’re worried that the breakdown of detention camp security will lead to an uptick in attacks against HTS targets in its stronghold of Idlib province, on the border with Turkey. “We already had so many problems catching those crazy suicide females on our territory, and this new development is not helping,” one HTS fighter said. —with additional reporting by Adam RawnsleyRead 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.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 04:45:49 -0400
  • The Navy Wants to Push Out Problem SEALs. But Trump May Get in the Way.

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    Spiking drinks with cocaine, shooting Iraqi civilians, strangling a Green Beret: The Navy SEAL teams have been rocked by one high-profile scandal after another in recent months, and the leader of the elite commando force, Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, has vowed to clean house.Green has come down hard on misconduct, fired two key leaders and made an unusually public admission that the Navy's secretive warrior caste has an "ethics problem." At the same time, though, he has steered wide of the SEAL at the center of one of the grimmest episodes, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who was charged with shooting civilians, murdering a captive Islamic State fighter with a knife, and threatening to kill witnesses.Gallagher was acquitted of murder charges this summer, but evidence that he had engaged in a range of other misconduct, including theft and drug use, had come to light during the investigation. Green and other Navy leaders were planning to demote him and force him out of the SEALs -- sending a message that such conduct had no place in one of the country's premier fighting forces.None of that has happened, though, because one of Gallagher's most vocal supporters happens to be the commander in chief. President Donald Trump has repeatedly intervened, and has posted so many expressions of support for the SEAL on Twitter that the Navy now sees Gallagher as untouchable, according to three Navy officials familiar with the case. Any talk of punishment has been shelved, not only for the chief, but for two other SEALs who had been facing possible discipline in the case, these officials said.Trump helped Gallagher get released from confinement before his trial, and personally congratulated him on Twitter when he was acquitted."People want to hold these guys accountable," said one Navy officer who was involved in the punishment deliberations. "But they are afraid that if you do anything, minutes later there will be a tweet from the White House, and the officer in charge will get axed."The officer, like others interviewed for this article, asked that his name not be used because he feared retaliation.The president has previously made it clear that he believes the country should tread carefully when calling American troops to account for acts of war. Only last week, he announced on Twitter that the White House was reviewing the case of Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, a former Army Special Forces soldier charged with murder in the death of a Taliban bomb maker in Afghanistan. "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!" Trump wrote.The issue in Gallagher's case became apparent to Green's team in August, when the chief's lawyers -- including one of Trump's personal lawyers, Marc Mukasey, who joined the defense team two months before the June court-martial -- had tried and failed to persuade Navy commanders to suspend any punishment. Soon after that, the president brought up the Gallagher case at a meeting with the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, according to a senior Navy official.White House officials strongly denied that the Gallagher case was discussed. But hours after the meeting, the Chief of Naval Operations announced that he would personally take over the Gallagher case from another admiral, who had indicated that she planned to punish the chief.The Navy had also planned to discipline two other SEALs who had come under investigation in the Gallagher case: Lt. Jacob Portier, who was charged with not reporting Gallagher's actions in Iraq; and Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a platoon medic whose testimony at the chief's trial prompted the Navy to open a perjury investigation. But the day after the White House meeting, the charges against Portier were dropped and the investigation of Scott was ended.The intervention from Washington left Navy leaders with a dilemma: Not punishing Gallagher and the others would undermine efforts to restore discipline in the ranks, but punishing them only to be publicly reversed might make things even worse."All that's off the table now," said a Navy Special Warfare officer who was briefed on the most recent deliberations of Green's team about the matter. Navy commanders grew concerned that if they took away from Gallagher the Trident pin that signifies membership in the SEALs, only to see the president give it back again, the officer said, "it sends a message that the commanders aren't in control."While taking no action against Gallagher, the Navy recently fired two senior leaders of the team on which Gallagher serves, SEAL Team 7, which has had other recent incidents of misconduct. The command cited a "loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures."The two leaders, Cmdr. Edward Mason and Master Chief Hugh Spangler -- both decorated career SEALs with unblemished records who took command of the team after Gallagher had been arrested -- filed a complaint with the Navy's inspector general over their firing. They said that they had become "expendable scapegoats" in the admiral's fight against an anti-authoritarian "Gallagher effect" that was threatening to spread through the force.With his new, protected status, Gallagher appears to be trolling Navy leadership.A few days after the demoted leaders filed their complaint, an Instagram account belonging to Gallagher and his wife started selling T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "The Gallagher Effect."Another recent Instagram post from the account referred to Green and another top Navy leader as "a bunch of morons."And in a photo posted on social media by a former member of his platoon, Gallagher is seen gripping a hunting knife similar to the one Navy prosecutors said he used to kill a captive fighter from ISIS, which is also known by its Arabic name, Daesh. The post, which was "liked" by Gallagher's account, included the hashtags WeDon'tHaveAnEthicsProblem and NoOneCriesOverSpilledDaesh.Timothy Parlatore, a lawyer for Gallagher, said the Instagram account is administered by the chief's wife and does not reflect the chief's views.The original criminal charges against Gallagher, 40, stemmed from his fifth combat deployment with the SEALs, when he led a platoon fighting ISIS in Iraq in 2017. In a text message sent to his supervisor before deploying, he said he did not care where the Navy sent him, as long as there was "sure action," adding, "We just want to kill as many people as possible."He ended up in an advisory role largely behind front lines. But several men under his command told Navy authorities that he remained fixated on killing, and said they saw him shoot civilians with a sniper rifle and stab a captive teenage ISIS fighter in the neck. Their reports eventually led to the war crimes charges filed against the chief.After Gallagher was arrested in 2018, his family appeared repeatedly on Fox News, insisting that he had been wrongly accused. Soon Trump became a supporter, praising Gallagher's "past service to our country" on Twitter. Trump directed the Navy to release the chief from pretrial confinement in the spring of 2019 and ordered paperwork to pardon him before his trial in June.During the trial, the Navy's case against Gallagher fell into disarray as a key witness, Scott, changed his story on the stand and prosecutors canceled the testimony of other witnesses, fearing they would do the same. A jury made up largely of seasoned combat veterans found Gallagher not guilty of nearly all counts.After the acquittal, the president congratulated him on Twitter saying, "Glad I could help!"But Green was worried about the message that the Gallagher case was sending to the rest of force. In July, he sent a letter to the SEAL teams warning that the spate of incidents of drug use and violence in the SEAL teams showed "we have a problem," and that leaders "must now take a proactive approach to prevent the next breach of ethical and professional behavior."In Gallagher's case, though he had been acquitted on the murder charge, Navy officials were considering administrative punishment for other possible misconduct uncovered during the investigation.The Navy had found unauthorized grenades, stolen equipment and illicit drugs in his house and in his work locker, according to the Navy's criminal investigation report. When investigators seized the chief's phone, they found text exchanges suggesting he was illegally using the narcotic painkiller Tramadol, as well as marijuana and ecstasy.Gallagher has denied that he did anything unlawful in Iraq, and his lawyer, Parlatore, said the purported drug and equipment offenses had already been investigated and had been deemed insignificant.The part of the case taken over by the chief Navy officer in Washington concerns the minor charge on which Gallagher was convicted in the trial -- posing for a photo with a corpse. The officer hearing the case had recommended that the chief be demoted by one rank, with the possibility that he could be further reduced to the lowest rank in the military, E-1. The regional commander overseeing the court-martial, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, had the authority to adjust or overturn the conviction and sentence.Gallagher's legal team pressed Bolivar to suspend his punishment so the chief could retire from the Navy with full rank and a clean record. Bolivar replied in a letter Aug. 1 that she found the chief's conduct reprehensible and had no intention of suspending his sentence.That was when the chief's legal team informed the Navy that they would "take their case to Washington," according to a Navy official with knowledge of the exchange. On the same day that Bolivar's letter was sent, the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John M. Richardson, along with the Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, went to the White House for a meeting with Trump.A senior Navy official said the two men had not expected to discuss the Gallagher case, and were surprised when the president brought it up, expressing his displeasure that prosecutors had received commendations for what he regarded as a botched handling of the case.Though White House officials insist the case was not discussed, within hours of the meeting, Richardson took the Gallagher, Portier and Scott cases from Bolivar.Charges against Portier were then dismissed, and the investigation of Scott was halted. Neither man responded to requests for comment.Parlatore said he had not contacted the White House and had no knowledge of any intervention by the president. He said he welcomed the president's involvement if it happened because his client was threatened with punishment for minor misconduct that is often overlooked in the SEAL teams. "If the president has a deterrent effect and can prevent retaliation, we're thankful for that," he said.A new Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michael M. Gilday, took command in August, but has not changed course. His final decision in the Gallagher case is expected by the end of October.Green was not available to discuss the case, according to Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, a Navy spokeswoman, who added that "it would be inappropriate to speculate on any administrative actions, as no decisions have been made."On the night of the leadership demotions in Team 7, Gallagher made an unauthorized appearance at a "Patriot Awards" gala in Nashville, Tennessee, alongside Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Both men accepted awards from country music star Charlie Daniels."What an honor," a post on Gallagher's Instagram account said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:33:48 -0400
  • What Hunter Biden did on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma

    During his time on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Hunter Biden, the son of former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, was regarded as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name, according to people familiar with Biden’s role at the company. Biden’s role at Burisma Holdings Ltd has come under intense scrutiny following unsupported accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump that Joe Biden improperly tried to help his son’s business interests in Ukraine. Interviews with more than a dozen people, including executives and former prosecutors in Ukraine, paint a picture of a director who provided advice on legal issues, corporate finance and strategy during a five-year term on the board, which ended in April of this year.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:33:29 -0400
  • A woman sues San Antonio after a police officer pulled out her tampon in public

    Golocal247.com news

    The city of San Antonio will vote this week on a proposed settlement that would award a woman $205,000, after she accused a police officer of inappropriately searching her and pulling out her tampon in public.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:52:33 -0400
  • Peek Inside Eero Saarinen’s Iconic General Motors Technical Center

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    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:22:04 -0400
  • Police arrest 2nd suspect in case of isolated Dutch family

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    Dutch police said Thursday that a group of people discovered on an isolated farm this week may have been kept there against their will for up to nine years, as they arrested a 67-year-old man who says he is the father of the group. The man who raised the alarm after walking into a local bar and ordering five beers for himself also says he belongs to the family. While the six people on the farm and the man who raised the alarm say they are all from the same family — a father and six siblings all now young adults — police say they are still investigating their exact relationship as none of the siblings appears to have been registered with authorities.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:43:14 -0400
  • 'Powderkeg' in Germany amid Turks-Kurds conflict

    Golocal247.com news

    Syrian Kurd Mohamed Zidik, 76, still buys his bread and baclavas from his Turkish neighbours in Berlin, but he knows better than to expound on his views about Ankara's offensive in his hometown. Since Turkish forces launched their assault on Kurds in northeastern Syria, tensions have risen in Germany where millions of Turks and Kurds live side by side. Shops have been trashed, knife attacks reported and insults traded, prompting Germany's integration commissioner Annette Widmann-Mauz to call for restraint.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:04:31 -0400
  • Russia's Stealth Su-57 Is a Beast, But Can Russia Afford It?

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    It's pretty expensive for Russia's flagging economy.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • Why Mexico Is Cooperating with Us on Immigration

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    One of the reasons border apprehensions have dropped from their alarming peak in May is that Mexico has been pretty aggressive in stopping third-country nationals from traversing its territory on their way north to make bogus asylum claims so they can be released into the U.S.But why has Mexico been willing to work with us like this? It's especially curious because in the past, Mexico was not at all eager to help us limit illegal immigration, a pattern we might have expected to intensify with last year’s election as president of left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (commonly known as AMLO, pronounced as a word rather than initials).No doubt President Trump's tariff threats had some effect. Three-quarters of Mexico's exports go to the U.S., and despite increased integration of our economies over the past couple of decades, they still need us a lot more than we need them. Also, Trump's mercurial temperament clearly has the Mexicans worried that he could do something rash (similar to Iran's fears about Reagan if the hostages weren't released before he was inaugurated).But it's unlikely that these things would be enough to move a sometimes touchy nationalist like AMLO. Rather, I think a big part of the explanation is that the current flow of illegals is mainly made up of foreigners, not Mexicans. Earlier waves of mass infiltration across our southern border consisted mainly of Mexicans, and while Mexico quickly took back its people who had been nabbed by the Border Patrol, it did little if anything to reduce the flow. They did establish a police-like unit of the country's immigration agency called Grupo Beta, which worked on Mexico’s northern border (opposite our southern border), but its remit was to help potential illegals with water and first aid and protect them from criminals.But the current flow is very different. Yes, there are still a significant number of Mexicans sneaking across the border, but fewer than there used to be. Mexico's economy has grown and developed to a point where fewer people see the need to emigrate. Also, there just aren't that many able-bodied, working-aged people left in rural areas of Mexico, which is now about as urbanized as the U.S.The current illegal flow, by contrast, is mainly non-Mexican, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (the “northern triangle” countries of Central America), but with growing numbers from Haiti, Cuba, various African countries, and even the Middle East. There had always been a small number of what the Border Patrol calls OTMs (Other Than Mexicans), but they now constitute the majority of the flow.When the first caravan to catch the world's attention passed through Mexican towns on its way north in spring 2018, it was often welcomed with mariachi bands, offers of food and water, and even medical checkups. But as more caravans arrived, plus many migrants in smaller groups, all drawn by loopholes in American law that facilitated their release into the U.S., the welcome started to wear out. As the Washington Post wrote this spring:> But six months and several caravans later, much of that welcome has dried up. Most media have left. And the people of Mapastepec, and other places that have been overwhelmed, are showing their fatigue with the growing stream of migrants.> > "People . . . previously opened their doors to these migrants, but they do not have much extra money here," said Roberto Sarabia, 56, who works at a small grocery store. "What little they could give, they’ve already given."Exhaustion has turned to resentment. As the Central American illegals started piling up in Tijuana, preparing to cross to San Diego, local residents last November staged a protest; the NPR report offered a sense of the mood:> Demonstrators held signs reading "No illegals," "No to the invasion" and "Mexico First." Many wore the country's red, white and green national soccer jersey and vigorously waved Mexican flags. The crowd often slipped into chants of "Ti-jua-na!" and "Me-xi-co!" They sang the national anthem several times.Tijuana's mayor at the time, who was in political hot water generally (he subsequently lost his bid for reelection), rushed to try to take advantage of the situation by sporting a "Make Tijuana Great Again" red baseball cap.> Con ustedes el alcalde de Tijuana, Juan Manuel Gastélum, capaz de decir “que me perdonen las organizaciones defensoras de DH, pero los derechos humanos son para humanos derechos” … CaravanaMigrante pic.twitter.com/DkSuKeFBaF> > — Risco (@jrisco) November 16, 2018And it's not just Tijuana. The El Paso Times recently wrote about the newly developed Cuban community across the river in Juarez. Many Cuban illegals are giving up on their U.S. asylum gambit and deciding to settle down in Juarez (proving they were really economic migrants all along). And it's creating resentment. As a burrito seller said of the Cubans, "They don't get along with Mexican people. They get in a little group by themselves. A lot of people don't like them here." And a business consultant complained, "There are people who are coming looking for a handout, who want us to help them, when they could also look for work."The flow of illegals passing through Mexico to make bogus asylum claims in the U.S. has grown so large that some of them aren't bothering to head all the way to the border and are applying for asylum in Mexico instead. The number of asylum applications submitted to Mexico's refugee agency (COMAR) more than tripled in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2018. The asylum burden seems to have gotten so bad that the refugee agency has removed the helpful video it used to host on its website explaining how to apply.And over the weekend, a large group of illegal aliens from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America tried to set out on another caravan in southern Mexico, but were stopped by police and the National Guard (a new paramilitary force established by AMLO specifically for border control). Most telling was this bit of video from a Mexican news outlet, showing the commander of a National Guard platoon addressing his men before confronting the latest caravan. He starts his pep talk by saying, "No one will come to trample our country, our land!"> “Nadie va a venir a pisotear nuestro país, nuestra tierra”, son las palabras de un comandante de pelotón de la GuardiaNacional durante la redada de hoy contra migrantes haitianos y africanos.> > @Chechetc corresponsal de @WRADIOMexico pic.twitter.com/9YexXMqMsF> > — Salvador Zaragoza A. (@SalvadorZA) October 13, 2019None of this is to say that our border has been fully secured, or that we don't need to plug the loopholes that sparked this flow in the first place, or that interior measures such as E-Verify, workplace enforcement, and curbing sanctuary cities are no longer needed. And it's entirely possible that if Mexico hits a serious economic road bump in the future, a new Mexican-illegal surge will take place, and the political calculus will be very different.But for now, the United States and Mexico have a confluence of interests in stopping the flow of third-country "asylum-seekers" heading for the American border. Mexicans love their country, as they should, and they're tired of foreigners using it as a doormat.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:09:22 -0400
  • How Bernie Sanders' heart attack helped convince Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to publicly endorse him, after months of indecision

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    AOC was torn between her longstanding allegiance to Sanders' political revolution and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's record of building power in DC.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0400
  • Mystery traders 'made $1.8bn from stock bet' placed hours before Trump tweeted talks with China were ‘back on track’

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    */Unknown actors may have made billions from the turmoil Donald Trump has created in the markets through erratic tweets, shoot-from-the-hip foreign policy, and the trade war with China, according to a new report.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:16:20 -0400
  • Clinton email probe finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information

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    A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees. The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 20:09:56 -0400
  • South Korean Students Break Into U.S. Ambassador’s Residence

    (Bloomberg) -- A group of South Korean students broke into the residence of American ambassador Harry Harris on Friday, in a protest against Donald Trump’s campaign to get the Asian nation to pay more for U.S. military support.Nineteen students, who described themselves as members of a liberal university students’ group, were detained by police after staging a protest against plans to impose a bigger financial burden for the stationing of U.S. troops in the country, the Yonhap News Agency reported.The students used a ladder to climb the walls of the ambassador’s residence, next to an old South Korean palace, and urged Harris to leave the country.The incident happened days before officials from the U.S. and South Korea are due to meet in Honolulu for the next round of talks on sharing defense costs.After the incident, Seoul police dispatched 80 more officers to beef up security of the envoy’s home, according to Yonhap.Earlier this year, the two allies reached a one-year cost-sharing deal for maintaining about 28,500 American troops in South Korea. That deal expires at the end of 2019.The relationship between the two allies soured after Seoul abruptly announced the termination of a three-year-old pact with Japan -- another U.S. key ally -- for exchanging classified military information. That was in response to Japan’s move to restrict exports of key materials for the manufacture of semiconductors to South Korea.To contact the reporters on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.net;Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Marcus Wright, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 01:27:26 -0400
  • Moms Demand Action founder says advocacy group is not anti-gun

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    Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts spoke with CBS News' Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout"

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 22:08:49 -0400
  • Border Patrol's growing presence at hospitals creates fear

    Golocal247.com news

    An armed Border Patrol agent roamed the hallways of an emergency room in Miami on a recent day as nurses wheeled stretchers and medical carts through the hospital and families waited for physicians to treat their loved ones. The agent in the olive-green uniform freely stepped in and out of the room where a woman was taken by ambulance after throwing up and fainting while being detained on an immigration violation, according to advocates who witnessed the scene. The presence of immigration authorities is becoming increasingly common at health care facilities around the country, and hospitals are struggling with where to draw the line to protect patients' rights amid rising immigration enforcement in the Trump administration.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:58:45 -0400
  • Atatiana Jefferson's death highlights a long history of police violence in Fort Worth, and the community says it's time for a 'reckoning'

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    Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean. Her death was the sixth fatal police shooting in the city since June.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:07:22 -0400
  • World War II's Allied Raid of Berlin Involved 1,000 Bombers (But Germany Fought On)

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    Did Germany have a center of gravity?

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 01:30:00 -0400
  • The Chicago teachers' strike shows how to go on offense against neoliberalism

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    Chicago teachers led the battle against destructive reforms seven years ago – now they’re showing all working people left behind by cuts how to fight‘Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft MediaIn 2012, when Chicago teachers walked off the job in their first strike in 25 years, the cards were stacked against them, nationally and locally. Today, they’re on strike again – and on the offense against austerity.Seven years ago, Rahm Emanuel had just been elected mayor and was looking to deal the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who he saw as a barrier to privatizing the city’s education system, a crushing defeat. That agenda was shared by both Republicans and Democrats across the country, with a barrage of attacks on teachers’ unions, devastating budget cuts to schools and charter school networks – intended to undercut public schools and do an end run around their unions – rapidly multiplying.Yet after electing a new militant leadership in 2010 that pledged to fight not just for bread-and-butter issues like higher pay but a broad agenda of “educational justice” and opposition to austerity, Chicago teachers won that strike, inspiring educators and workers of all kinds across the country – and planting the seeds of future unrest in schools across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oakland, Denver and elsewhere, in the teachers’ strike wave that kicked off last year.Chicago teachers are again on strike, now against the recently elected mayor, Lori Lightfoot. As in 2012, their demands are focused on burning issues in their schools and the city as a whole rather than simply wages and benefits (a strategy that has been called “bargaining for the common good”). And they’re waging that fight alongside another striking union, SEIU Local 73, which represents bus aides, janitors, classroom assistants and other school staff – many of whom earn below-poverty wages.CTU’s staffing demands are straightforward: a nurse, counselor, librarian and social worker in every school. The current ratio of students to counselors, nurses and social workers in Chicago public schools (CPS) far exceeds professional association recommendations. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends one psychologist for every 700 students; last year, each CPS psychologist served 1,760. For nurses, the ratio is four times what is recommended; for social workers, nearly five times. The union is also demanding enforceable caps so that classes aren’t overcrowded, which CTU says is the case in nearly a quarter of all Chicago classrooms.The union is also connecting its bargaining to the city’s affordable housing crisis, demanding housing assistance for both its members and its students, nearly 16,000 of whom experience homelessness. The op-ed pages of the city’s newspapers have upbraided this proposal, but CTU argues that “to fully support our public schools, we must address the lack of sustainable, affordable housing in our city” – a problem faced by cities throughout the country.CTU is breaking new ground, both in the kinds of broad working-class demands it is putting forward and by striking alongside SEIU Local 73. Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population. Yesterday, a sea of CTU red and SEIU purple swarmed the city’s downtown in the afternoon, with thousands on the streets for a mass march after morning school pickets.The union is up against Lightfoot, a political newcomer who won office earlier this year by campaigning as a progressive and running on an education agenda that borrowed heavily from CTU’s: an elected school board rather than one appointed by the mayor, a freeze on charter expansion and major investments in public schools. But Lightfoot’s progressive posturing is now running up against tens of thousands striking Chicago teachers and staff who want more than progressive rhetoric – they want hard commitments, put in writing and legally enforceable through their contract.If she continues to balk at union demands at the bargaining table, Lightfoot will probably see the goodwill she has maintained from average Chicagoans since taking office disappear. The signs don’t look good for her: a Chicago Sun-Times poll conducted just before the strike shows that the public is backing the CTU over the mayor and school board. The same was true for Rahm Emanuel in 2012.Critics on the school board and in mainstream media have responded with the common refrain that Chicago is broke and can’t afford such demands. But Chicago is awash in wealth – enough for Lightfoot to approve the giveaway of $1.3bn in public money to luxury real estate firm Sterling Bay for the mega-development project Lincoln Yards. CTU has long argued that the way to pay for their demands is clear: end these corporate giveaways and tax the rich.The nationwide neoliberal education reform movement was on the march when CTU struck in 2012. But after numerous corruption scandals, growing charter school unionization and strikes, and teacher walk-offs in states throughout the country, that movement is on its heels. Just as the Democratic party has been forced to at least feint left on issues like Medicare for All and free public college tuition because of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns, the party has been forced to back off of its most fervent support for corporate education reform.Chicago teachers led the way in the fight against these destructive reforms seven years ago. Today, they’re showing educators around the country how to fight not only for themselves, but for all working people who have been left behind by budget cuts and the dismantling of the public sector.The education policy scholar Pauline Lipman once described Chicago as “the incubator, test case and model for the neoliberal urban education agenda”. This week, teachers are working to make sure Chicago is where that agenda ends. * Miles Kampf-Lassin is an editor at In These Times. * Micah Uetricht is the managing editor of Jacobin and host of its podcast The Vast Majority. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity and coauthor of the forthcoming Bigger Than Bernie: How We Go From the Sanders Campaign to Political Revolution in Our Lifetimes

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 06:00:22 -0400
  • McConnell rebukes Trump administration: Syria withdrawal is a 'grave strategic mistake'

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    The Senate majority leader never mentions President Donald Trump by name in his op-ed for the Washington Post.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:55:58 -0400
  • Trump Flack Hogan Gidley Stops Just Short of Bashing the Grieving Dunn Family: ‘Entitled to Their Own Opinion’

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    White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley chided grieving parents in defense of President Donald Trump, suggesting on Thursday morning that the family of Harry Dunn was lying when they said the president “ambushed” them and tried to pressure them into meeting the woman who killed their son.In an interview Thursday morning on CNN, the Dunn family said they felt Trump was trying to “intimidate” them into meeting the wife of a U.S. diplomat who killed Dunn in an auto accident in the United Kingdom. A family spokesman further stated that during the Dunns’ White House visit, the president’s aides acted as “henchmen” and were “snarling” at the family.Appearing on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Gidley was asked about the parents’ description of Trump’s visit with the parents and whether he could explain why they felt the president ambushed them.“I have spoken with the president directly about this,” the White House spokesman replied. “It is a horrific situation. He offered his condolences to the family and understands the gravity of this moment and the situation. He did this simply on the behest of [British Prime Minister] Boris Johnson to meet with that family. He wasn’t trying to ambush anybody.”Fox News anchor Sandra Smith then wondered aloud if the president exerted pressure on the family to meet with the diplomat’s wife at the White House.“Absolutely not,” Gildey declared. “He was wonderful in that setting.”Co-anchor Bill Hemmer and Smith, meanwhile, noted that the Dunn family called the president’s advisors “henchmen” and said the scene was terrifying.“Again, that’s their description,” the White House flack responded. “I didn’t get any of that when I talked to the president about the situation. He was the one calming everybody down.”After saying that the president was just offering condolences, Gidley appeared to be ready to bash the family, adding that it is “sad that people come out” to say these things before stopping himself short.“Look, they are entitled to their own opinion about the matter,” he concluded. “But the president didn’t pressure anybody. He doesn’t do that in those situations. He is a father. He is a grandfather. He understands this type of sadness.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:26:09 -0400
  • Rep. Nunes tries to use Steele dossier to defend Trump during closed-door hearing

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    During a closed-door impeachment meeting on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) brought up a topic that surprised some attendees: the Steele dossier. The context, according to three sources familiar with the episode, was his effort to explain why President Trump might be “upset” about Ukraine.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:18:50 -0400
  • Turkey's operation in northern Syria splits Germany's migrant communities

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    Turkey's military offensive in neighboring Syria is raising tensions among Germany's large Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian Arab communities, who are bitterly divided over the operation and have made conflicting demands of Berlin on how to respond. The opposing views are voiced most openly in cities like Berlin and Cologne, where those communities are concentrated, and Kurdish protests against the Turkish operation have sporadically spilled into violence. Turkey says it intends to create a "safe zone" extending 20 miles (32 km) into northeast Syria to ensure the return of millions of Syrian refugees and clear the area of Kurdish militia Ankara views as terrorists.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:22:05 -0400
  • Volvo launches very first fully electric vehicle: the XC40 Recharge

    Golocal247.com news

    Volvo has officially launched its very first EV line and its very first EV: The XC40 small SUV is the first member of the Recharge family. To add to the firsts surrounding this launch, the XC40 small SUV is also the first of the brand equipped with an Android-powered infotainment system -- it's better late than never. This premiere has been coupled with an announcement by the company about their plans to launch a fully electric car every year "with the rest hybrids." Recharge will be the name encapsulating all the brand's electrified vehicles.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:13:06 -0400
  • Kim Kardashian urges clemency for Oklahoma death row inmate

    Golocal247.com news

    Kim Kardashian West has joined a chorus of voices calling for clemency for a black man on Oklahoma's death row who has exhausted his appeals, arguing that a racist juror tainted the outcome of his 2002 trial. Julius Jones was convicted of murder for the 1999 slaying of 45-year-old Paul Howell, who was fatally shot in the driveway of his parents' home in Edmond, Oklahoma. Jones filed a clemency petition with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Tuesday, asking that his death sentence to be commuted to time served.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:20:20 -0400
  • U.S. Proposed to Help North Korea Build Tourist Area: Report

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials proposed a long-term plan to help North Korea construct a tourist area in return for denuclearization during recent working-level talks in Stockholm, Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported.U.S. negotiators prepared plans on the development of the Kalma tourist area, the paper said, citing an unidentified senior South Korean diplomat familiar with the talks in Stockholm. The paper didn’t say how North Korea reacted to the proposal.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been pushing to complete a resort construction in the Wonsan-Kalma coastal area. In August, Pak Pong Ju, a key member of the ruling party’s politburo, visited the region to encourage workers to make the area “a scenic spot” on the east coast.The talks in Stockholm earlier in October were the first in about eight months between the U.S. and North Korea, but ended with little agreement about what was even on the table. North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil said the U.S. arrived “empty-handed” to the meeting, a point disputed by State Department officials.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:17:06 -0400
  • Meet the Nanchang Q-5: China's Nuclear Bomber

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    Beijing's got deterrence.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:36:00 -0400
  • Income Inequality Has Soared While Taxes Have Become Dramatically Less Progressive . . . or Not

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

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:00:58 -0400
  • Long-extinct Tasmanian tigers spotted at least eight times, officials say

    Golocal247.com news

    Between 2016 to 2019, the report notes seven sightings of the Tasmanian tiger. It "had black stripes on the back side of the body."

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:23:03 -0400
  • Trump news – live: President ‘not happy’ over chief of staff's stunning Ukraine admission as next impeachment deadline arrives

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    Donald Trump is said to be “not happy” after his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, appeared to confirm the US had withheld military aid to Ukraine for political purposes, acknowledging the quid pro quo Democrats pursuing the president’s impeachment have sought to prove.While Mr Trump was quick to hail the ceasefire his vice president Mike Pence agreed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara over the Syria crisis, his DC rivals denounced the measure as a “sham” as the fighting continued between the Turkish military and the Syrian Democratic Forces.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 06:51:00 -0400
  • View Photos of the 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:29:00 -0400
  • ANALYSIS-Lira may be Turkey's Achilles heel in Syria battle

    Turkey's ability to sustain its military campaign in Syria may depend in part on what happens far away from the battlefield: in the foreign exchange market. The lira has long been a pinball of geopolitics and lightning rod for relations between Ankara and its Western allies, specifically Washington. Renewed pressure on the currency and attempts to stabilise it could further endanger Turkey's lean foreign currency reserves, leaving the country potentially with little room to defend the lira if sanctions tightened.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:56:50 -0400
  • Convicted Killer Now Charged in Estranged Wife’s Cold-Case Murder: Prosecutors

    Golocal247.com news

    Virginia State Police/HandoutA Virginia man who is behind bars for killing his girlfriend has now been charged with the murder of his wife three decades ago, prosecutors announced Friday.Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, 53, was indicted by a Stafford County grand jury for the May 1989 murder of 28-year-old Marta Haydee Rodriguez. Rodriguez-Cruz is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for the 2009 murder of his girlfriend, Pamela Butler, who was a federal worker in Washington, D.C.During a Friday press conference, Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen announced that the former military police officer, who was discharged after threatening to harm his female superior twice, has been charged with first-degree murder and the unlawful concealment of his wife’s body, finally bringing a 30-year investigation to a close. Cops: NYPD Officer Ordered Hit on Estranged Husband, Boyfriend’s Kid“This is the ultimate act of domestic violence and it’s noteworthy that in the month of October justice is going to be delivered for Marta Rodriguez,” Olson said, pointing out that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rodriguez was last seen on May 1, 1989, as she walked to a bus stop after leaving her job as a nurse’s aide. Prosecutors allege Rodriguez-Cruz murdered his first wife shortly after she told police he had assaulted and kidnapped her—but before she could testify against him in court.“If I can’t have her, no one will,” Rodriguez-Cruz once said, according to 2017 court documents.The 28-year-old’s body was found in 1991 on an Interstate 95 median but was not positively identified until last year.Twenty years after his wife’s 1989 disappearance, Rodriguez-Cruz fatally strangled Butler, an Environmental Protection Agency analyst and his girlfriend of seven months, during a heated argument before hiding her body. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2017, at which point he confessed to killing the 47-year-old in her basement in 2009 before slipping her body out of a first-floor window.Air Force Major Charged With Murder After Missing Wife’s Remains FoundOne of Rodriguez-Cruz’s friends told authorities that he once said it was “easy” to get rid of a body because “if you dig a hole deep enough, no one will find it,” according to testimony at his plea hearing. As part of his plea deal, Rodriguez-Cruz told police he buried Butler in 2009 along Interstate 95—where Rodriguez was found—but her remains were never discovered. Derrick Butler, Pamela’s brother, also attended Friday’s news conference and told reporters he was relieved to hear news of Rodriguez-Cruz’s latest charge.Authorities believe his pattern of abuse stretches beyond the death of his two former lovers. In 2017, investigators testified that the 53-year-old told his second wife he knew how to make sure a body was never found. Another woman, a security guard at a federal office, also told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz allegedly duct-taped her wrists, held a gun to her head, and sexually assaulted her in 2004. “This man doesn’t impulsively kill. He abducts women, duct-tapes them, sexually assaults them, and then holds them captive,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner said at the 2017 hearing. “Duct tape and a gun are his weapon of choice.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:18:31 -0400
  • Chicago principal who watched boy's forced ejection retires

    A Chicago elementary school principal who looked on as a security guard physically forced a fourth-grader out of the building on a cold day has retired. Cynthia Miller retired from her job at Fiske Elementary School on Friday. In a letter to parents, she wrote that leaving wasn't easy but was the right thing to do, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:20:00 -0400
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