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  • Pompeo appeared to coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine, new documents show news

    While the impeachment proceedings are now over, ongoing lawsuits and upcoming books are expected to reveal still more details about the campaign to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pursue the investigations Trump wanted.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:28:16 -0500
  • MSNBC host urged to quit after comparing Bernie Sanders win in Nevada to Nazi invasion news

    MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is under fire after comparing Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940.The ‘Hardball’ host is now under pressure to resign after invoking the historical comparison during an on-air conversation with Brian Williams.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 10:12:25 -0500
  • Iran is closing schools, scrambling for hospital places, and spraying disinfectant in the subway as coronavirus deaths and cases spike news

    The government said 12 people had died of the novel coronavirus as of Monday, though one official said the number is actually much higher.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:25:15 -0500
  • South Korea to launch mass coronavirus testing, U.S. pledges $1 billion for vaccine news

    SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - South Korea aims to test more than 200,000 members of a church at the center of a surge in coronavirus cases, as countries stepped up efforts to stop a pandemic of the virus that emerged in China and is now spreading in Europe and the Middle East. More than 80,000 people have been infected in China since the outbreak began, apparently in an illegal wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan late last year. China's death toll was 2,663 by the end of Monday, up 71 from the previous day.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:12:52 -0500
  • Greyhound will stop allowing immigration checks on buses news

    Greyhound, the U.S.’s largest bus company, said on Friday that it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 13:54:53 -0500
  • Man drives Jeep off 6-story roof of Los Angeles-area garage news

    A man drove his Jeep off the the sixth floor of a Los Angeles-area parking garage early Sunday and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said. When officers arrived shortly after midnight, they found the destroyed vehicle up against a McDonald's restaurant across the street from the garage in Santa Monica, police said. Firefighters extricated him from the wreckage and took him to a local trauma center, where he was listed in critical condition, the Santa Monica Fire Department said.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 15:15:26 -0500
  • Democratic leader Chuck Schumer scolded the TSA for being on TikTok, but the agency is defending its 'award-winning' social media presence news

    Schumer warned that while viewers laughed at the videos, China might be laughing "for a different reason."

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:05:29 -0500
  • Two 13-year-old boys charged with murder in California library fire news

    Charges have been filed against two 13-year-old boys linked to a library fire at California's Porterville City Library that killed two firefighters.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:11:32 -0500
  • NASA space telescope spots a double star system with an alter ego news

    It's like a cosmic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:53:00 -0500
  • Senate FISA Abuse Investigation to Focus on Mystery Source Who Contradicted Steele Dossier news

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Sunday told Fox News the Senate's investigation into FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will focus on interviews the agency conducted with a Russian source who contradicted much of the information in the Steele dossier."The first thing I want to do is call the people who heard from Russian sub-source that this dossier is a bunch of bar talk and hearsay," Graham said on Fox's Sunday Morning Futures. "I want to find out when did [former FBI director James] Comey and [former FBI deputy director Andrew] McCabe understand it was not reliable and start from there."The source, known in the Justice Department Inspector General's report as "Primary Sub-Source," was former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele's only direct contact in Russia for the allegations contained in the dossier. However, the IG report states that the primary sub-source told the FBI and Justice Department that Steele's allegations were false or misleading, including the assertion of Page's involvement in what the dossier terms a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between the Trump campaign and Russian government."The Primary Sub-source made statements during his/her January 2017 FBI interview that were inconsistent with multiple sections of the Steele reports, including some that were relied upon in the FISA applications," the IG report states.Following the publication of the IG report, prominent Republicans called for an overhaul of the FISA system to prevent future abuses. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration is considering doing just that before FISA legislation is set to expire in March.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:04:06 -0500
  • ‘I have never seen him eat a vegetable’: With steak off the menu, officials scramble to feed fussy eater Trump in India news

    Donald Trump has embarked on his first presidential visit to India, the world’s largest democracy – and home to the world’s largest population of vegetarians. Since Mr Trump is a noted beef-eater, in particular a lover of steak and burgers, gastronomically speaking, the visit will prove one of his most challenging.It’s not all bad news for Mr Trump. India’s reputation for overwhelming vegetarianism is overstated, and it’s thought that more families eat beef at home than generally admit it.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:24:41 -0500
  • Nine of the World’s Most Beautiful Outdoor Saunas

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

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:25:20 -0500
  • China 'comprehensively bans' wildlife trade over virus news

    China on Monday declared an immediate and "comprehensive" ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The country's top legislative committee approved a proposal "prohibiting the illegal wildlife trade, abolishing the bad habit of overconsumption of wildlife, and effectively protecting the lives and health of the people," state television reported. Previous temporary bans have been put in place, including after the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in 2002-03 and was also traced to wild animal consumption.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 05:14:22 -0500
  • A Korean Air flight attendant tested positive for coronavirus, as people are desperately trying to cancel flights on the airline news

    It is not clear which routes the infected staffer flew on. Meanwhile, people are trying to cancel reservations to South Korea as its outbreak worsens.

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 03:19:29 -0500
  • Tom Steyer has paid more than $40,000 to rent a property owned by Jim Clyburn's daughter news

    Billionaire Tom Steyer is facing some criticism over his spending in South Carolina, a state where his Democratic presidential campaign is making some legitimate headway.Some people have even accused him of trying to buy votes from the state's African-American voters, which Steyer and many others have adamantly denied, The New York Times reports. One thing that's been particularly scrutinized is the Steyer campaign's rental agreement with a company owned by Jennifer Clyburn Reed, the daughter of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking African American in Congress whose endorsement is considered key in South Carolina. Since October, the Steyer campaign has paid more than $40,000 to the company to rent one of its properties as its state headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina. A California-based bank founded by Steyer, meanwhile, has loaned $1 million to a Columbia-based bank that has one of Clyburn's sons-in-laws on its board.The campaign has brushed off the accusations of trying to procure political favor from the Clyburn family, arguing Steyer is simply committed to hiring local organizers and investing in local businesses to get his grassroots operations running. "The question isn't why Tom is doing this," Steyer spokesman Benjamin Gerdes said in a statement. "The real question is why isn't every other candidate doing it?"The politically-active Reed called the accusations of vote-buying "disturbing" and seemed a bit annoyed that people think she merely serves as a surrogate for her father. "I'm an adult," she told the Times. "There is no connection. My father has his business and I have mine. We do not vote the same way."Besides, it's probably all a moot point — both Reed and Clyburn seem likely to back former Vice President Joe Biden. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from The coronavirus recession? The real third way in 2020 Top member of Trump's coronavirus task force asks Twitter for help accessing map of virus

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:49:00 -0500
  • 'It's my guilty pleasure': Sen. Chuck Schumer confirms spending $8,600 on Junior's cheesecake news

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer admitted he has dropped almost $9,000 on his favorite cheesecake over the years. "Guilty as charged," he said.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:29:08 -0500
  • Probe into abuse at America's oldest deaf school finds 'appalling truths' news

    Officials apologized for the "inexcusable actions" of staff and faculty members and the "fact that the school did not prevent or stop them."

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 23:21:00 -0500
  • Trump administration backs off sending coronavirus patients to Alabama -governor news

    The news came as worry grew over the spread outside China of the sometimes fatal virus, with a spike in the number of cases found in South Korea, Iran and Italy. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey tweeted that she had thanked Trump during a separate phone call.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:34:27 -0500
  • Supreme court denies Rodney Reed appeal news

    The court did leave open the possibility for another appeal following the outcome of upcoming hearings, which could lead to a new trial.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:15:49 -0500
  • Claims of Russian Election Meddling Are Still a Scam news

    The fearmongering over Russian election “interference” might be the most destructive moral panic in American political life since the Red Scare. Then again, to be fair, those who prosecuted the post-war hunt for Communists had the decency to uncover a handful of infiltrators. We’ve yet to meet a single American who’s been brainwashed or had their vote snatched away by an SVR Twitterbot. Probably because no such person exists.Nevertheless, millions of Americans believe that a handful of terrible memes — and I mean the most amateurish and puerile efforts imaginable — on social media were enough to overturn a presidential election in the most powerful nation on earth. Or, more likely, most pretend to believe it. As Donald Trump’s fortunes have turned somewhat in recent weeks, and socialist Bernie Sanders looks poised to take the Democratic Party nomination, the Russians are once again coming to snatch your vote.There were lots of “wows” from journalists on Twitter last week when the New York Times reported that members of the House Intelligence Committee were warned by an aide to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire that Russia would be meddling in the 2020 campaign in order to get President Trump reelected. When Trump found out, the Times reported, he was furious that briefers had given Adam Schiff ammunition for political attacks.First off, this isn’t an absurd concern. In his effort to undermine the public’s confidence in the elections for partisan purposes, Schiff has shown an ugly and cynical propensity to exaggerate and lie about Russian attempted meddling. He’s done more harm in undercutting American trust in “democracy” than Putin.He’s not the only one.“Putin’s Puppet is at it again, taking Russian help for himself,” Hillary Clinton, still struggling to come to terms with her devastating loss, said Friday. “He knows he can’t win without it. And we can’t let it happen.”“We are now in a full-blown national security crisis,” tweeted former CIA Director John Brennan, one of the leading culprits perpetrating the Russia fraud. “By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's.”As if often the case in Trump era, the initial thinly sourced story and subsequent freakout was quickly tempered by additional reporting. CNN’s Jake Tapper, for instance, reported that there was no intelligence showing that Russians would interfere for Trump, only that they likely had a “preference” for Trump because he was “a dealmaker.”Here is Bloomberg’s Eli Lake:> In fact, Schiff — who was present at the briefing in question — knows that there is no formal intelligence finding that Russia is meddling on behalf of Trump. Administration and House Republican sources tell me that the intelligence official who was briefing the committee went “off script” when asked about Russia’s preference for Trump in the presidential election. No other representatives from the intelligence community at the briefing backed up her assertion, these sources say, nor did the briefers provide specific intelligence, such as intercepted emails or conversations, to support the claim.The Washington Post also reported on Friday that Sanders had been briefed by U.S. officials warning that Russia was trying to help his presidential campaign. Democratic Party operatives took to the Sunday shows to blame Russia for supporting Sanders — all in an effort to get Trump reelected. Never mind that Bernie could easily have won the nomination in 2016. Never mind that Sanders has built an impressive national movement over the years. Never mind that the champions of the Democratic Party establishment are astonishingly weak. Never mind the party’s base has been dramatically moving Left for years. It’s gotta be Putin!The Washington Post piece is thin on specifics, which should lead us to believe the story is a politically motivated leak meant to slow Sanders’s momentum. (Then again, Bernie was implying that the Russians were responsible for the toxic campaign behavior of his Bro-sheviks, so maybe he deserves it.)There are few people who detest the candidacy and philosophy of Sanders more than I, yet I’m positive that the KGB can’t give him the Democratic Party nomination any more than they can install Donald Trump in the White House. Only voters can.It’s likely that Russia, as it did in 2016, will engage in amateurish efforts to foment divisions among some American — as if we needed any help. If they actually “hack” an election — a word incessantly, and erroneously, used by journalists at the height of the Russia scare in 2017 — we’ll know.But the Russian hysteria plays into a long-standing liberal conviction that feeble-minded conservatives vote against their own interests only because they’ve been hoodwinked. It might be the doing of a foreign power. It might be the plutocrats. It might be “special interests.” It might even be domestic tricksters, like the ones in the much-discussed recent McKay Coppins piece in The Atlantic, “The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President” — a piece that offers over 8,000 chilling words describing traditional political operations as something dark, undemocratic, and new. Be prepared for a flood of similar pieces. Democrats never lose elections. Elections are only stolen from them. Nothing but Trump stepping down and admitting he’s a Putin asset will stop Democrats from questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election.Of course, if you can’t handle some memes or misleading ads, you probably shouldn’t be voting, anyway. You’re clearly not prepared for the civic responsibilities that come with an open debate, which is often messy and ugly, rather than hermetically sealed in a media-approved bubble.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 06:30:14 -0500
  • Ginni Thomas: SCOTUS justice's wife leading right-wing effort to purge officials 'disloyal' to Trump news

    A group of pro-Trump activists led by Ginni Thomas has reportedly compiled lists of “disloyal” government officials it wants sacked.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:28:59 -0500
  • China sentences Swedish bookseller to 10 years in prison news

    A court in eastern China has sentenced a seller of books that took a skeptical look at the ruling Communist Party to 10 years in prison for “illegally providing intelligence overseas," in a further sign of Beijing’s hard line toward its critics. The Ningbo Intermediate People's Court announced Tuesday that it has sentenced Gui Minhai, a naturalized Swedish citizen. Gui admitted to his crime, agreed with the sentence and will not appeal, the court said.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:33:50 -0500
  • North Korea has yet to officially report any coronavirus cases. But it just quarantined 380 foreigners. news

    The majority of the quarantined individuals in the secretive, isolated country are diplomats. The nationalities of the quarantined individuals have not been identified.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:23:42 -0500
  • Putin Sent Her Activist Boyfriend to the Arctic Circle. Now She Wants to Go, Too. news

    MOSCOW—Few people are familiar with Novaya Zemlya, a very obscure archipelago above the Arctic Circle that is controlled by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the infamous Soviet spy agency, the KGB. Even fewer people hope to travel to those thinly populated and thoroughly militarized islands, where the Russian army tests its Arctic missile systems, and where polar bears suffering the effects of climate change dig through garbage pits at impoverished settlements. Alexei Navalny on Standing Up to Putin and His Murderous MinionsIt sounds like hell frozen over, in fact—and it figures in what looks like a new tactic by President Vladimir Putin (a former KGB operative) to intimidate his most vocal critics. But Kira Yarmysh has a special reason to go there. She is desperate to see her partner, who became the first victim of such an operation last December.“The FSB abducted my boyfriend, Ruslan Shaveddinov, and isolated him in Novaya Zemlya,” Yarmysh told The Daily Beast. “The most outrageous truth is that several divisions of the state system, including military authorities, aviation, and secret services, are helping to hide Ruslan from us.” This was hardly a random act. Yarmysh is a news presenter and spokesperson for Russia’s top opposition leader, Aleksei Navalny, and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). Shaveddinov is one of the group’s star reporters and presenters as well.Russia still has a military draft, and 12 months of service are mandatory for all male citizens age 18 to 33. Shaveddinov, known as “Shav,” has been famous for presenting vivid, well-documented corruption investigations on YouTube. But at 23 years old, he was vulnerable, and authorities claimed he was draft-dodging.The news agency TASS quotes Moscow’s military commissar, Col. Maksim Loktev, claiming the conscription of Shaveddinov was perfectly ordinary: “He departed to the place of his military service on the draft.” But the young activist’s colleagues aren’t buying it. It’s not just the matter of conscription; it’s the deployment that’s suspicious.“This is a unique example of how the FSB begins to use military service as a prison for politically active young men,” Navalny told The Daily Beast. “I think the order was to isolate Shav.”Viewers all over Russia recognize Yarmysh and Shaveddinov from YouTube, which is the main outlet for Navalny’s reports. More than three million viewed their presentation last summer (while Navalny was in jail) about Moscow Deputy Mayor Natalia Sergunina. They reported she was making millions of dollars off property deals in the Russian capital for companies controlled by her relatives, an allegation that she has denied.  There are frequent police raids on FBK offices, along with confiscations of computers, cellphones, and video cameras. On July 27, members of an armed special unit raided Yarmysh’s home at dawn, woke the couple up, put Ruslan on the floor, and confiscated all of the digital equipment. After a tough 2019, Kira and Ruslan looked forward to celebrating the New Year’s holiday together, without any people around. But on Dec. 23, Kira’s boyfriend vanished and his cellphone was not answered. His friends found the door to his apartment broken. Nearly 24 hours later, Yarmysh discovered that her partner was more than 3,000 kilometers (some 2,000 miles) away, in a unit of what’s called the 33rd Guards Rocket Army based in Rogachevo village on the Southern Island of Novaya Zemlya. Yarmysh had never heard much about the rules of the archipelago and the news came as a shock: there was an old nuclear testing ground near Ruslan’s base; she could not visit his island without a special FSB permit. Then Ruslan called her, and what she heard broke her heart, she says.“There were two army captains with him listening in our conversation, so every time I asked him how he was, he said, ‘Let’s talk about you,” Yarmysh remembered. “He told me he was banned from using his cellphone, which is a violation—every Russian soldier can call home once a week! So I decided to sue his commander.”Yarmysh wanted to be present during the court hearing last week, and, of course, to see Ruslan. She requested an FSB permit earlier this month, but days passed and there was no word back. The court hearing was scheduled for last Wednesday, but a Moscow judge on the case was not able to get to Novaya Zemlya, Yarmysh said—the flight got canceled due to harsh weather conditions. (This is not unusual given the brutal Arctic weather.) “They regularly cancel flights during the winter, so I am surprised that the army managed to transport Ruslan there so easily in December,” Yarmysh said. “It is obvious that the weather is not an issue, if there is an order to bring the guy.”Finally a hearing was held at the end of the week, and a lawyer from the Navalny team was able to make it there, but there was no satisfaction to be had and communications were spotty. At midday on Saturday, Yarmysh tweeted that she still had heard nothing about her boyfriend's fated. (A troll responded with pictures of polar bears eating a bloody corpse: "Found him. But no need to thank me.")The lawyer finally got in touch late Saturday, but only briefly. He reported that, officially, the court said Shaveddinov had no unusual restrictions. But in practical terms that was no consolation, and Yarmysh said she couldn't be sure what happened until the attorney made it back to Moscow. As of Monday, however, he was till stuck above the Arctic Circle because of the weather."Prisoners have more rights than Ruslan," Yarmysh told The Daily Beast. "He doesn't have any right to call, or even to send letters."Yarmysh grew up in Rostov-on-Don, a provincial southern town on the border with Ukraine’s Donbas region. Her single mother brought her up dreaming that one day Kira would win The Clever Heads, a televised competition for high-schoolers that awards the winners with a chance to enroll in Russia’s most prestigious university for future diplomats, the MGIMO, or Moscow State Institute of International Relations. And, yes, Yarmysh won.While studying at MGIMO, she thought she would one day get a diplomat’s position in Africa, far from the Russian political scene. But anti-Putin street protests in 2011-2012 changed her life, and she wound up on the front line of the opposition’s constant fight with corrupt bureaucrats. Her mother has always been an Aleksey Navalny fan, Yarmysh said, so when she got her job at the FBK six years ago, her family supported her. “Kira Yarmysh is one of the brightest stars in Navalny’s team. She is emerging to be even bigger but still stay in Navalny’s shadow,” Echo of Moscow Deputy Chief Editor Olga Bychkova told The Daily Beast. Yarmysh says that if she has to she will wait for her boyfriend for 12 months, as do millions of other Russian girls all over the country. “I hope this is going to be just one year,” she says.  For two months, Yarmysh has been worried, feeling “hurt,” she says, wondering why out of all Russia’s vast military bases, her boyfriend was isolated in the Arctic. “The authorities might think that Ruslan and I, if we come out to a street protest, might lead masses of people,” Yarmysh said, then added: “I personally have no fear. If they raid our homes, if they detain us, I tell myself, we must be doing everything right.” But for the moment that is, at best, cold comfort.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 05:11:15 -0500
  • History You Can See: Iwo Jima Footage Shines a Spotlight on Marines news

    These pictures are far from the only images of the bloodiest fight in the Marines’ history. A larger library of film, and the men captured on them, is similarly emotionally affecting. It can even bring Americans alive today closer to a war that ended in the middle of the last century.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 20:30:00 -0500
  • 14 products dermatologists recommend for soothing redness and rosacea news

    These products help soothe skin, minimize redness and prevent flare-ups of rosacea.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:59:54 -0500
  • Missing Tennessee toddler's grandmother and her boyfriend extradited after arrest news

    Evelyn Boswell, a Tennessee toddler who is 15 months old, was last seen in December. An Amber Alert was issued for her on Wednesday.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:11:12 -0500
  • Mahathir strengthens hand amid Malaysian political turmoil news

    Rival political factions competed to win favor with Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday after he plunged Malaysia into political turmoil by resigning as prime minister, reinforcing the likelihood his shock move will strengthen his power. Mahathir, who at 94 is the world's oldest government leader, stepped down on Monday but was immediately named as interim prime minister by Malaysia's king - a role that carries all the authority of a permanent leader. The move effectively broke apart an increasingly fragile and unpopular coalition Mahathir had formed with old rival Anwar Ibrahim, 72, to win government on an anti-corruption platform in 2018.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:35:19 -0500
  • Dueling Narratives Emerge From Muddied Account of Russia's 2020 Interference news

    As accusations swirled Sunday about Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2020 election, President Donald Trump's national security adviser and former Vice President Joe Biden could not agree on what Moscow is, or is not, doing.Their disagreement came as intelligence officials disputed reports that emerged last week about a briefing of the House Intelligence Committee. The officials now maintain that the House members either misheard or misinterpreted a key part of the briefing and that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not mean to say that it believes the Russians are currently intervening in the election explicitly to help Trump.They do believe that Russia is intervening in the election and that Moscow prefers Trump, a deal-maker it knows well. But at least for now, those two objectives may not be linked.The differing interpretations only made it easier for the Trump administration and Democrats to put forward their own version of what the Russians are doing. As the national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, defended Trump and intimated that the Russians favored the Democratic presidential front-runner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden blamed the president and other Republicans for allowing Russia to continue to interfere in the election.O'Brien, who took office at the end of last summer, insisted on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he had never seen any intelligence suggesting that the Russians were interfering on behalf of Trump."There's no briefing that I've received, that the president has received, that says that President Putin is doing anything to try and influence the election in favor of President Trump," O'Brien said, referring to the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. "We just haven't seen that intelligence. If it's out there, I haven't seen it."He was referring to an assessment provided to the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 13. That briefing outlined the breadth of Russian efforts to get involved in the November election -- from hacking into voting systems to disinformation.At the root of the confusion is what Shelby Pierson, a senior intelligence official responsible for overseeing the issues of election interference, said in that briefing.Pierson, a longtime intelligence official, said there was no doubt the Russians were continuing to insert themselves in the election process. That would be consistent with past intelligence reports and the effort by the U.S. Cyber Command in 2018 to block Russian intelligence from manipulating social media before the midterm congressional elections.But some intelligence officials said Pierson did not say that the current interference was explicitly on Trump's behalf. Others in the briefing said that in response to lawmakers' follow-up questions, officials made the connection between the Russian preference for Trump and Moscow's efforts to interfere in the election.The difference between actively backing Trump and preferring his reelection is a subtle nuance, officials said, but an important one: It is probably too early for the Russians to begin any significant move to bolster a specific candidate. In 2016, they at first sought to cause chaos and hurt Hillary Clinton, intelligence reports released later that year said, but only in the last few months before the election did they actively work to elect Trump.If they go the same route now, it would not be inconsistent with backing Sanders for the Democratic nomination, in part because Sanders has voted against new sanctions on Russia and because he is considered a noninterventionist. And they may conclude, rightly or wrongly, that Trump could beat Sanders.O'Brien seemed to have little doubt that the Russians preferred Sanders. "What I've heard from the FBI," he said, "is that Russia would like Bernie Sanders to win the Democrat nomination. They'd probably like him to be president, understandably, because he wants to spend money on social programs and probably would have to take it out of the military."He did not give the source of that intelligence.Sanders has denounced Russia and warned it not to interfere in the election.Trump also leapt into the fray Sunday, accusing Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of leaking information from the briefing.He demanded on Twitter that someone tell "Adam 'Shifty' Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made up information, to the Fake News Media.""Someday he will be caught, & that will be a very unpleasant experience!" Trump added.When Trump made similar comments earlier Sunday, Schiff accused the president of deflection."Your false claims fool no one," he said in a tweet. "You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine's help in 2019, and won't protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You've betrayed America. Again."Biden, who was in office as the Obama White House struggled over how to respond to Russian interference in 2016, saw some advantage in claiming he was the candidate Putin hated."The Russians don't want me to be the nominee," he said on "Face the Nation." "They spent a lot of money on bots on Facebook, and they've been taken down, saying Biden is a bad guy. They don't want Biden running. They're not -- no one's helping me to try to get the nomination. They have good reason."Biden said he had not been informed of any specific intelligence. But intelligence officials said the reports they have generated have been consistent: Russian activity did not end with the 2016 election.Biden suggested that Trump was still denying Russia's involvement in 2016, even though U.S. intelligence officials have testified on the issue every year of his presidency."The president denies they're involved," Biden said. "They've been involved. I was deeply involved in the intelligence apparatus and how it functioned before we left the vice presidency. It was clear they were involved. The president continues to deny their involvement. It's overwhelming. And the fact is that everybody knows."He accused the Republican leadership in the Senate of failing to act to secure electoral systems.While Congress allocated several hundred million dollars for election security immediately after the 2016 election, gaping holes in the system remain, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has repeatedly blocked additional legislation from coming to the floor for a vote.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:56:40 -0500
  • Pacific NW winds shut interstate, fell tree that crushes man news

    High winds wreaked havoc on the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, closing a stretch of an interstate freeway in Oregon and toppling a large tree that crushed a man sleeping in an apartment complex in Washington state. The man was critically injured in Renton, Washington, after a tree fell on a six-unit apartment building during a morning of high winds and heavy rain. Elsewhere, Interstate 84 was closed in both directions between Pendleton and La Grande in northeast Oregon, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of Portland, because of a downer power line.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 17:34:50 -0500
  • 30 of the Best Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucets

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

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:28:20 -0500
  • China said it would relax its lockdown of Wuhan's 11 million residents, only to immediately reintroduce it news

    Wuhan announced that some people could leave the locked-down city, only to reverse the announcement hours later as the coronavirus spreads.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 06:25:13 -0500
  • US economy faces long-lasting damage from trade war: Fed official news

    The trade conflict of the past two years likely left a mark on the US economy, even with the recent agreement to defuse the situation, a Federal Reserve official said Monday. The outbreak of the new coronavirus in China adds another risk factor to the outlook, which otherwise seemed poised to provide steady growth, said Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve's regional bank in Cleveland. With the partial agreement signed with China to call a truce in the dispute with Beijing -- despite leaving many tariffs in place -- as well as a new continental free trade pact with Canada and Mexico, Mester said the trade picture is "somewhat better" heading into 2020.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:43:58 -0500
  • South Korea's F-15K Slam Eagle Fighters Could Make North Korea Hurt news

    And North Korea has taken notice.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 21:30:00 -0500
  • Former AG Loretta Lynch to lead investigation into Syracuse University police news

    Lynch will lead the investigation as the school has been rocked by a series of racist incidents and a call by some students to disarm campus cops.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:25:00 -0500
  • Virginia law makes 'D.C. sniper' Lee Boyd Malvo eligible for parole, ends Supreme Court case

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    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:10:53 -0500
  • Bloomberg Killed the Best Chance at Justice for the 9/11 Attacks news

    If it wasn’t for Mike Bloomberg, the alleged perpetrators of the worst terrorist attack in American history would likely have been convicted of mass murder by now.According to all the evidence available both at the time and in the nine years since Bloomberg’s intervention, a federal court almost certainly would have convicted the five co-defendants. A judge would have had to reckon with the torture the CIA inflicted on them, barring the prosecution from using tainted evidence—and showing, for the record, how torture jeopardized the case. Most importantly, there would have been closure, provided in open court and displaying the inheritance of centuries of jurisprudence, for the atrocity of 9/11 and the brutality America chose when confronting it. All that was why Eric Holder, then the attorney general, announced in November 2009 that the Justice Department would bring criminal charges against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ammar al-Baluchi, Ramzi Binalshibh, Walid bin Attash, and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, who—then as now—were detained at Guantanamo Bay. The venue for the trial was to be the federal courthouse in Manhattan, a short walk from the former site of the World Trade Center. It was an even shorter walk to City Hall, where Michael Bloomberg presided as mayor. Bloomberg at first backed trying the 9/11 conspirators in the city. But the NYPD and the big real estate developers central to Bloomberg’s vision of New York as a “luxury brand” viewed the trial as a national-security version of a Not-In-My-Backyard concern—all as a broader backlash to Barack Obama’s handling of the war on terror was brewing. By January 2010, Bloomberg reversed himself, and his opposition doomed the trial. “I remember the hopes I had that there would be a federal trial, and I remember when Bloomberg and others came together and said it wasn’t going to happen,” said Terry Rockefeller, whose sister died in the World Trade Center and who apportions blame for the trial’s collapse on Holder as well. “It’s just been the most frustrating reflection on what we’ve done as a nation that this many years later we can’t have a trial.” The episode is less remembered than Bloomberg’s defense of racist policing, his accommodation of police Islamophobia, his history of misogyny and his affinity for foreign authoritarians, all of which Bloomberg shares with the occupant of the White House he seeks to dislodge. But it had a devastating effect on the Obama administration’s ambitions for emptying the wartime prison in Cuba and proving the merits of civilian courts over military tribunals for what Holder had called the trial of the century. Eighteen years after 9/11, justice for the attack remains locked away in Guantanamo.“It’s hard to overestimate the damage that Bloomberg’s opposition to holding the 9/11 trials in New York federal courts caused,” recalled Karen Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University. “The inability to have closure on the 9/11 attacks, which this country is still owed; the lack of trust in the federal criminal justice system; and the perpetuation of Gitmo—it is an incalculable misstep, and it pulled the rug out from under Obama and Holder’s conviction that the 9/11 trials needed to be held in federal court on federal soil, just as [international terrorism cases] had always been prior to 9/11.”Joseph Marguiles, attorney for Abu Zubaydah, another Guantanamo detainee tortured by the CIA, said Bloomberg’s rejection of the trial showed the same “fear-mongering and bone-headedness” as his embrace of stop-and-frisk. “It’s all of a piece: a mindless, reflexive cowardice,” Marguiles said. Representatives for Bloomberg’s campaign did not respond to messages seeking comment. Holder, through a spokesperson, declined comment. So did Holder’s national security adviser at the time, Amy Jeffress. Barack Obama came into office pledging to close Guantanamo Bay, but quickly alienated civil libertarians by his parsimonious definitions of what closure meant. Rather than forsake military detention away from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama sought to replicate it at an Illinois prison that critics derided as “Gitmo North.” By the spring of his first year in office, he proclaimed himself open to indefinite military detention for the “toughest” cases, even as he pledged he would seek civilian prosecutions for terrorist suspects “whenever feasible.”The centerpiece for that feasibility was the 9/11 trial. For years, the 9/11 co-conspirators had languished in unofficial CIA prisons known as black sites where they faced torture so extreme that one of them, Hawsawi, experienced a rectal prolapse. Holder called prosecuting them in federal court the “defining event” of his tenure atop the Justice Department. He had support from important New York politicians. “New York is not afraid of terrorists,” boasted Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat representing Manhattan. Bloomberg, at first, joined the chorus. “It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered,” he said the day of Holder’s announcement. Doing so was entirely feasible, he noted, as proven by the federal trial for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Bloomberg said he had spoken to Holder and pledged city support “in any way necessary.” He expressed confidence in the NYPD’s “experience dealing with high-profile terrorism suspects and any logistical issues that may come up during the trials.”But he quickly developed other ideas. By the time the Justice Department announced its intended 9/11 trial, a backlash to Obama was coalescing around the country. One of its focal points was Obama’s emphasis on using the criminal justice system for terrorism cases, which the right interpreted as a five-alarm fire. Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, led an early charge warning “how dangerous closing Guantanamo could be.” Then, weeks after the Justice Department announcement, FBI agents read a Miranda warning to a Nigerian jihadist named Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried and failed to blow up a civilian airliner as it descended into Detroit. Abdulmutallab extensively cooperated with investigators, but to the right, it crystallized a danger Obama allegedly posed. Rudy Giuliani wailed, “Why in God’s name would you stop questioning a terrorist?”   The 9/11 trial suddenly had a new, hysterical context. A rally at Foley Square in December, featuring relatives of 9/11 victims, denounced the attorney general. It was organized by a group led by Islamophobic 9/11 widow Debra Burlingame, future Rep. Liz Cheney and neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol, called Keep America Safe—explicitly meaning safe from terrorism and, tacitly, from Obama. Accordingly, the crowd around or passing by Foley Square yelled “traitor” and “lynch Holder!” Then there were more parochial concerns. The NYPD began worrying aloud that the trial would be a logistical snarl, and ratcheted up their estimates of its cost. Commissioner Ray Kelly briefed community officials with intimidating projections about blanketing downtown Manhattan with police checkpoints and intrusive searches. The police weren’t the only influential constituency that blanched. The New York Times reported that Bloomberg got “an earful” of opposition to the trial when he attended an annual gathering of the Real Estate Board of New York; its president warned “it would destroy the economy in Lower Manhattan.” Jane Mayer of The New Yorker noted that “companies with downtown real-estate interests had been lobbying to stop the trial.” The chairwoman of the downtown-Manhattan community board wrote an op-ed opposing having the trial “in the midst of a dense residential and office neighborhood.” Bloomberg’s Money Won’t Right the Wrong of ‘Guantanamo-on-Hudson’By early January, weeks after supporting the trial, Bloomberg reneged. In a letter to the White House, Bloomberg asserted a security threat to the trial that he felt no political pressure to explain. Now the trial would cost the city over $200 million annually, largely due to reallocating police officers, who would accrue “significant overtime.” Bloomberg, backed by Kelly, expected federal reimbursement—something he insisted would not be a “blank check.” Bloomberg was backed by his home-state senator, now-Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, who insisted that “not a nickel of these costs should be borne by New York taxpayers.”It happened that there was a test case undercutting Bloomberg’s argument in real time. In June 2009, federal prosecutors in New York indicted a different Gitmo detainee, someone whom the CIA also tortured in the black sites. The trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani wasn’t on the scale of the 9/11 trial—he was indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania—but it featured no security disruption from terrorists, no abnormal police presence, and no economic disaster. Its judge, Lewis Kaplan, refused the government one of its desired witnesses, someone whom Ghailani named during his black-site interrogations. A jury acquitted Ghailani of all but one count of conspiracy, but it was enough to sentence him to life in prison in 2011, a sentence that has survived Ghailani’s appeals. His trial took a month.  But by then, the 9/11 trial had long been a lost cause. At a press conference on a Wednesday in late January, fueled by a nonbinding community-board vote against the trial, Bloomberg said that his “hope is that the attorney general and the president decide to change their mind” and hold the trial elsewhere. Two days later, Justice Department officials conceded to Times reporters that it was now “obvious” the trial couldn’t happen in New York.“If these trials were going to take place anywhere, they’d take place in New York, and the mayor of the largest city in the country said they can’t handle it. Well, if you can’t do it there, you can’t do it anywhere,” Marguiles said. “It was just nonsense. Of course they could have done it. These cases would have been resolved 10 years ago.” That November, before the Justice Department could salvage the prosecutions and indict Mohammed and his co-conspirators elsewhere, the Republicans won control of Congress. Once in office, the new GOP majority spearheaded legislation barring the Pentagon from spending money to move Guantanamo detainees onto mainland American soil, effectively killing any federal criminal indictment of anyone held in the wartime prison, a prohibition that continues to this day. Conceding defeat, the Obama administration in 2012 re-indicted the five co-conspirators in a military commission held at Guantanamo.The death of the 9/11 trial didn’t stop Obama from prosecuting terror suspects, something Donald Trump’s Justice Department has pursued as well. “It just became impossible to resolve the stain of 9/11 and the reality of Guantanamo,” Marguiles observed. “Everything about the show trial taking place down at Gitmo is inferior.”Indeed, the 9/11 military tribunal has lasted almost eight years without proceeding to trial. It’s been beset by a baroque series of setbacks, including accusations of government spying on the defense attorneys. Its new judge has set a trial date for 2021, some 20 years after 9/11, but that target is, as ever, in doubt. This week, one of Binalshibh’s attorneys, James Harrington, sought to remove himself from the case on health grounds. To keep the trial date alive, the prosecution took the extraordinary step of motioning to keep Harrington involved.Like many attorneys—including Holder—Greenberg and Marguiles believe the abundance of evidence about the 9/11 plot obtained outside of torture is sufficient to secure a federal conviction for the accused co-conspirators. As well, Marguiles said the 9/11 trial would have provided a way to “reckon with the legacy of torture.” Without a trial, New Yorkers and Americans generally lack the “closure and a narrative” that court cases provide, Greenberg said. “This country continues to live inside the post-9/11 moment,” she said, “in a way that didn’t need to happen.”No one continues to live in that moment more than the thousands of people like Rockefeller, who lost their loved ones on 9/11. “It was a crushing failure of will to actually do the right thing, to try the [accused conspirators] in a federal court,” said Rockefeller, who is affiliated with Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. “That would have been to say that our pride in our rule of law, and our belief in our legal system, is what makes us different from terrorists.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:14:09 -0500
  • President Trump, first lady visit Taj Mahal in India news

    President Trump, who once owned the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J., took in breathtaking views of the real Taj Mahal Monday in India. As Trump walked from the iconic 17th century mausoleum, he told reporters that it is s an “incredible place."

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:47:56 -0500
  • Russia Unveils Laika, Its Next-Gen Nuclear Attack Submarine news

    It looks like an exotic sea creature.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:06:00 -0500
  • Auschwitz Museum upset at scene in Amazon series 'Hunters' news

    The museum of the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp is objecting to a scene in a new Amazon TV series that shows a murderous game of human chess being played there, insisting that no such thing took place at the camp. The museumand memorial that guard the Auschwitz-Birkenau site in southern Poland, its historic facts and the memory of the victims tweeted about the scene in Amazon's series “Hunters.” It said inventing fake scenes is “dangerous foolishness and caricature," encourages Holocaust deniers and is disrespectful of the camp's some 1.1 million victims, including women and children. The series' creator, David Weil stressed in a statement it was not a documentary but a narrative with largely fictional characters.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 05:59:56 -0500
  • The coronavirus death toll is still rising, but US interest in the outbreak is plummeting news

    Serious outbreaks outside of China have been reported in Italy, Iran, and South Korea in the last week.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:39:44 -0500
  • Expelled Wall Street Journal reporters leave China after headline row news

    Two Wall Street Journal reporters left China on Monday after being expelled over a controversial headline in an op-ed that angered Beijing. Three reporters were ordered out of the country last week over what Beijing deemed a racist headline that the journalists were not involved in writing -- marking one of the harshest moves against foreign media in years. The Journal opinion piece -- headlined "China is the Real Sick Man of Asia" -- was written by a US professor who criticised the Chinese government's initial response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 04:59:39 -0500
  • Trump's 'Big' China Trade Deal Has Some Really Big Problems news

    The remaining issues, such as cyber theft, cyber security, and standardization, are untouched by the Agreement and could be the source of tension in the future.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 12:30:00 -0500
  • President says he fears Bernie Sanders, as Indians label him ‘warmonger, imperialist, gangster’ during lavish Taj Mahal visit news

    Donald Trump has told reporters Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is the 2020 rival he fears the most during his tour of India, which began with the president receiving a bear hug from Narendra Modi and a lavish welcome from the locals.Prior to visiting the Taj Mahal, the president addressed a “Namaste Trump” rally before a 100,000-strong crowd at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad and praised the country’s economic progress, thriving Bollywood film industry and “very tough” prime minister - only to mangle the pronounciation of several key names, including that of legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:16:29 -0500
  • Wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 in Georgia kills 6 people, including Virginia parents and their 3 children news

    Six people, including three children, were killed early Sunday in a head-on crash on Interstate 95, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

    Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:35:21 -0500
  • Coast-to-coast storm to slow travel for millions news

    More rain is expected in flooded areas of the South, and Chicago could get its biggest snowstorm of the season.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:32:35 -0500
  • Americans Show Fresh Signs of Panic as Coronavirus Cases Jump Again news

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday that the number of 2019 novel coronavirus cases in the United States rose from 34 on Friday to 53 as more passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the disease. The virus quickly spread among 695 passengers aboard the Carnival cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, and has since killed at least two and forced many of the rest into quarantine and isolation. The U.S. State Department eventually repatriated those Americans who wished to come home, though local officials across the United States have shown signs of resistance to housing the potentially infected in state or federal facilities. COVID-19, as the virus is officially known, has infected more than 79,000 people in two dozen countries and killed at least 2,600. Businesses across the world have responded by canceling conferences and restricting travel, especially to China. U.S. financial markets plunged Monday as the number of confirmed cases rose in South Korea, Italy, and Iran. Meanwhile, at least one man in Miami was facing a medical bill for up to thousands of dollars after a coronavirus scare. He was ultimately diagnosed with the flu, but the case showed the potential for people with high cost health plans to rack up fees as panic spreads in a country without universal health care.The Ticking Coronavirus Time Bomb: America’s UninsuredEven as the petri dish of the Diamond Princess and the surge in cases in Europe and the Middle East have captured the world’s attention, the vast majority of cases remain in China, where the virus was first documented in December.Still, the emergence of the virus has produced a range of emotional responses across American professions and demographic groups. The possibility of infection has previously caused panic among ride-share drivers, while teenagers have pretended to be infected with the virus to prompt others to share their videos. There have also been reports of bullying and discrimination against students of Asian descent.Now residents of Salt Lake City appear to be projecting their fears of the virus onto Shen Yun, a dance troupe known as much for its ubiquitous marketing as for its traditional Chinese performances. The group was slated to perform Feb. 25 and 26 in Salt Lake, and residents began calling the local and state public health departments to ask whether dancers might be contagious.Nicholas Rupp, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City health department, said his agency had received four calls since Friday from residents concerned over the risk of infection because of rumors they saw on social media. There is, he said, no basis for the rumors, as the group’s North American branch only tours in North America and therefore would not be likely to come into contact with coronavirus patients.“We’ve investigated, and we have no reason to believe that anyone associated with the troupe is ill,” he told The Daily Beast.The Utah State Department of Health has also received calls about this week’s Shen Yun performance and coronavirus, according to spokeswoman Charla Haley, though she said she did not know how many. She reiterated Rupp's point that the claims have no basis.One email to public health officials obtained by The Daily Beast describes a medical conspiracy by Shen Yun leadership, though the message offers no evidence. “A friend gave me news that this group just finished performing In Korea and a few of their members returned to the US with coronavirus symptoms but was prevented to seek medical help from their leader. They are suppressing their members to leak the news so no performing schedules will be interrupted,” the email reads. The writer’s name has been redacted. The emailer expressed doubts about the provenance of the information but decided acting on it was better than staying silent.“A group of SL local people are asking the public to call Mitt Romney, SL mayor Office and the health department to stop them from coming. I don’t know where this source is from. Too many fake news these days but if this one happens to be true I would do my share of citizen duties to call to the officials.”Staffers at Shen Yun appear to be aware of the perception, however baseless, that dancers might be infected, as well. The group published an undated press release dispelling the whispers: “Shen Yun Is Not From China, Shows In No Way Affected By Coronavirus.”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.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:50:46 -0500
  • Idaho's governor says he's hoping to speed up the extradition of doomsday mom Lori Vallow so she can face charges connected to her 2 missing kids news

    Lori Vallow, who's two children have been missing since September, was arrested on charges related to their disappearance last week.

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:25:03 -0500
  • Alabama inmate spared by dementia argument dies on death row

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

    Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:48:21 -0500
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