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  • Impeachment's hectic fourth week ends. Here's what to look for next week.

    Golocal247.com news

    The fourth week of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in Congress was the busiest so far, with five different depositions, a fractious meeting of Republicans and Democrats at the White House, and a shocking press conference by President Trump’s chief of staff.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:45:15 -0400
  • 'She stole their lives': Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

    Golocal247.com news

    Alyssa Shepherd was found guilty of three felony counts of reckless homicide for the Oct. 2018 crash that killed three siblings.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:08:50 -0400
  • 70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments

    Golocal247.com news

    As many as 100,000 Californians are eligible to receive payments for the damages they suffered from a series of devastating wildfires over the last several years. Concerned that as many as 70,000 victims may miss out on payments, attorneys filed court papers Friday to alert the bankruptcy judge that wildfire survivors — many still traumatized and struggling to get back on their feet — aren't aware of their rights to file a claim. "People really are overwhelmed and don't understand what they need to do," said Cecily Dumas, an attorney for the Official Committee of Tort Claimants, a group appointed by the court to represent all wildfire victims in the bankruptcy.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 13:09:01 -0400
  • Let jihadists return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges

    Golocal247.com news

    The refusal of the French government to take back Islamic State fighters from Syria could fuel a new jihadist recruitment drive in France, threatening public safety, a leading anti-terrorism investigator has told AFP. David De Pas, coordinator of France's 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, said that it would be "better to know that these people are in the care of the judiciary" in France "than let them roam free". Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia in northeast Syria has sparked fears that some of the 12,000 jihadists, including thousands of foreigners, being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could escape.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 07:39:02 -0400
  • EU will delay Brexit until February if Johnson fails to ratify deal this week - The Sunday Times

    The Sunday Times has reported http://bit.ly/2p1UfbJ that the European Union will delay Brexit until February 2020 if Prime Minister Boris Johnson is unable to get his deal past parliament this week. The delay would be "fungible", meaning that Britain could leave earlier, on Nov. 1 or 15, December or January, if his deal is ratified before the extension ends, the newspaper said, citing diplomatic sources.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 13:30:42 -0400
  • Russia's Stealth Su-57 Is a Beast, But Can Russia Afford It?

    Golocal247.com news

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

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:00:00 -0400
  • Rudy Giuliani reportedly tried to get a visa for a former Ukrainian prosecutor ousted with the help of Joe Biden

    President Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani reportedly attempted to secure a visa for former Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin, CNN reported Friday.George Kent, the deputy assistant of state for European and Eurasian affairs, reportedly told congressional investigators that Giuliani asked both the State Department and the White House for a visa, two people familiar with his closed-door deposition earlier this week said. The State Department reportedly objected to the request and refused to grant the visa, which led Giuliani to seek help from the White House. It's unclear what the response was there, but Shokin never did receive a visa. CNN notes that the revelation appears to reveal that Giuliani's attempts to gather information about Democrats went further than previously understood.Shokin was pushed out of his position in 2016 when several world leaders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, voiced concerns that Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases in Ukraine. Giuliani has previously said he wanted to interview Shokin because he promised to reveal information about Democrats' actions in Ukraine. Giuliani has alleged that Biden was trying to stop investigations to protect his son, Hunter, who was sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the time, though there is no evidence of wrongdoing on either of the Bidens' part. Read more at CNN and NBC News.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 11:09:39 -0400
  • Trump calls Mexico's president to express 'solidarity'

    Golocal247.com news

    Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Saturday that President Trump called him to express his "solidarity" following an attempt to arrest a drug kingpin's son that prompted a wave of violence in the city of Culiacan.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 16:42:58 -0400
  • Bolivia Heads to Polls in Test of Evo Morales’ Popularity

    (Bloomberg) -- Bolivians headed to the polls on Sunday as President Evo Morales seeks to avoid a run-off election in his bid for a fourth term.Voting has gone smoothly, according to the South American nation’s electoral tribunal. Preliminary results are expected at 7:45 p.m. local time.Morales, 59, needs 50% of the ballot -- or 40% together with a 10-point lead over his closest rival -- to avoid a run-off vote. Polls suggest he has a good shot at pulling that off, though the result may be closer than in previous contests. An Ipsos Bolivia poll published Oct. 13 put Morales at 40% with his nearest rival, Carlos Mesa, at 22%, with a 2% margin of error.Oscar Ortiz, a senator from the nation’s wealthy agricultural heartland of Santa Cruz, has placed third in preference polls.Morales has presided over more than a decade of strong economic growth, rising incomes and falling poverty. But after ignoring the result of a 2016 referendum on presidential term limits, he faces an opposition increasingly critical of his democratic credentials as well as signs that his economic model is starting to run out of road.The country of 11 million has sought to compensate for a decline in gas exports with public spending. That has resulted in a fiscal deficit that Bolivian economist Hugo Siles says is “unsustainable.”To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Roeder in Chicago at jroeder@bloomberg.net;Bruce Douglas in Brasilia Newsroom at bdouglas24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, James Ludden, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 14:04:36 -0400
  • Mick Mulvaney Melts Down Under Brutal Grilling By Fox’s Chris Wallace

    Golocal247.com news

    Days after his disastrous White House press briefing in which he admitted President Donald Trump was seeking out a quid pro quo with Ukraine before saying never mind, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney struggled to walk back his comments under the intense and relentless grilling of Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.Almost immediately during the Sunday morning broadcast, Wallace pressed Mulvaney on his remarks, asking why he said during the press conference that military aid to Ukraine depended on investigating the actions of Democrats during the 2016 election, prompting Mulvaney to assert that he never actually said that.“Again, that’s not what I said, that's what people said I said,” he replied before saying there were “two reasons” why the United States would have held up aid: corruption and whether other European nations were helping with aid.Mick Mulvaney Has Conservatives Asking: WTF Are You Doing?Wallace, meanwhile, didn’t let Mulvaney’s spin go unchecked, telling the chief of staff that anyone listening to the briefing could “come to only one conclusion” before playing clips Mulvaney confirming that Trump withheld aid unless the Ukrainians investigated the Democrats.Mulvaney continued to insist that he had been misinterpreted and that aid was only contingent on corruption and additional European assistance, causing the Fox News anchor to fire back.“I hate to go through this but you said what you said,” Wallace stated. “And the fact is, after that exchange with [ABC News correspondent] Jonathan Karl, you were asked another time why the aid was held up. What was the condition for the aid? And you didn’t mention two conditions, you mentioned three conditions.”Wallace, once again, threw Mulvaney’s own remarks back in his face, playing yet another clip from the press briefing of Mulvaney claiming military aid to Ukraine was contingent upon them cooperating with the Trump administration and investigating the Democrats.The Trump aide, however, attempted to brush off his previous remarks by saying he didn’t actually use the words “quid pro quo,” prompting Wallace to point out that when Karl pressed him on whether or not there was a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said that “happens all the time.”Fox News Host Ed Henry: Not ‘Media’s Fault’ Mick Mulvaney Admitted Quid Pro QuoThe two would go back and forth over this issue for a few more minutes, with Wallace repeatedly cornering Mulvaney over his previous comments and the chief of staff flailing away and struggling to present even a laughable defense.At one point, Wallace asked Mulvaney whether he had offered his resignation to Trump in the wake of the blowback and criticism he received over the press briefing. Mulvaney said the topic was “absolutely not” discussed with the president, adding that he is “very happy working there.”CNN, meanwhile, reported Sunday that prior to the impeachment crisis that Trump finds himself currently embroiled in, there were internal efforts to push Mulvaney out as acting chief of staff. Those efforts subsided, however, when the push for impeachment heated up in the wake of the Ukraine scandal late last month.Besides the issues surrounding the Ukraine scandal and impeachment, Wallace also grilled Mulvaney on the president’s sudden reversal on next year’s G7 summit, which Mulvaney announced last week would be held at Trump’s personal property. Asked by Wallace why the president “caved” to the bipartisan backlash, Mulvaney said Trump was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback,” adding that the president “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”Wallace seized on the “hospitality business” comment and pressed Mulvaney if the president understood why it “looked lousy.” The acting chief of staff's retort: “I think he thinks people think it looks lousy.”Sean Hannity Goes Off on Mick Mulvaney: ‘I Just Think He’s Dumb’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, 20 Oct 2019 12:58:47 -0400
  • McConnell rebukes Trump administration: Syria withdrawal is a 'grave strategic mistake'

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Researchers find second warship from WWII Battle of Midway

    Golocal247.com news

    A crew of deep-sea explorers and historians looking for lost World War II warships have found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the historic Battle of Midway. Vulcan Inc. director of undersea operations Rob Kraft said a review of sonar data captured Sunday shows what could be either the Japanese carrier Akagi or the Soryu resting in nearly 18,000 feet (5,490 meters) of water in the Pacific Ocean more than 1,300 miles (2,090 kilometers) northwest of Pearl Harbor. To confirm exactly which ship they've found the crew will deploy the AUV for another eight-hour mission where it will capture high-resolution sonar images of the site.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 15:52:02 -0400
  • Four killed as police fire on Bangladesh protesters

    Golocal247.com news

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called for calm after at least four people were killed when police fired on thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims protesting Facebook messages that allegedly defamed the Prophet Mohammed. Mob attacks over online posts perceived to be blasphemous have emerged as a major headache for security forces in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up some 90 percent of the country's 168 million people. Some 20,000 Muslims demonstrated at a prayer ground in Borhanuddin town on the country's largest island of Bhola to call for the execution of a young Hindu man charged with inciting religious tension through online messages.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 11:55:04 -0400
  • Indian soldiers, Pakistani civilians among dead in Kashmir clash

    India said on Sunday two soldiers and a civilian were killed in cross-border shelling with Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region, while Islamabad said six died on its side, making it one of the deadliest days since New Delhi revoked Kashmir's special status in August. Three Indian civilians were injured and some buildings and vehicles destroyed because of several hours of heavy shelling by both sides in the Tanghdar region in northern Kashmir late on Saturday night, a senior police official said. Pakistan said 6 of its civilians were killed and 8 wounded in the clash.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 02:20:45 -0400
  • Could France and Germany Jointly Build an EU Aircraft Carrier?

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • 7 Things To Do With Your Old Smartphone

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

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • Deadly protests in Guinea as Russia calls for change of rules to keep despot in power

    Golocal247.com news

    When police shot dead nine pro-democracy protesters in Guinea this week, Western embassies quietly shared their misgivings with the country’s president, Alpha Conde. International human rights groups were more unequivocal. François Patuel of Amnesty International denounced “a shameful attempt by Guinean authorities to stifle dissent by any means necessary”. But one major power seemed unperturbed. Mr Conde’s ruthless response to protests against his apparent efforts to cling to power not only suited Russia, it seems probable that they were tacitly endorsed by the Kremlin. On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, will host leaders from 35 African states at a summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as he seeks to consolidate Moscow’s growing influence in the world’s poorest continent. Russia may lack the heft of its rivals, able neither to match the West in aid nor China in terms of infrastructure financing, but it does have other resources with which to woo African leaders, particularly those of a more authoritarian bent. Vladimir Putin is looking to expand Russian influence Not only has Russia sold arms to 18 African states over the past decade, its mercenaries have fanned out across the continent to offer protection and other services to receptive governments.  “Political technologists” have also allegedly mounted disinformation campaigns in several recent African elections. In return, Russia has won concessions to mine minerals and secured backing from African delegates at the United Nations. Russia’s blossoming relationship with Mr Conde is an example of just how successful its muscular Africa policy can be. Guineans are meant to elect a new president next year. Having served two five-year terms, Mr Conde is constitutionally barred from standing again, but has made it increasingly clear that he is not yet ready to surrender the presidency. At least four people have been killed in Guinea's capital after police fired tear gas and bullets Monday to disperse thousands of opposition supporters Credit: AP To do so, Guinea will need an entirely new constitution, plans for which have already been advanced by Mr Conde’s ruling party.  The opposition has accused the president of seeking to ease its path by stacking the constitutional court, taming the electoral commission and delaying parliamentary elections by more than a year to protect his narrow legislative majority. Russia has openly given its cover to Mr Conde’s efforts. In an extraordinary intervention, brazen even by the Kremlin’s standards, Russia’s ambassador, made a televised address on New Year’s Eve backing a constitutional change. Alexander Bregadze told Guineans they would be mad to allow the "legendary" Mr Conde to step down, saying: “Do you know many countries in Africa that do better? Do you know many presidents in Africa who do better?” “It’s constitutions that adapt to reality, not reality that adapts to constitutions.” Such naked campaigning from a diplomat is unusual. But Russia has a vital relationship to nurture.  Guinea holds the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the ore that is refined and smelted to produce aluminium. The Russian firm Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer outside Russia, sources more than a quarter of its bauxite from Guinea. Guinea’s importance to Russia grew immeasurably last year after the United States imposed sanctions on Rusal and its co-owner, the oligarch and close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska. Sanctions have since been lifted on Rusal but not on Mr Deripaska. Young people block the road as they protest against a possible third term of President Alpha Conde on October 16, 2019, in Conakry Credit: AFP The significance of the relationship was underscored when Mr Bregadze stepped down as ambassador in May to head Rusal’s operations in Guinea. Other Russian firms also have mineral interests in Guinea. Tellingly, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a shadowy Kremlin associate linked to mercenary and mining outfits in Africa, is understood to have set up operations in Guinea. Mr Putin has wooed President Conde, too, twice inviting him to Moscow for talks. Guinea’s opposition has denounced what it says is Russian interference. Protesters last week made their feelings clear by blockading a Rusal-owned railway line used to transport bauxite. Their anger is likely to achieve little. Emboldened by Russian backing, Mr Conde has only cracked down harder. Last week, nine senior opposition figures were charged with insurrection. They face five years in prison. Given everything it has invested in Mr Conde, Russia cannot risk the opposition coming to power. When Mr Putin meets his guest in Sochi, he is likely to encourage him to persist with repression.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:54:27 -0400
  • The Chicago teachers' strike shows how to go on offense against neoliberalism

    Golocal247.com news

    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
  • Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State Cell Leader Stripped of Arsenal in U.S., Banned from Canada

    Golocal247.com news

    Police HandoutKaleb James Cole, the 24-year-old leader of Atomwaffen Division's Washington State Cell stripped of his firearms by a “red-flag law” late last month, was deported and banned for life from Canada earlier this year, according to court records, which also showed that he had been previously interrogated by American border agents about his extremist views.Cole, a National Socialist black metal enthusiast who goes by the alias “Khimaere,” was first identified as a member of Atomwaffen Division in a 2018 ProPublica investigation. He played a key role in organizing “hate camp” trainings for the group's members at an abandoned building known as “Devil's Tower” in Skagit, Washington, and in Nevada's Death Valley. Cole also helped craft the group’s eye-catching propaganda.Atomwaffen Division is an underground neo-Nazi guerrilla organization which had 23 chapters throughout the United States as of mid-2018. Since its inception in 2015, Atomwaffen members have been implicated in five homicides and several bomb plots, and are the subject of an intensifying national investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It makes common cause with other militant fascist groups like the Base and Sonnenkrieg Division in the United Kingdom, where authorities have charged a number of members with terrorism-related offenses.As The Daily Beast reported, the Seattle Police Department obtained an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” against Cole on September 26 to confiscate his concealed carry firearms permit and any firearms he owned for at least a year. That same day, SPD seized five rifles, a shotgun, three semiautomatic handguns and four lower receivers (the firing mechanism of a rifle that can be used to craft untraceable ‘ghost guns’) from Cole's father's house outside Arlington, in Washington State's Snohomish County.According to court records, none of the guns or the lower receivers seized from Cole were registered in Washington State's licensed firearms database.“Law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about the respondent's access to firearms and his involvement in the Atomwaffen Division, a known terrorist group,” Seattle Police Sergeant Dorothy Kim wrote in a petition for an Extreme Risk Protection Order. As further evidence, Sgt. Kim cited Atomwaffen Division propaganda calling for “Race War Now,” and the group's adherence to “acceleration theory,” which urges actions that undermine the existing social order to “exacerbate the feeling of alienation among white supremacists and a greater impulse to engage in violence or destructive behavior.”Cole's “words, actions and behavior suggest he has taken additional steps towards a plan with his ideologically motivated violence. Specifically, the coordinated camps with firearms training, overseas travel with Atomwaffen paraphernalia-flags/skull masks, threats to kill (gas the Kikes) and the possession of firearms, suggest an imminent risk to public safety if Cole is permitted to continue to purchase or possess firearms,” Sergeant Kim wrote.The request to seize Cole's guns was reportedly made to Seattle Police by the FBI, which did not have enough information to file criminal charges but believed Cole posed a serious threat to public safety.Multiple law enforcement sources told The Daily Beast that Cole had been the target of an FBI investigation following his February 2018 identification by ProPublica. However, law enforcement made no contact with him until December 28, 2018, when Cole landed in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on a flight from London. Customs and Border Protection pulled Cole aside for secondary screening. Records of that interview were included by the Seattle Police Department in their emergency risk petition last month.During the interview, Cole told CBP agents he had traveled to the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine with two friends from Washington State, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh and Edie Allison Moore. The trip, Cole said, was to “see the historic architecture and museums in Eastern European countries.” The three also attended a heavy metal festival while in Kyiv. The 2018 edition of Asgardsrei, a festival several National Socialist black metal bands have played in the past, was held in Kyiv from December 15-16 last year. Photographs from the concert posted to social media show an Atomwaffen Division flag brandished by individuals in the crowd. According to information obtained by The Daily Beast, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh is a member of the Washington State cell of Atomwaffen Division, and goes by the moniker “Nythra.” The drummer for Kaleb Cole's old metal band, Operblut, is listed as “Nythra” on music websites. In the CBP interview, Cole told federal agents he and Bruce-Umbaugh had been friends since grade school.Border agents searched Cole's luggage, and found a skull mask balaclava and an Atomwaffen Division flag inside his bag. When questioned about press reports tying him to Atomwaffen Division, Cole admitted to his involvement with the group and stated that he “shares a Fascist ideology, 'strong dominate the weak'.” He also admitted he owned an AK-47 and multiple handguns “for his own protection.”Cole's phone was also searched by border agents, who downloaded several images from the device. Amongst them are a photograph of Cole and another man wearing skull mask balaclavas in front of the gates of Auschwitz, the death camp where the Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews. Images of him posing with other Atomwaffen members, firearms, and the group's flag were also recovered from Cole's phone.According to multiple sources close to law enforcement, Cole previously attracted the interest of Canadian authorities by frequently driving across the border to British Columbia, sometimes several times a week. In late May, Cole was detained by the Canadian Border Service Agency because of press reports linking him to Atomwaffen Division, as well as “his overseas travel to Ukraine,” where several right-wing extremists have traveled to fight with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion against Russia-backed separatists.According to court records, he was held by Canadian authorities and placed into deportation proceedings due to his involvement in “an organization that may engage in terrorism,” per Section 34 [1][F] of the Canadian Immigration Code. According to records prepared by the Seattle Police Department, Cole was deported in July and “barred from Canada for life.”The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both declined to comment on Cole's deportation, the Atomwaffen Division or its affiliated organizations in Canada, citing the restrictions of Canada’s Privacy Act. Earlier this year, Patrik Mathews, a master corporal in the Canadian Military Reserve went AWOL after being identified as a recruiter for the Base. Mathews—who reportedly came to the attention of multiple Canadian security agencies because racist material was previously found by the Canadian Border Services Agency in his car while crossing the border with the United States—is still at large.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.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:13:50 -0400
  • Energy Department won't comply with subpoena in Trump impeachment probe, one day after Perry resignation

    Golocal247.com news

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry rejected a subpoena deadline Friday to turn over documents relating to the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:33:53 -0400
  • Hondurans call for president to step down after drug verdict

    Golocal247.com news

    Opposition groups called Saturday for more protests to demand that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández be removed from office after his younger brother was convicted of drug trafficking in a New York court. President Hernández insisted via Twitter that the verdict is not against the state of Honduras, saying his government has fought drug trafficking. On Saturday he attended a parade to honor the country's armed forces and posted pictures of himself on Twitter smiling alongside the U.S. chargé d'affaires to Honduras, Colleen Hoey.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:04:52 -0400
  • Ousted Communist leader Zhao Ziyang is buried: family

    Golocal247.com news

    A former Chinese Communist Party leader ousted after he opposed the use of force to quell 1989 democracy protests was buried over a decade after he died, his family said, in a service ignored by state media. Zhao Ziyang, who is a revered figure among Chinese human rights defenders, is still a sensitive topic in the country, where commemorations of his death are held under tight surveillance or prevented altogether. There was no mention of his burial ceremony Friday on state media, and searching for his name on social media returned no results.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:13 -0400
  • U.K. serial killers had affair in prison, lawyer claims

    Golocal247.com news

    Notorious U.K. serial killers Rose West and Myra Hindley were lovers in prison, according to one of their former lawyers. West’s ex-attorney Leo Goatley claimed his client fell for the Moors murderer in 1995 after they were both jailed in the hospital wing of Durham prison.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:47:09 -0400
  • RPT-UPDATE 7-'Failure:' Mexico admits bungled arrest of kingpin's son after mayhem

    Mexican officials on Friday admitted they had bungled the arrest of kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's son, who they let go during shootouts with drug gangs in the streets of a major city, but the president insisted his security strategy was working. Cartel gunmen surrounded around 35 police and national guards in the northwestern city of Culiacan on Thursday and made them free Ovidio Guzman, one of the jailed drug lord's dozen or so children, after his brief detention set off widespread gun battles and a jailbreak that stunned the country. The chaos in Culiacan, a bastion of Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel, turned up pressure on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December promising to pacify a country weary of more than a decade of gang violence and murders.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:21:44 -0400
  • FACT: Cuba Hosted Russian Spy Planes to Use Against America

    Golocal247.com news

    A forgotten tale of the cold war.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • Boeing Pilot Complained of 'Egregious' Issue With 737 Max in 2016

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    For months, Boeing has said it had no idea that a new automated system in the 737 Max jet, which played a role in two fatal crashes, was unsafe.But on Friday, the company gave lawmakers a transcript revealing that a top pilot working on the plane had raised concerns about the system in messages to a colleague in 2016, more than two years before the Max was grounded because of the accidents, which left 346 people dead.In the messages, the pilot, Mark Forkner, who played a central role in the development of the plane, complained that the system, known as MCAS, was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator: "It's running rampant."The messages are from November 2016, months before the Max was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. "Granted, I suck at flying, but even this was egregious," he said sardonically to a colleague, according to a transcript of the exchange reviewed Friday by The New York Times.The Max crisis has consumed Boeing, and the revelation of the messages from Forkner come at a particularly sensitive time. The company's chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, is scheduled to testify before two congressional committees, on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, the first time a Boeing executive has appeared at a hearing related to the crashes. Boeing's stock lost 7% of its value Friday, adding to the financial fallout.The existence of the messages strike at Boeing's defense that it had done nothing wrong regarding the Max because regulators had cleared the plane to fly, and potentially increases the company's legal exposure as it faces civil and criminal investigations and multiple lawsuits related to both crashes. Facing competition from Airbus, Boeing worked to produce the Max as quickly as possible, striving to minimize costly training for pilots. Last week, a task force of 10 international regulators released a report that found that Boeing had not fully explained MCAS to the FAA."This is more evidence that Boeing misled pilots, government regulators and other aviation experts about the safety of the 737 Max," Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in a statement Friday.Boeing has maintained that the Max was certified in accordance with all appropriate regulations, suggesting that there was no sign that MCAS was unsafe.That contention was central to the company's rationale in not grounding the Max after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 last October, and in waiting days to recommend grounding the plane after the second crash, of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March.It was only after data suggested that MCAS played a role in the second crash that Boeing and the FAA decided to ground the Max.Forkner was the chief technical pilot for the Max and was in charge of communicating with the FAA group that determined how pilots would be trained before flying it. He helped Boeing convince international regulators that the Max was safe to fly.In the messages, he said that during tests in 2016, the simulator showed the plane making unexpected movements through a process called trimming."The plane is trimming itself like craxy," he wrote to Patrik Gustavsson, a fellow 737 technical pilot at Boeing. "I'm like WHAT?"Forkner went on to say that he had lied to the FAA."I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)," Forkner says in the messages, although it was not clear what he was specifically referring to.Lawmakers, regulators and pilots responded with swift condemnation Friday."This is the smoking gun," Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in an interview. "This is no longer just a regulatory failure and a culture failure. It's starting to look like criminal misconduct."Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he expected answers from Boeing's chief executive and board of directors."They must be held accountable if Boeing was deceptive or misleading in failing to report safety concerns," Blumenthal said in an interview. "What these reports indicate is that Boeing's own employees lied and concealed the truth."The FAA administrator, Stephen Dickson, sent Muilenburg a letter Friday morning demanding that the company account for why it had not provided the messages to the agency earlier."I expect your explanation immediately regarding the content of this document and Boeing's delay in disclosing the document to its safety regulator," Dickson wrote.A Boeing spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said the company was "voluntarily cooperating" with the congressional investigation and provided the messages to lawmakers as part of that process. He noted that the company gave the messages to the Department of Justice, which is conducting a criminal investigation into Boeing, earlier this year.A Boeing spokesman said the company did not give the messages to the FAA earlier because of the ongoing criminal investigation.The Max has been grounded for more than seven months, and airlines do not expect to fly it again this year. The FAA and Boeing have repeatedly pushed back the expected date of the plane's return to service as regulators and the company uncover new problems with the plane.The crisis has already cost Boeing more than $8 billion. It has disrupted expansion plans for airlines around the world, which have had to cancel thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.The Times, which was the first to disclose Forkner's involvement in the plane, previously reported that he had failed to tell the FAA that the original version of MCAS was being overhauled, leaving regulators with the impression that the system was relatively benign and would be used only in rare cases.Eight months before the messages were exchanged, Forkner had asked the FAA if it would be OK to remove mention of MCAS from the pilot's manual. The FAA, which at the time believed the system would activate only in rare cases and wasn't dangerous, approved Forkner's request.Another exchange, in a batch of emails among Forkner, Boeing colleagues and FAA officials, was also reviewed by The Times on Friday. In one email from November 2016, Forkner wrote that he was "jedi-mind tricking regulators into accepting the training that I got accepted by FAA."A lawyer for Forkner downplayed the importance of the messages, suggesting Forkner was talking about issues with the simulator."If you read the whole chat, it is obvious that there was no 'lie' and the simulator program was not operating properly," the lawyer, David Gerger, said in a statement. "Based on what he was told, Mark thought the plane was safe, and the simulator would be fixed."Flight simulators replicate real cockpits and are used to test planes during development. They can sometimes behave unpredictably, depending on their configuration.Forkner, who is now a pilot for Southwest Airlines, and Gustavsson did not respond to requests for comment.Boeing provided the transcript to lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, in advance of the hearings this month at which Muilenburg will testify about the crashes for the first time. Reuters was first to report on the existence of the transcript.DeFazio, who as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is overseeing the investigation into the crashes, said he had reviewed other internal Boeing documents and emails that suggested employees were under pressure to produce planes as fast as possible and avoid additional pilot training."Boeing cannot say this is about one person," DeFazio said. "This is about a cultural failure at Boeing under pressure from Wall Street to just get this thing out there and make sure that you don't open the door to further pilot training."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:30:14 -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
  • Conquer The Terrain With A 1963 Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper

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    Let nothing stand in your way. Old military trucks are a lot of fun, especially something like this 1963 Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper. It’s been converted into a camper which can get to places you might not even reach using some trucks. That means not having to sleep in some rooftop tent and use a tiny camp stove while enjoying the beauty of a super remote wilderness area.These trucks were commonly used by different Scandinavian and Saudi Arabian armed forces, so the claim that this particular one spent its time as part of the Norwegian Armed Forces doesn’t sound too far-fetched, although there apparently is zero documentation to backup that claim. It is painted Olive Drab, so it likely has some military experience. That paint does cover all the factory badging and wood trim pieces, preventing those from giving away your position when in cover.You’ll note there’s a recovery shovel mounted to the nose of this Volvo, just below the pop-out windshield. Other exterior details include a skylight, roof access hatch, locking spare tire cover, LED front fog lights, LED side area lights, front-mounted 8,000-lb. electric winch, rear mud flaps, and a ladder. Also included is a 10-foot boat painted to match the truck, and it mounts to the roof nicely.This vehicle looks tough and has the chops to back that up. A short wheelbase, high ground clearance, and excellent approach/departure angles make it quite capable on trails, which is what you’d expect from a good off-roader. While the Volvo Penta AQ130 engine isn’t a beast, with 130-horsepower on tap it definitely gets the job done without guzzling fuel.As for the interior, some nice upgrades were installed by the previous owner. While the cab is stock and not plush at all, it’s quite functional. In the rear is a nice leather sleeper sofa which looks brand new. You can cook up all kinds of gourmet meals using the wood stove with chimney, oven, and sink. The Coca Cola cooler and cabinets help with storage. Blinds keep things private. Just in case you have a larger party with you, a two-person tent is being thrown in with the purchase.You’re a far cry from a Winnebago with this Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper. There’s really no telling if or when you’ll see another like this, because they pop up occasionally but often go fairly quickly. If you want to see about purchasing this vehicle for your outdoor excursions, contact Chicago Car Club for details. Read More * Place A Bid On This 1968 Volkswagen Beetle Herbie Tribute * Driver Recklessness Cited In Kevin Hart Car Crash

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:16:55 -0400
  • Russian Media Cheers Trump’s Moves in Syria: ‘Putin Won the Lottery!’

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    BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyPresident Trump has boasted he’s “getting a lot of praise” for his abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops out of northern Syria, abandoning the Kurds—America’s longstanding allies—to Turkey’s incursion. On the home front, the controversial move has been met with criticism on both sides of the political aisle, but the reaction in Moscow was far from mixed. As Trump uncorked chaos in the Middle East, champagne tops were likely popping at the Kremlin.“Putin won the lottery! Russia’s unexpected triumph in the Middle East,” raved Mikhail Rostovsky in his article for the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. “Those who were convinced of Trump’s uselessness for Russia ought to think again...What Washington got out of this strange move is completely unclear. To the contrary, what Moscow gained from this is self-evident...Trump’s mistake in Syria is the unexpected ‘lottery win’ that further strengthened Moscow’s position in the Middle East and undermined America’s prestige as a rational political player and a reliable partner.”  Maksim Yusin, the editor of international politics at the leading Russian business daily Kommersant, was amazed by the ongoing stream of inexplicable actions by the American president that benefit the Kremlin. “All of this benefits the Russian Federation,” Yusin marveled. “You know, I’ve been watching Trump’s behavior lately and get seditious thoughts: maybe he really is a Russian agent? He is laboring so hard to strengthen the international image of Russia in general—and Putin in particular...In this situation, Americans—to their chagrin and our enjoyment—are the only losers in this situation.”“This is such a pleasure,” grinned Olga Skabeeva, the host of Russia’s state television program 60 Minutes. “Russian soldiers have taken an American base under our complete control, without a fight!” Skabeeva’s co-host Evgeny Popov added: “Suddenly, we have defeated everyone.” Incredulously, Skabeeva pointed out: “This is an American base—and they just ran away! Trump ran away!”The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds, Former Top Official Says“It’s been a long time since America has been humiliated this way,” gloated political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak, “They ran away in shame! I can’t recall such a scenario since Vietnam.” He added: “For us, this is of great interest, because this is a key region where energy prices are being determined. That is a shining cherry on top.” Political scientist Andrey Nikulin concurred: “This is sad for America. A smaller-scale version of what happened in Vietnam.”Appearing on the nightly television show The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, political analyst Evgeny Satanovsky recounted many ways in which Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria and abandon the Kurds has hurt the image and standing of the United States: “America betrayed everyone...Trump also strengthened the anti-American mood in Turkey, when he promised to destroy the Turkish economy.” Satanovsky opined that now any economic problems or currency fluctuations in Turkey can be blamed directly on the United States, prompting textile, tobacco, steel and other industries to turn away from America. “Anti-Americanism in Turkey is off the charts,” Satanovsky pointed out, “American politics are tangled in their own shoelaces... America is successfully self-eliminating from the region.”The timing also struck the Russians as incredibly fortuitous and inexplicable. “They lost their only chance to remove [Syrian President] Bashar Assad,” exclaimed Russian lawmaker Oleg Morozov, appearing on 60 Minutes, “They were only half a step away!”     President Trump’s primitive letter to the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also delighted the Russians. Olga Skabeeva, the host of Russia’s 60 Minutes, sarcastically pointed out that President Trump seems to be unfamiliar with even the most basic manners: “We should send a message to the American president: ‘Don’t call people names. Don’t fight. Don’t pick your nose. It’s nasty and unacceptable.’” Host Evgeny Popov said that the Turkish president threw Trump’s letter in the trash and remarked: “But who wouldn’t? The only thing missing was for Trump to call Erdoğan ‘dude.’” For his part, President Erdoğan said he “cannot forget” the letter in question and ominously promised that Turkey would “do what’s necessary” concerning the letter “when the time comes.”Discussing the exchanges between President Trump and President Erdoğan, Leonid Kalashnikov, Chairman of Russian State Duma Committee for the Commonwealth of Independent States affairs, commented: “I don’t care that those two clowns write such letters to each other. You can only pity them. Is it better for us that the Americans left Syria? Of course it is! Will we make deals with Erdoğan? Of course we will.”   Pence Just Ratified All of Turkey’s War Aims in SyriaPundits all over the Russian state media pondered out loud about the merits of Trump’s self-proclaimed “infinite wisdom” of pulling the U.S. forces out of northern and eastern Syria, concluding that the decision was an enormous blow to America’s standing, undermining its current and potential alliances. On the other hand, Turkey is delighted with the outcome. Vice President Mike Pence gave Erdoğan everything the Turkish side has been attempting to achieve, in exchange for a promised five-day pause in the offensive. A Turkish official told Middle East Eye, “We got exactly what we wanted out of the meeting.” At the conclusion of the five-day pause, Erdoğan will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.Appearing on 60 Minutes, Franz Klintsevich, a member of the Federation Council's Committee on Defense and Security, declared that Russia will take full advantage of America’s withdrawal from the Middle East, becoming a top player in the region. Klintsevich argued that America’s withdrawal from Syria represented Russia’s “global victory” and “demonstrated the absolute superiority of Russia’s arms, diplomacy and foreign policy.”During the same show, political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak was overcome with gratitude: “I look at Trump and think: ‘May God grant him good health—and another term. This is a great situation for Russia...We can practically sit back and reap the dividends from what others are doing...Meanwhile, Trump is yet to make a single good deal, which is why I wish him good health, may he flourish and get re-elected...Trump is a great candidate. I applaud him...For America, this isn’t a very good president.”To the contrary—for Russia, Trump’s presidency is a gift that keeps on giving. The Kremlin’s propagandists see no acceptable alternative to Trump amongst any viable presidential candidates in the United States. Complaining about prevailing anti-Russian attitudes, Vladimir Soloviev—host of the nightly television show The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev—sarcastically surmised: “So it looks like we’ll have to elect your president—again.”  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.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 16:28:04 -0400
  • Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

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    Italian authorities evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of Bolzano on Sunday to defuse a World War II bomb found during construction. An alarm signaled the all-clear to reopen the city center just before noon, as well as a nearby north-south highway and rail line both connecting Italy with Austria and Germany. The online news site Neue Suedtiroler Tageszeitung said after being defused, the bomb was brought to a secure site nearby for a controlled explosion.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 10:45:14 -0400
  • One year on, migrant caravan leaves unexpected legacy

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    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
  • Plane collides with pickup truck while landing, pilot killed

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    Witnesses reported the airplane was at an altitude of just 5 feet as it crossed a county road near the airstrip and struck a pickup truck.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:07:52 -0400
  • 'Too much power': it's Warren v Facebook in a key 2020 battle

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    The presidential hopeful and Mark Zuckerberg are facing off over big tech and its influence over our livesElizabeth Warren speaks at the SEIU Unions for All Summit in Los Angeles. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP via Getty ImagesMore than two hours into the Democratic debate in Ohio on Tuesday night, after discussions on healthcare, gun control and foreign policy, the moderators turned to another issue that sharply divided the candidates: is it time to break up Facebook?The question was framed slightly differently: is Elizabeth Warren right?Over the last year, the Massachusetts senator has been at the vanguard of the debate about breaking up big tech companies, helping move the issue on to the political agenda. In doing do, she has been drawn into sharp conflict with the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.The question went first to Andrew Yang, a former tech entrepreneur.“As usual, Senator Warren is 100% right in diagnosing the problem,” he replied, before laying out why he disagreed with her plan to break up the titans of the tech industry – Facebook, Google, Amazon – and regulate them more heavily.The candidates then grappled with the issue for the first time in a meaningful way during a presidential debate. From breaking up the the largest companies, to data privacy legislation, political fundraising in Silicon Valley and whether Donald Trump should be banned from Twitter, the discussion illustrated a deepening disenchantment with big tech – and why Zuckerberg fears a Warren presidency would “suck for us”. ‘They’re begging for regulation’Zuckerberg’s comments, made to employees, were not meant to be made public. But their leak this month triggered a very public showdown between the fast-rising frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and one of the most powerful executives in the world – a fascinating subplot of the 2020 primary.“It is the one thing that the CEOs of these companies absolutely hate,” said Sarah Miller, deputy director of the Open Markets Institute, a Washington-based thinktank that advocates against monopolies.> They’re begging for regulation because they know they game it, they know they can shape it, they know they can avoid it> > Sarah Miller“They’re begging for regulation because they know they game it, they know they can shape it, they know they can avoid it and they know that it will likely inhibit their competitors who won’t have the same resources. But, more than anything, they do not want to be broken up.”Warren wants to regulate tech platforms as utilities, targeting companies that earn $25bn or more in global annual revenue. She would appoint regulators to unwind “illegal and anticompetitive tech mergers”.“Today’s big tech companies,” she said, announcing her policy, “have too much power – too much power over our economy, our society and our democracy.”According to audio recordings leaked to the Verge, Zuckerberg called Warren’s plan an “existential” threat.“If she gets elected president,” he said, “then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.”“What would really ‘suck’,” Warren tweeted in reply, “is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”The war of words escalated after Facebook’s decision to allow Trump’s re-election campaign run a $1m ad campaign containing lies about Joe Biden. Warren responded by placing her own ad on Facebook.It started with Warren announcing “Breaking News”, before declaring that Zuckerberg and Facebook were supporting Trump’s re-election. Warren then says, “You’re probably shocked, and you might be thinking, ‘How could this possibly be true?’ Well, it’s not.”The point Warren was making is that by allowing her ad, Facebook was showing itself to be a “disinformation-for-profit machine”.Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Zuckerberg has worked to smooth relationships with politicians in DC. But Warren seems in no mood to play nice. The two sparred again after Zuckerberg defended Facebook in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington on Thursday.“We can continue to stand for free expression, understanding its messiness, but believing that the long journey towards greater progress requires confronting ideas that challenge us,” Zuckerberg said, speaking in the ornate Gaston Hall, where presidents and foreign dignitaries have delivered major addresses. “Or we can decide the cost is simply too great. I’m here today because I believe we must continue to stand for free expression.”Warren’s response was withering: “Mark Zuckerberg’s speech today shows how little he learned from 2016, and how unprepared Facebook is to handle the 2020 election.” ‘Mark’s power is un-American’Warren has taken the most aggressive posture toward big tech, part of a call for “big, structural change” to the American economy. After she introduced her proposal in March, her campaign put up a billboard near a busy transit station station in San Francisco that said in capital letters: “Break up big tech”.Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University. Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty ImagesBefore the latest debate, the Massachusetts senator announced that she would not take contributions of more than $200 from “executives at big tech companies”, even as employees of those companies help power her campaign.Warren has attracted an interesting ally: Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook with Zuckerberg at Harvard. Last week, the organization he co-chairs, the Economic Security Project, announced the creation of a $10m “anti-monopoly fund”.Writing in the New York Times in May, Hughes said Zuckerberg’s influence had far exceeded “anyone else in the private sector or government” and said Facebook’s concentration of wealth, power and influence – 2.7bn people use it or its other platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, each month– posed a threat to democracy itself.“Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American,” Hughes wrote. “It is time to break up Facebook.”Nick Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister who is now Facebook’s vice-president for global affairs and communications, responded in the New York Times later that month: “Facebook shouldn’t be broken up – but it does need to be held to account. Anyone worried about the challenges we face in an online world should look at getting the rules of the internet right, not dismantling successful American companies.”The drive to break up Facebook has plenty of critics who agree the company has too much power but do not believe such action would address many of the major concerns with the platform, including how to strengthen user privacy protections, improve election security and stop propaganda intended to incite violence and extremism.In a Washington Post op-ed earlier this year, shortly after Warren unveiled her plan, Zuckerberg called for “updating the rules of the internet” and outlined four areas where he said new regulation was needed: “Harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.”> We need to say to Facebook, 'We’re going to treat you like a public utility, like AT&T or the electric company'> > Dipayan GhoshDipayan Ghosh, a co-director of the Platform Accountability Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, has argued breakup is not the only way to thwart Facebook’s capacity for “capitalistic overreaches” and “economic exploitation”. He favors a “novel, stringent” set of “pro-competition policies”.“We need to say to Facebook, ‘We’re going to treat you like a public utility, like AT&T or the electric company,” Ghosh said. “We are going to make sure you can’t make any mergers or acquisitions, we’re going to tax you heavily, we are going to develop stringent privacy regulations that you’re going to need to follow.”There are those who argue Facebook should not be singled out by a president, as the former congressman Beto O’Rourke said during the Democratic debate. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the Senate antitrust subcommittee and another presidential contender, advocated for bolstering regulatory agencies to promote competition.The debate underscored a broad consensus: that tech companies wield far too much power and influence.“It’s remarkable that virtually all of these candidates are saying that there are a handful of tech companies that have too much power,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “If you turn the clock back even just three years, the idea that that discussion would have happened would seem pretty far-fetched.” ‘Dinners with lots of people’Silicon Valley has faced a reckoning in Washington since 2016. But the events of the past few weeks have sharpened the divide and pulled Zuckerberg far more publicly and personally into the political maelstrom.He is expected to testify on Capitol Hill this week, for the first time since he faced a public grilling in April 2018 over the company’s handling of user information, whether it should be more heavily regulated, alleged censorship of conservative content and the extent of Russian meddling. In the 18 months since, Democrats and Republicans have only grown more frustrated, setting the stage for another contentious hearing.> Meeting new people and hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning … I suggest you do!> > Mark ZuckerbergRepublicans have long alleged that Facebook silences conservative personalities and websites, charges the company denies. According to Politico, Zuckerberg has hosted conservative lawmakers, commentators and journalists, including Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the Fox News host Tucker Carlson and the radio host Hugh Hewitt, at his California home over the past several months.Zuckerberg appeared to confirm the report in a Facebook post, writing that he had “dinners with lots of people across the spectrum on lots of different issues all the time.“Meeting new people and hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning,” he said. “If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do!”Regardless of who wins the White House in 2020, Facebook’s political and legal woes show no sign of relenting.The audio of Zuckerberg leaked just weeks after state attorneys general from both parties opened an antitrust investigation.This summer, Facebook agreed to pay a $5bn fine as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations in connection with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The new settlement order requires Facebook to improve the way it handles its users’ personal information and to designate an employee tasked with coordinating those efforts.Just last week, the Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a prominent critic of big tech, introduced a bill that would strengthen privacy protections and threaten to jail Silicon Valley executives who knowingly lie to the FTC.“Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences,” Wyden said in a statement. “A slap on the wrist from the FTC won’t do the job, so under my bill he’d face jail time for lying to the government.”

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 08:04:37 -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
  • Egypt unveils biggest ancient coffin find in over a century

    Egypt on Saturday unveiled the details of 30 ancient wooden coffins with mummies inside discovered in the southern city of Luxor in the biggest find of its kind in more than a century. A team of Egyptian archaeologists discovered a "distinctive group of 30 coloured wooden coffins for men, women and children" in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxor's west bank, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement on Saturday. "It is the first large human coffin cache ever discovered since the end of the 19th century," the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany was quoted as saying during a ceremony in Luxor.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 08:53:25 -0400
  • The coming end of Christian America

    America is still a "Christian nation," if the term simply means a majority of the population will claim the label when a pollster calls. But, as a new Pew Research report unsparingly explains, the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace." A bare 65 percent of Americans now say they're Christians, down from 78 percent as recently as 2007. The deconverted are mostly moving away from religion altogether, and the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated -- the "nones" -- have swelled from 16 to 26 percent over the same period. If this rate of change continues, the U.S. will be majority non-Christian by about 2035, with the nones representing well over one third of the population.Smaller details from the study are equally striking. Protestantism lost its narrow claim to an outright majority of Americans' souls around 2012. While older generations remain at least two-thirds Christian, millennials have an even 49-49 split of Christians vs. nones (40 percent) and those of other faiths (9 percent). Religious service attendance rates haven't dramatically declined in the last decade, but they will soon if generational trends hold.As even the strictest practitioners of laicite must concede, major religious shifts like this will have equally major political effects -- but we are in somewhat uncharted territory as to what those effects may be. In broad strokes, this decline keeps the U.S. trailing Western Europe's religious and political evolution: the end of Christianity as a default faith and a move toward left/right politics that can be roughly characterized as socialism against nationalist populism. Yet Europe can hardly provide a clear window to our future, not least because many European states have both multi-party parliamentary systems and state churches.So what, then, should we expect of an increasingly post-Christian American politics? I have a few ideas.For ChristiansIn what remains of the American church, reactions to this decline will vary. Some will see it as a positive apocalypse, which is to say a revealing of what was always true. America was never really a Christian nation. Our government and society have long made choices and embraced values that are difficult, if not impossible, to square with Christianity, so an end of any association between the two is welcome. Likewise, the proportion of Americans who actually practiced Christian faith in any meaningful, life-altering sense was always substantially lower than the proportion who would identify as Christian in a poll. What we're seeing is less mass deconversion than a belated honesty which may be an opportunity for new faithfulness, repentance, or even revival.Other Christians, especially on the political right, will respond to this shift with sadness, alarm, or outright fear. And this is not mere selfishness, mere worry over loss of political or cultural power -- though certainly that is a factor for some. But if you believe, as people of faith generally do, that your religion communicates a necessary truth about God, the universe, humanity, the purpose of life and how we should live it -- well, then a precipitous decline in that religion is an inherently horrible thing with eternal implications for millions.Still other Christians (and I count myself among them) will land somewhere in between these two views. Yet all across this spectrum of responses, I suspect, we'll see an increasing concern for religious liberty as an ever-smaller portion of the broader public has a personal stake in its preservation as a special right distinct from freedoms of speech, association, and so on.Dumping fuel on this fire are proposals from the post-religious left -- Pew's data shows religion is especially on decline among white Democrats -- like Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke's plan to revoke tax exemptions for religious institutions that don't affirm gay marriage. As O'Rourke's fellow candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg commented, "I'm not sure he understood the implications of what he was saying." That includes the panic the idea induces among traditionally religious people who are already feeling isolated, caricatured, misunderstood by their country's cultural mainstream. (For more on that panic, see this helpful explainer from Vox's Jane Coaston.)For nonesFor religiously unaffiliated Americans, the political consequences of declining Christianity feel more difficult to predict, because this group is legitimately a new phenomenon. That is not to say there has never been a mass movement away from religion in a relatively modern, Western, democratic context -- see revolutionary France, for example, or, again, most of Western Europe. But there has never been anything like this in America, and you don't have to take a big swig of the American exceptionalism Kool-Aid to concede our country is in many ways unique. Moreover, there is a substantial difference between the humdrum religious apathy or vague spirituality of a none as compared to the murderous anti-Catholicism of a French revolutionary. In fact, that lack of specific opposition is key here: Many nones aren't consciously deconverting out of atheistic fervor. They're not rebelling against Christendom but growing up entirely in its aftermath. That is what makes this situation unprecedented.This caveat aside, I'd suggest the lack of a state church (which persists in nations as irreligious as Iceland, Sweden, Scotland, and the like) in America means religious efforts to obtain or keep political power will strike the unaffiliated rather differently here. No established religion means religious political action feels less like a tiresome anachronism -- outdated and unnecessary, but nice for Grandma -- and more like a threat of theocracy. In Europe, the state church already has a certain territory staked out as part of an ancient status quo. Here, every bit of territory is up for grabs, so the fight is always on.Yet as contradictory as it may seem, I'll also suggest left-wing nones may come to find they miss the religious right when grappling with its successor. The New York Times' Ross Douthat has argued the post-religious right of which President Trump has given us a glimpse will be an ugly beast indeed. Polling shows the "churchgoers who ultimately voted for Trump over Clinton still tend to hold different views than his more secular supporters," he wrote last year, including being "less authoritarian and tribal on race and identity. ...The trend was consistent: The more often a Trump voter attended church, the less white-identitarian they appeared, the more they expressed favorable views of racial minorities, and the less they agreed with populist arguments on trade and immigration." In other words, on the right, the decline of Christianity looks to mean the rise of racism, as the communal life of active faith is replaced by darker impulses.For allFinally, for Americans of any religious affiliation or none at all, the decline of Christianity will make political communication more difficult. For centuries the Christian faith has indelibly shaped the English vocabulary -- it is no exaggeration to say the King James Bible specifically is unparalleled in its cultural influence. That's especially so with politics, which beside religion is the most common context in which we discuss the world as it is and as it should be.The ways of thinking and turns of phrase that Christendom once made normative in America will become newly strange as Christianity declines. Those of us who remain religious will have to thoroughly rethink our assumptions about other Americans' frames of reference. I am regularly reminded of this by revealing expressions of religious ignorance by my fellow journalists, the archetypal example of which is an Associated Press headline which announced, after the famous cathedral burned, that "Tourist mecca Notre Dame [is] also revered as [a] place of worship." (For the AP writers, if no one else, "mecca" is a metaphor from Islam, and Notre Dame was a place of worship for centuries before the concept of tourism emerged. I read this headline to religious friends to peals of rueful laughter.)Perhaps, whether you are among the nones or not, you think moving toward a more secular shared vocabulary is a good thing. But even if you're right, the transition will be no less challenging. In an era of social fracture, loss of common language patterns can only exacerbate our disintegration. We have always talked against each other in politics; now we are talking past each other, too. As the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace," it will influence every level of our fractious project of self-governance, down to our very words.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 06:35:01 -0400
  • China Calls for Tech Collaboration While Criticizing U.S. Action

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. A senior Chinese official called for governments around the world to work more closely together to regulate emerging technologies, while taking a veiled swipe at the U.S. for undermining collaboration.“The foundation for an open and shared-by-all internet is unstable,” Huang Kunming, a member of the Politburo, which is comprised of China’s 25 most-senior officials, said at a technology forum on Sunday. “Some countries restrain and suppress companies from other countries using cyber security as an excuse. Such moves cast uncertainty and even antagonism over cyberspace,” he said, without naming the U.S.Technology has come increasingly to the fore of a confrontation between the U.S. and China that began with trade and has since spread to 5G mobile networks and artificial intelligence. Washington has lobbied countries to not use gear from Huawei Technologies Co. in their 5G plans, arguing it could facilitate spying by Beijing, and the U.S. blacklisted some of China’s leading AI companies, citing their links to the detention of ethnic minorities.“We need to respect each country’s approach to Internet development, governance, policy making and their rights to participate in international governance based on mutual trust,” said Huang, who’s also head of the Communist Party’s publicity department. “We need to pay attention to each others’ interests and concerns, effectively deal with disagreements and avoid strategic misjudgment. “Huang spoke at the World Internet Conference held in the small town of Wuzhen in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chief Executive Daniel Zhang, Baidu Inc. Chief Executive Robin Li and Western Digital Corp. Chief Executive Steve Milligan were among executives in attendance.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: John Liu in Beijing at jliu42@bloomberg.net;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, John LiuFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 01:17:51 -0400
  • Trump's actions worse than Nixon's - and Democrats must impeach him immediately, George Bush's former ethics lawyer warns

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    Donald Trump’s multiple abuses of office are more serious than those even of Richard Nixon, and Democrats must trigger their effort to impeach him before the end of the year, a former top Republican administration lawyer has claimed.Richard Painter, who served as an ethics lawyer to the administration of George W Bush but who quit the party after it moved sharply to the right, claims Mr Trump’s offences are unique even when considered against the many misdeeds of his predecessors.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 08:25:21 -0400
  • Proposal seeks to modernize campgrounds at national parks

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    The Interior Department is reviewing recommendations to modernize campgrounds at national parks. The recommendations posted online this week come from an advisory committee created under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that has been looking at ways for private businesses to operate on public lands. The vice chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, Derrick Crandall, said many campgrounds don't meet visitors' expectations.

    Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:11:55 -0400
  • Hong Kong democracy activist injured in knife attack

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    A man handing out leaflets for a Hong Kong pro-democracy protest was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant who slashed his neck and abdomen on Saturday, days after a leading activist was left bloodied in another street attack. The injured 19-year-old, wearing black clothes and a black face mask, was knifed near one of the large "Lennon Walls" that have sprung up around the city during months of demonstrations, police said. Footage posted on social media showed another man holding a knife shortly after the attack and shouting: "Hong Kong is part of China... (You) messed up Hong Kong".

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:12:50 -0400
  • Legionnaires' outbreak linked to hot tub display at North Carolina fair claims fourth fatality

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    The epicenter of the deadly Legionnaires' outbreak was the Mountain State Fair, held at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in September.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 13:43:43 -0400
  • Hillary Clinton claims Tulsi Gabbard is being 'groomed' by Russia

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    Hillary Clinton has claimed a Democrat presidential candidate is being "groomed" by the Kremlin to run as an independent in 2020. In an astonishing attack on Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, Mrs Clinton suggested Russia would use her to damage the Democrats' chances of taking the White House. Ms Gabbard, 38, responded by calling Mrs Clinton the "queen of warmongers" and the cause of "rot" in the Democrat party. The bitter row began when Mrs Clinton was being interviewed about the prospect of Russian interference in the upcoming election. She said: "I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary, and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate. "She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far." Tulsi Gabbard called Hillary Clinton the "queen of warmongers" Credit: AFP Mrs Clinton did not mention Ms Gabbard by name, but a spokesman later confirmed she had been referring to Ms Gabbard. The spokesman said: "This is not some outlandish claim, this is reality." Ms Gabbard is a military veteran who served in Iraq. She caused controversy after revealing that she had met with Bashar al-Assad on a fact-finding trip to Syria. Responding to Mrs Clinton's allegations she said: "Thank you Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain." She accused Mrs Clinton of being behind a concerted campaign to derail her candidacy. Ms Gabbard added: "It was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose." The congresswoman urged Mrs Clinton to run again in 2020. She said: "Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly." During the latest televised Democrat debate in Ohio this week Ms Gabbard condemned suggestions of Russian support for her. She said: "This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable." Mrs Clinton also accused Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee in 2016, of being a "Russian asset". In 2016 Ms Stein received about one per cent of the vote but some Democrats claim that helped Donald Trump win several key states. Ms Stein denied Mrs Clinton's accusations and accused her of "peddling conspiracy theories to justify her failure, instead of reflecting on real reasons the Democrats lost in 2016."

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 13:26:59 -0400
  • School apologizes after photo showing students with cardboard boxes over their heads during exam goes viral

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    An school in India has issued an apology after a bizarre image of students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads went viral. The images were taken during a chemistry exam at Bhagat Pre-University College in the town of Haveri.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 12:41:03 -0400
  • India's Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

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    A large arsenal in a dangerous part of the world.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:30:00 -0400
  • Do Germans Know a Hate Crime When They See It?

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    Jens Schlueter/GettyFRANKFURT—Slowly, many would say too slowly, Germany is waking up to the threat of far right terrorism. How could it not after a gunman attacked a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar? Unable to enter, he killed a woman on the street and a man in a kebab shop. The shooter’s “manifesto” was a typical anti-Semitic screed, but his mother’s words, in their way, were more chilling. She told the German magazine Der Spiegel that her son “didn’t have anything against Jews in that sense. He had something against the people who stand behind financial power.”Unfortunately, such parsing of definitions is not unique to the moms of murderers. Violent hate crimes that stop short of fatalities occur on an almost daily basis in this country, but are rarely reported or prosecuted.Livestreamed Anti-Semitic Attack in Halle Germany Kills Two on Yom KippurIn the past week alone, three right-wing extremists walked through the streets of Doebeln wearing orange jackets that said “Safe Zone,” chanting far right slogans and claiming to hunt “foreigners.” Right-wing extremist strategy is to make out that a “foreign threat,” that is, immigrants, has made streets unsafe, and that the German state has lost control of order, so it’s up to quasi-nazis to defend the streets and their country. Thus the “safe zone” reference.In Mannheim, a 62-year-old man was arrested after shouting racist abuse at people on the train. (He was first told to leave because he didn’t have a ticket.) In Halle, someone uploaded a video of a man on the bus slurring abuse and talking about “gassing” people.A few hours after the terror attack in Halle, police in the western city of Bonn reported that shots were fired through the window of an immigrant asylum home. The suspects drove off. For the far right, such attacks small and large serve to instill fear in the targeted group, to drive a wedge between that group and the rest of society and thus fuel the extremists’ prophesied “war of cultures,” as Matthias Quent writes in his book Deutschland Rechts Aussen, or “The German Far Right.” And by failing to provide victims of hate crimes with justice, or declining to acknowledge that they are what they are, Germany’s democratic institutions perpetuate these aims.In the aftermath of Halle, some measures have been announced. At a press conference, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said security measures at synagogues across the country would be improved.But the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, thinks that’s not enough. Speaking on ZDF television the day after the attack, he demanded that judges be allowed to recognize and give tougher sentences to anti-Semitic hate crimes. Right now the relevant law speaks of “contemptuous” motives.“I have not had one case where anti-Semitism was clearly named as the motive for a crime,” says Christina Büttner from “ezra,” an organization in Thuringia, where victims of violent hate crimes can get counselling and legal advice. Thuringia is an eastern German state and home to the far-right AfD, Alternative für Deutschland, hardliner Bjoern Hoecke, who has called the Holocaust memorial in Berlin a “monument of shame” and said that schools should highlight German suffering in World War TwoIn 2014, a group of right-wing extremists beat up six people at an art exhibition in Erfurt, a city in Thuringia. The attack began with a man wearing a shirt emblazoned with the image of Horst Wessel, a Nazi shot in 1930 and portrayed as a martyr by Josef Goebbels. That man started making anti-Semitic slurs to visitors before he was joined by seven other men who shouted “Sieg Heil.” At their court hearing, the consensus appeared to be that the offenders were “drunk and looking for a fight,” says Büttner. The anti-Semitic slurs were “brushed aside.” The fact that one of them had the face of an SS officer tattooed on his calf was only added to the case file after he appeared at proceedings in short pants. “There are education gaps about anti-Semitism among officials, state prosecutors and judges,” says Büttner. “One cannot assume that highly educated people in Germany know what anti-Semitism is.” According to official figures, such as they are, anti-Semitic and racist hate crimes—including online hate speech and the use of Nazi symbols—increased almost 20 percent in Germany last year. In most cases, the offender was judged to have a far right background. Büttner says her organization has dealt with one case where the offender had a Muslim background, but when it comes to violent anti-Semitic attacks, right-wing extremists “are in the majority.” When confronted with the case of a person who may have been a victim of a violent hate crime, the police in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, where Halle is located, have been told to refer victims to independent advisory services like ezra. The legal advice of these NGOs can be useful, for example, if police refuse to provide a translator to a victim who doesn’t speak German. “In Halle, this works very well,” says a counselor for the organization Mobile Operberatung. “But in other parts of the state, it may be that the police don’t recognize the cases or that they don’t know what they are supposed to do.”Independent advisory services for hate crimes—mostly present in eastern Germany—record a much higher number of violent attacks than the authorities. Last year, they estimated that an average number of five people a day were attacked. Even more hate crimes go completely unrecorded. “Our statistics are the tip of the iceberg,” Büttner says.In Germany, the individual police officer asked to register an assault decides whether it is a hate crime or not. Judith Porath, who counsels victims of violent hate crimes in the eastern state of Brandenburg, says that the people who come to her center often decide not to go to the police. Some worry about revenge. Others distrust the authorities. “People feel that they are not being believed, that they are being treated as the offenders,” she says. Sometimes, a person who is targeted repeatedly by hate crimes will think there is no point in going to the police if they are still waiting for the legal proceedings against a different assailant from three years ago. One reason that proceedings are so slow is that there is a significant shortage of judges and state prosecutors in Germany. In cases of far right violence, according to Porath, a common strategy that her organization has encountered is for gangs to first ambush a person who is alone, then accuse that person of assault. The culprits can back each other up in court. If the victim has no witnesses, the case either is dropped or the victim ends up being charged. How Deeply Has Germany’s Murderous Far Right Penetrated the Security Forces?The fact that there are more hate crimes could be interpreted by the organized extremist movement as a sign the population is “leaning toward their ideology” and shares their definition of “enemies,” Daniel Koehler, director of the Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies, tells The Daily Beast. There are some signs that the German law enforcement’s sensitivity may be improving. In the ZDF interview, Felix Klein said that one reason the number of officially recorded anti-Semitic hate crimes last year increased was because more people are now going to the police. In Halle, the number of violent attacks recorded by the Mobile Operberatung actually decreased in the past year. But in the neighboring state of Saxony, NGOs recorded a 38 percent increase in violent attacks—not least because of a series of assaults fuelled by the racist riots in Chemnitz last August. In the wake of those riots, four restaurants were attacked, including the Jewish restaurant Shalom and the Persian restaurant Safran. These properties were destroyed, swastikas were painted on the glass and one owner was in the hospital for eight days. The state police took over the cases, citing the likelihood of a xenophobic motive. No suspects were found. “To some extent, the affected did not feel like they were being taken seriously,” says Anna Pöhl, a counselor for victims of hate crimes in Chemnitz. This was in part because of the manner in which police investigated the attacks, for example by checking for ties to organized crime or asking whether the offenders had perhaps been shouting something in Arabic or Russian–this after being told that they’d given a Hitler salute and shouted “Sieg Heil.” This September, the far right Alternative für Deutschland party became the second strongest party in Saxony and Brandenburg. Now, Judith Porath says “The AfD tries to discredit us, they are constantly making inquiries about us.”  Other political parties have defended the NGO, she said, so far. 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.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:24:26 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Bangladesh to move Rohingya to flood-prone island next month

    Bangladesh will start relocating Rohingya Muslims to a flood-prone island off its coast next month as several thousand refugees have agreed to move, a government official said on Sunday. Dhaka wants to move 100,000 refugees to Bhasan Char – a Bay of Bengal island hours by boat from the mainland – to ease overcrowding in its camps at Cox’s Bazar, home to more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighbouring Myanmar. "We want to start relocation by early next month," Mahbub Alam Talukder, the Relief and Repatriation Commission chief based in Cox’s Bazar, told Reuters, adding that "the refugees will be shifted in phases".

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 09:08:33 -0400
  • Children Die at Record Speed on U.S. Border While Coyotes Get Rich

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    (Bloomberg) -- Roberto the coyote can see a stretch of border fence from his ranch in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, about a mile south of El Paso. Smuggling drugs and people to “el otro lado,” the other side, has been his life’s work.There’s always a way, he says, no matter how hard U.S. President Donald Trump tries to stop the flow. But this year’s crackdown has made it a tougher proposition. A deadlier one, too—especially for women and children, who are increasingly dying in the attempt.Not much surprises Roberto, who asks not to be identified by his surname because he engages in illegal activity. Sitting on a creaky metal chair, shaded by quince trees and speaking above the din from a gaggle of fighting roosters, the 65-year-old grabs a twig and scratches lines in the sand to show how he stays a step ahead of U.S. and Mexican security forces.Here’s a gap in the fence that migrants can dash through—onto land owned by American ranchers in his pay. There’s a spot U.S. patrols often pass, so he’s hiring more people to keep watch and cover any footprints with leaf-blowers.Roberto says he was taken aback in July this year, when he was approached for the first time by parents with young children. For coyotes, as the people-smugglers are known in Mexico, that wasn’t the typical customer profile. Roberto asked around among his peers. “They were also receiving a lot of families,” he says. “Many, many families are crossing over.”That helps explain one of the grimmer statistics to emerge from all the turmoil on the U.S.-Mexican border.Even more than usual, the 2,000-mile frontier has turned into a kind of tectonic fault line this year. Poverty and violence—and the pull of the world’s richest economy—are driving people north. At the border, they’re met by a new regime of tightened security and laws, imposed by Trump in tandem with his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO.Some give up and go home; some wait and hope—and some try evermore dangerous ways to get through.Nineteen children died during attempted crossings in the first nine months of 2019, by drowning, dehydration or illness, according to the UN’s “Missing Migrants” research project. That’s up from four reported through September 2018 and by far the most since the project began gathering data in 2014, when two died that entire year. Women are dying in greater numbers, too—44 in the year through September, versus 14 last year.Many of those families are fleeing crime epidemics in Central America, as well as economic shocks. Prices of coffee—a key export—in the region plunged this year to the lowest in more than a decade, crushing farmers.Making matters worse, climate change will produce more frequent crop failures for those growers that will, in turn, drive more migration, said Eleanor Paynter, a fellow at Ohio State University. “Asylum law does not currently recognize climate refugees,” she said, “but in the coming years we will see more and more.”The demand side is equally fluid. When the Great Recession hit in 2007, a slumping U.S. economy led to a sharp drop in arrivals from Mexico and Central America. Today, the reverse is true: Record-low unemployment in the U.S. is attracting huge numbers from Central America.But none of those factors fully explains why so many families are now willing to take such great risks. To understand that, it’s necessary to go back to the birth of the “Remain in Mexico” policy in January, when new U.S. rules made it much harder to seek asylum on arrival—and its escalation in June, when Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican goods, and AMLO agreed to deploy 26,000 National Guard troops to the border.The crackdown was aimed at Central Americans—mostly from such poor, violent countries as El Salvador and Honduras—who’d been entering the U.S. through Mexico in growing numbers. Many would cross the border, turn themselves in and apply for asylum, then wait in the U.S. for a court hearing. That route was especially favored by migrants with young children, who were likely to be released from detention faster.Under the new policy, they were sent back to Mexico by the tens of thousands and required to wait in dangerous border towns for a court date. They might wait in shelters for months for their number to be called, with only 10 or 20 families being interviewed each day. Word was getting back that applications weren’t being approved, anyway.That pushed thousands of families into making a tough decision. Juan Fierro, who runs the El Buen Pastor shelter for migrants in Ciudad Juarez, reckons that about 10% of the Central Americans who’ve stayed with him ended up going back home. In Tijuana, a border town hundreds of miles west, Jose Maria Garcia Lara—who also runs a shelter—says some 30% of families instead headed for the mountains outside the city on their way to the U.S. “They’re trying to cross,” he says, “in order to disappear.”The family that approached Roberto in Ciudad Juarez wanted to take a less physically dangerous route: across the bridge into El Paso.Roberto has infrastructure in place for both options. He says his people can run a pole across the Rio Grande when the river’s too high, and they have cameras on the bridge to spot when a guard’s back is turned. He has a sliding price scale, charging $7,500 for children and an extra $1,000 for Central Americans—fresh proof of studies that have shown smugglers’ prices rise with tighter border controls. “They pay a bundle to get their kids across,” he says. “Why don’t they just open a small grocery with that money?”Typically, migrants don’t come from the very poorest communities in their home countries, where people struggle to cover such coyote costs, or from the middle class. Rather, they represent a range from $5,000 to $10,000 per capita in 2009 dollars, according to Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development in Washington. This happens to be the level that the economies of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have reached.For the family going across the bridge into El Paso, Roberto wanted to send the parents and children separately, to attract less attention. Ideally, the kids would be asleep, making the guards less likely to stop the car and ask questions. But that raised another problem. He resolved it by arranging for a woman on his team to visit the family and spend three days playing with the children. That way, they’d be used to her and wouldn’t cry out if they woke up while she was taking them across.Roberto says the family made it safely into the U.S. with their false IDs, a claim that couldn’t be confirmed. He earned about $35,000 from the family, and soon after had another three children with their parents seek passage. “They want to cross, no matter what,” he says. “I don’t know where the idea comes from that you can stop this.”But people are being stopped and turned back, and the number of migrants caught crossing the U.S. border has plunged from its peak in May. That has allowed Trump to portray the new policy as a success. (Mexican officials tend to agree, though the Foreign Ministry didn't respond to a request for comment.) Yet it’s not that simple. Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, said the flow northward initially surged because Trump threatened to close the border, setting off a wave of migrant caravans and smuggling activity. Arrests rose 90% through September from a year earlier, but they’re now at the same levels they were before the surge.Enrique Garcia was one of those arrested. A 36-year-old from Suchitepequez in Guatemala, he was struggling to feed his three children on the $150 a month he earned as a janitor. So he pawned a $17,000 plot of land to a coyote in exchange for passage to the U.S. for him and his son.They slipped into Mexico in August on a boarded-up cattle truck, with eight other adults and children, and drove the length of the country, to Juarez. The coyotes dropped them by car at the nearby crossing point called Palomas, where they literally ran for it.After 45 minutes in the summer heat, Garcia was getting worried about his son, who was falling behind and calling out for water. But they made it past the Mexican National Guard and gave themselves up to a U.S. border patrol, pleading to be allowed to stay. Instead, they were sent back to Mexico and given a January court date.Garcia, who recounted the story from a bunk bed in a Juarez shelter, said he was devastated. He couldn’t figure out what to do for five months in Mexico, with no prospect of work. His coyotes had managed to reestablish contact with the group, and most of them—with children in tow—had decided to try again. This time, they wouldn’t be relying on the asylum process. They’d try to make it past the border patrols and vanish into the U.S.But Garcia decided he’d already put his son’s life at risk once, and wouldn’t do it again. He scrounged $250 to take the boy home to Guatemala. Then, he said, he’d head back up to the border alone. He wouldn’t need to pay the coyotes again. They’d given him a special offer when he signed away his land rights—two crossing attempts for the price of one.Researchers say there’s a more effective deterrent to such schemes: opening more lawful channels. Clemens, at the Center for Global Development, noted that illegal immigration from Mexico dropped in recent years after U.S. authorities increased the supply of H-2 visas for temporary work, almost all of them going to Mexicans—a trend that’s continued under Trump.The current debate in Washington assumes that “hardcore enforcement and security assistance in Central America will be enough, without any kind of expansion of lawful channels,” Clemens said. “That flies in the face of the lessons of history.”A hard-security-only approach deters some migrants, while channeling others into riskier routes where they’re more likely to die. That’s what happened after Europe’s crackdown on migration from across the Mediterranean, according to Paynter at Ohio State, who’s studied data from the UN’s “Missing Migrants” project. In 2019, “even though the total number of attempted crossings is lower, the rate of death is three times what it was,” she said.As for Roberto, he expresses sadness at the children who’ve died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. He claims he would’ve tried to help them, even if they couldn’t pay.Most of all, he sees no end to the ways he can make profits off the border crackdown. He makes a joke out of it.“I’m hearing Trump wants to throw crocodiles in the river,” he says. “Guess what will happen? We’ll eat them.” And then: “Their skin is expensive. We’ll start a whole new business. It’ll bring in money, because we’ll make boots, belts and wallets. We’ll look real handsome.”  To contact the author of this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Ben HollandFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 08:00:29 -0400
  • Defense chief: US troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq

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    Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. Esper said he has spoken to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 00:11:19 -0400
  • China talks up tech prowess in face of US rivalry

    Golocal247.com news

    China on Sunday said it aims to become a "great power" in the online world and took a swipe at Washington on trade, kicking off its annual conference promoting the Communist Party's controlled and censored version of the internet. US-China rivalry is increasingly playing out in the digital sphere, as Beijing pursues dominance in next-generation technology while Washington takes measures to cripple Chinese tech firms like Huawei. China heavily monitors and censors its internet, with US titans Facebook, Twitter and Google all hidden behind a so-called "Great Firewall" that also blocks politically sensitive content.

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 03:39:53 -0400
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