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  • AOC lowers expectations on Medicare for All, admitting Sanders 'can't wave a magic wand' to pass it

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    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that if Bernie Sanders were elected president, he still might not be able to get Medicare for All, his signature health plan, passed in Congress.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:29:43 -0500
  • Trump budget zeroes out funding for Stars and Stripes, the military's newspaper

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    The Trump administration pulled funding in its 2021 budget for Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military news organization that has published a daily newspaper continuously since World War II for troops stationed around the world.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:18:02 -0500
  • Chinese president says he took early action against COVID-19

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    The disclosure came after Chinese leadership was criticized for slow and muted reaction to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 23:36:07 -0500
  • Woman’s Grisly Murder in Mexico Puts AMLO on the Defensive

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    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 18:14:06 -0500
  • Inside the Family's Manhattan Apartment

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    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • I Am Watching China Wage a 'People's War' Against Coronavirus (65,000 Cases and Growing)

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    Our latest on-the-ground reporting as the world's emerging superpower tackles an unprecedented challenge.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 07:46:00 -0500
  • Assistant principal accused of raping student avoids jail

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    An assistant principal charged with raping a 16-year-old student in Missouri has avoided jail time by accepting an Alford plea, which allows her to assert innocence while acknowledging the evidence proves her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 10:28:45 -0500
  • Coronavirus panic could be the endangered pangolin's new threat

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    Bill Zeigler, a top researcher at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, shared his concerns.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 23:30:39 -0500
  • Rebuffed by UK, U.S. pitches 'big tent' for Huawei rivals in Europe

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    The United States is seeking to rally European support for competitors to Huawei Technologies following disappointment in Washington over Britain's decision to use 5G equipment made by the Chinese company. U.S. officials at a global security conference in Germany this week urged governments and business leaders to build an ecosystem of "industry champions" that can provide alternatives to Huawei, the world's biggest maker of mobile networking equipment. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Reuters on Friday there was no credible evidence that Huawei was a threat to U.S. security.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 09:05:38 -0500
  • Is that Harriet Tubman on a bank debit card, throwing a Wakanda salute?

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    A new debit card by the largest black-owned bank in the U.S. drew criticism and expressions of disbelief for its image of the famed abolitionist making a gesture similar to one in "Black Panther."

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 19:57:00 -0500
  • Knives come out for Bloomberg as billionaire former mayor rises in the polls

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    Democratic candidates and President Trump took fresh aim this week at the former New York City mayor who has staked his personal fortune on winning the White House.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:15:20 -0500
  • Questions over fate of Saudi crew in Yemen jet crash

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    The fate of the crew of a Saudi warplane that crashed in Yemen remained uncertain Sunday after Iran-linked Huthi rebels claimed to have shot down the aircraft. The Riyadh-led military coalition fighting the rebels said the two officers ejected from the plane before it crashed in northern Al-Jawf province Friday but that the rebels opened fire at them "in violation of international humanitarian law". "The joint forces command of the Coalition holds the terrorist Huthi militia responsible for the lives and wellbeing of the Tornado air crew," the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency late Saturday.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:18:36 -0500
  • Virginia teen accused of killing mother, brother arrested

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    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:51:22 -0500
  • Hong Kong's Disneyland is letting the government use some of its land to quarantine people and stop the coronavirus spreading

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    Hong Kong is looking for secure and remote sites to quarantine people that may have the coronavirus in a bid to stop it spreading further.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 04:37:40 -0500
  • Just Ask This Russian Submarine: The Cuban Missile Crisis Nearly Ended The World

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    It was a closer call than you think.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 01:30:00 -0500
  • Germany wants another crack at a EU mission in the Strait of Hormuz

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    Berlin last summer rejected a request to join a U.S.-led naval protection mission for fear of getting tangled up in shooting war between the United States and Iran.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:25:07 -0500
  • Australian soldiers caring for rescued koalas

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    The soldiers fed 28 rescued koalas and helped build climbing structures for them in their new home.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 00:19:46 -0500
  • This college was accredited by a DeVos-sanctioned group. We couldn’t find evidence of students or faculty.

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    At present, Reagan National University apparently has no students or faculty. Yet it was accredited -- by a group saved by the Education Department.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:35:13 -0500
  • Classmates rally, help release woman from immigration detention

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    Meidy Guzman’s release means returning to school, and possibly graduating with her classmates, while also seeking asylum and battling possible deportation.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:03:00 -0500
  • Trump is getting medieval with the states

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    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) "must understand that National Security far exceeds politics," President Trump tweeted Thursday before immediately attempting to justify his suspension of a security program for his own political ends: "New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment [sic], start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don't bring Fredo!"The president here is "expanding his abuse of power to blackmailing U.S. states," accused Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who was among Trump's impeachment prosecutors. "In this case, he's holding New York state hostage to try to stop investigations into his prior tax fraud."It's not clear whether the lawsuits Trump referenced were those concerning him personally or New York State's suit over its exclusion from the "trusted traveler program." Either way, Trump, I'm certain, wouldn't see his tweet as blackmail. He referenced The Godfather, but the framework of his expectations for New York's cooperation seems a little older. Feudal, even. Trump's vision for federal-state interactions looks an awful lot like vassalage.Western Europe in the Middle Ages organized many power relationships through the vassalage system. The details varied by time, place, and looming threat, but the basic idea was a pledged, transactional relationship between a monarch and lesser lords. The king granted his vassals authority over portions of his land and promised to provide them assurances of security. The vassals in turn would supply knights and men for their liege's army and swear to him their allegiance, or fealty.Trump's ideas about honor and order in society are clearly medieval, as I've argued previously. Like our forebears of a millennia ago, he weighs the gravity of offenses more by the stature of the offender than the nature of the offense. As he ranks at the very top of the social hierarchy, it is all but impossible for Trump to conceive of himself as doing wrong. Allegations of his own corruption, I suspect, sincerely don't make much sense to him: Because of who he is, what he does must be right.Seeing the states as vassals fits with that perspective quite comfortably. If Trump is king and commander-in-chief of the military, then governors, with their smaller territorial responsibility and National Guard forces, must be his vassals. Read his tweet about Cuomo in this light and it all makes sense: It's a breach of the vassal's fealty to sue the king or refuse him the tribute (in this case, driver records that could be used for immigration enforcement) he wants for his security agenda. "Uncooperative" vassals are intolerable. If there are vassals in breach of their vassalage, it can't be blackmail for the king to require them to abide by their pledge. He is but maintaining the right order of society, as he was chosen by God to do."I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God, to whom alone I am responsible for my actions; but they are so pure and honorable that I voluntarily and cheerfully render an account of them to the whole world," said Richard the Lionheart in 1193 when he was tried by the Holy Roman emperor. Richard's protests of his innocence have an eloquence Trump lacks, but the self-certain indignation is recognizable.The trouble is Trump is not a king; it is not 1193; and to most of us — with more modern, liberal conceptions of societal order — Trump's behavior toward New York is suspect at best. That perception is reinforced by our national mythos of popular sovereignty, which survives despite two centuries of evolution of federal (and especially executive) power as well as its uncomfortable entanglement with antebellum proposals for compromise over slavery.Our constitutional federalism — in concept, if no longer in practice — explicitly inverts the power structure of the medieval system: In feudalism, power flows from God to the king to his vassals to the populace. In the United States, power is supposed to belong to the people, and we for our convenience delegate some powers to the states, which in turn delegate some powers to the federal government. "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," affirms the Ninth Amendment, and the Tenth adds: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Power in America is supposed to flow up, not down.It usually doesn't, of course. Movements of popular protest across the political spectrum share the complaint that those in power persistently subvert the will of the people. And federal innovations in quietly coercing state behavior with financial incentives and penalties have transformed our system into something much closer to vassalage than we might like to admit. (New York University law professors Richard A. Epstein and Mario Loyola even echo medieval language in describing this arrangement at The Atlantic: "[States'] only viable option is to accept on bended knee the sovereign's offer to return their money back, in exchange for their obedience.")In that sense, maybe Trump is not so much a man out of his time. Maybe his monarchical dictates to New York are less a historical anachronism than an unusually indiscreet exercise of the United States' increasingly feudal federalism.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren 6 books Erik Larson keeps returning to 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's Justice Department takeover

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:45:02 -0500
  • Merkel succession contender calls her out over slow EU revamp

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    A leading contender to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday criticised her for taking too long to respond to a French push to strengthen the EU after Brexit. "I would like to apologise for the German government," Armin Laschet said, casting himself as strongly pro-EU as the race to find a new leader for Merkel's centre-right CDU party heats up. Macron has long called for an overhaul to the European Union in response to Britain's departure from the bloc, including deeper integration in financial and defence matters, and has repeatedly urged Berlin to champion the reforms with him.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:28:29 -0500
  • Nine homeless drug users shot dead in Afghan capital: police

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    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 04:51:26 -0500
  • The coronavirus could cripple China's economy for longer than Wall Street wants to believe

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    China's economy can't snap back from the coronavirus as fast as it did after SARS because it's growing more slowly and the banking system is a mess.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 08:28:00 -0500
  • Hitler's Submarines Almost Launched A Missile Attack On America

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    In March, the Allies intercepted a message from German Admiral Godt dispatching seven Type IX long-range submarines to “attack targets in American coastal zone” as part of an attack group awesomely codenamed Seewolf.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0500
  • Israeli army: Hamas hackers tried to 'seduce' soldiers

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    The Israeli military on Sunday said it has thwarted an attempt by the Hamas militant group to hack soldiers' phones by posing as young, attractive women on social media, striking up friendships and persuading them into downloading malware. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters that the phones of dozens of soldiers had been infected in recent months, although he said the army detected the scam early on and prevented any major secrets from reaching the Islamic militant group. Conricus said this was the third attempt by Hamas to target male soldiers through fake social media accounts, most recently in July 2018.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 05:05:37 -0500
  • CBS News and Congressional Black Caucus Institute to co-host debate

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    The debate will take place in South Carolina on February 25. The Democratic National Committee announced details for the first four early-voting state presidential primary debates.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 20:10:09 -0500
  • Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows Sanders's strength going head-to-head with rivals

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    A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders would defeat each of the other Democratic presidential candidates in a one-on-one race — in many instances by double-digit margins.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:17:33 -0500
  • Man who left puppy to drown in cage sentenced to 1 year for animal cruelty

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    The 36-year-old New Jersey man left the puppy in a cage along the rising tide of Sandy Hook Bay after a fight with his ex-girlfriend.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 10:57:00 -0500
  • Joe Biden: I'm 'disappointed' in Lindsey Graham

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    Joe Biden said Sunday morning that he is disappointed' in Sen. Lindsey Graham for bowing to political pressure.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:42:21 -0500
  • Experts weigh in on how coronavirus may, or may not, run rampant in US in coming months

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    The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has infected more than 60,000, killed over 1,300 and terrified millions. In the United States, residents wait with bated breath as new cases of infected Americans arise. Also worth noting is that more than 7,000 patients diagnosed with the virus have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.On Thursday, the 15th U.S. case of coronavirus was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) after a patient returned from China to Texas earlier this week."The patient is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020," the CDC wrote in a press release. Flower shop owner Iris Leung wears her protective face mask as she delivers flowers with masks to customers on Valentine's Day in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. COVID-19 viral illness has sickened tens of thousands of people in China since December. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) Experts such as Elizabeth McGowan, however, have reason to believe the outbreak that has inflicted so many in Mainland China won't strike with the same impacts in the U.S.McGowan, who serves as director of Penn State University's Center of Infectious Disease Dynamics, said the size of cities where infections are confirmed and quarantine efforts will determine the stateside spread."I think in the U.S. it will be about locality," McGowan told AccuWeather in an interview. "I don't think it would be about culture or social behavior. I think it's going to be about whether it comes into smaller communities or bigger communities," she continued."Wuhan is a very large city [in China], with over 11 million people, so anytime you have large amounts of people in shared space you just have [a] greater risk for a greater sized outbreak. I think more than cultural differences and our behaviors between countries, it will be about where does it end up and whether we are able to successfully isolate those individuals."Two known cases of person-to-person transmission have been recorded in the U.S. so far -- one in California and one in Illinois, according to CNN.Experts have continually stressed the importance of proper preventative practices this flu season, particularly with the threat of COVID-19. McGowan, however, pushed the importance of using proper products that ensure the best protection. An employee wearing a protective face mask waits for customers at a shop in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. COVID-19 viral illness has sickened tens of thousands of people in China since December. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) "We should be washing our hands with soap and doing it effectively. If you can not use soap, you can use those hand gel, alcohol-based disinfectants," she advised. "Those need to have a percentage of alcohol that's 60 percent or greater, so you need to be careful to make sure you get the right ones, check the label, and you need to make sure you rub in for 20 seconds or so before they're effective."Along with covering mouths and staying away from people while sick, McGowan added that it's important for people who feel any symptoms coming on to stay home. Hong Kong University professor John Nicholls recently stressed similar preventative measures in email exchanges with AccuWeather."​Apart from hand washing (soap is just as good as those alcohol gels) and masks, an important aspect is social distancing -- if people have symptoms stay away from other people," he said in an email on Feb. 13. "If you check the local Hong Kong media today, this was not followed by a guy who was ill but still went to work and subsequently appeared to infect other people."In a leaked private conference call with investment bankers last week, Nicholls expanded on those beliefs and described the different sanitary standards practiced in different regions. People wear protective face masks on a street in the rain in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. COVID-19 viral illness has sickened tens of thousands of people in China since December. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) "With SARS, once it was discovered that the virus was spread through the fecal-oral route, there was much less emphasis on the masks and far more emphasis on disinfection and washing hands," he said. "Hong Kong has far more cleanliness [than China] and they are very aware of social hygiene and other countries will be more aware of the social hygiene [than China]. So, in those countries, you should see less outbreaks and spreading. A couple days ago the fecal-oral route of transmission was confirmed in Shenzhen ... But in other countries the sanitation systems tends to [be] closed. My personal view is that this will be a bad cold and it will all be over by May."Nicholls seemed to soften on his certainty that COVID-19 would be nullified by May in subsequent emails to AccuWeather, but McGowan expressed similar sentiments about the effect warming weather would have on the virus and the impact it would have in countries such as the U.S.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"Coronaviruses are a lot like flu and cold viruses, they're transmitted in respiratory droplets when people cough and sneeze," she said. "What that means is that for their transmission to work they have to hang in the air often for enough time before they can be inhaled into someone's lungs, and we know that weather affects that. The reason cold viruses and flu viruses like coronavirus can have seasonality is because they hang in the air longer when conditions are dry and cold."Conversely, in warmer spring and summer months, McGowan explained that higher levels of humidity cause those droplets to drop to the ground quicker, lessening the capacity for viruses to spread since the droplets spend less time in the environment. Customers wearing protective face masks looks at snacks at a shop in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. COVID-19 viral illness has sickened tens of thousands of people in China since December. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) In major countries located in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand, COVID-19 could become a bigger issue in the future as major populations enter the winter months. There, McGowan said, the opposite impact on spread could occur in the coming months.One factor that could bear watching in Northern Hemisphere areas, where spring is a little more than one month away, would be if temperatures and humidity don't rise as high as some experts may think. Strange and unexpected weather factors like that could cause the virus to further mutate, although McGowan added that communities that have already been stricken by the virus are much less likely to be impacted again."We have some coronaviruses that have just become common cold viruses and they sort of continue to circulate in human populations," McGowan said. "So, there's a possibility that that could happen with this sort of virus. These viruses are always evolving and changing all the time, so that's yet to be seen. For areas where there has been a lot of infection, that virus is unlikely to reinvade that community."Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:42:07 -0500
  • India women facing sedition charges over school play get bail

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    Two women held for two weeks by Indian police on sedition charges over a school play which allegedly criticised a contentious citizenship law have been granted bail, officials said Sunday. Teacher Fareeda Begum, 50, and parent Nazbunnisa, 36, were arrested on January 30 for helping the children stage the play at Shaheen Public School in Karnataka state. The play depicted a worried family talking about how they feared the government would ask millions of Muslims to prove their nationality or be expelled from India.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:22:26 -0500
  • How Bloomberg's philanthropy may have secured his political influence

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    Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is gaining some traction in the Democratic primary, despite his late entry. Part of the reason he's been able to do that, The New York Times reports after reviewing years of campaign and nonprofit tax filings, may be because he spent years building influence by donating hefty funds to certain causes.Per the Times, some — though not all — of Bloomberg's philanthropic endeavors appear to have secured the allegiance of powerful institutions, as well as leaders within the Democratic Party. The Times is clear that no one interviewed for the story described anything akin to threats or coercion, but Bloomberg's financial influence did speak for itself in some cases. "They aren't going to criticize him in his 2020 run because they don't want to jeopardize receiving financial support from him in the future," said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the good-government group Common Cause.In 2015, the Times reports, researchers at the Center for American Progress turned in a report on anti-Muslim bias in the U.S., which included about 4,000 words on New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities. Bloomberg, because he was the city's mayor, was mentioned a handful of times. But when the report was published, the chapter was gone. A spokeswoman for the policy group said the chapter was removed for editorial reasons, but Yasmine Taeb, the author of the report, said there was fear about how it would be perceived by Bloomberg. An email reviewed by the Times also shows at least one official wrote that there would be a "strong reaction from Bloomberg world if we release the report as written," and three people with direct knowledge of the situation reportedly confirmed Bloomberg was a factor in the decision. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren 6 books Erik Larson keeps returning to 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's Justice Department takeover

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:11:00 -0500
  • Remember When Iran Took Out Saddam Hussein's Navy In One Day—With American-Made Jets?

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    One of the most intense air battles since World War II.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 01:00:00 -0500
  • Man gets 1 year in case of dog left in cage with tide rising

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    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:18:02 -0500
  • Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

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    The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department inspector general (IG) report concluded that he repeatedly and blatantly lied — or, as the Bureau lexicon puts it, “lacked candor” — when questioned, including under oath.Why not indict McCabe on felony false-statements charges? That is the question being pressed by incensed Trump supporters. After all, the constitutional guarantee of equal justice under the law is supposed to mean that McCabe gets the same quality of justice afforded to the sad sacks pursued with unseemly zeal by McCabe’s FBI and Robert Mueller’s prosecutors. George Papadopoulos was convicted of making a trivial false statement about the date of a meeting. Roger Stone was convicted of obstruction long after the special counsel knew there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy, even though his meanderings did not impede the investigation in any meaningful way. And in the case of Michael Flynn’s false-statements conviction, as McCabe himself acknowledged to the House Intelligence Committee, even the agents who interviewed him did not believe he intentionally misled them.I emphasize Flynn’s intent because purported lack of intent is McCabe’s principal defense, too. Even McCabe himself, to say nothing of his lawyers and his apologists in the anti-Trump network of bureaucrats-turned-pundits, cannot deny that he made false statements to FBI agents and the IG. Rather, they argue that the 21-year senior law-enforcement official did not mean to lie, that he was too distracted by his high-level responsibilities to focus on anything as mundane as a leak — even though he seemed pretty damned focused on the leak while he was orchestrating it.The “he did not believe he intentionally misled them” defense is not just implausible; it proved unavailing on McCabe’s watch, at least in General Flynn’s case. Hence, McCabe has a back-up plan: To argue that it would be extraordinary — and thus unconstitutionally selective and retaliatory — for the Justice Department to prosecute a former official for false statements in a “mere” administrative inquiry (which the leak probe was), as opposed to a criminal investigation. Again, tell that to Flynn, with whom the FBI conducted a brace-style interview — at the White House, without his counsel present, and in blithe disregard of procedures for FBI interviews of the president’s staff — despite the absence of a sound investigative basis for doing so, and whom Mueller’s maulers squeezed into a guilty plea anyway.It will be a while before we learn the whole story of why the Justice Department walked away from the McCabe case, if we ever do. I have some supposition to offer on that score. First, however, it is worth revisiting the case against McCabe as outlined by the meticulous and highly regarded IG, Michael Horowitz. If you want to know why people are so angry, and why they are increasingly convinced that, for all President Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric, a two-tiered justice system that rewards the well-connected is alive and well, consider the following.McCabe’s Leak In October 2016, McCabe directed his counsel, Lisa Page, to leak investigative information about the FBI’s Clinton Foundation probe to reporter Devlin Barrett, then of the Wall Street Journal. The leak had the effect of confirming the existence of the investigation, something the FBI is supposed to resist. While his high rank gave him the power to authorize such a disclosure if it were in the public interest, the IG found that McCabe’s leak “was clearly not within the public interest.”In fact, the Bureau’s then-director, James Comey, had tried to keep the Clinton Foundation probe under wraps, refusing to confirm or deny its existence even to the House Judiciary Committee. Comey had been right to stay mum: Public revelation would have harmed the probe and thrust the FBI deeper into the politics of the then-imminent 2016 presidential election, in which Hillary Clinton was the Democratic candidate and her investigation by the Bureau was an explosive campaign issue.Notwithstanding these concerns, according to Horowitz’s report, McCabe orchestrated the leak “to advance his personal interests” — to paint himself in a favorable light in comparison to Justice Department officials amid an internal dispute about the Clinton Foundation probe (specifically, about the Obama Justice Department’s pressure on the Bureau to drop it). As the IG put it: “McCabe’s disclosure was an attempt to make himself look good by making senior department leadership . . . look bad.”McCabe’s account has been contradicted by Comey, a witness who is otherwise sympathetic to him and hostile to the Trump Justice Department, and whose actions — like his — are being examined in prosecutor John Durham’s probe of the Trump-Russia investigation. Comey’s testimony is directly at odds with McCabe’s version of events, and the IG painstakingly explained why the former director’s version was credible while his deputy’s was not. (Comey was, nevertheless, exceedingly complimentary of McCabe after the IG report was published.)Page is regarded by McCabe backers as key to his defense. She reportedly told the grand jury that, because McCabe had authority to approve media disclosures, he had no motive to lie about the leak. That’s laughable. McCabe did serially mislead investigators, so plainly he had some reason for doing so. But even putting that aside, the IG’s conclusion was not that McCabe lacked authority to leak; it was that he lacked a public-interest justification for exercising that authority. He leaked for self-promotion purposes, and then he lied about it because it was humiliating to be caught putting his personal interests ahead of the Bureau’s investigative integrity. That said, Page’s account does illuminate a problem for prosecutors: It’s tough to win a case when your witnesses are spinning for the defendant. (Oh, and have you seen Page’s tweet toasting McCabe in the aftermath of the news that the DOJ had closed the investigation?)McCabe’s Multiple False StatementsBarrett’s Journal article appeared on October 30, 2016. The very next day, McCabe deceived Comey about it, indicating that he had not authorized the leak and had no idea who its source was. In Comey’s telling, credited by the IG, McCabe “definitely” did not acknowledge that he had approved the leak.Thereafter, the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) opened an investigation of the leak. On May 9, 2017, McCabe denied to two INSD investigators that he knew the source of the leak. This was not a fleeting conversation. McCabe was placed under oath, and the INSD agents provided him with a copy of Barrett’s article. He read it and initialed it to acknowledge that he had done so. He was questioned about it by the agents, who took contemporaneous notes. McCabe told the agents that he had “no idea where [the leaked information] came from” or “who the source was.”On July 28, 2017, McCabe was interviewed by the IG’s office — under oath and recorded on tape. In that session, he preposterously claimed to be unaware that Page, his FBI counsel, was directed to speak to reporters around the time of the October 30 Journal report. McCabe added that he was out of town then, and thus unaware of what Page had been up to. In point of fact, McCabe had consulted closely with Page about the leak. A paper trail of their texts and phone contacts evinced his keen interest in Page’s communications with Barrett. Consequently, the IG concluded that McCabe’s denials were “demonstrably false.”Clearly concerned about the hole he had dug for himself, McCabe called the IG’s office four days later, on August 1, 2017, to say that, shucks, come to think of it, he just might have kinda, sorta told Page to speak with Barrett after all. He might even have told her to coordinate with Mike Kortan, then the Bureau’s top media liaison, and follow-up with the Journal about some of its prior reporting.As the IG observed, this “attempt to correct his prior false testimony” was the “appropriate” thing for McCabe to do. Alas, when he was given an opportunity to come in and explain himself, he compounded his misconduct by making more false statements while under oath: In an interview with investigators on November 29, 2017, McCabe purported to recall informing Comey that he, McCabe, had authorized the leak, and that Comey had responded that the leak was a good idea.These were quite stunning recollections, given that the deputy director had previously disclaimed any knowledge about the source of the leak. But McCabe took care of that little hiccup by simply denying his prior denial. That is, he insisted that he had not feigned ignorance about the leak when INSD interviewed him on May 9. Indeed, McCabe even denied that the May 9 interview had been a real interview. To the contrary, he claimed that agents had casually pulled him aside at the conclusion of a meeting on an unrelated topic, and peppered him out of the blue with a question or two about the Journal leak. As General Flynn could tell you, that sort of thing can be tough on a busy top U.S. government official . . . although Flynn did not get much sympathy for it when McCabe was running the FBI.Again, the IG concluded that McCabe’s version of events was “demonstrably false.”McCabe Covers His TracksAs an old trial lawyer, I’d be remiss if I failed to rehearse my favorite part of the IG’s report — the part that would tell a jury everything they needed to know about good ol’ Andy McCabe.Again, the Journal story generated by McCabe’s leak was published on October 30, a Sunday. Late that afternoon, McCabe called the head of the FBI’s Manhattan office. Why? Well . . . to ream him out over media leaks, that’s why. McCabe railed that New York agents must be the culprits. He also made a similar call to the Bureau’s Washington field office, warning its chief to “get his house in order” and stop these terribly damaging leaks.It is worth remembering McCabe’s October 30 scolding of subordinates when you think about how he later claimed that, on the very next day, he’d freely admitted to his superior, Comey, that he himself was the source of the leak. Quite the piece of work, this guy: To throw the scent off himself after carefully arranging the leak, McCabe dressed down the FBI’s two premier field offices, knowing they were completely innocent, and then pretended for months that he knew nothing about the leak.This is the second-highest-ranking officer of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency we’re talking about, here.The Non-Prosecution DecisionWe may never get a satisfying explanation for the Justice Department’s decision to drop the McCabe probe. That’s the way it is when such complicated reasons and motives are at play.The aforementioned challenge of hostile witnesses is not to be underestimated. In addition, there are growing indications that the Justice Department had lost confidence in the U.S. attorney who was overseeing the probe, Jesse Liu. As I noted this week, while Liu was once seen as a rising Trump administration star, she was quietly edged out of her post last month, and the White House just pulled her nomination to fill an important Treasury Department post.There have been rumblings that the McCabe investigation was botched. Kamil Shields, a prosecutor who reportedly grew frustrated by her supervisors’ inordinate delays in making decisions about the McCabe probe, ultimately left the Justice Department to take a private-practice job. Another prosecutor, David Kent, quit last summer as DOJ dithered over the decision on whether to prosecute. Things became so drawn out that the investigating grand jury’s term lapsed. Meanwhile, the Justice Department endorsed Liu’s aggressive decision to bring a thin, politically fraught false-statements case against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, in connection with lobbying for a foreign country — the sort of crime that is rarely prosecuted. Craig was swiftly acquitted. Reportedly, Liu advocated charging McCabe, but the DOJ may have harbored doubts about her judgment.No matter the outcome, the Justice Department stood to take some hits if McCabe had been charged. Focus on McCabe’s leak would have drawn attention to pressure DOJ officials had put on the Bureau over the Clinton Foundation investigation (which, reportedly, is likely to be closed without charges). It would also renew interest in the question of whether the FBI improperly allowed McCabe to play a role in Clinton-related investigations when his wife, as a political candidate, got major funding from Clinton-tied sources.Moreover, new Freedom of Information Act disclosures — made to meet a deadline set by District Judge Reggie Walton, which may explain the timing of the non-prosecution announcement — indicate that the Justice Department and FBI did not comply with regulations in what appears to be the rushed termination of McCabe, adding heft to the former deputy director’s claim that he was being singled out for abusive treatment, potentially including prosecution, because of vengeful politics.On that score, Judge Walton took pains to decry the fusillade of tweets directed at McCabe by President Trump. I must note here that if a district U.S. attorney publicly labeled as a liar a suspect the Justice Department had indicted for false statements, that U.S. attorney would be sanctioned by the court. The U.S. attorneys, like the rest of the Justice Department, work for Trump. The president is correct when he insists, as he did this week, that he has the constitutional power to intervene in Justice Department matters. But that means he is subject to the same legal obligations that inhibit his Justice Department subordinates. Those obligations include protecting McCabe’s right to a fair trial — a duty the president may chafe at, but which is part of the deal when you take an oath to preserve the Constitution and execute the laws faithfully.If you envision Judge Walton as part of the Obama-appointed robed resistance, check your premises. He is a no-nonsense jurist originally named to the D.C. Superior Court by President Reagan, and then to the federal district court by President George W. Bush. As Politico reports, he had this to say about President Trump’s commentary on the McCabe investigation:> The public is listening to what's going on, and I don't think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. . . . I just think it's a banana republic when we go down that road. . . . I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undo inappropriate pressure being brought to bear. . . . It's just, it's very disturbing that we're in the mess that we're in in that regard. . . . I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government. . . . I think it's very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society we're going to pay a price at some point for this.If you want to know why Attorney General Barr was warning this week that the president’s tweets are undermining the Justice Department’s pursuit of its law-enforcement mission, Judge Walton’s words are worth heeding. I have been making this point since the start of the Trump presidency. If you want people held accountable for their crimes, you have to ensure their fundamental right to due process. When the government poisons the well, the bad guys reap the benefits.Finally, we must note that when the District of Columbia is the venue for any prosecution with political overtones, Justice Department charging decisions must factor in the jury pool, which is solidly anti-Trump.The proof that McCabe willfully deceived investigators appears strong — it is noteworthy that IG Horowitz, who has strained to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt in many dubious contexts, was unequivocal in slamming McCabe. Nevertheless, a D.C. jury would be weighing that evidence, as discounted by whatever pro-McCabe slant reluctant prosecution witnesses put on it. And the jury would be weighing against that evidence (a) whatever problems caused prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office to beg off, and more significantly, (b) defense arguments that McCabe would not have been fired or prosecuted if not for the fact that he had gotten crosswise with a president of the United States whom at least some of the jurors are apt to dislike.Looking at all that baggage, the Justice Department must not have liked its chances.McCabe is not out of the woods yet, of course: The Durham investigation is a separate matter, and it is continuing. But it is unclear whether he will face any criminal charges arising from that inquiry, whereas the now-dead-and-buried false-statements case against him looked cut-and-dried.The FBI’s former deputy director, though he undeniably misled investigators, remains a commentator at CNN. In the meantime, Papadopoulos is a felon convicted and briefly imprisoned for misleading investigators, while Flynn and Stone are awaiting sentencing on their false-statements charges. That covers both tiers of our justice system.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 18:50:41 -0500
  • A top Chinese official has slammed other countries for the 'overreaction' and 'unnecessary panic' towards the coronavirus

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    Wang claimed in an interview with Reuters that China has been "very open and transparent" in the way it has relayed information.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 14:21:39 -0500
  • As sea levels rise, Venice fights to stay above the waterline

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    A 17-year project to build underwater floodgates in the city has been mired in delays and corruption.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 04:31:00 -0500
  • U.S., China, Russia making world more dangerous: German president

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    Germany's president took an indirect swipe at U.S. President Trump on Friday in accusing Washington, China and Russia of stoking global mistrust and insecurity with a "great powers" competition" that could threaten a new nuclear arms race.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:07:21 -0500
  • Hong Kong protesters rally against planned virus quarantine centers

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    Hundreds of demonstrators rallied for a second day in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against plans to turn some buildings into coronavirus quarantine centers, reviving anti-government protests in the Chinese-ruled city. The virus has opened a new front for protesters after months of demonstrations over the perceived erosion of freedoms had largely fizzled out over the past month, as people stayed at home amid fears of a community outbreak of the virus. About 100 people braved rain in the New Territories district of Fo Tan, where authorities plan to use a newly built residential development that was subsidized by the government as a quarantine center.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 05:13:31 -0500
  • After homophobic jibes, Buttigieg says US has 'moved on'

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    The gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg insisted his sexuality would not damage his electoral prospects Sunday, saying the United States had "moved on" as a country, after homophobic jibes by allies of Donald Trump. The 38-year-old Democrat, who married his partner Chasten Glezman two years ago, said he would not take lectures from supporters of a man who has faced accusations ranging from rape to sleeping with a porn star.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 12:14:52 -0500
  • The Scandal Rocking California’s Weed Industry

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    Sometime in 2018, a Chicago-area union honcho named Joseph Senese started showing up at cannabis industry mixers in California.Senese represented himself as a leader of the National Production Workers Union, an Illinois-based outfit. As he put it to curious cannabis business owners and consultants, the union was getting into weed with a new California-based local called “ProTech Local 33.” The idea was to help West Coast cannabis businesses fulfill a labor-friendly licensing requirement necessary for them to obtain a state permit and open up shop.To Johnny Delaplane—an Illinois native and partner in Berner’s on Haight, the first legal weed store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury—ProTech Local 33 sounded great. Or at least a fine option to satisfy local authorities with what’s called a “labor peace agreement” (LPA), essentially a promise between management and a union to not sabotage organizing efforts.But when Delaplane and his partners submitted their signed LPA to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development for final approval, there was a problem: Their new union partner, according to the city’s workforce development director, might not actually be a union. Not only had nobody heard of ProTech Local 33—the group is not a member of state or local labor councils or federations—but it didn’t appear to have any members. Even worse, the office found “several articles and court cases” suggesting ProTech was a “company union,” a so-called labor outfit actually controlled by employers. For these reasons, MOEWD Workforce Director Joshua Arce wrote in a December email obtained by The Daily Beast, ProTech had not cleared the threshold of being a “Bona Fide Labor Organization.”A Drop of Cannabis Oil Could Land This Pennsylvania Woman in JailThe episode has touched off a furor in California labor and in the larger cannabis industry—which, with more than 250,000 workers nationwide, most of whom are engaged in low-wage retail or agricultural work, represents a potential bonanza for organizers. So far, however, with the exception of some limited wins by the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters, organized labor has failed to make many inroads into cannabis, much as it has struggled to make much major headway organizing skilled workers at Silicon Valley powerhouses like Google and Facebook.The strange saga of a weed labor organizer from the Midwest poking around the local scene doesn’t seem to be making it any easier.When things went wrong for ProTech in San Francisco, Senese struck back. In a blistering letter obtained by The Daily Beast, he suggested ProTech’s rejection was made at the behest of other existing labor organizations incensed at a newcomer encroaching on their turf. “This smacks of collusion,” he wrote, insisting the Production Workers had been operating in San Francisco and in California “for over 20 years.” But while ProTech Local 33’s website lists a phone number and an address at an office park in Bakersfield, a hardscrabble city in that state’s Central Valley, several calls over a period of days to a number listed on the website were not returned. That’s because that office has been closed, Senese explained to The Daily Beast in a telephone interview Thursday from Illinois, where he said he orchestrates West Coast organizing efforts.Those efforts are on the up-and-up, he insisted.In addition to the dispensary in San Francisco, ProTech has signed “close to 100” LPAs with other California cannabis businesses and has actually organized workers at five shops, Senese said, including distribution and processing centers. (“Don’t hold me to that number,” he cautioned of the “100” figure.)The fact that none of ProTech’s members appear in any labor filings reviewed by San Francisco regulators can be explained by the fact that the union was only chartered a year ago, in January 2019, and none of that data has been reported yet, he added.Asked to name any of the outfits he’d organized, Senese declined. “That’s not something most unions talk about,” he told The Daily Beast. (Most other unions, for what it’s worth, do talk about organizing victories, extremely publicly.)Nor would he name any other cannabis businesses with whom his shop had signed labor-peace agreements, except to say that ProTech Local 33 was active “from San Diego to Sonoma” County, north of San Francisco. Senese specifically claimed to have signed other LPAs with San Francisco-based cannabis businesses.The Daily Beast struggled mightily to verify these claims. Labor organizations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the state’s two most prominent cities with thriving cannabis industries, did not appear to be familiar with ProTech. “We have not heard about any union called ProTech,” Christian Castro, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Labor Federation, told The Daily Beast in an email. “They are not affiliated with us or the AFL-CIO.” Rudy Gonzalez, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, likewise said he’d never heard of ProTech Local 33. In California’s state Capitol of Sacramento, Jerome Parra, a spokesman for Assemblymember Rob Bonta, who authored the cannabis regulation bill that contains the labor-peace language, said he was also not familiar with the organization.The union was news to cannabis regulators in other cities, too. Rayna Plummer, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation, said her office had never heard of ProTech—and that it did not have any LPAs on file for any of the city’s hundreds of permitted cannabis operations. (In an email, Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, said any information his agency might have about ProTech would be in pending license applications, and thus not subject to open-records laws.)For his part, Delaplane, who runs the San Francisco Cannabis Retail Alliance, a network of weed sales permit-holders and permit-seekers in that city, said he “did not know” of any other LPAs signed with ProTech among his members.ProTech also departs from typical union tradition with its membership in a trade group representing business owners. ProTech is the only labor outfit that’s a member of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA)—Senese even ran for a position on its board, and lost—which recently circulated a white paper instructing owners on how to sign business-friendly labor peace agreements. Disney Sued by Labor Union for Failing to Pay Living Wage: Employees Have to ‘Live in Their Cars’Josh Drayton, a spokesman for the CCIA, declined to discuss ProTech, including whether the association vetted it before accepting payment for the union’s membership, and similarly declined to discuss the memo aside from denying engaging in any union-busting activities. ProTech had been a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, spokesman Morgan Fox confirmed, but the organization’s membership lapsed in September. Privately, labor officials have suggested National Production Workers, and, by extension, ProTech, is a business-friendly front meant to help companies meet state labor requirements without ever intending to allow workers to organize. Indeed, ProTech appeared to dance very close to the definition of “a company union”—ersatz worker organizations set up by management to crush organizing efforts before they can begin—which have been banned under federal labor law since the 1930s. “This ‘union,’ and you can put that in quotes, does not look on the face of it to be a ‘bona fide labor organization,’” said Ken Jacobs, director of the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center.“You’ve got a union that doesn’t appear to have many, or any members, is offering a labor-peace agreement that is extremely favorable to companies, and matches the criteria put forward in an anti-union memo from the industry association,” said Jacobs, who added that ProTech appears to be following a well-established pattern of anti-organizing behavior.“It looks to me like San Francisco made the right call,” he added.Senese defended his reputation and National Production Workers. “This union has never ever been found guilty of anything,” he said Thursday. San Francisco “was throwing the whole kitchen sink at us” in an effort to reject the LPA, he added. For now, he said, he would let the matter sit. But “if another one of my peace agreements gets rejected,” Senese vowed, “I will take legal action.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 05:10:06 -0500
  • Fact: Disobeying Gun Laws Is An American Tradition

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    It goes back to before 1776.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 20:00:00 -0500
  • New virus cases fall; WHO says China bought the world time

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    China reported 143 virus deaths and a dip in new cases Saturday while the head of the World Health Organization praised the country's efforts to contain the new disease, saying they have "bought the world time" and that other nations must make the most of it. France, meanwhile, reported Europe's first death from the new virus, a Chinese tourist from Hubei province, where the disease emerged in December. The United States was preparing to fly home American passengers quarantined aboard a cruise ship in Japan.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 19:34:37 -0500
  • ‘I Think People Will Starve.’ Experts Are Worried About the Hundreds of Thousands Who Could Lose Food Stamps Come April

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    Kate Maehr’s job is about to get a lot harder. Maehr runs a food bank that’s part of a network distributing nearly 200,000 meals around…

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 17:00:19 -0500
  • A major US ally in the Pacific wants to scrap an important military deal with the US, and that may give China an edge

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    The Philippines wants to end the Visiting Forces Agreement it has with the US. A similar move in the '90s gave Beijing an edge in the South China Sea.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:57:56 -0500
  • Truck spilling cement on roadway causes 'violent crash,' killing 2

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    A driver traveling northbound drove over the wet mortar, jumped the median and hit a car going southbound, police said.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:46:18 -0500
  • Wendy's employees 'terminated' after viral video shows man bathing in kitchen sink

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    Multiple Wendy’s employees have reportedly been fired after they filmed a man bathing in the restaurant’s kitchen sink.In the video, which was uploaded to TikTok, a shirtless man, believed to be an employee, sits in soapy water in the restaurant’s industrial sink at the Greenville, Michigan, location.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:47:37 -0500
  • Repeating weather pattern to breed more snow across Great Lakes, New England early this week

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    Just as many storms have done this winter, a new system will track from the Plains into the Great Lakes and northern New England early this week and produce another swath of snow.The storm will first take aim at the Rockies, whitening the ground in Denver on Monday night and producing upwards of a foot of snow in the highest elevations of central Colorado.The weather pattern feels like the movie "Groundhog Day" as Mother Nature seems to be exercising from muscle memory, according to forecasters. As the storm moves out of the Rockies and into the Plains on Monday, it will tap into Gulf of Mexico moisture, and snowfall rates are likely to ramp up once again by Monday evening in the Upper Midwest.A swath of snow will start in the Northern Plains Sunday night but intensify as it moves eastward through Monday and Tuesday.On the southern side of the storm, rainfall will hit already flood-ravaged areas of the South, while snow spreads through the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence River Valley. Snowfall is likely to trend from 1-3 inches over northeastern Iowa and Minnesota to a general 3-6 inches over parts of central and northeastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from later Monday night through Tuesday.In the swath from Chicago to Detroit, temperatures are expected to remain too warm for any snow accumulation, even on grassy surfaces. At this time, mainly rain is forecast in these two metro areas with more snow to the north.If it were not for a reinforcing bubble of cold air expected to skip across the Great Lakes region from Sunday to Monday, the boundary between rain and snow would likely be much farther to the north as the coldest air from the Valentine's Day week Arctic outbreak will ease up through Sunday and give way to much milder air.As the storm crosses the Canadian border into the northeastern U.S. on Tuesday and Tuesday night, it will encounter significant cold air and moisture with a large swath of 6-12 inches (15-30 centimeters) of snow forecast from central Ontario to southern Quebec and northern Maine. In these eastern areas, an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 16 inches (40 centimeters) is projected.The early predictions of 1-3 inches and 3-6 inches of snowfall for New York state and central and northern New England from the storm are likely to be followed by a wintry mix and perhaps even a change to plain rain. Another sweep of Arctic air will follow the storm this week.The air this week is not expected to pack as much of a punch as the blast that spread from the northern Plains to the Eastern states last week. However, it is likely to be a larger and longer-lasting dose of cold air. It could play a role in the primary form of precipitation for any storm that comes along prior to the end of the month and could perhaps even lead to wintry precipitation in parts of the South.Much of this winter, an area of high pressure has been a fairly permanent feature over the western Atlantic, and the jet stream has taken on a pattern to allow storms to move swiftly across the country.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"The combination of the warm and persistent western Atlantic high and the lack of a persistent area of cold high pressure near Greenland have played major roles in the track of most storms this winter," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.When a persistent area of cold high pressure near Greenland, referred to as a "Greenland Block," is present, it causes a buckle in the jet stream and tends to slow the forward speed of storms as they approach the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. "The persistent high off the Florida coast has not only helped to pump warm air into the Southeast but has also forced storms to travel from the southern Plains and central Rockies toward the Upper Midwest," Anderson added. "Since there has been no Greenland block, cold air can't linger for very long in the Northeast, and storms can't take a more southern track, slow down and strengthen along or just off the coast."It is possible the pattern changes enough to allow the cold air to stick around and provide an opportunity for snow and force a late-month storm to take a more southerly track over the Eastern states. Time will tell.Denver has been buried under 45.2 inches of snow so far this winter season, more than the city's normal season-to-date snowfall by about a foot as storms have pushed inland over the West. Snowfall has been within a few inches of average in Minneapolis (40.9 inches) and Burlington, Vermont (58.8 inches), with this season's worn winter storm path.However, snowfall is well behind the typical pace in the swath from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston. Snow in part of the Interstate-95 corridor has been practically non-existent with only 0.3 of an inch in Philadelphia, which matches the total snow so far this winter for Muscle Shoals, Alabama, located in the northern part of the state and typically gets only a trace of snow each winter.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:51:45 -0500
  • Why Joe Biden needs ‘a political miracle’ to stay in the race to face Trump

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    Barack Obama’s vice-president is floundering in the Democratic primary, losing key support as vital votes loomLarry Sabato is an analyst, author and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. His students are currently embedded in various presidential campaigns. Two were working for Joe Biden in Iowa. Before caucus day, they texted Sabato to say they expected to lose badly.Sabato asked why. The answer: “No energy at all.”And so it proved. Biden, who was Barack Obama’s righthand man for eight years and long the Democrats’ national frontrunner to take on Donald Trump, trailed in fourth. A week later, he fled New Hampshire before the votes were even counted, to escape the public humiliation of finishing fifth.Now, in the words of one commentator, Biden “needs a miracle” to stay in the race. A man whose candidacy a year ago seemed to be predicated on his appeal to the white working class is depending on African American voters to rescue him from the oft-quoted maxim that all political lives end in failure. What went wrong?“I’ve watched Joe Biden since he was first elected [to the Senate] in 1972,” Sabato said. “He was full of energy and joking around and had a big personality but I don’t think anyone has associated the word ‘vision’ with Joe Biden. Democrats are looking for a vision; Biden’s vision is to go back to Obama’s policies. I understand it, but it doesn’t get you standing up and cheering.”The 77-year-old’s debate performances have failed to inspire and his rallies have drawn small crowds. His rally in Des Moines on the eve of the Iowa caucuses was in a more compact venue than Pete Buttigieg’s across the city and, while delivering a heartfelt critique of Trump, offered fewer policy specifics and generated less electricity.Sabato added: “People are charged up and incensed about Trump. But if you’re standing there talking and they go to sleep, it doesn’t suggest you’re the best one to beat Trump. People keep saying he’s lost a step or two but this is the same Joe Biden I remember from the 1970s. He’s a meanderer. Some speakers get you fired up but Joe’s not that.”> In Iowa I saw one of the most inferior ground games in politics. I have never seen anything so inept> > Moe VelaThere is a distinct whiff of déja vu. Biden’s first run for president fell apart in 1987 when he quoted British politician Neil Kinnock but forgot to credit him, prompting charges of plagiarism. His second attempt went off the rails in 2007 when he described Obama as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”. (His third-place finish in his home state, Delaware, remains his best performance in a primary.)The 2020 effort was meant to be different story with Biden, who served with distinction as Obama’s vice-president, cast as the antidote to Trump and restorer of normalcy. But he was poleaxed by Senator Kamala Harris of California in the first Democratic debate in June, when she challenged his past views on desegregated school busing.He fared little better in a debate in September when, asked about what responsibility Americans have to repair the legacy of slavery, he gave a rambling answer that included “make sure you have the record player on at night, make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school, a very poor background, will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time we get there.”Debates came and went. Trump’s attacks on Biden’s son, Hunter, over his business dealings in Ukraine generated media scrutiny, both fair and unfair, that in some minds may have planted seeds of doubt. In Iowa it was clear the Obama magic, which swept the caucuses in 2008, had not rubbed off on his running mate. The blame seemed to lie with both an underwhelming candidate and a poorly organised campaign.Moe Vela, who was director of administration and senior adviser to Biden at the White House, said: “In Iowa I saw one of the most inferior ground games in politics. I have never seen anything so inept. He’s not being served properly by his campaign.”Vela, now an LGBTQ and Latino activist and board director at TransparentBusiness, added: “He had been the front runner for so long that I think the campaign staff became complacent. You got a sense they were so busy talking about electability and pitting him against Trump they forgot they have to deal with these 15 people first. You could see this rude awakening in Iowa as the night was slipping away.”In New Hampshire, where Biden called a student a “lying dog faced pony soldier”, he fared even worse. A comeback win in Nevada looks unlikely, setting up a potential last stand in South Carolina, the first contest in a state with a significant African American population – a constituency where he has consistently polled strongly. (Biden has been at pains to point out that 99% of the African American population have not yet had a say.)But even this advantage appears to have been eroded by Senator Bernie Sanders and billionaire Tom Steyer. Then comes Super Tuesday, where another billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, has spent nearly $350m on ads focused on the 16 states and territories that vote, eating into Biden’s support among moderates and African Americans. Several black members of Congress and city mayors have endorsed Bloomberg despite the discriminatory “stop-and-frisk” policy he supported as mayor of New York.Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), said: “Biden has lost half the black support that he had. It’s bled off and is now largely with Mike Bloomberg. Some of it has gone to Bernie Sanders, a little bit maybe to Elizabeth Warren, none of it to Pete Buttigieg. So he’s sitting there holding 22, 23% of the black vote now. Mike Bloomberg is behind them at what, 21?“Clearly whatever the decision-making process was that led them to run the first leg of this race the way they have has cost him dearly. They have to make up a lot of ground in a very short period of time. When you swing into Super Tuesday, you’ve got to have bankroll.” ‘If you’re saying you’re a winner, you’d better win’Is there still time to turn it around? Yes, but it will be an uphill struggle. Since 1972, no candidate from either party has finished below second in both Iowa and New Hampshire and won the nomination.Bob Shrum, a Democratic strategist who was an adviser to the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns, said: “For him to recover from this would be a political miracle unlike anything we’ve seen in modern presidential politics. I don’t think it’s impossible but it’s unlikely and would fly in the face of all our knowledge of political history.”Biden’s main pitch had been that in this moment of national emergency, he was the steady hand best placed to prevent Trump winning a second term. To centrists, he would be less of a gamble than progressives Sanders or Warren. But after the heavy losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, he is caught in his own electability trap.Shrum, a political science professor at the University of Southern California, said: “The centrepiece of the campaign was, ‘I’m going to beat Trump like a drum’. The public said, ‘If you’re saying you’re a winner, you’d better win’.”“Al Gore had this line: elections are not a reward for past performance. I think they are always about the future, not just the past. In Democratic primaries, you’ve got to have a future offer to people, no matter how dissatisfied they are with the Republican incumbent. Joe Biden has a lot of policies on his website but that’s not what comes over on the debate stage.”> There’s still to recover but if he’s not willing to restructure his campaign, I don’t think he can bounce back> > Coby OwensIn a small but telling measure of a campaign in a downward spiral, Biden’s press team did not respond to multiple phone and email requests from the Guardian seeking comment. The Trump, Bloomberg and other campaigns are generally far more responsive.Shrum added: “I suspect they have many pressures and I have nothing but sympathy for the candidate and the people around him. It’s hard to start at the top of the mountain and end up in the valley.”Biden’s struggles have dismayed supporters in his home state, where he remains immensely popular. Coby Owens, a local civil rights activist whose family has known Biden for years, and who is still trying to decide between Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, said: “There are a lot of people who are shocked and concerned about it and want to know what’s going on.“They have been hearing the message that he’s the most electable so they thought he was going to cruise through the first two states, which are predominantly white. There’s still a lot of room left for him to recover but if he’s not willing to restructure his campaign, I don’t think he can bounce back.” ‘Telltale signs’Biden has frequently referenced his partnership with Obama but America’s first black president has remained notably silent.Obama reportedly discouraged Biden from running in 2016 because he believed Hillary Clinton had a better chance of winning. This time, rumour has it that he nudged Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, to make a late bid because again he was dubious about Biden’s viability (Patrick dropped out after a poor showing in New Hampshire).Steele, the ex-RNC chairman and former lieutenant-governor of Maryland, commented: “The telltale signs were there: the lack of interest that Barack had in the Biden campaign, the fact that the word on the street was that Deval Patrick was in the race was because Obama encouraged him to get in the race. Why would you do that with your vice-president already in the game?”While cautious about writing Biden off just yet, Steele added: “For me, just watching the Biden campaign, I get the sense that he’s kind of walked through it. I think he’s going through the paces of it. I’m not convinced at this stage that he really wants it any more. I don’t think you take the front runner status that he’s held for over a year, anchored by 50% of the black vote in a party where that is a very important and huge demographic edge, and just leave it on the table.“I’ve never seen a candidate do that the way it’s been done. Maybe there’s a little bit of hubris and you assume that you’ve got the weight to throw around to win this thing. But then again, at the same time, I think at a certain point the gas is out of the tank and you just sleepwalk your way through it.”

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 02:00:22 -0500
  • Wife Slams White Supremacist Husband Accused of Kidnapping Her: He Has ‘Charles Manson-like Mind Control’

    Golocal247.com news

    The wife of white supremacist Augustus Sol Invictus, who is accused of kidnapping his spouse and their two children in December, railed against her husband at his Friday bail hearing, calling him a “master manipulator” with “Charles Manson-like mind control” over his followers.Invictus, 36, who legally changed his name from Austin Gillespie, has been charged with kidnapping and aggravated domestic violence for allegedly forcing his wife, Anna Invictus, at gunpoint to travel with him from South Carolina to Florida on Dec. 12. In Florida, she was able to escape from her husband and return home, she told police.On Friday, Judge Hal Harrison denied the white supremacist bail after Invictus said she was afraid he’d kill her if he was released from jail.“Many of his devotees know the truth; they have seen the abuse or the aftermath of my beatings, they are witnesses with their own eyes,” Anna Invictus said, reading a statement she prepared for the court. “Yet, because of his Charles Manson-like mind control, they would testify before the court that he is innocent.”White Supremacist Augustus Invictus Kidnapped Wife at Gunpoint: CopsDetailing the emotional, physical, and mental abuse she’s endured over the last six years, the long-suffering wife called Augustus Invictus a violent manipulator who sought out followers for his white nationalist ideologies.“After nearly six years in this relationship, I have finally found the courage to stand up against Augustus and his perpetual abuse,” she said, before listing 16 examples of his misconduct. In one harrowing incident, Anna Invictus said her husband beat her so hard that she saw “flashes of light.” In another, she said she was locked in a bedroom for days. She said her husband once “violently choked” her until she passed out, and dragged her through her home “for my teenagers to witness.” He also threatened to kill her multiple times, she told the court. Anna Invictus said she’d filed police reports against her husband but couldn’t alert authorities to every incident because he would steal her phone.“This man is not only violent, he is a master manipulator,” she said. “His public face is very different from the one my family and I have endured. If he is released, he will continue to use his knowledge of the law, his impressive vocabulary, and spectacular ability to manipulate and mold his political followers and women into obedient servants, exactly like the ones you see here today.”Charlottesville Banned These Far-Right Activists, but They’re Bringing Their Guns to RichmondInvictus, a prominent white supremacist, was a speaker at the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where activist Heather Heyer was killed. The lawyer and failed political candidate has also been involved in arranging the legal defense for other members of the movement and was previously accused of domestic violence, according to HuffPost. He was never criminally charged.“Augustus is not the stereotypical drunken wife-beater,” Anna Invictus said. “His calculated, violent, manipulative intentions deserve special consideration.”During his last bond hearing, Rock Hill Detective Matthew Beech read from the white nationalist’s online writings to show his destructive mindset. Invictus scoffed in the courtroom when Beech suggested he was a flight risk and demanded an apology from the detective “when” he is found innocent. “The destruction I insight is not terrorism. The only aim is the destruction of buildings or persons plaguing the Earth. The long term aim is the overthrow of this civilization. It has absolutely nothing to do with causing fear. This is terrorism the same way removing a tumor is terrorism. Although you are cancer, and I am the Earth’s physician,” Invictus wrote in one of the passages Beech read aloud.Charlottesville Survivor Blasts Terry McAuliffe’s ‘Ahistorical’ Book About Deadly AttackIn 2014, Invictus’ former roommate told Orlando police that he pointed a gun at him. Invictus claimed he thought the roommate was an intruder and was not charged. Two years later, one of Invictus’ exes told police he had battered her multiple times—but she did not report those incidents until Invictus allegedly threatened to burn her belongings and “shoot her on the spot.” He was not charged in the incident.In an effort to show how her husband is a “danger to the community” and her family, Anna Invictus also read some of his journal passages at the Friday hearing, including one in which he said “victims will be sacrificed; politicians will be assassinated; wars will be begun.”“And when the day finally comes, and you gloat that you know it all along, and you say ‘someone should have stopped him’—know that their blood is on your hands, too,” the passage says. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:25:33 -0500
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