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  • 5 key takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio

    Golocal247.com news

    Warren is treated like the front-runner, a “healthy” Bernie returns to the debate stage with key endorsements in his pocket and more.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:24:35 -0400
  • Yang and O'Rourke propose decriminalizing opioids, including heroin

    Golocal247.com news

    Two Democrats suggested making small amounts of heroin legal as a way to combat the drug epidemic.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:59:37 -0400
  • School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullying

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    A 15-year-old girl was suspended for bullying after trying to draw attention to what she believed was an unaddressed problem of sexual assaults involving students at her high school. Aela Mansmann, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School outside Portland, has been at odds with Cape Elizabeth Schools for a month after posting a note in a bathroom that said: "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is." She and two other students who left similar notes were ordered suspended. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is taking on Mansmann's case and calling on federal court to stop her suspension.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:38:19 -0400
  • China Threatens to Retaliate if U.S. Passes Hong Kong Bill

    (Bloomberg) -- China threatened to retaliate if the U.S. Congress follows through with passing legislation that would require an annual review of whether the city is sufficiently autonomous from Beijing to justify its special trading status.The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it would take strong measures if the bill passed. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is one of four measures passed by the U.S. House Tuesday in unanimous voice votes. The bill provides for sanctions against officials “responsible for undermining fundamental freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong.” A similar bill is also before the Senate, though the timing of a vote there remains uncertain. The legislation has bipartisan support in both chambers.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Li Liu in Beijing at lliu255@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 20:50:12 -0400
  • All of the Google Pixel and Home Products on Sale Now

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

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 15:39:00 -0400
  • U.S. Supreme Court wrestles over 'D.C. Sniper' life sentence appeal

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    U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday questioned whether a lower court sufficiently considered that a man convicted in the deadly 2002 "D.C. Sniper" shooting spree in the Washington area was a minor at the time of the crimes when he was sentenced to life in prison. The nine justices heard arguments in an appeal by the state of Virginia objecting to the lower court's decision ordering that Lee Boyd Malvo's sentence of life in prison without parole be thrown out. The most likely contender based on questions he asked during the argument would be Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 14:45:08 -0400
  • Buttigieg, O'Rourke clash over assault-rifle buyback plan

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    At Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate, presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg escalated their disagreement over O’Rourke’s proposal for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:57:41 -0400
  • A 75-year-old cruise ship passenger jumped overboard a Carnival-owned ship between Portugal and Spain (CCL)

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    A Costa Cruises representative said the woman "voluntarily" jumped from the balcony in her cabin on the Costa Pacifica ship.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:14:47 -0400
  • Woman will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder of boyfriend

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    A woman who poured gasoline on the couch where her sleeping boyfriend lay and then shut the door after seeing him jump up and yell "hot, hot" will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:46:41 -0400
  • Turkey ‘effectively holding 50 US nuclear bombs hostage’ at air base amid Syria invasion

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    An estimated 50 US nuclear bombs are effectively being held hostage in Turkey as Washington attempts to find a diplomatic way of responding to the country’s invasion of Syria, officials are reported to have warned.The withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria – creating a power vacuum that has allowed Turkey and Russia to move into the region and displace Washington’s Kurdish allies – has caused international outcry.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:14:02 -0400
  • After 30 days, GM-UAW talks suddenly face a deadline. Here's why the clock is ticking

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    GM's executives have until Thursday to draft a provisional plan that UAW leaders will accept and turn into a tentative agreement for its members.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:23:06 -0400
  • Shooting kills 6 in Puerto Rico, leads to emergency meeting

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    Puerto Rico's governor called an emergency meeting Tuesday after six people were killed in a mass shooting in a San Juan housing project and gunfire left two people dead a day earlier in the island's north. A police statement said the violence left five men and one woman dead. The brazen murders led Gov. Wanda Vázquez to convene a gathering of her security team, led by public security chief Elmer Román and justice secretary Dennise Longo Quiñones.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 20:00:43 -0400
  • Mystery as plane carrying Russian arms smugglers crashes in Congo

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    The Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world’s worst aviation safety records, so reports that an aircraft had tumbled into a remote forest last week caused few international ripples. Since then, however, a deepening mystery over the nature of the cargo and the identity of those on board has left the Congolese government facing awkward questions. The fate of the stricken plane, a mysterious Antonov-72 so far only identified by its former registration number, EK-72903, may also provide a glimpse into the murkier side of Russia’s attempts to reassert its influence in Africa. The details remain scant. Last Thursday, the plane crashed 59 minutes after taking off from the eastern city of Goma bound for the capital Kinshasa. None of the eight people on board survived, officials said. The passengers were identified as the personal chauffeur of Felix Tshisekedi, Congo’s president, and three of his bodyguards. An armoured vehicle used by the president was also on board. A more troubling disclosure followed when two of the four-strong crew were identified. Vitaly Shumkov and Vladimir Sadovnichy, the plane’s pilots, were not only Russian nationals, they both appeared to have a background in gun running. The plane, too, has a murky past. EK-72903 was once owned by an Armenian company whose proprietor has been linked to arms smuggling elsewhere in Africa. Whether the crew were somehow furthering Kremlin interests remains unknown. However, there is no secret that Russia hopes to regain the influence the Soviet Union once wielded in Africa by wooing its leaders with arms sales, private security and “political technologists” adept at winning elections. Such attempts have often been linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin who has been accused of masterminding attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Mr Prigozhin allegedly had Congo in his sights after Russia announced in May that it was sending a team of army specialists to the country. Some Russia media outlets speculated that Mr Prigozhin, was on board the plane ahead of a meeting with President Tshisekedi. That is almost certainly untrue. Slumming it on an Antonov is generally not Mr Progozhin’s style. “He wouldn’t get into a plane like that,” a Congolese government official said.  “This gentleman is an oligarch and if he travels then he travels on his own plane.” The official said that while Mr Prigozhin had not been scheduled to meet President Tshisekedi, other Russian government representatives had requested a meeting to discuss the upcoming summit. It is unclear if any were on board. At least two people described as being “of eastern European origin” were also on the plane. They have not yet been identified, adding to the intrigue surrounding the flight. For the moment, whoever else was on board the plane remains unknown. With some sources saying there may have been 11 people rather than eight on board, UN officials were attempting to identify the remains of the dead — some of whom had been hastily buried — last night. Even that might not put an end to the intrigue of what happened aboard EK-72903. Congo rarely gives up its mysteries. In 1961, a plane departing the country with then UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld on board crashed.  Three inquiries failed to determined the cause of the crash and Hammarskjöld’s death remains a mystery to this day.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:43:21 -0400
  • Two Americans detained in east China

    Golocal247.com news

    Two Americans who run an English-teaching business in China have been detained in the east of the country, according to their company, which said they were being held on "bogus" charges. Jacob Harlan, a father of five, and Alyssa Petersen were nabbed in Jiangsu province last month, their Idaho-based company China Horizons said on its Facebook page. "We are aware of the detention of two US citizens in Jiangsu, China and the charges being brought against them by the provincial government," a US State Department official said on condition of anonymity.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 00:19:03 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Kenya opens $1.5 bln Chinese-built railway linking Rift Valley town and Nairobi

    Kenya's opened a $1.5 billion Chinese-built railway line linking Nairobi to Naivasha on Wednesday, despite delays in building an industrial park in the Rift Valley town to encourage freight. The extension links to another Chinese funded and built $3.2 billion line between the port of Mombasa and Nairobi that opened in 2017 but is so far underutilised for cargo services. Upgrading Kenyan railways has been part of Beijing's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects aimed at improving land and maritime trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:39:58 -0400
  • New Jersey police are looking for a possible witness to the kidnapping of a 3-year-old girl 30 days ago

    Golocal247.com news

    Five-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez disappeared from Bridgeton City Park in New Jersey on September 16.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:35:25 -0400
  • Cory Booker wants $90m a year to prevent urban gun violence

    Golocal247.com news

    New bill would focus federal dollars on public health approaches to gun violence Senator Cory Booker gives a speech on gun violence at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, known as Mother Emanuel, in Charleston, South Carolina, in August. Photograph: Randall Hill/ReutersFor more than a decade, faith leaders from black and brown communities have come to Congress with the same request: spend more money on local strategies to prevent gun violence.Now, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker is introducing legislation that would devote $90m a year to programs that prevent urban gun violence.Booker’s new grant program would focus federal dollars on helping the cities with the highest gun homicide rates, and it would prioritize funding for strategies that do not contribute to mass incarceration.series boxInstead of simply directing more federal money to local law enforcement, the new legislation would require cities to give at least half of their federal grant dollars to community organizations that provide services to high-risk people, or to a public department “that is not a law enforcement agency”.Booker’s bill does not include any gun control provisions: it’s focused on strategies that prevent shootings by focusing on the people, not the guns.“We’re in a tough political climate,” said Pastor Michael McBride, a California-based activist who has spent the last decade campaigning for more resources for local gun violence prevention. “This approach charts a way forward that does not bog us down in these intense debates over the second amendment or gun control.”Booker’s legislation is designed to fund programs that have shown success in reducing gun violence in cities such as Oakland and Richmond, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and New York City. The legislation would devote $90m a year over 10 years to evidence-based approaches to gun violence reduction.In the past decade, as they have invested public dollars into expanding community-based strategies, Oakland has seen a 44% decrease in its gun homicide rate, and nearby Richmond has seen a 67% decrease in its gun homicide rate.The decreases in Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco have driven a 30% decrease in the overall gun homicide rate across the greater San Francisco Bay Area, even as the number of people living in poverty in the region has increased, and as property crime has spiked in some areas. The decrease in the area is much larger than in the nation overall.The successful local strategies highlighted in Booker’s legislation include investing in street outreach workers or “violence interrupters”, trusted community members who intervene in local gang conflicts to keep violence from spreading; funding intervention programs in hospitals to help shooting victims change their lives; and supporting “group violence intervention” strategies, such as Boston’s Operation Ceasefire, that bring together law enforcement, community partners, and faith leaders to intervene with the small number of men in each city who are most likely to shoot or be shot.Booker’s Break the Cycle of Violence Act is co-sponsored by the US representative Steven Horsford, a Nevada Democrat whose father was shot to death during a robbery when he was 19.“These deaths are preventable,” Horsford said in a statement.Mass shootings are usually the focus of America’s gun control debate. But the majority of America’s gun homicide victims are killed in smaller daily shootings in neighborhoods that have struggled with gun violence for decades.Black men and boys, who make up just 6% of America’s overall population, represent more than 50% of the country’s gun homicide victims.A 2015 Guardian investigation found that half of the country’s gun homicides were concentrated in just 127 cities and towns. Experts have argued for years that American gun violence is highly concentrated, and that one of the best ways to save lives is to devote more resources into the neighborhoods with the greatest need.Black and brown activists have often felt “invisible” and “erased” from the American gun control debate, McBride said.“Our communities are used as props, but never really given serious consideration on how to scale up strategies that save our lives and heal our communities,” he said.The new legislation focuses resources on the majority of America’s gun violence victims – and it also focuses on solutions that are less politically controversial than gun control laws, McBride said.“We think Republicans, historically, have been huge supporters of these kinds of strategies, because of the role that faith communities and redemption and healing play,” he said.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:00:21 -0400
  • Meet USS Barb: The Navy's Special World War II Submarine That Terrified Japan

    Golocal247.com news

    It sank the most Japanese vessels by tonnage.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:00:00 -0400
  • Perry Says Trump Asked Him to Call Giuliani: Impeachment Update

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo until resigning the post last week, testified Wednesday before three committees leading the House impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump.Here are the latest developments:Perry Says Trump Asked Him to Contact Giuliani (9:20 p.m.)Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that Trump asked him to contact Rudy Giuliani to discuss corruption in Ukraine, according to a report published Wednesday night.Perry told the Wall Street Journal that he reached out to Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and the former mayor of New York, to help arrange a meeting with Ukraine’s top energy official. He added that neither the president nor his aides raised the issue of an investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.Giuliani confirmed to the Journal a telephone conversation with Perry that occurred shortly after the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Perry told the Journal that he called Giuliani for a clearer picture of Trump’s concerns on Ukraine.On Tuesday, a senior State Department official told House impeachment investigators that the White House had designated a three-person team -- Perry, then-Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland -- to bypass formal U.S.-Ukraine policy. Sondland is scheduled to testify in the impeachment inquiry on Thursday.Trial Could End By Holidays, Senator Says (6:01 p.m.)Republican senators discussed the possibility of finishing an impeachment trial before the holidays if the House impeaches Trump before Thanksgiving, GOP Senator Kevin Cramer told reporters Wednesday.Cramer said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell briefed Republican senators behind closed doors on procedures for a trial, which McConnell told reporters would be held six days a week.McConnell said the trial would begin after noon each day, and senators wouldn’t be allowed to speak during the proceedings. Cramer said the Senate could agree to other rules as they did on a bipartisan basis for President Bill Clinton’s impeachment -- an uncertainty in today’s polarized Senate.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters McConnell should reach out to Democrats on how to handle a trial.Separately, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham -- who served as a House manager of the Clinton impeachment -- met privately with House Republicans to discuss impeachment history and issues.“The House Republicans have been closed out,” he said to reporters.“I’ve actually been through this process,” Graham said, adding that the House GOP should get a chance to call witnesses and subpoena documents. “And that’s not happening in the House. So, I think that’s a big mistake.”“Stick to your guns and insist on a fair process,” he said was his advice to House Republicans.Ex-Pompeo Aide Says State Didn’t Back Staff (5:26 p.m.)McKinley, a former senior adviser to Pompeo, told House committees he resigned last week in part because of the State Department’s failure “to offer support to foreign service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine,” according to excerpts released by a former colleague familiar with the testimony.The excerpt didn’t say which officials he was referencing. But lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting said he expressed his full support for former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and thought her removal was unjustified.McKinley said he also quit because of “what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives,” according to the excerpt.“I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents,” he said, according to the excerpt. “I could no longer look the other way as colleagues are denied the professional support and respect they deserve from us all.”Ex-Pompeo Aide Backs Ousted Envoy in Inquiry (2:09 p.m.)A former senior adviser to Pompeo told House impeachment investigators he thought the removal of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was unjustified, said Republican and Democratic lawmakers attending the closed-door questioning.Michael McKinley, who resigned last week, expressed his full support for Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled to Washington in May by Trump, the lawmakers said. They wouldn’t immediately say whether he tried to save her job, or whether he said his decision to leave the department was related to that.“But he is another quiet American hero who will be celebrated,” said Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a Democrat on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. McKinley testified for about five hours.Yovanovitch’s removal came as Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, was pressing Ukrainian officials to investigate corruption allegations against Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Yovanovitch had raised concerns about Giuliani’s activities and became a target of his claims that she was attempting to undermine Trump. She testified privately to the three impeachment committees last Friday.Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said of McKinley, “Overall his comments are more in support of his fellow colleague, Ambassador Yovanovitch, and that is understandable.”“Beyond that, he has been very complimentary about Secretary Pompeo’s role at the State Department,” said Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee.Meadows wouldn’t say what McKinley was saying about Giuliani. “I would have to talk about specifics to be able to do that,” the lawmaker said.Separately, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, is scheduled to appear before the panels on Oct. 22, according to a person familiar with the matter.Taylor had warned against conditioning U.S. military assistance on an investigation, writing on Sept. 9: “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”Defense Department Rebuffs House Subpoena (12:01 p.m.)The Defense Department rebuffed a subpoena from the House committees, saying in a letter Wednesday that it is withholding documents and communications because the impeachment probe hasn’t been properly authorized by a House vote. The agency’s stance echoes the White House position that the impeachment inquiry is invalid.The committees last week subpoenaed recordings, transcripts or notes of Trump’s phone conversations with Ukraine’s president on April 21 and July 25; as well as information on efforts by administration officials and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to ask Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton.The Defense Department said much of the material sought by the committees is covered by executive privilege. The department said it is preserving the records “should there be resolution of this matter.” -- Justin SinkTrump Defends His Personal Lawyer, Rudy Giuliani (11:04 a.m.)Trump on Wednesday defended his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whose own legal peril threatens to ensnare the president.Trump told reporters at the White House that “Rudy was a great prosecutor” and the best mayor in the history of New York.Giuliani is being scrutinized by federal investigators for his financial dealings following the indictment of two of his associates for violating campaign finance laws.Giuliani has been privy to the president’s thinking, strategy and behind-the-scenes efforts to push Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. That makes him a key potential witness in the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.A Florida businessman has turned himself in to federal authorities after being indicted along with two Giuliani associates and another man on charges of campaign finance violations, the Associated Press said Wednesday. AP said David Correia and the other three defendants are expected to appear in court in Manhattan on Thursday. -- Justin SinkEx-Pompeo Aide McKinley Testifies to Inquiry (9:57 a.m.)McKinley, senior adviser to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo until resigning last week, arrived at the Capitol to testify before three committees leading the impeachment investigation.The veteran diplomat stepped down Friday as Pompeo’s senior adviser, a role he held since May 2018. McKinley is testifying behind closed doors.The House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs committees are scrutinizing Trump’s Ukraine interactions, including any Pompeo and State Department activities related to Rudy Giuliani’s effort to pressure Ukraine to open investigations that could benefit Trump politically.Also on Wednesday, Kurt Volker -- Trump’s former special envoy to Ukraine until his resignation in late September -- returned to the Capitol after testifying on Oct. 3. He planned to review the transcript of his testimony, according to a committee official familiar with the matter. -- Steven T. DennisGallup Poll Finds 52% Approve Removing Trump (9:10 a.m.)A new Gallup Poll finds a slim majority of Americans approve of the impeachment and removal of Trump, But with support among Republicans still in single digits, it’s unlikely to sway enough GOP senators to take action.The share of Americans favoring Trump’s impeachment and removal has has risen to 52% from 45% in a June poll following the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian meddling investigation. Then 53% were opposed.But there’s a silver lining for Trump in the results: Republican views haven’t changed. Just 6% want him removed, down from 7% in June, making it nearly impossible to forecast a successful removal in a GOP Senate. Twenty Senate Republican votes would be needed, and they’d be going against their own party.The impeachment inquiry also corresponds with a surge in approval of Congress among Democrats.The poll, conducted Oct. 1-13, had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.Key EventsMike Pence’s lawyer said the vice president’s office isn’t cooperating with a request for documents in the investigation. Pence’s counsel Matthew Morgan repeated claims the White House has already made, including that the investigation isn’t legitimate because there hasn’t been a full House vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry.The White House budget office also said it won’t turn over documents sought by the House committees.Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he’ll defy a subpoena for documents. Giuliani’s own lawyer, Jon Sale, is no longer representing him after sending the letter that said Giuliani “will not participate” in the inquiry. Sale said in an interview that he had planned all along to leave after responding to the subpoena.\--With assistance from Justin Sink and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporters on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net;Steven T. Dennis in Washington at sdennis17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:38:21 -0400
  • Democratic presidential candidate Wayne Messam appears to raise $5 over the last quarter

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    Wayne Messam has spent no money over the last quarter and has struggled in fundraising over the campaign cycle, only raising a total of about $94,000 so far.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:06:45 -0400
  • Judge says lawsuit against Harvard law professor can proceed

    A woman who went public with claims she was a teenage victim of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring can move toward trial with her defamation lawsuit against Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a judge ruled Wednesday as she disqualified a law firm from representing her. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska rejected Dershowitz's effort to toss out the lawsuit, but she granted his request to disqualify Boies Schiller Flexner LLP from the case. Dershowitz had sought to toss out the case on several grounds, including that the statute of limitations had passed.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 19:02:02 -0400
  • Airlines are scrambling to work out how to tell passengers they're flying on a 737 Max when it finally returns to service and how to avoid the 'chaos' it could cause if they get it wrong

    Golocal247.com news

    Some travelers want to avoid the Boeing 737 Max. Some airlines will let them swap planes, but they're deciding when and how to reveal the plane type.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:42:31 -0400
  • Putin signals Russia's return to Africa with summit

    Golocal247.com news

    President Vladimir Putin hosts dozens of African leaders next week as Russia seeks to reassert its influence on the continent and beyond. The heads of some 35 African countries are expected for the first Africa-Russia Summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi next Wednesday and Thursday. For Putin, the summit is a chance to revive Soviet-era relationships and build new alliances, bolstering Moscow's global clout in the face of confrontation with the West.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:08:12 -0400
  • A N.J. school district wants to ban students from attending prom if they have more than $75 in school lunch debt

    Golocal247.com news

    A school district in New Jersey passed a new policy this week that will allow schools to bar students from attending prom if they have a school lunch debt above $75.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:47:37 -0400
  • EXPLAINER-U.S. House passes legislation on Hong Kong: what does it mean?

    The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed three pieces of legislation supporting the pro-democracy protests that have engulfed Hong Kong for more than four months. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, the most consequential of the bills, would put the former British colony's special treatment by the United States under tighter scrutiny. The Protect Hong Kong Act, also passed on Tuesday, seeks to block the sale to Hong Kong of tear gas and other crowd control items, while a non-binding resolution condemns Beijing's "interference" in Hong Kong affairs.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 01:55:35 -0400
  • Teenage Briton's retraction in Cyprus gang rape case was 'dictated by police' and written in poor English

    Golocal247.com news

    A British teenager who says she was gang raped by Israeli tourists in a beach resort in Cyprus told a court today that she was forced to sign a retraction by Cypriot police after they wrote it for her. During a three-hour cross-examination, the 19-year-old said the statement was in such broken English that “there is not one sentence that an English person would write. It does not make grammatical sense.” “It isn’t in proper English, it’s in Greek English. I'm a very well-educated person, I got into university with an unconditional offer so there’s no way I would write something like this. Marios (the investigating police officer) wanted me to write that I had made it all up." The teenager repeatedly offered to read out to the court the bad spelling and poor grammar that she said was in the retraction statement, but the judge presiding over the case refused to let her.  The young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed in July that she was raped by up to a dozen Israeli men in a hotel room in the party resort of Ayia Napa, which draws tens of thousands of holidaymakers each summer. Ten days later she signed a retraction, which her legal team insist was made under duress after she was questioned by Cypriot police for eight hours without a lawyer. But she is on trial for “causing public mischief” by allegedly fabricating the gang rape claim, with the Israeli men threatening to sue her if she is convicted. The British teenager being led into the court in Paralimni, Cyprus Credit: AFP She told the court in Paralimni, a town a few miles from Ayia Napa, that police had promised her that she would be released and allowed to return to the UK if she signed the retraction. “The officer said he had spoken to the Israelis and he had agreed that they would go home and I would go home and that would be the end of it.” But instead of being set free she found herself being arrested and taken to a prison in Nicosia, the island’s capital, where she spent more than a month in a cell with other women before being bailed. Shortly after signing the statement on July 27, she had a panic attack in the police station, brought on by the PTSD that psychologists say she is suffering from as a result of the alleged gang rape. “I was really, really stressed and I was crying. I was in a state. I was 18 years old and I was suffering from PTSD. I was trapped in there. They made me sign things I didn’t understand,” she said. She accused one of the investigating officers, Detective Sergeant Marios Christou, of shouting at her and intimidating her. Ayia Napa and surrounding resorts are hugely popular with young holidaymakers from Britain, Europe and Israel Credit: AFP “He was not going by the law. Immediately I assumed corruption and conspiracy. I would not have put it past him at that moment to have kidnapped me or something. I can 100 per cent say that I was terrified for my life when I was in that police station.” The young woman, who had come to Cyprus on a working holiday, broke down in tears after the prosecutor, Adamos Demosthenous, accused her of lying to her mother on the night she signed the retraction when she sent a message saying “calm down, I’m OK,” even though she was in deep distress. The teenager said she had simply tried to avoid alarming her mother, a single parent. “I said I was OK even though I wasn’t just so she would not freak out,” the British woman told judge Michalis Papathanasiou. “If your child had just been raped by 12 Israelis and can’t get out of bed in the morning and had a throat so swollen she could hardly breathe and was taken to a police station for eight hours after saying she would only be gone for half an hour, I can tell you, you would be worried about your child.” The court heard from a British friend of the teenager, who said that on the night of the retraction she received “very alarming” text messages from the alleged rape victim. “She’s been arrested and they’ve got her to change her statement so it looks like she lied,” the woman, a psychology graduate from Yorkshire, told a mutual friend. The friend said police had also altered a statement that she gave them. “(An officer) wrote something in the statement that I didn’t say. It was in reference to how much we had been drinking.” The 19-year-old faces up to a year in prison if convicted. The Israelis all returned home after being released from custody. The trial was adjourned until Thursday, when the judge will decide whether to hear video evidence from a British psychologist who is currently in Ireland and who diagnosed the teenager with PTSD.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 14:31:17 -0400
  • How Nazi Germany Crushed France During World War II (It Wasn't Luck)

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    Leadership was critical.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 02:00:00 -0400
  • Trump's businesses reportedly gave different financial figures to lenders and tax authorities as recently as 2017

    More questions have arisen surrounding President Trump's businesses after ProPublica obtained documents via New York's Freedom of Information Law.The documents show that for two of Trump's New York properties -- 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower -- different financial figures were reported to lenders and to tax authorities. For example, the Trump Organization told a lender that 40 Wall Street had been 58.9 percent leased on Dec. 31, 2012, before vaulting to 95 percent a few years later, which reportedly represented borrower-friendly "leasing momentum." But the company reportedly disclosed that the building was 81 percent rented as of Jan. 5, 2013 to tax officials. Ultimately, the reporting strategy helped Trump reach favorable terms -- he received a 10-year loan with a lower interest than the building previously had and was also able to defer paying off much of the principal until the end of the loan. "There was a story crafted here," said Kevin Riordan, a financing expert and real estate professor at Montclair State University.As for Trump Tower, the company reportedly told tax authorities that the building made around $822,000 renting space to commercial tenants in 2017, while reporting to lenders that it took in nearly double that. In eight years of data ProPublica examined for the property, the Trump organization generally reported gross income to tax authorities that was around 81 percent of what it reported to the lender.There can be legitimate reasons for such numbers to diverge, real estate experts have noted, but those same experts told ProPublica that some of the gaps in the documents did not appear to have any reasonable justification. Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley said the discrepancies amount to some "versions of fraud." Read more at ProPublica.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:53:00 -0400
  • Three US diplomats held near Russian test site where mystery blast killed five

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    * Russian foreign ministry says trio ‘obviously got lost’ * August explosion caused radiation levels to surgeA Russian navy official works on the Akula nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine at the Severodvinsk site in July. The August explosion there killed at least five people. Photograph: Sergei Bobylev/TassThree American diplomats were briefly detained in Russia near the military test site where a mysterious explosion released radiation in August, several Russia state news agencies have reported.The US embassy has confirmed the incident, the Interfax news service reported, but said the three diplomats had filed the proper paperwork to travel in the area.The Russian foreign ministry said the diplomats had named a different city as their destination and had “obviously got lost”.The report comes just days after the United States said the accident was caused by a nuclear reaction when Russia tried to retrieve a nuclear-powered cruise missile from the Barents Sea.The diplomats were detained on Monday on a train in the city of Severodvinsk, near where Russian authorities said they had been testing a rocket engine with a nuclear component before the accident took place.The diplomats, who have been identified by Interfax as military attaches, were later released, but could face administrative charges for traveling in a restricted military area, agencies reported.In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry confirmed that the diplomats were on an official trip and had informed the Russian defence ministry of their plans.“Only, they said their intention was to visit Arkhangelsk and they ended up en route to Severodvinsk,” the ministry said.“They obviously got lost. We are ready to give the US embassy a map of Russia,” the ministry added.The blast at the military test site in August killed at least five people and caused panic after radiation levels jumped to 16 times their normal levels in nearby Severodvinsk.Russian authorities have given little information about the accident. But a US diplomat this week said that the accident took place when Russia attempted to retrieve a nuclear-powered cruise missile called Burevestnik from the Barents Sea.“The United States has determined that the explosion near Nyonoksa was the result of a nuclear reaction that occurred during the recovery of a Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile,” Thomas DiNanno, the diplomat, said during a speech at the UN.Russia’s plans for a nuclear-powered cruise missile that could in theory fly indefinitely were first revealed by Vladimir Putin during a speech last year. The missile is still undergoing testing, and some weapons experts doubt if it can ever be made operable.Russia’s military was attempting to retrieve the missile from another failed 2017 test when the accident took place.It was not immediately clear whether the diplomats were traveling to or from Nyonoksa, the village near the military testing site, when they were detained. But train timetables would indicate they were returning from the village when they were arrested close to 6pm in Severodvinsk.Russia has maintained a shroud of secrecy around the incident, closing off waters in the White Sea to foreign ships to prevent them from collecting information about the explosion.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:18:38 -0400
  • Wisconsin jury awards $450,000 in Sandy Hook defamation case

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    A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never happened. A Dane County jury on Tuesday decided the amount James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was among the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. Fetzer, a retired University of Minnesota Duluth professor now living in Wisconsin, and Mike Palacek co-wrote a book, "Nobody Died at Sandy Hook," in which they claimed the Sandy Hook shooting never took place but was instead an event staged by the federal government as part of an Obama administration effort to enact tighter gun restrictions.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:08:07 -0400
  • Russia Prepares the Way for Bashar al-Assad’s Brutal Endgame in Nothern Syria

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    GAZIANTEP, Turkey—After eight years of Syrian civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and the displacement of half the Syrian population, U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s decisions have created conditions for Bashar al-Assad’s regime to re-assert control over nearly one-third of the country that had been outside its grip since 2012. Far from reining in U.S. adversaries, Trump’s presidency will likely be remembered as one through which Assad, this century’s greatest mass murderer, managed finally to claw his way back to a position of undisputed authority. Trump Just Enlisted America in a New Axis of EvilThis is the way that’s playing out on the ground in what is, admittedly, still a complicated situation.The news began Tuesday morning with Russian pro-Kremlin journalist Oleg Blokhin streaming a live video from inside the recently abandoned American al-Sa’idi’a base in Syria on the western outskirts of the Manbij countryside. “Good morning to everyone from Manbij,” exclaimed Blokhin. “I’m at the American military base right now, where they were until yesterday morning. Already, we’re here [instead]. We’re going to examine now how they were living here, what they were so busy with, and what’s going on.” A second video would show Blokhin as he mockingly played with a boom barrier at the entrance to the base, appearing to check whether or not it worked. “It’s in good condition,” he assured the cameraman, with a slight grin. Blokhin, who works for the pro-Kremlin ANNA news network, previously covered the activities of Russian private military contractor Wagner as it trained pro-Assad militiamen in January, and later accompanied Russian and pro-Assad forces during the latter’s successful August campaign to take back the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Now, he stood gloating on a former U.S. military base. Other pro-Assad media soon conducted similar tours of other U.S. bases abandoned by American soldiers. Reports throughout the day Tuesday would also claim U.S. troops pulled out of two new additional locations including the eastern town of Tal Baydar and the Kharab Ashak base west of Ain Aissa. Shortly before U.S. troops withdrew, ISIS families still being detained at a nearby prison facility in Ain Aissa reportedly set fires throughout the camp in a renewed attempt to try to escape. In addition to exemplifying the momentous shift underway as Assad’s vital ally Russia finally replaces the United States as the primary party in northern Syria capable of liaising with most all of the parties to the conflict, Blokhin’s livestream carried a special significance for locals in Manbij. Over the past week, including several days after Trump’s shock announcement that U.S. troops would withdraw from Syria, American soldiers at the al-Sa’idi’a base actually continued carrying out near-daily patrols in the western and northern Manbij countryside that helped successfully ward off previous attempts by Syrian regime forces to set up positions in the area. That offered hope to those in Manbij who oppose the regime—that U.S. military institutions might be capable of coercing the Turkish president to adopt a compromise that saw U.S. troops remain in the area until Turkish-backed forces were capable of assuming control. But those hopes along with more than 16 months of U.S.-Turkish diplomacy were dashed Tuesday as the American troops made their final withdrawal from the area, paving the way for Russian and Syrian regime forces to roll in free and unopposed.  Elsewhere, in Ain Aissa and Tal Tamr, towns located along the M4 highway, northern Syria’s main artery and transportation route, Russian and regime forces established permanent checkpoints and bases to ensure control of the strategic route in the face of oncoming Turkish assaults. Those reinforcements appeared to have helped the SDF capture three villages from Turkish-backed forces in the immediate vicinity north of Tal Tamr later that night. While the arrival of regime forces undoubtedly has provided much needed relief for the SDF on several fronts, doing so will come with a cost. As the SDF welcomes more Syrian regime reinforcements into its territory, the group undoubtedly will lose future leverage it would need in order to preserve a role for itself within civil governing institutions throughout northeast Syria. On Monday, the SDF’s largely toothless civil wing, the Syrian Democratic Council, issued a directive to local councils in the area to continue to perform their duties “as previously,” insisting that “nothing has changed” and that the agreement with the regime constituted no more than a temporary military alliance to protect Syria’s borders. However it’s unlikely that the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Council, or other SDF-backed institutions within the group’s self-proclaimed “Autonomous Administration” will be able to preserve any modicum of independence as their reliance on the Assad regime becomes more solidified. And, following the failure of Russian-Turkish negotiations throughout Tuesday to reach a ceasefire between the warring parties, that reliance looks set to intensify. Negotiations between Moscow and Ankara began Tuesday morning following condemnation of Turkey’s campaign by the Kremlin’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev. A high-ranking Free Syrian Army military source in Manbij told The Daily Beast that Turkey gave orders Tuesday morning to its FSA proxies to halt temporarily their assault while both sides attempted to reach a solution. During that time, numerous pro-regime demonstrations were held in Manbij as the Syrian army sent several armored tanks into the city. According to local sources on the ground, some of these demonstrations were led by pro-regime figures that previously had been arrested by the SDF but were recently released following the Russian and Syrian regime entrance to the city. The Russian-Turkish talks come one day after the official Facebook page for the Russian defense ministry’s Hmeimim base issued a stern warning for Turkey and its allies not to “behave recklessly in entering an open war with government troops.” That was issued shortly after the Russians allegedly concluded an agreement with the SDF to allow Russian and regime troops to enter the cities of Kobani and Manbij. Yet despite the repeated warnings and attempts to hold talks, by Tuesday night Turkish-backed forces re-launched their assault. Thousands of civilians fled the border city of Kobani as a result of renewed Turkish assaults on the city in an attempt by the latter to capture the site of a former U.S. base recently abandoned nearby. Shortly after, our military source would claim renewed orders had been given by Ankara to re-launch operations in Manbij by dawn. Speaking to Reuters while returning from the Azerbaijaini capital Baku, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared undeterred by recent U.S. sanctions imposed on Ankara, by the arrival of regime reinforcements into the area, or by international condemnation of his country’s assault. “They say ‘declare a ceasefire.’ We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan said. “They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions.”Shortly after, local media and activists would report a Turkish airstrike on the strategic town of Aun al-Dadat, the site of a former U.S. base in the north Manbij countryside along the al-Sajur River that has since been occupied by SDF and regime units. Nawaf al-Mustafa, an activist living several miles away in Manbij city, said he could hear the explosion from his home. “I heard an explosion and thought it might have been an ISIS suicide attack,” he said. “But it wasn’t, news came in shortly after that Turkish forces instead were bombing Aun al-Dadat.”Look Who’s Back! Trump Handed Terrorists a Free Pass.Ahmed Qalqali, another anti-regime activist, would send out an alert to the families of FSA fighters to several WhatsApp groups used by locals to follow the news. “Any young man in Manbij who has a brother fighting on the front lines with the FSA should avoid sleeping at home tonight,” hinting at the possibility of SDF-regime house raids in response to the attacks. “Try to stay with a friend or someone to whom you’re not blood related.” Despite the Turkish insistence to continue fighting, in reality the tide seems to be turning against Ankara and its proxies. Despite managing to gain control of the strategic border town of Tal Abyad, after nearly one week of fighting Turkish-backed forces have been unable to capture Ras al-Ain, a city of just over 30,000 that has managed to put up stiff resistance and ward off Turkish incursions. Manbij, a city of nearly 100,000, will require much greater strength and political will in order to be captured.Recent U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on key Turkish ministers and cabinet officials will also likely further hamper Ankara’s ability to freely wage war against the SDF, while significantly raising the cost of doing so. Nonetheless, these factors are unlikely to push Erdogan to end the campaign, as domestic pressures to create space to resettle Syrian refugees that have proven a burden to the Turkish economy threaten to destabilize his government. What will likely ensue will be a committed, albeit slow and protracted campaign to achieve Ankara’s goal of carving out a safe zone in Manbij and along the entirety of Turkey’s border with Syria. However, the likely delay in achieving further Turkish gains will also give the Syrian regime a larger window to calmly mobilize and deploy its forces throughout the region while still being able to exploit the threat posed to the SDF by Ankara in order to slowly grab more power in northeastern Syria. Further, the expansion of Syrian regime troops throughout the area doesn’t seem to be a prospect that much bothers the Turkish president, so long as they don’t mix with SDF and other armed Kurdish elements. Also while speaking to reporters in Baku, Erdogan stated, “The regime entering Manbij is not very negative for me. Why? It’s their lands after all,”  he said. “But, what is important to me is that the terrorist organization does not remain there… I told this to Mr. Putin as well. If you are clearing Manbij of terrorist organizations, then go ahead, you or the regime can provide all the logistics. But if you are not going to do this, the people there are telling us to save them.” By “terrorist organizations,” Erdogan means primarily the Kurds who were backed by the United States in the fight against ISIS.Such a statement from a head of state who for eight years has been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the Syrian revolution to topple Assad is indicative of the extent to which international calculus surrounding the Syrian issue has changed. It will likely encourage the Assad regime to consider the possibility of going after and eliminating the SDF itself if doing so may once and for all put an end to the activities of their meddlesome Turkish neighbor. Such a prospect may occur as part of a broader swap or deal whereby Turkey would also agree to withdraw its troops from the broader Idlib region, where Ha’it Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an offshoot of al Qaeda’s former Syrian branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other FSA groups have been engaged in a bloody standoff with the Syrian regime for over a year.Erdogan’s statements make perfectly clear that, following Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops, the cards increasingly lie in the hands of the Assad regime and its Russian ally. 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.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 05:01:50 -0400
  • One dead in strong 6.4-magnitude Philippines quake: mayor

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    A child was killed in a strong 6.4-magnitude quake that hit the southern Philippines on Wednesday, a local mayor said, as houses collapsed, power was knocked out and a shopping mall burst into flames. Residents evacuated homes and buildings across the Mindanao region including a mall that caught fire in the city of General Santos shortly after the quake struck in the evening, officials said. The child died in a house collapse in the town of Datu Paglas, while four residents of nearby Tulunan town were injured when at least two other houses fell down, Tulunan Mayor Reuel Limbungan told AFP.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 12:45:06 -0400
  • See Photos of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric SUV

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    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 12:45:00 -0400
  • Boston pension votes to fire money manager Fisher, withdrawals surge toward $1 billion

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    The City of Boston's retirement board on Wednesday voted unanimously to end its relationship with money manager Kenneth Fisher, whose firm has lost almost $1 billion in assets after allegations he made disparaging remarks about women last week. In addition, on Wednesday evening an official of the Los Angeles pension system for police and firefighters said it will review the roughly $500 million it has invested with Fisher's firm. "As with other pension funds, we are very concerned with the inappropriate comments made by Mr. Fisher," said the Los Angeles system's general manager, Ray Ciranna, via e-mail.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:48:07 -0400
  • A Florida man called the sheriff's office to report stolen marijuana. The deputy's response: 'Stop calling'

    The Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida told a man to stop calling 911 to report $20 worth of stolen weed.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:49:29 -0400
  • Iran's So-Called New Fighter Jet Is Most Likely a Scam (Sort Of)

    Golocal247.com news

    Or just another F-5 ripoff?

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400
  • Pastor at Pro-Trump conference: 'We've come to declare war'

    If the video depicting a fake President Trump massacring members of the media -- which was condemned by the White House -- wasn't too much to handle already, ProPublica and WNYC released more disturbing audio from the conference where the footage was originally shown.While speaking at the pro-Trump conference in Miami, Florida, at the Trump National Doral Miami, Mark Burns, a pastor, told the crowd multiple times that "we've come to declare war." As he continued, he reportedly asked if anybody was "read to go to war for Donald J. Trump, this nation?" as the audience reportedly cheered him on.Additionally, radio host Wayne Allyn Root reportedly boasted about a time in his childhood when, as one of the few white students at a predominantly black high school, he knocked one classmate unconscious and shattered another kid's teeth. "My buddies and I were high-fiving and laughing," Root reportedly said during his speech. "Man, it was funny."Root reportedly went on to say that "you've got to be a natural-born killer" to win in politics. Listen to the audio clips at ProPublica.

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:53:50 -0400
  • U.S. Indicts Turkish Bank With Ties to Giuliani Client For Evading Iran Sanctions

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    The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday indicted Turkey's second-largest bank on charges of fraud and money laundering, accusing it of helping Iran evade sanctions implemented to curb its nuclear program.Halbank was reportedly involved in the largest Iran sanctions violation to date, sending billions of dollars in gold and cash to Iran in exchange for oil and gas."This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement released by the Justice Department. The statement further alleged that senior Turkish government officials received tens of millions of dollars in bribes to hide the violations from U.S. regulators.Earlier this month it was reported that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in 2017 pushed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ask the Justice Department to drop a case against his client Reza Zarrab. An Iranian-Turkish gold trader who himself evaded Iran sanctions, Zarrab went on to testify against Halbank head of international banking Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was convicted of helping Iran evade sanctions through money laundering and served 28 months in U.S. prison.Zarrab had also alleged that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knew of Atilla's laundering operation, which Erdogan has denied.The charges against Halbank came as the Trump administration is trying to negotiate its relationship with Turkey, which recently launched an invasion of northeastern Syria after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. The invasion is in part intended to combat Kurdish groups that Turkey considers terrorist organizations, some of which were instrumental in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS in Syria.Trump authorized sanctions on the Turkish economy on Monday, however the impact of the sanctions was less damaging than initially assumed.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:30:07 -0400
  • 'Just a matter of time' before president removed following impeachment testimony: Former Trump aide

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    President Trump’s ex-national security adviser, John Bolton, reportedly urged former Russia adviser Fiona Hill to warn the White House about a campaign to pressure Ukraine directed by the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, describing the latter as a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:39:12 -0400
  • Hubble Telescope zooms in on interstellar visitor

    Golocal247.com news

    The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best pictures yet of our newest interstellar visitor. This comet from outside our solar system is zooming by us at a blistering 110,000 mph (177,000 kph). Hubble caught some glam shots over the weekend from a distance of 260 million miles (420 million kilometers).

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 14:15:00 -0400
  • 35 foreigners dead in Saudi bus crash

    Golocal247.com news

    Thirty-five foreigners were killed and four others injured when a bus collided with another heavy vehicle near the Muslim holy city of Medina, Saudi state media said on Thursday. The accident on Wednesday evening involved a collision between "a private chartered bus... with a heavy vehicle" near the western city, a spokesman for Medina police said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. This year some 2.5 million faithful travelled to Saudi Arabia from across the world in August to take part in the annual hajj pilgrimage -- one of the five pillars of Islam.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:04:36 -0400
  • ‘Barbaric’: DLA Piper Partner Who Said Boss Assaulted Her Four Times Has Been Put on Leave

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    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos HandoutThe junior partner at top-grossing law firm DLA Piper who claimed she was sexually assaulted four times by her boss in 2018 has been placed on paid administrative leave.Vanina Guerrero, who works out of the multinational firm’s Silicon Valley corporate practice, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this month, claiming that the $2.84-billion firm discriminated against her and retaliated when she complained of the alleged assaults. The complaint identified her boss, DLA Piper partner Louis Lehot, as the man who allegedly assaulted her in Shanghai, Brazil, Palo Alto, and Chicago.“During my entire career I was known for my intellect, tenacity and confidence,” Guerrero, who is married with children, wrote in an open letter to the firm earlier this month. “In less than nine months at DLA Piper... I became a shell of my former self.” In her letter, Guerrero asked the firm to allow her to litigate the matter in court instead of through forced arbitration. A spokesman for the law firm has said the company took appropriate steps to investigate the allegations against Lehot as soon as they were reported and that the company “takes them seriously.”Lehot has since left the firm, the company said last week.“Despite the fact that the allegations have not been substantiated by the investigation to date, the firm has concluded for various reasons that it is in the best interest of the firm that we part ways with Louis Lehot,” three executives wrote in a memo, Bloomberg Business reported.But on Tuesday, the firm sent a letter to Guerrero claiming that “during the course of our investigation of your allegations against Louis Lehot, another individual at the firm alleged that you engaged in inappropriate behavior toward, and harassed, that individual.”“DLA Piper takes allegations of harassment seriously, regardless of the position or gender of the individual making those allegations or against whom they are made,” said the letter, which was provided to The Daily Beast by Guerrero’s attorney. “Unfortunately, you continue to refuse to cooperate with that investigation, including refusing to discuss the allegations that have been made against you. Indeed, you refused to do so despite our stated willingness to allow your counsel to be present during the interview.”The memo states that Guerrero is barred from going to the Silicon Valley office or engaging in any of the firm’s business until the investigation has concluded—and that DLA Piper has retained an outside firm to probe the matter.Guerrero’s attorney, Jeanne Christensen, said in a statement on Wednesday that the letter was sent overnight to media outlets “across the country” in an attempt “to publicly smear” Guerrero “for daring to complain about being sexually assaulted.”Christensen called the move “barbaric” and unprecedented.“To be clear, as of the writing of this email, our firm and Ms. Guerrero have no knowledge or information about the purported ‘harassment,’” she added. “The message is loud and clear: MeToo movement or not—speaking out about gender motivated violence will result in untold harm, damage and pain to you personally and professionally.”Junior Partner at Silicon Valley Law Firm DLA Piper: Boss Sexually Assaulted Me 4 Times, Company Ignored ItRead 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.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:16:44 -0400
  • U.S. tells Chinese diplomats to give notice of meetings

    Golocal247.com news

    Chinese diplomats in the United States must now give advance notice of any meetings with state, local and municipal officials, as well as at educational and research institutions, senior State Department officials said on Wednesday. The officials told reporters the move was an effort to "add reciprocity" to the way U.S. diplomats are treated in China. "This action is a response to what the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) government does to limit the interaction our diplomats can have in China with Chinese stakeholders," a State Department official said.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:18:41 -0400
  • Iran president's brother starts 5-year jail term: report

    Golocal247.com news

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's brother entered prison Wednesday to begin a five-year sentence after he was convicted of corruption, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported, citing his lawyer. Hossein Fereydoun, who served as an aide to the president, was arrested in July 2017 and put on trial in February this year on allegations of financial violations. "This morning Mr Fereydoun together with myself were present at the prosecutor's office," Hossein Sartipi said, quoted by ISNA.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 05:39:36 -0400
  • View 2021 Genesis GV70 Spy Photos

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    Tue, 15 Oct 2019 12:28:00 -0400
  • Is the U.S. Army In Decline?

    Golocal247.com news

    What is the Army doing to stay at the top of the pack?

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 19:00:00 -0400
  • Giuliani Needs to Testify Before the Senate. Now.

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- By now it’s clear that Rudy Giuliani was the driving force behind the Ukraine scandal engulfing President Donald Trump’s administration. But he refuses to testify before the House investigation of the matter, and (for now) has the support of the White House.That leaves the Senate. Senate Republicans have offered Giuliani the opportunity to tell his story in a friendly partisan environment, and he says he welcomes it. They now need to insist that Giuliani put up or shut up: Either testify before the Judiciary Committee or face a formal investigation by Foreign Relations Committee.Giuliani has a lot to tell. His Ukrainian escapades began as an attempt to prove that it was Hillary Clinton, not Trump, who got foreign help in 2016. Along the way, he expanded his brief to include discrediting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and report. But the story Giuliani found — fed to him by Ukrainian officials who knew precisely what they were doing — was too good for him to resist: Not only was the Mueller investigation a hoax, it was part of a larger conspiracy.This conspiracy had three goals. First, it sought to defeat Trump in 2016 by manipulating the election. Second, it sought to undermine his presidency by feeding information about his allies, in particular former campaign manager Paul Manafort, to Mueller’s investigation. Third, it sought to defeat Trump in 2020 by suppressing a damaging investigation into his chief rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.To be clear: These allegations are flimsy at best and bogus at worst. Giuliani has repeatedly claimed that he has documentary evidence in support of them. If he does, it was almost certainly produced by a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor attempting to save his job and promote his interests.Other Trump advisers have questioned Giuliani’s “evidence.” Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert tried repeatedly to counter Giuliani’s narrative until he was removed. National Security Adviser John Bolton then took over the role, but eventually found himself on the outs. At every turn, the pros lost ground and Giuliani gained. Even now, as Giuliani’s associates in Ukraine face fraud and conspiracy charges, Trump remains reluctant to cut him loose.Since the executive branch has tried and failed to contain Trump’s wayward personal attorney, it’s up to the legislative branch. Practically speaking, that means the Senate.The White House has refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry in the Democrat-controlled House. In the Senate, Republicans are in control. Trump and Giuliani may think they are more likely to get a fair hearing.Even better, at least from Trump’s perspective: Impeachment need not be the issue. Public testimony shows that Giuliani, an unconfirmed presidential adviser, has undermined the diplomatic and national security efforts of Senate-confirmed executive-branch appointees. The Senate has a duty to investigate this breach of its advise-and-consent powers.If Giuliani refuses to come forward and tell his story to the Senate, then it should open an investigation of the State Department’s and the White House’s diplomatic efforts. One way or another, the Senate needs to send a clear message: Those who claim to be acting on behalf of the American government must be held accountable to the American public.To contact the author of this story: Karl W. Smith at ksmith602@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Karl W. Smith is a former assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina's school of government and founder of the blog Modeled Behavior.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:00:30 -0400
  • U.S., South Korean officials reportedly busted one of the world's largest child pornography sites

    Since U.S. and South Korean authorities busted one of the world's largest child pornography sites in 2018, more than 300 site users in 11 countries -- and more than two dozen U.S. states -- have been arrested, while at least 23 minor victims in the U.S., U.K., and Spain who were actively abused by the site's users have been rescued, Bloomberg reports.The site was shuttered in March 2018 and its founder, 23-year-old South Korean national Jong Woo Son, was indicted in August of that year. Son remains in custody in South Korea where he was convicted, while his indictment was unsealed Wednesday.Son operated a Darknet, or encrypted online content, market that was hidden from traditional search engines to distribute more than 1 million explicit videos involving children, while accepting Bitcoin as currency. Agents from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division reportedly were able to determine the location of the Darknet server, which led to Son's arrest. They were then able to "de-anonymize" the Bitcoin transactions on the site to unmask many of the site's users.Bloomberg notes that child pornography is a crime that's increasing at a rapid rate around the globe in part because of the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which allow transactions to remain anonymous. Read more at Bloomberg.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:08:00 -0400
  • The Latest: Authorities seek cause for California fuel fire

    Golocal247.com news

    Officials are trying to determine if a 4.5 magnitude earthquake triggered an explosion at a fuel storage facility in the San Francisco Bay Area that started a fire and trapped thousands in their homes for hours because of potentially unhealthy air. The earthquake struck about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast from the NuStar Energy fuel storage facility in the Bay Area community of Crockett 15 hours before the fire started Tuesday. Randy Sawyer, Contra Costa County's chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer, tells KQED News that quake caused malfunctions at two nearby oil refineries operated by Shell and Marathon oil.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:51:30 -0400
  • GM, UAW strike deal: Automaker, union reach tentative agreement on new contract

    Golocal247.com news

    General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a proposed tentative agreement on a new contract Wednesday.

    Wed, 16 Oct 2019 16:08:59 -0400
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