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ChannelYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines    
RSS File: https://news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories
Description: The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
  • Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicide      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:43:01 -0400

    Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicideAuthorities say they believe Marsha Edwards shot Christopher Edwards Jr. and Erin Edwards before turning the gun on herself.


    Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicideAuthorities say they believe Marsha Edwards shot Christopher Edwards Jr. and Erin Edwards before turning the gun on herself.


     

  • Danish leader speaks with Trump amid Greenland dispute      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:01:24 -0400

    Danish leader speaks with Trump amid Greenland disputeDanish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has had a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump amid a dispute about Greenland, her office said Friday. Earlier this week, Trump scrapped a visit to Denmark by saying that Frederiksen was "nasty" when she rejected his idea of buying Greenland as an absurdity. Both leaders spoke late Thursday, and Danish media reported that the call was "constructive." Frederiksen's office says details of the discussion won't be released.


    Danish leader speaks with Trump amid Greenland disputeDanish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has had a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump amid a dispute about Greenland, her office said Friday. Earlier this week, Trump scrapped a visit to Denmark by saying that Frederiksen was "nasty" when she rejected his idea of buying Greenland as an absurdity. Both leaders spoke late Thursday, and Danish media reported that the call was "constructive." Frederiksen's office says details of the discussion won't be released.


     

  • Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:01:09 -0400

    Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warningsRussia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.


    Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warningsRussia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.


     

  • Stocks plunge as China announces retaliatory tariffs, Trump goes on offensive      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:17:46 -0400

    Stocks plunge as China announces retaliatory tariffs, Trump goes on offensiveThe Dow takes a dive as China announces retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. goods, President Trump rips Federal Reserve; Kevin Corke reports from the White House.


    Stocks plunge as China announces retaliatory tariffs, Trump goes on offensiveThe Dow takes a dive as China announces retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. goods, President Trump rips Federal Reserve; Kevin Corke reports from the White House.


     

  • Jeffrey Epstein: 15 prison guards subpoenaed after two accused of sleeping on the job      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:40:14 -0400

    Jeffrey Epstein: 15 prison guards subpoenaed after two accused of sleeping on the jobThe warden and the head of the US Bureau of Prisons have been reassigned. Two employees accused of sleeping on the job and falsifying records have been placed on administrative leave.Now, roughly 15 employees at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in his jail cell have been subpoenaed as the criminal investigation into the events around his suicide intensifies, according to a prison official and a person with knowledge of the matter.


    Jeffrey Epstein: 15 prison guards subpoenaed after two accused of sleeping on the jobThe warden and the head of the US Bureau of Prisons have been reassigned. Two employees accused of sleeping on the job and falsifying records have been placed on administrative leave.Now, roughly 15 employees at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in his jail cell have been subpoenaed as the criminal investigation into the events around his suicide intensifies, according to a prison official and a person with knowledge of the matter.


     

  • Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in Washington      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 01:00:08 -0400

    Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in WashingtonAn ambitious agenda by the March for Our Lives activists may be the first time the majority of Americans get real representationA young girl looks on as she attends a vigil for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMarch for Our Lives, the national youth gun violence prevention movement founded by survivors of last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, released a sweeping gun reform agenda this week.The agenda calls for significantly raising the standards for gun ownership in America, and reducing by about 100m the total number of guns in circulation.It’s a dramatic, ambitious plan. And it may represent the first time in decades that the majority of Americans will get any real representation in the gun control debate in Washington.March for Our Lives’ young activists endorsed an Australia-style mandatory government buyback and destruction of “assault weapons”. They want to decrease the number of guns in circulation by 30% – which would mean roughly 100m fewer firearms in American hands. They proposed regulations that would dramatically raise the bar for who is allowed to purchase a gun, putting US law much more in line with European countries. And they want to revisit the 2009 supreme court decision, District of Columbia v Heller, which enshrined a pro-gun interpretation of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms.These proposals are substantially more aggressive, and more ambitious, than anything the Democrats in Washington have fought for in years. In fact, for decades, gun control groups and progressive politicians have done a poor job at representing the majority of Americans in Congress when it comes to gun control. A surprising voidDemocrats have fought for minor new restrictions on gun buying – and been defeated by the Republican party’s gun absolutists – but, fundamentally, the Democratic party has remained supportive of gun ownership.Democratic lawmakers’ efforts to “ban assault weapons”, for example, have not meant an actual ban on these guns, but only a ban on future sales, meaning that Americans could keep the millions of military-style rifles they already own. President Obama’s signature gun control legislation after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a compromise bill that would have closed just a few of the gaping loopholes in the nation’s background check system – a measure so weak it’s doubtful whether it would have had any effect on gun violence at all.The country’s largest gun control groups, too, have made great efforts to portray themselves as pro-“gun safety”, not anti-gun. They routinely advertise themselves as supporters of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms. And they have focused on “commonsense reforms”, such as getting what activists see as particularly extreme weapons off the streets, or requiring a criminal background check before every gun sale.This lack of any explicit anti-gun side in the American gun debate is strange.Although many Americans may not realize it, gun owners are a minority in the United States. American civilians overall own an estimated 300m to 400m firearms, more than one gun per person. But this frequently cited statistic obscures how concentrated American gun ownership is.In recent surveys, roughly 70% to 80% of Americans said they do not personally own a gun, and a majority said that nobody in their household owns a gun. Just 3% of American adults own half the country’s guns, according to a definitive 2015 survey. This small group of gun super-owners have an average of 17 guns each.Gun absolutists – the activists who oppose any gun control measures, who want Americans to be able to own any kind of gun, and carry them everywhere – are a minority within that minority. According to the best available estimates, fewer than 10% of American gun owners overall are members of the National Rifle Association.There appear to be at least as many Americans who are vehemently anti-gun as there are NRA members.Recent Gallup polls have found that 28% of American adults say they would support a law banning handgun ownership, except by the police and other “authorized persons”. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that 9% of American adults believed that “almost no one” should be legally allowed to own guns – about the same proportion as the number of adults who believed that “almost everyone” should be able to own them.A coalition of 9% of American adults would translate into more than 20 million people. That’s a group four times larger than the NRA, which claims between 5 million and 6 million members.Only a minority of Americans oppose most private gun ownership. But there’s strong majority support for much tougher gun control laws than the ones currently on the books.A 2017 Pew survey found 68% supported banning assault-style weapons. Seventy-one percent supported having a federal database to track all gun sales. A 2018 Gallup survey found 68% of respondents supported raising the legal age to buy certain guns. A Quinnipiac poll in May found 77% of respondents were in favor of requiring people to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun.It’s not hard to find Americans who oppose the country’s current gun culture. They show up at gun control rallies, holding signs that say things like “Repeal the Second Amendment”. They live in neighborhoods burdened by decades of daily gun violence. They’ve lost family members or friends to shootings. They keep asking: why can’t we just get rid of the guns?But for years, these Americans’ views have not been well represented by America’s “gun safety” groups, and they have had virtually no representation in Congress.This may finally be starting to change. Moving the gun debateIn 2016, a progressive activist launched Guns Down America, a small organization that advocates not simply for “gun sense laws”, but for “a future with fewer guns”. Following the Parkland shooting, the young March for Our Lives activists have advocated unapologetically for bold reform, though they, like other American gun control activists, say they’re not anti-gun and their proposals for stricter regulation represent the interests of “responsible gun owners”.It’s not yet clear how much the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will move towards embracing these majority opinions on gun control policy. But there’s already been movement towards the actual middle of the debate.In 2016, Obama argued in a CNN Town Hall that “issues like licensing, registration, that’s an area where there’s just not enough national consensus at this stage to even consider it”. This year, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker made gun licensing the center of his 2020 gun control platform.After the mass shooting targeting Latino families in El Paso, the former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said he endorsed not just an assault weapon ban, but a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons. On Wednesday, he became the first Democratic 2020 candidate to tweet that he supported March for Our Lives’ new policy agenda.O’Rourke’s campaign did not back away from the most controversial elements of the youth activists’ plan, including their desire to revisit the supreme court’s current interpretation of the second amendment, enshrined in the Heller decision.“While Beto agrees with the court’s holding that the second amendment allows for regulation, he does not agree with the entirety of the Heller decision,” said Aleigha Cavalier, O’Rourke’s national press secretary. “One piece of the Heller case Beto believes should be revisited is the court’s decision to strike down DC’s safe storage requirements.”America’s gun debate may soon actually have two sides.


    Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in WashingtonAn ambitious agenda by the March for Our Lives activists may be the first time the majority of Americans get real representationA young girl looks on as she attends a vigil for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMarch for Our Lives, the national youth gun violence prevention movement founded by survivors of last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, released a sweeping gun reform agenda this week.The agenda calls for significantly raising the standards for gun ownership in America, and reducing by about 100m the total number of guns in circulation.It’s a dramatic, ambitious plan. And it may represent the first time in decades that the majority of Americans will get any real representation in the gun control debate in Washington.March for Our Lives’ young activists endorsed an Australia-style mandatory government buyback and destruction of “assault weapons”. They want to decrease the number of guns in circulation by 30% – which would mean roughly 100m fewer firearms in American hands. They proposed regulations that would dramatically raise the bar for who is allowed to purchase a gun, putting US law much more in line with European countries. And they want to revisit the 2009 supreme court decision, District of Columbia v Heller, which enshrined a pro-gun interpretation of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms.These proposals are substantially more aggressive, and more ambitious, than anything the Democrats in Washington have fought for in years. In fact, for decades, gun control groups and progressive politicians have done a poor job at representing the majority of Americans in Congress when it comes to gun control. A surprising voidDemocrats have fought for minor new restrictions on gun buying – and been defeated by the Republican party’s gun absolutists – but, fundamentally, the Democratic party has remained supportive of gun ownership.Democratic lawmakers’ efforts to “ban assault weapons”, for example, have not meant an actual ban on these guns, but only a ban on future sales, meaning that Americans could keep the millions of military-style rifles they already own. President Obama’s signature gun control legislation after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a compromise bill that would have closed just a few of the gaping loopholes in the nation’s background check system – a measure so weak it’s doubtful whether it would have had any effect on gun violence at all.The country’s largest gun control groups, too, have made great efforts to portray themselves as pro-“gun safety”, not anti-gun. They routinely advertise themselves as supporters of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms. And they have focused on “commonsense reforms”, such as getting what activists see as particularly extreme weapons off the streets, or requiring a criminal background check before every gun sale.This lack of any explicit anti-gun side in the American gun debate is strange.Although many Americans may not realize it, gun owners are a minority in the United States. American civilians overall own an estimated 300m to 400m firearms, more than one gun per person. But this frequently cited statistic obscures how concentrated American gun ownership is.In recent surveys, roughly 70% to 80% of Americans said they do not personally own a gun, and a majority said that nobody in their household owns a gun. Just 3% of American adults own half the country’s guns, according to a definitive 2015 survey. This small group of gun super-owners have an average of 17 guns each.Gun absolutists – the activists who oppose any gun control measures, who want Americans to be able to own any kind of gun, and carry them everywhere – are a minority within that minority. According to the best available estimates, fewer than 10% of American gun owners overall are members of the National Rifle Association.There appear to be at least as many Americans who are vehemently anti-gun as there are NRA members.Recent Gallup polls have found that 28% of American adults say they would support a law banning handgun ownership, except by the police and other “authorized persons”. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that 9% of American adults believed that “almost no one” should be legally allowed to own guns – about the same proportion as the number of adults who believed that “almost everyone” should be able to own them.A coalition of 9% of American adults would translate into more than 20 million people. That’s a group four times larger than the NRA, which claims between 5 million and 6 million members.Only a minority of Americans oppose most private gun ownership. But there’s strong majority support for much tougher gun control laws than the ones currently on the books.A 2017 Pew survey found 68% supported banning assault-style weapons. Seventy-one percent supported having a federal database to track all gun sales. A 2018 Gallup survey found 68% of respondents supported raising the legal age to buy certain guns. A Quinnipiac poll in May found 77% of respondents were in favor of requiring people to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun.It’s not hard to find Americans who oppose the country’s current gun culture. They show up at gun control rallies, holding signs that say things like “Repeal the Second Amendment”. They live in neighborhoods burdened by decades of daily gun violence. They’ve lost family members or friends to shootings. They keep asking: why can’t we just get rid of the guns?But for years, these Americans’ views have not been well represented by America’s “gun safety” groups, and they have had virtually no representation in Congress.This may finally be starting to change. Moving the gun debateIn 2016, a progressive activist launched Guns Down America, a small organization that advocates not simply for “gun sense laws”, but for “a future with fewer guns”. Following the Parkland shooting, the young March for Our Lives activists have advocated unapologetically for bold reform, though they, like other American gun control activists, say they’re not anti-gun and their proposals for stricter regulation represent the interests of “responsible gun owners”.It’s not yet clear how much the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will move towards embracing these majority opinions on gun control policy. But there’s already been movement towards the actual middle of the debate.In 2016, Obama argued in a CNN Town Hall that “issues like licensing, registration, that’s an area where there’s just not enough national consensus at this stage to even consider it”. This year, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker made gun licensing the center of his 2020 gun control platform.After the mass shooting targeting Latino families in El Paso, the former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said he endorsed not just an assault weapon ban, but a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons. On Wednesday, he became the first Democratic 2020 candidate to tweet that he supported March for Our Lives’ new policy agenda.O’Rourke’s campaign did not back away from the most controversial elements of the youth activists’ plan, including their desire to revisit the supreme court’s current interpretation of the second amendment, enshrined in the Heller decision.“While Beto agrees with the court’s holding that the second amendment allows for regulation, he does not agree with the entirety of the Heller decision,” said Aleigha Cavalier, O’Rourke’s national press secretary. “One piece of the Heller case Beto believes should be revisited is the court’s decision to strike down DC’s safe storage requirements.”America’s gun debate may soon actually have two sides.


     

  • These Countries Are the Winners of the China-U.S. Trade War      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:14:22 -0400

    These Countries Are the Winners of the China-U.S. Trade WarOn Friday, the contentious China-U.S. trade conflict escalated after Beijing announced it will impose new tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. The announcement from China's Finance Ministry said the new duties on top of existing rates will take effect on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. The move by China comes a little more than a week after Washington announced plans to impose tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods beginning Dec. 15. The retaliating moves by China and the United States are not good for either country's economy but other nations may benefit, experts say.


    These Countries Are the Winners of the China-U.S. Trade WarOn Friday, the contentious China-U.S. trade conflict escalated after Beijing announced it will impose new tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. The announcement from China's Finance Ministry said the new duties on top of existing rates will take effect on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. The move by China comes a little more than a week after Washington announced plans to impose tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods beginning Dec. 15. The retaliating moves by China and the United States are not good for either country's economy but other nations may benefit, experts say.


     

  • L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:17:00 -0400

    L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off


    L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off


     

  • CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-China strikes back at U.S. with new tariffs on $75 bln in goods      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 08:56:25 -0400

    CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-China strikes back at U.S. with new tariffs on $75 bln in goodsChina said on Friday it will impose retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates in the dispute between the world's top two economies. The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China will impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States including agricultural products such as soybeans, crude oil and small aircraft.


    CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-China strikes back at U.S. with new tariffs on $75 bln in goodsChina said on Friday it will impose retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates in the dispute between the world's top two economies. The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China will impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States including agricultural products such as soybeans, crude oil and small aircraft.


     

  • Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:53:09 -0400

    Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'"There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves," Gingrich argued.


    Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'"There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves," Gingrich argued.


     

  • Court: Electoral College members not bound by popular vote      Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:53:45 -0400

    Court: Electoral College members not bound by popular voteA U.S. appeals court in Denver said Electoral College members can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and aren't bound by the popular vote in their states. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote because the elector refused to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote. The ruling applies only to Colorado and five other states in the 10th Circuit: Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.


    Court: Electoral College members not bound by popular voteA U.S. appeals court in Denver said Electoral College members can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and aren't bound by the popular vote in their states. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote because the elector refused to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote. The ruling applies only to Colorado and five other states in the 10th Circuit: Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.


     

  • Brexit Held at the Border      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:22:09 -0400

    Brexit Held at the BorderIn the last two days Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed that Ireland temporarily leave the European Union to align with the economic rules of a post-Brexit U.K. German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested, somewhat flippantly, that the U.K. could figure out a special trading arrangement for itself and Ireland in the next 30 days. And French president Emmanuel Macron has said that there’s still room for negotiation between the U.K. and the EU, but he’s willing to be “the hard boy.” Maybe Macron is taking the EU marriage metaphor a little too personally . . .What on earth is going on?It’s been three years since a majority of the U.K.’s electorate voted to leave the European Union. And so far, all that Brexit has generated is a great deal of nearly incomprehensibly vocabulary. First we got Theresa May’s red lines, her attempt to define how it was exactly that Brexit means Brexit, and what the future relationship, if any, the United Kingdom would have with the EU. These red lines, an end to freedom of movement from EU member states into the U.K., and an exit from the EU’s customs union ruled out the Norway option but not Canada Plus Plus. Or Canada Plus Plus Plus. Yes, I’m serious.According to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Theresa May and the rest of the EU, that future relationship has to be figured out in the transition period. That’s a two-year window after the U.K. leaves the EU in which it would continue to follow EU rules until they came to a trade agreement. That is, unless there is a no-deal Brexit and the U.K. simply exits the European Union on October 31 and conducts business with the world based on World Trade Organization rules. Got it? Well, sort of.The focus is now on the Irish-border backstop. Basically, the backstop is a promise that there will be no hard border — a customs border across the island of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Irish public officials have argued (with the support of the EU) that a frictionless border is necessary for economic and political reasons. The frictionless border is understood there as part of the the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. So too the “all-island economy” that it creates. The backstop is a promise by the U.K. to keep Northern Ireland following a number of regulations and customs rules that match it to the Republic of Ireland.This promise became the focus of Tory and Brexiteer anger at Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. First, because it created what seemed like a negotiating trap for the U.K. during the transition period. Having already agreed to keep Northern Ireland (and the rest of the U.K. with it) aligned with the EU’s rules as part of a backstop, the EU would have less incentive to come to another, different trade relationship to supersede that agreement. The price to be paid for testing and pushing the EU might carve up the United Kingdom itself. If Great Britain diverged from the EU at the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland would be partially politically detached from the Union, and perhaps its citizens would have to go through customs to travel within their own country, from Belfast to Birmingham.Recently Johnson has begun calling the backstop “undemocratic” and hinting that it violates the Good Friday Agreement. He has a point. The backstop would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU rules and regs in which they have no say. It would deprive Northern Ireland’s elected ministers to Parliament of any voice on matters that would be routine for MPs in any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. That seems quite a lot like a partial form of Irish unification. But the Good Friday Agreement ensures that Irish unity can be achieved only by a majority vote for it in the six counties and another one in the Republic of Ireland.Proponents of the backstop hold that this measure would merely be the decision of a sovereign Parliament over a part of its territory. It is an agreement between Parliament and the EU and doesn’t legally touch Ireland. That’s true. But, the reality is that it would create checks between constituent parts of the U.K. that normally exist between two different countries. It does so in order to prevent those checks on the island of Ireland. And it does so to meet the expectations of the Irish government based in Dublin. To whom would Northern Irish people turn when trade policy affects them? Nobody they directly elect would have a constitutional say.Effectively these economic rules would be imposed on Northern Ireland as if it were a kind of EU colony, and done in the interests of the Republic of Ireland. This may satisfy the historical imagination of Irish nationalists. (Believe me, there is a delicious irony to be savored here.) But it is hard to argue that such a result is consonant with the Good Friday Agreement. Or a wise way to endear Northern Irish unionists to the Irish government.All of this confusion is the result of a kind of gamesmanship. The EU and U.K. each want to use the Irish border as a reason to crack the other’s negotiating position. The EU would like to see the U.K. bounced into a permanent customs union in which it has no say, effectively maintaining the economic size and power of the EU while reducing the political influence of Eurosceptical Britannia. On the other side, the U.K. would like to see the Irish-border issue work in the opposite way, forcing the EU to strike an especially good and liberal trade deal with the U.K. that comes with fewer strings attached than those on Norway or other states that have non-standard arrangements.The lesson is rather obvious. You cannot predetermine what kind of infrastructure will be at a border and what laws will be enforced at it, in the absence of a durable agreement on trade in goods and materials. The EU and the U.K. have been trying to resolve questions in the wrong order. Both have done so out of a reasonable fear of loss.But the hour is late, and the real work must be done.


    Brexit Held at the BorderIn the last two days Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed that Ireland temporarily leave the European Union to align with the economic rules of a post-Brexit U.K. German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested, somewhat flippantly, that the U.K. could figure out a special trading arrangement for itself and Ireland in the next 30 days. And French president Emmanuel Macron has said that there’s still room for negotiation between the U.K. and the EU, but he’s willing to be “the hard boy.” Maybe Macron is taking the EU marriage metaphor a little too personally . . .What on earth is going on?It’s been three years since a majority of the U.K.’s electorate voted to leave the European Union. And so far, all that Brexit has generated is a great deal of nearly incomprehensibly vocabulary. First we got Theresa May’s red lines, her attempt to define how it was exactly that Brexit means Brexit, and what the future relationship, if any, the United Kingdom would have with the EU. These red lines, an end to freedom of movement from EU member states into the U.K., and an exit from the EU’s customs union ruled out the Norway option but not Canada Plus Plus. Or Canada Plus Plus Plus. Yes, I’m serious.According to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Theresa May and the rest of the EU, that future relationship has to be figured out in the transition period. That’s a two-year window after the U.K. leaves the EU in which it would continue to follow EU rules until they came to a trade agreement. That is, unless there is a no-deal Brexit and the U.K. simply exits the European Union on October 31 and conducts business with the world based on World Trade Organization rules. Got it? Well, sort of.The focus is now on the Irish-border backstop. Basically, the backstop is a promise that there will be no hard border — a customs border across the island of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Irish public officials have argued (with the support of the EU) that a frictionless border is necessary for economic and political reasons. The frictionless border is understood there as part of the the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. So too the “all-island economy” that it creates. The backstop is a promise by the U.K. to keep Northern Ireland following a number of regulations and customs rules that match it to the Republic of Ireland.This promise became the focus of Tory and Brexiteer anger at Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. First, because it created what seemed like a negotiating trap for the U.K. during the transition period. Having already agreed to keep Northern Ireland (and the rest of the U.K. with it) aligned with the EU’s rules as part of a backstop, the EU would have less incentive to come to another, different trade relationship to supersede that agreement. The price to be paid for testing and pushing the EU might carve up the United Kingdom itself. If Great Britain diverged from the EU at the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland would be partially politically detached from the Union, and perhaps its citizens would have to go through customs to travel within their own country, from Belfast to Birmingham.Recently Johnson has begun calling the backstop “undemocratic” and hinting that it violates the Good Friday Agreement. He has a point. The backstop would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU rules and regs in which they have no say. It would deprive Northern Ireland’s elected ministers to Parliament of any voice on matters that would be routine for MPs in any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. That seems quite a lot like a partial form of Irish unification. But the Good Friday Agreement ensures that Irish unity can be achieved only by a majority vote for it in the six counties and another one in the Republic of Ireland.Proponents of the backstop hold that this measure would merely be the decision of a sovereign Parliament over a part of its territory. It is an agreement between Parliament and the EU and doesn’t legally touch Ireland. That’s true. But, the reality is that it would create checks between constituent parts of the U.K. that normally exist between two different countries. It does so in order to prevent those checks on the island of Ireland. And it does so to meet the expectations of the Irish government based in Dublin. To whom would Northern Irish people turn when trade policy affects them? Nobody they directly elect would have a constitutional say.Effectively these economic rules would be imposed on Northern Ireland as if it were a kind of EU colony, and done in the interests of the Republic of Ireland. This may satisfy the historical imagination of Irish nationalists. (Believe me, there is a delicious irony to be savored here.) But it is hard to argue that such a result is consonant with the Good Friday Agreement. Or a wise way to endear Northern Irish unionists to the Irish government.All of this confusion is the result of a kind of gamesmanship. The EU and U.K. each want to use the Irish border as a reason to crack the other’s negotiating position. The EU would like to see the U.K. bounced into a permanent customs union in which it has no say, effectively maintaining the economic size and power of the EU while reducing the political influence of Eurosceptical Britannia. On the other side, the U.K. would like to see the Irish-border issue work in the opposite way, forcing the EU to strike an especially good and liberal trade deal with the U.K. that comes with fewer strings attached than those on Norway or other states that have non-standard arrangements.The lesson is rather obvious. You cannot predetermine what kind of infrastructure will be at a border and what laws will be enforced at it, in the absence of a durable agreement on trade in goods and materials. The EU and the U.K. have been trying to resolve questions in the wrong order. Both have done so out of a reasonable fear of loss.But the hour is late, and the real work must be done.


     

  • 2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 08:00:00 -0400

    2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?Vastly different yet similarly capable, one of these rear-drive sports coupes begs to be driven harder than the other.


    2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?Vastly different yet similarly capable, one of these rear-drive sports coupes begs to be driven harder than the other.


     

  • Jeffrey Epstein's death revealed 'inexplicable negligence,' former federal prosecutor says      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 16:17:40 -0400

    Jeffrey Epstein's death revealed 'inexplicable negligence,' former federal prosecutor says“How do they not keep an eye on that guy, especially after he tries to kill himself?” says Elie Honig on the latest episode of the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”


    Jeffrey Epstein's death revealed 'inexplicable negligence,' former federal prosecutor says“How do they not keep an eye on that guy, especially after he tries to kill himself?” says Elie Honig on the latest episode of the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”


     

  • Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:26:45 -0400

    Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents showJair Bolsonaro hopes to sabotage conservation efforts in the Amazon, leaked documents show.A series of powerpoint slides reveal that Brazilian government officials intend to build a bridge, motorway and hydroelectric plant through the rainforest.


    Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents showJair Bolsonaro hopes to sabotage conservation efforts in the Amazon, leaked documents show.A series of powerpoint slides reveal that Brazilian government officials intend to build a bridge, motorway and hydroelectric plant through the rainforest.


     

  • China is feeling the pain of U.S. tariffs. Now it's time for negotiators to secure a deal.      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:31:00 -0400

    China is feeling the pain of U.S. tariffs. Now it's time for negotiators to secure a deal.China's economy is weaker than it has been in a long time, leaving U.S. negotiators with incredible leverage. Now's the time for them to use it.


    China is feeling the pain of U.S. tariffs. Now it's time for negotiators to secure a deal.China's economy is weaker than it has been in a long time, leaving U.S. negotiators with incredible leverage. Now's the time for them to use it.


     

  • Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed in Florida      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:08:55 -0400

    Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed in FloridaGary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who preyed on older gay men during an eight-month spree that left six dead, was executed by lethal injection Thursday at Florida State Prison. Bowles received the death penalty for the November 1994 murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach. It began in Daytona Beach with the murder of John Hardy Roberts.


    Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed in FloridaGary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who preyed on older gay men during an eight-month spree that left six dead, was executed by lethal injection Thursday at Florida State Prison. Bowles received the death penalty for the November 1994 murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach. It began in Daytona Beach with the murder of John Hardy Roberts.


     

  • Hong Kong families form peaceful human chains ahead of airport protest      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:45:04 -0400

    Hong Kong families form peaceful human chains ahead of airport protestThousands of chanting Hong Kong protesters joined hands to form human chains on Friday in a peaceful protest, with almost three months of anti-government demonstrations showing no sign of let-up across the Chinese-ruled territory. Demonstrators, families young and old, some people masked, some using hand wipes to stay clean, linked hands across different districts as others held up banners thanking overseas nations for supporting "freedom and democracy" in Hong Kong. "I joined the Hong Kong Way because it’s peaceful," said protester Peter Cheung, 27.


    Hong Kong families form peaceful human chains ahead of airport protestThousands of chanting Hong Kong protesters joined hands to form human chains on Friday in a peaceful protest, with almost three months of anti-government demonstrations showing no sign of let-up across the Chinese-ruled territory. Demonstrators, families young and old, some people masked, some using hand wipes to stay clean, linked hands across different districts as others held up banners thanking overseas nations for supporting "freedom and democracy" in Hong Kong. "I joined the Hong Kong Way because it’s peaceful," said protester Peter Cheung, 27.


     

  • Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:00:00 -0400

    Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbor after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated to the ruling party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said in an interview Thursday.“Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecom,” Mahajan said by phone. “Not just in consumer goods, they’re a threat in telecom because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure.”The group met Indian telecom companies on Aug. 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. The organization had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mahajan said. Calls made to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking comment went unanswered.This isn’t the first time that the Swadesh Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders had called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the U.N. Security Council.A ban called by both organizations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn’t successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30%, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over $53 billion with China.To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbor after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated to the ruling party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said in an interview Thursday.“Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecom,” Mahajan said by phone. “Not just in consumer goods, they’re a threat in telecom because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure.”The group met Indian telecom companies on Aug. 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. The organization had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mahajan said. Calls made to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking comment went unanswered.This isn’t the first time that the Swadesh Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders had called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the U.N. Security Council.A ban called by both organizations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn’t successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30%, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over $53 billion with China.To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • Iran unveils home-grown missile defence system      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:36:41 -0400

    Iran unveils home-grown missile defence systemIran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system on Thursday at a time of increased tensions with the United States. Iranian officials have previously called Bavar-373 the Islamic republic's first domestically produced long-range missile defence system. Tehran began making Bavar -- which means "believe" -- after the purchase of Russia's S-300 system was suspended in 2010 due to international sanctions.


    Iran unveils home-grown missile defence systemIran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system on Thursday at a time of increased tensions with the United States. Iranian officials have previously called Bavar-373 the Islamic republic's first domestically produced long-range missile defence system. Tehran began making Bavar -- which means "believe" -- after the purchase of Russia's S-300 system was suspended in 2010 due to international sanctions.


     

  • US immigration shuts down hotline connecting migrants to advocacy group      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:10:37 -0400

    US immigration shuts down hotline connecting migrants to advocacy groupMove comes after the hotline was featured in the final season of Netflix’s Orange is the New BlackFounded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the Netflix production and was named in the show. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesUS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has shut down a national hotline that connected detained migrants to an advocacy group, a month after the hotline was featured in a storyline in the final season of the hit TV series Orange is the New Black.Founded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants in the world’s largest immigration detention system with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the award-winning Netflix production and was named in the show.Freedom for Immigrants runs and supports visitation programs in detention centers. It sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ice, alleging the government agency was retaliating and violating its right to exercise free speech after its profile grew.“Ice is attempting to silence its critics and block people in immigration detention from connecting with communities on the outside,” said Christina Fialho, the group’s co-executive director. “It’s disappointing, but not unexpected, that Trump’s Ice would engage in such cruel and undemocratic behavior.”Ice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Its phone system is operated by Talton Communications, which is mandated to provide free extensions to groups such as the UN refugee agency, consulates and Freedom for Immigrants.Freedom for Immigrants had three pro-bono extensions operating in detention centers when Donald Trump took office. Ice shut down two of the extensions before the final one was closed on 7 August.Fialho said the cease-and-desist letter was the first step in potential litigation, though the group was hoping to avoid court.“We very much hope we can resolve this amicably, but our team is also ready to enforce our rights under the constitution,” she said.Before Ice shut down the hotline it closed more than a dozen of Freedom for Immigrants detention center visitation programs. They were ultimately reinstated.The final season of Orange is the New Black focuses on the immigration detention system, which is run by Ice, and highlights how difficult it is for people in prison to contact family or friends because of the high cost of making phone calls in detention.In one scene, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) tells Maritza (Diane Guerrero) about the hotline and warns: “You gotta be careful, though. Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”Fialho said the hotline was important for helping migrants connect with the outside world.“We would get calls from people who hadn’t been able to communicate with family members to tell them they’ve been taken by Ice, that they are in this particular immigration detention facility,” she said.While the extension number was supposed to be written on a sheet available to migrants in every detention center, Fialho said Ice had never made it easily available and people learned about the hotline through word of mouth instead.Now that the extension is gone, detained migrants can still use the Freedom for Immigrants hotline, but the group will have to shoulder the cost. The extension was also supposed to be unmonitored. Ice can listen in on a normal call.Orange is the New Black actors including Guerrero, Emily Tarver and Laura Gómez signed a letter to Ice demanding the hotline be restored.


    US immigration shuts down hotline connecting migrants to advocacy groupMove comes after the hotline was featured in the final season of Netflix’s Orange is the New BlackFounded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the Netflix production and was named in the show. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesUS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has shut down a national hotline that connected detained migrants to an advocacy group, a month after the hotline was featured in a storyline in the final season of the hit TV series Orange is the New Black.Founded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants in the world’s largest immigration detention system with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the award-winning Netflix production and was named in the show.Freedom for Immigrants runs and supports visitation programs in detention centers. It sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ice, alleging the government agency was retaliating and violating its right to exercise free speech after its profile grew.“Ice is attempting to silence its critics and block people in immigration detention from connecting with communities on the outside,” said Christina Fialho, the group’s co-executive director. “It’s disappointing, but not unexpected, that Trump’s Ice would engage in such cruel and undemocratic behavior.”Ice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Its phone system is operated by Talton Communications, which is mandated to provide free extensions to groups such as the UN refugee agency, consulates and Freedom for Immigrants.Freedom for Immigrants had three pro-bono extensions operating in detention centers when Donald Trump took office. Ice shut down two of the extensions before the final one was closed on 7 August.Fialho said the cease-and-desist letter was the first step in potential litigation, though the group was hoping to avoid court.“We very much hope we can resolve this amicably, but our team is also ready to enforce our rights under the constitution,” she said.Before Ice shut down the hotline it closed more than a dozen of Freedom for Immigrants detention center visitation programs. They were ultimately reinstated.The final season of Orange is the New Black focuses on the immigration detention system, which is run by Ice, and highlights how difficult it is for people in prison to contact family or friends because of the high cost of making phone calls in detention.In one scene, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) tells Maritza (Diane Guerrero) about the hotline and warns: “You gotta be careful, though. Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”Fialho said the hotline was important for helping migrants connect with the outside world.“We would get calls from people who hadn’t been able to communicate with family members to tell them they’ve been taken by Ice, that they are in this particular immigration detention facility,” she said.While the extension number was supposed to be written on a sheet available to migrants in every detention center, Fialho said Ice had never made it easily available and people learned about the hotline through word of mouth instead.Now that the extension is gone, detained migrants can still use the Freedom for Immigrants hotline, but the group will have to shoulder the cost. The extension was also supposed to be unmonitored. Ice can listen in on a normal call.Orange is the New Black actors including Guerrero, Emily Tarver and Laura Gómez signed a letter to Ice demanding the hotline be restored.


     

  • After Beating and Hernia, American Prisoner Paul Whelan Refused Hospitalization by FSB Doctors      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:42:12 -0400

    After Beating and Hernia, American Prisoner Paul Whelan Refused Hospitalization by FSB DoctorsKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVMOSCOW–Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen held in Russia on suspicion of spying, looked pale and sick when his prison guards brought him to Lefortovo court on Friday. He said he had been beaten and is suffering from a hernia, but his condition is hardly a surprise after eight months in Moscow’s Lefortovo, a prison run but the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB, and it looks like Whelan has learned only too well how incarceration there operates.Whelan is facing 20 years in Russian prison for spying, after accepting a flashcard that allegedly contains some sensitive information. His family is far away, he does not speak the Russian language, and on top of everything the 49-year-old security manager for a Michigan-based auto parts company is suffering from a painful inguinal hernia, with part of his intestine having ruptured the abdominal wall.Paul Whelan, Accused U.S. Spy Held in Moscow, Says a Russian Investigator Threatened His LifeWhen the judge suggested calling an ambulance in the middle of the hearing on Friday morning, Whelan rejected the idea, as a useless waste of time: “The nurses won’t take me to a hospital, they will only check my blood pressure, temperature, and say, ‘You are fine,’” he told the court.By now Whelan must have learned the rules and brutal methods in Russian prisons. “No ordinary ambulance can take a prisoner who is under FSB investigation to the hospital,” Alexander Cherkasov, chair of the Memorial Human Rights Center told The Daily Beast. “There is a specialized hospital 20 where they normally take sick prisoners, after a certain bureaucratic procedure.”Also, no Russian nurse working for an ambulance carries strong painkillers. (Russian doctors are not allowed to prescribe strong drugs even for people dying in agonizing pain, so Russians suffer from pain all over the country, many committing suicide.)Whelan looked and sounded doomed. He said that his health condition worsened after his prison guard beat him. The incident happened earlier this month, when Whelan was being moved from one cell to another. Whelan’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, told The Daily Beast, “I have checked: prison guards did not know that my client had a hernia, they made him carry all his stuff himself to a different cell. The treatment in Lefortovo is inhuman.”  On Friday, Whelan told the judge, “If you call for a doctor who would hospitalize me, I don’t mind calling for the ambulance.” But just as he predicted, the nurses on call checked him right at Lefortovo Court and decided against his hospitalization.Whelan, who holds U.S., Canadian, British, and Irish passports, was arrested on December 28 in his hotel room a few steps away from the Kremlin. His lawyer Zherebenkov predicted early on the way the case was likely to develop: “They will pickle Paul for a year or more, as he is clearly just a pawn; and then they will swap him for some important Russian kept in American prison,” the lawyer told The Daily Beast in January.Almost eight months later Zherebenkov still has not seen any solid evidence establishing his client’s guilt. “The FSB  investigation has not presented us with a single solid piece of material, so our truth in this case is even stronger than half a year ago–that’s why FSB want more time,” the lawyer said.Meet Putin’s American Prisoner, Paul WhelanAccording to Media Zona, a group of journalists reporting on news about Russian prisons and court cases, at least 99 detainees died in detention centers and prisons used by investigators in 2016. Many more died in prison camps. “It is hard for us to find out what causes the deaths of prisoners—when prison guards crack somebody’s head open, they say that the detainee fell down and died in an accident,” Dmitry Shvets, a Media Zona reporter told The Daily Beast. But the problem is not just physical violence. “Lefortovo prison is famous for psychological torture by isolation. The inmates cannot communicate with each other, no prisoner has a chance to use a phone.”Whelan’s family was aware that the FSB wanted to extend the time for investigation for two more months. ”This morning's hearing was more theatrical than his previous hearings—ejecting the media, calling an ambulance—but we were not surprised by the result,” Whelan’s twin brother, David, told The Daily Beast.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.


    After Beating and Hernia, American Prisoner Paul Whelan Refused Hospitalization by FSB DoctorsKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVMOSCOW–Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen held in Russia on suspicion of spying, looked pale and sick when his prison guards brought him to Lefortovo court on Friday. He said he had been beaten and is suffering from a hernia, but his condition is hardly a surprise after eight months in Moscow’s Lefortovo, a prison run but the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB, and it looks like Whelan has learned only too well how incarceration there operates.Whelan is facing 20 years in Russian prison for spying, after accepting a flashcard that allegedly contains some sensitive information. His family is far away, he does not speak the Russian language, and on top of everything the 49-year-old security manager for a Michigan-based auto parts company is suffering from a painful inguinal hernia, with part of his intestine having ruptured the abdominal wall.Paul Whelan, Accused U.S. Spy Held in Moscow, Says a Russian Investigator Threatened His LifeWhen the judge suggested calling an ambulance in the middle of the hearing on Friday morning, Whelan rejected the idea, as a useless waste of time: “The nurses won’t take me to a hospital, they will only check my blood pressure, temperature, and say, ‘You are fine,’” he told the court.By now Whelan must have learned the rules and brutal methods in Russian prisons. “No ordinary ambulance can take a prisoner who is under FSB investigation to the hospital,” Alexander Cherkasov, chair of the Memorial Human Rights Center told The Daily Beast. “There is a specialized hospital 20 where they normally take sick prisoners, after a certain bureaucratic procedure.”Also, no Russian nurse working for an ambulance carries strong painkillers. (Russian doctors are not allowed to prescribe strong drugs even for people dying in agonizing pain, so Russians suffer from pain all over the country, many committing suicide.)Whelan looked and sounded doomed. He said that his health condition worsened after his prison guard beat him. The incident happened earlier this month, when Whelan was being moved from one cell to another. Whelan’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, told The Daily Beast, “I have checked: prison guards did not know that my client had a hernia, they made him carry all his stuff himself to a different cell. The treatment in Lefortovo is inhuman.”  On Friday, Whelan told the judge, “If you call for a doctor who would hospitalize me, I don’t mind calling for the ambulance.” But just as he predicted, the nurses on call checked him right at Lefortovo Court and decided against his hospitalization.Whelan, who holds U.S., Canadian, British, and Irish passports, was arrested on December 28 in his hotel room a few steps away from the Kremlin. His lawyer Zherebenkov predicted early on the way the case was likely to develop: “They will pickle Paul for a year or more, as he is clearly just a pawn; and then they will swap him for some important Russian kept in American prison,” the lawyer told The Daily Beast in January.Almost eight months later Zherebenkov still has not seen any solid evidence establishing his client’s guilt. “The FSB  investigation has not presented us with a single solid piece of material, so our truth in this case is even stronger than half a year ago–that’s why FSB want more time,” the lawyer said.Meet Putin’s American Prisoner, Paul WhelanAccording to Media Zona, a group of journalists reporting on news about Russian prisons and court cases, at least 99 detainees died in detention centers and prisons used by investigators in 2016. Many more died in prison camps. “It is hard for us to find out what causes the deaths of prisoners—when prison guards crack somebody’s head open, they say that the detainee fell down and died in an accident,” Dmitry Shvets, a Media Zona reporter told The Daily Beast. But the problem is not just physical violence. “Lefortovo prison is famous for psychological torture by isolation. The inmates cannot communicate with each other, no prisoner has a chance to use a phone.”Whelan’s family was aware that the FSB wanted to extend the time for investigation for two more months. ”This morning's hearing was more theatrical than his previous hearings—ejecting the media, calling an ambulance—but we were not surprised by the result,” Whelan’s twin brother, David, told The Daily Beast.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.


     

  • After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plastics      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:45:30 -0400

    After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plasticsMount Everest has become littered with trash and bodies as more adventurers try their luck at scaling the natural wonder.


    After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plasticsMount Everest has become littered with trash and bodies as more adventurers try their luck at scaling the natural wonder.


     

  • 'This is unprecedented': Iceland prime minister will not meet Mike Pence during his visit      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 08:49:00 -0400

    'This is unprecedented': Iceland prime minister will not meet Mike Pence during his visitThe prime minister of Iceland will not have time to meet vice president Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to the Nordic nation, but she insists it is not a snub for America’s second in command.Katrin Jakobsdottir announced she will opt to keep “prior commitments” instead of meeting with Mr Pence when he visits in early September, and will instead attend a trade union conference in Sweden.


    'This is unprecedented': Iceland prime minister will not meet Mike Pence during his visitThe prime minister of Iceland will not have time to meet vice president Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to the Nordic nation, but she insists it is not a snub for America’s second in command.Katrin Jakobsdottir announced she will opt to keep “prior commitments” instead of meeting with Mr Pence when he visits in early September, and will instead attend a trade union conference in Sweden.


     

  • Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meeting      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 21:03:43 -0400

    Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meetingThe move sparked loud and angry backlash from climate change activists who believe the Democratic Party should change the rules to allow for a debate focused solely on climate issues.


    Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meetingThe move sparked loud and angry backlash from climate change activists who believe the Democratic Party should change the rules to allow for a debate focused solely on climate issues.


     

  • Texas governor expresses concern about private gun sales      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 19:32:12 -0400

    Texas governor expresses concern about private gun salesRepublican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday raised concern about private firearm sales but didn't commit to crack down on them or act on gun control issues following a meeting on ways to prevent mass shootings such as the El Paso attack that killed 22 people. While lawmakers are feeling pressure to respond quickly to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart, Abbott signaled that Texas would take a long and careful look at gun laws and other safety measures before its Legislature next meets in 2021. Scrutinizing private guns sales was among a list of ideas Abbott rattled off after emerging from a four-hour, closed-door meeting about the El Paso shooting with lawmakers, police and representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter.


    Texas governor expresses concern about private gun salesRepublican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday raised concern about private firearm sales but didn't commit to crack down on them or act on gun control issues following a meeting on ways to prevent mass shootings such as the El Paso attack that killed 22 people. While lawmakers are feeling pressure to respond quickly to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart, Abbott signaled that Texas would take a long and careful look at gun laws and other safety measures before its Legislature next meets in 2021. Scrutinizing private guns sales was among a list of ideas Abbott rattled off after emerging from a four-hour, closed-door meeting about the El Paso shooting with lawmakers, police and representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter.


     

  • U.S. official says China far short of soybean purchase pledge after small sale      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:48:46 -0400

    U.S. official says China far short of soybean purchase pledge after small saleChina has purchased about only half the U.S. soybeans it pledged to buy earlier this year, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said on Thursday, after a small sale was reported amid the two countries' escalating trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to impose new tariffs on Beijing starting in September, prompting China to say it had halted imports of all U.S. agricultural goods in a trade dispute that threatens growth in the world's two largest economies. U.S. officials have said repeatedly they expect China to buy large quantities of soybeans as a gesture of goodwill while the two sides negotiate a trade deal.


    U.S. official says China far short of soybean purchase pledge after small saleChina has purchased about only half the U.S. soybeans it pledged to buy earlier this year, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said on Thursday, after a small sale was reported amid the two countries' escalating trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to impose new tariffs on Beijing starting in September, prompting China to say it had halted imports of all U.S. agricultural goods in a trade dispute that threatens growth in the world's two largest economies. U.S. officials have said repeatedly they expect China to buy large quantities of soybeans as a gesture of goodwill while the two sides negotiate a trade deal.


     

  • Immigration lawyers: We saw what's happening at the US-Mexico border. It's a tragic farce.      Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:29:08 -0400

    Immigration lawyers: We saw what's happening at the US-Mexico border. It's a tragic farce.There is no due process in Mexico for asylum seekers, just endless obstacles to staying alive, finding an attorney and communicating with authorities.


    Immigration lawyers: We saw what's happening at the US-Mexico border. It's a tragic farce.There is no due process in Mexico for asylum seekers, just endless obstacles to staying alive, finding an attorney and communicating with authorities.


     

  • Six EU nations agree to take 356 Ocean Viking migrants      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:16:35 -0400

    Six EU nations agree to take 356 Ocean Viking migrantsSix EU countries Friday agreed to take in 356 migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean after a two-week standoff again exposed the failure of European leaders to deal quickly with desperate people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa. The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, run by charities MSF and SOS Mediterranee, had been seeking a port after rescuing four boats of migrants off the Libyan coast between August 9 and 12. The migrants screamed with joy as the news broke, the adults sweeping their children into their arms and dancing and singing.


    Six EU nations agree to take 356 Ocean Viking migrantsSix EU countries Friday agreed to take in 356 migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean after a two-week standoff again exposed the failure of European leaders to deal quickly with desperate people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa. The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, run by charities MSF and SOS Mediterranee, had been seeking a port after rescuing four boats of migrants off the Libyan coast between August 9 and 12. The migrants screamed with joy as the news broke, the adults sweeping their children into their arms and dancing and singing.


     

  • Fast-moving wildfire erupts in California, forcing thousands to evacuate      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:23:16 -0400

    Fast-moving wildfire erupts in California, forcing thousands to evacuateMountain fire races across hundreds of acres in just hours as wildfire season looms large over the stateThis photo provided by Cal Fire shows an aerial view of the Mountain Fire on 22 August. Photograph: APA fast-moving wildfire that broke out on Thursday in northern California has forced the evacuation of nearly 4,000 residents, racing across at least 600 acres within just a few hours, officials say. The Mountain fire, which erupted on the outskirts of a national forest in northern California, has threatened 1,110 homes and structures. As of Friday morning the fire was 40% contained , according to Cal Fire.The cause of the fire is under investigation.Photos of the blaze posted on Twitter by the Shasta county sheriff’s office showed thick black and gray smoke billowing into the area over a highway near the Shasta-Trinity national forest.“Jones Valley and Bella Vista area residents! This situation is very fluid and rapidly changing, if you do not see your road listed but feel you are in danger YOU MAY EVACUATE to Shasta College Gymnasium,” the sheriff’s department said in a separate tweet.The Mountain fire is threatening thousands of homes and forcing evacuations. Photograph: APThe Shasta College campus was closed along with Highway 299 and about a dozen smaller roads. Residents of small communities in the path of the flames were told to evacuate or be prepared to flee on short notice.California was hit by some of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in a century last year and state officials have warned this year’s fire season could be similarly intense.The Camp fire, which broke out in Butte county in November and overran the town of Paradise, killed 86 people and left thousands of others homeless. State fire investigators determined that the Camp fire was sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric Co transmission lines.The Mountain fire broke out on the same day that Bernie Sanders, the senator and Democratic presidential candidate, unveiled his $16.3tn climate change plan and toured Paradise, which he called a “wake-up call for our entire nation”.“Climate change is a major, major crisis for our country, and the entire world, and one of the manifestations of that crisis is what happened here,” Sanders said as he walked through a burned-out mobile home park in Paradise alongside people who lost their homes in last November’s deadly blaze.


    Fast-moving wildfire erupts in California, forcing thousands to evacuateMountain fire races across hundreds of acres in just hours as wildfire season looms large over the stateThis photo provided by Cal Fire shows an aerial view of the Mountain Fire on 22 August. Photograph: APA fast-moving wildfire that broke out on Thursday in northern California has forced the evacuation of nearly 4,000 residents, racing across at least 600 acres within just a few hours, officials say. The Mountain fire, which erupted on the outskirts of a national forest in northern California, has threatened 1,110 homes and structures. As of Friday morning the fire was 40% contained , according to Cal Fire.The cause of the fire is under investigation.Photos of the blaze posted on Twitter by the Shasta county sheriff’s office showed thick black and gray smoke billowing into the area over a highway near the Shasta-Trinity national forest.“Jones Valley and Bella Vista area residents! This situation is very fluid and rapidly changing, if you do not see your road listed but feel you are in danger YOU MAY EVACUATE to Shasta College Gymnasium,” the sheriff’s department said in a separate tweet.The Mountain fire is threatening thousands of homes and forcing evacuations. Photograph: APThe Shasta College campus was closed along with Highway 299 and about a dozen smaller roads. Residents of small communities in the path of the flames were told to evacuate or be prepared to flee on short notice.California was hit by some of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in a century last year and state officials have warned this year’s fire season could be similarly intense.The Camp fire, which broke out in Butte county in November and overran the town of Paradise, killed 86 people and left thousands of others homeless. State fire investigators determined that the Camp fire was sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric Co transmission lines.The Mountain fire broke out on the same day that Bernie Sanders, the senator and Democratic presidential candidate, unveiled his $16.3tn climate change plan and toured Paradise, which he called a “wake-up call for our entire nation”.“Climate change is a major, major crisis for our country, and the entire world, and one of the manifestations of that crisis is what happened here,” Sanders said as he walked through a burned-out mobile home park in Paradise alongside people who lost their homes in last November’s deadly blaze.


     

  • Harvard Economist Warns Hong Kong Could Trigger World Recession      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 01:03:52 -0400

    Harvard Economist Warns Hong Kong Could Trigger World Recession(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Hong Kong’s rolling political turmoil could prove a tipping point for the world economy, Harvard University economist Carmen Reinhart said.Noting an incidence of shocks that have rattled global growth, including the intensifying U.S.-China trade war, Reinhart cited Hong Kong as among her main concerns. Having previously warned that Hong Kong faces a housing bubble, she said the world economy could be hit by “shocks with a bang or with a whisper.”“One shock that is concerning me a great deal at the moment is the turmoil in Hong Kong,” which could impact growth in China and Asia generally, Reinhart said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Kathleen Hays.“These are not segmented regional effects, these have really global consequences. So what could be a tipping point that could trigger a very significant global slowdown, or even recession -- that would be a candidate, that could be a candidate,” said Reinhart, who specializes in international finance.Anti-government protests that began nearly three months ago are pressuring Hong Kong’s economy, which already was being squeezed by China’s slowdown and the trade war.The academic’s warning comes days after Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said Hong Kong’s crisis is on his global worry list.“There are clearly problems in Hong Kong that could spill over in a broader sense into international markets,” Rosengren told Bloomberg Television this week. It’s “one of the great global cities so we do have to be concerned about how that all gets resolved.”On Tuesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who authored a 1992 law that granted special trading privileges to Hong Kong, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Senate “will reconsider that special relationship, among other steps, if Hong Kong’s autonomy is eroded.”“The less dramatic part, but nonetheless very real, is already taking a situation that was weaker, where we have seen a slowdown of significant proportions, and just making it worse,” Reinhart said.Economists say new tariffs that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened on $300 billion of Chinese goods would drag China’s annual economic growth below 6%, according to a Bloomberg survey, which would be the slowest expansion since 1990.“Tipping points don’t always need big drama,” Reinhart said.To contact the reporter on this story: Enda Curran in Hong Kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net, Chris BourkeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Harvard Economist Warns Hong Kong Could Trigger World Recession(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Hong Kong’s rolling political turmoil could prove a tipping point for the world economy, Harvard University economist Carmen Reinhart said.Noting an incidence of shocks that have rattled global growth, including the intensifying U.S.-China trade war, Reinhart cited Hong Kong as among her main concerns. Having previously warned that Hong Kong faces a housing bubble, she said the world economy could be hit by “shocks with a bang or with a whisper.”“One shock that is concerning me a great deal at the moment is the turmoil in Hong Kong,” which could impact growth in China and Asia generally, Reinhart said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Kathleen Hays.“These are not segmented regional effects, these have really global consequences. So what could be a tipping point that could trigger a very significant global slowdown, or even recession -- that would be a candidate, that could be a candidate,” said Reinhart, who specializes in international finance.Anti-government protests that began nearly three months ago are pressuring Hong Kong’s economy, which already was being squeezed by China’s slowdown and the trade war.The academic’s warning comes days after Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said Hong Kong’s crisis is on his global worry list.“There are clearly problems in Hong Kong that could spill over in a broader sense into international markets,” Rosengren told Bloomberg Television this week. It’s “one of the great global cities so we do have to be concerned about how that all gets resolved.”On Tuesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who authored a 1992 law that granted special trading privileges to Hong Kong, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Senate “will reconsider that special relationship, among other steps, if Hong Kong’s autonomy is eroded.”“The less dramatic part, but nonetheless very real, is already taking a situation that was weaker, where we have seen a slowdown of significant proportions, and just making it worse,” Reinhart said.Economists say new tariffs that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened on $300 billion of Chinese goods would drag China’s annual economic growth below 6%, according to a Bloomberg survey, which would be the slowest expansion since 1990.“Tipping points don’t always need big drama,” Reinhart said.To contact the reporter on this story: Enda Curran in Hong Kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net, Chris BourkeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • 20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:55:00 -0400

    20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever


    20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever


     

  • CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as Contributor      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:57:43 -0400

    CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as ContributorFormer FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is joining CNN as an on-air contributor, the network's media reporter Oliver Darcy announced Friday.McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 after the Department of Justice's inspector general revealed that he'd repeatedly lied under oath to investigators about his role in leaking information on the bureau's Clinton Foundation investigation to the Wall Street Journal. The Inspector General referred the matter to the U.S. attorney's office for investigation and McCabe may still face criminal charges.The 21-year FBI veteran maintains his innocence, arguing that he was misunderstood and tried to correct the record. He filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in Washington earlier this month, alleging that his dismissal was “politically motivated and retaliatory.”President Trump routinely disparaged McCabe as a political partisan during his time in the administration, often invoking his wife, Jill McCabe, who ran unsuccessfully for state senate in Virginia as a Democrat in 2015.Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) mocked CNN's commitment to honest journalism in response to McCabe's hiring.> The guy who DOJ inspector general found committed federal crimes & is a serial liar? Good work, CNN. Love to see that commitment to serious journalism https://t.co/rHfBB9aLVW> > -- Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 23, 2019The news of McCabe's hiring comes just one day after CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter chastised Fox News for hiring former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.“The Trump White House has a record of misleading the public. All administrations spin. This administration lies consistently, whether it's Sanders, or Spicer, or other White House aides. And it’s all led from the top by a president who lies even about the weather and the time of day. That, I think, is why this deserves outrage and backlash,” Stelter said.


    CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as ContributorFormer FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is joining CNN as an on-air contributor, the network's media reporter Oliver Darcy announced Friday.McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 after the Department of Justice's inspector general revealed that he'd repeatedly lied under oath to investigators about his role in leaking information on the bureau's Clinton Foundation investigation to the Wall Street Journal. The Inspector General referred the matter to the U.S. attorney's office for investigation and McCabe may still face criminal charges.The 21-year FBI veteran maintains his innocence, arguing that he was misunderstood and tried to correct the record. He filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in Washington earlier this month, alleging that his dismissal was “politically motivated and retaliatory.”President Trump routinely disparaged McCabe as a political partisan during his time in the administration, often invoking his wife, Jill McCabe, who ran unsuccessfully for state senate in Virginia as a Democrat in 2015.Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) mocked CNN's commitment to honest journalism in response to McCabe's hiring.> The guy who DOJ inspector general found committed federal crimes & is a serial liar? Good work, CNN. Love to see that commitment to serious journalism https://t.co/rHfBB9aLVW> > -- Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 23, 2019The news of McCabe's hiring comes just one day after CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter chastised Fox News for hiring former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.“The Trump White House has a record of misleading the public. All administrations spin. This administration lies consistently, whether it's Sanders, or Spicer, or other White House aides. And it’s all led from the top by a president who lies even about the weather and the time of day. That, I think, is why this deserves outrage and backlash,” Stelter said.


     

  • Florida will be target of tropical depression expected to form off Southeast coast this weekend      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:46:52 -0400

    Florida will be target of tropical depression expected to form off Southeast coast this weekendA tropical disturbance that formed Wednesday near the Bahamas continues to spin toward Florida.


    Florida will be target of tropical depression expected to form off Southeast coast this weekendA tropical disturbance that formed Wednesday near the Bahamas continues to spin toward Florida.


     

  • Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:12:24 -0400

    Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosionMore than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.


    Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosionMore than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.


     

  • Trump hits China with new tariffs in trade war escalation      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:25:46 -0400

    Trump hits China with new tariffs in trade war escalationThe tweets captured the president's frustration as his escalating trade war with China heightens the risk of a recession in an election year.


    Trump hits China with new tariffs in trade war escalationThe tweets captured the president's frustration as his escalating trade war with China heightens the risk of a recession in an election year.


     

  • Global watchdog to monitor Pakistan's progress in tackling militant funding      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 07:08:29 -0400

    Global watchdog to monitor Pakistan's progress in tackling militant fundingThe Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will monitor Pakistan's progress in implementing a proposed plan against financing for militant organizations ahead of a meeting in October, the international watchdog body said on Friday. Its Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) met in Canberra this week to discuss reports on countries including Pakistan, which was last year placed on a "grey list" of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and terrorism financing. Final publication on the APG website is expected in early October 2019, it added.


    Global watchdog to monitor Pakistan's progress in tackling militant fundingThe Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will monitor Pakistan's progress in implementing a proposed plan against financing for militant organizations ahead of a meeting in October, the international watchdog body said on Friday. Its Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) met in Canberra this week to discuss reports on countries including Pakistan, which was last year placed on a "grey list" of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and terrorism financing. Final publication on the APG website is expected in early October 2019, it added.


     

  • Baltimore teen gets life in prison in police officer slaying      Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:59:57 -0400

    Baltimore teen gets life in prison in police officer slayingA Baltimore teenager was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, more than a year after he accelerated a stolen Jeep and fatally struck a Maryland police officer in a suburban cul-de-sac. Dawnta Harris, 17, was tried as an adult earlier this year and convicted of felony murder in the slaying of Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio. A judge in the suburban county that surrounds the city of Baltimore also sentenced Harris to 20 years in prison for burglary.


    Baltimore teen gets life in prison in police officer slayingA Baltimore teenager was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, more than a year after he accelerated a stolen Jeep and fatally struck a Maryland police officer in a suburban cul-de-sac. Dawnta Harris, 17, was tried as an adult earlier this year and convicted of felony murder in the slaying of Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio. A judge in the suburban county that surrounds the city of Baltimore also sentenced Harris to 20 years in prison for burglary.


     

  • The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health Care      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:26:57 -0400

    The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health CareThe Hyde Amendment keeps women of color, young people, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and lower-income people from accessing abortion care, writes Congresswoman Barbara Lee. She says it's time for Congress to repeal it.


    The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health CareThe Hyde Amendment keeps women of color, young people, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and lower-income people from accessing abortion care, writes Congresswoman Barbara Lee. She says it's time for Congress to repeal it.


     

  • Half of Venezuela's Oil Rigs May Disappear If U.S. Waivers Lapse      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:00:01 -0400

    Half of Venezuela's Oil Rigs May Disappear If U.S. Waivers Lapse(Bloomberg) -- A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s.A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Latin America’s biggest crude exporter until recent years.Venezuela had 23 oil rigs drilling in July, down from 49 just two years ago, data compiled by Baker Hughes show. Ten of those are exposed to U.S. sanctions, according to calculations by Caracas Capital Markets. The Treasury Department extended waivers in July for service providers to continue for three more months, less than the six months the companies had sought.Most other government agencies involved in the deliberations opposed any extension, a senior administration official said last month, adding that another reprieve will be harder to come by.“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets.Output RiskA U.S. Treasury official said the department doesn’t generally comment on possible sanctions actions.More than 200,000 barrels a day of output at four projects Chevron Corp. is keeping afloat could shut if the waivers aren’t renewed. That would be debilitating to Maduro because the U.S. company, as a minority partner, only gets about 40,000 barrels a day of that production.The departure of the American oil service providers would hurt other projects in the Orinoco region, where operators need to constantly drill wells just to keep output from declining. The U.S.-based companies are also involved in state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s joint ventures in other regions such as Lake Maracaibo.Limiting ExposureHalliburton Co., Schlumberger Ltd. and Weatherford International Ltd. have reduced staff and are limiting their exposure to the risk of non-payment in the country, according to people familiar with the situation. The three companies have written down a total of at least $1.4 billion since 2018 in charges related to operations in Venezuela, according to financial filings. Baker Hughes had also scaled back before additional sanctions were announced earlier this year, the people said.Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, PDVSA and Venezuela’s oil ministry all declined to comment.Halliburton has adjusted its Venezuela operations to customer activity, and continues operating all of its product service lines at its operational bases, including in the Orinoco Belt, it said in an emailed response to questions. It works directly with several of PDVSA’s joint ventures, and timely payments from customers are in accordance with U.S. regulations, it said.Hamilton, Bermuda-based Nabors Industries Ltd. has three drilling rigs in Venezuela that can operate for a client until the sanctions expire in October, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Petrello said in a July 30 conference call, without naming the client.The sanctions carry geopolitical risks for the U.S. If Maduro manages to hang on, American companies would lose a foothold in Venezuela, giving Russian competitors such as Rosneft Oil Co. a chance to fill the void. Chinese companies could also benefit. Even if the waivers get extended, the uncertainty hinders any long-term planning or investments in the nation by the exposed companies.Rosneft’s press office didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on operations in Venezuela.\--With assistance from David Wethe, Debjit Chakraborty and Dina Khrennikova.To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at pmillard1@bloomberg.net;Fabiola Zerpa in Caracas Office at fzerpa@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net, Pratish Narayanan, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Half of Venezuela's Oil Rigs May Disappear If U.S. Waivers Lapse(Bloomberg) -- A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s.A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Latin America’s biggest crude exporter until recent years.Venezuela had 23 oil rigs drilling in July, down from 49 just two years ago, data compiled by Baker Hughes show. Ten of those are exposed to U.S. sanctions, according to calculations by Caracas Capital Markets. The Treasury Department extended waivers in July for service providers to continue for three more months, less than the six months the companies had sought.Most other government agencies involved in the deliberations opposed any extension, a senior administration official said last month, adding that another reprieve will be harder to come by.“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets.Output RiskA U.S. Treasury official said the department doesn’t generally comment on possible sanctions actions.More than 200,000 barrels a day of output at four projects Chevron Corp. is keeping afloat could shut if the waivers aren’t renewed. That would be debilitating to Maduro because the U.S. company, as a minority partner, only gets about 40,000 barrels a day of that production.The departure of the American oil service providers would hurt other projects in the Orinoco region, where operators need to constantly drill wells just to keep output from declining. The U.S.-based companies are also involved in state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s joint ventures in other regions such as Lake Maracaibo.Limiting ExposureHalliburton Co., Schlumberger Ltd. and Weatherford International Ltd. have reduced staff and are limiting their exposure to the risk of non-payment in the country, according to people familiar with the situation. The three companies have written down a total of at least $1.4 billion since 2018 in charges related to operations in Venezuela, according to financial filings. Baker Hughes had also scaled back before additional sanctions were announced earlier this year, the people said.Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, PDVSA and Venezuela’s oil ministry all declined to comment.Halliburton has adjusted its Venezuela operations to customer activity, and continues operating all of its product service lines at its operational bases, including in the Orinoco Belt, it said in an emailed response to questions. It works directly with several of PDVSA’s joint ventures, and timely payments from customers are in accordance with U.S. regulations, it said.Hamilton, Bermuda-based Nabors Industries Ltd. has three drilling rigs in Venezuela that can operate for a client until the sanctions expire in October, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Petrello said in a July 30 conference call, without naming the client.The sanctions carry geopolitical risks for the U.S. If Maduro manages to hang on, American companies would lose a foothold in Venezuela, giving Russian competitors such as Rosneft Oil Co. a chance to fill the void. Chinese companies could also benefit. Even if the waivers get extended, the uncertainty hinders any long-term planning or investments in the nation by the exposed companies.Rosneft’s press office didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on operations in Venezuela.\--With assistance from David Wethe, Debjit Chakraborty and Dina Khrennikova.To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at pmillard1@bloomberg.net;Fabiola Zerpa in Caracas Office at fzerpa@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net, Pratish Narayanan, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • Fish with ‘two jaws’ caught in New York      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 07:39:00 -0400

    Fish with ‘two jaws’ caught in New YorkThere are plenty of fish in the sea, so goes the saying – but not many look like this freaky fella.The bizarre trout appears to have two mouths.


    Fish with ‘two jaws’ caught in New YorkThere are plenty of fish in the sea, so goes the saying – but not many look like this freaky fella.The bizarre trout appears to have two mouths.


     

  • Passengers furious with Delta as no hotels offered during 18-hour delay on flight from NYC to LA      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:24:13 -0400

    Passengers furious with Delta as no hotels offered during 18-hour delay on flight from NYC to LAPassengers, including "Dancing with the Stars" dancers, are furious with Delta after their flight from New York to Los Angeles was delayed multiple times -- and no hotel vouchers were offered.


    Passengers furious with Delta as no hotels offered during 18-hour delay on flight from NYC to LAPassengers, including "Dancing with the Stars" dancers, are furious with Delta after their flight from New York to Los Angeles was delayed multiple times -- and no hotel vouchers were offered.


     

  • Turkey vows not to quit army post surrounded in Syria      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:42:58 -0400

    Turkey vows not to quit army post surrounded in SyriaForeign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that Turkish troops will not quit a military observation post in northwestern Syria where they are surrounded by government forces. "We are there, not because we can't leave but because we don't want to leave," he told a news conference in Lebanon, denying that Turkish troops had been "cut off" by a government advance into the jihadist-ruled Idlib region. Earlier, Syrian regime forces overran a string of towns and villages in the north of Hama province, including the town of Morek, where the Turkish observation post is located, Syria's state news agency SANA said.


    Turkey vows not to quit army post surrounded in SyriaForeign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that Turkish troops will not quit a military observation post in northwestern Syria where they are surrounded by government forces. "We are there, not because we can't leave but because we don't want to leave," he told a news conference in Lebanon, denying that Turkish troops had been "cut off" by a government advance into the jihadist-ruled Idlib region. Earlier, Syrian regime forces overran a string of towns and villages in the north of Hama province, including the town of Morek, where the Turkish observation post is located, Syria's state news agency SANA said.


     

  • Brown bear that is killing livestock and startling hikers in Italy's Dolomites is wanted, dead or alive      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:13:43 -0400

    Brown bear that is killing livestock and startling hikers in Italy's Dolomites is wanted, dead or aliveA bear that is raiding beehives, attacking livestock and startling hikers in the Dolomite mountains of Italy is now wanted dead or alive. The brown bear is known to scientists as M49 but was nicknamed Papillon, after the Henri Charrière novel about escaping from Devil’s Island in French Guiana, when it managed to climb over a 16ft-high fence and flee an enclosure last month. It had been captured just a few hours before after being identified as a problem bear which posed a threat to farm animals.   Since escaping the enclosure in a wildlife sanctuary in the province of Trentino on July 15, it has been slowly moving northwards, disemboweling a cow and encountering hikers. The province of South Tyrol has now issued an order which calls for the capture or, if necessary, the killing of the 140kg, three-year-old bear. It is normally illegal to kill or capture Italy’s bears, which were introduced from Slovenia in the 1990s. The order was signed on Wednesday by Arno Kompatscher, the president of the autonomous, German-speaking province, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of the First World War when it passed to Italy. “We want to capture the bear in order to protect other bears, and also wolves, because if it continues to be a nuisance, then bears and wolves will never be accepted by the population,” said Arnold Schuler, the deputy president of the province. The bear is roaming the Dolomites in northern Italy, between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol The authorities say the bear poses a risk to humans. In the last few days, it was seen snuffling around a caravan used by shepherds in a remote mountain spot, looking for discarded food. Two national park rangers fired shots into the air to scare it away. The bear was encountered this week by a hiker on a mountain trail near the Bletterbach Canyon in South Tyrol. “My legs were shaking,” the 64-year-old man told a local newspaper. “People joke about meeting a bear in the wild, but when you really do encounter one, you’re no longer laughing.” Carlo Groff, an expert on large carnivores from Italy’s Forestry Corps, says rangers are trying to keep track of the bear’s movements and hope to tranquilise and capture it. “The safety of humans comes before the bear,” he told La Stampa newspaper. Conservation organisations and animal rights groups have threatened to take legal action against the authorities if the bear comes to any harm. “The bear is simply living its normal life. It has never been dangerous to humans. It has caused a few thousand euros’ worth of damage, and it is right that compensation should be paid, but we need to learn to value bears as an asset, not a threat,” said Isabella Pratesi of WWF Italy. While the autonomous provincial government has called for the bear’s capture or, if necessary, killing, Sergio Costa, the environment minister, has called for the bear to be spared.


    Brown bear that is killing livestock and startling hikers in Italy's Dolomites is wanted, dead or aliveA bear that is raiding beehives, attacking livestock and startling hikers in the Dolomite mountains of Italy is now wanted dead or alive. The brown bear is known to scientists as M49 but was nicknamed Papillon, after the Henri Charrière novel about escaping from Devil’s Island in French Guiana, when it managed to climb over a 16ft-high fence and flee an enclosure last month. It had been captured just a few hours before after being identified as a problem bear which posed a threat to farm animals.   Since escaping the enclosure in a wildlife sanctuary in the province of Trentino on July 15, it has been slowly moving northwards, disemboweling a cow and encountering hikers. The province of South Tyrol has now issued an order which calls for the capture or, if necessary, the killing of the 140kg, three-year-old bear. It is normally illegal to kill or capture Italy’s bears, which were introduced from Slovenia in the 1990s. The order was signed on Wednesday by Arno Kompatscher, the president of the autonomous, German-speaking province, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of the First World War when it passed to Italy. “We want to capture the bear in order to protect other bears, and also wolves, because if it continues to be a nuisance, then bears and wolves will never be accepted by the population,” said Arnold Schuler, the deputy president of the province. The bear is roaming the Dolomites in northern Italy, between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol The authorities say the bear poses a risk to humans. In the last few days, it was seen snuffling around a caravan used by shepherds in a remote mountain spot, looking for discarded food. Two national park rangers fired shots into the air to scare it away. The bear was encountered this week by a hiker on a mountain trail near the Bletterbach Canyon in South Tyrol. “My legs were shaking,” the 64-year-old man told a local newspaper. “People joke about meeting a bear in the wild, but when you really do encounter one, you’re no longer laughing.” Carlo Groff, an expert on large carnivores from Italy’s Forestry Corps, says rangers are trying to keep track of the bear’s movements and hope to tranquilise and capture it. “The safety of humans comes before the bear,” he told La Stampa newspaper. Conservation organisations and animal rights groups have threatened to take legal action against the authorities if the bear comes to any harm. “The bear is simply living its normal life. It has never been dangerous to humans. It has caused a few thousand euros’ worth of damage, and it is right that compensation should be paid, but we need to learn to value bears as an asset, not a threat,” said Isabella Pratesi of WWF Italy. While the autonomous provincial government has called for the bear’s capture or, if necessary, killing, Sergio Costa, the environment minister, has called for the bear to be spared.


     

  • Every Angle of the 2020 BMW 745e xDrive Plug-In Hybrid      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:59:00 -0400

    Every Angle of the 2020 BMW 745e xDrive Plug-In Hybrid


    Every Angle of the 2020 BMW 745e xDrive Plug-In Hybrid


     

  • Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:00:06 -0400

    Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wifeCan we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jed Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality


    Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wifeCan we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jed Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality


     

  • North Dakota court overturns life term in cut from womb case      Thu, 22 Aug 2019 19:09:44 -0400

    North Dakota court overturns life term in cut from womb caseA judge overstepped by giving a life prison sentence to a man whose girlfriend cut the baby from the womb of an unsuspecting neighbor, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday, ordering that the man be resentenced. William Hoehn, of Fargo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the August 2017 attack on Savanna Greywind, who died of her injuries but whose baby survived. Hoehn's girlfriend, Brooke Crews, admitted that she sliced Greywind's baby from her womb.


    North Dakota court overturns life term in cut from womb caseA judge overstepped by giving a life prison sentence to a man whose girlfriend cut the baby from the womb of an unsuspecting neighbor, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday, ordering that the man be resentenced. William Hoehn, of Fargo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the August 2017 attack on Savanna Greywind, who died of her injuries but whose baby survived. Hoehn's girlfriend, Brooke Crews, admitted that she sliced Greywind's baby from her womb.


     

  • Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour      Wed, 21 Aug 2019 22:09:39 -0400

    Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tourCORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer. U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.


    Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tourCORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer. U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.


     

  • Chinese buyers pull back from U.S. housing market, hurting home sales      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:13:52 -0400

    Chinese buyers pull back from U.S. housing market, hurting home salesChinese investors are buying fewer U.S. homes because of money controls in China. That's lowering prices and giving U.S. buyers a better chance to buy


    Chinese buyers pull back from U.S. housing market, hurting home salesChinese investors are buying fewer U.S. homes because of money controls in China. That's lowering prices and giving U.S. buyers a better chance to buy


     

  • Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin      Fri, 23 Aug 2019 07:52:10 -0400

    Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As Europe marks 80 years of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which carved up eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Russia is trying to defend the agreement again. There is no political benefit to doing this. President Vladimir Putin needs to abandon his Stalinist inheritance of a foreign policy based solely on national interest.If Moscow needed any reminder that many in eastern Europe still hold the treaty against it and still consider it a threat, plenty came on the anniversary. The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania – the countries directly affected by the pact’s secret protocol – issued a joint statement saying the document “sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.”More than a million people gathered to celebrate the Baltic Chain, the 419-mile (675 kilometer) long line of people who protested Soviet rule on Aug. 23, 1989. The demonstrators didn’t pick that day at random – they, too, were making the point that the subjugation of their countries by the Soviet Union began with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.Russia is fighting back. In Moscow, the original of the treaty is now exhibited alongside documents relating to both the 1938 Munich Agreement, where British and French leaders sanctioned the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland, and Poland’s subsequent invasion of part of Czechoslovakia.At the opening of the exhibition earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of Britain and France’s treachery: By cosying up to Hitler, they forced the Soviet Union to sign a deal with the Nazis to ensure its own security, he said. Had the Western Europeans listened to the Soviets and set up a collective security system, the bloodshed of World War II could have been averted. Lavrov was making a clear analogy with Russia’s efforts to build an alternative security architecture in today’s Europe – an idea the Kremlin hasn’t abandoned despite the rest of Europe’s lack of interest.For its part, the Russian mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the group the Kremlin sees as the foundation for its alternative security architecture, tweeted on Aug. 20 that lots of other countries had signed pacts with the Nazis before the Soviet Union did.Kremlin officials can say all this until they go hoarse, but that can’t erase the undeniable fact that the Soviet Union’s security didn’t require it to grab the Baltics and parts of Poland and Romania. Poland, which tried to benefit from the Nazis’ aggression, has admitted it was in the wrong when it invaded part of Czechoslovakia. President Lech Kaczynski apologized for it in 2009.In 1989, the Soviet Union, too, officially condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – but subsequent Russian communications about it, including an entire article signed by Putin himself in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, have come with the caveat that lots of others were at it, too.These excuses are a major reason other European countries don’t trust Russia: To them, Putin and his subordinates are saying that Moscow would do something like this all over again if its interests dictated it, small countries be damned.Concern this might happen was what drove eastern Europeans into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The reality of the annexation of Crimea – another opportunistic move dictated ostensibly by Russian security considerations – is pushing Ukraine in the same direction.If Putin’s goal was to inspire trust and start a meaningful conversation about collective European security in an age of increasing global competition, an unconditionally apologetic stance would work much better. Refraining from invading neighboring countries would be an even more meaningful step.I suspect, however, that Putin doesn’t really believe in such goals, because, like Stalin, he thinks a deal with the devil, based on common interest rather than trust, is the best.My epiphany about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact came when I read the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi ideologue and Hitler’s one-time minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Rosenberg was skeptical about the deal and recoiled in horror when fellow Nazi Richard Darre told him of Joachim von Ribbentrop’s comment that he had “felt as though among old party comrades” when meeting the Soviet leadership.Incredulously, Rosenberg recounted that during Ribbentrop’s visit, Stalin raised his glass not just to Hitler but also to Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi security chief, calling him “the guarantor of order in Germany.”“Himmler has eradicated communism, i.e. those who believed in Stalin, and this one – without any need for it – raises a toast to the exterminator of his faithful,” Rosenberg noted.For Stalin, any kind of ideology took a back seat to expediency. He was a man of interests, not values. In that sense, Putin, an avowed anti-communist who has condemned Stalin on many occasions, is following the dictator’s realpolitik. His adherence to his current Orthodox Christian brand of social conservatism is as flimsy as Stalin’s link to leftist idealism was. If Putin can do a deal that will promote what he sees as Russia’s interests, he will do it with anyone. He will wear any hat required of him while doing so, and raise any toast. He is oblivious to Molotov-Ribbentrop’s biggest lesson of all: That such agreements don’t hold.That’s why eastern Europeans, and especially Ukrainians, are so worried about the possibility of a grand bargain between Putin and a U.S. president, most recently Donald Trump. The consequences for them could be comparable to those of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.What’s needed from Russia isn’t an apology for carving up Europe with Hitler, but a different foreign policy is – one in which principles trump interests. Only such a change can bring closer the idealistic vision of a Europe that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a goal to which both Russian and European leaders still like to refer. And that shift shouldn’t come at a moment of weakness, as it did in the waning years of the Soviet Union. Restoring trust should be a conscious process. It will take some time.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As Europe marks 80 years of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which carved up eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Russia is trying to defend the agreement again. There is no political benefit to doing this. President Vladimir Putin needs to abandon his Stalinist inheritance of a foreign policy based solely on national interest.If Moscow needed any reminder that many in eastern Europe still hold the treaty against it and still consider it a threat, plenty came on the anniversary. The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania – the countries directly affected by the pact’s secret protocol – issued a joint statement saying the document “sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.”More than a million people gathered to celebrate the Baltic Chain, the 419-mile (675 kilometer) long line of people who protested Soviet rule on Aug. 23, 1989. The demonstrators didn’t pick that day at random – they, too, were making the point that the subjugation of their countries by the Soviet Union began with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.Russia is fighting back. In Moscow, the original of the treaty is now exhibited alongside documents relating to both the 1938 Munich Agreement, where British and French leaders sanctioned the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland, and Poland’s subsequent invasion of part of Czechoslovakia.At the opening of the exhibition earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of Britain and France’s treachery: By cosying up to Hitler, they forced the Soviet Union to sign a deal with the Nazis to ensure its own security, he said. Had the Western Europeans listened to the Soviets and set up a collective security system, the bloodshed of World War II could have been averted. Lavrov was making a clear analogy with Russia’s efforts to build an alternative security architecture in today’s Europe – an idea the Kremlin hasn’t abandoned despite the rest of Europe’s lack of interest.For its part, the Russian mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the group the Kremlin sees as the foundation for its alternative security architecture, tweeted on Aug. 20 that lots of other countries had signed pacts with the Nazis before the Soviet Union did.Kremlin officials can say all this until they go hoarse, but that can’t erase the undeniable fact that the Soviet Union’s security didn’t require it to grab the Baltics and parts of Poland and Romania. Poland, which tried to benefit from the Nazis’ aggression, has admitted it was in the wrong when it invaded part of Czechoslovakia. President Lech Kaczynski apologized for it in 2009.In 1989, the Soviet Union, too, officially condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – but subsequent Russian communications about it, including an entire article signed by Putin himself in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, have come with the caveat that lots of others were at it, too.These excuses are a major reason other European countries don’t trust Russia: To them, Putin and his subordinates are saying that Moscow would do something like this all over again if its interests dictated it, small countries be damned.Concern this might happen was what drove eastern Europeans into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The reality of the annexation of Crimea – another opportunistic move dictated ostensibly by Russian security considerations – is pushing Ukraine in the same direction.If Putin’s goal was to inspire trust and start a meaningful conversation about collective European security in an age of increasing global competition, an unconditionally apologetic stance would work much better. Refraining from invading neighboring countries would be an even more meaningful step.I suspect, however, that Putin doesn’t really believe in such goals, because, like Stalin, he thinks a deal with the devil, based on common interest rather than trust, is the best.My epiphany about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact came when I read the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi ideologue and Hitler’s one-time minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Rosenberg was skeptical about the deal and recoiled in horror when fellow Nazi Richard Darre told him of Joachim von Ribbentrop’s comment that he had “felt as though among old party comrades” when meeting the Soviet leadership.Incredulously, Rosenberg recounted that during Ribbentrop’s visit, Stalin raised his glass not just to Hitler but also to Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi security chief, calling him “the guarantor of order in Germany.”“Himmler has eradicated communism, i.e. those who believed in Stalin, and this one – without any need for it – raises a toast to the exterminator of his faithful,” Rosenberg noted.For Stalin, any kind of ideology took a back seat to expediency. He was a man of interests, not values. In that sense, Putin, an avowed anti-communist who has condemned Stalin on many occasions, is following the dictator’s realpolitik. His adherence to his current Orthodox Christian brand of social conservatism is as flimsy as Stalin’s link to leftist idealism was. If Putin can do a deal that will promote what he sees as Russia’s interests, he will do it with anyone. He will wear any hat required of him while doing so, and raise any toast. He is oblivious to Molotov-Ribbentrop’s biggest lesson of all: That such agreements don’t hold.That’s why eastern Europeans, and especially Ukrainians, are so worried about the possibility of a grand bargain between Putin and a U.S. president, most recently Donald Trump. The consequences for them could be comparable to those of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.What’s needed from Russia isn’t an apology for carving up Europe with Hitler, but a different foreign policy is – one in which principles trump interests. Only such a change can bring closer the idealistic vision of a Europe that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a goal to which both Russian and European leaders still like to refer. And that shift shouldn’t come at a moment of weakness, as it did in the waning years of the Soviet Union. Restoring trust should be a conscious process. It will take some time.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     



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