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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.
  • Trump defends family separation in debate, says immigrant kids whose parents can't be found are 'so well taken care of'      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 00:04:27 -0400

    Trump defends family separation in debate, says immigrant kids whose parents can't be found are 'so well taken care of'During a rare presidential debate exchange about immigration, President Trump defended his administration’s family separation policy for undocumented immigrants, which has left hundreds of children without their parents for years, saying the kids are “so well taken care of” in federal facilities.


    Trump defends family separation in debate, says immigrant kids whose parents can't be found are 'so well taken care of'During a rare presidential debate exchange about immigration, President Trump defended his administration’s family separation policy for undocumented immigrants, which has left hundreds of children without their parents for years, saying the kids are “so well taken care of” in federal facilities.


     

  • 'A flat-out lie': Breonna Taylor attorneys seek new prosecutor after jurors speak out      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 15:47:12 -0400

    'A flat-out lie': Breonna Taylor attorneys seek new prosecutor after jurors speak outThe two anonymous grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case who spoke out this week about the deliberations had no agenda other than to pursue the truth, their lawyer said. But their disclosures have spurred calls for a new prosecutor in the case.


    'A flat-out lie': Breonna Taylor attorneys seek new prosecutor after jurors speak outThe two anonymous grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case who spoke out this week about the deliberations had no agenda other than to pursue the truth, their lawyer said. But their disclosures have spurred calls for a new prosecutor in the case.


     

  • Turkish burgers off the menu in Saudi Arabia as trade boycott bites fast food industry      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 08:38:28 -0400

    Turkish burgers off the menu in Saudi Arabia as trade boycott bites fast food industryWith its spicy sauce and Ottoman-themed packaging, the “Turkish burger” is one of the more exotic choices on the menu at Saudi Arabian restaurant Herfy. Or, at least, it was. This week, the Turkish patty has vanished from the menu and been replaced with an identical “Greek burger,” the latest casualty of Saudi Arabia’s unofficial boycott of Turkish products. “It’s the same thing,” one Herfy worker, Mahmood Bassyoni, told customers as he offered them a taste of the burger, according to Bloomberg news agency. “Just the name changed.” The boycott reportedly began after Recep Tayyip Erdogan outraged Riyadh, one of its main rivals in the Middle East, by claiming that “Arab countries in the Gulf will not exist for long but Turkey will always remain powerful.” Tensions have also simmered over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate and differing attitudes towards Islamist groups in the region. Mr Erdogan has accused Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, of ordering the murder personally, something that he vehemently denies. The Telegraph approached Herfy for comment on whether the rebranding was related to the boycott but had not received a response at the time of publication. According to Arab News, a Saudi news website, the boycott has been gaining steam in recent weeks, with major supermarket Al Sadhan Group expressing support for the campaign. This was followed by dairy firm Tamimi Markets adding its voice to the backlash against Turkish goods, along with a number of online fashion retailers.


    Turkish burgers off the menu in Saudi Arabia as trade boycott bites fast food industryWith its spicy sauce and Ottoman-themed packaging, the “Turkish burger” is one of the more exotic choices on the menu at Saudi Arabian restaurant Herfy. Or, at least, it was. This week, the Turkish patty has vanished from the menu and been replaced with an identical “Greek burger,” the latest casualty of Saudi Arabia’s unofficial boycott of Turkish products. “It’s the same thing,” one Herfy worker, Mahmood Bassyoni, told customers as he offered them a taste of the burger, according to Bloomberg news agency. “Just the name changed.” The boycott reportedly began after Recep Tayyip Erdogan outraged Riyadh, one of its main rivals in the Middle East, by claiming that “Arab countries in the Gulf will not exist for long but Turkey will always remain powerful.” Tensions have also simmered over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate and differing attitudes towards Islamist groups in the region. Mr Erdogan has accused Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, of ordering the murder personally, something that he vehemently denies. The Telegraph approached Herfy for comment on whether the rebranding was related to the boycott but had not received a response at the time of publication. According to Arab News, a Saudi news website, the boycott has been gaining steam in recent weeks, with major supermarket Al Sadhan Group expressing support for the campaign. This was followed by dairy firm Tamimi Markets adding its voice to the backlash against Turkish goods, along with a number of online fashion retailers.


     

  • Amy Coney Barrett faces recusal questions over links to Shell      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 04:15:19 -0400

    Amy Coney Barrett faces recusal questions over links to ShellBarrett previously recused herself from cases because her father worked for Shell but has failed to commit to doing so in futureAmy Coney Barrett is poised to make critical rulings on whether oil and gas companies will be held accountable for the effects of the climate crisis once she is confirmed to the supreme court, even though she has acknowledged in the past that she has a conflict of interest in cases involving Royal Dutch Shell.As an appellate court judge, Barrett – who is expected to be confirmed to the supreme court on Monday – recused herself from cases involving four Shell entities because her father worked at Shell Oil Company as a lawyer.Industry experts and lawyers have expressed concern – and doubt – whether Barrett would recuse herself from the cases again once she joins the court, in part because there are no rules for supreme court justices that would force her to do so.Pressed on the matter in written questions bySenator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, Barrett would not commit to recusing herself from cases in the future.“The question of recusal is a threshold question of law that must be addressed in the context of the facts of each case,” she wrote. “As Justice Ginsburg described the process that supreme court justices go through in deciding whether to recuse, it involves reading the statute, reviewing precedents, and consulting with colleagues. As a sitting judge and as a judicial nominee, it would not be appropriate for me to offer an opinion on abstract legal issues or hypotheticals.”Barrett has not recused herself in the past from cases involving the oil industry’s most powerful lobby group, the American Petroleum Institute, even though her father was an “active member” of the group’s subcommittee of exploration and production law as recently as 2016, and twice served as its chairman.Environmentalists have already expressed alarm at Barrett’s handling of environment-related questions at her confirmation hearing, in which she refused to accept science that shows humans are dangerously heating the planet and said she could not opine on the issue of climate change because it was a “very contentious matter of public debate”. She separately stated that she did not hold “firm views” on climate change.Her views are behind even most mainstream Republicans, many of whom have stopped denying climate change and instead begun to downplay its impacts or suggest that a free market and new technology will be enough to fix the problem.In the very likely event that she is confirmed, Barrett’s decision about whether she will recuse herself from cases involving Shell given her conflict will be known relatively soon because the supreme court recently agreed to hear a case in which the city of Baltimore is suing major oil companies, including Shell, for damages related to the climate crisis.“Judge Barrett’s evasions last week and in responses to our questions for the record may be what Senate Republicans needed to jam this nominee through for their big donors, but that’s no good for a court that must be seen as giving every litigant a fair proceeding and impartial ruling,” said Whitehouse. “As the Senate rushes headlong to get her confirmation done before the election, we are left to wonder whether she will recuse herself in matters involving Shell subsidiaries, or the American Petroleum Institute, once in a court with no code of ethics; particularly where her evasions on climate change aligned with industry propaganda.”At the heart of the Baltimore case – whose outcome will probably influence similar legal challenges in a dozen other lawsuits across the country – is the question of whether cities and states can seek damages through state laws for harms due to the climate crisis, which they blame on the companies.According to Scotusblog, the case before the supreme court is centered on a narrow and technical procedural matter about federal law. But the handling of the case by Barrett will nevertheless be closely watched, in part because another conservative justice, Justice Samuel Alito, recused himself from the case.Of 16 lawsuits from state and local governments who want the courts to hold oil and gas companies accountable for the effects of the climate crisis, 13 name Shell.Jean Su, energy justice director and attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said if Barrett does not recuse herself on cases involving the company “it is a true reflection of the unraveling of the ethics of that court.”“If you now have the supreme judicial branch and judges who completely flout pretty cut and dry ethical rules, you are discrediting the judiciary very heavily,” Su said. “It’ll be a sign that the highest court in the land is political.”Helen Kang, a law professor and director of the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law, said that if Barrett has recused herself previously “unless there has been a change of circumstances, it appears that she should recuse herself”.


    Amy Coney Barrett faces recusal questions over links to ShellBarrett previously recused herself from cases because her father worked for Shell but has failed to commit to doing so in futureAmy Coney Barrett is poised to make critical rulings on whether oil and gas companies will be held accountable for the effects of the climate crisis once she is confirmed to the supreme court, even though she has acknowledged in the past that she has a conflict of interest in cases involving Royal Dutch Shell.As an appellate court judge, Barrett – who is expected to be confirmed to the supreme court on Monday – recused herself from cases involving four Shell entities because her father worked at Shell Oil Company as a lawyer.Industry experts and lawyers have expressed concern – and doubt – whether Barrett would recuse herself from the cases again once she joins the court, in part because there are no rules for supreme court justices that would force her to do so.Pressed on the matter in written questions bySenator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, Barrett would not commit to recusing herself from cases in the future.“The question of recusal is a threshold question of law that must be addressed in the context of the facts of each case,” she wrote. “As Justice Ginsburg described the process that supreme court justices go through in deciding whether to recuse, it involves reading the statute, reviewing precedents, and consulting with colleagues. As a sitting judge and as a judicial nominee, it would not be appropriate for me to offer an opinion on abstract legal issues or hypotheticals.”Barrett has not recused herself in the past from cases involving the oil industry’s most powerful lobby group, the American Petroleum Institute, even though her father was an “active member” of the group’s subcommittee of exploration and production law as recently as 2016, and twice served as its chairman.Environmentalists have already expressed alarm at Barrett’s handling of environment-related questions at her confirmation hearing, in which she refused to accept science that shows humans are dangerously heating the planet and said she could not opine on the issue of climate change because it was a “very contentious matter of public debate”. She separately stated that she did not hold “firm views” on climate change.Her views are behind even most mainstream Republicans, many of whom have stopped denying climate change and instead begun to downplay its impacts or suggest that a free market and new technology will be enough to fix the problem.In the very likely event that she is confirmed, Barrett’s decision about whether she will recuse herself from cases involving Shell given her conflict will be known relatively soon because the supreme court recently agreed to hear a case in which the city of Baltimore is suing major oil companies, including Shell, for damages related to the climate crisis.“Judge Barrett’s evasions last week and in responses to our questions for the record may be what Senate Republicans needed to jam this nominee through for their big donors, but that’s no good for a court that must be seen as giving every litigant a fair proceeding and impartial ruling,” said Whitehouse. “As the Senate rushes headlong to get her confirmation done before the election, we are left to wonder whether she will recuse herself in matters involving Shell subsidiaries, or the American Petroleum Institute, once in a court with no code of ethics; particularly where her evasions on climate change aligned with industry propaganda.”At the heart of the Baltimore case – whose outcome will probably influence similar legal challenges in a dozen other lawsuits across the country – is the question of whether cities and states can seek damages through state laws for harms due to the climate crisis, which they blame on the companies.According to Scotusblog, the case before the supreme court is centered on a narrow and technical procedural matter about federal law. But the handling of the case by Barrett will nevertheless be closely watched, in part because another conservative justice, Justice Samuel Alito, recused himself from the case.Of 16 lawsuits from state and local governments who want the courts to hold oil and gas companies accountable for the effects of the climate crisis, 13 name Shell.Jean Su, energy justice director and attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said if Barrett does not recuse herself on cases involving the company “it is a true reflection of the unraveling of the ethics of that court.”“If you now have the supreme judicial branch and judges who completely flout pretty cut and dry ethical rules, you are discrediting the judiciary very heavily,” Su said. “It’ll be a sign that the highest court in the land is political.”Helen Kang, a law professor and director of the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law, said that if Barrett has recused herself previously “unless there has been a change of circumstances, it appears that she should recuse herself”.


     

  • 'Nothing was unethical': Biden responds to questions about his son Hunter      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 22:14:13 -0400

    'Nothing was unethical': Biden responds to questions about his son Hunter

    During the final presidential debate on Thursday, Joe responded to questions about his son Hunter Biden.


    'Nothing was unethical': Biden responds to questions about his son Hunter

    During the final presidential debate on Thursday, Joe responded to questions about his son Hunter Biden.


     

  • Treasure hunter dug through Yellowstone cemetery looking for famous bounty, feds say      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 20:03:12 -0400

    Treasure hunter dug through Yellowstone cemetery looking for famous bounty, feds sayHe was allegedly seeking the coveted Forrest Fenn treasure, officials said.


    Treasure hunter dug through Yellowstone cemetery looking for famous bounty, feds sayHe was allegedly seeking the coveted Forrest Fenn treasure, officials said.


     

  • Fauci says as coronavirus infections swell, federal task force is meeting just weekly      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 14:59:00 -0400

    Fauci says as coronavirus infections swell, federal task force is meeting just weeklyThe infectious diseases doctor who has become a central figure in the pandemic told MSNBC the frequency of meetings has "diminished" over time.


    Fauci says as coronavirus infections swell, federal task force is meeting just weeklyThe infectious diseases doctor who has become a central figure in the pandemic told MSNBC the frequency of meetings has "diminished" over time.


     

  • Far-right extremist shot at Minneapolis' police precinct to spark violence during Floyd protests, FBI says      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 14:43:00 -0400

    Far-right extremist shot at Minneapolis' police precinct to spark violence during Floyd protests, FBI saysA far-right extremist has been accused of opening fire on Minneapolis' third police precinct and sparking violence during May's George Floyd protests.Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old from Texas, was charged Friday with one count of interstate travel to participate in a riot. An admitted member of the "Boogaloo Bois," Hunter opened fire on the precinct and later looted it and helped set it on fire, the FBI said in a sworn affidavit released Friday.The Minneapolis police's third precinct was just a block from where Floyd was killed, and became the center of protests against police violence that devolved into the destruction of the precinct and buildings around it. Hunter is one of several far-right extremists accused of intentionally ramping up that violence. Armed with a mask and tactical gear, Hunter fired 13 rounds at the precinct while officers were inside and ran away shouting "Justice for Floyd," the FBI alleges. He later bragged about "help[ing] the community burn down that police station" on Facebook.Hunter admitted he was member of the Boogaloo movement, a collection of far-right, anti-government extremists intent on sparking a second civil war. He was in contact with other self-described Boogaloo Bois who arranged a trip to Minneapolis. He also texted with Steven Carrillo, another Boogaloo member who later shot and killed a sheriff's deputy in California.More stories from theweek.com Trump loses on the merits Who won the final 2020 debate? Call it a draw. Get ready for Trump TV, America


    Far-right extremist shot at Minneapolis' police precinct to spark violence during Floyd protests, FBI saysA far-right extremist has been accused of opening fire on Minneapolis' third police precinct and sparking violence during May's George Floyd protests.Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old from Texas, was charged Friday with one count of interstate travel to participate in a riot. An admitted member of the "Boogaloo Bois," Hunter opened fire on the precinct and later looted it and helped set it on fire, the FBI said in a sworn affidavit released Friday.The Minneapolis police's third precinct was just a block from where Floyd was killed, and became the center of protests against police violence that devolved into the destruction of the precinct and buildings around it. Hunter is one of several far-right extremists accused of intentionally ramping up that violence. Armed with a mask and tactical gear, Hunter fired 13 rounds at the precinct while officers were inside and ran away shouting "Justice for Floyd," the FBI alleges. He later bragged about "help[ing] the community burn down that police station" on Facebook.Hunter admitted he was member of the Boogaloo movement, a collection of far-right, anti-government extremists intent on sparking a second civil war. He was in contact with other self-described Boogaloo Bois who arranged a trip to Minneapolis. He also texted with Steven Carrillo, another Boogaloo member who later shot and killed a sheriff's deputy in California.More stories from theweek.com Trump loses on the merits Who won the final 2020 debate? Call it a draw. Get ready for Trump TV, America


     

  • A 73-year-old in Colorado was fined more than $1,000 after her pet deer gored a woman walking her dog      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 16:10:08 -0400

    A 73-year-old in Colorado was fined more than $1,000 after her pet deer gored a woman walking her dogTynette Housley, 73, was cited on misdemeanor charges of illegal possession of wildlife and illegally feeding wildlife.


    A 73-year-old in Colorado was fined more than $1,000 after her pet deer gored a woman walking her dogTynette Housley, 73, was cited on misdemeanor charges of illegal possession of wildlife and illegally feeding wildlife.


     

  • ‘Shy’ Trump voters will power his win, says pollster who called 2016 race      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 16:34:48 -0400

    ‘Shy’ Trump voters will power his win, says pollster who called 2016 raceThanks to the hidden support from voters who are embarrassed to admit they will vote for Donald Trump, the president will be narrowly reelected on Nov. 3, says one of the few pollsters who correctly predicted his 2016 victory.


    ‘Shy’ Trump voters will power his win, says pollster who called 2016 raceThanks to the hidden support from voters who are embarrassed to admit they will vote for Donald Trump, the president will be narrowly reelected on Nov. 3, says one of the few pollsters who correctly predicted his 2016 victory.


     

  • Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral meme      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 21:39:58 -0400

    Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral memeA viral meme purports to show four $3 million-$7.5 million homes Biden owns. He only owns two of them, neither of which cost more than $3 million.


    Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral memeA viral meme purports to show four $3 million-$7.5 million homes Biden owns. He only owns two of them, neither of which cost more than $3 million.


     

  • Indian farmers step up illegal fires as Delhi air crisis worsens      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 06:46:12 -0400

    Indian farmers step up illegal fires as Delhi air crisis worsensDelhi's smog crisis headed for a new toxic peak on Saturday but farmers are refusing to stop the stubble burning that is widely blamed for the poisonous clouds engulfing the Indian capital.


    Indian farmers step up illegal fires as Delhi air crisis worsensDelhi's smog crisis headed for a new toxic peak on Saturday but farmers are refusing to stop the stubble burning that is widely blamed for the poisonous clouds engulfing the Indian capital.


     

  • Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfire      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 02:20:00 -0400

    Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfireThe couple, in their 80s, cherished their home and refused to leave, the sheriff and family said. There are no other known missing people in the blaze.


    Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfireThe couple, in their 80s, cherished their home and refused to leave, the sheriff and family said. There are no other known missing people in the blaze.


     

  • Despite rhetoric, GOP has supported packing state courts      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:57:04 -0400

    Despite rhetoric, GOP has supported packing state courtsRepublican claims that Democrats would expand the U.S. Supreme Court to undercut the conservative majority if they win the presidency and control of Congress has a familiar ring. It's a tactic the GOP already has employed in recent years with state supreme courts when they have controlled all levers of state political power. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia have signed bills passed by GOP-dominated legislatures to expand the number of seats on their states’ respective high courts.


    Despite rhetoric, GOP has supported packing state courtsRepublican claims that Democrats would expand the U.S. Supreme Court to undercut the conservative majority if they win the presidency and control of Congress has a familiar ring. It's a tactic the GOP already has employed in recent years with state supreme courts when they have controlled all levers of state political power. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia have signed bills passed by GOP-dominated legislatures to expand the number of seats on their states’ respective high courts.


     

  • Armenian-Americans march in Miami Beach to condemn Azerbaijan, demand Artsakh liberty      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 21:09:32 -0400

    Armenian-Americans march in Miami Beach to condemn Azerbaijan, demand Artsakh libertyAs voters inside Miami Beach City Hall used the ballot box to decide their country’s future, a group of Armenian-Americans took part in a more public display of patriotism right outside.


    Armenian-Americans march in Miami Beach to condemn Azerbaijan, demand Artsakh libertyAs voters inside Miami Beach City Hall used the ballot box to decide their country’s future, a group of Armenian-Americans took part in a more public display of patriotism right outside.


     

  • Christian singer to host evangelical ‘worship protest’ on Washington DC’s National Mall with 15,000 expected to attend      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 17:06:01 -0400

    Christian singer to host evangelical ‘worship protest’ on Washington DC’s National Mall with 15,000 expected to attendThe event scheduled this weekend will not require attendees to wear masks or social distance


    Christian singer to host evangelical ‘worship protest’ on Washington DC’s National Mall with 15,000 expected to attendThe event scheduled this weekend will not require attendees to wear masks or social distance


     

  • US embassy in Turkey issues a warning about 'potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings' of Americans and foreigners in Istanbul      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 10:23:04 -0400

    US embassy in Turkey issues a warning about 'potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings' of Americans and foreigners in IstanbulIn response to the threat, the embassy suspended its services and urged American citizens to be careful, avoid crowds, and keep a low profile.


    US embassy in Turkey issues a warning about 'potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings' of Americans and foreigners in IstanbulIn response to the threat, the embassy suspended its services and urged American citizens to be careful, avoid crowds, and keep a low profile.


     

  • Colorado wildfire jumps U.S. Continental Divide, threatens mountain towns      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 13:27:03 -0400

    Colorado wildfire jumps U.S. Continental Divide, threatens mountain townsAn explosive Colorado wildfire that has already forced the evacuation of several mountain communities and the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park blackened another 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) on Thursday as it jumped the U.S. Continental Divide. The East Troublesome Fire, which broke out on Oct. 14, has now burned 170,000 acres (68,800 hectares) and was only about 5% contained as of Thursday afternoon, incident commander Noel Livingston said at a news briefing. The flames have spread into Rocky Mountain National Park, prompted the National Park Service to close the entire 415 square-mile (668-square-km) expanse and the blaze has become the second-largest on record in Colorado.


    Colorado wildfire jumps U.S. Continental Divide, threatens mountain townsAn explosive Colorado wildfire that has already forced the evacuation of several mountain communities and the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park blackened another 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) on Thursday as it jumped the U.S. Continental Divide. The East Troublesome Fire, which broke out on Oct. 14, has now burned 170,000 acres (68,800 hectares) and was only about 5% contained as of Thursday afternoon, incident commander Noel Livingston said at a news briefing. The flames have spread into Rocky Mountain National Park, prompted the National Park Service to close the entire 415 square-mile (668-square-km) expanse and the blaze has become the second-largest on record in Colorado.


     

  • Scoop: Rudy Giuliani declined offer of compromising Hunter Biden emails and images in May 2019      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 23:59:11 -0400

    Scoop: Rudy Giuliani declined offer of compromising Hunter Biden emails and images in May 2019Giuliani turned the offer down out of credibility concerns, a source familiar with the meeting tells Salon


    Scoop: Rudy Giuliani declined offer of compromising Hunter Biden emails and images in May 2019Giuliani turned the offer down out of credibility concerns, a source familiar with the meeting tells Salon


     

  • Minn. judge dismisses 1 charge against former cop in Floyd's death      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 14:46:09 -0400

    Minn. judge dismisses 1 charge against former cop in Floyd's deathA Minnesota judge has dismissed a third-degree murder charge filed against the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck, but the more serious second-degree murder charge remains.


    Minn. judge dismisses 1 charge against former cop in Floyd's deathA Minnesota judge has dismissed a third-degree murder charge filed against the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck, but the more serious second-degree murder charge remains.


     

  • Can Sen. Thom Tillis come from behind and beat Cal Cunningham in crucial NC Senate race?      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 19:09:28 -0400

    Can Sen. Thom Tillis come from behind and beat Cal Cunningham in crucial NC Senate race?Democrats stick behind Cal Cunningham, focusing on issues instead of infidelity, as they try to seize the majority in the US Senate.


    Can Sen. Thom Tillis come from behind and beat Cal Cunningham in crucial NC Senate race?Democrats stick behind Cal Cunningham, focusing on issues instead of infidelity, as they try to seize the majority in the US Senate.


     

  • A North Carolina man who was found with a van full of guns and explosives had researched how to kill Joe Biden, prosecutors say      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 07:12:51 -0400

    A North Carolina man who was found with a van full of guns and explosives had researched how to kill Joe Biden, prosecutors sayAlexander Hillel Treisman was found with child porn images, said he would "do a columbine" and mused on killing Biden, court documents say.


    A North Carolina man who was found with a van full of guns and explosives had researched how to kill Joe Biden, prosecutors sayAlexander Hillel Treisman was found with child porn images, said he would "do a columbine" and mused on killing Biden, court documents say.


     

  • Venezuelans 'dying slowly' in rat- and roach-infested homes      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 21:15:09 -0400

    Venezuelans 'dying slowly' in rat- and roach-infested homesSunlight cannot penetrate, the air is fetid and fellow residents include rats and cockroaches -- but that's how 14 families are "dying slowly" in government accommodation in Venezuela's capital Caracas.


    Venezuelans 'dying slowly' in rat- and roach-infested homesSunlight cannot penetrate, the air is fetid and fellow residents include rats and cockroaches -- but that's how 14 families are "dying slowly" in government accommodation in Venezuela's capital Caracas.


     

  • Minneapolis Residents Sue City Over Alleged Police Department Rollbacks      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 16:04:56 -0400

    Minneapolis Residents Sue City Over Alleged Police Department RollbacksThe lawsuit counters the widespread calls to defund police departments and take officers off the streets


    Minneapolis Residents Sue City Over Alleged Police Department RollbacksThe lawsuit counters the widespread calls to defund police departments and take officers off the streets


     

  • How the End Sars protests have changed Nigeria forever      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 19:59:18 -0400

    How the End Sars protests have changed Nigeria foreverThe campaign against police brutality has encouraged young Nigerians to take on the older generation.


    How the End Sars protests have changed Nigeria foreverThe campaign against police brutality has encouraged young Nigerians to take on the older generation.


     

  • North Korea told citizens to stay inside, claiming (with no scientific basis) that a storm of yellow dust coming from China was carrying COVID-19      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 06:21:18 -0400

    North Korea told citizens to stay inside, claiming (with no scientific basis) that a storm of yellow dust coming from China was carrying COVID-19On Wednesday, North Korea's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned people of the "danger of invading malicious viruses" inside an approaching storm.


    North Korea told citizens to stay inside, claiming (with no scientific basis) that a storm of yellow dust coming from China was carrying COVID-19On Wednesday, North Korea's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned people of the "danger of invading malicious viruses" inside an approaching storm.


     

  • Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off U.S. objections      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 07:30:09 -0400

    Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off U.S. objectionsTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Friday that Turkey had been testing the S-400 air defence systems that it bought from Russia and said U.S. objections on the issue did not matter. Washington says Ankara's purchase of the Russian systems compromises NATO defences, and has threatened sanctions. An apparent firing test of S-400s test last week prompted a furious response from the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon.


    Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off U.S. objectionsTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Friday that Turkey had been testing the S-400 air defence systems that it bought from Russia and said U.S. objections on the issue did not matter. Washington says Ankara's purchase of the Russian systems compromises NATO defences, and has threatened sanctions. An apparent firing test of S-400s test last week prompted a furious response from the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon.


     

  • In Trump Donations, Big Tax Write-Offs and Claims That Don't Always Add Up      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:54:47 -0400

    In Trump Donations, Big Tax Write-Offs and Claims That Don't Always Add UpIn President Donald Trump's telling, he is a committed philanthropist with strong ties to many charities. "If you don't give back, you're never ever going to be fulfilled in life," he wrote in "Trump 101: The Way to Success," published at the height of his "Apprentice" fame.And according to his tax records, he has given back at least $130 million since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star.But the long-hidden tax records, obtained by The New York Times, show that Trump did not have to reach into his wallet for most of that giving. The vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land -- in several cases, after he had shelved development plans.Three of the agreements involved what are known as conservation easements -- a maneuver, popular among wealthy Americans, that typically allows a landowner to keep a property's title and receive a tax deduction equal to its appraised value. In the fourth land deal, Trump donated property for a state park.The New York attorney general is investigating whether the appraisals on two of Trump's easement donations were improperly inflated to win larger tax breaks, according to court filings.Trump's pronouncements of philanthropic largesse have been broadly discredited by reporting, most notably in The Washington Post, that found he had exaggerated, or simply never made, an array of claimed contributions. His own charitable foundation shut down in 2018 amid allegations of self-dealing to benefit Trump, his businesses and his campaign.But the tax data examined by the Times lends new authority and far greater precision to those findings. The records, encompassing his reported philanthropic activity through 2017, reveal not only its exact dimensions; they show that much of his charity has come when he was under duress -- facing damage to his reputation or big tax bills in years of high income.Of the $7.5 million in business and personal cash contributions reported to the IRS since 2005, more than 40% -- $3.2 million -- came starting in 2015, when Trump's philanthropy fell under scrutiny after he announced his White House bid. In 2017, his first year in office, he declared $1.9 million in cash gifts. In 2014, by contrast, he contributed $81,499.And his first two land-easement donations were made in what the tax records show was a period of significant taxable income -- 2005 and 2006, prime time for his reality TV fame.The president's Trump Organization biography says he is "involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations." When he announced his campaign in 2015, he said he had given more than $102 million to charity over the previous five years.While it is possible that he chose not to report some of his giving, his tax records for 2010 to 2014 reflect far less than he claimed -- $735,238 in cash and $26.8 million in land easements and other noncash gifts. Six months into the campaign, in December 2015, another easement, valued at $21.1 million, was completed.In response to questions from the Times, Amanda Miller, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization, said: "President Trump gives money privately. It's impossible to know how much he's given over the years."The tax information analyzed by the Times includes annual totals for business and individual giving but lists only certain corporate donations.The single largest cash donation he reported for his businesses, made to his own foundation, was the $400,000 he received in 2011 for being roasted on Comedy Central. In 2014, his Virginia winery contributed a glass sculpture valued at $73,600 to a small historical society in Pennsylvania. And in 2016, another one of his companies gave $30,000 to the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation.Even without the details of Trump's individual giving, the Times was able to identify public philanthropic promises that appear either to have been exaggerated or to have never materialized. In each case, the size of his pledge exceeded what he told the IRS he had given in a particular year.In 2009, for example, he agreed to rent his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York, to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who hoped to stay in a tent on the grounds during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.Though the plans fell apart when local residents objected, Gadhafi made a payment of $150,000, which Trump told CNN in 2011 he had given to charity. His 2009 tax returns, however, reported only $22,796 in business and personal cash gifts.In 2015, Trump promised to donate the earnings from his book "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.''"The profits of my book? I am giving them away to a lot of different -- including the vets," he said at a news conference.The tax records show that Waxman Leavell Literary Agency, which represented Trump's book, made two payments to him in 2015 and 2016, totaling roughly $4.5 million. In those years, Trump reported giving a total of $1.3 million in cash to charity.Many wealthy individuals create their own foundations, often as a way to have greater control over their philanthropy. While Trump's foundation, started in 1988, gave millions to charity before shutting down in 2018, most of it was other people's money. Trump himself donated $5.4 million to the foundation, with the last contribution in 2008, according to the organization's tax filings.The majority of the president's philanthropy, though, has consisted of his four land deals with conservation groups or the government.His first easement donation, which yielded a tax deduction of $39.1 million in 2005, involved a parcel of land at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.The next year, he donated 436 acres of land for a state park in Westchester and Putnam counties in New York after development plans ran up against tough regulatory restrictions. While the precise value of the easement is not clear, he reported noncash charitable contributions of $34 million that year.Trump had bought the property in the 1990s for $2 million, according to numerous published reports. Today it is overgrown and has few facilities or visitors.The two most recent easement deductions are being examined by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, part of a broader investigation into whether the Trump Organization inflated the value of assets to get loans and tax benefits.In 2014, after abandoning plans to develop an 11.5-acre property being used as a driving range at his Los Angeles golf club, Trump received a $25.1 million tax deduction for an easement agreement with a land conservancy. Few details of the inquiry into the deal have emerged.Court papers shed more light on the other easement under investigation.In late 2015, Trump got a $21.1 million tax break for 158.6 acres of land at the Seven Springs estate, after years of unsuccessful attempts to build a golf course on it.The attorney general's court filing says that after Trump abandoned plans to develop Seven Springs, he asked Sheri Dillon, a tax lawyer at Morgan Lewis who had advised him in the past, to have the land appraised.Dillon told Cushman & Wakefield, the firm that did the appraisal, that "the client blew up at her," and she leaned on the appraisers to take steps that would push the value up, according to the court filing.Several weeks ago, after months of delays, Trump's son Eric gave a deposition in the case.Trump has denied any wrongdoing. "President Trump was not involved in the appraisals mentioned, which were done by the most respected appraisal and brokerage company in the country," said Miller, the Trump Organization spokesperson.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    In Trump Donations, Big Tax Write-Offs and Claims That Don't Always Add UpIn President Donald Trump's telling, he is a committed philanthropist with strong ties to many charities. "If you don't give back, you're never ever going to be fulfilled in life," he wrote in "Trump 101: The Way to Success," published at the height of his "Apprentice" fame.And according to his tax records, he has given back at least $130 million since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star.But the long-hidden tax records, obtained by The New York Times, show that Trump did not have to reach into his wallet for most of that giving. The vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land -- in several cases, after he had shelved development plans.Three of the agreements involved what are known as conservation easements -- a maneuver, popular among wealthy Americans, that typically allows a landowner to keep a property's title and receive a tax deduction equal to its appraised value. In the fourth land deal, Trump donated property for a state park.The New York attorney general is investigating whether the appraisals on two of Trump's easement donations were improperly inflated to win larger tax breaks, according to court filings.Trump's pronouncements of philanthropic largesse have been broadly discredited by reporting, most notably in The Washington Post, that found he had exaggerated, or simply never made, an array of claimed contributions. His own charitable foundation shut down in 2018 amid allegations of self-dealing to benefit Trump, his businesses and his campaign.But the tax data examined by the Times lends new authority and far greater precision to those findings. The records, encompassing his reported philanthropic activity through 2017, reveal not only its exact dimensions; they show that much of his charity has come when he was under duress -- facing damage to his reputation or big tax bills in years of high income.Of the $7.5 million in business and personal cash contributions reported to the IRS since 2005, more than 40% -- $3.2 million -- came starting in 2015, when Trump's philanthropy fell under scrutiny after he announced his White House bid. In 2017, his first year in office, he declared $1.9 million in cash gifts. In 2014, by contrast, he contributed $81,499.And his first two land-easement donations were made in what the tax records show was a period of significant taxable income -- 2005 and 2006, prime time for his reality TV fame.The president's Trump Organization biography says he is "involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations." When he announced his campaign in 2015, he said he had given more than $102 million to charity over the previous five years.While it is possible that he chose not to report some of his giving, his tax records for 2010 to 2014 reflect far less than he claimed -- $735,238 in cash and $26.8 million in land easements and other noncash gifts. Six months into the campaign, in December 2015, another easement, valued at $21.1 million, was completed.In response to questions from the Times, Amanda Miller, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization, said: "President Trump gives money privately. It's impossible to know how much he's given over the years."The tax information analyzed by the Times includes annual totals for business and individual giving but lists only certain corporate donations.The single largest cash donation he reported for his businesses, made to his own foundation, was the $400,000 he received in 2011 for being roasted on Comedy Central. In 2014, his Virginia winery contributed a glass sculpture valued at $73,600 to a small historical society in Pennsylvania. And in 2016, another one of his companies gave $30,000 to the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation.Even without the details of Trump's individual giving, the Times was able to identify public philanthropic promises that appear either to have been exaggerated or to have never materialized. In each case, the size of his pledge exceeded what he told the IRS he had given in a particular year.In 2009, for example, he agreed to rent his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York, to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who hoped to stay in a tent on the grounds during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.Though the plans fell apart when local residents objected, Gadhafi made a payment of $150,000, which Trump told CNN in 2011 he had given to charity. His 2009 tax returns, however, reported only $22,796 in business and personal cash gifts.In 2015, Trump promised to donate the earnings from his book "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.''"The profits of my book? I am giving them away to a lot of different -- including the vets," he said at a news conference.The tax records show that Waxman Leavell Literary Agency, which represented Trump's book, made two payments to him in 2015 and 2016, totaling roughly $4.5 million. In those years, Trump reported giving a total of $1.3 million in cash to charity.Many wealthy individuals create their own foundations, often as a way to have greater control over their philanthropy. While Trump's foundation, started in 1988, gave millions to charity before shutting down in 2018, most of it was other people's money. Trump himself donated $5.4 million to the foundation, with the last contribution in 2008, according to the organization's tax filings.The majority of the president's philanthropy, though, has consisted of his four land deals with conservation groups or the government.His first easement donation, which yielded a tax deduction of $39.1 million in 2005, involved a parcel of land at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.The next year, he donated 436 acres of land for a state park in Westchester and Putnam counties in New York after development plans ran up against tough regulatory restrictions. While the precise value of the easement is not clear, he reported noncash charitable contributions of $34 million that year.Trump had bought the property in the 1990s for $2 million, according to numerous published reports. Today it is overgrown and has few facilities or visitors.The two most recent easement deductions are being examined by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, part of a broader investigation into whether the Trump Organization inflated the value of assets to get loans and tax benefits.In 2014, after abandoning plans to develop an 11.5-acre property being used as a driving range at his Los Angeles golf club, Trump received a $25.1 million tax deduction for an easement agreement with a land conservancy. Few details of the inquiry into the deal have emerged.Court papers shed more light on the other easement under investigation.In late 2015, Trump got a $21.1 million tax break for 158.6 acres of land at the Seven Springs estate, after years of unsuccessful attempts to build a golf course on it.The attorney general's court filing says that after Trump abandoned plans to develop Seven Springs, he asked Sheri Dillon, a tax lawyer at Morgan Lewis who had advised him in the past, to have the land appraised.Dillon told Cushman & Wakefield, the firm that did the appraisal, that "the client blew up at her," and she leaned on the appraisers to take steps that would push the value up, according to the court filing.Several weeks ago, after months of delays, Trump's son Eric gave a deposition in the case.Trump has denied any wrongdoing. "President Trump was not involved in the appraisals mentioned, which were done by the most respected appraisal and brokerage company in the country," said Miller, the Trump Organization spokesperson.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


     

  • Dems' Senate hopefuls are raising serious cash — and spending it      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 15:21:00 -0400

    Dems' Senate hopefuls are raising serious cash — and spending itEven as Democrats raked in cash, a Republican Senate super PAC had more cash on hand than most of those candidates combined heading into the final stretch.


    Dems' Senate hopefuls are raising serious cash — and spending itEven as Democrats raked in cash, a Republican Senate super PAC had more cash on hand than most of those candidates combined heading into the final stretch.


     

  • Pennsylvania ballots can't be tossed out over voters' signatures, court says      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 15:36:00 -0400

    Pennsylvania ballots can't be tossed out over voters' signatures, court saysThe prospect of disqualified mail-in ballots poses a greater threat to Biden’s candidacy.


    Pennsylvania ballots can't be tossed out over voters' signatures, court saysThe prospect of disqualified mail-in ballots poses a greater threat to Biden’s candidacy.


     

  • Rep. Stefanik: ‘Joe Biden Is Lying to the American People’ about Hunter’s Business Dealings      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 11:12:22 -0400

    Rep. Stefanik: ‘Joe Biden Is Lying to the American People’ about Hunter’s Business DealingsDemocratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is “lying to the American people” about his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, claimed Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) on Saturday.The House Intelligence Committee member's comments came during an appearance on Fox & Friends Weekend, in which she accused the former vice president of lying when he issued his denial of wrongdoing during Thursday night’s presidential debate. Stefanik detailed her experience asking each witness in President Trump’s impeachment hearings whether there was a conflict of interest, or an appearance of one, created by Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Ukrainian natural-gas firm Burisma Holdings during Joe Biden’s time as vice president. All of the witnesses said yes, she recalled.She said the Obama administration “proactively brought this up as a conflict of interest” while preparing former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch for her Senate nomination. “This is Joe Biden running from his record and trying to wipe away this very clear conflict of interest,” Stefanik said."This is not just a Hunter Biden scandal. This is a Joe Biden scandal, and it's not just Burisma. It's also now the Chinese Communist government and the Chinese Communist Party," she added, referring to allegations of a business arrangement between a Chinese company and the Biden family.During Thursday’s debate, the former vice president claimed there was “nothing unethical” about Hunter Biden’s involvement in Burisma.He said though questions had arisen over whether he had done something wrong in respect to Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma that, “every single solitary person, when [Trump] was going through his impeachment, testifying under oath, who worked for him said I did my job impeccably, I carried out U.S. policy, not one single, solitary thing was out of line.”


    Rep. Stefanik: ‘Joe Biden Is Lying to the American People’ about Hunter’s Business DealingsDemocratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is “lying to the American people” about his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, claimed Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) on Saturday.The House Intelligence Committee member's comments came during an appearance on Fox & Friends Weekend, in which she accused the former vice president of lying when he issued his denial of wrongdoing during Thursday night’s presidential debate. Stefanik detailed her experience asking each witness in President Trump’s impeachment hearings whether there was a conflict of interest, or an appearance of one, created by Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Ukrainian natural-gas firm Burisma Holdings during Joe Biden’s time as vice president. All of the witnesses said yes, she recalled.She said the Obama administration “proactively brought this up as a conflict of interest” while preparing former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch for her Senate nomination. “This is Joe Biden running from his record and trying to wipe away this very clear conflict of interest,” Stefanik said."This is not just a Hunter Biden scandal. This is a Joe Biden scandal, and it's not just Burisma. It's also now the Chinese Communist government and the Chinese Communist Party," she added, referring to allegations of a business arrangement between a Chinese company and the Biden family.During Thursday’s debate, the former vice president claimed there was “nothing unethical” about Hunter Biden’s involvement in Burisma.He said though questions had arisen over whether he had done something wrong in respect to Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma that, “every single solitary person, when [Trump] was going through his impeachment, testifying under oath, who worked for him said I did my job impeccably, I carried out U.S. policy, not one single, solitary thing was out of line.”


     

  • Protests continue in Rhode Island after moped driver was critically injured in a crash involving police      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 15:58:17 -0400

    Protests continue in Rhode Island after moped driver was critically injured in a crash involving policeProtests continued in Providence, Rhode Island, after a man was critically injured in a crash involving a moped being followed by a police cruiser.


    Protests continue in Rhode Island after moped driver was critically injured in a crash involving policeProtests continued in Providence, Rhode Island, after a man was critically injured in a crash involving a moped being followed by a police cruiser.


     

  • Judge moves criminal case against Texas attorney general      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 16:56:28 -0400

    Judge moves criminal case against Texas attorney generalA judge on Friday ordered the long-running criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton returned to his home county in a legal victory for the Republican. Judge Jason Luong ruled that the securities fraud case should continue in Collin County, north of Dallas, siding with Paxton's defense attorneys who argued the case should be returned there after it was moved to Houston. Paxton pleaded not guilty in 2015 and the case has been stalled for years over legal challenges.


    Judge moves criminal case against Texas attorney generalA judge on Friday ordered the long-running criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton returned to his home county in a legal victory for the Republican. Judge Jason Luong ruled that the securities fraud case should continue in Collin County, north of Dallas, siding with Paxton's defense attorneys who argued the case should be returned there after it was moved to Houston. Paxton pleaded not guilty in 2015 and the case has been stalled for years over legal challenges.


     

  • How Texas could be the linchpin in finally dismantling the Electoral College      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 09:46:00 -0400

    How Texas could be the linchpin in finally dismantling the Electoral CollegeA little over a week from Election Day "and everyone with bated breath," columnist Peggy Noonan writes in Friday's Wall Street Journal. Whoever wins, "the changes in how we vote, from early voting to voting by mail, all hastened by the pandemic, will have been established after this election, and won’t go away. This will make things appear more democratic and may leave them more Democratic. Progressive preoccupation with the Electoral College is about to diminish, sharply."No, Republicans should become preoccupied, too, Jesse Wegman argued on Thursday's The Daily podcast. The framers of the Constitution set up the Electoral College because they had to invent a way to "pick the leader of a self-governing republic" and were worried "most people wouldn't know national political candidates," he explained. But they never even discussed today's winner-takes-all system, "and when they saw it start to be adopted in the states in the early 1800s, they were horrified. James Madison, the man we think of as the father of the Constitution, tried to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of winner-take-all rule because he saw how corrosive it was to erase up to half of voters in the state."Madison failed, but Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) almost got a constitutional amendment enacted in 1969 — President Richard Nixon was on board, it had broad national support, the House approved the amendment, and nearly three-quarters of states were set to approve it, Wegman said. Sadly, "three Southern segregationist senators" filibustered it to death in 1970, killing "the best effort we've ever had in American history to abolish the Electoral College."This only became a partisan issue after George W. Bush then Donald Trump won the Electoral College while losing the popular vote, but it's a double-edged sword, Wegman said. "Right now what we're seeing is some really big and important Republican-majority states are shifting demographically." Texas, with its 38 electoral votes, "is going to turn blue" as soon as 2024, he predicted, and "if Republicans can't win Texas, I think their paths to an Electoral College victory are basically eliminated."In the next eight years, "when both parties have suffered enough in a short enough time period that they realize that it doesn't help anybody," Wegman said, "I think we have the opening to switch to a system in which everybody counts equally, and everybody's vote matters." Listen to Wegman's entire argument at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Trump loses on the merits Who won the final 2020 debate? Call it a draw. Get ready for Trump TV, America


    How Texas could be the linchpin in finally dismantling the Electoral CollegeA little over a week from Election Day "and everyone with bated breath," columnist Peggy Noonan writes in Friday's Wall Street Journal. Whoever wins, "the changes in how we vote, from early voting to voting by mail, all hastened by the pandemic, will have been established after this election, and won’t go away. This will make things appear more democratic and may leave them more Democratic. Progressive preoccupation with the Electoral College is about to diminish, sharply."No, Republicans should become preoccupied, too, Jesse Wegman argued on Thursday's The Daily podcast. The framers of the Constitution set up the Electoral College because they had to invent a way to "pick the leader of a self-governing republic" and were worried "most people wouldn't know national political candidates," he explained. But they never even discussed today's winner-takes-all system, "and when they saw it start to be adopted in the states in the early 1800s, they were horrified. James Madison, the man we think of as the father of the Constitution, tried to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of winner-take-all rule because he saw how corrosive it was to erase up to half of voters in the state."Madison failed, but Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) almost got a constitutional amendment enacted in 1969 — President Richard Nixon was on board, it had broad national support, the House approved the amendment, and nearly three-quarters of states were set to approve it, Wegman said. Sadly, "three Southern segregationist senators" filibustered it to death in 1970, killing "the best effort we've ever had in American history to abolish the Electoral College."This only became a partisan issue after George W. Bush then Donald Trump won the Electoral College while losing the popular vote, but it's a double-edged sword, Wegman said. "Right now what we're seeing is some really big and important Republican-majority states are shifting demographically." Texas, with its 38 electoral votes, "is going to turn blue" as soon as 2024, he predicted, and "if Republicans can't win Texas, I think their paths to an Electoral College victory are basically eliminated."In the next eight years, "when both parties have suffered enough in a short enough time period that they realize that it doesn't help anybody," Wegman said, "I think we have the opening to switch to a system in which everybody counts equally, and everybody's vote matters." Listen to Wegman's entire argument at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Trump loses on the merits Who won the final 2020 debate? Call it a draw. Get ready for Trump TV, America


     

  • Wild hogs running amok in California city. Can bow hunters help get rid of them?      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 18:22:28 -0400

    Wild hogs running amok in California city. Can bow hunters help get rid of them?Wild pigs are destroying land due a population boom.


    Wild hogs running amok in California city. Can bow hunters help get rid of them?Wild pigs are destroying land due a population boom.


     

  • Polish President Duda infected with coronavirus; thousands protest against curbs      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 02:32:44 -0400

    Polish President Duda infected with coronavirus; thousands protest against curbsPolish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said on Saturday, and police used tear gas on several occasions as thousands of people protested in Warsaw against restrictions aimed at curbing the surging epidemic. Duda's infection was announced in the morning and he said in televised remarks later he was feeling fine.


    Polish President Duda infected with coronavirus; thousands protest against curbsPolish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said on Saturday, and police used tear gas on several occasions as thousands of people protested in Warsaw against restrictions aimed at curbing the surging epidemic. Duda's infection was announced in the morning and he said in televised remarks later he was feeling fine.


     

  • Kimberly Guilfoyle Lists Manhattan Apartment for $5 Million      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 17:01:04 -0400

    Kimberly Guilfoyle Lists Manhattan Apartment for $5 MillionDonald Trump Jr.’s high-profile girlfriend is ready to part with her three-bedroom place overlooking Central Park


    Kimberly Guilfoyle Lists Manhattan Apartment for $5 MillionDonald Trump Jr.’s high-profile girlfriend is ready to part with her three-bedroom place overlooking Central Park


     

  • The family of the rescued Zion National Park hiker spoke out after a sheriff's sergeant questioned her survival story — but it's still confusing      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 09:41:04 -0400

    The family of the rescued Zion National Park hiker spoke out after a sheriff's sergeant questioned her survival story — but it's still confusingHolly Courtier was found 12 days after disappearing on a hike. Her sister spoke to reporters after a sheriff's sergeant questioned the survival story.


    The family of the rescued Zion National Park hiker spoke out after a sheriff's sergeant questioned her survival story — but it's still confusingHolly Courtier was found 12 days after disappearing on a hike. Her sister spoke to reporters after a sheriff's sergeant questioned the survival story.


     

  • The South was a lost cause for Democrats. Now eight key Senate seats are in play.      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 06:01:42 -0400

    The South was a lost cause for Democrats. Now eight key Senate seats are in play."You'd sometimes have a good candidate run, but they had no capacity to raise money or get involvement from the national party. That’s changed now," one Democratic strategist said.


    The South was a lost cause for Democrats. Now eight key Senate seats are in play."You'd sometimes have a good candidate run, but they had no capacity to raise money or get involvement from the national party. That’s changed now," one Democratic strategist said.


     

  • Text Messages Appear to Show Meeting between Joe Biden and Son’s Business Partner      Thu, 22 Oct 2020 17:27:20 -0400

    Text Messages Appear to Show Meeting between Joe Biden and Son’s Business PartnerJoe Biden appears to have met his son Hunter Biden's business partner in 2017, according to text messages obtained by Fox News.If it took place, the meeting may contradict the former vice president's claim that he "never" spoke with "my son about his overseas business dealings." The text messages came from Tony Bobulinski, the former CEO of SinoHawk Holdings, a joint venture between members of the Biden family and now-defunct Chinese oil company CEFC."Mrng plse let me knw if we will do early dinner w your Uncle & dad and where, also for document translation do you want it simple Chinese or traditional?" Bobulinski wrote in a text to Hunter Biden on May 2, 2017."Not sure on dinner yet and whatever is the most common for a Chinese legal DOC," Hunter replied."Chinese legal docs can be both, i’ll make it traditional," Bobulinski answered. Later on, Hunter replied, "Dad not in now until 11- let’s me I and Jim meet at 10 at Beverly Hilton where he’s staying." "Jim" is James Biden, Hunter's uncle and the former vice president's brother.On the same day, Bobulinski sent a text to James Biden."Great to meet u and spend some time together, please thank Joe for his time, was great to talk thx Tony b," the message states.The Beverly Hilton referred to by Hunter appears to be the Los Angeles branch of the hotel chain. On May 3, one day after the text conversations, Joe Biden participated in a conversation at the Milken Institute's "Global Conference," held in the Beverly Hilton in L.A.Bobulinski has turned over the texts and other documents to various Senate committees for further investigation. Bobulinski also confirmed the authenticity of an email purporting to show that Joe Biden was offered a 10 percent stake in the CEFC-Biden family partnership.Hunter Biden had cultivated a relationship with CEFC and its chairman, Ye Jianming. In November 2017 the Justice Department charged Ye's lieutenant Patrick Ho with corruption and bribery, and Hunter Biden initially agreed to represent Ho in the lawsuit.Ho was eventually sentenced to prison in the U.S. for attempting to bribe the governments of Chad and Uganda. Ye Jianming disappeared in 2018, and is thought to be held by the Chinese government.


    Text Messages Appear to Show Meeting between Joe Biden and Son’s Business PartnerJoe Biden appears to have met his son Hunter Biden's business partner in 2017, according to text messages obtained by Fox News.If it took place, the meeting may contradict the former vice president's claim that he "never" spoke with "my son about his overseas business dealings." The text messages came from Tony Bobulinski, the former CEO of SinoHawk Holdings, a joint venture between members of the Biden family and now-defunct Chinese oil company CEFC."Mrng plse let me knw if we will do early dinner w your Uncle & dad and where, also for document translation do you want it simple Chinese or traditional?" Bobulinski wrote in a text to Hunter Biden on May 2, 2017."Not sure on dinner yet and whatever is the most common for a Chinese legal DOC," Hunter replied."Chinese legal docs can be both, i’ll make it traditional," Bobulinski answered. Later on, Hunter replied, "Dad not in now until 11- let’s me I and Jim meet at 10 at Beverly Hilton where he’s staying." "Jim" is James Biden, Hunter's uncle and the former vice president's brother.On the same day, Bobulinski sent a text to James Biden."Great to meet u and spend some time together, please thank Joe for his time, was great to talk thx Tony b," the message states.The Beverly Hilton referred to by Hunter appears to be the Los Angeles branch of the hotel chain. On May 3, one day after the text conversations, Joe Biden participated in a conversation at the Milken Institute's "Global Conference," held in the Beverly Hilton in L.A.Bobulinski has turned over the texts and other documents to various Senate committees for further investigation. Bobulinski also confirmed the authenticity of an email purporting to show that Joe Biden was offered a 10 percent stake in the CEFC-Biden family partnership.Hunter Biden had cultivated a relationship with CEFC and its chairman, Ye Jianming. In November 2017 the Justice Department charged Ye's lieutenant Patrick Ho with corruption and bribery, and Hunter Biden initially agreed to represent Ho in the lawsuit.Ho was eventually sentenced to prison in the U.S. for attempting to bribe the governments of Chad and Uganda. Ye Jianming disappeared in 2018, and is thought to be held by the Chinese government.


     

  • How S.Africa farm murder sparked violence, then soul-searching      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 08:35:37 -0400

    How S.Africa farm murder sparked violence, then soul-searchingA white farmer's murder in a rural town in early October touched off a series of racially charged events that has drawn comparisons with South Africa's apartheid past, but the truth is far more complex.


    How S.Africa farm murder sparked violence, then soul-searchingA white farmer's murder in a rural town in early October touched off a series of racially charged events that has drawn comparisons with South Africa's apartheid past, but the truth is far more complex.


     

  • Houston officer killed two weeks before retirement      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 12:03:29 -0400

    Houston officer killed two weeks before retirementSgt. Harold Preston, who led ‘from the front,’ died at an area hospital with his family by his side. A longtime Texas police officer just two weeks away from his retirement was shot and killed Tuesday while responding to a domestic violence call. Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston, 65, suffered multiple head wounds after the 41-year force veteran responded to a call at a local apartment complex.


    Houston officer killed two weeks before retirementSgt. Harold Preston, who led ‘from the front,’ died at an area hospital with his family by his side. A longtime Texas police officer just two weeks away from his retirement was shot and killed Tuesday while responding to a domestic violence call. Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston, 65, suffered multiple head wounds after the 41-year force veteran responded to a call at a local apartment complex.


     

  • Fact check: Obama administration approved, built temporary holding enclosures at southern border      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 10:33:04 -0400

    Fact check: Obama administration approved, built temporary holding enclosures at southern borderA meme about a recent speech is true. The facilities were built during the Obama era -- and were intended to hold migrant children for up to 72 hours.


    Fact check: Obama administration approved, built temporary holding enclosures at southern borderA meme about a recent speech is true. The facilities were built during the Obama era -- and were intended to hold migrant children for up to 72 hours.


     

  • Report: Pope comments on same-sex marriage initially not broadcast      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 06:40:36 -0400

    Report: Pope comments on same-sex marriage initially not broadcastA Mexican television broadcaster confirmed Thursday that Pope Francis’ bombshell comments endorsing same-sex civil unions were made during a May 2019 interview that was never broadcast in its entirety.


    Report: Pope comments on same-sex marriage initially not broadcastA Mexican television broadcaster confirmed Thursday that Pope Francis’ bombshell comments endorsing same-sex civil unions were made during a May 2019 interview that was never broadcast in its entirety.


     

  • Inside the Refugee Camp on America's Doorstep      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:55:49 -0400

    Inside the Refugee Camp on America's DoorstepMATAMOROS, Mexico -- A butter yellow sun rose over the crowded tent camp across the river from Texas, and a thick heat baked the rotten debris below, a mixture of broken toys, human waste and uneaten food swarming with flies.Clothing and sheets hung from trees and dried stiff after being drenched and muddied in a hurricane the week before.As residents emerged from the zipper-holes of their canvas homes that morning in August, some trudged with buckets in hand toward tanks of water for bathing and washing dishes. Others assembled in front of wash basins with arms full of children's underwear and pajamas. They waited for the first warm meal of the day to arrive, though it often made them sick.The members of this displaced community requested refuge in the United States but were sent back into Mexico and told to wait. They came there after unique tragedies: violent assaults, oppressive extortions, murdered loved ones. They are bound together by the one thing they share in common -- having nowhere else to go."Sometimes I feel like I can't hold on anymore," said Jaqueline Salgado, who fled to the camp from southern Mexico, sitting outside her tent on a bucket as her children played in the dirt. "But when I remember everything I've been through, and how it was worse, I come back to the conclusion that I have to wait."Salgado is one of about 600 people stranded in a place that many Americans might have thought would never exist. It is effectively a refugee camp on the doorstep of the United States, one of several that have sprung up along the border for the first time in the country's history.After first cropping up in 2018, the encampment across the border from Brownsville, Texas, exploded to nearly 3,000 people the following year under a policy that has required at least 60,000 asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for the entirety of their legal cases, which can take years.Those who have not given up and returned home or had the means to move into shelters or apartments while they wait have been stuck outside ever since in this camp, or others like it that are now strung along the southwest border.Many have been living in fraying tents for more than a year.The Trump administration has said the "remain in Mexico" policy was essential to end exploitation of American immigration laws and alleviate overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities after nearly 2 million migrants crossed into the United States between 2017 and 2019.The Mexican authorities have blamed the U.S. government for the situation. But they have also declined to designate the outdoor areas as official refugee camps in collaboration with the United Nations, which could have provided infrastructure for housing and sanitation."It has been the first time we have been in this situation," Shant Dermegerditchian, director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' office in Monterrey. "And we certainly don't support this."The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to review the policy after it was successfully challenged in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will not be resolved until after the election, so those living in the camp have months of waiting ahead, if not longer.The camp drew attention during Thursday night's presidential debate, when former Vice President Joe Biden noted, "This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country," he said. "They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river."The arrival of the coronavirus has made things much worse. Though only a few cases broke out at the camp, most of the American aid workers who entered regularly to distribute supplies stopped coming, hoping to avoid transporting the virus.The Gulf Cartel, which traffics drugs across the border and is as powerful a force as local law enforcement, moved in to fill the void.The gang charges tolls to camp residents who decide to swim across the river on their own and sometimes kidnaps them for ransom. Beatings and disappearances have also become more common -- sometimes to protect women or children who are being abused, but other times because camp residents have violated the gang's rules about when and where they are permitted to roam outside their tents.Nine bodies have washed ashore on the banks of the Rio Grande near the camp in the last two months; the Mexican authorities said most of the deaths were a result of a rise in gang activity during the pandemic."I haven't done anything, I haven't stolen anything, and still I have to keep escaping. Why?" Salgado said that day in August.She said she and her children were on the run from her abusive husband, who drank excessively and would beat them when he was upset, and because her brother had been kidnapped and killed. Just then, her 11-year-old son, Alexander, who seemed to have only vaguely been paying attention, put down his toys and started to heave."He is constantly nervous," his mother said. "Every time we fought, his anxiety would make him sick and he would end up vomiting."Most children in the camp have not attended formal schooling since they left home. Parents agonize over whether they will be able to make up for the lost time. Some have become worried enough to launch their children across the river on the backs of smugglers, sending them alone on the last leg of their dangerous journey to the United States.Those who cannot bear to make such a decision are often tormented by second-guessing."I was scared I would never see him again because he's all I have," said Carmen Vargas, clinging to the arm of her 13-year-old son, Cristopher, who has a mop of curly brown hair and is tall for his age. "But my son needs to go to school. He's only 13 years old, and practically he has lost two years already."Cristopher teared up listening to his mother describe the life they had left behind. She pulled out identification cards showing that she had been a municipal police officer in Honduras, but said her success became a liability when she put a powerful drug cartel member in jail in 2018. Within hours, the cartel announced a hit on Vargas. She and Cristopher fled, leaving behind the ornate wooden furniture she had saved up to buy and a refrigerator full of food.With cupped palms, Vargas caught beads of sweat that dripped down her forehead as she spoke. She apologized for the stench; just outside her tent, insects crawled around a pile of feces that had washed up when the river flooded. "You have to withstand everything here: sun, water, cold, heat, we have it all."The camp residents are chronically sick with flulike viruses and stomach bugs that wend endlessly through the tents and with respiratory problems aggravated by the dusty air. Their skin is pockmarked from the throngs of mosquitoes that overwhelm the camp after it rains.Most acknowledge that life on the other side of the border would hardly be charmed -- especially if they lost their asylum cases and had to live in the shadows."Without papers, is it still better to be in the U.S. rather than here? Yes, it's a thousand times better," said Lucia Gomez, from Guerrero, Mexico, as she picked up clothing and toys that had been scattered outside their tent by hurricane winds. "They might find you, detain you and deport you," she said. "But if you manage to avoid them, you will be able to put food on the table."In her arms, she held her youngest child, an 8-month-old boy named Yahir, whose back was covered in a bumpy heat rash. Her son William, 16, plopped cherries into his mouth from a plate that was covered in flies.Gomez said her family had made a run for the camp from southern Mexico after their home was ransacked and her husband and father-in-law were shot to death. "A man came in and shouted, 'Put your hands up!'" her 8-year-old son Johan chimed in, holding his arms up as if he were holding an imaginary gun."That is why we wait," she said. "We try to get through this unworthy life. And we try to resist for our children's sake."Volunteer groups bought the laundry basins and water tanks, as well as hand-washing stations and a row of concrete showers that, after months of laying dry in the middle of the camp, were recently connected to a water source.But their efforts have often felt futile. Since the camp appeared, the invisible wall of policies blocking its inhabitants from being allowed into the United States has only grown taller and more fortified.Some have found ways to improvise a modicum of comfort. Antonia Maldonado, 41, from Honduras, stood in a kitchen she had cobbled together under tattered blue tarps suspended from trees. She placed raw chicken onto a grate over an open flame, using a scavenged piece of wood resting on two stacks of upside-down buckets as a countertop.She said she had been looking toward the election for hope that a new administration might ease some of the restrictions put into place by President Donald Trump."Not a leaf gets into that country without his permission," Maldonado said, adding, "I just want to live with dignity. I'm not asking for riches."Some parents pinch pesos to buy decorations and treats from supermarket reject bins for their children's birthdays. But many walk around the camp with bloodshot eyes, constantly on the brink of tears, or in a zombielike state, as if they have shut down emotionally.When Rodrigo Castro de la Parra arrived in Matamoros, he alternated between emotional extremes. In the span of a year, he had gone from being a shy high school student who liked to stay up late at night and draw flowers in his notebook to the head of his entire family. That was after the 18th Street Gang, the most brutal and powerful gang in Guatemala, murdered his mother and sister -- signaling a grudge that meant he and the rest of his relatives could be next on its kill list."I can't sleep," he said one afternoon, sitting outside the tents where he lived with his wife, daughter, grandmother, orphaned niece and his 16-year-old-sister, who had given birth after arriving at the camp. "Sometimes I feel hysterical." He said he worried that someone else in his family could be killed.But only two weeks later, it was Castro de la Parra's body that washed out of the river at one edge of the camp. His death was a mystery. The police investigated it as a possible homicide but ultimately determined that he had drowned.His wife, Cinthia, was still in shock when she took a bus back to Guatemala City for the repatriation of her husband's body. She also hoped to replace her travel documents that had been soaked in his pants when he died.She would need them when she went back with their 2-year-old to try again.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    Inside the Refugee Camp on America's DoorstepMATAMOROS, Mexico -- A butter yellow sun rose over the crowded tent camp across the river from Texas, and a thick heat baked the rotten debris below, a mixture of broken toys, human waste and uneaten food swarming with flies.Clothing and sheets hung from trees and dried stiff after being drenched and muddied in a hurricane the week before.As residents emerged from the zipper-holes of their canvas homes that morning in August, some trudged with buckets in hand toward tanks of water for bathing and washing dishes. Others assembled in front of wash basins with arms full of children's underwear and pajamas. They waited for the first warm meal of the day to arrive, though it often made them sick.The members of this displaced community requested refuge in the United States but were sent back into Mexico and told to wait. They came there after unique tragedies: violent assaults, oppressive extortions, murdered loved ones. They are bound together by the one thing they share in common -- having nowhere else to go."Sometimes I feel like I can't hold on anymore," said Jaqueline Salgado, who fled to the camp from southern Mexico, sitting outside her tent on a bucket as her children played in the dirt. "But when I remember everything I've been through, and how it was worse, I come back to the conclusion that I have to wait."Salgado is one of about 600 people stranded in a place that many Americans might have thought would never exist. It is effectively a refugee camp on the doorstep of the United States, one of several that have sprung up along the border for the first time in the country's history.After first cropping up in 2018, the encampment across the border from Brownsville, Texas, exploded to nearly 3,000 people the following year under a policy that has required at least 60,000 asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for the entirety of their legal cases, which can take years.Those who have not given up and returned home or had the means to move into shelters or apartments while they wait have been stuck outside ever since in this camp, or others like it that are now strung along the southwest border.Many have been living in fraying tents for more than a year.The Trump administration has said the "remain in Mexico" policy was essential to end exploitation of American immigration laws and alleviate overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities after nearly 2 million migrants crossed into the United States between 2017 and 2019.The Mexican authorities have blamed the U.S. government for the situation. But they have also declined to designate the outdoor areas as official refugee camps in collaboration with the United Nations, which could have provided infrastructure for housing and sanitation."It has been the first time we have been in this situation," Shant Dermegerditchian, director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' office in Monterrey. "And we certainly don't support this."The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to review the policy after it was successfully challenged in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will not be resolved until after the election, so those living in the camp have months of waiting ahead, if not longer.The camp drew attention during Thursday night's presidential debate, when former Vice President Joe Biden noted, "This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country," he said. "They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river."The arrival of the coronavirus has made things much worse. Though only a few cases broke out at the camp, most of the American aid workers who entered regularly to distribute supplies stopped coming, hoping to avoid transporting the virus.The Gulf Cartel, which traffics drugs across the border and is as powerful a force as local law enforcement, moved in to fill the void.The gang charges tolls to camp residents who decide to swim across the river on their own and sometimes kidnaps them for ransom. Beatings and disappearances have also become more common -- sometimes to protect women or children who are being abused, but other times because camp residents have violated the gang's rules about when and where they are permitted to roam outside their tents.Nine bodies have washed ashore on the banks of the Rio Grande near the camp in the last two months; the Mexican authorities said most of the deaths were a result of a rise in gang activity during the pandemic."I haven't done anything, I haven't stolen anything, and still I have to keep escaping. Why?" Salgado said that day in August.She said she and her children were on the run from her abusive husband, who drank excessively and would beat them when he was upset, and because her brother had been kidnapped and killed. Just then, her 11-year-old son, Alexander, who seemed to have only vaguely been paying attention, put down his toys and started to heave."He is constantly nervous," his mother said. "Every time we fought, his anxiety would make him sick and he would end up vomiting."Most children in the camp have not attended formal schooling since they left home. Parents agonize over whether they will be able to make up for the lost time. Some have become worried enough to launch their children across the river on the backs of smugglers, sending them alone on the last leg of their dangerous journey to the United States.Those who cannot bear to make such a decision are often tormented by second-guessing."I was scared I would never see him again because he's all I have," said Carmen Vargas, clinging to the arm of her 13-year-old son, Cristopher, who has a mop of curly brown hair and is tall for his age. "But my son needs to go to school. He's only 13 years old, and practically he has lost two years already."Cristopher teared up listening to his mother describe the life they had left behind. She pulled out identification cards showing that she had been a municipal police officer in Honduras, but said her success became a liability when she put a powerful drug cartel member in jail in 2018. Within hours, the cartel announced a hit on Vargas. She and Cristopher fled, leaving behind the ornate wooden furniture she had saved up to buy and a refrigerator full of food.With cupped palms, Vargas caught beads of sweat that dripped down her forehead as she spoke. She apologized for the stench; just outside her tent, insects crawled around a pile of feces that had washed up when the river flooded. "You have to withstand everything here: sun, water, cold, heat, we have it all."The camp residents are chronically sick with flulike viruses and stomach bugs that wend endlessly through the tents and with respiratory problems aggravated by the dusty air. Their skin is pockmarked from the throngs of mosquitoes that overwhelm the camp after it rains.Most acknowledge that life on the other side of the border would hardly be charmed -- especially if they lost their asylum cases and had to live in the shadows."Without papers, is it still better to be in the U.S. rather than here? Yes, it's a thousand times better," said Lucia Gomez, from Guerrero, Mexico, as she picked up clothing and toys that had been scattered outside their tent by hurricane winds. "They might find you, detain you and deport you," she said. "But if you manage to avoid them, you will be able to put food on the table."In her arms, she held her youngest child, an 8-month-old boy named Yahir, whose back was covered in a bumpy heat rash. Her son William, 16, plopped cherries into his mouth from a plate that was covered in flies.Gomez said her family had made a run for the camp from southern Mexico after their home was ransacked and her husband and father-in-law were shot to death. "A man came in and shouted, 'Put your hands up!'" her 8-year-old son Johan chimed in, holding his arms up as if he were holding an imaginary gun."That is why we wait," she said. "We try to get through this unworthy life. And we try to resist for our children's sake."Volunteer groups bought the laundry basins and water tanks, as well as hand-washing stations and a row of concrete showers that, after months of laying dry in the middle of the camp, were recently connected to a water source.But their efforts have often felt futile. Since the camp appeared, the invisible wall of policies blocking its inhabitants from being allowed into the United States has only grown taller and more fortified.Some have found ways to improvise a modicum of comfort. Antonia Maldonado, 41, from Honduras, stood in a kitchen she had cobbled together under tattered blue tarps suspended from trees. She placed raw chicken onto a grate over an open flame, using a scavenged piece of wood resting on two stacks of upside-down buckets as a countertop.She said she had been looking toward the election for hope that a new administration might ease some of the restrictions put into place by President Donald Trump."Not a leaf gets into that country without his permission," Maldonado said, adding, "I just want to live with dignity. I'm not asking for riches."Some parents pinch pesos to buy decorations and treats from supermarket reject bins for their children's birthdays. But many walk around the camp with bloodshot eyes, constantly on the brink of tears, or in a zombielike state, as if they have shut down emotionally.When Rodrigo Castro de la Parra arrived in Matamoros, he alternated between emotional extremes. In the span of a year, he had gone from being a shy high school student who liked to stay up late at night and draw flowers in his notebook to the head of his entire family. That was after the 18th Street Gang, the most brutal and powerful gang in Guatemala, murdered his mother and sister -- signaling a grudge that meant he and the rest of his relatives could be next on its kill list."I can't sleep," he said one afternoon, sitting outside the tents where he lived with his wife, daughter, grandmother, orphaned niece and his 16-year-old-sister, who had given birth after arriving at the camp. "Sometimes I feel hysterical." He said he worried that someone else in his family could be killed.But only two weeks later, it was Castro de la Parra's body that washed out of the river at one edge of the camp. His death was a mystery. The police investigated it as a possible homicide but ultimately determined that he had drowned.His wife, Cinthia, was still in shock when she took a bus back to Guatemala City for the repatriation of her husband's body. She also hoped to replace her travel documents that had been soaked in his pants when he died.She would need them when she went back with their 2-year-old to try again.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


     

  • How has China avoided a coronavirus second wave?      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 07:31:20 -0400

    How has China avoided a coronavirus second wave?Europe is the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic once again, with the number of daily infections doubling in the past 10 days as a second wave hits. But China has avoided a second wave. The question is why? The answer is that its authorities, after being overwhelmed in Wuhan, have fine-tuned an emergency response for surprise cluster outbreaks. Many subsequent waves of infection have emerged in China, a country of 1.4 billion people and nearly 40 times the size of the UK. Cases have cropped up across the country, as far apart as in the south along the border to Vietnam, and in the north near Russia.


    How has China avoided a coronavirus second wave?Europe is the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic once again, with the number of daily infections doubling in the past 10 days as a second wave hits. But China has avoided a second wave. The question is why? The answer is that its authorities, after being overwhelmed in Wuhan, have fine-tuned an emergency response for surprise cluster outbreaks. Many subsequent waves of infection have emerged in China, a country of 1.4 billion people and nearly 40 times the size of the UK. Cases have cropped up across the country, as far apart as in the south along the border to Vietnam, and in the north near Russia.


     

  • ‘Urban Warfare’ as Europe’s Second Wave Spins Out of Control      Sat, 24 Oct 2020 08:37:13 -0400

    ‘Urban Warfare’ as Europe’s Second Wave Spins Out of ControlROME—A few hours after the regional governor of the Italian region of Campania where Naples is located announced he would be locking down the entire province to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Neapolitans took to the streets Friday night to defy the order. The situation quickly turned into what one police official likened to urban warfare with protesters lighting dumpsters and ducking teargas being lobbed by police. All the while, the mostly maskless, yelling crowd undoubtedly spread coronavirus even more.Europe is very much out of control when it comes to its second wave, with every single nation in the 27-member zone struggling in a race against time as hospitals fill up and death tolls—which are substantially less than the first wave so far— continue to rise. Millions of people are facing harsh new restrictions as governments play what amounts to whack-a-mole to try to stop the spread of the virus they thought just a few months ago they had defeated. Improved testing in many countries has painted a clearer picture of just how widespread the pandemic is, but because of the number of new infections, systems to contact trace have been overwhelmed, making the spread impossible to control.The U.S. is in Denial Over the Coronavirus Pandemic as Europe Struggles With Second WaveFrance has expanded its Draconian curfew that has stifled Parisian nightlife and put a massive dent in the hospitality sector economy of one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Now 46 million French people will have to be home by 9 p.m. In Wales, a two-week “firebreak” started Friday, meaning everyone but essential workers has to be home by 6 p.m. The Czech Republic has just reached the dubious honor of having the most cases per capita in Europe with 1,148 cases per 100,000 residents, with Belgium and the Netherlands close behind. Ireland is under a six-week lockdown and Slovakia has vowed to test every single citizen to try to mitigate the spread. The Polish president has just tested positive and Germany reached 10,003 COVID-related deaths as the infection rate continues to rise. Filming of Mission Impossible 7 with Tom Cruise has been suspended in Venice as cases there reach record levels. And the Italian government is facing calls by 100 top scientists to mandate strict new measures in the next two or three days, or the outcome could be catastrophic.And it is still only October.Europe’s problems are dire, and citizens are angry that their governments have not been able to come up with any better plan than locking down, which puts already weak economies that were so badly hurt in the first wave of the pandemic at even greater risk of collapse. Ludovic Subran, the chief economist at Allianz warned last week of a high risk serious recession across Europe as new restrictions are put in place. “We see an elevated risk of a double dip recession in countries that are once again resorting to targeted and regional lockdowns,” he said, adding that the European Union’s first bailout $880 billion won’t likely go to growth but be used by many countries like Italy, Spain and Greece to just stay afloat.On Saturday, the group Save Our Rights U.K. is holding a massive demonstration in London to protest not only restrictions being enforced by the British government, but the overall handling of the pandemic, pointing to contact tracing and other means to track the spread of the coronavirus as an affront to privacy. “We believe that the coronavirus regulations that are in place are not proportionate and appropriate, and are causing more harm than good,” Louise Creffield, the group founder told the Guardian. “We are very concerned with protecting people’s human rights: right to privacy, family life, bodily autonomy, medical freedoms, and so on. We are not just concerned with lockdowns per se, we are concerned with the infringements with our privacy by having this track and trace everywhere.”Similar sentiments are now common across Europe, where pandemic fatigue is now evident. And with lack of a feasible containment plan anywhere, the people are angry, desperate and increasingly ambivalent about what is really at stake: thousands of lives.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.


    ‘Urban Warfare’ as Europe’s Second Wave Spins Out of ControlROME—A few hours after the regional governor of the Italian region of Campania where Naples is located announced he would be locking down the entire province to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Neapolitans took to the streets Friday night to defy the order. The situation quickly turned into what one police official likened to urban warfare with protesters lighting dumpsters and ducking teargas being lobbed by police. All the while, the mostly maskless, yelling crowd undoubtedly spread coronavirus even more.Europe is very much out of control when it comes to its second wave, with every single nation in the 27-member zone struggling in a race against time as hospitals fill up and death tolls—which are substantially less than the first wave so far— continue to rise. Millions of people are facing harsh new restrictions as governments play what amounts to whack-a-mole to try to stop the spread of the virus they thought just a few months ago they had defeated. Improved testing in many countries has painted a clearer picture of just how widespread the pandemic is, but because of the number of new infections, systems to contact trace have been overwhelmed, making the spread impossible to control.The U.S. is in Denial Over the Coronavirus Pandemic as Europe Struggles With Second WaveFrance has expanded its Draconian curfew that has stifled Parisian nightlife and put a massive dent in the hospitality sector economy of one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Now 46 million French people will have to be home by 9 p.m. In Wales, a two-week “firebreak” started Friday, meaning everyone but essential workers has to be home by 6 p.m. The Czech Republic has just reached the dubious honor of having the most cases per capita in Europe with 1,148 cases per 100,000 residents, with Belgium and the Netherlands close behind. Ireland is under a six-week lockdown and Slovakia has vowed to test every single citizen to try to mitigate the spread. The Polish president has just tested positive and Germany reached 10,003 COVID-related deaths as the infection rate continues to rise. Filming of Mission Impossible 7 with Tom Cruise has been suspended in Venice as cases there reach record levels. And the Italian government is facing calls by 100 top scientists to mandate strict new measures in the next two or three days, or the outcome could be catastrophic.And it is still only October.Europe’s problems are dire, and citizens are angry that their governments have not been able to come up with any better plan than locking down, which puts already weak economies that were so badly hurt in the first wave of the pandemic at even greater risk of collapse. Ludovic Subran, the chief economist at Allianz warned last week of a high risk serious recession across Europe as new restrictions are put in place. “We see an elevated risk of a double dip recession in countries that are once again resorting to targeted and regional lockdowns,” he said, adding that the European Union’s first bailout $880 billion won’t likely go to growth but be used by many countries like Italy, Spain and Greece to just stay afloat.On Saturday, the group Save Our Rights U.K. is holding a massive demonstration in London to protest not only restrictions being enforced by the British government, but the overall handling of the pandemic, pointing to contact tracing and other means to track the spread of the coronavirus as an affront to privacy. “We believe that the coronavirus regulations that are in place are not proportionate and appropriate, and are causing more harm than good,” Louise Creffield, the group founder told the Guardian. “We are very concerned with protecting people’s human rights: right to privacy, family life, bodily autonomy, medical freedoms, and so on. We are not just concerned with lockdowns per se, we are concerned with the infringements with our privacy by having this track and trace everywhere.”Similar sentiments are now common across Europe, where pandemic fatigue is now evident. And with lack of a feasible containment plan anywhere, the people are angry, desperate and increasingly ambivalent about what is really at stake: thousands of lives.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.


     

  • Trump's niece Mary berates president during final debate: 'Only thing more grotesque than cruelty is the racism'      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 08:57:41 -0400

    Trump's niece Mary berates president during final debate: 'Only thing more grotesque than cruelty is the racism'‘The only safe place for Donald to live is the past,’ says president’s niece


    Trump's niece Mary berates president during final debate: 'Only thing more grotesque than cruelty is the racism'‘The only safe place for Donald to live is the past,’ says president’s niece


     

  • Last Rites for Venezuela’s State-Owned Oil Company      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 06:30:19 -0400

    Last Rites for Venezuela’s State-Owned Oil CompanyVenezuela is in the throes of an unprecedented economic collapse. Oil, Venezuela’s lifeblood, is being mismanaged by Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the country’s state-owned oil company. Faced with dwindling revenue from PDVSA, the government has relied on its central bank to finance public expenditures. To satisfy these demands, the Banco Central de Venezuela has turned on the printing presses, and, as night follows day, hyperinflation has reared its ugly head again.In total, there have only been 62 episodes of hyperinflation in history. Venezuela, along with Lebanon, is one of only two countries currently experiencing hyperinflation. Today, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate is 2,275 percent per year, the highest in the world.How could this be? After all, Venezuela has the largest proven crude-oil reserves in the world. At 303.81 billion barrels, they are larger even than Saudi Arabia’s, which stand at 258.6 billion barrels. Considering the extent of the country’s resources, it might strike most people as surprising that Venezuela’s hyperinflation is linked to the mismanagement of PDVSA, a state-owned enterprise (SOE). But PDVSA dominates the Venezuelan economy and accounts for 99 percent of Venezuela’s foreign-exchange earnings. In a sense, PDVSA is the Venezuelan economy, and even by SOE standards, the company is grossly mismanaged.Under the direction of Luis Giusti in the 1994–98 period, PDVSA’s production soared. This trend changed in 1999, when Hugo Chavez became Venezuela’s president and introduced Chavismo as the country’s guiding economic doctrine. Venezuela’s oil output began to stagnate, a situation that worsened further after the coup attempt of April 2002. Chavez responded with mass purges of PDVSA’s employees, replacing them with “reliable” hands — those loyal to Chavez’s socialist regime.After the 2002–03 output plunge, Venezuela’s oil production temporarily recovered. However, with the death of Chavez and Nicolas Maduro’s assumption of the presidency in March 2013, another output plunge began. This trend has left Venezuela’s output drastically lower than when Chavez took power in 1999 (see the chart below).In addition to the reduction in PDVSA’s crude oil output, its physical capital has been consumed at an unsustainably rapid rate, with capital expenditures far below the value of equipment that is being consumed each year by depreciation and amortization.There has also been a drop in the stock and quality of PDVSA’s human capital. In 2017, President Nicolas Maduro named a National Guard general, Manuel Quevedo, the leader of PDVSA, despite his having no industry experience. Quevedo was soon ousted by Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of Hugo Chavez, in late April 2020 despite the new leader’s international reputation as a drug lord.Unsurprisingly, PDVSA’s chronic mismanagement has been accompanied by a recent collapse in the number of operational oil-drilling rigs in the field (see the chart below). Indeed, it has been reported that, as of August 2020, PDVSA has no operational oil rigs.If all that isn’t bad enough, equipment breakdowns and increased accident rates have contributed further to long downtimes and output declines. As of October 1, 2020, PDVSA had reported 42 accidents and incidents since 2003, costing the SOE approximately 580 days of production. Because many of PDVSA’s blunders go unreported, and many of the mismanagement incidents (such as the sinking of the natural gas exploration rig “Aban Pearl”) cannot be quantified in terms of days lost, the true number of days in which PDVSA’s production has been hampered due to mismanagement is undoubtedly much higher than reported figures.PDVSA’s decreased output is not due to dwindling oil reserves, but instead due to a reduction in its depletion rate. The depletion rate — the rate at which oil companies are depleting their proven reserves — provides the key to understanding the economics of an oil company and the value of its reserves.Venezuela’s depletion rate has been falling rapidly since 2007 (see the first chart). In 2019, it sat at 0.121 percent per year, indicating that it would take 569.41 years for PDVSA to tap half of its reserves.This has noteworthy economic implications. Because of positive time preference and discounting, the value of a barrel of oil produced today is higher than the value of a barrel of oil produced in the future, provided the price of oil remains the same. Given Venezuela’s incredibly low depletion rate, its reserves are essentially worthless because they are left in the ground for too long.To put Venezuela’s depletion rate into perspective, consider Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companies. At the end of 2019, Exxon’s depletion rate was 6.53 percent per year —comparable to that realized by most major oil companies. That rate implies that it would take 10.25 years for Exxon’s oil reserves to be halfway depleted. That is 559.16 years earlier than when PDVSA would deplete half of its reserves. If we discount at 10 percent, the median value of Exxon’s reserves is worth 37.65 percent of their wellhead value (the value that the producer would receive if the oil was sold at the wellhead and not distributed further downstream) — not zero, as is the case for PDVSA.Thanks to Venezuela’s embrace of socialism and Chavismo, PDVSA has probably destroyed more economic value than any institution in world history. This brings back memories of President George W. Bush’s infamous remark that “this sucker could go down.” It’s no surprise that the clergy are preparing to administer PDVSA’s last rites.


    Last Rites for Venezuela’s State-Owned Oil CompanyVenezuela is in the throes of an unprecedented economic collapse. Oil, Venezuela’s lifeblood, is being mismanaged by Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the country’s state-owned oil company. Faced with dwindling revenue from PDVSA, the government has relied on its central bank to finance public expenditures. To satisfy these demands, the Banco Central de Venezuela has turned on the printing presses, and, as night follows day, hyperinflation has reared its ugly head again.In total, there have only been 62 episodes of hyperinflation in history. Venezuela, along with Lebanon, is one of only two countries currently experiencing hyperinflation. Today, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate is 2,275 percent per year, the highest in the world.How could this be? After all, Venezuela has the largest proven crude-oil reserves in the world. At 303.81 billion barrels, they are larger even than Saudi Arabia’s, which stand at 258.6 billion barrels. Considering the extent of the country’s resources, it might strike most people as surprising that Venezuela’s hyperinflation is linked to the mismanagement of PDVSA, a state-owned enterprise (SOE). But PDVSA dominates the Venezuelan economy and accounts for 99 percent of Venezuela’s foreign-exchange earnings. In a sense, PDVSA is the Venezuelan economy, and even by SOE standards, the company is grossly mismanaged.Under the direction of Luis Giusti in the 1994–98 period, PDVSA’s production soared. This trend changed in 1999, when Hugo Chavez became Venezuela’s president and introduced Chavismo as the country’s guiding economic doctrine. Venezuela’s oil output began to stagnate, a situation that worsened further after the coup attempt of April 2002. Chavez responded with mass purges of PDVSA’s employees, replacing them with “reliable” hands — those loyal to Chavez’s socialist regime.After the 2002–03 output plunge, Venezuela’s oil production temporarily recovered. However, with the death of Chavez and Nicolas Maduro’s assumption of the presidency in March 2013, another output plunge began. This trend has left Venezuela’s output drastically lower than when Chavez took power in 1999 (see the chart below).In addition to the reduction in PDVSA’s crude oil output, its physical capital has been consumed at an unsustainably rapid rate, with capital expenditures far below the value of equipment that is being consumed each year by depreciation and amortization.There has also been a drop in the stock and quality of PDVSA’s human capital. In 2017, President Nicolas Maduro named a National Guard general, Manuel Quevedo, the leader of PDVSA, despite his having no industry experience. Quevedo was soon ousted by Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of Hugo Chavez, in late April 2020 despite the new leader’s international reputation as a drug lord.Unsurprisingly, PDVSA’s chronic mismanagement has been accompanied by a recent collapse in the number of operational oil-drilling rigs in the field (see the chart below). Indeed, it has been reported that, as of August 2020, PDVSA has no operational oil rigs.If all that isn’t bad enough, equipment breakdowns and increased accident rates have contributed further to long downtimes and output declines. As of October 1, 2020, PDVSA had reported 42 accidents and incidents since 2003, costing the SOE approximately 580 days of production. Because many of PDVSA’s blunders go unreported, and many of the mismanagement incidents (such as the sinking of the natural gas exploration rig “Aban Pearl”) cannot be quantified in terms of days lost, the true number of days in which PDVSA’s production has been hampered due to mismanagement is undoubtedly much higher than reported figures.PDVSA’s decreased output is not due to dwindling oil reserves, but instead due to a reduction in its depletion rate. The depletion rate — the rate at which oil companies are depleting their proven reserves — provides the key to understanding the economics of an oil company and the value of its reserves.Venezuela’s depletion rate has been falling rapidly since 2007 (see the first chart). In 2019, it sat at 0.121 percent per year, indicating that it would take 569.41 years for PDVSA to tap half of its reserves.This has noteworthy economic implications. Because of positive time preference and discounting, the value of a barrel of oil produced today is higher than the value of a barrel of oil produced in the future, provided the price of oil remains the same. Given Venezuela’s incredibly low depletion rate, its reserves are essentially worthless because they are left in the ground for too long.To put Venezuela’s depletion rate into perspective, consider Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companies. At the end of 2019, Exxon’s depletion rate was 6.53 percent per year —comparable to that realized by most major oil companies. That rate implies that it would take 10.25 years for Exxon’s oil reserves to be halfway depleted. That is 559.16 years earlier than when PDVSA would deplete half of its reserves. If we discount at 10 percent, the median value of Exxon’s reserves is worth 37.65 percent of their wellhead value (the value that the producer would receive if the oil was sold at the wellhead and not distributed further downstream) — not zero, as is the case for PDVSA.Thanks to Venezuela’s embrace of socialism and Chavismo, PDVSA has probably destroyed more economic value than any institution in world history. This brings back memories of President George W. Bush’s infamous remark that “this sucker could go down.” It’s no surprise that the clergy are preparing to administer PDVSA’s last rites.


     

  • Pentagon condemns Turkish missile system test, warns of 'serious consequences'      Fri, 23 Oct 2020 15:15:10 -0400

    Pentagon condemns Turkish missile system test, warns of 'serious consequences'The Pentagon on Friday strongly condemned the test of a Russian-made S-400 missile defense system by NATO ally Turkey and warned of "serious consequences."


    Pentagon condemns Turkish missile system test, warns of 'serious consequences'The Pentagon on Friday strongly condemned the test of a Russian-made S-400 missile defense system by NATO ally Turkey and warned of "serious consequences."


     



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